Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Freedom Pop's WiMax Case Now Taking $99 Pre-Orders

Cheap Smartphone buyers rejoice! Not necessarily, for those of you that are new to Freedom Pop, here's a quick run down. First of they give you free 500MB of data and every extra gigabyte costing $10. This is all data only so you'll be doing your calls through Skype or another VOIP app. For now the case is up for pre-order for $99 which is cheap compared to buying a comparable iPhone 4 unlocked. The case does add some considerable weight to your device, but it is worth the trade off of free internet. Freedom Pop has said there are plans of this case for Android device, but it will take some time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Galaxy Note for T-Mobile Available August 8

A but late if you ask me, while others bought an unlocked version and popped in a SIM card, some waited, yet some ended up waiting nearly a year. Featuring the standard US specs, using a Snapdragon S3 instead of an Exynos which doesn't make much sense. Since Exynos is only HSPA+ and so is T-Mobile's "4G".  It seems like a good idea since the dual core Exynos outperforms the S3 (But now it's a different story). Plus it now ships with Ice Cream Sandwich standard. At $249.99 it's a hard sell, instead a $199.99 Galaxy SIII sounds better since you get all the latest hardware, plus a S4. But if 5.3" HSPA+ devices are your thing, you can't go wrong with this.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is This The iPhone 5 Fully Assembled?

Adding to the pile of iPhone 5 rumors, the final rumor has been whispered. After all the parts have been leaked piece by piece, the entire iPhone 5 assembled has been leaked. According to the website iLab the image above is the supposed to be the new iPhone or iPhone 5 (maybe 4GS?)  whatever Apple decides to call it. If this really is the new iPhone then it confirms all the iPhone 5 rumors. Plus you can see the new layout on the bottom featuring the 19 pin dock connector and the headphone jack that has been moved to the bottom. And if you look closely you can see that the display is slightly elevated above the rest of the body, this could be a pointer that its fake, but it may as well be Apple's new design. Almost similar to the Nokia Lumia 900 with its raised glass panel. But for now they are still rumors,  and for now you'll just have to wait for the next Keynote. For the full gallery visit 9to5mac.

Friday, July 27, 2012

GPS Exploit May Allow Hackers to Gain Control of Your Phone

The popular A-GPS standard may no longer be your choice from now on, University of Luxemborg's Ralf-Phillip Weinnman reported at Black Hat that the often choice for location services, A-GPS, happens over a non-secure link meaning a hacker could easily slip in and track you and even take control of your device. 

Weinnmann had demonstrated this on a multitude of Android devices, he explained that whenever a message is sent through A-GPS, and here's where the hacker can get in, the messages are processed through the phone's CPU not the GPS chip. Meaning that a little malicious code could get in and potentially crash your phone. Or use it to gain full control of your device. 

Of course this can be prevented, for now there's nothing you could do on your part, instead its in the hands of manufacturers. But why can't we all get along? Then we wouldn't have to go through all this trouble.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google Fiber Goes Live!

Finally after almost a year of waiting Google Fiber has finally touched American Soil, specifically Kansas City. And what you get is pretty impressive. Reaching 1GB/s internet speeds. You heard right 1 Gigabit, That's where Ethernet Maxes out. Plus something unexpected from Google as well, TV. You heard right, Google wasn't going to just stop with TV Shows, they've moved on to live TV as well. 
Included with $120 per month is a pretty satisfying offer. You get 1 TB of Google Drive storage, Full gigabit upload & download, TV Box, network box, and something interesting which will help Google stand out from the market as well aside from the huge download speeds, a free Nexus 7. Yup, that's your remote from now on. Of course you can opt out of TV and for $70 a month you get Gigabit Internet only, and if you're a cheapskate you can get internet for free with speeds of 5Mb/s download and 1Mb/s download, that's Google's "average". Of course this isn't rolling out to all of America only starting with Kansas City, but I'm pretty sure Google has plans to expand in the future. Your move Apple. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Tested

Finally in the hands of tech writers, the long awaited Snapdragon S4 Pro has finally been bench marked, and boy does it impress. The Pro variant is essentially a S4 with two more cores and a new graphics chip. Replacing the old Adreno 225 with the new 320 which beats the Galaxy SIII's Mali 400 which is one of the best GPUs out there. Of course what everyone is waiting for are the benchmarks. And here they are, achieving a mind blowing score of 7,698 in Quadrant, that's around 3,000 more than the quad core Exynos. Of course battery life will be an issue, but thanks to the 28nm transistor size used in the chip it will surely help improve battery life. Hopefully this will make its way in to a Nexus device in the future, which is slated for a November release, except price will be an issue again, so it seems Google will likely go with an OMAP 5 instead, since TI has been the choice for budget devices, or possibly a Tegra 3. But hopefully this will set the benchmark for future CPUs and will push Moore's Law to the limit.

Monday, July 23, 2012

USB Power Delivery Now Approved For 100W

Now you no longer need those proprietary cables, or at least will give a manufacturer a reason to ditch them. The power delivery for USB 3.0 has no been upped to 100 watts that's around 10 times what Thunderbolt can do. Of course you can't just plug in your phone for now due to the fact that it's still micro USB 2.0 and micro USB 3.0 is still years away. Though the cables will get thicker due to the high current. Of course this won't be coming out soon. But there's already is the fast charge feature on the port, but it only outputs 900 mAH which is still pretty impressive, since its almost as high as a wall charger. And of course higher than the 500 mAH output from USB 2.0. Some other applications of having a 100W capability is the possibility of external graphic cards. Sony has already done this using USB 3.0 but with 100 watts to spare they'd definitively have more breathing room, but then comes the issue of battery life...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

UCLA Develops Transparent Solar Cell

Hate the color blue on top of your house? Well have no fear UCLA is here. They've developed a transparent solar cell. The guys at UCLA have been able to achieve 4% energy conversion at 66% transparency, almost like the tint at the back of your car. The new cell works by using a new type of solar polymer cells. It could be used on huge corporate buildings, or even smart phones in the future. Still it's no where near the 33.7% efficiency current solar panels get, but due to the pace of technology it's sure to improve. Though its still a very long time before any of these technologies get in to your phone or even be completed, so keep those dreams of a self powered cell phone to yourself for now. 

16GB Nexus 7 Already Sold Out

Well that's quite ironic. Instead of the sub $200 tablet which was supposed to sell well it seems people are buying the 16GB version instead which is supposed to be the one that Google makes money. And the 8GB version the one where Google breaks even. But it makes sense, due to the lack of MicroSD card slot. Personally I really wouldn't mind paying $20 extra for the 8GB version just so I could add an extra 32 GB. But then again all the content you buy on the Play Store is stored on the cloud, just like the Kindle Fire. But for all the times when you're offline and you need all your media content so you don't get bored it makes sense. But if you're willing to have a USB flash drive or even a hard drive you could get a micro USB to USB and you could do that, that is, if you're willing to see things sticking out from your tablet.  So you can wait until "Coming Soon" turns in to "Add to Cart". Or you could shell out $300-$400 on eBay to get one for your self.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

POP: A 25,000 mAH charger

With our devices getting smarter and smarter and battery life getting shorter and shorter, many people need something that can keep their devices powered long enough for the day. You could go ahead and get a device such as the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, or keep on changing the batteries as you go along. But all those methods have their flaws, instead why don't you charge your device more often? Of course there are cases such as the Mophie, but that case only supports the iPhone or any other device, what if you want to charge a different type of device? Well the POP is here to save the day. Featuring 25,000 mAH battery built in its large enough to last you a few days actually. It's enough to charge the new iPad 1 and a half times, that translates to around 25 hours of usage or charge your phone 10 times. of course not all batteries are that large so your millage will vary. Plus this little cylinder of lithium ion is compatible with almost every device out there. Featuring a a 30 pin dock connection for Apple devices, a micro USB for Android devices and 2 full size USB ports on the bottom. Availability hasn't been announced yet due to the fact that it still needs funding. But you can help by donating on Kickstarter. For one pledge of $149 you will get the POP, and with a pledge with $169 you can get custom artwork on it. The retail price is to be set at $199 so save your self 50 bucks and go ahead and pledge $149 instead. Plus the creator hopes to add additional accessories to the POP like a speaker top or even a solar cap. The goal is $50,000 and has already reached 75% of its goal so go ahead and start pledging.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CM9 Ported To Nexus Q

