Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

iPad reviews are in – PC Mag sums up Apple's device in 4,000 words [video]

It was just the other day that I was mocking a recent claim by PC Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff that what made the publication different from competing tech sites and blogs was its testing ‘labs’ used to conduct product reviews.

“Who needs a lab?”, I scoffed.

I get to review plenty of gear where my lounge, bedroom or local coffee shop is my ‘lab’. A mobile phone or netbook, for example, can be reviewed almost anywhere. It’s not the environment that counts but how knowledgeable and thorough the reviewer is and what products he/she has used for comparison. Or at least, that’s what I’d hope.

Putting all of that aside, however, PC Mag has put out today the best iPad review so far. It’s easily the most thorough – at 4,000 words – and, as Dave Zatz points out, hasn’t suffered from the print-length restrictions that plague the coverage of the Pogues, Walt Mossbergs of this world, never mind their perceived closeness to Cupertino. PC Mag gives the iPad a lab score of 4.5/5 ;-)

PC Mag have also produced a nice video review, which I’ve embedded right after the jump.

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Nokia N97 – worth a second look?

We already took a pretty in-depth look at the Nokia N97, the handset maker’s then flagship and much anticipated touch screen phone.

We loved the form-factor, were less impressed with the UI of Symbian S60 5th edition and thought the keyboard could be better. But it never does any harm to get a second opinion, especially after a major software update or two.

That’s exactly what David Gilson gives us over at All About Symbian, a site that we’re big fans of (see side bar for others). And if you hadn’t noticed, David’s now a regular contributor to last100, so it goes without saying, he’s a source I trust.

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ThickButtons brings better typing to Android touch screens

Even though touch screen phones are more popular than ever, many people who enter a lot of text on their phone still prefer a physical keyboard (Ed. That’s me alright.) The need for tactile feedback is often cited as the reason. However, it’s likely that tactile feedback is preferred so that users know that they’re going to hit the correct letter, before they actually press it.

Which is why haptic feedback on touch screens doesn’t actually help typing speed as it comes far too late – it vibrates after you’ve hit the wrong key.

US start-up, ThickButtons, think they have the answer.

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Hello iPad, surfing the web while watching telly up 35%

This one is from the bleeding obvious department but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

The Nielsen Company’s latest Three Screen Report, which tracks consumption across TV, Internet and mobile phones, says that in the last quarter of 2009, Americans’ simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter.

“Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV”, notes the report.

Now I won’t regurgitate the other stats (see the table below) but I will point a finger at the likely culprits: Laptops, or more specifically Netbooks, and handheld devices such as the iPhone and other smartphones, and let’s not forget the iPod touch. Along with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) giving rise to the virtual watercooler viewing experience.

The same ‘couch computing’ craze likely behind Apple’s decision to release a tablet computer, the iPad, now and in its particular form-factor.

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Motorola unveils Android-powered landline phone, lacks Skype or Google's app store

motorola-home-phone

At this year’s CeBit, Motorola showed off a cordless landline telephone running Google’s Android operating system, as reported by Engadget earlier this month. Known as the HS1001, the device is built by Binatone, and is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year with a price tag of $150. The hardware sports a 2.8″ touch screen and loud-speaker. And as you’d expect, the handset uses DECT technology, but surprisingly, it also has WiFi.

The phone won’t carry the Android market place, however, or even have Skype installed, though you’ll still be able to access email and browse the web just as with any other Android phone.

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Windows Phone 7 to get some Netflix streaming and XBox Live gaming action

2010-03-15mixappspWhen Engadget Editor-In-Chief Joshua Topolsky says something is game changing I tend to take notice. That’s how he described developments in the Windows Phone 7 world (previously Windows Mobile) in reference to a demo given at today’s MIX10, Redmond’s developer conference.

Specifically, Topolsky was referring to a Netflix streaming app (Watch Instantly) powered by Silverlight running on Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, along with support for XBox Live gaming.

Both moves clearly demonstrate that Windows Phone 7 series is the Zune phone that many have been wishing for. It’s also evidence of how the company plans to exploit what is arguably its strongest consumer brand – XBox – to give its mobile OS and the third-party hardware that will be running it, fresh impetus. Much needed in the face of so much competition from the likes of iPhone, Android, Palm, BlackBerry and Nokia.

A video of Netflix on Windows Phone 7 is embedded after the jump…

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Nokia Booklet 3G: Thoughts and first impressions

14032010147I’m typing this from my local coffee shop on a Nokia Booklet 3G, the Finnish handset maker’s entry into the crowded Netbook ‘mini laptop’ space. And there’s no doubt that I’m in possession of one of the better looking devices of this type that are on the market.

Nokia’s design cues feel like they’ve been taken directly from Cupertino, the hardware aesthetics are certainly Apple-inspired.

But then so is the price.

Retailing for just shy of £650 from Nokia’s own online store, for what is for the most part under the hood an average Atom-powered (1st generation?) Netbook, seems a little ambitious. Then again, your average price savvy Netbook buyer clearly isn’t the customer.

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YouTube updated for Symbian, now supports user accounts

YouTube's new application homepage on S60

YouTube's new application homepage on S60

It’s taken a while but YouTube has finally added support for user accounts in its updated client for phones running the Nokia-led Symbian OS.

Announced on the 10th of March, users can now log into their YouTube account enabling them to access their favourites, subscriptions, and videos. YouTube stated that it has taken them this long because they wanted to focus on speed of search and playback. Also new to version 2.4 is suggested search terms as you type in a search query.

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Hands-on review: 3's INQ Chat 3G – Twitter, Facebook, Skype and more

Picture 2Back in August, I was pretty bullish when Hutchison-owned INQ announced the INQ Chat 3G, a follow-up to the INQ1, the company’s so-called Facebook phone.

The updated device adopts a BlackBerry-esque form-factor in favor of the INQ1′s candybar, adding a full QWERTY keyboard to support a host of social messaging capabilities, including ‘push’ email (via Gmail), Facebook access, Instant Messaging through Windows Live Messenger, Skype, and a Twitter client that provides ‘always-on’ connectivity to the micro-messaging social network so that updates are pushed ’straight to the homescreen’.

That’s a lot of functionality for a fairly low-cost device – it retails for £99 on a pre-pay (PAYG) tariff on 3UK – leading me to describe the INQ Chat 3G as taking aim at overpriced QWERTY touting smartphones.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, however, that I actually got my hands on the phone. Read on for my thoughts…

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Intel and Nokia combine forces to battle Google Chrome, Android and Apple's iPad

meegologogmThey were already known to be sharing technology with regards to their separate Linux OS efforts but now Intel and Nokia are to merge their respective distributions.

Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo operating systems are to be combined into a new Linux-based OS called MeeGo that will target “multiple hardware platforms across a wide range of computing devices, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.”

Intel is desperate to get its chips into devices that aren’t a traditional PC and Nokia needs a viable and developer-friendly platform to replace Symbian as the latter moves further down into mass-market smart phones that in-turn are replacing feature phones.

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