Leaked from today's episode of The 404 Podcast:HTC and Facebook pair up for the HTC Buffy phone, a Facebook-powered smartphone modified to use HTML5 as an app platform. The ESRB and CTIA will soon unwrap a cross-platform rating system for mobile applications. Science has spoken: sarcasm is for smarties, according to the neuropsychologists at USF. With Final Fantasy XIII-2 only a few months away, Square Enix proposes to release a new Final Fantasy game every year.… Read more
Buying a cell phone as a holiday gift is a bit more complicated than buying a television or a camera. It's not that shopping for those products is easy--indeed, one TV can present you with a mind-boggling array of specs--but a cell phone also requires you to select a carrier and choose a service plan. (Also see my colleague Jessica Dolcourt's FAQ on picking the right mobile operating system.)
Those extra steps, combined with the staggering amount of choice in the mobile space, can confuse even cell phone fanatics. So if you're wondering where to start, don't feel bad.
Rest assured that CNET is here to help. With a little preparation, gift shopping for a cell phone can be a stress-free experience. If you keep in mind the following steps, the only pain may be to your pocketbook. … Read more
If you're clinging to flotsam in the middle of the Pacific and need to send an emergency message, DeLorme has a rugged new satellite communicator that can do the job on the cheap.
Its InReach device is a two-way satellite hookup with GPS that lets you send messages from anywhere in the world for as little as $249.95 and a subscription with Iridium's global network from $9.95 monthly.
Used alone, the InReach can send an SOS or up to three preset messages, as well as remote-tracking data; it confirms delivery too. Users can designate recipients such as other InReach devices, e-mail addresses, or Facebook or Twitter accounts before they set out for northern Siberia. … Read more
This week, we spot an Apple pop-up store in NYC, check out a nearly bulletproof rugged laptop, find out how Sony's PlayStation 3 3D TV scored, and dish out a few tips for getting great Black Friday deals. … Read more
A mirage no more, the Samsung Illusion is now officially on the records.
Whispers of Verizon's more midlevel Illusion first reached our ears in September, when a spoiler image briefly appeared on Flickr. Back then, we knew few details, other than its Android character.
It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the Swype virtual keyboard onboard. The microSD card slot holds cards up to 32GB, and the phone comes with 2GB to get you started. It's 3G-only.… Read more
Ice Cream Sandwich runs on tablets and smartphones--but thus far its debut has been a phone phenomenon only, what with the release of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus.
Now, though, Nvidia has released a promotional video showing Android 4.0 on a tablet. Specifically, on an Asus Transformer Prime, which uses the quad-core Tegra 3 processor. Oops, I mean five-core Tegra 3 processor--the fifth core is there for low-power moments when the quad-core power isn't needed.
Nvidia's demo, using Ice Cream Sandwich and built two days after Google released its source code, shows a number of features: the … Read more
Lenovo may be working on a 5-inch tablet, Engadget reports, citing an anonymous source.
According to the gadget news site, it has received some basic specs and photos of the device from its source. The site claims the device will come with a 5-inch display, run Android, and feature a dual-core processor. In addition, the photos seem to show that it comes with a Micro-USB port, a front-facing camera, and HDMI output. Engadget's source is unsure when the tablet might launch.
There's no telling what market the 5-inch tablet is designed for, but Lenovo is heavily focused on … Read more
Next week brings the unveiling of a new rating system for mobile applications, akin to what the video game industry has used for the past 17 years.
The CTIA-The Wireless Association today said that it's taking the wraps off a new mobile application rating system early next week with with the help of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). That's the self-regulating body that reviews and assigns age appropriate ratings to video games.
The original initiative (PDF) behind a mobile apps rating system was launched by the CTIA near the end of March and calls for "voluntary self-certification of apps." The program seeks to have app-makers define the content within their creations based on a specific set of ratings and guidelines. The end result is a system the CTIA hopes will give consumers "more informed choices" when using applications on mobile devices.
On the docket to talk at the unveiling, which takes place on November 29, are U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), alongside CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent and ESRB President Patricia Vance. … Read more
Dialed In has reached another milestone--its 200th episode!--and that calls for a celebration, don'tcha think? We do, which is why we broke out the champagne, party hats, and noise makers.
Of course, the talk of everything cell phones takes center stage with special host Bonnie Cha (remember her? She has her own theme song.) We've got the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with its coveted Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, plus a breakthrough in battery technology that could keep your resource-hungry cell phone going for up to three days. Bonnie also throws out her wishes for a Kindle phone, … Read more
An Android engineer took to Reddit last week to address concerns spurred by the discovery that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus did not offer USB mass storage (UMS). As it turns out, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich does support the feature, but the device itself does not.
According to Google's Dan Morrill, UMS is available at a platform level, just so long as the hardware allows for removable storage cards.
UMS is a protocol that makes USB devices accessible to a host device (Android phone or tablet) to allow file transfers between the two. In other words, when enabled, it is easy to drag and drop files between a host device and a USB device, much as between drives on a computer.
For many smartphone owners the issue of UMS isn't much of an issue at all. Most new Android users probably aren't even aware of the option to sync files across other devices, but seasoned users have come to depend on the feature.
So if UMS is not available for the Galaxy Nexus, then what will all of these Android enthusiasts and early adopters do for file transfer?
Given that a vast majority of Android's user base runs Windows desktops and laptops, Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) will work quite nicely for music, photos, videos. Meanwhile, Mac users can download and install Android File Transfer, and the Linux community has PTP protocol. Although none of these might be as appealing as UMS, Morrill is optimistic that better options will soon appear.
Considering that the number of Android devices without removable storage is rather small, this entire argument could be a nonstarter. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is only the second major handset released without a microSD expansion slot, with the first being the Nexus S. … Read more