Thursday 31 May 2012


Two operator branded devices land in the UK.

The Vodafone Smart II.
   The first of the two devices is landing on Vodafone and is called the kinda sweet name of the Vodafone Smart II. With a name like that this has budget written across the top of its screen because the manufacturers branding has vanished.

   But, this is a good little device nonetheless, it's rocking a 3.2-inch HVGA display, an 800Mhz processor, and a 3.2 megapixel camera. You won’t be getting Ice Cream Sandwich on a budget though, this device is running Gingerbread. 

   On the plus side the device is available for £70!!! Which is insanely cheap for what you're getting here, even if you choose not to get this as your daily driver it could be a phone to take on that holiday so it doesn't matter too much if you misplace it!

Orange San Diego.
   Today we finally got a taste of the Intel powered Android device in the UK. What was previously known as the Orange Santa Clara has been released today as the Orange San Diego and it's available on the 6th June nationwide on contract and PAYG (PAYG is £200 plus topup).

   It's been widely reported that first impressions were good with the device being really light and nice in the hand. The soft touch rubberised finish has a lot to do with that, although the experience is somewhat diminished by the highly customised Orange skin on top of Android 2.3.7.

   One huge advancement with this phone is the boot time which is roughly twenty seconds to go from being powered off to the lock screen, just as a comparison the Galaxy Nexus takes rough;y seventy seconds!

    Screen transitions are said to be buttery smooth on the single-core Intel Atom Z2460 processor clocked at 1.6Ghz which powers the 4.03” screen which has a decent 600×1024 pixel resolution. This all goes with 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage (but no microSD card), a microSIM card slot, a microUSB and microHDMI port. The camera modules shape up well too; there's an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, AF, an 8x digital zoom, full HD video recording at the back, the ability to record 10 pictures in less than one second, A-GPS, a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, two speakers, two microphone, HD Voice, ambient noise cancellation, NFC (and a 13.56MHz NFC Antenna), Bluetooth v2.1 and Wi-Fi.

   This is a great mid-range device if you're on Orange and have a new renewal or just a spare £200 lying around!

In other news:
  • Virgin have officially got their Olympics Wifi network up and running as of today. So from today you can browse the web from the platform (and only the platform, not the tunnels) using Virgins high speed Fibre network. Enjoy a summer of free internet commuters!
  • Cricket Wireless has confirmed it'll be carrying the iPhone 4S in the near future!
  • The Canadian Galaxy S3 is essentially the same outwardly as the international version but on the inside there's a Qualcomm processor, LTE speed, and 2GB of RAM. There will be options for either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage while two variations on those models will exist with either 4G LTE or HSPA+ 42 data connections so it'll be coming to your network of choice! 
  • Ohhhh and by the way the Galaxy S3 has Corning's Gorilla Glass 2!

Wednesday 30 May 2012


Benchmark again hints at a Nexus tablet.

The Google Asus Nexus 7 is Benchmarked

   Early this morning the news broke that someone somewhere had noticed a listing on Rightware's Power Board benchmarking test. In 11th place was sitting a device under the name 'Nexus 7', which does appear to confirm rumours Google is creating a 7" device.

   The listing also gives some hints about the rest of the specs inside this device; we have a quad-core Tegra3 processor, a 720p HD screen and it's supposedly running a software build named JRN51B which we expect is a build of Android 4.1 and more specifically this could be a Jelly Bean flavored build of Android.

   With the device being tested daily by someone it looks like we might not have too long to wait!

Sony releases 2 new 'lifeproof' devices.

Xperia Go.

   The first of these two devices is the Xperia Go and as the name suggests it'll be prepare for most of what you throw at it. The device will arrive in the United States as the Xperia advance and it's the smaller of the two, with a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, 1GHz dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera. The good stuff however, starts here, the device be used when your fingers are wet, something most touchscreens definitely can't do, it meets the IP67 dust and water resistance standard, which is better than most ruggedized phones manage! Unfortunately, it also runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, though Sony says there’s an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the pipeline, strange that they can't do ICS straight from the off.

   All of this comes along with 8GB of internal storage, USB Host support, a 1265mAh built-in battery and a microSD card slot. Twinned with 512MB of RAM and either triband or dualband UMTS/HSPA depending on where you reside. Sony will kindly give you 50GB of Box cloud storage if you choose to take the plunge before the end of the year; the Xperia Go is slated to hit shelves in three colours; black, white and yellow in Q3 2012.

Xperia Acro S.

   The second device is essentially the Xperia S in disguise, complete with a similar or probably the samet 4.3-inches (1280 x 720) screen which is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core and a 12-megapixel camera that Sony claims is ready to shoot in under a second.

   The device is also PlayStation Certified and has 1080p HD video recording (although it's 720p from the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera) and Ice Cream Sandwich is available from launch (woo!). Sony’s got some special camera tech on show here in the Exmor R variety, whatever that does?! You've got your usual assortment of HDMI, GPS, GLONASS, NFC and USB. Finally, it has a non-removanle 1910mAh battery pack and it has quadband HSPA+ connectivity.  It will be available in black, white and pink in Q3 2012.

In other news:

  • It has been rumoured that Sony are looking to acquire a cloud gaming service, such as OnLive and Gaikai in a bid to increase their gaming prowess in the mobile world.
  • Microsoft has started being a bit cleverer with it's newly acquired Skype, offering it to Manufacturers for preinstallation.
  • Twitter is planning to improve the performance of it's site, so we all get Tweeting even faster.
  • The Nokia Lumia 610 has officially launched in the UK and we have an exact figure on how many app WONT work on it and the exact percentage is 1.6% of Windows Phone apps, so actually quite a lot, bad times.
  • Apple has been pushing manufacturing in the USA this week at All Things D!
  • They've also reaffirmed that they won't be making any Transformer-esque devices any time soon.
  • Verizon's Galaxy Nexus is expected to be getting its build of Android 4.0.4 very soon!!!

Tuesday 29 May 2012


Are your eyes ready for what's about to happen?

