Is iPhone 4G Launching On July 4?

Geeksmack is speculating that the iPhone 4G is launching on or around July 4. While that is not a major surprise in itself, considering that Apple has always launched its iPhone during that period, a few other iPhone features told by its source is interesting. Here are some things that is rumored to be available on iPhone 4G

  • Better battery : Up to 14-16 hours while on call or internet
  • Zoom in/out on photo and video
  • Accurate GPS : up to within 5 feet
  • Improved antenna
  • Lighter and thinner

The tipster also claims an introduction of a feature called “breadcrumbs”  that will help users to know the return route without the use of GPS.

[via GeekSmack]

RIM Brings GPS-Based Security Settings For Blackberry

How many of you religiously switch your mobile phones to ‘silence’ mode when you approach your office and take it off ‘silence’ after work? If a recently published patent is to be believed, RIM could be automatically doing it for you.

In the patent, the inventors distinctly talk about security settings; mainly setting shorter timer for mobile locking and requiring you to type longer passwords in less secure areas and slacking off in more secure areas.

“determining a security setting associated with the determined location, wherein the security setting is a home security setting when the mobile electronic device is within a predetermined proximity of a user’s home as determined by a predetermined home location, a work security setting when the mobile electronic device is within a predetermined proximity of a user’s work as determined by a predetermined work location, and an other location security setting when the mobile electronic device is not within a predetermined proximity of the home location or the work location; and automatically applying the determined security setting on the mobile electronic device.”

Though this patent is mainly about security features, it is however likely that this technology is also extended to other profile level functions like changing the ringtones. What do you think?

Palm To Introduce Location Sharing Among Users

Location sharing is one of the buzzwords of late and companies are realizing the opportunity in this field. One of the leading developers of smartphones, Palm could soon be launching their own location sharing feature among users.

In a patent published recently by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Palm has sought to introduce a feature that will push notifications to the users’ mobile phones whenever one of their friends too happen to be in the same location. In the patent, the inventors write

“A mobile computing device comprises a user input device, an output device, a memory configured to store data and a processing circuit. The processing circuit is configured to receive user input from the user input device indicative of a request to associate the stored data with a second mobile computing device, to receive an indication that the second mobile computing device is proximate to the mobile computing device, and to provide a notification to the user via the output device based on the indication.

This sounds very much like Google Latitude. What do you think of this new upcoming feature? Do you see interest in the device picking up because of this? Tell us in the comments.

Google Launching ‘Pay Per Call’ Advertising This Month

In a communication sent to Adwords advertisers, Google has noted that the rumored Pay Per Call feature for Adwords listings for mobile phones will go live from this month. An official statement regarding this is awaited.

So how will this work? Hereon, advertisers who wish to talk to prospective clients in the location of their interest shall be displayed phone numbers alongside the ads and shall be prompted to call the advertiser. Users making such calls shall be connected to the advertiser who will pay for the lead in as much the same way as ‘Pay Per Click’. The feature is expected to be popular among the smartphone users who are known to surf the web a lot more than feature phone users.

What do you think about this feature? Can this be more effective, considering that you get to talk to a prospective lead or will this lead to a lot of junk calls thus spilling advertising costs for the advertisers? Please tell us in the comments.

[via SearchEngineLand]

Move Over Smartphones, It is SuperPhones Now

By now, you must be aware of all the tech specifications of the Google Nexus One. Well, it did not have anything different from what was speculated. However, one thing that has interested everyone is the integration of voice capabilities into all the applications – email, text messaging, maps, etc. That means you can simply dictate away instead of navigating through. How effective is it to the various accents, we are still not very sure, but the software is known to train itself and so you should be able to dictate much easier with more usage.

Google calls it a “superphone“. We would tend to disagree with this. Despite the gigahertz processors, it can still be called yet another smartphone. It was a needless extension of a category that is still in its formative years.

But one thing that the Nexus One has revolutionized is the distribution. As we had mentioned earlier in our article on the secret behind the Nexus One name, Nexus One shall be coming up with a lot of operators (available with just T-Mobile currently). Like the Google executive said during the briefing, the idea is for you to get the phone and then choose an operator rather than the other way round.

What do you think of this new strategy and will you be going for it? Do tell us. And yes, if you are, check out Google Phone page to order right away.

What’s In A Name? The Secret Behind Nexus One

The big day is finally here. In a few hours from now, Google will finally be unveiling the device that has gripped the attention of people worldwide for quite some time now.

While that happens, one thing that has forever intrigued me is, Why the name Nexus One? What did the folks at Google brainstorm about before agreeing upon this name? Wasn’t it supposed to be gPhone all along?

As a matter of fact, what does seem to be like an inncuous question can carry the secret behind the very driving force of the phone. Naysayers have questioned the value in buying an unlocked Nexus One for $530 when other alternatives are much cheaper. What is so special about the device that will help Google outdo the Apple in the smartphone war?

FT apparently has an answer to it. In an article on his column yesterday, Richard Waters goes delves deeper into the “secrets” behind the name Nexus One. One plausible reason which could eventually also turn to be Google’s genius stroke could be to market a subsidized device to the users who need not have to worry about the network.

With the iPhone, users in USA have complained about the AT&T network all along. Google probably sees a gap here that the Nexus One can fill. With the Nexus One, users may buy a device with SIM from any of the major carriers locked to it. In essence, it is not an unlocked device, but locked to the network of your choice. Allowing a Nexus of mobile phone operators to offer subsidized device can not only provide a choice to the consumers but can also competitively manage the subsidy offered by various players.

