Monthly Archives: January 2018

Apple iPhone update due in March

Apple iPhone update due in March

After being accused of deliberately slowing down older devices to encourage consumers to upgrade, Apple confirmed that it does in fact slow down some models as they age, but only because the phones’ battery performance diminishes over time (click here to find out more).

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Alongside reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by £54 – from £79 to £25 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, whose battery needs to be replaced, until December 2018. To address customer concerns, Apple is also set to issue an iOS update in March that will give users the ability to disable the performance ‘throttling’ process that is aimed to improve battery life.

 “We’re going to give people visibility of the health of their battery so it’s very very transparent and if you don’t want [the throttling] you can turn it off.” – Apple CEO, Tim Cook

The new update will also provide you with insights into the health of your  iPhone’s battery.

Huawei launches Honor View 10 smartphone

Huawei launches View 10 smartphone

The new View 10 from Chinese Manufacturer, Huawei, boasts a 5.99” display with the World’s 1st Al processor. The built-in NPU (neural-network processing unit) means the View 10 allocates resources by anticipating your behaviour. For example, the View 10 will learn when you want to launch an app or perform an action, to speed it up, or when features and apps aren’t going to be used to save power. You’ll also be able to take advantage of facial unlock, an al accelerated translator and ‘smart tips’.

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The dual-camera is difficult to criticise, packed with intelligent photography algorithms that can identify 13 different types of scenes and objects. This means your camera settings will automatically adjust, providing you with professional images, irrelevant of your expertise. Not to mention Al motion detection and smart configuration. Powered by a 3,750mAh battery, Huawei claims the View 10 can be used for 5.5 hours of gaming, 19 hours of video playback, 160 hours of music playback, 21 hours of 4G browsing, or 23 hours of 3G talk. Better yet, the View 10 runs on the latest version of Android, 8.0 Oreo.

Spec overview

  • 5.99″ display
  • 20MP + 16MP dual-lens rear camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 6GB RAM
  • 3,750mAh battery with supercharge
  • 128GB storage

How does the View 10 compare?

The only improvement that would take Huawei’s flagship up a notch would be water resistance, a feature that is near becoming a staple specification in the smartphone market, particularly after being introduced in the Apple iPhone 7 in 2016. Despite the inability to withstand rainier weathers, the View 10 offers profound value for money for a flagship device, with prices starting from just £499 SIM free. For more information on the View 10, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager on 01252 854352 or email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, we are always more than happy to help!

All Samsung products will be IoT enabled by 2020

All Samsung products will be IoT enabled by 2020

Samsung has announced that all it’s products, from mobile devices to Samsung fridges, will be IoT (Internet of Things) enabled by 2020. IoT allows objects to be connected to the internet, be recognised by other devices and collect and exchange data. Smart Home is arguably the most popular IoT application, with Amazon Echo being a prime example of an IoT enabled device.

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Wearables are another example of IoT in action, from the Apple iWatch to Fitbit. Samsung’s IoT plans will allow them to gather a wide range of data from their users, to provide a deeper understanding of how their products are used and consequently how they can be developed to offer a better user experience. Further benefits of IoT include communication between you and your devices. For example, the Samsung fridge could have the ability to notify you when food will go out of date or when the milk’s running low.

If you’re a business considering upgrading the technology you use, we offer a alternative to IoT, Machine to Machine technology (M2M). M2M is an exchange of data between a connected device and a central system that monitors or controls that device. It allows machines to communicate directly with each other to convey information.

How can M2M help your business?

With M2M you can take advantage of real-time data, remote monitoring and analytics. For example, receive information on:

✓ How a remote asset in your business is performing, even down to the detail of it’s temperature and minimise the need for routine maintenance visits. But better yet, catch problems before they could affect your customers.

“If a machine or device can report back that it has broken down or that it needs refilling, then that saves, for example, a field-force employee driving around checking on these things. Because of the improved visibility, they only need to go where the attention is needed. That has a hard ROI for operations.” – Telsyte senior analyst.

✓ Where something is, allowing you to recover lost assets and prevent thefts.

Overall, M2M can help you increase profitably, launch new products and services, improve your customer relations and allow your business to become more agile and responsive. We offer M2M technology via dedicated sims that will connect over mobile networks. To find out more, please get in touch via sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352.

Sony announces XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2

Sony announces XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2

Sony announced it’s latest devices, the XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2 at the CES 2018, although official launch dates and prepaid prices are yet to be confirmed. The XA2 is the lightest of all three models, weighing just 171 grams. The XA2 features a 5.2″ display, 0.8″ smaller than the XA2 Ultra. Both the XA2 and it’s larger counterpart are encased in Gorilla Glass and housed in aluminum bands. Both devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 processor, offer 4GB of RAM and feature a 23MP rear camera. The 23MP camera features Sony’s Exmor RS 1/2.3 aperture lens, which boasts ISO sensitivity to 12,800 for low-light photography.

Beyond a larger display, the key differences between the two devices are the internal storage options and the battery size. The XA2 Ultra is ideal for those needing a lot of space with 32 or 64GB available and expandable by 256GB via the microSD slot. The XA2 on the other hand offers only 32GB of internal memory but can be expanded by a further 256GB. The battery size is also larger with the XA2 Ultra sporting a 3,580mAh charge capacity, compared to the 3,300mAh battery featured in the XA2.

