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Samsung Galaxy Z Tech Specs and Features

Samsung Galaxy Z specs and features have shown up over on Three Sweden.  The handset, currently unannounced by Samsung, touts a 4.2 inch display, 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 and 5MP camera.

On paper, the device isn't as powerful as the Samsung Galaxy S II but still seems a reasonable handset perhaps slotting in at mid-market.  The pre-order page over at Three values the Galaxy Z at €435 which is about £400 or $630 dependent on your currency.

The Galaxy Z is also running Android 2.3 Gingerbread but doesn't feature a SUPER AMOLED, instead, uses a 800x480 Super Clear LCD.

Updated 01/07/2011: Turns out the Samsung Galaxy Z wont be hitting the UK. 

HP Touchpad UK Release Date Officially Announced

The HP TouchPad UK release date has officially been announced as July 15th, two full weeks after the US release date, not as HP stated 'a few days later '.

You'll be able to get your hands on one from HP.com, PCWorld, Amazon and many more retailers and prices are set at around £399 for the 16GB model, or £479 for the 32GB version as revealed by us the other day in our HP TouchPad UK Price article.

HP Personal Systems Group Vice President stated: It really is a fantastic device, combining cutting edge hardware with a world class leading operating system. HP is taking the user experience to a new level. Just Type, True multi tasking, HP Synergy and Touch to Share, combine to make an experience that works the way you do. And the TouchPad is just the start. Expect to see more HP products powered by WebOS in the very near future.

Google+ Takes On Social Giant Facebook

Global search giant Google has launch it's latest product Google+ to take on experienced social networking site Facebook in what is widely seen as it's latest attempt to scupper the social networking sites global hold on millions of users' data despite previous failure with Google Buzz.

The new project from Google, will allow the sharing of photos, messages and comments as is part of the current service offering from Facebook, but unlike Facebook, will also integrate maps, images, video chat as well as helping users to organise contacts within groups.

Google are touting the following features which will help them to become a permanent player in social networking:

  • Circles will add functionality that will allow the placing of friends in groups and the sharing of different forms of content within these groups.
  • Hangouts will allow video conferencing between friends, letting them drop in and out of live calls.
  • Huddle will be a group instant messaging service.
  • Sparks will allow the connecting of individuals with common interests.

Google+ is clearly using the negatives of Facebook to create it's unique selling points but areas where Facebook has fallen down have rarely been corrected to 100% satisfaction of it's user base, as has consistently been the case with privacy.

Google+ in it's early stages has currently only been rolled out to a limited number of users but the company has said it will soon make the social network available to the millions of individuals that use its services every day.

Take a peek at the video below for a quick look at the Google+ Project.

Samsung Galaxy S2 Remains Top UK Mobile Phone

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 remains the UK's most popular mobile phone for the second month running according to uSwitch.com.  It's no real surprise the S2 remains top and the run is likely to continue for at least a few more months as the Korean manufacturers device continues to get rave reviews and praise from it's user base.

The Apple iPhone 4 also remains in second place with the HTC Sensation making an appearance in third place, knocking the HTC Desire to fourth.  Coming in a lowly fifth was the Blackberry Curve 8250.

Top 10 Mobile Phone according to uSwitch.com data


Position Device Change
1. Samsung Galaxy SII -
2. Apple iPhone 4 -
3. HTC Sensation Up 3
4. HTC Desire Down 1
5. Blackberry Curve 8250 Up 3
6. Samsung Galaxy S Up 1
7. HTC Wildfire Down 2
8. HTC Desire S Down 4
9. HTC Wildfire S -
10. Blackberry Torch 9800 -

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is yet to make an appearance in the US but is expected within the next few months.

HP TouchPad UK Prices Revealed

HP TouchPad UK prices have turned up on the carphonewarehouse pre-order page.  The page reveals that for the 16GB UK version of the TouchPad you'll need to shell out £399, a full £1 less than our original TouchPad price estimates. For the full capacity 32GB UK version you'll need to hand over £479 which is a full £21 under our original expectations.  These prices are inline with the prices shown both on the HP Store and Amazon.

The HP TouchPad is expected to hit the US on Friday with the UK following a few days later according to HP although Amazon UK is currently showing a release date of July 15th.  Head over to the carphone warehouse or Amazon pre-order page now to get on the list.

