Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including a date for Google’s first Project Ara conference, the Boeing Black, and a quick tease of the next HTC One.

1. BlackBerry could launch a new PlayBook tablet

BlackBerry could be planning on launching an updated version of its PlayBook tablet, in a move that has surprised a few. The original tablet was scheduled for an update to BlackBerry 10 which never came, but now Francois Mahieu, the firm’s vice president of global product management has said that another such device could emerge soon.

2. Super Secure Boeing Black Phone Announced

Boeing may be best known for its aircraft, but it has also turned its hand to making a smartphone. The Boeing Black is a super secure Android phone designed to satisfy those who take security very seriously. It’s primarily aimed at government and enterprise use, with a wide variety of features to reduce the chance of any stored data falling into the wrong hands. It’ll even wipe the device if it thinks the case is being forced open.

3. HTC Teases the New HTC One, and Talks About BoomSound

HTC has combined a promo video about its BoomSound amplifier and speakers, with a quick teaser concerning the next HTC One phone, due for announcement on 25 March. You can watch the video below, and push past the cheesy bit at the start to get to the amusing bit about the next phone.

4. MediaTek Hexa-core Processor Spotted

MediaTek is about to add another processor to its extensive line-up, according to a leaked roadmap showing the firm’s plans. The MT6591 is listed as having a hexa-core design, which means it has six cores, plus the ability to connect to HSPA+ networks. There’s no clue on the speed, but the slide indicates it should already be in production.

5. Google Now Launcher Released for All Android Phones

If you’ve used the Nexus 5, you’ll be familiar with the Google Now Launcher, where you say “OK Google,” and speak your search term to the device, and it’ll obey your command.  Google now offers this feature as a standalone app for all Android phones through the Google Play store. Compatibility seems to vary between devices though, but all Nexus hardware should be fine.

6. Motorola’s Moto Maker Coming to the UK

Missing-in-action when the Moto X arrived in the UK, Motorola confirmed at MWC it’ll launch the Moto Maker customisaton option for the phone here before summer. It hasn’t confirmed which options will be available, or how long one will have to wait for a personal Moto X, but we’re excited about it anyway.

7. Nokia’s Green Duck Story is Bizarre, But Very Cute

If you were anywhere near Nokia’s booth at Mobile World Congress, the video below was part of a presentation running on a loop following the press conference. Celebrating the launch of the Nokia X family, the Green Duck story is, um, about little cute ducks all in green. If this were a Google video, we have a feeling they would be replaced by Android robots. No, we’re not sure what it’s all about, but it’s still cute and fun.

8. Three Gives All its Customers 4G

Three says it has upgraded all its customers to a 4G LTE tariff, so everyone will be able to enjoy the fastest possible data speeds for absolutely nothing. However, while it has upgraded everyone’s plans, not all Three customers have 4G capable phones, or live in one of the 36 towns where Three’s 4G service is available.

9. Own a Moto G? Watch Out For An Important Update

Motorola has started sending out a small but important update for the Moto G, which will kill several irritating bugs. The main problem, which only affected a few users, saw network connectivity fail. Not what you need at any time! Issues with low in-call speaker volumes have also been fixed. UK Moto G phones should be getting the 10MB update very soon.

10. Galaxy S5 Pre-Orders Set U.S. Record

According to T-Mobile’s top marketing man in the U.S., the network has received a huge amount of pre-orders for Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S5. The number passed 100,000 on 26 February, two days after the phone’s announcement.

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