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Apr 23, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 OS 10.1 Manuals Emerge Online




Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry is expected to release a new flavor of its BlackBerry 10 platform in the not too distant future, and is already making the necessary preparations for that.

The vendor has already published online manuals for the new platform version, one that would arrive on devices as BlackBerry OS 10.1. Said documents should provide BlackBerry Z10 users with the possibility to learn more on how to get the most out of their devices, while also offering specific details on how to operate OS 10.1-powered smartphones.

For the time being, however, no specific details on when the BlackBerry 10.1 OS flavor will arrive on devices has been provided, but n4bb notes that Z10 owners should start receiving it as soon as Q10 hits shelves. In the meantime, you can go find the aforementioned BlackBerry 10.1 manuals here and here.

BlackBerry 10
Image credits to RIM

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Might Delayed




Some of the latest reports on Google’s plans for the Android operating system suggested that the company was set to make a new version of the platform official as soon as next month, but it seems that things might have changed.

Supposedly called Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the next Android variant was expected to be officially announced in mid-May, while set to arrive on shelves sometime in the second half of the year. However, a new rumor on the matter suggests that Google might have delayed the new OS flavor by 2 to 4 months, so as to ensure that manufacturers have enough time at their disposal to deliver Android 4.2.2 updates to their users. Additionally, it seems that Google and Motorola might no longer bring a new smartphone to the spotlight at the conference in May. However, a 32GB flavor of Nexus 4 is expected to be unveiled at Google I/O, with 4G LTE connectivity packed inside (a slightly different outer design is also rumored for this device).

As for the capabilities that Google should pack inside the upcoming platform release, users should expect at least improved performance capabilities, if not new features to deliver an upgraded user experience. Furthermore, the mobile operating system is rumored to receive enhancements such as a Night Mode, along with a Game Mode, keyboard enhancements, an improved voice assistant, as well as better backup capabilities. Additionally, the upcoming platform release is said to arrive on devices with a new application to enable users to make video calls while on the go. For the time being, however, no official confirmation on Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie has been provided, or on when it might be launched on devices. However, it should not be too long before such details start to emerge, so keep an eye on this space for updates.

Android logo
Image credits to Google

Firefox OS Handsets Sold Out Fast, New Stock Coming Soon




Today, the first smartphones to run under Mozilla’s Firefox OS went up for purchase, and both of them sold out fast.

Apparently, Geeksphone, the company behind these devices, was actually expecting this, and even confirmed that it has been able to fulfill orders at a pace of 5,000 per day. Now that both Keon and Peak are listed on the company’s website as out of stock, Geeksphone is looking into making more units available for purchase soon, so that more developers could enjoy the benefits of these devices.

According to TechCrunch, the vendor was aiming at making more devices available for purchase before the end of the week, so as to meet the impressive demand that both handsets have seen so far. Geeksphone’s Keon and Peak were made available as Developer Preview phones, aimed mainly at enabling devs to build applications for the Firefox OS.

Firefox OS-based Keon and Peak
Image credits to TechCrunch

The First Firefox OS Smartphones Are Now Available for Purchase




Starting today, developers interested in building applications for Mozilla’s Firefox OS can head over to Geeksphone’s website to purchase one of the two smartphones that they made available with the platform loaded on top.

We’re referring here to Keon and Peak, both of which were made official in early 2013, and the Firefox OS Developer Preview devices, listed on this page. At the moment, Keon, which features a price tag of $119 (€91 plus taxes, shipping, and handling), is listed as out of stock, while the Peak, priced at $194 (€149 plus taxes, shipping and handling), is still available for purchase. “The first Firefox OS Developer Preview devices are finally here! Don't miss the chance and purchase yours before they run out. Oh! And we ship worldwide, too,” Geeksphone notes on its website. Keon, the cheaper of the two smartphones, packs a 1GHz Snapdragon processor inside, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal memory. The handset also packs a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen display, as well as a 3-megapixel photo snapper on the back.

Peak, on the other hand, was launched with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor inside, as well as with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display that can deliver a qHD resolution, and with two cameras, an 8-megapixel one on the back, and a 2MP front snapper. “With early access to hardware, developers can test the capabilities of Firefox OS in a real environment with a mobile network and true hardware characteristics like the accelerometer and camera that are not easily tested on the Firefox OS Simulator,” Mozilla notes in a blog post. The company also notes that, since both handsets are being sold directly through Geeksphone, all support will be provided by the manufacturer. Specific info on the Firefox OS and the building of apps for it will be available, of course, through Mozilla’s Developer Network.

“Developers have already built and published awesome mobile web apps that you can check out today on the Developer Preview phone. We expect that these developer devices will inspire and enable even more,” the company also notes.

Keon and Peak, the first Firefox OS devices to arrive on shelves
Image credits to Geeksphone

Complete List of Intel Haswell 4th-Gen CPU Family Specifications and Prices





During the past few months, there have been plenty of rumors and leaks about Intel's next generation of desktop and laptop central processing units.

The information was sporadic though. Not exactly tallied into a nice table that everyone could use as a reference. Fortunately, the folks at VR-Zone Chinese have something of the sort, made of new and old information. The table above holds the specifications of the desktop Haswell CPUs, as well as their retail box prices. Not the low TDPs, compared to current and previous-generation processors (64W and 84W).

Intel will, of course, ship them in 1,000-unit tray quantities as well, to OEMs (makers of custom PCs), but the DIY market will, of course, get its own supply. The prices are those in the US, excluding taxes, which means the final retail tags will be a bit higher.

Intel Haswell CPU specification and price list
Image credits to Chinese VR-Zone

First 8-Inch Windows 8 Tablet Spotted as More Surface Mini Rumors Emerge




Microsoft is reportedly working on a smaller version of its Surface tablet that would run the full version of Windows 8 and featuring a 7- or 8-inch screen.

While the company has indeed confirmed that it was planning to expand the Surface product range, it has also revealed that it was working with partners to bring smaller Windows 8 tablets on the market, but no other specifics have been provided. Engadget has published a picture of what seems to be the Acer Iconia W3, a new Windows 8 tablet that’s running Windows 8 on an 8-inch screen with the help of an Intel Atom Z2760 processor and 2GB of RAM. While nobody can tell for sure if this is indeed Acer’s new, smaller tablet, it’s also a sign that Microsoft might indeed be planning a Surface Mini of similar dimensions. Rumor has it that Microsoft’s upcoming tablet might be equipped with an 8-inch screen, but the company may only release it later this year, most likely after the debut of Windows 8.1.

Such a decision would pretty much make sense, especially because the company is believed to install the future Windows release on its smaller units too, as Windows 8.1 will pack several enhancements aimed at tablet devices. The software giant Microsoft has recently lowered screen resolution requirements for Windows 8, making it possible for the new version of the OS to run on devices with 7- and 8-inch screens as well. As for the Surface Mini, sources familiar with the matter have indicated that Microsoft was pondering a later 2013 release date, as the project is already under development right now. Windows 8.1 is very likely to power the new tablet, as it might feature a new 50-50 Snap View mode specifically designed for smaller units.

Price-wise, Microsoft could make its new device a bit more competitive, as the main purpose is to compete against the likes of iPad mini and Nexus 7. A price tag of $249 (€190) is very likely, a previous report claimed.

Acer Iconia W3 features an 8-inch screen and runs Windows 8
Image credits to MiniMachines.net via Endgadget

AMD G-Series Embedded SoC




For all intents and purposes, the first steps of the Jaguar micro-architecture from Advanced Micro Devices came in the form of the hardware used in the Sony PlayStation 4 game console.

The Jaguar is being used in other things as well though, in this case embedded system-on-chip devices bearing the brand G-Series. AMD Figured that smart TVs, set-top boxes, interactive digital signage and informational kiosks could all do with an upgrade. The new series of chips has shared L2 cache, enterprise-class ECC (error correction code), fast memory support, parallel processing (via GPU), high performance per watt. For example, the GPU alone can deliver 150 GFLOPS more than the x86 cores. Add to that OpenCL (enables CPU and GPU parallel processing) and application development becomes quite convenient in industrial control and automation, communications and other processor-heavy applications. "We have built a treasure trove of industry-leading IP in processors, graphics and multimedia along with the infrastructure to combine these building blocks into unsurpassed embedded SOC solutions," said Arun Iyengar, vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions.

"With a 33 percent smaller footprint, low power consumption and exceptional performance, the new AMD Embedded G-Series SOC sets the bar for content-rich multimedia and traditional workload processing that is ideal for a broad variety of embedded applications." There are five G-Series models, right now, with two or four cores and TDPs of 15W or 25W. Pricing ranges from $49-$72, or €37.57-49 to €55.20-72.

This is the full list:

  • GX-420CA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8400E Graphics, Quad-core, 25 W TDP, CPU freq. 2.0 GHz, GPU freq. 600 MHz;
  • GX-415GA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8330E Graphics, Quad-core, 15 W TDP, CPU freq. 1.50 GHz, GPU freq. 500 MHz
  • GX-217GA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8280E Graphics, Dual-core, 15 W TDP, CPU freq. 1.65 GHz, GPU freq. 450 MHz
  • GX-210HA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8210E Graphics, Dual-core, 9 W TDP, CPU freq. 1.0 GHz, GPU freq. 300 MHz
  • GX-416RA SOC, Quad-Core, 15 W, CPU Freq. 1.6 GHz, No GPU
AMD logo
Image credits to AMD


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