Mobile News August 2016
07 Sep 2016
It’s been an interesting few weeks in the smartphone/tablet world. We have had the typical iOS security panic, and subsequent fix. Pokémon go has launched, caused chaos, and is now in decline. Google is ready to push out a new version of Android, and Nokia is extending its Xperia range.
Apple iOS Vulnerability Yet AgainThis time it was a ‘zero-day’ exploit. Not the first in the last couple of months. Both Lookout and Citizen Lab discovered this pretty severe security hole in Apple iOS. Deployed by an Israeli company named NSO Group, it was designed to target human rights activists. iOS users should upgrade to 9.3.5 to be safe.
Faster Mobile BrowsingBoth Opera and Google have turned their fringe internet proxy products in to fully fledge mobile data accelerators in recent weeks. The desktop version the Opera browser has long had the capability to connect to Opera’s own tunnel, which acts as both a VPN and a proxy server (speeding up page delivery). Opera has now launched a mobile app that does the same for both iOS and Android.
Google has launched a new app for Nexus users, named Wi-Fi Assistant. This lets users connect to hundreds of high-speed free Wi-Fi hotspots, and also incorporates access to the Google developed proxy service, to speed up page loads.
Instagram Getting SmartOne of the most intriguing piece of news in the last few weeks, is the way that researchers at Harvard have been teaching an A.I. to look for signs of depression in pictures of Instagram users.
The most surprising fact to come out of this news, is just how accurate this A.I. has been. Consider for a moment that your average G.P. has around a 42% success rate of diagnosing depression correctly. So when we say that the A.I. manage a 71% success rate, you can see why this is surprising news!
Sony’s New Compact SmartphoneSony is set to launch its latest product in the Xperia range. Named the Sony Xperia X Compact, this is a smaller form factor phone, that still packs a lot of performance.
Using a Snapdragon 820 processor, and equipped with 4GB of RAM, this small phone packs in as much power as many larger phones. With a 4.6 inch 1080 x 1920 screen, 53GB of storage, and a 15MP camera, this is a great phone to check out if you like something smaller to carry in your pocket.
When do you get Nougat for Naught?The big piece of news this time around, is the impending deployment of Google Android version 7.0, codenamed Nougat. Google has attempted to bring Apple iOS users over to Android, by providing migration tools as part of the device setup.
The deployment timeline is quite strange. Of course, Google Nexus users will get this Android update first. In fact, they should have it already. Samsung users should get the update within 2-3 months of it being made available to Nexus users.
Other phone manufacturers are not so lucky. T-Mobile devices that are compatible will get Android 7.0 but no timeline has been published. HTC seem to be in pre-deployment stage, but again no firm timeline. LG will be shipping several new models with Nougat already installed though. As for updates to existing LG phones, no details are available. Sony is in the same situation, it has published a list of phones that will get the update, but not when. Finally, Motorola has been very quiet, and not commented on Android 7 updates at all so far.
Is it All Over for Pokémon Go?And finally, we get to Pokémon Go. There can be no doubt that this augmented reality game has effected millions of people around the world. But it seems not so many as before.
Pokémon Go has peaked. It’s highest ever use count was 45 million. However, that has now dropped to just 30 million active installs. So the Pokémon Go craze seems to be slowly tailing off. Which many people will potentially think is a good thing.