Mozilla’s love of web apps is more than obvious; we just haven’t had a real chance to try the Firefox Marketplace that represents a large part of the company’s app strategy. The doors are at last open for a peek, although Mozilla has chosen the unusual path of giving mobile users the first crack: Android users willing to live on the bleeding edge of an Aurora build of Firefox can browse and run those web apps in Mozilla’s store. Everyone else willing to venture into the Marketplace will have to wait until their own Firefox builds receive a matching update, including that rare group with access to Firefox OS. We’re not quite in a rush to try a first wave of apps in an alpha-grade browser. Should you be the sort who thinks that even beta releases are too sluggish, however, your gateway to the Marketplace awaits at the source links.
Our 1997-era selves would die with envy right about now. Fraunhofer has developed a new generation of infrared transceiver that can transfer data at 1Gbps, or well above anything that our vintage PDAs could manage. While the speed is nothing new by itself — we saw such rates in 2010 Penn State experiments — it’s the size that makes the difference. The laser diode and processing are efficient enough to fit into a small module whose transceiver is as large as a “child’s fingernail.” In theory, the advancement makes infrared once more viable for mobile device syncing, with room to grow: even the current technology can scale to 3Gbps, lead researcher Frank Deicke says, and it might jump to 10Gbps with enough work. Along with the usual refinements, most of the challenge in getting production hardware rests in persuading the Infrared Data Association to adopt Deicke’s work as a standard. If that ever comes to pass, we may just break out our PalmPilot’s infrared adapter to try it for old time’s sake.
Now we’re intrigued. It’s a common (if unconfirmed) belief that the next iPhone will support LTE-based 4G, but the Wall Street Journal now understands through the ever-present “people familiar with the matter” that Apple is taking 4G worldwide. Where the current iPad only supports two LTE frequencies and drops to HSPA+ outside of the US and Canada, the new iPhone will supposedly cover parts of Asia and Europe as well. The exact countries haven’t been outlined, although it’s easy to imagine Apple going for those countries where 4G speeds matter the most: there’s been rumblings of talks with KT and SK Telecom in South Korea, but we could also see France, Germany, Japan and Scandiavian countries in the mix. The rumor hasn’t been confirmed, of course. That said, the iPhone was already purported to be using a new cellular chipset — and a number of carriers, most often in the US, have long said they won’t carry new smartphones unless LTE is part of the package. We’ll know the full scoop on Wednesday.
The Xperia T, formerly codenamed Mint, rumor and leak victim since January, has officially broken cover. Revealing its 4.55-inch face to the crowds in Berlin, the Reality Display packs a 1,280 x 720 resolution and offers what Sony is calling the “best HD experience on a phone to date.” The company claims you can view vids in full 1080p HD quality, though we’re still waiting to receive additional clarification on this statement. (Update: Sony clarified that it was merely referring to the 1080p video recording capabilities of the phone.) The Xperia T runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, but we’re told it will be upgraded to Jelly Bean shortly after launch. It also features a 13MP fast capture camera and boasts a feature Sony is calling Sleep to Snap, which means you can go from a black screen to taking photos in an instant. What else does this new flagship offer? A one-touch function with NFC which you can use to tap to connect to other Sony devices, a 60-day premium trial of Music Unlimited and a new tier called Access which will be available in Europe for 0.99 Euros per month and will deliver full access of the service to PCs and the PS3.
The T — which will be known as the TX in select markets, and should be launching globally over the next few weeks — also sports a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon S4 CPU, pentaband UMTS / HSPA+ radios, a front-facing cam with 720p video capture, MHL connectivity, FM radio, 16GB onboard storage and an 1,850mAh battery. Dimension-wise, the T will weigh 4.9 ounces (139g) and come in at 9.35mm thick. Lastly, the new Xperia flagship will be available in black, silver and white hues (while the TX appears to come in pink as well). Pricing is still an unknown, but as we’ve seen before, it may largely depend on the market anyway. We’ll keep you posted as more details come in.
