Earlier this week I broke down some of the elements it takes to create an outstanding cell phone screen. Coincidentally, this week is also SID 2011, a conference in LA devoted entirely to display technology. Toshiba's LCD panel pictured above is one gem on exhibit. It boasts a 720x1,280-pixel HD resolution on its 4-inch screen, which gives it a pixel ratio of 367 pixels per inch (ppi). The iPhone 4's Retina Display is the current king, boasting 367ppi on a significantly smaller 3.5-inch screen with a 960x640-pixel resolution, but if this Toshiba-made effort makes it to … Read more
When Google announced Android 3.1 Honeycomb was coming to the Xoom last week, I was pretty excited. Honeycomb's already a great tablet OS, so any improvements could only add to its functionality and efficiency. Unfortunately the version 3.1 update was released over the air and was rolled out in spurts. Our Xoom didn't receive its update until earlier this week. Google detailed changes to expect, but I wanted to check and see just how well some of them were implemented.
Browser Aside from a few annoyances, I thought the Chrome browser in Honeycomb 3.0.1 … Read more
Google officially launched its Google Voice integration for Sprint on May 6, giving Sprint customers the option of getting Google Voice calling features on their Sprint phones with only minimal setup.
Although my personal experience has so far been smooth, others have reported frustrations, including being thrown into account limbo after a Sprint customer service representative accidentally disabled a Google account after changing a plan.
I interviewed Vincent Paquet, senior product manager for Google Voice, over the phone today to talk about Google's challenges during this first month of partnership, including kinks, customer service, and the finer details of … Read more
PhatWare announced this week the release of its handwriting-recognition, note-taking software, WritePad 5, for iPhone. That alone isn't groundbreaking news. But there's an interesting tidbit in the software's feature list: the fact that it offers synchronization services with note-taking and memory-keeping app Evernote.
The latest WritePad also cooperates with Facebook Dropbox, Google Docs, iTunes, SMS services, and Twitter clients. It's one of a growing generation of unrelated apps that allow interaction with third-party software. WritePad, PhatWare's top selling app (according to its own stats), was developed entirely independently of Evernote and its other sync companions. But the separate developers allow cross access to their software to make both more appealing to users.
If you consider that we're still in the early days of app development--as what we think of as apps didn't exist just a few years ago--this open, co-development philosophy is a new software experience for consumers. We never would have seen similar kumbaya in the earlier days of computer software. Competitive software packages like Microsoft Word or the old Wordperfect wouldn't have acknowledged their rival's existence, let alone have cooperated with it. QuarkXPress and Pagemaker would have burned down each other's HQs before looking to swap features on the fly.
It'll be interesting to see where this future takes us. How willing will app makers be to extend a hand across the desk and make everything work together? Will we see the development of super apps that handle multiple major functions that make multiple apps obsolete? Could we one day own a smartphone or tablet with just one Joshua/Forbin Project super app that does everything, including launching international missiles? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, for those willing to settle for Writepad for now, it also offers an improved handwriting-recognition engine that converts handwriting into editable text by reading inline gestures, analyzing word context, and decoding shorthand. WritePad 5 is available in English, French, German, and Spanish versions and sells for $3.99. … Read more
While Pantech has a relatively modest presence in the U.S., it has a number of impressive handsets in Korea. One such offering is the Vega Racer, which claims to be the world's first 1.5GHz dual-core smartphone. That's certainly a lot of power in a tiny device--it uses Qualcomm's MSM8660 Snapdragon chip, 1GB of RAM, and an Adreno 220 GPU. It's also not a petite handset, looming large with a 4.3-inch LCD. Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera.
We're still in the dark regarding pricing, availability, … Read more
The BlackBerry "Monza" is listed for July 27, and looks to be the first all-touch BlackBerry to make it to T-Mobile. Anticipated specs include a 3.7-inch touch display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video, and apparently BlackBerry OS 7 (though this might be OS 6.1). It is expected to be less than $200 with contract.
The Monaco is then followed … Read more
Don't latch onto an unsecured wireless network on your Android device, because hackers have found an exploit that puts your personal information at risk. Is anyone else as tired of hacker mongering as we are?
In other pirating news, Netflix has finally beat out BitTorrent as the most trafficked site on the Internet, which proves that people are willing to pay for streaming content, if it's easily accessible.
We have a bunch of iPad 2 accessories to give away today from Hard Candy Cases and The Joy Factory. Enter to win a prize simply by following either company as well as The 404 on Twitter and tell us why you need a cover for your iPad 2. Also, be sure to mention us at the end of your tweet so everyone can see it! Good luck!The 404 Digest for Episode 823 Kid tells Grandfather that Twitter is a search engine, and these are his searches. The insecurity of Android's open Wi-Fi protocol. CNET Report: Netflix swallowing peak Net traffic fast. Not so fast: Sony's PlayStation Network hacked again! Episode 823 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
T-Mobile is the latest carrier to have its product lineup leaked and, to no one's surprise, it's full of Android phones and tablets.
Customers coming up for renewal between now and the end of 2011 will have plenty of Android-powered options to choose from, as it looks like the wireless provider will be rolling out nearly a dozen new phones and tablets from a variety of manufacturers starting next month.
The reign of Apple's Retina Display as the highest-quality mobile screen in the land may soon come to an end.
At this week's SID Display Week show in Los Angeles, Toshiba unveiled a new 4-inch display with a pixel density of 367ppi (pixels per inch). With that many pixels, the screen easily bests the iPhone's 3.5-inch display, which offers 326ppi.
More pixels per inch means better visual quality, and Toshiba's screen is headed to a smartphone near you.… Read more
We can stop with the leaks now, as Verizon Wireless officially introduced the Motorola Droid X2 today.
The Droid X2 will be available online starting May 19 and in stores on May 26 for $199.99 with a two-year contract, replacing the aging Motorola Droid X. As the successor to the Droid X, the X2 ups the ante with a 4.3-inch, scratch-resistant qHD touch screen and Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor--Verizon's first.
The Android 2.2 device (upgradable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread) also has an 8-megapixel camera with continuous auto focus, and Motorola says the camera … Read more