Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google I/O Recap: Jelly Bean, Nexus 7, & Nexus Q

Today has been an awesome day for Google (and let's be honest, it's been a horrible day for Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft... and Android tablet makers too). From Google's Android Jelly Bean, to the explosive announcement of Nexus 7, and the genius that is the Nexus Q... it's never been a better day to be in Google's ecosystem. So, we're going to briefly cover everything that has just been announced at I/O... Check it out below.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Cupcake. Donut. Eclair. Froyo. Gingerbread. Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean. Five years ago Google announced and released it's first Android device, the HTC One, running Android 1.0 Cupcake. And now, Google has just announced it's first Android tablet, Nexus 7, running Jelly Bean. But what exactly does Jelly Bean have to offer?

Jelly Bean has a bunch of cool new features including a new super fast interface (to make up for four years of shitty interfaces), a cleaner home screen, a totally new camera app, new notifications system, an updated search engine that makes Siri look pretty bad, Google Now (the Siri equivalent for Android), smart app updating (no more long download times!), and a release of mid-July. But really, when is it coming out for everybody? Mid-July! For once Google is getting things right with their release patterns.

Nexus 7 Tablet 

7 inch backlit IPS display. 1280x800 resolution. 1.2MP front facing camera. 8-10 hours of battery usage. Quad-core Tegra 3 processor. 1 GB of RAM. 8 or 16 GB of storage. Accelerometer. Gyroscope. NFC. GPS. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. You name it, the Nexus 7 can do it. And it can do it well. And without lag. The Nexus 7 is a direct competitor to the Kindle Fire, but it has the graphics and CPU power to compete with Apple's iPad and then some.

The Nexus 7 is "made for Google Play" and with the 600,000+ apps available in the Google Play store, the hundreds of movies, thousands of books, and millions of songs available- there's a lot to do with the device. For web browsing, the Nexus 7 is the first Android product to come preloaded with Google Chrome as well as the entire collection of Google Play applications such as Music, Movies, and Books. The Nexus 7 is available for pre-order today and starts at $199 for the 8 GB model, and $249 for the 16 GB model.

Nexus Q Media Player

We all carry our media library on us now. Especially with Google Play. And a lot of people just LOVE to share their music, movies, and other media with friends and family. Unfortunately, it's been quite difficult to do this cheaply and swiftly. But now with the Nexus Q Media Player, doing such is quite simple.

The device allows you to sync up movies, music, television shows, YouTube, and much more. But even better? It allows EVERYONE to chime in, because that's how it should be. It also allows you to have multiple devices throughout to house to throw your media to, so Nexus Q isn't just stationed in one area, but many. And again, it's based around Google Play, so your entertainment is one one, convenient place always.

Google Makes an Oopsie, Reveals Nexus 7 On Google Play

Haha! Google's silly PR reps accidentally spilled the beans onto their Google Play website header, revealing the first official shots of the Nexus 7 tablet that was rumored for launch today. It looks as if the device is running a defunct version of Ice Cream Sandwich for phones, but it's likely to be running Jelly Bean. Also, as indicated by the image, Google is likely planning to use this device to sell more stuff from their Play store, evidenced by the apps in the dock and the location of the image. Like the Kindle Fire, this thing is likely to be a good entertainment device... and not much of a productivity device (although I'm SURE it can be if there is a release of aftermarket keyboard docks and what not). Hopefully this can help some of you hold on for another twenty minutes... stay tuned for more!

Source The Verge

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Google I/O Is Tomorrow @9:30AM PT

Here we are again a year later. Google I/O! And what a sweet I/O it shall be. Google is set to announce Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (sorry kids, it's probably only an incremental update, nothing big enough to require a 5.0), the Nexus Tablet running said beans of gelatin, Google Maps for iOS (because you know, Apple changed the default maps to their own system), a new Google TV update, and more. Then there's the major speculation. Maybe a demo of Google Glass? Or how about an Android competitor to Apple's AirPlay? An answer to Apple's Siri? Or how about a major unexpected reveal to knock us off our feet? I mean, come on... it is Google I/O after all... Check the area below this post to see the times for YOUR location. The keynote is going to be streamed via the website provided below as well... which means everything should be covered for you out of country people or just the folks who couldn't make it.

