Friday, 31 May 2013

Asus announce 31.5" 4K IGZO TV!

   At the moment televisions tend to have a maximum resolution 1920 x 1080p, which is sharp and makes things look good. The future though will be stepping things up a lot. Asus are one of the first people out of the blocks with a well sized display with the new 4K, that's 3840 x 2160p resolution across a 31.5-inch monitor.

   That will give you a PPI of 140 and the IGZO panel will give great colours and has four times the pixels which should make everything look absolutely fantastic. The monitor is also super skinny coming in at 3.5cm at the thickest point and there's the benefits of DisplayPort and the US models will offer dual-HDMI ports inputs with Picture-by-Picture support. Speakers will be good too with built-in 2W stereo speakers and there will be wall-mount options, full height, swivel, and tilt adjustments here too, hopefully you won't need to use these swivels too much because there's 176 degree viewing angles at the moment!
Hexus and Asus Via Engadget.

In Other News: 31/05/2013.

  • O2 have confirmed that their customers will lose access to BT's Wireless Hotspots come the end of June, as O2 look to build out their own WiFi network which currently has 8,000 hotspots in it.
    Via AndroidCentral.
  • As you can see in the tweet below, Sky's app are back on Google Play!

  • Spotify have updated their Android app and it now features landscape support amongst a couple of other things!

  •  EE have now rolled out their 4G network in Ashton-under-Lyne, Chatham, Gillingham, High Wycombe, Merthyr Tydfil, Oldham, Oxford, Rochester, Runcorn, Sale, Stafford and Wigan! The coverage now reaches more than half the population and the guys are aiming for 98% coverage by the end of the year!
    Via AndroidCentral
  • Virgin are readying their second SuperHub which is said to offer the fastest connections of any home broadband hub from the providers at the moment. The hub can manage maximum 5GHz speeds of 450Mbps and it's about 150Mbps faster than BT's upcoming Home Hub 4.
    Via PocketLint.
  • EA have started cutting back their 'Online Pass' system which required players of second hand games to pay extra to us the game online. The reason is because players have responded so negatively to the payments and the update will cover all consoles!
    Via Slashgear.
And finally, Talk Talk have confirmed that they have scrapped traffic shaping on their network and their broadband is now 'totally unlimited. They guys said:
 "Last year we scrapped download limits on Essentials and as of May 13, have made our network totally unlimited by removing the limited traffic management policy that we had in place. This means that our customers will never be slowed down, even at peak times, and is part of our ongoing investment in our network. TalkTalk customers can now enjoy the UK's best value totally unlimited broadband."
Via Recombu.

Intel processors to power Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1?

   Intel are still trying to crack the mobile market and with PC sales dwindling quite quickly Intel are in a ittle bit of a hurry. This makes the reports from the internet that Intel are going to partner with Samsung to put their processors inside the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 a lot more interesting.

   This rumour has been circling around for quite a while now, but Reuters has chipped in with their take on the situation and they're reporting that a Clover Trail+ processor will be used in "at least one version" of the new Galaxy Tab 3 10.1! At the moment through Reuters aren't sure whether or not there will be multiple variants of this device and it's possible that Samsung will want to put some of their own silicon in one of the versions.

   What's especially interesting here though is that the Korea Times have said that Intel have bumped heir Korean based staff numbers from a mere six people last year to somewhere in the region of fifty at present to help with the new Samsung partnership.

   It'll be interesting to see whether or not an Intel powered Samsung tablet pops up in a couple of weeks in London when Samsung hold their 'Premiere 2013' event and Reuters think that there will be an Atom-powered Ativ tablet on show there!
Reuters and KoreanTimes Via AndroidBeat.

Oppo said to bring the Ulike 2S to market with a great 'selfie' camera!

   Oppo's flagship the Find 5 has recently come to Europe at very reasonable prices and that is a very popular phone in its own right. Oppo though have got grander aims than just one successful phone and that's why we've got this picture of a supposedly updated device which is aimed squarely at women.

   The image above is meant to be a picture of the Oppo Ulike 2S which is a device aimed squarely at women. That's an interesting market because you would assume that they don't have quite as big hands as their male counterparts, but Oppo have decided to go for a 5.5" 720p display on this device. There's also meant to be a pair of excellent cameras on this device: the front one is set to be 5MP, while the rear-facer is set to be 8MP. The whole device is said to be powered by a 3000mAh battery and it's meant to have dual-SIM support.

   At the moment the rumour mill doesn't know when this will launch or how much it will cost, but we doubt this thing will leave China!
CNMO (1), (2) and (3) Via UnwiredView.

Bloomberg say HTC cancel 12" Windows RT plans, 7" version still good to go!

   Bloomberg are reporting today that HTC have scrapped plans for a 12" Windows RT tablet for later this year, wiht the lack of demand for Microsoft's Windows RT being cited as one of the the key reasons and the other being the cost of the device, which would make it too undesirable. It's interesting though that Bloomberg still believe that HTC will be making a smaller 7" Windows tablet  running RT.

   The larger of the two tablets was said to be too much of a risk as HTC are still coming to terms with their recent slide in sales and a 12 inch device would be too expensive in terms of components and the cost to customers was said to have been too high to shift the amount HTC would have needed too. Those aren't issues with the 7" tablet which is meant to be available around September or October according to the report.

   Bloomberg did say that Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors will be inside the new 7" tablet and other than that we don't really know very much at all, because this is all speculation really. We do find it quite interesting that HTC would opt to make a Windows tablet, given how popular Android tablets are comparatively. Let us know what you think on this rumour and what you'd like to see HTC produce!
Bloomberg via TheVerge.

CNet say Acer will produce an Android-powered All-In-One computer!

Acer Smart Display DA220HQL.
   Well we're not entirely sure what to say on this one, but the guys over at CNet are reporting that they believe there will be a new All-In-One computer from Acer which will run Android on a brand new Intel Haswell Core-i5 4430 clocked at 3GHz.

   Obviously we've been hearing a lot about how unpopular Windows 8 has been, despite the update to WIndows 8.1 being announced yesterday, it's still not known whether this will help turn the platform around. So Acer are planning on ditching Microsoft's OS all together and going with Android instead according to CNet. This is something which Acer have tried before through their 21.5-inch ARM-powered Smart Display DA220HQL, which you can see above, but we've not seen Android running on anything as powerful as Intel's i5 processor before!

   If CNet are correct then the new All-In-One will be a lot cheaper than its contemporaries because Acer won't have to pay the licensing fee for Windows 8 and theoretically this could see the device land with that i5 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM cost somewhere in the region of $400.

   Those specs seem somewhat undercooked and we'd be really surprised if that was right, but it'd be interesting to see if Android can really make the step up to a full operating system!
Via CNet.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Nook Simple Touch - First Impressions.

   Some of your guys out there might have been able to snag one of Nook's Simple Touch devices the first time they went on sale here in the UK. Unfortunately, we had a small nightmare with our order: we'll save the story for another day, but suffice it to say that we won't be ordering anything direct from Nook again.

   Thankfully though, we managed to get our hands on a couple of these budget eReaders, they turned up this morning and we've literally got them out of the box and we've stuck them on charge, so we're in a pretty good position to offer some first impressions.

   As you can see in the image at the top of the page the Simple Touch comes in some nice, simple packaging. The section on the left of the image above is the sleeve which wraps around the section on the right which is home to the eReader itself.

   Once you lift up the flap you're greeted by the Simple Touch itself, as you can see in the image to the right. The message which is on the screen is just a warning, in various languages, telling you to make sure that you charge the device's battery to full as soon as you get it. A key component of the charging procedure will be the cable which you use to do that and unfortunately Barnes and Noble have followed Amazon's lead and they've opted to just give you a usb cable to charge the device from your computer.

   That's exactly what we tried to do and well it simply didn't work. The device was stuck on a low battery eave plugged in for 15 minutes warning screen for about 2 hours before we got bored and plugged in our phone charger and surprise, surprise the eReader turned right on. Because of that we might recommend using your phone charger on the eReader if you have the same issue.

   Other than charging everything was painless, you connect the device to your wifi much like you would any other tablet or phone and then you have to log into your Nook account to get everything up and running. We'll give you more of a run down in our full review in the coming weeks.

   Something which struck us from the moment we took the device out of the box was how chunky this device is compared to a Kindle, when you take into account the price of this device though, it's a sacrifice which isn't too bad as you can see below. On the plus side though the plastic construction is nice and there's not really much chance of you accidentally dropping this device. 

   One thing which immediately stands out is that the screen is slightly recessed so we can see that getting dirty and dusty pretty quickly, but we'll let you know whether that happens in our full review! Check out the images down below to see how the device looks!

   If you still haven't picked one up and you're quick you can still get them from Argos here for £29!


In Other News: 30/05/2013.

  • Infinity Ward have confirmed that they are going to leave the Modern Warfare series behind them and they want to create a new universe around CoD Ghosts!
    Via GamesIndustry.
  • Shazam has come to Windows Phone 8 and there's some sweet features in this version too! The app gives you access to Xbox Music and free unlimited tagging!
    Via Engadget.
  • The UnwiredView are reporting that Apple may be working on an feature very similar to Samsung's Smart Stay feature which keeps the screen on if the camera detects that you're looking at the screen!
  • TalkTalk mobile have started offering the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite along with various smartphone contracts as of today! The cheapest deal nets you a phone and the tablet for £15 a month over 24 months, but you can check out full details here!
    Via PocketLint.
  • Microsoft have released an update to their Windows Phone sync app for computers. The update brings with it expanded podcast support, simplified update notifications, flexible library selection for syncing files and tonnes of bug fixes. If you're interested then you can get it here!
    Via Slashgear.
  • According to PhoneArena there are currently more sales of the Blackberry Q10 in France compared to any other smartphone! Head over to their site to see more explanations.
  • It's official Sony are finally rolling out that Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update to French Sony Xperia S'! We also spotted the tweet below from SonyMobileNews which suggests that there's more than just the Xperia S getting the update!
    Via XperiaBlog.
  • LG and Google's Nexus 4 is now available via the Play Store in South Korea!
    Via AndroidPolice.
And finally if you want to get your new GMail tabbed inbox online head to the settings option and hit the 'configure inbox' button! This will update your layout! MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien was the man behind this tip, but we can't seem to find where he said it! If we do we'll update the post!

Google's Sundar Pichai says the Nexus programme will go on, Guest modes for Android is important and explains the Windows Phone YouTube app issues!

   Google's Sundar Pichai is the man in charge of both of the Android and Chrome divisions at Google and he is also in charge of Google's Chrome operation too. That was why the honour of confirming the HTC One Google Edition fell to him earlier on today and that announcement together with the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 have had people wondering about the future of the Nexus program.

