May 30th, 2012
Sony has just launched promotional videos for two new Android phones which will join its Android line up later this year. The Xperia Go is a rugged phone much like the earlier Xcover handsets, and features an IP rating of 67. Unlike earlier rugged phones which were fairly basic in nature, the Xperia Go comes with full smartphone functionality and a fairly impressive screen. It also comes pre-loaded with Video Unlimited which offers thousands of movies to watch and Music Unlimited with access to millions of songs.
The phone includes Fast Capture which allows you to jump straight to the camera from the phone’s lock screen. Like all good rugged phones the Xperia Go is dust and water resistant and can be used in all conditions with “wet finger tracking”. This allows you to competently use the touchscreen even if it is covered in liquid. The Xperia Go is dual core and comes with pre-loaded training apps to assist you with your exercise regime. The phone is available in black, white and yellow.
The Xperia Acro S is a more high profile phone with more emphasis on entertainment. It features a 4.3 inch HD Reality Display featuring Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine along with an HDMI port to connect directly to a TV. Its 12 megapixel camera includes 1080p video recording and fast capture while the front camera is capable of 720p video calls. Like the Xperia Go the Acro S is water resistant and includes DLNA sharing as well as Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited.
April 21st, 2011
It should not be too surprising that Apple would begin the legal battle concerning Android. While Microsoft who has also claimed that Android infringes on its patents for the most part has kept most of its legal battles outside of court, Apple has chosen to take its fights to the courts and it is doing so once again with Samsung.
According to Apple: “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.”
The ironic thing is Samsung manufactures most of the flash memory, screens and other components used in the iPad, iPhone and other Apple products. But I’m sure Apple is not sitting well with Samsung’s sale records of last year (80 million Galaxy S smartphones). Either way, the lawsuit could be interpreted as Apple seeing Samsung as more than a partner and rather a rival.
Source: Wall Street Journal
April 13th, 2011
All those looking to pick up the HTC Flyer will be glad to know that the company has made the official release date known to the public. Those looking to pick up HTC’s stylus sporting tablet will be glad to know that come the 9th of May, they will be able to do so. Granted you will have to wait a bit longer before you get Honeycomb on the device as it will be sporting Gingerbread at launch, but you do get some cool specs.
A 1.5GHz processor comes standard along with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of Flash storage. The display is 1024 x 600 and it carries a version of the Sense UI that is optimized for tablets. In case you’re wondering, yes there will be a 1.3 megapixel camera up front and it will be perfect for capturing vain images of yourself or chatting with your buddies across the room or across the sea and of course everything in-between.
Now if only we could get a price and an official date for when the Honeycomb update will arrive.
April 6th, 2011
Since the debut of the first Microsoft operating system it has always been the popular opinion that Apple and Microsoft are arch enemies. While both companies are in similar industries, Apple and Microsoft have been able to get along for the most part thanks to their very different business models. Apple is more concerned about carving out market niches and collecting huge dividends from said sectors while Microsoft is more interested in turning the entire computer world into a Microsoft controlled monopoly.
That being said, both companies have more rivalry between Google than between themselves and with the latest subtle partnerships between Cupertino and Redmond, it is not hard to see why seeing that Google has morphed from that cool kid who everybody got along with to the son of the neighborhood association’s president who everyone has a problem with.
So it should be no surprise that Microsoft has been working on Mac OS X software for years and has just released the Windows Phone 7 Connector v1.1 in the Apple Mac Store. As you might recall, the Mac App Store was released earlier this year after being speculated about for quite some time now.
Thanks to the Windows Phone 7 Connector, those Apple users who are interested in syncing their Windows Phone 7 devices on their Mac’s will be able to do so and the app carries a slew of features including the ability to synch DRM-free media to said devices. Users can update the software of their Windows Phone 7 devices as well as synch with multiple Mac computers. Support for Apple’s Lossless audio is included in this release as well as the ability to automatically launch the app when a Windows Phone 7 device is connected. Last but not least, anyone looking to run this freebie will need Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system. Now if only we could get Zune Pass on this thing.
Source: Mac App Store
April 6th, 2011
What do you know, Android’s in-app billing has finally gone live and to celebrate the launch, two major publishes are releasing games previously popular on Apple’s iOS platform for free on Android with hopes that the Android Marketplace new in-app billing system will fund the game completely. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave which originally cost $3 on iOS and is powered by the Unreal Engine as well as Gun Bros and Tap Tap Revenge 4 are all available on the Android Marketplace for free as we speak.
While traditional PC and console game manufacturers have shied away from releasing their games for free, many cellphone and now tablet game developers have been using the free option as bait to lure in prospective customers. Usually, core features in a mobile game will be unlocked in a free version with more advanced features requiring the purchase of an item in order to use said features.
This can be a more effective way of getting prospective customers as they will be more likely to try something that is free and purchase in-game items. Zynga has been doing this with much success on the ever-popular Farmville app on Facebook.
That said, in all likelihood, Android’s in-app billing service will provide a more streamlined environment for the purchasing of digital content and not require developers to come up with their own payment systems to collect money after a game an app has been purchased.
Thanks to these and many other features, Android’s Marketplace is slowly evolving from the eyesore it used to be. Now if only Google could come up with a device specific app store thus making the hassle of apps that work on certain devices and not others a lot easier.
April 5th, 2011
Thanks to the addition of Sony’s Music Unlimited cloud service, a couple of privileged devices will receive the option of streaming music. The devices that will be receiving the feature include the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, PSP and NGP (to be released later this year).
The Music Unlimited service will allows users to stream music to their portable device from their own music collection or from the Music Unlimited catalogue.
Those who are familiar with the PlayStation 3 know that Music Unlimited aka Qriocity currently is used by said system to stream music. Music files can be played from a heard drive and streamed to a phone when you’re not at the base system. The Qriocity catalogue will cost £4 a month for the basic service with the more advanced service which includes more channel choices, playlists and on demand listening coming in at £10 for a monthly plan.
As stated before, the service will come to the Sony PSP and Sony Ericsson Android based devices. So far the company does not have an official release date, but according to Sony reps, we should be seeing this one popping out of the company’s research and design labs in a matter of weeks.
If this does take off, it would offer a lot of competition to other cellphone manufactures such as Samsung, HTC and LG who have yet to include some sort of musical application suite for streaming or playback in their devices as of yet and instead rely on the stock or modified Android experience for those musical junkies. This service just might give undecided customers the answer they’re looking for in terms of streaming music from a base system to a portable system.
April 5th, 2011
Just like Google, BlackBerry, HP (webOS) and Apple have made it clear that they will (and have) pulled apps from their marketplace if they violate their policies, Microsoft has communicated their point to developers as well. However, the Windows Phone Marketplace is well over 6 months old and until now there had not been a peep of an app being rejected until last week.
You might remember that Microsoft is boasting well over 10,000 apps in their application store as well as 30,000+ developers. With those numbers it is to be expected that every once in a while an app will fall through the cracks. Well that so happens to be a certain app named Imagewind. The application, as some have styled it, is a “great app to kill some time.” Basically the app pulls random images from Twitter and displays them on the user’s phone. For those not familiar with Twitter, unlike many other social networks who hosts images for their users, Twitter only hosts background and profile pics leaving the rest of the image hosting to other sites such as TwitPic. Many of these sites do not have stringent policies on nudity and other forms of offensive content. Imagewind’s app pulls from many of these sites and this “violates” Microsoft’s TOS.
Many could argue that a browser does the same thing but is beside the point. Microsoft originally gave the creator some time to remedy the problem but has since pulled the app from its store. According to Roger, he is working on a fix for the app which would filter out such content.
Source: Smarty Pants Coding
April 1st, 2011
There has been little talk out of Redmond on the numbers involving the actual sale of Windows Phone 7 devices. So far all we have been able to wring out the company is a vague statement claiming that sales are on track and that they have met their expectations.
On the other hand while Samsung has not come forward with any specific numbers, they have said that they were a bit disappointed at the sales figures regarding their part in the Windows Phone 7 launch. But while the company did stop short of giving actual stats, it is clear to see that not everyone so far is smiling upon the success of the platform. Even with that, Microsoft has said that they expect to long haul in making Windows Phone 7 successful and that might be one of the reasons they have decided to spend over $1 billion in advertisement for the platform.
That said, there has been some good news for the platform today. According to Microsoft, thanks to a developer network totaling 36,000, Windows Phone Marketplace now boasts a cool 11,500 apps. Now I’m sure many people will begin comparing these numbers to Android’s Marketplace which currently boasts over 150,000 apps or worse Apple’s App Store which is sitting above the 300,000 mark, but it’s not like all of those apps are unique as many have duplicated functionality. That being said, with the next major update for Windows Phone 7 coming in the holiday season of this year (codenamed Mango), it looks like things will be moving up from here. Plus we cannot forget the new support Nokia will be giving the platform a much needed boost over the next 2 years thanks to their dropping of Symbian and the adoption of Windows Phone 7.
March 30th, 2011
Many questions still remain unanswered concerning the BlackBerry PlayBook. However as the launch of the device is less than a month away, a few more details have been released. For one you remember that when BlackBerry announced the PlayBook they emphasized that it would not be reliant on a BlackBerry smartphone for regular usage. However it seems that that might not be entirely true, at least not until the first major software update to the device.
According to an official FAQ that has been posted for Verizon’s webinar (Vodafone’s partner in the United States), the BlackBerry PlayBook will not carry native applications for email, calendar and contacts, instead PlayBook users will be required to use a BlackBerry smartphone in order to get those features. It was not detailed as to what software version the accompanying BlackBerry needs to be running in order for the feature to work. On the bright, it was mentioned that the device will eventually get native applications for calendar, contacts and email in a “future software update,” and by feature we are sure you are aware that any sort of time frame could be implied by such a statement.
That said, BlackBerry will allow the emulation of all the Android Marketplace apps, so users should not be left completely in the cold concerning relevant applications for their device though we know not how or have seen any demonstrations of say Google Maps or Navigation running on a PlayBook.
In the end it will be left up to the early adopters to decide whether or not they should take the plunge with this device. To give RIM some credit, they do have a good record of releasing software updates on time so we wouldn’t exactly expect them to pull a Samsung on us here.
March 29th, 2011
You remember Ainol don’t you? That Asian technology company which back in 2008 and 2009 were responsible for releasing some 7, 8 and 9 inch tablets. Well the company is back on the scene, this time with the power of Android behind them. While Ainol might not be well known in these parts of the world, over in the Orient, they have released a slew of successful media players which did everything from videos to music to internet access, mobile TV etc.
This time however, Ainol is planning to bring their Android love to the light of day. The picture you see above is of a tablet by said company which is supposedly running Android 3.0 Honeycomb. That being said, the device will feature an ARM Cortex A9 processor, although we have no idea of a clock speed, as well as 3G and 802.11x Wi-Fi connectivity.
Another cool feature of the device is it’s screen which will be an IPS display that has a resolution of 1280 x 800 although we are not sure what size the display could be. If we had to guess however, you’d guess something in the 8 to 10 inch region.
Last but not least, as you can see from the photo above, there are a slew of buttons of which will be used to search, control the volume of the device, and anything else the standard Android buttons can be used for. As for the black dot above the power button, we’re not exactly sure what it is but most likely it is a front facing camera for the device.
Mums the word on pricing, however we do understand that the tablet will be making an official release sometime next month, so stay tuned. We’ll be interested to see if Ainol can compete with the likes of the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the LG Optimus Pad.