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TweakTown News Posts - Page 39

BlackBerry expanding software products for Apple iOS, Google Android

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 12:20 pm

BlackBerry is transitioning focus from smartphone hardware more towards software, building business partnerships with Apple and Google. The struggling manufacturer wants to develop business applications able to run on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It's not a surprise BlackBerry wants to create enterprise products for other platforms, after its hardware efforts slid over the past few years.

 

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"I have a lot of software assets that are really good," said BlackBerry CEO John Chen, when speaking with Bloomberg. "We're going to build a business on putting it on other peoples' devices. As our market share in hardware is shrinking, I think there's a much bigger opportunity to make our software and package it correctly to be available on cross platforms."

 

Since becoming CEO in November 2013, Chen has looked for strategies to expand BlackBerry's product offerings. The company's smartphone market share has dropped below 1 percent, as Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers fight for control.

Qualcomm teams up with Cyanogen for new 'Reference Design' products

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 11:54 am

MWC 2015 - Something interesting has been announced at MWC 2015, with Qualcomm and Cyanogen announcing a new partnership that will see Qualcomm baking Cyanogen OS onto its upcoming Reference Design products that will be announced next month.

 

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The new Reference Design program will see Qualcomm providing smaller companies with smartphone templates, allowing them to release their own brand. Cyanogen OS being an open source version of Android allows Qualcomm to replace its own builds, which normally didn't have that great of a feature set.

 

Cyanogen hopes that the new look for its company "captures our commitment to openness". We will report on the new Reference Design products from Qualcomm with Cyanogen OS as it happens.

Sony announces its Xperia Z4 Tablet, featuring a 10.1-inch 2K display

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 11:23 am

MWC 2015 - We knew it was coming, but Sony has made the Xperia Z4 Tablet official at MWC 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. The new Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of the most powerful slates on the market, and some.

 

 

We have a 10.1-inch 2K display (2560x1600) giving us a pixel density of 299PPI, but inside we find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (an 8-core 64-bit CPU) at 2GHz. There's 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage which is expandable through microSD right up to 128GB. Sony will be offering the new Xperia Z4 Tablet as a Wi-Fi only tablet, as well as an LTE-capable model.

 

On the back we have an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, backed up by a 5.1-megapixel selfie shooter with a wide-angle lens. Sony has crammed a 6000mAh battery inside of the Xperia Z4 Tablet which the company says is good for around 17 hours of video playback. Out of the box we will have Google's latest Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Continue reading 'Sony announces its Xperia Z4 Tablet, featuring a 10.1-inch 2K display' (full post)

We go hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone at MWC 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 11:15 am

MWC 2015 - Samsung announced the Galaxy S6 smartphone yesterday at Mobile World Congress 2015, but our man on the ground Johannes Knapp has gotten some hands-on time with the new super-fast smartphone, with that video below.

 

 

As you can see, even with TouchWiz on top, Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Galaxy S6 is super slick and doesn't slow down. This would also be thanks to its incredibly quick 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. We also have that 5.1-inch QHD 2560x1440 display, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with OIS backed up by a 5-megapixel camera for selfies, a 2550mAh battery, and comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB with no expandable storage unfortunately.

Continue reading 'We go hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone at MWC 2015' (full post)

Windows 10 will have support for USB 3.1 Type-C soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 10:30 am

It looks like Microsoft will soon announce officialy support for USB 3.1 Type-C for Windows 10, with both the standard and USB Dual Role to be supported. The company will be hosting its WinHec conference next month, with the official website teasing the new USB connectivity scenarios in Windows 10 to be discussed.

 

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The page says: "Windows 10 introduces support for USB Dual Role and Type-C, which will enable new wired connectivity scenarios such a phone interacting with USB peripherals, or laptops connecting to an external display using the USB Type-C connector. This session will go into detail on how Windows supports these technologies and what you need to do to enable them. Topics include: Overview of the new use cases introduced with USB Dual Role and Type-C, What scenarios are and aren't supported for Dual Role devices, Using Alternate Modes (e.g. DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, or MHL) over Type-C, Support for Power Delivery, enabling devices to provide/consume up to 100W over USB, Hardware and software architecture changes for Dual Role and Type-C, and Building a Windows system with Dual Role and/or Type-C support. Intended Audience: OEMs, ODMs, IDHs, IHVs, Peripheral Manufacturers, Driver Developers".

 

USB 3.1 will be delivering a huge increase in transfer speeds, right up to 10Gbps, up from the current ceiling of 5Gbps that USB 3.0 provides. Thunderbolt is still faster, but the adoption of USB 3.1 should hopefully be much higher.

