You would think that the Pope of all people would be grabbing one of those new fandangled iPad thingos, but no, he will be using an Android-powered device to remotely light a giant Christmas tree display attached to the side of a mountain... 200km away.
So, if you are going to be driving around this Christmas looking at lights, this might be a good place to start. MSNBC has reported directly from the Vatican newswire:
Benedict XVI will activate the illumination from his apartments in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He will touch the screen of a Sony "Tablet" with an "Android" operating system which, via the Internet, will transmit the command to switch on the electric current to the tree.
OnLive have released a new update to its Android and iOS app which allows PC-quality high-definition gameplay to a very wide range of smartphones, tablets and media players. This includes the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Kindle Fire.
The app is available on Thursday, December 8 and will add complete gameplay support for any game offered through the OnLive service, which includes some of the latest AAA games on the market right now such as Batman: Arkham City, L.A. Noire, Assassin's Creed: Revelations and more.
The previous version of the OnLive app only allowed users to use the OnLive marketplace and access the social features of the service, but after tomorrow, you'll be able to play any game as long as you're connected to Wi-Fi, and if not, it'll also work over 3G and 4G LTE connections with a minimum speed of just 1Mbps.
Amazon's Kindle Fire licks Ice Cream Sandwich, works out that Fire and Ice actually work very well together
Amazon's Kindle Fire just can't seem to stay out of the spotlight for more than 32 or so seconds, and today is no different. The Amazon tablet has gotten some love from developmental OS releases, such as CyanogenMod 7.
Today thought, XDA-Developers forum member g1011999 has been a tease and showed off a shot Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Kindle Fire, as well as promising a kernel release in the near future. It's not finished however, and like Ice Cream that hasn't been in the freezer long enough, it's still a bit unstable.
Samsung's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone may be available internationally, but U.S.-based fans are still waiting on the subsidized CDMA version to be sold by none other than Verizon and made available this Friday.
The Galaxy Nexus will be available for $199 on a two-year contract, which is something that has now been confirmed. The smartphone will also be the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone to officially arrive in the U.S. market. If you don't already know, the Galaxy Nexus sports the beautiful AMOLED display which comes in at 4.65-inches with a high-density resolution of 1280x720.
 I have received some e-mails and comments on this article, after some more digging around - there are conflicting reports of a $199 figure, which could've been a Black Friday sale amount, and there is a $299 figure floating around too. It could all be a marketing stunt too, as the Galaxy Nexus is most likely going to be the biggest competitor against the iPhone 4S. I guess we'll see in just over a days time.
Tech-wise, we have a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4460 processor, 1GB of RAM, a choice between 16 or 32GB internal storage, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with a back-lit CMOS sensor and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera that can be used for those awesome self-taken shots for MySpace, ah, who am I kidding, Facebook, or alternatively, video calls.
Good Guy Intel has decided to help smaller companies build ultrabooks, with their end goal of making sure that the customer base has a wide selection of options to choose from. Flooding the market with ultrabooks will only combat the bigger players like Apple, but if Apple are selling next-gen 22nm Ivy Bridge-based notebooks, who is winning here? Oh wait, Intel, and... Intel.
Intel plan to help smaller companies build relationships with partners such as Foxconn, Quanta, and Compal. CNET published an article claiming this, and have also said that Intel will be wanting more machines released from Onkyo, Viewsonic, Mustek, Epson, Motion Computing, Positivo, and WiPro. Smaller brands don't always have the capabilities or resources to build ultrabooks, and this is why Intel are lending a hand to offer their support, contants and guidance.
Big players such as Dell, ASUS, Toshiba and Acer are already well on their way to the ultrabook goodness. Intel have also put $300 million into an "ultrabook Fund", which is set aside to develop critical features such as battery life, chassis design and the touch interface.
Apple are on the constant offensive against jailbreaking, but at the same time, they must know it sells their iOS-based units like golden hotcakes made by Christina Hendricks, in the land of Unicorns and rivers that flow Coca Cola. They must.
Enter hacker iH8sn0w, who has found a way around the firmware block, with his app iFaith, a custom Windows tool. This allows devices to restore to the old 5.x firmware. Prominent iOS hackers MuscleNerd and pod2g have both stated that the first untethered jailbreak will arrive on iOS 5.0 and, as such, may require iFaith's downgrade process to facilitate user restores.
