10 Smartphone Tips Every iPhone and Android Owner Needs To Know

Some of the most useful smartphone features are hidden away in your settings menu, which means you might not have tried them out yet. To help you get more from your mobile, we’ve rounded up 10 need-to-know tips. Whether you’re using an Apple iPhone or an Android smartphone, you can easily configure your gadget so that it bats away scam texts or helps you reduce your screen time.

If you want to make better use of your phone, have a look at our advice on dealing with distractions, improving usability and keeping your personal information secure. Which? Best Buy mobile phones – if you’re due an upgrade, consult our expert reviews to see which phones have aced our tests Smartphone tips for iOS and Android

1. Silence annoying notifications

If you have lots of different apps installed on your smartphone, it might be beeping and buzzing more often than you’d like. To stop your phone lighting up with notifications every hour of the day, take a trip to settings and decide which app alerts are genuinely important. Turn off notifications on iOS – Go to Settings > Notifications to show the list of apps. Click on each app to turn off notifications and change the alert settings. Turn off notifications on Android – Open the Settings app, go to Apps & notifications > Notifications to take control.

2. Use Do Not Disturb mode for some peace and quiet

With Do Not Disturb turned on, you can temporarily disable notifications at specific times. You can still allow calls from certain numbers even while it’s enabled, or have it turn on automatically when you’re driving. Turn on Do Not Disturb on iOS – Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and turn on or off and find other settings. Turn on Do Not Disturb on Android – Open Settings, then go to Apps & notifications > Notifications > Advanced. Tap on Do Not Disturb to get started.

3. Cut down on your screen time

With many of us still working from home, it can be hard to mentally switch off after a long day of work. If you’re worried about how much time you’re spending on your phone, you can track your app usage. Parents might also want to use this feature, also known as ‘Digital Wellbeing’, to monitor how often their little one uses their own smartphone. Track screen time on iOS – Go to Settings > Screen Time to see daily and weekly use tallies, time on apps and even set a screen time passcode for children’s devices. Track screen time on Android – Open the Settings app and select Digital Wellbeing to set time limits or use tracking.

4. Adjust screen brightness to protect your eyes in low light

Most modern smartphones now have a feature that can reduce levels of blue light thought to interfere with sleep. If you’re using your smartphone in a dimly lit room, you might want to give it a try. Adjust brightness on iOS – Go to Settings > Display & Brightness to adjust brightness, light and dark screen, background and night-time settings. Adjust brightness on Android – Open the Settings app and tap Display for brightness levels, night settings and adaptive mode that automatically adjusts the screen to your surroundings. If you just want to adjust brightness, pull down the notification shade and slide the bar at the top.

5. Increase text size and strength

If you’re straining your eyes to read from your smartphone screen, you can increase text size in just a couple of taps. Increase text size on iOS – Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and Text Size to adjust the size, turn on Bold Text settings and adjust the display to zoomed, to enlarge text and app display size. Increase text size on Android – Open the Settings app, then select Display to adjust font size.

6. Delete apps and organize apps into folders

Setting aside some time to tidy up your smartphone can make it easier to find your most used apps. We suggest you try a bit of digital housekeeping to remove unused apps (they take up space on your phone) and organise the apps that you’re keeping into labelled folders. Delete apps on iOS – Hold down the app’s icon on your home screen and click Delete App to remove or Edit Home Screen to remove multiple apps, or hold and drag into a folder. Delete apps on Android – Click and hold on an app’s icon and go to App Info > Uninstall.

7. Block unwanted contacts and nuisance calls

Suffering from a constant barrage of phishing texts or spam phone calls? Blocking these numbers is straightforward and it’ll stop you from being tricked into handing over personal information. Block numbers on iOS – Click the Phone app, go to Recent and press the i icon on the right. Scroll down and click Block this Caller. Block numbers on Android – Open the Phone app and select Recent. Hold on the number and from the pop-up menu, choose Block/ Report Spam.

8. Decide which apps can access your location

Location tracking is vital for GPS and mapping, but not every app needs to use it. In fact, if you download an app that requests unusual permissions considering its primary function, that’s a red flag. For example, a calculator app shouldn’t want access to your camera. You can allow an app one-off access to your location later if it needs it. To manage location settings, follow these steps: Location settings on iOS – Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to toggle GPS, Bluetooth, wi-fi hotspot and mobile tower tracking. For individual apps, select an app and set the permission. Location settings on Android – Open the Settings app and select Location > App permission to review and adjust the permission status for each installed app.

9. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your online accounts

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is essentially an extra layer of security for your online accounts. It usually means that a unique code is sent to your phone, which you then enter after your password to confirm it’s you. Use two-factor authentication on iOS – Go to Settings and select your name > Password & Security to turn 2FA on or off. Use two-factor authentication on Android – Go to your Google Account settings at myaccount.google.com > Security. Select Google > 2-Step Verification, click On and follow the steps. For more details, see our guide: What is two-factor authentication and should you use it?

