Apr 7, 2011

Apple-Created Touchscreen Shortage Blamed For RIM PlayBook Delay

Research In Motion—RIM to you and me—was forced to delay the release of its PlayBook tablet because Apple pretty much exhausted the supply of touchscreen displays. The tablet has been delayed for about a year now, so a few extra days probably won’t make too big a difference.
The PlayBook will be available on April 19, but unlike the Motorola Xoom it won’t require a second mortgage to finance its purchase. It’ll come in three flavors: 16GB ($499), 32GB ($599), and 64GB ($699). It should also be noted that it has a 7-inch display, but I could have sworn I’ve seen threads online wherein people wish there was a smaller version of the iPad, the current size being a tad too big to comfortably tote about town without constantly being reminded, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got this thing with me.” Jump

Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Tab to Receive Update, No Honeycomb in Sight

I’m not sure if you should expect Android 3.0 Honeycomb to ever grace the 7-inch founder of the Galaxy Tab family, but if you are on Verizon a new update is prepped and ready to roll for the tablet. The 34.6MB update has some fixes and enhancements that promise better web browsing, more efficient (less battery drain) searching for Wi-Fi hotspots, and improved email and messaging. You can find all the info you need over at Verizon’s support page. The update should be rolling out now or in the very near future, let us know in the comments below if you have received yours!
[via DroidLife]

Google starts developing Chrome OS for tablets

Chrome OS, the web based closed source Linux based operating system from Google, is now being developed to work on tablet computers. According to CNET, "details in Google's source code reveal that company programmers have begun building a tablet version". This may not come as a surprise to many as Google had previously released a mockup last year (pictured), however this latest news shows that a release will happen, although we are not sure when.
Chrome OS is different from the open source Chromium OS, launched in 2009, in that it is closed source and only developed by Google, unlike Chromium which can be compiled by anyone from the widely available source code. The closed version was originally meant to be released on specific hardware last year, however various reports have said the release will be delayed until mid 2011.
So far Google have acknowledged the news but would not talk about any specific details, instead they said "We are engaging in early open-source work for the tablet form factor, but we have nothing new to announce at this time", and explained how a tablet version is not a priority at the moment, "Chrome OS was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of form factors. We expect to see different partners build different kinds of devices based on Chrome OS, but for this initial release we are targeting the notebook form factor."
CNET listed a few points which show further proof of the development, these include finding a specific "user-agent string" in the source which would allow sites to see which version of a website needs to be produced, either touch-based or traditional mouse-based and  a "virtual keyboard with a number of keys--tab, delete, microphone, return, and shift" which shows obvious signs that a touch screen version is in the pipeline. Jump

Half of World's Smartphones Will Run Android by 2012, Says Gartner

This post is part of our ReadWriteMobile channel, which is dedicated to helping its community understand the strategic business and technical implications of developing mobile applications. This channel is sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent. As you're exploring these resources, check out this helpful resource from our sponsors: Cultivating a Developer Ecosystem: Understanding Their Needs

In Android market share news, analysts at Gartner are now forecasting the Google-created mobile operating system will reach 49% smartphone market share by the end of 2012, based on handset sales. By the end of this year (2011), Android will be the most popular operating system in the world, as worldwide smartphone sales reach 468 million units.
Meanwhile, iOS will remain the second largest platform through 2014, says Gartner, despite seeing slight market share decreases this year. RIM will decline, and Nokia will push Windows Phone up to the mid-tier by the end of 2012, it predicts. By 2013, Windows Phone will be the third-largest platform.
Gartner april 2011

This isn't the first analyst firm to forecast that the Nokia/Microsoft partnership will have a major impact on smartphone market share. In March, IDC also said that Windows Phone would be boosted, arriving in the number two position by 2015.

Doubting the Analysts

Of course, these forecasts are not without their doubters. Both ZDNet and Engadget questioned IDC's numbers last month, and today, independent analyst Horace Dediu of asymco is questioning Gartner's.
He says that Gartner's assumption that Apple is "interested in maintaining margins rather than pursuing market share by changing its pricing strategy," contradicts statements made by Apple's COO Timothy D. Cook. He also doubts that RIM will be able to migrate from BlackBerry OS to QNX (the PlayBook OS) by 2012, as Gartner states. Finally, he doubts that the Nokia/Microsoft partnership will have that much of an effect by 2012, calling such a thing, if it was to occur, "an organizational miracle."
Dediu shared a useful chart, too, which showcases the current forecasts from various analyst firms, as well as the historical market share figures. The chart clearly shows that not all firms are on the same page when it comes to the future of the smartphone market. ABI Research, for example, sees more of a future in Samsung's Bada OS than it does in Windows Phone.
Marketshare smartphones
While it should be noted that Dediu is a decidedly pro-Apple analyst, he often makes more sense than some of the larger analyst firms. That said, predicting smartphone market share in an industry like this is usually a shot in the dark. Things change fast around here - long-term forecasts of any kind probably shouldn't be banked on. Jump

Galaxy S to Get Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Very Soon

samsung galaxy i9000 2 300x227 Galaxy S to Get Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Very Soon 

