Earlier in the year Facebook purchased Instagram for over $1Billion USD. It looks like the company is aggressively working on improving it too, if the newest rumours are true. According to insider sources, on June 20th, Facebook intends to reveal a new video feature on Instagram that is reminiscent of the video app Vine. Here's a quote with more of the details,
Feeling threatened by its rival's success, TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook will update Instagram to support video later this week. Earlier reports suggested that the feature would be similar to Vine and allow users to create and share simple videos between 5 and 10 seconds in length. Video support is seen as the initial step for Facebook to finally monetize Instagram's more than 100 million monthly active users. Facebook is expected to announce Instagram's video support at a press event on June 20th.
It's possible that this rumour is both true and false. For the most part several different sources of industry intel have suggested that Facebook is working on precisely this, but there is no guarantee it will be launched as early as June 20th. We will keep you posted if more details leak.
Posted by: Gareth
It's looking increasingly like using mobile service will likely be much cheaper soon when you roam around Europe. The European Union is planning to end mobile roaming charges next year. Here's a quote with more of the details,
The group of 27 European Commissioners voted in Brussels on Tuesday to drive the package through in time for the European elections in May next year, to come into force as soon as 1 July 2014.
"They agreed that this time next year we will have got rid of these charges," a Brussels source said Officials will draw up and publish detailed proposals in the next six weeks.
They expect the death of roaming charges to typically wipe 2pc off mobile operators' revenues, after several years of tightening regulations designed to put an end to shockingly high bills for holiday makers and business travellers. They argue that operators will gain in the longer term by customers using their mobiles more abroad, particularly to access the internet.
The reforms are designed to encourage radical consolidation of European mobile network operators. A source familiar with the plans said the European Commission believes there are far too many companies offering services across the 27 member states and that the fragmentation is a barrier to badly-needed investment. Without upgrades, mobile networks will buckle under the pressure of the rapid growth in internet traffic, it is feared.
"There are around 100 operators in Europe and only four in the US," the source said. "That's not sustainable if we're going to have a single market and investment. Europe has less 4G mobile broadband than Africa at the moment."
"Consolidation is not the aim. The aim is a single market, but if it means we get fewer, stronger operators, that's good."
With no roaming fees, officials believe the single market will mean foreign operators will be able to compete for British customers, and vice-versa. They are likely to form airline style alliances that will lead to mergers, it is hoped.
While this move is designed to help reduce costs for European consumers, it is also meant to reduce the disparate, fragmented multiple carriers across Europe and foster more cooperation between them. Of course, with the ensuing consolidation, the EU needs to be careful they don't end up with the same situation as there is in the U.S.. It can easily be argued that the U.S. doesn't have enough consumer choice between carriers. Somehow there must be some happy middle ground. Perhaps this new move by the EU will find that perfect balance.
The next generation of the Google Nexus 7 will likely be hitting the streets pretty soon. It was just spotted at the FCC with Android 4.3 and a couple different radio versions in tow (GSM and WIFi). Specs for the device are even available through some indirect sleuthing by several websites. The way it was determined that the tablet at the FCC is actually the Nexus 7 required some deductive reasoning and several different puzzle pieces. I won't bore you with the rundown, but here are the specs:
- 7-inch display (1920 x 1200 or 1080p) resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064)
- Adreno 320 GPU
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage
- 5-megapixel camera
- 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi 80211n with dual-badn
- (possibly) Qi wireless charging
- profile: 7.5 to 8mm
Posted by: Gareth
19/06/13@09:11 by Gareth - 287 words
Gareth and Matt are here with another UK update on the mobile front. A new budget HTC causes a little concern for Gareth and Matt as gets all excited over Apple's recent announcements, Gareth can't help but to try and burst his bubble.
Featuring Gareth and Matt
The Desire 200 launches as a budget handset and has a Desire HD Mini look to it with a 3.5" LCD screen offering a seemingly old-school 320x480 resolution. There's a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM which should be adequate for the entry level but the 4GB of built in storage will have many reaching for a MicroSD card, which fortunately the Desire 200 supports up to 32GB cards.
The fact that there is a removable battery will keep many happy in that the can have a stand by battery ready to swap when needed.
Full spec can be found below:
Monday, June 10 marked the beginning of a big week for Apple, as the tech titan held its Worldwide Developers Conference to unveil new innovations and products. Over the past 6 months or so, many begun to question whether or not Apple has begun to lose its edge in tech competition, and some feel that the closest you can come to an exciting new Apple product is a new iPad accessory from MySmartBuy. Nevertheless, the company remains driven and creative, and truth be told is still ahead of its competitors. In that regard, the Conference contained a bit more news than many expected.
Of course, there's no significant iPhone upgrade coming just yet - but here are a few words on some of the improvements and new products Apple announced at the conference.
The highlight of the conference, iOS7 is generating more positive press than Apple has seen in over a year. Specific upgrades involve automatically updating apps and a "flat" visual design, as opposed to the current 3D design. iOS7 will be available on iPhone 4 and all newer models, as well as the iPad Mini and iPad 2.
Essentially Apple's very own version of Pandora, iRadio, coming in the fall, is a personalized Internet radio station. It will choose music based on user preferences and iTunes purchases, and will come in both a free and paid ($25) edition.
Photo Organization On Devices
Until now, Apple devices have offered little organization when it comes to photos. Now, these devices will automatically catalogue photos based on the time and location at which they were taken, allowing for smoother organization.
Not only will the iBooks feature now be available on Mac computers in addition to mobile devices, but the design has also changed. Instead of the classic wooden bookshelf appearance, the new iBooks looks more like iTunes, with a white background and book covers on display in rows and search categories.
Macbook Air Changes
The main change with the Macbook Air is what essentially amounts to all day battery life. For the 11-inch version, battery will last for 9 hours; for the 13-inch, an astounding 12 hours of battery will be available.
Remembering different passwords for different sites and programs across all our devices can be a tough task. Apple is now providing us with Cloud support for passwords, allowing devices to remember all of our passwords in a secure fashion.
Siri is becoming more dynamic, with the main change being the fun option of a male or female voice. New commands, such as "play my last voicemail," are also available for the ever-improving robot voice.
This peculiar, all-black cylinder shaped computer was perhaps the most mysterious highlight of the conference. But basically, it sounds like an incredibly capable and powerful new computer option coming soon.
Posted by: Matt
Usher, eight-time Grammy winner, one of the best-selling musical artists in history and currently one of the coaches of NBC's hit show, "The Voice," has teamed up with Samsung Smart TV and digital agency Huge to create a digital short film inspired by the title track from his current critically acclaimed album, "LOOKING 4 MYSELF." The film, Usher's 'Looking 4 Myself' Presented by Samsung, is available via Samsung's YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/samsungtelevisions.
"Our goal was to create a one-of-a-kind film that brought Usher, a global music icon, together with international technology leader Samsung, to create an artistic and extraordinary digital film experience that people will want to view and share," said Ross Maupin, Creative Director of Huge. "By seamlessly integrating the Samsung Smart TV into the film starring Usher, we are setting a new standard in viral marketing."
14/06/13@02:06 by Gareth - 122 words
Gareth and Matt are back looking at a bunch of fond memories from times gone by Retro Tech Addicts podcast.
Featuring Gareth and Matt
This day in the past
The First Console
Arcades would be a good subject, remember pacman, dragons lair, after burner and space harrier to name a few
Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk Tel: 0208 123 3757
Gareth Myles - @garethmyles
Matt and Tracy Davis - @tracyandmatt
Music by James Everett
Posted by: Gareth
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