10. Make an emergency call

If you haven’t configured your emergency call settings, there’s no time like the present. Doing so means you can quickly contact the emergency services without having to flick through your contacts. Emergency calls on iOS – Go to Settings > Emergency SOS to turn on or off Auto Call. In an emergency, press the sleep/wake button five times to call an emergency number automatically, or after countdown, depending on Auto Call setting. Emergency calls on Android – Hold down the power button and from the menu, click Emergency > Emergency Information to add contacts and any relevant health information.

By Rosalyn Page

Source: 10 smartphone tips every iPhone and Android owner needs to know – Which? News

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Critics:

In mobile phones released since the second half of the 2010s, operational life span commonly is limited by built-in batteries which are not designed interchangeable. The life expectancy of batteries depends on usage intensity of the powered device, where activity (longer usage) and tasks demanding more energy expire the battery earlier.

Lithium-ion and Lithium-polymer batteries, those commonly powering portable electronics, additionally wear down more from fuller charge and deeper discharge cycles, and when unused for an extended amount of time while depleted, where self-discharging may lead to a harmful depth of discharge.

The functional life span of mobile phones may be limited by lack of software update support, such as deprecation of TLS cipher suites by certificate authority with no official patches provided for earlier devices.

See also

Uber, Facebook, Instagram and Other Apps That are Slowly Killing Your Smartphone

Uber, Facebook, Instagram and other apps that are slowly killing your smartphone

What is the first thing you do when you launch a new smartphone ? Download all the apps you need, of course. After a few hours (or days) downloading applications, your entry menu ends up covered in colorful squares, giving you the satisfaction that you have everything: apps for social networks, transport, dating, online commerce, for video conferencing and fitness, for name the most popular.

However, recent research found that many of them are slowly killing your smartphone. The pCloud company, which offers cloud storage services, conducted a study to discover which applications are most demanding for our mobile devices.

The research looked at 100 of the most popular apps based on three criteria: the features each app uses (such as location or camera), the battery consumption, and whether dark mode is available. Thus they found which of these not only drain the battery of our phone, they also occupy the most memory and make it slower.

These are the apps classified as ‘smartphone killers’

According to the study, the Fitbit and Verizon apps turned out to be the biggest ‘smartphone killers. Both allow 14 of the 16 available functions to run in the background, including the four most demanding: camera, location, microphone and WiFi connection. This earned them the highest score in the study: 92.31%.

Of the 20 most demanding applications for mobile battery, 6 are social networks . Facebook , Instagram , Snapchat , Youtube , WhatsApp, and LinkedIn allow 11 functions to run in the background, such as photos, WiFi, location, and microphone. Of these, only IG allows dark mode to save up to 30% battery, just like Twitter , which did not enter the top 20.

Dating apps Tinder , Bumble and Grinder account for 15% of the top 20 most demanding apps. On average, they allow 11 functions to run in the background and none have a dark mode.

In terms of the amount of memory they require, travel and transportation apps dominated the list. The United Airlines app is the one that consumes the most storage on the phone, as it requires 437.8 MB of space. Lyft follows with 325.1 MB and then Uber , which occupies 299.6 MB.

Among the video conferencing apps, Microsoft Teams is the one that consumes the most memory, occupying 232.2 MB of space. In comparison, Zoom only requires 82.1 MB and Skype 111.2 MB.

The 20 apps that wear out your phone the most

The top 20 of the most demanding applications, based on the functions they execute and all the activity they generate, was as follows:

  1. Fitbit – 92%
  2. Verizon – 92%
  3. Uber – 87%
  4. Skype – 87%
  5. Facebook – 82%
  6. AirB & B – 82%
  7. BIGO LIVE – 82%
  8. Instagram – 79%
  9. Tinder – 77%
  10. Bumble – 77%
  11. Snapchat – 77%
  12. WhatsApp – 77%
  13. Zoom – 77%
  14. YouTube – 77%
  15. Booking – 77%
  16. Amazon – 77%
  17. Telegram – 77%
  18. Grinder – 72%
  19. Likke – 72%
  20. LinkedIn – 72%

Among the 50 applications that kill the battery and memory of the phone are also Twitter (no. 25), Shazam (30), Shein (31), Spotify (32), Pinterest (37), Amazon Prime (38), Netflix (40), TikTok (41), Duolingo (44) and Uber Eats (50).

If you are already considering doing a general cleaning of apps, you can consult the complete list here .

By: Entrepreneur en Español / Entrepreneur Staff

Source: Uber, Facebook, Instagram and other apps that are slowly killing your smartphone

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Our smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives that we can’t imagine life without it. Just like any object, phones are also subjected to wear and tear as well as our mishandling. Here are some things that you should stop if you want to prolong your phone’s life.

Draining your phone’s battery
Most smartphones have lithium-ion batteries with limited life cycles. If you’re constantly draining your phone to 1% before charging, it reduces the battery’s life cycles.

Exposing your phone to drastic temperatures
We understand that your phone can’t be left in your bag or pocket all the time. However, don’t leave it out in temperatures below 0 and above 35 degrees celsius as permanent damages may be done to the handset.

Maxing out your storage
Your phone needs extra storage space in order for the operating system to continue functioning. Maxing out your storage causes your phone to lag or crash. Avoid this by backing up your phone’s content regularly to either your computer or cloud storage.

Leaving your phone in the shower
Doesn’t a nice hot shower feels good at the end of the day? Not so much for your phone. Steam can seep into your phone and condense into water, which may short circuit the hardware.

Constantly dropping your phone
No matter how good the protective casing your phone is in, dropping it constantly will affect its internal hardware. Be thankful if it’s just a cracked screen; more often than not, the damages are more serious than that.

Too many background apps
Is it really necessary to keep Candy Crush, Facebook, Instagram, Calendar and Whatsapp all opened at the same time? This causes your phone to dedicate extra RAM to these apps and drains your battery.

Not turning your phone off
Like humans, your phone also needs a break once in a while. Leaving it on 24/7 can shorten the lifespan of the battery and decrease its performance.

Overnight charging
Most smartphones are clever enough to cut off the power supply to the battery once it’s fully charged. However, lithium-ion batteries don’t fare well against high heats. When you leave your phone plugged in overnight, especially with the casing on, overheating can occur and decrease the battery life.

Relying on cellular data
If you’re only using 3G/4G for internet connectivity, think again. Connecting to Wi-Fi consumes less energy than data network which helps make your battery lasts longer.

Cleaning your phone with household products
There’s a reason why cleaning agents exist specifically for phones. The chemicals in your household bleach or detergent can damage the protective layer often found on your phone’s screen.

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Why 5G Is Going to Transform Our Approach to Data Processing

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It’s easy to forget what communications life was like before 4G. Since its introduction around 2010, mobile subscribers using 4G have enjoyed excellent connectivity. They can stream music, videos and movies, even while conducting video chats.

But over the next few years, the rollout of 5G networks around the world will usher in exciting capabilities that are much more advanced and promise to boost commerce. In its report entitled “Study on Socio-Economic Benefits of 5G Services Provided in mmWave Bands,” the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, predicts that “by 2034, 5G can be expected to generate US$2 trillion in GDP globally and US$588 billion in tax revenue.” All industries—agriculture, mining, financial services, public services, manufacturing and more—are expected to benefit.

Advanced capabilities

Due to 5G’s higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as its lower latency, this next-generation network is expected to enable innovative software for a range of advanced applications. The GSMA identifies several key use cases, including:

  • Remote object manipulation, which lets surgeons perform microscopic surgery from remote locations
  • Industrial automation, which allows artificial intelligence (AI)- and machine learning (ML)-enabled robots to collaborate to improve production line efficiency using data analytics
  • Virtual and augmented reality, which enables workers to learn how to operate new equipment using holograms rather than physical equipment
  • Next-generation transport connectivity, which can lead to improved commute times and reduced pollution through use of streaming and real-time data to optimize travel routes

Software-defined infrastructure drives 5G

These services won’t appear overnight. Communications service providers (CSPs) will continue to support existing networks while they invest in new infrastructure to support 5G.

In a recent blog, Jean-Pierre Brulard, VMware senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), writes: “For CSPs, it is a major undertaking, which is why it is likely that rather than a pure 5G network, the majority of people will see a blended approach, where 4G is available to deliver basic services, and 5G introduced for specific tasks. It is therefore critical [for CSPs] to have what’s known as the telco cloud. This is software-defined technology that supports both current 4G and lays the groundwork for 5G.”

The telco cloud uses a common architecture that simplifies a CSP’s infrastructure so it can be a foundation for deploying new services. CSPs use the telco cloud to connect their existing environments with private, edge and public networks.

The telco cloud is based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which streamlines the design and deployment of networking services and automates their operation. VMware helps CSPs like Vodafone create new revenue streams, open new industry opportunities, drive down costs and improve overall customer satisfaction by enabling them to become nimbler and more responsive.

VMware provides an optimal infrastructure for all telco applications and services: custom built, packaged, virtualized, cloud native and software as a service (SaaS). With this infrastructure, CSPs can deliver those applications securely to any endpoint across a telco-distributed cloud, including private and public cloud, branch/edge, micro data center, gateway or end user.

5G creates new possibilities for enterprises

Becoming 5G-ready isn’t an opportunity only for CSPs. 5G provides huge possibilities for businesses to deliver new services and applications, allowing them to reimagine how they engage with customers. Imagine restaurants delivering freshly prepared food via drones, for example.

changelly5According to Brulard: “With 5G, enterprises can access the levels and speeds of connectivity they need to take advantage of the game-changing technologies—such as Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and AI—that are going to shape the next stage of the digital revolution.”

