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iOS and Android get Nokia Maps
Jul 25th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Nokia_Medium

Nokia Maps has now been made available to other platforms also by the Finnish mobile phone manufacturing giant. Nokia chose top mobile operating systems in iOS and Android to share its Nokia Maps to.

Handsets with Froyo and above and iOS 4 and above will now be able to get Nokia Maps service wherever they are.

All you need is an HTML5 compatible browser and you can zap through all of Nokia maps. There is no need to have Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity as you can get going with a plain simple GPRS connection. The Nokia Maps however is not an app yet; it is in its Beta version.

Nokia maps can be very useful to locate yourself, the exact coordinates, to know public transport options, to share your favourites to friends, to roam around new places, to find addresses, to get the fastest path for a destination etc. Reach maps.nokia.com and have all the fun.

Android Handsets for less than £40, thanks to Samsung
Jun 28th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Samsung Mobile Logo Android_logo

Samsung is favouring emergence of cheap PAYG handsets with features that are quite impressive and Samsung Europa is yet another example which is available for less than £50.

Galaxy Europa is available at £39.99 from O2 excluding a £7.5 minimum top up. Europa is the cheapest phone with a 2.8-inch QVGA capacitive display, a 2 Megapixel camera, and a 600MHz SoC processor.

The Android 2.1 powered handset can be upgraded to Android 2.2. It comes with Wi-Fi, GPS, DLNA compatibility, a microSD card reader, a 1200mAh battery and Bluetooth.

Swype and Layar app are available on the handset and thus can be used to augment reality and visual search of local attractions. There are five PayG tariffs available in Text and Web, Your country, Favourite place, O2 unlimited and Simplicity.

Laying hands on such an efficient handset for such a low price is a rarity and hence this will be grabbed by quite a few people out there.

Other Smartphones in a similar league if not the same leagure include Sony Ericsson X8, Orange San Francisco, and HTC Wildfire. T-Mobile Pulse Mini phone is from £19.99 too.

Napster launches iPhone and Android app
May 20th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Napster Logo

Napster is now a legal service and it has come up with an iPhone and Android app using which its users can listen and buy music on their Smartphones.

The app is available free for download in the iTunes and Android market and it has Napster’s 15 million song library apart from ability to save playlists and recommended artists information.

Music can be saved on the handset and the same can be played whenever you have internet connectivity. Spotify was in news because of halving its free music allowance and the entry of Napster seems to be at a good time. In order to succeed, Napster will however have to deal with a lot of other competitors viz., Last.fm and TuneIn Radio.

The best part of it is however the fact that you do not need to be glued to a computer anymore just to enjoy some music as you can access your library from mobile.

Though Napster is free to sign up, you need to subscribe to get some features like offline mode, unlimited streaming and connection to home devices. You can either pick a subscription for £5 per month (or £50 for the year) for the Napster Unlimited or £10 per month (£100 for the year) for the bells and whistles package.

Security patch for Android rolled out by Google
May 19th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Google_LOGO Android 2.2

99 percent of Android users were affected by a security hole in Android and Google is rolling out a fix. It was German security experts who pointed to the gap through which a hacker could access Google calendar and contacts.

Researchers at the Ulm University earlier reported that these apps provided unencrypted information to get an authentication token from Google and this token could be stolen via WiFi snooping.

Anyone who can get such an authtoken can use it for several days and misuse your private information. Though this issue was fixed in Android 2.3.4 most of the users continue to use 2.3.3 and below versions and thus they were all at risk.

Google is thankfully updating all such handsets silently with a patch on server side making it a hassle-free affair for all the Android users. Servers will now be forced to use encrypted connections when communicating with a handset.

Despite analysts’ fears over the vulnerability, we hope that Google’s actions will lead to a safer world for all Android users.

10 million Galaxy S Smartphones sold
Jan 3rd, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung reached astronomic heights as it sold out more than 10 million Galaxy S Smartphones powered by Android OS within seven months of the handset’s launch.

The technology major consistently sold more than 1.4 million handsets every month and succeeded in reaching the milestone. Just to put things in perspective, Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 handsets in the first week after the launch of the handset.

As per technology blog, DigiTimes Apple has upped its shipment goal and wants to sell another 20 million phones in the first quarter of the year. As per Finnish research firm, Inderes Oy 4 million handsets of the Nokia flagship phone N8 were sold in the Q4 of 2010.

If you are interested to know more about the Galaxy S, do read below.

Samsung’s most successful Smartphone Samsung Galaxy S was selected as the best Smartphone of 2010 by awards announced by FoneHome mobile awards. It received twice the number of votes as the Smartphone in second place HTC Desire HD has received.

Samsung Galaxy’s attractive features made it reach this place in the survey. Its 4 inch super AMOLED screen, which gives it a gorgeous look and super good touch sensitivity, is the most evident appealing feature. Its flash support to enhance its media skills makes it to play virtually everything it has downloaded. It is one among the rarest breeds to support flash over handsets.

Samsung’s monoblock touch screen phone is very light and thin, which makes it body a really appealing structure. It is 9.9 mm thin, which can slip into tightest pockets. Keeping its thinness, its 4 inch screen makes it look broader and taller among its comparables.

Android Smartphones get bugged by malware, Geinimi
Dec 31st, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Android 2.2

A new Trojan, Geinimi showed up in China which works on botnet model. The mobile malware that can steal data from infected Android handsets is getting circulated through third-party Android apps in China.

The malware sends personal data, location information, installed apps list etc., from the infected mobile to a remote server. Geinimi can also receive commands from remote servers so that hackers can take control of your device.

Mobile security firm, Lookout has dubbed the malware as the most advanced one so far to attack Android handsets. The botnet style functionality though has not yet been put to use and hence the real purpose behind the malware is not known.

The Trojan appeared on Russian-language websites which offer porn video clips. Very few malwares capable of infecting Android handsets have been detected so far. One such Trojan sends messages to premium rate numbers from the compromised handsets.

Lookout is a mobile phone malware specialist which recently got additional funding worth $19.5m sells Anti-virus software for Android. Given this fact, Lookout has interest in reporting about Chinese malware threats.

Symantec and Kaspersky are some other alternative commercial software packs available in the market for the Android handsets.

GingerBread aka Android 2.3 Code release
Dec 21st, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Android 3.0 Gingerbread

Google never ceases to surprise…users, customers and competitors alike! The latest step that set Google apart is the code release of Android 2.3 / Gingerbread update. This paved way for new builds and custom ROMs. The best part of all this is the confirmation from Google that this update isn’t just for the big players (read smart phones) but also those ‘with extra large screens like tablets’.

According to the release by Google, this would allow OEMs to begin preparing Android 2.3 for installation on new and existing devices. Apart from this, enthusiasts, hobbyists and researchers would get a chance to come up with their own custom builds.

This has set the cats among the pigeons as the XDA Developers forum has already begun in the right earnest – to develop a custom ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S. However, as of now, this is just a port from the Google nexus S running on the similarly-specced handset rather than one based on the new code release.

Not everything is lost though! Developers around the world are just waking up to this code release and it won’t be long before the Android routers among us will have the next generation software on a current generation mobile. Mobile hub would keep you updated!

More Android devices get Spotify
Dec 2nd, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Spotify Android 2.2

Spotify, the streaming music service has dedicated mobile phone apps for the iPhone, Android and Symbian platforms and most recently the service provider launched its services for the Windows phone so as to enable its premium music services to customers.

Spotify for Android handsets has been modified for better by enabling support for new screen resolutions which was a drawback so far because of the high resolution that they feature. The latest supported devices include Sony Ericsson X8, Samsung Galaxy S, and Samsung Galaxy Tab.

On-The-Fly screen rotation will now be available for mobiles with a slider keypad and that would sound sweet for all those who use HTC Desire Z or Xperia X10 Mini Pro. The lag reduction while switching between tracks is another improvement on the performance front. An album art related bug and another bug related to widget display have been fixed.

Spotify users can access the music library with six million songs at a subscription of £9.99 per month. The users can shuffle, skip, pause, rewind, and fast-forward the music collection.

And while you do all this on Spotify in the background, you can multi-task by texting or making calls. To add to this, Spotify playlists can be played offline also when there is no internet connectivity. The app lets you sync music ‘one-the-fly’ which makes every selected track available right away on both your mobile and computer.

UK gets Sony Ericsson LiveView Android Remote
Nov 21st, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Android_logo

Now, you can view notification messages without accessing your handset, thanks to the Sony Ericsson LiveView Android remote control — which is now available in the UK for pre-order.

Amazon UK has the remote listed at £55.99 and it works as a secondary display for compatible Android handsets. With a 1.3-inch colourful OLED display, the remote connects via BlueTooth and gets charged over microUSB. All alerts for incoming calls and messages, RSS updates and calendar information can be viewed on the remote.

Users can also control music being played apart from being able to browse Twitter and Facebook updates. The remote has a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones connection. Users can also access Android apps over the net and download them using it.

The remote works with Sony Ericsson’s X10 family, HTC Desire, HTC Desire Z, Google Nexus One as well as HTC Wildfire. Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Milestone 2.0.1 and Milestone XT720 are some other Android devices with which the Remote is compatible.

Dixons Retail unveils two Android Advent tablets
Oct 7th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Froyo Dixons

Two new Android powered tablet PCs from Advent are all geared to hit the UK markets and Dixons Retail has promised to support the tablets exclusively. The 7-inch Advent Amico and the 10.1-inch Advent Vega will hit the shelves of Dixons Retail subsidiaries, Currys and PCWorld on 1st November.

The Eclair (Android 2.1) powered Amico is priced at £129.99 while the Froyo (Android 2.2) powered Vega is priced at £249.99. The tablets will join the burgeoning Tablet market as we have seen announcements from bigwigs as well as smaller players join the fray. Advent tablets will face a herculean challenge as they enters the much crowded tablet PC market to compete with Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak,  and Next tablet.

Amico comes with built-in Wi-Fi and is going to be amongst the cheapest tablets in the market. The Vega has Wi-Fi connectivity, 4GB internal storage, and a 10-hour battery backup apart from a 1.3MP camera in its 14mm thick body.

Now that there is an unending variety in the tablet space more and more people seem to catch up with them. How about you? Let us know.

The cheapest Android tablet at £85
Oct 5th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Android_logo

We have seen Android tablet PCs being offered by Disgo and Next at £180 and that sounds pretty cheap. However, if you think that they are a little too costly to be presented as a Christmas gift to you near and dear little ones the 7-inch tablet from Morgan computers might just fit the bill.

Despite the fact that the tablet will sport Android 1.7.4 with an ARM9 VIA8505+  400MHz processor powered by just 128MB of RAM, it still sounds a good deal with the price tag of £85. The 7-inch tablet comes with 2GB memory which can be further expanded by SD or USB.

The tablet comes with 800×480 QVGA display, and a 0.3-megapixel webcam. It supports H.263 AVI files and can be connected by Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. 3-hour battery life makes the tablet look mean but it is the same as that of the £180 tablet for that matter.

Morgan Computers is the place to go if you want to get your hands on one such tablets. The company is accepting pre-orders for the tablet which is expected to ship on 18th October.

PSP back on track? Sony looking for Android engineers
Sep 22nd, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Sony Logo Sony PSP

The so-far muted Sony PSP phone showed up on the market again as Sony posted an ad for Android engineers.

The rumour mills are agog with a lot of them making predictions that the new PSP phone will sport Android as the platform for phone functionalities in addition to being a fully functional PSP with online games.

Sony posted an opening for a senior server engineer for its Online Technology group in Soho, London. Apart from Android apps experience, the suitor is expected to have cloud services experience and SAAS.

Sony might intend to create some sort of a PlayStation network on the phone given the fact that they are looking for someone with experience of online gaming. This makes it all the more imperative because rival, Microsoft Xbox Live service is also expected to be out there by October end for the Windows Mobile7 platform.

If all this gets nearer to truth, the new handset could be a hybrid of Android phone and the PSP Go. At the moment, we can only keep our fingers crossed and wait for more clarity. Hopefully, Sony PSP phone plans are moving to the next level and we shall see something more concrete soon.

App for Android Phones from We7
Sep 20th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Android_logo

Popular music streaming service in the UK, We7 launched an app for Android based handsets along with a free two-week trial period. We7 has thus taken another step forward to take its major competitor, Spotify.

Both the competitors offer free versions of the apps which can then be upgraded to £4.99 computer based versions and £9.99 mobile-supported versions.

The Telegraph puts the launch in the same league as the launch of a similar app from We7 for iOS, Apple’s mobile OS in February this year.

The company’s CEO put the launch as a logical step given its strategy to support users access music wherever and however. The app is available for a nominal monthly fee of £10 which can enable you to six million music tracks though the two-week trial is for free.

Users who subscribe to the Premium Plus plan get access to streaming music or cached music. The app for Android platform is different from its iPhone version in its user interface and other such features. It has support for offline mode to let you play tracks while you are away from internet, haptic feedback support, themed playlists and syncing capabilities.

Alcatel introduces Android-based budget smartphone
Sep 19th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Alcatel Alcatel OT 980

Feeling left out of the Smartphone segment due to their unusually high prices? The good news is that there are companies like Alcatel who make things for the common man and that they are on their job. Alcatel will make the OT-980 available to customers via Carphone Warehouse, priced at just £99.95 on PayG contract.

Alcatel has for long championed the cause of price-worthy handsets and provided us with cheap and useful phones.

Alcatel phones are no lesser to counterparts from its competitors when it comes to functionality. The company looks forward to providing suave mobile phones which do not leave a big hole in your pocket. The handsets should however be able to help you in social networking, texting, MMS, and Image capture.

Come October, Alcatel will launch its first Android powered Smartphone in the UK christened as Alcatel OT-980.

The QWERTY handset, powered by Android 2.1 will have a 2.8-inch TouchScreen display, a 2 Megapixel camera, an MP£ player, and a Multi IM client. Wi-Fi, HSPA, and E-Compass are the options to connect to the web using the OT-980.

The uber stylish 3G mobile phone will enable users to access Social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Bebo. Apps for shopping, music, and games will jazz up the phone too.

Developer toolkit for Windows Phone 7 released
Sep 18th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Microsoft Windows7

Microsoft has released the final version of its developers’ toolkit and thus launched another campaign to drum up support for its forthcoming Smartphone platform, Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone 7 was released to mobile phone makers earlier this month and now it hopes to pull developers to its side so that they create all sorts of apps and help the platform become all the more popular.

Windows Phone Emulator, Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, XNA Game Studio 4.0, and Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone are a part of the toolkit. As is the buzz on the marketplace, the software giant is desperate to get all kinds of publicity for its much touted mobile platform, the Windows Phone 7.

Despite the fact that the Windows Phone 7 seems to have the capability and worth, Microsoft has a herculean task at hand as it tries to regain the lost market share. RIM announced this week that it has had an exceptional quarter and Comscore provided numbers that Android’s Smartphone share is on the rise.

Microsoft has shown its desperation in making statements about the alleged cost of Android. Microsoft opines that Android just looks free, but is tied by patents and other secondary costs to be borne by mobile phone manufacturers whereas it charges license fees upfront. Microsoft could rather focus on building software that delivers value for money and leave the rest to the public.

The latest and arguably the most important platform in the last decade is all set to go live on some phones next month and if it fails to impress the world and reverse the current trends, Microsoft is going to be in real trouble.

Folio 100, Android Tablet from Toshiba
Aug 30th, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

Toshiba Android_logo

Computer maker Toshiba names its new Android tablet computer as Folio 100. The tablet coming with Android 2.2 Froyo operating system will run on Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.

Toshiba will mostly unleash the new device during its press conference at the IFA event taking place this week in Berlin as per NetbookItalia. Details were hard to get so far, but these revelations indicate that the Tablet PC from Toshiba’s mantle would turn out to be a tough nut for the Apple iPad.

The Folio 100 will be powered by the latest Android 2.2 Froyo. Powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 processor on which the tablet runs provides improved media capabilities to mobile as well as tablet devices.

Other features bundled with the tablet are a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and Flash support. The device also packs a card reader, a HDMI cable slot, USB support along with an internal storage capacity of 16GB.

The tablet will also come with a 10.1-inch multitouch screen having 1024×600 pixel resolution and 2 effective speakers coupled with a microphone indicating a video conferencing feature. Last but not the least, the Folio 100 is also bundled with a raft of productivity applications along with support for eBooks.

Android Tablet on cards from Viewsonic
Aug 26th, 2010 by Andy Miles

ViewSonic Android_logo

Viewsonic, a California-based company is geared up to enter the tablet bandwagon with its two new tablet devices. An Android based tablet PC is said to be previewed by the company at the upcoming IFA event, which would take place from September 3 – 8 in Berlin, Germany.

Viewsonic is making preparations to showcase the two tablet computers at the IFA event, the world’s largest exhibition of consumer electronics to be held in Berlin.

The first tablet from Viewsonic is ViewPad, a 7-inch Android tablet. The tablet is said to be bundled with 3G capabilities, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. It will also come with dual cameras, USB, GPS as well as microSD card slot.

The second tablet computer is yet to be named. The 10-inch tablet device is expected to run on dual boot capabilities of both Android and Windows.

As per Viewsonic, the Android-based ViewPad 7 coming with 3G & Wi-Fi connectivity, front and rear cameras along with access to plenty of applications is set to be showcased in Europe for the first time.

The ViewPad is all set to be released so as to give direct competition to the wildly popular Apple iPad, which is the undisputed monopoly when it comes to tablet PCs today.

LG to enter the Android tablet PC revolution
Jul 21st, 2010 by Dipak Sarda

LG Logo Android 2.2

2010 seems to be the year of tablet PCs. With the increased tablet PC boom, LG has also geared up to join the Android tablet bandwagon. LG plans to build a rival to the Apple iPad on the Android mobile OS platform. The tablet computer from LG which will be powered by Android 2.2 is expected to hit the market in Q4 of 2010.

Compared to other similar tablets on the market, this tablet is claimed by LG to deliver highly superior performance. It is also assured by LG that the new tablet will be powered by Google’s latest Android 2.2 OS. As of now, no price or other specifications about the tablet have been unveiled by LG.

The LG tablet will be supporting flash and multi-tasking. Although touch screen smartphones offer messaging and web browsing features, they do not provide fully functional solutions for business users. With the new 2.2 version, Android OS becomes an excellent choice for tablet PCs. As such, tablet computing will be taking off in a big way.

You need to wait for more details from LG before getting excited about the new device. However, users can expect a full multimedia experience featuring web browsing, integration of Google with maps, mail and navigation if the new tablet will run the Android 2.2 OS.

If LG intends to attract the consumers worldwide, then it has to come up with some definite details about the new tablet in the weeks ahead.

3 UK offers offers Android-based ZTE Racer
Jul 16th, 2010 by Andy Miles

3 Mobile ZTE Racer

ZTE Racer, the cheapest Android touchscreen handset has been landed in the market by 3 UK, the smallest independent carrier of UK.

The Racer, manufactured by the Chinese company ZTE is offered on contract deal of £13 per month. This is the first Android based device to be offered on PAYG for less than £100.

Mobile phone operators Orange and T-Mobile have already been selling cheaper touchscreen handsets. However, all those devices are powered by entry level operating systems like the Qualcomm Brew.

The ZTE Racer sports a 2.8 inch touchscreen display with a display capacity of 320×240 pixels, a 3.2 megapixel camera without flash and HSDPA connectivity.

The handset is powered by Android 2.1 OS and has no customised user interface. It also comes with a microSD card up to 2GB. As such, the users will not have any dependency on the manufacturer to upgrade their handsets.

The cheapest contract of two years is bundled with 300 units which can be used anytime as a mixture of minutes or texts to any network along with 500MB of data. For £18 per month, Internet Talker 900 provides 900 calls or texts and 1GB of data. However, you can go with the One Plan contract and increase the allocation to 2000 calls, 5000 texts, 5000 3-to-3 calls plus 1GB of internet usage.

Google’s Android app creation tool
Jul 13th, 2010 by Andy Miles

Google_LOGO Android_logo

Here comes an amazing news for all the innovative techies as Google has come with Google App Inventor for Android using which you can create your own app for your smartphone.

Google has designed a new tool, the App Inventor using which Android app can be created even by those who have no coding knowledge. As such, this desktop application will enable young developers including university graduates and school children to write their own software for their Android based handsets.

Google App Inventor is a simple but effective tool for creating Android apps when compared to Nokia’s Ovi App Wizard which has certain limitations. The developers need to drag and drop chunks of code representing various functions into a template of sorts to create a unique app for the respective handset.

Various blocks have been made for different functions and purposes by the App Inventor team. This app gives access to GPS location sensor of the phone to build location-services app. You will also be given access to basic functions of the device with this interface.

The App Inventor for Android is a web-based tool and you have to connect your phone to a computer using a USB cable. This app is likely to be released in few weeks. Users willing to sign up to the Google App Inventor for Android require a Google email account and an Android based phone.

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