LG To Unveils New Intel Android Smartphone Next Month

30 Dec

Looks like things will be hotting up nicely in the mobile space next year with the Android platform. It looks like Intel finally woke up and decided to get into the mobile game. Today, South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics plan to show to the world an Android-based handset packing Intel’s Medfield SoC during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
The joint effort is designed to speed time-to-market of Intel technology-based smartphones running the Android platform.

LG Intel Android Phone

Intel will take advantage of the open-source accessibility of the Android platform to provide its customers with technology products that inspire continued innovation and also help enable powerful personal computing experiences that fully leverage Intel technology across a range of devices. This work will enable mobile device OEMs and wireless operators to draw upon the performance and low power capabilities of Intel architecture and tap into the scale of the x86 developer ecosystem to further drive the adoption of the Android platform. According to korea times :

“LG Electronics will produce Intel’s first Android smartphones that use Intel’s own mobile platform. The device will be shown at the CES…’’

LG’s growing dependence on Intel was confirmed again after LG joined forces with the chipmaker to promote its wireless display or WiDi technology. WiDi made by Intel will be embedded in LG’s Cinema 3D Smart TVs from this year. It will allow users to wirelessly steam high definition content from devices such as a laptop to larger screens like a television.


[Tech2Software]

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Mr. Android 2011 [Infographic]

30 Dec

Apple Files for Face Unlock Patent, Are You Kidding Me?

30 Dec

 

According to Apple patent investigator Patently Apple, the Cupertino based king of patent trolling has filed for a new facial unlock detection patent. Seriously, Apple? You don’t even have facial recognition technology out to the public yet, but your competitor does and you file for a patent on it? I mean, come on. We get that you hate Android with a passion, however, this just looks pathetic.

 

If you glance over the fancy little stick-figured depiction of this new technology, you will see that it matches up almost perfectly to what the same feature does in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Let’s see, it says that the device will look for eyes and a mouth in normal locations, analyze weight differences, and then unlock if it matches up to the one on file. Yeah, that’s exactly how Android’s face unlock works.

 

Update:  According to Engadget, Apple actually filed for this patent back in June before Android had unveiled their Face Unlock and is just not being disclosed to the public. It should also be noted that Google purchased a facial recognition software company around that same time. Tough to tell if that company has a patent for their software or not. Ahh the patent wars – can they be anymore obnoxious?

The Real Reason Steve Jobs’ Benz Didn’t Have a License Plate

28 Oct

 

We’ve always wondered why Steve Jobs’ Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG didn’t have a license plate. Did he think he was above the law? Was he doing it to be different? Maybe! But how did he get away with it? Easy. His cars were leased.

According to Jon Callas, CTO of Entrust, and someone who has done senior security roles for Apple before, Steve Jobs found a loophole of sorts in California license plate laws. If you had a new car, you could drive plateless for 6 months (of course, you still had to register).

So Jobs, being rich beyond belief, decided he would just lease a new car every 6 months. He came to terms with a leasing company and switched out his ‘old’ Mercedes SL55 AMG for a ‘new’ Mercedes SL55 AMG twice a year.

It’s a hilariously logical rich man way of thinking to side step the law. Or a crazily convoluted way to stay different.

 

[iTWire via Jalopnik]

3 Years of Android

23 Oct

With Ice Cream Sandwich finally revealed, Android has gone through its seventh major iteration. How has Android changed? What better way to illustrate Android’s evolution than its home screen, the hub of user interaction. Here’s a look at the face of Android over the last 3 years.

Android 1.5: Cupcake

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Android Version 1.5: Cupcake

Cupcake was step one for what was, at the time, Google’s recently acquired mobile operating system Android. While Android 1.0 was introduced on the G1 at launch, Cupcake marked the first iteration of the Android we generally know today (with things like a virtual keyboard!), and also the start of Google’s dessert-based code name system for versions of the OS. So, we felt it was better to start here.

Android 1.6 Donut

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Android Version 1.6: Donut

Donut was largely a under-the-hood overhaul for Android, and brought support for CDMA networks, text to speech, a vastly improved market, and revamped the Search functionality to not just search the web, but your phone as well. Minor visual changes (like a lighter notification bar color) were implemented, but generally, it looked pretty similar to Cupcake.

