Weekly Review - 3rd September

This week saw the last month of Q3 being heralded in with the beginning of September, along with the news that summer time is officially over as the weather started turning decidedly colder. All that a side, the mobile world saw some interesting news from the handset manufactures, mobile OS companies and a small fox.

The bank holiday in the UK started off the week, where the end of the previous week saw Orange apologising for the delay to Android 2.2 arriving to HTC Desires on their network. A new beta of the Firefox web browser came to Android, whilst Samsung unveiled at the start of the week a new phone running their own Bada OS.

We reported only one leak this week, which was an upcoming HTC handset that was ousted by T-Mobile in the USA. Motorola had a big week, by unveiling not one but two Android mobile phones.

Apple's keynote speech mid-week was to unveil new products but they also announced an update to the iOS 4, where Microsoft signed off on Windows Phone 7 and released it to the handset manufactures. Rounding off the week was news that the rumoured Samsung Android Tablet was launched at Berlin's IFA consumer electronics show.

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Orange was featured in the news twice this week, once with an apology and the second time with a new service arriving on the network.

At the tail end of last week, Orange apologised over twitter for the Android 2.2 delay arriving on their HTC Desires, with the fault being down to HTC.

Orange's PR manager announced in a tweet - "Android fans there has been a delay in receiving the 2.2 Froyo update from HTC, & we now expect it to be available mid-Sep. Apologies". This also confirms a rough arrival date for the update to be rolled out, to handsets on the Orange network.

A follow on tweet from Orange indicated the onus is firmly not on the network, but on another entity. The Twitter message reads "..would like to point out the delay on 2.2 Froyo is not related to Orange services on the device."

What stamped home the buck was passed, was a tweet from the PR manger to a question from a Twitter user with the response being "we are waiting to receive the update from HTC..".

Orange users were concerned by this issue, in which the Orange PR representative responded over twitter with "the delay is not related to Orange customisation on the handset". He also added, "as far as I know there will be less Orange customisation on 2.2 than the existing 2.1?.

This could be a good sign, where there will be less qualifying time by Orange when HTC does eventually ship them the updated.

Orange also announced midweek its high definition voice service has gone live nationwide, which brings in a better quality of calls over the airwaves.

Orange is the first UK network to announce this service, which effectively reduces background noise and therefore improves the overall quality of a call. The Sony Ericsson Elm ‘Eco' handset arrives with a similar feature, but its technology is built in to the phone and it's not an over the air service.

This new feature from Orange is available on a number of handsets, such as the Nokia 5320, Nokia E5 and Samsung Omnia Pro. Other upcoming mobile phones will support the service too, where new devices will be shipped with an Orange HD Voice logo to identify the handset is compatible.

Orange has been successfully trialling out HD voice since June, where we first brought you news of the technology at the end of 2009.

The service is available now and at no extra cost to 3G based Orange customers, where we suspect more handsets will support this ability within the next few months

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Two new Motorola handsets were launched this week running Android, where that very OS could be seen as the saviour of the company who didn't produce a single handset in a year.

Moto unveiled this week a sequel to their second ever Android mobile phone, the Milestone 2.

The new version arrives with a 3.7-inch touch screen, Android 2.2 and also features a slide out Qwerty keyboard, that has been improved since it's the predecessor. Milestone 2 is now accompanied by Motorola's overlay to the Google mobile OS known as MotoBlur, which was missing from the original phone.

MotoBlur brings full message notifications onto the home screen, from social networking feeds, text messaging and emails only in a much more seamless way that HTC's Friendsteam, as it's thoroughly integrated into Android.

Powering the Milestone 2 is a 1Ghz processor, where the original Milestone only ran from a 550Mhz chipset and Android 2.0. The new mobile now has the 802.11n specification, where the phone can also be run as a mobile WIFI hotspot thanks to the new OS.

The Motorola Milestone 2 will be available in the UK and the rest of Europe between October and December. No networks have been confirmed as yet to be carrying the handset, but last time around the online phone reseller Expansys exclusively sold the phone SIM free and unlocked.

The second phone Motorola launched this week was a DEath deFYing phone, named Defy that can cope with life's little knocks and scrapes.

The Motorola Defy is water resistant and dust proof, where getting sand in the phone, spilling some drink or being in the rain won't render the phone useless and unusable - according to the manufacturer.

The mobile has an IP rating of 67, which means it's both dust tight and can be immersed in 1 metre of water whilst still being operable - where other mobiles that pride themselves on durability aren't as invulnerable.

Defty is accompanied by a Corning Gorilla 3.7-inch touch screen display, which is also scratch resilient to a degree and aids in the handset's toughness as a whole.

The phone is run from Google's mobile Android 2.1 ‘Éclair' OS, with their own MotoBlur overlay to the platform that brings in social networking, messaging and email feeds on to the home screen whilst offering up security measures too.

Motorola Defy is due out in Q4 this year, with no prices as yet announced or any networks mentioned that will be carrying the handset.

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HTC had a handset leaked this week, only this was by the very mobile phone network that will feature the phone exclusively in the USA.

Images have appeared on T-Mobile's stateside website to the successor of the very first Android handset from 2008, the T-Mobile G1.

T-Mobile has yet to produce a webpage displaying these images, but sources linking to technology site Engadget have obtained the URLs to where the images reside on the actual T-Mobile website.

T-Mobile G2, or the HTC Desire Z has been reported to have all the trimmings of the original Desire only with a Qwerty keyboard. HTC has ventured down this route before, with the Touch Pro being a slide out keyboard version of the HTC Touch Diamond.

