Tag Archives: Android

Does the Samsung Nexus S have a concave display?

17 Nov

Something new about the Samsung Nexus S is being revealed with every passing day. Yesterday it was the presence of an NFC chip and today rumours have it that the Nexus S has a concave display. Yup, Engadget is claiming that the Nexus S is curved and is thinner in the middle than the top and bottom edges. Apparently, this design provides a better experience (or perceived to provide) than the normal flat displays that we are used to. Samsung has reportedly been showing off this design to carriers in the US for almost a year now but could not deliver the goods when Sprint bit the bait. Probably, Samsung showed the same to Google, which led it to become the flagship Gingerbread device. Sounds like a believable story but we would like to see it on the device itself.

SOURCE: Engadget

Update: Micromax to sell the 'modu T' phone in India

19 Oct

We know we have been bombarding you with posts related to Micromax but we promise that this is the last and the final one for today. We can now confirm that Micromax will announce that it will distribute the modu T phone in India. Yup, the same tiny phone which was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the lightest 3.5G touch phone in the world.

The modu T is a sleek device with a 2.2 inch touchscreen, 2GB of onboard memory (expandable upto 32GB with a microSD card), a 5.0 MP snapper, FM radio and GPS. It also offers a couple of pre-embedded social networking apps.

And in case you’re wondering about the Micromax Android and the Micromax EG333 (EVDO+GSM) handsets, let us tell you that those phones are around the corner and we will keep our eyes peeled.

Update: We have been able to glean some more information from our sources. Modu will utilise Micromax’s distribution strength to sell its wares. The device is likely to be priced at Rs 9,999 Rs 12,500 and will come with two jackets – sportify and camerafy. The camerafy jacket will give it a 5.0 MP camera.

Vodafone to launch HTC Desire HD and Desire Z in India

8 Oct

We had reported earlier that HTC was hosting a party on October 7 and we were hoping we would get to see some new Windows Phone 7 gear. But it seems that the event was just to announce the Asia Pacific launch of the Desire Z and the Desire HD. Now the good news, the two Android smartphones will be available in India pretty soon with Vodafone. It might give an impression that the devices would be locked to Vodafone, but our experience suggests that it is simply a marketing and branding tie-up and the devices would work across carriers. HTC has not put a date or price, yet.

Why Microsoft sued Motorola for Android-related patent infringements

3 Oct

With too much at stake when it comes to smartphones (the high-margin game), it is not surprising for Microsoft to sue Motorola for patent infringement. The Seattle, Washington based software giant claims that Motorola’s Android-based smartphones infringe upon its patents.

“Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones. The patents at issue relate to a range of functionality embodied in Motorola’s Android smartphone devices that are essential to the smartphone user experience, including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.”

We doubt if Microsoft managed to rattle any cages in Chicago, Illinois, where Motorola is head quartered. Remember, Microsoft cut a deal with HTC, which makes smartphones running on both Android and Windows Phone operating systems, to share IP and help HTC stand against Apple, which had sued it for patent infringements. Motorola, on the other hand, is devoted to Android alone (at least for the time being) and hence, is a potential threat to Microsoft. Smartphones from HTC, LG and Samsung, running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 devices are expected to be launched later this month.

This is also Microsoft’s ploy to warn others that using an open source operating system will make them vulnerable to such IP-related lawsuits. Unlike Google, Microsoft licenses Windows Phone 7 operating system to manufacturers which frees them from getting hassled with these lawsuits.

Sony Ericsson's LiveView – a mini accessory that controls your Android device

1 Oct

Now you won’t have to drag out your Android smartphone from your pocket or your handbag each time it rings. Instead, you can view your incoming calls, messages, tweets and Facebook updates on LiveView, a portable Bluetooth accessory by Sony Ericsson. This LiveView has a 1.3-inch coloured OLED display and it connects with your Android mobile phone (supports Android 2.1 OS and above) once you download an app on your phone and consequently, users can read their messages, play music and find out who’s calling them.

Now that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 line up is about to receive an OS update this October, this portable Bluetooth device will be worth a buy this Diwali and if in case, you lack the patience of waiting till then, you can try it out with those ‘haute-arse’ Moto and HTC devices running on Android 2.1.

