Category: Smartphones



The iOS 5.1 OTA update

Just hours after the iOS 5.1 update was announced at Apple’s iPad event in San Francisco the update is live for you to download.

The update brings Japanese language support for Siri as well as the option to selectively delete photos from Photo Stream in iCloud. Also, the lockscreen camera shortcut is now constantly visible on the lockscreen and more.

Go check your iDevice for the update, but keep in mind that you may experience issues with its download. If you get an error message just keep trying or leave it for tomorrow as the Apple servers are probably having trouble coping with the high initial demand.

The Sony Xperia S finally completed its journey to the UK and is now available for purchase. The first smartphone to ship with the Sony branding, rather than Sony Ericsson, is already offered by Three both on a contract and on a pay-as-you-go basis.

You can have the Sony Xperia S for free if you are willing to sign a contract on The One Plan worth £30/month or £36/month. That would give you all-you-can-eat data, 2,000 minutes and 5,000 texts and, of course, the chance to own the latest and greatest in the Xperia world.

Alternatively, the Sony Xperia S can be had with a pre-paid card, but you’ll need to pay £369.99 upfront. You’d need to spend £15 or £25 extra for either an All in One 15 or All in One 30 package, but you won’t have to commit to Three long term.

Sadly, the Sony Xperia S is still unavailable at the Three UK online store, so you’ll have to visit one of their brick and mortar stores if you want to get it, or just wait for a few days until it comes up.

The other major UK carriers are all expected to start offering the Sony Xperia S in the following weeks, but we are yet to learn more about the specific conditions each of them is going to be offering.

Source | Via

When compared to the DEFY+, which was released late last year, the new DEFY XT535 features the same screen but slightly different looks, and now has a front-facing camera capable of recording VGA video.

Otherwise, it has the same IP67 certification for dust, impact and water resistance, as well as a 5MP camera and 3.7″ capacitive screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

The new DEFY is also optimized to work with Motorola‘s SHOP4APPS app portfolio, the marketplace specifically designed for China, alongside China Unicom‘s WO App Store.

The new DEFY by Motorola is available across China starting today.

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Offerings from both Nokia and ZTE debuted the next major build of Windows Phone last week at MWC, dubbed “Tango”. The new Nokia Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit both took to their respective stands to show off the new lower-end capabilities of Microsoft’s mobile OS.

Despite the latest iteration (excluding Apollo) of Windows Phone having made it to these devices on the floor at MWC, Microsoft had been particularly vague about just what the limitations were for devices employing lower-tiered hardware, until now.

Both the Lumia 610 and Orbit employ 256MB of RAM and this means that there are certain implications which consumers will need to bear in mind when choosing a Windows Phone device, these are as follows:

Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions – Some processor-intensive apps have particular memory requirements, and won’t work on phones with 256MB of RAM.

Podcast/Video Podcast Subscriptions – Managing podcast subscriptions or watching video podcasts on a device with 256MB of RAM will not be possible.

Bing Local Scout – Bing Local Scout won’t feature on a device with only 256MB of RAM.

Fast app/Task switching – The feature differs on Windows Phones with 256MB of RAM in that if a single application uses over 90MB, it will be killed on exit and thus not appear in the task switcher, besides this the functionality will remain unchanged.

SkyDrive automatic photo upload – 256MB of RAM means no auto-upload option, but users will still be able to upload their photos manually.

HD video playback – Some compressed videos will be unable to play due to a lack of codec support on devices with 256MB of RAM.

Background agents – To free up RAM for the foreground on such devices, generic background agents (PeriodicTasks/ResourceIntensiveTasks) will be disabled.

As well as informing prospective buyers of these new more competitively priced Windows Phones what they’ll be missing out on, Microsoft have also made a point of appealing to Windows Phone developers who will need to take into account the limitations of devices using the new minimum hardware requirements.

Speed seems to be key with a message of optimizing app start times and reducing an apps’ memory footprint being pushed to developers. All this being said, Microsoft are adding features to Windows Phone 7.5 too, including a new location alert, MMS enhancements and improved SIM contact management.

Windows Phone “Tango” should be arriving on 256MB of RAM-endowed Windows Phone devices come Q2 this year.

Source | Via

Related articles

The Android 4.0 ICS update marathon for the non-Nexus devices has just begun. HTC drew first blood and started seeding the latest edition of the Google OS to its Sensation XE former flagship. Also included in the package is an updated Sense UI, carrying the version number 3.6.

So far, we’ve received confirmation of the Android 4.0 update being seeded to Sensation XE units in Germany and the Nordic countries, but we expect the rest of Europe to follow soon. Global availability can’t be far away too, knowing the HTC usual practices.

You can check if the update is available for your region under Software Updates in the Settings menu. Keep in mind that the update requires a download of a file nearly 300MB in size, so you better use a Wi-Fi connection for it.

If yours isn’t among the lucky units to have the update already and you don’t feel like waiting, you can follow this link to the always useful XDA-developers forum to download the files and flash it yourselves.

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Just as we were getting ready to get it on March 15, we got even better news. Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II will be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on March 10 – less than 48 hours from now.

The globally available I9100 will be the only version, which will receive the update at the moment. The TouchWiz-ed firmware will be available both on Kies and OTA.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Face Unlock, Android Beam, and mobile data usage are among the major improvements which will come with the update. In a rather interesting fashion, flash support and Bluetooth 3.0 HS will not be supported due to an “ICS OS feature.”

Samsung also warn against updating your device while running a customized or unofficial firmware on it. Apparently, unexpected problems might arise during installation.

It is needless to tell you that we will be checking regularly our office I9100 for the update. In case you upgrade your own handset, feel free to drop us a line with your impressions in the comments section.

Thanks to everyone, who sent this in!

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The battery life on the Nokia Lumia 800 has been much criticized ever since the phone launched four months ago. Since then Nokia has released a couple of updates for the device aiming to improve the battery life but they didn’t really help, with the last update merely dimming the display instead of providing any real improvement to the battery life.

According to WPCentral the new update provides up to three times the battery life compared to before, although they did not mention three times of what type of particular usage.

Besides the other improvements we already listed, one particular new change caught our attention. The update is supposed to bring an increase in bass response to improve the audio quality.

That’s interesting because if you read our Lumia 800 review, we specifically mentioned the poor bass response of the device when it is connected to a pair of headphones.

If you have received this update, do let us know what improvements you are seeing, especially to the battery life of the phone.

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Crytek, the studio responsible for the Crysis franchise and the positively regarded CryEngine, are set to take a crack at the mobile gaming sphere with a puzzle game.

The game is called “Fibble – Flick ‘n’ Roll” and is currently set to launch for both the iOS and Android platforms during the spring of this year. The pricing and exact release date have not been announced.

The title supposedly sports easy to understand navigation and gameplay based on physics. It features leader boards for competition amongst friends and strangers, and it also rocks its own set of achievements.

In speaking with Develop during GDC, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli expressed the company’s decision to get into mobile games as exciting. He went on to talk a little about what Crytek can bring to the platform:

“Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company…

…The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek’s high production values…”

The game’s first teaser trailer sits at the top of this post. You can head to the official site to see some assets or read about the game in a more in-depth fashion.

Does the prospect of seeing the traditionally FPS focused studio of Crytek try their hand at mobile game development excite you? Or, would you rather the studio works on more core titles for the PC and console gaming crowds?

[via Official SiteDevelop]

One of the best bits about the HTC newly unveiled smartphone lineup that we saw at the MWC is undoubtedly the screens of the One S and the One X. The displays of both new flagship droids of the Taiwanese company represent a major step forward, compared to their predecessors and we imagine you are as curious as we are to learn more about the underlying technology.

Fortunately, the guys from BestBoyZ managed to get their hands on the two and put them under a microscope to examine what was going on beneath the surface. There were a couple of interesting findings to be noted.

HTC One X SLCD2 matrix (left) vs LG Optimus 4X HD AH-IPS matrix (right)

It turns out the HTC One X HD SLCD2 uses virtually identical matrix to the one found on the LG Optimus 4X HD. That’s the same AH-IPS screen we loved so much on the LG Optimus LTE and it’s hardly a surprise it led to some great results on the One X. The curious omission of the IPS technology from the One X official specs sheet was explained with trademark reasons.

As for the HTC One S – we got confirmation that its qHD Super AMOLED uses a PenTile RGBG matrix, instead of a conventional RGB matrix. This will probably lead to the familiar dottiness in some images, but it seems HTC has designed its interface cleverly enough to make that less apparent.

HTC One S PenTile matrix

We spent quite some time with the One S at the MWC in Barcelona and we weren’t bothered by the missing sub-pixels at all. Here’s hoping this won’t change when we get the smartphone for a full review.

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Android took a major step today as Google unified it’s Google Music, Google Videos, Google Books and Android Market services into one. The new one-stop store goes by Google Play.

Google Play is Google’s effort to put all of its downloadable content, be it apps, movies, music or eBooks and make it easily accessible using Cloud syncing. This would allow you to easily get any music tracks, videos and eBooks you purchase to all of your Android devices, just like with the apps from the Android Market so far.

To make the switch from Android Market to Google Play, the search giant will release an update for the Android Market app on devices running Android 2.2 or later over the coming days. So, from now on, it’s officially Google Play, Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies.

How much music and videos, you ask? The company says that you can store up to 20,000 of your own songs plus any of the millions available for purchase in the Google Play itself. And with the app and video count growing literally by the minute, you can be sure that Google will certainly target global market dominance.

And to make sure it attracts more and more users, Google Play will be celebrating its launch by slashing prices on a ton of applications, books, music and movies. Sadly, the full power of Google Play will only be available in the United States at launch, while the rest of the world will have to have to sit on the sideline, looking enviously.

Finally, here’s Google’s introductory video to Google Play.

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Mobiado has partnered with luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin to create their latest Grand Touch Aston Martin edition.

Just like the previous Grand Touch smartphone, this one, too is a Samsung Nexus S underneath, but it’s pimped out with a really expensive case on top. It can be made out of a solid aircraft aluminum or solid brass with yellow or rose gold. Below that some ebony wood or mother of pearl can be inserted depending on your taste.

Of course, the other part of the phone isn’t so exquisite and packs the usual Nexus S hardware, like the 4-inch WVGA screen, 5MP camera at the back, 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. Quite unfortunately, the device comes with Gingerbread pre-installed, but being a Nexus device, you can easily update it to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich.

Not that you are going to be bothered, because to buy this device, you’ll need to have more money than sense. Official pricing is not unveiled, but we imagine yellow gold, aircraft aluminum and ebony wood don’t come cheap.

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jelly bean

Android fans are still struggling to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, but Google is already working on Jelly Bean and now Key Lime Pie.

Product codenames are part and parcel of the technology world, with many companies choosing to go with mythological figures (Zeus, Athena), place names (Chicago, Vienna), rivers (Tualatin, Willamette), or animals (Snow Leopard, Lion) to refer to their products before they get a “real” name. With Android, Google whimsically chose to go with desserts, and has been bumping Android codenames one letter along the alphabet with each release: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo (for “frozen yogurt”), Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and now Ice Cream Sandwich. Now comes word that the next two Android releases will be “Jelly Bean” and “Key Lime Pie.” But with the Android ecosystem still struggling to get its hands on Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” what can folks expect future releases to bring?

Google itself has had absolutely nothing to say publicly about future versions of Android, and — as expected — declined to comment. So these represent educated guesses about Jelly Bean and Key Lime Pie… sprinkled with a a few things we’ve heard through the grapevine.

Jelly Bean

The “Jelly Bean” name isn’t news: It’s been kicking around since mid-2011, with strong confirmations only landing when Google started gearing up for Ice Cream Sandwich. Just like ICS, Google is being tight-lipped about what it plans to include in Jelly Bean. Expect these key features.

samsung-series-5-chromebookTablets… and notebooks? — As with Android HoneyComb, Google is expected to be optimizing Jelly Bean for tablets and other large-screened devices, potentially including notebooks or netbooks that could dual boot Windows and Android, and possibly run them live side-by-side without requiring users to shut down one or the other. Although noted by only one source in the Android device industry, the rationale is apparently two-fold: Google’s Chrome OS have so far failed to gain traction amongst consumers, and tablet makers haven’t considered Ice Cream Sandwich to be a game-changer for Android in the tablet arena. If Android wants to take on the iPad, Jelly Bean will need to bring a better proposition to device makers.

Developers for Android have had to work around the crippling 50MB file size limit for a long time now. To take care of this problem, many developer devised an idea where you first download a small application from the Android Market and upon launching it will download the rest of the files from the developer’s server.

This came with its own set of problems. The user would not be aware of the total size of the app before downloading it. You were also often unable to refund an up, because by the time the additional data got downloaded, the 15 minute refund period for the app would be over.

To take care of this situation, Google has now finally increased the total application size limit to 4GB for the Android Market. But it’s a bit different than the way things work on, say, the App Store, for example.

The total apk size for the Android Market is still 50MB but now the developer can have two additional expansion files that can be 2GB each in size. The developer can store these expansion files on Google’s servers instead of their own and they will get downloaded along with the apk file. Also, the user will be made aware of the final size of the app before downloading it.

One of the advantages of having this system is that when the time comes to update the app, the user won’t have to download the entire thing again. Although the developers are free to use the expansion files whichever way they like, Google is advising them to use one of the expansion files to host all the important data and the other for updating purposes. This way, when the app needs to be updated, the developer can only modify the second expansion file and the user will only have to download it instead of the entire 4GB application all over again. Think of it as being similar to the delta updates available on iOS.

Of course, the user won’t have to worry about or even know about these things and the process or purchasing or updating will remain identical. All of this expansion files business will happen behind the scenes.

The advantage of using this method instead of the aforementioned method currently being employed by the developers is that the Android Market allows downloads to run in the background and will even let you pause and resume the download. You can use Wi-Fi or 3G to download these large apps but if you use Wi-Fi and you move out of coverage the download will automatically be paused.

Hopefully, the developers will take to this new way of distributing large apps, which should make the lives of the users a bit easier.

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HTC didn’t win the race for selling the most Windows Phone 7 devices, but the Taiwanese have won the race to China. The winner in this race happens to be the HTC Titan, which debuts in the Chinese market as HTC Triumph.

Priced at ¥4,399 ($700) without the burden of a contract, the 4.7-inch Titan takes one of the top spots in the high-end smartphone market in the People’s republic.

HTC has confirmed that the Triumph will ship with the latest Windows Phone 7.5 Tango. However, Facebook and Twitter applications will be replaced by the local Sina Weibo and Tencent Weixin. Naturally, SkyDrive will take care of the cloud storage uploads.

Source | Via

Nokia has sent out mails to all its Ovi Share users informing them about the sad demise of the service. For those who haven’t heard of it before, Ovi Share was Nokia’s version of Dropbox, which allowed those with an Ovi account to upload content such as images and videos from their phones onto Nokia’s servers.

Unfortunately, this service is now shutting down. After March 13, users will no longer will be able to upload files and the last date to download any files that you may have uploaded is May 30. On May 31, the service will shut down completely.

According to Nokia the Ovi Store shutdown is “part of Nokia’s revised services mission to focus on mobile and location based services“. However, you will still be able to access Nokia’s other services with your account.

Unfortunately for Symbian users, none of the major online storage services have a native app that can be used for storing your files online. Hopefully, Microsoft will release a Symbian version of their SkyDrive app, although we won’t advise holding your breath for it.