As we're used to for the past several years now, LG leaves very few secrets on the table about the phones it's going to launch. Indeed, the new Velvet phone was teased quite early on as the successor to the longstanding G-series. Tomorrow, it goes on pre-sale in South Korea and we're now getting a clearer look at what we can expect out of the phone.
It's no secret that Opera isn't doing so well in the era of Chrome dominance. According to a report published by Hindenburg Research, the company's losses in browser revenue have apparently led it to create multiple loan apps with short payment windows and interest rates of ~365-876%, which are in violation of new Play Store rules Google enacted last year.
For a long time, Africa has been exploited for its rare earths and other indispensable resources that help build the technology products we all use. Thus, it's great to see that a company in Rwanda, a country once plagued by civil war and genocide, managed to become the first to develop and build a smartphone on the continent. The Mara X and Mara Z are two budget Android devices running Android One, fully engineered and manufactured in Rwanda.
Earlier this year, it was rumored that Spotify would arrive in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) sometime in Q4 2018. It seems the speculation was true, as Spotify has now launched in a handful of MENA countries — but only to those with invites.
It's not a secret that Sony's phones haven't exactly experienced the degree of success or sales that the company's competitors have seen. For years its design language was stuck firmly in the past, and the high prices associated with its products kept it from competing at the same level as other OEMs. And according to Evan Blass/@evleaks, the company may even be pulling out of the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa entirely.
Two months ago (after no small amount of leaking) HTC announced the One X9, a variant phone with elements of its One line, exclusively for the vast Chinese market. Today in Barcelona the company has announced that it will expand the availability of said phone, bringing it to "North Asia" and the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) zone later this month. Specific countries and prices haven't been released, but in China it launched for 2399 yuan, about $370 USD.
The One X9 is a bit like a bigger, beefier A9, with a 5.5-inch 1080p screen and a MediaTek X10 processor.
Nokia's HERE Maps application continues to be a popular alternative to Google's own maps, thanks to wide availability and an easy-to-use download feature. The latest update adds a few new bells and whistles in the name of accuracy, especially if you happen to live in sub-Saharan Africa: according to this blog post, the downloadable maps in the regions of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and the Seychelles have all been considerably improved.
The updates are specifically for HERE's downloadable maps, not the Android app itself - if you're a regular user of the compartmentalized maps in Africa, you should get a notification to re-download the relevant files.
Before Chromebooks and Android, Google blew peoples' minds with its web services alone. Translate was one of them. Here was a website that took in whatever you typed and spat out something that at least kind of resembled the same words in a different language. Even now, translations aren't spot on, but it usually gets close enough to convey the message.
Google is still expanding the service, and now the company is ready to introduce support for ten additional languages. Chichewa (Malawi and surrounding areas), Malagasy (Madagascar), and Sesotho (Lesotho and South Africa) represent Africa. In Central Asia, there is Kazakh (Kazakhstan), Tajik (Tajikistan), and Uzbek (Uzbekistan).
Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Here's the full list:
Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand
All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world.
HTC this morning officially unveiled its new flagship for 2013: the HTC One. So far, we've posted the full specs, our hands-on, and the list of carriers in the U.S. and Canada, but if you live outside those territories, you might be wondering exactly which carriers and major retailers to visit to pick up the One when it becomes available in March.
We've got the current list, courtesy of HTC, right below. I imagine it may grow in the future, but in the meantime I applaud the company for itemizing it in such great detail - something you don't get to see too often these days.