All posts by Pathik

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LG Stalls Tablet Launch; To Wait for Android 3.0 Gingerbread

Since the spectacular success of the Apple iPad, many manufacturers have been scurrying around, trying to ride the tablet wave. Many new tablets have been announced, most of them being powered by Android, Google’s open source mobile OS.

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy Tab soon, in Europe and the US, and even RIM has announced the Playbook, the Blackberry tablet.

Besides that, there are countless other Android tablets by many manufacturers.

LG was earlier supposed to launch their own Android tablet by the end of 2010. It was supposed to run Android 2.2 Froyo, like the Galaxy Tab, which by Google’s own admission isn’t suited for the tablet form factor.

Apparently, LG is now delaying its tablet release and plans to ship the tablet with “the most suitable version of Android for their tablet”. Quite possibly, they have decided to wait it out until the release of Android 3.0 Gingerbread, which will be optimized for tablets.

The new tablet will probably be unveiled at CES 2011 in Las Vegas in January.

via Reuters

T-Mobile myTouch Announced

The T-Mobile myTouch, which was leaked about a month back has been officially announced by T-Mobile.

It sports some great hardware specs and runs on the latest version of the Android OS – Android 2.2 Froyo.

It is powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8255 processor and probably has 512 MB RAM. It has a large 3.8 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and comes with Swype installed.

It also has a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash and comes with 4 GB internal storage with support for up to 32 GB external memory.

Like all other recently released Android smartphones, it offers all the connectivity options – GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and GPS with A-GPS.

It will be available soon, possibly by the end of 2010.

T-Mobile myTouch

Samsung Announces The Wave II S8530

Samsung has officially announced the new Samsung Wave II S8530. It will be the successor to the very popular Samsung Wave S8500. It sports similar hardware specifications, but will have a bigger display.

Unlike the Wave, the Wave II will use a S-LCD display. It will be a 3.7 inch one with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. All the other specifications are identical to the original Wave: it has an ARM Cortex A8 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and comes with a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. The camera can handle 720p video recording at 30 FPS.

It runs the new Bada OS by Samsung and has all the connectivity options: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and GPS.

It will have a 1.5 GB internal ROM with 390 MB user available memory and supports up to 32 GB microSD cards.

It will be released in November 2010 at around $550.

Samsung Wave II S8530

Microsoft Slaps Motorola With Patent Infringement Lawsuit; Demonstrates That Android Could Be Costlier than Windows Phone 7

Some one familiar with Microsoft’s mobile strategy recently claimed that Android isn’t actually free, and could turn out to be costlier than Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is pricing Windows Phone 7 at $15 per license. Several manufacturers are already working on WP7 devices and Windows Phone 7 is supposed to officially launch on October 11.

Technically, using Android isn’t exactly free. There are several hidden costs. Each OEM creates its own custom UI and needs to pay for certain licenses.

It is also known that lawsuits over Android IP disputes are quite costly in the long run.

Microsoft recently announced that it was suing Motorola for patent infringement related to Android. The lawsuit concerned a lot of software features in Android devices. The disputed features include receiving email on the go, calendar synchronization and battery and signal notifications.

What’s strange is that Microsoft chose to sue Motorola, instead of Google, which created Android. Even stranger is the fact that it isn’t suing HTC which uses the same Android OS in its phones.

SearchEngineLand has insinuated that it’s possibly because HTC is still a major mobile partner for Microsoft and is launching multiple devices powered by Windows Phone 7. Motorola, on the other hand, has made it clear that it will only support Android on its mobile devices.

This could be a strategy by Microsoft to demonstrate that Android is, in fact, costlier than Windows Phone 7.

Even Oracle recently sued Google over the use of Java in Android. Apple sued HTC a few months back, for patent infringement related to Android devices.

Altek Leo: Android Phone with 14 MP Camera

It seems like the megapixel race between camera phones is back. Every once in a while, with innovations like HDR sprinkled in between, mobile phone companies tend to go back to the megapixel race, and launch new phones with increasing megapixel counts.

With the Nokia N8 launching soon, with a 12 MP camera, I figured that someone will soon try to outdo it. I turned out to be right; Altek just announced the new Altek Leo – a new Android smartphone with a 14 MP camera.

The hardware spec sheet seems quite impressive. It has a 14 MP camera with 3x optical zoom and HD video recording. It also has a Xenon flash.

