Posts Tagged year

Hands on with Google Glass competitor Vuzix Glasses

Vuzix Glasses

We had an opportunity today to take a look at the first Google Glass competitor, Vuzix Glasses. At first glance they look like no more than a large glorified bluetooth headset, but once you look closer you notice that there's a bit more involved with these. The basic idea behind Vuzix is to have a complete device with its own processor and memory — running Android, of course — that will interface with your smartphone via bluetooth to display information. It also has a speaker for your year as well as a front-facing camera for stills and video.

Android Central @ CES

The display is not see-through (like Google Glass plans to be,) but rather meant to be out of the normal field of view and glanced at occasionally. The units we looked at today were non-working prototypes, but the expectation is to have the display show a complete mirror of whatever app is running on the tethered phone. We're not so sure how the navigation will work, with only a few buttons on the top of the glasses used for all operations.

There wasn't much information as far as a release date or working prototypes were concerned (welcome to CES,) but the planned retail price is supposed to end up under $500. We've also got several more pictures (and a video on the way) for you to take a look at after the break.

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Who won a free phone from Sprint and Android Central? Find out now!

Sprint phone winners! With the first week of the new year almost under our belts, it's time to let you all know the names of the lucky people that won the SEVEN phones we teamed up with Sprint to give away!  If your name is listed below, watch your email as I'll be in touch in the near future to get your shipping info. Congratulations to all the winners, enjoy your new phones!

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[CES 2013] Belkin Set To Bring WeMo To Android ‘Later This Year,’ Add Versatile Light Switch To WeMo Arsenal

wemo

Belkin, a little early to the CES party, has just dropped a couple of announcements regarding its WeMo brand. WeMo, for those who don’t know, is Belkin’s brand of electronic components (so far including a “switch” compatible with anything you could plug into a normal outlet, a baby monitor, and a motion sensor) meant to allow users to control their electronics from anywhere using their mobile device. Until now, however, WeMo has only been compatible with iOS devices.

In today’s announcement, Belkin says that’s about to change. WeMo is expected to bring Android compatibility “later this year,” which the company considers a “necessary step for the continued success and evolution of the WeMo brand.” An open beta test for Android users is set to start in February for users of Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and “other leading devices”.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[CES 2013] Belkin Set To Bring WeMo To Android ‘Later This Year,’ Add Versatile Light Switch To WeMo Arsenal was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC Windows Phone 8X for a cent at Rogers

windows-phone-8x-by-htc

Windows Phone 8 has been doing great, and far better than Windows Phone 7. The sales figures of Lumia 920 has been quite high, thanks to the reasonable asking price by AT&T on 2 year contract, one can get hands on a Windows Phone 8 device without shelling out a lot of money.

Lumia 920 and 820 are apparently AT&T’s exclusive models. Nokia isn’t the only company in the Windows Phone 8 game. We have HTC with their 8X phone, which has a pretty good design. HTC also has another Windows Phone 8 device called 8S with support for removable microSD cards and is slightly placed lower than 8X, but for some reason the company hasn’t launched the device in US yet. Anyways, HTC 8X has been selling extremely strong in USA, and one of the main reasons is attractive price.

Though DIgitimes’ sources say that HTC 8X has been “extremely strong in the US”, the device has not been topping charts on carriers in the US, but it should be noted that this device is the only Windows Phone which is on sale on 3 of the 4 big carriers, which means that this device can alone cover much more market than Lumia 920 or 820 can do alone. Nokia has other variants of Windows Phone 8 for other carriers. The handset’s main feature would be its slim-line design and excellent Super-LCD 2 screen with very high DPI.

If you are in Canada and craving for a Windows Phone 8 device, HTC 8X is a good option to go for, and the good news is that you can have the device for yourself if you have a penny lying around. Yep, you read that right. Canadian carrier, Rogers, is now offering the 8 GB HTC 8X for just $0.01 on contract, which is really a good price for a dual-core smartphone with an HD screen. Since the device doesn’t have microSD card slot, 8 GB can be a limiting factor for most of us, and in that case you can go for the 16 GB variant instead, but you will have to shell out $29.99 for that, which is a good investment in the long run in my opinion.

Of course good things always come with a catch, and in this case you will have to sign a three year contract, and that’s the standard length you sign up for in Canada. If you are good with the contract, you can get the HTC 8X which sports a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5 Ghz (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960). Coupled with 1 gig RAM, you can expect the phone to be snappy. Yes, most of the high end smartphones are coming with 2 gig of RAM these days, and it is fast becoming a standard, but Windows Phone 8 is not that RAM hungry and 1 gig should be just sufficient enough. It is equipped with a 4.3” display (720 x 1280 pixels) that at 342 ppi has an extremely high pixel density. Would you buy the 8X?