06:30AM - Hawaii
08:30AM - Alaska
09:30AM - Pacific
10:30AM - Mountain
11:30AM - Central
12:30PM - Eastern
01:30PM - São Paulo
05:30PM - London
06:30PM - Paris
08:30PM - Moscow
01:30AM - Tokyo (June 28th)
02:30AM - Sydney (June 28th)

Source Google's I/O Site

Rumor: The Next Gen Kindle Fire Is On It's Way

According to our friends at CNET, Amazon is prepping a new Kindle successor for a July 31st unveiling. For those of you willing to wait just a LITTLE bit for the device to be unveiled, this could be good news for you. The Kindle Fire 2 (???) is expected to come packed with a higher resolution 1280x800 display or higher to match the impending Google Nexus tablet that should be rolling out tomorrow morning. Also, a price point of $199 could give the new jelly bean some good competition... given that it has better hardware... if not, you can forget picking up a Fire 2 over the Nexus tablet. Whatever happens... as always, stay tuned for more.

Source CNET

Monday, June 25, 2012

Is This Google's Nexus Tablet?

Google I/O isn't until Wednesday morning- but it looks as though the first peak at their Nexus 7 tablet has been unveiled. A trusted source through Gizmodo Australia holds confirmation that this is indeed the Nexus 7. What does this mean? Well, Google and Asus are partnering up to put out a 7 inch competitor to the Kindle Fire, Amazon's biggest hit since the original Kindle a few years ago. The device is said to have a 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 Processor, 1 GB of RAM, and an astonishing 12-core GeForce GPU. It will come in two models- an 8 GB for $199 and a 16 GB for $249. But- we'll see what's real and what's not in only two days. Stay tuned.

Source Gizmodo

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Microsoft Surface Tablet: An Overview

A few years ago with the release of Windows Vista also came a product by Microsoft by the name of "Surface." Surface was a large tablet-top based tablet computer. It was quite expensive, retailing for thousands of dollars, and it was only utilized by hotels and companies that wanted something to show off in their lobby. Fast forward to 2012. Tablets have taken the world by storm- with the iPad at the helm of market domination. But that was three years ago. More than three years ago. Yet, Microsoft hasn't come up with a worthy competitor to take down their fruit-based competitor.

That is, until now. The Microsoft Surface tablet is Microsoft's decided consumer and business competitor to Apple's highly successful iPad. And, surprisingly, it looks as if Microsoft will be the first company to challenge Apple. As expected, the device is powered by the soon-to-be-released Windows 8 Pro. This means that it won't be just a tablet- it's a fully baked computer.

Actually, it's a laptop. The device comes with a cover that secretly doubles as a keyboard and mouse- transforming a product that would normally be considered a tablet into a full fledged computer. However, it's worth mentioning that the keyboard will not necessarily be better than what we have today on laptops and desktops, but hey- it's better than the whole on-screen shtick isn't it?

Yes kids, Microsoft has outdone Apple. For the second time. I never thought I'd say this, but Microsoft is currently the most innovative technology company right now. Sure, Apple's iPad and iPhone are both incredible products, not to mention the new line of Mac laptops and desktops... but at the end of the day, Microsoft is the only company changing everything for the better.

For those curious code monkeys out there- yes, both devices (oh yeah, by the way, there's a consumer device with Windows 8 RT and business oriented one with Windows 8 Pro) include shiny new multicore processors, both ARM and Intel units, a USB 3.0 port, 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, microSD card slot, mini HDMI port, and a magnetic port for the keyboard/trackpad cover. All crammed into a device with a 10.6 inch display.

As of now, the pricing for both devices is unknown- however, Microsoft has hinted that the consumer level machine will retail somewhere around the price of the current ARM tablets (anywhere from $200-$700), and the business level machine will retail at a larger price (possibly $1000, but who would ever pay that for a tablet?). More details are due soon, and it looks as though both Apple and Microsoft have had an excellent month. Let's just hope the same for Google, because in the end, that's great for everyone.

Monday, June 11, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion Coming This July

Since most people pretty much know everything about OS X Lion (since, well, not much has really changed since it was first previewed) , we're going to do just that. Give it a quick brief preview outlining what you NEED to know about it. Like iOS, OS X Mountain Lion comes with over 200 new features (either Apple just really likes that number, or they get really lucky when designing new software). These features include the following:

iCloud... But (Possibly) Better...

iCloud is one of the first things an OS X user will see during the setup process, and whether this is good or bad- it's happening kids. Despite Apple saying that iCloud has improved, it will take the Gold Master Beta to determine the validity of that rather powerless statement.

Messages. On iOS and now on OS X.

Apple decided to bring it's messenger app over to OS X. And like the name suggests, it's a messenger app. Luckily, the new software integrates the iOS version, meaning that everything will (hopefully) be more streamlined and will finally bring the world closer to an AIM-less state. Yay.

Notification Center. Like iOS, but SO MUCH Better

Let's be honest, Notification Center in iOS SUCKS ASS. It's one of the worst features of the OS. It's slow, annoying, buggy as hell, not apparent to the end user, and difficult to access. Luckily, such is quite the opposite for OS X's version. It's fast. It's apparent. It's not too obvious, but it's not difficult to find and use. And, wait a minute, it works! Need I go on?

I'm Gonna Take a Power Nap. Brb. 

Sorry, that was super cheesy... but it shows what Apple is trying to say. OS X Mountain Lion has a cool new feature that allows users to update their sleeping computers, despite being asleep. Which means, of course, that OS X users will no longer require the chore of having to update things around the OS and, you know, waste so much valuable time on keeping everything fresh.

Dicatation. No, not Diction. Learn to read, Idiot. 

Okay, out of all the new features, this is the one that I'm most excited about. Anywhere (and I mean ANYWHERE) where you can type, you can now talk. Which again allows you to retire your exhausted finger from doing too much work. I mean, carpal tunnel is really becoming a problem now a days with having to type every hour or so.

Sharing is caring.

In most OS X Apps (more specifically Safari) much in the same style as iOS, you can now share webpages, comments, tweets, twits- anything you can think of- with your personal world of technology engulfed idiots. Oh, and it's easy too.

Other Shtuff.

OS X Mountain Lion has, like iOS 6, over 200 brand new features that make it better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) than OS X Lion and the competition. Like iOS 6, OS X Mountain Lion will be embracing tight Facebook and Twitter integration, allowing users to share whatever is on their minds whenever they please. Airplay Mirroring will also be available on the new OS, which is undoubtedly going to be very ideal for education customers. Everybody's favorite Game Center will also be making a splash in OS X for the first time, finally standing as something to compete with Microsoft and Xbox 360 integration in the upcoming Windows 8 and the current Windows Phone 7. The last feature I'd like to mention (I'm callin' the shots now, buster) is Gatekeeper. What is it? Like all Apple Apps, it works in the way it sounds. The new app serves as a fortress to protect from unwanted applications, and allows users to choose what they want to download or see over the web or the App Store. Why is this significant? Quite obviously, this will be the first time that Apple places the police badge into the hands of the users. And I'll be quite frank- it's pretty fucking cool.

OS X Mountain Lion will be available on all Intel Core 2 Duo Macs and up starting this July for a reasonable price of only twenty bucks. And as you know, for any operating system to be that inexpensive is quite significant, especially against companies like Microsoft that charge hundreds of dollars for just upgrades. Anyway, look out for OS X Lion very soon.

iOS 6 is (Almost) Here, Sports Over 200 New Features

One of the most important announcements today (well let's get real, there were only three) was Apple's reveal of their next gen mobile OS, iOS 6. As the title suggests, and as the trend continues, the new operating system will feature over 200 new features. Because everybody loves new features, right? And unsurprisingly, although the OS looks very much the same, it also looks very different. This is obviously because of those 200 brand spanking new features that make new Apple products so delectable. Here are three of the most important new features that the new software will come preloaded with:

Siri Here, Siri There, Siri Everywhere!

