Mercedes-Benz to bring Siri integration to all A-Class vehicles

By on February 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM.

Mercedes-Benz to bring Siri integration to all A-Class vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall. More →

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Apple merging iMessage and iChat, launches in a few weeks?

By on September 14, 2011 at 2:54 PM.

Apple merging iMessage and iChat, launches in a few weeks?

There is hard evidence that Apple is looking to add iMessage support to iChat, according to a new report from MacRumors. This would further increase the size of the iMessage user base, expanding to the desktop in addition to being available on almost all iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices. According to the report, a developer found code references to the following in the OS X Lion version of iChat:

@interface IMMessage : NSObject
{
IMHandle *_sender;
IMHandle *_subject;
NSAttributedString *_text;
NSString *_plainBody;
NSDate *_time;
NSDate *_timeDelivered;
NSDate *_timeRead;

With iMessage available on all Mac computers, your conversations will literally follow you and be available wherever you go, and I personally can’t wait. Read on for more. More →

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Screenshots reveal webOS Skype integration

By on June 21, 2011 at 6:10 AM.

Screenshots reveal webOS Skype integration

HP’s webOS is already tightly integrated with a number of services but now it appears that the OS will soon offer Skype integration, too. According to leaked screenshots, users will soon be able to choose to route their calls directly through Skype from the phonebook application, an option that will no doubt save international callers a big chunk of change. Similarly, users may also be able to place Skype video calls, allowing them to use the front-facing camera on the Pre 3 for video chats. It’s unclear when the integration will be introduced, but this has us more excited than ever for the Pre 3 to finally hit store shelves. More →

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Facebook and Google eyeing Skype joint venture, possible purchase

By on May 5, 2011 at 8:40 PM.

Facebook and Google eyeing Skype joint venture, possible purchase

Facebook and Google are in separate talks to enter joint ventures with Skype, Reuters reported on Thursday. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also reportedly been in clandestine meetings discussing an all-out purchase of the VoIP service. Skype’s IPO, which is expected to occur later this year, could be worth $1 billion, however, deals with Facebook or Google could bring in as much as $3-$4 billion, Reuters said. Skype 5.0 launched in October of this year and added tight Facebook integration, but the social network has yet to include native video calling into its website or mobile applications. Google could benefit from Skype’s mobile technology to build out its Android video-chat feature, too, which just launched late last month. Neither company has offered a comment on the matter. More →

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Good morning Vietnam: Facebook iOS integration, file sharing, new folders [video]

By on April 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM.

Good morning Vietnam: Facebook iOS integration, file sharing, new folders [video]

Those sneaky boys and, well, boys from tinhte.vn aren’t done showing off the test build of iOS 4 they have on their factory white iPhone 4 with 64GB of storage. In this brand new video, we can clearly see Facebook integration into the OS as opposed to being in an app (could it be Facebook contact syncing is finally coming, as reported months ago?) in addition to a new File Sharing option in the settings app. Dragging apps to create folders also shows us a brief look at a redesigned folder UI, though we doubt that’s final by any means since it definitely looks unfinished. Plus, there’s also that spiffy new multitasking Expose-style view — who could get enough of that? Hit the break for the video. More →

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Microsoft shows off Kinect, Windows Phone 7 integration [video]

By on February 14, 2011 at 11:49 PM.

Microsoft shows off Kinect, Windows Phone 7 integration [video]

Sony Ericsson’s just-announced Xperia Play is set to bring an amazing gaming experience to Android fans around the world, but mobile gamers might want to think twice before signing those two-year contracts. In fact, we hope you’re sitting down, gaming fans, because Microsoft on Monday demonstrated some pretty impressive forthcoming Windows Phone 7 features at Mobile World Congress. The demo, which is just the tip of the iceberg, shows us what might happen when Windows Phone 7 meets Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the ever popular Kinect motion-based controller. The results, though exhausting, look pretty amazing. Hit the jump for Microsoft’s demo video and while it definitely looks awesome, don’t get too excited just yet — Microsoft notes that this is just a technology demo and gives no real indication of when we might see integration of this caliber. More →

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Loopt integrates Facebook Places into its iOS app

By on October 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM.

