Tag - ZEN
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is investigating a complaint filed by Creative, current patent holders of the Zen MP3 player's interface. The complaint alleges that Blackberry, HTC, Motorola, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sony, and ZTE are in violation of Creative's patent over hierarchical media playback menus, the same patent that it utilized against Apple's iPod nearly a decade ago.
AMD will concentrate on making more lucrative high-specification processors instead of low-cost chips, the CEO has advised during the company's recent Financial Analyst Day. Alongside a new roadmap showing what to expect from the chip producer in future releases, it has also admitted it needs to make changes in order to rescue itself financially.
Creative had a slew of introductions on Thursday headlined by its own take on the concept behind the iPod nano. The Zen Style M300 and M100 have the square, compact frame but replaces the touchscreen with touch-sensitive buttons at the edges. The M300 adds a rare touch at its size with Bluetooth 2.1 to support wireless headphones and speakers.
Creative has filed for FCC approval for the Zen Touch 2 media player. The certification is needed due to the 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless capabilities of the Android-based device. The filing also confirmed that Creative will offer two versions of the player, one with GPS and one without.
As part of the same launch that brought the Ziio tablets, Creative today put out both a sequel to its Zen Touch MP3 player and a new set of Bluetooth headphones. The Zen Touch 2 is a rare Android-based MP3 player and outputs Bluetooth audio with the same apt-X compression as the Ziios, theoretically supplying lossless wireless sound over Bluetooth. Equally unique is the option of GPS in some models that lets them use stand-alone GPS apps without having to use a cellular connection.
Creative on Thursday revealed two new product lines for overseas, the ZEN X-Fi Style and ZEN Style. Either is meant to be stylish and offer a choice of colors. All ZEN X-Fis use a 2.4-inch display with a 320x240 resolution, a built-in speaker and a claimed 25-hour battery life for music or five hours for video. It can be had in 8GB, 16GB or 32GB capacities, and there is no expansion memory card slot.
Creative entered the phone arena for the first time today by launching its Zii Trinity platform. Like the Zii Egg, the Trinity is a reference design rather than a full product and gives those building hardware or software a full-touchscreen Android (or Creative's own Plaszma) smartphone to work from. It supports quad-band GSM/EDGE as well as tri-band, 7.2Mbps 3G over HSPA but still carries the ZMS-05 chip that provides 1080p video decoding and hardware accelerated OpenGL ES 3D.
Creative today entered touchscreen players in earnest by launching the ZEN X-Fi2. Unlike the currently developer-only and Android-based Zii Egg, the new model is a direct replacement with a custom interface for its 3-inch touchscreen that simplifies the controls. The namesake X-Fi audio engine has also been given a boost and should restore details lost to audio compression not only in music but FM radio and video.
Creative has added a new entry-level model to its portable audio player line-up with the ZEN MX. Available in models with 8GB or 16GB of internal memory, the new players look largely like the company's current ZEN players with detail changes to the control button layout. The same 2.5-inch LCD display with 320x240 resolution remains. Supported audio files include MP3, WMA (with DRM) and Audible 4. As for videos, only Creative's proprietary video-CMV format is compatible. Creative did include its Creative Centrale software that will convert videos into the format, however.
Creative today tried to appeal to a niche market by introducing a line of Zens encapsuled in a cow's head likeness, calling it the ZEN Moo. Basically a new exterior for what is essentially the Zen Stone, the Moo includes 2GB of integrated memory with MP3 and WMA file support as well as built-in speakers. There is an entry version and a higher-end one, called the Plus, that includes a small OLED display behind the cow's nose, an FM tuner, voice recording functionality and an alarm clock.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE