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Android Market gets a facelift

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

  

One common source of complaints from Android users is how the Market app can be somewhat tricky to use. I've always found the user experience to be not that great compared with the Apple App Store, for example. Thankfully, Android developers have been hard at work, and have launched a new version of the Market app. They are adding a new 'carousel' in the home screen which will make discoverability of apps easier. They are also adding some categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers, and promising to add more in the weeks ahead for popular apps and games. The way information is shown about each app is also changed, with everything being shown on a single page. Finally, the refund window will drop from 24h to 15 minutes, since apparently people typically uninstall applications they don't like only minutes after installing them. The update will be rolled out over the next two weeks to devices running Android 1.6 or above.

Read More | Android Blog

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Microsoft won’t talk Windows Phone 7 sales numbers

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

windows phone 7 sales

Microsoft's great dive into the modern smartphone market with Windows Phone 7 was launched over a month ago now with great hype and millions poured into marketing worldwide. And then, nothing. Yesterday, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore (the Director of Windows Phone Program Management) was asked at the Dive Into Mobile conference how their phone is doing. Yet once again, they dodged the question multiple times. Techcrunch extrapolates that since companies usually jump on the opportunity to promote their sales figures, the fact that Microsoft has gone silent, and in fact refuses to speak numbers, then sales of Windows Phone 7 must be disappointing. Indeed, Belfiore said it could be a couple of years before WP7 gets "good marketshare". Meanwhile, the General Manager for Windows Phone Developers Charlie Kindle said WP7 was a "long term project". While it's just conjecture at this point, if the numbers end up being disappointing, there's no question it would deal a large blow to the company as they try once more to break up against the iPhone and Android handsets.

Read More | Techcrunch

Samsung Nexus S: Next Google phone to launch Dec. 16 with Gingerbread

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Handhelds

Google Nexus S

The Google Nexus S is officially the next Google phone, as Google confirmed it this morning, throwing up a product page for the upcoming smartphone. What's so special about it? Well, for starters, it's the first phone to ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and Google says that owners of the Nexus S will be the first to receive future software and app updates. It's got a 4-inch WVGA display, tri-band HSPA (but no HSPA+ to take advantage of those faster T-Mobile speeds,) a 5 megapizel camera, front-facing VGA camera, and near-field communication built-in. It has 16GB of storage built-in, and 512MB RAM with a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. Other interesting tidbits include the contour display, which kind of shapes to your face, integrated VoIP support, and gyroscope.

You'll be able to purchase the Nexus S on December 16th at Best Buy locations for $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract, or $529 unlocked. On December 20th, it'll be available in the UK at Best Buy UK and Carphone Warehouse.

Read More | Nexus S via Google Blog


Winner of our HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 giveaway: jazboy!

htc hd7 giveaway

Our HTC HD7 giveaway ended this week, and we've confirmed the details of our winner. jazboy left the winning comment, chosen randomly (using random.org) from all eligible comments. Nice job, and congrats! We hope you enjoy doing more with less with Windows Phone 7.


2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Zomm wireless smartphone leash

Zomm Bluetooth wireless leash

We've spent some time with the Zomm "wireless leash" and have come away impressed by the simplicity of the device, as it's one of those things that make you wonder why a product like it hasn't been available until now. With that, we thought it would be a good inclusion in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. The Zomm can be attached to your keychain, and connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth. Once paired, it becomes your wireless alarm system for your phone. For example, if you walk away from your phone, Zomm will sound a notification alarm and start vibrating, letting you know that you've left your device more than 30 feet away. This way, you don't leave a restaurant without your phone, or spend forever looking for it because you left it in the car (or, that you are in your car driving and left your phone at home!) Cool enough, but it does more.

Zomm also has an integrated speaker and microphone, so it also acts as a hands-free calling device. If your phone rings, Zomm will ring as well, and you just press the Z button to take the call without having to fish around for your phone while driving. Zomm also has a built-in panic alarm. Hold down the Z button and the alarm will go off. Continue holding it, and the Zomm will use the Bluetooth connection to your phone to dial 911, and it will let you speak with the authorities right from the Zomm device. This is seriously a cool piece of technology that is a must-have for those people who constantly leave their smartphones behind in cabs and restaurants, or just anyone who wants an extra layer of security with them at all times. You can get a Zomm from Newegg for $79.99.

Click to continue reading 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Zomm wireless smartphone leash

Read More | Zomm Bluetooth Smartphone Leash

RIM acquires TAT

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Cell Phones, Corporate News

RIM buys TAT

Research In Motion announced today the joining of The Astonishing Tribe, or TAT, to their team. TAT has been involved in many mobile user interface designs, such as the original Android UI on the T-Mobile G1, and will be lending their artistry to the BlackBerry PlayBook and RIM's smartphone platforms. What does this mean for BlackBerry users? Well, judging by TAT’s previous design efforts they’re going to be some happy BBMers.

Read More | BlackBerry Blog

Playstation Phone spied in Greece

PlayStation Phone sony ericsson z1

Codename Zeus, the suspected PlayStation Phone, made its way onto the Internet via a spy video taken in Greece. The Sony Ericsson crossover device is one half Android (Gingerbread) smartphone and one half PSP. The video doesn’t show much, nor does it show the slide out gaming control pad, but from what we can see it looks authentic enough.

Techblog reports that the gaming phone is called the Sony Ericsson Z1. Check out the video after the jump. 

Click to continue reading Playstation Phone spied in Greece

Read More | Engadget via Youtube


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

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.


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