Archive | April, 2010

Vodafone announces affordable Android smartphone

30 Apr

Vodafone has announced its first own-branded Android phone – the A845. Announced in the UK and to be available in May in 11 other markets. Though no price has been announced, Vodafone is touting it as an affordable Android smartphone.

The A845 does not disappoint on the specs front with HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity along with a built-in GPS receiver. Yeah, it has a lowly 2.8 inch QVGA display but throw in a 3.2 MP camera, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio and Android 2.1, the A845 does look dishy,

Too bad Vodafone is not revealing whether it will be available in India or not, but we reckon that if the carrier launches the phone in India at about Rs 8,000, we would certainly be lining up for one. After all, it runs Android 2.1, something that makes it more tempting than our HTC Hero, which still runs on the ancient Android 1.5 platform.

C’mon, Vodafone, even your charming Zoozoos are begging ya to launch it in India.

Check out the hands-on video of the A845 and let us know what you think about it.

Twitter launches official Android app

30 Apr

After acquiring Tweetie on iPhone and launching an app for BlackBerry, Twitter today announced the availability of their official app for Android.

The app, which is only available for devices running Android 2.1 or later aims to make full use of the sharing feature of Android platform.

Apart from providing a widget that will show your Twiter timeline on the homscreen, it also integrates your friend’s latest Tweets in the phonebook’s QuickContact bar.

And of course, like any other Twitter app on Android you can share links and pictures from other apps using the ‘share’ option. It can also show Tweets on Google Maps (as shown in this screenshot).

Twitter says that this is just the beginning and there is much more to come on Android. Well, we cannot wait to give this app a quick spin on our Milestone even as we wait for HTC to provide the promised update for the Hero.

Hey HTC, we are now running out of reasons why it is a good time to update the Hero. Better release it before we junk our Hero in the bin and pick up a non-HTC Android smartphone. Are you listening?

India’s 3G auction: Day 17 update

30 Apr

The pan-India bid for 3G spectrum touched Rs 9,332 crore on the 17th day of the auction. Bids for Mumbai crossed Rs 1,500 crore and for Delhi, the bids were valued at Rs 1,431.20 crore after the completion of 100 rounds of auction on Thursday. The bidding value for Maharashtra stopped at Rs 951.12 crore and for Andhra Pradesh, the bids crossed Rs 843 crore. The Telecom Minister, Andimuthu Raja has also said that the 3G spectrum auctions will close in one or two days.

 

Check the complete figures here

Samsung to launch Galaxy Spica 2 with a physical phone keypad?

30 Apr

Samsung has been pretty aggressive with the pricing of its Android phones and it seems that the stakes are set to get even ‘lower’ with its GT i5800 series of phones. We have got hold of the user agent profile of the i5801 that indicates the normal phone keypad (the T9 variety instead of QWERTY) and an unusual 240×480 pixel screen. But things are known to change with these profiles and we won’t be surprised if it gets a more normal screen resolution.

Now get discount on your call rates with Uninor’s Discount Plan

30 Apr

Ever imagined of getting discount on call rates while travelling to different places? In an attempt to do something completely novel and not copying the same per-second-billing model, Uninor has launched a new plan – 24X7 Badalta Discount Plan – that will offer Uninor users changing discounts on call rates in various different locations. For instance if you’re near an ‘A’ location, on standby mode the phone screen will keep flashing the changing discounts that are available for ‘A’ location at that particular point of time. The discount rates will vary between 5 per cent and 60 per cent and the call rates would cost as low as 20 paisa depending upon the limit of discount the subscriber gets.

 

Plan Charges- Rs 48

Validity- 90 days

Local and STD call rates- 50p/min

 

“The discount rates will depend on the network traffic, if there is low congestion on Uninor’s network then the discounts might be high and if the network is already jam-packed, then users might probably get low discounts” said Rohit Chandra, executive vice president- operations, Uninor. For now, the Discount Plan has only been launched in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka but the company will soon roll over this plan in the remaining 5 circles.

Fennec on Android is a Crash Test Dummy

29 Apr

Fennec
We folks at Cellpassion (like millionsof people around the world) love the Firefox browser on our PCs,feeling that it not only serves up the best browsing experience on acomputer but is also a dab hand when it comes to speed and security.So you can imagine our delight when we heard that a version ofFirefox, dubbed Fennec, had been released for Android devices (onlyfor those running Android 2.0 and above, though). We immediately gotthe build, which we were told was a “pre-alpha,” and had been testedonly on the Moto Droid and the Google Nexus One, and promptlyinstalled it on our Motorola Milestone, which runs Android 2.1.

Atslightly more than 10MB, Fennec for Android is a hefty download. Andbe warned – it will not start after installation unless you restartthe phone. And when it started, it just would notshow up an onscreen keyboard, forcing us to slide out the physicalone on our Milestone. The menu and back buttons on the Milestone werealso useless, although the browser did have onscreen buttons forboth. Performance-wise, the browser fully lived up to its “pre-alpha”tag, rendering pages at a pace that was downright slow in this era ofOpera Minis, Bolts (not Usain, but still…) and Safaris.Theadd-ons, which were supposed to be the browser’s biggest plus-point,worked fitfully and tabbed browsing existed only in name as we werenever able to open more than one site, irrespective of how many tabswe had open. There is an option to download other add-ons, but again,this did not really work for us. Fennec repeatedly froze our handsetand made switching to other apps very difficult – we were often leftstaring at a white screen and twiddling our fingers nervously.

Yes,we did like the idea of the interface which has hidden menus oneither side of the main screen, and which can be accessed by slidingone’s finger across the screen, leaving one with more screen realestate while browsing the Web. But, that apart, Fennec’s currentavatar now seems more an effort to prove that there is a mobileversion of Firefox in the works for Android than a serious attempt atproviding a viable alternative to the likes of Dolphin, Opera Mini orChrome.

A crash test dummy, if there  ever was one. Wejust hope it survives all the crashes. Meanwhile, if you too want a taster of the Fennec on Android experience, just download the app from here.

iPhone is the third-most popular device for Opera Mini

29 Apr

Opera Mini for iPhone had a stellar release earlier this month with one million downloads worldwide on the first day of its availability. And in just a fortnight’s time, the iPhone became the third most popular handset for Opera Mini usage worldwide, according to Opera’s State of the Mobile Web Report. In US, the iPhone surpassed BlackBerry which was earlier the number one device on which Opera Mini browser was used the most. However, these are the opening numbers since the Mini browser on the iPhone is not even a month old, the detailed figures will be published next month in the April report. For now, take a look at the other details of the report.

Other details from the March report: In March 55.2 million users around the world used the Mini browser which is a significant increase for a month’s time considering that the worldwide users of the Opera Mini browser in February were 50.5 million. In India, Nokia is still the reigning champion with its same old list of top 10 handsets (except for 3500 classic which is now replaced by 6700 classic) on which the Opera browser is used the most.