android

We're not sure who at O2 created the image for the HTC Mozart listing on product pages, but they must be an Android fan. According to the image above (and if you check out the link at the bottom of this article) O2 has the Mozart running Android, or so it seems. Clicking on the product to view more information reveals that in fact the device is running Windows Phone, but it may still cause confusion for those who aren't familiar with the device and what OS it sports.

On the other hand this could be positive in a misleading way. Should someone purchase the handset believing they'll be receiving an Android smartphone, they could be impressed with the refreshing change of to the Metro UI. Still, it should be fixed.

Source: O2, via: WMPU

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Though we're remiss to post Android-specific news here for obvious reasons, we thought it was interesting that today HTC showed off the Sensation XL featuring Dr. Dre Beats Audio on board. The Sensation XL, as you can probably discern from the above photo, is 100% through and through the HTC Titan but now for Android--same screen size, resolution, CPU, camera and design, but in white.

Fiddlesticks.

So it looks like we had the exclusive Titan design for all of 3 days? So much for hardware advantage. While we understand why HTC would do this (saves money on production, plus it's a killer design), we're a bit more excited now about Nokia making exclusive handsets for Windows Phone--something that won't be assimilated by the Android Borg so quickly.

Read more at AndroidCentral for their hands on with the Sensation XL.

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Global research firm comScore has released a new market share report that show Android increasing its lead from Apple, which remains in second place. Looking at the figures above, we can see Android almost hitting 44% of the U.S. market, with Apple on 27%, RIM at 19% and Microsoft at just under 6%.

RIM experienced a massive 5% drop since the previous report earlier this year. Microsoft (combined OSs) has fallen .1%, which shows the continued extinction of Windows Mobile and the rise of Windows Phone. August, being the month before Mango will hopefully show different results to what we will see in comScore's next report. Let's see a rise in market share for the software giant!

Source: comScore, via: SlashGear

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Summarizing our iPhone 4S summary - the handset lags in terms of innovation and improvements that many Apple fans were hopeful of, especially a new design. What's positive from the keynote is what this means for manufacturers on Android and Windows Phone (as well as other platforms). HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Acer, Dell and the rest now have the opportunity to push forward beyond the reaches of the iPhone in this brawl.

DigiTimes has learned from industry sources that the iPhone 4S is now lagging behind mainstream smartphones:

"The iPhone 4S comes without a larger display and with a download speed of only 14.4Mbps for HSPA, and does not support LTE and NFC technologies although it is powered by a more powerful processor and comes with more advanced camera and video functionality, the sources pointed out.

Although Apple also launched an entry-level 8GB iPhone 4 and cut the price of its iPhone 3GS, the effectiveness of such tactics will be limited as iPhone fans will still prefer to buy new models and the low-priced iPhones will not be able to compete with Android phones in the entry-level segment, commented the sources."

We only have to look at HTC's beast of a handset - the Titan - to see how far behind the iPhone is. Not only does the HTC Windows Phone boast an incredible screen with a simple, but elegant UI, but it's not featuring immense horsepower that drains battery. Simply because it doesn't require it (although having dual core will of course improve games and multi-tasking).

It's all down to Nokia and other manufacturers now to shows consumers what they've got up their sleeves.

Source: DigiTimes

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Today on Windows Weekly (ep 227), Brandon Watson joined Paul Thurrott, ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley and co-host Leo Laporte for an interesting and frank discussion on Windows Phone and the Mango update.

Laporte, who is an admitted Android devotee, was offered by Brandon to step up and take the Windows Phone challenge--essentially using nothing but a Windows Phone running 7.5 Mango for two-weeks to see if it changes his opinion. Laporte agreed to the challenge, leaving a little wiggle room for the iPhone 5, as obviously he has his reviewer duties first.

Although it would be great to see Laporte completely change over to Windows Phone, even Watson knows that can be difficult--so just having positive feedback would be a win for him and his team (see Molly Wood's response to the Challenge, a result Watson was happy with due to her admitted Android allegiance).

Will Laporte be convinced? He's a pretty level-headed guy and even if he's not 100% sold on Windows Phone, we think his opinion would certainly be informative and interesting. On the other hand, maybe he'll pull a Scott Adams and be more than impressed. Stay tuned...

