smartphone

Mythbusters: We drive a car over our smartphone to test the protective film

Even today, a lot of people in Japan still prefer flip phones over smartphones. Part of the reason is because smartphones screens–exposed as they are–are a lot more vulnerable and seem to break easily. Take myself for example: after purchasing a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 last summer, I dropped it once and since then have had a giant crack across my screen.

But with the right case and protective film, your smartphone can, apparently, become practically invincible!

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Japan’s biggest online retailers now have more smartphone traffic than desktop site users

Japan’s most visited sites saw PC traffic decline by between 10 and 20 percent in 2014, while access from smartphones rose rapidly, according to a Nielson survey published this week. Online retailers saw the most marked changes, with some experiencing as much as a 60 percent rise in mobile internet traffic.

It’s easy to see this shift to mobile as part of a wider global trend – after all, Americans already spend more time accessing the internet via mobile and tablet apps than with computers. But smartphone use in Japan looks a little different. When Japanese consumers use smartphones to access the internet, it is mostly via mobile web browsing, rather than dedicated apps.

Join us after the jump as we take a closer look at the what and why of these suprising survey results.

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OPPO’s new R5 smartphone is a multi-tool disguised as the thinnest cell phone ever

Apple’s iPhone 6 has gotten a lot of press for being very flexible in all the wrong situations. Competitors are chomping at the bit to occupy any ground the iPhone gives up. Introducing OPPO’s new entry into an extremely saturated market, the R5. Coming in at a ludicrously slender 4.85 mm, OPPO is ready to show the world what its new phone can do. In an obvious attempt to illustrate the clear differences between Apple’s phone and OPPO’s R5, they created a commercial to show just how tough it really is. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have some fruit to cut, a nail to hammer in, or need to lift a car 4.85 mm off the ground, don’t take out a multi-tool, just get out your new R5!

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Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick

If you’ve just spent an exorbitant amount of money on a new smartphone, chances are you’re also going to want to buy a case to keep it scratch-free for as long as possible.

But why waste your hard-earned money on a flimsy bit of plastic that you just know won’t fit the next model when it comes out and society demands that you upgrade? With this simple–and kind of hypnotic–trick, you can turn any old balloon into your next smartphone case!

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Want to make music, but can’t play an instrument? Casio app turns your hums into full tracks!

Music is pretty much one of the best things in life–some people might even say it is the best thing in life. Playing an instrument is supposed to do all sort of great things for us, but most would agree that getting started with music can be pretty difficult. While DAWs like FL Studio exist to help us produce whatever we hear in our heads without strumming a single chord, digital production is quite a bit more difficult than most people realize. From programming drums to synthesizing new sounds, it can be just as time-consuming as learning to play guitar. “Why can’t I just whip out my smartphone, hum a little ditty, and let it do all the hard work of producing a track?” you might be thinking.

Well, soon you will be able to, thanks to a new app from Casio. You won’t even need to hum all the way through–it’ll generate a whole song from one section!

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One of the biggest smartphone makers in China just released this blatant iPhone 6 clone

Lenovo, which happens to be the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in China, just released a new phone that looks almost identical to Apple’s iPhone 6.

The Lenovo S90 Sisley features the same metal unibody design and curved edges as the iPhone 6. The speaker placement is even exactly the same, as shown in photos obtained by tech blog Gizmobic (via Android Authority).

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Junior high kid has lucky escape, learns why walking while using a smartphone isn’t a good idea

Cell phones, and smartphones in particular, are amazing tools. They let us keep in touch with our friends and family, provide us with incredibly convenient maps and directions when we are lost, and are the ultimate tool in settling bar bets. They are our life support, our life line to everything, so what happens when our every waking moment revolves around it?

There have been numerous issues recently about people who endanger those around them when they constantly look at their phone while walking. A junior high school boy in Nagoya found out just how dangerous staring at your phone can be, both to himself and to the hundreds of people he put in danger.

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There’s a city in China with its own street lane for people who can’t stop staring at their phones

How many times have you bumped into someone while walking down the street because your face was buried in your phone?

Apparently this happens all too often in one Chinese city — so much so that an entire street lane has been set aside for those who can’t stop staring at their phones.

You can find this lane on Foreigner Street in Chongqing, China, according to Engadget, which spotted the story via Chinese news publication News.cn. The lane was created to “reduce collisions” in the area due to the high number of tourists in the area, according to a translation of the Chinese article.

The street is divided in two halves, with one lane labeled “Cellphones, walk at your own risk” and the other marked “No cellphones.”

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Here’s an easy way to check if the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will fit in your pocket

With Apple’s announcement of their new iPhone lineup the burning question on everyone’s lips is – but is it gonna fit in my pocket?! Download and print this handy to-scale model and find out!

