Silent Ads Are Slowing Your Smartphone and Stealing Data Allowance

Ever wondered why your battery is going down faster or your data allowance is just evaporating, though you’re not really using your smartphone that much? The answer is ads… and a lot of them. You may not see them on-screen, but research company Forensiq has said that they are there and found over 5,000 such apps available on iOS and Android.

Forensiq tells that an estimated 20 ads per minute are delivered, summing up to 700 ads per hour. That’s quite a lot, even though they are not displayed on your screen. This may not seem that bad, but take note that the ads need internet connection to work. So when you are not home and have no Wi-Fi available, your data plan is just wasted on ads you don’t want and can’t stop.

The research company notes that a single app may be able to download 2GB of data per day. In addition to data allowance loss, poor battery life will be a side effect of the apps that keep downloading and shuffling these ads. So you not only lose a lot of your monthly data allowance, but you can also find yourself with a dead phone when you need it.

A full report has been made on this issue, but it does not mention any specific apps in question. However, Google Play recently suspended three apps that had the above mentioned behaviour, namely Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor. The latter are not available on iOS, though other similar apps are present on Apple’s store too. You may think that Apple is more strict when it comes to their store, but truth be told, silent ad-serving is not on the company’s priority list when it comes to choosing what goes on the AppStore and what doesn’t.

While you don’t really have a way of detecting these apps, you can start to take notice of how much data your phone uses daily and how much battery individual apps use. I know the Google Store has some pretty neat apps for that, but even so, the native built-in features in the latest iOS and Android operating systems should be enough to give you an idea if you have silent ad-serving apps installed.

Thank you MacNN for providing us with this information

MOOV NOW Wearable Could Prove to Be More Than Just Another Fitness Gadget

The market is currently flooded with wearables, all with different features, sizes and things to try to improve your workout. MOOV is one of them and unlike most wearables, it does more than track your position and steps.

The first MOOV is said to have a feature that tracked your body movement, something that you don’t see in most gadgets nowadays. But although it can be strapped to your ankle, wrist and arm, it is the size of a watch and could prove to be uncomfortable at times.

The latest MOOV NOW is not only significantly smaller, but also has a battery pack that lasts six months. Also, compared to other fitness apps, it packs an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, helping in giving you a 3D tracking experience rather than a location and speed-based reading. This means that it can know if you are pushing yourself over your limit or not putting enough effort into it.

However, the wearable can prove to be more than just a fitness gadget. Its 3D tracking capability acts sort of like Microsoft’s Kinect and therefore can have a lot of potential in virtual environment movement tracking. In addition to the latter, the movement tracking capacity that it bears can also be associated with what Leap Motion technology wants to achieve. So, we can be looking at a wearable with multipurpose use and a huge battery life here.

The MOOV NOW is said to be up for grabs at a pre-order deal of $60, but if you want to get it at that price, you’ll have to hurry. The retail price is said to go up to $100 once it gets released this fall.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Microsoft Found a Way to Improve the Battery Life of Wearables

A team of researchers over at Microsoft have finally found a way to improve the battery life of wearables. We all know that the latter don’t come with a big battery pack, so finding workarounds to extend their battery life has always been a priority for manufacturers.

The technique is said to involve pairing wearables with smartphones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in order to shift all heavy workloads to the smartphone, hence having your smartphone acting as an external processing unit. This means that your wearable will act mostly as a way of displaying data from your smartphone, having it draw just enough battery to sustain the pairing connection.

Researchers over at Microsoft are said to have tested the system, named WearDrive, on an Android phone. The results showed an improvement of over three times in energy consumption for the wearable and an acceptable energy consumption impact on the handset. In addition, the wearable had its execution performance increase eight times compared to it not being paired to the smartphone.

While wearables don’t have the performance nor battery life of a fully fledged smartphone, the technique seems to help quite a lot in performance as well as battery life. Also, WearDrive is said to automatically deactivate itself when not in range of a paired smartphone, so you don’t have to worry about it running in the background.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Microsoft Rolls out the 10162 Build for Windows 10

Microsoft just release its third update for Windows 10 this week, namely build 10162. The company is really making sure it gets it right and apparently pushes out builds like crazy close to the finish line. This means that they want their Windows Insiders tester to claw through everything in the latest version of Windows to see if it’s right before it gets launched at the end of the month.

The latest build will download for everyone who signed up for the fast ring and who want to get updates as soon as they are out, meaning that they still (might) have some rough edges here and there. Slow ring subscribers should be able to download the 10162 build as early as next week, providing that nothing major is found in the build. This means that Microsoft is counting on the millions of Windows 10 testers out there to shape its product as fast and best as possible before it ships out.

Gabe Aul is said to have promised better reliability, performance, compatibility and battery life in the latest build. Now let us just hope that the latter turns out to be as they expect it to be and with some more hard work, maybe we can see the final Windows 10 build ship out without anything major in it.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

New Lenovo Phone Rumoured to Have 46-Day Stand-By Battery Life

According to rumours, Lenovo’s new smartphone, the P70t, looks to be a significant spec upgrade on its P-series predecessors, most notably its 4,000mAh battery with its astonishing 46-day standby lifespan.  For comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus, with its 2,915mAh battery, has a standby life of 16 days.

In addition to an unrivalled battery life – aided by advanced power-saving technology – the handset will have a 5-inch, 720p OGS display, and a 64-bit quadcore LTE processor. The dimensions of the phone are 142mm x 71.8mm, with a thickness of 8.9mm and weighing in at 149g.

The leaked details of the Lenovo P70t come courtesy of tech site Gizmo China.

Source: Techradar

Sony Says 2K Smartphones Are Not worth It – Battery Comes First

Displays have changed and evolved drastically over the last decade. Improving resolutions, pixel densities, refresh rates and colour reproduction are all key driving forces behind the massive industry. But one of the big players has just come out and said that display resolutions shouldn’t be put above performance in the mobile space – namely battery performance. We all remember a time when we lost our minds over colour backlit LCD display panels on mobiles, then came the ever marching improvements. Standard definition, high definition and now ultra high definition – when does enough become enough?

Sony has taken a different route with its latest flagship smartphone with the Xperia Z3 – and has opted not to follow LG down the QHD path. While this news may leave some a little disappointed, Sony says it’s for the better. In an interview with TrustedReviews Sony’s Director of Xperia Marketing Calum MacDougall said “ Well, there are three important reasons” as to why the Xperia range hasn’t gone QHD. Firstly, MacDougall comments that “relatively small screens [make] it is very difficult for the human eye to discern the difference between 2K and Full HD. Thinking again about user-motivated innovation, we see from the user experience point of view that the differences are minimal, particularly if you add on top our Sony TV technologies which are reason number two.”

Lastly, MacDougall states that battery life consumption is also a major factor for the decision. “If we believe that a key part of the user experience for consumers is to have a longer term battery, and if we believe we can deliver a great screen with Full HD and our Sony technologies, we don’t believe the trade-off between having a 2K screen and battery consumption is the right trade-off for a consumer.”

The question that remains for consumers is simple – would you rather have improved battery life performance across your smartphone? Or is resolution into the stratosphere more appealing to you?

Thanks to TrustedReviews for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Sony Mobile

iPhone and Android Compatible Windows Smartwatch Rumored to be in Production

Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers to have announced their production of smartwatches may have yet another strong competitor coming at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, Microsoft is attempting to make its way into the wearable market with its own smartwatch gadget and rumours are that it will not be exclusive for Windows-powered handsets.

Microsoft is allegedly attempting to make its smartwatch compatible with both iPhone and Android devices alongside its own Windows Phone operating system. The gadget is said to come with a rich sensor combination,including heart rate monitoring.

