Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Galaxy S3 gets Palm Touchstone inductive charging with modded battery door

Galaxy S3 Touchstone

The Nexus 4's included inductive charging and Charging Orb got you excited about wireless charging again? We don't blame you. If you'll remember back to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3), Samsung indicated that the device would be compatible with inductive charging backs and chargers. Well that never really happened, and now an ebay seller is taking things into his own hands and offering wireless charging backs compatible with Palm Touchstone chargers.

The back plates -- which are priced at $24 for the cover or $55 bundled with a charging station and a cable -- are in a very limited run of just a few dozen units. This is understandable considering that they're being made by hand, but hopefully they'll continue to make them to meet demand.

Interested in knowing more about the mod? Hit up the source link below.

Source: webOS Nation

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MetroPCS intros first Rich Communication Services on LTE, touts universal contacts and chat (video)

MetroPCS, Joyn launch the first Rich Communication Services on LTE, aim for universal contacts and chat video

Smartphone users are well immersed in a world of contact syncing, media sharing, VoIP and video calls. They're just not used to finding everything in one place, let alone guaranteeing that any carrier-level features will work with other phones and providers. MetroPCS is hoping to put itself ahead on that front by offering a potentially universal fix. It's the first carrier anywhere to launch the Rich Communication Services standard on LTE, which provides a perpetually synced contact list that serves as the launching pad for everything else. Early adopters of the Joyn-branded service can chat through text, share media (including during calls) and start up WiFi voice or video calls without needing yet another specialized service and the extra sign-in that goes with it. Right now, the very young state of RCS on LTE leaves it behaving more like the isolated services it's trying to replace -- on MetroPCS, only those with the Galaxy Attain 4G and an after-the-fact Joyn app download can get the experience as intended. As long as more devices and carriers come onboard, though, the technology might be the long-term key to pulling us away from fenced-off conversations in Google Talk or Skype.

Continue reading MetroPCS intros first Rich Communication Services on LTE, touts universal contacts and chat (video)

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MetroPCS intros first Rich Communication Services on LTE, touts universal contacts and chat (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 13:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad mini Smart Cover unboxing and hands-on!

With the iPad mini official launching this Friday, several people who pre-ordered and decided to pick up a Smart Cover along with their purchase have begun to receive them ahead of receiving their actual iPad mini. I received mine today and found that while it's pretty much the same as the regular sized iPad Smart Covers, there are a few differences.

Upon unboxing the iPad mini, the first thing I noticed was how the hinge is slightly different than that of the older Smart Covers. While there is a magnet running along the side just as you'd expect, it's covered. I actually prefer this design as it looks like one solid piece instead of a steel magnet breaking up the design. It's not a huge deal and most people would be fine either way, but it's one of the subtle design changes that makes a product look better.

Other than that there aren't very many differences between the iPad mini smart cover and its larger counterpart aside from the fact that it is freakishly smaller. As you can see from the images above, holding the iPad mini Smart Cover gives you a pretty good idea of how much smaller the iPad mini really is.

The Smart Cover will fold the same way you're used to with the traditional Smart Covers so you can elevate the iPad mini to type or to view media content in a more upright position. The only real difference is where the traditional Smart Covers required you to fold twice, the iPad mini's smaller size only needs to be folder over once.

The iPad mini Smart Cover is available in the Apple Online Store now for $39, the same price as the traditional Smart Covers. I was honestly surprised they weren't slightly cheaper than the larger variants. The Polyurethane version is the only one available as of now and we aren't sure if Apple will offer a leather version for the iPad mini at some point in the future.

Other than that, it's same Smart Cover that we've all come to either love or hate. If you enjoy using the original Smart Covers on your iPad and appreciate the minimalistic design even though it offers zero protection to the back of the device, you'll like the versions for the iPad mini. If you didn't, you won't like these either.

We'll have more once we've gotten our hands on an iPad mini to test it out on but in the mean time, check out more images below.

iPad mini Smart Cover unboxing and preview!

All photos taken with a Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens and embedded at HiDPI for iPhones, iPad 3, and Retina MacBook Pro.

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HP ElitePad 900 travels to the FCC, brings pros closer to Windows 8 tablet utopia

HP ElitePad 900 travels to the FCC, brings the pros closer to Windows 8 tablets

HP couldn't help but harsh the mellow of cutting-edge workers when it revealed the ElitePad 900 wouldn't ship until January. Still, there's less chance of any setbacks now that we know the FCC has rubber stamped the Windows 8 tablet. The version passing through the agency is a 3G model for mobile road warriors and touts the 850MHz, 1,700MHz and 1,900MHz bands we'd expect to for HSPA on AT&T, T-Mobile and Canadian networks. Few other surprises exist; we're mostly happy to know that NFC exists alongside dual-band 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. No, the approval won't be much consolation to the suits and ties wanting a tablet of their own as of yesterday, but it should be a relief to IT managers planning a much more creative use of the company budget in 2013.

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HP ElitePad 900 travels to the FCC, brings pros closer to Windows 8 tablet utopia originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 01:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrome 11 beta adds new experimental APIs for proxies, Web navigation

google chrome 11 proxy
Google Chrome 11 -- which just recently made the move to the browser's beta channel -- has received a minor update that gives developers access to two new APIs.

The first is a full-featured proxy API, which will, for example, allow users to set different proxy servers for normal browsing and Incognito mode. Proxy auto-config scripts are also supported by the API.

The second -- Web Navigation Extension -- is a bit more expansive. This API will allow devs to build everything from more powerful safe browsing extensions -- like Traffic Light -- to data analysis and reporting extensions.

Both APIs are currently experimental, so you'll need to enable them on the about:flags page to try out any relevant extensions. Apart from a proxy example built by Google and shipped with the Chromium source, we're not aware of any examples just yet, however. We'll let you know when we spot any slick, new extensions which do surface.

Chrome 11 beta adds new experimental APIs for proxies, Web navigation originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Multitude of reports allege SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall, was asked to leave Apple

More details reportedly emerge on SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall, leaving Apple

Now that Apple has announced that senior-vice-president of iOS, Scott Forstall was leaving the company, amid storms and market-closings, various additional information is surfacing on the story, at least from Apple's perspective. Namely, it's now being claimed that Forstall was fired.

First up, Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac got his hands on the memo Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, sent to employees following the news, which unlike the press release, takes the time to thank Forstall.

I am also announcing that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to me during the interim. I want to thank Scott for all of his many contributions to Apple over his career.

However, Adam Lashinsky from Fortune is being told that things weren't so happy behind Apple's famously closed doors.

It is being said that Forstall didn't get along with Jony Ive. The knighted designer won that battle. Apple named him the chief of all "human interface" on Monday. Reading between the lines, that means software in addition to hardware. Design lovers hated the paper "shredder" that Apple introduced with its Passbook product. Ive, a fan of minimalism, must have hated it too. Watch for Apple to kill it.

Lashinsky also says Forstall refused to sign the iOS 6 Maps apology letter, something echoed by Nick Wingfield of the New York Times:

While tensions between Mr. Forstall and other executives had been mounting for some time, a recent incident appeared to play a major role in his dismissal. After an outcry among iPhone customers about bugs in the company’s new mobile maps service, Mr. Forstall refused to sign a public apology over the matter, dismissing the problems as exaggerated, according to people with knowledge of the situation who declined to be named discussing confidential matters.

Instead, Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, in September signed the apology letter to Apple customers over maps.

Chris Ziegler of The Verge has heard likewise.

Sources tell us that Forstall has a reputation for deflecting blame, and with fallout intensifying over the Maps situation, now may have seemed like a good time for Apple to part ways with a man who'd done a good job making enemies over the years: Hurricane Sandy has given the company two days of market close to let investor reaction stabilize. Amazingly, it's said that Forstall's coworkers were so excited to show him the door that they volunteered to split up his workload.

Om Malik of GigaOm claims Forstall's departure wasn't planned long in advance, and that reaction inside Apple has been largely positive.

Forstall’s firing was met with a sense of quiet jubilation, especially among people who worked in the engineering groups. Or as one of my sources quipped: there are a lot of people going for celebratory drinks, even if there is a little bit of doubt about their roles in the future.

Again, all this reads like Apple's perspective on the matter. Jessica E. Lessin of The Wall Street Journal also repeats the maps and apology letter story, but then offers some perspective from whats seems like Forstall's perspective. First, that he believed Apple could handle maps without apologizing, but also:

Mr. Forstall recently told people that there is no "decider" now that Mr. Jobs is gone, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

Mr. Forstall also recently sent some members of Apple's iOS software team an email saying that he felt the group wasn't working on enough big ideas in mobile software, according to a person briefed on the email.

