Snap Values Itself at Up to $22B Ahead of IPO

The parent company of the social network Snapchat is valuing itself at up to $22 billion as it prepares for the tech industry’s biggest initial public offering in years.

Snap Inc. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the IPO is likely to be priced between $14 and $16 per share. Had the IPO price matched the $30.72 per-share price obtained in its last round of financing, Snap would have a market value of about $30 billion, based on the quantity of outstanding stock listed in its IPO documents.

Snap’s highly anticipated IPO would be the largest since China’s Alibaba Group went public in 2014. But Snap, based in Los Angeles, draws comparisons to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook raised $16 billion when it went public in 2012.

Snap said that it’s offering 145 million Class A shares, while existing stockholders are offering an additional 55 million Class A shares. Snap won’t receive any proceeds from shares sold by those stockholders. Underwriters of the IPO have an option to buy up to an additional 30 million shares.

Co-founders Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy will have controlling power over all matters at Snap through a special class of stock that gives them 10 votes for every share they own. The Class A stock being sold in the IPO has no voting power, while another class has one vote per share.

Snap anticipates its net proceeds will be $2.1 billion, or about $2.3 billion, if underwriters buy all the shares they are entitled to. These amounts are based on the IPO being priced at $15 per share.

Snapchat, whose hallmark is messages that vanish after they are sent, has millions of daily users. The app has adapted nimbly over to users’ whims and demands, just as Facebook has. This, as both companies have discovered, is key…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Review: Android Apps on Chrome OS Arrive, Disappoint

About a year ago, I wrote a column suggesting what the major tech companies should try and accomplish in 2016. For Google, I said: “It would be pretty great if Chromebooks could, out of the box, run all Android apps — provided that, unlike on the recent Pixel C tablet, the Android apps were able to adapt better to a bigger screen.”


I’m happy to report that the first Chromebook designed from the ground up to run Android apps out of the box has arrived, albeit a little past the end of 2016. It goes on sale this week for $450. It’s called the Samsung Chromebook Plus, and it runs on an ARM processor, the same type of processor that powers the vast majority of smartphones and tablets. It was designed in close cooperation with Google.


Alas, in my tests of the Plus over the last few days, I found the Android execution frustrating.


The Android app feature is still in beta, not all apps work, and too many of those that do run seem like awkwardly blown-up phone apps, not software that’s tailored for the Chromebook’s 12-inch screen. And there are other issues.


Of course, the Plus, which has a touchscreen and comes with a stylus, is still a Chromebook. That means it runs the Chrome OS along with Android apps. And, purely as a Chromebook, it’s very nice. Chrome OS, which is basically a browser that runs everything, including web apps, does fine on this model and its ARM processor.


But if you’re looking for a laptop-style, bigger-screen version of your favorite Android phone, I can’t recommend the Plus now. Optimizing a large number of Android apps for the Chromebook is “going to be a long process, to be honest,” one Google official conceded, noting the beta label on the Google Play Store…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

HTC to Drop Entry-Level Phones, Focus On Profits

HTC plans to exit the entry-level phone market moving forward and will instead focus its handset portfolio on high-margin devices. The company made the comments during a conference call with media to discuss its fourth quarter financial results. HTC said it will continue to sell and support entry-level phones that are already in the channel, but the company will reduce the total number of new phones to six or seven for the 2017 calendar year. HTC cited the high level of competition in the entry-level space as one reason for dropping low-cost phones from its lineup, as well as the slim chance it will be able to create profits from such phones. The company said it needs to focus on profitability in its handset business moving forward and will thus make only mid-range and high-end devices. HTC announced the U Ultra (pictured) and HTC U Play at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. These phones are expected to go on sale in March.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

ZTE Says Gigabit Phone On Deck for MWC

ZTE today said it plans to introduce a smartphone at the Mobile World Congress trade show later this month that will be capable of 1 Gbps download speeds. The phone is, fittingly, called the ZTE Gigabit Phone. ZTE claims the phone’s raw speed will bring “a qualitative leap to a new world of mobile experience by making 360-degree panoramic VR video, instant cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and movies possible.” ZTE didn’t share any other details about the handset, but there are a few to be sussed out based on ZTE’s claims. To start, Qualcomm’s X16 modem is one of the only wireless chips capable of such speeds. Moreover, the X16 was designed with the Snapdragon 835 processor in mind. Only a single network — Australia’s Telstra — supports such high-speed mobile broadband at the moment, so most people will not be able to experience the phone’s full potential. ZTE also said it plans to launch new phones in its Blade series at MWC. ZTE recently brought its first Blade-branded handset, the V8 Pro, to the U.S.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

