Tag Archive: Gadgets


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When you come to talking about a major revision to the most popular smartphone operating system, it’s hard to find a place to start because there is simply so much to cover. Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” is perhaps the second largest step Android has taken in terms of major revisions, the largest of course being Android 2.0 back in 2009 which brought a wealth of new features.

Ice Cream Sandwich (or ICS) has included a huge amount of things to Android, from a new design and unified stylings to new functionality and features. Google has followed in the footsteps of Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” for tablets by shifting to blue as the primary color, as opposed to green in Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”. The blue design glows in a somewhat futuristic way, and interface elements are squarer and more angled than before.

Throughout all stock applications on ICS is seems like they have gone for several major styles, most of which differ to previous versions:

Sharp angles and lines are commonplace. In the app drawer, around the search bar, under the text entry bay and even in the onscreen buttons, smooth curves or gradients have been replaced with single-color lines and sharp corners. The Roboto font is modern and clean. Thanks to the 720p display on the Nexus, it appears very sharp and it’s very easy to read. The sans-serif and simple design makes it feel at home in a 2011/2012 world. Black, grey and blue are the colors used, along with transparency. The notification pane uses blue/grey icons on a black background, sliding it down reveals a semi-transparent background with blue highlights. In apps, buttons are grey on semi-transparent black with blue highlights.

For the first time in my history of using Android (and I’ve used it since the Google G1), a unification has been achieved. It is absolutely essential these days in a mobile operating system that moving between included applications feels like you are still “in” the OS, and never before has Google achieved this.

With Gingerbread Google may have updated the Calendar to a new style, but left Gmail with the same style from original Android. It was an awful mess of old and new, but going through ICS feels like everything is in place. I always see the same button styles, the same layouts, the same designs and the same colors used in every single included application, and it actually makes me smile at an Android design for once.

Now this may be somewhat controversial, but I really believe that the push to the ICS style was due to the threat of Windows Phone. Using Windows Phone’s style is simply outstanding because every single application uses the Metro design language, so browsing from Messaging to the Browser feels like you haven’t left Microsoft’s world. Fonts are crisp and clean, designs are angled and minimalistic and there is a focus on text over imagery.

Of course not everything in Metro has influenced Android, in fact many, many things are quite different, but it seems more obvious than ever before how influential Microsoft have been in the mobile space. In all honesty, I don’t care that Google borrowed some aspects of Windows Phone, such as the angular design, minimalist icons and swiping panes, because in the tech industry this happens all the time.

The point is Ice Cream Sandwich feels like the first Android revision that actually has a style. A proper, unified and beautiful style that feels modern, clean and even futuristic. I love it, almost to the point where it pushes out Windows Phone from my mobile OS design preference.

Thanks: Neowin & Tim Schiesser

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Retail outlets looking for new, innovative ways to get hands-on with their customers will soon have a new tool – the Samsung SUR40.

Companies are already using Microsoft Surface to give potential customers virtual tours of plane interiors, help them plan flights, provide them with the ability to create immersive photo books, and entice bank customers into brick and mortar branches. Those experiences only hint at how the new Surface device will be able to help businesses engage with customers, said Somanna Palacanda, director of Microsoft Surface.

“With what’s happening in the world of touch and the fact that touch is becoming ubiquitous, people are looking for more immersive relationships with screens,” he said. “The new Surface takes technology that’s always existed in the backs of stores and brings it front and center. So now customers and retailers can interact together, a doctor and a patient can have a more immersive consulting experience, and a banker and a customer can sit together and work on a simulation where in past the banker would be the only one in control.”

Samsung and Microsoft announced today that a new, more versatile Microsoft Surface device is now available for pre-order, the near final stop on its journey from lab to marketplace. Now, businesses in 23 countries can visit the Samsung website to find a local reseller and place an order for the Samsung SUR40. Shipments are expected to start early next year.

