Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including a hint of BBM’s release date on iOS and Android, the UK release of the Asus MemoPad HD7, and EE considering raising its 4G data caps.
1. T-Mobile Says BBM Coming on 27 June
A tweet from T-Mobile UK has said the new BlackBerry Messenger app for iOS and Android is set for release on 27 June, and showed an image of the app running on the Samsung Galaxy S4. It has since been deleted, leading many to wonder if the date was inaccurate. BlackBerry announced the app at BlackBerry Live, but said only that it would be available this summer.
2. EE Considering Increasing its 4G Data Caps
EE may be the first to launch a 4G service in the UK, but the network has come under fire for the amount of data offered with its deals. According to a new report though, EE is examining these caps and could make a change over the coming months, and will also launch several new incentives including multiple SIM cards on one contract. EE’s competitors are expected to launch their own 4G services later this year, which could have prompted EE’s decision to examine its plans.
3. Huawei Ascend Y300 Launched
The Ascend Y300 is another basic Android phone from Huawei. It has a 4-inch, 480×800 pixel resolution screen, a dual-core, 1GHz processor, 4GB of internal memory and a 5 megapixel camera. While it’s not exactly a tech powerhouse, it is cheap at just £60 on PAYG. Huawei has recently putting an interesting spin on the Android user interface, and you can take a look at our review of the firm’s recent Ascend P2 flagship below.
4. Google Files Patent to Improve Face Unlock Feature
The unlocking feature that uses facial recognition introduced with Android 4.0 came under criticism due to the fact that a photo of a handset’s owner could be used to open up the device. Google appears to be addressing this, having filed a bizarre patent in the US that will involve someone having to pull a variety of expressions in order to unlock their smartphone. Or you could just use a passcode.
5. Tizen to be Top Five OS in 2013
Market analysis firm ABI Research says the new Tizen operating system will be one of the top five smartphone platforms by the end of the year. While this sounds optimistic at first, as there isn’t a Tizen phone on sale yet, to be in the top five it must beat Symbian, which accounts for 1.2 percent of the market according to research firm IDC. Put like that, it doesn’t sound so hard.
6. EE Gains 500,000 4G Subscribers
In addition to talking about revising its 4G tariffs, EE has confirmed it has reached 500,000 subscribers on its 4G network, a considerable increase over the 318,000 it had in April. EE has long said its target is to reach 1 million 4G customers by the end of the year.
7. Opera Mini 4.5 Launched for Basic Phones
Just because your phone isn’t all that advanced, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Opera web browser. Provided your phone can run Java games, you can use the new Opera 4.5 browser, which is fast, frugal with your bill, and even offers a download manager. You can take a look at how the browser works below.
8. Intel Confirms Atom Processor for Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 recently, but didn’t make it clear which processor was powering either of them. The mystery has been 50 percent solved this week, as Intel has announced its Atom Z2560 chip can be found inside the Tab 3 10.1, running a 1.6GHz. As for the Tab 3 8.0, Intel doesn’t mention it, so we assume it’s an ARM based tablet.
9. Asus MemoPad HD7 Coming to the UK
In addition to launching the Fonepad Note, Asus also announced a new, 7-inch Android tablet at the Computex 2013 show this week. Called the MemoPad HD7, it’s a slightly upgraded version of the Nexus 7, as it’s equipped with a 1280×800 pixel screen, a quad-core processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and 16GB of memory. It’ll go on sale in the UK this August, and will cost £150. Not bad, but in the US it’s priced at $150, which at today’s exchange rate works out a little less than £100. Ouch.
10. Amazon relaunches the Kindle DX, Ships It Internationally
The 9.7-inch Kindle DX e-reader was discontinued last October, but Amazon has suddenly put the device back up for sale on its website. Despite being outclassed by almost every tablet available, including Amazon’s own Kindle Fire, the DX can be purchased for $300. Amazon will also ship the e-reader to the UK, when the price rises to around $380, or £250.