Smartphones with 7-day battery life could be on their way

iphone-charging-battery-lightning-cable

Intelligent Energy is a company with a mission: It wants to get fuel-cell battery technology in smartphones everywhere to dramatically improve battery life. Today, it signed a joint development agreement with an anonymous smartphone manufacturer to put that plan into action. The two will work together on embedded fuel-cell technology, which would be capable of delivering a staggering seven days of battery life to smartphones.

“We believe embedding fuel cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life and with consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up,” said Julian Hughes, acting managing director for Intelligent Energy’s Consumer Electronics division. “What we offer is a solution that is clean and efficient and means consumers could be truly mobile and free from the constraints of the grid.”

He’s totally right about battery innovation. Look at all the amazing things we can do with our smartphones compared to just five years ago. Cameras have improved dramatically, speed has increased time and time again, plus new technologies like Touch ID and 3D Touch have emerged — all as smartphones get thinner and thinner.

Yet one thing has unfortunately remained the same for years: You really can’t get more than a day or two of battery life out of your smartphone, and two days is being downright generous. For some heavy users, even a full day is a stretch without an awkward, bulky battery case.

Technology that brings week-long battery life to smartphones would be a dream come true for two different types of people. The first is of course people who are lazy and don’t want to constantly bring a charging cord everywhere while living in fear of their smartphone dying. (I am admittedly in this camp.) The second is people who are simply without access to a power outlet for the majority of their days, so charging up when necessary becomes difficult.

The even better news is it may not take long to get this technology into the hands of consumers. Intelligent Energy’s CEO Henri Winand said this new battery tech could potentially make its debut in the smartphone market in just two years — presumably if everything goes according to plan.

The fuel-cell technology is apparently ready, it’s just a matter of shrinking it down to fit in a smartphone. This £5.25 million project ($7.58 million), which commenced today between Intelligent Energy and the undisclosed OEM, kicks off the journey to do just that.

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How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool.

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

You don’t need to be Bond to get your own spy gadgets. You’ve already got the ultimate spy tool in your pocket: a smartphone. And who would suspect you’re spying when you’re probably just texting a friend? Here are the apps and peripherals you need to take your phone on a covert mission without Q in your corner.

Audio Recorder

Eavesdropping used to mean carrying around a purpose-built recording device. If someone spotted it, the jig was probably up! But with a smartphone audio recording app and gigabytes of storage, your phone could theoretically record everything within earshot all day long. Just make sure you know the law. I use Talk-a-Tape Audio Recorder to make sure I don’t miss great quotes in interviews (but I ask people first).

EarSpy

But maybe you can’t get close enough to your mar to eavesdrop just by being a dude or dudette on a smartphone? Put on some headphones too. EarSpy is an Android app that routes the audio from your phone’s mic straight to your headset—so you can hear everything around you while remaining that much more inconspicuous. If you’re particularly daring, leave your phone near the mark and use a Bluetooth headset to listen in.

SoundHawk

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

And if you don’t want to risk your smartphone but still need to get wireless ears on the target, SoundHawk is a smartphone-assisted hearing aid that comes with a wireless microphone you can leave nearby. If they catch you, just explain that you’re hard of hearing. Hell, use your phone to pull up the company’s website.

Hidden Camera

If you want to covertly snap a photo or video, your smartphone’s a fantastic tool… except many smartphone cameras make an obvious sound, and the extra-large viewfinders mean you won’t be fooling others around you. Mobile Hidden Camera for Android is about as stealthy as it gets. The app lets you take pictures from a totally blank screen, or even inside a fully-functioning notepad app. And get this: if you type a designated kill word into the notepad app, it’ll immediately erase all the photos and videos you’ve taken. We’ve also seen other hidden camera apps that can take pictures when you whistle, or when they detect motion.

Slow Motion Video

You’ll have to figure out how to hide this one yourself, but some recent phones (including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) let you capture ultra high-speed video and slow it down for buttery smooth playback. Which means that nobody in the world can type a password into a device fast enough that you can’t follow their fingers.

