Apple activates Wi-Fi calling for T-Mobile iPhones with latest iOS 8 beta

Among the new settings options and user interface tweaks in Monday's iOS 8 beta release, Apple has switched on Wi-Fi calling for T-Mobile handsets, granting developers with access to the software a chance to test out the feature.






BlackBerry Passport to arrive in September

BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry is still alive and kicking in the smartphone market, at least in terms of intentions if not market share, and the company will be launching a major handset by the name of Passport this September.

This phone was previously known as "Windermere", and the spec was rumoured last month, with the handset boasting a 4.5-inch screen with a 1440 x 1440 resolution, offering a very sharp 453 dpi.

Mobile Syrup has confirmed that spec, and the fact that the phone will have a touch-sensitive keyboard panel to facilitate easier auto-correction -- along with the launch event in September, of course, which CEO John Chen said would happen in London.

The previous spec spillage also pointed to this handset having a 13 megapixel camera, and a 3,450 mAh battery which should mean the Passport will offer a lot of longevity away from the power socket.

While the device does actually sound quite neat -- particularly for those who like a traditional QWERTY BlackBerry with full keyboard -- the company really has its work cut out to make itself relevant in the smartphone market again. In terms of the UK, according to Kantar's latest figures (for April), BlackBerry has slipped to a 1.6 percent share of the smartphone market, way behind Windows Phone which is in third place at 9.5 per cent.

The company is also looking to push an alternative strategy of lower-end handsets such as the BlackBerry Z3 which was recently launched in Indonesia.

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

LinkedIn introduces its own job search app

jobs-phone

LinkedIn has launched its first standalone job search app that provides a dedicated service for users looking to search and apply for jobs on the social network.

The decision to release LinkedIn Job Search on iOS comes as no surprise, with 40 per cent of the network's 300 million users accessing the site on mobile devices.

The company also revealed that the free app would not publicise your job search to anyone else within your network.

"It can be hard to search for a job while you're at your desk, not to mention the potentially awkward conversation with your current boss", product manager Daniel Ayele said in a blog post. "Our goal is to help make this process easier for you and to help you be discreet. Everything you do within the app will be completely private and not shared with your network".

The app, which is currently only available in the US, is LinkedIn's latest attempt to make applying for jobs more accessible on mobile devices, and follows a similar update to the company's main app in August 2013.

New features available for LinkedIn Job Search include a more detailed, customizable job search function, tailored job recommendations based on your profile and a notifications service that tells you when new jobs are coming up or deadlines approaching.

The new app sees LinkedIn expanding the kind of content it offers and opening the platform up as a means of increasing traffic, and therefore, ad revenue. In the last quarter, "Talent Solutions", which includes recruitment advertising, made up 58 percent of LinkedIn's revenue at $275.9 million.

This sector also grew by 50 percent last year, providing a thriving area of growth for the company and the firm is likely to have noted the way other social networks like Facebook are diversifying their app portfolios with the standalone Messenger app and Slingshot.

The new app, which the company said will launch in other markets soon, faces stiff competition from already established job search apps, such as CareerBuilder and Monster.com, as well as many smaller competitors, like Proven, that emphasise user feedback.

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock

Capture, record or broadcast your desktop with QIP Shot

QIPShot200-175QIP Shot is an interesting screen capture tool with some unusual bonus features.

It doesn’t just capture the usual full screen, active window or freehand rectangle, for instance. You can also grab ellipses, freehand areas and even scrolling windows (web pages which are too lengthy to fit on the screen, perhaps).

The program doubles as a desktop recorder, capturing all or a part of your screen – optionally with audio – and saving the results as an AVI video.

Captured images may be rotated, mirrored and cropped, or annotated with various tools (line, arrow, rectangle, ellipse, pencil, text and blur). It’s a bitmap, rather than a vector editor, so you can’t move or edit your annotations later, but it’s fine for basic use.

When you’re happy QIP Shot will save your image locally, upload it to Facebook, VK, or its own shot.qip.ru/ photos.qip.ru. Choose the latter and a browser window opens to display your capture, which shows you everything has worked correctly, and provides a link to share with others.

If there’s something you need to share with a lot of people then you might prefer the Broadcast tool, which can broadcast part or all of your desktop via Justin.tv, CyberGame.tv, Ustream and more.

Some welcome usability features include a History sidebar with thumbnails of your recent captures. Not only does this make it easy to view them again (just double-click), but right-click options can also open them in the editor or your browser, copy their path/ URL to the clipboard, or open Explorer at their folder/

This is all very configurable, too. QIP Shot allows you to customise its hotkeys, screen capture names (they can use numbers, dates, times), default file formats, video codec, optional audio settings, proxy settings and others.

The editor is the weak spot here. If annotations are important for you, maybe you’re hoping to use the results in a document without editing them elsewhere, we’d opt for HotShots: its excellent vector editor is one of the best around.

QIP Shot’s screen recorder and broadcast tools are major pluses, though, and if they’re more important to you then the program is worth a try.