Processing IoT and AI in an accelerated 5G world means computing, storage and networking need to be done closer to the end user, an approach that is poles apart from the traditional data center method of data processing. The voluminous amount of real-time data generated by the IoT and AI makes it inefficient to stream to a cloud or data center for processing.

A more efficient solution is to implement edge computing, which processes data closer to where it is generated. VMware EdgeTM, for example, is a software-defined edge platform that enables providers and IT teams to run applications and analytics anywhere, with consistent infrastructure and operations from edge to cloud. Organizations can remotely manage, monitor and secure thousands of locations and millions of diverse devices. This helps to ensure the rapid delivery of the latest apps, containers and infrastructure updates via granular over-the-air lifecycle management.

Such a robust infrastructure will help CSPs and businesses fulfill 5G’s potential to significantly enhance quality of life. 5G can lead to better, accelerated access to healthcare and education, and people can enjoy safer driving conditions and reduced pollution, among other digitally fueled benefits.

By VMware

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Forget Google—Huawei Plans A Killer New Update To Make Millions Switch Phones

This has been a great week for Huawei. It started with the news that it had pulled a masterstroke, securing Here mapping technologies for its phones, a genuine Google Maps alternative. Then came the news that its main Chinese rival in key overseas markets, Xiaomi, was allegedly spying on its users. And finally the smartphone shipment stats for the first quarter confirmed that with its market share in China, it had outpaced Apple to hold the number-two slot, with only Samsung still to catch.

Unfortunately for Huawei, though, none of this will be enough to convince tens of millions of non-Chinese smartphone users to opt for its open-source Android phones, turning away from the familiar world of Google’s software and services. But Huawei has a plan to try to change that. And it has both Google and Apple in mind. And it’s much needed—the company needs to do something to push those millions of users to switch or upgrade to its latest smartphones, despite the loss of Google.

Huawei quickly recognized that the biggest impediment to its international position in a post-blacklist world is competing with Google’s Play Store. Its own AppGallery alternative is now the third largest app distribution platform in the world, but it is still finding its way outside China. The store is no new kid on the block—launched in China back in 2011. But its international version is just two-years old.

So, stepping back, why does Huawei think it can tip the balance in its  favour? The answer is clever, albeit highly ironic. And it is an interesting punt with no guarantee of success. In short—security, privacy and, basically, not being Google.

There’s an irony here that is impossible to overlook. Huawei was blacklisted by the U.S. government back in May 2019 over alleged national security concerns. As a consequence, the tech giant lost access to Google for its new phones, causing a major plunge in international sales. Now, its plan is to focus on Google’s security and privacy shortcomings and offer a safer, more secure alternative. You couldn’t make this up—but it’s not as odd as it sounds. Here’s why.

Huawei may be many things, but a data business it is not. Google built Android as a front-end to its globally dominant data machine. Devices, apps and browsers collect and process data, it’s a cash-generating titan. Businesses buy access to map listings, search engine prominence, store windows, raw data for processing ads and outreach. One of the primary issues for Google in losing access to new Huawei devices has been the loss of access to all those consumers. And we know that Apple, which takes a much more restrictive view on the data-monetizing of its users, has seen the value of ads within its ecosystem drop dramatically as a result.

Huawei, by contrast, sells technology: Smartphones and accessories, 5G networking equipment, enterprise infrastructure, surveillance. It can sit back and take a view on the state of the Play Store, the world’s leading app platform, and determine what could and should be done better. Security and privacy quickly come to mind.

From a security standpoint, Google’s challenge is the open nature of Android and the sheer scale of apps available to billions of users around the world. In recent months, the U.S. giant has taken step after step to improve the security screening of apps that find their way into the store, but has been famously unable to match the locked down nature of Apple’s alternative. Just this week, we have seen two reports surface into Android malware, the problem shows no signs of abating.

Google is always keen to emphasize its ongoing security programs. Again this week the company responded to one of those reports, assuring “we’re always working to improve our detection capabilities. We appreciate the work of the researchers in sharing their findings with us. We’ve since taken action against all the apps they identified.” As for the other report, the malware has not been seen in the wild and so Google takes the view that the threat remains speculative.

But security is an issue that isn’t going away. From nuisance adware to genuinely malicious risks such as the infamous Joker malware, threats continue to escape the net. As to the question is it possible to do better—Apple polices its store with much more rigour. It is not issue free by any extent, but it has proven that by taking a more locked down approach to security you can reduce the issue significantly.

And in this regard, Apple is more a Huawei role model than Google. The Chinese giant will be learning lessons from its American rival, a company the Chinese firm’s founder Ren Zhengfei has said inspired his own business and whose smart devices he and his family use themselves.

Beyond security, we have privacy. And that’s a whole different factor. We all know how much of our data is captured, collected and processed through our phones. they know who and what we know, where we go and why. They are the genuine spies in each of our pockets. This was never more evident than when the U.S. government turned to the marketing industry instead of the mobile networks for data thrown off by our phones for coronavirus population tracking.

