Tag Archive | "mwc"

ASUS Padfone 2012. Hands-on with Phone, Dock and James Bond Pen!

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The Padfone has developed somewhat since we saw the magic at Computex 2011. We’re now looking at the docking station (with 18Wh battery) and a cool little Bluetooth pen that acts as a headset.

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Huawei Ideos S7 Slim – Live Photos

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Nicole Scott of Netbook News tells me she isn’t too impressed. She has a point. Its hardly the most attractive device in the Tablet space. The thing is, this will come in at a very nice price. Ben has already highlighted a $300 price which means you have a better option than the Viewpad 7. You’re getting an arm v7 more which means significant performance implements with Android 2.2 and the ability to run apps like flash 10.1. I have a video which I’m going to upload as soon as I buy a new charger for my netbook bit at least I can give you some images from the showfloor here at MWC.
One of the images includes the specs and we’ll get this in the database for you as soon as possible.

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LG Optimus Pad at MWC.

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Tegra and Honeycomb seem to be everywhere at MWC. We spotted the Acer Iconia 100 yesterday but that seems to be the only 7″-er. Everything else is 10″. At this early stage in the Honeycomb lifeline there isn’t a lot of time for manufacturers to make huge differentiation in the software layers so LG have chosen to go the hardware route on their tablet and have added 3D cameras. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test them.

With Honeycomb being so new its difficult to come to any conclusions but I saw an amazingly sharp and high-contrast screen that was let down by a user interface that should be a lot, lot smoother.

On the back you have a removable panel which seems to be only for the Sim card. I think I must have missed something there but I’m sure there’s no removable battery. Build quality overall seems very good and the gaming experience was an obvious step up from what I’ve seen on other devices. If developers jump on the bandwagon and optimise for Tegra, it will a real advantage in the gaming space.

With that 3D feature in the device I’m certainly not expecting it to be cheap and I wonder, is anyone really crying out for 3D camera like this?

Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 5.0 impresses.

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This is the Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 5.0 with, obviously, a 5″ screen (Wvga). It has the 1Ghz SP5C110 cpu inside and, confirmed, full Google market and apps suite making it quite unique. It records 720p (fixed focus) and has a nice 5MP camera. It’s built well and slots nicely into a few categories I can think of. People wanting a full Android experience without a contract for a start.
Launching this month in Korea and soon for global markets. A 2500mah battery should see it lasting a long time between charges. DLNA, Samsung app market, GPU, accelerates top off the specs.
Video coming soon but here are a few pics. More coming later.

Intel Shows Medfield Phone Running Android at MWC

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This video is hot off the Intel press event (which is still going on as I type this)

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Listen to the competitive talk from Anand Chandrasekher.

Intel launches MeeGo Tablet User Experience – Hands-On and Info.

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Remember that cool-looking tablet user experience we saw back at Computex?, well it’s back and it’s official. It’s now the official Tablet User Experience for MeeGo.

We’ve had a close look at the demonstration, seen below on an ExpoPC, and talked to Intel’s Michael Richmod, the marketing manager for this product. Developers attending the Applab this week at MWC are going to get a pre-configured Meego tablet to walk away with and the Meego image, built with the latest 1.2 beta, will be available for download later this week.

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Intel have completely re-written the ‘panels’ user interface in QML (Qt Meta-Object Language) that now enables Intels customers (remember this isn’t an end-user product) to customise the UI. Intel tell us that this enables them make customisations and, by having a baseline to work from, to shorten their time-to-market figures. Note that QML also enables 3D acceleration in the UI.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a deck of panels in a tablet UI (cough*webos*cough) but remember, these panels are really apps in their own right rather than representations of running software. Each panel flips to offer customisations, a nice feature. It would be great to see each running represented as a panel and we hope, really hope, that Intel and the MeeGo teams have made it easy for developers to create new panels. UI customisations will be difficult without a range of panels to choose from.

There’s no filesytem exposed in the UI but the UI does retain certain desktop features like ‘right-click’ which is implemented as tap-and-hold through the MeeGo applications suite. Also missing is a centralised notifications system although there could be a panel for that!

The MeeGo build and user experience is currently only for the ExoPC hardware (also seen used in other manufacturers devices, WeTab included) but the Lenovo S10-3T will be supported soon. Intel wouldn’t comment on Moorestown and Oaktrail target products – possibly because there aren’t any that are officially available yet! We hope that problem sorts itself this week because the MeeGo stack badly needs some sexy hardware. Take what HP did this week as an example of an OS, dev tools and products being presented as one bundle.

As for apps, Intel have chosen the Chromium open-source browser rather than the Firefox Mobile option that has been talked about for the handheld user experience. Although Intel partners can choose other options, we don’t expect that to change (although an official Chrome build would be nice.) You’ll also find an email  client, calendar, video player with open source codecs, audio player, social network subsystem, sharing subsystem, image viewer, instant messenger  and the configurations pane. We didn’t spot AppUp or any other way to attach to Linux repositories although do remember that this is Linux to the LSB standard.

Intel are welcoming feedback on this build and do plan to turn around iterations based on that feedback. The Intel Atom Developer Program is the forum for that.

Al in all we think a lot of people are going to be excited about this. The response we had on the original panel demos at Computex was overwhelmingly positive. We’ve got reservations about the notifications system, and would have liked to see multitouch support, easier app switching, some more advanced demo hardware, Appup, third party applications [breath…] and we have ongoing questions about QML, the Nokia owned product that slipped from it’s mainstream positioning last week. Is it enough to beat WebOS and Honeycomb? With this full-fat Linux stack leaning a bit more to traditional computing architecture and with Oaktrail and Moorestown products coming soon, there’s definitely an opportunity here for a fully productive operating system with a quality touchscreen-UI. We’re trying to think of another 7-10” tablet-focused operating system that offers a full desktop browser and the opportunity to span consumption and productivity scenarios. We can’t!

Stay tuned as we get briefed on products and plans today.

Intel just launched Meego Tablet UI

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We’ve turned up 30 minutes before the Intellect press event and there are paper copies of a press release on the table. There’s a few devices hanging round too. Meego Table User Experience is here. “Featuring an intuitive object-oriented interface with panels to display content and contacts.” We will bring you more soon.

HP Touchpad Demo

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We’ve just had a demo of the HP Touchpad and will be giving you that video later. Smoothness could even be one step up above the Xoom we tested earlier but of course what’s the future for the development ecosystem? Is this range of products good enough to make it work? We’ll head back to see if we can get our own hands on later.

Motorola Xoom Hands On

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We’ve had a chance to have some hands on wit the Motorola Xoom. To be honest, I’m quite amazed at the difference Honeycomb makes. The multi-pane enhancements make such a difference. The YouTube app has just come alive! Smooth UI (better than the Galaxy Tab) proves that the core has been optimized for a better touch experience too.
I’m impressed, and yet worried about how much it will cost. This is a premium.product that will have a premium price.

We’ve got  a video to show you and will be posting it as soon as we have the chance.

More Meego Later

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This is something we might see at a press event, 1230 today. Meego smartphone user experience. If we’re lucky it will be a Medfield platform demonstrator. Taking a look at the tablet user interface there they appear to have retained the panels that we saw in Computex. That’s good news because it received a lot of praise. More later.

Samsung Announce 10.1” Honeycomb Galaxy Tab

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It’s not been long since the Galaxy Tab first hit retail stores however Samsung have wasted no time in announcing their next tablet device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. If the name doesn’t give it away, Samsung’s latest Android tablet sports a 10.1” display, is powered by a 1GHz Tegra 2 core and of course runs the latest and greatest Android 3.0 firmware.

This device follows the recent trend of large screen Android Honeycomb tablets however it’s quite surprising that Samsung decided to transition from the original 7” sized Galaxy Tab as the original device was extremely popular for it’s fairly mobile form factor.

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Unlike the original Galaxy Tab, the 10.1 provides a stock Android experience like many other Android 3.0 tablets and will not have a modified user interface that is often present on many Android phones, including Samsung’s Galaxy S range.

Samsung are yet to announce when the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be launching.

Source: Engadget

We’re off to MWC!

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MWC starts here!

Following a packed week of news we have an even bigger week ahead of us. Samsung, HTC, LG, Intel and many more companies are expected to make announcements and present products that affect our market. I, Chippy, am there all week and the fun starts tomorrow on day 0, press day.

Armed with the Nokia N8 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab I hope to bring you text+photo blogs like this one and follow up with more detailed content and videos when time permits. Ben and Guy will also be tracking news from their UK and US bases. I also have the live blog kit with me so, network and access permitting, you should be able to catch up on some of the press events as they happen. Finally, if you tune into Chippy on Twitter you’ll get regular behind the scenes updates and, new for this event, the use of Audioboo to create short audio podcasts.

We hope you enjoy the week and if there’s something you think we’ve missed, don’t hesitate to is the contact form to tip us!

MeeGo, Qt and Nokia – Feb 11th 2011

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Today’s announcements by Nokia (there are many to sort through) have shocked a lot of people. The major focus here is that Nokia will now use Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) as their primary platform for smartphones. I want to emphasise that this is a revenue generating strategy. It doesn’t include disruptive computing devices which indicates the removal of risk elements within Nokias strategy.  Symbian gets turned into a ‘franchise’ platform (cheap, stable and, probably, with less focus on corporate support.) Important for the financials is that R&D spend drops. Symbian –related spend drops away completely. MeeGo will get hit very hard here too. Whatever way you look at it, near-term investment in MeeGo from Nokia will drop.

