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Sep 27, 2011

Download Compiled VideoLAN VLC Media Player For Google Android

The hugely popular multi-platform, open-source VLC Media Player is well known for it's wide support for virtually every multimedia format available. The nifty media-player is already available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Apple iOS platforms, while Android port of this software is still under development in pre-alpha phase - we now have a first public compiled binary build of Android VLC Media Player for Android available for download.

Similar to another popular media-player port of MPlayer to android, VLC for android will allow users to say goodbye to all the multimedia re-encodings as they will become a “supported format” for your device once VLC is in there.


There are two builds available of VLC for Android, known as NEON and NONEON. The difference is in the processor type.

Because VLC for Android makes use of the NDK (Native Development Kit), it is compiling native-level binaries that will only work on the processor class for which they were designed. This means that the same build will not work across all devices.

Specifically, when building the native VLC libraries for Android, you have to specify whether the target supports NEON floating-point extensions. Certain devices contain a dedicated floating-point unit (FPU) which is used to do floating-point calculations such as division (think fractions). Other devices don't have a dedicated FPU, and instead need to emulate one in software.

Although VLC could be built to simply always emulate an FPU and thus work across devices, making use of the dedicated NEON FPU is advantageous from a processing perspective as it offloads work that the CPU has to do.

So that's all well and good, but how does one go about checking if their device supports NEON or not? It's actually quite simple. Using either a file manager on your device or simply ADB, locate a file called /proc/cpuinfo and open it.

When you do, you'll see something like this:

Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 2 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 1597.74

Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp thumbee neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x1
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 2

Hardware : mapphone_CDMA
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000

If you see the word neon on the Features line, then your device supports NEON extensions. If it's not there, then you'll have to use the NONEON variant of VLC.

VLC for Android is still in pre-alpha stages, and I am simply building it from their GIT repository using their wiki instructions. As such, don't expect any degree of support for these APKs from the VideoLAN group or myself, and expect bugs.

VLC Media Player For Android

Working VLC Player For Android

VLC Media Player for Android compiled pre-alpha builds download links:

Four More AMD Opteron 6200 Bulldozer-Based CPUs Sighted

The fourth quarter of this year will mark the introduction of a new series of Opteron 6000-series processors based on the Bulldozer architecture and a recent leak has come to divulge the names, as well as the specs, of some of these upcoming AMD CPUs.

Back in July, Gateway also leaked four Opteron server chips from the 6200 product family, but the configuration page of the Penguin Computers Altus 2850GTi, 2800i and 1800i machines has now increased this lineup to eight processors.

Only two of the four Opteron 6200 chips to be revealed feature 16 computing cores, while the remaing two carry 12 and 8 cores, respectively.

Making our way from top to bottom, the most powerful of these CPUs are the 16-core Opteron 6282 SE and Opteron 6274, which include 8MB of Level 2 cache and 16MB of Level 3 cache, while their base clock speeds are set at 2.5GHz and 2.2GHz.

Both of these processors also support AMD's Turbo Core technology that can ramp up the operating frequency to 3.1GHz and 2.8GHz, when all cores are active, and 3.5GHz and 3.2GHz, when just one or two cores are in use.

The third processor to make its appearance is the Opteron 6238, which uses a 12-core design, packs 6MB of L2 and 12MB of L3 cache, and has a base frequency of 2.5GHz. The maximum Turbo Core speed is set at 3.1GHz and 3.3GHz, depending on the core load.

All of these three CPUs are based on the Interlagos platform that packs together two six or eight core Valencia dies.

Finally, the last processor to make its appearance is the Opteron 6212. This includes eight computing cores, 4MB of L2 and 8MB of Level 3 cache, has a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and a maximum Turbo Core frequency of 3.7GHz.

As mentioned previously, all these Bulldozer-based Opteron CPUs are expected to arrive shorty as AMD has already started to ship them to its partners. (via CPU World)

Intel Sandy Bridge-E CPUs Will Launch on November 14

The rumors regarding Intel's plans to launch the first high-performance desktop processors based on the Sandy Bridge-E architecture on November 15 seem to be wrong, as a recent report that just hit the Web suggests these CPUs will actually arrive one day sooner, on November 14.

