Had some doubts that Apple was heading skyward? Those lingering concerns can now be put to rest. Apple has confirmed that it will be announcing iCloud on June 6th, what its calling an “upcoming cloud services offering.” That will be part of the keynote for this years Worldwide Developers Conference, known to the cool kids as WWDC. This is, of course, where everyone has come to expect new iPhones to come to light, but this year were thinking the focus will be more on software, and indeed Apples event notice indicates that the big highlights will be Mac OS X Lion and the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5. This is a decidedly non-Apple way to announce something big like iCloud, making us wonder what other surprises Steve Jobs will have for us at the event — yes, hell be kicking things off. As ever you can find out as it happens here, live.
The thickest part of this new laptop is 17mm, its entire body is built from an aluminum alloy, and the CPUs can be specced as high as Core i7. Anything else you need to know before drooling all over yourself? ASUS projects the launch of its shiny new UX21 in September.
Not to be outdone by Kobo, which just unleashed its latest E Ink reader yesterday, the folks at Barnes & Noble are back with the latest update to their line of Nook devices. The “all new” Nook has the same Zeforce infrared touch layer as the aforementioned Kobo, and lasts up to two months on a single charge. The Pearl E Ink screen boasts “80-percent less flashing” during page turns, something that many fans of the devices have resigned themselves to having their eyes assaulted by. B&N is also quite proud of its streamlined interface which it brags has 37 less buttons than the Kindle 3. Around the back is a soft-touch rubber surface that should feel great in the hand while reading, though, we’ll have to wait to manhandle one ourselves to be sure.
The new Nook has a redesigned home screen with your current reading list and suggested titles. It also adds a few new features like FastPage Zoom forward, which lets you jump to any page in a title, and (finally) displays the number of pages left to go. Inside is Android 2.1, 2GB of storage, which can be expanded using the microSD slot, and a WiFi radio — but sadly no 3G. You’ll also be able to share quotes, lend books, and update your status on social networks using Nook Friends, which debuted last year with the Nook Color.
You can pre-order online and in stores now and the updated Nook should start shipping to customers June 10th. You’ll also be able to pick one up at BestBuy, Walmart, Books-A-Million, and Staples for $139 at the same time.
Nokia has noted Microsoft’s announcement of the new Windows Phone 7 (aka Mango) with word that the software being demonstrated today will be the one we’ll see on the first Nokia with Windows Phone device. It also slightly contracts the roadmap for the first handset born from the Microkia partnership, though Nokia’s statement makes sure not to make any promises about when said device will show up. Finally, we find the “Nokia with Windows Phone” phrasing somewhat peculiar, don’t be surprised if you see it turn into a branding strategy for Nokia’s smartphones going forward. Here’s the relevant statement, straight out of Finland:
“Today Microsoft has announced the key new ingredients of the latest ‘Mango’ release of the Windows Phone operating system. This is the software that will be used on the first Nokia with Windows Phone device, and so should be of keen interest to Nokia-watchers everywhere.”
Update: Microsoft just concluded its keynote with word that it already has Nokia phones running Mango in its labs. And none have leaked out yet, amazing!
Update 2: We were just contacted by a Nokia representative indicating that there was a mistake in the original announcement the company distributed. It wasn’t supposed to read device, it was supposed to be devices. More than one!
Been loving the Opera Mini experience on your iPhone and wishing for it on your larger iOS device? Opera is today turning that desire into reality with the release of v6.0 of its Mini mobile browser, which now has support for all iOS portables, including the iPad and iPad 2, plus a specific shoutout for the iPhone 4’s retina display. The overall design of the web explorer has also been freshened up, with a “new look and feel,” while a social sharing function will let you blast URLs into Twitter and Facebook directly from the app. Additionally, the new version includes the ability to load tabs in the background and improves support for non-Latin alphabets like Arabic and Chinese.
Mango may no longer be a secret in and of itself, but we doubt Microsoft would’ve set up an entire event to preview its big Windows Phone update if there was nothing hidden up that Redmond sleeve. To that end, we’ve just come across an official press release from the company, released on its Romanian website. The machine translation awaits after the break.
