Technologizer posts about HTC

Is Carrier IQ As Bad As It Seems?

By  |  Posted at 5:03 pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011

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The controversy over the nature of Carrier IQ’s phone-monitoring application is deepning, with Minnesota Senator Al Franken demanding answers over what the company is doing with the information it collects. Carrier IQ’s code is apparently on millions of devices, and is known to be currently used by at least one manufacturer, HTC, and two carriers, AT&T and Sprint.
 
Apple chimed in, and says it used Carrier IQ in “most” of its pre-iOS 5 products. It says the code will be removed completely in a future software update, and the submission of diagnostic data is opt-in.
Franken asks Carrier IQ to provide details on what exactly the software records, where the data is transmitted to, and whether or not protections are in place to protect the security of those affected. He is also calling upon the company to give consumers a method of opting out of the process.

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HTC Rezound: Beefy Specs, Beats Audio and Red All Over

By  |  Posted at 2:21 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011

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With the holiday smartphone smackdown in full swing, the HTC Rezound is stepping into the ring. At $299 on Verizon Wireless, this Android phone will have some tough competition against Motorola’s Droid RAZR and possibly Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, but HTC’s hoping the addition of Beats Audio will help the Rezound stand out.

The Rezound has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and a 4.3-inch Super LCD display with 720p resolution, making it the first 720p phone we’ve seen in a screen smaller than 4.5 inches. HTC paid special attention to the camera as well, with an 8-megapixel, an f/2.2 sensor that’s supposedly superior in low-light, dual LED flash and 1080p video camera. There’s also a 2-megapixel camera up front.

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Android Uncertainty: Apple Wins a Round Against HTC

By  |  Posted at 9:04 am on Saturday, July 16, 2011

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On Friday, Apple won a round in its court battle against Taiwanese phone maker HTC, when an International Trade Commission judge ruled that HTC’s Android handsets violate two Apple patents. HTC is appealing the judgement.

My two favorite tech/law bloggers are FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller and This is My Next’s Nilay Patel. Mueller thinks this court decision could be a big deal:

I have looked at those patents before and they appear to be very fundamental. They are very likely to be infringed by code that is at the core of Android. It’s telling that those two patents are also at issue between Apple and Motorola (and the ’263 patent was also used by Apple against Nokia). A while after Apple started suing HTC, Motorola filed a declaratory judgment action against a dozen Apple patents including those two. Apple then counterclaimed by asking the court to determine that those patents are valid and infringed by Motorola. So the relevance of this goes way beyond HTC!

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HTC Evo 3D Review: Average Phone, Cheap Trick

By  |  Posted at 7:06 am on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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If you’re thinking about buying the HTC Evo 3D on Sprint, the first thing you should do is ignore the 3D.

The phone’s namesake features — a glasses-free 3D display and dual cameras to shoot your own 3D content — amount to little more than a cheap party trick. And with a dearth of 3D movies and games to enjoy on the smartphone, the Evo 3D’s design and performance in two dimensions is far more important.

Strip away the gimmicks, and the Evo 3D is just average among high-end Android handsets. It’s a phone that provides lots of power through a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, but falters on design.

Compared to the graceful curves and smooth materials of HTC’s newly-launched Sensation 4G, the Evo 3D’s figure is no triumph. It’s not uncomfortably large despite a 4.3-inch, 960-by-540 resolution display, but its boxy shape and considerable weight lack elegance.

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We’ll know that Windows Phone 7 is a success when Microsoft makes more money from it than it does by collecting royalties on Android phones.

Posted by Harry at 9:20 am

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Who’s Suing Who? A Cheat Sheet to the Mobile Patent Mess

All the legal ugliness in the phone business--and a few peaceable relationships--all on one page.

By  |  Posted at 7:32 pm on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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So Apple is suing Samsung, accusing it of imitating Apple products with its Galaxy phones and tablets. The most startling thing about the news may be that the two companies weren’t already in court with each other. Over the past few years, the mobile industry has been so rife with suits and countersuits that if every complainant managed to sue every subject of its ire out of business…well, there’d hardly be a mobile industry left.

