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Sprint's "Industry First" Event Showcases The Kyocera Echo

clock February 8, 2011 01:13 by author Jeremy

Yes, that's right: the phone you see in the picture above is their big news (literally). It's the world's first giant phone.

Just kidding! It's a prop. Seriously though, today was a big day for Sprint: their event had been planned as far back as January 20, and even promised David Blaine (who did make an appearance, by the way, but we'll get to that later). The big news was the official announcement of the Kyocera Echo, the first dual touchscreen Android phone.

With the Echo, you can use both of its screens as either one giant screen, or use it to do two tasks simultanously. Sprint even decided to provide the new term "simultasking" - which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Currently, the Echo has 7 different apps that you can run simultaneously through its two screens. In one example during the event, viewers saw emails being checked on the bottom screen while text messages were being seen at the top. We also saw an example of The Sims, where the bottom screen was our control panel and the top showed the game screen.

Apparently, Sprint and Kyocera will also be releasing API's, which will encourage other developers to create apps and programs for our dual-screen wonder.

So what was David Blaine's part in all this? He was the opening act for Sprint. The act included him swimming around a giant tank of water for roughly 8 minutes, while fish came out of his mouth. He also had a cigar, poured wine, and opened a book that had even more fish in it. Don't worry, I'm just as baffled as you are.

To see more information on the actual event, check out engadget. They also witnessed the David Blaine fish-tank act...you know, in case you're actually curious.

Source/Picture: engadget.com

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Motorola Atrix Release Date - March 6, with Feb. 13 Pre-Order

clock February 4, 2011 00:25 by author Jeremy

That's right, you read that correctly - the phone that everyone's been buzzing about since CES finally has a release date. And pricing, too!

The total cost is $200, but that's just for the phone itself (and a two-year agreement, of course). However, for $600 (with a $100 mail-in-rebate), you can get the phone and the Laptop Dock; by itself, the Laptop Dock can be bought later for $500. Also, be sure you can afford to pay for it monthly - having the bundle means adding on the extra cost of Data Pro smartphone data plan and the tethering add-on. Ouch.

Also available is the HD Multimedia Dock, which comes with a Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth mouse, and remote control. All yours for $190.

Plus, U-Verse customers can download TV shows to their Atrix, and watch it straight from their phone (or connected device). Any non-U-Verse customer who owns an Atrix can still watch live TV from their Atrix U-Verse TV application, available for $10/month.

I know this all sounds costly, but that's the price for having media available anytime, anywhere. I know I'll be getting one. :)

Source: prnewswire.com

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The Daily: iPad's Digital Newspaper

clock February 3, 2011 00:20 by author Jeremy

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, unveiled a new type of journalism in the form of an app specifically for the iPad. Called "The Daily", this newspaper can be purchased at the rate of $0.99 per week, or $39.99 for a year.

Their press release states, "The Daily's unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important -- but also the best format to deliver these stories to their reads."

We can expect articles covering six major topics: news, sports, gossip/celebrity, opinion, arts/life, and apps/games. "It will offer views from across the political spectrum. They will come from across cultures and generations, across America and the world."

Oh, and my personal favorite part? "The Daily will feature Sudoku and crossword puzzles." Whoo-hoo!

Not only can you read the story, but you can listen to it or watch it, depending on each article. And in case you have something to say, you're allowed to leave comments (both written and audio allowed).

Source: BusinessWire.com

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Sony's Next Generation Portable (NGP): The PSP's Successor

clock January 28, 2011 00:39 by author Jeremy

Sony has finally unveiled the long-awaited PSP2, codenamed the "NGP", this morning at Tokyo, Japan. Along with the specs (seen directly below), Sony also focused on a few software pieces that they'll be using in conjunction with the NGP.

PlayStation Suite: Cross-platform software that Sony hopes will hit big. Think "PlayStation Network"...but available for your PS3, PSP, and interestingly enough, your phone. That's right: Sony wants to be able to make it so that your game can be played on your tablet and phone (with buttons being produced through an overlay feature). So far, Sony has promised that PSOne games will be available, and that the Suite requires a minimum of Android 2.3 on tablets and phones.

LiveArea: A feature embedded in each game that lets you keep up with how others are doing with the same game. It sounds like Sony is hoping for "real-time communcation among users" through LiveArea. There's an activity-log as well that will show accomplishments others made, sort of like an achievements-system.

Near: Sony's location-based service that comes pre-installed in each NGP. I imagine this uses the wi-fi/GPS functinos; the player can access Near to see players in the vicinity, and also see what those people have played recently or are playing now.

Sony says that the games they release won't be using the UMD anymore, but rather will be delivered through the Suite and can be saved onto a flash memory card, which can be used for not just the games, but also save files as well.

As you can see from the specs above, the NGP looks like it's going to be pretty intense. Two cameras (front and back), two touch pads (the front screen and rear pad), 3G wi-fi, GPS, two joysticks (not the little nub-buttons from the PSP, mind you), plus the original action-and-shoulder buttons.

The NGP is slated to release by the 2011 Holidays, but we're unsure whether that's for all areas at once, or just starting with Japan.

Source: NGP Press Release, PlayStation Suite Press Release, List of 3rd Party Game Developers and Publishers; pictures brought by engadget

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BlackBerry PlayBook Competes with Apple iPad for Battery Life

clock January 27, 2011 00:19 by author Jeremy

It's common knowledge that Apple's iPad comes with a hefty battery life: it's almost magical how it manages to stay alive without being plugged into a wall for so long. And yet RIM (Research In Motion) promises that their BlackBerry PlayBook will be able to compete with the iPad in this particular feat of strength.

"It's going to be equal or greater than the iPad with smaller battery size," says Jeff McDowell, RIM's Senior Vice President of Business Marketing and Alliances.

That's a hefty call to make, but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if it's true. We saw the PlayBook at CES and were sad to hear it didn't have a release date - and it still doesn't.

Even if it fails to beat the iPad's battery life, they can at least make the claim that they've outlasted my patience. Waiting is hard. :(

Picture: us.blackberry.com

Source: Reuters

 

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