Specifications and rendered images have purportedly been leaked for the HTC Omni, a successor to the Universal, also known as O2's Xda Exec and T-Mobile's MDA Pro. The Omni is a dramatic change, featuring a high-gloss display with a four-inch screen, capable of resolutions up to 800x480. It should also run Windows Mobile 6.0, and have 128MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM; a microSD slot provides expansion. Connection options should likewise be plentiful, with UMTS/HSDPA broadband, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and local links through USB and Bluetooth. Full and assistive GPS options are available. The tentative release date for the Omni is said to be October. [via the unwired]
Samsung today provided extra details about its upcoming Blu-Ray and HD DVD combo player at an event in advance of Berlin's IFA media expo. The BDP-UP5000 will support all the features of either movie format, including Internet extras through an Ethernet connection that both formats will recognize. It should also eliminate the stilted motion effects caused by pulldown conversion and can output movies at either a film-native 24 frames per second or as quickly as 60 frames per second for faster videos. No trouble is expected with playing movies at a full 1080p, Samsung says.
Research in Motion has finally been given the green light to sell its iconic BlackBerry smartphone in China. The Canadian firm has overcome an eight-year delay and now has permission from the country's Ministry of Information Industry to sell one phone model, the 8700g, in local shops for the equivalent of $700. The device is already poised to be popular in the increasingly well-off nation and has already queued up 5,000 pre-orders from businesspeople and from expatriates working abroad who would already like to use the handset, RIM says.
Hoping to compete in the realm of smaller, cheaper digital audio players, Hitachi has announced the I'm Muse HMP-X5, an upgrade to the earlier HMP-G1. The player is distinguished by its blade-like appearance, and while it lacks a graphical interface, it nevertheless has an attractive monochrome display. Control is handled through a direction pad meant to resemble the clickwheel of the Apple iPod. The player weighs only 1.3 ounces, and has an impressive battery life that extends to 16 hours. Flash memory holds approximately 2GB of audio (including recorded voice), and buyers can pick between black or white colors. Hitachi expects to ship the X5 to Japan at an "open" price on July 12th.
GPS producer Mio Technology is planning a major reworking of its PDA GPS units to spark new life into their design, an early leak shows. The P360 and P560 will be dropped in as replacements for the P350 and P560, shedding the earlier conventional look for one that appears to cross the iPod mini and iPhone: the tapered block shape will be dominated by a stylus-based touchscreen and allow the only a secondary joystick and startup buttons for contacts and GPS at the front of the unit. Internet access will come through Wi-Fi with Bluetooth providing for wireless headsets or keyboards; maps and other data are loaded on to an SD card.
Though a holiday in the US, Wednesday has marked Sprint's release of the Sanyo Katana II on its network. The release follows a short turnaround from the phone's appearance as the Katana DLX in leaks and is now known to include a few minor but useful internal changes beyond a more stylized look. Bluetooth has been upgraded to 2.0 for support of faster and newer headsets; memory has also grown significantly to 20MB, providing just enough room for extra photos from the 1.3-megapixel camera or for ringtones.
The worldwide cellular carrier Vodafone may be about to announce a European hosting deal for the iPhone, say sources close to one website. newswireless reports that the company is merely waiting for American sales of one million units to be achieved, at which point it hopes to announce Vodafone, T-Mobile and Carphone Warehouse as distribution channels. With the record sales of the iPhone, this may be achieved as soon as Thursday; legal wrangling may yet cause a delay however, since one source notes that a contract drafted in Germany did not meet the approval of Vodafone's English lawyers.
Danger hopes to revitalize its Sidekick message phones with one made by Motorola, an early but complete spec sheet reveals. The Zante will share the same basic concept of a slide-out display that exposes a keyboard but should have a slicker look reflecting Motorola's influences. Actual technical features will be closer to the high-end Sidekick 3 than the basic Sidekick ID with EDGE Internet, a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and playback of AAC/MP3/WMA stored on up to a 2GB miniSD card. Battery life will be relatively long for the phone class at just short of 6 hours for nonstop voice calls, a presentation note reads.
Jon Lech Johansen late Tuesday revealed that he had successfully broken the activation code for AT&T in iTunes, opening the possibility of using the device without its normally mandatory AT&T service. The code writer, best known as "DVD Jon" for breaking the DeCSS encryption on DVDs, has discovered that editing key hexadecimal numbers in Apple's software and redirecting an Internet server request will successfully trick the device into switching into its normal mode. Phone services will refuse to work (due to the lack of an active SIM) but iPod and Internet services over Wi-Fi will function as usual, Johansen says.
Cellphone producer HTC is working on a unique ultra-mobile PC that could straddle the line between notebooks and phones, according to a new leaked roadmap. Presently known as the X9500 and nicknamed the "Shangri-La," the device would resemble the Shift notebook and phone hybrid but include two entirely separate operating systems and related storage. Windows Mobile 6 will be stored on 128MB of ROM and provide phone calls through GSM networks; A full Windows Vista installation, however, will have access to a 30GB or 40GB hard disk and 1GB of memory.
Despite assertions by Apple to the contrary, made just yesterday, Universal Music has issued a statement saying it has in fact changed its agreement for the iTunes Store. "Universal Music Group," the statement reads, "decided not to renew its long-term agreement for Apple’s iTunes service. Universal Music Group will now market its music to iTunes in an ‘at will’ capacity, as it does with its other retail partners." This echoes original reports circulated on Monday by Reuters.
LG on Wednesday announced that it had filed a lawsuit in a Wisconsin court against Taiwan's Quanta, accusing the electronics manufacturer of patent infringement relating to DVD technology for notebooks. Quanta is said to have used four of LG's patents without permission when producing slim DVD readers for notebooks specifically destined for the US. No American computer builders were named in the statement but may include large-scale manufacturers such as Apple and Dell, many of whom contract to Quanta for at least some of their portable computers.
Veering from its typical worldwide launch approach, Nokia on Wednesday formally unveiled the 7500 Prism at a fashion event in China. The angular shape is as much intended for music as for fashion and includes AAC/MP3/WMA playback as well as an FM radio; in its current form, the device ships with a 512MB microSD card to provide space for music and videos out of the box. A 2-megapixel camera provides still shots and video capturing. Wireless is provided through Bluetooth 2.0 for near-field peripherals and EDGE for mobile Internet with GPRS for legacy support in remote areas.
Nokia today unveiled the company's first speakerphone. The HF-300 is built for driving and ships with a sunvisor clip to mount in a car as well as a battery to avoid requiring a car charger for every trip; the simple design is also said to work well in a home or office thanks to rubber feet that keep it steady on a desk. Intelligent power management keeps the device active for up to 20 hours of continuous talk time and also switches off the speakerphone's power when Bluetooth devices wander out of range for five minutes.
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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives