Weekly Review – 8th October

This week saw both the biggest news from Microsoft being ratified, along with the most suspected news from Microsoft too – which was both the same piece of news, the launch event for Windows Phone 7 was confirmed.

Some weeks back One Mobile Ring was sent a ‘Save the date’ email from the Redmond based company, of an event happening on the 11th of October. There wasn’t a great deal of information passed along with that missive, although we suspected it was for the launch event to Windows Phone 7 where it’s now been confirmed this week by Microsoft that it is that very beast.

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting Samsung’s Galaxy tab arrival date was announced, along with O2 getting a Palm handset on pre pay where Samsung is to drop Symbian.

Orange unveiled the Motorola Flipout arriving on their network earlier in the week, whilst Microsoft confirmed the Windows Phone 7 launch and roaming between Orange and T-Mobile towers was now possible.

Midweek, Vodafone announced the HTC Desire HD arrival date and Skype arrived on Android, where Windows Phone 7 is due the Spotify application. Nokia also made public that their N8 handset in shop date, towards the end of the week, along with HTC launching an online portal.

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Microsoft confirmed this week the news we’ve all been waiting for and secretly suspected all along – Windows Phone 7 will be officially launched on Monday 11th of October.

Previously, the media was just dispatched a vague invitation to Microsoft event where no particulars where passed along as to what the event related to. However, it was rumoured and reported the OS would be unveiled on that date - where now it’s been confirmed.

The event is scheduled for 2pm, which coincides with 9am in New York, although it hasn’t been established if the main launch will be based in America and will either be broadcasted live or replicated in some way in the UK.

Windows Phone 7 will be Microsoft’s flagship operating system that will bring forth a whole host of new features, including the ability to play Xbox 360 games on the platform and supported handsets.

Many handset manufacturers will undoubtedly be attending the event, showing off their upcoming mobile phones running the latest OS. It’s already been confirmed that HTC, LG and Samsung will be retailing Windows Phone 7 devices around the time the OS is launched.

Microsoft’s OS is still believed to be appearing on handsets from September the 21st, just 10 days after its official unveiling with the Samsung GT-i8700 being one of the first WP7 phones to arrive

Microsoft was also in the news again this week on One Mobile Ring, where the music streaming service Spotify came to Windows mobile OS.

Spotify launched on Windows Phone 6, where it’s now downloadable from the Windows Marketplace with the Windows Phone 7 version being available in due course.

The upcoming version of Spotify will be redesigned from the ground up to fit in more with the new platform, plus a theme that matches Windows Phone 7.

Spotify is an unlimited streaming music service with access to millions of tracks, for both the desktop and mobile devices which is paid for by adverts - although a premium paid for service is on offer with no ads at all, which unfortunately is needed for the Windows Phone versions.

The Windows Phone 6 variant includes features such as, the capability to stream the music over both WiFi and 2.5/3G connections, with all pre-existing playlists being available for the mobile. There is also the ability to listen to tracks and albums in their entirety, along with rewinding, fast-forwarding, pause and shuffle - whilst off-line too, with no connection present.

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Samsung Galaxy tab arrival date was announced this week, with the expected shipping date of its Android Galaxy tablet device, as November the 1st.

The due date was make public via a twitter message from the Samsung s UK mobile team, in a tweet that reads - “The Galaxy Tab is set to hit the UK shops on 1st November 2010, available on all major networks on a range of attractive price packages”.

The Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch TFT LCD touch screen display, running the latest version of Google’s ‘Froyo’ 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.

Mobile phone network Vodafone announced they will be carrying the Galaxy Tab at the launch event, whilst Three were the first to unveil their SIM only tariffs for the device.

Three’s voice and data packages are the SIM10 and SIM15. These surround £10 and £15 monthly top ups that include 100 and 300 minutes, respectively. Both tariffs also include 2000 minutes to any Three numbers, 3000 texts and a 1GB data allowance.

No prices have been confirmed by any network for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, although Amazon now has the Android tablet listed at £599, with the RRP being £799.99.

Samsung also featured in the news again this week, where we reported they made their plans public to no longer support Nokia’s Symbian OS.

