LG targets deal seekers, 3D fans, and giant hands at Mobile World Congress

5 Mar

Is LG’s new Optimus 4X HD quad-core flagship phone not your style? You’ll have many more options to choose from this year by the Korean manufacturer, judging from its showing on Feb 26, at the Mobile World Congress.

The company launched its fresh L-Style series of Android phones, which target the more deal-savvy mid-range market, as well as an updated 3D phone, the Optimus 3D Max. LG shows off the Optimus Vu, a 5-inch behemoth that will go toe-to-toe with Samsung’s Galaxy Note.

HTC is now focusing on making a handful of high-quality Android Phones, but LG is not afraid of flooding the market with several models with a hop for one to catch on. It is way employed by other Android manufacturers, but at this time the idea does not sounds smart (unless you’re consistently releasing stuff people actually want).

The L-Style series includes the L3, L5, and L7 (pictured above), which rank in order from lowest-end to highest. The L3 sports a 800 megahertz processor, puny 3.2-inch display, and runs Android 2.3. The L5 ups the ante with a large 4-inch screen and Android 4.0, but it’s still stuck with an 800Mhz CPU. The L7 offers an even bigger display at 4.3-inches, Android 4.0, and a 1 gigahertz processor. All of the phones boast a thin and striking new design.

For some reason, LG still hasn’t consider the hint that nobody wants a 3D phone. The Optimus 3D Max seems like a slight upgrade to its predecessor, with a brighter 4.3-inch display and wider 3D viewing angle. But it’s still stuck with Android 2.3, which makes the phone seem especially useless by this point.

And then there’s the Optimus Vu (pictured below). It features a 5-inch screen, much like Samsung’s Galaxy Note, but it’s also presented in an awkward 4 by 3 aspect ratio. That means it feels even bigger in your hand than the Galaxy Note, since the Vu is more on the squarish side. LG has also equipped it with basic range of stylus options — don’t expect the Wacom technology powering the Galaxy Note’s stylus here.

Source: venturebeat

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iPhone 5 may sport a new “micro” dock connector

1 Mar

Apple may be getting ready to ditch the current dock connector used in iPods, iPhones, and iPads in favor of a smaller version — denoting you’ll possibly have to keep up with yet another adapter to use all the latest accessories for iOS devices.

Considering annoyances trivial, Apple could possess a very logical reason for bringing the change, according to a iMore report that cites an anonymous source. A smaller “micro” docking port would give the company more room for other important components within the iPhone 5, which could be the first device to receive the new dock treatment.  And since the iPhone 4S has a much shorter power lifespan comparing all the models preceding it, the most likely use for that additional space would be to include a bigger battery.

The new docking port is to considered as new design rather that the outdated micro USB standard used by the other companies of the mobile phone industry. It is noticeable that Apple is leaving away from its reliance on transferring information to its mobile devices through a power cord.  As part of Apple’s iCloud push, the company is now enabling more OS software, app, and digital media updates over the air. So the dock connector may end up as little more than a way to charge the device and connect to third-party accessories.

The latest rumors theorize that the iPhone 5 will hit sometime before the end of 2012, and will feature a larger screen as well as a more curvy design.

Source: venturebeat

Google+ gets instant iPhone photo uploads, no more manual uploading like a chump

1 Mar

In a constant pace, the Google+ iPhone app is catching up to its more well-equipped Android sibling. Last month Google released a new version of the iPhone app that can instantly upload your photos and videos, something the Android app has had since it launched last year.

Google also reported some minor cosmetic changes to its Circles interface on the web, which will make it easier to add and organize your friends on the social network.

The instant uploading feature makes its process without great problems. After the installation of the new Google+ app, the user will be prompted to enable the feature, after which all the photos taken will be uploaded to a private Google+ folder. It is a drawback that the auto uploading does not work in the background. So the user has to open the app once in a while to keep the media synced. (Notably, Apple’s own photostream feature can backup your photos to iCloud in the background).

The feature is something iPhone Google+ users have hankering for and its addition could lead to more users relying on Google+ as their photo sharing platform of choice. Google has also added a “What’s Hot” stream to the app to let you easily find trending posts.

The web Circles interface now has a left-hand menu to let you explore your Circles, create new Circles, and search for friends. The app also includes direct access to your address books from Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.

Source: venturebeat

 

HP drops 275 webOS employees it “no longer needs”

1 Mar

It is not an usual day for HP employees. The corporation has made a announcement of laying off 275 employees form its webOS department, says The Verge.

The news follows webOS head John Rubinstein’s recent departure.

HP released a statement on Feb 28, saying that it is letting go of most of its webOS team because the employees are no longer needed for webOS projects:

As webOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before. This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well-equipped to deliver an open source webOS and sustain HP’s commitment to the software over the long term.

HP is working to redeploy employees affected by these changes to other roles at the company.

