Sony tonight quietly switched on its promised 3.0 firmware update for the PlayStation 3. The new version brings small but significant changes to the UI including icon-based shortcuts to recently available content, including downloads from the PlayStation Store and news from an in-XMB "What's New" section. Equally important is audio output to more than destination where it was previously limited to the main source, such as HDMI or the RCA output.
Ten One Design has launched Autograph, its latest signature application for MacBooks. The software enables the Multi-Touch trackpad to be used for creating autographs or designs which can be inserted into e-mails or software such as Pages, iChat or Microsoft Word. Autograph supports a stylus for input, while users can undo or redo actions by simply sweeping three fingers across the trackpad.
Apple on Monday released an EFI firmware update for the Mac mini, along with SuperDrive firmware updates for the iMac and Mac mini. The EFI download, v1.2, is designed to improve compatibility with the company's latest memory kits installed on Mini systems running OS X 10.5.7 or higher.
A look at one Android app's performance today suggests Google may be unintentionally stifling its smartphone OS. While a recent AdMob study estimates Android Market's paid app market is only worth $5 million, Larva Labs' Matt Hall notes that even high-profile, highly rated Android titles generate "much lower" revenue than iPhone equivalents. Despite having one sustained top-selling $5 game (Retro Defense), a consistent fifth place seller (Battle for Mars) and being highlighted by Google, the company's daily average revenue was just $62.39 for all its apps combined.
IDG World Expo on Monday announced a wide range of Macworld 2010 conference sessions dedicated to the updated Snow Leopard operating system. The expo is set to host two full days of training related to Mac OS X, with content ranging from basic installation tips to 'power user' techniques.
An anticipated BlackBerry Tour with Wi-Fi gained more support Monday with a leak of its name. Although no model number exists in the CrackBerry description, the Essex is likely to be a straightforward upgrade of the current smartphone with at most mild hardware updates. The current model melds elements of the Bold and Curve 8900 and is a world phone meant for CDMA networks but with GSM support for other areas.
In brief: With the release of Snow Leopard, developers are trying to ensure their software continues to function properly under the new architecture. In the last couple of weeks, updates with "Snow Leopard compatibility" have been pouring in. Blackmagic has released compatibility updates for its Multibridge, DeckLink, and Intensity applications, and AssitiveWare has updated five of its accessibility tools. Meanwhile, Comm-Unity has stated that all of its FileMaker Pro 7+ plug-ins will work under Snow Leopard, and only CNS Image has a few minor glitches that should soon be fixed.
Klipsch on Monday announced that its iGroove SXT iPod dock has been updated with several new features. The device now sports a dedicated amplifier for each driver, helping to reduce distortion and enhance overall sound quality. Both bass ports have also been re-tuned to eliminate port noise. The updated system integrates a 1000mA circuit to quickly recharge a connected iPod or iPhone.
LG will release its GW880 smartphone together with wireless provider China Mobile, according to these leaked images. The device will be preloaded with OPhone OS, a version of Google's open-source Android that has been approved by the Chinese government. The GW880 has support for Chinaís TD-SCDMA/EDGE 3G connection and includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen with 800x480 resolution, 512MB of built-in memory and 256MB of RAM. There is also built-in GPS, Bluetooth and a 5-megapixel camera.
Samsung on Monday officially announced its YP-R1 Beat media player and released full specs for the device. The R1 will play DiVX files, which means users don't need to convert videos to other formats. At about a third of an inch, the device is also the thinnest media player with DiVX compatibility, as well as the only one with a 2.6-inch touchscreen. The same TouchWiz interface found in Samsung smartphones has been used in the R1, allowing users to drag and drop icons.
The latest version of Boot Camp -- found in Mac OS X Snow Leopard -- supports the 64-bit version of Windows 7, examination shows. Though not heavily promoted by Apple, Boot Camp 3.0 is noted to feature both 32- and 64-bit drivers for Microsoft's next operating system, whereas Boot Camp 2.1 can only handle the 32-bit code. Some Mac owners have already been installing copies of Windows 7 despite the only legal availability being limited to a release candidate; the final software is due October 22nd.
The existence of two more new handsets from Palm has been hinted at thanks to a Monday PreCentral report, as inventory screens from provider Sprint reveal models called 120 and C40. The 120 may just be a variation of the P121 that, along with a model called P101, expected to be the Pre, were seen in a similar Verizon leak. According to the screen capture, the Pre at Verizon will be priced at $550 before any subsidies from the carrier, while the P120 and C40 have placeholder prices of $1 each.
