AT&T's 'Indigo' 5G to Kick Off In Austin and Indianapolis

AT&T today said it plans to test some of its 5G network technologies, with peak speeds of 400 Mbps, in Austin and Indianapolis beginning later this year. The company has been testing a handful of next-generation network technologies for several year snow. AT&T said it will continue to densify its network and deploy technologies like carrier aggregation and LTE-License Assisted Access to boost speeds to 1 Gbps. AT&T is calling its evolving 5G platform AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo, or Indigo for short. “We see Indigo as the third generation of modern networking,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations. “Indigo is our term for a world where it isn’t just your connection speeds that are accelerating, but every element of the network becomes more seamless, efficient and capable. It is a living, evolving, upgradeable platform. Think of Indigo like the operating system on your phone. We’re taking that model to the network.” Indigo will rely on a handful of elements, including Big Data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, and software-defined networking. Earlier this week, AT&T said it plans to test Centralized RAN, AirGig, G.fast, and Fixed Wireless Internet technologies using mmWave spectrum.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Apple, you’re losing the battle for the home

I’ve waited so long for home kit. Not even a resonable amount of time, a really long time. HomeKit is great and Apple’s approach to creating the most secure home products that all work well is without doubt the correct approach. With that said there are so many great devices out there now it’s just not feasible for me, and no doubt many others, to hold on any longer.

My home automation seal has been well and truly been broken with the purchase of two echo dots, a Philips hue starter kit and more Wemo smart plugs that I can shake a stick at. What’s more is they all work together with ease, the only thing that is missing is come kind of iPhone software to make it all easy….

Apple, youre losing the battle for the home

If you have used HomeKit on iOS 10 you will know the true advantage of having everything under one roof. The quick toggles in control centre and the overall app is something to be truly praised. There just is hardly anything available!

The HomeKit Way

Understandably, manufactures are put off by the cost of producing Home Kit devices. They have to include particular chips and networking options that are more expensive than others. There is also a bug to bear with the complex approval process, that can take up to 6 months for Apple to approve the devices. Leading to a drought of devices, that is particularly evident outside of the US.

I’m not entirely convinced that speaking to your home is the answer than most people will want, but it is a start and certainly much easier than worrying about opening an app all the time. Apple clearly already know this, due to their reliance on Siri to do anything on the new AirPods. This may choose to bite them going forward as it highlights once again the fact that Amazon and to an extent Google Home have Apple already beat hands down.

The Assistant

As every tech company imaginable scrambles to mention AI and machine learning in almost every press release, it is Apple that follow the crowd. Not to mention every manufacturer striving to have their own assistant make every feature of your life easier. From contextual awareness to control of your home, collecting data is the key. Yet Apple know the least about you.

Privacy and security definitely have their markets (which are actually growing) but Apple simply can’t make their mind up what they want to do with your data. Steve Jobs believed that whatever you signed up for should be clear and transparent, which is an honourable approach. But not one that rule’s out contextual awareness without surrounding it in complicated mathematics, Apple still refuse.

Apple, youre losing the battle for the home

If Samsung can pull off their Assistant, and they sure as hell have the know how and the user base, Apple are trailing almost last and may have a problem on their hands. Apple truly believe the best assistant is the one you have with you , unfortunately more people might start carrying something else because Apple and Siri are lacking.

Whereas Amazon have somewhat quietly kept improving their service and their product for a long time now. The ‘works with Alexa’ brand was everywhere at CES. From smart home devices that don’t have to jump through hoops, to phones that are building Alexa straight in – its boom time. A quick Amazon search tells the extent of the home products that work with Alexa – and they are rapidly growing.

Security

There is one concern and that is provides a sticking point with any works with Alexa devices, security. Not to say that all devices are unsecured, but these concerns are wide ranging ones. There is definitely an issue with the security of IoT devices, leading to the DDOS attacks that took down much of the internet in 2016. By far the most creepy is the fact that so called smart devices have been people homes for years and are often lacking even basic security .

Apples approach to insist on specific hardware and throughly test each device before they let it work with HomeKit is the best approach to take. There is no argument against this, yet you have to balance this against lack of product. Companies are unwilling to release specific version for HomeKit or build in specific requirements to lower profit margins. There is next to no devices available outside the US, and these are often 2-3 times the price.

Apple, youre losing the battle for the home

If Apple are already behind on the amount of devices that are available, and also the interface which will provide the most convenience. Why would users spend a considerable amount more

There ultimately needs to be a trade off between security and convince, not just in devices actually being available. Include into this the convince of a manufacturer to produce the device in the first place.

The ease at which the Home app works on iPhone is a clear advantage, providing your whole family use iOS devices. Unfortunately for most users security is just not enough to persuade those wanting to set up their home to spend more. So unless that compromise is found, fast, you’re going to loose the battle for the home.

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  • Dodocool wireless sports headphones – review

    Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review

    It is the New Year, when the fitness fad is at its strongest, so excuse us for a review of another set of wireless sports headphones.  Up today is the Dodocool DA104 ‘Wireless Sport Stereo Headset’.  Dodocool is yet another newish Chinese company that specialises in relatively affordable products.

    The headphones come packaged in a nice looking and feeling case.  It is hard and will certainly afford them some protection in your gym bag or pocket.  The inside of the case has a pocket on one side.  The headphones come with standard accessories in the form of a micro-USB charging cable and 3 different sized ear buds.

    Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review

    In a world of cables I must say that the packaged one is attractive and a bit different from the norm:
    Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review

    The headphones themselves offer the standard sort of fare:

    • 180hrs stand by time
    • 10hrs talk time
    • 10hrs play time
    • 2hrs to charge
    • 10m transmission range

    The headphones connect via bluetooth but can also use NFC, should you have it.  There are buttons on the headphones for changing track and changing volume, as well as one and off, but as far as I could tell there was no option to use them to answer phone calls and there is no built-in microphone.  Given that these are designed for sport, I find this omission a bit of a pain.

    I like the yellow effect on the ear buds but that is where my admiration for these end.

    Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review

    Given the point of these – to be worn whilst running or doing sport – you’d be forgiven for thinking that something a little more svelte would have been in the designer’s mind.  Alas no, these are massive.  Here’s a photo of them next to a standard length pen:

    Dodocool wireless sports headphones   review

    If the large plastic bits where ‘dodocool’ is written weren’t bad enough, there is an even longer bit that curves around the ear.  Normally on sports headphones there are flexible so that they can be moulded around the ear, but not hear.  The construction is solid, plasticky-looking, and just a bit primitive overall.

    The sound out of these is fine.  Nothing exceptional and about what you’d expect for the price, but I just didn’t like the feel of them.  They aren’t heavy and feel like they would stay in during a variety of activities, but they aren’t especially comfortable and I certainly wouldn’t wear them for a long run.

    The headphones are available on Amazon for £21.99 but if you use this code – E896LZJ9 – you can buy them for the price of £13.56.  Despite my slight dislike for them, the reduced price actually makes these a cheap option for the infrequent user.

    Here are my scores:

     

     

     

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  • Android Wear 2.0 and new LG watches to launch on 9 February

    Amidst all the fuss about the death of the smartwatch, Google is preparing to attempt to breathe new life into its watch OS.  Android Wear 2.0 is set to launch on 9 February, bringing a slew of new features.  It has been available in various beta releases for some time but the final release version is supposed to contain additional aspects to the OS.  Google are still to confirm the date, but the increasing number of recent leaks would suggest that it is imminent.  Also imminent are the Nexus/Pixel equivalent for the watch world.  Google has teamed up with LG to produce two watches, the ‘Style’ and the ‘Sport’.  A blurry shot of them was in a previous story, but serial leaker Evan Blass has released a much better quality image of the ‘Style’:

    Android Wear 2.0 and new LG watches to launch on 9 February

    Details confirm those in our earlier post, namely:

    1.2″ P-OLED screen

    IP67/68 waterproofing (former on the Style; latter on the Sport)

    512MB RAM

    4GB storage

    240mAh battery

    They’re rumoured to be priced at $249/£249, but no confirmation as yet.  Whether or not Android Wear 2.0 can breathe life into a flagging market is one thing, especially as many of the existing Android Wear devices will be upgraded, but whether such a hideous looking watch as the ‘Style’ will help is another.  Personally I am a massive smartwatch fan, but I very much doubt that something like this will persuade anyone undecided on the matter.  What do our readers think?

