Gingerbread is lurking deep in the recesses of your Honeycomb, Android tablet. According to a report filed by mobile blog Pocketables, the interface you’re presented with on your Honeycomb tablet can be changed by adjusting your tablet’s perceived screen density. On a rooted Dell Streak 7 running Android 3.1, the default interface experience is the new Honeycomb UI — complete with updated widgets, homescreens, and controls. By changing a single line, thereby tricking that tablet into thinking its pixel density is 170 instead of 160, the Gingerbread layout is presented upon reboot. What does this mean for you? Nothing… but it is pretty cool to see in action. Hit the jump to see a video demo and let us know what you think. More →
The rumor mill has gone back and forth regarding whether or not Microsoft’s next-generation operating system — Windows 8 — might include a tile UI similar to the “Metro UI” found in the company’s Windows Phone 7 platform. The coming operating system, which will seemingly be designed for tablets as much as it will be designed for desktop and laptop computers, will likely stray from Microsoft’s current Windows UI, but exactly how it might stray is unknown. Tech blog GeekSmack claims to have uncovered several hints in a very early build of Microsoft’s Windows 8 that points to the possibility of an alternate tile-based UI of some kind. References to an “Immersive shell,” “tiles,” a dock of some kind and a notification system all suggest that Microsoft is indeed cooking up a revamped tile-based UI for tablets. While it is not currently believed that the tile UI will be Windows 8’s main interface, a secondary UI for tablet devices is certainly plausible. Hit the break for a few more screen grabs of GeekSmack’s findings. More →
If you are a Mercedes owner and a BGR reader, you might have noticed that your car falls a bit short in the technology department regarding music and video playback (any model Mercedes). The Media Interface Plus accessory is a just-released plug and play Bluetooth box that’s now available for purchase, and since it offers a whole heap of enhancements, we decided it was worth checking out for ourselves. For starters, here is what the Media Interface Plus can do that your Mercedes currently can’t: control the Pandora app from your iPhone (including changing songs and even rating songs thumbs down or thumbs up from the steering wheel), streaming music from your Bluetooth device (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, iPod touch, etc.), allowing you to view your SMS messages from the car’s COMAND display, and even playing back iPod video from your iPhone or iPod. Hit the jump to find out what else this little accessory can do, and check out our video overview. More →
Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane to the late-90’s. Back to a much simpler time when cheap gas, overinflated technology stocks, and unattractive computer hardware (and haircuts) reigned supreme. If, during this time, you happened to be the proud owner of a frumpy laptop (unattractive haircut optional), there is a good chance you had a certain connectivity peripheral protruding from the side of your machine… a PCMCIA network interface card (NIC).
PCMCIA stood for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, which was the name of the group that governed the cards standards. PCMCIA NICs adhering to the standard had a dual-row 68-pin configuration, were 54mm wide, and came in a variety of thicknesses — depending on which type of card you had (Type I, II, and III were the most common).
The PCMCIA NIC card was a standard after market accessory for laptops in the late 90’s. If you were interested in using your portable computer on the Internet with that new-fangled “ethernet” technology you were going to need one of these bad boys as ethernet ports were still not standard on laptops at this time. Often accompanied by a dongle, the PCMCIA ethernet adapter provided users high-speed connectivity in a dial-up world. 3Com and Xircom were two of the major PCMCIA manufacturers.
The general consensus around the BGR office is that these cards were one of the least reliable pieces of hardware one could own. Jonathan, Zach, and myself can all recount buying, returning, and exchanging, multiple PCMCIA NIC cards due to various hardware failures, driver issues, and software incompatibilities. But, at that time, they were a necessary evil.