Parallels Access 2.0 lets you control your PC or Mac remotely using iPad, iPhone or Android device

parallels-access-android

Looking for a way to access programs on your desktop or laptop from your mobile? You could go down the route of installing something like TeamViewer, but with the best will in the world, trying to control your entire Windows or Mac desktop from your mobile is a fiddly experience at best.

A more practical solution can be found by going down the Parallels Access route, and it’s one that’s just been made even better with the release of version 2.0.

Parallels Access adopts a slightly different approach to accessing your computer remotely -- it assumes your primary objective is to be able to access specific programs and apps while you’re on the move, and focuses its interface accordingly.

The service -- which you sign up for via https://access.parallels.com -- sees you download a server program on your PC or Mac, then install the relevant mobile app. As of version 2.0, Parallels Access extends itself to the Android platform as well as becoming a universal iOS app, giving iPhone users the ability to run desktop apps on their phone too.

The app’s simple to use: once connected, it takes control of your PC’s display, resizing it before transmitting it back to your mobile. It then presents a home screen of app icons with the most popular apps included (you can add to or edit this list easily). Tap one, and the app opens on your mobile, ready for you to view and edit documents almost as if you were sat at your computer.

Parallels Access scores points for utilizing smart features for both navigating and controlling your app using your touchscreen, plus makes it easy to switch between open apps using a Task Switcher window.

The new Android version looks slick, and is responsive and quick over a local Wi-Fi connection. But it’s the iOS version that really stands out, particularly with a number of new enhancements added to version 2.0.

parallels-access-files

Chief among these is the addition of a file browser, which allows you to access your entire file system (including favourites and other links) from the app. You can’t transfer files in this way, but you can move them around your file system and open them directly using apps on your computer.

The iOS version also gains the ability to change the screen resolution to a more comfortable level, plus capture microphone input on your iPad or iPhone. It also comes with the usual promise of better stability and performance.

You can try Parallels Access for free for 14 days, thereafter you’ll need to purchase a subscription -- currently $19.95 nets you 12 month’s access with up to five PCs and Macs.

Parallels Access for iPad and iPhone 2.0 and Parallels Access for Android 2.0 are both available now. iOS 7.0 or Android 4.0.3 or later is required. The apps work with PCs running Windows 7 or later and Macs running OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later.

NVIDIA GeForce 340.43 Beta Drivers Now Available

Arriving just a few weeks after the release of their 337.88 GeForce WHQL driver, NVIDIA’s driver team is back again with a new beta driver. Now at version 340.43 beta, with this latest driver NVIDIA is once again switching driver branches with the launch of their new R340 branch.

Briefly, from a functionality standpoint R340 will be a relatively straightforward driver branch. As the follow-up to R337’s significant DirectX overhaul R340 is far more low-key release that is focused on iteration and minor features, as reflected by NVIDIA’s release highlights and release notes.

To that end there is a single new feature that has been added with R340: x86 Miracast support. NVIDIA has supported Miracast for a couple of years now on Tegra 3 and later SoCs, however Miracast functionality has not been available on the company’s discrete GPU products until now. Beginning with R340 Miracast is available on GeForce products running under Windows 8.1, with NVIDIA presumably tying together their recently-developed GameStream video encoding functionality with Windows 8.1’s built-in Miracast support.

Otherwise for gaming this is a bugfix and profile update release. NVIDIA is classifying this as their Game Ready driver for GRID: Autosport and the Battlefield: Hardline beta, while a few other games including The Elder Scrolls: Online and Watch Dogs have received either new or updated SLI profiles.

Finally, while it doesn’t impact this version in particular, it’s worth reminding everyone that R340 will be the last driver branch to support NVIDIA’s Direct3D 10 generation GPUs (8/9/100/200/300 series). Starting with R343 later this year, support for those GPUs will be dropped as those products are moved to legacy status, only receiving further R340 bugfix drivers on an as-needed basis until April 1st, 2016.

As usual, you can grab the drivers for all current desktop and mobile NVIDIA GPUs over at NVIDIA’s driver download page.

Spanning launches new mobile app for Salesforce admins

SF1-iPhoneMock-01-dashboard

We reported towards the end of last year that cloud backup specialist Spanning had expanded its portfolio of software to cover Salesforce.

It's now taken things a step further by launching a mobile app for Salesforce admins to allow them to monitor and control their backups from anywhere.

Spanning Backup for Salesforce1 Mobile is a companion app for Spanning's successful backup and recovery product delivered within the Salesforce interface which provides automated, daily backups and the ability to restore all of a customer's Salesforce data to its original state from any point in time.

Via the mobile app admins can monitor the status of backups and to be notified of any errors or issues in the status dashboard. They can also track all activities including backups, restores and exports as well as receiving proactive updates for key backup and recovery activities in the Salesforce1 Chatter newsfeed.

"Spanning Backup for Salesforce1 Mobile is the latest example of how our products are fully integrated with Salesforce using their native technologies," says Jeff Erramouspe, CEO of Spanning Cloud Apps. "We know Salesforce admins prefer to work within the environments provided by Salesforce, and the Salesforce1 mobile platform enables us to use our application-centric development approach and deliver a great mobile experience. We’re looking forward to working closely with our customers through this beta program to deliver yet another great product for Salesforce users".

Débuting at the Cloud World Forum in London this week the app will be available in private beta prior to a full launch later this year.

4G LTE Motorola Moto G available now in US

Blue Moto G Motorola Front Shell

In Mid-May, Motorola made the entry-level Moto G Android smartphone even more appealing to consumers on a budget by announcing the still-affordable 4G LTE-toting model. The faster cellular connectivity has been an oft-requested feature as more and more mobile operators roll out compatible networks across the globe.

This enables subscribers to experience faster data speeds, leading to an improved experience when it comes to things like web browsing and video streaming. Costing just $219, the 4G LTE Moto G is now ready to offer these kind of benefits to a large pool of potential buyers, as it goes on sale in US.

The affordable smartphone is available to purchase directly from Motorola, which is carrying it in both black and white trims, with 8 GB of internal storage on board. Unlike the 3G Moto G which is also offered in a 16 GB version, the 4G LTE version is limited to half the capacity. The latter, however, adds a microSD card slot, which allows users to significantly expand it, but does not come with 50 GB of free Google Drive storage for two years.

Motorola offers the 4G LTE Moto G with an included Moto Care Accident Protection, which covers accidental damage for two years (there is a $39 deductible per claim, however, but you also get a replacement while your device is getting fixed).

The 4G LTE Moto G is also available at Amazon, in the same aforementioned configurations, for 99 cents more, at $219.99. Unlike Motorola, the e-commerce giant offers free shipping.

In the UK, Amazon lists the Moto G with 4G LTE at £159.99, with shipments starting on June 30.

The 4G LTE Moto G specs include: 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 720 by 1280; 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor; 2,070 mAh battery; 5 MP main camera with LED flash and 1.3 MP secondary camera, both with 720p video recording; 8GB of internal storage; microSD card slot with support for 32 GB cards; Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS; Glonass; Android 4.4 KitKat. The device comes in at 129.9 x 65.9 x 6.0-11.6 mm and 143 grams.

Don’t get too used to 4G, 5G is on the way

5G mobile

By 2020 it's estimated that there will be around 30 times as much mobile internet traffic as there was in 2010. However, the nature of that traffic will be different thanks to the internet of things bringing a whole host of new devices online.

This of course will create demand for faster networks and the European Commission and South Korea have signed an agreement to pave the way for 5G technology.

Both sides signed a Joint Declaration on Strategic Cooperation in Information Communications Technology (ICT) and 5G, agreeing to deepen discussions on networking and communications.

5G won't just be faster, it will bring new functionality and applications that have high social and economic value. As a result of the agreement both sides will set up a Korea-EU ICT working group. This will prepare for ICT R&D cooperation as well as coordinating relevant policy discussions in the areas of 5G, cloud and internet of things, and eventually to launch jointly funded R&D programs in 2016-2017.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda says, "5G will become the new lifeblood of the digital economy and digital society once it is established. Both Europe and South Korea recognize this. This is the first time ever that public authorities have joined together in this way, with the support of private industry, to push forward the process of standardization. Today's declaration signals our commitment to being global digital leaders".

The EU is set to invest 700 million euros over the next seven years in a 5G public/private partnership program called Horizon 2020, with industry set to invest a further 3 billion.

For a look at how mobile technology has developed from 1G and what 5G might hold for the future take a look at the infographic below.

EU 5G

Image Credit: Grey Carnation / Shutterstock

88 percent of Brits believe their phones are tapped

ListeningA new piece of research has looked into attitudes and beliefs about privacy when it comes to mobile phones, following Vodafone's dramatic revelations about state surveillance and tapping mobile conversations earlier this month.

Predictably enough, the study, conducted by OnePoll and sponsored by Silent Circle (the private comms firm and outfit involved with the Blackphone) found that most people were cynical on the matter. Only 12 percent of the 1,000 UK respondents believed their mobile calls and texts remained private -- in other words, almost nine in ten think they're being listened in on. Indeed, 35 percent admitted they were "careful what they say" during a mobile call, assuming their conversation will be heard by flapping intelligence agency ears somewhere.

One in four said they would actively avoiding making a call on a mobile in order to achieve some privacy.

However, some folks believe that it's fine to listen in on the general publics' phone chatter, with 20 percent saying it was "okay" to do so.

It's not just the state which respondents said was partaking in surveillance, although that was the top suspected source of phone tapping, with 53 percent of respondents citing the government as having the ability to do so. The police came second on 44 percent, followed by mobile networks on 33 percent, and criminals on 28 percent.

Vic Hyder, Revenue Chief for Silent Circle, commented: "What our study confirms is that the wider working population of the UK are aware of the ever-increasing threats to the data we transmit via mobile technology. They know of eavesdropping capabilities, but in many ways are consigned to the abuse -- not just from Government but from criminal scavengers and corporate competition".

He added: "Everyone feels the need for privacy at some time or another, practically each and every day. Whether it's closing the door to your office while negotiating contract details or turning your head in the coffee shop while discussing a family matter. Privacy is appreciated by all, and all should have a place to go to be private -- even in a digital smartphone world with eyes and ears nearly everywhere".

Photo Credit: ollyy/Shutterstock

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

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