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Friday, 29.06.12
ENHANCED: Twitter for Windows Phone adds Toast Notifications - Live Tiles still to come
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:15 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

It was a long way for Facebook and Twitter to add push notifications to its Windows Phone apps and while Facebook was a "little bit" faster, Twitter has also finally added the missing Toast notifications to its latest Windows Phone update. Version 1.5, which is now available from Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace, finally allows to turn on Toast messages and even allows to customize the notifications. It's featuring mentions which can be turned on or off with the choice of whether the mention has come from "people you follow" or "from anyone". Same applies to favorite tweets, retweets, direct messages and even if someone new follows.

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OUTLOOK: Adobe gets serious to discontinue Flash for Mobile on Android devices - last call for order is August
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:20 CET under 04 - Android News

Back in November Adobe announced that it's now focusing on Flash for PC browsing and mobile apps packaged with Adobe AIR and that it will discontinuing its development of the Flash Player for mobile browsers as we know it for Android. Now, Adobe has given an update on its blog and this doesn't look too good for friends of mobile Flash; as a matter of fact it's looking really bad for the ongoing access to the Flash Player browser plugin for Android in the Google Play Store. As Dobe says, "The Flash Player browser plugin integrates tightly with a device's browser and multimedia subsystems (in ways that typical apps do not), and this necessitates integration by our device ecosystem partners".

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Thursday, 28.06.12
SEARCH: Google Now for Android 4.1 knows the info before it is searched
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:13 CET under 04 - Android News

Together with the launch of Android 4.1/Jelly Bean, Google also introduced Google Now, which knows what you are looking for, before you are searching it. Available through search, Google Now brings users the right information at just the right time. It tells today's weather before starting the day, know how much traffic to expect before leaving for work or returning home, when the next train will arrive as it knows it's currently on the platform or the favorite team's score while they're playing. And the best part, according to Google? All of this happens automatically; which also could be the worst part but anyway, let us see the bright side!

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AVAILABILITY: First HTC Connect certified Pioneer Wireless Speakers hit the Market
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:58 CET under 04 - Android News

Earlier this week, HTC announced its new certification program called "HTC Connect" and the first product just hit the web. Not a surprise at all, it's coming from Pioneer and its a set of wireless speakers of the A-series. Available as A1, A3 and A4, the A-series speaker are HTC Connect, WiFi and DLNA certified. HTC One series phones, which will receive a HTC Connect update later, will be able to wirelessly stream favorite music straight to the speakers. There's no need for a separate app because with the later released update, HTC Connect will be built right into the HTC One's music player. Maybe the most interesting Pioneer A-series wireless speaker is the A3 XW-SMA3-K which runs on batteries.

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UNVEILED: Google announces the Nexus Q Media Streamer for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:56 CET under 04 - Android News

Under the radar of the media was the last hardware piece, Google announced at yesterday's Google I/O 2012 - the Google Nexus Q. the Nexus Q streams favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to the living room. It allows to use the Google Play and YouTube apps on an Android phone or tablet to surf for music, TV, movies and videos and the Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. It allows to choose a song from the Google Play Music app on the phone or tablet and play it instantly on the Nexus Q. Thousands of movies and TV shows are instantly available from Google Play on the Nexus Q.

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OFFICIAL: Google announces the Nexus 7 - first Android 4.1 Tablet with Jelly Bean
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:39 CET under 04 - Android News

Also as expected, Google introduced its first Android tablet under the Nexus brand, the Nexus 7, which Google describes as powerful, portable and designed for Google Play. Running on Android 4.1/Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 features a 7" 1280 x 800 HD display and comes with a Tegra 3 chipset, with a quad-core CPU and 12-core GPU. It only weights 340 grams, features a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and allows to browse the web blazingly fast with Chrome. Not supporting GSM/UMTS connectivity, the Nexus 7 only supports WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth as well as NFC and comes with an accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer and a gyroscope. It has 1 GB RAM and either 8 or 16 GB internal storage.

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OFFICIAL: Google announces Android 4.1 code-named Jelly Bean
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:22 CET under 04 - Android News

As expected, Google has yesterday announced at its IO conference in San Francisco the next version of Android - Jelly Bean, which will be Android 4.1. And while the .1 update doesn't sounds major, it is. Android 4.1 is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Google made improvements throughout the platform and added great new features for users and developers. Android 4.1 is optimized to deliver Android's best performance and is designed for both - smartphones and tablets (unlike Android 3.x which was only designed for tablets). Based on Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean brings a new intuitive UI.

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Wednesday, 27.06.12
CONFERENCE: Watch the Google I/O 2012 Keynote here - includes Google announcements [LIVE STREAM]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:15 CET under 04 - Android News

I'm not exactly sure, where I'm at the moment (this is a time-scheduled posting) but most likely I'm anywhere in Amsterdam, between the Microsoft Windows 8 event I was invited to today, the train station and the airport. In any case, just because I'm not around doesn't mean you have to miss the Google I/O 2012 keynote which is expected to start in 15 minutes. The Google I/O is Google's annual developer event which is going to happen from today until 29th of June in San Francisco. As every year, the event is kicking-off with a keynote where Google will unveil what it's been working on. Expected announcements are Android 4.1/Jelly Bean and the Google Nexus 7, Google's first tablet under its own Nexus brand.

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Tuesday, 26.06.12
ENHANCED: Windows Phone gets better detailed Traffic Information - International roll-out just started
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:46 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As Microsoft recently announced on its Windows Phone Blog, some changes and enhancements are on the way to improve traffic information and even bring it to further countries. As of today, Bing Maps traffic for Windows Phone was only available in the U.S. but if you have ever used it on Google Maps, you know how useful and detailed this information can be. So far, these traffic information covered highways and major roads where green roads were clear; yellow and orange roads were congested and red roads had a serious traffic jam while black roads were closed That's the status until now but Bing and Nokia teamed-up recently to offer expanded traffic coverage to even more highways and secondary streets.

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INTEROPERABILITY: HTC announces HTC Connect Program - hopes to foster greater A/V connectivity
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:04 CET under 04 - Android News

HTC today announced its HTC Connect certification program designed to offer consumer electronics manufacturers the opportunity to create an improved sound and visual standard for seamless connectivity between HTC devices and consumer electronics. For consumers, HTC Connect will mean high-quality, wireless audio and video sent through their HTC smartphones to their compatible in-home and in-car electronics. Smartphones are changing the way individuals listen to music and watch video, making it easier than ever before to enjoy rich multimedia content almost anywhere. HTC is working to bring the benefits and ease-of-use of mobile connected devices into the home through the HTC Connect initiative.

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UPGRADE: HTC releases Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC EVO 3D
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:37 CET under 04 - Android News

Back in May, HTC published a list of 17 smartphones which are expected to receive Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades from Android 2.3.x and today, HTC is keeping another promise by now offering Android 4.0 for its HTC EVO 3D! By far not HTC's most successful Android phone (who was really asking for the 3D camera and screen), HTC said it's planning to offer the upgrade within June and July and here we go, it's now available. According to what we've heard, it's an EMEA-wide rollout and also includes Vodafone. Since it's a fully firmware upgrade, the Android 4.0.3 upgrade is around 300 MB large but also includes Sense 3.6, HTC's lighter Sense 4 version for upgraded devices which are not part of the One-series.

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COMPATIBILITY: Pebble E-Paper Watch to might get support for Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:59 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

I'm sure, you have heard about the Pebble e-paper watch for Android and iOS, which was a huge success on Kickstarter and which is expected to come out in August, finding its way to the 85,000 "pebblers". If you haven't heard about Pebble yet, it's described to be "the first watch built for the 21st century". Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting users with a silent vibration to incoming calls, E-Mails and messages but also allows to interact with the smartphones since it's "infinitely customizable" with downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Apps bring Pebble to life, for instance will cyclists be able to use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on smartphone, etc.

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DETAILED: Microsoft explains which Windows Phone 7.8 enhancements Users can expect
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:25 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While I recently talked about the good, the bad and the ugly things of Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 releases, Redmond just "detailed" again what Windows Phone 7.x users can expect in Windows Phone 7.8. At the end of the day, it's just the summary of last week's announcement but it also shows that there are most likely no hidden, not yet announced, enhancements but that Windows Phone 7.8 will be the expected Start Screen refresh only. First of all, Microsoft highlights "a bigger, more flexible Start screen" which can be "dressed  up in new colors and (which allows users to) choose from three sizes of Live Tiles, easily resized and rearranged with a tap".

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Monday, 25.06.12
DENIED: Microsoft says it has no plans to launch its own Windows Phone Hardware
Posted by Arne Hess - at 21:40 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Sure, when Microsoft announced its Surface tablet PC earlier last week, the first thing everybody had in mind, and also I asked this on Twitter, was the question how long it will take Microsoft to launch its own branded Windows Phone? But in in a recent interview, Microsoft's Greg Sullivan, Senior Marketing Manager for Windows Phone has answered the question pretty straight forward by saying "No, we do not" have plans to manufacture own company-branded smartphones, denying reports and speculations. Sullivan continued to explain that "we (Microsoft) have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with".

