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Oct 19, 2011

NAVIGON for Android Upgraded with Map Management and New UI

After porting their localization application on Windows Phone devices, NAVIGON announced it has upgraded the Android version with new features and an advanced user interface.

NAVIGON 4.0 for Android allows users to manage their maps within the app. In addition, users can choose which regions to download to their device, hence reducing download time. 

Travelers can also subscribe for quarterly map updates to keep the data updated with road changes while on the move. 

As we already mentioned, there's a new user interface available within the application, which provides users with a better overview by organizing menus into tiles that fit perfectly to the screen size of the device.

“NAVIGON 4.0 for Android takes Android navigation to the next level. The newest version of our app combines the best of both worlds, off-board and on-board navigation, by allowing users to navigate even when a data connection is not available but without the need to save big amounts of map data on their device,” says Gerhard Mayr, NAVIGON vice-president of worldwide mobile phones and new markets. 

Furthermore, the new version comes with two new in app purchases, the cockpit function, which displays real-time driving data, as well as Zagat ratings and reviews on over 40,000 POIs (points of interest). 

There's also a new Emergency Help function that allows user to access critical service in case of an emergency with a single tap.

Other new features of the NAVIGON 4.0 include: easier menu navigation, Traffic Live (available only as an in-app purchase.

Those unfamiliar with the application should know that Traffic Live uses real-time traffic information from INRIX. 

Using this function will allow users to receive alerts to traffic problems and alternative routes to avoid a possible congestion.

NAVIGON 4.0 for Android is available for download from the Android Market for promotional prices until November 2: USA app is $27.95 (normally $39.95) and the USA and CAN version is for $37.95 (normally $49.95). 

Obviously, existing users will be able to upgrade to the new version 4.0 of NAVIGON for Android for free.

Nokia to Unveil Windows Phones Next Week, Ballmer Suggests

Next week, we should be able to learn what does Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia have is store for us in terms of hardware running under the Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft. 

There have been many speculations regarding the unveiling of the new devices, and it seems that they can now be put to a rest, as Microsoft's CEO himself has confirmed that these devices will become official next month. 

At the Web 2.0 Summit on Wednesday, Steve Ballmer said that Nokia will announce more than just one Windows Phone devices next week, and also stated that these devices are “pretty good.”

According to him, the Finnish handset vendor “will have a chance at their Nokia World show next week to show a bunch of new devices running Windows Phone.”

Specific info on the number of handsets that Nokia plans on announcing hasn't emerged for the time being, but the handset vendor did say before that they will release more that just one smartphone running under Windows Phone before the end of this year. 

Previous rumors suggested that Nokia might have among its first Windows Phones devices such as the Nokia SeaRay, which apparently emerged into the wild under different names as well, including Sun, or Nokia 800.

Nokia's Windows Phones have already made into the wild in various leaked promo materials, and Nokia 800 is almost certain to hit the shelves under this name. 

We also had the chance to have a look at specs of the Nokia 710 recently, and names like the Nokia Ace or Lumia also made an appearance into the wild. 

Whatever name these devices will sport when made available, they will need to deliver appealing performance levels, and to be affordable enough to compete with Android, which is massively present in all market segments. 

Ballmer sees Android as a platform mainly aimed at computer geeks, but he does admit that Windows Phone will need to prove competitive at low price tags to gain market share from Google's OS. Have a look at the video below to learn what he had to say on the matter. 

Intel Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3960X Listed in Europe

With a little less than a month to go until Intel will make official its first processors based on the high-performance Sandy Bridge-E architecture, European retailers have started listing some of these chips on their websites, the Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3960X being the first to arrive.

These two Intel processors have popped up in Sweden on the PriceSpy website, and the former is available for pre-order with a 5099 SEK price, while the latter is listed at 8981 SEK.

After dropping the 25% VAT tax from the price of these CPUs, it would result that the Core i7-3960X is priced at $1086 US, or about 786 Euros, while its slower brother has a retail price of $616 US (446 Euros).

Both of these prices are higher than those suggested by previous leaks, $999 and $583 respectively, but they are expected to come down once we are getting nearer to the Sandy Bridge-E release date.

Intel's initial LGA 2011 processor lineup will include three chips, all of them belonging to the Core i7 product line.

As most of you know, the Core i7-3960X is the fastest of these as the Extreme Edition part includes six processing cores with Hyper-Threading support, has a base frequency of 3.3GHz and a maximum clock speed of 3.9GHz, as well as 15MB of Level 3 cache memory.

In comparison, the Core i7-3930K, 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.

Cache size has was also reduced, as the Core i7-3930K sports only 12MB of Level 3 cache memory.

Intel is expected to release both of these LGA 2011 chips on November 14, which is also when the first motherboards based on the X79 Express chipset should start making their appearance. (via Nordic Hardware)

NVIDIA Tegra 3 Is Just Around the Corner, New Video Proves It

Tegra 3 is one of the most hyped up products of the latter 2011, so it stands to reason that when NVIDIA leaks a promo video of it, the web would be all over it before it has a chance to remedy the slip. 

