All posts by Omkar Dutta

Omkar Dutta is a Mobile Enthusiast from Mumbai, India. He loves to check out latest software, mobile phones and web services. Currently, he writes for this awesome blog as well as Fone Arena. You can follow him on Twitter @0mkarr

RealPlayer For Android Review

I’m sure most of you might have already heard or even installed the popular RealPlayer app on your Android smartphones. This app was in beta for a very long time. However, RealNetworks recently released the final version of this amazing app. I’ve been using the beta version of this app for more than a year, but it was never the default music player on my Android smartphone. I personally liked the user interface of this app from the moment I installed it on my Android device.

Earlier this month, RealNetworks removed the beta tag from this amazing media player app. The final version comes with a refreshed UI along with a graphic equalizer, metadata editing and much more. RealPlayer is currently available for free in the Google Play Store. However, you will need to shell out $4.99 for purchasing the premium package. The size of the app is 12 MB and and the current version is numbered 0.0.1.1. Most of the media player app does support devices running on Android 2.1 (Eclair) OS. Thankfully, you can install the RealPlayer app on devices with Android 2.1 or higher version of OS.

RealPlayer for Android is an “All-In-One” media player app, which not only plays your favorite music, but also plays videos and displays the photos stored on your smartphone. As soon as you open the app, you will be greeted with an amazing homescreen as shown above. It will take a couple of minutes for the app to search your Android device for media contents. You can find the option to select Playlists, Albums, Genres, Songs, Artists along with Videos and Photos on the app’s homescreen.

RealPlayer plays the music and videos smoothly, however it does not scan the internal memory by default for videos. On the other hand, there is no option in the settings to enable this feature. I found this a bit problematic, since all of the music videos and movies were stored in the internal memory of my smartphone.

An icon will be displayed in the notification bar, while you are playing a track. You can also find the album art and track info on the notification area. However, there is no option to play, pause or change the track from notifications. RealPlayer displays the song you are playing along with the album artwork and basic controls even when your phone is locked. This is one of the feature that I like the most. It allows you to play, pause or jump to the next/previous track even with out unlocking the phone. The photo browser is quite ordinary. It does not allow you to pinch and zoom or sort photos according to the album.

This app is currently available in nine languages and it comes with an optimized graphics for high-res devices. It allows you to set your favorite song as a ringtone and control the media from the homescreen widget. Sadly, you cannot play .RAM and .RM files in the free version. The homescreen widget is pretty decent. It shows the song you are currently playing along with its album art and basic controls.

The premium feature pack is available for $4.99 through an in-app purchase and it brings graphic equalizer with ability to save custom settings, metadata discovery using the Gracenote database, manual metadata editing, cross fading, RealAudio and RealVideo (rmvb) support and no advertisements. The basic version offers almost all of the necessary features. However, if you want to get rid of the advertisements or play Real audio and video files on your Android smartphone, then you can go ahead and purchase the premium package.

Price: Free (Basic, Ad-supported) / $4.99 for premium features
Rating: 4/5

[ Download RealPlayer from Google Play ]

US Cellular Launches The Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G

US Cellular recently launched the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G smartphone, exclusively for its subscribers in the US. This handset is powered by the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and it runs on the 4G LTE network, with speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. This handset comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which allows you type your message quickly and a front-facing camera for video calls.

Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular, said:
“We are excited to offer our latest 4G LTE smartphone for our customers to help them get more done in less time. The large touchscreen and popular QWERTY keyboard for fast typing make the Galaxy Metrix 4G the go-to device for customers who depend on their smartphone to keep up with their busy schedules.”

Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G features a 4 inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 5 megapixel rear camera and camcorder, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and much more.

It also comes with the usual 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio, Bluetooth, MicroUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE connectivity, Google Play Store, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot, up to 7 hours of talk-time and up to 14.5 days of stand-by time. This handset measures 4.96″ x 2.54″ x 0.55″ and weighs approximately 5.8 ounces.

The Galaxy Metrix 4G is available for $179.00 after a $100 mail-in rebate and 2 year service agreement. However, you can get this device for $129.00 after a $100 mail-in rebate in markets where 4G service is currently available or will be available by the end of 2012.

