PlayStation VR space guidelines call for about 10 feet in one direction

One of the restraints that come with PC-powered virtual reality headsets is that you don’t have much of a range in movement, thanks to some bulky cables tethering you to a zone about the size of queen mattress.Then again, with all the other junk in your room, you’re probably better off with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift than

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Taiwanese Galaxy Note 7 ad teases August 5 for… something

Beyond the Unpacked event in New York on August 2, we haven’t quite sussed out the dates for how sales for the Galaxy Note 7 will be handled. The best guess we have so far is that pre-orders will be open immediately after the launch. Beyond that, no one has a clue.Samsung is preparing Taiwan for a big Note 7-related happening on August 5 with

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Android 7.0 Nougat due with August 5 security update

For the first time ever, it would seem that the new version of Android will not be released at the same time as the latest Nexus hardware is announced. In fact, it might come earlier.It’s only part of the story that tech leaks reporter Evan Blass is tweeting about.Android 7.0 releases next month, with the 8/5 security patch. Sorry Nexus 5 owners, no Nougat for you — Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 30, 2016We ...

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Windows 10 Week: Why you shouldn’t write off Windows 10 Mobile just yet

Windows 10 Week: Why you shouldn't write off Windows 10 Mobile just yet

Introduction and Continuum advantage

Microsoft has never had much success with its mobile phone business, and buying Nokia for $7.2 billion (around £5.5 billion, AU$9.7 billion) back in 2013 didn't help Redmond claw its way to relevancy, either.

Revenues from its phone business, which includes Lumia-branded handsets, dropped over 70% in the three months leading up to July, on top of a 50% decline in the quarter before that, and a similar drop in the previous quarter.

Research firms, such as Gartner and IDC, peg the market share of Windows 10 Mobile at somewhere between zero and 1%, a figure that could also be described as a rounding error equivalent to BlackBerry's share of the market.

Billion blunder

The company hasn't been releasing many new handsets of late and recently revised its stated goal of getting Windows 10 onto one billion devices by 2018 because of "the focusing of our phone hardware business."

The "focusing" in question is, by and large, a mystery. Microsoft declined to show off any new Windows 10 Mobile details earlier this year at its Build conference, and after this was picked up on by the media, Redmond was subsequently forced to release a statement clarifying its commitment.

The platform the company built with Windows 10 has been growing and now has 350 million active users across a range of devices, including Xbox, PCs, tablets, and (some) smartphones. But the downward revision of the big billion goal – and its reasoning – is embarrassing for Microsoft and signals just how far its mobile ambitions have fallen.

There is, however, a way to turn this around.

Office 365 is now used by some 23 million subscribers

Deep and meaningful relationships

Microsoft has always had the best, by which we mean the deepest, relationships with big enterprise customers who run Windows, use Office, and most likely have some kind of Azure setup humming in the background.

While Amazon has snapped up growing startups with its Amazon Web Services platform, Microsoft has retained many big clients, which are defined as companies with over 100,000 employees, $10 billion (around £7.5 billion, AU$13.5 billion) in revenue per year, or both.

According to Gartner, Microsoft software and services are used in these kinds of companies the majority of the time, and the dominance only starts to fade as the organisations become smaller than 250 employees or generate less than $50 million (around £38 million, AU$67 million) in revenue.

As you'd expect, the bigger the company the more money Microsoft generates from it. Office 365, the cloud version of its productivity software, is used by over 23 million people, many of which are employees of big firms.

These relationships – which are likely years old – could be used to sell Windows-based smartphones.

Microsoft needs to bundle its devices and services to create compelling enterprise offerings

Advantage Microsoft

"In the enterprise segment, Microsoft has a chance," said Francisco Jeronimo, a senior researcher at IDC, in an interview earlier this year. "They are looking at selling a bundle of products and services, rather than just the operating system, and when they go to a client and offer a device that comes with Continuum, the docking station, and Windows 10, it can be quite interesting."

The features that Microsoft has developed for its mobile operating system are some of the best-in-class. Continuum, for example, uses a $99 (around £75, AU$133) dock – called the Display Dock – which attaches to a mouse and keyboard to turn a Lumia smartphone into a fully-fledged computer running Windows 10.

