Monthly Archives: August 2012
It’s been a long road since HP first announced that webOS would be going open source in December of 2011. The platform, previously created by Palm and obtained by HP in their acquisition, was seen by many as the Hail Mary play of mobile platforms for Palm, one that would bring them into competition with the world of iPhones and Android devices. Reviews were stellar, but the sales – unfortunately – were never there, leading to HP purchasing the once iconic company. From then on, HP released three new devices – the Palm Pre 3, the HP Veer, and the HP TouchPad, all featuring the wonderfully crafted operating system*.
Unfortunately, through a series of poor business decisions and mismanaged resources, all three devices ended up being giant flops, with it even infamously being reported that Best Buy was refusing any more TouchPad orders, complaining that they’ve got too many of them sitting out back waiting to be sold as it was. All of this led to HP cutting the webOS division (in a decision that, at the time, also included all of the company’s PC devices as well), which meant the death of webOS, until the company decided to launch an initiative to open source the product.
It’s been a long time since that day, but finally, HP’s done right by their promise and has today launched a working beta version of Open webOS. In an announcement today, the company announced the immediate availability of the source code, complete with instructions on how to build and launch the product. Pre-requisites include a working installation of the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 11.x or 12.04 – so fire up those apt-get instances and get compiling.
We’ll have a more complete overview of the first beta release of Open webOS later on.
Source: Open webOS
It was only a matter of time before we got a good look at these little guys, but I guess there’s no time like the present – the first look at what is presumably Nokia’s new line of Windows Phone 8 devices have just made their way onto the internet via Twitter account @evleaks, and boy are they lookers.
There’s not much to go by here, but what we see are two different models – the Nokia Lumia 820, successor to the Nokia Lumia 800; and the Nokia Lumia 920, successor to the Lumia 900. Both share a substantial amount of aesthetics, as the previous models did, with one catch – while the Nokia Lumia 800 was a pretty sanely sized 3.7″ phone, the Lumia 820 reportedly makes the jump to having a 4.2″ phone. And now let’s hear the collective sigh of the seemingly shrinking group of people who prefer smaller sized phones. Sigh.
The only other things really of note here are the new colors, and the cameras – both models will seemingly come in a jubilee of pleasant, but bright new colors. Meanwhile, the Lumia 820 is seen rocking Carl Zeiss camera lenses – just as its predecessor did. On the other hand, the Lumia 920 will seemingly feature a PureView camera, which was last seen in the Nokia 808 with a 41MP camera.
Good news for all Microsot Intune customers: the company has just announced that the RTM build of Windows 8 is now available to download. This marks availability one day sooner than Microsoft’s planned rollout schedule, which will eventually leads to the product being released to the general public on October 26th.
The planned rollout schedule is as followed:
October 25th: Launch event for Windows 8 and the Surface RT, which will run Windows RT. The other Surface is not due until early 2013, remember. The big shindig will be in New York (damn).
October 26th: General availability of Windows 8. This is gospel, and is the hard stop for Windows 8.
October 29th: The official launch of Windows Phone 8, according to Mary Jo. This will take place in either San Francisco or LA. Microsoft, let’s do it in the city by the bay. Please. Don’t make us go to Southern California. Devices will go on sale, again according to the source, in the following weeks.
October 30th: BUILD kicks off. This event will, in my estimation, tie together each new product, and present a unified Microsoft front from a product perspective.
For everybody who wasn’t aware – there’s a new Kindle Fire coming. It’s probably the worst kept secret in the mobile space, next to perhaps the iPad mini. But for all that we do know about it, there’s a whole lot more that we don’t know – namely, everything having to do with the device’s actual specifications.
