Archive for March, 2010

iPhone 4G: What do We Really Know?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Apple iPhone 4G conceptApple is keeping very quiet about the upcoming Apple 4G smart phone. With the iPad launch coming this April, it seems like most people would also rather focus on the upcoming touch screen tablet as well. In any case, it looks like there has been nothing but an endless stream of rumors and speculations about what the new smart phone from Apple would actually turn out as.

With major competitors coming in the form of the new Windows Phone 7 series and the many high-end smart phone devices that will be using the new mobile platform to the rumors dual core driven Android handsets, it looks like the Apple iPhone 4G would have to deliver much more than just a fancy user interface and app support.

So far, the only things confirmed about the new device are gimmicks. The external case will be touch sensitive, and while that can give users a new way of interacting with applications (most especially games where tapping the screen will obscure the action), it is hardly anything so innovative either.

Other rumors are pointing to the iPhone 4G having an HD display, it is quite possible and considering the specs of current smart phones, it is also becoming a new standard. HD related features such as playback and recording are soon going to become just like WiFi and AGPS support –bare necessities.

One extremely gimmicky bit of news that we often hear about the iPhone is that it will actually have a removable battery. Long have Apple users been complaining about the closed nature of iDevices (for lack of a better term). This has made replacing even simple parts such as batteries a very difficult task. Should this bit prove true, then let us hope that it is a trend Apple will continue.

Find out more about the rumors regarding the Apple iPhone 4G at Know Your Mobile.

T-Mobile’s Early HTC Desire Offer Gets Delayed

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

HTC DesireAccording to reports, a software glitch has been plaguing HTC Desire smart phones from T-Mobile.

With the HTC handset already having passed the usual quality checks, it is assumed that it is the software from T-Mobile that is causing the unexpected errors. So far, no word has been given as to what the phone problems actually are, but it is assumed that T-Mobile is already working on a solution and that the phones will be available in shops by the 7th of April.

Aside from T-Mobile, there are two more UK based network operators that are offering the Android handset this month, Vodafone and Orange Mobile. T-Mobile originally had the advantage of time by having their offer available as early as last week; however, this latest delay has set them back quite a bit.

For those wondering why people would be so excited about the Desire, it is because this Android smart phone is the basis for the Google phone, Nexus One. The Desire, originally known as Bravo had been announced as early as late last year (actually, it was leaked). The phone’s specifications were a very close match for the Nexus One; many even assumed that the two devices were one and the same.

In any case, the Desire comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, a 5 mega pixel camera and a 3.7 inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen display. The device is also able to record videos in 720p HD quality. All in all, the Desire and the Nexus One mirror each other in specs –though the N-One does not have 720p video.

Instead, the Google phone comes with advanced speech recognition software that speech to text functions. Both devices use the latest version of the Android OS.

Find out more about the HTC Desire smart phone launch delay under T-Mobile at Stuff TV.

iPad Forecasted Sales to Go Up

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Apple-iPadDespite studies showing that people are not exactly sure about what to do with an Apple iPad, marketing forecasts are estimating that the touch screen tablet will sell up to 10 million units in this year alone –provided that Apple will actually be able to keep up with the demand. The estimates say that the first three months will get Apple over 2.5 million sales.

The results however, did not discuss how much of these estimates were going to come from single user purchases and how much would be coming from the business sector. According to some experts, the Apple iPad is a monumental device for individual home users but it will even be more useful for those who will be using the device for office use.

Originally, it was estimated that the iPad would sell up to 5 million units this year alone. But with growing interest in the device and better marketing appearing just before the launch, it seems like Apple might be performing better than expected.

As stated above, there have been studies that have shown that on an individual level, many consumers are still uninterested in getting an iPad. In the UK, more than half of adults are not familiar with what the device is for and what can be done using the tablet.

While Apple has already been expanding marketing efforts in order to showcase the iPad’s web browsing, eBook reading, game playing and other features to the public, most simply cannot be sold on the idea that they should spend several hundred Pounds for a device that is somewhere between a netbook and a smart phone –and the sale gets even hard for people who already have both devices.

Find out more about the expected sales performance for the Apple iPad at the Telegraph UK.

Ingenious Developers Bring WP7 to HTC’s HD2

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

HTC HD2Proving that the HTC HD2 can run Windows Phone 7 will not convince Microsoft that they should release an update for the smart phone.

It is an interesting argument, considering that Microsoft did say that the HTC HD2 was not compatible with the WP7 mobile platform. Thus, it does make sense that if people can prove that the smart phone can run the OS, then Microsoft should consider making an update for the phone. Well, it is pretty obvious that the developers who made the modification are smart enough to know otherwise, but it seems like some HTC HD2 diehards are using the HTC mod news as their rally point.

Anyway, the mod brings the amazing Windows Phone 7 operating system to the HTC HD2. Performance has been called great, though there are noticeable slowdowns due to graphic incompatibilities. But otherwise, the functions of WP7 are all there, including access to features such as GPS, the camera and more.

The button assignments are still being tweaked, but with the HD2 offering two extra buttons, it will be easy for the developers to remedy.

Despite this, Microsoft is adamant in their decision to set WP7 as not compatible with older WinMo phones including the HD2. This is due to the fact that Microsoft is establishing a new performance standard for their OS.

Much like the Apple Os which does not suffer from being used in devices with lower specs, the WP7 mobile platform will be used online in devices that meet Microsoft’s previously announced hardware requirements and allowed chassis types. This will restrict WP7 to devices that meet its optimum requirements –ensuring that the performance of the OS will always be smooth and fast.

Learn more about the recently made Windows Phone 7 OS modification for the HTC HD2 at Softpedia.

Apple Confirms Gutenberg Project on iPad

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Apple-iPadWith the US launch of the Apple iPad touch screen tablet only a few days away (the UK release date is sadly, not due until late April), it seems like more and more features are being put into the device until the very last minute.

According to recent reports, the entire collection of the Gutenberg Project, which has around 30 thousand titles in the set, will be available for free in the Apple eBook Library. For those not familiar with the Gutenberg Project, it is a collection of many important classic books that are no longer covered by copyright protection. Some of the titles included are Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (also, Through the Looking Glass) by Lewis Carroll and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Book readers would certainly enjoy the large offering by Apple as this will boost up the overall library significantly. Of course, there is more to the Apple iPad than just being able to read good books.

The tablet comes with a massive 9.7 inch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It auto rotates according to the orientation preferred by the user. Speaking of rotation, the accelerometer on the iPad is also to be used as a control input device for game applications as well. The tablet will be compatible with the thousands of game apps already available on the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The device also serves as we a web browser too.

There have been a few reports recently about a potential problem with the battery on the tablet. Apple has stated that having the device sent in for replacement will set people back by about a hundred US dollars –no word yet on how much the service fee will be for the UK.

Find out more about the Gutenberg project on the iPad at Pocket Lint.

WiFi, the Smart Phone’s Best Friend

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

WIFIWhen mobile phones first began to gain access to the internet, it was not surprising that many people easily enjoyed the first few waves of WAP sites and other GPRS based services. Soon mobile access to the net was enhanced by the emergence of EDGE networks and in the past couple of years, the standardization of 3G.

3G provides fast, stable internet connections allowing users to browse online as if they were using broadband access to the internet. Well, that was the original idea. In practice, 3G networks are easily clogged and slowed down by the massive amounts of traffic in the network.

In some ways, one can also say that 3G has become too successful for its own good; attracting far more users than it is optimally designed for. 4G is just around the corner, with WiMax devices also getting prepped and ready –but regardless of what new connectivity options may arise, there is always one other better alternative: WiFi.

Wireless LAN technology has been greatly improved in the past few years, providing WiFi capable devices with stable and high speed internet connectivity. Of course, there are occasions that even WiFi networks slow down, but these are rare occurrences as opposed to the almost certain state for 3G.

WiFi is also, in certain ways –free. It is a paid monthly service, but almost every house has one and as the service is already used for desktop computers and other devices, adding in your smart phone to the mix is perfectly natural.

WiFi allows users to connect to the internet and not worry about data transfer rates –the one major limitation of 3G. Downloading data or using VOIP services over 3G can be costly –something that WiFi provides for free.

Get to know more about the many advantages of using your phone’s WiFi at The Punch.

iPhone Apps: Beer and Money

Monday, March 29th, 2010

app storeThe National Cask Ale week is coming up this March 29 until April 5 so get ready to join up with your favorite drinking buddies at your favorite pub next week. Of course, if you are feeling a little more adventurous and would like to celebrate the spirit of the weeklong event, then you might also consider having your favorite tipple at some brand new spot. Of course, bring your Apple iPhone along because it will be your drinking best friend

Checking out new pubs is fun, but it helps getting a quick heads up about what’s available on the tap and what kinds of crowds you will be seeing once you enter the door, so you can either go straight to the official Cask Ale week website to check their pub finder feature, or just download the Cask Finder application.

Cask Finder works hand in hand with your GPS to help you locate and track down those hard to find pubs and also to give you a quick rundown of available information on the place. After all, what’s the point of enjoying the celebration if you are not going to make an adventure of it? Obviously, the event will run for the whole week so be sure to grab your friends and try someplace new each night.

Of course, getting all tipsy and funny is one thing, but it certainly would hurt your wallet if your start overspending your drinking budget. This is where the iPhone’s Mint.com Personal Finance application kicks in. It is a simple system that will manage your bills and multiple bank accounts. With this, you can keep track of expenses, your spending patterns and ultimately, figure out where all the money really goes.