HTC Evo 3D Finally Appears On Vodafone UK

After officially being announced yesterday by HTC, the Evo 3D has today turned up on the Vodafone UK coming soon page. This fits perfectly into the July Vodafone release date we heard about last month meaning, if rumours are correct, we'll see the first non-LG 3D smartphone hit the UK next month.

Vodafone have not given anymore information on their page other than a handful of Evo 3D specs but contracts on the device are rumoured to hit at around £35 per month with a SIM free version is expected to set you back around £499 although no official announcement has been made as yet.

HTC Evo 3D UK Release Officially Announced

HTC has officially announced the HTC Evo 3D will be available in Europe from July all but confirming rumours we heard last month stating the Evo 3D will hit Vodafone UK in the first two weeks of July.  Before the announcement today the Evo 3D had only been available in the US but it looks like HTC is stepping up to take a chunk of LG's 3D market share.

On glasses-free 3D, HTC states: "The stunning stereoscopic display means that 3D effects can be enjoyed naturally as images and video burst from the screen, free of the burden of 3D glasses. Relive precious moments as if you were there and watch videos captured by HTC Evo 3D's dual 5-megapixel cameras shimmer and dance with depth."

The Evo 3D features a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, Android 2.3 Gingerbread complete with HTC Sense and dual rear facing 5MP cameras with a 1.3MP front facing camera.

Announcements on pricing have not yet been made but if Vodafone UK carry the device contracts are expect to start at around £35 per month for a free device or £499 for a SIM free HTC Evo 3D.

Huawei MediaPad Launched Running Android 3.2

Another unveiling last week in Singapore was the Huawei MediaPad.  Announced as the worlds first 7 inch tablet to be running Android 3.2 (the final release of Android before Android Ice Cream Sandwich releases at the end of this year).

Huawei's Chief Marketing Officer said: "With the Huawei MediaPad, we are demonstrating yet again that design, functionality and performance is within anyone's reach. The 7-inch tablet remains the preferred size for portability and Android Honeycomb 3.2 is dedicated to enhance the full potential of 7-inch tablets. Huawei is very pleased to be the first to offer this package to consumers globally."

The MediaPad will come running a Qualcomm dual core 1.2GHz processor, Android Honeycomb 3.2 and will feature a 7 inch display, 5MP rear facing camera and 1080p HD video playback.

Processor 1.2GHz Dual Core Qualcomm
Operating System Android Honeycomb 3.2
Display 7 Inch LCD Capacitive Multi Touch
1280x800
Camera Rear Facing 5MP
Front Facing 1.3MP
Connectivity WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth
Storage 4GB Internal
micro-SD Upto 32GB
Features Accelerometer
GPS
Battery 4100mAh

There's no word on a release date for the device nor a price but the device will be available globally which infers a release date of around late August or early September.

Sony Ericsson txt Details Emerge

Another mobile unveiled by Sony this week, the Sony Ericsson txt, bore an incredible likeness to the HTC ChaCha.  The txt is described by Sony as "...the perfect phone for easy and fast messaging on the move" and looks to have clearly been designed as competition to the likes of the HTC ChaCha and Blackberry devices although targeted specifically to social integration.

The txt will run Sony's operating system and feature a full qwerty keyboard, 3.2 MP camera, 2.6 inch display and 100MB built in storage but let's face it, if you're buying a device built for social interactivity your probably not interested in specs.

In terms of applications and integration, the full qwerty will help keep your status' legible and the device also comes with a “friends” application that enables users to see Facebook and Twitter updates at a glance from their top five friends.  You'll also get Google Talk and Google Mail.

According to the Sony, the txt will be available in Q3 and whilst pricing hasn't been announced we'll take a guess this will be an entry level device from Sony most likely available on PAYG for around £100.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 UK Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 UK release date has officially been announced as August 4th 2011.  Both WiFi and 3G versions of the tablet will go on sale next month and working with US prices a WiFi version of the tablet could cost around £499.

As of yet, Samsung has not release official pricing on the device but we do know Vodafone will be carrying the device as we reported a couple of weeks ago.

According to the press release the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 will also be released later on this year (perhaps in time as a stocking filler).

Official Press Release

24th June 2011, London, UK – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the latest in its Galaxy Tab range, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, will be available in the UK on 4th August 2011.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in both 3G and WiFi only versions and launches with latest version of Android, Honeycomb 3.1, which is designed specifically for tablet devices.

The latest addition to Samsung's Galaxy Tab range features a 10.1 inch crystal clear WXGA TFT LCD screen, weighs only 565 grams and is the world's thinnest mobile tablet of its screen size measuring just 8.6 millimetres.

Supporting network speeds of up to 21Mbps and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 is equipped to deliver fast mobile download speeds and reduce data transfer time. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 includes a 1GHz dual core application processor, with the latest NVIDIA® Tegra 2™ chip, ideal for entertainment such as movies, games and e-books, browsing the web or staying connected with email or messaging services. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has a 3 megapixel rear and 2 megapixel front camera with 1080p HD video and Flash playback and is available in both black and white.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes packed with content and services, pre-loaded with Samsung's Readers Hub and Music Hub, providing instant access to more than 2.2 million books, 2,000 newspapers, 2,300 magazines and 13 million songs. Also built in is a specialised tablet version of Samsung's Social Hub, which integrates email, instant messaging, mobile contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also delivers console quality gaming, with Gyroscope and Accelerometer for interaction and motion control, powered by 'mobile super chip' NVIDIA® Tegra 2™ for mind-blowing graphics.

Simon Stanford, Managing Director, Mobile, Samsung UK and Ireland said: "The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the latest example of Samsung's ongoing innovation in this market and commitment to the Android platform. Our Galaxy family all feature a premium design, excellent screens and are packed with compelling entertainment features. We plan to deliver exciting new user experiences and lead the tablet market in the months and years to come."

In addition to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 announcement, Samsung has also confirmed that the next in the Galaxy Tab range, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, will also be available later this year in the UK. Like the 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is incredibly slim and light at just 8.6 mm and 470 grams.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 join the original 7inch device to provide a range of Samsung tablets for consumers to choose from. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available in a range of UK retailers alongside a portfolio of accessories on 4th August 2011.

Android Honeycomb 3.2 To Release Summer

Android 3.2 Honeycomb is expected to be officially released in the summer on Huawei's flagship tablet, Huawei MediaPad.  So what's different about Android 3.2?  Well, for a start, the latest version of Honeycomb is specifically geared at 7 inch tablets and it will be the final major release of Android until Android Ice Cream Sandwich hits in Q4.

Android 3.2 will also bring support for Qualcomm and nVidia Tegra 2 processors which will work nicely with Huawei's MediaPad as the tablet runs Qualcomm's dual core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor.

Other changes include better hardware acceleration, bug fixes and updates to Movie Studio, Movies, Music and widgets.

Devices expected to receive the update include Motorola Xoom, Eee Pad Transformer and Iconia Tab.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Unveiled

Another unveiling in Singapore from Sony Ericsson yesterday was the Xperia Ray.  Boxed running Android 2.3 Gingerbread powered by a single core 1GHz processor, this handset is aimed at users "who are looking for a combination of beautiful design and a rich feature set" according to Daniel Sandblom, Global Product Marketing Manager for Sony Ericsson.

Tech Specs


Processor 1GHz Single Core
Memory 512MB
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Display 3.3 Inch (854x480)
Capacitive Touch
Storage 300MB Internal
4GB micro-SD Inc'
Camera 8.1MP Rear Facing
VGA Front Facing
Connectivity Bluetooth
WiFi
3.5mm Audio Jack
micro-USB 2.0
Features Accelerometer
Battery 1500mAh

Just as with the Xperia Active, the Xperia Ray is penciled for a Q3 release.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active Unveiled

Sony Ericsson yesterday unveiled the Xperia Active, an offering from Sony Ericsson claiming to be targeted at users with an active lifestyle.

According to Sony Ericsson, the Xperia Active will come pre-loaded with sports apps to enable users to track their fitness levels.  These apps will include real time heart rate and pulse monitoring while iMapMyFitness will monitor day to day performance with Facebook inside Xperia allowing users to share their progress and experiences with friends.

Sony Ericsson's Global Product Marketing Manager Frank Månsson said:

"Xperia™ active is the ultimate smartphone for an active life. Not only is it packed with all the features and applications consumers need for a worry free mobile life, it also comes with a set of accessories that make it fun and easy for them to take it everywhere, whatever their daily plans are."

