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Does Apple Need to Curb Your Child’s Smartphone Use?

from IBD:

No, Apple Is Not Responsible For Your Kids’ Smartphone Addiction

Apple is now coming under fire from two big investors for not doing enough to curb childhood addiction to smartphones. What’s next? Government warnings and a class-action lawsuit against Big Smartphone.

In an “open letter” to Apple, Janus Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — which combined own roughly $2 billion in Apple stock — scolded Apple for failing to “take steps” to curb overuse of smartphones by children.

The letter goes on at great length citing research into the harmful effects of too much smartphone use — from increased risk of depression and suicide risk to sleep and learning problems. read more

Apple is Cutting the Cord

Apple has filed a patent application for what appears to be a system that could one day charge your phone from across the room.

The new patent describes a system that could supply power to multiple devices, using both wired and wireless connections.

Long-range wireless charging has faced a number of challenges, including issues with distance and power availability, and safety requirements – but, the patent reveals Apple may have come up with a few workarounds.  read more

Samsung Galaxy S9 Coming in January

Samsung is set to reveal its Galaxy S9 handsets in January at the CES show, it has been claimed.

The firm hopes the move, four month earlier than its usual March launches,  will help it boost sales against Apple – which usually waits until September to reveal its new handsets.

There are also rumours the firm will use the event to reveal it’s first folding phone.

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The firm is set to reveal the two updated handsets in January - possibly alongside its first folding phone - at the annual CES event in Las Vegas.

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Next Gen Flip Phone

ZTE's dual-screen Axon M smartphone
ZTE’s dual-screen Axon M smartphone

Is this the future of smartphones? So far the biggest innovations we’ve seen in mobile this year have been bigger screens and smaller bezels, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE has raised the bar with its Axon M, the first foldable handset with a dual display, suggesting a host of potential uses.

You could browse the web on one screen and compose an email on the other perhaps, or watch Netflix on one display while Twitter scrolls across the second one. Both screens are 5.2 inches diagonally, combining to make a 6.75-inch, 1,920 x 2,160 panel with the two displays both facing forward (admittedly with a large join in the middle).

Maybe the Axon M will be most useful for productivity apps, allowing you to type away on a document in landscape mode without obscuring three-quarters of the screen with a keyboard. ZTE says a three-finger swipe sends apps between screens, or you can have them configured to act like one whole display.

In tent mode, the ZTE Axon M offers gamers the opportunity to play against each other
 Games could also benefit from the dual-screen approach, as with the Nintendo DS family of devices, and if you set the phone up in a tent shape you can play against a friend sat opposite, one screen each. That kind of experience will need some effort on the part of developers, though.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple’s Watch has been something of a slow burn among consumers – but, with the latest model that packs in cellular capabilities for the first time, expect that to change very quickly.

Where it’s primarily been a hit for its fitness and health tracking, the latest update is going to open up a whole new world – and see consumers leaving their phone at home.

Apple has managed to cram in cellular capabilities that let you make calls, use apps and get notifications anywhere you have coverage.

After just a week with it, I’ve already found myself not bothering to take my phone on runs, quick trips to the shop and even the odd night out.

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Apple has revealed its newest smartwatch will be equipped with its own built-in cellular capabilities for the first time. The $399 Series 3 Apple Watch will allow users to make calls directly from their wrist, without an iPhone nearby

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Lamborghini Smartphone

It’s known for creating the ultimate in luxury sports cars.

Now, Tonino Lamborghini has released a luxury Android smartphone to match its vehicles – the £1,900 ($2,450) Alpha – One.

The phone boasts Italian handmade black leather and a frame made from the same ‘stronger than titanium liquid metal’ used to build its supercars.

The Alpha – One smartphone also comes with an accompanying custom black leather case, but critics claim the device’s specs do not match its price tag.

Despite Lamborghini claiming its latest phone features ‘the most luxurious technology’, the device has similar specifications to high-end smartphones that cost less than a third of the price.

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Tonino Lamborghini has released a £1,900 ($2,450) luxury Android phone (pictured) made with Italian handmade black leather and frame made of the 'liquid metal' used in its supercars

Obamaphone Program Still equals Waste, Fraud and Abuse

from One News Now:

Former President Barack Obama’s controversial “Obamaphone” program – which is still having taxpayers foot the bill for cellphones for the poor – has been exposed as being riddled with fraud, as reports indicate that more than one out of three enrollees were not qualified to receive “free” phones … phones they could afford.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the report on Thursday shedding new light on Obama’s free cellphone program to the poor – officially called the “Lifeline Program” — which is raising more concern about the giveaway that has become a symbol of the former administration’s frivolous government waste. read more

Podcast – Global Debt at Record Level – Smartphones can Damage the Neck and Back

The world is teetering on the edge of a global financial meltdown. That’s a bit of a downer, isn’t it? But unfortunately it’s true. Global debt has risen to a new record of $217 trillion. That’s almost a quarter of a quadrillion – an unimaginable number. Even worse – it may be too late to fix it.

Smartphone users may be affecting the long term health of our necks and backs due to protracted use of smartphones while walking. And it also makes all look like 80 years olds – shuffling down the street, trying to avoid running into, or falling into something. read more

Kick the Smartphone Habit – Go Grayscale

The average American clicks, taps or swipes on their smartphone screen more than 2,600 times a day – and the heaviest users touch their device more than 5,400 times.

The birth of the smartphone has sparked an addiction among many people, however, an ex-Google employee has revealed that going gray could help curb habit.

By setting the screen of your handset to grayscale, users might not be so compelled to check their device – this is because certain colors used by apps, like red and bright blue, subconsciously make us excited to reach for our phones.

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The birth of the smartphone has sparked an addiction among many people, however, an ex-Google employee has revealed that going gray could help curb habit

By setting the screen of your handset to grayscale, users might feel checking the device is less appealing - this is because some of the colors, like red and bright blue, subconsciously make us excited to reach for our phones

read more

MiniRig Stabilizes Smartphone Pics

The MiniRig is a magnetic gimbal smartphone stabilizer which allows users to mount video-enhancing accessories
The MiniRig is a magnetic gimbal smartphone stabilizer which allows users to mount video-enhancing accessories

Last year, the Smoovie stabilizer launched on Kickstarter promising smartphone and GoPro users the ability to shoot super-smooth video thanks to its magnetic gimbal. Now, after shipping that product to backers, the team behind it is back with the MiniRig, which adds lighting and audio features, along with improved stabilization. read more