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Weekly Review - 23rd of July

Mobile & TelcoNews
by Rob Kerr
, 23 Jul 2010News

A week has passed since the world was holding its collective breath, waiting for the news of what Apple would say in their impromptu press conference over the iPhone 4's signal issues. This was closely followed by the rest of the week spent scratching our collective heads, wandering around muttering - "a free case? That will resolve the signal problems?".

The week began with the news of the much awaited Motorola handset arriving in the UK, which was closely followed by the news of Google's own Nexus One about to run out of supplies. BlackBerry was featured in the news this week quite a lot, with the latest Pearl 3G arriving on Vodafone, the Storm 3 being leaked along with the multimedia features of the upcoming new OS being previewed.

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Last week ended with the Apple press conference, where it was expected they would address the issues over signal problems with the iPhone 4. The results of which was the offer of a free case, to all purchasers of their latest handset.

The free bumper that usually costs £25 is wrapped around the sides of the phone, which therefore prevents the "death grip" or where the handset holder makes contact between the break in two parts of the iPhone 4's antenna - which reportedly results in the loss of signal.

Although the case will not resolve the issue entirely, it could effectively put a fairly literal plaster over the problem in the meantime.

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Google hit the news at the start of the week with the announcement of the HTC made Nexus One handset was about to make its last shipment, where after those supplies run out they will no longer be stocking the phone on their webstore.

Google has stated recently the Nexus One venture for them was a success, where they will continue to support the handset. They will also continue to sell the current stock of these handsets elsewhere in the world too, with their partners such as Vodafone in the UK.

The Android based handset was the first to be updated to Froyo, or version 2.2 of the Google mobile platform and is still a much sort after handset where it's popular by developers.

At the very end of the week Google did actually run out of the Nexus One mobile phone, where the webstore selling the handset also closed up shop.

However, HTC Desire is still a good alternative and it is more or less the same phone.

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On Tuesday details of the new BlackBerry Storm 3 were leaked from a training presentation, where its features were captured on somewhat of a blurry picture. Listed are the features and functionality of the new device, along with how it differs from the Storm 2 launched last year.

The training presentation slide noted the new BlackBerry handset will only have a minor hardware overhaul, with no major differences in appearance between the Storm 2 and 3.

Brought in from the recent BlackBerry Perl 3G is the ability to access a 802.11n WIFI network, which was first seen in that candy bar designed phone. The RAM appears to have been doubled, from 256 to 512MB that will serve the applications running on the handset and the camera has gone from 3.1 megapixel camera, to a 5MP.

The most surprising addition is at the base of the captured image, which is the inclusion of a mobile hotspot application and is another term for MIFI.

Midweek, details were sent to the media over the BlackBerry 6 OS new multimedia features, where RIM listed in a blog post those abilities whilst at the same time mentioning in passing it will soon be releasing the platform.

RIM has worked on aspects of the way photos can be grouped together by event or date on the handset, where there is even a pinch-to-zoom-in feature in the upcoming operating system release for the BlackBerry handsets.

Also new to the OS 6 is the ability to share videos taken by the phone, with an integrated YouTube client that provides uploading straight to the video sharing website for all and sundry to see.

The emails opening line stated, "as you know RIM will soon be launching the eagerly awaited BlackBerry 6″ - although no firm dates have been established yet but a new OS usually ties in with a handset release.

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Around the middle of the week details emerged from an email that the Vodafone Google Nexus One will be getting Android 2.2 this or next week, according to the technology website Android Central.

The update being rolled out brings in the ability to natively view flash video content on the Nexus One, which has been with the USA Google handset owners for some time could be arriving in the UK anytime now.

However, it appears some of the States side version of Froyo on the HTC phone made for Google won't be available. Stripped from the UK roll out of Android 2.2 is access to the Amazon MP3 store, along with Google Goggles that allows users to take pictures with their phone and then search the web with those images.

No mentioned of whether WIFI or USB tethering have been taken out, but we suspect they will be in tact along with the Flash video ability which effectively brings the handset on par with the HTC Desire.

Vodafone also announced this week they are now selling the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro and LG Optimus. The latter of which is the start of a new range of Lucky Goldstar manufactured handsets, in which this is the first of 10 to appear under the Optimus brand name.

The Research In Motion BlackBerry Pearl 3G is their latest candy bar style of phone to arrive in the UK, which will be free on a £25 tariff, over 24 months which includes 300 minutes, unlimited texts and a 500MB data allowance.

The LG Optimus is only the South Korean phone maker's second Android handset, which tips up with a 3-inch screen capable of displaying DivX/XviD video.

Sony Ericsson's 2.6-inch screen based X10 Mini Pro is effectively the cut down version of their 4-inch screen Xperia X10 Google OS handset, where the Mini Pro just has a physical Qwerty keyboard bolted on to that smaller mobile phone.

Both the LG Optimus and SE X10 Mini Pro arrive gratis on a £20 tariff, over a 24 month period where 100 minutes are included within that deal, with 500 texts and a 500MB data allowance.

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At the end of the week Skype unveiled its latest iPhone 4 application, which takes advantage of the multitasking abilities. At the same time they announced they're dropping the surcharge for 3G calling, which has been in place since May this year.

The iPhone 4 version of Skype will also be available to other devices that now run iOS 4, such as the iPhone 3GS and the more recent iPod Touch devices as the application uses the multitasking environment of the new operating system.

All of which means the communications software can be run in the background, waiting for a call or a message whilst the phone is used for other tasks and even when the phone is locked, the app is still active.

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Motorola's Milestone XT720 Android handset arrived in the UK early on in the week, where the phone is the sequel to their keyboard based Android Milestone mobile phone only with HD recording and an HDMI socket.

The XT720 is an 8-megapixel camera capable of 720p recording and arrives with a miniHDMI socket, a 550Mhz processor and runs Android 2.1.

Based on the Moto Roi launched in South Korea early this year, it's the first handset to arrive on our shores with this high definition socket built-in where the accompanying miniHDMI to HDMI cable is used to play all types of HD video content straight to a compatible screen.

The Moto phone started selling from around £360 to £380, although the much beefier 1Ghz processor, 4.3-inch screen Motorola Droid X is due later on this year where the Droid was the Milestone's brand name in the States.

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And finally, an American company has produced a set of plasters or Band-aids for the iPhone 4 that cures the signal problems, by covering up the gap in-between the two parts of the case that if connected results in a signal loss.

Antenn-aid.com sells these band-aids in 6 different colours, all for $4.95 + packaging just in case you can no longer wait for your free case from Apple themselves.

The website states these Antenn-aids are precision engineered and when placed over the lower corner may improve performance, with a disclaimer mentioning it's really only made for entertainment purposes.

When we first found out about the cases on offer as a result of Apple's admission over the signal issues, we said these cases "effectively put a fairly literal plaster over the problem" - Antenn-aid is literally that plaster for the problem.

Visit the site for more info - http://antenn-aid.com/

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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