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Jan 5, 2014

Nokia Normandy with “Forked” Android Launching at MWC 2014




Nokia fans disappointed by the fact the Finnish company did not choose Android as its main mobile operating system will be pleased to know that their wish may come true within the next few months.

There's no secret anymore Nokia is currently working hard to bring its first Android handset on the market in order to be able to better compete on the low-budget smartphone market. Nokia Normandy leaked several weeks ago, but soon afterwards reports claiming the Finnish handset maker may have already killed the project surfaced online. According to @evleaks though, “the reports of Normandy's death have been greatly exaggerated.” Another report coming BGR India claims Nokia's project Normandy is “going full steam ahead” and the smartphone might be officially unveiled next month at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014. Even though we initially thought Microsoft would interfere with Normandy's launch soon after Nokia's acquisition is completed, sources close to the matter claim the Redmond-based company is on board with Nokia's launch of Android devices.

The reason Microsoft has nothing against Nokia Normandy is that Android platform enables the company to better compete on the budget-friendly smartphone, something that the Asha series will not be able to do indefinitely. In addition, Nokia won't be forced to pay any royalties to Microsoft for using the Android platform, which is another positive aspect of having at least a few Android devices available on the market. However, the main issue for Nokia is the fact that the Normandy won't offer access to Google Play Store, the largest ecosystem of Android applications and games.

Due to the fact the smartphone will run a “forked” Android version that looks very much like the Asha OS, it won't include Google Play and other Google services. Instead, Nokia plans to build its own apps store from ground up, which will initially include some of the most popular mobile applications available on Android platform. Several top developers have already been approached by Nokia to bring their apps on the Normandy and most of them claimed their current apps available on Google Play Store were 80% compatible with Nokia's “forked” Android platform. They still needed to make minor adjustments in order for their apps to be fully compatible with the operating system, but the fact still remains that sideloading Android apps on the Nokia Normandy won't be too much of an issue.

It is also worth mentioning Nokia Normandy won't ship with Google Maps, Gmail or Google Search, instead users will be offered Nokia Maps, Outlook and Bing. However, they will still have to option to configure their Gmail accounts or choose Google Search as their main search engine. If Normandy will become popular in emerging markets such as India, Nokia and Microsoft are expected to launch more Android devices later this year, which will probably replace the Finnish company's Asha series of handsets or at least will provide Nokia fans with more options when it comes with mobile platforms.

Nokia Normandy
Image credits to evleaks

First Ubuntu Phone Leaked Images Spotted Online




Information about the first official Ubuntu phone has been spotted on a Chinese website, making Meizu the first hardware partner for Canonical.

According to the website in question, Meizu will come to CES 2014 with the first Ubuntu phone, probably using their newly announced Meizu MX3 platform. The images don’t have a good quality and it’s hard to distinguish if it’s the MX3, but it’s very similar. In any case, this is not confirmation that Meizu is an official partner for Canonical. It’s possible that the Chinese manufacturer just used the new operating system for one of their phones.

Mark Shuttleworth, the found of Canonical, announced a while ago that his company has just signed its first hardware partner, but he didn't named names. It’s very likely that the official announcement will arrive at CES, but at least it might not be a big surprise.

Ubuntu Phone by Meizu
Image credits to CNbeta

CyanogenMod 11.0 M2 Now Available for Download




On Friday, the CyanogenMod team announced the availability of a new flavor of their popular custom software for Android-based devices, namely CyanogenMod 11.0 M2.

The new builds were made available roughly a month after the release of CyanogenMod 11.0 M1, and provide support for around 65 devices, such as Nexus 4, Galaxy S4, HTC One, Galaxy S III, LG G2, Optimus G Pro, and many others. “CM11 M2 has been queued up for over 65 devices and our bots are hard at work compiling. We’ve been working on bugs, device bringup, porting over features, and working on new features – all included in these builds,” a post on the CyanogenMod blog reads.

Those who would like to take them for a spin should head over to the official CyanogenMod download portal for that. The list of supported devices is available there as well.

CyanogenMod 11 M2 now available
Image credits to CyanogenMod

TRENDnet Powerline 1000 Adapters Works at Double the Normal Speed




Electrical installations are meant to provide energy to all the appliances and devices in a home or any other type of building, but they can be adapted for other uses, in this case setting up a local area network.

Which is to say, TRENDnet has launched two new Powerline adapters. And not just any adapters, but the type that work twice as well as normal ones, or that was the claim anyway. The Powerline 1000 standard is used, Gigabit class as it were. That's why they're called Powerline 1000 adapters instead of Powerline AV.

The name of the new product set is TPL-420E2K and can cover distances of 300 meters, or 980 feet. That's the equivalent of a 5,000 square foot home (464 square meters). The price of the TRENDnet TPL-420E2K is $169.99 / €169.99.

TRENDnet TPL-420E2K
Image credits to TRENDNet

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