HTC Releases Beats Audio API Among Others

We already knew that HTC had planned on releasing the Beats Audio API for developers to integrate the music tweaking software into their own apps. What we didn’t know was that HTC also planned on granting access to a few other APIs as HTCdev announced the availability of four important HTC APIs. The announced APIs are:

  • Beats Audio API
  • Lockscreen API
  • Mobile Device Management API
  • And soon a HTC MediaLink HD API

Now developers can better create apps that integrate deeper into the HTC device experience. For example, accessing various apps directly from the lockscreen, view/listen to an apps media on the stock HTC media player, and the ability to enjoy Beats Audio from within other music apps such as PowerAMP. In addition, HTC plans on listing newly created apps that leverage the HTC APIs within the HTC Hub. A place where consumers can go to find all the apps that are tailored to their HTC device.

It will only be a matter of time before the development community starts pumping out creative ways in which to use their apps. I would be stoked to see Beats Audio tied in with Google Music. What would you like to see come out of this?

source: HTCblog

AT&T clarifies position on data throttling

Barely a month has passed since we took the time to explain exactly how and when AT&T throttles data usage for customers on the unlimited data plan. Since then the spotlight has really been on the network giant due to some high profile complaints. Fox News very own Shep Smith made his thoughts known live on TV after he personally fell foul of data throttling and more recently a small claims court ruled in favour of an AT&T customer who took legal action against the network following a similar issue.

As a result of thousands of complaints from subscribers, AT&T has revised its throttling policy and posted an update to the support page on its website. Moving forward, data will only be throttled for customers who exceed 3GB of usage within a billing cycle. Previously all customers who were within the top 5% of data users were throttled, irrespective of the actual amount of data consumed. The previous policy was particularly unfair as a user would have no obvious ways of knowing when they were edging towards that top 5% until they received the infamous text message warning, by which time it would normally be too late.

In a statement released on Thursday, an AT&T spokesperson stated “Our unlimited plan customers have told us they want more clarity around how the program works and what they can expect,”  So what’s the verdict subscribers to AT&T’s unlimited data plan, are these recent changes sufficient? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

source : AT&T

Motorola Mobility Product Strategy Won’t Change After Acquisition By Google Is Complete

 

The epic “Googlorola” marriage is almost finalized and the new entity is all set to take over the world. Now that it’s all said and done, everyone thinks the future of MOTO will change— for better or for worse. However, for all of you who think MOTO will change– Alain Mutricy, who MOTO’s senior vice president of portfolio and product management is saying not so fast— “the company will look the same as it does now” and adds “it has a business to run”. Moreover, it is stated that once the deal is complete, “Motorola Mobility will remain a separate brand.”

There is major significance of Mutricy sharing his thoughts on the big time union. While some believe that many new and exclusive devices may appear as a result of the acquisition, MOTO wants everyone to know it hasn’t forgotten about its current products and its clear product strategy. That means it will indeed live up to its promise on focusing on its current lineup and not release a barrage of devices its competition is throwing. Moreover, now that MOTO has Google’s (in)direct backing, instead of dreaming for that desired update to the latest Android software, it will be a reality.

One thing MOTO would like to focus on more is the tablet market. Mutricy highlights MOTO will be “committed to tablets”. This is perhaps because it has seen some of the recent success of some low-quality, but popular tablets dominating the market in the last few quarters. Perhaps we’ll see more and more of its devices such as the sexy DROID Xyboard tablet.

source: Fierce Wireless
via: PhoneArena

Sony’s new WhiteMagic LCD display revealed

Sony announced the Xperia P a few days ago, which will be the first device to have Sony’s new WhiteMagic LCD display. So what is WhiteMagic you ask? For normal LCDs, each pixel is divided into three sub pixels (red, green, and blue). The WhiteMagic display adds a fourth sub pixel and you guessed it, it’s white. Again, in normal LCDs, white is represented by letting the backlight pass through all three sub pixels in the proper proportion. With WhiteMagic, the light can also be filtered though the white sub pixel which will represent a truer white.

What does this mean? It will double the brightness or save up to 50% of the backlight power depending on the situation or user preference. Basically Sony will have two settings: outdoor mode and indoor mode. The outdoor mode is when the brightness doubles and the indoor mode is when the backlight power is reduced by 50% (power saving mode). If you set up your Xperia P display to auto brightness, the device will know when to switch between them. Of course Sony gives you the ability to lock in on either mode if you wish. The bottom line is that the more you use the indoor mode, the more you will conserve battery. That’s not bad since you will still have the same brightness that you’re traditionally used to, and when you get outdoors, WhiteMagic can turn it up a notch and battery drain will be the same as what you’re already used to.

source: sony mobile developers
via: androinica

 

 

Google Wallet Expanding to 10 New Sprint Phones in 2012

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?

source: fiercemobilecontent
via: androidcentral

 

Sample Photos Show Off HTC ImageSense

 

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.


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Sony’s Mysterious LT29i Hayabusa Receives the Nenamark Benchmark Treatment

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).

source: Ubergizmo

 

Samsung says 2 million Galaxy Notes sold so far, Projecting another 10 million for 2012

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.

source: forbes

The Era Of Poor Battery Life Is Almost Over, New Chips Are Looking To Preserve Battery Life On Devices

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!

source: PhoneArena
via: AllThingsD