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Moshi for iPad
  • RIM begins new round of layoffs
    Posted on June 26, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    RIM begins new round of layoffs


    We’d heard back in April that RIM, the manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphones including the Bold Touch 9900, Bold 9790 and Curve 9360 as well as the Playbook tablet - had planned a new round of employee layoffs, this in addition to the 2,000 employees who have already lost their jobs this year.


    Ironically, the new layoffs have begun almost one year to the day that The Waterloo Record reported last year’s RIM layoffs that were necessary to cut costs. In this new round, RIM plans to lay off at least 10% of its global workforce.


    RIM is pinning most of its hopes for a future on the BlackBerry 10 smartphone, but until that phone is on the market, RIM’s sales are going to continue to languish. In a recent interview with The Waterloo Record, a RIM spokesperson revealed this: “RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year. Our financial target is to drive at least $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013. Headcount reductions are part of this initiative.”


    Rim’s spokesperson said the current round of job reductions could see as many as 6,000 cuts as RIM tries to achieve $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Android texting application Swype has been in the design phase for awhile, but its beta shows it has evolved into a sophisticated next-generation app with four-in-one keyboard and voice capabilities.


    Swype’s four keyboard choices and 55 language downloads


    Chief among the app's redesign is the option of using one of four kinds of keyboards:  traditional letter-to-letter swiping, while adding the ability to type with predictive text input, use an integrated Dragon button to speak the text, or rely on the old peck-and-hunt one-finger motion. Users can swap between any of the modes limitlessly.


    Swype’s new features also include next-word prediction that allows the app to build on historical usage, compiling every word a user enters in emails, texts, or other posts. Swype's 55 language downloads allow users to communicate in any language they can speak.  Swype can be installed on all Android based cell phones including the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S2 as well as HTC One X and Motorola Droid Razr 


    According to Michael Thompson, EVP and general manager for Nuance Mobile (the speech-recognition software building company that acquired Swype last October), "People use their keyboards every day in every way — so input needs to be fast and simple. The new Swype living, learning keyboard users in a new era of input, where the keyboard adapts to the user's unique way of communicating every time they swype, speak, tap, or write."


    The Swype Beta for Android is available for download via beta.swype.com. There's also an SDK for other operating systems.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    If you’re into space battles and vaporizing hostile aliens... then Atmo is just the video game for you.  Door 6 is the mastermind behind the project and just released it from beta testing. You can download Atmo for free from Google Play.


    Door 6 releases Atmo from its beta – now available in Google Play


    For those who didn’t get a crack at the Atmo beta, it’s a real-time, multiplayer space combat game. Your team is charged with searching through capsules for a hidden enemy flag, capturing it and bringing it home, all the while fighting to keep your flag out of the clutches of your vile opponents.


    Atmo’s 3D graphics are great and ran smoothly in a few tests using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The heads-up display keeps you aware of everything around you, yet you don’t ever get disoriented in its fairly open world.  This video game can also be played on all major tablets brands including the HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom just to name a few.


    Enhance your gaming experience with high quality speakers, and headsets featuring the Beats by Dr. Dre 


    Start with Atmo’s tutorial. It will give you an overview of the game’s controls and objectives. You’d better be ready to play.  At the end of those 45-seconds of training, you’ll be dropped in the middle of a live game. (Here’s a handy tip to get you started: hold down the fire button to maintain a steady stream of lasers heading toward ships, capsules and whatever else gets in your way.)


    The game gives you the option of just jumping in for a quick play, but if you want to track your score’s history, you have to login under your Facebook account. This is a pesky requirement right now, but pretty soon it will be used to team you up with Facebook friends who also want to play the game.


    The Door 6 team has quite a few plans for Atmo beyond today’s version. They’ve got a ranking system with a leveling mechanic and achievement rewards, ship customization options, and more sophisticated weapons like unmanned drones. Eventually, the game will morph into a lot more than just a thrill-of-the-destroying-your-enemies game.


