August 2010
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Month August 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab headed to Verizon

With tablets becoming a hot item again with the introduction of Apple’s iPad earlier this year, it is no wonder that Verizon would like to cash in on one of its own during this holiday season. Boy Genius Report has found evidence by way of a screenshot of Verizon’s internal systems that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab — the big brother to the Galaxy S series of smartphones — is indeed coming to Big Red.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has made several teasing appearances online, will have a 7″ screen that runs Android 2.2 on a processor that is reportedly clocked at 1.3 GHz. There has been no definitive information on the resolution of the Galaxy Tab’s screen or whether it will feature Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology. Also no word on whether this is a Verizon exclusive.

The Galaxy Tab will most likely be Verizon’s inaugural tablet offering followed closely by a 10″ Motorola tablet running Android 3.0, aka Gingerbread, and perhaps an HTC tablet running Google’s Chrome OS. Both are rumored to have dual-core Snapdragon processors that will most likely be clocked around 1.5 – 2.0 GHz.

Source: BGR via Android Community, SlashGear

Phantasy Star II in App Store

One of my favorite RPGs of all time. Now available for iPhone.

App Store link: Phantasy Star II, $2.99

Google Realtime: up-to-the-second search

With the rise of social networking and always-connected devices, it is little wonder that Google is experimenting with instant search. Go ahead and give Google Realtime a gander or learn more about it in the link.

Source: GoogleBlog via TechEBlog

Fennec alpha comes to Android 2.x, Nokia N900

Fennec — the codename for Mozilla’s mobile version of Firefox — has just been released in alpha form for Android 2.x phones and the Nokia N900. Fennec is “the first mobile browser to offer add-ons and is built on the same technology that powers desktop Firefox.” Fennec Alpha includes Firefox Sync which allows the user to seamlessly switch from desktop to mobile and back while providing full access to all history, bookmarks, settings, and tabs throughout.

The new build focuses on performance enhancements, most noticeably in the introduction of two new features dubbed Electrolysis and Layers. Electrolysis allows the browser to run in a separate process from the actual rendering of the web affording users a snappy experience even when processor intensive content is loading. Layers sets the groundwork for future versions of Fennec to perform graphic intensive actions like scrolling, panning, and zooming optimally. Click the link for video of Fennec in action or to download a copy to test for yourself.

Source: The Mozilla Blog via Engadget

Gmail users place 1,000,000 calls on first day

Looks like Skype has some serious competition.

Source: Twitter via Unwired View, I4U News

R-Type for iPhone stays true to original

With its ubiquity in many a pocket, iPhone has really taken off as the go-to mobile gaming platform for casual and enthusiast gamers. Numerous ports of classic console games of yore pop up all the time in the App Store, but many suffer from a poor transition to the realm of tilt and touch control or are not quite faithful reproductions of the original. R-Type for iPhone avoids both pitfalls admirably.

R-Type is the quintessential side-scrolling shooter in which you pilot Arrowhead through 8 fiendishly difficult levels to defend humanity from the Bydo. EA has done a smashing job recreating the original arcade title while allowing less experienced gamers the opportunity to finish what could be a very frustrating game. Although the virtual D-pad and tilt control modes are nothing to brag about, the touch controls are well done. R-Type is now available in the App Store for $1.99 — a relative steal considering how many quarters some have lost to the game.

Sources: EA, R-Type iPhone via iLounge

Hotmail users to get Exchange ActiveSync starting Monday

Although I switched to Gmail as my primary email provider years ago, I have always kept my Hotmail account active as a backup if only for nostalgic reasons. It was my very first email account that I acquired in my senior year of high school back in 1999 as I was making my first forays into the World Wide Web. With the introduction of Gmail, it was hard to see any benefit in my Hotmail account other than for the correspondence therein. Gmail had vastly more storage, threaded messages, a better user interface, and was more or less hassle-free compared to the kludge that was Hotmail. Even as Microsoft upped the storage and improved the user experience, it continued to lag behind Gmail in features, most notably, its lack of IMAP support and push email.

Starting this Monday, however, all that will change. Hotmail users will finally get Exchange ActiveSync support granting them the push and syncing capabilities that every modern day email service ought to have. I, for one, will be happy to have access to all my folders from the comfort of my iPhone and Palm Pre. With Windows Phone 7 around the corner, this is a great move by Microsoft to bring Hotmail up to speed. Welcome to the present!

Source: CNET via PreCentral

Google Voice integration comes to Gmail

Google Voice is one of those services you wonder how you have ever lived without before using them. Now you can make voice calls directly from Gmail using your computer’s microphone and speakers, as well as video calls if you have a webcam. Calls to and from the US and Canada are currently free and international rates start at 2¢ per minute. Call quality is reported to be very good and on par with Skype. No Google Voice account is required to use the service, although if you have one (and you should!), it will display your GV number during outbound calls and allow you to receive calls right within Gmail if you choose.

Sources: SlashGear, The Official Gmail Blog

Apple ‘special event’ scheduled for September 1

Apple has sent out invitations to industry-leading blogs about an upcoming event scheduled for September 1 in San Francisco. Judging by the graphic, which depicts an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo-shaped sound hole — and by the time of year — it appears that this will be Apple’s media event equivalent to the Let’s Rock events of yesteryear.

Rumors for the exact content of the event include a completely redesigned fourth generation iPod Touch à la iPhone 4 complete with glass back, dual cameras, FaceTime integration, gyroscope, and that gorgeous 960 x 640 Retina Display. Also rumored to be unveiled is a completely repackaged Apple TV — possibly rebranded as iTV — running iOS and priced at $99. Apple will probably release iOS 4.1 shortly after the event that brings Game Center to newer iDevices, stability and performance gains to older iDevices, and a proximity sensor fix to iPhone 4.

In addition, Apple may make renting television shows for 99¢ a reality as well as give us a release date for the hotly anticipated white iPhone 4. No word on whether the long overdue ‘iTunes in the cloud’ streaming service will go live soon, but I’m guessing it won’t happen until some time next year. Beatles on iTunes is also highly unlikely.

Sources: SlashGear, Engadget, Daring Fireball

Galaxy S unlock code stored in phone

File this under all sorts of cool. It seems that the unlock code for Samsung’s Galaxy S is stored in a .BAK file on the phone itself. The code can be extracted with a hex editor and then entered into the phone during SIM installation. No rooting required.

Sources: Engadget, XDA Developers