An interesting news item over at AppleInsider caught my eye the other day, but I'm not sure how I would feel about this particular rumor if it turned out to be true. Apparently Apple is investigating the use of hover gestures on its devices as an alternative to multitouch. A few of the ideas include the ability to make the OK gesture with your hand or use hitchhiker thumb gestures to navigate around. As a tech writer, I can't wait to see how something like this would be implemented, but as an iPhone user who will be using … Read more
Though still among the top five mobile phone vendors worldwide, Apple has conceded fourth place to China's ZTE, according to the "Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker" report released today by IDC.
Looking at the global market share of the top mobile phone vendors in the fourth quarter, Apple dipped from fourth to fifth place despite a record quarter for phone shipments, the report said.
The iPhone maker shipped 16.2 million units, a healthy boost from the 14.1 million units shipped in the third quarter and the 8.7 million shipped in 2009's final quarter. Apple's flagship phone sold especially well in developed countries, including North America and Western Europe.
Apple's global market share for the quarter slipped only slightly to 4 percent from 4.1 percent the prior quarter. But that combined with a surge in shipments for ZTE, which has sold mostly lower-cost feature phones, allowed the Chinese mobile phone maker to steal fourth place away from Apple.
Hitting the top five for the very first time, ZTE shipped 16.8 million units for the quarter, helping it win a 4.2 percent slice of the market.… Read more
In the 3-plus years we've been recording The 404 Podcast, we've gotten really good at pissing people off, and today I messed with the wrong group: New York pizza snobs. It was probably my fault for admitting my excitement over a new Papa John's opening up in my neighborhood, but the secret's out and I can't hide my love for generic pizza anymore. What can I say--I'm a free-agent pizza guy, and what's wrong with Sbarro, anyway?
Getting into some of today's tech headlines, Sony released some kind of handheld gaming device that nobody cares about. Just kidding. Jeff cares so much he took the day off work yesterday to focus entirely on the Sony Next Generation Portable that Brooke Crothers accurately describes as the Apple iPad on steroids.
Jeff breaks down the impressive updates on the NGP including its ARM processor design with four cores that give it about four times the CPU and GPU performance of the iPhone 4, according to Lineley Group senior analyst Joe Byrne.
Another great feature on the NGP is the dual capacitive touch areas on the front and rear that let gamers interact with the device without their fingers blocking the viewing area on the front screen.
It'll certainly require a semisteep learning curve for first-time users, but at least we finally get a portable device that combines the iPhone's capacitive screen with physical gaming buttons.
We have no idea whether or not she approves of this flowchart that kind of looks like something out of YM Magazine in the '90s, but we're proud nevertheless of Caroline for being included alongside other tech pundits like Google VP Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Take the test and hope for the best!
We also have a few decent voice mails to play today, but the well is running dry, so keep them coming! Give us a call at 1-866-404-CNET or record a video voice mail on YouTube and send the link to the404(at)cnet(dot)com and we'll play it on a future episode! And yes, Wilson looks ridiculous in his skully--LEAVE HIM ALONE!! (haha)Episode 746 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
In the competition between native applications for mobile phones vs. Web applications, hardware support often makes native apps an obvious choice for programmers. But the World Wide Web Consortium is tackling one area, touch-screen support, in an effort that could help Web apps catch up.
The W3C published an editor's draft of a new touch-screen standard for Web apps today. The draft specification is designed also for devices such as drawing tablets that don't have a screen, but today's hot market for smartphones makes touch screens the more important focus.
A standard--if designed well and adopted--would make … Read more
OK, this week we've got a hot one courtesy of the folks at Monster: the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox iPod Dock.
This is one room-thumping iPod/iPhone stereo system. I should know because I reviewed the thing. I said that, "The Monster Beatbox has a simple mission that goes something like this: deliver big sound from a small box." And while I didn't think it delivered the most refined sonics in the world, I recommended that if you were looking for big, aggressive sound from a compact system, this was the one to get. (… Read more
My first thought when I saw the Casio Tryx camera announced at CES 2011 was that Casio took a smartphone and turned into a single-function device. It has the dimensions of a smartphone, has a 3-inch touch screen, and a fixed focal length lens similar to what's on a phone (though with better specs and quality). Take away the swiveling and rotating screen and lens design and you essentially have the body of a smartphone.
On top of that, one of the Tryx's key shooting features is high dynamic range (HDR) photos. HDR photography isn't new, but … Read more
A major difference between the NGP and 3DS lies in the two devices' touch-sensitive technologies. The 3DS will reuse the original DS' resistive touch screen, whereas the NGP will have two capacitive touch areas (front and rear), of the type most tablets and smartphones use today (including the iPhone and iPad).
The 3DS' resistive touch screen requires some depression (hence the stylus), but can also respond to a finger press. The technology offers a nice level of precision (like when handwriting or pecking at small virtual keys), but certainly requires a bit of a learning curve when being used in tandem with a stylus.
