Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AT&T Android Phone Coming Soon

AT&T Android Phone Coming Soon
Another wireless carrier is throwing their hat into the Android ring. AT&T is the latest company to develop a phone that uses Google's Android operating system. The Motorola Backflip smartphone will be available next month.

When it's closed, the phone is totally useless, but when it's open, it features a full Qwerty keypad for typing. Also, when it's open at a 45 degree angle, you can use it as an alarm clock, digital photo frame, or use it to watch videos.

The Motorola Backflip has a 3.1 inch touchscreen and when it's open, it has a laptop-style touchpad on the back. There are three options on the home page; they are happenings , which includes tweets and status updates, set your status, messages, which includes texts, emails, and messages from social networking sites.

As do most phones these days, it has a camera: a five megapixel camera with flash and camcorder functionality. It also features Wi-Fi and the ability to tap into AT&T's fastest 3G network (otherwise known as HSPA 7.2).

The Android Market - the app store - has over 20,000 apps and of course, those will be usable with the phone. AT&T says they will be producing four more Android phones in 2010.

You can purchase the Motorola Backflip on March 7. After a rebate, the phone will cost only $100 with a two year wireless contract.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sprint to Release First 4G Smartphone This Year

Sprint to Release First 4G Smartphone This Year
Could 2010 be the year of 4G? It will if Sprint has anything to do with it. The current 4G leader says it will introduce the first 4G smartphone before the middle of the year.

The company introduced its 4G WiMAX network two years ago and so far, wireless cards, mobile hotspots, and USB modems have taken advantage of its speed - ten times faster than 3G - but there have yet to be any phones to use with it. The 4G network doesn't reach as many people as 3G, only about 30 million people in 27 markets, but by the end of the 2010, the company expects to add Houston, New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington to that reach.

Forbes made the report last Thursday that the new smartphone would be released during the first half of 2010. Rumor has it that the handset will be dual mode and allow users to take advantage of 3G coverage in areas where 4G is not available. HTC is supposedly going to make the phone which will be based on Google's Android operating system.

To compete with Sprint's WiMAX technology, Verizon says it will introduce its own 4G network this year, using LTE technology. AT&T will launch an LTE network sometime in 2011, while T-Mobile also plans to use LTE in the future.

Being the lone WiMAX-supporting carrier, it's no wonder Sprint is in a hurry to beat out the competition, but it could hurt the company in the long run as other companies work to increase the popularity of LTE. Some say the hurried use of 4G is an attempt to make up for the huge loss the company has suffered since 2005. In the last quarter alone, the company saw a huge loss of both customers and revenue. The new 4G smartphone could attract new customers with the right features and marketing.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amazon Releases Kindle for Blackberry

Amazon Releases Kindle for Blackberry
Amazon is releasing a version of its Kindle e-Reader for Blackberry, which means Blackberry owners won't have to have their Kindle devices in hand to read their e-books. The app is free and runs the Kindle software right on your Blackberry.

Using Amazon's "Whisphersync" technology, the app will automatically synchronize to your Kindle, taking you to your last page read. It also allows you to create bookmarks and view annotations you've created on your Kindle in the past. With it, you can access that same e-book on your Blackberry, Kindle, or your computer.

Unfortunately, newspapers, magazines, and blogs will not be accessible via the app, but you will be able to preview the first chapter of any of the 400,000 books in Amazon's catalogue, much like you can with the actual Kindle. According to PC World, the app is easy to use. Most of the books cost around $10.00.

The app is available for Blackberry Curve 8520 and 8900, Bold 9000 and 9700, Storm 9530, Storm 2 9550, and the Tour 9630. Currently, it's only available in the United States, but an international version is supposed to be available in the future.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Monday, February 15, 2010

LG to Announce 20 New SmartPhones This Year

LG to Announce 20 New SmartPhones This Year
South Korea-based LG has announced that it plans to release about 20 new smartphones this year. Most of the phones will run Google's Android software. The company says it's goal is to tell 140 million handsets in 2010, which would be a 20% increase from last year.

LG's fourth quarter (September to December 2009) profits were $256 million. That's quite an improvement considering the company had a $487 million loss during the same quarter in 2008. Even so, analysts had predicted the company to make $344 million.

