Enjoy our roundup of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week, including Amazon for Windows Phone 7, Google Translate for the iPhone, 3D ads and a new selection of Google Android toy figures!
1. Android 2.3.3 Update Detailed.
Although Android 2.3 Gingerbread has yet to become very popular on new phones, Google have provided those that have it with a small update to 2.3.3. The key change is the addition of an NFC reader/writer API for developers to use, and it’ll let Gingerbread phones read and write to almost every NFC tag currently in use. 2011 is beginning to look like the year that Near Field Communications really hits the mainstream.
2. Verizon iPhone Goes on Sale.
Verizon opened its doors on Thursday morning ready to sell the iPhone 4 to its customers. The long awaited CDMA device represents the first time the iPhone has been sold by another carrier in the USA, as the GSM version has been — and still is — exclusive to AT&T. Although it’ll never come to the UK, there is a chance Apple will send their CDMA phone to other countries who do use the standard.
3. 3D Mobile Ads Coming Soon.
3D is everywhere at the moment, and now it’s going to be used in mobile advertising too, as InMobi and Cooliris have perfected a pseudo-3D effect for use on non-3D phones. Bang & Olufsen are among the first to have signed up for the scheme, which will be on display at Mobile World Congress.
4. Instagram Coming to Other Devices.
If you’ve used the iPhone-only photo app Instagram, then you’ll already know about all the fun filters you can add to your pictures. The good news is that Instagram have opened up their API to developers to use in their own apps, meaning it could spread beyond the iPhone.
5. HTC Freestyle Gets US Launch Date.
Unveiled at CES, the HTC Freestyle runs Qualcomm’s BREW MP operating system and has been confirmed for the AT&T network in the USA, where it’ll launch next week. The phone has a 3.2″ touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel camera and is another HTC device with an aluminium unibody.
6. Nexus S Gets a White Paint Job.
Samsung and Vodafone have done what Apple have failed to do — produce a white version of their flagship smartphone! Fair enough, the Nexus S’s plastic rear panel won’t present the same manufacturing difficulties as Apple’s iPhone 4 glass panel, but still, it’s still one you can actually buy! Vodafone say only that it’s coming soon.
7. Call a TV From Your iPhone.
Several new TVs and Blu-ray players unveiled at CES this year featured support for Skype, and now the VoIP company has updated its iPhone app to support this feature. Of course, you’ll need an iPhone 4 with its forward facing video-call camera, plus one of the flashy new TVs to make use of it.
8. Amazon App Comes to Windows Phone 7.
Joining the Kindle app is Amazon’s official shopping app for Windows Phone 7. It was announced during CES and lets users fill their shopping carts and wish lists, buy with one-click ordering and even track their packages once they’ve been sent.
9. Google Release Translate App for iPhone.
Now you can take the often amusing Google Translate feature around with you, ready to confuse anyone who speaks a different language. You can type in words or allow it to translate verbal phrases you speak into the phone. It’s all very clever, but it’s still not suited to serious situations.
10. More Android Figures from DyzPlastic.
Three new Android figures have been added to the DyzPlastic collection, this time giving the Google Android mascot a blue paint job, a ‘Racer’ look in British Racing Green with a pair of white stripes, and ‘Rupture’ which is an odd pink, black and white combination. Come on, admit it, you want all three don’t you!