LG demoed their “unbreakable and flexible” 5-inch and 7-inch display last month at the SID Display conference in Vancouver. Reports indicated that the 5-inch display will have a “1.0mm bezel allowing production of borderless smartphones,” plus the 7-inch display would be for tablets and has a HD resolution “that exceeds 300 pixels per inch (PPI).”
LG was rumoured to launch a smartphone with a flexible display sometime in Q4, but plans of this were reportedly halted due to a manufacturing issues. Recently, Dr. Sang-Deok Yeo, CTO and Executive Vice President of LG Display, said “with the resulting rapid need for new display advancements, LG Display, at the forefront of these trends, is well positioned to lead the market with its differentiated and cutting-edge technologies.”
An overseas report today surprisingly reveals that LG is heading into production of its flexible displays. LG spokesperson Frank Lee, who was once leading the Canadian communications arm of LG, stated “We have completed the development of our first flexible displays. We will mass produce flexible displays from the fourth quarter of this year.” The flexible display that will be used in mobile devices will be OLED (organic light-emitting diode) supporting ultra-high definition (UHD).
Unfortunately there’s no indication of specific details of the smartphone, only that it’ll be released “later this year” and that LG might be “selling the screens to other major mobile producers.”
Rogers is on the cusp of releasing a couple more devices targeted to the seniors market – or to those “customers who want an easy to use experience.” The Doro PhoneEasy 520x and the PhoneEasy 620 are both priced at a respectable $100 off contract, or $19.99 on a 2-year term. As for specs, the 520 x is a typical candy bar style phone with big buttons, 1.9-inch display and a 3MP camera. The PhoneEasy 620 is a classic flip that sports a 2MP camera.
These should be arriving in-stores soon.
Dolphin Browser has been updated to version 10.0 today, bringing a new interface and expanded support for HTML5-based services via what owner MoboTap refers to as its Web App Store.
For millions of users — MoboTap says there are 80 million across iOS and Android — Dolphin is still the best alternative to Chrome, and since it supports Android versions 2.0.1 and above. With version 10, Dolphin is far more customizable than before, with the ability to search directly from services like Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia and YouTube.
The Web App Store, which offers free HTML5-based applications like clocks and minimalist notetaking services, is a direct challenge to Google’s inevitable integration with its own Chrome App Store, which is expected to come to Android in a future version. The web apps can be integrated onto the new Speed Dial, which now supports up to 60 destinations.
Dolphin also offers voice- and gesture-based searching, and the new Dolphin button integrates both features together into one swipe action. And, like always, the browser integrates Flash support, so users can interface with the “old” web if desired.
The browser is unlikely to unseat the mainstays such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera from their virtual thrones, but 80 million users can’t be wrong — it’s fast, lightweight and feature-filled. What more can you ask for?
Download Dolphin for Android.
Feedly has finally launched its web-based Feedly Cloud service today, migrating thousands of users from Google Reader, which is closing in 10 days, to its own backend infrastructure. The company says it now reaches 12 million people across all platforms.
At the same time, it has announced full integration of its API with third-party apps, one of which is the excellent Press for Android. Press was updated to version 1.3.2, bringing support for Feedly — which requires a Google Reader account for now — in addition to the previously-added Feed Wrangler and Feedbin.
Feedly Cloud is a web- and app-based solution, with apps for iOS and Android. The company announced that it would be supporting other platforms like Windows Phone 8 with specific partners, one of which is Nextgen Reader, which should also receive an accompanying update in the coming days. BlackBerry 10 users will also gain Feedly API support from app gNewsReader.
Feedly has steadily grown into the most viable Google Reader replacement, and should accommodate casual news readers in addition to virulent supporters of the traditional RSS standard.
Falcon Pro creator, Joaquim Vergès, has a problem. His popular Android-based Twitter app has hit the token limit, a seemingly-arbitrary number of account logins set by Twitter during its recent crackdown, for the third time in as many months.
The self-proclaimed “Android fanatic” recently updated his app to version 2.0, bringing multiple accounts along with a vastly improved interface and much-needed performance tweaks. That he added multiple accounts, one of the most requested features from the app, was bittersweet, and likely his death knell: thousands of users raced to add their accounts, knowing that each one would account for a dwindling number of user tokens.
As of now, Falcon Pro has been removed from Google Play; there is just no way for Vergès to continue resetting his token allocation, forcing everyone to log in again and again. On Twitter, he claimed to be depressed, saying, “Every ‘legit’ solution I can come up with means bad things for existing users… Is it time to stop the project already … ?”
