Category Archives: Mobile

All about mobile phones, smart phones, hand held devices, iPhone, iPAD, Nokia, Windows Mobile, HTC, Blackberry, linux mobile, Android, PALM, HP and more…

Motorola hopes for Android Tablet

Motorola co-chief Sanjay Jha painted a future for the company that included beefed-up smartphones and a tablet computer running on Google-backed Android software.\r\n\r\n

Motorola Android Tablet
Motorola Android Tablet
\r\n\r\nJha hoped Motorola would have an Android tablet computer ready early next year, he said while sharing thoughts at a Deutsche Bank Technology Conference in San Francisco. “I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling,” Jha said during an on-stage chat. “Hopefully, that is early next year.”\r\n\r\nJha has been counting on smartphones running Android to help turn around the Illinois-based company’s flagging fortunes but didn’t consider the latest generation of the mobile software ready for use in tablets.\r\n\r\n”I see the tablet market as an opportunity; no cannibalization with smartphones,” Jha said. “iPad is more an extension of iPhone than a migration of a Macintosh. I think that is a natural expansion for us.”\r\n\r\nApple has sold millions of iPad tablet computers since the California company began selling them internationally in April.\r\n\r\n”The convergence of mobility and computing is very important for us,” Jha said. “There could be more form factors that are more smartphone-centric.”\r\n\r\nA priority in the Android “eco-system” is to improve the online marketplace for fun or functional applications that is key to the popularity of smartphones.\r\n\r\n”The Marketplace experience on Android is good, it is not great,” Jha said. “We are trying to rectify that situation. You will see us as an ecosystem very focused on that.”\r\n\r\nHe also expected more powerful multi-core computer chips to be built into smartphones in the coming year to boost capabilities, speed and features.\r\n\r\nCompetition in the smartphone market promises to be intense as this year finishes. The iPhone continues to be a hot seller and a host of smartphones based on Windows Phone 7 should debut soon with the new Microsoft software.\r\n\r\nBlackBerry maker Research In Motion is also due to release the latest generation of its mobile operating system.\r\n\r\n”Nearly everyone in this business is clicking on all cylinders.” Jha said.\r\n\r\nThe US remains the biggest market for high-end smartphones but Jha spoke of growing markets in China, India, and Latin America.\r\n\r\nJha noted that Motorola also makes TV set-top boxes and that it is “eager to participate” in an Internet-driven evolution of home entertainment that could involve routing digital content from smartphones to televisions.\r\n\r\n”You’ve seen Google TV and Apple TV in that space,” Jha said. “I think there are some very good opportunities there.”\r\n\r\nMotorola posted a six-fold increase in quarterly net profit in July and an optimistic outlook for its mobile phone division ahead of its separation next year.\r\n\r\nJha said at the time that demand was outstripping supply for the “Droid X,” an Android smartphones seen as Motorola’s answer to Apple’s iPhone.\r\n\r\nMotorola is selling most of its wireless network infrastructure business to Finnish-German giant Nokia Siemens Networks for 1.2 billion dollars.\r\n\r\nMotorola plans to split its businesses in the first quarter of next year, separating products for consumers from its professional equipment division.\r\n\r\nThe mobile and home entertainment devices division will operate as Motorola Mobility.\r\n\r\nThe other company, Motorola Solutions, will consist of its enterprise mobility solutions and networks businesses, which include two-way radios, mobile computers, secure public safety systems and scanners.

iPhone Case with flip-out keyboard

If you happen to love your iPhone to bits, but still have problems getting used to the virtual keyboard, then perhaps, just perhaps, you might want to consider bringing home the TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard.\r\n\r\n

iPhone Flip case
iPhone Flip case
\r\n\r\nThis will certainly provide you with the best of both worlds, where the physical QWERTY keyboard would increase your productivity and make typing on the iPhone a whole lot easier, while offering some form of protection to your favorite smartphone simultaneously.\r\n\r\nRetailing for $49.99 a pop, you can choose from either iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 models, but unfortunately for those who have yet to place a pre-order, it is already out of stock at the moment. Well, if your boss gets you this for Christmas, you can be sure that he’s dropping a subtle hint for you to start replying emails the moment they are pushed to your inbox without complaining that you just don’t know how to use the virtual keyboard.

Nokia starts shipping flagship N8 model

Nokia N8 Shipping
Nokia N8 Shipping
\r\n\r\nThe world’s top cellphone maker Nokia said that it has started to ship its flagship smartphone model the N8. Last week Nokia said it has delayed by a few weeks deliveries of the N8 model to the clients who had ordered the phone, hitting its shares on the day new chief executive Stephen Elop started at the helm of the company. The N8 is seen by analysts as Nokia’s first model to challenge Apple’s iPhone more than three years after its launch.\r\n\r\nIts success and timing of its sales start are seen as being crucial for Nokia’s profit margins in the third and fourth quarter.\r\n\r\nNokia said the N8 would be widely available in the coming weeks. “The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history,” Jo Harlow, the head of Nokia’s smartphone unit, said in a statement.\r\n\r\nThe N8 smartphone, first to use Nokia’s new Symbian software, was originally scheduled to reach consumers in June. In April, Nokia warned that the software renewal would take longer than it had expected due to quality problems and said that the model would reach consumers by the end of September.\r\n\r\nThe weak smartphone offering and problems with software were seen as the main reasons for Nokia to replace its chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with Stephen Elop from Microsoft\r\n\r\nThe N8 stands out among its rivals for its 12 megapixel camera but has a slower processor than Samsung’s top model Galaxy S and the latest iPhone.(Reuters)

