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  • Pics leaked of updated HTC One X
    Posted on September 29, 2012 by ewilkinson

    Pocket-Lint obtained exclusive pictures of the HTC One X's next incarnation

     


    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or at least, that seems to be what HTC was thinking when designing their latest version of the HTC One X.


    The new device, called the HTC One X+, isn't official yet. But pictures obtained exclusively by Pocket-Lint at least confirm its existence.


    As you may have guessed from our opening statement, the new shots of the HTC One X+ look extremely familiar, and the new device is likely to be more of a tweak or an update than a total reinvention.


    The Pocket-Lint pictures reveal mostly superficial changes to the exterior design. Pocket-Lint called the new phone “virtually identical” to its predecessor, with the exception of its black color accented by red details, and the new “b” logo for Beats Audio. Screen size, shape, and everything else appear to be the same.


    That said, a lot more than just pictures of the HTC One X+ have emerged. As MobileSyrup notes, aside from the iPhone 5, it has been “perhaps the most-leaked phone of the last six months.”


    And if you put together the rumors and conjecture from all the different sources, you begin to get a pretty good idea of what the next generation HTC phone is going to be.


    It's expected to run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, feature a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, and have 1GB of RAM, with 64GB of internal storage.


    Again, it's not a huge overhaul. And some, like TechCrunch, are asking whether “pushing out mildly-updated versions of existing hardware could put HTC back on its original, lousy track.”


    Still, it may just be that HTC have hit upon something good with the One family and have decided to hedge their betson the HTC One X+.


    But I guess we're all just going to have to wait a little longer to find out if the odds are in their favor.




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  • California has become the first state to pass a bill making it illegal for employers to ask for workers' email or social media passwords. This means companies in California cannot require employees to turn over passwords for online accounts or penalize them if they refuse to comply. The bill also protects students at colleges and universities who refuse to hand over access to their social media accounts.


    State Senator Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, authored the bill. She said, “When you do in fact open up your social media accounts, all kinds of personal information may be there. But information that, by law, no employer can, in fact, get your religion, sexual orientation, other kinds of personal, private information are out of bounds by both state law and federal law," she said at the time. "So, it's not just simply about getting information. There are confidential, protected information that employers will be getting, and that's wrong."


    Facebook lashed out about the requirements by reminding schools, governments, and businesses that giving away passwords was expressly forbidden by their security rules.


    Companies that don't ask for passwords have taken other steps like asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Some companies have required employees to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban workers from talking negatively about their employer on social media.


    With Facebook’s heavy lobbying, maybe more states will see how much these practices violate individual rights to privacy.



    This post was posted in News and PR and was tagged with privacy protection, Facebook privacy, social media privacy

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  • The terms "Scratchgate" and "Scuffgate" have surfaced as early adopters of the iPhone 5 complain of unsightly marks on the aluminum back

     


    Okay, so it's not exactly a national scandal on the scale of Watergate, but there's a kerfuffle all across the web over the reputed inadequacy of the new iPhone 5's aluminum back.


    The fact that the aluminum is prone to scratching has users and tech sites shouting Scratchgate and Scuffgate, and even led to cries of "oh, the humanity!" Proud new owners of the iPhone 5 have already been complaining of unsightly scratches and scuffs on the black-coated aluminum of their new prized possession.


    And, as 9to5 Mac reported, one such user actually garnered a response from Apple's Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, who told him: “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”


    Fair enough. The aluminum backing of the iPhone 5 may be prone to wear, but it is actually less fragile than the glass backing of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. And even in a Gizmodo video where one user is determined to “scratch the hell” out of the new device within store, the iPhone 5 holds up pretty well, though it's never rubbed against sharp metal objects like keys or rings.



    Still, all of this brings us to an important, if awkward, discussion:


    It's fun to have the latest smartphone. You love Apple ever so much, and you and your new iPhone are planning to make a life together – at least until the next model comes out, that is.


    But the fact is, just because you trust your smartphone, there's no reason not to use protection. It's for your iPhone's good as much as your own. So glove the love.


    Yes, we're talking about cases and covers. In the case of the iPhone 4 and 4S, a rugged case is best (we've all seen those tragic shots of shattered glass.) But for the iPhone 5, a simple skin just to protect the black finish may be enough to do the trick.


    The result of unprotected smartphone love: the cracked glass panel of an iPhone 4

     


    Meanwhile, the moral of this story extends beyond Apple's products, to any smartphone you want to keep in good shape. To paraphrase Beyoncé, if you liked it then you should have put a skin on it.