The Samsung Galaxy S will get an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread as early as this month from what we hear today. No exact date has been provided, but we have been informed that we could expect the update sometime mid-April.
We can assume at the moment that the update will be for unlocked handsets not tied down to a specific contract. However, the Three network in the UK has also stated that the Galaxy S on its network will be arriving within the next couple of weeks.
The confirmation came in the form of a tweet from the official Three twitter account and read as follows:
@relentl3ss It’s expected in the next couple of weeks but we cannot confirm a date.
This was in response to a question asking about the Android 2.3 update.
The Samsung website also makes mention of 2.3, along with the April release date. Remember that Samsung isn’t the best when sticking to dates, so don’t get your hopes up too high at the moment. Jump

Mar 25, 2011

Newest Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

Does this list apply to you? A.) You don't want an iPad. B.) You want a tablet. C.) Ten inches is too big. D.) Seven inches is too small. If so, you might soon be in the market for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 ($470-$570). Powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb and a dual-core 1GHz processor, the 8.9 features a 1280x800 8.9-inch display, HSPA+ networking, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a three-megapixel rear camera, a two-megapixel front camera, Sammy's TouchWiz UX interface — the first custom job for Android 3.0 — either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, and all the glory that comes with being the only person you know who owns an 8.9-inch tablet.

BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi. Finally Available!


It's the best in portability with access to a web without restrictions. It's next generation communication with amazing media capabilities. It's raw performance with incredible speed and unmatched security. It's ready for work play and everything in-between. It's the BlackBerry PlayBook - and it's everything you've been waiting for in a tablet. Pre-order now for $500. In stores April 19.

Mar 3, 2011

Apple makes it official! Apple Unveils Thinner, Faster iPad 2

  iPad 2Apple on Wednesday finally unveiled its next-generation tablet, dubbed the iPad 2. The device is 33 percent thinner, runs a new A5 chip, and will come in white, Apple said.
The iPad 2 will start shipping on March 11 in the U.S., and on March 25 in 26 additional countries. Like the original iPad, pricing will start at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB. The 32GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 will be $599, and the 64GB will be $699. For Wi-Fi+3G, the 16GB will be $629, the 32GB will be $729, and the 64GB will be $829.
Despite taking a medical leave of absense earlier this year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was on hand in San Francisco to unveil the new device, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. "We've been working on this product for awhile and I didn't want to miss today," Jobs said.

As expected, the iPad 2 will include a front- and rear-facing camera, and a built-in gyroscope from the iPod touch and iPhone. The rear camera supports HD up to 720p at 30 frames per second; the still camera has 5x digital zoom. The front camera is VGA.
The new device is thinner, going from 13.4 mm to 8.8mm thick. It's thinner than the iPhone 4, Jobs said. It is 9.5 inches tall and 7.31 inches wide, and weight 1.33 pounds. Jobs said that despite the smaller size, battery life will remain at 10 hours.
The iPad 2 will include a new, faster 1-GHz A5 chip from the Apple "chip wizards." The dual-core processor boasts up to 2x faster CPU performance, 9x faster graphics, and low-power consumption. "This will be the first dual-core tablet to ship in volume," Jobs siad.
Jobs also promised that the iPad 2 will ship in black and white from day one. It will also be available on both Verizon and AT&T.
On the accessory front, a $39 HDMI video-out accessory cable delivers mirrored video output up to 1080p, which works with all apps. Anything you see on an iPad screen you can see on the TV, Jobs said. There's no setup or configuration and you can charge your iPad while using it.
Jobs also unveiled a Smart Cover, which will better showcase the iPad 2. Jobs said he didn't like the original iPad cover because it covered up his pretty product and made it bulkier. The Smart Cover bends and folds around to double as a stand. It instantly wakes up the iPad when you open it and puts it to sleep when it's closed. Smart Cover magnetically grasps the screen and auto-aligns perfectly, Jobs said.
Smart Case comes in five poly colors, all $39, and five leather colors, which will retail for $69.
Apple also showed off iOS 4.3, the next version of its mobile operating system.
Jobs ribbed his competitors during the presentation, dubbing 2011 the year of the copycats. People laughed at Apple for calling the iPad "magical" and said the price was unreasonable, he said, but ask those competitors now if the price is reasonable. Apple sold 15 million iPads in 2010, bringing in $9.5 billion in revenue. That left competitors "flummoxed," Jobs said.
The App Store now has 65,000 iPad-focused apps. Competitors, meanwhile, launch with "at most," 100 apps, "and I think we are being a little generous here," Jobs said.
Jobs also confirmed that Random House books are now available via iBooks.
The announcement caps off months of speculation - from when the fabled tablet would actually appear to what new features it might contain. Most were in agreement that the device would include a front-facing camera, particularly since that feature is now available on competing devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom. Others also thought a slimmer and lighter form factor was in the works. Talk about a white iPad was also in the mix.
Via PC mag

Feb 23, 2011

Apple makes it official: iPad 2 launch on March 2

According to Jim at Loopinsight.com, Apple has begun officially sending out invites to the iPad 2 event which will indeed be held on March 2nd.
According to the invitation received by The Loop, the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10:00 am. This is the same venue Apple has used to introduce a number of products in recent years.
The invite, above, clearly shows an iPad which is conveniently covering the area where a camera would be.

RIM shows off TAT-developed BlackBerry PlayBook apps

We've been eager to see what The Astonishing Tribe (otherwise known as TAT) would come up with for the PlayBook since RIM acquired the design firm back in December, and we're now finally getting our first glimpse at a few of the things they've been working on. Those include a scrapbook app that takes advantage of four-fingered multitouch, and a weather app dubbed "Aura" that was built with the WebWorks platform and makes use of the PlayBook's accelerometer -- both of which are relatively simple, but are intended to demonstrate how easy and quickly developers can build applications for the PlayBook. Also on display at Mobile World Congress this week was fairly impressive media player that can be used when the tablet's connected to a TV via its HDMI port -- it will not only let you view videos, but play games (albeit just a Rubik's Cube in the demo) and even view 3D content as well.

