With Day 2 of the ongoing Mobile World Conference in Barcelona over, there have been many more exciting revelations in the devices that are being announced. Following up on yesterday, where Nokia talked about considering, but eventually rejecting, Android as a platform choice, in his keynote, Google Chief Eric Schmidt talked about how Google had tried to convince Nokia to go with Android.
Meanwhile, HTC announced two new phones – the ChaCha and Salsa, which will have special Facebook buttons that light up whenever the user is on content which can be activated with Facebook – such as looking at photos, for instance. The phones will also integrate the address book with Facebook, and when you dial someone, you can also press a button to look at their profile.
Earlier, it had been revealed that even though Facebook is not interested in entering the hardware business itself, INQ is building a phone around the social network.
The INQ Cloud Touch integrates with many custom apps, widgets and jump links and also has a custom homescreen that serves as a Facebook news feed.
Another interesting revelation has been the Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson, the long awaited ‘Playstation Phone’. The Android phone has slide out gaming controls and will be available worldwide in a few months. People who want to buy games will have to go to the Android Marketplace and then visit the Playstation store, where gamers will be able to take full advantage of the device hardware, while people who just want to play Angry Birds still have access to the Android Market as the device runs Android 2.2.
Two other major announcements had to do with tablet computers. HTC announced that they are jumping into the fray as well, with a tablet which will be based on the HTC Sense skin, which they use on their phones as well, but developed specially for the tablet. The device, called the Flyer, has a lot of innovative features, including a strong focus on gaming, as they have integrated thoroughly with the cloud-based gaming service OnLive to allow people to play games that are graphically far ahead of what the device can handle, by running them remotely.
Since gaming related apps have been one of the biggest drivers of the app market, this opens up all sorts of possibilities and could actually be a big differentiator. The company has invested a lot in streaming services for the device, and one other new feature is called HTC Watch, their on-demand video service. Another cloud based feature is the integration with Evernote, and a note taking software which allows normal handwriting to be used for note-taking.
The device, which will be available later this year, is focusing on the cloud, which opens up a level of functionality that the competing hardware cannot deliver, but also means that it will be hugely dependent on the quality of Internet access that users have, which won’t be an issue in the US and other developed markets, but might make it less of a must-have device in India.
The other big reveal in the tablet market was the new Galaxy tablet, named the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which refers to the new screen size. Now, in direct competition with the iPad in terms of the size, the new device also packs a number of interesting features. A Tegra processor and Honeycomb on board mean the new device will be more powerful, and will allow more multitasking, more video, higher resolutions than the iPad, and one can expect a slew of apps which will take advantage of this.