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Android introduces content rating

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Software

The Android marketplace has often been called the wild west, as compared with the more organized Apple App Store.  It's hard to always know which apps are available, and if those apps are suitable for everyone. Providing users with more information about the apps they download has apparently been a top request, and now the Android team at Google is introducing a rating system which all apps will have to adopt going forward. Starting next week, developer who want to sell software in the Android marketplace will need to signify if their app is intended for All, Pre-Teens, Teens or Mature people only. For those already in the marketplace, the developers will have to add a rating, or they will be marked as Mature.

Read More | Android Blog

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Android phones overtake Symbian in Asia

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Software

android beats symbian asia

It's no secret that Android phones are growing in popularity at an amazing rate, with new phones being introduced all the time. In North America, it's already the most popular smartphone platform, beating out iOS and Blackberry. However, in the rest of the world, it's a different story. Phones based on the Symbian system rule the market, but Symbian marketshare has been going down steadily. This week, the research firm GfK reports that in the third quarter, Android overtook Symbian for the first time in Asia.

According to the firm: "Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately."

Definitely nice to see that the mobile OS competition is heating up across the globe.

Read More | GfK

Do More With Less: We’re giving away an HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 smartphone!

HTC HD7 windows phone 7 giveaway

We're giving away an HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 device to one of you guys here in our "Doing More with Less" giveaway! Not too familiar with WP7? Be sure to check out our Windows Phone 7 review, and read on for the details on how to enter.

Over the past three years, we've seen smartphones shrink in size while gaining a ton of functionality. In fact, it's hard to imagine ever using the bulky QWERTY sliders that were just about as thick as the original Game Boy. With the iPhone, Android devices, thinner BlackBerrys, and now WIndows Phone 7 devices jumping into the fray, we've truly got a situation where we are able to do way more than we'd ever dreamed we could do with a mobile phone, in a device that is so small that it comfortably fits in our pocket while the manufacturers tout how thin they are. Speaking of doing more with less, did you know that the smartphone in your pocket has more technology in it than the first rocket that went to outer space?

Now we want to hear from you--hit the comments and give us some examples where you can do more with less. It can be technology-related, or not. We will be picking a random winner based on the comments received. Here are the official rules:

  • How to enter: Just leave a comment on this article, focusing on "Doing More with Less". You can leave one comment per day until the giveaway’s close. Each comment must be substantially different than the previous.
  • Timeframe: The contest ends on November 29th, 2010. At this time comments will be closed on this post and a winner chosen with Random.org.
  • Eligibility: The contest is open to US residents only who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • Prize: The one winner will receive the HTC HD7, a T-Mobile Windows Phone 7 device that's an approximate retail value of $500.

This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Learn more about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.


White HTC EVO 4G moves into Sprint stores

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Cell Phones, Design, Handhelds

If you wanted to get your hands on an aesthetically pleasing HTC EVO 4G, but for some reason were against Best Buy, then you'll be pleased to know that the elusive white HTC EVO 4G that was once exclusive to Best Buy is now making its way into Sprint retail locations everywhere, as well as other third party stores. The price will remain the same $199 contract after $100 mail-in rebate. While the front of the phone remains black, the white back will give you that exclusive look that you crave.

Read More | Sprint via Sprint


A look at the Google Nexus S

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Rumors

Google NExus S

Ever since Google released an "official" Android phone, the Nexus One (a.k.a. the phone that provided a baseline of what an Android phone should be,) people have been speculating and wondering when the Nexus Two would appear. In the past few weeks, the rumors have gained momentum once again, and now it appears Engadget received some exclusive images that show the Nexus S, a phone from Samsung that would be the true successor to the Nexus One.  A lot is still rumored at this point, but check out the link for detailed shots of every side as well as the interior from this upcoming device.

Read More | Engadget

Microsoft Kin returning to Verizon?

