Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including the launch of Twitter Music, rumours of a 12 megapixel camera on the iPhone 5S, and the release of the Kobo Aura HD eReader.
1. Twitter Music Launches
Initially an iPhone-only app, Twitter Music is billed as a new way to find music based on who you follow on Twitter, or what’s being listened to by others. The app integrates with Spotify or Rdio to allow full-track streaming, or plays a preview via iTunes. It’s free to download, and will be coming to Android in the future.
2. iPhone 5S to Feature 12 Megapixel Camera
A report from a Vietnamese tech blog suggests Apple will fit an improved 12 megapixel camera to its next iPhone model, which most are expecting to be called the iPhone 5S. Not only that, but the low-light performance will also be tweaked, however exactly how this will be achieved isn’t discussed. Apple is likely to release the next iPhone sometime during the second half of this year.
3. Microsoft Gives Us a Brief History Lesson
Microsoft has released a short promotional video to show us how tiles have evolved over the years, eventually becoming the basis for Windows Phone’s user interface. It’s a fun little animation, and you can see it below:
4. More Than 4 Million Xperia Z Phones Sold
According to an analyst report, Sony has sold 4.6 million Xperia Z smartphones over a period of 40 days. This excellent performance has been helped by Sony releasing the Xperia Z earlier than the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, it’s closest Full HD smartphone rivals.
5. Kobo Launches High-end Aura HD eReader
Kobo has gone in a different direction to most other eReader manufacturers, by launching a high price device named the Aura HD. It has a 6.8-inch screen with a 256dpi resolution, easily beating the Kindle’s 167dpi. It’s powered by a 1GHz processor and has a front-lit display for easy low-light reading. It’s out in the UK on 26 April and costs £140.
6. Orange Launches Libon App for Android
After being available for iOS since November last year, Orange has released its all-in-one communication app Libon for Android. The app is free to download through Google Play and offers free calls between users, regardless of location, over 3G or Wi-Fi. It also has text messaging and visual voicemail, and you can get a preview of all its features in this video:
7. HP Slate 7 Ready for UK Sale
HP’s return to the Android tablet scene is about to arrive in the UK. The Slate 7 was announced during Mobile World Congress, and it can now be purchased for the bargain price of £130 through HP. The tablet is notable due to it using an almost clean version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, plus it has several HP printing apps, and Beats Audio support. The 7-inch screen has a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution.
8. Pioneer Branding Comes to Smartphones.
Most will know Pioneer for its excellent audio and visual equipment, but now it has put its name on a smartphone in China. The S90W is supposed to have a quad-core processor, a 5-inch 720p display, and an 8 megapixel camera. It wouldn’t be a Pioneer product without decent audio, and the phone supports Dolby Mobile and comes with a high quality headset. There’s no word on a release outside of China though.
9. BlackBerry Rumoured to be Building a Phablet
In a new financial report, an analyst has suggested BlackBerry will release a series of new BlackBerry 10 devices before the end of the year, and one will be a big-screen smartphone/tablet hybrid. It will represent the first such device from the manufacturer, and a considerable departure from the QWERTY phones for which it’s best known. The report also says it’ll be joined by a lower cost version of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 phones.
10. BlackBerry 10.1 Changes Previewed
BlackBerry has released the software development kit for the next version of BlackBerry 10, currently known as BlackBerry 10.1. With it comes a hint of some of the features we can expect, and they include the return of PIN to PIN messaging (which experienced BlackBerry users will recall), plus the addition of HDR photography for the camera. An official release date has yet to be confirmed.