The guys at Google who are working on the Android version of Maps seem to be determined to bring down battery usage. They put out an update in early January that improved consumption in Latitude and now (about a month later) they’re back with a brand new update to do just that again.
It’s a pretty minor update, but we like Google’s battery-conscious approach. Read more »
iFixit, everyone’s favorite source of tech gore, got their hands on the Motorola Droid 4 and have taken it to the inevitable conclusion – torn to pieces. This is all in the interest of science, of course, to determine how easy the phone is to repair.
The results weren’t too rosy for the latest Droid – it scored even lower than the previous iteration. Read more »
The Huawei MediaPad came by our office and we took some time to get to know it better. Huawei is one of those manufacturers that are big, but not very well known. They seem to have created a top-notch product with the MediaPad.
The MediaPad is a 7″ Honeycomb tablet with an aluminum unibody. At 390g of weight and 10.5mm thickness, it’s lighter and thinner than the Amazon Kindle Fire. Read more »
Vodafone UK will be offering Sony’s next-gen portable console, the PlayStation Vita, starting February 22 (the same date as the US launch). The console packs impressive hardware for a portable device – 5.5″ AMOLED screen, quad-core Cortex-A9 processor and PowerVR SGX543MP4+.
It comes with 3G connectivity too – for a £5 top-up you can get 250MB data (that you have to use within 30 days). An extra perk is that you’ll get a free game too, WipEout 2048 along with the data. Read more »
Belle was a huge jump forward in usability for the OS formerly known as Symbian. Now, older models that launched with the tired Symbian^3 and spent some time with Anna can finally join their newer brethren.
We have a freshly updated Nokia N8 and we took it for a quick spin on video. There’s not much we haven’t covered in our Belle review, but it’s interesting to see how the latest version handles on the old hardware. Read more »
Toshiba and Carphone Warehouse are bringing “the world’s thinnest tablet” – the Toshiba AT200, or as users stateside know it, the Excite X10. It measures just 7.7mm thick and weighs 535g.
We first saw the AT200 last September at IFA when it beat the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (another tablet to debut at IFA) by 0.2mm in terms of thickness, despite having a larger 10.1″ 1280×800 screen. Read more »
Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik or BSI) has declared Chrome to be the web browser of choice for Windows users who are looking for security.
German officials made it clear that a web browser is the most critical component of using online services securely. Sandboxing is pointed out as the key feature in Chrome’s security and that was found either weak or completely missing in other browsers. Read more »
Designed in sunny California, the iPhone isn’t too good at handling the cold – in fact, Apple only guarantees it will work between 0°C and 35°C. Finns however encounter cold winters often, so a group of them started wondering – which phone will last the most in freezing cold?
They took the 15 of the most popular phones in Finland and decided to do a test – all the way down to -40°C. They plotted when phones first started exhibiting problems and when they stopped working completely. Read more »
RIM has decided to speed up the rate at which Android apps are submitted to the BlackBerry PlayBook section of App World – from now on, every Android app developer who submits an app by February 13 has a chance of getting a free PlayBook tablet.
We’re talking a free 16GB PlayBook, which retails for $199. Sounds like a great freebie, and there’s not a lot of work involved if you already own an app. Read more »
Raspberry Pi is an extra cheap ($25-$35) bare-bones computer that is nevertheless very capable – it runs Quake III, for example. One of the Raspberry Pi project leaders claims the little computer has quite a bit of graphical processing oomph under the bonnet too.
He’s been quoted that the Pi has more than twice the graphics prowess of an iPhone 4S. And besides doubling as a simple gaming console, Pi can also decode videos up to 1080p thanks to the built-in video hardware acceleration. Read more »
Here’s an interesting phone designed by a 23 year-old student at Middlesex University – an Android-powered smartphone, whose body is made of a single piece of bamboo. It’s a unibody that Kieron-Scott Woodhouse, the designer, claims is as strong as plastic, but is eco-friendly and is twice as light as an iPhone.
Woodhouse is working for a Chinese company called ADzero that will make the phone – the bamboo phone won’t suffer the fate of most beautiful concepts that never make it into the hands of consumers. Read more »
With the MWC closing in, the rumors of what will (or won’t) be announced are all over the place. One of the more consistent rumors is that Samsung will announce the Galaxy Tab 11.6 Android tablet.
The name suggests a 11.6″ screen, but according to the rumors, the tablet itself won’t be much larger than the Tab 10.1. The screen will supposedly have a whopping WQXGA resolution (2560×1600). Read more »
Qualcomm recently launched GameCommand to showcase games that leverage on the capabilities of the their Adreno GPUs. GameCommand features games from various dev companies, but apparently, Qualcomm are upping the ante with a game studio of their own.
They are also working on a much improved version of GameCommand, which is expected to launch at the upcoming MWC. Read more »
Google Earth has reached version 6.2 and with it come several improvements, the best of which is the improved rendering. It does away with the poor stitching that spoiled the viewing experience in previous versions.
The new version also adds a quick way to share a screenshot on Google+, improves searching and adds waling, biking and transit directions. The updates are coming to both the desktop and the Android version. Read more »
Windows has been a mostly desktop/laptop OS with only the occasional slate. But with slates being one of the primary targets of Windows 8, devs had to tackle an interesting problem – what to do with all those sensors that smartphones and tablets have?
Windows 8 will feature support for ambient light sensors and also an accelerometer, compass and gyroscope, which will be mashed together into something Microsoft calls “Sensor fusion” to improve the sensor’s performance. Read more »