Posts Tagged ‘Windows-Phone-7’

Microkia: The partnership of two giants

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It was a clear message that Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop sent to his company. The world is changing and we are not changing fast enough. Elop is not one to beat around the bush and skew facts; he made it clear that if Nokia did not change their direction, they would be eclipsed forever by Google, Apple and the reemerging RIM.

Yes the company has had MeeGo on the table for quite some time now as the answer to Android and iOS but as Elop said in his press conference today, MeeGo is not moving at a pace suitable for deployment in the near future and R&D is taking a lot longer than the company officially thought. Although he company will not abandon MeeGo completely, Nokia has said that from now on Windows Phone 7 will be the major OS for their devices from here on out.

The partnership between the companies solidifies years of collaboration between the software giant and he cellphone manufacturer giant. Nokia will be allowed to customize Windows Phone 7 as much as they like, something Microsoft has forbidden other OEM’s from doing, though Nokia is quick to say that they will only do minor modifications to keep themselves different from the rest. Speaking of different, Nokia revealed that they had been in talks with Google to bring Android to their ecosystem, but thanks to the lack of customizability and the tight lock Google has on Android, they dropped the idea of running Android on their phones.

Bing Maps will be ported to Nokia phones and Nokia’s Ovi Maps will see some of its features integrated with Bing Maps. Their Ovi App Store will also see integration with Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and yes, Xbox gaming will be making its way to all Nokia phones running Windows Phone 7.

Although both companies did not specify a timetable when customers will be able to get their hands on devices from the joint partnership, they have said it will be before the end of 2011 as well as Nokia has said that a MeeGo device (N9?) will be coming before years end as well.

Source: Nokia

Mobile Updates: AR Translation App for iPhone, Nokia Looking at WP7

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Augmented reality applications are starting to become more and more commonplace these days, and the Apple iPhone is a great platform for launching such apps –to be precise, developers enjoy launching great apps on the iPhone as the iTunes store brings apps to more users that actually purchase apps (the Android on the other hand, is a greater hit for those who love free stuff).

The Quest Visual Word Lens application is simple to use and quite impressive; take a picture of a sentence, word or phrase and the application will translate the content into a wide variety of languages. Granted that the app’s language packs are a little limited in terms of what languages it supports, it still manages to get the job done. And in terms of usefulness, it is hard to deny the fact that the being able to figure out what is written on that product instruction label would as a pretty useful bit of information.

Naturally, the app still pales in comparison with Google’s Goggles translate function –especially considering that the Word Lens app lacks the ability to figure out messages in slightly shaky shots (so expect to need a tripod or a very steady pair of hands). Even worse is the fact that this is a paid app (it is the iPhone after all). But since iPhone owners do not have much of a choice, expect to see Quest Visual’s app to hit the top ten lists pretty soon.

Nokia has confirmed that they are looking into developing mobile phones for other operating systems –that much they have already let known pretty early on. While the Finnish phone maker seems pretty adamant about not making an Android device, there have been hints that Windows Phone 7 is under consideration. Microsoft software has already appeared several times on Symbian platforms and for Nokia to adapt WP7 fully would not be hard to imagine.

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.

Double Dell: Venue Pro Delayed, Streak Updated

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The Dell Streak is getting a much awaited Android 2.2 Froyo update this week –in case you have not heard. The first confirmations of this good news actually came out yesterday, but today, local network operator O2 has assured that Streak users under the network will be receiving the update automatically.

This is a major bit of happiness for those under networks. More often than not (and especially with Android updates) individual per-company releases of mobile platform versions often take months to arrive. This is actually the same case with the Dell Streak –the official launch of the Froyo version was around last June. While an update to 2.0 Éclair would have made sense earlier on, Dell opted to skip that point and just go straight to the latest version instead.

The Streak’s main feature is a 5 inch TFT capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 800 resolution. The display is supported and protected by Gorilla Glass and also has an accelerometer and proximity sensor. The handset is also powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU running at 1GHz.

In the meanwhile, Dell’s other smart phone, the Windows Phone 7 running Venue Pro, will not be available until next year. This is quite surprising as many expected the Venue Pro (which was previously named as the Dell Lightning) to launch alongside the Windows Phone 7 OS last October –along with many other WP7 devices as well.

