Enjoy our roundup of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including the latest figures on Windows Phone 7 users, Google I/O’s 2012 dates and Microsoft gets generous with Nokia and Samsung.
1. Facebook App Attracts 1 Million Regulars in Windows Phone 7
A total of 1 million active, monthly Facebook users may not sound all that many given the site’s 750 million membership, but it’s a significant milestone for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 app. It also gives analysts the chance to estimate the total userbase, suggesting it’s between 6 million and 7 million. Facebook on Android has around 67 million users, while the iOS app tops the charts with 90 million.
2. WP7 Sales Higher Than Android
Following on from the Facebook/Windows Phone 7 news, Microsoft’s Andy Lees, speaking at the AsiaD conference, says the company has sold more devices than Android did during September 2008 and September 2009 – its debut year – adding weight to the above estimate. Of course, the smartphone market is very different today, but Microsoft will be hoping the trend continues, as Android sales rocketed to more than 60 million the following year!
3. Google I/O 2012 Dates Revealed
Google’s biggest event of the year, Google I/O, will be back in 2012 on 24 and 25 April. In case you’ve forgotten, Ice Cream Sandwich was discussed at this year’s event, along with Google Music Beta and the addition of movies to the Android Market; so there’s every chance the next incarnation of Android will be the focus of 2012′s event, but expect plenty of surprises too.
4. Microsoft Gifts Nokia £28 Million to Samsung and Nokia
In order to increase the advertising exposure for its Windows Phone 7 operating system, Microsoft has split £28 million between both Nokia and Samsung to run seasonal campaigns for their new phones. It’s not a 50/50 deal though, and Nokia is said to be getting as much as £20 million to promote their forthcoming range of devices. Samsung on the other hand, will be using their £8 million to push the Omnia W for Christmas.
5. Grand Theft Auto III iOS Gameplay Video
The classic PlayStation 2 game will be coming to iOS to celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year, and thanks to an intrepid YouTube user, we can get a glimpse of an early version demoed at New York’s ComicCon. The graphics look superb and it’s all very smooth, but the early controls do look a little difficult to use in intense situations. The game will be released before the end of the year.
6. HTC Plans WP7 Advertising Push
Windows Phone 7 devices now represent 30% of HTC’s sales volume, and the company has started an advertising push around the world, partly in response to above-mentioned Microsoft ad-campaign contributions to Samsung and Nokia. The company obviously believes in Microsoft’s OS, and doesn’t want to get left behind. If the banner featuring the Eiffel Tower is anything to go by, they’re not being shy either!
7. In-App Purchasing An App Store Hit
Initially the reception was quite cool, but as more and more developers turn to in-app purchasing to make money in the Apple App Store, the service now appears on seven out of ten top grossing titles. Surprisingly, it’s an even 50/50 split between freemium and pay apps too, with more than half costing the minimum £0.69.
8. Adobe Reader Comes to iOS
Adobe’s official PDF reader app has been released for iOS and can be used to view PDF files created on other platforms, including those with password protection. Nothing particularly special about that, but it doesn’t stop there, and has the ability to add comments and annotations, plus sharing encrypted files with others. Apple’s AirPrint is also supported. It’s available for free inside the App Store.
9. ARM Announces New Cortex A7 Chip
ARM has launched a new Cortex A7 MPCore processor, which they say is five-times more energy efficient than their Cortex A8 chip. It’ll run at speeds of more than 1GHz and cleverly houses two processors for controlling different operations, leaving it to the smartphone or tablet to sort out which works best at a particular time.
10. Siri Gets Famous, For the Wrong Reasons.
Since Apple announced the iPhone 4S and its built-in assistant Siri, it seems most people have been asking her odd, amusing and sometimes inappropriate questions rather than asking to rearrange meetings! YouTube is packed with videos demonstrating her responses, and blogs such as S*** That Siri Says have sprung up, proving once again Apple has unleashed a cultural phenomenon on the world.