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Microsoft, Rumors

kin returning to verizon

A few months ago, Microsoft introduced the ill-fated smartphone called the Kin. The small feature phone was available on Verizon in two different form factors, and was then canceled faster than any other phone before. It became known as the least successful smartphone ever. Yet, a recent leak of a Verizon internal communication suggests that both devices are coming back to Verizon soon. But this may not be such a bad move. There was nothing wrong with a Kin perse, as the device felt solid, and it was fully integrated with social networks, as a modern feature phone should be. The main issue was that it was sold by Verizon as a full smartphone, with expensive data plans, when it shouldn't have been. According to the leaked papers however, it seems that Verizon may be willing to change their tune on that point. Will this make the Kin a success, or is it's time passed already? We'll see soon enough.

Read More | PPCGeeks

Skype for Android update fixes some issues, ignores others

Posted by Jazz English Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

Skype for AndroidSkype update it's Android application today with version 1.0.1.

The first thing addressed is the support for screen resolutions common to more Android phones. Skype also announced that the hardware back key will now send the application to the background, while still allowing calls and IMs. Skype stated that this fix should also lesson battery consumption. Other fixes include: 

  • Signing out from Skype now exits Skype.
  • Improved login stability and behavior.
  • Improved performance with large contact lists.
  • Reduced application size.

Problems having to do with the Galaxy S line of phones remain and Skype simply states that they "do not recommend installing Skype 1.0.1 for Android on this device with Android 2.1 and below."

Read More | Skype Blog

Windows Phone 7 review round-up

windows phone 7 review

Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, Windows Phone 7, is now for sale throughout the US. How do these new devices fare? Should you throw your iPhone or Blackberry out of the window for a brand new Windows Phone? Or is this just another device for the history books? Well, we've given you our Windows Phone 7 review (as well as a review of the HTC Surround!), but if you wanted a second opinion, here's a list of reviews to help make up your mind:

  • Engadget has a very in-depth review, going point by point over every feature of the phone, along with pictures and commentaries. They refer to their initial preview, saying that "it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product" and "there's a lot to like or even love in WP7". At the end of their review are also links to more reviews on the individual Windows Phone devices.
  • Gizmodo follows in with another slightly less extensive review, in which they conclude with their stamp of approval.
  • The New York Times has a fairly short review that asks several questions such as "will these battle plans help catapult Microsoft’s latest smartphone attempt into a relevant standing in this important space" and concludes by saying that "so far the new AT&T phones seems to have everything going for them".
  • Apart from the written reviews, what I typically prefer are video reviews such as this one from MobileTechReview in which they go over every feature in this very in-depth 27 mins 2-parts review. They also have videos about the individual devices.

We'd love to hear from anyone who's decided to pick up a Windows Phone 7 device - what do you think?


Windows Phone 7 devices now available in the US

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Microsoft

windows phone 7

Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, is now available to all in the US. The company's primary partner is AT&T, and they have the Samsung Focus  and HTC Surround (see our HTC Surround review and photo gallery) for $199 with a 2 years contract, with the LG Quantum launching in a few days. The phones are also available without a contract for $499. Meanwhile,  T-Mobile has the HTC HD7 for $199, with the Dell Venue coming in later this year. Microsoft has stated that they will put $400 million towards advertising Windows Phone 7 as they hope to compete with the iPhone and Android phones this holiday season. Gartner predicts the company's share of the mobile space will climb above 5% by next year.

Read More | Microsoft

Verizon offers unlimited data plan

Verizon just announced a new plan for mobile users that distinguishes it from it's past offers, as it's the first time in a while that the biggest network in the US offers a truly unlimited data plan. Customers in select areas are reporting receiving the offer by mail. For $70 a month, one would get 450 minutes, with unlimited text and data. According to Verizon, this is a promotion, so there's no telling if this plan will hold for a long time. Still, this is a first move which hopefully other carriers will start following, as we users download more and more data on our iOS and Android phones. If you're already a Big Red customer, this may be worth looking into if you're a heavy data user.

Read More | Verizon

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