Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories that you may have missed including news of a Samsung developers’ conference and a first look at the BlackBerry A10.

1. Apps Exploit Android Flaw

Security firm Symantec has identified two malicious apps that have been making use of a recently-exposed flaw in the Android platform. The apps, both Chinese creations that help users to book appointments with a doctor, were found to include a Trojan that can monitor texts and steal information from a device. Known as the Master Key flaw, the Android vulnerability was uncovered earlier this month and could put up to 99% of devices running the platform at risk. As always, the advice is to only download software from trusted sources such as Google Play.

2. Samsung Unveils New Octa-Core Processor

Samsung has announced a new version of its Exynos Octa 5 chip that takes its processing power to a new level. The technology uses two groups of four cores, one being a set of Cortex A15 chips running at 1.8GHz and the other being four 1.3GHz Cortex A7s. The promise is that the new engine will see a 20% increase in processing power and a doubling of graphical capabilities. Could this be lined-up just in time for the Galaxy Note 3?

3. NVIDIA Re-Invents Smartphone Graphics

NVIDIA is launching a new generation of mobile processor, codenamed Project Logan, with a GPU that promises to take the graphics seen on smartphones to another level above what we have seen before. The Keplar GPU, as it’s known, has already been seen on some computers and makes use of the OpenGL platform that is included in the newly-announced Android 4.3. The GPU also promises to be far more power-efficient than those seen before, and you can take a look at its capabilities in the video below.

4. HTC Unveils Handset in Taiwan

HTC has taken the covers off a new device aimed at youngsters. The Desire 500 features an all plastic body and a 4.3-inch display, making it a compact and stylish handset, but there is no sign of the BoomSound speakers from the HTC One and One mini. So far, it looks like the device will only be appearing in Taiwan itself, though news of an international roll out may emerge in the future.

5. Galaxy S4 Mini to Get New Colour Schemes

With Samsung’s history of creating a range of colour schemes for its devices, its little surprise that the Galaxy S4 Mini is getting several new coats of paint. The trimmed-down handset will soon be available in red, brown and blue, along with the standard black and white that we saw at launch. That’s not quite the full range that has been seen on its high-end Galaxy S4 cousin, which also comes in purple and pink, but it should brighten the mid-range device up a little.

6. EE Expands Even Further

The roll out of what is so far the UK’s only 4G network continues, with EE expanding its service to another ten towns. In addition to this the firm has brought its double-speed 4G to a further three cities, namely Belfast, Newcastle and Southampton. The company’s doing well, announcing that it has more than doubled its subscribers from early this year and now has 687,000 people using the superfast network.

7. Upcoming BlackBerry A10 Pictured

We’ve had a glimpse of the handset that could be lined-up to replace the BlackBerry Z10 as the Canadian firm’s flagship. Photos of the A10, as it has been dubbed, have been published by Vietnamese website Tinhte, along with a list of specs. These include a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and a 5-inch display, along with BlackBerry 10.2. A video also emerged, which you can watch below.

8. Samsung Announces Developers Conference

Big get togethers for software developers tend to be the preserve of Apple and Google, but Samsung has joined the fray in announcing its own event, although details remain scarce. The Korean firm has set up a registration process, promising more information at a later date and saying that it wants to “engage with industry leaders” and “collaborate with fellow developers”. Could this be the firm expanding its Android empire, or even looking towards further development for Tizen?

9. Geeksphone Peak+ Firefox Handset Available for Pre-Order

Geeksphone is a small manufacturer which specialises in handsets running open source software and aims its range at developers and the tech-obsessed. The firm has launched the Peak+, a handset running Firefox OS 1.1, which features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and an 8 megapixel camera. There’s also a 1800mAh battery and 4GB of internal storage, making the Peak+ a reasonable mid-range device that could offer an interesting look at Mozilla’s mobile platform.

10. Sony Handsets to Get Android 4.3

Quick off the mark, Sony has announced that several of its devices will be getting an upgrade to the recently-announced Android 4.3 platform. The Xperia Z and Z Ultra are on the list along with several others, although details of exactly when the roll out will begin remain sketchy. Android 4.3 isn’t a massive upgrade by any means, but the addition of multiple user profiles should appeal to many people.

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