Archive for November 20th, 2013

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Nintendo developing an educational tablet

angry_birds_game_and_watchWhen you think of educational instruments you rarely thin of Nintendo however, Nintendo of America software engineer Nando Monterazo has been tweeting in regard to Nintendo is experimenting with a tablet running Android. Over the years there has been much speculation that Nintendo might bring Mario or Link to a mobile platform however it does not seem like this will be happening anytime soon in a traditional sense as this tablet is meant for schools. 

From the sounds of it Nintendo is considering using its most well-known and loved gaming characters in a new range of educational titles. Those titles may even be linked to a single, Nintendo-branded tablet that’s not offered to consumers, just schools. Monterazo also said Android is being used just for the experiment and if a final tablet were manufactured it could run a “Unix environment.”

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Windows Phone announces the arrival of Instagram

instagram-profiles-now-online-1The arrival of Instagram, which has more than 150 million users around the world, brings one of the world’s most popular social photo apps to what many critics have called the world’s best smartphone cameras.

Instagram can transform everyday moments into shareable works of art. Just grab a picture from your Photos Hub, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram (or Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare). As with many other Windows Phone apps, Instagram for Windows Phone will have a Live Tile which updates with data on the Start screen as well as support for fast-resume.

With up to 500 apps added each day, the Windows Phone store has more than 190,000 apps and around 90 per cent of the top 20 ranked apps across all platforms. Windows Phone is also the fastest-growing platform among the leading operating systems according to recent analyst data.

 

Instagram for Windows Phone highlights include:

  • The full set of Instagram filters including XPro-II, Earlybird, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Lo-fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977, and more
  • Ability to like and comment on other people’s photos and videos
  • Linear and radial tilt-shift blur effects for extra depth of field
  • Unlimited uploads

Instagram leads a wave of popular apps now available on Windows Phone, including Blippar, Vine, 4oD, Angry Birds Star Wars II and Asphalt 8: Airborne.

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HTC Desire 500 hands-on in White

htc-desire-500-white-blueBack in September of this year, HTC launched a new Android smartphone under the much-used Desire name, the HTC Desire 500.

This new phone featured much of the software improvements from the popular HTC One but in a somewhat more affordable package.

When the Desire 500 first went on sale the all-black version was the first to land and we had an early hands-on with that model. Since then two further versions have become available; White with blue-trim and white with red-trim.

These are essentially the same hardware spec but it’s surprising just how different the phone can appear from a simple colour change. We wouldn’t normally return to a device just because of a colour change but as the Desire 500 has just had an Android update and has been so popular on PAYG tariffs we thought it was worth another look.

In the video below, Gareth takes a brief break from his painting-by-numbers to have a closer look at the HTC Desire 500 in white clothing. The phone, not Gareth in white clothing…

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Google to release Nexus wireless charger in UK

Nexus-wireless-charger-640x318If you have a Nexus 4, 5 or or the Nexus 7 tablet you are going to be wanting one of these. A Nexus Wireless charger. Appearing just in time for the holiday rush this would be almost the perfect present for a Nexus user. The charger has already been launched in the US at $50, however, here in the UK we have merely have a “coming soon” listed.

This will undoubtedly be a big hit for those in the Nexus fanclub. This isn’t the only option for wireless charging the Nexus devices, as they use a Qi standard, there are cheaper alternatives out there. The purists out there will have to pick one there up though as this one comes with Nexus branding.

With the Nexus Wireless Charger, your new Nexus 7 becomes the first truly wireless tablet. No more messing with wires, cords and plugs – your tablet just snaps into place on the magnetic face and begins charging. The Nexus Wireless Charger adheres securely to any surface – like your desk, counter top or nightstand – so the convenience of grab-and-go charging is always within easy reach.

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By November 20, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Gear shipping higher amounts than anticipated

Galaxy-Gear-006-Set1-Front_SixDespite critical reviews and an unappealing price-tag, it appears that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch is turning out to be a solid success. According to a couple of reports, Samsung has shipped around 800,000 units to retailers world-wide. Additionally, 50,000 units have already been actually sold to customers in South Korea alone. This has far surpassed Samsung’s own initial expectations. These numbers also put it far ahead of competing devices from both Pebble and Sony.

Samsung issued a statement regarding the surprise success of the device, “It’s the most sold wearable watch available in the market place…and we plan to expand its availability by expanding mobile devices that work with the Gear.”

One of the reasons for the increased success of the device can mainly be attributed to incentive programs to help push the device out the door. This includes bundling it with the Galaxy Note III, and there were even UK carriers currently offering it for free if customers purchase the Note III on a two-year contract.

Of course, there have also been reports that up to 30% of consumers in the U.S. have returned the device, which does not bode well for its future sales. It will be interesting to see how the sell-through numbers match up with the shipping to retail numbers when everything is finally tallied. Regardless, shipping out 800,000 units to retailers in only 2 months is nothing to sniff at.

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