Motorola Mobility announced the Televation on Monday, a new device that plugs into a Wi-Fi router and uses your home network to stream live television to connected IP devices. Once it’s plugged into a router, it will automatically translate programming from MPEG-2 to MPEG 4 and match a device’s resolution to display content properly. Motorola is also providing Android and iOS SDKs so that its customers will be able to develop custom applications for finding shows and other content offered by cable providers. “Consumers love entertainment, and want easy access to TV no matter where they are in the home,” said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. “Coupled with the explosive popularity of tablet devices, this represents a terrific opportunity for MSOs [multiple system operators, or cable companies] to increase customer satisfaction while generating new revenue.” Unfortunately, it sounds like Televation will not be a direct-to-consumer product, and will instead be offered to Motorola’s cable partners, so pricing has not yet been announced. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday that the city will soon offer free Wi-Fi in 20 of its parks. AT&T will power the service, which will be available in popular spots such as Prospect Park, Battery Park, and Central Park, later this summer, but New Yorkers can already surf for free in Battery Bosque Park, the Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and Thomas Jefferson Park, among others. The public will have ad-free access to the free networks for at least the next five years. No word on whether you’ll actually be able to use an AT&T phone for voice calling in the parks, however.
[Via The New York Times] More →
Best Buy announced on Thursday that it will be the exclusive retailer of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer when it lands in stores and online on May 22nd. The Flyer is a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5GHz single core processor, a 4,000 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, HDMI-out, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. It was originally announced during Mobile World Congress in February, where we had a chance to get up close for a hands-on. Best Buy has not yet revealed how much the tablet will cost but with the 22nd three short days away, we won’t have long to wait to find out. Hit the jump for the full announcement. More →
Last week a screenshot leaked suggested T-Mobile would reintroduce free unlimited Wi-Fi calls beginning on May 11th. That day passed without an announcement, but on Monday GigaOm obtained a confirmation from a T-Mobile representative that confirms customers can now place unlimited Wi-Fi calls without consuming their monthly minute allotment. Here’s what the T-Mobile rep had to say:
T-Mobile is excited to expand our Wi-Fi Calling feature, a unique and valuable service T-Mobile has been offering customers for over three years. Starting today, T-Mobile customers can add Free Wi-Fi Calling to their rate plan – at no additional charge – to place calls over Wi-Fi without deducting from their allotment of minutes. This new feature is available at T-Mobile retail stores to all customers on Even More and Even More Plus Postpaid rate plans who have Wi-Fi Calling capable handsets.
GigaOm says the feature is available on Android devices that have the pre-installed Smart Wi-Fi application, which suggests that this feature isn’t available for T-Mobile users looking for unlimited calling on UMA-equipped BlackBerry smartphones — at least for the time being. More →
While Sprint has yet to announce a release date for RIM’s Wi-Fi-only BlackBerry PlayBook or the WiMAX-enabled BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, the former was recently rumored to be set for a May 8th launch. According to a purported communication sent from Sprint to dealers, however, the launch may have been pushed back. “The launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet has been delayed for all Dealers,” the supposed note from Sprint states. “The new launch date will be communicated as soon as it is available.” The cause of the delay is not specified, though initial sales are believed by some analysts to be exceeding expectations, which may have caused supply constraints. Others believe the large quantities of Apple iPad 2 units being produced by Chinese manufacturers are causing manufacturing delays for various Apple competitors. Then again, Sprint may be waiting for an imminent software update from RIM that will add various much needed functionality currently missing from the PlayBook, such as an email client and BlackBerry Messenger support. More →
LG officially announced the long rumored LG Optimus Big on Friday, making it the Korean firm’s largest Android smartphone to date. The Optimus Big runs Android 2.2, sports a 4.3-inch Nova Display, and is equipped with an HDMI-out port, a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and a 1,500 mAh battery. The NOVA Display is the star of that spec sheet though, and we loved the rich colors and deep blacks when we first saw it on the Optimus Black. The Optimus Big will make its debut on Korea’s LG U+ on April 28th and there’s no word if this beast will swim itself to the United States — but we’d welcome it with open arms if it did. More →
When EA launched NBA Jam for the iPhone and iPod touch in February, there was one glaring omission: the ability to dunk on your friends. On Thursday EA fixed that by updating the game with local multiplayer, which means you’ll be able to take to the court and play against your buddies using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If you use an iPad, there’s more good news – EA also launched NBA Jam HD for $9.99. NBA Jam has been a staple on our devices since its debut, and it’s been updated with the current NBA roster, too. Lace up those Nike’s and install the update. More →
The 3DS, Nintendo’s latest portable gaming platform and the first with a 3D display, made its U.S. debut on March 27th. Nintendo moved 400,000 units on launch day in Japan, and Amazon U.K. said the device broke console pre-order records as well. So, being the subway riding gamer that I am, I knew I had to find out what all this hype was about. I took it for a spin over the last week, staying up late trying to beat games and carrying it in my backpack to rock on the subway. And now, after a week of 3D gaming, it’s time to drop the hammer and see if the 3DS really is worthy of all that hype.More →
Sprint’s new dual-screen Kyocera Echo is now available for pre-order from RadioShack. The Echo sports two different displays for a total 4.7-inches of touchscreen real estate. The Echo’s second screen can be used to run two applications at once, as a full QWERTY keyboard, or to enhance gameplay. The Android 2.2 (Froyo) powered smartphone is also capable of creating a Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to share the Echo’s 3G connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices. The Echo — which costs $199 with a new two-year Sprint contract – will ship from RadioShack on April 17th. For more info on the Echo be sure to check out our hands-on. More →
While Verizon Wireless just announced two new 4G LTE devices that are going to serve up insanely fast mobile broadband speeds, Samsung’s 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is the first one in our hands. We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ over Verizon’s 4G LTE network for a little while thanks to the new mobile hotspot, and we’re happy to report extremely fast speeds around 12Mbps down and 5.5Mbps up on average — the fastest speeds that the device is rated for. In terms of size, it’s just a tad thicker than the original Novatel MiFi unit we rely on for our mobile connectivity. We haven’t had enough time to test battery life for ourselves, but we’ll report back. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is available online from Verizon Wireless starting today, and will be in stores beginning tomorrow for $99.99 with a two-year service agreement. Check out our hands-on gallery with some comparison photos!
According to several, leaked internal screen shots obtained by TmoNews, the highly-anticipated NoDo Windows Phone 7 update could begin rolling out to owners of the T-Mobile HTC HD7 smartphone as soon as Today. Users should start seeing a pop-up notification alerting them of the update, at which point they’ll need to connect their phones to a computer and install the update through Microsoft’s Zune Player software. NoDo will bring copy/paste functionality, improvements to Wi-Fi and the camera, along with several speed and performance enhancements. For now this is just a rumor, but it’s entirely possible given that Microsoft began pushing out the NoDo update in Europe last week. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if we hear more on NoDo being deployed to the HD7 today. More →
T-Mobile has introduced a new Even More 10GB webConnect monthly data plan, although it costs a hair more than was suggested by early rumors. For $84.99 per month and a new two-year agreement, you’ll get a 10GB bucket of data and unlimited Wi-Fi access at T-Mobile hotspots with your 3G or 4G webConnect device. T-Mobile says it is not charging overage fees with this new plan, but data speeds may be reduced after you hit your monthly cap. The new plan joins T-Mobile’s existing 5GB option, which costs $49.99 per month with no overage fees, and a 200MB option that costs $29.99 per month with overage charges. More →
iFixit got down and dirty opening up the iPad 2 Wi-Fi and its Smart Cover accessory over the weekend and has published specs and pictures of the inner workings of both. There aren’t a ton of surprises hiding in the iPad 2, which sports a 1GHz A5 dual-core processor manufactured by Samsung, 512MB of LPDDR2 RAM, a 9.7-inch LED-backlit multitouch display, and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage. Its Wi-Fi board is powered by a Broadcom BCM43291HKUBC chip that was used in the first iPad and in the iPhone 4.
Also listed on the battery is a capacity of 6930 mAh. Since mAh = Watt-hours / volts * 1000, converting using the above numbers yields 25 / 3.8 * 1000 = 6,579. It looks like there might be some rounding going on here, or the battery voltage might actually be more like 3.6 volts.
The iPad 2 Smart Cover tear-down revealed 21 magnets (in addition to the 10 magnets in the iPad 2 itself), a large metal plate encased in plastic, and two structural plates. Hit the jump for images of a heaping serving of hardware porn.