Archive for March, 2012
Still paranoid about a friend sneaking past your four-dot-oh facial security and revealing all your little secrets? Worry no more, as Sammy’s got a solution for you. The new feature is stuffed inside the tasty ICS being delivered now to global Galaxy S IIs, adding the need to blink in order to bypass the Face Unlock screen. Aside from the eyelash-flashing bit included in the upgrade, Samsung’s Product Planning Team says they’ve also added Photo Editor, Beta Font, Snapshot and a novel S Go Launcher Pro. You can check out the full interview with Samsung’s whiz-squad at the source below.
SOURCE via Samsung
Being able to touch, click and press your way around an operating system with a variety of hardware configurations, while not alienating potential upgraders, is no mean feat. That said, Microsoft thinks it might have the solution. By introducing a new mode, a 20 pixel buffer will be designated to working with those edge swipes we’ve heard about. It’ll also go towards preventing accidental hits around the, typically less sensitive, edges of older screens. It does mean that you’ll be losing a little real estate, but perhaps a small trade-off for being able to keep your Windows 7 touchscreen device. Going forward, Microsoft will be working with hardware providers to ensure new gear really shows off the new features of Win 8, but for now, legacy users can look forward to a better experience. Hit the source below for the full rundown.
SOURCE via The Verge
If you’re finding that the digital compass on your phone keeps leading you down the wrong path, then this patent application from Sony might get you back on track. The claims entail a wireless communication device (aka phone) configured to communicate with a headset. The novelty being, that using orientation information from the headset, the wireless device would determine which direction the user is looking. Based on this information (and your GPS coordinates), the device would then be able to “predict a destination location for the user.” Is this hinting at a new navigation system / accessory, or some neat little tool for geocachers? One thing’s for sure, if you point your head towards the source link below, you’ll locate the full details.
SOURCE via USPTO
Quite a few folks have seen many of the apps they paid cold, hard cash for have disappeared from their list of purchases after Google rebranded Android Market as the Play Store. We haven’t had the problem ourselves, but according to a litany of posts on the XDA-Developers forums, there are plenty of you out there who have. In addition to disappearing from the list of purchases, the afflicted apps apparently give users an error message when attempting to access them directly. Rest assured, the folks in Mountain View are aware of the problem and are “looking into the issue” according to the company’s Known Issues page — though curiously it’s filed it under “Recently Fixed” despite its ongoing nature. So, what say you, dear readers, has Google gotten a handle on this latest glitch, or are you still without access to your precious paid apps?
SOURCE via The Verge
To the surprise of many, but not all, the same great Windows Media Center from Windows 7 was part of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. What this means for the final version of Windows 8 is still far from known, however, Winunleaked offers up a new clue with the Pro Pack edition labeled as ProfessionalWMC. It’s hard to know however, if this is just a different SKU for the Professional version of Windows 8 or a glimpse of something that will impact multiple version of the new operating system. Media Center started as a separate product from Windows proper and Microsoft has publicly left clues that it might return to its roots — presumably to avoid making every Windows user pay licensing costs for codecs like Dolby Digital that are required for live TV. For the moment, it’s really just more speculation while we wait for the fall to arrive with latest official offerings from Redmond.
SOURCE via The Verge
This week, everyone’s favorite Finnish phone fabricator announced the availability of Nokia Reader for Series 40 touch and type devices. Those familiar with the software know that Reader provides a flow of local and international headlines — customized by you — directly to your device’s home screen. Nokia boasts that users of its C2-02, X3-02, C3-01, Asha 303 and Asha 300 handsets will be able to stay abreast on all the news without having to worry about battery consumption, thanks to Nokia Notifications. If we’ve piqued your interest, mosey on past the break to see a video of the bits in action then hit the source link to grab the goods.
We’ve already seen a bit of big news slip out ahead of RIM’s earnings announcement, and the company’s now dropped another bombshell itself. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from his position on the company’s board of directors. In a statement, Balsillie said simply: “As I complete my retirement from RIM, I’m grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success.” RIM also confirmed that CTO David Yach would be retiring as well, and that COO Jim Rowan has “decided to pursue other interests,” but it hasn’t offered any indication of a broader shakeup beyond those three departures.
As for the fourth quarter earnings, RIM is reporting revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from the third quarter, and a GAAP net loss of $125 million. Total BlackBerry shipments for the quarter dipped 21 percent to 11.1 million units, while PlayBook shipments totaled 500,000, which is actually a new high water mark for the tablet (1.3 million were shipped during the fiscal year). This is also notably the company’s first quarterly earnings under the leadership of new CEO Thorsten Heins, who admits that the RIM faces some “significant” business challenges over the “next several quarters,” and says that he’s “taking the necessary steps to address them.” That includes “increased management accountability and process discipline,” as well as what he describes as a “comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM’s assets and maximize value for our stakeholders.”
On the company’s earnings call, Heins further added that he intends to refocus on the company’s enterprise business, and not try to be “all things to all people.” He went on to offer an even more frank assessment of RIM’s current state than he had earlier, stating that these are “difficult times” and that there’s “no guarantee of success,” while also adding that he’s open to exploring “all opportunities.” That includes the possibility of licensing BB10 which, incidentally, will apparently address the company’s current LTE deficit “later this year.” Asked on the call whether he would consider getting out of the hardware business altogether, Heins says that he prefers an “integrated” approach, but left the door open a little to that being done through partnerships instead of completely in-house — he also repeatedly noted that he wants RIM devices to be high-end, “aspirational” products. In short: the company’s focus now is on BB10 and enterprise, but it’s seemingly leaving just about everything on the table.
SOURCE via Financial Post
In a move that would be reminiscent of its initial plans for the Nexus handsets, the Wall Street Journal suggests Google will open its own online store this year, but stocked with tablets instead of phones. The Android tablets would be built by Samsung and ASUS who already offer the well-received Galaxy Tab and Transformer lines, but have been unable to make a dent in marketshare comparable to that of Apple or even Amazon. Other details seem to be less clear, including the possibility of the lineup including Google branded tablets — like the one hinted at by Eric Schmidt in December — or that the store could offer a new tablet from ASUS (maybe running Jelly Bean, maybe not), or the chance that Google will follow Amazon’s approach by subsidizing the upfront cost. Right now it seems that all possibilities are still in Play, but if the rumor is right we’ll see the store launch this year — any suggestions for the folks at Mountain View?
SOURCE via Wall Street Journal