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Feb 25, 2013

ZTE Open Goes Official with Firefox OS




Mozilla is pushing hard on the deployment of its Firefox OS on handsets, and has showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today a ZTE smartphone running under the platform, none other than the ZTE Open.

Only an entry-level device, the smartphone will arrive on the market with a 3.5-inch (480×320 pixels) touchscreen display, as well as with a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm processor and 256MB of RAM. The phone’s specs list also includes 512MB of internal memory (with a microSD card slot for expansion purposes), along with a 3.2-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and a 1,200 mAh battery.

Furthermore, ZTE packed the Firefox OS device with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, HSDPA, and GPS with AGPS. Apparently, the company is aiming at launching the smartphone sometime in the second quarter of the year, in orange and blue color flavors.

ZTE Open
Image credits to UnwiredView

Firefox OS Mascot, a Fox That's on Fire




Firefox, the animal from which the browser gets its name, isn't actually a fox. It's not really on fire either, though you probably guessed as much. In fact, the red panda, also known as the firefox, is more related to raccoons and bears than to foxes. And, no, it's not a panda either.

But such intricacies are of little importance to Mozilla or fans of Firefox the browser. Mozilla has used a stylized fox as a mascot or, at the very least, the Firefox mascot and logo looks more like a fox than like a red panda. For Firefox OS, which is getting a big push at the Mobile World Conference, Mozilla decided to drop all pretense and use a fox which is on fire as the logo and mascot, a literal fire fox. To make things even less confusing, the mascot's name is Fox, with a capital F.

"The Fox, like Firefox OS, is fun and friendly, supportive and protective, and fast and powerful. Blazingly fast, the Fox doesn’t play by the rules," Mozilla explained. "It is everywhere you need it to be—a force for good that powers your mobile world, ignites your imagination, protects you and your identity, and supercharges your life. Lively, swift, and agile, the Fox puts freedom in your hands," it added.


The Firefox OS logo
Images credits to Mozilla


The Firefox OS booth at MWC 2013
Images credits to Mozilla

Nokia’s Mapping and Navigation Services Will Be Known as HERE




Today, Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona two new smartphones running under Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, namely the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, and also announced some changes to its mapping and navigation services for smartphones.

Starting today, these will be known as HERE, following the rebranding that the company first announced last year. Through HERE, Nokia shows its commitment to delivering on maps and cartography, and is slowly moving towards renaming all the location experiences on smartphones, computers and cars to it. “The HERE experience is built on the world’s most complete and accurate map data based on 25 years of mapping technology leadership. We offer today the only true offline maps experience, the largest indoor map inventory, and the largest public transport coverage of any location service to date,” Nokia says. Thus, the new Lumia smartphones come to the market with HERE for Windows Phone 8, including HERE Maps, HERE Drive (with regional navigation), HERE Drive+ (with global navigation), HERE Transit and HERE City Lens.

Furthermore, the company notes that the entire HERE experience has been enhanced, and that all services and applications are now connected, being designed to work together, so that users could easily find their way around regardless of whether they’re walking or using public transportation. “In particular, from HERE Maps you can launch HERE Drive(+) or HERE Transit if needed. In HERE Transit you now get a map overview of nearby stations and stops, and when you need walk navigation to get to the stop or to the final destination, you can start HERE Maps from there,” Nokia continues. Nokia’s HERE City Lens, which is using the LiveSight technology, is now complemented by the Nokia Place Tag lenses app, so that users could easily have Points of Interest (POIs) that are visible in the viewfinder recorded when taking a photo.

“All your places are also saved in the HERE cloud so that you can access them from here.com, HERE Drive(+), HERE Maps, HERE Transit and HERE City Lens,” Nokia says. The company also announced that the HERE services are now available for all owners of Windows Phone 8 devices in specific markets, including US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Nokia renames location services to HERE
Image credits to Nokia


Read more: http://nokia.ly/XAii7m
The new HERE experiences are connected and work seamlessly together, making it easy to transition from walking to driving to public transport as you move along your day.
All your places are also saved in the HERE cloud so that you can access them from here.com, HERE Drive(+), HERE Maps and HERE Transit.
Video credits to heremaps

Windows Blue Hit RTM in June





Microsoft is reportedly working on Windows Blue, the first major makeover for Windows 8 that’s expected to hit the market in just a few months.

According to reports coming from Win8China, Blue is expected to reach the RTM development stage in June, so the August release date rumored a few days ago pretty much makes sense. As for the public beta that could see daylight before general availability, expect it to surface in May, just a few weeks before Windows Blue goes RTM.

It appears that Windows Blue will be offered at absolutely no cost to Windows 8 users, as it’ll pack plenty of improvements for Microsoft’s latest operating system. As usual, Microsoft doesn’t comment on Windows Blue, but with so many insiders talking about the project, it’s only a matter of time before the company officially confirms it.

