Gesture at your camera phone?

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: windows phone 8, nokia, kinect

If you recall, the Nokia Lumia 1020 was the 41MP camera with a phone bolted to it that was released last year.  Nokia is following up their unique product with a new version which will incorporate Kinect sensors into the phone and called it "3D Touch" or "Real Motion".  Nokia sees possible usages such as turning on the phone by grabbing it and to hover your finger  over a Live Tile and tap down in the air to bring up sub-menus.  Combine gestures with Bluetooth and you will never again know if that strange person on the street is a hipster or hallucinating.  Catch more at The Inquirer.

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"KINECT TECHNOLOGY reportedly will debut on Windows Phone this year, with the sensors set to appear in the sequel to the Nokia Lumia 1020."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Nokia Lumia 1520 With Windows Phone 8 GDR3 Launching September 26th

Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 05:47 AM |
Tagged: windows phone 8, snapdragon 800, qualcomm, pureview, nokia, lumia 1520

There have been rumors floating around the Internet concerning a new Nokia Lumia-series smartphone running the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 GDR3 operating system. Called the Nokia Lumia 1520, the 6-inch smartphone will reportedly be announced at an event in New York on September 26.

The Lumia 1520 features a similar aesthetic to the existing Lumia phones, including beveled edges and a polycarbonate body. The 6-inch smartphone is dominated by a large 1080p display on the front and a PureView camera on the rear capable of taking simultaneous 5MP (supersampled) and 16MP photos.

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Twitter user @evleaks suggests that the smartphone is coming on September 26th.

Internally, the Lumia 1520 is powered by a 28nm HPm Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with four Krait 400 CPU cores clocked at up to 2.3 GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, and 4G LTE modem. Other specifications include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for adding additional storage space.

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The rumored Lumia 1520 compared to a Sony Xperia handset. Via The Verge.

On the software side of things, Nokia is using Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 GDR3 operating system and adding their own Bittersweet shimmer firmware on top. The new firmware adds improved multitasking, custom ringtones, a driving mode that silences calls and text messages when connected to a car via Bluetooth, and an additional column of live tiles on the Start screen among other features.

In all, the Lumia 1520 looks to be an impressive bit of kit, especially for a Windows Phone smartphone. Considering Windows Phone at least seems to be more efficient than the other mobile operating systems (it is able to do more with less hardware in terms of user interface and OS performance), the new Nokia smartphone – with beefy hardware similar to high end Android phones – should be quite speedy!

The device is rumored to be announced on September 26, 2013 where the specifications and pricing should be officially revealed. Hopefully the phone is as powerful as the rumors suggest!

Source: CNet

Microsoft buys Nokia, the second largest maker of cell phones

Subject: Chipsets | September 3, 2013 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, nokia, windows phone, purchase, billions

At a mere $7.2 billion, Microsoft just picked up all of Nokia's devices and some of their software in an attempt to streamline production and win market share from Apple and Android devices.  Nokia tends to be the manufacturer that people think of when they think of Windows phones, with HTC a close second.  The current market share of Windows phones is minuscule and for that matter so is Nokia's; what might not be clear from some of the stories you have been reading is that Nokia has a large share of the phones currently being manufactured.  As you can see from the Reuters graph below they are actually second only to Samsung in terms of manufacturing, this existing infrastructure may help Microsoft greatly as they structured as a software company ... Surface being the exception that proves the rule. 

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From Reuters

The Inquirer believes this could mean a resurgence of competing mobile OS designs, with Google owning Motorola it seems likely that Samsung and HTC are going to want to diversify their lineup of phones even though Google has suggested they will not provide preferential treatment to Motorola.  Microsoft may still provide licenses to HTC but with this major change you can expect the rumours of HTC developing a mobile OS to become verified as well as a lot more news on Tizen, Samsung's home grown OS.  Blackberry could be doomed at this point, with nothing unique to offer in the way of secure connectivity now that they have moved to ActiveSync and dated hardware they are reduced to a niche market consisting solely of those who want a physical keyboard on their phone.  This purchase is as painful to Finland as the death of BlackBerry will be for Canada.