L2

Finally, the L2 is Sony’s latest budget smartphone. Featuring a 5.5″ HD display, the L2 offers a nice medium between the XA2 and XA2 Ultra, however is more suited to those interested in a middle-of-the-road model. Packing reasonable specs, the L2 offers 3GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, 12MP rear camera and 8MP front snapper. Similarly to the XA2 however, the L2 offers 32GB of internal storage and packs a pretty powerful 3,300mAh battery. 

L2

The battery power is just one of many improvements since the L1, which featured a 2620mAh battery. Further upgrades include 1GB more of RAM, an increase in internal storage by 16MB and the introduction of a fingerprint sensor for extra security. The only disappointment however is the software, with the L2 being released with Android 7 Nougat, rather than the newer Android Oreo 8, as featured in the XA2 and XA2 Ultra. Value for money for all the new devices however will be determined when Sony reveals their pricing. Check back at the CMM blog for more future updates.

How to keep your device protected against Meltdown and Spectre

Panic over the security holes named ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ that have the potential to affect devices powered by Intel, AMD or AMD processors has been widespread. These chips speed up your device’s performance by assuming what you’ll do next, based on previous usage, to execute the action in advance. The ‘hole’ is that hackers could use this common feature to steal private data such as passwords.

These security issues apply to all modern processors and unfortunately affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. The good news? Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft have confirmed that there have been no known cases of either Meltdown or Spectre impacting customers.

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“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.” – Apple

 “We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities has been used to attack our customers.” – Microsoft

Since learning of the security issues, industry leaders have been working hard to overcome the potential loopholes. For customer protection, information of Meltdown and Spectre was kept under wraps until preventative measures were available to avoid giving hackers a roadmap. So far, Intel has issued updates for nearly 90% of processor products introduced within the past five years, but a timetable for older devices is yet to be confirmed.

How to stay protected – Apple users

Apple has released a software update to help protect users from Spectre and Meltdown. We highly recommend you update your devices as soon as possible. Here’s how…

  • On iOS, go to Settings, General then Software Update, then tap Download and Install.
  • On MacOS, open the App Store and click Updates in the App Store toolbar, then use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
  • On Apple TV, go to Settings, System, then Software Updates. Select Update Software, then select Download and Install. After the update downloads, your Apple TV will restart and prepare the update.
  • Apple watch is not affected by the issue.

It is also recommended that any apps are only downloaded from the iOS App store, from trusted sources.

How to stay protected – Android users

On January 5th 2018, Google issued an update to protect Android devices. All Google-branded phones should have automatically downloaded the update so you just need to install it. For other Android devices, head to Settings. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap ‘About device‘ > ‘System updates‘ > ‘Check for update‘ > Tap ‘OK‘ if asked to confirm > Wait for your device to check for updates > Tap ‘Download‘ or ‘Yes‘ if an update is available.

Google Chrome

The patch for Chrome will be installed on January 23rd and some Chromebooks had a mitigation in its OS 63, released in December. If you do not want to wait, an experimental feature from Google called Site Isolation can help in the meantime. This feature makes it harder for malicious websites to access data from other websites you are looking at. To use this feature on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS or Android copy and paste chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process into the URL in Chrome. Click ‘Strict Site Isolation‘ and then press ‘Enable‘. Save your work and then press ‘Relaunch now‘.

Microsoft Windows 10

There is already a patch available for Windows 10 which will automatically be applied, a patch for older operating systems will follow shortly.

Cloud Services

Major cloud services aimed at business customers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure have already been patched.

Please note

It’s also worth remembering that you’re safe unless hackers can infiltrate your system, so always be wary of unexpected emails or clicking links on pop-up webpages. We recommend you check all your devices for security updates and install them as soon as possible.  We understand you may have concerns, if you have any questions or need support updating your software, you can get in touch via support@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, call us on 01252 854352 or send us a message on live chat. We are always more than happy to help!

Samsung expected to unveil three creative projects at CES 2018

Samsung will unveil three creative projects at CES 2018

Samsung has announced it will unveil three creative projects at CES 2018 in Las Vegas to “explore new business opportunities”. The innovative projects have been in development by it’s Creative Lab programme since December 2012.

“Since launching five years ago, our C-Lab program has gained exciting momentum across Samsung, helping foster an innovation culture, and providing avenue for our creative, talented employees to pursue innovative new projects. We will continuously introduce innovative projects through our C-Lab program.” – Jaiil Lee, Samsung Electronics vice president and head of the creativity and innovation centre.

The three projects include ‘S-Ray’ – also known as Sound Ray, a portable directional speaker made smaller and lighter than conventional directional speakers, that allows you to listen to music without disturbing those around you.

The second project is ‘GoBreath’, a portable device and app that functions as a recovery solution for people who have experienced lung damage and suffer from postoperative pulmonary complications after general anaesthesia.  GoBreath also offers a web and cloud service for doctors to monitor patient recovery progress, as well as provide reminders to practice.

Finally, Relúmĭno is a visual aid app designed to help people with low vision. The name itself originates from the Latin meaning ‘to return back the light’.  The app uses Gear VR to assist visually-impaired people by enhancing their vision to overcome everyday challenges. Building on that concept, Samsung’s Creative Lab built Relúmĭno glasses to utilize the technology more comfortably and discreetly. Samsung’s aim was to offer an affordable option for the visually impaired.