Author Archive: Ian McGurren

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By November 3, 2010 Read More →

Bread, Milk, Eggs, Android Tablet – Asda selling 7” Tablet for £97 (but don’t get too excited)

elonex We all new that Android tablets would eventually become ubiqutous and much cheaper but we didn’t expect both, in one hit and quite so soon.  It seems that well known UK technology retailer er, Asda are now selling a 7″ Android based tablet for an eye-catching £97, the kind of price where it’s going to be an impulse buy.  So is it worth it?  Well.maybe not. 

The tablet in question is made by Elonex, one-time UK PC manufacturer and sponsor of Football bad-boys Wimbledon FC, now tech name for licence.  It’s known as the e-touch tablet and it comes with a resistive touchscreen, Android 1.6, 128mb RAM, 2GB Flash Memory, wireless B/G, MicroSD, and frankly not much else to get excited over.  The resistive screen and the low version of Android (with no promise of upgrade) doesn’t bode that well, plus without GPS/compass/3G radio it won’t come with access to the Android Market, limiting apps significantly initially.  It’s also for sale at that other home of technology, Toys R Us along with its 10″ brother (which apparently will have Android 2.1), and we’re going to see more from the likes of DSG retail and er, Next.

Source: Asda

Posted in: News
By October 29, 2010 Read More →

Sony’s PSPhone finally a reality?

psphone Off of the back of some worrying news for Sony and mooted takeover talks, it seems the company has finally put the long rumoured Playstation phone into reality.  While many argue that, especially with Sony’s current precarious position, the company should have done years ago, it’s certainly a very interesting prospect.  Whether this is related in any way to the also rumoured PSP2, the so-called “Z-System” appears to at least be Android based, with the prototype currently armed with the 2.1 flavour of the OS and a slide out control pad.  Currently it’s only equipped with digital gaming controls (U,D,L,R and the PS shape quintet) and a set for stop / start and an undefined button from what can be seen, although there could be shoulder buttons lurking underneath.

As this is the first rumours, there is no word on games – will we begin to see Sony’s IPs on the green robot or will the Playstation part run as a separate entity?  Could this even bring a hardware standard to Android gaming, the lack of which is strongly rumoured to be the reason that so few developers have so far released Android versions of their iPhone apps?  Furthermore, would this be killed stone dead if the rumoured Apple buyout were to happen (clue – almost certainly)?  We’ll have to wait and see, but certainly in a world of Android hardware blending into each other, a Playstation phone is certainly an interesting dot on the mobile horizon.

Source: Engadget

Posted in: News
By October 26, 2010 Read More →

Choose your OS for Venue Pro – Dell to offer WP7 or Android?

Dell-venue-pro In what seems to be a first, Dell are maximising their new Venue Pro phone by offering it in both regular Windows Phone 7 variety and new Android flavour.  Whether this is down to an over production of Venues or the R&D department has been subject to severe cut backs, it’s certainly different to have a choice of operating systems on what looks to be a very attractive handset.  The WP7 flavour is due on November 8th and comes armed with an impressive 4.1″ AMOLED screen with full portrait QWERTY sliding keyboard a la the new Blackberry Torch, plus the requisite 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 5MP camera and 512mb of memory.  Loaded with WP7 it’s impressive – loaded with Froyo or even the ever near Gingerbread, Dell could have another Google-powered winner to join the Streak.

Source – devicemag.com

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By October 24, 2010 Read More →

Trick or Tweet – Angry Birds goes Halloween

angry As if to wipe the smug grin off of all those Android owners with their free copies of the world’s premier avian demolition game, Rovio have released Angry Birds Halloween.  It’s still only 59p and even better, the HD version is only £1.19 for us fans of giant iPods (you know, iPads).  The plot remains the same – pigs inexplicably steal eggs, eggs parents become feathered suicidal sling ammo – but the graphics and sounds have all been given a Halloween makeover, including the requisite pumpkins, werewolf howling and green pigs in ghostly sheets.  Even the jolly Angry Birds polka ditty has been giving a spooky makeover, rounding off a very good addition to an already excellent game.  Sling yourselves over here to take a look.

Source: iTunes App Store

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By October 16, 2010 Read More →

Angry Birds for Android is here and it’s free

angry-birds-218-85 Perennial iPhone favourite, Rovio’s Angry Birds has finally left the beta stage and is now a fully fledged released product for Android handsets.  You’ll need to be on 1.6 or about, be able to run Open GL ES 2.0 and have a display larger than QVGA (320 x 240) and currently it’s only available from getjar.com and Motorola SHOP4APPS.  No word on a release date onto the Android Market but it can’t come soon enough with the getjar page currently down through what I guess to be quite a pounding.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Angry Birds phenomenon, it’s one of those games with a very simple premise but it still offers a good challenge. Best described as an Avian catapult kamakaze simulator with a touch of Worms, the titular birds are somewhat peeved by their eggs being stolen by an up-to-no-good group of pigs – green at that.  The idea is the birds are so angry at this loss, they are prepared to sacrifice their own lives to destroy the flimsy dwellings built by the green pigs (pigs, it appears, just don’t get excel in construction), and to this end the player fires them from a catapult into the birds dwellings to destroy both the pigs inside and the properties outside.  Different birds have different uses – the yellow fast one to barrage through wood to the little blue cluster bird.  It’s clever and requires more thought about gravity than you might imagine.

