Overpayments ‘rip-off’ on phone contracts could cost you more than £400 a year, Which? says The regulator has asked providers to reduce monthly costs after customers have paid off the price of their phones. Mobile users feel ripped off, as high-end handsets tend to only be sold with expensive tariffs. They come packaged up with a generous inclusive allowance. This means shoppers often buy tariffs that significantly exceed their needs.
Which reveal mobile users feel ripped off
A third of mobile phone customers are still being charged the full price of their contract – even after paying off the cost of their handset, Which? has warned. The BBC reported the news story and listed some of the worst offenders.
A third of mobile phone customers are still being charged the full price of their contract – even after paying off the cost of their handset, Which? has warned.
The consumer rights group is calling for networks to end the “overpayments rip-off”, which costs an estimated £182m a year. It estimates some Britons could be out of pocket to the tune of more than £400 annually.
Your phone company could have overcharged you by £400. Customers are still overpaying when contracts end.
Which? found that 36% of people whose contract ended in the past two months are still paying off the price of their smartphone.
This is despite providers promising Ofcom that, from February 2020, customers would get a reduced tariff after their contracts end – reflecting the fact that the device had been fully paid for.
Three was the worst offender, Which? claims, with 43% of customers whose contracts ended in the past six months seeing no drop in the price of their monthly bill.
This meant that someone with a “bundle” contract on a Samsung S20 5G – which came out at £37 a month – would be overpaying their bill by as much as £444 a year after it ended.
About 40% of EE customers saw no price drop at the end of their contract – with 31% of Vodafone customers seeing no change either.
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Contact the LIS Help Desk to make sure you not overpaying. Are your handsets out of date? Are you fed up with slow Internet speeds? We offer every telecoms service to get you connected. We supply sim only connections with no hardware so there is complete clarity over how much you pay. You don’t need to change your phone unless it suits you. We may not be the cheapest but we don’t rip you off!
Microsoft’s first Android phone, the Surface Duo, is coming on September 10, the company announced Wednesday.
The Surface Duo costs £1,070. OK, let’s just stop there for a second. What? That’s about the same price as a tricked out iPhone 11 Max. Yes, it’s expensive. No, people probably aren’t going to rush out to buy it. But the price and phone make sense for a few reasons.
First, it’s a dual-screen device. Microsoft described the phone as “a major new form factor,” in a blog post. It is essentially a folding tablet, which is also a phone. Each of the Surface Duo’s two screens are 5.6-inch displays that combine into a tablet-like 8.1-inch display when unfolded. It has a single camera that supports recording 4K video.
Open two screens and open new possibilities. Surface innovation comes to a dual-screen mobile device, featuring the best of Microsoft 365, every Android app in the Google Play store, phone calls, and more.
Is it a phone or an iPad?
So, if the phone is really an iPad mini that folds … and is also a phone … now we’re getting into £1,070 territory. The hinge works both ways, so you can close the phone like a book or open it fully so it’s a double-sided phone. It’s also super thin, has what could be one of the best screens on any phone. (Here’s an excellent synopsis of all the ins and outs of the Duo from our colleagues at CNN Underscored).
Second, Microsoft is promoting the Duo as a productivity device. It’s a Surface, after all — the same brand it uses for its high-end computers that are all about showcasing Microsoft’s software, including Office and Windows. Microsoft said it optimized the entire Office Suite for the Duo, helping people make video calls (super important now), and get their work done on the go.
Finally, the Duo is probably a showcase device. Like the original Surface, Microsoft is probably showing more what can be done than trying to convince millions of people that they should buy a Surface Duo. The original Surface got a ton of things wrong (Microsoft took a $1 billion write-down on the product.) But it got one big thing right — the two-in-one laptop-tablet idea was a winner. Microsoft stuck with the idea, listened to feedback, perfected it over time, and Surface is now a successful product with an avid fanbase.
Are you going to order one?
Pre-orders for the Microsoft’s new phone The Duo are available starting Wednesday. Available at Best Buy, Microsoft’s online store and AT&T, which owns Warner Media, CNN’s parent company. It’s the first Android phone from Microsoft, after it slowly stopped supporting its line of Windows phones.
Foldable phones have had their challenges in the past, such as when defective units of the nearly £1,500 Samsung Galaxy Fold were shipped out to tech reviewers, who discovered broken screens and hinges in their coverage. Samsung delayed the April launch of the device to September in response.
