smartphones

Flip 10: a tiny (portable) way to charge your phone

Flip 10: a tiny (portable) way to charge your phone

You're out and about and your phone's battery indicator starts flashing. An inconvenience, usually. In less favorable situations, you might be stranded somewhere waiting for the tow truck to call, only for your battery to turn red as its final farewell. Whatever the situation, users will find a portable (external) battery handy when the battery is running low, topping it up enough to last a couple more hours, or, in some cases, completely recharging it for another day or so of use.

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Olympus Air A01 wireless camera leverages your smartphone

Olympus Air A01 wireless camera leverages your smartphone

Olympus has introduced its own lens-shaped wireless camera designed specifically for use with smartphones: the Olympus Air A01. This camera is similar to Sony's own recent lens cameras, offering the quality you get with a dedicated digital camera while leveraging all the features (connectivity, instant sharing, etc.) of a smartphone. This is an open platform camera joined by eight apps, nearly two dozen filter and art effects, and it'll be available starting early next month through the maker's online store.

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Verizon adjusts data plans amidst growing competition

Verizon adjusts data plans amidst growing competition

The world of smartphones is becoming increasingly data hungry, and some carriers (we're looking at you, T-Mobile) are doing their best to serve up the tastiest dishes. Verizon, a long-standing wireless carrier staple, isn't such an attractive option any more, assuming you're more concerned about your data-to-price ratio than widespread coverage, and for those users in particular options like Cricket have been dangling increasingly attractive data-rich plans as incentive to switch.

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Microsoft Picturesque Android lock screen hawks Bing

Microsoft Picturesque Android lock screen hawks Bing

Microsoft wants a place on your Android smartphone, and it seems to figure one of the best ways to get there -- and be seen multiple times every day -- is by targeting the lock screen. Such is the nature of its new Picturesque lock screen app for Android handsets, giving users on Google's mobile platform a free alternative to the default lock screen. Picturesque is the brainchild of Microsoft Garage, the place where Microsoft workers bring their own projects into existence, and it is available now in the Play Store for (just about) anyone to grab.

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Selfies, flash contributed to plane crash, says NTSB

Selfies, flash contributed to plane crash, says NTSB

Using your phone while on a plane? Great idea if you’re a passenger. If you’re actually flying the plane, or otherwise near the person piloting the aircraft, it’s a potentially devastating choice. The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) has released their findings on a crash that occurred in May of last year, and are blaming selfies and the use of flash for bringing the aircraft down. According to their report, the pilot experienced spacial disorientation as a result of being distracted while flying.

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New ARM chips offer more power, native 4K support

New ARM chips offer more power, native 4K support

To better serve us well into the future of mobile, ARM is announcing new chipsets that will likely be found in handsets for years to come. The new ARM Cortex A72 is a “50X increase in CPU performance”, while the CoreLink CCI-500 allows higher bandwidth and increased efficiency. ARM’s new Mali T880 GPU promises “console-quality” games via mobile devices. ARM also says big-name chipset manufacturers like HiSilicon, Rockchip, and MediaTek have already signed on to include the A72 in their SoCs.

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Cricket ups its game with new data caps and 20GB plan

Cricket ups its game with new data caps and 20GB plan

Just in time for the new Deezer partnership, AT&T's prepaid carrier Cricket has revealed newly updated data caps for existing plans that give subscribers more mobile broadband without a boost in monthly rates. In addition, the carrier has also introduced a new plan that gives subscribers the highest amount of high-speed data thus far offered by Cricket: 20GB/month, double the previously available 10GB option. All the while, the wireless carrier isn't ashamed to take a quick jab at T-Mobile.

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Connect Plus keychain adapter has micro USB, Lightning connectors

Connect Plus keychain adapter has micro USB, Lightning connectors

Echo's Connect Plus is a "Y"-shaped USB connector with a standard USB connector on one side, and both a micro USB and Apple Lightning connector on each arm. This allows both Apple devices and gadgets that use micro USB to be charged without carrying around separate compatible cables, and the addition of flexibility means it can be re-adjusted and bent to work with different gadgets that might have unusual port placements. In addition, the device is small enough to fit on a keychain, and includes a keychain loop.

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Three Ways to Repurpose Your Old Smartphone

Three Ways to Repurpose Your Old Smartphone

Most of us have old smartphones lying around, and while they might not be the latest and greatest anymore, the odds are also high that they're functional and decently powerful. If you've been planning to ship them off to a used phone service but have never gotten around to it, there's a better option: turning those old handsets into functional tools that complement your everyday life. There's no shortage of apps to do this, and if you're drawing a blank on what you can use them for, we've three suggestions.

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SoundCloud for iOS and Android updated with redesign

SoundCloud for iOS and Android updated with redesign

SoundCloud has pushed out an update for its iOS and Android apps, with the Android version having received it back on Tuesday and the iOS version a couple days later on Thursday. The Android update is a fairly small one, bringing only minor changes; the iOS version, however, received a more substantive update specifically for those using the app on an iPad. iPad users will find a redesigned interface that boosts Apple's slate up to the same design level that has largely been available to iPhone users -- it is clean and easy to use, beautiful, and now lacking a Record button.

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