Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Google announces Android 4.2

Internet search engine giant Google has taken the lid off a new version of its mobile phone and tablet operating system: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

4.2 carries the same name as 4.1, which is a change in direction for the company – as all the previous increments of the platform have a new dessert-related name.

The first devices to benefit for the OS are the three Nexus devices that Omio reported on today. These are the LG made Nexus 4 handset; the 10-inch Nexus 10 tablet that is manufactured by Samsung and the 32GB Nexus 7, plus its non-Wi-Fi only counterpart.

This updated version of Jelly Bean is built on 4.1 and brings in a new series of features.

The Apple Siri-like personal assistant – Google Now – has been improved in this iteration. It was first seen in the other Jelly Bean named OS and now adds more functionality.

These are along the likes of delivering notifications for nearby attractions, interesting photo spots, screening times and nearby cinemas, or reminders for restaurant books, among others.

A feature of the update is Photo Sphere. This takes panoramic pictures to a whole different level, encompassing views both up and down – for an all-around 360-degree shot.

Images can be shared on Google+ or added to Google Maps, where a sample photo can be seen here.

The updated Jelly Bean OS comes with Swype-esque keyboard entry, under the name of Gesture Typing; along with support for wireless displays.

It is unsure when Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is coming to other handsets, from the likes of Samsung and HTC, but stay tuned to Omio and we’ll bring you all those details.

Microsoft Windows Phone 8: hands-on video

Omio attended the launch event for Windows Phone 8 this week, where we have already published hands-on pictures of the new OS today.

Now, it is time for the hands-on video walkthrough of the mobile phone operating system – by a lead Microsoft product spokesperson.

The footage is just over 13 minutes long and gives an in-depth and exhaustive view of all the features on WP8, running on a new Nokia Lumia 920 handset.

It highlights the way Windows Phone 8 can be customised, with the updated home-screen tiles – with more information, on the larger version.

The video covers the live apps that allow aspects of an application to be pinned to the start screen.

This is along with the lock screen to the platform and its notifications, with the way it is configured from the setting’s menu.

That info can currently display calendar, Facebook, Linked inbox and Phone, among other info.

Our captured footage notes new aspects of the Me tile, with the way updates can be shared with certain sets of people. These are Friends, Friends of friends, public or use Facebook settings.

New to the WP8 is the Rooms feature, which is shown in detail. It allows for personal notes to be shared among people, with a calendar, chat and pictures.

Another update is word flow. Here, predictive messaging is taken a step further. It can remember a pattern, of a range of text, just the once and offer it any other time.

Photos hub has been reworked, as you can select multiple pictures to be shared – in the regular way and via the new NFC Tap+Send.

The camera abilities are also noted, plus how you can edit an image even before it is taken, with add-ons such as the CamWow app.

Kid’s Corner is covered. This is a new feature and is a segmented part of WP8, which only allows access to pre-setup apps and music, and no other part of the phone.

Wrapping up the hands-on is Xbox on Windows Phone 8, with Picks For You. That displays game recommendations based on items purchased before; what has been liked on Facebook and by friends, too.

This is along with SmartGlass and its integration with the Xbox 360 gaming console; SkyDrive and its functionality, with the way documents can be edited on a computer and resumed on a phone.

Google updates Nexus 7 to 32GB

Internet search engine giant Google has launched two new versions of its Nexus 7 tablet – one with 32GB and another with the same amount of internal storage, only with HSPA+connectivity.  Previously, only an 8GB and a 16GB version of the tablet were available.

Omio - Nexus 7 32GBThese along with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 were all rumoured to be launched at a Google event, which was supposed to take place on Monday this week. That was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy, which has swept across America.

The invitation to the event carried the words “the playground is now open”, which we surmised could mean that more than one Nexus device will be unveiled at the Google presser.

This has come true, despite the event not taking place, with Google unveiling them all anyway. That was probably due to the timings of these devices entering the retail market, and that it could not be delayed.