It runs Android 2.1 Eclair and will have a 3.2 inch touchscreen display. It will also sport the standard connectivity options – GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

It will be released in Europe in Q1 2011. The pricing details haven’t yet been revealed.

Altek Leo

T-Mobile G2 Now Available in the US

The T-Mobile G2 is one of the best new Android smartphones. It became available for pre-orders just a week back, and now, according to reports, the T-Mobile G2 is already available on sale in certain regions.

According to TMONews, the T-Mobile G2 is already available at certain stores in the US, 3 days before the scheduled October 6 release date. It is available for $200 with contract.

It offers some really good hardware specifications: it has a physical QWERTY keypad and a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen S-LCD display. It comes with an 800 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. It runs the latest version of the Android OS – Android 2.2 Froyo. It also has a 5 MP camera.

It will be sold as the HTC Desire Z across the world, without any contract.

HTC Desire Z

Apple Approves Torrent App in the iPhone App Store

Apple has a set of very stringent (and at times, nonsensical) guidelines for the App Store approval process. Many apps have, in the past, been rejected for ridiculous reasons. One category that Apple has always steered clear of approving for the App Store has been BitTorrent apps.

The BitTorrent protocol isn’t illegal, but it is the most common method to download pirated videos and music. There isn’t a single Torrent client on the App Store.

However, this week, the BitTorrent based app “IS Drive” was approved by Apple and added into the App Store. It is available for $4.99. It allows you to check and manage the downloads in your ImageShack Drive account. It also shows screenshots of completed video downloads.

IS Drive App StoreIS Drive App Store

The developer, Derek Kepner stated this in a interview with TorrentFreak: “I’m on dangerous ground here, and I know that. I’ll probably add a search feature where it’s up to the user to manually add the torrent site they want. The app will not be designed to easily break the law and I hope no one intends to do so. But if a user is determined to break the law, what business is that of mine or Apple’s? They could do the same in Safari anyway, right?”

“I always had the thought that if I didn’t call the app a torrent client, Apple would probably let it through the review process. After all, there is no real torrenting happening on the client side. It’s *not* a torrent client. It’s an ImageShack Drive client”

“Plus, I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word torrent’, and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.”

IS Drive – App Store

Nokia Ovi Stats: 200K New Users Daily, 140 Million Users Worldwide

Nokia just released some statistics about the Ovi App Store, and they are looking very good. When the Ovi Store was first launched, many experts speculated that it would be a huge failure, especially compared to the iPhone App Store and the Android Market.

Going by the number of apps available in the app stores, this may be partially true. But what those experts didn’t take into account was that Nokia has a much larger presence worldwide, much bigger than both the iPhone and Android. It dominates the budget smartphone market and is trying to regain its high end smartphone market share with the launch of new phones like the Nokia N8 and the Nokia E7.

Anyways, here are the complete stats:

200,000 new users are signing up to Ovi daily and the total number of users are now approaching 140 million. The number of Ovi Store downloads are now over 2.3 million/day. More than 4.7 million users are subscribed to Ovi Life Tools.

At Nokia, we believe that connecting people with great mobile experiences is at the heart of what Ovi is all about. Today people discover Ovi through Maps, Music, Messaging, Ovi Store and Ovi Lifetools. With a new generation of amazing devices, like the Nokia N8, developers are looking at Ovi as a good business decision and a chance to innovate and create next-generation mobile experiences for our family of new Symbian devices.said Tero Ojanpera, Executive Vice President, Nokia services.

For more details, check out the official blog by Nokia.

AOL Acquires TechCrunch: It’s Official

AOL Buys TechcrunchAOL is one of the oldest names in the web business. However, it has seen a huge drop in traffic in the past few years.

Yesterday, GigaOM first reported that AOL was in the process of buying out TechCrunch, a leading technology blog focused on startups which was started by Michael Arrington. It was hard to believe, but coming from Om Malik definitely gave it some credence.

Today, it has been officially confirmed by Tim Armstrong. He took to the stage with Michael Arrington at TC Disrupt and announced the acquisition. TechCrunch will now be a part of the AOL Technology Network.

AOL previously acquired Weblogs Inc., the company behind Engadget, from Jason Calacanis in 2005.

According to Business Insider, the deal size is reported to be around $25 million as an initial payment and performance based earn-outs. Plausibly, this is to ensure that TechCrunch retains its brand value even if Michael Arrington is not leading the charge.

Here is the full PR statement:

AOL TO ACQUIRE TECHCRUNCH NETWORK OF SITES

Leading Authority on Tech News Will Expand AOL’s Growing Offering of World-Class, Audience-Relevant Content

San Francisco, CA, September 28, 2010 AOL Inc. [NYSE: AOL] today announced that it has agreed to acquire TechCrunch, Inc., the company that owns and operates TechCrunch and its network of websites dedicated to technology news, information and analysis. TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence, further bolstering AOL’s position as one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality, tech-oriented content. The announcement will be made on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, CA.

Founded by Michael Arrington, TechCrunch operates a global network of dedicated properties from Europe to Japan, as well as vertically-oriented websites, including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and CrunchBase. The TechMeme Leaderboard ranks TechCrunch as the No. 1 source of breaking tech news online, followed by AOL’s Engadget.*

Michael and his colleagues have made the TechCrunch network a byword for breaking tech news and insight into the innovative world of start-ups, and their reputation for top-class journalism precisely matches AOL’s commitment to delivering the expert content critical to this audience,said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL. TechCrunch and its team will be an outstanding addition to the high-quality content on the AOL Technology Network, which is now a must-buy for advertisers seeking to associate their brands with leading technology content and its audience.

Heather Harde, Chief Executive Officer of TechCrunch, said: TechCrunch and AOL share a motivating passion for quality technology news and information, and we’re delighted about becoming part of the AOL family. This represents a compelling opportunity to extend the TechCrunch brand while complementing the great work of sites like Engadget and Switched. Our contributors, and our audiences, can look to the future with excitement about what we can build when we have the significant resources of AOL behind us.

Michael Arrington, Founder and Co-Editor of TechCrunch, said: Tim Armstrong and his team have an exciting vision for the future of AOL as a global leader in creating and delivering world-class content to consumers, be it through original content creation, partnerships or acquisitions. I look forward to working with everyone at AOL as we build on our reputation for independent tech journalism and continue to set the agenda for insight, reviews and collaborative discussion about the future of the technology industry.

TechCrunch also hosts industry-leading conferences and events, including The Disrupt series, The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide. These conferences bring together industry innovators, entrepreneurs and financing sources to exchange ideas, forge new relationships and discuss the current and future industry trends.

Engagement with thought leaders is as important to AOL as our engagement with our contributors, audiences, publishers and advertisers, and TechCrunch’s conferences and websites will give us a promising, additional springboard to join and amplify these conversations. We’re committed to quality in everything we do at AOL, and look forward to working with Heather, Michael and the TechCrunch team to extend the brand,said David Eun, President of AOL Media and Studios.

The AOL Technology Network consists of AOL’s tech-oriented properties including Engadget, the Web magazine about everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics; Switched, which covers the intersection of the digital world with entertainment, sports, art, fashion and lifestyle; TUAW, the unofficial Apple weblog; and DownloadSquad, the weblog about downloadable software and other computer subjects. The AOL Technology Network ranks in the top five for tech news according to comScore Media Metrix, August 2010 data, and leads the top five in average time spent and average visits per user.

This acquisition will further AOL’s strategy to become the global leader in sourcing, creating, producing and delivering high-quality, trusted, original content to consumers. TechCrunch will remain headquartered in San Francisco, CA, as a wholly owned AOL unit. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft To Unveil Windows Phone 7 on October 11

Microsoft is planning to officially unveil Windows Phone 7 on October 11. It has contacted major tech blogs and is hosting a press conference at 2 PM in London on October 11.

They haven’t specifically stated that they will be launching Windows Phone 7 at the press conference, but there isn’t any other major reason to call one.

The timeline matches up with the earlier rumors that Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 in October.

The US launch of Windows Phone 7 will reportedly happen on November 8.

Windows Phone 7

via Engadget

Sharp to Launch Galapagos Android Tablets

Since the success of the Apple iPad, every other company is trying to get its own tablet in the market. Samsung is launching the Galaxy Tab, an Android tablet soon and will be followed by a slew of hardware manufacturers.

The Japanese, it seems, are not far behind. Today Sharp announced two new tablets which will be powered by Android. It will soon launch a 5.5 inch and a 10.8 inch Galapagos tablet.

