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15Feb/11Off

NVIDIA: Quad Core Tablets In August, Phones At Christmas

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The first dual-core smartphone was the LG Optimus 2X and it wasn’t long ago that it launched. But now, mobile phone fanatics are clamoring for more dual-core devices, with disappointing feedback at anything less. Don’t forget, it also wasn’t long ago that 1GHz powered phones were out-of-the-norm and exciting.

Here comes quad-core.

NVIDIA not only announced that they’d put a quad core chip in tablets this August and quad core chips in phones this Christmas, they also demoed the processor and showed how it improves the user experience. The results are pretty astonishing.

Just wait until 2014 when NVIDIA claims their processors will have 75X performance improvement over the current Tegra 2 model. They’ve already got a product codenamed Stark they’re working on for that time frame and two other products named Wayne and Logan for 2012 and 2013. I wonder how they codename their products? The people’s names who eat each consecutive Android desserts?

I should mention, in passing, that this is the first mobile quad-core processor. And that it contains a new 12 core GeForce GPU. Our customers are getting samples now, and they’re planning production in August.

Sounds pretty tasty to me. We’ll be at NVIDIA’s booth to talk with them about this today so stay tuned!

[Via NVIDIA]


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15Feb/11Off

CyanogenMod 7 Release Candidates Now Available

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Just woke up and took a gander at my Twitter page – CyanogenMod 7 release candidates either are or will soon be available. All of the usual suspects (devices) are getting it, but if it’s not uploaded by the time you check, Cyanogen says give them time – some of the maintainers are in different timezones and they upload the builds for their devices themselves. GEt it at their official Team Douch mirror.


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15Feb/11Off

DoubleTwist For Android Media Streaming To Xbox and PS3

The popular DoubleTwist app for Android just got a new update that will allow you to use your Android device like a media server. With the new AirTwist feature you can now stream your pictures, music, and movies wirelessly to your TV through an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3.

The AirTwist is built on the original AirSync feature that allowed users to wirelessly sync media between their phones and computers. But now, with this new development, streaming media has become even more convenient. With more DLNA devices coming along, it’s possible that future updates could mean streaming to devices beyond the two game consoles.

The upgrade is free and compatible with devices running Android 1.6 and above. Once activated, the AirTwist feature makes the Android device appear on the game console’s media menu from where it can then send media directly to the TV.

[Via Android Community]


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15Feb/11Off

SearchReviews: New App For On-The-Go Product Reviews

Smartphones have given buyers the power to retrieve reviews and information about products as they see them while shopping in stores. SearchReviews launched their app today on the iPhone and Android that allows you to do this by either typing the product into search or scanning the product’s bar code.

The SearchReviews app aggregates more than 36 million reviews from more than 1,000 websites. Although, the app is similar to other shopping apps from Google, Amazon, and the RedLaser app, the company is hoping the sheer number of reviews the app pulls from sites like Walmart, Amazon, Zappos, QVC, eBay, and TripAdvisor will make SearchReviews standout.

The company was started by Ankesh Kumar last September with $350,000 of his own money. The links below have him showing how to use the search engine. A possible problem is differentiating the reviews and categorizing them by date or location.

[Via TechCrunch]


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15Feb/11Off

Sesame Street Jumping To Microsoft Kinect

A great new way to keep your kids entertained and healthy is to get them dancing and jumping around with their favorite Sesame Street characters in the new “Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster” game made for Xbox 360′s Kinect.

The game unfolds like a storybook following the Cookie Monster, Elmo, and other familiar characters as they take on adventures making new monster friends, solving problems, and learning life skills.

“Parents and children literally become part of the whimsical storybook adventure by getting active together through dancing, jumping, flying and more,” says the PR.

[Via Switched]


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15Feb/11Off

Rhapsody Objects To New Apple Subscriptions Requirements

Apple’s new subscription rules first introduced for News Corp.’s “The Daily” has now fully rolled out for everyone. Apple just announced the new subscription model that will affect all publishers of content-based apps that intend to sell through the App Store. Rhapsody, the music subscription service is openly objecting to this new development and even considering taking legal action.

The new subscription model requires that all app developers or publishers of content-based apps will have to pay a 30% cut of their subscription revenue to Apple when users subscribe via the App Store. Music services such as Rhapsody have a hard time with this because they are already paying substantial fees to record labels and music publishers.

Rhapsody currently does not offer in-app purchases in their iPhone app, but instead re-routes the user via the phone browser to subscribe from their website. However, Apple’s new rules would require Rhapsody to include an in-app subscription option on which they would have to pay the 30% cut.

[Via Business Insider]


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15Feb/11Off

NVIDIA Unveils Project Kal-El Quad Core Super Chip

Today at Mobile World Congress 2011 NVIDIA gave myself and small group of media, a demonstration of their latest sampling quad-core chipset code named Project Kal-El. This would be the world first sampling quad-core chipset aimed at tablets and super phones. NVIDIA executives on site stated that they expect Kal-El to deliver 5X performance improvements over their current super chip Tegra 2.

The demonstration they gave was running on a development kit that looked like a finished tablet. They started by showing their latest generation quad-core chip decoding a video stream with a 1440p resolution; roughly double the resolution of 1080p and outputting video at 2560×1440 to a computer monitor set to 2560×1600.

Next they gave us a demonstration of a game, which the developer did not have permission for us to name or take photo’s or video off due to copyright’s not being finalized. This demonstration however was incredibly vibrant and visually stunning.  The tablet running Tegra 2 was delivering this game at approx. 18-20 FPS while the demo of the game on their quad-core chipset was delivering 50-55 fps.

I did get to video and take pictures of a game by War Drum Studios Great Battles Medieval, which was delivering roughly 3x improvement on the quad-core Kal-El. What was equally remarkable was that War Drum Studio CEO Thomas Williamson just got access to the quad-core development board last night and successfully ported his game for today’s demonstration.

Most importantly however was that NVIDIA executives stated that they were targeting August as the time frame for the availability of tablets running Kal-El and by holiday 2011 for super phones.   Which means we may very well have quad-core tablets and super phones in retail this year.


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15Feb/11Off

AT&T Unleashes $49 iPhone 3GS Commercials

With the iPhone no longer exclusive to one carrier, the new competition with Verizon has pushed AT&T to launch a slew of strategic promotions to retain its customers. The latest bait is an iPhone 3GS for $49. They just unleashed a commercial for the offer, which should entice those late adopters on a budget.

The iPhone 3GS is getting close to two years old, but at a price tag that’s $150 cheaper than a 16GB iPhone 4, it should open up a whole new demographic of iPhone users.

Rumors that Apple was planning on an iPhone nano to target lower end markets, should prove unlikely if huge price drops of older iPhone models becomes the pattern. Other than getting locked into a two-year contract, getting a full blown iPhone for under $50 should land the phone in many many new hands.

[Via TUAW]


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15Feb/11Off

Orange Launching Contactless Payments in Q2 For Europe

European carrier Orange announced today that the company will have NFC (near-field communications) services for contactless payments in the UK, Spain, France, and Poland starting from Q2 of this year. Orange will bring in other European markets later on. The carrier hopes by the end of 2011 over half of its smartphones will be NFC enabled.

The Samsung Wave 578 will be Orange’s first phone with NFC capability and mobile contactless services. New SIM-card technology will allow users a range of services from mobile payments to ticketing and transportation. Contactless mobile phones have a second antenna that allows NFC exchanges of information. This enables you to wave your phone over a scanner and exchange information like payments or confirming a ticket.

“Mobile contactless services will change people’s daily lives. We are pleased that partners like Samsung are helping us to accelerate these plans. Our clear ambition is to create an vibrant eco-system and by combining our own mobile innovations with the best handsets, we can fulfill our vision of bringing new mobile services that will benefit everyone, “ said Anne Bouverot, Executive Vice President, Mobile Services of Orange.

[Via IntoMobile]


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15Feb/11Off

AT&T Will Carry HTC Facebook Phones And More Android Phones Later This Year

It seems like with the end of iPhone exclusivity, AT&T is really broadening its smartphone offerings. The carrier just announced that they will be carrying HTC’s Facebook phones later this year and will be adding at least twelve Android devices to their line up.

It’s uncertain if the so called Facebook phones—Facebook integrated phones—will be exactly the same as the HTC ChaCha and Salsa that were shown today at MWC, but they will definitely have the same integrated social features. The most notable social feature introduced today by HTC was the single Facebook button that lights up when viewing something on screen that can be shared online.

“In the U.S., AT&T and HTC are exclusively bringing this unique user experience to the market later this year,” said an AT&T representative. However, specific details of the device are not yet available.

As for the dozen of so Android devices, AT&T expects to pick up phones from Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. “It goes without saying this is part of our commitment to have the industry’s best Android portfolio this year,” the AT&T spokesman said.

[Via All Things Digital]


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