Sony Mobile to discontinue mid-range Xperia line up

 

Telecommunications company Sony Mobile has confirmed plans to discontinue the mid-range Xperia line-up of smartphones and will only focus on flagship devices going forward.

The dropped line up which the company considers “premium standard” includes models like the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs at the top end and mid-rangers like the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra.sony-xperia-XA1-Ultra-launched-mwc-2017

“Sony is seeking to try and recover market share in 2017 and hopes to differentiate its products with technologies that only Sony can deliver,” the company said in a blog post. ALSO READ: Sony DPT-RP1 digital paper tablet with Bluetooth support, 16GB storage launched: Price, specifications and feature

The company will also only focus on markets, where it can leverage its brand strength including territories such as East Asia, APAC, Middle East and Europe.

 

Mobile devices help clinicians spend more time with patients in Auckland’s Waitemata

Waitemata DHB speech and language therapist Bridget Oliver says her job on the road is now much easier thanks to a new iPad.

Speech and language therapist Bridget Oliver used to lug around books, flash cards, forms and photocopied bits of paper as she visited patients in west and north Auckland.

But all that has changed, thanks to generous donations from the community, which funded iPads for Oliver and 121 of her colleagues.

A total of $122,000 was raised for the mobile devices last year by the Well Foundation, Waitemata District Health Board’s fundraising arm.

Bridget Oliver says the iPad enables her to spend more time with patients as a speech and language therapist, and less ...

DENISE PIPER/STUFF

Bridget Oliver says the iPad enables her to spend more time with patients as a speech and language therapist, and less time doing administration.

Project manager Kelly Bohot said the iPads were rolled out to clinicians visiting patients in their homes, including dieticians, physiotherapists and social workers.

READ MORE: Well Foundation fundraising to benefit children with disabilities

The iPads were an important tool, giving clinicians remote access to DHB records, their emails, and pre-approved apps for therapy and education, Bohot said.

The main benefit was allowing clinicians to spend less time on administration and more time with patients.

Clinicians added three extra patient visits a fortnight, on average, after six months of mobile device use, Bohot said.

For Bridget Oliver, the iPad was “fantastic” for day-to-day use.

Oliver helped patients over 65 who had difficulty talking or swallowing, usually as the result of a stroke or a neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease.

The iPad was used to show patients things like 3D models of the swallowing mechanisms to help explain the process. Pictures found through Google also made good prompts, she said.

“For a patient from Fiji, I needed to start a conversation so we Google Mapped the island where he was from and he could see his church; it made it really relevant for him,” she said.

“Traditionally, we would use flash cards and have to print them off and laminate them.”Waitemata DHB speech and language therapist Bridget Oliver says her job on the road is now much easier thanks to a new iPad.

The iPad also meant Oliver didn’t have to go back to North Shore Hospital for administration tasks, meaning more time with patients doing the job she loved.

“For me, I just love working with patients and making a difference.”

Meanwhile, staff at North Shore and Waitakere hospitals are also taking to technology, with old paper charts being replaced with an electronic eVitals.

Waitemata was the first DHB in the country to fully roll-out electronic, real-time monitoring of hospital patients’ vitals, leading the way in Australasia.

Clinical lead Peter Groom said the electronic charts were easier to read and understand, and also easier to find, than the old paper charts.

 

Reliance Jio Lyf smartphone offers: Mobile phones prices cut up to 60 pct, now start from Rs 6,898; check top 5 offers

 

Reliance Jio Lyf smartphone offers: Amid rumours that Reliance Jio is set to launch a feature phone that will cost you just Rs 500 to Rs 1500, the company has now decided to reduce the prices of already existing Reliance Jio Lyf smartphones. The new feature phone will be launched under Jio’s Lyf brand only and will have support video-calling, an app store, microSD card, the ability to load Jio apps and more. Coming back to the offers, Jio is now giving a discount of up to 60 pct on its smart phones. The new offers were announced on the official website jio.com and you can purchase the handsets from there. Here is what a Reliance Jio smartphone will cost now: (Image Source: Jio website)

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Lyf F1 Black – This phone was originally priced at Rs 16,499 but after a discount of 42%, it is now available for Rs 7000. The smart phone is now available at Rs 9,499. (Image Source: Jio website)

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Lyf F1S black – The original price of this smartphone is Rs 20,249. However, the handset is now available at a discounted price of Rs 9,499 which means there is a discount of 53% on it. This will help you save Rs 10,750. (Image Source: Jio website)

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Samsung A9 Pro Gold: The premium Reliance Jio Lyf phone which usually costs Rs 39,990 is now available at a discounted price of Rs 26,990. The customers will get a discount of 32% on this phone and will end up saving Rs 13,000. (Image Source: Jio website)

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Lyf water 1 white – The best deal on the website is probably on Lyf water 1 white phone. This device is now available at a discounted price of Rs 6,898. The original price of the phone is Rs 17,399 which means you get a discount of 60% and end up saving Rs 10,501. (Image Source: Jio website)

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Lyf water 11 gold – Coming to the budget category, the discount may not be very huge but you will end up saving a decent amount. Priced at Rs 11,699 this phone is now available at Rs 7,249 which means you will be able to save Rs 4,460. (Image Source: Jio website)

 

Alcatel Idol 4 Pro Smartphone With Windows 10 Mobile Launched

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alcatel Idol 4 Pro is up for pre-order in Europe
  • The smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 820 SoC
  • The Alcatel Idol 4 Pro runs on Windows 10 Mobile

While many critics question the existence of Windows in the software ecosystem, some OEMs are still showing belief in Microsoft’s mobile OS and continue to release new smartphones running Microsoft’s mobile OS. Alcatel is one such manufacturer, and it has released the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro running on Windows 10 Mobile OS. The smartphone is up for pre-order in Europe at a price of GBP 419.99 (roughly Rs. 35,300).

Available via the Microsoft online store, the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro is nothing but the Alcatel Idol 4S that launched last year, with the only difference being the operating system. While the former runs on Windows 10 Mobile, the latter is Android-based. To add to the confusion, you also have an Alcatel Idol 4S Windows 10 Mobile variant retailing in the US as well, which was launched via T-Mobile last year in November.

Design-wise, the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro looks similar to the Idol 4S with the metal frame, the fingerprint scanner at the back. It has been made available for pre-order in Gold colour option only. The Alcatel Idol 4 Pro features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) AMOLED display, and is powered by a Snapdragon 820 quad-core chipset paired with Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB RAM. The storage include is 64GB, and it can be further expanded using the microSD slot (up to 512GB).

 Alcatel Idol 4 Pro Smartphone With Windows 10 Mobile Launched

The dual-SIM, Windows 10 Mobile-based Alcatel Idol 4 Pro sports a 21-megapixel rear camera with touch focus and dual-LED flash. To recap, the Android variant sports a 16-megapixel rear camera. At the front, there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera with real-time face beautification and LED flash.

The Idol 4 Pro smartphone measures 153.9×75.4×6.99mm, weighs 152 grams, and is backed by a 3000mAh battery, which is rated to charge within 95 minutes via the Quick Charge version 2.0. It is also claimed to offer 20 hours of talk time and 420 hours of standby time.

Connectivity options on the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro include 4G LTE (Cat 6.), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and USB Type-C port (OTG support). Sensors on board include accelerometer, proximity, light, e-compass, gyroscope, and hall switch.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Alcatel Idol 4 Pro

Alcatel Idol 4 Pro

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Windows 10

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

21-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Alcatel One Touch Idol Mini (Slate, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 4,199
  • Alcatel Idol 6032X (Slate Grey, 16GB)
    Rs. 7,499
  • Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ (White, 16GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 14,347

 

LG G6 Review: Righting The Course Of Mobile Gadget Development

After the disappointing sales of the G5, South Korean tech giant LG is back with a radically redesigned G6.

In the history of consumer electronics, there’s been one constant: as technology advances, gadgets always get smaller and more compact. The last three years, when smartphones actually became increasingly bigger, was an anomaly. An odd blip on the radar. The biggest phonemakers in the world will spend 2017 fixing that problem. Later this year, both Samsung and Apple will release phones with drastically smaller bodies (while keeping the same screen size, or even expanding it) than last year’s models, and mainstream consumers will go gaga.

But this piece isn’t about them. It’s about LG, because once again, South Korea’s other chaebol (aka conglomerate) has beaten everybody to the punch with the new industry trend. The LG G6 is the most compact big screen phone ever made. It’s got a 5.7-inch display but the phone is significantly smaller than phones with 5.5-inch displays. Forget a minor bump in processing power or embellished tales about the importance of A.I. assistant in phones (this will be important a few years down the line, but as of right now the tech isn’t ready – Google Assistant is highly overrated, which I’ll get to later in this review), the big thing you’d want in smartphones this year is slimmer bezels, because that allows you to one-hand use the phone easier, without sacrificing screen real estate. The smartphone industry is finally going in the right direction again: phones are going to get smaller.

Like a G6.

Ben Sin

Like a G6.

The back of the G6 is made of glass.

Ben Sin

The back of the G6 is made of glass.

The 5.7-inch on the G6 is, just like previous LG phones, a QUAD HD (1440 x 2880) IPS LCD panel. That means colors are accurate and brightness gets very high, but the blacks are not as deep and the contrast not as punchy as AMOLED displays on Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro or Samsung’s Galaxy phones. If you’ve used previous LG flagships, you know what to expect here — this is still a strong, brilliant display. What is new about this display is it has an aspect ratio of 18:9, aka 2:1. This is slightly longer/wider (depending on if you’re in portrait or landscape mode) than almost all other smartphone displays, which are 16:9. That extra real estate means it’ll display more content, and when using Android Nougat’s multi-tasking split-screen mode, the two apps fit into a perfect square that makes them easier to use.

The G6 phone is great at multi-tasking.

Ben Sin

The G6 phone is great at multi-tasking.

LG says the 18:9 aspect ratio isn’t just about being able to read a couple extra lines of text in news articles, but that it was designed with a cinematic feel in mind. Though most videos are shot in 16:9 aspect ratio, there is an increasing amount of content out there, including some new Netflix shows, that are shot with an 18:9 aspect ratio. In fact, Damien Chazelle, a big film buff, shot La La Land in extra wide CinemaScope film, which makes that perhaps the most famous example of a “cinematic experience” that could be enjoyed fully on the G6 more than other phones. Is a wider display really that big of a deal on a mobile device? I’d argue no. But for what it’s worth, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ are both likely going with that same aspect ratio. So if anything 18:9/2:1 is perhaps the future of Android displays. Just remember LG did it first.

Moving onto the device’s build. The G6 is surprisingly and weirdly straight and flat, especially for a phone in 2017, when everyone else, including Apple, is copying Samsung’s dual-curved display. (There’s actually a reason LG refrained from going that route, as I wrote here) The phone is made of glass and aluminum, of which personally I’m not a huge fan. I think the glass back thing that is most famously done on Samsung phones look great out of the box for about two seconds, and then it immediately attracts all types of oil and lint and fingerprints. The matte metal back of the LG V20 looks far more appealing to me than the G6’s glass back, but whatever — that’s just my opinion.

I had to wipe this phone down with a cloth before every shot because the shiny glossy back so easily looks like a greasy teenager's face.

Ben Sin

I had to wipe this phone down with a cloth before every shot because the shiny glossy back so easily looks like a greasy teenager’s face.

The phone is also surprisingly thicker than most other phones at 7.9 dimensions, but it's still a very comfortable phone to hold.

Ben Sin

The phone is also surprisingly thicker than most other phones at 7.9 dimensions, but it’s still a very comfortable phone to hold.

The fingerprint sensor on the back activates upon touch (without the need to press down on the home button), but isn’t as accurate or fast as Huawei’s fingerprint reader. That’s not a major knock — Huawei’s fingerprint reader speed/accuracy is so far ahead of everyone else it’s jarring — the G6’s sensor is about on par with the ones found on the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S7. Just don’t expect to get the phone to unlock on the first go if your finger is oily or slightly wet.

But, as I wrote last week, LG’s software has a great solution for times when you don’t want to or can’t use the fingerprint reader. The Knock Code is a genius software touch that lets me unlock the phone with relative ease by tapping a sequence of codes on the display. This is significantly faster than unlocking via PIN input, so the G6 is that one phone with a rear fingerprint reader that’s still usable while sitting flat on its back.