   Turns out we shouldn't be worried because Pichai said today at the D11 conference that these Google Edition devices are similar to the Nexus program, but they're not the same:
"The goal with Nexus was to push forward hardware with partners. That will continue as well."
So theoretically that means we will still have hardware which will be sold at cost from Google and their partners in the coming months!
   It's not just the hardware which Google are working on at the moment either with Pichai revealing that software enhancements are the order of the day too. Google are said to be looking for ways in which Chrome-like privacy can be brought to their Android operating system.
"When we did Chrome, we invested in incognito mode. Now you can do that on the phone [through the Chrome app]... You're completely not signed-in, and we don't know anything about you. We do want more things like that, though. From a security, child safety, etc. standpoint. Chrome OS lets you be a guest user. We're working on things like that on Android."
   There was also a mention of the hoohar which Google and Microsoft have had lately over the lack of an official YouTube app from Google for the Windows Phone platform! The reason Google haven't made an app already is said to be down to a lack of "a critical mass of users... It's simply a function of reach," and instead Google were hoping originally that Windows Phone users could enjoy the "great HTML5 experience," which YouTube offers.
Via AllThingsD, PocketLint and TheVerge.

HTC confirm the One Google Edition!

   It's finally here, HTC have confirmed the Google Edition of their flagship device, the One. This is an interesting proposition because you get HTC's design language with Google's almost instantaneous updates, but unlike the Nexus devices this one isn't cheap!

   Obviously this is the same HTC One we know and love on the outside and parts of the inside, but HTC Sense and all of the add-ons disappear and instead they're replaced by stock Android. What's interesting about this, as HTC's Jason Dunn says:
"Is what you don't get with it: no HTC Sense, no Zoes, no BlinkFeed, no Video Highlights, no HTC Share, Living Gallery, no SenseTV, etc. The IR blaster hardware is there, but whether or not developers will be able to tap into it is an unknown right now. If having the latest version of Android is paramount to your very existence, well, you have your answer."
   At the moment it's the trade off between getting superfast updates or getting a slightly more rounded experience because things like Zoe and the IR blaster are actually nice additions to the handset!

   If you're not sure whether to go for the retail version of the HTC One which you can get from carriers, or whether to go for one of the developer or 'Nexus' versions then check out the picture below and compare it with your carrier of choice to make the right decision for you. Bear in mind buying the HTC One without a contract will require a hefty up front fee.

Click to enlarge.
   Just as before we know this will be coming to the US Play Store, but there hasn't been wider availability announced just yet! US residents can get the device from JUne the 26th for $599!
Via HTC Elevate.

Apple announce new 16GB 4" Retina-equipped iPod Touch!

   Today Apple have launched a brand new iPod Touch: it's a new 16GB model which effectively replaces the 4th generation which had 16GB of storage on board, which has been discontinued. This 16GB model is key to Apple because the 5th generation iPod Touch only has 32 or 64GB storage options and the smallest storage option is cheapest so probably sells the most!

    This new model features the new 4-inch Retina display, a nice and powerful dual-core A5 processor, and there's a front-facing FaceTime camera which is labelled as 'HD' but we're not sure if that's 720 or 1080p. All of this is crammed into the tiny 6.1mm-thick frame as the past generation.

   Obviously there's no rear camera on this device and Apple have decided to ditch the lanyard hook like before. The new 16GB variant will set you back $229 if you want black or silver colours and apparently it'll be in the mail within 24 hours! If you're interested in one then you can get one here!
Via TheVerge.

Huawei Ascend W2 leaked!

   Guess who's back yet again with another leak! Yeah that's right it's @EVLeaks yet again and this time the device is said the be the Huawei Ascend W2, a supposed successor to the Ascend W1 which launched a fair while back.

   The UnwiredView are saying that they expect this to be a really good little device and they think that it will land with:
  • 4.3” 720p HD IPS Touchscreen
  • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU
  • 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, HSPA+ support
  • 2,000 mAh battery
   If they're right then this is a solid mid-range phone and with Windows Phone 8 and it should be a relatively well priced handset as well! What do you think? The design language reminds us a bit of the Acer Iconia B1, but that's probably just because of the blue accent on the side! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Via UnwiredView and initially the tweet below:

YouView explain where they are: Android app, Internet television and how they're doing!

   YouView are a UK company which offer you subscription free TV and all you really need is to buy the box and hook it up to your internet and you're good to go. With such a simple solution it's not too much wonder than the  box is being labelled as the "fastest growing TV product in the UK."

   YouView's CEO, Richard Halton, said that the system s now live in more than 400,000 homes in the UK and about 2.2 million video streams are viewed each week. That includes an average of 3 hours of week of on demand TV per box and about 60% of the users make the most of the OnDemand services which are offered on the platform.  YouView don't have exact details on which providers offered how many of those boxes, but TalkTalk said that they've installed 230,000 so that means the rest are BT and other sales of the boxes.

   Halton was keen to emphasise that this is only a good start, he said:
"We are far from resting on our laurels … If launching was crossing the start line, this is the first marker."
   YouView have confirmed that there will be support for internet TV channels coming to their set top box! The company said that this will give the company a massive boost from their current line up of 70 live TV channels which they offer already. YouView did say that initially the TV channels will be offered through BT and TalkTalk so you'll need to be a customer of one of those companies initially and don't worry you can get both HD and standard definition TV shows from these providers.

