Ashlei Temena’s family trip to Disneyland last Thanksgiving break turned into a nightmare when her smartphone battery hit empty.
Temeña, a San Francisco support technician, had gotten separated from her family and realized she had no way to find anyone. Instead of riding roller coasters, she wandered around searching for the group — eventually locating them four hours later watching fireworks.“It sucked really bad,” Temeña said. “I wanted to throw my phone on the ground by the end of the day.”Many consumers can relate. Despite the leaps forward in mobile phone technology with crisp, clear screens and faster chips, batteries have made only sluggish progress. That has propelled a desire for longer battery life to the top of the list of factors considered by consumers when they purchase smartphones, according to a 2014 survey by the research firm IDC.So why is battery technology still underwhelming? Plenty of companies have been developing smarter battery technology for years, including methods to increase battery capacity tenfold or charge devices by pulling energy from the air. But lithium ion, the technology that most mainstream batteries are based on, is low cost and easily reproducible while being safe — so we’ll be stuck with it for the foreseeable future, said Charlie Quong, an executive at Mophie, a battery accessory maker, in an interview.“There’s a lot of investments on all fronts for improving the technology above and beyond that, but I don’t think we’re going to see that hitting any kind of mass market for several years out,” Quong said. In general, lithium ion improves about 10% a year in terms of the amount of energy that can be stored in a given space, which is partly why consumers perceive batteries as being far behind other technologies.With that backdrop in mind, here are seven biggest battery-saving myths.
Continue reading 7 biggest battery-saving myths
Worries about sales hit both Apple and Samsung stock prices.
Both Apple and Samsung this week predicted slow growth for smartphone and mobile phone sales in early 2016, making investors queasy.
Apple’s stock dropped 6.5% at Wednesday’s market close after CEO Tim Cook told investors he expects iPhone unit sales to decline for the current quarter compared to a year ago. Apple’s iPhones make up the majority of its revenues. Trading in Apple was flat this morning.
Samsung’s stock also dropped by 2.5% late in the day of Thursday trading after the South Korean company reported a 10% drop in mobile sales in the last quarter of 2015. The company said it would be a challenge to maintain operating profits for 2016.
Continue reading Interest in smartphones is flattening
TOKYO: Researchers in Japan have created a type of glass that is stronger than many metals and almost as strong as steel.
The researchers from The University of Tokyo and Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute used what they call aerodynamic levitation, to create glass imbued with extra amounts of an oxide of aluminium.
Glass that does not break when dropped or when struck by another object would be useful in a wide variety of applications, from automobile windows, to skyscrapers to smartphones and tablets.
One of the ways to make traditional glass stronger is to add larger amounts of an oxide of aluminium to the mix, specifically, alumina, because it has one of the highest dissociation energies among oxides.
Continue reading Your next smartphone may have screen as tough as steel
Qualcomm is promising to improve security and privacy on high-end smartphones with Snapdragon Smart Protect, which uses on-device machine learning to help detect zero-day malware.
The popularity of smartphones has started to catch the imagination of hackers, resulting in the need for better protection. Qualcomm’s latest contribution is Snapdragon Smart Protect, which the company announced on Monday.
Continue reading Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor gets technology to secure Android phones.
NEW YORK: The more time you spend on your phone, the more likely you are suffering from depression, says a study.
According to researchers, depression can be detected from your smartphone sensor data by tracking the number of minutes you use the phone and your daily geographical locations.
The team from Northwestern University found that the average daily usage for depressed individuals was about 68 minutes.
For non-depressed individuals, it was about 17 minutes.
Continue reading Smartphone use can reveal if you are depressed: Study
HOUSTON: Smartphones may be detrimental to the users’ ability to learn, a year-long study of first-time mobile device users suggests.
The research shows the self-rated impact of smartphones among the users.
“Smartphone technology is penetrating world markets and becoming abundant in most college settings,” said Philip Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice University in Houston and the study’s co-author.
Continue reading Is your smartphone making you dumb?
WASHINGTON: A new 3D imaging technique of fingerprints through an ultrasonic sensor promises to take the security of smartphones to another level.
Fingerprint sensor technology currently used in smartphones like iPhone 6 produces a two-dimensional image of a finger’s surface, which can be spoofed easily with a printed image of the fingerprint.
The ultrasonic sensor eliminates that risk by imaging the ridges and valleys of the fingerprint’s surface, and the tissue beneath, in three-dimension.
Continue reading Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for smartphone security.