One of the biggest disappointments for me in iOS 6 hasn't been Apple's Maps application, although it comes to a very close second. It's definitely Apple's Passbook application as, for the life of me, I have yet to figure out what exactly I should be doing with it. I mean, do I have to download the Fandango application in order to have my ticket show up in my Passbook. Why don't I just use the Fandango app in order to show my ticket instead of Passbook?
Aside from my own personal frustrations with Passbook, Apple has announced today that it will be making their Apple gift cards compatible with its Passbook application.
My iPhone 5 has yet to get the smell of "new" off of its body, and already Apple is starting to ramp up production of its iPhone 5S according to reports from Chinese newspaper, Commercial Times.
According to their report, Apple will begin manufacturing a trial batch of its "iPhone 5S" starting next month which will produce 50,000 to 100,000 units. Once the trial batch meets all of the requirements Apple has set for its products, full production will begin sometime in early 2013.
The Nexus 7's recent price drops have prompted Google and ASUS to begin handing out vouchers and refunds to Nexus 7 owners who ordered the 16GB version of the tablet after October 14.
These customers get access to the ability to request Price Protection from Google, with affected consumers receiving a refund within two weeks. ASUS have also stepped up, offering 16GB Nexus 7 owners in the UK and Europe a voucher for 30 euros, or £25 ($38).
Customers who purchased from ASUS or Google directly before October 29 can apply up until the end of November, they will receive a voucher valid until the end of the year to be spend in the ASUS store.
RIM plan 36-hour event, will give away cash, PlayBooks to game developers interested in BlackBerry 10
RIM are really far behind the eight ball right now, but it looks like they're going to be rewarding game developers who work on BlackBerry 10, building up their app catalog.
Starting November 16, there'll be a God Game Port-a-Thon where RIM will give producers $100 for every game successfully ported to the upcoming BB10 platform. The more titles ported, the better the gift-giving gets.
Three or more ports gets you a free BlackBerry PlayBook, five ports nets you a Dev Alpha device to test your creations in a proper native environment, and 10 or more ports will see you win yourself a trip to the Game Developers Conference next March. There's only 36 hours to get into this gift-giving goodness, with a bunch of developers needing to get their code ready in advance to be in the running for these prizes.
The new Microsoft Surface tablet has been out long enough that a new round of bugs are popping up in regards to its longevity and durability. Users of the Touch Cover keyboard for the Surface RT tablet have reported that it is splitting at the location that it connects to the tablet.
People have noted this problem on forums as well as Twitter, as seen by the image posted to Twitter above. Some people are saying that the problem is not present in the black Touch Type keyboard, due to a different material being utilized on the bottom of the cover. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem:
Microsoft makes every effort to ensure our customers receive a high quality product. We are in active contact with our Customer Support operations and are aware of a small number of instances of material separation
Users who think they are having a problem with their keyboard cover should contact Microsoft's support.
Apple's new flagship iPhone has suffered from many bugs since its launch. You had scuffgate, the purple haze, and light leakage, among others, and now a new bug has been discovered. The bug could be either software or hardware and we're hoping it's software so that Apple can fix it quickly and painlessly.
The problem could very likely be hardware, though. The issue is with detecting swipes on the screen, and although the problem isn't going to be a huge concern for most, it could come into play for game players and game developers who need to make repeated swipes across the screen in rapid succession. Fruit Ninja comes to mind as a possible problem game.
Take a look at the video below, produced by Recombu:
The problem was originally discovered by CMA Megacorp, who noted on Twitter: "Slide finger back and forth diagonally on screen, input events drop out or stop altogether." Since the problem is only present on the new devices featuring the larger 4-inch screen, the problem likely resides in either the driver for the screen or the screen itself.
When a person decides they'd like to purchase an iPad, they have a number of options as to where they can acquire their new tablet. They can shop both online and offline directly with Apple, or choose to buy it at retailers like Radio Shack, Best Buy, Target or Walmart. The last thing someone wants to experience when they finally get their purchase home is a damaged product, which is exactly why you should think twice before shopping at Walmart.
A video from YouTube user "Anon Ymous" shows what exactly goes on behind the scenes when merchandise is being sorted. At a Walmart in Pikeville, KY, an employee decided to make a little video on why exactly customers should expect broken merchandise, like the iPad, to probably be damaged if someone decides to buy it from their store.