About that LG software … I’ve long been in the camp that thought LG’s UI is fine, and that the complaints from the tech geeks community is overblown. The skin here on top of Android 7.0 is clean and minimalistic, with my only complaint being that the app icons are a bit boring/vanilla compared to stock Android icons. Still, there are ways to fix that, which I did on my device.

My G6 icons are more in line with stock Android icons than the square-ish vanilla LG icons. Also notice how the G6 is only a little bit bigger than the iPhone 7 despite having a much larger display. That's the power of slim bezels.

Ben Sin

My G6 icons are more in line with stock Android icons than the square-ish vanilla LG icons. Also notice how the G6 is only a little bit bigger than the iPhone 7 despite having a much larger display. That’s the power of slim bezels.

That extra tall display with slim bezels make the screen very immersive.

Ben Sin

That extra tall display with slim bezels make the screen very immersive.

Back in January I broke the news that the G6 would run on Snapdragon 821 instead of the absolutely newest Snapdragon 835, and so far the G6 has been running super smooth despite the “older” chipset. LG reps have been saying publicly and privately that the “war for specs” is over, that they don’t stress too much about having the most megapixels or processing power. This is of course partly marketing speak — part of the reason they opted for the 821 was so they could get the G6 out before the Galaxy S8 — but there is truth to it. I don’t see how the Snapdragon 835 can improve much on the 821 in terms of basic day to day Facebooking or email writing. Plus Huawei’s Kirin 960 trumps everybody. I’ll bet money the Snapdragon 835 isn’t topping the P10 in raw benchmark scores.

With the G6, you get a feeling that LG wanted to clean its hands of the G5, because the former is so different that it’s almost like the antithesis of latter. But one thing that is returning from the G5 (and the V20) is the dual-camera set-up. Everyone is doing the two camera thing these days, but I like LG’s implementation the best. Huawei’s dual-Leica lens that can take bokeh shots is cool (Huawei did this before the iPhone, by the way), but the G6’s wide-angle lens is actually practical, because it allows you to capture images you normally couldn’t. Here’s a perfect example: after the Mobile World Congress I took a short trip to Rome. When I was checking out the Roman forum’s headless statues, I notice that most visitors had a hard time capturing the statues from a straight-on angle because there was a barrier preventing the photographer from stepping back too far. Have a look below.

The barriers are maybe for to five feet from the statues.

Ben Sin

The barriers are maybe for to five feet from the statues.

Notice how there wasn’t a lot of room to back up to capture a full shot? But with the G6’s wide-angle lens, I was able to capture both statues head on (pun intended).

no Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel or iPhone could have gotten this shot from this angle.

Ben Sin

no Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel or iPhone could have gotten this shot from this angle.

Here’s another example, I stitched two shots of my friend’s dinner table side by side, with the left being a normal shot and the right a wide-angle shot. With any other phone, you’d have to stand on a chair to get the entire table and the guests like that.

Normal lens (left); wide angle lens (right).

Ben Sin

Normal lens (left); wide angle lens (right).

Mobile council approves new police chief, public safety director

The Mobile City Council has approved the elevation of Mobile Police Chief James Barber to public safety director and Assistant Chief Lawrence Battiste to chief of police.

The moves came at a special Tuesday night council meeting, previously scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at Holloway Elementary School in District 1 as part of the “Council in the Community” outreach campaign. An audience of about 90 people applauded Barber and Battiste after the motion passed, and the mood was generally congratulatory.

Stimpson Battiste Barber.jpgMobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, left, and Police Chief James Barber, right, look on as Assistant Police Chief Lawrence Battiste speaks about Stimpson’s proposal to make him chief. Subject to city council approval, Stimpson has moved for Barber to become Mobile’s public safety director and for Battiste to be promoted. (Lawrence Specker/LSpecker@AL.com)

“We do want to do something special when you all are sworn in,” said Council President Gina Gregory. “Congratulations. We look forward to working with both of you in your new capacities.”