Australia’s Jetstar Airways takes the training wheels off iPad rental program, wants the tablet ‘on every aircraft’

Here's a quick and easy way to escape the mediocrity of those tiny low-res LCDs embedded in the seat in front of you: slap down 10 Australian dollars and upgrade to the iPad's IPS goodness for the duration of your Jetstar Airways flight. This rental option has been available on the Australian airline's flights since June, but only in pilot form (insert your own jokes here), and the feedback has been good enough for the company to make it a fleet-wide policy. "Movies, music, magazines, books and games" will all come preloaded, so you shouldn't fret about having to shell out extra hunting around for content. Licensing agreements are expected to be finalized shortly, with the rental program rolling out in full this April.

Lenovo LePad set for a global June LeLaunch

Lenovo's ready to get specific with dates now that Google's got itself an honest to goodness tablet OS. A company spokesman said that its LePad tablet -- first announced by that name back in June 2010 but previewed at CES all the way back in January 2010 -- will ship in its home country of China in March before making its way to the global stage in June. Unfortunately, Lenovo isn't saying anything about final specs or which countries are first on its list -- we already knew it was coming to the US in 2011. The company's also not talking price. Last time we saw LePad in January it was sporting Android 2.2 with a custom "LeOS" skin riding a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel display with a price just north of $500. Question is: will Lenny set it free with vanilla Honeycomb or will it feel compelled to apply the LeOS skin in order to avoid becoming just another Android tablet?

Dell Rosemount tablet will have Intel’s Oak Trail inside, stylus, removable battery and remote wipe

Dell means business with its upcoming Windows 7 slate, if the whispers we're hearing are true -- we have it on good authority that the recently-leaked Rosemount will be a Latitude. An inside source says that the 10-inch tablet will not only sport Dell's storied business brand but will be geared towards enterprise through and through, with features like serviceable components (including a removable battery), software encryption and the ability to perform a remote wipe, and that it'll have a dual-digitizer to support both touch input and a stylus for fine details. We don't know about performance or battery life quite yet, but the slate will reportedly use an Atom chip, specifically Intel's Oak Trail, so we'll let you imagine the possibilities.

Motorola Xoom manual now available for download, ready to expose the ins and outs of Honeycomb

Motorola Xoom manual now available for download, ready to expose the ins and outs of Honeycomb
Wish you had your Xoom tablet already? Yeah, us too. We can't get you there, but thanks to Droid Live you can at least pore over every page of the thing's manual. 64 pages, actually, covering everything from how to turn it on to, well, how to turn it off again. Looking for other excitement? You'll find a hipster on a bench on page 10, what appears to be Joanna Newsom on page 30, and a disgustingly happy couple on page 33. Oh, and lots and lots of details bout Honeycomb too. Check it out!

Sony Ericsson CTO- first LTE device coming ‘pretty soon,’ also considering Android tablets

Back in late 2008, Ericsson boldly predicted that 2012 will be the year of LTE; and fast forward to today, one year shy of the big one-two, said company's joint venture with Sony is already teasing its first LTE device. In a recent interview with Fierce Wireless, Sony Ericsson CTO Jan Uddenfeldt talked about SE's renewed focus on the US market, and how its relationship with Google helped securing its first-ever deal with Verizon. While emphasizing that SE's been in the CDMA business for years in Japan, Uddenfeldt also referred to the TD-LTE demonstration with ST-Ericsson and China Mobile at MWC, which featured a prototype LTE device developed by his own gang. Looks like SE's all set to enter the game, but the question is when will we see its first LTE device on the market? Uddenfeldt said "pretty soon," and he further fuels speculation by mentioning a potential collaboration with Sony on some Android tablets (maybe the S1?). Oh, such a teaser this man is.

Motorola posts specs for GSM and WiFi-only Xoom, indentical to original save the radios

What's the difference between a WiFi-only Xoom tablet and one equipped with EV-DO Rev. A or HSPA bands? Just $200 and the radio chip within. Motorola just released the full spec sheets for its full lineup of Android Honeycomb tablets, and they're otherwise exactly the same inside. That goes for the Tegra 2 SOC, of course, but also surprisingly the GPS, which is often baked right into the cellular radio in mobile devices like these. Good on Motorola for keeping the functionality in!

Kno says some tablets will ship within 60 days, doesn’t explain pre-order delay

We were somewhat taken aback when Kno confirmed its textbook tablet had been delayed without a word on when production would resume, but the company now says pre-orders will experience up to two months' delay before they ship out, and not all of them will. eBookNewser and CrunchGear report that shipments could be delayed until as late as April 14th, and that the first shipment will be restricted "to a limited number of students and teachers." Kno still hasn't provided a reason for the delay, but we think that the newly closed-off website says a lot. "You now need an invitation to get a Kno," it reads, "There aren't enough to go around."

