April 2, 2011

Google takes on Bing and Facebook with "+1" social search feature

Google has launched a new social feature to its search, one that it will be rolling out very slowly globally, beginning with America. Called +1, the feature will allow logged in users to ‘like’ or ‘+1’ search results and Google-based advertisments. Google promises however, that this data will not be used to influence results, rather, it is meant to show ‘+1’ed results to friends, by sharing the link with them. The data will also be used for research purposes, to enhance search quality.

Speaking on the launch of the social aspect of search, Eric Schmidt, the departing CEO of Google, said: 'I am incredibly optimistic about what is going to be possible in the next decade, we have spent our whole career getting to this point'

Just like the ‘Like’ button, publishers will soon be able to add a “+1” button to their sites and content. Sites using Google AdWords will also get the option alongside advertisements.

Google announced the new +1 feature in a blog post entitled “+1’s: the right recommendations right when you want them—in your search results.” Putting things in perspective, this isn’t the first time Google has tried introducing social search, and tested a slightly more limited search result recommendation feature back in 2008, which allowed people to upvote or downvote results, and comment on them. Secondly, Google isn’t just competing Facebook’s Like button on publishers sites, but also directly with Microsoft Bing, who recently added Facebook Like functionality to their search results.

To make things worse, to use the “+1” service, users will have to login to their Google Profile. While many users on the web have a Google Account, they do not have a Google Profile, and will have to create one. Those with a Profile will have to update to the latest version to use it with +1.

Apart from your Google contacts, Google said it will possibly, in the future, share recommendations with other connections, i.e. Twitter contacts, etc. To know who you are currently connected to, you’ll have to visit the Social Circle and Content section of Google Dashboard.

Microsoft Approaches the EC, Google is the Target

On numerous occasions, Microsoft had the members of the European Commission come knocking to its door over antitrust allegation charges leveled by the search giant, Google.

The latest update, however, saw a complete role reversal. This time it was Microsoft that filed a complaint against Google with the European Commission. Apparently, Google’s dominating ways in the European search engine sphere has been giving Microsoft sleepless nights. The list of complaints with European Commission is an exhaustive one. Google allegedly disallows other search engines from cataloguing YouTube videos so they show up during searches, apart from preventing YouTube videos from playing on Windows Phones.

Factors like limiting advertiser access to data and blocking routes to book publishers' content were among the other points that Microsoft’s complaint featured. To many, this move of Microsoft may come as a surprise, since for many years now the same body has been nudging Microsoft over the similar dominance it enjoyed with its Internet Explorer. The whole debacle ended only after Microsoft agreed to include a ‘web browser choice’ screen to enable multiple choices for internet browsers.

Google, however, was unwilling to take Microsoft’s allegations sitting down. In an eWeek report, Google retorted saying that Microsoft couldn’t ruffle a feather with its complaints. It now remains to be seen how far the tech giants will go with the mud-slinging.

Yahoo India to Launch Search Direct within 2011

Like they say, better late than never. A good half a year after Google launched interactive prediction based search feedback service Instant, Yahoo India just announced that it will launch its own version of Instant dubbed Search Direct. Don't hold your breath yet, because the service will not be available till the second half of 2011. Just like Google's Instant, Yahoo's Search Direct predicts search results as you type in the keywords into the search bar. The announcement comes a week after Yahoo launched Search Direct in U.S. in the beta stage.

  "The new search engine predicts search results as fast as a person types - character by character, and presents those results dynamically, generating a fast, simple search experience that goes beyond mere blue links," said  Prabhakar Raghavan, chief scientist, senior vice-president and head of Yahoo Labs. Despite competition from Google, Yahoo reaches out to 30 million unique users per month in India, which is about 74 percent of the Indian Internet audience. Loyal Yahoo users therefore finally get one of Google's most innovative features on the search engine of their choice.

Microsoft launches free Windows Thin PC, helps repurpose old systems as thin clients

Microsoft has made freely available a pre-release beta of Windows Thin PC, a limited version of Windows that is meant to provide basic modern operating system features for older systems, and repurpose them as thin-clients.

Called WinTPC for short, the version available for free is the Windows Thin PC Community Technology Preview test build – the final product however, will be meant only for Software Assurance volume licensees.

According to Microsoft, WinTPC is a “a version of Windows 7 that allows customers to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients without requiring the VDA license to access VDI desktops.” In that sense, the Win TPC OS can be considered the latest form of Microsoft’s earlier remote/thin computing offerings, such as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs.

While the biggest benefit of WinTPC is that it allows for older, non-supported hardware to run a version of the latest Windows 7 OS, it also provides RemoteFX and enterprise management support. Security advantages such as no-write to hard disk are also featured.

Click here to download  the Windows Thin PC build, and here for more information.

April 1, 2011

HTC Pyramid has Dual-core CPU

XDA Developers have acquired new images of HTC Pyramid that runs Android OS. From the new photos, we clearly know that the phone has dual-core 1.2GHz GPU and will run Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread update

The front panel of the HTC Pyramid smartphone has four capacitive menu buttons and a front facing VGA camera at the top next to earpiece speaker mesh. Under the chassis, the smartphone has dual-core 1.2Ghz processor packed with 768MB memory. At the back lies the 8 megapixel camera which should be capable of recording 1080p videos and the rear portion resembles Windows Phone 7 based HTC Mozart.

Bearing a 4.3-inch huge display, the phone will support qHD (560x960) pixel resolution which is good enough to run Gingerbread along with a layer of HTC Sense 3.0 on top of it.

Let's hope that this handset will be released sometime soon.    

Facebook Will Not be Free Anymore

This comes as a shocker to us. Facebook has announced that it will charge users for holding an account on the website. Users will get two account options - Free and Pro. Free accounts will let users post photos and links, but will have size limited to thumbnail only, big banner ads and popups. Moreover, users will have to take a paid survey for each login. However, Facebook reassures that the entire process won't take more than 10 minutes. The Pro account will let users post, share and view videos without worrying about the size and quality. Facebook said that starting next month, all users will be migrated to free accounts if they do not pay an amount, which is not disclosed as yet. Reports suggest it won't be more than $10 (Rs. 450 approx.) per month.  

As per the information available, the new paid account roll out will start with a pilot testing in U.S. wherein users will be given unlimited cloud storage to upload photos and videos. Following that, Facebook will start rolling out the paid account options across the globe. 

Facebook has been drawing attention of loads of users, advertisers, companies, game developers and more. The social network already has several addictive games and lets advertisers post ads. Games will be free but can only be played if you buy a special gaming pack at an undisclosed price.

We know that maintaining such a heavy user base and implementing innovation for masses isn't really a cost-effective strategy. However, charging users for holding accounts is a bit too much we think. Leave us a comment and let us know your reaction.

For more details, click here.

LG rumoured to make Google Nexus S tablet, possible lead device of Android 2.4

There is a distinct purpose served by the Google Nexus phones, they are the lead devices for their platforms at release, showcasing just what the new versions can do – its features, its capabilities – in a completely vanilla form.

To that end, it is not very surprising that a Google Nexus tablet is rumoured to be in the pipeline. The rumours are quite fair – after HTC and Samsung, Google has given LG the chance to make the Google Nexus tablet.

LG has shown it can handle the hardware with the LG Optimus Pad – being the first to squeeze in a 3D camera, a hi-res 1280x768 resolution 3D-capable display, 4G connectivity, and a dual-core processor in a Honeycomb tablet. That leaves all the fine-tuning of an all-vanilla Nexus tablet up to the geeks at Google.

Since Honeycomb is already out, it stands to reason the LG Google Nexus tablet will run the rumoured phone-tablet OS – Ice Cream Sandwich or, version 2.4. This is the OS that Google seems to be prepping the Nexus One and S for, with the Android 2.3.3 update

Dell Exec: iPad Too Costly, Closed, Complex

On a recent trip Down Under, a Dell executive made an over the top slam against Apple's iPad. Head of global marketing Andy Lark apparently went on a bit of a verbal Walkabout in an interview with PCWorld's sister publication CIO Australia, calling the iPad too expensive, closed and complex to keep up with Android.

