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10Dec/10Off

Dell Confirms Froyo Update Delayed

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Dell must have seen those emails that were leaked yesterday regarding the AT&T Sim-Locked version of the Streak where we learned that the Froyo update for the device has been delayed until January. There’s no questioning the validity of that leak, now, as Dell – with great timing – has come out and updated us on the situation. (They didn’t acknowledge the leak, but we’re sure their hands were being forced because of it.) “Next month” was all they could give us as far as a window goes. And I wouldn’t get too down on Dell because of the delays: it sounds like AT&T’s the culprit here, as they often are these days. [via Dell]

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10Dec/10Off

What if your Phone Could Have a Front-Facing Camera Without Actually Having One?

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Video-calling is becoming all the rage and will certainly be a huge selling point for all types of devices in 2011, but there are still some phones, notebooks, and tablets coming without front-facing cameras. While you can still video chat using these devices, it’d be quite the cumbersome and awkward experience (you either won’t be able to see the other person or you’ll have to be in front of a mirror.)

Someone took that mirror idea and actually conceptualized it for the Nexus One. It’s quite simple, really: a clip-on attachment – being called the OneMoreFace – goes onto the top of your phone and has two mirrors: one that grabs your face and sends it to the second mirror that’s pointed directly at the camera sensor.

The designer has plans to put these into production soon, and it’s a great alternative to buying a completely new device just to “SpaceTime” with your “MyFace” buddies. Did I get that right? [via Android Police]

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10Dec/10Off

HTC Tripling Smartphone Shipments to 60 Million in 2011

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HTC experienced tremendous growth this past year as Android completely exploded and Windows Phone 7 was introduced. In 2010, 20 million smartphones were shipped globally and HTC continued to smash sales expectations. Now, they’re getting a bit more ambitious as they’re looking to ship three times that amount – 60 million. We’re not sure if they expect that many to sell in actual retail channels – and I’m even having a hard time believing they can. But that’s why I’m not part of one of the fastest growing phone manufacturers in the latter half of this decade. [via DigiTimes]

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10Dec/10Off

Aldiko Will Soon Support Adobe DRM Content; Barnes & Noble Fans Rejoice

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Aldiko’s teasing us with a new update to their eReading app that will add a lot of new features, but the biggest of which they’ve silently announced was Adobe DRM support – something Barnes & Noble uses for their eBooks. If you didn’t fancy that Barnes & Noble app but prefer to get your content from them, then you’ll want to be on the lookout for Aldiko 2.0. Not sure exactly when we’ll see it, but you can sign up to be notified of its release. [via The Digital Reader]

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10Dec/10Off

Howard Stern Gives in to the Android Nation

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Sirius give Howard Stern $83 million.grid-4x2

When Sirius first announced they’d be bringing their XM Radio app to Android, many rejoiced! But many of you were also Howard Stern fans and we soon learned that his broadcasts would not be featured on the Android app. Whether it was from a massive outcry from his fans or Sirius stressing to Stern how important internet streaming is, they’ve inked a new five year deal to bring his infinite wisdom to those who live on the web. And that means Android-using folks will finally have a reason to keep their Sirius subscriptions alive. [Electronista]

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10Dec/10Off

Mathmos Smart Astro lava lamp adds LEDs to 60s classic

Lava Lamps are pretty straightforward beasts: take a hot bulb, slap a glass jar full of liquid and wax on top, and watch the undulating shapes simmer around while you try to remember exactly what was so great about the 60s. Now Mathmos is back with a slightly more high-tech version, the Smart Astro Lava Lamp, turning to the awesome power of color-changing LEDs to add some extra user-involvement.

Video demo after the cut

Since LEDs aren’t going to heat up the wax, there’s a separate heating plate for that; all the lighting has to do is make it pretty. A button on the base allows you to lock the color-shifting into one particular hue, and the whole thing is hand-crafted.

Rather confusingly – considering Mathmos sell lighting products that cover all of the shades – there are two versions of the Smart Astro, one cycling through blues to purples, and the other from greens to yellows. There’s no single model that does both. They’re limited edition and Mathmos itself is already sold out; Firebox has some of both color, at time of writing, priced at £84.99 ($133) apiece.


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10Dec/10Off

Mac App Store will lack in-app payments & Game Center at launch

Apple’s Mac App Store will launch without support for either in-app payments or Game Center, according to information the company has confirmed to developers. According to 9 to 5 Mac, the new OS X software store will not enable developers to distribute free or paid apps in which further features or functionality can later be unlocked; meanwhile, Game Center – Apple’s online multiplayer social gaming network – will also be absent.