LG is the third-largest handset maker in the world behind Nokia and Samsung, however it entered the smartphone industry pretty late in the game. Because of this, the company has focused on making high-end devices. Analysts predict the recovering global economy and increased consumer demand will help the company continue to post a profit.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Motorola Announces Android 2.1 to Hit Droid

Motorola DroidPeople have been skimming the internet for details about the Android 2.1 update that is coming to the Droid. Well Motorola already informed all of us that the update would be hitting the Droid this week but they have taken the anticipation one step further by unveiling so highly anticipated details on just what we can expect from the update.

A list of features that accompany the Android 2.1 update has been released and is as follows. Users will get Voice Recognition for Virtual Keyboards allowing you to speak your text messages instead of typing them . An enlarged virtual keyboard is also in the update. Users will get a new 3D gallery. The 3D gallery makes all of your photos, videos, album art and images from your Picasa Web albums account appear in 3D stacks that gently move as you tilt the phone. A pinch-to-zoom feature has also been added which allows you to pinch your fingers on selected areas of the screen to zoom in.

Among other features there is a News and Weather app and widget which provides you with weekly and hourly weather forecast updates. An update to Google maps has also been added. The update will sync to your desktop and synchronize starred items between Google Maps and your Droid as well as suggest locations based on your search history. The Android update upgrades your music application by providing new tabs at the top of the music browser. This provides easier access to and navigation to your music.

One of the biggest updates that comes with the Android 2.1 is the addition of Google Goggles. The Google Goggles App lets you take pictures of items to start a Google search. The app can also "read" pictures of business cards and add them to your contacts list. But that's not all, the built-in augmented reality feature displays information about stores, restaurants etc... around you.

The installation process for the update is simple. Your Droid will receive update messages which, when accepted, will download the Android 2.1 update. After the download is complete your phone will restart with all the features listed above. Even though Motorola said the update should roll out this week, there has been no indication. But not to worry, Droid users should get the update notification as soon as it is ready.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

WordPress & Sirius XM Radio Now on Blackberry

Good news for Blackberry owners this week, especially if you like to blog or listen to music. Both WordPress and Sirius XM Radio are now both available for your mobile device.

The online version of Sirius is available for selected Blackberry smartphones, including the Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Bold 9000, Bold 9700, Tour 9630, Curve 9800, Curve 8520, and Curve 8530. The app is available for free download at the Sirius website but the service isn't free. You can currently sign up for a seven-day free trial, but once the trial is over, you'll have to pay $13 a month to keep listening.

The company launched an iPhone app last year, in an effort to make content available both online and via mobile devices. If you're interested in the service, you'll get to listen to 120 channels of exclusive programming. That includes shows from CNN, Playboy, Fox News, Oprah, Sports, and commercial-free music. Due to some legal issues, Howard Stern will not be available for your Blackberry.

Also for Blackberry users who like to blog, the new WordPress for Blackberry 1.0 is now available. As Mashable.com points out, a beta version of the app has been available for over six months, but the new 1.0 version has lots of better features. These include the ability to record and upload video, easier commenting and support for 3gp and 3g2.

Below, you'll find a video that shows you just what you can do with the WordPress for BlackBerry app. You can download the app for free from Blackberry App World.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

NFL's RedZone Comes to Your Cell Phone

NFL's RedZone Comes to Your Cell Phone
Picture it. It's football Sunday. Your favorite NFL team is getting ready to play their big division rival and you've just settled in to watch and cheer them on, surrounded by your all your favorite snacks. But something happens and you get called into the office. Or maybe you find yourself having to work instead of lounge around in front of your plasma TV. Wouldn't it be great if you could watch the big game from your cell phone?

Well, next season, that dream may become a reality...sort of. The NFL has announced that it is planning to make the RedZone Channel available to cell phone users in fall of 2010. The RedZone cable channel provides coverage of big plays all day on Sunday, during the football season. It switches to any game when a team is within 20 yards of a touchdown, as well as showing all scoring plays, turnovers, and other big plays. The new cell phone version of the channel will be just like the TV version.