FLIR One / Seek Thermal

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

There are so many reasons a good spy might need a thermal camera attachment for their smartphone, but one immediately comes to mind: keypads. When you’re trying to infiltrate a facility, wait for someone to punch in the code—then look for the residual heat left by their fingers. Assuming they don’t wear gloves.

Ryobi Inspection Scope

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

You’re inside the facility. Now what? Don’t get caught! Peek around every corner, look under every door, with this $100 Inspection Scope from Ryobi. Just one of a collection of snap-on smartphone tools recently introduced by the company.

GammaPix Radiation Detector

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

Depending on what kind of facility you’ll be infiltrating, it might not hurt to check your radiation levels. Believe it or not, you can do that with this app and your smartphone’s camera. Even the US military is using it.

iPin Laser Pointer

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

Time to signal for backup. What do you use? How about a laser pointer so small it can fit into your iPhone’s headset jack? It doubles as a distraction tool or a way to send Morse code messages. Alternatively, there are a number of apps that can use your smartphone flash to send Morse code, too.

GPS Tracking

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

Your target is leaving the building. How to track them? If you were brazen enough to slip your smartphone into their pocket—or car—that phone can double as a GPS tracker. Not only will Apple’s Find My iPhone and Google’s Android Device Manager tell you where your devices are, they’ll let you remotely wipe your sensitive data in case you get compromised.

Smartphone Spy Lens

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool2

Sometimes, you can’t point your smartphone directly at your mark. Or maybe you want to see around corners in a hurry. This magnetically-attached rotating periscope lens is a steal for $20 from PhotoJojo.

Wickr Top Secret Messenger

Once you’ve got the intel, how do you safely send it back to base? Nothing’s foolproof, but Wickr’s messaging app sure sounds like it’s got the right features for amateur spying. Military-grade encryption, self-destructing messages, and an anti-screencap design means your sent snapshots will probably stay for-your-eyes-only.

HTC Re

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

The perfect disguise: a camera that looks just like an inhaler. Don’t laugh too much. The HTC Re wirelessly beams a live view to your smartphone, which you can now broadcast live on YouTube as well. Give your spy chief an instant appraisal of any situation, then cough, stick it in your mouth, and pretend to puff.

Additional Lenses

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Spy Tool

No, not this one. But sometimes you’d like to get a little closer to your subject, or get a slightly wider angle, or maybe even magnify some trace substances if you’re also playing detective. The glass you need is out there.

Your Smartphone’s Web Browser

No, really. Don’t forget about the internet. Because information is power.

Apple accounts for 93% of smartphone industry profits.

Apple shattered records again this quarter.

Things couldn’t be going better for Apple on the iPhone front. The company just posted the most profitable quarter ever in the history of corporations thanks to strong iPhone sales. And according to the latest report from Cannacord, Apple is basically the only company in the world making money off smartphones.

Apple accounted for 93% of smartphone profits in Q4 2014 reports Canaccord Genuity’s Mike Walkley who has also raised his target price on AAPL shares up to $145. That’s bad news for LG, Samsung, HTC and anyone else that makes smartphones, and to make it even worse, Cannacord estimates one third of all smartphone users will own an iPhone by the end of 2018.

See the full breakdown of profits per company below:

operating-profit

Walkley agrees with Tim Cook’s assessment that the iPhone 6 still has legs. According to his estimates, only 15% of the 404M iPhone users worldwide have upgraded to the new device. Now that Apple’s added a bigger screen, Apple should continue to eat away at high-tier Android smartphones’ marketshare.

Samsung was the only other company to make money off smartphone sales, while all other companies are operating at no profit or at a negative margin. Cannacord predicts Apple will increase its install base 20% year-over-year in 2015 to finish with a total of 487 million subscribers. By 2018 that number is expected to his 650 million, or roughly one-third of the projected 1.8 billion global premium smartphone subscribers.

It’s an iPhone-controlled paper airplane – of course I want one.

There are some ideas so silly they’re irresistibly cool. An iPhone-controlled paper airplane? Of course I want one!

