MWC 2011

HTC Android Stickers Unto Battery Backs [AC EVENT SECURITY SERIES]

We've been digging through out Mobile World Congress 2011 albums these past few days and just a moment ago we discovered this little gem. Can you tell what's going on here? It's taking place at the HTC stand, the same day the Facebook phones and the Flyer were released, earlier in the day, before they were put out. Perhaps some background information would be helpful: MWC 2011 was riddled with whispers of theft and misplacement of products, many cell phones and other such devices being stolen because security was no more than a lock on the battery cover of many devices. HTC had the most brilliant idea here to combat such evil - stickers!

ATRIX 4G Battery Cover with Duct / Metal Tape [AC Event Security Series]

Our series on security measures taken at press events continues here with a bit of tape placed between the batter and the battery cover on a Motorola ATRIX 4G Android smartphone at the Motorola booth at Mobile World Congress 2011. As we mentioned in the last post in this series, Mobile World Congress had more than one rumor going around about stolen devices at stands throughout the giant event. Where HTC decided it smooth to add Android stickers to the backs of their phones, Motorola had a slightly less obvious tactic in play.

Blackberry Playbook to Support Android Apps Says Rep

It looks like MWC2011 might have gave us more information other than news about all the exciting Android Phones and Quad Core Mobile CPU's that are soon to be making way onto the mobile scene. Today news comes in the form of a YouTube video about the Blackberry Playbook Tablet. I know I know, we are all about Android here at AC. Just watch because this video has an exciting and important part, the secret words are just barely audible around 0:14 seconds into the clip. Check the full video out below.

SPB Mobile Shell [3D UI] for Android [Hands-On]

Last week at Mobile World Congress 2011 we were treated to quite the show by a developer/designer for SPB Software. The product he displayed for us was SPB Mobile Shell, a bit of software that'd up until this point only been available for Windows Phone (who clearly did not appreciate it.) What we've got here is a full brand new 3D engine with what they're calling "Natural Interactions," which to us means it's simply intuitive. This is an engine made to replace your current mobile homescreen with a miraculously gorgeous looking set of 3D moving panels, with which widgets can essentially come alive. You know what it reminds us of? Honeycomb.

Dyzplastic shows more of Android Series 2 and a Surprise

Dyzplastic Inc. is at it again showing off more of the Android Series 02 Plastic Android Collectibles that we all know, love, and are collecting. We'll us at AC are at least. If you don't know much about them you can read more about the Mini Android Collectibles and Series 01 here. Today on the DYZplastic Productions Blog they've added another preview. This is part #4 on the blog. They are showing off the model named "Blackbeard".

