jeudi 31 mars 2016

Many Brits now do not trust online banking

Banking login Internet Online

Almost half of people living in the UK (48 percent) fear either their identities, or their banking data will be stolen. Those are the results of a new survey from financial technology company Intelligent Environments. According to the report, the fear is well founded, with 20 percent of Britons being victims to some type of cyber-crime, either identity theft or bank details theft.

The report reveals a cybersecurity map of Britain. In it, it says that Birmingham is most concerned with cybersecurity, with 57 percent fearing banking information theft, and 59 percent identity theft. Birmingham is followed by Newcastle and Cardiff.

But perhaps the most important revelation of the report is that people are refraining from using online banking in the first place, thanks to security threats. Twenty-two percent don’t trust digital banking apps, and 12 percent don’t trust online banking. Another seven percent have given up on online banking having been victims to an attack.

"People are more on edge these days, and with good reason", says managing director of Intelligent Environments, David Webber. "High profile hacking attacks on organizations like Ashley Madison, Bitdefender and TalkTalk as recently as six months ago have put the issues at the top of people’s minds, and as a result they are rightfully concerned about their security online. Of course, banking data is always going to be a primary concern as it’s particularly attractive to hackers. We’re therefore calling on banks to play a more active role in educating customers on how best to keep themselves and their financial information safe while they’re online".

Published under license from, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: mama_mia / Shutterstock

An Apple 40th birthday reflection

Birtday Cake 40

Summer 1984, Chapel Hill, N.C., I learned something about prejudice and discrimination in America and saw my first Macintosh. Strangely, looking back at Apple, which celebrates its 40th birthday today, the two things connect.

As I reflected in Jan. 18, 2004, personal post: "Racism and Naiveté", I never thought much about skin color in a region of America where most everyone is Caucasian. Northern Maine is a white wonderland for more than abundant snowfall. Strangely, though, my best friends had last names like Chung and Zivic. The local Air Force base, Loring, added color to the populace, and when it came to people I was decidedly colorblind.

Because I witnessed so little racism, or discrimination, firsthand, I had no context to understand—even when learning about slavery or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in school. Twenty years after that landmark legislation came to be, I watched the film “From Montgomery to Memphis“, and it changed my perspective. First, there was the shock about black and white buses, then black and white waiting rooms at bus stations,  and segregated bathrooms. Separate water fountains!

The same afternoon I watched the film, I wandered around the University of North Carolina campus contemplating the documentary. I ambled into the college bookstore, where placed prominently for anyone and everyone to see was Macintosh. I knew nothing about Apple, nor should I have not being a computer geek—then or even now. But I nevertheless marveled at the graphic display. I had seen movie "WarGames" a few months earlier and recognized the dramatic differences between this machine and the one used by actor Matthew Broderick. (Hehe, Loring Air Force Base plays a role in one of the climactic scenes.)

The next year, I moved to predominately black Washington, D.C. for work, coincidentally. You don’t grow up white and male and suddenly have a feeling for what it’s like to be a minority or female of any race. One movie wouldn't change that, nor my long-time living in the D.C. metro area.

Hello, Mac

While residing there, I bought my first computer—January 1994—months after reading a compelling story in Washington Journalism Review about the coming era of online publishing. I made a career change from general-interest magazine editor to tech-industry reporter. Except for a brief flirtation with IBM OS/2, I exclusively used Windows until December 1998, when I hauled a Bondi Blue iMac out of the local CompUSA. Curiosity—and interest in expanding tech reporting beats—prompted the impulsive purchase.

I came to love the fruit-logo company's products, while as a tech journalist developing a reputation for being anti-Apple—which I am not. Several Apple fanboy bloggers fan the flames of hate through their criticism, sarcasm, and witlessness; they are defenders of the forbidden fruit and tolerate little real or perceived criticism.

I am not much bothered, as I don't typically read their posts or those from their accolades commenting on my stories (and other writers'). I abide by the "be hardest on those whom you love most" principle and therefore understand (and excuse) the misplaced "anti-" accusations. Few of my stories are kind, I concede.

I am not then, nor at anytime, have been a fanboy of Apple or any other tech company. The products are all just tools to me, and I use what makes sense at the time. Google gives greater contextual utility that matters to most everyone, but Apple does deliver things that make people happy to hold, look at, and use in a more human-like, responsive, and immersive way.