Tech Specs


Processor 1GHz Processor
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 320MB
2GB SD Inc'
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Display 3 Inch (320x480)
Camera 5MP Rear Facing
Connectivity WiFi
Bluetooth
3.5mm Audio Jack
micro-USB
Features Accelerometer
Compass
Barometer
Battery 1200mAh

Other features of the Xperia Active include scratch resistant screen, water resistance and inclusive wrist strap and arm case for use 'on-the-go'.

In terms of a release date, Sony have stated the device will be released in Q3 most likely meaning an August release.

Samsung Chromebook UK Release Date

The Samsung Chromebook Series 5 laptop will be hitting UK shelves tomorrow and will be releasing to mixed reviews.  It is widely commented that what the Chromebook does well (online) it does very well but what it doesn't do well (Offline) it does terribly.  Whatever you read, reasons for purchasing a Chromebook will always be subjective just as is the case for PCs, Windows Laptops and Tablets.  Perhaps an argument is there to say Google aims to fill a gap in the market that just doesn't exist...yet.

Whichever side of the fence you are on, the Chromebook releases tomorrow and has been available for pre-order on both Amazon and PC World for some time now.  Purchasing your Chromebook will set you back around £349 for the WiFi version or £399 for the 3G version.  With the integration of Cloud storage, the device will carry just 16GB of internal storage and whether there will be online storage limits upon release or in the future is not clear.

In terms of features and specs:

Processor 1.66GHz Intel ATOM
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Operating System Chrome OS
Display 12.1 Inch
Video Outputs VGA
Connectivity WiFi
3.5mm Audio Jack
Mic-In
3 x USB 2.0
Dimensions 294.2mmx20mmx219.5mm

The Chromebook is also expected to come with a full qwerty keyboard as well as 4 in 1 card reader and multi-touch trackpad.

Motorola Xoom Android 3.1 Worldwide Rolling Out Now

We know what you're thinking and to be honest, we're thinking it too - It's about time.  Finally, over a month after Motorola Xoom users in the US started receiving the Android Honeycomb 3.1 Motorola have finally started rolling the update out to the rest of the world.

The update started rolling out in Japan yesterday and is expected to roll out to the rest of the world over the next few weeks.

A post over at the Motorola Owners forum stated:

"Good news! The 3.1 update for the Motorola XOOM™ outside the U.S. has started. Owners in Japan started receiving the update today (June 21). Owners in other regions can expect updates to start over the next several weeks until the roll out is complete. Motorola has responded to the widely-expressed desire to have the SD card activated on Motorola XOOM. The 3.1 update for non-U.S. devices, in addition to many other improvements, also includes an SD card activation solution. Release notes for this update will be made available in each region. Please note that functionality varies by region."

Well they do say good things come to those who wait.

Xperia Neo Red Exclusively Hitting Vodafone

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo colored Vodafone-Red has turned up on the Vodafone UK coming soon page.  The Xperia Neo was launched at Mobile World Congress back in February but it feels about a year ago already, and has now turned up in red on the Vodafone which states the device will be old exclusively on the Vodafone network.

The Xperia Neo features a 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear facing camera, 320MB internal storage and comes running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

There's no information on an arrival date but head over to the Vodafone Xperia Neo Red coming soon page to get more information in the meantime.

Nokia N9 MeeGo Flagship Phone Unveiled

The Nokia N9 has been unveiled today in Singapore, set to be the troubled Finnish companies new flagship smartphone and powered by MeeGo.  The device features an 'all-screen' design and what Nokia's branded 'One Swipe' which, according to the Nokia press release "introduces an innovative new design where the home key is replaced by a simple gesture: a swipe. Whenever you're in an application, swiping from the edge of the display takes you home."

The Nokia N9 features a NFC, 8MP camera - complete with Carl Zeiss lens, 64GB storage, 3.9 Inch AMOLED Display and 1GB RAM and will be available in three colors - black, cyan, and magenta with storage options of 16GB and 64GB.

The release date on the N9 has not yet been announced but Nokia have promised the new device will be available in stores later this year.

The company has also release cheaper devices C2-02, C2-03 and C2-06 running Symbian Series 40.

