Archive for the ‘Google Phones’ Category

Android Devices Take the Spotlight

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

LG is bringing music and class to the Optimus 2X (and a few other LG smart phones) this coming January.

According to reports, the Korean phone maker has signed up composer, musician and maestro Ennio Morricone to provide specially made music for their handsets. The scores, totaling 15 in all, are going to be originally composed by the music genius who brought life to many great movies (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “A Fistful of Dollars”, etc). Aside from the 15 original tracks, about 10 scores from his movie audiography will also be made available. These tracks are going to be used as ringtone options for the devices –which means that the Optimus 2X will not only look good, it will sound good too.

For those of you wondering when the 2X will finally be available, the official word is that the phone will be coming this January of 2011. No word yet as to which networks will be getting the device first, but January is the official UK release of the handset. So those of you who are hoping to get this dual core processor equipped handset (running at 1.5GHz no less), might want to start prepping up for the pre orders.

Motorola has a bit of sad news for Milestone owners: the update for 2.2 Froyo will not be around until later in Q1 2011. The update has been recently just a while back and is getting plenty of negative reactions already. Motorola is assuring the European markets that they are working on being able to bring the update to users as soon as possible. Originally, the update was supposed to come out these last few months of 2010 (Q4).

Lastly, for those of your who have been lucky enough to get a Nexus S (or are planning on getting one), Google has made a quick list of useful tips and functions of the Gingerbread and the new smart phone. Head over straight to the official Google blog and see what they have in store for Nexus S owners.

HTC Wildfire Updated, SWYPE for Android and Nexus One Gingerbread

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We have got a triple Android update today and here’s the quick rundown of how things are.

First off, owners of the Google branded Nexus One smart phone will be happy to know that the Gingerbread update for the handset is about to arrive. As expected, the made-for-developers handset is getting the update well ahead of all other Android smart phones –most likely because of the fact that this is a Google device and as such, the folks at Mountain view are already familiar with the architecture. In any case, expect to see the 2.3 update to the OS to arrive sometime around the next couple of weeks (though there have been some hints that we might have to wait until next year).

The Android OS itself is getting a quick update from none other than Swype. The folks behind the massively popular touch screen typing aid are bringing out the best part about touch screen keyboards: intuitive typing. While physical QWERTY keyboard have long lorded over their virtual, onscreen counterparts, the new Swype is an innovation that can only be pulled off by a touch screen. Expect to be churning out replies and status updates faster than ever with this little add-on. The Swype add-on for the Android OS already available so for those of you who have yet to try it out, now is the perfect time to get it.

Finally, the HTC Wildfire social networking smart phone has been confirmed as getting an update to the Android 2.2 Froyo. Users under Vodafone UK and T-Mobile are getting the update pretty soon. According to reports, the Froyo update is expected to become available before the end of this week. Users of the impressively small HTC Android smart phone under other networks will have to wait a while longer –it has been estimated that all networks will be covered by February of the coming year

Google’s Nexus S Pushes NFC Technology Forward

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

While the real life applications of near field communications technology have yet to become common (as they are in Japan), many companies are already showing early support for the technology. Google’s Nexus S is a high profile smart phone that clearly advertises its NFC capabilities, but it is not alone. Apple has already invested in the innovation early this 2010 –though it has yet to update the hardware on its devices. Nokia is also known to be a supporter of the technology.

But what good is having NFC technology around especially for folks who simply do not believe in the concept of e-commerce and electronic locks? –which are the two most often cited examples of NFC technology application. With the buzz about the need for digital security, it would be a very difficult sell for tech companies to say that their mobile devices are more secure than their key chains (after all, a mobile phone is more likely to be stolen).

NFC is not only used for secure transactions, the technology can also be used for a wide variety of functions as well. The most basic one is to confirm a person’s presence or proximity. NFC phones can be used as a substitute for membership cards in certain establishments – pretty much like Foursquare without having to activate your GPS. What makes this even better is the fact that you have to be literally in the exact place (not just the same building) as the close proximity of NFC requires it.

Advertising will also change thanks to NFC. Pass your mobile phone over that little ad poster in the market and you will get a URL to see further details. The same application of NFC technology can be used to deliver other relevant information about a wide variety of products and services instantly.

The Google Nexus S: What Can You Do With It?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Samsung and Google have both teamed up to bring to the world the amazing Nexus S smart phone, but appreciating this beauty of a phone is not quite the only thing one can do. The device is filled to the brim with features and functions; and here is a quick list of some of the simplest things you can do to make the experience a lot better.

First off, bring back the comma to the onscreen keyboard; this is an issue since a new button, the “voice input” button, has taken over the spot where the comma originally was. Good thing is, there is a simply setting that one can adjust to fix this. Simply go straight to the Android keyboard settings and turn off the voice input keyboard button.

If you tend to keep an eye on your phone’s energy consumption; Google allows users to see an in-depth view of how the phone makes use of the battery. There is a graph you can check at the “About Phone” menu and click the battery icon to see the full breakdown.

For many, managing apps is one of the biggest chores in any smart phone (even for the iPhone). Fortunately, there is one menu in the Android OS that lists down everything you have downloaded and installed, and it also provides a one hit button for un-installation procedures: the Android Market. Oddly enough, this online menu still keeps a great deal of content, even telling you of apps you installed but have forgotten.

Anyway, we may have suggested that the voice button be removed from the virtual keyboard, but the bottom line is that voice is the big new function for the handset. There is voice search, voice commands and even voice dictation for writing down long notes. It is fast and surprisingly easy to do, not to mention the fact that Google’s hardware and software for detecting voice is uncanny.

Today’s Top Mobile Headlines

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Nokia is suing Apple for 24 counts of patent infringement. The case has been filed in several countries counting the UK, Netherlands and also in Germany as well. As expected, Apple has responded to the lawsuit by filing a counter lawsuit against the Finnish phone maker. With this being their fourth legal battle against each other, the process is starting to look familiar, hopefully, this case gets resolved as soon as possible.

RIM has announced that they have shipped a massive 14.2 million units, and the company has also reported a massive growth of 40% in profits. While the BlackBerry brand still remains a niche name, many are hoping that the new QNX powered BlackBerry Playbook might change the reputation of the company name.

Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform will be receiving a massive update. According to reports, the new update will be coming in the summer of 2011 (around August and September), and by massive, we mean large enough to warrant getting a name. Aside from adding HTML5 and better Silverlight compatibility the update is expected to bring many more features to the OS. The new update has also been nicknamed as the Mango.

Speaking of the Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is not planning a new version of the OS until much later; which means that the currently announced 7.5 update will be all that users can look forward to next year. It is believed that the new version, Windows Phone 8 will be launching on 2012.

Google’s Android Honeycomb has been designed specifically for touch screen tablets. So far, there is no confirmation yet on when the OS version will be released (especially with 2.3 Gingerbread being just released just a while ago). At this point, many believe that the Honeycomb OS will be designated with version 2.4.

News Tidbits: A Quick Bite of Mobile Updates

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

The white version of the Samsung Android smart phone, the i9000 Galaxy S has just been made available in Germany. It has been out in the UK and in Spain for quite some time now, but if you missed it, they currently have plenty of stock in Germany.

Google’s Nexus S is now on pre-order availability. Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2 are all offering the handset and if you want it on for free on contract, the cheapest available is a 35 Pound monthly tariff good for 24 months.

Local users of the Samsung Galaxy S under Orange and T-Mobile will be sad to know that the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update will not be available until this coming January. The delay has gotten quite a reaction from those who are initially excited about the new update but considering that the wait should is not that long, this is still good news.

Apple’s latest issue with Jailbreaking seems to have taken an odd turn as they have just disabled a crucial API feature in the iOS: the specific function shut off is the one that specifically identifies which handsets are jailbroken and which are not.

This new decision has led to many into believing that Apple is taking a step away from its strong stance against the practice of jailbreaking though many also fear what this would mean for the many game and app developers that rely on online sales in order to make a profit. If Apple does cease to stand against jailbreaking, piracy on the iPhone is certain to spread. Many believe that the decision by Apple is heavily influenced by the fact that the US government has deemed jailbreaking to be a completely legal practice.

Finally, the initial specs of the new Motorola tablet has been confirmed, aside from having a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, Andy Rubin’s little gadget sports a 1280 x 800 resolution, 7 inch capacitive touch screen, a 5 mega pixel camera and of course, the Android Honeycomb OS.

Nexus S is Coming to the UK

Monday, December 13th, 2010

When Google first came up with the Nexus One, they specifically stated that they had no notions of an iPhone killer or anything of the sort. The self-branded handset was meant to set a bar for the smart phone industry in terms of what the Android platform can truly be.

Now, almost a full year later, we see the fruition of the second Nexus handset to come about. And regardless of how one looks at it, the Nexus S is truly an iPhone killer. To fully appreciate this, one simply has to look at the basis of the Nexus S –which is Samsung’s i9000 Galaxy S which has been meant as the Korean phone maker’s rival product against the Apple iPhone.

According to various sources, the new Google super phone will be shipping to the UK pretty soon and four major network operators have confirmed that they will be offering the handset as soon as it arrives. O2 Mobile, Vodafone UK, T-Mobile UK and Orange UK have all confirmed that the new Google handset will be available on both SIM free and tariff deals –providing users with a choice. The phone is reportedly going to be free at 35 Pound monthly tariff deals and up.

