MWC

BBM update pulls in Android Wear support

BBM update pulls in Android Wear support

BlackBerry was once accused of dragging it heels when it came to finally adding support for Android devices for BBM, but now that the gates have been opened, it seems that the company is happily making strides. In fact, while it doesn't have yet a wearable device of its own, it is jumping onto the market by proxy. BlackBerry has just announced an update to BBM on all platforms with a lot of new features, one of which lets you view and reply to messages on your Android Wear smartwatch.

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Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Google will indeed light up its own MVNO network in the coming months, SVP Sundar Pichai has confirmed, but it's more like the Nexus of wireless than a strike at AT&T and Verizon. Rumors of Google-controlled wireless cellular service have circulated for some years, surfacing again in January with speculation of a direct-to-user network which the search giant would use to test out new mobile tech. According to Pichai, while there is indeed some truth in the Google MVNO chatter, it's not quite the same as a play for the market as a whole.

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Google floating web plans buoyant says Sundar Pichai

Google floating web plans buoyant says Sundar Pichai

Google's Project Loon, bringing internet connectivity to out of the reach areas using balloons, sounded ridiculous at first. Turns out, according to Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, that silly idea is actually floating pretty well. Speaking during his Mobile World Congress keynote in Barcelona today, Pichai revealed the latest stats for the floating web platforms, which can now stay up in the air for as long as six months.

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Alcatel ONETOUCH IDOL 3 rocks even when held upside down

Alcatel ONETOUCH IDOL 3 rocks even when held upside down

From time to time, we see some new "feature" that manufacturers employ to entice users to their products. Sometimes, those features tend to stick around and become popular (like LG's Knock Code), and sometimes, they leave us scratching our heads in bewilderment. Alcatel's newest smartphone feature maybe of the latter, but it is also one that partly makes sense as well. The new ONETOUCH IDOL 3 announced MWC 2015 boasts of many high-end features, but perhaps its most eccentric one is that it is usable even when held upside down.

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Acer Liquid M220 hands-on: a late Windows Phone club member

Acer Liquid M220 hands-on: a late Windows Phone club member

When you speak of Windows Phone phones, one mostly thinks of Microsoft's, formerly Nokia's, Lumia line, except for one or two exceptions. Although Microsoft hasn't been very clear about its plans for other OEMs to join the Windows Phone party, it hasn't stopped others from trying their luck. The latest to join the fray is Acer, who is now unveiling the Liquid M220, an unabashedly low tier smartphone that will rub shoulders with all other low-end Lumias. Of course, it's still running Windows Phone 8.1, but that won't be a problem in the future.

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SanDisk debuts new 200GB microSDXC card

SanDisk debuts new 200GB microSDXC card

It's the first day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and things are already heating up. The latest mobile device manufacturers are showcasing the hottest technology that they've been dreaming up all year. Today, SanDisk unveiled a new microSD memory card. It remarkably holds 200GB on a microSD card. SanDisk also introduced two other products which alternately focused on endurance and convenience.

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I jabbed my finger at Qualcomm’s ultrasonic biometrics

I jabbed my finger at Qualcomm’s ultrasonic biometrics

I honestly didn't expect to come to Mobile World Congress and have the moistness of my fingers judged, but it turns out I'm surprisingly dry. Qualcomm brought its new Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology to the show, eschewing the capacitive sensors found in the iPhone 6's Touch ID among other home buttons, and instead using ultrasonic scanning. The upside is being able to scan through materials, like glass or metal, and though the days of your entire touchscreen also serving as a biometric log-in panel aren't quite yet upon us, they're not far off. That is, assuming you're damp enough.

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Acer Liquid Jade Z, Liquid Leap+ smartband jump at MWC 2015

Acer Liquid Jade Z, Liquid Leap+ smartband jump at MWC 2015

Aside from its new budget smartphones, Acer is also walking down a more premium but still affordable path at MWC 2015. Iterating over its first smart wearable, the company is now outing a new and improved Liquid Leap+ smart fitness band that now offers more flexibility in design as well as in smartphone platform support. It is also expanding its Liquid Jade line with the new Liquid Jade Z, bringing together more powerful hardware, including selfie-centric features, without stretching the price tag too much.

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Jolla’s Sailfish OS reaches 2.0, embraces Intel, licensing

Jolla’s Sailfish OS reaches 2.0, embraces Intel, licensing

There comes a time when every child grows up and starts to leave home for his or her own adventures. For Jolla's own Sailfish OS, that time has come. In preparation for the upcoming launch of the successfully crowdfunded Jolla Tablet next quarter, the Finnish startup is announcing the next major version of Sailfish 2.0. While details on what's new for end users are still quite slim, the release is meant more to entice partners, particularly of the hardware kind, to join in on the fun.

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Acer Liquid Z220, Z520 expands the budget range

Acer Liquid Z220, Z520 expands the budget range

Acer has been known to put out very affordable mobile devices in the market and it is doing so again today at MWC 2015. Joining the company's growing army of budget smartphones are the Liquid Z220 and the Liquid Z520. Flaunting a strange yet unique textured back cover, the Liquid Z220 is designed to appeal even to both ends of the age spectrum. The Liquid Z520, on the other hand, tries to appeal to aspiring digital photographers who are on a very tight budget.

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“Thinking” phones & cars promised by Qualcomm Zeroth

“Thinking” phones & cars promised by Qualcomm Zeroth

Our mobile gadgets may be fast, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily smart, something Qualcomm is aiming to change with its Zeroth contextual platform. Aiming to bring skills like visual perception, behavioral analysis, and audio recognition to future phones and tablets, Zeroth also has applications in tomorrow's cars, Qualcomm suggests. Initially, though, the demonstrations are a little more humble, like camera apps that can be trained to recognize people and objects.

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