Source: Windows Weekly (TWiT.tv)

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Word from Goldman Sachs, a company with an interesting reputation to say the least, is that Microsoft will generate $444 million in cross-licensing patent fees this year from Android OEMs who make smartphones and tablets. As of yesterday, Microsoft has signed seven deals with Android OEMS, including HTC, Samsung, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, Acer, ViewSonic and Wistron. Those seven deals are expected to generate between $3-$6 per device, using Goldman Sachs' numbers.

While that $444 million sounds like a lot, Business Insider points out that Microsoft generated $75 billion in revenue last year--so this is a drop in the bucket. However, that is still money that goes to Microsoft for their patents and re-affirms their position that Android is not free. While these deals won't enrich Microsoft at all, strategically, it may make OEMs second guess the advantages of using Android--either way, they have to pay Microsoft, so why not just use Windows Phones and get a more streamlined ecosystem and legal protection to boot?

Finally, at the very least, there is a certain bitter-sweet victory here for Microsoft, knowing they can fund Windows Phone development via Android sales. In the long term, this could be an important strategic decision. Plus, once you throw in the estimated $600 million in Windows Phone sales in addition to the $444 million in Android patents and Microsoft has potentially crossed the $1 billion mark for smartphone revenue. Not bad.

Source: Business Insider

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This is an interesting report about the continuing rise of interest in Windows Phone. It's amusing to remember the skepticism earlier this year before and after the release of NoDo, yet the platform is still growing at a steady pace and Microsoft has big plans to include the platform with Windows 8 and Xbox to create a unified ecosystem.

Connected Intelligence has reported that Android is the most preferred OS among current smartphone owners and those who intend to purchase a new handset within the next 6 months. 44% of these owners and potential smartphone owners are considering Windows Phone as a credible option.

Check out the press release after the break. 

via: wmpu

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Free US Windows Phone Camps

We have more camps being listed so be sure to get your calendars out and insert events. The array of Windows Phone developer camps will be freely available for all. Developers from other platforms are recommended to visit one of the days should they wish to expand their reach onto Microsoft's platform.

We've bolded the two special days in Boston (12-13 October) where the second day will be a hands-on for developing apps and will feature successful developers providing advice and support.

  • 9/20/2011 - Charlotte NC
  • 9/22/2011 - Alpharetta GA
  • 9/27/2011 - Malvern PA
  • 9/29/2011 - Reston VA
  • 10/12/2011 - Cambridge MA (Day 1)
  • 10/13/2011 - Cambridge MA (Day 2)
  • 10/18/2011 - Chevy Chase MD
  • 10/19/2011 - New York City
  • 10/25/2011 - Tampa FL
  • 10/27/2011 - Burlington VT
  • 11/2/2011 - Raleigh NC
  • 11/4/2011 - Ft. Lauderdale FL
  • 11/8/2011 - Orlando FL
  • 11/10/2011 - Coral Gables FL
  • 11/10/2011 - New Paltz NY
  • 11/15/2011 - Blacksburg VA
  • 11/17/2011 - Washington DC
  • 11/29/2011 - Atlanta GA
  • 11/29/2011 - Pittsburgh PA
  • 12/1/2011 - Hempstead NY

Be sure to check out the announcement article over at MSDN (link below) for more information and links to register at each event.

Source: MSDN, thanks minibeardeath for the tip!

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EA is running a small poll on the Battlefield Blog asking what mobile OS we use when browsing the web. The choices available are iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Surprisingly for skeptics, Windows Phone is at 28.9%, while Android and iOS are at 34.9% and 36.3% respectively - not much in it. The total number of votes at the time of writing this article is 44,375.

Show the platform some love by heading over to the blog and voting Windows Phone (the poll is in the sidebar on the left-hand side). It's nothing major, but as Tesco keeps reminding us here in the UK: every little helps.

Source: Battlefield Blog, thanks VoodooKing for the tip!

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This seems to be completely out of the blue, so take it lightly if you will. SamFirmware, the guys that continuously publish leaked ROMs and whatnot have tweeted that Samsung will be looking at leaving Windows Phone and will cease innovating for the platform from 2013 onwards. It seems odd due to the success of Samsung handsets on Microsoft's OS, but let us take a look at the larger picture here.

