New Lumia Lands In China, Yahoo Ramps Up Mobile Acquisitions

In today’s mobile news roundup: Nokia unveils latest Lumia in China; Yahoo! acquires OnTheAir for mobile division; Google overhauls Gmail iOS app; and Facebook’s new messenger app.

Nokia unveils latest Lumia in China

Nokia and China Mobile announced that the Lumia 920T will be available in the Chinese market before the year’s end.  The Lumia 920T is the first TD-SCDMA Windows Phone in China and it features the advanced Pureview floating lens, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and has partnered with China Mobile’s high-speed 3G network.  The international launch coincides with Apple’s approval to sell the iPhone in China.

“We are delighted to partner with China Mobile, the world’s largest operator, to introduce China’s first Lumia based on Windows Phone 8.  People around the world are responding positively to the new Lumia devices, and we’re confident that the enthusiasm will extend to China with the Lumia 920T,” said Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia.

In other Nokia news, the phone-maker recently unveiled the Lumia 620, their latest Windows 8 device.

Yahoo! acquires OnTheAir for mobile division

Since Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer took over, their mobile division has been a top priority.  And now they’ve acquired startup video chat firm OnTheAir following the acquisition of Stamped –  an app that lets users share information about restaurants and music via their phones.

OnTheAir lets users video chat and do video presentations which up to five people can use.  One person can MC the presentation and invite other speakers to present one by one.  So even if your team is scattered across the country, you can still make that presentation.

“While we haven’t yet attained our dream of building a widespread daily use product, we are just as committed to it. And this is why we’re so excited to be joining Yahoo!” OnTheAir said in a statement on their site.  “When we first met with the team at Yahoo!, it was clear that everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world’s daily habits. All in all, it’s a fascinating time to be joining Yahoo!. There’s a tremendous amount of energy in the company. There are big things to be done and great products to be built, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Google overhauls Gmail iOS app

Gmail app version 2.0 is now available for iPhone and iPad users and it delivers a new look and feel.  It now features profile photos on messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions, infinite scrolling in the message lists, time-saving features such as autocomplete predictions when you type in to search, RSVP to Google Calendar events, +1 and comment on Google+ posts and the most requested feature: multiple account support.

The app is now available for download at the App Store.

Facebook’s new messenger app

So there’ve been talks about Facebook possibly acquiring the instant messaging company WhatsApp but they already denied it, so that went down the drain quickly.  Also, it looks like Facebook may no longer need to acquire an instant messaging firm as they already have their own messaging app.

The new Facebook Messenger app is devoid of Facebook, meaning you don’t need a Facebook account to use it.  You just need to provide your name, and it uses your phone number to get the ball rolling.  The revamped Facebook Messenger app also allows users to start group conversations and send photos.

And you don’t even need a smartphone to use this app, as Facebook is targeting the feature phone market in India, Indonesia, Australia, Argentina, Venezuela and South Africa where Facebook sees potential growth for the social network.  Also, the app will initially be available to Android users.