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the::unwired Articles
Friday, 29.11.13
FOOTBALL: FIFA releases Android and iOS App - Covers World Wide Leagues, National Teams and FIFA World Cup
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:57 CET under 04 - Android News

With millions of football (or how Americans call it: soccer) fans all around the world, there should be a market for such an app but it seems that, with only 50 - 100 Android downloads so far, FIFA itself failed to advertize it properly; because the football head organization has recently launched an Android and iOS app called "FIFA" which is said to be "the most comprehensive football app on the planet; unlocking the world of football". From the Bundesliga to the Barclays Premier League, MLS to La Liga, the "World Match Centre" provides unrivalled coverage of 197 leagues across the globe with hundreds of competitions, thousands of goals and over a million minutes of football every single week!

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RELEASE: ExB petitpetit announces today's release of mailbe.at - The 1st E-Mail Client which understands E-Mails [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:18 CET under 04 - Android News

Do you remember mailbe.at I wrote about back in October? Today, Munich based ExB petitpetit announced the upcoming release of the the first - as ExB petitpetit describes it - "truly contextual E-Mail app", which integrates also tasks and calendar and proactively suggests information that is important to users, based on location and time. We all have a common problem: E-Mail overload, which is even worse on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, where we have to work with a more limited screen estate. And the sheer quantity of E-Mails we receive makes using E-Mail a daily chore we dread. However, ExB petitpetit said that E-Mail productivity on smartphones is finally becoming reality, with the help of mailbe.at.

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Thursday, 28.11.13
LAUNCH: HTC UK unveils HTC One Dual SIM for the UK - Comes with Dual SIM sans LTE [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:01 CET under 04 - Android News

The HTC One is HTC's 2013 hero phone, that's clear, but the One has a widely unknown step-brother which is called the "HTC One Dual SIM". So far it wasn't available in Europe but HTC UK has now unveiled in its very own "Official HTC Store" that it's also coming to the UK. It's not too different from the original One, except that it is featuring - as the name is guessing - dual SIM capabilities. This allows to receive calls from either sim card at any time, to switch seamlessly between both sim cards while in a call, HTC Sense helps to manage calls, texts and data between SIM cards effortlessly and the on-board Dual Network Manager allows to select a preferred network and personalize the name of each SIM, eliminating any complexity.

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Wednesday, 27.11.13
LAUNCH: Jolla publishes new Jolla Sailfish OS The Other Half Video and User Guide
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:09 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Alright, today is finally happening what a handful ex-Nokia employees started and worked hard on the past months. Jolla, the Finnish smartphone manufacturer launches its first Sailfish OS at a special event in Helsinki, together with its Finnish carrier partner DNA. And while the first 400 customers will get their smartphone tonight, pre-order customers from Europe have to wait a little bit longer but not too long anymore, after Jolla started sending out the final order invitations since earlier this week. If you now wonder what you will get or what all this Jolla and Sailfish OS is about, Jolla has today published a YouTube video which shows you a real and final Jolla TOH (The Other Half) in action!

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DISAPPEARED: What happened to Zattoo on Google Play?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:43 CET under 04 - Android News

I'm sure, many European users know Zattoo, an - if not the biggest - European linear TV IPTV service, broadcasting in seven European countries. In addition to Germany and Switzerland, where Zattoo started back in 2006, the Switzerland-based company is also offering its service in Spain, France, Denmark, Luxembourg as well as a small channel line-up in the USA and the UK. Each country offers a specific, regional linear TV channel portfolio. As Zattoo says on its own web site, "every user can access Zattoo on all devices on which the service is available". And so far, Zattoo supported Android, iOS, Windows, Windows 8 and Windows RT as well as Windows Phone through the respective app stores.

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Tuesday, 26.11.13
PROMOTION: Nokia gifts 20 Euro Windows Phone Marketplace Vouchers to new Lumia Customers
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:05 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Nokia wants to convince its Lumia Windows Phone 8 users to to try the Microsoft Windows Phone Marketplace and is currently giving away free Windows Phone Store vouchers to new customers - worth £20 (in the UK) or 20 Euro (for instance are Germany and France confirmed). This promotion is for new customers of a Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 925, Nokia Lumia 625 or Nokia Lumia 1520 but users need to act fast – the clock's ticking on this unmissable offer. To apply for the app voucher, you have to be a new customer of one of the above mentioned phones, go to Nokia's promotion page by 15 January 2014, claim your purchase and Nokia will send you an E-Mail with your unique PIN code within 48 hours to redeem your free gift within 30 days.

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QUICKVIEW: Hands-on with David Koma's Limited Edition London Fashion Week HTC One mini
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:55 CET under 08 - Reviews

HTC definitely loves special editions, doesn't matter if they are 24-carat Gold or designed by some of the world's most recognized fashion designers. And do you remember the HTC One mini by David Koma, who is one of the rising stars of British fashion? For the recent London Fashion Week, HTC and Koma joint forces and the British designer created an exclusive special edition of the HTC One mini. This limited run of 10 handsets features two different unique artworks from the designer, which was created to celebrate HTC's "change" concept. One of the unique abstract designs was inspired by David Koma's Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, while the other gave a flavor of what was to come in the Spring/Summer 2014 show.

