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Moshi for iPad

  • The upcoming 2012 Presidential Election is likely to be more closely followed on mobile devices than any other in U.S. history. Voters will be keeping up with the election on their smartphones with polls and political news, as well as on social media.


    But how, exactly, will smartphones figure into this election and, ultimately, who will smartphone owners be voting for?


    Mashable reported on a new study from ad network Mojiva, which surveyed smartphone owners 18 and up to get answers to some of those questions.


    According to Mojiva, people who use smartphones are more likely to vote for Obama on November 6. 47% of those polled said they identify themselves as Democrats, while only 28% identified themselves as Republicans.



    Either way, 82% of respondents said they are planning to vote – a very high rate compared to the actual voter turnout for the past two elections which were below 60%.


    In the lead-up to voting day, more Democrats than Republicans will be reading political news on their smartphones (63% vs. 59%), but more Republicans than Democrats will be researching the candidates (53% vs. 50%).



    Come election day, over half of respondents said that they would be using an iPhone or an Android-powered smartphone to check results throughout the day.


    But many of the respondents said they would use their phone to do even more if they could. When asked if they would use their smartphone to vote if they had the option to, 59% said they would, while a whopping 85% said they would at least consider doing so.



    What about you? Do you plan on using your smartphone to follow the elections? If so, how? Let us know in the comments section.




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  • Reddit hosted an “ask me almost anything” (AMAA) session with the Microsoft Surface development team last Tuesday (Oct. 16th), the same day the Surface tablet was available for pre-order. Mashable did a great job of summarizing the Q&A and posted a few details about the tablet that were heard from the developers for the first time. Some of their comments are summarized below.


    Why would someone using an iPad want to change to the Surface tablet. What makes the Surface so amazing?


    The Surface team said they have a vision for Surface. On it you can get “a ton of stuff done.” It has a full Windows operating system and can run the Office suite. The “seamless transitioning” from one user state to another with the touch cover, the ability to use it all day, and a USB port that creates endless connectivity possibilities all add up to a fully functional pc in a tablet form.


    With Windows RT installed, how much many GBs of free space will be left?


    After the OS, OfficeRT and a few apps are installed, they claimed that more than 20GB remains. Adding an SD card would also add space for music, movies and photos (though not apps.)


    No 3G/4G option for the Surface


    Even without 3G/4G, the team’s position is that the tablet design is still “world-class Wi-Fi connectivity.” They looked at specific elements of 3G/4G that they needed to include. Since the Surface would probably be used most often at home, their tablet sales data showed connectivity there would be one-third Wi-Fi and one-third mobile broadband. They also considered frequent usage at hotspots as part of the decision.


    Using USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0


    The full size USB 2.0 port on Surface supports hundreds of millions of devices that are already being used so the network is already in place. Timing was factor, too. They chose USB 2.0 based on capability of the ARM SoCs during their development time frame.


    Surface resolution that’s significantly less than new iPad’s


    With the ClearType Display technology they’ve taken what they call a three-pronged approach to maximizing resolution while optimizing the device for battery life, weight, and thickness.


    1. First, they believe Microsoft’s Cleartype 1.0 and 2.0 is the best pixel rendering technology in the industry because it smoothes text regardless of pixel count. The technology is exclusive and unique to Windows. Unofficially, the amount of light reflected off the display screen allowed by Cleartype is approximately 5.5% - 6.2%. The iPad's is a more glaring 9.9%
    2. Second, the custom design of the 10.6” high-contrast wide-angle screen LCD screen enhances resolution.
    3. Third, the optically-bonded screen that has “the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market - something which is more commonly done on phones but not on a tablet.

     


    Surface RT pricing


    The 10.6-inch Microsoft Surface Tablet will cost $499 for the 32GB model, up to $699 for the 64GB tablet. The Touch Cover keypad is an extra $119. If you want the Type Cover with real keys, add $129 to your budget.


    Apple may have something to worry about. The Surface tablet has sold out of pre-orders in the U.S.




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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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  • iPad mini front mock-up

    While waiting for Apple to unveil the iPad mini on October 23rd, we’re all over leaked photos and specs for the new device. We’ve seen plenty of mock-ups until now, but Sonny Dickson, a researcher at 9to5Mac posted some photos on his Twitter feed that are rumored to be actual pics of the tiny Apple tablet.


    Many of the pictures show the iPad mini next to the new iPad. There's a dramatic size difference between the two. The mini looks to be 7.85 inches with an anodized aluminum case. There’s a rear-facing camera, two rear speakers and a nano-SIM card slot for wireless internet access.  It will likely be equipped with the Lightning dock connector, too.


    Actual pic of the iPad mini on top of the new iPad?

    The Wall Street journal reports that Apple is so sure that the iPad mini will be a huge seller that they and their suppliers are busy making 10 million of them.


    Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire are both priced at $199. TechCrunch is reporting that the iPad mini will come in at around $300.


    Apple will make the official iPad Mini announcement on October 23rd. the iPad Mini preorder date for October 26th and we can find in stores on November 2nd.



    This post was posted in Apple, News and PR, Tablets and was tagged with iPad mini release, iPad mini specs, iPad mini

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  • Blendtec is back with another "Will it Blend?" video, this time pitting the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy S III

     


    Are you ready for a  ridiculous and nonsensical test which has no merit and which proves absolutely nothing?


    Then, the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III blender test is for you!


    While most of us are just trying to get our hands on one of the newest and best smartphones, Blendtec, a maker home and professional blenders is busy pulverizing them.


    It's pretty much what it sounds like. With a few of these "Will it Blend?" YouTube videos under his belt already, Blendtec's Tom Dickinson asks the question again, pitting the "the latest," i.e. Apple's iPhone 5, vs. what Samsung "claims to be the greatest," the Galaxy S III.


    The iPhone 5 may have a retina display, and the Galaxy S III may have a bigger screen, but which will withstand the blending?

     


    Tom describes both smartphones, highlighting their most attractive features, and then unceremoniously chucks each into its own Blendtec Total blender.


    While the iPhone 5 starts shattering pretty early on, the Galaxy S III holds in there for an impressive amount of time, but eventually meets its end in much the same way as the completely obliterated iPhone, in a pile of black powder.


    In the end, as the blender lids are removed and toxic-looking black smoke wafts up, we're left having to agree with Tom, who concludes: "I think the real winner is the Blendtec Total blender."



    The whole stunt kind of runs opposite to what we do at Pure Mobile. But even though we've got a mission to help people protect their devices, we can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching this total and utter destruction.


    Though we'd have to agree with Blendtec's disclaimer: don't try this at home!




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  • Just like our Facebook posts create histories of our lives that can’t be erased, we generate indelible electronic paper trails whenever we use our mobile devices. Verizon Wireless is only the latest tech company to collect information on its subscribers and then sell it to advertisers who might be interested in seeing what we buy and where.


    Verizon calls their new data collection program “Precision Market Insights.” Verizon collects geographic data from the apps we use and the websites we access. They then turn around and share the information with businesses that are interested in selling us stuff through advertising on our smartphones and other mobile devices.


    Verizon is adamant that the program is legal and doesn't violate any privacy laws because they keep user identities anonymous. Earlier this year, Bill Diggins, the U.S. head of Precision Market Insights, spoke about what the Verizon program allows the company to do. Of subscribers Diggins said, "We're able to view just everything they do.”


    Verizon is latest mobile service provider to use what’s called “data-mining.” MIT’s Technology Review reported that in 2010 AT&T began tracking how and when text messages are sent. They believe these are indicators of social trends and human behavior. The MIT researchers also stated that many tech companies perform similar data analyses. Facebook and Google have been doing it for awhile, too.


    What cell companies don’t want you to know is that you can opt out of these kinds of data-mining programs. In the case of Verizon, customers can log in to their MyVerizon account and opt out any time.




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  • Now that we know what Microsoft’s Surface tablet looks like, it’s a good time to compare specs for the Surface to two of the other most popular tablets on the market: Apple’s new iPad and Kindle Fire HD.


    Microsoft Surface RT


    Dimensions: 6.7 x 10.8 x 0.37 inches
    Weight: 1.5 pounds
    Screen size: 10.6 inches
    Operating system: Windows RT
    Screen resolution: 1,366 x 768
    Pixels: 148 ppi
    CPU: Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3
    Connectors: USB 2.0, microHDMI
    Storage capacity: 32GB or 64GB
    Battery life: 8 hours with mixed activity
    Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    Camera specs: Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
    Pricing: $499 for 32GB, $599 for 32GB and Touch Cover, $699 for 64GB and Touch Cover



    Apple iPad


    Dimensions: 7.3 x 9.5 x 0.37 inches
    Weight: 1.44 or 1.46 pounds
    Screen size: 9.7 inches
    Operating system: iOS 6
    Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536
    Pixels: 264 ppi
    CPU: Dual-core 1GHz Apple A5X (quad-core graphics)
    Connectors: Apple 30-pin dock connector
    Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
    Battery life: 10 hours of video playback (11,666 mAh)
    Connectivity: Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Bluetooth 4.0
    Camera specs: 5MP rear camera, VGA front camera
    Pricing: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB (Wi-Fi); $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, $829 for 64GB (Wi-Fi + cellular)



    Amazon Kindle Fire HD


    Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.4 x 0.35 inches
    Weight: 1.25 pounds
    Screen size: 8.9 inches
    Operating system: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
    Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200
    Pixels: 254 ppi
    CPU: Dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP4470
    Connectors: microUSB, microHDMI
    Storage capacity: 16GB or 32GB
    Battery life: 9 hours
    Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi or dual-band Wi-Fi and 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Bluetooth
    Camera specs: HD front-facing camera
    Pricing: $299 for 16GB, $369 for 32GB (Wi-Fi); $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB (Wi-Fi + cellular)


    The Surface RT faces some stiff competition. Regardless of the type of device, you have to decide what’s most important and determine what’s the best investment for you. Diehard Apple loyalists, we’re not talking about you.


    Thanks to the folks at Mashable for putting together this comprehensive summary.




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  • Japanese telecommunications company Softbank will purchase an ownership stake of 70% in Sprint for $20 billion that includes $8 billion in stock. Softbank is calling their new acquisition “New Sprint.”


    Sprint is the U.S.'s third-largest mobile carrier behind Verizon and AT&T. The Sprint purchase is the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. It’s the latest consolidation among big players in the U.S. mobile industry. (T-Mobile recently announced their partnership with MetroPCS.)


    Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son stated his case for this being a good partnership for both companies. One big reason is that they are both developing LTE on the same frequency. Combining their efforts will move the process along more quickly and cost less to implement.


    If nothing else, Softbank/Sprint will present some big competition for AT&T and Verizon – companies that almost completely own the U.S. telecom market. The technology required to bring the latest phones, national networks and high-speed connectivity to the market is too expensive for all the smaller carriers. As Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO, described it “This is pro-competitive and pro-consumer” because it helps fight the “AT&T and Verizon duopoly.”


    With some of the Softbank cash infusion, Sprint can focus on improving its unlimited data plan for smartphones. Sprint is the only one of the three that still provides unlimited plans to new customers.


    Right now Sprint is also the only major carrier that still offers both the iPhone and an unlimited plan. If Sprint can expand its 4G network to more markets, they will have a very valuable product for consumers.


    When the news hit yesterday, it crashed the Sprint website. It’s back up now.




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  • With the iPad Mini expected to launch soon, the question is not will people want it, but how much will they pay

     


    It won't be a few weeks until Apple actually holds its iPad Mini event. But the October 23 date can't come quick enough for some who are already speculating about all the details Apple is expected to reveal later this month.


    One of the big revelations we're all waiting for regarding the new mini tablet is how much it will cost. And today rumors that sound at least possible (if not probable) began to circulate about the iPad Mini's price.


    One of the leaks, first reported by German blog Schimanke, reportedly comes from the inventory of Media Market, a European electronics retailer, and sets the iPad Mini's starting price at around €249 (about $322 U.S.) That includes the Value-Added Tax that applies in Europe or on European goods sold in North America.


    German blog Schimanke leaked the reported price of the new iPad Mini: starting at €249

     


    Meanwhile, TechCrunch, which reported on the Schimanke leak, has had the good sense to ask whether this estimate is even remotely possible.


    After having looked into the newest iPad's bill of materials (BOM) cost – which essentially summarizes the total cost of each of the tablet's major components – TechCrunch found that Schimanke's estimate is, in fact, within the realm of possibility.


    The Bill of Materials cost for the newest iPad

     


    Factoring in "Apple’s famed commitment to high profit margins," TechCrunch writes that "the iPad Mini reportedly starts at $316.05 for BOM and manufacturing cost per unit, and is sold for $499, giving a rough margin of $182.95."


    As for the the top of the line devices, "the margin jumps considerably, with the $829 64GB Wi-Fi+LTE iPad apparently carrying a manufacturing cost of $408.70, parts included, for a difference of $420.30."


    We won't really know for sure until Apple officially announces the new device's cost, as it's expected to do at the October 23 event, but it seems likely that it'll be in the neighborhood that the rumors so far have described.




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  • Does your smartphone’s battery run out of charge way more frequently than manufacturers claim? The big touch screens, fast processors and complex apps that are packed onto our mobile devices suck up a lot of power. Most of us know that it’s too much to ask that a battery lasts a week on one charge, but there’s no excuse for not being able to make it through a day.


    The idea of carrying an extra battery or charger around, positioning a charger, dock or car charger at each stopping point, or keeping track of every available outlet isn’t very appealing to most. But when you have a phone that is your lifeline to calls, texts, apps, internet and Wifi, you do what you have to do.


    Imagine even having 20% charge left at the end of each crazy, busy day. If you haven’t included battery life as a high priority for choosing your next phone, tablet or notebook, maybe it’s time you did.


    PC Magazine recently did some testing of their own, and published their study of the 10 top phones. It's a short list of Android phones that delivered at least eight hours of talk time. The magazine’s in-house experts know that talk time doesn’t account for all the other ways we use our phones throughout the day, but it's still a good indication of how long you can expect your battery to last.


    For most smartphones running on a 3G network, the average talk time is a little over six hours. Even if you’re out of the house for 12 hours, that should be more than enough juice to get you through the day without a charge. If your device's battery doesn't give you that kind of energy, maybe it's time for a new one.




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