Zofunk and USBfever have both released several new hard cases for the iPhone 3G. Two cases offered by Zofunk include the Zoe and Zoclear. The Zoe is a two-piece iPhone case constructed with hard plastic on the inside, while a thin layer of rubber wraps the exterior for better grip. The package also provides a reflective screen-protector that helps prevents scratches and doubles as a mirror when the device is turned off. All ports and controls remain accessible when the phone is in the case.
DataViz displayed a public beta version of its Documents To Go application for the iPhone at the GSMA, according to Macitynet. Previously only available for Windows mobile phones and the Palm OS, Documents To Go enables users to modify Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint document from their phone. The beta version for the iPhone allows for editing of Microsoft Word documents using the displayed virtual keyboard, and includes copy and paste functions. People can also customize the color of the text.
Microsft has released a technology preview of Recite, a note-taking application that is available for select Windows Mobile phones. Users can record personal notes and reminders, then use voice input to search through the stored entries. The remembrances can be searched by any terms, such as names, events or products. The handset's up and down directional buttons can be used to scroll through the results, with the list ordered by match score.
PacketVideo has announced its mobile video application for the iPhone. The app enables the delivery of operator-branded TV and video services to the mobile platform, including local live channels and on-demand video. Operators will be able to offer the new iPhone app under their own brands on the iTunes App Store. PacketVideo's CORE software platform supports video streaming and playback capabilities along with middleware services for delivering live and on-demand content, including program guides.
RAGE Software has launched WebCrusher 1.5, a major update to its Website optimization software. The program helps reduce a site's load time, providing faster overall performance by scanning entire websites, including page files and image files, and then intelligently removing all extraneous code for optimum performance. Version 1.5 adds speed improvements, especially for larger websites, along with enhanced CSS optimizations and fixes for PHP file optimization.
California and Nevada state gaming officials have begun to focus on the iPhone and iPod touch as the latest gadgets used by gamblers to count cards and potentially cheat the system, according to the Review-Journal. The mobile devices can run apps that calculate the card counts when playing blackjack. "The program calculates the true count and does it significantly more accurately," read an alert sent to casinos last week.
Archos has announced several new devices based on Intel's Atom processor and Moorestown platform, expanding its netbook line and adding a 9-inch tablet. The Archos 10s netbook will feature a slim form-factor, measuring just 20 mm thick, and support for 3.5G networks. The computer offers some of the same specs as the Archos 10 announced last month, including an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of DDR memory, hard drive capacities up to 160GB and Windows XP.
LG and Intel on Monday announced they will be the first to launch a Mobile Internet Device (MID) based on Intel's next-generation hardware platform dubbed Moorestown and the Linux-based Moblin v2.0 software platform. The Moorestown platform is made up of a System on Chip, named Lincroft, that includes a 45nm Intel Atom CPU along with a graphics, video and memory controller. The platform also has an I/O hub codenamed Langwell that supports wireless connection devices and hosts a range of I/O blocks.
Mitsubishi Electric recently announced that it plans to bring its single-DIN automotive Blu-ray Disc player to the market. The player is just a third of the volume of the company's home theater Blu-ray disc player. The prototype of the unnamed player (shown) will fit into a car's standard, 1-DIN radio fitting, and the player supports BD-ROM, BD-R and BD-RE discs. Mitsubishi reached the small size by increasing board density by 150 percent and reducing the thickness of mechanical parts while improving the anti-vibration performance.
Peripheral builder Blackmagic has begun shipping three new capture cards, intended for video production. Leading these is the DeckLink HD Extreme, which combines HDMI, S-Video and analog component support with dual-link 3Gbps SDI technology; this lets film editors work in 2K resolution. The card additionally features hardware down-conversion, NTSC and PAL support, and balanced audio whether in analog or AES/EBU. Cost is set at $995.
The LG G910 Touch Watch phone is, as promised, coming to market later this year through European wireless provider Orange. The handset will pair up with the included Bluetooth headset as well as others, and has a 1.43-inch capacitive touchscreen with 128x160 resolution. It can also access 3G HSDPA networks, can send and receive text messages and supports video calling thanks to a built-in VGA camera. Furthermore, the G910 has multimedia playback functionality, with 2GB of built-in storage.
Minutiae Software has announced PAID 4, an update to its production management and invoicing application. The software is designed for users that are involved in filmmaking, with tools that can be used to help track and manage job invoices, clients, crew members and billing items. The latest version features a tabbed interface, expanded invoice and contact capabilities, a built-in logo gallery, automatic spell-checking and several US government forms.
At the Mobile World Congress in Spain on Monday, flash memory maker Kingston released its largest capacity microSDHC memory card for use in mobile phones, at 16GB. The new product complements the company's existing microSDHC line-up that includes 4GB and 8GB capacities. Kingston says the latest handsets from LG, Motorola, RIM and Sony Ericsson support its new 16GB SDHC card, allowing handsets with 5-megapixel cameras to save more than 9,000 images.
