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.
The company behind BlackBerry, Research In Motion (RIM) had a scheduled smartphone launch event in Indonesia, but had to cancel the event early. Thousands of people turned up to get their hands on the latest BlackBerry smartphone, but rumors began to spread like wildfire that the new phone had sold out, after which chaos broke out.
RIM had chosen Indonesia as the first country to receive the new Blackberry Bellagio, known as the Blackberry Bold 9790. Indonesia is a hot spot for Blackberry handsets, which is why RIM set up a special event at the Pacific Place mall in Jakarta to celebrate the event. RIM also offered a 50-percent discount to the first 1000 people to purchase the smartphone, which resulted in a line formed 24 hours before the event.
Microsoft's Craig Mundie was interviewed by Forbes Magazine where they discussed the future products coming from Microsoft. The interview also included the success and plans for Kinect as well as their Surface device.
In the interview, it was revealed that Windows Phone has voice control, with simple commands like "text Mom" and Bing searches, where its had this magical ability for a year now, wow!
Samsung have a new series of commercials where they poke fun at Apple fans, its not a dark insult, but more of a realistic view of most Apple customers. The ad starts in a lineup for Apple's iPhone 4S in New York, a similar site in most cities around launch day. A large group of Apple fans are lined up, talking about how this is "an event" and they will "remember it for the rest of their lives."
Just after this, another guy outside the line is on his smartphone and it attracts the people in the lineup, he's holding a Samsung Galaxy S II. The Apple fanboys comment on how light and thin the device is and how large the display is. Some of the quotes are "I could never get a Samsung, I'm creative", with someone saying "Dude, your'e a barista."
For those of you wanting to get on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Ice Cream Sandwich-packing phone, all before the weekend, you could be in luck. Expansys are already shipping Nexus handsets from their warehouses, with some customers reporting that they've have their orders shipped already.
You can grab an unlocked 16GB GSM (HSPA+) Nexus that works with T-Mobile and AT&T's 3G bands, right now. So you North American's can actually order one of these phones right now, for $750 and be lucky enough to get one within a few days.
Over here in Australia, I'll twiddle my thumbs and just be happy for you. I'll enjoy my Galaxy S II for now. If anyone ends up getting one, do comment below with your thoughts!
Well, this is quite the development and is sure to set a fire under the rug for most people. The only method that Kindle Fire owners will be able to install apps is through the Amazon Appstore for Android, it does not ship with Google's Android Market, period.
This means that Android developers need to make sure that their apps will be available on the Amazon Appstore, if they want to get a piece of those 12 million Fire owners that Amazon hope to have in 2012. Right up until now, Amazon has been very Apple-esque in the way that they treat developers, and publishers. By having your app on the Amazon Appstore, you give up more control than Apple actually asks of you, with you giving up the control to set your own price and control your app's description, with more restrictions behind those Fire-y curtins.
Google's open approach to the Android Market is what draws a lot of people to it, versus the rose-tinted world of Apple's App Store, or Amazon's Appstore. If the Fire does indeed sell 12 million tablets next year, what will happen to owners who want a game, or app that just isn't made available on the Amazon Appstore? I hate to think that Amazon could have this plan back fire on them...
Pre-orders are now available for ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which 100-percent confirms its December release schedule. Various North American retailers have starting putting their pre-orders up, so if you want to get one, I'd suggest you do it quick.
These things should be a pretty hot item, not just on their own, but for the holiday season ramping up already. The Tegra 3-powered tablet has the same specs we've discussed about before, but a refresher course for it is: 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, mini-HDMI, USB 2.0 port, and an SD card reader.
US-based customers can pre-order at B&H Photo, Tiger Direct and Best Buy, with those across the border in Canada-land can check out Future Shop. 32 and 64GB sizes are being made available at $500 and $600, respectively.
We knew it was coming, but Microsoft have now confirmed that there will be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. Microsoft are building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, but have optimized certain hardware components and have made firmware adjustments which is said to enable better PC-centric scenarios.
This is mixed with the upgrades and improvements the team at Microsoft are making to the SDK and runtime for Kinect, with the new hardware delivering features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for. Things like shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computer and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals.
New firmware for Kinect also allows the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40cm. Kinect is set to offer some new features such as "Near Mode" which will enable a whole new class of "close up" applications.
Citi analyst Mark Mahaney thinks that Amazon could sell as many as 12 million Fires in 2012, which could suck a decent 15-percent share of the tablet market from Apple. If his predictions are right, it would generate up roughly $3.2 billion in revenue for Amazon, or roughly 5-percent of their total revenue.
The path is clear, with an aggressive pricing strategy, an unmatched content cross-sell opportunity, a market-smart form factor, and probable product improvements - Amazon can own a substantial segment of the Tablet market.
Whatever ends up happening, it seems Amazon is going to fight fire, with Fire. Oh I did like that one if I may say so myself!
Not much to say about it, but there's a video below of a hands-on experience with ASUS' Transformer Prime, which packs NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core (with fifth "companion" core) SoC. The video is actually showing off the Prime with Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich.
