Tag - Zii
Creative entered into the tablet arena today with a pair of Android 2.1 tablets. The Ziio 7 and 10 both make audio their strong points and combine Creative's usual X-Fi audio processing with the use of apt-X's new audio codec. The format allows high-quality audio over Bluetooth with reduced lag, making them better fits for wireless headphones and speakers than the usual compressed sound.
Creative has just released its ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth speaker system. The company claimed to have avoided the usual compression problems and is using apt-X for streaming high-quality audio over the 3Mbps link. It should support any A2DP-capable Bluetooth device, including smartphones such as the iPhone as well as other handhelds like the iPad and iPod.
Nintendo raised speculation late Monday by quietly filing for a trademark on the name "Zii" in Japan. The name rights would cover both video games as well as other electronic devices and appears intended to block Creative from using the Zii name on devices in the country, such as the Zii Egg developer media player or the ZiiSound speaker line.
At the Zii Summit in Singapore on Tuesday, Creative showed off a new range of iPod speaker docks branded as ZiiSound. Despite the name, the speakers will not have Creative's Zii stemcell processor integrated into them. The ZiiSound D5 iPod dock sports a wireless iPod connector and sends the audio to the actual speakers using Bluetooth.
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 subsidiary ZiiLABS has announced that it will unveil the Zii smartphone platform at the upcoming Zii Summit event. The ZMS-05 system-on-a-chip (SOC) components are claimed to be the first to offer 1080p video playback capabilities on a handheld device. The Media Rich Processor also boasts OpenGL ES 3D graphics with acceleration for web browsing, video playback and imaging.
ZiiLabs today claimed a milestone in mobile processors with the ZMS-08, its second new chip in a year. The new design blends the existing many-core design of the original ZMS-05 with a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor and should process video at a level previously unseen in mobile chips. While other chips can decode 1080p video, the new design reportedly processes the HD output in High Profile H.264, or enough quality to match Blu-ray.
Creative's sub-brand ZiiLABS on Tuesday released the previously unveiled optimized implementation of the Android operating system for its Plaszma development platforms, including the Zii Egg media player and ZMS-05 system module. The Android Plaszma release is based on Android 1.6 and lets supporting handheld devices play back 1080p videos for the first time.
At its recent annual meeting, Creative unexpectedly announced plans to release an e-book reader it calls the MediaBook. While the name may change before the device makes it to production, features such as a touchscreen, text-to-speech functionality and an SD memory card reader are not expected to change. It should also feature Creative's Zii processor and have the ability to browse the Internet, both of which differentiate it from other e-book readers on the market.
Creative has begun its first shipments of the Zii Egg, reports say. The device is Creative's first touchscreen media player, equipped with a 3.5-inch, 480x320 multi-touch display. It supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS, and it is also notable for including two VGA cameras, plus HDMI output at resolutions up to 1080p. The current model is actually meant for developers, and uses an open-source operating system.
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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