As expected, the annual Mobile World Congress has delivered an army of new Android devices. Really, though, we'd expect nothing less from the world's largest gathering of mobile-minded products and services. And with Android playing a dominant role in the smartphone landscape, it stands to reason that a majority of new phones and tablets would launch with the Google platform.
BARCELONA, Spain--NFC (near field communication) technology has been around for some time now, but as of yet it's failed to hit a level of ubiquity in our devices that would galvanize more businesses to adopt it. That, however, is changing fast.
While most think of NFC as solely a new payment solution, companies are constantly finding new ways to implement it.
NFC is essentially a new way to exchange information from one device to another, wirelessly. It's different from other wireless technology in that it requires the two devices to be within a centimeter of each other. Hence … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Move over, Android face unlock -- a new security app promises to protect your smartphone by scanning the veins in your eye.
Dubbed Eyeprint, the in-development app from EyeVerify first takes a picture of the veins in the corner of your eye, which are unique to you. Once your eyes have been scanned, processed, and saved, anyone with eye veins that don't match your own will be unable to access your protected documents or data.
The app requires a front-facing camera with a resolution of at least 2 megapixels to get a clear image of your eye. If … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--LG is showing off a new system that transforms your smartphone into a 4K media hub.
The South Korean company is calling the new platform the "world's first wireless Ultra HD transmission technology." If you've got a game or video playing on your mobile in HD, the new platform will upscale the feed to a 4K resolution, before beaming it out wirelessly to another device.
In this situation that second device was an LG 4K television, acting as a simple monitor for the 4K feed that the phone was pumping out.
BARCELONA, Spain--Developing good apps for iPhone or Android normally takes a lot of skill and potentially tens of thousands of dollars. But with new service AppMachine, shown off here at Mobile World Congress, you're able to build good looking apps with zero programming knowledge for only 400 euros (around $525) that you can then submit to the iOS or Android app stores.
The app development system is mostly browser-based. When you first sign up you'll need to choose a name for your app and an appropriate theme for the sort of app you're making. It's very … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Video Discovery is Samsung's new TV guide app that stretches beyond the capabilities of the Smart Remote app Samsung's been including in each of its tablets since it started building them with IR blasters.
Samsung demoed Video Discovery on its new Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet this week at Mobile World Congress. The app includes the type of functionality you'd expect, like universal remote support, social sharing options, and local TV listings, but goes beyond most apps of this type with its powerful and useful search.
Searching for a particular piece of video content returns results … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--I use my phone for games, personal e-mail, social networks, texting, playing music, watching video, and the occasional phone call. It's also my main conduit for accessing work e-mail while traveling and I've even used it to post content to CNET.
Depending on whom you work for, however, you may not have this luxury. One solution for employers is to provide your employees with work-only phones. Another would be to embrace the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend and allow your employees to use their own devices for work, while at the same time ensuring the integrity … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--One of the big news developments at MWC 2013 is Mozilla's big push of its Firefox operating system for mobile phones. Based on the few devices which are expected to run it, however, I'm not impressed.
Software maker Mozilla certainly generated a lot of buzz when it announced a slew of mobile carriers (18 in all) which have jumped on board the Firefox phone operating system. Big-name handset manufactures have also hinted at supporting the fledgling mobile platform or have expressed outright plans to sell their own devices running Firefox themselves.
Besides heavy-hitters such as Sony and … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Carriers love to bash companies like Skype and WhatsApp that provide services on top of their mobile networks at the Mobile World Congress trade show. But one thing was different this year: Viber Media founder and Chief Executive Talmon Marco entered the lion's den to defend the idea.
Viber's free messaging service, which competes directly with carriers' own high-profit services for text- and multimedia-messaging services, is a prime example of the despised over-the-top (OTT) approach. Marco showed no remorse for sapping telco revenues and argued that users are just moving to where the innovative, useful services are … Read more
DoubleTwist, maker of the popular eponymous music player software, has teamed up with chip maker Qualcomm in an attempt to make wireless streaming easier for Android users. The fruit of their collaboration is dubbed MagicPlay, a new open-source wireless streaming platform that the two companies hope OEMs will integrate into present and future devices.
Built atop Qualcomm's already existing AllJoyn platform, DoubleTwist's MagicPlay can stream to wireless speakers, headphones, televisions, and other devices. Since MagicPlay is open-source, any number of devices or apps could potentially integrate its code and stream to hardware that has a Qualcomm chip and … Read more