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RIM introduces PlayBook – the BlackBerry tablet

Today at Research In Motion’s developer event, Mike Lazaridis introduced the company’s new tablet — the PlayBook. The device will sport a Cortex A9, 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 7-inch display, webOS-like app switching, an e-reader component, full document editing, and pairing with BlackBerry phones. The device will be capable of 1080p HDMI video and will have HDMI and USB ports, a front and rear HD camera configuration, and will be 9.7mm thick. The PlayBook’s interface is based on a platform designed by QNX, just as we’d heard previously, and will be called the BlackBerry Tablet OS. The device will apparently be available in “early 2011,” but there was no mention of a retail price. The PlayBook will have full OpenGL and POSIX support, and RIM seems to have its eye set firmly on capturing a gamer market, stating “This is going to be an incredible gaming platform for publishers and the players.” Lazaridis also called the slate “the first professional tablet,” and “an amplified view of what’s already on your BlackBerry.” The device will connect via Bluetooth to BlackBerry devices, though the content is cached only temporarily on the PlayBook — kind of like the… Foleo. More info is coming our way as we type, and we’ve got a full feature list, press release, and video after the break!

Specifications :

  • 7-inch LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

3D movies on iPhone

Here’s something you probably didn’t know your iPhone could do: display movies in 3D.

Actually, it can’t quite yet. But a company called Spatial View is launching an online 3D movie store, 3DeeCentral, and it has submitted an app that grants access to it for review by Apple.

There’s a catch: unlike most apps, you need a piece of hardware to use 3DeeCentral. Spatial View makes a thin screen that you slip on top of your iPhone 3G or 3GS; this screen lets you see video rendered in 3D without wearing any funny glasses.

We don’t expect this to sweep the nation overnight. For one thing, it looks like the library of content will be fairly sparse to begin with. And the 3D effect isn’t as compelling as it is on a larger screen using glasses.

But we just tried it out, and it was real, live 3D right there on the phone. And that was awesome.

The store, screen, and app will all be available later this fall. The iPhone screen is expected to cost under $20. Similar screens for the iPhone 4, the iPad, and Android devices will follow.


iPad 2 patent shows possible future features

Detailed schematics that potentially show features of the next version of the iPad have been uncovered in China by Patently Apple, a website that tracks Apple patent applications.

The new designs, which are unconfirmed at present, describe two supposedly new features; the first is the addition of a second dock connector on the side of the iPad to allow for landscape as well as portrait docking, while the second illustrates a feature the site is calling a “smart bezel”.

According to the site, it first came across the term “smart bezel” in February 2010 in a separate Apple patent for a future iPad.

“The feature, whatever it is, is found in three distinct graphics to impress upon us that it is a distinct feature consistently found in the left bottom corner of the iPad”, the site reports.

The patent could be connected to another that was awarded to Apple earlier in the year by the US Patent Office. It talks about a new technology that remembers who you are simply from the way you hold the device.

Once the unit recognises who is holding it, buttons can be moved and settings personalised to reflect the way the person using the handheld product likes to have things set up.

While another patent, also held by Apple, hints at one that features disappearing buttons, suggesting that a smart bezel could be used for bookmarks or flicking through pages.

Whatever it is, it’s a distinct move away from the one button design current found in the iPad and the company’s iPhone and iPod models.


HTC Desire HD ROM ported to DROID Incredible, Desire, now EVO 4G

Perhaps you’ve seen the amazing boot time on the HTC Desire HD, which ranges anywhere from 3-5 seconds. A couple days ago, it was announced that the Droid Incredible and Desire had gotten a port of this snappy new ROM, which was showing off the same cool boot time as the original ROM. Now, however, it looks like these two devices aren’t the only ones seeing some ROM porting love, as the HTC EVO 4G has joined in the party.

Keep in mind that these ports should be considered half-baked, as there are issues with camera, wifi, 4G and more. But, if you’re willing to sacrifice those aspects for a speedy ROM, then back up your current configuration, and give it a go! Links to the xda threads are found below:


10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab coming in 2011?

This one has been grinding around the Samsung rumour mill for a while, but on Saturday Sammy apparently let slip that we can expect a bigger, 10″ version of its upcoming Galaxy Tab some time in the first half of 2011.

Samsung announced earlier this month that it had plans to release a whole host of different sized tablets in the coming months, with head of global sales and marketing, DJ Lee, saying: “people have different desires, so we are definitely going to have different sizes of tablets.”

Samsung also confirmed that they will be releasing tablets in different price ranges, with the current pre-order price for the 7″ Galaxy Tab hovering at around £600.

The new 10″ Galaxy Tab will be released in the Gingerbread (or Android 3.0, to non-Androiders) era of first-half 2011, so smart money’s on it running the updated OS, rather than the current 7″ Galaxy’s Android 2.2 Froyo.

The current incarnation of the Galaxy Tab (the 7″ version) is available for pre-order ahead of its release this November, boasting a Super TFT screen, front and back-facing cameras and the ability to make calls and send texts.


Thales, Panasonic demo Android-based in-flight entertainment systems

Never heard of Thales? Consider yourself schooled. Thales has been kicking the tires in the in-flight entertainment market for over a decade now, but there’s no question that its latest innovation is the one that could take it the next level. Shown recently in Long Beach, the Touch Passenger Media Unit (TouchPMU) is one of the most intriguing uses of Android yet. The idea here is to use the 3.8-inch handset / controller in order to both view content and control what’s happening on one’s headrest television. The control itself is powered by an ARM Cortex processor and sports a capacitive touchpanel (800 x 480 resolution), support for Flash and 3D graphics. There’s no telling when this stuff will actually be available on commercial flights (or when legacy airlines will ditch their World War II-era fleet), but it’s safe to say that we’re eager and ready for the future. Oh, and just in case anyone at Thales felt like resting on their laurels, it seems that Panasonic also has an Android-based.


WebOS 2.0 gets fresh round of screenshots; new Palm phones and Touchstone certified?

The name of certification firm TÜV Rheinland may not ring a bell, so allow us to jog your memory: these are the guys that outed the GSM versions of the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus prior to their announcement earlier this year. Hence, the interwebs are paying pretty close attention this evening now that we’ve found US and Canadian certifications for Palm models P102UNA and P102EWW, which — following Palm’s typical model numbering convention — would correspond to North American GSM and CDMA versions of some new device, respectively. To put things in perspective, the P101UNA was unearthed in the certification database on January 23rd and announced for AT&T on March 22nd, so we could reasonably still have a couple months’ wait on these… or a couple days. No way of knowing yet how Palm plans to play this. There’s also a listing for a new “inductive battery charger,” which would certainly imply a new Touchstone — which may or may not still bear the Touchstone name.

On a related note, we’ve received a slew of new webOS 2.0 screen shots — and while some of them look familiar, our eyes were drawn to the sexy new “classic” and flip-style digital clocks. Important? Not necessarily, but sometimes it’s the little touches that count. Hit up the gallery for the full show (and don’t forget our first batch from a few weeks back, while you’re at it).

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