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Monthly Archives: February 2010

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  1. GSMA Awards 2010: HTC Hero phone of the year

    GSMA announced the winners of the Global Mobile Awards 2010. HTC Hero was crowned device of the year, while the technology breakthrough award goes to Orange for the HD voice technology.

    Yesterday on a special ceremony at the MWC 2010 GSMA announced the winners of the Global Mobile Awards 2010. The best mobile handset this year is HTC Hero, which beat the other four nominees in this category - Samsung Star, Nokia N97 mini, BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Samsung Omnia HD.

    The Orange's mobile HD voice technology won the prize in the Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough category overtaking the Snapdragon CPU and the new Opera Mini browser, which were the other hopefuls in the category.

    The Last City is the new mobile game of the year, so if you haven't tried it yet, maybe it's time to check it out. The other nominees in this category were The Sims 3, Farm Frenzy, Hero of Sparta and Speedhero.

    You can find the full list of the Global Mobile Awards 2010 winners here:

    Best Mobile Game

    Winner: Iricom – The Last City – Fight For Your Life!

    Best Mobile Music Service

    Winner: Odyssey Music Group – Deezer

    Best Mobile Advertising or Marketing

    Winner: CLANMO GmbH and OgilvyOne – The IKEA PS Mobile Interior Planning Tool

    Best Mobile TV Service

    Winner: CBS Mobile – TV.COM

    Best Mobile Location Based Advertising Campaign

    Winner: R/GA – Nokia viNe

    Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service

    Winner: Research In Motion – BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0

    Best Mobile Internet Service

    Winner: adaffix Gmbh – YELLIX

    Best Mobile Money Service

    Winner: Safaricom – M-PESA (bulk payment & utility bill) extension to service

    Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development

    Winner: Grameen Foundation, MTN Uganda, and Google – The Grameen Foundation Application Laboratory (AppLab)

    Best Mobile Money for the Unbanked Service

    Winner: Zain Bahrain B.S.C – ZAP

    The Green Mobile Award for Best Green Programme, Product or Initiative

    Winner: VNL – VNL’s solar-powered GSM base station

    Green Network Award

    Winner: Mocambique Celular S.A.R.L (mcel) – Eco Naturalmente (Naturally Thinking Green)

    Best Network Technology Advance

    Winner: SkyCross Inc – SkyCross iMAT (isolated mode antenna technology) Antennas

    Best Service Delivery Platform

    Winner: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd – Huawei SDP solution

    Best Billing & Customer Care Solution

    Winner: Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) – You Individual Optimal Tariff Plan

    Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough

    Winner: Orange – Mobile High Definition (HD) Voice

    Best Mobile Handset or Device

    Winner: HTC – HTC Hero

    Best Mobile Connected Device (non-handsets)

    Winner: Novatel Wireless Inc. – MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

    Government Leadership Award

    Winner: Kenya

    GSMA Chairman's Award

    Winner: Carl-Henric Svanberg, Former CEO of Ericsson and currently Chairman BP

    Mobile Industry Personality of the Year as Voted for by the Media

    Winner: Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO Apple

    Read more »
  2. iPhone 3GS pitted against Nexus One in 3D frame rate test (video)

    We'd already seen first hand what kind of GPU improvements Apple made with the iPhone 3GS (in comparison to the iPhone 3G, anyway), but if you've ever wondered how Cupertino's latest stacked up against Google's Nexus One in the graphical department, your answer is just a click away. The technical gurus over at Distinctive Developments set out to determine which handset was capable of pushing more frames per second when really taxed, and through a series of pinpoint tests, they discovered that the Nexus One (in general) lagged behind. The reason? Reportedly, Google's phone isn't using Neon floating-point optimization, but if it did, the scores you'll see just past the break could be quite different. Hey Mountain View, you getting all this?

    Read more »
  3. Dreaming up the smartphone of the future

    When Google unveiled the Nexus One in early January, it somewhat arrogantly attempted to separate the phone from its competitors by calling it a "superphone." In the weeks since the Nexus One launch, we've seen users complain about spotty data network reception and non-existent customer service which made the Superphone experience feel disappointingly mediocre.

    Despite those shortcomings, Google has put the question on the table and we've been left wondering: What should a true next-generation "superphone" experience consist of? GeekTech's got an answer for you.

    Interface

    A phone's interface is the first element we will consider and it is possibly the most important: Our phones are with us all day and we interact with them more often and more consistently than other devices.

    To improve upon the current standard of capacitive touchscreens and acceleromoters would mean changing the behaviors and expectations that we've come to accept as natural. Our next-gen superphone needs to bring something to the table that is equal parts revolutionary and instinctive.

    What if your phone could shift its weight and chassis right in your hands? That would be radically different from the relatively stagnant design of most phones today (slide-out QWERTY keyboards notwithstanding).

    For our superphone, we'd like to use this design concept to integrate better speaker sound. A phone chassis that gets bigger when you take a call or play a video can produce a richer, louder sound that can reverberate through the extra space. And when you're done, it can slim down once again to fit in your pocket.