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  • ZTE and Mozilla are the latest duo to announce that they’ll be launching a new smartphone with a brand new operating system. ZTE is China’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Mozilla, the Firefox browser company, is the co-developer of the OS. The team plans to launch their new phone in December.


    In February, He Shiyou, executive vice president of ZTE, announced that the Shenzhen company was developing their own OS. ZTE is the world’s fourth-largest maker of mobile phones. They’ve begun a big push with entry-level smartphones and want to be very careful about staying out of the nasty patent fray that Apple, Samsung and others have been embroiled in.


    ZTE apparently hasn’t learned anything about launching a new OS from the struggles that Microsoft has been put through. The company’s plan is “a very unrealistic strategy,” Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London, told Bloomberg News. “Operating systems follow winner-take-all rules. How can an operating system limited to a small, low-end manufacturer gain traction ever?”


    What do you think? Would you consider purchasing a smartphone offered by this pair?



    This post was posted in News and PR and was tagged with ZTE OS, Mozilla OS, new OS, ZTE smartphone, ZTE, Mozilla

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  • While Apple unleashed the iPhone 5 last week, they’re being a little stingier with the Lightening connector – they aren’t in stores yet, and online orders won’t ship until October. This is causing all kinds of conniptions among even Apple’s most loyal fans.


    It was inevitable that Apple had to re-engineer its 10-year old 30 pin adapter. The Lightning’s eight-pin, all-digital connector is smaller, more durable and a necessity for the evolution of all Apple devices. But, the impact of the connector change on the whole system is just getting through to many Apple owners.


    Not only will you need the adapter to connect your iPhone 5 to all the old accessories and their 30 pin plug-ins, more substantial systems like your BMW’s electronic interface and the workout equipment at your gym will be useless without the Lightning adapter. Anywhere that there are iPhone-compatible systems will be affected.


    BMW is one of the companies that is already on the problem. They’ve made it clear to car owners that they will still be able to listen to music, podcasts and other audio over the built-in stereo, so yes, the tunes will continue to flow. However, the automaker’s PlugIn feature – enabling video playback while stationary and the mirrored Apple interface – is officially out.


    Have you thought about how Apple’s connector change is going to affect your Apple devices?




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  • A Windows Phone 8 exclusive from Red Bull
    Posted on September 19, 2012 by kduggan


    Consumers haven’t yet weighed in on whether the Nokia Lumia will be some serious competition for Android phones (let alone Apple’s iPhone), but now that a Red Bull app is in the works, it looks like the Nokia/Microsoft partnership might get a nice boost.


    Red Bull just announced that it will release the World of Red Bull app exclusively in a Windows Phone 8 version for the Lumia and Nokia’s Series 40 debuting later this year. The Red Bull app lets you pull your favorite content, Red Bull athletes and stories into a customizable platform. The app, also known as “My Red Bull,” has a nice mapping feature for spontaneous meetups.


    This is a big deal because developers aren’t yet clamoring to create apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. Since the Nokia phones that run on that OS haven’t caught on with consumers, developers are slow to do the app designing.


    Microsoft is trying to help the stalemate by paying developers to give some attention to Windows Phone 8-version apps. But they’ve got a huge mountain to climb. Apple’s App Store inventory totals more than 700,000 apps and Google Play has crossed the 600,000 mark for Android devices. Microsoft is the laggard at 100,000. Still, that’s a pretty good start for a brand new system on a limited number of devices.


    What do you think? Would a Red Bull app (and more like it to come) be enough incentive to consider switching to a Windows Phone 8 device?



    This post was posted in General, News and PR, Nokia and was tagged with Red Bull app, Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia

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  • Here’s a pretty great idea – US Cellular is helping its customers save money on their mobile bills. They have a new app that get their customer's mobile devices off the network wherever possible, saving customers data usage as well as reducing traffic on the US Cellular 3G and 4G networks. US Cellular calls the program “Wi-Fi Now”.


    Tapping into the system requires downloading the Wi-Fi Now app available for free in the Google Play Store.


    Basically, the app runs in the background watching for "partner" Wi-Fi hotspots. Once it locates one it automatically connects your device and stops your data usage - saving you money on your bill. There’s no additional action required on your part to make the connection and no sign-in required. This applies to your home network as well as hotspots on the road.


    US Cellular says that not just any network will qualify for the bounce. They have designed the app with at least some security in mind. Here’s how it’s described in the Google Play Store listing: "Wi-Fi hotspots are tested for functionality and quality service."


    This app is only available only to US Cellular customers.