Motorola’s Sanjay Jha on Xoom- ‘Our ability to deliver 4G justifies the $799 price point’

Motorola's Xoom will cost a tad more than the competition, but company co-CEO Sanjay Jha has an explanation for why that might be: he told reporters that the Android Honeycomb tablet's price is justified by the promise of speedy 4G internet. Of course, the $800 Xoom doesn't actually come with 4G connectivity out of the gate, but Jha told reporters that the Xoom's LTE upgrade will be free, and that wonder of wonders, the tablet will be capable of pulling down 50 megabit per second speeds. Someone might want to check Sanjay's math -- sure, in the midst of a Verizon fog at CES 2011, we were able to manage 33Mbps, but we typically get less than half that speed on a day-to-day basis.

Feb 22, 2011

iPad 2 Is Now In Production

iPad 2
WSJ must be on great terms with Apple due to almost all leaks from Apple are reported by them. Today they have reported that Apple has started manufacturing the new version of the iPad.
Apple Inc. has started manufacturing a new version of its iPad tablet computer with a built-in camera and faster processor….. be thinner and lighter than the first model….. It will have at least one camera on the front of the device for features like video-conferencing….. the resolution of the display will be similar to the first iPad….. It will also have more memory and a more powerful graphics processor.
They also mention that the iPad 2 will be initially available through Verizon Wireless and AT&T but no other carrier. I can see AT&T as the first carrier of the iPad 2 because that is what Apple has done previously. WSJ also believes that the iPad may not have an improved screen, however we have heard otherwise in other rumors that the iPad 2 has a thinner more lightweight screen than the first version. Will a Retina display be found on the iPad 2, I think that what was pointed out in my previous post on the retnia display on a second generation iPad proves that wrong. I think that they need a higher resolution screen but not a “Retina” display.
I think that this is a great leap for Apple in the Tablet market. But I believe that the front facing camera must be 1.3 megapixel and the rear must be capable of 720P video recording and the resolution of the screen needs to be upgraded for this to be able to compete with the new Android and Windows tablets currently in the market.
We do know however that the new iPad is destined to do well because many people wait for the second version of a device say the original iPad for flaws to be corrected. So the iPad 2 may completely shatter the first iPad’s sales records and give Apple another boost in the market, investors estimate this number to be around 35 million. How do you think the iPad 2 will do?

Feb 21, 2011

Find out what your tax return is on your iPad

TurboTax for iPad.jpg

Tax time is usually not fun for anyone, even for those of us who get money back. Part of the reason for that has a lot to do with waiting to see what the amount is, and then waiting for Revenue Canada to cut a cheque. The TurboTax Refund Calculator is an easy — and free — way to find out just how much you can expect to get back.

The app is surprisingly deep in what it offers. You can determine your return or amount owing by not only inputting the basics like your income, but you can also throw in your RRSP contributions and income derived from investments, property and self-employed endeavors.

This is really easy to do if you go by your T4 slip or even the last pay stub you earned for 2010. The sliders are quick and simple to use, though you can just type in the proper amounts, if that’s easier for you. The “Caroline Says” section at the bottom right corner also pops up useful facts about tax rules and deductions that might make a difference, if they apply to you.

While there is a lot here to go with, it’s not necessarily going to be totally accurate. Hence, why Intuit says clearly that it’s an “estimate” rather than a figure that’s going to be dead on. Mind you, if you have no investments or other income, it’s likely that what you see will be what you get.

And if you’re pulling in more than $200,000 a year, you can’t really use the app either, since that’s the ceiling income level. Self-employed and those with complicated taxes may not find the app quite as pervasive because it doesn’t include sliders for deductions and other write-offs. But if you’ve done the math already and know what your net income is (meaning the amount after all deductions have been subtracted), then you might be able to see the final tally.

Plus, this is just meant as a snapshot of your tax situation, so you won’t be able to file anything from the app anyway. Getting an idea of what to expect is still worth trying this out though.

Fujitsu LifeBook T580 Full Updated Review

Most probably don't recall the Fujitsu LifeBook T580 launch because it occurred on Labor Day weekend, just about the time the Samsung Galaxy Tab was making headlines. It seems Fujitsu now has another shot at tablet headlines because the convertible notebook with near-netbook specs, or "netvertible" is finally available in the US on the Fujitsu online store just in time for Christmas.
The LifeBook T580 sports a 10.1-inch screen with a dual digitizer and N-Trig pen recognition, Windows 7 Professional and either an Intel Core i5 or i3 processor. The previously mentioned optional GPS seems to be excluded from this model. Here is the full spec sheet for the "Express Buy" unit, which is priced $1,149 at launch.
  • Intel Core i3-380UM Processor (1.33 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache)
  • Genuine Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
  • Microsoft Office Starter 20101
  • 10.1-inch HD WXGA LED backlight LCD
  • 4-finger capacitive multi-touch screen with pen input
  • 2 GB DDR3 800 MHz SDRAM memory (2 GB + empty slot)
  • 160 GB S-ATA 5400 RPM hard drive3
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth Wireless
  • Web Camera
  • Embedded Fingerprint Sensor, dedicated Smart Card slot
  • Integrated ambient light sensor
  • Spill-resistant keyboard with touchpad
  • Lithium ion battery (6-cell, 5,800 mAh)

