1 iPhones are already ubiquitous. And they’re about to get even more soiPhones are undoubtedly fine bits of kit. But any early-adopter kudos they had disappeared about ten million unit sales ago. And with Orange and Vodafone about to join O2 in offering Apple handsets, they’re going to be ten-a-penny in a few months time. By contrast, the Palm Pre is cutting-edge and still rare-as-hen’s-teeth exclusive.
2 Let’s get physical (keyboards)
Unlike the iPhone, the Palm Pre offers touchscreen functionality for the fun stuff, but is mindful that there are some times when only a physical QWERTY keyboard will do. Ever tried composing lengthy emails on an iPhone touchscreen? It’s not the best.
3 Happier snapping
The Pre is fitted with a 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash and boasts variable depth perception. In our book that makes it leagues ahead of the flash-free iPhone 3G S as a snapper.
4 Wireless charging
The Touchstone charging panel – sold separately – allows Palm Pre owners to juice up their handsets simply by placing them on a dock. Once there, a magnetic field generates electricity which charges up the battery. Better still, you can stick your handset on speakerphone while it’s on the device and continue to take calls the whole time.
5 Removable Mobile Phone battery
Replacing the battery on an iPhone is trial by screws, fiddlyness and frustration – especially if you’re caught short and need to make/take a call as a matter of urgency. But the Pre’s laptop battery can be removed in a trice, allowing you to pop in a spare in a matter of seconds.
6 Smooth OS
Reviewers were united in their praise of the way the Pre enables users to access multiple applications simultaneously with minimum lag. This, combined with the seamless integration of a raft of services, means that the Pre a doozie for making the most of your time.
7 The App Store has an app for everything. But loads of them are dreadful
No more to add here. But ponder this: Did the world really need that egregious, shockingly ill-judged Baby Shaker game? And as for the Pepsi app that made Spinal Tap look like riot grrll faves Bikini Kill…well, really.
8 Loads more Pre apps on the way
Only a complete dullard will have failed to notice the paradigm shift in mobile phone industry business models and consumer habits that has made the Apple App Store such a hit. Palm was certainly taking notes and is soon to launch a natty development kit that ought to clear the way for a slew of great applications arriving on the Pre soon.
9 Impressive web browsing and connectivity
The Pre’s built in browser and HSDPA support makes for a supremely fast and wholly pleasurable mobile internet experience. Meanwhile, support for A2DP, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 means that the Pre is one of the best connected phones around.
10 It’s cheaper
The cheapest iPhone 3G S contract that offers the handset for free is £45 per month. The Pre, meanwhile, is gratis from £35 per month. That’s £120 per year extra to spend on apps.
Full Tags: New mobile phones, Touchscreen phones, Palm, Smart mobile phones, Acer Aspire 5920 Battery, Acer Aspire 5630 Battery, Acer AS07B41 Battery, Dell XPS M1530 Battery
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MacBook Air. MacBook Pro. Once upon a time, these two products were significantly different from each other; two totally different products. That dividing line’s been blurring, especially when it comes to the world of 13-inch MacBooks.
The MacBook Air used to be an underperforming, expensive laptop that had stellar design, while the 13-inch Pro was a full-featured, far more robust machine. The truth is, these systems are closer in performance and price than ever before.
Last year, I thought Apple MacBook buyers in 2012 wouldn’t suffer the confusions of picking a 13-inch MacBook, because I thought there would be only one product: a fusion MacBook Air with some of the best Pro features incorporated. Alas, there is no such chimera. Entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air and Pro laptops now cost the same AU$1349, but you’ll still have to make a decision: do you value hard-drive space or portability? Weight or ports? Easy upgrades or faster boot times?
In 2011, I thought the go-to laptop remained the 13-inch MacBook Pro, by the narrowest of margins. This year, I think the scale has tipped to the MacBook Air.
I acknowledge that the Air still lacks sufficient solid-state drive (SSD) storage for those wanting it to be their everyday computer, for storing photo libraries, music and other files, and some people still want DVD drives. However, the 13-inch Pro simply hasn’t stepped up with any killer features to earn it distance from the Air, and doesn’t feel worth its price as much as the Air does.
Let’s go through the key differences between the 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air.
||13-inch MacBook Air (mid-2012)
||13-inch MacBook Pro (mid-2012)
||1.8GHz Intel Core i5 (third-gen)
||2.5GHz Intel Core i5 (third-gen)
||4GB (max 8GB)
||4GB (max 8GB)
||128GB SSD (max: 512GB)
||500GB HDD (up to 750GB HDD or 512GB SSD)
||Thunderbolt, 2 USB 3.0, SD card slot
||Thunderbolt, 2 USB 3.0, SD card slot, Ethernet, FireWire 800
||7 hours, 27 minutes
||6 hours, 57 minutes
Size and weight
The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs 2.06kg. The MacBook Air weighs 1.35kg. The Pro feels like a solid slab; the Air feels like a blade. Winner: Air.
The 13-inch Air has had a higher-resolution screen than the MacBook Pro for several years. Odd, but true. The Pro’s screen is bright and has great viewing angles, but it also exhibits far more glare when compared side-by-side with the Air. The Pro’s display feels particularly weak, considering the higher-resolution, anti-glare offerings on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and, needless to say, the Retina Display Pro. Winner: Air.
The Air and the Pro share a large, excellent multi-touch clickpad and both have backlit keyboards. The Pro’s keys are taller, with more travel, while the Air’s are shallower. Nevertheless, both perform excellently. Winner: Tie.
In the entry-level AU$1349 configurations I reviewed, the 13-inch Air and Pro performed incredibly close. It’s very nearly a wash. The Pro led by seconds in our tests, but the Air’s boot times are far faster. In higher-end Pro configurations, a faster Core i7 processor and an SSD upgrade, should provide greater separation, but those extras will add up … and no 13-inch Pro comes close to the offerings of the 15-inch Pro (quad-core CPU, Nvidia graphics), leaving it to sit awkwardly in the middle. Winner: Tie.
Ports and extras
The MacBook Pro has more ports: an added FireWire 800 port and a dedicated Ethernet port, plus a slot-loading DVD drive. That’s it, though. For the Air, a separate USB-to-Ethernet dongle can provide direct line-in internet access, and you can always buy a USB-connected DVD burner. Yes, the Pro has more features, but not by a wide margin. Winner: Pro.
The MacBook Air has a new 512GB SSD storage option, but upgrading will pump the price to AU$2,264. The included 128GB of SSD storage at AU$1349 is fine for basic use, but it won’t do for locally storing large libraries of music, movies or photos. The AU$1349 13-inch Pro has a 500GB hard drive that operates at a slower speed, but has plenty of room to spare. Winner: Pro.
The 13-inch Air ran for roughly 7 hours and 30 minutes in our laptop battery life test, while the 13-inch Pro ran for just under 7 hours. Both have excellent Dell xps m2010 batteries, but the Air is just a bit more robust. Winner: Air.
Laptop least likely to feel obsolete in two years
Well, that’s a loaded question, isn’t it? In terms of a design that’ll stick around and still feel relevant (and have a higher resale value), bet on the MacBook Air. However, in terms of future upgradability (more RAM, a standard SSD), the Pro will be a little more flexible. Then again, in two years, who will be using a DVD drive? Winner: Air.
And, some other quick-hit recommendations:
- What to get if you like older ports and flexibility: the Pro
- What to get if you want a basic go-to laptop: the Air
- What to get if you want lots of storage: the Pro
- What to get if you’re a student: the Air
- What I’d buy: the Air.
Of all the new parts of the iPhone 5, what still feels the most shocking? Here are my Top 5
After a week of using the iPhone 5, I’ve posted my review of Apple’s new phone on CNET. Which brings me to wondering: how much can a familiar-looking device that we’ve seemingly known about for months be capable of surprising anyone, much less a tech editor?
