In an interview with Forbes on Thursday, HTC’s head of User Experience Drew Bamford provided some insight into where the company’s Sense product is headed in the near future. Sense started as a UI overlay placed atop various platforms on HTC devices. While the UI aspects of the product remain a central focus, HTC will continue to expand Sense in several areas off the device. The recently launched HTCSense.com portal is one example of Sense’s departure from phones, though it remains underutilized and confined to just two devices for the time being. Bramford says several services are on their way to Sense, however, including music and video content services as well as access to newspapers, magazines and eBooks. HTC already launched an eBook service in Europe that it plans to expand to other regions in 2011. HTC also plans to launch its own video chat service akin to Apple’s FaceTime, along with several services that focus on home entertainment. These and other services will be made possible by the continued transition to faster 4G cellular data networks. “At some point, you can imagine replacing your home Internet service with your 4G phone,” Bramford said. “I think we’re on the cusp of that transformation where mobile products and living room life collide.” More →
A new report Friday cites news from component suppliers in claiming Apple’s next-generation iPad tablet will include front and rear-facing cameras. The report reaffirms rumors that have existed since the summer, shortly after Apple introduced FaceTime alongside the iPhone 4. FaceTime, which is now supported by the iPhone 4 and Apple’s most recent iPod touch model, is a video chat service usable only by Apple products. It makes sense, of course, that Apple would want to expand the service to include the iPad, which continues to sell extremely well. Apple reportedly chose a camera supplier for the iPad last month, selecting Largan Precision, which also supplies cameras for the iPhone 4. Apple is expected to begin manufacturing its next iPad, commonly referred to as the “iPad 2,” early next year. A launch is expected in March or April. More →
Rumors that Apple’s next-generation iPad will include at least one camera gain purchase Tuesday morning as a new report suggests Apple has named its camera lens supplier for its upcoming tablet. Citing market rumors instigated by a public filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, DigiTimes reports that Largan Precision has been awarded a contract that will make it the sole supplier of lens modules for the second-generation iPad. Largan also supplies 5-megapixel cameras for Apple’s iPhone 4. The inclusion of a front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat is almost a given at this point, and the iPad will also reportedly include a rear-facing camera — possibly the same 5-megapixel optics currently found in the iPhone 4. Following the trail of unsubstantiated reports out of Taiwan, Largan joins Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies as PCD suppliers for Apple’s upcoming iPad sequel. The second-generation iPad is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2011. More →
DigiTimes is hit or miss and while we’re inclined to think there are some misses in its latest report on Apple’s upcoming iPad 2, there are also some hits — or safe bets, at least. Citing an unconfirmed report in a Chinese newspaper, DigiTimes lists five key new features that Apple’s upcoming iPad sequel will supposedly tout:
•Front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat
•A thinner glass panel for a lighter build
•A USB port
•A 3-axis gyroscope
Aside from the USB port, the paper’s claims sound reasonable. We’re not saying it’s impossible that Apple would add a standard USB port to the iPad, but we definitely give it a likelihood rating of 1 on a scale to 10 for the time being. More →
TechCrunch noticed a FaceTime app icon in the dock of the demo machine being used to demo the new iLife ’11 features, and well… it looks as if FaceTime will really come to desktop computers — so awesome! Apple has since gone on to confirm the news, stating that FaceTime for Mac will be available as a public beta today. More →
While a new update to the Yahoo Messenger app on the iPhone would be eventful in and of itself, the latest version brings a very special gift — video calling over 3G, and not just phone to phone, but phone to computer or vice versa. Unfortunately in our quick tests, video calling seems to be buggy, not reliable, and above all, pretty low in the quality department when we do manage to get it working. In addition to video calls, the newly updated Yahoo Messenger brings free voice calls to other Yahoo Messenger friends, supports background multitasking, and more. Let us know if you’re feeling the new update, though we’ll be waiting for real FaceTime calling over 3G. More →
Any Apple fans out there waiting to grab the brand new iPod touch hotness? If so, you’re going to be pleased to learn that Apple’s newest iToy has hit the FCC for certification and has been mercilessly torn down. You’ll find that Apple A4 CPU, an internal antenna, 802.11 b/g/n, and a 3.44 watt-hour battery. Not to mention the Retina Display, front-facing camera for FaceTime, and rear-facing HD-capable shooter. Delicious.
[Via iClarified] More →
Rumor has it that Apple will be scheduling its annual iPod event for mid-September, which is a little bit later than in years past. This contradicts rumors from just last week that the event would be held in mid-August. Apple has held these iPod events every year since 2005. Last year, they announced their September 9 “Let’s Rock” event on August 31. With only a few days of shelf life left for this rumor, we’d expect invitations to start going out in the next few weeks.
However, as a rumor recap, whenever the event takes place, there’s strong evidence to suggest that we’ll see an iPod Touch refresh. It is likely that we’ll see a high-resolution Retina Display, along with front and rear facing cameras (just like the iPhone 4). The iPod Nano is also expected to get the refresh treatment, and some are wondering if it receive tiny touch screens as well. You might remember those. There may even be some iTunes announcements as well (cloud-based music streaming, anyone?), even though there are whispers that Apple is scaling back its ambitions in that arena, for the time being. In any event, let’s hope this shindig happens sooner than later — we’re counting the days.
[Via MacRumors] More →
You know how we reported on FaceTime probably linking up with emails instead of just phone numbers? It looks like it’s coming true, and possibly as soon as this month or next with Apple’s next iPod-focused event. There is a new option to initiate FaceTime calls from email addresses in the latest iPhone 4.1 beta 3. There’s a shot of the button above basically showing how simple this would be, in theory. No idea how Apple will plan to address multiple devices with the same email address, but we’re sure they’ll figure something out. More →
MacRumors is reporting that they have acquired images of the front LCD screen for the yet-to-be-released fourth generation Apple iPod Touch. The upper ribbon-cable that connections the display to the logic board reads “Apple 2010” and the part looks extremely similar to the screen used by the iPhone 4. The front panel also has a gap where a front-facing camera would presumably go. We are starting to wonder how Apple is going to market the new iPod Touch, and what the fate of the older hard-drive based iPod will be. Any guesses? More →
One of our reliable Apple connections (not Jason Burford) just let us know some pretty fantastic news. It’s been widely assumed that Apple will start to roll out their FaceTime real-time communication protocol to more and more of their mobile devices (and possibly their computers), but until now, we’ve been in the dark on how this will actually work. After all, there are no phone numbers to call on an iPod touch or iPad. Here is how we have been told FaceTime will work on non-iPhone devices: More →
UK retailer John Lewis, self-admittedly, compiled a list of the “noises we’re hearing from suppliers” and guesstimated the initial specs for the fourth generation iPod Touch. The retailer postulated that the upcoming iPod Touch refresh will feature a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with HD video capability and built-in flash, YouTube uploading, accelerometer, and gyroscope. The portable multimedia device will also reportedly include FaceTime calling over WiFi, which suggests the inclusion of a front-facing camera and iOS 4. If this handful of rumored specs pans out, the next generation iPod Touch may share many of the desirable features of the iPhone 4, a product development pattern that has been observed in the past. More →
Remember how psyched we were when I Am T-Pain made its App Store debut? Well multiply that by 25 times and you’ll know exactly what we feel like right now, as a ridiculously awesome update to the app has just been released to the App Store. Not only does it fully support iOS 4, but it goes one step further and takes advantage of FaceTime APIs. The end result is that not only can you sing like T-Pain, but you can create your own music videos all from your iPhone 4. We’ve got a teaser video after the jump alongside a direct link to the app. Honestly, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a more enjoyable application for $0.99. More →