Underpinning this privacy issue is the murky world of permissions. Whenever you install an Android app, that app requests and is almost certainly given permissions to access data and functions on your phone. There is staggering abuse of this system by app developers worldwide, some for straight revenue purposes and others for more malicious processing of our data. And while the latter will find themselves kicked from the Play Store if caught, data-based marketing is frowned on but not outlawed. Google uses AI to advise developers if their apps ask for more permissions than their peers, but there’s no enforcement behind this.

At its heart, Google developed and continues to prosper as a data and marketing machine. Its vast ecosystem has grown up around this core tenet. Cue Huawei and the question: can a Chinese company criticized for its data and software security, blacklisted by the U.S., heavily tied into the government in Beijing, do any better?

Well, maybe. Huawei wants its AppGallery to be “open and innovative,” but it also wants to “strictly” protect the security and privacy of users installing apps. How strictly the company deals with developers to resolve issues that plague the Play Store remains to be seen. But Huawei is right in saying it is not “a data company.”

So, what will Huawei do differently?

First, the company plans to verify that developers are who they say they are, with real names disclosed and checked. The company also plans a beefed up security process to do better than Google, rooting out malicious software and vulnerabilities and risks that user data might leak. This includes addressing how apps will run on a Huawei device, taking Apple’s strict approach to sandboxing. Huawei has looked at how it supplements the Android environment to develop and enforce this security layer. Again, you can assume that the company has taken its lead from Apple.

Huawei benefits from control over the hardware and software—again, just like Apple. It can determine where and how credentials are held, it can adopt its own approach to permissions and privacy, it can monitor and control what data is sent to and from a device. The company will also store data regionally, adhering to local regulations, but more importantly telling users that it won’t send data to servers in China—apt given the Xiaomi news broken on Forbes by Thomas Brewster this week.

Can this possibly work? Maybe—but it will be tough, Overcoming resistance to change in key markets as those markets battle COVID-19, and dealing with the brand damage from the blacklist and the building China backlash will be hard. That said, it’s a clever punt, pushing data privacy and security. Huawei will never criticize Google in public, but the backdrop here is to be more like Apple, to take the lack of Google within its own OS as a benefit not a setback. You can expect its marketing to tune to this message as it continues to promote its alternatives.

For Huawei, the clear message here is that if it can’t have Google, it needs to be more like Apple. Making that work will be a mountain to climb, but then Huawei has just heralded its achievements in installing a 5G base station “6,500 meters up Mount Everest.” So, mountain climbing might not be the feat we imagine.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers—developing advanced surveillance solutions for defence, national security and counter-terrorism. I write about the intersection of geopolitics and cybersecurity, as well as breaking security and surveillance stories. Contact me at zakd@me.com.

Source: Forget Google—Huawei Plans A Killer New Update To Make Millions Switch Phones

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New WiFi 6E Standard Brings 5G-Related Technologies To Local Area Wireless

When people talk about wireless technologies, they tend to think about broadband cellular wireless networks like 5G and WiFi, which offers local area wireless connections. The truth is that most people do not really know (nor do they care) much about the differences between how each technology works. They just want to know if they have reception that allows them to connect to a network and that they can get to the information, content, or services that they want.

If you are the type of person who’s reading a column like this, however, you probably do have at least a passing interest in how the technologies powering these different types of networks are related. Those questions are particularly relevant now, thanks to the latest additions to the WiFi standard, WiFi6 and WiFi6E. Several of the underlying technologies powering these new networks are very similar to, or in some cases even the same as, ones used for 5G networks.

Signal modulation techniques like OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) and transmission technologies like beamforming and MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output), for example, are a key part of both WiFi 6/6E and 5G.

But first, a quick reminder. Like all cellular technologies, 5G is based on the use of licensed radio frequency spectrum (for more details on what spectrum is and how it works, see “The 5G Landscape, Part 2: Spectrum and Devices.”) What this means is that companies that want to use these networks—that is, telco carriers—have to purchase the exclusive right to broadcast signals over certain radio frequencies.

Those signals are broadcast from cell towers at high power levels and can travel for long distances, often measured in miles. In order to connect to those networks, any device you use needs to have a SIM card (or eSIM) that confirms you have a valid account on a particular cellular network, and you have to pay to get access to that network.

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All WiFi networks, on the other hand, use what’s called unlicensed or shared spectrum, meaning anyone has the right to create products that broadcast and receive signals on those frequencies. In addition, access to these networks (in most cases) is free, and devices don’t require anything like a SIM card to connect to them, just a radio capable of sending and receiving signals at certain frequencies.

For WiFi, the frequencies that are used are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Importantly, these frequencies are available for use globally, meaning you can use the same WiFi device and chips that power a WiFi connection anywhere in the world. Finally, the signals on WiFi networks are sent at lower power rates, which means they don’t travel as far—typically within the walls of your house, a section of your office, etc.