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  • The drama between Apple and Samsung continues outside the courtroom in latest Galaxy S3 ad

     


    What? Did Apple really expect Samsung to sit quietly?


    It's been a good week for Apple, what with its big reveal and overwhelming enthusiasm for the iPhone 5.


    But, despite all the recent glory, Apple's got an enemy. And the thing about enemies is that, as much as they like to kick you when you're down, they're just dying to kick you when you're up too.


    Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung has been raging for the better part of a year now.


    Most recently, the dispute over intellectual property saw Apple win a ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission.


    But that last ruling is unlikely to put an end to the drama between the two smartphone makers, even if it means taking the fight out of the courtroom and into the streets. In fact, Samsung has done just that.


    Just days after Apple's iPhone 5 unveiling, Samsung's latest ad for the Galaxy S3 takes direct aim at the newest iPhone incarnation.


    The ad, which compares the two smartphones' capabilities, and calls out the iPhone 5 by name, bears the statement: “It doesn't take a genius.” Presumably, the “it” in question is figuring out the Galaxy S3 is "better."


    Samsung's latest Galaxy S3 ad calls out the iPhone 5 by name

     


    The timeliness of the ad, which must have been prepared based on specs obtained before Apple's September 12 unveiling, led 9to5Mac to quip: “you can say a lot of things about Samsung, but one thing you can’t say is that they are slow.”


    Indeed, Samsung pumped that one out pretty quickly. But that's no surprise considering this isn't the first anti-Apple ad the company's run. Back when they were promoting the Galaxy S2, they slammed the iPhone with an ad making fun of Apple fanatics, claiming “the next big thing is already here.”


    This time, however, Samsung's Apple-bashing is more delicately directed at the company, not its users, and that may just work. At the very least, the ad should make people feel smart for choosing a Galaxy, rather than stupid for standing in line at the Apple Store.



    What do you think of Samsung's new ad? Is it tasteful? Accurate? Do you think it'll work? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  • We knew the hardware was going to be spectacular, and now that we know it’s called, when can we get our hands on the Apple iPhone 5?


    Apple will begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on September 14. They have already set up a landing page for the device on its online store.


    On September 21st the iPhone 5 will hit store shelves in nine countries -- the U.S., U.K, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.


    The iPhone 5 is priced at $199 for a 16GB version, $299 for a 32GB version and $399 for a 64GB version. Getting phones at those prices from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon require a two-year contract.


    Apple’s website now shows the unlocked pricing for the iPhone 5.The site’s compare tool shows that the 16GB model starts at $649, the 32GB at $749, and the 64GB at $849.


    If you’re in the mood for an Apple iPhone but don’t mind an older version, Apple has their usually deal for you. They’ve reduced the price of the 16GB iPhone 4S by $100 to $99. The 16GB iPhone 4 is now free. The discounts require a two-year contract with the big three U.S. mobile carriers.



    This post was posted in Apple, News and PR and was tagged with iPhone sale price, iPhone 5 on sale, iPhone 5 launch, iphone 5 pre-order

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  • LifeProof's new Nüüd iPad case promises "barely there" waterproof protection

     


    Humankind's fascination with gadgets can only be rivalled by our longstanding fascination with water.


    So, even though we quake with fear at the thought of submerging our iPads, iPhones and other devices, it shouldn't really surprise us that, when people go swimming or surfing, they want to take their tablet or smartphone along.


    We've already seen something of the waterproofing trend from LifeProof – the San Diego-based company boasts what's been called the slimmest waterproof case for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.


     


    But now, the New York Times' Gadgetwise blog is reporting on the company's latest in elemental shielding for Apple devices.


    This time, LifeProof has taken its efforts to tablets, with the waterproof Nüüd iPad case. The product gets its name from the fact that there's actually no screen covering – your iPad's naked glass screen is already waterproof, and adding an extra film on top only reduces clarity.


    Instead, the Nüüd case seals around the glass and provides a waterproof backing for the rest of the iPad. There's also access at the bottom for charging and syncing, so you don't have to constantly take the case off and put it back on again.


    As Gadgetwise points out, you still may not want to do any serious snorkeling with your iPad, since it wasn't really designed for that. But the new iPad case is great for poolside, a day at the beach, or any other routine encounter with water.


    You may swear to have never texted on the toilet, but show me the techie who says they've never brought their phone or tablet into the bathroom, and I'll show you a liar. In any case, waterproofing just makes solid sense.


    Any survival expert will tell you that where there's life, there's water. But as we at Pure Mobile know, where there's life, there's also tech.





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