BlackBerry May Switch To Android


BlackBerry Sees 4th Quarter ProfitIn a recent report, it was disclosed that BlackBerry may now do something unexpected and Android will figure into the latest move by the embattled company.

According to sources close to the Canadian business communications firm, it appears that there are plans to manufacture a new phone handset which will feature Android and not their own operating system.

It’s another step in BlackBerry’s move towards being more productive in terms of mobile device management and software.

Hints towards this initiative were laid down by executives in February.

The new phone is speculated to contain a slider function and a physical keyboard instead of an all-touch format which they returned to in March with the release of their Leap smartphone.

The move also marks the company’s opening up of their messaging service to rival companies.

For BlackBerry, the news is bolstered slightly by their renewed financial fortunes, making more in revenue towards the end of last year than their losses and ending a slide that had been in effect for the last couple of years.

Christopher A. Smith


This Chrome Extension Lets You Track Facebook Messenger Users


Facebook To Add More Features To MessengerA new extension for Google Chrome has raised some concerns from observers over a particular feature that threatens the privacy of others.

The app, entitled Marauders Map, is the brainchild of Aran Khanna.

Khanna is a student in computer science and mathematics at Harvard University, and he named this app after the Marauders Map found in the J.K. Rowling penned Harry Potter book series that showed the location and identity of people along with their movements.

The app itself has been found to pinpoint this data for all who use Facebook Messenger to a startling degree, even allowing for someone’s positioning in a room within a building.

The data is obtained through global positioning system, or GPS functions within Facebook if they’re not turned off manually in the location settings for both iOS and Android versions.

Khanna’s research, which he posted in an article on Medium, even states that Messenger users can obtain information on a Messenger user’s whereabouts over the past week and in certain cases, years.

To add to the alarm of this flaw, the information can be obtained by those who aren’t even friends with the user in particular. Facebook is currently working on a way to correct this glaring glitch.

Christopher A. Smith


Android Pay Set To Take On Apple Pay


GooglelogoGoogle’s persistent push to be a player in the mobile payments industry looks to bear fruit very soon.

The company is set to release Android Pay, their own answer to Apple Pay which was released last year.

The news came at Google’s I/O conference on Thursday.

Reports have the official release of the app set for later on in the year.

The application will work in conjunction with the Web company’s previous payment service, Google Wallet, which will see its focus shifted towards peer-to-peer payments.

Android Pay will essentially make a user’s smartphone into a mobile wallet.

Distinct features such as a ‘hands free’ mode where all one has to do is move close to a payment station and the built-in sensors will have the terminal display the payments being processed without having to take the phone out of your pocket.

The app will work with close to 700,000 payment terminals and 1,000 sites; McDonald’s and Papa Johns Pizza are now beta testing the app in specific locations, and the on-demand car service Lyft was named as one of the app examples.

In addition, Android Pay will also be able to allow those customers to use loyalty programs and coupons within the app.

Christopher A. Smith


Need Free Unlimited Storage For Your Photos And Videos? Check Out Google Photos


Photowall App From Google Brings Photos To Your TV Via ChromecastGoogle took the opportunity to stake a claim in the world of cloud-based storage at its own I/O conference on Thursday.

As part of onstage presentations, the company unveiled Google Photos for the first time.

The service will be available through apps for Android and iOS devices and smartphones and a website.

They tout it as a home to procure unlimited storage for your photos and videos all with a simple upload.

Google Photos has the ability to sync your uploads with your Google Drive account, and all photos and videos get immediately backed up on their servers.

Organizing your photos is made easier thanks to features that integrate learning technology into the service; for example, the service has the ability to perceive how you get your photos and videos in order and can mimic it for the next time you log in.

Sharing your photos is a simple process – all a user has to do with their photos and video is to tap the ‘Get A Link’ button and one is created to be sent to friends and others that they can open with or without having their own Google Photos account.

The service is now available to all Google subscribers.

Christopher A. Smith


Google “Buy” Button To Launch Soon


GooglelogoA potential move by Google that has raised a great deal of speculation from observers (including our first reports) looks as if it will become a reality.

Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer, confirmed in an interview at the Code Conference held recently in California that they will implement a “buy” button within their search results.

The new feature is intended to provide ammunition for Google in a battle with retail sites like Amazon and eBay for consumers.

Outside of appearing in search results, Kordestani was publicly mum about other details except to say that the launch is fast approaching as he also touched on Android’s profitability in the interview.

The “buy” button’s purpose has been a source of speculation since word about it first leaked earlier in the month.

The chatter describes the possibility of the button appearing with shopping related results with sponsors.

When a user clicks on an item they’d like to buy using the button, they would then be taken to a page displaying the item and all other pertinent details.

The page itself would still primarily be linked to the original retailer, with Google being a gateway point.

Christopher A. Smith


Cortana App Coming To iOS And Android


Cortana_start_screen_(cyan-black)Microsoft is bringing Cortana to your smartphones in the very near future.

Making good on promises made this past March, Microsoft is set to release the Cortana app for both iOS and Android smartphones; Android users will get the app in June, and iOS users should expect the app to be available to them later on in the year.

The digital assistance application will have a few differences than the version for Windows and Windows Phone; it won’t be able to launch apps or change system settings.

Another bit of difference? The Edge web browser won’t work on a cross-platform basis with iOS phones and tablets.

But users can obtain OneNote, OneDrive, Skype and Outlook once they plug into a Windows 10 PC with the aid of a new program called Phone Companion.

The ultimate aim is to provide those who utilize the Cortana app to gain access to the full breadth of Windows apps and third-party related apps in all fields no matter if they’re using a smartphone, tablet or PC.

The Cortana app is another entry into the smartphone personal assistant field currently headed up by Apple’s Siri, and with Google Now on the cusp, it will be interesting to see how public reaction will be to what it can offer.

Christopher A. Smith


Periscope Has Come To Android


Periscope: 1 Million Users In First 10 DaysPeriscope is now up and ready to capture it all for Android users.

The live-streaming app that caused a firestorm when it was released for iOS three months ago made its debut on Tuesday for Android smartphones in the Google Play store.

It is yet another move in a chess match between Twitter and Meerkat, a live-streaming startup that garnered a great deal of attention and is in the unique position of being Periscope’s main competitor and relying on its parent company, Twitter to further grow its dedicated user base.

Periscope is building off the momentum it has gained from its release in Apple’s App Store, which saw it being downloaded over 1 million times in the first 10 days of its launch.

Another side note to the news is that Meerkat has dealt with some less than favorable reviews from users.

Periscope for Android will have some similarities to the iOS version in terms of optional location sharing and allowing users to tweet a link to all of their broadcasts.

Key differences will be notifications on when a user goes live, is followed by someone else and other related situations. As Sara Haider, the lead Twitter engineer for Android says, “It will be unmistakably Periscope with a look and feel that is Android-specific.”

The release is a bit of good news for Twitter after a slight tumble in earnings in the last quarter, and is certain to add more buzz to the new frontier that is live-streaming video on social networks.

Christopher A. Smith


Statistics Reveal A High Number Of Users Are Switching From Android To iPhone


iPhone 6 Screen Production To Start In MayIt’s more than likely that you may fall on one side of the debate or the other when it comes to preferring an Android phone versus an iPhone. But a recent claim looks to add a bit more kerosene to that particular tech-related blaze.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, Inc. made the claim that the company is experiencing a record number of people who are making the change from owning Android phones to iPhones.

In fact, these “switchers” are doing so more due to the recent release of the latest version of the iPhone 6, making it the highest rate in the past three years.

The remarks were made during an earnings call to investors.

And it seems as if Cook’s comments have some weight to them; based on statistics culled from first quarter financial reports, Apple saw its market share of smartphone sales go up 1.3 percentage points to 42.6%.

This was buoyed by the fact that they sold 61 million iPhones in the previous quarter.

While Android phones still grasp the dominant position in the U.S. smartphone market thanks to their affordability, this news definitely will keep the Android/iPhone debate raging for quite some time.

Christopher A. Smith


Upcoming Apple Music Service Will Include A Social Network For Artists


Los Angeles School District To Apple: Give Us Our Money Back!The long-awaited entry by Apple into the world of online music services may arrive earlier than expected.

The buzz reveals that their streaming music service will be announced to the public on June 8th at their Worldwide Developers Conference.

The service, which reportedly will be called Apple Music, draws major influence from Beats Music which has been a part of the Cupertino, California company since May 2014 as part of the acquisition of Beats Electronics.

Apple has already begun to pave the way for the release, thanks to the recent iOS 8.4 update that sees the service as part of the reconfigured Music app.

Apple Music is expected to be offered with a free trial, meaning that users will have to part with some cash to continue to use it down the line much like others in the field like Tidal.

One striking feature is that artists will be able to partake in a social network within the service.

They will be able to have their own profiles, and will be able to share their own unique content as well as each other’s. Other users will have the chance to provide ‘likes’ or comment on these activities with their own iTunes accounts. They can also opt out of seeing any of this activity if they choose.

Apple Music will have both Mac and Android versions, and may officially debut towards the end of next month.

Christopher A. Smith


Businesses Prefer iOS Devices


Businesses Prefer iOS DevicesIt seems that corporate use of iOS devices is chosen over Android devices.

72 percent of all devices used by corporations are iPhones.

Android devices are chosen around 25 percent of the time and Windows Phone holds about 1 percent of the business market.

The iPhone 6 was selected as the most popular device.

The iPad is still the most popular tablet for corporate use.