U.S. Cellular currently offers 4G LTE service covering 31 percent of their customers in select cities in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. Later this year, 4G LTE coverage will expand to cover select cities in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

MTS Launches MTag 351, MTag 352 And MTag 281 Smartphones

MTS recently launched 3 new entry-level CDMA smartphones in India, the MTag 351, MTag 352 And MTag 281. These devices run on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and come bundled with unlimited data plans. The pre-loaded MTS TV application allows you to access Live TV with more than 100 channels. You can also access more than 450,000 apps and games from the Google Play Store.

Leonid Musatov, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, MTS India, said:
“With the launch of these three Smartphones, we have now brought four new Android Smartphones in less than two months. MTS now offers a comprehensive range of Android Smartphones for discerning, on the move, tech savvy youth. MTS MTag 351, MTS MTag 352 and MTS MTag 281 are powered by best in class Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 Processor, running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform and come bundled with unlimited ‘All You Can Use’ High Speed Data plans and local MTS to MTS Calls.”

MTS MTag 351:

MTS MTag 351 features a 3.5 inch HVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 × 480 pixels, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor, 3 megapixel rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, 3.5 mm headset jack, internet access up to 3.1 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Mobile HotSpot, GPS, Bluetooth, 256 MB RAM, 512 MB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, Live MTS TV, up to 300 mins of talk-time, up to 200 hrs of stand-by time and a 1300 mAh battery.

MTS MTag 352:

MTS MTag 352 comes with a 3.5 inch HVGA touchscreen display with 320 × 480 pixels resolution, 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7625A processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, 3 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth, 256 MB RAM, 512 MB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio, up to 200 hrs of stand-by time, up to 240 mins of talk-time and a 1400 mAh battery.

MTS MTag 281:

MTS MTag 281 features a 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor, 3 megapixel rear camera, GPS, Bluetooth, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Live MTS TV, 3.5 mm headset jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Mobile HotSpot and a 1200 mAh battery.

MTS MTag 351, MTag 352 and MTag 281 comes with a price tag of Rs.7499, Rs.6499 and Rs.5499 respectively. MTag 351 and MTag 352 owners will get unlimited local MTS to MTS calls for 3 months, while the MTag 281 owners will get the benefit of calling all local numbers at 1p/2sec for 3 months.

Vodafone And Big Cinemas Announces ‘Birthday Surprise’ For Vodafone Customers

Last year, Vodafone launched the Vodafone Delights for its prepaid and postpaid subscribers in India. Vodafone Delights offers deals, special discount, birthday surprise and happy hours to its customers. Today, the wireless carrier joined hands with Big Cinemas and announced the new Birthday Surpise initiative to make its customers feel special.

Previously, the company offered birthday gift in form of telecom offerings, just by visiting any Vodafone Store on your birthday. However, the new initiative will let you watch any of the latest movie for free at select Big Cinemas across India. You heard it right! Just visit the Big Cinemas multiplex on your birthday and get a free ticket to watch the movie as well as a greeting card by Vodafone.

Additionally, select BIG Cinemas in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, will present the Vodafone birthday customer with a birthday cake. Apart from that, Vodafone will put up a slide on the screen with the customer’s name, while playing the birthday jingle in the background during the intermission.

Brajesh Bajpai, Business Head, Vodafone Gujarat, said:
“At Vodafone making every customer feel special is second nature and it is one of the key factors driving every thing we do. Birthdays are special to all and we wanted to contribute to the celebratory moments with a generous dose of ‘feel special’ elements, without being intrusive. We are happy that BIG Cinemas has partnered with us to make birthdays extra beautiful for Vodafone customers.”

The Vodafone Birthday Surprise initiative will be implemented across 41 cities, 55 multiplexes and 162 screens. It is expected to reach approximately 60000 cinema viewers each day. This offer is valid only till Aug 26, 2012. The complete list of Big Cinemas offering Vodafone Delights are posted below.

  • Mumbai – Imax Big Cinemas, Metro Big Cinemas, R-City Ghatkopar, Mulund Big Cinemas, Huma Big Cinemas, Vashi Big Cinemas, Little World Big Cinemas, Movie Star Big Cinemas and Sangam Big Cinemas.
  • Pune – Gold Big Cinemas and Premier Plaza Big Cinemas.
  • Nasik – Divya Big Cinemas.
  • Aurangabad – Anjali Big Cinemas.
  • Sangli – New Pride Big Cinemas.
  • Akola – Radha krishna BIG Cinemas.
  • Solapur – Bhagwat Big Cinemas.
  • Nagpur – Sangam Big Cinemas.
  • Chandrapur – Radhakrishna Big Cinemas.
  • Pen – Moreshwar Big Cinemas
  • Wardha – Rajkala Big Cinemas
  • Parbhani -Preeti Big Cinemas
  • Dhulia – Manohar Chitra Mandir Big Cinemas
  • Latur – Rama Chitra
  • Ahmedabad – Himalaya Big Cinema
  • Rajkot – BIG Cinemas Crystal Mall
  • Jamnagar – Mehul Big Cinemas
  • Palanpur – Surmandir Big Cinemas
  • Patan – City Point Big Cinemas
  • Vapi – Geet Gunjan Big Cinemas
  • Jaipur – Galaxy Big Cinemas
  • Bikaner – Cinemagic Big Cinemas
  • Kota – Natraj Big Cinemas
  • Gaziabad – Pacific Big Cinemas and Ansal Plaza Big Cinemas
  • Noida – TGIP Big Cinemas
  • Greater Noida – Ansal Mall Big Cinemas
  • Delhi – Odeon BIG Cinemas
  • Gurgaon – Palam Vihar Big Cinemas
  • Meerut – Rap Magnum Big Cinemas
  • Kanpur – Rave 3 Big Cinemas
  • Agra – TDI Big Cinemas
  • Aligarh – Vardha BIG Cinemas
  • Allahabad – Payal & Jhankar BIG Cinema
  • Mathura – Pacific Big Cinemas
  • Kolkatta – RDB Big Cinemas
  • Salem – Kailash Prakash Big Cinemas
  • Coimbtore – KG Big Cinemas
  • Vellure – Alankar Big Cinemas
  • Pondicherry – Jeeva Rukmani Big Cinemas
  • Madurai – Jazz & Arsh Big Cinemas.
  • Tanjavur – Rani Paradise Big Cinemas
  • Belgaum – Kapeel Big Cinemas
  • Hyderabad – Goldspot Big Cinemas

Acer Unveils The Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo Smartphones

Acer recently announced the mid-range Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo smartphones. These handsets run on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. The specs of both the devices are exactly similar, except the dual-SIM capabilities in the Liquid Gallant Duo. These handsets are touted to bring a premium clear and loud sound experience to the users with enhanced Surround Sound.

Allen Burnes, SPBG EMEA Vice President, Acer, said:
“This new Acer smartphone mission is quite simple: bring the best experience to all the modern days’ explorers, which results in creating a very affordable phone with no compromise on performance and usability.”

Acer Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo features a 4.3 inch qHD display, sporting a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, dual-SIM capabilities (Liquid Gallant Duo), 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and much more.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, USB 2.0, Google Play Store, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR, Micro USB, up to 6 hrs of talk-time, up to 250 hrs of stand-by time and a 1500 mAh battery.

Acer Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo will be showcased next week at the IFA 2012 event in Berlin. The dual-SIM Liquid Gallant Duo will be the first device to hit the market in September, followed by the Liquid Gallant single SIM variant. The price of both the devices are still a mystery. Stay tuned for complete updates!

Sony Xperia Ion Launched In India For Rs.36,999

Back in January, Sony unveiled the Xperia Ion smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This handset is already available for the customers in the US from the last 2 months. However, the folks living in India were left behind. Snapdeal, a popular online retailer in India is already selling this device from the last few days. Today, Sony finally launched the powerful Xperia Ion in India.

Sony Xperia Ion is the company’s first dual-core smartphone featuring a 4.6 inch HD reality display and a 12 megapixel camera. This handset originally runs on old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. However, Xperia Ion will be shipped with the newer Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS in India.

