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Apple stays on trail with iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5

clock October 5, 2011 00:24 by author Jeremy

The biggest news to emerge from today's Apple event is, of course, the unveiling of their latest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 4S. This will come with quite a few new specs, particularly iOS 5. The iPhone 4S itself can be pre-ordered starting Oct 7th and will be available Oct. 14th. Meanwhile, iOS 5 will be released on Oct. 12th. So let's take a look at what we're dealing with, shall we?

The iPhone 4S will have the same retina display and back glass-casing as the iPhone 4, but comes with the brand new A5 chip. This chip is said to be twice as fast as its predecessor and has dual-core graphics. A new battery will provide 8 hours of talk-time, 6 hours of browsing (or 9 if done through WiFi), 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music, all done via the supposed 14.4 Mbps download speeds. And with AirPlay Mirroring, you can view some of these things on a bigger screen, either through a wired or wireless connection.

A new 8 megapixel camera is provided as well, bringing 60% better performance over the iPhone 4; this camera will also take in 73% more light, has 26% better white balance and an IR filter for more accurate colors. Plus, it's faster: a mere 1.1 seconds required to take one picture and only 0.5 seconds to take a second picture.

Perhaps the biggest new feature of the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 is Siri - originally a company that handled a voice recognition app, but was bought out by Apply in early 2010. Finally, Siri is bringing their expertise to the table by becoming Apple's (very intuitive) voice program. Quite a few examples were done at Apple's event today, with various questions/demands being asked: "What time is it in Paris", "Do I need to wear a raincoat today", "Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto", "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 AM", "Search Wikipedia for...". With each command, Siri either responded in kind or brought up the specific app that would help (such as a web browser with a wiki-page open).

Of course, the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 weren't the only news (granted, they were what everyone was waiting for) - the iPod Nano and iPod Touch both got a few touch-ups and price-alterations today. The iPod Nano, which now has a multi-touch display for app-swiping and 16 new clocks (including a Mickey Mouse clock!), will be available for $129 (8GB) or $149 (16 GB). Meanwhile, the iPod Touch, which now has iMessaging - bringing texts from your Apple devices to your iPod - will be for sale at $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for 64GB.

Also fresh off the Cupertino-grill is iTunes Match, the long-awaited music service that works with iTunes. This feature will scan your library, find the corresponding songs in iTunes for you and gives you the same benefits that iTunes-purchased-music would. This will be live at the end of the month.

Definitely an exciting day for Apple loyalists, and an exciting day for Sprint customers too - it was officially announced today at the event that Sprint will be getting the iPhone as well.

Oh, and as if all the news above wasn't enough, here's a last piece of joy for you: the iPhone 4S will now be available in white as well.

Sources: 9to5Mac, engadget (pictures)



Amazon Releases 4 New Kindles - Including a Tablet-version, Kindle Fire

clock September 28, 2011 22:51 by author Jeremy

Ever get tired of the same ol' Kindle, with its rectangular shape and book-like features? Yeah, neither do I. Which is why it's great news that Amazon is releasing four new kinds of Kindles at different price ranges.

The lowest-priced, which is just your basic "Kindle", is the same as its predecessors. It's smaller, lighter and "turns pages 10 percent faster"...I'm not sure what kind of page-turning madman sat down and compared that, though. Nonetheless, you still get your favorite e-reader from before, only for $79.

Next up is the "Kindle Touch", a mere $20 more than its less-advanced version (bringing our total to $99). This aptly-named e-reader brings a touch-screen for your page-turning, note-taking, searching-and-shopping pleasure. Again, enhancements have been made to prolong battery life, reduce the weight and make it smaller. There's also the new "X-Ray" feature, which Amazon says lets users "see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more details descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari". Avid wikipedia-clickers, beware, as this may just eat hours of your day in a single book.

The top of the line e-reader is the "Kindle Touch 3G", available for $149. This version carries all the specs of the Kindle Touch but with, you guessed it, 3G. The best part? It's free! Now you can have access to the Kindle store wherever, whenever, without the need for Wi-Fi hotspots.

Perhaps the most exciting news to come out from Amazon's tablet event is the release of the new "Kindle Fire", a $199 tablet, which shouldn't be confused with the aforementioned e-readers. With this tablet, you can browse the entirety of Amazon's selection, ranging from movies, music, shows, games, books and magazines. Of course, these virtual products still require buying. And don't let the measly 8GB of storage space scare you off: Amazon has provided free cloud storage for all of your digital content, available for re-downloading whenever you desire).

The Kindle Fire also comes with Amazon's new "Amazon Silk" - a type of browser that delivers faster speeds. This is done by Amazon taking part of the page-loading away from your device, and instead onto their servers. With loading times split between Amazon servers and your Kindle Fire, pages should come up faster, allowing for a swift peruse of the internet.

The Kindle can be bought today, while the Kindle Touch and Touch 3G are available for pre-order now, with shipping on November 21st. The Kindle Fire can be pre-ordered today as well and will ship out on November 15th.

Sources: Amazon Kindles Press Release, Amazon Silk Press Release



HP Event Shows Off Veer, Pre 3, and TouchPad

clock February 10, 2011 00:36 by author Jeremy

As far back as January 20th, HP has been planning an event for today. The time has finally come...and the world was shocked and awed at the products seen today.

Last year, HP acquired Palm; today, that merger truly showed what they were capable of together. With their combined ingenuity and the use of the webOS platform, today saw the release of the Veer, Pre 3, and TouchPad.

 

Starting with the Veer: we see that its tiny. Oh so very credit-card-like tiny. And yet, the phone seems like its going to pack quite a punch. Besides the specs below, we also know that the Veer will have a 2.6-inch 320x400 display and a 5 megapixel camera.

Next up is the Pre 3. This phone can actually interact with the TouchPad, which we'll explain later. For now, the specs:

The Pre 3 will also have a 3.6-inch 480x800 WVGA display, a 5 megapixel camera (and a front-facing camera too), HD Video and video calling capabilities.

Last but not least, we have the TouchPad. This is the first non-phone device to run webOS, and boy does it perform well. Besides the powerful specs (seen below) running the device, its got quite a few nifty features. First off, multi-tasking seems to be a cinch on this tablet: HP's presentation showed a demo of it switching between emails, setting a reservation, and even more, all within a short span of time. In the picture above, you can see "Just Type" written along the top, which acts as a sort of command prompt. You can post to twitter with it, search through emails, plus more.

In the picture above, the Pre 3 was just barely "tapped" against the TouchPad. This is another one of their nifty features: whatever you're doing on the TouchPad can be immediately moved to the Pre 3.

Available immediately on the launch of the TouchPad will be certain DreamWorks movie titles - we didn't see a definitely list though as to which titles. The TouchPad will also support the "Beats by Dr. Dre" technology, to provide you with music with real-life sound quality. Certain magazines, such as Time, fully support the tablet, and can be viewed from the TouchPad. And, of course, your tablet can connect with any previous HP Printer, so that you can print pictures from Facebook and other media straight from your TouchPad.

Unfortunately, these devices wno't be out for a bit - the Veer will be coming out in early spring, while the Pre 3 and TouchPad are both slated to come out in the summer; 3G and 4G versions of the TouchPad will also be releated at a later time. Hopefully we'll get a few more looks at the devices though, as they all seem quite promising.

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Verizon's iPhone 4

clock January 11, 2011 23:11 by author Jeremy

Verizon customers have wanted the iPhone since 1300 B.C. (at least, that's how long it feels like with how much they ask about it). This morning, it was announced that they'll finally get their long-awaited version of the iPhone 4. Pre-orders start on February 3rd, with the real opening date on February 10th. But what are the differences, you ask?

First off: antennas. The antennas have had to be tweaked slightly, and Verizon's iPhone has even acquired a fourth notch (with one pre-existing notch moving to the side near the volume buttons). However, it's been confirmed that this was only done so that the iPhone would work on Verizon's CDMA network; no real upgrade there.

On the plus side, Verizon iPhone owners can use their iPhone as a WiFi hotspot, tethering up to 5 other devices to it. That's pretty nifty, eh? However, this pro comes with a few cons. Such as the fact that Verizon's CDMA network can't support both voice and data at the same time. Meaning, if you're chatting away and you feel the need to look something up online...well, good luck with that.

With how much Verizon's been talking up their new LTE network though, why didn't they just travel that route instead of keeping the iPhone 4 at 3G? Apple's Tim Cook explains, "The first gen LTW chipsets force design changes we wouldn't make."

And, as a minor downside, because the volume buttons have been moved down just a smidge (thanks to the new antenna notch), this iPhone may require a whole different set of cases. Let's just hope that doesn't get confusing.

Now we play the waiting game, and see if Verizon's network is enough to lure AT&T customers over, or if their non-simultaneous-voice-and-data-network will shy customers away.

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