LG Optimus 3D UK Release Date Revealed

Carphone Warehouse has today revealed it will be selling the long awaited glasses-free LG Optimus 3D from 27th June.  You can get over to Carphone Warehouse to pre-order the device now and get it for 'week commencing 27th June' according o information on the site.

The LG Optimus 3D will be the first 3D phone in the UK and features a 1GHz dual core processor, 4.3 Inch 3D capacitive touch screen with both recording and viewing camera abilities.

Price

Pricing on the LG 3D device has been set at £499.95 for a SIM Free version or £35 per month for a free device on a 2 year deal.  There's not yet any information regarding the exclusivity of this deal but we heard not long ago Orange would be picking up this device to sell in July/August giving CPW a couple of months head start.

Blackberry Bold 9900 Three UK Release Date

The Blackberry Bold 9900 has turned up on the Three UK network's coming soon page with a date of September.

Initially the page went up with a coming soon date of August but was quickly revised to September presumably due to either overly ambitious expectations or mis-communications.

The Blackberry Bold 9900 features a 1.2GHz Snapdragon Processor, 2.8 Inch display, Qwerty keyboard and NFC technology.

HTC Desire WILL See Gingerbread Says HTC

Well, don't throw away your HTC Desire just yet and if you have already you better get routing through the bin.  HTC has done a spectacular U-turn over the issue reported on Tuesday that HTC will not be updating the HTC Desires to Gingerbread due to memory issues caused by HTC Sense.

HTC have announced both on Twitter and Facebook that they will now be cutting selected apps from the release to allow the device to run the latest version of the Android operating system.

The HTC post stated: "To resolve Desire's memory issue and enable the upgrade to Gingerbread, we will cut select apps from the release. Look for status updates starting next week. We apologize for any confusion."

So good news for Desire owners.  The U-turn is thought to be down to the huge amount of dissatisfied customers comments on the social networking sites stating which out of HTC Sense and Android 2.3 Gingerbread they would rather have.

HP Palm Pre 3 UK Release Date Unveiled

The HP Palm Pre 3, or just Pre 3, release date has been unveiled today.  The WebOS powered HP phone has turned up on Play.com listed for pre-order at £349.99 for an unlocked, SIM free device.

The release date of the device has been listed as July 8th so you've got a good three weeks to get saving.

Tech Specs


Processor 1.4GHz Qualcomm Scorpion
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 16GB
Operating System HP WebOS 2.2
Display 3.5 Inch 480x800
Capacitive Touch
Sensors Accelerometer
Digital Compass
Ambient Light
Proximity
A-GPS
Cameras Rear Facing 5MP
Front Facing VGA
Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth v2.1+EDR
3.5mm Audio Jack
Micro-USB
Battery 1230mAh

 

HTC Sensation Hits O2 and Orange In July

HTC Sensation exclusively on Vodafone?  Not from 8th July.  According to Phones4U the HTC Sensation will also be available on O2 and Orange from next month and according to the site, plans on non-Vodafone networks will start at £30 per month on Orange and £32 per month on O2.

You can get yourself over to the Phones4U Sensation page to get on the pre-order list now for a free handset on a £30 a month deal in a months time.

HTC Desire Wont See Android Gingerbread

HTC have today announced on their UK Facebook page that all attempts to get the HTC Desire running Android Gingerbread 2.3 have failed.

The company blamed the lack of memory on the 15 month old device and, that with just 512MB RAM available this just wasn't enough "without compromising the HTC Sense experience".

The Nexus One runs an identical amount of memory and has been running Gingerbread 2.3 since the start of the year but the requirements HTC Sense on the Desire S make it impossible to run both according to HTC.  The HTC Facebook page has been unsurprisingly overrun with comments from dissatisfied customers.

HTC Facebook Post: 

"Our engineering teams have been working hard for the past few months to find a way to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience you’ve come to expect from our phones. However, we’re sorry to announce that we’ve been forced to accept there isn’t enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience on the HTC Desire. We’re sincerely sorry for the disappointment that this news may bring to some of you"

Devices Running Android Honeycomb 3.1

Android Honeycomb 3.1 has been out for over a month now after an initial roll-out to the Motorola Xoom in the United States but we're curious to see which devices are actually running the latest version of the tablet specific Android operating system.

