Tag Archives: Iphone

Microsoft Unveil Windows Phone 7 with Partners

Windows 7 Mobile Images
Windows 7 Mobile Lineup
\r\n\r\nMicrosoft today joined its partners in revealing nine new Windows Phone 7 handsets that will be available this holiday season from leading mobile operators inNorth America,  Europe and Asia Pacific. With more than 60 mobile operators in over 30 countries worldwide committed to bringing Windows Phones to market, the millions of people around the world looking for a phone that plays as hard as it works will have a variety of phones from leading device-makers to choose from.As for the two other major U.S. wireless carriers, Microsoft promises that Verizon and Sprint will have phones in 2011, and that “select models” would be sold at Microsoft Stores and on Amazon.  Microsoft is gearing up for another attempt to take on RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and other smartphone contenders.\r\n\r\n The hardware \r\nAT&T’s phones include the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus, all pictured up top. They all have 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, capacitive touch screens and 5-megapixel cameras. They will each sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.\r\n\r\nThe HTC Surround has pop-out speakers and uses Dolby’s mobile technology, for better sound when watching movies. It has a “kickstand,” so that it can be propped up on, say, an airplane tray table, without the use of severely bent paperclips, intricate origami or a $30 case.The LG Quantum has a slide-out real QWERTY keyboard, so it will be favored by BlackBerry converts and people who don’t like software keyboards. AT&T says it will also play music and video wirelessly via home networks to compatible devices, so you can, say, stream a song to a Sonos wireless music system with a tap of the screen. The Samsung Focus, scheduled to be the first Windows Phone 7 device to hit retail in the U.S., on Nov. 8, is the thinnest. At 9.9mm, it’s nearly (but not quite) as thin as the iPhone 4.\r\n\r\n T-Mobile’s core offering, due out mid-November, will be the HTC HD7, also with a 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. The HD7’s distinguishing feature is a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which is the same spacious size as the HTC Evo and Motorola Droid X. Like the Surround at AT&T, T-Mobile’s HD7 also has a kickstand. \r\n\r\n The sales pitch \r\nMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer as saying that Windows Phone 7 is “a different kind of mobile phone and experience — one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a ‘glance and go’ format.”\r\n\r\nClearly, the marketing strategy Microsoft is employing is to show how different Windows Phone 7 is, interaction-wise, from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. The trouble is, Android is doing gangbuster business precisely because it resembles the iPhone (while selling on all four carriers and in many configurations). Microsoft’s zag-while-everyone-else-zigs strategy may be risky, but no more risky than being perceived as more of the same.\r\n\r\n Why you’d buy \r\nSo what does make Windows Phone 7 “different”?  For starters, there’s the “glance and go” interface of “Live Tiles,” customizable plates on the home screen that update regularly, so that users don’t have to open apps, or wait for pop-up alerts, to receive new information. (Android users could argue that “widgets” serve a similar purpose, though they tend to be app-specific). Another differentiator is the Xbox Live integration. Microsoft is definitely sticking it to its gaming console competition.\r\n\r\nAnother differentiator is the Xbox Live integration. Microsoft is definitely sticking it to its gaming console competition.\r\n\r\n

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Windows Mobile HTC HD7
Windows Mobile HTC HD7Windows Mobile 7 DellWindows Mobile 7 Dell

iPhone Case with flip-out keyboard

If you happen to love your iPhone to bits, but still have problems getting used to the virtual keyboard, then perhaps, just perhaps, you might want to consider bringing home the TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard.\r\n\r\n

iPhone Flip case
iPhone Flip case
\r\n\r\nThis will certainly provide you with the best of both worlds, where the physical QWERTY keyboard would increase your productivity and make typing on the iPhone a whole lot easier, while offering some form of protection to your favorite smartphone simultaneously.\r\n\r\nRetailing for $49.99 a pop, you can choose from either iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 models, but unfortunately for those who have yet to place a pre-order, it is already out of stock at the moment. Well, if your boss gets you this for Christmas, you can be sure that he’s dropping a subtle hint for you to start replying emails the moment they are pushed to your inbox without complaining that you just don’t know how to use the virtual keyboard.

iPhone APP Filters Noises into Headphones

iPhone APP filters noise
iPhone APP filters noise
\r\n\r\nApps are funny things. They tend to provide narrow utility — focusing intensely on one specific thing — but once you get used to them, you wonder how you lived without them. Take this Awareness! app, for example: it gauges environmental noise levels, sets up a threshold, and then pipes in anything louder than that into your skull alongside your music. Reasons why you’d want that to happen include oncoming SUVs, mothers screaming because their babies are in peril (from oncoming SUVs), or something as benign as your teacher yelling at you for not paying attention in class. There’s a nice set of options too, such as manually adjusting how loud a sound must be to be allowed entry into your cranium, as well as pausing of the app or of your music. Awareness! is available for five bucks on the iPhone and iPod touch, and will soon jump on to the iPad, Android, Symbian, and even the Mac and PC.

How to Get the most out of VLC Media Player for iPad

iPad Screenshot
\r\n\r\nVLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework, that plays most multimedias files and various streaming protocols. It is simple to use, yet very powerful and extendable.\r\nVLC has all codecs built-in. It comes with support for nearly all codec there is. And what is more it can even play back the file or media if it is damaged! Missing or broken pieces are no stop to VLC, it plays all the video and audio information that’s still intact.\r\n\r\nVLC has come to the iPad, adding playback support for media formats that were previously unplayable on Apple devices. Without hardware acceleration, however, you’re going to run into playback issues. Here are your best bets for optimal playback.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
vlc-for-ipad-title-image
\r\n\r\nOut of the starting gates, VLC Media Player for iPad is a little buggy, doesn’t play back HD content too well, but is still very, very welcome. The interface is pretty slick, and copying your media files through iTunes is simple enough. While some formats aren’t supported (RealMedia, FLV, etc.), many new ones are (AVI, MPG, MKV, etc.). Let’s take a look at getting your media files into VLC and which files it’ll handle best.\r\n\r\n
FLV screen_shot 1
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAdding files is pretty straightforward. Hook your iPad up to iTunes, choose it from the sidebar, click the “Apps” tab, and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section. From there you can choose VLC and add files through drag-and-drop or the “Add…” button. As soon as you do, iTunes will start copying the files over to VLC and you’ll be able to use them immediately after it finishes.\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\nThe problems come when you start copying supported files and VLC crashes or simply can’t handle the work you’re throwing at it. This is a shortcoming of the iPad more than VLC, as the iPad is really only designed to play back MPEG4/H.264 encoded to Apple’s specifications. VLC doesn’t seem to take advantage of the iPad’s MPEG/H.264 hardware acceleration, and so HD files tend to be unwatchable and may cause crashes. VLC is, at least, kind enough to warn you when you’re trying to throw a file at it that your iPad can’t handle.\r\n

movie

\r\nDetermining what you can play back well is a little difficult, since it’s mostly trial and error. VLC will let you know when it thinks you’re pushing the limits, but often files that it thinks it can play don’t look so great. So what do you do?\r\n\r\nWe’ve played around with VLC for iPad a bit and have found that most standard definition files work alright. For the most part, your best bet is standard definition AVI files using DiVX. Even at higher bit rates (about 2500kbps), DiVX AVIs seemed to play back smoothly and scrubbing wasn’t an issue. This is great news for BitTorrenters, as most TV shows are already encoded as DiVX AVI and are already optimal for iPad playback in VLC.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you want HD on your iPad, VLC will get you half-way there. While 720p DiVX AVI video stuttered quite a bit, the same video encoded at about 3000kbps at 960×540 worked just fine. Since 960×540 is the recommended resolution for your iPad’s video anyway, it’s a good target for your HD content.\r\n\r\nVLC is available now on iTunes, absolutely free. VLC Media Player

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