   There will be a software update for the YouView boxes which will add in the availability this summer and the hope is that it will be ready for BT's new sports offerings! After this integrating update there will be another one in autumn this year which will add pause, skip and record features.

   YouView also confirmed where they are with their Android app. Obviously mobile devices are vital to television offerings these days and the company already has an app for iPhones out in the wild, but YouView have said that the Android app will have the exact same functionality as the iPhone app and it will be available in "the next couple of weeks". The app will be optimised for the Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Ace, Nexus 4 and HTC One S and it should work on any device with Android 2.3 or greater!

Via PocketLint (1), (2) and (3).

Motorola confirm the Moto X will be their new flagship: Produced entirely in the US!

   Overnight at the AllThingsD conference in the State, Motorola's Dennis Woodside confirmed that the company are rethinking how they're going to do things, whilst they try to recreate the company in Google's new mould!

   As part of that Woodside confirmed that Motorola's next flagship will be this much rumoured Moto X. The new smartphone will have been entirely designed, engineered and assembled in the USA! That's not a couple of the phones either that will be every one of the X's which is sold in America will come from the new assembly line in Fort Worth in Texas.

   According to Motorola:
"There were a few reasons why we decided to do this. There are several business advantages to having our Illinois and California-based designers and engineers much closer to our factory. For instance, we’ll be able to iterate on design much faster, create a leaner supply chain, respond much more quickly to purchasing trends and demands, and deliver devices to people here much more quickly. And as a part of Google we’re being encouraged to take big bets on things that make a difference."

   That doesn't mean that Motorola will be moving all their production to the USA, instead they're still keeping their partners at Flextronics so devices will still be built in China and Brazil.

   Motorola wrapped up their announcement with the line, "This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the mobile device industry. Our role in inventing the mobile phone is well known. We’re happy to be shaping its future as well." We'll have to see what this phone looks like when it finally lands, we're looking forward to seeing what Motorola are going to do next!
Motorola Via AndroidBeat.

Samsung finally announce the Galaxy S4 Mini: Mid-range awesomeness on the way!

   After all of the leaks, we can only assume Samsung has had enough as they've finally announced the the Galaxy S4 Mini and it's pretty much what we expect. It's a solid mid-range phone with everything which you would expect from a downgraded Galaxy S4!

   On the inside there's a solid 4.3-inch display with that much rumoured 960 x 540p qHD display. That will be backed up by dual-core processor clocked in at 1.7GHz and 1.5GB of RAM. The internal storage is 8GB and only about 5GB of that will be user accessible once all of Samsung's customisations are complete, thankfully there's also a microSD card slot. Those customisations will be Samsung's traditional Touchwiz enhancements on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The software won't be the only thing which will be filling up should satisfy most of your shooting needs!

   Samsung have treated future Galaxy S4 Mini users to some of the apps which the normal S4 has with the notable inclusions of camera editing features, S Voice, S Translator, GroupPlay and WatchOn, the last of which will make use of the built in infrared blaster! Other connections include WiFi a/b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0 and if you choose the LTE option then there will be NFC too!

   Talking of that LTE option there will in fact be three different builds of this phone. There will be standard 3G with quad-band GSM/EDGE and up to 21Mbps HSPA+ support, there's a dual-SIM version and finally there's the 4G option with 42Mbps HSPA+ and LTE support which will vary by market.

   At the moment we have no idea how much this will cost or when it will be here, but we expect that we'll have much more news on this device when Samsung hold their event on the 20th of June in London! Oh and the colour options are the lovely black and white hues which you can see above!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Google give their biggest hint yet that Android 4.3 is on the way in their new GMail ad!

   The announcement that there was a new GMail with a tabbed interface was only made a couple of hours ago and we covered in briefly here, but the super attentive eyes of Marques Brownlee have spotted that there is more in this little advert than first meets the eye!

   On a post over his G+ page Brownlee pointed out that the clock time used in various adverts in the past has pointed us to the version of Android which is running on the handsets in the video and today's GMail demo shows us something quite interesting. As you can see in the screenshot above the time comes up as 4:30 in the top right of the devices screen and Brownlee says that in:
"Android 2.3 Gingerbread videos use 2:30 as the time.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich videos use 4:00 as the time.
Android 4.1 Jellybean videos use 4:10 as the time.
Android 4.2 Jellybean videos use 4:20 as the time."
   So does this all mean that Android 4.3 is nearly upon us? Let us know if you think it's nearly here in the comments below! For those of you who want proof that the theory is true then here is a teaser of the Nexus 4 and as you can see the time is indeed 4:20, click to enlarge the picture!
Via Marques Brownlee G+

Click to enlarge.

Huawei post some interesting images of the Ascend P6 on Facebook! Tease new #AscendP6Story idea.

   Now the Huawei Ascend P6 hasn't even been made official yet, but Huawei have been incredibly leaky on this one and we've seen the device so many times that's it's no secret any more and we can see potential press images of the device in the latest leak which we covered here.

   But today Huawei have taken to their Facebook page today to promote the device and the images above and below are what they posted and they offered little commentaries along with them. The guys said:
"#Ascend P6 Story# We do everything to the fullest. The Huawei Ascend P6 challenges all phones to be the thinnest, smallest, and one of the most compact smart phones with a screen that can rival it's competitors. Care to guess how large the screen to body ratio is? Well on June 18th, Huawei will unleash an intimate experience to consumers."
    They also added:
"#Ascend P6 Story# We believe that upcoming release of the flagship Huawei Ascend P6 will WOW all consumers. Huawei used the best materials and components, did amounts of reliability testing and invested a lot into the Huawei Ascend P6. Consumers often can't imagine the amount of time and work it goes into creating such a phone. We never really had a chance to explain to the consumers that we are the best, but in fact let the phone sell itself."
   Obviously Huawei are proud of what they're doing with the P6 and it's something which they're hoping to make a little story out of!

Facebook (1) and (2) Via PocketLint.

In Other News: 29/05/2013.

  • Microsoft have connected up their Skype and "the enterprise richness of Lync" by allowing users to sign into Skype with their Microsoft account on Windows or Mac or merge their contact lists together onto Skype. At the moment you can use instant messaging and audio calling, but video calling will be coming in later!
    Skype Via Engadget.
  • Facebook have launched verified pages and profiles! More details at TheNextWeb here.
  • ZDNet are reporting that the upcoming Windows 8 start button will not bring up the traditional start menu, instead it could load the all apps page which you see on Windows 8 at the moment!
  • Microsoft's new Office 365 Home Premium edition has passed 1 million sales so far making it second only to Instagram to reach 1 million subscribers and obviously Instagram is free!
    MicrosoftBlog Via TheVerge.
  • It's rumoured that the PS4 could require the PS Vita as a compulsory remote!
    Via Slashgear.
  • Microsoft will be bringing their Surface Pro tablet to Japan on June 8th and it'll set you back either 99,800 yen ($975) for 128GB of storage or a brand new 256GB version will cost 119,800 yen ($1,175)!
    Via Engadget.
  • SwiftKey have released an update to their keyboard and some of the changes include fixes in the Samsung email app, Google Hangouts, personalisation and theme fixes for Android 2.1.
    Via Tweet below:

  • The hacking group Anonymous have published the names and addresses of various English Defence League (EDL) supporters online.
    Via Guardian.
  • Twitter for Android has been updated to version 4.1. The update brings with it a new composing window, richer notifications and a slight redesign.
    Via AndroidPolice.
  • Google are rolling out another update to the GMail inbox and the update will bring in a new interface with 5 tabs which will help to make sure your emails don't become over the top.
    Via Engadget.

And finally, Tim Cook spoke at D11 yesterday and while he didn't give much away it's still an interview with one of the most powerful people in the tech industry and you can check it out here!

Asus say 'parallel universes do exist' in their latest Computex teaser: Android and Microsoft dual-boots on the way?

   Asus are yet to really tell us too much about their new range of tablets this year. We know that there's the Asus Padfone Infinity on the way and we've already had the Fonepad released. 

   There's more on the way though and the company is expected to bring quite a few new devices to Computex in a couple of weeks! As part of the build up to that event Asus are releasing some teaser videos and we've already seen the first of these which you can see here, but today they've released the video below.

   So we've had a couple of looks at the video and it's fair to say that we're baffled, we haven't been able to spot any devices, but the purpose of the video seems to be to saying that 'parallel universes do exist'. That's interesting because in our minds that would mean something similar to the Padfone, which combines both mobile and tablets. We already know about the Padfone though, so perhaps this could be a Windows version of the phone, but we're not entirely sure how that would fit with Microsoft's current Windows offerings, but we'll have to wait and see!

[Update: We watched the video again and if you look closely when the lady looks into the binoculars each eye shows you the picture of the Android and Windows 8 homescreens, so it looks as though they're planning to offer a device which dual-boots Android and Windows!]

   If you notice something we haven't then let us know in the comments below!
Via Asus Twitter.

Samsung's ATIV S gets further price cuts in the UK as successor is expected soon!

   Samsung's Windows phones aren't necessarily as popular as their Android sisters, but that hasn't really meant that people have dropped the price on this ATIV S smartphone until recently. The reasons for the price drops lately seem to have been quite steep and we believe that has something to do with the event which Samsung are holding on the 20th of June.

   Samsung have promised to show off new Galaxy devices and a new ATIV options too and given that the ATIV S is over a year old now, it would make sense that companies are trying to cleat their inventory before a nice Windows Phone flagship lands!

   That's why you can pick the 16GB version of the ATIV S cheaply here in the UK at the moment. The device is currently available for £239.99 at Handtec and it's down to £244.99 at Expansys. Both of these are great prices and if you want a good phone at a reasonable price then this might be worth looking at!

EE announce new 30 SIM-only plans before rivals get 4G networks up and running!

   EE are still in the great and slightly unfair position of being the only company to offer 4G data in the UK because they made use of their existing spectrum to launch 4G a bit earlier than all of the other mobile networks in the UK, who had to wait for the 4G auction to secure some radiowaves.

   Until now EE have been a bit reluctant to offer short term SIM-only contracts, instead they've offered 12 month SIM-only contracts. As you can see from the image below EE have put a £2 premium on the monthly cost of these 30 day plans compared to their 12 month counterparts, but this could be a great option for anyone who doesn't want the long commitment of contracts!

Via Engadget.

Are these the specs for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini?