The Samsung SUR40 was just named a2011 “Best of What’s New” award winnerby Popular Science magazine and is featured in a special awards issue currently on newsstands. Corinne Iozzio, senior associate editor at Popular Science, said the magazine’s editors were impressed with the update to the original Surface, a 2008 “Best of What’s New” winner.

“We very much liked the idea of the package of the Surface, which had packed so much computing intelligence and so much sensor technology into such a thin package,” she said. “It’s a tabletop that can be put anywhere without harming the functionality and in fact makes a system like the Surface much more accessible.”

The Samsung SUR40 also earned strong praise by the likes of Forbes and Gizmodo when released at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

Palacanda said the new Surface device incorporates all the key features of the original – a massive multi-touch screen, the ability to recognize fingers, blobs, and objects – as well as PixelSense, a new technology that lets LCD panels “see” without the use of actual cameras. The technology has helped slim down the second version of the Surface device and enables a new form factor – one that can be turned on its side. With a screen that’s only four inches thin, customers will have the option to use the Samsung SUR40 horizontally as a table, hang it on a wall, or embed it into furniture, Palacanda said.

“We listened to our partners and customers’ requests for a lighter and thinner form factor that gives them flexibility because there’s no one-size-fits-all in the retail space,” he said.

Several existing Surface customers, including Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm Corp. and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), plan to use the Samsung SUR40 in locations around the globe early next year. RBC is already using the first version of Surface as a new medium to engage with its customers, Palacanda said.

He explained that RBC is redesigning their stores to offer customers a new retail experience, where Surface is playing an important part. For example, RBC launched a direct mail campaign to invite their customers into their stores through a sweepstakes. When customers visit, they drop their brochure onto the Surface machine to find out if they’ve won a prize. At the same time, RBC employees can use Surface to highlight the bank’s products and services.

The results encouraged RBC, Palacanda said. A typical direct mail response rate is less than 1 percent; RBC is seeing a conversion of above 10 percent.

“We’ve always spoken about collaboration from a computing standpoint, but before Microsoft Surface we truly did not have a device where two or more people could actually engage together with the same piece of digital content,” Palacanda said. “I think this announcement is the first step in delivering a next generation device that improves even further on the original Surface experience, which enables two or more people to collaborate in a very meaningful way.”

The new device is also popular with developers, said Luis Cabrera-Cordón, senior program manager for Microsoft Surface. The Surface 2.0 software developer kit (SDK) was released at MIX11 in April, and already it’s been downloaded more than 7,000 times.

The SDK features an input simulator that enables developers to write Surface applications on any Windows 7 PC, an approach Cabrera-Cordón called “Write once, touch anywhere.”

“The SDK allows developers to write a single application that can adapt to all sorts of types of hardware,” he said. “That makes for a great investment: they can target Microsoft Surface hardware as well as any Windows 7 touch-enabled PC. This is a flexible platform so developers can create the best user interface for the person actually using the computer.”

Cabrera-Cordón encouraged developers to download the SDK and start building apps as the Samsung SUR40’s release date draws near.

“Touch apps are an area that is new. There is a lot to discover and innovate on,” Cabrera-Cordón said. “And I hope that by playing with the Surface 2.0 SDK, they’ll discover they can innovate and create things that we don’t have today.”

Thanks: Microsoft

They didn’t have Twitter back in the 1960s when Mad Men’s Don Draper was defining cool style, but if they did, Don would probably use a Twitter client like this one.

Created by a pair of Ukrainian tech companies, the Tweephone makes you enter your tweets one character at a time using the rotary phone dial. Of course with lots more letters in the alphabet than numbers on the dial, some letters require two or three turns to complete. That means completing a 140 character tweet could take some time, but hey, the world operated at a slower pace back then.

Now let’s see if they can build an iPhone that works like a pocket calendar.

