As Kent and Bonnie enjoy their last few days in Barcelona, Nicole invites Tom Merritt from Buzz Out Loud and Donald Bell from MP3 Insider to join her in a discussion of what happened at Mobile World Congress 2010. It turns out, quite a bit. We go over Windows Phone 7, Samsung Bada, Symbian 3, app store mania, and few new handset announcements as well.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)
BARCELONA, Spain--It's no secret that we weren't huge fans of the Garmin Nuvifone G60. How could we be when half of the product (the smartphone half) barely worked? So when we heard that Garmin-Asus would be showing off its latest Nuvifone models, the Android-powered Nuvifone A10 and Windows Mobile-based Nuvifone M10, at Mobile World Congress 2010, we didn't have the highest of hopes. However, after getting some hands-on time with the devices, we may just be changing our mind.
To start, the hardware is much improved. Both the Nuvifone A50 and M10 have sexier, slimmer designs that … Read more
"Opera Mini" and "iPhone" are two words that fit uncomfortably together given the current state of the mobile industry, yet as Opera Software announced last week, it has combined them just the same.
Moreover, the maker of desktop and mobile browsers for multiple platforms has been demonstrating the iPhone-capable browser at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Opera has been secretive and stingy about it, too, forbidding journalists from taking photos and refusing to show the product outside of their convention floor booth.
In addition to raising flags about the program's stability, Opera's … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--They say good things come in small packages, and when it comes to gadgets, smaller is usually better. Then you get a case like the HTC HD2.
This gargantuan smartphone isn't a dream to carry around, but then you take a look at its gorgeous and luxuriously spacious 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen, and you might be willing to reconsider. Then you take another gander at its size again and think otherwise. Well, HTC understands that dilemma and has heard your cries, thus resulting in the HTC HD Mini.
Welcome to the 411, my column dealing with all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know.
Because of the Mobile World Congress 2010 coverage this week, I thought I would dedicate this edition of The 411 column to the big phone show in Barcelona. I received a few questions and comments about the week's announcements through e-mail and my Twitter account, so I thought I would address them here. I've also decided to expand the column beyond the simple Q&A advice structure to allow for more opinion-based answers.
Do u think it'll be a race for 3rd place between Win 7 phone & WebOS devices? - TypeZero3, via Twitter
This was in reference to an earlier post I had written saying that I was glad that Microsoft had finally released Windows Phone 7. To me, it looks like what Windows Mobile should have done all along. It's clear this is Microsoft's response to both the Apple iPhone and Google's recent efforts with the Android operating system. Finally, it seems, Microsoft has managed to make Windows Mobile--oops, I mean Windows Phone--seem cool. The design bears more than a passing resemblance to the Zune HD, with a menu interface and navigation that really nails the look (and possibly feel) of the Zune's finer elements. I'm also intrigued by the "live tiles" feature that gives you a quick view of various applications and functions.
Further, Windows Phone 7 will integrate services from both Zune and Xbox Live. This means you will be able to access your Zune Marketplace and subscription music, and Xbox Live gamers will be able to see their gamer tag, achievements, and more on the phone. Both Zune and Xbox platforms have been a huge boon for Microsoft, and it's heartening to see Microsoft finally incorporating all of its many eggs into one basket.
But your question does remind me that we were once this excited about a mobile operating system before: webOS by Palm. I was definitely a sucker for the deck-of-cards feature when we first saw it at CES 2009, and I was excited about Palm's brave new effort to revitalize a tired brand. But it seems our excitement was premature; Android grew in dominance last year and phones like the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One have effectively pushed it aside. Palm still has its fans, of course, but Android's prominence is undeniable.
So will the same happen to Windows Phone 7? Perhaps, but I think Microsoft's previous successes with the Zune and the Xbox will push them over the edge.… Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft isn't the only one showing off a revamped operating system this week. The Symbian Foundation also made the trip to Mobile World Congress 2010, where it took the wraps off its open-source Symbian 3 platform.
Symbian 3, marketed as "Symbian^3," brings a host of much-needed improvements and enhancements in three key areas: user interface, multimedia, and performance. It won't be "feature complete" until the end of the first quarter, and then it will be another four to six months from that point until we see actual devices, but the outlined … Read more
T-Mobile kicks off the second day of Mobile World Congress 2010 with the announcement that they'll be bringing the highly coveted HTC HD2 to the U.S. market. This Windows Mobile smartphone is equipped with a 4.3-inch WVGA multitouch screen, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi, and plenty of other goodies like compatibility with Blockbuster's OnDemand video app, a Barnes & Noble eReader app, MobiTV, and six months of free in-flight Wi-Fi courtesy of Gogo Inflight Internet. T-Mobile says it expects to ship the HD2 in Spring 2010. T-Mobile also announced its plans to roll out HSPA+ … Read more
BlackBerry users have been waiting patiently for years, really, for Skype to release a version of its VoIP client for BlackBerry smartphones. If that's you, you're in luck. On Tuesday, Skype announced at the Mobile World Congress a partnership with Verizon that will bring a 3G-capable Skype app to Verizon smartphones. That includes several BlackBerrys, like the Curve, both Storms, and Tour.
The BlackBerry faithful have heard similar teases before, and indeed, Skype for BlackBerry has been in closed beta for some time. Now, at least, there's a date attached to the release, March 2010. We guesstimate … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--You might say that LG had a quiet Mobile World Congress--it didn't announce new handsets and it didn't have a presence on the show floor--but the manufacturer didn't skip Barcelona entirely. In the modern setting of Barcelona's Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the company showed two handsets, the Mini GD880 and the Google-Android powered GT540.
The Mini GD880 takes minimalism to an extreme. Sharp and angles and straight lines predominate and the bright 3.2-inch display takes almost the whole phone. Features include a 5-megapixel camera, e-mail, integration with social networking services, a full … Read more
Finally, Motorola has told us when exactly it'll be releasing software upgrades to its Android phones. Well, sort of. We would appreciate a more specific date than just "Q1" and "Q2," and three of the phone upgrades are still "under evaluation." But at least it's something. Here's the breakdown:
Phone Model Timeline DROID by Motorola (USA) The DROID by Motorola over-the-air software upgrade is expected to roll out soon MILESTONE (Europe) Upgrade to Android 2.1 planned for Q1 2010 MILESTONE (Latin America) Upgrade under evaluation MILESTONE (Asia-Pacific) Upgrade under evaluation … Read more