Twitter has recently updated its iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 apps to be more feature-filled and user-friendly, but there is still a huge chasm between what power users want — those who use Tweetbot, Falcon Pro and Blaq, for example — and regular Twitter users who likely haven’t heard of anything but the official choice.
There doesn’t seem to be a viable solution in the short-term. Twitter won’t extend the token limit, and Vergès says any way around it would be a contravention of the developer terms of service and would likely get him banned from the API altogether. Previously, Chris Lacy, another “superstar” Android developer, stepped away from his popular Tweet Lanes app for the same reasons and moved into another area — launchers — with Action Launcher Pro.
If you’ve previously purchased Falcon Pro, it appears you can still download it, but there is no way for new users to pay for and install it, at least for now.
Six months ago Tony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s Chairman and CEO, declared that he would step down and “enter into an agreement to transfer” his share of the business to Orascom Telecom, which is owned by Netherland-based VimpelComm. This procedure was still pending all the necessary approvals, but today puts a completely new spin on its future.
In a tiny press release Orascom stated that they’ve “decided to withdraw its application for Investment Canada Act approval of its acquisition of control of WIND Mobile Canada. Orascom Telecom says this decision follows a review process and discussions with the government of Canada. Orascom Telecom says it continues to be interested in consolidating its interest in WIND Mobile Canada and in working with the government of Canada to achieve this goal.”
There’s no more specific details of what will happen, but WIND Mobile sent us this statement from Tony Lacavera: “As the founder and CEO of WIND Mobile, I have always been committed to creating a true independent wireless choice for Canadians. Despite today’s announcement, I will continue working with VimpelCom toward achieving our mutual objectives. WIND Mobile now has over 600,000 active and loyal customers, and is the clear 4th carrier in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. It is an exciting time in Canada’s evolving wireless landscape!”
At a Taiwan press conference today, HTC announced the follow-up to its successful Butterfly smartphone, the aptly-named Butterfly S.
Like its predecessor, the Butterfly S comes with a 5-inch 1080p display (in fact, it was the first handset to boast such a resolution) but is otherwise a huge upgrade, internally and externally. There’s a 1.9Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC (the HTC One runs at 1.7Ghz), 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage augmented by a microSD slot, an Ultrapixel camera on the back and a 2MP wide-angle front camera, a massive 3200mAh battery, all running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
The device takes its design cues from the HTC One as well, though its glossy polycarbonate paneling more resembles the lower-end Desire series than the company’s more recent premium fare. There are two BoomSound-enabled front-facing speakers on the face and Beats Audio capabilities inside. The 3200mAh battery should, along with improvements to Android 4.2, bring the uptime to well over a day, but the lack of an LTE baseband chip will turn off quite a few potential North American importers. Instead, the Butterfly S has a quad-band HSPA+ radio that should support Canadian networks.
Last week Microsoft released “Office Mobile” for iOS, but only made it compatible with an iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 (plus the iPod Touch). In addition, the app was only available to those located in the United States who currently have an Office 365 subscription (costs $99/year). Alas, a few days later, we Canadians can now go forth and download via the App Store. “Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers” gives your the option to view, comment and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint docs that are stored in the cloud on SkyDrive.
Download Office Mobile for iOS here.
After a brief delay, PC Mobile has officially launched their “entry into the post-paid wireless market with simple and better voice and data monthly packages designed as an alternative to the national carriers.” As reported last week, PC Mobile’s offer to Canadians is to prevent the dreaded “bill shock” and give potential customers desired handsets, low-cost plans and “no activation fees or cancellation charges.” The CRTC will love that statement.
In the battle for retail dominance, Samsung understands it is at a huge disadvantage next to Apple’s well-oiled customer service machine. With 27 stores across Canada, the Cupertino-based giant offers walk-in “Genius” service to anyone, and repairs thousands of iPhones a year under warranty.
With Samsung’s rise to smartphone stardom in the last three years, the Korean company understood it needed to expand its physical presence in countries like Canada to avoid relying entirely on its carrier partners. Today, Samsung has opened its first Ontario-based walk-in customer service centre, located at the Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga.
Samsung Canada’s Director of Service, Frank Martino said, “Our Canadian consumers are telling us they want a direct relationship with the manufacturers creating the devices they can’t live without. Our walk-in service centres are an extension of our commitment to customer service excellence.”
The location will offer one-hour repair service and warranty support for all Samsung products, including phones and tablets. The one-hour repair is done at no extra charge, too, which is quite impressive.
Samsung also offers walk-in service centres in Montreal and Vancouver, as well as a retail location in Burnaby, B.C. The company wouldn’t say whether it will be opening a retail store in Ontario, but based on the way Samsung’s profile in Canada is headed, we wouldn’t be surprised to see one in the next couple of years.