Stories by Ian Paul

Google Chrome 10: A feature breakdown

Google recently launched a new version of Chrome that includes a new password sync feature, synced data encryption, an improved settings interface, and promises 66 per cent faster JavaScript speeds. The new version has also beefed up security by improving Chrome's sandboxing feature, which prevents malware from interacting with the rest of your system, to include Adobe Flash player.

Android edges RIM, Apple as most popular smartphone OS

Google's Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the United States -- but just barely, according to new numbers from the Nielsen Company. The metrics firm found that Android has captured 29 per cent of the hearts and minds of U.S. smartphone users, while Research In Motion's Blackberry and Apple's iPhone trail at 27 per cent each. The findings are a marked difference from a Nielsen report released in December that found the iPhone had about a four per cent lead on its Google rival. The December study also said Android and iPhone devices were equally desirable among U.S. users.

The iPad 2: What wasn't said

The next iteration of the iPad is coming to an Apple Store near you on March 11</a> at 5 p.m. local time. Apple's new iPad 2 features an Apple-branded 1GHz A5 dual-core processor, 9.7-inch screen with 1024-by-768 resolution, front- and rear-facing cameras, up to 1080p video out support via HDMI, 10 hours of battery life, accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope, and separate GSM and CDMA 3G connectivity options. The iPad 2 will be available in black or white.

iPad 2: 10 questions that need answering

It's almost time for Apple's special event, when the second generation iPad -- dubbed the iPad 2 -- is expected to debut. Will the next iPad have two cameras? Will it be thinner, lighter, faster and maybe even cheaper? All of these questions will finally be answered. So as we get ready for Apple's special event, here's a look at 10 questions Apple will hopefully be ready to answer today.

Google Gmail snafu lesson: Backup, backup, backup

Gmail is hard at work restoring service to about 40,000 Gmail users after a software bug deleted their e-mail messages, folders, labels and filters. So, while things are looking good for those users affected by the bug, this episode proves, once again, that while Web-based services may be robust, you still have to take responsibility for your own data.

Apple Store down as new MacBook Pros set for release

It looks like all those rumors about a MacBook Pro refresh coming Thursday instead of in early March are true. The online version of the Apple Store was down this morning and, just in time before the big reveal, a photo has leaked online showing the specs for the new 15-inch version of the refreshed MacBook Pro.

Windows Phone 7 glitch affects 1 in 10 upgrades

Microsoft said a "technical issue" is to blame for the recent Windows Phone 7 software update problems that have bricked about 10 percent of devices trying to upgrade. The update snafu mostly appears to be affecting Samsung devices. Microsoft hasn't said what, specifically, caused the problems, but it has stopped upgrades to Samsung handsets as a precaution. Updates are continuing normally for non-Samsung phones.

Motorola Atrix 4G gets the teardown treatment

The masters of the teardown at iFixit got its hands on Motorola's new Atrix 4G Android smartphone to peek under the hood see what makes it tick. Most of the specs were already known such as the device's 1GHz NVIDIA dual-core processor, 16GB onboard storage, 1 micro HDMI, 1 micro USB and a 960-by-540 resolution display. Nevertheless, it's always fun to see what the latest smartphones look like without their fancy coverings, so here's a quick look at what iFixit's teardown found in the Atrix 4G.

Rumored MacBooks Pros coming: What shoppers need to know

If you were planning on heading to the Apple Store this President's Day to go shopping for a new MacBook Pro, you might want to hold off on until at least Thursday. Apple is expected to announce a MacBook Pro refresh this week featuring machines that are thinner, lighter, have zippy new Intel processors and better screens, according to the latest rumors. The favored date for the new MacBook Pro line-up is Thursday, February 24, according to MacRumors.

Google Android vs. Apple iOS: Feature war heats up

The Android versus iOS platform war is heating up. Just one day after Apple announced its new in-app subscription model, Google responded with a similar scheme. Google may soon launch its long-expected music service to compete with iTunes, and Apple may be trying to horn in on mobile social products such as Google Buzz with a revamped Mobile Me.

Apple's new subscription model: Pros and cons

Apple recently said it wants a 30 per cent cut of all subscriptions sold on iOS devices, including services that offer music, video, newspapers and magazines. But Apple's move may force digital publishers and content providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu to think long and hard about continuing to offer apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

Mini-iPhone reports persist

Add yet another report to the miniature iPhone bandwagon, which suggests Apple is developing a cheaper, smaller version of its signature smartphone.

RIM PlayBook may undercut HP TouchPad, compete with iPad

Pricing for the new HP TouchPad hasn't been announced, but it looks like Research In Motion's 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook will cost $500. That rumor comes after Twitter user Ben Shipley posted a screenshot that shows what appears to be an internal Office Depot webpage of the PlayBook with a $500 price tag. The page also says the PlayBook is coming to Office Depot stores in Week 17 (presumably of 2011), suggesting a late April launch. Shipley once worked for Office Depot as a Regional Project Specialist, according to his Facebook page. It's not clear whether he is still employed with the big box retailer.

iPhone 5: A GSM/CDMA world phone?

The teardown kings at iFixit have discovered that Apple's new Verizon CDMA iPhone has a Qualcomm dual-mode GSM/CDMA chip under the hood. That means, as iFixit notes, "Apple could have supported GSM" networks such as AT&T or T-Mobile with the Verizon iPhone. But for whatever reason Apple decided against this strategy and went CDMA-only with its new version of the iPhone 4. But what about the rumored iPhone 5 expected to debut this summer? Could Apple make the iPhone a GSM-CDMA world phone then?

Honeycomb: What you need to know about the new Android

Google's tablet-ready mobile OS Android 3.0, Honeycomb, has arrived packed with features such as camera support, improved navigation, graphics and an overhauled Android Market. Android tablets running Honeycomb won't be available for a few weeks yet, but here's a quick FAQ to get your up to speed on the latest developments for Android devices.