Thanks: Dvice

 

Review: Amazon’s $79 Kindle

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Although Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet stole the show last month at the company’s launch event, the company also introduced an update to its traditional Kindle reader. The fourth-generation model brings a smaller housing and improved E Ink display, but without the hardware keyboard that was present on each of the earlier models. In our full review, we determine how the new Kindle stacks up against the earlier models and competing devices.

Design

The new Kindle maintains the same six-inch display size and 600×800 resolution as its predecessor. Removing the keyboard shaved nearly 20 percent from the overall size, inspiring Amazon to claim the reader “fits in your pocket.” We like the compact form, though the 6.5×4.5-inch housing is still a bit large for most pockets.

We did not have any complaints about the last Kindle’s weight, which was been cut by 30 percent for the new model. The new design weighs in at a scant six ounces, considerably lighter than the print versions of most books that will fill its digital library. We found the reader to be extremely comfortable to hold during long reading sessions, usually with only one hand holding the device.

Our only minor complaint regarding the new design focuses on the buttons, which are small and placed directly on the edge of the housing. We were fans of the third-generation design, with slightly larger buttons, however the new layout is easy to get used to.

Display

The E Ink display has always been one of the Kindle’s top features, and the fourth-generation model is claimed to bring modest improvements to the touchscreen performance. Page-turn speed is said to be shortened, however we did not notice any considerable difference between the fourth-and third-generation models. Both operate with enough haste for a pleasant reading experience.

We did notice slight “ghosting” when flipping between pages of text, which left faint images from the previous page. Amazon appears to have switched to a new strategy that only initiates a complete refresh after several pages, unless the content includes images. Ghosting was barely noticeable, but we were happy to see an option in the v4.0.1 firmware to force a full refresh after each page turn.

Like many E Ink displays, the Kindle screen offers an appearance that is close to a traditional print book. Contrast improves as light levels increase, unlike typical LCDs that become washed out when brought into direct sunlight. Many users also report less eye strain when reading on an E Ink display rather than backlit panels.

Software

The fourth-generation Kindle brings the latest version of the Kindle OS, however the user experience remains mostly unchanged. The interface is simple and straightforward, leaving little to distract from reading and content browsing. We found the OS to be well suited for a dedicated e-book reader, complete with options for font type and size, but cumbersome for other uses.

The lack of a hardware keyboard forces users to enter text via the virtual keyboard. As expected, using the directional pad to enter text takes much longer. Anyone who frequently uses the hardware keyboard on the previous-generation Kindles may find the omission to be frustrating. Without a touchscreen or hardware keyboard, the new Kindle is not the best choice for taking notes.

Users can take advantage of a WebKit-based browser, however the feature is appropriately listed as an “experimental” add-on. The browser is particularly difficult to manage on the new Kindle, due to the keyboard limitation, though it might find more use on the upcoming Kindle Touch.

To slide below $100, the $79 Kindle “with special offers” is sold as an ad-supported platform. We were curious to see if the banner ads detracted from the experience, but we found the ads to be easily ignored. The sponsored ads are only presented on the screensaver and home screen, rather than interrupting pages in books.

Final thoughts

Now that Amazon has split its Kindle lineup into three different categories, the basic model serves as a great entry-level reader and an excellent gift. Aside from its smaller size, however, it does not offer many reasons to switch from the third-generation model.

The Kindle currently competes with the Nook Simple Touch, however the latter device costs nearly twice as much. We haven’t had a chance to try out the upcoming Kindle Touch, but it will likely serve as a strong rival to the Nook. The ad-supported Kindle Touch ships in November for $99, making it a better choice than the entry model for anyone who wants a high-end E Ink reader with easier text entry.

Thanks: Neowin

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For Google and Android fans around the world, today has been a big day, as Google teamed up with Samsung to announce the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Many new features were shown off today at the event, including the Galaxy Nexus, so we have compiled a list of everything to know from the Google event in case you missed it or were asleep.

Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus specifications were fully leaked an hour before they were unveiled at the event in Hong Kong. They include:

A 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED display HSPA+ or LTE (depending on region) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor (TI OMAP 4460) 1 GB of RAM 16 or 32 GB of internal storage 5 MP rear camera with flash; 1.3 MP front camera Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 FPS; zero shutter lag Bluetooth 3.0 and dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n NFC and a barometer 8.94mm thin; 135g light 1,750 mAh battery

We also have a convenient comparison table between the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II, iPhone 4S and HTC Sensation. In most cases, the Galaxy Nexus is the victor.

The Galaxy Nexus will be available in the United States, parts of Europe and Asia starting in November; more regions to follow. You can register your interest in the device at Google’s Nexus website.

Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”

Google announced a plethora of new features in Android 4.0, and while many improvements are visual, there are still core enhancements being made. Below we have listed some of these new features so you can quickly get an idea what Google has introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

Honeycomb-styled interface New Roboto typeface used throughout the UI New lockscreen featuring quick unlock to camera and notification pane access Improvements to multitasking and the notification pane Resizable widgets Quick SMS responses when rejecting incoming calls Improvements to text input, autocorrect and copy & paste Real-time voice-to-text input Full control over data usage, including usage notifications New contacts app featuring better social integration and “Me” profile More advanced Calendar and Gmail apps Improved Gallery featuring a photo editor Improved Camera app including panorama mode and easy sharing Cloud connectivity with automatic Google Chrome bookmark sync Offline access to emails (past 30 days by default) and web pages (when you save them) Face unlock using facial recognition technology Android Beam for NFC sharing of loads of content Integrated visual voicemail and appropriate APIs Integrated screenshots from hardware button combination Support for high-density mobile displays such as the Galaxy Nexus’ 720p display Many, many new APIs

For developers out there, the Android 4.0 SDK with all the improved and new APIs is now available from Google’s developer website.

The first device to be loaded with ICS is, obviously, the Galaxy Nexus, but the OS is also heading to the Nexus S at some point. It is unclear, however, if ICS will make its way to the older Google Nexus One. It is also unclear whether smartphone manufacturers will update their devices to ICS, or which devices will end up being updated. Hopefully carriers and manufacturers will announce their intentions soon.

Thanks: Neowin

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If you’re one of those people whose heart isn’t exactly yearning for an iPhone 4S, but you’re still craving a hot new handset, now is certainly a very exciting time, with an incredible array of amazing new hardware available or coming soon, coupled with some equally awesome improvements to the operating systems that power these dazzling new devices.

Windows Phone recently upped its game with the introduction of its ‘Mango’ update, and some of the first new handsets to take advantage of the latest version of that OS are on sale now. Perhaps the most impressive Windows Phone 7.5 handset on sale so far is HTC’s Titan, a phone that certainly lives up to its name, with a vast 4.7” S-LCD display housed in a gorgeous 9.9mm-thick aluminum unibody shell.

Many Android users will have looked on in envy at the Titan’s sleek lines. For those who prefer their OS to be served in Gingerbread flavour rather than Mango, though, HTC is ready to satisfy your tastes, with the launch of the new Sensation XL – and if you’re familiar with the Titan, then you already know plenty about the XL, for the two are remarkably similar.

Like the Titan, the Sensation XL has a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon MSM8255 processor. The same 8MP camera with twin-LED flash sits on the back, capable of 720p recording, also with a 1.3MP unit up front, and the same 4.7” display has an identical WVGA (480x800px) resolution. The XL gets 768MB of RAM, compared with 512MB for its Windows Phone cousin, but both share a fixed amount of 16GB of embedded storage. Curiously, for an Android handset, there’s no microSD expansion slot.

But beyond that, the Titan and Sensation XL part ways and do their own thing. The XL runs Android 2.3.5, along with HTC’s latest version (3.5) of its Sense user experience. Where the Titan arrives at the party in a very classy, understated two-tone dark grey, the XL bursts onto the scene looking like it’s ready to dance, in a rather more upbeat white and light grey outfit.

