In a blog post on Monday, Barnes and Noble revealed it's getting ready to release its "biggest update" to the Nook since it was launched a year ago. The 1.5 update is said to "dramatically increase" page turn speed on both the Nook 3G and Wi-Fi, as well as add other performance enhancements and features to the mix.
"The 1.5 update includes improved search on the device, customized B&N Library organization and password protection," Barnes and Noble said. "It also includes the ability to sync across all Nook and all devices enabled with our free Nook apps, by syncing your last page read. If you forget your Nook at home, use the Nook app for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android smartphone or PC to pick up where you left off. And, the next time you pick up your Nook, the Reading Now page will be updated and ready to go."
Barnes and Noble said it plans to kick out the update in late November via Wi-Fi or manual download at www.nook.com/support.
Microsoft is at a key juncture in its history as a consumer tech company, with two high stakes launches scheduled for next month. It will be rolling out Windows Phone 7 on November 8 (in North America) as it looks to atone for the sin that was Windows Mobile. At stake is a respectable position in the increasingly important smartphone market.
The North American launch of Kinect is also scheduled for November. Here too the stakes are high as the company is looking for a magical moment that could see its console take a clear lead in what has been a keenly contested console generation.
We have heard from Various Verizon executives that tiered data was probably on the way, and now we might have the details. The new information is still preliminary, but it's looking like a better situation for heavy users that AT&T offers. If true, Big Red would be keeping the standard $30 smartphone data plan for unlimited data. They would be adding a cheaper $15/150MB option for light users. When AT&T made the switch, unlimited data was cut in favor of a 2GB cap at $25 per month.
Pricing on MiFi data looking like $50/5GB and $80/10GB. Users of feature phones will get the option for a $30 unlimited plan, and a $15/150MB plan. Frankly, we'd like to see cheaper pricing for feature phones. It's basically impossible to use as much data on these handsets as it would be on a smartphone.
These plans might be a bit more expensive than AT&T's, but the option for unlimited data could be kept at the same price. While pricing on feature phones is a little high, we like this approach better than other carriers. These details only pertain to Verizon's 3G service. Expect different rates for the new LTE network when it launches later this year.
It seems like just yesterday that Google rolled out Android 2.2 Froyo to consumers, and some have yet to receive it on their handsets, but The Big G isn't stopping now. Details appear to have leaked regarding the next iteration of the Android operating system, codenamed Gingerbread. Phandroid has gotten the information, along with a blurry cam shot, and it's all about refining the UI.
The source is reporting that all the system and notification icons have been redesigned to look more processional and clean. This includes everything from the notification icons, to the home screen shortcuts. The notification bar now appears to be a slate grey, as opposed to the off-white it is now. Beyond that, there is a more unifying influence in the UI. Most of the system apps are getting a redesign in order to make them more cohesive. Many of the warm orange UI elements have been replaced with green, and this is evident throughout the system.
Rumors also indicate some refinements to scrolling and other animations. Finally, Google may be building in full SIP and video calling support to the OS. This would make sense given the recent revamping of the Gmail-based Google Talk client. Do you think these predictions will come to pass?
Pandigital Novel, whose existing line of eReaders are found in retailers nationwide such as Macy's, Kohl's, Kmart, JC Penny, Nordstroms, Walmart, and dozens more, added a new model to its lineup, the first of which to use ePaper technology.
The new Pandigital novel Personal eReader comes with a 6-inch electrophoretic ePaper display that's purportedly easy to read in bright sunlight and is non-reflective, just as an eBook reader should be. It boasts an 600x800 resolution and a touchscreen interface.
Like previous models, the new eReader comes integrated with the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. It has 2GB of internal memory, a built-in memory card reader to expand storage up to 32GB, Wi-Fi, a virtual keyboard, and a built-in mini USB port.
MSRP has been set to $200 "and is expected to sell at even lower everyday retail pricing and promotional pricing."
As expected, AT&T on Sunday started selling Motorola's FlipOut, a smartphone very much reminiscent of Microsoft's failed Kin One device.
Teens and young adults didn't exactly flip out over the Kin One, and we'd be surprised if Motorola's FlipOut fares any better. The funky looking device sports a swivel screen with a hardware keyboard underneath, a 3MP camera, expandable memory (microSD card), Bluetooth 2.1, 3G, and 512MB of memory. Unlike the Kin One, the FlipOut features Android's 2.1 platform, which might make it more appealing. However, the device also requires a data plan, which could end up being a tough sell considering the target audience (teens).
The FlipOut is availble for $80 with a 2-year service agreement, or $380 outright.
In the words of the great and wise Homer (Simpson), "Mmmm, ice cream." That's likely going to be the codename for Android 4.0, the successor to Honeycomb, which itself will succeed Ginberbread
Google hasn't let the cat out of the bag yet, saying only "The next platform release names are Gingerbread and Honeycomb. Additional timing and details have not been released yet."
But while Google wants to keep the codename a secret, ARM President Tudor Brown told Forbes that Android 4.0 will be called Ice Cream. Brown, for what it's worth, is familiar with the Android roadmap. It's also worth noting that Android releases have been following an alphabetic pattern: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb.
Ice Cream, or whatever Google ends up calling Android 4.0, isn't expected to debut until the middle of 2011.
Most people would argue that the e-book market has nowhere to go but up, however analysts continue to be surprised by just how fast people are ditching ink for pixels. According to the Association of American Publishers e-book sales from January to August were a staggering $263 million, this compared to just $89.8 million during the same period last year. This threefold increase in sales certainly helps to validate the market, and it looks like the impact of having so many affordable e-book devices on the market is finally starting to kick in.
In January 2009 anyone wanting to read an e-book needed a device worth several hundred dollars, and had to worry about DRM protected content with no guarantee over future compatibility. Today just about anyone with a smartphone can tap into several different e-book stores, Kindles and Nooks have never been cheaper, and some little known company by the name of Apple launched the iPad.
E-book sales still only account for about 10 percent of books sold, but it still paints a clear picture for brick and mortar retailers. The trend is not your friend.
Microsoft tied up the exclusive rights to disk free Netflix console streaming, but all things must come to an end, and I’m sure most PS3 owners are more than happy to count this odd business deal among them. Starting today US viewers can download the new disk-free Netflix application from the Sony Store, even though the actual service behind it won’t go live until tomorrow.
Early impressions of the new Netflix PS3 interface is overwhelmingly positive with support for 1080p, 5.1 surround sound, and even closed captioning if the title supports it. With the Wii capped at 480p, the Xbox 360 capped at 720p, the PS3 which will support resolutions up to 1080p is starting to look like the superior solution. Very few titles will support the higher resolutions at launch, but this will no doubt chance fairly quickly.
Do you intend to start using your PS3 for Netflix over your previous solution?