For me, the iPhone 5 surprised in the following ways.
Shaving about an ounce off a phone’s heft doesn’t sound like a lot, and I’ve always been skeptical of incremental reductions (20 percent lighter!), but the first thing that shocked me when I picked up the iPhone 5 was how light it was, not how thin it was. There’s a reason for this: many smartphones boast large screens and sleek looks, but few weigh as little as 3.95 ounces. Most other iPhones weigh about the same, so it feels different immediately.
The beauty of Maps
Whenever you hear that an app is beautiful to behold, especially an app as integral to the use of the iPhone as Maps, it can’t help but feel superfluous. Still, try to look at Maps on an iPhone 5 and not feel wowed. Right now, it’s the best graphics demo the iPhone 5 has in its stable, and Flyovers feel intensely surreal, even if you’re a Google Earth addict. Whether the graphical finesse of the new Maps and turn-by-turn navigation can make up for the lack of more-refined Google search terms, Street View, and public transit directions feels like a dicey proposition, but Maps is undeniably fun to play with.
In particular, I’m talking about LTE. I’m not a 4G LTE user at home, and I never thought I’d need it in a phone. Still, the wake-up moment for me was when I opted for FaceTime over LTE instead of Wi-Fi because LTE was more than twice as fast as my home broadband wireless connection, and the connection was smoother. It’s a seductive draw: would I end up paying through the nose for LTE for its snappy convenience? I’ve used it far more than I ever thought I would, at least on the review unit. The A6 processor’s harder to appreciate right off the bat, but both combined give this iPhone a serious turbo kick.
Lightning doesn’t support Thunderbolt
For years, I’ve wondered when iOS devices would sync via Apple’s incredibly fast Thunderbolt port. A new, smaller connector seemed like the ideal opportunity. Then came the name: Lightning. Lightning and Thunderbolt. Yet, the packed-in Lightning cable works via USB. The door could still be open for Thunderbolt (or USB 3.0) in the future. Does faster syncing matter? To me, it does.
Everything changed just a bit
There’s no Big Thing on the iPhone 5, but, try to name a part of the phone that hasn’t changed. Usually, iPhones keep at least one or two things intact from one year to the next. This year: design, screen, speakers, microphones, cameras, data connection, even connector port and earphones were toyed with. Instead of investing in one game-changer, the iPhone 5′s a top-to-bottom tune-up that makes me wonder, just a little bit, what Apple could do to top it next year.
Lenovo wants to be the second largest computer manufacturer in the world. With the launch of Windows 8, the company has the opportunity to ascend quite high. Lenovo is working on some laptops with touchscreens, but they are also planning an impressive convertible tablet. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, a 13.3-inch notebook, whose whole display can fold into the bottom of the keyboard, would seem to be a kind of giant tablet convertible monster. It seems that now the Chinese have a second variant of this concept in the works. Officially, Lenovo has said that they intend to offer devices in October with Windows 8 and devices based on ARM processors and “Windows RT” as well. The Wall Street Journal has learned from reliable sources that another Yoga is being planned with ARM.
The concept behind the convertible notebook is that the display can be folded completely around to turn the device into a tablet. The new Yoga would uphold this basic concept, but it will just be based on an ARM platform instead. The processors are supposedly from Nvidia, so it is clear that Lenovo, in addition to Microsoft and ASUS, will be a big customer for Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Further details are not yet clear, but we can at least look forward to an innovative device. Hopefully the Tegra 3 Yoga-like model will not only be cheaper than the x86-based IdeaPad Yoga itself, but also smaller. A 13-inch diagonal display is somehow just too big for a proper tablet.
Buying a laptop is one daunting task, perhaps one of the most daunting tech-buying tasks. There are a lot of factors to consider: screen size, RAM, hard drive size, software and price.
