Archive for the ‘News and updates’ Category

Bye bye old iPhone! Apple pulls iPhone 3G from online stores

25/05/2010

You know what’s coming up in just a few days? Apples Worldwide Developer Conference. With WWDC comes new iPhones.. and with new iPhones, comes the death of an old one. Apple may very well still offer the 3GS after the fourth-generation iPhone is on the shelves — but offering the fourth-gen iPhone, the 3GS, and the 3G? Probably not going to happen.

The first herald of the iPhone 3G’s impending death has come.

 

Sometime early this morning, Apple pulled the “Select” button off of the iPhone purchasing page. If you want an iPhone from Apple’s online store right this second, you’re buying a 3GS — or, you know, waiting a few weeks and getting the new toy, or at least getting the 3GS a few bills less after the inevitable price drop.

[Via Engadget and MobileCrunch]

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No Skype for Windows Mobile 7

13/05/2010

A wee bit of a Windows Phone 7 bombshell dropped today: Dan Neary, Asia pacific Vice President for Skype, told Sydney-siders today that Skype won’t be developing a client for Microsoft’s much-overdue successor to Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 (henceforth to be known as WinPho 7).

Dan-the-man neglected to give a reason why, but WM Power User have offered some possible explanations. Either a lack of faith in the platform, or difficulties in coding a VoIP app without having access to native code or multi-tasking.

When a major player in the mobile app ecosystem drops support for a platform, it begs the question: who else will defect? Is this a sign that WinPho 7 is doing something wrong? Or are Skype fools to let this ship sail?

Only time will tell… *exits enigmatically*

[via WM Power User]

Google’s awesome Chrome speed test video! Enjoy

06/05/2010

Equipment used:

– Computer: MacBook Pro laptop with Windows installed
– Monitor – 24″ Asus: We had to replace the standard fluorescent backlight with very large tungsten fixtures to funnel in more light to capture the screen. In addition, we flipped the monitor 180 degrees to eliminate a shadow from the driver board and set the system preferences on the computer to rotate 180 degrees. No special software was used in this process.
– 15Mbps Internet connection.
– Camera: Phantom v640 High Speed Camera at 1920 x 1080, films up to 2700 fps

Microsoft Kin reviews are out… too bad!

06/05/2010

You’ve probably noticed on the ‘webz today that the floodgates known as “the Kin review embargo” have opened, spewing forth impressions, opinions, analysis, and reviews for the masses to bathe in.

There is a general trend emerging, too. Something along the lines of “What have Microsoft done?”

I’ve rounded up some of the highlights thus far, for your reading pleasure:

Engadget:

…we ran into frustrating timeouts and stalls that made us want to throw the phone across the room. Overall, it’s just a deeply, deeply frustrating and inconsistent experience… If you’re going to shell out this kind of money each month, it would be foolish to even consider these devices given the much, much better options out there.

Laptop:

Unfortunately, you can’t really do much other than read your feed and post updates. For example, in the Twitter “app” you can’t see your @replies in a separate field or search. And you can’t send direct messages or retweet. Seriously.

MobileBurn:

…its user interface has bogged me down a bit; the experience is a bit too much to handle at once.

The only positive reviews I could find came from Slashgear:

First, from Michael Gartenberg:

I spent the better part of today working through the devices and I mostly like what I saw.

and then from his “Gen upload” son, Chaim:

Loop is great – making the home screen of your phone your complete social network and news feed. Spot, the ever-present dot on the bottom of your screen, allows you to share everything to anyone – through MMS, Email, or Facebook/Twitter/Myspace.

Both the Slashgear reviews seem to contradict the other reviews on most points. Diff’rent strokes, I guess.

There is one seemingly universally liked feature, however: the online syncing software dubbed “The Studio”. Sadly, the software isn’t enough to save these doomed handsets.

Some of the biggest complaints stem from the inflated price. Verizon are basically charging smartphone prices for a featurephone experience.

The reviews all seem to point to a list of common faults, including:

  • The UI – unintuitive, busy, practically useless
  • The camera – poor light metering and a flash that blows the subject out
  • The storage – 4GB on the Kin One? No SD expansion? Isn’t this 2010?
  • No chat – the social angle apparently doesn’t involve instant communication anymore
  • No apps, no games, no fun, and no calendar to see what fun your missing out on

Faults are much easier to overlook when you’re not being charged a premium, but at this price, there are much better options out there.

If you find any glowing reviews, or particularly entertaining scathing ones, please post them in the comments.