The Kickstarter project has already quadrupled its $50,000 goal with 57 days to go.

Sophistication Meets Functional Design With The Leverage Case For iPhone 5.

CoM - Leverage

Functional iPhone cases are a dime a dozen, but the latest Cult of Mac Deals offer features the Leverage case – a case that is so much more than functional. Sporting a clasp locking system, it not only looks great but it can survive even the clumsiest iPhone owner.

With its understated yet elegant design, this case will make your phone pop.

The unique clasp locking system is what makes Leverage great. Inspired by high-end watch clasps, the metal latch and lever system are built to last. Plus, with its integrated buttons, the Leverage iPhone Case never gets in the way.

Now if black isn’t your colour – or if you’re still carrying around an iPhone 4 or 4S, then Cult of Mac Deals has a few other options available:

If you’ve been on the hunt for an iPhone case that is both stylish and secure, then you can’t go wrong with the Leverage .

Source: Cult of Mac.

Logitech Buys TidyTilt Maker, Immediately Starts Accepting Pre-Orders.

TidyTilt

Logitech has today announced that it is acquiring TT Design Labs, a two-person startup responsible for the TidyTilt cover for iPhone. The deal will make Logitech the owner of TT’s assets, and the accessory giant has already made the TidyTilt available to pre-order.

You may have heard of the TidyTilt before; it began as a Kickstarter project back in 2012 that was so successful it ended up raising more than 2000% of its funding goal.

The cover attaches to an iPhone using magnets, then provides the same kind of functionality you get from the iPad’s SmartCover, including the ability to fold it up and use it as a stand. It also transforms into a little carry case for your iPhone’s earphones.

From today, it’ll be called the Logitech TidyTilt, and you can pre-order one from Logitech’s website — along with TT’s second product, the JustMount, which is a simplistic magnetic mount designed to hold your iPhone, your keys, and more. Logitech expects to begin shipping both products “in the coming weeks.”

“The big winners with today’s announcement are smartphone users,” said Derek Tarnow, co-founder of TT Design Labs. “In Logitech, we’ve found a true partner that shares our focus on creating great products designed to improve people’s experiences with the technology they love. We’re very excited to be working with Logitech.”

Tarnow and business partner Zahra Tashakorina will now join Logitech as consultants, focusing on design for “products that complement the smartphone.”

“The growing popularity of crowd-sourced funding is bringing tremendous innovation in consumer electronics and TT Design Labs is a perfect example of the trend,” said Eric Kintz, senior vice president and general manager at Logitech. “We’re excited to tap into this pool of innovation and talent while working with Derek and Zahra to develop amazing experiences around the smartphone.”

Source: Cult of Mac.

Amazon AutoRip Gives You A Free MP3 Copy Of Every CD You’ve Bought Since 1998.

Amazon-AutoRip

Amazon has today launched a new music service called AutoRip, which offers customers a free MP3 version of every album they’ve bought on CD from Amazon since 1998. The service currently boasts more than 50,000 digital albums from all the major record labels, and Amazon insists that new titles are added on a regular basis.

When customers purchase an AutoRip CD from Amazon, the MP3 versions are automatically added to their Cloud Player libraries, where they are instantly available for listening free of charge — no downloading required. That means you can begin listening to your CD before the physical copy has even left Amazon’s warehouse.

The offer doesn’t just apply to new purchases, however. Anyone who’s purchased an AutoRip CD in the past 15 years can now access an MP3 copy via Cloud Player at no extra cost. Simply log in and your music will be waiting for you. And don’t worry about storage limits; AutoRip MP3s are stored in Cloud Player libraries free of charge, and they don’t count against your existing storage limits.

What’s more, Cloud Player is available on a whole host of devices, so you can access your albums on your Mac or PC, your Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Roku and Sonos devices, and even Samsung Smart TVs.

“What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, in a press release today.

“Well, starting today, it’s available to all of our customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something unexpected for our customers.”

AutoRip is available from today on Amazon.com — just look for the AutoRip logo.

Source:Cult of Android.