Demos of a smartphone turning – literally – into a computer are really impressive and, more importantly, represent something only Microsoft is doing currently. Apple, which makes the iPhone, chooses to keep its desktop and smartphone operating systems separate, and Google, which develops Android, has chosen never to merge Chrome OS and Android in any meaningful way.

So, either by design or by accident, Microsoft has a huge, marketable advantage that would be uniquely beneficial to enterprise customers.

Avoiding phone pain

Android agony

The other advantage that Microsoft has is a realisation by big businesses that letting every employee carry their own smartphone is a pain. iPhones are okay because there are a finite number of versions, but Android is open to anyone who wants to make a handset which means there are a host of different screen sizes, features, OS versions, and so on.

"Companies have realised it costs a lot more to manage very different versions of phone OSes, hardware, etc, and it's easier just to roll out corporate phones on one platform," said Jeronimo. "Many companies are going back and giving employees the phone they want, or allowing them to choose between a set."

This change, which is happening over time and will likely continue in the future, is of huge benefit to Microsoft. The relationships it has so carefully nurtured with companies who will feel the pain of BYOD can be leveraged to sell handsets of a specific type, design, and software version.

Microsoft needs to use the 'fragmentation' card against its mobile rivals

Microsoft can go to a company which is frustrated by the process of supporting 30 different types of Android phone, or five types of iPhone, and say: "We have two handset types across the low- and high-ends which run Windows 10."

That, Microsoft should be hoping, is a compelling proposition, especially as company computers will soon be upgraded to Windows 10 and are running Office.

Universal solution

There is, of course, a lack of native apps on Windows 10 Mobile – including ones like Snapchat – but the Universal Windows Platform alleviates many of these problems.

Essentially, Microsoft managed to get Windows 10 fully unified across devices which means that apps developed for a PC, running Windows 10, work on a smartphone, tablet, or Xbox. Basically, any device that runs Windows 10.

This has meant that some big developers, like Uber, have produced a single Windows 10 app that is then available across multiple platforms, and Microsoft hopes others will do the same.

For enterprise, however, the number of popular apps is irrelevant (and fewer is most likely a good thing). What is relevant is that the company's software team can use one version of its software – and that's it. From here, it will run on a smartphone, PC, tablet, and so on.

Winning enterprise

Apple has also been pushing the iPhone into the workplace by partnering with IBM, Box, and others but its solution – beautifully designed enterprise apps – still requires hard work on the part of each individual company to bring its app onto iOS, not to mention that similar versions also have to be made for Android.

It's unlikely that 'winning' enterprise will yield the same kind of profits that selling phones to consumers does – as Apple discovered – but it will be some repayment for the time, money, and energy that Microsoft has consistently dedicated to Windows on smartphones over the years.

Selling the complete package – an operating system, productivity software, hardware (including the Surface), and infrastructure – is a very compelling offering, and Microsoft is uniquely positioned to do just that. The company best take full advantage of this fact.

Android 7.0 Nougat tipped for an August arrival

Android 7.0 Nougat tipped for an August arrival

We know plenty about the upcoming Android 7.0 Nougat - you can even run it today if you're brave enough to try a developer preview - but we don't yet have a fixed date for when the mobile OS will start rolling out.

Now seasoned phone tipster Evan Blass (@evleaks) has promised Android 7.0 will be with us sometime in August. That's only slightly more precise than Google's own estimate of "summer" but we'll take it anyway.

Of course it doesn't give much clue for when your specific phone model will get some Nougat goodness - presumably the current Nexus phones are going to be first in line, although Blass says the 2013 Nexus 5 won't be upgraded by Google.

The waiting game

If you're rocking something made by Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony or any of the other Android manufacturers then you're probably looking at a wait of several months or more to get Nougat. We'll update you as and when we hear news.

Indeed just 13.3 percent of phones in use today are running the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow software, not a pretty picture from Google's perspective. Phones running Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 remain the most common with a 35.1 percent share.

We are expecting a couple of new Nexus phones in September or October and they're probably your best bet for getting Nougat as early as possible if you don't already have a Google-branded handset.

What we think the Samsung Galaxy S8 might look like:

YouTube :

If the Priv failed to get BlackBerry back, can the DTEK50?