Android 2.1: Eclair

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Android Version 2.1: Éclair

Éclair was Android’s first visual revamp since the company’s acquisition by Google. Gone was the old app drawer, live wallpapers were introduced, icons were all revamped, and Android just started to look a whole lot better. Home screen dots were added, and menus were improved, as was performance generally.

Android 2.2: Froyo

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Android Version 2.2: Froyo

Android Froyo brought us the quick-launch icons for the dialer and browser next to the app drawer, as well the addition of the selectable search type menu on the Search widget. Froyo was most vaunted as a performance boost, and included major backend changes to Android that sped up the user experience, and particularly apps.

Android 2.3: Gingerbread

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Android Version 2.3: Gingerbread

Initially, Gingerbread was supposed to be a “major” visual update for Android. In reality, it was more of a boot polishing. Gingerbread finally did away with the ugly, old notification bar, in favor of the black one you see above. The launcher icons were also changed, and the whole OS’s color scheme was changed to black and green, with that nifty orange menu scroll glow. There was also the introduction of the cathode-ray TV style screen power-off effect, which was just awesome. Gingerbread brought a lot of other improvements as well – including major updates to Google apps and performance enhancements. Oh, and a cool new keyboard.

Android 3.0: Honeycomb

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Android Version 3.0: Honeycomb

Honeycomb will probably be remembered as the stepping stone to bigger and better things for Android – the good idea that never gained much traction. But Google sort of designed it that way. Honeycomb was pretty much closed source, and it was never intended to run on phones. So it wasn’t really like any other version of Android. But clearly, design cues and interface functions were taken from the tablet-centric OS when developing Ice Cream Sandwich, making it worthy of a mention, at least.

Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

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Android Version 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich marks the biggest visual change to Android since Éclair. In fact, it’s a significantly larger step than that. Software function buttons. Brand new icons. A whole new system font, color scheme, and reorganized menus. Ice Cream Sandwich is what Windows 7 is to XP – it kind of works in the same way, but you can immediately tell there have been major changes. And we love it. ICS also brings a slew of hardware acceleration enhancements, revamped Google apps, and a plethora of other stuff. There’s so much going on that it wouldn’t do this update to justice to try and cram it all into a single paragraph.

[AndroidPolice]

iPhone vs Android: Who Aged Better?

20 Oct

 

Some things never change. Other things never stay the same. Take the iPhone and Android. The iPhone is an iPhone is an iPhone. Android? It went from being the ugly stepsister to the belle of the ball.

No, seriously. Once upon a time, Android was the young scrappy upstart that stayed invisible for nearly a year. It was trailing Blackberry (ew) and Windows Mobile(double ew)! Hah! But looking back on those early days, it’s easy to see why. Android was fugly. It’s completely different now because every ‘Nexus’ phone and every OS update have brought dramatic changes: Android 1.x was awkwardly well-intentioned, Android 2.0/2.1 was something worth using, Android 2.3 found its polish, Android 3.0 launched tablets and the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the futuristic realization of it all (no buttons, honeycomb-esque lines etc.). Change, of course, is even apparent outside the Nexus line; there are a million and one different form factors that fill in every nook and cranny of the smartphone space. Android is change.

In comparison, the iPhone is the same app-launching slate of a phone it was back in 2007. For better or worse, Apple has resisted overhauling the system, only choosing to add features at a steady pace. That first iPhone was barely a smartphone but the big-picture growth of the iPhone always sort of seemed to make sense: introduce it with 1.0, App Store with 2.0, fill out features with 3.0, multitasking with 4.0 and notifications with 5.0. Like it was all following a plan. Like Apple knew what was coming tomorrow, four years ago. Each iPhone is different, but the same.

The thing is, I don’t know which method is better. Is it Apple? Steely focused and steadfast about their plan, consistently cool yet coolly boring. Or is it Google? Always willing to try anything new, unafraid to overhaul their very core but and fortunate in its lack of direction. Cutely clueless. I don’t want to oversimplify Android and the iPhone (though I sorta am); I’m just glad both exist. Apple might’ve nailed what everyone wanted in the beginning, but Android is figuring out what everyone else wanted along the way.