     

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  • Google Chrome for iOS Is Now Open Source

    For the first time, developers have open source access to Google’s Chrome code for iOS. Google built its Chrome browser on source code from its Chromium open source project, but until now that code repository hasn’t included Chrome for iOS.

    That was because to build the Chrome browser for Apple’s mobile operating system, Google needed to use two rendering engines: its own Blink engine and Apple’s WebKit engine. While WebKit has been open source since 2005, Google faced “extra complexities” in having to support both engines in its code for iOS, so the company hadn’t previously made it open source.

    By contrast, Chrome for Android has been almost entirely open source since 2015. Before that, the Chromium open source project was focused mostly on the Chrome browser for desktops.

    Years of Code Changes To Get Here

    “Historically, the code for Chrome for iOS was kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project due to the additional complexity required for the platform,” Googler Rohit Rao wrote yesterday on the Chromium blog. “After years of careful refactoring, all of this code is rejoining Chromium and being moved into the open source repository.”

    By open-sourcing the Chrome for iOS code, Google has made it possible for developers to compile that code just as easily as they can for other versions of Chrome. That will also help speed up development times for new applications built on the Chrome for iOS code. Rao noted that getting to this point has taken some time because of the fact that Chrome for iOS uses both the WebKit and Blink engines.

    “That created some extra complexities which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base,” Rao said. “Given Chrome’s commitment to open source code, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years making…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Slack's Messaging Service Sets Sights on Big Businesses

    Slack Technologies, a fast-growing startup trying to wean businesses off email by hooking employees on its more informal messaging service, is now hoping to snare the world’s biggest companies as customers.

    On Tuesday, the company unveiled a new feature intended to let workers in different departments communicate more easily with each other. The new option, called “Enterprise Grid,” is Slack’s latest step toward its ambitious goal of making life at work “simpler, more pleasant and more productive.”

    In contrast to traditional email, Slack works more like a social network, allowing employees to share their thoughts, updates, web links and documents in channels that can be viewed on a personal computer or smartphone.

    Since its 2013 debut, Slack has emerged as a popular new way for teams of employees to communicate with each other, but those workers haven’t been able to quickly connect with other departments within the same company to discuss projects or other issues. Reaching co-workers using different Slack teams typically requires employees to maintain separate profiles and logins.

    Enterprise Grid is designed to let workers in different Slack teams message each other without having to hopscotch across the service. Executives and managers will be able to distribute important announcements across all of a company’s Slack teams. And Slack also is working on an upgrade to its search engine to help its users sift through all the information on its service.

    The product also complies with federal regulations governing communications about health records and financial transactions. Clearing that regulatory bar could provide Slack with new opportunities to sign up workers in the medical and banking industries.

    Slack already has 5 million daily users, including 1.5 million who pay for the service. The San Francisco company offers a free version of its service in hopes that workers will like it so much they’ll persuade their bosses…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    A Look at Amazon's Most Ambitious, Astonishing Delivery Patents

    Over the past year, Amazon has been on a drone and transportation patent spree as the online retail giant continues to make moves toward becoming its own delivery service.

    In mid-December, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos [pictured above] shared a video of a successful fulfillment of an Amazon order delivered via drone. In August, Amazon unveiled its own airplanes. The year before, the company purchased a fleet of trucks.

    Since launching its two-day and same-day delivery services, Amazon’s shipping costs have skyrocketed. According to the company’s last quarterly report, which ended in September, its shipping expenses are up 43 percent from the same time the year before; Amazon spent $3.9 billion on shipping in its last reported quarter.

    Here are some flying-, driving- and tunneling-related patents Amazon has been awarded in the past year alone.

    Floating Warehouses

    Amazon won a patent for its design of floating fulfillment centers for its drones to collect packages to deliver to people on the ground below. The airborne warehouses would float some 45,000 feet in the air and be recharged and restocked using smaller aircraft that shuttle to the dirigible. The patent was awarded in December 2016.