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EXPANDED: Google expands Google TV availability - Brings Sony's Internet Player to more Countries
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:57 CET under 04 - Android News

While Microsoft has somehow lost all interest to make its Media Center in Windows 8 a success, Google today announced it will expand the availability of its Google TV soon. Announced two years ago for the U.S. only and so far also everything but a success-story, Google TV brings "the best of Google and the Web" to TV. With Google TV, YouTube is available for the big screens (without the use of the cheaper HTC Media Link HD); Google Play offers thousands of mobile apps and hundreds optimized apps for TV and the Web is at your fingertips with Chrome. Starting today, Google TV devices will be available for pre-order in the U.K. and the U.S., from Google's partner Sony.

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RUMOR: Google Nexus 7 Specs and Rendering hit the Web - to be announced at this week's Google I/O
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:26 CET under 04 - Android News

Rumors are floating around for some time now that Google is finally launching its own and very first Android tablet anytime soon and now it looks like it will really happens at this week's Google I/O conference. According to an internal training document, Gizmodo Australia learned that the Google Nexus 7, which is said to run Android Jelly Bean (which is most likely Android 4.1), is built by Asus and comes with with a Nvidia 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, a GeForce 12-core GPU and 1 GB of RAM with either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage. Furthermore it's said that the tablet will support NFC and Android Beam. The 7" screen is expected to be an IPS display with a 178 degree viewing angle, running on 1280 x 800 pixel.

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Friday, 22.06.12
ABOARD: Huawei welcomes Windows Phone 8 - first Devices expected end of 2012
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:42 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

One of the biggest surprises this week, at least for me, was Microsoft's announcement that Huawei will join Microsoft for Windows Phone 8 (but not ZTE which so far manufactured Windows Phone 7 devices) and Huawei just issued a press release where it details its upcoming Windows Phone 8 plans a little bit more. It's mentioned, that Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 devices "will expands the portfolio of the popular Ascend family", a brand which was so far only used for Android smartphones. Shao Yang, Chief Marketing Officer at Huawei Devices also said that "the year 2012 is becoming a very successful year for Huawei and we (Huawei) will finish it brilliantly - with the launch of our first Windows Phones".

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Thursday, 21.06.12
THOUGHT: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly - Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:24 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Let me start this column with a look back to a statement I made two years ago when I wrote back in 2010, right before Windows Phone 7 was launched: "It's new, it's fresh and it's just different", a statement which even made it into Microsoft's German Windows Phone 7 launch campaign. And even after two year, I don't have to take it back but contrariwise, it was never as true as today. With yesterday's Windows Phone 8 announcement, Microsoft consequently followed its way and who could have imagine two years ago that such a small product like Windows Phone is going to drive Microsoft's 2012 product direction? Nobody! Congrats Windows Phone, congrats Microsoft. Everything done right! Everything?

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Wednesday, 20.06.12
CONFIRMED: HTC announces full support for Windows Phone 8 - Phones to come later this year
Posted by Arne Hess - at 23:32 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following Microsoft's earlier announcement of Windows Phone 8, HTC has just issued a press release in which it pledged its ongoing support of Microsoft by backing the new Windows Phone 8 platform. Building on the two companies' long mobile partnership dating back to 2000 and including more than 40 million phones sold, HTC will be bringing new Windows Phone 8 smartphones to market later this year. While HTC was pretty focused on Android, Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, said that HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and HTC is excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year.

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CONFIRMED: No Windows Phone 8 upgrade but Windows Phone 7.8 only for today's Windows Phone 7.x Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:44 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As reported back in March by us, at today's Windows Phone Developer Summit, Microsoft confirmed, that non of today's Windows Phones, including latest devices like the highly popular Nokia Lumia 900, will receive an upgrade to Windows Phone 8, which was announced earlier today. Instead, Microsoft will offer a Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade which mimics the new Windows Phone 8 Start Screen but will still run on the soon outdated Window CE kernel, today's Windows Phones run on. Since Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will have a shared API-set, this means advanced Windows Phone 8 features like app and games ,that use that native programming, aren't supported on first generation Windows Phone.

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EVENT: Microsoft's Windows Phone Summit kicks-off today in San Francisco - details Windows Phone 8 [Live Video]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:09 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Microsoft has invited it's Windows Phone developers to its Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco which is just to kick-off now. While Microsoft hasn't unveiled too much in advance, the invitation said that today's keynote will give "a sneak peek of the future of Windows Phone" which is hopefully Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo since Microsoft hasn't left any information about the companies next big mobile OS version yet, but was so far pretty focus in the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. Whatever Microsoft plans to sneak peek today, it's just a question of minutes so please feel free to join us for its live stream bellow:

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UNVEILED: Amazon's Android Appstore to come to Europe later this Summer
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:31 CET under 04 - Android News

Early last year, Amazon followed the trend and introduced its very own Amazon Appstore for Android, which is also the one and only available app store for Amazon's own Android tablet, the Kindle Fire. However, the Appstore had one draw-back - so far it's only available in the U.S. Nevertheless, it seems Amazon is finally expanding its reach and seems to include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK anytime soon. In a message to its developers, Amazon reached out and notified them that "apps will be made available for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain later this summer, with plans for further global expansion in the future".

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CONFIRMED: T-Mobile Germany confirms that the Nokia Lumia 900 won't receive Windows Phone 8 [UPDATE 2]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:40 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Okay, this Deutsche Telekom statement is already 12 days old but nevertheless, it's really important and confirms what I have posted before. The Nokia Lumia 900, which was launched with Windows Phone 7.5, won't receive the Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo upgrade. Furthermore, the support agent confirmed on T-Mobile's very own support forum, that Windows Phone 8 will come in Q4-2012. For the background: Many T-Mobile customers asked in the forum when T-Mobile plans to launch the Lumia 900, which was only released in Germany last week and the T-Mobile employee confirmed later, that T-Mobile has no plans to launch the Lumia 900 because it's not upgradeable to Apollo.

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Tuesday, 19.06.12
MESSAGING: Telefonica Digital releases TU Me RCS-e Client for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:22 CET under 04 - Android News

While the service itself is not yet commercially announced, Telefonica's RCS-e client "TU Me" just found its way to the Android Play Market from where it can be downloaded free of charge - for now. I'm not exactly sure what O2 or Telefonica will charge later for TU Me and RCS-e in general, but the carriers around Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone hope that the RCS-e standard will save its messaging revenues. Basically, RCS and therefore TU Me, is an enhanced carrier owned version of WhatsApp. TU Me for instance allows to having secure and private calls and text messages by featuring a conversations timeline, allowing to have free VoIP-calls and texts anywhere to other TU Me users.

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DISUSED: LG sidelining Tablet developments to focus on Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:40 CET under 01 - General News

Different OS, still about tablets and very interesting. As Bloomberg wrote this morning, LG, the world's No. 4 mobile-phone maker, and previously committed to "bring up to 26 new Windows Phones to market in 2012 alone", will sideline tablet computer development to focus more on smaller devices rather than compete head-on with Apple iPad. LG which just introduced its second Android tablet called Optimus Pad LTE earlier this year, seems to completely give up all tablet developments, which is rather interesting news, after Microsoft unveiled its own Windows-powered tablet yesterday. Keeping in mind that LG also manufactures Windows 8 PCs, that's indeed surprising and it seems, Microsoft has already lost one OEM!

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THOUGHT: Is Microsoft's Surface Tablet and Windows RT and Windows 8 ready for Primetime?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:55 CET under 09 - Thoughts

So yesterday happened what was widely expected, Microsoft announced its own tablet hardware under the "Surface" brand, which was previously used for these interactive tables which are now called "Microsoft Pixelsense". And while neither a Windows 8 nor a Window RT tablet are anything new, at the recent Comdex both types of tablet where shown, the news is that the Surface tablets were developed and designed by Microsoft, without any help of any OEMs and that Microsoft will sell them under the Microsoft Surface brand, again without any OEMs involved. Is this a wise decision, is the overall Windows 8 and Windows RT system ready for prime time and what's next?

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UNVEILED: Microsoft announces own Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablets under the Surface brand
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:38 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Yesterday evening happened what everybody was expecting, at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled "Surface", the company's very own tablet PCs which will be available in two configurations: With Windows 8 and with Windows RT. Company executives around Steve Ballmer showed the two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. According to the presentation, Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.

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Monday, 18.06.12
PREPARATION: Microsoft puts Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh details on the Web - ready to roll-out soon?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:16 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Is Microsoft finally ready to release its Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh aka Tango upgrade to today's owners of Windows Phone 7? It looks like because Microsoft has just put the improvement information on its very own "Windows Phone Update History" page where it lists it as "Update 7.10.8773.98". According to these information, Microsoft highlights the following changes: "Messaging: Adds new messaging capabilities to your phone. You can now attach multiple pictures, videos, audio notes and ringtones to text messages. SIM Card: Adds features related to SIM card contacts. You can now export phone contacts to a SIM card and selectively import SIM card contacts to your phone."

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Thursday, 14.06.12
BROADENED: Google opens Google Play Books for Germany and now for Spain - Gives you Goethe and Schiller for free [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:26 CET under 04 - Android News

Back in 2010, Google launched its Google Books which was initially available in the U.S. only - where else. But right in time for the upcoming summer vacation season, Google Books, which is now part of Google Play, is now also available in Germany - the land of Goethe, Schiller and Heine. This will definitely gives Amazon a harder time which was already available with its Kindle for smartphones. Google Books allows to browse and search through, as Google said at the time of the announcement,  "the largest ebooks collection in the world with more than three million titles including hundreds of thousands for sale". It's featuring the latest bestsellers and popular reads as well as classics.