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The other interesting part to this story is the return of Stephen Elop to Microsoft as he only left them in 2010, previously he headed their business software division.  You can follow the odds on his likelihood of taking the reins from Ballmer by following the link from this article; Stephen has tossed hardware across a room so he is certainly qualified.  If he did take over Microsoft it would signal a 'mobile first' mentality which might help sales of Win8 on mobile devices but would not bode well for the desktop users.  If he is not placed in charge of the entire company it would likely mean that we will see him head a mobile division while someone else handles a desktop OS.  That has not worked well for Microsoft historically, we shall see in the coming months which direction the company chooses.  Hopefully they will remember they sell a server OS.

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"MICROSOFT SURPRISED NO ONE on Tuesday when it announced that it picked up Nokia's devices unit and licensed some of its software for a cool £4.6bn in cash. While many see the deal as two struggling companies merging for a final shot at success, we think the deal should have Apple and Google worried."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

More Details On Upcoming Nokia Lumia 1020 WP8 Smartphone With 41MP Camera Emerge Ahead of Release

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 9, 2013 - 06:01 AM |
Tagged: wp8, windows phone 8, nokia lumia 1020, nokia, lumia 1020

Additional details have emerged concerning Nokia’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 smartphone with 41MP camera: the Lumia 1020 “EOS.” Thanks to Windows Phone Central, several of the rumored specifications have been confirmed and new photos of the hardware are available.

According to the new information, the new smartphone is officially the Lumia 1020 and it will run the latest update of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.0 mobile operating system. It will be an AT&T exclusive in the United States and should be available around the end of June, at the earliest.

The smartphone features a polycarbonate body (like its other WP8 phones) that will come in yellow, white, or black. The front of the device is dominated by a 4.5” 720p AMOLED display. The rear of the phone sports the most interesting bit of hardware on this phone, which is the PureView camera.

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The camera features a 41MP sensor and Xenon and LED flashes. Other specifications include F2.2 aperture and Optical Image Stabilization. Nokia will be bundling a pre-installed Pro Camera app that will allow users to adjust ISO, white balance, manual focus, shutter speed, and flash usage.

The Lumia 1020 will take a 32MP and super-sampled (7:1) 5MP photo simultaneously at a 16:9 aspect ratio or a single 4:3 aspect ratio photo at 38MP. Unfortunately, video functionality has not been detailed.

Internal specifications include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (rumor) SoC, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage (not expandable). Wireless technology includes an FM radio, NFC (Near Field Communication) radio, Wi-Fi, cellular (bands not specified yet), and an optional back cover that enables wireless charging. If the SoC is indeed the Snapdragon 800, that means four Krait 400 CPU cores clocked at up to 2.3GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, and a 4G LTE modem.

The new Nokia Lumia 1020 WP8 flagship is being shipped to various Microsoft stores on June 22nd, and is coming to AT&T at the end of June. The AT&T subsidized price with a 2 year contract has not been announced, but the off-contract price is allegedly $602.

Source: WPCentral

Nokia Launching $149 Lumia 928 With WP8 On May 16th

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2013 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: wp8, Qualcomm MSM8960, nokia, lumia 928, lumia

Nokia will be launching a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone next week that trades in the traditional colorful Lumia designs for a sleek black or white finish. The Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone will be available on Verizon Wireless in the US.

The smartphone features a 4.5” WXGA OLED display with a resolution of 1280x768. The front of the phone resembles a flat rectangle with slightly rounded corners while the back is slightly curved. On the front below the display are capacitive buttons and above the display is a 1.2MP webcam that is capable of shooting still images or 720p HD videos. Three high amplitude microphones are also included. The Nokia 928 smartphone also uses a rear PureView 8.7MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics capable of shooting 1080p30 HD video. This main camera has optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash for still images (and a LED flash for video).

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On the inside, the Nokia Lumia 928 is powered by a dual core Qualcomm MSM8960+WTR processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 2000mAh battery. Wireless charging and an NFC radio are also included. Of course, the Lumia 928 is running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system.

The Lumia 928 will be available at Verizon (both in-store and online) for $149. A $50 mail in rebate will bring that price down to $99. On top of that, for a limited time, you can get $25 of Windows Store credit to spend on apps and games. From the specifications, it seems like a decent midrange smartphone so long as you do not need any Android or iOS exclusive applications.

