Friday, March 30, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 Available for Pre-Order from AT&T

Nokia Lumia 900If you've been patiently waiting for AT&T's newest Nokia Lumia handheld then your patience has just paid off because the mobile provider has just opened the doors on pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 900, just ahead of its April 8th release date. If you have been anticipating this device for a while, you can finally reserve your very own Lumia 900, complete with the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, from AT&T.

In case you haven't been following this device, the Lumia 900 is an AT&T Windows Phone that comes with a ton of features, like 4G LTE, IE9, 4.3" ClearBlack AMOLED screen, 8MP auto-focus camera with dual LED flash, Carl Zeiss optics, HD video recording, 1MP front-facing camera, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, integrated Facebook and Twitter, 16GB of internal memory, Xbox Live, Office 367, Zune, Bing Maps, Local Scout and a whole host of apps.

Unfortunately, the color options for the Lumia 900 are limited. Customers can choose between a black or cyan outer shell with a white version expected to arrive by April 22 (though that one isn't available for pre-order). A lot of people will be interested in the price, though, as this phone will certainly save you money. If you grab one directly from AT&T, you'll have to shell out a measly $100 and sign a new two-year agreement. However, if you grab one from Walmart, you'll only pay $50. The Walmart deal is only available online though, so don't expect to pick it up in-store.

Oh, I almost left out the best part. If you do happen to pre-order your Nokia Lumia 900 from AT&T, you will receive it on April 6, two full days before it is actually released. The announcement was recently made official on AT&T's website, which should give some users a little more incentive to buy. $100 for a brand new Windows smartphone that you can get two days before everybody else does sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Source: Engadget - AT&T now accepting Lumia 900 pre-orders, only those seeking cyan or black need apply
AT&T, Walmart
Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Windows 8 Tablet to Launch in October from Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad YogaA recently leaked report supposedly has all the info on what vendor will be launching the world's first Windows 8 tablet. But what most people are focusing on in this report is not which vendor will have the first Windows 8 tablet but when that tablet will release. According to "unidentified sources" cited by The Verge, Lenovo will be the first company to release a Windows 8 tablet, complete with an Intel chip, in October of this year.

There have been a plethora of reports leaked over the past few months claiming that Microsoft is aiming for an October release date, which would fall in line with this most recent Lenovo rumor. However, Microsoft "doesn't comment on rumors or speculation" so nobody really knows when exactly we will see Windows 8.

What is a possibility is that this rumored Windows 8 tablet from Lenovo could very well be the same one that the company showed off at CES earlier in the year. That particular tablet, which the company called the IdeaPad Yoga, sported a 13.3" screen and is able to be transformed into a notebook, complete with its own built-in keyboard.

Most companies have kept their Windows 8 products under wraps, except for Dell. Dell has been very forward in announcing its Windows 8 tablet plans for the future. CEO of the company Michael Dell even went as far as telling Bloomberg that his company is going to launch a Windows 8 tablet the very same day the OS launches. If this is true and the rumor of the Lenovo tablet is true, we may see some day one competition on the Windows 8 tablet front.

No matter who breaks the gate first, whether it's Lenovo or Dell, they will be quickly followed by some stiff competition from other companies like Asus, Samsung and HP. Just the other day Nokia Design Chief Marko Ahtisarri stated that his company would soon be launching a tablet onto the market. It is widely believed that this tablet would also build around a Windows 8 operating system, broadening the competition even more if it's true.

Source: CNET - Lenovo to launch first Windows 8 tablet==in October, report says

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Music Unlimited Adds Offline Playback to Android App, Comes to PS Vita As Well

Music UnlimitedIf you are a Music Unlimited subscriber as well as an Android user then have I got news for you! If you have ever wanted to take all your Music Unlimited playlists with you wherever you go, even when you don't have a mobile connection, then your solution has just arrived as Music Unlimited has just announced offline playback functionality for its popular Android app.

The app, with this new feature, allows you to download your Music Unlimited playlists and play all the songs that you have added wherever you go, whenever you want. What makes this even better is that your Music Unlimited playback functionality isn't limited by your mobile phone's service. Even if you are in an area that has absolutely no cell service, like an airplane, you can still listen to all of your favorite tunes.

Activating offline playback on your Android is really simple too. If you are already a subscriber to Music Unlimited, then all you have to do go to My Library, then Playlists. Once there, select the Options menu for the playlist you want to have available offline and then select "Available Offline". That's it, once that is done your playlist will be completely available even when your Android has no signal at all.

If you ever go offline, all you have to do is select "Switch to Offline Mode" in your Android hardware menu. Then you can browse by album, artist, song or playlist within your Music Unlimited catalog. However, functionality for Music Unlimited doesn't stop there.

Sony has also just announced that Music Unlimited has just become available on the company's brand new PS Vita handheld. If you are already a subscriber to Music Unlimited on your PC or PS3 then you will also have availability on your PS Vita. The service is available to download now from the UK PlayStation Store.

With the ability to have your Music Unlimited tracks on your PC, PlayStation 3, PS Vita and your Android in both online and offline settings, there will never be a time that you can't rock out to your favorite Barry Manilow song! What, no Manilow fans in the house? Whatever.

Source: Sony Entertainment Network - Music Unlimited Android App Gets Offline Playback
PushSquare - Music Unlimited Launches on PlayStation Vita
Engadget - Music Unlimited app arrives on PlayStation Vita, Android version gets offline play

Monday, March 5, 2012

eReader Sales Plummeting in the First Quarter of 2012

According to a report released by DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments around the globe will be dropping rather significantly in the first quarter of 2012. DigiTimes said that this drop in the shipments of eReaders is due to the current availability of tablets that have similar functionality and are cheaper.

According to the report released by the daily tech newspaper company based in Taiwan, eReader manufacturers will most likely only ship about two million units in the first quarter. This is a huge drop from the nine million units that were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Of course, certain quarters always do better than others, simply due to the time of year that it is. Certain eReaders like Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are incredibly popular gifts to give during the holiday season, so that definitely causes a spike in eReader sales. Despite all of this, DigiTimes claims that the release of more practical, less expensive tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet will put a large dent in the sales of eReaders.

"The launch of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet PC has resulted in a substitution effect for Kindle e-book readers, pushing Amazon to reduce its orders for e-book readers from upstream suppliers since the beginning of 2012," the researcher reported.
However, DigiTimes said that in the future they believe that eReaders will “bounce back and positively flourish.”

"Overall, global shipments of e-book readers amounted to 22.82 million units in 2011, increasing 107 percent from a year earlier," the firm said. "Annual shipments of e-book readers are expected to top 60 million units by 2015."

That seems hard to believe after considering the drop of eReader sales in the past two quarters. Can sales really grow 3X in the next three years? Who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Sources: DigiTimes Research - Global shipments of e-book readers to slip to 2 million units in 1Q12 and PCMag - Report: Tablets Putting a Big Hurt on E-reader Sales

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Child Pad Tablet is on Its Way

On Thursday, March 1 Archos announced that it will soon be releasing a tablet that is designed specifically to provide a fun and safe experience for children.

The tablet is being called the Child Pad. The 7-inch tablet is light-weight and perfectly made to fit comfortably in a child’s hands. Although the specs are not amazing, the tablet will run Google’s latest OS, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Child Pad is the first tablet that Archos has ever created to directly market children. It features a 1-Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM. As of right now, Archos has not released information concerning processor type, internal storage capacity or screen resolution.

Based on the available information, it seems as though the Kids App Store that will be available on the tablet will be powered by AppsLib instead of Google. The store will offer children 14 categories with more than 10,000 apps.

"As a pioneer in the portable audio and Android tablet market, we realize the importance of providing a tablet that can offer hours of entertainment for all ages, especially kids," says Henri Crohas, Founder and CEO. "Archos strives to offer great tablets with only the best of features at affordable prices and we expect this tablet to bring a smile to the faces of kids and parents everywhere."

According to Archos, the Child Pad will comply with both the CIPA and COPPA regulations. This will help to ensure a safe tablet experience for each and every child. The company said that there will be parental controls and safe web browsing. The security will be provided by Edition Profil, which is a developer of parental control software.

Archos said that the Child Pad will be available sometime before the end of March, and it will cost consumers $129.

Sources: Tom's Hardware - Archos Introduces Child-Friendly Android ICS 7-inch Tablet and PCMag - Archos Unveils a $130 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet for Kids

DVD Video Projectors are exactly what they sound like, a combination unit that combines a DVD media player with a video projector, cutting out the need for multiple pieces of electronics and wiring.

Asus Confirms Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, Wants to Be First to Get It

Android Jelly BeanAsus has a very close relationship with Google, home of the extremely popular Android operating system. Android is so popular that everybody wants to be known as the first company to offer a product that features the latest and greatest Android OS, including Asus. Well, it just so happens that Asus is hoping that its relationship with Google will allow the company to be the very first to offer devices running Android 5.0, otherwise known as Jelly Bean.

Asus prides itself on its ability to efficiently upgrade to the latest Android OS, as the company was the first to provide tablets operating Honeycomb and the first to update its tablets with Ice Cream Sandwich. Corporate Vice President of Asus Benson Lin stated in an interview with TechRadar, "Asus is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update."

Asus recently announced its 3-in-1 Padfone device at the Mobile World Conference 2012. The device incorporates a mobile phone, tablet and netbook all into a single device that runs Android's Ice Cream Sandwich. Asus hopes that the Padfone will help the company gain momentum in the mobile market. If the company produces good handsets, the promise of a quick upgrade to Android Jelly Bean could see consumers attracted to the device.

Other companies, like LG, have already committed to upgrading their own 2012 range of handsets to Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as soon as it becomes available. It will be very interesting to see which company turns out a Jelly Bean device first and what that could mean for business.

Source: TechRadar - Android Jelly Bean could come first from Asus
Droid Life - Asus Calls Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" - Says They Will Be One of the First to Release It
DroidDog - Asus hopes to be first with Android 5.0 Jelly Bean
Engadget - ASUS claims it may be among first to get Android 5.0, confirms Jelly Bean moniker