What say you? Can you remember the days of yore when ethernet was a privilege and a bent pin or lost dongle could totally ruin your day? More →
The guys over at Notion Ink in India have revealed some user-interface updates for their upcoming Adam tablet. The tablet is expected to ship in late November 2010 and will sport a re-worked Android browser with a novel system to allow for non-intrusive tab switching. Amongst other small UI tweaks, the developers have uploaded a video of the tablet cutting through a 1080p clip like butter. The Adam tablet will come in two flavors, an LCD model and a Pixel Qi trans-reflective LCD variant; both of which rock a CPU/GPU combo of 1GHz dual-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor and Nvidia Tegra 2. Connectivity wont be a problem since the tablet is believed to feature 2 USB ports, a micro USB port, an HDMI-out port, a microSD card slot, and SIM card slot. Android aficionados will be happy to know the tablet will run Android 2.2 when released. Whilst the tech specs are more than satisfying, it remains to be seen if it can live up to buzz. Hit the read link for the latest update on the Adam. More →
Remember JooJoo? Well, apparently they still exist even after some legal trouble and according to the latest reports, they might soon be back in action with the follow up to the original JooJoo. The Joo Joo 2, supposedly to be powered by Android, will be based on Google’s OS but totally modified for what “the tablet market needs now.” An example given was possibly unifying different messaging and social services like Gmail, email, Facebook, and Twitter into one interface. JooJoo said that the company is looking forward to being a multiple device company, so there might be even more JooJoos in the oven. We kind of have to ask… with the enormous success of the iPad and a new wave of tablets from known, established companies like Samsung and Research In Motion, would anyone even consider a JooJoo in the next couple months? More →
Today, Google announced planned improvements to the contacts manager located in its Gmail web-based email client. Google touts the Contacts feature now, “works more like the rest of Gmail” and that they incorporated a ton of user feedback. Improvements include:
- Keyboard shortcuts (go to Contacts and hit “?” for the full list)
- Sort by last name (look under “More actions”)
- Custom labels for phone numbers and other fields
- The ability to undo changes you’ve just made
- Automatic saving
- Structured name fields, so you can adjust titles, suffixes, and other name components
- A bigger, more prominent notes field
The new layout looks much cleaner and provides more functionality with fewer clicks of the mouse. Google also mentioned that they, “made it easier to get to Contacts and Tasks,” and that you’ll see links to the two in the upper left hand corner of your screen right under the Gmail logo. Hit the read link for the official Google post. Anyone seeing these updates yet? More →
Microsoft has announced that its new, improved Windows Live Hotmail interface is available to all 350 million users in over 220 countries. Microsoft writes, “Now, everyone can take advantage of a faster Hotmail experience with great new features like one-click filters, Sweep, Active Views and more.” We’re interested to know which email service you are using. Vote in our poll and let us know.
If you can’t wait until Tuesday to see what BlackBerry 6 is going to look like, blog driphter.com may have something for you. The blog posted a five minute video of an unreleased BlackBerry 9780 — the purported successor to the Bold 9700 — running BlackBerry OS 6. The video gives us a little taste of what the new WebKit browser and spiffified interface are going to look like. If you’re excited — and judging by our poll yesterday, a lot of you are — hit the jump, we’ve got the video all queued up for you. More →
Microsoft has posted a one and a half minute video teaser of Microsoft Office 2011 up on YouTube. The video lets you know that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook all come with the Ribbon interface, and that Office and Messenger have been completely redesigned. If you are interested in a very high level overview of the new software hit the jump, the video is waiting for you. More →
Apple launched yet another attack against HTC this week with a second patent infringement lawsuit filed in Delaware District Court. This second lawsuit focuses specifically on four patents held by Apple; two of which were included in the original lawsuit and two which are new to this second lawsuit. The patents cited include:
- Patent 7,383,453: Conserving power by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor (granted June 3, 2008)
- Patent 7,657,849: Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image (granted February 2, 2010)
- Patent 6,282,646: System for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration (granted August 28, 2001)
- Patent 7,380,116: System for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration (granted May 27, 2008)
This second lawsuit also cites HTC subsidiary Exedea which imports HTC handsets and distributes them in the US. Neither side has commented on this latest lawsuit but we don’t need e thofficial word to know that this battle is going to be long and messy.
After talking to HTC when they were giving us a preview of the HTC Hero a while back, we asked about multitouch and why they finally decided to include it. More or less, the response we received was that HTC and their legal team felt confident about including it, and with other competitors like Palm including multitouch, everything would be alright. Fast forward to literally a couple minutes ago, and we now find Apple filing suit against HTC regarding everything from hardware to the iPhone’s user interface. Let’s see if you can figure out who gave this quote:
“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”
If you said Steve Jobs, you’d be correct. Full press release after the break. More →
Symbian fans looking forward to the S^4 release can get a sneak peek at the interface for this upcoming OS courtesy of YouTube member mdanofierce. The two b-roll style S^4 videos appear to be recorded from an emulator and reveal a multiple homescreen, touch-based interface that is peppered with widgets and a full-screen photo album application with a collapsible menu toolbar. The two short and sweet videos are available after the jump for your viewing pleasure. Give them a quick once over during your coffee break and let us know what you think of the future of Symbian in the comments. More →