HTC’s unreleased Sense 3.5 UI has been shown off extensively ahead of its formal introduction thanks to Chinese-language website XDA.cn. Expected to be unveiled alongside the upcoming HTC Vigor and Bliss Android smartphones, Sense 3.5 will seemingly offer some great enhancements to the UI including new animations, a new side-mounted dock and a tweaked unlock mechanism. We have repeatedly called HTC’s Sense overlay the best such offering among Android vendors and as such, it’s nice to see HTC make some solid improvements in its upcoming new version. The full 5-minute preview video follows below. More →
The first notebook model to run Google’s Chrome OS is now available for $499 through a private sale. Samsung’s Chromebook Series 5 notebook computer is currently a featured item on Gilt Men, a subsection of Gilt Groupe’s popular private sale website. Gilt’s sale began today and it runs until 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday. The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook features a 12.1-inch display, a dual-core Intel processor, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and an HD webcam, and it ships with a free sleeve as part of Gilt’s sale. Samsung will release the notebook to the general public on June 15th but Chromebooks purchased through the Gilt sale will be delivered between June 8th and June 14th. More →
According to a report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek, Google is beginning to shorten the proverbial leash that Android licensees are currently attached to. Citing “dozens” of industry executives working at “key companies in the Android ecosystem,” the publication writes that Google will need to approve the future Android-plans of its software partners in exchange for early access to upcoming builds of the mobile operating system. “There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software,” reads the report. “No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview.” More →
Here’s an interesting way to add value to your mobile application store, free test drives! An overlooked feature of Amazon’s new Android app store provides users with the ability to try both free and paid applications before making their purchase. Being referred to as “Test Drive,” the company is utilizing an Android virtual machine to allow users to preview applications, in the desktop browser, before purchasing on their mobile. While a VM can’t give you the complete experience, it definitely can aid in weeding out those applications that are duds. The online retailer boasts that it has “hundreds of apps to Test Drive,” with more on the way. More →
On the heels of today’s MacBook Pro unveiling, Apple announced that it would be making a preview of Mac OS X 10.7 — codenamed Lion — available to developers. The company writes that Lion “takes some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac.” Apple details several, previously disclosed, features — such as Mission Control, Launchpad, and multitouch gestures — along with a handful of new, unannounced feature additions:
- A new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
- AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
- Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
- Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
- Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
- The all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
- Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone®, iPad and iPod touch® devices.
The new operating system has been given a “summer of 2011″ due date. A link to Apple’s new Mac OS X Lion page and the full press release are waiting for you after the break.
We hope you’re sitting down — Sony Ericsson has another handset ready for an unveiling at Mobile World Congress that will ship with… Gingerbread! Yes, while modern versions of the Android operating system continue to elude Sony Ericsson’s current Android crop, TechRadar has managed to get its hands on another forthcoming Sony Ericsson handset that will ship with Google’s latest smartphone operating system. This handset might look familiar to you, and for good reason; Russia’s Mobile-review.com put the phone through its paces last month before it had an official name. Notable specs for this Vivaz sequel include an 854 x 480-pixel “Reality Display,” a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU, dual cameras, HD video capture (720p), an HDMI-out port, 512MB of RAM, a hefty 1500 mAh battery and Android 2.3. Look for an official announcement one week from Sunday at Sony Ericsson’s MWC press event, which we’ll be covering live, and hit the jump for more images of the Xperia Neo. More →
We just spent some time with Verizon’s new iPhone 4 and… well, it’s just like the regular iPhone 4. Aside from compatibility with two additional cellular bands, of course, it includes a personal hotspot feature that allows up to five devices to connect to the iPhone via Wi-Fi and share its data connection. It’s pretty intuitive and easy to use, but there’s no status bar icon to indicate that it’s running — and your hotspot name will be the name given to your iPhone during its initial setup, so be careful. And back to that new antenna configuration, Apple confirmed that the top ones are for GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and the bottom ones are for cellular connectivity. Everything else is basically the same, and Apple confirmed to us that battery life is identical to the GSM model. Of note, there are no white iPhones here and unlike the photos that leaked a while back, there is no SIM slot. Also, Verizon’s iphone 4 will ship with iOS 4.2.5. Don’t forget to check out the gallery below and hit the jump for a hands-on video preview!
