We're on the ground in Barcelona for the 2011 Mobile World Congress. Check out all of our live coverage and hands-on reports here.
In an interview with Phone Scoop, Google Android Engineering Director Dave Burke outlined a few things to expect from the new "I" version of Android that will come after Honeycomb. Besides merging phone and tablet versions, as announced yesterday, the new version will likely bring the "action bar" at the top of the screen on tablets, to phones as well. The action bar provides contextual, app-specific buttons to act on whatever is on the screen at the moment, replacing the "press and hold" gesture, which will be phased out except for drag-and-drop operations. The "system bar" - at the bottom of the screen on tablets - may not come to phones, however. The new "Hologram" visual style of Honeycomb will come to phones, as will the new multi-tasking app switcher that shows a small view of each app running.
In an interview with Phone Scoop, Nokia Executive and Board Member Niklas Savander confirmed that Nokia's new deal with Microsoft gives Nokia nearly unlimited freedom to customize Microsoft's Windows Phone smartphone software. He added, however, that the company plans to avoid making changes that would delay OS updates from Microsoft reaching Nokia customers. Therefore, according to Savander, Nokia customizations to Windows Phone will generally fall into two categories: 1. High-level customizations that are easy to bring to new OS versions from Microsoft. 2. Deep customizations that will be implemented in cooperation with Microsoft, folded into the OS, and made available to competing manufacturers.
U.K.-based INQ was showing off its third-generation of Facebook-focused phones in Barcelona this week. These are the first phones from INQ to use the Android platform. For Facebook lovers, they are worth a look. Here's why.
T-Mobile is launching the Samsung Galaxy Mini worldwide, including the US. We spent time with this super-affordable smartphone. Find out how it measures up.
Google's CEO Eric Schmidt is speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Follow the events live right here.
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore offered us a sneak peak at some of the features the company is planning to bring to Windows Phone 7 later this year, including SkyDrive, IE9, and multitasking. Here are a handful of videos so you can take a look.
Phone Scoop spent a few moments with Acer's massive new Android device, the Iconia Smart. Is there anything redeeming about the awkward 21:9 display?
Since the Salsa and ChaCha were behind glass this isn't a true hands-on, but we share our thoughts on these interesting devices anyway.
HTC's Wildfire S is its entry-level Android device and steps down the specs and materials a bit to help lower the price point.
Here are our first thoughts about the HTC Desire S. It may not be headed to the U.S. in its current form, but it's a nice mid-range Android device.
Phone Scoop spent some quality time with the HTC Incredible S, the new, GSM version of the Incredible. Here are our first thoughts.
Deutsche Telekom, corporate parent of T-Mobile USA, today announced plans to roll out mobile payment using NFC technology in multiple countries in 2011-2012, including the US. T-Mobile USA will roll out NFC starting in 2011, with a full payment system following in 2012 through its previously-announced ISIS joint venture with AT&T and Verizon. Deutsche Telekom announced that it expects NFC phones in 2011 from Apple, Samsung in Q2, and RIM & LG in Q3. The company expects mobile payments replacing cash to be the most popular use for NFC technology, followed by mobile ticketing for services such as public transportation. T-Mobile's Mobile Wallet will also support loyalty programs, such as supermarket discount cards, and sport multiple security features, including protection against phone theft or loss. On a global scale, the company will start mobile payment services in 2011 in Germany and Poland, with the US, Netherlands, and Czech Republic following in 2012.
Nokia had the X2 available for us to take a look at. The X2 runs Series 40 and has a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging. How does it stack up?
Dell had the Venue, its slab-style Android phone, on hand in Mobile World Congress. We check it out.
We go hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy S 4G for T-Mobile, essentially a feature bump to the Vibrant.
Microsoft today lifted the veil on new features coming later in 2011. Steve Ballmer, making a keynote address at MWC in Barcelona, also revealed that Windows Phone will receive several key new features later this year. First is a limited kind of multi-tasking much like Apple added to iOS, which will allow apps to play sound in the background and allow fast switching, where apps resume exactly where you left off. Also coming this year is an updated browser with the Internet Explorer 9 rendering engine, hardware graphics acceleration, and an improved interface. Finally, Twitter will be integrated into the OS's "People Hub", in the same way the People Hub currently supports Facebook. The Office Hub will also gain access to documents on SkyDrive in addition to SharePoint. All of these features will come by the end of 2011, although a more precise release schedule was not announced.
We had time to play with LG's new Optimus 3D, with 3D display, 3D camera, and dual-core, dual-channel architecture. See what we think about this unique new phone.
ZTE offered up three new Android phones at MWC today. While it appears that none of them is headed to the U.S. (yet), Phone Scoop took them for a spin anyway.
Live from the official announcement of the Optimus 3D, and possibly other LG phones.
We had a chance to try this keyboard-packing brother to the Neo. Read on for our impressions of this unique phone that adds messaging without taking away from the multimedia strength of the Neo.
We had a chance to try this well-spec'd Android phone at MWC in Barcelona. See what we liked about it.
We go hands-on with the new Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson, the Android / PlayStation gaming phone coming soon to Verizon Wireless. Does it live up to the hype of a Super Bowl ad? Find out.
Samsung announced its most advanced Galaxy smartphone yet in Barcelona today. Is this slim Android handset the stuff dreams are made of?
We're live from the Sony Ericsson press conference at MWC, where they've promised to spill full details on the Xperia Play Android gaming phone.