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  • Opower compares the energy used to charge an iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III for an entire year. Image courtesy of Mashable.

     


    If you're a smartphone owner, you're already familiar with the ritual if charging up your device one or more times a day. And the question of how much power you're actually sucking when you do so has probably crossed your mind. It's got to be quite a bit, right?


    But a new study from Opower – which Mashable has provided some nice graphics for – may put your mind at ease concerning your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.


    The report found that the power used to charge a smartphone throughout an entire year is negligible. According to Opower, it takes just 3.5 kilowatt hours per year (an annual energy cost of about $0.41) to charge up an iPhone 5 from 0% to full, year-round. That's pretty cheap.


    The rates were pretty close for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which costs roughly $0.53 a year to charge. Opower says the slight discrepancy is probably due to the fact that the Galaxy's battery is larger.


    But, though the impact of charging an individual smartphone is pretty small, Opower reminds us that, collectively, they do eat up a lot of power:


    "This year alone, Apple expects to sell 170 million iPhone 5s. Those 170 million smartphones will draw enough electricity to power all of the homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a year."


    Still, Opower predicts that smartphones may help reduce energy consumption over all, since they're now being used in many cases as substitutes for bulkier, more power-hungry devices, like desktop computers and TVs.


    Smartphones and tablets, like the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, Galaxy S III, and iPad, use much less power than many other consumer devices. Graphic courtesy of Mashable.

     


    For instance, says Opower, "An iPhone 5 requires 20 times less energy to operate than a typical laptop – and 100 times less energy than a typical 42-inch plasma TV."


    “Put simply, says Opower analyst Barry Fischer, "a day spent web-surfing and Facebooking on a smartphone or tablet is a much more energy-efficient day than doing the same on a computer [...] the rise of smartphones, like the iPhone 5, is likely to save energy in American homes as it diverts our time from using far less efficient consumer electronic devices.”


    This graphic from Mashable compares the energy used for other consumer electronics relative to the iPhone 5


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  • Next month, all you'll need is your smartphone equipped with the Square Wallet app to buy your latte at Starbucks. In November, Starbucks’ customers will be able to use the Square mobile payment system in about 7,000 U.S. stores.


    Starbucks and Square formed a big partnership last August. Starbucks invested $25 million in Square. The deal allows Square to process credit and debit card transactions and implement the Pay with Square system at Starbucks stores.


    To use Pay with Square you link a credit card to the app. When you’re paying at the counter, leave your wallet in your pocket. Through the app the store can sense your phone's location and charges your account for the amount of your purchase. The cashier verifies your identity through a picture ID and name that pops up on their screen.


    Apple users aren't being left out. The latest update to the Starbucks iOS app lets Starbucks card owners add their accounts to Apple’s Passbook directly through the app. Then you can pay for food and beverages, check your card balances, reload the card with more cash, and add rewards to score free drinks, all through your iPhone.


    Unveiled in iOS 6, Passbook lets users store electronic copies of tickets, coupons, boarding passes, and loyalty cards.


    Starbucks first launched a Square-powered mobile payment app in 2011. Since then, Starbucks has processed more than 70 million mobile transactions.




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  • Smartphones and tablets have transformed retail shopping. The vast majority of the 6 billion mobile phone users love to shop online using mobile devices.


    Links to user-generated content on Facebook, Twitter and review sites make up a quarter of the search results for the top 20 brands in the world. Sixty percent of Facebook users say they would discuss a product or service if they were offered a deal of some kind.


    Social media shoppers are some of the most active shoppers out there – spending an average of $1,800 per person. And 167 million of them are expected to shop online in 2012. In 2014, it’s estimated that the internet will trigger 53% of all retail sales – both online and off.


    Here is how shoppers are using their smartphones according to the online analytics company that compiled all this data - Symphony Teleca:


    33% looked for sales and specials
    33% checked store information
    32% looked at product reviews and ratings
    31% compared prices on Amazon
    31% checked out an online store for a certain product
    29% looked around at online retailers other than Amazon
    27% used a site that focuses on providing competitive prices
    26% made sure the store had a product in their inventory
    24% scouted the prices for certain products on a retailer’s mobile site


    Just to demonstrate the power that we consumers wield – 85% of people anticipate a change in their shopping behavior based on the user-generated information they find online. Remember that the next time you have a great (or a miserable) shopping experience. Help each other out, and take the time to share.




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  • The bright and colorful Nokia Lumia 920 line is coming in November, but only to AT&T

     


    It's big, it's bright, it's beautiful, and it's coming in November – but only to AT&T?


    Nokia recently unveiled the Lumia 920 at a press event in New York last month. But as TechCrunch and many others reported today, the company just announced that its flagship Windows Phone 8 device would be coming exclusively to AT&T in November, along with the Lumia 820.


    TechCrunch seems to have anticipated this news, brushing it aside to focus instead on how great they think Nokia's new smartphone is:


    "The Lumia 920 has just about everything you could ask for in a smartphone, with a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a relatively large 2,000mAh battery, and of course, the heady combination of Windows Phone 8 and Pureview imaging."


    But others, like Gizmodo, are taking issue with the Nokia's recent deal with AT&T, calling the exclusive "dumb" and citing 5 reasons why.


    According to Gizmodo, the deal is going to hurt Windows Phone 8, and that "the premier Windows Phone device of the year [...] should be made available to as many U.S. shoppers as possible."


    Captain Picard facepalms at Nokia's decision to give AT&T an exclusive

     


    Meanwhile, says Gizmodo, carrier exclusives in general almost never work, and that, in particular, the exclusive Nokia gave to AT&T for the Lumia 900 didn't work either. The argument here is that users don't change carriers just for a new smartphone.


    Another reason why Gizmodo is facepalming over the whole deal? They say that the Lumia 920's Qi wireless charging capabilities should be a major selling point, but that it's being downplayed by the fact that their device with Qi won't be widely available.


    What do you think? Is an AT&T exclusive on the Lumia 920 a good idea? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  • Samsung has already patched the dirty USSD code that threatened Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III

     


    As far as sheer volume of interest goes, Samsung outdid Apple this week, with more stories flying around about the Galaxy S III than about the iPhone 5.


    Top of the list was security. According to most of the top tech sites, Galaxy S III owners might have had a bit of a scare this week. That is, if Samsung hadn't already dealt with the problem before anyone even knew it existed.


    Apparently, says Mashable, a vulnerability was discovered in Samsung's Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that "potentially allowed attackers to remotely wipe the contents of Galaxy S II and III devices," essentially restoring them to factory settings.


    This video, of Technical University Berlin researcher Ravi Borgaonkar at a security conference in Argentina, shows how it's done.



    Thankfully, Samsung's already come out with a patch, and the company issued a statement to Engadget urging users to update:


    “We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update. We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.”


    So, now that your smartphone is safe and sound, how about encrusting it with crystals? If you're nodding your head in agreement, and if you have upwards of £2099 (about $3370 U.S.) to spare, maybe consider upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S III Swarovski Edition?


    This crystal-encrusted "Swarovski Edition" Galaxy S III may cost you upward of $3370, but at least the case is free

     


    The device, available from Amosu Couture, is set with 500 Swarovski crystals around the bezel, plus an extra 16 around the home button. Sort of pricey and all, but you do get a free calf leather case.


    Now for the really juicy stuff. Hot on the heels of all the rumors surrounding an iPad Mini launch, Samsung's brewing its own big news about something small.


    This leaked German invite to a rumored Samsung Galaxy S III Mini launch reads: "So big can be small. And so small can be big."

     


    According to TechCrunch, which cited "a recently released press invitation," Samsung may be unveiling a smaller scale version of the Galaxy S III (the Mini) at a store in Frankfurt, Germany. The invite, written in German and loosely translated as "So big can be small. And so small can be big," is so far the only proof of such an event.


    But it's already got Samsung fans more than a little excited, if you'll excuse the pun.




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  • Now even the process of charging your phone can be entertaining. A new app from the Toyota car company called “Plug-in Championship” makes a game of plugging in your phone. This is the first app of its kind.


    The goal of the game is to plug in your phone’s charger when the power meter on the screen is at its highest. The better your timing, the better your score. You score every time you plug in the connector to your phone. Once the phone is plugged and you’ve gotten your score, the app gives you a fast-paced video to add to the fun.


    The Plug-in Championship game isn’t complex or challenging. It's just another way to pass some time and compare scores with your buddies.


    Toyota developed “Plug-in Championship” as part of its promotional campaign for the Prius PHV hybrid car. The app is available for iOS and Android.


    PLUG-IN Championship http://plugin.toyota-digital.com/


    iTunes App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plug-in-championship/id551957032?mt=8&uo=4


    Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.toyota_digital.plugin




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  • A report in Fortune magazine says it’s likely that Apple will show the world its iPad Mini in a launch event on October 17th. An Apple investor claims to have heard about Apple’s plans from multiple sources and predicts that invitations to the event will go out on October 10th, we’ll have a first look at the iPad Mini on October 17th , and we could see it on the market as soon as November 2nd.


    Leaked photos of the little tablet have been circulating for quite a while showing a 7.85-inch device with a rear-facing camera. The casing looks to be aluminum-backed with a front display that is similar to the current iPad’s. It will probably have a black or white bezel surrounding the screen and a home button at the bottom. There is no doubt that tablet will be set up with the new Lightning connector.


