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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the HTC EVO 4G (Supersonic) arises!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

HTC Supersonic spotted on video, to be announced on March 24?

Taiwan-based mobile phone maker HTC Corporation has been long rumored to be working on a handset that will boast WiMAX connectivity and will also run under Google's Android operating system, and it seems that we might see the device launched in about one week from now. According to the latest news around the Internet, Sprint-Nextel CEO Dan Hesse is set to officially announce the new mobile phone at the CTIA 2010.

The device in question has previously emerged around the Internet as the HTC Supersonic, and now reports on it suggest that March 24 would be the date when all of its specifications are officially unveiled to the world.

HTC Supersonic (also dubbed HTC A9292 WiMax) features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a 5 megapixel camera, HTC Sense user interface, GPS and Qualcomm’s 1 gigabertz (GHz) Snapdragon processor. The device will be targeted at enterprise and government markets besides consumers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Google TV is coming..

Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV to bring the Web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes.

The platform is reportedly based on Android & Intel’s Atom chips, and would allow developers to combine web-based data such as social networking or news with video streams, as well as a slew of other applications, both currently imaginable and not.

The move is an effort by Google and Intel to extend their dominance of computing to television, an arena where they have little sway. For Sony, which has struggled to retain a pricing and technological advantage in the competitive TV hardware market, the partnership is an effort to get a leg up on competitors.

The partners envision technology that will make it as easy for TV users to navigate Web applications, like the Twitter social network and the Picasa photo site, as it is to change the channel.

Some existing televisions and set-top boxes offer access to Web content, but the choice of sites is limited. With the open involvement of 3rd party developers, as with Android, the company hopes the move will encourage the same outpouring of creativity that consumers have seen in applications for cellphones.

Google is expected to deliver a toolkit to 3rd party developers within the next couple of months, and products based on the software could appear as soon as around the same period of time.

The three companies have approached Logitech, which specializes in remote controls and computer speakers, for peripheral devices, including a remote with a tiny keyboard.

The project has apparently been under way for several months but Spokespeople for Google, Intel and Logitech declined to comment. The companies appear to be hiring for Android-related jobs. Intel, for example, has listed jobs for senior application engineers with Android programming experience who can help extend Intel’s technology “from PC screen to mobile screen and TV screen.”

Logitech also has several job listings for Android developers, including a position for an “embedded software engineer” with experience building “audio and video products based on the Android platform.”

Jacob Hsu, chief executive of Symbio, a contract engineering firm that does work for consumer electronics companies, said there was rising interest in set-top box technology among the traditional computing players. “The boxes are just getting more and more powerful, so there’s more you can do with them,” he said.

For Google, the project is a move to get a foothold in the living room as more consumers start exploring ways to bring Web content to their television sets. Google wants to aggressively ensure that its services, in particular its search and advertising systems, play a central role.

Google has built a prototype set-top box, but the technology may be incorporated directly into TVs or other devices.

The Google TV software will present users with a new interface for TVs that lets them perform Internet functions like search while also pulling down Web programming like YouTube videos or TV shows from The technology will also allow downloadable Web applications, like games and social networks, to run on the devices.

It has been rumoured that Google TV would use a version of Google’s Chrome Web browser, which currently does not work on Android phones.

Google’s efforts to break into television advertising date back three years. Through a program called Google TV Ads, the company sells advertising on a handful of satellite and small cable television systems, as well as some cable networks. Google says thousands of advertisers have signed up for the program, but analysts say they believe the amount of revenue generated is too small to have a significant impact on Google’s overall business.

The partners will face a crowded field. In addition to the makers of traditional cable and satellite set-top boxes, Cisco Systems and Motorola, many others have entered the game, including Microsoft, Apple, TiVo and start-up companies like Roku and Boxee, which already stream video from Netflix, and other Web sites directly to television sets. Yahoo is also promoting a TV platform that uses small software programs called widgets to use certain Web services.

Anthony Wood, founder and chief executive of Roku, said that a browser-based Google TV box would require an expensive chip and would probably cost $200 or more, compared with a cheaper alternative, like Roku’s $80 device. The device streams content from more than a dozen sites, including Netflix, Blip.TV and Moreover, “on the TV, people want specific TV apps, not a browser experience,” he said.

For Intel, the effort represents a way to get its line of energy-efficient Atom chips, currently found in laptops, into TVs. Intel executives have talked for a couple of years about creating PC-like TVs, contending that it will take the horsepower of a mainstream chip to play high-definition movies well on bigger screens. Any success with TVs would help Intel get into a new, high-volume market and possibly offset some of the pressure the company now feels from rivals creeping up into computers.

The Google TV software will be open source at its core, meaning that device and TV makers should have broad access to it.

Sony, however, hopes to gain an edge over competitors by bringing out the first appliances and possibly TVs running the software, perhaps under a new brand. The Japanese consumer electronics giant is not expected to put its movie content from Sony Pictures directly on the devices but will probably have a link to a digital store.

The Google TV project was apparently advanced enough that Google had begun a limited test with Dish Network, one of Google’s partners in the TV Ads program.

.. more details as they come to hand.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New HTC 'Incredible' pics + details

With the pictures come interesting specs. Reportedly, the Incredible measures 17.5 x 58.5 x 11.9 mm – almost the same as the Nexus one, comes with an 8MP camera with auto focus and with Dual-flash and 512mb of RAM & ROM.

Interestingly it seems the 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor has been under-clocked to run at 768MHz – presumably to save battery but without effecting the performance.

The phone should come loaded with Android 2.1, HTC’s Sense UI, a 3.7″ AMOLED screen, an optical trackpad, an FM receiver and Wi-fi, bluetooth and GPS.