This slide says it all.meegorandd

The message is clear. MeeGo isn’t ready to be used for a smartphone platform in Nokias portfolio. Perhaps if Nokia had continued with Maemo, it would be ready now? Other potential partners in the MeeGo ecosystem will take note of the money spent on R&D by Nokia during this partnership and will look to see what Nokia develop over the next 12 months. Adding to the financial hit, this knocks confidence levels in MeeGo.

MeeGo remains in Nokias strategy but the message we see is that it will be used to experiment with the next generation of disruptive products. Open-source is gone from Nokia’s revenue-generating strategy. We’ve heard nothing about an expansion into tablets, smart-books or other non-phone devices so clearly, this indicates that either Nokia don’t want the financial markets to speculate about this or that they really don’t have a strategy at all here. Nokia have re-affirmed their commitment to delivering a Meego ‘Device’ this year and we suspect that this is an Intel-related commitment for a tablet in the 5-7” range to match focus on mobility, clear separation from WP7 devices and to match Intel’s Moorestown platform design limitations. Other MeeGo development work including chipset and industrial design (wait for it, this bit will hurt MeeGo fans) will be ‘repurposed’ in Windows phones.

Where does that leave MeeGo?

The Linux Foundation own the MeeGo brand, take care of the contributions and offer it out as an open-source solution. That hasn’t changed. Linaro, the ARM-focused organisation that can assist ARM product designers to match MeeGo to specific ARM-based platforms is still there. Nokia are still contributing. Intel are still contributing. Intel are still building platforms and services for MeeGo. MeeGo remains one of the best cross-product solutions based on Linux and is the only solution that includes dedicated hardware, development environment and (if AppUp for MeeGo launches at MWC as we expect) applications store. It is still the ‘complete stack’ solution I mentioned last week. What does happen is that Nokia now can’t be relied on as someone that will put a strong brand on a range of MeeGo products. Intel lost a launch partner.

Where does that leave Qt?

Qt will not be used on Windows Phone 7 devices. Without a doubt it waters down the proposition of developing for Qt and as a result, for MeeGo. Todays announcements reduces the potential of Qt to attract developers. On the plus-side, it probably removes OVI as a competing application store leaving Intel to focus on AppUp as the primary application store for MeeGo. A lack of direction for Qt is probably the most significant issue for MeeGo now.

Intel “remain committed “

We asked Intel for a statement and we got this.

While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision, Intel is not blinking on MeeGo. We remain committed and welcome Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.

Our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems. MeeGo is one of those choices. We support a port of choice strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing.

MeeGo stability.

Right now, Intel need to secure some significant product partners for MeeGo, Moorestown and Medfield and to shore-up the development ecosystem by pulling together partners that will also use Qt. Qt is now the burning platform which means AppUp on MeeGo is at risk too.

MWC starts in just a few days and we expect this to be a huge software event for Intel. MeeGo, Appup, IADP, AppLabs and other activities are being showcased. Intel, more than ever, need to use MWC to announce partners.

Stay tuned to Carrypad and we continue to follow this important story over the next week.

Linpus to Showcase MeeGo-Based Tablet Solution at MWC. Our Sneak Peek Video Now!

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Linpus, a company that has been working on Linux distributions for netbooks for a number of years under their ‘Linpus Lite’ brand have been invited to MWC to demonstrate their current offering in the MeeGo and Qt booths. The solution is targeted at manufacturers of netbooks and tablets based on MeeGo. Like MeeGo, the Linpus solution will be a ‘base’ on which to build on through contractual work by Linpus. We’ve seen a tablet UI before but this is more than that.

Our predictions for Intel and MeeGo activities at MWC are detailed here.

We saw a glimpse of the Linpus product in our travels through the MeeGo Summit last November but I was lucky enough to be given a preview version of Linpus Lite Multi-Touch Edition for testing and feedback here in the Carrypad studio this week.

Unfortunately, the target device, a Lenovo S10-3T is out of the studio right now so I couldn’t get everything up and working well enough for a full video demo but I did boot it on the Tegatech Tega V2 tablet where I was able to test the UI and apps, a key part of the Linpus solution.

Linpus MeeGo Tablet (2).jpg Linpus MeeGo Tablet

Click through for gallery.

Note that this is a presentation suite rather than a full, polished OS but it gives you an idea of the sort of work the OS distributors (aka Operating Systems Vendors, OSVs) are prepared to put in with MeeGo. You’ll see an on-screen keyboard, an active desktop and a glimpse of the applications that Linpus have developed for the solution. It’s far from customer-ready but it’s worlds apart from what you’ve seen on MeeGo builds so far.

The video below is also available in 480p resolution.

More on MeeGo here.

More on  Linpus Lite Multi-Touch Edition here.

We’ll be at MWC next week.

Intels MWC ‘Media Alert’ Gives us Clues on MeeGo Activities.

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meego logoI’ve already posted about what I think will and won’t be part of Intels activity at Mobile World Congress next week and a recent ‘media alert’ sent to me by email confirms my thoughts that this is largely a software event for Intel. It’s all about completing the MeeGo stack from hardware to app store and that means:

  • Moorestown platform – Demonstrating MeeGo and battery life advances.
  • MeeGo 1.2 – Demonstrating multi-touch and other core components.
  • UI layers written in Qt – Compelling demonstrations (probably created by Wind River)
  • AppUp store (probably Beta) launch.

‘Completing the stack’ is the sign to manufacturers that they can now create complete products around this hardware, software and services stack and I expect that Intel have lined up a few partners to make product announcements along this line. Expect a tablet or two and a few netbooks although availability could be Q2 or even later. AppUp is likely to be launched for Meego too because “AppUp center and content zones for Atom-based tablets, netbooks and smart TVs” will be in the Meego Pavilion.

There won’t be a huge amount of hardware to wow the technical press because end products aren’t ready yet so In addition, I’m expecting to see a working demo of a Medfield/MeeGo phone that I doubt will be seen again after it leaves the stage. (It’s likely to be another developer platform from Aava.) Intel will talk around this with key phrases like ‘power envelope’ , ‘full internet’ and ‘multitasking.’ You’ll also hear Android mentioned. Intel are likely to make it clearer that they are working (possibly with Google) on Android for Atom and there’s no reason why they can’t throw the ‘Honeycomb’ flag up too. It will give the journos something to speculate about!

Apart from signalling to important customers that MeeGo is ready and apart from sending out the right signals to the journalists and bloggers, they will be spending a huge amount of money and time courting developers. It’s the critical fuel for their plan and I can see it happening in two phases. 1) Talk to ISVs at MWC. Private meetings, public events, sweeteners. Launch more competitions. 2) Use the MeeGo conference in May to launch a very desirable tablet. In fact, why not announce it at MWC and give it away to all the developers the the MeeGo Summit!

This is, of course, my opinion and I dare say that there’ll be something I wasn’t expecting. A new software deal perhaps? Dalvik for MeeGo? WebOS and MeeGo co-op? All will be revealed one week from today.

If you’re at MWC, check out these two keynotes which could be interesting:

Paul Otellini Keynote on “The Evolution of the Mobile Internet”
Hall 5, Aud. 1 at the Fira
Feb. 16, 9-10:30 a.m. CET
Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini will share his vision for the mobile Internet and describe the related trends, technologies, implications and opportunities for the industry. He’ll also highlight Intel’s progress and future plans to scale Intel® Atom(tm) microprocessors and software solutions to create smart, secure and seamless computing experiences across billions of new connected devices. The session will be moderated by David Rowan (editor, Wired UK) and other speakers will include Carol Bartz (CEO, Yahoo!), John Chambers (chairman and CEO, Cisco) and Masayoshi Son (chairman and CEO, Softbank).

Anand Chandrasekhar Keynote on “Mobile Devices: It’s What’s Inside that Counts”
Hall 5, Room 6 at the Fira
Feb. 16, 4-5:30 p.m. CET
This session will examine key trends in the mobile device segments from a silicon, device, applications, and services perspective. Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group will discuss these trends that have the potential to revolutionize the user experience over the next 5-10 years and what it will take

Full disclosure: Intel are sponsoring my trip to MWC without any activity or reporting commitments. (That means: Thanks Intel!)

Meet:Mobility Podcast 63 – Honey Now, Fusion Later

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JKK (JKKMobile), Chippy (Carrypad) and special guest Al Sutton (Funky Android) talk in depth about Honeycomb and some of the tablet and netbook news from the last 2 weeks including Fusion, WebOS and Galaxy Tab 2

Listen, subscribe and download at MeetMobility here.

Galaxy Tab 2 Launch at MWC. Likely to be a 10-er

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Progress is inevitable and yes, I suppose ‘evolution is fate.’ In this world of manufacturers and companies pushing for 12 month device churn and with platforms improving to offer a quicker route to market we can expect the pace to quicken but if you’re one of the ones in that area between purchase and 6 months ownership when that evolution is announced, it hurts!

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In this case, Samsung look to be announcing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 at MWC under the banner ‘evolution is fate’ which, for about 1.2-1.5 million people could hurt badly. Unless of course, the Galaxy Tab 2 isn’t a 7” device. If it’s the 10” device that was previously promised then everyone will be happy. ‘Galaxy’ as a brand carries a lot of weight, the original Tab proved that it was a quality device and with Samsung themselves able to call on class-leading in-house technology and a new tablet-focused operating system, you know that this is going to be something special.

The news comes from Samsung Hub (article seems to have been pulled) via JKKMobile

We’re at MWC so stick around for reports.