The message to Samsung’s application developer community reads: “Dear Symbian developers, Samsung Mobile Innovator will discontinue its Symbian support service from December 31st 2010”.

This news comes just a week after Sony Ericsson announced there are no longer any plans to include Symbian, in any of their upcoming handsets.

Samsung has produced over 16 mobile phones that ran the Nokia Symbian OS, with the Samsung ‘Omnia HD’ i8910 being the very last model. The Omnia HD arrived last year, running the S60 OS with a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen and an 8 megapixel camera - both of which were ground breaking at the time.

Nokia’s latest version of its open source OS, Symbian^3, is due to arrive on a number of handsets this year from the consumer N8 to the more business focussed Communicator E7.

The new version is leaps and bounds better than previous incarnations of the platform, but it looks like Samsung has made its mind up and is to concentrate on its own mobile OS - Bada.

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HTC hit the headlines twice this week too, where Vodafone opened up pre-ordering for the flagship HTC Desire HD handset – whilst inadvertently unveiling its due date.

The HTC Desire HD mobile will be arriving on October 14th, according to an email One Mobile Ring has received from Vodafone - which also detailed news of the pre-ordering.

HTC Desire will be available free on a £35 per month tariff, on a 24-month contract from Vodafone. This plan is accompanied by 900 minutes, unlimited text messages and a 750MB data allowance - if ordered online, otherwise it’s just 600 minutes with 500MB internet access.

The Desire HD has a 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen LCD display, a higher screen size than the 4-inch Samsung Galaxy S.

This mobile phone will be one of the first to arrive powered by the latest Qualcomm 8255 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, with the Desire HD being capable of 720p high definition video recording from its 8 megapixel dual-flash camera.

Android 2.2 will ship with the handset along with HTC’s own Sense overlay to the OS that has been enhanced, with improvements around the capturing and the sharing of multimedia.

The HTC Desire HD can be pre-ordered online from the Vodafone website here, where it’s due to arrive only days after many Microsoft Windows Phone 7 handsets are all expected to be unveiled by every mobile manufacturer known to man.

Towards the end of the week HTC launched their online portal to complement their Sense overlay to Android, under the name of HTCSense.com

The service was announced at the same London event where the HTC Desire HD and Desire Z were also unveiled for the first time.

HTCSense.com offers a variety of services from the website for HTC handsets, such as the locating of a phone by forcing the mobile to ring loudly and even when it’s set to silent. It is also possible to locate the phone on a web based map, from inside of the HTCSense.com portal itself.

Other features surround remotely locking the phone if completely lost, then forwarding on calls and texts to another phone and remotely wipe the mobile of all personal data - just in case it’s completely irretrievable.

The HTC portal also holds a backup of all text messages, both sent and received to be restored to the lost phone when it’s been replaced by another mobile which ensures a seamless migration to a new handset.

The abilities of this portal have been a feature of Motorola’s own online companion to the MotoBlur Android overlay since 2009, only with a lot more added functionality coming from Moto.

HTCSense.com is only available for the upcoming HTC Desire HD and Desire Z handsets, although we are hoping at One Mobile Ring this will come to older mobile devices of theirs

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Early on in the week roaming for Orange and T-Mobile customers started, where users of each other’s networks now have access to both systems with the greatest coverage area in Great Britain for any single network.

Orange and T-Mobile users can now make calls and send text messages on each other’s networks - with no extra cost attached. This is coming off the back of the newly merged companies, which now runs under the guise of Everything Everywhere - where they really are now Everywhere.

The 30 million users of the combined networks were invited to sign up to the program, in order to gain access to this offer earlier on this month at t-mobile.co.uk/share or orange.co.uk/share.

Orange and T-Mobile customers that signed up for the network share automatically switch over to the other carrier, if the signal is lost from their original provider.

Plans are under way where users of either carrier can automatically switch between the phone networks mid-call, on to whichever network has the strongest signal.

Nothing has still been mentioned by either company about the data network sharing, which comes as no surprise as T-Mobile has a data-share in place with Three.

Orange was in the news again this week, with the Motorola ‘Square’ Flipout mobile phone arriving on the network – on both contract and also pay as you go plans.

