Verizon Wireless just announced that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 28 new markets on Thursday. The new markets include Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida; Augusta, Georgia; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Illinois; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana; Springfield, Massachusetts.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma.; Portland, Oregon; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Olympia and Tacoma, Washington; and Charleston, West Virginia. Verizon Wireless also said that it will expand the 4G LTE footprints already available in Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Northern New Jersey; Dallas-Forth Worth and San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. On Thursday, the carrier’s LTE network will be available in a total of 102 markets. Read on for the full press release. More →
Just one week ahead of Mobile World Congress, U.S. electronics manufacturer Texas Instrument announced its next OMAP platform, OMAP 5. The updated 5 platform utilized two Cortex-A15 cores that are capable of supporting 8GB of dynamic memory access while running at speeds of up to 2GHz per core. “The OMAP 5 processor includes individual, dedicated engines for: video, imaging and vision, DSP, 3D graphics, 2D graphics, display and security,” writes Texas Instrument. “The processor also includes two ARM Cortex-M4 processors for offloading real-time processing from the Cortex-A15 cores to improve low-level control and responsiveness of mobile devices.” TI is promising 1080p and 3DS recording and playback along with the “real-time conversion of 2D content to S3D at 1080p resolution” from the 28-nanometer chipset. The OMAP 5 platform will, undoubtedly, be powering the next wave of superphones from wireless manufacturers the world over. More →
And it just got interesting, folks. Starting October 28th, Apple’s iPad will kick into hyperdrive distribution and be available at Verizon Wireless retail locations. The Wi-Fi model will be bundled with a MiFi 2200 and cost you $20/month for 1GB of data usage. Pricing is set for $630, $730, and $830 respectively. Verizon will also simply sell the device independently as well so that is another distribution point Apple just locked in. Well, now that Verizon and Apple have a formal working relationship, we suppose this is the start of things to come? Hopefully. Full press release after the break!
UPDATE: AT&T will begin to offer the iPad in its retail locations beginning October 28 as well.
UBS analyst Maynard Um has raised his stock price target for Apple, Inc. to $350 from $340. The move comes as Um predicts upwards of 28 million iPads could be sold in 2011; a number the analyst described as “conservative.” Mr. Um is also predicting 52 million iPhones to be sold in the 2011 calendar year. Um continued: “We continue to favor product plays such as Apple as the company should have some of the most highly sough referred t after products in the holiday quarter. Despite tough economic conditions, consumers remain willing to pay for innovation. Despite increasing competition in smartphones and that which is soon to come in tablets, Apple’s ability to keep its products fresh and innovative gives us confidence in our estimates going forward.” Unlike 2010, the iPad will be competing with multiple Android tablet devices — such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab — that offer similar functionality in 2011. More →
Rogers has just announced that they will be carrying the BlackBerry Torch 9800 beginning on September 24th. The device will be available on rogers.com or in-stores for $199 with a 3-year contract. The company quips, “As we approach the launch, you can stay on top of the latest updates by signing up at www.rogers.com/torch.” We’re not sure we would want to be married to this particular (or any?) device for three years, but there you have it. There is a video of BlackBerry’s Director of Marketing, explaining why this device is so cool, after the break. More →
BlackBerry users, rejoice — it appears as though BIS will soon be upgraded to version 2.8 and a couple of long-awaited changes are coming along with it. BerryReview got its hands on an alleged change log for BIS 2.8, an update it says will begin rolling out on or around September 10th, and a few gems are found within:
- Two-way wireless synchronization with Google Mail Contacts* and the Address Book on the BlackBerry smart phone:
- Synchronize Google Mail contacts quickly and easily to the BlackBerry smart phone
- Add or edit Contacts and the Contacts are automatically updated, whether they are updated on the computer or BlackBerry smart phone
- Note: Two-way wireless Contact synchronization with Google Mail Contacts requires BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 and configuration through email settings on the BlackBerry smart phone. Additional requirements and constraints may be found within the BlackBerry Internet Service 2.8 Documentation Kit. This feature is not supported on BlackBerry smart phones with BlackBerry® Connect™ software.
- Enhancements to email setup and settings:
- Automatic Login now supports most billing identifiers, which allows new subscribers with wireless service providers that use PIN, IMEI, or ESN as a billing identifier to create BlackBerry Internet Service accounts from the BlackBerry smart phone, without having to create a login user name and password
- Note: This feature will be available approximately one week after the BlackBerry Internet Service upgrade.
- Windows Live Hotmail revalidation:
- With BlackBerry Internet Service 2.8, new Windows Live Hotmail mail integrations will be defaulted to a protocol that is designed so as not to require 90 day reauthorization.
- Note: Existing BlackBerry smart phone users accessing Windows Live Hotmail using Microsoft MSP will still be required to revalidate their Windows Live Hotmail account every 90 days.
Two-way Gmail contact sync will apparently not be push, but a scheduled sync every four hours. Fair enough — the integrated solution is still preferable over third party solutions. Either way, we’re much more interested in seeing two-way read status sync added across all IMAP accounts but that’s an entirely different post. Last item of note: OS 5.0 will be required for some of the functionality listed above, which could be a pretty solid indication of an imminent roll out.
Who doesn’t love a little bit of Skype action? If you’re a Mac user, though, Skype 2.8 Gold adds (or improves on if you were using a beta version) some awesome features like screen sharing (you can even share just a part of your screen for privacy reasons), Skype Access, and improved audio and video support. Skype Access is a way to pay for Wi-Fi hotspot access using your Skype account balance which can simplify things for those on the move we guess. Here’s a couple more updated features:
- Improved chat management (sort chats, set priorities)
- Quick add (self explanatory but let’s you add new people to chats)
- Mood message chat (“it’s a bit like Twitter”)
- Support for large profile pictures
- Hidden avatars in incoming contact requests
- Add notes to contacts
Skype 2.8 Gold is available for download immediately from Skype’s website.