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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2106

Apple's Thunderbolt display stock runs short at third-party retailers, could we be seeing an updated model soon?

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jun 26, 2013 12:30 am

Apple product stock at third-party retailers typically dwindles ahead of a refresh, though it's not such a good indicator when dealing with a low-volume product such as Apple's Thunderbolt displays. However, it's somewhat likely that Apple will unveil an updated Thunderbolt display alongside the updated MacPro when it launches later this year.




According to a report by MacTrast, supply is running short at various third-party retailers. One retailer even said that Apple is no longer allowing them to purchase new stock, which would strongly indicate an updated model. With plenty of 4K talk during WWDC, it's pretty likely that a new Thunderbolt display would feature a 4K resolution.


While this is no guarantee of a new model, it seems quite likely that there will be a new model coming this fall. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for any rumors or news relating to a new Thunderbolt display from Apple.

Snapchat finally gets a plan for revenue, looking at in-app purchases and native ads

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 26, 2013 12:03 am

Everyone's favorite self-destructing picture messaging service has finally developed a plan to generate revenue. As of right now, the company doesn't have any source of income other than investors, who recently gave the company $60 million in investment funds. The development, server, and operating costs have all been paid for by investment funds.




In order to become a viable company, Snapchat needs to start making money. CEO Evan Spiegel has detailed Snapchat's plans to start making money. The first part of the plan, and the one likely to be implemented first, makes use of in-app purchases. The Snapchat team has been investigating various customization options that people might be willing to pay for. This could include more photo editing tools, like Instagram's filters, the ability to modify font size, color, etc, and interface customizations. The company notes that they haven't considered allowing people to pay to save snaps.


Eventually Snapchat would like to introduce native advertising. It's worth noting that Snapchat already advertises to its own users on holidays, usually by way of an animated video with the Snapchat Ghost. Snapchat says brands can already do this provided they are friends with other users or know the handle of the users they are trying to reach.

iOS 7 contains API calls to detect blinking, smiles in pictures

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Apple has made numerous changes in iOS 7, many of which are under the hood. One of the new features that Apple has added to iOS 7 could foreshadow future features that the iPhone will offer, much like these changes have done in the past. Specifically, iOS 7 now allows developers to detect blinking and smiles in pictures, making it easier for photo app developers to detect good or bad pictures.




In iOS 5, Apple added the ability to detect faces in pictures. This was then used by the iPhone's camera app to help with smarter autofocus and better white balance settings. It's possible that the iPhone 5S could wait until everyone is smiling or not blinking before taking a picture. It's worth noting that some Android phones already have a similar feature: they take several pictures in quick succession and select the "best" one.


iOS 7 has also brought the ability to shoot 60 FPS video, albeit at 720p video quality. The new API calls could allow app developers to create better slow-motion videos without losing some of the illusion of motion.


I can't wait to see what Apple comes out with for the iPhone 5S. It will likely be more evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but it appears like it will be getting some cool features and technology.

iOS 7 disables screenshot interruptions, would allow users to screenshot private Snapchats without the sender being notified

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 11:03 pm

The latest build of iOS 7 disables screenshot interruptions. The implications of this could be massive, especially with the recent growth of private messaging apps such as Snapchat. This change to iOS allows users to take screenshots of Snapchat snaps and the app doesn't notify the sender that the receiver took a screenshot. While their are other ways of getting this same effect, it just makes it that much easier.




The release notes do state that screenshots no longer interrupt touches: "Active touches are no longer canceled when the user takes a screenshot." Since this is an early iOS 7 build, it's very possible that this feature may be reset to the way it operated previously, or a new method of preventing screenshots may be introduced by Apple.


If you're currently snapping with someone on iOS 7, be aware of this issue as you won't be notified of screenshots. We'll wait to hear from Snapchat on whether or not they are working on a new method of detecting screenshots.

RumorTT: This picture is said to be of the iPhone 5S display assembly on the assembly line

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 10:33 pm

The picture below is reportedly of the iPhone 5S' display assembly as it goes down the assembly line in a factory in China. While we have no way of verifying whether or not this image is legit, if it is, then it would appear that the device's face remains unchanged. This is what we would expect for an 'S' model iPhone. S models generally feature updated optics, processors, and internals, while maintaining the same case.