    Your Apple-toting buddies won’t get left out of the game for long.  There’s an iOS version in the works that’s due in the App Store soon.


    The game is available for free in Google Play right now. The designers are experimenting with versions where players can earn ship upgrades, or pay for them if they’re desperate.  A highly-complex version of the game that would be available for purchase is also in the works.




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  • By Adhurim Murtezai


    Here comes Google’s new Nexus tablet


    Google is finally ready to show what it can do with its own brand of tablet. It’s called the “Nexus 7. ” We hear we’ll get a first look at it at next week’s Google I/O developer conference.


    DigiTimes just reported a number of details about the Nexus 7 slate that seem to ring true. The DigiTimes source in the tablet’s supply chain claimed that Google’s next major Android release - Jelly Bean - would come in the second quarter. They also reported that Nexus tablet shipments would begin in June in preparation for a July launch.


    Microsoft’s unveiling of its “Surface” tablet seems to be the start of a major effort by software wizards to become hardware masters. Google seems to be right behind. Google also has a few Android partners that help on the device building side. Some are developing their own software expertise. Just when we thought the only entertainment was going to be Apple against the rest of the world, it seems the natives have gotten restless.


    Google I/O begins on June 27th.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    HTC  has just confirmed that a hardware problem is causing Wi-Fi connectivity issues with their HTC One X smartphone.  To verify if your One X smartphone is defective... simply run the Wi-Fi  squeeze test if the signal strength improves - it confirms that the device is defective.


    HTC confirms wifi hardware problem with their One X


     


    The company is obviously faced with a tough hardware problem. A software update isn’t the answer. This isn’t the first time HTC has had Wi-Fi signal problems. Awhile back its HTC Sensation suffered from antenna design problems.


    HTC has stepped up early and accepted blame. In a public statement a company rep said: "After investigating isolated reports of Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the HTC One X, we have identified a fix that strengthens the area of the phone around the Wi-Fi antennae connection points. While many customers have not experienced any problems with signal strength, we have taken immediate steps to implement a solution in our production process to prevent this issue from happening in the future. HTC is committed to making sure every customer has a great experience and we apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused while we conducted a thorough investigation."


    This statement describes the production changes going forward, but there still doesn’t appear to be a plan for dealing with the defective phones already in consumer hands.  Everyone is covered by the warranty replacement protection, so if you think your phone has the problem, take it back to the point of purchase right away. Don’t let the warranty period expire.


    We hope HTC takes their corrective action one step further and provides protection for this defect to One X owners on an unlimited basis. What’s to say the problem couldn’t pop up in these phones at a later date?




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Apple has extended its deal for exclusive access to Liquidmetal (for use in consumer electronics equipment) for two more years. This could mean the rumors are true that this incredibly tough metal alloy might be used as the casing material for the iPhone 5.


    Liquidmetal is all Apple’s for two more years


    So far, Apple has only used Liquidmetal for the SIM ejector tool for their iPhones and iPads. It could be that this is Apple’s way of testing the material and the manufacturing process together before committing to its use in a component as critical as the iPhone’s case.


    It could also mean that we are seriously over-thinking this one, and Apple just likes the Liquidmetal ejector tools.




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  • Firefox “Junior” for iPad
    Posted on June 22, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    Firefox “Junior” for iPad


    Great news for Apple iPad users that have been disappointed with their browsing experience...  they will  soon have a Safari alternative from Mozilla.


    Mozilla just revealed a new version of its Firefox browser designed to give Apple iPad users an alternative to Safari. Mozilla calls its mini-browser “Junior.” As a Mozilla foundation representative describes Junior, “It makes browsing more fun, more ergonomic and re-thinks browser user experience from the ground up.”


    Junior only provides two buttons on screen. These are placed where the iPad user’s thumbs go. The “back” button performs the standard back function. Pressing the “plus” button opens a new screen that lets users input a URL.


