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Mobiles,

Your smartphone obsession may up bad behaviour in kids

Do you spend too much time on your smartphone during mealtime, playtime and routine activities or conversations with your kids? If so, it may lead to behavioural issues in your children, warned researchers.

A new study suggests that even low or seemingly normal amounts of technology-related interruption were associated with greater child behaviour problems, such as over-sensitivity, hot temper, hyperactivity and whining.

“Our findings contribute to growing evidence showing an association between greater digital technology use and potential relationship dysfunction between parents and their children,” said lead author Brandon T. McDaniel, Assistant Professor at Illinois State University in the US.

When parents use mobile technology, their responsiveness to their kids changes and the device use causes less-than-ideal interactions with their children.

“It’s really difficult to toggle attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices, with social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time,” added Jenny Radesky, child behaviour expert and paediatrician at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

For the study, published in the journal Child Development, the team analysed surveys completed separately by both mothers and fathers from 170 two-parent households.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of parents reported technology interruptions three or more times on a typical day while 17 per cent said it occurred once and 24 per cent said it happened twice a day. Only 11 per cent said no interruptions occurred.

Reserving certain times of the day or locations as being technology-free — such as mealtime or playtime right after work — may help ease family tensions caused by the modern blurring of outside worlds with home life, the researchers said.

“Setting boundaries on digital use can help parents keep smartphones and other mobile technology from interrupting quality time with their kids,” McDaniel noted.

(Image Credits: Thinkstock)

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Mobiles,

Apple and Nokia see deeper partnership after ending patent dispute

Apple has settled a patent dispute with Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia and agreed to buy more of its network products and services, sending Nokia shares up 7 percent.

The deal means Nokia will get bigger royalties from Apple for using its mobile phone patents, helping offset the impact of waning demand for its mobile network hardware.

Such legal battles are common in the industry but can drag on for years and analysts had not been expecting such a quick resolution to the dispute that started in December.

Under the deal announced in a joint statement from the companies on Tuesday, Nokia will also supply network infrastructure products to Apple, and Apple will resume sales of Nokia’s digital health products in retail and online stores and look at further collaboration in health.

Digital health is one of the areas Nokia is targeting as it tries to develop new businesses to offset the industry-wide slump in demand for network equipment. Last year, Nokia bought France’s Withings S.A., a small firm with products such as activity trackers and baby monitors built on digital platforms.

“There could emerge big future value from this as Apple could become an important distribution channel,” said Handelsbanken analyst Daniel Djurberg, who has an “accumulate” recommendation for Nokia shares.

“I have not given any value so far for Nokia’s digital health business, but might apply an option value to it.”

INDUSTRIAL DEAL

Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told the company’s annual general meeting later on Tuesday that the deal would help expand network sales beyond telecom operators to global internet and technology giants.

“(The deal) involves a business collaboration … in particular in areas of IP and optical equipment, which is quite key to webscale players when they build their data centres,” he said. “It’s a good deal, a multi-year licensing deal, and I love it that it has an industrial deal and aspect to it.”

Under the patent licence agreement, Nokia will receive a “significant” upfront cash payment and additional revenues from Apple starting from the current quarter. The companies did not give further details but analysts said the revenue was likely to be far higher than a previous deal.

Inge Heydorn, fund manager at Sentat Asset Management, said it was a smart move to collaborate on digital health products.

“It’s interesting for Nokia in a five- to 10-year perspective since I think it will be hard to be profitable within mobile infrastructure,” said Heydorn, whose firm does not hold any shares in Nokia.

Nokia shares, which fell in December when the patent dispute was announced, jumped to their highest since February 2016 and were up 6.7 percent at 5.89 euros by 1509 GMT.

A previous patent licence contract between the companies expired last year, and both sides took legal action in December. Apple complained of being overcharged and Nokia responded by accusing Apple of violating technology patents.

In the absence of a new deal, Nokia cut its annual run-rate forecast in December for patent and brand licensing sales to 800 million euros ($900 million) from 950 million euros previously. In its latest quarterly report released in April, Nokia stopped giving an annual run-rate forecast altogether.

