Yesterday we reported on Amazon’s shot at the iPad Mini on the Amazon homepage via a comparison to the Kindle Fire HD. This came after last week’s big reveal of the iPad Mini by Apple. We now learn that a video exists that probably could be used by Apple to fend off the potshots and jokes floating around targeting the small tablet.
Well, maybe not. Dubbed a “banned” iPad Mini promo spot, the short video by John Elerick provides a quick escape from our serious work to enjoy some humor at Apple’s expense. Hit the break and take a few minutes to enjoy the video.
I think we’re all well aware of the advancements and power of the latest microprocessors in devices these days. My realization came when Tegra 3- based games starting to roll out looking very much like the console games I’ve been playing for years, not to mention the Android-powered satellites and the in flight entertainment system on Boeing’s new super-jet, the 787. It’s almost unbelievable what these tiny processor are capable of.
Given the power and potential of the tiny processors, today AMD announced that it’ll begin development of chips based on the designs of ARM chips, similar to the ones used in mobile devices. Since these chips consume less power, AMD says the new chips will be very efficient and offer a way for customers to cut the costs of running a data center by reducing power consumption and cooling needs. So, you can see the draw of the tiny processors given the huge cost-savings they’ll be capable of in data centers.
Once a power player in the technology industry, this new move couldn’t come at a better time with AMD’s struggling sales and margins. This move would immediately provide a new competitive advantage over their rival Intel since Intel doesn’t currently sell microprocessors based on ARM designs. You’ve got to think that this move will provide a boost in sales, if successful, while also reducing shipping costs thus adding even more to the bottom line. AMD aims to have the chips available by 2014.
source: The Wall Street Journal
In news that I’m sure will be pleasing to T-Mobile, MetroPCS has hit the one million mark in subscribed LTE customers (about 11% of its customers) and have also turned a profit of $193 million, even though they lost over 300,000 customers in the third quarter. How does one manage to turn such a profit while losing so many customers? MetroPCS credits “cash-saving exercises”, timely investments, and reducing a top priority of cell companies – churn. I’m sure a lot of MetroPCS and T-Mobile customers alike are wondering what the merger has in store for them. Hopefully it’ll end up benefitting the customer in some form or fashion.
Living in this day and age definitely has its perks. Whereas 10 years ago we’d never be able to interact with engineers and designers of the products we use, these days it’s relatively easy. Take Matias Duarte, for example. Android’s Director of User Experience took to Google+ to tackle fans’ burning questions regarding the newly announced Nexus products.
One question he addressed first was about the new system button placement on Android 4.2 tablets. If you’ve noticed, Google has thrown out the old system/notification bar of older tablets and instead have incorporated a Nexus 7-like experience. This was an obvious move to keep user experience consistent when switching amongst devices, which I happen to be a fan of. Part of brand loyalty is knowing exactly what to expect no matter which device you pick up. Bravo, Google.
Another issue he took on may be of interest to a lot of you. Why no SD card on Nexus devices? In Matias’ own words, he addresses that below:
Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users. If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt every time? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.
There you have it. It’s all about streamlining the user experience and possibly making the Nexus brand more appealing to the casual crowd. Probably not the worst business decision.
source: +Matias Duarte
LG announced the Spectrum 2 available today on Verizon for $99 with a two-year contract. The Spectrum sequel gets bumped up to a 4.7-inch True HD IPS 720p display, sports a dual-core 1.5GHz processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 , 8-megapixel rear camera, and 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot. If those specs sound familiar it’s because this is the same phone leaked by Best Buy last week.
The Spectrum 2 doesn’t quite measure up to LG’s quad-core Optimus G or Nexus 4 but at $99 your wallet won’t mind too much. Unlike the Nexus 4, it won’t run Android 4.2 just yet in favor of Ice Cream Sandwich, but it can take advantage of Verizon’s market-leading LTE network.
Full Press Release after the break
Leading Android developers, Google Android representatives, handset manufacturers and operators will be appearing on Apps World’s Droid World stage early next year at the world famous Moscone Center in San Francisco, California delivering valuable developer advice and ideas around the world’s most popular smartphone OS.
Some of the industry’s most successful developers will there to shed light on their creative, technical and business processes in open, interactive workshops where attendees will be encouraged to suggest discussion topics, debate and collaborate.
ZTE, whose website proclaims is the world’s 4th largest manufacturer, announced the cheapest quad-core smartphone yet. The ZTE U950 packs a 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM but its most impressive spec is the 999 yuan price (approximately $160 USD).
The low-priced Android device comes with a 4.3-inch display and is only 9mm-thick. It will have Ice Cream Sandwich at launch but appears to have the specs to support Jelly Bean. It has a 2,000 mAh battery, 5 megapixel rear camera and VGA front facing camera. No word on expandable storage or if the battery is removable.
The first 100,000 people to register on the U950 sign-up page will get to order the device starting November 11th. This is a China release only but might be precursor of what ZTE is planning for other markets. It hasn’t exactly set the US market on fire but an unlocked sub $200 quad-core device would certainly make a splash.
A lot of games are adding Halloween themed updates and My Car Salon is no exception. My Car Salon, created by Animoca, is a time-management game for car lovers. Characters such as Ratchet, Socket, Hammer, and Torque can now dress up like a ghoul, bat, pumpkin, monster, or other silly costumes. This update also includes an eerie new level involving ghosts and goblins that have taken over the repair shop.
Chances are you have already played My Car Salon since it has been downloaded over 2 million times. If not, and you’re looking for something new that includes the spirit of Halloween, then check it out because it’s available now and it’s free. Hit the break for a quick demo video, download links, and the press release.
Earlier this month we reported on EA’s teaser video for the latest installment in their Need for Speed franchise – Need for Speed Most Wanted. Today, the game was released and is available in the Google Play Store for $6.99. The game enables you to drive over 35 different cars using either touch or tilt controls. By logging in to the Origin service, players can check out who is most wanted either across different platforms or just among your friends, then challenge them to a street-racing showdown. Adding to the pressure of the competition is a police force trying to put an end to your fun and games.
EA indicates Android 2.3.3 or higher is required. If you are interested in grabbing a copy, use one of the download links below.
Google Play Download Link
Infinite Dreams recently released a Halloween-esque update to their app, Shoot the Zombirds. It’s an addictive little game that feels a bit like the NES classic, Duck Hunt. You play a crossbow-wielding hero, defending Pumpkids from swarms of undead birds. It’s simple, but it’s extremely polished and plays well.
The newest Halloween based update brings three new spooky characters, two new Halloween backgrounds, and a Halloween-themed game icon. If you’re in a creepy holiday mood and need a new time waster while waiting for the bus, it’s hard to go wrong with this (free) app.
Full press release and download links after the break: