Have you been twiddling your thumbs, contemplating whether or not to get the svelte new MacBook Air? The folks over at Macworld might just have what you’ve been looking for — benchmark scores. The website has published benchmark results for all four variants of the new Air and as it turns out, all four outperformed previous generation models. The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air, even with its 1.4GHz processor, managed to outperform the older 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo models thanks to its speedy flash storage. The new 13.3-inch 1.86GHz model even managed to marginally outperform the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. So, if you are still sitting on the fence, check out our hands-on and then hit the read link for detailed benchmark results. More →
If you are an iPhone user, you definitely know how annoying iOS notifications can get. Android and BlackBerry users have the luxury of a more refined notification system. Software developers at the University of Glasgow, in the UK, have what they think is the next best thing, AudioFeeds. AudioFeeds is a new software that notifies smartphone users through earthly sounds such as water droplets, bubbles, bird-calls and so on. Users listening to music will be spatially aware of the sounds. The ‘3D’ sound effect is achieved by phasing the sounds and delivering them to your left and right ear. The developers are convinced that their software can be built into apps relatively easily, providing a relaxing, non-intrusive notification system. The developers are due to showcase their software at a multimedia conference next week. Couple this notification system with some futuristic haptics, and consider us sold! More →
Windows XP set the bar quite high when it was released back in August 2001. Barring a few security issues, XP was considered a success and is still the OS of choice for some PC users today. Microsoft followed this up with arguably their most criticised offering, Vista. Steve Ballmer, CEO of the Redmond outfit went as far as calling Vista “a work in progress” after its launch. 2009 marked the start of better days for Microsoft, a year in which they released Windows 7, a welcome refresh for PC users. Windows 7 went on to sell an impressive 240 million licences in its first year; a record for Microsoft. Today, in a blog post on Microsoft’s Dutch website, the company explained that it is working on Windows 8, however, the OS will not be due for another two years. Microsoft representatives failed to elaborate further when asked to comment by CNET. According to a leaked presentation earlier this year, Microsoft plans to introduce a native Windows app store akin to Apple’s recently announced Mac app store. Amongst other improvements, Microsoft is purportedly working on improving power efficiency and computer wake times. If you don’t believe in the Mayan calendar, 2012 should be an interesting year for Microsoft. What features are you guys pining to see in Windows 8? More →
Are you still reeling from last week’s Windows Phone 7 press event? Ballmer and Co. announced a staggering 10 handsets (and counting) right out of the gate, sporting their latest mobile OS. HTC, Samsung, Dell, LG among others, have pledged their alliance and announced handsets that will grace the world’s stage over the coming months. We have simplified things for our discerning readers, hit the jump for BGR’s definitive guide to Windows Phone 7 hardware. More →
A few months ago, Mozilla threw down the gauntlet by asking developers to find major security flaws in Firefox in return for a $3000 reward. Enter, Alex Miller from San Jose, who spotted a critical security flaw hidden away in the Firefox code. Alex spent 90 minutes every day for 10 days before he stumbled onto something and reported it to Firefox’s parent company. Security program manager at Firefox, Brandon Sterne, said: “Mozilla depends on contributors like these for our very, sort of, survival. Mozilla is a community mostly of volunteers. We really encourage people to get involved in the community. You don’t have to be a brilliant 12-year-old to do that”. Pretty impressive stuff. Hit the read link for the full article.
What do we have here? The folks over at xda-developers have posted the above picture; an HTC Android phone purportedly named “Knight.” The phone rocks a 3.7-inch screen, akin to the Nexus One, and resembles a smaller EVO 4G with its four rounded soft-keys. The site’s source was unsure about an exact release date but does expect an official announcement “soon.” According to XDA, the phone sports a “hinge” of some sort; whether it’s a slide-out QWERTY, or a HTC Surround-esque speaker, remains to be seen. What are your thoughts on the 3.7-inch screen?
A couple days ago, Netflix’ CEO Reed Hastings reiterated the company’s intent to switch their business model from a mail-order service to a streaming-only service. The company has just taken their first step in an attempt to gauge feasibility of such a system. Netflix’ landing page now details a $7.99 monthly plan that will allow you to stream an unlimited number of movies to your PC, Mac or TV. The ‘baller’ in you might want to pony up an extra $1 to receive an unlimited number of DVD’s in the mail (albeit, one at a time). Netflix is moving in the right direction though, in what appears to be the next logical step; something a certain rival of their’s failed to envision.
