Valentine’s Day is all about the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona… wait, what? Okay, true for geeky humanoids (us included), but luckily not so for the rest of the human population. But being human isn’t easy, especially when feelings get involved, and that’s where you might need an extra brain to help you keep your significant other in that sweet dreamy state of emotional attachment. Love that is.
To put it simply, Verizon points you to a couple of Android apps that will get the job of finding the perfect love quote done along with some other things like the flowers, and hopefully you didn’t forget about the flowers, did you? You still have nearly a week, so as Verizon suggests, it might be a good idea to check out the following apps to get your verse back in shape:
Love and Romance Quotes
Big red also hints at using OpenTable for finding the right restaurant filtered by you to match the right cuisine, price and most importantly availability. Other recommended apps include:
1800flowers Mobile Gift Center – for the flowers.
Qik Video Camera – to record and share videos of fluffy animals.
In the Kitchen: Recipes, Chefs – only if you are ready to put on an apron and perform culinary wonders.
Finally, TripAdvisor or KAYAK Flight and Hotel Search will let you get away from all the loving people and enjoy tropical beaches on your own. As nice as apps are, a gadgety gift might be the right decision, so don’t forget to check out our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2011 for our hand picked selection of phones. Do you have any better suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
There is something fishy with the next Android update. We all know there is no smoke without fire, and there is plenty of smoke surrounding what Android 2.4 will be – a minor revision of Gingerbread, Ice Cream or something else.
Now the latest rumour, said to be originating from manufacturer ViewSonic, claims that Android 2.4 will be an updated version of Gingerbread that will introduce the ability to run Honeycomb apps, designed for dual-core chipsets, to single-core phones running Android.
It is said that Gingerbread 2.3 is not able to support dual-core apps, hence the need to launch 2.4.
Three days ago we told you that Ice Cream is set to incorporate Honeycomb features, but according to the guys at Pocket-lint, and their source at ViewSonic, this is actually Android 2.4, while Ice Cream is destined to be 3.1.
This is to say that the ViewSonic ViewPad 4 (our hands-on here) will be launched with Android 2.4 out of the box in April 2011.
Well, the dispute about the next Android update is getting seriously confusing, with conflicting reports flooding the net. Tell us what you think on this one, but better yet drop us a hint if you have a reliable information.
Mere hours after the official announcement of the dual-screen Kyocera Echo for Sprint, the carrier released official press materials about the exciting possibilities for the Echo. But before jumping into all the details, check out our hands-on and live coverage from the relatively exciting event featuring illusionist David Blaine.
While Sprint didn’t pull the much expected 3D card off its sleeve, it did deliver an industry first with the Echo and now you can check out its first official appearance in Sprint’s ad below. The ad calls on expanding your horizons and showcases the seven core apps optimized for dual-screen performance. Exciting as it sounds, the Echo is a pretty thick device. Just how thick? Take a look at the official press photos and compare them to the pictures we took of the handset at the Sprint event, and see for yourselves.
A leaked 23 seconds video gives an idea how will the back of the LG Optimus 3D look like. We just paused briefly here to think how ironic it is that we consider the back of this phone more important than the front.
That’s because the Optimus 3D will be the first phone capable to shoot 3D video, so naturally we were extremely curious about the location of the two cameras that are needed to do that. Well, it’s a mystery no more. There is an elevated area on the back, similar to what we have on the LG Optimus 2X, but this time having two shooters with round glass covers in line with each other, and in between we have the LED flash.
We suppose that arrangement will bring in the much-hyped stereoscopic video capture, which brings us “finally a smartphone that sees the world as we do“, according to the teaser. We can’t wait to get our hands on the phone and test it for you via our troops at the MWC next week. In the meantime, hat tip to LG for bringing yet another industry first to market, after the first dual-core handset – a great start of the year for the company.
Thanks to a leaked image from Walmart, the pricing details of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, the first HSPA+ phone that supports 21Mbps downloads, are now clear.
