In knowing it's where much of the activity is of late, Cyberlink, makers of one of the most popular DVD and Blu-ray playback softwares of all time have acknowledged the massive uprising of Android powered devices, thus making efforts to produce "PowerDVD Mobile" which it has just now made available on the Android marketplace.
PowerDVD Mobile is an all-in-one media player suited to tablets running Android Honeycomb (3.x). With it you can create playlists, organize your media collection, stream media from a PC that also has PowerDVD installed, wirelessly save MP4 videos, photos and music from PowerDVD on the PC, and of course provide video, music and photo playback. There is also a function for one-click photo enhancement and slideshow creations.
MeeGo's future is looking a little grim at this time with little to no takeup from partners which has resulted in Intel apparently putting its in-house OS on hold well into 2012, if not eventually choosing to bomb it entirely.
With Nokia choosing to stick to variants of Symbian (Belle being a newly launched revision) and setting its sights ahead on Windows Phone (apart from the N9, the only phone Nokia chose to use MeeGo on), and most other smartphone and tablet makers opting for Android or WP7, it's become a case of 'can't beat 'em? Then join 'em' for Intel which Digitimes reports is looking to transfer efforts into Android and WP work.
However, with that said, Windows Phone raises a question in that it currently only runs on ARM processors; even more specifically, due to chassis guidelines from Microsoft around what WP7 partners are allowed to use, a Qualcomm Snapdragon.
Nokia Australia has just announced that their MeeGo-based Nokia N9 will be available through Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and all major retailers next month. The suggested price is AUD$799 before subsidies and taxes. Retailers that are set to receive the Nokia N9 are Allphones, Big W, Crazy John's, Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi, Fone Zone, Harvey Norman, Leading Edge Telecoms, Network Communications, TeleChoice and Virgin Mobile.
Ross Parker, general manager of Devices and Pricing at Vodafone said:
The N9 will be Nokia's flagship device for 2011 with good reason, and we are thrilled to be delivering the N9 to our customers on Australia's best value mobile plan range, Vodafone Infinite.
Samsung have sure been busy, they've just announced two new products in the GALAXY-branded family at the IFA trade show in Germany. First up we have the GALAXY Note smartphone which is a 5.3-inch, 1280x800-pixel Super AMOLED crazy looking smartphone. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted it. It will be powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core, include an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a huge 2,500 mAh battery and software wise we have Android 2.3 Gingerbread as well as Samsung's dab of paint with their TouchWiz UI.
On the tablet front, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 is you guessed it, a 7.7-inch Android-powered tablet. It will sport a 1280x800-pixel Super AMOLED Plus display, the same 1.4GHz dual-core chip, embedded HSPA+ connectivity, up to 64GB of internal storage, dual cameras, a 5,100 mAh battery as well as Android 3.2 Gingerbread as well as the Samsung TouchWiz UI layer.
HTC are ready to launch their first true Android-based, 10.1-inch tablet, called HTC Jetstream. Previously known as Puccini, the tablet will sport Android 3.1 and LTE support, with a fallback to HSPA+ 3G if needed. It comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon which is capable of both recording and playing back 1080p video. The Jetstream will rock HTC's custom Sense interface and will be a first for a tablet-native OS and includes many of the famous HTC Sense widgets.
Jetstream sports a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and also features a microSDHC slot for increase storage capacity. Price wise, we're looking at US$700 for the cellular-capable Jetstream, with obvious bundles available from AT&T. Early buyers get an optional Scribe stylus for free.
Sony is trying to push music players in a new direction with the introduction of a prototype, Android-based Walkman. The new Walkman prototype is designed "for music lovers by music lovers," said engineer Shinichiro Torii in an interview at the IFA electronics show. The new Walkman does have a few tricks up its sleeves, unlike normal Walkman's where they only played music, the new Android-based Walkman has the ability to run thousands of Android applications from the Android Market.
This new ability pushes into line with Apple's iPod Touch which has the ability to run apps, as well as the large market of smartphones which run Android or iOS. The prototype has been dubbed Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player (for now).
General manager of digital music player product planning (what a job title!), Toshimichi Nagashima says:
This is our first try to make convergence between Android products and our own technology," said Toshimichi Nagashima, general manager of digital music player product planning, but more appear likely in the future. After reviewing the customers' acceptance, we'll decide how to expand this kind of product. We have some confidence for this product. We may expand this kind of product in the future after getting some feedback.
