Google close to signing a deal with Universal for their Google Music store!

Google close to signing a deal with Universal for their Google Music store!

Online sources are indicating that Google is set to sign up a deal with Universal Music Group for their upcoming Google Music store.

The company is expected to announce this service tomorrow. They might not be able to offer content from all the four major music labels at launch though talks continues to take place as we speak.

Google Music would feature deep integration with their Android platform. There are reports that the company would offer a hybrid service that could include subscription in addition to option to purchase songs.

There have been some leaked screenshots which show that the service might offer free songs too on a regular/daily basis.

We shall find out before the end of the week!

LinkedIn opens a R&D center in India!

LinkedIn opens a R&D center in India!

India is the second largest market for the professional social network LinkedIn.

The company has now launched a brand new R&D center in India in the city of Bangalore.

LinkedIn caters to around 12 million web users based in India and it is used heavily for professional networking.

The company already has offices in India and they employ around 100 people in India.

LinkedIn said that their new center would have around 35 engineers by the end of the current year.

The company is focusing huge on their mobile based services which are very popular in India. LinkedIn said: “Mobile is a key part of the LinkedIn strategy and our products are available on every conceivable mobile device. It is our fastest growing segment.”

WordPress.com makes it easy to invite followers and contributors

WordPress.com makes it easy to invite followers and contributors

Automattic has launched a new feature on their WordPress.com blogging platform.

Bloggers on WordPress.com can now add followers and contributors from their backend.

The users added would get an email asking for a confirmation.

The idea is to get your friends and family to reach your blog and make it easy for them to contribute as well.

WordPress.com developers said:

We’ve made two big changes that make it easier to encourage friends, family, and colleagues to interact with your WordPress.com blog.

Google allows you to opt out of their wireless network data collection system

Google allows you to opt out of their wireless network data collection system

Google has now made it possible for you to easily opt out of their wireless network data collection system.

This system is used for better location based services on their Android platform and other services.

The company was forced by the government regulations around the world to offer such an opt-out option.

The method is pretty crude. You would have to rename your wireless network by adding ‘_nomap’ to the end of its SSID.

Google said that they expect this system to be adopted by other similar services operating around the world to make it easy for web users to opt out:

As we explored different approaches for opting-out access points from the Google Location Server, we found that a method based on wireless network names provides the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse. Specifically, this approach helps protect against others opting out your access point without your permission. Finally, because other location providers will also be able to observe these opt-outs, we hope that over time the “_nomap” string will be adopted universally. This would help benefit all users by providing everyone with a unified opt-out process regardless of location provider.

Huawei Sonic and Ideos X3 have arrived in India

Huawei Sonic and Ideos X3 have arrived in India

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has launched two new smartphones in the Indian market. These are: Huawei Sonic and Ideos X3.

The company has also launched a Tablet PC named MediaPad in India.

Huawei Sonic
Huawei Sonic is a budget segment smartphone priced at around Rs. 9200. It features a 3.5 inch touchscreen display and is based on the Android 2.3 platform. The device also comes with a 3.2mp camera.

Huawei Ideos X3
Huawei Ideos X3 is also a budget segment model priced at around Rs. 10300. Specifications are similar to Sonic.

The more interesting offer is Cloud+ which is an online storage service operated by the company. Huawei said that owners of these devices would get 16GB of free storage on their servers.

Samsung is now the world’s largest smartphone maker

Samsung is now the world’s largest smartphone maker

Gartner has confirmed in their latest report that Samsung has overtaken Nokia to become the world’s largest smartphone company.

The report further said that Android now has more than 50% of the smartphone market.

Samsung managed to overtake Nokia in the third quarter of the current year.

The report said that Samsung sold 24 million smartphones in the third quarter compared with Nokia’s 19.5 million.

The total global volume of smartphone sales were around 115 million in the quarter.

Gartner added: “The slowdown that we have seen in Western Europe has been compensated by stronger growth in emerging markets such as China.”

Android is not slowing down despite the new emerging competition. Nokia is expecting to make a comeback with their Windows Phone based smartphones that have just gone on sale in some markets.

Sony to release Android Ice Cream Sandwich edition for all their 2011 Xperia models

Sony to release Android Ice Cream Sandwich edition for all their 2011 Xperia models

Sony has made an announcement through their official blog that they plan to release the Android 4 update for all the Xperia branded smartphones that were launched in the current year.

This covers the following models:

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc,
Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S,
Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY,
Sony Ericsson Xperia neo,
Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V,
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini,
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro,
Sony Ericsson Xperia pro,
Sony Ericsson Xperia active,
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray,
Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman

The company said:

We can today confirm that we plan to upgrade the entire 2011 Xperia™ portfolio* to the next version of Android known as Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. We are working on merging our current Xperia™ experience with the new features in Android 4.0.

Sony Xperia Arc S set to go on sale in the US market

Sony Xperia Arc S set to go on sale in the US market

Sony Xperia Arc S is all set to go on sale in the US market.

It is priced at around USD 500 for the unlocked unsubsidized version.

Sony Xperia Arc S set to go on sale in the US market

We believe that carriers would announce their own pricing with contracts in the coming days.

Sony Xperia Arc S is an updated edition of their older model Sony Xperia Arc and it comes with improved hardware specifications.

The device comes loaded with Mobile Bravia Engine display, 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor and 8 megapixel camera.

XenForo 1.1.0 Release Candidate 1 is out

XenForo 1.1.0 Release Candidate 1 is out

Developers behind the XenForo platform have released the first RC edition of their next update.

XenForo 1.1.0 Release Candidate 1 is now available as a free download for all the subscribers to their paid plan.

No new features have been added. They have worked on fixing the bugs in the beta releases. We have seen a lot of interesting new features that were added during the beta phase.

The developers warn:

While we have moved on from the beta distinction, please remember that this release is not officially supported and we do not recommend running pre-release software in a production environment. Support is limited at this time to questions here on the community forums.

If you choose to run unsupported software, it is your responsibility to ensure that you make a backup of your data. We recommend you do this before attempting an upgrade.

doubleTwist for Android gets a new major update

doubleTwist for Android gets a new major update

doubleTwist has released a major update of their mobile app for the Google Android platform.

Here are the new features and other changes:

A new homescreen design that’s easier to navigate as we continue to add new features.
The playback screen now features a sneak peek cover view – enabling you to slide to see the previous or upcoming track.
Re-designed settings with better grouping. At doubleTwist we believe everything should be polished, even the settings.
An option to choose which memory location (internal vs. external) should be used for AirSync.
A new grid view for albums that shows off your music’s beautiful cover art.
A premium equalizer for users running Android 2.3 or higher.
AirPlay video support for latest Apple TV 2 software update.
Superior text quality.

It is already available on the official Google Android Market. They would soon offer it through the Amazon AppStore for Android.