“(The agreement) moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners,” Nokia’s Chief Legal Officer Maria Varsellona said in a statement.

QUICK RESOLUTION

Analysts were surprised by the relatively quick resolution of the dispute between Apple and Nokia.

“Nokia told analysts in April don’t calculate on any licence revenue from Apple, not even in 2018, so this is a positive surprise. It will also limit Nokia’s legal expenses,” said Djurberg who said he would probably raise his Nokia estimates.

“For Nokia, it’s good news they got this out of the way, but we still have to wait for details about the financial impact,” said OP Equities analyst Hannu Rauhala.

“The previous annual rate was 150 million euros, so I assume this to be more, around 500 million euros.”

Rauhala said Apple might have been willing to settle with Nokia as the U.S. company’s patent battle with chipmaker Qualcomm Inc has escalated.

Patent royalties represent only a sliver of Nokia’s overall revenue, more than 90 percent of which comes from telecoms network equipment. But licensing payments are highly profitable and the network business is suffering an industry-wide slump.

Nokia’s patents cover technology that reduces the need for hardware components in a phone, conserves battery life, increases radio reception, helps in recovering lost phones and enables voice recognition, among other features.

Once the world’s dominant cellphone maker, Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2014 to focus on its network business and large portfolio of mobile device patents.

Nokia’s total sales in 2016 were about 24 billion euros.

($1 = 0.8887 euros)

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Mobiles,

Baidu in self-driving car tech tie-ups with Bosch, Continental

Chinese Internet company Baidu announced two separate partnership deals on Thursday with top German auto suppliers Robert Bosch and Continental AG to co-develop autonomous driving technology and smart mobility services.

The two deals underscore the wave of global partnerships being formed in the fast-moving autonomous vehicle sector, which requires both the competencies of traditional auto suppliers and those of technology companies seasoned in artificial intelligence, robotics and other highly technical software.

The collaborations also point to the importance of partnerships between Western carmakers and automotive suppliers and companies based in China, the largest automotive market in the world. China issued a self-driving “roadmap” last year, aiming to have highly or fully autonomous vehicles for sale as early as 2021.

Also on Thursday, Daimler and its Chinese joint venture partner BAIC Motor Corporation agreed to upgrade the Mercedes-Benz factory in Beijing to make electric cars. Baidu and Bosch will explore business models and accelerate the commercialization of technologies, Baidu said in a statement. The cooperation “will give the Chinese automotive

industry a voice in the development of core technologies of automated driving,” Baidu said.

Continental, which announced its partnership with Baidu on Wednesday, said both partners intend to develop technologies, products and business models that will provide solutions for automated driving, connected vehicles and intelligent mobility services.

In April, Bosch said it was working with Baidu and domestic mapping firms AutoNavi – owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd – and NavInfo Co on mapping projects for self-driving cars.

Baidu said on Thursday that it would continue to work with more manufacturers through cooperative models.

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Mobiles,

Cloud protection, remote browser can minimise cyber breach

At a time when the level of cyber security threat to enterprise IT continues to be alarming, Cloud workload protection platforms (CWPP) and remote browser technologies can protect or thwart such breaches, market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

According to Gartner, hybrid CWPP provide information security leaders with an integrated way to protect workloads using a single management console and a single way to express security policy.

“As attackers improve their capabilities, enterprises must also improve their ability to protect access and protect from attacks,” said Gartner Vice President Neil MacDonald in a statement.

“Security and risk leaders must evaluate and engage with the latest technologies to protect against advanced attacks, better enable digital business transformation and embrace new computing styles such as Cloud, mobile and DevOps,” MacDonald added.

Almost all successful attacks originate from the public internet and browser-based attacks are the leading source of attacks on users. By isolating the browsing function, malware is kept off of the end-user’s system.

The market research firm also identified ‘deception’ technologies to thwart cyber attacks.

Deception is defined by the use of deceits, decoys or tricks designed to throw off an attacker’s cognitive processes or disrupt an attacker’s automation tools.

