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High-DPI Acer Iconia tablet now available for $449.99

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 4:34 pm

Looking for a new tablet to compete with the iPad's Retina display? Well, this may be just the thing for you. Finally, Android tablets with higher DPI are starting to show up from companies around the world. Today, we see that the new Acer Iconia Tab A700 is now available and on sale for only $449.99.

 

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The new (updated?) tablet spreads a resolution of 1920x1080 across a 10.1" panel. While that's not quite as good as the iPad at 2048x1536 across a 9.7" panel, it certainly is much closer than the previous competition. At this higher DPI, text should be sharper and graphics should be better looking and free from jagged edges.

 

The Iconia tablet is almost identical to the cheaper A500 tablet, save for the screen. The tablet features a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 32GB of SSD, Bluetooth, dual cameras (with 1- and 5-megapixel resolutions, front, rear), and several ports, including Micro-USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, and 3.5-mm audio jacks. The tablet weighs in at 1.47 lbs and measures 0.43" thick, making it a bit thicker than the iPad, but essentially the same weight.

 

It is listed for sale in Acer's own online store.

There's reason to believe Surface tablets may not match iPad in battery life

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 3:25 pm

Looking through the specifications sheet for the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablet that runs the ARM processor reveals some interesting information. One, Microsoft has no quoted battery life specification and also never gave one during the presentation. And two, the specs say how many watt-hours the battery holds.

 

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"They didn't talk about battery life, which is very important to decisions about [which] tablet to buy," said Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft. Gregg Keizer at ComputerWorld points out that Surface RT battery is rated at 31.4Wh which is not tiny, but is about 25% smaller than that of Apple's 42.5Wh rated battery.

 

At the same time however, if one looks at the iPad 2, they will find a 25Wh battery which provides 12.5 hours of battery life. The longer battery life is due to a lower resolution screen. Currently there are too many variables to produce an accurate prediction, but an early guess places the battery life at the same or worse.

 

Even the Surface Pro has a smaller battery than the iPad 3 and it will be running a full Intel i5 mobile chip. This means it will likely find less battery life than Ultrabooks, who often have batteries bigger than the iPad 3. True, however, is that they are bigger and heavier, but a tablet needs great battery life to be successful. We will wait until a consumer product arrives to find the actual numbers.

'Steam for Schools' is a free student version of Steam, allows for Portal 2-based lessons

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 2:04 pm

It looks as though Valve believes there is some value to using games in education. It's been occasionally supported by studies that doing something fun helps kids learn and keeps them engaged, so the reasoning behind 'Steam for Schools' is solid. This summer, educators can apply to be included in the beta which provides a copy of Portal 2, its level editor and its workshop for hosting those levels.

 

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"We have a limited version of Steam, which is called 'Steam for Schools.' And what we're doing is asking for teachers, after school programs, organizations - anywhere where there's a student relationship, which includes homeschooling - for them to submit a form to be part of it. It's still in beta," Valve's Leslie Redd told attendees of the Games for Change festival in New York City.

 

Valve has received no outside funding or grants to help pay for this program. They are a pretty successful commercial venture, so they do have a bit of extra cash laying around. Besides, doing things for children is probably the best PR a company can get, and it can't be costing that much to give away a copy or two of Portal 2.

 

Valve has talked about changing the level of openness later on down the line but insists that "children need that walled garden." That comment aside, Valve does intend for more openness in the future. Currently, no other publisher has signed on, but there have been some initial talks. I just want to see exactly what they plan to teach with Portal 2.

SwiftKey Keyboard for Android hits version 3, learns some new tricks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 10:46 am

SwiftKey 3 for Android is now here, and the customizable and helpful keyboard has been updated with some new features. The updated version of SwiftKey sports a more intelligent correction capability, and an improved user interface.

 

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One of the new features is something the developer, TouchType, call "Smart Space". Smart Space detects when you've inserted a space in the middle of a word, or forgotten to insert spaces when typing too quickly into a string of words and automatically corrects it for you.

 

The keyboards also sports a bigger space bar, and a smart punctuation key that gives you access to common punctuation. As a long-term user of SwiftKey, the new smart punctuation key will take a little getting used to. There's also two new themes to choose from, the first "Cobalt" and the second "Holo", which looks similar to the default color theme of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Microsoft issue takedown notices for Xbox 720 documents

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 10:00 am

A bunch of websites who hosted the reported Xbox 720 design documents have received takedown notices from Microsoft. Polygon reported than a Czech website received a letter requesting that the content be removed. The letter came from Alan Radford, on behalf of Microsoft, which said:

 

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Microsoft has received information that the domain listed above, which appears to be on servers under your control, is offering unlicensed copies of, or is engaged in other unauthorised activities relating to copyrighted works published by Microsoft.

