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Jan 2, 2013

Nokia Will Close Open Connection to Nokia Firmware Repository (Navifirm)

Bad news for Nokia users, starting next month a Nokia Online login will be required to access Navifirm.

In an official bulletin leaked to Smartmobil, Nokia says:

Nokia will close open connection to Nokia Firmware Repository during January 2013 and Implement access control.
After this, the Nokia Online login is required to access Nokia Firmware Repository.
During transition phase (December 2012 - January 2013), both open and restricted channels are open, but the open channel will be closed at the end of January 2013
After this, application updates and device software downloading are possible only by using the latest software releases with service NOL login supported.
At the moment there are no details what kind of account will be needed to access Nokia's Firmware Repository, so it's better to grab the latest firmware images for your device by the end of the month.

Navifirm Plus screeenshot
Image credits to Marco Bellino

Ubuntu Phone OS in Action [Hands-on demo]

As you all know, Canonical unveiled today, January 2, their gesture-based phone operating system based on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.

Many websites are already posting various articles related to this interesting piece of news, but it looks like The Verge has the first hands-on video with the Ubuntu OS for smartphones, as you can see in the video above. Ubuntu OS for phones is a mobile operating system based on Ubuntu Linux, especially designed for smartphones like Galaxy Nexus, which is also the only supported device, at the moment.

Those of you who will attend the CES event next week in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, which will take place between 8 and 11 January, will have the opportunity to see a live demonstration of Ubuntu on phones. More detailed information and pictures with the Ubuntu operating system for Android smartphones can be found on the official website.

The first demo of the new Ubuntu phone operating system. Read The Verge's full coverage of the newly announced OS right here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/2/3827922/ubuntu-phone-os-announcement
Video credits to TheVerge

iPhone 5S: Different Screen Sizes, Multi-Color Choices [Predicted by Topeka Capital Markets]

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White kicks off his predictions for 2013 with a research note on Apple with a particular focus on the rumored iPhone 5S which the analyst believes will sport multiple variations in screen sizes and color.

Weighing in on the declining AAPL stock price, White says “We believe tax-related selling was largely to blame for the downward bias in the stock price as we exited 2012 and this created a negative news cycle around Apple that we believe will be broken as we enter 2013.” The analyst working with Topeka Capital Markets believes “there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple, including the potential for greater choices (i.e., colors, sizes) around the next iPhone in 2013, combined with accelerating momentum with the iPad mini and continued strength with the iPad franchise at large.” The next-generation iPhone will represent a big leap from earlier models in terms of technical specifications, according to White, cited by BGR. “Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers,” the analyst writes.

He adds, “This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April.” Echoing a belief shared by many voices in the tech media, White says the phone will be available in five different colors: pink, yellow, blue, white & silver and black & slate. Perhaps more interestingly, the analyst also believes the iPhone 5S will come in two different screen sizes, a first for Apple.

“Our checks are also indicating that the next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size,” he said. White argues that Apple has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model, even though the company offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. “We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach,” he writes.

Multi-color iPhone 5
Image credits to anostyle.com

Ubuntu for Smartphones Announced [Video]

Canonical is becoming one of the biggest players in today’s market and goes head to head with Apple and Google by launching Ubuntu for smartphones.

We can’t really say it’s much of a surprise, but still, Ubuntu going to smartphones is one of the few directions left for Canonical. According to Canonical, Ubuntu uniquely gives handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone. "We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability" said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. Canonical is also targeting basic smartphones that are used just for their simple functions such as email, SMS and Web.

Ubuntu for smartphones has a few features that will set it apart from the direct competition, Google and its Android OS. The interface will allow thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen, enabling uses to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones, voice and text commands in any application, it has HTML5 support, and users can personalize the art on the welcome screen. Canonical also offers some incentives for the potential Ubuntu phone buyers, such as a cloud service, Ubuntu One, providing storage and media services. The company also thinks that by offering a single family of products, for PC, TV and phones, it will greatly benefit the customer.

"We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics" says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and VP Products at Canonical. The new QML-based Ubuntu SDK also insures that an application developed for Ubuntu will run both on PC and the phone. Ubuntu phones are not yet available for purchase, but Canonical is ready to work with partners and expects to ship the first models by the end of 2013.

Ubuntu phones
Image credits to Ubuntu
Watch Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explain Ubuntu's mobile strategy and what it offers industry partners.
Video credits to celebrateubuntu

Nokia Spamfilter (Call & SMS Blocker) Exclusively Pre-Loaded on Chinese Version of Lumia 920 and 820

One of the most sought after features for Chinese mobile users, call and SMS blocker has finally made its way onto Windows Phone devices.

Unfortunately, Chinese users are the ones that will get this important feature on Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 devices. According to WPCentral, Chinese customers who purchased a Lumia 920 or Lumia 820 smartphone were pleasantly surprised to find out both devices come with Nokia Spamfilter, which offers the following features:

  • Block callers per mobile numbers;
  • Block all SMS from specific sender;
  • Dynamically block SMS containing specified keywords;
  • Update the keyword database online for said SMS blocking;
  • View all blocked calls and messages;
  • Trace the geographic origin of specific phone numbers (only works for mobile numbers, precise to municipality and carrier).

Nokia Spamfilter seems to be “technically powered by Tencent Inc.” and, hopefully, will make it to Lumia 920 and 820 devices available in other regions as well.

Nokia Spamfilter screenshots
Image credits to WPDang

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