Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its next-generation desktop Web browser, Internet Explorer 9. “The best experience of the Web is on Windows with Internet Explorer 9,” said Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Windows Internet Explorer, in a statement. “Today, the Web can unlock the power and performance of the best PC hardware through Windows and Internet Explorer 9. Websites also can act more like applications within Windows 7, with features such as Pinned Sites.” Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser is one of the oldest still available, having launched in the dark ages of the Internet. Thanks to its inclusion on nearly all Windows computers sold, it is also still the most popular browser by a wide margin. Market share tracker Net Applications shows that IE’s browser market share sat at 56.77% in February. The next closest browser, Mozilla’s Firefox, owned 21.74% of the market. Hit the break for the full press release and download IE9 via the read link. More →
Via a blog post today, foursquare founder Dennis Crowley announced an updated version of his company’s software that will be available to users “late tonight.” Reminiscing about his company’s past, present, and future, Crowley admits that he and his team have not been able to “expand the foursquare experience as much as they hoped to” over the last year. But that all changes today. Focusing on discovery, encouragement, and loyalty, foursquare will deploy several new features to its iPhone and Android applications (version number 3.0). Through a new “Explore” tab, users can input what it is they are looking for, getting recommendations from 4sq based on what’s around and where friends have visited. The company will try to encourage users to continue to explore their world with a revamped leader board. “You’ll see that we’ve replaced our old leader board (and its simple points system and Sunday night reset) with a sliding 7-day barometer of you and your friends,” writes Crowley. “Check-ins now trigger points for dozens of different types of actions.” Loyalty will be addressed by offering merchants additional ways to reward “swarms, groups of friends, regulars, newbies, or everyone.” Merchants will gain access to the new controls later this week. In closing, Crowley writes, “we’ve got really ambitious plans for the rest of the year and we’re excited to let you play with three big new pieces of the master plan.” Foursquare notes that an updated BlackBerry client is due out later this week — though it will not include many 3.0′s features — and that it is “working hard” on its Windows Phone and Symbian apps. More →
One of our sources has just let us know something pretty interesting. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Apple’s personal hotspot feature, specifically it’s capability of only supporting 3 wireless connections (as opposed to 5 like many other devices). Well, we have been told it’s all left to the carrier to decide. If a carrier requests it, five devices will be supported, but by default, it’s three.
Oh, and we’ve also been told iOS 4.3 will be available for download publicly at 10AM PT today. Fire up iTunes and get your update trigger-finger ready!
According to a report filed by Bloomberg, Apple is working with record labels to make music tracks purchased via its iTunes Music Store more accessible. The report, which cites multiple anonymous sources, claims that the digital store creator wants to provide music purchasers with the ability to re-download tracks they’ve bought an unlimited number of times. The functionality would provide users with a permanent backup of purchased audio tracks and make getting that content onto multiple devices even easier. Purportedly, Apple is in talks with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Group. The report did not, unfortunately, specify a timeline as to when the deal could be completed. More →
It looks like the recently announced HTC Merge has been given the U.S. government’s stamp of approval. Spotted at the FCC, the HTC handset has been long rumored to hit Verizon Wireless’ lineup. The extended lag time between the device’s discovery and unveiling — along with the deafening silence in between — led many to believe that the handset had either been scrapped or was being retooled with an LTE radio. Now, thanks to the FCC, we know neither of those things are true. The handset will be hitting “multiple North American carriers” in the near future, sans LTE (bummer). The FCC filing does include the device’s user guide, so if you want to know a little bit more about the Merge, hit the read link and have yourself a look. More →
After a month long stint in beta-land, Apple’s latest iteration of iOS — version 4.3 — has been rubber-stamped and pronounced ready for public consumption. Demoing the new code at the company’s iPad 2 event today, VP of Engineering Scott Forstall showcased several of the updates new features, including Wi-Fi hotspot creation, a new Photobooth app, and Home Sharing (streaming audio and video from your computer to your iOS devce). iOS 4.3 will be available on March 11th to all iPad, iPhone (GSM), and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation) owners. Hit the jump for the full press release! More →
If we know you, and we think we do, you’re not the kind of person that wants to wait two weeks to get Gingerbread (Android 2.3) on their Nexus device. Neither are we. Thankfully, the gang over at XDA-developers have posted two, Android 2.3.3 download links — one for the Nexus S and one for the Nexus One — for those looking to force-feed Google’s latest and greatest code-base onto their device. Hit up the read link to venture on over to the XDA forums for further instructions… and enjoy your dessert. More →
Looking to make your Windows 7 rig even better? Love service packs? You’re in luck! Today, Microsoft made Service Pack 1 for its Windows 7 desktop operating system available to the general public. The update weighs in at a hefty 1.95GB and packs a treasure trove of improvements and optimizations. If you’re not interested in waiting for Windows Update to give you the proverbial nod, hit up the read link and have yourself a manual download. More →
Fear not Epic 4G owners, Sprint has not forsaken thee. Via the company’s community site, Sprint has announced that the Samsung Epic 4G will be updated to Android 2.2 (Froyo) starting on February 21st — just like we reported on Thursday. The post also notes that “All users should have access to Android 2.2 by Feb. 25,” in case you don’t see it right away. Great news for Epic 4G owners. Now, is it too early to start nagging Samsung for an Android 2.3 update?
Thanks, Jim S.! More →
Today, Google announced the availability of a new Translate app for Apple’s iPhone. The app gives users the ability to speak to translate, listen to spoken translations, and utilize a full-screen mode. Currently, the application accepts voice input for 15 languages and can translate more than 50 languages. “The app also includes all of the major features of the web app, including the ability to view dictionary results for single words, access your starred translations and translation history even when offline, and support romanized text like Pinyin and Romaji,” writes Google. Translate is available free of charge in the App Store starting today. Наслаждайтесь! More →
Allow us to bring you up to speed in case you missed it — Verizon Wireless just announced that it will finally begin carrying the iPhone 4 starting on February 10th. It’s kind of a big deal. There are definitely plenty of positives tied to the Verizon iPhone, of course. For starters, choice is always a good thing and the fact that AT&T finally lost iPhone exclusivity will benefit consumers in a big way. And there are plenty more benefits as well — for example, there’s a redesigned antenna that might reduce the effects of the death grip, and a mobile hotspot option that AT&T iPhone users have been wishing for since Android first popularized the feature. But it’s not all double rainbows and jazz hands, we’re afraid. There are definitely some areas where Verizon’s upcoming iPhone 4 is sorely lacking, and we’ve listed a few of the main missteps after the break. More →
Yesterday, my cohorts weighed in on the question on countless iPhone owners’ minds right now — should I ditch AT&T and buy an iPhone from Verizon? The answer is going to be different for everyone, of course. Some people have a compulsive need to switch phones constantly, so they can’t use a CDMA carrier. Some people have a need for speed and Verizon’s 3G network doesn’t cut it. Well guess what? I have a need for a phone that actually works wherever and whenever I want it to. That need is way more important than any need I have to swap phones every day or download iTunes tracks at lightning-fast speeds. I want to make phone calls. I want to receive emails instantly. I want to load Web pages and refresh apps any time, anywhere. AT&T, fast as it might be, just can’t hang. More →
The image above says it all. It shows a screen capture of an actual speed test performed on an Apple iPhone 4 while connected to AT&T’s 3G network in northern New Jersey. It is not an anomaly. In fact it’s pretty standard in my home town and in the surrounding areas. Sometimes my download speed is faster and sometimes it’s slower, but it generally stays between 3.5 and 5Mbps¹. I can’t give that up. More →