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Samsung Now Top Mobile Phone Manufacturer in the U.S.

By on Dec 8, 2012 in Cell Phones |

Smartphones have become must-have devices for people all across the world. Regardless of age or industry, everyone wants one, and covets the latest technology even before it comes out. A large part of that is due to Apple, which has successfully built a sub-culture of techie fans who wait on every new product launch. And the iPhone has been the undisputed king of all smartphones for quite some time now. It’s sleek, intuitive, and the iOS operating system is the go-to for app designers all over the world. But Apple’s stranglehold on the mobile market has been weakening, and according to a recent survey Apple may no longer be #1 in mobile phone manufacturing in the United States. Based on numbers from the previous quarter as reported by ComScore, South Korea’s Samsung has knocked Apple out of the top spot. The numbers covered the third quarter of 2012, and they paint a picture of a battle that wasn’t even that close. Samsung, who makes the immensely popular Galaxy S3, enjoyed a 26.3% market share on mobile phones. That’s up from the 25.6% market share Samsung held during the previous quarter. By comparison, Apple held only 17.8% of the market. That’s still up fully 1.5% from the last quarter, but obviously falls short of Samsung’s performance. LG, another manufacturer based out of South Korea came in third, with a 17.6% market share. Motorola lagged behind in fourth place, with an 11% market share. One significant reason for the turnaround is the growing popularity of Android, the operating system designed by Google that now runs in all Samsung devices and many others as well. 53.6% of all phones sold run on the Android operating system. That’s up 1.4% from the previous quarter. Apple’s operating system iOS stood strong with a 34.3% market share. That still puts it second out of all operating systems on the market. But it’s share rose only .9%, so it seems to be losing significant ground on Android. Blackberry was one of the early power players in the smartphone market. Their devices were looked at as professional grade, and were the company phone of choice for most major corporations. But Blackberry is slipping fast. Over this same period of time, Blackberry’s market share dropped from 9.5% all the way down to 7.5%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, which just came out late this fall came in at 3.2% market share, down .4% from it’s initial release. That’s about the best that could be expected, given the massive lead and foothold Android and iOS devices currently enjoy. But the fact that it’s already slipping so close to its initial release is troubling. All told, more than 121 million people in the United States own a smartphone. That’s close to 52% of the entire mobile phone market, an incredible standing given the short amount of time smartphones have been available and affordable to the general public. That’s an awful lot of cell phone insurance, app downloads and accessories sold. Given recent trends, Apple isn’t in any danger of falling further. But unless they come up with something new to distinguish themselves, Samsung’s popular and effective devices may help them extend their...

DrawMD Gets Doctors and Patients on the Same Page

By on Nov 15, 2012 in Cell Phones |

There is often a disconnect between doctors and patients when it comes to explaining diagnoses and procedures. This is likely due to the fact that the average person has only a limited understanding of human anatomy and the inner workings of the body. Even if doctors are able to avoid technical jargon and break down information for the layman, the deeper issue is that patients may have a hard time grasping the elements of a particular ailment or medical treatment when they don’t totally (or even remotely) understand the body part or system they’re dealing with. For example, a doctor describing placing a stent in an artery to keep the passage open might first have to discuss the anatomy of the heart, how it functions, how blockages develop, and the steps involved in an angioplasty before he finally gets to the necessity for a stent and how the process of placing it will occur. Luckily, there are mobile tools that can make every doctor’s job (and every patient’s visit) a little more productive: the DrawMD series falls into this category. As you may have guessed, the handy applications (created by two surgeons for the DrawMD series) allow doctors to use their tablets as a digital interface that provides patients with graphic images to help explain their conditions and/or treatments. These apps, designed for use with the iPad, are free to download and they offer simple yet extremely useful features for the doctor in need of quick visual aids in the clinical setting. There are ten different apps in the series that follow a familiar format, and they include Pediatrics, Female Pelvic Surgery, OBGYN, Urology, ENT, Anesthesia & Critical Care, General Surgery, Cardiology, Vascular, and Orthopedics. So plenty of doctors will find at least one that applies to their particular needs. And each is extremely user-friendly, providing for basic functionality with a few handy extras. For example, doctors can peruse a variety of color images to begin with, including body parts, open diagrams, and cutaways meant to give them a basis for discussion. Suppose, for example, that a patient is dealing with a cyst on her ovary. An image of the female reproductive system could provide a good starting place for the discussion. From there, doctors can pull images from a library of stamps (drag, flip, and resize as needed) to lay over the background anatomy graphic, customizing the diagram to illustrate the patient’s particular circumstances. As expected, there is also a freehand draw feature for instances when stamps won’t do the trick. As a nice bonus, users may also import images any time the app doesn’t have quite what they’re looking for. Of course, you may also want to save a copy for the patient file so that you can refresh your memory about what was discussed. Or the patient might ask to take a copy home. The app allows for saving, printing (by various means, including Printopia and AirPrint), and exporting to PDF. So whether the sum extent of your medical knowledge comes from Connecticut CNA classes or you happen to hold a specialized doctorate degree in a particular medical field, the apps in the DrawMD series can help you to connect with patients and ensure that they understand exactly what is happening with their bodies. Even though the apps are free, the functionality is...

Auto and Technology Companies Work to Bring the Web to Your Car

By on Nov 2, 2012 in Cell Phones |

There is no question that innovations in technology impact our lives in nearly every aspect. But there may not have ever been a more profoundly affecting technology than the internet. Now well into its second decade of prevalent consumer usage, the internet has forever changed how people forge new relationships, connect with friends and family, receive their news, learn about the world and express themselves. The practical applications are almost endless, and automotive manufacturers have been hard at work looking for new and better ways to integrate the internet within their latest models. For quite some time that was looked at as close to impossible, as new cars stay on the road far longer than internet browsers remain relevant. How could you embed wireless communication within a car only to watch it become obsolete a mere two or three years later? But as smartphone technology has become more advanced manufacturers are finding ways around these issues, and soon Americans can expect most cars on the market to roll off the lot web-enabled. The practical workings of cars take quite some time to change. The combustion engine has been the standard without much adjustment for decades upon decades, and it hasn’t been until the recent success of hybrid and electric vehicles that a practical alternative gained any sort of traction. And it is those hybrid vehicles that lead the way. Determining your vehicle’s range is no longer a question of staring at the needle on the gas gauge, but is now a high tech system tied into data communications. The same goes for the speedometer, which has transformed from a mechanical gauge to a series of sensors within the wheels that track speed down to decimal points. And while none of that has translated into the sort of app-based internet focus most people rely on their cellphones for, that seems about to change. According to an executive from GM who recently spoke at San Francisco’s MusicTech Summit, software interaction will be a key piece of the driving experience in far less than a decade. So how could this app integration progress? One concept car recently unveiled to the industry actually runs with a tablet device docked on the dashboard, which controls everything from ignition to GPS navigation. But the key is figuring out how elements such as this can be integrated without increasing instances of driver distraction. Texting while driving has become a deadly, all too common occurrence, so what would happen if drivers had the whole internet at their fingertips? Programmers are already looking at this problem, and point to data about the vehicle that can be considered by the interface. For example, if the vehicle’s computer system can read that the brake is not engaged and the transmission has been switched into drive, it could freeze touchscreen access. Ford is focusing on voice-control, and automating Foursquare check-ins based on GPS data automatically uploaded. Other tech experts point to the upcoming release of web programming language HTML5 as the key. Programmers expect HTML5 will simplify the process of transferring apps from one device to another, such as from a desktop computer to a smartphone, and then straight into an automobile. Industry leaders at Cisco Systems feel the evolutionary leap will come from two of their new projects, one that can securely and wirelessly connect vehicles, and another than can link entire fleets of cars for business management purposes. In any case, licensing and insuring regulations will probably have to change. The safety and security of internet-wired automobiles will have to be confirmed before Cheapcarinsurance.net will offer any drivers or companies their standard...