Oddly enough, the processors won't be launched alongside Intel's own DX79SI and DX79TO LGA 2011 motherboards since these two solutions won't arrive until December of this year.

According to VR-Zone, this is the first time that Intel won't launch motherboard products together with a new processor series.

Intel will however release two new LGA 2011 coolers for its CPUs, one air cooler that is reportedly lighter than the one currently shipping with Extreme Edition chips, which will retail for $25-30 US (18.5-22 Euro), and a water-cooling solution that should come in just under $100 US (74 Euro).

Intel's initial Sandy Bridge-E processor lineup will include three chips, all of them belonging to the Core i7 product line.

The fastest of these CPUs is called the Core i7-3960X, the X at the end of its designation informing us that it belongs in the company's Extreme Edition line.

This Intel CPU packs six processing cores with HyperThreading support that have a base frequency of 3.30GHz and a maximum clock speed of 3.9GHz, which are backed by 15MB of Level 3 cache memory.

Next up, is the Core i7-3930K, which also includes six processing cores with Hyper-Threading support, but has a base operating clock of 3.2GHz, while the maximum frequency in Turbo mode is set at 3.80GHz.

Unlike its older brother, the Intel Core i7-3930K sports only 12MB of Level 3 cache memory.

Finally, the last chip to be released is the Core i7-3820, with 4 cores, 8 threads, 10 MB of L3 cache, a nominal clock speed of 3.60 GHz and a maximum Turbo speed of 3.90 GHz. This is the only Sandy Bridge-E processor to come with a locked multiplier.

All the processors sport a quad-channel DDR3 memory controller that can officially support memory speeds up to 1333MHz.

Motorola PHOTON WiMAX Coming Soon to Japan via KDDI

Motorola Mobility and KDDI have just announced that Motorola PHOTON WiMAX will soon be available in Japan.

Motorola PHOTON will be the first smartphone to make way to a range of new Motorola phones, who apparently plans to return on the Japanese market.

The WiMAX-enabled smartphone is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and offers users an improved experience while on the go, thanks to MOTOBLUR user interface that provides quick access to SNS services and live widgets directly from the homescreen.

Even though Japanese handset manufacturers such as Sharp, Fujitsu, Toshiba and NEC have already started to launch 1.2GHz-1.4GHz dual core smartphones, Motorola PHOTON is still an interesting alternative with its 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 CPU.

In addition, the device packs 16GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM, 2GB of ROM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

Fully compatible with KDDI’s WiMAX network, the phone allows users to browse, download and multitask at maximum speed. 

The 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen display with 540 x 960 pixels resolution is among the strong points of the phone, along with the 8-megapixel main camera on the back.

With Motorola’s webtop application users can turn the PHOTON into a personal media hub or a powerful work center. 

However, users will need to connect their Motorola PHOTON devices to a Motorola HD Station multi-media dock sold separately.

Motorola PHOTON allows users to browse the Internet using a full Firefox desktop browser. 

Furthermore, with Adobe Flash Player support users will be able to access graphics-rich websites, animations and videos. 

The HD Station features Bluetooth remote, three USB ports, as well as an HDMI port and a cable, and will soon be available through retail stores across the country.

Headsets and headphones, which are not limited to Motorola PHOTON use, are already available for purchase, along with chargers and adapters.

Tegra 3-Powered ZTE T98 Tablet PC Spotted

Chinese manufacturer ZTE has one new device up its sleeve, which will certainly make the hearts of enthusiasts beat faster than before, namely the T98 tablet PC. 

The exciting thing about this small device is the fact that it should arrive on shelves with a processor featuring double the number of cores available in today's high end tablets. 

That would be four cores, packed inside a slim device that you will be able to carry around anywhere. A 7-inch slate supposedly packing the computing power of a desktop PC. 

The next generation tablet PCs and high-end smartphones are expected to include quad-core application processors, and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chip is one of the solutions that will make that happen. 

Before the end of this year, the very first tablets to pack the chipset are expected to arrive on the market, followed by smartphones in 2012. 

While there are no details available on when the ZTE T98 should hit the shelves, info on what it will pack inside in terms of hardware did emerge. 

For starters, we should note that there will be the NVIDIA's Tegra 3 (aka Kal-El) application processor, a quad-core chip with each core clocked in at 1.3GHz (the chip is usually running at 1.5GHz).

Next, a 7-inch screen that can deliver a 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, and which hides 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. 

The new tablet PC also sports a 5-megapixel photo snapper on the back, along with a 2MP camera on the front, for video calling. 

The rest of the specifications known on this device for the time being include 3G connectivity, a 4000mAh battery, and a 11.5mm-thick body (0.45 inches). 

Overall, the new tablet PC can easily impress, even if there is no telling on when it might arrive on shelves, and what price tag it might feature. Until more on it becomes available, have a look at the photos available with it, courtesy of Chinese website Zol.

BSQUARE DragonBoard Dev Platform for Android Now Generally Available

Qualcomm and BSQUARE have just announced the general availability of the latter's DragonBoard development platform for Android devices.

The platform is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon APQ8060 CPU and promises to offer handset manufacturers and app devs with early access to the APQ8060 processor, a flexible and powerful development environment. 

According to BSQUARE, DragonBoard offers features such as: exposed connectors, adapters and expansion headers including JTAG, Ethernet and mini USB. 

Those using the DragonBoard platform will be provided with feature-rich levels of development, as well as testing, which ultimately allows OEMs to do early proper prototyping of APQ8060 based systems.

We are excited to continue our relationship with Qualcomm and also for the opportunities this new product provides for BSQUARE. DragonBoard is one way BSQUARE is reinforcing our commitment to the Android market with high quality products and professional services designed for the needs of application developers and component manufacturers,” said John Traynor, Vice President of Products for BSQUARE. 

Customers interested to purchase the dev platform can get a glimpse of its features, as BSQUARE will be demonstrating DragonBoard at ESC Boston event between September 27-28, at Qualcomm Booth. 

In addition, BSQUARE confirmed an informational Webinar, “Introduction to the Snapdragon APQ8060-based DragonBoard” on October 13. 

DragonBoard is the third development product BSQUARE has launched within the last 12 months. With this new board, BSQUARE is furthering its commitment to Android by expanding the availability of development tools and support services that are designed to help device makers and application developers accelerate their product development,” said Tia Cassett, Senior Director of Business Development for Qualcomm. 

Currently, DragonBoard is only available for purchase online and ships with the APQ8060 CPU, a sensor daughter card and a connectivity daughter card, pre-installed on the network operator's board. 

An additional peripheral kit that comprises a battery, an earphone, a 1-megapixel or a 5-megapixel camera and a 480 x 800 display is also sold separately.

Windows 8 Accelerometer, Inclinometer, Compass, and Gyrometer

Tailored to next-generation form factors, Windows 8 will allow users to interact with their devices via a variety of input models, from the traditional mouse and keyboard to touch. 

By extension, applications running in Windows 8 will also be NUI-friendly, as long as the devices themselves will permit it.

Essentially, when taking advantage of Windows 8’s natural user interface capabilities, developers will be able to incorporate motion-sensor input into their projects. 

Those early Windows 8 adopters that require a bit of guidance from Microsoft can download this free whitepaper “Overview of motion and device orientation for Windows Developer Preview.”

“This paper provides information about writing apps that consume accelerometer, inclinometer, compass, and gyrometer input using the Sensor platform for Windows operating systems. In addition, it describes the use of the Orientation sensor (a fusion of multiple sensors). It assumes that the reader is familiar with the Sensor platform for Windows Developer Preview,” Microsoft reveals. 

According to the software giant, devs can built simple apps, namely programs that leverage only one sensor out of what Windows 8 has available. 