    Mozilla is looking to provide a simplified browsing experience for the tablet environment. They’ve designed Junior to use the entire screen without cluttering it up with tabs and search bars.  Some iPad users may miss the on-screen tabs that are a staple of web browsers, but Mozilla has had to eliminate them to accommodate the tablet’s smaller screen size.


    It looks like Junior really is a browser that’s designed for tablets, not just a stripped down version of its desktop or mobile browser. No word yet on when Mozilla will release Junior to iPad users.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Due in part to the fact that Apple commands the lion's share of the worldwide tablet market  coupled with their lack of success with their Optimus Pad,  LG has decided to put their tablet development efforts to the side, and focus on producing Android smartphones that can stand a chance against some very serious rivals.


    Would you stand in line for an LG refrigerator?


    Currently LG markets a very competitive line of smartphones including the Optimus 4G LTE, Gossip Pro and the Optimus L7 


    LG’s Optimus Pad LTE hit the market earlier this year but it didn’t get anyone too excited. There’s a lot of competition in the tablet market, but Apple owns it. Even older versions of iPads outsell some competitor tablets. It’s good to see LG say “why bother?”


    According to a spokesperson from LG, the company is going to concentrate on developing Android smartphones that are more technologically competitive with the products like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X.


    LG knows its stuff when it comes to home appliances and other types of electronics, but you don’t see people lining up to buy the latest in refrigerator technology. It’s time for LG t decide whether they’re in or they’re out.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    MacBook Pro’s Retina display touted as an engineering marvel


    The MacBook Pro is less than a week old (in the public’s view) and the devices are already being sacrificed in the name of curiosity.


    The folks at iFixit took apart MacBook Pro’s 2880 x 1800 Retina display panel, and what they discovered is making them rethink LCD construction. It’s incredible what Apple engineers have done to make that kind of resolution work in a laptop screen that's thinner than anything seen in its geneology.


    The unibody aluminum casing is the frame for the display. The LCD is its own front glass. Even the wireless antennas are threaded through the hinges to maximize use of even the tiniest of spaces.


    Guard the Retina display with your life. This kind of parts layout means you can probably forget about repairs. Even the masters of the teardown at iFixit cracked the display’s glass during their dissection.


    If you’re willing to forgive the disposability problem, the MacBook Pro’s Retina display is a high-resolution engineering marvel.  Just don’t drop it.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    The opinions are flying around the internet about how Microsoft’s Surface stacks up against the Apple iPad 3. Some of the loudest Microsoft critics are insisting that Surface is just an iPad imitation, and not the tablet with the heart of a PC Microsoft that proclaimed it to be just hours ago.


    Does Microsoft’s Surface really challenge Apple?


    According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in a note to investors on Tuesday, Microsoft’s debut tablet amounts to an iPad clone. He said, “Last night, Microsoft announced Surface, a ‘new family of PCs for Windows’ that are tablets with some of the functionality of a PC. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the compliments from Microsoft poured down like a torrential storm on Apple last night. At the same time, this event indicates to us that Microsoft is still searching for its own identity in the post-PC era, something that has come naturally for Apple with the rise of the mobile Internet.”


    White said there are enterprise niches that the new Microsoft tablets can fill, but he doesn’t see Surface appealing to the masses. “On the surface, we believe Microsoft’s tablet-related products may have a place in certain parts of the enterprise world that require Windows-based solutions; however, we found little in yesterday’s presentation that would convince us that a consumer would prefer Surface over an iPad.”


    Just competing on price with the iPad is going to be a challenge for Surface. White said Surface will have to come in at a price point that offers a “healthy discount” compared to Apple’s tablets.  He doesn’t see how Microsoft can beat the iPad 2′s $399 price or even the new iPad’s $499. Then there’s the iPad “mini” that’s due to arrive later this year with a price point of somewhere between $250 and $300. As White put it, “that will provide a more cost competitive product for Apple and [open] up a new market segment.”




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