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Wednesday, 31.03.10
UTILITY: Palm releases Mobile Hotspot for German Palm Pre Users
Posted by Arne Hess - at 23:53 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

As expected, with today's webOS 1.4.1 update, Palm has indeed released its Mobile Hotspot application, the company released earlier this year for its Verizon Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus already. However, only O2 Germany customers will be able to download Palm's Mobile Hotspot application from Palm's updated App Catalog (because O2 Germany allows the use of handsets as modem without any extra charges). Palm's Mobile Hotspot enables the Palm Pre to act as a mobile WiFi router by providing wireless broadband access to up to 5 WiFi connected devices. The simple to configure application utilizes the existing data plans.

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ANNOUNCED: Palm releases webOS Update to enable Paid Apps for European Palm Pre Users [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:27 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Back in January, Palm announced to open its European App Catalog for paid apps as well and at that time Palm said that it was planned to go live in March 2010. Fast-forward - O2 Germany today announced via Twitter that tonight Palm will release a "mini update to enabled paid apps for the Palm Pre". While this was an announcement from O2 Germany only, it's most likely that Palm will release the same "mini update" (which should be available as the typical OTA download from Palm) for the UK, Ireland and Spain as well. This update will allow Palm Pre users to purchase webOS applications from Palm's App Catalog and should therefore increase the number of available applications.

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Tuesday, 30.03.10
APPROVAL: GCF approves the Palm P101UEU & Palm P121UEU - Pre Plus & Pixi Plus for Europe! [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:15 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Following Palm's recent announcement to launch GSM/UMTS versions of the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus with AT&T, it looks like the sister models are heading to Europe as well. The GCF (Global Certification Forum) just recently approved the Palm P101UEU and P121UEU. Since the GSM Palm Pre received its certification a while ago already, the P101UEU might be the GSM Palm Pre Plus while the P121UEU seems to be the European GSM version of the Palm Pixi Plus (expecting that the U stands for UMTS and EU for Europe). The GCF confirmed that both devices are quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA (but not HSUPA) at 2100/900 MHz. Therefore both devices can't be AT&T's webOS smartphones.

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Monday, 29.03.10
UPGRADE: Motorola Europe starts Motorola Milestone Android 2.1 roll-out across Europe [UPDATE2]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:33 CET under 04 - Android News

On its Motorola Europe Facebook page, Motorola has just announced that it has started with the promised and long awaited Android 2.1 roll-out for the Motorola Milestone (you know - the GSM/UMTS version of Verizon's Motorola Droid). According to Motorola, the European roll-out of Android 2.1 began today in France and will roll out across Germany, Italy and the UK between now and mid-April as testing and approvals are completed. Enhancements should include including live wallpapers, up to 9 home screens, added security for exchange server users and (yet not detailed) more (goodies)!

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VIDEOVIEW: Windows Phone 7 Series HTC HD2 Port Hands-on - True of Fake?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:40 CET under 09 - Thoughts

You might have seen the news from the weekend that an early build of Windows Phone 7 Series, which Microsoft announced during the recent Mobile World Congress, is said to be ported to an HTC HD2 and the developers proved it with photos and even two videos. If it would be a fake, it wouldn't be too hard to fake some photos - I've done it with Android on an HTC HD2 and Windows Phone 7 Series on a Motorola Milestone in the past as well but a video should be a good proof - or maybe not? There are no doubts that a) the HTC HD2 is powerful enough to run Windows Phone 7 Series and b) sooner or later some clever developers will find a way to bring Windows Phone 7 Series to an HTC HD2.

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Saturday, 27.03.10
UTILITY: O2 Germany soon to offer Palm's Mobile Hotspot for its Palm Pre
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:06 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

According to a recent tweet from O2 Germany, Palm's Mobile Hotspot application, the company released earlier this year for its Verizon Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, should become available as a public download from Palm's AppCatalog soon. While no release date was given, the Mobile Hotspot simulates a real access point, unlike other applications (for instance HTC's Mobile Wi-Fi Router which only works in ad-hoc mode). So the benefits are clear: Palm's Mobile Hotspot can also be used with devices which aren't supporting ad-hoc connections but need a real access point instead (for instance Microsoft's Zune HD or some of the Eye-Fi cards).