Apple Activism

In the nearly 18 years since I booted my first Mac much has changed. Apple has gone from being the little company that could to the behemoth that couldn't—my first iMac is example of the one and the March 21st "Are you in the Loop?" event as metaphor for the other. CEO Tim Cook's innovation focus is customer retention rather than expansion, and maybe in the end that will prove to be the "can do" strategy.

Apple's empire is built on iPhone, which accounted for 67.4 percent of revenues during fiscal Q1 2016. Yesterday, Gartner warned that global smartphone sales would be flat in the two largest markets—China and the United States. Existing iPhone owners in those countries could become larger customers, if Cook and Company deftly execute.

During this decade, Apple is also an activist, aggressively and vocally taking positions on real and perceived discrimination, equality, gender bias, and human rights issues, particularly in the United States. That includes the recent ruckus with the FBI about iPhone encryption. By contrast, the company showed little public social activism under Steve Jobs' leadership.

So the two threads tie together from that afternoon in 1984, when I saw America's bad past behavior magnified and a glimmer of the future displayed from a beige box. Prejudice and discrimination aren't easily swept away, and the United States still grapples with both. Eliminating either enables huge portions of our population.

Technology enables everyone, if iPhone's success means anything. No matter what Apple's future, over 40 years the company has succeeded to humanize technology and diminish the complexity using it. Nokia invented the smartphone two decades before Apple brought to market iPhone, which fundamentally changed the cellular handset market—directly and by way of derivative, imitative devices released by other vendors.

Happy Birthday, Apple.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Sean Locke Photography

The right PC can improve job satisfaction

Happy PC user

Do you want satisfied workers? Give them a well-designed PC, a good and secure mobile device, and let them work when they want to, where they want to. Those are, in a nutshell, the results of a new research by Redshift Research, which had polled 1,016 people, across France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

For 90 percent of IT decision makers, device security is a current concern, because in the last 12 months, a quarter of Europe’s businesses have been breached. That has resulted in less than a third (32 percent) being completely confident in the level of security offered by their current devices.

The report also says that PC design is important -- for 69 per cent of IT decision makers it must allow for mobility, and 77 percent believe it can improve job satisfaction.

"The way that we’re seeing our customers use their business devices is continuing to evolve and is resulting in greater collaboration, mobility and productivity for users", said John O’Reilly, director of Corporate, Enterprise & Public Sector and Personal Systems at HP. "However, this new way of working also presents a real challenge for IT decision makers in ensuring that their devices remain secure whilst being able to provide beautiful, stylish products that match the productivity and design demands from their employees".

In case you were wondering what might be wrong with their current PC setup, that’s mostly unattractive design (27 percent), and short battery life (25 percent).

Published under license from, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: Zurijeta / Shutterstock

Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM


ATM is a portable tool which gives an in-depth, low-level look at your PC's system memory use.

Forget the usual Task Manager clones, this is more about memory standby lists, the system file cache, Superfetch performance, page file effectiveness, even (on Windows 10) memory compression.

The program is designed for IT professionals, so there’s no hand-holding, no Help file, no attempt to hide complex details. Every figure is displayed in a huge block of text, which updates in real time.

Once you're past the initial shock, it’s not really so bad. At least all the data is displayed up-front, without you having to click on various tabs to find whatever you need. And there's useful information to explore here, too.

One example. We recently wrote about "Empty Standby List", a console program which could free up RAM by flushing the contents of various Windows standby memory lists. But which lists are best to empty on your system, and how much RAM are they using?

ATM gives you all this information, including the individual lists by priority, and the overall total, typically around 50% of the RAM on our test PC.

Would clearing these lists help? There are buttons to do it, or flush the file cache, process working sets and more.

The problem with this kind of memory "optimisation" is your system may have to reload data from disk, but ATM has that covered, too, with tools to assess your system file cache and page file effectiveness.

That works for us, but if you find yourself getting lost, just look to the right, where a colorful chart gives a simpler real-time view on how your RAM is being used.

ATM is a free and portable application which runs on anything from Windows 2000 up.

Acer unveils 'Chromebase for meetings' all-in-one with videoconferencing focus


While many people view Chrome OS as nothing more than a basic operating system for home users, it is actually much more. In fact, the Linux-based machines can work beautifully for businesses too -- depending on needs, of course. As more and more solutions become web-based, a traditional Windows/Office solution from Microsoft becomes less of a necessity.

One way that Chrome OS shines in business environments, is videoconferencing and collaboration with Hangouts. Google's 'Chromebox for meetings' has proven to be a great option in this regard for some companies, thanks to low cost and ease of use. Today, business decision-makers that prefer all-in-one solutions to diminutive desktops gain a new option -- Acer's Chromebase for meetings. With an integrated display, this all-in-one is inexpensive, attractive, and extremely easy to setup and deploy.

"Designed for videoconferencing, Acer's Chromebase for meetings features the largest screen of all Chrome OS devices on the market, a 24-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with IPS technology, reproducing consistent and accurate colors at up to 178-degree wide viewing angles. An array of four microphones and two speakers ensure that participants can hear and be heard clearly, while an adjustable HD webcam and a chassis that easily tilts from - 5° to 30° allows them to be framed perfectly on the call", says Acer.

Google explains, "so now, you can collaborate and meet over video from a dedicated device at home, your desk at work or a phone room. And since meeting in smaller spaces creates additional opportunity to work together across larger groups, we've also recently expanded the number of meeting participants to 25 people for Google Apps customers".

Click to view slideshow.

Acer shares the following specs.

  • CPU: CELERON-3215U
  • Ram: 4 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • Screen Size: 23.88 inch
  • Form Factor: all-in-one
  • Touchscreen: Yes

I know what you are thinking -- what if a business sometimes needs a larger than 24 inch screen? No worries -- the Chromebase for meetings features HDMI out, so you can connect to a larger display, television, or projector if needed. Of course, if you have no need for the integrated display, a Chromebox could be a smarter buy.

It also features gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm audio jack and an SD card reader. Of course, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included too.

This $549 computer will be available imminently at various retailers. In the interim, you can pre-order now here.

Can’t afford Dyson's Pure Cool Link? Try the Mi Air Purifier instead [Review]

mi_air_purifier_topHaving revolutionized the world of vacuum cleaning, James Dyson moved his attention to hand drying, heating and cooling. The latest gadget to roll of the Dyson production line is the IoT-enabled Pure Cool Link air purifier. Like just about every Dyson product out there, reviews are almost universally positive, but there is the question of the price tag.

The Pure Cool Link comes at something of a premium (be prepared to part with around $500), but it's certainly not a unique product. Dyson may have blazed a trail in many areas, but when it comes to air purifiers, it wasn't the first, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest. Take, for instance the Mi Air Purifier from Xiaomi. It's a relative snip at just $200, and the lower price tag doesn’t mean missing out on the Internet of Things.

Look to Dyson's advertising, and you'll see that the Pure Cool Link's HEPA filtering system removes "99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns". Despite being significantly cheaper, the Xiaomi device boast very much the same specs: "it filters out over 99% of particles sized 0.3μm and larger". Specifically, it is claimed that the Mi Air Purifier filters out 91 percent of formaldehyde and other harmful substances, 99.3 percent PM0.3 (0.3μm inhalable particles), and 100 percent dust, pollen and other large particles.

mi_air_purifier_tallDoes it work? Without specialist equipment to independently monitor air quality, it’s hard to say exactly what's going on, but the Mi Air Purifier certainly makes a noticeable difference. I'm lucky enough not to suffer from any allergies, but my girlfriend is not so lucky. In the month or so I have been testing the unit, she has come to rely on it to prevent irritation of her throat and lungs. There are times, such as after cleaning the house, or after using the open fire when the Air Purifier has a discernible effect on the air. But even when it's just left running, the air feels different... and a bit cooler.

As well as removing unwanted particles from the air, it also manages to do a good job of eliminating smells. Not that I live in a smelly house, you understand, but I cook, we have two cats. Smells happen. The Mi Air Purifier does keep things at bay.

Just like the Dyson Pure Cool Link, there's an app available for the Mi Air Purifier (iOS and Android) that not only allows for monitoring of air quality, but also for controlling the unit itself. The Mi device does not have the uber futuristic look of the Dyson, but it's still a good looking piece of kit. It's beautifully simple, and keep wonderfully elegant thanks to the single button to be found on the top. This button allows for powering up and down, as well as cycling between some of the available modes. But fire up your smartphone, and the app gives you access to far more settings, and gives you advice about when to open the window, and tells you when the filter needs to be changed.

The button on the Mi Air Purifier can only be used to access three different purification 'speeds'. Fire up the Mi Home app, however, and you'll find that it's far more flexible than you first thought. There is a 'standard' purification mode, but also an intensive mode that can clean the air in an entire room in a claimed 12 minutes. It has a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 406m³ of air per minute, and is effective in rooms sized 28.4m2~48.7m2.

You might well be concerned about the volume of an air purification system, and the standard, automatic mode is certainly audible, but soon blends into the background. Intensive, High Speed mode is loud, but it's not an invasive sound. It's not something you'd want to endure all day, that's for sure, but for a quick blast it's something you should be easily able to put up with for a few minutes. If you like the idea of running the unit in the bedroom while you sleep, there is a night mode option which not only dims the activity light but also make the unit run far, far quieter. For the most part, the auto setting does a great job. The on-board sensor detect the current air quality and adjust the power accordingly.

With a footprint of just 260mm x 260mm, and measuring 735mm tall, the Mi Air Purifier is not huge, but it is noticeable. It is a good-looker, and it's much lighter than you might think -- very easy to carry one-handed from room to room.

You can find out more about the Mi Air Purifier at the product website, and if you'd like to get your hands on one, head over to GearBest.

HyperX unveils Cloud Revolver gaming headset for PC, Mobile, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4


Gaming headsets are a strange thing. On the one hand, they can provide a more immersive experience, allowing you to better hear in-game audio and communicate with other respectful players. On the other, it can cause you to communicate with disrespectful gamers too. Racist, sexist and threatening voices can really ruin what should be a fun game.

Ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons, as there should be -- hopefully -- more nice people participating in in-game chat than the evil and angry ones. HyperX is already known for its quality hardware -- including its well-respected headsets -- and now it introduces a new one, called Cloud Revolver. This gaming headset should work brilliantly for movies and music too. Not to mention, it looks totally bad-ass!

"It features a studio grade sound stage with 50mm directional drivers to deliver wider depth and width for improved audio precision in first-person shooter and open environment games. The tuning of the driver, mechanical design of the front acoustical chamber, larger ear cups and exhaust vents allow users to hear an opponent more clearly from further away and gain the ultimate competitive advantage. Music lovers will appreciate the concert hall-like experience when listening to their favorite tunes", says HyperX.

The Kingston-owned company further says, "HyperX Cloud Revolver uses signature red memory foam and premium leatherette on the ear cups and head band to provide award-winning comfort and quality for long hours of gameplay like its Cloud and Cloud II predecessors. The steel frame suspension design provides long-lasting durability, stability and quality. HyperX Cloud Revolver’s detachable noise-cancelling microphone offers crisp, clean and clear voice quality and reduced background noise. It is multi-platform compatible (PC, console and mobile device) and is certified by TeamSpeak and Discord; and, is compatible with Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble and RaidCall. A 2mm audio control box extension is also included with stereo and mic plugs".

HyperX shares the following specs.


  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response:12Hz–28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ω
  • Sound Pressure Level: 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Input Power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 360g
  • Weight w/ mic and cable: 376g
  • Cable length and type: Headset (1m) + Audio Control Box (2m)
  • Connection: Headset - 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + Audio Control Box - 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs


  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz–18,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

While this headset can be enjoyed by both Nvidia and AMD fans, the red color really makes it attractive for the latter. Don't get me wrong, neither company has the patent on a color, but Nvidia being green and AMD being red is just a fact of life, folks!

If you want to buy this beautiful piece of audio equipment for your PC, Mobile, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4, pre-orders open tomorrow at Newegg, Amazon and Best Buy. While HyperX Cloud Revolver pricing is a bit of a mystery, I would predict something between $150-$250.

Enterprises should prioritize availability, not backups


With today being World Backup Day 2016, many companies are rightly preaching the importance of regular backups. However, Veeam is bucking the trend by saying that -- in the enterprise space -- just backing up is no longer enough.

The company thinks that the most important question for enterprises now should be "are we always available?" and has thus declared today as "World Availability Day". The argument is that for consumers, just having backups in place is sufficient, but enterprises are expected to be up and running 24/7 and downtime is no longer tolerated in today’s fast-paced world.

According to a recent survey conducted by Veeam, 84 percent of CIOs are unable to meet the expectations of constant availability and admit that it is costing them up to $16 million a year. Downtime actually increased in 2015, with companies experiencing an average of 15 unplanned downtime events, compared to 13 events in 2014.

Richard Agnew, VP NW EMEA, Veeam, explains: "Driving backup awareness amongst consumers is still important, but for today’s enterprises, backup alone is no longer relevant, or enough. Organizations have discovered that the question is no longer, "Are we backed up?" but instead, "Are we available?" Backup as it is traditionally known is being replaced by a new category: Availability.

"We’re seeing an 'Availability Gap' (the gulf between what IT can deliver and what users demand) in today’s organizations characterized by data loss, long recovery times, lack of visibility, and unreliable data protection. Fifty-nine percent of businesses in our research reveal that they experience unplanned downtime caused by IT failures, external forces, or other factors up to ten times a year at the cost of up to $100,266 per hour. It’s clear that this is hitting the bottom line, not to mention leaving a lasting impact on customer confidence (68 percent) and damage to brand integrity (62 percent)".

"Businesses should be putting availability and enabling an Always-On Enterprise on the boardroom agenda, to meet the demands of their employees who expect access to applications and data at any time, from any place, and from any device. No employee or customer will accept being without access to a critical application for even a few hours. While it’s good that backup solutions exist, if an employee has to retrieve the tape from the depths of a warehouse across town before a restore can even begin, the problem is far from solved, and downtime will not be tolerated".

"Advancements in technologies such as storage snapshots and virtualization have made it feasible for organizations to backup as often as every 15 minutes, and recover anything in the same amount of time".

Published under license from, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

Photo credit scyther5 / Shutterstock

LookingGlass releases new threat intelligence platform

artificial intelligence

Using threat intelligence helps enterprises to improve decision making when it comes to managing security incidents and enforcing policy.

Threat defense specialist LookingGlass Cyber Solutions is looking to improve the way analysts and security operators interpret threats targeting their organizations with the launch of its new ScoutPrime threat intelligence management platform.

"We are excited to announce the availability of ScoutPrime and the other enhancements to the broadest portfolio of threat intelligence and risk management products in the market," says Chris Coleman, CEO of LookingGlass Cyber Solutions. "These latest additions ensure our customers stay ahead of the rapidly changing threat landscape targeting their organizations and the companies they do business with".

ScoutPrime allows users to customize threat levels to match their organizational risk tolerance. With configurable threat indicator confidence scoring, along with an internet intelligence‐based foundation allos it to apply context using the largest collection of proprietary and third party threat data available in a single product. The result is relevant, actionable intelligence. By allowing organizations to visualize threats ScoutPrime reduces the risk they face from new and emerging threats.

LookingGlass has also enhanced its Cyber Threat Center which now includes a case management enhancement that allows customers to enrich the intelligence to sync with their internal processes and track each vetted issue from delivery to resolution. In addition Cyber Threat Center now has the ability for administrators to enable two‐factor authentication on user accounts.

Improved too is the company's Cyveillance Malicious C2 data feed which monitors over 60,000 domains known to be associated with active malicious command and control servers. Its daily updates now include support for internationalized domain names and additional metadata on the botnet, variant, category, and criticality score.

You can find out more on the LookingGlass website.

Image Credit: Mopic / Shutterstock

New study finds strong demand for service-based messages

Happy mobile user

Over the last few years consumers have increasingly come to expect to receive messages keeping them up to date with appointments and transactions.

Mobile marketing company Vibes has announced the results of a study of over 1,000 people which finds that mobile phones are the number one preferred device for service-based messages with 70 percent preferring to receive service-based messages this way.

Good news for businesses is that service-based messages are seen to create a competitive advantage, with 84 percent of consumers saying that service-based messaging has an impact on their decision to choose one company over another.

Conveying basic information such as time, date and tracking information, is one of the most important features of service-based messages in terms of positively impacting customer satisfaction. Most consumers (78 percent) say that a text message is the fastest way to be reached for important service updates on purchases.

Alongside the survey results, Vibes is launching a new transactional messaging solution to enable enterprises to deliver automated service messaging programs across mobile channels. Using the company's Catapult platform, it enables enterprises to power automated service messaging programs across mobile channels, including text, push and mobile wallet (Apple Wallet and Android Pay).