Specs wise, there is little doubt that the Nexus S is poised to take on the iPhone. IT eve packs the new NFC hardware technology that Apple jumped in early to invest in –not that the technology is already seeing practical use today, but Google certainly does not want to be left out when the technology finally does.

With the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, HD video, a 1.2 GHz CPU and a large library of applications from the Android Market, the Google Nexus S will be offering a tough fight against Apple’s iPhone series.

Upcoming Devices: the Nexus S

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Google has a second Nexus branded handset, and that is by now, a well established fact. While it was not easy to believe that the Android phone make would be working on a new self branded handset phone so soon, the fact is that they have already teamed up with Samsung in order to bring the Nexus S to the smart phone industry.

For those who may remember, the Nexus One (Google’s first self branded Android device) was manufactured by Taiwanese phone maker HTC. Many believe that this choice was heavily influenced by HTC’s long standing history in the development of the Android OS as they have been among the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance.

Now, Samsung has been chosen. Many believe that this was because of the unbelievable success of the Galaxy S. While the iPhone 4 did have problems with the whole antennagate issue (which led to some Apple fans opting to pass up on the device), the Galaxy S’ market success is still a product of the device’s own impressive hardware.

Unlike the Nexus One that was basically the same handset as the HTC Desire; the Nexus S takes cues from the Samsung Galaxy S, but takes the features a little bit further. The CPU has been enhanced to an Arm V7 dual core processor with OpenGL ES. The touch screen will employ a new super AMOLED 2 display and the OS will be the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform.

So far, we are downright impressed with the initial specs of the device –though we also suspect that the price tag will also be pretty high. Aside from that, the only other real concern is availability. While Google makes it easy for developers to acquire Nexus handsets, the same is not to be said for regular consumers.

The Big News: Gingerbread is Almost Here

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Eric Schmidt, the current CEO for search engine giant Google has finally confirmed that the Android 2.3 Gingerbread is ready for commercial release and to show it off the man has also showcased the next Google branded handset, the Nexus S.

Whether this comes as a surprise for many or not is not the issue, the important thing here is that after a couple of weeks of speculations and rumors about a possible Nexus handset, the early release of the Gingerbread OS and a major launch event from either Google or Samsung, something has finally happened.

So what else is new? Near field communications technology that’s what. The new handset not exactly tagged under any manufacturer and the fine details of the device have been left out of the equation during the Gingerbread announcement, but the device certainly showed off some impressive features. With Google also backing the technology, expect NFC to be an industry standard pretty soon.

Ironically, as much as the event was an announcement for the new Gingerbread OS, one cannot help but have the attention fully focused on the new handset. Equipped with NFC, a high speed processor, an impressive AMOLED touch screen display and what can only be assumed as a high speed processor and a high capacity camera lens, this next generation smart phone is going to set the new standard for Android device –much like the Nexus One did for the current generation of Android phones.

Undoubtedly, this announcement also underlines the fact that Gingerbread will also be coming over to Froyo devices, though only those with unlocked phones will be able to enjoy an update early. Everyone else will have to wait for network specific updates to the OS. With many devices still behind on the Froyo update, those with Android devices still locked to their networks will need to be patient.

Android Gingerbread is Coming

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

It looks like Google will be bringing out the newest version of the Android smart phone a little earlier than expected. According to reports, the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread will be out on November 11.

For those not keeping tabs on the news, here’s the quick summary:

Google originally announced the Gingerbread as Android 3.0 –a full update from version 2.0 Éclair. This was done at the Google I/O conference earlier this year. While the Android 2.2 Froyo was focused on stabilizing and improving the overall performance of the Android OS, the Gingerbread was slated to be a new standard for all devices running Google’s platform.

Currently, a large percent of all high end Android smart phones are being slowly updated to version 2.2 Froyo, but at the moment, the standard version is still 2.0 and 2.1 Éclair. Some mobile phones, such as the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 have come out using only Android 1.6 Donut, leaving them two whole Android versions behind in terms of being updated. This level of fragmentation has always been a serious bane on Android developers as being able to deliver a uniform user experience is deemed to be close to impossible.

Recent announcements have confirmed that the Gingerbread will no longer sport the 3.0 number, but instead, it has been delegated to a lower scale update at version 2.3. This has now led to many believing that that update will not be about creating a new Android standard, but to simply bring more features and functions to the OS. In the meanwhile, the next version is going to take the 3.0 version number designation. At the moment, it is said that the Android OS to follow Gingerbread will be named Honeycomb.

There is no doubt that Google’s Android OS is growing very fast, but unless they are able to overcome fragmentation issues, it will be a while before the Android is able to fully dominate the market.