BlackBerry is a funny little company. Once a juggernaut in the mobile space, it has since fallen from grace. Overwhelming numbers by Android and iOS pushed BlackBerry down into the dreaded “other” category on most pie charts. Many companies would have silently slipped tail between legs and slinked off, but not BlackBerry, and that’s actually one of the thing I admire about the company.Overwhelming evidence suggests that BlackBerry has hit the canvas so many times, even LL Cool J is saying “Ain’t gonna Comeback”. But here comes Blackberry with another offering – the DTEK50 – ...

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In depth: Why it’s still worth investing in wireless charging for your phone

In depth: Why it's still worth investing in wireless charging for your phone

A wireless future

A few years ago it seemed that wireless charging was the next big thing. The idea was simple: you'd put your phone on the bedside cabinet and it would recharge, no searching for and fumbling around with cables required.

But for some reason it hasn't become mainstream yet – once again, the predicted uptake in a new technology has stalled, despite Samsung's top-end S6 and S7 models allowing you to charge off any wireless base station.

However, wireless charging is still only just getting started – and rather than writing it off as a passing fad, it's actually time to start getting excited about wireless all over again.

Wireless charging's big problem

Many people have used wireless chargers in the past, but they've tended to head back to using a good old cable pretty quickly, because of one rather fundamental issue: wireless isn't fast enough.

Ultra-fast wired charging for Android phones is now very common, enabling you to almost fully replenish the battery in half an hour or so. We've started to expect speed. By contrast, most of today's wireless chargers will take hours to refill a phone, particularly one with a large battery like the 3600mAh Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

However, from a technical perspective at least, this problem has already been solved.

The most common wireless charging standard in phones is Qi (pronounced "Chee"), and version 2.0 of it allows for up to 15W power transferral, three times the 'standard' amount of 5W, which is what Samsung's Fast Charge wireless charger offers at the moment.

Samsung's fast charger

If you own a top-end Samsung from the last year or so, there's a good chance it'll already support faster wireless charging – the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 family do.

If you have your eye on a Samsung wireless charge pad, though, make sure you buy the one labelled Fast Charge (£40, $41.99, AU$99.99), rather than the normal pad. It outputs at up to 9 volts 1 amp, for 9W of power rather than the usual 5W. Samsung says it'll charge your phone from flat in 120 minutes.

To get the full potential out of the Qi abilities of the top Samsung phones, though, you need a third-party Qi pad. There are a few 10-15W charge pads available, such as those from Choetech and Tenergy; that's right, they mostly come from Chinese brands no one has heard of.

Choetech wireless charger

However, in March 2015 LG Innotek announced a full-fat 15W wireless Qi charger, which LG says will charge a phone from 0% to 50% in 30 minutes, not far off what a fast wired charger can achieve.

This is what we need, and what we want. It's just a shame that, as the company that continues to pack wireless charging into many of its top phones, Samsung didn't get there first.

LG's own LG G5 doesn't even offer wireless charging, after all.

Wireless wars

At this point, we need to step back a bit. We've given you a very simple view of how some elements of wireless charging lag behind others, but Qi is just one of several current charging standards.

There's a war going on, and it's a bit VHS vs Betamax. Qi, the bookie's favourite, was devised by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), but coming up on the rails is the AirFuel Alliance, which also wants to offer the de facto wireless standard.

This alternative alliance is the ward of a couple of wireless charging technologies, not just one: PMA and Rezence, which you might also see referred to as A4WP, the original body that devised it.

Before we drown in acronyms, the important thing to note here is that while Qi uses inductive charging, the combo of PMA and Rezence means that AirFuel comprises both inductive and magnetic resonance charging respectively.


At a very basic level, inductive and magnetic resonance charging involve comparable concepts. There's a wire coil in the charge base that creates an electromagnetic field, stimulating current in a second coil in the phone/device, which is used to charge the battery.

However, while inductive wireless charging is picky about the position of the coils/phone, resonance charging is less so. Its 'throw' is wider, and a single pad can even be used to charge two phones at once.

Inductive charging's effective range is around 5mm, maxing out at around 40mm in the latest iteration. The coils have to match up closely.

With greater range, and claimed theoretical power transferral of up to 50W, resonance-based Rezence sounds like a dream technology, but right now it's problematic.

You can't buy a resonance pad yet, and while there are claims it can be more efficient than Qi, as the WPC notes in a late 2015 document "no real-world, public data exist for resonant charging efficiency".

The tech has some major backers, though. WiPower is a third, resonance-based wireless charging standard, owned by Qualcomm. I didn't mention this in the same breath as AirFuel and WPC because it simply conforms to the Rezence standard.

WiPower is already baked into several very popular Qualcomm chipsets too. It debuted in the Snapdragon 808, and was subsequently used in the Snapdragon 810 and 820. We may not be able to use it yet, but millions of phones theoretically support magnetic resonance charging.

Qualcomm's big claim for WiPower (and hence Rezence) is that it's the first wireless charging solution in production that will work with metal-bodied devices – at the moment full-metal phones have to use a charging case, rather than an inbuilt coil, in order to make use of Qi charging.

Wireless charging, then, is a glorious mess right now. And to throw in another complicating factor, Qi designer WPC claims receivers (the parts in phones) are ready for resonance charging, and have been for three years:

"All Qi receivers (phones, sleeves, backdoors, and charging cards) that have shipped in the last 3 years and continue to ship, can be charged in inductive mode as well as resonant mode," says the WPC website. They just need a compatible resonance charge pad, none of which are available yet.

The takeaway: we aren't even necessarily going to need new phones when wireless charging clicks into a higher gear, just a new charge pad.

Wireless charging in the home

Wireless charging is still 'in progress', but that hasn't stopped some companies from trying to add a friendly lifestyle angle to a technology that threatens to become an off-putting torrent of trademarks.

IKEA started making wireless charging furniture and lamps in 2015, and now offers a surprisingly wide range of products that includes plain pads, bedside tables and lights of various shapes and sizes.

The glaring issue with such a bold attempt to make wireless charging mainstream is that no iPhones natively support wireless charging. Much like NFC-based wireless payments pre-Apple Pay, this is a bandwagon begging for Apple to jump onboard. With faster charging now possible, maybe it's time.

To address this lack of support, IKEA makes a range of Qi-enabling phone covers for iPhones and popular Android handsets. However, all of IKEA's charging hardware uses the older 5W max output version of Qi that's a lot slower than a wired charger.


You could argue, though, that it doesn't matter so much if you just want a bedside table you can rest your phone on as you go to sleep.

FoneSalesman's FurniQi range has followed IKEA's lead by building 5W Qi into a small bamboo table, proving that it's more than just a fad for a single brand.

Wireless charging on the high street

Qi dominates the reality of wireless charging in the home at present, but you can actually find some rival PMA points on the high street. PMA is, as mentioned above, similar to Qi in that it's an induction-based technology.

Starbucks sided with the PMA standard rather than Qi for its experiment with in-cafe wireless charging, perhaps because it afforded the coffee giant an extra up-sell angle: there's a PowerMat PMA dongle that just slots into the charge sockets of iPhones and Androids.

There are 10 Starbucks sites in London listed as having PMA sockets in the Powermat app, which lets you find your nearest wireless charge socket. It's a free download if you want to check it out yourself.

An app called Aircharge Qi shows charge locations for Qi pads out on the street and, no great surprise, there are far more of them. And they are spread far more widely.

McDonalds 'restaurants', Ibis hotels and EE shops are just a few of the many places you'll find Qi points in the UK. There are probably far more than you'd imagine, and you can use many of them for free.

Qi charging needs to get up to speed in several respects, but it's no longer a 'future' technology, given how many outlets are offering it to bring free charging to phones.

Frankenstein radio waves

There are several promising futuristic alternatives in this field, though, and a top contender is RF charging. As with induction charging, there's a transmitter and a receiver, but instead of using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy, a radio frequency signal is the power 'source'.

RF charging's lead benefit is that it can supply energy to a whole area, for greater range than resonance or inductive charging. You might have a bowl or drawer in which your device(s) would be placed, for example.

At present this technology is geared towards low-power devices, as the power transferral is, relatively, so low. However, it could make an interesting solution for wearables with small batteries.

Look into ambitious start-ups and the research undertaken at universities across the world and you'll find a handful of comparable longer-distance wireless charging projects that appear to border on fantasy at first glance. Energous's WattUp claims to offer a charge radius of 15ft using its application of RF charging, for example.

Wireless charging

Granted, it'll only supply 1W at 10-15ft, and 4W within 5ft, but it's a world apart from the range Qi offers, even if it is ultimately wasteful in its current form, as much of the RF signal that's transmitted is effectively lost.

