Fast and Fluid Future at Mobile World Congress 2012

The biggest names in the fastest-moving industry gathered for the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, in what has been another eye-opening telecommunications industry event. From 27 February to 1 March, more than 3000 industry CEOs joined 60,000 attendees to see the latest products and ideas from the likes of Microsoft, Google, Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

With tablets and smartphones taking centre stage in recent mobile technology, many of the latest apps and products catered for these users, although mobile and laptop technology is also seeing some major developments.

Microsoft had techy hearts a-flutter with the launch of Windows 8. The company’s two-hour conference presentation featured the phrase “fast and fluid” enough times to drive home their new focus on the latest operating system model. Windows 8 will allow users to access multiple apps at any one time, and, keeping current user trends in mind, is synchronised for social media. Users will also enjoy smoother functionality for both touchscreen and mouse/keyboard.

Meanwhile Nokia had several new mobile phones to showcase, including the Luma 610, an simple, affordable smartphone designed for the youth market. Yet what is really creating a lot of Nokia buzz is their new high-res smartphone, the 808 Pureview. This is the first mobile to take photos at up to an extraordinary 41 megapixels, and cutting-edge Carl Zeiss optics to boot. This is one to lead the way in the evolution of smartphone photography.

Google is making waves with their latest additions to the Android family, despite pressure from their Apple competitors. As well as revealing plans for more affordable smartphone, their Android Honeycomb sees a brand new app for budding movie makers. Movie Studio is a slick app designed to enhance the 3.0 Android’s current video and image technology. Users can create their own short videos, using music, text and other such features, much as you would with other video-editing software. Except this can all be done from your smartphone.

High-definition seems to be the big trend at the moment; LG, HTC and Huawei all have big, high-def mobile screens in their latest releases. Certainly HTC was keen to preview their latest smartphone, the HTC One X. This super-slim mobile is less than 1cm thick and weighs a mere 130 grams. An impressive camera, dual core processor and 4.7inch screen makes it one to watch.

Sony Ericsson revealed their new Xperia Play, a mobile phone/game console hybrid. Despite being one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry this year, it has managed to impress the critics so far. This is an interesting design, yet it does do both the gaming and mobile sides justice. It has a slide-out gaming control pad, much like the Playstation hand control, while the phone itself also features a 5.1 megapixel camera with flash and auto focus, video-recording, Bluetooth, GPS, and the usual mobile features you’d expect from Sony Ericsson.

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Google’s Biggest Problem – Focus Part 2

I’ve been watching Google over the past few years and they have one major problem – focus.

Google has a lot to look forward this year – a reincarnation of GoogleTV, Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, the LTE capable Galaxy Nexus, the list goes on and on really. Its clear, the company is moving and shaking. However, they have one big problem in my opinion – they lack consistent, company-wide focus. (see article Google’s Biggest Problem – Focus)

Last time, we took a very quick look at a number of different products that Google extended a great deal of effort to plan, develop and then introduce and then eventually abandoned due to lack of focus. I bring this up for one important reason – Android.
Of all the products that Google has introduced, those that really seem to have staying power, are mostly connected to Android; or Google has found a way to hook them into Android. Those that didn’t have traction either didn’t fit, or weren’t meant for Android.

Android is an interesting animal in that its focused enough to be adopted by major hardware manufacturers and OEM’s. The problem, however is not adoption, it’s the focus and guidelines Google has placed around the use of its mobile OS that concern me the most.

Just about anyone from the hacker down the street to Samsung and HTC can get ahold of the Android source and SDK and cook a version of the OS. They can modify it most anyway they want, with launcher options that are only limited by the developer’s imagination and available hardware.

While this may seem like a great win for open source and end users everywhere, it really isn’t. It’s a huge problem, actually. All of this openness has led to a great deal of version fragmentation. Google has little to no guidelines on what can or cannot be done with the OS. It also allows multiple revisions of the OS to be actively used at the same time, so any device manufacturer or OEM can use FroYo, Gingerbread or Honeycomb on its devices at the same time. It also hasn’t provided any guidelines on upgrades, and moratoriums for any specific versions.