If there was indeed a power struggle or a contention as to who would guide Apple's products going forward, however, it seems inarguable that Forstall lost. It also seems like Apple was willing to make hard decisions and to sacrifice even extremely talented, long tenured individuals for what they felt was the good of the company moving forward.

If it came down to a choice between Jony Ive (and Bob Mansfield) and Scott Forstall, or of Tim Cook's leadership and Scott Forstall's ambitions, it's tough to argue the call. It's not so tough to see the faith and trust being put into Jony Ive and his design sensibilities, which have so far been manifested more in hardware than software, and Craig Federighi's engineering skills, which have only recently earned him the top spot in OS X, never mind iOS.

This is either an Apple -- and more specifically a Tim Cook -- as rightly confident in their ability to manage people as they are in their ability to project product, or an Apple already fraying at the seams about to experience another serious escalation in load and stress.

I'm very much hoping it's the former.

Source: 9to5Mac, Fortune, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, GigaOm

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Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier

windows phone 7 nodoSome of you who own Windows Phone 7 devices are still waiting for your pre-NoDo preparation update -- never mind NoDo itself. A few workarounds have been posted, but unfortunately they didn't work unless your carrier had completed testing and was ready to schedule the update.

Now, however, the Chevron WP7 team's Chris Walshie has delivered a handy little utility that will allow you to update any Windows Phone 7 device -- regardless of your carrier.
  1. Download and install the Windows Phone Support Tool (x86 or x64) and the ChevronWP7 Updater (x86 or x64)
  2. Launch ChevronWP7 Updater and select your language. If your language isn't listed, stop and do not update.
  3. If were running WP7 build 7004 (you can verify in Zune) then run the updater twice.
Once the process completes, you should be able to copy and paste to your heart's content. Let's just hope all this update foolishness gets sorted out before we're supposed to receive Mango.

Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad Mini Pre-Orders Sold Out in 2 Minutes in Hong Kong? (Update)

Screen Shot 2012-10-26 at 4.12.31 PM

Pre-orders for the iPad mini went live at 3 in the afternoon and they seemingly went like hotcakes. Just within two minutes, all the iPad mini's pre-orders were sold out on Apple Online Store in Hong Kong. How is this suppose to sell out within just a few minutes? It is unreasonable. Hong Kong seems to be a special case while Apple is still accepting pre-orders in other countries. What happen with Hong Kong Apple online store?

Update: Hong Kong is the latest region that Apple starts accepting pre-orders of iPad Mini. Pre-order an iPad mini here.


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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Angry Birds Now Invades 1,500 McDonald’s in China (Videos)


The Golden Arches of McDonald's have now became a giant slingshot that hurls the Red Bird across China. This is a special location-based campaign jointly launched by TBWA Shanghai and Rovio. The campaign has launched in 1,500 stores in the country and it will try to engage their target audiences to interact with the game and McDonald's food.


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Google's Matias Duarte answers burning Nexus questions

Android CentralAndroid interface design guru and shirt connoisseur Matias Duarte has taken to Google+ to answer fans' questions about the upcoming Nexus devices and Android 4.2.

One of the first subjects tackled in the G+ post was the new system button placement on Android 4.2 tablets like the Nexus 10. The new Samsung Nexus tablet, unlike predecessors like the Motorola Xoom, ditches a split system bar and notification area, instead opting for a Nexus 7-like status bar up top. Duarte says this is about keeping the Android experience consistent and simple across multiple categories of device --

This new configuration is based on usability research we did on all of the different form factors and screen sizes that Android runs on. What mattered most of all was muscle memory - keeping the buttons where you expect them, no matter how you hold the device.

Duarte says that in Jelly Bean, the system buttons automatically gravitate towards the bottom of the device, unless doing so would reduce the available vertical space too much.

In addition, Duarte addressed the question of SD cards, which are absent from Google's Nexus devices --

Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it's just confusing for users. If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.

That's the user experience side of the argument, but if you want to get a bit more technical, you should check out Jerry Hildenbrand's take on why Google's Nexus devices lack removable storage.

More: Why Nexus devices have no SD card

Source: +Matias Duarte

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iMore show 322: Apple iPad and Mac event breakdown

Rene Ritchie and special guest Jim Dalrymple of The Loop talk Apple's October event, including the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iPad 4, and iPad mini. This is the iMore show.




You can reach all of us on Twitter @iMore, or you can email us at or just leave us a comment below.

For all our podcasts -- audio and video -- including the iMore show, ZEN and TECH, Iterate, and more, see

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