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RumorTT: Google to work with ASUS on 2nd-gen Nexus 7, would feature 1080p screen

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 11:03 pm

DigiTimes, a website known for getting it right only sometimes, is reporting that Google is working together with ASUS again to bring a second-generation Nexus 7 to market. Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, they believe the new device will come with a thinner bezel and full HD 1080p screen.




The device is said to be launching in May, which is when another rumor has an upgraded Nexus 10 launching. The Nexus 7 is a great tablet as it stands, though an upgraded screen can never be declined. Google will likely keep pricing the same, or within $50 of the current price.


Whether or not the Nexus 7 would get a CPU upgrade remains to be seen. The quad-core currently in the Nexus 7 is quite capable and the GPU also performs very well. A rear-facing camera and higher build quality would be appreciated, though the price of the device could keep Google from being able to do that.

Acer plans to bring budget Android tablets out later this year

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 10:31 pm

Acer doesn't want to be left behind in the budget Android tablet market. Acer's president reportedly told China Times that they are planning on releasing 8-inch and 10-inch tablets later. These budget-friendly tablets will feature quad-core processors, specifically the MediaTek MT6589, which is based off of ARM's CortexA7 architecture.




Speculation puts the price of the 8-inch tablet at around $200, with the 10-inch tablet probably running about $50 more. While that would be significantly cheaper than Google's Nexus 10, Acer's tablet probably won't offer the performance of the Nexus 10 and likely won't have a high-resolution screen for that price.


Acer already has the Iconia B1 Android tablet that retails for under $150. President Linxian Lang feels that the market will see about 200 million budget tablets sold this year alone. He thinks that Apple and Samsung will capture about 80 million of those sales, leaving 120 million on the table for Acer and others.

Epic Citadel tech demo available on Android, comes with benchmarking feature

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Epic has released Epic Citadel for Android. The Epic Citadel demo was originally released on iOS devices over two years ago, but it still highlights what Unreal Engine 3 is capable of. Epic has also added in a feature that will allow Epic Citadel to be used as a benchmark on Android devices, so reviews and users can gather data across a wide variety of devices.




Epic has now shipped an Unreal Engine app for Android, which means we've invested in plenty of QA testing against a wide range of devices, and we've executed the necessary profiling required for shipping Android games, etc. This means that any developer licensing the Unreal Engine for Android benefits from that process - all the work we do gets rolled back into the engine and shared with our licensees.


Epic would like to see developers use Unreal Engine 3 to develop games for Android, and so would I. This demo shows what is capable of being produced using the engine on Android and I am impressed. While Epic won't be bringing Infinity Blade to Android, hopefully other developers will fill in the gap and produce awesome games using UE3.


If you have an Android device, you can pick up Epic's Epic Citadel from the Play Store.

Microsoft Surface Pro 64GB will only have 23GB of free space, 128GB will only have 83GB free

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 9:33 pm

Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro tablets will probably feature a bit less storage than you were hoping for. The 64GB model will only come with 23GB of free space, which means Windows 8, and all of the other stuff Microsoft pre-installs, will take up 41GB of space, which is more than 50 percent of the 64GB model's capacity.




In a lot of ways, that is pretty ridiculous. Microsoft had a similar issue with the Surface RT, in which Windows RT accounted for half of the 32GB model's capacity. Even still, that is only 16GB. Windows 8 will be taking up 41GB, or more than double that of Windows RT.


Microsoft has said you can free space by making a backup bootable USB drive and deleting the recovery partition. However, if you don't do that, you'll only have 36 percent of the advertized storage space available in the 64GB model. What are your thoughts on this?

Vine has first service outage after being open for just 5 days

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 9:04 pm

Twitter-like video sharing site Vine has experienced its first service outage after only being around for 5 days. Twitter launched Vine last Thursday to share short, 6-second looping videos. Vine, as an extension of Twitter, believes the limit on content forces users to have creativity.




Earlier today, Vine experience its first service outage, with most services being disabled and the app alerting users about the service interruption. Vine tweeted about the outage, saying the following: "Vine is experiencing a temporary service interruption. Thanks for your patience."


Vine has had several growing pains during these first five days. Porn instantly became a problem on the service, with one video even being promoted to an Editor's Pick. This resulted in Apple pulling it from the featured section of the App Store. Vine is now doing a better job censoring search terms.


The service has since returned for some users, though Vine/Twitter has yet to confirm that the service is back to being fully functional. If you're still having trouble with the service, let us know in the comments.

Nexus 4 back in stock, pick it up while it's available

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 8:28 pm

Google has Nexus 4's back in stock, at least for a limited time. The estimated ship time is 1-2 weeks, but Google is at least giving you the option of buying the device again. Previously, the web pages for the Nexus 4 8GB and Nexus 4 16GB had shown the device as "SOLD OUT" and didn't provide any way of ordering.




LG has committed to producing more devices as quickly as they can, though they have blamed Google for underestimating the number of devices that would be demanded. For $300, it's near impossible to find a better device that is unlocked and without a contract. If you're not completely sold on the Nexus 4, you might want to wait for MWC in February.


MWC should bring lots of new devices, some of which may be even better than the Nexus 4. You could also try and wait it out for the rumored Nexus 5, though that probably won't show up until Google I/O, if it even shows up at all. You can get the 8GB Nexus 4 here and the 16GB Nexus 4 here.

Apple launches iPad with 128GB of storage, comes in two versions

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 8:01 pm

Well, shortly after rumors popped up that Apple was planning on releasing an iPad with 128GB of storage, the company has gone ahead and announced two new iPads, both which feature 128GB of storage. The two versions are exactly what you would expect: one with Wi-Fi and one with Wi-Fi and LTE support.




Pricing was also announced, with the 128GB Wi-Fi model ringing up at $799. If you want LTE support, be prepared to lay out $929. The two models will be available in both black and white, like the rest of the iPad line. Hardware also remains the same at the dual-core A6X processor and 2GB of RAM.


The new devices will be for sale starting Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

XBMC 12.0 "Frodo" released, Raspberry Pi and Android support now officially included

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 7:29 pm

Today the XBMC Foundation has released version 12 of the widely popular open-source home media center software. XBMC 12.0, codenamed "Frodo", brings forth several new features and improvements including Live TV and PVR support which brings Live TV, radio and TV guide features into the program.




The update also includes a completely new audio engine that supports most of the HD audio standards including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD. Fans of Apple's AirPlay can jump for joy as well because Frodo includes improved support for Apple's wireless standard, in addition to AirPlay streaming for Windows users as well.


The biggest news however is the official support for the $35 Raspberry Pi. With the Model B now supporting 1080p HD video, the Raspberry Pi makes for the perfect entry-level media streamer when combined with XBMC. Version 12.0 also comes with "initial Android support" which unlike the XBMC remote app includes the full range of XBMC services on your Android device.

Continue reading 'XBMC 12.0 "Frodo" released, Raspberry Pi and Android support now officially included' (full post)

Samsung unveils budget-friendly 4G LTE equipped Galaxy Express smartphone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 6:21 pm

It's no secret that Samsung is the top predator in the Android food chain at the moment, and the South Korean company has set its sights on the low-cost smartphone market with its new Galaxy Express 4G LTE capable smartphone.




The value-driven handset bears a striking resemblance to Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III, and rightfully so. Using existing tooling is the perfect way to save money on the manufacturing process. The Express comes to the table featuring an unknown 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.


A 4.5 inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display, 5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera round out the hardware features. The Express features quad-band 4G LTE support in the 800, 900, 1800 and 2600 spectrum ranges, and ships with Android 4.1 Jellybean, skinned with Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX. I have been unable to find any pricing information so the jury is still out on this "budget" smartphone.

Microsoft is pushing cloud subscriptions with today's Office 2013 launch

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Jan 29, 2013 5:24 pm

Microsoft has finally launched its long anticipated Office 2013 product. Today the OS and productivity app giant officially launched its Office 2013 and Office 365 products to the consumer market.




In its ever present, yet slow march towards having everything in the "cloud", Microsoft has built a new subscription model around the latest Office products. Starting today consumers will be able to purchase a subscription to Office 2013 through its new Office 365 service.


For $99 a year, subscribers will get access for up to five office installs on Mac or PC's which includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. As an incentive Microsoft is also bundling 20GB of additional SkyDrive space and 60 minutes of Skype calling per month with each subscription. A monthly plan of $9.99 is also available.


Non-subscription packages of Office Home and Student and Office Professional are also available for $139.99 and $399.99 respectively. Finally, Microsoft has ditched using physical media to get Office onto consumers PC and is relying on users downloading the software from the cloud. Even "retail box" versions will only include download instructions.