Research In Motion originally said that its QNX-powered BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would be capable of running Android applications through a virtual player this summer. While early builds of the software have already been leaked, we’re nearing the end of the summer and PlayBook owners are still Android-less. Unfortunately, Engadget has learned that the BlackBerry maker has delayed support for Android applications until ‘late fall.’ There’s no word on an exact date, but the sooner RIM can offer support the more attractive its PlayBook tablet will be. More →
The brood over at PreCentral have managed to acquire a leaked copy of HP’s webOS 3.0 beta 1 software development kit (SDK). Why is this a good thing? Because contained within said SDK rests a TouchPad, webOS 3.0 emulator, of course. While emulators only provide 50% of the TouchPad story — the other half being hardware — it is useful to get a high-level overview of what user interface will look like. If you want to whet your appetite for this summers TouchPad release, hit the jump. There’s an eighteen minute video overview awaiting your scrutiny. Be sure to click through the read link as well for a host of screen grabs. More →
According to Bloomberg’s Dina Bass, Microsoft will discontinue selling its Zune music player sometime this year. Launched in 2006, the Zune was Microsoft’s response to Apple’s iPod music player and offered us our first look at the Metro UI — the user interface now present on Windows Phone devices. According to Bass, the company will refocus its efforts on the Zune software; working to improve its functionality and usefulness on devices running Microsoft’s new mobile operating system. Microsoft declined to directly comment on the device’s future. “We have nothing to announce about another Zune device,” said a company spokesperson. “Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.” Zune hardware — the Zune HD — was last refreshed in September of 2009. More →
Back at Google IO 2010, we got a sneak peak at the company’s next generation music player to be included in the Android mobile operating system. The software wowed us with its ability to stream and download music from a users home desktop and the subtle but distinguished user interface refinements. Now, thanks to the folks of at xda-developers, we’re getting another look at the software on video. The new music player utilizes the foggy, transparent background effect seen in-use by Android’s stock picture gallery, has a more intuitive layout, and utilizes a nifty little equalizer animation to denote which track is currently playing. The video is waiting for you after the break and, for the those consummate alpha-testers, the apk file is over at xda-developers (no, sadly it does not include the awesome streaming feature). Enjoy!
Back for another installment of Throwback Thursday? After several weeks of technology focused throwbacks, we’re going to revisit the retro toy scene as December 25th is right around the corner. If you’re a young music aficionado, there is a good chance you’ve already swindled your parents into buying you an iPod or digital music player of some sort. Heck, if you’re parents are really nice you might even have one of those new fangled “smartphones” that functions as a music player. However back in the 1980’s, such things didn’t exist. Sure, there was the Sony Walkman, but they were a hot item and not typically something bought for an adolescent. If only there was something that could fill the void in the market, if only there was… Pocket Rockers.
Marketed by Fisher Price in the late 80’s, the Pocket Rockers was a small, cassette-based music player with a built in speaker and headphone jack. The device played proprietary miniature cassettes that held two songs and, like all cool things in the 80’s, could be worn on your person. The commercials depicted young music lovers dancing around, with their feathered bangs and rolled-up jeans, wearing the Rocker-cassettes of their favorite artists. After all, who would want to keep the fact that they love Debbie Gibson a secret? Tiffany, Genesis, and Cutting Crew were a few other artists that had two-track cassettes available for the player.
If you’re still having a hard time remembering, follow the jump. There is an awesomely bad 80’s commercial waiting to jog your memory. More →
Today, Adobe announced the release of its Flash Player 10.2 beta software via its Labs website. The new bits aim to shore-up the speed and efficiency of the internet video player. As Adobe explains:
Flash Player 10.2 beta introduces a number of enhancements we’re excited to share, including Stage Video, a new API that delivers best-in-class, high performance video playback across platforms. The new beta also includes Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration support previewed earlier (in Flash Player “Square”), enhanced text rendering, and two popular requests from the community: a native custom mouse cursors API and support for full screen playback with multiple monitors.
As you can see from the above statement, the new player will support GPU acceleration when used in conjunction with the Internet Explorer 9 web browser. Adobe boasts that with its new Stage Video API and GPU acceleration the have “seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage.” Hit the read link to grab the new goodies. More →
Late yesterday, Nokia announced the availability of a public beta for its new software synchronization suite, Ovi 3.0. The new Ovi has been in private testing for the past several months and Nokia is promising improved “stability, syncing and the experience with downloading maps.”
