Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sony Japan Shows Off ‘LiveAction AR’: 3D Augmented Reality on Mobiles, Fuels Nightmares

This Sony Japan demonstration of their new ‘LiveAction AR’ app is a fantastic – and scary – insight to what the next generation of mobile adverts might look like.

The below video starts out impressive enough, firing up full motion video of a cute lady when the phone’s camera is pointed at an AR card on the wall.

Then things get pretty much amazing, when the video takes a turn and *spoilers* has more than a shade of ‘The Ring’ when she makes an augmented 3D entrance and has an impromptu real-world photo shoot.

Just watch it…

LG Optimus 4X HD Now Available To Buy In UK, Deals Free From £26 Per Month

LG’s quad-core monster, the Optimus 4X HD, is now available from UK retailer Dial-A-Phone, with the super fast smartphone available to buy in both black and white colourways from today.

The beastly blower promises to deliver a wishlist of high end specs – a 4.7-inch True-HD IPS display, 8-megapixel camera, NFC and quad-core processor – on a device measuring a floaty 133g.

Whilst the Optimus 3D might have floundered in a classic case of gimmick over greatness, the LG Optimus 4X HD backs up its claims of speed with a slick Android ICS experience on some meaty hardware.

Dial-A-Phone is offering the handset for free from £26 per month – a price that seats it squarely amongst high-end smartphone competition - with a decent helping of 400 minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data.

Those willing to shell out a little more up front can see £5 or so shaved off the monthly cost, with a deal on O2 offering 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data with an upfront cost of £119 and £21.50 per month.

UPDATE: LG’s UK blog have supported the launch with a suitably attractive photo of the Optimus 4X HD on Twitter.

Report: IBM Made “Informal Approach” To Buy BlackBerry’s Enterprise Business, Mail Servers

Amidst noise surrounding Samsung allegedly wanting a piece of troubled manufacturer BlackBerry’s new smartphone operating system, reports have surfaced that IBM was also informally looking to acquire RIM’s enterprise division.

Tech firm IBM were specifically sniffing around the robust technology infrastructure operating e-mail and instant messaging services that BlackBerry devices currently hinge on, according to sources talking to Bloomberg.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has indeed been undertaking a review under guidance from financial advisors actively looking for ways to free up funds, including slashing staff, considerations of a sale and licensing partnerships – lending credence to both IBM’s interest and the resurrection of rumours that Samsung wants to adopt BlackBerry’s operating system in future hardware, with the latter being quashed by the Korean company.

The Bloomberg report goes on to state that bids coming in to RIM thus far have stopped short of a complete buyout of the phone business or company as a whole, whilst BlackBerry folk have declined to comment on the matter.

Could be real help for a firm in trouble…

via Reuters

T-Mobile G1 Gets Android Jelly Bean, World Implodes

Remember the T-Mobile G1? The original Android device, given the unflattering description of “lacking the iPhone’s inherent cool factor” by yours truly?

Well, it seems like the little smartphone that could has the last laugh, with enterprising developers delivering the latest version of Android to the near 4-year old device.

Previously languishing on ‘Donut’ (Android version 1.6!), the custom ROM created by the XDA-Developers folk brings the G1 up to ‘Jelly Bean,’ which is version 4.1.

Naturally, the smartphone software doesn’t quite make the leap intact, with the (now) meagre 528Mhz processor unable to handle many of the bells and whistles provided by Google’s OS.

That being said, the fact that the T-Mobile G1 doesn’t explode altogether is awesome…

Turn up the volume and witness the wonder in the below video.

BlackBerry Curve 9320 Gets Colourful Exclusives On Vodafone, Half Price BBM Offer

Those looking to bring a splash of brightness to their BBM activities will certainly appreciate three new variants of the BlackBerry Curve 9320, now available as exclusives on Vodafone.

Adding to black and white versions is the subtly different ‘classic Blue‘ (above) and ‘vivid violet‘ (below) colourways, whilst the true attention seekers will save themselves for the pink edition available later in the Summer.

The Curve 9320 has become a mainstay for social butterflies on a budget, taking advantage of the robust connectivity options and impressive browsing experience on a smartphone costing just £135 on pay-as-you-go and free from £13 per month on a contract.

Sweetening the deal is a Vodafone offer running until the end of October that sees new subscribers able to take out the much-needed BlackBerry Internet Services (£5 for 30 days) on the device for half-price.

With e-mail and BBM proving the biggest lures for the keyboard-packing brand, getting the cream of BlackBerry functionality for only £2.50 a month is sure to prove attractive.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Revealed, Quad-Core Tablet Set For August Launch

Despite an official launch tipped for Berlin’s IFA exhibition, Korean manufacturer Samsung has prematurely taken the wrappers off the Galaxy Note 10.1, a souped-up version of their flagship tablet device.

Powered by some impressive specs including a quad-core processor, a choice of memory sizes as well as a 10.1-inch WXGA screen (hence the name…), the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is also ready for photo snapping with a 5-megapixel camera complete with LED flash as well as a 1.9MP front-facing effort for video calling.