Yes, Apple will be unloading it's new Siri technology onto the iPad (finally). But wait- there's more! It also comes with support for sports (stats, player info, game updates, etc), restaurant ratings sorted by rating (which it should have done from the beginning), and the ability to make reservations straight from the software itself. Also, Siri can now launch Apps, which will likely make life a lot easier for a lot of people. And as expected, you can do a lot more than just that with the new (and hopefully better functioning) Siri.

Three Dimensional Maps (No Google Required) 

Apple has killed off their last Google-required entity, Google Maps with iOS 6 and put out their own version. And to be completely honest, it's stunning. No, really. The new Maps app is finally three dimensional, and gives a lot of life, depth, and reality to the simple desire/need of finding out where to go and how to get there. And since all images are vector images, it's assured that zooming in on things won't cause the world to look like a steaming blurry pile of crap.

Did you Bring your Passbook?

We all forget important stuff. It's natural, and it's human. But, like anything else, we've found a way to make us more reliable on technology for remembering things for us instead! Apple has included a new App in iOS 6 called "Passbook"- and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Tickets, cards, boarding passes, coupons. It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal. And the device manages it all for you (neat, huh?)

Other Stuff...

Along with these three big new features, and over 200 other ones, Apple has finally stepped up to the plate and integrated Facebook access into the OS, making it even easier to post your bumfuck drunk statuses, and like your ex girlfriend's pictures to piss off her new deadbeat boyfriend. Per request, FaceTime will be making a cellular jump, now available over the network, so that you can have those intimate and beautiful conversations with your wife, kids, parents, and cats without the need of a nearby WiFi network (does that mean I can now FaceTime and drive?). It's also worth mentioning that Apple has added syncable Safari information via iCloud, meaning that anything and everything (even your web history... where's Safari incognito mode?) is going to be available on all your devices. Well, if you want them to, that is.

iOS 6 launches this fall, and the developer beta is available today, so if you're a curious little twat who had your rich daddy buy you a developer account just so you can try out unreleased software, today is your day.

Apple Announces New MacBook Pro Family

Even though Apple has pushed a lot of focus into their mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, we've always known that Apple still loved making the best notebooks on the planet. I mean, who else does the entire industry copy besides Apple? That's right- nobody.

And, as expected, Apple hit yet another home run today with a refreshed line of MacBook Pro notebook machines. And they come in three flavors- a 13 inch model and a 15 inch model (yes, say goodbye to the obnoxiously large 17 inch device) with the same outward appearance of the current products, but with fiery new internals that definitely make them stand out in the crowd when compared to similar products on the market, as well as their predacessors. However, what Apple really had to show off today was the new 15 inch MacBook Pro. And interestingly enough, Apple is labeling the new MacBook as a "next generation" product- inferring perhaps that all MacBooks will be like this someday?

The new 15 inch model comes with a beautiful retina display. And yes, just like the iPad and the iPhone, it is almost impossible to distinguish pixels from each other. Along with the popping new display is a slimmer chassis- 25% thinner to be exact. Like the MacBook Air (which was also mildly refreshed today), the new 15 inch Pro features solid state storage as standard, a long battery life, and as a result of cutting the fat off, a far lighter body. How light? It's only 4 and a half pounds of laptop.

And although you have to be thinking to yourself- holy shit that can't possibly be affordable!- It can. And it is. The new 15 inch pro costs only $2199. And if you aren't a moron and you don't have some ideal that everything Apple is extremely expensive, think again. For what this thing has, at this time, for this price... the new "next gen" MacBook is very cheap.

