Tagged ‘opinion’

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Last night, Microsoft revealed its plans for mobile and Windows Phone 8. It’s a revamped operating system with a brand new homescreen, VoIP integration and a whole lot more. But it’s also not coming to any Windows Phone handsets on the market – not even the newly released Nokia Lumia 900.

Unsurprisingly, quite a lot of people are miffed. But it could be a lot worse. You could have an Android phone.

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The Microsoft Surface tablet was unveiled to the press in Los Angeles last night to much fanfare. It’s an unusual attempt from the Redmond company to create both the hardware and software itself: its goal in doing so is to take on Apple’s mighty iPad.

It’s a smart move on Microsoft’s part: even if all it does is make the likes of Acer, Dell and HP up their game, it’s done its job. That’s true at least of the launch version, running Windows RT on an ARM processor. The thicker, pricier version on the way with an Intel processor? I’m not so sure.

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Categories: Gaming    Tags: , , , ,

E3, the world’s biggest games expo, is underway in Los Angeles. While most Brits were sipping on Jubilee Pimm’s and coronation chicken sandwiches over the Bank Holiday, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were all busy announcing their new games, services and hardware in front of the world’s press.

Although actually, watching them all, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sony and Microsoft weren’t simply using the show as an excuse to telegraph each others’ wishes to hold off on the next generation of hardware for as long as possible. Indeed, it’s telling that, a few new games aside, Sony’s most significant announcement was the arrival of the PlayStation brand on HTC phones. Is it too little too late?

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I’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy S3 out this week, in time for its much-hyped launch. It’s everything you could hope for in a new phone-that’s-not-an-iPhone. Almost. It’s big, it’s bad, it’s stupid fast.

But although nearly every reviewer has come out with the same 4-4/5 score for the Samsung Galaxy S3, there’s something very important most have overlooked about S-Voice, Samsung’s riff on Siri.

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S-Voice, one of the most hyped features on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 Android phone and touted as a rival to the Siri voice command service on the iPhone 4S, leaked out online over the weekend for all Ice Cream Sandwich devices.

Keen hackers – including yours truly – have been trying it out and seeing what works. Although it’s early software, it’s nothing particularly groundbreaking – but it does confirm my suspicions: if Samsung wants this to be a Siri rival, it’s going to have to put it on more phones than the Galaxy S3.

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Categories: Gadgets    Tags: , ,

Last night, the Wall Street Journal filed a startling report: according to its sources, Google is massively expanding its Nexus program for the next Android release, codenamed Jelly Bean. Instead of sticking with one launch partner, it’s roped in no fewer than five this time. With this new approach comes a brand new business model – and it might just help Google seize control of its operating system back from the all-powerful mobile networks.

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Categories: Mobile Phones    Tags: , , , ,

Back in 2009, LG launched a high profile feature phone, the BL40 Chocolate Touch, an obscenely long handset with what LG touted as a unique “dual-screen” UI. While LG’s long lost the lead in mobile, this feature: a two column view making full use of a large screen, has popped up in the unlikeliest of successors, the Samsung Galaxy S3.

The Pop-up Play feature included on the new Android flagship launched last night gives you the ability to push a video into a floating window and continue to use other apps around it on the phone’s giant 4.8-inch screen. It’s awesome. As we said last night, it’s the reason for quad-core phones.

But it also points to something else: phones are getting so powerful, and users so demanding, that sooner or later this split-screen functionality is sure to become standard, just as it has on the desktop. The question is, who’s going to jump first, Google, Apple, or Microsoft?

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Categories: Gadgets    Tags: , , , ,

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been launched today, and from what we’ve seen so far, Samsung’s turned out another showstopper. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s stupendously fast. To call it an iPhone killer would be facetious: where there’s space for one, there’s space for two, and right now Apple’s too busy making a killing to care about having anything resembling a close rival.

But it does present a problem for the Android eco-system as a whole. See this graph? This chart, published by the analysts at Asymco today, depicts the percentages of profit in the smartphone market since the launch of the original iPhone back in 2007. And as you can see, right now, Apple and Samsung are cleaning house.

But here’s a worrying thought. What happens when no other Android manufacturers can even get a look in?

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