T-Mobile to start up 3G with voice only

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Apr 302008
 

T-Mobile

T-Mobile USA is set to launch its 3G network on May 1st. Unfortunately for all those rejoicing at the news, it will be a voice-only service. According to a leaked internal memo:

3G is the next generation of our wireless network, following our current GSM network. In this early phase of our network evolution, 3G is a new technology for carrying wireless voice calls and supporting existing data capabilities on our network. In future phases, this next generation network will power ‘high-speed’ (3G) products and services that connect customers in new and exciting ways. … Inform customers who are interested in high-speed data that the first phase of our 3G roll out supports voice only.

T-Mobile has not indicated when it will actually start using its new 3G service for data. Until then (whenever that is), customers will need to continue to use the slower EDGE for data services.

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Gigabyte unveils new touch interface for GSmart Windows Mobile smartphones

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Apr 302008
 

GigaByte has announced its new touch-based user interface for GSmart Windows Mobile smartphones.

Growing with the PDA phones and Smartphone market, GSmart has recently developed a new UI – Smart Touch, which is a finger friendly interface that works like iPhone, but it’s intuitive, informative and flexible features, makes GSmart phone much more personal than iPhone, it is a more integrated version with useful and interesting features.

Smart Touch allows users to create shortcuts for up to 16 applications on the standby screen. A list of iconized shortcuts is displayed at the bottom of the screen, making it easy to launch programs or add, move and delete shortcuts. The center portion of the screen can be used to display widgets. So far, only an analog and a digital clock are available but more widgets are promised. The interface is fully customizable, allowing users to set up their own themes, colours and favourite background pictures. The interface can also be turned off completely to revert to the traditional Windows Mobile interface.

Unlike the iPhone interface, Smart Touch does not support multi-touch.

While a Chinese version of Smart Touch leaked earlier, Gigabyte warns that it is not fully working. The official version of Smart Touch will be available in Europe later in May.

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The top 20 most useless gadgets

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Apr 302008
 

Reevoo, a company that publishes product reviews written by people who purchased the products, surveyed about 4500 British customers to find out what the most useless gadgets were. While not focused on mobility, it makes for some humorous reading. And it might also guide you as to what to avoid when shopping for a loved one. The lifecycle of the average gadget is just over one year, largely because 62 per cent of folk admit they frequently buy gadgets only to get them home and find they are completely useless.

Among the top 20 were electric candles, fondue sets, face steamers, egg slicers and back scratchers. I’ll leave you in suspense as to what gadget topped the list.

Is there any gadget that you think should have made the list? Or is there one on the list that you could not live without?

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BlackBerry 9000 hardware specs leaked too

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Apr 302008
 

To go along with details of the upcoming BlackBerry Device Software version 4.6, The Boy Genius has now landed confirmation of the BlackBerry 9000 hardware specifications.

The BlackBerry 9000 will come with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA connectivity. It will sport a HVGA display (480×320), A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi, trackball navigation, a 2MP camera, and a microSD expansion slot. It will also come with a 1500mAh battery.

AT&T is expected to have a U.S. exclusive and will be the first to launch it worldwide. Other carriers will include NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone.

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Upcoming BlackBerry Device Software details leaked

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Apr 302008
 

Research In Motion

The Boy Genius has landed an internal RIM document that looks at the new features in the BlackBerry Device Software version 4.6. The document contains plenty of screenshots, including many of the new theme. The new software is intended for its upcoming 3G devices.

Among the enhancements promised for the upcoming 3G BlackBerry’s are a richer browsing experience thanks to support for JavaScript 1.5, CSS 2.1, HTML 4.01, and XMLHttpRequest. new language features, an improved Pictures Library, the ability to view automatic music playlists, support for inline video streaming in the browser and a number of security enhancements, improvements around Wi-Fi connectivity, and BlackBerry Maps enhancements.

The 3G BlackBerry 9000 is expected to be released later this year. It will be preceded by another 3G model though. The BlackBerry 8900 (codenamed Meteor) is expected to be released this summer (perhaps as late as August). Unlike the 9000 which might come with a touchscreen, the 8900 retains the traditional RIM QWERTY keyboard although somewhat flatter than those of previous models.

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SlingPlayer Mobile software updated

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Apr 302008
 

Sling Media has announced updates for three of its Sling Player Mobile software versions. SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Mobile PocketPC and Windows Mobile Smartphone got updated to version 1.6 while the Symbian S60 edition now sits at version 1.1. For now, there is no upgrade for Palm OS users.

The new versions add support for new devices, including the Samsung SGH-i760, the Palm Treo 500/500v and the Nokia N95 8GB, support for new set-top boxes, improved video streaming on a number of devices, new channel favourite logos and some under the hood tweaks..

Current SlingPlayer Mobile customers can upgrade for free. New customers can buy SlingPlayer Mobile for USD$29.99.

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New details on MSI Wind

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Apr 292008
 

MSI Wind

TweakTown has landed some new details about the upcoming MSI Wind, another new competitor for the ASUS Eee PC.

The MSI Wind will be available with either Windows XP or Linux. It will come with an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor with the 945GMS graphic chipset, either a 8.9-inch or a 10-inch WSVGA (1024×600) display, up to 2GB of RAM, an 80GB 2.5-inch SATA hard drive, a 4-in-1 card reader, three USB ports, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and a 1.3MP camera (0.3MP on the 8.9-inch model). The keyboard is a bit wider than that of the Eee, with 17.5mm wide keys and a 54mm wide touchpad. Both 3-cell and 6-cell battery options will be available. With the 3-cell battery, the Wind will weigh less than 1kg.

The 10-inch version MSI Wind should be out in mid to late May, according to TweakTown. The 8.9-inch version should follow later. These release date could be affected by the Intel Atom processor shortage. According to earlier reports, prices should range between USD$470 and USD$1100 (about €299 to €699).

TweakTown has also landed a number of pictures of the MSI Wind.

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HTC confirms HTC Diamond to be announced next month?

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Apr 292008
 

HTC

It appears that HTC may have confirmed the rumours that it will unveil the HTC Diamond at its upcoming May 6th event. During an investor conference, HTC executive HTC Cheng Hui-ming indicated that the company had high hopes for the next Touch phone it was about to introduce. Referred to as the new Diamond model, Cheng called it the most important product for HTC this year. He added that HTC expects it to contribute in the company’s expected 20 percent year-over-year revenue increase.

Cheng did warn that the Diamond could face shipment delays as it had not yet received certification. If so, HTC will likely announce it with a future shipment date.

The HTC Diamond is widely expected to come with a 528MHz Qualcomm processor and Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen display, the option of 7.2MB HSDPA/HSUPA or EV-DO Rev.A connectivity, 4GB of internal Flash memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, eGPS, a backfacing 3.1MP camera as well as a forward facing one, an accelerometer to rotate the screen orientation automatically, an FM radio and a microSD expansion slot.

Source: Engadget Mobile

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Intel dealing with an Atom processor shortage?

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Apr 292008
 

The Chinese-language Apply Daily is reporting that Intel has only been able to fulfill about 40 percent of its May orders for its Atom processor and chipset. Citing sources at vendors, the reports indicates that Acer, Dell, Micro-Star International (MSI) and Gigabyte Technology have all been affected by the shortage. Each of these have announced devices that will use the Atom processor and/or chipset.

Meanwhile, vendors such as ASUS and HP who are using different processors in their low-cost notebook offerings (the Eee and Mini-Note respectively) may find themselves with an advantage until Intel can ramp up production enough to catch up with demand.

Intel has not provided any explanation for the shortage.

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VITO Technology updates EyePhoto

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Apr 292008
 

VITO EyePhoto

VITO Technology announced an update to EyePhoto, its application designed for viewing photos on Windows Mobile devices. The update promises to make the program even more stylish and user-friendly.

