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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2102

Google releases new Search app for iOS, Google's most advanced voice search finds a home on iOS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 5:36 am

Google have just released the new Google Search app for both the iPhone and iPad, which sports enhanced voice search that answers just about any question you have, with Google's comprehensive search results.



Thanks to Google's fast and accurate voice recognition technology, the new app understands exactly what you're saying. All you have to do is not use Siri, load up this app and tap the microphone icon asking a question such as "is United Airlines flight 318 on time?" As you speak, the words appear on screen and you'll receive your answer immediately. If the answer is short, such as asking the time, Google will tell you the answer out loud.


Google's Knowledge Graph is also another great piece of this app, giving their search technology an understanding of people, places and things in the real world. Here are some examples of what questions Google can answer:

  • "What does Yankee Stadium look like?" Google will show you hundreds of pictures instantly.
  • "Play me a trailer of the upcoming James Bond movie." The trailer starts playing immediately right within Google Search.
  • "When does daylight savings time end?" The answer will appear above the search results, so you can set your clock without having to click on a link.
  • "Who's in the cast of The Office?" See a complete cast list and find out who made you crack up last night.

Continue reading 'Google releases new Search app for iOS, Google's most advanced voice search finds a home on iOS' (full post)

Apple delays iTunes 11 release, needs "extra time"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 4:26 am

In between all the news of Disney buying Lucasfilm, and the devastating Hurricane Sandy, some news can be lost when walking down the wire - well, this is definitely one of those cases. Apple have said that they're delaying the release of iTunes 11, until sometime in November.




Apple previously talked of iTunes 11's release back in September when they announced the iPhone 5, and was meant to release the updated iTunes app by the end of October. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr has said:


The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.

Samsung adds the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 3:31 am

Samsung has finally added the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit, with the South Korean company claiming that all LTE-capable devices that Apple sells are in violation of eight patents the company owns. The lawsuit is already considered weak, as some of Samsung's LTE patents would be considered "standards-essential" and subject to FRAND regulations.




Samsung did threaten to "immediately sue" Apple if the new iPhone was LTE-capable, but at the time were unaware that Apple had already launched LTE-capable iPads a few months earlier. How Samsung would not know this, perplexes me, completely. Apple has maintained their stance, stating that they buy their LTE radios from Qualcomm, who has a full license for the patents and therefore that license extends to its customers.


The biggest issue for Samsung is if their LTE patents will be considered standards-essential when tested in court. The company is now at risk of having some patents ruled FRAND-eligible, which would weaken their portfolio. Worse, is if some of their patents are considered invalid, but Samsung are said to own around 12.2% of all LTE patents. Qualcomm and Nokia both hold equal, or larger stakes in the technology.

iPhone loyalty drops in US, Europe according to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 2:32 am

According to Strategy Analytics' latest figures, loyalty for the iPhone has dropped in both the US and Europe. This marks the first time since the iPhone launched in 2007 that the number of iPhone users stating they'd either definitely, or will probably purchase their next phone from Apple has dropped, both in the US and Europe.




The latest figures from the Wireless Device Lab Report found that 88% of US-based iPhone owners planned on upgrading to another iPhone, which is down from 93% last year. Over in Europe, 75% would stay with the iPhone, down from 88% in 2011.


Strategy Analytics' director said that the new numbers show a continuing success for Apple, where they've been able to retain their existing user base, while attracting new customers. He did cite that negative press and accusations of a lack of innovation by Apple are pushing customers toward other products from different manufacturers like Samsung, for example.

ASUS enjoys strong third quarter, cites tablet sales as a winner

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 1:28 am

In a sea of bad quarterly earnings reports from competitors, ASUS are standing strong with some positive third quarter results this week. The Taiwanese maker of just about everything these days reported a revenue of $3.8 billion with a net income of $230 million.




Revenue saw a rise of 9% year-over-year, with net income boosting up by around 43% in the same period. Revenue is up 18%, with net income up 39%, sequentially. Expectations were lower than this, with over 12 analysts expecting net income to reach just $185 million, meaning ASUS beat analysts' expectations by over 10%. Where is this surge coming from, you aks? Tablets.


ASUS have been able to successfully glide over from the sinking netbook market to the ever-expanding and super-popular tablet market. If we look back to Q2, ASUS shipped 800,000 tablets - fast forward to Q3 and we're looking at tablet shipments hitting 2.3 million, a meteoric rise. Shipment increases can be credited to the great Nexus 7 tablet which ASUS co-developed with Google. ASUS didn't give the goss on just how many Nexus 7's shipped, but it would have to be a chunk of that 2.3 million.

