Feb 23, 2011

INQ chief says Android is too geeky for 'pretty girls'

Take one dose of improper generalization, mix it in with a heaping of condescension, and then add a pinch of good old sexism. What do you get? This quote, coming from Frank Meehan, CEO of the Android handset-making INQ:

"If you go to a nightclub in any city in the world, the pretty girl has an iPhone or a BlackBerry. She doesn't have an Android phone. She has no emotional attachment to an Android phone. It's too complicated. It's a geek device, it's all wrong."
Now, before you go emailing him photos of the Android tattoo girl, there is undeniably some smidgen of truth to the man's words. Android is a geek's dream ecosystem and it's not necessarily the most accessible platform in the world, but to completely write it off for the nightclub-going lady demographic doesn't strike us -- or Justin Timberlake, or Chad Ochocinco -- as the most astute idea in the world.

Imagination Technologies unveils Series 6 PowerVR Graphics Processing Units -- promises desktop caliber graphics in mobile devices

Imagination Technologies may not be a household name, but they created the PowerVR GPUs that are the gold standard in mobile graphics, and are a part of the ARM SoCs you find in mobile devices like theiPhone 4, Galaxy S, and the Droid 2. Not one to rest on its laurels, the company unveiled its new Series 6 PowerVR chips -- affectionately known as "Rogue" -- that are 20 to 100 times more powerful than its previous handheld offerings. That's right, these GPUs will have the same horsepower as today's desktop computers while needing only a milliwatt of juice to deliver face-melting graphics -- the catch is that this bit of black magic won't be showing up in devices for a few years. Guess we'll just have to settle for the Series 5 chips -- like the quad core beast found in the Sony NGP and the upcoming OMAP 5 platform -- which the company promises will make their way into select smartphones "within three months." Be still, our gaming hearts.

Update: Three months? Hardly, ST-Ericsson has announced a series of new SoC processors, including the Nova 9600 that has "Rogue" baked in. The chip delivers HD video at 120 frames per second and can pull off pro-quality 3D video recording as well. 

Video - Qualcomm demos AllJoyn peer-to-peer sharing / gaming technology

It's simple, but highly complex. You dig? Qualcomm's AllJoyn demonstration here at MWC was quite the eye-opener, but it's hard to say how much traction it'll gain in a world already inundated with short-range transfer protocols. Bluetooth, Infrared, Wi-Fi Direct... the list goes on and on (and on). Essentially, AllJoyn is an open-source software system that doesn't actually have to run atop Qualcomm hardware; if implemented in a particular app, it can enable peer-to-peer sharing with others based on location. If you're standing near someone who also has an AllJoyn-enabled application, you two (or more) can interact -- if you're both using Bluetooth, the range will be around 30 feet, but if you're both using Wi-Fi, it'll obviously be greater. Qualcomm's hoping to entwine its homegrown FlashLinq (more on that in a separate article) in order to let people use this while being up to 1km away from one another. Hit read more for details.

Warner packages movies as iOS apps, starting with The Dark Knight and Inception

Online rentals and purchases of movies are still just a tiny fraction of the home video pie, but Warner's latest effort to expand that is similar to Paramount's recent efforts on Windows Phone 7 (ThanksSteveyAyo), offering its highest profile flicks as apps for iPhones and iPads. The Dark Knight andInception are the first two releases out of the gate, offering free apps with some bonus content and the first five minutes of the movie, then charging $9.99 and $11.99, respectively to unlock the rest. According to Warner, it offers a different experience than simply purchasing the flick over iTunes because of the extras which include Twitter and Facebook integration among the extras, plus the ability to offer the digital version in countries where iTunes doesn't sell movies yet, like China, Brazil and the Netherlands. There's a video demo and press release after the break, but the downside of being locked to portable devices is keeping us from clicking the buy button for now, but if you could sprinkle someUltraviolet on it, we might change our tune.

Microsoft Zune is dying, long live Microsoft Zune?

