T-Mobile have just unveiled two new Android-packing phones that are aimed at first-time smartphone buyers. myTouch and myTouch Q are 4G-capable, with the myTouch sporting a 3.8-inch touch screen and the myTouch Q with a 3.5-inch touch screen. The myTouch Q also includes a landscape, sliding QWERTY keyboard. Both phones rock Android 2.3 out of the box and run a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU inside, with 5-megapixel/720p cameras included.
The myTouch does one better with a front-facing camera if you'd like to take shots of yourself in your mirror, or like to get some video conferencing going on. Both will be available in two different color schemes and should be here "in time for the holiday season".
The Federal Communications Commission has announced plans that it requires all mobiles phones to sport GPS chips embedded, by 2018. The goal is to improve 911 services by increasing location tracking and accuracy to better assist during emergencies. Most smartphones already sport GPS by default, but a number of platform feature phones still rely on cell tower triangulation for location services, a process that is not as accurate as GPS.
The FCC notes that without the ruling, there should be 85% of mobile phones packing GPS, the plan also includes all VoIP-based products, too. This new plan is just a few months ahead of the FCC's previous announcement of a five-step action plan to improve deployment of next-generation 911 (NG911). NG911's plan is to include the ability for users in distress to send texts, photos and video streams directly to 911 operators, all of which would considerably speed up and improve rescue efforts. No date is set for NG911 as of yet.
Windows Phone owner? Xbox 360 owner? Well, your worlds about to collide in a way you never thought. Microsoft have shown a video where they've shown off the Xbox Companion App where you can Find, Learn more about and Control content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace on your Xbox 360. Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows.
Learn more about what you're watching, listening to, or playing: once you've found an touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app takes you to an info page which has all the related details about the movie you've selected. Once there, you can select an actor, once in the actors details, you can be taken to other movies starring that actor. From there, you can learn more about their other movies. Once the content is selected and the play button nis pressed, the Xbox Companion flips into "controller mode" and from here, you can navigate your Xbox, or control video playback. The controls are virtually instantaneous - reportedly as fast as using a controller or a TV remote.
The Xbox Companion will be a free download for Windows Phone customers, and should be available soon.
Google released Google Docs for Android earlier this year and many people including myself have loved being able to access, edit and share docs on the go. Google have today updated the app which makes Google Docs better than ever on your tablet. It sports an entirely new design which mirrors the GMail app for Android tablets (which is gorgeous) and has been customized to make the most of the larger screen space on tablets.
The layout includes a three-panel view, which allows navigation not only through filters and collections, but allows you to view your document list and see document details, all at once. In the picture above, you can see the detail panel on the right side, which shows a thumbnail to preview a document and its details before opening it. From the panel, you can see who can view or edit any document.
These new features are now available in 46 languages on tablet devices sporting Android 3.0+ (Honeycomb) and above. The app is available right now from the Android Market.
The Indian Government has released a new tablet computer, Aakash, dubbed "the world's cheapest". And at $35 for a student, and $60 for stores, it sure is the cheapest. Here we were thinking that Amazon's Fire was cheap, but now the Indian Government has come and knocked our socks off. On top of the price of the tablet, India is giving away 100,000 free during the launch period. The first 500 tablets released had a luke warm response, with some complaining that they were slow.
The Government hops that the Aakash will bridge the gap between the rich and poor. Kapil Sibal, communications and education minister says:
The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide.
Samsung, the sneaky teasers have released another teaser video to their SAMSUNG Mobile Unpacked 2011 event, which shows off a curved, slim Samsung device. It also teases about how things go well together in everyday life, such as cookies and milk making a better snack. Newspaper and coffee making a better morning, a planner and a fountain pen equal a better plan and wine with candles is a better moment.
Samsung then tease that "another perfect combination is just around the corner", then flash - the curved Samsung device slithers onto the screen - rocking your eye balls and Samsung say "Get ready for it, something BIG is coming".
Samsung's Mobile Unpacked 2011 is on 10/11, which is just under a week away. We will be covering everything from the event and I have my jar ready for my tears of joy.
Apple have debuted AppleCare+ next to the launch of their 'next-gen' iPhone 4S. This is an upgrade from the usual AppleCare (minus the +), what does the + offer you ask? Well, its +$30 for a start, with a price increase from $70 to $100, but now offers two forms of protection from accidental damage, for a $49 fee each time. $49 is a lot less than the full retail price for a fresh device, but there doesn't seem to be any other new features apart from what is already on offer.
Except "one more thing", where its predecessor could be obtained and activated anytime within the first twelve months of your purchase, it looks as though AppleCare+ has to be purchased at the same time as the precious item you're buying to protect. Not bad, but not great, Apple.
On top of Apple's announcement today of the iPhone 4S, Tim Cook has come out swinging with a bunch of Apple-related numbers to impress the world with. Starting with, there have been 16 billion songs downloaded from the iTunes store, and also 300 million iPods sold. To give you some perspective, Sony took 30 years to sell just 220,000 Walkman cassette players.
