ATT has been making news all over MWC in the past couple of days. The most recent report from The Wall Street Journal says that Ma Bell is planning a service that will enable app devs and other content providers to pay the carrier for subscriber’s data usage. ATT’s head of network and technology said today that “A feature that we’re hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage.” Donovan goes on to say that interest is swirling from companies that offer services like streaming music and video that feed on a steady diet of data and that the carrier’s rollout of LTE would make the new service possible. Imagine if your Spotify habit didn’t eat up a chunk of your precious monthly allotment. Sounds pretty good, eh? We’re going to withhold judgment to see what mobile services adopt the new plan and continue to keep our Yacht Rock playlist(s) to a minimum.
Panasonic, DoCoMo, NEC and Fujitsu create IP for multi-standard LSI chip; supports LTE, GSM, W-CDMA and HSPA+
Marvell was first to introduce a single-chip LTE world modem with support for multiple mobile standards late last year, and now Panasonic Mobile Communications, NTT DoCoMo, NEC and Fujitsu have developed intellectual property (hardware and software) for something similar of their own. Specifically, the quartet has gone further with the chip aspect. They’ve tested an “engineering sample” of a large-scale integration chip (pictured) for modems in mobile devices, and claim that it uses twenty percent less juice than larger two-chip designs. That consolidation, also makes it cheaper to produce. Past that, the chip has successfully provided “interconnectivity between the mobile networks of major vendors,” getting it a step closer to production. The silicon lets modems play nice with FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE, GSM, W-CDMA and HSPA+, specifically, and LTE-Advanced support is in the cards for the future. Although Panasonic, DoCoMo, NEC and Fujitsu are the main partners, other “major players” are said to be on board for a “joint venture,” with the goal of commercializing it in countries outside of (and including) Japan. The word’s mum on when we can expect the chip to make it past the sampling phase, but in the meantime, hit up the press release after the break for more knowledge.
Intel’s Medfield-based Android smartphones have been buzzed about for sometime now, but until this past CES, we hadn’t actually seen one of these unicorns en vivo. No longer, as the chip manufacturer outed a trio of those very handsets today at its MWC event. Of particular note is the Xolo by Lava, a 4.03-inch, single-core unit running a mostly stock build of Gingerbread and destined for the Indian market. We spent time getting to know the device, so follow on past the break as we parse through its finer qualities.
Gallery: Intel’s Xolo X900 by Lava hands-on
Following a January ruling by the US Supreme Court, the FBI has deactivated some 3,000 GPS units that were potentially infringing on the Fourth Amendment. The decision seems to be making waves in the U.S. Justice Department. Andrew Weissmann, FBI General Counsel, says some of the devices have been difficult to retrieve, as the vehicles they were once tracking now move undetected. The FBI has sought temporary permission to reactivate some of the devices to locate and retrieve the hardware. Weissmann says the FBI is also developing new guidelines regarding the legality of its agent’s actions — from the application and use of tracking devices, to the extent a suspect’s garbage can be searched before the agent is committing trespass. In short, the FBI is working really hard not to violate your legal right to privacy. If you happen to find something weird under you car, give ‘em a call. They’d probably like it back.
Siri may be the media darling and, admittedly she’s the one with the winning personality. But Motorola wants to remind you that Android has a voice control app of its own and argues it’s better than its iPhone 4S exclusive competition. In a series of videos, which we’ve embedded after the break, Moto pits Voice Actions against Siri on a trio of handsets — the Atrix 2, Photon 4G and Electrify. A faceless taskmaster tells the handset to send a text, pull up driving directions and load a website. In each of the tests, Voice Actions bests the polite lady inside the iPhone and gets crowned the champ. Though, we can’t help but think things would have turned out differently if the competition involved finding the meaning of life.
Hot on the heels of Intel’s big event, we’ve finally got our hands on Orange’s Medfield smartphone. The Santa Clara is powered by the Intel Atom Z2460 processor, clocked at 1.6GHz. It does have 2011′s Gingerbread kind of Android, but Orange is promising to bring ICS to the phone soon after launch — in fact an Intel spokesperson told us that it’s already had Android 4.0 running on these devices. There’s a few differences between this and the Xolo X900 by Lava — so we’ve given it a judicious investigation at Intel’s big launch party. You’ll find our hands-on video and impressions right after the break.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/27/orange-santa-clara-hands-on/
To explore NVIDIA’s booth here at Mobile World Congress is to play a game of duck-duck-goose. For the most part, you’ll see the Transformer Prime (the first quad-core tablet, don’tcha know) outputting video and 3D games. But look closely and you’ll find something a little less expected. Hidden among all those spun metal Primes is an unannounced Toshiba-made tablet, one with an odd, in-between screen size we haven’t seen it use in its Thrive line. Specifically, it’s that 7.7-inch prototype we saw at CES, only the fact that it’s here at NVIDIA’s booth makes us think it would be too late for Toshiba to change its mind and pull the plug on this.
Certainly, it’s far enough along that it now has confirmed specs. According to an NVIDIA rep, this has a 7.7-inch, 1280 x 800, Super AMOLED (!) panel, and runs NVIDIA’s 1.5GHz Tegra 3 chip. And while NVIDIA isn’t exactly broadcasting the name, a quick glance at the settings confirmed its current alias is the AT270, which would certainly make for a logical followup to the AT200. (A quick glance at the settings also confirms it’s running ICS — a vanilla version, at that — but any self-respecting tech writer would know that instantly.)
It would also seem that Toshiba is feeling pretty confident about the design we saw at CES, because barely anything has changed. For starters, it’s thin — thin on the level of the 10-inch AT200. Which is to say, it’s skinny in the wide world of tables, but especially so next to one of those chubby Thrives. The build quality also seems to have improved. Gone is the ridged plastic backing that makes the Thrives so recognizable, and in its place there’s… more plastic. Still, it manages to not feel chintzy or poorly made — think of the kind of finely textured plastic you’ll find on the back of any Samsung Galaxy handset. Also on board: dual cameras of unknown resolutions, as well as an exposed microSD slot, volume rocker, 3.5mm headphone jack and USB socket. So there you have it. We’ve got spy shots below, so you can refuse to be surprised when this thing finally makes it to market.
Intel has already announced a partnership with Orange to bring the first Intel-based smartphone to Europe, and it’s now also announced a deal with Lava International to bring a similar phone to India. Like the Orange phone, this new XOLO X900 is based on Intel’s reference design, and packs a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 processor, a high-res 4-inch display (presumably the same 600 x 1024), front and rear-facing cameras, support for HSPA+ networks, built-in NFC, and HDMI connectivity — plus what appears to be stock Android 2.3 for an OS, with no mention of a possible ICS upgrade just yet. Still no firm word on launch details for the phone either, but Intel says it’s expected to be available early in the second quarter of this year.
The age of Medfield is upon us. At Mobile World Congress Intel took the wraps off its smartphone platform, ditched the code name and gave us some details on three different Atom chips destined for handsets. The Z2460 is currently shipping and serves as the heart of the reference platform that devices from Lenovo, Orange, Lava and ZTE are based on. The processor can hit clock speeds of 2GHz and packs an Intel XMM 6260 HSPA+ radio. The next generation part, dubbed the Z2580 will supposedly double performance and gets upgraded to an XMM 7160, which adds LTE to its cellular arsenal. Down the road Chipzilla also plans to introduce a “value smartphone” processor, dubbed the Z2000. Clocked at only 1GHz and going with a 6265 HSPA+ radio, the goal is to power Android phones that can be sold for less than $150 — unsubsidized. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. To bring this vision to fruition Intel has added Orange, ZTE, Lava and Visa to its list of partners. Check out the PR after the break for more details.
Sure, if you’re running a Google Wallet-having device you’re already down with Visa’s payWave wireless payment service, but we can now confidently say that Intel-based smartphones will also be similarly enabled, even if they haven’t been blessed by the Big G. At its Mobile World Congress press conference, Intel just announced that its Medfield-based Smartphone Reference Device, the one we saw previously at CES, is now Visa-certified. Users will be able to tie their credit card to their handset and, once done, make secure payments to retail terminals over NFC. Your wallet of the future just got a little bit lighter.