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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Padfone

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Having teased it for over a year, today ASUS publicly unveiled the Padfone in its final form, at its Mobile World Congress press conference in Barcelona. In addition to the much-hyped phone-within-a-tablet functionality, ASUS has brought along a few surprising new features, including a capacitive pen which doubles as a handset. It's also expanded upon the Transformer concept, introducing a keyboard docking option for the Padfone. That's right, you can plug the phone into the tablet, then plug the tablet into the keyboard dock. Crazy stuff to be sure.

Read on to find out what we thought of ASUS' ambitious three-in-one device.

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4 years ago

Domino's delivers an Android app, and free with contract smartphone offer

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Getting a hot pizza delivered just got a little easier, thanks to Domino's Pizza and their Android application. Getting a cool Android phone free with a new contract did as well, again thanks to Domino's Pizza. Confused? Don't be, it's simple, really. Domino's knows you love pizza (we all love pizza) and they've made it super-simple to get one. Grab the new Domino's app from the Market, click through to make your order, and wait for the delivery. You can even watch the progress of your order right from the app, just like you can from the website when you order online. It's like the best invention of the 20th century (pizza) meets the best invention of the 21st century (Android), and it's a perfect match.

So perfect in fact, that Domino's wants to help make it happen by offering free Android phones when you sign a new agreement with a US carrier. Offerings like the Motorola Droid 3 from Verizon, or the HTC Wildfire S from T-Mobile are yours for the taking from Domino's online, and fulfilled by Simplexity, and authorized agent for the carriers.

So what are you waiting for? The app is free in the Market for phones running Android 2.1 or higher, and the phones are free from Domino's when you sign up for a new agreement. We've got more screenshots, the press release, and the download link after the break.

More: Domino's

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4 years ago

Ubuntu for Android at Mobile World Congress

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There's been quite a bit of buzz since the announcement of Ubuntu for Android, and there's quite a bit of buzz in Hall 7 here at Mobile World Congress. That's where Canonical is showing off just what Ubuntu can do when paired to a dual-core smartphone, and it remains every bit impressive as when we got our preview a week ago.

The basic idea is this: Your smartphone (at minimum a dual-core device) will have a custom Linux kernel. And on top of that runs Android and Ubuntu. They run in parallel; when you plug your phone into a HDMI display, it switches from Android to Ubuntu and you get a full desktop experience.

Probably the most impressive aspect is in how it handles the data and applications from your Android phone. Ubuntu's got full access to your contacts and apps. So you can search your contact book to send an e-mail or make a phone call, right there from Ubuntu. Apps run in windows form, but Canonical tells us that will be refined some by launchtime, still set for later this year.

The other remaining question is exactly how us mere mortals will be able to get Ubuntu onto our phones. It's not just an .apk that you can download. But we're more than positive some enterprising neckbeards will have it all worked out.

We've got some a walkthrough video from Mobile World Congress after the break.

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4 years ago

850,000 new Android devices now activated each day, 450,000 apps in the Android Market

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Andy Rubin has just laid some Android numbers out for everyone as only he can. The last time we heard numbers from Google was on Q4 2011 conference call where it was announced that 700,000 Android activations were happening daily and today, that number has pushed to 850,000.

For those of you keeping track, that's around a 250% growth in numbers year-on-year. Apps have also been continually on the rise, back during Mobile World Congress last year Google announced there was 150,000 apps in Android Market and now that number sits at about 450,000 with around 1 billion downloads per month.

The point? The Google ecosystem is doing great. It's constantly growing and with over 800 Android devices launched to-date, it's not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.

Source: Google Mobile

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4 years ago

ASUS announces two new Transformer tablets, finally shows off Padfone

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ASUS this morning at Mobile World Congress just dropped a bombshell of a tablet on us with its new Transformer Pad Infinity Series. The Transformer Pad Infinity Series 700 is going to leave you feeling a bit moist. The 10-inch IPS display has a 1920x1200 resolution at 600 nits. It's powered either by a quad-core Tegra 3 chipset at 1.6 GHz (for the Wifi-only version), or dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8960 Snapdragon S4 Krait if it's rocking 3G/4G radios. It's a mere 8.5 mm thick as well, and features an optoinal keyboard dock, for which ASUS has made quite the name for itself.

