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Google Launches Grand Central as Google Voice, New Features Including Voicemail Transcription

Google acquired Grand Central in 2007 for more than $50 million in just over a year after the company launched. Grand Central essentially centralizes all of your phone numbers into one prime number; therefore even as you change numbers work or mobile numbers, everyone will still have your primary number.

Google has now finally re-launched the service as Google Voice. New user registrations are still closed but will be opened in the coming weeks. Google says existing Grand Central users will be getting an email with instructions on how to take advantage of the new features that will soon be opened to everyone.

Google is set to add many new useful features, including Read the full story

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China Confirms Apple iPhone Launch Talks

appleAccording to a Reuters report, chairman of China Unicom Chang Xiaobing told Reuters the carrier is in current active talks with Apple to launch the iPhone in China. Apple could see strong sales given the number of mobile users in China, but others argue it might not be as successful because the Apple brand isn’t as strong in China, and there are already countless discounted knockoffs already available. The iPhone is also simply not as powerful in terms of features the Asian markets are already accustomed to. In addition, apparently, the Chinese government also wants some control over the App Store, a notion Apple strongly opposes. China Unicom is China’s largest telecom in terms of subscriptions with 416 million customers.

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Pledge $12.5M for Mobile Banking in Developing Nations

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced support for a new program partnered with the GSM Association that aims to bring affordable and reliable mobile banking to less developed nations. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has announced $12.5 million to kick-start the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Program.

There are over 1 billion people in emerging markets today who don’t have a bank account but do have a mobile phone,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA.

Read the full story

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HTC TouchFlo 3D Upgrade Has Many New Features

IntoMobile has gotten a sneak peak at the new HTC TouchFlo 3D, the upgrade to the current home-screen HTC plug-in found on newer pocket pc phones such as the HTC Fuze. The new version allows for a lot more customization, as well as to customize which tabs appear on your phone. Additionally, there are a few new features, such as the addition of a Stocks tab to keep tab on your investments. It also features a new feature called “pushed internet”, the feature only pre-caches websites you pre-select so you can easily access the website quickly. Additionally now, the People tab is now integrated with all communications from a contact. Unfortunately there was no option to embed the video, but you can check it out here.

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HTC Announces Magic GPhone 2


HTC has just announced the Magic, the first all touch-screen Google Android powered handset. The handset also includes the Android Cupcake update, which now includes a virtual on-screen keyboard, among other UI changes. Unfortunately, one major inconvenience from the phone is that it does not offer a standard headphone jack and will therefore require an adapter. Additionally, 3G will not be supported in North America. The HTC Magic also features a 3.2-inch HVGA display, a trackball for navigation and a 3.2MP autofocus camera. HTC President and CEO Peter Chou said, “The HTC Magic embodies the compact style and sophistication for which HTC has come to be known, with the powerful and intuitive internet experience for which the Android platform was designed,” HTC confirmed Vodafone will be the exclusive provider in Germany, France, the UK, and Spain. The HTC Magic will also be available in Italy non-exclusively from a carrier. Exact pricing and availability was not disclosed.

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Microsoft Unveils Windows Mobile 6.5, LG-GM730, My Phone, Marketplace

Update: Check out a hands-on video of Windows Mobile 6.5 from Gizmodo!

Microsoft has just officially announced Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. The new OS is expected to arrived in the second half of 2009 boasting a new interface and a new version of Internet Explorer mobile that promises desktop-like browsing. Adobe also announced MWC the support for Flash for Windows Mobile 6.5. Read the full story

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Nokia, Samsung to Unveil Mobile App Stores

symbianNot to be left behind, both Samsung and Nokia are set to unveil a new mobile app store at the upcoming MWC 2009. Samsung will launch its Samsung Mobile Applications app with just over 1,000 apps initially available for mainly Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile powered devices. Both freeware and commercial apps will be available.

Nokia, which owns the Symbian OS, will also unveil its Nokia app store as well during the conference. Nokia already has its app store finalized; it just now needs to officially unveil it. The new app stores will help the millions of users of the most used mobile OS Symbian find and use useful mobile applications, as currently, people mainly search online the internet and online forums to find the apps. Read the full story

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Apple Developing Standardized Batteries for Devices

appleAccording to a new US Patent filing (20090035609), Apple is applying for a universal battery format that could see batteries recharged from various devices. The idea is to let various devices with non-conventional batteries be recharged easily from a mainstream source. There would be a primary Apple hub type device to recharge multiple batteries, or you can easily recharge your devices from say your keyboard as you would your phone. The batteries would also perform like your cell phone battery with the ability of your computer or the Apple recharger hub to display the current charge and energy levels. There is no word on whether Apple will actually ever release a product, but hey, its always worth applying for a patent.

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Nokia Building Google Latitude Location Sharing Competitor

nokiaPhone makers are starting to understand that people want more social features on their phone to help keep them connected with friends. You can easily send messages and update your status right now, but it is difficult to get timely information of where your friends are. Google has just launched Google Latitude, allowing you to see your friend’s geographic position on a map in real-time. Read the full story

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Microsoft files mobile-PC interface patent

microsoftMicrosoft has applied for a new patent for a “Smart Interface System for Mobile Communications Devices” The patent is aimed at allowing users to dock a mobile phone with a small device and is aimed at eliminating different barriers that prohibit ease of use and productivity on a small mobile phone. Once the mobile is connected to the cradle, the phone can easily be connected with various peripherals including a keyboard, mouse, and printer, among other hardware. Read the full story

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