Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Apple releases iOS 6.1

For some time now Apple has been releasing developer betas of its latest version of iOS, iOS 6.1. Many changes were noticed in the betas but it was very well known to everyone that what Apple gives its consumers in its latest OS could only be found out when iOS 6.1 is released to the public. Well, the day has finally come. Apple has outed its iOS 6.1 to the public.

As it can be seen, if you already were on iOS 6.0.1, the OTA update weighs only 107 MB but if you want to download and update your iDevice through a computer, then it is quite heavy at about 900MB. Although beta versions had many differences, some minor and some major, from iOS 6.0.1, but, as it is always with Apple software betas, not all made through to the public release version. But there was one good thing that we got to have a look at in the betas that was kept, the movie ticket purchase feature through Fandango directly from SIRI. Although some features, that were present in betas, were not there in the final release but Apple did greet us with a nice surprise, an extended list of carriers that now support LTE on iPhone 5 (You can have a look at the whole list by clicking here). Here you go with the official change-log.

While some might be happy or some might be disappointed, every Apple update brings major security and battery life additions to the devices. As a matter of fact, there has been an overwhelming downloads of the update,already, with developers seeing about 22% adoption in first 36 hours only. If compared with Android, only 10% of devices have been updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean after 6 months of its release. You can click here to directly download the IPSW file for the update.

Also, there is a good news for all the jailbreaking fans out there. An untethered jailbreak for all iOS 6.x iDevices has now been released. It has been named evasi0n and you can click here to know how to go through with the process.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

WindowsAndroid brings on its A-game

Android has become the most used OS of the smartphone world surpassing every other mobile operating system with a huge margin. But when it comes to PCs, Microsoft's Windows OS is still the king and it is going to be a long time before its thrown off its throne. As the usage of mobile devices is growing these days, people sometimes get irksome when they think of using a different operating system on their mobile device than the one on their PC. To solve the problem, a Beijing based startup company, SocketeQ, has come up with a software, WindowsAndroid.

While some people may find it similar to BlueStacks, a silicon valley based startup, which lets you run Android apps on Windows OS but this one is different and that too in a positive way. It not only lets you run made for Android apps on your dear Windows PC but also lets you use Android browser and all the other components of Android operating system as well.

It all begin in 2010, when the developers started working on Android 2.1 Eclair port "as something fun" and then Android 2.3 GingerBread to test the feasibility of the project. It was last year when they made efforts to try and port Android 4.0.3 on to Windows OS. They had to re-write multiple times on top of the old porting codebase to perform the port with three main goals in their mind: full support for an original Android version, efficiency and easy to sync with Google's codebase. And they did a great job in achieving their goals.

The best thing about WindowsAndroid is that its not an emulator or simulator based port but a Windows Kernel based one which lets it support all Windows compatible I/O devices such as keyboard, mouse, etc which not only removes the touchscreen usage restriction but also makes a Windows user feel at home while using it.

To have a go at the early release of WindowsAndroid, you have to fill out a form(with a valid e-mail address) on their website, SocketeQ.com, and download the meager 64.8 MB installer. Despite of what you might think, with a good bandwidth internet connection, the whole process of signing up, downloading and installing takes only 15 minutes. Upon being installed, WindowsAndroid takes up only 300 MB of your storage space and comes with a Android Robot icon. On execution, you are greeted with a command prompt interface which loads all of its components and then your Android on Windows device starts with the launch of the very familiar Android boot screen.

As you can see, it does not recognise Kernel version, when we go to the About section, as it uses Windows Kernel to run WindowsAndroid which is also a reason why Google Play doesn't recognise it as an Android device as it isn't able to identify the hardware as well as the Kernel. Although this poses to be problem when side-loading apps, but you can always copy the APK files to windowsandroid_root\data\app directory. After a reboot, you can easily load and run the apps.

Although everything seems to be working just fine and the way SocketeQ has promised, but the company's main aim is to fully port Android OS to Windows OS keeping all of Android's original things such as its UI and Dalvik Virtual Machine. They also want to make use of Windows OS based hardware performance by leveraging hardware acceleration and media codecs to get higher performance.

According to SocketeQ, the software "is still in early development status" and the developers are working on "integrating more features like full app running support, media playback and whole OpenGL ES simulation based on Desktop OpenGL".

Here you go with the current official features list:

While it is just an experiment and major bugs and crashes are expected, but it is certainly a one to keep close eyes on. Lets have a look at the product video which showcases the efficiency with which WindowsAndroid works.