Angry Birds is one of those games (like Mario) where you feel mistakes are by you and not the game, so you keep on trying.  That, plus its pick-up and play nature makes it a great game, and a total bargain for zero pence.  Now there is no reason to miss it.

Posted By: Ian

Posted in: News
By October 6, 2010 Read More →

HP confirm new WebOS devices are coming in 2011

palm_pre Once a contender but currently a side note in the mobile OS world, Palm’s WebOS looks like it’ll be finding its way onto handheld devices next year, according to HP senior VP Eric Cador.  This of course come of the back of another HP VP, Todd Bradley, confirming the existence and release of the “PalmPad” earlier in September, plus news of WebOS 2.0 hitting beta. So while WebOS may not be the great white hope it was a couple of years back, it’s not the dead-and-buried OS others may think.  Will one of these devices be the rumoured Palm Mansion?  With new rumours of an 800×480 screen and touch only interface it certainly marks a change in direction for the OS (maybe at HP’s insistence?) although the WebOS 2.0 screengrabs haven’t yet served up an on-screen keyboard.  A screen with that size would likely be bigger than the Pre (and certainly the Pixi) to enable a decent QWERTY keyboard on there, unless Palm fancy still-birthing another great OS with shoddy hardware.  Lets hope not, WebOS could still be a tour-de-force with decent hardware, especially in the tablet arena.

Source: Mashable

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By September 30, 2010 Read More →

iPad gets Tethering in iOS 4 and infiltrated by Google

ipadtethering Although an iPad is more likely to be a tethered device not the device to tether to, Apple have seen fit for the ever-so-useful function to be added to its forthcoming (and long overdue) update for the company’s successful tablet device.  Running in much the same way as the tether on previous iOS devices that offer the function – hidden in the settings – it’s a boon for those with the 3G iPad as their main internet device.  This may sound unlikely but with the iPad no doubt finding its way into student halls up and down the country this autumn, it provides an excellent way of getting devices like the Nintendo DS connected to the cloud, sharing the iPad’s data connection.  Of course this is all subject to the iPad’s airtime provider allowing this in the terms and conditions so don’t go crazy just yet or you may get slapped with a bigger bill than you anticipated.

In other magical and revolutionary device news, an enterprising hacker named Hexxeh has claimed to have injected the iPad with a Google poison.  Sadly not Android but the next best thing – Chome OS.  He’s published a video to dispel the faker comments but beyond this hasn’t given any clue how it’s done.  Speaking personally I’d welcome the chance to break out from the iOS prison and try a few different things out on the undoubtedly excellent Apple hardware, maybe even teach it a new trick or two (but maybe pass on Windows 95)

Tether picture courtesy 9to5mac

 

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: Rumours
By September 23, 2010 Read More →

Gmail for Android gets unbound, updated

gmail In a surprise move Google has let its Gmail app leave the warmth of the Android family and go it alone in the big wide app world.  While this does seem unusual at first, previously Gmail was only updated as part of a full Android update.  The now solo app can be updated at any time so Google can add features or plug any security holes without having to wait for the whole OS to make the jump.  Indeed, one of the first actions Google has taken is to update the app to bring it in line with its desktop big brother.  Not only does it have the new Priority Inbox but also Priority Buttons keeps the action buttons pinned to the top (it’s quite annoying having Reply at the bottom of a long mail).  It’s not all hunky dory though as the Priority Buttons is playing up with HTC’s similar button layout but of course, now Gmail is solo, this can be fixed.

Gmail is now available in the Android Market for 2.2 Froyo devices only.

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By September 23, 2010 Read More →

Don’t drink the greenpois0n – fake iPhone jailbreak warning

01 Sometimes it seems we can be all too trustworthy of phone hackers for a new feature or two on our expensive handsets – and for the most part they are well meaning.  However it seems not all hacks are as they seem, and some for Apple’s flagship leave behind some nasty surprises.  Going by the names of Greenpois0n and SHAtter they are nasty little things designed to offload a ton of malware onto the host PC, infecting it with such delights as viruses, trojans and keyloggers.  Of course, at present there is no jailbreak for 4.0.2 & 4.1 and the older Jailbreak.me type sites don’t work with the newer firmware, so obviously avoid one which purports to offer that facility. 

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By September 18, 2010 Read More →

Samsung’s Windows Phone 7 handset caught on video

samwp71 With today belonging to HTC and yesterday to Nokia, it seems a little out of place to get excited by Samsung kit, but this video of the Korean innovator’s new GT-i8700 WP7 device is certainly interesting viewing.  With plenty of pinch-to-zoom action, the video is a good 5 (pixellated) minutes of Redmond’s mobile OS on Samsung presumably flagship WP7 phone.  What does it show us?  Well, the word is smooth here, with all actions from zooming to scrolling and app switching to menus all flowing without any hint of stutter.  The tiles look good and the browser is certainly pleasing to see compared to previous mobile IE’s – let’s face it, that doesn’t mean much!  Windows Phone 7 is certainly proving more intriguing by the day.

 

Posted by: Ian

Posted in: Rumours