The conundrum, regardless of the standard used, is how to focus longer-distance wireless charging. Recent research by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona into doing just that was published in the June edition of Advanced Materials, and referred to experiments with magnetic resonance charging.

"Enveloping the two circuits with metamaterial shells has the same effect as bringing them close together; it's as if the space between them literally disappears," writes the author in the article's abstract.

To explain that a bit better: the wireless power transmitter and receiver can use 'antennas' of a sort to boost efficiency and range, and that can only mean good things for wireless charging using existing methods.

The future of wireless charging is something of an amorphous cloud right now, but it's still an exciting future. We'll get there – it just might take a while longer that we thought.

Galaxy Note 7 Pricing and ETA, iPhone 7 adapter & more – Pocketnow Daily

Watch today’s Pocketnow Daily as we talk about the recent deals that you can find for the Google Nexus 6P. Then we talk about some other the Moto 360 2nd generation in some new deals that make it irresistible. Microsoft follows as the company has just announced more job cuts for 2017. Then we discuss the iPhone 7 as we found some leaked images of the lightning adapter for a 3.5mm headphone jack. We end today’s show talking about the recent leaks of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with regards to ETA, Price and even the Gear VR 2.All this and more after the break.Stories:–

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OnePlus gives ROM developers access to Dash Charge kernels

If you think OnePlus got OxygenOS all wrong for the OnePlus 3, the company wasn’t against you changing things up with a different ROM. Thing was, you had to trade out some major fast charging with that choice — it’s a feature

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Acer Back-To-School Chromebook and Laptop Sale

Acer has put together a list of chromebooks for back-to-school shoppers. The deals include their Chromebook and other laptops ranging from $179 to $849. Here's more info: The Acer Chromebook 15 (available at Walmart for only $179):-Great for elementary students to get online for research, writing documents and staying in touch by email with a large ...
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Amazon already has Sony Xperia XA Ultra discounted in US

Recently introduced products on Amazon sometimes have the craziest of discounts applied to them. Kinda like how that Moto G4 got a pre-order discount of a sort and then a discount on top of that discount. Like it’s some layer cake or something.If you want a product like that, though, let’s be honest: you’re not going to complain.So, if you want some ...

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Samsung sets up battery test, Galaxy S7 wins it (of course)

When a company compares its phones to the competition, it would probably do best to leave out any point that could be considered a “con”. Samsung Deutschland are pretty aware of that, but we’d figure to go through its latest video of a “battery test” anyways.In comparing the performance of the

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Apple’s solution for a no headphone jack iPhone is another adapter

Apple's solution for a no headphone jack iPhone is another adapter

The saga of Apple reportedly removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the upcoming iPhone 7 is a long and ongoing thing, filled with increasing reasons to believe the old-school prong will be eked out in favor of the proprietary Lightning connector.

"But how will I listen to my jams with my current set of headphones?" you wonder. "Surely there's some kind of adapter, right?"

Those specific fears may be assuaged, as a video shows off a 3.5mm-to-Lightning dongle that could wind up as Apple's official solution to keeping your old 'phones in use, as found via Mashable.

YouTube :

The adapter does have enough of that Apple flavor to seem legit, but there's still no confirmation if the device is an official product - or if Apple really is dropping the headphone jack at all, so take this information with a low sodium count's worth of salt.

Don-gle Quixote

Some big questions remain on our brain, though. Primarily: If this is for real, will an adapter come packed-in with the iPhone 7?

If not, will Apple give them away to legacy iPhone owners à la how Microsoft is handing out Kinect adapters for the Xbox One S? If not that, how much can we expect to spend on a simple end-to-end adapter?

Finally - and a big one for Apple to address, in our opinion - is if there will be a solution that allows users to listen to their tunes and charge their phone simultaneously. I gotta have my ABBA when I work, but Spotify drains my battery, dig?

Hopefully, these questions and more will be answered by Apple later this year in time for the iPhone 7's official debut.

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ZTE Axon 7 Unboxing: Budget busting first impressions

Many companies have claimed that they manufacturer the true flagship budget busting smartphone, and over the last two years we’ve seen some incredible competition heat up around the $400 price point. The line between a true-blue top tier handset and a premium mid-ranger is getting increasingly blurry.Following in the footsteps of companies like Huawei, Motorola, and OnePlus, ZTE is launching a monster of a smartphone in North America with a jaw ...

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