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Software and games

What Android might bring us from CTIA

Next week as wireless fans descend on New Orleans for the annual CTIA Wireless show, we'll get one more peek at how the mobile landscape will unfold over the coming months. Previously held in March, but moved to May for 2012, the three-day event takes a North American focus while including the wireless movers and shakers from around the world.

At previous shows, carriers have pulled back the curtain on high-profile Android smartphones and tablets. In 2010, for example, Sprint announced the HTC Evo 4G and last year we got the slimmed-down Galaxy Tab 10.1. So considering the rapid clip of mobile development, it stands to reason that this year will be no exception, right? … Read more

Samsung Canada bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to nine Galaxy devices

All eyes are on Samsung this week as it unveils what has arguably become the company's most anticipated Android smartphone to date.

First, however, Sammy has a bit of software business to tend to. Indeed, Samsung Canada today announced that it is making Android 4.0 available to a number of smartphones and tablets in the Galaxy series.

Starting today and rolling out over the remainder of the quarter, Ice Cream Sandwich will deploy to notable devices north of the border, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Galaxy Note. Though the exact dates for the … Read more

Smartphones now account for half of all mobile phones

Market research firm Nielsen today announced that half of all mobile phone subscribers in the United States now own a smartphone.

According to data compiled through February 2012, smartphones have grown to account for 49.7 percent of all mobile phones, up considerably from 36 percent just one year ago. What's more, in the last three months alone, two-thirds all handsets purchased were smartphones.

Neilsen also tracked which mobile platforms are popular. Of the handsets sold in the last three months, Android remains the top draw for new buyers with 48 percent of the market, but it's followed … Read more

AT&T deploys Android 4.0 to HTC Vivid

HTC today confirmed that an Android 4.0 update is now available for AT&T's HTC Vivid smartphone.

As one of the first handsets in the United States to see an Ice Cream Sandwich update after launch, the Vivid also benefits from HTC's Sense 3.6 user interface and Beats Audio enhancement. Additional details include added Bluetooth options, general UI improvements, face unlock, and better e-mail and Exchange support. … Read more

Google raises registration fee for I/O 2012

Google has released the registration details for its annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco on June 27 to 29.

Not only is the company charging attendees a higher registration fee for the three-day event ($900), but also developers will be required to make payments online using Google Wallet. For many this is a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience that comes with Google I/O, but for others looking for an easy way to snatch up a free tablet or Chromebook, it may be too high a price tag.

Registration for … Read more

Four things I'm hoping to see in the Jelly Bean release of Android

If the last few releases of Android are any indication, chances are good that we'll see Jelly Bean unveiled at Google I/O in June.

But even if Google makes that deadline, we'll likely end up waiting a few more months before Jelly Bean is actually released, perhaps with a Nexus device. So with that in mind, I thought it would be fun to put together a few ideas as to what I'd like to see in Jelly Bean. While some of this list is based on real-world expectation, others would make for a great mobile experience. … Read more

Apple iOS HTML5 performance far exceeds Android

Both iOS and Android support HTML5 in the browser, but according to a new study, Apple's platform is doing a much better job of handling it.

Spaceport, a company that provides tools for developers to create multiplatform mobile games, revealed in a study published yesterday that Apple's iPad is about four times better at handling HTML5 in the browser than competing Android-based tablets. On the smartphone side, the average iPhone performance about triples Android-based handsets.

In order to arrive at those figures, Spaceport examined the maximum number of images that could be smoothly pushed through HTML5 in mobile … Read more

Dolby aims for richer images with JPEG-HDR

BARCELONA, Spain--High dynamic range (HDR) photography has largely been the province of photo enthusiasts willing to put up with its hassles, but Dolby Laboratories hopes to bring it to the masses with a semi-proprietary technology called JPEG-HDR.

HDR photography began as a way to compensate for cameras' shortcomings compared to the human eye. The biological image sensor can capture a much greater range of dark and bright tones, whereas cameras typically can capture only one, the other, or something in the middle.

That means problems with photos in areas with a wide range of lighting- a scene where someone is … Read more

StumbleUpon for Android updates, adds Beam

Apparently, new phones, tablets, and other hardware aren't making the only news coming out of Barcelona, Spain, this week, as popular social discovery engine StumbleUpon has just released its newest Android app.

A featured developer at the Google Android booth, StumbleUpon got to show off its updated Android app as well as its new logo and color scheme at Mobile World Congress.

If you're not familiar with StumbleUpon, it's basically a Web site that helps you discover new Web sites. It gets to know you through your profile and your Web browsing activity, then uses the data … Read more

Facebook aims to whip the mobile Web into shape

BARCELONA--Facebook would like to build more mobile Web apps and fewer mobile native apps. Really, it would -- but browsers just aren't up to it, the company has concluded.

Web apps naturally span the multitudes of mobile devices that Facebook loves to run on, but they support Web standards so inconsistently that it's a developer's nightmare, said Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor, speaking here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. So Facebook is trying to do something about it: "We're taking on mobile web standards," Taylor said.

It's a two-pronged effort. … Read more