06/09/2013 - Alcatel OneTouch Hero hands-on
Okay, you have to admit: there might actually be something to this whole large smartphone business, started by Samsung two years ago at this very trade show. Not only has the trend not gone away, nearly every major OEM is hopping on the bandwagon. Alcatel OneTouch is interested in joining the party, and it's entering the field with a doozy aptly called the Hero, a 6-inch behemoth with a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and a few tricks up its sleeves. It's relatively easy on the hands, with a curved back and a decent thickness of 8.5mm. In fact, compared to the Acer Liquid S2 (another 6-inch smartphone announced at IFA), it's 6mm narrower, 7.5mm shorter and 0.5mm thinner -- great news, especially since we felt pretty comfortable with the S2 during our hands-on.
In many parts of the world, Alcatel OneTouch is still an unknown, despite the fact that the manufacturer has a reputation for pushing out up to a dozen handsets at one time. While this is still very much the case this week, we've noticed that the company has put a much higher amount of focus on quality. The Hero doesn't remind us of a cheap KIRF or knockoff phone. Instead, we came away much more impressed with the phone's look and feel than we originally expected. Continue past the break for more of our thoughts and the Hero's features.
Buttons and trackpads on the back of mobile devices? It's becoming a trend. Oppo has revealed that users will be able to scroll, double click and long press with the backside touch feature of the forthcoming Oppo N1. Apparently it'll be possible to swipe through pages (or change songs), activate and control the camera or bind the actions to other apps as you see fit. At the same time, the N1's chassis has been snapped in this rather beautifully composed rumorgram shot, so you can see exactly what you'll be reaching around when this unit gets an official announcement in September.
Google's getting serious about education. Its Play for Education portal, announced last month at I/O, is creeping ever closer to a full launch, with a call for application submissions starting today. Developers that want to be considered for Google's curated storefront can mark their applications for consideration now via the Play Developer Console. But unlike the wild, wild west of the Play store at-large, where anything goes, not every education-focused app will get the greenlight. In fact, Google's submission process requires all applications marked as suitable for K-12 to first pass through a network of non-affiliated educators for evaluation before then being measured against the Play for Education store's requirements for classroom use. If selected, developer's applications will be made available to the many pilot programs currently underway across the country, with an eventual full-scale rollout when Play for Education officially launches sometime this fall.
Source: Android Developers Blog
The Department of Justice has provided the FCC with new recommendations for governing spectrum auctions, and with a heavy emphasis on leveling the playing field, the findings are likely to draw the ire of AT&T and Verizon. In its briefing, the DOJ made its case that the nation's two largest carriers currently hold market power, which is due to the heavy concentration of lower frequency spectrum (below 1,000MHz) allocated to the two incumbents.
According to DOJ officials, "This results in the two smaller nationwide carriers having a somewhat diminished ability to compete, particularly in rural areas, where the cost to build out coverage is higher with high-frequency spectrum." Although the DOJ never came right out and said it, one can easily surmise that it's guiding the FCC to establish rules that favor smaller carriers -- namely Sprint and T-Mobile -- in future low-frequency spectrum auctions. In the DOJ's opinion, an incumbent carrier would need to demonstrate both compelling evidence of capacity constraints and an efficient use of its current licenses in order to gain additional lower frequency spectrum. Otherwise, the opportunity exists for AT&T and Verizon to snap up licenses simply in attempt to harm competitors.
Given that the FCC and DOJ share the responsibility of ensuring competition in the marketplace, it seems unlikely that this latest brief will fall on deaf ears.
Source: FCC (PDF)
11/03/2013 - ST-Ericsson CEO steps down without a named successor
ST-Ericsson was already in some tumult after the ST half of the partnership said it was exiting the venture late last year. As we're discovering, there was a little more drama in store for 2013. CEO Didier Lamouche has resigned from the company for a tempting job prospect elsewhere, and there's no named replacement for him so far -- a slight problem when Lamouche will be out by March 31st. He's leaving ST-Ericsson in a better state than he found it, as the company is scoring key deals for phones like the Galaxy S III Mini while getting its LTE chip plans on track. Nonetheless, we suspect that remaining owner Ericsson will want that power vacuum filled quickly when there's already enough uncertainty ahead.
31/01/2013 - Apple Launches iOS 6.1: Short List of Improvements
As we've heard before, Google's Glass project features are "still in flux" -- could one be a bone-conduction speaker? It very well may, at least according to a US patent application published today. The gadget, described as a "wearable computing device with indirect bone-conduction speaker," appears to be similar in structure to Glass. It includes "at least once vibration transducer," so it's possible that this HMD implementation wouldn't offer stereo sound. This audio solution does seem within reach -- Panasonic had functional bone-conduction headphones at CES, and while they weren't quite loud enough to provide an earbud-like experience, they did indeed work. As with any patent application, the document confirms only that Google was considering such a technology, not that it'll actually ship a similar device. So, if you've decided that your portable audio future will be headphone-free, you might want to keep an eye on Panasonic's solution, instead.
With all of these patent wars ongoing, it's actually astonishing that these companies have any time to get anything done. In fact, we often wonder how much more could be done if needless, incessant litigation weren't around to muck things up. All that aside, Apple and LG Electronics are likely celebrating a victory today, as a verdict in a San Diego courtroom has found that neither company infringed on an Alcatel-Lucent unit's patents for "electronic devices including phones and computers."
The trial at hand began on November 27th, as it saw A-L accuse Apple and LG of infringing up a "video-compression technology that allows data to be sent more efficiently over communications media, including the internet and satellites, or stored on DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. Various versions of the iPhone, iPod, iPad and MacBook were named on the Apple side, while LG's Chocolate Touch VX8575, Bliss UX700, Touch AX8575, Lotus Elite LX610, Mystique UN610 and Samba LG8575 were also pinpointed. Of course, Apple can only rejoice so hard -- earlier today, it lost a patent verdict to MobileMedia.
14/08/2012 - Facebook smartphone denied by Zuckerberg
19/07/2012 - Cell Phones : [ HDTV Adapter (5 Pin) w/ HDTV Adapter Tip ] HDTV Adapter (5 Pin) w/ HDTV Adapter Tip
Whoever said low-cost phones have to miss out on the portable perks? Nokia's throwing an old school bone to buyers of its budget-minded Asha Touch line, linking up with Namco Bandai to make 22 classic hits available for download. The titles, accessible now on the Nokia Store in over 52 countries, range from $0.99 to $2.99 apiece and include oldies-but-goodies like SoulCalibur, Galaga and Ace Combat. So, if you take your pared-down, 3-inch devices with a dash of retro-gaming and feel like an on-the-go session with PAC-MAN is long overdue, then you'll be well sated by this partnership nod to coin-operated gaming's past. Official PR after the break.
Nokia and Namco Bandai bring arcade classics to Asha Touch line originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 05 Jul 2012 18:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
19/06/2012 - First Parts of the New iPhone 5 Revealed
That was quick. A mere five days after saying goodbye to his cohorts at Microsoft, former Windows Phone GM Gavin Kim has landed at Mobile NQ as its Chief Product Officer. By joining the mobile privacy and security firm, Kim will be working with a couple of former Samsung colleagues at Mobile NQ -- co-CEO Omar Khan and PR maven Kim Titus. The real question is, with this being Gavin's third career stop in a year, how long will he reunion last?
Gavin Kim's on the move again, joins NQ Mobile after leaving Windows Phone originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | NQ Mobile blog | Email this | Comments
It seems that Power Matt just got a bit more, er, powerful. The Wireless Power Consortium announced today that it's improved the Qi inductive-charging standard to "include longer range magnetic resonance wireless charging." Effectively, this means charging stations that are up to spec will be able to transmit up to 5 watts of power from distances of 40mm (up from 5mm, previously) to Qi-enabled devices. The WPC says it's ideal for pushing power through the likes tables and counter tops, and that it currently has 12 types of compatible transmitters ready for action. All in all, it certainly seems like a solid step for finally getting rid of all that cable clutter at your workstation -- especially if it'll rid users of those less-than-pretty looking charging bases. Maybe a last-minute add-on to your Uppleva, IKEA?
WPC updates Qi standard, increases inductive charging distance to 40mm originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 20 Apr 2012 20:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
11/03/2012 - ReCellular's headquarters toured by iFixit, recycling and redistribution gets a closer look
ReCellular's headquarters toured by iFixit, recycling and redistribution gets a closer look originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 17:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink iFixit | The Atlantic | Email this | Comments
08/02/2012 - RCA's USB Wall Charger, Just Plug It In!
"Most modern smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, and other gadgets rely on USB-based chargers. Some of these come with their own AC wall adapters, while others include nothing more than a USB cable-meaning you have to plug them into your computer to get them charged."
The nice thing about this thing is that you just plug it into the existing outlet, so it's basically a cover. No need to replace the current outlet so you don't have to worry about shocking yourself silly. And it goes for the small sum of $15.00 USD at Lowes (currently out of stock in my area), or you can get it at Amazon.com for $12.47 USD (currently in stock with both white and almond colored versions).