You can go ahead and pity / envy UK mobile subscribers. If it wasn’t hard enough already, Vodafone has just thrown two more premium handsets into the fray to choose from. If you hit up Vodafone’s official UK website, you can now start placing orders for the gargantuan HTC Desire HD or the solidly-built Nokia N8. The HTC Desire HD is the European equivalent of the Sprint HTC EVO 4G (minus the 4G) found state-side. The phone sports a 4.3-inch WVGA display, runs Froyo out of the box and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. If this handset tickles your fancy, you can pick it up at most Vodafone retail outlets, or optionally online. According to Tech Radar, Vodafone have confirmed the following pricing and plan details:
The HTC Desire HD is available free on £35, 24 month price plans and customers buying the device online will get 900 minutes (compared to 600 offline) unlimited texts and 750MB (500MB offline) of mobile data,” the company added. Buying online will also give you 5MB of European roaming data in your bundle
If HTC is not your cup of tea, the Nokia N8, might be of interest. The N8 is the first Symbian^3 handset to hit the market. The phone has garnered mixed reviews (ours is coming soon), but has gone down well with the Nokia purists. The phone is free when signing up for a £30-a-month two year service agreement. The Nokia N8 is available in lime green exclusively to Vodafone subscribers; we’re still not sure if that’s a good thing. More →
Strategy Analytics: iPhone overtakes BlackBerry in shipments for the quarter; 14.1 vs. 12.3 million [Updated]
Apple and Blackberry have recently been involved in a war of words over the touchy subject of tablets and market-share. However, according to a report by Strategy Analytics, the numbers are stacking in Cupertino’s favor. The report indicates that Apple has shipped 14.1 million iPhones in the third quarter of 2010. BlackBerry on the other hand shipped only 12.3 million handsets in the same period. This is the first time Apple has outdone their fruity counterparts on a quarterly basis. Nokia still retains their top spot, shipping an impressive 26.5 million smartphones in the quarter. These figures add insult to injury, following Steve Jobs’ tirade on BlackBerry during last weeks conference call.
“We’ve now passed RIM. And I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb” — Ouch!
BlackBerry is slated to launch the Bold 9780 and Style 9670 soon, yet it remains to be seen whether RIM has the chops to stay competitive in this cut-throat ever-evolving smartphone market.
UPDATE: There was an inaccuracy in the iPhone sales figures quoted by LoopInsight. The correct number of iPhones sold in Apple’s Q4 FY2010 was 14.1 million, not 15.4 million.
No major Android update is complete without the customary unveiling of its dessert statue. The Googlers have uploaded a YouTube video showing them taking delivery, and erecting, the much-awaited Gingerbread man. Gingerbread is the next iteration of Android and was previously believed to be enumerated as “3.0.” Recent reports have suggested Gingerbread might be referred to as Android 2.3; according to a Google employee 2.3 is a “major release.” Whatever it may be numbered, the latest version is believed to bring a re-worked GUI, native video chat and VoIP calling, amongst other new features. The official release date is still unknown, but our money is on sooner rather than later. Hit the break to watch the Gingerbread man and Froyo in peaceful co-existence at Google’s HQ. More →
Today is D-Day for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The desktop software giants [A1] are launching their highly-anticipated and revamped mobile OS through various carriers across most of Europe, and boy do they mean business. Remember that $1 billion WP7 and Kinect marketing blitz we told you about? Well, Microsoft is giving away all sorts of freebies, in an effort to drum up sales. Earlier today, the Redmond outfit was spotted giving away Microsoft-branded Skull Candy headphones to customers at the Orange outlet on Oxford Street in London. Spain’s Movistar and Austria’s A1 carriers are reportedly giving away free XBox 360s to early adopters of WP7 (subject to signing a 2-year mobile contract). Windows Phone 7 launches in the U.S. on November 8, will all the marketing hype pay-off?
Hours before last weeks Windows Phone 7 press event, the Samsung Omnia 7 broke cover. Now, in a similar trail-blazing fashion, the Omnia 7 has become the first Windows Phone 7 handset available for pre-order in the UK. T-Mobile UK has prominently displayed the the Omnia 7 on its landing page, allowing UK subscribers to pre-order the 4-inch feature-packed smartphone. Cheaper contracts will require you to fork out up to £300 for the WP7 device. If, however, you opt for a 2-year contract at a reasonable £35 a month, you get 900 minutes, 500 texts, and unlimited internet (1GB fair usage policy)… you get the phone for an irresistible £0. The Samsung Omnia 7 boasts an impressive spec sheet and early adopters can expect delivery within the next 10 days. Let us know if you take the plunge, capiche? More →
With only five days until Apple’s Back to Mac press event, the rumors are flying in thick and fast. Speculation around Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air is growing daily, and there are some new reports that just surfaced. Earlier in the week, the 11.6-inch display rumor popped up again, but last night, Engadget received some photos on what they believe to be an early prototype for the new MacBook Air. Except… the unit pictured in the photo seems to house a 13.3″ screen. Additionally, the machine appears to run the same under-powered Core 2 Duo seen in the current generation, though it is possible since the laptop was not in final form, the internals have been upgraded.
Earlier in the week, Apple Insider rumored that the new MacBook Air computer would contain no conventional hard disk drive or solid-state drive. The new Air would supposedly opt for a high capacity “SSD card” instead. AppleInsider has also followed up on their original report with some new information, and from what one of their sources is telling them, Apple will actually launch both rumored models — 11.6″ and 13.3″ display notebooks.
So guys, is this the new MacBook Air we are looking at? More →