In all the Microkia hub-bub of late, as the best of Redmond and the pride of Tampere hold hands and blaze a trail to smartphone domination, the word "Zune" never once came up. This didn't escape the notice of many, including MS guru Paul Thurrott and ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley, who inquired to someone at Microsoft about just what's going on -- whether indeed the brand is indeed being killed off. This is the non-denial that came back:

We're not 'killing' any of the Zune services/features in any way. Microsoft remains committed to providing a great music and video experience from Zune on platforms such as Xbox LIVE, Windows-based PCs, Zune devices and Windows Phone 7, as well as integration with Bing and MSN.
Hit read more for details.

LG Optimus 3D's OMAP 4 benchmarked, pulls ahead of Exynos and Tegra 2

Which dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 system-on-a-chip rules the roost? It's probably too early to tell, but if you're looking for a preliminary verdict, AnandTech has benchmarked all three of them now. Texas Instruments' OMAP 4430, NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and Samsung's Exynos 4210 went head to head in a gauntlet of browser and graphical benchmarks, and it looks like the LG Optimus 3D's OMAP 4 came out on top, boasting minor but significant improvements practically across the board. Good news for the BlackBerry PlayBook, no? Oh, and if you're wondering why the iPhone 4 and Atrix 4G fall behind their older brethren in the image above, remember that they both have to render images at a higher screen resolution.

Unstoppable: the first Blu-ray film with Android-compatible Digital Copy

It's a little shocking that it's taken this long to get a Digital Copy that's compatible with Android, but clearly it's the week of shackles being broken. Just yesterday, Qualcomm announced that all future Snapdragon devices would be cleared for Netflix streaming, and now Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is announcing that its impending Unstoppable launch will allow Android users to watch the flick on the go. By enabling the transfer through BD Live, it marks the first time that this has been possible with Google's mobile OS, though it should be noted that consumers will need the disc itself, a WiFi-connected BD player, Android 1.6 or higher and the free PocketBLU app to make the magic happen. Both the movie and app can be downloaded starting today, but here's the real question: are you willing to invest in a movie just to experience Digital Copy... on Android?

Video - Visteon puts an iPad in a car dashboard

We happen to think the future of the car dashboard is a gradual path to obsolescence, dying and getting replaced by a mobile device. Visteon also think there's a future for mobile devices in a dash -- but not for actually replacing the car stereo. Visteon showed off its Consumer Electronics Device to Vehicle HMI (human/machine interface), which is basically a stupidly long name for a system enabling device integration of the sort we haven't seen yet. Yes, you can stream tunes through the car's stereo but, more impressively, actually change the channel that it is tuned to. 

Qualcomm ships dual-mode Gobi3000 WWAN chip, intros LTE / HSPA+ chipsets galore

Qualcomm just refined the term "blowout" here at Mobile World Congress. It's obviously a critical show for the wireless supplier, and while the 2.5GHz Snapdragon CPU is the undisputed highlight, there's quite a bit of chipset action worth paying attention to if you'd prefer that your next handset / mobile hotspot be capable of handling the world's most advanced network technologies. First off, there's the Gobi3000 modules, which Qualcomm just announced were shipping en masse. Compared to the Gobi2000 that has been infiltrating laptops and MiFi devices for the past year, this one doubles the HSPA downlink speed and enhances the Gobi common application programming interface (API) functionality for enterprise applications. The design supports single-mode (UMTS) and multi-mode designs (CDMA / UMTS), and should be popping up soon in devices from Huawei, Novatel Wireless, Option, Sierra Wireless and ZTE. 

Samsung's Wave 578 outted with NFC, representing the Bada gang

Look, we all know Samsung's Bada platform isn't exactly everyone's first choice when picking a new phone, but if you're eyeing up an NFC-compatible handset within a reasonable budget later this year, then this Wave 578 could be a potential candidate. Packed within the metallic body is a dinky 3.2-inch 432 x 240 LCD screen with multitouch, compensated by a 3.2 megapixel rear camera, a VGA front camera, Bluetooth 3.0, and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Alas, there's no HD video support for both playback and recording, but you can at least take this as an indication for a wallet-friendly price point. Expect to see this featurephone on the shelves across Europe, South East Asia, and Middle East starting in May. 


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