“Most simple applications rely on a single sensor, the accelerometer, as an input device. This application typically uses only one- or two-axes for input; but, it may also use the shake event as another input source. Simple applications may also incorporate an inclinometer,” the company explains. 

However, undoubtedly there will also be developers wanting to make the best of all Windows 8 motion sensors, and they’ll need to build what Microsoft calls a complex app. 

“A complex application relies primarily on the OrientationSensor projection when it’s available. This projection requires three sensors: an accelerometer, a gyrometer, and a magnetometer,” the software giant explained. 

“When the OrientationSensor projection isn’t available, an application has several fallback options. One option is to rely on Euler angles derived from the accelerometer and the magnetometer data. Another option is to create an OrientationSensor projection on the fly by combining the accelerometer, gyrometer, and compass data within the application code.”
Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

Zotac Intros PCI and PCI Express x1 GeForce GT 520 Graphics Cards

Graphics card maker Zotac has just announced it has updated its GPU line to feature two new solutions based on the Nvidia GeForce GT 520 design that use the PCI and PCI Express x1 interfaces in order to come as an upgrade path for users with pre-built systems that have limited expansion capabilities.

Despite the interfaces used, both of these video cards employ a similar design, the only difference being that PCI Express x1 solution comes equipped with an active cooling solution.

Outside of this change, Zotac's latest creations have the same 810MHz core clock, while the 512MB of DDR3 video buffer works at 666MHz (1333 MHz data rate). This connects to the GeForce 520 GPU via a 64-bit wide memory bus.

As far as the available video outputs are concerned, these two graphics cards provide DVI, HDMI (with HDCP support) and VGA connectivity and can simultaneously drive a pair of independent displays.

"Upgrading your graphics card is the easiest way to boost your system performance and gain new capabilities,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.

The new Zotac GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards shows that you can experience good graphics without upgrading the rest of your system," concluded the company's rep.

Both of the solutions announced today by Zotac use a low-profile PCB, which makes them an interesting option for those users that are stuck with compact pre-built systems.

Zotac hasn't provided us with any information regarding the pricing or availability of the two GeForce GT 520 graphics cards announced today.

The GeForce GT 520 is based on the GF119 GPU and it includes 48 shaders, 8 texture units, and 4 ROP units, all fitted inside a 29W TDP.

Toshiba Announces C600 and L700 Series Laptops

Toshiba is definitely making a point of putting its prospective buyers on alert, announcing more than a few computers, in this case two laptop series, about a week before they actually start shipping.

Toshiba has actually prepared a fairly extensive product collection for release at the start of October, one that includes two certain laptop series.

They are called C600 and L700 and are intended for budget-conscious customers and mainstream/school use, respectively.

The former series is made of 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch machines, powered by AMD APUs (accelerated processing units) or Intel Pentium or Core i3 CPUs (central processing units).

4 GB of DDR3 memory are present, along with 640 GB HDDs and USB 2.0, plus DVD Super Multi drives and 802.11n Wi-Fi, among other things.

Meanwhile, the L700 series is more versatile and can have 13.3, 14, 15.6 and 17.3 inches in diagonal.

Dual-core processors from Intel or dual/quad-core chips from AMD can be used as platforms, with “plenty of memory” to back them up, as Toshiba puts it.

The hard disk drive has the same maximum capacity as above (640 GB) and the connectivity and I/O are, likewise, fairly similar.

The entry-level Satellite C600 Series will ship at a starting price of $348.99 (257 Euro, according to exchange rates) while the Satellite L700 will be available in Navy Blue brushed aluminum (on select models anyway) for the price of $454.99 (335 Euro).

There is even a laptop made for children, the Satellite L735D, described in detail on its very own product page, located here

It starts at $497.99 (366.73 Euro) and comes with built-in parent-friendly apps and design features that make it safe and durable, with wipeable keyboard and other such things.

AMD Prepares A85FX FM2 Chipset for Q1 2012 Launch

In the first quarter of 2012, AMD is rumored to update its chipset lineup with a new Fusion Controller Hub (FCH) that improves the specs of its predecessor by adding support for the company's upcoming APUs and a wider range of storage features.

Compared to the A75 FCH used in today's high-end FM1 motherboards for Llano APUs, the A85FX, as the new chipset is reportedly dubbed, will add support for RAID 5 and will increase the number of available SATA 6Gbps ports from six to eight.

The rest of the chipset specifications will be carried over from the current A75, so the A85FX is expected to offer a total of 16 USB ports.

As most of you have guessed by now, four of these will support the USB 3.0 standard, while the remaining 12 are split between 10 USB 2.0 ports and two USB 1.1 ports.

These are joined by support for CrossFireX dual-GPU setups, RAID 0, 1, and 10 operation modes, as well as by DisplayPort and VGA video outputs. 

The AMD chipset also provides four second generation PCI Express lanes for connecting various other add-on cards.

Just as mentioned previously, AMD designed the A85FX in order to support the company's next-generation APU platform, dubbed Comal.

Alongside the new chipset, this will also include the A-Series Trinity APUs, that are to be released in 2012 and are expected to be 50% more powerful that the A-Series Llano APUs launched in mid-June.

Much of this power comes from the inclusion of Bulldozer x86 CPU cores, which will be paired together with an updated DX11 GPU architecture.

The Bulldozer cores used in Trinity will go by the code name of Piledriver and, much like the current Llano processors, will lack any sort of Level 3 cache memory as AMD wanted to increase the die area available to the on-board GPU. (via Fudzilla)

Nokia Confirms Future Software Updates for N9

Following public's huge interest for the N9, Nokia explained how the company will support the MeeGo smartphone in the future.

Users worried by the quantity and quality of the apps compatible with Nokia's N9, as well as those wondering if the phone will ever receive software updates will be happy to know that the Finnish giant has set up a dedicated program that focuses on exactly these two aspects.

According to Janne Heikkinen, Nokia’s Product Planning Director, whose team has brought the device to the market, the number of N9 compatible apps is growing fast in the Ovi Store. 

Although Nokia N9 will be delivered with Angry Birds and WiFi Hotspot apps on board, additional applications can be downloaded from Ovi Store.

We have many activities in the developer side, where we help developers make new applications for Nokia N9. Symbian applications written in Qt are relatively easy to port to the Nokia N9, and we also support developers in this work,” said Janne.

Furthermore, it appears that developers are pretty excited about the N9 and think the phone is a great addition to the Qt family, Janne claims.

It is also worth mentioning that Nokia's N9 comes pre-loaded with support for Facebook, Twitter, Mail for Exchange, Gmail, Skype, Picasa and Flickr. 

On related news, Janne Heikkinen confirmed that the Nokia N9 will receive software updates in the future, which will be based on feedback received from both carriers and users.

We have received extremely positive feedback from consumer tests. I can assure you that the Nokia N9 UI innovations will be seen in other Nokia devices going forward,” concluded Janne.

Details about the exact release date of the updates have yet to be made available, instead Nokia stated that information about availability and content of any future update will be disclosed in due time.

Fix Windows 8 Build 8102 M3 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V VM Issues

Early adopters running Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) as a hosted OS inside a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V virtual machine might come across some issues, Microsoft confirmed. 

The problem impact not just Windows 8 client, but also Windows Server 8 Developer Preview, both of which were released to testers during the first days of BUILD in mid-September 2011.

According to the software giant, the glitch only impacts those early adopters running the early testing Build of Windows 8 in a virtual machine using the hypervisor role of Windows Server 2008 R2. 

 “In this scenario, you may experience one or more of the following issues:
  • The Windows Developer Preview or Windows Server Developer Preview virtual machine stops responding.
  • The Windows Server 2008 R2 host computer displays a stop error message and restarts automatically. This behavior brings down all other running virtual machines together with the host computer,” Microsoft explained. 

