LG Won’t Make Another Nexus Phone This Year

LG and Google have made a great team in recent years, together developing a number of phones as part of Google’s Nexus range that provided high-quality devices at a budget-friendly price point. If anyone was hoping for another new Nexus phone from LG this year, though, they’ll be sorely disappointed as an LG spokesperson revealed to CNET at Mobile World Congress that they won’t be developing a successor to the Nexus 5X and that “LG needs to focus on its own brand.”

While LG has really put themselves in the smartphone game with the successes of the Nexus 4, 5 and 5X, the move away from Nexus this year makes sense for the company. Their brand-new device, the LG G5 is just on the horizon and set to go head-to-head with the Samsung S7 and other flagship phones due out in 2016. This means that while LG still maintains that they are “totally happy” with their relationship with Google and work on Nexus phones, the resources to fuel both the G5 to its fullest potential and develop a brand new Nexus device simply don’t exist. Making Nexus devices just doesn’t bring in the money and brand recognition that can be found in releasing higher budget flagship devices, with the Google brand taking most of the recognition and the devices selling with relatively small profit margins.

Making Nexus devices just doesn’t bring in the money and brand recognition that can be found in releasing higher budget flagship devices, with the Google brand taking most of the recognition and the devices selling with relatively small profit margins. Hopefully, LG will continue to work on Nexus devices beyond the immediate future, however, as I am sure myself and many others would be saddened to see such solid budget devices from LG disappear.

Ford Reveals Two New Prototype E-Bikes

Ford recently revealed two prototype e-bikes at the Mobile World Congress that aim to make travelling around cities a bit safer. The two e-bikes are called MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro and have a 200-watt electric motor, along with a 9-amp per hour battery. They are said to have a top speed of up to 25 km/h.

The bikes feature a rear-facing sensor that alerts the rider if a car is approaching quickly from behind by making the handlebars vibrate. Also, if you have an app open, it will also show the warning on the display.

There are also lights on the side of the handlebars and read of the bikes to warn a car’s driver of a possible impact with the bike, suggesting him or her to slow down in order to avoid it.

Both bikes are said to connect to Ford’s prototype app named MoDe:Link, currently compatible only with the iPhone 6. The app helps the riders plan their route and helps with direction by giving feedback through the handlebars, telling the rider when to turn. Blinking indicators are said to also automatically activate in order to inform other drivers of a turn being made by the rider.

Due to the bikes being foldable, the app can take the user to a bus or train stop, should it be quicker than any alternative. It is said to also display the cost of any public transport fees to the destination.

Other key features within the app include identifying bike-friendly roads and generate warning feedbacks regarding other potential hazards. To be noted is that the DoMe:Pro is designed for couriers, having the ability to be folded and stored in the back of a van, while the DoMe:Me is designed for regular commuters.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information

Facebooks’s Internet.org to Bring Internet to Africa

Yet another awesome step forward for global connectivity, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has cemented his last year claim that a specialised team are working on building drones, lasers and satellites to deliver internet to everyone; today at the Mobile World Congress.

During his presentation, he spent a substantial amount of time discussing the Facebook-backed nonprofit Internet.org, which aims to bring free internet access to four African countries, along with Columbia and India.

“We’re working on it,” Zuckerberg said. “When we have that stuff, the goal is to form the same type of partnerships we have today with our partners to give people more tools to connect. Some of the technology we have today isn’t cost effective… just because we’re working on plans and satellites doesn’t mean that that is the type of stuff that will do it. Over the next five to 10 years, there will be a lot of innovation. People like talking about that kind of stuff because it’s sexy, but it’s not the big bit”

This seems oh so familiar to the earlier presentation from Google’s Senior VP Sundar Pichai (found here), who stated that they are also gearing up to launch solar-powered, internet giving drones in certain countries later this year. When asked about a possible collaboration with Google, his response was “Sure. I’d love to do more with them”.Internet.org first launched in Zambia, teaming up with a local operating partner and incorporated Google search, calling it an “important tool.”

Probably the most profound statement from his presentation “To grow the Internet is expensive… we want to make progress.”

Thanks to Mashable for supplying this information

Google VP Announces Closer Launch Date For Project Titan

Earlier today at the Mobile World Congress, Google has announced that it is getting closer to officially launching solar-powered drones, under the name Project Titan; sending its first fleet into the sky sometime this year.

Senior VP at Google, Sunar Pichai, who oversees Android, Chrome and Google apps; outlined how the company is working on three big programs aimed at connecting a majority of the 4 billion people still without internet access. Project Titan will fly lightweight, solar-powered airplanes to act as satellites. The company jumped in first, ahead of rumors that Facebook was pursuing a similar venture. The drones will be programmed to hover above certain areas to supply connectivity, this technology could also be used to bring access to locations affected by natural disasters.