iPhone APP Filters Noises into Headphones

iPhone APP filters noise
iPhone APP filters noise
\r\n\r\nApps are funny things. They tend to provide narrow utility — focusing intensely on one specific thing — but once you get used to them, you wonder how you lived without them. Take this Awareness! app, for example: it gauges environmental noise levels, sets up a threshold, and then pipes in anything louder than that into your skull alongside your music. Reasons why you’d want that to happen include oncoming SUVs, mothers screaming because their babies are in peril (from oncoming SUVs), or something as benign as your teacher yelling at you for not paying attention in class. There’s a nice set of options too, such as manually adjusting how loud a sound must be to be allowed entry into your cranium, as well as pausing of the app or of your music. Awareness! is available for five bucks on the iPhone and iPod touch, and will soon jump on to the iPad, Android, Symbian, and even the Mac and PC.

Blue Watchdog is an anti-theft device

Blue Watch Dog anti-theft device
Blue Watchdog is an anti-theft device
\r\n\r\nOne of the greatest threats to our personal welfare in the digital age is the theft of our key life-enhancing devices – while a stolen bag, camera, or wallet can be replaced at significant heartache and expense, a laptop might contain the keys to your banks accounts, employer’s intranet, or your identity. Now there’s an ingenious anti-theft device which sets a user-defined protection radius of between one and 30 meters around the mobile phone in your pocket using Bluetooth functionality. The credit-card-sized, EUR60 Secu4 Blue Watchdog is so useful it just might generate killer app adoption levels for protecting your valuables, luggage, and perhaps even your children when you’re on the go.\r\n\r\nThe Blue Watchdog is slightly larger than a credit card at 76mm x 46mm x 4.5mm and weighs in at just 20 gram. It’s small enough to fit inside your wallet, a child’s pocket, and can be neatly tucked out of sight in a laptop bag or luggage.\r\n\r\nOnce you own the Blue Watchdog (BW), it’s a simple matter to download an app for your mobile phone from the internet, pairing the BW with it via Bluetooth and setting your preferences. From that point forward, your mobile phone will alert you via your mobile phone the moment the BW gets further away from your mobile phone than the distance you have specified – from one metre to 30 metres.\r\n\r\nWith a stand-by time of 120 hours, the BW’s 3.7 volt Lithium Polymer battery offers five continuous days of vigilance and active protection. The BW comes with it’s own charger though it can also be recharged from your computer via a USB port.\r\n\r\nIn addition to the mobile phone alerting you, you can also choose to have the BW sound it’s 100 db alarm which has been found to usually be more than enough for a thief to drop the said item and run.\r\n\r\nOf course, there are potential issues, such as losing the Bluetooth connection between your phone and the BW, which might set off a piercing alarm in an inappropriate venue – maybe in a seminar or business presentation, or worse, on board an aircraft where 100 db is certain to raise the blood pressure of the security folk.\r\n\r\nOr maybe you might have a momentary lapse and slip your mobile into your bag, which of course renders the system useless.\r\n\r\nWorse still, you might get your mobile phone stolen and be left looking like the thief because it’ll be you holding the 100 db bag. We’re intending to try the BW in the near future and we’ll let you know just how potentially problematic these issues might be.\r\n\r\nThe Blue Watchdog is manufactured in Switzerland and is compatible with more than 80% of phones in use in America and Europe. There’s a complete list of phones compatible with the BW on the Secu4 web site.

Apple iPad: The Low-Price Leader?

Apple iPAD
Apple iPAD
\r\n\r\nNo one will ever accuse Apple of being a bargain brand, but the company’s iPad tablet may prove to be more affordable than the first generation of Android slates, particularly the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab.Apple, a boon for bargain hunters? It’s true if your new Android tablet is tied to a 3G data contract, a time-honored tactic (at least in the United States) that lowers the up-front cost of the device, but tethers the buyer to a pricey two-year wireless data plan.\r\n\r\nTake the Streak, for instance. With a two-year AT&T contract, Dell’s 5-inch tablet starts at $300. To get that price, however, you’ll need to ink a voice and data plan. At Dell’s site, the cheapest option is a $55 per month deal: 450 voice minutes for $40; and 200MB data for $15. That comes to $1620 for two years of Dell Streak usage: $1320 for the 3G plan; and $300 for the tablet.\r\n\r\nDon’t want a 3G contract? In that case, the Streak costs $550. Shockingly, that’s $50 more than the 16GB (Wi-Fi-only) iPad.\r\n\r\nWhich would you rather buy? Of course, the Apple and Dell slates are very different beasts. Arguably, the Streak is more of a freakishly large smartphone than a tablet. It has two cameras. The iPad has none, although that’s likely to change soon. Given a choice, most people would opt for the iPad, with its elegant design and larger display, over the relatively clunky Streak–which happens to cost more.\r\n\r\nTo be fair, let’s price the iPad with 3G service. (It’s important to note that you’re not tethered to a long-term contract with the iPad. You can cancel AT&T’s 3G service at any time.) The 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G costs $629 up front–more than twice the Streak’s price. AT&T charges $15 per month for 250MB of data. So over two years, the least you’d pay for an iPad with 3G service is $989. (That’s $629 for the device, plus $360 for 24 months of AT&T.)\r\n\r\nThe Dell Streak cost $631 more to operate over two years than the iPad. Of course, you could cut costs by using the Streak as a cell phone too. But with its 5-inch display, the gargantuan Streak is awfully big for a phone.\r\n\r\nGalaxy Mystery\r\n\r\nThe first Samsung Galaxy Tab models will include both 3G and Wi-Fi. They’ll be offered by all four major U.S. wireless carriers, none of which has announced pricing details at this time. Industry watchers expect the subsidized units to sell for around $300, however.\r\n\r\nIf you want a Galaxy Tab with Wi-Fi only, there’s good and bad news. The good is that Samsung plans to release a Wi-Fi only model; the bad is that it won’t say when.\r\n\r\nWhile every business is different, it’s safe to say that many companies would choose a Wi-Fi-only tablet over a 3G/Wi-Fi model, particularly if the 3G option requires a long-term data contract. Some remote employees such as salespeople might benefit from 3G service, but tablet-toting workers in an office or industrial setting would function just as well with Wi-Fi.\r\n\r\nGiven the large number of Android tablets on the horizon, the Wi-Fi-only option will almost certainly become a standard option soon. But for now, Apple’s iPad pricing is impressively affordable relative to its Android competitors. Who would’ve known?

How to Get the most out of VLC Media Player for iPad

iPad Screenshot
\r\n\r\nVLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework, that plays most multimedias files and various streaming protocols. It is simple to use, yet very powerful and extendable.\r\nVLC has all codecs built-in. It comes with support for nearly all codec there is. And what is more it can even play back the file or media if it is damaged! Missing or broken pieces are no stop to VLC, it plays all the video and audio information that’s still intact.\r\n\r\nVLC has come to the iPad, adding playback support for media formats that were previously unplayable on Apple devices. Without hardware acceleration, however, you’re going to run into playback issues. Here are your best bets for optimal playback.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
vlc-for-ipad-title-image
\r\n\r\nOut of the starting gates, VLC Media Player for iPad is a little buggy, doesn’t play back HD content too well, but is still very, very welcome. The interface is pretty slick, and copying your media files through iTunes is simple enough. While some formats aren’t supported (RealMedia, FLV, etc.), many new ones are (AVI, MPG, MKV, etc.). Let’s take a look at getting your media files into VLC and which files it’ll handle best.\r\n\r\n
FLV screen_shot 1
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAdding files is pretty straightforward. Hook your iPad up to iTunes, choose it from the sidebar, click the “Apps” tab, and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section. From there you can choose VLC and add files through drag-and-drop or the “Add…” button. As soon as you do, iTunes will start copying the files over to VLC and you’ll be able to use them immediately after it finishes.\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\nThe problems come when you start copying supported files and VLC crashes or simply can’t handle the work you’re throwing at it. This is a shortcoming of the iPad more than VLC, as the iPad is really only designed to play back MPEG4/H.264 encoded to Apple’s specifications. VLC doesn’t seem to take advantage of the iPad’s MPEG/H.264 hardware acceleration, and so HD files tend to be unwatchable and may cause crashes. VLC is, at least, kind enough to warn you when you’re trying to throw a file at it that your iPad can’t handle.\r\n

movie

\r\nDetermining what you can play back well is a little difficult, since it’s mostly trial and error. VLC will let you know when it thinks you’re pushing the limits, but often files that it thinks it can play don’t look so great. So what do you do?\r\n\r\nWe’ve played around with VLC for iPad a bit and have found that most standard definition files work alright. For the most part, your best bet is standard definition AVI files using DiVX. Even at higher bit rates (about 2500kbps), DiVX AVIs seemed to play back smoothly and scrubbing wasn’t an issue. This is great news for BitTorrenters, as most TV shows are already encoded as DiVX AVI and are already optimal for iPad playback in VLC.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you want HD on your iPad, VLC will get you half-way there. While 720p DiVX AVI video stuttered quite a bit, the same video encoded at about 3000kbps at 960×540 worked just fine. Since 960×540 is the recommended resolution for your iPad’s video anyway, it’s a good target for your HD content.\r\n\r\nVLC is available now on iTunes, absolutely free. VLC Media Player