The Wall Street Journal is hearing rumbles of Google wanting to open up their own online store this year, but instead of pushing smartphones, they'll be pimping out Android-based tablets.
The Android tablets they'd be selling? ASUS' Transformer lines, as well as Samsung's GALAXY range of tablets. Even though both have been received well, and have been selling well, they aren't making a dent in Apple's unstoppable iPad.
We could see Google-branded tablets, which would be nice, just a stock ICS-based tablet with no extra UI bits from other companies. The store could also open up offering a new tablet from ASUS sporting Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, now that would be tasty. Everything is up in the air right now and we'll have to wait for the chips to fall before there's anything concrete.
Android tablets are available in a wide variety of sizes, power, and price. They range from the lowly tablets out of China for somewhere around $100 all the way up to the ASUS Transformer Prime for $499. Nvidia's CEO has now been quoted to say that tablets that are powered by the Tegra 3 platform should hit $199 by summer.
"We took out $150 in build materials, things like expensive memory," Jen-Hsun Huang said. "At $199, you can just about buy a tablet at a 7-Eleven." This has started speculation that a Tegra 3 powered Google Nexus tablet would be built by ASUS because at CES, ASUS revealed the Tegra 3 powered MeMo 370T. Many think that this could be the Google Nexus tablet, just at a lower price point.
Other rumors, however, suggest that Google has opted for an even cheaper price point for its tablet, like somewhere around $149 instead of $199. At this price point, it most likely would not be powered by a Tegra 3 processor. All of this Google speculation is strictly rumors, so I would take it with a grain of salt until something official comes down the like.
A slow golf clap by myself is being done for some researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi, where they've developed a new type of plastic that can mimic human skin. Yes, it mimics the skin on your body. It was presented at an annual meeting of the American Chemical Society on Monday, where the material turns red when damaged, and can self-heal if simply put into some light.
Researcher and professor, Marek W. Urban, who reported on the development in San Diego this week says:
Mother Nature has endowed all kinds of biological systems with the ability to repair themselves. Some we can see, like the skin healing and new bark forming in cuts on a tree trunk.
The new technology behind the plastic is made from water-based copolymers, which are said to be more environmentally-friendly than other plastics and contains small molecular links referred to as "bridges" that span the length of the material. If the item is damaged, bridges break and form a red splotch around the "injury".
It's the new and improved iPad and it sports 4G support for increased data speeds worldwide! Well, not if you're in Australia. Australia's 4G network runs on a different frequency band than what the new iPad supports. So you can't technically get 4G in Australia, even if you do have the new iPad.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken Apple to court over misleading advertising, due to the fact that the iPad doesn't operate on the 4G LTE bands that are used in Australia. "The ACCC alleges that Apple's recent promotion of the new 'iPad with WiFi + 4G' is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product "iPad with WiFi + 4G" can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case," it says.
Apple has now extended the offer to all Australian buyers of the new iPad to collect a refund if they feel they have been mislead by the advertising. This may only be the start of 4G problems for Apple. The iPad is compatible with US and Canadian 4G networks, but many European networks are planning 4G networks which fall outside the supported bands.
So Anthony, were you mislead?
LeakedTT: HTC One X, the Snapdragon S4-sporting smartphone gets leaked benchmarks, smashes the competition
Well, well, HTC. Your new phone is looking like its shaping up to kick some behind, isn't it? Thanks to some leaked benchmarks, it looks as though the dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip is coming together well.
Thanks to an AT&T employee from the Android Central forums who has a pre-release version of the One X, and has dumped some benchmarks on the Internet for all of us to get jealous over. When comparing the Snapdragon S4-based HTC One X versus the Samsung GALAXY Nexus, it simply kicks its ass. The HTC One X scores 4952 against the Nexus' 2600 or so.
The North American HTC One X is set to receive Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 which is a dual-core chip, where international releases will see NVIDIA's 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3 SoC. On paper, NVIDIA's Tegra 3 does look pretty impressive, but Qualcomm's 28nm process on the Snapdragon S4 is bloody impressive. I'm now wanting to see how one of these bad boys does in real-world testing.
Coby has begun shipping a few new Android 4.0-based tablets, after they were first introduced earlier this year at CES. The two new models arrive in 7- and 9.7-inch and will have the names of Kyros MID7042-4 and Kyros MID9742-B, for the 7- and 9.7-inch tablets, respectively.
Both tables sport 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processors, with 1GB of RAM, front-facing cameras, HDMI output, 8GB of internal storage with microSD for expandable storage, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The 7-inch model sports a 16:9 capacitive touchscreen with an 800x480-pixel screen, where the 9.7-inch ramps it up to 1024x768-pixels.
The MID7042 is available right now for $179, and the MID9742 sells for $100 more at $279. Coby expects to offer 8-, 9-, and 10-inch models later this spring.
HTC's Wind is a magical thing, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale single-SIM card world. HTC Wind sports dual-SIMs, and is only available in China. The T328w Wind is powered by a Qualcomm 1GHz single-core processor, a 4-inch 800x480-pixel screen, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
HTC's Wind also features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as HTC's Beats Audio and SRS processing for music fans and audiophiles alike. But, it's the dual-SIM feature that makes this smartphone stand out against the crowd. Dual SIMs make it appealing in eastern Europe and Asia, where users like to switchin between two or more carriers to minimize call and data costs. This can be quite useful as one carrier might sport insanely cheap voice calls, but expensive data. If this is the case, you could switch to the other SIM and enjoy great data rates.
HTC's Wind will come in a bunch of colors: black, white, pink and blue. HTC has priced the phone competitively, at 2,000 yuan ($317 USD) and HTC have not yet announced dates on when the dual SIM-rocking Wind will land in China, or other countries for that matter.
We could be looking at a surprise launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III this week. It all depends on the meaning you draw from the cryptic paint-job adorning London's flagship Phones 4U store. The outside painting boasts the Samsung logo and the words "Coming 30/3/2012." I'd love to believe this is the long awaited and anticipated Galaxy S III, but is it?
I mean really, what else is there for Phones 4U to be making a big deal about? The are very few announced products that would be worth making such a fuss over. However, previous rumors heard it was due for April or May, making this launch earlier than expected, but not outside the realm of possibility. The new device is said to feature more RAM, more internal storage, a more powerful processor, and a 12MP camera, all in a 7mm thick form-factor.
Acer's Iconis Tab A510 has just begun offering pre-orders, and pushes the pricing down on a Tegra 3-sporting tablet down to just $449.99, $50 less than the similar-specced ASUS model. Acer's A510 sports a 10.1-inch 1280x800-pixel display, 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, 1GB RAM, and 32GB storage expandable by microSD.
Battery life is also said to be good thanks to the 36.26Whr battery, not quite as much as the new iPad, but much better than older Iconia Tabs, and the Prime. The battery does come with some draw backs, though, with the A510 weighing in at 100g more than the Prime. Android 4.0 is baked into the tablet, as is Acer's Ring UI. Pre-loaded software includes the usual media players, printing software, Polaris Office 3.5 and more.
A full-sized USB port is not featured on the new A510, but a microUSB port is still offered, this supports up to 2TB HDDs, which is great for those who need additional storage. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 is available for pre-order at the usual e-tailers, but no shipping dates are available at the moment.
RumorTT: Samsung's GT-i9300 photo leaks, could be the GALAXY S III, but is probably the GALAXY S II Advance
I'm getting to boiling point over these Samsung leaks, I really wish Samsung would just turn up at my house for an interview, GALAXY S III in hand (a few of them) and say "have at it". But, for now, we'll rely on leaks. PhoneArena is reporting they've just received a photo claiming to be the Samsung GT-i9300.
It sports the usual Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich UI, but right now, we don't know what phone this is, or what it could even be. Considering the GALAXY S II is the GT-i9100, the GALAXY Nexus is the GT-i9250, the GT-i9300 should slot right into the GALAXY S III spot, but does it?
It definitely looks like a GALAXY S handset, sans buttons, which is an ICS-based thing, really. So we should expect the leak to be right with the UI and look of the device itself. We see TouchWiz-sporting ICS with Samsung's Music and Video Hubs, the S Memo, S Planner, and S Suggest apps. The screen looks to be between 4.6- and 4.7-inch, too. But there's nothing to compare it against, so this is just a "it looks like", and not "it is" statement.
The new iPad's screen does look pretty, but most non-tech savvy users most likely thought that before Apple released the 2048x1536-powered Retina Display on the new iPad, that Full HD was as high as screen resolutions went, but they would be very, very wrong. 30-inch screens have maxed out (for consumers) at 2560x1600, and they are beautiful.
Microsoft knows the new tablets, and more importantly, Windows 8, needs to usher in something to combat against the unstoppable iPad. Enter, resolutions and pixel-dense displays. The Building Windows 8 blog has covered it quite well, where Microsoft have identified a sort of "Goldilocks Zone" for three general classes of resolutions: standard, HD, and quad-XGA. Within this zone, text and UI elements aren't blown up to stupid-looking proportions, nor are they shrunk down to something so small its hard to touch.
In the first case, buttons and text will be shown without scaling. In the second, they'll be at 140-percent normal size, and in the third, 180-percent of normal size. The author of the most on Building Windows 8, Microsoft US team member David Washington, admits that high-density screens will make many familiar UI elements such as pulldown menus and small close boxes, "increasingly burdensome". Metro should hopefully solve this.
According to a well-known Verizon insider, @Black_Man_X, we could expect Android 4.0.5 in early-April, on Verizon, for their Galaxy Nexus smartphone. @Black_Man_X has revealed the news through his Twitter account (if you didn't guess by the @ in front of his nickname), he also reveals that the new build is said to be undergoing testing right now.
If the build makes it (and doesn't up up a version number), then we should expect media fixes for an audio reboot issue, as well as data falling asleep. Rumors of an Android 4.0 update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have popped up before, with Mobile Syrup suggesting Android 4.0.5 could've made it as early as a few weeks ago, but that obviously didn't happen.
You can rest assured that when it hits, it should make a big enough of a splash to get into the news, and we here at TweakTown will take care of you Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners by posting up news of the update when it hits.
Rumor has it that Apple is planning to launch a new iPhone with a bigger, better "Retina" display in the second quarter of this year. A South Korean newspaper cited anonymous industry sources for its claims that Apple's impending sixth-generation iPhone will feature a 4.6-inch display. This is much bigger than any previous iPhone which featured 3.5-inch displays.
A screen of this size would put the iPhone to a similar form-factor as the Samsung GALAXY S II and most likely put them in direct competition. A move like this could lead to outcries that it is just a bad copy of the Samsung phone, something Apple accused Samsung of not so long ago. No other details are known, but I imagine a bigger battery will be required due to the larger screen. I would also guess that it will feature a better processor such as with the iPad 3. The picture above is an artists impression, and is NOT an actual picture of the device.
Technology-wise, there is nothing I want more than Samsung's GALAXY S III smartphone. Just over twelve hours ago, we reported on the latest leakage of the Samsung GALAXY S III image, where it was teased in a VISA ad. Interesting, eh?
The latest image (above), is reportedly the "official press photo" of the GALAXY S III. We should expect a 12-megapixel camera with an LED flash and some nifty features such as slow motion, time-lapse, as well as full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as an insane 60fps recording. Front-facing camera is still a 1.3-megapixel snapper. If the display is the reported 4.8-inch, we should expect that 1920x1080 display to give us 313 pixels pier inch (PPI).
The latest rumor for the next-generation iPhone is that Apple could use a 4.6-inch display. This is a huge leap in screen size considering the current iPhone, and every iteration since the first one, has featured a 3.5-inch screen. After using the GALAXY S II, the iPhones screen is just... way too small. A 4.6-inch display would look magnificent on the new iPhone.
It's being reported that Apple would keep its shorter, but wider ratio, and would use LCD instead of AMOLED. There's always this persistant rumor that the late Steve Jobs objected to a larger screen, as it would fragment design of the apps, look and feel of the iPhone. But seriously, the iPhones screen is just too small to combat against bigger screens.
I'm guessing the following: we'll see a new, bigger iPhone. It'll either be called 'the new iPhone' (like the new iPad is called just 'iPad'), or the iPhone 5. The new iPhone will most likely arrive around the time, or be exclusive with iOS 6. iOS 6 is going to be required to combat Android 5.0 'Jelly Bean'. On top of that, the GALAXY S III is going to be the new iPhones biggest competition.
Toshiba is previewing a new Android 4.0 powered tablet code named AT330. What is currently just a prototype, could very well be the future of tablets. Well, at least that's what I thought until I saw the size. It is 30% larger than any mainstream tablet currently available, which means it comes in at a whopping 13.3".
The prototype also features a TV tuner, complete with a retractable antenna. Inside it has a Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 32GB of storage. It also has a full-size SD card slot along with a 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. The resolution is unknown, but would appear to be 1920x1200 based upon the video. Toshiba maintains that it is simply a prototype for now. Take a look at the hands-on video.
Last year, the Sprint Network and its customers finally got the chance to buy the iPhone, but it didn't come cheap. The price tag? About 15.5 billion dollars. The decision to do it? Questionable. In an interview with Mobile World Live, CEO Dan Hesse defended the decision to bet heavily on bringing the iPhone to Sprint. Hesse makes a lot of claims regarding iPhone users, but are they true?
"Subsidises are heavy for the iPhone," Hesse explained. "Four out of every 10 iPhones we sold are for new customers. That's roughly double the rate of either of our competitors, so we're pulling a lot of customers from our competitors." Additionally, he contends that iPhone users are more loyal and use, on average, less data than other cell phone platforms. "iPhone customers have a lower level of churn and they actually use less data on average than a high-end 4G Android device. So from a cost point of view and a customer lifetime value perspective. They're more profitable than the average smartphone customer," Hesse said.
When a new device comes out, there's always going to be complaints from people experiencing buyers remorse. In this case, the new device is the iPad 3 and the complaints are that it runs too hot and, now, that it is unable to charge while running certain, high-load apps and games. The extra heat has to come from somewhere, and now it's plainly obvious: To power the new hi-res screen, they needed a more powerful processor, which has a higher power draw. This results in higher heat and a higher power requirement for these intensive apps.
The new Retina display is a major part of the problem as well. It's, in part, the reason for the beefier processor. Additionally, the back-light for the screen uses 2.5 times more power than the iPad 2 back-light. So, this normally isn't a problem for the 10W charger to overcome. But, when the user decides to crank up the games or apps, it requires more power than is supplied by the 10W charger.
This nets a decrease in the overall battery charge since it is supplementing the power that the charger can't produce. The solution could be as simple as getting a higher powered charger such as the Mac Air's 45W MagSafe. Or, just don't use your tablet while charging. Besides, the new iPad already takes longer to charge due to its larger battery.
Everyone seems to be getting excited regarding Samsung's upcoming GALAXY S III phone. And why shouldn't they? With all the rumors flying around the internet, it appears to be a damn nice phone, filled with some incredible features such as a rumored 1920x1080 screen! Rumor has it that the phone pictured below appeared in an ad for Visa. Rumor also has it that the phone pictured is the new Samsung GALAXY S III!
No specific launch date for the phone has been confirmed, or even rumored, as far as I am aware. Yet, it seems that the phone has appeared in the commercial. A few key details lead us to suspect this. First, it looks fairly wide. Second, it appears to be lacking a Home key. Both of these are part of the rumors that have been flying around. What are your thoughts? Is this a legitimate photo of the upcoming phone? Or is it just the GALAXY S II? Let us know!
Shock. Horror. Stop the presses. Apple's latest iPad has an issue! It runs hotter than its predecessor, the iPad 2. Not by something small like 1c or 5-percent, but a decent whack of an increase. I've personally noticed this, and thought it was the apps I was running, or my iPad specifically, but it seems I'm not the only one.
The new iPad has been tested by Tweakers.net, with an infrared camera, and 5 minutes of GLBenchmark. The results? It runs much hotter. According to the site's measurements, the latest third-generation iPad runs at 33.6C (92.5F) compared to the iPad 2's temps of 28.3C (82.9F). This is a sizeable increase. Personally, mine gets too hot for my left hand to hold it for prolonged periods of time.
I have to put it on my legs, or put something between me and the iPad. I really didn't want to buy a cover for it (because it makes it even heavier than it already is), but it seems I might have to, just to escape the heat issues. I'm attributing it to the more powerful GPU, driving the more pixel-laden display, as well as the much bigger battery to handle all of it. One would think Apple would've known it ran hot and did something with the device to escape this.
For all the Virgin Mobile customers out there, we hope to bring you an important service announcement regarding your cell phone. Virgin Mobile is currently experiencing a nationwide data and texting outage, as confirmed by many users and Virgin Mobile's official Twitter feed. A representative for the company posted "We're currently experiencing a national data & text messaging outage. Our engineers are working to resolve it. Thank you for your patience," on the Twitter feed around 4 p.m. Pacific time.
Curiously enough, Sprint, who owns the company, and its users have reported no issues on the Sprint Network. Virgin Mobile officials have been oddly silent on the cause of the issue. It could possibly be in relation to the upcoming data throttling changes that go into effect in 3 days. Do you have Virgin Mobile? Are you experiencing the outage? Let us know regarding that and your thoughts regarding the changes to unlimited data.