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SELLOUT: Nokia sells Vertu to Private Equity Group - Keeps minority
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:28 CET under 01 - General News

Nokia announced this morning, that it has agreed terms for EQT VI, part of the leading private equity group in Northern Europe, to acquire Vertu, Nokia's luxury mobile phone brand. According to the press release, Nokia believes that this is the best option for the next step in Vertu's journey (and most likely Nokia's own future) of delivering excellence, enabling the brand to focus on increased opportunities for growth in the luxury category. Having delivered double digit sales growth over the past few years, Vertu is said to continue leading its class with a portfolio of high end mobile phones, increasingly led by its smartphones and tailored services, offering unique access, experiences and opportunities to a discerning and growing customer base.

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Wednesday, 13.06.12
SERVICE: MyTaxi for Passengers goes Windows Phone 7 - more Countries and Cities to follow soon as well
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:58 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

MyTaxi, which was so far only available for Android and iOS, was recently also launched for Windows Phone 7. Never heard of myTaxi so far? Well, it's an app/service combination which directly connects passengers with the taxi drivers, without calling any taxi offices or brokers. Just one click and the next taxi is on it's way. With just a few clicks, users of myTaxi can send their request to all available taxi drivers in the immediate vicinity, which are part of the myTaxi network. MyTaxi pinpoints the passenger's current location and the request is sent to the nearest taxi. Further options, such as Payment via Card or Eco Taxi can be selected. While waiting, the passenger can eve track the taxi's arrival on the map.

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REVEALED: Sony Mobile unveils the Xperia tipo and Xperia tipo dual Dual-SIM Android Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:17 CET under 04 - Android News

Even lower specified than today's unveiled Xperia miro are Sony Mobile's yet not announced Xperia tipo and Xperia tipo dual. Both running on Android 4.0, these entry-level Android phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU at 800 MHz. While the Xperia tipo comes in two flavors with either quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dualband UMTS/HSPA at 900/2100 MHz or triband UMTS/HSPA at 850/1900/2100 MHz, the Xperia tipo dual supports the same bands but is Sony Mobile's first dual-SIM Android phone. Also onboard are WiFi b/g/n at 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and aGPS. Both devices feature a 3.2 megapixel camera and a tiny 3.2" HVGA 320 x 480 pixel TFT touchscreen.

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SOLUTION: Samsung releases TecTile programmable NFC Tags and Android App
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:28 CET under 04 - Android News

Sony Mobile did it first with its NFC SmartTags, today Samsung followed. The Korean smartphone giant just released Samsung TecTile, an app which lets Galaxy customers read and write TecTile NFC programmable tags. It allows to create TecTiles to change settings on compatible Galaxy phones, launch applications, check-in to places, update social status or even make phone calls as well as sending text messages automatically. Once a TecTile created using the TecTile app, the Samsung TecTile can be placed in a convenient place, then the phone needs to tap the TecTile to perform the action stored in the TecTile. While Samsung says that the TecTile app needs TecTile tags, comments indicated that the app works with any NTC tag.

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OFFICIAL: Sony Mobile unveils the Xperia miro Android 4.0 Smartphone [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 08:47 CET under 04 - Android News

Following the earlier teaser on the Sony Mobile Facebook page, Sony fans have moved the countdown fast forward and Sony just announced its latest Xperia Android smartphone, the Xperia miro. While Sony has yet to release the full press release and specs, it was already unveiled that the Xperia miro runs on Android 4.0, features a 3.5" touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera which allows to record videos up to 30 fps, an additional front facing camera, as well as unique and customizable illuminations for incoming messages and social updates. Other than that, the Xperia miro is said to be a slim and stylish smartphone and it looks a little bit like the legitimate follower of the xperia ray.

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Tuesday, 12.06.12
STREAMING: Spotify releases new Android 4.0 app to the Mass
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:56 CET under 04 - Android News

Following Spotify's earlier public Beta release of its new Android 4.0 compatible streaming app, Spotify today released the final version which is now available from the Google Play Market. Based on the public Beta and the experiences, this totally new app with features a top-to-bottom redesign with a all-new slide-out navigation. It's even more social that the previous version and allows to check out friends' profile pages and playlists on the go. Artist imagery is now provided in high resolution and features related artist view - available for the first time on mobile.

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MERCHANDISING: Microsoft launches its own Windows Phone Gear Store
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:25 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Merchandising is very popular but nowadays not only for Hollywood blockbusters or your favorite combo but for sure also in the tech space. I think the first widely successful merchandising articles were Tux, the Linux Penguin and Duke, Sun's Java mascot. While Microsoft always had some great Windows Mobile and Windows Phone merchandising articles, like T-Shirts, etc., most of these stuff never made it to the public but most of it was use on the Redmond campus only - until now! The Microsoft Windows Phone team has just launched its merchandising shop called "Windows Phone gear store" where the team has ranged some "i heart/love windows phone" items.

