Archive for April, 2010

Andy Rubin Talks about Android

Friday, April 30th, 2010

AndroidAndy Rubin is pretty much the voice of Android and more importantly, Google in these past few weeks that there has been plenty of fuss and trouble that has been caused by their long time rival, Apple. There is no doubt that Steve Jobs’ harsh criticism of Adobe, HTC, and everything else he considers to be a threat to his products or company has reached the ears of Andy Rubin –who has been playing the part of the quiet gentle genius (and he is actually).

But instead of having to address every single thing that Jobs has said, Rubin has decided to keep the focus of things on where he wants them, not at Apple (despite the negative publicity), but on Google’s Android. So what does he have to say about the ever-growing open source mobile platform from Google?

“We use the same tools we expect our third-party developers to. We have an SDK we give to developers. And when we write our Gmail app, we use the same SDK. A lot of guys have private APIs. We don’t. That’s on policy and on technology. If there’s a secret API to hook into billing system we open up that billing system to third parties. If there’s a secret API to allow application multitasking, we open it up. There are no secret APIs. That is important to highlight for Android sake. Open is open and we live by our own implementations.”

The man may not have said a word about Jobs or Apple, but his quite explanation about how the SDK and the freedom of developers certainly places a solid shot straight at the heart of the topic: Google will not screw developers over some war with a software maker.

In fact, the man was quite happy to be teaming up with Adobe after the big SDK incident.

Sony’s New Teaser Baffles the Mobile Phone Community

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Sony VAIOWhen we say mobile gadget or mobile device, we usually refer to a mobile phone. While gaming handhelds and GPS navigation tools would also fit the description, the initial idea is that the term is mostly exclusive to use with phones.

This is why many people are quite confused with the new Sony teaser advert, and we are among the confused as well. The teaser reads that a VAIO New Ultra Mobile (is) coming soon, and all we can do is guess what this actually means.

On the surface, it could just be a really small VAIO (as if the previous P series and its successors were not small enough). But on a wider point of view, would a device that is so small have the hardware to be able to run Windows 7 properly?

Of course, there is no doubt that the new OS will be Microsoft made. It is already seen in the ad that the Paperclip mascot from MS Office is going to be part of the new OS. The only question is will it be Windows Phone 7 or Windows 7?

Back to the first question, the fact of the matter is that Windows 7 requires plenty of hardware. Even small netbooks have the tendency to slow up a little when running the OS. So squeezing in such highly demanding software into a very small gadget would be pushing some limits. As opposed to WP7, the only hardware requirements are those previously set by Microsoft for the device. A super small VAIO can definitely use a Qualcomm processor to run the new WP7 mobile platform.

With no official date on when the release of the initial announcement is coming, we can only wonder what Sony is truly up to.

Palm Purchased by HP for 1.2 Billion

Friday, April 30th, 2010

PalmMoney is back in the coffers of Palm and Hewlett Packard is at the helm of the pioneering mobile phone company. While many of the heads have already left Palm, big boss John Rubinstein is still around to man the captain’s seat of this almost sunken ship. Simply put, palm is back on safe waters, and it is HP that is moving towards the murky depths.

According to recent reports, HP’s shares have dropped after it was announced that they plopped about £783 million (1.2 billion USD) for the acquisition of Palm and more importantly, their very first step into the world of mobile phones.

HP is no stranger to the tech industry. The company has made its name with its array of high end printers, copiers, scanners, desktop and laptop devices. HP is also rumored to be working on its own touch screen tablet device as well. They know the industry and they have been providing the world with plenty of impressive gadgets for over a decade.

Still, chasing after Asus, Acer and Dell in the phone arena is something that will be placing HP at an entirely new field, and even with the large patent library of Palm at its disposal, it will still have to contend with the giants of the industry: Google and Apple.

At the same time, HP could be aiming to simply take hold of the market that the Palm was originally slated to dominate: the business sector. With Microsoft and BlackBerry tearing away at the larger chunks of this market, Palm has been left behind, unable to compete with both enterprise and general use clients.

HP’s influence, and Palm’s technology is a great combination. The only question is if the remaining Palm employees and HP can come up with a viable battle plan.

Apple Still in Hot Water for Infringing Elan Owned Patents

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Apple iPhoneElan Microelectronics owns the patent for the basis of multi touch technology –a feature that is heavily used by Apple in its touch screen products particularly the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad touch screen tablet. With these three high profile devices put on spotlight, it seems that Apple might just be facing a lawsuit that it cannot easily ignore.