Could Samsung be focusing on Android? Not sure, they already have solid devices like the Galaxy S II so it could be that they have decided to take bada seriously, especially since with Android they are experiencing legal issues and have to pay Microsoft royalty.

Google will now play a role in hardware as well as software with Android, while Microsoft holds continuous tea parties with Nokia. But they're still two completely different relationships. Manufacturers were sceptical about the Motorola acquisition whereas Acer and others are still pretty excited about the future of WP.

Should this be true, 2013 is still two years away. If the platform really does capture the market by storm with Mango then perhaps Samsung may change their tune. Android (and Google) need Samsung, but it could be that bada will be competing for market as well as WP.

However we look at it this way, Samsung does seem to have a relatively healthy position by supporting both WP and Android, which makes it seem odd that they would choose to pull out from either one of them.

Via: 1800PocketPC

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Here's some interesting news surrounding SkyDrive. The growing service has seen increased usage through Windows Phone, Office and soon-to-be apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft have been continuously pushing it to rival competitive storage solutions and are now reported to be planning unlimited storage.

Before we all lose our minds with the whole "OMGWTFBBQ?!" emotion, let's take a quick gander at the proposed storage features:

  • Unlimited storage space for all Office documents
  • Unlimited storage space for all photos
  • 25 GB of free storage for everything else

What's good? Unlimited storage for Office documentation and photos taken on our Windows Phone handsets, but unfortunately we'll have capped space for music and all other files. Still, 25GB worth of storage is more than what the average user requires. With apps for OS X, iOS and Android as well as native integration with Windows and WP I can see myself converting along with many more.

This may also confirm the integration of the 5GB "SkyDrive synced storage" for Windows Live Mesh with SkyDrive for devices added to accounts. We'll have to see when the roll out happens.

Source: LiveSide

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The J.D. Power and Associates' latest US customer satisfaction survey has displayed some interesting findings. Apple is first in the results, which is perfectly understandable as every iOS user has either a household full of Apple products already or are simply satisfied with Apple hardware. No matter what you think of Apple as a company or iOS (and OS X) as operating systems - Apple makes killer hardware.

HTC is second, thanks to the successful injection of handsets running Android. What will be interesting for HTC is the customer satisfaction potentially rising with the Titan and Radar, which are both beast devices. Unfortunately for RIM, they're well below average and are in between LG and Motorola (now Google) and will not help the cause with investors calling RIM to sell itself or patents. Nokia are last, could this be due to Symbian (among other factors) and not the actual hardware? Only time will tell with their launch of Windows Phone handsets.   

Source: Engadget

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This is an interesting calculation, Research2Guidance has published a report that features a chart which illustrates the comparison of average downloads per app on a number of platforms to iOS. Looking at that chart above, you can see that OVI Store (Symbian) has +160% more downloads per app on average than iOS, while Windows Phone comes second in at +80%.

Surprisingly, BlackBerry came in third at +43%. Many users on competitor platforms may complain and make remarks about the amount of apps available to WP users, but we sure have quality over quantity and it goes to show with the amount of downloads apps are accumulating. Check out our article covering Marketplace statistics and case study for more insight on WP.

Source: Research2Guidance, via: WMPU

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Microsoft today secured a deal from Acer and ViewSonic for licensing patents related to Android IP on both companies' phone offerings as well as ViewSonic's Chrome tablets. Continuing the trend of using their industry-wide licensing deal, Microsoft was able to settle peacefully with both companies, avoiding any sort of litigation, unlike with Motorola who are being sued by Microsoft (and vice versa). From Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft

“We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry wide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues. This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

What's this mean for Windows Phone? In short, we'll have more licensing money coming in from Android, in addition to Windows Phone, which is a bit funny. And Microsoft continues to put the squeeze on Android OEMs, reminding them that Android is far from free, as Google promises.

Source: Microsoft 1, 2; via: Android Central

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An insightful article has been published over at PCWorld that covers possible reasons as to why indie developers are bothering with Windows Phone at all. Even though Microsoft's platform may appear to be small fish when compared against iOS and Android, it's certainly catching the attention of a wider audience and increasing brand awareness dramatically.