Some time ago, not too long in fact, NVIDIA leaked a promo video of the Tegra 3 mobile platform. 

The Santa Clara, California-based company made it private, but not before the video was taken and uploaded elsewhere, as this report pointed out

As such, the web has full access to it even now, so people who like their Android tablet news can feast their eyes on the media wonder. 

Joke aside, though, the video does a remarkable job of filling time with an almost complete lack of relevant hardware information. 

After all, since the product hasn't been launched, the company is more interested in getting people to pay attention to said event instead of giving them all the info and sabotaging itself. 

Then again, previous leaks and rumors already exposed the basic data about the SoC (system-on-chip). 

For those who want a reminder, the Kal-El, as it is otherwise known, has four ARM Cortex-A9 cores, each with a clock of up to 1.5 GHz. 

A 12-core GPU exists as well, the whole package, thus, being more than capable of breezing through Full HD video and even mobile games. 

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 will be one of the “whole lot of” design wins that the company said it expects (ZTE is one other corporation known to have such slate plans). 

Speaking of the Eee Pad Transformer 2, that gadget also got a promo video (albeit just as uninformative), which we covered in particular here.

Nokia 800 First Press Photos Leak

One of the first Nokia smartphones to be announced during next week's Nokia World conference, Nokia 800 has just posed for some press shots.

Courtesy to the folks over at Pocketnow, we can safely assume that Nokia 800 is in fact the MeeGo-based N9 with Windows Phone Mango on board.

The press photos leaked suggest the Nokia 800 will be available in, at least, three colors: black, blue and pink.

According to the latest rumors, Nokia will unveil three Windows Phone Mango devices next week, including the Nokia 800, also known as Nokia Searay, as well as two other smartphones.

Although Nokia plans to announce some of its Windows Phone lineup next week, it will interesting to see if some of them will also hit shelves by the end of the year.

Google Now Displays Your IP Address if You're Trying to Determine It

Google has added a very simple but very useful feature to the list of things it provides direct answers to, rather than just search results. Google Search now displays your IP address if you're trying to determine it and do a related search.

Most people don't even know what an IP address is, let alone why they would want to know it.

But any 'tech inclined' individual has been through this, maybe you're trying to configure a router, maybe you're trying to play an online game with a strange networking problem, maybe you're trying to determine whether a proxy you're using is actually working.

So you type in 'my ip address' or 'what's my ip address' and then try to pick the site that seems the least spammy and crowded. Now though, you won't have to. You can use any related query, 'my ip' even just 'ip' works.

Gigabyte Teases X79 G1.Assassin 2 Motherboard for LGA 2011 CPUs

After making its initial appearance at the IDF 2011 fair at the beginning of September, Gigabyte has now finalized the design of the G1.Assassin 2 X79 motherboard for Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors and released a series of teaser pictures that give us a short glimpse at this unique board.

From what we can tell, most of the changes brought to the G1.Assassin 2 have focused on making the motherboard's design more similar to that of previous G1-Killer solutions.

As a results, the PCH heatsink has now taken the form of a gun with a skull logo engraved on it.

While many may still prefer the initial look of the board, this new cooler fits pretty nicely the overall design of the G1.Assassin 2 and should also come as an attractive feature for its target audience.

Besides the new look, Gigabyte was also forced to revise the storage system on the G1.Assassin 2 as Intel's X79 chipset is now limited at supporting four SATA 3Gbps ports and only a pair of 6Gbps ports.

The rest of the specifications however, seem to have remained unaltered and the board includes three PCI Express x16 slots with 3-way CrossFireX and SLI support and a high-power 8-phase VRM with POScaps and Driver MOSFETs.

For those add-on cards that don't require all the bandwidth provided by an x16 slot, Gigabyte has also installed two PCIe x1 and a legacy 32-bit PCI slot.

Like all the motherboards in the G1-Killer range, the Assassin 2 comes equipped with an integrated Creative X-Fi PCI Express sound card featuring Nichicon MUSE audio capacitors and a Killer E2100 NIC with 1GB of dedicated DDR2 memory.

As expected, no information regarding the release date or the price of the G1.Assasin 2 motherboard was provided, but Gigabyte's LGA 2011 creation should make its entrance into the market shortly after the introduction of Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors on November 14. (via Gigabyte TechDaily)

Cooler Master Hyper 412 PWM Cooler Lands on Top of CPUs

It was only a matter of time before Cooler Master came forth and launched some new item, a short matter of time it turns out, as the Hyper 412 PWM has now appeared. 

A while ago, Cooler Master unveiled the Hyper 412 PWM cooler, only for much of the online media to miss it for some reason. 

Fortunately for the item, the announcement finally got its overdue attention, even though it doesn't offer all the details people might seek. 