Cook also announced that "the MacBook Pro and iMac are the number one best selling notebook and desktop in the United States". Apparently, the Mac platform grew by 23 percent over the past twelve months, versus a four percent increase from the PC sector. Cook displayed a chart showing the past five years for Mac, showing that Apple is closing in on 60 million Mac users worldwide, leaving Apple short of owning a fourth of the personal computer market. Cook says "there are still 77 percent of people who are buying something else, we have an incredibly high ceiling here. We have a long way to go".
Cook has high dreams for Mac, and with the way things are going, they should have no issues getting there.
We're still waiting on a definitive launch date for ASUS'second-gen Eee Pad Transformer tablet, but it looks like it's expected to arrive very soon now. A new report, however, reveals that it will come in at a slightly more hefty price point to the first Transformer (currently carrying a base price tag of $399 US). Word is that the Android Honeycomb running Transformer 2 will start at $499, not unlike Apple's iPad 2 actually.
What we are lead to believe about it at this stage is that it uses a 10-inch touchscreen and is powered by NVIDIA's Kal-El (Tegra 3) 4+1-core chip. ASUS has an expectation on its tablet shipments for this year to reach between 1.5 and 2 million.
Apple will begin pre-ordering of its new iPhone 4S this Friday and it will go on sale and start shipping on October 14 in US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany and Japan.
Two weeks later it will go on sale and start shipping in 22 more countries including many European countries and Singapore. It's a little strange not to see Hong Kong on either list. By the end of the year, the iPhone 4S will be in 70 countries and on over 100 carriers.
As far as pricing goes, we only have details for the US market so far. The iPhone 4S will be on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint (right - no Sprint exclusive as rumored) and it will sell for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) on a two year contract. The iPhone 3GS 8GB changes and can now be had for free on contract and the iPhone 4 8GB switches down in price too to $99 on contract.
Twitter and Facebook (as well as Apple stocks) is alive with disappointed after expecting more from the "Let's talk Apple" event.
Apple left the biggest announcement of the show till the end by introducing "Siri" aka your iPA (personal assistant). Siri takes voice commands and throws the whole concept out the window with a wildly impressive new way for you to communicate with your iPhone.
Apple bought Siri (a mobile assistant app) in April last year and has spent the time since evidently doing a great job of implementing it into iOS 5.0.
You can ask your supported iPhone all sorts of questions and Siri will give you an answer. During the event, some demo examples were given such as basic ones such as "What is the weather like today?". That's pretty standard, but when you can ask a question like, "Do I need an umbrella today?", it gets real impressive. Then you can ask your iPhone to run commands for you by way of saying something like "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 AM". Then Siri will set your alarm for 6 AM tomorrow, as requested. It will also do other things like give you a time in another city or find you a restaurant, as you would expect.
It's unclear if Siri will be iPhone 4S exclusive, but judging by the horsepower that would likely be required, it would probably be a pretty safe bet to assume it would be iPhone 4S only. Nevertheless, Siri looks extremely cool.
The internet and its dog can relax now, Apple has just got done officially revealing and discussing its latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S.
In what seems like what the iPhone 3GS was to the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 4S looks exactly the same as the iPhone 4, but comes with a lot more power. Using the new A5 chip that is used in the iPad 2, Phil Schiller from Apple said "Dual-core CPU, 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Also dual-core graphics. Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. One area you really see it scream is in games."
Some may have been expected a low-cost iPhone in the 4S, but we really all should have known it would just be a supercharged iPhone 4. When I say just, that might not have been the right way to put it. I've been using my iPhone 4 since it was first released and it is getting on the slow side and with all the new features and improvements coming to iOS 5.0, the extra power provided by the A5 chip should make a big difference when comparing to a regular iPhone 4 with the A4 chip. Add on to this the iPhone 4S is not a 4G phone as was rumored, but it will be able to offer twice the download speeds of the iPhone 4 with HSDPA compliancy of 14.4Mbps versus 7.2Mbps of the iPhone 4.
Announcements are flowing along nicely from the Apple "Let's talk iPhone" event that is going on now and next up is discussion of "Find My Friends".
Most iPhone users would be familiar with the "Find My iPhone" feature which allows you to find your iPhone or iPad on a map and lock it and send a message to it and such. With the release of iOS 5.0 on October 12, Apple will release a addition which looks for humans.
Once opted into the service, your added friends will be able to see where you are anywhere in the world on a map. This is a nice little feature, but from the look of the photos from the event, it doesn't look any better than what Google has been doing with its "Latitude" app for ages now.
Apple's currently running "Let's talk iPhone" event started off boring, but it's starting to get interesting. We've already seen a fresh new Apple-made app called "Cards". And now... Apple fanboys, wait for it.
Finishing off his presentation, Scott Forstall from Apple announced that they will push out their latest version operating system iOS 5.0 to the world on October 12.
This will bring along some really neat features along with a vastly improved notification system and deep Twitter integration.
Enjoy the Superman reference? If not, I meant Phantom Zone, which means that Microsoft have killed the Zune, officially. Microsoft have removed all references to the Zune HD from its Zune site on Monday and later claimed that the removal was "a mistake". I don't think so, Microsoft. It looks as though they might have removed them early, and the removal was pushed mistakenly. A new support article on Microsoft Zune's support pages makes it very clear:
We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.