While you’re there, what are your thoughts on the devices?

Visa wants to turn your iPhone into a credit card.

06/05/2010

This morning, Visa and DeviceFidelity Inc., issued a joint press release annoucing that they’d built — and received Apple’s much-coveted blessing in the form of accessory certification — an iPhone case that acts as a tap-to-pay Visa credit card.

Oddly, the press release has since been pulled from almost all of the sites it was published on, though we’re not sure why. Details in the release indicate that it might not have been intended for release until tomorrow, so it was presumably just a scheduling mistake. We’ve got the full text of the release below.

Just as we’d originally envisioned, the Visa case connects with an application on the handset to allow it to be password-protected. Password protection or not, you’ll still want to watch this thing like a hawk.

Market trials of the iPhone case should begin some time this summer, though it’s not clear just how limited they’ll be. If it’s not open to anyone who asks, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear any ways to wiggle into the trial.

Visa Inc. and DeviceFidelity, Inc. are working to allow Apple iPhone(TM) users to make payments by simply waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. The new technology, developed by DeviceFidelity and certified by Apple, combines a protective iPhone case with a secure memory card that hosts Visa’s contactless payment application, called Visa payWave. The technology will work for both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G devices.

iPhone users will be able to make Visa mobile payments in retail stores, at fast food restaurants, in taxis, during sporting events (such as at baseball games), and also make purchases at vending machines that have contactless payment terminals. Thousands of merchants throughout the U.S. have already upgraded their payment terminals to allow consumers to make Visa mobile payments. The technology will also work with a majority of smart phones that have a slot for a memory card. By simply inserting the card into the memory slot on their phone, mobile users can transform their existing mobile phones into a Visa payment device. Visa has already rolled out a similar technology in Malaysia and Japan, where consumers can make mobile payments in stores and restaurants.

The mobile payment application can be password protected and utilizes advanced security technology to uniquely identify each contactless transaction.. In addition, all Visa mobile payments are backed by Visa’s global processing network and analyzed for potential fraud in real-time. If a mobile device is lost or stolen, account holders should contact their issuer, as they would if their card was lost or stolen. The issuer can immediately deactivate the account. Market trials of the payment-enabled iPhone are scheduled to start this summer.

SATELLITE FEEDS:
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 Thursday, May 6th, 2010
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM ET 1:00 PM – 1:15 PM ET
AMC 3 AMC 3
C-Band C-Band
Transponder 3 Transponder 3
Downlink Freq. 3760 Horizontal Downlink Freq. 3760 Horizontal

NEWS: Use Your iPhone to make Visa payments

FORMAT: B-roll and Soundbites

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Video, contact information and more available at: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/broadcast/43490/press.html

SOUNDBITES:
* Dave Wentker, Head of Mobile Contactless Payments at Visa Inc
* Amitaabh Malhotra, COO of DeviceFidelity.
* Kevin Scott, Father of three

B-ROLL INCLUDES:
* Chip and Memory Slot on iPhone
* Visa-iPhone Transactions
* Stadium shots
* Family broll
* Various Store Exteriors

VIDEO PROVIDED BY: Visa and DeviceFidelity

Contact: FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL: MultiVu Media Relations, 1-800-653-5313 EXT. 3

SOURCE Visa and DeviceFidelity

Samsung (Bada-Powered) Wave to Launch in North and South America?

04/05/2010

Samsung may be a little crazy to create their own OS when Android is free, powerful, and popular, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not at least a little curious about what the new OS may bring.

On that note, you may be interested to hear that the first of Samsung’s Bada-powered phones — the Samsung Wave 8500 — may be making its way over from Europe to come visit your hometown*.

Unwired Review have noticed that the Bluetooth SIG (the body that oversees Bluetooth standards and licensing) has recently approved the Samsung GT-S8500R and the GT-S8500M, mentioning that both should be available in North America. Further to this, the GT-S8500L is listed as being headed to South America.

Of course, this isn’t concrete evidence, but it seems likely.

To refresh your memory, the Wave has a 3.3″ 800 x 480 AMOLED screen, a 5.1MP camera capable of 720p video, and the now-standard WiFi, A-GPS, and (as stated earlier) Bluetooth.

It is worth noting that the phone’s operating frequencies will limit it to AT&T or T-mobile.

If you’re hungry for more, Unwired View also have a hands-on video of the phone in action.

*if said hometown is somewhere in North or South America

Kins arriving May 6th. Prices look good!