The software giant has already identified the source of this problem, explaining that “The issue occurs because the Hypervisor does not handle the one-shot synthetic timer that is also known as an aperiodic timer correctly.”

Not only this, but an update is already available for download to customers testing Windows 8 Developer Preview in virtualization scenarios involving Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V VMs. 

Microsoft might be using the term ‘update’ a bit loosely in this particular case since what it’s actually offering customers is a hotfix. 

Furthermore, those impacted by the issues described above will not be able to access and download the hotfix directly, they’ll need to contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support in order to do it. 

According to the software giant, the hotfix applies to both Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1), but only as long as the Hyper-V role is installed. 

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

Fujitsu-Toshiba Arrows Z ISW11F Arrives in Japan in November

One of the mobile phones that should arrive on shelves in Japan in the near future is the Fujitsu-Toshiba Arrows Z ISW11F, a device that was just made official, and which was included in the KDDI lineup for the remainder of the year. 

The new handset arrives on the market with Google's Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system on board, and packs high-end hardware capabilities, capable of offering an impressive experience to its users. The new device also sports a waterproof design, which adds even more flavor to its appeal. 

Those users in Japan who will purchase the new mobile phone will enjoy the capabilities of a dual-core TI OMAP4430 application processor packed inside it, with each core running at 1.2GHz.

Moreover, the handset pairs the fast application processor with 1GB of RAM, for increased performance capabilities, as well as with 8GB of ROM, so that users can carry around their favorite photos, videos, and other files.

A microSD memory card slot can be used for expanding the available storage space by up to 32GB. 

The new mobile phone sports a large 4.3-inch touchscreen display that can deliver a HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels). 

On the back, the new device was packed with a 13-megapixel photo snapper that features Sony's Exmor R for mobile backlit sensor, complemented by a 1.3-megapixel webcam on the front, a great option for making video calls. 

The specifications list of this mobile phone also includes WiFi b/g/n capabilities, along with WiMAX / GSM / CDMA-capable radios, Bluetooth 2.1, IrDa, HDMI-out, and microUSB port. 

The Fujitsu-Toshiba Arrows Z ISW11F also sports built-in GPS receiver, as well as E-wallet and digital TV tuner for the Japanese market. 

For the time being, the exact release date for the new phone remains a mystery, and the same applies to its price tag. Moreover, no specific info on whether the handset will be launched in other markets around the world has been unveiled.

HTC Amaze 4G Arrives at T-Mobile on October 12th

HTC Amaze 4G, the smartphone that was long rumored to be on its way to the airwaves of T-Mobile in the United States, is now official, with an October 12th release date attached to it. 

The handset has been unveiled with a price tag of $259.99 (around 190 Euros) with the signing of a two year contract agreement and after a $50 mail-in-rebate. It will become available for pre-order on October 10th on the carrier's website. 

The new mobile phone is being launched exclusively on the airwaves of T-Mobile, and is said to include one of the most advanced camera experiences that any other mobile phone out there can offer. 

The handset sports an 8-megapixel photo snapper, which can offer not only 1080p HD video recording capabilities, but can also deliver zero shutter lag and a wide range of other advanced camera features. 

The wireless carrier notes that this is a backside illuminated camera sensor, which should prove great when used in low light. Complemented by dual LED flash, it also offers:
  • SmartShot, which captures five photos and creates the best shot using clear faces with smiles and no blinking.
  • PerfectPics, which is a separate album in the gallery created by scoring and filtering the best photos to the surface. PerfectPics prioritizes photos by using criteria such as important calendar events, the presence of faces, and overall picture quality.
  • Additional innovative camera features first introduced on the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide such as SweepShot, ClearShot HDR and BurstShot. 

Running under Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, the mobile phone also sports the HTC Sense user interface, and can provide users with a great experience while on the go. 

It features a dual core application processor inside (Qualcomm Snapdragon S3), clocked in at 1.5 GHz, and boasts a large 4.3-inch qHD super LCD multi-touch display, great for viewing photos or videos while on the go. 