Sony Ericsson might not be ready to unveil the highly anticipated Xperia Play at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but the world is most definitely ready to see this little guy get official. Perhaps in an effort to appease the masses of anxious mobile gamers waiting impatiently to get their mits on the upcoming PlayStation-branded Gingerbread phone, Chinese enthusiast blog IT168 has issued an extensive preview of the device. And when we say extensive, we mean it. Details found within the preview include confirmation of a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics processor, a 4-inch 854 x 480-pixel display, an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a 1,500 mAh battery, microSDHC support and 512 MB each of RAM and ROM. The blog also ran some benchmark tests and, well, the results were pretty impressive — the forthcoming Xperia phone scored 1,733 in Quadrant. Hit the jump for some solid Xperia porn and then hit the read link for a gigantic, poorly translated preview. More →
We have to be up-front about our hands-on time with the newly announced Dell Streak 7… it was brief. We found ourselves with just a few minutes of time to spare between the T-Mobile event and Verizon’s upcoming event though, so we managed to check out Dell’s latest tablet offering. In a nutshell, it was a whole lot like, well, the Dell Streak. Hit the jump for our preliminary thoughts. More →
Courtesy of T-Mobile and its newly announced G-Slate tablet by LG, several videos showing off Google’s new tablet-only OS have surfaced. Honeycomb will power the next generation of Android tablets, and it appears to offer some huge benefits over previous versions of the OS, which were designed with smartphones in mind. We really like what we’ve seen from Honeycomb so far, and we can’t wait to see more on the show floor. In the meantime, hit the jump for a handful of great videos that really give us a taste of what’s in store from Android 3.0 Honeycomb. More →
Back in November, a leaked email from Apple to record label representatives indicated that 90 second song previews were in the works for the iTunes Music Store. Today, without much fanfare, the Cupertino company has begun to roll out the extended song previews to its digital music store. The site’s current top albums all have received the upgrade treatment, although, most songs still have the original 30 second previews. Apple has yet to issue a press release formally announcing the feature.
In typical Mobile-review.com fashion, the Russian blog we all know and love has managed to get its hands on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X12 well ahead of any official announcement from the manufacturer. The Xperia X12, codenamed Anzu, will feature a 4.3-inch 854 x 480-pixel touchscreen, a 12-megapixel camera with HD video capture and playback, Android 2.2 and the same 800MHz processor found in the T-Mobile G2. This morning, Murtazin and friends published their preliminary thoughts alongside so many pseudo-arsty close-up photos, they could probably open a gallery in SoHo. What did they think? Murtazin handled the Xperia X12 at the same time as the upcoming Samsung i9100 — thought to be the Samsung-branded counterpart to the upcoming Google Nexus S — and here are his thoughts on pitting the X12 against the i9100 and its predecessor, the Galaxy S:
Going against the Galaxy S is also a suicide committed by blowing yourself up with a stick of dynamite, considering that the X12 will face both Galaxy S and its successor on the market. Even now Galaxy S offers much better features coupled with a superb screen and the only drawbacks are some of its software problems, which, by the way, didn’t prevent the device from being the best seller for Samsung.
Not long after the X12 hits the shelves across Europe, i9100 will see the light of day as the new flagship from Samsung and will offer all the characteristics that X12 was believed to have, but of course it doesn’t. The Super AMOLED screen will be improved, the hardware will be upgraded to a mind blowing level and its multimedia features will make most current devices look outdated.
Ouch. Hit the break for a few of the aforementioned artsy photos and then hit the read link for the full monty. More →
Here’s a bit of good news: Hulu has just announced that its Hulu Plus premium subscription service will shed $2 from its monthly price tag. As the press release reads: “The monthly price for Hulu Plus moving forward is just $7.99. Any current subscribers who joined during our preview period will receive a credit for the difference from the $9.99 preview price. This credit will automatically be applied to their next billing cycle.”
But the juice doesn’t stop there. Hulu has also announced the following promotions:
• One free week trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription.
• Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
• 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
• One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
The release also notes that the service is launching on Roku today and will be coming to “Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player,” in the coming months. Updates to the Hulu Plus iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung, and PlayStation 3 players will be made available this week.
Anyone reconsidering Hulu Plus after the price drop? More →