Come back next time, and I’ll bring it all together, explaining exactly WHY Google’s lack of focus is a problem not only for the market, but for end users as well.

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Nexus Prime – First Ice Cream Sandwich Smartphone

The Galaxy Nexus had the working title of Nexus Prime, taken from a backstory for the Transformers movie series. It’s an appropriate name as Google is hoping the device will continue to help Android transforming the smartphone market. The Nexus is produced by Samsung but will be specifically marketed by Google itself, following on from the Nexus One and Nexus S.

One of the key elements of the Galaxy Nexus is that it will be the first commercial phone to run Android 4.0, the latest edition of Google’s mobile operating system, with the odd marketing name of Ice Cream Sandwich (previous updates included Cupcake, Eclair, Gingerbread and Honeycomb.)

The most significant development in Android 4.0 is that it is specifically designed to be suitable for both smartphones and tablet devices. That’s led to both an overhaul of the system’s design and a series of new and revised features that will feature on devices including the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime.

The two most dramatic additions are both the stuff of sci-fi movies. There’s a voice recognition system that, although scooped by Apple’s new Siri feature, stands out by allowing unlimited dictation. Even more impressively it’s now possible to use a photo of yourself as the phone lock: facial recognition means that you and you alone can unlock the phone.

Speaking of the camera, the Nexus Prime will be able to use new features that include built-in image editing, the ability to take static images while filming video, and an automated panorama feature that means you simple move the camera round and don’t need to worry about lining up each “shot” so that they stitch together.

Using the Galaxy Nexus should be a breeze as Android 4.0 includes several revisions to the user interface, similar to the way Windows gets updated every few years. You can now organize apps and shortcuts into folders on the home screen, there’s a special favourites tray at the bottom of the screen (similar to the taskbar in Windows), you can adjust the size of widgets (displays of information such as weather updates or stock prices that are updated in real time), and there’s even a graphical display to show exactly how much data you are using — a must for those on contracts with tough data limits. Check the leaked video:

The Nexus Prime’s hardware makes the best of this update: it has two cameras, one which can record HD video, 16GB storage, a dual-core processor (which means fewer freezes or slowdowns), a true HD screen, and even the ability to connect the phone straight to a TV set through a special adaptor cable.

The phone’s unveiling was delayed briefly as a mark of respect after the death of Steve Jobs. It’s now scheduled for release in the UK on 17 November and, as with its predecessors, is only available in unlocked form: that means users must pay the full, unsubsidized price but don’t have to sign up to a mandatory service contract. The phone will be around £550 including VAT from major networks, though Amazon is selling it for £520.

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Intel is porting Google’s Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) over to its x86 architecture

During a conference call with reporters and analysts, Intel president and chief executive Paul Otellini said that the company is currently hard at work porting Google’s tablet-oriented Android 3.0 operating system (aka Honeycomb) to the x86 architecture. He added that Intel expects to ramp those Honeycomb-based devices over the course of the year “for a number of our customers.”

Reports indicate that Intel will reveal its Android-based x86 platform sometime during Q3 2011 as “PRC Plus,” yet Acer, Asus and Lenovo have reportedly already signed on to produce devices based on this particular platform, with manufacturing kicking off during the second half of 2011. Cisco will supposedly use the Oak Trail platform with Honeycomb for the enterprise sector.

As for Intel and its Android plans, reports indicated that the OS will be fitted to take advantage of the x86 architecture. Intel is reportedly “improving” Android’s user interface and overall experience. More news is expected to arrive sometime during Q3 2011.

