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2 months ago

Why specs matter more when purchasing phones for business

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Why do specs matter when buying a phone for business?

There are people who upgrade their phones every year because they can. There are others who choose to hold out until their screens are shattered and power buttons frayed, safe in the knowledge that they can update to any new phone at any time. Those are the people we call consumers.

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Many businesses that issue phones and their employees don't have such luxuries. Sure, we're getting more comfortable with the notion of BYOD — bring your own device — but most business phone users are limited in the phones they can use and, perhaps more importantly, when they can upgrade. Which is why making the right decision at the beginning is so important.

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2 months ago

Android 7.0 Nougat beta program officially kicks off for the S7 and S7 edge

82

Get a preview of TouchWiz on Nougat.

Samsung's Android 7.0 Nougat beta program for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is now official in the U.S., UK, and South Korea, and will kick off in China shortly. With the Galaxy Beta Program, Samsung is providing early access to its updated user interface, giving users the ability to try out the latest features before they become widely available and share their feedback.

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2 months ago

Does Google's commitment to iOS make the iPhone a better buy?

148

A serious question.

Earlier this week, Google released a redesigned version of its Gmail app for iOS, bringing it more in line with its Android equivalent. It's a big upgrade, and something that, after years of neglect, seemed a long time coming.

But it also brought back to life an argument that, for many people, the iPhone, with its impressive hardware, great camera(s), rich app ecosystem and, of course, iMessage, may be a better showcase for Google services than Android itself. Of course, many disagree, but the iPhone has a 44% market share in the U.S., and Apple maintains a lot of influence over the smartphone world.

For some Android faithful, Google's commitment to iOS development is confusing: why create great apps for a competing platform when you want people to buy Galaxys, Motos and, ideally, Pixels? Ultimately, Google wants your data, and wants to show you ads, and will do so wherever people are, and that is increasingly on iOS and Android.

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2 months ago

Samsung isn't messing with Nougat too much

87

Not messing with a good thing.

So far, we've only seen a couple of interpretations of Android 7.0 Nougat from companies that aren't Google, and the results have been a mixed bag.

Now, Samsung is on the verge of releasing a beta version of its take on Nougat, and from initial screenshots and video, it appears that the Korean company isn't changing too much.

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2 months ago

OnePlus 3T with Snapdragon 821 will be unveiled on Nov 15

39

Qualcomm confirmed yesterday that OnePlus' upcoming phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 821, and now we have a launch date. OnePlus announced on Twitter that it will unveil the handset — likely called the OnePlus 3T — on November 15:

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2 months ago

The importance of selecting a secure phone for business

12

There are plenty of great Android phones with the consumer in mind, but Android can make a great choice for a corporate environment or small business, too.

We assume that phones are secure. That might be the case when they are first released, but not all manufacturers provide users with the latest security patches. When deploying phones for a large scale organization, selecting a secure phone is paramount. We'll highlight phones that provide the highest levels of security and discuss how and why they are doing it.

More: The most secure Android phones

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Buying a phone for corporate use is different that it is for a consumer. While many of us are looking for phones with the best cameras or waterproof cases, the IT department in any corporate environment is concerned about two things: can they effectively administer the device and is it secured against remote data theft. All smartphones can get your email and they all make calls or send texts. But not very many are built for business use.

Whether you're buying a phone for your own small business or in the process of buying hundreds for a company-wide deployment it's important to make the right choice when you buy an Android phone. There are several that fit the bill, and none of them is a chore to use.

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2 months ago

Google might torpedo Qualcomm Quick Charge in future Android versions

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Quick Chargers

New Android compatibility definitions warn manufacturers against using nonstandard USB charging methods.

Between Qualcomm Quick Charge, MediaTek Pump Express, Oppo VOOC, OnePlus Dash Charge, Huawei SuperCharge, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging and Motorola Turbo Charge, fast charging methods on Android phones are kind of a mess. Some of them overlap, but not all are interoperable, and when you consider that some require not only a custom charger but a specific cable, it's a confusing situation for consumers.

And given the potential safety issues with dodgy USB-C chargers and cables, it's easy to see why Google, as a platform holder, might want to step in.

In the latest Android Compatibility Definition Document — which lays out the rules manufacturers must adhere to in order to ship Google-approved Android 7.0 devices — the company lays out some strong recommendations intended to nudge phone makers away from nonstandard USB-C charging methods like Qualcomm QuickCharge. The references, first spotted by Android Police, suggest such changes may come into force in future Android versions.

