Good morning folks! Here are the mobile headlines you should know about for the past week... including a triplet of announcements of upcoming Android phones, an interesting new direction for Apple and lots of juicy details on the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. Have a look!
LG G Pro 2 phablet announced in Korea
The LG G Pro 2 is due to make its international debut at MWC in just over a week, but the Korean press got an advance unveiling of the phone a few days ago. The phone will have a larger 5.9-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage plus microSD card support. A 13-megapixel rear camera with OIS, 2.1-megapixel front-facer and 1W speaker round out the phone's capabilities. The G Pro 2 will be running Android 4.4 KitKat, albeit with LG's traditional heavy skin.
Sony Xperia G midrange phone leaks
Sony is planning a new midrange Xperia, according to images and information supplied by ViziLeaks. The phone should be called the Xperia G, and will include LTE, 8 GB of storage, an 8 megapixel camera, 1 GB of RAM and a 4.8-inch screen. The phone should be announced at MWC alongside the Sony Xperia Z2.
Oppo Find 7 to be come with 1080p and 1440p display options
The Oppo Find 5 was the first 1080p handset, and the Find 7 is attempting to be the first with a 1440p or Quad HD display. According to a recent announcement from the Chinese manufacturer, the phone will also be available with a 1080p display, presumably at a much lower price. We haven't really seen a phone be released with two resolution choices before, but this could be a nice way to please both resolution junkies and the more practically minded.
Apple working on app to predict heart attacks
According to information provided by the San Francisco Chronicle, Apple is looking to expand into two product categories that we wouldn't have expected: medical devices and cars. Audio engineer Tomlinson Holman is specifically mentioned, and is said to be developing a device that could predict heart attacks by listening to the sound of your blood. Apple is also apparently interested in working with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, but it's not clear what Apple would be looking to do in the space.
Microsoft Office for iPad to debut by July
ZDNet have stated that Office for iPad, the long awaited mobile version of Microsoft's most popular application, should be available by July. Apparently Microsoft wanted to delay Office for iPad until a touch-centric Office was ready for Windows 8, but higher-ups in the company changed their mind about this late last year.
Windows Phone 8.1 to include backgrounds, browser sync, multi-tasking, battery monitor and more!
Tom Warren of The Verge is reporting that in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, you'll be able to set a background behind your live tiles - much as you can in Windows 8. You'll also be able to have a three column layout on any phone, something that was previously limited to devices with large screens like the Lumia 1520. Microsoft are also working on a feature that will sync browser windows between mobile and desktop versions of Internet Explorer - as Chrome does. The new version will also include a reading view, private browsing and a password manager.
A separate story earlier the week revealed additional details about the update. According to developers looking through the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK, you'll be able to choose your own messaging app, track battery life with 'Battery Power Sense', use VPNs and install apps to SD card. Multitasking also apparently works differently; the back button suspends apps instead of closing them outright. Finally, a swipe down from the top will close apps. Making Windows Phone more like the desktop version of Windows seems to be a big focus for Microsoft here.
Nokia Lumia Icon announced for Verizon in the US
Nokia have released another flagship in the US. It's an exclusive to the American carrier Verizon, and is called the Lumia Icon. Unusually for a Nokia phone, there's no associated number here whatsoever - this is meant to be a phone that stands above the rest of the Lumia lineup. The phone is technically impressive, with a 5-inch 1080p display, wireless charging and a hefty internal battery, and a 20-megapixel camera. The phone is big and hefty though, with a design that feels like too many compromises have been made. The phone is set to be launched a few days before MWC, on February 20th.
Google Chrome will run virtualised Windows apps for enterprises
Google and VMWare announced a new partnership this week, which will allow Chrome OS machines to run Windows apps - something that's previously been impossible. The apps will be run on servers and be streamed to Chrome OS, but will otherwise work similarly to native Chrome apps. The move is a cunning move for Google as they look to disrupt Microsoft's control of the enterprise market, particularly as Windows XP finally becomes unsupported in April.
That's all folks. Thanks for checking out the article and have an excellent week ahead of you!