We all know and love Rovio’s Angry Birds. Let’s face it it’s addictive, it’s free (for the most part) and the entire concept of birds kamikaze-ing into fat pigs for revengeor defenseis hilarious! Coupled with the Finnish developer’s remarkable amount of market penetration and platform penetration, it’s hard to find smartphone aficionados who have not heard about Angry Birds.
Fox Studios have recognized this exceptional appeal that the mobile game has amongst the general populace and have partnered with Rovio for the publicity of their up and coming motion picture Rio featuring two rare macaws Blu and Jewel on a whirlwind journey through the magical city of Rio. The movie, slated for an April release, will utilize the mobile gaming platform in a delightfully new way.
In partnering with Rovio, we are combining the world’s hottest application developer with one of the motion picture industry’s premier creative forces to introduce the millions of fans of ANGRY BIRDS to the exciting world of RIO,said Peter Levinsohn, president of new media and digital distribution for Twentieth Century Fox.
The premise for the video game is that the birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio. The birds eventually escape (by smashing into the bars of their cage, no doubt) and start a quest for saving their macaw friends. As with any Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Rio will feature replayable physics-based gameplay, loads of twists and will set the stage for the movie.
Check out the video for Angry Birds Rio here!
The 3G rollout to various parts of India has gradually begun and users all over India can now finally start experiencing fast mobile Internet speeds via 3G. Airtel has announced it’s plans of launching 3G service for it’s users in less than a week and Tata DOCOMO, after jumping onto the 3G Bandwagon quite early, has now unveiled it’s 3G services in yet another Indian state – Karnataka.
Bharti Airtel ‘s CEO Sanjay Kapoor told PTI that Airtel will make the announcement for the commercial launch of our 3G service in next six to seven days. However he did not reveal so as to in what all circles is Airtel planning to launch this service initially. Bharti won the 3G spectrum for 13 telecom circles in India and has given contracts to Ericsson India , Nokia Siemens and Huawei to set up the necessary 3G infrastructure.
In other news, Tata Docomo increased it’s 3G presence all over India by launching it’s 3G service in three areas of Northern Karnataka, namely – Hubli, Dharwad & Belgaum. Tata Docomo’s 3G Network currently supports internet access with high speeds of 21.1 Mbps and the company plans to introduce more products and services with support of NTT DOCOMO.
At the recently concluded CES 2011, nVidia’s Tegra 2 wowed us with its impressive computing capabilities. Unsurprisingly, nVidia is already working on its next chip for handheld devices – Tegra 3. Nvidia’s general manager of mobile business, Michael Rayfield, hinted to Hexus that Tegra 3 might be announced at the Mobile World Congress, which is scheduled to be held next month.
We have already seen the huge performance boost that Tegra 2 can deliver. Although the specs for the upcoming Tegra 3 chips are not available, expect similar leaps in performance from it. The rumors going around suggest that it will have a quad-core GPU and a dual-core CPU (ARM A9).
Modern chip fabrication process has reached a level of sophistication that makes it possible to pack in tremendous amount of processing power on even on the tiniest of boards. Tegra 3 will probably use a 28nm fabrication process. However, the biggest bottleneck for mobile computing is likely to be power storage. Batteries have simply not been able to keep up with the rapid improvements in other hardware components. The challenge for the manufacturers is to ramp up performance without requiring additional power. Ultimately, this will be the factor that will determine how quickly we will see quad-core and octa-core chips appearing on our mobile phones and tablets.
Although Sony Ericsson has decided against rolling out FroYo or newer versions of Android for the Xperia X10, there are still a couple of more significant updates in the pipeline. The first of them will introduce partial-multitouch (dual touch), while the other one will spruce up the Timescape and Mediascape applications. As we reported earlier, Japan’s NTT Docomo customers will be the first to receive this update. However, you don’t need to be at the mercy of your carrier or Sony Ericsson to enable dual-touch on your X10.
Bina4y from xda-developers forum has released a patch that should add dual touch support to any ROM for the Xperia X10. The hotfix requires the use of Flashtools, and while the installation procedure is fairly simple, it is not for the faint hearted. If you are not comfortable with messing around with Android, it is highly recommended that you wait for the official update. If you have a rooted handset, you should also follow this guide to enable dual-touch support on all apps that can make use of it.
The biggest benefit of the aforementioned hotfix is that it will enable the pinch-to-zoom gesture on apps like Browser, Angry Birds and Maps. However, Xperia’s multi-touch is broken, like Nexus One’s. Don’t expect more complex gestures like rotation (in Google Maps 5.0) to work. It will also fail wherever more than three inputs or high precision is required.
With the rampant rise of mobile phones around the world, carriers and customers have been facing an increase in malware on their devices. China plans to put an end to phone manufacturers installing covert applications, that rack up revenue by sending premium SMS text messages on behalf of the user. Knownsec, a Chinese security company, says that the majority of devices that are plagued by this problem are knock-off phones using Android – since it allows for easy installation of applications before they reach consumer hands.
The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have issued a release in which they indicate that carriers and government agencies will begin to implement countermeasures to fight against malware, which includes inspection of handsets and product quality assurance.
A members of China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team says “Traditional security threats that exist on the Internet are spreading to mobile handsets, so we must prepare for them in advance”.
Image courtesy of F-Secure Archives
Back in October we reported that Android 4.0 might be codenamed “Ice Cream”. Since then, a lot has changed. Gingerbread turned out to be Android 2.3 instead of Android 3.0, as it was initially expected to be. Furthermore, Google went with Android 3.0 for Honeycomb, which is targeted at tablets. The next version of Android, which will be revealed this summer, is now expected to be Android 2.4, and not Android 4.0 as per our earlier predictions. Also, it’s not going to be called “Ice Cream”.
Andy Rubin, the man in charge of Android, has confirmed to TechCrunch that the next iteration of Android will bear the codename “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Jason Kincaid believes that Google opted not to use Ice Cream as it would have been hard to visually distinguish it from FroYo (Frozen Yogurt).
While I appreciate that Google didn’t go for something as obvious as Ice Cream, “Ice Cream Sandwich” is indeed quite a mouthful. What is your take on Google’s decision? What would you have picked? Don’t forget to let us know.
Windows Phone 7 is a fantastic operating system, one that has real potential. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Microsoft knows it.
In a comment to Neowin, a Microsoft employee divulged that Microsoft is currently working on a Facetime like application for Windows Phone 7.
Although details are scarce, a snippet of code from Microsoft.Phone.Media.Extended.dll confirms that Microsoft is indeed working towards supporting front-facing cameras. It’s unclear if the video calling app will be added to Windows Phone 7 itself, or if it is destined for Windows Phone 8. Rumors suggest that a front-facing camera might be added as a mandatory hardware requirement for Windows Phone 8.
It’s not surprising that Microsoft is working on a voice calling app for Windows Phone 7. After all, Facetime was one of the major selling points for the iPhone 4. It was one of the features that appealed to the common man.
We have already shared with you how the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone looks, what are its specifications, and what it might be called. Now, we even have some benchmarks to judge its performance.
A Chinese technology website managed to get hold of a PS phone with pre-release firmware for half-a-day. If you can read Chinese or don’t mind Google Translate, head over here for the details.
As we already know, the PlayStation phone ships with a single core processor – a 1 GHz Snapdragon. While this might soon get outdated due to the expected onslaught of dual-core Android handsets, the good news is that Sony Ericsson has done a very good job at optimizing its custom shell.
The PlayStation phone clocked in a Quadrant score of 1,733, which is admirable for any phone with default ROM. The Adreno 205 GPU also pushed the Neocore score to 59.1fps, which is once again, excellent.
The lack of cutting-edge hardware in a gaming device is surprising. In fact, one of the videos shot by IT168 shows the PlayStation phone getting beaten by another current generation phone in Dungeon Defenders. Nevertheless, at the very least, the PlayStation phone will be able to handle all current generation games. Sony will undoubtedly tap into content partners to make some big-name games available for the PlayStation phone. These games, which targeted at the device, will be accessible through a bundled app called PlayStation Pocket.
There is no doubt that the Mobile revolution in India has come at a faster pace than the desktop / laptop revolution. Mobile devices are cheaper and thanks to the low cost mobile internet plans from operators, Mobile phones are becoming the next hot market in the Indian scenario. Research firm InMobi’s network research data shows that the volume of mobile advertisement impressions in India has grown by 22% in just three months.
Here are the important findings worth noting from the research findings:
- The Indian mobile ad market has grown by over 1 billion impressions (+22%) in less than 3 months, making India the largest mobile ad market in the Asia Pacific region.
- It will take a long time before smartphones land into the hands of many! The research shows that smartphones are still nascent in the market as almost 88% of all mobile ad impressions are served only on advanced phones.
- Nokia still leads the device race in Indian mobile market with 12 of the 15 mostly used mobile devices being manufactured by Nokia.
- Android & iPhone OS form only a meagre .4% share of the mobile market in India.
According to James Lamberti, VP of Global Research & Marketing at InMobi:
The Indian mobile advertising market continues to show rapid growth due to the improving ad ecosystem. Major publishers are bringing their media into the mobile channel while brands are simultaneously discovering the power of mobile advertising. This healthy ecosystem along with 3G network infrastructure improvements will position India as one of the most influential mobile markets on the globe.
Skype has acquired the mobile video streaming startup, Qik. Earlier, the acquisition price was reported to be around $100 million, but BI has confirmed it to be $150 million with an earnout.
Qik has been a very strong mobile player and has a huge presence in the mobile video streaming and sharing segment. It has close to 5 million users and is available on multiple platforms including Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Blackberry.
Through this acquisition, Skype hopes to “leverage the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks”. The acquisition of Qik will “accelerate Skype’s leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to Skype’s product portfolio”.
Check out the official press release by Skype.