RIM adds 4G options to Playbook tablets

The BlackBerry PlayBook is seen in this image courtesy Research in Motion.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is stepping up its efforts to take a share of the computer tablet market with the announcement of two additional PlayBook tablets for faster, advanced wireless networks.
RIM said Monday at an industry conference in Spain that it will launch two additional tablets later this year to support fourth-generation networks that are suited to video streaming and high amounts of data.
"We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook's many advantages with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users," said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO said in a news release.
RIM (TSX:RIM) is expected to have its first PlayBook computer tablet out this spring, likely in March, and will be competing with Apple's iPad and tablets powered by Google's Android operating system.
Apple's iPad isn't yet available for fourth-generation networks.
The Waterloo, Ont., company has announced a family of PlayBook tablets to run on a variety of fourth-generation networks such as Long-Term Evolution and WiMax. The tablets will also work on short-range Wi-Fi networks and can support Bluetooth tethering.
National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson said he expects a "pent up" demand for the PlayBook from enterprise users since many businesses don't support Apple or Android's operating systems yet.
"Our view is that the PlayBook is more appealing to enterprise customers than to consumers, at least in the early days," Thompson wrote in a recent note.
Thompson said he's expecting RIM to ship 3.6 million PlayBooks in fiscal 2012 with an average selling price of $481 and 6.2 million units in fiscal 2013 with an average selling price of $450.
RIM is exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, a major show featuring the latest developments in mobile communications.
Shares in Research In Motion were down 15 cents in late morning trading at $65.73 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

BlackBerry Playbook: Price and Release Date Update

We haven’t heard too many details on the BlackBerry Playbook recently, but we have some pretty important news for those of you planning to pick up the WiFi version of the device, due out within the next few months.
As reported from Engadget, a leaked screenshot has not only revealed that the BlackBerry Playbook will be coming to select retailers aside from carriers, but also potential pricing information for the WiFi version of the Playbook.
If the image below is real, then we’re looking at $500 for the 16GB WiFi edition at Office Depot, meaning that RIM were not lying when they informed us that the price for the Playbook would come under the $500 mark. It also means that the Playbook will be considerably lower than the Motorola Xoom, which we’re hearing could be priced between $700 – 800.
If you take a look at the image, it also says week 17, which hints that the Playbook will be available sometime around April – the WiFi version at least. Let’s hope this $500 price is real as it will definitely prove to be a key factor when deciding which tablet to pick up in a few months time.

Feb 19, 2011

Arc-PurpleRomance iPad case and stand targets the fairer sex

arc purpleromance ipad case and stand by joy factory

Since its launch, the Apple iPad has been the prime target of haute couture brands and designers, as they have filled the shelves with a range of accessories to go with your sleek and sexy iPad. The latest comes from The Joy Factory, and it’s the Swarovski crystal-studded, special edition Arc-PurpleRomance iPad case and stand. The Arc-PurpleRomance flaunts a luxurious violet case with a Swarovski crystal accent, making it a unique gift for any special occasion. Valentine’s Day is a few days away, and this stylish iPad stand makes for a great gift for your sassy girl. Sampson Yang, president of The Joy Factory and consumer electronics veteran, cited…
This chic release suits the tech-savvy woman on-the-go. Swarovski—known for their precision-cut luxury crystal—adds the perfect accent to the already stylish Arc. This slim, lightweight and durable Arc case and adjustable stand sports a sleek style and redefines effortless technology use in today’s fast-paced world.
The PurpleRomance has a unique all-in-one design that lets you tap and type right through the built-in screen protector. Every case comes with a premium washable microfiber dust bag. While the slip-resistant coating makes for easy handling, the four adjustable viewing angles provide greater comfort while working. Moreover, it features Joy Factory’s Joytracer program, which provides a unique identification system.
The limited edition Arc-PurpleRomance iPad case and stand sells for $110. more pics

Feb 17, 2011

When Are Tablets Better Than A Smartphone?

Tablets are becoming quite the rage on the technical market, with seemingly everyone releasing their own version (and with a variety of operating systems). But in a lot of the cases the buyer of a new tablet device already owns a smart phone, more than capable of doing the same functions as the new tablet. So, is the purchase really warranted?
TabletvsAndroid When Are Tablets Better Than A Smartphone?
Well, it would depend on the situation, of course. In some cases it is more than justified, and in others it’s a convenience. And of course there are times when it just doesn’t make sense. Let’s take a look at the different areas where tablet and smartphone usage overlap, and see which one might be the best for the use at hand.
Text Only Books Are Not A Convincing Argument
First of all, let me buck the trend and throw this out – for books comprised of text (novels and short stories, if you will), a tablet is not really better than a smart phone. Now, this is based on a couple assumptions: 1) that you have a newer smartphone with a nice large display and 2) your eyesight is good. With those two stipulations in place, you can download a great reader for your smartphone that will allow you to adjust font sizes to a comfortable size, pick a theme that is easy on the eyes, and lets you browse and get books as desired.
The same size fonts on a back lit tablet is going to look very similar on your smartphone, plus it is easier to take with you. Sure, it looks nicer on a tablet, especially with a landscape display and two columns, but the act of reading text is arguably no different.
Most Comic Books Are Better On A Tablet
Tablets really shine when it comes to media designed for a page, and comic books are a great example of this. With a decent tablet you can usually read the page in its entirety, and you can easily zoom in to any areas that you want or need to see better. New tablets are great for existing digital comic book collections in a common format.
But tablets are not always that much better when it comes to the new interactive comics. A lot of the current comic offerings are designed to slide, zoom, and position themselves for you, making it a rather enjoyable experience on both styles of devices. In fact, for the latest Marvel digital comics, I find that I end up reading them on the smartphone because it is usually with me and more accessible.
Read on, here.