   Ohhhh boy, I've thrown out on hell of an enigmatic title right there, it could be something disgusting I'm about to tell you. But, given your on a tech site it's not going to be. The news is instead that if you thought HD made a huge difference over normal definition then you're in for a mighty big treat soon.

   Today the International Telecommunications Union has announced plans for what’s being called Ultra High Definition Television or UHDTV. The intriguing thing here is that not only has the ITU agreed on one single standard, but today we have two! The two recommendations  include resolutions of 3840 x 2160 and 7680 x 4320!!!

   The lower resolution standard will arrive sonnest, and then there will be a bump to the higher resolution after that. This is similar to what we have today with HDTV and specifically the differences between 720p and 1080p resolutions. These new resolutions will be called 4K and 8K. Exciting times, but good luck streaming 8K if you live anywhere outside a city in the UK!

Why the 'Pebble blue' Galaxy S3 is delays.

   From the picture above (From Mobilebulgaria) appears to show exactly why Samsung have had problems getting enough Galaxy S3's out in the wild for today's launch.

   The official line from Samsung is below, and they've explained it considerably better than I could!

   "Samsung’s Galaxy SIII Pebble Blue version comes with a newly invented blue colour and special hyper-glaze material.
   In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy SIII to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue version is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks.
   Samsung is working hard to ensure that customers will get the Pebble Blue coloured devices as soon as possible."

In other news:

  • 3 UK has started rolling out the ICS update for the HTC Sensation XL!!!
  • An old iPad prototype, that was barely working and had connector cables on two sides, sold today on Ebay for $10,200!!!
  • The exodus from RIM has continued with the announcement today that their Legal leader has resigned, but will stay on until a successor can be appointed. Now, the loss of  Karima Bawa, may not signal the end of RIM but it's symptomatic of the wider company.
  • Skype for Xbox probably won't arrive before the end of the year, sorry guys!
  • Samsung have unleashed their 'Music Hub' as an alternative to Spotify, you can get a tonne of songs and not much else! Check it out, it's not that great in all honesty.
  • The forthcoming Nintendo console is likely to retain it's name as the Wii U on launch!

Monday 28 May 2012


This is geek heaven.

   Ok, so there's a couple of reasons why you'd buy the Nokia Lumia 900. Firstly, it might be because of it's gorgeous Amoled screen, maybe it's because of it's lovely industrial design or it might be because you like Windows Phone (unlikely, I joke). 

   But, this phone might just have got a tiny bit more attractive, especially if you L-O-V-E Batman. If you do then you can head over to Phones4U and pick up your limited edition of the phone, complete with Batman logo on the back and custom wallpapers and tiles tailored towards your bat fetishes. This is basically a repeat of what the company did with the Lumia 800 a while back, and there will also be a Dark Knight rising version too!

   There's been no confirmation as to how many of the phone will be made but we expect there to be more than enough to go around! But, go out and grab it just incase!!!

The Galaxy S3 and the UK.

   I'm not sure the best way to break this to you because the UK is a tad obsessed with Samsung and their Galaxy devices, but the device has been delayed across the whole set of countries. Clove was first out the block to let us know, telling customers g that “Samsung has confirmed a delay in the arrival of the first stock” with an exact date for availability “still to be confirmed.” There's also a minor delay with the “Marble White” version if you chose that version instead.

   Clove have specifically said the Marble White Galaxy S III is now expected in stock on June 1, instead of May 30 . The “first stock” of the blue is “expected to arrive week commencing 5th June, but this is still to be confirmed.”

   On a slightly more positive note, if you happen to be in London and more specifically on Oxford Street between Monday and Thursday, remember to get yourself to The Carphone Warehouse store there because they’ve got phones in “popup internet cafe” where the computers have instead been replaced by Galaxy SIII handsets.

   The cafe itself will run for three days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the handset going on up for you to buy on Thursday. If you pop down then there's also a chance for you to win a handset with a Galaxy SIII being given away daily.

Mobile displays: LG's wonder screen.

   There's been huge advancements in display technology on mobile technology this past two years, but it looks like LG may have just unleashed their best technology to date. 

   Their new screen is 5" and manages to pack in full-HD resolution (that's 1920x1080!), this makes a pixel-density of 440 pixels per inch. Something which simply blows Apple's 'Retina display', with 329ppi, out of the water! LG claim that the naked eye will be unable to discern individual pixels, and the use of Advance High Performance IPS technology means you’ll be getting realistic colour reproduction, wide viewing angles, as well as brighter images and low power consumption.

   In other news:

  • Asus has teased a new set of Transformer tablets which are slated to be arriving at Computex 2012, which is in early June, it'll be interesting to see what they've got planned this time. Hit the advert below for the official teaser.

  • Nokia's Lumia 610, which has 256MB of RAM and a single-core 800Mhz processor has today found itself banned from more apps. The list now includes; Angry birds, Skype, PES 2012 and Tango, we're sure the list could go on. It's also worth noting other apps such as Nokia Maps and IMDB have been known to crash on the phone so it's hard to recommend it at the moment.
  • RIM is restructuring and is said to be shedding 2000 jobs.
  • Facebook is again rumoured to be having a stab at a Facebook phone and is reportedly hiring ex-Apple engineers to work on the device/s.

Friday 25 May 2012


HP lose Enyo developers from the Open WebOS project.

   Google have today pinched the developers of Enyo from HP in a bid to boost their mobile HTML5 prowess, particularly in Android and ChromeOS. Although, initial rumours suggested most of the team had jumped ship it turns out that it's roughly only a dozen individuals who have actually gone, but importantly project leader Matt McNulty has made the trip too.

   Despite this exodus HP insists the Open WebOS plans are still on track to meet their January timeline, so this obviously isn't a surprise to the company. HP had this to say about Enyo:

“We’re pleased with the traction Enyo has gained to date and plan to continue its development along with the open source community....The Open webOS project is on schedule and we remain committed to the roadmap announced in January.”

Sony announces there won't be ICS for Xperia Play.
(My post from Coolsmartphone!)