For a long time, the technologies behind cellular networks and WiFi networks were fairly different. Over the last few years, however, as the latest generations of these technologies were developed, there has been a great deal of technology crossover between them. The reason? Some of the same challenges facing WiFi networks have also been issues in cellular networks.

Specifically, both of these network types have been facing problems with congestion, where more devices and faster connection are creating digital “traffic jams” that end up slowing down network response for everyone. As a result, both new WiFi networks have integrated similar capabilities and core technologies that are designed to battle these and other concerns, such as reducing latency or lag time.

To be perfectly clear, these similar technology additions do not mean that the two network types are merging (at least for now): they are and will continue to be fundamentally different animals because of the technology and business model differences described above. They are similar, however, in that you need to have new devices and new network equipment (or new routers in the case of WiFi) in order to take advantage of these networks.

In other words, you only get the benefits of 5G if you have a 5G-capable smartphone or other device connecting to a 5G network and the benefits of WiFi 6 (also sometimes referred to as 802.11ax) if you have a WiFi 6-enabled device connecting to a WiFi 6-certified router. Thankfully, many newer devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 phones and more, support both new network types in a single device.

The WiFi6 standard was officially ratified in September of 2019, and chips that support the standard from companies like Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek and others have been shipping for over a year. In addition to OFDMA, MU-MIMO and beamforming, some other key technology additions to WiFi6 include Target Wake Time, which can improve battery performance in mobile devices by signaling when radios can be turned on and off, support for wider frequency channels of transmission, and something called spatial frequency reuse, which lets more devices peacefully co-exist on different channels on the same network or across neighboring networks.

The other interesting new connection between WiFi 6, or more specifically, WiFi 6E, and 5G is the availability of new spectrum, or open airwaves, that can be used to transmit more data on each of these networks. In the case of WiFi 6, just last week the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the addition of a huge 1.2 GHz (1,200 MHz) wide band of spectrum for unlicensed WiFi use in the US—the first addition of new frequencies for WiFi in over 20 years. (As a point of reference, the unlicensed frequencies available for WiFi at 2.4 GHz are only 70 MHz wide, while there is 500 MHz available at 5 GHz.)

Specifically, the FCC enabled the use of frequencies from 5.9 to 7.1 GHz for unlicensed WiFi use, and devices that can support those new frequencies can be labelled with the brand new WiFi 6E standard (a name created by the WiFi Alliance industry consortium). The catch is that, right now, those frequencies are only available as unlicensed spectrum in the US, and it could take (although hopefully won’t) several years for other countries to make the same move.

Thankfully, the US is a large enough and influential enough market that chip makers have already started to produce the components that include support for 6E, but don’t count on WiFi 6E being a global standard for some time. Still, we should start to see WiFi 6E-capable routers and other devices here in the US by the end of this year.

The full story on WiFi 6E naming needs a bit of additional clarification. Despite the 6 in the name, “normal” WiFi 6 devices cannot connect to or take advantage of the new 6GHz frequencies. Only WiFi 6E devices can use those new frequencies. The good news is, new 6E-capable devices and routers will likely use that new set of frequencies exclusively, freeing up the older, lower frequency bands to be used solely by older devices.

That doesn’t really matter right now, of course, but eventually that will make a big difference in improving overall WiFi speeds, reducing WiFi network congestion and reducing network response time (i.e., improvements in latency). WiFi mesh routing systems, in particular, are likely to be the earliest benefactors of the new 6 GHz spectrum. Both WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E devices and routers can take advantage of all the new technologies described above.

The key difference is that WiFi 6E-equipped components can use them both on existing 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies as well as the new 6 GHz frequencies, whereas “normal” WiFi 6 devices can only use those technologies at the older 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

Despite all the improvements and potential around 6 GHz frequency spectrum, it is important to point out that signals sent at those frequencies are subject to the same physical laws as any other radio frequency transmissions. Specifically, the higher the frequency, the less distance a given signal travels at the same power transmission levels, and the more difficulty it has in passing through thick objects like cement walls.

Practically speaking, that means 2.4 GHz WiFi signals can travel the furthest, but the ability to use channels up to 160 MHz wide (which is one of the benefits of WiFi 6) and the addition of up to 7 different 160 MHz channels, or 14 new 80 MHz channels (which is what the new 6 GHz frequencies enabled by WiFi 6E bring to the table), should still translate to significantly faster real-world performance with 6GHz WiFi 6E.

In fact, the performance improvements with WiFi 6E could be so good in some situations—think large public venues like sports stadiums, concert halls, and potentially even some corporate campuses—some people believe it could be a competitive threat to 5G. Of course, conversely, there are some who would argue that the growing potential interest in creating private 5G networks could supersede the need for WiFi 6 or 6E. For 5G, the argument is primarily around security, because the need to have a SIM-authorized device to connect to a cellular network is inherently more secure than WiFi networks’ more open approach.