This is a handset clearly geared towards music lovers; it’s packed with Beats Audio enhancements –including profiles and presets to improve audio fidelity, plus a set of either Your Beats in-ear ‘phones or special edition Beats Solo over-the-ear headsets (depending on the retail or operator pack that you purchase.

Thanks:Neowin

iPhone 4S: How Does It Stack Up?

Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook had big shoes to fill after Steve Jobs’ departure last August, but yesterday’s iPhone announcement provided the executive a chance to step into the limelight. Contrary to what many were hoping, however, the iPhone 5 was a no-show at the event, so no bigger screen and no slimmer profile. Instead, the iPhone 4S is an incremental update to the iPhone 4 that keeps the same external design with new hardware under the hood.

This is comparable to what we saw when the iPhone 3G was succeeded by the 3GS. Apple has included some worthy upgrades to the venerable iPhone 4 that will go a long way towards luring many new buyers as well as upgraders. If you’re on the fence regarding yesterday’s update and what it means for iPhone users, here’s what you need to know.

Hardware

The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year’s model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. “To many customers this will be the best still camera they’ve ever owned and the best video cameras they’ve ever owned,” said Phil Schiller during the presentation. There’s better white balance, better color accuracy, face recognition, and faster photo capturing.

iPhone 4S iPhone 4
Price on contract $199 16GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB $99 8GB
Carrier AT&T, Verizon, Sprint AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Processor 1GHz dual-core A5 1GHz single-core A4
Display 3.5-inch IPS 960 x 640 3.5-inch IPS 960 x 640
Rear camera 8 megapixel AF with flash
and f/2.4 aperture
5 megapixel AF with flash
Front camera VGA VGA
Video recording 1080p at 30fps 720p at 30fps
Network CDMA / EV-DO Rev. A and
GSM / 14.4 HSPA
CDMA / EV-DO Rev. A or
GSM / 14.4 HSPA
Siri voice assistant Yes No
Battery life 8 hours 3G talk time
6 hours data on 3G
9 hours data on Wi-Fi
40 hours audio 10 hours video
7 hours 3G talk time
6 hours data on 3G
10 hours data on Wi-Fi
40 hours audio 10 hours video
Weight 140g 137g
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm

In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster than its predecessor. The dual-core graphics engine is said to be seven times faster than the iPhone 4’s. Despite the faster processor battery life was also slightly improved. For CDMA users who travel frequently, the support for GSM global roaming should be a pretty big deal, too.

The new iPhone 4S is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps versus 7.2Mbps on the previous model. Apple says that they have changed the antenna system, presumably to solve the signal attenuation problem.

iOS 5: Major features rundown

The next update to Apple’s iOS is set to arrive on October 12 and will run on iPhone 3GS or newer models, as well as both iPads and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch. It will be available as a free download and should bring more than 200 new features to Apple’s devices — many of which we covered here. Apple highlighted a bunch of the most important ones during yesterday’s event.

These included a revamped notifications system (very Android-like), an iOS messaging service called iMessage with features like delivery and read receipts (BBM for iOS, basically), location-aware reminders, Twitter integration across the operating system, Newsstand for periodicals and magazines, a new camera app that’s easier to access and can use the phone’s volume button as the shutter button, a revamped Safari browser with support for tabbed browsing (it was about time) and a “read later” feature, a new Mail app and, at long last, PC-free setup and synchronization.

There’s a separate service called iCloud that will work across Mac products and facilitates the automatic synchronization of your contacts, calendar, mail, documents, photos, music, books, apps and backups. Apple’s iCloud provides 5GB of free storage and can be paired with a $24.95 per year music locker service called iTunes Match.

These are all features that were previously detailed by Apple during its WWDC in June, but the company saved a few surprises. The first and least interesting of the bunch is a new app called Cards that lets you create actual greeting cards on iOS. Users can select from 21 different designs. Once you’ve created a card, Apple will print it out and send them anywhere in the U.S. through USPS for $3 per card, or anywhere in the world for $5.

Another new feature is Find my Friends, which is sort of like Google’s Latitude but with better privacy controls. With Find My Friends you can choose to permanently or temporarily share your location with people, set parental controls, or go off the grid with the flip of a switch. It’s included free in iCloud and integrates with Contacts and Maps.

Last but certainly not least, Apple is also including Siri in the iPhone 4S, which will only run in this model (and presumably the iPad 2 since it uses the same A5 chip). Described as an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking in natural language, Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more.

It actually interprets what you are saying rather than just respond to commands. For example, in a demo of Siri, Apple’s Scott Forstall wanted to create a reminder to call his wife after leaving work. He said, “Remind me to call my wife when I leave work.” Siri asked to confirm the reminder, already knew who his wife was and set up a geofence around his work. When he leaves that perimeter, Siri will remind him to make the call.

Don’t miss the video above for more examples. If it works that well this could be a really interesting addition for the iPhone. Siri will only support English, French and German initially, but Apple says it will expand its features eventually.

Carriers and availability

Pre-orders start October 7 and availability in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France and Germany will be on October 14. Later in the month 22 more countries will get the 4S, on October 28, with a total of 70 countries getting the device by the end of the year. The phone will be available on AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the U.S.

This is the first time Sprint customers will get a chance to buy Apple’s popular smartphone — T-Mobile users are still out of luck. Verizon and Sprint’s iPhone 4S still won’t do voice and data simultaneously, that remains an AT&T-only perk. On the other hand, neither Verizon nor AT&T offer unlimited data plans. There are rumors that Sprint will offer the phone with unlimited data service and plans to distinguish itself from the competition but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Is it worth upgrading to?

That depends on how much weight you put on the faster processor and improved camera. For many iPhone 4 owners it probably won’t be worth the trouble after upgrading to iOS 5 and giving their smartphone a new lease of life. Its A4 processor will likely handle the operating system with relative ease considering even the 3GS can run iOS 5, and while the upgraded camera looks really powerful I wouldn’t base my purchase decision solely on this feature.

The Siri voice assistant will also be exclusive to the 4S and may be able to lure quite a few if only for the novelty factor. The technology is certainly impressive if it ends up working as smoothly as shown in the demos. Realistically, though, Siri will likely come handy in some scenarios but most people will still rely primarily on touch to interact with their phones.

In short, iPhone 4 users don’t have a lot of reasons for upgrading their device yet — especially after their phones gain 200+ features with iOS 5. On the other hand, those coming from older devices are in for a nice performance bump along a taste of the future of iOS with Siri.

How the iPhone 4S stacks up against the competition

Below is a spec-by-spec comparison with other top phones on the market, including the rumored Nexus Prime that is set to arrive sometime in the fall running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. We’ve skipped Windows Phone 7 devices as most are over a year old and we’d rather wait for the new hardware coming out soon.

As you can see this time Apple is just slightly ahead of the competition in some areas and falling behind or catching up in others. With Android (and soon enough Windows Phone 7) you have more display size options, great cameras, room for storage expansion, better connectivity options, and many of the phones available today look and feel just as sleek and well-designed as Apple devices. However, saying one phone is better than another based purely on hardware specifications or performance is not the best approach — perhaps even a little shortsighted.

In the end it all boils down to your budget and expected core functionalities or strengths in a specific phone (lightweight, larger screen, gaming oriented, text heavy input, etc). Apple’s iOS 5 brings some important new features and services like iCloud and iTunes Match are going to further improve the experience of owning one of these devices. Apple’s App Store remains unmatched in terms of available applications and the catalog is much more organized. The new Siri feature also emerges as a more polished version of Android’s Voice Actions — though we’ll need some hands on time with it before any conclusions can be drawn about how useful it really is.

Thanks: TechSpot

Apple reveals the iPhone 4S

 

 

 

The new iPhone 4S will look a lot like the iPhone 4, that’s because it has the same exterior as the device. Despite that, the internals of the new device have been updated of the previous version of the phone.

The new device will have an A5 CPU, dual core graphics that boast up to 7x the performance, an 8MP camera and 1080P video recording capabilities as well. The update is a general warming over of the iPhone 4 to keep it competitive with the fleet of new Android and Windows Phone devices that will be released before the holiday season. The device will also combine GSM and CDMA into one chip which will reduce the two iPhone 4 models into one device. The iPhone 4S will also support HSDPA which will allow for 14.4 Mbps downloads which is faster than the current 3G speeds on the iPhone 4. The device will also have “eight hours of 3G talk time. Six hours of browsing, nine on WiFi. 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music” according toEngadget.

The device will come in black and white and retail for 16GB: $199, 32GB for $299, 64GB for $399; the device will also be coming to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. It will also be headed to Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan on October 14, many others will get it on the 28.

In general, the iPhone 4S is a modest update to the iPhone 4 but does not offer any new features such as NFC, LTE.

Thanks: Neowin

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Samsung has got something up its sleeve in terms of upcoming products and it plans to talk about them publicly in a couple of weeks. Thisismynext.com, along with other media outlets, have been sent invites to attend a Samsung press event in San Diego on October 11. But the smartphone company won’t be alone. Samsung is promoting this event as a joint operation with Google, with the invite saying specifically that the press will “get a look at what’s new from Android” during the press conference.

That’s certainly a big clue that the event might be the place and time for the official unveiling of a Samsung made smartphone that will have Google’s next version of the popular Android mobile operating system inside. Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich, has been the source of much speculation, along with some screenshot leaks. This week a video made its way to the Internet that supposedly showed Android 4.0 in action. So far Google has been pretty silent, at least in public, about the details of Android 4.0, saying only that it would launch sometime in October or November.

It’s likely that the press event will show an upcoming Samsung smartphone that Android 4.0 will be running on. Internet rumors have been flying about this mystery phone over the past couple of months. Even the actual name of the phone is under dispute with some calling it the Nexus Prime, others labeling it the Droid Prime and still other rumors naming it the Galaxy Nexus phone.

Thanks: Neowin

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In what can be called a great move, Netflix has added support for a much wider range of devices to its mobile application designed for Google’s Android operating system.

Released in the Android Market as Netflix 1.4.0, the new application flavor brings along support for all devices that are based on Android 2.2 Froyo or on the newer Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system versions, thus offering far more users the possibility to access their service.

With this mobile application, users can enjoy watching TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix while on the go. All Android 2.2 and 2.3 users can enjoy Netflix playback on their devices with the new application release.

The mobile application is available for download for free, but the access to Netflix’ service requires a monthly fee. Here’s what the company notes on its application:

– It’s part of your Netflix unlimited membership. Not a Netflix member? Start your FREE trial today. – Watch as often as you want. – Resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer. – Browse movies and manage your instant Queue right from your phone or tablet.

First time users will benefit from one month of free membership, but this cannot be combined with another offer from the company.

“Internet access and valid payment method are required to redeem offer. Netflix will begin to bill your payment method for the Netflix membership fee at the end of the free month unless you cancel prior to the end of the first month,” the company explains.

Netflix is only one of the services that provides Android mobile phone users with the possibility to watch movies and TV shows while on the go, yet it is the first one to expand its availability to such a large number of people.

The application was previously available with support for only a small number of devices, the same as is Hulu Plus at the moment, for example, but things have just got much better for all Android 2.2 and 2.3 users.

“The Netflix service is only available in the country where you originally signed up. A device that streams from Netflix (manufactured and sold separately) and broadband Internet connection are required to watch instantly,” the company also explains.

Thanks: Softpedia