It’s hard to believe Mobile World Congress 2012 is already over. For those of you that weren’t able to go, and even for those that went, Android Developers released a video highlighting the activities from the Android Booth over the last three days. You can also check out the highlight videos from the 1st two days and day 3 as well.
Google’s VP of Wallet and Payments Osama Bedier said during the Mobile Money: Delivering Innovative Mobile Payment Services panel at Mobile World Congress that Sprint will be getting at least ten more Google Wallet-enabled devices by the end of the year. We already have the Nexus S, and next up will be the Galaxy Nexus and the LG Viper 4G, so it’s good to see more NFC-enabled phones coming soon to the Now Network.
Google is still negotiating with manufacturers, operators, and potential financial partners to expand Wallet’s reach, but with some recent security issues coming to light, as well as the competing Isis system starting trials this year, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Isis is already being backed by all the big boys: HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, Sony, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Chase, CapitolOne, and Barclaycard. Phew. That’s a big list.
Of course, Google Wallet has had a head start, with 22 of the largest retail chains in the U.S. already supporting the technology at 300,000+ MasterCard PayPass terminals. But will it be enough once Isis rolls out? Hard to say, but competition can only be good for consumers, so whichever system wins out, I’m sure as long as your phone supports NFC, it will be able to use it. Who knows… maybe there’s room for both. Can’t we all just get along?
HTC stole the show at Mobile World Congress with the unveiling of their HTC One series of phones. We’re talking specs spanning dual-cores, quad-cores, HD screens, polycarbonate unibodies, and more. One of the areas HTC focused on (pun intended) is the camera, with a new integrated custom HTC ImageChip, and big improvements to the lens, sensor, and software. This suite of imaging improvements is known as HTC ImageSense.
The specs sound great, but how does it perform in real-world situations? Androidandme managed to get a hold of sample pictures taken with an HTC One, and although they are not the full resolution originals, they show just how amazing ImageSense can be. The focus is sharp, the colors vibrant, and the contrast high. These rival many point-and-shoots in my opinion. Granted, these were probably shot by a pro under the best conditions, but they prove that the One series ups the ante significantly in the imaging department.
Check out the gallery after the break.
Remember that leaked Sony smartphone roadmap we saw back in January? Well a few of those devices caught my eye mainly because they were listed as having a price tag that was much higher than the rest. One of those two devices, the LT29i (Hayabusa), has recently shown up on a Nenamark benchmark as spotted by UberGizmo, and tells some rather interesting details. According to the test results, the device sports a Qualcomm Adreno 225 GPU leading one to believe that it could easily be paired with the dual-core S4 Snapdragon processor as well. Ubergizmo also brings up the good point that Sony is aiming to release a handset sporting the Cortex-A-15 processor which could also make sense because those two processors are rather similar in performance.
Along with a dual-core 1.5GHZ processor, the Sony LT29i will also have a peculiar display with a resolution of 720 x 1,196. One can only assume that Sony has either been smokin’ on something they shouldn’t be, or there was clearly an error when Nenamark spit out the test results. One thing that does make perfect sense is that the device was running Android 4.0.3 at the time of testing. I can imagine we will hear more about the LT29i Hayabusa sometime in the next few months because the leaked roadmap has it launching in July for €493 ($656).
What can you say about the Samsung Galaxy Note other than it’s big? Well it’s certainly the biggest (no pun intended) head-turner for sure, and although a lot of people seem to think it’s too big, it appears there are a lot who don’t. Samsung told us back in December that they sold 1 million Galaxy Notes. Now they are telling us that they’ve reached the 2 million milestone. Not bad at all when you consider that it just became available in the U.S. and Canada. It’s now available worldwide so its sales should grow exponentially. In fact Samsung is predicting another 10 million units for 2012.
Some people are calling them phablets and some are just simply calling them big phones, but whatever you want to call it, you can’t deny that they are here to stay. LG already announced the Optimus Vu, but unfortunately the 4:3 design could hinder its success. Will we see Motorola and HTC jump on board? It’s only a matter of time till they and other manufacturers realize they want to get in on the action.
The Galaxy Note is truly an amazing phone and I really think it’s ahead of it’s time. I am predicting that in 2013 we will see similar models from all major manufacturers. Who knows, maybe we will even see a Nexus Note. If you want to read more about the Galaxy Note, make sure to check out my full review and quick hands on with some of the popular S Pen apps.
It’s one thing for chipmakers to promise great battery life on devices, but it’s another thing to actually see it in reality. Thanks to the energy-efficient DROID RAZR MAXX, it’s made us re-think how we should look at battery life on our devices. As PhoneArena put it best, battery life comes down to simply three things: the display, phone’s radios and the processor. As each evolve, we can see some sort of improvement on the battery life, even if its minimal.