Windows Blue will be released this summer
Image credits to hdwallpapers.in

Pwnie Express PwnPad, an Android-Based Penetration Testing Tablet




Cybersecurity solutions provider Pwnie Express has unveiled the Pwn Pad, an Android tablet based on Google Nexus 7 that’s designed to allow penetration testers to easily analyze both wireless and wired networks.

Pwnie Express representatives have told Wired that they’ve added the TP-Link wireless adapter to Pwn Pad in order to enable packet injection on Android. The adapter also enhances the range of the wireless packet injection. The long list of toolkits installed on the tablet includes Aircrack-ng, Reaver, MDK3, btscanner, Nikto, Nmap, Tcpdump, Ettercap-ng and John the Ripper.

The company will start shipping Pwn Pad in the first week of April, but pre-orders can already be made. The price of the tablet is $795 (600 EUR). Pwnie Express has also promised to release Pwn Pad’s source code to enable penetration testers to run it on other mobile devices as well.

Pwn Pad
Image credits to Pwnium Express

Nokia 301 Arrives with 3.5G, HD Voice, 39 Days on Standby




The new Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 were only two of the new devices that the Finnish mobile phone maker made official today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The Nokia 301 was also among them, featuring a classic Nokia design from all angles, and set to arrive on the market in the second quarter of the year with a price tag of only €65 ($86) attached to it. The new phone will be launched in single and dual-SIM flavors, with a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT color display, 256MB of internal memory, up to 32GB of external storage via microSD, 64MB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, 3.5 mm AV Connector, and 2.0 mm Charger Connector. Nokia 301 measures 114 x 50 x 12.5 mm and weighs 102 grams, while also packing support for 3.5G connectivity and HD Voice capabilities. On the back, the new device features a 3.2-megapixel photo snapper, with panorama shot capabilities, as well as with a self-portrait feature with voice prompts that inform users on whether they are properly positioned in the frame.

“It can take panoramic photographs, as well – the first time we’ve offered this on a feature phone, as well as sequential shot, which takes 3-5 frames and lets you choose the perfect picture,” Nokia Conversations explains. “Both of these last two were inspired by the digital camera lenses on our Lumia smartphones – nice to see the high-end innovation reaching our mobile phones.” The Nokia Xpress Browser was also included on this handset, along with a Vuclip app, so that users could easily stream videos from YouTube or download them and watch them in portrait or landscape mode.

“Facebook, eBuddy, WhatsApp and Twitter are all preloaded to the home screen and the email app supports a lite version of Mail for Exchange for syncing your calendar, contacts and emails,” Nokia Conversations continues. The new mobile phone will be launched in yellow, cyan, magenta, white and black, and will be able to provide users with up to 39 days of standby on 3G networks with a single SIM card packed inside, or 34 days with two SIM cards.


Nokia 301
Images credits to Nokia

Samsung Hands Out Invites for Galaxy S IV’s March 14 Event




Earlier today, rumors on Samsung’s plans to introduce the upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone on March 14 have been officially confirmed, and it seems that the company has already started to hand out press invites for the launch event.

The South Korean mobile phone maker handed out paper invitations to the New York City events at its booth at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, thus offering further confirmation on the upcoming release. At the same time, the press invite (available courtesy of SamMobile) not only confirms the March 14 event, but also appears to provide confirmation on the handset’s name, which should be Galaxy S IV in the end.

Unfortunately, the same as before, specific info on the smartphone’s hardware specifications are still shrouded in mystery, so we’ll have to rely on rumors for these details for the time being.

Samsung starts handing out invites for Galaxy S IV's launch on March 14
Image credits to SAMMobile

Sony Quad-Core Xperia Tablet Z Released




This week will be a week of tablets, as the Mobile World Congress, 2013 Edition, has finally started (February 25-28). Sony, as one might guess, is present at the show, launching things like the Xperia Tablet Z.

Some may be quick to note that it is incorrect to say Sony is releasing the tablet. After all, the device was released in Japan last month. On the other hand, the tablet has only been available in the Country of the Rising Sun so far. This is why the presence of the slate at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, is such a big deal. It also exposes some information that was previously unknown, like the MHL (mobile high-definition link technology), top storage capacity expansion via microSD card (64 GB instead of 32) and DLNA (protected video content can be played and streamed). For those who want the full rundown of the specifications, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z relies on a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU (central processing unit), with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz.

2 GB of RAM back it up (random access memory) while 16 GB or 32 GB of integrated NAND Flash storage holds the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system and whatever else users copy and/or install on it. It bears pointing out that there will even be a 64 GB option, for the Wi-Fi-only tablet, in the United States.  When the microSD card slot comes into play, that leads to a potential top capacity of 128 GB, which is no small feat. Moving on, the Xperia Z has two cameras: one of 2 megapixels on the front (video calls and such) and one of 8.1 megapixels at the back (photo and video capture).