The name of the Taiwan based company might not ring a bell for many, but for the rest of the tech community, Elan Microelectronics is the very same company that actually won a lawsuit against Synaptics for the use of Multitouch technology. With Synaptics being one of the most well know developers of touch pads, it goes to show that the patent owned by Elan is something that directly applies to the technology in question.

Many might think that the arrival of this lawsuit is a little too timely; after all, it was only a while ago that Apple filed a lawsuit against another Taiwan based company –HTC for over 20 software and hardware patents. Many believe that this lawsuit has its roots with the Apple-Google rivalry as HTC is one of the key partners of Google in developing the Android operating system.

In any case, Elan is going for the big prizes with this lawsuit. After all, taking on the Cupertino based Apple is a big feat, no matter how good their patent is. Apple’s army of lawyers and legal operatives has the capabilities and more importantly, the funding to bury this lawsuit under miles of red tape. This is why Elan has opted to go straight to the ITC and request that the shipments of the Apple devices affected in the lawsuit be put on hold.

Jason Chen’s Home Raided by REACT

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Jason Chen GizmodoThe United States is a scary place to be when Steve Jobs hates you. As much as the statement is intended to be a joke, there is no doubt that many in the tech blogging community felt shivers up their spine with the announcement that the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team has taken the issued Search Warrant in order to seize several computers from the home of Jason Chen, a tech blogger for Gizmodo.

Plenty of us are already familiar with the main story of how the prototype iPhone was left in some bar and was purchased by Gizmodo for 5000 USD and how Apple requested that the device be returned to their possession.

Oddly enough, Gizmodo replied directly to the letter and have indicated that they fully intend to cooperate with the Cupertino based company and have referred the representatives of Apple to Jason Chen –the man who was currently in possession of the device. This is why it is surprising to hear that cops actually raided Jason Chen’s home.

In fact, these law enforcers were part of REACT –a law enforcement wing that was supposed to be chasing after pedophiles, cyber terrorists, hackers and other mal-adjusted netizens. Apparently, Chen’s possession of the iPhone was a really big among these guys. This has led many to believe that REACT was following directives directly from Apple or, quite possibly, the iPhone was not a prototype for a commercial model, but instead, for military or government use.

The raid has also brought up many issues regarding journalism on the internet. The law in California prohibits the confiscation of equipment from journalists –a statement that is heavily quoted by both Gawker Media and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in defense of Chen. According to Apple, Chen is not a journalist but a blogger.

Adobe Finds New Hope with Android

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Apple iPhone 3GSThere is no doubt that Adobe was heavily banking on their Flash programming clients. The Adobe Flash Professional program is one of the highest selling software for the company (despite the sheer mass popularity of Adobe Photoshop, Flash Professional gets plenty of clients from individual and corporate clients). The biggest main function of the software: creating Flash applications that developers often recompile for iPhone compatibility.

In fact, Adobe has taken this function to be something that developers truly want and have created their own Flash to iPhone compiler function on the CS5 version of the software. A functions that Apple has literally run over when they released the software license agreement for the SDK of the new iPhone OS. According to Apple, developers must now code the applications from ground up using Apple-approved tools and software.

This meant that developers could no longer be using Flash converted applications –a move that could potentially push away plenty of developers and obviously, places a solid wall between Adobe and Apple.

So where does Adobe go to now?

The move has cost Adobe plenty; their stock fell down by a huge chunk after the announcement of the new SDK agreement. Google has since made its’ stand in order to re-affirm Adobe’s position in the tech industry and announcing that the Android would fully support Flash 10.

Developers will also find a very welcome new home in the Android (if they have not done so already). The open source nature of the mobile platform and its larger degree of freedom granted to developers (many developers consider Apple’s agreements to be quite chocking).

The only question now is if the mobile phone market will also making the move to Android as well.

The New Nokia N8

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Nokia N8 3It seems as though Nokia is trying to follow in the footsteps of Apple with its new smart phone, the Nokia N8. The large success of the iPhone has led many phone companies apart from Nokia to develop new smart phone models. The Nokia N8 is a beautiful phone with tons of capabilities and applications, while being very easy to use.

Screen and User Interface

The Nokia N8 has a large 3.5 inch screen, in 16:9 orientation, with 640 by 360 pixels. The phone is fully a touch screen phone, and the screen is composed of 16.7 million colors, ensuring any photos, profile themes, videos, or other media you view on the phone will be true to life.

