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Feb 19, 2013

Windows Blue Development Reaches New Stage, Full Version May Coming This Year

Work on Windows Blue is under way right now, with new reports claiming that the full version of the first major Windows 8 makeover may arrive this year.

According to a report by ZDNet, Windows Blue has just reached one of the two development stages established by Microsoft, which means that the upgrade is half-way here. It appears that Blue recently got past the so-called M1 development stage, with M2, the second and the last important point in the whole process, to be reached by summer.

Sources close to the matter hint that Microsoft may not release a Windows Blue developer preview, with the company planning to bring the full version directly to the market sometime this year. Of course, this could be a bit risky, given the fact that each product needs to be tested before the public release, but Microsoft seems to be really keen on bringing Blue out there as soon as possible.

Windows Blue is very likely to be released this year
Image credits to files.myopera.com

Windows 9 Spotted Online, Launch Date Might be Next Year

Even though the company prefers to remain completely tight-lipped on its future projects, here’s yet another indication that a Windows 8 successor is currently under development.

A post on MicrosoftPortal.net points to a screenshot that shows a new Windows build using kernel 6.3, which according to previous reports, may see daylight on Windows 9. Windows 8, the latest operating system unveiled by Microsoft, relies on kernel 6.2 and is labeled as build 9200, which means that some sort of upgrade is definitely in the works.

While nobody can guarantee that this is indeed an early version of Windows 9, it’s pretty obvious that Microsoft is working on something new in the Windows product range, so a major release beside the Windows Blue upgrade is very likely to hit the shelves sometime next year.

Windows 9 may be released sometime next year
Image credits to MicrosoftPortal.net

Huawei Ascend P2 Live Photos Spotted Again

A new set of photos allegedly depicting the Huawei Ascend P2 smartphone is now available for your viewing pleasure, although no new details on the device’s specifications have been provided.

According to the guys over at Gizchina, who published said leaked photos with the device, a 13-megapixel photo snapper will be placed on the back of Ascend P2 when it lands on shelves, capable of recording videos in full HD resolution. Furthermore, there will be capacitive navigation controls included in the phone, as well as a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack placed at the top of the device.

Previous reports had suggested that Huawei was set to make the new smartphone official before the end of this month, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We’ll be present on the floor at the MWC 2013 trade show, so stay tuned for more info on this.

Huawei Ascend P2
Image credits to GizChina

Maingear SHIFT Gaming Desktop Use NVIDIA GeForce Titan

NVIDIA may have said it would only make a limited number of GeForce Titan graphics cards, but it still had enough to send to a few select gaming PC makers.

The Maingear SHIFT is one of these systems, as it always gets updated with the latest graphics card from NVIDIA and Advanced Micro Devices.  It has not one, but three of them in SLI. Read previous post to read all the relevant information that the Santa Clara, California-based company released and to learn more about the reason why a particularly strong PSU might be warranted of any PC using it (a comparison between NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 technology and GPU Boost 1.0).

There probably will be more custom gaming desktop announcements, and the names and brands won't be any different from those of previous occasions when new video boards, or CPUs for that matter, appeared.

Maingear SHIFT PC
Image credits to Maingear

Download iOS 6.1.2 – Official Release

Apple has released iOS 6.1.2 patching a serious Exchange calendar bug affecting corporate / business customers. Several known bugs (including security vulnerabilities) remain unresolved by the update.

According to a technical note on Apple’s Support site, “[iOS 6.1.2 Software Update] fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life.” The update applies to iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular.

Supported languages include Български, Čeština, Slovenčina, Tiếng Việt, Ελληνικά, Hrvatski, Ukrainian, Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, English, Français, Español, Italiano, Nederlands, Dansk, Norsk Bokmål, Polski, Português, Português (Brasil), Pусский, Suomi, Svensk, Română, Türkçe, Magyar, British English, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Several bugs remain unaddressed, including a security issue allowing anyone with physical access to an iPhone to bypass the passcode lock and access sensitive information, including photos. A new software update (iOS 6.1.3) is expected from the Cupertino giant in the coming weeks (months, at most).

iOS 6.1.2 OTA update
Image credits to Apple

Download links from Apple server:
iPhone 5 CDMA (6.1.2)
iPhone 4S (6.1.2)
iPhone 4 (6.1.2)
iPhone 4 CDMA (6.1.2)
iPhone 3G S (6.1.2)

NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 Technology detailed

One of the new technologies that NVIDIA has introduced with the GeForce GTX Titan graphics card is the GPU Boost 2.0.

We've already written some things about it, but now that all the info is out, we have decided to see exactly how the tech compares to GPU Boost 1.0. The main difference is that GPU Boost 1.0 operates within voltage limitations, while GPU Boost 2.0 does not. Indeed, GPU Boost 2.0 can increase voltage if the PSU can take it and if the temperature remains within manageable limits.

Speaking of which, the clock boosts achievable through 2.0 seem to be double those of 1.0. All in all, temperature is the only limiting factor in how high the frequency of the graphics processing unit can be pushed, dynamically. There is still a Vrei though (max voltage allowed), to ensure long-term card reliability. Users can exceed it with a click though, if they really wish it.

NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 Technology detailed
Images credits to NVIDIA

Hack Windows RT to Run x86 Applications

A Windows RT jailbreak solution is already available for those who want to run unsigned apps on their tablet, but here’s one utility that does a lot more than that.

Basically, the new app released by XDA developer mamaich enables users to run full x86 Windows applications on RT tablets, without the need to recompile the code or to make any modification. Currently available as a beta version, the application packs an installer and a GUI launcher, so it’s pretty easy for any user category to launch a desktop program. At this moment, it supports 32-bit software exclusively and it’s not compatible with drivers, .NET apps, Win16 or DOS programs. The software developer says he has already tested his tool with a number of apps, including WinRAR, 3D Pinball and Heroes of Might and Magic 3, but it seems like it actually supports a lot more programs. Future versions will allow users to launch all versions of Age of Empires, Command and Conquer and uTorrent.

“The beta means that I've finished the initial prototyping and testing, core internals are stabilized and now I'm working on functionality (adding more supported WinAPI). This is a first beta build, so do not expect it to run all of your programs,” the developer said. As you probably know by now if you’re a Windows RT tablet owner, the previously released jailbreak allows users to run unsigned code on their devices, but it requires the apps to be recompiled for ARM processors. This new hack, on the other hand, allows users to launch full Windows applications and as far as the video below goes, it seems like everything works pretty fast.  We’re curious to see what Microsoft has to say about this, so we’ve contacted the company to get a word on the matter. We’ll update the article when and if we get an answer.

The hack brings full x86 apps on Windows RT
Image credits to Microsoft

Asus VivoTab running Heroes of Might and Magic 3 under emulation.
Discussion and new emulator builds are here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2095934
Videos credits to mamaicvideo

NVIDIA Intros Phoenix Reference Smartphone with LTE-Enabled Chip Tegra 4i

Today, chip maker NVIDIA officially introduced its Tegra 4i System on a Chip for smartphones and tablet PCs, the first chipset in the series to arrive on shelves with integrated LTE connectivity. 

Previously known as Grey, the chipset was announced for the first time last year, but was confirmed to arrive this quarter only several days ago. Featuring a 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU inside and the NVIDIA i500 LTE modem, the new SoC should be able to provide users with all the capabilities they need inside a smartphone.  “NVIDIA is delivering for the first time a single, integrated processor that powers all the major functions of a smartphone,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra 4i phones will provide amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

The new chipset arrives in devices with support for full 1080p HD displays, while promising a great experience for gaming and visually-demanding applications. It will also deliver an enhanced 4G LTE experience, NVIDIA announced. The company also unveiled a reference smartphone platform for the Tegra 4i processor, called Phoenix, and meant at providing a glimpse at the unique capabilities of the chip. Phoenix comes as a blueprint available for phone makers interested in designing and building smartphones that feature the new Tegra 4i CPU inside. “NVIDIA’s Tegra 4i appears to outperform the leading integrated LTE chip significantly, and also benefits from an integrated ‘soft-modem’ that can be re-programmed over-the-air to support new frequencies and air interfaces – something other modem vendors can only dream of,” said Stuart Robinson, director, Handset Component Technologies Program at Strategy Analytics.

NVIDIA also unveiled that it would bring the new mobile processor to the 2013 Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to further showcase its capabilities.

Nvidia Phoenix reference smartphone for Tegra 4i
Images credits to nVidia

NVIDIA Tegra 4i Technical Specifications

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Graphics Card, which has only just launched, has been taking up much of our attention, and that of everyone else, but it looks like NVIIDA was sneaky and took advantage of it in a way some might not have foreseen.

Simply put, the company allowed people’s attention to be diverted and, thus, managed to surprise the world by launching the Tegra 4i mobile platform as well. Based on the Wayne Tegra 4 SoC (system-on-chip), it is what used to be known as “Project Grey” and will be the prong of attack on the smartphone market. On that note, Tegra 4i is similar to Tegra 4 in that it relies on a quad-core ARM processor, though the cores themselves are different. While Tegra 4 has four Cortex-A15 and a battery saver core, the Tegra 4i gets R4 Cortex-A9 and a saver core.

The number of GPU cores is also different: 72 versus 60. It goes to show that Tegra 4i is a slimmed-down version of the former. It makes sense. Tegra 4, the so-called Wayne, was made for high-end tablets, but is too powerful for phones. The 4i will provide the lower price needed by smartphones, but still a good performance level (2.4 GHz frequency). As for the LTE capability, it is allowed by the NVIDIA i500 software-defined radio modem. “Tegra 4i is the very latest SoC solution based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and demonstrates the ability of ARM and our partners to continue to push the performance of technology and create exciting user experiences,” says Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, processor division, ARM.

“ARM and NVIDIA worked closely to further optimize the Cortex-A9 processor to drive performance and efficiency in areas such as streaming and responsiveness. This is an example of the collaboration and innovation that enables ARM technology-based solutions to be market drivers through multiple generations of SoC solutions.” NVIDIA will have the Tegra 4i on display at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2013), in Barcelona, Spain, between February 25 and 28.

NVIDIA Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i
Image credits to NVIDIA

iPhone 5S/6 Logic Board with A7 Chip – Leaked Photos

With only a few months to go before Apple announces the annual WWDC keynote and the potential launch of a new iPhone model, leaks are beginning to emerge showing what could be the inner workings of the rumored iPhone 5S.

Analysts still trust Apple to stick with tradition and release an incremental “S” upgrade of the iPhone yet again this year. The iPhone 5S, as the media calls it, will be powered by an A7 SoC (system on a chip), if these leaked photos from iOSDoc.com are any indication. While the images could have very easily been faked, the site claims the photos are from “a very reliable source” who confirmed many old rumors too. The motherboard appears to be identical in shape and size to the one found in the currently selling iPhone 5. So no design change for the handset itself, it appears, just like the rumors said. And that includes the 4-inch display.

Clearly visible in the photos is an A7 marking on the Apple processor. The chip’s CPU will be clocked at 1.2Ghz and the graphics module is reportedly the same PowerVR quad-core SGX554MP4 GPU as featured in the 4th generation iPad. “The iPhone 5S should also come with a RAM improvement, trading the 1GB of LPDDR2-1066 RAM for a dual-channel 2GB LPDDR-800 memory, which should improve performance and multi-tasking even more,” says the source. Lastly, the iPhone 5S will reportedly ship with iOS 7, which this source said “will also come with a highly improved Siri, able to ‘do a lot of new cool stuff’.” The source declined to elaborate on this topic.

Apple’s latest iPhone revisions occurred at fall events, but this time around the Cupertino giant is expected to unveil its new iPhone in summer, at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple could well make the jump to the iPhone 6 this year. Some pundits say the company can't afford another “S” revision with nothing too revolutionary under the hood.

Alleged iPhone 5S/6 logic board
Images credits to iOSDoc.com

More Reports Point at March 14 Launch for Samsung Galaxy S IV

Samsung Galaxy S IV, the next Android-based flagship device from the South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung, is expected to become official on March 14 now, after being long rumored to be unveiled on the 15th of the month.

Yesterday, the first reports on the new unveiling date for the high-end smartphone started to emerge, and new reports claim that all has been confirmed. A recent article on The Verge cites sources familiar with Samsung’s plans for the handset, claiming that March 14 is “definitely” the day when this device will see a formal introduction.

Furthermore, they say that the device will be announced in the US, although Samsung might not provide details on which carriers will add it to their networks. Previously, the handset vendor had been rumored to plan holding a press event for Galaxy S IV in New York.

Alleged Samsung Galaxy S IV leaked photo
Image credits to SAMMobile

Android-Based VERTU Ti to Arrive in India This March

Luxury phone brand VERTU is expected to bring its newly launched Android-based VERTU Ti to shelves in India next month, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

Featuring a 3.7-inch sapphire crystal screen that should be virtually scratch-proof, the handset also comes with a titanium case, and should easily prove around 5 times stronger than other smartphones out there. On the inside, the device features a 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB RAM, while also packing an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and a front camera for making video calls. The handset runs under Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

The phone arrives on shelves in four flavors: Titanium Black Leather, at $9,600 (around €7,200), Titanium Pure Black, at $11,500 (around €8,600), Titanium Black Alligator, at $12,800 (around €9,600), and Black PVD Titanium Red Gold Mixed Metals, priced at $19,900 (around €14,900).

Vertu Ti
Image credits to Vertu

NVIDIA GeForce Titan Official Benchmark, Beats AMD Radeon HD 7970

While people are divided on whether NVIDIA will release the GeForce GTX Titan graphics card today  (February 19), more information continues to trickle in.

Egypt Hardware is once again acting the part of leak springer. The website has published a benchmark in which the GeForce Titan is pitted against the GeForce GTX 680 and AMD Radeon HD 7970 adapters. The slide belongs to the official press presentation that NVIDIA has prepared to share with the world.

Obviously, the GK110-based card consistently beats the other two. Now we just need a benchmark of the Titan going against the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 and we're all set. Presumably, one will be made between now and February 21, the date to which the first reviews have supposedly been pushed.

NVIDIA GeForce Titan vs GTX 680 and AMD Radeon HD 7970
Image credits to Egypt Hardware

Report: Samsung Galaxy S IV to Be Unveiled on March 14

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been rumored for a while now to be planning the launch of its next Android-based flagship smartphone on March 15, but it seems that it will do so one day earlier, on the 14th of the month, in New York, new reports suggest.

Dubbed Galaxy S IV, the handset is expected to pack inside the latest in mobile technology, including a 4.99-inch SuperAMOLED Full HD touchscreen and a quad-core processor, complemented by 2GB of RAM.

Furthermore, the device is expected to feature a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, front camera for video calling, and Google’s Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean platform loaded on top. Previously, Samsung confirmed that it won’t be unveiling the new smartphone at the MWC 2013 tradeshow in Barcelona later this month, but did not offer specifics on when it will make the move.

Samsung logo
Image credits to Samsung

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