This isn’t the first time Google has aimed for the skies, their previous venture Project Loon involved a similar set up, but utilising balloons instead of controllable drones. The balloons cover greater areas, where the aircraft would focus on smaller, more precise areas.

“When I first heard the idea, I thought it was a crazy idea, and these balloons are really big,” Pichai said. “The notion that you can run these things to scale, which sounds like science fiction… but we will see a lot of progress in the next few years where we can turn it into a real service for users.”

Pichai said that the move for big companies like Facebook and its Internet.org initiative to get more people in remote regions to access the web is a strong and important step. “I’m glad companies like Facebook and others around the world are working on these types of technologies,” he said.

Thanks to Mashable for this information

 

MWC: Qualcomm Unviels Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off Sense ID, a new technology that brings ultrasonic fingerprint scanning to mobile devices. The main advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanning is that because it uses sound waves, it doesn’t require direct contact with your finger. This means the ultrasonic sensor can be underneath the device’s front cover glass or potentially underneath the display itself. Now fingerprint scanners aren’t breaking news in the mobile market. Previous iterations include the iPhone 5S with Touch ID. This system, along with all current scanners, require physical interaction with the scanner; pretty annoying if it’s cold and you have gloves on. Golves are a pretty extreme example, the scanner could be made unusable by even water, lotion or dirt; so dry clean hands all round.

This new ultrasonic scanner uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your finger, penetrating relatively large obstacles, like the aforementioned gloves scenario. This scanner uses similar technology to that in the medical sector, just not as powerful, yet. This means that the scanner could potentially scan deeper than just the top layer of skin and retrieve even more biometric data.

“At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off a prototype smartphone with Sense ID beneath the front cover glass. When I asked whether Sense ID could be placed beneath the display—so that you could scan your finger by simply placing it on the screen, just like in all the movies—I got a noncommittal response that is best transcribed as “I don’t see why not.””

Now Qualcomm can’t take all the credit here, back in 2013 the company acquired Ultra-Scan; who already had a similar technology developed for use by the US government. Now that may sound a little alarming, the US government seem to want to harvest as much data as possible, but Qualcomm has made clear that your biometric data is secured to the device via its hardware-level SecureMSM tech; no cloud data snatching here.

Sense ID is compatible with all recent Snapdragon SoCs, including the upcoming Snapdragon 820, but there aren’t any immediate products being released with this technology, the earliest indication is Q3 2015.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for supplying this information.

Microsoft Teams up with Intel to Bring Low-Cost Windows 10 Smartphones

Microsoft has been working with ARM-based processors for their smartphones up until now, having all of its Lumias powered by Qualcomm’s SoCs. Things are about to change later this year, having the corporate giant teaming up with Intel to release Intel-based Lumias along with its latest Windows Phone 10 OS.

Intel as announced at the Mobile World Congress that Windows Phone 10 is set to run on handsets and phablets powered by the company’s upcoming Atom X3 chips codenamed Sofia. Handsets powered by the X3 chips are said to have a price tag ranging from $75 to $249 and will not have a Windows Phone OS exclusivity, having Intel planning to integrate the X3 in Android-powered handsets as well.

While Windows Phone has only a 2.7% market share, as per the 2014 statistics, Aicha Evans, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Communication and Devices Group, is optimistic about the partnership between the two company giants. He hopes that this will also help Intel gain more ground in the hand-held devices market, a place currently dominated by the ARM chips.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

Firefox OS Set to Enter the US and Other Developed Markets in 2016

Mozilla has developed its Firefox OS in order to target low-cost smartphone markets all around the world. Its recent statement claims that the company is considering to enter more developed markets next year.

Mozilla has stated a project with US, Japanese, South Korean and Spanish carriers to get ready for shipping high-spec smartphones starting from 2016 onwards. However, the more developed markets for smartphones are currently owned and heavily competed by Apple, Android and Windows Phone. But Mozilla seems to be taking a rather strange and out of fashion approach.

Flip phones and sliders would be the main attraction and key feature of these new Firefox OS phones, as stated by Andreas Gal, chief technology officer at Mozilla. He stated that customers like the older form factors of mobile phones and this is the main cause of why they are stuck with older operating systems.

“Development of feature phones has essentially stopped, said Gal. “This project will bring a modern smartphone OS into this market.”

The project has been announced on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, pointing out that Verizon Wireless, KDDI, LG uPlus and Telefonica will be the first carriers to start shipping these new smartphones next year.

