Category: Links to my Articles

Another commentator notes the ‘Normandy’ name and the hidden message to Microsoft from Nokia

Charles Arthur at The Guardian pitches an interesting idea to Microsoft’s new CEO. Drop Windows Phone and fork Android. Windows Phone was a wonderful project, but it was too late; the benefits of integration across handset, tablet and desktop simply haven’t appeared. The vast majority of people who use a desktop PC don’t use a Windows smartphone, and there’s no chance of that changing any time soon – or ever, actually. AOSP offers Microsoft the chance to remake its mobile strategy so that it exploits all the strengths of its most bitter rival – it’s free, widely available – and

What does it take to build a smartphone in Russia?

My interview with Vlad Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices – the company behind the smartphone with a regular screen on one side and an eInk display on the reverse – is up on Forbes: “We asked ourselves what we liked and didn’t like with our current smartphones. While we loved the way it made us more productive and connected, there was one fundamental thing we all determined we didn’t like. Most of the time, the display is sleeping. It’s just a black box. While it’s sleeping, it’s useless. It has no value. “So, we asked ourselves how to solve it.

Reviewing the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Let’s put aside the point that a 4.3 inch screen is not a ‘small’ smartphone in the history of the smartphone, because Sony have actually done something I’ve been looking for in the last few years – a ‘small’ smartphone that has the same specs as the larger handsets. With a 2.2 GHz Quad core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, microSD, and a 4.3 inch TFT IPS screen, the Xperia Z1 Compact is a little bit of a pocket rocket. Sony has supplied me with a review handset ahead of its general availability. Sony’s research shows

Reviewing the Jolla handset and Sailfish OS

A few weeks after receiving Jolla’s first handset (called, er, the Jolla), I’ve posted an in-depth review of the Linux powered smartphone over on Forbes. All of that said, the Jolla handset has me excited. I’ve been following the project for some time, I ordered my device in May 2013 as part of the first wave of orders, and I knew that when it was delivered to me in December I was not getting a finished product… just a Finnish product. The Sailfish OS at the core of Jolla’s vision is delivering a stable environment and handles the mid-range specs

Reviewing The Russian Reversible Smartphone

With an LCD screen on one side, and an e-Ink screen on the opposite side, Yota’s prototype smartphone was one of the big winners of CES 2013. Now, a year later, the handset is now on sale in a number of European territories. I’ve taken a closer look at the handset over on Forbes: The easiest way to think about the e-Ink screen implementation is that it is related but subservient to the main interactions on your smartphone. To set up one of Yota’s applications on the e-Ink screen you need to ‘send it to the back’ from the LCD screen… In my time

The giant bunny does a better space game than Angry Birds

Big Bang is another entry in the scattershot Rabbids franchise. It’s hard, you play with a single life, and it’s an arcade game where a knowledge of orbital mechanics, and  Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, comes in useful. Naturally I love it: I loved the concept and game mechanics of Big Bang when I first played it just before Christmas, and my time with the game since then has increased my appreciation of the title. No, it’s not for everybody, it can be frustrating and orbital mechanics is not as easy a concept to grab as ‘lob a bird at