Popular Music App Shazam Expands Into TV Market

By on Sep 23, 2012 in Cell Phones |

If the iPod and digital music sales didn’t sound the death knell for CDs and record stores, music apps are doing their best to finish the job. There are so many inexpensive options for music fans to enjoy, each promising access to a wide range of content. You’ve got digital radio stations that stream free music around the clock, membership services that give you access to an almost endless catalogue of music for a low monthly fee, and all of it seamlessly embedded in your smartphone, tablet and car dashboard. Shazam has long distinguished itself by giving users a more powerful tool to discover music and interact with artists. Download the app and ‘tag’ a song by holding your device near a speaker where it is playing, and you get full information about the song, the band and where it can be purchased. Now Shazam is changing the game by expanding that popular app into the world of television. The Shazam for TV app will work very much like their music offering, which should appease its more than 250 million regular users. Simply ‘tag’ a show that’s playing on television and a whole range of information pops up on your mobile device. You’ll receive a still from the show, the full title and cast information, details about the show’s soundtrack, and even statistics if it’s a sports broadcast. If you need more information, it will also provide links to Wikipedia and IMDb, and if you want to interact with the show or keep tabs on any updates from the creators you’ll have links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. It does seem like a huge shift for the company. They’ve only focused on music to this point, and done so with huge success. But clearly Shazam has a larger vision in mind, and the Shazam for TV app is only the first step. Shazam’s Chief Revenue Office, Doug Garland spoke to the press about this very issue. According to his statement, the goal is a complete transition, widening the focus from music to include any and all media. Shazam has been working on the TV upgrade for nearly two years, and early reports are that it works as advertised. In a public test it was able to pick up audio and video information from shows on MTV, CNN and TeenNick seamlessly, and Mr. Garland promises that users can expect that from almost any show on television. But how is that even possible? In Shazam’s world, connections with the networks and advertisers are more integral than any amount of technological know-how. After all, Shazam isn’t offering new information, but collating details that can be found elsewhere, and those details involve copyrighted information. It can only work with the networks’ support, and it seems Shazam enjoys significant leeway in that area. The company’s real strength is creating a bridge between those networks, their advertisers and the common man. They have relationships with a ton of major international brands. In fact, more than half of the ads that aired during the 2012 Super Bowl were placed by companies Shazam is connected with. With almost $190 billion spent each year on advertising, it becomes very clear what the end game is. Users could Shazam television ads and instantly connect with sales representatives. It’s a much deeper, more immediate interaction, and it makes viewers, advertisers and networks all potential customers for Shazam. Compare this to the old compact disc days, when quality replication authoring services were the connection between labels and retailers. The scope of Shazam’s potential market is off the charts. Regardless of how television transforms from here on out, the companies that master interaction between brands, content distributors and viewers will rule. And Shazam for TV guarantees this company will be a part of that conversation for years to...

How to Improve Your Mobile Phone Signal

By on Aug 1, 2012 in Cell Phones |

Smart phones, such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, are more powerful than ever. They have better screens, better ringtones, better apps, better functionality, better memory and better cameras than any of their predecessors. With each generation of phone that is introduced, the technology just gets better. However, one element of mobile technology that doesn’t seem to improve is signal strength; which considering that mobiles phones are well, phones, it seems daft that one of the key features of a phone, the signal, has been underappreciated and unenhanced for such a long time. But what can you do to boost your mobile phone signal strength? Well in all honesty not a great deal. One of the few tricks you can do with the phone itself to optimise signal is to keep it as fully-charged as possible, as this allows the phone to keep searching for a signal to the best of its ability. However, keeping your phone fully-charged all the time is not only impractical, but it can also damage your phone battery in the long term. So what other options are there? One solution which is causing quite a few ripples in the accessories market is the Pong Anti-Radiation case, which not only protects users from potentially harmfully electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) that is emitted from phones, but it also manages to boost your mobile phone signal as well as your phone’s battery life.  So you can see why it is causing such a stir. The Pong case works by redirecting emitted radiation away from the users head, which is obviously good for the users’ health; but also benefits the users’ phone signal, as this allows the radiation to communicate with cell towers more effectively and directly – as it isn’t wasting energy radiating the user! To find out more about anti-radiation iPad and iPhone cases from Pong, visit Pong UK, the official UK distributor of Pong cases....

HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio

By on Nov 3, 2011 in Cell Phones, Gadgets |

HTC has a penchant for filling the world with every kind of smartphone and the new Sensation XE is adding to the company’s wide range of phones. The Beats Audio headphones powered device is one that is very similar in shape and style to the original, however it adds the audio element to the phone. The Sensation XE looks exactly like the older Sensation, aside from a number of differences that make this a more attractive mobile phone contract. The XE is a slightly different colour from the original — this device is a black colour and comes with a red livery on the front and back in the shape of the beats logo and the earpiece. This makes it look that bit meaner than other devices, while branding it with the hip American label. The phone also comes with a new and a larger processor. Though the normal Sensation came with a large 1.2GHz dual core chip, the Sensation XE comes with a huge 1.5GHz dual core processor — nearly the size of some laptops. This huge processor means the phone can go about its business without any sort of glimmer of distraction and just powers on through all task on offer. The 1GB of RAM is also quite apt for the device and means reserve of power unseen in any phone before. The phone comes with some software differences too. The most obvious of which is the addition of Beats Audio. This software processes the music you listen to and gives it the Beats headphones experience — this feature only works with Beats headphones and not others. The phone also gets the new Sensations’ Sense 3.5, which offers a few tweaks here and there on the original Sense and adds to the Android 2.3 in the device. The screen on the device is the same as on the original Sensation a 4.3inch qHD screen with great abilities inside but not so great abilities in outside light. The Beats mode works for movies and we found it extremely favourable when looking at movies from the HTC streaming app for Movies – Watch on the device. Just like the normal Sensation, the Beats version has an 8mp camera, which can easily shoot 1080p video and really looks excellent on the screen. Overall the Beats Sensation XE, offers more than the original by a long way and we have no hesitation in recommending it. Another great thing about the Sensation XE is that you can get this phone with free gifts like laptops and TVs — many of these cost even more than the phone itself! This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...