With the introduction of the NGP's front and rear touch capabilities, players will essentially have another dimension of interaction at their disposal. At first glance the rear pad might seem silly, but after the insightful video to the right, we're beginning to think it might actually provide a more seamless gaming experience. The video showcases a game called Little Deviants, in which the player drags a finger across the rear panel to manipulate the world onscreen. We're excited to see that for the first time gamers can interact with a portable gaming device without their fingers blocking the screen.… Read more
Excuse the stormy portmanteau, but last night's snowbotomy has left Jeff stranded in New Jersey, so Joseph Kaminski from CNET's Digital City Podcast takes his spot and lugs in a 21-inch Apple iMac to show his dedication to desktop computers, and Wilson ain't complaining.
Oh, and in case you're wondering about today's show title, it's a reference to Joey's nickname "Turbo Thundersnow," which stems from his undisputed breakdancing skills and the winter phenomenon in which precipitation takes the form of snow instead of rain.
At a live event in Tokyo today, Sony revealed its next-generation portable gaming device that many thought would be called the PSP2, but the official name is actually the Sony Next Generation Portable, or NGP. Rolls off the tongue, right? Tongue-twisting names notwithstanding, the portable device features a 5-inch high-resolution OLED display that's four times the resolution of the current model and equivalent to the graphics on the PlayStation 3.
The portable device also has a touch screen, but Sony encourages players to use the rear-mounted touch pad to control gameplay without obstructing the display, although it's going to look weird when you see people fondling their NGPs on the subway.
Sony also unveiled a new platform called the PlayStation Suite that will allow first-gen PlayStation games to run on a variety of Android-enabled smartphones and tablet PCs. Sony hopes this will reinvigorate its portable gaming market, especially in the wake of last week's Nintendo 3DS announcement.
Enough about gaming, check out this Chicago-based start-up called Grubwithus that introduces strangers to the world of "social dining."
The service helps strangers meet potential friends by taking care of all the restaurant busywork: the Grubwithus team makes the reservation, sets the menu, introduces the diners to one another, and even calculates the tip prior to the meeting--Grubbers just have to show up, eat, and socialize.
Grubwithus founders Daishin Sugano and Eddy Lu may have accidentally stumbled upon a new way to meet new partners, based on a new study that claims couples end up in bed quicker as a result of "digital intimacy."
The study interviewed a sample set in which 38 percent of women believe texting, Facebook, and other social networking tools break the awkward communication barrier earlier than meeting IRL, and thus help to quicken the many steps to intimacy.
Joey and I work together in the lab and I've observed his interactions with the gentler sex, so Wilson and I pick his brain for tips on how to segue from an online chat to in-person meetups. It's not as easy as you think!Episode 745 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe in iTunes video | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Lots of apps can stream music, photos, and video from a PC to an iOS device, but very few support TV shows recorded with Windows Media Center.
That's a shame, because WMC has been my DVR for years (and it's more awesome than ever now that it has a Ceton InfiniTV 4 CableCard adapter).
Enter Remote Potato ($6.99), a new app that streams just about anything stored on your PC: music, photos, videos, and, hallelujah, recorded TV. What's more, it provides access to your TV guide, meaning you can schedule recordings on the go.
Now for the bad news: the app's pretty buggy at this stage, and getting it connected to your PC can be a hassle.
The latter requires the Remote Potato server client (for Windows 7 only). It's easy enough to install, but doesn't offer any way to automatically connect to the iPhone app. Thus, you have to supply the PC's IP address. And if you want to use Remote Potato outside your home (i.e., outside your network), you'll need to sign up for a dynamic-DNS service (like DynDNS) and do some port-forwarding on your router.
Other media-server solutions don't force you to jump through these kinds of hoops, so I have to give Remote Potato a demerit on that.… Read more
January hasn't even come to a close and we've already been introduced to two brand new portable gaming systems--one from from Nintendo and one from Sony.
At a press event in Tokyo yesterday, Sony revealed its latest endeavor in the portable gaming world with what it is calling the "Next Generation Portable." Boasting PlayStation 3-calibur graphics, two cameras, 3G connectivity, Sixaxis controls, and two touch-sensitive areas, the NGP looks nothing like any of the so-called leaked photos that have circulated on the Internet and is clearly not the same as the Xperia PlayStation Phone.
Now that we know what we can expect from both companies, let's take a look at how the two portable systems stack up.
Hardware It's safe to say the specs Sony has thrown around will clearly outpace the 3DS, as was the case with the companies' last generation of portables. However, as we all know, these details did not have any effect on sales. Sony has taken a page out of the Nintendo DS' book with its touch screen and pad features, but it's far too early to be able to fully grasp what these details really mean for gamers. The Uncharted gameplay video we posted earlier shows a few ways these gestures might be implemented.
The NGP showcases a 960x544-pixel OLED screen, which isn't quite high enough of a resolution to call it portable HD gaming, but judging from videos that are beginning to surface, it's safe to say titles will look spectacular. If the 3DS' main selling point is 3D, we'd imagine the NGP's is its ability to render close to PS3-quality games.
The 3DS and NGP are heavily focused on connectivity, with both systems utilizing Wi-Fi, but the NGP will also allow for GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G data service. In response to the 3DS' Street Pass and Spot Pass player-matchmaking features, the NGP seems like it will revolve around location-based multiplayer functionality with a social feature called Live Area.… Read more