Been itching for Facebook’s iPhone-dedicated Messenger app to make its way over to the iPad? ? Maybe for the iPhone variant to finally reap the benefits of Skype video chat integration as well? Well, according to 9to5Mac, Camp Zuckerberg is testing both in-house, with the latter planned to hit iPhones this summer. According to the site, one of its trustworthy tipsters was able to grant it access to beta versions of the new apps, and it has the pictures to prove it. Unsurprisingly, the Messenger app for iPad is described as simply a sized-up port of the iPhone version, but surely the bump would be appreciated by many if it ever gets officially released. Perhaps more interesting, though, is having Skype video chat baked into the iPhone version — tapping an arrow next to a contact initiates your video session, and 9to5Mac reports that it’s “smooth most of the time.” Of course, it’s always worth taking such leaks with a grain of salt, but hit up the source link below if you’d like to find more information and screenshots of the apps in question.
This is a vaguely awkward message for NVIDIA to be putting out. On one hand, the company is best buddies with Intel and is hoping to see its next-gen GPUs bundled with a large portion of the Ivy Bridge notebooks that will ship this year. But to reach that target, it must risk irking Chipzilla by emphasizing the limitations of Ivy Bridge’s integrated graphics. That’s exactly what happened at a recent presentation, when NVIDIA told us there’ll be “nothing Ultra” about the performance of a regular Ivy Bridge Ultrabook because the integrated HD 4000 graphics will only handle around 43 percent of current games. By contrast, if you add in a GeForce GT 640M you’ll find that 100 percent of current games are playable with frame rates over 30fps and high detail settings, including Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Crysis 2 and many others. If you leave the lightweight Ultrabook spec behind and combine Ivy Bridge with a GT 670M GPU then you can go even higher — as we just discovered in our review of the MSI’s GT70 gaming laptop. Fortunately, Intel was pretty magnanimous about HD 4000 when it briefed us, and readily accepted that enthusiasts will still want discrete graphics, so we don’t imagine the slide above will cause too many hurt feelings.
Google has this week launched it’s newly updated redesign to its Google+ mobile web site. Bringing it in line with other Google sites and services, which have also had redesigns to make them cleaner and easier to navigate.
As well as a new cleaner interface designed the new update also brings with it support for 60 locales. Making it is easier to find, enjoy, and share the content you care about in Bengali, Icelandic, Swahili and more, says Google.
As you can see from the images above the new redesign mirrors that of other Google services and sites and provides a much more refined and minimalist interface for users.
To check out the new redesign simply visit the mobile Google+ website on your Android, iOS, or Blackberry 7 device to see the changes and keep up to date on the move plus.google.com.
Directly on the heels of an update for its newest media streamers, Roku has released its official iPhone remote app. Apparently “inspired by user feedback”, it allows users to launch or rate channels, control the box with touches and swipes, and add or remove channels from their box directly from the app itself. Probably the best news about it is that it will work with all generations of Roku hardware, and can even pair to multiple boxes. Usage requires the box and iOS device be connected on the same network, and for users to sign in with their Roku account, but that’s it. Hit the source link to grab the free app now, or check out a couple more screenshots in the gallery below, then let us know how it measures up to the numerous third party solutions (like DVPRemote) currently available. Roku already promised an Android version is in the works, so we’ll keep an eye out for that to arrive soon.
Look, games like Fruit Ninja can be addicting and all, but we’ve many times pondered what playing a proper title — the kind intended for the latest consoles and PCs — would be like on a tablet or smartphone. Of course, we’ve seen some fantastic results from Tegra 3 and been notably impressed by Infinity Blade 2 on iOS, but starting today, OnLive is set to one-up the limitations of locally run mobile games with its new app. Whether you’re using an Android, iOS device or even a Kindle Fire, you’ll now be able to play games from the OnLive ecosystem while you’re on the move over 3G, LTE or WiFi, rather than merely spectating in OnLive Viewer. Better yet, the OnLive app itself is completely free and any games purchased can be used across devices, and currently, 25 titles have been optimized for touch-based controls, including a tweaked version of L.A. Noire. However, if you’re more inclined to use tactile controls you’ll be pleased to know that the company also has a soon to be released, revised version of its wireless controller.