I must say, it looks absolutely delicious. Maybe that's the Ice Cream Sandwich I'm drooling over, but Prime looks fast. Very fast. The video shows off the UI, movement between screens, a quick game of Riptide GP, and 1080p video playback which is absolutely seamless. The only issue is Prime will not launch with ICS, but will have it in a future update.
I now know how Twilight fans feel when they catch a glimpse of R Patz.
It's full steam ahead for Apple's next-generation iPad, the iPad 3. We've talked about it before, reporting that it would sport a 9.7-inch 2048x1536 display, but it seems that CNET's Richard Shim is claiming that the iPad 3 panels are going into production.
The new screens are said to be QXGA displays and will be manufactured by no less than three separate display suppliers which is set to ensure Apple have enough devices at launch, which is said to be in April, with an announcement the month before, in March. From CNET:
It's happening-QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There's three suppliers," Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, said in an interview today. Shim confirmed other reports that cite three companies, Samsung, Sharp, and LGD.
I was in high school when Buffy was on TV, I absolutely was in teen-love with Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Now there's rumors of the Facebook phone once again, codenamed "Buffy." The phone is reportedly going to sport a modified version of Google's Android OS which Facebook have tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services, as well as featuring support for HTML5 as a platform for applications.
Facebook have only recently chosen HTC after considering Samsung as a potential hardware partner. This means we won't see products with the Facebook branding for at least 12 months. Buffy has reportedly been an ongoing area of concert for Facebook for two years now. Buffy is led by Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, and a spokesperson for Facebook may have declined to comment on Buffy directly, but did say to AllThingsD:
Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.
The NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered tablets like ASUS' Transformer Prime and the just-rumored HTC Quattro aren't even out yet, but NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has come out and said that he expects Tegra 3-powered tablets to drop to $299 in just "a couple quarters."
Now, that's a pretty big claim, considering ASUS' Transformer Prime is set to be $500, which is already a great price compared to the iPad 2. 2012 is set to be filled with some super-fast, super-cheap, Android-rocking tablets. Christmas 2012 should be a very interesting time indeed.
Norwegian-based start-up FXI, has unveiled their new prototype, codenamed 'Cotton Candy', a cloud-client on a USB stick. Cotton Candy sports a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9, as well as a quad-core ARM Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB RAM, MicroSD reader, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, USB and HDMI outputs.
This is virtually the same hardware that powers one of the best smartphones on the market, Samsung's Galaxy S II. What is different with Cotton Candy is software. It acts as a cloud-client on-the-go. You could be running a PC with Windows, Linux, or a Mac, an Embedded device or just a TV, you'll be able to plug the Cotton Candy stick into a USB port of a PC or into the HDMI port of a TV. After you've plugged it into the device, that device turns into a portal to the cloud, allowing you to carry your own personal OS on you at all times, whilst having the experience that is identical no matter the device you're next to.
HTC are reportedly preparing a quad-core tablet that is set to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in late February, with the rumors being flared up due to a leaked picture and spec sheet of the unofficially-named HTC Quattro.
HTC Quattro is rumored to be sporting NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chip, 1GB of RAM, a 10.1-inch display with 1280x720 resolution. We also have a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, all snuggled with 16GB of on-board storage, Bluetooth 4.0 and Beats Audio. It is also rumored to include a HTC Scribe pen to prevent fingerprints on the screen.
While HTC are being quiet about the tablet, we should state that they've also confirmed (but also unannounced) the HTC Edge, which sports an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core SoC, 1GB RAM, 4.7-inch display with 1280x720 resolution, it would make sense we'd see a tablet from HTC with similar specs.
Amazon are on fire lately. First we have the release of their tablet, Kindle Fire and now we have the rumor goodness of an Amazon-branded smartphone to be released in 2012. According to a research note from Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney, Amazon are looking to release the smartphone for 2012's holiday season.
On a positive note, the smartphone would even make Amazon a profit, compared to the Kindle Fire which is currently being sold at a loss. Mahaney has checked supply chains in Asia which has led him to believe that Amazon will develop a smartphone next year. They're reportedly working with Foxconn International to develop the phone and the memo goes into detail that Foxconn won't actually manufacture the phone, that task will be passed through to Hon Hai's TMS business group.
Mahaney believes that the phone will sport a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor and is set to include Qualcomm's dual-mode 6-series baseband chip. Mahaney thinks that Amazon could produce the phone for $150 - $170 and could sell it at cost.
I don't know what to think about Apple right now, the once seemingly invincible company is now having so many issues with the iPhone 4S. First off we had the initial launch and screen quality issues, then battery life issues, then a fix for the battery life issues which caused different issues again.
Today, we have reports of a 'No SIM card installed' message coming up for some users. It's affecting all different carriers, across the world, even Sprint and Verizon Wireless users aren't immune to the issue. There are some reports of the problem being resolved with a new SIM being installed, while others believe its the SIM reader itself.