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BETA: Palm releases another Facebook Beta for its webOS-based Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:56 CET under 01 - General News

After Palm has released its first 1.1.x Facebook Beta two weeks ago, the second Beta was released just recently and it comes with a good amount of enhancements. Furthermore, and unlike the first Beta, this version is also available for international Palm Pre (Plus) and Palm Pixi (Plus) users. According to the Palm blog, the top requested feature is for access to Facebook notifications and so notifications became the focus of Palm's second Beta: Facebook 1.1.2. This release features two kind of notifications: Facebook notifications and webOS notifications which Palm wanted to marry. If a new Facebook notification occurs, a banner and dashboard will alert you to the info and you can get directly to that info.

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Thursday, 25.03.10
STATEMENT: Peter Chou about Windows Phone, Windows Mobile & Android Developments
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:21 CET under 01 - General News

During this week's CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas, HTC's Chief Executive Peter Chou said in an interview with Forbes, that the (Google) Nexus One's innovative design (which was made by HTC) "would help HTC attract new business, regardless of its consumer reception. We can quickly leverage that credit to show that we are the top Android brand". And despite initial customer service problems and rumored sluggish sales, Chou said also Google is satisfied with the phone: "(Google's) goal with the Nexus One was to really show how good Android can be (and) in that regard, I think it has been an achievement".

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Tuesday, 23.03.10
UNVEILED: HTC announces World's first 4G Android Smartphone - the HTC EVO 4G
Posted by Arne Hess - at 22:25 CET under 04 - Android News

Sprint and HTC today announced the launch of the world's first dual-mode 3G/4G Android smartphone, the HTC EVO 4G which will become available exclusively from Sprint. The HTC EVO 4G delivers a multimedia experience at 4G speeds, making it possible to download music, pictures, files or videos in seconds - not minutes. Running Android 2.1, the HTC EVO 4G delivers a robust list of features, including a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and dual cameras - an 8.0 megapixel autofocus main camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera.

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EXCLUSIVE: AT&T's Palm Pixi Plus shows its SIM Card Slot
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:12 CET under 01 - General News

Right after yesterday's announcement that AT&T will launch the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, we've received an anonymous photo (straight from today's CTIA Wireless as we were told) of an AT&T Palm Pixi Plus - showing the SIM card slot. While this isn't anything groundbreaking, it's the first of its kind photo I'm aware of because AT&T's Palm Pixi Plus is the first GSM version (and therefore the first sporting a SIM card slot) of Palm's second webOS smartphone. So far, the Pixi (Plus) was available on U.S. American CDMA networks only. This might also increase the chance that the Palm Pixi or Pixi Plus might sooner or later also hit other GSM/UMTS networks around the world.

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UNVEILED: Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 Android Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:42 CET under 04 - Android News

Today at the CTIA Wireless, Samsung has announced its latest Android smartphone - the Galaxy S GT-I9000 The Galaxy S incorporates a 4" Super AMOLED screen and a 1 GHz application processor. Powered by Android 2.1, the Galaxy S features quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as triband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/1900/2100 MHz. In addition it supports WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 and features aGPS, a digital compass, accelerometer  and proximity sensor as well USB 2.0. The inbuilt memory of either 8 GB or 16 GB can be expanded with microSD cards up to 32 GB.

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SHOPPING: HTC launches Online Store for HTC Smartphones and Accessories
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:16 CET under 01 - General News

Today, HTC America announced the launch of its e-commerce site at www.shopamerica.htc.com. On this website, consumers can now browse and purchase from a range of HTC phones - both - Windows Mobile and Android - and accessories, as well as activate their new handset by selecting a rate plan from one of the four nationwide US operators. When a customer accesses the site, available devices can be filtered by carrier, type of rate plan and desired features. After making the selection and checking out, activated devices and accessory orders of at least US$ 50 are sent to the customer with no shipping charges.

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CUSTOMIZATION: Windows Phone 7 Metro Icons for Windows Mobile
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:02 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

With the introduction of Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft also introduced a new design-language Microsoft calls Metro. According to Microsoft definition, Metro stands for a modern and clean design which is fast and in motion. It's about content and typography and it's entirely authentic. And now you can give your Windows Mobile smartphone a kind of Metro touch as well. Fellow Windows Mobile enthusiast and MVP Alex Januschewsky from mobilitynews.net has created a set of icons which can be used with Windows Mobile smartphones. It's a set of 29 PNG graphics which can be used to replace the original Windows Mobile icons.

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UNLEASHED: Kyocera announces its first Android Smartphone - the Kyocera Zio M6000
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:34 CET under 04 - Android News

The inventor of the smartphone (at least Kyocera was the first to call a smart mobile phone a smartphone) Kyocera Communications Inc., returns to the smartphone market when it announced the the Kyocera Zio M6000 Android smartphone at the CTIA Wireless 2010 trade show today. The Zio blends an elegant design with an ultra-intuitive user interface. Made for the American market only, the Zio runs Android 1.6 and supports CDMA2000 1xEV-DO rev. A as well as WiFi and Bluetooth and features an impressive, high-resolution 3.5" WVGA motion-enhanced, touchscreen display as a backdrop for a fully customizable mobile multimedia experience.

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RECAP: Microsoft MIX10 German Press Tour Event in Munich
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:01 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Yesterday evening, Microsoft Germany hosted a press event in Munich where it followed-up the MIX10 announcements from last week. For sure, the highlight was Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series smartphone platform but Microsoft also provided some insights of its updated Silverlight platform which became even more interesting now after Windows Phone 7 Series uses Silverlight as one of its development environments as well as of the upcoming Internet Explorer 9. According to Microsoft, it's MIX10 conference was a full success as it was the biggest MIX event ever and you have to keep in mind that Microsoft unveiled its schedule last minute - after any early bird discounts.

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CANCELED: Mozilla stops all Firefox Mobile Developments for Windows Mobile
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:25 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

The Firefox Mobile aka Fennec team has been building versions of Firefox Mobile for Windows Mobile for quite a while which nevertheless haven't made it to a final product yet. However, Mozilla's expectation was that Microsoft would be doubling down in the mobile market, especially with its new mobile operating system aka Windows Phone 7 Series. Nevertheless, since last week's MIX10 we know that - even if Windows Phone 7 Series is based on Windows CE 6 - Microsoft will only support managed code (either build in Silverlight or XNA) instead of native code. Therefore Stuart Parmenter announced on his blog that the Fennec team is putting its Windows Mobile developments on hold:

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TEXTING: Samsung and Swype set new Guiness World Record for fastest text message
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:38 CET under 01 - General News

Swype and Samsung yesterday announced that they have successfully set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest text message on a touchscreen mobile phone using Swype on the Windows Mobile 6.5 powered Samsung Omnia II. Using the official phrase of the Guinness World Records for records related to text messaging, "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human," Franklin Page, a recent employee of Swype successfully texted the phrase in 35.54 seconds using Swype technology.

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Monday, 22.03.10
UPDATE: Microsoft releases Outlook Mobile Update for Windows Mobile 6.1 Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:12 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Mobile 6.5.3 came with a couple of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 enhancements, these enhancements weren't available for Windows Mobile 6.1 phones. However, Microsoft has recently released an "Office Outlook Mobile" update for the use of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. With the update, Windows Mobile 6.1 users can benefit from some of the new features - including grouped E-Mails by conversation, improved free/busy lookup and the ability to sync SMS text messages. The Outlook Mobile update is available for all Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (with touchscreen) and Standard (without touchscreen) smartphones.

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EXPANSION: AT&T to launch webOS-based Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:49 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

In addition to the Dell Aero announcement, today AT&T also announced the upcoming launch of two other smartphones: Palm's webOS-based smartphones Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus. The new smartphones will run on the carriers 3G network and take advantage of the ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time. Featuring quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 850/1900 MHz, both devices will also feature WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 and integrated GPS. Palm's Synergy feature in webOS will keep E-Mails, contacts and calendars up to date with support for Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft Office Outlook - all in one view.

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UNVEILED: AT&T to launch the Dell Aero Android Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:34 CET under 04 - Android News

Today, AT&T announced to launch the Dell Aero, Dell's first Android smartphone. While neither AT&T not Dell have unveiled any further information, the Aero will be Dell's first Android smartphone available in the U.S., and will feature - according to AT&T's press release - a new, beautiful custom user interface developed by Dell and AT&T. While the supported bands are wrong, Dell's Aero might be the Dell M01M001, the GCF recently approved. If it's the North American sister-model, it can be expected that the Dell Aero will also features quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (but not at 900/2100 MHz as the M01M001 does).

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Friday, 19.03.10
ENHANCEMENT: Google introduces Google Buzz Widget for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:44 CET under 04 - Android News

Early February, Google launched its new Buzz service for mobile and desktop which is Google's way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. From the start, it was built right into Gmail as well as Google released new Google Maps Mobile clients with Buzz support. Google Buzz integrates photo, video and link-sharing and makes it easy to share it either publicly or privately. Now, Google has released a Buzz widget for Android phones that lets you post text and photos with a single tap, straight from the Android home screen. Like other mobile access points for Google Buzz, the widget lets you choose to tag your post with the location or place from which it was posted.

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WEEKLY FUN: Smartphone - Next Generation
Posted by Editorial - at 08:30 CET under 09 - Thoughts

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Thursday, 18.03.10
FEEDBACK: HTC Disagrees with Apple's Actions
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:07 CET under 01 - General News

HTC Corporation yesterday outlined its disagreement with Apple's recent legal actions. In the press statement, HTC affirmed that it's commitment to create a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people's lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators. The industry has recognized HTC's contributions through a variety of awards including Fast Company's 2010 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and MIT Technology Review's 2010 50 Most Innovative Companies.

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FINAL: Opera releases final Versions of Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 for Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:48 CET under 01 - General News

Earlier this week, Opera Software released the final versions of Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10, Opera initially introduced as the first public Betas back in November last year. This week's release puts the finishing touches on the Opera mobile-browsing duo. The focus is on delivering the best Internet experience on nearly any mobile phone, along with a unified look and feel and innovative favorite features, such as Speed Dial, password manager and tabbed browsing. Now, nearly any mobile phone can support an Opera-driven Web experience, complete with unmatched speed, style and cost savings.

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UPDATE: Google Gesture Search for Android now supports Android 1.6
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:26 CET under 04 - Android News

Two weeks ago, Google launched Gesture Search as a public Google Labs Beta and since the release, Google has received quite a bit of feedback. For example it was requested to support Gesture Search for earlier versions of Android, as well as access to it outside the US. Gesture Search lets you quickly find a contact, an installed application, a bookmark or a music track from hundreds or thousands of items, by simply drawing alphabet gestures on the touch screen. Say you want to call your friend Anne. Just open Gesture Search and draw letter "A", and Gesture Search returns a list of items that have words starting with "A".

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UPDATE: Google Maps for Android adds Search 'n Swipe, Latitude Widget and More
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:16 CET under 04 - Android News

Last night, Google has updated its Google Maps Mobile client for Android and the new Google Maps for mobile 4.1 client sports a few features that make sorting through search results or quickly seeing Maps info a bit easier. With the newly reimagined Google Maps for mobile search results page, Google has thrown away the tabs to give you all the info you want on one page. Tap the new buttons to see the place on the map, get directions, call it, or see it with Street View. The extra space let us bring details and reviews right up front. Furthermore grab the page with your finger and swipe it away to the left or right to see the next or last result.

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Monday, 15.03.10
CONFERENCE: Microsoft outlines new Developer Opportunities at MIX10 [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:24 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Today at MIX10, Microsoft is showcasing advancements in its platform technologies that enable the developer and designer community to deliver compelling user experiences across a broad set of devices. Building on the excitement of the recently announced Windows Phone 7 Series, Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Platform, and Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president, Windows Phone Program Management, detailed the opportunity for developers to use proven technologies such as Microsoft Silverlight and the XNA Framework to build new mobile applications and 3-D Games.

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CONFERENCE: Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7 Series Development Strategy and Tools at MIX10
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:00 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Today, Microsoft's MIX10 developer conference kicked-off with a keynote from Scott Guthrie, .NET Developer Platform and Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone Program Management. The MIX is a three day conference for web designers and developers building the world's most innovative web sites and during the keynote, Microsoft will unveil the development platforms for the Windows Phone 7 Series that will bring new applications, games and experiences to life. This includes Microsoft's end-to-end mobile development platform vision, new and free Windows Phone developer tools and an updated Windows Phone Marketplace. Furthermore, Microsoft has announced the release candidate of Silverlight 4 and Expression Blend 4 Beta.

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Sunday, 14.03.10
APPROVAL: GCF approves the Dell M01M001 - Android Smartphone ahead?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:31 CET under 01 - General News

No, I have absolutely no idea which Dell smartphone (or equipment) the Global Certification Forum recently approved but Dell just received an approval for its "M01M001" (or maybe M01 and/or M001). As always, the GCF isn't spilling any beans about the device itself but we now know that the Dell M01M001 features quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at the European/Asian 900/2100 MHz bands so this isn't anything American but something we might see soon in Europe and/or Asia. Other than the supported bands, the GCF also confirmed the support of MMS so it's unlikely that the M01M001 is just a Netbook or anything similar.