Of course, there are security standards for WiFi as well, so the argument isn’t really quite that simple. Another potentially interesting future dilemma is that there has been some work and discussion around using the newly released unlicensed 6 GHz spectrum as extensions to 5G networks, but nothing definitive has come to pass. Regardless, it’s clear that in some situations or certain physical environments, we could start to see 5G and WiFi 6E as more competitive technologies than the two have ever been.

Ultimately, however, because of the huge legacy base of both WiFi and cellular-enabled devices, the much more likely outcome is that both types of networks will exist for some time to come. Eventually, because of the increasing similarity of the underlying technologies, we could even start to see them come closer together, but there are a huge number of business model-related issues that would have to be figured out first. In the meantime, thanks to some surprisingly quick additions to the frequency spectrums of both 5G (see “CBRS Vs. C-Band: Making Sense Of Mid-Band 5G” and “Spectrum-Sharing Technologies Like CBRS Key To More Robust Wireless Networks” for more) and WiFi here in the US, the good news is that we’re about to have a faster, broader, and more robust set of connectivity options here than we’ve ever seen before.

Disclosure: TECHnalysis Research is a tech industry market research and consulting firm and, like all companies in that field, works with many technology vendors as clients, some of whom may be listed in this article.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Bob O’Donnell is the president, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research, a technology market research and consulting firm that counts many of tech industry’s largest vendors among its clients. The firm’s research and O’Donnell’s opinions are also regularly used by major media outlets, including Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNN, Investor’s Business Daily, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, and more. O’Donnell writes regular columns for USAToday and Forbes, as well as a weekly blog for Tech.pinions.com that’s also published on TechSpot, SeekingAlpha and LinkedIn. Prior to founding TECHnalysis Research, O’Donnell served as Program Vice President, Clients and Displays for industry research firm IDC. O’Donnell is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame

Source: New WiFi 6E Standard Brings 5G-Related Technologies To Local Area Wireless

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Why WiFi 6E Is Way More Important Than WiFi 6 WiFi 6E is a big deal, and today I’m going to tell you how this is going to help you and your smart home, as well as just generally with WiFi reliability and WiFi signals in your home. There is a ton about WiFi 6E that is important and there are many reasons it’s above and beyond 802.11AX or what is known as WiFi 6. See, there’s this one component of the upgrade from WiFi 6 to WiFi 6E that’s so important to your smart home, and it resides in something that we have to talk about all the time on the channel. We have to constantly readjust our WiFi channels to avoid the neighbor next door. Or, we have to watch out where our ZigBee network is because it can be interfered with by our #WiFi. #WiFi6E gives us another option because it’s going to give us a 6 GHz frequency to use, and a ton of bandwidth within that range to use. It’s going to keep your neighbor’s network far away from yours in terms of channel and so you’re going to have WiFi that isn’t interfered with! This will again prove why WiFi is still the final smart home protocol we will all be using in the end, but in the mean time, we will continue to use ZigBee with less interference in my smart home. So kiss goodbye to #802.11AX and say hello to the E version of that standard. It’s part 1 of 3 parts of the upgrades before the next version of WiFi (7) in a few years. Enjoy! The charts we used: https://www.testandmeasurementtips.co… https://www.networkcomputing.com/wire… http://www.revolutionwifi.net/revolut… https://www.pcworld.com/article/32693… Research papers used directly in this video: https://www.nctatechnicalpapers.com/P… Subscribe to Take The Frustration Out Of Automation: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtRS… Join our Patreon Group to get direct access to me (and for even deeper content): https://patreon.com/automateyourlife Our recommended smart home products for every situation (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2DwC6ah Are you unsure about putting a smart speaker or smart display in your home? Read our short e-book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XKRM6XS AYL Merch! https://shop.spreadshirt.ca/automatel… Automate Your Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and other Amazon websites. Thanks for watching, and Don’t Hate, Automate. Brian

Motorola Razr 2019: Prepare To Be Disappointed

2019 RAZR

The buzz around the new Motorola Razr is electric. It’s taken off well beyond Lenovo’s ability to control it and the result is that we are all going to be disappointed. To understand why it’s necessary to understand how the original Razr came into being. I was a Director at Motorola in Chicago at the time, and while many of my colleagues, even those who opposed the project, now have LinkedIN profiles claiming to have been involved in its creation I’m happy to say I was only an observer.

But I was close to the people, the super smart people, who did make it happen, and the way it was done means that there is no hope that the forthcoming folding screen Razr can be any bit as good as the original.

It’s not the fault of today’s Motorola, the Lenovo owned company is just a victim of circumstance. My job here is to explain why the circumstances are different. Perhaps the most important difference is that there had never been a Razr before, but it’s also about how that came to be.