The once useless social media player or known as the Nexus Q has become a little more useful. It seems the custom ROM love has also been given to the Nexus Q. More specifically Cyanogen Mod 9 has been ported to the Nexus Q. But it isn't without its faults. Currently only the base features are working with some support for Bluetooth and WiFi. Plus for now all interfacing will have to be done through a mouse and keyboard. So now you can almost use this as computer. But I don't see why you would waste $300 on one of these. It's better to go out and get a ODROID-X or an Apple TV for a much cheaper price. But if you already have one, you should certainly look in to flashing this, because lets be honest, there really isn't a purpose for this device yet.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Small Korean Company Launches A Tiny but Powerful System

A tiny little company from Korea called Hardkernel just released a very powerful ARM board for a price of $139, The ODROID-X. And this small 3.5"x 3.7" slab of PCB packs a large punch, featuring a quad core Exynos running at 1.4GHz, coupled with 6 USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet adapter, headphone and microphone jack, and of course an SDHC slot so you can expand your storage. Plus offering 1GB of RAM. This is essentially a barebones Galaxy SIII, this also contains all the essential pins for those who want to mod or use it in other situations. And this is no Raspberry Pi in terms of specs and price. Where as the Raspberry Pi only sells for $35, it is also substantially slower, running only at 700MHz with only 256MB RAM, not really a beast in specs. Now I see this more as a cheap computer that many can buy and use as their daily driver, or  for use as a development board, where as the Raspberry Pi is meant more for modding and for hobbyists. Plus the selection of operating systems for the ODROID-X is very low, featuring Android, Ubuntu, and maybe in the future Windows RT. I personally see this more as a device that you hook up to your TV so you can play games and stream content. Or you could go ahead and buy a Roku 2 and use that to stream movies and play games, or play a game. More specifically Angry Birds. Now if they were to release this with a case, its appeal would certainly increase. Due to the fact that with the case you can take it around with out the worry of damaging the board. Anyways this device looks like it has a lot of potential, but the only draw back is the price tag. So it seems that the Raspberry Pi wins the battle here. But for all the spec enthusiasts, this board may be for you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

LTE Goes Live for Sprint

For many of you that bought a HTC Evo 4G LTE (aka the One X), and if you live in Kansas City, you're in luck. You can finally get true 4G or LTE, instead of the WiMAX that was previously advertised as 4G. But Kansas City is the only city with Sprint's LTE, and the full roll out is to occur during 2013. So you get the fast 1GB/s home internet from Google and LTE from Sprint, a true Internet Wonderland. But for now, most users will still have plain old WiMAX. Luckily once Sprint's LTE network is fully rolled out, many carriers that run on Sprint's network like Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and many others will have full access to the WiMAX network instead of the sluggishly slow 3G.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Samsung Skyrocket Gets Ice Cream Sandwich Update

After following in the path of the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy SII Skyrocket has finally received the ICS Update. For now you'll have to update through Samsung Kies and currently isn't available OTA. But when you try to update through your device it gives a message telling you to check back in a number of hours. So now you can get rid of aging gingerbread and join the 10% of Android users that are on ICS. Plus you'll get all of the features on ICS including Face Unlock and the new multitasking menu. So it seems AT&T did keep its promise, but they took quite a while to do it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

MIT Researchers Develop Chip That Gains Energy From Other Souces

Sure the solar panel is a device that can harvest energy, so what's so special about this one? This chip can harvest energy from other sources simultaneously, meaning no energy goes to waste. The key to this working is that the chip switches from source to source incredibly fast. The chip can receive energy from heat, light, and vibrations. Unlike other chips that get energy from the most plentiful source. Instead it stores energy from less plentiful sources in secondary capacitors and gets the rest from the most plentiful source. And since this device harvests energy the device it self is very power efficient. This chip could be implemented almost everywhere. Already some watches get energy from kinetic movement so implementing this device will make it capable from getting energy from the heat of your body, the sun, and the occasional bumps of everyday life. Plus it could be implemented in smart phones as well, meaning battery life would drastically improve. Already there are cases that have solar panels embedded in them, but are very clunky and aren't very practical instead it would be embedded in to the device keeping it slim. So is this the next battery, seems we'll have to wait a few years to find out.

Android Jelly Bean Source Code Released

Let the Custom ROMs roll in. That's right the source code for Jelly Bean was released along with the proprietary binaries for the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus. So you can get your fix of Jelly Bean on your Android device plus you can expect to be ported to many Android devices in the future. In fact it's already been ported to the One X. Though don't expect manufacturers to start getting it on your device. They'll have to wait for the PDK which is supposed to come out later. Plus the team at Cyanogen Mod have already started development for Jelly Bean, so you should expect alpha builds coming out soon...

AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note Gets ICS Update Tomorrow

After many long months of tireless waiting some looked to custom ROMs to get the Ice Cream Sandwich that was promised yet some people persevered, constantly checking for updates. Luckily for you guys you will have your warranty and ICS starting tomorrow (and for a lucky few today). Of course all it took was some patience. All right, a lot of patience. But a question that concerns many is when ICS will come to the Skyrocket. Both the Skyrocket and Note have identical specs just different screen resolutions. So it shouldn't be too long before it comes out. Plus the ICS ROM for the Skyrocket was leaked months ago so it's bound to happen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Kindle Fire Featuring 1280x800 Display and Will Ship in Q3 2012

Rumors are already ramping up about the soon to be announced Kindle Fire 2 with reports from Pyrito and this time AllThingsD. Allegedly AllThingsD reports that the new Kindle Fire will feature a 1280x800 display and a camera. Plus featuring a a new thinner chassis. Plus according to Pyrito the device will be shipping with a TI OMAP 5 which features a newer GPU plus dedicated encoding and decoding chips built right in so you should expect performance near a Tegra 3 or even better due to the fact that the transistor size of the OMAP 5 is 28nm compared to Tegra's 45nm so in theory the chip should be more efficient and less power hungry. Basically meaning that you will get better battery life, so that may be another feature. And remember to subscribe to our RSS feed so you can always be updated.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Galaxy Nexus Re-Appears on The Play Store

Barely after 2 days Google has been quick to put up the Galaxy Nexus on the Play Store. And it will be shipping in a quick 1-2 weeks. Of course once a week is over, the Galaxy Nexus will be gone forever :( . Hopefully Google will release a new Galaxy Nexus. If they were able to put a quad core in a tablet for under $200 they should be able to do the same for only a little bit more. But the price will be increased due to the fact of the use of an AMOLED screen, and the radios for cellular connectivity.

If Google does decide to retaliate and release a phone it should take a while due to the fact that it will have to go through the whole designing process and that they will have to make sure they don't violate Apple's patents. Plus they may have to make a deal with a new manufacturer, most likely ASUS. If they can make a phone based off the ASUS Padphone which has pretty good specs. Plus if they are able make the phone connect to a tablet or become the tablet it will totally make a dent in Apple's market share. Plus the Padphone isn't doing so well right now so if it is rebranded as a Nexus device it will sell, since it provides direct updates and no extra bloatware. Just like they did with the ASUS Memo aka the Nexus 7. 

Nexus 10 Tablet Arriving Soon?

With the Nexus 7 already released and with Magazines and TV released on the new store an interesting item appears. When looking through the requirements I see "10 inch tablet". This means two things, either there is a Nexus 10 tablet coming since it will be the only 10 inch device running Jelly Bean, because to access Magazines and TV you need Jelly Bean, though the APK has been released. Or it means that Google has plans of rolling out Jelly Bean very quickly in the future, so it can be listed in the requirements.

I personally think that a Nexus 10 will come out, due to the fact that they would name it a Nexus "7" because of plans of releasing a new Nexus 10 tablet. That's what Samsung did with their tablet line up and their PMP line up as well. I think that a Nexus 10 tablet will soon come out to compete with the iPad, but first Google must push tablet app development or else no Android tablet will ever be able to compete.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Samsung Galaxy SIII Now Available for AT&T

Samsung's latest flagship is now finally available on AT&T. Featuring a dual core Snapdragon S4, 2 GB of RAM, the gorgeous HD Super AMOLED screen, and 4G LTE support. With a 8MP camera and the new Nature UX theme. And of course with a MicroSD card slot so you can expand then already included 16GB. The standard specs for all the U.S variations of the SIII. All of this shipping for $199.99 with a two year contract, but you can also get the device off contract for $549.99 instead of the $800 you pay for it unlocked. You can expect this device to directly compete with the One X due to the fact that both are priced similarly.

Here's what I'm wondering will AT&T release a regular HSPA+ version like they did with the SII? Probably not due to the fact that when the SII came out the HSPA+ version came out first and then they released the LTE version to compete. And since the HSPA+ version is quad core you won't be needing that due to the fact that most applications don't even utilize two cores, so the point of getting a quad core CPU in a smartphone is pretty useless except for the fact that it will drain the battery pretty quickly.

Samsung Wins Temporary Stay in Galaxy Nexus...For a Week

Luckily for Samsung and for Google, they have a week. Thankfully those of you who still haven't bought a galaxy nexus can, and that discounted price of $349 will be here for another week and then after that its over. According to Bloomberg the ban on the Galaxy Nexus has been temporarily lifted for a week and Apple has summoned to respond to this matter by July 12. My advice: Don't hesitate, buy it now.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Has Apple Gone Too Far?


After suing multiple companies and even their own supplier, don't you think Apple has gone far enough with suing all these other companies? I understand Apple feels like other companies are copying your work, your ideas, but isn't that how competition works? Someone takes an idea and improves it. Even after gaining such huge developer support and making Apple a household name again and not some dead company that needed help from Microsoft. Lets take a look at how it affects Competitors, Consumer, and Apple itself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Pulled From Play Store

Followed by Apple's injunction against Samsung, Google has pulled the Galaxy Nexus away from the Play Store due to the court's ruling. But the Galaxy Nexus is still there appearing as "Coming soon" and has not been completely pulled. It seems as if Google thinks that by rolling out its latest update that it might be able to escape the court's ruling since it no longer infringes the patent it should work right? That'll be the court's decision, but if you're dying to get your hands on one, it will still be available at other retailers like Target. Just expect the shipping to be slow due to the fact that they will no longer be getting the product direct from Google and only from their own stock. Perhaps Apple has gone overboard with suing everyone? Only time will tell...

Android's Jelly Bean Statue Melts


Google has a habit of putting up statues before a major release of Android. This time for Jelly Bean they had put an Android filled with Jelly Beans. But I guess it couldn't take the hot California weather, because part of the head melted and popped off. A worker at Google; Dan Morrill said "Jelly Bean was to hot for the statue" and "They have a developer working on a bug fix". A rather funny cover up. And since everyone wants a part of Jelly Bean someone actually had stolen one of the jelly beans inside, and because of that the statue has been surrounded with tape.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Google Lends a Hand to Samsung

A little while after Apple winning in court which in turn banned Google's Jelly Bean flag ship, Google was quick to push an OTA update which was meant to get Google out of trouble. Basically dumbing down the home screen search bar to only show up web based searches instead of searching the phone for files, music, or even in-app, meaning it can't search the Gmail application. We all now that search is  a major part of Android, in fact its Google's entire business! And by removing search you are basically removing the life blood of Android. But for now we don't know if users will have the option to accept the update or not. Luckily the lawsuit doesn't affect Jelly Bean's main feature which is basically a Siri competitor called "Google Now". Luckily for us the lawsuit only affects the Galaxy Nexus and not Jelly Bean's "Google Now" or Jelly Bean at all.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire, In Depth Comparison

This battle was inevitable two tablets both packing extremely high value, and of course were priced the exact amount. A perfect recipe for disaster. So lets jump right in and let these tablets show what they got. In this comparison we will be comparing the long awaited Nexus 7 and the king of budget tablets: The Kindle Fire, which tablet will come out on top? Click your way past the break to find out.

VLC Beta Now Available for Android

The popular all in one media player for Windows, Mac, and of course Linux. Has come to Android which isn't surprising due to the fact that Linux is basically Android. But due to the fact that it is new means that it'll be under the tag of beta. Of course there also some compatibility issues such as the device having to be ARMv7 or higher which most devices are, but some low end phones are still ARMv6. But if you want to help out the app is open source so you can get your hands dirty in attempting to port it over to ARMv6. But the folks at VLC are saying they're working on getting some aspects to work on ARMv6. So if you are a user of VLC on the computer you definitely want to try it out, plus it's free, so you have nothing to lose.

Play Store: VLC Beta

Apple Has A Loss of Its Own, $60 Million to be Exact

Karma after suing all those other companies? Not really after an almost one year dispute with a company called Shenzen Proview after having a dispute in China due to the iPad trademark, Turns out Shenzen already had all rights to it and this time Apple was the one losing money instead of gaining some. The IPAD or Internet Personal Access Device was already trademarked in China and by Apple using the name iPad they were going to court. The original amount Apple was supposed to pay was around $400 million, but the two companies have settled for only $60 million. A substantially lower amount no doubt China was wanting to put this dispute behind fast due to their position and relationship with Apple.