The initial omissions aren’t necessarily a sign that the functionality will never be present in the Mac App Store, though it adds to the list of features missing from its first release. Apple has already confirmed that promo codes won’t be supported, nor demos or trials, so test purchases could well be a tricky issue.


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10Dec/10Off

Sprint 4G tablet plans confirmed: PlayBook, HTC EVO Shift 4G or something else?

Sprint has confirmed that a 4G tablet is incoming, with Paget Alves, Sprint’s President of Business Markets, telling Forbes that the WiMAX slate is expected to arrive sometime in 2011. Alves declined to confirm the manufacturer responsible for the device, nor indeed the OS that it might run; the carrier currently offers a single (non-4G) model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but the exec said there are plans to sell slates based on other platforms than Android.

That could mean a full-sized Windows 7 tablet, or it might refer to RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook. The Canadian company has previously confirmed that it is readying a 4G PlayBook for release sometime in 2011, though is yet to confirm what flavor of 4G – WiMAX, LTE or HSPA+ – it will be using.

A US trademark filing for the HTC EVO Shift 4G back in November, however, could mean that HTC is behind Sprint’s new slate. The company delivered the network’s first WiMAX smartphone, the HTC EVO 4G, and the use of the “Shift” name seems to refer back to the hybrid HTC Shift dual-OS tablet. Whichever model it is, Sprint seems confident of finding an audience;  70- to 80-percent of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) that Sprint talks to are interested in deploying tablets to their employees in some fashion, Alves claims.


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10Dec/10Off

Google Hotpot NFC stickers will work with Nexus S

Google is planning to use its new NFC support in Android 2.3 Gingerbread – and in the Nexus S – to allow businesses to wirelessly send information to interested would-be consumers. A trial program is kicking off in Portland, Oregon, where Google is distributing Google Places Business Kits containing NFC-enabled stickers to companies listed in their online reviews system.

Owners of a Nexus S – or, indeed, another Gingerbread handset with NFC support, when they start hitting the market – will be able to hold their phone up to the sticker and see business information on their device. The kits will also contain leaflets and guides helping businesses increase the number of reviews covering them online.

Google says this is just the first step of what they have planned for NFC, but it already seems that one of the main purposes for the Nexus S – and, indeed, Gingerbread – is to encourage adoption of the short-range wireless standard. Other potential uses include payment systems and mobile ticketing.

[via Android Community]


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10Dec/10Off

Notion Ink prompting concerns with lack of hardware demo, sky-high return fees [Updated]

We’ve written a lot about Notion Ink, and – like many of you – gotten very enthusiastic about the potential for a game-changing Android tablet. As with any launch there’s controversy, and also good reasons to be concerned, and – while we’d love Adam to be as authentic as anyone else – we’re worried by the absence of solid hardware from the company. We’re still trying to get information from Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravran regarding the Adam slate, but right now we believe it’s safer – as ever – not to spend money on a device you’ve not seen.

Update: Notion Ink has responded; more information after the cut.

That’s in addition to some serious concerns over the fledgling pre-order process, compiled by Android Police, and which details some significant return fees and other processing charges should you decide to return your purchase. Processing for those who did place an order was also an issue, with the Visa payment system going down at several stages and MasterCard not accepted. Notion Ink has blamed a server-side issue in the US and says it will respond to the return fee complaints.

There’s also concern over the FCC filing information; Notion Ink has previously said that they had “done something with our FCC application and it will be little difficult for you to find us” but with the filings yet to turn up, it’s another omission that’s raising red flags. We’ve asked the company for links the filings so that we can confirm that Adam has, indeed, been through the FCC.

In short, while the appeal of Adam on paper is high, and the prototypes the company has shown previously have had promise, we’re not convinced that – these concerns outstanding – it’s the time to put money down for a tablet from Notion Ink. We’re hoping the company can disprove our concerns, and will update when we hear from them, but now is definitely the time to be cautious with how you spend your money.

Update: CrunchGear is saying the same thing: now is the time to keep your money in your pocket until we have more information.

Update: Notion Ink has responded, blaming MasterCard’s long application process for their absence in the payments options, and suggesting that Indian card processing company CCAvenue was seeing problems with declined payments from US customers and server time-outs. The company says it is also planning to demo Adam on video and in-depth on December 18th.

As for the FCC filing, it seems Adam is still yet to receive approval – that’s expected, the company says, in the latter third of December 2010. The return fees, they argue, are on a par with what Dell charges for restocking.

In short, Notion Ink suggests holding off on ordering if you’re cautious, which fits in with our advice as well. We’ll update as we hear more.


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