VUDU has outed its upcoming UI refresh, VUDU 2.0, as well as promising HD video streaming for the PS3 later this month. The former is optimized for HDTVs with wide-aspect screens, and uses a tabbed organization system; meanwhile the latter will include HD, HDX and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, direct to the console.
VUDU says the 2.0 UI will mean quicker, more intuitive navigation for users; they’ll also be able to take advantage of motion controllers they may have lying around, such as the PS3 Move. Support for motion-based PC input devices, such as Gyration’s mice, will be added over time.
VUDU 2.0 also introduces more functionality than just media streaming, including a “social feed” which we’re guessing will include Twitter and Facebook updates, and “enhanced browse and filter capabilities” for finding shows quicker. There’ll also be a new personal recommendations engine.
Since v2.0 is cloud-based, users will automatically get access to the new UI as soon as it’s ready; there’ll be no downloading or installing required. Screenshots in the gallery below.
VUDU Unveils its Next Generation User Interface
New Design Offers Unparalleled Experience to VUDU Users
November 16, 2010 – San Francisco, CA –VUDU today revealed its new 2.0 user interface, to be delivered before the end of the year to all VUDU-enabled platforms and devices. VUDU 2.0 features an elegant new design optimized for high definition, wide-format TVs and provides many new options to help users discover the best film to fit their mood. Because VUDU is fully cloud-based, users will be able to receive and experience VUDU 2.0 with no downloads, discs or hassles.
While retaining the rich cinematic feel of VUDU’s original, highly acclaimed user interface, the new design provides an easy, intuitive structure organized around tabs, allowing users to navigate more quickly with fewer screen changes and fewer clicks. VUDU 2.0 also provides users with several powerful new tools, including personalized recommendations based on viewing history and ratings and enhanced browse and filter capabilities.
A major new feature in 2.0 is support for next-generation motion-based input devices, such as the PS3 Move, mice, and pointer remote controls. This capability will initially be supported on the Sony PlayStation 3 with the Sony Move controller.
“Since our founding, our core mission has been to deliver the best movie watching experience available anywhere, and VUDU 2.0 substantially raises the bar,” said Edward Lichty, VUDU’s General Manager. “With our sleek new design and killer new discovery tools, we’ve been able to build on what people have always loved about VUDU and make it even better. Finding and enjoying a movie from our extensive library of HD movies has never been easier or more fun.”
Today VUDU also announced availability on Sony PlayStation®3, adding a leader in gaming consoles to existing partnerships with top manufacturers of HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players. VUDU is also available on the PC and Mac via the Boxee platform and on the Boxee Box by D-Link. All VUDU devices and platforms will be updated with VUDU 2.0 before the end of the year.
A leader in digital entertainment, VUDU offers the world’s largest selection of HD movies, including thousands of blockbusters, Hollywood classics, and indies available in stunning HDX 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. Movies are available the same day they are released on DVD or Blu-Ray, and can be rented or purchased without a subscription. VUDU is available on internet-capable HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players from Funai, LG, Mitsubishi, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Toshiba and Vizio and next year will be available on HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players from Sony. VUDU is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-mart Stores, Inc., and is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, visit http://www.vudu.com/.
So you’ve got a Ford Focus and there’s JUST something missing, yes? Perhaps you’re waiting for the electric version? You’re in LUCK! You’ve only got another year to wait! Ford today announced the cities that will be getting the car first. Those cities include: Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Tucson, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, Seattle, and Washington.
Late next year you’ll be driving a big bad zapper smoothly. The cities above were selected based on a collection of criteria including the following: the current EV infrastructure and the population’s history of buying hybrid and electric vehicles, plus more, I’m sure. Mark Fields of Ford said thus: “This is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric… As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country.”
I find it strange that Minneapolis and/or Saint Paul isn’t on the list, given we’ve got green electric busses and a quite successful bike sharing program going strong. Come onnn.
