Apple is reportedly deciding between two different backlight solutions for the next-generation iPad, DigiTimes said recently. The company is expected to launch a 2048 x 1536-pixel display on the iPad 3, which will require a new backlight solution to maintain the current brightness offered on the iPad 2. As such, the company will need to choose between implementing a single LED light bar solution or using two LED light bars, with one on each side of the display. Sources have indicated to DigiTimes that Apple is leaning towards using a dual-LED light bar design now that manufacturers have created models that don’t consume as much battery life and are more efficient with heat dissipation. The latest reports have suggested that Apple will release a new iPad in March of 2012 with slight upgrades over the current iPad 2 model. A brand new iPad 3 with a 2048 x 1536-pixel Retina Display may not launch until the third quarter of 2012.
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 →
This feels like a bit of a stretch to us, but Windows Phone Secrets believes it caught a glimpse of Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone 7. During a YouTube user’s NoDo update walkthrough video, right around the 2:48 mark, the cameraman pans his shooter to a second Windows Phone 7 smartphone for just a few seconds. Oddly enough, that smartphone has a feature we’ve never seen before in current builds of Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Inside the main menu, there’s a search button clearly visible. Is this Mango? We’re not sure, but we do know that it’s an option that’s not currently available in the latest NoDo update. That hints that Microsoft either has another minor update up its sleeves, or that this is a feature due out in the bigger Mango update. Microsoft is expected to launch Mango later this year, and it should deliver Internet Explorer 9 along with the Trident 5 rendering engine, HTML 5 and Silverlight, and gesture support to Windows Phone users. A release date is not yet known. Hit the link for the video. More →
According to an email obtained by SlashGear, Nokia will be offering its present developers several freebies to keep the code flowing. In light of the company’s recent decision to move to the Windows Phone platform — and not take its Qt development platform with it — some devs are feeling a little abandoned… and Nokia seems to recognize this. According to the aforementioned communication, the Finnish company will be offering Nokia developers a free E7 handset to help with their current Qt development, a new Windows Phone handset “when available” to aid in future Silverlight development, and free admission to the next Nokia World conference. Will it be enough to move those currently devoted to Qt over to Silverlight? Time will tell. More →
According to a report from ZDNet’s All About Microsoft blog, the first major update (codenamed Mango) to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform isn’t due until August or September of next year. A second major update (codenamed Apollo) is said to be due a year later, toward the end of 2012. This contradicts earlier reports, though it does jibe with rumors from last week suggesting Microsoft’s initial WP7 update in January would not be as major as was once believed. While All About Microsoft’s source claims this will be WP7’s first major update, the only functionality mentioned by the anonymous tipster is the addition of a Silverlight plug-in and HTML5 support in Internet Explorer. Meanwhile, an update supposedly due in February may bring a multitasking solution for third-party apps, enhanced developer controls, in-app downloads and more customization options. That sounds slightly more “major” to us. More →
Skype is reportedly turning its back on the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform and is instead focusing its efforts on the iPhone, Symbian, and Android OS. Speaking at an event in Australia, Dan Neary, the Asia Pacific Vice President for Skype, confirmed that the VoIP software giant is not currently developing a version of its popular software for the Windows Phone 7 platform. This revelation comes close on the heels of Skype’s removal of its Windows Mobile version due to the product’s less than stellar UI and poor user experience. Neary failed to provide a reason for Skype’s dismissal of Windows Phone 7 but the decision could stem from WP7’s lack of native code and its tight integration with XNA and Silverlight for development. It also doesn’t help that Windows Phone 7 is a new and untested platform. Regardless of the reason, heavy Skype users looking to jump to Windows Phone 7 may be wise to wait for Skype to change its mind or for some savvy third party developer to pick up the slack. More →
Microsoft kicked off MIX 2010 this morning with a keynote that revealed some juicy details for developers waiting to dive into the Windows Phone 7 Series platform. As expected, Windows Phone 7 Series will make use of Silverlight for application development and XNA for game development. Features available for developers include:
- Accelerometer support
- Microsoft Location Service to provide developers with a single point of reference to acquire location information
- Microsoft Notification Service for pushing information to the phone, regardless of whether or not an application is running
- Hardware-accelerated video with digital rights management (DRM)
- Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming for the industry’s highest quality content viewing experience
- Camera and microphone support
To get developers on board quickly and easily, Microsoft is offering a suite of free developer tools which include Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone 7 Series, a free add-in to use with Visual Studio 2010 RC, XNA Game Studio 4.0, Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for application testing, and a version of Expression Blend for Windows Phone. Microsoft is also stepping up its game in the app store department by offering a panoramic design (it will look sleek), try before you buy option, one-time credit card charges for app purchases, mobile carrier billing and ad-supported applications. Lest you think the app store will be a barren wasteland at launch, the list of application partners is impressive and include media moguls like Associated Press, gaming giants like NAMCO and EA Mobile, streaming media stars like Pandora and Sling, popular start-ups like Foursquare and Seesmic, and a host of others including Weatherbug, PopCap games, SPB Software and more. Anyone else get the feeling that Microsoft means business this time around? More →
Wow. That probably sums up everyone at BGR’s initial reaction when we got a heads up that RIM acquired Torch Mobile. Why, might you ask? Well, it goes a lot deeper than this, but all we can see glistening right now are the words “WebKit-based browser”. That would go nicely with some Flash and Silverlight action, eh?
We’ve been gathering details over the past month or so on this, and it’s pretty much confirmed: Research In Motion is planning on integrating full Flash and Microsoft Silverlight support into their BlackBerry web browser. Read that again boys and girls — full Flash support, not Flash lite.
You know when the word “planning” is used in the same sentence as RIM, however, that it probably means it’s a while away. And it is. We’ve been told this won’t happen until next summer or right before it as RIM needs their devices to be more beefed up as well as have access to higher data speeds for this to work effectively (HSPA and LTE). RIM has already achieved over 10Mbps downloads on next generation BlackBerrys in the test labs with test LTE equipment so it’s looking good, folks.
Oh yeah, before we forget. We’ve heard that we should see the BlackBerry 9700 hit AT&T right in time for a nice Black Friday launch if testing goes smoothly. Trackpad and all.
In a move stirring up some debate, NBC announced last week that it will stream it’s NFL football games this season using Flash video instead of the much ballyhooed Silverlight it used for the Olympics. The streaming service, marking the first time full-length NFL football games have been available in the US over the Internet, made its debut on Thursday during the NFL season opener between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Besides the video feed, the streaming service also offers the ability to switch camera angles, view picture-in-picture playback, receive live statistics and interact with commentators in real time. If you haven’t gotten your fill of football and Flash this weekend, mosey on over and let us know what you think. Which looks better? The Silverlight version of Michael Phelps swimming for the gold or the Flash version of Brett Favre throwing his first post-unretirement pass as a New York Jet?