The Google Nexus 7 still ships with the same 7-inch screen and quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Only the 16GB version now carries the cost of the 8GB edition, at £159; the 32GB version is priced the same way as the 16GB (from last week), at £199 and the HSPA+ model comes in at £239 – all from the Google Play store.

Microsoft Windows Phone 8: hands-on pictures

Microsoft unveiled its new Windows Phone 8 operating system at the start of this week, where Omio was in attendance, live blogging all the happenings from the event.

We are now publishing these hands-on pictures of the OS, captured on a Samsung ATIV S - from the launch event.

Windows Phone 8 arrives with a shared code base to the desktop, Windows 8, version. There is also support for multi-core processors for the first time, along with HD screen resolutions and removable storage.

The pictures below show the new features of WP8, which start with the home-screen and are available in three movable tile sizes.

Following on from there is the updated lock-screen that takes advantage of the new live app feature of the platform, while displaying items such as Facebook notifications, photos and among other aspects.

The next four images show another feature of live apps on the platform. These are aspects from inside of an app, which can be pinned to the start screen. For example, items being bided for on eBay, airline tickets and websites.

Kid’s Corner is another new function to the OS, which can be accessed from the lock screen – by just swiping to the right. This offers a segmented part of Windows Phone 8 that can only run pre-determined apps and music, while disabling other parts of the phone.

On-board the new platform is NFC functionality, with the handset supporting it with the necessary hardware. Placing the mobile on an NFC tag can launch an associated app, as seen in the next three pictures.

Wrapping up the photo set is Bing on WP8, with text translation; the Rooms feature that allows private messages, photos, notes and calendars among contacts – with the about screen of the Windows Phone 8 run Samsung ATIV S.

Google launches Nexus 10 tablet

Internet search engine giant Google has unveiled its large screen device – the Nexus 10, manufactured for them by Samsung.

Omio - Google Nexus 10This is the third outing for that company, where previously it made the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S for Google.

The name of this Nexus comes from the 10-inch display, in the same way as the Asus made Nexus 7 came with a 7-inch screen.

This new device has a 300ppi and a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, with the highest quality display seen in a tablet. Powering the 10 is a dual-core 1.7GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, within the configurations of 16 or 32GB amounts of internal storage.

It arrives running the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS and in a Wi-Fi only edition, with a 5-megapixel rear and 1.9-MP front-facing camera.

The Nexus 10 is 8.9mm thin and weighs in at 603grams, with MIMO Wi-Fi built-in that offers four times the performance of standard wireless connectivity.

Android 4.2 running the device offers multi-user access with personal workspace, where users can tap a photo to sign into their own home screen. There is also a new Daydream function that displays photos and news, from Google Currents, while charging.

Google’s Nexus 10 tablet will be available to purchase on the Tuesday the 13th of November, in the same way as the Nexus 4 mobile phone. The 16GB model will cost £319 and the 32GB, £389.

Samsung ATIV S: hands-on video

Omio has attended the launch event of Windows Phone 8, where we caught up with Samsung and captured this hands-on video walkthrough of its flagship WP8 ATIV S handset.

It arrives running that new operating system and is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU, with 16GB of internal storage.

The ATIV S has a HD 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED 4.8-inch display and an 8-megapixel camera, with a front-facing 1.9-MP variant.

It also comes with support for 64GB microSD cards, dual-carrier HSPA+ and NFC.

The video below highlights the specifications of the mobile phone, along with the company’s own offerings to the Windows Phone 8 platform.

These come in the form of the Mini Diary app, for note taking; live wallpapers that use the photos on the device for the lock screen, with changes every 30 minutes.

Samsung has added its ChatOn client to the handset, which is a cross platform messaging app. The mobile ships with a removable battery that is absent from other WP8 phones.

O2 and Phones 4U will be carrying the Samsung ATIV S, starting from £36 a month.

Google unveils Nexus 4 mobile phone

Internet search engine giant Google has officially launched its new own-branded handset – the Nexus 4, made for them by LG.

