If you haven’t a clue who InfoSonics is, or even what they do, it’s alright. They’re a technology manufacturing company based out of San Diego and they’ve just recently announced their very first Android smartphone, the verykool S700. The specifications of the device are about as “kool” as the name given to it, and it’s only running Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box.
The S700 features a 2MP (really) rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity and dual-sim capability (2G/3G only). The screen is a 3.5 inch capacitive touch screen, which , although unspecified, surely won’t be sporting too impressive of a screen resolution. The handset also comes shipped with 2GB internal memory that can be expanded to 32GB via a MicroSD card, built in FM radio, 1400 mAh Li-ion battery, GPS and a gyroscope.
The phone is obviously going to be aimed at the extremely low-range market, as even the cheapest of phones are beginning to sport greater specifications than the verykool S700. I honestly don’t like having to add such negative comments to a device, but the times, they are a changin’ and if you’re looking to enter a fairly established market, you have to bring everything you’ve got.
The HTC Droid Incredible 4G, previously dubbed the HTC Fireball, is passing through the FCC just 3 days after receiving Bluetooth certification. What’s particularly interesting about this approval application is that it’s touting LTE band 13, which is Verizon’s 700MHz frequency. Although any further [relevant or interesting] details are slim to none, surely more information will be surfacing in the coming weeks and days. Keep posted to TalkAndroid.com for further updates!
With the recent launch of Google Play to replace the Android Market, it seems clear that Google is planning some major moves, likely to compete with its most obvious competitor, Apple’s iTunes and iBooks. This doesn’t require much explanation as to why, since it would be a vital move for Google to expand its services in order to remain in a contending position. It seems that in addition to offering apps, movies, music and e-books, Google is planning to offer audiobooks, magazines and newspapers as well.
The initial sighting was in the in the Google Play Help Center by Google news site Google Operating System, with empty pages for “Audio Books” and “Magazines and Journals”. Also noted is Google’s registration of several place holder domains such as googleplaymagazines.com, googleplaynewspapers.com, googleplaynewsstand.com and googleplaytv.com among various other iterations of these themes. Looks to me like Google is planning another major update to its services, and I for one will welcome them with open arms when they’re released some time in the future.
Motorola is planning a soak test for a future update for its Droid 3 devices on Verizon’s network, as an e-mail sent out to Motorola Feedback Network (MFN) members explains. For those that aren’t sure what a soak test is, it’s simply a form of software testing that ensures that, in normal use (or as close a simulation of) as well as under heavy load, the software remains stable and functional. Unfortunately it won’t be Ice Cream Sandwich, since that’s been dropped from Verizon’s list of phones receiving the Android 4.0 update. Members of the MFN received the following e-mail:
Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid 3, please excuse and ignore this email.
Click this link to take a short enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners’ Forums to be included. The registration window is can close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.
Thanks — please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don’t hear from us right away.
Thanks Justin for sending this in!
Motorola’s huge update for the MOTOACTV fitness device, originally scheduled for March 7th (yesterday) has been postponed until tomorrow. Although not entirely great news, it’s only a 24 hour wait, and I’m sure it’s to ensure that the update is rolled out without issues. The update is planning to bring over 40 new activities to the device, including yoga, pilates, dancing, and martial arts. The update will also bring some new convenient functionality tweaks, including activating the screen by a flick of your wrist, and WiFi setup straight from the device itself (opposed to currently having to do so from your phone). If you own a MOTOACTV, keep your eyes posted tomorrow for an incredible update for your device.
U.S. senator Charles Schumer has requested that the Federal Trade Commision investigate reports that applications on both iOS and Android platforms are able to steal private photos and contacts and export them to their servers – without the user’s consent. Schumer is concerned about a New York Times report that iOS and Android apps can obtain access to the user’s private photos and contacts.
The senator says that it’s his understanding that the uses in question violate the terms of service of both Apple and Google platforms. “These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app’s functionality,” Schumer said in a letter to the FTC. Schumer also suggests that “smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user’s personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public”, and that phone manufacturers have an obligation to protect the private content of their customers.
This is an interesting allegation, and it’s definitely a little worrisome. Whether or not this holds a severe case I’m sure we’ll find out in the coming days and weeks. It’s common sense that only what the application needs or what you consent to relinquish to the application should be accessed and used, and only according to how you agree for that content to be used.
The lawsuit wars continue between Apple and Google and Motorola. U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner ruled yesterday that Motorola and Google must hand over details on the development of Google’s Android operating system as well as information regarding the recent [pending] acquisition of Motorola by Google. Apple’s lawyers claim “The Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses”, but Motorola has opposed the request, stating “Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.”
So there we have it, another interesting twist in the tech-giant soap opera drama that is Apple vs. The World. We’re sure to see more from Apple as time goes on, especially since the Google/Motorola acquisition poses an immediate threat to the company.
AT&T will be offering the Dr. Dre Beatbox this week, retailing for a pretty hefty $400. The accessory will offer Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a dock connector for smartphones and portable music players. The Beatbox is powering a 5.25″ woofer, and will most likely offer “an incredible music experience”. I’m not really sure if I want an incredible portable music experience at $400, but I digress. In addition to the Beatbox, AT&T will also be carrying the following Beats accessories: Wireless HD Stereo Bluetooth Headphones, Beats Solo HD Headphones and the UR Beats In-Ear Headphones.
Also in the press release, which I’m sure will be slightly more appealing, is AT&T’s explicit intention to deliver an update for the HTC Vivid “in the coming weeks” which includes an update to Android 4.0, an updated HTC Sense experience and Beats by Dr. Dre audio profiles. Owners of an HTC Vivid rejoice, you finally get to taste the sweet, sweet, creaminess that is Ice Cream Sandwich. Full press release after the break.
The most recent iteration of Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise looks as if it’s going to launch exclusively on the most recent iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy line of handsets. Today Samsung released a teaser clip on their Facebook and YouTube pages. The 30-second teaser makes it fairly clear that the game is intended to launch on the Galaxy Note. The game will surely be released for other handsets subsequent to this exclusive launch window. Such marketing tactics aren’t unfamiliar, since Rovio previously released Angry Birds in a similar manner. The way I see it, it’s a win-win situation. It’s great news for Galaxy Note owners and good news for everyone else. What’s a little wait for the rest of us, anyway? Hit the break for the Angry Birds Space teaser clip.
Google Labs was responsible for some of the apps we can’t live without on our devices: Google Search, Google Goggles and my personal favorite, App Inventor. Unfortunately the app was phased out, along with Google Labs, but not before the source code was made open for all. Of course, since App Inventor was a pivotal educational tool, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology picked it up right where Google left it.
I bring some good news today, as the beta version of the application is available to anyone with a Google account! That’s right, anyone can pick up and go create their own apps in a versatile, innovative and naturally intuitive environment. Anyone who’s ever wanted to give app development a shot but didn’t quite understand the jargon involved with software development should head over to the MIT’s App Inventor website (source link below) and give it a go.