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Spotify comes to Ford via in-car app

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 5:29 pm

Spotify, everyone's favorite music streaming service, has finally made it's way into Ford vehicles with out the aid of pesky wires. The new in-car app will allow users to control Spotify through the car's dashboard using simple voice commands.

 

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To take advantage of this new service, users must first be subscribers to Spotify Premium on their smartphone, and have a compatible Ford vehicle. Voice commands can be used to adjust the volume and access things like top playlists, your music library, similar music, starred songs and radio stations.

 

Since the music is actually streamed from your phone, you might want to take advantage of the offline playlist feature if driving in tunnels, or remote locations where cellular service is hard to acquire. Furthermore, the adoption of an unlimited data plan may be beneficial as well, as constant streaming of music chews through data rations.

Intel teases 22nm tri-gate Atom SoC, while releasing new gen-two Atom chips

By: Charles Gantt | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 4:59 pm

MWC 2013 - Intel had a fairly big announcement this morning at the 2013 Mobile World Congress. The company has teased us with a promise of its third-generation 22nm Atom System-on-Chip processor by mid 2014.

 

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The announcement came as Intel debuted it's new Atom Z2580, Z2560 and Z2520 SoC's which are built on dual 32nm processing cores running at 2GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.2GHz respectively. The new Atom chips support Hyper-Threading which brings the total simultaneous processes count up to four, allowing it to compete with recent ARM processors.

 

Codenamed Merrifield, the next-generation 22nm Atom's will feature tri-gate transistors, and a big decrease in power consumption. All of this sounds like exciting news, but with issues like Android Apps refusing to install on Atom based devices still plaguing Intel, we do not see the mobile market jumping on the Atom bandwagon just yet. No official release date has been set, but we should see 22nm based devices on shelves by Q2 2014.

Opera launches Opera Mediaworks, worlds largest mobile ad platform

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 4:28 pm

Opera seems to be making headlines on a weekly basis in 2013, A couple of weeks ago I reported on the companies adoption of Webkit, then a few days later, covered the layoff of over 90 employees. Now Opera is announcing the formation of an entirely new subsidiary.

 

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Over the last few months Opera has made a few strategic acquisitions with the intention of bolstering it's mobile advertising business. The company has spent in excess of $100 million snatching up companies like AdMarvel, 4th Screen Advertising and Mobile Theory and has announced today the formation of Opera Mediaworks.

 

Opera Mediaworks is a fully-owned subsidiary, which is being touted as the world's largest mobile ad platform. The new arm of Opera includes ad mediation and exchange services AdMarvel and Opera Mediaworks, mobile advertising networks Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, and the Opera Mobile Store and Opera Payment Exchange to monetize ad solutions.

Aptina unveils next-gen mobile image sensors, 1080p and 4K the new normal

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 3:25 pm

When digital camera's came onto the mainstream scene, the film camera industry was all but wiped out overnight, and we may be on the verge of a similar event now. Aptina, maker of most of the image sensors in high-end mobile phones has just released two next-generation image sensors that could change everything.

 

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At the Mobile World Congress, Aptina has announced it's newest 12MP and 13MP mobile image sensors, that are aimed at use in flagship smartphones. The 12MP AR1230 is a 1.1-micron pixel device, with 4k video at 30fps support as well as 1080p at 96fps. The 13MP AR1330 sports image stabilization at 1080P and includes 4K UHD and 4K Cinema formats at 30fps.

 

Aptina also released a new image sensor designed for use in the tablet PC / TV segment of the market. The AR0261 is a 1080p sensor that features 1.4-micron pixels, and is reported to be able to handle 60fps at 720p, can work with apps that utilize gesture recognition and 3D video capture.

ASUS also unveil the Fonepad, a 7-inch smartphone for just $249

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 1:27 pm

MWC 2013 - ASUS have also just unveiled another product, the Fonepad. What is the Fonepad you ask? Well, we're looking at the infusion of the phone and the tablet, as you might have expected, but what sets this apart from the rest?

 

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The Fonepad features a streamlined metallic finish, microSD and SIM cards discretely hidden, diamond cut camera ring, dual microphones for noise suppression and echo cancelation. 3G is only at play - no mention of of LTE here. 3-megapixel rear-facing camera has auto focus and 720p, 7-inch IPS panel, 1280x800 pixels.