Skifta Preview: Talking Streaming with Qualcomm’s Digital Media Gurus

We've been covering Qualcomm's Skifta project since almost the very beginning, from when the DLNA streaming media system was a simple 2009 side-project in the chipset company's labs, to its status as a legitimate standalone product with an eye on potential revenue streams. Android Community has had early access to the latest version of Skifta, hitting the Android Market today, to see whether a free app can really replace expensive media streaming systems around the home and office. Skifta build 68 does everything we're already familiar with from the app, so you get access to local media sources - such as your phone, NAS, computers sharing media and other devices - as well as streaming radio content, which can be squirted to a DLNA-compliant TV, WiFi radio or other device and controlled from your Android phone. A free download, it uses straightforward media plugins to add extra internet content; as for playback, if you have an internet-connected TV (or a DLNA-supporting streamer) then you're all set. As ever, as long as you have the bandwidth, it all works surprisingly well. The Skifta UI has been polished since the early days, with a three-step process of picking a source - audio, video or images, including Facebook and Picasa photos - then a playback device, and finally choosing which media you'd like to play. The new version adds in support for premium channels, like Napster; if you have a Napster account, you can log in and access the service's 10m+ streaming tracks. There's also new control over playback, to take into account the fact that not all media players are created equal. Given that many users have drives full of video and audio using different codecs, Skifta now allows you to choose which media player app on your phone you want to use to render the content. We loaded up vPlayer and Rock Player, and could choose between them in a simple Android dialog box. It means that files not natively supported by the Android media player can now often be played using a third-party player, and hugely extends the use of Skifta. We caught up with Skifta's director of marketing, Gary Brotman, at MWC 2011 last week, and talked to him about the future of the app and the growing Skifta ecosystem. With a long background in digital music - Brotman is actually behind one of the streaming radio channels featured in Skifta, Paper Buddha - he's unsurprisingly enthusiastic about the potential of the app, particularly when it comes to partnerships with other media sources. Napster - as added in build 68 - is just the start of it; Brotman is also keen to work with other subscription-based music services, such as Spotify. "It's less about owning music, today, and more about having access to it" he told us, suggesting that while people have historically built up huge stacks of CDs and records, and then gone on to amass collections of MP3s, the focus now is shifting away from ownership and more to ubiquity. Part of that is the increase in connectivity options, like 3G/4G on mobile devices and faster WiFi networks in homes and offices. "Previously, you had what content you could carry or had loaded up before you left" Brotman explained. As for making Qualcomm some money, Brotman is cautious of the usual ways Android apps are monetized. Although adverts are the obvious strategy - either AdWords in the app itself, or even audio or video promotions interspersed with the streamed content - he's wary of negatively impacting the user experience, especially when it comes to mining users' media catalogs for context-aware ads. Instead, the Skifta team is looking for more roundabout ways of commercialising the software, perhaps through affiliate links to download music from Amazon or other vendors. If you hear a track you like on a streaming radio station, Skifta could offer a one-click way of purchasing that music, with Qualcomm taking a slice of the proceeds. Alternatively, if more premium channels - such as Spotify - get onboard, Skifta could take a tithe of their subscription revenue too. Of course, there's always the potential for Skifta to evolve into a paid version, or perhaps split into free and premium, though for now the app remains a free download. You can find the updated build 68 in the Android Market; don't forget to let us know how you get on in the comments.

Motorola ATRIX 4G Laptop Dock Demo

So we're at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, just minding our own business at one of the greener looking booths in the entire place, the NVIDIA booth, and what do we see? It's an ATRIX 4G, and it's attached to one of those lovely Laptop Docks. What do you know?! And there's a fellow walking around just ready and rarin to go, with all the knowledge we needed for him to have to make a lovely video on the subject. Thusly we asked him if he had a minute to do such a video, and what do you know? He said yes. So let's have a look, shall we?

Motorola ATRIX 4G HD Dock Demo

We had the privilege of having a demo done for us at Mobile World Congress 2011 of the Motorola ATRIX 4G HD Dock for television, monitor, or whatever else you think you'd ever want to plug the thing into. The fellow here in the video below showed the device to us as if we'd never seen it before, a nice refresher, then plugged it into the HD dock which was attached to a USB keyboard and mouse and big fat HD monitor. From there the demo man speaks on the Linux-based desktop user interface you'll be dealing with when you see your ATRIX 4G working in this sort of environment, and pops up some sweet functionality while he's at it.

Android Toy Series 2 Secret Figure #2 [SPOILER]

I warn you again! Before you move forward in the reading of this post, I must tell you that the DYZ Plastic designer toy that you are about to lay eyes on is both super fantastically lovely to glance at and is extremely rare and sought after. And not only that, it's super secret! Normally, you'd only be able to see this secret little man if you were a collector of these toys, very much like if you were collecting a bunch of baseball cards and had no idea what the special rookie gold card was - we're spoiling it here!

Android Community’s Mobile World Congress 2011 Massive Wrap-Up

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the gigantically hefty wrap-up of our 2011 visit of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Even at a team size double that which we had last year, we were running ragged each and every day with meetings, photo snapping, an video capturing galore. In this post you'll find a selection of some (but not nearly all) of the hands-on, first hand news, and keynote speech collection posts we collected whilst on our journey through the halls of modern technology. This guide will continue to be updated as we wring out all the news we've still got stacked up in our hard-drives just freaking out to be released unto the world. Behold the curated 2011 Mobile World Congress Android Community breakdown.
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