That price aspect could be one of the most confusing things about buying a laptop. Stroll through a Best Buy or even just look at the laptop pages on Amazon and you’ll see laptops across a number of different price ranges – some cost less than $450, some hover in the $800 range and others can go for as much as $2,000.
Whether you’re buying a laptop for school, someone going to school or you’re just in need of a new system, you need to zero in on what you need and how much you want to spend. Below is our guide to what you can get in the laptop aisle for your hard-earned money.
This is obviously the bottom price bracket: laptops between $300 and $600. These are budget laptops, which means you’re going to get less on the spec and design front.
Laptops in this price range typically have:
Last years’ processors, an Intel Pentium or base AMD processor (if you are lucky, you can find one with an Intel Core i3 processor)
No more than 4 to 6GB of RAM
320GB to 500GB of hard drive space
And a cheaper, mostly plastic build
These machines are fine for web surfing, word processing but not video editing or heavy gaming or lots of multitasking. The biggest thing you give up in this category is build quality: The screens are not very good, and the machines are made mostly of plastic. They will get the job done though.
Good choice: The HP Pavilion G6 for $359.99 is one of the better laptops you can get in this price range. It’s made entirely of plastic, but it’s perfectly capable, and HP did a good job on the keyboard. The $400 version gives you a Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM and 320GB of hard drive space.
Moving on up are laptops between $600 and $900. This is where most mainstream laptops fall these days, and they offer the best balance of affordability, specs and build.
Laptops in this range can have:
Core i3 or Core i5 processors
6GB to 8GB of RAM
A bit more hard drive space, between 500GB and 1TB
Discrete graphics from AMD or Nvidia
A better build quality than the previous bracket
You will get much more power out of a system in this range. And like we’ve said, the make of the system will also be better than in the lower price range, but it’s more like a mid-range car – design might be good, but you might not get the leather interior and nicer dashboard.
Good choice: The Samsung QX411 is a great example of what you can get in this range. For $659.99 you get a Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. The laptop has a metal palmrest and a nicely arranged keyboard.
Welcome to the world of higher-end laptops, those that cost between $900 and $1,200. This is the ideal price range if you are looking for a higher performance machine. There are two types of systems in this range.
The first is the new category of utrabooks. Most of these cost $999. They don’t have CD drives, but they are thin, light and have fast hard drives called SSDs, or Solid State Drives. For the entry-level price, you get a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. You get less storage space than cheaper laptops because the drives are so much faster.
Then there are bigger, mainstream systems in this price range, which will have stellar graphics, higher resolution displays, and better-build quality. Typically, you’ll find laptops with Core i7 processors, discrete graphics and at least 1TB of hard drive space. It’s also where you really start to get a very nicely built system – much more metal than plastic. That’s really the biggest difference.
Good choice: The MacBook Air is one of the best examples of what you get for a laptop in this category. At $1,200 for the 13-inch model, it’s very well made, fast, and has long Apple A1322 Battery Life. While the Windows ultrabooks at $999 are made well, the Air has had the edge in build quality and in trackpad and keyboard comfort.
Best of the best
You’ve reached the top, though your wallet might not be happy. This is where you get the best of the best: laptops with premium parts, much higher resolution screens, and top-of-the-line specs.
You also start to get into this price bracket when you add on to laptops if you configure them online. Add more hard drive space or better graphics to a laptop that starts at $900, and it will be easy to verge into $1,200 to $1,400 territory.
Apple’s laptops usually fall into that range, and some others from Sony, Lenovo, Samsung and Asus do as well.
Good choices: The Samsung Series 9 ultrabook, Asus Zenbook Prime, Dell XPS 15, and HP Envy are some of the best Windows laptops in this range. Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina Display starts at $2,199.00 because it has the highest resolution display on any laptop on the market.
Long story short: more money, better specs and better look and feel. It will all seem a lot less overwhelming if you know what you need, and what you want to spend.
Sina Weibo was by far the most popular Chinese social network service during the Olympics, recording twice as many Olympics-related messages during the games as Twitter did. According to an infographic from Sina, Weibo users sent a total of 393 million messages about the Olympics. 119 million messages were sent during the opening ceremony alone. By comparison, Twitter has only 150 million Olympics-related tweets were sent on its service during the games, while the opening ceremony resulted in 9.66 million tweets …
Meanwhile, a new data analysis has compared the four top Twitter-like competitors in China: Sina, Tencent, Sohu and Netease. Sina had the most visitors to its Weibo service over the 17 days of the Olympics with 310 million visits. Tencent came in a distant second with 200 million, followed by Sohu with 120 million and Netease with 40 million. The amount of time that users spent on the site, showed Sina had an impressive lead with a 70.6 percent share. The most discussed athletes on weibo were swimmers and gymnast. (We believe this is not true, now it should be the 110 meter hurdler…) The figures only include PC traffic, so it certainly don’t offer a complete picture of the social network in China, since nowadays mobile platform has already dominates China internet.
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SINA has made an official home page specially for London Olympics.
We can see, most Chinese people are more committed to social network while comparing to the west, especially when it comes to international news or event. The Chinese Twitter-like service has a penetration of more than 88.8 percent among China’s digital populace aged more than 20. The whopping penetration means that almost every Chinese netizen has a weibo account. Sina Weibo is said to be launching a social ads platform in the second half of this year to tap into its revenue potential.
Now that Apple’s iPad 2 has launched, the company’s next big product to finish up is the iPhone 5 — or whatever Apple will call its next iPhone, expected to launch this summer.
While the new iPhone will feature updated hardware and may have a new design, we’re just as interested in Apple’s software improvements.
That’s increasingly where the smartphone business is headed, and while Apple’s software is still ahead of the competition in general, there are some areas where rivals Google and Microsoft are doing better than Apple.
What’s in iOS 5?
While the iPhone hardware is certainly sexy, it’s software that really makes it an iPhone. So what does Apple have planned for the next major version of its iOS software for iPhones and iPads?We asked a dozen iOS developers what they wanted from iOS 5, and their responses included: A better alerts and notifications system; more background processing features — so the New York Times app could download news articles while you’re sleeping, for example; and potentially “widgets” to customize your iPhone’s unlock or home screens.
We’d also love to see a much better camera app, and maybe a better photo management app, more like iPhoto for Mac OS X. The iPhone camera is becoming very important, and while third-party developers like Instagram have done some really cool things with it, it makes sense for Apple to improve the built-in camera software, too.
Is this another whole new iPhone design?
We expect some of the usual updates — faster, more memory, new chip, maybe some new hardware features — and a new design for the iPhone 5.While the iPhone 4 is still an attractive phone, and is still selling, it will be a year old this June. That’s a long time in the smartphone industry, where new phones are constantly coming out. So we don’t expect another iPhone 3GS-like “update” from Apple ever again, where it keeps the same phone case design from one year to the next but only upgrades the guts.
This supposed leaked image could be it — sure looks like the iPad 2 — or could be a fake. But either way, we expect a new design.
The critics have shut up about Apple’s iPhone 4 design, and “Antennagate” didn’t seem to have any effect on sales. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPhone 4 stick around as Apple’s cheaper iPhone model. But we expect at least some moderate updates this year to the high-end model.
Will Apple finally turn on some more “cloud” services?
The iPhone 5′s hardware and software is important, but “cloud” services on the back end are becoming increasingly important for smartphones, and Apple could stand to make some improvements there.For example: How about letting you sync your phone over wi-fi instead of having to plug in a USB cable? How about being able to access your iTunes music library from anywhere? How about being able to grab some of your iPhoto pictures from the road?
How about sharing photos with other iPhone users without having to email them?
Some or all of these features could potentially be built into a new “MobileMe” service, which Apple could potentially make cheaper or even free. Some may have to wait to be built into the next version of Mac OS X, which is expected to ship this year.
But this is an area where Google is doing more interesting things than Apple, so it’s time to wake up.
When will it go on sale?
Apple has launched a new iPhone every June or July since the first one went on sale in 2007. We don’t expect anything different this year.Except that last month, FBR analyst Craig Berger hypothesized that the iPhone 5 launch may be pushed to September because of what he was hearing from the supply chain: “For the iPhone 5, we continue to hear that a July launch is unlikely, with various casing suppliers and touch suppliers still ramping up, with some chip vendors not having yet received firm iPhone 5 orders, and with other sockets like the image sensor … still in flux.”
We believe Apple intends to release the iPhone 5 in the summer, as it has in past years. But anything is possible, including a delay. Though, on the other hand, Apple launched the iPad 2 earlier than expected, albeit in very short supply.
Will iPhone 5 include near field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments?
One of the major new features expected for the iPhone 5 was supposed to be near field communication (NFC) technology, which would allow you to make a payment or exchange media with another iPhone just by holding it close to another NFC device.But the iPad 2 has shipped without NFC, and recently the Independent reported that Apple is telling carriers that the iPhone 5 won’t have it, either.
It looks like Apple’s payment revolution will have to wait another year.
Will the iPhone 5 be 4G? Will the phones be hybrid AT&T/Verizon units? Or separate like the iPhone 4 and iPad 2?
We don’t expect the iPhone 5 to support 4G LTE networks. We think Apple will wait until 2012 for that, in order to have the smallest phones and the best battery life.In theory, there will be a chip someday that lets Apple make a single iPhone that works on both GSM networks like AT&T and CDMA networks like Verizon. Other phones have used these chips for years. But the question is when they will be to Apple’s liking, in terms of size, functionality, and pricing.
This is something we expected for the iPad 2, but Apple instead went with two different 3G lines — separate AT&T and Verizon devices. Perhaps because the dual-mode chips weren’t ready yet. Perhaps because they weren’t cost effective, when the majority of the world doesn’t use CDMA.
Will the iPhone 5 be dual-mode devices? Or just single-mode like existing Apple devices?
Does Apple have another social network up its sleeve? Or will it finally work closer with Facebook?
Is Apple going to continue to move into social networking? We had heard a rumor that it was working on some sort of social app for photo and media sharing, and some code found in an iOS beta called “Media Stream” seems to back that up.As much as we’d like to see Apple make the iPhone more inherently social, we also don’t have much confidence in their understanding of what social tools are all about, how they should be designed, and what makes them fun and useful. Last year, Apple introduced Ping and GameCenter, two social networks. We don’t hear much about them.
So should Apple continue to make its own social tools? Or should it work to integrate existing social networks like Facebook and Twitter deeper into the iOS experience, the way other phones have?
Will it be bigger? Or smaller?
There are regular rumors that Apple is working on smaller or bigger iPhones.We have no doubt that Apple has tested many sizes of iPhones. And rival HP is launching a tiny phone this year called the Veer. But history has shown that Apple is very happy with the size of the iPhone.
If we had to pick either way, we’d expect an iPhone with a slightly larger screen, not a tiny iPhone nano. Nothing too big — probably not like the massive Android phones from the likes of HTC, Samsung, and others. But a bigger screen could be better for games and movies, so maybe someday Apple will make one.
Still, we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Will Apple have an ingenious iPhone case like the iPad 2′s smart cover?
Apple’s “smart cover” for the iPad 2 has really gotten a lot of attention. It’s smart that the cover was designed as part of the iPad, and not as an afterthought.The current iPhone case, the “bumper,” is okay — but if anything, it got stuck in the middle of the Antennagate fiasco. And it’s nothing too special. Just a case with no back.
Will Apple come out with a crazy cover of some sort for the iPhone 5? Or will it just try to make the actual phone more durable so people don’t need a case? The nice thing about the bumper, after all, is that it doesn’t add much bulk to the phone — it’s basically a high-tech rubber band.