Mimo Mimo here and there, Mimo monitors everywhere! It’s a brand new USB monitor from Mimo Monitors! This one’s a 9-inch iMo eye9, complete with a resistive touchscreen monitor with 1,024 x 600 resolution, full Mac and PC compatibility, detachable base for portrait or landscape views, and one gigantic freaking webcam with 1.3 megapixel capability.
Then there’s a lovely and strange addition: a built-in stylus that doubles as another stand. This amazing amalgamation will be available QUITE soon, November 20th in fact, and it’s available for pre-order now. This lady will run you $299.99. Take a peek at the whole press release below:
The Perfect Holiday Accessory: MimoMonitors.com Introduces iMo eye9, 9″ USB Touchscreen Mini Monitor with Rotating Webcam
MimoMonitors’ latest release unveils a suite of new features including touchscreen and webcam, just in time for the holidays; optional Flex-Arm Mount attaches the monitor to any surface
PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — MimoMonitors.com, the leader in USB touchscreen displays, today announced the new iMo eye9 mini-monitor, the perfect, most unique gift for anyone on your list this holiday season. The iMo eye9 extends the viewing “real estate” of both PCs and Macs with touchscreen capability, offering an extra display to de-clutter the desktop and offload popular applications or open web browsers into a dedicated, always-visible window. The monitor features a dual-hinged stand for landscape and portrait viewing, and can be completely detached for tablet style usage. It also includes a rotating 1.3 megapixel webcam to keep users connected with friends and family for the holidays via Skype, Google Chat, and more.
At just 9″ wide and 1.5 pounds, iMo eye9 is easy to connect to desktops, laptops, and netbooks, working seamlessly with any PC or Mac application. As with all Mimo monitors, it requires only the included USB connection for full power and functionality. In addition to the dual-hinged stand, the iMo eye9 comes with a secondary easel stand that’s perfect for displaying digital pictures during holiday parties and gatherings. The sleek, glossy design looks great on any desk or table, and is fully protected by a snap-on cover.
The iMo eye9 is perfect for:
* SHOPPING: use the extra display to keep online stores in a separate window, actively monitor online auctions for gift purchases, stay on top of holiday shopping sales, and more.
* RETAIL/CORPORATE/INDUSTRIAL: mount anywhere to use as touchscreen controller, play marketing videos, and capture or display data.
* CHATTING: pull IM, chat, and video windows onto the iMo monitor; use the rotating webcam to give long-distance buddies a 360-degree view of holiday celebrations.
* TWEETING: update your Twitter and Facebook status and keep in touch with social media contacts, without cluttering your main screen.
* ENTERTAINING: tap into eye9′s sharp resolution and color display for gaming, watching videos, and more.
* PRODUCTIVITY: offload spreadsheets, toolbars, email windows, and much more; touchscreen works with either included stylus or fingertip.
Also available for the iMo eye9: the new iMo Flex-Arm Mount, offering added flexibility to securely mount your mini-monitor onto any horizontal or vertical surface, with the same convenient, dual-hinged design as the iMo eye9 stand.
The iMo eye9 is available now on www.MimoMonitors.com for $229.99, with the Single Flex Mounting Arm can be purchased for $39.99. Available on November 20th; preorders now being taken. Reserve yours today!
