Stories by Matt Hamblen

Google I/O looks to be about more than Android

Google's annual I/O conference kicks off tomorrow amid widespread expectations that a new version of the Android OS will be unveiled, along with discussions of smartwatches and, perhaps, security.

The UPC barcode arrived 40 years ago; now, they're ubiquitous

The first barcode was used in 1974 to scan in a pack of gum. Now they're used for everything from flight check-ins to patient records and warehouse inventory. They've even been used to track bees. Yes, bees.

A closer look at the new technologies in Amazon's Fire smartphone

Using the new technologies in its Fire smartphone, Amazon may eventually merge Google's new imaging technology with the Fire's Firefly and Dynamic Perception innovations to empower consumer buying further than before, an IDC analyst predicted.

Amazon's Fire phone is 'Prime' example of customer first

With its new Fire Phone, Amazon is primarily interested in connecting to its 250 million Amazon and Prime customers with a phone that makes it quick and easy to shop over the Web.

Amazon's expected smartphone already faces skeptics

If Amazon announces a smartphone on Wednesday, as is widely expected, it will face an avalanche of skeptics.

Amazon says the Mayday button on its Fire HDX is a hit

Amazon bragged that the Mayday tech support button on the Fire HDX tablet has become the most popular way to get tech help, with an average response time of just 9.75 seconds.

Tizen OS declared 'dead in the water'

Days after Samsung introduced a Tizen OS-based smartphone, a UK-based analyst declared the operating system a non-starter, despite its backing by a consortium of heavyweights including Intel, Samsung and LG Electronics.

SwiftKey is free for Android, as predictive keyboard competition grows

Innovations for predictive virtual keyboards used in smartphones and tablets keep rolling in. SwiftKey said its Keyboard app for Android smartphones and tablets that allows predictive typing would be free on Google Play.

Warnings for smartphone, credit-car users at World Cup

Soccer fans lucky enough to be traveling to Brazil for the World Cup are hearing an earful of consumer warnings about potentially onerous smartphone roaming charges and credit card ripoffs at ATMs and restaurants.

Amazon lets you switch from e-book reading to listening with just a tap

If you ever wanted to switch between reading an e-book and listening to it being read -- maybe by a famous actor or the author -- Amazon now has just the thing for you.

Amtrak explores trackside network to upgrade Acela's Wi-Fi service

Amtrak is exploring ways it can upgrade the on-board Wi-Fi on its Acela trains between Washington and Boston, now notoriously poor for passengers, especially during rush-hour travel.

RadioShack to expand in-store Fix It Here service nationwide

RadioShack plans to expand its same-day Fix It Here in-store service for cell phones and tablets to more than 700 stores nationwide by year's end.

Sprint-T-Mobile merger questions: Will regulators OK it? And, Legere as CEO?

With reports out this week that Sprint and T-Mobile US are planning to announce a $32 billion merger this summer, two big questions linger: Would federal regulators approve the deal? And would T-Mobile CEO John Legere run the combined company?

Wi-Fi calling coming to iPhones in iOS 8, with T-Mobile's support

Apple's new iOS 8 will support Wi-Fi calling when the version launches in the fall, and T-Mobile US was quick to say on Monday it will support the feature on its customers' iPhones.

Tizen developers gather this week; Omlet messaging platform to add some edginess

The emerging Tizen OS has attracted few radical types, just as other open source platforms like Android did in their early days.