It’s official no ICS for the Xperia Play

   Yesterday the interwebs came alive with rumours that the Xperia Play wouldn’t be getting an update to ICS because it was sneakily left out of a press picture detailing Sony’s update plans. Today unfortunately the rumours have come true; Sony have come out and announced the Xperia Play won’t be getting updated to Android 4.0 after all.

   You might be surprised to hear this news given that Sony have invested a great deal of time testing and even going as far as releasing a developer beta rom for the device. But, their exact words are that ‘a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich’. So there we have it folks sometimes it’s in your best interests not to update phones… Hmmm haven’t we heard that somewhere else before?! Motorola we’re looking at you.

   As for the rest of you who own Sony devices from 2011, don’t worry the company expects all of you to get your dose of ICS in the near future, if you haven’t already.

   Do you agree companies should really try a lot hard or do you think there is a concern that ICS won’t run well because it does sound like they’ve really tried here? Sound off in the comments or head over to the forums.

    The full quote given to Slashgear is below:

   “In regards to Xperia PLAY, after extensive in house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY.

   This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones.

   Our priority has and always will be, to provide the best possible user experience on Xperia smartphones. In this instance the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability, where we look to ensure a quality gaming experience with games optimized and developed for Xperia PLAY”

In other news:
  • Apps on Google Play can now have in-app subscriptions!
  • Any suggestions of cross-platform BBM have been scrapped today, so you will have to have a Blackberry to use this feature, but if not you've always got ChatON which is available on every platform!
  • If you've pre-ordered a Galaxy S3 it might land on your doorstep a few days early, they have been across the UK so far!
  • Nvidia has said there will be 30 Tegra 3 phones coming before the end of the year! Quite intriguing!!!
  • Facebook has bizarrely released a Facebook camera app, which to all intents and purposes is an Instagram rival. Strange!!
  • Apple have filed a patent for... wait for it... an I-Pen. So when we thought cheap rip offs were going out of fashion it seems Apple is just about to start. Just remember who came up with this reinvention first Apple, yep Samsung with the S-Pen. At least they had the decency to give a nod to Samsung's naming convention!

Deals, deals, deals!!!
  1. The HTC Explorer is going cheap if you get it new, £80 on pay-as-you-go. Click Here.
  2. Expansys have the Galaxy Tab 10.1" at least £50 cheaper than anywhere else with it going for £269.99. The White version is here. And this is the Black version.
There's hundreds more at the moment. Argos, Clove, Expansys and ASDA are amongst your best bets for everything from tablets to TV's you can get a steal in the summer!

Thursday 24 May 2012


Sony Xperia Play's ICS update in doubt?

   You see that image above, that's the list of Sony's 2011 phone range which are getting ICS. Despite the companies pledge to update all 2011 phones to Android 4.0 the Play is conspicuously missing.

   Now we do already know that Sony has invested hours of work into updating the device because they've already released an official beta to developers. But, those of us who have used it have seen how buggy and the huge list of compatibility issues that we were faced with.

   Therefore we can still have hope that Sony will update the phone as per their promise and this may be a simple editing overlook, but there's no guarantee unfortunately.

In other news:

  • Pandora has today boasted that they have 52 million active users.
  • Sony's PSN has undergone maintenance again today.
  • HP's most recent earnings call announced 27,000 jobs cuts, there's a lot of pain in the tech world at the moment.
  • NVIDIA hits AT&T 4G LTE with Icera 410.
  • Again it's being rumoured Google will unveil a 7" tablet in June.
   Also, there is a huge game sale on or both iOS and Android at the moment so check your app store!!!!

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Breaking news!

Google wins the patent trial against Oracle!!

   The news this evening is that when Android developers chose to copy and paste Java code they have done so without violating any patents!

   This decision means that Google only have to compensate Oracle a negligible amount of money, a bit of a turnaround from Oracle's demands for $2.6 billion!!!

   Official lines explain how the jury did find that Android infringed Oracle copyrights by its use of the the structure, sequence, and organization of 37 Java APIs. But the jury was unable to reach a comprehensive verdict on whether it was covered under fair usage terms, making the verdict undecided at the moment. The jury did find that Google had infringed on one other copyright count , the use of nine lines of 'range Check' code, although the Judge later decided that Google had also infringed by its use of eight Java test files in Android, which added a second minor infringement count to Google's scorecard.

   All in all it seems Google has got off of a very, very large hook here. Their fines are expected to be well under $1million, but we can expect a retrial, this isn't quite the end of it yet.




Samsung look to tweak Galaxy Note 10.1?


   The 10.1" Galaxy Note was a great looking little device, but it looks like Samsung feels it needs to up it's game, which is probably a good idea actually, I myself said they very distinctly average when they launched.

   Today it has been rumoured that the tablet will be getting thinner as well as having an update to the processor, giving it a bump to the Galaxy S3's quad-core Exynos chip, instead of a mere dual-core processor. There's also rumoured to be a new S-Pen slot as well in a Galaxy Note-esque fashion.

   As soon as we get an official word from Samsung I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.

Nvidia highlight 'Kai' again, wants to give you $199 quad-core tablets.

NVIDIA outlines Kai platform, hopes to make good on quad-core $199 tablet promise

   The Asus Eee-pad MeMo could and maybe would be the most perfect Android tablet, with it's 7" form factor and an ultra powerful quad-core processor. Unfortunately though, we have seen little or nothing of this tablet since Asus suggested it'd come to the world soon. 

   However, Nvidia have again reiterated that they are committed to producing a quad-core tablet for less than $200 and with a little bit of 'scret sauce' from the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor while somehow managing to make it considerably cheaper. So hopefully we can see this become a reality in the very near future.

In other news:

  • Lenovo manages to turn the tide by posting a 46% profit surge.
  • Acer Iconia A510 Olympic Tab to launch in UK next month.
  • MySpace is set to relaunch later in 2012.
  • IBM blocks Siri over fears sensitive information may lapse into unwanted hands.
  • Sony and Samsung are enforcing minimum pricing on their tv's in a desperate bid to protect their profits.
  • Samsung releases Galaxy Note source code.
  • Facebook are testing a new Timeline layout.
  • Xbox 360 may face a ban in the USA over Motorola patents.