Continue reading 'RumorTT: This picture is said to be of the iPhone 5S display assembly on the assembly line' (full post)

RumorTT: Nokia EOS to be released in July, branded as Lumia 1020

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 10:02 pm

The latest rumors suggest that the Nokia EOS, an often leaked smartphone with a 41-megapixel camera, will be released next month and branded as the Lumia 1020. Nokia's current flagship Windows Phone devices are branded Lumia 9XX, so a new generation being labeled 1XXX would make sense. As far as being launched next month, that time frame also makes sense because of the numerous leaks we've seen.




The latest rumor comes courtesy of @evleaks, a habitual Twitter leaker that is usually pretty accurate. Rumors suggest the device will feature a 4.5-inch 720p display, polycarbonate body, and, of course, the 41-megapixel sensor. Rumors also suggest that Nokia will be releasing new camera software to complement the upgraded optics. We'll be sure to keep you updated with any Lumia 1020 news.

Adults like Snapchat, app receives about 8M unique adult users per month from the US

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 9:29 pm

Snapchat isn't just popular among teens and kids. According to Nielsen data, the app saw around eight million unique US users over the age of 18 during May. Furthermore, these weren't just one-off users. According to the same data, each user accessed the app an average of 34 times during the month of May, indicating that many users used the app more than once per day.




Of course, Snapchat won't share user numbers but instead prefers to share engagement numbers. On that front, Snapchat has seen the number of daily snaps go from around 60 million in February to around 200 million. Perhaps this wide popularity among both teens and adults explains why investors were willing to provide the company with $60 million and a valuation of $800 million, despite the company having no revenue.

Mozilla releases Firefox 22, now includes support for 3D gaming

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 9:02 pm

Mozilla has just released version number 22 of its popular Firefox browser. The update brings a wealth of new and exciting features such as 3-D gaming, video calls, and file sharing. For the most part these new features are aimed at the developer crowd with the intent of making future releases even more feature-rich.




Additional features include the integration of WebRTC as well as asm.js. These additions are crucial in helping Firefox continue to improve and evolve and further solidify that Firefox is very much in the here and now. The addition of 3-D gaming support showed that Mozilla continues its long standing support for focus on browser-based gaming.


Additionally, video calls and file sharing will now integrate seamlessly with users between the mobile version of Firefox as well as the desktop-based browser. Firefox 22 is available right now from, and the Android version of the app has also been refreshed to version 22 which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Intel's so-called "cable killing" set-top box in alpha testing phase with employees

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 8:32 pm

Intel is working very hard on a top-secret project that has the potential to greatly shake up the pay-TV market. Known as "Project Black Box," the set-top box and associated television service are poised to take advertisers by storm by paying as much as 75 percent more than traditional content providers.




Intel is able to do this because the box is said to utilize a built-in camera that will collect data on viewers' habits. Yes, you read that correctly, Intel's set-top box will record everything you do in front of your TV, and then feed that information back to its advertisers to help better target you with ads.


CNET reported today that more than 2,000 Intel employees in the Northern California, Arizona, and Oregon areas are currently testing the new pay-TV service. It is unknown when the set-top box and service will launch, but Intel does say that there will be substantial changes made to the final version such as how users navigate the system and how content is served.


Now for my rant of the day: How anyone thinks that this is a good idea is far beyond me. The simple fact that Microsoft's Xbox One generated massive fallout because it was always listening to everything you do should raise many red flags for Intel. The idea of a little camera watching and recording everything I do and then feeding it back to advertisers is on an entirely new level of creepiness. However, given the fact that secretive data collected on persons is often referred to as "intel" within government entities, is only fitting that a company whose name is spelled the same build the device the records everything you do. On the other hand, I bet the NSA, CIA, and other PRISM affiliates love the idea of a little camera in every living room.

Google launches new Google+ photo app for Chromebook Pixel

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 25, 2013 8:07 pm

This morning, Google launched its new Google+ photos app for the Chromebook Pixel. Some of you may remember seeing this back when the Pixel was first launched. The app integrates with your Google+ account and will automatically upload photos from any SD card plugged into the device. This is similar to how Google+'s app works on Android phones and tablets.




The new photo app allows users to upload photos at full resolution or at Google's de facto 2048px wide resolution. The app is available via the Chromebook Pixel owner's portal, and for the moment, only those with Chromebook pixels are allowed to play. Google did allude to the app becoming available on other devices in the future but did not specify timeline for when that would happen.


The app appears to provide a seamless way to browse the photos uploaded to your Google+ account and I am betting that the amazing screen on the Chromebook Pixel really shows off the photos like no other device before it. The app also offers up basic editing tools that work in conjunction with Google+'s built in image editing software.

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