Also powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, the Venue Pro would be the perfect device for the heavy smart phone user. The 4.1 inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen provides users with just the right amount of display space to fully enjoy the new MS made user interface. Lastly, the slide out physical QWERTY keyboard is a great addition. While the portrait orientation may throw some users off, it seems to be a pretty stable phone overall.

Microsoft to Update WP7, Google’s Nexus S is Coming

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

With all the exciting talk about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system going on, it is almost easy to forget the fact that the platform will not be launching alone. Google is placing it aboard the Nexus S touch screen smart phone as well.

The dual launch will showcase not only the best software technology that Google has for commercial users, but also the latest in hardware innovation as well. There is plenty of focus for the Nexus S to be able to deliver great graphics, media and of course, the best Android experience for the end user. The device itself is unique, sporting a slight curve to the front of the device allowing it to ‘cup’ the side of the face more effectively especially when making a call or a voice command.

Other features of the Nexus S include the 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, an 8 mega pixel camera, the super AMOLED touch screen display and sadly, the lack of micro SD card support. While mostly impressive, not supporting external storage is certain to get some solid criticisms for this device. According to Samsung, the Nexus S will be launching within the next couple of weeks.

Microsoft is also launching an update to the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. While there are plenty of new features that are coming, it has been stated that copy and paste are going to be primary additions to the mobile platform. For those not familiar with the WP7 OS, it was originally announced that copy and pasting would be limited in application to only contact information –meaning that only phone numbers and email addresses can be copied and pasted.

This update provides a better version of copy and pasting: one that actually allows users to select which content to copy and where they will be allowed to paste it. The controls are simple and anyone who has seen a similar copy and paste system in other platforms will not take one learning to make use of the feature.

Coming Soon: Newer Tech for Mobiles

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

When Windows Phone 7 was first announced in this year’s Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer left out the fact that there would be no copy and paste. The issue was not brought up until several months later and much to the dismay of expectant fans, it came true when the mobile platform finally came out last October.

But now, it seems that the WP7 OS really needs cut and paste technology. It is a simple function that has left many wondering why it was never put in the platform to begin with. In any case, Microsoft has already seen the light and that is why they are adding in the feature for an upcoming OS update due to come out early next year.

Of course, copy-pasting is not going to be the only new feature implemented in the update. According to reports, the new OS will be getting an update so massive that we might as well call it the Windows Phone 8. So far, no other exact details regarding the upcoming changes have been revealed, but we are certainly excited about it.

Speaking of OS updates, the Apple iOS will be getting its own overhaul. This time, as opposed to bringing new phone features, the OS update will be streamlining the system’s overall power consumption settings: in short, it will make your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch battery last longer. This has been made possible with a new technology that manages bandwidth by allowing it to “sleep” from 3G communications when not needed.

Apple also has another surprise for the tech industry as they have revealed the manufacturer of the camera for the iPad 2. While the actual information about Largan Precision is not all that impressive, the real news here is that Apple is more or less confirming the iPad 2 and more importantly, they have also confirmed that the tablet will finally have a built in camera.

In Focus: HTC

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

HTC is back in the headlines again this week as they have confirmed that the HTC Gratia is indeed heading to the UK but the original November launch will no longer push through. This latest development may come as a bit of a disappointment for some who were looking forward to the device, but according to the Taiwan based phone maker, the Gratia will be launching here pretty soon.

The device is a well made, mid range handset. From the 3.2 inch TFT touch screen to the 5 mega pixel camera, everything about this phone speaks of smart phone practicality. The Gratia will have a slight edge over the original Aria as the new handset will come packed with the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system.

HTC is currently known for being a heavy supporter for both the Google Android and the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS. However, there have been a few reports that the manufacturer might also start working on its own mobile platform. Given the market success and acceptance of the HTC Sense user interface, it might not be such a bad idea at all –even Samsung’s Bada is currently doing great as the Korean phone maker balances all three mobile platforms.

Speaking of the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform, the HTC HD7 is currently considered as HTC’s flagship WP7 device. However, recent news indicates that the device is not entirely as good as it seems.

It appears that the device’s antenna is located in the bottom of the device. While this is not as bad as the design flaw on the iPhone 4, it is still something that users should be mindful about. As with the antennagate, it is feared that touching the exposed area is likely to block out the device’s signal and might result in dropped calls.

