Archive for category Android

Amazon launch Android Tablet

Amazon has moved into the tablet computer market with a touchscreen Android-based colour tablet device called the Kindle Fire.
The Fire will be available in the US for £127, making it less than half the price of the cheapest iPad. As yet Amazon hasn’t indicated when the device will be available globally. It has a dual-core processor, has a 7-inch screen and weighs 414 grams. It runs a customised version of Android, and uses a new web browser, “Amazon Silk”.
The Fire will be a rival to Apple as Amazon can offer 100,000 films and TV shows, 17 million songs and 1 million books from its existing services and also already has a huge number of registered users.

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Apple wins European sales ban on Samsung Galaxy smartphones

The ruling by a district court in the Hague upheld Apple’s claim concerning one specific patent – EP 2059868 – which outlines an interface for viewing and navigating photographs on a touchscreen phone.  It does not cover the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which faces similar patent litigation from Apple in a German court.

Samsung now has seven weeks until mid-October to cease sales of the phones after the court decided the devices may have violated Apple touch screen patents. However, the time lapse gives Samsung time to modify its software before the ban is enforced. It is not yet clear whether this will impact the UK market.

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Huawei unveils new Android smartphone

Huawei yesterday announced a new smartphone based on Android, in further evidence of the Chinese vendor’s ambition to increase its presence in the high-end device market.

Speaking to Ridgeway, Huawei Device’s chief marketing officer Victor Xu said the company plans to ship “more than 10 million” smartphones in 2011, up from 3 million shipments last year.

The Ideos X3 is its first smartphone based on version 2.3 of the Android OS, also known as Gingerbread, and has a 3.2-inch screen. Huawei boasts the new handset’s thickness of 11.2 mm makes it “the thinnest handset on the market today”. Comparable handsets from Motorola (12.4 mm), HTC (12 mm) and Sony Ericsson (15 mm) are chunkier than the new model, claims Huawei. 

The vendor has also added its own over-the-air and online upgrade solution, as well as a data back-up service, to imprint some of its own identity on the Android template.

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HTC Press Conference

HTC has announced that it will be bringing out a new version of the HTC Incredible, the HTC Incredible S,  giving it a design and power boost at the same time.

The new model was launched alongside the HTC Desire S and the HTC Wildfire S at HTC’s press conference at Mobile World Congress. The new phone sits between the Desire and Desire HD on a performance level and will come with a 1GHz Qualcomm chipset, 768MB RAM and run Android 2.2.

It offers stereo surround sound, has an 8-megapixel camera offering HD video capture, as well as a front facing camera for video chat.

HTC  also announced two phones with dedicated Facebook orientation and integration. The first called Salsa will have a QWERTY keyboard and ChaCha will be touchscreen only.

Each device will have a dedicated Facebook button and although the specs on these phones are competing with the high end products they will be heavy on social networking. The button acts like a second menu button but with Facebook-context added to it. For instance, you can take a photo, hit the Facebook button and directly upload it to your profile.

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Facebook prepares to launch its own phone

The first Facebook-branded smartphone will reportedly go on sale in April as the social networking website sets out to become a mobile communications platform that can route phone calls, emails and instant messages.
The handsets will be manufactured by INQ, a London-based mobile phone maker owned by Hutchison Whampoa. Li Ka-Shing, its largest shareholder, was also an early investor in Facebook, as well as Skype and the music service Spotify.
Using the Facebook brand should help to make Google’s Android operating system, on which INQ phones run, a stronger competitor to Apple.  The new phone will cut consumers’ connection to iTunes by replacing the default music player with Spotify’s service.
INQ will launch a further three to four Facebook phones in the second half of the year. Other manufacturers are understood to be working on handsets aimed at integrating Facebook’s functions.

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New announcements from Samsung and Sony

The first press conferences of MWC saw Samsung and Sony confirm new products for 2011.

Samsung released more detail on the Galaxy S II, which features a 4.3-inch super amoled plus display. This display, claim Samsung, is the best display technology in the world. The processor is also claimed to be the most powerful processor in a phone today – dual-core with 1 GB of RAM.

Other features include 1080p video recording and playback have been confirmed and Adobe Flash 10.1 for full web-browsing experience. Finally, the 3-axis Gyroscope and Accelerometer sensors are confirmed as well.

Samsung have provided the Galaxy S II with it’s own user interface which is quite different from the standard Android experience. It is fully customisable and features 4 hubs – the Reader, the Game, the Music and the Social ones. The Reader hub gives you access to Books, Magazines and Newspapers. The Social hub gives you the opportunity to connect to the people in your life via various ways – Mail, chat, video chat, all incorporated into a single app.

Security is improved too. You can find your handset on a map, remote lock, remote wipe and remotely control your phone including blacklisting certain apps you don’t want the thieves to have access to.

At their press conference Sony Ericsson announced the XPERIA Neo and the XPERIA Pro. The XPERIA Play was uncovered too. The Neo and the Pro are like smaller-screen versions of the Arc but the Pro includes a QWERTY keyboard.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play has a 4″ FWVGA display and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread which has been a customized to improve the gaming experience. It measures 119x62x16mm and weighs 175 grams. It also features a 5MP camera and comes with an 8GB microSD card.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play is the first PlayStation Certified device and will have access to content from publishers like Sony Computer Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Namco and more.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo is much like the XPERIA Arc. It features a smaller 3.7″ FWVGA display, but still a Reality Display with Bravia Mobile engine. It’s also covered with a scratch-resistant surface.

The XPERIA Neo camera is an 8MP Exmor R unit capable of HD video recording. The onboard HDMI port can be used to display what you’ve captured on an HDTV display. The Neo is powered by the same single-core 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor as the Arc and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pro uses an Exmor R sensor (probably 8MP but that is not confirmed yet), it has an HDMI port, DLNA and an 8GB microSD card. As mentioned earlier it also has a QWERTY keyboard.

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Vodafone UK updates HTC Magic to Froyo

HTC have announced that they are updating Vodafone UK’s HTC Magic droids with Froyo.

The HTC Magic was one of the first Android phones and the Froyo update will provide new and improved Gmail and Market apps, the ability to install apps on the microSD card, tethering support and enhanced Bluetooth and camera UI.

The handset should see an improvement in speed although the Flash 10.1 plug-in requires a newer CPU than the Magic has to offer.

Vodafone UK is beginning a staged rollout of the update and users should get a notification in the coming weeks. Once you get the notification, you can update immediately or put it off for later – it’s a big download so you might want to wait until you’re in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

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