Copyright © 2015
Tag - Xperia Z Ultra
Sony is starting to roll out Android 4.4 to some of its smartphone range. As confirmed in November last year, the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, and Xperia Z Ultra are all receiving the Android KitKat update, though final timing depends on the market and carrier, with a company blog post also giving some hints as to when other Xperia devices will see the new mobile operating system.
Sony has put two new Xperia smartphones and an upgraded smart watch on sale in the United States, off-contract. The unlocked Xperia Z Ultra LTE and Xperia Z1 have gone on sale through the company's online store, and are accompanied by the follow-up to the SmartWatch, the SmartWatch 2, which also goes on sale today.
Sony dropped something of a bombshell on the Android 'phablet' competition when it revealed the gargantuan Xperia Z Ultra. The device is one of the largest yet in the smartphone-come-tablet category, boasting a huge 6.4-inch 1080p Triluminos IPS display. Even Samsung, which is renowned for creating a market for this category of over-sized mobile devices with telephony capabilities, does not yet have a device with a larger display -- admittedly it comes close, with the Galaxy Mega at 6.3-inches, but that device is not in the same class as the Xperia Z Ultra in the specifications department.
The 6.4-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra has been priced at US$799 for its Hong Kong launch text at the end of this month, which buys the 3G HSPA+ model (C6802/XL39h). The 4G LTE version (C6833) is also available on launch for $824, which puts the model at the very high end of the smartphone segment. Although not yet formally priced for the North American market, its Asian pricing is indicative of what it will cost when it launches this quarter.
Sony has unveiled its heavily rumored Xperia Z Ultra (pdf) phablet packing a 6.4-inch 1080p Triluminos display, the Sony smartphone to use the technology. Confirming rumors, the Xperia Z Ultra is also capable of supporting input with any pencil, capacitive stylus or pen. Rounding out the package, the Ultra is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2GHz with support for 4G LTE networks.
Although the Xperia Z powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro has yet to officially arrive in the US, serial Russian smartphone leaker Eldar Murtazin has tweeted that he has already been testing an upgraded Xperia Z prototype running the new Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU. According to Murtazin, the upgraded Xperia Z is “really fast,” while he also says the screen appears to be an upgraded LCD3-type, like the much praised display on the HTC One. However, Murtazin is not convinced that Sony will necessarily use this display when it goes into production.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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