Source: Engadget

Snapdragon showdown; Z10 versus the Lumia 920

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2013 - 05:38 PM |
Tagged: blackberry, blackberry z10, nokia, Lumia 920, qualcomm, snapdragon s4

The hardware found in the new Blackberry Z10 and Nokia's Lumia 920 are almost exactly the same, with both based off of the dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.5GHz.  That makes this video from The Inquirer all about the performance of the operating system and the user interface.  They pit these two smartphones against each other in numerous head to head competitions, ranging from a boot time test that shows you should never turn off your Z10 to email testing which Blackberry was smart enough to focus on more than the other features.  Head on over and check out the 6 minute competition.

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"BOTH BLACKBERRY AND MICROSOFT are fighting to take the number three spot in the UK smartphone market with their respective flagship devices, the Blackberry Z10 and the Nokia Lumia 920."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

Source: The Inquirer

Nokia Sold 4.4 Million Lumia Phones in Q4’12

Subject: Mobile | January 10, 2013 - 11:23 AM |
Tagged: wp8, nokia, microsoft, lumia

Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia has released a preliminary report on last quarter’s WP8 handset sales. There is good news and bad news.

On the positive side of things, Nokia managed to sell approximately 4.4 million Lumia-series smartphones running the Windows Phone OS. While not spectacular, it is a healthy ramp-up in Lumia phone sales versus previous quarters. For example, in Q4 of 2011 the company sold 1 million Windows Phone handsets, and then it managed to sell 2.9 million in Q3 of 2012 resulting in both year over year and quarter over quarter growth. Another interesting figure from the report is that Nokia has sold a total of 14.3 million Lumia smartphones to date. Lumia sales in Q4 2012 have also managed to surpass the company’s 2.2 million Symbian OS phone sales in Q4’12.

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And now for the slightly-less-good news. The Lumia series (and Windows Phone 8 OS/handsets in general) continue to occupy the spot of ‘mobile OS underdog’ by a significant margin. To put the Lumia/WP8 sales in perspective, according to Android Authority, Samsung made $8.1 billion through sales of approximately 65.7 million Android smartphones. On the other hand, Nokia’s sales of Windows Phone hardware has surpassed its sales of phones powered by Symbian OS (at 2.2 million in Q4’12).

The numbers do seem to suggest that the market for Nokia Lumia handsets is slowly growing so it will be interesting to see sales figures a few years down the road. (Note that historic growth does not necessarily equal future growth. It does suggest that it is on the rise though. heh).

Source: The Verge

Nokia Rumored To Be Releasing Two Windows Phone 8 Smartphones On September 5, 2012

Subject: Mobile | August 24, 2012 - 06:41 AM |
Tagged: windows phone 8, smartphone, nokia, microsoft

While Windows 8 on the desktop (and ARM devices) have occupied much of the spotlight for Microsoft’s products, it is not the only Windows 8 product coming out soon. Namely, the mobile variant that is Windows Phone 8 is set to officially release later this year. In line with, and suggesting a release day, the launch are leaked details on two Nokia smartphones that will run the next-generation Microsoft mobile operating system.

According to sources in the know, Nokia is planning to launch two new smartphones under its Lumia brand during a media event in NYC on September 5th 2012. As the event will see both Nokia and Microsoft on stage, the September 5th date seems very likely to be the official Windows Phone 8 debut. On the Nokia side of things specifically, the company plans to launch both a mid-range handset as well as the Windows Phone 8 flagship smartphone. The Nokia mobile devices are currently known by their code names of “Arrow” and “Phi” respectively. While specifications on the mid-range handset are unknown, the flagship Phi smartphone will reportedly feature similar design aesthetics to the company’s other Lumia-series smartphones–including a curved glass display and polycarbonate body.

The Phi will be an AT&T exclusive device while the Arrow will be available on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Interestingly, if the rumors hold true Verizon will not have a launch WP8 device. It will see a tweaked version of the mid-range Arrow codenamed Atlas but it is not going to launch with the other two Nokia devices.

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Image credit: CNET.

Windows Phone 8 improves on hardware support, adds features, and tweaks the software interface to be more user friendly. Some of the more interesting new features include a shared codebase with Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 (x86-64) where only minor tweaks will be necessary to deploy “Metro” Modern UI apps to phones, tablets, and desktops.  Further, hardware requirements have been upgraded to support 720p or 1280x768 (WXGA) displays, NFC (Near Field Communication. Think RFID but at shorter distances (and some other differences)), multi-core processors, and the inclusion of SD card slots.

