HTC on Wednesday confirmed that 16 of its devices will receive a “tasty treat of Ice Cream Sandwich.” An Android 4.0 update will hit the DROID Incredible 2, Amaze 4G, Desire S, Desire HD, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation 4G, Sensation XE, Raider, Rezound, Rhyme, Thunderbolt and Vivid. The Taiwanese company is currently in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the Sensation and Sensation XE, with the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL scheduled to follow. Additional updates will be “more widely available in the next few weeks.” The manufacturer is continuing to work with carriers in each country to “nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.” More →
Your prayers have been answered if you’ve been looking for a 4G LTE without having to empty out your wallet. Verizon’s first 4G LTE phone, the HTC ThunderBolt, is now free with a two-year contract through January 26th. The ThunnderBolt was first announced last year during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show and it’s a bit slower than the high-end smartphones on the market today. It offers a 1 GHz Snapdragon chip instead of the dual-core 1.4GHz processor that’s included in top-of-the-line Android devices. However, it’s also equipped with an 8-megapixel camera, a 4.3-inch display with an 800 x 480-pixel resolution and more. With Mobile World Congress right around the corner it’s tough to commit to a two-year contract with a year-old smartphone, but users on a budget might be happy to forgo the bells and whistles in an effort to save a little cash. More →
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 →
On Sunday, the USB standards setting organization announced that USB 3.0 ports will be coming to smartphones and tablets by the end of the year. Mobile devices will feature a microUSB port based on USB 3.0 technology to fit the small size of the devices, said chief technology officer of the USB Implementers Forum Rahman Ismail. Currently smartphones and tablets use the older and slower USB 2.0 technology, but upgraded devices will sport data transfer rates as fast as 800Mbps. “What takes 15 minutes will roughly take 1 minute and 10 seconds,” said Ismail. USB 3.0 mobile transfer speeds will be considerably slower than their PC counterparts, though, which can reach up to 5Gbps. However, smartphones and tablet will feature faster charging due to faster power flow through USB 3.0 ports. On the flip side, Intel has also announced that the company intends to integrate its rivaling Thunderbolt technology into mobile devices. Luckily for us, PCs that have been recently introduced have featured both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, showing that both technologies can coexist. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published three Thunderbolt related patents that suggest Apple may have plans to build Intel’s Thunderbolt connections into its iOS devices. As Patently Apple points out, Apple may build its own cabling technology that gives it exclusive rights to how Thunderbolt technology might be built into portable devices. Thunderbolt ports would allow for faster data transfers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as shorter charging times. One of Apple’s more revealing patents describes stronger Thunderbolt cables that could handle greater amounts of data more efficiently and without overheating. Apple says in its patent that the Thunderbolt connections “may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices.” Apple currently has a number of devices, including displays and computers, with Thunderbolt ports. The company does not yet offer a portable device with the I/O option, however. More →
Verizon Wireless announced on Wednesday that it is beginning to issue an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) update to its HTC ThunderBolt customers. In addition to bringing the device from Android 2.2 (Froyo) to Android 2.3, the update will add a new Download Manager application, app and power management tools, a refreshed home screen with new widgets and icons, and a dock mode app. Verizon Wireless also said the software should fix a number of minor bugs. Hit the break for the change log.
A report was recently published by Android Police that suggests HTC’s Sense user interface has several major security flaws that provide HTC with access to SMS data, phone numbers, system logs, location information and much more. Worse, the flaw could potentially allow any third-party application to access the same private information without having permission from the user to do so. The security issue has been identified on the HTC ThunderBolt, EVO 4G and EVO 3D. “HTC takes our customers’ security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible,” HTC said in a statement. “We will provide an update as soon as we’re able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken.” HTC addressed a browser privacy issue in June and also commented on another report in early September which suggested the Sensation and EVO 3D were spying on users. HTC responded to the browser issue with a fix and said the “spying” allegations were a result of an HTC “opt-in” feature that allows HTC to collect data so that it can improve its phones. More →
Amazon’s wireless arm is having another big sale on 4G phones this weekend, with some of the lowest prices you’ll find on 4G LTE smartphones from Verizon Wireless. From now through Monday, August 29th, Amazon is offering the Samsung DROID Charge, the HTC ThunderBolt and the LG Revolution starting at just 1¢ each. To get the penny deals, you’ll need to open up a new individual or family account with Verizon Wireless; existing customers upgrading their phones will have to pay a premium. Links to each of the three deals follow below. More →
I’ve been using Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Air for almost a week now and even though it’s physically the same unit that it replaced (for the most part) on the exterior, this is an entirely different beast. For starters, Apple’s second-generation MacBook Air improved greatly on the first model by offering up a redesigned case complete with two built-in USB ports, an SD card reader and SSD hard drives as the only available options. The older Intel Core 2 Duo processors however, severely limited the computer. It was functional enough for me to replace a Core i7 MacBook Pro, but it was slow; normal tasks would bog the system down, and the computer would heat up at the drop of a dime. All this has changed with the latest MacBook Air, however. Read on for my thoughts.
Suppliers already shipped between 400,000 and 500,000 units of Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air in June, and shipments aren’t expected to slow anytime soon according to DigiTimes. Reportedly, the high volume of shipments is expected to remain just as strong in July and August, and “series sales” could top 14 million units this year. Apple officially took the wraps off of its updated MacBook Air on Wednesday. It has the same form factor as previous models, but it now offers a Thunderbolt I/O port, Intel’s Sandy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 processors, a backlit keyboard, and runs Apple’s new OS X Lion operating system. More →
It wasn’t exactly a secret, but now the proverbial big cat is out of the bag. Apple has just updated the company’s best-selling computer product, the MacBook Air with a Core i5/i7 option, better storage, Thunderbolt port, and finally, a backlit keyboard (again). Mac minis are updated as well, at long last bringing them up to speed with current processors and features.
The other big story is obviously OS X Lion which is Apple’s most iOS-like release yet, and it slowly starts to bridge PC and post-PC devices. Lion is a major OS update with more than 250 new features, and it’s available for $29 through the Mac App Store starting now. More →
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 →
We’ve already heard that new MacBook Air and Mac Pro models are on the way, and now there’s a report that Apple is poised to refresh its MacBook and Mac mini computers in the near future, too. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple will soon launch a new MacBook, part number MC914LL/A, with Thunderbolt I/O ports and a faster processor. Similarly, the Cupertino-based firm is expected to refresh its Mac mini line with new server model and standard models. There’s a possibility that a third built-to-order model will be available with a faster processor, too. According to 9to5 Mac the model numbers are:
MC936LL/A – J40, ULTIMATE – USA – Mac mini Server
MC815LL/A – J40I, BETTER – USA – Mac mini standard configuration
MC816LL/A – J40, BEST – USA Faster Mac mini