The next-generation USB connector for mobile devices will be smaller to facilitate slimmer smartphone and tablet designs, but also reversible, similar to the connector on Apple’s Lightning cables. According to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, the development of the USB Type-C connector has begun. The new connector is built on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies and will be similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B connector pictured above. More →
We already use USB cords to charge smartphones and tablets but they could soon let us charge more high-powered devices as well. The Economist has written a lengthy report about the potential of USB cables to deliver an energy-efficient alternative to standard power cords once the new USB Power Delivery (PD) standard is ready for primetime next year. USB PD will give USB cables a major power boost of up to 100 watts and will let users power their laptops, low-voltage LED lightbulbs and even some desktop computers. More →
Boxee officially announced the Live TV stick on Wednesday, a $49 USB dongle that will allow users to watch ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in HD without a monthly contract — provided you’re in an area with broadcast coverage. You’ll need to own one of the company’s $179 Boxee Box set top boxes in order to take advantage of the Live TV stick, which means it won’t work on your PC or Mac. We’re big fans of the Boxee Box here at BGR and we’re definitely excited to check out the Live TV stick when it hits store shelves in January. If you’re overeager, you can pre-order a unit now. A few screen shots of the Live TV user interface follow after the break. More →
AT&T senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets Pete Ritcher took the stage during the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference on Wednesday, where he confirmed that AT&T will launch its first 4G LTE smartphone by the end of this year. Ritcher reaffirmed AT&T’s intention to deploy its LTE network in 15 markets covering 70 million people by the end of 2011, and it hopes to continue its roll-out on a market-by-market basis, Fierce Wireless reported. AT&T will initially only offer laptop cards alongside the new LTE network, and AT&T is expected to launch 4G LTE in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer. “We are the only carrier with LTE and HSPA+,” Ritcher said. “When you don’t have LTE you will fall back to faster speeds than our competitors,” he added, noting that Verizon’s 4G customers fall back to the slower EV-DO network when LTE is not available. More →
AT&T on Tuesday revealed the first two 4G LTE devices that will launch on its forthcoming LTE network later this summer. The AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will christen the new cellular broadband network, which is set to launch in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer before extending to at least 15 markets later this year. AT&T says 70 million Americans will be covered by its 4G LTE network before the end of 2011. Both the Momentum 4G USB modem and the Elevate 4G mobile hotspot will feature compatibility with AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network as well, ensuring both coverage and confusion for customers across the country. “AT&T recognizes that customers want a consistent, responsive network performance from major cities to their neighborhood. Our deployment of 4G LTE technology backed by our nationwide HSPA+ network allows us to give customers a superior mobile broadband experience today and for years to come,” said AT&T Mobility SVP, Devices Jeff Bradley in a statement. ”As we begin to roll out our 4G LTE network this year, AT&T customers will be able to choose from several new LTE devices, starting with the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G.” The Momentum 4G will cost $49.99 and the Elevate 4G will cost $69.99, each with a 2-year data contract. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
Cricket will start to test the first installment of its 4G LTE network in Tucson, Arizona, the carrier confirmed in a recent interview with PCMag. Cricket’s vice president of device development, Matt Stoiber, said testing will begin during the second half of this year and that it will use Huawei’s E397 dual-mode USB modem preliminarily. The company has inked a roaming deal with LightSquared and has set a March 2012 target date for the first commercial LTE products to become available for its customers. USB modems will populate Cricket shelves first, followed by 4G LTE phones once the tech has evolved enough to make them cheaper and slimmer with good battery life. PCMag also suggested that Cricket’s next markets could include Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
While Nintendo has been quiet when it comes to the specs of its newly announced Wii U gaming console, preliminary details are beginning to emerge from the E3 2011 show. We obviously already know plenty about the Wii U touchscreen controller, which we went hands-on with yesterday, but the console itself is a bit of a mystery. A few of Nintendo’s hardware partners got a little excited, however, and we now have a few pieces of the puzzle. We know the Wii U will support full HD 1080p gaming, and now we also know it will be facilitated by a custom Radeon HD graphics processor from AMD. In addition, IBM will be supplying Nintendo with a 45nm multi-core processor with embedded DRAM for the console.There are also four USB ports on hand, an HDMI port, an S-video port and component jacks, and the console with obviously feature 802.11n Wi-Fi. The rest, for the time being, is still a mystery. In case you missed it, we’ve also included Nintendo’s full press release below. More →
Earlier this week T-Mobile announced the Rocket 3.0, a new USB data stick built by ZTE that’s capable of running on T-Mobile’s new upgraded 42Mbps HSPA+ 4G network. As our luck would have it, the friendly FedEx guy just dropped off the Rocket 3.0. T-Mobile’s newly upgraded 42Mbps network is available in new markets 55 markets, as well as in New York City, Orlando, and Las Vegas. In our office we averaged 1.17Mbps on the downlink, and 1.07Mbps on the uplink. That’s slow, and in New York City and that throughput is a far cry from what we get with Verizon’s 4G LTE network — but again, we’re not in the 42Mbps coverage area. However, there are parts of New York City that offer optimal data connections, and we’ll be sure to visit them in our full review. The build design of the device is nearly identical to earlier webConnect Rocket products, and we definitely prefer less bulky MiFi devices to USB sticks. The Rocket 3.0 is available for $99.99 from T-Mobile now with a new two year contract. T-Mobile hopes to cover 150 million people with its 4G network this year. Check out our hands-on gallery and hit the jump to see if you’re in one of T-Mobile’s 42Mbps markets.
T-Mobile has just announced that the carrier is doubling the 4G network speed to a whopping 42Mbps in 55 markets. In addition to bumping the network’s speed, T-Mobile is also launching a new product, the Rocket 3.0 USB data stick. The 55 markets that will be able to immediately take advantage of the $99.99 with contract 42Mbps-capable USB data stick are:
- Albany, GA, Athens, GA, Auburn, AL, Augusta, GA, Austin, TX, Bentonville, AK, Boulder, CO, Chattanooga, TN, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, Durham, NC, El Paso, TX, Fort Collins, CO, Gainesville, FL, Gainesville, GA, Greeley, CO, Honolulu, HI, Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Long Island, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Long Beach, CA, Santa Ana, CA, Macon, GA, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Oklahoma City, OK, Olympia, WA, Omaha, NE, Oxnard, CA, Thousand Oaks, CA, Ventura, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, Ponce, Puerto Rico, Portland, OR, Salinas, CA, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Fremont, CA, San Jose, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz, CA, Watsonville, CA, Santa Rosa, CA, Petaluma, CA, Savannah, CA, Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, Tampa, FL, Tulsa, OK, Valdosta, GA, Vellejo, CA, Fairfield, CA, Warner Robins, GA, Wichita, KS.
The Rocket 3.0 USB data stick, manufactured by ZTE, goes on sale starting tomorrow, May 25th, and T-Mobile expects over 150 million people to be covered in the company’s increased 4G network speeds in 2011.
We met up with Seagate last week to get a sneak peak at its brand new wireless mobile storage drive, the GoFlex Satellite. It’s a battery-powered external hard drive, though it’s not just a traditional drive — it can also stream any and all content wirelessly over Wi-Fi to any iOS or Android device, or even any Wi-Fi device with a browser. The premise is that since most mobile devices are limited in storage, you can load only what you really need on your iPad, for example, and have your entire music or photo collection (or both) loaded up on the external drive to be accessed only when you need something. To get content onto the drive, you just use one of the GoFlex connectors such as the included USB 3.0 connector (there is a ThunderBolt connector coming this summer), and either use the company’s Media Sync software to automatically add content, or use the drive like a normal external drive and manually load on your data. More after the break. More →
Google just announced Android Open Accessory, which will allow developers to create accessories that take advantage of software installed on Android devices. Google will offer hardware and software support for the open accessory design kit (ADK) there’s no approval process or fees. In one demo, a Google employee showed off a device with a USB accessory called CardioQuest for monitoring his heartbeat while exercising. In another, a user controlled the classic labyrinth board game using his tablet. In yet another demo, Google demoed the power of its ADK with a life-sized labyrinth controlled by a tablet. Android Open Accessory allows accessory makers to create apps that take advantage of the accessory — if an owner plugs a device into their phone, the user will be prompted to install the corresponding software. It’s available for Honeycomb and Gingerbread devices and works with USB now but Bluetooth support is coming in the future.
T-Mobile and HTC have finally released the anticipated Android 2.2 (Froyo) update for the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide. The update adds support for placing free calls over Wi-Fi networks in addition to a new low-storage notification, resolved Bluetooth compatibility issues, text messaging and picture messaging bug fixes, and improved overall reliability. The software will also add support for both USB tethering and mobile hotspot, which will allow users to share their 3G connections with other devices via Wi-Fi. You’ll need 25MB of storage space on your phone to get started, and unfortunately it’s only available to Windows users for now. Hit the jump for a download link and instructions on how to update. More →
Looking to lasso yourself some of those sweet, sweet LTE airwaves being emitted by Verizon Wireless towers? Don’t really need a new smartphone? You’re in luck. In a pair of press releases today, Verizon announced two, new LTE-enabled network devices, the Verizon USB551L modem (made by Novatel) and the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. The USB551L is a standard USB data-stick modem capable of connecting your Windows or Mac-based machine to Verizon’s ultra-fast, LTE network. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is a MiFi-like device that supports up to five simultaneous, Wi-Fi connections. Both devices will retail for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract signing, are backwards compatible with Verizon’s CDMA network, and promise LTE download speeds between 5Mbps and 12Mbps. The Samsung hotspot is available immediately and the Novatel USB511L will be available beginning on March 31st. Both press releases are after the break. More →