Archive | December, 2010

Motorola acquires cloud streaming and sync company

22 Dec

Motorola today announced that it has acquired Zecter, a startup that specialises is personal cloud streaming and data sync technologies. Zecter currently provides two offerings – ZumoDrive for syncing content and ZumoCast for streaming media. According to a Motorola press release, the acquisition will help the company enhance its Moto Blur user interface, which is currently deployed on many Android phones but has failed to impress tech gurus.

“Motorola Mobility will integrate Zecter’s wireless syncing, desktop integration, video transcoding and thin-file retrieval technologies across its device and MOTOBLUR offerings to provide consumers with real-time access to their content.”

Current ZumoDrive and ZumoCast users will continue to enjoy the service but distribution of ZumoCast will be suspended while the team makes certain enhancements. Motorola aims to provide regular updates to current users.

Opera launches WAC-ready widget runtime for Android

22 Dec

Opera Software, the makers of the popular Opera Mini browser for mobile, today released a widget runtime for Android that would enable developers to create widgets that will be compatible with Wireless Applications Community (WAC) 1.0 specs. WAC is a consortium of handset vendors, carriers and services companies who aim to create a universal app store for mobile platforms.

Developers can start developing widgets and begin implementing the WAC APIs by downloading the runtime from http://www.opera.com/download/get.pl?sub=++++&id=33389&location=270&nothanks=yes

Instructions can be found at: http://labs.opera.com/docs/wac/installation_instructions/ This runtime is provided for evaluation and demo purposes and is free of charge for all developers.

Google Maps 5.0 for Android brings 3D maps, offline reliability

22 Dec

Google has released Google Maps 5.0 for Android smartphones, which will offer 3D maps and offline navigation options. Unlike the present version, which fetches blocks of images and stitches them together, the new version will use what engineers call vector graphics that will have more information stored in them and allow users to interact with it in more ways than one. Also, maps for places you frequently visit will be cached automatically on the device when it is connected to a Wi-Fi network to enable offline mode – routing and navigation in the absence of a data connection.

Some excerpts from the Official Google Mobile Blog:

Explore maps in 3D
Until now, Google Maps has always downloaded the map as a set of small, square images that we stitch together to form the map you see. (You’ve probably seen those gray squares getting filled in, block-by-block, as the images load over the network.) Starting today, we’ll use vector graphics to dynamically draw the map on your device as you use it, allowing you to interact with it in new ways:

  • Tilting: Drag down with two fingers to tilt the map. Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ citiesaround the world with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life.
  • Rotating: Twist with two fingers to rotate the map. After tilting to see 3D buildings, rotate around them to gain a new perspective from any direction.
  • Smooth zooming: Slide two fingers together or apart, and see the map and labels continuously scale to any zoom level, stopping when your fingers stop.
  • Compass mode: Center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and start rotating to match your perspective, while still keeping all the labels upright and readable.

Offline reliability
Google Maps has always been, and continues to be, a fundamentally Internet-connected experience, meaning you always get the freshest map and place data, search and voice search, live traffic conditions, satellite and Street View imagery, and much more. Still, we understand that mobile Internet connections aren’t 100% reliable. So today we’re happy to take the first steps toward greater offline reliability, so you can find your way even if you lose your connection.

In the past, you’ve probably had frustrating moments when you get stranded without a map, whether ducking into the subway, sitting at the back of a restaurant or traveling anywhere with a flaky Internet connection. But dynamically drawing maps requires 100 times less data to get maps across all zoom levels, so now we’re able to proactively cache (or store) large areas on your device based on where you use Maps the most. This way, you can rely on having fast, robust maps available to you where you’re most likely to need them.

SOURCE: Official Google Mobile Blog

Sanjay Kapoor: Airtel still on track to launch 3G services this year

22 Dec

Airtel’s CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, maintained that the carrier was set to launch 3G services in India before the end of this year while speaking at the Nokia Conversations event in New Delhi. Kapoor said that the carrier was awaiting government clearances to flip on the 3G switch.

When asked about unlimited data plans, he insisted that fair usage policies are here to stay. “Unlimited data plans are not sustainable in India because of the high cost of spectrum allocation and the scarcity of spectrum. However, consumers will have the choice of affordable Internet access with sachet plans for daily or weekly access,” he told the audience of this invitation only event.

Kapoor also revealed that the carrier is looking at alternative technologies to cater to ‘hotspots’ – areas where network congestion might lead to poor service experience. Airtel is likely to go with LTE as Kapoor was present at a recent LTE demonstration by Nokia Siemens Networks at the India Telecom event held in Delhi earlier this month.

The panel, which comprised of Nokia’s D Shivakumar apart from industry analysts and Kapoor, opined that the success of 3G in India would eventually depend on the user experience and the government’s ability to provide more 3G spectrum in the future.

Motorola launches Quench XT5 in India for Rs 13,990

17 Dec

Motorola has launched the Quench XT5 in India, the successor of the Quench XT3, which we reported a few months ago. The XT5 brings to the table a 5.0 MP camera with LED flash, Wi-Fi and a 3.2-inch display. The XT5 is priced at Rs 13,990 and Motorola has tied up with Aircel, which is offering free data and voice calls.

The press release:

NEW DELHI – Dec. 16, 2010 – Motorola Mobility India Private Limited today announced the launch of the QUENCH™ XT5 in India. With a winning combination of power, usability and style, the QUENCH XT5 is designed to bring to you the power of Android™ 2.1 and an easy and fun touch screen mobile Internet experience at an attractive price.

“As the Android-powered market in India continues to grow significantly, we remain committed to expand our portfolio of smartphones to deliver wider choices across price segments to the Indian consumer,” said Faisal Siddiqui, country head of India, Motorola Mobility. “The QUENCH XT5 showcases Motorola’s design heritage by offering a compelling differentiation from the traditional Android experience, giving people an easier way to enjoy messaging, web browsing and music. The value for money Motorola QUENCH XT5 is elegant and intuitive with a high style quotient, and comes with exciting offers from Aircel. In addition, you get an adidas jacket and two pairs of movie tickets absolutely free making it a truly delightful purchase!”

The slim and sleek QUENCH XT5 is just 12.5mm thin, weighs a featherweight 114grams, and fits naturally and easily into the palm of the hand with a comfortable soft-touch finish. The user can navigate the phone with either the bright, high-resolution 8.1cm (3.2inch) capacitive touch screen, or with just one hand using a convenient trackball that keeps the screen finger-free for easy viewing.

Pinch to zoom features, 3.5G speed4 and WiFi4 connectivity help the user surf the web4effortlessly on the QUENCH XT5 and ensure that you’re always connected with friends and colleagues. A 5MP camera with digital zoom and LED flash ensures great pictures and videos that can easily be uploaded to your favorite social networking sites2&4.

The Motorola QUENCH XT5 supports the Android platform, a vast range of Google TM services4, and access to thousands of applications and widgets on Android Market TM. An expanded search function helps the user to keep track of all data on the phone, such as bookmarks, web browsing history, contacts and more. It even helps you find data in applications, a useful feature in a phone with support for up to 32GB of storage and space for thousands of songs and dozens of hours of video2.

Motorola’s winning design gives the QUENCH XT5 a premium feel at a price that’s right for everyone. There’s never been a better time to make the leap to a sleek, trendy, full-featured, Android-powered touch screen smartphone.

Key Features Include:

  • A 5MP camera with digital zoom and LED flash
  • Extras4 such as 3.5G4 and Wi-Fi access4, a GPS and stereo Bluetooth®3 make QUENCH XT5 a solid Android-powered device
  • Supports varied music formats — MP3, MIDI, OGG VORBIS, PCM/WAV, AAC LC/LTP, AAC+, Enhanced AAC+
  • Accelerometer
  • Full HTML browser with Web kit for PC-like web browsing4
  • Video: capture / playback / streaming, H.263, H.264, Mpeg-4
  • MP3 player
  • Preloaded social networking sites (e.g. Myspace / Facebook® )
  • Expanded search function makes it easier to find information online or within the device to keep track of all data on the phone, such as bookmarks, web browsing history, contacts and more, serve up Google Search TM results based on location4, or launch applications
  • The trackball allows browsing through menus and web pages without obstructing the screen
  • Size: 116 x 56.8 x 12.5mm
  • Memory is expandable up to 32GB; 2GB SD card in-box
  • 3.5mm (0.35cm) headset jack

Pricing and Availability

The Android 2.1-powered QUENCH XT5 is available in association with Aircel in India at an attractive Best Buy price5 of Rs 13,990 (MRP: Rs 15,990). With every Motorola QUENCHXT5, you get a 2GB SD card in-box and an attractive Aircel Offer1.You can choose any one Aircel offer1:-

  • Get an Aircel Prepaid connection and enjoy up to 9GB download to be consumed in three months PLUS 150 Aircel to Aircel local minutes. To activate this offer, please SMS ‘SMART PI’ to 54343 from your Aircel number or,
  • Get an Aircel Postpaid connection and enjoy up to 1GB per month download for six months. To activate this offer visit the nearest Aircel Store1

LG Optimus 2X officially announced with its dual-core Tegra 2 processor

17 Dec

LG has announced the world’s first Android smartphone with a dual-core processor. The LG Optimus 2X aka the LG Star, features a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor that offers much better graphics processing than other single core 1 GHz processors and consuming lower battery at the same time.

The Optimus 2X also captures video in full 1080p HD resolution and comes with an HDTV out feature that “expands content” to fit the larger HD display. The smartphone currently runs Android 2.2 Froyo but the company promises it will be updated to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It will be available in Korea in January followed by other markets of Europe and Asia.

We believe that this is just the beginning of smartphones with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processors. The company has been demonstrating its Tegra line for more than a couple of years but it is only now that OEMs have a use case to integrate these super charged processors in their smartphones. Expect every major handset vendor (barring Nokia, in all probability) to showcase some devices, both smartphones and Internet Tablets, at next month’s CES in Las Vegas and then at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

LG Optimus 2X specs

1Ghz Dual-core Processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2)

4-inch WVGA screen

8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD)

1,500 mAh battery

8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera

HDMI mirroring

1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording

HTC set to launch Windows Phone 7 smart phones in India

14 Dec

Microsoft might have scheduled the launch of Windows Phone 7 in India for 2011 but it seems that HTC has plans of it’s own. The Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer is all set to launch at least two Windows Phone 7 smartphones in India this month. We have been able to confirm from multiple sources that the first smartphone will be the HD7, HTC’s workhorse Windows Phone 7 smartphone.

Online retailer Flipkart pegs the Price of the HD7 at Rs 29,999. The HD7 has a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 5.0 MP camera that can shoot videos in 720p resolution and a 1 GHz processor.