Loopt integrates Facebook Places into its iOS app

Location-based social networking site Loopt has just announced a new feature, Facebook Places. As touted in a press release, a newly released iOS application will allow users to “view both Facebook and Loopt check-ins on an interactive map, providing a clear view of friends gathering nearby.” The new code will also allow users to simultaneously check-in to locations on Facebook and Loopt as well as view the history of Facebook and Loopt friends. Your one-stop stalking shop. “We are glad to have access to the Facebook Places API, and we jumped to incorporate it into Loopt,” said the company’s CEO, Sam Altman. “You’ll see even more integration soon.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Skype 5.0 launches, adds Facebook integration and group video

By on October 14, 2010 at 10:12 AM.

Skype 5.0 launches, adds Facebook integration and group video

Today, internet calling giant Skype announced that the new version of its Windows client — Skype 5.0 — is now available to the general public. The new code brings with it a cleaner, redesigned interface, automatic call recovery, Facebook integration, and group video chat. The new software is available as we type at skype.com; there is a short video walk-through of the new features waiting for you after the break. More →

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Plex and LG to challenge Apple TV, Boxee, and others

By on September 3, 2010 at 10:01 AM.

Plex and LG to challenge Apple TV, Boxee, and others

Plex, for those not familiar, is a software company whose former creed was to: “bridge the gap between your Mac and your home theater, doing so with a visually appealing user interface that provides instant access to your media.” Today, the company has announced that it will be partnering with electronics maker LG to “integrate the Plex platform into their 2011 lineup of Netcast connected TVs and Blu-ray devices.” In the company’s announcement, they quip that when it comes to connecting devices to your television, a Mac Mini is “too large,” a Boxee box is “too pointy,” and the new Apple TV is “too tiny.” The company is betting on this free, integrated software model to be the future of connected televisions. The announcement continues: “Early next year, when you buy an LG Netcast TV or Blu-ray player, you will have Plex functionality built-in. Specifically, it will connect to a cloud version of the Plex platform for online content, and, if you happen to have a Plex Media Server running anywhere in your house (after all, who doesn’t have a computer in their house?), you can access your local and online content, in a rich interface, with full metadata.” The concept of integrating mature, intuitive media software into a TV really does sound like a great idea; especially for LG, as TV manufacturers are always trying to differentiate themselves from the competition.

“There will be more content providers investing in writing Plex plug-ins, so your online content choices will grow. And next year, if you’re upgrading your TV, or or buying an LG Blu-ray player, you’ll have the ability to get Plex, built in, at no additional cost. Fully integrated into killer consumer electronics gear, exactly as it should be.”

Yes, that is the way it should be. Hit the read link for more info on Plex and their recently inked LG deal. More →

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Throwback Thursday: Motorola ROKR E1

By on September 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM.

Throwback Thursday: Motorola ROKR E1

Way back in September of 2005 — over one year before the launch of the iPhone — Apple and Motorola were jointly pimping a handset called the ROKR E1 (pronounced “rocker”). The ROKR was a candy-bar-style device that had the dubious honor of being the first cell phone with the ability to natively integrate with Apple’s iTunes music software. What did the ROKR’s stat sheet look like? Glad you asked… the phone had a 176 x 220 pixel display, VGA camera with flash, Bluetooth, stereo headset jack, 22 KHz stereo speakers, micro-SD card slot (support for up to 512 MB), iTunes compatibility, and a fancy feature called “rhythm lights.” Unfortunately, the phone’s music player was throttled (with software) and only 100 songs were allowed to be stored on the device. Just five years ago this sweet little package would have set you back $249.99 when signing a 2-year contract with mobile provider Cingular. It’s amazing what half of a decade does to prices and expectations, no? We can’t say we ever bought into the ROKR; although we did own the very sexy SLVR L7 (image after the jump) which also sported iTunes integration. How about you? Take a stroll down cell phone memory lane… what was the last device you owned before you bought a smartphone and what ridiculous monetary sum did it cost you? More →

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Vonage to offer Facebook users free VoIP calls via 'Vonage Mobile' app

By on August 4, 2010 at 7:30 PM.

Vonage to offer Facebook users free VoIP calls via 'Vonage Mobile' app

Today, Vonage announced the Vonage Mobile application for Facebook. The new app will allow users to, “make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who [also] have the app [installed], anywhere in the world, directly from their friends list, with a single touch.” The application is currently available for the Android and iPhone platforms, works on Wi-Fi as well as 3G/4G, and — obviously — requires a Facebook account. The Vonage Mobile app will automatically import and categorize your Facebook friends-list by who is available for voice calls versus text chat. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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