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THOUGHT: What does Windows Phone 7 Series need to have a Head Start?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:52 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Just ahead of next week's MIX10 conference, where Microsoft will (hopefully) unveil further details and information about its upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series platform, I thought about what Microsoft needs to make Windows Phone 7 a successful platform. Is it about multitasking or the ability to upgrade today's Windows Mobile 6.5 phones? No, at the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that it is about apps, apps and apps again. Why apps? Well, doesn't matter how good or bad Windows Phone 7 is out of the box - today's mobile phone and smartphone users expect something more from its device than just the 10 to 20 years old GSM services like voice, SMS and MMS.

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Saturday, 13.03.10
BETA: Palm releases Facebook Beta for webOS Palm Pre and Palm Pixi
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:41 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Just one week after Palm released its updated Facebook client for its webOS smartphones, Palm has recently launched another update - but this time as a Beta only and through the App Catalog's Beta channel. Version 1.1.1 isn't an official update yet but will make it an official one as soon as all bugs are fixed. It comes with a couple of handy feature-enhancements like video support which allows you to play videos from your news stream (Facebook started to encode their videos into the H.264 format, and for those that they have encoded, you will be able to watch) or shortcut keys for power users who want to be able to access areas in the app as quickly as possible.

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Friday, 12.03.10
RELEASE: Vodafone UK to carry the HTC Legend and HTC Desire in addition to the Nexus One
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:05 CET under 04 - Android News

Through its Twitter channel, Vodafone UK today announced that it will carry HTC's upcoming Android smartphones - the HTC Desire and the HTC Legend - from April. While it was announced during the recent Mobile World Congress, that Vodafone will be HTC's European partner for the HTC Legend, it's somewhat curious that Vodafone will also sport the HTC Desire. Basically, the HTC Desire is identically to Google's Nexus One, which was introduced in January and during Google's press conference, Vodafone was announced as one of the European partners which will launch the Nexus One later this Spring in Europe. As a matter of fact it means that you will get both HTC Bravo versions from Vodafone UK.

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PHOTOVIEW: HTC Legend Android 2.1 Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:40 CET under 08 - Reviews

HTC's brand new Android smartphone, the HTC Legend, is a real masterpiece of design. With its sleek unibody design, which is carved from a single block of aluminum, the device is extremely light and strong. And the brilliant AMOLED HVGA display is as bright and crisp as a LED display can be today. And while the 3.2" touchscreen is quite narrowed, in terms of the display resolution (the Legend only features a HVGA screen resolution at 320 x 480 pixel), the Legend is one of the handier smartphones in the market, measuring 112 x 56.3 x 11.5 mm only. Anything else is quite standard and state-of-the art: the 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and the 3.5 mm stereo headset jack on the top of the device.

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Thursday, 11.03.10
ENHANCED: Google Shopping Search introduces In Stock Nearby Location Based Feature
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:32 CET under 01 - General News

Last December, Vic Gundotra, Google Vice President of Engineering, demonstrated a preview version of Product Search for mobile devices with local inventory, which lets you see right in your search results whether items are in stock at nearby stores. And today, Google has announced that this feature is available - featuring products that is sold by participating retailers including Best Buy, Sears, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn or West Elm. Just look for the blue dots in the search results to see if it's available in a local store around you. Tap on the adjacent "In stock nearby" link and you'll see whether the item is "In Stock" or has "Limited Availability" near you.

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VIDEOVIEW: HTC Legend Android Smartphone Unboxing and Hands-on
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:03 CET under 08 - Reviews

Back in February during the Mobile World Congress, HTC announced the HTC Legend, the company's latest Android smartphone which is the legitimate follower of the HTC Hero. But the Legend isn't just a follower, is a masterpiece of design since it features a sleek unibody design - carved from a single block of aluminum - which makes the device unbelievable light weight (126 grams only) and strong. Furthermore, the Legend is one of HTC's first smartphones which comes with a brilliant AMOLED HVGA display. The Android 2.1/Eclair-powered smartphone features a 600 MHz Qualcomm CPU and supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/2100 MHz.

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ENHANCED: YouTube updates YouTube Mobile for Windows Mobile and S60
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:16 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following last year's launch of its dedicated YouTube Mobile client for Windows Mobile (and S60) smartphones, YouTube has recently updated its YouTube app for Windows Mobile and S60 phone. Since last March, the application was translated to 12 languages, installed on millions of devices around the world and has been chosen as a Nokia Ovi Top App of 2009. However, yesterday YouTube introduced version 2.4 which features search query suggestions, "My Account" support and a new homescreen user interface that is optimized for larger screens. The initial release sported a minimized set of features and focused on speed for things that matter: To find and play a video on your smartphone.

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SERVICE: Waze Turn-by-Turn Community Navigation hits Germany and France
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:17 CET under 01 - General News

Waze, a social community service which launched last year in the U.S. as a free turn-by-turn GPS app using crowd sourcing to detect real time traffic conditions is coming to Germany and France today. Map and traffic updates are automatically collected and generated as users drive with Waze activated, but drivers can also actively report and update other users with what's happening on the road including accident alerts, speed traps and more. And from today, German and French Waze users can benefit from a brand new road grid, localized UI and voice prompt and a road full of "goodies" to help new users rack up points as they help improve the navigability of the map in their areas.

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BROWSING: Opera Software launches Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:44 CET under 04 - Android News

Following Opera Software's demonstration of Opera Mobile during last month's Mobile World Congress, and the recent introduction of Opera Mini 5 native for Windows Mobile, Opera today launched Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android smartphones. Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android brings a fast and cost-efficient Web experience to any handset built on the Android platform. With a simple, easy-to-use interface, Opera Mini offers a desktop-like Web browsing experience on a mobile phone, with favorite features such as Speed Dial, tabbed browsing, password manager and bookmarks. With Opera Mini optimized for Android, more people will be able to get a PC-like browsing experience on their mobile handsets.

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Wednesday, 10.03.10
SERVICE: Google adds Biking Directions to Google Maps - Mobile Version coming next
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:52 CET under 01 - General News

Not yet released for Google Maps Mobile, Google has just released biking directions for Google Maps. However, like before with walking directions for Google Maps, Google has already announced that it will put this new and handy navigation feature into a future version of Google Maps Mobile as well. Google Biking directions which is - at the moment - available in the the U.S. only has been - according to Google - the most requested addition to Google Maps. This new feature includes: step-by-step bicycling directions, bike trails outlined directly on the map and a new "Bicycling" layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes and bike-friendly roads.

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THOUGHT: Blame the Buttons for the Lack of Windows Phone 7 Series Updates?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:33 CET under 09 - Thoughts

In the recent days, Microsoft made several times clear that none of today's Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones will get a Windows Phone 7 Series update because today's 6.5 smartphones don't support the 7 Series requirements and users have to wonder why Microsoft is so strict? While the exact feature-requirements are yet to be announced, let us have a look at one of the obvious differences between Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7: The buttons and the button layout. As a matter of fact, Microsoft confirmed in Barcelona that Windows Phone 7 Series devices require the Windows, back and search keys as well as a camera key, in addition to the volume rocker and power button.

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Friday, 05.03.10
CONFIRMED: No Windows Phone 7 backward Compatibility and more Development Information
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:48 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

In a recent blog posting, Microsoft's Charlie Kindel wrote about the Windows Phone 7 Series application development and he explains that Microsoft had to change its strategy to accommodate what developers have been asking for. Specifically developers told Microsoft to focus on the end user experience and take more responsibility for delivering integrated end user experiences, invest more deeply in the developer platform and developer experience as well as driving a standardized hardware platform creating a simpler ecosystem and a larger - consistent - opportunity. And therefore Windows Phone 7 developer experiences will build upon the following technologies:

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UNVEILED: First Microsoft Pink Pure Photo and Screenshots hit the Web
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:28 CET under 01 - General News

Following yesterday's news about Pink, even more information about Microsoft's rumored project popped-up. First of all, a very blurry picture of the smartphone - code-named "Pure" - made its way to the Internet and in addition, the first Pink screenshots hit the web too. While the blurry photo seems to show a kind of homescreen or menu (featuring Windows Phone 7-similar tiles) the screenshots are about the dialer, unlock screen and the camera quality while nothing else is shown. Nevertheless, it seems to be confirmed now that Pink is really coming to Verizon Wireless, because the screenshots show the carrier name and the FCC approved two "Pink-looking" phones some time ago with support for CDMA.

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WEEKLY FUN: What happened to him?
Posted by Editorial - at 08:30 CET under 09 - Thoughts

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Thursday, 04.03.10
ANNOUNCED: Canadian Telus to offer Android-powered Motorola Backflip with MotoBlur
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:29 CET under 04 - Android News

Telus today announced that it will be offering the acclaimed Android-powered Motorola Backflip with MotoBlur later this year, available in Canada only on the Telus 3G+ network. The Motorola Backflip is the ultimate smartphone, combining the best in social networking, personalization and multi-tasking all in one place. The Backflip also has an innovative backward flip design, which features a touchpad on the back of the touchscreen and a large user-friendly QWERTY keyboard. Backflip features MotoBlur, the only solution to sync all your friends, posts, feeds, messages, E-Mails, photos and much more - from sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, work E-Mail and more.