When iOS 6 was first announced, one of the features most people were very excited about was finally being able to make FaceTime calls over cellular service as Wi-Fi connections aren't always available, especially to those on the go. Almost immediately after Apple had made its announcement, AT&T announced it will be supporting the over-cellular FaceTime calls, but it would most likely charge its users for the feature to be used over its 3G connection, which turned the Internet upside down.
With LTE iOS devices now available, AT&T is now in the spotlight again in regards to its restrictions of FaceTime calls as it will be making them available to iPhone 5, third and fourth generation iPads. As is expected, there's a catch. The only way LTE iOS users will be able to make FaceTime calls is if they have a tiered data plan which leaves those with grandfathered unlimited data plans unable to make FaceTime calls.
The closer we get to the holiday season, the more people are going to start looking at deals so they don't break their bank account buying presents for their loved ones. One item that will most likely be on most people's holiday list this year, and every year for that matter, is the iPad. But one place you should never buy an iPad is at a gas station in Arlington, Texas.
Jalonta Freeman was pumping her gas at an Arlington gas station, when a man approached her saying he has iPads and laptops for sale. Jalonta, being the savvy consumer, thought she would take advantage of the opportunity by purchasing an iPad from the gentleman, which normally retails for $800, for only $200.
Samsung devices are a huge sales driver for T-Mobile, and well, for every other company and even the South Korean device maker themselves.
But, T-Mobile on-contract pricing can be a little bit steeper than the competition, but it looks like T-Mobile is feeling a bit festive, and this time, early. T-Mobile have a bunch of Samsung phones on sale, including the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, either for free, or very cheap, when put on a contract.
T-Mobile's pricing structure is built to incentivize you to buy phones through their Value Plans or Monthly 4G Prepaid plans, but it looks like this weekend's sales are pushing customers toward their Classic Plan, which will give customers the chance of saving hundreds of dollars if they grab a Note II or Galaxy S III.
Bloat on Android phones comes in the way of pre-loaded applications, skins and UI, and now we have Rich Minder, the co-founder of the Android project and current General Partner at Google Ventures stating that he was surprised that carriers haven't spent more time and money making new and unique user interfaces for their devices.
Android is an open platform, giving both carriers and manufacturers the freedom to tweak and customize the Android OS how they see fit. Miner said at the Open Mobile Summit conference, "There's a big opportunity that they seem to have left on the table".
Most carriers have pre-loaded at least something onto an Android device, with pre-loaded apps or a custom UI from a manufacturer, but none of the carriers have produced their own custom skin. This leaves the work for the manufacturers to do, in order to differentiate their tablets and smartphones.
Our latest poll had over 6,000 people who answered, Battle! Apple vs. Samsung... Which is best?
From the very start TweakTown readers made it glowingly clear that they think Samsung's GALAXY S III smartphone is by far better than Apple's iPhone 5.
Samsung easily won this poll taking 65% of the votes, with Apple only managing to gather 16% of the votes. Even 19% said they would rather another device, technically making the case for the iPhone even worse.
Nexus phones have their super powers when versed against carrier-laden handsets, in the form of software support from Google. The Mountain View-based search giant posts complete "factory images" of Nexus devices for users so that they can flash back to complete stock if they need.
Well, when the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and Sprint Galaxy Nexus (and Nexus) were released, they both arrived in closed-sources bits because of their relation to CDMA and LTE. This stopped Google to release factory images for those three handsets.
Fast-forward to now, and the Sprint Galaxy Nexus now has a complete image available for download that includes everything you'll need to revert back to stock Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Google have stepped up, releasing the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean factory images for the Sprint Nexus S 4G and 4.1.2 images for AT&T's Nexus S as well.
Microsoft's SmartGlass has made its way to Windows Phone and Android, and now it's finally been made available for iOS users as an update to its Xbox iOS application.
Just like the Windows Phone and Android version of SmartGlass, the application allows iOS users to connect to their Xbox 360 and interact with it in a number of ways such as launching games or applications and becoming a second screen for software that supports that feature. An example of this feature is being able to launch a DJ mode in Dance Central 3 that will allow for the SmartGlass user to interact with the game or when listening to music or watching a video on Zune Marketplace, information regarding the content can be accessed from SmartGlass.
I've said this a few times now, but I really think the next advancement in mobile technology needs to be battery life. I can use an iPhone 5, a Galaxy S III, Nexus 7 or any other top-end smart device, but I can't get more than 8-12 hours of intense use out of it.
Well, it looks like we could be there with researchers at Rice University announcing that they have worked out how to triple lithium-ion battery life using crushed silicon anode. Rice University engineer, Sibani Lisa Biswal and research scientist Madhuri Thakur managed to use crushed silicon to create battery anode that is capable of holding 10 times more litium ions than graphite anodes used in today's batteries.