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Google and Motorola deal completes!

   Today Google has finally completed their acquisition of Motorola, after China approved the move yesterday afternoon. This is great news for the two companies and it will be great to see how Google can exercise an influence on Motorola and whether they get an unfair advantage over other Android manufacturers.

   The other rumours today have been that Google may be planning to cut 40% of jobs at Motorola as they aim to streamline the company and turn a profit in the near future. There's no exact word on future plans but the press release states that the Motorola acquisition will help “supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing". Keep it locked here for the news as it happens. seen tweeting while Olympic Torch carrying!

   So this is kind of more fun than any real news, but The Voice judge and superstar rapper, producer and song writer was today a torch bearer for the London 2012 Olympics. But, the Black Eyed Peas co-founder took a slightly different angle on how to act while carrying the torch than the rest of the crowd so far.

   He took to his Blackberry Torch today to Tweet while he was carrying a big gold burning torch. His tweet said;
1nce in a life time experience  in the uK...

 We're pleased you enjoyed it Will!!!

Upcoming iPhone rumours pour out!

   The last few days we've been hearing a lot about Apple's upcoming iPhone and what features it will and won't have. The main rumour is that Apple will up the size of the screen and the consensus is that this probably will happen.

   Today the rumour has come from 9to5 mac that the screen will be a 3.95" display and it will have a new pixel ratio of 1136x640, which would usher in a new aspect ratio of 16:9, while maintaining the 'retina display' title, by keeping the pixel density well about 300pixels per inch.

   9to5 Mac have also said that they expect the new iPhone to have an updated charging port which takes up less space at the base of the phone. The new port is rumoured to be slightly smaller than the MicroUSB standard 

In other news:

  • The Galaxy S3 has reportedly been received very well in the UK with the Carphone Warehouse today announcing that the device has been ordered 'by the thousand' and they have 'sold better than expected'. The international version has also gone up for pre-order in to USA too, but you guys should probably hold out for an official LTE version.
  • Windows Mobile devices you have now officially lost your app store, sorry guys!
  • The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and the Sony Xperia U have both gone on sale in Three UK's mid-range today and both can be yours for around £20 a month on contract or £200 off contract.
  • Samsung have today refuted the claim that 'lawyers designed the Galaxy S3', the official line from their Design VP is that 'the design is part of a 5 year plan' to change the design language at Samsung, sorry guys but we're still not entirely convinced. I for one am still blaming Apple's lawyers!

Monday 21 May 2012

Android updates: it's a mess!


  In the last few days it has come to light that Motorola have decided not to update devices which are less than a year old to the latest version of Android! This is in direct opposition to the company's own promise to update phones for 18 months, something which Motorola promised to adhere to by signing up to Google's I/O support agreement. So why haven't things panned out the way we expected?

   The official line from Google is that, hardware permitting, all Android devices would get OS updates in a reasonable amount of time within the first 18 months. This is why customers will undoubtedly be more than slightly frustrating to learn that Motorola and Samsung at the very least have broken their promises.

   Lets start with Moto, their most recent statement read like this;
"You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device." - Motorola blog.

   Ok, that is a slight departure from the 'hardware permitting' line issued earlier. Lets dive a little deeper and have a look at the list of updates;

   It's a pretty long list of updates, but, there's a lot down the bottom which won't be moving past Gingerbread. The only two which are justified is the Droid 2 and the Droid Pro which were announced in 2010 and already out of their 18 month update period. The rest, including the Cliq 2, all have the ability to run ICS, as we've seen proven by the HTC Desire C's recent release.

   Similarly, Samsung have stated that;
 "After reviewing various factors such as system requirements, platform limitations, and partner-related issues, we will consider upgrading Galaxy devices to Ice Cream Sandwich. Specific upgrade plans will be communicated separately. Samsung will stay committed to responsibility for its customers as much as possible."

   The question, from an American device viewpoint is about the Samsung Captivate Glide, the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, the Samsung Conquer 4G and the Samsung Exhibit 4G, all of which we have heard nothing about. These are all high-end devices, so it is disappointing that these are not guaranteed an update!

   Again we come back to why? Why no update?

   I can't help but feel it has something to do with cost. Are Motorola and Samsung not updating because it costs a lot of man hours to code a stable and working release? Of course the same can be asked of HTC (to a lesser degree) and the other smaller Android manufacturers like ZTE.

   At this point I have to praise LG and Sony (Ericsson). The former has promised to update it's Optimus line from 2010, despite their low-end 600Mhz processor. The latter has promised to update the whole of their 2011 line-up, both of these are great to hear and we really have to applaud the two companies for keeping their word.

   It seems that now would be a great point for Google to expand their Nexus line-up to about five or six devices a year, each of which is guaranteed an update to the latest OS, in the same vein that Microsoft does with the whole of their Windows Phone devices. It's good to hear rumours suggesting this may become a reality later this year because manufacturers have to realise people expect their expensive devices to be supported for the length of their contracts! The reality is this is not too much to ask, even for a 'lower-end' £200 device.

   The conclusion here is that to guarantee your device will be supported for the length of your contract you have to choose a flagship device or go with a Nexus phone. You have to remember Apple can support all of their devices because they create the software in house and only have one version of each device to support. Perhaps this is a direction more companies should head, given the success Samsung has had with their one-a-year Galaxy series, which has proved insanely popular. Either way, if you take a two-year contract, have a long hard think about which device you choose with it and remember you may have to accept the software it launches with for the length of your contract, but make sure you're comfortable with it. But, remember worst case, you can hide your outdated version of Android with a new launcher!!!


HTC planning a Tizen powered device for 2012.

   Since the departure of Nokia from their ex-partner Intel, their love child, Meego, was expected to be somewhat neglected. But, it wasn't long before Samsung, amongst many others, picked up the buck and started building Tizen. 

   The news here is that HTC will be releasing a phone at some point in 2012 running the software. This is great news for the platform, especially if the rumours that Asus and Acer will be creating phones running this software too before the end of the year pan out. It's become apparent that the platform has been gaining a lot of support from elsewhere too, with the Tizen Association board members now featuring NTT docomo, Orange, Vodafone, SK Telecom, NEC, Panasonic and Telefonica, amongst others. 

   It looks like Windows Phone may very well have a serious challenger for Third spot in the mobile world if the companies follow through on their word!

In other news:

  • Apple has once again filed for a ban of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in America, so much for sitting down and talking it out eyyy Apple?
  • Foxconn has announced they're spending $210million on a new production line for Apple products.
  • Microsoft has unleashed an updated SDK for Kinect on Windows, it's now version 1.5 of the SDK.
  • Facebook shares are already down to $33.60 per share, it's harsh to call this bad news, but the Facebook bubble hasn't been quite as huge as expected.
  • HTC has been able to trickle some of their devices out today after they were halted by US customs for infringing on dialer patents. The issues have since been addressed but the hold up is because every device has to be checked to prove it's bee updated, which as you can imagine is quite a slow process.
  • Samsung's S-voice apk has recently been leaked by XDA developers but Samsung and Vlingo have teamed up to stop you using it unless you really are rocking a Galaxy S3, sorry guys.
  • Google Chrome is once again the world's most popular browser and this time it'll probably stick!
  • And finally Happy 7th birthday Youtube! You have revolutionised our online experience!

Saturday 19 May 2012

Will there be an all in one device?

   So if you're a proper techie you probably have at least three of the following; a MP3 player, a GPS, a digital camera, a mobile, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop or a home server.

   But, how many of these do you actually need? I was thinking about this because on the train this weekend I saw tablets, lots of tablets, well more specifically lots of iPad's. You know them business types with their iPad's who obviously aren't working, but are playing Temple Run, while speaking to their boss on the phone. I felt a bit out of place with my Tablet S, but I did see the guy opposite puzzling over my device because he didn't know what it was.

   I listened to music through my tablet, as did the guy opposite. One guy, to my left, was watching a film on his tablet and there was a few people listening to music through their phones, mainly iPhones. So I got thinking, are MP3 players dead? I didn't see a single soul with an iPod touch or a Sony Walkman, it was just phones, tablets and one guy with his laptop for the long journey.

   I can see the draw of Tablets for the journey; you can game, watch a movie, listen to music or browse the internet whilst on the train (you could also work too!), so whatever you need to do the tablets have got you covered, but you can't really properly work and word process on them and you also need to have your phone sitting next to you. I felt a bit silly because I had my tablet, phone and a magazine sitting on a limited space in front of me, yes I was using all three at once (texting, music and reading). Then I was thinking 'why can't I do all of this from one device?'.

   There must be a way to incorporate text messaging into a tablet so that while I'm sitting down I can leave my phone in my pocket and the messages come through on my tablet instead. There might be a way to do this already because I know Pre's and Touchpad's can do this already, but I'm an Android guy!

   I just think it would be good for Android to incorporate this sort of cross-device support. It's just useful and if WebOS saw this ages ago there's no reason why the world's most popular mobile OS can't do this! So come on Google whip out tablet-to-phone support, even if you don't make a Galaxy Note-esque Phablet!!!! I just want to be able to do everything from one device at one time so we don't have to look like a silly show-off! This is the best we can hope for at the moment I think, connected devices are great!

   One day I think there will be an all-in-one device, but that's the future and that's something I covered here, it will happen, one day!

Friday 18 May 2012


Facebook sued for $15billion.

   Today Facebook shares started at $42 a share and maybe they'll head South at the news that people across the US of A are suing them for a total of $15billion.

   The reason for that lawsuit, which was filed in California, is that apparently Facebook violated theur own privacy policy by tracking users internet trawling. This one suit involves 21 confident individuals and their representative had this to say;

“This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications,” David Straite, a partner at Stewarts Law.

   I think their point is fair enough but Germany has had problems with Facebook's privacy policy so this is nothing new at all.

In other news:

  • Verizon is ending Grandfathered unlimited data plans, but it seems there are ways to hold onto your unlimited data (which is a good idea!). The best way is to keep your contract and buy a new phone yourself, which should save you money all in, over the two years of your contract!
  • Diablo servers have gone down today!
  • Nokia is burning through their cash reserves too quickly apparently. The company had this to say; “Nokia is implementing a decisive action plan to position our company for future growth and success. The main focus of these actions is on lowering the company’s costs, improving cash flow and maintaining a strong financial position.”
  • Microsoft has said that their Windows Phone users who haven't yet updated to Mango they will be cut off from the Marketplace unless they get their phone updated to the latest version.
  • Angry Birds 'Heikki' will be landing soon with a few F1 themes to boot.
  • Samsung has chalked up 9million pre-orders of their Galaxy S3!

Wednesday 16 May 2012


Facebook advertising set to plummet?

   That smile on the face of Mr. Mark Z, may not be there for too much longer if analysts have called things correctly. GM has today announced they will not be advertising on the website any more, effectively ending their $10million ad campaign because it has had little or no effect on customers. A Forrester analyst has stated that "Facebook often stands directly in the way of marketers’ efforts to measure the performance of their programs”. That is the claim of Nate Elliott, and it may very well be a fair comment because Facebook has always struggled to monetize its business.

   So much so that in  2011 Facebook struggled and only just made under $4 in ad revenue per active user. Similarly, the site’s mobile userbase has grown rapidly in the past year, but Facebook is still struggling to figure out a way to successfully monetize these new people accessing it on phones and tablets.

   This quote from Mr. Elliot essentially sums up the situation very well:

   “One global consumer goods company told us recently that Facebook was getting worse, rather than better, at helping marketers succeed... And companies in industries from consumer electronics to financial services tell us they’re no longer sure Facebook is the best place to dedicate their social marketing budget – a shocking fact given the site’s dominance among users.”

In other news:
  • Scientists have today announced that they think dinosaurs suffered arthritis in the same way mammals do today.
  • Google Music has a 10 device limit as reviewers and coders have been finding is a significant issue, hopefully Google can find a way around this.
  • The Wall Street Journal expects the iPhone to have a minimum of a 4" screen but only time will tell.
  • HTC Amaze 4G ICS update due May 21st.
  • The BBC has announced they will make every single minute of the Olympics available online.
  • Apple has today been rumoured by Digitimes to have taken their chip orders elsewhere and the markets have reacted today wiping of $10billion from Samsung's value. This is how much rumoured affect big business and if the rumours are true then this is a pointer as to how much Apple and Samsung are interlinked in terms of their production lines.

Tuesday 15 May 2012


   Hi guys unfortunately for the next couple of days I will only be able to write the news in brief because I have taken one of my hands out of action through a kitchen incident (you can imagine) so I'm under strict orders not to move that hand at all if possible. I'm really sorry guys! I will do my level best to make it up to you with some sort of good review and a lot of editorials in the near future. I do have some planned now Uni is finished for summer. But, alas here is the news from today;

The news in brief:
  • It has today been rumoured that Google may be planning on launching as m,any as 5 Nexus devices running Android 5.0. The Wall Street Journal's sources claim there will be a solid mix of phones and tablets. We expect to learn more at Google I/O in June.
  • Unsurprisingly Apple has come out on top of a US customer satisfaction poll, but I do think Apple needs to increase the size of their phones because peoples eyes are starting to turn!
  • Apple is still facing trial Down under despite renaming the new iPad as the 'iPad + Cellular'.
  • Sony and Panasonic are reportedly in talks to strike a deal on OLED screen production.
  • The LG Optimus 4X HD will be hitting Europe in June!
  • After amusement last week when Siri on the iPhone produced results like the Nokia Lumia 900, Apple seems to have not seen the amusing side and the answers are now amended to read either 'You're holding it' or 'Wait there are other phones?'. Ohhh well it was fun while it lasted!
  • Finally, Virgin Atlantic are gearing up to offer their customers Cellular service whilst on their Transatlantic adventures!

Monday 14 May 2012


New Macs on the way!

   Apple have, according to 9-5 Mac, plans to refresh their laptop offerings in June this year. But, they also promise a few adjustments too! The power button will be removed, moved instead to the keyboard as it is on the case with the current MacBook Airs. The design will stay the same, with the usual array of MagSafe ports, ThunderBolt ports, and an SD card reader.

   Apple will also supposedly introduce a Retina display with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, something which has been expected for a while. Cupertino has been adding high-resolution graphics into Lion and Mountain Lion in preparation, with insiders claiming the new display is “jaw-dropping” and “definitely the most important Mac innovation in years.” The sharpness and clarity of the display is said to be similar to that of the Retina displays found on the iPhones and new iPad.

   There will also reportedly be USB 3.0 support, despite Apple previously dismissing the technology. But, it is rumoured to feature alongside the Thunderbolt port. Software strings that have appeared in Mountain Lion back up this info, with suggestions that there will be 5Gbit/s transfer speeds across the USB 3.0 port. 9to5Mac report that Apple has been testing the technology for a while, but the new MacBook Pro will be the first time example of the technology because of native Ivy Bridge support.

   Finally, it hasn’t been confirmed what GPU will found within the new MacBook Pro, references to the NVIDIA GT 650M have been found in Mountain Lion. It would be a marked departure fromfrom AMD, who have offered mobile GPUs for the last few generations of MacBook Pros and iMacs. Ivy Bridge chips will mainly be quad-core i7 offerings.

Desire C revealed in all its low-spec glory.


   The picture above is what we previously knew as the HTC Golf, but now the HTC Desire C has manifested itself via the Vodafone Portugal catalogue with clear mid-range specs. There’s a 600Mhz processor, a 3.5″ 320×480 pixel screen, 4GB of internal memory, a 1230MaH battery and a 5 megapixel camera. Powered by Android Ice Cream Sandwich it has all the usual connectivity, GPS and sensors. 

   You do have to say this is a distinctly One Series looking device nonetheless and we expect all of this can be yours for well under £200 when it becomes available soon! 

In other news:

  • Apple Mac stock dips in advance of a Retina display packing refresh!
  • Apple have accused Samsung of deleting vast swathes of evidence which was vital to their current patent disputes.
  • The US Senate has agreed to look at the issue of browser choice on the forthcoming Windows RT.
  • Apple are seeking advice from Kaspersky on how to deal with their recent malware problems.
  • Nvidia has bought 500 wireless patents.
  • Samsung are using David Beckham for their Olympic advertising.

Sunday 13 May 2012

100th Post!

100th post!

  Yes it's late on a Sunday evening and well that means there's not too much news. I'm just sorting out how much each of myself and my friends needs to set up to pay each month for our university next year, fun!

   But, I noticed I was on 99 posts and I thought I might go ahead and make it a nice 100! But, writing the blog has been great fun, I will keep going and I will continue to obsess over my stats!

   I would just like to say whatever part of the world you'are in, thank you for reading and go ahead and download the Android app on the right hand side!!!

   Other than that the only news today is that Apple has decided to rename the iPad + 4G, as the iPad with Cellular in everywhere outside the USA so there shall be no more confusion!!!

Friday 11 May 2012


Samsung announces Omnia M.

   After very limited success with Windows Phone Samsung still hasn't chosen to give up. Instead they've chosen to compete with the likes of the Nokia Lumia 710. As you can see from the picture above, it's a very generic Samsung design; square and curvy.

   The specifications of this device are quite interesting because it's neither here nor there really; there's a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a WVGA resolution, single-core 1Ghz processor, 384MB of RAM, five megapixel camera with LED flash and a front facing camera, with 4GB of internal memory, all powered by a 1500Mah battery to keep you going all day. The device is currently running Windows Phone 7.5. There's also the usually assortment of connections; HSPA up to 7.2Mbit/s, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and A-GPS.

In other news

  • Samsung are testing Super Amoled HD Plus displays (of the non-pentile variety) on their Tizen developer device.
  • Baidu cloud is set to launch as a competitor to Android and iOS in China next week. The company is also 'in talks' for a wider launch around the world.
  • There's an Avengers video game heading to the Wii U and Xbox 360!

Thursday 10 May 2012


Microsoft courting Facebook for potential Windows Phone powered device.

