DigitalOutbox Episode 133
DigitalOutbox Episode 133 – Nokia, Motorola and Amazon on Fire
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1:40 – Nokia Windows Phone 8 event
– Lumia 920 announced
– Nokia has officially unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Lumia 920. As expected, Nokia’s new Lumia has received a bump in specs over the previous iteration, with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor, a slightly larger 4.5-inch curved glass display with a 768 x 1280 resolution, a 2,000mAh battery, and the new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Nokia is calling its new display the “PureMotion HD+,” and says that it’s the “best smartphone display innovation” the company has ever made, with “better than HD resolution” and fast refresh rates — Nokia says it’s the “brightest smartphone HD display ever,” and also the “fastest LCD display ever shipped on a smartphone.” Nokia is also touting the PureMotion HD+’s daylight viewing capabilities, and says that the phone’s color tone and brightness automatically responds to sunlight.
– Nokia says the new Lumia will come in “vibrant colors” (the yellow, red, white, grey, and black pictured above), and features a one-piece polycarbonate body. As expected, Nokia is also pulling a couple of tricks out of its sleeve: it’s adding wireless charging for the Lumia 920, built on the Qi wireless power standard. Nokia is also incorporating its “PureView” camera technology, but just don’t get too excited: we’re looking at an 8.7 megapixel sensor in the 920, not the 41 megapixels in the PureView 808. Nokia says the 920 features a “floating lens” optical image stabilization system that allows for sharper photographs in low-light situations, a better app and camera interface, and 1080p video recording.
– The Lumia 920 and its budget companion the Lumia 820 have screens that respond to touch from gloves as well as bare fingers, internet connections that will work on European 4G networks, and can be recharged wirelessly on special charging plates.
– In a gimmick reminiscent of the Google glasses still in development, a City Lens app allows users to hold the viewfinder up to look at a city street. Software then recognises key places, showing the names of restaurants and shops in clickable boxes on the screen.
– CEO Stephen Elop declined to give specific pricing or release dates, but he did say that Nokia would be entering “select markets” with “intense focus” in Q4 of 2012.
– That lack of price and release date saw shares in Nokia drop 15% after the event
– Oh dear – http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/5/3294545/nokias-pureview-ads-are-fraudulent
– Adverts for the 920 already proven to be fraudulent
– The new PureView camera might be amazing, but a bizarre easter egg has revealed that the company’s advertisements don’t give an honest view of its technology. Amid Nokia’s flurry of press today — if you haven’t heard, they released a new flagship phone along with some other gear — one video advertisement in particular caught our eye. In the ad, Nokia shows off the PureView’s image stabilization technology. The opening segment (which, importantly, isn’t qualified by a “screen images simulated” notice), shows a young man and woman cheerily riding bikes along a scenic river. As he films her breezily laughing, the ad shows side-by-side video — obviously intended to represent the phone’s video capabilities. On the left, Nokia shows the non-stabilized version, which, predictably, looks terrible, and on the right the ad shows the perfectly smooth capture, purportedly enabled by Nokia’s optical image stabilization technology. The only problem is that the video is faked.
– As you can see in the video and photo above, there’s a curious reflection in the window of the trailer in the background. It’s not a young man riding his bicycle alongside the cheerful model, but instead a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway — with what appears to be a large camera rig. Whatever he’s holding, we can reasonably agree it’s not a Lumia 920. (Update: Nokia has confirmed this video was not shot with a 920)
7:01 – Motorola Press Event
– Motorola has just announced the Droid RAZR HD, updating its old flagship with a larger 4.7-inch screen, HD display, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The RAZR HD comes with a 2,500mAh battery, a bit under the 3,300mAh RAZR Maxx but well above the 1,780mAh of the original RAZR. As with the first Droid RAZR, it will come with a higher-capacity Maxx variant. The company also touted the RAZR HD’s 1.5GHz dual-core processor and preinstalled Chrome browser, along with its LTE capacity. Outside the battery, screen, and processor, the specs aren’t too different from those of the original Droid RAZR. The phone comes with a Super AMOLED screen, albeit a higher-resolution one, and the same 8-megapixel rear camera. Like the RAZR, it includes 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, expandable by microSD.
– A Jelly Bean update should be available at some point, but for now, it’s starting with Ice Cream Sandwich. As a good-faith gesture, versions of the RAZR HD running Jelly Bean are being shown off at the event. Motorola will also be offering a developer edition with an unlockable bootloader. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but the device should be in stores “before the holidays.”
– No release date, no price. When will they learn.
9:25 – Amazon Kindle Update
– Kindle Paperwhite
– It uses the expected new “paperwhite” screen technology for a sharper (212 ppi) and higher-contrast display, and also features a frontlight that brings parity with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. The interface has taken a page out of the Kindle Fire’s book by offering a “cover mode” homescreen that lets you swipe through your library. The device also uses the same X-Ray content analysis feature found on the Kindle Touch, has controls for the light, and lets you change the fonts.
