Today, Google showed off its Android 3.0 OS - aka Honeycomb - on the Motorola Xoom tablet. In case you don't know, Honeycomb is designed for tablets and as such the main screen is dedicated to running applications and widgets. However, that said, one of the more interesting and smart developments shown today involves the new web-based Android Market (launched today) that uses cloud based technology to determine which Android device you own has what applications installed. This should make transferring already purchased applications to new Android phones or tablets much easier. Additionally, the new web store will tell you if the application your are considering is already installed and if so, on which device.
In addition to the launch of the Android Market web-based store, there were quite a few other interesting features demo'd. Here's an overview of some of the things you can expect to find in Honeycomb:
Verizon's Mobile E-mail app has always offered a way to deliver e-mail to feature rich phones without having to log onto the web. The new version of the app has a bit more functionality that should definitely appeal to consumers who want a smartphone-like e-mail experience without getting a smartphone. Here are some of the highlights:
E-Mail Push- No need to press refresh in the e-mail application, now all e-mail will be delivered more or less in the time they are received.
Microsoft Exchange E-mail- If you're work uses Microsoft Exchange, you can now get your work e-mail on the cell phone and it will also sync your Microsoft-based contacts. A definite plus for staying in touch with work done on-the-go.
Outlook Calendar Sync- All those calendar appointments you keep in Outlook will now sync with your phone, so you won't miss your appointments.
Additionally, Mobile E-mail 4.0 also has an updated interface and a way to easily attach pictures when sending an e-mail. The application is available for Verizon users for a monthly fee of $5 with a Pay as You Go data option or included with a $15 or higher data package.
|Topics:||Phone Smarts||Verizon Wireless||Business Use|
RIM revealed its tablet this week, the BlackBerry PlayBook, based on its own tablet operating system (OS) and designed to extend many of the business-centric features found on BlackBerry smartphones to the PlayBook such as its e-mail support and out-of-the-box compatibility with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Since it has WiFi, it could be the new device you bring to meetings leaving your laptop at your desk. The PlayBook will also support video conferencing with a 3-megapixel camera on the front and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. While we're on the topic of multimedia, the PlayBook will also support 1080p HD and even have HDMI out. That's a definite step up from the 720p HD support found on some of the higher-end smartphones that have hit the market recently. (To be fair, 720p is plenty impressive on the smaller screens found on cell phones) The PlayBook is expected to be available early next year, however, in the meantime if you want a closer look watch the video below.
|Topics:||Somethin' To Talk About||BlackBerry||Business Use||WiFi|
The Nokia e73 Mode for T-Mobile has arrived. This Symbian smartphone has a lot to offer in a slim package. Most notable is the inclusion of "Modes" where you can set a Mode for work and a Mode for after work. To see the Nokia e73 Mode in action check out the video below by LetsTalk's Pat Connor.
|Topics:||In The Know||Nokia||Camera||Smart phones|
The FCC has declared this week as "Wireless World Travel Week," and as such has offered some handy tips that can be found in this eWeek article. All the tips are extremely useful and interesting including the one about how a smartphone can be a "tempting target for invasion by the government in some areas." I've been testing cell phones a long time and have made it a practice to take a test phone with me when I travel to see the experience. For example, when I went to Argentina I wanted to see how easy it was to get a prepaid SIM card and stick it in a compatible GSM phone. Finding the SIM card wasn't initially easy until I realized they were sold at local convenient kiosks similar to the way prepaid calling cards are sold at 7-11. Also, the phone had to be unlocked or the SIM card wouldn't work. Having a cell phone with service for that country made it easier to call for reservations at restaurants or keep in touch with the people I was traveling with if we decided to spend our days separately.
On that note, I just got back from a trip to Panama. Initially, I didn't want to take a cell phone with me so I didn't do any preparations in order to have one to test while I was out of the country. I also had no idea what types of outlets the country used. An important point, especially since many countries have a different outlet and if Panama was such a place I'd need to take an adapter. The only thing I knew for certain was that if you wanted to use a phone in Panama it had to be a GSM phone. It was literally a hour before I left for my flight to Panama that I decided to take the DROID Incredible with me.