Of course, this alone is not enough. The consumers will have to find the device interesting. The answer to that, we will know later in the day at Mountain View. Remain glued to the monitors until then!

[via FT]

Nexus One To Come With Native Spotify Application

Google might have found an answer to the iPhone, but the company still does not have a warrior to take on iTunes. It is probably that argument that has made Google strike a deal with Spotify, an European startup that lets you stream music.

This is what we know for now – A Spotify app built for Android 2.1 will be provided along with the Nexus One that goes on sale from January 5 (That’s tomorrow!).

Spotify isn’t presently available in the US since the company is in discussions with the various labels over pricing. But from what TechCrunch reports, Google might be shelling out the monthly cost of $3-$4 per Nexus One user. We are not sure why Google is that desperate, but apparently that is how it is.

TechCrunch writes

“Google wanted Spotify badly enough that they were willing to cover the label costs for every user of $3 – $4 per month. Spotify would add advertising on top of it, as they do with the free version in Europe, to make additional revenue. Without Google paying those label fees there was no way Spotify could handle the costs of the user flow that 2.1 would provide. Currently, European users must pay for Spotify Premium to use the mobile versions of the service.”

The deal is still unconfirmed. It is either that this deal was made several days ago but was kept in the dark or that late minute discussions have not yielded any results. Otherwise, it is unlikely that such a last minute inclusion could be made to the handsets.

What do you think?

[via TechCrunch]

How Good Is The Nexus One Camera?

One of the things that Motorola Droid claimed to be better than the iPhone was in its camera. With a 5 megapixel camera, the Droid tried to out-do the iPhone in this category.

Now, we also know that the Nexus One has a 5 megapixel camera. But looking into a few patents filed by Google throws a few more interesting points that we may expect in the Nexus One.

One of the patent filed is titled “Reducing Flare in a Lens Having a Dichroic Filter“. In this patent, Google writes

“In order to obtain an image with high color fidelity, in an environment with a bright source in a field of view, flare must be minimized. In an embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for reducing flare in an image device may include an absorptive UV cut filter positioned in an integrated optical system and a dichroic IR cut filter disposed on a lens in the optical system. The dichroic IR cut filter receives light reflected from one or more surfaces in the optical system at an angle of incidence larger than an angle of incidence of image light (e.g., a chief ray) entering the dichroic IR cut filter. The absorptive UV cut filter may be used to reduce a reflection of UV-wavelength light from reaching an image sensor of the image device. Further, the dichroic IR cut filter may be used to reduce a reflection of IR-wavelength light as an angle of incidence of the reflection of the IR-wavelength light striking the dichroic IR cut filter increases with respect to the angle of incidence of image light striking the dichroic cut filter.

A couple of other patents filed by Google have revealed that the company is working on newer technologies that will offer wide-angled and panoramic images using the camera. Here are some quotes from the patents that will give you an idea of what Google is actually up to

Panoramic Camera With Multiple Image Sensors Using Timed Shutters (Patent link)

The present invention relates to the field of panoramic still and motion photography. In a first embodiment, a camera apparatus for panoramic photography includes a first image sensor positioned to capture a first image. The first image sensor has a rolling-shutter readout arranged in portrait orientation. The camera apparatus also includes second image sensor positioned to capture a second image. The second image sensor has a rolling-shutter readout arranged in portrait orientation. Finally, the camera apparatus includes a controller configured to signal the second image sensor to start capturing the second image before the first image sensor finishes capturing the first image. At least a portion of the first image is in front of the second image relative to a forward direction of the camera apparatus.

Using Image Content to Facilitate Navigation in Panoramic Image Data (Patent link)

The present invention relates to using image content to facilitate navigation in panoramic image data. In an embodiment, a computer-implemented method for navigating in panoramic image data includes: (1) determining an intersection of a ray and a virtual model, wherein the ray extends from a camera viewport of an image and the virtual model comprises a plurality of facade planes; (2) retrieving a panoramic image; (3) orienting the panoramic image to the intersection; and (4) displaying the oriented panoramic image.

Ok, these technologies do not look exactly revolutionary. But they help to look deeper into how good the Nexus One camera can be. From the look of it, it does seem like it’s going to be a good deal.

Nexus One To Be Available On AT&T 3G

Consider this as one of the several unsubstantiated rumors that appear every time a high profile product is making a launch. Boy Genius Report is claiming that one of its sources have told them that a Nexus One handset shall also be made available on the AT&T 3G network.

This appears contrary to more established rumors that surfaced last week where we were shown pictures of what will be Google’s online store for purchasing Nexus One. Personally, I would tend to believe that rumor over this one.

Nevertheless, knowing Google, you’ll never get to know until they happen. So as for now, it’s fingers crossed.

Given a choice between T-Mobile and AT&T, which one will you go for? Do let us know in the comments.

[via Boy Genius  Report]

Nexus One Rooted – Just That We Are A Week Away From Launch

The Nexus One is still a week away from launch. Google has not even given any indications about the company launching their own smartphone device. But news is in that the device has already been rooted.

Paul O’Brien from UK, the owner of the popular geeks forum Modaco today posted on his website that he had managed to break into the Nexus One handset in order to root it. He has called it the Superboot.

We are not exactly sure how many readers here would actually be owning a Nexus One device at this point, but in case you somehow did, you may proceed to his website to check out the rooting instructions.

Nevertheless, there is nothing much to gain by getting access to the root at this point, but we hope better things will come once Nexus One launches.
[via Gizmodo]