The number of engineers came from Palm and the number of members HP hired to work on webOS is obscure. Anyway it is an unfortunate number of people who lost their jobs. As unfortunate as it is, the move doesn’t really come as a surprise. HP ended up killing off webOS hardware because it wasn’t selling enough devices. And last September, All Things D reported that HP cut 500 employees from its webOS division.

In December, Meg Whitman, The Chief Executive Officer of HP, reported that webOS was going to become open sourced and that the OS  would live on HP tablets again, but laying off 275 employees doesn’t inspire confidence in that plan.

HP thought it was on to something with the Touchpad and thought bigger, better devices were to come. Hopes were high last year before the Touchpad launch that the new HP tablet would blow Apple’s forthcoming iPad 2 out of the water. But the iPad already had a loyal following and proved too tough a tablet to beat.

HP has made no other comment about the layoffs.

Source: venturebeat

Apple pushes ‘Gatekeeper’ to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

29 Feb

The new anti-malware feature processes indirectly to let Mac users either let or refuse application downloads based on where they come from. Apple has brought a ‘Gatekeeper’ to help saving Mac OS X users from downloading and running malicious software.

The new anti-malware feature, now fitted into the new OSX Mountain Lion, works behind the scenes to let Mac users either allow or deny application downloads based on where they come from.

In the “Security and Privacy” preference, the end user gets the choice over whether to allow applications downloaded from

  • Mac App Store
  • Mac App Store and identified developers
  • Anywhere

The pre-checked default is the “Mac App Store and identified” developers, a setting that works in tandem with Apple’s new Developer ID Program.

As part of the Mac Developer Program, Apple gives developers a unique Developer ID for signing their apps. A developer’s digital signature allows Gatekeeper to verify that their app is not known malware and that it hasn’t been tampered with. If an app doesn’t have a Developer ID associated with it, Gatekeeper can let you know before you install it.

More on Gatekeeper from Apple Insider and Daring Fireball.

Source: zdnet

 

 

Report: Android malware up 3,325% in 2011

29 Feb

Summary: Android malware samples had increased from 400 to 13,302 in six months.

Everything has its own value. In 2011, there was an ‘unprecedented growth’ of mobile malware attacks, with Android up a stratospheric 3.325 percent, according to a report by the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center.

The report shares stressing news. Comparing all platforms, mobile malware attacks are up 155 percent, with mobile malware samples increasing from 11,138 in 2010 to 28,472 in 2011. BlackBerry malware grew by 8 percent, and Java ME saw a 49 percent increase. But the platform hit hardest was Android, with malware increasing by an incredible 3,325 percent in a year. During the last six months of 2011, Android malware samples had increased from 400 to 13,302.
 

Spyware stood top as the most popular Android malware, numbering 63 percent, meanwhile 36 percent were premium rate SMS Trojans. And 30 percent could obtain location information without user acceptance and 14.7 percent of them are capable to make calls behind the users’ back.

The report also notes that malware is becoming more sophisticated, with malware like Droid KungFu using encrypted payloads to avoid detection and Droid Dream disguising itself as a legitimate app.

Security guru Bruce Schneier isn’t surprised. ‘I don’t think this is surprising at all,’ wrote Schneier in a blog post. ‘Mobile is the new platform. Mobile is a very intimate platform. It’s where the attackers are going to go.’

Full report here.

Source: zdnet

Are Android mobile apps too expensive?

29 Feb

Summary: According to the report, the top paid-for Android apps are typically “priced dramatically higher” than those made for iOS — specifically for the iPhone — within the United States.

Depending upon a survey form global market research firm Canalys , if you are an Android smartphone or tablet owner, there are chances for you to pay more for your mobile apps than other iOS counterparts.  For example, top 100 paid-for apps in the Android Market would cost a cumulative $374.37, averaging – an average of $3.74 per app. Compare that to the top 100 paid iPhone apps, which would reportedly retail for $147 all together, or $1.47 on average per app.

That equates to Android apps costing roughly 2.5 times more than iOS smartphone apps.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd explained in the report how the different qualities and environments in the Apple App Store and the Android Market heavily figure into this:

Electronic Arts, for example, regularly offers discounts across its portfolio of games in the App Store to ensure they remain visible to customers by featuring in the top app lists. Price competitiveness is crucial in Apple’s store, where the vast majority of top paid apps cost just $0.99, in a way that is not the case in the Android Market. This leads to disparities whereby an app such as Monopoly is priced at $4.99 in the Android Market, but is discounted to just $0.99 in the Apple App Store.

Shepherd also added that in-app purchases encouraged more heavily “within the Apple ecosystem than on Android, giving iOS developers an advantage in this regard.”

Canalys added that they found similar results when researching this topic in Germany, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

However, that doesn’t mean that the top 100 paid apps for Android were the exactly  same as that of 100 apps for iPhone. Thus, the types of apps being paid for and downloaded more frequently could factor into this stark difference as well.

Source: zdnet