Lets hope for an official announcement soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

April is Android month for Aussies

A fistful of phones running your favourite mobile OS are set to launch next month, giving Android a boost while Microsoft waits for Windows Phone 7.

Christmas is coming early for Aussie Android fans as manufacturers and telcos ramp up for a bevy of smartphone launches next month.

HTC is prepping for the debut of the Desire, which will be available only through Telstra for a three-month exclusivity window before competing carriers can add it to their roster.

Motorola has issued Australian tech journalists with a ‘Save the Date’ notice for a launch on Tuesday March 30th. This is expected to see the release of one or possibly more Android phones from Motor’s current portfolio – which includes the Milestone (the 3G version of the Verizon Droid), DEXT (aka CLIQ), Devour or Backflip.

Sony Ericsson has confirmed April as the target date for the release of its first Android phone, the Xperia X10. VHA says the X10 will be available on both the Vodafone and 3 networks as of May, although it’s not known if this will be an exclusive deal or if other carirers will also be lined up at the X10’s starting gate.

Samsung is also rumoured to have at least one more Android handset on the boil, while speculation continue to swirl about a local release for Google’s Nexus One.

With such a surge of smartphones Android could shortly repeat the success it’s had in the US.

Market trackers ComScore reported Android enjoying a 4.3% boost in its share of the US smartphone market between October 2009 and January 2010. Not only was this the largest growth among its competitors, it almost exactly mirrored Microsoft’s drop of -4.0%.

As of January 2010, RIM retained its alpha-dog status with a commanding lead of 43% compared to the iPhone’s 25.1%, Microsoft’s 15.7% and Google’s 7.1%.

With Microsoft’s current Windows smartphone platform effectively stalemating itself until the release of the first Windows Phone 7 devices shortly before Christmas, there’s no reason to expect that the next two quarters will do any favours for Microsoft’s market share.

Based on these results and the continuing wave of Android smartphones, it seems almost inevitable that Android will pull level with Windows Mobile within the next few months.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Android Phone powered robot

Some clever California hackers, Tim Heath and Ryan Hickman, are building bots that harness Android for their robo-brainpower.

Their first creation, the TruckBot, uses a HTC G1 as a brain and has a chassis that they made for $30 in parts. It's not too advanced yet—it can use the phone's compass to head in a particular direction—but they're working on incorporating the bot more fully with the phone and the Android software.

Some ideas they're looking to build in soon are facial and voice recognition and location awareness.

If you're interested in putting together a Cellbot of your own the team's development blog has some more information.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nvidia Tegra powered tablets show off Android skills (video)

Check out the performance of these Android tablets, powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 dual-core processors. Very impressive.

NTT's Hikari iFrame: Japan gets Android-powered, inexpensive tablet PC

NTT in Japan has just unveiled the Hikari iFrame, an Android tablet with an accessible price point. The device is also used as a digital picture frame and it comes with a 7 inch touch panel display, an SD memory card slot, a speaker and a USB port.

The device features a 7-inch touch-panel display, an internal battery, a speaker, an alarm clock, a USB port and an SD memory card slot. And yes, it can be used to access the web via Wi-Fi. In an attempt to appeal to casual web users, NTT East says it will make heavy use of widgets that just need to be tapped to display various content like the weather, recipes, or the latest news.

The Hikari iFrame will be released in Japan only (initially, at least) in the first half of fiscal 2010, which under the Japanese system means sometime between April and September next year. It will cost between $220 and $330, with NTT East saying the use of Android as the OS resulted in reducing costs by 20-30% per unit.

Here's a video showing the tablet in action:

Nexus One coming to Vodafone UK in April?

Google’s first own-brand mobile phone, the Nexus One, is rumoured to launch in UK in April.

Currently UK users are able to purchase the unlocked version of the phone from Google’s website, however they will now be able to buy the smartphone via Vodafone dealers starting April.

Sources close to both companies have confirmed that April is when the company will have a realistic chance of being ready for the launch, according to The Daily Telegraph.

At the moment there is no clear information on the price of the Nexus One for UK but rumours state the superphone should cost around 150 euros with a contract plan from Vodafone.

Hopefully this can also be interpreted as being good news for Australian consumers as Vodafone has also confirmed it will be selling Nexus One in Australia later this year.

ASUS Eee Pad Tegra 2 tablet pictured @ CES

ASUS made little fanfare about their EeePC Touch Series Tablet at CES 2010, leaving it hidden away in a cabinet at NVIDIA’s booth, but the latest rumors suggest that they’ll be unfurling the banners for it at Computex 2010 in June.

According to industry sources, the tablet will be known as the Eee Pad and it will use NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset.

Otherwise details are scarce, though ASUS is believed to have awarded the manufacturing contract to Pegatron.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Prowave Android Tablet powered by Freescale

This is a cool looking Android Tablet running a customized Android user interface powered by the Freescale i.MX515 processor. It is manufactured by a Chinese OEM in Shanghai called Prowave.

Connectivity includes WiFi and 3G, together with a USB port and an integrated webcam, and Mastone have customized the standard Android UI with a number of new apps and widgets; some of those were in Chinese language only, however, so we couldn’t really tell what they did.

Performance was fair and build quality was very high, with a brushed metal body and solid feeling buttons, and only the resistive touchscreen proved a mild disappointment (since we’d like to have seen a capacitive panel).

Still, we’re guessing that will help Mastone keep the Prowave price down; so far we don’t know what that price will be, though given Freescale have said that their reference design could come in at around $200 we’re hoping for a similar level for this tablet.

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