"I couldn't be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm but longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary," Lark told reporter Lisa Banks.

Lark was particularly pointed in his criticism that the popular tablet doesn't work for enterprise users.

"Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island. It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex."

"Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island. It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex."

"We will do Windows 7 coupled with Android Honeycomb, and we're really excited. We think that giving people that choice is very important."
Dell recently unveiled a ten-inch Windows 7 tablet aimed at business users. Previously, the company failed to gain much traction with its five-inch Streak, a cross between a smartphone and tablet.
Lark's other central rip against the iPad was price.
"An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you'll be at $1500 or $1600; that's double of what you're paying," he said. "That's not feasible."
Apple should take some comfort in the fact that Lark's stinging criticism wasn't only directed at the iPad during his trip to Sydney. He also complained to his foursquare followers that Wi-Fi at the Sheraton where he stayed was overpriced... a critique he posted via his Apple iPhone.

Hungama launches Cricket Stock Exchange for your fantasy cricket needs

Hungama Game Studio has launched Cricket Stock Exchange (CSX), an online stock exchange that lets players trade shares of their favourite teams and cricketers, and compete with other fantasy cricket players by expanding and enriching their share portfolio.

Found at www.cricketstockexchange.com, CSX allows players to buy cricketers based on ball by ball scores during matches. At hand with tips, statistics and other valuable information to help make your trades and purchases, are expert cricket analysts and statisticians, Ayaz Memon and Mohandas Menon.

For now, updates will be available on Facebook, and by the time the IPL starts, all of Cricket Stock Exchange can be accessed directly on Facebook as well.

At the launch of the Cricket Stock Exchange, Ayaz Memon said:
“The experience of exercising your gut feeling while following the game ball by ball makes playing the Cricket Stock Exchange exciting at every stage. The interface itself offers an exhilarating environment and the constant trivia and challenges get you hooked from the moment you log in.”
Free to join, players will receive CS$ 20,000 when they register on Cricket Stock Exchange. Players can then buy shares on the basis of availability and current prices, and, make money by trading and participating in the pavilion. Those who do well will be featured as the “Trader of the Week” and “Highest Gainer of the Week,” etc. Aside from leaderboards, there are also statistics, news, and analysis of the latest action available.

Log on now to win exclusive World Cup goodies, and, gift hampers.

March 31, 2011

Intex V.Show Mini Theatre IN 8809 Launched

Intex has just launched its second projector phone in India - the V3Show Mini Theatre IN 8809. This is the economical successor to its first 3.2-inch touchscreen projector phone - V.Show 8810 a new type of mobile phone at an affordable price - it can project images on the screen. Spice had recently launched the Popkorn Projector M9000 mobile phone with an inbuilt projector, and it seems that there may be more projector phones coming our way.

The IN 8809 can read Office documents, which gives it extra brownie points as you can use it for your office presentation. A 3.5 mm jack present in the phone lets you connect external speakers while projecting.

Basic phone features include a 2.4 inch 262K color QVGA screen, dual GSM SIM capability, quad band capability, WAP, GPRS, JAVA, 2 MP camera, support to play various video formats including 3GP and AVI, MP3 player with FM radio with scheduled recording and stereo Bluetooth, 87 MB internal memory and support for up to 16 GB T-flash memory card. With support for social networking, and including a motion sensor and mobile tracker, the phone supports Hindi language too, in addition to English. It comes loaded with social networking apps such as Facebook, and mobile web browsers Opera Mini and Bolt. With dimensions of 118 mm x 51 mm x 17.5 mm, this candy bar phone weighs just 142 g. The 1000 mAh battery supports talk time up to 3.5 hours and standby time up to 168 hours.

The Intex V.Show Mini Theatre IN 8809 is priced aggressively at Rs.6,300, which is around 700 rupees less than the recently launched Spice Popkorn M9000, albeit with less features.

Google Music: iTunes Rival May Soon Launch

Reports are swirling around the Internet that Google is in the advanced stages of testing a music service that could one day rival Apple iTunes.