“We have been working hard to improve the quality of Nokia Ovi Suite,” reads the press release. “We have also introduced a new Home view, and integrated our music experience with the millions of tracks available on Ovi Music even more closely to Nokia Ovi Suite.”
The company is looking for users to download the new bits onto their computers and provide feedback. If you’re a Symbian user, why don’t you just go right ahead and oblige them. The full list of improvements and a short video detailing some of the new goodies is waiting for you after the break. More →
If you’re looking to jump into the connected TV market, and aren’t quiet ready to go with Google TV, Roku is a great option. The company has just pinged us to let us know it is offering a sale on its widely popular Roku XD player starting tonight at 12:00PM PT. Roku will be offering its XD model player — which is capable of 1080p playback — at an additional 20% off. That brings the price of the already affordable box down to $64. The sale runs through Monday, November 29th. Happy shopping. More →
It’s starting to look like VLC’s days in the iOS app store are numbered. Videolan developer, Rémi Denis-Courmont, has confirmed that the company has sent Apple papers citing copyright infringement. The VLC media player is currently distributed under a General Public License (GPL), and this has come into direct conflict with Apple’s DRM-based app store distribution model. The conflict of licenses were known to both parties prior to the app’s publication, and Videolan is stressing they are not at fault, since the app was ported to the app store via a third party developer — Applidium. The popular multi-format video player made its debut on the iPhone only a week ago, and its future looks bleak. We highly recommend snagging your free copy before Apple possibly shuts the book on this case. More →
Adobe released a security bulletin today warning of a critical, zero-day vulnerability in their Reader and Flash Player software. The bulletin notes that an unpactched system could “crash [your system] and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” The vulnerability is affecting:
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1.85.3 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1.95.2 and earlier for Android
- Adobe Reader 9.4 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX
- Adobe Acrobat 9.4 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh
- Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x are confirmed not vulnerable. Adobe Reader for Android is not affected by this issue.
Adobe is promising an update to fix the issue by November 9. Hit the read link to read more and for mitigation instructions for your specific platform. More →
We recently dedicated a Throwback Thursday to Winamp and, as many of you were quick to point out, the product is still alive and quite awesome. Today, via a blog post, Winamp maker Nullsoft reminded us just how awesome their product is with the release of a Winamp beta for Android. The media player, which will work on handsets running Android 2.1 or higher, offers: seamless synchronization with Winamp’s desktop suite, wireless syncing with your desktop, persistent player controls, widgets, and scrobbling with last.fm. Oh, and in case you were curious… the player still lets you know that it “really whips the llamas ass” when you first launch it. What are you waiting for? You know you’re curious. Hit up the Android Market, grab the goods, and let us know what you think.
Today, Roku announced a new line of HD streaming video players, the Roku XD and the Roku XDS. To get your initial question out of the way: Yes, both new players can stream video in a full 1080p. The Roku XD, which will retail for $79.99, and the Roku XDS, which will retail for $99.99, both feature an HDMI-out port, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and an “instant replay” function (allowing you to skip back 7-seconds on streaming content without re-buffering). The XDS model will have dual-band Wireless-N technology, component video out, optical audio out, and USB port. The USB port will allow you to “play stored music, photos, and up to 1080p video using a USB playback channel, available as a free upgrade.” The original Roku HD player, which can stream in a maximum of 720p, is now available for a measly $59.99. All three players — the HD, XD, and XDS — are available at Amazon or Roku.com starting today. More →
File this little guy under gadgets we need ASAP. VUDU has been tearing it up lately as the company wisely broadens its horizons beyond dedicated set top boxes. The HD on-demand content provider recently announced partnerships that bring its service to various LG and Mitsubishi flat-panel televisions, and now VUDU is taking things to a new range of products: LG Blu-ray players. It certainly makes sense — if you’re going to add an on-demand HD streaming service to a line of home theater components, why not make them Blu-ray players? The first LG model that will be graced with VUDU service is the BD390, which is available now with an MSRP of $399. VUDU will go live on the player via a free software update toward the end of the month, though CEDIA attendees will be able to get a preview of the VUDU-enabled player this week at the show. If you have a High Def addiction and you’ve given up fighting it long ago, the BD390 is definitely the 1080p fix you’ve been looking for. Hit the jump for the full release.