Amazon's 10.1-inch tablet PC will go into mass production in early 2012 with Foxconn Electronics handling orders according to sources from upstream component suppliers. Foxconn also handles Amazon's Kindle e-book readers with estimated volumes sitting at around 15-18 million units which accounts for 60-70% of the entire global e-book reader shipments from the total of 25-30 million units in 2011.
Amazon's 7-inch tablet PC, which is supplied by Quanta Computer, is expected to start shipping in October.
IFA 2011 - Sony just got done with one of the first major press conferences of IFA 2011 in Berlin, Germany where as expected they unveiled two Android tablets.
While few hardware specs were discussed during the announcement, the Sony tablet S will go on sale in September in Europe and cost 479 euros. And a little later on in November, Sony will bring out the Sony tablet P which will come in at 599 euros.
Some of the big featured discussed is that both tablets will come with full Playstation certfication. The big nosie being made by Sony during the announcement were that Sony tablets are "simple and beautiful to use". A feature called "Simple App" was mentioned brefiedly that is a new way by Sony to organise app which is said to "help users spend less time navigating the app store and more time to just use and play wat they want".
Additionally, both tablets will come with cross-device connectivity that allows you to use your tablet to control your Sony Bravia television and stream movies etc to it from within your house. Clearly Sony has worked hard to leverage all of its business units into its tablet line including games, movies, TV shows and Sony brand music. One of the last lines delivered was, "so much to enjoy". It seems like it - you'll have to wait a little bit longer and then we'll find out for sure.
Until the end of September, Apple have stopped the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The ongoing war between Apple and Samsung strengthens with Apple winning a further delay that will see the Galaxy Tab 10.1 not sold in Australia. Apple have sued Samsung in Sydney Federal court last month claiming that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 product infringes upon Apple patents. Apple added that Samsung have used 10 of their patents in the 10.1 design and that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has the 'look and feel' of the iPad.
Samsung hit back by saying that the claim was based on the US version of the Tab 10.1 and that the Australian version of the tablet is different. Samsung even supplied Apple with three samples of the 10.1 tablet which was due to be on Australian shelves. It is reported by BloomBerg that the new model had reduced functionality, but it still infringed on two Apple patents according to Apple lawyer Steve Burley.
It's pretty pathetic if you ask me... how are the 10.1-inch tablets all meant to not look like the iPad.
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Microsoft have possibly shown off a Windows 8-based tablet at TechEd with a report from IT consultant Alan Burchill, an attendant at Tech Ed in New Zealand. Burchill says that Microsoft would be giving out these tablets to attendees at an "upcoming Microsoft event," but since the news has gone live, it has disappeared unfortunately.
Microsoft have of course, not commented on the story, but considering Windows 8 is going from strength to strength, it is not that out of the question. Microsoft also said during TechEd that there are quad-core, Windows 7-based slates coming later this year which are set to sport a 10-inch HD screen, be capable of 1080p playback and have an impressive eight hours of battery life.
No mention was made of what processor would be running the device, but considering Intel doesn't make any quad-core x86 chips with the kind of low voltage needed to provide eight hours of battery life, we'll have to wait and see.
Ah, HTC Sense, how I love your weather widgets and according to XDA.cn, the new HTC Sense 3.5 has been teased. Sense 3.0 had some crazy requirements from HTC that made it require a dual-core and if you didn't have one, you were out of luck. HTC are now doing a 180-degree turn on this and according to XDA.cn, older models of HTC phones should be capable of cranking that beautiful UI you see below.
3.5 is still reported to use the ring style unlocking system that 3.0 did, but will hopefully show more notifications for weather and messages than it did before. The Sense widgets have been updated as you can see above with the weather widget taking up virtually the entire screen. There are now two buttons down the bottom, one for applications and one for the phone. All I can say is "do want."
Own an ASUS Transformer? Fan of Netflix? Well, this just might interest you. There are claims that the 220.127.116.11 build for the ASUS Transformer enables sideloading of the Netflix app. At the moment the only Netflix-certified tablets are the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad Tablet, which meant Honeycomb tablet owners were forced to sideload the app, something that wasn't possible on the ASUS Transformer.