04/05/2010

Just a quick PSA: you’ll be able to satisfy your Kin-starved teen brood in just a little over a week. The Kin brothers (or sisters (or cousins)) will be hitting Verizon’s virtual shelves on the 6th and they’ll be in stores on the 13th. Of May. The prices be $50 for the egg-like One and a Benjamin for the larger (and awesomer) Two… assuming you’re going in for a two year contract and are willing to wait for a $100 mail-in rebate.

iPad 3G ripped apart by Gizmodo

01/05/2010

We’ve seen its communications board before, but now the entire iPad 3G has been torn open and had its parts analyzed. Here’s what makes it different from a Wi-Fi-only iPad according to the guys at iFixit:

* The immediate visible difference is the inclusion of a black plastic RF window on top of the iPad for better antenna reception.

* The black RF window significantly changes the opening procedure. You cannot start separating the display using the notches on the top (à la Wi-Fi version), since that will undoubtedly break the RF window. You have to start from the right side and gingerly proceed to the top and bottom of the iPad.

* There are actually FIVE antennas in this iPad: Two antennas handle the cell reception — one is in the RF window on top, the other attaches to the LCD frame. A single GPS antenna is also housed in the RF window on top. Just like the iPad Wi-Fi, there are two antennas that handle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, one in the Apple logo and another to the left of the dock connector.

* You heard that right, folks: Apple looks to be using the entire LCD frame as an antenna!

* Who would’ve thought: Apple uses the same 3G baseband processor in both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G.

* The baseband processor in question is the Infineon 337S3754 PMB 8878 X-Gold IC. It was actually white-labeled on the production unit, but with enough sleuthing we were able to confirm its true identity.

* The iPad 3G has a Broadcom BCM4750UBG Single-Chip AGPS Solution, whereas the iPhone 3GS uses an Infineon Hammerhead II package. Big win for Broadcom!

* Apple did not change any major suppliers between manufacturing the pre-production unit they provided the FCC and their final production run.

You can check see more gadget gore porn pictures and part details over at iFixit, but those are the basic highlights. [iFixit]

Check out Gizmodo

HP To Buy Palm for $1.2 Billion

28/04/2010

Breaking news, fresh off of the wire: HP just finalized agreements to buy Palm for $1.2 billion dollars.

HP’s $1.2 billion dollar purchase breaks down to roughly $5.70 per share of common stock. While this is spot on with the $1.2-$1.3 billion pricetag Palm was rumored to be shopping around as of late, it’s still a mammoth difference from what Palm was trading at just months ago. In October 2009, Palm was worth about $17.46 per share; by January of this year, that was down to $13.41. It has, unfortunately, been a downward spiral ever since.

And for all you webOS fans out there: Don’t worry — it doesn’t look like the platform is going anywhere just yet. It appears that the companies plan to continue the development of webOS, leveraging HP to “rapidly accelerate the growth” of the platform.

HP has seemingly been lightening their efforts in the pocketable mobile space lately — but with the iPAQ line and countless Pocket PC handsets behind them, they’re by no means strangers to it.

However, the smartphone space might not be HP’s only interest here – given HP’s recent desire to take on Apple in the tablet space (with the HP Slate) and that Windows-powered tablets just don’t seem to sell, might we see a webOS-powered tablet sometime in the future? Paired with the proper hardware, webOS could easily make for an absolutely incredible tablet experience.

Even if HP abandoned webOS altogether (which, again, doesn’t appear to be the plan right now), they just bought them selves a monstrous card to play: Palm’s patent catalog. It’s a porcupine tactic: It’s hard to make a big dent in the smartphone biz when every company around can throw patent infringement suits at you — but when you’ve got hundreds upon hundreds of patents (or quills) in your armory, people are going to be a whole lot more careful about stepping on you.

Contrary to previous whispers, it appears that CEO Jon Rubinstein will be staying with the company. To quote the release, “Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.”

Read more at MobileCrunch

The saga of Apple’s next iPhone

28/04/2010

We’ve taken a close look at Apple’s next iPhone and it’s been quite a ride. Here’s what happened:

Apple lost the next iPhone which they had cleverly disguised to look like an iPhone 3GS. We got our hands on it and shared all the details with you, including a dissection. In the meantime, our servers melted and our tech team worked overtime.

We discussed how Apple missed chances to get the next iPhone back and cleared up some conspiracy theories by explaining why Apple didn’t leak the iPhone to us. (Heck, it’s not even about the iPhone!)

In the end, Apple asked to get their phone back and we returned it.

Read more at Gizmodo