The Tablet Takeover

With the emergence of the iPad, media tablets have become poised like never before to dominate the home computer market. With their touch screens and chameleon like abilities to perform a bevy of tasks, one can only wonder if the takeover is sooner than we think.

BlackBerry PlayBook vs. iPad vs. Galaxy Tab vs. Streak: the tale of the tape

What a day -- yesterday, that is. Research in Motion finally announced its long-awaited BlackBerry tablet, the 7-inch PlayBook (thankfully not named the BlackPad). While there's still quite a few missing details, and nary an unit in site for us to try first-hand, we've still got a sampling of specs for this little guy to go tête-à-tête on the quantitative field of proverbial battle, at least as it can be seen so far (that early 2011 release date is still a ways off). Looks very promising so far, lined up against Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, and the Dell Streak, but our known unknowns -- i.e. price, app support, and overall feel of using the QNX-built operating system -- are what will really make or break the slate. Until that time, enjoy our number-crunching below:



Galaxy Tab

Screen size 7 inches 9.7 inches 7 inches 5 inches
Resolution 1024 x 600 1024 x 768 1024 x 600 800 x 480
Pixel density (approx.) 170 133 170 187
Platform BB Tablet OS iOS 3.2.2 (4.2 in November) Android 2.2 Android 1.6 (2.1 / 2.2 in future)
Adobe Flash support 10.1 Not Supported 10.1 Not supported
Processor 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 1GHz Apple A4 (ARMv7) 1GHz Cortex A8 1GHz Snapdragon
Graphics Unknown PowerVR SGX 535 PowerVR SGX 540 Adreno 200
RAM 1GB 256MB 512MB 512MB
Internal Storage 16GB / 32GB (unconfirmed) 16GB / 32GB / 64GB 16GB / 32GB 2GB
Expansion Unknown None microSD microSD
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Cellular data 3G and 4G promised for future 3G optional (GSM) 3G (all carriers) 3G (sold via AT&T)
GPS None 3G models only Yes Yes
Camera 3MP front,
5MP rear
None 1.3MP front,
3MP rear
VGA front,
5MP rear
Weight 0.9 lbs 1.5 - 1.6 lbs 0.84 lbs 0.49 lbs

The Ongoing Obsession with Tablets

Quite evidently, the latest to rub off on tech realm is the tablet mania. Following Apple’s highly anticipated ‘i’ device, the iPad, we have seen uproar in several markets with manufacturers trying to dish out a tablet version of their own. Features like utmost portability, larger screen and so on, have helped tablets garner accolades.
Apple products have by far been trend setters with a virtual over-hyped aura encircling them, be it with their music lineup or other devices. This time around, the company has gone a step ahead and almost egged other manufactures to pull out a competitive device. Though the iPad didn’t escape flak from critics initially, it still allured Apple loyalists and managed to show off impressive sales figures like 1 million units sold in 28 days and 2 million in 59 days.
Over the year, the market scene has undergone a sudden change almost reviving the tablet segment. Several other players played their cards; some instantly while others still in the pipeline. Dell uncloaked the Streak tablet that runs on Froyo while BlackBerry plans to allure its business strata with the highly anticipated Playbook. Moreover, we have been hearing about Notion Ink’s Adam for sometime now, yet again an Android tablet by a group of IITians from India.
The most recent tablets to emerge also include the Binatone tablet sporting a price tag around Rs. 9000 while the Magnum tablet by LACS comes in two iterations. Hopping onto the bandwagon is ZTE and a few more companies as well. So, we see the tablet mania gripping both manufacturers and consumer minds.
Technological advancements have always inundated markets with products that make heads turn. Devices reign for some time and are taken over by something much better and innovative. Right now, the tablet arena is flourishing, leaving room for improvement for the next emerging product in the category.  Let’s wait and watch if this hype fades away or the category manages to sustain a strong foothold on the market in the years to come. Link

Tablets vs. laptops

 So your laptop is getting old: Should you buy a new one or change horses and try out one of these tablet computers?
That all depends on what you want to do with it.
It's still the case that laptops and smaller netbook computers are tuned for production — word processing, e-mailing, number-crunching, more complicated tasks that often require a lot of text and switching among several windows running different applications.
Tablets, lacking a mouse or a keyboard, are better for tasks that have simpler tactile and visual elements — like paging through a photo gallery, checking online news or blogs, or reading a digital magazine. In other words, they work better for consumption, and thus can stay on for quite a few hours on one charge.
For social media addicts, tablets will be excellent for browsing through Facebook for the latest photos or links that friends have posted, or checking out Twitter to see what the digital hive mind is buzzing about at that moment.
The iPad in particular has become a hit for casual gaming. Video games like Angry Birds, in which the player tries to knock down rickety structures by shooting birds at them with a large slingshot, can be played with a single fingertip. No complicated controllers required.
When it comes to more serious applications, though, tablets are likely to lag behind netbooks and laptops for the foreseeable future: The devices are not sophisticated enough to seamlessly run multiple programs at once or to allow users to find and install the endless variety of software now available for PCs.
There is a thriving community of iPad "app" developers — the device has close to 40,000 small programs created for it, by some counts. But no such group yet exists for tablets running on Google's Android operating system, which will constitute most of the new offerings in coming months. Article here

Will Tablets replace Textbooks?

Tablet startups bet on digital classroom.
 If Adrian Hartog has his way, college kids will be sporting tablet computers instead of backpacks loaded down with heavy textbooks. The CEO of educational tablet maker mySpark Technologies (mysparktech.com) is among a growing number of entrepreneurs attempting to change the way students study, share and do homework.
"Everybody is learning how to use the digital form," said Hartog, a former executive with graphic chipmakers AMD (AMD.N) and ATI. "We're really trying to provide a comprehensive solution for students."
MySpark plans to market two versions of its tablet, based on the Android operating platform, priced between $200 to $350 and due to be released this spring, Hartog said. Aimed at the college market, the 10-inch devices will let students buy digital textbooks, sync school calendars, collaborate via instant messaging and run Android apps.
Using a special stylus, they can take notes or annotate text; there's even cloud-based backup in case the device is lost. Hartog is betting the device - still in beta testing - will push students to stretch beyond traditional textbooks toward interactive material such as online demonstration videos and Web-based coursework.
"People will get access to content they never would have before," said Hartog, whose company is initially targeting North America and India.
Continue reading article here.
CHICAGO | Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:25am EST
CHICAGO (Reuters)

Feb 7, 2011

Super Bowl Commercials 2011 - Motorola Pokes Fun at Apple Users

Motorola's Super Bowl 2011 commercial pokes fun at Apple iPhone users by featuring "homogenous, mindless drones who all look alike and use the same chuck of hardware; the standout -- a handsome young gentleman using the Xoom -- is even reading Orwell's 1984."

Feb 2, 2011

The evolution of iOS gaming

Electronic Arts revealed today that its mobile game sales revenues have eclipsed its other platform businesses for the first time -- net mobile revenues for Q3 hit $59 million. While EA didn't break this figure out by platform, it is pretty clear that games for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad have become a huge business, a business that's driving a rapid evolution in terms of quality and game play.

Tear yourself away from the newly-released Dead Space game (above), and think about the impact of these things on the games industry. 57 million people across the main European countries are playing mobile games (from all platforms) - nearly a quarter of mobile users. And that's growing at 51% a year. Competitors are taking Apple's [AAPL] play at the games market very, very seriously.  Read more here

Exclusive: iPad 2 screen, fresh from China

With the help of the iFixYouri iPhone 4 repair shop, we have been able to acquire what we believe is an iPad 2 LCD, fresh out of China. At this point, we cannot tell if the resolution is higher (or “Retina”) but it is definitely higher quality in terms of its build. The iPad 2′s display is also lighter, and over a mm thinner than the current iPad’s display with a smaller surrounding frame. This is a dream for a product designer like Jony Ive who now has some more tapering options for what looks to be a significantly lighter iPad 2. More pictures here

Feb 1, 2011

Motorola teases new tablet with Honeycomb

Motorola has released a video that goes through the evolution of the tablet till now. They call the iPad an oversized iPhone and the Galaxy Tab, Android for a phone. The camera then pans towards a red Motorola logo displaying an item under a sheet. The end of the video again shows the new logo with a bee buzzing around it. The bee hints and the new Android 3.0 OS called Honeycomb.
VIA: Engadget

CES 2011 Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series

At the CES 2011 Microsoft Keynote Microsoft brought out some new computers. One of the most amazing computers was a Samsung Sliding PC7 Series. The most special part of this device is its functionality. It is both a tablet and a laptop. The device starts out as a tablet and you can slide the device just as a slide out keyboard in a phone and out a keyboard appears. Then you can flip it upright and it transforms into a laptop.
The laptop that was shown was probably the most awesome part of the keynote. When that device came out from behind the stage the whole crowd loved it. I think this device will be able to cover the tablet and laptop market because it contained both of them in one. This device has a Intel ATOM running at 1.66GHz. Windows 7 Home Premium. 2GB of DDR2 memory. Comes in both a 32GB or 64GB model. had a 10.1 inch 1366 x 768 HD Touchscreen. Two integrated speakers. One USB 2.0 port. 4-in-1 memory card reader. HMDI out. A 1.3 MP webcam. A long lasting battery up to 9 hours. More features include:
• Wireless: 802.11b/g/n; WiMax; 3G
• Dimensions: 10.47 x 6.88 x 0.78 inches (W x D x H)
• Weight: Starting at 2.18 lbs.
LAS VEGAS, NV, January 5, 2011 – Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, today announced the launch of its first sliding tablet PC at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Equipped with Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and powered by the upcoming Intel® Atom™ processor platform, currently code-named “Oak Trail,” the PC 7 Series maximizes the benefits of a tablet PC with its compact, light design, and incorporates a sliding keyboard for easy typing, enhanced productivity and performance. The display elegantly slides up to reveal a physical keyboard giving the user the option of a multi-touch display or full keyboard and mouse interface. Read full review here

Leo Laporte shows off Blackberry Playbook and Nintendo 3DS live on Regis and Kelly

Leo Laporte from the popular technology show TWiT made an appearance on Regis and Kelly today to show off some electronics from CES this year. Leo first showed off a full working version of the Blackberry Playbook from RIM. He also showed off the unreleased Nintendo 3DS as well as a new car from GM called the EN-V.
It looked like Regis and Kelly were quite impressed with all of the gadgets from CES even though they may have not known how most of them work.  On a side note we actually got to meet Leo at the TWiT booth at CES.
Leo Laporte and Matt Jurek from TekGoblin.com
Check out the video below of Leo on the show. Read full review here

Jan 28, 2011

Toshiba takes on Apple and iOS for lack of Flash

Toshiba created a new website for its upcoming tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad. The website is build on Adobe Flash, a plug-in that iOS does not support. When an iPad or iPhone user tries to access Toshiba’s website, they don’t get just an “unsupported” message. Instead Toshiba redirects users to a page making the point that its tablet will play Flash content.
Such a Shame. Add this to the list of the interesting places on the internet you can’t see on your device. Of course, if you had a Toshiba Tablet you would enjoy the entire internet. Yep, Flash sites too.