The article goes into detail about the Microsoft Evangelists that get in touch with developers and students to lure them to the platform, as well as a few established developers who have built popular and well received apps. This includes Pieter Voloshyn, of Thumba (our review), and Calum McLellan, of Feed Me (our review). It's worth the read so we wont spoil it too much, head on through the link below.

Source: PCWorld

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In what is becoming almost routine (see INQ), another OEM has come out and said that the Google-Motorola deal works out better for Microsoft than Google's Android. This time it was Walter Deppeler, president of Acer's operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. At the Berlin IFA consumer conference on Friday, he was quoted by Reuters as saying "It was a good gift to Microsoft", that Google "work against some of their clients" and finally that Acer would consider the implications of the deal before committing further to an OS.

Acer, who makes low to mid-range handsets, especially in important emerging markets, has recently started using Android in 2010 and is now actively developing Windows Phone devices (see the W4). While their phones won't compete in the U.S. or Europe, they are expected to be important players in Asian markets in the future. Either way, it's telling to hear OEMs publicly state what is becoming more obvious: this Google-Motorola deal and their continued legal quagmires are not helping to boost OEM confidence in Android.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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More Metro UI on Android

It seems with every post we publish here surrounding Metro UI on Android we're getting closer and closer to a fluent solution. It was only a few days ago when we covered the latest attempt to get the look of Windows Phone on an Android powered device. In the video above Arjoma92 walks us through his Motorola Defy that appears to resemble Microsoft's Windows Phone in more ways than one. The list of apps used are as follows:

While it looks relatively accurate, the smooth scrolling and snappy OS is not present, plus you can still see Android elements throughout the video, but it's a damn good attempt.

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"Come to us my children!" - Steve Ballmer, I/O 2011. All jokes aside, it's become quite clear that a number of Android users actually want something more than a grid packed full of icons, widgets and whatnot. something cleaner, sleeker and more unique (as does Google). Windows Phone features Metro UI that ticks all the boxes mentioned above and has been somewhat ported to Android in many forms (including a media player, oh and Bing).

We've now learnt of a full-featured Android ROM that's been modified up by Lifehacker reader MortemTuam and sports a Windows Phone like home screen with a Metro UI influence. What differentiates this from previous Android attempts we've covered is that this actually looks pretty damn good. Here's how he put it all together (and what was used for you folk who have Android handsets):

Seems like a lot of time and work, right? I'll always ask the question of "if you like it so much, why not experience the real thing?". Tinkering with the OS is fine but you'll never have the smoothness of WP7, something that goes hand-in-hand with the Metro UI. Sorry Android, you might be able to look like our OS, but you'll never behave like it.

Source: LifeHacker.au

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Update: WPCentral reader uuf05 got in touch with the BBC and requested reasoning as to why they haven't released an app for the platform yet. You can view their reply in his comment below. Here's the main snippet:

The BBC want to bring BBC iPlayer to as many audiences as possible, across a range of devices. Unfortunately, as the Windows Phone 7 doesn't support HLS or Adobe Flash, the formats we use for streaming videos, we can't make BBC iPlayer available on this phone at the moment.

So until the platform supports BBC's used formats (HLS or Flash) it seems the BBC wont bring us an app to gain access, which is a shame. What do you all make of this?

Read the full story after the break...

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I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon the only news that will require reporting will surround lawsuits and patent infringement. Today the Rechtbank 's-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) issued an injunction against the Samsung smartphones (Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S II) and that they should be retracted from import and sale by October 13th. The Galaxy Tab was not included.

The patent in question is owned by Apple ("Portable Electronic Device for Photo Management") and covers the way photos are displayed on a mobile device. The Netherlands plays an important role with Samsung's import into Europe. This injunction will prevent the shipping to the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Sweden and Switzerland. But let's not get carried away, Samsung has welcomed the ruling and published a statement:

"Today's ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive. With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers."

Looks like Apple doesn't have a victory and Samsung will attempt to prevent any disruption to the shipping of their smartphone handsets. I expect Google will ensure an update is mirrored to other brands just in case Apple decide to take on other Android manufacturers. According to Samsung in court, the fix is as simple as updating the OS to version 3.0, which doesn't infringe the patent.

Source: Foss Patents, via: This is my next, BBC

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