State of play: Android devices double, tablet sales soar, and PCs tumble

The latest report from industry analysts Gartner has revealed a number of distinct trends in the worldwide devices market (combining sales of mobiles, tablets, and PCs). Whilst there has been an overall growth in devices sold boosted by increased tablet sales, the popularity of traditional PCs continue to fall.

The report also measures the growth of operating systems, with Android seeing the largest improvements, followed by smaller growth from iOS/MacOS and Windows, with the latter still retaining a slight edge in numbers over Apple, whilst falling behind in rates of growth.

The total number of devices sold worldwide is project to reach just under 2.35 billion units by 2013, a total rise of 5.9 per cent. Traditional PC sales (desk-based and notebooks) will fall by 10.6 per cent from 2012 with growth in the sector supplied by tablets (up 67.9 per cent), mobiles (growing 4.3 per cent) and ultramobiles (an increase of 107 per cent).

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Ouya review

ouya-handOuya is cheap, runs Android and is totally open. Can it take on the Xbox and PlayStation or does it offer little more than mobile games on your TV?

After a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign which saw a whopping $8.5 million raised by the general public, the open-source Ouya games console is finally a reality.

This diminutive cube-like device runs Android 4.1, boasts a Bluetooth controller and costs less than £100 – little wonder then that many within the games industry are predicting that it could steal away precious market share from the likes of the Sony PS4, Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U.

However, while Ouya is the most famous of a new wave of Android-based gaming platforms, it’s not unique in the field – this year will also see the launch of GameStick, Mad Catz has M.O.J.O. in development and the Nvidia Shield handheld console is also being prepared for launch in June – all of these rival systems are running Google’s OS as well.

Being first to market doesn’t always assure success, and while the concept behind the console is certainly exciting, it’s fair to say that Ouya comes with its fair share of niggles.

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Ouya console now available in the UK

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Kickstarter backed gaming console OUYA has finally gone on sale today for a penny under a £100

The Android powered gaming console Ouya has finally gone on sale today in the UK, delivering mobile gaming on the big screen. Ouya, which was funded by backers on Kickstarter, is now available to buy from the likes of Amazon and Game for £99.99.

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Huawei MediaPad Vogue 7-inch tablet with voice calling launched

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Chinese device maker, Huawei, has launched a new 7-inch tablet, MediaPad 7 Vogue, that also offers voice calling functionality.

The Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue sports an aluminium unibody design, is 9.5mm thin and weighs 335 grams. It sports mid-range specifications.

Available in both Wi-Fi and 3G variants, the tablet is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor made by Huawei and has 1GB of RAM in addition to a 16-core GPU. It offers 8GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. 

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BlackBerry launches service to manage Android, iOS devices

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BlackBerry launched a service on Tuesday allowing government agencies and corporate clients to secure and manage devices powered by Google Inc’s Android platform and Apple Inc’s iOS operating system.

The long-anticipated offering, which BlackBerry had said would come out around mid-year, could help the company sell high-margin services to its large clients even if many, or all, of their workers are using smartphones made by its competitors.

The new Secure Work Space feature will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, a new back-end system launched at the start of this year that allows BlackBerry’s clients to control mobile devices on their internal networks.

The company, a one-time pioneer in the smartphone arena, is now fighting to regain ground lost to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy devices. To compete, it has rolled out a trio of devices powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system (Review).

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Sony PlayStation 4

Sony have only given tantalising details of the PS4, but by all accounts it will provide a new boost for gaming.

The controller has replaced some buttons with touchscreen technology, and the console now has a share function which lets you record, edit and upload gaming footage and share it online with friends.

Industry analysts say that they don’t expect to see one until the E3 gaming expo this June, and will probably be released in December.

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New tech lets feature phones access smartphone apps over USSD

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An Israeli technology company has developed a method where old or outdated phones can run apps available only on smartphones.

The system developed by the VascoDe company allows users to obtain apps with the firm’s cloud-based system that requires no downloads and uses the text-based Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), similar to the Short Message Service (SMS), Xinhua reported.

Customers will be able to use many apps available until now for smartphone users only.

However, the only difference is that they will see the apps in black and white.

The USSD system does not allow access to the Internet, but rather it uses the API (Application Programming Interfaces) from pages like Facebook, Gmail, and the like, according to technology and health website Israel21c.

VascoDe CEO Doron Mottes said 83 percent of cellphones in the world are simple and do not connect to the internet, which means that almost four billion people in the world cannot check their email on the go.

He said the difference between being able to check emails and respond to them, can make a whole difference in a world so hung up on the internet, because it can give you the possibility to respond to job offers, for example.

VascoDe’s main markets are developing countries like Brazil, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, where most of the population cannot afford Internet connection or a computer, and has to rely on expensive internet shops to log on their accounts.