Unlimited Mobile Cell Phone News and Reviews


  • Apple patent filing adds trackpad functions to home button and turns entire display into fingerprint sensor

    Arguably the most notable characteristic of the iPhone 5s is the TouchID fingerprint sensor, which lets you unlock your phone and authorize app purchases simply by resting a pre-authenticated fingertip on the home button. It turns out, however, that Apple might’ve had plans for the technology that go far beyond just that. According to a patent application filed with the World International Property Organization, the Cupertino company may use TouchID’s sensor technology to transform the Home button into a trackpad, similar to the ones on BlackBerry’s older line of Curve handhelds. Indeed, the patent filing describes how users could navigate the phone by “revolving” or “twisting” their fingerprint on the button’s sensor. Additionally, the sensor could measure the length of time and amount of pressure that is placed on it, which might lend to more interesting use-cases in apps or games.

    What’s even more intriguing, however, is that the document goes on to describe how the entire display can be used to read your fingerprints. This sounds like a crazy idea at first, but if implemented, the phone would then know exactly which finger of which hand is on the screen. This could lead to certain actions mapped to specific digits — perhaps a long-press of your index finger could launch Maps, while a pinch of your pinky and thumb could open up Messages, for example. A few diagrams from the patent application show how screen-wide fingerprint recognition could be used for playing a piano or touch-typing on the virtual keyboard. If you’re concerned that this could lead to serious battery drain, the patent even addresses that, stating that the phone would be smart enough to recognize when it’s in moments of fingerprint recognition (i.e. “enhanced sensitivity”) or when it’s normal everyday use, otherwise known as “reduced sensitivity.”

    Further, it seems that enhanced sensitivity could just be restricted to small screen areas so that only certain apps — like banking or email perhaps — would be cloaked in that extra layer of protection. Of course, just because such functionality is filed away in a patent application doesn’t mean we’ll see this in real life. However, taken with the promise of Apple’s recent acquisition, we’ll admit we’re very interested to see how the iPhone 6 will turn out. Those interested in patent minutiae can go ahead and peruse the rather lengthy 612-page document in the link below.

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    Via: Unwired View

    Source: WIPO

  • Coolpad's Flo is its first 3G smartphone in the US, heads to T-Mobile's GoSmart network

    Coolpad isn’t exactly a household name here in the States, but the outfit is otherwise known for its budget-minded offerings. Today, it is introducing the Flo, a 4.5-inch smartphone running Android Jelly Bean — the company tells us this is the first Coolpad device with 3G capabilities to hit North America. (Sorry, folks, no LTE.) Aside from that, the Flo also sports an undisclosed dual-core, 1GHz Qualcomm chip, 4GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 32GB) and a decent 1,880mAh battery. Customers using T-Mobile’s GoSmart prepaid service can snag one now for $99, which isn’t too bad if you’d like to save a few bucks during your holiday shopping.

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    Source: GoSmart

  • Western Digital Black2 drive packs both solid-state and spinning storage

    WD Black2 drive

    Performance-minded PC users frequently want both a fast solid-state drive for crucial apps and a regular hard disk for everything else, but that’s not always feasible in the tight space of a laptop. Western Digital is making that two-drive option a practical reality through its new Black2. The design puts both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB spinning disk into a single 2.5-inch SATA enclosure, offering more speed and capacity than you’d find in a typical hybrid drive. It’s potentially an ideal blend for gamers and small form factor PC builders, although they’ll pay for the privilege — WD is shipping the Black2 today for $300, or roughly as much as the two drives by themselves.

    [Thanks, Metayoshi]

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    Source: Western Digital

  • Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide: fall 2013

    Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide: fall 2013

    As the leaves turn to gold and flutter from the trees, the Engadget team digs out their scarves and mittens to get ready for the mad rush of phone launches that take place ahead of the holiday season. We’ve seen big devices (both large and high-profile ones) enter the world over the last few months, including new heavyweights from Apple and Google. Then there’s Samsung, Nokia and HTC, which are all following the philosophy that bigger is better.

    But it’s not just on the hardware side that things are getting exciting. T-Mobile’s eliminated roaming charges and Verizon is doubling its LTE speeds to a whopping 80 Mbps. AT&T is offering customers a $5 daily pass for internet and is making mobile share plans the standard rather than the exception. Of course, if you’d prefer unlimited data, Sprint is promising that its Spark LTE will beat the field — but it’s currently only available in NYC, LA, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Whether you’re looking for a smartphone right now, or if you’re contract is about to expire, this is your guide to the best ones on the market.

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