Mobile news: what happened this week?

Mobile Phone News

Rain, rain, go away we’ve got mobile news today! After the heatwave has come the perhaps predictable damp week, but that isn’t enough to stop the mobile news from going ahead as usual. This week we’ve got news on the rumoured Pixel 2, a look at the original iPhone’s prototypes, Google Triangle is letting you control your mobile data, the iPhone turns 10 years old and are our phones making us short sighted? Find out more below.

Rumours around as possible benchmarks for the Pixel 2 surface

Google’s Pixel phones were meant to be the continuation of the Nexus line – although at nearly twice the price – and upon release did pretty well for themselves in the premium Android market.  Although still unofficial, there have been some leaked benchmarks that point towards at least two, maybe more, phones in development.

They show that the phones will probably be running the latest Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, as well as Android O, the latest, still to be released version of Android.

Interestingly, Google has also apparently put in an order for curved screens from LG, pointing towards them either perhaps wanting them in the Pixel phones, or perhaps even LG being the ones who are making one of more of them. We’ll have more news as it comes.

The original iPhone prototypes were ugly and needed a Mac to run

While the impact that the iPhone had on the overall design aesthetic of mobile phones cannot be understated, like all good designs, it went through a lot of prototyping before it arrived at the one we saw released in 2007.

Ken Kocienda, the man who worked on and designed the iPhone’s first software keyboard, recently posted a picture of two of the prototypes that he used as part of his development.

They were nicknamed “wallabies” although he doesn’t know why. It’s possible that it had something to do with them being in “incubation”, so to speak, but it’s something we’ll probably never know for sure.

The phones themselves are fascinating to look at, clearly from different parts of the prototyping cycle, although both having a chunky, plastic look that was done away with in the final build. Interestingly though, even at that early stage, you can see the now famous central button on the front in place on the right hand model.

Still, while they’re interesting, we’re glad that there were more revisions of the design before they released it. Those revisions turned the iPhone into a world beater in almost all areas of the market when it was first released. Speaking of actually…

The iPhone is now a decade old

Despite smartphones being so common these days it’s much more unusual to meet someone without one than with, this was not always the case. Merely 10 years ago, smartphones were essentially a pie in the sky dream. That was, of course, until the iPhone came along and changed everything.

At the time of its release it was so new, so ahead of the curve (and so expensive) that a good number of people couldn’t really see the point in it, but quickly word spread and soon it was the standard that all other phones aimed to beat.

When you consider how far things have come since that first release, it’s amazing to think it was only a decade ago. Who knows what smartphones will look like in another 10 years, if they exist at all!

Google Triangle wants to let you take control of your data use

Are you someone who always seems to hit the limit of their mobile data without even realising? Or, alternatively, are you on a plan that has a limited amount of data and you’re worried about going over? Well, Google’s making an app that could be just the thing you need.

Called Google Triangle, it’s being tested in the Philippines right now and the idea is that it will allow you to see and control how you’re using your mobile data. The app will let you see what your data allowance is, as well as showing you what apps are using data, how much they’re using, and even can block the apps from being able to use data at all.

It’s not the first time that Google has tried something like this, with the “data saver” option that they introduced to Chrome, and also a similar function on their Pixel range. Those options are simple on/off settings though, with Triangle, Google is allowing users to gain a much more in-depth look at how they are using their data and also fine tune it in a way that’s not been possible before.

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Philippines you can download the beta of the app now, but otherwise we’re going to have to wait until it’s rolled out properly to get access to it.

Smartphone usage might be making us short sighted

Many of us need glasses to function in the world, it’s just one of those things, and most of us wearing glasses are short sighted. A team of scientists in London, however, have discovered a worrying trend. The rates of short-sightedness amongst the population have climbed significantly over the past few years, and the finger is being pointed at our extensive use of screens.

The Independent reports that the increase in short sightedness is happening too quickly for it to be related to genetic or environmental factors alone, and the fact that we are all doing a lot more “near-plane reading” – i.e. reading stuff close to our faces like phones – is the hidden extra factor involved.

There’s not enough evidence currently to definitely say whether this is the case, but it definitely points to the fact that we could all probably use a bit more time away from our screens.

That’s everything for this week, as always we’ll be back same time, same place, to keep you in the loop with the latest mobile news.

Mobile Phone News