The new architectures of the various chipsets are well on their way to changing the idea that Androids can’t have great, if not good battery life. You may remember how we highlighted the sexy Nvidia Tegra 3 processor which not only efficiently manages tasks such as emailing or watching videos by dedicating them to a core processor, but it has a specific low-level core which is specifically tasked with operating the battery at the most efficient level. Chip manufacturer ARM is following suit by developing a dual core chip featuring one low-power A7 core and another high performance A15. In this setup, the processor can choose which core to use— for example using the A7 for basic apps like emailing and texting. When users are doing something more demanding such as playing a 3D game or streaming HD video, the processor can automatically switch to the A15 for more power. Perhaps the most intriguing development is coming from Qualcomm. The manufacturer is currently developing a solution called “Consia” where the processor can learn a user’s habits such as when the user uses the device most and when it is not used, the device would then automatically adjust its settings based off of its users habits– such as when to gather and push data and when to shut it down and sleep when you sleep. In addition, the chip would learn when and where WiFi is available, without the need for additional apps. Neat isn’t it?
Ladies and gentlemen, the era of poor battery life on Androids are soon to be over. Let the games begin!
One of the best apps available for Android just got another major update. Data syncing wunder-app SugarSync has been updated to version 3.5 and now it does more than just let you access your files on your computers using your Android device. Sure, it introduced the ability to sync videos just a few months ago, but here are some of the items to look forward to in this latest update:
- Get anytime, anywhere access to all of your files, photos, and music
- Automatically back up and sync photos & videos to your computers
- Share any file or folder, even if it’s huge, over email, Facebook, Twitter, or even SMS.
- Stream your entire music collection, even while you use other apps
- Download files or entire folders for fast, offline viewing
- Make edits to any file and will SugarSync automatically sync it to all your computers
The app is now available in the market for Android 1.5+ devices. The new version of SugarSync even includes the much-welcomed support for Ice Cream Sandwich! There’s no excuse for you all to not have this app, so be sure to grab it immediately (if you don’t have it already). You can find the QR code and Market link right after the presser— but first you have to hit the break.
If you’re looking for a 4G LTE tablet at Verizon Wireless, there’s a new player in town. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE was released today on Big Red and will go head to head with the DROID XYBOARD 8.2. While the basic specs are relatively close, Motorola wins with the bigger screen (extra .50 inches) and price ($429 vs $479) while Samsung wins with thinness (7.9mm vs 8.9mm) and weight (340 grams vs 386 grams).
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE features a 7.7-inch (1280 x 800) Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 3.2MP rear camera (with 720p recording), 2MP front camera, 16GB of internal storage, microSD for up to 32GB of extra storage, HDMI through an optional dock or adapter, Enterprise SAFE, and Android 3.2.
Look for our full review soon, but for now, check out our initial hands on.
I don’t know if you’ve looked at any of the HTC One Series phones but if you have you may have noticed something peculiar. You can even see it in the promo videos we told you about the other day. You may not think that it’s peculiar given that this item has long been with most Android Devices before Android 3.0. I’m talking about the capacitive buttons of course.
While the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich made them a thing of the past it seems as if every phone coming out of MWC this year has them in one form or another but I digress. The peculiar item I am writing about is the three capacitive buttons on the One Series phones without their missing menu button. While yes Google did say it was going away from the menu button entirely, this begged the question, how does one access an application’s in-app menu?
Seconds out, Round 10! Another day, another few haymakers thrown in the ongoing court battle between Apple and… well, everyone! Apple and Motorola seem to have a permanent residency within the German courts and today has seen Apple awarded an injunction against all Motorola products that violate on a patent related to photo management. The patent injunction specifically relates to the scroll animations within Motorola’s photo gallery.
The doors had barely shut at the Munich Regional Court in Germany before Motorola came forward with the following statement :
Today’s ruling in Munich, Germany on the patent litigation brought by Apple concerns a software feature associated with performing certain functions when viewing photos in a ‘zoomed in’ mode on mobile devices. We note that the Court ruled that performing the functions in a ‘zoomed out’ mode does not infringe on this patent. We expect no impact to supply or future sales as we have already implemented a new way to view photos on our products that does not interfere with the user experience.
So there you have it, Apple have seemingly won an injunction that prevents Motorola devices from doing something they don’t actually do. The litigation roller-coaster continues and you can bet your mortgage that there will be more fun and games to come over the next few months. I think this particular round is a split decision on the judges scorecards.
source : FOSS patents