Category: All Tech


At last, you brave Droid X owners! That long-awaited day is finally here; you’re getting some Gingerbread tonight. Not feeling like being outdone by HTC, Motorola is rolling out the Gingerbread update to Droid X users as we speak. Members at the DroidXForums have confirmed that a “silent update” started rolling out a few minutes ago. The update process is pretty quick and painless, but those of you with modified software will have to restore to stock to get the update. Here are the many features Gingerbread will bring to your Droid X:

  • UI refinements for simplicity and speed
  • Faster, more intuitive text input
  • One-touch word selection and copy/paste
  • Improved power management
  • Control over applications. “Manage applications” shortcut in the Home menu
  • Native Internet calling support
  • Downloads app for downloads management
  • Many under the hood enhancements to speed and responsiveness

If you’re feeling a little adventurous today, you can manually update your Droid X by following the instructions here, but proceed at your own risk.

 

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Logitech’s Ashish Arora, VP and general manager of the big L’s Digital Home Group, this afternoon addressed the rumors that Google had asked for Google TV devices to not be shipped while they work on an software update to address a number of feature deficiencies. Says Arora:

Those familiar with our product know that we don’t need to modify the Logitech Revue box to deliver software enhancements. Each of our customers will receive periodic over-the-air updates whenever Google and Logitech release changes to the Google TV platform. Logitech Revue boxes purchased at launch in October, as a holiday gift in December or to follow basketball in the spring, will all be the same and will all benefit from the same software updates.

Logitech and Google continue to have a collaborative, effective working relationship as we listen to consumer feedback and work together on enhancements to the Google TV platform. We at Logitech are enthusiastic about Google TV and our role in bringing this new platform to U.S. consumers.

All true. The Revue set-top box is updated just like any other Android device. (In fact, the update looks exactly like any other Android device.) But we couldn’t help but notice that there’s really nothing in there (or the two other paragraphs we didn’t quote) that addresses whether Google asked (or told) Logitech to not ship Revues while the software situation’s sorted out. We agree that to do so might be a tad over the top. While the entire Google TV experience still has a lot of room to grow (read into that what you will), there’s still plenty of functionality that can be had out of the box.

So the question remains: Did Google pressure Logitech and others to halt shipping in favor of an update? Possible. And the Revue currently is out of stock. We’re not sure how long it’s been unavailable. Could be that it’s simply sold out, could be otherwise.

Arora closes with “After a brief holiday break, Logitech’s Revue team will be heading to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, where we look forward to demonstrating how Google TV is transforming the TV-watching experience.

 

Apps, apps, apps! Everywhere you look, more apps. Both Android and Windows Phone 7 have reportedly crossed a couple of round number milestones recently, giving us a decent idea of the maturity gapbetween the two. Microsoft’s brand new OS with an old OS’ name has rounded the 5,000 available apps corner — that’s according to two sources keeping track of what’s on offer in the Marketplace — while AndroLib’s latest data indicates Android’s crossed the 200,000 threshold when it comes to apps and games taken together. We’re cautious on taking either of these numbers as hard truth, particularly since AndroLib was reporting 100,000 Android apps when there were only 70,000 — but they do provide rough estimates as to where each platform is in terms of quantity, if not quality. Now, where do you think each will be this time in 2011?

It all started as a despicable rumor, but now AT&T’s charged ahead and made it official – its version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab will indeed cost $649, which is $50 more than the other carriers’ versions and $30 more than the cheapest 3G-capable iPad. Disappointing as that may seem, a $50 virtual gift card for Samsung’s Media Hub is included, as is a bunch of bloatware nobody wants (sigh). At least you get relatively cheap pay-as-you-go plans – $15 for 200MB of data and $25 for 2GB of it.