 

Inside we have Intel's Atom Z2420, perfect for low power consumption - ASUS are talking about 9-10 hour battery life. The price? Well, a 7-inch smartphone from ASUS is going to set you back just $249. Wow, ASUS have definitely struck gold here with the Fonepad at just $249. Incredible pricing - but what about availability? Next month, that's what. Depending on where you purchase, there will be a Euro-based model that will come without the rear camera, so keep that in mind.

ASUS unveil the Padfone Infinity

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 1:07 pm

MWC 2013 - ASUS have just unveiled their latest smartphone during their conference at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain - enter the Padfone Infinity. Sporting a 5-inch 1080p display, we have the ability to dock the Padfone Infinity with a 10.1-inch 1920x1200-capable tablet.

 

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You should be used to this by now with the previous Padfone, but this new Padfone Infinity bumps the specs up as well as offering a "sleek aluminum body", and inside we find Qualcomm's 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 - which is quite an amazing piece of kit.

 

ASUS chairman Jonney Shih took the stage, unveiling the Padfone Infinity itself. Something ASUS are calling "Customer Happiness 2.0" is the central part of the Padfone Infinity's design - touch, responsiveness, uniquity and more. A whole new design is behind the Padfone Infinity using aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, unibody frame and brushed metal finish, twice-anodized diamond cut edge glass display.

Continue reading 'ASUS unveil the Padfone Infinity' (full post)

ASUS using one hell of a tease for MWC 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 12:15 pm

I don't even know where to begin with this one, so I'll ask that you watch ASUS' video below and then we'll get into talking about it, ok?

 

 

Yes - you just saw that. I have no idea what ASUS are playing at here, but I really hope they use a couple of billion dollars to unveil their next phone being dropped off by aliens because that would be pretty damn awesome. It looks like they're ready to unleash the "next mobile transformation", so I'm expecting to see a new Transformer tablet. ASUS also asks us to join them to 'embrace the metallic miracle', which leads me to believe it definitely will be another Transformer.

Continue reading 'ASUS using one hell of a tease for MWC 2013' (full post)

LG aims to sell 40 million smartphones in 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 11:34 am

LG wants life to be good throughout 2013, as the company plans to sell 40 million smartphones this year. The South Korean company wants to depart from the usual entry-level handsets and shift into higher gears - this comes from the Head of LG's Mobile Communications Division, Park Jong Seok.

 

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LG shipped 26.3 million smartphones last year, so if they want to meet their 40 million smartphone goal they'll need to nearly double their efforts this year. From what MWC 2013 has shown so far, this might not be as hard as you think. LG have some great devices coming out, and I think we're going to see them meet their 2013 goals.

Project Gotham Racing trademark renewed, should we expect a next-gen Xbox launch title?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 10:32 am

One of the original Xbox launch titles was Project Gotham Racing, something I thoroughly enjoyed alongside the original Halo, but Microsoft have put it in the pit stops permanently, until now it seems. Just weeks before we expect the next-generation Xbox to be unveiled, Microsoft have renewed their trademark for Project Gotham Racing.

 

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Trademarkia is the source, and the trademark covers "computer programs, namely, game software for use on computers and video game players" and was registered back in 2001 before the first game launched. This is just business, the renewing of trademarks, but weeks before the next-gen Xbox unveiling has rumors circling that we could expect a next-gen PGR from Lucid Games, now wouldn't that be exciting?

Minecraft to soon reach version 1.5 codenamed 'Redstone'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 9:33 am

It looks like Minecraft is about to hit quite the milestone, with that milestone being version 1.5 of the game. Minecraft's upcoming 1.5 patch has been codenamed "Redstone", and will sport quite the list of improvements and additions to the insanely popular 8-bit game.

 

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The latest update will include improvements of:

  • changes to the gaming engine
  • rendering optimizations
  • mobs will include an improved UI
  • mobs will no longer be able to walk over rails unless they are after you
  • improved inventory system
  • death messages now include cause of death, items used to kill you, and who did the dirty deed
  • bug fixes... and more bug fixes

 

If you were waiting to hear on what would actually get added to the game, here's that new list:

  • new texture packs
  • the game will now allow animated texture packs
  • a scoreboard system to track kills, deaths, or commands

 

Added items include

  • Redstone Comparator
  • Hopper
  • Dropper
  • Daylight sensor
  • Trapped chest
  • Weighted pressure plate
  • Activator rail
  • Detector rail
  • Minecart with TNT
  • and more

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