The original Android handset, the T-Mobile G1, was developed for T-Mobile in the USA as a Sidekick-esque mobile phone, only running the newest and most promising operating system for mobile phones at that time.

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Samsung unveiled two new handsets this week as well, one earlier on running their own mobile phone OS and another towards the end of the week running Android.

Samsung brought out a second Bada based mobile phone, the Samsung Wave 723.

The mobile phone manufacturer is bringing the OS and the phone to the masses, with a set of specifications to make it affordable. This latest handset from Samsung arrives with a 3.2-inch TFT LCD screen, instead of the Super AMOLED display that accompanied the first Samsung Wave S8500 Bada mobile - which keeps the costs down.

Samsung's own open source Bada platform runs the phone, in which the company is hoping it will give Android a run for its money. Samsung has toyed with many operating systems in the past, where they've even used Symbian and after Nokia had acquired the company behind it.

The Wave 723 arrives with a leather flip cover and is just 11.8mm thin, with a 5 megapixel camera, the 802.11n WIFI specification as standard and access to Samsung's own App Store.

Their second device was a 7-inch screen Android table entitled the Galaxy Tab, which is Samsung's first tablet and a direct rival to the Apple iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab has been rumoured for some months where it's now had its official launch, at Berlin's IFA consumer electronics show.

The Galaxy Tab has 7-inch TFT LCD touch screen display, running the latest version of Google's mobile OS with the Samsung TouchWIZ UI. The device is powered by the Cortex A8 1GHz application processor, with on board storage coming in the form of either 16GB or 32GB variants with a microSD slot. Other specs of the device range from front and rear facing cameras, 3G HSPA connectivity, along with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0.

Video playback is one of the device's strong points, as not only is it the world's first DivX certified tablet but it also supports HD video in popular containers such as XviD, MPEG4, H.263 and H.264.

The Tab complements Samsung's Galaxy existing series of products, where the previous largest display was seen on their recent Android 2.1 Galaxy S mobile phone - with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen.

Vodafone announced at the same time as the launch event it will be selling the Tab from October onwards, where this move can be seen as competition to O2 exclusively selling the Dell Streak - a similar Android product.

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Apple's press conference midweek was to unveil a new range of products where they also unveiled a new version of the iOS.

This release first and foremost fixes a lot of issues that many have experienced with the OS. Apple listed the fixes at their keynote speech, which ranged from proximity sensor issues being resolved, to Bluetooth problems also being fixed in iOS 4.1.

Apple claimed that iPhone 3G performance issues will be resolved too, whilst they announced there are additions to the new platform and not just the resolution of problems.

Apple has added HDR photos, which stands for High Dynamic Rage where three pictures can be taken at the same time, one over exposed, one under exposed and another normal one - where they are combined to produce the best possible photo.

Added to iOS 4.1 is the ability to upload HD video content over WIFI, which was apparently absent from previous versions of 4. Other improvements are relating to iTunes, where it's now possible to rent TV shows and not just purchase them from Apple.

Game centre is a new addition to the latest Apple OS release, where essentially there are now multiplayer games on their devices that are even being developed in great 3D detail.

A few of these features feel as if they should have been a part of the iPhone 4 at launch, whilst the others just relate to teething problems that early adopters have encountered and Apple are being very apologetic for.

iOS 4.1 will be available free from next week and downloadable through iTunes, as per usual

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Around the midweek point Microsoft announced Window Phone 7 had been finally signed off and released to manufactures.

The Windows Phone team announced in a blog post they've just reached this milestone in the development of the platform, where the OS is now with the companies responsible for the hardware in which the final version of the OS will be rolled out upon.

Mobile phone makers will now start testing this final build of the mobile phone OS on their hardware, just as they have done since every build was passed to them - only now the platform is complete and is ready for the launch around November time.

Microsoft has already been testing the OS on a reported 10,000 devices, with over 8,500,000 hours of testing already logged. MS has also had thousands of software companies and early adopters testing out Windows Phone 7 to arrive at the stage.

Windows Phone 7 is now ready to roll, where mobile phone manufactures such as LG, HTC and Samsung will be announcing their handsets any time soon.

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At the very start of the week we reported that a small fox has arrived on Android, in the form of Fennec - which is the name of the mobile version of Firefox.

Mozilla released the latest beta of their mobile phone browser for Android, which is built from the same technology found in their desktop browser.

Firefox mobile, codenamed Fennec, has gone into the latter stages of beta testing with this ‘alpha' release that's ready to download and use.

The browser is said to have access to similar adds-ons from its desktop based big brother, as it has the same overall design with a lot of the background features being ported across for continuity.

It's been noted the desktop Firefox and Fennec has reportedly been developed with a seamless browsing experience in mind, where the mobile phone based version has no learning curve needed if the computer one has been used.

There are even features in Fennec that solely benefits users of the desktop version. These are the likes of the built-in sync option, which provides over the air access to bookmarks, browser history and form data of the desktop iteration of Firefox.

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And finally, Steve Jobs caused a bit of a faux pas this week in his keynote speech - by announcing the Apple App Store has 6.5 billion apps.

The head of Apple clearly stated at the 6mins and 34second mark of the Apple press conference "there are over 6.5 billion apps on the Apps Store", seen here.

He obviously misspoke, as moments later he said there are 200,000 apps being downloaded every second - when he actually meant over 6.5 billion apps have been downloaded in total, not that there are 6.5 billion apps in the store.

Steve Jobs mentioned later in the key note the App Store actually has 250,000 apps, where 25,000 of them are for the iPad.

This seems more of a realistic figure and one we can live with, although it appears none of the media caught this or brought him to task on the blunder - apart from One Mobile Ring.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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