The GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, is winding to a close, but that doesn't mean mobile phone news have stopped streaming in. The third day of GSMA 2008 saw AMD announcing big plans for mobile phone processors, RIM's co-CEO downplaying the recent BlackBerry outage, and the LiMo Foundation possibly giving Google's Android a run for its money with its own effort at an open, Linux-based operating system. Of course, we also took the opportunity to look at phones and carriers off the beaten path.
Monday's announcement that Starbucks will end its Wi-Fi partnership with T-Mobile had some HotSpot subscribers worried. After all, Starbucks locations are a significant source of T-Mobile HotSpots. One of the key attractions of T-Mobile's HotSpot @Home service is the ubiquity of such HotSpots (HotSpot @Home is a service that lets T-Mobile subscribers make unlimited phone calls via Wi-Fi).
However, according to a T-Mobile news release, existing HotSpot customers will not be impacted by the switch for at least another five years. AT&T Wi-Fi operations have yet to begin, and even after the transition, customers can take … Read more
Google released on Wednesday a new version of the software development kit for its open mobile platform called Android.
The new SDK has a new user interface, a geocoder that lets developers search for businesses as well as translate an address into a coordinate and vice versa, support for new media codecs, and code that lets developers create layout animations.
One thing missing is change to the telephony package, laments one developer on the Android Developer discussion on Google Groups.
"This is very disappointing, especially because we were told in the Android coding day in Israel that the telephony package will be updated soon," the developer wrote. "We still cannot detect the ingoing/outgoing call number or send DTMF tones properly." Prototypes of Android phones were shown at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. Google launched Android in November along with and the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 handset manufacturers, carriers and chipmakers that have said they plan to support Android products and services. Products are due out later this year.
Here are some screenshots, via the Hello Android blog:
Polymer Vision is a company spun off from Philips. Its claim to fame is the Readius, an e-book reader which is also a mobile phone. Though it has been around for more than a year, there's renewed interest in it because it will finally be shipping in 2008. We tracked down the company's booth at the GSMA Mobile World Congress to learn more about this device.
The primary purpose of the Readius is to act as an e-book reader. Even though the display resolution is pedestrian at 320x240 pixels, the fact that it can be rolled up allows … Read more
Why have one screen when you can have two? That seems to be the reasoning behind the KF600's design. The top screen acts as a normal display, where you can view all of your phone's content, and the bottom one serves as a navigation pad.
Unlike a normal navigation pad that stays static, though, the KF600's changes depending on what you're using … Read more
There's a reason why no mobile social-networking company has broken out yet. They haven't found themselves--on a map, that is.
Mobile networking, at least in the U.S., remains a limited extension of the social-media industry's biggest PC-based players: lighter, messaging-focused versions of Facebook and MySpace.com, as well as instant-messaging software like Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Social-networking start-ups with a major or exclusive focus on mobile use, like Twitter, have failed to amass a following outside the alpha-geek crowd. For mobile social networking to really take off, it's going to have to move beyond providing … Read more
AMD is doing something Intel can't do: compete in the massive mobile phone market. AMD processors and mobile graphics technology were disclosed at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Imageon A250 applications processor is used for video recording/playback and photo imaging, among other applications, and can be programmed for multimedia and high-level graphics, referred to as vector graphics.
The Imageon D160 mobile TV solution is a hardware and software package that allows mobile phone makers to receive over-the-air broadcast TV signals in a USB-powered device. The chipmaker also introduced the Imageon M210 audio processor … Read more
Phone madness continues on in Barcelona, Spain, as the second day of GSMA Mobile World Congress comes to a close. Vodafone's CEO said he sees the mobile web as the future, Microsoft announced MSN Direct availability on Windows Mobile devices, and Yahoo launches OneConnect, a new tool that lets mobile phone users to aggregate their social-networking updates and messaging in one spot on their phones. T-Mobile also finally announces plans to launch 3G in the U.S. by summer 2008. There's also hope for an Android phone, as well as an Austrian version of the iPhone by the … Read more
In a bit of a shocker, the U.K.'s five biggest mobile operators have formed a working group to collaborate on a common mobile advertising system. This endeavor could, of course, go absolutely nowhere, but the fact that it's even being considered is an exceptional move for an industry not known for collaboration.
Of course, the operators aren't holding hands for the sake of friendship. It's all about the money. From the Guardian:
Now the international operations of Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, Orange and 3 have formed a working group to define a common mobile advertising audience … Read more