Click to enlarge.
   By now it's pretty clear that Samsung will be showing off a fair few phones at their event on the 20th of June in London. If the rumours are correct then one of those phones will be the Galaxy S4 Mini and it'll undoubtedly be a big seller because of the relatively low price and the obvious naming similarity to the bigger and considerably more powerful bigger brother.

   Now we've already seen 'leaks' which show what the phone could look like and today there's a new rumour that this device will be relatively powerful too. From the benchmarks above you can see that there is meant to be a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, an 8 mega-pixel rear camera and a 2.1 mega-pixel front option, which is said to be able to manage 1080p video

   There's also meant to be that qHD 960 x 540 p screen which will hopefully do Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean some justice. Hopefully we'll have a real confirmation for the device on June the 20th which isn't too long to wait really!
AllAboutSamsung Via Engadget.

Amazon announce new 'Log-In with Amazon' service!

   Amazon are already a huge company online and if you have one of their tablets then you're likely to be heavily invested in the company. So what's a logical step for a company with over 200 million customers? Well that's easy: a new log-in service for developers and other sites to integrate!

   That's exactly what Login With Amazon does: it gives you the opportunity to use the same username and password to join your central Amazon account across a variety of other services. Some of the clever places which are already making the most of this idea are Zappos and Woot and both of those sites have reportedly had up to 40% take up of Amazon log-in!

   Amazon have said that they're planning on making the most of the new service to help offer a complete ecosystem and it's a natural progression for the company in our eyes. Check out what Amazon are offering in the video and quote, both of which are embedded below!

"Login with Amazon is the latest offering in an array of services that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for developers building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games. These capabilities include:
  • The ability for app developers to use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) technology platform for their infrastructure needs. Building blocks such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon DynamoDB allow developers to focus on what differentiates their app rather than the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure.
  • GameCircle, which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync for syncing games across devices, and leads to better engagement with games.
  • In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and web-based games. This enables developers to offer items in their apps and games while allowing their end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.
  • A/B Testing, which helps developers improve app functionality with the ability to simultaneously test two different in-app experiences to determine which is more successful prior to launching to a broad audience.
  • Game Connect, which lets developers list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers, leading to increased monetization for developers.
  • Amazon AppStore submission for distribution to nearly 200 countries globally enables developers to reach millions of Amazoncustomers worldwide."
Amazon Via Engadget.

Pocket-Lint believe HTC will release a blue HTC One!

   The guys at Pocket-Lint have today posted a mock-up of a previously unseen blue version of the HTC One. We already know the company are working on a red version, which we've covered here, but we've never heard anything about the lovely blue hue which you can see in the image above!

   Pocket-Lint have said that the device is set to arrive in the coming months and it will have a nice blue hue, it's worth saying though that the image above from the guys isn't an actual picture of the device, instead it's just a mock-up which looks surprisingly convincing, but we would personally prefer a nice dark blue coating instead!

   The guys didn't know when the blue one will be available, but we would expect it to arrive relatively soon given that we're coming up to the phone being a quarter of the way through its first year of sales! Would you like a blue HTC One? Let us know in the comments below!
Via Pocket-Lint.

Samsung prepare to start an R&D lab in Espoo, Finland!

   Nokia were once the giants of the mobile market and they were once the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in both popularity and in sales. As a result Nokia used to have tonnes of employees and lots and lots of very intelligent people working at their company. In recent times though people have had to save money in Finland and the dwindling sales have taken their effect on the company.

   That's not gone unnoticed by other people in the mobile phone market and as such Samsung have decided to seize the opportunity and are looking to make the most of the people in Finland who're currently without jobs and that's why Samsung have announced that they're going to be opening an R&D lab in Espoo, Finland which is the exact same place where Nokia have had their HQ for years.

   Samsung's lab will open on the 13th of June and AndroidBeat's Stephan Constantine was one of the lucky few who got an invite to the launch event and here's what his invite said:
"I am delighted to inform you that Samsung Electronics, a global leader in mobile communication, digital media and convergence technologies, will open a Research & Development facility with a focus on advanced technologies.
Samsung Electronics’ vision is to “Inspire the World, Create the Future.” We are dedicated to developing innovative technologies and efficient processes that create new markets and enrich people’s lives and communities around the world. Our globally distributed R&D activities are fundamental to this and we are proud of the inspirational impact we make within our business.
The opportunity has now arisen for Samsung to establish our first R&D facility in the Nordics. We take this opportunity with great honour and with a sense of great excitement. In anticipation of future partnership, friendship and collaboration please join us to celebrate the opening of our newest global R&D facility.
Sincerely yours,
Dr. Yong-Suk Moon
President, Samsung R&D Institute UK"
   We're not sure what 'advanced technologies' Samsung plan to work on, but no doubt they'll be able to utilise some of Espoo's finest!
Via AndroidBeat.

Oppo extend their worldwide warranty to 2 years for their smartphones!

   Oppo are already well known for their great support in terms of software updates which they push out once every two weeks. Their phone has also received great reviews from around the web and the recent European release has prompted the company to extend their support to more than just the software department.