The team behind some of its concept is rumoured to be the Microsoft Xbox Kinect division, which makes sense given the gadget’s required functions. Also, compared to other manufacturers, Microsoft plans to implement a continuous heart rate monitor, giving constant feedback on the gathered information.

The smartwatch is said to have a battery life of two days, which is not too bad given the fact that Samsung’s Gear Fit has a similar battery life as well. In terms of design, the smartwatch is rumoured to have the same aspect as the Galaxy Fit and feature a full-color touchscreen, having its size estimated to be around half a stick of gum.

More details about the smartwatch are unclear at the moment, but this bald move might have a big impact for Microsoft, having yet another product which could work on rival platforms.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia

Forecasts Point To Millions Of QHD Smartphones Being Shipped In 2015

According to a Phonearena report, NPD DisplaySearch is predicting that QHD display smartphones, 1440 x 2560 resolution, will be selling by the millions in 2015. More specifically, the company estimates a number of 23 million shipments will be seen next year.

NPD DisplaySearch states that more than 5 percent of Ultra-HD smartphone shipments will be seen in North America and Japan, followed by Europe with almost 5 percent. The Company also sees global shipments of smartphones having 720p and 1080p displays to reach 570 million in 2014, followed by QHD smartphones at an estimated number of 41 million.

The company points to AU Optronics, JDI, Samsung Display, and other companies which already have QHD displays ready for the market. It is reported that Samsung has confirmed its production-ready QHD display with a 560 PPI density products. Chipset manufacturers have also confirmed they have CPU and GPU solutions to cope with the high-density displays.

When talking about big displays and performance-oriented components, you can’t rule the issue with battery life and capacity here, since it’s the main feature everyone is looking at when faced with these type of technological advancements. Nobody wants their smartphones to eat their battery life in a couple of hours after fully charged. Here’s where Tina Teng, DisplaySearch’s Senior Analyst, claims that “increasingly affordable application processors” will enable manufacturers to provide “greater resolution and lower power consumption”. We hope that the claims are true, since nobody will ever buy a smartphone that requires a power plug strapped to it all the time.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Lumia 1320 Battery Test Show It Beats Nearly All Android Competitors In Web Surfing

The Lumia smartphone has its appeal, and together with the Windows Phone 8 tiles, it really does brighten your day. And the mid-end Lumia 1320 looks to be one of the best budget phones so far. It has a great design, big screen, light-weight and fair specifications. Latest news also bring some more good news for people who spend more time outdoors than on a couch inside the house.

According to GSM Arena battery test benchmark, the smartphone has scored big on the battery side as well. The Lumia 1320 scored similar points in 3G talk time tests as the Lumia 1020, 22 hours and 13 minutes, a mere 6 minutes behind the BlackBerry Z30 and 6 hours behind the Lumia 1520. When it comes to web browsing, the Lumia 1320 scored almost 12 hours (11:58 minutes to be more precise), which is not too bad given its 6″ IPS LCD screen. It is reported to be ahead of nearly all Android competition, having the Sony Xperia C score 12 hours and 45 minutes and HTC One Max 11 hours and 20 minutes.

Now, for the more interesting part, the video playback. The Lumia 1320 has reportedly scored 9 hours and 17 minutes, beating the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3’s time of 8 hours and 34 minutes. However, the Lumia 1320 should have been expected to score similar to the Lumia 1520 or 1020, however the latter handsets scored 12 hours and 31 minutes and respectively 13 hours and 12 minutes. This indicates that the Lumia 1320 needs a little optimization in utilizing resources when playing back videos.

Overall, the score really does match the Lumia 1320’s performance, and even price. The handset is priced at $429.99 on Amazon.com and £366.99 on Amazon.co.uk.

Thank you

Windows 8.1 Battery Life Benchmark

When it comes to mobility and Windows 8.1, it’s all about the battery life. Nobody would want to see their laptops or tablets shut down in the middle of a movie or while browsing the internet for an important information.

The guys at Anandtech performed some tests on a Sony VAIO Pro 13 to determine the battery life in Windows 8.1. For the test, they used a 1080p MP4 video (having 2.03 Mbps MP4 with an AVC High L4.1 profile video stream and a 93.8 Kbps 2-channel AAC audio stream to be more precise) and played it on MPCHC, VLC, Windows Media Player and the Modern UI Video app.

The results are as following:

As show above, MPCHC is the least optimized for MKV playback, sucking up the most battery out of your system. Moving upwards, we see VLC doing a bit better, having 7% more ground than the MPCHC but not so good when switching to lower bitrate, in which case MPCHC takes the lead.

Windows Media Player surprisingly managed to score 418 minutes, 32% more than MPCHC and 36% better than VLC. The Video app takes the lead in the end by 13% compared to the classical Windows Media Player and a staggering 50% to 54% lead when looking back at the MPCHC and VLC.

In terms of Metro UI and Desktop modes, the Video app does not show a considerable difference, it is measured at 2%, but if you want to squeeze that 15 minutes out of a movie, Metro UI mode is the solution.

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Sony and Anandtech

Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking Chip To Improve Nexus 5 Battery Life

According to latest news, Qualcomm has revealed that the new Google Nexus 5 not only features the company’s fastest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 800 SoC, but also features a certain Qualcomm QFE1100 envelope tracking chipset, which is a front-end for OEMs to design global 4G LTE compatible devices, like the Nexus 5. This isn’t the first time that the QFE1100 is being used in a Smartphone. Samsung was first to the finish line with the Galaxy Note 3, launched nearly two months ago.

“The Nexus 5 also utilizes the Qualcomm QFE1100 feature, an important component of the upcoming Qualcomm RF360 Front End, a comprehensive, system-level solution that allows OEMs to develop a single, global 4G LTE design.”

Qualcomm states that the new chipset offers 30% lesser heat and 20% decreased power consumption. Thanks to the improvements made by the chip designer, the Nexus 5 will last longer while being used over 3G/4G networks than any other device with a similar battery capacity and internal specifications.

“The QFE1100 feature is the world’s first envelope tracking (ET) technology for 3G/4G LTE devices and offers significant performance improvements, including reduced heat by up to 30%t and decreased power consumption by up to 20%, enabling thinner form factors with longer battery life.”

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Anandtech

Improved Battery Life For Microsoft Surface Pro 2 In New Firmware Update

As the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 released, users experienced poor battery performance when it comes to web browsing and video playback. Shortly after, Microsoft pushed an update that addressed the issue. What the update does is allowing the Marvell WiFi solution to drive down to even lower power states, conserving more power and hence improving battery life.

AnandTech performed tests on the Surface Pro 2 after updating to the newly released firmware and noticed a 16% increase when playing back video compared to the previous firmware tests made. Here is a screenshot with the updated benchmark results:

Also, Surface Pro 2 now manages better battery life than Surface 2. Microsoft told AnandTech that their internal target was over 8 hours, and this firmware update brings it up to snuff via a nearly 25% increase in battery life when performing a browsing battery life benchmark test. The screenshot below represents the benchmark results for this test.

A software update also rolled back the Surface Pro 2’s video drivers to an earlier version that is told to have fixed the display corruption on wake issue as well. Take note though that Surface 2 did not receive any similar battery life changing firmware update, hence no improvement for the device. Don’t fret though, as Microsoft could release one soon enough.

Thank you AnandTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of AnandTech

Samsung SDI Able To Mass Produce Curved Batteries

The Galaxy Round which was released earlier this month has a short battery-life given the 2,800 mAh battery it packs. It was criticized for the smaller capacity compared to most recent smartphones with batteries well over 3,000 mAh. Even the Galaxy Note 3 has a battery-life ration with its 3,200 mAh battery.