The latest reports the the company is internally testing the service, dubbed Google Music, come just weeks after a developer at the XDA Developers forum noted online that he stumbled upon Google Music when he fired up the Honeycomb version of Google's Android operating system on a smartphone.

Both reports come amid ongoing online murmurings that Google is working away on a social networking platform behind closed doors. For months now, online chatter has focused on whether Google is secretly trying to build its own social network, which would focus on gaming, music and/or movies. Potential names for the service include Google Me and Google Circle.

Analysts say Google Music is not likely to be the social platform that the industry has been anticipating. However, some do note that it could be a big piece of Google's social puzzle."I don't see this serving as Google's primary, stand-alone social networking service with which it will compete with Facebook et al," said Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis.

"That won't preclude Google from releasing a broader, general social networking platform. If anything, this music service will incorporate social networking facilities, perhaps tying into ... any potential Google offerings, such as the rumors surrounding a Google Me service," he added.

Hadley Reynolds, an analyst with IDC, agreed that Google Music won't be the company's social platform. "The music service category is well-defined on its own terms at this point," he said. Reynolds said it would be a good idea for Google to take on Apple and its popular iTunes service. While iTunes has had a significant head start, a similar service from Google for Android devices could chip away at Apple in a lucrative business.

"The iPod and iTunes, and later the iPhone and the iPad and iTunes, has given Apple close to a decade to define this mobile music experience in its own terms," said Reynolds. "The proliferation of Android devices is creating a customer base that will pull Google into competition with Apple in these areas."

Sony Launches VAIO S Series of Notebooks

Sony launched their new line of notebooks called the S series. The notebooks come with 13.3-inch screens, and are powered by the Intel Sandy Bridge processors. They also include AMD’s Radeon HD6630 graphics solution and have a gigabyte of dedicated memory. A switch allows users to switch the laptop from a more power efficient to a performance mode. The new notebooks weigh around 1.7 kg which make them somewhat lightweight. The higher end model of the series also has a SSD drive for storage. Some of the their nifty features include a multi-touch trackpad and a backlit keyboard. There’s also a WEB button that allows user to access the internet without having to boot up the operating system.

The four models launched under the new lineup are VPCSB19GG/B, VPCSB18GG/B/S, VPCSB17GG/S/B and VPCSB16FG/B/L/P/S. The VPCSB19GG/B model is the most expensive one priced at Rs. 1,09,900 and the cheapest one, the VPCSB16FG will sell for around Rs. 56,990. The laptops will be available in five different colours – black, silver, white, blue and pink. 

March 30, 2011

Amazon Appstore for Android claims better interface and features than Android Market

Amazon has launched the Amazon Appstore for Android, meant for both phones and tablets. Including free as well as paid apps, the online retail giant supposedly decided on Google’s mobile platform because of its rapid growth and open nature.
Offering Android applications, you might wonder what separates the Amazon Appstore for Android and the Android Market. According to Amazon, the very 'rapid growth' of the platform that attracted them to it also implies that consumers are hard-pressed to discover apps that suit them on the Android Market – and with Amazon’s long experience in the online retail segment, the company believes it can help shoppers better find what they are looking for.

From a macroscopic perspective, it is evident that Amazon wants to become the singular, one-stop-shop for all the needs of Android users – the place they land when they want anything from Android applications to digital content, or anything else from Amazon’s vast online shelves. Android therefore becomes a great choice not just for its growth, but for the wide variety of devices in the platform, as well as the upcoming app-compatibility with such non-Android devices as the QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook. Rumours of an upcoming Android-based Kindle device or an Amazon-branded Android tablet also fit seamlessly into the strategy. 

The Amazon Appstore will use your regular Amazon ID, and therefore will also be able to recommend products based on your already documented Amazon interests and purchases. How well this will work – content purchases guiding app purchases – remains to be seen. Other advantages the Amazon Appstore claims to offer over the Android Market include an application test platform called ‘Test Drive’ that consumers can use to try out an app on their computer before they buy it for their phones or tablets.