Source: Rogers

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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Could Be Releasing In May

galaxy-s3-4g-lte-650x432

Samsung’s Lebanon Facebook page, although beating around the bush, has announced when Samsung expects to launch the successor to the extremely popular Galaxy S III, the Samsung Galaxy S IV. Granted, this news isn’t a huge surprise considering it is usually expected that an S device is released around May-June as is usual. Here’s the exact wording of the Facebook status:

“Hello guys,

What we said is only trivial since all Galaxy S series are released between late April and Early May, yet there’s no way for anyone to know the exact release date :-) ” – Samsung Lebanon

The Galaxy S IV should be just as outstanding as the Galaxy S III was, especially considering the device will allegedly be touting a 1080p display. No official hardware specs or announcements have been made just yet, but rumors are going around that Samsung has something big to unveil at either CES or MWC this year.

source: Slashgear

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More Details Of Rumored HTC M7 Smartphone Leaked: Will Feature All-Black Design & Is Possibly Headed For Sprint

 

HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.

As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days

source: HTC Source

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Pebble smartwatch to debut at next week’s CES

Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.

The event kicks off at 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.

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More Details Of Rumored HTC M7 Smartphone Leaked: Will Feature All-Black Design & Is Possibly Headed For Sprint

 

HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.

As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days

source: HTC Source

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[The Weekend Poll] Who’s Going To Make The Biggest Splash At This Year’s CES?

Untitled-1

With CES just days away, we’re about to head into a dense week of tech product news. New devices across the board – phones, tablets, accessories, TV’s, speakers, cameras, and more. A large chunk of those product announcements will probably, at least in some roundabout way, be relevant to Android.

nexusae0_Untitled-42

But it’s the phones and tablets I think that we’re all most excited for, and that will probably make the biggest bang during this year’s show overall. And though we won’t see a Galaxy S IV, a Nexus product, or likely anything really game-changing in the Android sphere during CES, there will be products that could shift the balances of power in the mobile universe.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[The Weekend Poll] Who’s Going To Make The Biggest Splash At This Year’s CES? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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More Details Of Rumored HTC M7 Smartphone Leaked: Will Feature All-Black Design & Is Possibly Headed For Sprint

 

HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.

As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days

source: HTC Source

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Pebble smartwatch to debut at next week’s CES

Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.

The event kicks off at 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.

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More Details Of Rumored HTC M7 Smartphone Leaked: Will Feature All-Black Design & Is Possibly Headed For Sprint

 

HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.

As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days

source: HTC Source

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Pebble smartwatch to debut at next week’s CES

Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.

The event kicks off at 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.

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Promo leak for Sony’s Xperia Z confirms a full HD display

Sony’s Xperia Z, code named as “Yuga,” for quite sometime now has been rumored to be Sony’s next flagship device for 2013. The Z will be a  5 inch 1080p device and thanks to this leaked screen shot of a promo video for the device, we should expect it to have a full HD display.

The device is also expected to have a 13MP Exmor RS camera with fast capture and HDR. To top it all off, the Z will also be water-resistant.

I’m really interested in seeing what Sony has to offer in mobile phones this year. With specs like these, it’s hard to look past them and go straight for Samsung these days. Let’s just hope their devices are developer friendly and free up the bootloaders.

source: Xpera Blog

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Google Confirms an ASUS-Manufactured Google TV Will Be Unveiled at CES

Google TV Box

Google has confirmed that ASUS will be manufacturing a Google TV and will be unveiling the product at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vega, Nevada, this year. Google and ASUS have not announced the name of the device yet, but it could be dubbed the “Qube,” if it happens to be the Google TV dongle that recently made its way through the FCC. Additionally, Google has also recently announced they they are expecting all-new Google TV products from a few familiar Chinese manufactures like LG, Vizo, Sony and a few others.

CES this year is beginning to look extremely promising. While we not be seeing a whole lot in smartphone news, it’s always outstanding seeing companies all over their world show off their new products. I’m personally excited to see what Corning will be doing with Gorilla Glass 3 and what the Pebble smartwatch is all about!

Do you have any expectation for CES this year? Is there a particular area of technology that you will be looking out for? Make sure to let us know in the comments section below! This is going to be an exciting year, as CES and the MWC is going to bringing some great surprises to the table!

source: Google TV blog
via: Talk Android

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Pebble smartwatch to debut at next week’s CES

Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.

The event kicks off 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.