This is due to the curved body of the phone´s shape and the battery being flat. They could not increase the battery capacity since they could not fit bigger flat batteries into the round frame. In contrast, LG will be releasing their curved smartphone, the G Flex, with the curved battery that LG Chemistry developed. The handset packs a 3,300 mAh battery, greater than the Galaxy Note 3 itself.

But there is some good news in all this. President Sangjin Park of Samsung SDI said that Samsung are now able to mass produce curved battery too. President Park’s statement of the batteries´ availability gives hint that producing the new battery is not the problem. The part they’re concerned about is creating room and fitting them into the phone. They have recently produced over 80,000,000 phones in the recent quarter. It is hard to modify all of them just to fit the flexible battery.

That given, Samsung will not be able to fit the new batteries into their actual released handsets, but we must definitely will see them in their new smartphones. Both Samsung and LG are trying to produce stylish phones such as the Galaxy Round and G Flex to get through current saturation in the phone market and it looks like battery innovation may be part of the solution to their ideas.

Thank you ZDNet Korea for providing us with this information.

Battery Issues After Updating Surface RT To Windows 8.1 To Be Fixable In 6 Steps

Problems after a big update are common, and Windows 8.1 with the Surface RT are no exception it seems. Shortly after the update was released to the public it was pulled by Microsoft due to devices becoming corrupted while installing it but it was later reinstated with a fix for the issues included.

Now, Surface RT owners are reporting that their battery life is significantly worse after upgrading to Windows 8.1 on their devices. Thankfully, Microsoft has quietly published a fix on the Surface RT battery and power page that should resolve the issue for most users. The company says the issue is due to the Surface RT’s wireless adapter power policies not being migrated during the update meaning that it’s not possible for the Wi-Fi adapter to reduce it’s power consumption at all.

The fix isn’t for the faint hearted and requires the user to perform the following steps:

  • Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
  •  

  • Step 2: In the search box, enter command prompt.
  •  

  • Step 3: Touch and hold (or right-click) Command Prompt to bring up the context menu. Tap or click Run as administrator.
  •  

  • Step 4: On the User Account Control dialog box, tap or click Yes.
  •  

  • Step 5: At the Administrator: Command Prompt, enter the following: powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3
  •  

  • Step 6: Then enter powercfg -setactive scheme_current

It is odd that Microsoft didn’t put this into a knowledge base article rather than burying it on their Surface RT information page, but for owners of the device it’ll be nice to know there’s a fix if affected.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

Amazon to Roll Out Kindle Fire HDX in November

Amazon have launched two new Kindle Fire tablets; the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX and the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. Amazon has also upgraded the software so that the core is now based upon Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

In terms of performance, both HDX models are equipped with a staggering 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, the Adreno 330 graphics chip and 2GB of memory.

The Kindle HDX and HDX 8.9 resolutions have also been enhanced to 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) and 2560 x 1600 (339 ppi) respectively. Aside from the increase in performance and pixel density, both new tablets provide significantly better battery life.

In addition the new tablets come with more storage options, faster Wi-Fi and an optional 4G connectivity feature as well as front facing HD cameras. The HDX 8.9″ however offers customers a 8MP rear-facing camera for the enthusiasts that want to capture that right picture at the right moment.

An upgraded version of Amazon’s custom Android Fire OS called “Mojito” has also been added, along with the “Mayday” feature deemed a “revolutionary on-device tech support system” by Amazon.

The Mayday service is available 24/7, 365 days a year at the touch of a button. You will be able to contact an Amazon Tech Advisor within 15 seconds with any of your tech inquiries. The assistant can “co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you – whatever works best”. This feature has been added, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, because “You shouldn’t have to be afraid of your device”.

The Kindle Fire HDX models will be available for customers starting November the 7th. More about prices and specs can be viewed below.

Thank you Hexus for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Hexus.