    Thankfully, the iPad Mini is rumored to be priced in the range of other major tablets like Nook, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. Apple offering a tablet for around $200 will probably make everyone except Barnes and Noble, Google and Amazon very happy.


    Since neither the development of a smaller version of the iPad nor any dates for the launch of the alleged device have ever been acknowledged by Apple, all this information could be completely wrong. Since we’re hearing it everywhere, we’ll just let Apple be the one to prove us right.




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  • Rumors swell about an iPad Mini launch as a mockup video suggesting its design details emerges

     


    As this week opened, the major news at all the top tech sites was, well, mini.


    Amid all the buzz is Apple's much-anticipated, diminutive successor to the iPad.


    The iPad Mini, of course, isn't even available yet, but techies and Apple fanatics alike nearly blew a gasket this morning when rumors of an upcoming iPad Mini event began to swirl.


    Now, don't get hasty. The rumors aren't even about a supposed date for said event, but rather about a date for the first invitations to get sent out. Citing a major Apple investor as a source, Fortune reported that the press should expect invitations for October 10.


    That date led 9to5 mac to speculate that an iPad Mini launch could be expected for mid-October, followed by shipping in November. Since that would be an apt time for Apple to capitalize on the Christmas shopping frenzy, we tend to lean toward that projection holding true.


    But if tablet and Apple junkies got excited about mere rumors about event invitations, just imagine how they must have felt when a leaked mock-up of the new tablet showed up on Japanese Apple blog Macotakara.



    The video, which shows a non-functioning iPad Mini dummy, seems to confirm all "previous design rumors," says BGR. That includes the conjecture about a 7.85" display, thinner bezel, and a thickness comparable to an iPod – most of which had already been hinted at by the discovery of third party cases for the iPad Mini.


    Among the conjecture is that the iPad Mini will be about as thick as an iPod

     


    The new tablet also appears to have speakers at the bottom rather than at the rear, which is in line with yet more rumors.


    But that's not the last bit of tantalizing gossip to emerge this week. Macotakara also reported that production for the iPad Mini has, in fact, begun in Brazil. though, they say, they "don't have information if it has been produced in [a] Chinese factory, yet."


    Nor do we at Pure Mobile expect this to be last we hear about the next big – or is it little – thing to happen to the iPad.




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  • Despite its faults and omissions, adoption of Apple’s iOS 6 is still off like a rocket. The touch-friendly website conversion provider Onswipe reported the number of users who have downloaded the newly-released Apple platform for their iPhone and iPad devices. With a sample of 100,000 users coming through Onswipe’s partner sites as of last Friday the company is seeing 59.43% of iPhone traffic from iOS 6 devices. 41.3% of iPad traffic is coming from those who have upgraded to the latest version.


    It’s obvious that a seriously flawed iOS 6 (by Apple standards) isn’t enough to keep Apple’s fan base away.



    This post was posted in Apple and was tagged with Apple iOS 6, iOS 6

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  • Pics leaked of updated HTC One X
    Posted on September 29, 2012 by ewilkinson

    Pocket-Lint obtained exclusive pictures of the HTC One X's next incarnation

     


    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or at least, that seems to be what HTC was thinking when designing their latest version of the HTC One X.


    The new device, called the HTC One X+, isn't official yet. But pictures obtained exclusively by Pocket-Lint at least confirm its existence.


    As you may have guessed from our opening statement, the new shots of the HTC One X+ look extremely familiar, and the new device is likely to be more of a tweak or an update than a total reinvention.


    The Pocket-Lint pictures reveal mostly superficial changes to the exterior design. Pocket-Lint called the new phone “virtually identical” to its predecessor, with the exception of its black color accented by red details, and the new “b” logo for Beats Audio. Screen size, shape, and everything else appear to be the same.


    That said, a lot more than just pictures of the HTC One X+ have emerged. As MobileSyrup notes, aside from the iPhone 5, it has been “perhaps the most-leaked phone of the last six months.”


    And if you put together the rumors and conjecture from all the different sources, you begin to get a pretty good idea of what the next generation HTC phone is going to be.


    It's expected to run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, feature a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, and have 1GB of RAM, with 64GB of internal storage.


    Again, it's not a huge overhaul. And some, like TechCrunch, are asking whether “pushing out mildly-updated versions of existing hardware could put HTC back on its original, lousy track.”


    Still, it may just be that HTC have hit upon something good with the One family and have decided to hedge their betson the HTC One X+.


    But I guess we're all just going to have to wait a little longer to find out if the odds are in their favor.




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