   Oppo have today announced that they will be giving all of their customers around the world a full two year warranty with their new Oppo Find 5 devices and all of their smartphones later on. This decision was in part due to the required two year warranty period in EU law, which the majority of companies tend to ignore anyway. The full announcement which was sent out via email can be found below:

"Dear Customer ,
We have decided to bump the warranty period on the smartphones we sell from one year to two years; for all our past, present and future customers. Globally.
When we launched Europe on Monday, a lot of European customers were confused as to why we only offered a one year warranty, while local European retailers were required by law to offer two years.
This misunderstanding stems from the fact that, although we sell in the EU and pay duties and taxes, we are not an EU company. Our company is registered in Hong Kong, where the law requires us to provide a one year warranty. However, we realize that in practice the exact legal status of our policies is not important.
As a company that’s in it for the long run, what’s important to us is that our customers are happy and have faith in our vision, products and service. Without support from our customers, we cannot possibly continue to grow.
Of course, it would be unfair to announce a two year warranty for Europeans while providing only one year to the rest of the world, which is why everyone can now enjoy our two year warranty policy. The first year is a manufacturer’s warranty provided by OPPO, while we at take care of the second year. The specifics of the second year warranty, i.e. whether we provide a repair, exchange, or other solution; will be dependent on the situation and what stock/spare parts we have available at that time.
Thanks for all the feedback. We hope that we can keep earning your support for years to come.

Sincerely, Team"

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Rumour: Mozilla and Foxconn to partner on a Firefox OS tablet?

   According to Reuters there is set to be a partnership between the huge manufacturer Foxconn (or HonHai) and the Mozilla foundation in a bid to create a new mobile device running the latter's Firefox operating system.

    There hasn't been any specific information on the news issued from a Mozilla spokesperson, but according to Focus Taiwan the device is quite likely to be a tablet and we'd be pretty excited if this rumour does turn out to be true. That would mean that Mozilla's new OS could, assuming they can offer a good tablet interface, could be seen by OEM's as a compelling new operating system for their mobile devices.

   Obviously, Foxconn and Mozilla declined to comment when asked about the statement by Reuters, but
it's quite well known that Foxconn want to look at ways of generation more revenue and trying to find ways to diversify from their reliance on producing Apple's products. That means Foxconn could be looking at producing the tablet for Mozilla which would help them secure the higher margins which they want.

   In case you haven't seen any of the devices running Firefox OS then head over here and have a little look at all of the devices which there are! We expect there to be many more added in the coming months!
Via Reuters and FocusTaiwan.

In Other News: 28/05/2013.

  • A rumour has emerged today about the next Galaxy Note device. The device is rumoured to arrive with a 13-megapixel camera which could feature optical image stabilization and a 3x optical zoom. We're not sure how accurate these rumours are, but Samsung like to build on what they do with the Galaxy S series so this would be a nice little upgrade over the S as it stands.
    ETNews Via Engadget.
  • Kogan have announced a sweet new TV running Android 4.0 ICS. The £259 TV is a 32" LED, the only real down side we can see is that the resolution is only 720p! Android should be useful because of the WiFi and the USB slots so Facebook and Twitter will be good to go on this TV!
    Kogan Via PocketLint.
  • O2 have confirmed that the Sony Xperia SP will be one of the devices which they choose to sell without a USB charger. Not everyone will be over the moon with the decision, but they have the world's best interests at heart!
    Via MobileNewsCWP.
  • Opera Next 15 for Windows and Mac is now available as a preview so you can check out the browsers new features.
    Via PocketLint.
  • Pebble wristwatches will start shipping to people who placed pre-orders soon as Kickstarter orders are nearly all fulfilled now, so keep an eye on your email inbox if you chose to pre-order!
    GetPebble Via AndroidCommunity.
  • PocketLint are suggesting that there will be a 'limited' release of the HTC One 'Google Edition' to see if they can establish the demand for the phone and just to make sure they don't overcommit to the project!
  • DoubleTwist for Android has been updated with a lovely new 'holo' theme and other than the redesign there isn't too much different!
    Via Phandroid.
  • The BBC is looking to expand iPlayer downloads to radio shows by 2014 and they're currently talking to OFCOM about the plan!
    BBC Via Engadget.
And finally, Nokia are set to release a follow up to the Batman branded Lumia 900 of last year and this time it's set to be a Lumia 925 with the new Superman Man of Steel theme. 

Rumours offer up supposed specs for the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and the Galaxy Ace 3.

   The rumour mill is in full flow since Samsung announced that there will be new Galaxy and ATIV models announced on June the 20th in London and today the focus has turn to the spec of the rumoured Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and the third iteration of the budget Samsung Galaxy Ace handset.

   Let's start with the third version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and like always this is set to be another budget 10 incher from Samsung. If the rumours are correct then there will be a 1280 x 800p TFT LCD display which will give you a nice picture of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The device is rumoured to be kept ticking along by a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage and a 6,800 mAh battery. There's also meant to be two cameras: a 3 mega-pixel rear camera and a 1.3 mega-pixel front. The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is also meant to measure in at 243.1 x 176.1 x 7.95mm and weigh a total of 510g.

   Hi-Tech also had some new words on the latest Galaxy Ace. If they're right then this will be another budget handset and it will be rocking a 800 x 480p 4-inch TFT-LCD display, which will be kept ticking over by a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and a nice 1,500 mAh battery. The camera set-up are rumoured to be a 5 mega-pixel rear camera and a 0.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera. According to Hi-Tech all of this will be crammed into a chassis which could be 121.2 x 62.7 x 9.8mm and it's set to be running a version of Android Jelly Bean.

   Hi-Tech have a good record on leaks in the past and to be honest the specs sound relatively close to what we would expect with these two budget devices and hopefully we'll heard the true details on the 20th of June!
Hi-Tech Via GSMArena.

Tesco beef up their ClubCard TV offering yet again!

   We're already big fans of the Tesco's ClubCard TV platform, we've covered it a fair few times and the last was when they added a tonne of new cooking shows. Today the latest improvement includes the addition of a new set of cooking and drama shows, but this time they're from ITV.

   There are over 160 episodes from  Gordon Ramsey's Hells Kitchen USA, to things like A Touch of Frost, Cracker and Prime Suspect and don't worry they'll all still be free to ClubCard customers! ON top of that deal there's a new partnership with which gives users access to 'Elite New Face', which is a new nine programme series which follows the progression of a modelling contest which draws people from around the world!

   Obviously the free service is a nice addition as it stands, but at the moment Tesco only offer streaming through your laptop and internet connection, but they're busy at work on mobile apps and apps from consoles and for TV boxes, so in future there will be more compelling options. For the moment head over to and make the most of your free shows from the likes of the Warner Bro.s, Endemol and Aardman studios.
Via PocketLint.

Google working on blimps to give mass network coverage.

   We already know that Microsoft are working hard to bring new technology and investment to Africa, but it seems that they aren't the only tech giant with their eyes on developing regions. Google are said to be testing new ways to get internet to some of the hardest to reach places and areas where there is very little infrastructure. The solution to this problem in Google's mind is to create a series of blimps which will bean WiFi signal onto communities to give them access to the net!

   According to the guys over at Wired, Google is working on "high-altitude platforms," that will have the ability to connect more than a billion more people to the Internet. The blimps are aiming to offer signals as far as a few hundred miles away from the position of the blimp. As we know Google has been testing the signals on TV White Spaces in South Africa and this is likely to be part of the same project.

   According to Google's blog post they said:
"White Space technology is gaining momentum around the world. In the US, it is already available for licensed exempt uses. In the UK, regulator Ofcom is working on a model regulatory framework based on a licence-exempt or ‘managed access’ use of television white spaces spectrum. We hope the results of the trial will drive similar regulatory developments in South Africa and other African countries." 
   This sort of network will become more popular in the coming years and we fully expect there to be as much competition in these long range mobile networks as their is in the current mobile arena!
Google Via Wired.

How much is the Xbox One's custom silicon worth to AMD? $3 billion plus!

   Microsoft's Xbox One will undoubtedly prove to be hugely popular console and although they have't said much about it yet the deal with AMD for the new 8-core APU which will be in the new console! If one of the ex-VP's of business development at AMD is correct then Microsoft paid a whopping $3 billion to make the most of the new chips!

   The news comes right from Bob Feldstein, who is now the Vice President of Technology Licensing at NVIDIA, but in time gone by he was employed by AMD and given he helped work on the “business management and supply agreement negotiations” with Microsoft whilst at AMD, he probably knows his stuff about the deal! Indeed, he said that, "AMD provided a custom silicon solution to Microsoft for the Xbox One, a game console and entertainment device."

   Feldstein didn't have any interesting information to offer up on the Sony use of AMD processors in the PS4, but perhaps he's holding that back for another day.  It's not like Feldstein has too much love for his ex-employer because they chose to sue him for supposedly stealing company secrets and handing them to his new employer Nvidia!

   That $3 billion is big money and we're sure Microsoft will get the most out of their investment!
GameChup Via Slashgear.

LG pass on new Nexus and Google edition devices for the time being: Tablets and alternative OS' on the agenda though!

   LG has already confirmed that there will be a white Nexus 4 on the way in the next few weeks. That device has proved very popular and initially LG couldn't make enough of them to satisfy demand, but according to LG's Mobile European VP the company has no interest in making a sequel to the Nexus 4.

   The news comes from an interview with the popular Dutch tech site All About Phones, where Kim Wong explained that despite the device being proclaimed as a success, things behind the scenes obviously aren't so rosy. Kim said that despite the sales the phone having great sales there's not going to be another one because LG aren't interested in making a successor at the moment, but they haven't ruled out having another go in the future. This also means that LG aren't interested in making a 'Google Edition' of any of their phones because the company don'd perceive it adding any value to the phone without LG's custom skin, which the company believe is strong enough to be successful on its own at the moment.

   LG also added that Android tablets are back on the agenda, despite the previous problems selling their own slates. The change comes from last year where they were put 'on the back burner', but they're now investing in the devices and we'll see the new device in the coming months. This change is due in part to the relative negativity towards Windows 8 tablets at the moment, but we don't think they're so bad!

   As LG look to the future they want to try to become more independent and the think that, 'the current duopoly of Google and Apple is not healthy for the market.' That means that LG want to focus on work on devices with other platforms, but LG don't want to develop their own OS, so that doesn't entirely rule out a second life for WebOS, because technically HP still own it. Obviously, LG could choose to work with Firefox OS or even Tizen or Touch Ubuntu for their future devices. Hardware will also undergo a new LG transformance and the plan is to use more of their own components in their devices in future. LG have already announced their partnership with ARM on new Cortex A50 processors so we can probably expect the company to build on their TV processor department. This can add to the displays and batteries which the company currently produces.

   It'll be interesting to see where LG go with their mobile devices and we're excited to see what they plan on doing and with what operating systems! Let us know what you want to see in the comments below!
AllAboutPhones (1), (2) and (3) Via TheVerge.


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