Razr was a skunkworks, produced by a bunch of engineers in their spare time and time stolen from other projects. Indeed the Motorola Aura which was to have been the follow-up was codenamed GD2 for “Go Dark 2”, the second project from the same skunkworks, but under the glare of Razr publicity GD2 failed to stay dark and suffered the development malaise that saw a nine month project take the best part of three years so the best ever 2G phone was launched into a 3G world and it failed. The existance of new Razr is already out and that’s the first thing which means this year’s model won’t be as good. The original Razr had no input from mobile operators, no customer requirements, no research or focus groups. And most importantly no sales targets. The development team just built what they thought was cool. Without needing to meet targets they didn’t need to ensure component supply. The keypad came from a manufacturer who could only do limited quantities. It was an enthusiasm. A hobby for some of the most gifted engineers the mobile industry has ever seen who enjoyed what they did. Bo, who looked at screens knew everything there was to know about screen manufacture, where the bodies where hidden, what manufacturing processes where giving what yields, and which technologies were likely to fail despite being promoted by their companies. Joel loved audio, he spent all day worrying about sound quality in phones and then went home to work out what he needed to do to improve the audio on his hi-fi. Roger knew and loved hinges. And most of all Moto had the very best radio engineers. The project was led by Roger Jellicoe a fantastically talented engineer who was protected from the rest of the business by Tracy and her boss Rob. It was a very special team building a very special phone without any commercial pressure.

The new Razr is being built by Lenovo. I don’t know much about the company and I assume that the internal processes and politics are very much better than those of the Motorola I worked for, but I’m just as sure that the environment in which the new Razr is being built is much more commercial and less indulgent. The RF will be on an established platform, the design will be dictated by component availability and there as a commercial project there will not be the passion and engineering flair.

Into this mix you need to add the renderings and anticipation. The concept models flying around the ‘net haven’t come from Lenovo they are people who are great at 3D modelling pleasuring themselves. They don’t have to worry about drop tests and SAR. They don’t have to consider the optical path for the camera, the rf occlusion from someone holding the device or the antenna packaging. All you see in a rendering is what someone thinks looks cool. It’s as though a car geek showed the next generation Ferrari as a flying carpet without stopping to think about where he engine would go.

It makes me sad for Lenovo because it is a great engineering company, but not as great as the fantasies of the 3D modellers. The modelers in turn have been fuelled by the way the original Razr was so radically different from anything before.

That was a perfect storm. Razr only happened because there was a very special team of people, protected from company politics by Geoffrey Frost. So when the new Razr comes out, and it’s a bit thicker than you were hoping, there isn’t a nice snap to the hinge, the screen isn’t as good as you were expecting and it’s not quite as polished as you’d hoped, don’t blame Lenovo, blame the fantasists.

 

Simon Rockman is the publisher of CW Journal read by the wireless and associated communities. 

I wrote my first published games review in 1978 and have been writing about technology ever since. I was the Editor of Personal Computer World and left to found What Mob…

Source: Motorola Razr 2019: Prepare To Be Disappointed

Sprint T-Mobile Merger: A Look At Some Of The Recent Developments – Trefis Team

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T-Mobile recently indicated that its proposed merger with Sprint could close by as early as Q1 2019, although it noted that Q2 remained more likely. Below we take a look at some of the recent developments relating to the $26 billion deal, which was first announced in April. Our interactive dashboard on what’s driving T-Mobile’s valuation details our expectations for the company through the rest of the year and the factors driving our valuation estimate. The merger between the two companies needs to be approved by both the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Federal Communications Commission…………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/11/20/sprint-t-mobile-merger-a-look-at-some-of-the-recent-developments/#1e441d6d35c5

 

 

 

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The Best Way to Fill Your Kindle, iPad, or Tablet Without Overspending – Rick Ardman

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You’re the proud new owner of a tablet or ereader! You’ve probably already made your reading list for the new year, and now your task is to download new ebooks to your device. Before you pay full-price for those books, you should know about the new site that savvy readers are practically obsessed with: BookBub. BookBub has quickly emerged as the best way for readers to find deals on bestselling ebooks. The free daily email alerts readers to free and deeply discounted ebooks in their favorite categories, helping millions of readers find high quality books at bargain basement prices………

Read more: https://landing.bookbub.com/best_way_to_fill/?source=pocket_fftab_filltablet

 

 

 

 

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Why Apple Is Finally Ditching Its Proprietary Lightning Connector For USB-C On All iPhones, iPads – Jean Baptiste Su

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At the company’s “More in the Making” event on Tuesday, Apple’s vice-president of hardware engineering John Ternus revealed that the new iPad Pro will have a USB-C port – already present on the latest MacBooks – instead of the company’s proprietary Lightning connector. “Because a high performance computer deserves a high performance connector. And so in these new iPad Pros, we’re moving to USB-C,” said Ternus. “This brings a whole new set of capabilities to the iPad Pro like connecting to accessories that change how you use your iPad, cameras, musical instruments, or even docks. Or connecting to high-resolution external displays up to 5K………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2018/10/31/why-apple-is-finally-ditching-its-proprietary-lightning-connector-for-usb-c-on-all-iphones-ipads/#409f327a434c

 

 

 

 

 

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