ASUS also finally showed of the Padfone (it having been teased for a good year or so, it feels like). It's a 4.3-inch smartphone powered by a new Qualcomm dual-core Krait processor (same as in the Infinity 700), has an 8-megapixel camera and slips into an optional Padfone Station that turn it into a 10.1 in tablet with five times the battery life. The Padfone Station in turn has an optional keyboard dock that turns the whole thing into an Android laptop.

ASUS also announced the new Transformer Pad 300, an updated tablet it's billing as the ideal mobile web surfing and gaming platform. It's got an NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor and 10.1-inch IPS diaplay at 1280x800 resolution. It's got options for LTE or Wifi-only. Battery life is billed at 10 hours, or 15 hours with an optional keyboard dock.

We've got more pics and the full press release after the break. Stay tuned for some hands-on action!

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4 years ago

Motorola Mobility making it easy for business owners to switch to Android with new trade-in program

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Motorola Mobility has been making some big moves when it comes to capturing business customers and ensuring they become Android users. Their latest efforts are set to kick off on Feb. 28th as noted in their press release:

Starting tomorrow, the company will be offering up to $200 cash back for a consumer’s old device when a Motorola Business Ready smartphone is purchased, providing an instant online quote, pre-paid shipping label, and payment within four to six weeks of receipt. In addition, Motorola Mobility will be offering the MotoAssist™ IT service to give business users access to IT professionals who can help set up accounts, transfer contacts seamlessly, and even work directly with corporate IT departments.

We've seen a rather large push for Android in the business sector recently and if Motorola can continue to offer new devices while saving business owners money it has the potential to put them in a very good place. The full press release is past the break for you all or you can check out the source link below for more details.

Source: Motorola

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4 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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4 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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4 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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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 looks to focus on the gamers

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Take a Samsung Galaxy S. Strip out the cell radios, toss in some audio enhancements, and repackage it with a cumbersome name. Salt and pepper to taste, stir, and you've got the Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.2.

Samsung's not proffering too much, othern than it's "the best of Android experiences with powerful gaming on the go." Like most other high-end Android smartphones, we'd imagine, though we're having a hard time swallowing a Wifi-only device that's just been announced with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It's got the aforementioned 4.2-inch display, 512MB of RAM and comes in 8GB or 16GB versions, with a 1 GHz processor and 1500 mAh battery. There's a 2MP rear camrea and VGA front-facing camera thrown in for good measure, and a front-facing speaker as well.

More: Samsung

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 10.1 gets official, brings 'multiscreen' format to tablets

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A day after first outing the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the side of a building here in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung has officially announced its latest Android tablet. At first glance you'd be tempted to call the Galaxy Note 10.1 a Galaxy Tab with a stylus (sorry, Samsung, S Pen), and you'd be half right. The GNote 10.1 takes things a big further by throwing in a more traditional desktop experience. Apps can run in a windowed (sorry, Samung, multiscreened) manner, so you can browse the web or watch a video or -- well, whatever, really -- and take notes at the same time, all on a single screen.

Samsung's loaded the Galaxy Note 10.1 with some useful apps, including Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas, plus the usual suite of Android and Samsung apps, as well as the note-taking apps that let you make full use of the included S Pen.

Spec-wise, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is running on a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, has an 800x1280 resolution and options for 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage space. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 7,000 mAh battery. Cellular options are available, too.

There's no real word on availability just yet. We've got the full presser after the break.

More: Galaxy Note 10.1 forums

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4 years ago

Official Hotmail for Android app updated, now supports Ice Cream Sandwich

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Remember the days when absolutely everyone used Hotmail for their email needs? Seems there's a lot of people who still do, but couldn't use the official Android application if they were running Ice Cream Sandwich

An update pushed out this week that addressed just that issue. However, while it now supports Ice Cream Sandwich, it definitely isn't optimised for it. 

There's also a fix for some issues on the HTC Desire, various crashes, improvements to battery life for anyone still running Android 2.1, and various improvements to calendar and meeting requests. Download links after the break. 

Thanks John!

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4 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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4 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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