If you purchase a Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 smartphone, don’t expect to download the same applications your friends are using on their iPhones and Android devices. A new report from research firm Canalys has found that a majority of the top Android and iOS applications still aren’t available on Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10. When combined, the two operating systems were found to only support 34% of the top 50 free and top 50 paid applications in the App Store and Google Play in the United States. More →
Google Fiber has taken the United States, and the world, by storm. Google is looking to shake things up with extremely fast Internet speeds available at reasonable prices, while at the same time pressuring traditional industry players to adapt. But millions of Americans will be forced to settle with the mediocre speeds provided by their current Internet service providers, unfortunately. A recent report from market research firm IHS iSuppli suggests that Google is unlikely to deploy Fiber on a nationwide level. The firm believes the cost of building a national Fiber infrastructure will be too high for Google and the company is expected to remain a minor player in the U.S. broadband market. More →
Independent game developers who are excited about selling new games on the Xbox One got some bad news on Wednesday. Microsoft confirmed to ShackNews that independent developers cannot self-publish their own games on Xbox Live Arcade, and are instead required to partner with Microsoft Game Studios or a third-party publisher. The policy is completely different from those employed by Sony and Nintendo. Sony embraces independent developers and welcomes them to create and self-publish content on the PlayStation Network. Microsoft’s upcoming console matches up with Sony’s PlayStation 4 on paper, however there are still some questions that have been left unanswered, such as the ability to play used games.
Infinity Ward, the acclaimed developer behind hit games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghost, is looking to bring strikingly realistic models and environments to the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise. The new gaming engine that will debut with Call of Duty: Ghost later this year will deliver a variety of graphical improvements such as enhanced visual fidelity, high-resolution textures and more. The company notes that one of its new technologies, known as Sub-D, greatly improves formerly blocky details by exponentially boosting polygon counts in real-time, allowing for incredibly realistic character models that can show fine hairs, bruising, cuts and even the dirt beneath finger nails. Call of Duty: Ghost is scheduled to be released on November 5th for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. Infinity Ward’s video follows below. More →
BlackBerry announced earlier this month that its BlackBerry Messenger service will be coming to Android smartphones and the iPhone in the coming months. The company was initially criticized for once again being late to the game, with services like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp having taken over the mobile messaging market. BlackBerry cofounder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is optimistic about BBM’s future, however. The former executive told Bloomberg that he believes iPhone and Android users will be quick to embrace the once popular service. More →
A recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission has confirmed that Google’s rumored X Phone device will be coming to Sprint later this year. The Sprint version is identified with the model number XT1056 and includes support for LTE on band 25. The device is equipped with NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (or “5G Wi-Fi”) and low-energy Bluetooth 4.0. Earlier rumors suggested the X Phone will be powered by a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and run a stock version of Android. It was previously revealed that the Motorola-built smartphone will also arrive on AT&T and Verizon with the model numbers XT1058 and XT1060, respectively. Google and Motorola are expected to announce the X Phone later this year.
Clearwire’s Board of Directors has approved a revised offer from Sprint to acquire a remaining 50% stake in the company. Sprint had previously offered $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, for the wireless broadband wholesaler. After several shareholders voiced their concerns about the sale, Sprint decided to raise its offer to $3.40 per share. The revised bid valued Clearwire at $10.7 billion and represented a 14% premium over the original bid. The board is recommending shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition when they meet on May 31st. Clearwire’s press release follows below. More →
Japanese carrier SoftBank has granted Sprint a waiver allowing it to consider Dish’s $25.5 billion bid for the company. The waiver gives Sprint permission to disclose non-public information and engage in negotiations with Dish regarding its buyout proposal. The Sprint Board of Directors has the right to terminate the existing merger agreement with SoftBank to accept a superior offer, however it has not yet changed its recommendation. SoftBank offered to pay $20.1 billion for a 70% stake in the wireless provider last October. Sprint will conduct due diligence with Dish and make a final decision in early June when shareholders vote to approve or reject SoftBank’s offer. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
In effort to curb ongoing market loss to Qualcomm and Samsung, NVIDIA has continued to aggressively upgrade its quad-core Tegra 4 mobile processor. The company on Tuesday announced that its Tegra 4i CPU, a variant of the Tegra 4 that includes an integrated LTE modem, has been updated to support LTE-Advanced networks with speeds of up to 150Mpbs, an increase from traditional LTE speeds of 100Mbps. NVIDIA notes that because of its “software defined radio technology” it can add support for new technologies with a simple software update, making the chip more future-proof than its competitors’. In the future, the company is also planning to update the processor to be compatible with voice-over-LTE technology. NVIDIA’s press release follows below. More →
Sprint will launch the BlackBerry Q10 this summer as its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Lois Eichelberger Fagan, director of product portfolio for Sprint, revealed in an interview with CNET that the company had originally planned to launch the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 together earlier this year, however the plan was abandoned after BlackBerry delayed the Q10 until June. The company decided the timing wasn’t right for a Z10-only launch and felt more confident in the Q10, which it believes will sell better among BlackBerry users because of its QWERTY keyboard. The executive noted, however, that the carrier isn’t done with BlackBerry and plans to release a second smartphone later this year. Fagan didn’t go into further detail about the device, only saying that there is “more to come.”
Microsoft on Tuesday announced a redesigned Kinect motion sensor at its Xbox One press event in Redmond, Washington. The accessory comes bundled with the new gaming console and delivers faster performance, improved gestures and voice recognition, and more. The sensor will allow for gamers to use a variety of voice commands to control the console, such as turning it on, watching tv, listening to music or searching the Web. Users can also navigate the Metro interface with pinch and swipe hand gestures. The Kinect can analyze a whopping 2GB of data per-second and is now equipped with a 1080p camera, a significant boost from the VGA sensor in the original model. Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console is expected to be available this holiday season.
It has been reported that Apple’s next-generation MacBooks will support gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity, evidence of which was discovered in a recent OS X developer build. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, also known as “5G Wi-Fi,” is capable of delivering theoretical speeds of up to 1.3Gbps and is considered a major leap forward. An earlier report claimed Apple was teaming up with Broadcom to bring the technology to its 2013 Mac lineup, and now Tonymacx86.com points us to a leaked image of a Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN and Bluetooth card that supports IEEE 802.11ac, the same standard Apple is reportedly looking to incorporate into future computers. The card is similar to those found in current Mac models and is expected to be the one Apple uses in its upcoming computers. Apple is expected to announce new Mac computers at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10th in San Francisco. Images of the Broadcom card follow below. More →
Sprint on Tuesday announced a revised offer for wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The carrier is looking to acquire the remaining Clearwire shares it does not already own for $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, valuing the company at $10 billion. Sprint has now increased its bid $3.40 per share, upping Clearwire’s value to $10.7 billion. The revised offer represents a 14% premium over the company’s earlier bid and a 162% premium over Clearwire’s closing share price in October when it was rumored to be part of the Sprint-SoftBank merger discussions. Sprint notes that the offer is the best and final offer it will propose. The company’s press release follows below. More →