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Steve Ranger
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Steve Ranger

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My latest cover feature for TechRepublic: How SwiftKey built the world's smartest keyboard and soared to the top of the app economy 
The keyboard is a living fossil and the alignment of its keys hints at the strange history of its origins. It took app economy darling Swiftkey to innovate it in a powerful new direction.
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The best article I've read in some time - great job! 
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In a move that would have been inconceivable a couple of years back, Microsoft has unveiled its first Android handset, the Nokia X2.
Summary: Microsoft sticks with the Android experiment started by Nokia, adding a new handset to the Nokia X range.
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Steve Ranger

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Trying to understand Apple's iBeacon? Here's what you need to know.
Summary: The Bluetooth-powered location system that could shake up shopping (and more) forever.
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Can Nokia make a difference for Microsoft? Perhaps, but it maybe not in the way you expect.
Summary: Microsoft has completed its mega-acquisition of Nokia's handset business, but where does it go from here?
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Steve Ranger

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S5 vs 5s: who has the edge in the battle of the palindromic smartphones?
Summary: The similarities - and differences - between the specs of the two smartphone flagships tell us plenty about the battles to come.
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My review of the Kindle Fire HDX (7" model): an elegantly designed gateway into Amazon's walled garden of content.
Summary: The Kindle Fire HDX is an elegantly designed gateway to Amazon's walled garden. Some will find that reassuring, others claustrophobic.
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Root.
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Steve Ranger

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Want to know more about Google's Android Wear? Here's something to get you started.
Summary: Google's Android Wear wants to make smartwatches more usable and attractive to the masses. Here's what you need to know.
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Steve Ranger

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Take a look at the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
Summary: Samsung's thinnest slate takes aims at the iPad Air and aims to add some excitement back into the tablet world.
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Steve Ranger

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What is Apple Health? Here's what you need to know.
Summary: Apple gets ready to tackle wearables, fitness and healthcare in iOS 8 - here's the lowdown on Apple Health and HealtKit.
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Could a secret digital arms race make real-world confrontations more likely, not less? Have we replaced the cold war with the coders' war? 
As nations spend billions of dollars stockpiling digital weapons and tension grows between them, the risk of world cyber warfare has suddenly turned offensive.
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Nokia's X series of Android phones makes the Android fragmentation problem even weirder. Nokia wants to use Android to persuade customers to buy Windows Phone which is certainly an unexpected twist...
Summary: Nokia X and Amazon's Fire OS are evidence of a strange new world where Android is being used to compete with itself, and with Google.
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FWIW, I think it's great that AOSP can be used this way but GMS requires certification.

Customers on Amazon and Nokia X devices are very different from the typical GMS customer and it's reasonable to treat them differently.

The Amazon device is a great example of how we can get subsidized hardware in the hands of everyman outside the US mobile phone system. I have hopes that these types of devices can help us bridge the digital divide. That AOSP allows for its use in this way is key.

Regarding Microsoft's use. I have opined previously that it's time for Microsoft to abandon windows in favor of a customized Linux or Unix distribution. Imagine the things they could do by freeing up the manpower associated with upkeep and development. The same concept holds true here. What fundamental advantage can the Windows Phone operating system offer the customer or the software developer? Obviously it can't be used on entry level devices. Why not, instead, focus on a Windows Mobile Services layer that brings this functionality to a range of phones with less effort? Again, it's not fragmentation when it's marketed as a different platform and the user doesn't expect an upgrade path. 
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Steve Ranger

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The curious tale of how London's answer to Silicon Valley came into existence: a story of artists, graffiti, hackers and dolls...
London is creating a wave of new tech startups that are finding inspiration in regenerating a crumbling Dickensian district of the historic city.
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Have him in circles
1,715 people
matt loney's profile photo
Andrew Donoher's profile photo
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Meng-Ju Chuang's profile photo
Precious Metal Calculator Pro's profile photo
Melissa Walker's profile photo
Martin English's profile photo
Ian Cohen's profile photo
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I'm a journalist writing about the impact of technology on people, business and society.
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