For all the news and noise about the iPhone 4's antenna problems, it hasn't stopped Apple from taking home one of the biggest awards out there. For the fourth year in a row, Apple has claimed JD Power's customer satisfaction award in the smartphone market.
Surveys were collected between January and June 2010 from 6,821 smartphone owners and 11,803 traditional cell phone owners who've used their phones for less than two years. Categories included ease of operation, operating system design, physical design, features, and battery life. Apple scored 800 out of a possible 1000 points, with Motorola claiming second at 791 and HTC grabbing the third spot at 781.
Do you have some developer cred and want to get your hands on some serious loot? Nokia is running a contest for developers to come up with new apps for the Nokia N8 and future devices. Nokia, which has a huge market share in Europe but not so much in North America, is running this contest for North American developers in partnership with AT&T.
The top prize is $100,000 USD / $104,153 CAD and $1.9 million USD / $ 2,012,978 CAD in marketing promotion for the relevant App by Nokia. There are a ton of runner up prizes with more major cash prizes, and Nokia is encouraging Android and Apple developers to dive into the Nokia Qt SDK. Interested? Get more info here.
Today Epson announced the world's first HT Projector with 3LCD reflective technology with contrast ratios up to 1, 000, 000:1
The new models are to be named, PowerLite Pro Cinema 61000 and 31000 and also the Home Cinema 21000. Designed for custom installers and HT enthusiasts, these projectors feature a world first 3LCD reflective technology as well as featuring Epson's "UltraBlack" technology for exceptional picture quality and astounding contrast ratios.
"We are very excited to debut our new home theater projector line-up to the custom installation channel," said Marge Ang, senior product manager, Epson America. "These powerful, feature-packed projectors demonstrate Epson's commitment to provide dealers with top-of-the-line products that allow them to design customized home entertainment systems for their customers."
The Pro Cinema 31000 and Home Cinema 21000 round out Epson's mid-level offerings in the sub-$4,500 and sub-$3,300 categories, respectively. Available in black with a silver lens ring, the Pro Cinema 31000 offers 500,000:1 contrast ratio as well as the professional-level ISF Certification color tools featured in the Pro Cinema 61000. The Home Cinema 21000 is cased in a white design and delivers outstanding image quality for a reasonable price for home theater enthusiasts who don't require the professional-level color tools and installation management features.
Microsoft has taken a similar line to Google and Apple on tethering with Windows Phone 7. A report states that Windows Phone 7 devices will support tethering, but carriers will have final say over whether the function is enabled or not.
Tethering, which allows a mobile device to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, has had a hard time gathering a lot of support by the carriers. Some offer it at an extra charge, others avoid it altogether. It seems that unlimited data plans are just dandy when you're the only one using it, but when five of your buddies are linked in as well it becomes a problem. Rooters and jailbreakers have found various ways around the carrier block on other devices; we're pretty sure that Windows Phone 7 will fall prey to their ways as well.
Dell has announced a local release date and pricing for it's 5-inch Android based Streak, a device that blurs the line between tablets and smart phones.
Optus will have a 3 month exclusive, offering the Dell Streak from October 1 for FREE on it's $59 plan, locked in a 24 month contract. The Streak will also be available on the $79 cap and $99 Timeless plans, as well as the $49 cap with an additional $7 per month for the handset.
Dell says the Streak will sell for $649 outright - they also rumour to release a 7-inch and 10-inch version coming next year.
The Streak features a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 5MP camera with dual LED flash, 2GB internal memory and will include a 16GB micro-SD card. At the moment, it's understood to run Android 1.6 - although before launch it might get the upgrade to 2.2
Today SteelSeries announced the SteelSeries Shift gaming keyboard.
From SteelSeries CEO, Bruce Hawver, he has the following to say:
"The Shift redefines what it means to gamers when they hear a keyboard can be fully customized. Starting with its solid outside appearance, the Shift adapts to games through interchangeable keysets with pre-defined mods and common commands. Players, whether at the professional level or learning a new blockbuster title, will be able to create multiple layers of macros for every key and fully remap every key on the entire keyboard. Ultimately, the Shift can reduce reaction time in First Person Shooters, it can increase Actions Per Minute in Real Time Strategy titles and it can do advanced macros (including timed delays) in Massive Multiplayer Online games."
"With the introduction of the SteelSeries Shift, we're able to bring another unique and powerful gaming tool to consumers, said SteelSeries CEO, Bruce Hawver. "The Shift greatly expands the functionality and concept of the original Zboard, which joined our product line in 2008 as a result of our acquisition of Ideazon, with new SteelSeries features that will provide gamers with a keyboard experience that can be customized for all types of games. As we bring the SteelSeries Shift to market, we are continuing to work with the best developers and publishers in the games industry to offer player's unique layouts and functionalities that will enhance their entire gaming experience."
I mentioned a new case for the iPad that has a keyboard earlier today that was cool and a new case for the iPhone has now surfaced that adds a keyboard to the smartphone. We have seen keyboard cases already for the iPhone, but the TK-421 comes from ThinkGeek, a company known and loved by many geeks. The keyboard comes in two versions.
The case can be had for the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. The case will fit the iPhone 3G, but the 3G doesn't support Bluetooth keyboards. The QWERTY keyboard hides under the iPhone and when needed the iPhone swivels out of the way for use. The keyboard connects with Bluetooth and a magnetic clasp keeps the keyboard tucked away when not needed.
One of the key components of most home theater systems is the AV receiver. The receiver turns multiple inputs into one and supports sound formats that your TV alone probably doesn't offer. Sherwood has unveiled a new AV receiver that has some cool features at a decent price.
The receiver is called the RD-705i and it can stream internet radio station and services like Pandora and more using a built-in 801.22n WiFi adapter. The receiver also supports playback of music streamed from other sources in the home with WiFi and an optional Bluetooth adapter. The receiver is Windows 7 compatible.
I really like my iPad and I would use it to work on the go if I wanted in place of my netbook. The only downside is that I would rather have a physical keyboard for typing documents and stuff if I took the iPad with me. I can type on the onscreen keyboard quickly, but a real keyboard would be much more comfortable.
Kensington has unveiled a new accessory that is up for pre-order called the KeyFolio. The thing is a synthetic leather case with a Bluetooth keyboard inside. That keyboard works with anything on the iPad and has iPad specific action keys as well. The keys of the keyboard are rubber coated to protect the iPad screen when the case is closed.
If you are lucky enough to live in one of the handful of cities around the country that can get access to the Sprint or Clearwire 4G WiMax networks Toshiba has announced some of its notebooks can be purchased with WiMax modems installed already. The newly updated machines are set to hit stores this month and run a range of sizes and price points.
The machines include the Satellite A665 with a 16-inch HD screen, GeForce graphics, and Intel Core processors. The machine will be offered in three models with WiMax inside starting at $804.99. The Satellite M645 is a 14-inch HD widescreen notebook with harman/kardon sound system, Intel Core processors and more. It will start at $759.99 for WiMax packing models.