On the other hand, US Cellular will also be piping the seven-inch tablet, albeit for $399 on a new two-year contract and $499 off contract, the same as Sprint. Unfortunately, the carrier’s plans are a bit less reasonable than AT&T’s: $14.99 for 200MB or $54.99 for 5GB, although the latter plan comes with with the Belief Project (which enables customers to upgrade their devices for free after 18 months as well as numerous other benefits) and tethering. Choices, choices…

 

Dashboard, that is. You’ve already seen the new Xbox 360 dashboard update right here and thousands of you have tried its flatter, faster interface for yourselves, but if you’ve missed out, it’s looking like your Halloween candy bag may include a full-scale rollout. Xbox Live subscribers are getting the above message in their inboxes right now, indicating that November 1st will bring a service update of some sort, after which point “You will notice a change to the layout of the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, a new color scheme, and new fonts being used.” That doesn’t necessarily sound like a cornucopia of Netflix Search, ESPN, Kinect and Zune Music to us, but it’s not like you have a choice — it’s mandatory, and you’ll lose all Xbox Live functionality unless you comply. We for one welcome our new gaming software overlords.Unlike some of the competition’s updates, these at least add functionality.

Sony Internet TV

 

Sony just took the wraps off its Google TV line, and it’s a double shot. If having everything bundled together into one sleek unit is your style, Sony is offering Internet TV models starting at just $599.99 for a full 1080p HD 24-inch model, going up the ladder to the top of the line 46-inch version for $1399.99.  They all have full LED backlighting, a picture-in-picture style system Sony is calling Dual View, and are being powered by Intel processors.

If a component-style setup is your thing, you can grab the Internet TV Blu-ray player for $399.99. It’s also powered by Intel, offers built in WiFi, and support for Sony’s Dual View technology.

Both Television sets and the Blu-ray player will be available for purchase on Oct 16 at Sony Style, and followed “shortly” by Best Buy.

 

When we first caught wind of Fring a while back, Skype compatibility was the draw, but as the years progressed and Fring grew some, the VoIP services didn’t exactly get along. Today, the company’s taking matters into its own hands with the not-so-subtly named FringOut, which appears to provide even cheaper calls to landlines and mobile phones than its powerful namesake. Starting on Nokia’s S60 platform and “coming soon” to Android and iPhone, FringOut’s promising as-low-as one-cent-a-minute calls

If you don’t want to hate your current camera, look away now. Nikon’s 16 megapixel D7000 has landed into the world of officialdom with a bang, bringing with it an almighty 39-point autofocus system, 100 percent viewfinder coverage, 1080/24p and 720/30p video options, dual SD card slots, 6fps burst mode for up to 100 shots, and magnesium alloy top and back covers for that extra bit of metalized durability. The continuous video autofocus that debuted in the D3100 is here too, though bear in mind there’s a 20 minute cap on uninterrupted recordings. Video nuts might not like that, but at least there’s a stereo mic input and an added control dial for adjusting shooting modes. It’s looking like a thorough upgrade from the D90, but remember that Canon’s direct competitor — the 60D — costs a Benjamin less than the D7000’s $1,200 body-only asking price (or $1,500 with an 18-105 kit lens) , so take the time until this becomes available in mid-October to weigh up your options well. Oh, and the outfit’s also throwing out two new pieces of high-end glass alongside a new flash: an AF-S 200mm f/2G ED VR II for $5,999.95, an AF-S 35mm f/1.4G for $1,799.95, and an SB-700 Speedlight for $329.95.

Today, Best Buy announced that they would be expanding the availability of Apple’s iPad to all its U.S. retail store locations beginning on September 26th. The retail giant will carry both the Wi-Fi and 3G models in over 1,000 stores as well as online.

“Technology is becoming more and more personal, and our customers say they really value visiting a Best Buy store to touch and try the iPad for themselves,” said Wendy Fritz, senior vice president of computing at Best Buy.  “We’re delighted that we’ll soon make that opportunity available to everyone who’d like to come see us, and experience this device in any Best Buy store nationwide.”

The iPad will carry the same price tag as it does in Apple’s retail stores. The news comes just days after BB announced it would also be carrying Amazon’s Kindle ereader in time for the holiday season.

Today, Walmart announced that it would be launching a self-branded wireless service titled Walmart Family Mobile. The new wireless service will utilize T-Mobile USA’s GSM network and will offer unlimited calling and texting for $45 per month; additional unlimited lines can be added for $25. Data usage can be pre-purchased at the rate of $40 per gigabyte and unused megabytes roll over from month to month. The Motorola Cliq XT will be Family Mobile’s high-end offering at launch ($249) and the cheapest offering will be a $30 set from Nokia. Walmart also sells pre-paid wireless options from Verizon Wireless (Straight Talk) and Sprint Nextel (Common Cents). The service will launch next week in Walmart retail stores across the country.