Apple Gadgets Wireless

World’s Largest Phone Manufacturers By Units Sold

The mobile phone segment is very competitive with every quarter bringing some sort of a surprise. Back in May this year, I had written about an IDC report that had listed the world’s five largest mobile phone manufacturers. Nokia, quite unsurprisingly, had the top slot while Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson had their spots in the top five secured.

Just a few months and a few launches later, there seems to be a complete revamp of the last three positions. Thanks to a robust growth in sales despite a number of reported bugs, Apple has notced a spot in the top five. LG has had a lackluster period and has seen the number of units sold drop. Sony Ericsson is out of the top five.

Here is the latest top five list along with the units sold in the quarter Q3 2010. The corresponding worldwide market share is in the brackets.

1. Nokia : 110.4 million (32.4%)
2. Samsung : 71.4 million (21.0%)
3. LG Electronics : 28.4 million (8.3%)
4. Apple : 14.1 million (4.1%)
5. RIM : 12.4 million (3.6%)
Others : 103.8 million (30.5%)
Total : 340.5 million (100%)

Mobile Motorola Verizon

Improve Battery Life On Motorola Droid 2 With New Update

Do you find the battery life on your new Motorola Droid 2 unsatisfactory? Then a fix is just around the corner. Or it has hit you already. The latest software update version 2.3.20 is now being released in batches to all Motorola Droid 2 customers that will offer a number of fixes and enhancements to the device apart from enhancing the battery life of the smartphone.

Here is a list of announced updates

  • Improved battery life.
  • Heightened proximity sensor accuracy to enable faster screen response.
  • View the Weather widget in both landscape and portrait orientation.
  • Simpler setup, improved user interactions, and better notifications for Visual Voice Mail.
  • Background Email Sync during display inactivity for better user experience.
  • Support for email domain suffixes containing more than three characters.
  • Keep text messages organized with chronological in-box screen.
  • Edit text messages after you’ve inserted a video file.
  • Improved audio sound during recorded video playbacks.
  • Stream Guided Tour videos on device in Help Center application with ease.
  • Faster location tracking during GPS navigation.
  • Faster transitions between Wi-Fi and 3G in data connection.

Has the Verizon update hit you yet? Tell us in the comments.


Build Your Own Android Phone With Synapse Phones

What are your requirements for an Android smartphone? Does it need to have an 8-Megapixel camera or will a 5-MP model do? How about other aspects like storage capacity, front camera, working memory, physical buttons, etc.? If you are quite choosy about the features you need, it is quite likely that you don’t find any of the Android phones in the market filling all your needs.

A Germany based developer of smartphones has now launched a portal that will let users select the features they need and will be able to order one custom phone online. The Synapse Phones portal is quite intuitive and users need to enter all the features that they are looking for and the price of the phone – VAT included – is displayed alongside. The pre-ordering is set to begin soon and the phones are expected to arrive in the mid of Q1 2011. Phones are expected to come with Android 2.2.

Meanwhile, check out the likely price that you will need to pay for your specifications here.

Synapse Phone One

Amazon Gadgets Mobile Software and Apps

Amazon Kindle App For Windows Phone 7 Releasing

Amazon has announced that a Kindle eReader app for the newly launched Windows Phone 7 platform is coming very soon. The application will come with all of the features that users have to come expect from a Kindle app that includes the WhisperSync technology, access to the Kindle ebook store, integrated shopping experience as well as other features like the ability to find personalized book recommendations plus the facility to send these recommendations to friends right from the app interface.

With WhisperSync, users may buy a book once and be able to sync the purchase with any of the other Kindle supported devices including the Kindle eReader, iOS and Android applications. The Windows Phone 7 application should give users access to over 725,000 books on the US Kindle store.

The Amazon Kindle app for Windows Phone 7 will be the first major ebook application on this new mobile platform and is expected to launch later this year.


New Gmail Web App For iPhone Launched

If you have been regularly checking your Gmail account over Mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch, you may have realized that the application loads new messages much faster than it used to. That’s because Google has just released a new version of the web application that is, in their words, snappier. This is not the only change that Google says it has made.

The new look Gmail app for Mobile Safari now also scrolls at a speed that is reflective of the swiping gesture. Make a quick swipe and you get down to the bottom of the list faster. Apart from this, the toolbars on top now stay fixed at their position unlike earlier times where they would float down and up after every scroll.

You can check these new changes right away on your iPhone or iPod Touch by hitting on your mobile Safari. Do you like it?

