Feb 28, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook Android app support mentioned during demo at MWC, old BlackBerrys show up in ShopSavvy's Android logs

As far-fetched as it may seem, rumors that RIM is working on some sort of Android app support for its QNX-based PlayBook tablet have persisted in various forms for months now -- and they've turned up once again in a video posted by development community MobileMonday's Rio chapter taken at MWC earlier this month, where a RIM rep seemingly says "we will also support Android apps" after talking about Java-based offerings. Of course, this could've been staged by some rabble rousers or a rep could've simply been echoing back the rumors he's seen on the interwebs -- but regardless, it adds fuel to the fire. Follow the break to see the video of that.

But it gets weirder. ShopSavvy -- which makes versions of its app for iOS and Android -- has started turning up a couple of older BlackBerry devices in its Android build's usage statistics on Flurry: the Curve 8300 and 8520, to be specific, along with an 8600 model that doesn't exist (at least, not yet). The 8300, in particular, is pretty ancient at this point and we're having a hard time wrapping our brain around RIM's game plan in porting Dalvik (or a Dalvik-like) VM and associated libraries over to it; if anything, Flurry could be confused. Then again, a next-generation full-touch BlackBerry that just happens to run a full suite of Android apps in a sandbox could be a pretty compelling product, indeed.

Motorola Atrix 4G launched in Pakistan by Homeshopping for Rs. 74,990/-

Pakistan's premium online retaliler has launched the most cuttting edge smartphone available today by any manufaturer in the world, the Atrix 4G for Rs. 74,990/-. It is one of the first Android smartphones with Nvidia Tegra2 inside (a dual core processor of 1GHz for every core). Specifications are quite impressive and this gadget will be a benchmark for the first part of 2011. So meet 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of in-built memory coupled with microSD memory cards of up to 32 GB. You can find the details of the Atrix 4G here. If you want to buy it, you can find the direct link to the online retailer at the source link below.

ViewSonic intros dual-SIM V350 smartphone, Windows 7 / Android dual-boot ViewPad 10Pro tablet

First up is the V350 smartphone shown above, a dual-SIM creature with a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchpanel, Android 2.2, five megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 and A-GPS to boot. By supporting a pair of SIMs, it allows jetsetters to carry two SIMs from two operators in order to take advantage of different plans and networks for voice / data in different countries. 

Moving on, there's a highly intriguing new tablet in the waiting -- the ViewPad 10Pro. This 10-incher (shown after the break) is a "professional" slate with dual-boot functionality, enabling users to tap into Android 2.2 or Windows 7 Professional at their leisure. It's also one of the first tablets to utilize Intel's long-awaited Oak Trail platform, and it'll ship with a 1024 x 600 LED-backlit capacitive multitouch screen, inbuilt 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and a battery good for six or so hours of life. Finally, the ViewPad 10s -- which was just unveiled at CES -- is seeing a gentle update in Barcelona, with the ViewPad 10s 3G (predictably) gaining integrated 3G functionality. Mum's the word on pricing and release, but as always, we'll be prying for more once we touch down at BCN. Hit read more for pictures.

INQ launches Facebook-focused Cloud Touch and Cloud Q phones

We've been hearing a fair bit of buzz about INQ and Facebook getting all cozy-like and creating aFacebook phone. Well, that's only half right: INQ has made its first Android 2.2 device, really focused on Facebook integration, and seem to have really nailed it. The two devices are the INQ Cloud Touch (pictured above) and a QWERTY device with exactly the same specs -- but, with a QWERTY keypad, of course -- named the Cloud Q. Features include triband HSPA for the European folks, 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display, 5 megapixel autofocus camera, all manner of mail support including Exchange, what appears to be legendary Facebook support, and Spotify onboard as the de facto music app with a dedicated key. Hit read more for details.


Joining Gordini versions of the Twingo and Clio small cars, Renault has unveiled the Wind Roadster Gordini. Touted as a “true driver’s car”, the Wind Gordini is finished in Malta blue with twin white racing stripes. The coupe/roadster also features 17-inch black diamond wheels, Glacier white accents on the door mirrors, grille and rear wing, a gloss black roof and, of course, special “G” badging. Hit read more for details and pictures.

Google Translate for iPhone hits the App Store

iPhone users have been able to use a mobile-optimized HTML5 version of Google Translate for some time now, but they can now finally also get an honest-to-goodness app of their own just like their Android-using friends. That brings with it a number of enhancements over the basic web app, including a speak-to-translate feature with support for 15 languages, the ability to listen to your translations in 23 different languages, and a full-screen mode that lets you show your translated text to others with large, easy-to-read text. Google is still keep a few features exclusive to the Android version, however, including the still-experimental conversation mode that allows for some on-the-fly translations -- both apps are also still lacking a much-needed beatbox mode.

Dropcam app comes to Android, lets you monitor your security cameras from afar

iPhone users have been able to keep watch on their Dropcam security cameras from the convenience of a dedicated app since the Dropcam Echo launched last summer, but Android users have unfortunately been left with no other option than to simply use the standard, less-than-mobile-friendly web interface. The company's now finally corrected that oversight, however, and released a full-fledged app for Android smartphones running Android 2.2 or higher. The key advantage with a Dropcam setup -- as we noted in our review of the camera itself -- is that it's entirely cloud-based, and doesn't need to be connected to your home computer to record or share video (unfortunately, that convenience comes at quite a cost). As for the Android app, it will let you receive things like motion and audio alerts, and of course let you check in on a live stream or access recordings -- those just looking try the service can also simply access some public webcams to test it out.


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