The Nokia X; What to Expect

Nokia Android

There’s only a few days to go until the Mobile World Congress 2014 and among a slew of devices aiming to take the trophy as the gadget of 2014 will be an unlikely Android contender; Nokia.

It is now looking more than likely that in the coming days, Nokia will launch the X, or known internally as Normandy, to the market. This budget phone will be aimed at taking on the low-cost phone market currently dominated by the likes of Samsung, and is traditionally a market that the Finnish giant has been more than capable of taking on with products like its Asha range and lower cost Symbian powered phones which are still running in the wild.

But what exactly does Nokia’s first and (probably) only Android phone mean, and just what will it be like? There’s been plenty of speculation, but we know that at the very least, it’s not going to compare to the Lumia line, largely considered to be some of the best designed smartphones on the market, just lacking the critical app ecosystem.

We know for sure that that it will be running a forked version of Android, not unlike Amazon’s Fire tablets, giving it quite a lot of access to the Play Store and being able to support accessories and native services that many Android users have come to rely on from day-to-day. This goes some way to what many former Nokia enthusiasts had long sought, a decent smartphone from Finland which ran Android, helping to right a wrong from two years ago.

We also know that it’s going to be nicely multi-coloured, thanks to Nokia’s quite cute marketing and heavy use of green throughout most of its promotional activities, especially the recent duck vine. Something like this would be fairly brilliant, many have tried pushing phones in multiple colours, but so far only Nokia have really hit the nail on the head from a design point of view.

We also know that it’s going to be fairly low spec, not the worst phone on the market, but it should fall somewhere between Asha and Lumia – sporting a 5MP camera, MicroSD card slot, 4-Inch screen and potentially running Android 4.4 KitKat – if true it would already place it well ahead of quite a few Android phones on the market, some of which are still running Ice Cream Sandwich.

It’s been considered very odd that Nokia should choose this moment to launch their Android handset, something fans have been long hoping for, ever since Nokia decided to partner with Microsoft. The phone answers a question Nokia faced when it faced its great OS decision, before making, what many (including myself) consider to be the wrong one. In many ways this looks to be Nokia’s farewell to the world of smartphones – ultimately becomes just another division of Microsoft.

Pebble App Store is online, for iOS anyway.Android coming soon

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The Pebble is one of the nerdiest fashion accessories of the past year, following its massive Kiskstarter success, the device and fashion accessory is now launching its dedicated app store, something which many feel was the key block missing, from another wise perfect device.

Until now, the ability to download an app has been heavily fragmented, with each developer allowing you to download their applications on their own sites and platforms. The only thing you’ve really been able to do is to add different watch faces from Pebble itself. The lack of a dedicated app store has not exactly hampered innovation from developers, but it has meant that the average user might never find you.

Many people might wonder, what exactly can a watch do? The Pebble already notifies you of emails, phone calls, texts, etc. it even tells the time and there’s a certain beauty to that simplicity, it means you’re no longer hyper connected, constantly checking your phone and there’s a certain relief to this. Recently, however when questioned on my Pebble, I found people listed off things when wondering what exactly it could do. This left me with a certain wanting to play simple games, control my camera or even use GPS, things I can’t currently easily do.

Luckily, I won’t have to look too much further in a few weeks. While Android users will have to wait “A very, very short time”, iOS users can download the new app store today. The Pebble store will be laid out almost the same as the Play or App stores, with dedicated categories and sections to help easily navigate the different apps.

It’s not certain exactly how many apps the store will launch with, developers have had access to the SDK for quite some time now, and the more rudimentary interface allows for some truly retro (think Nokia 3210) style development, unlike the Galaxy Gear, there’s less need to be as flashy and feature full, which is a nice change – to a large degree, apps will have to be useful.

Why Apple making a watch would be the ultimate Shark Jump.

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There have been plenty of rumours flying around about Apple designing a new watch; sites up and down the web are suggesting that Cupertino may be about to shake up a market which has stood for over a hundred years. More than likely a massive Red Herring, these rumours have annoyed me; completely ignoring the nature of Apple, a company that traditionally doesn’t pander to flights of fancy.

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[OPINION] Why Google have started the Real Tablet War

Since the launch of the iPad, about three years ago now, competition has been springing up from every corner. Sony lunched their tablets which, while elegant were certainly the more unusual in the design spectrum. Samsung also threw a half dozen tablets into the market, with names no one can really remember and no discernible strategy of formula (The Note seems unsure whether it’s a phone, or a tablet). Amazon was the first real competition to the market, with the Fire. A low price point helped it clean up the Android tablet market. But, enter Google and everything changes.

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[OPINION] Why the Facebook Phone won’t Work

News is already buzzing about the new Facebook smartphone which is rumoured to be making a release, sooner rather than later. While it’s generating a lot of interest, the big question is, will it sell? I predict, probably not, and for some very fundamental reasons.

Facebook Phone

Concept designs for the Facebook Phone

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[NEWS] iPad 3 set for March 7 launch

It appears that the rumors may actually be true, today it has been announced that a new product will be launched on the 7th March at 10am Pacific Time in San Francisco at the traditional Yerba Buena Centre. This goes against an earlier suggestion that the event was going to break with tradition and instead be in New York.

Apple launch invite

Apple's launch Invite

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[OPINION] Could Nokia make it in 2012

It’s easy to forget, but before the iPhone and Android smartphones, Nokia was the phone to have. While still one of the largest mobile companies in the world, the age of the Finnish mobile giant has come to and end, or has it? Still considered to produce the most robust and well built phones, basic handsets continue to sell well in many countries. The major problem for Nokia has been the Symbian OS, an out of date software which pales compared to iOS or Android. That is until last year when Nokia announced its deal with Microsoft.

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