What that means is that the company did not provide information as to when shipments will commence, nor at what price. 

Still, just by looking at the thing it is possible to see that it will best serve high-end systems. After all, it isn't called Hyper for nothing. 

The Cooler Master Hyper 412 PWM cooler boasts four Continuous Direct Contact (CDC), which draw heat directly from the CPU and also make contact with each other. 

Said heat is led into an aluminum fin array and then dispersed by a Long Life Sleeve Bearing fan whose diameter is 120mm. 

Speaking of sizes, the cooler measures 132 x 99 x 160 mm (5.2 x 3.9 x 6.3 inches) and has a weight of 642 grams, not at all for the faint of heart. 

As for the spinner itself, it comes with a rotary speed of 600 to 2,000 RPM (rotations per minute) and a maximum sound output of 36 dBA (at the lowest speeds, it produces just 9 dBA). 

Finally, Cooler Master threw in quick-snap brackets, which make it very easy to add, change or clean fans without having to spend more than a few moments to mess around with it the thing. 

All in all, the Cooler Master Hyper 412 PWM cooler is supposed to offer a balance between cooling and noise, which means that it is as good for gaming as it is for multimedia, price aside.

Asus Zenbook UX21 Gets the Teardown Treatment

Taking a look at all the high-tech stuff that is usually installed in our day-to-day gadgets is always cool, so for all those of you interested we have come across a dissection of Asus' own MBA killer, the UX21 Zenbook.

By now, most of you should be familiar with Asus' Ultrabook and its specs, but this is the first time that we had the chance to take a look inside this ultra-thin laptop and see what makes it tick.

According to AnandTech, the internals of this thing are surprisingly familiar with those of the MacBook Air as both notebooks feature about the same internal design with the battery taking most of the space and a rather tiny motherboard packing the CPU, PCH and SSD storage.

These are of course some differences, like the cooling solution that covers both the Intel Core i7-2677M processor and QS67 chipset and a slightly speedier SSD, but it all looks surprisingly familiar none the less.

If you don't believe me than take a look four yourself, but I am pretty much sure that you will also come to a similar conclusion.

Introducing Ubuntu 11.10 on ARM

On October 18th, Victor Tuson Palau wrote an interesting article on the Canonical blog, about the new ARM support available in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot).

As Canonical announced back in August 2011 that the new Ubuntu 11.10 operating system will have support for the ARM architectures, Victor Tuson Palau explains he's experience with this first ARM version.

Testing Ubuntu 11.10 ARM on a Tegra2-based (Nvidia) Toshiba AC100 netbook it shows off that it's a great and stable platform for computing, especially when running Unity 2D.

Among other tested hardware Victor Tuson Palau mentions the TI OMAP4 Panda Board, powered by the Texas Instruments OMAP4430 dual-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, a C64x DSP, and 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM.

Ubuntu 11.10 ARM is also the first release of Ubuntu to provide support for the IMX53 QuickStart Board.

Below are download links for Ubuntu 11.10 ARM

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Unveiled

Today in Hong Kong Google and Samsung announced a new flavor of Android, complemented by a new Google phone, the Nexus S. 

We already had the chance to have a look at the new smartphone, yet we said little about the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is, in fact, a major update for Google's mobile platform.

The new OS version arrives with a redesigned user interface, and was designed so as to provide users with faster navigation. Moreover, it also offers great multitasking capabilities, along with interactive notifications. 

According to Google, the new OS flavor was designed with beauty and simplicity in mind. It was meant to work both on mobile phones and on tablet PCs, so as to bring unity to the platform. 

“We created a new font that’s optimized for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. We also dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizable widgets,” Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President, Mobile, notes in a blog post. 

Among the main enhancements that the new OS flavor arrives with, we can count a faster browser, which includes a refined tab manager, along with the option to sync bookmarks with Google Chrome.

“Ice Cream Sandwich also features the best mobile Gmail experience to date, with a new design that lets you quickly swipe through your inbox and search messages even when you’re offline. Calendar boasts a clean new look and you can zoom into your schedule with a pinch,” Andy Rubin continues. 

The new OS flavor also brings along a new People app, which offers a new experience when it comes to browsing contacts. Users will enjoy high-resolution photos with the new app, as well as updates from Google+ and from other social networking sites. 

In Ice Cream Sandwich, users will also enjoy new home screen folders, enabling them to organize apps easier, along with resizable widgets, and new lock screen actions. 

Among the other features that the new platform release comes with, we can count quick responses for incoming calls, along with the possibility to swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks, and browser tabs. 

Ice Cream Sandwich also comes with improved text input and spell-checking, as well as with better accessibility. Not to mention the unified calendar and visual voicemail, or the redesigned Gallery app with photo editor. 

Google also packed Android Beam for NFC-based sharing with the new OS flavor, along with Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth HDP, and improved email, which should prove a great option for enterprise users.

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