The new mobile phone also comes with NFC capabilities, support for the carrier's HSPA+ 42 network, and with T-Mobile TV, HTC Watch and additional apps and services.

New Nokia Store Client Previewed on Symbian^3 Devices

Owners of devices running under the Symbian^3 operating system flavor are now able to download and install a new Nokia Store client on their handsets, coming straight from the Nokia Beta Labs. 

The new Store client is being offered only as a preview at the moment, but it should become available for all devices in the near future. 

The new Store QML client has been made available for download in a beta flavor on mobile phones like Nokia C6-01, C7-00, C7 Astound, E7-00, N8-00, X7-00.

The development team also notes that the new application is meant to replace the older Store client, and that it will be pushed out on all handsets powered by Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna. 

With the new application, users will be able to enjoy about all of the features that are available for those who access the store via the web. 

“This beta Store client will replace the current Store client on your Symbian^3 or Symbian Anna device, and it supports nearly all of the features as the official Store client (Web Runtime),” the team explains. 

Some of the main features that users will enjoy when installing the new Nokia Store client include: 
 - Easier navigation
 - Improved product details view, for a rich and fluid discovery experience
 - Quicker, smoother and more responsive than WRT client.

The new client will be delivered to devices in the form of a software update, but only after the beta testing for it has been concluded. 

This means that those who will download and install it from the Nokia Beta Labs (requires sign in) should provide feed-back on the experience they receive, so that the app is improved. 

“Once you try it, please share your thoughts, submit bugs or suggestion reports in the forum. And make sure to rate your client experience by answering the NPS question in the client under My Stuff -> Give us your feedback,” the development team concluded.

Phone 5 'Assistant' Detailed

Earlier today, it was revealed (though not confirmed by Apple) that the next-generation iPhone 5 will ship with a ton of enhancements, in terms of both hardware and software.

Described as “the biggest game changer” in the iPhone to come, a Siri-based Assistant utility will be implemented system-wide in iOS 5 and it will only be functional on high-specced iPhone 5 devices.

This is because the feature requires the dual-core A5 SOC (system on a chip) and additional RAM. According to the report in question, Apple’s iPhone 5 will ship with 1GB of RAM (double the memory of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4).

So, how does Assistant work? In a nutshell, it just listens to what you have to say and it delivers.

For example, you can just text-message one of your friends by telling your iPhone to “send a text to Anna saying I’ll be there at eight”.

The phone will automatically send the SMS, but only if you haven’t set it up to verify the text before sending it off.

In conversation view, Assistant can speak back to the user, as if it were a real person.

A user looking to start a meeting with their friend John, for example, will say “setup meeting with John” and the first “bubble” of the conversation thread will reflect those words in writing.

The system will then speak back, asking: “which e-mail address should Mark be notified at, work or personal?” The question will both be spoken and shown as a new bubble in the conversation, according to 9to5mac.

Assistant will integrate with numerous other iOS services, like the Calendar app, for example. Just say “make appointment with John for 10:30 AM” and Assistant will instantly create that appointment in your calendar.

Assistant has integration with one unconfirmed feature (until now) called Find My Friends. Users will simply ask the location of one of their friends and, provided that said friend doesn’t care much about their privacy, Assistant will indulge.

Finally, according to the leak, Assistant integrates with Wolfram Alpha, the powerful the online answer engine designed by Wolfram Research to answer factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages relevant to the query.

Those who have been able to field test the feature are suggesting it’s so reliable that you can ask pretty much anything and you’ll get a satisfying answer.

How do you like the sound of Assistant in Apple's next iPhone?

Microsoft Puts People First with Windows Phone Mango

The latest mobile operating system flavor from Microsoft is almost here. The time to taste Mango has arrived, and all owners of Windows Phones should soon be able to fully enjoy the new platform release on their devices, along with a new perspective over the use of mobile phones. 

With Mango, Microsoft is trying to “Put People First,” and this is the tag line that accompanies the new Windows Phone platform release in official materials. 

