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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

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

 

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

Skype Takes a Small Step Forward on Windows Phone

29 Feb

Almost a year after Microsoft agreed to buy Skype for $8.5 billion, we are getting a beta version of the messenger and VoIP software for Windows Phone devices. It is not quite what we expect yet, but it’s a start.

The beta version is available via the Windows Phone Marketplace and supports Skype to Skype audio calling, Skype to Skype video calling, landline and mobile calling, instant messaging, profile and account views, profile pictures, status messages — all in a Metro UI.There are various foibles in this version. That includes the requirement that the software needs to work in the foreground, no call-in-progress indication, no conference calls, a crash if a call is ended before the other party ends a call, no contact blocking and removal,  and video calling that only works in landscape mode are only the major issues.

It’s just a small step to provide the IM software for Microsoft’s phones, but the initial feedback has been positive. Tony Cripps, principal analyst at market research firm Ovum, says,

At least in its initial guise, Skype for Windows Phone offers a fairly typical Skype experience on smartphones running as a standalone application. We expect this to change in future iterations with Skype becoming a more pervasive part of the Windows Phone software platform and experience, with its functionality integrated tightly with applications and services across the phone increasing its utility.

Cripps also said that Skype could become a “social glue” for Microsoft that will drive usage of the service and furthering sales of Skype-enabled Microsoft products considerably in future.

Skype said that the beta was tested on the phone models Nokia Lumia 710 and Lumia 800, HTC Titan and Radar, as well as Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash.

Source: tomsguide

Apple Confirms iPad Event for Next Wednesday, March 7

29 Feb

People have been exciting and talking about iPad 3 even from the day of announcement of iPad2. It did not have a “Retina Display”. After a course of full, complete year, people are finally going to hear about iPad 3 from those people who actually know something about the device, Apple.

Cupertino made a confirmation that the long-schmoozing iPad 3 event on March 7. The company has sent out the following invitations to the press today inviting them to an event in San Francisco.

That’s right, contrary to the rumors, the event is to be held in San Francisco, and not New York. This is not at all surprising, considering the iPad events (and many other Apple events) have also been in San Francisco, but then the rumor mill does tend to go a bit off base when left alone too long, doesn’t it?

Happenings are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. PST and the tagline for this event is, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Let the countdown begin!

 

Source: tomsguide