Device Rolled Out Country
Motorola Xoom 10th May 2011 US Only
Asus Eee Pad Transformer 1st June 2011 ALL
Asus Iconia Tab A500 July? ?
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 10th June 2011 ALL
Toshiba Thrive Standard *
Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Standard *

*Standard Upon release.

There's been much frustration over the lack of an Honeycomb 3.1 update for the Motorola Xoom outside of the US and whether the delay is down to Google or Motorola it doesn't seem like an update is imminent.  A post over at the Motorola Owners forum on May 16th stated:

"Motorola XOOM users around the world: We know you are eager to update to Android 3.1 software. We are working on the schedule for the regional upgrades. Each region will have slightly different timing due to specific regional requirements, and features may vary based on availability and other factors. In the meantime, we caution anyone considering the use of Motorola XOOM software that is not specifically intended for their region as this can seriously damage your device."

Sounds like the quickest way for Xoom owners to get hold of Honeycomb 3.1 is to buy different tablet.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro UK Release Date

So we've been waiting since February for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro and Sony have finally opened pre orders on the device.  Fancy One?  Well head over to the Sony Ericsson E-Shop to get your hands on a SIM Free Xperia Pro for £394.99 later next month.

The Xperia Pro comes loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features a slide out qwerty keyboard, 3.7 inch 854x480 multi-touch display, 1GHz Qualcomm processor as well as 8.1MP rear facing and 0.3MP front facing cameras.

There's no news on carriers for the device as yet although carphonewarehouse.com are showing the device as 'Coming Soon' and contracts on the device are like to run upwards of around £30 per month for a free device.

Playstation Vita Pricing And Release Revealed

We'll, the next generation PSP is here...almost.  The Playstation Vita, successor to the PSP has been the subject of whispers for a while now and whilst details on the device broke a couple of weeks back there's been no information on pricing nor release date.

This week has seen the PS Vita pop up in online stores all over the place and prices are varying from £229.99 to £300 depending on the model and where you look.

First up you could head over to blockbuster.co.uk and get yourself on the pre order list for a WiFi Vita for £229.99.  Don't want WiFi?  Well head over to game.co.uk and grab yourself a 3G Vita for £279.99.  The are plenty of online outlets offering the Vita for pre order but what about a release date?  Well, Sony has stated the Vita will be available in the US before Christmas and there's no chance they will miss out on the Christmas shop by not releasing the device in the UK until after so expect it to hit the shops within the first 2 weeks of December.

The Playstation Vita features front and rear multi touch screens, motion sensors, 5 inch OLED display and front and rear cameras and is said to offer "an unparalleled combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context".

HP Touchpad UK Release Date - July 2011

The HP Touchpad UK and US release date has been revealed in a press released from HP today.  The press release stated the WebOS powered tablet would be available in the US from 1st July with the UK following "a few days later".

For US customers, Amazon will be shipping the new tablet from July 17th Uncle Sam customers will be able to get the tablet direct from July 1st.  In the UK you'll probably best waiting for the tablet to pop up on the HP Store, as HP state, "a few days later".

In terms of UK pricing on the device, you're going to be looking at paying between £400 and £500 for the 16GB and 32GB respectively.  Something to blow the wages on at the end of the month then.

Full Press Statement:

HP today announced that the Wi-Fi version of HP TouchPad will be available in the United States on July 1.(1)

HP's first webOS tablet will be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany a few days later and in Canada in mid-July, with availability scheduled to follow later this year in Italy and Spain, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.

HP TouchPad will be available from U.S. retailers, commercial resellers and direct from HP with the option of either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage(2) for $499.99 and $599.99, respectively.(3)Preorders in North America and Europe will begin June 19.

“What makes HP TouchPad a compelling alternative to competing products is webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “The platform’s unmatched features and flexibility will continue to differentiate HP products from the rest of the market for both personal and professional use. This is only the beginning of what HP’s scale can do with webOS.”

With webOS, HP TouchPad users have a next-level multitasking experience, access to the web, premium audio playback with stereo speakers and Beats Audio™ technology, the ability to find information on the device or in the cloud using the Just Type feature, integrated access to their information with HP Synergy, and HP’s exclusive Touch to Share capability for sharing web addresses between HP TouchPad and compatible webOS phones.(4)

Optional accessories for HP TouchPad include the HP Touchstone Charging Dock, the HP TouchPad Wireless Keyboard and the HP TouchPad Case (sold separately).

HP also announced it will be partnering with AT&T to introduce a connected version of HP TouchPad later this summer. More information will be available closer to availability.

U.S. retailers and commercial resellers for HP TouchPad will include Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, OfficeMax, Amazon.com, Fry’s, Microcenter, other leading local and regional retailers, and HP’s online stores. Specific pricing and availability for HP TouchPad in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom will be announced regionally. Details for Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore and Spain will be announced at a later date.

Google Books Sneaks On To Android Phone Sneakily

It was only a couple of days ago I was going through the usual daily, by-daily app update in the Android Market.  Imagine my surprise on finding an app that I hadn't even downloaded sitting in the 'Apps' page.

Google Books has mystically appeared, requiring an update, which, on clicking informed me the app wasn't available on the market.  Google has pushed this app to my phone firstly without it even being available and secondly without any kind of request.  The joke of all this is that Google doesn't even have rights to digitally publish books in the UK and whilst there is a large collection of free books on the app it seems a little pointless publishing applications which are still going through some sort of red-tape process.  What's even more annoying is that this app ended up updating itself later on in the day.

I'm normally quite happy with Google Applications but prefer to have the choice as to what I want installed on my device and what I don't, pushing applications to my phone and force feeding users app-junk only serves to create a poor user experience.

Clearly this app has now been included in the GAPPS.apk file and uninstalling without root is not an option and any attempts are just met with the 'Requested Item Cannot Be Found' error.  I don't see any value in using this tactic to force Google Apps upon users!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 On Vodafone UK Coming Soon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has turned up on the Vodafone coming soon page.  The latest edition to the Vodafone device list is the slimmer, lower-camera-spec'd version of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1v with this version (without the v) measuring a slim 8.6mm thick but touting only a 3MP camera unlike the 10.1v which features an 8MP camera.

Tech Specs


Processor 1.2GHz Nvidia Tegra 2
Operating System Android 3.0 Honeycomb
Memory 1GB
Display 10.1 Inch 1280x800
Camera Rear Facing 3MP
Front Facing 2MP
Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
30 Pin Dock Connector
3.5mm Audio Jack
Features Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Ambient Light Sensor
Compass
A-GPS
Battery 7000mAh

Interestingly, Samsung quote a processor speed of 1GHz on the Tab 10.1 page and yet Vodafone quote 1.2GHz on the coming soon page so maybe it's a lucky dip.

Vodafone don't yet have any details on availability on their site nor do they have any pricing details but the £35 per month for 24 months would probably be a good guess.

Apple iOS5 New Features And Release Date

Today at WWDC, after the preview of OS X Lion Apple's Scott Forstall talked about iOS 5 initially quoting the numbers of over 200 million devices sold with a 44% market share.

The next version of the manufacturers operating system is set to be a major release with users gaining over 200 new features.

Apple chose their keynote speech to reveal 10 of the best new features:

Notifications

Apple revealed the new version of iOS will feature a revamped notification system removing what they called the 'annoying' pop-up system.  This new system sounded suspiciously like the Android notification system with a swiping down to get to the notification page.  The notification page will also feature animated widgets.  To clear a notification you will be able to tap an X at the right side to clear it.

Newsstand

Direct lines to newspapers and magazines will go through Newsstands.  The new app which looks a lot like i-books will feature background downloads meaning new media will be downloaded in the background ready for you to read as you like offline.

Twitter

Twitter will be integrated more into iOS 5 featuring a single-sign on and shared with other apps including Camera and Photos after initial setup.  Tweet throughout apps using the 'Action' button and hitting 'Tweet'.  You'' also be able to tweet directly from Safari and Maps.

Safari

Safari reader will be a new button when you're reading an article in the browser.  Using the button will remove everything from the page other than the element on the page you are actually reading making it simpler to see only what you want to.  You'll also be able to email articles and tag them later to be read on other devices.  The new Safari will also feature tabbed browsing which was explained as a lightening quick transition between windows, iPad will benefit massively from this

Reminders

Reminders will allow you to store lists of things, assign dates and even locations to individual reminders.  Scott said "I can set a location to remind me to call my wife when I leave the convention today. It'll set up a geofence."  The reminders will also sync across devices.

Camera

iOS 5 will now feature a camera button on the lockscreen, you'll also, be able to tap the camera button and go straight to the camera app.  If you're using a passcode you'll still be able to take a photo and you're existing photos will still be protected.  You'll also be able to use the volume up button to take pictures in the new iOS.  Other new features will be 'Pinch to Zoom', 'Exposure' and 'Optimize' settings directly in the app.  The editor on the device will also now allow cropping, rotating, red-eye reduction, and one click enhance.

Mail

The new iOS will now allow you to search the entire body of a message, other new features include Rich-text formatting, indentation control, draggable addresses and S/MIME is also being added.  There will also be a built in dictionary tap a word, tap "Define" in the popup, and you're in a dictionary.

PC Free

"You can now setup and activate your device right on the device and you are ready to go. It's that easy." - Straight out of the box.  Software updates will also be over the air.  It seems the new iOS is taking a lot from Android in the latest version.  You'll can also sync your iTunes library over WiFi.

Game Center

"iOS is the most popular gaming platform on the planet. There are more than 100,000 game and entertainment titles in the App Store.",  "In just 9 months we have 50 million Game Center users. To put that into perspective Xbox Live has been around for about eight years and they have around 30 million users.".  Slap to Microsoft from Apple there.  The new Game Center will allow you to purchase and download games directly from the Games Center.  You'll also be able to play turn based games directly in the operating system.

iMessage

The new messaging service will support all Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch).  The new application will send delivery receipts, read receipts and real-time typing notification pulling in more features from messaging services like GTalk and MSN Messenger (or Live as it's known today).  You'll also be able to start a conversation on you're iPhone and finish it on you're iPad as the new application is cross device.

The new operating system will be shipping in the Autumn.

As soon as Apple finish their speech we'll add the video below.

Updated 06/06/2011: Apple have now added the iOS 5 Video to their site.

 

Google Dropping Support For Older Browsers

Google has announced in a blog post it is to stop supporting older browsers from 1st August in order to start providing the tools newer browsers support.  According to the post, the drop will apply to Google Apps but will no doubt roll-out to other Google products over the course of the year.

Google said in it's post:

"Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version."

We can't disagree with the decision.  Supporting multiple versions of browsers is a hard tasks even just from our sites perspective, supported to IE7 only.  Supporting the large variety of browsers out there with a products list as long as Google's must be a nightmare.

Google have picked out HTML5 as one of the newest technologies requiring support for changes to Google Apps but here's hoping there's a lot more CSS3 usage across domains and with internet speeds continually increasing the www should be becoming an even more rich and faster experience for all.

Toshiba Thrive Honeycomb Tablet Unveiled

Toshiba's first tablet pc has been unveiled as the Toshiba Thrive.  Initially just known as the Toshiba Tablet, the Thrive will feature Android Honeycomb, a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 2MP front facing and 5MP rear facing camera.

The device has been slated for a July release date but has only been announced for the US and detail surrounding a UK release date, pricing or anything else has not been announced.

Processor Tegra 2 Dual-Core
Operating System Android Honeycomb 3.1
Display 10.1 Inch (1280x800)
Storage 8GB - 16GB - 32GB
Connectivity WiFi
Bluetooth
HDMI
USB
Camera 2MP Front Facing
5MP Rear Facing

Getting your hands on a Thrive, you can also expect a haptic display complete with screen orientation lock button but we don't think you can quite beat the convenience of having full sized USB and HDMI outputs.  We will patiently wait for more specs to turn up and keep our fingers crossed for UK announcement.

Windows 8 For Tablets Finally Unveiled

Microsoft has officially unveiled the Windows 8 operating system for touchscreen devices today at D9.  It was only last week that Microsoft's Steve Ballmer revealed the operating system was on the horizon, a slip-of-the-tongue which was to be retracted by Microsoft later on.

The new operating system has been designed from the ground up specifically for touchscreen use and takes a lot of features from the Windows Phone 7 operating system.  The operating system, as with Windows 7, will feature both on desktop computers as well as mobile devices with integrated touchscreens.

In terms of features, there will still be optional use of keyboards and mouse.  Internet Explorer will also feature, integrated Office365 and multi-tasking support.  HTML5 web-connected applications will also feature along with live tiles with notifications.

To get a look at the new operating system in action, take a look at the video below.