“By using deception technology behind the enterprise firewall, enterprises can better detect attackers that have penetrated their defences with a high level of confidence in the events detected,” Gartner noted.

According to Gartner, by 2020, 80 per cent of large enterprises, 25 per cent of mid-size organisations and 10 per cent of small organisations will have invested in endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities.

EDR solutions monitor endpoints for indications of unusual behaviour and activities indicative of malicious intent.

Among other technologies that thwart, delay or identify the potential breaches or cyber attacks are network traffic analysis (NTA) managed detection and response (MDR) and microsegmentation.

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Mobiles,

SeaGlass brings transparency to cell phone surveillance

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new system called SeaGlass that helps detect cell phone surveillance by modelling a city’s cellular landscape and identifying suspicious anomalies.

Cell phones are vulnerable to attacks from rogue cellular transmitters called International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers, also known as cell-site simulators or Stingrays, surveillance devices that can precisely locate mobile phones, eavesdrop on conversations or send spam, Xinhua news agency reported.

Cell-site simulators work by pretending to be a legitimate cell tower that a phone would normally communicate with, and tricking the phone into sending back identifying information about its location and how it is communicating.

Described in a paper published in the journal Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, the new system was deployed during a two-month period with SeaGlass sensors installed in ride-sharing vehicles in Seattle and Milwaukee, resulting in the identification of dozens of anomalies consistent with patterns one might expect from cell-site simulators.

“Up until now the use of IMSI-catchers around the world has been shrouded in mystery, and this lack of concrete information is a barrier to informed public discussion,” said co-lead author Peter Ney.

“Having additional, independent and credible sources of information on cell-site simulators is critical to understanding how – and how responsibly – they are being used,” Ney added.

While law enforcement teams in the US have used the technology to locate people of interest and to find equipment used in the commission of crimes, cyber criminals are deploying them worldwide, especially as models become more affordable.

To catch these IMSI-catchers in the act, SeaGlass uses sensors built from off-the-shelf parts that can be installed in vehicles, ideally ones that drive long hours and to many parts of a city, such as ridesharing vehicles.

The sensors pick up signals broadcast from the existing cell tower network, which remain fairly constant.

Then SeaGlass aggregates that data over time to create a baseline map of “normal” cell tower behaviour.

The research team developed algorithms and other methods to detect irregularities in the cellular network that can expose the presence of a simulator.

These include a strong signal in an odd spot or at an odd frequency that has never been there before, “temporary” towers that disappear after a short time and signal configurations that are different from what a carrier would normally transmit.

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Mobiles,

Ten iMessage Apps Actually Worth Installing

Image: Gadgetlayout

Last year, Apple launched mini apps for iMessage in a bid to liven up its default messaging app and fend off competition from
third-party alternatives
-but are any of these add-ons actually any good? We went deep to look for iMessage apps that offer something genuinely useful or fun (or both).

1) ETA

Image: Screenshot

One of the clever new features recently added to Google Maps is the ability to share real-time journey updates with your contacts, and ETA lets you do the same for iMessage: your friends can see where you’re headed, how you’re getting there, and when you’ll show up. The iMessage plugin is part of a full-fledged iOS app with some cool extra features, like the ability to launch navigation directions in
Apple Maps
, Google Maps, or Waze.

  • ETA for iOS

2) Fandango Movies

Image: Fandango Movies

Fandango Movies is one of the big-name iOS apps with an iMessage extension, and it does exactly what you would expect if you’re already familiar with the ticketing app: It lets you sort out trips to the movies with your iMessage buddies. You can see local show times, lists of new films, and book tickets right inside the app, which means your tedious group chats about which flick to go and see at the weekend can get resolved faster than ever.

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  • Fandango Movies for iOS

3) Who’s In

Image: Screenshot

One of those quirky, fun little apps that Microsoft seems to throw everywhere now, Who’s In lets you plan events with friends, which makes it perfect for iMessage. Simply pick an activity, like visiting a restaurant or watching a movie, and everyone in the chat can indicate if they’re coming or not. If you’re at a loss for what exactly to do, a built-in Bing search can help you narrow down the options.