Of course, Toshiba’s tablet is not available yet and is not expected until Q2 of 2011. Then if you change the url of the redirected page from http://thetoshibatablet.com/mobile/apple.html to http://thetoshibatablet.com/mobile/ you’ll find a an iOS-compatible page. Successful marketing or dumb argument?
Source: TUAW

Apple airs new ‘iPad is Iconic’ TV ad!

Apple aired a new iPad TV ad today with name “iPad is Iconic”. The ad follows the same theme like the previous ads and shows multiple well known iPad applications including Apple’s iBooks and iWork Pages for the iPad, The Wall Street Journal and more. However there is one very interesting app shown in the ad. The ad shows the iPad being used as an American Airlines air ticket. This is part of American Airlines app Mobile Boarding Pass feature. While the ad shows a scanner being used on a barcode on the iPad screen, the future will be the use of NFC technology Apple is working on for a few years now.
At the beginning of November Apple released the “iPad is Electric” ad and at the end of the same month released the “iPad is Amazing” ad. Video of the new TV ad can be found below.

Apple is working on ‘magic gloves’ that work with touchscreen devices like iPad!

Apple was granted a new patent that will allow users to wear a special glove and control touchscreen devices like an iPhone or iPad. Apple says that in cold places it is necessary for users to continue to wear gloves while at the same time being able to use their devices.
When users, in cold weather, wear thick or bulky gloves, some electronic devices may therefore be unable to recognize or identify user interactions with the input mechanism. The loss of tactile feedback to the user may prevent the user from properly operating the electronic device, and may lead to frustration. Alternatively, if the user has to remove his gloves to operate the electronic device, the user’s hand may become cold and uncomfortable, which may also lead to user frustration.
Apple’s solution is a special glove with an outer shell that can be used to operate a touchscreen device. Apple says that the glove can provide tactile feedback to the user.
A glove that includes an inner liner and an outer shell may be provided. The liner may include a palm portion and one or more fingers operative to receive a user’s hand. The liner may be constructed such that the user receives tactile feedback when the user manipulates the input mechanism of an electronic device while wearing the liner.
Last November Hitachi revealed touch panels capable of detecting input from plastic or even a cloth. This could allow a device to be used with gloves in cold places.
Source: Patently Apple

Next generation iPad (iPad 2) and iPhone (iPhone 5) to come with NFC technology

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is working to bring NFC (Near Field Communications) technology to the next generation of iOS devices. The report suggests that we will see this technology on iPad 2 and iPhone 5.

Apple Inc. plans to introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, said Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.
The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.
In the past year Apple published multiple patents for use of the NFC technology. A POS system, a Home Appliances Control system, an Entertainment Ticketing system, and a Travel application are a few of Apple’s patents involving NFC.
In August, Apple hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier as a new product manager for mobile commerce. Then, a report by TechCrunch suggested that Apple is already testing NFC capable iPhones.
Source: Bloomberg

News Corp iPad newspaper ‘The Daily’ to launch February 2

News Corp. Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch sent out invitations today to select media members for the launch event of a digital-only newspaper “The Daily”. “News Corporation Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch invites you to the launch of: THE DAILY”, the invitation reads. The event will be held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on February 2 at 11.00a. Present at the introduction of the new iPad newspaper will be Apple’s Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue. It is known that Apple’s engineers worked closely with News Corp’s people to build the new application.
It is expected that the magazine will cost 99c per week. With the debut of “The Daily” Apple will introduce a new subscription based model for purchases from the App Store, a long time asked feature that is missing today.
Source: The Loop

Jan 25, 2011

MSI Projector-Tablet is Only a Prototype, for Now

One might have thought that projectors would be more used on mobile devices than 3D technology, but that’s not the case. While tridimensional technology is picking up speed, everyone seems to have forgotten about projectors, although we get to see devices like the one below every once in a while. This is a tablet with a projector incorporated, as you can see.
Too bad that this is a mere product with MSI branding, running Windows 7 and based on Intel’s CPU. This 10 inch touchscreen slate includes the projector in a rotating section on top of the tablet and we learn that that area can rotate backwards and forward. MSI also wants to bring Android to this device, in an ARM version of it.
Let’s hope that it passes the prototype phase and reaches mass production, with a price below $500, if possible?
SOURCE: electronista

iPad 2 Image Points Towards February 9 Announcement

There’s no doubt concerning the following Apple product that will be announced and that is the iPad 2. The device will supposedly debut on February 9 is a recent image of the tablet leaked on the web is to be believed. This idea comes from the fact that there’s the February 9th date present on the homescreen, just like the original iPad with the January 27 date on the screen, the day when it was announced.
Going back in time and according to 9to5mac, this is sort of a tradition for Apple, as you can see in the images below. The Apple iPhone 4 was announced on June 7 and that date was marked on the Home screen of the device in the first leaked pics. Also, the iPhone 3G was announced on June 9, a date that was marked on its home screen.
The original iPad made its official debut on January 27, also a Wednesday and February 9th will be a Wednesday, too so everything’s perfect. Could this be right?
SOURCE: 9to5mac