If this new update was intentional to include the app, then great. If not, then I'd suggest you quickly update so you get the app in case ASUS remove it from the next build.
It was only last month when Microsoft unveiled the SGH-i937 Mango Windows Phone 7 handset and included was a front-facing camera. Microsoft has now confirmed that future Mango-based phones will definitely include front-facing cameras as well as Skype integration. Confirmation of this came from the TechEd event in New Zealand where two Microsoft employees also revealed Microsoft's Lync VoIP client will feature in other platforms such as iOS, Android and Symbian.
Despite everyone turning their noses up at it in a world now filled with acceptance only to iOS, Android, or [insert any other mobile OS], Nokia is still keeping Symbian alive with another update, Symbian Belle.
Nokia has officially disclosed details on the update today and said it will debut this quarter on three new smartphones, the Nokia 600, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701.
Some of the primary advantages to the update include an increase to the number of home screens possible (from three to six), redesigned widgets that come in five different sizes, a pull down menu and a taskbar for easy access to notifications. Improvements have also been made to the platform's web browser along with single-tap NFC sharing and pairing being possible.
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Android and iOS continue to fight for the US smartphone market and according to a recent NPD study, both companies saw an increase in marketshare for Q2 2011. Android takes 52% of the marketshare whilst Apple plays with its 29%. webOS, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile all stuck with 5% shares with no yearly change which left BlackBerry OS to have an 11% decline. Google's new toy, Motorola, saw a 3% year-on-year decline, with [surprisingly] the biggest loss coming from Android-based unit sales.
This was a 50% drop to 22% of the market. Interesting, isn't it? Maybe Google can swing things around for Motorola now that they own them. Only time will tell.
Apple's next "absolutely different" product rumored, could we see something revolutionary, magic, again?
Think back before the iPod, could you have imagined how much it would change the industry? What about the iPhone? Could you have predicted that? Well, Makorakara, a Japanese site has published a rumor on what the next "absolutely different" Apple product could be. The rumor contains no detail at all, but here it is:
According to anonymous source in Asian supplier company, Apple seems to be preparing project to release new Mac line-up which is absolutely different from current products until end of this year.
Though this source does not told in detail, this new Mac line seems to be clearly different products from current ones, so new product name could be given.
Now, they say it's a new "Mac line", and if it were up to my "expertise", I would be guessing a touchscreen Mac? Or maybe a touchscreen MacBook? But, personally... if I was in control of this, here is my idea - let me know what you think:
Are wings enough to save Vodafone and Red Bull? Well, we'll find out later this year when another mobile reseller enters the market in Red Bull branding. Vodafone has announced that it has signed up an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) with a difference. The difference? Red Bull branding. This will bring Red Bull branded handsets, "competitive" tariffs" and access to Red Bull TV services through the handset, as well as exclusive ticket access to Red Bull events. Oh and probably, wings.
Red Bull isn't new to this mobile game however, they operate Red Bull MOBILE in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium, Poland and South Africa. Red Bull MOBILE is slated to launch later in the year with pricing and handset offerings to follow.
Here's something useful from iOS 5! Following the devastating earthquake and following tsunami on March 11 of this year in Japan, Apple has added a new early earthquake warning notification option in their upcoming iOS 5. Japan-based iOS 5 users can turn on early earthquake notifications at the very bottom of the iOS 5 Notification Center settings pane. All that is required is the flick a switch (as shown below in the picture) and if an earthquake hits, you'll get anything from a few seconds to one or two minutes warning before the earthquake hits.
Time profiled Japan's earthquake warning system this year and explains the history of the system:
Japan has the most advanced earthquake early-warning system in the world. A nationwide online system launched in 2007, it detects tremors, calculates an earthquake's epicenter and sends out brief warnings from its 1,000-plus seismographs scattered throughout the country, one of the most earthquake-prone nations on the planet.
For those of us who can't read Japanese, the picture above also says that the feature may reduce your battery life as it is always connected to Japan's earthquake warning system.
It was only two weeks ago that Apple had beta 5 of their upcoming iOS 5 software but now developers can get their dirty mits on iOS 5 beta 6 if they wish.
iOS 5 beta 6 includes new betas for iTunes, XCode and Apple TV. If anyone else spots anything of value on the beta, please comment below! Enjoy! You can grab it here, if you're a developer that is.