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Facebook Messenger Update Brings Free Voice Calls to iOS/Android in Canada

fbThe world’s largest social network with over one billion users, Facebook, has made a significant improvement to its mobile Messenger apps for iOS and Google Android, bringing voice clips and free voice calls (VoIP), allowing users to directly talk with their Facebook friends.

The VoIP feature is currently only available for Canadian iOS users, and works over either WiFi or a cellular connection.

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New Adobe tool allows developers to make a single app for different platforms

adobe-airA new Adobe tool in Adobe Air could revolutionize the way developers produce applications.

Developers are able to build a single code-base for a single application, and utilize the tool to essentially convert the application to run on multiple operating systems (including mobile operating systems) that support Adobe Flash. No additional code needs to be changed to support the different platforms.

Adobe says the tool is the first of its kind, and no other technology currently allows developers to maintain the same code-base without any modifications to the initial code to run on a variety of platforms.

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Google to unveil Nexus One phone at Jan 5 press event

Update 1: Google has in fact unveiled the new Nexus One phone, and it is now available for purchase. The Nexus One product page is now also live on the Google website. Head over to Engadget who is blogging live from the Google press conference.

Google has announced an Android press event on January 5 at its Mountain View, CA headquarters, where the company will unveil the first mobile phone it would be selling to consumers directly, the Google Nexus One phone.

The phone will be offered through T-Mobile and will be priced at $530 unlocked, or for $180 with a two-year term that requires customers to add voice, text, and a data plan for a minimum of $79.99 per month.

The Nexus One will be powered by Android 2.1 with a 1GHz processor, and will include a 3.7-inch display (480x800px resolution), 512MB of ROM and 512MB of RAM, GPS, an accelerometer, a 5MP camera with LED flash, among other features.

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Google to release free GPS turn-by-turn navigation app, TomTom/Garmin stock plummets

Well, we knew Google would do this sooner or later. The company has announced it would begin to offer free GPS turn-by-turn navigation with its new and free Google Maps Navigation application.

The application will be initially available only in the United States and with support for devices running Android 2.0 or higher (see the second embedded video below to learn more about Android 2.0).

Google Maps Navigation supports voice search, satellite view, 3D view, traffic information, automatic rerouting, among many other features you would find on premium GPS devices.

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Google exec says Android going social

Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin gave some insight as to where Android is heading to during yesterday’s joint T-Mobile Google media event in San Francisco.

He said “Social is a big push for now,” saying how Android would become a much more social platform. He said soon Android would be able to display photos of incoming callers, and even the latest Twitter and Facebook update from that contact (why you would want to see the latest Facebook update on the incoming call screen?).

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T-Mobile announces second Android phone, comes with Geodelic location app

T-Mobile today confirmed the company will offer its second Google Android powered handset, the myTouch 3G (the HTC Magic). T-Mobile will begin to take pre-orders starting July 8, the device should be available in stores by early August. The company did not offer a firm availability date. The myTouch 3G will be priced at $199 with a new two-year term.

The device offers a 3.2MP camera, 3.2-inch display, WiFi, 4GB preinstalled memory, out of the box support for Google apps such as Google Maps, Picassa, YouTube, among other apps from Google.

The myTouch 3G will also come pre-installed with a new app from Geodelic that helps you find information

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Kinpo shows off its Android powered computer

The Taiwanese-based electronics maker Kinpo has just released their first video of their own Google Android powered UMPC device. The device currently sports a 7-inch 800x480px touch display and is dubbed the Kinpo Thin Client.

It is clear from the video there is a lot more work to do. The company will at some point release an Android powered device, but it is currently unclear when that will happen. We can likely estimate in about a year from now.

The news comes a few days after we’ve seen the very first video of an Android powered computer from Acer.

It is clear that computer-makers are taking notice of Google’s open source Android OS. We can confirm that both BenQ and HTC are working on release an Android powered device, but we have yet to see any actual pictures. BenQ says it will release an Android netbook by 2010. There is no time frame from HTC.

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First video of Google Android laptop computer

The very first laptop computer powered by Google Android has been unveiled. It was long rumored that Google was going to push Android beyond mobile phones to power laptop computers.

The first Android powered laptop the world has firstly seen comes from Acer. The OS still seems to need a lot of more work to fully run on a laptop, but judging from the first video below, it seems Google is off to a good start. The computer takes about 15-seconds to load up, and seems to not lag at all after it is done initially booting up. The browser also seems to load pages swiftly with correct formatting over HSDPA.

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Google Android phone coming to Canada

Update: To launch June 2nd 2009 on the Rogers network.

Rogers Communications, the cable and telecom giant, has announced it will finally release a Google Android powered phone in Canada. The company confirmed today it will be launching both the HTC Magic and HTC Dream powered by the open-source Google Android OS.

Rogers senior vice president John Boynton said in a statement, “Both devices [the HTC Dream and HTC Magic] offer outstanding wireless Internet search capabilities and a full suite of applications,”

Bell Canada, also announced earlier in the week the company would be the exclusive carrier to offer the new Palm Pre in Canada.

Both companies failed to disclose details on pricing and availability, but we are working on our source.

Google has publicly criticized Rogers Communications in the past for not offering unlimited mobile Internet data. Google has also voiced concern over Rogers Wireless complete GSM monopoly in Canada.

In related Rogers news, according to an internal source, the company in June will start to charge customers for incoming text messages, unless subscribed to a basic SMS plan. The source familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity citing details have yet to be made public. Telus already has been doing this for months. The moves highlight that few control the oligopolistic telecom market in Canada, and in this case, a monopoly over the GSM networks.

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BlackBerry overtakes iPhone as top selling smartphone in U.S. Q1 2009

According to new market data published today by the NPD Group, The BlackBerry Curve was the top selling smartphone in the U.S. in Q1 2009, regaining the number one spot from Apple’s iPhone.

The NPD report concluded RIM’s total market share for Q1 2009 was up 15% over Q1 2008. The report says RIM now collectively has 50% of the U.S. smartphone market.

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