Prasun Kumar, Marketing Head, Sony Mobile Communications, said:
“With Xperia ion, we’re bringing together a seamless experience across the multiple screens that we use to play, watch, listen, and share. Xperia ion is the gateway to HD entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it. We are glad to see overwhelming customer response for our Xperia range and we thank them for supporting us unconditionally on this successful journey in India. We strongly believe that the consumer will like the Xperia ion’s HD entertainment experience which has exclusive Airtel data offer to enhance the smartphone experience.”

Sony Xperia Ion features a 4.6 inch HD reality display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 12 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom, auto-focus, Face detection and LED Flash, Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and much more.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, GPS with aGPS, Bluetooth technology, DLNA Certified, HDMI support, Micro USB, NFC (Near Field Communication), USB 2.0, Google Play Store, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 18 hrs music playback time, up to 6 hrs 30 min video playback time, up to 6 hrs 45 min of talk-time, up to 850 hrs of stand-by time and a 1750 mAh battery.

Sony Xperia Ion comes with a price tag of Rs.36,999 (approx. $670). This handset is available in Black and Red colors. Airtel subscribers will get 500 MB of free 3G data per month for 3 months as well as 200 minutes of Mobile TV for 2 months, with the purchase of this smartphone.

Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi Gets The Android 4.0.4 ICS Update

Last year, Motorola launched the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi tablet in the US. It is nothing but the Verizon’s variant of the Motorola Xoom 2 tablet. This device was shipped with the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Back in March, Verizon announced the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update plans for 14 Android powered devices, including the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi.

After waiting for nearly 5 months, Verizon finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi. The latest update is numbered 11.11.27.MZ61 and it brings the usual Ice Cream Sandwich goodies including the new data usage monitor, face unlock, direct access lock screen, redesigned gallery app with photo editor, new system font for improved readability, resizable widgets and so on. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

  • Direct Access Lock Screen: The direct access lock screen takes you directly to Camera, Browser, Gallery or Unlock
  • Create Folders: Easily create folders by dropping one app on top of another. You can also add a name to specify the folder contents.
  • All Apps Screen: Add Widgets and Apps to your homescreen panels via the All Apps Screen and the Widget Screen.
  • Notification Bar: Enhanced notifications window includes access to settings menu, and the new swipe feature to dismiss individual notifications.
  • Data Usage Monitor: Monitor your data usage all in one place. Set warning levels, check individual app usage or turn off data completely.
  • Includes the latest Motorola USB driver to allow Xyboard to connect to a computer to transfer files.
  • Securely refresh your Corporate Email account with the native email client.
  • Faster Browsing Experience./li>
  • Improved network connectivity.

The size of the update is 336.4 MB and it will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will be automatically notified when the update is available for your device. If you have not received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, check out this PDF file.

Samsung Announces The Galaxy S Duos Dual-SIM Smartphone

In the past, Samsung has already confused its customers by launching the Galaxy S and Galaxy Ace smartphones. Now, Samsung does it again! After the launch of Galaxy Ace Duos, Samsung announces a new mid-range dual-SIM smartphone, the Galaxy S Duos. This handset looks quite similar to the popular Galaxy S III smartphone. The specs of this device is not earth-shattering. It comes with a 4 inch touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, 512 MB RAM and so on.

Thankfully, this device will ship with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. Samsung Galaxy S Duos comes with an unique ‘Dual SIM Always on’ feature which allows you to receive calls on one SIM, while taking a call from the other. Check out the complete specs below.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos features a 4.0 inch WVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x800 pixels, 1 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, Samsung Touchwiz UI, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, VGA video recording and playback, front-facing camera for video chat, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, music player with SoundAlive, FM Radio with RDS, stereo speaker, Samsung ChatON, Samsung Social Hub, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 3.0, Swype, Document Viewer, A-GPS, Google Play Store, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, Micro SD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 640 hrs of stand-by time, up to 400 mins of talk-time and a 1500 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos is likely to get the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update in the near future. This handset allows the users to manage their work and personal lives with one smartphone. Galaxy S Duos will go on sale from next month in Europe, followed by other major markets in the coming months. The price of this device has not been announced yet. Stay tuned for more updates!

