Facebook today introduced Facebook Home, which is a family of apps that puts your friends at the heart of your phone. With Home, everything on your phone gets friendlier. From the moment you turn it on, you see a steady stream of friends’ posts and photos. Upfront notifications and quick access to your essentials mean you’ll never miss a moment. And you can keep chatting with friends, even when you’re using other apps.
It’s all part of Facebook Home—there’s no other phone, app or operating system like it.
Mozilla’s mission is about advancing the Web as a platform for all. At Mozilla Research, we’re supporting this mission by experimenting with what’s next when it comes to the core technology powering the Web browser. We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow’s faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures. That’s why we’ve recently begun collaborating with Samsung on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo.
Servo is an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way. This means addressing the causes of security vulnerabilities while designing a platform that can fully utilize the performance of tomorrow’s massively parallel hardware to enable new and richer experiences on the Web. To those ends, Servo is written in Rust, a new, safe systems language developed by Mozilla along with a growing community of enthusiasts.
We are now pleased to announce with Samsung that together we are bringing both the Rust programming language and Servo, the experimental web browser engine, to Android and ARM. This is an exciting step in the evolution of both projects that will allow us to start deeper research with Servo on mobile. Samsung has already contributed an ARM backend to Rust and the build infrastructure necessary to cross-compile to Android, along with many other improvements. You can try this now by downloading the code from Github, but it’s just the beginning.
Nuance Communications, Inc. today announced that its Dragon Mobile Assistant app for Android is breaking the traditional mobile personal assistant mold. Dragon now features unique proactive assistant and location sharing capabilities, making it easier than ever to find and meet up with friends, get automatically dialed into your next conference call, and hear text messages read aloud as they come in – turning Android smartphones into an even more intelligent personal assistant that is ready to serve with two simple words: “Hi Dragon.”
Dragon already gives Android lovers the must-have mobile personal assistant features to quickly access information, content, apps, music and people, as well as set appointments and get directions, just by using their voice – no hands required. Dragon’s latest enhancements further evolve the personal assistant experience with new anticipatory capabilities that showcase the true potential of our digital wingmen.
“Our devices are an extension of ourselves, and are quickly evolving into truly intelligent and intuitive assistants that not only act on our command, but also anticipate our needs,” said Michael Thompson, executive vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile. “And that’s what makes Dragon Mobile Assistant an exciting innovation platform, showcasing not only what’s possible, but what’s critical in creating truly meaningful, more human connections with the technology we rarely go a minute without.”
Opera browser for Android is now out in a beta version, providing mobile web navigation that is sleeker and easier to use than ever. The completely redesigned Opera for Android is the result of a passion for design combined with 17 years' worth of know-how and innovation.
The web browser is one of the most important apps in your Android phone, as it's your all-access card to the web. To make sure Android mobile users get the best experience available, Opera has rebuilt the entire browser to ensure you can make the most of your web time. Opera for Android provides a full, native browsing experience for your Android phone.
The beta version launched today, the first iteration of the new generation of Opera browsers for smartphones, will give developers and first-movers in the mobile-app world access to Opera's latest offering for Android users.
Opera, renowned for innovation, has built on its most loved features to become even better:
New look: Opera for Android sports a completely new user interface that is more elegant and built to the native specifications of the Android platform.
Discover feature: This provides a new way of discovering content on the web. From the Discover panel of the startup screen, you can read a selection of popular articles and dig deeper into your interests, such as sports, technology, lifestyle or news. Opera has selected relevant global and regional sources, so let Opera do the surfing for you.
New, revamped Speed Dial: Opera's engineers discovered that users like to have links readily available in the Speed Dial, yet also wanted the flexibility of a bookmark folder. With the new Speed Dial, the bookmarks are fused together with the Speed Dial entries to provide a new experience. It's easier to group, organize and rename Speed Dial entries or gather them in folders — all with the touch of your thumb.
Photoshop Touch is now available in a version specifically built for phones! Following up on the very popular tablet version, Photoshop Touch for phone is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play for US $4.99.
This app shares an almost identical set of features with the tablet app, in an experience designed for smaller screens. I am particularly excited about this new app because I always have my phone with me. I can be creative anywhere using the powerful tools in Photoshop Touch, even when I don’t have my tablet with me.
