The tech world erupted Wednesday night as Apple visionary Steve Jobs announced that he was stepping down from his role as CEO, passing the torch to former chief operating officer Tim Cook. Every analyst and pundit who was awake had his or her say on the matter, but one man in particular offered his thoughts from a perspective few have enjoyed. “He really has had to sacrifice a lot to run Apple,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told BYTE in an interview on Wednesday evening. “I mean, just your time, everybody wants you day and night, that’s what I mean by sacrifices. It takes so much out of anyone to be under just contant [sic] pressure and demands like that.” Wozniak continued, “Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time.’ He deserves it.” On whether or not Jobs’s departure might have a negative impact on Apple’s business, Wozniak noted, “You’ve got to remember. He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple … and those people are still there. I don’t think the core Apple culture will change because of (Jobs’) leaving, not for a long time. Apple is set up. It just needs to stay financially responsible.” More →
The Motorola ATRIX 4G is the fastest smartphone not yet on the market. Come March 6th, however, it will be. AT&T has landed a screamingly fast Android device courtesy of Motorola, and that’s not all. The device is so powerful that it can power a laptop with full Firefox browser, and spit out 1080p video like it’s nothing. We’ve spent almost a day time with the phone and thought it was sufficient for a review, so read on past the break for what we think, alright?
AT&T and HTC shot us over an HTC Inspire 4G, and while we literally had to dodge falling ice and walk carefully over the frozen Arctic tundra to get to the FedEx package, it’s all warm and snuggled up now. We saw the handset officially make its way into the world at CES, but there’s nothing quite like that second encounter, right? Here are some of our thoughts on the latest Android handset to hit AT&T:
- We really dig the styling of the Inspire 4G. It feels very current yet familiar and the unibody construction with high-grade materials, specifically aluminum, really makes it feel like a quality product.
- Getting the device up and running isn’t confusing, it’s just a little… unconventional? To insert your SIM card and microSD card, you push off a bottom cover, but to insert the battery, you push off a side cover by the volume keys. We didn’t have much luck the first couple times with the battery cover and found it pretty difficult to take off. This is most likely a good thing in the long run, but it’s worth noting.
- We’re a bit disappointed that the handset is as thick as it is. It’s very EVO-like, though more up to date styling-wise (like we mentioned), but we’d have loved for a thinner handset as the device is extremely large due to the big screen and it’s noticeably heavy.
- The screen is great — no problems here. Text on HTC Sense-powered devices always looks a bit aliased to us, but besides that, we’re looking at a super sharp, vivid, bright, and colorful 4.3-inch display.
- Our quick time with the handset proved to be very zippy, and we also love the redesigned camera UI — plus, image capture is lightning fast.
- A small thing, but we love the H+ icon in the status bar to signify HSPA+.
All in all, you can see why we’re really enjoying the HTC Inspire 4G so far. The Inspire 4G launches February 13th for $99 with a two year agreement. We’re putting together our official review, but in the meantime, check out some photos of the device in our gallery, alright?
Sprint and Samsung shot us over a Galaxy Tab and, after several days of fiddling, we have our first impressions to report back. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first real contender to Apple’s iPad many would say, and while it’s too early for us to totally pit them head to head, there are many visible strengths and weaknesses of the Tab. Want to know what we thought of Samsung’s little, mean, iPad-combating machine? Buckle up and hit the jump!
It has been four years since the launch of Boy Genius Report and I can easily say that I have enjoyed every single day while working on growing, expanding, and continuing to break the biggest stories in the mobile category. Today, Boy Genius Report is growing up. We are finally switching over to the www.bgr.com domain (though www.bgr.com will still continue to work as a redirect) and the first phase of our expansion is underway. We have hired more full-time writers in the past 4 months than we have had in the past four years and we are definitely not stopping. Today, I’m super excited to introduce the new redesign for BGR that has been in the works for several months. It encompasses everything the brand is — authentic, cleanly designed, relatable, and of course, that indescribable edge that it won’t ever lose.
Every segment of the site has been redone and reworked. From our Featured Articles and Top Stories area at the top of the page which will enable us to feature a wide variety of content, a brand new gallery which enables our photos and albums to be consumed even faster, to a new commenting system (finally!) which will promote an even higher level of communication between our readers. It also includes informational resources like BGR Analysis, places to meet the editors of BGR and to check out our thoughts, predictions, commentaries, and much, much more. The new BGR is everything that I have envisioned it to be for a long time.
Thank you guys for making us the number 1 mobile site (and the number 4 tech site in the world, according to Technorati!). We are plugging away harder and harder every day to continue delivering the highest quality breaking news, original content, and of course, that original BGR voice that you love. There are many more exciting things in the works, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Of course, drop those comments in — we want to know what you think of the new design!
We had a chance to get up close and personal with Sony’s latest TV set and sister Blu-ray player. Here are our first thoughts:
- We haven’t seen Logitech’s Revue Google TV device in person, but the Sony experience looks similar to it. Sony told us that the only Sony customization was a recommended channel area, so for you purists out there, it looks like this is a really clean Google offering.
- We caught some lag when hopping menu to menu and typing when using the remote sometimes took a second or two to catch up but all in all, the Intel Atom-powered TV seemed pretty zippy.
- Speaking of the remote, we’re completely torn about it. Andrew loves it, but I couldn’t care much for it. The size is definitely intriguing as it is way smaller in person than we expected it to be. Also, the feel is right — pretty light without feeling inexpensively cheap. However, the myriad of buttons sort of confuses us, especially when a bunch of them don’t serve a purpose 90% of the time in what we’d imagine would be your daily use. I’ll use my Android handset to control my Google TV device as opposed to a manufacturer remote, you can believe that. Last thing about the remote… no backlight! So sad.
- The picture in picture capability is practically the selling point here… if you’re a multitasker, you’re going to love with PIP on. It’s pretty amazing that you can have that picture window of the current TV show or recording you’re watching open on the screen and at the same time browse a website, check something on Google Maps, search for a program to record, and more.
- The range in sizes and price is pretty spectacular. At a cost of $1,399 for the 46″ edge-lit LED model is practically a steal — and the time to market is also delicious as the sets and Blu-ray player will be available this weekend.
All in all, this wasn’t something we didn’t expect, yet we’re incredibly excited for Sony to pioneer this new category of TV entertainment. Let’s see if they can knock it out of the park…
We said we’d be back with a follow up to our hands on post, but to be completely honest, and based on the comments and response you guys gave, there’s not too much to write about. A lot of you wrote in and wanted more photos, so we’ve taken some great high resolution photos of the device like we promised.
In terms of the phone itself, RIM isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. In fact, they aren’t even reinventing the Curve. With the same features as the original Curve 8520 (plus the addition of 3G), we’d be shocked to see this device launch with great fanfare. Knowing RIM, however, they’ll try and milk this for all it’s worth and so will T-Mobile, but it will be hard to justify anything more than a model refresh.
We like the BlackBerry Curve 9300 a lot, but it’s beginning to feel extremely outdated even for a lower-end low cost handset. Yeah, even with 3G. Plus, it hasn’t even launched yet.
Bear with me on this one, alright? It’s a long shot, but part of me thinks this is a set up. Apple hasn’t gone over things like how notifications work, they didn’t address multitasking, and in some places, it felt like Steve & Co. purposely rushed over certain areas in the announcement.
What if there is going to be an iPhone SDK event/announcement before the Apple iPad actually hits stores? Apple said “late March” for the non-3G unit to be available and that’s curiously right when Apple usually holds its iPhone/iPod OS SDK events and where we’d most likely see iPhone OS 4.0 appear. Is it possible this is just to get the ball moving and Apple has some bigger stuff up its sleeve already? Multitasking, redone notifications, and a whole lot more, coming to both the iPhone platform as well as the iPad? Now, why release an SDK based on iPhone OS 3.2 and have devs code for that and then have to redo it, you might be asking, but iPhone 4.0, if it was announced in March would probably be a beta and not released to the public until June/July. That would give developers time to redo any applications for full 4.0 compatibility. Plus, the general public would get iPhone OS 3.2 while developers concurrently used iPhone OS 4.0 and developed for both that and the iPad. Maybe just wishful thinking, but heck, it would make sense.
Ah, the Google Nexus One. Google’s current “flagship” Android device received an enormous amount of attention in the time leading up to its release. While definitely justified, it also came with a dose of unrealistic expectations. Admittedly, it is one of the most powerful smartphones on the entire planet (no, we won’t refer to it as a superphone), and it’s packed to the brim with the latest high-end specifications that any true geek would love. But, what’s the verdict? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out obviously. We’ve reviewed the phone with an open mind, and have also offered up some personal thoughts following the review. Just remember that violence is never the answer, ok? More →
For our non-Canadian readers, it might be pretty hard to understand why there’s been so much hype about WIND Mobile finally launching. It is just a cell phone carrier after all, right? Kind of. It is a business at the end of the day, and a business hopes to be profitable (they want to make as much money possible), but the reason WIND is so brilliant is because they’re capitalizing on years of pillaging by Canada’s big three mobile providers: Rogers, TELUS and Bell. We’re not going to get into why Canada’s cellular options are so bad and expensive — Canada is a huge country, 90% of the people live within a certain amount of miles to the U.S. border, people expect coverage everywhere, it’s expensive to maintain — because it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how revolutionary WIND is to the average Canadian cellular subscriber and how much money that person will save. Here’s an example of a standard Rogers phone bill for a BlackBerry:
- $45/month for 400 minutes, unlimited calling after 9PM, and a choice of either unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling, my5, unlimited SMS, or an extra $100 minutes. Let’s assume you chose unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling.
- $25/month for a 500MB data plan for your BlackBerry (BIS not BES)
- $20/mo for unlimited SMS, caller ID and voicemail for a smartphone
- Total with fees of around $93/month (excluding taxes).
Over the life of your cell phone contract of three years (yes, it’s three years in Canada), you’ll have paid approximately $3348 to Rogers, and you’d have a brand new BlackBerry 9700 for which you paid $249.99 for. All in all, $3597 before tax. Here’s a WIND plan:
- $45/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited SMS to U.S. and Canada, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding
- $35/month for unlimited BlackBerry data
We’re at $80/month with unlimited everything, no contract, and no fees to change plans or features.
Sure, a difference of only plus or minus $13/month might not get everyone excited, but think of it this way… you don’t have to pay $500 to cancel your contract, you can elect to pre or post-pay, and never have to ever worry about overages unless you’ve got a lot of pals overseas. The option of unlimited anything is a downright comforting thought for consumers. As long as you can get over the $200 additional entry fee for an unsubsidized but very fairly-priced handset (note: Rogers charges $599.99 for a contract-free Bold 9700 as opposed to WIND’s $450), WIND looks incredibly attractive. Plus, you won’t get tied to the tree and spanked. Metaphorically, of course.
It isn’t all rainbows and ponies, however, as we have to take coverage (when you roam on Rogers, for instance, you’ll only get EDGE as WIND uses the same AWS 3G spectrum T-Mobile uses and is incompatible with Rogers, TELUS, and Bell), customer service, and profitability into consideration. The bet is that WIND makes so much that they can continue to save you money. Funny, isn’t it? Again, they’re a brand, brand new network, but with a boatload of cash behind them, some very smart and attractive pricing, plans, devices, and services, we think they have an amazing shot. They’ve also permanently disrupted the Canadian wireless landscape for the better, and within days or weeks, you’ll start to see better pricing from red, green, and blue. Thus giving our Canadian friends something they’ve long hoped for — competition.
Avril Lavigne. Luke Wilson. Whoopi Goldberg. Those three names don’t exactly jump out and immediately connect with us when we see them. And isn’t that the point of advertising? The point of branding? To connect to something, identify with it, and relate to it. Sure jazzy music and clean visuals (or dark, ominous tones with scary eyes) will help liven up your advertisement, but if you’re bringing a celebrity in to help, why don’t you make sure the celebrity is someone that people actually care about? I don’t mean to knock on Luke or Whoopi as I’m a fan of both (Canada can have Sk8ter chick), but while they might be intended to reach a certain demographic, in actuality they don’t help, they hurt. People pass it off as something they don’t care about. There’s no instant reaction or memorable moment that people will immediately remember or associate with any of those commercials. More →
I want to start this off by saying I have nothing but love for RIM the company. Probably my favorite tech corporation in the world, they’ve created an incredibly unique product that practically replaces the need for drugs for most people. What’s even more fascinating, however, is how RIM (to the pleasant surprise of a lot of us early users) has managed to take a corporate-focused product and service and blow down doors in the consumer world. From the BlackBerry 7100, the first consumer-oriented device, to the eye-catching BlackBerry Tour (it’s business through and through, yet it will be an incredibly popular consumer phone on Verizon and Sprint), it’s clear that RIM has done everything right to this day.