For its time at MWC, Option on Monday released the GlobeSurfer X.1. Intended as a bridge router for those who already have their own 3G modems, the small network device centers on a top-mounted USB port that lets users attach most 3G USB sticks and rely on their signals for an Internet connection, even if the adapter comes from a rival to Option. The X.1's local wireless runs on 802.11n Wi-Fi and theoretically transfers data as quickly as 160Mbps while preserving speeds as high as 70Mbps 300 feet away, letting users get the full 3G speed in most cases.
A primitive Mac version of Google's Chrome browser has been compiled by an independent coder and released to the public. The build, number 9780, is actually based on the development Chromium version of the Mac browser, which is still in a early state and may not produce a formal Mac version of Chrome until as late as June. The custom build is nevertheless said to add working links, and be less than 50ms slower than a recent WebKit nightly build.
At Mobile World Congress on Monday, Sony and Qualcomm announced that the former's VAIO notebooks will be the first to feature the latter's Global Mobile Internet Technology (Gobi), letting the PCs access 3G mobile broadband networks regardless of type. Sony will make Gobi standard fare in some of its ultra-portable VAIO notebooks, including the Z, TT and new P series. Apart from built-in mobile broadband capabilities, the Qualcomm chips also feature an integrated GPS sensor.
Joining in the slew of mobile introductions, ARM today demonstrated its first 32 nanometer (nm) mobile processor. Part of the Cortex series, the chip is much smaller than many existing designs and allows smaller smartphones while simultaneously increasing the speed by shortening the distance between components. The new design additionally hinges on high-K metal gate process that reduces energy leaks and prevents the chip from wasting much of its power. ARM also expects the chip to be less costly to build.
Accessory maker QuickerTek has begun selling a new external battery and charger for Mac notebooks. The device is designed for the latest 13-inch MacBooks, and 15-inch MacBook Pros; it is chiefly said to provide between eight and 10 hours of total running time, as compared to the five made possible by Apple's built-in batteries. Internal batteries are depleted before the QuickerTek one takes effect.
Acer this afternoon made official the first smartphones to launch under its own name. The Tempo X960 serves as the range leader for mainstream phones and centers on a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a customized Windows Mobile 6.1 interface with large, finger-sized buttons for common tasks as well as widgets for weather and other quick but frequently accessed features. It comes with a relatively quick 533MHz Samsung processor and is outfitted with a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi. A microSDHC slot and a directional pad provide storage and backup controls respectively.
Wireless provider Sprint on Monday announced it has released a new plan for its customers that includes its unlimited Simply Everything voice and data plan for their cell phones and 3G mobile broadband access for their notebook computers. The Simply Everything Plan + Mobile Broadband plan includes unlimited text, picture and video messaging, GPS navigation, e-mail access and Internet surfing that have been present for cellphones but adds 5GB of data for a separate network adapter.
While not part of its official plans, Nokia has unintentionally revealed an upcoming high-end media phone. A Carl Zeiss lens white paper (PDF) shows an unreleased "N86 8MP" device and clearly links the phone to the sensor and lens mentioned in the document, describing a 2952x1994 resolution and a comparatively quick f/2.9 lens with a 5.5mm wide angle. The image itself provides few indicators besides showing a conventional slider.
iVideo has released an update to its movie organization and sharing program, iVideo 4. The app features improvements to several functions including web page creation, batch export, network sharing, multiple libraries, online bookmarks and smart playlists. iVideo allows users to organize movies from different folders, hard drives, media discs or the Internet. Content can be shared across a network or presented online, with an integrated tool to help build web pages. Movies can be browsed by thumbnails, notes, keywords, ratings or extended information.
PC maker Lenovo is planning to launch a 12-inch netbook powered by the recently released Intel Atom N280 CPU, says a Monday DigiTimes report. Known as the IdeaPad S20, the netbook would violate Intel's restrictions for the use of its Atom chips, which aren't normally allowed for systems with greater than 10-inch screens. Lenovo would have to pay about a $10 premium per chip when purchased in bulk. Despite this, Lenovo is believed to be wagering that its offering of a unique product would help it boost sales and avoid competing in the hotly contested 10-inch market.
Long rumored, Nokia has officially announced the Ovi Store, the cellphone maker's own answer to services like the Apple App Store and RIM's forthcoming Application Center. Scheduled to open in May, the service will merge existing Download!, MOSH and WidSets content into Nokia's Ovi platform, allowing people to buy games and other applications for S40- and S60-based phones. Users will also have access to widgets, podcasts, videos and customization downloads.
The previously spotted Android-powered G2 handset is coming to the UK's Vodafone carrier under maker's HTC brand and known as the Magic, BGR has found. The handset is due to improve upon the original T-Mobile G1 with the addition of the Cupcake updates and drops the physical QWERTY keyboard in favor of a virtual one on its touchscreen.
LG's turn at MWC phone launches centers on three full touchscreen devices, including the first-ever phone planned around Windows Mobile 6.5. The GM730 (shown) has the company's new S-Class 3D interface, which adds an iPhone-like home screen with a "cube" that lets users flick between apps, media, phone and widget functions; underneath, it now has the updated Internet Explorer's full web browsing with Flash and Silverlight support.
A new lawsuit challenges the rendering technology used in the iPhone and the iPod touch, Yahoo reports. Filing a case through the US District Court for the district of Delaware, Picsel Technologies has accused Apple of violating patents on concepts that accelerate display updates. Many of the functions of the iPhone -- such as zooming, panning, web browsing and image viewing -- would be lethargic without Picsel's ideas, according to the company's legal representatives, Nixon Peabody LLP.
At the Mobile World Congress that has kicked off on Monday, Qualcomm and Inventec are showing the first smartphone to use Qualcomm's mirasol display, the Inventec V112. The 1.1-inch bichrome display sits below the main display and saves energy and is perfectly visible in broad daylight thanks to the technology inherent to its design. Mirasol screens use conductive plates to reflect light and change the wavelength to produce different colors in many small elements that make up each individual pixel.
NVIDIA today made ambitious claims for handheld devices centering on its Tegra all-in-one processors. The graphics company now believes that its Tegra 600 chip can result in a mobile Internet device (MID) that costs just $99 and yet which has features normally off-limits to more expensive MIDs and even smartphones. Combining a 750MHz ARM processor and graphics acceleration lets it support both full web browsing and other high-end mobile apps but also play back 1080p HD video without requiring a separate graphics component.
HyperMegaNet is not worried about any legal threats from Apple, according to company spokesman Dirk Bloessl. The German builder is currently selling the PearC line, a series of PCs which have the option of Mac OS X Leopard as an alternative to Windows; Leopard's EULA strictly forbids installing the OS on non-Apple hardware. Should Apple initiate a lawsuit, Bloessl notes that HyperMegaNet will first try to settle outside of court. "But if necessary," Bloessl adds, "we are not afraid of going to court with Apple."
Palm today took advantage of Mobile World Congress to reveal that it has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project with plans to bring an advanced mobile version of Flash to the browser in the Palm Pre's webOS. No details have been revealed about how it will work, though the feature contrasts against previous smartphones, which have often been limited to running Flash Lite separate from the web and with fewer features.
Finland's Nokia at Mobile World Congress in Spain on Monday introduced two new handsets, the 6710 Navigator slider and 6720 classic candybar, both of which include assisted GPS functionality with mapping and geotagging that work together with their 5-megapixel cameras. The cameras have Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flashes. The 6710 Navigator has a 2.6-inch, 320x240 color screen with a built-in 3D imagine engine and a screen optimized for outdoor viewing along with an ambient light sensor.
Microsoft today launched Windows Mobile 6.5, its next major update to its smartphone OS. The design completely revises the main interface with a new lock screen that shows quick notifications as well as a much more touch-ready main interface that includes a "honeycomb" home screen, Zune-like menus, and many other buttons and context-sensitive menus that are all sized and shaped to be used with fingers. A new requirement for a Windows button on all phones ensures every device can jump back easily regardless of where they are in the OS.
As made possible by a recent ruling, Psystar has filed an amended complaint in its countersuit against Apple. While the Mac clone builder has been forced to drop antitrust accusations, it is continuing with allegations of copyright misuse relating to Mac OS X. Leopard's End-User License Agreement (EULA) specifies that the OS can only be installed on an official Apple computer, something Psystar argues is an overextension of the Mac OS X copyright.
Samsung today is headlining its introductions with three of the first non-Nokia phones to include a touchscreen Symbian interface. The Omnia HD is also known as the i8910 and is one of the first-ever phones to record as well as play back 720p HD video. The feat is accomplished with the help of an 8-megapixel camera that supports autofocusing as well as blink and smile detection. It also centers on an extremely sharp 3.7-inch, AMOLED touchscreen with a full 16 million colors and a 960x540 resolution.
Nokia at its MWC keynote today launched two expected but high-end additions to its business smartphones. The E75 is the first modern Eseries phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and comes with the same 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS and Wi-Fi as the previously launched E71 but in a format more comfortable for long messages. It also stands as the first Nokia device with a much improved e-mail front end that adds support for HTML, message sub-folders, and quicker shortcuts to common tasks.
HTC's choice of introductions at MWC include major overhauls to its two most important phones. The Touch Diamond 2 jumps to a larger and even sharper 3.2-inch, 480x800 touchscreen as well as a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus. The company also tries to improve the interface by including a touch-sensitive zoom strip underneath the display to simplify centering in on photos or websites. HTC further switches to microSDHC cards for the bulk of storage and says the battery life is now about 50 percent longer.
DEVONtechnologies has released its third public beta of DEVONthink 2.0 and DEVONnote 2.0. Both applications feature additional searching capabilities, including an OPT operator that enables users to expand searches with words that are preferred but not required. The beta also offers improved Adium Chatlog import and increased compatibility with del.icio.us feeds. All custom icons for databases are now displayed in the sidebar and users can also view PDF page counts.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl