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Moshi for iPad
  • Image from Samsung's save the date for the October 24 kick-off to their Galaxy Note II world tour

     


    Wait Samsung, don't tell us. You may have revealed the last "next big thing" back in October, but is the "next next big thing" a larger Galaxy Note device? According to the rumor mill of late, the answer is yes.


    Within the same week that Samsung boasted of selling 3 million Galaxy Note II devices, a new DLNA certification (first reported on by SamMobile) shows that the company may already have some successors in the works.


    The certification lists two new Samsung-made devices – GT-N5100 and the GT-N5110 – that SamMobile says are sized between 7 and 9 inches. And if you're in doubt as to the fact that the devices listed will in fact be Galaxy Note variants, AndroidGuy points out that the certifications for all “previous Note products start with GT-N.”



    If there's any truth to SamMobile's report, it may be that Samsung is looking to fill the gap between their 5.5-inch and 10.1-inch Note models.


    As, for why Samsung would want to release a 7-inch Galaxy Note when they've already got the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab, it may just be that the company sees the Note line, with its stylus pens, as distinct from the rest of their mobile devices.


    "Samsung clearly sees this market as separate from its mainstream phone line," writes Mobile Syrup, "and the two won’t necessarily cannibalize sales from either one."




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  • The latest addition to the Lumia family, Nokia's Verizon-exclusive Lumia 822 arrives this month

     


    And we thought they'd never get back together...


    Verizon announced this week that, for the first time in three years, they'll be carrying a Nokia smartphone.


    The Nokia Lumia 822, a version of the Lumia 820 customized for Verizon, will start rolling out to Verizon subscribers this November, a press release announced. Though no release date has been publicized, a source told Engadget that it may be available by November 8, while BGR thinks it'll be out on November 12.


    With the announcement no doubt timed to coincide with all of Microsoft's recent events, the smartphone runs on WIndows Phone 8, and is available exlusively through Verizon.


    So how, exactly does the Lumia 820 stack up against other Lumia devices? Well, for one, it's curvier, and its camera pod and flash placement has the same lengthwise setup as the Lumia 920 and 810, "instead of the transverse layout found on the Lumia 820," writes Engadget.


    As for specs, the Lumia 822 packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, has 8 GB of internal storage, and 1 GB of RAM, though you can get models with up to 64 GB.


    Its 4.3" screen has a resolution of 800 x 400, and it's got an 8 megapixel camera as well as a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and an exchangeable shell for wireless charging.


    It body seems pretty sturdy, which is no surprise for a Nokia phone, though some have called it a little thick. Still, says one TechCrunch reviewer, "If anything, the version I played with was even thicker than normal because someone had swapped the stock backplate with the wireless charging plate, but the end result was a device that was still very comfortable to hold."


    Available in white, black or grey, one of these bad boys will run fairly cheap – about $100 on a 2-year contract with Verizon.




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  • U.S. wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission have joined together to create a national database that locks stolen cellphones out of carrier networks.


    Smartphones and other mobile devices are so easy to snatch. They’re small and portable. They’re worth a lot of money. They’re easy to pirate with just a swap of a SIM card. The FCC's database of stolen phones is designed to limit theft to the plastic and electronics and not the information contained inside.


    The database works by blocking a stolen cellphone’s IMEI number, making it impossible to get service for that phone. AT&T and T-Mobile have teamed up, and their joint database is online now. Verizon and Sprint are supposed to have their joint effort up and running soon. In the next year, the four major carriers are planning to merge their databases. Smaller carriers will join in along the way.


    Eventually the FCC and the U.S. carriers will expand the database to cell providers all over the world. “The goal is to not only protect the consumer by cancelling the service, but by ultimately protecting the consumer by drying up the aftermarket for stolen phones,” said CTIA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Guttman-McCabe.



    While we can’t stop ourselves from leaving our phones in the coffee shop or having it picked out our pocket, there are things we can do to protect our privacy. Use PINs or passwords, and make sure you know how to use your phone’s remote-wiping capabilities. It might seem like closing the barn door after the horse has left, but at least a thief has only stolen your high-buck smartphone and not your identity.




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  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says there have already been 4 million Windows 8 upgrades

     


    Microsoft put the finishing touches on a massive month this week, with the global launch of Windows Phone 8 Monday, and the Build developer conference Tuesday.


    The company already launched their extra-sized Surface Tablet earlier this month, as well as holding their Windows 8 event.


    But what most of us were really waiting for was windows Phone 8, and now it's here. Touted by the event's speakers as "the most personal smartphone operating system you can get," Microsoft began by highlighting the growing number of apps for Windows Phone, 120,000 and counting.


    However, speakers stressed that people, not apps, are the focus of the revamped OS, and called out Apple and Android for not doing enough to really change smartphones since they arrived on the scene.


    As such, Microsoft is banking a lot on one of Windows Phone 8's main features, "live apps." Live apps move like live tiles and update themselves, so that your phone becomes like your fingerprint, says Microsoft.



    "For example, the Facebook app updates the lock screen with your personal photos,"  explains WebProNews. "A number of app developers including Twitter, Zynga and Rovio are updating their apps to take advantage of live apps."


    That brings us to what TechCrunch says the "future of the Windows 8 platform," hinges on – the developers.


    Because the OS – nevermind the idea of live tiles – is so new, Microsoft's going to have to lure developers to it for it to really take off. At the moment, says TechCrunch, the number of new Windows 8 apps is "underwhelming," and that may explain the somewhat middling reviews Microsoft's Surface Tablet has received:


    "Most of the reviewers cited the lack of apps – and not the hardware itself – as one of the reasons they didn’t enjoy the experience."


    But as he took the stage to kick off the Build developer conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer already had some positive news about the new OS' reception, saying that there have already been 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in just the few days since its launch. Hopefully some of those interested parties are developers.


    But as for regular users who want to get in on the new OS, Windows Phone 8 will be globally available by November across a number of devices, including the Nokia Lumia, and HTC and Samsung smartphones.




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  • Nuance Communications just released the beta version of their Dragon Mobile Assistant software for Android.


    Dragon is the name of a line of speech recognition software products that can do things like make calls, keep your calendar and send texts just by giving your phone a command. The English version of the app is available on Google Play for free right now. It works on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 OS or later.


    Nuance dominates the market for speech recognition. They’ve been working with Apple on their voice control technology, the most famous being Siri (available on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.)


    Here's how the voice recognition software works on your phone.



    Start the app with the greeting, “Hi Dragon”, and then give it a command like:


    “Tell Lori, ‘I’ll come find her when I get to the restaurant.” or
    “Schedule a meeting for 2 p.m. tomorrow.” or
    “Give me directions to the Statue of Liberty” or
    “What’s the weather in Chicago?”


    As long as Dragon can interpret what you said, you'll get an answer.


    Nuance’s press release says it’s plan is to expand availability and debut new features by year end. “We’re at a transition point where voice and natural-language understanding are suddenly at the forefront,” said Vlad Sejnoha, chief technology officer at Nuance Communications. “I think speech recognition is really going to upend the current [computer] interface.”


    If you've ever tried to call about a complaint or order a prescription over the phone, you've experienced Nuance's voice technology. It's been used in places like calls centers for awhile.


    Now the rapid rise of powerful mobile devices is spreading the use of voice interfaces. One reason for the stunning advancements in voice recognition technology is that smartphones have so much processing capability. They can access high-bandwidth data connections that exist on massive servers in the cloud. The combination of more data and more computing power means sophisticated programs like voice recognition will fit into smartphones.


    Apple’s Siri was the first to bring voice-recognition technology to mobile devices, and (finally!) Nuance has now brought Android a little closer to having its own voice functionality. Others like the Windows Phone platform, other mobile systems, and a lot of apps won’t be far behind. The interfaces still have to be refined, but the good news is that the capability of talking to our devices is already built in to the hardware.


    Nuance doesn’t plan on stopping at cellphones. Inspired by their success, the company is working on putting speech interfaces in many more places like televisions and vehicles.




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  • This week kicked off with a bonanza of Nexus news from Google

     


    Hurricane warnings mat have put an end to Google's plans for an October 29 event, but Android fans won't have been disappointed with what Googled offered up on Monday instead: a bonanza of news about their highly anticipated upcoming Nexus devices.


    In lieu of an event unveiling, Google has simply made an announcement online, confirming what most of us have been suspecting for some time – A Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet, and an LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone.


    The rumors of an LG Nexus 4 smartphone have been confirmed by Google

     


    The fact that the new gadgets couldn't be revealed live didn't seem to lessen the impact of the announcement, as major news organizations and leading tech sites jumped onto the Nexus news en masse.


    Now, we're breaking down all the latest talk to give you the major points of this dual announcement.


    Release dates and pricing:


    Both the Nexus 10 tablet and Nexus 4 phone will be available as of November 13 in the U.S and Canada, as well as in several European countries and Japan for the Nexus 10.


    Google's pricing the unlocked LG Nexus 4 at 8GB for $299, and 16GB for $349 or $199 through T-Mobile with a 2-year contract.


    Specs and reviews:


    There's already been a lot of positive reactions to the Nexus 10.


    With a slightly more curved body than most of us had anticipated, the entirely Samsung-made tablet has a 10" display that Gizmodo's calling better than retina at 300 pixels per inch.


    Inside, it boasts a a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos processor, 2 GB of RAm, and is available in either 16 GB or 32 GB models.


    Powered by Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), it's also got front and back cameras and front-facing stereo speakers.


    The new Samsung Nexus 10 tablet

     


    As for the new LG smartphone, the Nexus 4 also runs on Android 4.2 and, like the Nexus 10 tablet, has gotten good reviews, with Gizmodo claiming "it might be the best Android phone yet."


    A collaboration between Google and LG, it bears a lot of resemblance to the LG Optimus G, but has a more rounded body, better software, and new features like PhotoSphere and Gesture typing.


    Behind its 4.7", 320 ppi screen, it's got a quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2 GB of RAM, and comes in either 8 GB or 16 GB models.


    A couple of other strong points are its 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and the fact that it supports wireless charging.


    If you're looking for detailed specs, TechCrunch has a pretty complete list for both devices here.


    Meanwhile, we'd like to know what you think about Google's new Nexus devices. Are you planning to get one? Both? How do you think they live up to all the hype? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  • If you haven’t pre-ordered your Apple iPad Mini or your iPad with Retina display by the time you’ve read this, your window of opportunity has passed. Within 36 hours, the Apple online store sold out of all the new iPad options.


    In case you still want to be ready to click “Buy” as soon as iPad pre-orders are taken again, here are your choices. Also take note of those shipping and delivery dates. A few of them are the vague “Available to ship: 2 weeks” or “Available to ship: mid-November.”


    Note: your choices for all iPad Mini models are black & slate and white & silver.


    iPad Mini Wi-Fi only:


    16GB for $329, Available to ship: 2 weeks
    32GB for $429, delivery 11/2
    64GB for $529, delivery 11/2


    iPad Mini Wi-Fi + Cellular for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint:


    16GB for $459,
    32GB for $559
    64GB for $659


    All are “Available to ship: mid-November.”



    Note: your choices for iPad Retina are white and black


    iPad with Retina Wi-Fi only:


    16GB for $499
    32GB for $599
    64GB for $629


    All “Deliver 11/2”


    iPad with Retina Wi-Fi + Cellular for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint


    16GB for $629,
    32GB for $729
    64GB for $829


    All show “Available to ship: mid-November.”


    Do your research, make up your mind now and keep www.apple.com open on your browser.




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  •  



    Samsung has been promoting the "Next Big Thing", and this time it’s the Galaxy Note 2. The phone was launched yesterday at Samsung's Galaxy Note II World Tour 2012 press event. T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon will all be carrying it. Just considering cost, timing and coverage, which service provider should get your business?


    Here’s the lowdown on cost and timing:


    Verizon
    Pre-order date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 27
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    AT&T
    Pre-sale date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 9
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $649.99 off-contract


    Sprint
    Available: Now
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    T-Mobile
    Available: Now
    Price: $369.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    The Galaxy Note 2 has 4G LTE capability, and you don’t want it to go to waste. While Verizon beats all the competition for nationwide 4G LTE coverage (370+ markets), AT&T is rapidly expanding their 4G LTE network and is adding to their network all the time (approximately 65 markets.) Sprint basically covers Atlanta and big cities in Texas (15 markets) with their 4G LTE, the rest is 3G. T-Mobile doesn’t yet have 4G LTE connectivity, but they advertise their network as “4G”, which is really a supercharged 3G (HSPA+ 42) network.


    For those buying an unlocked Galaxy Note 2, here’s a heads-up. The unlocked version isn’t compatible with CDMA carriers and LTE networks.


    There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Note 2 is a fine smartphone. Its 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display is the big reason it’s being called a “phablet” – part phone, part tablet. In a nod to its tablet-ness, the Note 2 is the only smartphone that comes with a stylus that Samsung calls the” S Pen.” For those of us with big fingers or who are touchscreen accuracy-challenged, a stylus sure comes in handy.


    Inside the Galaxy Note 2, you’ll find a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, up to 16GB of storage space (with expansion up to 64GB), and 2GB of RAM. On the back is a high-quality 8MP camera with an LED flash, and on the front a 1.9MP camera for video calls. The camera can record video in 1080p, and has a 4x zoom. It’s rated for up to 15 hours of talk time and 12.5 days of standby time.




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  • Carphone Warehouse leaked, well, everything about the next Nexus smartphone

     


    As writer Ernest Hamlin Abbott once put it, "rumors are not news; but they sometimes foreshadow news."


    And, boy, have the rumors ever been stacking up concerning Google's next Nexus device, even though Google's expected to be saving any official news about it until their October 29 event.


    Still, between the speculation that the new Android phone will be LG-made, the pictures, and even a premature review, we've already learned quite a bit about the upcoming Nexus 4.


    And today, a new leak from retailer Carphone Warehouse revealed pretty much everything else, right down to the LG phone's specs, price and expected release date.


    Advertising pre-orders for the phone, Carphone Warehouse has listed a price of £389.95. And their description boasts that the new smartphone has a 4.7" LCD display, and "the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet," Android OS 4.2 Jelly Bean, as well as some new features:


    "Search gets smarter with Google Now. You ask. Google answers, instantly, and with all the detail you want... Stay in touch with Gesture Typing, a faster way of typing that lets you spell words by dragging your finger across the screen from letter to letter."


    Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse sets October 30 as the start date for delivery, just one day after Google's event. Though, after this last and possibly most comprehensive leak, there isn't much Google could tell us about their latest smartphone that we don't already know.




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  • Pure Mobile's got you covered for Halloween with this list of creepy apps for iPhone and iPad

     


    We at Pure Mobile love Halloween almost as much as we love mobile devices. And when the two come together, it's a high-tech house of horrors that we just can't resist.


    If you're anything like us, you'll want to celebrate the scariest (and probably most fun) holiday of the year in all sorts of ways, and thanks to some creepy smartphone apps, you can take your Halloween spirit with you everywhere you go.


    As Halloween quickly approaches, we at Pure Mobile are delighting in finding all the best iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps for our frightening feature "Macabre goes Mobile."


    Today's all about eerie iPhone apps, but Android and BlackBerry users can expect their own list of apps for those platforms in later instalments.


    1: Free Halloween Sounds Pro for iPhone


    Use sound to scare anywhere a smartphone can go, with Halloween Sounds Pro

     


    Once upon a time, when you wanted creepy Halloween sound effects to scare trick-or-treaters, you had to play them through a stereo. And the speakers aimed at the door were kind of a dead giveaway.


    But with the free Halloween Sounds Pro app for iPhone, you get to control a bunch of spooky Halloween sounds from your smartphone. Sneak up on that unsuspecting teenager who looks just a little too old to be asking for candy, or set the delay to scare the hell out of someone after you've left the room.


    2: iMut8r app for iPhone and iPad



    There are already a couple of apps that let you manipulate photos of yourself and of friends to make horrible monsters on your smartphone. SpookyPic and ZombieBooth are just a couple.


    But iMut8r for iPhone and iPad lets you mutate into a vampire, werewolf, zombie, witch, ghoul, whatever. Mix and match elements for your most hideous Facebook profile pic yet!


    Use your smartphone to turn a picture of anyone into an undead abomination with iMut8r

     


    3: Pumpkin Ninja app for iPhone


    Pumpkin Ninja revives a centuries-old Japanese tradition of slicing jack o'lanterns via smartphone

     


    Addicted to smartphone gaming? The Pumpkin Ninja game app for iPhone lets you swipe at falling pumpkins à la fruit Ninja.


    Not really scary but definitely in the Halloween spirit.


    4. iDrakula app for iPhone



    What's more Halloween than telling scary stories?


    The iDrakula app for iPhone does just that, retelling Bram Stoker's classic Dracula novel with a modern slant through text messages, voicemails, emails and browsers in language geared for the Twitter age.


    iDrakula retells Bram Stoker's classic by sending texts, emails and other messages from the characters to your smartphone

     


    You may get a "text" from a character telling you another chunk of the plot, so the juicy story not only unfolds on your smartphone, but has interactive elements and develops at surprise moments not of your own choosing.


    5. Dark Haunts app for iPhone or Android


    Dark Haunts gives you directions on your phone to the nearest ghost-infested locations

     


    Always itched to go ghost hunting?


    The Dark Haunts app for iPhone claims to help you "find the closest 'real' haunted site near you."


    Dark Haunts' database has over 3,200 haunted locations and is regularly adding new ones. They give you a bit of backstory, and direct you to the ghost-infested locations. You can also choose the type of haunt you want: a restaurant if you're hungry, a hotel if you want a creepy getaway.


    Just don't go crying to the developers if you actually happen to run into a spectre.




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