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iPad 2 - Faster, Thinner, and App-tastic

clock March 4, 2011 01:08 by author Jeremy

 

Apple's event on March 2nd held big news for tablet-lovers across the globe: the official release of the iPad 2, being sold in stores starting March 11. Steve Jobs himself took a break from his medical leave to narrate the event, which shows just how important the arrival of the iPad 2 is.

To quote the ever-so-popular Daft Punk, the iPad 2 is, simply-put, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Jobs claimed that it was roughly 33% thinner than the previous model, and comes with not only a dual-core processor but also the new A5 chip, which supposedly works 9x faster than the A4 chip in the original iPad. However, it will retain the same 10-hour life span per charge.

One of the most exciting pieces announced during the event was, oddly enough, a cover. Not to be confused with a "case" mind you, as Jobs specifically mentioned a few times during the event. This new iPad Cover (iCover?) uses magnets to clip onto your iPad 2 with precision. The Cover can be manipulated in several ways: use it as its name implies (which will also clean your screen thanks to the material used on the iPad-side), or use it as a stand in either horizontal- or vertical-view. The Cover will come in either polyurethane for $39, or leather for $69; each type will have 5 different colors of your choosing.

Jobs also placed a heavy emphasis on FaceTime, which can be used from either the front or back camera. These cameras will definitely come in handy, as one of the newest additions to the iPad 2 is the introduction of an HDMI-out plug.

  

Now, imagine FaceTime on your extra large television at home, thanks to this handy little plug. The same plug even allows your iPad 2 to be charged simultaneously.

The iPad 2 will have 2 new arrivals on the app market: iMovie and GarageBand.

  

iMovie will let you become the director of your own films. By using the cameras, or uploading videos from your computer, you can edit the movies by mixing and matching, cutting and pasting, or even overriding the sound with various sound effects.

  

Meanwhile, GarageBand is exactly what it sounds like: be your own band. The app comes with a variety of instruments, ranging from your classic guitar to various types of pianos. The music from these touch-intuitive instruments can be recorded, edited, and uploaded.

 

 

With the iPad Cover, Facetime, front-and-back cameras, an HDMI-out plug, and 2 new apps, it's clear that Apple pulled all the stops on this creation. Now, the only question that remains is, are you going to buy one?

Source/Pictures: engadget.com



Verizon iPhone4: Return of the Death Grip

clock February 25, 2011 23:31 by author Jeremy

It's not as epic as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but it's definitely causing a big ruckus nonetheless. An article from our friends ConsumerReports.org claims their testing of the Verizon iPhone 4 shows infamous "death group" issue is still at large, and is still eating your precious phone calls.

For those that missed the aptly-named "Antennagate", here's a recap" if you held your AT&T iPhone 4 a certain way, your call would drop. The claims were so frequent that Apple issued an official statement saying customers should avoid holding it that certain way; this response only gave birth to the infamous quote, "You're holding it wrong". All of this was followed with a statement by Apple claiming that it wasn't a design flaw, and that it's just a quirk that must be endured to enjoy the rest the iPhone 4 has to offer. They at least gave out free cases to those who experienced frequent dropped calls due to the antenna.

I know what you're thinking: how does placing one of the main parts of the antenna in an area where the hands/palms frequently are, not a design flaw? Your guess is as good as mine. Several websites made this point, but it fell on deaf ears. It even spawned this interesting picture, which is basically the epitome of irony/hilarity:

Fast forward to now. The Verizon iPhone 4 has just recently come out and yet the Antennagate issue continues, but now under the guise of "Antennagate 2.0" (see the creativity there?). While it's true that holding any phone a certain way can cause reception to dro, the fact that the antenna is located in a horrible place is still a little disconcerting to some people. And although the reports for the death grip are nowhere near as numerous this time around, just be wary in case you do experience it.

ConsumerReports' blog shows that the area-in-question is the bottom left corner of the Verizon iPhone 4.

Your best bet is to just get a case...or perhaps, replace your left hand with another right hand. Then your palm won't alway be in that bottom left corner! (Disclaimer: we are in no way encouraging or reinforcing people to actually get surgery done to their left hands.) Wanted to throw that last bit in there; you never know!

Source: consumerreports.org

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Recent Rumors: Sprint's Windows Phone 7 and Apple's iPad 2

clock February 23, 2011 22:20 by author Jeremy

In case readers haven't noticed, a lot of news concerning the latest phones coming out are nothing but "speculation". Sure, some rumors are a bit more believable than others, and some are about as likely as the apocalypse occurring tomorrow (if there IS one tomorrow, then I'm sorry for misleading you all). The following two bits of news, however, fit right under the category of "very likely true".

Let's start off with Sprint: they'll be holding an event tomorrow, February 24th, to announce a new phone of theirs. Their latest tweet all but confirms that it's going to be the Windows Phone 7, unless there's another device that can connect to your Microsoft gaming console, without my knowing. And really, I don't think Microsoft is about to start letting different brands connect to their magical Xbox360.

 

 

Next up on the rumor mill pertains to Apple's latest event, which will be held on March 2nd.

What's that back there, you ask? Near the top right corner of the image? Why, I don't see anything except for a black frame with tiny silver buttons on the side, and an image that greatly resembles an interstate-sign for map-apps... Hm, now what could this odd image be, I wonder?

Many are already jumping to thoughts of the iPad 2. And who knows, maybe it could be. It seems odd that Apple would make invitations to a large press event just to announce a new patch for the current iPad; not unless that patch is big enough to start letting your iPad make toast.

Nonetheless, it's time to sit around and wait a while. At least Sprint's event is tomorrow, and that should surely be enough to hold us off until March 2nd.

 

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Nokia Partners With Microsoft

clock February 12, 2011 00:02 by author Jeremy

It's a big day for Nokia. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that the Finnish company has been sinking as of late, and even the new CEO himself, Stephen Elop, had publically admitted this. But today, during Nokia's Capital Markets Day, we finally get to see what Mr. New CEO plans to do to bring Nokia back to the winner's circle.

Probably the most tragic news: the death of Symbian. This OS has struggled to keep up with competitors like Android, and Elop has finally plugged the plug on the OS. Instead, it will be a "franchise" that Nokia will "harvest". Likely, we'll see phones released in 2011 that still use Symbian, due to their current development; but after that, who knows. Below is a slide that Nokia showed today during Capital Markets Day.

This, of course, means layoffs. Elop admitted that there will be "substantial reductions in employment". Already, over a thousand workers from the Tampere office who had worked for years on creating Symbian, have walked out of the building, not even waiting for the "reduction in employment" to occur.

But, this bad news does sort of come with good news. The official pairing of Nokia and Microsoft will hopefully bring Nokia back up into the market. They're now refocusing much of their effort into Windows Phone 7. And even though the news was just released today, they've already gotten one design concept revealed (picture below; thanks to Engadget).

Now we'll wait and see what the future holds for Nokia. But with designs like that, who could wish ill will towards Nokia? Their phones are so colorful and sprightly!

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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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