CrowdGadgets Episode 5
Download: CrowdGadgets Podcast Archive
Welcome to CrowdGadgets, the official podcast of the CrowdGather Gadget Network. The podcast is hosted by Brodie Duncan, Calob Horton, John Freml, Stuart Cope, and William Devereux. This week’s episode covers the latest news from each of the CrowdGather gadget sites: Anythingbutiphone, Anythingbutipod, Good and EVO, Nothing But Tablets, Pocketables, and StreakSmart.
Microsoft is on a roll with its Android patent agreements. The software giant has inked two more deals, this time with Acer and ViewSonic. The exact terms of deals are under wraps, but both manufacturers will pay Microsoft an undisclosed royalty for every Android device sold. Microsoft also has agreements with other Android manufacturers, six of which were finalized in the last 75 days.
Nokia and Microsoft have partnered to bring Office apps to Symbian under the Microsoft Apps banner. OneNote, Lync 2010 Mobile, PowerPoint Broadcast, and Document Connection will be the first apps to debut on Symbian, followed by Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a more full-featured SkyDrive app in early 2012.
Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the pricing and availability for the BlackBerry Torch 9850. The device is currently available online, and it will show up in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on September 15. The 3G device has a 3.7-inch display, 1.2GHz processor, a 5MP camera, and 16GB of memory thanks to the included microSD card.
Sprint has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over its high profile acquisition of T-Mobile. The third largest mobile operator in the US believes that the deal would violate anti-trust acts and harm the industry. Sprint also claims that Verizon doesn’t have an incentive to oppose the merger, as it would only cement its position in the market.
Verizon finally released the Droid Bionic on September 8, ending a long string of delays and setbacks. The 1GHz dual-core handset comes with a 4.3-inch display, a 8MP camera with 1080p video, and a front-facing camera.
Cowon has released the i10 media player. The device borrows design cues from the S9 and C2 and sports a 3-inch TFT display and 32GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, the Cowon hasn’t updated the touch controls. It also includes a unique “Color Therapy” interface and built-in TV tuner for Korean customers.
Microsoft announced that it is changing the number of licensed devices for European Zune Pass Subscribers. The decrease from six to four devices is a bit disappointing, but we suspect it could be due to pressure from European music labels. Video streaming is not affected by this change, and special devices like Zune.net, Xbox 360, and Bing don’t count toward the device limit.
The Creative Zen X-Fi3 was unveiled this week. The media player includes a 2-inch TFT screen and microSD card slot for up to 32GB of storage, in addition to the included 8GB or 16GB. Battery life is estimated to be around 20 hours for audio and five hours for video, which isn’t too shabby either. The X-Fi3 will also support a whole range of audio codecs.
Good and EVO
HTC’s official bootloader unlocking tool is now available for the Canadian HTC EVO 3D, currently sold through Rogers, as well as the unbranded European EVO 3D, which went on sale unsubsidized last month. Of course, the official method has seen its fair share of criticism: Some users are afraid that HTC will deny future warranty claims based on their knowledge of certain device being rooted through this tool. Others are upset because this method seems to keep certain parts of the phone off limits, including the ability to flash new radios or kernels.
With the help of nine patents that HTC acquired from Google on September 1, HTC is now filing its own lawsuit against Apple. This follows an initial ruling by the International Trade Commission in Apple’s favor in a separate lawsuit filed earlier this year.
Only days after Sense 3.5 was caught on video, some very hardworking developers have already ported it over to several devices include the Droid Incredible, the Incredible 2, and now the HTC EVO 4G. Kinged Bliss Sense 3.5 is the name of the new custom ROM, and it is brought to you by Team Nocturnal and eVoKINGS, in addition to a few other developers who have made various contributions.
Lastly, Sprint has decided to extend open enrollment in Total Equipment Protection until the end of September.
Nothing But Tablets
After several teaser videos and months of speculation, we finally have a release date and some concrete specs for the Sony Tablet S. It features a 9.4-inch screen, a front facing 0.3MP camera, a 5MP rear camera, an SD card slot, 1GB RAM, and a Tegra 2 CPU. The price starts at $500 for the 16GB model and $600 for the 32GB model. Pre-orders can be made by the end of the month.
More details have surfaced regarding Windows 8. Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of NVIDIA has said that Windows 8 will be able to run Windows Phone apps. This can technically mean that after a user purchases an app, they can use it across a plethora of devices including a tablet, PC and phone. Not much is known on the status on how this will be implemented, but, if true, it will one-up iOS and Mac OSX.
The ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is ready to take your $199 for its pre-order. For that price, you will be getting a pretty good quality tablet, with a 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and Android Gingerbread. It also is quite similar to SBD Shell 3D, due to the collaboration between ViewSonic and the people who brought you that skin.
webOS is not coming to Samsung hardware, says Samsung CEO. Apparently, he thinks that buying a smartphone operating system is becoming too much of a fashion, so he doesn’t want his company to do anything like it. Of course, it also might be so that Samsung can focus on making quality devices on the numerous operating systems they already use.
Our Samsung Droid Charge review is up, and all you need to know from it is not to buy this phone. The blue screen issue is a very big one, and Verizon just wants to replace the device versus trying to find a fix for you.
Where is Dell’s “Opus One” smartphone? For those who don’t know, the Opus One is the codename for the supposed sequel to the Dell Streak 5. Not much has been heard about the device since the first information leaked in November of last year. We don’t know whether it has been cancelled or if Dell is just taking extra precautions with information leaks.
The latest news coming out of the People’s Republic is that popular search engine Baidu is launching its own mobile OS called Yi OS. It will be a cross between Android OS and original code for Yi. Dell has announced it will manufacture the first Yi OS smartphones and tablets. This partnership is interesting because this gives Dell a chance to try out hardware in China before bringing it to the rest of the world. With any luck, we might get improved devices that will fare better against the competition.