Outwardly, the updated controller is looks identical to the outgoing MicroConsole pack-in model, but this one connects to Macs, PCs and just about any mobile device thanks to new “adaptive wireless” technology. Those seeking extra low latency can use its bundled USB dongle to link up to four of the controllers and a single Bluetooth headset for voice chat with one PC. The gamepad’s media controls can also navigate iTunes in addition to playback of Brag Clips within OnLive. When it debuts, you can expect to pick one up for about $50 (£39.99 in the UK). OnLive CEO Steve Perlman was kind enough to walk us through using this new bit of kit, so head on past the break for our full impressions and to see the controller in action.
Sammy’s current Cortex A9-based chips are hardly slackers — the Galaxy Note already proved that to any lingering doubters. Nevertheless, the next-gen Exynos 5250 SoC promises to double that sort of performance, by harnessing two Cortex-A15 chips clocked at 2GHz each, along with a GPU that can output resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA). It’s like big.LITTLE computing, except without the LITTLE. Samsung reckons it’ll start mass producing the 5250 for use in high-end tablets by the second quarter of next year, which should be just in time to stop NVIDIAfrom getting too cocky.
Kind of like eating a peanut butter sandwich with no jelly, the most obvious app missing from the iPad has been Facebook — until today. The New York Times reports that the site has finally confirmed the app’s availability just in time for eager social networkers to like, subscribe and stalk from their slates. According to software engineer Leon Dubinsky, the app will highlight the multitouch awesomeness of the iPad, something that’s unavailable from the website alone even from a touchscreen device. The folks at FB also added that some of the newly released features will be integrated into the iPhone app as well, making it a win / win for iOS fanatics. Consider it liked. Check out the brief PR after the break.
Adobe has not been shy when it comes to the idea of integrating the iPad into a real imaging work flow. The new Photoshop Touch app really hammers the whole thing home. It’s not quite the concept we saw earlier this year, but it’s getting there.
Announced today, Photoshop Touch works a lot like, well, the real Photoshop. Where the iPhone version made due simply with pre-set effects and a couple sliders, Photoshop Touch uses some of the same tools you’d expect to find in the full version of the software on your computer.
You navigate photos using the Gallery function, keeping images arranged in photo albums. It lets you pull from your device, from the device’s camera, or from the Web. The demonstration of the Google search is particularly interesting in that it lets you search using terms as well as colors and usage guidelines. So, if you want a picture of a red bike with a creative commons license, it can hunt it down.
Part of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire pitch is its promise of Amazon Silk — a “split browser” exclusive to the tablet that gets the heavy lifting done on its EC2 cloud servers and promises faster access as a result. Dubbed Silk to represent an “invisible, yet incredibly strong connection”, it takes advantage of Amazon’s existing speedy connections, and that so many sites are already hosted on its servers to speed up web access. Another feature is its ability to learn from previous web surfers and use their data to determine how to render a page, and which sites to precache on the device before you even select the next link. While mobile browsers like Skyfire and Opera have offered speed boosting proxies before, Amazon thinks its AWS prowess and the addition of “dynamic decisions” about what to render locally or in the cloud takes it to another level. Read our live blog of the event for more details, or check out the video explanation and press release after the break.
While we’ve had access to Adobe’s Flash Player 11 in beta form for months, the company announced it will finally get official, along with Air 3, next month. Among the many new features included are support for accelerated 2D and 3D graphics with a claimed 1,000 times faster performance than Flash Player 10 and Air 2. That’s enough to enable “console-quality” gaming on both computers and connected TVs and on mobile devices (Android, iOS, Playbook) with a pre-release version of Flash 11 (a production release you can take on the go is expected in “the near future”). Other new options include allowing developers to package Air 3 along with their apps in a single install, HD video quality on multiple platforms including iOS, DRM for video rentals, 64-bit support and more. Check out Adobe’s pitch to developers with a press release and demo videos after the break, including a look at the hit iPad game Machinarium which was built with its tools.