Amazon has also taken the onus of testing each app for malicious code before listing it on their store. The store will also only list applications that comply to its content guidelines, implying that it will be clean of adult/pornographic material, unlike the Android Market. Though the advantage of the browser access of the Appstore is now moot, as Android Market is also accessible via the browser, the Amazon Appstore also offers customer reviews, and its own one-click payment options that people might just prefer to Google Checkout. Also like the Android Market’s web interface, the Amazon Appstore will feature detailed product descriptions, including screenshots and video content.

While Amazon has not mentioned the number of applications on the store at launch, it has said there will be a broad selection available, including everything from Evernote to PacMan. Prices will also be competitive with Android Market rates. The Amazon Appstore will also feature one paid app available for free daily. The purchasing power of Amazon is also a force to be reckoned with, so some exceptional deals can also be expected, as well as bonus/exclusive offerings, such as ad-free Angry Birds, etc.,.

As for the developer side of things, Amazon's Appstore for Android will feature a different pricing model, one that might just piss Google off. Amazon will pay developers 70% of the sale price of the application, or 20% of the list price, whichever is greater. According to Amazon, the developer will set the list price while Amazon will set the sale price, which can go all the way down to zero if it decides. Developers will be charged an annual access fee of $99 to the Amazon Appstore, however, this first year will be free.

BlackBerry PlayBook to support BlackBerry Java and Android apps

RIM has confirmed that its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet that’s based on the QNX-designed BlackBerry Tablet OS will have access to Android apps. To be very specific however, this does not mean that the PlayBook will have access to the Android Market. Instead, RIM will provide certain Android applications at its BlackBerry App World, which have been ported by third-parties.

The message to take away here is RIM’s veiled announcement to developers – port popular BlackBerry Java and Android apps to the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture-based BlackBerry Tablet OS! The operating systems have a “high degree of API compatibility” according to RIM, making the job of porting much simpler. The ports however, will work in a sandbox environment. RIM says it will be launching "two optional 'app players' that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook."

 As is evident, RIM has now joined the recent trend of companies taking advantage of the rapid growth of the Android platform and ecosystem, with Amazon also taking the call a few days ago to offer Android users an Amazon-branded app store – Amazon Appstore for Android

RIM also revealed that the BlackBerry Tablet OS will have native C/C++ development support added, in addition to HTML5, Flash and AIR support. It has also partnered with some of the leading game engines, including Ideaworks Labs (AirPlay) and Unity Technologies (Unity 3).

PlayBook and future QNX-based BlackBerry users really have nothing to lose from this move, while Google is probably sniggering at how this open call to leach apps from the Android Market is only going to drive its growth harder. The PlayBook, releasing on April 19th, will also support BlackBerry Java applications.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 4 for Android, Maemo

One week after the launch of Firefox 4, Mozilla on Tuesday released the mobile version for Android devices. Firefox for Android and Maemo includes many of the features available in the desktop version of Firefox 4, and is available in 13 languages.

Those features include synchronization across the desktop and mobile devices for things like history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords, and form data. For the security conscious, executives insisted earlier this month that the process is secure; the data is encrypted via a 26-character key.

"Firefox for mobile allows users to take the Firefox experience they love everywhere and minimizes typing with features like tabbed browsing, bookmarks, add-ons and Firefox Sync," Mozilla said in a blog post. "With a sleek new look that hides browser controls when not in use, Firefox allows users to focus on the websites they visit."

Mozilla said Firefox is up to three times faster than the stock Android browser. "Major enhancements to the JavaScript engine make everything from page load speed to graphics to overall performance snappy in Firefox," the company said. The mobile Firefox 4 also has the option to save to PDF for offline viewing, the ability to share via social-networking sites, and a customizable search engine list.

For developers, Mozilla promised an improvement to existing tools like CSS, Canvas, and SVG, as well as location-aware browsing, device orientation, accelerometer, and desktop notifications for HTML5. The JavaScript engine also incorporates the J├ĄgerMonkey JIT compiler for faster page load speeds and performances of apps and games.

Firefox 4 for Android is available now via the Android Market and for download on Mozilla's site for Maemo devices.

HCL Launches Three Android-based Tablets

HCL Technologies has announced the launch of three Tablet PCs that run on Google’s Operating System, Android. There are two 7-inch variants, and one 10-inch device, that all run on Android 2.2 FroYo and range in price from Rs. 14,990 to Rs. 32,990.

HCL ME Tablet AE7-A1
This is the budget entry, what with the tablet costing only Rs. 14,990. Check out the specs of the AE7-A1 below:

  • 800MHz Arm 11 Processor
  • 256MB RAM
  • 7-inch Resistive Touch Display at 800x480
  • 0.3 Megapixel camera
  • WiFI 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and EVDO Dongle support via USB
  • 2GB in-built Flash Memory
  • MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto 8GB
  • SD/MMC card slot
  • USB 2.0 host
  • 2400mAh battery
  • Google Android 2.2 FroYo
HCL ME Tablet AM7-A1
The mid-range entry, the AM7-A1 boasts of better specs than the similarly sized AE7-A1. As a result, the price goes up to Rs. 22,990 too. Check out the specs:

  • 800MHz Cortex A8 processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 7-inch Capacitive Multi-Touch Display at 1024x600
  • 1.3 Megapixel Camera
  • Support for HSDPA/UMTS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3G WCDMA
  • 8GB in-built Flash Memory
  • MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto 16GB
  • SD/MMC card slot
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • Supports 1080p video playback (upto 25fps)
  • 4200mAh battery
  • Google Android 2.2 FroYo
HCL ME Tablet AP10-A1
This is HCL’s high-end entry, as evidenced by the specs and the price tag of Rs. 32,990. Hopefully we’ll get some announcement regarding Honeycomb on this soon. In the meantime, here are the specs:

  • 1GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10-inch Capacitive Multi-Touch display
  • 1.3 Megapixel Camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 16GB in-built Flash Memory
  • MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto 32GB
  • FullHD 1080p video playback
  • SD/MMC card slot
  • USB 2.0 port, Mini-USB port
  • Docking port for expansion – USB 2.0, Ethernet and HDMI
  • 3D Accelerometer and Light Sensor
  • Google Android 2.2 FroYo
All three tablets are available for purchase over at HCLstore.in along with 3 and 6-month EMI options.

March 29, 2011

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet Launched

Asus has introduced a new Eee Pad Transformer tablet with a full size Mobile Docking Station that allows it to be used as a notebook. New Asus Transformer tablet runs the Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb update with Asus' new MyWave User Interface on the top of it. Housing a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, the Transformer tablet has a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, dual-cameras and an HDMI out. The company noted that the tablet would be available in 16GB and 32GB storage capacities for a price range of $400-$700 approximately.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet has 10.1-inch IPS panel-based Corning Gorilla Glass capacitive touchscreen that supports 1280x800 pixel resolution. Its big touchscreen is capable of full 1080p HD playback and also has Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support (one can update with Flash Player 10.2 once product is made available officially). The most important feature of the Transformer tablet is that it houses 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 1GB RAM that will not only power the tablet but will also ensure smooth full HD playback.

At the back panel lies a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and a 1.2 megapixel at the front usable for the video chat. Other features of the Transformer tablet include Wireless-N and Bluetooth support for wireless connectivity. For physical connectivity, the tablet offers USB port, built-in card reader and HDMI out port. Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb running Transformer features Asus MyWave UI layered on top of it and has WaveShare network media sharing system along with other features. 

Transformer also includes Gravity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, E-Compass, Gyroscope and GPS for location based services.

Asus offers an optional Mobile Docking Station which is basically a full QWERTY keyboard to be connected with the tablet. The QWERTY keyboard has Android function keys. Apparently, this mobile docking station is claimed of extending the battery life of the tablet to up to 16 hours. Otherwise, the standalone tablet offers up to 9.5 hours of battery life which is as much as that of the recent Eee PC netbooks.

