When it comes to high tech, downsizing is often looked at as a sign of progress. Microprocessors meant whole computers, for the first time, could fit on a desktop. LCD displays made them portable - in the form of laptops. Moore's law proved that chips that once would have been classified as capable of enterprise-level computing now occupy devices that easily fit in your pocket. And advanced lithium-ion batteries meant you could finally take yourself off the AC teat for an appreciable amount of time, and you could charge your gadgets over and over without worrying about the ridiculous cycling fatigue that plagued earlier rechargeable systems.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
I don't like talking about "industry insider" rumors. They are inevitably wrong about one detail or another, end up being total speculation, or are just downright trolls. Those that are true tend to be the ones that are very detailed and often leak their way out days, or hours, before a device's launch. Rumors that circulate months beforehand? Not so much.
But the Galaxy S III (if it will even be called that) is likely going to be the most anticipated Android device of the year, especially after the worldwide success of the Galaxy S II.
A new tablet is coming to the Sprint network next month, though it's definitely on the budget-minded side of things. The ZTE Optik will be available to Sprint customers starting February 5th through Sprint's online store, with a brick and mortar appearance to follow on March 11th. Here's a quick breakdown on the need-to-know specs for the Optik:
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor (we'd expect TI OMAP 4430, but that's a guess - yours is as good as ours)
- 7" display (resolution unknown - we're predicting 1280x800)
- 1 GB RAM / 16GB internal storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 5MP rear / 2MP front camera
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G connectivity
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 3.2 Honeycomb
- $99 w/ 2 year agreement, $349 off-contract
Check it out, below:
Thanks, Captain Anonymous!
Update: The link to the update is now working. Get on it!
Infuse 4G owners have been chomping at the bit for some Gingerbread love since the device's release in the middle of last year, and it seemed this morning they were finally going to get it. A moderator at the AT&T forums posted up the typical changelog marketing spiel, chocked full of customer benefits and exciting new fonts like 'Choco Cooky' and 'Cool Jazz' (I am not kidding).
Congress is a lot like a slot machine - once in a while, something good comes out. A new bill introduced by Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts would require cellular carriers in the US to disclose to end users upon purchase of a mobile device any tracking software present on said device, or any such software that might be installed at a later date by the carrier, manufacturer, or OS provider (that would be Google for Android).
Whenever I hear about the latest and greatest tablet under $100, I get a little bit sad inside. It's sort of like that feeling you get when you see a 3-legged dog - your heart is mildly warmed by its perseverance, but the rest of you would much rather look away and think about something a little less... depressing.
Datawind's $50 (2499INR) Aakash tablet is a 2-legged dog. It's powered by a 366MHz ARM11 CPU - a processor architecture released a decade ago.
Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.
Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony.
Verifying a rumor put out by BGR over a month ago, HTC has announced after a dismal end to 2011 (net profits fell 26% last quarter) that the company will be changing its handset strategy to focus on fewer, "hero" devices in the coming year. The problem of excessive handset iteration is one I've opined on before. It is a problem, and while it's unlikely that HTC's balance sheet woes were even in majority caused by the large number of handsets they released, making fewer models is certainly a way to cut costs and increase the amount of attention that goes into each product.
A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.
This a cause I think we can all get behind. Back in 2010, the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement exempting smartphones and DVDs from reverse engineering laws under the DMCA. Previously, companies like Apple had used these provisions to threaten criminal prosecution (as well as civil action) against those who "jailbroke" (rooted) devices such as the iPhone (or iPad). The exemption to these penalties put in place by the Copyright Office extended to the "jailbreaking" (or, as we know it in the Android community, rooting) of all smartphones (it also extends to things like bootloader unlocking).