Besides the touch screen, there are a few buttons on the phone to make it easier to access core applications or execute important actions. These buttons include a Camera button, a button to immediately lock the phone, a Power button, and a menu button to make it easier to jump right into using the phone. Although the screen is built for easy touch operation, if you’d like, you can use a stylus, which would also of course make it easier to use any drawing or handwriting recognition apps.

Personalization

Nokia N8 4When buying the phone, you can choose from a variety of elegant colours for the anodized aluminum casing, such as Dark Grey, Silver/white, Green, Orange, or Blue. Within the phone software, there are many personalization options. Like most phones, one can edit the wallpaper, screen saver, ring tones, sound effects, and theme. What the Nokia N8 brings to the table for ring tones however, are video ring tones. These haven’t really been seen in phones on the market, and could be a cool option.

Software

The Nokia N8 is the first phone to use Symbian 3, an updated version of Symbian 2. Symbian 3 supports advanced layering and multi-tasking, as well as full HDMI support. HDMI is very helpful if you want to be able to fully experience HD video on your N8. Symbian 3 has been designed to speed up the user interface for quicker response, and easier use overall.

Other new features Symbian 3 offers are new ways of interaction. Unlike the earlier version where one could only tap once or multiple times to select or deselect options on the interface, Symbian 3 supports cutting edge, modern interaction options such as pinch-zooming, flicking, dragging, and others. Symbian 3 also allows one to organize their widgets or apps on the home screen however they like. Everything is fully customizable, to fit the users preference.

Media Capabilities

Nokia N8 (2)The Nokia N8 has outdone other phones when it comes to media. The full HDMI support offers picture and sound no other phone can produce, for a simply better media experience. The music library and store are very easy to use on the phone, and the 16GB of internal memory (Once can increase the memory up to 48GB using a microSD card) allow one to have a vast library of music, photos, videos, and any other media on the phone.

The N8 has also outdone other phones further with its camera. The Nokia N8 has a 12 MP camera, something we have only seen on a couple of other phones. The camera works well in both in low-light and over-lit situations, with its sensitive sensor and Neutral Density (ND) filter. Unfortunately, however, the N8 camera does have a fixed aperture size, which makes it hard to take the kind of photos you’d see out of a high quality dSLR of the same resolution caliber. The set aperture is f/2.8, which means clear, sharp photos, with less depth of field (a smaller portion of depth will be in focus at a time). To even that out, though, the Nokia N8 camera has advanced noise cancellation algorithms, to clear up a noisy photo. This results in clearer photos, and helps you take advantage of those 12 huge megapixels.

The N8 camera’s high quality doesn’t stop at photos, though. The N8 can shoot great 720p video. An impressive sample video was leaked, and the video quality on it matches many digital camcorders.

On top of its music capabilities as far as storing your music library, the N8 has stereo FM radio, which, combined with its 3.5mm jack which allows use of conventional headphones or ear buds, makes access to radio programs extremely easy and pleasant.

Gaming

The Nokia N8 is pretty standard when it comes to gaming. It supports Java games, and uses its built in accelerometer for higher performance. It has a dedicated graphic processor to let you experience 3D graphics right from your N8. The same touch user interface is of course used for gaming as well.

Communication

Nokia N8This phone is great when it comes to multi-channel communication. It fully supports Email, as well as a variety of attachment file types, which can then be viewed right from the phone. The Email system supports HTML, so you’ll see any snazzy fonts or photos in the Emails as well, instead of boring old text only.

The text messaging is also standard top of the line. The N8 features conversation view for text messaging, something that has come to be expected from phones now. It also supports a wide range of Instant Messaging programs, including AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, and Yahoo.

The N8 is can also be set up with voice commands, for such tasks from opening Email to making calls. The phone also allows easy conference calling, as well as clear video-chatting. With its HD screen, HDMI support, and other Media capabilities, video-chatting is top of the line on this phone.

Finally…

Nokia has produced a phone that is cutting edge on many levels, like high definition audio/visual media, personalization, and communication. Although expensive, the Nokia N8 packs a serious punch, and you’re definitely getting the bang for your buck. On a final note, the N8 is “Green!” The phone is 80% recyclable, and has a serious battery life. This phone should be looked into by all classes of consumer; it can be a great smart phone for anyone.

Check out the latest Nokia N8 deals or read some more Nokia N8 reviews to get more info on this new handset.

