Dropbox clears 1 billion file uploads per day

BARCELONA, Spain--People save 1 billion files every day to Dropbox's online storage service, Chief Executive Drew Houston said today at the Mobile World Congress show here.

In addition, the company's 100 million users tap into the service with 500 million devices, he said. The statistics shows major growth for a company founded in 2007 when today's high-end smartphones only just were emerging.

When the company started, Dropbox could synchronize people's data among PCs, but now of course it helps bridge the gaps to smartphones, tablets, and presumably other Internet-connected devices of the future. The company has … Read more

Opera overhaul: WebKit-based Android browser due Q2

BARCELONA, Spain--Opera Software has dropped the new engine into its browser and now has begun revving it up.

At the Mobile World Congress show here, the company began showing for the first time its new WebKit-based version of Opera for Android. That browser is the first product from a completely overhauled product line and technology strategy for the company based in Oslo, Norway.

Opera is changing the browser engine at the core of its software, dumping its own Presto for the open-source WebKit used in Chrome and Safari. It's a radical change in many ways: many engineers are changing … Read more

Viber CEO takes on carriers' over-the-top attack

BARCELONA, Spain--Carriers love to bash companies like Skype and WhatsApp that provide services on top of their mobile networks at the Mobile World Congress trade show. But one thing was different this year: Viber Media founder and Chief Executive Talmon Marco entered the lion's den to defend the idea.

Viber's free messaging service, which competes directly with carriers' own high-profit services for text- and multimedia-messaging services, is a prime example of the despised over-the-top (OTT) approach. Marco showed no remorse for sapping telco revenues and argued that users are just moving to where the innovative, useful services are … Read more

Mozilla CEO: Android, iOS leave lots of room for Firefox OS

BARCELONA, Spain--With another 2 billion people hooking up to the Internet in the next five years, there's plenty of room for another mobile operating system, Mozilla Chief Executive Gary Kovacs said today in a sales pitch for his new Firefox OS.

Apple and Google have led the way in the smartphone market but can't cover the whole thing, he said in a speech to thousands at the Mobile World Congress show here, though he didn't mention the companies by name.

"I find it impossible to understand how 3, 4, 5, or 6 billion people are going … Read more

Wireless carriers seek cross-border spectrum cooperation

BARCELONA, Spain--Mobile network operators traditionally use Mobile World Congress to call for lower taxes and more wireless spectrum. This year, a new word has entered the wish list: harmonization.

The mobile industry today must deal with a hodgepodge of electromagnetic frequencies that differ from carrier to carrier and country to country. Franco Bernabe, chief executive of Telecom Italia, wants to see not just more spectrum for wireless operators, but also spectrum that's not so fragmented.

"It's not just about having the right amount of spectrum. It's critical that the spectrum is harmonized on a global basis,&… Read more

LG overhauls Android phones from top-end to low-budget

BARCELONA, Spain--LG Electronics overhauled its Android product line today, with the flagship Optimus G Pro leading the way.

The company divides its Optimus line into four categories: its G series for deep-pocketed early adopters, the F series with the mission of "4G LTE for everyone," the lower-end L series, and the Vu tablets.

The company announced the Optimus G Pro specifications last week, and now it's showing off the "phablet"-size device with its mammoth 5.5-inch screen. Soon it and its smaller Optimus G sibling will be joined by more in the line. … Read more

Geeksphone Peak: The best way to try Firefox OS (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain--If you're going to try Firefox OS, try it on the Geeksphone Peak.

This smartphone, with a 4.3-inch 960x540-pixel multitouch screen and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, is the best way so far to experience Mozilla's browser-based operating system. Mozilla debuted Firefox OS today at Mobile World Congress, signing up an impressive array of mobile network partners and mainstream phone makers LG Electronics, ZTE, Alcatel, and Huawei.

But it's Spanish startup Geeksphone that had the nicest hardware with the Peak. It's for developers, not mainstream buyers, and it showed off Firefox … Read more

Unspectacular Firefox OS is OK for low-end phones (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain--Firefox OS is real, and it works.

Mozilla's browser-based phone technology is a credible option for the emerging markets where it'll first arrive starting in the second quarter. The nonprofit debuted the first version of the software at the Mobile World Congress show in front of 700 people curious to see how well it works.

For that mobile-savvy audience, the answer is this: not well enough. For wealthier customers, Firefox OS will have a hard time standing up to the two powerhouses of the mobile market, Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

With Firefox OS, Mozilla … Read more

Asus at MWC 2013: Join us Monday (live blog)

BARCELONA, Spain--Given what else it has had to deal with recently, Spain probably wouldn't be all that shocked if a UFO did indeed land atop Gaudi's famous Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. But rest assured, would-be tourists, that was just a teaser in a brief video Asus released over the Internet in the run-up to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Asus' Mobile World Congress press conference

The video ends with an invitation to "join Asus to embrace the metallic miracle" on February 25 at Mobile World Congress. Another tease: the company's Mobile World … Read more

Mozilla, AT&T show WebRTC phone-Web communications link

BARCELONA, Spain--Mozilla, Ericsson, and AT&T announced today they're demonstrating technology to place Internet-based voice and video calls that bridge traditional telephone services and the Web.

The demonstration, at Mobile World Congress here, uses the nascent WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) standard to set up browser-based communications between different devices.

The "proof of concept" links a Web app with a person's existing phone number and "shows how consumers can easily take and receive video calls from their mobile phones or desktop browser using WebRTC or share their Web experiences with friends or family who might … Read more