To check more details out, watch the video below:
China, where all things like this seem to start, has done it again. A first-of-its-kind tablet, which sports Google's latest Android 4.0 OS is priced under $100 and for sale right now. It will reach the shores of other countries in the coming weeks and months.
The tablet comes from a company called Ainol, and is called the "Novo7". Novo7 sports a 7-inch capacitive screen and runs on just a 1GHz single-core MIPS processor. Battery life seems good, with claims of eight hours whilst watching video, seven hours if you're just browsing the web and six hours when playing games.
Dell has just removed their 7-inch, Android Honeycomb-powered Dell Streak from the U.S. market, which followed the 5-inch Streak which was discontinued earlier this year. Dell's official product page for the 7-inch tablet now says that the "product is no longer available online."
Dell still plan to sell the Streak in China and other markets. Their decision to remove the Streak off the market comes to no surprise, as the product have experienced luke-warm reviews, slow sales, and competition from not only full-featured 7-inch tablets like Samsung's Galaxy Tab, but Barnes & Nobles Nook Tablet and Amazon's Kindle Fire.
I won't lie, I want this now. I don't want to wait, so if Samsung have to build a time machine before hand, I'm fine with that. Onto the news, though. Samsung have released a concept video which shows what they think the future of smartphones and tablets might look like.
The video begins with a ringing phone which is then rolled out which forms a video conferencing tablet as others look at it in sheer amazement. The remaining 30 seconds show off different uses for the concept device, such as the user taking a shot of text through the camera on a restaurant menu and the tablet displaying the dish in 3D.
Last week, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a set of patent applications from Apple that reveal another series of iPhone camera technologies. Patently Apple covered this, as they're a site dedicated to Apple patents and have said:
One of Apple's latest inventions relating to a next generation auto exposure algorithm may have actually slipped into Apple's latest iPhone 4S. The second invention revealed this week relates to "Automatic Tone Mapping Curve Generation." Apple has made a number of great advancements in their latest iPhone 4S camera that now makes it even easier for consumers to capture those great at-the-moment photos that make everlasting memories. Other patented technologies that made it into this year's iPhone 4S include video stabilization and face detection. If you happen to be a camera aficionado, then you might just want to delve into an overview of Apple's latest goodies.
This is something we knew was coming, after the success ASUS have enjoyed with their Transformer line of Android-powered tablets, we now hear the news of the ASUS Padfone which is set to debut early next year.
ASUS' Padfone is expected at MWC 2012 in February and is reportedly going to sport NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC. This should mean it should be just as fast as ASUS' other Tegra 3-sporting Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which if you remember, is a quad-core (with a fifth companion core) rocking device.
Does this mean we're headed into quad-core smartphone territory as early as February 2012? Exciting times ahead for not only ASUS, but Google, NVIDIA and every single one of us tech heads!
Could it be? According to Japanese blog Macotakara, Apple is heading toward a 2012 release of both a 4G LTE iPhone and iPad on NTT DoCoMo, the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan.
If we have a fall arrival of the iPhone 5, it would make sense as it would've been twelve months since the release of the iPhone 4S. NTT DoCoMo's president, Koyoyuki Tsujimura and vice president Takashi Yamada have allegedly met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in mid-November to discuss the deal.
At the meeting, they reportedly "agreed in principle" to sell both the next-generation iPhone and iPad, and the executives apparently agreed to "the rules of the game", including order commitment. Apple have shot down talk of the 4G LTE chipsets before, deeming them not fully optimized for low power consumption on mobile devices. Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said on an April 2011 earnings call:
The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make.
ASUS' awesome looking Eee Pad Transformer Prime is set to be released in just under two weeks from now, with a release date for online purchases on December 12, and retail shelves one week later on December 19.
ASUS could change these dates slightly, depending on how pre-orders go, but if you're after one, you should be able to get your hands sticky with some goody Ice Cream Sandwich before Santa arrives.
In regards to price, the 32GB version is $499, 64GB will sell for $599 and if you'd like the keyboard dock, it will set you back $149. Quick and nice news on the Prime today, hopefully ASUS send us one or thirty to review, keep and rub against our faces making lovey sounds against.
