Category: Mobile

April 24, 2019 Off

Samsung Galaxy Fold review: future shock

By Jill T Frey

The Galaxy Fold has been the most polarizing product I can recall having reviewed. Everyone who saw it wanted to play with the long-promised smartphone paradigm shift. The results, on the other hand, were far more mixed.

If nothing else, the Fold has a remarkably high Q-Rating. Each person who saw me using the product had at least a vague idea of what it was all about. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had that reaction with a non-iPhone device. That’s great from brand perspective. It means a lot of people are curious and potentially open to the notion that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is the future.

Of course, it also means there are a lot of people looking on if you fail.

In some ways, this past week with the Samsung Galaxy Fold has been an extremely public beta. A handful of samples were given out to … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Facebook reserves $3B for FTC fine, but keeps growing with 2.38B users in Q1

By Jill T Frey

A massive penalty hangs over Facebook’s head, but it otherwise had a very strong Q1 earnings report. Facebook reached 2.38 billion monthly users, up 2.5 percent from 2.32 billion in Q4 2018 when it grew 2.2 percent, and it now has 1.56 billion daily active users, up 2.63 percent from 1.52 billion last quarter when it grew 2 percent. Facebook pulled in $15.08 in revenue, up 26 percent year-over-year compared to Refinitiv’s consensus estimates of $14.98 billion in revenue.

Facebook recorded earnings per share of $0.85 compared to estimates of $1.63 EPS. However, that’s because Facebook has set aside $3 billion to cover a potential FTC fine that it’s still resolving. Without that fine, it would have had an EPS of $1.89. Despite the set-aside, Facebook still earned $2.429 billion in profit, though that’s down from $4.988 a year ago and $6.8 billion in Q4 2018.

Facebook’s share price … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Huawei’s P30 Pro excels on the camera front

By Jill T Frey

It’s been a month since Huawei unveiled its latest flagship device — the Huawei P30 Pro. I’ve played with the P30 and P30 Pro for a few weeks and I’ve been impressed with the camera system.

The P30 Pro is the successor to the P20 Pro and features improvements across the board. It could have been a truly remarkable phone, but some issues still hold it back compared to more traditional Android phones, such as the Google Pixel 3 or OnePlus 6T.

A flagship device

The P30 Pro is by far the most premium device in the P line. It features a gigantic 6.47-inch OLED display, a small teardrop notch near the top, an integrated fingerprint sensor in the display and a lot of cameras.

Before diving into the camera system, let’s talk about the overall feel of the device. Compared to last year’s P20 Pro, the company removed the … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Snapchat fully rolls out reengineered Android app, boosting usage

By Jill T Frey

After a year of its user count shrinking or staying flat, Snapchat is finally growing again, and more growth is likely on the way. That’s because it’s finally completed the rollout of Project Mushroom, aka a backend overhaul of its Android app that’s 25 percent smaller and 20 percent faster. Designed for India and other emerging markets where iPhones are too expensive, Snapchat saw an immediate 6 percent increase in the number of people on low-end devices sending Snaps within the first week of upgrading to the new Android app.

Snapchat grew from 186 million daily active users in Q4 2018 to 190 million in Q1 2019, adding 1 million in North America, 1 million in Europe and 2 million in the Rest of World, where the Android app makes the biggest difference despite rolling out … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

New Sesame Street-themed PSA encourages kids to reduce mobile device use

By Jill T Frey

Device addiction plagues us all — even Apple CEO Tim Cook. But children with phones and tablets are even more susceptible to the lures of apps and games, which often use psychological tricks to keep users logging in and regularly returning. A new PSA from Sesame Workshop and advocacy organization Common Sense aims to address kids’ unhealthy use of mobile devices by focusing on one particular problem: devices at the dinner table.

This is not the first time the #DeviceFreeDinner campaign has run — previous years’ spots featured Will Ferrell as a “distracted dad” on his phone at the table, ignoring his family’s conversations.

But this time around, the organization is teaming up with Sesame Workshop, which is lending its characters to a new PSA. The spot will feature the “Sesame Street” muppets modeling healthy mobile phone behavior by putting their devices away.

Phones are shut up in … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Tim Cook wants you to put down your iPhone

By Jill T Frey

Tim Cook thinks people should get off their iPhones and decrease their engagement with apps. The Apple CEO, speaking at the TIME 100 Summit today, was discussing the addictive nature of our mobile devices and Apple’s role in the matter when he made these comments. He said the company hadn’t intended for people to be constantly using their iPhones, and noted he himself has silenced his push notifications in recent months.

“Apple never wanted to maximize user time. We’ve never been about that,” Cook explained.

It’s certainly an interesting claim, given that Apple designed a platform that allowed app developers to constantly ping their users with the most inane notifications — from getting a new follower on a social app to a sale in a shopping app to a new level added to a game and so much more.

The very idea behind the notification platform, opt-in as it may … Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

Why it’s so hard to know who owns Huawei

By Jill T Frey

It’s one of the greatest technology “startup” success stories of the personal computer and smartphone eras. Yet, despite selling 59 million smartphones and netting $27 billion in revenue last quarter in its first-ever public earnings report this morning, a strange and tantalizing question shrouds the world’s number two handset manufacturer behind Samsung.

Who owns Huawei?

To hear the company tell it, it’s 100% employee-owned. In a statement circulated last week, it said that “Huawei is a private company wholly owned by its employees. No government agency or outside organization holds shares in Huawei or has any control over Huawei.”

That’s a simple statement, but oh is it so much more complicated.

As with all things related to Huawei, which outside of its 5G archrival Qualcomm is probably the tech company most entrenched in geopolitics today, the story is never as simple as it appears at first glance.

Source link Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

Daily Crunch: Samsung delays the Galaxy Fold

By Jill T Frey

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Samsung reportedly pushes back Galaxy Fold release

Four days out from the Galaxy Fold’s official release date, Samsung is pushing things back a bit, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. There’s no firm time frame for the launch, though the phone is still expected “in the coming weeks.”

TechCrunch’s reviewer Brian Heater says he hasn’t experienced any issues with his device, but a number of others reported malfunctioning displays.

2. Tencent’s latest investment is an app that teaches grannies in China to dance

Called Tangdou, or “sugar beans” in Chinese, the app announced that it has raised a Series C funding round led by Tencent.

3. SiriusXM’s new streaming-only ‘Essential’ plan targets Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

Samsung confirms Galaxy Fold delay, shares ‘initial findings’ on faulty units

By Jill T Frey

Samsung has just confirmed that it will delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. Confirming this morning’s report, the company sent TechCrunch a statement noting that the foldable will not make its previously announced Friday ship date.

Once again, no details on availability are forthcoming — which is honestly probably for the best, as the company assesses the situation. The news follows reports of malfunctioning displays from multiple reviewers. They were in the minority — ours is still working just fine — but three or four in such a small sample size is enough to raise concern.

The company says it will “announce the release date in the coming weeks.”

The statement is understandably still a bit defensive, but this time out, Samsung actually has “initial findings” to share from those faulty units. According to the company,

Initial findings from the inspection of

Read the rest