The personnel shift began to take shape late Friday, when Stimpson announced he’d accepted the resignation of Public Safety Director Richard Landolt and wanted to move quickly in appointing Barber to the position, with Battiste, a former Prichard police who has been with the Mobile department for several years, rising to the chief’s position. At Tuesday morning’s preliminary organizational session, the council signaled that it was willing to move forward with rapid approval.Mobile City Council at Holloway elementary lfs.jpg

If the shifts at the police department were smooth, Tuesday night’s meeting brought more indications that the Stimpson administration intends to push changes at the Mobile Fire Rescue Department.

In his remarks before the council, Stimpson repeated a position stated Monday in a letter to MFRD: The MFRD instituted some raises in the current fiscal year without implementing cuts needed to pay for them and consequently will finish the year in the red if changes aren’t made. The mayor also reiterated that it is now a priority to find a fire chief for the department, which has been led by an assistant chief serving as acting chief since Stimpson took office.

Among those who addressed the council Tuesday was MFRD fire service driver and paramedic Matt Waltman, who also is Vice President of the Mobile Firefighters Association. Waltman said that administration officials had met with MFRD leaders, plus representatives of the Mobile Firefighters Association and the Professional Black Firefighters Association, in early February. At that point, Waltman said, the administration had made clear that it was concerned about the budget situation at MFRD.

Waltman said his organization had a variety of concerns, including staffing, training and the scope of the MFRD mission. He addressed some of them in brief, but said they deserved full consideration and requested that the council’s public safety committee hold a public hearing at which all interested parties could be represented.

“We’re appreciative that Mayor Stimpson has recommitted to finding us a fire chief. That’s going to be very important in the future for us,” Waltman said. “We’re one of the largest divisions in the city of Mobile, and we need someone at the helm.” He went on to say that MFRD need to know the plan for the future of the department and the services it provides.

Councilwoman Bess Rich, the chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said she looked forward to scheduling a meeting on the topic.

Among other business on the evening’s agenda was formal approval of a $2.8 million contract to build a new fire station in Crichton. District 1 Councilman Fred Richardson said he was very pleased to see the station on the verge of becoming a reality, and that it would include a community meeting room as he’d requested.

Richardson said the station would be a boon to a wide swath of Midtown. “It’s going to be great for all the citizens in that general area in terms of response time,” he said.

 

3 Mobile Solutions to Healthcare Industry Problems

 

The health care industry is undergoing a lot of uncertainty and challenges right now — from rising healthcare costs, an influx of patients and more — and medical professionals are struggling to provide patients the care they need. There are, however, several advances in both medical technology and personal health that some innovative startups are using to help solve those problems.

Dave Willis, Chief Strategy Officer for Clarius Mobile Health, a provider of mobile ultrasound units, explains how entrepreneurs and healthcare startups can help solve this problem.

“In the past, the challenging logistics and exorbitant cost made it difficult for hospitals to purchase multiple ultrasound machines. The medical device industry responded to those pain points by creating mobile versions that are truly detailed and accurate, enabling practitioners to use the technology easier and more effectively.”

Other innovators like Sensodx and RHealth have created mobile health devices that require little more than a drop of blood to help speed up the diagnoses of various diseases.

Related: How an Endurance Coach Helped Change Running Shoes

1. Mobile health to increase access

The reason mobile healthcare technologies are so revolutionary is because they are easier to deploy and they make critical health care evaluations more affordable. Much like mobile smartphones revolutionized the computing world, mobile medical devices are changing the way the industry delivers care.

Willis explains how mobile health solutions will continue to evolve, “The current mobile healthcare devices are just the beginning. We can expect an increase in the number of devices that leverage miniaturized, mobile, and smart technologies that function with extreme accuracy to improve access and reduce costs.”

The companies that capitalize on this growing demand for mobile solutions will likely see incredible growth. More importantly, it will be much easier for patients to receive treatment.

Related: 7 Health and Fitness Apps for Busy Entrepreneurs

2. Increasing connectivity

Mobile health applications are on the rise, and the growing popularity of personal fitness trackers is helping people take preventative health measures by using the power of biometric data. Personal health is not the only use for these devices and apps either — a growing number of physicians are using apps to track patient biometrics while they are away from the office, hospital, etc.

These apps increase the quality of information sharing between doctors and patients, and they provide valuable insights into a patient’s well-being. Previously, doctors were only able to evaluate biometric data collected at the office, leaving significant blind spots that limited the potential accuracy of their diagnoses. Don Jones of Qualcomm Life describes it as an opportunity to “give people dashboards, gauges and alarm signals” about their health on a daily basis.

Related: New Crowdfunding Sites Boost Health Startups3 Mobile Solutions to Healthcare Industry Problems

3. Creating the future of healthcare innovation

More and more exciting technologies are being researched all the time. External devices are the innovation that is driving change today, and they will continue to do so for some time, but the next wave in healthcare tech will be devices that function as internal medical support.

Some of these technologies (like nanotechnology) are more concept than reality at this point, but others are already in development. An important precursor to internal nanotechnology for medical use is ingestible sensors. One such sensor, Proteus, is ingestible and tracks whether or not patients are keeping up with medication regimens. Internal devices may also help increase the quantity of data doctors have access to, much like wearables.

While the industry struggles to find solutions for funding and insurance, these innovators are creating solutions that will inevitably improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for patients.

Willis shares, “Innovation in healthcare technology, particularly on the mobile front, are helping medical professionals reduce the cost of care, both for the patient and the hospital. As the industry continues to adopt these technologies, it will be able to fulfill previously unmet patient needs.”

 

In vintage van, mobile farmer’s market seeks out communities in need

Bradenton, Fla., – Not every neighborhood has access to a farmer’s market.

But one community farmer is trying to change that.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant through the Department of Health in Manatee County, Christa Leonard is taking her Geraldson Community Farm on the road.

Leonard says the money went towards refurbishing a 1972 Airstream which they’ve renamed the “Green Stream.”

Now mobile, the Geraldson Community Farm of Bradenton is now traveling all over Manatee County, including Pride Park and G.T. Bray Park.Image result for In vintage van, mobile farmers market seeks out communities in need

The farmers are trying to reach people with otherwise might not have access to good, local vegetables, and they accept EBT.

The Green Stream hit the road for the first time just a couple weeks ago.

They’re at Pride Park (6032 9th Street E., Bradenton) every Monday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

They’re scheduled to be the New College of Florida every Friday.

The Geraldson Community Farm also has a work-share program where you can work for food.

 

No, Microsoft is not ‘killing Windows 10 Mobile’

Microsoft has scotched reports that it has “abandoned” Windows Mobile.

Windows 10 is in perpetual beta, and on Thursday the software giant issued new versions for both PC and Mobile, accompanied by some ambiguous notes from Insider Preview manager Donna Sarkar. Then everyone went home for Easter.

Sarkar had written:

The biggest difference being that the build number and branch won’t match the builds we will be releasing for PC. This is a result of more work we’re doing to converge code into OneCore – the heart of Windows across PC, tablet, phone, IoT, HoloLens, Xbox and more as we continue to develop new improvements for Windows 10 Mobile and our enterprise customers.

Based on interpretations by a Swedish tech enthusiast and “corroborated” by, er, one anonymous Redditor, the rumour mill concluded that Microsoft had sidelined the Mobile branch of Windows, this time finally.

How so? Here it gets strange.

The build PC and Mobile numbers diverged (16176 for PC, and 15204 for phones and tablets); phones had not yet received Redstone 3 builds, and the new build excluded a range of older devices that had previously been included on new Windows 10 builds, including much of the user base. The temporary disappearance of the Windows Insider advisor app and a copyright date of 2016 that hadn’t been updated were also grist to the mill.

It may all seem surreal, but given the almost masochistic levels of discomfort and dismay to which Windows Mobile loyalists are accustomed, it didn’t seem surprising. Microsoft had initially acquired Nokia’s phone business to assure that the mobile platform prospered, but then ran down the phone business. No new Microsoft devices have appeared for well over a year, and none are promised. However, the Mobile branch of Windows 10 continues to be developed, albeit lagging a few months behind the main branch. And increasing the amount of shared code is something the clumsy development strategy is attempting to address.

2014’s flagship Lumia 930 is no longer eligible for new versions of Windows 10

The conspiracy was denied by product manager Brandon LeBlanc, and Windows Mobile will receive the ‘Redstone 3’ code – the next major version of Windows after the one we’ve just had.

