What's the best way to reach a friend quickly? Facebook message? Wall post? Text message? Well, it seems to be getting easier with the introduction of Messenger from Facebook, a new mobile app that is said to simplify how messaging works, giving you a faster way to message friends and small groups. Messenger is a separate app and only takes one click to get to your messages or send a new one.
Messages are delivered through notification and texts, so your friends should get them virtually instantly. Messenger is capable of reaching all of your friends, whether they're on your friends list on Facebook or part of your phone contacts, all that is required is for you to type their name. The new Messenger app is an extension of Facebook messages which means all of your conversations are in the single place, inclusive of texts, chats, emails and messages. So if you're on your phone or on the Web, you'll have a full history of your messages.
There are only a few tablets on the market where the operating system and the hardware are all made in house. The Apple iPad is the most famous, Blackberry has the Playbook and now we've got HP releasing the TouchPad. However, unlike the iPad, both the Playbook and the Touchpad launched with a somewhat beta-ish feeling.
The operating systems on both units are glitchy at launch, but I'm happy to say that the Playbook has matured nicely into a market ready tablet in just a few short months. HP's TouchPad seems to have a similar pattern, but has only been on the market a few weeks, so they've got a few major updates to go before they get there.
Having said that WebOS, the TouchPad's OS, is a great piece software. It seems naturally suited to the 9.7-inch screen size, with a card-based interface that makes multitasking easy and even fun. There's no rear-facing camera and the selection of native apps available for the device is minimal, but for basic browsing, emailing and reading, the device performs beautifully and the app selection should only get better in time...
First discovered back in February of this year and with several updates suggesting availability by mid year, Dell's Latitude XT3 convertible tablet PC is finally looking to be readying up for sale with a listing popping up on Dell's US and Canadian websites.
The XT3 runs dimensions of 323 (W) x 221.7 (D) x 30.9 (H) mm, using a 13.3-inch (1366x768) touchscreen LCD which supports both pen and finger input. It has a tri-metal construction ensuring high durability and a spill resistant keyboard.
The display can be rotated easily from notebook to tablet via its bi-directional hinge. Packed inside the unit is a 2nd-gen Core i7 processor running on the Mobile Intel QM67 chipset with HD 3000 graphics, DVD drive, HD webcam, Gigabit ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, optional Bluetooth 3.0, a GPS and mobile broadband, ExpressCard (34mm) slot, card reader and choice of a 6 or 9 cell battery.
Telstra have announced today that they are launching their 4G/LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology on August 29, ahead of the national launch of 4G-based services expected later this year. Telstra switched on its first 4G base stations back in May based on the LTE technology. 2000 Telstra USB 4G mobile broadband modems would be made available to business and enterprise customers who live in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from August 29.
Thodey has been quoted:
Telstra's 4G-enabled network is the next generation in mobile broadband and is set to offer Australians an even faster mobile connection. The commercial pilot will give some of our customers a taste of the faster speeds, greater capacity and quicker response times that can be available for mobile services on 4G ahead of our national launch in major capital cities and selected regional centres later this year.
Could the new iPhone feature an 8-megapixel camera? It seems the rumors from months ago of the next-generation iPhone featuring an 8-megapixel camera could turn out ot be true. The iPhone 5 could use an 8-megapixel camera that is 20-percent slimmer than any other 8-megapixel camera in commercial use today. Omnivision have built a new camera which is only 4.7mm in heigh, reduced from 6.5mm included in the current 4.5-megapixel camera used in the iPhone 4.
Senior product manager at Omnivision, Per Rosdahl, released a statement regarding the new camera saying:
With our new OmniBSI-2 architecture, we have further miniaturized our pixels while delivering a 20 percent improvement in peak quantum efficiency in all color channels, a 35 percent improvement in low-light sensitivity and a 45 percent increase in full-well capacity in an extremely compact and power efficient package. This 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel enables the next generation of miniaturization in mobile cameras, and is key to the high-resolution smartphone camera roadmap.
iOS 5 is building momentum and it seems every week there's a new beta that is popped out of the oven and into the proverbial mits of developers around the world. Today is no different with beta 5 of iOS 5 available. At the moment there is not much information on it apart from the release notes mentioning the possibility of multiple iCloud accounts, whether this will make it to the final release is another question.
Dates have been shifting around quite a bit lately, but the latest indication of when the Apple iPhone 5 will launch looks to be September 23. A little more concrete shows that either way, this is also the launch date for Nokia's MeeGo powered N9 smart phone, at least in Sweden it looks like it. A countdown page on Nokia's swedish webpage gives the hint, but it doesn't necessarily mean it applies to all the markets getting the N9, though it's becoming safer to assume most markets should have it by late September.
Running back over the N9, it is Nokia's first MeeGo device, featuring a 3.9-inch curved glass AMOLED display (running 854x480 res). It has a 1GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor, 1GB of RAM, between 16 and 64GB of built-in storage, rear facing 8MP Carl Zeiss equipped auto focus camera and dual LED flash allowing for 720 video recording, and front facing camera for video calling.
Samsung's Google Android-powered Galaxy Tab 8.9 is making its way to Amazon.co.uk for pre-order and ships on August 13. With only a week until launch, the 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab is sporting a price of £605 but is the 3G version. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 made it's British launch today, the 4th of August. So only a week between the 10.1 and 8.9-inch Tab's is not too bad at all. If anyone gets their hands on a Galaxy Tab 8.9, please let me know how you go!
It looks as though Apple might be merging its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into a single unified platform for applications and cloud-based services as soon as 2012, starting with the MacBook Air. Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he sees this transition possible with the next-gen MacBook Air's custom next-generation "A6" processor. This would mean the new iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air would be A6-powered by 2012.
Misek has been quoted:
We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength. Our preliminary view is that Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem's needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices. When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture.
Logitech have released their Android tablet products, including a keyboard (and included case), a mouse and finally, wireless speakers. The products are of the usual Logitech quality, very well built and definitely give off a sense of quality. They're all Bluetooth-powered which means they'll work with your Android tablet without any cables which just makes things that much easier. Take a look at the video below for a brief description and run-through of the new Logitech Android tablet products.
The digital imaging experts at OmniVision Technologies have just polished off their latest piece of tech for smart phones and tablets, a new 8 Megapixel sensor designed for implementation in future ultra-slim models.
The OV8850 is the first CMOS sensor of its kind, built on a 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. It is capable of enabling autofocus modules that are 20% slimmar than what is currently available which in turn will allow for even slimmer mobile devices to be created. Where current-gen OmniBSI chips are built on 1.4-micron architecture, the OV8850 also brings significant improvements in power efficiency as well as producing a better quality image.
All three are low cost offerings at under $200 and look to give an attractive mix of features for the price. The Planet and Star variants run Android 2.2, while the Nova uses Android 2.3. All run off ARM Cortex A9 processors.
The cheapest of the three is the Star (codenamed R70B200) at just $159. It uses an 800x480 resolution ActiveTouch LCD screen and has 256MB of RAM, 2GB built-in storage, a microSD card slot, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, stereo speakers, rear and front facing camera, mini USB port and micro HDMI output.
Facebook gaming addicts rejoice! GameBox for Facebook is here and promises Facebook games on your iPad. Right now it only supports two games, Digital Chocolate's Army Attack and the ever-so-popular CityVille from Zynga. More games are obviously on their way promises the app's developer. Nothing will look different on the iPad either, everything looks the exactly as it does on Facebook.
The way it works is the actual flash rendering is happening in the cloud, with the GameBox app relaying things back and forth to your iPad. The next question is, does the developer have permission from Zynga and other game companies to do this? Right now, GameBox for Facebook is on the App Store for $2.99.
Could it be? Could Apple be releasing their next-generation iPhone just six weeks from now? According to KitGuru, "Apple sources" are claiming that the iPhone 5 will launch on Friday, September 23, 2011. There's not much else known at this point, but anything iPhone-related is juicy. Let's hope that the next phone isn't just a polished iPhone and it brings something new to the table and not just 1 - 2 features.
If you're in the market for an iPhone 4, I would highly suggest you wait it out and grab the iPhone 5 if it does indeed arrive on September 23.