 

The letter has been sent to other websites, and states that the "IEB Roadmap" was an infringement of Microsoft's copyright. It seems that they just didn't want the information out there, but once it's on the Internet, it's pretty much permanent.

GameFounders opens it wallets, bank accounts to European Game Startups

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 9:11 am

Estonia-based company, GameFounders, has just opened their wallets and hearts to European Game Startups. GameFounders says that they are the first European accelerator to focus solely on game developers. They're offering an investment of 15,000 euros in exchange for 9-percent of the company.

 

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You don't need to have an already-formed company, as long as your team is willing to incorporate after it joins GameFounders. The accelerator program is open to any form of game, as long as it has already launched, even if the game is in its beta stage. The website does note that "it is more likely at the moment for mobile games to get investments".

 

The best thing about it? It's not limited to Estonian companies:

 

For a start, Estonia is probably the easiest place to start a business. You count the time time you need to establish a limited company in minutes, the time you need to open a bank account in hours and the time you need to get all the other paperwork (VAT numbers and such) in days. And when you have spent those few days to get the business up and running, there is an abundance of funds, both local and EU, available for you to boost your business.

Continue reading 'GameFounders opens it wallets, bank accounts to European Game Startups' (full post)

Android 4.1 should be Jelly Bean, arriving "soon"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 8:40 am

Well, it looks as though Android 4.1 is destined to be the deliciously-named Jelly Bean OS from Google, thanks to a Google Play listing for the GALAXY Nexus that has since been removed. Droid Life took a screenshot before it was removed, thankfully.

 

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The next thing we need to know is will Jelly Bean be shown off at Google I/O next week? I really hope so. Droid Life have noticed that during the checkout, the new thumbnail shows a picture of teh device with the new glassy Google Search bar, which teases us that little bit more.

 

We should have more details of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean next week during Google I/O, hopefully.

Flipboard arrives on Android, includes Google+ and YouTube, also comes standard with US-bound GALAXY S III phones

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 8:09 am

I've been using Flipboard on my iPad when I'm laying in bed, or on the couch and it's a perfect app that I wish were on Android, and now it is. Flipboard officially launched on Android today after its short beta period and sports some new flashy super powers.

 

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These new super powers include integration with YouTube as well as Google+ across platforms, as well as a pretty big distribution deal with Samsung. The Verge reports that the YouTube and Google+ integration works just like the Twitter and Facebook integration does in Flipboard. To add, you just tap the content guide ribbon, then select either service under 'Your Accounts', then head to 'Add an Account', easy.

 

YouTube on Flipboard looks great, as it pulls down all of your subscriptions allowing for simple browsing, as well as full commenting, liking, sharing, and subscriptions support built directly into Flipboard. Google+ is said to be pretty much the same, you can +1, share, and comment on posts, as well as browse circles, individual users, or pages. The updated Flipboard app is available from the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, Barnes & Noble NOOK Store, Amazon's Appstore for Android and finally, Samsung Apps.

Continue reading 'Flipboard arrives on Android, includes Google+ and YouTube, also comes standard with US-bound GALAXY S III phones' (full post)

Google CEO, Larry Page, loses his voice, won't be onstage at Google I/O next week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 7:18 am

Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, has come forward and said that CEO Larry Page has lost his voice. Page skipped yesterday's annual stockholder meeting, and Schmidt was left to explain why Page couldn't page it.

 

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Schmidt has said that Page would most likely miss his next two expected engagements while he is resting his voice. The next two engagements are next week's Google I/O conference, their three-day developer event in San Francisco, as well as Google's quarterly earnings call next month.

 

In the picture above, you can see that there's a spare chair, which would point to the fact that it was a very last minute decision for Page to not attend. A Google spokeswoman also declined to comment further on Page's condition, reports AllThingsD.

RumorTT: Microsoft Surface tablets to be priced above $599

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 22, 2012 6:31 am

DigiTimes' sources have had their ears close to the ground and heard the rumblings that Microsoft's newly-announced Surface tablet production will be outsourced to Pegatron Technology, but there's not a firm estimate for order numbers, yet.

 

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These same sources have also made an estimation on end-market pricing of the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet, specced with Intel's Ivy Bridge-based processor to be at least, or above, US$799. The Windows RT-based model that sports NVIDIA's 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3 SoC will be priced above US$599.

 

The sources continued, saying that the industrial design of Surface will attract customers in the enterprise market, which is great for Microsoft's sales, but the high prices will push them against a wall when it comes to the bigger consumer market.

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