How much will it cost? Will there be a “free” iPhone this year? How about lower service fees?
Image: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Android phones are starting to creep down in price, and Apple hasn’t really done much with its iPhone pricing since 2008.Will this be the year that the low-end iPhone drops to $0 from $99 after subsidy? Will Apple devise some more plans with the carriers to make data access more affordable for entry-level users?
Is there really a super-cheap iPhone on the way for developing markets?
Tags: Apple, Big Tech, gadgets, iPhone, iPhone 5, Mobile, Questions About iPhone 5, Apple laptop batteries, Discount Laptop Battery, Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Laptop Battery, Compaq nc6000 battery
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The last five years have seen two great things being championed and heralded by anyone who has had any measure of interest in the Internet – Social Networking and Apple.
On one hand, the unexpected lightning-fast development of Facebook, Twitter and Zynga to the top of the Internet has inspired even the greatest of companies to stick a hand in the social networking pie. On the other hand, Apple, the company already made relevant by the wildly famous iPod, has generated massive consumer interest in their unveilings of the iPhone. It’s no surprise then that people have put two and two together, and have decided to bring social networking exclusively to the iPhone. Here are 4 of the top choices which you can dive right into right now.
Path takes the concept that people want social networking, but they also want it to be personal. Facebook seems like the ultimate offender of this principle, with its wide-sharing features and privacy issues, while Google+ seems to recognize this by providing people with the capability to aggregate their friends into Circles.
Path, which had appeared long before Google+ took the stage, takes this a step further by recommending a social network with only your closest friends. As self-described by its official website, Path is a “simple way to share life and never miss a moment with family”. It only allows you to share your updates with up to 50 of your friends, and the interface behind this activity is clear and seamless enough to encourage it.
Clearly, Path was developed with the intention of making social networking a sweet, enriching experience, as opposed to the social atmosphere that it is today. It is an amazing concept, to say the least, and Path’s burgeoning user base is only proof that people want what they have dreamt up more than ever.
Klip is very new on the social scene – as new as a month perhaps – but it highly deserves a place on this list because of its remarkableness. Klip is basically an app for you to share your videos. That’s right, that’s all it does – share videos you have took with others. The brilliance of it lies in the ability to assign hashtags to your videos, not unlike Twitter, which categorizes the videos according to their nature in the public arena.
So, if you’re a person who likes cat videos, just look up “#cat”, and all the cat videos taken by Klip users show up on your screen! The propensity for its use is just so large in scale; imagine a major event being shared by hashtags – a feature still unavailable on Youtube or Twitter – in a personal space by thousands of individuals. It’ll be like a video version of Twitter all over again.
Klip’s interface is very pleasing, with the small video box giving users the feeling that it was made just for the iPhone. It’s also easy to navigate, and once its number of users grows, the developers will have a goldmine of information sharing on their hands.
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Google has a tendency for scavenging successful products and making their own version, backed by their enormous resources to take down the existing competition – and it seems like Pool Party is their latest effort yet.
Created by wholly-owned subsidiary Slide (which also created the recently pulled Photovine HP elitebook 8530w notebook battery), Pool Party is an attempt to unseat Instagram, the hipster photo-filtering social app which is presently taking the streets by storm. Pool Party is in its essence a photo-sharing app, where people share their photos into a “pool” with friends in a sort of group album. This creates opportunities to share photos taken from parties, hikes and sleepovers with a select group of people, much in the same way Google+ encourages sharing with Circles.
Pool Party is currently in beta and only accepts invitees, but as with all Google’s products they’re bound to be released to the public soon and gather a quick following. If you simply cannot wait, you can visit here to get an invite.