    Another interface tech we'd like to see in our superphone is pressure-sensitive touch. We're seeing multi-touch on an increasing number of devices, but we could always use more functionality on our touchscreens. For example, a pressure-sensitive screen could let you touch an onscreen keyboard lightly for lower-case letters, and more firmly for upper-case.

    3D: Not Just for the Big Screens

    3D will be one of the most prominent features in audio visual technology for the next few years, so it's only fitting that 3D should come to our superphone, right? Of course, but who wants to take out a pair of glasses just to use their phone? Not me.

    No-glasses 3D technology is a reality, but it is often hindered by the limited viewing angles. If were to incorporate 3D lenticular or parallax technology in our superphone, the issue of viewing angles it significantly lessened (see our primer on 3D HDTV for more on these technologies).

    Why are limited viewing angles less on an issue on a phone? The angles from which we view our phone are a lot less than the possible angles for viewing a TV in a large room, since you'll likely hold a phone directly in front of your eyes.

    3D displays may make it to smartphones sooner than you think. Texas Instruments recently demonstrated such a display made specifically for smartphones.

    Combine 3D tech with a beautiful AMOLED screen and a mobile copy of Avatar, and all of a sudden our superphone redefines the concept of portable entertainment.

    That's Entertainment

    Our superphone would have graphics capabilities beyond anything on current smartphones. Wired's Gadget Lab blog recently looked at a prototype phone that has enough horsepower to 3D gaming and 1080p video playback at the same time. While many current smartphones can handle 3D gaming, and the Nvidia Tegra chipset can handle 1080p HD video playback, for a phone to be able to do both at the same time is pretty mind-blowing.

    Next-Gen Signals

    The shift to 4G networks is underway, and our superphone would obviously have to support the faster data speeds that 4G provides (in fact, our superphone would laugh at you if you tried to put it on 2G networks). But our Superphone wants to branch out, and the future may not be in radio waves.

    Optical wireless data transmission looks to be a significant improvement over traditional radio waves. Among the many benefits outlined by Science Daily are 1.6 gigabit-per-second data speeds, no need for direct line of sight, and improved security.

    Lithium-Ion: My Arch Nemesis

    It's fun to sit here and pick out new features to put into our Superphone, but I could do this all day and know that it'd be pointless if the battery life couldn't make it through the afternoon. We've given our Superphone a bunch of neat tricks and features, but in order to give it life, we will need to employ cutting lithium-ion technology. Fortunately for our superphone, we may one day see batteries that hold a charge up to 10 times longer than current technology with a 20-year lifespan to boot.

    What do you think of our superphone? Is it the game changer the Nexus One wanted to be? What other tech would you like to see in a next-generation handheld? Let us know what your dream phone is in the comments!

    Read more »
  4. How many oranges does it take to charge an Apple?

    We've seen lemons power a digital clock, and we've seen an Orange tent energize a gaggle of Apples. But have you ever wondered how many oranges it would take to charge just a single Apple? Name games aside, we have to hand it to Imperial Leisure, the company that executed a new iPhone-centered advertisement aimed at raising awareness for Jaffa oranges. We won't spoil the whole thing for you, but we will say that you'll be far hungrier after watching than you are right now. Video's past the break, per usual.

    Read more »
  5. F-Secure Anti-Theft for Mobile Protects Confidential Smartphone Data

    F-Secure announced today the availability of its new standalone smartphone solution, F-Secure Anti-Theft for Mobile. The solution provides three useful security features to protect your phone: remote lock, remote wipe and theft control and is available for Symbian and Windows Phone platforms.

    The remote lock protects confidential information quickly and easily by locking the device with a single SMS message. The theft control feature activates if someone changes the SIM card by locking the device and informing you of the new number. The remote wipe is the ultimate safety measure, erasing all the data on the phone with a single SMS message.

    Indi Siriniwasa, regional director for F-Secure Australia and New Zealand, says, “You carry your smartphone with you where ever you go, which means it can be particularly prone to being lost or stolen. Nowadays our mobiles contain a great deal of personal and confidential data that need protection. F-Secure’s standalone anti-theft software provides an easy and affordable way to make sure this information is not misused by anyone.”

    F-Secure Anti-Theft for Mobile is also easy to upgrade to the all-in-one security solution, F-Secure Mobile Security, by activating the inbuilt automatic upgrade system. This adds new security features to the solution for an additional fee. You can see the currently available additional security features directly from the solution’s user interface.

    Read more »
  6. Touch Screen Technologies

    Touch Screen Technologies

    In the good old days we'd let our fingers do the walking when using the Yellow Pages. These days our fingers do a lot more with our mobile phones.

    Touchscreen technology has come along way in the last few years. It was once a technology reserved for high-end PDAs, and now touschscreens are incorporated in a large range of new mobile phones, from the most expensive all the way down to a handful of prepaid models too.

    How do you choose the right touchscreen?

    Firstly, there are two major touchscreen technologies being used in mobile devices: capacitive and resistive. Capacitive touchscreens work by transferring a small electrical charge from the screen to your finger and detecting the region where the charge is removed. Resistive screens use two extremely thin layers below the glass that are pressed together when the screen is touched. The difference between the two means that resistive screens can be touched with any object, like a stylus, while capacitive screens need to make contact with your body, usually through your finger. In practice we find capacitive screens, like the one used on the iPhone, to be more responsive, though recent resistive screens, like the Sony Ericsson Satio, have shown that well designed resistive displays can be nearly as responsive.

    The second important element to consider is the design of the interface used by the manufacturers. Touchscreens demand that the icons are large enough to be pressed with a finger and well spaced enough to avoid accidentally pressing the icons beside it. The phones listed below represent the best of both of these necessities. They all make use of responsive touchscreen displays, while also featuring well designed, finger-friendly interfaces.

    What's the best touch screen phone you have used?

    Read more »
  7. LG GW990 to be among first MeeGo phones

    Read more »
  8. MeeGo: Nokia and Intel merge Maemo and Moblin

    Well this one is a... doozy? Today Nokia announced a rather bizarre partnership with Intel. Namely, the two companies are merging their odd, half-finished, Linux-based OSs into one crazy little package called... MeeGo. No, really. Intel is mixing its peanut butter Moblin with Nokia's chocolatey Maemo to create a "software platform that will support multiple hardware architectures across the broadest range of device segments, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems." That broad enough for you? According to the company's press release, the new platform will begin baring fruit (AKA devices) later this year, though the specific types of devices weren't touched upon. Nokia's CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo claims that the union will "create an ecosystem that is second to none" through openness, though at this point it's largely bluster. Why the two monoliths have decided to pair up on these decidedly niche platforms rather than focusing energies on their front and center products is anyone's guess, but luckily you can attempt to decipher more detail in the PR, included for your convenience after the break!

    Read more »
  9. Windows Phone 7 Series is official

    Windows Phone 7 Series. Get used to the name, because it's now a part of the smartphone vernacular... however verbose it may seem.

    Today Microsoft launches one of its most ambitious (if not most ambitious) projects: the rebranding of Windows Mobile. The company is introducing the new mobile OS at Mobile World Congress 2010, in Barcelona, and if the press is anything to be believed, this is just the beginning.

    The phone operating system does away with pretty much every scrap of previous mobile efforts from Microsoft, from the look and feel down to the underlying code -- everything is brand new. 7 Series has rebuilt Windows Mobile from the ground up, featuring a completely altered home screen and user interface experience, robust Xbox LIVE and Zune integration, and vastly new and improved social networking tools.

     Gone is the familiar Start screen, now replaced with "tiles" which scroll vertically and can be customized as quick launches, links to contacts, or self contained widgets. The look of the OS has also been radically upended, mirroring the Zune HD experience closely, replete with that large, iconic text for menus, and content transitions which elegantly (and dimensionally) slide a user into and out of different views.

     The OS is also heavily focused on social networking, providing integrated contact pages which show status updates from multiple services and allow fast jumps to richer cloud content (such as photo galleries). The Xbox integration will include LIVE games, avatars, and profiles, while the Zune end of things appears to be a carbon copy of the standalone device's features (including FM radio).

    Read more »
  10. HTC Legend, HTC Desire and HTC HD mini ready to roll

    As promised, HTC introduced three new phones and the score is Android 2 - WinMo 1. The HTC Legend is a Hero's remake and the Desire is a half-twin of the Nexus One. In the PocketPC camp, there's the HTC HD mini. Small it very well is, not so sure about the HD bit. But still, the tiniest among them is actually the big news here. The Legend and the Desire leaked well in advance.

    HTC LEGEND

     The HTC Legend will run Android 2.1 (Eclair) to be enjoyed on a 3.2" AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of HVGA resolution. The Legend is powered by a 600 MHz processor, and has 384 MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM. Of course, you'll also get a microSD card slot, a built-in GPS receiver and support for HSPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

    HTC DESIRE

    The HTC Desire comes with huge 3.7" WVGA AMOLED capacitive touchscreen we've already seen and love, as well as the sizzling 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. 576MB of RAM and 512MB ROM are part of the deal too. The Desire will have a GPS receiver, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

    HTC HD2 MINI

    The HTC HD mini lives up to its name, at 103.8 x 57.7 x 11.7 mm and 110 grams of weight, which isn't bad at all for a PocketPC with a 3.2" capacitive touchscreen (of HVGA resolution), a 5-megapixel autofocus sharpshooter, GPS receiver, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, and a 600 MHz processor.

    The phone will also come with 384MB of RAM, 512MB of ROM and a microSD card slot ready to accommodate microSDHC cards. Like its bigger bro, the HD2, HD mini will also be able to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot to use with a computer.

    The HD mini packs the latest Sense UI on top of the latest operational version of Windows Mobile: 6.5.3

    Read more »