The new version not only lets you use finger gestures to browse pictures but also your device’s d-pad or joystick. It also detects picture orientation to help you avoid having to rotate pictures. Among the other new features are the ability to delete pictures, send them via MMS or email (after automatically resizing them) and view picture properties. EyePhoto has also been redesigned to enlarge the size of picture tiles and making zooming in and out easier.

EyePhoto is available for USD$14.95 from our affiliate ClickApps. A trial version is also available.

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Rogers Wireless reaches agreement with Apple over iPhone

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Apr 292008
 

Rogers Wireless

The short press release from Rogers says it all:

Ted Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Communications Inc. today issued the following statement: We’re thrilled to announce that we have a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year. We can’t tell you any more about it right now, but stay tuned.

Trust us, Ted, we will stay tuned!

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Car cassette MP3 player

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Apr 282008
 

Car Cassette MP3 Player

If you drive a ‘classic’ automobile, your sound system may not be equipped with a CD or MP3 player. But if you are lucky enough to have a cassette player (eight-track players are out of luck this time around), the Car Cassette MP3 Player may let you extend the life of your sound system by a few more years. You simply load your music onto an SD card, slip the card inside the cassette and your old cassette player will take care of the rest.

An MP3 player is built right into the cassette, letting you use it as a standalone player when you’re nowhere near a cassette player. It also comes with a built-in 450mAh lithium battery which you recharge via the included USB cable, a 3.5mm earphone jack, and a seven button interface to let you control your tunes.

The Car Cassette MP3 Player is available for USD$39.99 from ThinkGeek.

Source: The Red Ferret Journal

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Gigabyte M912: Another low-cost notebook to enter the fray

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Apr 282008
 

We will soon need a scorecard to keep track of all the entrants in the low-cost notebook arena. We knew as far back as January 2008 that Gigabyte Technology was working on such a notebook. Now comes word from DigiTimes sources that Gigabyte will soon unveil the M912. It will feature an 8.9-inch display (resolution unknown at this time) and an Intel Atom processor. It will support either Linux or Windows XP and may even come with Bluetooth.

Gigabyte apparently chose to design the M912 in-house to allow it to manage its development lifecycle more closely and make adjustments to specifications and quality based on market feedback.

The Gigabyte M912 could be announced as early as the beginning of June. No pricing information is yet available.

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Foxconn to start shipping 3G Apple iPhone in June?

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Apr 282008
 

Apple iPhone

The Chinese-language Commercial Times is reporting that Foxconn, the manufacturer for the current iPhones, has received orders for the next generation iPhone. Sources quoted by the Commercial Times indicated that some three million 3G iPhones will ship in June. If so, this would pretty much confirm a June or July launch for the 3G iPhone. Many predict that Apple will make the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The report goes on to indicate that Foxconn expects to build up to 25 million 3G iPhones.

Meanwhile, another rumour has surfaced suggesting that Apple could be looking at adding haptic feedback to the iPhone (and the iPod touch presumably). Such a technology would provide users with sensory feedback like vibrations and motions when using the touchscreen. Today, iPhone (and other touchscreen devices lacking this feedback) must look at the screen to get confirmation that the touch command was successfully recognized.

Apple is apparently in talks with Immersion Corporation to license their solution in the future.

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Rogers Wireless about to launch Nokia N95

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Apr 282008
 

Nokia N95

MobileinCanada.com is reporting that Rogers Wireless will officially announce tne Nokia N95 on May 2nd. The Canadian version will come with all of the features of the North American N95 version, including HSDPA connectivity, a 2.6-inch QVGA display, GPS and both a 5MP camera and a secondary VGA camera for video calls. It should also be bundled with a video output cable.

The only price information so far is that Rogers will offer the N95 without a contract for CAD$699. The usual subsidized pricing when you sign up for a service contract should be revealed when Rogers announces the device.

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