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Windows Phone 8 apps to be made available in 180 countries at launch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 9:46 am

Microsoft is keeping the developer community informed, where they've announced the total pool of countries where they'll have apps available for download at the launch of Windows Phone 8. They've said:

 

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[W]ith Windows Phone 8 we're dramatically expanding our footprint around the globe. Consumers will be able to browse and download apps in more than 180 countries at launch.

 

Considering that this number was 63... the jump to 180 countries is quite the leap, nearly three-fold. If you're a smaller Windows Phone developer, your app just launched into 117 more countries, this could be a make-it-or-break-it situation for some app developers. Microsoft also took the opportunity to reiterate that in-app purchasing is making its way to Windows Phone 8.

Panasonic says to not expect cheap OLED TVs anytime soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 9:13 am

We all want an OLED, or three, but Panasonic have come out and said to not expect any cheap OLED-based TVs any time soon. Even after the recently-announced partnership with Sony, where they'll focus on mass producing low-cost, high-resolution OLED panels.

 

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Panasonic have explained to journalists that the company does not expect its next-generation of OLED televisions to match the cheap LCDs for a "considerable time". So whilst you can go grab a cheap LCD for $200-$300 right now, OLEDs at that price are most likely many years away.

 

Considering that 55-inch OLED-based offerings from competitors LG and Samsung cost $9,000 right now, the price has a long way to go before its considered "affordable". I still remember when I could buy a 40-inch plasma with a resolution of 1024x768 for $40,000 here in Australia.

AMD releases Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and 12.7 Beta

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 8:18 am

AMD have finally released a new WHQL-certified driver, 12.6 WHQL. Not only that, but they've released the 12.7 beta, too. Catalyst 12.6 WHQL sports a bunch of stability optimizations, whereas 12.7 beta concentrates on performance optimizations, as well as the stability.

 

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A list of changes and resolved issues with Catalyst 12.6 WHQL:

  • AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800 Tri-CrossFire configurations + Eyefinity no longer results in a BSOD when launching a DirectX application
  • AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800 Eyefinity/Multiple Display configurations no longer results in a BSOD when using desktop applications
  • AMD Catalyst 12.6 includes some additional fixes(not found in the AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 graphics cards for issues related to the GPU hanging when the system goes to sleep. Please ensure that your System BIOS is up to date. Some occurrences of this issue may be related to outdated System BIOS.
  • Resolves CrossFire scaling issues seen in AMD Catalyst 12.4 with Elder Scrolls: Skyrim CrossFire
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center - Overdrive page is no longer intermittently missing
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center - GPU Activity gauge is no longer missing
  • AMD Radeon HD 7900 CrossFire Configuration - no longer results in system hang after cinematic in Call Of Duty: Black Ops

Continue reading 'AMD releases Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and 12.7 Beta' (full post)

RIM announces Q1 earnings, is hit with a $518 million loss, 5,000 job cuts and BB10 gets delayed until 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 8:18 am

Every single time I write something about Research in Motion lately, it is negative. Today is no different, but it's actually a little worse than usual. RIM have released their report on the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, and the numbers aren't pretty.

 

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RIM reports $2.8 billion in revenue, down 33-percent from the previous quarter, but the net loss is the biggest number here: $518 million. This number is much worse than what analysts were expecting. RIM have also announced they are cutting an additional 5,000 jobs as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts, and that BlackBerry 10 smartphones won't launch until Q1 of 2013.

 

The reason behind the delay of BB10 handsets? RIM have attributed the delay to the integration of some key BlackBerry 10 features and the "associated large volume of code" has "proven to be more time consuming than anticipated". Personally, I don't think they're going to have it any better until BB10, and if I have to be critical, even post-BB10 is not looking good for Research in Motion.

Continue reading 'RIM announces Q1 earnings, is hit with a $518 million loss, 5,000 job cuts and BB10 gets delayed until 2013' (full post)

Apple publishes FAQ on Retina display for MacBook Pros

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 7:17 am

We reported on the Retina Display-powered MacBook Pros from Apple, where some have been experiencing screen ghosting issues, as well as the resolution of the screen itself not running at the advertised 2880x1800. But now Apple have published a FAQ on the matter, dealing with questions regarding the rMRP's.