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UTILITY: App Ops allows to Control App Access Rights on Android 4.3 and Android 4.4
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:40 CET under 04 - Android News

Privacy is a hot topic nowadays and apps privacy even more. There are countless apps in all the app stores which have countless rights to access personal data. From location to personal information like calendar, contacts, etc. entries to to messaging like SMS and more. And while all these access rights often make a lot of sense, too often these rights don't make sense at all. I'm not going to say that all these apps are fraudulent, often enough developers don't pay enough attention to the rights they request, but sometimes it leaves a bad feeling to know that a certain app has read/write rights it doesn't need at all. "Apps Ops" is a new and a clever app which allows Android users to control some of the permissions, an installed or preinstalled app has.

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FOOTBALL: HTC releases HTC FootballFeed - Live Updates for the UEFA Champions League and Europe League
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:11 CET under 04 - Android News

Following last year's news that HTC became the "exclusive phone supplier of the UEFA Champions League and Europe League" and many activities around the matches, including a couple of promotions, HTC Europe has just launched its "HTC FootballFeed" app for Android (but sadly not for Windows Phone). The HTC FootballFeed delivers official, play-by-play updates from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, direct to your phone - which doesn't have to be an HTC phone at all. The HTC FootballFeed is said to provide live and customizable facts and stats, as well as a wide variety of great news and content. Main features include designed for an efficient, unique user experience.

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UPGRADE: Google announces official Android 4.4 FOTA roll-out for the HTC One GPe and Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:50 CET under 04 - Android News

Following yesterday's news, that the Android 4.4 KitKat Rom build is available for download for the HTC One Google Play Edition, in a recent Google+ posting, the Android team announced that it has started with the FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) rollout of Android 4.4 for both, the HTC One GPe and the Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe: "Starting today, Samsung GS4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices are getting an update to Android 4.4!". This means that if you have one of these two, you should receive the tasty Android upgrade anytime soon - with pure Android experience sans HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz. As always I would expect that this is another staged rollout which means availability for your device might not be immediate.

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PROMOTION: Share your best HTC One UltraPixel Photo and Win one of Two 24-Carat Gold HTC One [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:04 CET under 04 - Android News

Sure, basically everybody in Europe can purchase now or soon a gold colored HTC One but there are only a few real 24-carat Gold HTC One available around the world. However, if you live in the U.S. and you are an avid mobile photographer, you can now win one of two special and very unique Gold HTC One. HTC has just started a new ad campaign, which it is running in the heart of New York's Times Square! This includes a digital billboard that will showcase photos taken by HTC's street team in Times Square, as well as photos submitted by HTC fans around the world. For sure these entries are moderated, to make sure the photos were really taken with a HTC One UltraPixel camera (while I expect that HTC will also One mini and One max submissions).

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Monday, 25.11.13
KICKSTARTER: Rocki Play - An inexpensive Multi-Room WiFi Music System for any Speaker
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:35 CET under 01 - General News

One of the co-founders of the extremely successful Kickstarter financed smartwatch Omate TrueSmart smartwatch has something new for us which is said to "revolutionize the music world" with the first WiFi music system for every phone, speaker and everyone! There are countless Bluetooth speakers in the market as well as some well established wireless multi-room music systems like Sonos; however the futuristic and extremely affordable Rocki is going a slightly different way. Instead of building another WiFi speaker system, Rocki is said to transform every existing speaker into a WiFi music system, whether it is old or new. The Rocki Play is a clever little device that simply plugs into the audio input of any speaker system.

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UPGRADE: HTC releases Android 4.4 KitKat Developer Update for the HTC One Google Play Edition
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:43 CET under 04 - Android News

As expected and promised, HTC has released Android 4.4 KitKat for its HTC One Google Play Edition phone. While the upgrade is yet not distributed as a FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) update, interested developers and customers can download it now from HTC's very own Developer Center. Even if it's an HTC device, the Google Play Edition comes - as expected . with the stock Android user interface and services and is therefore lacking HTC Sense 5.5. If you can't wait for the FOTA roll-out, you can now start upgrading your HTC One (Google Play Edition only) to the latest Android version; if you know what you are doing. If not it's suggested to better wait for the official roll-out, which should start anytime soon as well.

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PROCESS: Making the final Jolla "The Other Half" Order - Now Possible through Invitation E-Mails
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:54 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Have you also pre-ordered your Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone during the first wave back in spring or the second wave back in summer; and have already received last Friday's E-Mail which told you that you should receive a second E-Mail with further details soon? Great, that's what I did as well and today I received the promised second E-Mail which allowed me to complete my pre-order. Back in May, I've pre-booked and paid "The Second Half" 100 Euro campaign and I always wondered how this will continue. Beside receiving my T-Shirt (which unfortunately arrived way too late, don't hope it's an indicator for how much longer I have to wait for the phone), the campaign was said to give me a discount of 100 Euro for the phone since I already paid that amount in advance.