Orange has brought to the network in exclusive colours the Motorola Android handset, which runs 2.1 of the Google OS along with the MotoBlur overlay to the platform.

The mobile phone arrives on pay as you go tariffs with a cost of £169.00, or free on Orange pay monthly plans starting from £25 a month in-store.

The 2.8-inch touch screen Motorola Flipout has a distinctive square form factor, where the 5-row Qwerty keyboard flips-out from under the screen to be used with the social networking features of the MotoBlur overlay.

On-board the 67mm long, by 67mm wide chassis is a 3 megapixel camera, HSDPA access, WIFI, Flash and native XviD support.

This is only the second Motorola handset to appear on the Orange network, since Moto came back from a year’s hiatus where one part of Everything Everywhere is now selling last year’s Dext mobile for half the original price at £150.

Motorola Flipout is available now on a prepay saving of £55, as compared to the SIM free and unlocked cost of £224.99 elsewhere.

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At the start of the week we reported that O2 had unveiled the Palm Pixi Plus is due to arrive on prepay tariffs, with a cost of £109.99.

The HP owned webOS based handset arrives as of October 7th on pre pay, with a free £30 Artist series touchstone cover just as long as there’s an initial £10 top-up.

Previously, the Palm Pixi Plus was only available on monthly contracts from O2 - starting from a £25 a month tariff on a 24 month plan.

The Palm Pixi Plus is a 2.6-inch multi-touch screen, Qwerty keyboard based mobile phone from HP. The handset arrives with 8GB internal memory and 2 megapixel camera, with an LED flash.

The keyboard is fixed, unlike the Palm Pre Plus whose keyboard slides out from under the display in a similar fashion to the BlackBerry Torch 9800.

O2 has yet to announce exactly what prepay tariffs will support the phone, but the £10 top up fee indicates the Text and Web plan - which is accompanied by a 300 text message and 500MB data allowance.

There’s no news from O2 whether the Palm Pre Plus will be available on pay as you go too, although we suspect if this venture goes well with the Pixi O2 may very well considered that as a possible avenue.

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Midweek, news came to us that Skype has arrived on Android, with versions 2.1 of the platform onwards.

The software can be downloaded from the Android Market and allows for free VoIP Skype to Skype calls, with the ability to send and receive instant messages over both WIFI and also a 3G connection.

It is also possible to make calls to landlines and mobile phones that aren’t on Skype, by first buying credit at a competitive rate along with having those non-Skype users get in touch through a fixed Skype phone number.

The mobile version mirrors the desktop computer based version of the software, by syncing-up the contact list and mimicking to a degree the same user experience.

Skype mobile is available for the iPhone, Symbian, and also BlackBerry platforms where it’s taken sometime to arrive on Android and now older devices are left out as a higher processing might is needed.

The company has noted it’s been thoroughly tested on both HTC and Motorola devices with positive results, although they mentioned some compatibility issues with Samsung’s Galaxy S where they’re looking to resolve them soon.

Skype for Android can be downloaded for free from skype.com/m, or the usual Android Market place although Skype can only be used over WIFI in the USA or not through cellular means.

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Towards the end of the week, we noted that Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia announced its flagship consumer N8 mobile phone will be available for everyone, from October 15th.

Nokia dispatched a missive to One Mobile Ring detailing the Nokia online store will have the N8 for immediate delivery from that date, at the cost of £429 SIM free and unlocked or on contract from £30 per month.

Carphone Warehouse, O2, Orange, Phones4u, T-Mobile, Tesco Phone Shops, Three Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone will all be carrying the phone from October 22nd in stores.

Nokia N8 has a 3.5-inch AMOLED touch screen and is accompanied by a 12 megapixel camera, with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and capable of 720p HD video recording with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound and video editing capabilities.

The phone also has an HDMI port, albeit in the form of a microHDMI socket for displaying HD video content on to a compatible TV screen. The N8 is their first handset to arrive running the newest OS of theirs, Symbian ^3.

At the end of last week, Nokia began dispatching the N8 handset to those who had pre-ordered the phone from their online store where the rest of the muggles can start buying their own N8 soon.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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