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Weekly Review - 14th January

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 has arrived on the mobile phone network Three, where the Dell Windows Phone 7 handset saw an Android makeover.

Earlier on in the week, T-Mobile announced it is to cut its data allowance to all customers, whilst the LG's dual core Optimus 2X became available to pre-order and The British library archives arrived on the mobile phone.

Midweek, Google produced an update to Google Goggles that solves Sudoku and we published a Tablet round up feature - on all the devices unveiled at Las Vegas' CES.

Towards the end of the week, T-Mobile backed down on cutting data allowances for all its customers, Shazam and Spotify announced a mobile partnership, where conversational translation came to the Google Translate app for Android and a new Samsung Galaxy S arrived at Phones 4u.


The biggest news item of the week came from T-Mobile, who made public at the beginning of the week they will be reducing their data allowance sold with a tariff.

T-Mobile has stated in a forum post that from February the 1st the network will be aligning their ‘fair use policies', by cutting down data allowances to just 500MB.

Android users with the 3GB data allowance would be hit the hardest, where the fair usage policy will force those users down to just half a GB.

Users exceeding 500MB will still be able to browse the internet from their handsets, along with receiving emails but they won't be able to action any data intensive operations - such as downloading, streaming any media or watching video clips on-line.

There were some exceptions to the forced cap by T-Mobile, where if an extra Internet add-on was purchased outside of the tariff's standard data allowance there could be a 1GB limit.

This news wasn't taken well by T-Mobile customers, where the data speed restriction or media cap has resulted in many crying foul on both Twitter and in the T-Mobile forums.

Later on in the week, T-Mobile announced it is backing down reducing data allowances sold with a tariff, but only for existing T-Mobile customers.

The new fair usage policy will only affect new users, where contracts that were sold with data allowances above 500MB will still have access to that amount after the complete turnaround by T-Mobile from their previous statement.

T-Mobile's forums were alight with complaints, with many existing users having cause for concern - as they had paid a premium for a larger data allowance, which they were going to be denied.

T-Mobile has also said for the very first time, new users will be able to purchase a Mobile Broadband Booster to 1GB and will be able to reach that limit before restrictions are once again imposed.


The next biggest news story of the week came when Phones 4u took stock of the Giorgio Armani edition of the Samsung Galaxy S, with a limited run of only 800 handsets.

The special version of the Samsung bestselling Android handset arrives exclusively with Phones4U, with a cost attached of £49.95 on selected networks with a £45.96 a month contract attached.

Giorgio Armani's Samsung Galaxy S has an exclusive Armani-patterned back metal cover, in a much squarer chassis where the first Galaxy S had more rounded edges and the distinct look of an iPhone 3G - where this model doesn't have the same appearance.

Armani's update to the Galaxy S still has a 4.0-inch 480×800 Super AMOLED screen, with a 1Ghz processor, 16GB of internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera capable of HD video recording.

The mobile phone arrives running Android ‘Froyo' 2.2, with a Giorgio Armani GUI - where the original Galaxy S shipped with Android ‘Éclair' 2.1 and was accompanied by the Samsung TouchWiz overlay.


Another notable piece of news came when Google Goggles application was updated, which offers up general improvements and delivers Sudoku puzzle solving abilities.

The Google Goggles app uses captured images as the basis of searching, instead of entered text into Google. This is all in order to provide results through image recognition, only now there's another string to Goggles bow.

Version 1.3 of the new application has been reworked for almost instant barcode scanning, for the comparing of on-line product prices where the software can also recognise print ads in newspapers and magazines - in all the different device versions too.

The interesting addition to the latest version of Google Goggles is the ability to solve Sudoku puzzles, by just capturing the image on an Android device or iPhone.

Instead of spending sometime trawling over a puzzle, or even if you are stuck on a certain part of a Sudoku conundrum - just take a snap of the mind tingler inside of Goggles and the solution will present itself, as if by magic


Dell announced in the last moments of CES some big news - the Venue phone, an Android mobile, based on the much delayed Microsoft WP7 Venue Pro device.