Another Look at the Flash and Apple Story

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Apple iPhone 4GThere are plenty of solid and logical reasons as to why Steve Jobs is pushing for the use of HTML5 and H.264 formats as the new web standards. Other browsers would also benefit from the shift of technology and overall, HTML5 is significantly better than Flash.

But the fact of the matter is, Flash is where the web is at right now. Soon the internet would eventually shift Flash to HTML5 (just as it adopted Flash several years ago, phasing out older Java functions –which is why we no longer have websites with those annoying cursor changes that have sparky flying feather thingies). Until that time however, Flash is what we are using.

The Mac OS is the first victims of Flash. There are plenty of reasons why Safari and the Mac OS itself are unable to handle Flash –resulting in crashes, but since the problem could not be addressed, Apple believes Flash to be a major thorn in their side.

Of course, Jobs’ disdain for Adobe goes even further back.

Originally, back in 1985, Adobe and Macintosh were working closely to develop technology and software standards. To cut a long story short, Adobe’s direction was different from Mac’s and at the end of the day, when PCs were outselling the Mac in the 1990s; Adobe opted to support Windows instead.

Moving forward to the present time, Apple has just unleashed a pretty solid blow to Adobe –pushing its Flash to iPhone compiler as a completely worthless function with the new license agreement for the SDK of the iPhone 4.0 OS. Adobe has since turned to Google and other companies, but some believe that the company might also file a case against Apple.

Get to know the full history behind Apple and Adobe and why these two companies can never seem to get along in a well written article at the PC Advisor UK.

Gizmodo Tech Blogger’s Home Raided by Police

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Apple iPhone 4GIf we are to assume that the initial theories about Apple and Gizmodo being in cahoots regarding the recently released iPhone 4G/HD leaked images, it seems that there is plenty of evidence now that is debunking that possibility (that, or Jason Chen is under the protective financial parachute with a half bitten fruit logo).

Anyway, speculations aside, it appears that US law enforcers have been given a warrant to search the house of tech blogger and online journalist Jason Chen in order to look for Apple’s missing prototype device. While Gizmodo has officially published a statement saying that Jason Chen would be willing to cooperate with the Cupertino based company in order to arrange the transfer of said device, Apple has taken their own initiative by having their legal hounds sniff out their missing hardware.

For those of you wondering how all of this started, the tale begun with Gizmodo’s exclusive coverage of images of the next generation iPhone handset. According to the famous tech blog, the device was left behind in some random bar (by an Apple employee who was too inebriated on lager). It was found by an unnamed source who then sold the device to Gizmodo for hefty sum.

In the United Sales, it is illegal to sell stolen goods and more importantly, it is illegal to purchase stolen goods –and Gizmodo staff has all the reason in the world to suspect that the device is stolen in the first place. This is the very reason why many believed that the story was a farce and that it was all a publicity stunt by both Apple and Gizmodo to promote the upcoming handset (many people believe that Steve Jobs is a fan of the tech blog)

With this latest turn of events, it is anyone’s guess what the truth really is.
Read more about the raid in Jason Chen’s home at the Guardian UK.

Vodafone UK Places Nexus One on Pre Order

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Google Nexus One 7The first batch of Nexus One shipments to clients will be coming this May 5 so if you want to get your hands on the Google phone early, you might want to sign up for one of the last few pre-order slots of the Android handset on Vodafone UK.

In a move that is surprisingly wonderful to Android fans in the UK, the local launch of the Nexus One will not be exclusive to the Google online store. Instead, interested buyer can order directly from Vodafone UK –this also means that existing clients get to order the device straight away.

Many consider the move by Google to be a very sound marketing move. With the original US launch of the device having shown that a Google Store exclusive would result in low sales, the UK release will come in a more standard operator based approach. The news comes as a great sigh of relief for many as the original announcement from both Vodafone and Google was that the device would still be a Google store item when it comes out.

This Android smart phone is officially the first Android device to use the Snapdragon 1GHz processor to its’ full capacity. Acer came out last year with the Liquid Android smart phone which also used the QSD CPU but at an under clocked speed. The HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 smart phones are the second batch of commercially available devices to run the Android OS on the 1GHz processor.

Aside from a high speed processor, the Nexus One has a 5 mega pixel snapper, a 3.7 inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen display and advanced voice recognition software capabilities.

Get to know the full details about the Google Nexus One smart phone pre-order offers under Vodafone UK at Softpedia.