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RUMOR: Microsoft's Project Pink is still alive - and coming to Verizon
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:08 CET under 01 - General News

It definitely looks like that Microsoft's recently announced Windows Mobile 7 Series hasn't had to do anything with the company's long-time rumored project Pink but Pink a project of its own! Gizmodo just reports that it has received a couple of information and confirmed that Pink is still alive and coming at Verizon as Microsoft's confirmed carrier partner. A tipster passed Gizmodo an extensive set of marketing materials, in which a promotional plan for the Pink-launch is laid out in detail (however, Gizmodo decided to keep most of the proposed campaign's contents anonymous for the sake of its tipster). And while the documents don't talk about specs or software details there's plenty of information anyway:

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COOPERATION: Microsoft Selects Navizon for GPS-less Positioning
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:14 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Navizon Inc., (formerly Mexens Technology) this week announced that the company has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft under which Microsoft will use Navizon's global location database to provide an enhanced experience to its mobile users. Navizon, a software-only hybrid wireless positioning system, helps users navigate in most major cities across the globe without the need to have a GPS signal. Navizon works by triangulating signals broadcasted from WiFi access points and cellular towers, and the company's software is now embedded in numerous smartphone applications which are fast becoming essential tools for the modern urban lifestyle.

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Beta: Google launches Gesture Search for Android Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:13 CET under 04 - Android News

Google has just launched a new way to search items on its Android smartphones - gesture search, a new Google Labs application for Android-powered devices running Android 2.0 or above in the US. Gesture Search lets you quickly find a contact, an installed application, a bookmark or a music track from hundreds or thousands of items, by simply drawing alphabet gestures on the touch screen. Say you want to call your friend Anne. Just open Gesture Search and draw letter "A", and Gesture Search returns a list of items that have words starting with "A". If the "A" you draw looks a bit like an "H", as seen in the bottom left corner of the screenshot, "H" results will be brought up as well.

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RELEASE: Opera Mini goes native on Windows Mobile Smartphones - without Java!
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:55 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

So far, Windows Mobile user were able to either user Opera Mobile, the native smartphone browser version from Opera or Opera Mini, a Java-based browser which required J2ME on Windows Mobile phones. However, today Opera Software launched a native version of Opera Mini 5 Beta for Windows Mobile 5- and 6-based handsets. By integrating Opera Mini with the Windows Mobile platform, Opera is able to deliver an optimized version of the popular Opera Mini browser that dramatically improves performance and the overall user experience. While Opera Mini traditionally requires Java, the new Windows Mobile version does not, which means that Opera Mini will work on any Windows Mobile phone.

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UPDATE: Palm launches Facebook v1.1.0 for webOS Palm Pre and Pixi
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:13 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Also Palm has just updated its Facebook application, the company initially launched late last year. Like the initial release, Facebook v1.1.0 for Palm webOS allows users to update their status, comment on news feed items, post photos, see full profiles, send and receive inbox messages as well as seeing Facebook events and birthdays. However, the updated version adds features like allowing to upload photos from the Facebook app itself, giving access to the full inbox, photo albums with profiles, full friend profiles as well as it allows people search, seeing friend invites and events and birthdays. Also new is shake to refresh a newsfeed as well as an all new, refreshed design.

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Wednesday, 03.03.10
VIDEOVIEW: Facebook for Zune HD Hands-on
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:39 CET under 08 - Reviews

Following yesterday's faulty launch of Microsoft's Facebook client for the Zune HD, Microsoft and Facebook now fixed the issues remotely without releasing a new app. Facebook for Zune HD supports similar features like Microsoft's Facebook for Windows phone. And while it's also possible to cemment and like updates, it's not possible to upload photos or videos to Facebook. However, the user interface gives a good impression how a Facebook integration might look on Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices since the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 feature a similar GUI concept.

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Tuesday, 02.03.10
ENHANCEMENT: Qik introduces Qik Premium [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:16 CET under 01 - General News

Starting today, Qik is introducing Qik Premium which allows users to download videos, burn them into DVDs, enjoy higher quality playback and faster playback on slower connections. Was it initially possible to download Qik videos, the company removed this feature sometime last year and now we know why - it's becoming a premium feature, users have to pay a yearly fee for. Furthermore, even if not available today, Qik plans to add the ability to upload and share videos recorded with the mobile phone's native camera application. So far it's impossible to upload pre-recorded videos to Qik but users have to use other services like YouTube or Facebook to do so.

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LAWSUIT: Apple sues HTC for Patent Infringement [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:35 CET under 01 - General News

This isn't the first lawsuit for HTC but most likely the most spectacular one. As Apple said today, it has filed a lawsuit against HTC for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

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ANNOUNCED: Motorola to launch the Motorola Backflip Android Smartphone in Germany
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:41 CET under 04 - Android News

Announced back in January during the CES, Motorola announced today that it will launch the Motorola Backflip in the 2nd quarter 2010. At the first sight the Backflip looks like a Motorola Dext/Motorola Cliq but unlike Motorola's first Android smartphones, which came with a slide-out keyboard, the Backflip features a unusual but unique reverse flip design which is said to make it easier to enjoy videos, music and photos while the QWERTY keyboard allows you to blast through E-Mails, texts, news feeds, social network messages and more. The Backflip is designed around the MotoBlur experience and provides multiple features to keep phone conversations moving.

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AVAILABLE: Microsoft releases free Facebook Application for Zune HD [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:25 CET under 01 - General News

Following the delayed launch of its free Twitter application for the Zune HD, Microsoft has now also launched the long-time promised Facebook client for the Zune platform, which is the GUI-base for Microsoft's next smartphone platform. Looking quite similar to Microsoft's Facebook application for Windows Mobile, the free Zune HD Facebook application allows users to see friends activates as well as commenting and liking friend updates and posting own status updates, setting the status to the song currently listened and sharing photos and links. Furthermore, users can see their own profile page, including wall, info, photos, videos as well as accessing the inbox to read and send messages.

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Monday, 01.03.10
OUTAGE: Google Sync outage hits Windows Phone, iPhone and S60 Smartphones [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:01 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

In its Google Mobile Help Forum, Google just confirmed that the company's free sync service has serious problems at the moment; at least with certain devices. A Google employee officially confirmed that Google Sync is having some difficulties due to an extended problem with one of the company's datacenters. This has been going on over the weekend, but it's got significantly worse today. While Google said that none of the user's information has been lost, and users are still able to get the data through a manual sync, the push functionality isn't working very well. According to Google this is because the company is "batching up fetch requests to be able to cope with the traffic it's seeing while this problem is ongoing".

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REGULATION: Europeans entitled to protection from Data-Roaming Bill Shock
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:56 CET under 01 - General News

As of today and just in time for the upcoming traveling season, European Union-based mobile phone operators are obliged under EU roaming rules to offer their customers a cut-off limit facility to protect them from so called "bill shocks" for surfing the Internet with their mobile phones and Laptops while travelling in other EU countries. Under the roaming rules adopted by the EU's Council of Ministers and European Parliament in June 2009, this cut-off mechanism will, following a warning, cut consumers' mobile connection to the internet while abroad when their bill reaches a specified limit.

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OUTLOOK: Microsoft says No to Windows Phone 7 Upgrades for Windows Mobile 6 Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:58 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While in a recent Twitter Q&A, Microsoft UK's Director of the UK Mobile Business Group Alex Reeve hinted that "ODMs are free to offer Windows Phone 7 Series upgrades for Windows Mobile 6 smartphones", Natasha Kwan, General Manager for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific region, told APC that the HD2 - the hottest candidate for such an upgrade - "doesn't qualify because it doesn't have the three buttons". Despite the HD2 might meet many of the required "Chassis 1" specs, APC mentioned that the phone will be ruled out of an upgrade for the simple reason that it has five buttons instead of the three mandatory Windows Phone 7 Series buttons.

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APPROVAL: GCF approves another Motorola CLIQ / Motorola DEXT with SUPL support
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:57 CET under 04 - Android News

While the original Motorola Cliq/Motorola Dext - Motorola's first Android smartphone which comes in a twin-version for North America and rest of the world - were approved back in September last year, the Global Certification Forum just approved another version of the Motorola MB200 (as it is called internally). While it's unclear which Android version the newly approved Cliq/Dext will feature, the supported bands stay unchanged (quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE and triband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA). However, the new MB200 supports the Open Mobile Alliance SUPL standard. SUPL, which stands for "Secure User Plane Location", is an IP protocol for assisted GPS (aGPS).

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