Buried in the avalanche of features in the newest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, was the addition of a new sensor to accompany the standard GPS, proximity, and accelerometer: a barometer. It's one we'd never have thought to add to a smartphone, and we sat for a little while, scratching our heads at the possible use for a sensor that tests atmospheric pressure. So we talked to the experts over at Weather Underground, and got a better sense of what this is--and, more importantly, what it is not.
As you clicked onto our site this morning, think about where your smartphone was sitting. Was it next to your keyboard, where you could ensure you didn't miss any notifications? If so, your phone could track everything you wrote. It could use the accelerometer to detect keyboard vibrations, deciphering every word of your insightful anonymous commentary. A hacker could conceivably use it to find out everything you write, with up to 80 percent accuracy, researchers say.
At an event in New York City, Motorola just unveiled their newest, fastest, thinnest phone, with a name you might remember fondly, or not so fondly: the Droid Razr (or as it'll be known here in Australia, simply the Motorola Razr). It'll be the thinnest phone in the world, with a huge battery and waterproof coating and all kinds of other goodies that'll probably make it seem so tough you'll forget about its extreme thinness.
It appears that phase 2 in what is quickly becoming something of a bona fide patent war has commenced, with Samsung seeking injunctions on the newly launched iPhone 4S, in Japan and right here in Australia, on the basis of a variety of patents held in Japan, and also right here in Australia.
Apple today released its last iteration of the iOS software, version 5, across the globe. While the update brings a suite of new features, it doesn't seem as though every user managed to enter Apple's version of mobile nirvana unscathed, with more than a few users reporting issues post-update.