"With the enterprise shift to mobile, mobile messaging has become a top priority and complement to email strategies to provide the best experience possible for customers", says Jack Philbin, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. "Transactional messaging on mobile provides an immense opportunity to gain a non-marketing mobile touch point, drive cost savings and innovate your brand. We’re already seeing large enterprises turn to Vibes to capitalize on the immediacy of mobile and power transactional messaging programs to reach consumers on their most trusted and heavily used device in a way that is easy for them".

Key features include user-friendly transactional messaging templates and logic that allow technical and non-technical users to create actual message templates, update content and set up message logic. Sophisticated reporting capabilities can conduct deep cross-channel analysis to help business users understand transactional messaging’s impact on the customer experience.

The full Transactional Messaging Consumer Report is available from the Vibes website where you can also find more about the transactional messaging service.

Image Credit: Rido / Shutterstock

Smartphone sales to reach 1.5 billion units in 2016

Businessman Growth Increase Bars Bar

Now that Gartner has released its smartphone sales forecast for 2016, it is easy to understand why Microsoft is not pushing the Windows Phone agenda at Build 2016. With sales expected to reach 1.5 billion units this year, the software giant and its fellow Windows Phone vendors would have to ship hundreds of millions of handsets for the platform to be taken seriously by developers. And that, as you may be well aware of, is unlikely to happen, when just last year the tiled operating system's market share barely passed the one percent mark.

Gartner says that smartphone sales growth will be in the single digits for the first time this year, with an expected increase of just seven percent over 2015. The phone market as a whole could reach 1.9 billion units at the end of the year.

"The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end", says Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal. "Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent growth respectively".

The report says that emerging markets will continue to show growth, but it will slow down. In India, for instance, nearly one in three phones sold this year will be a smartphone (29 percent of sales), with growth expected to remain in the double digit territory just for the next two years.

"Prices did not decline enough to drive upgrades from low-end feature phones to low-end smartphones", explains Gartner research director Annette Zimmermann. "Vendors were not able to reduce the price of a 'good enough to use' smartphone lower than $50".

Meanwhile, in mature markets, like North America, Western Europe, Gartner expects smartphone lifecycles to be prolonged. This is a direct consequence of, among other factors, the higher quality of smartphones that have been released more recently, which allows users to enjoy them for a longer period of time before they feel the need for an upgrade.

"As carriers' deals become more complex, users are likely to hold onto phones, especially as the technology updates become incremental rather than exponential", explains Zimmermann. "In addition, the volumes of users upgrading from basic phones to premium phones will slow, with more basic phones being replaced with the same type of phone".

Gartner does not provide a sales breakdown for the major vendors or platforms, but Android can gain a bit more traction this year as Apple is expected to post lower year-over-year numbers for iPhone sales. It will be interesting to see how Windows Phone will fare in 2016, as Microsoft and its partners bring more devices to market.

Photo Credit: sellingpix/Shutterstock

iOS 9.3 is more stable than Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Every major iOS release seems to come with some annoying bugs these days. In the case of iOS 9.3, users have reported crippling activation errors and crashes and hangs in some of the built-in apps, leading Apple to release updated builds. However, despite these problems, iOS 9.3 seems to be very reliable.

According to a new report by Apteligent, iOS 9.3 is actually the most stable iOS release since iOS 8. Its crash rate stands at 2.2 percent, besting iOS 9.2, iOS 9.1, iOS 9 and iOS 8 over an eight-day period. Not only that, but iOS 9.3 is also claimed to be more than Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Apteligent's report shows all of the aforementioned iOS releases having spikes in crash rates, with iOS 8, iOS 9 and iOS 9.2 shooting past 3.2 percent, and iOS 9.1 coming dangerously close to that level. In contrast, iOS 9.3's highest crash rate is below 2.6 percent. The spikes happened on the same day for all iOS releases, as you can see from the graph below.

What about Android 6.0 Marshmallow? Well, Apteligent says that its crash rate stood at 2.6 percent during the evaluation period. That is not a major difference, but it does show iOS 9.3 to be superior in this regard. It also shows that Marshmallow can offer a similar user experience.

Android has frequently been criticized for being less stable than iOS, but the above figures show Marshmallow to be very reliable in day to day usage. The open-source operating system has made significant progress over the years, and so have Android apps, based on my experience.

Apteligent crash rate iOS