This confirmation is the arrow to the heart of Zune, as they've failed to prove popular against Apple's iPod. Microsoft did kill off their original Zune-based devices earlier this year, which was the beginning of the inevitable end. Microsoft urged customers to purchase Windows Phone 7 devices for the Zune experience.
We're on the verge of something we've been eagerly wanting to drench our eyes all over for many months; some concrete substance straight from the horse's mouth - that being Apple's next generation iPhone 5! - Rest assured, we'll have our full scoop on that for you as soon as Apple winds things up (less than few hours away from the time of this post).
In the meantime, we can get a bit of a jump and form at least part assumption on it thanks to a new advertisement posted via Facebook from Apple accessories partner, LUXA2. Their newly posted advertisement shows off a bunch of differing themed iPhone 5 cases they have readied up ahead of launch to help give your iPhone 5 some added character.
Sprint is currently the number 3 wireless carrier in the US and to try and turn this around, they've ordered an astonishing $20 billion worth of next-gen iPhones. Sprint are hoping that the next-gen iPhone is that good, as this is a matter of do-or-die. Currently, Sprint have 52 million subscribers who are mostly pre-paid, but with $20 billion worth of next-gen iPhones, I'd be willing to wager that they want to get those customers off pre-paid and onto contracts.
This move allows Sprint to subsidize the $500 cost of each handset and should give Sprint a running start. 30 million-plus iPhones sure is a lot of iPhones...
Nokia's low-end phones account for 47 percent of the company's device-and-services earnings in the second quarter, so it would make sense that they'd design their own OS for the low-end phone market. The OS codenamed "Meltemi" is meant to cement Nokia's top dog status in emerging markets, where feature phones still remain king. Nokia of course still hopes that Windows Phone will round out a "three-horse race" against Apple with iOS and Google with Android.
Meltemi is a Linux-based operating system, with Meltemi the Greek word for "dry summer winds that blow across the Aegean Sea from the north".
Apple seem to change their mind quicker than most companies, and this news is no different. It looks as though Apple might be working on its own GPU technology which would see an Apple-based GPU that would power more than just desktop systems, but quite possibly any future iteration of their iOS-based devices. It might seem like a stretch, but the smartphone and tablet industry is moving more and more away from CPU-based designs to GPU-based designs.
As we see the industry move away and we have companies like NVIDIA making strides in the market, Apple will obviously want a piece of this pie. Apple would obviously not want to create its own CPU as that is quite the engineering effort, and it would be a copy cat design of another company like Intel, AMD or Arm. Graphics allows innovation in new and unusual ways - plus production can be offloaded to places like TSMC.
We have NVIDIA and AMD fighting in the DirectX corner, but an open graphics platform allows for much more flexibility - if you can be certain of what kind of hardware you're targeting. With Apple, there is no option, so it would be a very fixed/stable environment - this is perfect for introducing a slew of new and unusual features and methodologies in a GPU. It would be very different to anything else on the market, because of Apple's very tight grip of its environment.
Samsung has expanded its Galaxy Tab range with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. From the name, you would obviously guess its a 7-inch tablet, but it sports a PLS (Super Plane to Line Switching) display with a 1024 x 600 pixel display, running Android 3.2 Honeycomb and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which is looking to be the Exynos 4120. Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus also sports quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support and tri-band 3G with 21Mbps HSPA as well as two cameras.
First up there's a 2-megapixel, front-facing camera and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera capable of taking 720p video. We also see 1GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery that is standard on all models. Honeycomb gets Samsung's splash of TouchWiz UI wonder, and size wise we get options of either 16 or 32GB. Both include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS and Bluetooth. The 7-inch tablet is quite small, measuring in at 192.65 x 122.37 x 9.96 mm and weighs in at only 0.76 pounds, or just 12.16 ounces.
JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business chimes in with:
Samsung pioneered the seven-inch tablet market with the launch of the GALAXY Tab, marking an innovation milestone in the mobile industry. Building on the success of the GALAXY Tab, we're now delighted to introduce the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus reloaded with enhanced portability, productivity and a richer multimedia experience.
Amazon has finally unveiled their Android-based tablet, which is now known as the Kindle Fire. The 7-inch, 1024x600 device will feature a heavily customized interface tailored around Amazon's services and starting at a surprisingly low price of just $200. In order to get to the sub $200 price point, Amazon have had to cull a few features from the Kindle Fire such as 3G access, a microphone and front/back cameras. Kindle Fire does however include Wi-Fi and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which is normally $79 per year.
What that means is, you'll get a taste of Amazon's collection of streaming video content and free or discounted shipping for your purchases at Amazon.com. Not only that, but you'll also gain access to the Android Appstore, Kindle books, magazines, and more - all stored for free through the Amazon Cloud Storage and synced between devices invisibly in the background. Whispersync now works with video content, so you can pick up where you left off in a movie or TV show even after switching devices.