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Monday, 11.06.12
BENEFIT: Samsung and Eurosport to bring the London Summer Olympics 2012 to the Galaxy S III - free of charge
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:39 CET under 04 - Android News

While the UEFA Euro 2012 is currently on air, the next sport highlight is already around the corner and if you want to watch the Summer Olympics 2012 on your phone, but don't have a Slingbox available anywhere around, Samsung and Eurosport have a special offer for you, if you are using a Galaxy S III. Since Samsung is one of the major sponsors of the Olympics, it has teamed-up with Eurosport and sponsors all European Samsung Galaxy S III customers (except Italians - sorry to say) a free one month subscription of the Eurosport Player . The subscription, which can be activated any time between July 14th and August 12th 2012, is worth of 5.90 Euro.

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TEASER: Sony Mobile plans for an Xperia announcement in 10 days - or less
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:48 CET under 04 - Android News

Virtually nothing is known what Sony plans to announce but since today, Sony Mobile is teasing us with its "Xperia Fast Forward" Facebook app where fans of Sony's Xperia Android phones can move the announcement of the "Next Xperia" forward. According to the Facebook page, Sony plans for an official announcement on June 22 (that's 10 days, 14 hours, 19 minutes from now) but fans have moved the next Xperia announcement already closer by 0 days, 3 hours, 26 minutes and 20 seconds. Every time you and your friends click "Fast Forward", you will change the future and bring the next Xperia announcement little bit closer (no word yet what the closest date could be).

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RUMOR: Has Samsung a "Galaxy W" Windows Phone in work?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:03 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

WP7.nl came across an interesting Windows Phone which it spotted on WP Bench and it's a yet unknown and therefore unannounced phone from Samsung called "Galaxy W". WP Bench is a performance benchmark for Windows Phone 7 devices which tests the device's CPU, GPU, memory, storage, display and battery and allows to publish the score to online charts or compare with the others. And that's where the Galaxy W was spotted. Interesting enough, the W could clearly stands for "Windows" while it's quite surprising that Samsung might call a Windows Phone "Galaxy" which stood so far for Android phones while the Windows Phone equivalents were called "Omnia".

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GROWTH: Google counts over 900,000 Android Device Activations - per Day
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:20 CET under 04 - Android News

Yesterday evening, Mr Android himself - Andy Rubin - confirmed, that Google is now counting over 900,000 new Android device activations - per day! And these are new activations, not re-activations after a firmware update or factory reset, as Rubin confirmed with an earlier message, where he explained that "Google counts each device only once" and "activations means a customer goes into a store, buy a device and put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service". That's indeed an impressive growth; back in December Rubin said that Google is counting 700,000 daily activations and back in June last year, Google counted 500,000 activations per day. This means that Google has nearly doubled the activations within one year!

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Friday, 08.06.12
ANSWER: What happens to your Dropbox after HTC's and Samsung's two Years of Dropbox upgrade expires?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:42 CET under 04 - Android News

HTC and Samsung are both giving its HTC One and Galaxy S III customers extra Dropbox space if you either create a new account or login to your existing account from your new Android smartphone. This gives users either extra 23 GB (HTC) or even 50 GB (Samsung) space for two years, in addition to Dropbox's original and free 2 - 18 GB. But for sure, there's one question left: What happens to your data after the two years? Well, today nobody knows what happens within the next two years. Dropbox might be either overtaken by another company, the service might shut down or the general Dropbox size might be increased to anything TB-size or whatever, but as of now the plans are the following: Your data won't get lost and you will still have access to all your uploaded files!

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UNVEILED: HTC Desire V Android 4.0 Smartphone to feature Dual-SIM
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:50 CET under 04 - Android News

Especially in emerging markets, dual-SIM phones are a hot topic and while we've seen a couple of Android dual-SIM smartphones in the past, there was virtually nothing available from the big players. However, HTC is now entering the market with its HTC Desire V, a kind of dual-SIM version of the recently announced Desire C, which is nevertheless slightly bigger and more powerful. Running on Android 4.0 with Sense 4, the Desire V is powered by a 1 GHz singlecore MSM 7227A Qualcomm CPU and features 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of flash memory which can be expanded with MicroSD memory cards. It also comes with a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Beats Audio.

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RECOMMENDATION: App Center - Facebook launches its new Place to find Social Apps for Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:04 CET under 01 - General News

As expected, Facebook today launched its App Center, which is said to to make it easier to find apps users can enjoy with friends. The App Center gives Facebook users personalized recommendations and lets them browse the apps their friends use. According to Facebook, it only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app, and therefore it's more a kind of recommendation engine than a real stand-alone app store, especially because the apps are downloaded after from Google's Play Market or iTunes. The App Center is available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, as well as on Facebook.com and features mobile and web apps, such as Pinterest and Nike+ GPS.