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ANNOUNCED: Samsung unveils the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:26 CET under 04 - Android News

Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy Grand 2, a device that is said to offer an optimal large-screen experience on a portable, compact smartphone. This evolution of the Galaxy Grand series brings meaningful upgrades to its predecessor including an improved HD viewing experience, enhanced performance, and many other intuitive features. Running Android 4.3, the Galaxy Grand 2 is powered by a quad-core CPU at 1.2 GHz. It features GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as UMTS/HSPA+; right next to WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. It brings an incredible smartphone viewing experience with a 5.25" screen with 720p HD and a 8 megapixel autofocus main camera as well as a front facing 1.9 megapixel HD camera.

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INEXPENSIVE: HTC announces HTC One Gold Edition - Goes Massmarket at a reasonable Price
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:32 CET under 04 - Android News

Remember the 18ct special HTC One Gold edition? Looks like HTC liked it but decided to go more mainstream by keeping the color but replacing the 18ct gold with aluminum. As announced today, HTC will launch an HTC One Gold edition right before Christmas. The specs will stay unchanged, never change a winning team. Therefore it's running on Android 4.3 and is still powered by a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU at 1.7 GHz. The One supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA and triband LTE at 800/1800/2600 MHz. Also on board are NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX and WiFi a/ac/b/g/n. The Gold One comes with 32 GB flash memory and 2 GB of DDR2 RAM. The Super-LCD 3 Full HD touchscreen measures 4.7" and has 468 PPI.

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Friday, 22.11.13
PREORDER: Jolla sends Invitations to complete Jolla Smartphone Preorders - Shipping expected for December [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:30 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Following yesterday's news on Twitter that Jolla is preparing shipments of the pre-booking campaign of the company's first Sailfish OS smartphone from wave 1 and wave 2, users are now receiving the expected E-Mail which details the process. According to this E-Mail, also the::unwired received, Jolla is "pleased to inform all its Jolla pre-booking customers that they will soon receive instructions on how to complete their order via Jolla's webshop" and continues that upon completing the order, customers will receive more information about shipping and delivery. As a matter of fact, starting from November 22, invitations will be sent "to enter the webshop where the purchase can be completed".

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IMPROVED: Google updates Chromecast for Android App - Makes Configuration Easier
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:08 CET under 04 - Android News

Are you one of the owners and users of Google Chromecast HDMI stick and use with your Android smartphone or tablet? If so, you should check out the recently updated Chromecast Android app. Not that it became anything more useful, it's still the configuration app for the Chromecast HDMI stick, which allows to enjoy online video and anything from the web on your TV by plugging it into any HDTV. And as said, the Android companion app is the one to set up the Chromecast to work with a WiFi network and manage the Chromecast settings (such as changing the device name, WiFi password, etc.). However, the recent update is easing navigation, improves time zone display, displays the Chromecast MAC address and fixes a crash when launching device settings screen.

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OPTIMIZED: Google Play now showing a "Designed for Tablets" Category
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:23 CET under 04 - Android News

As Google announced yesterday via its Google+ Android Developers profile, it began to roll-out some previously announced changes for the Google Play store that are said to make it even easier for tablet users to discover great apps and games - designed and optimized for Android tablets. However, unlike Google has integrated it on Google TV, where users only see for Google TV developed apps, in this case Google is first presenting tablet optimized apps by showing tablet users a "Designed for tablets" section as the default view in top lists. This is said to better highlight the apps and games that look great on tablets but users are still able to switch the view so they can see all apps or games if they choose.

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Thursday, 21.11.13
UNIFIED: Google replaces Google Play Magazines and Google Play Currents with Google Play Newsstand
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:32 CET under 04 - Android News

Yesterday, Google rolled-out Google Play Newsstand, a new app which combines and replaces Google Play Magazines and Google Play Currents in one Android app. With Google Play Newsstand, users can discover more of the news and magazines they care about - all in one app for Android tablet or phone. It displays breaking news and in-depth articles featuring audio, video and more. From sports, business, cooking, entertainment, fashion and more - Google Play Newsstand offers both, free and paid news plus subscribe to vibrant full HD magazines, all in one place. With hundreds of premier publishers - it's all there, easy to follow, read, and share. In addition, it allows to add own own news channels, for instance from RSS feeds or Google Play Currents.

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AVAILABILITY: Jolla to Ship 1st Sailfish OS Smartphones from November 27
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:26 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Right in preparation of its first smartphone launch which will go on sale with DNA first, Jolla has announced today that all pre-ordered Jolla smartphones will be shipped from November 27. So if you have pre-ordered yours back in spring, it shouldn't take too long anymore to hold the word's first Sailfish OS smartphone in your hands. According to Jolla's FAQ, the launch party is on 27 November in Helsinki, where DNA will setup a pop-up store. At the event, a total of 450 Jollas will be sold to customers who have pre-ordered their phones in the first pre-booking campaign. At the same time, Jolla will start mail deliveries to all the pre-order customers from all countries which ordered in both, the 1st and 2nd pre-booking campaigns.

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ENHANCED: Google Updates Google Translate for Android - Adds further Features and Simplicity
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:04 CET under 04 - Android News

Back, when I worked on a project in Angola, in a country which language I don't spoke, Google Translate for Android became a real life saver for me since it - somehow - allowed me to talk to my Portuguese only speaking colleagues. Now, Google announced to make Google Translate even better by launching the new Google Translate app for Android. The app is now featuring faster and simpler speech translations, additional language support and a sleek new look. Google Translate for Android works as before, all it needs is to open the Translate app and press the microphone icon. Google has also added gesture support now, so with a simple turn of the screen, it's possible to switch back and forth between languages.

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SERVICE: 6snap full featured Snapchat App for Windows Phone now Available
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:14 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Snapchat, which just made it to the press with the story that it declined a US$ 3 billion offer from Facebook, has now received its first full featured (but unofficial) Windows Phone client. Developed by Rudy Huyn, who's well known for his Instagram and Vine clients for Windows Phone (which both are better than the originals), has now released 6snap. 6snap allows to snap a photo or a video, adding a caption after, and sending it to a friend - or a few. Well, that's what Snapchat is about but 6snap is said to support all Snapchat features which include the sharing of pictures and videos with Snapchat users, posting snaps on the story line, seeing stories, best friends and scores of friends, drawing and adding texts to your pictures.

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RENAMED: Nokia Music becomes Nokia MixRadio - Receives more Features for Free
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:54 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following the introduction of Nokia Music and the later enhancement with Nokia Music+, Nokia unveiled today that it has renamed its music streaming service to Nokia MixRadio. Now available in 31 countries around the World, MixRadio also sports a new feature called "Play Me" that learns from listening habits to give an even more personalized radio station at the touch of a button. Nokia MixRadio builds on the acclaimed Nokia Music streaming service that launched two years ago to streamline the experience of discovering new music on the go. The new Play Me button helps users get to personalized content even faster, at the single touch of a button from the landing screen in fact.

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Wednesday, 20.11.13
SERVICE: Waze Navigation Service launches on Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:27 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Not that Google Maps is available on Windows Phone, interestingly enough, Google's recently overtaken Waze service just launched on Windows Phone. Waze is a community based mapping, traffic and navigation app with 60 million participants. It allows to join forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time and gas money, and improving everyone's daily commute. By simply driving around with Waze open, users have already contributing tons of real-time traffic and road info to the local driving community. Furthermore it's possible for participants to actively report accidents, hazards, police and other events seen on the road as well as receiving road alerts from others on route.

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AVAILABILITY: Instagram for Windows Phone ready to be released later today [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:09 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Remember Nokia's announcement during the recent Nokia World that Instagram will finally hit Windows Phone as well? Well, not too long anymore, as it seems, and it will be available for your convenience (or your Twitter followers and Facebook friends annoyance). As TechCrunch reports, Instagram for Windows Phone will goes live today at at 11am Pacific Time. Even if partly owned by Microsoft, it took Instagram's mother company Facebook a little bit longer and according to TechCrunch, Nokia's very top execs, along with those from Microsoft, spent many months trying to convince Facebook and Instagram, and even offering cash up front and developer resources, to make the app happens.

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ENTERTAINMENT: Microsoft releases Xbox One SmartGlass Companion App for Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:11 CET under 04 - Android News

Right after yesterday's Windows release of Xbox One SmartGlass for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has now also released the gaming console companion app for Android and iOS. Like the Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows, the Android and iOS version connects to and controls the Xbox One to allow staying connected with content, games and gamer friends. Within the living room, Xbox One SmartGlass allows to navigate a Xbox One console using the device's keyboard and touch, to control media and connected set-top box with the SmartGlass remote control, browse the web on the big screen living room TV using the mobile device and and enhancing what is watched or played with SmartGlass companions.

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Tuesday, 19.11.13
ROLLOUT: HTC UK targets European HTC One Android 4.4 KitKat availability for End of January
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:56 CET under 04 - Android News

There was a lot of confusion recently when the HTC One might receive Android 4.4 KitKat and as a matter of fact, there's not the one HTC One. Beside having countless operator and open market versions, there's also the HTC One Google Play Edition as well as the HTC One Developer Edition. While the Google Play Edition and Developer Edition are somewhat confirmed to receive the upgrade within 2013, the biggest question left was when the regular HTC One will receive it? Now, HTC UK was so kind to go into details and unveiled that it expects availability for end of January 2014. As expected, the firmware has to go a longer process since HTC has to work here with its local carriers.

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ENTERTAINMENT: Microsoft releases Xbox One SmartGlass for Windows Phone [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:39 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

It won't be long anymore until Microsoft's new gaming console, the Xbox One, will be available. And right ahead of the anticipated launch, Microsoft has already released its Xbox One Windows Phone companion app which is called Xbox One SmartGlass. Like Xbox SmartGlass for the Xbox 360, it connects to and controls the Xbox One and allowing to stay connected with content, games and gamers. Within the living room, Xbox One SmartGlass allows to navigate a Xbox One console using the Windows Phone's keyboard and touch, allows to control media and connected set-top box, browse the web on the connected TV straight from the Windows Phone and enhancing what is watched or played with SmartGlass companions.

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CONVERGENCE: Microsoft releases Office Remote for Windows Phone - allows to Remote Control Office Apps
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:19 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Microsoft is still continuing to bring its different products closer together and following Xbox SmartGlass, Microsoft has now released Office Remote for Windows Phone. Office Remote turns a Windows Phone into a smart remote that interacts with Microsoft Office. The app allows to control Word, Excel and PowerPoint from across the room. With Office Remote, it's possible to start a PowerPoint presentation, advance the slides, see speaker notes and even control an on-screen laser pointer - all from a Windows Phone. It's even possible to navigate between Excel worksheets and graphs, control data slicers from the palm of the hand and Office Remote allows to conveniently scroll through a Word document or quickly jump to specific sections or comments.

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Monday, 18.11.13
PLACESHIFTING: Sling Media announces SlingPlayer Roku Support and unveils Plans for a Windows (RT) 8.1 App [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:47 CET under 04 - Android News

Following its own SlingCatcher, which faded away pretty soon after launch, and support for Google TV, which both brought a Slingbox streamed TV signal on a second TV screen, Sling Media today unveiled a new version of SlingPlayer Mobile for Android and iPhone, which is now available as part of the Roku channel introduction. With this new SlingPlayer Mobile app, Slingbox customers will be able to watch their live or recorded TV through a Roku streaming player connected to a TV in another room in the house or in a remote location. Customers will be able to either use the SlingPlayer Mobile Android or iPhone app to initiate the video and send it to the TV with a tap of a button.

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WEARABLE: Qualcomm announces upcoming availability of its Qualcomm Toq Android Companion Smartwatch
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:15 CET under 01 - General News

Qualcomm, best known for its Snapdragon CPUs which are powering most of today's Android and Windows Phones, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Connected Experiences will make the company's first smartwatch - the Qualcomm Toq ("talk"). Toq, which is a smartphone companion and compatible with Android smartphones, features a proprietary Qualcomm MEMS Technologies's Qualcomm Mirasol display technology, providing an always-on experience with multiple days of battery life and visibility even in bright sunlight. As previously announced, this limited edition smartwatch will leverage breakthrough technologies necessary to deliver compelling user experiences on wearable devices.

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Saturday, 16.11.13
THOUGHT: Did Google cross the Privacy Line with its latest Release of Hangouts for Android?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:22 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Ever, since we were talking about mobile texting, we were talking about unified messaging and the unified inboxes. This became even more important when E-Mail and MMS were added to mobile phones and since we have smartphones with its countless ways to communicate, it seems to be even more important. Looks like Google saw it the same and with the recently announced Google Hangouts update for Android, Google added some - on the first sight - "useful" features. For instance can Google Hangouts now be used for sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages. And it's even able to import existing messages from other SMS and MMS clients to make the move to Hangouts even more convenient.

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Friday, 15.11.13
SERVICE: Huawei launches Online Radio App for Android and Facebook
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:55 CET under 04 - Android News

Huawei DACH (Deutschland / Austria / Schweiz aka Germany / Austria /Switzerland) just announced the launch of the "Huawei Online Radio". Unlike other music streaming services like Spotify or Rdio and even unlike Nokia Music, the Huawei Online Radio is really a kind of IP-based "radio station". Huawei describes its online radio app as a music program that hits the right tune at the right time. Basically it's a kind of program they are running through with "Wake Up Grooves" for the start into the day, during the day it plays "Music @ Work", followed in the the afternoon by the "Huawei Festival Tunes" and in the evening the online radio plays the "Huawei Ascend Party Classics". Night owls and lovers of house and electro can listen to the "Huawei Electronic Device Beats" until early morning.

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TRIAL: Vodafone Germany launches Cat 6 LTE-A Test Network in Dresden
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:09 CET under 01 - General News

While Telefónica O2 Germany announced the fastest German LTE-A cell yesterday, Vodafone Germany went a step further by also announcing its LTE-Advanced trial in Dresden. However, unlike O2 Germany, which is only covering its own office building in Munich, Vodafone Germany said it's covering the whole area around the Technische Universität Dresden (University of Technology), where Vodafone operates a professorship for mobile communication. Like O2 in Munich and EE in London, Vodafone is partnering in Dresden with Huawei which delivered the technology and like the other two carriers, Vodafone is using carrier aggregation on the LTE 800 MHz and LTE 2600 MHz bands which are bundled to archive 225 Mbps.

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Thursday, 14.11.13
BREAKTHROUGH: Telefónica O2 Germany launches the fastest LTE Radio Cell in Germany as well as VoLTE
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:26 CET under 01 - General News

While EE just launched a whole Cat 6 LTE network with 300 Mbps in London, Telefónica O2 Germany announced the launch of - well - Germany's fastest LTE radio cell at the Telefónica building in Munich. Speeds up to a data transmission rate of 225 Mbps are achieved. As Telefónica said in its press release, it achieved this enormous transmission rates because the base stations in question provide up to 150 Mbps in the 2.6-GHz band and up to 75 Mbps at 800 MHz. By combining these data streams, download speeds of up to 225 Mbps were reached. While the used new category 6 (Cat 6) LTE devices are yet not commercially available, Telefónica used prototypes from Huawei.

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EXPLANATION: Samsung explains the Regional-Lock for its Lineup of Galaxy Android Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:36 CET under 04 - Android News

Samsung's recently introduced "regional lock" for its latest range of Galaxy smartphones wasn't the electronic giant's brightest idea and it's clear why Samsung introduced it: To stop grey market imports and trading. As a matter of fact there are areas in the world, where you can get an imported Samsung smartphone cheaper then buying it from a local authorized dealer. Now, Samsung Germany (or better its attorneys - if you read the German original text) sent All About Samsung a statement in which it tried to explain why the regional lock was introduced (for sure Samsung only had the customer's experience in mind) and how to get rid of it - or not. In any case, Samsung made clear that the regional lock is here to stay.

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AVAILABILITY: First Jolla Sailfish OS goes on Sale in Finland on November 27 - First available from DNA
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:01 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

As Jolla unveiled during today's Slush 13 conference in Helsinki, the company's first Sailfish OS-based smartphone (which has still no official name, as far as I know) will be first sold in DNA pop-up stores in Finland, starting November 27. Roughly one year ago, DNA and Jolla announced the first carrier partnership which included that DNA Store and other DNA sales channels will sell and market Jolla smartphones in Finland as soon as they enter the market. The upcoming Jolla smartphones use an open Sailfish operating system which is based on the well-known MeeGo operating system. DNA is a Finnish telecommunications company which proves a 3G network which reaches five million Finns and has more than 3 million mobile communications and fixed network customer contracts.

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Wednesday, 13.11.13
REGULATION: European EASA allows the use of Personal Electronic Devices on Board of Aircrafts
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:41 CET under 01 - General News

That was fast! Following North American's FAA decision to allow the gate to gate use of personal electronic devices, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced today that it will publish by the end of November 2013 guidance which will extend to all phases of flight the possibility to use personal electronic devices (PED) such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and MP3 players as long as the devices are in "Flight Mode" or "Airplane Mode". Current EASA guidance allows the use of PED on aircraft, except during taxiing, take-off and landing. Bulky PED such as laptop computers will need to be stowed during taxiing, take-off and landing. The changes above will be applicable to aircraft operated by European airlines.

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CONFIRMED: Motorola launches the Moto G Android Smartphone with expected Specs
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:12 CET under 04 - Android News

As expected, today Motorola announced the Moto G; a smartphone that is said to deliver premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones. And as rumored, the Moto G will indeed feature a 4.5" 720p HD display, which is said to be the sharpest in its class, that goes edge-to-edge. Furthermore the Moto G comes with the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, featuring a quad-core CPU at 1.2 GHz and and an Adreno 305 GPU at 450 MHz. On top of this runs Android 4.3 Jellybean, with a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat at the beginning of 2014. Last but not least, will the Moto G comes with a stylish design with a comfortable curved back and 19 customization options, including interchangeable Motorola Shells and Flip Shells in seven colors as well as Grip Shells in five colors.

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CREATIVITY: Nokia releases Nokia Refocus for Windows Phone - Gives you back Control of the Focus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:55 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Nokia just launched Nokia Refocus, an app it showed first time at its recent "Nokia World" in Abu Dhabi. Nokia Refocus is a pretty clever app, which lets users take a photo first and choose what to focus later. It's perfect when shooting close-ups of a subject because it allows to show depth in photos, and then change focal point at any time. It also offers great effects like All in focus and Colour pop. When done, interactive Refocus photos can be shared via social media, E-Mail and messaging - all it needs is a Microsoft SkyDrive account which is part of Windows Phone anyway. The application first uploads the refocus photos to SkyDrive and then creates a link that can be shared with friends so they can play around and change the focus themselves.