AT&T's website now confirms that the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is "coming soon" which uses the new BlackBerry 7 operating system.
The phone sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and 3.2-inch 640x480 capacitive touchscreen display. Internally is a 1.2GHz processor, 8GB of storage space, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS and '4G' HSPA 14.4 Mbps support. It has a microSD card slot, rear 5MP camera (with 720p video recording) and front facing VGA camera.
The BlackBerry Touch 9810 should be available from the telco sometime later this month.
Google's Android OS has taken an amazing 48% of the smartphone market in Q2 of 2011, which is an all-time high according to a report by market research firm Canalys. Android overtook Symbian in Q4 of 2010 to become to top smartphone platform representing 32.9% market share at the time. Smartphone shipments have increased exponentially also, seeing a total of 107.7 million units shipped in Q2 of 2011 which is a 73% year-on-year growth.
Android was also the biggest driver of smartphone shipments in Q2, with Android-based smartphone shipments being 379% year-over-year higher, coming in at 51.9 million total units shipped. This is thanks to Android being on so many different branded phones such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei.
I'm going to admit something, I'm the biggest Superman fan I know. So when NVIDIA decided to codename their upcoming quad-core Tegra chip, Kal-El, my interest was a little high to say the least. I ended up purchasing an ASUS Transformer and I absolutely love it. Now the news of the next-gen ASUS Transformer is coming out and it's sounding very nice indeed, rumor has it that the next-gen tablet will include the next-gen NVIDIA quad-core Kal-El chip.
Not only that, but we might see it by October of this year! The chip is reported to be out in August, so two months in production and manufacturing is not out of hand. This would also mean that ASUS would have some very strong competition against the next-gen iPad also, which is launching in the same time frame. Nice work, ASUS. Can I get an early sample, ASUS? ;)
Apple has won a decision in the federal court that stops Samsung from selling their Android-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until patent disputes are resolved. What this means is that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 won't launch here in Australia next week and further expansion to the legal battle over 10 Apple-owned patents covering the touchscreen and "look and feel" of the iPad. Apple and Samsung are currently duking it out in courts across the world including the US, Germany, UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and now Australia.
Apple is still trying their best to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and other Samsung Android-powered phones) blocked in the US, they're currently fighting over court dates. Apple's legal counsel slammed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as a "copycat tablet," while Samsung said they would argue some of the 10 patents are not even valid in Australia.
The next hearing is scheduled for August 29, and Samsung is required to supply Apple with three Australian Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 samples before then. Samsung are ordered to stop advertising the Tab 10.1 until the matter is resolved, and Apple pays Samsung damages if they lose.
Having only just passed through FCC certification, it's a little surprising to find Sony Ericsson's new mini Xperia headsets on sale so soon, albeit only in Taiwan at this time.
The new Xperia Mini and Xperia Mini Pro are both minature Android based phones with their 3-inch screens. The Pro includes a slide-out QWERTY keypad, but is otherwise much the same as the non-Pro model.
Quickly running over the specs on tap here, they use a 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8255 SoC with Adreno 205 graphics, 512MB RAM, 320MB storage space (hmmm, bit small Sony?!), 480x320 3-inch display, 5MP rear camera capable of 720p video recording, 802.11b/g/n WiFi with DLNA support, Bluetooth 2.1, HSDPA at up to 7.2Mbit/s speed and HSUPA speeds of up to 5.76Mbit/s.
Some recent reports have been indicating the launch of Apple's fifth-gen iPhone to be as early as September which has no doubt got many of you super excited, but as the days roll on, we're finding that to be just a little out of whack.
Unfortunately while we wish we could say it's even sooner, it's looking more like a bit longer of a wait for the unveiling; the second half of October so it seems. AllThingsD's John Paczkowski seems to be fairly sure of this and other sources have also mentioned an October release date, but we are yet to get any real idea of an exact date.
At this point sources have only revealed limited details on the iPhone 5 in that it will use the faster A5 processor (which the iPad 2 uses), a Qualcomm dual mode GSM/CDMA baseband and a higher res 8MP rear camera.
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