As for the display, it is a 10.1-inch LCD with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels and, of course, multi-touch support. Other specs of the Sony Xperia Z include NFC, PlayStation Certification, four speakers, and a black or white case. Sales will begin in May, for the price of $499 / 499 Euro (16 GB), $599 / 599 Euro (32 GB). The 64 GB slate ETA and price were not disclosed.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Image credits to Sony

Intel Confirms ASUS Fonepad Impending Announcement




A couple of days back, ASUS published a very unusual “trailer” video, of sorts, for a tablet called Fonepad, which had voice call capabilities not unlike smartphones. Now we are told that the slate will be launched sooner rather than later.

Intel has mentioned that a tablet will be released later today (February 25, 2013). While we were not given a name for the device itself, ASUS was specified as the developer, so it is all but certain that the Fonepad is the one. The tablet will rely on the Atom Processor Z2420, codenamed Lexington, which has up to 1.2 GHz frequency and all the video playback and I/O capabilities that SoCs (system-on-chip devices) are expected to possess.

Fonepad will have a metallic silver finish, 1 GB of RAM, a 3-megapixel camera at the back, a 1.2 MP camera at the front, a microSD card slot and a 7-inch display. A 4270 mAh battery will keep everything running for hours at a time (exact number not available yet).

Intel Fonepad with Atom SoC
Image credits to AndroidOS.in

Intel Talks LTE-Enabled Atom Clover Trail+ Processors on MWC 2013




Today at the MWC 2013 trade show in Barcelona, chip maker Intel announced a new dual-core Atom SoC (“Clover Trail+”) platform designed for use inside smartphones and tablet PCs running under Google’s Android operating system, with support for LTE connectivity packed inside.

The new Atom processor platform (“Clover Trail+”) and smartphone reference design is meant to provide low power and long battery life, as well as increased performance capabilities to Android devices, the company says. Furthermore, Intel claims that the new SoC will offer support for smooth Web browsing, viewing of full HD movies while on the go, as well as a great Android applications experience. Three 32nm dual-core Intel Atom processors were announced in the lineup, namely the Z2580, Z2560 and Z2520, with clock speeds of 2.0 GHz, 1.6 GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively. All three chips come to the market with support for the Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, which translates into up to four simultaneous application threads, thus delivering increased efficiency.

The platform also comes with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator engine capable of delivering great graphics performance for rich 3-D visuals, mobile gaming and full 1080p hardware-accelerated video encode and decode at 30fps. “Today’s announcements build on Intel’s growing device portfolio across a range of mobile market segments,” said Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “Our second-generation product delivers double the compute performance and up to three times the graphics capabilities, all while maintaining competitive low power.”

The platform comes with support for screens of up to 1900x1200 pixels in resolution, as well as for the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform, and for Intel Wireless Display Technology, HSPA+ at 42Mbps with the Intel XMM 6360 slim modem solution. The new Clover Trail+ processors will arrive on shelves inside smartphones and tablet PCs coming from ASUS, Lenovo, and ZTE. Some of these have already been announced at CES last month, including the Lenovo IdeaPhone K900, the first to land on shelves with the Intel Atom Z2580 CPU inside.

Intel intros Atom Clover Trail+ CPUs at MWC 2013
Image credits to Intel

Mozilla Firefox OS Previews at MWC 2013




Mozilla’s Firefox OS is moving closer to making an official appearance on the market, and the platform has been previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over the weekend (a video demo can be seen at the bottom of this article).

The platform is set to become available on devices in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela in the beginning, with more markets set to arrive soon. 17 wireless carriers around the world have committed to Firefox OS devices, Mozilla also announced: America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. The handsets will be manufactured by Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE, with Huawei also expected to join the party before the end of this year.  All smartphones running under the Firefox OS will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors, Mozilla also announced.

“Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online.” For those out of the loop, we should note that the Firefox OS was built using open Web standards, with features developed for it as HTML5 applications. These apps will be provided with access to every underlying capability of the device, which should translate into great performance capabilities.

Furthermore, the platform will provide carriers with increased flexibility to come up with their own interfaces and to deliver localized services for their users. A range of services will also become available for the platform, Mozilla announced. “Consumers will get a dynamic, rich and open smartphone experience that provides easy access to everything they love on the Web, including Facebook and Twitter integration, with a simple, fast interface and built-in cost controls,” the company said.

Firefox OS gets previewed at MWC
Image credits to Youtube

Find out more at www.mozilla.org/firefoxos
Video credits to firefoxchannel

Galaxy S IV Announced on March 14, Confirmed by Samsung




South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been long said to plan the launch of its 2013 flagship Android-based smartphone on March 14 in New York, and confirmation on the matter has already emerged.

No details on the smartphone itself have been provided, but a recent article on AllThingsD notes that a Samsung spokesperson has confirmed that the smartphone will be made official on that day. Last year, the company announced the Galaxy S III in London, but it will unveil the new device in Apple’s homeland market, in an attempt to hurt sales of the iPhone even more.

Galaxy S IV is expected to be capable of delivering superior performance when compared to last year’s flagship device, courtesy of a Snapdragon processor. It is also expected to pack a 5-inch full HD screen.

Samsung logo
Image credits to Samsung

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