Source Tomsguide.com

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Acer’s ICONIA TAB A500 with Google Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” OS

Mobility and innovation, which have always been part of Acer’s DNA, now find a new form of expression in the new Acer ICONIA TAB A500, a 10.1-inch tablet designed to maximize content enjoyment, providing the same rich multimedia, gaming and Web experience you can enjoy on your home PC with the added user-friendliness of multi-touch technology.

Sleek, smart and full of innovative features, the ICONIA Tab A500 will be equipped with the latest, highly intuitive Google Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system, the new version of the Android platform specifically optimized for tablets, combined with Acer UI to reach a whole new level of interactivity.

What’s more, the Acer clear.fi media sharing system will be preloaded on the device for seamless integration in the home clear.fi environment to easily access, play and share multimedia across the home network and to instantly publish updates to social media networks.

Designed for rich multimedia entertainment, this tablet comes with a high resolution, high colour contrast 10.1” display with wide viewing angle providing higher colour accuracy for better visuals from different perspective, allowing users to play or share HD video with friends on the go. Complete with a built-in HDMI port and 1080p output, it may also be used to enjoy HD content in full HD on a big screen TV or monitor.

The 10.1” full capacitive multi-touch screen ensures an optimal on-screen experience from every angle. Aluminum casing provides a cool look and feel, while its high gloss finish anodizing decorated with laser engraved textures demonstrates subtle sophistication. And despite being just 13.3mm thick, it’s powerful enough to provide fun and productivity in any location.

One of the tablet’s most impressive features is its ability to run and play premium HD arcade games and complex online 3D games, thanks to the multi-touch screen and gyro meter control, which guarantees an entertainment experience on par with the best game consoles.

The Acer ICONIA TAB A500 will be equipped with the dual-core NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the first mobile dual core CPU, that delivers up to two time faster browsing, for the best web experience ever, and amazing graphics, for optimized HD viewing, 3D and console-quality gaming, and multimedia playback anywhere thanks to the ultra-low power (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU with Flash 10.1 support. What’s more you can relish movies, photos and more on your big screen TV in full HD glory thanks to 1080p HD video playback.

Multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, 3G or Bluetooth® 2.1, maximise your mobile experience and keep you in touch with all you care about. The 5MP rear-facing camera plus HD front-facing camera are just perfect for video recording, video chat, or quickly snap a picture and upload it to Facebook, YouTube, Picasa; it can also be used as a barcode scanner

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Global launch of Samsung’s first Honeycomb-based, Dual Core smart media device

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., in partnership with Vodafone Group, announced the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 (Model: P7100) – a powerful Dual-Core Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Smart Media Device, designed to deliver the ultimate mobile entertainment experience.

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Entertainment Experience

A 10.1” (WXGA TFT LCD) display with crystal clear resolution (1280 x 800) makes the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 an unrivalled device for experiencing the hundreds of thousands of games and applications available from Android Market™. To compliment the amazing visual quality of the device, the GALAXY Tab 10.1 includes dual surround-sound speakers to immerse you even more fully.

The device also includes an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with Auto Focus and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera which lets users capture experiences with the best-in-market full HD record and play as well as easily share them. With the Android browser and Flash 10.1, the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 is the perfect tool for consuming the world of the internet content wherever you are.

Performance and Speed

Combined with the latest version of Android’s tablet-optimized operating system, Honeycomb, Samsung has created a device that is powerful and lightning fast.

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 includes a 1GHz Dual Core application processor, giving you the kind of fast and powerful multimedia and web browsing experience. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1’s Dual Core processor, low power DDR2 memory and 6860mAh battery, make it perfect for task management in an energy efficient way.

Maximized Portability

At just 599g in weight and mere 10.9mm- slimness, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is lighter, slimmer and more portable, meaning users are free to enjoy its many features while on the move. With the need to remain constantly connected, Samsung has also included super-fast HSPA+ 21Mbps, Bluetooth??2.1+EDR and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity to support rapid mobile download speeds and reduce data transfer times.

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