During a sitdown with reporters yesterday, NVIDIA Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang discussed his company’s near- and long-term financial outlook, while providing some insight into the chipmaker’s quad-core future. According to Huang, NVIDIA expects to rake in between $4.7 and $5 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2013, with revenue from its mobile chip unit projected to mushroom tenfold by 2015, to a whopping $20 billion. Huang acknowledged that these predictions could be affected by external factors, including the ongoing patent wars between tablet and smartphone manufacturers, but didn’t seem too concerned about their immediate impact. “At this point, it looks like it’s much ado about nothing,” he said. In fact, Huang foresees rather robust growth in the mobile processing sector, estimating that there are about 100 million devices that will need chips this year — a figure that could soon rise to one billion, on the strength of more affordable handsets, efficient ARM processors and the rise of ultra-thin notebooks. And, despite his recent disappointment, Huang expects Android tablets to comprise a full 50 percent of the market in the near future, claiming that NVIDIA’s Tegra chips can currently be found in 70 percent of all slates running Google’s OS, and about half of all Android-based smartphones.
In the short-term, meanwhile, NVIDIA is busy developing its quad-core mobile processors — which, according to the exec, should appear in tablets during the third or fourth quarter of this year (quad-core smartphones, however, may be further down the road). Huang also sees room to develop wireless-enabled, Snapdragon-like processors, thanks to NVIDIA’s recent acquisition of Icera, but he hasn’t given up on GPUs, either, predicting that demand for graphics performance will remain stable. The loquacious CEO went on to divine that Windows 8 will support apps designed for Windows 7 (implying, perhaps, that Microsoft’s Silverlight platform will play a major role in future cloud-based developments), while contending that smaller, “clamshell devices” with keyboards will ultimately win out of over the Ultrabook strategy that Intel has been pursuing. For the moment, though, Huang seems pretty comfortable with NVIDIA’s position in the mobile processing market, citing only Qualcommas primary competition. “We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm,” he argued, adding that companies without a solid mobile strategy are “in deep turd.” You can find more of Huang’s insights at the source links below.
Samsung has had its sights set on a PMP with MP3 HD support for some time now — first announcing (and later killing) the IceTouch in 2010, and now launching the YP-R2 and YP-Z3 in markets including Russia and Korea. Claiming that the lossy/lossless HD MP3 sound is five times better than the standard variety, the company will put it to the test with access to Melon, Korea’s largest 2.2 million song music store. So far, Samsung has only confirmed the R2 has a 3-inch WQVGA full touch display, is .3-inches thick and weighs around 52 grams, while the Z3, on the other hand has a 1.8-inch display and measures in at 36 grams. The music players also support photo and text viewing, FM radio and 5.1-channel surround sound. The R2 comes in black and silver and costs 149,000 KRW ($140) for 4GB, and 169,000 KRW ($160) for 8GB. The Z3 comes in white, pink and blue and costs 89,000 KRW ($83) for 4GB, and 119,000 KRW for 8GB ($110). There’s no word yet if these devices will ever see US release, but check out the source for more pictures.
If you’re a sucker for juicy handset rumors, then this one’s for you. A few months ago, a supposed Samsung roadmap leaked, revealing a slew of new Android, Bada and WP7 handsets on the horizon. Today, a picture purporting to be one of those phones, the GT-19220 (W43) surfaced, complete with some specs to further grease the rumor mill. Word on the web says that the Sammy will have a 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED Plus display that measures in at 5.29 inches diagonally — even bigger than the 5-inch Dell Streak tablet. If our observational geometry is right, we’d say that screen size is probably pretty accurate. Rather than taking tablet status like the Dell, however, it seems bound to be the Galaxy S II’s big brother, as sources claim it’s running Gingerbread with a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and packs an 8 megapixel camera. Of course, these specs can’t be officially confirmed until the phone is launched, but it’s safe to say it’s likely a part of the Android army taking on the iPhone 5 this fall.
Update: Alas, as many of you have pointed out in comments, there’s not a lot of truth to this story. First, both devices you’re seeing above appear to actually be PMPs, not phones — the Galaxy S players we’ve seen before. Secondly, we’re hearing the actual name of this supposed smartphone is GT-i9220, not 19220.