Virgin Mobile on Wednesday announced a new bold prepaid plan that may give certain smartphone buyers exactly the kind of tools they may have been dreaming of. Subscribers will be able to customize their Custom plans on the go, including number of voice minutes, messages and data allowance per month, via a special app that will let them make as many changes as they require. More →
If you’re planning on staying at the The Plaza hotel in New York, you have one more thing to look forward to, and that’s iPads in every room and suite. Since January, the five star hotel has put iPads in all guest rooms for a multitude of reasons. One of the coolest? The custom app that the iPad runs. Replacing an older touch panel, the new app allows guests to control lights in the room, change their heat and air conditioning systems, order room service, make restaurant reservations, request wake up calls, communicate with the concierge, and even print boarding passes. According to the general manager of the hotel, their previous system, “wasn’t sophisticated enough for what we wanted to do” and they ” chose the iPad because it is a great piece of equipment that is here to stay and won’t disappear tomorrow.” Sounds good to us. Video of the iPad running the custom app by Intelity after the break. More →
Famed iOS hacker geohot is utilizing his talents to aid the tinkering community of another platform, the PlayStation 3. Mr. Hotz has successfully acquired and published the root keys used by Sony’s popular gaming console, opening the door to custom software and ROMs. On his site, geohot has noted that he does not condone piracy in anyway and wouldn’t mind being “on the other side” — perhaps an offer to work for/with Sony? Hit the read link to check out geohot’s handy work. More →
Dear hardware OEMs: Resistance. Is. Futile. It seems as though the gang over in the IRC channel #G2Root xda-developers have found a permanent rooting solution for T-Mobile’s HTC G2 handset. As you may recall, the rooting community ran into a little hiccup with the Android 2.2 device due to an auto-restore feature aimed at helping the average consumer un-brick their handset. The new solution comes just days after HTC released the source code for the G2 on their website. The root exploit for the G2 is far from production-ready, but it does look like the software is well on its way to getting the one-click treatment.
UPDATE: Quick correction — As Aaron pointed out in the comments, the G2 root was originally discovered by members of the #G2root IRC channel; an XDA forum member announced it. Thanks, Aaron!
[Via Android Spin] More →
Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook Air — and we found out there was a built-to-order option which upped not only the RAM but CPU — we figured it would be worth putting it head to head with the stock model to see performance differences. We have a 13-inch MacBook Air “stock” model with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD drive. Our built to order MacBook Air is rocking a 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. Hit the jump to check out our results. More →
Happy Monday to all those DROID X owners anxious to shoehorn a custom ROM onto their handsets. A Twitter user has posted of video of the DROID X running the Android 2.2, Sapphire AOSP 2.2 ROM. While the DROID X had been rooted, it had not yet been loaded with a custom ROM due to several extra security measures put in place by Motorola. We’ve got the 59-second video — complete with questionable background music — after the break. Hopefully an instruction set and stable build will surface next. More →
The folks over at alldroid.org have posted a note in their forums claiming that Android tweaker extraordinaire “Birdman” has successfully booted a stock DROID X into a custom recovery state. The post reads:
Using a hack discovered by the folks who’ve done all the work on the Milestone, birdman has booted a custom recovery on his handset. The process is labor-intensive and dangerous if you’re not prepared to recover from a bricked device (and technically this bricks the device since you can’t reboot into Android at this moment), but it’s a sucessful proof of concept.
Right now he’s working on getting ADB up so we can further investigate what it will take to get a fully functional recovery working (that will also allow reboot back into Android).
From there the focus will move to a more robust recovery and discovery if/how we can do Nandroids and/or write a new /System image (like Froyo).
You may recognize Birdman’s name, as his handy work helped pioneer the original DROID X root. We’ll keep our eyes glued to this one and report back when more progress is made. Godspeed Birdman. More →
The folks at Colorware have added the latest Xbox 360 S to their impressive repertoire of custom-colored electronics. The new slim and sleek Xbox 360 S can be painted in your choice of 46 custom colors for $175 if you already own the gaming console, or for a reasonable $500 if you buy the system with a custom paint job directly from Colorware. We’ve been impressed with Colorware’s work in the past and highly recommend the service if you want something more than drab black for one of the hubs of your home entertainment system and don’t mind the cost. More →
It’s no mystery that manufacturers are dying to ship Windows 7. Regardless of its current state, there’s still just too much of a stigma attached to Vista and manufacturers are all too eager to move on. Moreover, so is Microsoft. As such, we highly doubt the Redmond-based giant will put up much of a fuss over the fact that small custom PC builders like Puget Systems are advertising the availability of Windows 7 ahead of its official launch on October 22nd. According to Puget’s site, Windows 7 is available for pre-order as of yesterday and PCs with 7 preloaded are expected to begin shipping on October 13th — slightly over a week ahead of Win 7’s official retail launch. Of course a week is hardly a long time to wait if you’re not into the idea of purchasing from a smaller computer shop, but early adopters will be glad to know they have options. In any event, 7 is almost upon us… Rejoice!
[Via Ars Technica]
The folks over at Colorware just hit us to let us know about their latest offering — the Stealth MacBook Pro. Take your standard MacBook Pro with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 8GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2x4GB), 15-inch matte widescreen display and a 256GB solid-state drive, and wrap it in a sleek, smooth-textured, zero gloss black finish. Drool. Only 10 units will be produced so you know this won’t be on everyone’s table at the local coffee shop. The price of exclusivity: $5,999.
The winners of our recent Slacker Radio Plus giveaway won’t be the only ones excited to learn that Slacker Radio’s mobile app has just received a major upgrade. Version 2, 2.0.2 actually, is now available and it includes a variety of bug fixes and enhancements. Highlights include faster performance / app response and much (MUCH) shorter gaps between songs. Transition gaps were one of the few complaints users had with Slacker but now once the app gets rolling, users can move through that 4 million-track library with almost no interruption. The BlackBerry version is available immediately via direct download (uninstall the current version, reboot and visit http://www.slacker.com from your BlackBerry browser) and it will show up in BlackBerry App World this coming week. Likewise, the updated iPhone app is currently awaiting approval and should hit the App Store this coming week as well.
Official word that VUDU jazzed up its service offering with the addition of Pandora came through this morning but now some less-than-official news is creeping out that may be even more interesting. As you can see in the leaked screen shot above, VUDU is currently working on a new feature called Home Movies. According to Zatz Not Funny!, Home Movies will provide a Slingcatcher-like PC to TV streaming experience. It will reportedly allow users to stream H.264 video from a PC to the VUDU box, plugging yet another hole hole as the team continues to add value beyond HD movie rentals and purchases. It looks like the advent of the RIA platform was indeed a pretty effective catalyst for VUDU — let’s hope it can continue to add new features and services as the company makes its best effort to weather the storm.
Since the announcement of VUDU’s Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform, we’ve been waiting for some new big news to come down from the Santa Clara-based set top box-based movie distributor and this morning it looks like we’ve got it. Pandora, perhaps the most popular among a new wave of intelligent internet radio services, is now available via VUDU hardware. Pandora represents the first music application to hit the VUDU box and owners will have full access to just about all of Pandora’s great functionality. VUDU’s implementation also allows for multiple log-ins, allowing each member of a household to easily access his/her custom stations. The Pandora application is integrated seamlessly into VUDU’s sexy UI, as seen above, likely making it the most attractive Pandora-streaming option currently available. The addition of Pandora is awesome of course, but we’re still waiting for a monthly subscription option in addition to a la carte movie rentals/purchases before we get too excited about the service in general.