Facebook Caught Reading User SMS Messages?

Another day, another privacy scandal… This time Facebook is in hot water as some news about its possible reading of user SMS messages has surfaced. According to the Sunday Times newspaper out of London, Facebook “admitted” to “reading text messages” in trials and preparations to launch its own message service. The main allegations include:

  • - Data — including the user’s location, the phone numbers of contacts and their Internet history — are often accessed via apps and in some cases transmitted to “third party” companies including advertisers.
  • - Some companies can remotely control features on smartphones, including cameras, on which they can take pictures and video at any time.
  • - Downloading some basic apps leaves people vulnerable to a torrent of spam and invasive advertising.
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Huawei Officially Announces the Quad-Core MediaPad 10 FHD

Today, Huawei announced the Huawei MediPad 10 FHD at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The MediPad 10 FHD has a 10-inch IPS display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and is the second 10-inch tablet to sport a quad-core chip. The processor is actually made by Huawei and it clocks in at 1.5GHz and the device also comes equipped running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the gate. Some other respectable specs include; 2GB of RAM, HSPA+ 21/42/84Mbps and LTE support, 8MP rear camera, 1.3 MP front camera, and Dolby surround sound for the dual speakers. It also measures in at only 8.8mm thin and weighs 598g.

Some reports are saying that Huawei is touting this device as the first dual-core tablet, and if that’s true, we all know they would be wrong because they now are in direct competition with the quad-core ASUS Transformer Prime. When you compare specs between the two devices, it looks like the MediPad 10 FHD might actually have a leg up on the current Android tablet front runner. Either way you look at it , the MediaPad 10 FHD is definitely a vast improvement over their most recent tablet, the Huawei Springboard. Maybe Huawei is actually going to be a strong contender moving forward. Full press release after the break.
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ZTE announces the Tegra 3 quad-core ZTE Era

NVIDIA is having a really nice Mobile World Congress. A number of phones have already been announced using their quad-core Tegra 3 which include the HTC One X, the LG Optimus 4X HD, Fujitu’s Ultra High Spec Smartphone, and the K-Touch Treasure V8.

We need to add one more to the list and that’s the ZTE Era. Other than the Tegra 3 chip, the Era features a 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) display, 8GB of internal memory, MicroSD, HD voice, and Dolby sound. It comes in a 7.8mm thick and has Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Based on the display and storage specs, I would think this will be one of the more economical Tegra 3 devices, which isn’t a bad thing.

ZTE unveiled 8 phones in total at MWC that involve both Android and Windows Phones, but this is by far the flagship. No pricing yet, but we can expect to see the ZTE Era in Europe and China in the second half of 2012.

Full press release after the break:

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ASUS unveils the economical Transformer Pad 300 Series

Asus had a busy morning in Barcelona as they unveiled the new and improved Padfone and the Transformer Pad Infinity Series, but they also showed us the Transformer Pad 300 Series. Remember the TF300T that was caught on camera and also showed up with NenaMark2 test results? This is it. It will feature a 10.1-inch (1200 x 800) IPS display, a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 8MP (with F2.2 aperture) rear camera, and a 1.2MP front camera. They will offer both WiFi-only and 4G LTE versions with your choice of red, white, or blue.

This will bascially be a cheaper version of the Transformer Prime. It will come with less storage (16GB) and the back is all plastic. Also the display is an IPS display, not a Super IPS+ display. They will still offer the keyboard dock, but battery life with the dock is a little less, 15 hours as opposed to 18 hours. Pricing and availability wasn’t announced yet, but I would expect the WiFi version to come in around $350 to $399, which would make it very popular among the masses.

Full press release after the break:

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Motorola Mobility Creates New Program To Entice Business Users To Switch To Android


Think Motorola Mobility isn’t serious about having business users use its devices? Well check this out: starting tomorrow, MOTO is set to offer “up to $200 for a consumer’s old device when a Motorola Business Ready phone is purchased”. This means we’ll likely see more and more Android devices in the corporate and business world, especially because Motorola will have more and more IT friendly tools for consumers:

“Motorola Mobility will be offering the MotoAssist™ IT service to give business users access to IT professionals who can help set up accounts, transfer contacts seamlessly, and even work directly with corporate IT departments”.

Get ready for Android devices making a major push in the business world folks. Make sure to hit the break to see the full presser from MOTO.

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ASUS Padfone Formally Announced At MWC, Due To Arrive In April

We knew the Padfone was on its way to MWC, but ASUS has finally unveiled its new jewel of a smartphone to the masses. That means that sexy smartphone (and “tablet” accessory) is officially on its way. Some of the noteworthy features of the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered device includes: 

Of course the specs are sexy and all, but you all are waiting for the really interesting aspects of the device, right? In case you’ve forgotten, you have the ability to turn this svelte phone into a tablet, thanks to a handy (optional) accessory— a dock which allows you to turn the device into a tablet. The optional tablet dock will not only allow you to view your content on a bigger screen, but you will also find some extended battery life. Among the other coveted accessories that will be a available will be a keyboard and wait for it— a stylus headset which performs double-duty as a stylus and you guessed it— a headset.