Continue reading 'ASUS enjoys strong third quarter, cites tablet sales as a winner' (full post)

Intel to bake 48-core processor into future smartphones, tablets - your next smartphone just might play Crysis

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 12:37 am

I know I used the whole "can it play Crysis" thing yesterday when we reported about the new Titan supercomputer - but how can I pass up the chance again? Intel have announced plans to use their 48-core processor in future mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.




Intel CTO, Justin Rattner, has said that baking the powerful chips into mobile devices could arrive "much sooner" than the 10-year window predicted by researchers. The chip is currently used for linear algebra and fluid dynamics, but being the heart and soul of a mobile device could speed up just about everything.


Having 48 cores on top would lead to immensely powerful multitasking that dual- or quad-core parts just can't even dream of doing. Future mobile devices could be running a Full HD (or 4K) game in the background, a 4K movie, while streaming YouTube, and sending e-mails, all while it feels like it has just loaded up and isn't even running a single task. The problem is now software developers having to develop the goods to take advantage of 48 cores. Let's just hope it's capable of running Crysis.


The future is looking great.

Disney acquires Lucasfilm in a deal worth $4.05 billion, will make more Star Wars movies

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 30, 2012 11:49 pm

In 2006, mega giant media company Disney acquired Pixar, the makers of huge hits like Toy Story and Up, and have just now announced that they've acquired Lucasfilm. You might know Lucasfilm, they're quite well known for, well, Star Wars among others.




Lucasfilm are also responsible for the Indiana Jones series, and the deal includes other Lucasfilm properties such as Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. This news isn't the finish yet, as the press release for the announcement also includes news that there will be yet another Star Wars movie.


Disney is aiming for a 2015 release for Star Wars: Episode 7 and that its "long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years". I guess I should get around to watching the Star Wars movies then, huh?

Gmail gets a new compose and reply interface, you can use the preview now

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 30, 2012 7:28 pm

I'm an avid user of the Gmail platform. I love it for many features that other services don't offer, such as the ability to download e-mail from other POP3 accounts. Google is constantly trying to make the service better, and they are now pushing out an update for how users compose and respond to e-mail.




Instead of going to an entire new window, Gmail will begin to pop-up a compose window in which you can type your e-mail as you normally would. It looks like an oversized chat window, if you've ever used the built-in Gmail chat feature. Google says that the new window is faster and better for multitasking as you can now easily go to other e-mails without closing the draft you're working on.


Google also says the new window is easier to use:


The new compose is designed to let you focus on what's important: your message. The controls are still there when you need them but get out of the way when you don't. We've even added some new features like the ability to easily insert inline images and have more to come.


You can check out a preview of the new compose and reply window today. Google is continuing to add some finishing touches over the coming months, after which they'll "enable it for everyone."

Attendees of Microsoft's Build conference get free Surface RT tablet, 100GB of SkyDrive space

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Attendees of the Build conference will likely be happy they decided to attend this year as Microsoft has used the conference as a place to hand out free 32GB Surface RTs and touch covers. Every attendee will receive the aforementioned Surface RT and cover, along with 100GB of free SkyDrive storage.




Microsoft appears to be following in the footsteps of Google, as the latter company is known for giving away hardware to I/O attendees. Microsoft is looking to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 a success, and to do so will need to make sure software and apps are available for the fledgling Windows Store.


Ballmer has promised to do lots of advertising for the new Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Surface products. "We will do our best work and you won't be able to pick up a newspaper or turn on your TV without seeing our ads." This way developers will have a large audience of potential customers to sell their work to.

Microsoft manages 4 million Windows 8 upgrades sold so far

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 30, 2012 5:40 pm

Microsoft has come out of the first weekend of selling Windows 8 with some pretty good numbers. Steve Ballmer has announced that Microsoft has sold over 4 million Windows 8 upgrades so far. This is impressive and is almost keeping pace with the numbers that the iPhone 5 achieved in its first weekend.




Important to note is that these numbers do not include sales to partners who have purchased the operating system to pre-install on systems heading out the door new. These numbers are only counting those users who have purchased an upgrade of their own volition and out of their own interest in using the new operating system.


It's actually a good thing that system builder numbers are not included as these would be a poor way to judge consumer demand. If these were included, the number would be artificially high as the partners are just buying the operating system so as to offer the latest and greatest to their customers.

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