The first carrier to support Google's Jibe RCS technology was Sprint, back in November of last year. Since then, several carriers in Canada, Asia, and Europe have made the switch. Now it looks like Celcom will support Jibe RCS, becoming the first carrier in Malaysia to do so. Read More
HTC seems to have forgotten about its sole entrant into the "phablet" market - they haven't released anything as large as the 5.9-inch One Max since its debut way back in 2013. But presumably the people who own it still like it, or at least use it, so the news that HTC is finally updating the device to Android 5.0 should be welcome. Numerous users have started receiving the Lollipop OTA as evidenced by posts to Twitter and XDA-Developers.
At the moment it looks like the release is limited to European and Asian territories: so far owners in Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and HTC's home country Taiwan have reported that they've gotten the OTA alert on their phones. Read More
There were a few leaks of a larger version of the M9 in advance of the announcement, but it didn't show up back at MWC. Still, it looks like this phone is still going to be released in the Asian market. New images of the M9+ have been leaked, and it's not an attractive device. I realize design is subjective, but 4 out of 5 AP staffers think this is a truly ugly phone.
On the heels of its September launch in India, Google has announced further expansion of the Android One program into three new countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The choice of locations seems to suggest that Google’s efforts with the One initiative will radiate outward geographically from India. No precise availability date has been set for any of the new markets, but devices will be out “in the coming weeks.” Read More
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). Read More
We've heard about the newest HTC Butterfly before from Japanese carrier KDDI, but now HTC is officially welcoming it into the Butterfly family. That's not a name you hear much in the US, but it's one of HTC's premier brands overseas. This device will be known as the J Butterfly HTL23 in Japan and the Butterfly 2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout Southeast Asia. It's a reasonably high end device, but it's not all metal like the M8. As a tradeoff, it's water-resistant.
Lenovo has been hanging out in the bottom end of the Android market ever since they gave up on the ThinkPad Tablet, but it looks like they're finally ready to ship some high-end hardware. Enter the Lenovo Vibe Z, a 5.5-inch smartphone with an LTE radio - a first in the company's Android lineup. As usual, Lenovo doesn't seem interested in western markets for this phone. According to the press release, it will go on sale in February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Philippines for $549.
The Vibe Z is high-end compared to Lenovo's current phones, with a 1080p LCD screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of memory, "up to" 16GB of storage, and a 13MP rear camera with an impressive F1.8 lens. Read More
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. Read More