Despite that flub, several foldable phones have made it to the market, including the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. Chinese brands like the Huawei Mate X and Oppo Reno 10X Zoom are also on the market, but not sold directly to US consumers in official stores.
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Google’s new AR tool will visualise social distancing
Google has a new tool, called Sodar, to help you measure your social distancing space – available for Android users now. Google’s new Sodar experiment helps you keep social distance by using Augmented Reality (AR). It overlays a digital guide that shows if you are two meters away from someone or not.
Find our more in a recent article published by The Times newspaper. Social distancing is an effective way to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Now Google is offering a new tool that uses AR to help you enforce it.
“Sodar” is an experiment created by Google which is designed to use AR. It puts a virtual two metre (just over 6 feet) social distancing boundary around you. That’s the distance that’s generally recommended to keep between two people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Since this is using AR, don’t expect the line to be perfectly precise, but it should be somewhat close. In recent tests, it seems accurate enough. It also really puts in perspective just how far that distance actually is.
Sodar – use WebXR to help visualise social distancing guidelines in your environment. Using Sodar on supported mobile devices, create an augmented reality two metre radius ring around you.
How does it work?
Notably, Sodar only works on Google Chrome and only on Android devices. The first time you access it, you’ll be greeted with some permissions. Those include for AR directly as well as camera access for Google Chrome if you’ve never granted that before. After giving it a look at the ground to calibrate the sensors, the line appears.
Keep in mind that AR based solutions are not fool proof in their assessment of our real world. Despite all the advancements treat the boundary suggested as a guideline rather than a measure of accuracy. In matters of health and public safety, it is better to err on the side of caution. Still, it’s a good tool to have to reinforce the ideas of social distancing and just how
much distance is needed.
We are unable to predict when then world will get back to normal. However, we are able to businesses get back to work. As well as helping you colleagues work from home. Contact The LIS Help Desk to discuss, IT support, networking, security and telecoms. Our friendly team will be happy to help and discuss the latest technology for your business. LIS helping businesses stay safe!
For many of us, our mobile phones are stuck to our hands throughout the day on our commute, at work and at home. But if we’re cleaning our hands more often, shouldn’t we be doing the same with our handhelds?
While you may want to clean your smartphone, some substances can damage the device. Dr Lena Ciric, a microbiologist from University College London, says you can effectively clean your phone using just household soap and water.
Five ways to safely clean your mobile phone
While keeping your hands clean is relatively straightforward, a mobile phone is a different matter. We walk you through your options to clean your smartphone safely
There are a few ways to ensure that you clean your smartphone safely while avoiding any unnecessary damage to the device. Before cleaning, always start by turning your phone off, and ensure you leave it to dry once before turning it back on. It’s also advised that you clean your phone daily.
1. The safest option is wipes
As advised by brands such as Apple and Google, using a 70% alcohol wipe is the best option for cleaning your phone. These wipes can be used on all the exterior surfaces of the phone such as the display and rear casing, avoiding any openings on the phone (headphone ports, speakers, etc).
2. Use mild soap and water as an alternative
This method might not be as good for germ-busting as alcohol wipes, but if all else fails, with some soap on hand you can get rid of some of the grubby bacteria that’s hiding in plain sight on your phone.
Start by making a mixture of dish soap and water. All advice points to avoiding dunking your phone in soapy water at any cost because this can seriously damage its internals. Instead, dip a microfibre (and preferably lint-free) cloth into the solution. These cloths are much less abrasive than towels or tissues and are less likely to damage the protective, scratch-resistant layer on your phone’s display.
Ensure that the cloth isn’t dripping wet either. It should only be damp so that no excess water gets into the phone, especially if it’s not waterproof.
3. If all else fails, give it a light rinse – but only if it’s waterproof
This tip is strictly for those whose phones are certified waterproof. And not just any IP waterproof certification either – IP67 and up.
IP (Ingress Protection) ratings certify your phone against dust ingress and contact with water at varying levels, depending on their rating number. If your phone is IP67 certified your phone can withstand immersion in up to 1 metre of water for up to 30 minutes, while IP68 certified phones are fine in up to 1.5 metre of water, although this can vary by manufacturer so it’s always best to check.