[Lifehacker]

Google And Samsung Reschedule Ice Cream Sandwich Event For October 19 In Hong Kong

14 Oct

Google and Samsung finally announced the rescheduled date for Galaxy Nexus featuring Ice Cream Sandwich.

Date: 19 October, 2011

Time: 7:30 am (IST)

Watch the live stream at  youtube.com/android.

 

Even Samsung’s Lawyers Can’t Tell the Difference Between Its Tablet and an iPad

14 Oct

 

Apple says Samsung’s blatantly ripped off its device designs. Not true, Samsung replies! Too bad its lawyer blew that argument harder than a hydrogen bomb blowjob: they couldn’t tell the difference between a Galaxy Tab and iPad. In court.

Reuters reports the horrific embarrassment: when a Samsung attorney was asked by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh whether they could tell which tablet was which, what was the response? “Not at this distance, your honor.

“Gulp. I really can’t imagine any possibly worse answer, other than saying, “There is no difference, your honor.Please ban us from selling our products. Please.” What followed might be even more painful:

“Can any of Samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?” Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

What can even happen from this point forward? How can Samsung’s legal team look any judge in the face and argue that their device didn’t copy the Apple product that came before it? Whether this copying is illegal in its extent is for the court to decide, but today, Samsung essentially admitted the Galaxy Tab is identical to the iPad. Apple must be feeling smug, even if they’re not getting their massive American injunction.

[Reuters via AllThingsD]

Apple iOS 5 Unvieled

12 Oct

Apple finalized the next version of its operating system iOS 5 and its a pretty big upgrade. Here’s a look at all the new stuff you can expect when you install it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.


Notification Center

Notifications in iOS have always been obtrusive pop-ups and one of the biggest annoyances to users. Finally, in iOS 5, Apple’s created Notification Center to solve that problem. Much like in Android, most notifications now pop up in the status bar. You can pull down the status bar to view any notifications you might have missed, see a little preview, and interact with them. You can still get notifications the old way if you’d like, and you can set what type of notifications you’ll get in your system preferences.

iCloud and iTunes Match

In an attempt to untether your iDevice, Apple has created iCloud and iTunes Match. iCloud is basically a revamped MobileMe that syncs more types of data across your many devices as quickly as it can manage.It doesn’t just sync contacts and appointments, but photos and other media as well. This goes for pretty much any purchase you make through iTunes. Additionally, if you subscribe to iTunes Match, you get your music synced everywhere. You won’t even need to upload songs already in the iTunes Store as Apple will see you have a copy of that song and allow you to download a copy from their store for free—even songs you ripped from a CD or acquired from other locations. If iTunes doesn’t has the song, it’ll send a copy to Apple and sync that copy with your devices manually. For $25 per year, it’s a pretty decent deal. The only downside is you’re always downloading a copy and you currently cannot stream your music from, say, a web browser.


Wi-Fi Sync

Wi-Fi sync is a pretty awesome but also imperfect feature. It allows you to sync your device over Wi-Fi, just like you have it connected to iTunes. The downside is that you can’t sync without connecting to power, so essentially you’re still tethered to a cord. In a lot of ways this defeats the purpose, but if you plug in your iPhone in another room and want it to sync overnight it’s still useful for that type of scenario.

Siri (iPhone 4S Only)

Siri is a pretty killer feature in iOS 5 that Apple kept under wraps until the final weeks before its announcement. If you’re familiar with Android’s voice command features, Siri is a step above. Not only can it do things like control your phone, compose and send text messages, and play music in your library, but also look up information and perform complex calculations to help you find practically anything you’re looking for. It works in the same fashion as its predecessor, Voice Control, by activating when you press and hold the home button. After that, all you have to do is speak and wait for Siri to obey your command. For more on how Siri works, here’s a detailed description of its functionality and some of the many things you can say to it .

iMessage

iMessage is essentially the exact same thing as the iPhone’s SMS text messaging app, only it’s now part of all iDevices. This means that iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users can all communicate with each other via text message regardless of whether they have cellular service or not. It also means all your messages are push-synced to your other devices so you can pick up where you left off when you’re juggling Apple products. For some this is very exciting, as it opens up the lines of communications further. Others find this unpleasantly reminiscent of Blackberry Messenger and are dreading the closed, Apple-only messaging service.