The phone is set to arrive in April, but ASUS stops there. There is no additional word on which countries/markets it will launch first nor do we know how much the phone and its accessories will run for, though it’s probably going to cost you a pretty penny. You now know the phone is on its way and you’ve seen the specs, now why don’t you hit the break to see the full press release from ASUS? This will be able to hold you over in the meantime.

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ASUS to utilize ‘Transformer Pad’ as new branding for tablets, TF700T now part of Infinity Series with additional LTE model

Today ASUS announced they will rebrand their tablet line using  “Transformer Pad” moving forward, which should simplify things. Additionally they showed off the Infinity Series which seems to be another rebranding.

Do you remember the TF700T we showed you at CES in January? It’s basically the same tablet as the Transformer Prime, but with a 1080p (1920 x 1080) display. This will now be part of the Infinity Series, but they also unveiled a 4G LTE version of the same tab. There happens to be something else that is drastically different about this pad and it’s the fact that it comes with a Qualcomm MSM 8960 Snapdragon S4 CPU. The obvious reason for the change is the fact that the Tegra 3 chip just doesn’t seem to jive well with LTE. Don’t panic because the WiFi version will still have the Tegra 3 chip. They also plan on offering a 16GB version which wasn’t previously announced at CES.

Full press release after the break:

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Google Makes Its Presence Known At MWC: Highlights 850,000 Devices Are Being Activated Each Day

Google is making its presence known at MWC by giving us a status update on the Android ecosystem. The Android platform is not only healthy, but growing at a rapid pace. Google highlights Android has “a year-on-year growth rate of more than 250%” and adding “850,000 Android devices are being activated each day, bringing the total number of Android devices worldwide past the 300 million mark”. The Android Market is one of the major reasons for Android’s growth as well. Google shares at MWC 2011, it had 150,000 apps in the Android Market. As of the time of this writing, the number of apps available has tripled to 450,000— with an astonishing 1 billion app downloads happening each month.

To celebrate this achievement, Google has shared a few tricks up its sleeve. For starters, Google has built special “app pods” at its Android stand at MWC. According to Google:

“Many of these featured apps demonstrate the latest Android innovations, such as Android Beam, which lets you share content like web pages, videos, directions, and apps—just by touching two Android phones back to back”.

Also featured at Google’s Android stand are 100+ Android devices at the conveyor belt bar. The devices are shown to highlight some of the many innovations of Android. Finally, there is the Billing Bot which is powered by the Android ADK– which allows you Galaxy Nexus owners to bedazzle your backplate with “perfect precision”.

If you think Google is done at MWC, think again. Google said it best by adding it’s “just getting started”. What other interesting tricks can we look forward to from the team at Mountain View? Stay tuned with Talk Android for the latest updates regarding anything and everything Google.

source: Google Mobile Blog

Samsung shows you how you can propose to your significant other with the Galaxy Beam [Video]

Yesterday Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Beam, which is a smartphone with a 15 lumens projector. This is nothing new, but unfortunately phones such has these haven’t been all that successful so far. I do think it’s totally cool, but I don’t see this concept going mainstream until these projectors land on devices with higher specs. The fact that it has Android 2.3 Gingerbread and it’s 12.5mm thick is disappointing, but I’m sure there is a niche market for it because there is definitely some exciting stuff you can do with it.

For those of you that are thinking about proposing to your significant other, Samsung shows you how to utilize the Galaxy Beam in a pretty unique way. Check it out below, and hit the break for another video about sharing moments with your family.

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Samsung Announces Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 For Gamers

As Mobile World Congress officially kicks off, Samsung is showing off some unique devices. One interesting, or perhaps confusing, device is the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2. Similar to their Samsung Galaxy S WiFi from last year, this device comes without phone radios, but also adds an improved sound system called SoundAlive, which delivers “great sound either through a front stereo speaker or headphones“. The rest of the specs seem pretty ho-hum.

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread (really?)
  • 4.2-inch display
  • 8.9 mm thick
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 8GB or 16GB versions
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 2MP rear camrea
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Gyroscope sensor

It will come pre-installed with EA’s Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, which is what makes it a gaming device I suppose. I don’t know. After the Galaxy Note 10.1 announcement, this just seems rather dull in my opinion. Maybe if the price is right it could make a splash since it’s still a decent mid-level device. But when I hear “gaming” attached to the marketing of a device, I expect specs that are at the very high end of the spectrum, not a list that looks like last year’s models.

Full press release after the break.

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