Binatone launches Rs 9,000 Android tablet

19 Sep

There is yet another player in the Indian smartphone/tablet market, Binatone. Many remember the brand as being associated with televisions and other consumer electronics in the nineties. Well, they are back and now are betting on tablets and smartphones running Android.  And they are fighting big on price. Most impressive of their offerings is a rather natty looking HomeSurf 8″ Touch tablet, which is almost as slim as the iPad, runs Android 1.6, has an 8 inch resistive screen, Wi-Fi, 2 GB onboard storage, 128 MB RAM and is powered by an ARM 11 667 MHz processor. But the killer is the price: Rs 9,000, which is less than half that charged by other Android tablets in the market today. We might just be looking at the first attempt to make the tablet mainstream, even if it does depend on an older version of Android!

In a presentation mailed to us, the company made a pretty stiff argument favouring the Android platform and also showed off its Android-based HomeSurf range of smartphones, MIDs, netbooks and tablets.  What is not as good is the fact that the company has opted to go with an archaic version of the OS – 1.6. Still, we guess that if it brings the prices down, there will be takers, which should in turn, pull down prices of other products (witness what Micromax has done in the cellphone market). Interesting times!

Vapourware, eh? $35 Android tablet arriving in January 2011

8 Sep

This could be India’s ultimate tech achievement. If the Minister for Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal surprised all us cynics by actually showing the world a prototype of the $35 7-inch Android tablet, there are numerous reports coming in that that the device might actually see the light of the market in January 2011 will go a long way in blowing away the “vapourware” speculation surrounding the device. According to the reports, the contract for manufacturing the tablets has been awarded to one of India’s leading tech companies, HCL, and the first batch of tablets will be seen in the market as early as January 10, 2011. Interestingly, no mention has been made of the price at which these tablets will be made available to students and the general public, but even if the price tag is double that of the proposed $35 one, it would be one heck of an achievement.

Yes, we were cynical about it. Yes, we are longing to eat humble pie. Bring it on, HCL.

Vlingo takes on Google Voice Actions, goes free – and does not need Froyo!

15 Aug

All right, we literally love the sound of this. Vlingo, the folks who have given us some really super voice to text software, have made their Android application free. What’s more, unlike Google Voice Actions, you do not need a Froyo-running phone to use it – it works just dandy on Android 2.1 and 2.0. The decision comes within a day of Google releasing Voice Actions, ensuring that the Android platform is set to see quite a battle in the sound-to-text sphere.

While Dave Grannan, President and CEO of Vlingo, congratulated Google on Voice Actions on the official Vlingo blog, he also tactfully pointed out the advantages Vlingo offers over Google’s offering:

“For all the appeal of Voice Actions, we think we still have something compelling to offer the market by virtue of Vlingo being an independent provider of voice-enablement: namely we don’t have to preference any particular content. So just as our product runs across all smartphones (iPhone, Android, RIM BlackBerry, Nokia Series 60, Windows Mobile), we also mash up with content other than Google content. Our current Android product leverages Facebook and Twitter for example (and here’s a hint—look for more such mash ups coming out very soon in our Vlingo for Android product). And of course we also have other features not yet present in Voice Actions, such as our SafeReader feature that reads your incoming text and email messages to you.”

In case you have been living on a really non-appy planet (Vlingo is also available for the iPhone and BlackBerry), Vlingo is an app that lets you send texts, mails, dial numbers, update Twitter and do a few more nifty things by just speaking into your handset. Well, it actually works. So well that if you have an Android handset running version 2.1 or above, we are going to mark you down for suspected insanity.

Security experts release software that enables hackers to control Android smartphones

31 Jul

A security expert duo from Spider Labs have created a software that let’s hackers control Android phones on which it is installed, reports Reuters. The duo developed the tool to persuade handset manufacturers (more likely Google) to plug a security hole that lets hackers read the victims e-mails and text messages. They spent just two weeks to develop the root kit and distributed it on a DVD to the attendees of the Defcon hacker’s conference in Las Vegas.

SOURCE: Reuters

Google announces licensing service to combat piracy of Android apps

28 Jul

Google’s Android team has released a new service to help protect paid apps from getting pirated. The licensing service, which is available now, will make apps ping Google servers at regular intervals to ensure that only legitimate buyers can use an app. The service will work on all Android phones that have Android Market and are running Android 1.5 or higher. The service will be available to only those apps which are sold via Google’s Android Market application store.

Before this service, Google had placed restrictions on where and on which phones paid apps could be installed in order to disable users from copying those apps. Till now, paid apps were not allowed on phones that provided root access (where users can connect the phone to a PC and access all files, including app installation files) and users could not store these apps on a memory card, which was one of the biggest limitation considering most Android phones had just a few hundred megabytes of space for apps.

All this will change with the new licensing feature, which is now available to developers. However, app developers will have to tweak their apps by including the code for this service.