Mobile News: HTC OS, WP7 Push and More

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Rumors about a new mobile platform are spreading around. According to various reports, the new OS is going to be developed by none other than Taiwan based phone maker HTC. Considering the state of the mobile phone industry, this is not going to be a surprising move. In fact, if HTC pushes through with this plan, it will certainly not be the first.

Korean phone maker Samsung has proven to the world that it is possible to support other mobile platforms while developing one’s own proprietary system. Samsung’s Omnia series concentrates on the Windows Phone 7 OS while the Galaxy series are comprised of Android smart phones. Their Bada OS is used in the Samsung Wave series. All together, these three series make up the main lineup of Samsung’s smart phone offerings.

HTC can do the same if they decide to come out with an operating system of their own. With the HTC Sense proving that the company can design a great user interface, coming up with a good platform to run it on (outside of the Android) is pretty much within their capabilities.

In other news, Microsoft is going to go all out with the promotion of the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. It has been announced that the Bing search engine and the Xbox Live network will be used extensively in order to promote the new OS to everyone. Microsoft currently has to take charge and control as much of the gaming industry market as they could before Sony can produce the rumored PSP Phone –something that could literally take the WP7’s XBL market and bring them over to the Android.

Also, Opera has announced that the latest version of their mobile browser, version 10.1, is now available for Symbian devices. They have finished testing the beta version and the currently available browser download would provide users with the final product.

Smart Phone News: the Top Headlines

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

LG is heavily supporting the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform with the launch of the Optimus 7 just a while back. Now it seems that a second LG made WP7 handset is also coming out: the Optimus 7Q. The Q stands for Quantum and despite the fact that it looks a lot like the Optimus 7; this is an entirely new device.

Specs wise, the Quantum still follows Microsoft’s hardware requirements though the screen is a lot smaller at 3.5 inches (still carries the required resolution at least). The best part about the new handset is the slide out QWERY keyboard.

For those looking forward to the Windows Phone 7 handset, the Dell Venue Pro, this might be a good time to belay that purchase and consider your alternatives. According to a recent report, the smart phonies having some serious hardware issues; aside from the battery problems and the issues it has been having with WiFi connectivity, the Venue Pro is now having some SIM card problems as well.

Moving on to the Android OS, Motorola’s next generation smart phone is going to be the Olympus. So far, initial reports peg this device to be the best contender for the next gen device as it packs the Tegra 2 CPU. The handset can easily be mistaken for a larger version of the previously released Motorola Defy (which has certainly made a lasting impression with its super tough casing).

A new smart phone from Acer seems pretty close in concept to the Dell Streak. The device has yet to be given an official name, but so far we are certainly interested in what it can do. The biggest draw of this handset is the 4.8 inch touch screen display –which is the closest that comes to the Streak’s 5 inch capacitive touch screen.

Mobile Headlines: Android and WP7 in Focus

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was launched just recently and as such, there are issues and problems that need to be addressed –which is always the case with most new operating systems that launch.

However, as much as we would like to say that problems are normal, the current issue for most WP7 owners is jarring: the microSD card used in the device cannot be easily replaced without risking the loss of important data. While some might say that simply taking out the card and making a backup is a good idea; that is where the second problem lies: the card will be formatted in a unique way that renders it directly unreadable –even by the Microsoft run Windows desktop OS.

In short, those who are used to hot swapping SD cards will now be stuck with just one –so better be sure to insert a high capacity card the first time you use it.

In better WP7 news, it has been confirmed that sat nav assistance will now be provided to users via the device’s own maps feature. So far, no specific date on the GPS launch has been given.

HTC has confirmed two things just this week. First off, the Legend will indeed be getting an update and Vodafone users get first dibs over all other Legend users under other operators. According to the latest reports, the update is already online and ready to download.

HTC has also confirmed that it will be venturing to the business market with possibly a new device. While the Taiwan based manufacturer has previously concentrated on devices for the general public, a new wave of phones has been made to cater specifically to the messaging based and high security world of the business market.

Lastly, retailer Dixons has announced that the Android tablet, Toshiba Folio, will no longer be available unless an issue with the device has been fixed.