    Ok, so I made a right meal of that title, but it's the best way to describe the situation here. An 'insider' has today announced that Microsoft are trying their best to convince Zuckerberg & Co. to  created a Facebook phone.

   They want Facebook to create a heavily skinned version of Windows Phone and Microsoft are hoping to leverage their connections with OEM's to give them the best design for a future Facebook phone.

   Right now the timing seems perfect to release a Facebook phone because the company currently struggles to monetize its huge reach, what better way than with their very own phone.

In other news:

  • T-Mobile USA finally has some good news to announce today; they added 187,000 new subscribers in Q1.
  • ICS rolling out to UK Samsung Galaxy Note users!!!!!
  • The Motorola Droid Razr is now available in Blue.
  • The Nokia Lumia 900 is available in the UK, head over to your nearest Phones4U store.
  • Proview, the Chinese company with the iPad trademark in that country, is reportedly demanding $400million compensation from Apple, while Apple is prepared to offer $16million. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

Wednesday 9 May 2012


Flipboard for Android gently lifted from a Galaxy S3!

   The Samsung Galaxy S3 was meant to9 have one unique app all to itself when it launched. That app was meant to be the iOS smash hit, Flipboard. Unfortunately for Samsung some enterprising tech guy has managed to neatly nick the APK file from a Galaxy S3 and has uploaded it to XDA developers.

   The file has already been download 75,000 times so hot news travels fast in the tech world. If you need your copy of the file click here  and install the file in the normal way for apps from 'unknown sources'.
EA reassures doubters that there is still a future in Console gaming.

   Apparently there are those amongst us who have predicted the end of console gaming. I must say I'm not in that camp at all but for those of you who worry you won't ever see a Xbox 720 or PS4, EA Games is here to reassure you. 

   Today at CTIA they have compared the amount of time you spend on console versus mobile gaming and the results in the picture are above. Most people spend 45 minutes on console for every 15 they spend on their mobile gaming. Riccitiello expanded to say “YouTube didn’t destroy television and mobile gaming will not kill the console” .

   I personally can't see console ever losing to mobile but that might just be because I don't like playing games on diddy little screens. But, rest easy dear reader we have a few more years of consoles left in us!

In other news:

  • Rovio, the makers of the wildly popular Angry Birds games are announcing they have hit 1 billion downloads!!!
  • The HTC Evo LTE 4G is landing on May 18th for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
  • The wireless charging kit Samsung demoed at the launch of the Galaxy S3 won't be available until September the company announced today. We can therefore expect a frantic scramble for 3rd party options so don't be too disheartened.

Tuesday 8 May 2012


Nokia announces exclusive apps for their Lumia series.

   Want a Windows Phone? Need a tiny bit more convincing to choose that over the already outdated Android alternative? Then Nokia has a little promotion that might somehow catch your attention.

   The company is offering PGA Tour, Groupon and Angry Birds-themed content all of which will be exclusives for between 3 and 6 months with the exception of Angry Birds which will have content only for Lumia smartphones. There will also be Live Tiles sports scores, team-level panoramas, score/league/team personalization, and the inclusion of tennis, NASCAR and the 2012 Olympics to the existing ESPN app in Q3. The final exclusive which will last a year(!) is the AOL Entertainment Hub.

   These apps are dropping at different times too; PGA Tour will hit your device in July whereas the others won't arrive until autumn/fall. It's not that amazing but it's good to see Nokia working with software partners to offer something a little bit unique!

RIM announces more changes to big guns.

   RIM is obviously not content with the current line up of chief-'somethings' and today the have unveiled their two newest team members. They are Kristian Tear who is the Chief operation officer, and Frank Boulben will be the new chief marketing officer. The pair both have experience in the tech world before; Tear previously worked for Sony, where he had numerous appointments, the most notable being the Executive Vice President of Sony Mobile. Boulben conversely has experience at Lightsquared, where he was the Executive Vice President of Stategy, Marketing, and Sales.

   Only time will tell if these two have what it takes to help float RIM's sinking ship.

A full list of games for the Wii U leaks.
   Are one of them people who just cannot get enough of their Super Mario on their 3DS, my flat mate is, and when he gets back from football training he's sure going to be excited!

   The Wii U is expected to be revealed at E3 in time for a December release and if Blockbuster's inventory is to be believed here is a full list of titles for you to play from day one;

Aliens: Colonial Marines
Assassin’s Creed
Batman: Arkham City
Darksiders II
Dirt 3
Formula 1 All Stars
Game Party
Ghost Recon Online
Just Dance 4
Killer Freaks from Outer Space
Marvel Super Heroes
Metro: Last Light
Monsters Party
New Super Mario Brothers Wii
Ninja Gaiden 3
Rabbids Party Land
Raving Rabbids
Rayman Legends
Shield Pose
Splinter Cell 5
Sports Connection
Your Shape 2013

In other news;
  • The Kickstarter superstar the Pebble smartphone watch has reached $9million of pledges and the designers have planned an upgrade to Bluetooth 4.0 as a battery conserving measure.
  • Google's driveless cars are really starting to take off in the States and the company is now having near approval trials, but for the moment the cars still require drivers, you know, just incase, but watch out watch there's driveless cars about!!!!
  • If you live in the US of A you will soon have the qwerty Kyocero Rise and the waterproof Kyocero Hydro available on your local CDMA carrier of choice. These two are budget options, but they look pretty good nonetheless.
  • Orange have said the Intel power 'Orange Santa Clara' will pop up on your local store shelf 'imminently'.
  • Samsung has a Tizen developer model available for any dev who needs some incentive to make some apps for Tizen.

Monday 7 May 2012


Apple rolling iOS 5.1.1.

    Apple have today released a new update to their mobile operating system. The screenshot above from Slashgear details all the main modifications and enhancements.

    The only thing to bear in mind is that the update is pegged at 189mb of data so make sure to switch to Wifi if you can!

Verizon announce the Droid Incredible 4G LTE.

   Verizon customers you now have your versions of HTC's One Series and it arrives with the beautifully awkward name of the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE.