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PARTNERSHIP: Jolla Smartphones to feature Nokia HERE Maps and Ten-Thousands of Android Apps [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:46 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

As Finnish smartphone newcomer Jolla announced this morning, it has signed an agreement to license positioning services and map technology from HERE, a Nokia business, to be used in Sailfish OS. The Nokia HERE Maps and technology is already well known from Windows Phone and soon this will provide Sailfish OS users with up-to-date map data and rich location information, such as restaurants and hotels, from over 190 countries around the world. Enabling fast and accurate retrieval of positioning information anywhere in the world, these services are essential for any mobile maps experience. A global map and location content offering also brings Jolla one step closer to achieving a fully equipped mobile operating system.

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WEARABLES: Mobile Technology now the "hot trigger" for better Health for all
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:02 CET under 01 - General News

While this press release and study isn't brand new, Fitbit UK published the results back in October already, the German press release just reached me today. Nevertheless, it shows that the topic "wearables" is a hot one and will gain more importance, the smarter the wearables will become. According to a new research recently released from Fitbit, mobile technology - which includes smartphones and other mobile connected devices – has a significant impact on the choices we make towards living healthier lifestyles. In fact, nearly half of people (48 %) surveyed in the UK, have reported strong positive behavior changes through the use of mobile devices that provide the ability to self-monitor their health and well-being.

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AVAILABLE: Google releases Android 4.4 KitKat Upgrade for Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 - More to come
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:07 CET under 04 - Android News

As Google announced last night via Twitter and Google+, it has started with the roll-out of the anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade, which starts first with the Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) and Nexus 10 WiFi only tablets. Not yet in the queue are the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet with mobile data aka mobile broadband, which is said to receive the "tasty upgrade" soon! Just to recap, officially announced last month, Android 4.4 aka KitKat is Google's latest Android version which is said to deliver a smarter, more immersive Android experience to even more people. According to Google, the first thing users will notice about KitKat is that it had made the experience much more engaging.

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Tuesday, 12.11.13
SELF-SERVICE: Telefónica O2 Germany launches Mein O2 for Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:28 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Telefónica O2 Germany is showing more confidence in Windows Phone and has recently launched "Mein O2" (My O2) for Windows Phone. With its latest launch, the German carrier follows the previously launched Android and iOS versions. Like its Android and iOS counterparts, the Windows Phone version shows post paid customers the telephony, text message and mobile data usage in real time and even forecasts the expected mobile data usage. Furthermore it shows and allows to download the past 6 invoices and itemized bills and provides an overview of the bill amount of the past five years. Last but not least it gives access to the master file data and even allows to edit the invoice address, bank account details and more.

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QUICKVIEW: Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speaker
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:54 CET under 08 - Reviews

Last month launched in the U.S., Sonos' latest wireless speaker - the Sonos Play:1 - is also available in Europe since this month. I don't think that the Sonos system needs any further introduction but if you haven't heard about it yet, it's a wireless HiFi speaker system. It unites locally available digital music collections and streaming services in one app that can be used on smartphones, tablets and PC and notebooks. If more than one Sonos wireless speaker is used, it either plays the same or different music on each speaker and Sonos offers a wide range of wireless speakers. From the brand new Play:1 to the Play:3 and Play:5 to the Sonos Sub subwoofer and the TV-compatible Sonos Playbar. With the Play:1, Sonos introduced the yet most inexpensive wireless speaker.

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AVAILABLE: Vine announces Vine for Windows Phone Launch - Comes with Live Tile Integration [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:34 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

First time mentioned by Nokia, as well as a second time, it took Twitter's Vine a little bit longer but as the short video service just announced, it's finally here and soon available for Windows Phone. Not yet downloadable from Microsoft's Windows Phone Market, Vine just unveiled in a blog posting that "today, we're launching Vine for Windows Phone, making it easy for even more people to capture and share life in motion". That said, Vine for Windows Phone works the same as on other platforms by taping and holding the screen to create short, looping videos with sound. Camera tools, like grid and ghost, are said to help shoot like a pro. But not only the main camera is supported but also the front camera for selfies.

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UNVEILED: German Phone House lists Motorola Moto G - Confirms Specs [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:37 CET under 04 - Android News

The official announcement for the Motorola Moto G is planned for tomorrow but there's not too much anymore Google's smartphone daughter will be able to tell us. After previous rumors, press shots made its appearance and also German Phone House was so kind to put the full specs online. According to the Phone House, Motorola's latest entry level Android smartphone will be launched with Android 4.3 and is said to be powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU. Furthermore it was confirmed that the Moto G will support quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as UMTS/HSDPA; but no word about LTE. On top of this, the Moto G comes with WiFi, Bluetooth GPS, etc. The 4.5" LCD screen is said to have HD resolution at 1280 x 720.