The results of this are a new battery design capable of holding a charge of 1,000 milliamp hours per gram through 600 tested charge cycles of two hours charging, two hours discharging. Current graphite anodes are only capable of around 350 mAh/g.
If claims by Phone House, a Spanish mobile phone retailer are to be believed, it would appear that Google is subsidizing the new Nexus 4 on the Google Play store. Phone House has claimed that LG are selling the devices for a much higher price than that being offered by Google on the Google Play store.
This leaves us two options. Either Google is subsidizing the devices, a not unheard of option, or LG is trying to get a lot more money out of the device by selling to carriers. On the Google Play store, the Nexus 4 is available for $300 dollars, a cheap option to get a contract-free device that can be used with many different carriers.
However, Phone House is saying that LG has offered up the device with a MSRP of $770. LG could by trying to make a massive profit, or Google could be subsidizing. I'm going to guess that it's the latter. Google has a habit of doing things like this in the past, and I see no reason why they would stop now.
Apple's new fourth-generation iPad is already back in stock on the Apple website and this means one of two things. Either Apple produced massive quantities of the device ahead of launch or the fourth-generation iPad isn't selling very well. I'd like to think its the former, but I am forced to lean towards the latter.
The simple fact is that Apple always has supply issues for several weeks after launch and the lack of these shortages for the new iPad don't bode well. Apple announced that over the launch weekend 3 million iPads were sold, but they didn't specify which quantities of those were iPad minis and which were the new iPad fourth generation.
The iPad mini is still in short supply, with the web store offering up that it will be available to ship in roughly two weeks. Apple will have trouble, it seems, catching up with demand for the holiday season. It's not clear why the fourth generation iPad seems to be selling so poorly, but if you're looking to pick one up, it's probably a good thing.
AT&T has announced the pricing for the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. The Nokia Lumia 920 will only set you back a mere $100, though it remains to be seen if the bargain pricing will help boost sales on a platform that has hardly any awareness. The Lumia 920 looks to be a slick device, there's no two-ways about it.
It features wireless charging, a 4.5-inch HD touchscreen, and an 8.7-megapixel camera. AT&T is throwing in the wireless charging plate for free for a limited time. The Lumia 820 will only set you back $50, which is $50 cheaper than T-Mobile and Verizon's versions, which makes it quite the steal.
The Lumia devices will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow and will be available for purchase on November 9. The HTC 8X, another Windows Phone 8 device, will set you back $200 on contract. An 8GB version of the 8X will be available for $100, though it's important to remember that there is no expansion slot.
Mobile gaming is bigger than its ever been these days, but there are gamers out there who still have a tough time with on-screen controls due to their fingers being too large or relying on the feel of a dedicated gaming controller all their lives. Nyko introduced its PlayPad controller back at E3 and it's launching across GameStop retailers starting today.
Nyko's PlayPad can be purchased through its website, but the PlayPad Pro can only be purchased at GameStop at this time, although it will be available on Amazon starting on Feb 1, 2013. Both the PlayPad and PlayPad Pro are available for $39.99.
Apple iPhone 5 unlocked units to start from $649, will arrive once supply constraint issues are fixed
If you're after a carrier-specific iPhone 5, the US Apple Store's online site says that you should wait three-to-four weeks from now, but a quick search on Apple's website may have accidentally unveiled a bunch of pricing on factory unlocked iPhone 5s.
It was tripped up by AppleInsider reader Dhaval Dinani, confirmed independently, and is now making the news rounds. The units are definitely not official, and could just be placeholders in Apple's database. But, the prices are consistent with identical models being sold in Canada, where all iPhones are unlocked.
We should expect the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB unlocked iPhones to have prices of $649, $749 and $849, respectively. AppleInsider expects the new unlocked iPhone 5s to be sold when the supply constraints begin to improve.
I had a very weird dream about Surface last night, that it was some huge 20-inch-or-so tablet, and that I truly loved it. But, even in my dream, I couldn't do much with it apart from show people the desktop (Metro/Windows style UI wasn't in my dream), and run a web browser.
Anyway, Microsoft have revealed the the exact storage a consumer would receive with the Surface tablet once its in your hands. This accounts for binary conversion, recovery partition, and the software itself. The 32GB Surface will have 16GB of free space, while the 64GB model will have 46GB of free space on-board.
But, you can use microSD cards and USB storage for your external storage needs, which helps in magnitudes you could only iWish on the iPad.