LG G6 to Feature New User Experience to Match 'FullVision' Display

LG has developed a new version of its Android user interface skin in order to take advantage of the unique 18:9 aspect ratio display of its forthcoming G6 flagship smartphone. The phone’s display will measure 5.7 inches across the diagonal with 2880 by 1440 pixels. LG is marketing the size and aspect ratio as a FullVision screen. To start, LG will use more pixels at the top and bottom of the screen to display useful controls and information within select apps, such as the browser, video player, and games. The 18:9 ratio means LG can split the UI into two equally-sized squares. LG envisions that this will be particularly useful when multitasking with two apps open side-by-side at the same time. Some apps, such as the calendar, will be able to make use of both windows. For example, the calendar can show the full month in one square with a detailed view of the user’s agenda in the other. Moreover, the camera will include a 1:1 shooting mode that lets people see their most recent shot in one square next to a live look at their subject through the viewfinder. The camera also gains a new food mode and GIF creator. LG has teased a number of the G6’s other features in recent weeks, suggesting it will be reliable, waterproof, and more. LG is expected to announce the phone on Feb. 26 during the Mobile World Congress trade show.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Get really clever home heating with intelligent and WiFi-controlled electric radiators

Our house was built in 1975. Heating back then was fairly straightforward, if a little inefficient. For years though, things stayed pretty much the same. Sure, boilers got a bit better, but you’d still have the same pipework and the same radiators.

In recent years things have really moved on. We’re now binning the standard room thermostat and putting in intelligent monitoring systems, remote temperature control apps and “auto learning” thermostats which detect when you’re not at home. Individual radiator controls can also be added, meaning that certain rooms in the house can have temperatures adjusted depending on the time of day.

This Haverland SmartWave Self-Learning Wifi Controlled Electric Radiator isn’t just an easy-to-install radiator. It doesn’t just do away with pipes and leaks. This is an intelligent and programmable radiator which will deliver the heat you need when and, perhaps more importantly, where you need it.

Get really clever home heating with intelligent and WiFi controlled electric radiators

For us smartphone fans, it’s also controllable via WiFi using the Android or iPhone. In addition you can remotely control every function of the radiator – adjusting the presence settings, heat setting and the programming options. You can also set the anti-frost, comfort setting and more. The radiator is clever enough to learn your routine via the smart sensor and, via the SmartBox WiFi Controller, you can fully control your SmartWave electric radiators from anywhere in the world. You could be heading home or off to work. On the bus or train, you can tweak your home heating to a much more granular level than most systems.

Of course, most of us prefer these things to just be “clever” on their own, and indeed this system has a lot of brains behind it. The SmartWave has a built-in infrared sensor that monitors the activity around the radiator. It’ll then adapt the heating schedule automatically, meaning that your house isn’t heated unnecessarily and you hopefully get a lower heating bill. Why have a room red-hot when you’re not using it? As time progresses, this rather clever radiator will store and record movement in the room, creating a working model of your weekly routine. No more wasted energy, and you also get a warm home when you get back. The radiator will pre-heat your room 30 minutes before you usually arrive back. Nice.

Think about that for a minute – this isn’t like Nest or other thermostats that just turns control the heating for the whole house – this is a room-by-room system that knows what time you usually move from the kitchen to the dining room, and from the dining room to your lounge. A properly smart heating solution this, and one that you still have control over via your smartphone if you want to adjust anything. So, if you’re off on holiday or want a week off work, you can switch the radiator in and out of sensor mode as you see fit.

The system has a high precision electronic thermostat and a thermal safety limiter for safety and peace of mind too.

Installation is really simple – not only the radiators (no floor boards to rip up or pipes to plumb) – but the Smart Box too. That just plugs into your router and then you download the Haverland heating app to control your entire heating system.

The Haverland SmartWave Electric Radiator is available exclusively at Electric Radiators Direct.

The post Get really clever home heating with intelligent and WiFi-controlled electric radiators is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • The Nokia 3310. Will we see Snake heading to Spain?

    Want a proper old-school phone? Back in the day, when the internet was in its infancy and phones weren’t touch screen, the Nokia 3310 was quite advanced.

    For a start, let me tell you, it had no external antenna. A lot of phones at the time had a pull-out antenna / aerial. It had possibly the best phone game every – Snake II ! How addictive was that eh?

