Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories that you may have missed including a Google Glass game and a Porsche edition of the BlackBerry Z10.

1. Microsoft Forced to Rename SkyDrive

The US software giant is having to rename its cloud-storage service following legal action from satellite broadcaster Sky. So far, there’s been no news on what SkyDrive’s new name will be, but the TV firm has agreed to allow for a “transition period” of an undisclosed amount of time for Microsoft to scratch its collective head and come up with a new name.

2. Galaxy S4 Blamed for House Fire

The owner of a house which burned down in Hong Kong has alleged that the blaze was started when his Samsung Galaxy S4 overheated and burst into flames. Mr Du claims that he was playing a game on his handset, while also charging it with a Samsung charger, when the device became too hot for him to hold. Along with his home, the blaze also destroyed Mr Du’s Mercedes which was parked outside. Samsung has said that it is investigating the incident.

3. Kickstarter Project Brings Karaoke to your Smartphone

A project that aims to bring karaoke functionality to your smartphone has been launched on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Juke, as it’s known, is a strange device that plugs into the headphone socket of a handset, connects via Bluetooth and features a small microphone into which you can sing. You can take a look at the way it works in the video below

4. BlackBerry Z10 Porsche Edition Rumoured

Rumours are abounding that BlackBerry has once again teamed up with luxury car manufacturer Porsche, this time to design an exclusive version of the Z10. The two companies have previously worked together on the rare and expensive P9981, a revamped version of the Bold 9900 that featured an unusual, angular design. A Porsche version of the Z10 could be interesting, although it may well be incredibly expensive as well.

5. Google Reportedly Working on Translation Phone

Google is said to be working on a handset that will automatically translate between languages, allowing two people with no common tongue to speak to each other with ease. The project, codenamed Babelfish, could result in a person speaking to a phone and a synthesised translation being delivered at the other end of the call. Hugo Barra, the firm’s VP of Android, has confirmed that a project of this kind is in the works, so it will be fascinating to see what happens.

6. Samsung Could be Planning a Clamshell Phone

The user manual of an unusual handset has appeared on Japanese tech blog RBMEN, suggesting that Samsung could be broadening its range even further. What’s unusual about it? The handset features a clamshell form factor, something which has not been seen on the smartphone market for a long, long time. Samsung seems to be covering every single base possible with its devices.

7. Google Glass Game Shows Off Gadget’s Possibilities

One of the first games to be produced for Google Glass shows off what the much-discussed gadget can do. The game, called Escape, is a very simple offering that sees the player clicking on small circular icons. Questions have immediately been raised about how  someone would play it when around other people, adding to the often-mentioned stigma that could surround the use of Google Glass itself. Take a look at how it works in the video below.

8. No More Updates for Galaxy S II

Samsung’s multi-million selling Galaxy S II was one of the landmarks in the Korean tech giant’s leading range of handsets, but its looks like the device’s time may now have passed. The company has announced that the handset won’t be upgraded beyond its current Android 4.1.2 status, with no new versions of Google software being supported. Nevertheless, the fact that a handset over two years old has been upgraded this far is still very much to Samsung’s credit.

9. Asus May Not Be Making Nexus Tablets for Much Longer

Asus may well have produced several excellent Nexus 7 devices so far, but it looks like Google is still following its plan of regularly switching manufacturers for its stock Android range. Reports state that LG has been lined up to take over the 7-inch tablet series, having already worked with the search giant on the widely-respected Nexus 4 smartphone.

10. BBM for Android sees limited beta roll out

BlackBerry has confirmed that an early version of its BlackBerry Messenger service for Android has been rolled out amongst some of its staff and a very limited number of their friends and families. There’s still no definite word on when the app will be put on general release, but it’s one small step that will make the BlackBerry 10 platform that little bit more attractive to potential customers.

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