Category Archives: Phone

Huawei is Selling its Honor Smartphone Brand



Huawei Investment and Holding Co., Ltd. announced that it has decided to sell all of its Honor business assets to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co, Ltd. According to Huawei, this sale will help Honor’s channel sellers and suppliers make it through this difficult time.

Reuters reported that Honor is a budget brand smartphone unit of Huawei. It is being sold to a consortium of over 30 agents and dealers, according to a joint statement signed by 40 companies involved in the purchase.

Huawei will not hold any shares in the new Honor company after the sale, according to the statement, with the buyers setting up a new company, Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology, to make the purchase, the statement said.

Reuters also reported that sources with knowledge of the matter said that the U.S. government will have no reason to apply sanctions to Honor after it separates from Huawei.

Forbes reported that Honor made a name for itself by selling cheap smartphones. It also has a range of other low-budget equipment including laptops and routers that, Forbes reported, Honor “is currently banned from selling in the U.S.”

The Forbes article includes statements from Chief of Research at CCS Insight, Ben Wood. He pointed out that the deal has been confirmed, but has yet to be completed. He expects that Huawei will wait until after the U.S. administration transition in January happens before the consortium that will purchase Honor will attempt to re-engage with suppliers.

To me, it appears that Huawei hopes that by selling its Honor brand that incoming U.S. President Biden will choose to overturn current President Trump’s executive order that affected Huawei. The order blocked Chinese telecommunications companies from selling equipment made in the United States.


Social Media Sites to Reduce Spread of Conspiracy Theories about Coronavirus



There are few things more dangerous than spreading conspiracy theories about coronavirus (COVID-19) during a pandemic. Misleading information can cause people to get hurt, get sick, or die. Fortunately, YouTube and Twitter are starting to make efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories, including the one about 5G.

YouTube has added policy regarding monetization and videos about COVID-19. Content must adhere to YouTube’s Advertiser-Friendly and Community Guidelines in order to be eligible for monetization. Breaking YouTube’s policies regarding coronavirus can also result in videos being removed.

The following things can result in a video losing eligibility for monetization:

Distressing Footage: Footage of people visibly suffering due to COVID-19.

Pranks & Challenges: Any COVID-19 related prank or challenge that promotes medically dangerous activities, such as purposeful exposure to the virus or incites panic. It includes the “licking toilet seat challenge”, coughing or sneezing on bystanders or food, and dressing in a hazmat suit and inspecting others.

Medical Misinformation: Content that misinforms users about health matters related to COVID-19. This includes content that encourages non-medical tests or exams for COVID-19, or false/unsubstantiated claims about the cause, promotion of dangerous remedies or cures, and origin or spread of COVID-19 that contradicts scientific consensus. The conspiracy theory that COVID-19 is spread by 5G is included as medical misinformation.

This is significant because, as The Guardian reported today, the UK government is to hold talks with social media platforms after mobile phone masts in Birmingham, Merseyside, and Belfast were set on fire by people who believe the conspiracy theory linking 5G networks to coronavirus.

In addition, broadband engineers have faced physical and verbal threats while trying to do their job. There is a clear link between people who fall for the 5G conspiracy theory and decide to abuse broadband engineers, and the risk of the physical and mental health of those workers. There is no evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus.

Twitter updated its policies regarding COVID-19 and will remove tweets that include misinformation about global or local health authorities recommendations to decrease the spread of the virus, alleged cures (that may be ineffective or harmful), denial of established scientific facts about transmission during the incubation period of COVID-19, or things that can cause widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder.

It sounds to me like the conspiracy theory about 5G causing coronavirus would count as “widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder.” People intentionally setting fires near where you live can easily cause widespread panic.


How to turn off your Kids Cell Phone



Ever asked the question how do I turn off my kid’s cell phone? Well, there is hope as Google has introduced Google Family Link which gives you parents a lot of power in controlling what your kids are doing on their mobile phones. Family link lets you set screen time limits, approve or block apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. Or best yet lock and or locate your kids through the device. Nothing better than the ability to exert control over the cell phone usage.

Family link is available starting next week additionally Family link is designed to work with anyone automatic for 13 and below and for those above 13, they have to mutually consent to allow parents monitoring and control of the phone. Teens that think they are slick and decide to opt out after Family Link has been enabled causes the phone to lock for 24 hours.

Parents can use Google Assitant to lock the phone. Have you every yelled you’ve got five minutes to go to bed? Well, Google Assistant will lock the phone five minutes after your initiate the phone lock. Now the kids can be mad at Google as well as you.

Having a third teenager in the home at this time with a cell-phone this added parental control is nice especially when it comes to an unruly kid. I am pretty strict on screen time as it is now and have some basic rules in place on apps and usage. Teenagers will be teenagers though and they will push the boundaries as far as they can like we all did. My dad hung the car keys over my head as an incentive. The modern equivalent is the lock phone command.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash


Bluetooth Versus Wired



Coloud The Snap Active EarbudsFor some months now, persistent rumors have been flying that the next iPhone will do away with the 3.5mm wired headset port. There have been plenty of people arguing both against and for this idea. Some people say that the demise of the wired headset port is inevitable.