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Monday, 11.11.13
UNVEILED: Windows Phone 8.1 Builds appear in first App Statistics
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:53 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Sure enough, Microsoft will release anytime (next year) Windows Phone 8.1, which is expected to follow the latest Windows Phone 8 GDR3 release and is even said to somehow unify the Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 codebase - in some way. However, as a recently published screenshot shows now, Microsoft seems to be already beyond planning and is dog-food'ng it already ("dog food" is Microsoft's term for Alpha and early Beta builds and tests). The published screenshot from a Windows Phone app called "FB Pages Manager WP" shows firmware version numbers greater today's known Windows Phone 8.0.xxx, showing several Windows Phone version from 8.1.12115.0 up to Windows Phone 8.10.12236.0.

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Wednesday, 06.11.13
ENHANCED: Pebble announces full iOS Notification integration - Announces SDK 2.0 for even better 3rd Party Apps [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:02 CET under 01 - General News

Prebble, the independent smartwatch pioneer which successfully launched it's Pebble smartwatch earlier this year thanks to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, just announced that it has archived a deeper iOS integration. Furthermore it unveiled some statistics which are a result of Pebble's close work with developers worldwide; which helped create thousands of apps for Pebble customers on both - iOS and Android. This work resulted in 190,000 worldwide shipped Pebbles, 2 million downloaded apps and faces, 2,200 apps and faces on mypebblefaces.com, 80,000 created watchfaces on watchface-generator.de and 50+ companion apps available on the iTunes and Google Play with 10,000+ registered developers.

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LINKED: Google to share Google+ Photos and Information to Callers even if the Person isn't in the Phonebook
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:24 CET under 04 - Android News

There was the time when people had to keep phone numbers in mind, then came the phonebooks on phones and mobile phones which were later enhanced with contact details like addresses and even photos. Now, Google unveiled that it will goes a step further. Attila Bodis, a Google engineer, unveiled on Google+ that coming early 2014, Google+ users, which have verified their phone number and have discovery turned on, will have their names and Google Profile photos displayed whenever they call you, or you call them. Again, this means that even if you don't have the caller's number saved in your own contacts, Google's Caller ID can help you identify who's calling or the other party can identify you.

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Tuesday, 05.11.13
CONFIRMED: Huawei unveils GSM and UMTS compatible Ascend W2 Windows Phone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:40 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Following earlier news of the upcoming release, Huawei recently unveiled the launch of its Ascend W2, the company's second budget-friendly Microsoft Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The Huawei Ascend W2 brings a burst of color to the smartphone experience, offering a range of vibrant finishes including black, blue, yellow, and red. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU at 1.4 GHz and supports - according to the Global Certification Forum, which just approved the W2 - quadbad GSM/GPRS/EDGE, dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/2100 MHz as well as WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. Furthermore it's equipped with the still typical Windows Phone 4.3" IPS WVGA LCD screen. For incredible responsiveness even when wearing gloves, the display also features TFT Magic Touch technology.

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BOOST: Huawei Partners with EE to Launch World's Fastest 4G Network of up to 300 Mbps
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:13 CET under 01 - General News

While most of us are either at 100 Mbps or even 50 Mbps LTE only, Huawei and British carrier EE today announced to launch the world's fastest 4G LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network. As of today, the service is available in London's foremost business cluster, Tech City, and is set to expand across London throughout 2014, delivering mobile broadband speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The speeds and capacity of the network are enabled by Carrier Aggregation (CA), a fundamental feature of LTE-A, which allows next-generation of wireless broadband network with around twice the speed possible through most current LTE mobile networks. This allows for the full utilization of spectrum resources across multiple frequency bands by bringing together 20 MHz of 1800 MHz "GSM" spectrum and 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz "LTE" spectrum.

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Monday, 04.11.13
REVIEW: Beats by Dre new Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:02 CET under 08 - Reviews

The smartphone - I don't have to tell you - is nowadays far more than just a mobile phone with touchscreen but as important functionalities like phone and Internet access are, as important are features like the camera and music playback. No wonder that, according to a recent survey of Germany BITKOM, 93 % of the Germans between 14 and 29 use headsets and that around 54 % of all headset users use them with smartphones. Now it comes to the questions which headset is the right one. There's hardly the ultimate answer but during the past 3 weeks, I had the pleasure to test the new Beats by Dre Beats Studio over-ear headsets which were introduced earlier this summer and which replaced the original Beats Studio headsets.

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Friday, 01.11.13
OUTLOOK: First OEMs detail Plans of upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat Upgrades - others stay mum
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:38 CET under 04 - Android News

Now, after Google made its Android 4.4 KitKat official and also unveiled which Nexus phones will receive the sweet upgrade - or not - the biggest question is what the OEMs plan for their smartphone line-up? During the recent 18 hours, a couple of manufacturers released statements, some of them went into details, others stayed vague, while others stayed mum. In general it's safe to expect that the majority of latest high-end smartphones will receive the upgrade. However, for other devices, which were just recently high-end smartphones, will the screen stays black. Most notable Google's very own Galaxy Nexus which isn't receiving Android KitKat because the TI OMAP CPU isn't supported anymore since TI went out of the smartphone business.

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