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Tech News Round-up - Mobile world editionBy Hanleigh Daniels 11 February 2011 | Categories: news
webOS central to HP strategy going forward
Besides its webOS-running iPad rival, the TouchPad, HP also pulled the wraps off two new smartphones powered by its in-house OS. According to HP the first of these new smartphones, the Veer, is the “size of a credit card and no thicker than a deck of cards” (54.5 x 84 x 15.1 mm and 103 g). As is the case with the TouchPad, the Veer’s web browser features support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta to enable users to access Flash-based web content.
For a device this small, it packs some impressive features such as an 800 MHz CPU, 2.57" glass display (320 x 400), full slide-out keyboard, 8 GB of on-board storage, integrated GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR as well as Wi-Fi 802.11n. HP’s Veer smartphone is scheduled for release during early spring (autumn for us), with pricing announcement to follow at a later date.
The other webOS-running smartphones from HP is the Pre3, also sporting a pocket-friendly (though larger than the Veer) design (111 x 64 x 16 mm, 156 g). HP fitted a larger 3.58" touch-screen (480 x 800 pixels) and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1.4 GHz processor. Also making an appearance are a full slide-out keyboard, 8 or 16 GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth and integrated GPS. The Pre will be released during summer (winter for us). No local release info is available yet for any of the two smartphones.
webOS-powered PCs and printers on the way
At the same event where HP revealed its TouchPad tablet, Pre3 and Veer smartphones, all running HP’s new webOS operating system, they also dropped a bit of a bombshell. So confident is HP of this new OS that it will also be included on future desktop PCs, notebooks and printers.
Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's personal systems group, who announced the news revealed no further details such as specific release dates (later this year apparently) or products. HP’s webOS joins Google, with their Chrome OS (also due later this year), and of course Linux, as some of the few alternative operating systems available to take on Microsoft’s mighty Windows.
RIM reportedly making plans to run Google Android apps on PlayBook
According to Bloomberg, BlackBerry holding company Research In Motion (RIM) is planning to add support for running Android apps on its forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet PC. This will give PlayBook users access to over 130 000 Android apps from the Android Marketplace, which is over six times the number of apps currently inhabiting BlackBerry App World (less than 22 000).
One big concern for the Canadian-based smartphone-maker is getting sued by Oracle, if it were to utilise Android’s Dalvik Virtual Machine. The latter is the Java software used in running Android apps.
Google and Oracle (who acquired Sun and its Java programming language last year) are currently locked in a patent dispute. RIM apparently decided against utilising Dalvik as it didn’t want to become party to this patent dispute.
Broadening your PS3’s video-viewing horizons
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced the availability this week of “Filmy”, a movie viewer application which enables AVCHD video recorded via a Sony camera/camcorder to be viewed on a user’s PlayStation3 (PS3).
This app is exclusively available by way of the media category within Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) and also includes additional features such as “Earth View,” which employs GPS data in Sony video cameras for location-based video tagging. PS3 owners can access a free 15 minute trial of the app or unlock all content functionality for $5 (about R37).
IE9 leaves beta and goes RC
Microsoft has announced the availability of Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate (RC). IE9 hitting the RC phase means that its code is now feature complete, with the next step being RTW (release to web).
According to a blogpost by Ryan Gavin, senior director, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing, IE9 Beta downloads surpassed the 25 million mark making it the Redmond-based company’s “fastest adopted browser beta of all time. IE9 Beta has been downloaded about 1.5 times more than IE8 Beta over the same time period.”
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