With the multi-capabilities of the iPhone, many people seem to have forgotten that the iPhone is primarily a phone; but Heywire’s creators aren’t one of them. Realizing the potential for a worldwide-based, affordable text messaging service, they have created a working, effective version of the Messaging app which bypasses all carrier costs. As long as you have access to the Internet, you can text message to any number from 45 countries, from anywhere in the world.
So how is this different from Whatsapp, Facebook or MSN Messenger on the iPhone? Well, Heywire not only provides you with a Heywire account, it also provides you with a temporary US number which others can reach. This means that even those without the app, or friends using Blackberries or old-school Nokias, can communicate with you by not only receiving but sending text messages to your temporary number, all without incurring the extravagant carrier costs usually associated with international travel.
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Research is underway on a new class of rechargeable powerpack known as a lithium-air or lithium-oxygen battery. These devices could store more than 10 times the energy found in current lithium-ion batteries, which would greatly extent the time required between recharging cycles. Because lithium-air uses freely available oxygen as a cathode reactant, the weight of the battery significantly decreased.
These power cells could even beat the energy density of hydrogen fuel cells, making one efficient lithium-air car battery able to store the equivalent energy of a tank of gasoline. The battery technology is not yet commercially available, although it’s actively being developed in several places.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a lithium-air battery with three times the energy density of any existing battery on the market today. One prototype is pictured above. MIT researchers state that some of the issues that must be dealt with before commercialization of these new laptop batteries is safety in operation and insuring that the battery is robust enough to survive many charging cycles.
Although MIT has discovered that electrodes with gold or platinum show a much higher level of efficiency than simple carbon, lithium in metallic form is highly reactive to water. This poses a problem should water make its way into the oxygen inlet of current lithium-air prototype batteries. Researchers are working to better understand how the chemistry of these substances affects longevity through discharge and recharge cycles as well.
Some companies have stated a ten-year goal for full commercialization of lithium-air battery technology. MIT researchers believe that small portable electronics will be the first to benefit from the improved batteries, with products such as electric cars taking advantage of the devices after they come down in price and become more widely available.
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Lenovo’s 2012 Q2 global PC shipments figure at 12.8 million, came close to matching current leader HP’s 13 million units, thanks to a 15 percent increase compared with the same period of last year, according to a recent Gartner’s research.
“It’s just a matter of time before Lenovo becomes number one and it won’t be surprising at all if it happens later this year,” said Frederick Wong, executive director at Avant Capital Management, according to a Reuter’s report.
Although the global PC demand was flat for the quarter because of the economic uncertainties in the Eurozone and the United States, Lenovo’s growth remained strong, narrowing the market share gap with HP to only 0.2 percent, controlling 14.7 percent of the pie. A series of acquisitions and aggressive pricing were the driving force behind its quick expansion, said the research.
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But the low profit margin and increasing competition in other product segments may slow Lenovo’s overall growth.
According to Thomson Reuters’s data, the company’s operating profit rate in 2012 Q2 was only 1.4 percent, which lagged far behind HP’s 7.4 percent and Dell ‘s 6.2 percent.
“HP, Dell and Acer have switched lanes in the PC race and passed the baton to Lenovo in terms of focusing on sales rather than margins,” said Dickie Chang, an analyst at IDC in Hong Kong in a PC Pro article.
The competition in other markets like smartphones, tablets computers, and enterprise market is set to put pressure on the first Chinese company to crown a technology sector.
Lenovo’s smartphones account for less than eight percent in the mainland China market, but it has been struggling to gain traction in high-end products against Apple and Samsung, and also finds it hard to beat ZTE and Huawei’s “under-a-thousand-yuan ($157)” smartphones that flood the market.
In the tablet space, with only one million pieces sold since its launch in Jan 2010, its answer the Android-run Ideatab, is also facing increasing competition this year from alternatives such as Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and Microsoft’s Surface.
It also faces a steep challenge in the world server market, currently dominated by HP, Dell and IBM–with 29.2 percent, 21.8 percent and 12.1 percent in sales volume respectively–in which Lenovo holds a distant 2 percent market share.