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iPad 2 and iPhone 5 may scrap home button
Apple's introduction of four- and five-finger gestures in iOS 4.3 may have presaged a decision to scrap the home button from the next-generation iPad and iPhone. A rumor Wednesday night claimed staff were already testing versions of both where, once awake, the device would need to use the four or five finger pinch and swipe motions exclusively for the home screen and task switcher. The BGR relay didn't know for certain if it would reach the iPad and iPhone updates this year but said it was a possibility.
Samsung i9023 at FCC hints at new Nexus S
Samsung and Google may be quietly working on an upgraded version of the Nexus S just months after it shipped. An FCC filing has shown a GT-i9023 closely related to the Nexus S (i9020) and using the same T-Mobile 3G bands. While not a direct clue by itself, the discovery has been accompanied by a leaked video (below) of a Nexus S running Android 2.4, implying that it may be a minor revision of the Nexus S updated for a new version of Google's OS.
Other early upgrade terms also changing
Following the confirmation of an iPhone launch on Verizon's network, the company has quietly changed its early upgrade policies to make future purchases more expensive for existing subscribers and new customers. The "New Every Two" program will also come to an end, eliminating the promotion that had brought signifiant price reductions for handsets bought near the end of a two-year contract.
Leak has CDMA iPhone beyond Verizon
The CDMA iPhone should reach beyond the Verizon model in the States to land at some of the most important Asian carriers, part suppliers may have revealed. Noting that only Foxconn-made models would go to Verizon, the insiders added that Apple's new contractor Pegatron would be making the new version for additional carriers in China, Japan and South Korea. The Digitimes claim didn't say when these countries would get the new model.
Smartphone numbers expected to exceed 60m
Samsung has announced that it plans to triple its smartphone sales yet again in 2011, with handset shipments expected to reach 60 million. Samsung's mobile business division head, Shin Jong-kyun, also suggests the company is planning to unveil several new touchscreen tablets, following a successful launch of the Galaxy Tab.
Can saves as MS Office files for compatibility
Golden Hill Software has released CloudPull, a backup application for Google Docs that saves documents, spreadsheets and presentations locally to the Mac as Microsoft Office files. Like Time Machine, CloudPull backs up automatically once every hour and maintains prior revisions. It can also retain documents that have been deleted from Google Docs, and supports up to 10 Google accounts.
Now Motorola-owned, app should return soon
ZumoCast, a free iOS app that worked in conjunction with a desktop program to convert on-the-fly and stream music, images and video from a home computer to an internet-connected iOS device, was recently removed from the App Store due to the company being bought by Motorola -- but will return in a couple of months, Zecter CEO David Zhao promised in a MacWorld article.
T-Mobile already set with anti-Verizon iPhone ad
T-Mobile has quickly seized on the Verizon iPhone debut to roll out a TV ad touting its own network over others. The ad follows a similar pattern to earlier spots and sees the personified iPhone 4 paired up with not just AT&T (blue) but now Verizon (red). Both don't have 4G, T-Mobile's "Claire" says, and are virtually identical in both how boring and how slow they are.
Holiday PC sales weak in many areas
Apple's market share among computer makers in the US has continued to surge, despite an overall decline in PC sales, according to data collected by research firm Gartner. Mac shipments climbed by 23.7 percent to reach 1.86 million units, bringing Apple's market share up to 9.7 percent in the US.
Multi-channel sound, FTP upload, more
The cross-platform application development environment tool LiveCode, formerly known as Revolution, has been updated to v4.5.3 with many new features -- although most are aimed specifically at iOS development -- along with enhancements and bug fixes. One of the biggest changes is much improved screen orientation support, including proper iOS rotation animation.
IDC Q4 2010 shows Toshiba up past Acer, Apple
Apple's iPad cut dramatically into Acer's sales this fall, IDC estimates showed today. In the US, Acer's computer numbers plunged 28.5 percent compared to a year ago, dropping it from 11.8 percent share at the end of 2009 to virtually tie Apple's share at 8.8 percent. Apple itself was the fastest mover and jumped from 7.2 percent a year ago to reach 8.7 percent.
New setting offers choice between lock and mute
Uncovered in the new iOS 4.3 beta released to developers today is a setting the restores the "lock screen orientation" functionality of the "mute" switch that was taken away iOS 4.2, Gizmodo reports. The control, originally created for iPad users, is now handled by a setting that allows users to choose whether to use the hardware switch for muting or for screen orientation. The change was unpopular with iPad owners, though orientation locking was still accessible via software.
ASUS rep says tablets stall to Q3 with Android 2.3
ASUS' Eee Pads and Eee Slates using Android have not only been delayed but might ship without Android 3.0, company marketing specialist John Swatton said Wednesday. The announcements, which mentioned a spring shipping window and the new OS across the board, were a "mistake," he told the Inquirer. They would instead ship in summer and would be limited to Android 2.3, Google's most recent phone OS.
Xperia Play gets teardown, hardware shown off
Chinese website TGBus has torn down the Xperia Play phone that's not only not yet released, but not even confirmed by its makers. The teardown offers a glimpse at some of the hardware inside the device, including Synaptics touch software and a dedicated chip, a Cypress TrueTouch screen, a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip, and a Qualcomm PM8058 power management chip. While the existence of the device seems to be confirmed by this teardown, an official introduction of the device is expected to come at the Mobile World Congress show in February.
IOGEAR outs six-device Bluetooth keyboard
IOGEAR has recently unveiled a new Bluetooth keyboard, the Multi-Link Bluetooth Keyboard with Touchpad. Also known as the GKM611B, it allows users to switch between device such as game consoles, desktop PCs, notebooks, home theater PCs and other Bluetooth-enabled gear it can control. The range extends out to 30 feet, like other Bluetooth devices.
Apple TV update supports third-party AirPlay
(Updated with more iOS 4.3 details) Apple has seeded two important iOS updates to developers. One is the first public beta of iOS 4.3, build 8F51448b. Several different downloads are available through the iOS Dev Center, oriented at the different devices. Apple has also published a new beta of the Apple TV firmware, allowing testing of AirPlay in web and/or third-party apps.
California researchers make ultra-strong glass
A team of researchers from the Berkeley Lab and Caltech has developed glass that is tougher than steel, and not as brittle as traditional glass. This new metallic glass contains palladium that exhibits a high bulk-to-shear ratio. It thus bends rather than cracks, and sometimes goes beyond the fracture limits of some of the world's strongest materials.
Sony sues Geohot and fail0verflow over PS3 cracks
Sony on Tuesday quietly accompanied its restraining order attempting to silence the discoveries of permanent PS3 jailbreaks by filing a lawsuit against its discoverers. Both the Fail0verflow team and George Hotz, better known as original iPhone unlocker Geohot, were accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's rules against bypassing locks. It further accused the two of contributing to copyright infringement and breaking both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as California's Computer Crime Law.
Supports cable, over-the-air broadcasts
Electronics maker Hauppauge has announced the Broadway, a new set-top aimed at iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. The hardware streams live HDTV to an Apple handheld after first compressing the video using H.264. The resulting media can be delivered locally over Wi-Fi, or to a remote place using any Internet connection.
Groups accuse MetroPCS of breaking net neutrality
Several public interest groups have accused wireless provider MetroPCS of violating the new net neutrality rules approved by the FCC. Specifically, the Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, the Media Access Project, the New America Foundation Open Technology Institute, and Presente.org maintain the provider blocked certain Internet content in a letter (PDF) sent to the FCC on Monday. MetroPCS allegedly blocks services like Skype and Netflix on some of its entry-level data plans.
T-Mobile USA says iPhone up to Apple
Following the Verizon iPhone, a T-Mobile USA spokeswoman said the carrier wanted Apple's handset. The carrier was "interested in offering the iPhone" but warned that it was "Apple's decision" to make, she said. More details weren't forthcoming in the Seattle Times line of questioning.
Carrier sidesteps iPhone connection
Verizon has officially switched on 16 new cellular sites in the New York Metro area. Five of these are in Rockland County, namely in Monsey, Spring Valley, Suffern, Suffern Park and Palisades. Another five have been assigned to Suffolk County, within East Islip, Blue Point, Medford, Wading River and Village of the Branch.
T-Mobile UK forced to change mind on new policy
After taking lots of flak for announcing a new fair usage data policy that will throttle mobile data speeds after subscribers reach 500MB, T-Mobile UK has now changed a small but key part of its scheme. It will now no longer apply this to existing users, but only those who are new or upgrading only. Once the 500MB limit is breached for these users starting February 1, they will no longer be able to watch online videos and be limited only to browsing the web, e-mailing and accessing social networking sites.
Google Translate Android turns one with convo mode
Google today marked the one-year anniversary of its Translate app for Android by giving it a new look and a new experimental mode. Conversation Mode lets two people talking to each other speak into the phone one at a time and see the last part of the conversation translated into their respective language. Participants can see what Translate thought was the source and speak more text if they have more to add.
Sony to close CD making plant in New Jersey
Sony will close one of its biggest CD making factories due to the growth and popularity of digital downloads as well as other economic influences. Based in Pitman, New Jersey, the plant has been operating for 50 years and first produced vinyl records. When its doors close on March 31, nearly 300 people will be out of work.
Sprint and T-Mobile both plan separate events
Sprint today sent out invitations to a special event. Its event is due in New York City on February 7 and will have both CEO Dan Hesse and illusionist David Blaine on hand. The event will show an "industry first" and that the "impossible is possible," its invitation reads.
Barclays pushes stock target to $420
Three financial analysts have decided to upgrade their estimates for Apple, most notably Barclays Capital's Ben Reitzes, who has raised a price target for Apple stock from $390 to $420. The analyst unusually cites the influence of FaceTime, the video calling technology first introduced with the iPhone 4, and later brought to Macs and the iPod touch. The second-generation iPad is widely expected to get a FaceTime camera.
Nintendo 3DS gets teardown ahead of release
The Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console that will allow users to view 3D gaming content without having to wear glasses has been torn down long before its official release. Thanks to the crew at TVGZone, interested parties got a look at the hardware contained within the upcoming device. This includes the DWM-W028 Wi-Fi module, the user-replaceable 1,300mAh, 3.7V Nintendo CTR-003 battery and an SD memory card slot.
Google Places reaches iPhone as app
Google on Wednesday brought out a native Google Places app for the iPhone (free, App Store). The feature already in Android lets users find shops and services and either find or create reviews in Google's Yelp-like Hotpot service. It uses GPS to automatically detect the closest location and offers a direct jump to rating that place from its home screen.
Includes more German, Italian, American shops
A bevy of new Apple Stores are in the works for 2011, a report says. At least several of these are forecast to open in Italy by the middle of the year, including one in Bologna, a previously unexpected outlet in Florence, and a second Milan location. Possible addresses for the Milan and Florence stores remain unknown.
Virgin Mobile limits data speeds after 5GB
Virgin Mobile on Tuesday let it be known that it will stop offering its all-inclusive, $40 per month 3G Broadband 2Go data plan. Instead, it will put a soft data cap in place when users reach 5GB of data use during their monthly use, limited access speeds but not quantity. The reason for this is to ensure an optimal experience, Virgin Mobile claimed.
Microsoft jabs Google dropping H264 in Chrome
Microsoft Client Platform team member Tim Sneath jabbed Google for its decision to drop H.264 support in HTML5 for Chrome in favor of WebM. He compared it to a country deciding to drop English as a language in favor of artificial languages like Esperanto and Klingon. The remarks pointed out the irony of claiming to promote openness and choice by artificially removing the most practical, popular option.
Will provide control, program guides
The official TiVo iPad app should be at the App Store by the end of January, the company has announced via Twitter. Although not providing more details on the matter, it also adds that the prospect of Android and iPhone apps is being investigated. The iPad app will require a connection to the same network as a TiVo set-top.
