Weekly Review - 27th of August

Notably absent from this week's news were the multitude of Nokia leaks from last week, in which we are thankful for they've stopped - as at least they'll be something to report upon, at their press conference in September. In some way we are thankful for all the leaks, as at least we now know what we're going to see and can now schedule our timetable around those leaked handsets.

The week began with Vodafone starting to roll out the Android 2.2 update to HTC Desires on their network, with other news arriving of the text message writing record being smashed. Motorola unveiled their plans to bring the Google OS Froyo to their mobiles, which left out in the cold handsets we believed would be updated.

Nokia was in the news too, by announcing the arrival of a new budget handset. Midweek, Vodafone made public they'll be receiving the BlackBerry Curve 3G, whilst Phones4U unveiled a BlackBerry-esque clone for just £44. On Thursday we reported Huawei was set to launch their first Froyo handset, where O2 brought out a green rating for mobile phones and Vodafone announced the Nokia N8 - exclusively in lime green.

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Google's mobile phone OS was in the news a lot this week, in one way or another surrounding Android ‘Froyo' 2.2 on handsets.

Vodafone announced from Monday this week they'll be rolling out the Google Android OS 2.2, to the HTC Desire handsets running on their network.

The carrier announced over twitter the update was coming, in a message that reads "Android 2.2 update for HTC Desire available on 23 August." - with an accompanying link to their website's forum. The webpage linked to the tweet ran through what needs to be done to prepare for its arrival, with what to do when an OTA (Over The Air) notification message arrives.

There appears to also be an option to opt out of using the Vodafone 360 software applications, as it's been reported customers have noted a performance issue on the handsets with those apps running.

Elements such as HD 720p Video recording, app sharing along with better all around improvements to the OS are brought in with Froyo.

At the beginning of the week, Motorola unveiled its update plans for Android on their handsets, with news that it will still be sometime before version 2.2 of the Google OS is rolled out - if at all.

Motorola made public their news through their European Facebook account, with a link through to their website's forum detailing when the latest Android iteration will be arriving around the world.

The Motorola Milestone was the only handset in the UK to be updated to 2.2 and during Q4 of this year, where that very handset shipped at the tail end of 2009.

This news leaves out the Android 1.5 based Motorola Dext from being updated, where it's been confirmed by the forum post they will not be receiving the update to Froyo or even 2.1.

In America, the Dext is known as Cliq and it will be receiving an update to 2.1 - where Canada and the Asia-Pacific regions could have that version of the Google OS too.

Towards the end of the week, news came from Huawei surrounding their first native Android 2.2 handset is about to be launched at Berlin's consumer electronics show IFA next month.

The 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen Ideos U8150 could very well make their mark on the handset world, as the first device to natively run Android 2.2 - without the lengthy qualifying process that the HTC Desire updates are currently going through.

This elongated and drawn out process of rolling out Froyo to Android handsets has upset many phone owners on mobile networks, when SIM free and unlocked handset have been using the update for some time. Even USA networks have seen the rollout to 2.2 of the Google OS as far back as three months ago, which just adds further insult to injury.

Huawei Ideos U8150 is reported to be a budget handset with a 3.2 megapixel camera, 802.11n and a 528Mhz chipset, which falls in line with their ethos of making affordable handsets.

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Vodafone was in the news twice this week, where at the end of the working week it came to light they'll be exclusively getting the Nokia N8, in lime green - if not entirely.

Mobile phone network Vodafone made public via Twitter it's exclusively to have the upcoming Nokia N8, in the lime green casing that's been seen on countless preview models.

Vodafone announced in a tweet that reads: "The green Nokia N8 will be available exclusively to Vodafone customers at launch", which confirms they'll solely have the colour that's become synonymous with the Nokia N8 handset.

The N8 will be the first mobile to be running Symbian^3, with a touch screen, an HDMI slot, with HD 720p video recording capabilities care of its 12 megapixel camera - the highest MP count seen on a Nokia handset.

No other mobile phone network has announced news surrounding the upcoming anticipated Nokia flagship handset and their excusive colours.

The Nokia N8 is available in four more colours, silver, black, blue and orange. One Mobile Ring has noticed the SIM free models have only appeared in black and silver, where the two remaining colours could certainly find themselves on networks with relating colours schemes - with the obvious tie-in being Orange.

Vodafone's second entry of the week came from them announcing they have the latest BlackBerry Curve 3G, where they're the first UK network to have the phone.

RIM's BlackBerry Curve 3G is available on a 24-month £25 contract, which includes 500 minutes, unlimited texts, a 500MB data allowance with the expected BlackBerry Email thrown in as well.

The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 is their budget Qwerty keyboard based device that's reminiscent of older BlackBerry handsets, with a very traditional BB look and feel. The phone will ship with the BlackBerry 5 OS, but it's been confirmed the Curve will be upgradeable to version 6 - next year.

The Research In Motion Curve 3G 9300 is available in graphite grey, or ruby red to presumably signify the Vodafone colour scheme.

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Two new handsets were announced this week, one by Nokia and another by the well-known OEM manufacturer Alcatel.

Finnish phone maker's Nokia unveiled their budget touch screen 5250 handset, the replacement model to last year's 5230 with a new design similar to the higher-end models whilst still keeping the cost low.

Nokia's 5250 is a 2.8-inch touch screen handset, running Symbian ^1 with just GSM and EDGE connectivity with the design and look to the Nokia X6 phone - instead of the older model it's replacing.

The Nokia 5230 was a 3.2-inch touch screen device, running Symbian S60 and is very reminiscent of the older Xpress Music handsets. It was shipped with the same connections as the newer model - where both phones have 3G and WIFI missing.

