Archives for June 2012

Google is to release a tablet called the Nexus 7

Google has announced it is to release a tablet called the Google Nexus 7 soon, which has been a collaboration between Google and Asus.  This tablet will be powered by Android Jelly Bean, which is the latest version of Android to be released. The Nexus 7 will have a 7 inch screen that has a resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels resolution that represents a pixel density of 216, it’s also comes packed  with a Tegra-3 chipset, quad-core CPU,12-core GPU and 1GB of ram. These chips will provide the user with a super sleek experience what ever you choose to throw at it. The tablet also weighs in at a very reasonable 340 grams or 3/4’s of a lb. 

The other features will include NFC technology a 1.2MP front facing camera, micro phone, Wi-Fi connectivity, bluetooth support and it will be the first tablet to come preloaded with Googles Chrome browser, which has been specially optimised for a tablet. The Google Nexus 7 4325 mAh battery promises over 8 hours of running time, which is excellent.

The Google Nexus 7 can be bought for $199 (£159) for the 8GB model or $249 (£199) for 16GB.

This tablet simply blows away the competition within it’s target market, such as the Kindle fire and the the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet. It is not only lighter but it also comes in a thinner form factor too than these tablets. The nexus 7 also beats off the competition when it comes to the resolution of the screen, the resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels resolution that represents a pixel density of 216 simply cannot be matched.   This tablet is also the fastest in the field too thanks to the lightning fast 1.3GHz quad-core processor. 

This tablet offer great features for it’s price, if you buy it you will not be disappointed. Because it seems to offer what people want most in a tablet which is small form factor, great performance and battery life.

 The only negative points that can be found with this tablet is that it does not have an expandable memory slot, this could hinder the devices capability.  It’s worth also noting that Google s Android OS for tablets still does not offer the same of amount of apps as iOS does. Android does also lack in polish too compared to Apples iOS, but it is catching up fast on these fronts with Apples iOS in leaps and bounds as time goes on.     

This tablet can be now pre-ordered through Google Play. It will be available from Mid July in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. 

Apple announces a new Podcasts app for iOS

Apple on Tuesday announces a new Podcast application which is simply called ”Podcasts”. 

This app will make it so easy to simply search, view and manage all your Podcasts on your iOS device. Apple users will be able to browse through all their Podcasts within their iTunes catalogue and library with simplicity and with ease. There will also be a Top Stations feature that will be also appealing, where the user will have access to a unique interface which will allow the user to quickly browse the most popular Podcasts through various categories such as, arts, business, comedy, news and sports etc. This app will also provide the user with the option of subscribing to an entire series of a Podcasts too. The user will also have the ability to fully sync their iOS devices with their Podcasts. There will also be an option to download a particular Podcast, after the user has downloaded the Podcast the user will be able to either listen to the Podcast offline or by streaming it. The app will also have a radio-like “Now Playing” screen which will allow the user to have access to simple playback controls that will allow the user to easily skip forward and back, which will prove to be popular. Lastly this app will make sharing Podcasts so easy by giving the user the option of sharing your favourite Podcast through Twitter, Messages and Mail.

This app can now be downloaded free from the App store. But it seems likely that this app will soon become a feature within the soon to be launched iOS 6. Evidence to back this claim up comes from developers who have already had their hands on a beta released of iOS 6. 


YouView is to beta test its service to 2000 UK homes

YouView which was previously referred to as Project Canvas is to expend its beta testing service to 2000 UK homes within the UK . It’s currently beta testing its service to 350 customers. The YouView service is expected to launch during the second half of the year. 

The YouView service was originally planned to launch in 2010, but it was delayed due to various technical problems and regulatory issues.  

Back in 2010 when it was due to launch it was thought to be revolutionary, but with there rivals, such as Sky and Virgin Media offering similar catch up and video on demand services, it’s launch might appear to be a less appealing than it once did.  But it’s backers such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva are hoping that it’s service still has appeal to those who do not want to pay for a service.  

No exact details have been released to date that fully details what will be included in this service. So far we know that the set top box will have Freeview built into it and it will be able to act as a pvr too. The set top box will also be offering from the beginning all the UK on demand and catch up services such as the iplayer, itv player and 4oD. It’s also likely that other web services will come on board in the near future such as Facebook,YouTube, Love Film and Net Felix.

The set top boxes are likely to cost around the £200 mark but certain companies such as BT and TalkTalk  are likely to include the  set top boxes within their customer product bundles.

If your interested in joining YouViews trial  just click on this link to their website here.





