So what made the company decide to do this? Well, the coffee giant has reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales. Just imagine if they’d paid more tax too. They’d be weeping into their piggy banks.
“We are playing offence,” CEO Howard Schultz said, like a git, adding: ”Imagine the ability to create a standing order that Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily.”
Starbucks is hugely popular and there’s money to made through delivering a load of brown liquid to people in offices. It goes without saying that there’ll be some who don’t understand the point of it all, preferring to eat spoonfuls of Mellow Birds or whatever, but you can see this becoming a popular thing.
The coffee chain is looking at ways for getting consumers involved through online shopping rather than plain old brick-and-mortar stores. As well as a delivery service, Starbucks are going to allow customers to pre-order drinks on their smartphones by next year.
Looks like Starbucks aren’t happy with other businesses stealing a march on them.
In the latest in this season’s Battle of the Wrists, Microsoft Band, along with a related online service, Microsoft Health, will analyse the data from the band and other devices to help people with their fitness goals.
It’s fairly straightforward design is no great shakes, and it does all the basic things like Facebook and paying for coffee and that, but it also has sensors in the device will continuously track heart rate, sleep quality and calories burned.
Also, as a bonus, it will cost $199 (£125), which is a great deal cheaper than the Apple Watch due in the new year, which starts at $349 (£220).
Obviously the good will out as users will start to figure out which is the best and most reliable phones, especially if they take their exercise seriously.
However, according to a recent survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that about a third of respondents who purchased a wearable device more than a year ago now say they no longer use it or do so infrequently.
So a case of the Emperor’s new wristwatch all round, if the wearable market becomes a flash gadget arena for people with too much money.
They claim this G is better than all the other Gs, as it offers download speeds of up to 150MBps and averages of 90Mbps – five times faster than the average UK broadband connection.
However – as is always the way with EE – there’s a caveat: availability is quite limited in the UK, so it’s literally running before it can walk.
First up you will need a 4G+ compatible smartphone (EE only offers two: Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4). Whereas non-EE smartphones that are 4G+ compatible include Motorola’s Nexus 6, Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 and LG’s G3.
And when they say London, they don’t mean Lambeth or Crouch End or White City, they mean Shoreditch, Old Street, Westminster and Kensington.
They hope this will be expanded to the whole of Greater London by June 2015 and then on to Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
The new 4G+ connection brings the UK up to speed with the world’s most connected countries – including South Korea, Japan and the US – and places it ahead of most other European countries.
So, swings and roundabouts.
You can get one of these smartwatches for £199.99 and there’s a whole bunch of designs available for those of you with vain wrists. As a sweetener, Motorola will also be offering up the Moto X smartphone with £60 off.
However, Motorola have said that purchases are limited to two watches per person while stocks last. Sadly for Motorola, the smartwatch went on sale and, while the grey design sold out, the black version was still available to buy like no-one is particularly arsed about them.
The 360 runs on Google’s Android Wear OS and features a round face that makes it appear similar to a regular wristwatch and on the face is a 1.5in circular display complete with a 320 x 290 pixel resolution that delivers 205ppi.
It can also contain 4GB of onboard storage, and 512MB of RAM with a wireless charging dock included to plug in the Moto 360. It is also water resistant, has Bluetooth connectivity, and will eventually have a choice of a metal or leather strap while supporting voice recognition, and contains a heart rate monitor and pedometer.
Your phone will need to run Google Android 4.3 or higher to work with your Moto 360, but if you take the company up on their Moto X offer, you’ll be in like Flynn.
For example, if you buy a Galaxy 4, you’ll find that you’re obliged to have ‘S Health’, ‘Story Album’, ‘Samsung Wallet’, ‘Samsung Link’, ‘Samsung Hub’, ‘WatchON’, ‘ChatON’, ‘Group Play’, ‘Galaxy Apps’, ‘Knox’, ‘My Galaxy’ and more.
That’s a lot of apps that you might not want, taking up space on your phone. Unless you’re the kind of person who can get under the hood of a phone, chances are, you’ll just put up with them.
However, that might be changing as Android Lollipop, Google’s latest mobile operating system, might be helping you lose the bloat.
If the apps are installed through Google Play (even if they’re done automatically when you first boot your phone or tablet up when you buy it), they’ll be on the data partition and you’ll be able to remove them. And this is according to Google Vice President of Engineering for Android and Nexus Dave Burke and Android team Group Product Manager Gabe Cohen.
That all said, there’s going to be a catch – you can just sense it. There’s no way phone manufacturers and the like are going to design all these crapps and let them wither on the vine.
We’ll find out when the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 come out, which will launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop soon. Hopefully, this will be the start of something genuinely useful for Android phone-havers.
The Samaritans have created a new free app that detects signs of worry among your circle. The app watches Twitter for any indication of people having a shitty time and struggling to cope, and will send out a message to people to check their chum’s wellbeing.
It is hoped that the Samaritans Radar app will give people a “second chance to see potentially worrying Tweets, which might have otherwise been missed”.
It operates with Twitter’s API and searches messages for specific keywords and phrases that could point to the tweeter having issues. These phrases include: “tired of being alone”, “hate myself”, “depressed”, “help me” and “need someone to talk to.”
Of course if someone’s “Jam” is Al Green’s ‘Tired Of Being Alone’ then it probably will dismiss that.
It then sends email alerts to the user – basically a more professional approach to uokhun? – and will offer advice and help. To sign up to the service, which is a web app, users need only to visit the Samaritans Radar website and enter their details.
Samaritans acknowledges that social media is increasingly being used as an outlet for people to share their feelings.
It also marks the start of a wider collaboration with Samaritans which includes a referral process: when somebody gets reported as suicidal, the Twitter “Trust & Safety team” verifies the report and if they deem it accurate they get in touch with both the reported and the reported account, to share recommendations and contact information for Samaritans.
Obviously don’t just rely on posting pass/agg messages about hating yourself and wanting to die. Especially during X Factor, as it won’t stand a chance.
As of today, you’ll be able to get over 90 phones on deals starting from £13 with nothing to pay upfront. All of Amazon’s plans are 24 months long and are through the O2 network, should you care about those details.
There’s some decent offers too. You can get the HTC One for £0 upfront and £28 per month (with unlimited texts and 1GB of data) or the Nokia Lumia 735 for nothing upfront and £15 a month.
Of course, this gives Amazon the chance to flog their own Fire Phone too, which you can get with a new Amazon contract. With unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data, you can land one for £0 upfront and £28 a month.
Don’t bother looking for an iPhone though because it looks like Amazon doesn’t want anything to do with Apple. Not yet at least. You can check out Amazon’s deals and phones here.
The Inbox introduces new features including bundling – which gives people the option to group all sorts of stuff together like emails and receipts.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome & Apps, says Inbox was developed to tackle issues around email including “important information buried inside messages” and “our most important tasks slipping through the cracks”.
“Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries.”
There’s also various assists to help users remember to get in touch with shops, people and what have you, by supplying you with the phone number and will tell you if the shop is open or not.
Inbox by Google is also one of the first Google products to use Google’s new Material design direction. Unveiled in June, the Material features updated colours, icons, typography and imagery guidelines.
Google is currently sending out the first round of invitations to use Inbox.
One young lady called Trinity Groves was such a fan, that she watched tutorial videos so she could improve her looming. However, in the process, she ran up an enormous phone bill over a fortnight after her home’s WiFi stopped working.
Her dad, Philip, was blissfully unaware she’d been using Vodafone’s premium rates to get online, and after 28 hours of videos, dad got the unpleasant surprise of a £1,792 phone bill.
Philip is not happy at all. He said: “She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the WiFi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected.”
“We didn’t know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate. As far as I was aware, the WiFi was connected. I wasn’t informed otherwise. If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know?”
“Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it’s frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don’t know where to turn.”
After disputing the bill, Philip got another kick in the groin when Vodafone informed him that he was now blacklisted. They still want paying too.
Philip added: “They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing. They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can’t afford it. How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It’s disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything.”
Trinity isn’t happy either, saying: “When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands… I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it’s made me very sad.”
A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter. We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded.”
Microsoft could keep hold of the name for another ten years, but obviously thought “no, that’s it, you’re dead to us!” and will now be known as the not-at-all catchy ‘Microsoft Lumia’.
The Nokia brand had been visible on recent smartphone launches such as the Lumia 930 and Lumia 735, but Microsoft has not mentioned it in any press on marketing junk.
The Windows Phone apps have also been re-branded to Lumia, and the firm hasn’t even been referring to Windows Phone in advertising, instead using just Windows instead.
The rebranding will roll out across various countries in due course, however it is unclear what branding Microsoft will decide to use on future smartphones and tablets.
Existing devices carry the Nokia logo on the front and back so it will probably be a little while for new devices all branded and sexed up to arrive.
Still. No more Nokia! The name of a mobile giant is chucked in the bin just like that. We’ll be playing ‘Snake’ all night and crying while seeing if it is possible to actually break a Nokia 3310 without the use of nuclear weapons.
Sky has been making eyes at Vodafone, EE and O2 about a potential deal, and presumably, will be going with the most lucrative offer, rather than the one that will serve their customers the best. Have you ever tried to watch satellite television when the weather is a bit lousy?
Instead of your TV disrupted by a threat of rain, it’ll you be you screaming down the phone: “HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? HELLO? HEL- MUM? HELLO? CAN Y- OH FORGET IT.”
Anyway, with a number of Sky’s competitors offering mobile and broadband packages, it looks like they’ll be going ahead with it, offering mobile services under their own brand.
Sky’s Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Darroch said the company always “remains open to opportunities”.
He said the mobile market is something that Sky “keeps a close eye on”, adding: ”If we thought there was strong customer demand, then we can be in a good place to respond. We’ve got a very significant customer base already that we know we can cross-sell into very successfully.”
Does anyone want to make a joke about Murdoch and phone-tapping so we don’t have to?
First Apple announce theirs and suddenly everyone’s launching a smartwatch. Microsoft are the latest to get in on the wrist-action and it is rumoured they’ll have a smartwatch due to launch within weeks.
While there’s no word on an exact date as yet, reports suggest that Microsoft would like it out before Christmas. And, ideally, before Apple.
There’s also rumours that the device will offer a two-day battery life, which shades the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear 2′s everyday charging needs.
The Microsoft smartwatch will also have compatibility for multiple operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and Forbes claims it will also be the first wearable to feature an always-on heart rate sensor, making use of Microsoft’s Kinect technology.
According to a report: “When it comes to battery life, Microsoft may benefit from its historic expertise in software, allowing it to create sensor integrations that boost the device’s power train efficiency.”
Microsoft has yet to comment on the speculation. They’re just offering us “GO AWAY” at the moment.
That’s according to the findings of a study by Global Wireless Solutions, who tested the ten most popular commuter routes to discover that that one in three mobile internet tasks and one in seven voice calls on commuter trains fails.
The networks EE, O2 and Vodafone all rely heavily on their older 2G networks and ‘half-rate codecs’ for the commuters, but this means that call quality can be poor and many data packets are dropped.
The study found that 23% of 3G data packets and 37% of 4G data packets travelling across the networks of the four major UK operators do not make it to their intended destinations.
Basically, the best network on which to chat on is 3, while Vodafone’s subscribers get best 3G data service and EE subscribers get the best 4G data service.
In a statement that suggests he needed it written for him, Paul Carter, chief executive of GWS said: “Leaves on the track, the wrong kind of snow, having to stand up all the way to work and back – commuters have enough to contend with without the kind of mobile connectivity problems we’re revealing today,”
“It’d be great to see networks, rail operators and station-masters taking the lead on improving connectivity for commuters – rather than having to be dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming.”
Bless him. Shall we look at the Top Ten worst stations then?
Station / Average number of voice and data failures
1. St Pancras (99)
2. Radlett (53)
3. Kentish Town (43)
4. Upminster (42)
5. Elstree & Borehamwood (36)
6. Hendon (33.5)
7. St Alban’s City (33)
8. Cricklewood (27.5)
9. Kidbrooke (27)
10. Ockenden (26)