10 Million Samsung Galaxy Note Units Shipped Globally

Samsung Galaxy Note needs no introduction! It is the company’s first phone/tablet hybrid device. This handset was unveiled and showcased last year at the IFA 2011. Soon after the introduction, Galaxy Note was released in majority of the European and Asian markets. The initial sales of the device was below the expectations. Samsung managed to sell only 1 million units in the first two months.

Earlier this year, Samsung announced the availability of Galaxy Note LTE in the US at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This handset was exclusively available for the AT&T subscribers in the US. The sales of this device was increased considerably after its introduction in the United States.

Within a few days of its launch in the US, Samsung sold 2 million units of this device globally. Samsung Galaxy Note was not only selling like hot cakes in the US, but it was also one of the best selling Android devices in most of the European and Asian countries including South Korea, France, Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In just 5 months, Samsung sold 5 million units globally.

Earlier this month, Samsung Galaxy Note was released for the T-Mobile subscribers in the US. Today, Samsung has reached another milestone. Samsung recently announced that the company has managed to sell 10 million units of the Galaxy Note. You heard this right! It took nearly 8 months for the company to achieve this milestone. Samsung was expecting the device to hit the 10 million mark before the end of this year. However, the milestone has been achieved 5 months before the end of 2012.

Samsung is planning to unveil the successor of this phablet at the IFA 2012 event in Berlin. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is expected to come with a larger 5.5 inch display, powerful quad-core processor and the newer Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS. Do you think the original Galaxy Note will cross the 15 million mark before the end of this year? Or the sales will decrease due to the launch of Galaxy Note 2? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Kyocera Rise Coming To Sprint On August 19 For $19.99

Earlier this year, Kyocera announced the entry-level Kyocera Rise smartphone at the International CTIA Wireless 2012. This handset will be available for Sprint and Virgin Mobile subscribers in the US. Kyocera Rise runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System and it features an amazing slide-out QWERTY keyboard. This handset is specially targeted at the users with feature phones, who are planning to upgrade to an entry-level smartphone without losing the tactile keyboard or burning a hole in their pocket.

David Owens, vice president, Product Development, Sprint, said:
“Kyocera Rise brings customers the comfort of an easy-to-use Android smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. It is a great option for customers who are new to smartphones, parents looking for the perfect first device for their teens and tweens or anyone looking for a device with an impressive set of features at a great price. This is a perfect addition to round out our Android portfolio.”

Kyocera Rise features a 3.5 inch IPS HVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 1 GHz MSM8655 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, four row slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash, Sprint ID and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, GPS, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Google Play Store, Stereo Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR, up to 9 hours of talk-time and a 1500 mAh battery. This handset measures 4.4×2.4×0.56 inches and weighs 5.54 oz.

Kyocera Rise comes with the unique “Eco Mode” software to better monitor and conserve battery power. Sprint customers can get this handset from August 15 for $19.99 after a $50 rebate and a 2 years service agreement. On the other hand, Virgin Mobile subscribers can get this device from August 31 for just $99.99 without any contract.

Verizon Motorola Droid 4 Gets The Android 4.0 ICS Update

Earlier this year, Motorola announced the Droid 4 smartphone for the Verizon Wireless subscribers in the US. This handset comes with an amazing slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 4 inch qHD display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera and much more. However, the device was shipped with the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. Motorola has already promised to roll out the much-awaited Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for this device during the Q3 of 2012. Now, the wait is finally over for the Motorola Droid 4 owners.

Verizon recently started rolling out the Android 4.0 ICS update for the Droid 4 smartphone in the US. The latest update enables global roaming and brings new features such as face unlock, customizable launch bar, direct access lock screen, data usage monitor, enhanced notifications window, recent apps feature, improved settings and much more. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

Enhancements/ Application Updates:

  • Device is enabled for Global Roaming.
  • Integration of new version of Backup Assistant Plus.
  • Mobile IM has been removed.
  • Color for Facebook application is preloaded

Email / Messaging:

  • Improved Stability and connectivity with Email.
  • Successfully download and save ringtones.