  • Who’s In for iOS

4) Instant Translate

Image: Screenshot

If you’re in a foreign country, a translation app can be indispensable. Instant Translate ticks most of the boxes you’re going to need: support for a host of languages, offline history, speech recognition, autocorrect built-in, and all the flexibility you need to make yourself understood. In iMessage, simply choose your language then start typing what you want to say to see a translation.

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  • Instant Translate for iOS

5) Emoji Poll

Image: Screenshot

Have a browse around the iMessage App Store and you’ll notice quite a few poll-making tools that allow you to survey the opinions of the people you’re chatting with. Despite being very simple, Emoji Poll works exactly as advertised without any of the quirks of clunkier alternatives.

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  • Emoji Poll for iOS

6) JibJab

Image: Screenshot

Liven up those otherwise dull iMessage conversations with animated gifs, prominently featuring your own face. JibJab lets you snap a selfie and then slap it on more than 1,000 different animated clips before spamming your friends with them, and you don’t need to switch to a different app or load up a different keyboard to do it.

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  • JibJab for iOS

7) Square Cash

Image: Square

Don’t be that guy! Settling your debts is a good way of not souring your friendships. The Square Cash app plugs right into iMessage, making the process of pushing some dollars to your contacts easier than ever. As you’ll know if you’ve used the app before, the lucky recipient of the cash doesn’t even need a Square account, and it’s free to use when paying from standard debit cards and bank accounts.

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  • Square Cash for iOS

8) Tayasui Sketches

Image: Screenshot

If you’ve got something to show to your friends that goes beyond a simple scribble, then install Tayasui Sketches. The app is an impressive drawing suite in its own right, and the iMessage plugin gives you many of the same features right inside your conversation threads-you get a choice of brush styles, colors, and text tools, so you can create eye-catching art without having to switch to an app outside iMessage.

  • Tayasui Sketches for iOS

9) Giphy
 

Image: Screenshot

We’ve mentioned JibJab above, but no app
does gifs
as well as Giphy does them, and its iMessage add-on is almost as much fun as the main app. Run a search for anything you like and you get dozens of excellent gifs or animated stickers to entertain your iMessage pals with.

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  • Giphy for iOS

10) Let’s Puck It!

Image: Let’s Puck It!

Some of the best iMessage apps are games you can use to while away the time with your chat partners.
Let’s Puck It!
is one of the best. The gameplay is based around the simple-but-addictive Pong template, the graphics are slick, and the app comes with a few fun extras-such as the option to set the stakes for the game (like buying a round of beers) before play starts.

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  • Let’s Puck It! for iOS
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Mobiles,

The Best Stuff to Do On the Google Homepage That Isn’t Googling

Image: Screenshot

When Google’s engineers aren’t busy upgrading the serious stuff inside Google’s
email apps
or
mobile OS
, they like to leave little treats and games inside Google’s products-everything from humorous search results to hidden creatures. These are some of our favorites for when you’ve got five minutes or five hours to waste.


Atari Breakout

Image: Screenshot

Run a Google image search for “Atari breakout” and you’re met with a version of the classic game you can play in your browser. Use the cursor keys as controllers.

The classic Google search page

Point your browser at
https://archive.google.com/heart
to relive your youth with the classic Google search page. It still works, but the results page is the modern version.

Are you feeling lucky?

Click
I’m Feeling Lucky
on Google with nothing in the search bar and you’re given a random Google link to try-it could be anything from mini puzzles to charity drives.


Pac-Man

Image: Screenshot

Atari Breakout isn’t the only game that gets a Google Easter Egg spin. The 2010 Google Doodle version of the classic title,
Pac-Man
, can be brought back with a simple Google search for “pac-man”.

Search box tricks

GIF

Image: Screengrab

Several Google searches give entertaining results. Some of our favorites? Try entering “do a barrel roll”, “google in 1998”, “askew”, “<blink>”, or “sonic the hedgehog.”

Search box tools

These Eggs aren’t really hidden surprises, more useful tools. You can run Google searches for “flip a coin” or “roll a die” to do just that, or use “timer” or “stopwatch” for those apps.

Solitaire

Image: Screenshot

You’re still after another game aren’t you? Typing “solitaire” into Google gives you a web version of the classic card game. If you don’t like cards, try entering “tic tac toe” instead.

Bacon numbers

Every movie star is less than
six steps away from Kevin Bacon
and Google can help you prove it-type the name of almost anyone followed by “bacon number” to get the link.

Search in pirate or Klingon

Google knows more languages than you might have realized: you can load up the search results page to display labels in
pirate
,
Klingon
or
hacker speak
, should you need to.

The Loch Ness pegman

Normally he’s yellow. (Image: Screenshot)

Search for “loch ness” on Google Maps and the iconic pegman figure turns into the shape of Scotland’s most famous mythical (?) monster. No sightings of the actual Nessie, though.

Use the Force, Luke

GIF

Image: Screenshot

The

Star Wars
scroll Easter Egg

has come and gone from YouTube, but this one lives on-enter “use the Force, Luke” as a YouTube search to send the results into flux.

Brush up on your trivia

Knowledge is power and you can get more of it by searching for “fun facts” on Google. When you’ve absorbed the information, click
Ask Another Question
for a new fact.

Endless dinosaur running

If you find yourself without internet on your smartphone, pass the time by loading up Chrome for iOS or Android and tapping the dinosaur to launch an endless runner.

Travel by dragon

Image: Screenshot

One for the Welsh here. If you choose to navigate from Snowdon to the Brecon Beacons and “dragon” appears as a travel option. Unfortunately, no dragons appear on screen.

The Emmett Brown pegman

You might have noticed this already, but when you view older imagery in Street View (via the drop-down menu in the top-left corner), the pegman turns into
Emmett Brown
.

Cast spells on Android

Call up the Google voice interface on Android via “OK Google” and you can cast a couple of Harry Potter spells: “lumos” to turn on the flashlight and “silencio” to mute all sounds.

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Mobiles,

Plex Just Killed My Rental Cable Box, and It Could Kill Yours Too

Image: Plex

One of the dirty secrets about streaming live TV services like PS Vue and Hulu TV is that in many cases you’re paying the same amount of money as you would for basic cable. The main difference, besides the benefit of not dealing with a godforsaken cable company, is the crazy monthly fees local operators like to charge for their hardware-often $8 to $12 a month. But Plex, a popular video app that lets you easily share your entire video library to practically any device you want, just added support for streaming live TV. Which means that with a little investment, you can escape most of those rental fees for good. I tried it, and I’m just about ready to get rid of that cable box forever.

Plex works sort of like Netflix for your own library of media. You put all your films, TV shows, and home movies on a hard drive, point the Plex server software at the files, and then enjoy watching them via the Plex client software which is available for many smart TV platforms, set-top boxes, and every kind of mobile device.

You can sort by channel, but it’s a very different way of navigating TV stations that most users will be accustomed to. (Image: Plex)

There are two big problems with Plex. The first is that compared to other options, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to set up. That hurdle is surmountable, but what’s really tough is legally filling Plex up with media. For everyone who is ripping DVDs to put on their Plex server, there are others using torrents or downloading potentially illegal streams. Last September, Plex took a big stride forward by launching a DVR service that allows anyone with a TV tuner made by HDHomeRun to record television directly to their Plex server.

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A HDHomeRun TV tuner is a little black box cord-shavers can use in lieu of a full cable box. You rent a CableCard from your TV provider for a nominal fee (usually $1-2 a month), plug it into the HDHomeRun and then connect the tuner to your network. Plex instantly sees it and provides you with all your channels. A box for over-the-air TV costs $80. The cable-compatible costs $130.

It is a neat feature, but it has often felt more like a proof of concept than a genuinely useful DVR. It’s a bit slow, and often the media you record is downloaded in files too large to be practical for maintaining a multimedia server.

The recommendation feature will remind you how terrible your taste in programming is. (Image: Plex)

In the latest build of Plex, the server can actually automatically convert the media, resolving this problem. More importantly, you get now watch live TV via a feature called, strangely enough, Live TV. Now my dad, down in Texas, can log into my Plex server to watch New York baseball, or I can catch the finale of
The Americans
while sitting in a bar in downtown Brooklyn. Many cordcutting live TV services don’t offer that kind of freedom-locking you into a specific local viewing area and not allowing you to catch up on your shows when you’re far from home.

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Setting up Live TV on Plex is as easy as setting up the DVR. I simply plugged the HDHomeRun in, connected it to the same network as my Plex server, and watched the videos load up. Choosing media on Live TV via Plex is as simple as choosing media normally on Plex. Just find what you want to watch and hit enter.

While this is a very attractive way to show what’s on right now, it’s also a nightmare to navigate when you have a lot of channels available. (Image: Screenshot)

Plex shows each program available for viewing as its own cool little movie poster. It’s lovely to look at, but the lack of a traditional TV guide view makes it difficult to navigate when you have more than a few channels to go through. Trying to find something to watch with the 130 channels I subscribe to via cable can border on nightmarish.

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But I’ve got to admit, I’m okay dealing with the hassle of a TV tuner and a Plex server, because I’ve escaped the yoke of the monthly cable box rental fee. It costs $12 a month for me to have a single DVR box through Spectrum-so $144 per year. Using the new Plex functionality I can just spend $130 on a HDHomeRun Prime unit and $1 a month on a CableCard from Spectrum. That’s $142 in the first year and just $12 for every year afterwards. Besides paying for itself in just a year, the HDHomeRun option also gives me the ability to watch TV anywhere in the world that I have internet access-something that’s just not doable with Spectrum’s setup.

Live TV on Plex is currently available to subscribers of the $5 per month Plex Pass month service. The feature is on iOS and Nvidia Shield Plex clients, but will be made available to other clients very soon. In addition Plex has also added support for multiple other TV tuners besides HDHomeRun, including any TV tuner that currently works with Windows.

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Plex
]

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Mobiles,

Zebra Technologies rolls out new devices to improve patient care

Expanding its portfolio of healthcare solutions, Zebra Technologies, a global leader in providing solutions and services to enterprises, has introduced two new purpose-built mobile handheld devices to improve clinical mobility workflows and patient care.

The two devices — the DS8100-HC series scanners and the durable TC51-HC mobile computer — can foster clinical collaboration for staffers and drive better operational efficiencies, while also supporting the rights of medication administration to help increase patient safety.

“We foresee administrative work to be increasingly done using mobile devices, freeing up doctors and nurses for more value-added tasks — ultimately enhancing patient care,” said Wayne Harper, Senior Technical Director, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific.

Both the devices can capture virtually any barcode in any condition and scan the most problematic barcodes found in pharmacies, labs, and at the point of care to help improve productivity and efficiency, the company said in a statement.

The DS8100-HC series comes with a wide selection of feedback modes such as standard LED, vibrate, and beeper feedback, instantly notifying healthcare workers when a barcode is properly captured without disturbing the patients.

The Android enabled TC51-HC mobile computer can perform multiple tasks, such as calling/texting co-workers, receiving calls via PBX, accessing patient records, scanning barcodes and increasing medication administration accuracy.

In addition, Zebra recently partnered with GE Healthcare to bring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless asset tracking technology to hospitals.

GE Healthcare’s Encompass is a cost-effective real-time location systems (RTLS) solution that helps hospitals manage mobile asset inventory, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and achieve better capital allocation.

“Zebra is pleased to collaborate with GE Healthcare as we see transformative value from this innovative, practical, and easy-to-implement real-time tracking solution,” Chris Sullivan, Global Healthcare Practice Lead, Zebra Technologies, said.

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Mobiles,

How to Abandon iOS and Switch to Android

Image: Alex Cranz/Gadgetlayout

Having guided you through
the not-all-that-straightforward process
of switching from Android to iOS, we’re back to tell you how to go in the opposite direction. (Make your mind up will you?) Going from Apple-powered devices to Google’s platform is either ridiculously easy or rather taxing, depending on your current setup.

Do you Google?

Good news if you’re already heavily invested in the Google ecosystem on your iPhone. You can switch to Android in an hour or two and keep your evening free for seeing friends or browsing Netflix. Otherwise, better cancel those evening plans.

Those of you who spend all your time in Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Maps for iOS can simply install those apps on your brand new Android device, sign in using your Google account credentials, and pick up where you left off. The same applies for
Google Photos
and Google Drive.

Google Drive can handle contacts and calendars for you. Image: Google

Unlike Apple, Google doesn’t have a dedicated app to help you defect to its mobile OS, but it does
have a website
with a lot of the information you’re going to need: essentially you’re instructed to use Google Drive to copy over contacts, photos, videos and calendar entries, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

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If you’re thinking about switching from iOS to Android in the future, or like to swap mobile OSes on a regular basis, then Google’s cloud-centric services make the task much easier-so your best off keeping all your data there. By contrast, the only official Apple app you can get on Android at the moment is
Apple Music
.

Messages and emails

Extricating yourself from iMessage is perhaps the biggest challenge facing those jumping ship to Android. iMessage doesn’t work on Google’s platform, and there’s no way to export all your message history into a comparable Android app. You’re going to have to say goodbye to iMessage, but you can at least ensure a clean break. As soon as you know you’re making the move go into your iOS and navigate to Messages in Settings and turn iMessage off, then go to FaceTime in Settings and turn that off too. Apple’s full instructions
are here
.

If you have some precious iMessages or plain old SMSes you can’t leave behind, you’ll need to rely on third-party software and some rather convoluted processes to back it all up.
iSMS2droid
promises to import messages from an unencrypted backup you made in iTunes on your computer into Android. If you don’t need the backup on your phone, then
PhoneView
(macOS) and
CopyTrans
(Windows) are two of many tools that will let you browse your old missives to your heart’s content.

It’s goodbye to iMessage. Image: Screenshot

As for emails, Apple’s system supports IMAP, so you can carry on checking your iCloud emails through Gmail on Android if you’re not having a fresh start and giving up your old email address completely. Tap the drop-down arrow on the Gmail app menu, choose
Add account
, and follow
the configuration instructions
provided by Apple. It’s the same process if you’re using any other kind of email app on your new Android device, like
Outlook
from Microsoft. The only requirement is that it supports the popular IMAP protocol.

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You have a couple of other options if putting your iCloud account directly into Gmail doesn’t appeal. You can have all your Apple iCloud emails automatically forwarded to your new Gmail address, by going into iCloud Mail on the web and
setting up forwarding
-you can even delete the originals after they’re passed on. Alternatively, you can export
all your old emails
using Mail on a Mac just in case you ever need them again, then close down your Apple account.

Contacts and calendars

As long as you just want to make a one-way, one-time switch from iOS to Android, then
Google Drive for iOS
makes the process of moving contacts and calendars over simple enough. Once you’ve got the app installed on your iOS device, open the menu then tap
Settings
and
Backup
. Choose the data you want to transfer across to the equivalent Google accounts, tap Start Backup, and you’re on your way-everything from iOS and iCloud gets picked up. Make sure you’re on wi-fi, and the iPhone is plugged in during the switchover. Also note, that any previous backups you’ve done will be
overwritten
.

macOS can help make switching calendars easier. Image: Screenshot

If you want a two-way sync, which you might if you’re using your Android phone with an Apple laptop, then it’s a lot more complicated. The best option, really, is to switch to using Google contacts and calendars as much as you can, and then adding your Google account to the relevant apps in macOS (
Add Account
from the main app menu in both cases).

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Even then you need to make sure you’re always adding events to the Google calendars (or contacts) and not the iCloud ones for them to show up on your phone. If you absolutely must keep both Google and iCloud services running concurrently, and syncing with each other, then you’ll need to put your trust in a third-party app for
macOS
or
Android
.