    Highway Networks for Self-Driving Trucks

    Earlier this month, the company was awarded a patent for a network to communicate with self-driving vehicles about changes in traffic patterns, like when a highway uses reversible lanes that can be relabeled to go in either direction or when vehicles cross state lines with new traffic laws and restrictions.

    A Voice-Controlled Drone that Can Fit in Your Pocket

    The company designed a personal voice-controlled drone – imagine an Echo with a propeller. In its October 2016 filing, Amazon suggested the drone could be used to replace dashboard-mounted cameras in police cars or be used to help find lost cars in parking lots. The drone is pictured as small enough to perch…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Apple Reversed Its iPhone Slump. But What's Next?

    Apple has snapped out of the first sales slump in the iPhone’s decade-long history, although the modest upturn doesn’t mean that it has broken out of its innovation funk.

    If anything, the numbers Apple released Tuesday highlight the company’s growing dependence on the iPhone, whose sales tower above Apple’s other current offerings. The company hasn’t managed to come up with another breakthrough product since its chief visionary, Steve Jobs, died in 2011.

    Meanwhile, Apple’s rivals have been rolling out new products in other promising fields such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Apple currently trails in those areas, although many analysts believe the company may try to catch up with products featuring those trendy technologies later this year.

    No matter what’s coming down the pike, the iPhone remains a huge moneymaker. Its success is the main reason Apple boasts a market value of $640 billion — more than any other company.

    The iPhone is also driving the rapid growth of Apple’s services division, which makes money from fixing devices, selling music streaming subscriptions and commissions on sales of mobile apps. Apple’s services revenue surged 18 percent to $7.2 billion in the past quarter, putting it on pace generate enough annual revenue by itself to rank among the world’s largest companies.

    iPhones on the Rise Again … Barely

    But selling more iPhones has been getting tougher as more people hold on to older models for longer periods and competitors such as Samsung and Google entice customers with sleek devices running on Android software. The trend led to three consecutive quarters in which iPhone sales fell compared to the prior year, causing Apple’s total revenue to sag as well.

    Apple bounced back in the quarter ending in December, buoyed by a positive response to the late September release of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. That device…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Moon Hoon and his Legacy of Art Fusion with Architecture: The Owl House

    South Korea, known for their korean novels, fast food, beautiful places and high regards for technology, South Korea also has great taste in terms of design. They are more on the modern minimalist kind of architecture,and functionality tops their list. One korean architect named Moon Hoon placed quite a unique twist to his own creations.…
    Source: Mobile Magazine

    Nintendo Promises More Smartphone Games

    Nintendo Co. President Tatsumi Kimishima told reporters Wednesday the company is committed to delivering more content for smartphones, noting that the success of “Pokemon Go,” a smartphone augmented-reality game, boosted sales of other Pokemon games and of 3DS machines.

    That helped Kyoto-based Nintendo, which creates Super Mario games, report a better-than-expected October-December profit of 64.7 billion yen ($569 million), more than twice its same-period profit in the previous year.

    Investors were unimpressed, sending Nintendo stock sinking 2 percent in Tokyo trading. The stock had already slipped when the price for the Switch was announced earlier this month.

    The Japanese video game maker also kept unchanged its original target of selling 2 million Switch consoles in the first month after its launch, despite speculation it might aim higher because of brisk pre-orders.

    The Switch, the first major hybrid console-and-hand-held game device, goes on sale March 3. It costs $299.99, more expensive than many had hoped.

    But Kimishima said the company did not want to go into the red.

    Game makers often keep prices low, even taking a loss on each machine sold, in hopes of boosting sales and making up for the loss later with game software sales.

    Also Wednesday, Nintendo said production of the Wii U home console had ended for all markets. The company had said earlier it planned to end Wii U production but had not given a date.

    Nintendo said that to sustain profitability it will deliver a steady rollout of various games, including games for cellphones, at two to three a year.

    Kimishima said interest was growing for Pokemon among young children, including those who had never played the game before but were now playing with parents who grew up with Pokemon. Making Nintendo games available on smart devices was also wooing younger players, he said.

    “Whether we can get them to buy the second or…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today