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Nvidia Kal-El Chips On Target For Q3 2011

Later this year, mobile phones and tablets will be powered by the next generation of Tegra chips, currently known as the Tegra 'Kal-El'. A video has shown up on YouTube showing the a Kal-El chip, boasting a quad-core and expected to be running around 1.5GHz, running a stress test demo called Glowball. A glowing ball is seen moving around, casting light and shadows as it moves around the screen.

Manufacturers of mobile phones and tablets are expected to start production of Kal-El powererd devices in August ready to go on sale before the end of the year.

Asus Padfone Announced at Computex 2011

Today at Computex 2011 Asus has announce the Asus Padfone.  The device, both Tablet PC and Mobile Phone, will be running the Android operating system although which version is currently not known.

In terms of hardware, there's not too much detail there either.  What is known is that the device(s) shown at Computex today were a phone carrying a 4.3 inch display docking to a tablet pc carrying a 10.1 inch display but Asus said they have yet to settle on final dimensions.

The press release from Asus stated: "This convergent device combines a smartphone and a tablet computer into one symbiotic gadget that allows consumers to choose the screen size that best fits their activities while seamlessly sharing data and 3G internet access."

 

Nokia E6 Release Date Confirmed - Pre Order Now

Symbian Anna smartphone, the Nokia E6, has gone pre-order over on the Nokia website.  Once ordered you can expect you spanking new Nokia to be shipped by the end of June, exact date unknown as yet.

Price on the handset are pretty much the same with a SIM-Free version of the device costing £349.00 or a Pay As You Say (*Go) costing around £339.00 saving a whopping tenner.  Easy Nokia.  Alternatively, if you're not satisfied emptying the wallet up front you can opt for a monthly deal costing £25 per month on Vodafone or £25.53 per month on T-Mobile bring your total Nokia investment to £600 over the 24 month contract.

Brief specs on the Nokia E6 list a 2.4 inch 640x480 capacitive touch screen, WiFi, Bluetooth and 8GB Internal Memory.

 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play White Finally On Sale At O2

The software issues plaguing the release of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play have finally been sorted and you can now get the handset on the O2 network.

O2 are offering the device from free to £299.99 on a contract deal.  Alternatively, you could grab yourself a PAYG and splash out the £429.99 for the phone.

Specs on the device list Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 4 inch multi-touch display, 5MP camera and 400MB internal storage. 

HTC Puccini Release Date - July?

Well, it's no real surprise we've been hearing about another HTC device this week.  This time it was the HTC Puccini or, more to the point, the release date of the 10.1 Inch Tablet.

According to sources of DigiTimes, the HTC tablet is set to enter mass production in June 2011 leaving us in hope of a release date of around July or August 2011 although no official details of the tablet have come from HTC as yet.

Brief specs on the device list a 10.1 inch display, 1.5GHz processor and Android 3.01, we'll keep our ears to the ground for more information.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Android 2.3.3 Update Rolling Out Now

Owners of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc in Europe started to receive the Android 2.3.3 update to their handsets yesterday.  However, Xperia Arc users will have to wait until the end of the year to receive Android 2.3.4 according to Sony Ericsson Italy.

Android 2.3.3 is described by Google as being a small feature release that adds several improvements and APIs to the Android Gingerbread platform.  The main feature changes being connectivity with added and changed API's for NFC and Bluetooth.

4G UK Testing to Kick Off Before End Of The Year

Super high speed 4G broadband is expected to begin testing before the end of this year.  Where do you need to live to get this new technology?  Cornwall!  That's right, Everything Everywhere (T-Mobile and Orange alliance) and BT are seeking testers in the Cornwall area to trial the new service set to run from September to December of his year.

After successful testing 4G technology will be rolled out in 2014 to the rest of the country with networks bidding for use of the spectrum next year.  The 4G will use the same system currently delivering the analog signal to your TV which is gradually being switched off.

Speed expectations on the network are around the 100Mbits per second level, which will finally deliver competition to Virgin Media which is currently still rolling out their 100Mbit broadband cross the country.  The UK is one of the only major markets not currently operating a 4G network, counties using the network include Germany, Sweden, Japan and the US with Brazil putting their infrastructure in place for the 2014 World Cup.