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Promo leak for Sony’s Xperia Z confirms a full HD display

Sony’s Xperia Z, code named as “Yuga,” for quite sometime now has been rumored to be Sony’s next flagship device for 2013. The Z will be a  5 inch 1080p device and thanks to this leaked screen shot of a promo video for the device, we should expect it to have a full HD display.

The device is also expected to have a 13MP Exmor RS camera with fast capture and HDR. To top it all off, the Z will also be water-resistant.

I’m really interested in seeing what Sony has to offer in mobile phones this year. With specs like these, it’s hard to look past them and go straight for Samsung these days. Let’s just hope their devices are developer friendly and free up the bootloaders.

source: Xpera Blog

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The week in international Android news – Jan. 5

Android Central

Happy New Year! CES is literally days away from us now, and with Alex en-route to Las Vegas as we speak, it falls to me to round up the weeks international Android news. CES leaks and rumors have dominated the headlines as we might expect since we returned from the holiday break, but there's been plenty to talk about since our last international round up.

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Pebble smartwatch to debut at next week’s CES

Well, well. What do we have here? It appears as though an invitation from Pebble has made its way to our inbox, notifying us of an event taking place at CES next week. Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, will show off the final version of the long-awaited smartwatch in all of its Kickstarter-backed glory.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Pebble smartwatch managed to set a Kickstarter record last year. While it originally aimed to reach a $100,000 funding goal, the wrist-worn device attracted $10 million from eager backers around the world, leaving the company to deal with massive production demands. The watch connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone to offer notifications for calls and texts, with built-in support for third-party apps like Facebook.

The event kicks off 9AM PST, and we’ll be there live to bring you the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to our CES 2013 hub as well, where we’ll be serving you up-to-the-second coverage straight from the show floor.

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No Comments

Promo leak for Sony’s Xperia Z confirms a full HD display

Sony’s Xperia Z, code named as “Yuga,” for quite sometime now has been rumored to be Sony’s next flagship device for 2013. The Z will be a  5 inch 1080p device and thanks to this leaked screen shot of a promo video for the device, we should expect it to have a full HD display.

The device is also expected to have a 13MP Exmor RS camera with fast capture and HDR. To top it all off, the Z will also be water-resistant.

I’m really interested in seeing what Sony has to offer in mobile phones this year. With specs like these, it’s hard to look past them and go straight for Samsung these days. Let’s just hope their devices are developer friendly and free up the bootloaders.

source: Xpera Blog

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HTC’s New Year’s Resolution: Bring Unique Products To Market

HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound.  He said, ”Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.

HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, ”Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”  HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Google’s Dan Morrill unearths early Android mascots

With the start of a new year, Google’s Dan Morrill is doing what many people have been doing this week, the annual ritual of cleaning out stuff. In his case, he was cleaning out some old files on his server when he came across some artwork he created back in 2007. At the time, Android had not yet launched and Dan was doing developer relations work for Google. One day with some spare time, he decided to crank out some images for a slideshow he was working on for an internal developer launch. Depending on what you think, we were all blessed or cursed that Dan’s work was supplanted by Irina Blok’s bugdroid design.

Besides the discovery of what almost was in terms of the Android mascot, Dan shared in the comments to his Google+ post that robots were almost used as the naming scheme for Android releases. However, the team soon realized most of the recognizable robot names were trademarked, leading to the confectionary based convention we all know.

almost_android_mascot_blue
almost_android_mascot_red
almost_android_mascot_yellow
almsot_android_mascot_green

source: Google+
via: Android Community

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Leap Motion gets $30 million funding for new motion sensor controller technology

The technology you probably have seen in Steven Speilberg’s 2002 movie Minority Report has been fully realized by Leap Motion’s hand-motion controller. The San Francisco-based startup company recently received $30 million funding for the technology and has partnered with Taiwanese manufacturer Asustek Computer in an agreement that computers bundled with motion sensors would be released later this year. The first batch of controllers, however, will start selling by March.

Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg

Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg

This isn’t the first time people have seen motion sensors come into play because apparently, such technology has long been used in Microsoft’s Kinect. Leap Motion, however, said its product is not as big (in size) as existing motion sensors in the market today. It comes with two small sensitive cameras enclosed in casing not more than the size of a cigarette lighter, which would be set atop a computer desk.

The sensors are sensitive enough to detect 10 fingers and filter motions created by each one of them to the hundredth of a millimeter. The controller will be marketed with $70 price tag.