Nokia's 5250 is expected to ship later on in the year with a cost of around the £100 mark and is bound to be showing up on pay as you go deals, from various network operators.

Alcatel launched their low cost BlackBerry-esque OT-802 phone, on a pay as you go deals with mobile retailer Phones4u for just £44.

The pocket sized Alcatel OT-802 is the successor to their One Touch handset and comes with 2.4-inch display, a full Qwerty keyboard, with an optical trackpad, a Opera mini web browser and is capable of 9 hours of talk time.

OT-802 is geared up for the budget business handset user, or those who are just wanting a low cost mobile with a keyboard.

The phone has messaging at its core, in much the same way as many of Alcatel's phones have of late. Emailing and social messaging are at the focus of the device, which has a feel to the BlackBerry Curve handsets and also some of the lower end Nokia E-Series phones.

Alcatel's recent onslaught of mobiles are in keeping with the budget market aim, where their phones are on the lower price point of most networks and their tariffs.

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O2 unveiled towards the end of the week a green rating system for mobile phones, just to show how green a purchase they are for potential buyers and existing phone owners.

This new Eco Mobile rating system shows how a handset affects the environment as a whole, on either an existing purchase or even an upcoming one.

The Eco Mobile rating scheme has already determined the Sony Ericsson Elm is the greenest phone around today, with its recycled plastics, low volume packaging and presumably noise related features - which cancels out background noise on calls, saving the caller the need to shout to be heard.

Sony Ericsson's Elm is at the top of the list of 65 mobile phones from six different manufacturers, and rates at 4.3 out of 5. Other handset manufacturers that make up 93% of phones with O2 are Nokia,

Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG, Samsung and Palm with Apple being notably absent.

This rating is calculated from data supplied by the phone manufactures and is made up from: the overall environmental impact the phone has over its lifespan, the raw materials used, impacts caused by manufacturing, its longevity and energy efficiency with how easy it is to reuse or recycle.

The Eco rating system was developed in partnership with Forum for the Future, who are independent sustainability experts and this initiative is key within O2's Think Big programme.

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And finally, a UK woman broke the Guinness World record of text message writing using a Samsung handset and Swype - the alterative way of text entry on mobile phones.

Melissa Thompson from Manchester wrote: "the razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human", in just 25.94 seconds. The previous world record holder was Ann Franklin from America, who wrote the same text in 35.54 seconds.

Swype is an alternative way of entering text works by sliding a finger across the screen instead of removing it from the display, for each and every letter accessed and is apparently is a faster way of text entry.

Guinness has yet to confirm the validity of the record breaking attempt, so there's still time to have a swype at the title yourself.

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This week we began a feature about the mobile phone's operating system. Which is needed in order to provide the vital link between the handset's hardware and the other hardware the phone has to contend with - its owner.

Once upon at time the mobile OS was just there to facility dialling someone, messaging someone and holding the contact details, of those someones needing to be messaged or called. Now, the OS has evolved into to something else, with functionality that could very well rival the desktop PC - if not at least be comparable with the way it operates.

The operating system plays a vital part in delivering all the power of the handset to the end user, along with what they want to achieve with the mobile. This is in addition to what they can now do with the phone, with the plethora of applications available today. All of which is a far cry from just dialling, messaging or using an address book on a mobile.

One Mobile Ring is taking a look at the mobile phone OS, with where it's come from, how it's evolved to what it is today and with all the various platforms found on different handsets.

Symbian

The Symbian OS is synonymous with Nokia, none more so than after the Finnish phone manufacture acquired the company behind it back in 2008. That OS has been used by many other mobile manufactures over the years besides just Nokia, where even Samsung and Sony Ericsson have been using the platform and in more recent times too.

Symbian can have its roots traced back as far as the late 1980s, with the Psion series of devices where the OS was then under the guise of EPOC. Back then, Symbian was made up from assembly code and the programming language C. Even today, C can still be seen as a core part of the OS and applications being developed for the platform.

There have been a number of Symbian variants over the past decade, with the Series 60 being the most commonly seen and still used today. S60, as it's been abbreviated to, has now undergone around 12 revisions that include feature packs and versions.

The S60 5th Edition, or Symbian^1 is where we are today in shipping mobile phones. This operating system is found on Nokia handsets dating back to 2008, with the Nokia 5800 and is featured on the recent Nokia C6 Qwerty keyboard phone. Symbian ^1 is also seen on other manufactures mobiles, from the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD, to the Sony Ericsson Satio and Vivaz handsets of late.

The Nokia application repository was a turning point for the OS, where in May 2009 the Finnish phone company introduced the Ovi Store. Now, there are more than 13,000 applications and items to be downloaded from the Nokia app store with the numbers increasing all the time.

Symbian^3 was announced earlier on in the year, whilst at the same time Nokia unveiled that platform was now completely open source. This new version, which is strictly S60 5th edition 5.2 or version 11 of Symbian, brings in the likes of 3D and HDMI support. Some of these feature will be seen in the upcoming Nokia N8 handset, and the rumoured N9 Qwerty keyboard version of that handset.

The flagship N series mobile phones by Nokia are the high end models, with all the trims, bells and whistles expected on the leading smartphones of today. The future of Symbian in these devices could be bleak, as it's been reported that Nokia is said to be dropping the platform on these handsets. Instead, it's been noted they will be switching to the joint Intel and Nokia platform MeeGo on those devices.

Next week One Mobile Ring will be addressing Android, following on from that BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and finally, Bada.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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