Adaptability is power: Battery life and Wi-Fi

Posted on July 10, 2015

Wi-Fi radios come in for a lot of stick in terms of smartphone battery life — not without good reason. If a Wi-Fi radio is on all day it will act as its nature dictates; constantly seeking opportunities to connect, and sucking up the battery as it does so. Sometimes nature needs a little help — and, as always, adaptability is the key.

The Drive for Connectivity

Posted on May 1, 2015

The notion of “being mobile” now has more to do with connectivity than cars, and there are signs that this digital freedom is having an impact on the traditional longing to drive the open road.

iPad Mini

Posted on October 23, 2012

Earlier today Apple announced its long expected entry in to the smaller tablet market. With an almost 8″ screen size, the screen space is larger than the obvious competition (Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices and Google’s Nexus 7), and that matters with a device primarily used for consuming media. But, it is also a fair bit more expensive than those other offerings, especially if you are thinking of springing for the dual radio Wi-Fi + 4G LTE version. Free Wi-Fi But wait, why would you pay an extra $130 for that cellular radio when free Wi-Fi is appearing everywhere? Don’t believe me? Look around. In the last 10 months we have seen free Wi-Fi come online at more and more venues. Early on, the trend setters outside of the cafe/restaurant space were Macy’s, Home Depot, Nordstom and Staples all showing strong usage on Black Friday last year. Now that list has grown to include Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Saks Fifth Ave, Pacific Sunwear, Kohls, Winn-Dixie, Krogers and Office Depot to name a few from the top of our daily connections list. Several of the large mall owners are also offering free Wi-Fi throughout their facility, allowing you to remain connected to…

The Ultrabook I want to see

Posted on January 17, 2012

One of the bigger stories from last week’s CES was the Ultrabook. Whether or not you agree with the oft-repeated dialog that Ultrabooks are merely Macbook Air copies — and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – you probably feel it’s a good thing that the PC makers are trying hard to make better products.  Although I’m all for sharp design, lower weight, instant on etc, my own personal belief is that the PC world is somewhat missing the point with the current emphasis of the Ultrabook. The big picture isn’t about competing with Macs, it’s about the mass transition to mobile and how that affects the PC industry as a whole. So, what’s my issue?  I think that the least important difference between notebooks and today’s mobile devices is weight, design, and instant on. Those are all things that the PC industry should have been working on anyway.  Even touch, which isn’t in evidence in the current crop of Ultrabooks but shows up in the roadmap, isn’t such as big of a factor given the rich interface of the PC.  No, to me the biggest issue is around connectivity and the constant availability of the network. Think about…

iPhone "Tracking" Database

Posted on April 20, 2011

My news feeds have been alive today with reports that Apple is tracking all users of iOS devices, or at least recording information about where a device goes on the local file system. From an article at ZDNet to the original article about the software that can extract your location history and plot it on a map, there has been a lot written about the tracking aspect, and questions about the purpose of the data. The FAQ on the Pete Warden site even has this question & answer: Why is Apple collecting this information? It’s unclear. One guess might be that they have new features in mind that require a history of your location, but that’s pure speculation. The fact that it’s transferred across devices when you restore or migrate is evidence the data-gathering isn’t accidental. What I find interesting is that nothing I’ve read so far mentions that the majority of the tables in the database (it is an unencrypted SQLite database for those wondering) concern cell tower and WiFi access point locations. Of particular interest are these two tables: CREATE TABLE WifiLocation (MAC TEXT, Timestamp FLOAT, Latitude FLOAT, Longitude FLOAT, HorizontalAccuracy FLOAT, Altitude FLOAT, VerticalAccuracy FLOAT, Speed FLOAT,…

Easy WiFi selected for iRiver's eBook Readers

Posted on April 29, 2010

iRiver announced today that they are using Easy WiFi to provide global hotspot connectivity for their eBook readers!  The announcement showed the iRiver Story as a first recipient. Of course eReaders are just one category of emerging WiFi devices, but a good one for Easy WiFi.  The devices typically don’t include web browsers and need to be simple for all types of people to use.  Manually logging into public networks is so incredibly painful it’s doubtful users would really subject themselves to it. Easy WiFi gives iRiver’s users the capability to choose the WiFi providers they want, and be logged in automatically.  And, since Easy WiFi supports thousands of providers all over the world, iRiver get a single solution for a global market.