Photos and videos

Since Google Photos came into the world it’s actually pretty easy to get all your personal photos and videos moved over to Android, via Google’s servers, as long as they’re all still on your iPhone: Install
Google Photos for iOS
, opt to back everything up, and away you go. You can either pay Google for storage and keep everything at full resolution, or accept some resizing (images max out at 16 MP, videos at 1080p), and store as many photos and videos as you like on the web, free of charge.

The process is even more straightforward if you use the Google Drive app as we described in the section above, and Google Photos even supports Live Photos these days, using those extra few frames of animation to create a GIF for you. The only negative is that the albums you’ve created in iOS don’t get copied over (everything appears as one long list of pictures), so you need to create them again.

Google Photos can transfer images and videos. (Image: Google)

All that is easy enough but if you’ve got photos in iCloud you’ve moved off your iPhone then you might have a problem or two on your hands. As we explained in
our full guide to the topic
of switching between Apple Photos and Google Photos, just about the only option open to you is downloading them all from iCloud to a macOS
or Windows machine
then uploading them again using
a Google Photos client
.

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It’s a little convoluted but it’s manageable, and it’s a lot easier than using the export options in iCloud on the web, which are practically non-existent. If you don’t have a computer to act as the middleman between iCloud Photo Library and Google Photos then you’re stuck-you’ll have to borrow a laptop from someone.

Music and movies

As we now have
Apple Music
on Android, getting your iTunes music on your Android device is no longer the exercise in frustration it once was. As far as tunes you’ve actually purchased directly from iTunes, it’s probably the best option out there, though you do need to have signed up for an Apple Music subscription to be able to use the app and get at your purchases.

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Otherwise, it depends on where your music is and how it’s stored. Any plain old MP3s you were syncing to your iPhone from iTunes can be uploaded to
Google Play Music
instead (50,000 of them can be stored for free), or you can use something like
DoubleTwist
, which is just about the leading choice if you want to keep on using iTunes alongside Android for your music. If you’re signed up for
Spotify
you just need the Android app.

Apple Music, now on Android. Image: Screenshot

Likewise, if you’ve been accessing all your movies and TV shows
through Netflix
, Plex or Google Play Movies & TV then you just need to find and install the relevant app for Android and you’re ready to go. All these services let you stream to multiple devices from a single account, so you can carry on using your iOS device if you need to.

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However, any videos you’ve purchased from iTunes won’t run on Android at all-there’s just no app to do it unless Apple ever gets around to making one. Several tools out there will do the job of removing iTunes DRM for you, but since we’re getting into murky legal territory with that, we’ll leave you to discover them for yourself. If you’ve invested hundreds of dollars in an iTunes digital library then you can still watch it on macOS, Windows,
and the Apple TV
, but not Android.

Apps and games

Generally speaking, all the apps you use on your iPhone are going to be available on Android as well, though there are a few exceptions-like
Overcast
and
Day One
. In terms of paid-for apps, you’re going to have to pay for them all again, unfortunately, though something like a Spotify subscription buys you access on both Android and iOS.

Whether all your data (from documents to saved games) moves over with you is another matter and worth checking up on before you make the switch. If you’re in any doubt, get in touch with the developer directly to see what the situation is (you might be out of luck with anything that relies heavily on the iCloud storage system).

Some paid-for iOS games, like Alto’s Adventure, are free to play on Android. (Image: Noodlecake Studios Inc)

We can’t give you a guide to everything out there, but think about your productivity, fitness, and banking apps. Assess how much data is stored locally and what’s going to happen to it. If you can, keep your old iPhone and new Android phone running alongside each other for a while until you’re certain everything’s been moved over successfully without too many bumps in the road.

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You might not believe it if you’ve read everything that’s above, but moving from iOS to Android is actually much easier than it used to be, thanks mainly to an increased focus on cloud services (even, belatedly, from Apple itself). As long as you take your time, and don’t live your life inside iMessage, you don’t have to feel daunted by the task.