Long battery life is an important feature and the Apple iPad 2 offers 10 hours of battery life. But what the tablet does with mobile docking station is exceptional - access and control the PC as well as Mac systems using MyCloud feature.

The new Asus Eee Pad Transformer joins the league of Android tablets - Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola XOOM. Quite interesting. Now, we'll have wait to see whether Asus makes this tablet available globally soon.

Click here to view Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet specifications.

Opera Mobile 11

Opera Mobile 11
Opera Mobile 11 has most of the new additions that Opera Mini 6 has received. It already had the pinch to zoom feature, so that is unchanged. The Share feature does work differently though and is oddly crippled here. In the Symbian version, we only got the option of sending the URL through an SMS or via Bluetooth. There was no mention of Facebook or Twitter sharing. 

 Thankfully now, Opera Mobile11 supports Flash on Android phones. Of course, the phones themselves should be compatible with Flash. Those who have been staying away from Opera Mobile so far because of lack of Flash support have no reason to do so any more. On Symbian, however, there is no Flash support, because the Flash Lite plugin is only available for the built-in browser. 

In comparison to Opera Mini, Opera Mobile is a lot smoother. Pages also looked a lot better and more accurate. The text also looks a lot better when you zoom in or out. If you have a smartphone that supports Opera Mobile with a decent connection plan then we would advise using it over Opera Mini. If you are on Symbian, there are no two ways about it; Opera Mobile 11 is the browser to use.

Overall, both the new browsers are good improvement over their predecessors, Opera Mini 6 more so than Opera Mobile 11. Then again Opera Mobile was fine to begin with so that's still fine. With new features such as Flash support and special versions for Honeycomb tablets (which we couldn't test for obvious reasons), Opera Mobile is poised to take away market share from established browsers. 

 Source : Opera Mobile 11

March 28, 2011

Opera Mini 6

Opera Mini 6
The biggest addition here is pinch to zoom, which wasn't available before. If you tried to pinch to zoom in, the browser would jump directly to 100 percent zoom level or get back to the full page view. There wasn't a finer control over the zoom level. Now, if you pinch, the page zooms in gradually and you can stop whenever you want and the browser will stick to that zoom level. You can select the maximum zoom level from settings but one thing we noticed was that unlike Opera Mobile, which allows you to zoom past the setting you have selected in the menu, Opera Mini stops zooming when you reach the selected zoom level.

You can choose to have the text rearranged when you zoom in so that it it's the width of your device's display. Enabling can mess with the page order sometime and in that case you can disable it. It is better than having constant ON or OFF as some browsers have. 

The scrolling has been reportedly made smoother in the new version and we noticed a new button that appears on the screen when you scroll fast that lets you jump straight down to the bottom or top of the page depending upon the direction you were scrolling. 

Interface-wise, the only major difference is the new Opera button in the bottom right corner that reminds you of one of the buttons in the top left corner of the desktop browser.  It just replaces the settings button found in the previous version but it houses the exact same options as before. 

There is a new Share function as well. In the Symbian version that we reviewed, we got the option of sharing the current page on Facebook, Twitter or on My Opera. In the Android version, it gives you access to a lot more applications to share a link.

Opera Mini 6 for Symbian is now a native Symbian application, instead of J2ME. 

Apart from these additions, Opera Mini 6 is identical to the previous version. 

Source : Opera Mini 6

March 27, 2011

Xperia X10 to get Gingerbread Update

In a sudden change of heart, Sony Ericsson has decided to listen to the pleas of thousands of Xperia X10 owners and provide them with the Android Gingerbread that they have been yearning for. The update will be pushed to their phones by end of Q2/start of Q3 this year and will be the latest 2.3.3 update. The software will be similar to what Sony Ericsson will be offering on their newer Android phones, the Xperia Arc, Neo, Pro and Play, except for those features for which there is no hardware support on the X10, such as HDMI-out. 

As for the Xperia X10 mini, X10 mini pro and X8, Sony Ericsson has given a solid "No" regarding their upgradability to Google's latest mobile operating system. As for X10, this is going to be the final update that the handset will receive in its lifetime. And this time, it seems they are serious. Just like last time.