Taking over from the Galaxy Tab as the manufacturer’s leading tablet device, the Note 10.1 comes equipped with Samsung’s suite of applications lending access to books, movies and music, as well as a fancy ‘S-Pen’ digital stylus enabling personalised note taking and sketching throughout the device, alongside a Photoshop application to stamp the tablet as a device for creation as much as consumption of content.

Smart features like multitasking to facilitate running of apps literally side-by-side lends a new level of freedom in terms of interaction and functionality, making best use of every inch of the Note 10.1′s big screen real estate.

In terms of connectivity, the Android-powered Galaxy Note 10.1 will be offered in three flavours – Wi-Fi only, Wi-Fi and 3G as well as a Wi-Fi and LTE-enabled version.

European pricing sees the 16GB Wi-Fi model retail for €479 (£380), with the 3G version available from €599 (£475) – a shade below the £399 and £499 asked for equivalently-specced iPads.

A global roll-out sees the US, UK, Germany and Korea getting first dibs on the Note 10.1 from August, with other territories to follow.

Check out the Note 10.1′s standout features in the exhaustive video below.

Samsung via Press Release

Retailer Tries To Take Bite Out Of iPad Cost With Finance Options

UK tech retailer Expansys has attempted to take the sting out of opting for a brand new tablet, offering interest-free finance options to purchase a new third-generation iPad.

Rather than shelling out in excess of £400 up front, they enable shoppers a range of ways to rejig the figures with the chance to pay in either six, twelve or twenty-four month instalments.

A Wi-Fi only 16GB new iPad costs a little more than usual at £419.99, but also sports a snazzy Cygnett case for the extra cost. From this point, shoppers are able to pay £63 per month (after shelling out 10% up front) with 0% interest within six months, with the price rising to £481.20 on a 24 month option.

With the cost of the iPad 2 falling and Android competition lowering the barrier to entry, it’s becoming eminently more affordable than ever to own a tablet. However, for those looking to enjoy the latest and greatest, the finance plans on the new iPad are certainly an option to consider.

Deals are available here.

 

ZTE, Professor Green Look For Amateur Film-Makers To Create Grand X TV Ad

ZTE are looking for some grass roots talent to get the Grand X an early push, launching a competition looking for video editors, graphic designers and directors to create a 20 second promotional advert for the bargain smartphone.

Winners get two days to shoot a full-blown ad with rapping man Professor Green and his movie making chum Rufus Exton, a cool £1,000 and a shiny new ZTE Grand X.

Whilst ZTE are hardly looking for dogma cinema from amateur auteurs, their rules are still quite strict: Prof. Green tune ‘Remedy‘ as the soundtrack, include the Chinese phone maker’s logo needs to feature somewhere and the spot should ‘capture [the] slogan for the Grand X smartphone’, namely “The World Of Entertainment in Your Hands”.

Easy!

Budding Tarantinos can get involved by jumping on the ZTE Facebook page, where they are accepting submissions until the 3rd of September, with the community to judge from the 4th until the 11th.

 

Sony XPERIA T Revealed By DLNA Certification: Packs Dual-Core Processor, 13MP Camera

A mystery phone formerly known as the LT30i ‘Mint’ has been revealed as another member of Sony’s burgeoning XPERIA family, thanks to a DLNA certification filing.

The Sony XPERIA T seems to have all the makings of a new flagship device from Japanese phone maker, packed to the gills with bleeding-edge features including a 13-megapixel camera, dual-core processor curtesy of Krait and a 4.3-inch display. Needless to say, Google’s Android is the Master of Ceremonies as far as software is concerned.

Previous leaks highlighted the slender form factor and physical key-free styling, as well as the fact its likely to have a starring role of Sony’s huge pre-IFA blowout to highlight their latest wave of smartphones.

It doesn’t seem to be long before we see what the big mobile manufacturers have up their sleeves for the rest of 2012…

Source: GSMArena

Android Update Adoption On The Rise, 16% Of Users Tasting Ice Cream Sandwich

Google’s efforts to unify users of the Android operating system seem to be working, with recent reports from the search giant showing 16% of all devices now running a newer version of the smartphone software.

Android 4.0 – also known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ – has seen a massive uplift due to being the version of software running out of the box on the Samsung Galaxy S3, which has just seen a huge push in the US and a showcase as the official phone of the 2012 Olympics.

Whilst 16% penetration may not sound like much for a software revision that has been available on a wide array of devices for the best part of a year, the whopping 0.8% that have made the jump to the latest iteration – dubbed ‘Jelly Bean’ – puts things into perspective somewhat…

Another thing to note is that the vast majority of users – 61% in fact – are still sporting the Android 2.3 version (Gingerbread), but whether this is due to a reticence to upgrade or the fact that their phone is one which does not support later revisions is unclear at present.

Regardless, the facts do in fact show an operating system which is fragmented to some degree, with users on a variety of devices experiencing a disparate Android experience.