Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including Google Play’s latest app count, an executive shake-up at Apple and the launch of Skype for Windows Phone 8.
1. Google Play Now Home to 700,000 Apps
According to a report published by Bloomberg, Google Play now contains 700,000 apps, a figure than matches Apple’s for the iTunes App Store. Google’s last official figure was 675,000 at the end of September, and Apple confirmed its total during the launch of the iPad Mini. It’s the first time Google has matched Apple’s app total.
2. Executive Shake-up at Apple
Two high profile Apple executives have left their positions – Scott Forstall, who has been responsible for the development of iOS, and John Browett, who ran Apple’s retail stores. Forstall will stay on as an advisor until next year, but is believed to be leaving due to disagreements over Apple Maps. Browett, who came to Apple from Dixons, has only been with the company since April, and could have upset staff with his alterations to working hours.
3. Skype for Windows Phone Released
A new version of Skype has been released, this time for Windows Phone 8, and it was announced alongside the new OS at Microsoft’s launch event in San Francisco earlier this week. It’s capable of running in the background all the time, ready for chat and video calls, and you can see it in action in this short video. The app is free to download from the Windows Phone Store.
4. iOS 6.0.1 Available Now
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad owners should check the software update feature on their phones, as Apple has started to push the iOS 6.0.1 firmware update through. Sadly, there are no exciting new features, just bug fixes and performance improvements; but for those affected by some of iOS 6′s little ways, this will be good news. It’s available both over-the-air and via iTunes.
5. Nokia Announces the 109
Nokia doesn’t only produce phones like the Lumia 920, it also makes cheaper devices such as the 109, which was announced today. It runs on Series 40 software and is a simple 2G phone with a 1.8-inch screen, a 3.5mm headphone socket and a battery that will provide 33 days of standby. Yes, that’s days. It’s out soon and shouldn’t cost more than £27.
6. Nokia Drive Made Available to Other Manufacturers
Other phone manufacturers producing Windows Phone 8 handsets now have the option of adding Nokia Drive to their arsenal of included apps. According to Pocket-Lint, Nokia will make the list of devices that will come with its mapping software installed public in the “coming days”.
7. Amazon Game Studios Debut Title Released
Amazon, the company best known for its online retail store and for devices such as the Kindle eReader, has branched off yet again, this time into the realm of app development. Amazon Game Studios has now released its first title, Air Patriots. It’s a line-drawing game crossed with tower defence, and in the trailer, looks like good fun. It’s available for Android and iOS as a free download today.
8. Acer Delays Windows RT Tablet Launch
Acer has decided it will push back the launch of its Windows RT tablets from the beginning of 2013 to between April and June instead. It blames the mixed reviews Microsoft’s own Surface tablet has attracted since it launched, saying it wants to be “more cautious” in the future, and will return the devices to the R&D department.
9. Google Releases 32GB Nexus 7
In addition to the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, Google has tweaked the spec sheet of the Nexus 7 tablet, offering a 32GB versionfor £199 in the UK. A 3G version is also planned for release through the Three network later in November.
10. Three Could Be Next with 4G
EE has recently become the first network to launch 4G LTE network in the UK, and the next could be Three. In an interview with CNET UK, Three said it will also use the 1800MHz spectrum for the purposes of 4G, and the irony is that it will be getting a chunk of it from EE. This means EE has a say in when Three can start using the bandwidth, so expect it to drag its approval out, to preserve as much of its advantage as possible.