Welcome back to this week’s mobile news at Tesco Mobile. This week, we’ve got some updates on the future of BlackBerry, the status of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall and iOS 10, as well as good news for VR gamers and Android Pay users. So, let’s get started!
It’s all over for BlackBerry
On the back of last week’s speculation over the BlackBerry DTEK60 in our mobile news, the company has officially announced that it plans to cease manufacturing any new handsets. In the Canadian company’s quarterly update, CEO John Chen confirmed that it plans to stop all internal hardware development and outsource any manufacturing to third-party partners. This means BlackBerry will focus entirely on software, security updates and back-end solutions for existing handsets.
However, this isn’t the end for the BlackBerry brand. In fact, the DTEK60 has been outsourced to Alcatel to make, with BlackBerry pitching in on security and privacy along the way. There’s even rumours of a second, more premium version of the BlackBerry DTEK60 in the works too, so it’s not time to mourn the death of BlackBerry just yet. Whether we’ll see a resurgence in the brand’s popularity is up for debate, but continuing to release devices will undoubtedly help.
Did someone say free travel?
Mastercard has teamed up with Android Pay to reward customers for using the app by refunding the cost of travel in London every Monday throughout October. All you have to do is use your phone at the contactless terminals for the tube, bus, DLR – whichever your chosen method of city transport is – and Mastercard will refund the fare up to a maximum of £30.50 per day. If you don’t live in the capital, you can still get a free hot drink at Caffè Nero stores nationwide simply by using Android Pay on October 3, 10, 17 and 24.
Total recall: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 update
As we reported in our mobile news at the start of the month, Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 after widespread reports of faulty batteries, with several handsets catching fire. While the recall process is ongoing in several countries, the Note 7 release remains delayed in others until Samsung resolves the issue. So, what’s the latest on the saga?
The problem seems to come from the handset’s battery cells overheating, which can lead to the device combusting or even exploding. If you have one of the original batches of Note 7 handsets, then it is undeniably unsafe to use and the company advise that you switch it off and return it as soon as possible for a replacement. Once your Galaxy Note 7 has been replaced, you should be fine, with isolated incidents supposedly unrelated to the former battery problem. To make it easy to check whether your new model is safe, Samsung has introduced a new green battery icon at the top of the screen, always-on display and the power off screen – just to be sure!
We knew you’d fix it, Apple
As we also discussed in last week’s mobile news, Apple were working on a solution for a bug that caused the Lightning EarPods to become unresponsive after a few minutes of inactivity. In a flash, Apple has released a new update in the form of iOS 10.0.2, which should resolve the issue and ensure the remote control doesn’t give up mid-song. Much to their credit, the company acknowledged this error and amended it fast, but the decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 has not been without criticism. In addition to the amending the audio issue, the new update also fixes a bug that caused the Photos app to quit unexpectedly, as well as curing the app extensions that simply refused to load.
Samsung gear up with Xbox One
Gaming just got a whole lot more immersive, as Microsoft has officially announced that the Samsung Gear VR now works with the new Xbox One controller. Starting with Minecraft: Gear VR Edition, Microsoft is working hard to introduce compatibility with all controller-based virtual reality games currently on the market, as well as planning for future releases. Unlike its predecessor, the new Xbox One controller has Bluetooth connectivity that allows it to connect with Gear VR smartphones, such as as the Samsung Galaxy S7. All you need to do to get started is update your Xbox One controller and it should appear in your phone’s Bluetooth list.
That’s all from our mobile news this week! Be sure to join us again next Friday for the all the highlights from the world of mobile technology.