Headlines

2 years ago

Carrier IQ unveils tool operators can use to open up about data collected from your phone

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Carrier IQ cares. Or, rather, for Carrier IQ, it's all about care. The much-maligned California analytics company has weathered the Great Privacy Scandal of 2011 and today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona announced a new product for its customers -- the operators -- to give greater transparency to consumers -- that's you and me -- regarding data being collected from your smartphones and tablets.

Let's be clear here: You are not Carrier IQ's customer. It provides network and hardware analytics capabilities to companies that sell smartphones by the millions, not folks like you and me who buy them every year or so (or, in our case, more often). That's not to say that CIQ is deaf to the recent surge in the push for privacy. Far from it. And that's not to say it hasn't learned a thing or two since everybody started to care about on-board analytics. It most certainly has.

And that brings us to today's announcement.  

Dubbed the "Customer Experience Dashboard," CIQ will begin offering -- again, to operators, not to end-users directly -- tools that the operators can then use to show their users basic fault explanations. Is your phone's battery draining? Dropping a lot of calls? Constantly rebooting? CIQ's new tools would all the operator to better explain to you what's going on with your phone, as well as with the network it's on. CIQ would essentially provide APIs to the operators, who then could build into their own websites the ability to see exactly what's going on with your phone.

It's a twofold proposition. At its core, the idea is to place some of the customer care onus back onto the customer, specifically to cut down on customer care phone calls. In other words, to help you help yourself. That, in turn, saves the operator money. It's also a great opportunity for the operator to show exactly what sort of data it's harvesting from your phone. But -- and this is a pretty big "but" -- it's up to the operator to implement any or all of this. As with Carrier IQ's current suite of products, it's completely customizable to for each operator and platform. It doesn't (and probably wouldn't) look like what you see in the picture above. Operators would be free to customize and present as much data as it sees fit, and in whatever manner it sees fit. And as of right now, it's still completely optional (and in fact will raise the cost of the CIQ platform for the operator).

For our part, we believe that would be money well spent by the operators. As much as the operators need analytics, the end-users need greater transparency. And done right (there's always a catch, right?), the operators could conceivably kill two birds with one stone here: continue to learn about the devices it supports in a real-time manner, and do so in a way that doesn't scare the hell out of its users.

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2 years ago

Orange announces the first Intel Medfield-powered Android phone for Europe, known as the Santa Clara

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We heard some rumblings in the build up to Mobile World Congress that Orange would be getting set to announce a Intel powered device under their own brand and today, they've gone ahead and done just that. Codenamed Santa Clara, Orange is planning to have this device in the hands of customers in Europe by the time summer rolls around and while it comes preloaded with Gingerbread, there is a upgrade path to Android 4.0 planned for the future. Specs are calling for:

  • Processor: Intel® Atom™ processor Z2460 platform
  • Display: 4.03”, 600x1024 pixel
  • Camera - 8MP Front: 1.3mp rear
  • Video capture: 1080p with HDMI Out
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Mobile Features: GSM bands 1900 / 1800 / 900 / 850 MHz , UMTS bands: 2100 / 1900 / 900 / 850 MHz, GPRS / EDGE Class 10, Bluetooth: V2.1, A-GPS support, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 123 x 63 x 9.99
  • Weight: 117g

The device looks similar to the Intel reference device we saw previously at CES 2012 but with a more polished look to it. You can jump on past the break for the full press release and devices images.

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2 years ago

Opera Software announces Opera Mini Next & Opera Mobile 12

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[YouTube link for mobile viewing]

Opera Software software has been working with mobile devices for quite some time now so they're not new to the mobile web by any means. They know the web os constantly changing and evolving and adaption of new techniques for use and implementation is vital to their success. With Mobile World Congress now kicked off into full swing they've gone ahead released the final version of Opera Mobile 12 to the Android Market:

  • WebGL on Android phones, for all things 3D and web. With WebGL on mobile, it’ll be even easier to make games cross platform and to distribute them. “Opera have contributed significantly to the development of the WebGL specification and now Opera Mobile is playing a leading role in the roll-out of GPU-accelerated WebGL on Android,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA.
  • Ragnarök, Opera's HTML5 parser support, meaning better web apps and increased compatibility with websites. More HTML5 means more advanced web functionality.
  • Support for camera use in the browser.
  • More possibilities for customizing the Speed Dial of Opera Mobile, including entering as many Speed Dial entries as you like.

In addition to the availability of Opera Mobile 12, Opera Software has also introduced support for MIPS based devices and Intel architecture. Opera has also introduced Opera Mini Next. A new version of Opera Mini that highlights social networking at the forefront. You can check out their full press release past the break, as well -- grab the download for Opera Mobile 12.