Prices haven't yet been set for the mobile version of RedZone. This year, Sprint customers could pay $15 a month for the company's NFL Mobile package (it was also included in their Simply Everything package). Also, DirecTV customers could pay $100 for the mobile feed for the NFL Sunday Ticket, in addition to the nearly $300 they already pay.

Some are wondering whether or not the new venue for watching football will cause broadcasters to see a decline in TV watchers. The NFL has billion-dollar deals with both CBS and Fox and last year, the league was one of the few businesses in the country that did not seen a decline, due to the economy. As a matter of fact, this season's games have seen record numbers of viewers.

But former president of CBS Sports, Neal Pilson, says the networks need not worry, "Right now the sentiment among broadcasters is that this kind of wireless and digital product is only building fans' attachments to the broadcasts. So far, if you can avoid it, you're not going to choose your two-by-two-inch cell phone over your 52-inch, hi-def television."

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Pico Projectors to make an Off-brand eXpo

aaxa P1 Pico ProjectorThe eXpo from LG cam out not too long ago and it made some headlines. It was the first high-end mobile device to feature an attached projector that connected directly to the phone. While that is cool, what if you already have a high-end mobile device, like the HTC Touch Pro 2, but still want that cool projector aspect? Well then you should check out some alternate Pico 3M MPRO120Projectors like the P1 Pico Projector from aaxa Technologies and the MPRO120 from 3M.

The P1 from aaxa is a compact little projector sporting a hard plastic shell with rubber flaps to protect the memory card flap and lens. The P1 has a lot of sweet features about it. One unique feature about it is that you do not need to hook it up to anything to showcase your pictures or videos. Users can simply plug in a memory card directly into the device allowing the P1 to decode your content directly.

The speakers on this thing are ok, though they could always be louder. If you find them to soft then you always have the option of plugging in a speaker system into the 3.5mm headphone jack. The projector is very bright in a completely dark room. You need to purchase a VGA cable kit in order to connect your P1 to a laptop. Pricing for the P1 comes in at $200, which may sound a bit steep but the upside is that the device is compatible with a ton of devices that you may already own. The projector attachment for the eXpo coasts $180 and only works with that phone. The drawback is that you will have some excess cords with the P1 as opposed to the eXpo but I think the trade off is worth it in the long run.

The MPRO120 from 3M is a bit longer than the P1with a nice soft-touch coating. The MPRO120 also has a built-in tripod mount and offers slightly better performance than the P1 as well. The MPRO120 is a second generation pico projector from 3M. This device works very well in a completely dark room and is still pretty visible when ambient light is applied. A built-in stereo speaker on the device sounds better than the P1's sound system but still isn't amazing. Unlike the P1 this device does come with Composite and VGA cables to connect to a laptop or other devices.

The MPRO120 is more geared toward business people. This is where the price comes in. The MPRO120 will run you $400 which means anybody who just wants a casual projector would be turned away from this device. While the performance is slightly better than the P1, the price may not be worth it unless you are intent on using it a lot.

Overall both projectors are great and offer around the same value and performance. For people like business students, mobile professionals or sales people these devices are perfect. They reduce the weight of having to haul around big expensive projectors and the hassle of setting one up. If you need a quick projector setup then one of these devices is perfect.

If a projector purchase really isn't the right fit for you then you should look into acquiring a projector rental from Rentourprojectors.com.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Google Voice Comes to iPhone

Google Voice Comes to iPhone
Google has announced that it has revised its Voice software so smartphone users can access it through their web browser, instead of having to download and install it like most other apps. It allows customers to make long-distance calls over the internet (cheaper than they might be able to with their phone) and provides you with an alternate dialing pad, as well as the ability to listen to voicemail from your browser.

Even though iPhone users may be excited, chances are, Apple is not. In July of last year, Google accused Apple of trying to block Google Voice from being distributed through the App Store. Apple said it was not blocking the application, but that AT&T (iPhone's carrier) had a provision in its contract that forced it to reject all internet calling programs that do not originate within the cellular network. However, AT&T denied this. The spat prompted an FCC investigation.

Many think Apple is simply feeling the heat of competition from Google, as the two companies start to overlap markets. In early January, Google began selling its own smartone, the Nexus One.

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