Windows Phone Mango Update Release Date - Autumn!

Microsoft officially unveiled the next version of Windows Phone today, code named "Mango".  The new release is touted to carry over 500 updates, changes and new features.

Greg Sullivan, senior product manager of mobile communications at Microsoft said:

“When we looked ahead to the next release, we wanted to stay true to the principles of Windows Phone 7 – that software should get out of your way and quickly connect you to the things that matter most,”...“Mango builds on the work that we did in Windows Phone 7 and extends a lot of key scenarios around communications, apps, and Internet experiences – with even more capability and a deeper level of integration.”

Communication

According to the Microsoft press release; Mango’s new People Hub will integrate all of the ways in which people interact. So, whether one is connected to a person on Facebook, Twitter, Outlook, LinkedIn, Windows Live Messenger or all of the above, these avenues to connectivity will be in one, easy-to-access location.  Beats having 5 apps for 5 jobs.

Other Communication features will include:

  • Personalized Live Tiles making it possible for users to easily access individuals or groups from the home screen. Individuals can be pinned to the start screen as Live Tiles, providing users with at-a-glance access to real-time updates from social network feeds and notifications without having to open multiple apps. 
  • Multiple email accounts can be combined and linked into one inbox.
  • Built-in voice-to-text/text-to-voice functionality which will allow for hands-free texting or chatting.

Application Features

App features in Mango will include:

  • Improved Live Tiles, which provides even more real-time information to the home screen. Live Tiles on Mango can be more dynamic and contain more information.
  • Multitasking allows users to quickly switch between recently used applications and pick up where they left off by simply pressing and holding the back button.
  • Live Agents, which enables developers to create a number of multitasking apps for scenarios involving media, communications, augmented reality and more – all without compromising battery life and performance.

Browser Features

Well, Mango will come complete with IE9, supporting HTML5 and powered by a hardware-accelerated graphics card.  Microsoft expects this to mirror the desktop browsing experience.

In MS's final comment they said: “For those who have seen the phone, you can see the light bulb go off,” Sullivan said. “It’s like they suddenly realize they should be expecting more from their smartphones. I think we're set up to surprise a lot of folks with how big a leap we've taken with Mango.”

 

Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile UK Available Now

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is now available on T-Mobile UK.

For £35.75 a month you can get your hands on the sequel to the popular and much talked about Samsung Galaxy S.

The phone comes free along with 900 minutes, 500 texts, internet and a free booster.

Updated 09/06/2011:  There's still no news on a US release date and whether this is all due to the Apple vs Samsung argument that's currently being played out seems quite likely.

iPhone 5 Screen to be Curved, Sounds Familiar!

The latest rumour on Apple's popular and hotly anticipated iPhone 5 is that the device will feature a curved glass screen!

The rumour, direct from Digitimes' sources, say i-device manufacturer Apple has had to buy between 200 and 300 special glass cutting machines to create the non-standard screens because they're too expensive for the manufacturers to invest in which isn't surprising given theoretical costs of mass production of such a screen.

Sound Familiar?

Cast your minds back to 16th December 2010.  The Nexus S also featured a curved glass screen, measuring 4 inches.  It's hard to believe Apple would go for a mobile phone feature like this without accepting a copy-cat label along with it. We're taking this rumour, along with most surrounding Apple products, with a handful of salt.

HTC Holiday Tech Specs Come to Light

Another HTC mobile phone has been outed today.  The device, code named 'Holiday', came to light from leaked ROM over at 911sniper.com.

The new HTC device will be breaking the 4.3 Inch mold set by...HTC, fitting the device with a larger 4.5 Inch qHD 960x540 display.

Tech Specs

The specs of device, although not confirmed are making this handset look like a top-end device:

Display 4.5 Inch (960x540) qHD
Processor 1.2GHz Dual Core Qualcomm
RAM 1GB
Camera Front Facing 1.3MP
Rear Facing 8MP
Operating System Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
Connectivity Bluetooth 3.0
WiFi 802.11b/g/n

Information on this device hitting the UK is nonexistent but it's likely the device will make it over here to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation, we'll keep our ears to the ground and see what comes up.

HTC EVO 3D Tech Specs and UK Release Date News

Are you waiting patiently for the HTC EVO 3D to come to the UK?  We'll we've got some news for you.

The latest news on the HTC 3D smartphone is that the Vodafone UK network will be carrying the device and it will be available in the first 2 weeks of July.  If accurate, this will make the EVO the second big release from the Taiwanese manufacturer this half of the year and could maybe help us forget about the Incredible and Wildfire S.

Tech Specs


Processor 1.2GHz Dual Core
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB Internal
32GB micro-SD
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
HTC Sense UI
Display 4.3 Inch 3D SLCD
Features Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity Sensor
HTC Sense UI
Connectivity WiFi 802.11b/g/b
Micro-USB
Bluetooth v3.0+EDR+A2DP
3.5mm Audio Jack
Camera Rear Facing 5MP
Front Facing 1.3MP
Battery Li-Ion 1730mAh

The HTC EVO 3D is all set for a showdown with the LG Optimus 3D but on paper the EVO is already ahead in terms of specs.

Top 5 Changes In Android 2.4 We'd Like To See

With Android versions pouring out of Google HQ on what feels like a quarterly basis, we've put together our own top 5 list of changes we would like to see in the next Android version, be it 2.4 or whatever.

1. Car Home

This app comes in at top of our list.  The application works fine as expected but there appears to be a bug when, after completing  journey, I can't exit the app without turning the screen off, then on again.  For some odd reason the on-screen buttons no longer function correctly and I end up jumping screens, much to my frustration.  The problem did briefly disappear after the arrival of Android 2.3.3 but then re-appeared when 2.3.4 came along.  This must surely be a simple fix.

2. Market Home Page

I understand why the market layout had to change.  Tablets came along and the layout just didn't work....but, having a handset complete with app market including a market home screen which takes up half the screen seems a little pointless.  Maybe there isn't a way to distinguish between a tablet and a mobile device but then maybe the home page of the market should just be opened up altogether.

3. App Update Methods

The above kind of leads me on to the next bone of contention.  The update process with Android apps is a nightmare.  I don't like the fact that some apps are automatically set to auto-update and trying to find out which ones are and which ones are is another rabbit hole.  In my opinion, all apps should be set to manual update until ticked as otherwise.  No app should be allowed to automatically update itself without permission.  Perhaps I've missed something but I haven't found a setting to do this.

4. Background Applications

This is another annoying one for me.  Applications that run for forever and a day in the background completely unnecessarily.  Some apps such as eBay and PayPal surely have no reason to be running.  It would be nice to be able to disable apps like this as they are installed for use on the odd occasion, not on  daily basis and do not require this level of activity.

5. Memory Management

This is minor issue and more likely a hardware problem than a software problem.  After closing some apps it takes forever and a day for the home screen to return, the handset appeas to become sluggish and un-responsive.  Whether this is happening during a clean-up or release of resource process I'm not sure but it can take some time for the handset to recover.

HTC Sensation Now Available Free on Vodafone

The HTC Sensation is now available on the Vodafone UK network for free on a £35 a month deal.

HTC's latest Android handset was officially unveiled last month and features a 4.3 inch SLCD display, 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor and comes running Gingerbread 2.3.

The Vodafone 2 year deal comes with 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB data per month.

Sony Xperia Pro Mini and Huawei G7010 Show Up Online

Both the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro Mini and the Huawei G7010 have shown up on the O2 coming soon page tonight.

The handsets are showing a coming soon date of June 2011.

The Xperia Pro Mini comes running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM.

Xperia Mini Pro Tech Specs


Processor 1GHz Processor
RAM 512MB
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Storage 400MB Internal
Upto 32GB MicroSD
Camera 5MP LED Flash
Features Digital compass
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth v2.1
v2.0 microUSB

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Getting Honeycomb 3.1 In June!

