Posts Tagged ‘LG’

Skype on your telly! Might be time to upgrade

500x_lgskypecontactlistWith today’s news, I can see myself upgrading my 37 inch 1080p HD television a lot sooner than I planned. Skype announced today that the VoIP/video conferencing service is coming to Internet-connected TVs. Combine this with Internet widgets and online video-capability, and my relatively modern TV will soon look a bit long in the tooth.

Both TV manufacturers will be offering sets with Skype software and support for all the stand features that we’ve come to love – voicemail, land-line and mobile calls via Skype-in and Skype-out, free Skype-to-Skype calls, video calling etc. On the hardware front, users will need to purchase and plug in one of the soon-to-be-available 720p web cams that will feature “microphones specifically designed to pick up sound at couch distance”, reports Gizmodo. Now that does sounds cool, although I’m not sure why they can’t come built-in.

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Hands-on: LG Arena KM900 touch screen phone


LG Arena KM900 web browser

I’ve had just over a week to test out LG’s latest flagship phone – the LG Arena KM900 – a device that I first set eyes on at last month’s The Gadget Show Live. The touch screen phone has a lot going for it, but like many post-iPhone offerings, doesn’t quite live up to the promise based on technical specs alone and at times has the potential to frustrate. 

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The Gadget Show Live: mobile phone watches [video]


This is a product category that has me far from convinced but it’s intriguing nonetheless. I’m talking about mobile phone watches, which are about as Star Trek or Knight Rider as they come. I got to see two such devices up close (to varying degrees) at The Gadget Show Live last week.

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The Gadget Show Live: LG Arena – not just another iPhone wannabe [video]

lg-standI’ve got to hand it to the guy from LG’s stand at The Gadget Show Live, if it wasn’t for his genuinely enthusiastic pitch for the company’s new ‘Arena’ KM900 touch screen phone, I might too easily have dismissed it as just the latest iPhone wannabe. He talked up the Arena’s 3 inch WVGA (480 x 800) screen, 8GB of on-board storage (expandable to 40GB via MicroSD), “S-Class” User Interface, and FM transmitter functionality – a feature that I recently suggested all portable media players should carry. Having said that, the Arena does take a number of design cues from the iPhone; the industrial design and the UI’s art work borrows more than a little from Apple’s iconic device.

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Report: HTC's Android-powered "Google phone" may be delayed after all

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Developing a phone — even if it is just an operating system — is not something you do overnight with a bunch of cajoled software developers.

Just a week after High Tech Computer (HTC) said it was on schedule to deliver Android-powered cell phones by the 4Q of 2008, another report surfaces Thursday that says HTC is “having structural problems to incorporate Google’s demand feature set” and “demanding a guaranteed minimum revenue surety from Google,” according to Barron’s Tech Trader Daily.

Barron’s picked up a research note from Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research saying his “contacts” contend that HTC’s Android handset — the so-called Google phone — will be delayed until the first quarter of 2009.

Additionally, Chowdhry’s “contacts” tell him that another problem Google is having is attracting software developers to the platform. They’re too busy writing code for Windows Mobile, Nokia (Symbian), Research in Motion (BlackBerry), and Apple’s iPhone.

That’s no surprise. These guys actually have phones, real working phones, to develop for and test.

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LG's Netflix streaming Blu-ray player announced. What, no Wi-Fi?

We already knew that Netflix was working with LG Electronics to integrate its Watch Now video streaming service into some juicy new hardware. And today the two companies announced what that hardware will be.

Available this fall, the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, in addition to being able to play high definition Blu-ray discs and upscale standard DVDs, will give Netflix subscribers the option of streaming any of the 12,000 movies and TV episodes available on Watch Now to their TVs at no additional cost.

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Mobile OS wars heat up as Verizon joins LiMo Foundation, a Google-Android rival

VerizonHere’s an interesting jab at Google and its mobile operating system Android: Verizon, the No. 2 U.S. carrier, is joining the LiMo Foundation because it has software and phones available, Google does not.

LiMo FoundationThe LiMo Foundation, representing Linux Mobile, is the lesser known of the mobile operating systems. There’s Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, supplying many makers of smart phones; Symbian, supplier mostly to Nokia; Qualcomm, supplier mostly to Verizon; upstart Google, and Apple. Then there’s Linux Mobile, slowly creeping along by adding devices mostly in Europe and Asia.

The LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation is a consortium of companies well vested in the mobile industry: Motorola, Samsung, LG Electronics, Vodaphone, NTT DoCoMo, and many others. Verizon is the first U.S. carrier to join the LiMo initiative, which now has 40 members worldwide.

The idea behind LiMo is to build a standardized, Linux-based mobile platform, which members can customize to meet their needs. For the most part, Linux Mobile is a competitor to Android, which is not yet available on any handsets. Linux Mobile is showing up on phones from Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, and LG.

Kyle Malady, vice president of network for Verizon, said in a conference call today that he expects Verizon to sell both regular devices and smart phones using mobile Linux next year.

“We expect that Linux Mobile will rapidly become our preferred operating system,” Malady said to The Associated Press [via The New York Times] . “As the development community looks at how best to bring new applications to the marketplace, they should check out LiMo and Linux Mobile first.”

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HTC launches first true iPhone competitor just as Apple is about to take its phone to next level

htc touch diamondIt’s about time. Well, sort of.

Taiwanese smart phone manufacturer HTC launched the Touch Diamond today and, as expected, it’s small, sleek, sexy, very iPhone-esque, and promising.

Unfortunately for those of us in the U.S. or Latin America, the Diamond will not be available until the second half of 2008. If you’re in European markets, the phone begins shipping in June, followed by Asia and the Middle East.

As you know, much has been said about the iPhone since its launch last June. Ever since then, any phone released by any manufacturer is compared with the iPhone.

But so far, no one has come close to the iPhone’s design, interface, usability, user experience, and overall satisfaction, although Nokia’s offerings are popular. One “phone” promised to take on the iPhone, but the so-called Gphone, running Google’s mobile operating system Android, hasn’t been released by any manufacturer yet, it isn’t expected until the fourth quarter, and is completely untested in the market.

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The Mobile Industry Wants You! (to tell them what you want in a cell phone)

mobile industry wants youSomething is going on here. Why does the mobile industry want us, the consumer, to develop its phones for them?

At the Wireless Innovations 2008 conference today in Redwood City, Calif., panelists predicted “radical changes to what customers expect and demand,” according to a Dow Jones report.

T-Mobile reps said its first Google-powered Android phone, due out in the fourth quarter, will be tailored to the consumer, and at the same time the consumer will tell the carriers what they want their mobile devices to do.

This will lead to an “avalanche” of innovation from consumers, panelists said.

As the Dow Jones report notes, “The time is ripe for innovators and start-ups to deliver what consumers want in new, possibly lucrative ways.”

At least four household-name companies are asking customers and third-party developers for input — Google, Apple, Nokia, and LG — and two of them (Apple and Nokia) are believed to have their acts together in the mobile space.

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