Back in 1993, Apple was still focused on the Mac II when IBM took the world by storm with the first smartphone called "Simon" (named for the game "Simon Says".) BellSouth was the only cell service provider that offered Simon. One could have been yours for $900.
Simon weighed a little over a pound and included a 4 1/2- by 1 1/2-inch LCD touchscreen display. It was a pager, an email device, a calendar, an appointment scheduler, an address book, and a pen-based sketchpad. The image IBM painted for their device was a "hip G.I. Joe Walkie Talkie."
As BellSouth's marketing described the smartphone, "Simon looks and acts like a cellular phone but offers much more than voice communications". Simon had an x86-compatible CPU, a fax modem, a PC card slot, and 11 built-in programs.
Only 2,000 Simons were ever made, and the majority of them were eventually returned to BellSouth and destroyed. We'll bet if you had a Simon today, it would probably be worth more than nine hundred bucks.
The first time you picked up that Galaxy S III at the store, you fell in love with it. It had such a sleek, smooth feel, and so thin… Your service provider had it in that gorgeous pebble blue color. Sold!
Sorry to say, you have to consider it. Here are a few reasons:
Drops. Your phone will fall out of your pocket or slip out of your hand at some point. Given that you are probably hanging out on the concrete more than at home on the carpet, you know even the strongest case is going to get damaged. (And if that dent is in a spot where you hold the phone, you’ll get irritated again every time you make a call.) Besides, a cracked screen would really ruin your day.
Germs. You’ve heard the horror stories. Most devices carry more germs than a toilet seat. That’s not just an ugly rumor. Study after study proves it. If you’re bothered by that, clean your phone regularly. If you’re the kind of person who likes that Spring cleaning feeling, wrap your phone in a skin and change it out if it really gets gooey or stained. A screen protector is even easier to swap out, so you can do those even more frequently.
Look. A white Case is a beauty, but sometimes you need to show some personality. You want to show a little red once in a while, but not all the time. That red skin will look really good over that marble white case during the holiday season.
Price. Even on contract, that S III set you back $200. Replacing it would hit you for at least $500. For that kind of money, you could buy a skin for every day of the month.
Cases are designed to be smooth. That makes them slippery. That makes them more likely to be dropped. Hmmmm. Maybe that’s another reason that manufacturers make them that way…
Battery life can make or break the popularity of a cell phone. Manufacturers make a lot of promises, but in real life testing their claims rarely hold true. CNET recently updated the results of their talk-time testing. Here are their results listed in talk-time hours.
We hope your device is near the top of (or at least on) this list:
1. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx – 19.78
2. LG Optimus Vu (unlocked) – 16.08
3. Apple iPhone 4 (with 3G off) – 14.55
4. RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 (on T-Mobile) – 12
5. Kyocera DuraPlus (Sprint) - 11.47
6. Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T) – 10.3
7. ZTE Fury (Sprint) – 10.02
8. Samsung Galaxy S II (U.S. Cellular) - 9.47
9. LG Optimus 3D Max (unlocked) – 9.35
10. Huawei Mercury (Cricket Wireless) – 9.32
11. Apple iPhone 4S (Sprint) – 9.2
12. Kyocera Milano (Sprint) – 9.2
13. Samsung Focus S (AT&T) – 9.01
14. Kyocera DuraCore (Sprint) – 8.95
15. Samsung Rugby Smart (AT&T) – 8.9
16. LG Lucid (Verizon) – 8.47
17. T-Mobile Prism – 8.32
18. RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 (AT&T) – 8.1
19. Pantech Swift (AT&T) – 7.27
20. Huawei Ascend II (U.S. Cellular) – 7.25
Here are the bottom 20 and how miserably they performed:
It’s interesting that there's such a wide range of results on the talk-time for the 20 best batteries, and less than three hours difference from top to bottom of the 20 worst. Note that Verizon doesn’t appear on the best list but does have five placements on the worst. It looks like the equipment itself isn't the only determining factor for battery performance.
Samsung has been in the news and media outlets lately but it isn't necessarily for the best reasons because they're currently embroiled in an ongoing battle in court Apple vs. Samsung. The court battle is in repercussions due to patent issues in regards to their Samsung Smartphones and Tablets. Samsung is best known for its line of Samsung Smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy Note, the Samsung DoubleTake, the Samsung Galaxy S and even the Samsung Focus. Samsung's Smartphones and Smartphone Accessories are innovative, creative and very popular that many Smartphone users should own. Here's a list of some of Samsung's Most Popular Smartphone Accessories:
1) Smartphone Cases and Holsters are a necessity for every Samsung Smartphone owner to own and utilize especially if you are a Smartphone user whether you are at home or on the road. The Samsung Smartphone Cases and Holsters come in a variety of two different colors and textures; it also features a additional protection for your smartphone against scratches on the front and back of your Samsung Smartphone. Another unique feature to Samsung Smartphone Cases and Holsters is that the cases are unusually slim and ultra light and its textured grip keeps the Smartphone safely protected in your pocket or on your belt holster.
2) Samsung's Multimedia Adapters are another essential accessory for your Samsung Smartphone features the HDTV Adapter Tip with a 5 to 11 Pin Converter, TecTile Programmable NFC Tags and even an HDTV Universal Adapter. Particularly the TecTile Programmable NFC Tags can be programmed to change settings on your phone, launch applications, check-in to places, update social status, or even make phone calls or send text messages automatically. The HDTV Universal Adapter supports HD signals up to 1080p and can connect signals directly to your mobile phone and even create an HDMI Docking Station.
3) Samsung Smartphone Accessories also is sure to include a large collection of Smartphone Batteries and Battery Covers. Some of the most popular Samsung Battery Collection includes the traditional Galaxy S Standard Battery which features a the latest and greatest lithium ion technology specifically designed to give you the most reliable and long lasting battery life for your Samsung Smartphone. Another popular battery includes the Galaxy Nexus i515 Battery Bundle Kit which includes an additional Extended Battery & Extended Battery Cover and can be used with the 2100 mAh extended battery which is also included.
4) Bluetooth Headsets are another popular and favorite accessory for most Smartphone users whether you own Samsung or iPhone. Some of the most popular Samsung Bluetooth Headsets include the HM7000 Bluetooth Headset hat is ultra-slim, ultra-capable, and ultra-convenient, Samsung claims it so slim and sleek you'll forget you're wearing the headset. Another popular headset includes the HS3000 Bluetooth Headset that features a convenient, clip-on communication and entertainment device for individuals on the move.
5) Another necessary smartphone accessory is the Smartphone Vehicle Docks which include the ever popular the Samsung Galaxy Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock which features a multimedia dock that enables it users to continue with daily activities such as working, driving or even taking nap all the while your Samsung Smartphone is kept close at hand. Another popular the Samsung Universal Navigational Vehicle Mount features a fitted mount that securely hold your smartphone in place during those long, boring car rides.
6) Memory Cards are also another vital Samsung Smartphone accessory including the 32GB microSD Card which is able to durable and stability and essentially designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, it allows you to store and play your favorite video and audio clips, it’s waterproof and even offers shock proof resistance. The Samsung Smartphone Memory Cards comes in a 32 GB, 16GB, 8GB and 4GB memory storage.
7) Samsung Smartphone Screen Protectors come in a variety of colors, designs and flexibility. Some of the most popular Samsung Screen Protectors feature an easy usability, accessibility and durability. The Screen Protectors are easy to apply and remove, they promise to give your Samsung Smartphone a special look and additional added protection. The Screen Protectors also guarantee a privacy screen filter which helps to ensure that those around your or next to you can't see what's on your screen.
8) Smartphone Chargers are a vital necessity that every Smartphone owner user must own and utilize in order to maintain the battery life of their smartphone. Some of the most popular Samsung Chargers include the Samsung Galaxy Spare Battery Charging System that also includes a standard 2100 mAh battery, a stand that allows your smartphone to fit snugly in the stand at an optimal viewing angle in portrait mode. The Samsung Battery Charger also include a charging unit that converts to a compact, carrying case for your spare battery so your Smartphone is always guaranteed to have a fully charged battery.
9) Wired headsets are not your traditional Bluetooth Headset especially when it comes to your typical Samsung Smartphone accessories. The most popular Samsung Wired Headset includes the Serious Sound Headset which enables you and your smartphone to receive quality audio features at an affordable price. The Serious Sound Headset enables to you listen to your country music, your classical rock, your oldies or even your contemporary jazz in crystal clear melodic harmony. It also enables smartphone users to make and receive calls with the in-line microphone and answer keys. So whether your spending time surfing the internet, watching a movie or reading your favorite novel allow the Serious Sound Headphones to clear your head and all the background noise.
10) Another accessory that is especially unique to Samsung Smartphones is the Samsung Galaxy S C Pen which features a fine build from an attractive and attentive brushed metal and chrome materials. The pen is styled with a tip that stimulates a single touch of your finger by allowing you to tap or swipe to provide a full touch screen environment without ever leaving your fingerprint evidence on your touch screen. This pen allows you to write and edit quick notes on your Samsung Smartphone, it also creates the ability for you to draw or edit in addition to performing typical touch screen commands
Watches are back with a whole new purpose, and their name is iPod Nano – the most innovative development in the iPod world since, well, the iPod. If you dare to be either a geek or a trend-setter (or could absolutely care less what your best buddy or your mother thinks), don’t turn your nose up at the iPod Nano watch.
The iPod Nano watch may look like a watch, but unless you program it to, it doesn’t act like one. It’s an innovative use of iPod technology that puts up to 16GB of music storage and an FM radio on your wrist. It lets you change music tracks on your wrist rather than holding your phone,
The watch comes in a couple of different designs – one with clips on the band that you use to snap your Nano in place, and another with pins for a more secure fit (some assembly required.)
That’s the good news about the Nano Watch design. Here comes the criticism:
• The Nano charges via a long open 30-pin port that's exposed on the side. The headphone jack is right next to it. That's a lot of open ports on a wearable device.
• The Nano isn’t water resistant, so you could even damage it just by washing your hands.
• There’s no Bluetooth, so you’ll have a headphone wire running to your wrist (however, it is better than a wire running to your pocket or your backpack.)
• The Nano's clipped on solidly, and can't be removed without removing the watch.
The iPod Nano Watch is not ugly, but it is big. It’s convenient because you’ve got your music collection on your wrist. It’s cool because watches are a novelty. Make one that’s submersible (or at least undamaged by hand-washing) and connects to Bluetooth, and even your mother will want one.
How much would you pay for a Windows tablet that you could actually call your PC?
Lenovo has just taken the tablet limelight away from Microsoft’s Windows Surface with their announcement of a Windows 8 tablet with an Intel mobile chip. That feature alone makes their new tablet a full-on Windows PC with a very small footprint. Lenovo named their new device the “ThinkPad Tablet 2.”
The Tablet 2 has a 10.1-inch screen that is 0.39 of an inch thick. The device is shockingly light at just 1.3 pounds. The Tablet 2 has mini HDMI and USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot and stereo speakers. Options include 3G/4G connectivity, an NFC (near-field communication) chip, a fingerprint reader and a keyboard dock.
This tablet’s most amazing feature is the Intel Clover Trail processor. Clover Trail is an Intel Atom system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor that is powerful, efficient and portable. It also doesn’t require cooling fans. This is not a Windows RT device, but a full-feature Windows PC that runs Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft Office, and all Windows 7 apps.
The unanswered question is price. Lenovo hasn’t given any hint at what they will charge for a full-featured Windows 8 tablet. It looks like we’ll need to get closer to its late October release when both Windows 8 and the Tablet 2 will hit the market in time for the holidays.
In the past few months a United States Civil Rights Advocacy Group has launched a free down-loadable application for your Android Smartphone, your Apple iPhone 4S or any other Smartphone you may own to own that allows you to secretly record police activity discreetly. The Civil Rights Advocacy Group is claiming that it will allow United States Citizens to “help boost police force accountability.” The New Jersey Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states that "Police Tape," that is now available to the public, "allows people to securely and discreetly record and store interactions with police."
The ACLU is also claiming that the “"an essential tool for police accountability.”
"Too often, incidents of serious misconduct go unreported because citizens don't feel that they will be believed,” said the office's executive director Deborah Jacobs.
The Smartphone application also allows users to send the file to the ACLU for safe-keeping and analysis and even contains legal advice on the rights of citizens confronted, detained or arrested by police officers. Unlike most traditional Smartphone recording applications, the Police Tape application will disappear from your Smartphone screen minimizing the risk that the police officers will even know or have known they've been recorded.
Apple, app developers and hacks alike have all been frustrated by the secret to improved battery life. Well, it looks like BattSaver might be one answer.
BattSaver is a new jailbreak tweak by xVolks, a company of iPhone hackers. BattSaver could potentially up to double the battery life of an iPhone. BattSaver identifies features in the smartphone that are draining its battery life and suppresses them.
BattSaver concentrates on iPhone radios, i.e. Wi-Fi and cellular connections. The jailbreak tweak manages power usage when iPhone radios are enabled and disabled. Theoretically, this gives the device an increase in battery life.
BattSaver allows users to choose one of four saving strategies:
• Normal mode: When the iPhone is “sleeping”, BattSaver disables all radio signals. The iPhone will still check for new email every 15 minutes.
• Aggressive mode: If Wi-Fi is connected, BattSaver disables the data connection completely. The idea here is if the phone is already Wi-Fi connected, don’t waste battery power with a data connection in-waiting.
• Ultimate mode: This mode completely disables all radio signals. It’s almost the same as a smartphone’s Airplane Mode.
• Custom: Allows countless configurations for BattSaver - perfect for jailbreakers.
The BattSaver jailbreak tweak is available for download in the Cydia Store for $2.99.
AT&T will launch shared data plans on August 23. The new data plans will let you share data between all the mobile devices you and your family use, eliminating the need for separate plans for each device.
Plans are priced based upon GB usage and are available from 1GB to 20GB. Each plan requires at least one smartphone and will allow data-sharing with up to nine devices. One smartphone will receive unlimited talk and text data. An extra charge will apply for additional phones. Each plan includes tethering, and access to over 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots.
Don’t worry. AT&T’s Mobile Share plans won’t be mandatory for new customers.
Watch those data overages. With the Mobile Share plans, overages will cost you $15 per GB, as opposed to the $10 per GB with a traditional plan.
The AT&T website has set up a Mobile Share Planner tool to help you determine the right plan for you.
Nokia has partnered with Microsoft and plans to get back into the smartphone game with the launch of Windows 8-based devices. According to a source who prefers to remain anonymous, Nokia will be making their plans public at Nokia World next month.
Nokia officials aren’t commenting on the rumors, but Arnaud Bauduin, a Paris-based fund manager at Ofi Asset Management said on the matter, “To come back, they either need to surf on a Microsoft success in mobile or become cool again -- two complicated challenges.”
Nokia’s Lumia devices entered the market 9 months ago, but service providers like AT&T chose not to carry them. Since many customers didn't know about the existence of the Lumia devices, this had a huge negative impact on sales.
To improve the visibility of the phones, Nokia will be using volunteers from its U.S. staff called Nokia’s Army, to work with the salespeople at the major carriers. Nokia’s Army will focus on educating the sales staff and customers about the Lumia alternative.
Nokia believes that timing of the launch of their new Windows 8-based devices is key. They plan to have their smartphones on the store shelves ahead of Apple’s expected Sept. 12 unveiling of the new iPhone.
Nokia has a lot of ground to make up. Their U.S. market share is at approximately 2% as Q2 this year. In 2001, it peaked at 32 percent.