Samsung Galaxy S3 is on course to sell almost 10 million phones next month

Samsung has made a statement on Monday claiming that the 

Samsung Galaxy S3 is on course to sell  10 million or more phones by July.

Samsung’s mobile business president Shin Jong-kyun says if the momentum of sales continues it could become one of the most successful phones that has ever been sold.

He goes on to say in an article in The Guardian on Monday that ”the Galaxy S3 would reach the milestone two months after its launch, and be on sale from nearly 300 mobile carriers around the world by the end of July”.

Reaching the 10 million mark will be unprecedented, considering that the phone was only launched back in May in Europe. It seems like  the phones revolutionary technology has proven to be irresistible. Who could resist the allure of the amazingly fast quad-core processor or the fantastic large Super Amoled 4.8-inch screen, which all comes in a lighter form factor than the iPhone 4S. 

However it worth pointing out that Samsung figures are not based on activations but rather on the amount of devices that have been shipped, but there should not be a large difference in the figures.

When Apple releases the iPhone 5 sometime later this year. It will be interesting to see if Apple can top the impressive sales of this device. All this will depend on how revolutionary Apples new iPhone is, going by the current rumours it is certainly going to prove to be a good match for the Samsung Galaxy S3.

The iphone 5 is to come with a smaller 19-Pin “Mini” Connector

 The technology website called techcrunch confirms  that the  iphone 5 is to get a smaller 19-Pin “Mini” Connector. The website claims that they have “independently verified” this. They state that three independent manufacturers have varied that it is currently work in progress. This is further backed up by another website  called mobilefun, that claims to have leaked drawings of the iPhone 5 that clearly indicates that the iPhone has the smaller 19-Pin “Mini” Connector. Mobilefun says they contacted a manufacturer to confirm the authenticity of the drawings and they confirmed that these drawings were accurate.   

This will replace the current 30-Pin Connector that has been used amongst all Apple products since the third generation iPod, which was released in 2003. It’s thought that the reason behind Apple switching to a small connector was because they wanted to free up more space within the iPhone 5 to add additional technology such as NFC technology, 4G LTE etc.

This announcement has upset many people, due to the fact it will make all iPhone accessories, such as speakers obsolete with one blow. Lets hope Apple will come up with an adaptor to resolve this problem. 



Windows Kinectimals gets released on Android

Windows Kinectimals gets released on Android.  The game focuses on a variety of big cats in which the player gets to choose one to care for. The player then gets to train the Cats through one of the three activities that are available. There is also an option to unlock five exclusive cubs, which can then be transferred over to the Xbox 360 version. 

This app will prove popular amongst children and animal lovers. Kinectimals has proven to be popular on the Xbox 360, which it was first released for. This app is also available on the Windows 7 Platform and iOS. 

This game  is available on the Android play store for $2.99 or £1.93 in the UK Play Store. You can  buy it from here

Microsoft has showcased a family of Windows 8 powered tablet computers

Microsoft last Monday night showcased a family of it’s first own branded Windows 8 powered tablet computers at a presentation in Los Angeles. 

Microsoft executives said at the event that:The Surface tablet comes in two flavours. There are consumer-targeted slates powered by an Nvidia Tegra processor and running Windows RT, Microsoft’s first OS designed for devices using ARM-based chips, and there’s also a “professional” version of the tablet for content creators that uses an Intel Core i5 chip and runs the x86-optimised flavour of Windows 8 for mobile devices”. ”The new tablets include a “kickstand” for viewing content, as well as a cover that also doubles as a keyboard and touchpad for content creation. A version of the tablet will include a “TypeCover” designed to replicate a full-size keyboard”.

Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer , said ”that the company had set out to work with OEMs, but also has a history of designing its own hardware to showcase the best designs”. Ballmer also used the Microsoft keyboard, Mouse, and the Xbox game console and Xbox Kinect sensor accessory as examples”.

The two versions will have different amounts of memory, the Arm powered version will come with either 32 GB or 64 GB of memory while the Intel Core version will come with either 64GB or 128 GB of memory. The Intel Core version will also come with a slightly higher resolution screen. Size wise the Intel Core version is slightly thinker at 13.5 mm vs  9.3 mm for the Arm version, this is due to the extra room needed to accommodate the Intel Core Ivy Bridge i5 processor. It’s also the heaviest of the two models weighing  903 grams (almost two pounds) vs 676 grams (1.5lbs) for the other model.  The Intel Core version will also come with a larger battery too offering 42 Watt-hours in total capacity vs a battery offering 31.5 W-hs for the Arm powered version.

All models will come with hdmi output, other features will include twin cameras, stereo speakers and dual microphones that are most  suited to work with Microsoft owned Skype. 

These tablets will also come with a case made out of VaporMg, which is a magnesium alloy, which will be very strong and light that will have magnets embedded into it to help secure the case shut. This case will also be able to perform the function of a kickstand for the device. 

The Intel Core version will be released 3 months after the Arm version is released and it will be priced at a similar price to other ultra books, so making it the more expensive of the two versions. However no official announcement has been made by Microsoft regarding the release date. But it is expected to be released in the Autumn along side the release of Windows 8 which is due in October.  

For Microsoft to be able to effectively compete with the iPad, which they need to do to fully succeed, they will have to compete with Apple on a number of levels, firstly they will need to offer as many useful apps as Apple does, because that is what the iPad is about. Secondly they will need to offer a similar iOS experience to what Apple offers, which is very user friendly, smooth, highly polished and highly integrated.  I cannot see Microsoft being able to compete on this playing field for the immediate future. These tablets maybe be able to out match the iPad on functionality, but as history has told us its not functionality that is the most important factor, when the man in the street looking for a tablet pc. 


Mozilla is working on bringing a revised version of Firefox to the iPad

Mozilla has announced on their website air Mozilla that they are working on bringing a revised version of Firefox to the iPad. Their aim is to bring out a browser that is best suited to the form factor of the iPad,this browser also aims to beat Apple’s Safari browser in terms of  usability and looks and it also promises to make browsing more of a pleasurable experience.  The project is called codenamed “Junior”. The browser is going to feature a minimalist design, there will be no tabs or address bar taking up the space, so providing you with a less distracting full screen Internet surfing experience. The only buttons you will get on the browser are two buttons, which will give you access to the usual features that are on most browsers such as bookmarks url/search bar,etc.

Alex Limi, who is a product designer for Mozilla said on the website air Mozilla that

“We wanted to make something entirely new. We wanted to look into how we could reinvent the browser for a new form factor,” adding that Safari on ipad is “a miserable experience”. “There are a lot of reasons we should be on iOS even though we can’t bring our rendering engine there.”

Mozilla will be entering an already overcrowded ios market. It seems that they will have their work cut out to make an impact, due to the advanced features being already offered by their competitors on ios, such as the ability to view flash content ect. Whether they are able to make an impact it’s anyone’s guess.  

No official date has been given by Mozilla for the release of their browser for the iPad. Let’s hope it will not be too long.

The iPhone 5 could be getting swappable camera lenses

The iPhone 5 could be getting swappable camera lenses according to  a website called Apple Insider.  They go on to state that there has been a patent filing that contains information of a system that enables you to change optics on the iPhone 5. It’s important to note that to be able to change the optics on the iPhone Apple would have  to have a removable back panel, which Apple has never previously adopted. The back panel could have two lenses built into it, changing lenses could be as easy as flipping the case around.  This patent could pave the way for a macro lens to be made that reduces the minimum focal distance, which would enable photos to be taken of  nearer objects, who knows what other type of lenses that could be made available. There could even be an option to have a choice of lenses with different filters on them. The patent application also points out that Apple could be also planning to introduce better image and  and shutter technology. 


Its worth pointing out that there are no guarantees that this technology is actually in the works with Apple, because in the past they have not always acted on their patents.


However if Apple were to introduce this option this could pave way for Apple to introduce a replaceable battery option, which most devices support these days.  


Source: AppleInsider

The Kindle’s iOS & Android app now supports comics children’s books and graphic novels

The Kindle app for iOS and Android  and it’s Cloud Reader now supports comics, children’s books and graphic novels, before they were only available to Kindle fire owners. Amazon says that there are now over a 1000 of comic and children’s titles available to Amazon Kindle users. Amazon goes on to say that children’s titles will get an extra level of support by supporting  Kindle’s Text Pop-Up feature, which enables you to view images and text in a pop up windows style which seems to bring books to life and improve readability.  Comics will also get Kindle’s Panel View feature that lets you view everything in a frame by frame format.

The iOS and Android versions will also get different additional features added, for example, the iOS version will get an option to do a title and author search within the library and when your using this app on the iPad you will get an option to view a page with smaller margins. If your using this App on an Android tablet or via the Kindle Cloud Reader,(that enables you to view digital books via a web browser), then there will be an option available to be  able to view a digital book within a two page format.