 

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Within the FAQ, Apple mentions a fix for some programs that aren't running in the high-resolution mode, tips for working with multiple displays, and they address concerns over Boot Camp and other multi-boot environments. It will be a while until more program support the 2880x1800 res, so until then there will be situations where some programs look weird, or have odd artifacts.

Continue reading 'Apple publishes FAQ on Retina display for MacBook Pros' (full post)

Google Chrome for iOS is now available!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 6:50 am

Popular web browser from Google (and my personal favorite) Chrome is now available on iOS devices. The browser brings along some popular features from its desktop counterpart, but there are three stand-out features that make it much better than Apple's built-in Safari browser.

 

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  • Incognito mode is separate from standard browsing and can be opened as a new tab (vs enabling manually in Safari)
  • Unlimited tabs (vs the 9 limit in Safari)
  • Browsing and bookmark syncing between mobile and desktop versions (coming to Safari with iOS 6 & OS X Mountain Lion)

 

There are other features, too, such as being able to request a full desktop version of a site you've visited, versus the mobile version, as well as the ability to search by voice by tapping the little microphone in the URL bar. I will be throwing this on my iPad as soon as I use it again.

Nexus 7 was designed, and manufactured in just four months, also sold at cost

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 6:13 am

We saw that Google's Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled yesterday, where we found out ASUS was the hardware partner in the deal. But ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, along with Google's head of Android, Andy Rubin, have revealed at the $199 Nexus 7 tablet is sold at cost.

 

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They also revealed that the Nexus 7 was designed and manufactured in just four months, Shih says to AllThingsD "our engineers told me it is like torture". ASUS was told that they needed to get the Nexus tablet ready in just four months, it had to be high-end, and should not cost over $200.

 

Shih also said that his team learnt a lot from working so closely with Google's engineers, and in order to get it ready in four months, Shih sent people to work at various locations, including Silicon Valley. This put his workers closer to Google, and also allowed his engineering team to have a 24-hour development cycle.

Continue reading 'Nexus 7 was designed, and manufactured in just four months, also sold at cost' (full post)

RumorTT: Apple supplier having issues with battery production for next-gen iPhone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 5:47 am

The latest rumors about the next-gen iPhone is that one supplier to Apple is having some pretty serious issues providing batteries for the new iPhone, according to a Sina.com report quoted by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.

 

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The site is claiming that just 30-percent of the batteries produced by the Apple supplier are meeting Apple's standards. There's a big problem here, is that there's only a few months to fix the issue, as Apple are expected to launch the phone in the coming months ahead.

 

Reports have stated that Apple will launch the new iPhone sometime in September, with other reports suggesting late-August, or even October. If Apple can fix these battery production issues, it will launch it in good time, there's no need to rush as sales of the iPhone 4S are still strong.

Google Drive arrives on both iOS, Chrome OS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 5:07 am

Google's cloud-based storage service has finally arrived on iOS and Chrome OS. Google let the news out during their Google I/O conference, with the iOS app now launched, it features the ability to search through all documents, thanks to OCR technology.

 

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For example, if you were to search for "pyramid", it should display images with the word in them even if the file name is totally unrelated. On the Chrome OS side of things, Drive is said to be deeply integrated, right into the software's filesystem.

 

The technology allows for simultaneous collaboration, and sync across devices, right up to the point of having live updates for each keystroke. Impressive. Documents can be edited offline, and resynched when an Internet connection is detected.

 

You can grab the iOS-based app here.

GALAXY S III received last-minute RAM upgrade, Samsung were preparing for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 29, 2012 4:32 am

Google unveiled Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" at their Google I/O conference yesterday, and now news that Samsung had prepared ahead for their flagship GALAXY S III smartphone is floating onto the surface of the Internet.

 

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The Verge has heard that Samsung baked extra RAM into the S III specifically to make sure that it would be capable of handling Google's latest mobile OS. By making this move, Samsung hoped to "future-proof" the smartphone, and to ensure that it would remain comparably fast and powerful no matter what shifts occurred in the OS landscape.

 

At the time of design and manufacturing, the final specifications for Android 4.1 weren't set in stone. So, in order to be "100-percent sure" that the GALAXY S III would be capable of handling Google's next-gen OS, Samsung's engineers bumped the S III's internal RAM to 2GB.

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