Today's podcast is a laugh riot. OK, not really, but it's certainly action-packed. We kick things off by addressing the rumors of a Facebook phone and reports that the BlackBerry PlayBook will run Android apps. We also sort through the carriers' confusing smartphone data plans and take a look at the phones from Motorola's past, present, and future. All this plus the latest reviews and reader e-mails on this week's episode of Dialed In.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)
In its first earnings release since Motorola Inc. split, Motorola Mobility has posted a profit.
The new consumer-focused company reported today that it generated $3.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2010, representing a sizable 21 percent gain over its fourth-quarter 2009 revenue. It took in a profit of $80 million, another big gain over the year-ago period, when it lost $204 million.
Motorola Mobility's performance was about in line with analyst expectations of $3.4 billion in revenue.
However, Motorola Mobility's full-year performance ended up in the red. The company was able to generate $11.5 … Read more
According to City A.M., HTC will introduce two Facebook-branded smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2011. It's said that the high-end devices will run a tweaked version of Android and have the user's Facebook feed displayed on the home screen.
The handsets, which are being compared with Google's Nexus series, will also feature Facebook branding and colors. Interestingly, the article points to a mock-up created by HTC, but as far … Read more
Maybe bigger is better.
Just a few days ago I wrote an article entitled, "Should the iPhone 5 get a larger screen?" As part of the piece, I included a poll asking readers to cast a vote for their preference. Of the nearly 5,000 respondents, the results (as of the time of this writing) were as follows:61 percent thought Apple should make the screen larger 30 percent thought the iPhone's screen was just right 2 percent would like to see it get smaller 8 percent didn't care
My test of an LG Optimus One smartphone began inauspiciously with a combination of consternation and revulsion at its keyboard. But after two months using it as my primary phone, I wound up with a much more favorable impression of it and the prospects for Android on lower-end phones.
The Optimus One's dismal keyboard is a touch-screen version of the numeric keypad so poorly adapted to typing letters. It reflects LG's effort to cater to new arrivals in the world of smartphones. As I see it, the sooner they fumble through the settings to switch to a more … Read more
The growing wave of tablets is spurring mobile app developers to put the devices at the top of their priority lists, according to a new survey.
An IDC and Appcelerator survey of app developers (PDF) found that interest in Android tablets shot up 12 points over the past three months with 74 percent "very interested" in developing for the Google OS-based devices.
But the iPad is still king, with 87 percent of those polled "very interested" in developing for Apple's tablet. Interest in Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry Playbook nearly doubled to 28 percent. … Read more
Consumers may soon be able to pay for items on the go directly through their iPhones or iPads.
Apple is reportedly working to outfit the next generation of its smartphone and tablet with near-field communications (NFC) technology, which would let consumers use the devices to make mobile payments as an alternative to cash and credit cards, according to a story today by the Bloomberg news service.
Richard Doherty, director of the technology consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told Bloomberg that both the iPhone 5 from AT&T and the iPad 2 would likely include NFC chips, citing engineers working on … Read more
T-Mobile USA's new CEO, Philipp Humm, has been on the job a little over six months and he's already made some aggressive moves to get the smallest of the four major U.S. operators back in the game.
Last week, Humm joined Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, to present the company's turn-around plan to Wall Street. He outlined the company's strategy, which includes expanding the company's network coverage and increasing speeds on its network. T-Mobile has also launched an aggressive marketing campaign to call its HSPA+ network 4G.
The 4G … Read more
British researchers plan to launch an android into orbit--not the C-3PO and R2-D2 kind, but an Android smartphone. It's not the first attempt to launch an Android phone into space, but it's the first that's aiming to make a smartphone the brain for an orbital satellite.
The STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) is being made from advanced and off-the-shelf components by Surrey Satellite Technology, a spinoff of the University of Surrey, and the university's Surrey Space Centre. The project has a few stated goals.
The first is to see if a smartphone can function in the hostile environment that is space. It will live in a protective case, and a computer on the satellite will put the phone through a number of tests to determine which components (sensors, video cameras, GPS systems, Wi-Fi radios, and so on) do and don't work in orbit.
If enough parts of the handset pass muster, the custom software will be tested next. If that works as planned, the smartphone will be used to operate parts of the satellite. The phone's cellular radio won't be used, as there are no cell towers in space (yet). Instead, the team will communicate with the phone using the satellite radio technology already in place. That said, some of the phone's other systems--processor, RAM, storage, and camera, just to name a few--will be used.
A camera will likely be outfitted so the controllers on the ground can see the screen. This will allow the scienticians to control the phone with their own custom software packages. The ability to load custom software payloads and its open-source nature is the reason why Android was chosen as the first phone OS for the stars.
The satellite will rely on its own GPS, guidance, and thrusters, but will use the phone as a backup to the main computer. Then, if all goes well, it will take over as the main "brain" and control the satellite's functions. … Read more
New details have emerged for what appears to be MetroPCS's first LTE smartphone. Previously known by its model number, the Samsung SCH-R910, the Android-based handset made its first appearance only two weeks back. Based on a recently uncovered Flickr photostream, the phone looks like it will carry the name of Samsung Forte when it's ultimately released.
As seen in the accompanying image, the phone features a four-row sliding QWERTY keyboard under, presumably, a 4-inch touch screen. If the rumored specs pan out, we're also looking at 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and a Micro-SD card slot, … Read more