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Intel patents a future PC feature: A smart soft phone

September 27th, 2012

Intel patents a future PC feature: A smart soft phone

Rather than just more raw performance, computers are likely to go down a path of much greater integration in the future. Intel has picked a rather unusual feature, according to a recently granted patent. The fact that there is a patent does not mean that such a product will ever be made, but the thought is interesting nevertheless: The document suggests that a future computer would automatically come with a softphone based on the telephony application programming interface (TAPI) and TAPI library of functions in Windows. Microsoft and Intel jointly developed TAPI and launched the technology back in 1993 for Windows 3.1.

So, it is not new technology Intel is describing, but just a convenience feature that the company wants to be embedded in new computers. The idea is that a phone number shown on the screen and selected by the user would be automatically detected as a phone number and the user would be presented a dial pad to call that number. Incoming calls would also be displayed with a phone interface and show information such as caller ID data.

According to the patent, there is a need for a dialer “that has many capabilities such as conference, transfer, hold, park, drop, hold, dial a highlighted number on a list etc., and which can do this job with a context sensitive menu form to simplify the options displayed to the user based upon the situation.”

Intel did not apply for the patent as far back as it may seem – the application was filed in 2010. There is no indication that Intel wants to directly integrate the phone feature into its processors, but the patent repeatedly refers to office environment as target area for this telephony approach. It may not be a groundbreaking idea, but it is not unreasonable to assume that an Intel PC could one day come with much more convenient telephony functionality that the still rather raw IP phone interfaces and features we are used to today.

SOURCE via USPTO

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Intel reveals Quad-Core, LTE-capable mobile chips are on the way

September 25th, 2012

Intel reveals Quad-Core, LTE-capable mobile chips are on the way

Intel’s curious decision to shun the US and release Medfield-powered smartphones in India, China, Russia and the UK might be because of those countries’ underdeveloped levels of LTE. Marketing chief Sumeet Syal told TechCrunch that its current-generation x86 system-on-chip won’t support the standard, but a modem solution will arrive at the end of the year — with production ramping up in 2013. He also let slip to the site that a replacement dual-core platform will arrive shortly, claiming they’ll benefit from Intel’s hyper threading know-how. Syal said that Santa Clara is “comfortable” with its progress just months after entering the smartphone space but declined to discuss numbers — for which we’ll have to wait for the Q3 earnings call in October to find out how well (or not) Intel’s mobile ambitions are going.

SOURCE via TechCrunch

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Firefox OS Marketplace leaks in current form, shows shopping Gecko-style

September 4th, 2012

Firefox OS Marketplace leaks in current form, shows shopping Gecko-style

Mozilla has been seeding Firefox OS to eager developers for some time. However, we’ve largely been denied a peek at how the developer’s own take on a mobile app store will play out on an actual device. Some of that picture just filled out thanks to some images of the mobile Firefox Marketplace that have landed in Engadget’s hands. From what we’ve seen of the current store, it’s a significant break from the top-level storefront we saw back in the Boot to Gecko days, not to mention Mozilla Marketplace on the desktop. The deeper exploration shows a minimalist store that’s focused on quickly delving into individual categories rather than an abundance of highlighted apps. We’re not seeing any startling revelations — there’s only free apps visible in these early images, for example — but the gallery is proof that Mozilla is well on its way to fleshing out the core of its OS for a launch next year. Let’s just hope that the rest of the software moves at a similarly quick pace.

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Jolla signs deal to bring future MeeGo handsets to Chinese retailer D.Phone

July 18th, 2012

Jolla signs deal to bring future MeeGo handsets to Chinese retailer D.Phone

With only vague plans for two new Meego smartphones and a loose commitment from Nokia in its pocket, nervy startup Jolla went ahead and signed its first sales channel — Chinese retailer D.Phone. The company made the announcement by Twitter, since it doesn’t even have a website yet, calling itself a “rising smartphone product company,” and saying that it will use D.Phone’s 2,000 stores to sell the as-yet nonexistent handsets to Chinese consumers. It also confirmed that the first device would launch later this year featuring a fresh version of MeeGo, though the company didn’t discuss dates or any new features that the new OS version might pack. For a mobile platform that was on death’s door, it may have just been gifted a possible reprieve — provided Jolla can build phones to match its ambitious plans.