In fact there was a more prosaic explanation for all of these things. However, as Microsoft stated on Thursday, many older devices that launched with Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 won’t be on the upgrade path. These include the excellent Lumia 735 and 830 (late 2014 models with 1GB), and more annoyingly for their owners, the Lumia 1520 (late 2013) and 930 (mid-2014), which have a perfectly adequate 2GB of RAM and still run well. By comparison, Apple’s current iOS 10 supports iPhones released in 2012, with 1GB of RAM. It’s a comparison that doesn’t flatter Microsoft.

Sometime this year (or next), Microsoft will have the opportunity to tell a better story, as new ARM processors begin to support x86 instructions. The current era is a transitional one, as Microsoft has moved from separate x86 and ARM code trees (Windows 8 and Windows RT) in the Sinofsky era, to a more or less unified code tree with separate build targets: desktop and mobile today. For newer devices it will then be possible to have just the one code base and one “fat binary” that runs on legacy PCs and newer mobile devices. That makes the question of “mobile” being “dead” rather moot. ®

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McDonald’s mobile ordering bet could pay off big

 

[FILE] An exterior angle photograph of a new style McDonald’s Restaurant.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mobile ordering is coming to McDonald’s later this year and Wall Street is ba-da-ba-ba-ba lovin’ it.

Shares of Mickey D’s hit an all-time high on Friday. McDonald’s stock is now up nearly 10% this year.

McDonald’s has enjoyed an amazing comeback since CEO Steve Easterbrook took over in March 2015. He moved quickly to revamp the company’s menu and focus more on technology, such as self-ordering kiosks.

The changes quickly paid off, with McDonald’s reporting solid sales gains for much of 2015 and 2016.

Sales have started to cool off a bit in the U.S. recently though, but investors don’t seem that alarmed. The company’s sales are still sizzling in many overseas markets. And all the talk about mobile ordering has analysts excited.

McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski told investors in March that the company planned to have mobile ordering and curbside pick-up options available in all of its U.S. restaurants by the fourth quarter.

The company is also testing a delivery service in Florida markets via mobile ordering with UberEats — the ridesharing giant’s GrubHub/Seamless competitor.

Two analysts upgraded McDonald’s stock this week, largely due to rising expectations about the company’s mobile push. Several other analysts raised their price targets on the stock as well.

Jeffrey Farmer of Wells Fargo Securities lifted his rating on McDonald’s to an “outperform” — essentially a buy — because he thinks McDonald’s has a leg up on its burger rivals in mobile.

“Restaurant consumers are aggressively gravitating toward concepts that offer the greatest level of convenience and control across ordering, payment and distribution,” he wrote.

Farmer added that McDonald’s is likely to get its digital payment tech out before competitors like Restaurant Brands-owned Burger King, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box.

Bernstein’s Sara Senatore — who also boosted her rating on McDonald’s to an “outperform” — said that it was smart for McDonald’s to embrace mobile ordering, just as other restaurant chains like Panera, Domino’s and Starbucks have.

Senatore did note that Starbucks has had some problems dealing with higher demand for beverages from consumers using the mobile app.

Starbucks even said in its last earnings report that long lines for drinks were scaring off customers who hadn’t placed orders in advance. But Senatore argued that’s a good problem to have — and McDonald’s can learn from Starbucks’ growing pains.

She added that digital ordering will also help McDonald’s because it “allows for greater customization while improving order accuracy and enhancing the customer experience.”

Another analyst, Instinet’s Mark Kalinowski, thinks that mobile could be a big win for McDonald’s as well. Kalinowski surveys McDonald’s franchisees as part of his research and found that many are excited about joining the mobile revolution.

“There’s no doubt we need to be part of the smartphone generation,” said one franchisee that Kalinowski surveyed.

Another said that “younger customers avoid quick-service restaurants due to lack of technology and they don’t like dealing with people so the app will help.”

So McDonald’s clearly has a lot riding on the launch of its mobile ordering app. If technology winds up being the company’s new “special sauce,” then Big Mac lovers — and investors — may continue to flock to the Golden Arches.