Well, if The Verge is to be trusted, it looks like we’ve just gotten our first look at the next generation Kindle Fire (which I’ll be calling the Kindle Fire 2, just to make everything easier) with this leaked photo. What we see here is a significantly different device than the first generation – it seems to have dropped the widely used in 7″ Android tablets 17:10 aspect ratio, instead opting for a 4:3 aspect ratio a la the iPad and the HP TouchPad – something I greatly prefer. Other big changed include some obvious UI changes, and the surprising small of a bezel around the screen for a tablet – there appears to be very little space to rest your hands, here. There also seems to be an included front-facing camera as well as a microphone bundled this time around – though no word as of yet on whether this bad boy’s carrying a back camera as well.
Other unconfirmed rumors include the inclusion of a 10″ Kindle Fire tablet, which would put the brand in head-to-head competition with the iPad for both the 10″ sector and the 7″ sector, presuming Apple releases their much rumored iPad mini.
Amazon is expected to update their line of Kindle products, including the Kindle Fire, on September 6th at an announced press conference.
Dell has today announced at IFA 2012 its new line of Windows 8 and Windows RT products, including a Windows RT tablet, a Windows 8 mobile device (more on that in a minute), and a Windows 8 based All-in-One desktop.
The first product we’ll look at is the company’s Windows RT device, the Dell XPS 10 – a ten inch device running Microsoft’s Windows 8 based ARM platform complete with – shocker – a 10″ screen, a Snapdragon processor, and a built in Micro USB port. The company is also boasting that the tablet will get a whopping 20-hours of life on a single battery charge, something that I’d personally have to see to believe. The Dell XPS 10 will also support an optional keyboard dock (sold separately, of course), which turns it into something reminiscent of a first-generation netbook.
Next up we’ve got the Dell XPS One 27, a 27″ All-in-One computer packed with a 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (upgradable to a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7), up to 16GB of RAM, the choice of either integrated graphics or an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M, up to 2TB of hard drive space, a multi-touch qHD display, and Windows 8 (presumably the “Core” edition). It’s nice, but fairly unexciting.
Finally, and most interestingly, we come to the XPS Duo 12, a Windows 8 based ultrabook/tablet hybrid, similar in nature to the Dell Inspiron Duo. It comes with a 12″ 1080p display, Windows 8 (not the ARM-based Windows RT), and the choice between a Core i5 and a Core i7. Specs are tight right now, but color me fairly impressed with the design – unlike the chunky Dell Inspiron Duo, the XPS Duo 12 seems to be rather thin and light looking. My only question is whether or not consumers will get any pleasure out of using something that’s too small to be an actual ultrabook and too large to be a truly portable tablet.
There’s one thing for certain – now is certainly an exciting time for mobile computing, with the new iPhone, 7″ iPad, Windows Phone 8 devices, Windows RT devices, and Windows 8 devices all making their way to the market in the coming months.
So let us know – will you be picking up one of these new generation mobile devices, or will you be sticking with what you have? Sound off in the comments!
Source: The Verge
Well Reddit certainly had a big day today; the social news platform, which originally launched as an alternative to Digg – but has since wildly overpassed the site in usage statistics – saw United States President Barack Obama stop by for a visit to do a Reddit iAMA – basically a Q&A session.
Both terms “Reddit” and “Barack Obama” became trending topics on Twitter today, while the overwhelming amount of interest in (The Verge reports that the site had over 200,000 concurrent users today) brought the site to its knees, rendering it totally unusable for a sizable length of time – some users are reporting still having issues accessing the site.
President Obama was fielded questions ranging from his position on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, to his thoughts on SOPA and PIPA, to his favorite football team. (The New York Giants, by the way.)
Not only did Samsung announce a new line of Windows devices devices today (the Samsung ATIV), the company also took the stage and announced the long expected Samsung Galaxy Note II, sequel to one of the most controversial devices of 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Note. Basically what you’ve got here is a Samsung Galaxy S III, only on some serious growth hormones (as if the Galaxy S III wasn’t large enough already) – a 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED display running with a resolution of 1,280 x 720, complete with a newly updated S-Pen stylus with a rubber tip.
Other specs include a quad-core 1.6 GHz Exynos processor, a brand new Galaxy S III inspired design, 1080p video recording, 8MP camera, a large capacity 3,100mAh battery, and some fancy new updates to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI to optimize it for stylus based input. This bad boy will also be running Android 4.1 “Jellybean” at launch, so you won’t have to do any waiting to get Google’s latest and greatest.
Pricing and availability has yet to be announced for the device, though Samsung did say that we should expect to see it in stores before the year is up.
Big news Microsoft fans: according to well-connected Microsoft enthusiast Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is going to be having one hell of an October this year; the company is reportedly planning on launching their next major push into the mobile phone space – Windows Phone 8 – on October 29th, with the first devices being released to consumers around that same time.
It’s an interesting choice for sure – Apple’s new iPhone will have likely been on the market for already a month by that point, leaving many would-be expired contracts to have already been fulfilled by those eager to get the latest and greatest from Cupertino. The date is also startlingly close to the release date of Windows 8 (October 26th), so it’s odd that Microsoft would want anything to steal Windows 8′s thunder, even if the spotlight is stolen from within their own company.
Windows Phone 8 is the next major operating system to come out of Microsoft’s mobile phone division, and runs on a full version of Microsoft’s longstanding and well supported NT core, which Windows 8 and Windows RT also uses. The new release will not be available to older phones, though they will be getting Windows Phone 7.8.
Well you gotta hand it to Samsung, they sure know how to keep themselves in the news cycle. After making a splash with their new Start Menu clone that they’ll be bundling into all Windows 8 devices, the company is said to be launching a new line of devices focuses around mobile Windows platforms – namely, Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. The new line, which is said to be a high end line similar to Samsung’s Galaxy line in the world of Android world, will be called the ATIV family – and yes, for those keeping track, that is the “Vita” spelt backwards.
First in the lineup will be the Samsung ATIV S, a high end Windows Phone 8 smartphone with a 4.8″ SUPER AMOLED display, a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and an 8 MP camera on the backside. The Verge reports that this may very well be the first Windows Phone 8 device to launch on the market later this year.
Next we have the ATIV Tab, a 10.1″ Windows RT tablet which will come with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and a 5 MP camera. Like other WinRT devices, the ATIV Tab will come pre-installed with a mostly functional license of Microsoft Office 2013, likely to be in the form as a beta release for now.
Pricing and availability is unknown as of now, though we’d expect these bad boys will make their way out into the open before even the end of the year. Check out leaked press shots of both devices at the source links below.
Facebook has today updated their excellent Camera application, which offers users the ability to snap a pic, apply an Instagram style filter, and upload it straight to Facebook, and brought to the table some much needed new features.
New features include the ability to sort your images into specific albums – before, any photo posted using Facebook Camera was automatically lumped into a Mobile Uploads folder with no option to move it across albums, and notification support for when your friends like, comment on, or share one of your photos.
Not a bad deal for free, I’d say. iOS users can grab this latest update on the App Store now.
Though the final version probably won’t make its way to the home page for another couple of days, you can download the final version from Mozilla itself here - just don’t expect too much to have changed since the last time you’ve had a go with Firefox.
Oh, Samsung. Instead of letting what is be, the company has now decided that they have to put their specific set of… “charm” into the Windows 8 installs that will come default on their PCs, including a new application they’re calling the “S Launcher”.
As most users are probably aware by now, Windows 8 has killed the iconic Start Menu that’s been included in Windows for nearly 15 years, starting with Windows 95. Basically what S Launcher is, as you can see in the picture above, is a little strip that sits at the bottom of the screen right above the taskbar with a “Start menu” icon that, when pressed, brings up something that is startlingly similar to the old Windows 7 Start Menu. And by “startlingly similar”, I mean of course “exactly the same”.
This sort of fragmentation and crapware is exactly what Microsoft should strongly be encouraging OEMs to avoid. Microsoft desperately needs a home run on their hands with all the competition arising as of late, and OEMs running a-mock, ruining or completely changing the basic Windows experience is exactly what they should be seeking to avoid.