Closely following in the footsteps of the Motorola Xoom, is the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and Asus Eee Pad Transformer.  Both tablets are confirmed, by their retrospective manufacturer, to be receiving the latest and greatest version of Android Honeycomb in early June.

How long this will take to roll out internationally is not known but the updates usually dribble over to the UK about a week or so after Uncle Sam.

So if stretchy widgets and USB support is something you've been waiting for then the wait is almost over.

Blackberry Playbook UK Release Date and Price

The Blackberry Playbook pricing and release date information has finally turned up online.  With the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models costing £399, £479 and £559 respectively, the Carphone Warehouse has officially put information up on their coming soon page in the last 24 hours.

Release Date

The Release date for RIM's first tablet, featuring a 7 inch display, 1GB RAM and font and rear cameras is June 16th, so just under a month to wait for you hardcore RIM fans.

Other UK electrical retailers will also be adding the Playbook to their shelves but don't expect too much variance in the price tag.

Flash 10.3 Finally Comes to Android - Update Now!!

Flash 10.3 has finally been released for Android.  We've been waiting since March for this update and it arrived for our device tonight.

The full version of the release is 10.3.181.14 and totals 4.22MB but over WIFI takes a mere 45 seconds to install.

The 'changes' listed on the Android Market display 'important bug fixes and security enhancements' but heading over to the Adobe site listed the following changes in this release:

 

  • Enabled NEON optimizations for OMAP4 (Cortex A-9) based devices. (2853030)
  • Corrected an issue on the Samsung Galaxy S where H.264 video at resolutions of 720p and below was not displayed. (2852889)
  • Android Apps using Browser Plug-ins like Flash Player in WebView no longer need to set android:hardwareAcceleration to True in their AndroidMainfest.xml for plug-in output to be rendered.  This was previously an issue on Android 3.0+ only.  (2834793)
  • Fixed a crash on the HTC EVO that some users encountered with specific video. (2855425)
  • Fixed an issue that caused video frames to stop rendering on long streaming videos (1 hour+) on some Motorola devices. (2855957)

HTC Sensation UK Prices Shows Up Online

The UK price for the HTC Sensation has shown up online.  You can pre-order your HTC Sensation at Play.com for the price of £499.99.

Play.com are showing the release date of the Sensation as June 30th, just over 6 weeks away.

Specs on the device include; 1.2GHz dual core Qualcomm processor, 768MB RAM and 1GB storage.

Head over to the Play.com HTC Sensation pre-order page here.

Android Honeycomb 3.1 Update UK Starts With Motorola Xoom

Android Honeycomb 3.1 Update started rolling out across the US on Tuesday.  The Motorola Xoom will be the first device to get the update with no doubt other devices will follow shortly as Google strive to bring the multiple versions of Android in-line.  The UK is expected to get the update within the next week.

Changes in the latest Android Honeycomb version are as follows:

  • Full support for the final release of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.2, delivering significant performance enhancements when viewing rich Flash content on the web.
  • Resizable widgets to enable further customization of home screens.
  • Support for USB-connected peripherals and accessories, such as keyboards, mice, game controllers and digital cameras.
  • Expanded Bluetooth features to support Bluetooth headsets in Google Talk™ video chats and Bluetooth mouse support in addition to additional shortcut keys with the Bluetooth keyboard.
  • Picture Transfer Protocol Feature support to enable easier transfer of photo files to your PC without the need for drivers.

Updated: 08/06/2011:  Well, in the absence of any updates or news from Motorola for the Xoom 3.1 UK update, we've contacted Motorola for a time frame but we're not going to hold our breath.  Given the fact that Motorola appear to be ignoring any and all requests for information on the UK version of the update we doubt they'll be getting back to us but maybe we can annoy it out of them.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich Officially Announced

Android Ice Cream Sandwich has officially been announced by Google at Google I/O.  The next version of the popular smartphone operating system has been described by Google as it's "most ambitious release to date" but no details were given regarding the version number, many believing it will be Android 2.4.