On the software side of things, Windows Phone 8 will integrate the licensed map technology from Nokia and will feature a new Start Screen that allows changing tile size (small, medium, large) and ditches the navigational cue arrow. Nokia does seem to have some decent map technology from what I've used of it, so I'm glad Microsoft is taking advantage of the close relationship between itself and Nokia to get a licensing agreement going (and here's hoping Nokia is making some money off of it, they could always use the boost).

Unfortunately there is no pricing information or clues as to whether the two smartphones will actually be purchasable on announcement day. I guess we will all find out on September 5th!

In spite of the controversy surrounding the Modern UI on the desktop, Windows Phone 8 is looking to be a solid improvement over WP7 and it seems that Microsoft is moving in the right direction. Questions remain on whether or not it will be enough to take on the Google Android and Apple IOS juggernauts, however. Tizen and Firefox OS are going to have a harder time breaking into the market thanks to WP8, however.

That’s just my opinion and bit of speculation, however. What do you think? Will Nokia and Microsoft see better sales and increased adoption with Windows Phone 8 and Nokia’s second try at a smartphone running Microsoft’s OS? Will you be considering an upgrade or switch over to WP8?

Read more Windows Phone coverage using the Windows Phone 8 tag.

Source: The Verge

Qt to have a new owner: Nokia selling the toolkit to Digia

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | August 9, 2012 - 07:08 PM |
Tagged: Qt, nokia, Digia

Ars Technica reports 125 employees at Nokia will move to Digia in a deal to relocate the open toolkit, Qt, away from the cellphone manufacturer. The deal reassures developers of software -- especially open sourced software -- their toolkit will continue to be maintained. Qt is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Symbian and MeeGo with other platforms such as Android and iOS planned for support.

I have a special place in my heart for Qt because of a couple of programming projects I have worked on. Finding a good cross-platform interface framework is more difficult than you would think. One project required developing a text-style editor for both Windows and Linux. Qt provided classes for dockable windows and panels, Webkit browser support, and just about anything else I could need.

It really was a cute framework – literally, that is how you pronounce it.

I was one of the first to get a little tenseness in my gut when Nokia started to partner with Microsoft and their Windows Phone platforms. Nokia was slowly distancing themselves from the framework they owned at the time. The Linux and other open source communities were getting quite involved with Qt due to how closely it is tied with KDE. Microsoft is embracing open source communities more than they have been but I would hesitate to trust them that much.

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GTK+ is basically the viable alternative to Qt.

So developer framework choice could very well have been between The Gimp and a gimp.

There has been no word on the finances of the transaction.

It is still yet to be seen whether Digia will be a good owner of the framework. Certainly the most recent analogy was the purchase of Java along with the rest of Sun and its assets to Oracle. That certainly did not end up as the best of situations for the end-users of the platform.

Thankfully the framework is published under the GPL along with their commercial license. Should GPL-compatible applications require the framework they would be able to fork from whatever the latest supported GPL release would be and continue on from that point.

Software which uses Qt in a way which is not GPL-compatible still has a few worries going forth. Digia appears to be have some level of trust by the community. We will need to stay tuned to see.

Source: Ars Technica

Nokia To Release Windows 8 ARM Tablets (WOA) Later This Year

Subject: Mobile | March 13, 2012 - 10:35 PM |
Tagged: WOA, windows 8, tablets, nokia, microsoft, arm

Earlier this year we heard talk of several planned Windows On ARM tablets that would run the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, and now more planned tablets have emerged. Asus is planning to release four Windows 8 tablets (two WOA versions), and according to Digitimes, Nokia will be joining the fray with their own WOA tablets.

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Allegedly, Nokia will launch a 10" ARM tablet powered by Qualcomm's dual core System on a Chip (SoC) processor. The tablet will run the Windows on ARM version of Windows 8, and their sources have expressed that the Nokia tablet will further fuel the mobile tablet market and provide healthy competition for the iPad juggernaut.

Further, according to "sources at upstream component suppliers," Nokia will be outsourcing the manufacturing of their Windows 8 tablet to Compal Electronics. Also, the sources have stated that the first production batch will consist of 200,000 units.

Don't forget to check out our guide on virtualizing Windows 8 to get an idea of how the new interface works. More information on the Windows On ARM front as it develops.

Source: DigiTimes