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9Feb/11Off

Android 2.3.3 Brings Full Read/Write Capabilities for NFC

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The folks at the official Android Developers blog have just announced Android 2.3.3 – another incremental update to Gingerbread. This update opens up the NFC chip’s full read/write capabilities for developers and users to take advantage of it for their apps.

Before, developers had to develop work-arounds if they wanted to overwrite a tag with new information, but the latest version of the SDK means they can throw that code away. Here are some of the features:

  • A comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today.
  • Advanced Intent dispatching that gives apps more control over how/when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range.
  • Some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.

For developers, the new version can be found in the SDK manager, and users probably shouldn’t expect this update on their Nexus S right away. More information here.


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9Feb/11Off

Google VP snipes at Nokia with turkey trash talk

Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra has made what seems to be a dig at Nokia ahead of the company’s Capital Markets Day event on Friday, February 11, taking to Twitter to suggest that “#Feb Two turkeys do not make an Eagle”. The snub would certainly appear to suggest that any talks between Nokia and Google haven’t resulted in the Finnish company adopting Android as its platform salvation.

Android had been one of the persistent suggestions – alongside Windows Phone 7 – for a potential OS switch for Nokia, on the back of CEO Stephen Elop’s comments that the company has to do better in the ongoing ecosystem war. Whether this is Gundotra’s attempt to criticise both Nokia and Microsoft, or Nokia’s two existing platforms Symbian and MeeGo, remains to be seen.


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9Feb/11Off

Apple OLED ambitions tipped by patent applications?

Apple has filed three OLED patent applications, leading to speculation that the company is looking to the low-power, color-rich panels for future devices. Patently Apple due up three patents (20100321305, 20100265187 and 20100265188) which deal with integrating touchscreen layers with OLED displays, and which suggest MacBook-style notebooks, iPad-style tablets and iPhone and iPod-style smartphones and PMPs as potential recipients of the tech. Meanwhile, a throwaway mention of the Apple TV has prompted talk of an Apple OLED HDTV with integrated streaming functionality.

OLED sets – such as LG’s breathtakingly narrow 31-incher at IFA 2010 – are probably still some way off, but slimmer OLED panels and smaller batteries to drive them could add up to thinner and lighter iPads, MacBooks and iPhones in future. Alternatively, Apple’s iMac could be a potential recipient, albeit likely coming at a price.

Still, with Apple’s recent $3.9bn investment suspected to be in securing display manufacturing for the next few years, a push into OLED isn’t entirely unlikely, and starting at the smaller end of the scale – where touchscreen integration makes most sense – would present the most affordable entry point for end-users.

[via OLED-Display]


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9Feb/11Off

Sony translucent mirror DSLR prototype gets covetable casing

Sony has been showing off a new translucent mirror DSLR camera prototype in Japan this week, borrowing the same technology from the A33 and A55 cameras announced last year, and capable of live image previews and auto-focus in both still and video modes. Impress snapped some shots of the prototype, which is clad in a suitably transparent plastic shell.

According to Sony, the camera has a new EXMOR APS HD CMOS sensor and is capable of Full HD video recording, with clips in AVCHD format. Thanks to the translucent mirror – which splits the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection autofocus sensor – those clips will always be in focus.

Full hardware details aren’t available – only what little is at the Japanese preview site – but Sony says the new camera will be out sometime this year. Sadly we doubt the retail model will keep the slick transparent shell.


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9Feb/11Off

MetroPCS Samsung Galaxy Indulge adds 4G LTE to Android

If MetroPCS‘s 4G LTE service appealed, but the Samsung Craft didn’t, then worry not: the carrier has a second Samsung LTE smartphone for you, and this time it runs Android 2.2 Froyo. The Samsung Galaxy Indulge has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, with a 3-megapixel camera on the back and Samsung’s 1GHz Hummingbird processor inside.

There’s also Bluetooth and a bundled 4GB microSD card, preloaded with a copy of Ironman 2. Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is also in evidence, together with a 1,500mAh battery.

So far, so basic Android, but of course the kicker with MetroPCS is the price and 4G access. The carrier is offering unlimited data for $60, with the contract-free Samsung Galaxy Indulge priced at $399. It’ll go on sale later this week.

Press Release:

METROPCS AND SAMSUNG MOBILE UNVEIL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY INDULGE, THE WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE 4G LTE ANDROID SMARTPHONE

Consumers can have it all – apps, entertainment and organization tools with lightning fast speeds – at about half the price of other 4G smartphone service plans

DALLAS– February 9, 2011 – MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS), the nation’s leading provider of unlimited, no annual contract, flat-rate wireless service, and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the number one mobile phone provider in the U.S. 1, today introduced the world’s first commercially available 4GLTE enabled Android™ smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge™.

At about half the cost of other 4G smartphone service plans today, consumers can truly have it all with MetroPCS’ $50 and $60 4GLTE smartphone service plans, which include all applicable taxes and regulatory fees. MetroPCS is delivering this unmatched value with unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE Web page browsing, along with data access to streaming audio, video and gaming content, downloads and Android applications.

“Our commitment to offering premium, feature-rich smartphones was once again fulfilled today with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Indulge, which will allow consumers to experience the vast benefits of both MetroPCS’ 4GLTE services and the Android operating system,” said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS. “Mobile consumers no longer have to choose between low cost service and high-end Android handsets. Instead, they can truly have it all by being able to select from a full spectrum of feature and smartphones paired with 4GLTE services at an unmatched value.”

Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo), the Galaxy Indulge is the perfect smartphone for those who want to manage every aspect of their lives from a mobile device. MetroPCS’ 4GLTE service delivers lightning fast Web page browsing and also allows customers to watch and listen to exclusive entertainment and multimedia content from their favorite shows through the MetroSTUDIO application. Quick access to the Android Market™ provides more than 100,000 applications to consumers’ fingertips and Android’s intuitive user interface with Samsung TouchWiz enhancements makes customizing the device’s home screens simple and easy. The Galaxy Indulge’s combination touch screen/QWERTY keyboard means consumers can send messages via e-mail, SMS or social media channels through whichever input method they choose.

“The Galaxy Indulge integrates two of Samsung’s core product investments; the Android platform and bringing powerful and intuitive 4G-enabled devices to the U.S. market,” said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. “The Galaxy Indulge is loaded with the speed of the Android OS, true mobile broadband connectivity and a 1GHz processor with rich multimedia features for premium movie and TV content.”

The Galaxy Indulge provides complete access to Google Mobile services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™, Gmail™ and YouTube™. This sleek smartphone features a 3 megapixel camera and camcorder with auto-focus, music player, Stereo Bluetooth® capabilities and expandable memory storage up to 32GB. Additionally, the Galaxy Indulge includes a 4GB microSD™ card, preloaded with the action film “IRONMAN 2,” produced by Paramount Pictures2.

The Samsung Galaxy Indulge is the second LTE-enabled mobile phone offered by MetroPCS, following the Samsung Craft TM which was introduced in late 2010. The Galaxy Indulge will be available in MetroPCS stores and online later this week with a suggested retail price of $399 plus tax.

Visit www.metropcs.com for store location information or to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Indulge online and sign up for service plans. To find out more information on the Samsung Galaxy Indulge, please visit www.samsungwireless.com or www.samsungusanews.com.


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9Feb/11Off

Nikon P300 promises image quality in any light

It can be hard to get a decent photograph in dark or really bright environments. The image ends up too dark or too bright and detail is lost. Nikon has a new camera that is called the P300 that is perfect for people that want to be able to take good photos in any lighting condition.

The camera has a wide-angle 4.2x zoom glass lens that is equivalent to 24mm – 100mm on a 35mm camera. The image sensor is a 12.2MP unit and the camera has the ability to record 1080p HD video as well. ISO sensitivity is up to 3200 and the camera uses optical vibration reduction to make images blur free.

The camera has a large number of automatic and manual photo settings and a 3-inch rear LCD. The video is recorded at 30 fps and it has special effects modes for video and still photos too. The P300 will ship in March for $329.95.


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9Feb/11Off

Nokia N9-00 reportedly axed as MeeGo flails

Nokia has reportedly cancelled its first MeeGo smartphone project, believed to be the N9-00 QWERTY-toting slider first spotted midway through 2010. Reuters‘ sources couldn’t give a reason for the decision to axe the phone, though a leaked memo believed to be the handiwork of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop blames slow delivery of new products, poor internal communications and lackluster leadership for the fact that only one MeeGo device might reach the market by the end of the year.

Ironically, the N9-00 hardware wasn’t believed to be the stumbling block for the MeeGo project; in an unofficial – and very early – preview last year the smartphone was described as physically “near perfect”, with the incomplete software the main concern. That solid hardware doesn’t appear to have won the N9-00 a reprieve, unfortunately.


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9Feb/11Off

Dell Adamo gets the axe

Over the last few months, we have seen the Dell Adamo price cut to impressively low levels. Apparently, the pricing move wasn’t to position itself better in the market against rivals like the MacBook Air, but to clear remaining inventory.

The Adamo has been officially killed reports CNET. The last price on the Adamo only a few weeks ago was $799, quite a cut from the roughly $2000 price the machine debuted at. The Adamo follows the thinner and sexier Adam XPS into the abyss.

CNET’s source tells it that there is a new design coming in the next six months that will carry the Adamo brand. I hope the new design has a decent price and looks as cool as the deceased Adamo tablets do.


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9Feb/11Off

DzyPlastic shows off three new Series 2 Android robot toys

If you are an Android geek that likes toys, you are in for a treat with the three new DzyPlastic Android mascot toys that have been unveiled. The plastic bots are cool, look like the Google mascot, and come with different paint jobs on them.

My favorite of the three new bots is called Racer. It’s in a racing green color with white stripes. On the chest of the toy is a printed window with a little Android bot driving. It’s like the Shelby version. A pink version called Rupture is offered too that looks like a black and white head has popped out of a pink suit.

Rupture is feminine looking with the pink and would make a good Valentine’s gift for a geeky woman in your life. The last of the three is called Bluebot and is just blue.

Via Android Community


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9Feb/11Off

Fujitsu Milbeaut image processors hit gen 6 with MB91696AM

Fujitsu has announced a new sixth generation of its Milbeaut imaging processors has debuted. The debut comes with the unveiling of the new MB91696AM imaging processor that will start sampling in April. The new processors have some very impressive specs and will bring better image quality to the devices it is used in.

The image sensor has 14MP resolution and can shoot eight frames per second at full resolution. It also uses the H.264 codec engine and can record video in 1080p resolution. The sensor is aimed at the mobile phone, camcorder, and digital camera markets.

The integration of the H.264 Full HD codec allows for stills and HD video with a single chip. The new chip also has a much-improved processing algorithm that has better quality and performance. It has two ARM processors, and a CPU core inside. Fujitsu says that the price of a sample for the new processor is 3,000 yen. In bulk, they would be cheaper naturally.


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