My rational: I knew I'd need a cell phone when I was arriving back in the states to coordinate a ride home from the airport. I also really wanted to have music with me and the Incredible had tons of my music stored on its 8GB of internal memory. I decided to take the charger too thinking I could always charge it at the airport between flights if I had drained the battery listening to music or playing games while on the plane. What I didn't think about when making the decision was WiFi, Skype, or even the built-in 8-megapixel camera on the Incredible - features that would definitely come in handy.
|Topics:||Somethin' To Talk About||Verizon Wireless||Music||Cell phone plans|
The HTC DROID Eris for Verizon Wireless had a lot to offer with HTC Sense and Android 1.5. The update to 2.1 is now available for over-the-air download. However, if you're having trouble receiving the update notification, you may need to do a hard reset. (See this blog post to see how to reset the DROID Eris.) But what features does the updated Android OS offer? Watch the video below by LetsTalk's Pat Conner to see what you can expect. To see other Android phones click this link.
|Topics:||Phone Smarts||Verizon Wireless||Smart phones|
Verizon announced a new Windows Mobile phone aimed at global business travelers, the LG Fathom. This smartphone has all the specs expected from a cell phone running Windows Mobile 6.5 plus a few extra. Of note, the LG Fathom supports Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) for more secure connections, has a 1GHz processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a spacious 3.2-inch touchscreen that offers tactile feedback. Since this is a world phone, the LG Fathom can be used for turn-by-turn directions and maps in English in more than 20 destinations such as Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In case you'll be in need of restaurants, gas stations or nearby ATMs, the app will offer that information as well. However, there's one feature that seems to be a bit lacking; the microSD slot will only support up to a 16GB microSD card while many other smartphones currently available support up to a 32GB microSD card. Still, that said, it should be plenty for most users.
The cell phone will be available for consumers starting June 3rd and will require both a Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan.
|Topics:||In The Know||Verizon Wireless||Cell phone plans||Windows Mobile|
|Smart phones||LG||International||Business Use|
Apple announced iPhone 4.0 would have 100 new features. The company spotlighted 7 of those features at a press conference this week. A lot of what was discussed had to do with applications and ways consumers can get more apps for their iPhones. Also, the biggest enhancement was about an updated user experience that allows consumers to multitask - essentially easily switch between applications via an updated interface. Here's a quick overview of what to expect:
When is the update coming and what devices will be getting it?
According to the Apple Press Release the iPhone OS 4 beta software and SDK are available now for iPhone Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iPhone OS 4 will be available as a software update to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer. However, only iPhone 3Gs and some (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB) iPod Touch models will support all the features.
Motorola DROID users should be on the lookout for the latest update notification to appear at the top of their cell phone screen this week. The latest Android update is adding a bit more functionality to the operating system. Here's a list of a few noteworthy enhancements that can be found in this update:
We should note that updating the operating system can take some time and drain battery life. The best bet is to plug-in the Motorola DROID before you start the update and try to do it at a time when you won't need to use the cell phone that much. If you have any problem with the update, visit verizonwireless.com/droidsupport.
|Topics:||Phone Smarts||Motorola||Verizon Wireless||Smart phones|
Want to know what comes with the latest Omnia II Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone for Verizon? Watch the video below featuring LetsTalk's Scott Price. Does it have everything you want?
|Topics:||In The Know||Verizon Wireless||AT&T Wireless||Cell phone plans|
|Samsung||Windows Mobile||Smart phones||Business Use|
T-Mobile announced at Mobile World Congress that the HTC HD2 would be available for US customers this spring. Although this HTC smartphone is running Windows Mobile 6.5 and not the just announced Microsoft Mobile OS Windows Phone 7 Series (it won't be available until the holidays later this year), the HTC HD2 has quite a few features to set it apart from other Windows Mobile cell phones. First, it has the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, which means it's fast. The HTC HD2 will also sport HTC's Sense and a 5-megapixel camera. The really fun stuff is the multimedia features including a Blockbuster on Demand application that lets you buy a movie on one device and watch it on another connected device. It has MobiTV, which will be free for the first 30 days. To show consumers just how video friendly this Windows smartphone is Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will come preloaded on the included 16GB microSD card. If movies aren't your thing, no worries it also comes with Barnes & Noble eReader application for reading digital books on the go.
|Topics:||In The Know||Smart phones||Business Use||Video|