Stability and Performance Improvements:

  • Mobile Hotspot – Improved connectivity.
  • Reduced device resets and power cycling.
  • Camera quality has been improved for better pictures.
  • Improved My Gallery performance.
  • Voice Mail Notification shows the correct of unread messages.

User Interface:

  • Updated Mobile Hotspots Icon.
  • Visual Voice Mail shortcut on home screen changed to a standard voicemail shortcut.
  • Clear Contact pictures are displayed for phonebook contacts.

The latest update is numbered 6.16.217.XT894 and it can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). The size of the update is 360 MB. You should make sure that your device is not rooted and has at least 50% or more battery before updating the device. It is advised to backup all your data before updating the device. To learn more, check out this PDF file.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE Coming To Sprint On August 19

Last month, Motorola unveiled the Android powered Photon Q 4G LTE smartphone. This handset will be exclusively available for the Sprint subscribers in the US. Motorola Photon Q is the first 4G LTE device with a five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard and world phone capabilities. This handset runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. We have good news for those who were eagerly waiting for the launch of this device. After waiting for nearly a month, Sprint finally announced the price and release date of this amazing device.

David Owens, vice president, Product Development, Sprint, said:
“At Sprint, we recognize there is a large group of our customers that love the ease of a physical QWERTY keyboard. By bringing a device like Motorola PHOTON Q into our portfolio, we are able to give these customers the option of a physical keyboard plus international roaming capabilities to stay connected while traveling abroad.”

motorola photon q 4g lte

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE features a 4.3-inch ColorBoost display, sporting a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, MotoBlur user interface, 8 megapixel camera with digital zoom and flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, front-facing HD camera for video chat and Google+ Hangout, NFC (Near Field Communication), Sprint ID and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE connectivity, Stereo Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), A-GPS, Google Play Store, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, MicroUSB, FM Radio, 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability, up to 7.5 hours of talk-time, up to 16 days of stand-by time and a 1785 mAh battery.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is currently up for pre-order at the wireless carrier’s official website. This handset will go on sale from August 19. You can get this device for $199.99 with a 2 year service agreement. To pre-order the Photon Q smartphone, head over to this page.

Review: Pictarine For Android

These days, almost everyone uses multiple social networking sites to stay connected with their friends and families by sharing text or photo updates. Facebook and Twitter allow you to share the latest pics with your friends and followers, while Instagram bring the functionality of adding amazing filters before sharing it with the world. Sadly, we have to keep a track on various apps to find out the latest pics shared on these social networks. To solve this problem, you’ll just need to head over to the Google Play and download the Pictarine app.

Pictarine for Android is an amazing app which brings all the pics shared by your friends on various social networking sites under one roof. This app not only allows you to connect popular social networks and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google (Picasa), Flickr and Photobucket, but you can also connect to less popular photo sharing services like the Shutterfly, Windows Live, Dropbox, 500px and Tumblr. The size of the app is just 1.8 MB and and the current version is numbered 1.0.6. You can easily install the Pictarine app on devices with Android 2.2 or higher version of OS.

To get started with the app, you will need to sign up with your existing Facebook or Google account. The sign up process will not take more than 30 seconds. After signing up, you can connect various social networking services mentioned earlier. As you can see in the above screenshot, I have connected my Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Currently, this app does not allows you to upload the photos from your device. However, you can easily like or comment on the photos shared by your friends.

On the left side, you will find 4 options – Photo Feed, Surprise Me, My Photos and Playlists. All of the photos shared by your friends on these services will be displayed under the “Photo Feed” section. As the name suggest, “Surprise Me” section will throw 12 random images from the connected services on your screen. You can easily refresh these images just by sliding the screen in the upward or downward directions.

My Photos” section allows you to view the images currently stored on your device as well as on the connected accounts. You can even select individual photos and create your own playlist. This feature helps you to organize your favorite photos and view them at a later date or share it with your friends. The playlist can be a mixture of your own photos as well as the ones shared by your friends. You can find all of your playlists in the dedicated “Playlists” section.