    The cover could be changed too – giving you the ability to change the look of the device. It also had a “voice tags” system where you could teach the phone a name, assign it to a contact and then just find the contact by speaking the name back again. This was properly futuristic at the time, and let’s not forget that Nokia ringtone eh?

    The Nokia 3310. Will we see Snake heading to Spain?

    On Twitter and Facebook everybody is getting very excited about the possible return of the Nokia 3310 during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Why they’re excited I’m not too sure, because if you really want one it’s just a matter of heading to eBay and getting a £29.99 out of your wallet.

    It’s 17 years old now, but despite the rumours on Twitter, Nokia is refusing to comment. Could it be a rather clever leak / marketing campaign to get the Nokia name back into the limelight?

    The Nokia 3310. Will we see Snake heading to Spain?

    A Nokia spokesperson has told the BBC that…

    Though we’re as excited as everyone else to hear their news, as we have often said about such stories, we do not comment on rumour or speculation.

    If the Nokia 3310 is to return, it would either have to be sold as a holiday / camping phone that you could use instead of your regular smartphone or as a Bluetooth add-on handset. To have people buy it as a standalone phone, you’d have to put some “smart” into it, and that would mean a touch screen of sorts and a reconfiguration of the design, which wouldn’t really be staying true to the Nokia 3310 history.

    We’ll keep an eye on events in Barcelona to see what comes out of the re-launched Nokia. Until then, head to eBay if you want your 3310 fix 🙂

    The post The Nokia 3310. Will we see Snake heading to Spain? is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Coolsmartphone Podcast 197 Live

    This week you can watch Matteo, Garry and Majid live as they record the Coolsmartphone Podcast. Coolsmartphone Podcast 197 Live will be available as a live stream embedded here and on YouTube.

    The show will start at 8pm UK Time-ish. While Matteo tries to avoid the trigger words to all his home assistants, would you like to be part of the conversation? Well, just tweet at us during the show

    Matteo – @todoleo

    todoleoGarry – @bengrendon

    Majid – @TheMajeedo

    Coolsmartphone Podcast – @CSP_Podcast

    The edited version of episode 197 of the Coolsmartphone Podcast will be released later this week. The elves should do their magic in a more timely manner this week, we’re hoping to have it available to download by the weekend.

    Do you have feedback for us? Would you like to suggest something? Please message us on Twitter and we’ll be happy to listen.

    The post Coolsmartphone Podcast 197 Live is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • Google Search Now Offers 'Fun Facts' for Entertainment Purposes

    Google today made Google Search more entertaining to use with the addition of fun facts. The feature is starting small. Users can type in queries such as “hippo fun facts” and Google Search will display a unique and interesting fact about hippos that may not be well known (apparently hippos can hold their breath for up to five minutes.) What to know more? Refresh the search and Google will display a second fun fact about the search subject. Standard, in-depth results will still be listed below the fun facts, which appear at the top of the results page. Google suggests people stick with fun facts about animals, plants, fruits, and vegetables for now.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    Encrypted Messaging Service 'Signal' Introduces Video Calling in Beta

    Users of the Signal encrypted messaging and voice calling service, famously employed by National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, can now also use the app for encrypted video chats.

    Open Whisper Systems, the software company that developed Signal, announced new public beta support for encrypted video calling yesterday. The release for both Android and iOS is built on “an entirely new calling infrastructure” that should also improve the voice call quality of the service, the company said.

    First released in 2014, the Signal app is based on the Signal cryptographic protocol, which is also used for secure messaging by Google Allo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Such encrypted services are often used to provide secure communications for news tips and conversations between sources and journalists, among other purposes.

    ‘Entirely New Calling Infrastructure’

    Being rolled out in stages to enable feedback about its performance, the latest version of Signal also brings together what were once two different Open Whisper Systems applications, one to support texting and one designed to enable real-time voice calls, company founder Moxie Marlinspike wrote yesterday in a blog post.

    “This represents an entirely new calling infrastructure for Signal, and should increase voice call quality as well,” Marlinspike said. “We think it’s a big improvement, but we’re rolling it out in stages to collect feedback from people with different devices, networks, and regions in order to ensure there are no surprises when it’s enabled for everyone by default.”

    The new encrypted video calling will only work between two Signal users who have both enabled the beta application. iPhone users will also be able to take advantage of new capabilities introduced with last year’s iOS 10 update so they can answer incoming Signal calls with one touch directly from the lock screen.

    Encryption Controversies Back in the…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today