[Update] = As many of you were having problem receiving the download link, i have uploaded it on another mirror and you can click here to download it.
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Galaxy Note 8.0 shows itself in leaked pictures

Samsung's Galaxy Note series has a nostalgia attached to it. Even though its unconventional size was considered a road-block in the starting but we all know how much it has appealed to the consumers world wide bringing stylus pens back from grave. Recently, S-Pen stepped into the 10" tablet category with Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and now an 8" tablet rocking the S-Pen seemed like the logical step. A while back, the GT-N5100 moniker appeared in the benchmark database and we knew Samsung is taking the logical step.

Quite recently, after the GPU GLBenchmarks results of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 leaked and confirmed the presence of the device, Samsung's Head of Mobile Communication, JK Shin, himself confirmed that such a device is in the pipeline. While the specifications started becoming clear, looks were still a topic of debate. But now, french website, FrAndroid was able to get hands on some shots of the purported Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 clearing quite much of a hazy picture.

The S-Pen equipped slate is supposed to be powered by Exynos 4412 chipset consisting of a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM. It will have a 1280X800 resolution screen, 16/32GB internal memory with micro SD card slot, 4600 mAh battery and the regular set of connectivity options. With the right price, it is supposed to compete with Apple iPad Mini.

Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) is supposed to be the launch stage for this device. So, lets wait and watch if Samsung can stand up to the expectations this leaks have been mounting for quite some time now.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Temple Run 2 comes out to be played on Android

Temple Run was one of the most successful games of the yesteryear and the one which led to the launch of a horde of running strategy based games on different application stores. Temple Run was downloaded more then 170 million times on iOS itself and while the exclusivity ended later then sooner, when it was launched on Android it became a huge success there as well. Now, Imangi Studios are back with another amazing launch and the sequel to their original success formula, Temple Run, with Temple Run 2.

While the application was originally launched on iOS a week back but the iOS exclusiveness of the title has just ended as it has now been launched on Google Play store as well so that its Android using fans can also enjoy the new goodness. As already told here, the sequel has been redesigned to be played on new environments with new graphics. Also, now each character can be accustomed with a special power and Imangi Studios have increased the number of achievements and also introduced levels based on these achievements, probably to make the game more long lastingly addictive.

Temple Run 2 on AppStore
Temple Run 2 on Google Play Store
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When Google announced its Google Glasses project back in June 2012 during its annual Google I/O developer's conference last year, it was considered a major step towards the realization of Augmented Reality and related gadgetry. When Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, showcased it on stage during the conference, everyone was mesmerized with the successful demonstration.

Since Google also announced, at the conference, that attending developers can pre-order its Explorer Edition, people have been desperately holding their breaths to have a look at a live working prototype of the project. Sergey Brin was recently spotted riding in on NYC subway sporting a prototype of the amazing device.

"The world's most powerful man" and Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin was spotted blending in the subway crowd by a wearable technology and augmented reality enthusiast Brooklyn resident, Noah Zerkin, who made sure to put an entry about this amazing meet in his blog. Google should be commended on the fact that Google announced the project in April last year, with its first demo video released in June featuring Sergey Brin skydiving wearing the glasses and now it is being used and worn among ordinary people who might not even have any idea what it is.

Google cleared its intentions about the project last week during its first hackathon even for Google Glass Developers. According to Google, the aim of the project is to bring this cool augmented reality technology to such a level that it can be worn and easily used by anyone at any place. Also, Vuzix is also working on a similar augmented reality project, of which the spotter is part of. The Vuzix device goes by the name of Vuzix M100 and is sure to create a wave of excitement as well when it is launched.

Is this the future where people wear augmented reality based wearable technology in their day to day lives while doing normal daily activities? Sergey Brin sure hope so. We sure hope so.
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Sony announces Xperia Tablet Z in Japan

At this year's CES, Sony announced its new flagship smartphones Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, and soon after the launch they were a complete hit among fans and critiques alike. But after the talks of possibility of a Sony Xperia Tablet Z started making rounds. To make things official, Sony has just announced the thinnest and lightest Android slate, its Xperia Tablet Z.

It is a 6.9mm thick and 495 gram weighing tablet. Tablet Z can be considered a 10 inch derivative of Sony Xperia Z. It also runs on a Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and a 1080p screen with Bravia Engine 2 and just like Xperia Z, it is also water and dust resistant. It has 32 GB of internal memory which can be expanded using the given micro SD card slot. It is equipped with an 8 MP shooter with Exmor R backlit sensor.

The specs are quite interesting and powerful but there is one catch - Tablet Z is only available in Japanfor now. Although pricing or availability haven't been made official yet but one thing is sure, the slate will be available in both black and white colors.

The Tablet market is still a lucrative and an untapped one. Lets hope, Sony decides to bring the tablet to the rest of the world and announces its world-wide availability during MWC 2013.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

The Megaupload successor, Mega, is here

Last year the US Justice Department went on a closedown spree when it shutdown several content sharing websites on the grounds of piracy with sites like megaulpoad.com getting shut all of a sudden with a FBI anti-piracy warning but its creator, Kim, is now back.

Exactly one year ago, Mega Upload was shut down by the US Justice department on grounds of copyright violation of many media companies and thus promoting piracy with its founder, Kim Dotcom, getting arrested for it. After the whole debacle last year, Kim started working on a new secure file sharing platform, the Mega Upload successor, Mega, which has now went live.

Mega isn't unlike other file sharing websites such as Dropbox. It features similar drag and drop uploading feature. Although there are many such file sharing websites nowadays but this one stands out by providing 50GB free of cost online storage space to all users and its pro plans go up to 4TB of online storage.

While that is already amazing, Mega will also provide domain registration, email and web hosting services in the near future which will be powered by Instra, which is domain registration website and also one of the investors of Mega. So it seems as if Mega is a cross between Dropbox and GoDaddy.

While, the service looks lucrative, for sure, only Google Chrome users can visit the website, due to compatibility reasons, for now. But, as they mentioned in their blog already, Mega's all features haven't been turned on yet by its creators who have promised several improvements to the present features and some exciting additions to the service.

Will Mega be able to snatch some customers from Dropbox and GoDaddy is going to be an interesting thing to watch for in the future but it is safe to say that things are looking positive for the service already.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 confirmed by JK Shin

Rumor mill is always abuzz with upcoming devices or concepts that public thinks a company should release, and one such device is Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. Although its launch is considered quite a logical and expected move for Samsung, there wasn't any confirmation from any Samsung official, yet. Recently, iNews24 got an official confirmation of the release of Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung's Head of Mobile Communication, JK Shin.

As iNews24 also got confirmation about Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini from JK Shin before the release, the possibility of truth in this scoop becomes quite high. As we know, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will go by GT-N5100 moniker. Also, recently its GLBenchmark GPU results also got leaked and made popular rounds on internet.

If Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 sports a 1280X800 resolution screen, 2GB RAM and 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos chipset, than it has a good chance of becoming more appealing than iPad Mini, its main competitor, to many consumers. Although, all of it is a speculation at this point, we may see the launch of Galaxy Note 8.0 at this year's MWC.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Benchmarks confirm Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung's Galaxy Note series has been a category definer and a surprise success in the smartphone world. With the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the Koreans moved their amazing S-Pen technology to the big screen as well and as expected, they are moving to the only screen category left, the 8" one with the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 .

The info comes, quite expectantly, from SamMobile which is usually quite reliable. The device is set to compete with Apple iPad Mini and sport Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. Also, it is supposed to be equipped with 2 gigs of RAM, 1280X800 Super LCD display, 5MP shooter, 16GB/32GB variants with expandable memory, Exynos 4412 1.6 GHz quad-core chipset and 4600 mAh battery complete with usual array of connectivity features and of course S-Pen.

While all this is speculation and leaks through reliable internal sources of SamMobile, recently a more concrete thing made rounds on the internet, GLBenchmark GPU results of the device in question. Although, the test machine was running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, it can easily be updated in final stages.

The aforementioned do promise a solid performance but everyone must be curious as to how it stacks up against its main competition, Apple iPad Mini. You can find that out by clicking here. Although, the device seems quite lucrative with its specifications and S-Pen, we will have to wait till MWC 2013 to find out the complete truth.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

BB 10 training material leaks

There has already been a horde of BlackBerry 10 related leaks with one of its first BB10 based device, Z10, posing for its portfolio and then emergence of retail images of Z10. And now, the training material intended to teach people in sales about how to sell the new OS and its devices.

A month ago, Rogers announced that its customers can book the upcoming LTE BB 10 based devices on its reservation system and now it looks its taking it to the next level just 2 weeks before the official launch of the new OS, on 30 January, by teaching its personnel about how to make the devices feel lucrative to the customers. The training material is in form of a 37 page slide show which swifts through every feature, starting from the hardware(Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, 1800 mAh battery and 356ppi touchscreen) and moving along to BlackBerry world store(20m songs, 70k apps at launch) through its software(new gesture based UI and "best in class" HTML5 browser) of the upcoming devices, also confirming previous leaks about the devices.

It also shows the new features such as time shift and others those were also seen when the retail images of Z10 surfaced. Its up to customers to decide whether they want to buy any of the BB 10 smartphones but its re-assuring to see that BlackBerry is trying. While we wait for the official announcement and launch of devices on 30 January, here you go with the slide show.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sony recently announced its 2013 flagships at CES 2013 and since then they have gathered quite a fan following. Also, Sony has polished its UI on its 4 krait cores and 2GB ram based 5 inch 1080p monster. But when it comes to launchers, everyone have their choice and while some say HTC sense is the best, some say Samsung's Nature UX has the most number of features but still there are many people who prefer Sony's Xperia launcher. For the lover's of Sony's Xperia Z launcher, even before its launch, an XDA member ThilinaC, was able to port the launcher from Xperia Z.

