Google Nexus 2 gets Android 2.3 Gingerbread
More details are surfacing on Google’s latest hush-hush incarnation of its own-brand smartphone, the Nexus Two. The reportedly Samsung-designed follow-up to last year’s Nexus One has been tipped to be the first handset on the market to come running Android 2.3 – or Gingerbread, as the kids call it.
The updated Gingerbread OS is rumoured to include an updated user interface, improved social networking capabilities and access to an Android music store, although Google remains tight-lipped on whether the handset even exists.
From what details have been leaked so far, the Google Nexus Two looks and feels a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S, with a 4″ AMOLED touchscreen and a black gloss plastic shell. New additions include the now compulsory front-facing camera for all those video calls you’re itching to make.
The Google Nexus Two is expected to get its big debut at a Samsung press event in New York on November 8th. More details when we have them.
Microsoft motion control coming to Windows?
Say what you like about Microsoft Kinect; we’ve wanted to breeze through T3.com with a swish of the hand since we saw Tom Cruise controlling his computer that way in Minority Report way back in 2002.
Happily, it seems Microsoft feels the same way, announcing yesterday that it has just purchased Silicon Valley-based gesture recognition company Canesta, which makes chips that can allow computers with attached cameras to perceive depth and see in three dimensions. The goal is a more grown-up version of Microsoft’s Kinect, which could be used to control your PC without the need for any additional peripherals.
Far from limited to computers, however, Canesta’s mission is to put intelligent cameras into all kinds of everyday appliances including cars, televisions and mobiles.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commented recently that he is “excited to be way out in front and want to push the pedal on [gesture control]”. No word on when we expect to ditch the mouse and keyboard on our home computers, but we’ll be keeping our ear close to the ground on this one.
Facebook new Mobile features
Facebook will be announcing new “mobile” focused features on Wednesday, the company has confirmed, sending out invites to a “Mobile event at Facebook HQ” for Wednesday 3 November.
The invite features the company’s friends icon with two paper cups on strings coming in from either side suggesting that they are talking.
Although the company hasn’t officially confirmed what it will be announcing at the event next week, there are plenty of guesses already going around the internet as to what they could be announcing.
While some believe that it could just the recently announced desktop features coming to mobile, others are more optimistic about what the social networking company could be about to announce. Will it be a dedicated version for iPad, will it be the Facebook phone (although that’s not due till February), maybe a live chat service, perhaps a video calling tie-up with Apple’s FaceTime (Facebook – book + Time = FaceTime), or something completely different like a new filesharing element.
The announcement comes as Facebook has just confirmed that it has bought Drop.io, a file sharing service similar to Dropbox.
“Today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve struck a deal with Facebook. What this means is that Facebook has bought most of drop.io’s technology and assets, and Sam Lessin is moving to Facebook,” reads the Drop.io blog.
Following the buyout, the service is now being shut now however:
“In the coming weeks, we’ll be winding down the drop.io service. As of this week, people will no longer be able to create new free drops, but you’ll be able to download content from existing drops until Dec. 15. Paid user accounts will still be available through Dec. 15 and paid users will be able to continue using the service normally. After Dec. 15, paid accounts will be discontinued as well.”
Samsung Galaxy Europa review
If you’re in the market for a budget Android phone then chances are you’ll be having a tough time making up your mind as there are so many of the blighters around. The Samsung Galaxy Europa (GT-i5500) offers Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth, along with 140MB of internal memory and a 2.8-inch touchscreen.
At first glance, the Europa looks classy enough with its shiny, black fascia and metallic frame and snappy silver Google logo on the back. However, once you get it in your hand, it feels a little flimsy. The upside of that is that it weighs just 102g meaning that you can barely feel the weight of it in your bag, and measuring in at 56 x 108 x 12.3mm, it’s certainly small and slim enough to fit into your pocket. The glossy back panel means that your phone will be plastered with smudgy fingerprints soon enough and it is something of a dust magnet as well, but the asymmetrically curved back does make it comfortable to hold. Read more
The PlayStation Phone
We’ve gotten our hands on some more images of the PlayStation Phone, and gleaned a few more juicy details about the handset. Firstly, as you can see in the photos, the model in question does indeed seem to be codenamed “Zeus” (as we reported on the 27th). Furthermore, the handset pictured is running Android 2.2, though apparently there are multiple devices out there with different versions on board (including at least one packed with Android 3.0). Based on what we know, there’s little chance the phone will launch with Froyo — but it’s clear these have been worked on for some time with various versions of the OS.
The device appears to have an 8GB microSD card slotted, and at least 512MB of internal storage (though we’re hoping it’s the 1GB we’ve heard would be present). As you can see from the pictures in the gallery below, the device isn’t exactly thin — we surmise that the handset is around 17mm thick, or slightly thicker than HTC’s Touch Pro 2 (and funnily enough, about the same as the PSPgo). From a design standpoint, the device seems to have more in common with BlackBerry handsets than previous Sony Ericsson phones; that smoky chrome bezel which surrounds the device is definitely giving us Torch flashbacks.
HTC HD7 gets microSD transplant after hidden card reader discovered
With no iFixit teardown of HTC’s HD7 in sight, the::unwired took matters into their own hands and opened up the 4.3-inch Windows Phone 7 device to see if, like the Samsung Focus, it had a hidden memory card slot. Perhaps unsurprisingly it does, with HTC having used a Class 2 8GB microSD to give the HD7 its chunk of internal storage. Even better, they were able to swap it out for a different card, and have Windows Phone 7 recognize it.
Nexus Two does exist ?
After going most of the year with very little noise on the Nexus One’s successor — a phone Google has never committed to making, by the way — we’ve gotten a handful of conflicting rumors about this thing in the past few days. Let’s take a swipe at the buzz that’s circulating this week:
- British publication City A.M. says the Nexus Two is a Carphone Warehouse exclusive, will be released in time for the holidays, and probably won’t be made by Samsung.
- Android and Me is convinced that the Nexus Two will in fact be a Samsung product, will be announced at its November 8th press conference, will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread (assuming 3.0 is Honeycomb), and will be available on multiple carriers. Read more
BlackBerry Torch coming to AT&T in two fresh colors next month
Allow us to clarify, the colors are “fresh” as in “new,” not as in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Don’t get us wrong, though: white almost always looks fresh (in the Fresh Prince sense) on a phone, and the Torch seems to be no exception — partly thanks to the matching white keyboard. As expected, it’ll be coming in red and white and will be available on November 7 (a day before the HTC Surround and Samsung Focus, interestingly) at the same time as a sweet new promotion that’ll allow folks to buy any two accessories from AT&T and get a third one of equal or lesser value for free. Don’t violate any fire codes stuffing yourselves into your local stores, alright? Follow the break for the press release.
MeeGo v1.1 for handsets is out, let the N900 dual-booting begin
Following hot on the heels of the PR 1.3 update for the N900 comes the official MeeGo v1.1 build for handsets with U-Boot support. For developers, or anyone who simply likes to hack around, that means that the Nokia N900 is now ready to dual-boot into your choice of Maemo or MeeGo environments. If that sounds like fun then boy do we have the image repository for you (Hint: it’s in the source link below). We’ll let everyone else know when the community has made the process idiot-proof. Until then, why not play an unmodified webOS game or catch a glimpse of the dual-boot process in action in the video after the break.
Droid 2 update begins with promise of better battery life and more
We’ve receive a number of reports that a 2.3.20 software update for Verizon’s Droid 2 is slowly making the rounds this morning. The OTA push promises a number of improvements and enhancements with the promise of better battery life, faster transitions between WiFi and 3G data connection, and quicker location tracking when using GPS being perhaps the most notable. Here’s the full breakdown as we understand it:
- Improved battery life.
- Heightened proximity sensor accuracy to enable faster screen response.
- View the Weather widget in both landscape and portrait orientation.
- Simpler setup, improved user interactions, and better notifications for Visual Voice Mail.
- Background Email Sync during display inactivity for better user experience.
- Support for email domain suffixes containing more than three characters.
- Keep text messages organized with chronological in-box screen.
- Edit text messages after you’ve inserted a video file.
- Improved audio sound during recorded video playbacks.
- Stream Guided Tour videos on device in Help Center application with ease.
- Faster location tracking during GPS navigation.
- Faster transitions between Wi-Fi and 3G in data connection. Read more