If you don’t have any wipes or dish soap to hand, you can rinse your phone in fresh water to clean it. Again, we would caution against dunking it into water with any added cleaning products as this could seriously harm the internal components and get into the openings of the phone. Beware if you have any cracks on your phone as well, as water can inadvertently seep into the phone more than you hope for it to.
Be sure to leave your phone to dry for at least five minutes if you use this method.
4. Don’t use household cleaning products like bleach
You might be tempted to mix up your own concoction using some trusty cleaning supplies. Manufacturers have warned against doing this as the harsh chemicals in these cleaners can wear down the protective layer of your display.
Always avoid using products like bleach anywhere near your phone. Another thing in your cleaning arsenal that you should also keep away from your phone is kitchen roll, which can often be abrasive. Even tissue can be harsh on your phone’s display. They can leave scratches, especially if used several times with excessive force. Try and opt for a gentler microfibre cloth instead.
5. Don’t forget to clean the case
Cleaning advice doesn’t just go for those that are getting hands-on contact with their smartphone. If you’re using a phone case to cover your precious handset, you should be just as diligent with cleaning it. Particularly if your phone case doubles as a purse to store your cards and money.
On the whole, the same tips apply to your case as your phone. Sometimes, you may have a bit more freedom. Ensure that you always remove the phone from your case before cleaning it.
Cleaning advice varies depending on the material of case you have. We’ve given some tips below so that whether you’re clutching a leather, wood or silicone-coated smartphone, you’re keeping it germ-free:
Leather: Use a damp cloth with a mild hand soap and water solution. You can also use a mild cleaner with the cloth to get stubborn stains out.
Plastic, rubber and silicone: Soak the case in a solution of dish soap and warm water for a few minutes. If you have any stubborn stains, you can gently scrub a toothbrush on them to try and get them out. Dry the case with a microfibre cloth.
Wood: Contact with water can deteriorate the wood. So use a dry microfibre cloth regularly to wipe these cases down.
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We are not cleaning experts and cannot guarantee to help you with your clutter and hygiene. However, we offer every telecoms service to keep your business connected. Contact The LIS Help Desk today to speak to one of our friendly and experienced team to discuss your requirements.
Google has been busy removing malware threats from Google Play, but now they’re back. Here’s what to watch out for take a look at this recent article about Google Malware Threats. So, how has this happened? Google Malware Threats can steal sensitive information or send fake emails from a user’s email account. This often happens without the user’s knowledge.
Android malware authors have been relying on a solid trick for bypassing Google’s security scans and sneaking malicious apps into the Play Store.
Almost 2 billion malware installs thwarted by Google Play Protect in 2019
Strengthened app safety policies, a better developer approval process and enhancements to its machine learning detection system made the Google Play Store an even more secure place last year, according to Google.
“Last year, Google Play Protect also prevented more than 1.9 billion malware installs from non-Google Play sources,” Google Play Product Manager Andrew Ahn. He wrote in reference to Android’s built-in threat protection tool. The figure represents an increase from 1.6 billion malicious apps from outside of the official Android storefront that were blocked.
A new Android marketplace policy introduced in 2018, also recorded a 98% decrease in apps accessing users’ SMS and call log dat. The remaining 2% require access to data in order to perform core functions. (In some cases, the new policy affected legitimate services from using SMS permissions for security, privacy and safety reasons.)
The tech giant also ramped up its protection against malicious apps. It praised its collaboration with partners in the Android App Alliance, of which ESET is an inaugural member. Enhanced vetting mechanisms helped Play Protect stop over 790,000 policy-violating apps from being published to Google Play. The store’s threat protection service now scans over 100 billion apps every day. This allowed it to double the number it scanned in 2018.
More improvements required
Other improvements include a new policy aimed at protecting children and families. This led to the removal or updates of tens of thousands of apps last year. The policy introduced new requirements concerning the disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). As well as the suitability of content and adverts for children.
Having said all that, Google stressed that there’s more work to be done. They reiterated its commitment to enhancing users’ privacy and security.
All things considered; you can always take several easy steps that will go a long way towards beefing up your protection. These include being cautious about the apps you install. Be carefull especially – but not only – from outside the Play Store. Users need to pay attention to the permissions that the apps request. Maake sure you have a reputable mobile security solution installed on your device.