The HTC Zara will pack a 4.5″ qHD display and will be powered by a 1.2GHz dual core snapdragon with two Krait cores, 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 305 GPU. It will only have 8GB of internal storage, but it will have a microSD slot unlike the One. To round things off is an 8MP camera and a 2100mAh battery, and the Boomsound speakers that are a feature of all HTC’s now. The most important part of this otherwise unremarkable phone is the Sense 5.5 UI, ahead of the Sense 5.0 in the One. Sense 5.5 is said to be layered on top of Jelly Bean 4.3, but other than that there are no details on what changes 5.5 brings. The One and One Mini will certainly get the update later in the year as well. The HTC Zara is set to become available in Q4 later this year, and based on the specs it should be priced very attractively, so if you need a budget smartphone this year, this will certainly undercut the HTC One Mini.
When I last wrote about Invoxia’s AudiOffice, I had one complaint… its lack of Lightning support for modern iOS devices. Fortunately, its new device fixes this. I actually had another minor complaint—its name, which led me to joke that it was an accessory for Audi automobiles! In the latest version, the mixed-case name is gone, now simply called Audioffice ($299).
The newer Audioffice is an elegant accessory, with a companion app, invoxia (free) that turns your iPhone, iPad, or Android device into a full function conference room speakerphone. You also can use internal and alternative apps like FaceTime, Skype, etc.
Or in other words, you can swap the Bridge from your computer to phone (or tablet) without the need for any additional cables. The Bridge is available in a 16GB or 32GB storage option and is priced at $17.99 or $28.99 respectively. While all this sounds interesting enough so far, there is one catch that comes with the supported devices — for now this will be limited to those running Jelly Bean.
Aside from Jelly Bean, there is a device compatibility list because unfortunately not all Jelly Bean devices are supported. The Bridge also needs devices with support for a micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) connector. The list includes a variety of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG smartphones as well as Samsung, Lenovo and Asus tablets. Also worth noting, the Leef Bridge drive does support the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
At present the Leef Bridge is available by way of the Leef website. Finally, while storage is limited to 16GB or 32GB at the moment, Leef has said a 64GB model will be available relatively soon. Pricing for the 64GB Bridge has yet to be announced, however the drive is expected to arrive in July.
Makes gaming on touch-screen devices much easier. Controls are similar to that of a PlayStation controller, so it’s easy to pick up and learn. Wireless.
Pricey. You can’t use the controller for full navigation; touch-screen menu selection is required for some games. Not compatible with all games. Button remapping requires a computer.
The SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Controller aims to improve your touch-screen gaming experience, but it comes with some limitations and a too-high price.
The SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Controller ($79.99 direct) is a Bluetooth-enabled, multi-platform gamepad that is compatible with Android and iOS tablets and phones, PCs, and Macs. It aims to make touch-screen gaming less frustrating and easier to control.
The infamous charge cord is one of the most difficult form factors in tech. It seems to always conveniently get lost, only to end up tangled and frayed at the bottom of your backpack, briefcase or junk drawer. It’s a necessary annoyance, but it’s rarely available when you need it most and easy to forget about.
Gizmodo reports that the ChargeCard, a Kickstarter-backed project made in California, offers an intriguing prospect: a 0.1″ thick charger that fits any standard USB connector on one end and attaches to your iPhone 4, iPhone 5 or Android smartphone on the other. Once your device is sufficiently charged, the adapter folds up neatly to fit a wallet’s standard credit card holder.
Sometimes as Android users we tend to forget how great it is that we can switch devices with impunity and not have to worry about transferring everything over from one smartphone to another. Don’t like the Samsung Galaxy S III? That’s cool you can pick up a Nexus 4 and your contacts and photos are there in Google’s cloud for you to access at your convenience. The Note 2 too large for your hands? No big deal just grab a Droid Razr Maxx HD from your local Verizon store and so long as you uploaded your files to Google Music, a quick sync and you’re poppin’ and lockin’ to Ollie and Jerry in no time. With everything backed up to your GMail account, it takes nothing more than logging into your new device and just like that all of your stuff magically appears.
It’s not such an easy transition if you are coming from another platform however. How many times have you talked to an iPhone user who would like to make the switch but they are so locked in to the Apple ecosystem they are reluctant to make the jump. Even worse is the person who upgrades from an IOS device to a brand spanking new Android handset, and while the absolutely love it, there is just too much data left behind that they go back to Apple. I actually know two people with whom that latter story applied and they ended up leaving the Galaxy S III for the iPhone 5. Not for the device itself, but switching everything over was such a pain in the ass that they just gave up.
Well HTC may just have the answer for Apple converts who would like to jump ship to join the good guys, all the while giving them a smooth transition in the process, the HTC sync manager. Up until now the application went onto your computer and allowed users to sync all of their media as well as their contacts, calendar events, bookmarks, and documents between the PC and their HTC device. However now with the upcoming release of the HTC One, the new version of sync manager will have the ability to read through iTunes backups and sift through certain data for transfer to your new Android phone. The data that can be transferred will be photos, videos, calendar entries, and text messages.
Is it a perfect solution? No but it’s a start and it will help make the transition from an iPhone to at least the HTC One a lot easier. We’ll be sure to update you if more HTC devices become compatible with this service.
HTC struck agreements with 185 carriers, in 80 countries and territories, to stock and sell the HTC One. It will be available on all the major networks in the UK. In the United States we’ll see it on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Here’s the list, pulled from the press release, of all the carriers that will carry the HTC One.
Europe, Middle East and Africa: 1&1 Germany, A1 Telekom Austria, AB Poland, Allo Ukraine, AMC (Cosmote) Albania, Avea Turkey, Beeline Kazakhstan, Belcompany Netherlands, BH Telecom Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bite Latvia, Bite Lithuania, Bouygues Telecom France, Carphone Warehouse UK, Cell C RSA, Citrus Ukraine, Cosmote Greece, Cosmote Romania & Global Bulgaria, Cyta, DT Mobile(TS) Latvia, Du UAE, Dustin Sweden, Eagle Mobile Albania, EE UK, Elisa Estonia, Elisa Finland, El-Giganten Denmark, El-Giganten Sweden, Elkjöb Norway, EMT (TS) Estonia, E-Plus Germany, ERC Ukraine, Euroset Russia, Gigantii Finland, Go Malta, H3G Austria, H3G Denmark, H3G Italy, H3G Sweden, H3G UK, HT Eronet Bosnia & Herzegovina, K-Cell Kazakhstan, KPN Belgium, KPN Netherlands, Life Belarus, LuxGSM Luxembourg, Megafon Russia, Melita Malta, Meteor Ireland, Mobilezone Switzerland, Mobilochka Ukraine, Mobily KSA, MSH Belgium, MSH Germany, M-Tel Montenegro, M-Tel Bosnia & Herzegovina, MTI Ukraine, MTN Cyprus, MTS Belarus, MTS Russia, Netcom Norway, (Telefónica) O2 Czech, (Telefónica) O2 Germany, (Telefónica) O2 Ireland, (Telefónica) O2 UK, Omnitel Lithuania, One Macedonia, Optimus Portugal, Orange France, Orange Maldova, Orange Poland, Orange Romania, Orange Slovakia, Orange Spain, Orange Switzerland, Partner Communications Israel, PhoneHouse France, PhoneHouse Germany, PhoneHouse Netherlands, PhoneHouse Sweden, Phones4U UK, Play Poland, Plus Communication Albania, Polkomtel Poland, Proximus Belgium, SFR France, SiMobil Slovenia, STC KSA, Sunrise Switzerland, Svyaznoy Russia, Swisscom Switzerland, TDC Denmark, Tele2 Croatia, Tele 2 Estonia, Tele2 Latvia, Tele2 Lithuania, Tele2 Russia, Telia Denmark, Telia Sweden, Telekom Slovenija, Telenet Belgium, Telenor Denmark, Telenor Norway, Telenor Sweden, Telenor Hungary, Telenor Serbia, Telkom Serbia, TIM Italy, TMN Portugal, T-Mobile Austria, T-Mobile Croatia, T-Mobile Czech Republic, T-Mobile Germany, T-Mobile Hungary, T-Mobile Macedonia, T-Mobile Montenegro, T-Mobile Netherlands, T-Mobile Poland, T-Mobile Slovakia, Turkcell Turkey, Tus Mobil Slovenia, Velcom (TAG) Belarus, VIP Operator Macedonia, VIP Mobile Serbia, Vipnet Croatia, Vivacom Bulgaria, Vodacom RSA, Vodafone Albania, Vodafone Czech Republic, Vodafone Egypt, Vodafone Germany, Vodafone Greece, Vodafone Hungary, Vodafone Ireland, Vodafone Italy, Vodafone Malta, Vodafone Netherlands, Vodafone Portugal, Vodafone Romania, Vodafone Spain, Vodafone Turkey, Vodafone UK, Wind Greece, Wind Italy, Yoigo Spain, Yug Contract Ukraine, Zain KSA.
Asia-Pacific: China Mobile Hong Kong Company Ltd., ChungHwa Telecom, 3HK, CSL, Fareastone, M1, Mobifone, Optus, PCCW mobile, Reliance Communications, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., SmarTone, StarHub, Taiwan Mobile, Telecom New Zealand, Telstra, Vodafone Australia, Vodafone New Zealand.
China: China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom
North America: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Cincinnati Bell and Best Buy in the United States and in Canada with Rogers Communications, Bell Mobility, TELUS and Virgin Mobile Canada.
Latin America: Claro Argentina (América Movil), Telecom Personal Argentina, Entel Chile, Iusacell México, Telcel México (América Movil), Claro Perú (América Movil), Claro Puerto Rico (América Movil), Movistar Venezuela (Telefonica)
HTC CEO Peter Chou is super stoked about his new “M7” handset. In footage of the company’s recent end-of-year party in Taipei broadcast by Taiwan’s NextTV, Chou took to the stage to thank the M7 team for working overtime in recent weeks, before producing his very own white M7, which he used to snap a picture of the audience.
The relatively low video quality doesn’t give us a great view of the device, but we can make out a central camera, LED flash, an HTC logo on the back, and a border of some kind along the top. On the whole, we’d say it looks more like the early in-software render that appeared a few weeks back than more recent leaked images.
More evidence of the “M7” moniker (still a codename, we think) comes from amateur video captured at the same event, which shows Chou and his audience launching into thunderous (even slightly Ballmeresque) chants of “M7!” and “HTC!” Check it out after the break — it certainly shows a side of Chou we don’t normally see at the company’s well-scripted media events.
We still don’t see “M7” as a final marketing name for the phone — remember, this was a private HTC gathering, not a public event. In any case, we’ll learn more at HTC’s press events in New York City and London on Feb. 19.