   The stats are all what we would expect from this time of year; an 8MP camera, 1.2Ghz Snapdragon S4, 8GB of internal memory which is MicroSD expandable and the only slight disappointment is the qHD 4 inch LCD display. In essence this is Verizon's version of the HTC One S.

   The phone launches with ICS and Sense 4.0 with the other little enhancements of NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and HDMI out via an MHL converter.

In other news:
  • The mobile game Draw Something has started purging users after it's acquisition by Zynga which has made shareholders tetchy. 
  • A Brazilian clothes retailer has started linking electronic hangers to the amount of likes the product receives on Facebook, so you can get the approval of your peers before you splash the cash.
  • Apple has offered to resettle with Chinese company Proview, so I'll keep a eye on how this goes.
  • Get your Xbox 360 for $99 with a $15 a month subscription which gives you Gold membership for 2 years.

Friday 4 May 2012


Samsung looking to go on a spending spree!

  Samsung have just yesterday announced their new flagship the Galaxy S3. But the company is not content with their current arrangements and they do have a bit of cash to splash.

   Their mobile president J K Shin has today told the Wall Street Journal that ”There is something in the works right now”, when asked about the prospect of acquisitions. He refused to name any names as we expected but he pointed to the new software focus and the things they've introduced, like eye-tracking, in the Galaxy S3 because they are keen to extend their capabilities.

   “The technology industry is growing very quickly and it is too much of a burden to try to do everything in-house,” Shin reportedly explained continuing to highlight how “there are many qualified workers from India that are very skilled in software. And there are small companies that we can acquire that have good research and development capabilities … If the opportunity allows, we will do [mergers & acquisitions].”

   This all seems to be part of Samsung's shift to creating their own individual and unique offering in terms of software and they look to be very much on the right track. Shin was very quick to re-emphasize that Samsung are not interested in RIM's Blackberry department for purchase so stop thinking it... Stop it!

Samsung preparing a Windows Phone version of the Galaxy S3.

   Ok, so it's been less than a day since the Galaxy S3 was announced and both of the stories here today make reference to it, but if this picture above is to be believed it looks as though Samsung is taking their new design style across to Windows Phone too with this reportedly new 'Mandel' device set to land on AT&T to compete with the Lumia 900. 

   I'll keep you updated on this one!

Are all iPad 2's made equally?

   If you bought an iPad 2 back last year you'd fully expect to get exactly the same device then as you would now. But, no Apple has sneakily improved the battery life of the iPad with a newer A5 processor built on the 32nm manufacturing process. 

   Essentially the real life improvement you'll see here is only in terms of battery life and it'll be about a 10-13% battery life increase, so nothing spectacular but notable nonetheless. 

   The only issue is there's no way of knowing from the outside of the box whether you're getting a new model or old model but all the new ones will be with this new processor so maybe hold off for a month until the old stock clears out! 

In other news:

  • Samsung have finalized their plans for the Tab 10.1 V2. It will have a monster 7000MaH battery along with a 10.1 1280x800 LCD screen and a dual-core TI OMAP4 processor. Naturally it will land with ICS and is a decidedly mid-range offering. But, if it floats your boat it's up for pre-order right.... now!
  • Nokia shareholders are suing the Nokia Executives for leading them into Windows Phone without the right intentions for the company. This could be an interesting case aboard this sinking behemoth.

Why can't unlimited be unlimited?

Why can't unlimited be unlimited?

   Now I am not sure if this is the case in your part of the world but here in the UK we have a problem and it seems to revolve around the meaning of the term 'unlimited'. Some companies like to slap unlimited on something they sell when in fact their is a fair usage policy attached and I must say now it is not T-Mobile who are exclusively the issue here. Actually every provider apart from Three and some of the MNVO's are the problem.

   On my own contract I get 900 Minutes, Unlimited texts and Unlimited Data. Yes, the texts are unlimited, I am allowed to use as many texts as I can muster. But, the Data has a little star next to it which leads me to the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions reads with words to the effect of 'you can browse web pages and receive emails as much as you want a month' (my synthesis not an actual quote) but, with regards to streaming I have a 'fair usage limit' of 500MB a month and I get a warning at 75% of this limit and when I get to 100% I have my streaming ability effectively removed unless I switch to Wifi, which is what they recommend I do.

   Now, I don't mean to be pedantic here but the dictionary definition of 'unlimited' is:

  • not limited;  unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
  • boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.     (Via

   Yes, I probably am being silly here but this really bugs me. Apple have been in the news lately for their use of 4G in iPad advertising when it is not capable of 'doing' that, so why should this be any different?

   The reason I bring this up is because today I was looking for broadband for my house that I will be moving into in July and T-Mobile have started offering what is essentially Orange broadband as of today. I looked at their deal, it is and I quote;

Broadband & Anytime Calls

great for staying connected anytime with unlimited internet and calls
  • a month
  • for T-Mobile customers*
  • plus £13.50 line rental

   I would just like to highlight the fact it says 'unlimited internet and calls'. Yes so without limits there is no star there on 'unlimited' but their is a link at the bottom of the webpage which says 'the legal stuff you need to know' and as a force of habit I had a look. This is what it says;

"You can call for up to one hour, redial as often as you like and calls are subject to our fair use policy of 1000 minutes a month."

    It appears this isn't unlimited either!

   To be fair to T-Mobile, because I am picking on them quite a lot here, most providers have some sort of statement like this, but this whole 'fair usage' thing really, really annoys me. I don't understand why companies can't just tell the truth with their products? How hard is that and also, I have to question why Ofcom hasn't done something about this already!

   Now these are just my views and shouldn't be taken as any more than that, but people should be told what they are getting upfront, we should not be lied to.

   I would like to leave on a positive because there is at least one company who tells you what you're actually getting and they are Three UK. They don't do 'Unlimited' contracts because they noticed what I have. They offer people 'All you can eat data' so you can use as much as you want in any way you want to. They don't do 'unlimited texts' they do a maximum of 5000. They don't do 'unlimited minutes' they do a maximum of 2000. They don't lie to their customers any more. Way to go Three!!!!!

These are just personal opinions and should only be treated as such!


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