Omio - LG Nexus 4 - press shotThis news follows Carphone Warehouse leaking the phone on Friday, by accidentally opening the pre-ordering page for the mobile.

Google’s new handset is now officially called the Nexus 4, backing up various rumours and speculation over the past few weeks.

It is the first time that LG has made a device for Google, following on from Asus and its Nexus 7 tablet. Samsung made the last two handsets for the company, in the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S; with HTC producing the first: the Nexus One.

It will arrive running Android 4.2. This is also known as Jelly Bean, as we reported last week, and not by another name. In the past, Google has traditionally called a new release of the OS by another codename, which has been dropped this time around.

The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch True IPS plus display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720, and a pixel per inch count of 320. This is supported by Zerogap touch technology, on a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 screen that is slightly curved – a common feature of Nexus phones.

Driving the device is a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, with 2GB of RAM. This chip is said to offer rich 3D graphics and gameplay; it also powers LG’s Optimus G mobile that has similar characteristics to the Nexus 4 – just as the HTC Nexus One had, with the original HTC Desire.

LG’s Google made handset will be available with either 8 or 16GB amounts of internal storage, but it is not expandable via a micro SD card.

Built into the 4 is an 8-megapixel camera that takes advantage of the new Android Photo Sphere ability. That allows the phone’s owner to capture various perspectives, up, down and all around, for a beyond panoramic shot.

There is also a 1.3-MP front-facing HD camera on-board, along with NFC, wireless charging and HSPA+ features.

The Google Nexus 4 will be available to buy for £279 on Tuesday 13th of November, from the Google Play store – here.

Samsung ATIV S: hands-on pictures

Omio recently attended the launch event of the new Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system. This had all the handsets that will be running the platform, where we are now publishing hands-on photos of the Samsung ATIV S - captured from the show.

The mobile phone has a 4.8-inch 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED screen, while powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and support for 64GB microSD cards.

All of these are new capabilities to the Windows Phone series, as the previous OS only had support for a 800 x 480 display, single core CPUs and no expandable memory.

Samsung’s ATIV S comes with 16GB of internal storage, a 1.9-megapixel camera front-facing camera and 8-MP rear version (seen in the images below).

It sports NFC and dual-carrier HSPA+ 42Mbps features, and will be available on O2 and with Phones 4u.

 

Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8 mobile phone OS

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has officially unveiled its latest handset operating system: Windows Phone 8. It will initially appear on a number new mobile phones that ship this week, from Nokia, HTC and Samsung.

These handsets are the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820; the HTC 8X and 8S, along with the Samsung ATIV S.

Windows Phone 8 brings in support for multi-core processors for the first time in its lineage, along with high definition screens and removable storage.

There are new features to the platform that haven’t been made public before: Rooms, Kid’s Corner, Data Sense, Skype and the live app functionality.

Rooms allow WP8 phone owners to communicate with a range of people at once. It has multi-user chat features; the ability to share photos, notes and a calendar.

This isn’t just confined to those in the Microsoft world either, as Apple’s iOS will be a part of this.

Kid’s Corner offers a segmented mobile phone OS, within Windows Phone 8 – with pre-defined access to music and apps, away from every other part of the mobile.

For example, children can play with the likes of Angry Birds and listen to music, without the possibility of accidentally deleting emails or dialling someone by mistake.

Data Sense saves the phone owner’s data allowance, by compressing web images; highlighting when hotspots are nearby and automatically altering app usage, when approaching the data limit.

There will be a new Skype app for WP8, which will always be on and is said to draw little battery life, and isn’t CPU intensive. It is constantly running in the background, allowing users to make and receive calls – as if they were regular ones.

Windows Phone 8 also has live apps, which delivers information to the tiles on the start screen. These will be along the lines of Groupon deals, headlines and other information. This is also brought across to the lock screen, with apps such as Facebook.

The live tiles have been updated with three differing sizes, and 20 colour choices: all geared up to personalise a Windows Phone 8 handset.

Microsofts’ Windows Phone 8 will be available on mobile phones from EE, O2, Three, Vodafone, Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse.