They will be marketed primarily as e-readers, but offer much more functionality. The 5.5 inch Galapagos tablet with have a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels while the 10.8 inch tablet will have a display resolution of 1366 x 800.

Both will run a customized version of Android and offer 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi. They also offer web browsing capabilities and you can also install apps and games (we don’t know if it will support Android Market).

They will be integrated with the Galapagos online ebook store which will offer about 30,000 newspapers, magazines and books at launch.

Sharp Galapagos 10.8 Android Tablet

Sharp Galapagos 5.5 Android Tablet

Source: Sharp

Apple Granted Patent to Recognize You By the Way You Hold your iDevice

Apple has been granted a patent by the USPTO for technology which lets it identify users based on how they hold their handheld device.

It uses sensors to identify the manner in which you hold your device and then use the information to load your user profile with customized settings and preferences.

Taking it a step further, this could also be used in applications which could create virtual button panels positioned according to how you are holding the device, allowing you to hold it anyway you want.

Apple Patent Hand Recognition

The basic patent claim is for

A handheld device, comprising: a sensor arrangement comprising a grid of capacitive sensing points configured to generate a pixilated image of a hand of a user in contact with the handheld device; and a controller configured to determine an identity of the user based on the pixilated image of the user’s hand generated by the sensor arrangement, and configure the handheld device in response to the identity determination according to user settings stored in a user profile associated with the determined identity.

Apple recently also filed for a patent which allows it to identify users using biometric information like their unique heartbeat pattern.

Source: USPTO via Engadget

HTC To Not Bring Sense UI to First Batch Of Windows Phone 7 Smartphones

HTCWhen Windows Phone 7 was announced, Microsoft had stated that the new OS wouldn’t support any custom UIs, just what Google intends to achieve with Android 3.0 Gingerbread. By doing this, Microsoft hoped to provide users with a consistent user experience and also allow fast OS updates across all manufacturers.

However, a few weeks back, we saw videos of the HTC Sense UI on Windows Phone 7. The Sense UI was expected to be launched with the first crop of WP7 devices by HTC.

Now again, the fate of Sense on WP7 seems uncertain. Peter Chou, HTC CEO mentioned in an interview that HTC will not offer the Sense UI on its first batch of WP7 phones. Eventually though, they do expect to bring a different Sense based UX to their Windows Phone 7 devices.

“Initially, we don’t have time to bring things on top of that. But over time we will innovate on top of that to provide some HTC experience.”

“I don’t think we would do complete Sense UI on Windows Phone 7. However, I will say that we will innovate differently to improve the experience and to get some HTC unique and differentiated experience on Windows Phone 7 in the future.”

via FierceWireless

Samsung to Launch 10 inch Galaxy Tab in 2011

Samsung officially launched its Android tablet, the 7 inch Galaxy Tab at IFA 2010, Berlin, just a few weeks back. It sports some really good hardware specifications and runs Android 2.2 Froyo.

However, Android 2.2 Froyo is, by Google’s own admission, not meant for the tablet form factor. Android 3.0 Gingerbread, the next version of Android will be specially tailored for higher resolution displays in tablets.

Gary Twohig, Samsung’s Country Manager in Ireland, let it slip in an interview today, that Samsung plans to launch a 10 inch version of the Galaxy Tab in 2011. They are likely waiting for Google to launch Android 3.0 Gingerbread. Android Market support will be an issue on a 10 inch tablet, we are waiting to see how Samsung and Google work that out.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Source

Blackberry Bold 9780 Hands-On Video and Images Leaked

With the news of the impending launch of the Blackberry Tablet and leaked images of the Blackberry Storm 3, here’s another interesting piece of news for Blackberry lovers.

The Blackberry Bold 9780, the next phone in the Bold series, has been spotted a few times already. Yesterday, it was spotted once again, in Vietnam, of all places.

Blackberry Bold 9780

It looks very similar to the Blackberry Bold R020, details of which we uncovered last month.

The hardware will me more or less the same as the Bold 9700. It will have a 624 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM and a 2.44 inch display with a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. It will also have a 5 MP camera and will run the new Blackberry OS 6.0. It will sport the standard connectivity options – 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Blackberry Bold 9780

Do check out this hands-on video:

Source via BGR