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Sony Launch Cloud Based Music Service For Android

15 Jun

Sony have released an App for Android Phones beating the iCloud and Spotify in the US to provide their Qriocity Music Unlimited service to Android phone users.

There are two levels to subscribe to giving you access to a library of over seven million songs from all four major US labels.

Firstly for $3.99 per month, the Basic package provides ad-free  music streaming, a scan and match service for your existing music library (including iTunes) so you can then playback your music on other “Music Unlimited” devices.

For $9.99 per month, the Premium plan includes all features of the Basic package along with the ability to create playlists, universal song playback rights (listen to any song you want any time), and access additional radio channels.

Impressed?  Let us know.  Slight hitch for everyone else…no idea when this will be available outside the US.

MB

HTC Desire WILL Now Get Gingerbread

15 Jun

HTC have now announced via their Facebook page that they will be releasing Gingerbread to proud HTC Desire owners.  Lets see what they say tomorrow!

MB

UPDATE: HTC has clarified its position by saying, “to resolve the Desire’s memory issue and enable the upgrade to Gingerbread, we will cut select apps from the release”.  We are yet to find out which Apps will go.

HTC Desire Will Not Be Getting Gingerbread

14 Jun

 

UPDATE – Check out our post on the quick HTC turnaround over Gingerbread which will now be coming to an HTC Desire near you!

The following statement has been posted by HTC on their website which is really disappointing for owners of an HTC Desire anxiously awaiting the update to Gingerbread Android OS.

“Our engineering teams have been working hard for the past few months to find a way to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience you’ve come to expect from our phones. However, we’re sorry to announce that we’ve been forced to accept there isn’t enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience on the HTC Desire. We’re sincerely sorry for the disappointment that this news may bring to some of you.”

It is a real blow after HTC had promised the update previously.

If you own or were thinking of buying an HTC Desire, let us know what your thoughts are.

MB

Google Music Beta Rolls Out in UK

9 Jun

Reports are rife on twitter and other blogs that Google has sent further invites out for its cloud based music streaming service in the UK.  You will need a Nexus S running Android 2.3.4.  Once you have signed up, simply look out for the self install notification!

Lets us know your experience in the comments below.

MB

Google Music and Google Books On Way To UK and Beyond?

7 Jun

We have been speaking to various sources and seeing across Twitter that various Android users have seen Google Music and Google Books pushed to their devices ready to use.  It seems to be users with Google Nexus S and Google Nexus One handsets who are reporting the arrivals.

We are tracking down a user with a handset to take a look and will report more if we see anything of interest.  Meanwhile we will keep our ears open for other news on the subject.

Not too hopeful we are going to see something but heres hoping!

MB

Tweet Your Photos!

2 Jun

So if you have not heard already, Twitter will be launching a new feature to their service allowing you to tweet your photos directly through tour Twitter account and Twitter mobile apps. Check out the You Tube video below.

MB

Closer Look & Hands On Samsung Galaxy S 2

22 May

I have to say as an avid iPhone and iOS fan, this handset could turn me if I did not think Apple will strike back strongly.

When you pick up the handset, the first thing you notice is the elegant design and weight of the phone giving a firm and strong feel.  The first Galaxy S was indeed, iPhone like (see much publicised legal action).  And perhaps thats where the operational feel has been inspired from but this time round the handset seems more original.  Yes, it is a touch screen and it’s hard for a touch screen device not to look alike to others at times particularly when the screen is so dominant.  The form of the handset here is so simple, thin and great to hold.  This should be a pointer to Apple in terms of how thin the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is.

Don’t get me wrong, this handset is not as attractive as the iPhone 4 but it is pretty damn close and in fact, you can be forgiven for believing as I do, that only Apple could better this handset which sits alongside only a couple of other Android handsets for looks.

And here is something, although the screen on the new Galaxy is 800X480 over a 4.3 inch area, it seems to perform brilliantly when compared to other similar pixel screens (see Google Nexus S for example).  It is not a match for the iPhone 4 but for what it is (I do not mean that detrimentally), this is a very good screen.  You can understand the use of such screen in perhaps preserving battery life in such a thin handset when the battery size would have an impact by how much juice the screen uses.  And while we are on the subject of the screen, go to a stockist and check out how good videos look when played back, that alone will impress you along with the screen size which makes it more suitable for videos.  Again, the screen quality does not in my mind rival the iPhone but it’s size makes all the difference and it handles the quality with disregard for most competitors.

When you use the screen, touch response is as good as you would expect from an up to date device.