As an over-the-road truck driver, I’ve been using Bluetooth devices for years. To be perfectly honest, the majority of Bluetooth headsets suck, regardless of price. They typically suffer from poor audio quality, especially those intended for phone calls.
I have yet to find a Bluetooth microphone that produces anything approaching acceptable quality for anything other than phone calls.

Bluetooth stereo is great for certain uses, such as in the car or for use with certain Bluetooth speakers intended for casual listening.

With this in mind, let’s examine how a smartphone would work without a 3.5mm wired jack for the way people use these devices today.

I see plenty of people using wired headsets, day in and day out. That tells me that, unlike the floppy drive, which was dropped because most software was being shipped on CD-ROM’s, the wired 3.5mm headphone jack is NOT obsolete. The 3.5mm headphone jack is NOT falling into disuse. There are still millions and millions of people using wired headsets with their smartphones on a constant basis. Wired headset use is NOT dropping off.

Modern smartphones are also extremely good high-definition video cameras. While they have built-in microphones, because of the 3.5mm headphone jack it is also possible to plug in a wired microphone. Wired microphones on traditional consumer camcorders have either been absent or an option for costlier prosumer models. Take the 3.5mm wired headphone jack away and the option of plugging in a superior wired microphone goes away with it.

If Apple takes the 3.5mm wired headphone jack away, it doesn’t matter to me, because I don’t have an iPhone and don’t want one. There will be plenty of remaining Android models to choose from that keep their senses.

In fact, there have already been Android smartphones available on the market that leave out the 3.5mm wired headphone jacks. The Chinese company LeEco released three jack-less phones in April of this year. Ever heard of them? Me neither, until I did a search. I don’t get the impression they are burning down the barn with popularity.

I make extensive use of Bluetooth as well as the 3.5mm jack on my phone. I will never buy a phone that doesn’t offer a 3.5mm jack any more than I would buy a phone that doesn’t offer Bluetooth or WiFi.


Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 6 Plus Review



Overall, I’m pretty happy with my iPhone 6 Plus. But one problem I keep having to deal with is screen glare, especially in sunlight. The problem is compounded by my visual impairment and it makes the phone almost unusable outdoors. After doing some online research, I decided to pick up a Power Support Anti-Glare set at my local Apple Store.

Power Support anti-glare set for iPhone 6 Plus

 

Power Support anti-glare set

The set is pretty straight forward. It comes with a set of instructions along with two adhesive anti-glare films and one adhesive dust remover. For good measure, I removed my iPhone from its protective case (the instructions don’t specifically recommend doing this) and polished the screen using some Juce screen cleaner. Next, I used the included dust removal adhesive strip by applying one half of the strip at a time until the entire front of the phone was covered.

Power Support dust remover

 

Power Support dust remover

Continue reading Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 6 Plus Review


ClarityLife Redefines the Home Phone for Seniors



ClarityLife Home PhoneClarity, a division of Plantronics, unveiled ClarityLife at CES. It is an innovative communications platform delivered through Clarity’s Ensemble home phone that allows families to welcome aging parents or grandparents into their online social world. It can provide new insight and support for caregivers.

ClarityLife is primarily designed for older seniors who are living alone. It is aimed at strengthening both the senior’s physical and social well-being. Through ClarityLife, seniors can receive email, text messages, photos, and videos on Ensemble’s eight-inch tablet display. At the same time, ClarityLife helps keep family members and caregivers in-the-know on the senior’s daily activities through simple check-ins, medication reminders, or appointment reminders.

Seniors can press the “Check-In” button to send an email or text message to designated family members or caregivers and let them know they are up and moving. The caregiver can receive the notifications on their smartphone, tablet, or PC and will automatically receive an alert if the “Check-In” button is not pressed. ClarityLife’s “Call Me” button lets seniors send an email or text message to loved ones asking them to call when they get the chance. This allows seniors to reach out without feeling like they are being intrusive.

Ensemble also amplifies incoming voice so users can easily hear and understand conversation. It features a patented digital sound processing technology that functions like a hearing aid to make soft sounds audible and keep loud sounds in a comfortable range. Ensemble is also equipped with an answering machine and speakerphone. Ensemble with ClarityLife can be purchased for $399.00.

Visit Clarity at Booth # 31117 at CES.


It is Now Legal to Unlock your Cellphone



lock with keyPresident Obama signed a bill into law that is going to make a lot of cellphone users very happy. The bill was called the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. This bill was written in response to a We the People petition that was titled “Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal”.

How does this affect you? It is now legal for you to unlock your phone so that you can change carriers without having to purchase a new device. It is also now legal for you to sell, or buy, unlocked phones.

There are some things to be aware of, however. The new law doesn’t override terms of service contracts that people have already signed with their carriers. In other words, if your contract said that you can’t unlock your device for two years after you purchased it – you are still going to have to abide by that contract. Details on contracts vary by device and carrier, though, so you might want re-read yours.

This new law does not legalize the unlocking of tablets or other devices – only cellphones. However, wording in the bill does instruct the Library of Congress to consider making exemptions for those devices when it reviews things next year. That brings me to the key thing to know about this new law. It is a temporary solution! The Library of Congress will be reviewing exemptions again in 2015.

Image by Joe Buckingham on Flickr.