Thank you Computer World for providing us with this information

Cyanogen and Qualcomm Form New Partnership

You typically would expect an SoC manufacturer such as Qualcomm to announce what new technology it has planned next at an event such as the Mobile World Congress. However, this time around, Qualcomm has announced a new partnership with Cyanogen to work on the software shipped on next generation reference devices.

Qualcomm makes special devices with every chipset launch, called Qualcomm Reference Devices or QRDs. The program basically simplifies the process for companies to make and sell a device in as little as 60 days. Although Qualcomm uses Android for its devices, it is usually built from internal software repositories with all the basic necessary software to make it work, which is often not optimized.

This is where the partnership between Cyanogen comes in. There are reports that the QRD program has already been updated and that the Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 series QRDs will be available with Cyanogen OS (not to be confused with CyanogenMod) along with a set of feature options for each device tier.

The partnership would allow manufacturers to be able to customize their experience more on the devices they sell, as well as making the Cyanogen OS more popular on Android devices. Users would also benefit from the partnership, since manufacturers would be able to offer more QRDs with the latest Android and a significantly greater chance for software updates compared to the current QRD.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information

Samsung Posts Live Stream and Countdown to Galaxy S6 Event

Samsung has (for the time being) finished with the teasers, and has posted its live stream and countdown to their Galaxy S6 reveal on March 1st.

The event, which is to take place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will see the unveiling of the company’s flagship phone, the next in the Galaxy S series. We don’t know too much about the S6 yet, other than the fact that it will have a curved display on both sides.

Earlier in the week, T-Mobile CEO John Legere posted a tweet confirming that the company will be carrying the phone on their network. He also included with the tweet something much more interesting – a link to a teaser site that gives us our first look at the new phone. That image very much confirmed that the new device will have a curved edge display.

You can see the live stream below, which will start at 17.30 UTC on Monday March 1st.

Source: 9to5Google

Nokia Rumored To Have Two More Android Smartphones In The Works

While we wait for the Mobile World Congress to commence in Barcelona, one of the most anticipated announcements comes from Nokia and its Android handset. The signs have been numerous and nobody can deny the fact that Nokia will release an Android version flashgrip this year.

However, recent rumors tells of not one, but three Nokia devices running the Android OS will hit the market this year, having the first flashgrip rolling out as early as May. Is Nokia looking to expand its empire having two major mobile operating systems running alongside each other, namely Windows Phone and Android?

The first flashgrip to make its way on the consumer market is the so-called “Nokia X” which should be revealed during MWC next week. The handset is said not to be something that extraordinary in terms of performance, having its rumored specs describing it as a Dual-Core 512 MB RAM smartphone. Though, it might be just the ‘appetizer’ of what’s to come next, having rumored a ‘XX’ and ‘XXX’ handsets which will follow later on this year.

Both handsets are said to be something on the higher market, with the ‘XX’ having slightly improved specs than the ‘Nokia X’, while the ‘XXX’ is rumored to be the ultimate high-end Nokia handset everyone is looking forward to. The names however are most likely to change, especially for the ‘XXX’ handset, where the name might inspire something else rather than a handset.

The question here will be if the previously mentioned flashgrips will be on display at the MWC event. The answer will most probably be no, as Nokia is not ready to reveal the two neither to select partners nor the public before the final product is ready. Though, if the rumors are true, we might expect to see the first pictures and specs as early as Q2 or as late as the end of Q3 this year.

Thank you Android Community for providing us with this information

New HTC Desire 8 Images and Specs Leaked, To Start Shipping On the 24th of February

It appears that new images of the upcoming HTC Desire 8 have been leaked, along with more details about the handset’s specification. Also, reports say that the mid-ranged handset will be released next week during or at the Mobile World Congress, while the more expected high-end M8 is said to be released somewhere in March.

The previously leaked images show the handset to be available in versions of dark blue and white. It is said that one image displays the date ’24th of February’, pointing to a launch on the first day of the trade show in Barcelona. This could also point to a dual launch date at both the MWC and Beijing, but nothing is confirmed at this point.

@evleaks has posted some more specifications about the handset, having the HTC Desire 8 sporting a Quad-Core 1.6 GHz CPU, 5.5-inch 720p display, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with microSD expansion, BoomSound audio, a rear 13-megapixel camera, and a front-facing 5-megapixel version. The current leaked images show the handset in black, white, red, yellow and purple, though there is no mention of blue.

Though HTC is not the only one attempting to launch handset ahead or during the MWC event next week, it is one of the few companies which will show more than one device, having announced a new smartwatch concept earlier this week as well.

Thank you Electronista for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Electronista