According to a leaked planning agenda from Verizon Wireless, the carrier will get the BlackBerry 9550 smartphone -- otherwise expected to be called Storm 2 -- on September 29th, though only for corporate buyers. The document reveals the public will have access to the device on October 14th.
Chipmaker AMD on Monday announced it has released the six-core AMD Opteron EE processor with increased performance, but the same 40W ACP power band as the existing quad-core models. The 1.8GHz launch model is designed for 2U servers and supports all the hardware features of full-power Opterons, such as AMD-V virtualization of other operating systems in hardware as well as newer power management features. AMD estimates that a full server rack of the new part would use 18 percent less power than the earlier six-core Opteron 2425HE.
Just hours ahead of the expected official launch of the Canon EOS-7D, final details and even an apparent press release have surfaced that now not only confirm details of the DSLR but expand on its video capabilities. Unlike even the EOS-5D Mark II, the 7D is now expected by Neutralday to support recording 720p video at 60 frames per second (50 in some areas) and produce much more fluid video. It's still claimed to be supporting 1080p at 30 frames per second and will also reportedly get basic in-camera editing.
Developer Rockstar is bringing two of its games to the iPhone and iPod touch this fall, an announcement reveals. The first is Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, a port of the recent Nintendo DS title. Players assume the role of Huang Lee, a Triads gang member who travels to Liberty City after his father's suspicious death.
Intel's desktop Core i5 and i7 processors and its matching P55 platform are slated to appear in exactly a week, mainboard producers claimed today. A launch is expected on September 8th that should involve three processors already rumored for next month; these would include the 2.93GHz Core i7 870, 2.8GHz Core i7 860 and 2.66GHz Core i5 750. All of these are quad-core, but only the Core i7 models will have Hyperthreading and support as many as eight program threads at once.
The iPhone could be sold through multiple American carriers as soon as next year, suggests Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster. The analyst notes that in France, where Orange was once the exclusive iPhone carrier, Apple now enjoys a "dramatically" higher marketshare as compared to countries where exclusives remain, namely the US. "We believe Apple is seeing the increased unit sell-through more than offset the slightly (~10 percent) deteriorated economics per unit involved in non-exclusive agreements," writes Munster in a new investor note.
LG on Sunday said it would launch its previously rumored 15-inch AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) TV set sometime in September. When it launches, the LG set will be the largest AMOLED display actually on the market, trouncing Sony's 11-inch XEL-1. LG will show the 15-inch AM-OLED TV at the IFA 2009 show in Berlin.
Seedonk (free) can be used to wirelessly monitor a video feed from a webcam. The software can be used to turn most Windows webcams into remote monitoring devices. Users can view and control the camera, manage multiple settings, and share the feed with other people. Seedonk also can be used to control the pan and tilt functionality of the Mister Robot-o and Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF webcams.
Sprint today became the next US carrier to pick up a version of HTC's Touch Pro2. Unlike the T-Mobile version, Sprint's is a dual-network phone that supports both its own CDMA and EVDO technology as well as quad-band GSM for roaming abroad on an international plan. It also comes preloaded with apps for Sprint services, such as its navigation, NFL and audio/video streaming.
Sales of netbooks are growing twice as quickly as full-sized notebooks, DisplaySearch found today. The small portables grew about 40 percent between the winter and spring this year to account for 38 million PCs, or almost twice as quickly as the already hot 22 percent growth of regular notebooks. Much of the growth comes from Asia, mainland China and Latin America, where the lower prices mean netbooks are often first-time PCs or the least costly option.
HoudahGeo 2.3 ($30) enables users to link photos to the location where they were taken, and supports writing that information to EXIF tags or publishing it to Google Earth. Users simply "pin" photos to their respective locations, and doesn't require a digital camera with built-in GPS capability or even a GPS device. The new release now fully supports viewing directions. The viewing direction can be added automatically from a compass enabled GPS or manually. A new German localization has also been added along side a new help book and other enhancements. [Download - 5.7MB]
A roadmap leaked by an EeeUser forum member who claims he works in the "industry" reveals upcoming Eee PC notebook models from ASUS. Most notably, the roadmap shows a 12-inch Eee PC is due, which will be powered by NVIDIA's Ion platform. Dubbed 1201N, the PC is due in October, and should run on a 1.6GHz Atom CPU with 2GB of RAM. It will otherwise have a 250GB hard drive, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth while carrying a $499 price tag.