All new devices are available today, and if you purchase from everybody's favorite Apple Online Store, shipping is, as usual, free. So what the hell are you waiting for? You know you want a new MacBook, and you KNOW you've been waiting for this moment to get one! So go ahead now! Buy this thing! Because trust me, it doesn't (yet) get better than this.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

WWDC is Tomorrow @10AM PT

Ready for a new Mac lineup? How about OS X Mountain Lion? iOS 6 more your thing? Whatever it is, Apple will be having this year's World Wide Developer Conference tomorrow, with the first keynote kicking off at 10 in the morning. Although we're expecting Tim Cook to be presenting the keynote (obviously in place of the late Steve Jobs), it has been rumored that everybody's favorite Apple-clad lad Phil Schiller will be presenting the bulk of the keynote. Which excites us greatly. The keynote begins tomorrow at 10AM Pacific time. For everyone else, the times are as follows:

07:00AM - Hawaii
09:00AM - Alaska
10:00AM - Pacific
11:00AM - Mountain
12:00PM - Central
01:00PM - Eastern
02:00PM - São Paulo
06:00PM - London
07:00PM - Paris
09:00PM - Moscow
02:00AM - Tokyo (June 12th)
03:00AM - Sydney (June 12th)

And yes, we WILL be liveblogging this, so stay tuned for more tomorrow morning.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Microsoft SmartGlass Gets Real at E3

The rumors have been spurring around the magical tech wheel for months. And now, it is real! Microsoft unveiled today at E3 their new SmartGlass technology for Xbox, Windows 8, and mobile devices. What exactly is smartglass? Well, it’s a technology that allows an Xbox or Windows 8 device to be controlled by phones, tablets, and other mobile devices- all via a new app from the company. In other words, Nintendo should just give up the Wii U and hang their head in shame, as Microsoft has revealed the future of device integration, as it should have been from the start. Users of iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 will be able to download the app to their device and control their computer and Xbox with it. And it will all happen seamlessly. And at the same time, your mobile device becomes the center for excess data not on the big screen- which will really help cut down the clutter and at the same time become more of a convenience for the end user. Oh, and it’s free. Everybody likes free stuff, right?

Check out more here!!!

Halo 4 is Lookin' Good So Far

Almost eleven years ago, the very first Halo title hit the shelves, Halo Combat Evolved. Two years ago, the last game made by its original developer Bungie was released, Halo Reach. And this fall, the fourth installment to the main series of games is coming. It’s big, it’s bad, and it’s unlike any Halo game ever made before. Which truly begs the question- why now? Why on an aging console that is planned to be replaced in two or three years? Well, although there is no answer for this besides the green answer, Microsoft is fully planned to release this baby in November, following suit with every Halo game ever made. The title involves everybody’s favorite hero, the Master Chief, his artificial intelligence babe, Cortana, and the evil Covenant forces. But this time, there’s a new threat, a new evil. And hey, it actually relates to the original plot of the story!

Check out the new trailers and gameplay videos from E3 right here!

Tim Cook at D10: A Recap

A few nights ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook made an appearance at D10- the conference held yearly by AllThingsD, one of the top technology websites and the tech team for The Wall Street Journal. Here, Cook answered a lot of what Apple fans have been wondering, especially the billion dollar question: what are things like without Steve Jobs? Cook felt that Apple needed to “move on” and “continue with the journey”- creating new products despite the lack of their creator, Steve. Cook, who is a master in operations, made a hint at Apple’s desire to bring more manufacturing to the US- just like it used to be with the company back in the 90s. Cook also revealed the company will be “doubling down” on secrecy- no longer revealing information as loosely as they have in the past months since Steve’s death. Although nothing came from Apple directly, Cook says that there was an issue with manufacturers that basically don’t know how to keep their mouths in check with classified information. From the interview however, one could see that Cook has finally started to come out and talk to tech folks about Apple, which Steve Jobs did very rarely, and when he did, it was pretty much only at the D conferences throughout the last ten years.

Watch it for yourself, here.