Newsstand

If you like the idea of reading magazines on your iDevice, you can subscribe to participating content providers and wind up with a fancy folder to hold your casual reading material. Newsstand is basically a means of creating quick little shortcuts to your digital issues rather than create an app to manage them separately. Strangely, Newsstand does actually run as an app and may make an appearance in your multitasking bar.

Reminders

Reminder tries to remain simply by looking and acting like a to-do list. It’s an Apple-made, mandatory app that lets you add a new task by typing it in on each line. You can set a date and an alert, much like you could with your calendar, and sync all your reminders via iTunes or iCloud. There’s not much to this app, but if you’ve been missing a syncing to-do manager from Apple themselves, now you’ve got one.

Twitter

It’s always interesting to see which services Apple decides to integrate into their operating system, and it looks like this time Twitter made the cut. You can now save your Twitter login information in your iOS settings for direct integration with the official Twitter app (downloaded separately). This isn’t hugely important in and of itself, but makes it possible for developers to have tighter Twitter integration. If you’re a fan of the social network, third-party apps should start to get a little more appealing.

Camera Grid and Photo Editing

The Camera app on the iPhone is supposed to launch and operate a little bit faster, although it seems about the same from where we’re standing. As for features, it now has an overlaid grid that you can use for composition. The real additions are found in the Photos app, which is becoming a little more like iPhoto. You can now edit your photos to reduce red eye, enhance, and crop.

Safari Reader and Tabbed Browsing

Reader was a new feature that came to Safari in Mac OS X Lion, but now it’s available for iOS. Clicking the Reader button next to any URL in Safari creates a more text-oriented version of any web page. You can then adjust the type to reduce eye strain, much like you would in an eBook reading app like Kindle or iBooks. If you’re running iOS 5 on an iPad, you’ll not only get Reader but another long-desired feature: tabbed browsing. It would be nice to have the option on the iPhone and iPod touch as well, but at least this is a start.

Email Styles and Enhancements

Mail has received some neat updates as well. Now you can style your messages with bold, italic, and underlined type by simply selecting it, tapping the more arrow, and choosing what you want to do. In addition to adding style, you can also look up a word in the dictionary and adjust the message quote indentation level.

Calendar Views

On the iPhone and iPod touch, you can now view your calendar in a weekly view. On the iPad, you get a yearly view as well. In addition to these new display options, you can now add, rename, and delete calendars from your device as well.

AirPlay Mirroring (A5-Based Devices Only)

If you have an iPad 2, or other iDevice with an A5 processor, you can utilize an awesome new feature called AirPlay Mirroring. This will let you mirror your device’s screen on any AirPlay-compatible device (e.g. the Apple TV 2). This is great for demonstrations, but especially cool if you want to play a game (so we assume).

New Multitouch Gestures (iPads Only)

Apple has added a few new multitouch gestures for iPads. Using four or five fingers, you can now swipe up to access the multitasking bar, pinch inwards to return to the home screen, and swipe from side to side to switch between apps.

[via Apple-Lifehacker]

BlueStacks Runs Android Apps on Your Windows PC

11 Oct

 

If you’ve ever wished you could test out Android apps before installing them on your device or just want to use the same apps on both your Android device and your computer, check out the free BlueStacks App Player.

Currently in alpha stage, BlueStacks runs Android apps in full screen on Windows 7 and comes preloaded with 10 apps, including news reader Pulse and several games like Bubble Buster. You can install up to 26 more apps, but will have to connect to the BlueStacks App Channels with Facebook.

The App Player also syncs apps between your PC and your phone or tablet if you install the BlueStacks Cloud Connect App from the Market onto your Android device. This could be useful when you want a (sort of) seamless experience going from your Android device to your computer and back.

 

[BlueStacks | via CNet]