No, this isn’t the most exciting story about mobile devices this weekend, but we’ve gotta hand it to Microsoft for listening to the masses on the whole Windows Phone 7 Series branding. It was too long, there was no simplicity, and frankly, it made no sense. Rather than stubbornly sticking with it, they’ve heard our cries, and Windows Phone 7 Series is now simply known as Windows Phone 7 from here on out. This doesn’t change the hardware or software in any way, mind you, it’s strictly a branding change. A smart branding change.
Over at CTIA, Sprint just dropped the big announcement that we knew was coming, they will be launching the first 4G smartphone - the HTC EVO 4G - and they will be doing it “this summer.” The EVO 4G runs Android 2.1, and has a gorgeous 480x800 4.3-inch TFT LCD display and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8650 processor and 512MB of RAM. Onboard memory isn’t much to write home about at 1GB, but seriously, that is the only “flaw” we can find with the initial look at this device, if you want to even call it that. I mean, it ships with an 8GB microSD card, and is upgradeable to 32GB. Still, built-in is always nice.
Wanna talk about some of the more exciting stuff? Well, we’ve got an 8 megapixel camera on the back, which can shoot 720p HD video, as well as a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera. You know, the one we’ve been waiting for on the iPhone? Expect to be able to do video chatting on the EVO 4G. Also, expect to be able to view the content stored on it on a larger display, since this thing rocks HDMI out. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi support and an 8GB microSD card round things out, so as you can see, this thing is packed. Oh, and let’s not forget that whole 4G thing.
The HTC EVO 4G will be the first device outside of AT&T that will allow for both voice and data to be used at the same time, thanks to the phone running both EV-DO Rev. A and WiMAX alongside a CDMA antenna. Even cooler, in our opinion, is that this device acts similar to a MiFi or Overdrive device, where it becomes a mobile hotspot that allows you to share your 4G connection with your other devices wirelessly. However, rather than being limited to five connections, the EVO 4G can give that good 4G Internet lovin’ to 8 devices at once.
Sprint knows that those picking up a 4G device are going to expect a lot more from their connection their phones that are stuck on 3G, and they demo’d a few scenarios to show that they are serious. You can stream high definition content to and from the device, take pictures and stream them anywhere, get instant and live search results with Google Goggles, and much more.
Despite the torrent of info that Sprint provided as it pertained to the HTC EVO 4G, they did neglect to provide a solid release date, as well as the price of both the EVO 4G itself, or the associated 4G data plan.
Just yesterday we let you know that the Nexus One had made it to AT&T and Rogers Wireless, and that it would be hitting Verizon this Spring. Well, Sprint, not wanted to be left out of the party, announced today that the Nexus One would be coming to their network as well! They have no price, nor a release date, but hey - at least now we know that Google’s flagship device will be available soon on all four major US wireless carriers. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Read More | Sprint
Looks like Google is finally ready to be serious with the Nexus One. As of today, the device is fully compatible with AT&T 3G, as well as Canada’s Rogers Wireless 3G bands. Previously, you could use the Nexus One with those carriers, but you wouldn’t be able to get 3G speeds, so you were relegated to the much slower EDGE network. You can purchase the new model, which is the same as the upcoming Verizon and currently available T-Mobile Nexus One units in every other way, as an unlocked device without a service plan, directly from Google for $529.
Read More | Nexus One product page
Damaka has announced the release of its Live Video Streaming solution for laptops and certain BlackBerry and Android devices. So, while EMT’s with BlackBerry and Android phones will be able to keep attending physicians in the ER in the loop as to an incoming patient’s condition with real-time video updates, woe betide the unlucky EMT who has a crap data plan or an iPhone.
Damaka’s Live Video Streaming solution, as they’re calling it, provides instant communication of video and voice via an encrypted channel that includes session archival & annotation features. Live video streaming is also able to be transmitted to multiple receiving devices over WiFi /3G / 4G network depending on the device. I just can’t wait to have a live video conference streaming from my mobile device while I’m driving, staring at my dash-mounted Garmin and trying navigate rush hour traffic—the future is NOW!
Quick note to iPhone and iPad developers out there, earlier today Apple released iPhone OS 3.2 Beta 4 SDK. This is build 10M2144, and comes two weeks after beta 3 was released. It’s a 2.5GB download, which can be yours immediately.
ASiQ Limited has announced the release of the world’s first bluetooth access-point for commercial airlines. According to Ron Chapman, ASiQ’s CEO, airlines will now be able to offer passengers affordable SMS, MMS, Voice-messaging and text email capabilities while in flight via their new SafeCell app. Better still, SafeCell will also eliminate GSM roaming charges since it does not require a GSM connection to deliver its services. Bluetooth access points are far more efficient than their Wi/Fi counterparts, as they operate as a Personal Area Network (PAN) and unlike Wi-Fi do not have to waste time and money logging in to the internet in order to establish a link. The SafeCell App uses file sizes that are so small even a narrow band satellite link can accommodate the SMS/MMS/text-email needs of up to 192 individual passengers. Bluetooth also operates at up to 3 megabits per second making it compatible with any current data or media plan available. Besides giving you more options to drain your battery with whilst in-flight than just playing Bejeweled II, ASiQ’s service will also enable you to completely ignore the fact that you are crammed in a glorified cigar-tube built by the lowest bidder. Hopefully. I’ll be the guy directly behind you faking trying to light his shoe on fire.
Today, the uber-expensive and not-so-much-better-than-anything-else-out-on-the-market-already Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 becomes available on the Wiredia website. At nearly $700 this thing had better come with the entire DVD set of StarBlazers and 42 ninja stars, or I am going to be seriously disappointed. According to the press release, you are going to be able to do everything that other smartphone users can do, plus the X2 is Skype-friendly. Is this a bonus? Who knows? All I know is that, judging by what I look like while fielding phone calls in the morning, this might end up being more of a curse than a benefit. Plus, if you think that Skype isn’t going to drain your battery faster than choosing vibrate/full volume on your settings then you probably still believe in the moon-landing too. Hippie.
Read More | Wiredia
Need a reason to chuck your Garmin/Tom-Tom, etc. out of your car other than ‘has stupid name and labels me as a poor-driving tourist wherever I go’? Well wait no longer, avid reader: today Alpine announced a strategic partnership with the Finnish cel phone giant, Nokia, to fully integrate smartphones into car infotainment systems. While I was surprised that ‘infotainment’ was actually a word, I was more surprised that this type of alliance hasn’t been made sooner. Not only are these two electronics giants looking to elbow in to the lucrative GPS/Nav market, but they are also bringing a few bells and whistles of their own, namely widgets that can monitor fuel levels and direct you to the nearest and cheapest gas station. Might as well go ahead and chuck that gas gauge now, Chachi, ‘cause you’re not going to need it anymore; welcome to the future, only 48 years after your grandpa thought he’d have a flying car.
Read More | Alpine
We took some time to chat with MPower at CES 2010, and they gave us a quick demo of their Emergency Illuminator flashlight device. Definitely unique, as it has two battery compartments - one for standard, and one for a super-long lasting battery. In addition, the flashlight sports a USB port, which you can use to charge, say, your mobile phone, in the event of an emergency.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring our CES 2010 coverage!