The first thing to note is that the update will be “freely available” to all current Windows Phone handsets, something Microsoft already committed to, and will be ready for download “at the beginning of this summer.” (Update: it looks like our translation machinery betrayed us, tipsters are saying it’s actually the beginning of autumn.) Naturally, the new goodness will also figure in new devices and from new partners, including Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE. Those fresh faces join Nokia and the incumbent partners of Dell, HTC, Samsung, and LG to expand the WP ecosystem.
A Beta SDK of the new Windows Phone free tools will be available within 24 hours, we’re promised, for developers to sink their teeth into.
In the communications department, Microsoft is introducing conversation threads, which seamlessly transition between MSN Messenger chats, SMS, and other messaging to keep you talking to the same person irrespective of the method. New contact group tiles are also incoming, with the ability to send quick emails or IMs to entire groups. Twitter and LinkedIn contact integration is mentioned, though we expect this go a lot deeper in Twitter’s case, as Microsoft has already demonstrated. Speaking of more in-depth integration, Microsoft has improved the Live Tiles to allow the display of more dynamic information from apps, which will of course be able to multitask beautifully. Internet Explorer 9 is also joining in on the Mango fun with support for HTML5. Jump past the break for all the details.
I’ve been on a bit of a tablet kick lately, so even if you have dinner with me—tablets are bound to come up (I only break out the SSD conversation for the truly patient). Last week I had the pleasure of having dinner with Tony Tamasi and Jim Black of NVIDIA, and of course—tablets came up.
I’ve been thinking about device synergy, something I brought up in our PlayBook review. The problem is as follows: if I’m on my desktop with half a dozen tabs open and perhaps a PDF as well, but I decide to switch over to a tablet—there’s no quick way that I can transition my reading environment between the devices. What I have to do is sit down on the couch, whip out my tablet, and manually navigate to each website and redownload/open the PDF. What I’d like to do is something along the lines of HP’s Touch to Share, but just on a larger scale.
Pantech is one of the leading mobile phone companies in S.Korea, and they always announce some amazing devices but mostly in S.Korea. They are also offering some of their devices in the States via AT&T and Verizon, but all of them are just mid-range devices, and we are still waiting for Pantech to announce their superphones in USA, like the new Pantech Vega Racer. It’s the first device to come with a 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm MSM8600, 1GB RAM and a blazing fast Adreno GPU. Unfortunately, the device will be available only on SK Telecom later this month. It comes with a 4.3-Inch TFT LCD display with a resolution of 800×480 and the phone is rocking on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. There is an 8 MP camera on the back side and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera. It’s only 9 mm thin, features 1650 mAh battery and weighs 120 grams. Pantech is also planning to launch a tablet later this year, so let’s see if the tablet is powerful enough to beat XOOM and other tablets.
HTC’s first attempt at tackling the tablet market, the HTC Flyer has landed in the T3 offices and so we have compiled a gallery of hands-on images with the 7-inch device.
Available to buy now priced £599.99 as a standalone device the HTC Flyer, first unveiled at Mobile World Congress back in February, comes equipped with Google’s Android 2.4 Gingerbread mobile operating system with an upgrade to the tablet centric 3.0 Honeycomb reportedly already in the works.
Touting a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600p resolution the Flyer’s spec sheet is plumped by the inclusion of a 1.5GHz single core processor 1GB of RAM and HTC’s hugely popular Sense UI skin running over Google’s Android OS.
With full Flash 10 and HTML 5 compatibility, the HTC Flyer comes boxed with a HTC Magic Pen stylus for note taking and improved user interaction with a 5-megapixel rear mounted camera with 720p HD video recording capabilities joins by a 1.3-megapixel forward-facing snapper.
Fresh off the Japanese launch of its LifeBook TH40/D Windows 7 tablet, it appears that Fujitsu is gearing up to release a new seven-inch Android slate. According to DigiTimes, Fujitsu’s forthcoming slab is scheduled to hit the market during the third quarter of this year and will run on Android 3.1 Honeycomb. It’s unclear whether or not the device will sport the same stylus support and sliding keyboard that its Windows 7 counterpart features, but Fujitsu is reportedly planning on selling the tablet for anywhere between about $350 and $700, which effectively ranges from “bargain” to “blimey.” We’re certainly hoping that the final price falls on the low end of that spectrum, but we’ll have to wait and see if our dreams become a reality.