The user interface of the app is quite simple and it works as advertised. Instead of wasting your valuable time on visiting multiple social networks and apps, Pictarine will help you to easily discover, like, comment and share pics across various apps and devices. Sometimes you might feel a bit of lag while the images are loading. However, there is a lot of room for improvement. Overall, I personally liked this app and would definitively recommend it to our readers. You can also access Pictarine web app from their official website.

Price: Free
Rating: 4/5

[ Download Pictarine from Google Play ]

HTC One X Gets The Android 4.0.4 Update

HTC One X is the company’s most powerful smartphone till date. This handset originally runs on the Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. HTC has recently announced a new software update for this device. Before you get too excited, let me tell you that, it is not the much-awaited Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update you’ve been waiting for. The latest update will upgrade the handset to the Android 4.0.4 OS and bumps the UI to Sense 4.1.

Instead of opening the multi-tasking grid in Sense, the recent apps key will now open context menu inside non ICS apps such as Facebook. You can also open the multitasking menu just by long-pressing the recent app key. This update not only brings the general stability improvements to the device, but also enhances the camera capabilities such as white balance and continuous autofocus.

Apart from the changes mentioned above, you can expect enhancements to memory, platform stability and improved overall browsing experience. The company has also added a single sign-on feature for Facebook, which will allow the users to access Facebook in multuple apps and browsers. The latest upgrade to Beats audio is touted to provide an authentic sound experience.

Earlier this week, AT&T has already rolled out this update for the HTC One X. Now, the owners of the international variant will start receiving the Android 4.0.4 update. The size of the update is 148 MB and it will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will be automatically notified when the update is available for your device. If you have not received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update.

Nokia Launches The Asha 305 And Asha 311 Touchscreen Phones In India

Back in July, Nokia announced two new budget smartphones in its popular Asha family. The Nokia Asha 305 features a 3 inch touchscreen display along with the Easy Swap dual SIM technology. On the other hand, Nokia Asha 311 is the company’s cheapest touchscreen phone with 1 GHz processor. Both the handsets run on the Symbian S40 Operating System. These devices are pre-loaded with 15 levels of Angry Birds as well as the Nokia Browser 2.0, which uses Nokia’s cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90%.

Mr. Viral Oza, Director Marketing, Nokia India, said,
“The Nokia Asha family has received tremendous consumer response. With a variety of form factors across price points and innovations such as Nokia Browser, Nokia Maps and DRM free Nokia Music, Nokia Asha family has triggered data consumption habits in first time data users. With the launch of Nokia Asha Touch range, we are strengthening our range of ‘mobile internet’ devices that offer these exciting experiences to the consumers.”

Nokia Asha 305:

Nokia Asha 305 features a 3.0 inch WQVGA resistive touch screen display, Symbian S40 OS, Asha Touch UI, 2 megapixel camera, Nokia Life, Bluetooth 2.1, Micro USB 2.0, GPRS/EDGE connectivity, 3.5 mm headset jack, music player, FM Radio, loud and clear inbuilt speaker, 10 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, Micro SD card slot, 2 GB Micro SD card bundled, 2.0 mm charger connector, up to 22 days of stand-by time, up to 14 hours of talk-time and a 1110 mAh battery. This handset measures 110.3 mm x 53.8 mm x 12.8 mm and weighs just 98.3g.

Nokia Asha 311:

The Nokia Asha 311 features a 3.0 inch WQVGA scratch resistant capacitive glass screen with polarization filters, Symbian S40 OS, Asha Touch UI, 1 GHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera, GPRS/EDGE connectivity, 3.5 mm headset jack, Music player, FM Radio, internet radio, Nokia Life, 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 2.1, Micro USB 2.0, 256 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, Micro SD card slot, 2 GB Micro SD card bundled, WLAN, 3G Connectivity, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Nokia Browser, up to 29 days of stand-by time, up to 14 hours of talk-time and a 1110 mAh battery. This handset measures 106 mm x 52 mm x 12.9 mm and weighs just 95g.

Nokia Asha 305 and Asha 311 allow you to stay in touch with your friends and family with email and chat on the most popular instant messaging services such as Twitter and Facebook. The Nokia Asha 305 comes with a price tag of just Rs.5,029, while the Nokia Asha 311 is available for Rs.7,139 in India.