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“Subway Superwoman” spotted in China dragging her phone addict boyfriend on to the subway

People who can’t start a meal until they’ve snapped the perfect picture and shared it on Facebook or Instagram, with hashtags, of course. People who walk slower than your grandma in a crowded mall or train station because they’re engaged in some mobile game or have their eyes glued on to some soap opera on their tiny screens. And then there are those who feel the incessant need to check if anyone “liked” their recent status update, or consistently have twenty group chats to reply to. There are so many of such cases these days, I’m sure you know what I’m driving at.

I’m talking about people who are addicted to their smartphones. Apparently some of them get so engrossed in their phones that they can’t walk or board the subway with their own legs.

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Osaka police sergeant arrested for putting smartphone between woman’s legs on train

A 41-year-old police sergeant from the Osaka Tondabayashi police station has been arrested after it was discovered that while riding in a train, he put his smartphone between a woman’s legs.

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Chinese tech startup asks women to send in photos of themselves for a chance to buy a smartphone

Chinese tech company OnePlus is holding a contest requesting that women send in photos of themselves in order to score an invite to purchase its wildly popular phone, the OnePlus One.

As part of the contest, women must either write the OnePlus logo on their body or hold up a piece of paper showing the company’s symbol. Only women are permitted to enter the competition, and the entrant with the most likes on her photo wins an invitation to buy the $300 OnePlus One.

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Digital-age robber epically owned by analog granny at convenience store in Fukuoka

What started off as a basic robbery attempt turned into a mortifying experience for one wannabe robber in Fukuoka Prefecture. Seriously, either the konbini gods were conspiring against him or he met his ultimate match in an old woman, but either way, his attempt at crime was completely foiled thanks to an unusual series of events.

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Amazing Game Boy smartphone wallpaper brings out the Nintendo fanboy in us all

Despite the fact that kids today don’t seem to fully appreciate the simple perfection that is the original Game Boy, there is something about that brick-sized grey piece of plastic that can instantly remind almost any 20- or 30-something video game enthusiast of our early gaming days basking in the dull green glow of the monochrome LCD screen. And even though most of us now have a phone in our pocket with specs that blow the Game Boy away, Nintendo’s portable will always hold a special place in our hearts.

So when a Japanese net user caught a glimpse of a co-worker’s expertly crafted smartphone wallpaper, the Internet exploded in one voice—GIMME.

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Japanese Line users unleash their inner troll after popular messaging app gets hacked

Although still relatively unknown in the West, Naver Company’s Line is by far the most popular messaging application in Japan right now, with millions of active users. But when an app comes to be embraced by so many people, it’s often only a matter of time before someone with too much time on their hands decides to spoil the fun for everyone by hacking users’ accounts in an effort to make money.

Cases of Line accounts being taken over have been on the rise since May this year, with many people claiming to have received messages from both anonymous users and those already in their contact list, asking them to purchase pre-paid WebMoney cards and send a photo of the card’s number over to them so that they can claim it.

Thankfully, most Line users are bright enough to recognise a scam when they see it, and know exactly how to respond…

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Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Your smartphone has a busy day, what with being called on to make phone calls, take pictures, play strange fashion-based touchscreen games, and surf the Internet in order to access mankind’s greatest font of knowledge. Doesn’t it deserve some rest? And we don’t mean a short little nap while you’re eating dinner, but a good night’s sleep, snug and comfy inside a Japanese futon.

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The emoji you send actually say a lot about you

Sometimes words just aren’t enough to convey what you have to say.

People tend to use emoji in both normal and unorthodox ways, and the emoji you use actually says a lot about you. 

Enter Emojinalysis, a Tumblr blog that tells you what’s wrong with your life based on your recently used emoji.

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Samsung’s new Smart Bike features lane-marking laser pointers, a rear camera and more

Cycling in the city can be a genuinely unpleasant experience at times. As well as having to breathe in exhaust fumes for the duration of your journey, our car-centric cities often leave scant room to dedicated bike lanes, meaning cyclists have to share the road with vehicles big and small, often resulting in accidents and near misses.

Thankfully, Samsung thinks it may have a solution to city cyclists’ woes: its new Smart Bike, which incorporates a bevy of technological wizardry and is being built in conjunction with one of the best bicycle designers in the world.

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Brass section rejoice! Your ideal smartphone accessory has arrived

This classy metallic smartphone accessory is currently in development by RepeCan a maker of custom instrument parts. For saxophone or brass instrument players that little thing should be instantly recognizable, and for many more it should conjure up an odorous memory or two of middle school music class.

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Find 707 animated frames in the “Haruhi Hunting” campaign to unlock a new animated clip!

Gotta find ‘em all! should be the catchphrase for the campaign attached to the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya animated video. Even though it’s the first new Haruhi animation in four years, its creators aren’t just screening it for free–they’re making fans actually work to see it! That said, the campaign is actually more like a treasure hunt than anything else. Introducing “Haruhi Hunting,” in which the residents of Japan must work together to unlock the new promotional video. 

Do YOU have what takes to find all 707 missing frames of the animation?

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