The Dell Venue will be arriving with a 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass based capacitive touch screen, running from a 1Ghz Qualcomm SnapDragon processor. Both of which will also feature on the yet-to-arrive Dell Venue Pro handset, with a horizontal slide-out Qwerty keyboard that's missing from the new Venue mobile.

Dell's Venue runs from the Android ‘Froyo 2.2 operating system, where the Venue Pro has Microsoft's Windows Mobile Phone 7 platform although the handset has still yet to arrive, after being unveiled at the WP7 launch in October.

The Venue Pro will reportedly arrive with either 8 or 16GB of non-removable storage, without a microSD slot - which does make an appearance in the Google mobile OS run Venue.


A second good news story came from Google, who brought out a new version of their Google Translate application that allows for interactive conversations, between two different languages.

Google Translate can now have someone speak into a mobile device's microphone, with the voice input being translated out loud. The other person who understands the translation just simply presses a button on the app, which then translates their voice input, back into the original language - with the results being tracked in a threaded-message format.

In the past translation wasn't as simple between two individuals, with a less straightforward method of using Google translate to engage in a conversation where this experimental feature is a good all round improvement.

The two-way dialogue is only available in English to Spanish and visa-versa, although the demo video below from Germany's IFA show highlights the Google Translate app being used from English to German - where more languages must be in the works.


Three brought out the news that they are now stocking the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 mobile phone, from just £15 a month.

Three are featuring the X8 starting on their Text 100 tariff, which is accompanied by 100 minutes, a 5,000 text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance.

The mobile phone is also ranged on the network's One Plan, with 2,000 minutes, another 5,000 minutes to any other Three based phone numbers, a 5,000 text message bundle and a truly unlimited data allowance - with no limits whatsoever enforced.

The Xperia X8 is the budget handset, which sits in-between the 4-inch screen of the X10 and the 2.6-inch display of the X10 mini whilst running from the same 600Mhz processor as the latter model.

Sony Ericsson's Xperia X8 arrives with a 3-inch capacitive scratch-resistant touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel camera and now runs from Android ‘ Éclair' 2.1 with the Xperia overlay to the OS - with the four corners user interface, along with their TimeScape Twitter and Facebook integrated application.


The British library produced a mobile phone application this week, which allows direct access to aspects of its archives.

The app that's been developed by the company Toura - well known for their mobile guides - provides access to a rich collection from the Sir John Ritblat treasures gallery, with the ability to interact with the exhibits remotely or even from inside of the gallery.

The ‘Treasures' app is available for Android, along with the iPhone and iPad and offers up multimedia features to over 100 of the librarys' collections - with 250 HD images and over 40 videos, from expert commentators.

Items on offer range from the first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, to the world's oldest bible Codex Sinaiticus, Nelson's Battle Plan, written before his victory at Trafalgar, Galileo's letters and also Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks.

There are also literary highlights that include Charles Dickens's handwritten draft of Nicholas Nickleby, along with Jane Austen's teenage writings with key historical documents that include: 2000-year-old Oracle Bones from China and an original Magna Carta of 1215 - to name but a few.


Shazam and Spotify unveiled a partnership this week, where Spotify will be integrated inside of the free and paid for Shazam applications on Android, iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Premium users of the Shazam Encore software will now be able to play tracks through the built in access to Spotify, where the free version will have access to the ‘Play in Spotify' feature before the start of April.

This ability still needs to have Spotify installed, with the app being able to play the track instantly when tagged or discovered by Shazam and even added to the music library too.

Both of these apps are in the top downloaded pieces of software on each operating system's App repositories, where this further integration will just add to those numbers rising even more.


We also published a feature surrounding all the tablet news from Las Vegas' CES here, with a number of the devices were based around the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor platform and Google's own mobile Android operating system also featured heavily.

Originally published at

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.