Much like the tablet version, Photoshop Touch on the phone has core Photoshop features like layers, advanced selections tools, adjustments and filters. We also packed in features exclusive to Photoshop Touch, like Scribble Selection for high-precision selections using only your finger, and Camera Fill for real-time creative blending of your camera feed with layers. This app features the same creative filters as the tablet version, like Color Drops and Acrylic Paint, and also a new Ripple filter.
Mozilla today previewed the first commercial build of its Firefox OS open mobile ecosystem and announced new operator rollout plans at a press conference before the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The first wave of Firefox OS devices will be available to consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. Additional markets will be announced soon.
To date, 17 key operators spanning the globe have committed to the open web device initiative: America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. Telstra is welcoming the Mozilla initiative as an opportunity to deliver an innovative mobile Web experience to their customers. The breadth of operators now backing Mozilla's Firefox OS demonstrates significant industry support for a fully-adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform.
Firefox OS smartphones are the first built entirely to open Web standards, enabling every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application. Web apps access every underlying capability of the device, bypassing the typical hindrances of HTML5 on mobile to deliver substantial performance. The platform's flexibility allows carriers to easily tailor the interface and develop localized services that match the unique needs of their customer base.
Mozilla, the mission-based organization dedicated to keeping the power of the Web in people's hands, today announced Firefox OS will launch with Firefox Marketplace, and a new ability to discover one-time use and downloadable apps to give people a powerful, personalized, speedy and enjoyable smartphone experience while also enabling easy creation, distribution and discovery of HTML5 apps worldwide.
Firefox OS will power the world's first Open Web Devices in key emerging markets and offer the performance, personalization and price you want in a smartphone. Firefox OS delivers a beautiful, clean, intuitive, personalized and easy-to-use experience that has built-in features to help manage data and storage usage while maximizing your value, time and overall enjoyment of the smartphone experience.
Firefox OS includes all the things people need from a smartphone out of the box – calls, messaging, email, camera and more – as well as the things you wish a smartphone offered, like built-in cost controls, social features with Facebook and Twitter, location-based services, much-loved features like the Firefox Web browser, new ability to discover one-time use and downloadable apps, Firefox Marketplace and much more.
"Every device is better if it's social and we're excited that Firefox OS users will have easy access to the mobile Web-based version of Facebook that will take advantage of our current and future features," said Vaughan Smith, VP of Mobile Partnerships at Facebook.
Opera Software announced today that it has acquired Silicon Valley based Skyfire Labs, a leader in mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility.
Skyfire, headquartered in Mountain View, California, is known for its Rocket Optimizer™ software. This allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimize virtually any video and other multimedia on crowded cell towers, including 3G and 4G LTE networks. Rocket Optimizer on average provides mobile networks a 60 percent boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content as needed to fit the available bandwidth. Skyfire can detect when specific users are facing poor quality of experience or connections that need assistance, and intervene in milliseconds. This can minimize the long start times, rebuffering, and stalls on video and audio streams that frustrate mobile users around the world. The approach aligns with the trend toward SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network function virtualization) among telecommunications operators, thanks to its elastic and virtualization-friendly cloud architecture.
Skyfire also offers Skyfire Horizon™, a mobile browser extension and toolbar platform that allows users to personalize their smartphone browser and operators to gain new monetization opportunities. Skyfire has honed its technology through a variety of top-selling consumer applications, which have more than 20 million worldwide downloads to date.
Skyfire currently counts three large U.S. mobile operators as customers for its Rocket Optimizer and Skyfire Horizon solutions, and is in trials with ten other operators around the world.
“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators.”
Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.
They are intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu's smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets. Tools that manage the flashing of the phone will be available on the same day in the Ubuntu archives, making it easy to keep a device up to date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview.
Attendees of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 25th - 28th February can have their phones flashed to Ubuntu by Canonical team members at the Ubuntu stand, booth number 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1, where Ubuntu will be shown on a range of devices.
The code release is a milestone in the development program for Ubuntu's phone experience, and enables developers to port the platform to other devices. "Our platform supports a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions. Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets"? said Pat McGowan, who leads the integration effort that produced the images being released. "We look forward to adding support for additional devices for everyday testing and experimentation."
Opera Software today announced reaching the milestone of 300 million monthly users across all its browser products on phones, tablets, TVs and computers.
"300 million marks the first lap, but the race goes on," says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. "On the final stretch up to 300 million users, we have experienced the fastest acceleration in user growth we have ever seen. Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market."
To provide a leading browser on Android and iOS, this year Opera will make a gradual transition to the WebKit engine, as well as Chromium, for most of its upcoming versions of browsers for smartphones and computers.
"The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need," says CTO of Opera Software, Håkon Wium Lie. "It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout."
A phenomenal lineup of top brands and applications have committed to the BlackBerry 10 platform, giving the new platform the strongest content offering of any first generation mobile platform at launch. Yesterday at the BlackBerry 10 launch event in New York, BlackBerry announced that 1000 of the top app partners will be making their applications available on the BlackBerry World storefront. The partners range from leaders in social media to the top games, sports, productivity, lifestyle apps, and more.
BlackBerry Vice President of Global Alliances and Business Development, Martyn Mallick took to the stage yesterday to showcase some of applications committed to BlackBerry 10, and attendees were able to play with some of the applications for the new platform.
"Being able to announce 1000 of the top app partners is a testament to the strength of BlackBerry 10, the ease of developing for this powerful new platform, and the remarkable opportunity that it represents for developers and brands alike," said Mallick. "We have focused on bringing the most relevant apps to BlackBerry 10 - whether they are global leaders in their categories, or whether they are regional must-have apps. We are thrilled and want to thank all the developers that have shown such strong support of a platform before it has commercially launched. We share in their excitement and belief in BlackBerry 10."
Here are just some of the apps and games committed to BlackBerry 10. Many of these apps will be available at launch with others to follow:
The Windows Phone 7.8 update is beginning its rollout to phones currently running on Windows Phone 7.5. You can transform your Nokia Lumia with a host of exciting new personalisation features, such as the ability to resize your tiles, new lock screen options, and more theme colours.
Windows Phone 7.8 has already been shipping pre-loaded on the Nokia Lumia 510 and other phones in the Nokia Lumia family, with users delighted by the new features.
And now, following extensive software testing, update notifications will begin to appear for Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 owners with an unlocked phone or operator approved software during February.
Skifta is an easy way to control, play and enjoy your music, videos and photos at home and on the move. There's no uploading to the web or syncing to your phone. In fact, you don't copy or move your stuff at all. You just leave it where it is. Then, whether it's somewhere on the Internet or on your computer at home you can access your stuff remotely using your smartphone or tablet.
Not only can you access your digital media from anywhere, with your smartphone or tablet you can also stream it to DLNA-Certified and UPnP-compatible TVs, IP-connected stereos, PlayStation 3 game consoles, Windows 7 PCs thousands of other connected consumer electronics devices anywhere.
Samsung Electronics unveiled ChatON 2.0, the next version of the popular global communication service that connects all phone users into a single community.
Now available in over 200 countries in more than 60 languages, ChatON provides easy instant messaging and group chatting in multiple formats—images, video, voice, contacts—to make communication simple, intuitive and fun. The upgraded service works on multiple connected devices—phones, tablets, connected cameras, and any web browser.
ChatON 2.0 keeps the user up-to-date with friends. Its multiscreen feature enables a user to chat with up to five connected devices using a single account, ensuring no message is ever missed. It is even possible to use ChatON from a PC web browser by logging onto chaton.com with the same Samsung Account ID. Users can now also invite friends to ChatON conversations from a wider variety of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Weibo.
ChatON 2.0 makes sharing content simple and intuitive for both one-to-one and group conversations, where users can leave comments or other content in the Trunk —a virtual place to store, and comment on, photos and videos with friends before sharing them more widely on Facebook or other social networks.
FaceBook announced today updates to Nearby in the Facebook for iOS and Android apps that make it easy to discover new places your friends like.
From the app menu, open the tab to find local spots your friends have recommended, checked into, or liked. If you’re looking for a place to eat, choose a category like Restaurants to see what’s nearby. When you find a place that looks interesting, tap to see info like friends who’ve been there and business hours.
In addition to discovering new places to visit, you can share what you think by rating or recommending places to your friends. Your own suggestions become more personalized the more you and your friends rate, recommend, and check into places.
This is an early release and there’s lots more to do. Results will get better the more people use Nearby, and FaceBook will continue to improve it based on feedback. FaceBook is also planning to add places info from third party services in the near future.
This update will be available later today. Get the latest Facebook app for iPhone or Android to try it out.
BlackBerry has announced the updated BBM 7 available from the BlackBerry App World running BlackBerry 6 OS and higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS early next year. It may take up to 24 hours for the app to be available in the BlackBerry App World storefront. See video above.