Today we reconfirm the idea that Google Voice for iPhone is a big deal – then argue about it! Apple told the world they’d be changed forever after today, then the Beatles are released on iTunes! We review and/or unbox the following items: SoundFreaq SFQ-01A, Google Voice for iPhone, Samsung Continuum, and Evan’s epic week with the HTC HD7 continues with “Software!” Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color officially goes on sale, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Web 2.0 2010 appearance video is up for multiple views – the Nexus S! Gingerbread! Sweetness! On the business end of things, Samsung Galaxy Tab’s production may very well be cut in half due to poor demand, Panasonic is entering the Japanese Smartphone market in 2011, and 1 MILLION Optimus One smartphones have been sold in one month! Oh and the T-Mobile G2 was overclocked to 1.9Ghz like it was no big deal
Ever wonder how many floppy disks it would take to install your modern day applications on your desktop? What’s that? You never used floppy disks to install anything before? You kids. Here’s a project that’ll make you appreciate this modern age of USB stick installation: “3.5 Inch Poster” is a set of posters displaying color-coded floppy disks with labels displaying which application they’re going to be used to install. On each disk is a number, for example “iTunes 8 – Install Disk 17/46″ that means it’d take 46 of these hunks of plastic just to install your everyday iTunes 8 update. The other results are thus (and they’re approximate: 358 disk for Adobe Photoshop CS4, 1760 disk for the Sims 3, 12 disk for Firefox 3, 36 disk for Firefox Add-ons. Old programs, old disks! Also, looks like Firefox wins! Or loses? These posters will be available for purchase soon via AntrepoShop. Designed by Mehmet Gozetlik in collaboration with Emre Basak.
[Via Mehmet Gozetlik]
R3 Media Network
Angry Birds Update Gets Mod to Optimize Gameplay and Hide Ads [HAPPY BIRDS]
ACCESS Launches NetFront Life Mobile Browser for Android Devices – Free for Download [ALL SIDEWAYS]
T-Mobile G2 Overclocked to 1.9Ghz [FAST]
Australian Sony Ericsson Twitter Releases Android 2.1 Update Info for Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and Mini [UPDATES]
Samsung Galaxy Tab Production Cut in Half, According to Analyst [CHOP]
Panasonic entering the japanese smartphone market in 2011 [WATCH OUT]
Bootlace creators to bring Froyo to iPhone 4 and iPad [STRAP EM UP!]
LG Vortex due Nov 18; 1m Optimus One smartphones sold in a month [LIKE HOTCAKES]
Swedish firm outs world’s first Android TV [WATCHIN STAR WARS]
Aigo aigopad N700 Tegra 2 tablet launches [TABLET ALL AROUND]
SoundFreaq SFQ-01A Review [REVIEW]
A Week with the HTC HD7: Software [FEATURED]
Twitter Launches Push Notifications for @mentions [KNOW ALL]
Phonekerchief Lets Your Date Know They’ve Got Your Full Attention [GIFTABLE]
Google Voice for iPhone Review [REVIEW]
Google Voice for iPhone Launches [LAUNCH]
Samsung Continuum Hands-On & Unboxing [FEATURED]
Beatles hit iTunes as Apple announce gets early reveal [FEATURED]
LG “Star” Tegra 2 Android phone leaks: 8MP, 1080p & HDMI [LEAKY]
Schmidt’s Nexus S tease video now online [VIDEO]
B&N NOOK Color on sale now; new firmware for original NOOK next week [COLOR FOR ALL]
Proporta outs TurboCharger Back Pack battery case for iPhone 4 [PLUGGIN]
Giftmeister makes shopping easy on Android and iPhone [BURGERMEISTER MEISTERBURGER]
Microsoft Kinect sells a million units in 10 days [GO FOR THE GOLD]
PLX Devices XWave brain interface for Apple devices ships [CREEPY FUTURISTIC]
Dell Inspiron Duo hybrid netbook on sale November 23? [FLIPPY SCREEN]
If the Droid X is your bag, baby, but the standard $200 price tag makes you hold on to your relic it may be time to update your Costco membership and stroll on over.
Here’s your link, for all you lazy folk. (You know we love you)
[via Droid Life]
Before you Chicken-Littles start screaming that the sky is falling, PAY ATTENTION: this should in no way affect consumers, people using android apps/games, or people who want to access android market on their phone and download apps/games, upgrade apps/games or return apps/games they already purchased. This should only affect developers.
That being said, here is the e-mail I just received from the Google Android Team
We’re writing to inform you about a planned service outage impacting Android Market that requires your attention.
We plan to perform maintenance on the Android Market Developer Console on Thursday 18 November 2010 from 10AM to 4PM Pacific Standard Time. During this time, there will be view-only access to the Developer Console at http://market.android.com/publish. You will be able to view your list of applications and error reports; however, you will not be able to upload new apps or make updates to existing apps. The publish status of your applications and use of the Android Market app on phones should not be impacted.
Thanks, and we appreciate your patience while we work to improve Android Market.
The Android Market Team
So there a couple things to note here:
- If you’re a developer, don’t schedule any huge launches or updates on November 18th
- Is this just house keeping? Keeping everything oiled and running smoothly or could we see improved functionality and additional features?
I’m really hoping this means some type of overhaul or at least laying the groundwork and infrastructure for an overhaul. At Google IO we heard about some awesome plans Google had for Android Market in the coming year. Yesterday, at the Web 2.0 conference, Eric Schmidt talked about the opportunity to build upon the “application layer” as he called it and even discussed the huge opportunity on “distribution of digital media”.
Combine that verbage and I immediately think “Google’s version of iTunes?” but I wouldn’t dare actually jump to that conclusion – only hope for it. But remember that back in July we were promised Google Music to launch at the end of the year (or early 2011). After promising “a day you’ll never forget”, Apple announced that the Beatles were finally available on iTunes. While it may have strong monetary implications, in terms of strategy it isn’t that big of a deal. Could Google be laying the groundwork for their own version of ”a day you’ll never forget”?
I’m sure they’re working on some huge things, but I doubt we’ll see anything substantial this week. However, we do have a lot of Android Market goodies to look forward to. I would love to be surprised by Google TV options within Android Market’s back end but that’s not likely to come until 2011. I would love to see advanced features for a full on website or desktop software to browse apps, games, ebooks, and beyond. Maybe Google is giving developers/publishers options in relation to the Amazon Android Market we’ve heard so much about?
Chances are that this is just a regular old boring maintenance release, just as the tone of the e-mail states… but can’t an Android-lover hope?
Here we are, together again. Welcome to the second installment of the week long trial run with Windows Phone 7, courtesy of the HTC HD7 on T-Mobile USA. If you’ll recall, the first article focused on the hardware, what I liked about it and what I didn’t, as well as outlining some of the things that may, or may not be, deal breakers for the consumer looking for their next device. This time around, we’re going to take a look at the software, and see how Windows Phone 7, as a whole, has been stacking up for me over the last few days. Keep in mind, though, that this is not our traditional SlashGear review. You can find the international HD7 review here, and the T-Mobile USA device’s review right here, if you’re interested. So, if you’re wondering how Windows Phone 7 has performed for me so far, with regular usage, then jump on past the break to find out.
Software is a touchy subject nowadays. It used to be that many people didn’t put all that much stock into what, exactly, their phone could do, as long as it made calls, and could send text messages. But, as smartphones have become more prevalent in our world, the software, and what it can do, is front and center when someone is looking for a new phone to buy. Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS, and now the evolution of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7. (Yes, there are more out there, but I’m just not going to list all of them.) If you’re buying a phone, you know what you want it to do, more than anything else, but there have to be extras, too. Some platforms offer more than others, whether that’s due to a marketplace where they can download third party applications, or just simple touches to the user experience, as you use the device.
In the case of Windows Phone 7, there are so many subtle tweaks to the Operating System itself, so many aesthetic flourishes, that it’s usually hard to look away. Practically everything on the HTC HD7 is “alive,” in one way or another. From the Live Panels on your homescreen, to even just the loading indicator that pops up at the top of the display. There’s always something going on, if you’re using the device. The graphical enhancements, which some may think would make the device slow down, are way more of an improvement than a hindrance. I’ll be perfectly honest with you here: when I saw all of the graphical things going on in Windows Phone 7, I originally thought that the devices would run so slow, despite the 1GHz processor standard under the hood, that it wouldn’t be any fun to use, let alone watch.
I was wrong.
Obviously, user interaction with the device is going to vary, and if you’ve got yourself a Windows Phone 7 (in particular, the HD7) and you’re seeing some slow down, then I’m sorry — but I’m not seeing any. Any at all, in fact. Applications, both native and third party, open so quickly, and with such a visual pleasing fashion, that I rarely ever want to put the phone down. And no, it’s not just me being lost in the visuals that I forget, or don’t realize, how long it’s taking the application I’m launching to load up. Things are just fast on the HD7, and I’m thoroughly impressed.
But, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, though. As Microsoft has said in the past, there is no support for third party applications to run in the background on a Windows Phone 7 handset. And yes, that does put it pretty much at the bottom rung of smartphones out there right now, especially considering Apple has already made their claim into the multitasking world. Other competitors, like Android, webOS, and BlackBerry are built around the idea of multitasking, and so it’s strange to see Microsoft coming out of the gate without support for it. Yes, it may help battery life, but it’s still just a strange nuance that, even after a few days, I’m not completely accustomed to.
Furthermore, I’m finding some very interesting things happening through my daily usage. For example, the Facebook application is the only application that I’ve found that will ask me if I’m sure that I want to exit the application. I’ve went through several different ones, different games, and none of them ask me that question. It’s just the Facebook app. And since I know that it’s not running in the background (it isn’t), I have absolutely no idea why it happens. Oh, and if you don’t hit the ‘back’ arrow to leave the application (“Are you sure you want to exit?”), and you hit the Windows key to go back to your homescreen, you can still access the application from its saved spot. It will resume right where you left off.
I’m pointing this out, because we know that Microsoft designed the system to save the state of a particular application in the background, not keep it running. I’m also pointing this out, because I feel like this may be the reason why Facebook is asking me if I’m sure I want to exit the application. This would make sense, but other apps, like a Google Voice application, doesn’t ask me that when I exit the app, but if I hit the Windows key to go back to the homescreen within the app, it will indeed save its state while I go and do other things. I really don’t know why it happens, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s still enough to make me look at the screen every time it happens, and I can feel my eyebrow rise.
There’s one other thing that makes me scratch my head in confusion, and it has to do with me hitting the ‘Back’ button at the homescreen. If I didn’t leave Facebook and exit the application (“Are you sure you want to exit?”) properly, then if I hit the ‘back’ key, I will get back into Facebook. Okay, that’s fine. But, if I do exit the app, and I’m back at the homescreen and hit the ‘back’ button, I’m taken to a blank screen. It’s completely dark, and nothing happens. I can see the time at the top-right of the display, but the rest of the display is black, and as far as I can tell, the device is just kind of sitting there, thinking. Trying to figure out what I want it to do, or what it wants to do. In that time, which usually lasts anywhere between 3 to 5 seconds, I’m left wondering what, exactly, is going on. I can stop it short, if I were to hit the Windows key, but if I don’t, I’m left at that empty screen, waiting.
I think this is Windows Phone 7 trying to find an application, which it believes could be saved in the background, and its running through its resources trying to find it. But, when it ultimately doesn’t find anything, I’m brought back to the homescreen, as if nothing happened. I should also point out that this doesn’t happen every time, which just makes me more confused. It seems to be random; almost by accident.
I think I should take a moment here, and talk more about that visual polish I was hyping up earlier. As you probably know by now, you can change the colors of the Live Tiles on the homescreen. Microsoft gives you two themes to choose from: dark and light. The light theme is super bright, if you’ve got your display’s brightness all the way up and you’re in a dark room. I’ve chosen to go with the dark theme, and I usually change my Live Tiles every once in awhile. So far, I think the dark theme with the lime tiles are my favorite. But, changing this color isn’t just changing the tile colors. No, you’re actually altering the accent color of the entire phone, so anything that is accented by the color, like the threaded text messages, will be that color of choice. If you wanted, you could make your entire phone pink. A small, yet noticeable, part of that is the loading bar, which will also change colors depending on your color choice.
Furthermore, window transitions are silky smooth, and fun to watch. Even moving from the main homescreen, to the applications list version, and then back is something fun to watch. Or, moving from the messaging application, and back, over to the calendar. Everything just has that subtle and interesting aesthetic tweak to it, that when I’m using the phone, I find my eyes are attracted to naturally. I feel like it’s a new and refreshing way for people to use their phone, and interact with it. If you’re having fun just navigating your phone, why put it down?
And, watching the Messaging Live Tile change its face, with more messages that you receive, is fun, too.
Should all the graphical flourishes be enough to make someone want to buy the phone? No, probably not. But it doesn’t hurt. The truth is, I find myself using the phone more and more because I don’t get bored going from one screen to another, or one application to another. There are screen transition animations on a lot of different mobile Operating Systems out there, specifically Android and iOS, but none of them are as interesting, or full-fledged as those found in Windows Phone 7.
There are a lot of aspects to the software, and it may take all day to write down every little thing that Windows Phone 7 does, or doesn’t do. A lot of those software features are tied to native applications that Windows Phone 7 features, like their email, messaging, and Music & Movies. But, I don’t necessarily want to take up all of your time, so I’m going to bring you the applications side of all this tomorrow. Right now, it looks like the Marketplace isn’t completely overwhelmed with applications, so there will be a few in there that should interest a few of you out there. Or not, your call.
So, stay tuned, as my week long tour of the HTC HD7 from T-Mobile USA continues, and I investigate Windows Phone 7 on a far more personal level. Oh, and if you want to see the software in action, and you didn’t want to go through the review I linked to up there, then you can check out the walkthrough we posted along with the review below, which is a good run down of the software, all quick like.
You may know Sean Hollister from his post over at Engadget, where he lets us know that although RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie was hesitant onstage today on the Web 2.0 Summit stage, he was ready and willing to share with the whole internet world once he was behind it. In a lovely hotel hallway, Balsillie gives Engadget a heft of this device, Hollister saying that the device is warm to the touch, solid yet plasticky, a responsive glass touchscreen front, and a rubberized no-slip back.
Balsillie tells Hollister that inside you’ll end up finding 5300mAh lithium ion cells and glass, nothing but “battery and glass” inside this mama. Then Basillie takes back the device, showing off the QNX and the Air-based OS himself, showing off the photo gallery, a video that continues to run even upon pushing it back, and a spreadsheet – all of these running at the same time. Sounds completely rockin for under $500. Plus, take a look at it head-to-head with an iPad. Race!
Twitter today rolls out a new feature for those who keep their phone in their purse or pocket – imagine that! – and want to make sure to get important tweets “even when [they're] not looking at Twitter at the moment. Stay sucked in! Now whenever someone on Twitter you follow mentions you, you’ll receive an instant notification. You know what that means? Conversations in real time. This feature will at first be available on SMS and on the latest version of Twitter for iPhone (available for download now.)
Notifications for Twitter Messages will also be available for Twitter for iPhone as it already is for SMS and Twitter for Blackberry. Soon this feature will also be available for Twitter for Android and Twitter for Windows Phone as well. To turn this all on, just go to twitter.com/devices and check the boxes under “text message notifications.”
[Via Twitter Blog]
Blasts of PR goodness and demos and reviews done by people around the web like our November 4th post seem to be paying off quite handsomely for the people over at Jawbone. The JAMBOX by Jawbone is currently for sale and selling OUT in Apple Stores, at Apple.com and in select BestBuy stores today. This lovely speakerbox is selling for $199, sitting right next to the iPads in the Apple store so you can get the full blast firsthand.
Be sure to check out our full review of the Jawbone JAMBOX from a little while ago. We not only take a look at it and crank it up, we take it apart a little bit too. Very sassy, very nice.