Verizon is launching a major refresh of its cellular data plans come September 8th, leaked documents reveal. The carrier is creating a new device class, the "enhanced multimedia phone," for which a data plan will be required. A 25MB plan will cost $10 per month, while a 75MB one will cost $20. Overage penalties are being set at 50 cents and 30 cents per megabyte, respectively.
Through an e-mail invitation, Apple has confirmed plans for a music-related related press event, scheduled for September 9th. Little official is known about Apple's plans, but the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It should also focus on iPods, given the presence of an iPod touch silhouette in invitation art.
In an attempt to clear out inventory of its existing BlackBerry Storm 9530 handset, Verizon is pricing the device at just $50 on a two-year contract, and is giving away another BlackBerry of the same or lower price for free. This is believed to be an attempt to make room for the Storm 2 handset, the 9550, which has been rumored to be arriving at Verizon sometime soon. An official announcement is expected sometime in September with the device launching in October.
Samsung on Monday chased after the market by providing details of the Samsung Application Store, its own mobile software service. The portal will have its own native client and will have unspecified "content guidelines" to filter which apps reach the store. Just 300 apps will be available on launch and will focus primarily on games from Capcom, EA, Gameloft and others, although Samsung will have apps from Handmark.
The fresh China Unicom iPhone deal is not an exclusive one, an Apple spokeswoman has confirmed. The deal was cemented only after months of negotiations, and a series of hurdles including revenue sharing demands, and government restrictions on Wi-Fi. Unicom also faced pressure from China Mobile, the country's largest cellphone carrier, which was simultaneously trying to secure a contract.
ASUS is planning on releasing two new ultra-thin notebooks powered by Intel's CULV chips, including the 45nm Celeron 743 and Core 2 Solo SU2300 early in September, Digitimes said on Monday, citing unnamed sources in the industry. The report goes on to say initial shipments of the portables will begin on September 7th and go to Taiwan, China and Europe at first. US details weren't mentioned, though some sort of American launch is unofficially expected.
Regardless of its actual market share, Apple all but commands use at Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes and coffee shops in the US, according to new data from JiWire. The iPhone and iPod touch combined account for 97.6 percent of all handheld device at these areas, while just over one quarter of notebook users are running Macs. Both give it the largest share for any one company and far eclipse companies like Palm, which had only the fifth largest share of handhelds.
Apple has begun airing its third new "Get a Mac" TV spot in under a week. Called "Trainer," the ad sees PC (John Hodgman) doing sit-ups as a personal trainer (Robert Loggia) and Mac (Justin Long) watch on. The trainer berates PC, pointing out that PC Magazine has rated Mac number one in customer support, and that PC World readers have called Mac the highest in reliability.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into suspicious trading of Apple stock, internal documents are said to show. The government body is at present thought to be polling brokerage firms, asking for the names of clients who bought and sold Apple shares during four distinct time periods. It is rare for the SEC to deal with cases involving more than one period of trading, a report says.
Casio became the second camera maker to refresh its line on Monday with two new Exilim Zoom models for newcomers in the US. The EX-Z280 tops these with a Exilim Engine 4 processor that the company claims produces better image quality while also extending battery life. It further brings features that weren't an option before, including 720p video recording and a new version of Dynamic Photo that embeds animated clip art on-camera.
SanDisk launched its first new media player in over a year today with the Sansa Clip+. The major revision to its iPod shuffle competitor fits a microSDHC card slot and can use this either to expand the built-in storage or to play the company's preloaded slotMusic or slotRadio cards. It's also finally Mac-compatible and lets those users drag-and-drop music from Mac OS X Panther or later.
Olympus this morning took the wraps from a new entry-level digital SLR that should help it fight rivals like the Nikon D3000. The E-600 is very similar to the 12-megapixel E-620 but makes key choices to drop the price: it removes the backlighting from the buttons and scales back a handful of software features, including the aspect mask control, a double-shot exposure mode. Half the art filters have also been removed and limit the E-600 to three of the live visual effects.
The TV industry needs to find a convincing online strategy or else risk handing the market over to Apple, Microsoft's UK managing director of consumer business Ashley Highfield warned this weekend. Speaking at an international TV industry festival in Edinburgh, the executive warned that TV could "face its iTunes moment" in two to three years and hand over control of online video to Apple. Without a quick shift in emphasis to TV on the web instead of traditional service, customers are predicted to flock to paid download services and bypass regular providers altogether.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.78 ( + 1.35 )
Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