Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including the release of BBM for Android and iOS, the forthcoming launch of Ubuntu Touch, and some new details on the Jolla smartphone.
1. Ubuntu Touch Ready for 17 October Launch
Canonical has announced its Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system will be available on 17 October. It’s not going to be accompanied by a phone, at least as far as we know, but keen fans will be able to install the software on a Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 tablet.
2. New Jolla Phone Feature List Released
Ubuntu Touch isn’t the only new OS in town, as Jolla’s Sailfish OS is nearly here, and the company has released a few new specs. It’s now confirmed the device will be powered by a 1.4GHz, dual-core Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, while the 4.5-inch screen will have a 960×540 pixel resolution. Other new specs include 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and compatibility with Android apps.
Nokia has been responsible for some of the best mobile promo videos of the year, and you can see another one below. This time it’s for the Lumia 1020, and shows 41 photos taken with the phone all stitched together to create a seamless, mesmerizing look at New York between 3am and 7am. It’s only possible due to the level of depth and detail the Lumia 1020′s 41 megapixel camera can provide.
4. BlackBerry Messenger Coming to Android and iOS
BlackBerry’s BBM application will finally be released on Android and iOS this weekend. The new cross-platform version of the popular messaging app lets you communicate with friends who either own a BlackBerry phone, or have the app installed. You can also send files, share photos, or hold group chats with up to 30 people. It’ll be free to download, and it’ll available in the Google Play store on 21 September, and in the iTunes App Store on 22 September.
5. Google Wallet No Longer Needs NFC
Google Wallet, introduced some time ago in the USA, used to need NFC to function, but now Google has removed the need for the technology. The decision has made it possible for the app to be released on iOS, which could help push wider adoption of the mobile payment system. However, at the moment the app isn’t available in the UK App Store.
6. HP Says No Windows Phone in Development
Last week, a rumour spread that HP may be working on a smartphone with Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system installed. However, a follow-up report quoting HP officials says no such device is being built, and the story is false. Of course, HP would deny it regardless, but at the moment it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing a Lumia challenger from HP anytime soon.
7. Google Glass is Years Away From European Release
If you’re a tech fan, then you’re probably excited about Google Glass, but sadly if you live in Europe, the release is still a long way off. The news comes from The Wall Street Journal, where it’s said we may have years to go before Glass is approved for sale, and Google has fixed problems with the smart specs ability to recognise non-American accents. However, there are plenty of demo videos available to give you a taste of what may eventually come, so take a look at one below.
8. New Vodafone Smart Handset Leaked?
Unusually, a UK-bound smartphone has popped up in the files of the FCC, the American industry regulator. It’s apparently a new Vodafone Smart device, which are the network’s own brand smartphones, and it’s going to come with 4G LTE connectivity – a first for the Smart range. The release date, price, and official name are all unknown.
9. Nokia Launches the 108 Feature Phone
In its last days as a mobile manufacturer, Nokia has made a new feature phone official. It’s the 108, and it has an alphanumeric keyboard, a 1.8-inch screen, a VGA camera, FM radio, and a battery that should last 31 days without a recharge. It’s very cheap too, at about £18, and is scheduled for release before the end of 2013.
10. Kogan Agora Smartphone Announced
Kogan is a smartphone manufacturer from Australia, known for producing well-specced hardware at a reasonable price. Its latest phone is the Agora, which boasts a 5-inch screen with a 720p resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and 3G connectivity. The price? A mere £150 SIM-free.