Software and Apps

Convert Flash To HTML5 With New Conversion Tool

At the developer conference organized by Adobe this week, the company has demoed one very interesting new tool – a Flash-To-HTML5 converter tool that will let developers easily port their Adobe Flash applications to HTML5 for incorporation on platforms like iOS that do not support Flash. This may look like a move that might haunt the company in the long run since it basically gives a reprieve for companies like Apple that have been otherwise facing flak for not allowing an ubiquitous multimedia platform like Adobe.

But as Adobe writer John Nack points out, his company is in the business of building tools that will make the life of developers easier. Consequently, building such tools are much needed today when there is much fragmentation.

Here is a video demo of the upcoming tool. The tool is surely going to get a lot of developers excited.

Gaming Microsoft

Microsoft Kinect "Update Failed" Error For Early Adopters

Microsoft Kinect does not launch until November 4 in the United States. But a select few customers who have already received their goods ahead of the launch day are complaining that they are noticing an error while updating the software. Users connecting the new Kinect to their XBox are prompted with a message that says that an update is required. Apparently, the update file being pushed is not the latest version and misses key components thereby temporarily making access to XBox Live unavailable.

In a statement acknowledging the issue, Microsoft has noted,

“Due to a retailer error, a very small number of customers were shipped copies of a Kinect game ahead of launch. Since Kinect does not launch until Nov. 4 in the United States, customers who insert the game into their console before then will be temporarily unable to access Xbox LIVE. The retailer is contacting affected individuals directly to warn them of this situation.”

[via Joystiq]

Google Mobile Samsung

Google Nexus Two Rumors – Unveiling On November 8?

Google may have officially claimed that they are no longer going to focus on the hardware side of the mobile business, but rumors have been doing the rounds over the past one week that Mountain View is launching a Nexus Two phone shortly. The device will reportedly be exclusively sold at CarPhone Warehouse for the UK market.

Now a fresh word is that Google could soon be making an official unveiling of this device. And unlike the earlier model, the new phone could come from Samsung and not HTC. Also, the official unveiling could happen on November 8 – at an official Samsung event.

Few things to note here. The phone may not be called a Nexus Two. Google could be coming up with a new brand considering that the earlier one did not exactly take off. Also, though the phone is from Samsung, it may not be layered with its custom UI and would instead retain the native Android look.

A partnership with Samsung makes sense considering that Google may now be able to gain access to the state of the art Super AMOLED displays that Samsung manufactures. These displays have been in huge demand and with Samsung being one of the few manufacturers have found it extremely difficult in recent times to keep up with production. Consequently, most manufacturers including HTC have moved away from Super AMOLED to alternate displays. By partnering with Samsung, Google may gain access to these “super” displays to go with what they call their “superphones“.

Facebook Web

New Facebook Page Management Tools Released

If you are the owner of a popular brand with your own Facebook page, then here is something that you would be pleased to hear. Facebook has introduced a new page management tool interface that makes administering the activities on your Facebook Page a pleasure. The new interface is much simpler and intuitive and makes it much more easy for the administrator to access the several features. This is unlike the older interface where certain features were buried deep down into the management section.

One significant addition is the ability to change the Page name in case you typed it wrong during creation. This feature is however limited to those Pages that have less than 100 connections. In addition to this, the other important features are

  • Condensed view page
  • Basic Information and Profile picture section
  • Connecting Page to Mobile Device
  • Marketing Tab

Have you tried the new Facebook Page Manager? Tell us your experience in the comments.

Gaming Sony

Sony PlayStation Rewards Program For Loyalty Recognition Launches

Sony has announced a new program for loyal PlayStation gamers – the PlayStation Rewards program that will offer exclusive status and extras to PSN members who have been around for long periods of time. In the initial invitation-only beta stage, the PlayStation Rewards program will be targeted at the US members of PlayStation Plus and Gamer Advisory Panel.

Once into the Rewards program, users need not do anything different and all of their activities including playing games, purchasing and downloading content, answering marketing surveys,etc. will be counted towards building the loyalty that shall be ultimately rewarded with additional benefits. Sony notes that the Rewards program will begin with things like

  • Exclusive PSN avatars that display member status in the program
  • Exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Home content
  • Opportunities throughout the program year to participate in members-only sweepstakes and giveaways for experiences and merchandise you won’t find elsewhere (The first of which is an all expenses paid trip to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as PlayStation’s guest)

The invitations to select members to join the new rewards program is noted to be already on the way.