Intel Announces New Atom Processors, Should Arrive in Android Handsets Early 2013

During this year’s Mobile World Congress, we watched as Orange unveiled the Santa Clara, the first device to sport Intel’s 2GHz Z2469 (Medfield) processor. Even though the Medfield is currently making waves at MWC, that doesn’t mean Intel won’t out do themselves next year as they also announced the Atom Z2580 and Atom Z2000.

The Intel Atom Z2580 is going to be something to behold and devices should start being equipped with the speed demon by early 2013. This upcoming powerhouse of a processor is said to double the speed of the Medfield and will also adorn the XMM7160, Intel’s multimode LTE modem. The Atom Z2000 is going to be geared more towards mid range affordable devices and runs at 1GHz and includes the XMM6265 modem which has HSPA+ connectivity and even sports a dual-SIM mode.

To further assure the promising future of the new Atom processors, Visa also signed on with Intel and will include its payWave system on future Intel-toting handsets. Now the question remains, what will ARM have to say about the new Atoms and what will they release to compete in the ever advancing chip market? We should know soon enough. Full press release after the break. 
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Carrier IQ unveils the Quality of Experience Consumer Dashboard

Carrier IQ made a lot of headlines in 2011, but not the kind they were hoping for. Yes they are still in business as they hope 2012 will be a better year. They just announced an extension of their IQ Care platform, which will enable mobile operators to give consumers information that could help them better understand and resolve issues regarding the health and performance of their device, applications, battery life, network coverage, and dropped calls.

In the past, information from IQ Care was only available to customer care operators, but with this enhancement, technical support calls could shorten by as much as 10 minutes per call. The carriers would provide this information directly to consumers through their own customer service portal.

“Customer Care is the fastest growing cost for many mobile operators, despite the fact that most consumers really don’t like calling for help because it takes so long to figure out what is wrong,” said Larry Lenhart, CEO, Carrier IQ. “By extending our technology through operators’ self-help portals, consumers will be able to identify and resolve issues with their device without ever calling for support.”

Carrier IQ could certainly use a little better press. A service such as this is definitely something intriguing as long as they don’t resort to their past practices. They are saying this new service will be available sometime in quarter 2. Are you willing to give Carrier IQ another chance?

Full press release after the break:


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SoundHound Collecting Your GPS Coordinates On Device Boot Up?

Since the days of Carrier IQ, it seems like we’re almost reporting on a weekly basis some new application which is “forcibly’ or “secretly” transmitting your data to an unknown source.  While some of it is just pure paranoia, I think there is some room for concern.  And though I know we don’t all read the rather lengthy permissions list when downloading an app, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a quick glance either.  Simon Stuart of simonstuart.com, an Automation and Productivity Systems Specialist, first notice his Motorola Xoom was collecting and then transmitting his precise GPS coordinates when he reboot the device.  Say what? Naturally, a warning sign went off and he began to investigate.

There is no logical reason for SoundHound to collect your GPS coordinates! It does not provide any additional functionality to the app itself (it’s not location-sensitive by nature).

At first glance he believed it to be Google + however, after further investigation SoundHound stood out like a sore thumb.  The application came bundled on an old device of his so he kept the app from time to time to remember a forgotten tune.  He discovered that when the application’s widget was present on the home screen and the device was rebooted, it began to transmit his location.  While we won’t cover his entire list of findings here, you’re more than welcome to head on over to his site via the source link to read the rest.  However, he has since then updated his post to reflect why SoundHound is collecting the data.  
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Shazam Will Update App To Include Android Beam Support, Also Promises Faster Tagging

You remember how we just mentioned that Google introduced the NFC-based Android Beam? Well Shazam has taken notice and is ready to implement the technology into its app. In the newest version of the Shazam app, it will utilize Android Beam— allowing users to share music, coupons and tour dates. The feature works in a straightforward way too: two Android users will be able to hold their phones back-to-back in order to share music, offers they’ve received from advertisers, and even info on tour dates for favorite bands and more. While Android Beam has yet to be live on Android devices, there is much optimism and excitement for the new feature as we will see the feature introduced sooner than later.

Shazam also took this opportunity to highlight it will feature faster tagging. How fast, you ask? Well Shazam “says that songs and TV ads will be able to be identified in a fraction of the time it previously took, even as little as one second”. As the Android OS continues to evolve, so does the apps on the platform. Are you all excited for the evolution of Shazam yet?

source: Tech Crunch

HTC Unveils Sense 4, Includes ImageSense and 25GB of Free Dropbox Storage

 

Yesterday HTC unveiled the One series phones, but along with it came Sense 4 (not 4.0 like we thought). Previously HTC was partnered with Dropbox and offered HTC users 5GB of free cloud storage on Sense devices, but with HTC’s new Dropbox integration into the Sense 4 overlay, they have decided to bump the free storage space up to 25GB for two years. Yeah, 25!

Dropbox integrated with HTC Sense – HTC One gives you an easy way to save and share your photos and videos. HTC has integrated Dropbox into HTC Sense 4 enabling HTC One customers to get 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years. That’s enough to keep more than 10,000 high-quality photos. Dropbox is also integrated throughout HTC Sense 4, so it’s easy to edit, save and share your documents and other kinds of files.

This is going to be pretty handy given Sense 4′s new features. HTC is including ImageSense with their new devices and is designed to give “perfect shots – every time.” Not only is it capable of snapping a photo in just 0.7 seconds with a 0.2 second auto-focus, it also adjusts flash brightness according to your subjects distance from the lens. Sense 4 even adds a three-finger swipe gesture for sending media to the newly announced Media Link, deeper Beats audio integration, and seamless syncing to your iTunes account.

Reports are showing that all these features will be included when current handsets receive the Sense 4 update, and are included in the newly announced One series devices. As many of you know, the future of storage is definitely located in the cloud. Keeping all your music, videos, and documents on your device can not only take up most of your storage space, it has a tendency to bog down performance. This is a refreshing move from HTC and one that will definitely appeal to new handset buyers. Good move HTC.

source: HTC

 

 

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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