Acer, Asus and Lenovo will reportedly begin selling ultrabooks equipped with Intel’s fast and versatile Thunderbolt I/O port, which combines DisplayPort and PCI Express, during the second quarter of 2012. DigiTimes said mostly high-end computers will adopt Thunderbolt this year since it now costs more than $20 to add Thunderbolt connectivity to a computer. Apple was one of the first companies to adopt Thunderbolt and it currently equips a number of its computers and displays with the technology. A recent patent filing also suggested Apple may begin using Thunderbolt in iOS devices, too. More →
Amazon’s Silk Web browser has received mixed reviews from the media and from consumers. In our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire, we noted that loading Web pages in the cloud-assisted browser on the tablet seemed to stall at first but once content finally began downloading, it indeed seemed to move very quickly. Other reviews found Silk to be much slower than other comparable browsers, however. Curious Android device owners who aren’t among the millions who purchased the Kindle Fire ahead of the holidays can now install Amazon’s Silk browser on a variety of rooted handsets and tablets thanks to the work of an xda-developers forum member. Results are mixed so far, and the port will not work on the Galaxy Nexus, among other handsets. Many users have successfully installed the browser on a variety of devices including the Motorola ATRIX and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, however. More →
A group of iOS hackers have managed to successfully port Apple’s virtual assistant software Siri to the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, and the software needed to perform the port is now available to the public. Tech blog InTech-BB posted the necessary links on Sunday along with a how-to guide, and a number of users have reported successfully installing Siri on their devices using the tools and steps provided within the guide. Several users note problems with their cameras after installing the ported Siri software, but a fix is apparently now available. IPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch owners who understand the risks involved with jailbreaking and installing unauthorized software can follow the read link below for a step-by-step tutorial along with a video of Siri in action on an iPhone 4. More →
Sprint will end its current port credit promotion more than a month and a half ahead of schedule. This past May, Sprint kicked off a promotion that offered up to $125 per line for new subscribers who ported their service in from another carrier. Customers purchasing a feature phone and porting in a number receive $50 per line as part of the promotion, and new customers purchasing a smartphone, netbook, notebook, tablet or mobile broadbrand device and porting in a number receive a $125 service credit per line. This enticing promotion was scheduled to run from May 4th through October 1st of this year, however BGR has learned from a reliable source that Sprint is ending the promotion early. Tomorrow, in fact. Interestingly, Sprint retail locations will no longer offer or advertise the promotion, but they will continue to honor it through the original end date. In the event that a new customer already knows about the promo — and only in that event, we’re told — Sprint will honor the deal and dole out the associated credits. With that in mind, those looking to move over to Sprint for one of its great new phones like the Motorola PHOTON 4G should be sure to mention the promotion when making a purchase at a Sprint retail location, as the promo will no longer be offered up willingly starting tomorrow.
Apple has reportedly scheduled overnights for Tuesday night in preparation for the OS X Lion launch. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple Store outlets are already equipped with hard drives to quickly install Lion on the show floor computers, and the stores have been sent new posters to outfit the walls with advertisements for the new operating system. Apple is also expected to refresh the MacBook Air in the imminent future. We’re expecting the new notebooks to pack the Thunderbolt I/O port in place of DisplayPort, Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, and a backlit keyboard. More →
Programmer Andrew Russell is working on a project that will undoubtedly pique the interest of game developers around the world. Dubbed ExEn, Russell’s open source software allows devs to port XNA games to iOS, Silverlight and in the near future, Android and OS X as well. In practical terms, this software gives developers a much easier way to take games they have built for Xbox 360, Windows or Windows Phone 7 using Microsoft’s XNA framework and port them to the iPhone or iPad, the Web (Silverlight), and soon to Android devices and Mac OS Xl. Russell’s project is community funded and a public preview for developers who made donations was just released on Wednesday. More →
Looking to scoop up one of Apple’s ultra-light notebook offerings? You may want to hold on to your wallet for a few more weeks. According to the latest report, Apple is preparing to update the notebook line in the not-too-distant future. “The Taiwan-based supply chain for Apple products will begin shipments of new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models featuring Sandy Bridge platform and Thunderbolt interface in late May for launch in June or July,” reads a report filed by DigiTimes. The article goes on to note that the updated Air will be assembled by Quanta Computer, with Catcher Technology, Auras Technology, Shin Zu Shing, Simplo Technology, and Dynapack all supplying components. The report echos earlier prognostications made by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The current iterations of the MacBook Air were first revealed in October of 2010, just 7-months ago. More →
Intel gathered by blog Android Central indicates that Sprint and Google will make their Google Voice partnership ready for prime time on April 26th. The venture, which was announced last month, will allow Sprint customers to seamlessly integrate their current wireless number with Google’s Voice service. Calls and texts sent from your mobile device will be logged by Google Voice’s online system, and calls can be made from the browser using the service’s VoIP feature. International calls made from linked mobile devices will automatically route through Google Voice — which offers deep discounting on international voice traffic. The feature has been available in beta for the last few weeks, but it looks like the two companies are finally ready to let everyone in on the fun. More →
The news we reported exclusively many months ago has just been officially confirmed by RIM — the company will indeed support Google Android apps on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and on new QNX-based BlackBerry smartphones moving forward. RIM is also offering a suite of tools for Android developers that will allow them to easily port their existing apps to the PlayBook for distribution through BlackBerry App World. RIM’s full press release is after the jump. More →
U.S. wireless carrier Sprint has launched a new promotion that aims to ease the financial pain of cellular defectors. Through April 16th, the company will offer a $125 service credit to users that port their number to Sprint from another carrier and sign a two-year smartphone contract. If a smartphone is not in your future, Sprint will offer a $50 service credit to those users porting to a non-smartphone plan. After moving your number over, apply for the credit, and 60 days later an service credit will appear on your wireless statement. The offer is available to those that migrate a line of service from another carrier via Sprint’s online store, phone sales team, or retail locations. More →
Now that Google has finally brought incoming number portability to its Google Voice service, we wanted to ask: how many of you have taken advantage of the new feature? It’s a difficult call to make and many people have reached out to us to ask us what our thoughts on it. Since you’re porting your existing number, you’ll need a new number for your actual cell phone and that’s where things can get tricky for some people. Also, many people have early termination fees to consider, so that adds another roadblock. So, what’s the verdict? How many of you taken the plunge, and if so, are you happy that your number is now able to be used on a variety of phones on practically any carrier and that you can control who calls you and where?
Last week we reported that Google had finally begun rolling out support for incoming number ports to its Google Voice service. Lack of the feature, as any Google Voice user will likely attest to, has been a sore spot for Google’s telephony product since the company first acquired GrandCentral in 2007. Today, Google has announced that the new feature is now available to all current Google Voice users. Number portability allows users to transfer their cell phone or landline telephone numbers between service providers. Google Voice has always supported outbound number porting, which allowed users to transfer their Google Voice number to another carrier, but incoming ports had been off limits until recently. Google charges a one-time $20 fee to port a number into Google Voice, and the process takes approximately 24 hours. Hit the break for a video explaining the process. More →
If you’re a Google Voice user and you’re not TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington (who was able to port his number into the service a long time ago), odds are pretty good you’ve prayed for incoming number portability at some point. And for years, your prayers have gone unanswered. Well, no more — Google has officially implemented incoming number portability as of Wednesday evening, and it is in the process of being rolled out to all users. Rejoice! To port your number into your Google Voice account, simply click on Settings in the top right corner, and then Voice settings. Now, on the phone tab next to your Google Voice number, click on Change / Port. Now click on “I want to use my existing mobile number instead” and follow the on-screen instructions to port your number. There you go — you now have 867-5309 as your phone number and $20 less in your pocket.