New features expected in the updated Android version are:

  • New multi-tasking system update.  Most likely the same as Honeycomb.
  • Holographic user interface.
  • Interactive home screen widgets.
  • Application launcher update.

Google also took the time to show off the new version logo:

Google's Mike Claren said: "We want one OS that runs everywhere." which affirms what was said a couple of months back regarding Honeycomb and Gingerbread meeting in the middle somewhere.  Android Ice Cream Sandwich will incorporate all the best bits of Android Honeycomb.

Expect to see Android Ice Cream Sandwich around Q4.

Top 5 Mobile Phones In 2011 So Far

As we make our way to the half way point of 2011 we thought it would be good to put together a top 5 mobile phones of 2011.....so far.  We are only looking at mobiles that are available to buy now so although there are some fantastic devices due for release, unfortunately they can't go on the list.

 

5. iPhone 4

Released in June 2010, the iPhone 4 is another 2010 device which makes it into our top 5 mobile phones for 2011.  Why?  Well it's probably the best iPhone yet and although it's almost a year old it remains a competitive device in the market today.  The iPhone 4 features an Apple A4 processor, thought to be running up to 800MHz, 512MB RAM, 3.5 inch LED backlit touch screen display and front and rear facing cameras.

4. Google Nexus S

There's really not much doubt, the Google Nexus S, follow up to the Nexus One, is still a great phone despite being 6 months old and despite a plethora of device releases so far this year.  The Nexus S was the first Android Gingerbread 2.3 device and was also the first NFC capable phone.

The Nexus S featured a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 512MB RAM, 4 inch Super AMOLED touch screen display and front and rear facing camera.  On initial release, the device, sim-free was £429.99 but the Nexus S can be yours now for around £300.

3. HTC Desire S

The smaller version of it's predecessor the HTC Desire, the Desire S whilst not a missive leap ahead for the range is a better device.  HTC have used what worked with the Desire and improved what didn't to bring the S.  The Desire S is another Android Gingerbread device, featuring a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 768MB RAM, 3.7 Inch SLCD touch screen and front and rear cameras.

If you're tempted by a Desire S, you can pick the handset up, SIM-free for around £350.

2. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

Another Android device in the top 5 but the Xperia Arc makes it here for it's sheer quality.  At only 8.7mm thick the cosmetic look and feel of Sony's offering with this device is quite incredible.  The 4.2 inch SLCD multi touch display also comes complete with Bravia technology.

The Xperia Arc features a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 4.2 inch display with multi-touch support, 512MB RAM, 1GB internal storage and comes running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  Prices for the Xperia Arc are around the £400 mark.

1. Samsung Galaxy S2

Well, it should come as no surprise to see the Galaxy S2 at the top of our list.  The follow up to the popular Samsung Galaxy S has quite literally taken everyone by storm.  Touted as now the fastest handset on the planet running a Dual Core 1.2GHz processor this handset is packed full of everything a mobile lover could want.

 

Processor 1GHz Dual Core
Display 4.3 Inch 400x800
Capacitive, Super AMOLED
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Micro-USB 2.0
Features Accelerometer
Proximity Sensor
Gyroscope
NFC
Storage Internal 16GB/32GB
Memory 1GB RAM
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Battery 1650 mAh
Multimedia Rear Facing 8.0MP Camera
Front Facing 2.0MP Camera
1080p/720p Video
3.5mm Audio jack

Having only been release at the beginning of this month, you can pick your Samsung Galaxy S2 up for around £450.

Apple iOS 4.3.3 Rolled Out - Location Fix

This week has see the roll out of Apple iOS 4.3.3.  The update addresses a number of issues but most importantly, it addresses the concerns of i-device owners around location tracking.

The update limits the time period of the location services cache as well as stopping the data being back up to a computer when the i-device is synced.  Perhaps most importantly, the cache is also now deleted when location services are switched off in settings.

Owners of the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch will be waiting longer for an update to roll out as iOS 4.3.3 is not supported on these devices.

Fix List

  1. Reduced size of the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache.
  2. No longer backs that cache up to iTunes.
  3. Deletes that cache entirely when Location Services turned off.
  4. Battery Life Improvement.

Blackberry Bold 9900 Shows Up On Vodafone

Scanning over the web tonight we've come across the Blackberry Bold Touch, aka the Blackberry Bold 9900, on the Vodafone UK coming soon page.

As per the usual anti-climax, there's no information on a release date, nor are there any price plans.

The Blackberry Bold 9900 which features a single core 1.2GHz processor, Blackberry operating system 7 and a 2.8 inch touch screen is expected to be release in the summer.

Head over to the Vodafone coming soon page where you'll find the Blackberry Bold 9900.

Acer Iconia A500 Turns Up On Dabs.com

Dabs.com tonight have sent out an email shot announcing their first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, the Acer Iconia A500.

The Acer Honeycomb tablet is on sale on the UK distributors website for just £449.

Check out the Dabs.com tablet page for more information here.

Blackberry Bold Touch to Release This Summer

RIM has officially unveiled the Blackberry Bold Touch, otherwise known as the Blackberry 9900.

The new handset from RIM features a 1.2GHz single core processor, OS 7 as well as built in NFC.

Tech Specs

Processor 1.2GHz Single Core
Memory 768MB
Display 2.8 Inch Capacitive Touch
Storage 8GB On Board - 32GB Micro-SD Support
Camera 5MP Rear Facing
Connectivity Bluetooth v2.1+EDR
Dual Band WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Sensors Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Proximity Sensor
GPS
Operating System Blackberry 7
Battery 1230 mAh
Weight 130g
Dimensions 115mm x 66mm x 10.5mm

The Blackberry Bold Touch is touted as the slimmest Blackberry yet measuring just 10.5mm thick and together with Blackberry OS 7, which features improved browsing, support for HTML5 and Blackberry Balance this could well be a large stride forward for RIM but could still leave them a good 10 paces behind the likes of Android and Apple but this could be the best hybrid yet.

Release Date

The Blackberry Bold Touch has been given a summer release date for the UK by RIM but they have been no more specific than that and we're a bit far off for pricing and network deals.

Android 2.3.4 Nexus One And S Update Coming

The latest update to the popular Google Android operating system adds one major feature as well as addressing some bugs.

Android 2.3.4 is rolling out across the planet as we speak so if you're the proud owner or even just an owner of a Nexus One or Nexus S prepare to get the update over the air.

The much talked about feature added in the latest update is video calling in Google Talk.  Google posted:

Previously only available to tablet users on Android 3.0, Google Talk with video and voice chat is now available on Android phones running 2.3.4 that have front-facing cameras, starting with Nexus S."

However, this feature will not be available for the Nexus One so don't get too excited, Nexus One is front-facing camera-less.

 

Other fixes are as follows:

  • Phone shuts down or reboots: a very small percentage of users reported this problem, which is fixed with the latest release. (Nexus S)
  • WiFi & 3G icons both indicate active: for anyone who saw this strange behavior in your phone’s status bar, it should now be fixed. (Nexus S)
  • Battery life: some users let us know that their batteries didn’t seem to be lasting as long; battery life should be improved for these folks. (Nexus One)
  • GPS location/navigation: some Nexus One users who noticed location and navigation problems after updating to 2.3.3 should notice improved location accuracy. (Nexus One)

Where To Get Your White iPhone 4

The White iPhone 4 has officially been available since Saturday 28th April and if you're one of the many asking, "Where can I get one?", we've got the answers.

If you're after the 16GB White iPhone 4, Vodafone have the handset available with the phone costing an initial £89 on a £40 per month 2 year deal.  The contract includes 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB data.

Don't fancy Vodafone?  O2 are selling the white iPhone but only in their UK stores so contract pricing and initial costs are as yet unknown.  Alternatively you can head over to the Carphone Warehouse who are distributing the White handset on the O2 network.

Three UK are also selling the much anticipated iPhone on a £35 per month deal with an initial handset cost of £69.  Three's 2 year deal includes 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and 'all-you-can-eat data' the major draw back being, you've got to wait until 13th May!