Archive for April, 2010


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Today, RIM kicked off their annual WES by introducing two new Blackberrys, the Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G.

The Bold 9650 is a device that’s been promised since last summer and though now under the Bold name, it is essentially a Blackberry Tour with an optical trackpad and Wi-Fi. Everything else is the same including Dual-Band networks for world roaming, a 3.2 megapixel camera, a 2.44 inch HVGA screen and 512MB of built in flash memory. Though not too exciting of a release, it wasn’t disappointing either, considering it was anticipated for awhile.

The Pearl 3G is a bit more exciting, considering it’s a more fresh update to the widely popular Pearl. Its design has been face-lited and looks much more modern, but still resembles previous-generation models with its very pocketable size, measuring in at only 4.25 inches tall and 1.96 inches wide. Also like previous models, the Pearl 3G comes with the SureType keyboard, but there will actually be two configurations, the 9100 will have a 20-key SureType and the 9105 will only have a 14-key SureType. Again, this device is now shipped with the optical trackpad instead of the trackball for navigation, and operates on the new 5.0 Blackberry OS, GPS and 3G (obviously). This device definitely sees a successful future when widely released.

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Although I’m a bit late on this topic, unless you’ve been living under a tech rock for the past two weeks, you would know that the next generation iPhone 4G was found lost in a bar in Redwood City, which somehow got into the hands of Gizmodo. They took a million pictures of it and posted a video of it on their website, and not soon after, the entire globe was talking about it. Apple’s multiple requests for the return of the device didn’t stop Gizmodo, and who doesn’t feel bad for Gray Powell, the Apple software engineer who left the device at the bar, which was disguised to look like an iPhone 3GS. A stranger found it and soon realized it wasn’t a regular iPhone, so he called Apple multiple times trying to return the device, but they didn’t believe him. Gizmodo somehow found out and payed enough money for this person to hand the device over, which would be exploited all over the web. There’s a video of it here.

Apple’s lineup of high-end notebooks are finally being upgraded, the first update since last June. The long-awaited overhaul announced yesterday, features an almost brand-new line up of notebooks ranging from the 13-inch to the 17-inch. Updated graphics and faster processors, plus longer battery life and upgraded RAM all come with the upgrade.

13-Inch

The MBP 13 inch now ships with 4 GBs of RAM, on both the 2.4 and 2.66 GHZ preset configurations, plus they now feature a  NVIDIA Geforce 320M Graphics card, a larger hard drive capacity and a longer battery life (up to 10 hours). The 13-inch models, still are lower-end, compared to the 15 and 17 inch as they still use the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but the other models have upgraded  units.

15 and 17-Inch

The 15 and 17 Inch MCPs now feature the brand new Intel processors, the i5 and i7. These processors increase loading speeds dramatically, working together with the standard 4 Gigs of Ram. The batteries on these machines are also upgraded, as they can run for up to 8-9 hours. The graphics on the 15 and 17 inch models are significantly improved, as they all feature the NVIDIA Geforce GT 330M with 256 or 512 MB of dedicated video memory, PLUS Intel HD graphics allowing for automatic switching between graphic modes.

Apple Unveils iPhone OS 4.0

Last Thursday, Apple announced the summer-due OS upgrade for the iPhone, iPod Touch and later on, the iPad. For the third year in a row, Apple used Spring to give developers a preview of what’s to be expected for the summer. Here’s a quick summary of what Steve Jobs and other executives released in Cupertino:

Multitasking

Finally, Apple has released an OFFICIAL way to multitask on the iPhone. Since the very first year the iPhone was released, third-party developers (jailbreak devs) have been coming up with ways to multitask on the iPhone like Backgrounder, but Apple has never released their own way as default on the iPhone and this has given haters a very reasonable attack on the the device. Now, that complaint has been addressed and puts the iPhone right next to devices like the Palm Pre and Nexus One, feature-wise. This long-awaited feature, comes with a catch though, iPhone 3G users don’t have access to this multitasking feature, due to hardware restraints.

Folders

The iPhone’s App store contains hundreds of thousands of different applications that make your smartphone life easier and more efficient. Although this app store is more or less the main reason of the iPhone’s success, the growing amount of options came with flaws. Folders, a little feature included with the new 4.0 software, addresses multiple issues in one. It’s basically like folders on your desktop, helping you sort your apps into chosen categories, an easier way to go through your apps instead of just scrolling into countless pages.

Game Center

Announced to be released a little later in the year, perhaps a bit after the 4.0 release, is something Apple calls “Game Center”. It’s basically a gaming type of social network, where you can invite friends to games, view leaderboards, have the ability to matchmaking for certain games; this brings a new concept of gaming to the iPhone, possibly turning it into much more of a portable gaming device.

Other Changes:

  • Spell Check
  • 5X Digital Zoom for Camera
  • Tap-to-Focus Video Camera
  • Gifting Apps
  • Home Screen Wallpaper
  • Bluetooth Keyboards
  • Rotate Photos
  • Web Search Suggestions
  • Create Playlists in iPod
  • Persistent Wi-Fi

The upcoming 4.0 release is definitely a bump for Apple’s smartphone hit, giving it a boost to (hopefully) put it back into the lead in the smartphone race. The update addresses many faulty issues and adds the features that would of given the iPhone a reasonable doubt to be the best.

Motorola, having just released a hugely successful Android smartphone, just decided they’re not quite done. Released on the 25th of March, the Motorola Devour is another home run for the million dollar corporation, acting like a little brother to the much-loved Droid. Being a budgeted down version of the Droid, it is a bit featured-down as well, having a 3-megapixel camera instead of a 5-megapixel, and running the 1.6 version of Android instead of the 2.0. Also, the keyboard is a little bit different and the material being an industrial silver instead of the classy black on the Droid. Although the Devour is different from the Droid, it’s definitely not stripped down of features as not everybody uses the uncountable components on the Droid, thus having a cheaper variation to Motorola’s smartphone lineup.

The Motorola Devour was built as a durable and reliable smartphone for those who have a rounded down range of needed features, but as a general note, we’d want something more than Android 1.6, considering so many other smartphones are already operating on better software, plus, a bigger screen would be greatly appreciated.

A Taiwanese microchip company is suing Apple over the unauthorized use of their patented technology, multitouch, which is now used on multiple devices including the iPhone, iPod and iPad, arriving in today. Elan Microelectronics filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission asking to permanently ban numerous Apple products in the U.S. If the ITC chooses to continue with the matter, it can be looked into for up to 15 months. What’s ironic is Apple filed a complaint with the ITC against the phonemaker, HTC, for infringing 20 different patents, asking to ban all their phones to be shipped into the U.S. Predictably though, Elan will probably let Apple off the hook with a reasonable amount of money and a carefully thought out settlement.