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Thursday, 07.06.12
RENEWED: Foursquare launches the "all new 4sq" v5 for Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:22 CET under 04 - Android News

In the recent days, Foursquare teased us that it's working on a, how they called it "all new 4sq" which was finally released today and in its v5, Foursquare changed virtually everything, including the reason why to use Foursquare. Was it launched to be a simple tool to check-in app and let your friends and world know where you are hanging around, it's now about discovering the place and area you are. This comes with some major changes in the overall look and feel of the mobile apps. The new friends tab, for instance, features now huge, swipeable photos, plus tips, lists, and places your friends have saved. And it wouldn't be a social network if you can't "like" and comment on friends activity, which you can now!

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QUICKVIEW: Sonos Sub Subwoofer Hands-on [with Video]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:32 CET under 08 - Reviews

Late last month, Sonos, the maker of the Sonos Wireless HiFi System, announced it latest addition to its set of wireless speakers, the Sonos Sub. Unlike the Sonos Play:3 or Play:5, which were pretty complete wireless speakers, the Sono Sub is a 16 kg heavy dedicated subwoofer which is designed to be added to an existing Sonos wireless HiFi system. During a road-show earlier this week, I had the exclusive chance to get my hands or in this case ears on a Sub. The Sub, which was all developed by Sonos, features two force-cancelling speakers positioned face-to-face- All the sound and energy from the music comes through loud and clear and none of it is lost in cabinet buzz or rattle.

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UTILITY: Microsoft introduces on{X} for Android - allows to remotely program Android phones via JavaScript
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:15 CET under 04 - Android News

Earlier this week, Microsoft introduced a new web site and mobile application called on{X} (pronounced "on-ex"), which helps developers and technology enthusiast to remotely program their smartphones. First available for Android, on{X} allows to control and extend the capabilities of Android smartphones using a JavaScript API to remotely program it. on{X} - a developer oriented service that enables developers and technological enthusiasts, to easily program mobile device to dynamically react to the continuously changing environment - triggers sensor-based events. For example: "AC power disconnected" or "WiFi network detected" can execute further actions.

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RUMOR: Microsoft doesn't want HTC to make Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablets? The reasons are quite unlikely! [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:44 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

According of a recent report on Bloomberg, HTC is said to be "shut out" of the introduction of a Microsoft Windows 8 or Windows RT powered tablet. According to the article, Microsoft locked out HTC from the "development" of Windows 8/Windows RT tablets because "HTC doesn't sell enough devices or have experience making tablets". While Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, said in an E-Mail statement that "HTC is a strong partner now and for the future", he declined to discuss specifics. In the meantime, Sally Julien, a U.S.-based spokeswoman at HTC said in an E-Mail, that "HTC intends to support future versions of Windows and isn't commenting on the details of its product plans".

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Tuesday, 05.06.12
ACQUISITION: Google takes over Quickoffice
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:30 CET under 04 - Android News

While Google has a couple of Office document solutions in place, all of them rely on connectivity, for instance Google Docs for Android which was recently enhanced and renamed to Google Drive. However, there's no stand-alone Office documents solution available and that part took over a lot of 3rd party applications. One of them, Quickoffice, which is preinstalled on a many Android devices, was now acquired by Google. As Google said, today's consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. However, Quickoffice has a strong base of users and Google looks forward to support them while it's now working on an even more seamless, intuitive and integrated experience.

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DISCONTINUED: Microsoft to kill the Zune brand in favor of its new Xbox Music brand
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:43 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

At the E3 games conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft said yesterday that the company plans to introduce a new music service called "Xbox Music", which will run on the Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone, uniting Microsoft's media brands for games, music and videos under the Xbox umbrella. While Microsoft hasn't spoken about Zune at it's E3 presentation, Microsoft's current media brand for music and video, afterward, the company's Melissa Stewart confirmed that the Zune brand is going away soon so Microsoft can use the way better-known Xbox brand for its entertainment services, including its online video service.

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OUTLOOK: Microsoft to give a sneak peek of Windows Phone Apollo on June 20th
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:15 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While Microsoft is currently busy with its preparations to launch Windows 8, we shouldn't forget that something more important is also in development - Windows Phone 8. And while Microsoft hasn't spilled too many beans yet nor have any confidential roadmaps left the Redmond campus, it seems that Microsoft believes that it's finally time to give developers some more information in advance. Yesterday, Microsoft has sent invitations for a session at its Windows Phone summit, where it is said that the development team will give "a sneak peek of the future of Windows Phone". Hopefully, this gives us some further information what we can expect with Windows Phone 8 which is code-named Apollo.

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Monday, 04.06.12
RELEASE: Samsung announces the upcoming North American launch of the Galaxy S III
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:00 CET under 04 - Android News

Announced early May and launched last week, the Samsung Galaxy S III will also hit the U.S. this month. As announced today by Samsung Mobile, U.S. consumers on five major service providers will soon be able to own the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III. The Galaxy S III, optimized for peak performance on the nation's fastest 4G LTE and HSPA+ networks, will be launching with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular starting in June. With the Galaxy S III, Samsung is setting a new standard for smartphones. The Galaxy S III comes with Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's own TouchWiz enhancements.

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DEVELOPMENT: Corning announces the launch of ultra-slim and flexible Corning Willow Glass
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:35 CET under 01 - General News

Corning, better known for its Gorilla Glass which is today virtually used in every high-end smartphone, today announced the next generation of its glass development which is called "Corning Willow Glass". Willow Glass is an ultra-slim flexible glass, which could, according to Corning, revolutionize the shape and form of next-generation consumer electronic technologies. It will support thinner backplanes and color filters for both organic light emitting diodes (OLED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) in high-performance, portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers. This new, ultra-slim flexible glass will also help develop conformable (curved) displays for immersive viewing or mounting on non-flat surfaces.

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PROMOTION: Microsoft announces availability of Windows Upgrade Offer - buy Windows 7 to get Windows 8 later
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:59 CET under 01 - General News

While we just talked about Windows RT, last week Microsoft also announced its "Windows Upgrade Offer" for Windows 8. It's quite typical that nobody is buying a new PC with Windows 7 preinstalled, now after the cat is out of the bag that Windows 8 arrives soon; and therefore Microsoft initiated the Windows Upgrade Offer for consumers purchasing a qualifying new Windows 7 PC. between June 2, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013. The Windows Upgrade Offer provides consumers who buy an eligible Windows 7 PC the option to purchase a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of just US$ 14.99 (U.S.)/in Europe 14.99 Euro (including VAT) during the time of the promotion.

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PSA: Follow the Euro 2012 with the official UEFA Apps for Android and Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:36 CET under 01 - General News

Not too long anymore and the European Football Championship 2012 kicks-off in Poland and the Ukraine end of this week and while most matches are happening in the later afternoon or evening, you might not be able to watch every game live. Nevertheless, owners of a Google Android or Microsoft Windows Phone can at least follow every match on their phones, in addition to getting extra news and views around the tournament! While there are countless of local apps covering the Euro 2012, the UEFA and Orange teamed-up and released the official Android and Windows Phone apps back in April already. However, you might have overseen it because the Euro 2012 was still far away, but now it's definitely time to load your phones.

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UNVEILED: Asus shows first Windows 8 based Windows RT Tablet - the Asus Tablet 600 [with Video]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:41 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 isn't only coming for Intel based x86 PCs, Notebooks and Tablets, but also as Windows RT which is designed for ARM based devices like consumer tablets. And right ahead of its press conference at this week's Computex in Taiwan, Asus has unveiled the first ever Windows RT tablet called the Asus Tablet 600. Running Windows RT for ARM, the Tablet 600 is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quadcore CPU which is backed-up by 2 GB of RAM. The tablet sports a 10.1" 1366 x 768 IPS+ touchscreen and features WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a digital compass and NFC as well as a rear-facing 8 megapixel autofocus camera and a front facing 2 megapixel camera.

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UPGRADE: Huawei releases Android 4.0 "Demo" Upgrade for the Huawei Honor - promises more to follow
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:44 CET under 04 - Android News

I'm not exactly sure what Huawei means with "demo version" but the Chinese giant just announced, that it's going to roll-out Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich through Q2 and Q3, starting right today with the Honor U8860. According to Huawei, it should be noted that "the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is a demo version and therefore may have limitations". No words yet which kind of limitations or when the final release can be expected. Nevertheless, for the brave of us, Huawei's Android 4.0 upgrade-love is now available as a 258.11 MB English "Cambodia Demo version". The Huawei U8800Pro and Huawei Honor C8860E will also receive an ICS demo upgrade later this quarter.

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Friday, 01.06.12
STANDARDIZATION: ETSI agrees on new 4FF Nano-SIM Card format for slimmer and smaller phones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:47 CET under 01 - General News

At its 55th meeting held on 31 May and 1 June 2012 in Osaka, Japan, ETSI's Smart Card Platform Technical Committee agreed a new form factor for the UICC, popularly known as the SIM card. Today's SIM card designs take up a significant amount of space inside a mobile device. This space is more and more valuable in today's handsets which deliver an ever increasing number of features. The fourth form factor (4FF) card, also called nano-SIM, will be 40 % smaller than the current smallest SIM card design (micro-SIM aka 3FF), at 12.3 mm wide by 8.8 mm high and 0.67 mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs.

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