MWC - March 12, 2013
The Mobile World Congress 2013 (a.k.a MWC), ran from February 25 to the 28th, held in Barcelona, Spain and was the largest event to date with more than 72,000 attendees. Some of the winners of the 2013 Global Mobile Awards included Samsung which grabbed awards for the Best Smartphone (for the Galaxy S3), Device Manufacturer of the Year, Best Mobile Infrastructure (for its Smart LTE Networks), Best Mobile Enabled Consumer Electronics Device (for the Galaxy Camera), and Outstanding Overall Mobile Technology.
The Best Mobile Innovation for 'Smart Cities' award went to Parker, an application developed by Telefonica and Streetline. This app provides real time information on parking spaces available using sensors that detect cars. It also provides parking info for points of interest, hourly parking rates and hours, parking lots and other parking area locations. The Parker app can be used on the web, on smartphones, tablets and in the near future will be found in vehicle navigation units.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was unveiled.
It measures 5.3" (H) x 8.3" (W) x 0.3" (D) and weighs 11.9 oz, has a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a front facing camera, microSD memory expansion card slot, S-Pen with three button capability, Bluetooth 4, GPS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n connectivity, can be used as a remote (Peel Remote TV / infrared blaster), multitasking (max 20 open applications), and will operate on the Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 with the Samsung TouchWiz user interface powered by a 1.6GHz Quad-Core Samsung Exynos processor with 2GB of RAM. You can find your favorite applications in the Google Play store and handle your daily tasks with the Awesome Note app. If your not familiar with Awesome Note, it is a task management app that combines to do lists, calendar and alerts all in one place making it easy to see it all and costs about $3.99. It will be available in the U.S. for Wi-Fi only connectivity in two models with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory sometime in Q2 of 2013.
Ubuntu Touch is a new mobile operating system that will deliver a mobile user interface that is similar to the Unity user interface found on desktops. It is currently available (as of February 2013) for Developers to preview. To navigate one simply swipes the edges of the touchscreen to launch applications. For developers, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy Nexus 4 can be used to see it in action. Another mobile operating system found at the MWC, was the open source Mozilla Firefox OS. Apps are created using HTML5. The first phone to run it is the Alcatel One Touch Fire (pictured here). The Firefox OS will be released later this year along with the Firefox OS app store. Features of the One Touch Fire include 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 256MB of RAM, support for up to 32GB microSDHC card, and a 3.2 megapixel camera.
In the near future smartphones will have the capability to be unlocked with your fingerprint. CricualTec has developed a fingerprint scanner module for mobile devices and has even made it possible to have 1 task set to each fingerprint, totaling 10 different custom tasks that can be launched with your fingerprint. You can hide files, encrypt, and more.
The Asus FonePad made its debut. It has a 7" 1280 x 800 px touchscreen, can make calls, a 1.2 megapixel front webcam, 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor with 1GB of RAM, runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a metal casing and will be available with 16GB of internal memory and support for microSD cards with a maximum capacity of 32GB. Applications that will be found preloaded include SuperNote Lite for taking notes with the stylus, multitasking management app called Floating App, MS Office file access through Asus WebStorage Office Online and 5GB of cloud Asus WebStorage. It's uncertain if the FonePad will be available in the U.S. and it's scheduled to be released in the U.K. this summer in June.
Another phablet displayed was the LG Optimus G Pro. Though it does not have a stylus, it features a 5.5-inch 400 ppi Full HD IPS touch screen (16:9 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1080 px res). There are two cameras on the device, a 2.1 megapixel front webcam and a 13 megapixel rear camera equipped with flash. You can use dual recording which means both of the cameras are capturing video at the same time. It operates on the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS, 1.7GHz quad-core processor, has 2GB of RAM and support for microSD cards. Also, find DLNA connectivity and an improved multitasking management app called QSlide that allows you to view apps at the same time. You get all of Google Mobile services and Google Now.