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2 months ago

Most Secure Android Phone

Most Android phones claim to be good at keeping your private stuff private. But the Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, thanks to the latest Android software, and the fastest updates.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

One of the things that make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best is that they use the latest — and most secure — version of Android. It's also updated monthly with fixes for security exploits (both known and unknown) directly from Google. For those who can't wait for the update to reach them, the update files are hosted by Google for download and installation. More importantly, the changes and code behind these fixes are available for peer review so they can be made more robust. The people trying to break in are working hard, so the people trying to prevent it need to work harder. Google's bug bounty program and developer community combined with Android's open nature make the Pixel and Pixel XL the most secure Android phones you can buy.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

A phone you want to use can also keep your data safe — and it comes in two sizes to fit everyone.

Every device that can connect to the internet has exploits available that break the default security configuration. If your phone isn't getting timely updates to combat them, you're simply not secure. We keep a vast amount of private — and priceless — data on our phones, and we all should care about keeping it safe from outside attacks. After you read all the agreements and decide what you're willing to give away, you should expect the remainder to stay private.

The Pixel phones are updated directly from Google with the latest version of Android. Outside of any new features that may come with, the device security model has been updated and strengthened by a dedicated team who regularly audits and enhances the code used to build Android. On top of this, Google releases updates to the security model at the beginning of every month for the people who build Android phones to apply to their software. These are important. More important than any other update. the Nexus 6P will get every one of them for its lifespan.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is transparency. You shouldn't have to trust a company when they say something is secure or updated, and the Android code for both the platform version and all updates is available for anyone to take a look at. Plenty of people do, and despite any opinions to the contrary, Android, as written, has proven to be a very secure platform. A phone like a Pixel is the embodiment of this.

Most important of all is that both Pixel phones are not only secure but are also phones that you'll want to use. No compromise is needed and the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL both share the same fast processor and other internal components. A great — and secure — experience is available for fans of both sizes.

Best for typing

BlackBerry Priv

See at Amazon

BlackBerry's Android debut brings a QWERTY sliding keyboard to a premium smartphone. And the security is nothing to sneeze at.

BlackBerry is legendary when it comes to mobile device management and security, and they follow that trend when they use Android to power their phones. In some ways, the Priv is more secure than any other Android phone — the bootloader and application manager use what BlackBerry calls a root of trust so that the phone just won't work if software is able to get through the first line of defense. We've put that to the test, and while hyperbole usually surrounds any claim coming from a company who wants your money, this one rings true.

Two things keep the Priv from being our overall best choice — Android platform updates don't come as quickly as we would like, and BlackBerry isn't very transparent when it comes to the things they do to further harden Android. Monthly updates for existing and potential security issues come the first Monday of every month, and we have no reason to doubt BlackBerry's commitment to security — we just shouldn't have to take their word. If you're looking for a secure Android phone that's great to use and has a legendary BlackBerry keyboard, the Priv is right for you.

Bottom line: BlackBerry is a company with a reputation on the line when it comes to mobile security. they live up to expectations with the Priv.

One more thing: The BlackBerry is usually the first phone to get the monthly Android Security Bulletin update — hours before google releases the bulletin itself!

Best for simplicity

BlackBerry DTEK50

See at Amazon

BlackBerry says the DTEK50 is the world's most secure Android phone.

Using the same methods as the more expensive Priv to keep Android up to date and hardened to BlackBerry's specifications, the DTEK50 adds an enhanced version of their DTEK software tool to monitor application and system use to warn you when something isn't playing nicely. While this software is available as an update for the Priv, the out-of-the-box experience on the DTEK50 lets BlackBerry claim the most secure title.

In addition to the things that keep the Priv from being our pick, the experience of using the DTEK50 isn't as pleasant as the other phones on our list. Clearly designed as an entry-level phone for people who need connectivity and security, the phone is well worth the asking price. But it's just not a smooth as any of the other phones here.

That shouldn't tarnish the DTEK50's reputation, though. If you're looking for something safe and affordable with access to well over a million apps — and a tool to monitor them all — the DTEK50 may be just what you're looking for.

Bottom line: BlackBerry knows that security doesn't only apply to the flagship phones and the DTEK50 is a welcome addition for many users and IT managers.

One more thing: Scott Wenger, VP of design and devices for BlackBerry says DTEK stands for "Detection."