Sprint to lower Galaxy Tab prices by $100
Though the product page hasn't yet been updated, a Sprint public relations person is promising over Twitter that the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be reduced to $300 on contract. This represents a savings of $100, and extends to the contract-free price dropping to $500 from $600 as well. The seven-inch, Android 2.2-powered tablet was expected to surpass the one million mark in 2010.
Will likely be limited by carriers
All iPhones should indeed get support for creating personal hotspots with iOS 4.3, a BGR source claims. The option is reported to have been found in early code. The OS will allegedly be build 8F5148b, and include v04.08.00 baseband; "technical acceptance" is planned for March.
Sony offers custom built VAIO S notebooks
Sony has begun offering customers the option of custom VAIO S notebooks from its website. The four-pound, 13.3-inch computers can now be configured with up to a 256GB SSD, as much as 8GB of RAM and a 2.66GHz Core i5. Also on offer is a backlit keyboard, a Blu-ray drive, Windows 7 Professional and 512MB NVIDIA GeForce graphics.
Sony may roll out PSP2 at January 27 special event
Sony may finally make the PSP2 public on January 27. A rumor from "trade sources" has it showing at a special event in Tokyo. Publishers were reported by MCV as having known since late last year and would have had development kits for some time.
Verizon explains more behind iPhone 4 deal
Verizon in an interview posted Wednesday provided extra insight into the deal behind the CDMA iPhone. Carrier president Lowell McAdam explained that, once the two agreed to work together, most of the obstacles were technical rather than matters of policy. Despite public stereotypes of Verizon insisting on logos or forcing unwanted apps, these weren't significant hang-ups for the carrier, Bloomberg understood.
Could sabotage Android
Verizon is putting "heavy promotion" behind the iPhone, most likely at the expense of other platforms, claim industry sources cited by Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu. Wu notes that the Verizon website is already promoting the iPhone and the iPad ahead of other products. Redirected marketing could hurt former stalwarts in the Verizon lineup, he argues, particularly Android phones, which have not faced much competition until now due to AT&T's exclusive grip on the iPhone.
T-Mobile plans Samsung Vibrant 4G with 21Mbps
Plans by T-Mobile to carry an upgraded Samsung Vibrant were validated today with a leak today of the new model. Badged just as the Vibrant 4G, it would be the first-ever phone on T-Mobile's network to support the full 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G speeds; the G2 and myTouch 4G are capped at 14.4Mbps. It would take a cue from the Nexus S as well, TmoNews said, with a front camera for use with Qik and similar apps.
Microsoft says App Store trademark too generic
Microsoft has filed a formal motion (PDF) for a summary judgment to dismiss Apple's trademark filing for the term App Store. The Windows developer claimed the concept of an app store was "generic" and that any fame associated with its formal title was secondary. It pointed out that Apple's own Steve Jobs used the term "app stores" as an unofficial term to refer to Android portals.
Verizon may offer apps through App Store
Carrier-added applications on smartphones are often the bane of users, and Verizon is one of the leading proponents of sideloaded apps, more commonly known as "crapware" because it generally exists only to promote additional -- and often unwanted -- services, or was placed on the phone due to a payment to the carrier by a company. Speaking to the press at today's Verizon event, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller said the Verizon iPhone 4 would not have any such apps preloaded.
Company asks for restraining order
Sony has already taken the first step towards a formal lawsuit against individuals and organizations involved in the recent PlayStation 3 jailbreak. The company has asked for a temporary restraining order against hacking team Fail 0verflow, George "Geohot" Hotz, and other unnamed John or Jane Does who may have been involved in creating and publicizing the exploit.
Launch expected next month
Samsung's successor to the Galaxy S handset, said to be named the Galaxy S2, has allegedly surface in leaked renderings. The images, posted on the Korean newspaper ETnews, show a 4.3-inch display that reportedly uses the same Super AMOLED Plus technology as the company's Infuse 4G handset, which made its formal debut last week at CES.
Move seen as win for open source
A consortium of several companies, including Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle, has backed away from its plan to buy a large number of Novell patents. The companies had submitted a plan notifying German regulators of the decision to establish CPTN Holdings and purchase 882 of the patents, however the group withdrew its filing on December 30.
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