The Mobile Revolution

So much happens in a short space of time in the tech world. iOS 9 is barely out of the crib and we have announcements about the next version of Android. Then borne on the same winds of change, Microsoft are expected to make big announcements this week too.

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

While I wouldn’t want to speculate about Microsoft’s announcement, it will probably hit three key areas. Mobile, hybrid (that’s the Surface which is a laptop and a tablet) and wearables. As the Microsoft event will occur between writing this and the paper coming out, we’ll know one way or another by the time you read this.

Now back to iOS and Android. Both share many similarities. One update in particular is the ability to pay using your phone. It’s essentially similar technology to that used in contactless bank card payments. In mobile terms it’s known as NFC, or near field communication. The success of the technology will depend on two things. Firstly, the banks and the retailers will need to support it. Secondly, we need to be willing to use it! The latter depends on how easy and convenient the technology is to use, how safe we feel using it and whether it is as easy as whipping out a bank card. I can see that last part being the main stumbling block. Even if the technology is safe and works as intended, if it is still simpler to whip out a card and pay with that, paying with your phone will remain a curiosity.

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While I wait for Android 6 (named Marshmallow) to hit my Nexus phone, I’ll tell you a little about it. If you have a Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2013) or 9 you can expect to get the latest version of Android soon. It will also be pre-installed on the latest Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones. There are a lot of improvements over previous versions, but this one will interest all Android users. Google have introduced a new feature called Doze. It detects when your device is idle and puts it into a deep power saving sleep. Devices running Marshmallow are reportedly able to run for 30 per cent longer than those running Lollipop (that’s Android 5).

Now to be fair, Apple claimed improved battery life with iOS 9. That didn’t stop people noticing increased battery drain after upgrading. The same may be said of Android 6. We will have to wait and see.

Battery life is a big concern for anyone with a smartphone or tablet. Next week I will share some tips on how to get more from your battery.