EE will exclusively be carrying the Nokia Lumia 920 and it also has the Lumia 820, along with the HTC 8X and 8S – from the 9th of November.

O2 is retailing the Nokia Lumia 820, Samsung ATIV S, HTC 8X and 8S.

The HTC 8X and 8S are being sold by Three, along with Vodafone, which also will stock the Nokia Lumia 820.

UPDATE: EE unveils 4G consumer monthly and SIM only tariff prices – NOW LIVE!

Formerly Everything Everywhere, now EE mobile phone network umbrella company has announced its 4G contract costs, which start at £36 a month.

That price encompasses unlimited calling and text messaging, with a 500MB data allowance, on a 24-month tariff.

The next contract is priced at £41 and it has the same features as the other one, only with a 1GB data offering.

These tariff cost escalates as follow: £46 buys 3GB, £51 gets you 5GB and £56 comes with an 8GB data limit.

All of the above have the same set up as the first price plan and an alerted is sent, when approaching that data limit.

At that point, it is possible to buy data add-ons. 50MB costs £3, 500MB is priced at £6; 2GB comes in at £15 and 4GB, £20.

Tethering and VoIP are a part of these contracts, along with access to BT Wi-Fi – formerly known as BT OpenZone.

SIM only plans will be available from £21 a month, with unlimited minutes and text messages, plus a 500MB  data limit – with an additional cost for extra: 1GB is priced at £26, 3GB comes in at £31 and 5GB costs £36 .

This will be for a 12-month contract duration, and will be available from the 9th of November.

Monthly tariffs over £41 a month are entitled to an extra add-on, which can be swapped around every 30 days. These are noted to be in the form of a music, TV or game bolt-on.

The Deezer service is the music offering, with access to 18 million tracks – for off-line listening, or live streaming. It will be possible to download and keep two games a month, with the titles such as Asphalt 7 and Modern Combat 3. And the last option provides access to 19 channels, including Channel 4, Eurosport and the Cartoon Network.

EE customers can also download a free movie a week from the 700 strong EE store, until the 28th of February 2013. And they can use the 2-for-1 Wednesday cinema offer, which was only accessible to Orange customers.

It will be possible for EE customers to use their unlimited minute and text message bundle while travelling in a number of countries, for £5 extra a month.

EE is the UK’s first 4G mobile phone network that goes live on the 30th of October, where 4G ready handsets have been obtainable through Orange and T-Mobile since the beginning of October.

The mobile phone network has stated that the average 4G speeds will be around 8-12mb/s, reaching a maximum speed of 40mb/s.

Those that have already purchased a 4G ready handset on Orange or T-Mobile can swap to EE, with no additional cost.

iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X owners on those two networks can pay a one off £99 free, to upgrade to a 4G version. This is just as long as they are within the first 6 months of their contract.

The network has  announced its business tariffs, mobile broadband prices, fixed-line fibre prices and extra services, today.

UPDATE:

EE has now been in touch with the handset costs, which weren’t available at the time of going to press.

Handset  500MB 1GB 3GB 5GB 8GB
EE £36 EE £41 EE £46 EE  £51 EE  £56
HTC One XL 4G LTE Ready £149.99 £49.99 £29.99 £29.99 £29.99
Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE Ready £149.99 £49.99 £29.99 £29.99 £29.99
Huawei Ascend P1 4G LTE Ready £19.99 FREE FREE FREE FREE
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 4G LTE Ready £179.99 £139.99 £89.99 £39.99 £29.99
Handset  500MB 1GB 3GB 5GB 8GB
  EE £36 EE £41 EE £46 EE  £51 EE  £56
iPhone 5 16GB £179.99 £109.99 £49.99 £29.99 £19.99
iPhone 5 32GB £269.99 £219.99 £149.99 £99.99 £29.99
iPhone 5 64GB £379.99 £269.99 £219.99 £189.99 £139

 

 UPDATE 2:

The EE network has now gone live, in 11 cities across the UK. These are Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton.