You know smartphones have become too complicated when phone makers have to include an “Easy Experience” mode to simplify Android. The Pantech Flex is touted as the first smartphone to let users choose between traditional Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a toned down Android layout. “Easy Experience” mode eschews Android’s seemingly endless home screens full of apps in favor of a single screen with large and prominent shortcut buttons that contain only the user’s favorite apps. Despite its relatively low price — $49.99 with two-year contract — the Flex has decent enough specs to compete in the low-end handset market: 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display with 960 x 540 resolution, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8GB microSD (expandable to 32GB) and 8-megapixel rear/2-megapixel front-facing cameras. The Pantech Flex will be available on AT&T’s (T) online store and at company-owned retail stores starting September 16th. A video of the device in action follows below along with AT&T’s press release.
Adobe on Monday announced the availability of Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex. 4.5, a pair of tools that let developers easily code applications for iOS, Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook. Adobe’s tools now provide developers with a single platform for building apps across each of the three popular mobile operating systems. “The reaction from developers to the new mobile capabilities in Flash Builder 4.5 and the Flex 4.5 framework has been absolutely fantastic,” said Adobe’s VP of developer tooling, Ed Rowe, said in a statement. “They are amazed by how easy it is to create great mobile apps for Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad. Companies can now effectively reach their customers no matter what type of device they have.” Adobe’s new Flash Builder 4.5 Standard is available immediately for $249 and a premium version is available for $699. Flex 4.5 is a free open source framework. Both tools are also included in Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5. The full press release follows after the break. More →
We’re not sure if we should blame U.S. wireless carrier Sprint for coming up with this idea, or Bell Canada for running with it. BGR has just obtained a memo that indicates Bell customers will have to fork over a $10 per month premium for access to the company’s HSPA+ wireless network. The memo seems to indicate that the first set of devices to succumb to this fate will be a “Turbo Stick” and “Turbo Hub”; the memo is vague enough (mentioning “high speed devices”) that it could include smartphones. This may be the unfortunate reality we’re all going to have to deal with as carriers go to 4G; or in this case “4G.” If you’re a Bell customer, feel free to sound off and let us know what you think.