Walmart will have it for $148.88 with a two-year contract, $248.88 with a two-year Flexpay arrangment, and $650 off-contract. Not a bad pricing scheme, save for those customers who bought a Samsung Vibrant, and still have a year and a half on their contracts. The major differences with the Vibrant, besides the 21Mbps radio, are that the Galaxy S 4G is running Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box, has 16GB of memory and, last but not least, it has a bigger 1650mAh battery to compensate for the additional battery drain that 4G brings along.
Whatcha gonna do, we live in tumultuous times for the cell phone industry, where your device becomes older for a few months now, instead of a full year.
UPDATED: It turns out that Myriad uses the Qt development framework as the backend for Alien Dalvik, thus potentially allowing for even tighter integration with the Nokia ecosystem, which is having Qt as development platform for both its Symbian and MeeGo devices.
Myriad AG is a software company, whose Java apps, browsers and such are found on some 2.2 billion phones worldwide. The company is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, so it has expertise with porting and creating for Android. What they’ve come up with now made us almost choke with our breakfast.
The software is called Myriad Alien Dalvik (Dalvik is Android’s VM for Java), and allows for running Android apps on non-Android phones. It is probably way more complicated that it sounds, but Myriad claims the majority of apps run unmodified, and app store owners can simply repackage the existing .APK files, then they are good to go.
What we immediately imagined was that this might be the end of Nokia’s mobile OS problems if they simply allow the Myriad Alien Dalvik on their handsets. Indeed, Myriad will be at the MWC, and showing off what Alien Dalvik can do, running Android applications on a Nokia N900 with MeeGo. Have a look at the video demo below:
We can’t wait, since we’ve always thought that the mobile OS war is a bit overblown – after all, they all run on the same hardware, so what’s the issue with creating some kind of an emulator to run more than one on your device. The issue is that closed ecosystems are real cash cows, and we can’t imagine neither Apple, nor Blackberry allowing this in the foreseeable future. Well, RIM has such plans, but not because they want it, but because they might have to, in order to stay competitive. They also plan to port their most popular services to devices different than Blackberry, too.
Android, on the other hand, doesn’t have these problems. Google wants it on as many devices as possible, and that’s what it will get with Myriad Alien Dalvik and the like. If this software is a harbinger of things to come, we’d say that Android will definitely have a shot at cornering the largest chunk of the market.
Even prior to Sprint’s special event in New York City starting, it was quite evident from the words written across the walls and tables that the theme of the event had to do something related to being a “pair” or simply “plus two.” Nope, we didn’t see anything in regards to any 3D related device, but instead, we watched David Blaine start off the festivities by doing some impressive tricks under water. Interestingly enough, he managed to entertain everyone with his illusions, though, we’d bet that a majority of people in attendance were hoping for him to whip up something extraordinary out of nowhere – possibly a 3D phone? As much as we’d love for some wishful thinking to come true, Dan Hesse and team finally came onto the stage to introduce the industry’s first Android powered smartphone to feature dual-screens; the Kyocera Echo…
Read the whole hands-on at PhoneArena.com!
On sale at Best Buy this week is the HTC Evo Shift 4G for Sprint, which will be available for the price of $99.99; a $50 decrease from the $149.99 price tag that it has carried since the time of its launch.
Anyone looking to join the Sprint network as well as existing Sprint customers that are eligible for an upgrade will qualify for this pricing. Amazon recently dropped the price of the Evo Shift 4G on their website, but their pricing varies depending on the type of activation. They sell it for $149.99 to upgrade eligible customers and discount it to $99.99 for new comers to Sprint.
So all in all, the HTC Evo Shift 4G has begun going down in price in multiple places. Keeping in mind that Best Buy does not deal with mail-in-rebates, does the drop in price entice you to head on over and pick yourself up an Evo Shift 4G? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
The latest numbers from metrics firm comScore show a pair of trends that remain in force in the U.S. smartphone market. One is that market share leader RIM continues to lose ground in the U.S. and the other is that Google’s open source OS is pulling away from the Apple iPhone for second place in the U.S. smartphone market.
RIM has a problem on it’s hands in the U.S. Back in September, the Canadian based manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets held a 37.3% share of the Stateside smartphone market, good enough to be on top. But the steady increase in marketshare by Android to 28.7% from 21.4% during that same time period, combined with a very minor increase in the iPhone’s marketshare to 25% from 24.3% all combined to knock RIM’s leading share to 31.6%. Even the availability of the “best BlackBerry of all time” could not stem the tide as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 was crippled by specs that were far from cutting-edge.
We could see some of the trends shaken up with the report that ends in March. At that time, we will see what influence the Verizon branded Apple iPhone 4 has over Big Red’s Android line-up. The iconic Apple touchscreen device will be launched on Verizon February 10th and some analysts expect to see as many as 3 million units sold by Verizon by the end of March.
At today’s NYC event (check how our live coverage went on), Sprint kept its promise and unveiled an “industry first” device, namely, the Kyocera Echo – a dual-screen Android smartphone with two 3.5″ touch displays, which actually allow for a healthy sized 4.7″ real estate when combined. By the looks of, Sprint is positioning this peculiar device as something between a modern smartphone and a mini-tablet. And yes, we noticed that the branding says “Kyocera”. Just ignore that and continue reading.
In closed mode, the Kyocera Echo is your typical Android 2.2 Froyo smartphone that can do normal stuff like browsing the web, dialing contacts and… anything, really. However, the Echo becomes way more interesting as you open it (it utilized a hinge mechanism that is said to leave almost no space between both parts) to reveal the second 3.5″ LCD screen. The second display, identically to the first, has a resolution of 480×800 pixels.
Kyocera’s second modern-day foray into the realm of smartphones (the other recent one was the Zio) is actually focusing on the high end, as it also comes equipped with a powerful 1GHz Snapdragon chipset and a 5MP camera. Unfortunately, it’ll only sport 3G bands, no WiMAX compatibility, because Kyocera and Sprint wanted to get that launched as soon as possible, as well as keep the price decent.
You are probably wondering how the software is going to take advantage of this new dual-screen layout. Apparently, Kyocera has taken its time to rework most of the core apps of the Android 2.2 system, including the email client, picture gallery, video and YouTube players, etc. Unsurprisingly, the concept behind it is what we already find with tablets – on one side you have your inbox, for example, while on the other – the contents of the selected message. Only here we’re going to have the inbox on one screen, and the content on the other! Thankfully, they will release special APIs for developers, which will allow them to design apps for the Kyocera Echo’s unique dual-screen form-factor.
One of the most interesting features of the Kyocera Echo is its Simul-task mode, which is almost described as the next level of multitasking. What it does is to allow you to work with two apps at the same time. For example, you can be browsing the web, while composing an email or watching a video at the same time. Well, it might be useful in certain situations, though we don’t see it becoming a widely-used feature. Even more so when the apps that will be able to simul-task are limited to the web browser, gallery, YouTube player, phone, contacts, email and messaging.
So, what battery life can we expect from this dual-screen device? Would it be twice as short? According to Sprint, it’s going to be a standard performing device in this category, which sounds a bit optimistic. However, you might be interested to know that they are bundling it with an additional battery for free. He-he, wise man you are, Hesse.
Clearly, not everyone is too fond of Kyocera, but the Echo seems intriguing enough to spawn a small Echo-community. The handset is coming out this Spring, at a price of $199.99 on contract. Well, guys, in the final analysis, it wasn’t a phone with glasses-free 3D that we saw today, but rather a phone with 2×2D displays (which are still glasses-free, by the way), but don’t be blue, 3D is right around the corner now!
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