Leap Motion’s controller has lured many investors including Highland Capital Partners and Founders Fund aside from the already mentioned Asustek Computer. The idea of controlling a computer with hands started long ago and people were mesmerized by it even more when Steven Speilberg illustrated it almost realistically through its movie starred by Tom Cruise. The evolution of computer and mobile technologies paved a way for three-dimensional controls and the company is honest enough to acknowledge that.

With Asustek Computer agreeing with Leap Motion to bundle the controllers with some of its computers, the next thing we may be seeing are laptops with built-in motion sensors instead of mere cameras. The fact that the company is open to the idea to license its technologies is the key to have this sensor be put on other devices other than computers. One of the possibilities is that Smart TV manufacturers like Samsung and LG might use Leap Motion’s technology to make things even better in their products.

Leap Motion is still in the process of marketing its controllers as well as attracting even more developers to build more apps for it. Chief Executive Officer Michael Buckwald also shared about the company’s desire to invade tablet and car markets with its technology.

[source: Bloomberg]

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Quick review of Ubuntu for Phone

raspberry-pi-1280x1024-wallpaper

Canonical showed us the Ubuntu for Phone on first working day of year 2013. We all thought that they are going to launch the Ubuntu for Android officially, but I was surprised to see that Canonical went ahead and launched Ubuntu for Phone, so let’s take a look at what it has got to offer us.

We have had Ubuntu for TV, PCs and tablets, and now it is being developed for phones. The operating system will be Ubuntu based, which is Linux if you want me to be politically correct. Also, Android is Linux based. So why do we need another Linux based smartphone OS when we already have a popular open source smartphone OS. First of all, Ubuntu for Phone is not just any other smartphone OS, but a fully featured Ubuntu OS with an interface that is designed for touch screen interaction. This project is basically the continuation of Ubuntu for Android project. Here are the first impressions:
Interface:

The interface is stunning. It is sleek and it is beautiful. Looking at the name, you may expect it to look like the desktop version of Ubuntu, but sadly that is not the case, or I may say that it is good that it is not the case because what Canonical has designed is perfect for a touch screen device. The interface itself bears little resemblance to the desktop version, apart from the graphical style. The interface is based around swipes and gestures. For example, instead of a back button, you have to swipe from the right-hand edge of the screen to return to a previous app. Swiping up from the bottom, reveals an app’s menu, which remains off-screen until then.

Smartphones don’t enjoy the same screen real estate advantage that desktop PC’s do. If we take a look at Ubuntu on PC, the interface is totally sleek and there is more concentration on screen space utilization, and the same advantage has been passed onto the mobile OS as well. The Ubuntu phone site itself calls the experience “immersive,” because it allows more room for the apps themselves.
Advantages of Ubuntu Mobile OS:

Apps are a major concern when it comes to smartphones, and that is where Android and iOS have an edge over Windows Phone devices. Since Ubuntu for Phone is basically Ubuntu OS with a new interface, it also means that all the apps that are available in Software Center (Ubuntu equivalent of Play Store) can be run on mobile devices. Yes, the developers will have to redesign the screens, but then it is far better than having to write new apps from scratch. Ubuntu for Phone has definitely got a head start in apps department.

Unique features: Well, like Ubuntu for Android, you will be able to dock these devices on an HDTV or monitor and use a complete Ubuntu desktop PC, thus effectively combining two worlds into one.

What are your thoughts on Ubuntu for Phone? Let us know in the comment section below.

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HTC’s New Year’s Resolution: Bring Unique Products To Market

HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound.  He said, ”Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.

HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, ”Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”  HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Google’s Dan Morrill unearths early Android mascots

With the start of a new year, Google’s Dan Morrill is doing what many people have been doing this week, the annual ritual of cleaning out stuff. In his case, he was cleaning out some old files on his server when he came across some artwork he created back in 2007. At the time, Android had not yet launched and Dan was doing developer relations work for Google. One day with some spare time, he decided to crank out some images for a slideshow he was working on for an internal developer launch. Depending on what you think, we were all blessed or cursed that Dan’s work was supplanted by Irina Blok’s bugdroid design.

Besides the discovery of what almost was in terms of the Android mascot, Dan shared in the comments to his Google+ post that robots were almost used as the naming scheme for Android releases. However, the team soon realized most of the recognizable robot names were trademarked, leading to the confectionary based convention we all know.

almost_android_mascot_blue
almost_android_mascot_red
almost_android_mascot_yellow
almsot_android_mascot_green

source: Google+
via: Android Community

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RCA Mobile TV Tablet unveiled with availability expected in the spring

RCA has unveiled, and will be showing off an Android tablet during CES. The device is called the RCA Mobile TV Tablet, and as the name would imply — a big feature of this device will be television related. In fact, the tablet will be a dual-tuner device featuring a standard over-the-air tuner and a Dyle mobile TV tuner.

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Some may recognize the Dyle name as MetroPCS released the Galaxy S Lightray 4G with support for mobile TV through Dyle back in August of last year. That aside, this tablet will allow users access to 130 mobile television stations across the country. Otherwise, the RCA tablet will feature an 8-inch IPS display at 1024 x 768, 1GHz Cortex A5 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage space and a microSD card slot.

The remaining features include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, HDMI, microUSB, USB, GPS, a pair of speakers and both a front and rear-facing camera. The tablet is said to weigh in at 1.4 pounds and for those wondering — will arrive will access to the Google Play Store. The battery should hold out for up to 4 hours in mobile TV mode or up to 10 hours for web browsing.

Touching back on the TV support for a moment. Dyle currently has service in 35 markets and the tablet will feature goodies such as real-time signal strength display, on-screen program information display and digital closed captioning as well as language settings, auto channel scan and a favorite channel setting. Lastly, the RCA Mobile TV Tablet is expected to come available this spring with a price tag of $299.

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Amazon adds more TV content to Prime Instant Video service

Android Central

Amazon is working to improve its Prime Instant Video service today by signing a content deal to bring more TV shows from major networks. The latest deal with A+E Networks will bring previous seasons of popular shows from A&E, Bio, History and Lifetime to the service. Amazon says it has more than doubled the number of show and movie offerings on its service last year, with over 33,000 available in total.

There's still no proper Amazon Prime Instant Video app in the Google Play Store for Android devices, but if you happen to be using a Kindle Fire — or another device such as a set top box — with the service you can go enjoy these newly added offerings.

Source: Amazon

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HTC’s Chou blames marketing decisions for bad 2012, ready to turn things around

Financially, 2012 wasn’t the best year on record for HTC. While the finger could be pointed in multiple directions, CEO Peter Chou told The Wall Street Journal that he believes misguided marketing was the driving factor behind the downturn in profits. He admitted that HTC did not put enough resources into marketing efforts, an area where competitors easily bested the Taiwan-based smartphone maker.

But it’s arguable that competitors didn’t best HTC when it came to actual devices. While sales slumped, HTC managed to produce a lineup featuring some of their best devices of all time, phones like the HTC One X and Droid DNA. And Chou knows the trend will need to continue. Cash-strapped HTC will focus on “unique products” in order to establish public demand for their products.

A licensing agreement with Apple should help HTC in 2013. President of HTC China Ray Yam recently said the deal would help bolster innovation. But he also mentioned, as Chou did, that HTC plans to revamp their marketing efforts in the new year and hopefully right the ship before it sinks any deeper.

[via Engadget]

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Sony Xperia Z is worth 19,900 Baht ($660) in Thailand

An advertisement in Thailand revealed the price range Sony Xperia Z (aka Sony Yuga C660X) would be marketed in. Ahead of its China debut, the new Xperia device will be worth 19,900 Baht (around $660) in the Thai market. The ad not only confirms reports suggesting the device will be targeting the mid-range market in terms of sales, it also confirms the price would play between $650 and $700 depending on the marketing strategy Sony will use for other regions.

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Sony Xperia Z is set to launch in China on January 15th where it is believed to be market for a price of 4,298 CNY or around $690. Sony is ambitiously targeting the Chinese market and posing competition against local brands such as Huawei and Oppo. The company should have seen better sales opportunities there but it is believed Xperia Z will be marketed to other regions outside China. Sony has yet to issue an official statement about it but it is crystal clear a powerful device like this can do better in the UK and Asia.

The rumor surrounding this device started late last year. The first round was about a benchmark result suggesting Sony was working on a device with 5-inch screen codenamed Yuga or Odin. The specs surfaced revealing the power of the device as well as the model—Sony Yuga C660X. It was only recently that the name Sony Xperia Z came into play together with the information that it will make its debut in China on January 15th.

Sony Xperia Z is believed to sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset with quad-core processor complemented with 2GB RAM. Since Qualcomm SOCs always come with built-in GPU’s, the company capitalized on it and gave this device full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. The quality of graphics as well as the speed of rendition will be made better by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine. Xperia Z would run on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean out of the box not to mention its 12-megapixel camera sensor.

Furthermore, it will come packed with 16GB internal memory plus a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB. It will feature Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE connectivity and Near Field Communication (NFC). It seems like the advertisement in Thailand is the ultimate revelation of its real market value and so far, it’s good news for Sony smartphone fans. Let’s wait for CES 2013 to know more about it.

[source: Phone Arena]

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