SOURCE via Jolla

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Mozilla says a slew of carriers and handset makers set to support Firefox OS

July 3rd, 2012

Mozilla says a slew of carriers and handset makers set to support Firefox OS

Sure it’s not as catchy as “Boot to Gecko,” but Mozilla’s newly-christened Firefox OS has already gained favor with a number of carriers, including Deutsche Telekom, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor — as previously reported, Telefonica-owned Vivo is set to introduce the earliest handsets early next year in Brazil. On the manufacturing side of things, ZTE and TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel One Touch) have signed on to make phones based on the HTML5-powered mobile operating system. Firefox OS will be positioned as a low-priced, entry-level alternative to leading mobile operating systems.

SOURCE via All Things D

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ARM vows Mali-450 graphics will liven up mid-range smartphones

June 14th, 2012

ARM vows Mali-450 graphics will liven up mid-range smartphones

ARM is still cooking its next-generation Mali-T604 mobile graphics, but it has what could be a massive lift to performance coming considerably sooner through the Mali-450 family. The architecture is almost almost literally two Mali-400 chips (the same that powers the Galaxy S II) grafted together, and the maximum eight cores accordingly run up to twice as quickly as what we saw just a year ago. The real achievement might be just be targeting the Mali-450 at a more down-to-Earth audience: where the 400 was all about conquering the high-end, ARM wants the 450 to focus on mid-range and even entry-level phones. Design work for the new Mali video should be done before the end of 2012, although it’ll be up to chip manufacturers to carry the torch and finish work that likely won’t show in phones and tablets until 2013.

SOURCE via EE Times

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Smartphone users less aware of lack of privacy in public

May 15th, 2012

Smartphone users less aware of lack of privacy in public

In a survey, researchers in Tel Aviv discovered that smartphones are altering our perception of privacy in public. They found that smartphone users are “70 percent more likely than regular cell phone users to believe that their phones afford them a great deal of privacy.”

However, the reality is that our behavior in public reveals much more about our private issues than we tend to realize. For example, smartphone users are much more willing to talk on their phone in public than regular phone users who often delay their phone calls until they have privacy. Smartphone users also care less about their immediate environment than traditional cell phone users.

“We are entering a new phase of public and private spaces,” said Tali Hatuka, a researcher at Tel Aviv University. She suggested that the design of public spaces would have to evolve with our behavior and mentioned separating smartphone users from non-smartphone users, similar to smokers and nonsmokers. Future research into the topic will focus on the detailed interaction of people with their smartphones.

SOURCE via AFTAU

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HTC and Facebook said to be developing phone together

April 27th, 2012

HTC and Facebook said to be developing phone together

HTC is no stranger to Facebook phones, having released the HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha last year. However, despite the lukewarm success these two handsets have enjoyed since their launch, it seems HTC isn’t ready to give up on producing a successful smartphone geared towards Facebook addicts.

According to a report over on Digitimes, Facebook and HTC are teaming up to develop a customized smartphone. The news outlet highlights the fact that Google is pressing on with its partnership with Samsung for the Nexus line after originally contracting HTC to design the hardware for its first flagship phone, the Nexus One. Industry sources say that this new phone will have a platform exclusive to Facebook and will integrate all of the social network’s features and tools into the phone’s OS.

Little else in the way of information is given about this mystery Facebook phone from HTC but Digitimes sources say the phone is part of Facebook’s larger plan to expand on investments. As far as a release is concerned, sources are saying Q3 2012 at the earliest.

SOURCE via DigiTimes

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Nvidia’s Kepler to make its way to superphones in the future

March 27th, 2012

Nvidia's Kepler to make its way to superphones in the future

Now this is interesting news from NVIDIA. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has dropped some details in an internal email that has said that there are possibilities that the latest Kepler GPUs could be headed to future Superphones. Kepler has made waves in the recently released GTX 680 with its incredible performance at the top of the GeForce pyramid. Jen-Hsun Huang also said that “Today is just the beginning of Kepler and that because of its super energy-efficient architecture, we will extend GPU’s into datacentres, to super thin notebooks, to super phones”.

Of course, there is no mention on when these will be put in place, but safe to say, this is a very interesting proposition indeed.

SOURCE via Engadget

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Use this awesome website to find out how big phones are

January 30th, 2012

Use this awesome website to find out how big phones are

Phone-size.com is a useful little website that compares the size of phones against each other. Can your weeny hands handle a gargantuan Galaxy Nexus? Are your skinny jeans too tight for a Samsung Galaxy Note? You’ll get to find out at this!

Phone-size.com’s phone selection is pretty impressive so if you’re looking to buy any phone, it’s probably good to check their website out before you commit (especially if you’re too lazy to go to a brick and mortar store). The website is clever enough to adapt to your computer’s display, so you’re getting a fairly real-life look at how big your future phone will be, if you set your screen’s size accordingly.

SOURCE via Phone-Size

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