Verizon Wireless has detailed a software update that will soon be pushed to the Motorola DROID X, thus confirming that the phone will be upgraded to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The update will include a number of enhancements and the more prominent ones include a new user interface, better word prediction, app grouping, an improved email application, geo-tagging support in the camera, a download manager application, auto-focus improvements for the camera in low-light conditions, and improved battery life while using Bluetooth. Phone Scoop says Verizon has confirmed it will begin pushing the Android 2.3 update to DROID X phones on May 27th. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled its all new NOOK eBook reader, and to say it’s an improvement over the previous-generation model is an understatement. This new version replaces the older greyscale model, not the still-young NOOK color, and it features a major improvement we probably all saw coming… a touchscreen. The eReader sports an on-screen keyboard and it also allows readers to look up words or take notes with simple taps on the beautiful E Ink display. The new NOOK features just one button compared to the Kindle’s 38, which obviously simplifies the user experience significantly. More importantly, the new NOOK can last up to two months on a single charge — double the battery life of Amazon’s Kindle. Other nifty features include a new proprietary dissolve transition that takes readers from one page to the next, and social media integration that allows users to share recommendations via Twitter, Facebook and more. Of course the new eReader also features Wi-Fi connectivity and owners can enjoy free hotspot access at all Barnes & Noble stores as well as every AT&T hotspot across the country. The new NOOK will retail for $139.99 when it becomes available on June 10th from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and more. Pre-orders are available immediately.
According to a report from CIO, BlackBerry users who installed RIM’s latest update for the tablet’s QNX operating system are now experiencing weakened battery life. The recent 1.0.3 software update introduced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and video chat to the device, but it also appears to have had a substantial impact on battery life, possibly reducing it by 11% or more. RIM addressed the issue by suggesting that users accept the new license agreement for video chat, which may drain the battery if left unchecked, and the company also suggested that users fully charge and discharge the PlayBook battery several times in order to restore full function. Many users report that neither proposed solution has has an impact on the weakened battery life, however. More →
Sprint was nice enough to shoot us over its brand new Sprint Novatel 3G/4G MiFi, and while we saw it at CES, there’s just nothing like getting one in your hands (or paws) and taking it for a spin. We’re huge fans of Novatel Wireless, and we definitely prefer its MiFi products to USB data sticks or tethering our phones when we need mobile internet — so we’re extremely glad the company introduced a 4G WiMAX version of its popular MiFi device. Our quick impressions: it’s a tad thicker than the original MiFi, though it makes up for that by not only offering 4G speeds, but also by running a stripped down version of Linux that includes a splashy dashboard to monitor signal strength, GPS status, and network connectivity status in real-time. Additionally, we’re absolutely loving the eReader-like display on the MiFi that shows signal, GPS, and connectivity status. It’s extremely valuable and something we’re not sure how we lived without before. As for performance, we’re getting pretty decent speeds at 5Mbps down and 950Kbps up in and around New York City. We haven’t been able to judge battery life in our usage just yet, but it seems to be at least as good as the original MiFI workhouse we use all the time. Make sure to check out the rest of our photos in our gallery!
Given the abysmal battery life experienced by most new G1 owners, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if this rumor turned out to be true. According to unsubstantiated reports, T-Mobile may be preparing to send out an extended battery, along with a matching battery cover, to everyone that that has purchased a Google phone from the carrier in over the past several months. The new battery is rumored to be packing somewhere in the neighborhood of 1400 mAh, which would add roughly 20% more capacity than the current 1150 mAh juicer that currently ships with the device. If this all pans out, current G1 owners should expect to see a letter of contrition from their carrier of choice within the next several weeks, with the actual hardware to follow in short order. Cross your fingers, folks.
Mobile travelers rejoice, your battery woes may be alleviated, at least a little bit. HP announced today that you can get 24 hours of run time on a single charge with their HP EliteBook 6930p. The HP EliteBook 6930p was specially configured with an Ultra Capacity 12-cell battery, a power-saving Illumi-Lite LED display, an Intel 80GB SSD and Windows XP with the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS. Phew, got all that? The battery life rating is based upon “an industry standard benchmark” so your individual performance may be significantly less vary. Versions of this notebook as configured with the low power Illumi-Lite LED display will be available starting October 2008. Now if they can just pack this power into a battery the size of a thick credit card instead of a 12-cell brick, then we really can rejoice!