Source: Opera

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2 years ago

Mobile World Congress day minus one wrap-up

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Phones! Phones! Phones! Look over there, it's another phone! Mobile World Congress hasn't even officially kicked off yet, and we saw enough new hardware to fill a wheelbarrow or three. That's just the way we like it, too. We also got a little to sit in and listen about the yearly plans of folks like Huawei, Sony and HTC, and boy are they pumped for 2012. After seeing their new gear, we are, too. 2012 is going to be another year filled with Android news, and we're going to be right here to share it all with you.

It seems like every smartphone manufacturer is in Barcelona, and all the important ones are showing off Android goodness in one way or another. Whether it's an official event filled with good loud music and bloggers, or press announcements and a booth presence, we saw a lot of Android from a lot of different people. Let's talk about it, after the jump.

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2 years ago

Mobile Nations Special: MWC 2012 Day minus one

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Phil, Simon, and Alex leave Dan to prepare for Nokia while they discuss the massive influx of Android Phones already announced -- before the show has even begun! We've got your LG and HTC right here. Listen in! (No video. You don't wanna see the shape we're in.)

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD hands-on [updated with video]

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Welceome to a new era for LG, folks. The LG Optimus 4G HD brings the manufacturer's first quad-core smartphone, and it's a beauty. As fast as you'd expect, as thin and light as you'd demand.

On paper the LG Optimus HD is a killer. Consider:

  • 4.7-inch IPS display
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Tegra 3 quad-core processor at 1.5 GHz, with that NVIDA 4-PLUS-1 technology that brings a fifth companion core into the mix, to handle the light loads and extend battery life.
  • 8MP and 1.3MP camera.
  • A 2150 mAh battery

It's all full of sexy.

As a matter of use, you've got a mix of LG's custom UI and the gorgeousness of Ice Cream Sandwich. It can be a little tough to tell where one stops and the other begins, and that's a good thing. Throw into the mix the gorgeous display and unmatched power, and you're going to want to get your hands on this thing.

We've got some more pics and a video after the break.

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Macro-photography

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Another week has past, and we've spent a good part of it enjoying the pictures you guys and gals have sent in for this weeks photo contest! We got a bunch of them, all of them good (just the way we like it) and it's the wort of work nobody minds doing. This week we asked everyone to submit their best macro-photography shots, and we offered up an Android mini collectable for the winners. 

You can find the five winning shots after the break (in no particular order). If you see your picture there, check your inbox for details about your prize. Thanks for entering everyone!

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2 years ago

First look at the HTC One V

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The chin is back! Two years ago, here at Mobile World Congress, HTC unveiled the Legend with its iconic unibody design and chin-first swagger. Today, in Barcelona, HTC resurrected that design in the HTC One V

The One V has a 3.7-inch WVGA Super LCD display at 480x800 resolution. It's rocking a Qualcomm 8255 at 1 GHz and has 512MB of RAM. Storage is a meager 4GB, but it's got that extra 25GB from Dropbox. The One V has a 1500 mAh non-removable battery.

We weren't allowed to touch the One V, and the software's not ready, so we didn't get to see it turned on. But we've got some exterior shots and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC One S

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The HTC One S (Codename: Ville) might not be the "flagship" device in the manufacturer's new lineup, but don't thell that to the phone. It's a little smaller than the One X, at 4.3 inches instead of 4.7 inches. And it's traded the 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 for a 4.3-inch AMOLED display and Gorilla Glass. It also loses a tad in the way of resolution, dropping to qHD instead of full 720p. And it trades the polycarbonate shell for an aircraft-grade aluminum that's been fried in plasma in a process that's called microarc oxidation. In layman's terms, it basically turns the metal into a ceramic, and it feels quite nice. 

The HTC One S has the same camera technology as the One X, as well as Beats audio. It's crowning achievement, probably, is that it's crammed into a body that's just 7.9mm thin. You have to feel it to believe it. But that does come with a trade-off: The non-removable battery is just 1650 mAh.

Other specs of note: It's rocking a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 1.5GHz, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, plus the 25 GB you get with HTC's new deal with Dropbox.

Rogers and Fido have announced they're carrying the HTC One S, as has T-Mobile in the U.S.

We've got your hands-on video and pics after the break.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Xperia P and Xperia U

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Sony today announced the Xperia P and Xperia U -- two new additions to its Xperia NXT range, which bring the aesthetics of its 2012 flagship to mid and entry-level smartphones. Both devices feature dual-core CPUs and the familiar angular design from the Xperia S, in a smaller form factor with a couple of interesting new personalization quirks.

We've got early video walkthroughs of the Xperia S and Xperia P after the break, along with first impressions of both phones from Sony's pre-MWC event today.

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