The first video embedded below will offer you a quick look at some of the features that the new Mango OS flavor will bring in this direction, while the second will get you through a more detailed presentation of the new OS. 

According to Microsoft, since the main purpose of mobile phones was to offer people a new way to communicate, the Windows Phone platform has been designed so as to enable people get in touch with one another much easier than before. 

“[...]We built Windows Phone to put people first, building in all the key types of communication people are already using right out of the box,” Andy Lees, president of Windows Phone Division, said in early September when HTC launched two Mango phones, Radar and TITAN. 

Not only did Microsoft add the new Put People First tag line to the Windows Phone 7.5 platform flavor, but the company also filed a trademark with the USPTO on the new slogan. 

As TechCrunch notes, Microsoft is trying to show its commitment to making the new mobile operating system flavor more people-centric, which means that there should be more social networking features packed with it, as well as new services. 

An excerpt from the USPTO trademark filing reads the following:

Wireless communications devices, namely, mobile phones, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and hand-held computers; computer software for use with wireless communication devices / Telecommunications services, namely, offering personal communications services via wireless networks.

Nokia Publishes Windows Phone App in the Marketplace

The first Windows Phone application coming from Finnish handset vendor Nokia is now available via the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Dubbed App Highlights and available in the Marketplace here (Zune link), the new software is meant to offer users the possibility to easily find the latest and most appealing applications for their handsets, Mon Windows Phone reports (via). 

Moreover, the new mobile software is said to arrive with live updates in the package, as well as with featured content, local and global app lists, and many other features. 

For the time being, however, the new mobile application is not available for download, but it should not be too long before it emerges on devices. 

Nokia already announced that it would come up with applications available for Windows Phone devices, both on those made by it and on other handsets, yet it remains to be seen whether the new software will be accessible to all users. 

Coming as the result of the Microsoft-Nokia agreement announced earlier this year, the application shows Nokia's commitment to the new mobile operating system. 

The company did not launch a Windows Phone device for the time being, but it is expected to make the move in the coming months. 

The first Nokia Windows Phone is expected to hit the market before the end of the ongoing year, even if it will not be released in all markets around the world. 

Nokia did promise their first Windows Phones for 2011, but they plan on entering mass production only in 2012, and it will be then that most countries will receive these new smartphones. 

Other Microsoft partners already announced new handsets that are based on the Mango flavor of the platform, and Nokia should make a similar move soon, it seems. 

There are no specific details on when that might happen, but the fact that the first Nokia application is in the Marketplace now shows that it might be sooner rather than later.

AT&T's Samsung Focus S Emerges in Live Photo

AT&T has already unveiled plans to bring to its shelves a number of no less than three handsets powered by Microsoft's new Windows Phone Mango operating system, and the Samsung Focus S that just emerged in a live photo was one of them.

The mobile phone arrives on the market as the successor of last year's Samsung Focus, and brings along a new set of features courtesy of its Windows Phone Mango OS flavor, as well as due to the higher hardware specifications it was packed with. 

As stated above, the new Windows Phone Mango device was already made official, though AT&T has released only details regarding its specifications, without offering photos with it. However, an image with the Focus S has just emerged, courtesy of Pocketnow 

When available on shelves, the new device will boast a large 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen display, capable of delivering a WVGA resolution. 

Moreover, the handset was announced with a 1.4GHz application processor packed inside, which means that it will be able to provide users with a great experience when compared to last year's model. 

Moreover, the new Samsung Focus S will hit AT&T's network with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with support for 720p HD video recording. On the front, it will pack a 1.3 megapixels camera that should offer users the possibility to make video calls on the go. 

Based on the new Windows Phone Mango operating system flavor, the handset is expected to arrive on shelves at AT&T in a matter of weeks, yet nothing was officially confirmed on its arrival, not on the price tag it would feature when made available for purchase. 

The mobile phone will be accompanied on AT&T's network by another Mango smartophone from Samsung, the Focus Flash, which has just been announced to the world as the Omnia W, suggesting that the Focus S itself might be released on the international market too sooner or later.

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