Find out more about the new Cask Finder app and the Mint.com financial app at Stuff TV.

Peter Chou Confirms HTC Windows Phone 7 Handset

Monday, March 29th, 2010

HTC HD3It comes as to no surprise that Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer is joining the merry band of companies working on WP7 devices. So far, details on what the new HTC smart phone will end up as are still vague, but if there is any truth to the recent rumors about a possible HTC HD3 smart phone coming out, then we are certainly in for a treat.

Of course, the initial specs are just rumors, and the hardware sounds almost too good to be true. Even if it is, expect to pay an arm and a leg and may a couple more appendages to get this device.

According to various rumors the HD3 will come with a 1.5 GHz CPU (possibly a new Snapdragon processor), a 4.5 inch capacitive touch screen, support for WiMax/4G and plenty of new features.  With Microsoft’s announcement that they are standardizing the specs and features of all WP7 devices regardless of manufacturer, it makes us wonder if there is any shred of truth to the specs mentioned above.

Aside from confirming to the world that HTC is making a brand new phone, the CEO also hinted at the strong product team up of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. This confirms the previous statement from Microsoft detailing the older WinMo OS will be renamed to Windows Phone Classic.

Many believe that Microsoft will continue supporting the older OS for its value to business consumers. While the newer WP7 mobile platform concentrates mainly on social networking and games, the older OS would be the main offering from Microsoft to their enterprise partners. MS currently holds the second largest business market for mobile devices next to BlackBerry. In this way, the HD2 and possibly, the HD3 would be HTC’s prime Windows devices.

Get to know more about the HTC HD3 rumors at the Redmond Pie.

New Android from Samsung Sports Super AMOLED Screen

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Samsung Galaxy S (1)The super AMOLED touch screen technology blew our minds away when the Samsung Wave smart phone was shown off at the Mobile World Congress last February. The device was a combination of two major firsts from the Korean developer; it had the first screen of its kind, and also, it is the first, and currently only smart phone to use the Bada operating system. The Bada is an open source mobile platform developed entirely by Samsung for its mobile devices.

While many expected Samsung to concentrate on the development of the Bada, the manufacturer surprised the mobile phone industry by announcing that they are working on a new Windows Mobile 7 series device that would also be using the high tech screen technology. The yet to be named phone has been confirmed to be have a type-1 touch screen chassis.

Now, a third device to use the brand new screen technology has been confirmed by Samsung and this time, it is an Android smart phone, the Galaxy S.

The new phone follows the Android series of devices from Samsung (the Galaxy series, most recent of which is the Spica), and will retain some of the iconic style factors from the previous devices. The phone will also come equipped with the TouchWiz user interface as well.

The 4 inch super AMOLED screen promises to deliver superior graphic quality and visuals as well as delivering accurate screen control. The 1GHz processor should be more than enough to handle the apps and programs on the device. The phone also comes with a 5 mega pixel camera for taking images and videos. The Galaxy S will also be compatible with DivX video formats which makes it one of the first portable DivX devices with an HD screen.

Find out more about the Samsung Galaxy S smart phone at Mobile Choice UK.

Meet the NewKinetix Re Universal Remote for iPhone

Friday, March 26th, 2010

NewKinetix iPhone RemoteThe Re Universal Remote is a full-featured IR remote plug-in made for the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch from the company NewKinetix LLC. The plug-in and its app were featured at this year’s CES (International Consumer Electronics Show) held in Las Vegas.

The Re is able to control any number of entertainment devices from any room thanks to its equipped upgradeable IR database system. John Miller, head of the NewKinetix engineering and operations department mentions that this is the feature that makes the Re better than other universal remotes out in the market:

“The Re has a fully populated IR code database chip for instant support of nearly all AV entertainment and home automation devices.”

It is an attractive feature indeed, considering the fact that the Re Universal Remote has 415 built-in codes that is able to recognize a considerable amount of brands and thousands of device models (DVD, BluRay and cable boxes included). That surely minimizes the need to update the Re through Wi-Fi while on the go. Miller is also confident that the Re will be the only universal remote you will need because of its constant app updates.

“While others are catching up, NewKinetix will continue to expand its feature lead with regular updates of the Re.”

The app is going to be used to organize the devices and set presets to enable grouped device control. Favorites can be set to coincide with the user’s regular activities. It has unlimited macros and favorites lists as well as the ability to have a customized screen layout on the remote control interface. The strength of the IR transmitter can reach up to 40 feet. The Re transmitter is compatible with most iPhone/iPod Touch accessory cases.

The Re Universal Remote accessory is now available through the company’s official site (www.newkinetix.com). The app is also up and free to download though it would be totally useless without the plug-in accessory.

More about the Re can be read at Engadget.