Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS with 12-Megapixel Sensor and F/2.0 Lens

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 2:09pm.

Olympus today introduced new Olympus TG-1 iHS camera, a waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crushproof and dustproof Tough Series compact camera. The TG-1 iHS is worlds first compact rugged camera with high speed bright f2.0 lens. It is Waterproof to 40 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14°F and even Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds. Other features of the camera include 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, TruePic VI image processor, 4x optical Zoom, 1080p full HD video recording, 3-inch OLED screen and 30 different scenes including Night, Sport, Beach, Snow, Underwater and Backlight HDR.

Olympus has also released a Teleconverter Lens for that camera that extends the 4x zoom to 6.8x. The camera has built-in GPS and e.compass functions for location and landmark information recording with every image. The Olympus TG-1 iHS will be available in June priced $399.99.


Mobile Devices Outdoor Readability Shootout

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 11:22am.

We have all seen our smartphone and tablet screens fade out as soon as we step outdoors. In some cases it’s almost unreadable outdoors even though these devices are designed to be used on the go. To find out which smartphones and tablets worked better (were more readable) in high ambient lighting DisplayMate tested 4 tablets and 5 smartphones. The test were done inside an Integrating Hemisphere using a powerful light source that uniformly illuminates the displays from all directions from 0 lux (Absolute Darkness) up through 40,000 lux (Indirect Sunlight), which is very bright.

On the tablet side, DisplayMate tested Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad 2, Kindle Fire and Motorola Xoom. While on the smartphone side they tested Nokia Lumia 900 Samsung Galaxy S, iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X and HTC Desire. All devices showed decreased viewability in high ambient lighting, but tablets performed worst than most smartphones. DisplayMate concluded the results by saying:

The DisplayMate Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light for the displays ranges from a low of 15 (HTC Desire) to a high of 90 (Nokia Lumia 900). From both the Lab Measurements and the Screen Shot Viewing Tests (below) the top performing device for display viewability under Bright Ambient Lighting is the Nokia Lumia 900. This results from a combination of its high screen Brightness and low screen Reflectance, which Nokia calls ClearBlack technology. The Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhone 4 are tied for second place. The best Tablets all performed a notch below the Smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was the leader, with the iPad 2 in second place. The new iPad (not included below) performs better than the iPad 2 and just behind the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The other Smartphones and Tablets performed well below these top models.

You can read the complete shootout results with detailed explanation on how each smartphone and tablet screen performed, and also see the master photo grid showing each device screen in various lighting conditions on DisplayMate’s website.


Nokia Launches Augmented Reality App City Lens for Lumia Smartphones

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 8:58am.

Nokia Beta Labs today launched City Lens for Windows Phone, an augmented reality app that overlays places to eat, tourist hotspots and points of interest on the phone’s camera display to help you find what you are looking for. You can simply click you chosen destination on the phone’s screen and it will give you walking directions, make a reservation for you or offer more details about the locale.

The application also has a sharing feature that allows you to share your find with your friends via social networks, SMS or email. The introductory video below gives a good idea about how the application works. Nokia City Lens is still in beta, so Nokia says, “we would love to receive your feedback about City Lens, including any enhancements that would help make it a better product.”



Apple Engineers Looking Into Multi-user Support for iOS, Calls It a ‘Known Issue’

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 8:03am.


A developer, who submitted a suggestion for multi-user support in iOS to Apple’s Bug Reporter system, got a surprising email back from Apple saying the issue is “currently being investigated”. Developers can not only use the Bug Report system in iOS for submitting bugs, but also for making suggestions for new features in iOS.

This developer simply suggested that Apple add support for multiple users to the iPad operating system so that various people in a family can use the device. To his request Apple replied “After further investigation it has been determined that this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering.”

The developer told AppleInsider “they have often used Apple's Bug Reporter to submit requests for new features. However, this standard form letter is the first time that Apple has actually responded to such a submission from this particular developer”.

This email doesn’t mean that we will definitely get multi-user support in iOS 6, but it is a good indication that Apple is listening to developers and is ready to act on suggestions from developer community.


AT&T Launches Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone for $49.99

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 2:33pm.

AT&T today launched Samsung’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone featuring 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen. This is the third 4G LTE Windows Phone on AT&T included the much hyped Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II. Main features of the Samsung Focus 2 are:

  • 4-inch AMOLED screen (800 x 480)
  • Windows Phone 7.5 operating system
  • 5-megapixel back camera and VGA front camera
  • 720p video recording
  • 4G LTE support
  • 8GB onboard memory and MicroSD card slot

Samsung Focus 2 will be available from AT&T beginning May 20 in pure white for $49.99 with a two-year service agreement.


Apple TV Prototype with Siri and iSight Camera

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 11:18am.

Cult of Mac is reporting that they have heard from a reliable source who has seen the Apple TV prototype in action featuring current Cinema Display like design along with Siri and iSight camera. The website claims “Our source is well placed and has provided us with great tips in the past.” Leander Kahney wrote on Cult of Mac:

Our source claims to have seen a working prototype of the exact device Steve Jobs was talking about when he said he had “cracked TV.”

According to our source, the Apple TV looks a lot like Apple’s current lineup of Cinema Display monitors.

“It resembled an Apple monitor, only much larger,” our source said.

The Apple HDTV makes FaceTime calls using the built-in iSight camera. The camera is sophisticated, with facial recognition and the ability to zoom into the user’s face and follow them as they walk around the room. This allows users to make video calls from the couch across the room, rather than having to stand smack in front of the TV.

In addition, calls are initiated by Siri, the iPhone 4S’s virtual assistant. “[Apple] used Siri to make a FaceTime call,” the source said.

Cult of Mac didn’t get any other information about specs, user interface, pricing or launch schedule from their source. It will be really interesting if Apple bring FaceTime to the living room with their upcoming/rumored Apple TV.


HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE Coming to Verizon

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 10:37am.

Verizon and HTC announced today that the new Droid Incredible 4G LTE featuring the new HTC Sense 4.0 UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be available in coming weeks. The main features of the LTE powered handset are:

  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 4-inch super LCD qHD display
  • 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, BSI, f/2.2 and 28 mm lens
  • Front-facing camera for video chatting with friends and family
  • Integrated Beats Audio
  • Mobile Hotspot capable to share 4G LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Support for up to 32 GB microSD memory card
  • 1,700-mAh lithium ion removable battery

No word on pricing yet, but Verizon says Droid Incredible 4G LTE will soon be available in Verizon Stores and on Verizon’s website.


AT&T Announces Digital Life Wireless Home Security and Automation Services

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 8:09am.

AT&T today announced IP-based home security monitoring and automation services called AT&T Digital Life that offers customers control and security of their homes using any web-enabled device, PCs, tablets and smartphones, regardless of wireless carrier.

“The AT&T Digital Life service has the potential to take home monitoring and home security solutions to another level,” said Larry Hettick, Research Director, Consumer Services, for Current Analysis. “The service promises to be as robust as anything in the marketplace today backed by the trusted AT&T brand. I am particularly impressed with its IP-based wireless platform, plans for a nationwide offering, and a wide range of devices that can be monitored and viewed from any carrier’s wireless or wireline Internet connection. These consumer-friendly capabilities will help grow this industry.”

AT&T Digital Life will have connected devices and sensors like cameras, window/door sensors, smoke sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, motion sensor, glass break sensor, automated door locks, connected thermostats, moisture detection and appliance power controls. The main features and benefits of the new service according to AT&T are:

Professional installation of the platform, sensors and other devices

Integrated, wirelessly enabled platform that combines home security and automation capabilities

AT&T owned and operated 24/7 security monitoring centers

A state-of-the-art user interface application, which allows customers to customize a solution based on individual needs, and the ability to manage and control their services from the U.S. or while traveling abroad

AT&T will begin trial run of the Digital Life services in Atlanta and Dallas this summer and will require subscription of AT&T’s wireless home service for it to work. You can get more information about the Digital Life services by signing up on AT&T’s website. Also check out the introductory video of the Digital Life service below.


LG HDTV Featuring Google TV Coming by End of May

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 7:40am.

LG is planning to launch Google TV based HDTVs in US in the week of May 21, according to Reuters. Initially the Google TVs from LG will only be available in US and after seeing their sales performance LG will decide whether to expand the offering to Europe and Asia. The TV will be based on second version of Google TV, which many analyst says is better than the failed first attempt by Google last year.

"Production of Google TVs will start from May 17 from our factory in Mexico and U.S. consumers will be able to buy the product from the week of May 21," Ro Seogho, executive vice president of LG's TV business unit, told a small group of reporters.

From the report by Reuters, it looks like LG is just testing waters with small Google TV launch, as they will have Google TV support on a very small number of HDTVs, In fact, some analyst say that it will be just one model series with three screen sizes. Over 60 percent of all LG HDTVs will still use their own NetCast platform with rest 30-35% percent having no Internet capability.


Apple Plans to Release $799 MacBook Air in Q3?

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 6:45am.

Digitimes is reporting that Apple will release a lower price model of MacBook Air in Q3 to compete with low end Ultrabooks from other PC makers. According to Digitimes this MacBook Air will be in response to aggressive push by Intel and other PC makers to bring down the cost of Ultrabooks to $699. Monica Chen posted:

Apple is reportedly considering responding to the upcoming second-generation ultrabooks by launching a US$799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Although Acer has recently reduced its ultrabook shipment target, Intel continues to aggressively push ultrabooks and is aiming to have the devices priced at US$699 in the second half of the year. However, if Intel is unable to bring down ASPs to its goal, the price gap between ultrabooks and the US$799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardized, the sources noted.

Currently, Apple's 11-inch 64GB MacBook Air is priced at US$999 with a 128GB version priced at US$1,199. The 13-inch 128GB version is priced at US$1,299 and 256GB version is US$1,599. If Apple decides to launch a US$799 MacBook Air, the sources believe the strategy will damage ultrabooks allowing Apple to continue to press its advantage.

We seriously doubt that Apple will launch a $799 MacBook Air to compete with other PC maker in a race to the bottom of profit margins. Apple has never bothered to compete in low-end market where profits are almost zero, DigiTimes was one of the publications that kept on claiming few years back that Apple will release $799 white MacBook, but Apple simply replaced the MacBook lineup with MacBook Air. We believe Apple will add more features to $999 MacBook Air (bigger storage, more RAM) rather than bring the price down, like they have been doing with other Apple products.