Android dominates iOS with 81.5% of global smartphone OS market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 8:29 am

Apple may be the largest company in the world, but when it comes to the global smartphone OS market share, Google completely owns it with Android according to the latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

 

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With Google pushing out over 1.1 billion smartphones in 2014, a number that is up 32% from the 802.2 million Android devices shipped in 2013, Google is simply not stopping. Its mobile OS dominance was already there in 2013 with 78.7% of the global smartphone OS market share, but Google is out for more in 2014 with a huge 81.5%.

 

IDC has noted that Samsung is the top OEM of Android-powered devices, shipping more units than the five vendors under it. The report says: "At the same time, Samsung's total volumes for the year remained essentially flat while Asian vendors including Huawei, Lenovo (including Motorola), LG Electronics, Xiaomi, and ZTE fueled the most growth for Google's platform".

Continue reading 'Android dominates iOS with 81.5% of global smartphone OS market' (full post)

Quixel uses Unreal Engine 4 to showcase its surface capturing tech

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 7:18 am

We've been writing about various uses of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, but Quixel has something unique to share with its Megascans technology. Megascans is massive, as its library contains thousands of materials scanned with the company's HDR surface capture technology. The best way to show this off, is with a video, below:

 

 

Quixel explains this well: "MEGASCANS is a new breed of material library, finally bringing full real-world surface scans to the art community. Browse, preview and download 1000+ materials scanned with Quixel's groundbreaking HDR surface capture technology and experience real diffuse, specular, normal, translucency, AO and much more".

 

The jungle environment demo looks impressive, but it isn't the absolute best we've seen. What it does showcase is Quixel's impressive surface capturing technology, and the power of Unreal Engine 4 and its versatile nature.

Continue reading 'Quixel uses Unreal Engine 4 to showcase its surface capturing tech' (full post)

'Adventure Time' movie on the way

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 6:20 am

Now in its sixth season, the crazily irreverent Cartoon Network animation 'Adventure Time' has only become increasingly popular as audiences embrace the show in the millions weekly, and gobble up all manner of merchandise.

 

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Not content with all that, Cartoon Network's owner, Warner Bros. is now preparing a feature length movie adventure to be produced by 'The Lego Movie' duo Chris McKay and Roy Lee. 'Adventure Time' creator Pendleton Ward will serve as writer, as well as a producer.

 

It's not yet confirmed if Jeremy Shada and John DiMaggio will return to voice their roles of Finn and Jake respectively, but it's hard to see that they won't. "Mathematical!"

HP impresses with its new Spectre x360 13.3-inch convertible laptop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 6:12 am

HP has started off 2015 with a bang, announcing its new 13.3-inch Spectre x360 convertible laptop, with the aforementioned 13.3-inch display rocking a QHD resolution of 2560x1440, which also happens to feature Panel Self-Refresh technology, which lets the laptop power down when the display is not changing.

 

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There will be two models of the Spectre x360 released, with one bumping the 13.3-inch screen down to 1920x1080 touch-capable display, while the higher-end model features the QHD panel. There are also two choices when it comes to the processor, with HP offering up the Intel Broadwell-ULT-based Core i5-5200U and Core i7-5500U. The Core i5-5200U is a dual-core part with HT enabled at 2.2GHz or 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost, while the Core i7-5500U is also a dual-core part with HT at 2.4GHz, or 3GHz with Turbo. HP has provided just 4-8GB of DDR3 RAM on the Spectre x360, while storage options range from a 128GB SSD up to 512GB.

 

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HP has priced the Spectre x360 competitively, with the starting price of just $900 for the Core i5 model with 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and 1080p touchscreen. HP will offer up the Core i7 model with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and the same 1080p touchscreen for $1150, while the best model will feature the Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD and the QHD touchscreen for $1400.

Continue reading 'HP impresses with its new Spectre x360 13.3-inch convertible laptop' (full post)

The Division to feature 100-player 'Dark Zones', PvP, and so much more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 2, 2015 4:33 am

Ubisoft doesn't have much trust with gamers, especially PC gamers, but The Division is still continuing to shape up nicely - even if it looks like its graphics have been watered down over time. A closed beta of the game is currently active, with a bunch of people playing The Division and discussing specific gameplay details and more.

 

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The participants have detailed the way players will enter 'Dark Zones' which are public combative spaces within The Division, which are both cooperative and competitive, filled with friendlies and enemies. Players must pass through a decontamination chamber when entering and leaving the Dark Zone. There are special weapons are gear that you can collect in the Dark Zones, but you must pass through the decontamination process in order to have these weapons and items become a permanent part of your kit.

 

These Dark Zones in The Division feature up to, or around 100 players. Other players in here can act as friendlies, but hostile players can be killed, which build up something called a reputation meter. Once your reputation meter begins to build, you become more visible on the in-game mini map. You and your team can choose to work together with another team, with alpha players saying that there have been scenarios where players hide on rooftops, scale up and down buildings with grappling hooks, and more.

Continue reading 'The Division to feature 100-player 'Dark Zones', PvP, and so much more' (full post)

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