Samsung have today announced their first Cortex-A15 System-on-a-Chip (SoC), the Exynos 5250. The chip is clocked at 2GHz and is built on a 32nm process, which should offer competitive per core performance as the Qualcomm and TI designs that will come out in 2012.
Compute performance is set to be doubled over the current 1.5GHz Cortex-A9-based Exynos processors, and memory bandwidth is quoted at 12.8GB/sec. Samsung haven't mentioned the on-board GPU, where performance is expected to be four-fold over their earlier Exynos models, which should kick some ass against Apple's A5 SoC.
New power-saving technology involves a low-power frame buffer for static screens, which should allow the GPU to be fully powered down when displaying just the home screen or another static image. Next-generation tablet screens are expected to hit WQXGA (2560x1600), which means the GPU will have to be suped up to handle it.
Le news of today is LePhone S2 which has been teased as a Windows Phone, but Lenono have confirmed this news yesterday that an upcoming product will be released powered by Microsoft's mobile OS.
LePhone was released in May 2010 and enjoyed 700,000 sales, nothing to brag about, but better than nothing. Product manager Chen Yue told iMobile that Lenovo is now aiming to release a Windows Phone in the second half of 2012.
But that's it - no other information. No specs, no prices, no mention of an international launch. LePhone. It has a nice ring to it.
If you want an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device, Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is your only real choice. Well, so you thought. An Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet has surfaced in China, and looks to be a Xoom clone.
It uses dated hardware, but still runs Android 4.0.1. The device is a 10.1-inch tablet, and sports an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, dual cameras, GPS, HDMI, a 7000 mAh battery, and a 3G SIM card slot.
Google has updated Maps for Android to version 6.0, and has been released into the wild that is the Android Market in the U.S. and Japan today. Included with it is retail and airport floor plans for indoor navigation.
The indoor maps aren't as good as the outdoor navigation, so there's no turn-by-turn navigation, but it does provide layouts for the nearest shops, bathroom or elevator. The information is pulled from the same spot it is now "My Location", but it has been optimized to detect movement along the z-axis.
This is not something you'd expect from the can't-do-anything-wrong Apple, but during a flight in Australia, an iPhone spontaneously began smoking and emitting a red glow. Passengers aboard Regional Express flight ZL319 were welcomed to their destination in Sydney, Australia by a somewhat frightening ordeal.
Regional Express said that a passenger's iPhone began "emitting a significant amount of dense smoke" shortly after the flight landed, and the smoke was accompanied by a red glow. The device was extinguished by a flight attendant with no passenger's or crew injured. The phone itself was an iPhone 4, and not the new iPhone 4S model.
Rumor has it that Apple are planning to release a new 4-inch iPhone, if reports on MacoTakara are to be believed. They claim that both Sony and Hitachi have already begun preparing 4-inch LCD screens for a new iOS-based device which will be released in early 2012.
According to an Asian source, Hitachi Display, Ltd. and Sony Mobile Display Corporation started shipping 4-inch LCDs for a new iOS device and LCD for the iPad 3. These 2 companies will merge their business with Toshiba Mobile Display Co. Ltd., as "Japan Display" in spring 2012.
Motorola's DROID 4 is upon us, and we should see it slide onto Verizon on December 8 which is when Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is meant to drop. DROID 4 is pretty much what the DROID 3 should've been, but we're over that now, because it's nearly here.
DROID 4 sports a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, connection to the 4G LTE network through Verizon, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass and water-repellent nanocoating to protect against spills, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 1785 mAh battery, 4.0-inch qHD display and most importantly, a 5-row slightout keyboard that sports side-lit keys. Tasty.
The below picture also shows how the DROID handsets have grown up, and the DROID 4 is definitely growing into something that will perk the interest of quite a few people. Exciting.
Sony's clamshell tablet, the Sony Tablet P, has gone on sale in the UK, with it, bringing a pretty heavy price tag of just under £500. The Tablet P packs a Tegra 2, dual 5.5-inch screens and sports Android Honeycomb 3.2.
The Tablet P also includes Sony's PlayStation certification, like the Tablet S has. Sony also claims that the styling will make it more comfortable to hold sideways for reading books, but most would be put off by its very unusual design.
Sony have timed the release of Tablet P right in time for the launch of ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime which packs the deliciously awesome Ice Cream Sandwich OS. But, for Sony fans, this could be just the P they've been looking for.