Performance is stunning as the handset should be with the dual core processor which I read clocks at 1.2GHz.  The reality for me was that the handset handles everything you throw at it with such speed I did feel slightly jealous that it was not an iPhone!  I have not tried all Android phones but I can not possibly imagine that this can be beaten at the moment.  And by the way, the Camera is awesome for a smart phone.  Crisp and every bit the stated eight megapixel it claims to be.

And so on to the operating system.  The handset uses the bang up to date Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  Now I have only sparingly looked at Gingerbread up to now and one noticeable difference between this and the Google Nexus S is that Samsung have obviously slightly adapted the experience so for example, app menus swipe side to side in an iPhon-esque manner.  In fact it feels a bit iPhoney all round! I do not mind that but Apple might!

The keyboard is okay and given my limited Android use to date, I have read in other reviews that the standard Android Keyboard (downloadable from the Android Market) is more accurate so it is worth keeping that in mind.  I had few problems with the Samsung keyboard.

Samsung’s mail client looks smart but I had limited use of this on the test handset we used so I will leave you to fully decide but I can not see what I experienced letting a user down.  I did however get to see the Social Hub app working, pretty neat, I like the idea of a universal Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn app (amongst others).  I also see that you can integrate in Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger which is also a good feature.

There is not much to complain about with the software on the device whether it be Samsung Apps and influence or the overall Android operating system.  Time will tell how Samsung will embrace any update to Android OS with this handset in the future but my Android friends tell me they have been good with the original Galaxy S handset which they have all raved about since day one.

Overall, I really can not complain too much about this handset but as always, I am weary of Android handsets and how quickly there is potential to get left behind.  If I switched to an Android handset on a day to day basis, I would be tempted by this phone.  It is excellent as an all round smart phone.  If you want to play it safe however, you may still want to stick with a Google Nexus S for the very sake of Android updates.  Otherwise you could also check out the HTC Sensation but on the face of it, the Samsung Galaxy S 2 looks like a class beater, for now.

MB

Google Sends In The Mechanics To Fix The Android

19 May

It has been pretty well coverred today but if you have not heard and you have been worried about stories that claim Android has a floor in 99% of handsets, Google has moved quickly to fix the problem.

The BBC has quoted Google as follows;

Google said in a statement: “We’re starting to roll out a fix which addresses a potential security flaw that could, under certain circumstances, allow a third party access to data available in calendar and contacts.

“This fix requires no action from users and will roll out globally over the next few days.”

MB

My Favourite Android Stuff!

19 May

Number 1 – Google Android USB Stick and Keyring

Number 2 – Google Android Mug & Spoon

Number 3 – Google Android Plushie

Number 4 – Google Android Sticker Sheet

and finally my favourite altogether….

Number 5 – Google Andoid Kids Cap

MB

What the Android is going on…….?

19 May

It seems to me that what is damaging to Android is choice of a handsets.

I have an iPhone and I have a Blackberry Bold 9700 but I can not get over the choice for Android which I need to do quickly.  So everyone rates the HTC Wildfire and everybody loves the Samsung Galaxy S but now there is a new Galaxy S on it’s way out and I thought the first one had only been out five minutes!

And then what about the Google Nexus One handset.  You know, a Google handset, but for bananas sake then everyone picks the Samsung in reviews.

And I won’t even go near the tablets and the mess we are starting to see there.  Google is updating the Android OS all the time and it seems if you have had a phone for 5 minutes then you get left behind… but worse still it matters as it has implications on the apps you want to use.

Gizmodo have provide a reasonable guide but the basic principle seems to be spend as much money as you can or have a handset that will probably be just about out of date already.

And I even thought Apple were bananas in this regard, but looks as though at least you get a full year and probably two before the IOS upgrades outdate your handset.  But even then I still know people using the original iPhone quite happily.

You see, the OS seems to be really good and in the right handset it seems to give Apple a run for their money.  So I really do not understand it.  Now I know some people will not agree with this view, seeing lack of choice as a bad thing.  Those same people will also hate that Apple for example, really lock down the phone (unless you jailbreak it) so you really do have to live by their rules.  And this is where Android can really win over even more people. I doubt however, it will convince those who have enjoyed an iPhone already though, or at least not for long before they go back to the phone that you have to live by the manufacturers rules with.  But that is also the iPhone’s beauty, it works, brilliantly and it does not take long to choose the right handset.

It would be interesting if Google decide there can only be a maximum of say 5 new handsets at some point.  They already endorse a handset and that is good.

I am sure most will talk about loads more accessability but I am still wondering where to swing in!

So how does it go then…

Well it seems to me that if you are on a low budget try and get yourself an HTC Wildfire and if you want the most upto date and probably the best (according to critics), then wait a short while longer and get the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Then enjoy…for a while anyway.

In the meantime, I hope to have made my mind up soon……………………………..

MB