I had trouble remembering the precise details of the umpteen cases that have made headlines–as well as some related relationships, such as Microsoft’s licensing agreements with Amazon and HTC–so I decided to document them with a handy-dandy infographic, as much for my own edification as anyone else’s.

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HTC Thunderbolt: iPhone Killer?

By  |  Posted at 10:58 am on Friday, April 1, 2011

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HTC’s Thunderbolt has gotten a good deal of positive coverage from the tech press, and now we may have some anecdotal evidence that those good words could be translating into success for the device. According to data from research firm BITG, checks at 150 Verizon Wireless stores indicate that in some cases the Thunderbolt is outselling the iPhone 4.

According to the comany’s data, 61 percent of the stores said they were selling equal numbers of both devices, and 11 percent more iPhones than Thunderbolts, apparently mainly in the southeastern US. But 28 percent were selling more Thunderbolts, seemingly indicating that at least on Verizon, the iPhone may have met its match.

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OnLive Snubbed in Sprint’s HTC Evo View Reveal

By  |  Posted at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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If HTC’s Evo View 4G tablet can play modern PC games from OnLive, Sprint isn’t saying so.

OnLive was supposed to be a big feature in the HTC Flyer, the 7-inch Android tablet that Sprint is calling the Evo View 4G. The cloud gaming service gets top billing on HTC’s Flyer website, and promises to let users play PC games like Homefront and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood on their tablets.

But Sprint’s announcement of the Evo View 4G doesn’t mention OnLive, even as it promises other built-in entertainment apps such as Blockbuster On Demand and NASCAR Sprint Cup.

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HTC’s Flyer Tablet Includes OnLive Gaming

By  |  Posted at 10:25 am on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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HTC’s $40 million investment in OnLive is already coming to fruition,  with OnLive’s streaming video game service baked into HTC’s upcoming Flyer tablet.

OnLive games, which are processed on remote servers and streamed as compressed audio and video, will be playable on the tablet using touch screen controls. In a demonstration video posted by Slashgear, OnLive Chief Executive Steve Perlman plays through a version of Virtua Tennis 2009 whose controls have been retooled for the tablet. HTC’s press release says a “variety of games” will be available including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, NBA 2K11 and Lego Harry Potter.

The Flyer can also plug into televisions via HDMI for big-screen play with the OnLive game controller, effectively turning the tablet into a MicroConsole set-top box.

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HTC’s inevitable tablet looks interesting: It’s got…a stylus! That might make it a winner for those of us who like to draw on computers. I am, however, worried about the fact that it runs Android Gingerbread, not Honeycomb. Sounds like Android tablets may be just as fragmented as their smartphone brethren.

Posted by Harry at 8:20 am

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HTC’s 3 Android 4G Phones for Sprint, AT&T and Verizon

By  |  Posted at 4:53 am on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

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HTC Shift 4G

HTC chose CES as the launchpad for three new Android 2.2-enabled smartphones for 4G networks. One of these phones, the EVO Shift 4G, is a slider that will complement HTC’s original EVO and Samung’s Epic 4G on Sprint’s WiMax network. Rounding out the trio are the Inspire 4G for AT&T and the ThunderBolt, one of 10 new phones and other devices from various vendors now announced for release for Verizon’s 4G network.

 

At 5.8 ounces, the new Shift is a bit lighter in weight than the original EVO 4G, HTC’s existing Sprint phone. The Shift also adds a slideout keyboard, said HTC officials, speaking with me at the show here in Las Vegas.

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Windows Phone 7 Handsets: Initial Questions and Answers

By  |  Posted at 10:15 am on Monday, October 11, 2010

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I spent this morning liveblogging Microsoft’s official Windows Phone 7 kickoff here in New York. Even though there wasn’t a lot of brand-new news–Microsoft started showing off the OS months ago, and some of the hardware news had leaked–there was still lots to chew on. Herewith, a few early impressions based on experiencing the keynote and spending twenty minutes fiddling with the phones on display here.

How’s the interface?

We already knew that Windows Phone 7 was an inventive approach to mobile interfaces that owed little either to earlier versions of Windows or the iPhone. (It is, however, reminiscent of the Zune HD and certain aspects of Xbox 360 and Windows Media Center.) It features Tiles (big icons that can display constantly-updated information in a widgety fashion), screens that slide to the left to reveal more stuff (like the iPhone and Android desktops, but inside apps as well), and other distinctive ideas. Judging from the time I spent with some phones this morning, the level of overall polish and fluidity is very good.

It’s not an iPhone-style great leap forward,, but I can certainly imagine some folks actively preferring it to the iPhone interface. And given that Android’s interface remains so-so and the future of HP/Palm’s WebOS on phones is somewhat murky, Windows Phone 7 could end up being the iPhone’s most serious competitor from a usability standpoint.

Any other unique benefits?

Windows Phone 7 has built-in Office apps with editing (although I need more time with them to judge whether they’re better than third-party suites for other phones). It lets you subscribe to music using Microsoft’s Zune Pass service; solid subscription music services are available for other platforms, but they’re not integrated into the OS. Speaking of integration, the music player has an API that permits third-party services such as Slacker to show up–Microsoft’s demo this morning mentioned this feature but didn’t really show how it works.

Window Phone 7 also has lots of hooks into Facebook, Windows Live, and other social networks–it grabs and melds information from them, lets you issue updates and upload photos, aims to make it as easy to browse photos on Facebook as it is to view ones on the phone, etc., etc. This social stuff is ambitious for sure, but I want to live with it for a while before deciding whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. (I’m instinctively skeptical of phones that aim to support social networks through built-in features rather than excellent stand-alone apps–the disaster known as Microsoft Kin shows how hard it is to pull that off.)

What’s that image at the top of this post?

During this morning’s presentation, Steve Ballmer and company reported all the catch phrases on that slide so often that I almost began chanting along. To some degree, they’re just marketingspeak–no company is going to say that its new product is occasionally delightful, adequately mine, and a sluggish hassle. But Windows Phone 7 is the first evidence I’ve ever seen that Microsoft understands how to make a pleasant, efficient, modern mobile operating system–which has absolutely nothing to do with cramming the Windows interface onto a tiny screen.

What’s missing?

Let’s see. Multitasking for third-party apps; cut and paste (which is coming early in 2011); massive quantities of great apps; the assumption that virtually every new app will be available for your phone; a movie/TV service as comprehensive as iTunes; an ecosystem of accessories to rival the iPhone. I also didn’t see any way to swap out Bing as the default search engine in favor of anything else. (To be fair, the Bing services–including voice search and Maps–look good.) None of these omissions render the operating system DOA, but they need to get fixed, and Microsoft has little time to dawdle. Windows Phone 7 2.0 or Windows Phone 8 or whatever the next version is called needs to fill in most of the obvious holes.

What about big-name third party apps?

Microsoft had surprisingly little to say about that today. It demoed eBay and IMdB, plus a couple of games (including The Sims). The phones that attendees could try out had a few other name-brand apps, including Twitter (which looks similar to the Android version) and Fandango. But I didn’t see Facebook or Foursquare or Bejeweled or other apps that I try to install on a new phone as soon as I get it. (Foursquare has been demoed in the past.)

I do feel hopeful that Microsoft will get one thing right that Google has failed to do so far: doing everything in its power to ensure that third-party apps have a look and feel that’s consistent with the overall interface. All the ones I’ve seen so far, such as eBay, truly feel like Windows Phone 7 programs.

How’s the hardware?

I think it’s a smart move that Windows Phone 7 will be on three AT&T handsets, each based on a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and a five-megapixel camera, and each going for $199.99 on contract–but each with its own personality and none resembling the iPhone all that closely. The LG Quantum has a physical keyboard; the HTC Surround has slide-out Dolby Mobile/SRS speakers; the Samsung Focus has a 4.3″ Super AMOLED display. The Focus goes on sale on November 8th, and the other two will follow within a few weeks.

A couple of early hands-on impressions: The Focus feels like a cousin of Samsung’s Galaxy S phones, with an impressively thin case and a display that delivers very, very vivid colors. (Whether they’re too vivid compared to a good LCD is a matter of opinion.) The Quantum’s slide-out landscape keyboard felt pretty good by slide-out landscape keyboard standards, but the slider mechanism was oddly stiff. (This may have been due to interference from the bracket for the cable that fastened the phone to the demo station.)

What’s the deal with AT&T?

It seems to be more serious about Windows Phone 7 than it’s been about Android to date–it’s Microsoft’s “Premier” wireless company for now, and the initial lineup of handsets looks decent. It also looks like AT&T has integrated some of its own stuff (including an app for its U-Verse TV service that’s available both to subscribers and non-subscribers) without munging up the Windows Phone 7 experience. Here at the event, I spoke with David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T’s wireless unit, and he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about Windows Phone 7. Would it surprise you to hear that he cheerfully refused to answer direct questions relating to AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity and whether the new Microsoft phones will help the carrier prepare for the era of the Verizon iPhone?

What are Windows Phone 7′s chances?

Ooh, I was afraid you’d ask that. It’s unknowable at this point, really. Microsoft let Apple build up an unimaginably gigantic lead in the market for next-generation smartphones, and now it has to catch up with Android, too. It’s incredibly daunting, and these phones–which are version 1.0 products despite the “7″ in the name–aren’t going to get Microsoft anywhere close to parity. On the other hand, I’m impressed with Windows Phone 7 overall–and I can’t think of a different strategy that the one Microsoft seems to be following that would have a better shot at success. This is going to be fun to watch…



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HTC Dilutes Android With New Sense

By  |  Posted at 12:51 pm on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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It’s telling that HTC doesn’t refer to Sense as a user interface or a layer atop its Android phones, but rather as a “holistic experience filled with moments of delight.”

That’s pure marketing jargon, but it also shows how HTC wants to strike its own path with Sense, and to be less reliant on the core Android experience. The proof is in a batch of new Sense features, which will initially appear in HTC’s Desire HD and Desire Z handsets. I’m guessing they will eventually come to HTC smartphones in the United States, as well.

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HTC’s Android Gamble is Paying Off

By  |  Posted at 11:11 am on Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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Smartphone maker HTC was one of the first manufacturers two years ago to announce devices for the then-unproven Android mobile OS. It was a gamble — there was no guarantee that the new platform would survive, even with Google’s muscle behind it. If HTC’s latest financials are any guide, that gamble is paying dividends (literally!).

The company reported a $268 million profit for the just ended quarter, up a third over last year. It also sold 4.5 million phones just in April — beating current smartphone juggernaut Apple and its iconic iPhone as consumers pulled back from the iPhone 3GS in anticipation of the iPhone 4.

HTC had for much of its corporate life focused on Windows-powered devices. However with Microsoft’s mobile phone division apparently in chaos, and the company’s mobile focus on its Windows Phone 7 operating system due later this year, the company is increasingly turning to Android as its primary operating system.

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AT&T’s Other June Smartphone

By  |  Posted at 8:33 am on Monday, June 14, 2010

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Four days before the iPhone 4 goes on sale on June 24th, AT&T will start stocking the HTC Aria, which sounds like its first Android smartphone that a serious smartphone fan might take seriously. For $130 (on two-year contract after rebate) it’s got decent specs, a trackball, and what AT&T describes as an especially pocket-friendly size. It also runs Android 2.1 with HTC’s Sense interface (Google’s own Nexus One remains the only Android 2.2 phone, but please don’t call that fragmentation).



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HTC Sues Apple

By  |  Posted at 11:47 am on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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This isn’t even slightly surprising: HTC is suing Apple. The Taiwanese phone giant says that the iPhone maker has violated five HTC patents, and it’s therefore asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to prevent the iPhone, iPad, and iPod from being imported into the U.S. and sold.

Last month, Apple sued HTC, seeking to ban that company from selling phones in the U.S. Apple is also suing Nokia, which is itself suing Apple. Twice.

(Extremely unlikely but perversely satisfying potential scenario: All three companies win all their lawsuits, preventing all of them from selling any products whatsoever and driving them all out of business. At least it might dissuade other businesses from doing battle in the courtroom rather than the marketplace…)

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