Conclusion

Media outlets like to give Android a bad reputation when it comes to security, and it's difficult to blame them. Old, outdated software from manufacturers with no real concern for your security or privacy are the norm when it comes to phones running Android. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The Google Pixel delivers a great smartphone experience that ticks all the boxes for reviewers and users alike, and with no modifications, your personal data is very safe. A team of security professionals and engineers are dedicated to keeping it that way. Any of the phones on our list will do a great job when it comes to security, but the overall experience makes the Google Pixel the best.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

One of the things that make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best is that they use the latest — and most secure — version of Android. It's also updated monthly with fixes for security exploits (both known and unknown) directly from Google. For those who can't wait for the update to reach them, the update files are hosted by Google for download and installation. More importantly, the changes and code behind these fixes are available for peer review so they can be made more robust. The people trying to break in are working hard, so the people trying to prevent it need to work harder. Google's bug bounty program and developer community combined with Android's open nature make the Pixel and Pixel XL the most secure Android phones you can buy.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

This article was originally published in October 2016. It was last updated in November 2016 with information about the Google Pixel.

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2 months ago

Canadians can now sign up to use Samsung Pay with CIBC cards

6

Samsung and CIBC are teaming up to offer Samsung Pay to Canadians with "select" CIBC credit cards, as we previously reported.

Now, Samsung Canada has put up a landing page allowing users to sign up to receive an email to receive a link to download Samsung Pay on a compatible Galaxy device. Seems fairly convoluted, but there we go.

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2 months ago

Moto M unveiled in China with metal body and 3050mAh battery

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After a spate of leaks, the Moto M is now official in China. The specs are in line with what we've seen in the leaks, with the phone offering a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, 2.2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P15 SoC with Mali T860MP2 GPU, 4GB of RAM, 32GB storage, microSD slot, 16MP camera with dual-tone flash and PDAF, 8MP front shooter, 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, USB-C, and a 3050mAh battery,

Essentially, the phone looks like a metal-clad variant of the moto G4 Plus with the fingerprint sensor moved to the back, and USB-C connectivity. The Moto M also has a nano coating that makes it resistant to the occasional splash, and Lenovo has bundled Dolby Atmos tech. On the software side of things, we're treated to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

The phone will go on sale starting November 11 in the country, retailing for ¥1,999 ($295). It will be sold in gold and silver color options, and as of now there's no mention of global availability. Given its retail price, the Moto M slots in between the budget Moto G4 Plus and the mid-range Moto Z Play.

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2 months ago

Sony's 'Concept for Android' brings Nougat to the Xperia X

0

Sony offers a taste of Nougat with its Concept program.

Sony introduced the "Concept for Android" program last year, allowing select users to preview upcoming software features before they're widely available. Since the program's introduction, Sony has dialed back on overt customizations to conform to a Material Design core, instead providing differentiation in the form of services.

After seeing a lot of success with the Marshmallow Concept, Sony is now rolling out the Nougat-based Concept build to Xperia X owners in Europe.

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2 months ago

The stunning Blue Coral Galaxy S7 edge is now up for pre-order at AT&T

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Samsung announced last week that it would offer a Blue Coral color option for the Galaxy S7 edge, and the variant is now up for pre-order at AT&T. You'll be able to pick one up for $794 outright, $26 per month for 30 months, or $33 monthly via AT&T's Next plans.

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2 months ago

Samsung runs full-page apology ads in U.S. newspapers over Note 7 recall

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Samsung apologizes for botched Note 7 recall.

Samsung took out full-page ads in the The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post to apologize to its customers over the Note 7 recall. Samsung had to issue two recalls before permanently discontinuing the phone last month, and is now in the process of conducting a "careful" investigation of the Note 7 that includes calling in "some of the best independent technical experts in the world" to validate its findings.

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2 months ago

Qualcomm confirms Snapdragon 821 on upcoming OnePlus phone

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Qualcomm has confirmed that OnePlus' upcoming phone — rumored to be the OnePlus 3T — will be powered by the Snapdragon 821 SoC. The phone is expected to make its debut on November 14.

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2 months ago

BlackBerry rolls out the DTEK50 and DTEK60 in India

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BlackBerry's latest phones are now available in India.

BlackBerry has launched the DTEK50 and DTEK60 in the Indian market. The former will retail for ₹21,990 ($330), while the latter is debuting at ₹46,990 ($700).

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