– Amazon is touting its patented light guide technology which keeps the lighting even across the screen and allows you to leave it on all the time without detriment to battery life — it’ll apparently last for eight weeks between charges. The touch technology means it has a thinner bezel, and at 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces Jeff Bezos describes the device as “thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback.” The Kindle Paperwhite is available for order today and will start shipping on October 1st. The Wi-Fi model will cost $119, and the 3G-enabled variant will go for $179
– Not clear if those prices are ad supported
– the company is dropping the price of its least expensive ebook reader to $69. While it doesn’t have the front-lit display of its newer sibling, a 12 percent drop from last year’s $79 price is nothing to sneeze at. The ad-supported wi-fi device is identical to last year’s model, down to the 6 ounce weight and 6-inch e-ink screen, but the company says it will offer the new fonts and crisper text of the Paperwhite devices.
– Kindle Fire
– Along with an all-new Kindle e-reader with illuminated paperwhite display and a lower-price standard Kindle, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just announced the new Kindle Fire tablet during a press conference today. The new Fire features a 7-inch display, a 40-percent faster processor, twice as much RAM, and longer battery life than the original model.
– Despite the upgrades, Amazon is actually dropping the price of the new Kindle Fire by $40 compared to the original model, as it will now sell for $159 when it starts shipping on September 14th.
– Kindle Fire HD
– new Kindle Fire HD features 8.9-inch 1920×1200, 254ppi display. It features a laminated touch sensor for better visuals and 25% less glare. It’s powered by an OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, which Amazon says outperforms the Tegra 3. The Kindle Fire HD also includes stereo speakers, an upgrade over the Kindle Fire’s mono driver. Amazon has improved Wi-Fi networking by adding a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver, two antennas, and its new MIMO radio technology. For storage, the Kindle Fire HD offers 16GB of local hard drive space.
– Whispersync for voice – Syncs your book with your audiobook, so you can listen and read in tandem.
– “X-Ray for movies. If you were watching a movie on your Kindle Fire HD, wouldn’t it be cool if you could tap the actor on the screen and see ‘who’s that guy?'” Infor from IMBD which Amazon own
– Whispersync for games syncs levels and progress, so you’ve never forced to restart
– Mail, custom Facebook and Skype apps
– Kindle freetime – multiple profiles for kids – set times for different content types – 30 mins for reading, hour for games etc
– Kindle Fire HD, 16GB (funny storage joke Bezos), 7 inches. $199. Ships September 14th
– The 8.9-inch model? $299. Ships November 20th
– Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless – 8.9 inches, 32GB of storage — $499.
– New data plan, too. 250MB a month. 200GB of cloud storage, $10 Amazon credit. $49.99 a year. Pre-order today, ships Nov 20th
– Comparing to the iPad 3’s plan. Year 1 cost, $959 for iPad; $549 for Kindle Fire HD. But the data is tiny – 250MB a month???
– UK – The company will detail plans for the Uk shortly – BBC tonight
26:54 – BBC iPlayer launches mobile-download service
– Users of BBC catch-up service iPlayer can now download programmes to watch on phones, tablets and other mobile devices at a later date.
– They can save any programme for up to 30 days – but once they hit play, have to finish watching it within a week.
– Available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, the feature will be coming to Android devices soon. Last month alone there were 30 million requests for iPlayer programmes via a mobile or tablet, according to the BBC.
28:13 – Raspberry Pi to be manufactured in the UK
– The Raspberry Pi computer is being made in the UK for the first time.
– Before now every one of the credit-card sized machines have rolled off production lines in Chinese factories.
– But a deal signed between Premier Farnell, which distributes the Pi, and manufacturer Sony will see 300,000 of the gadgets produced on home soil. Since its launch in April, the device has been hugely popular and its creators said more than a million could be sold before the end of 2012.
– The UK-made Raspberry Pis will be assembled at Sony UK Technology’s factory in Pencoed, South Wales. About 30 jobs will be created as a result of the deal which will mean most of the Pis being distributed by Premier Farnell will be made in Britain.
– In a blogpost, Raspberry Pi community director Liz Upton said it chose Chinese manufacturers at the start of the project because it could find not find a UK manufacturer that could make them cheaply enough or was willing to take a risk on the bare-bones computer.
34:26 – Valve recruiting hardware engineers
– Valve Software has started searching for hardware engineers. The game maker has posted an ad seeking applicants for the post of “industrial designer”.
– The job description on the ad said Valve was “frustrated” by the lack of innovation in computer hardware and wanted to change that state of affairs.
– It is not yet clear what gadgets successful applicants will be working on but the ad suggests it could involve replacements for mouse and keyboard.
– Before now Valve has let it be known that it wants to expand beyond games into hardware but has revealed few details about those plans.
37:10 – Bruce Willis to fight Apple over right to leave iTunes library in will
– Bruce Willis is eyeing a legal bid to ensure he can pass on his iTunes library to his children when he dies, according to the Daily Mail.
– The Die Hard star is concerned that his extensive music collection will revert to Apple ownership on his demise and is looking into ways that might allow his three daughters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, to legitimately inherit it. His lawyers are currently said to be looking at the possibility of setting up “family trusts” to act as legal holders of the downloaded music, but Willis is also prepared to consider taking Apple to court over the issue.
– “Lots of people will be surprised on learning all those tracks and books they have bought over the years don’t actually belong to them,” solicitor Chris Walton told the Mail. “It’s only natural you would want to pass them on to a loved one. The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their customers.”
– Willis is also considering supporting legal action currently underway in five US states to give people more rights to share music they have purchased.
– It’s a great story – but total bullshit from the Daily Mail, but really the Times and the Mail just copied it….as did The Guardian. Who checks this stuff?