ThilianC managed to port Sony's Xperia Z launcher in a way that it can be run on any rooted ICS and JellyBean based Android device including current Samsung Galaxy Flagships (Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2). It has also been already tested successfully on popular devices such as HTC One X, Galaxy Nexus and Xperia T. The launcher is fully working with all of the features working smoothly.

If you want to give the launcher a try, click here to find the installation instructions and required files.
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Imangi Studios launch Temple Run 2

If you know what this cartoon depicts, then you already know what this is about. Temple Run is the game that gave birth to the runner category of games. Its developers, Imangi Studios and Fuzzycube Software, are very proud of the game as it has already been downloaded 170 million times on iOS itself making it one of the biggest gaming success stories. Now, to take it to the next level, Imangi Studios and Fuzzycube Software have released the sequel to the uber popular game, named as Temple Run 2.

This time the app has better graphics, 7 different characters and a temple in the sky(among other new locations) but it works on the easy to master swipes-based gameplay of Temple Run. For the Temple Run fans and those who haven't played the game ever, the game is a must try, to say the least.

The rumors of this launch started to surface a day before the launch. While New Zealand was the first country to have a go at the app but now it has made its way to all the app stores of the world. The app has only been released on iOS for now but according to its developers, it will make its way to Google Play Store very soon.

Temple Run 2 on AppStore
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Samsung announces octa-core Exynos 5

Rumors of an octa-core processor from Samsung have been floating in the smartphone world for a while. Also, CES 2013 was a bit boring in terms of Samsung's announcements. It looks like Samsung has answered both the problems with this one announcement. It managed to get us quite excited by announcing first ever octa-core SoC for mobile, Exynos 5.

Recently, Samsung announced its Exynos 5 SoC at CES 2013, an octa-core CPU based chipset. It is based on ARM's big.LITTLE technology and it consists of 4 ARM coretx A15 28nm cores running at 1.8 GHz(for heavy tasks) and 4 ARM cortex A7 28nm cores running at 1.2 GHz(for light day to day tasks). Because the SoC is based on 28nm architecture, it is supposed to be more energy efficient then previous Exynos SoCs and Samsung is claiming upto 25% increase in power efficiency. Although companies do claim more then reality to market their products but this one seems a legible one and if it comes out to be true the new SoC will become faster while become more energy efficient at the same time.

Although, Samsung din't announce the GPU of this SoC but considering the fact that Exynos 5 Dual contains Mali-T604 GPU, it seemed to be a safe bet that this one will feature the same but as it turns out Samsung is instead going to go with PowerVR 544MP3 GPU in the SoC. A notable fact is that Apple currently uses PowerVR 543MP3 in its latest A6 SoC which powers its iPhone 6 and 544MP3 only differs in the way from it is that it supports DirectX 10 rendering and 2X faster triangle setup. Also, Apple's A6X(which powers iPad 4th Generation) now uses even higher version of PowerVR series GPU namely PowerVR 554MP4. So, Exynos 5 octa-core SoC is expected to deliver graphical capabilities between those of Apple iPad 3 and iPad 4.

Although, the smartphone world is abuzz with the rumor that this will the heart of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy SIV smartphone but such rumors are surely to be taken with a bag of salt. But, we can say one thing for sure that it is going to be interesting what Samsung comes up with to harness the performance out of this beast.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 retail images emerge


BlackBerry 10 leaks have been flying around for some time, especially the ones referring to BlackBerry Z10. About a month ago, company's showman, Vivek Bhardwaj, showcased BB10's all-new redesigned keyboard and then the leaks began popping at an amazing rate. First, an image of Z10 was leaked but recently every bit of internals was leaked on video by ETrade Supply. Now, retail images of advertisements, that are supposed to be run after the phone launches, have made their way out of the wraps for the whole world to have a look.

For the first time, we get to have a look at both the white and black colors of the BB Z10 device and as a matter of fact, it is surely a looker. Also, it seems as if BlackBerry has assigned each slide a task of highlighting one new feature that its BB10 is going to sport. Among the other new ones, we can see some exciting and practical new features such as Balance, which lets you switch between your work and home profile, video calling with screen sharing option(this is a first for a mobile device) and something company has worked on a lot and is proud of, its revamped touch optimized keyboard.

There is something to note about in the last slide, the one featuring the calendar. It displays the March 31 date but as we all know, BlackBerry is supposed to unveil its BB10 OS and first batch of devices based on it at its 30 January event. So, we assume that March 31 is the date when the devices hit retail and in Apple fashion, BB has highlighted it to hint the same.. Its all a well-reasoned speculation for now but it seems to be quite logical. We can only wait and watch for now.
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