Saturday, December 29, 2012

More pictures of BlackBerry 10 devices leaked

There have been a lot of leaks regarding the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices, be it pictures or their specs. And now new pictures have been leaked of some BB10 phones, which include the BlackBerry X10, an N-series BB10 phone, and the BlackBerry Z10. According to GSMArena, the images were originally posted in the technology section - /g/ - of the image board, 4chan.

Of the two phones, the Z10 is the only one that is completely touchscreen. The other two phones have full QWERTY keyboards. The BlackBerry X10 has a striking resemblance to HTC’s full QWERTY phone – the HTC ChaCha. The reveal of these phones significantly increases the number of BB10 devices that may be announced during RIM’s BB10 event at the end of January.
The phone on the left bears a striking resemblance to the HTC ChaCha
The phone on the left bears a striking resemblance to the HTC ChaCha

Earlier this month, a picture of the full QWERTY N-series was leaked. This handset is expected to be announced alongside the BlackBerry Z10, a touchscreen handset that runs on Research in Motion's new OS.

While there have been countless leaks in the past with respect to the BlackBerry Z10, there have been no images of the QWERTY handset which might be launched under the X10 moniker.

From the leaked images, we can see that this handset features a lot of the design traits of the older Bold series of handsets and looks pretty much similar to the BlackBerry Bold 9900, except for the fact that it features straight rows and not the curved layout of the older generations of BlackBerry devices. Another big difference is the lack of the navigation and menu buttons. Overall, Research in Motion appears to be sticking to a design and form factor its loyalists are used to and love.

Earlier, an official image of the BlackBerry Z10 made an appearance. In the leaked press shot, we can see what was previously known as the BlackBerry 10 L-Series handset now being marketed as ‘The New BlackBerry Z10.’ The picture shows the handset in both colours it is expected to be launched in – black and white. This image also shows the app switching pane and a contact profile page. This feature is nothing new and Research in Motion had revealed details on these features in the past.

A later report revealed some of the specifications of the BlackBerry Z10, and as it turns out, the specs are very similar to that of the developer alpha devices used by developers to make apps for BlackBerry 10.

It was previously reported that Research In Motion is set to showcase its upcoming operating system—BlackBerry 10—in all its glory. The company has started sending out invitations for the launch events of the operating system, which will be held on January 30, 2013. The launch events will be held in cities around the world, including New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rumor: Apple Building Bluetooth Smart Watch

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 8.52.04 AM
According to Chinese gadget news site Tech.163, Apple may be in the process of developing its own smart watch that connects to your Apple devices via Bluetooth. Based on the report, Intel will be working with Apple to create the smart watch, with a 1.5-inch PMOLED display made by RiTDisplays with ITO-coated glass.
Apple has long had a small hold in the watch market thanks to its iPod nano, which is easily attached to a wrist band turning it into a full functioning watch.
Recently, however, smart watches have grown increasingly popular. Sony, for instance, has a new offering called the Smart Watch, and we can’t forget how Pebble blew up Kickstarter with it’s e-paper Smart Watch that connects to iOS and Android devices.
Users are looking for more and more connectivity, and as it stands now, an iPod nano with no Bluetooth connection to a user’s phone or tablet is becoming less attractive.
Throughout the past year, there have been many questions over when and if Apple will join the Smart Watch race. Today marks one of the first semi-substantiated leaks.
However, I’m approaching this with a hefty helping of salt. Even if Apple is making a watch, it will be quite a while before we see any real evidence of it. Plus, there’s no proven market for smart watches yet, even with the success of Pebble and MetaWatch.
According to the source, Apple will launch this smart watch later next year.
Whether or not that’s true, this will likely excite multitudes of geeks who clearly see value in such a device, as proven by Pebble and others.
It won’t be revolutionary, per se — many have already entered the smart watch space — but Apple has a knack for making niche devices mainstream. Just take a look at tablets. Before the iPad, the main question on everyone’s mind was whether or not tablet’s would be used in everyday life.
If this rumor proves true, Apple is probably doing the same thing it did with tablets to the idea of the watch. Low-power Bluetooth 4.0 makes wearable connected tech more practical, and with Apple’s design touch and software ecosystem, a smart watch could appeal to more than just gadget geeks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Google Extends Free Gmail Voice Calls In The U.S. And Canada Through 2013

This is becoming somewhat of a holiday tradition for Google: the company just announced that it is extending it free domestic calls from Gmail in the U.S. and Canada for yet another year. Just like at the end of 2011 and 2010, Google today said that Gmail users will once again get one more year of free voice calls from the Gmail chat widget.
It’s interesting that Google continues to extend this service year after year. The company introducedvoice calls from Gmail in August 2010 after introducing Gmail’s the voice and video chat featurein 2008. When it first launched this calling feature, it said that it would make it free for the first year. Since then, of course, it has always extended this offer, despite the company’s recent trend toward closing some of its less popular or money-losing services.
Google Voice, which forms the basis of the Gmail calling service and also offers free domestic calls, didn’t see too many updates in 2012, by the way. Besides some Google+ contacts integration and the launch ofan updated Android app, it’s actually been extremely quiet around Google Voice this year.
Here is the full (and very brief) announcement from Google:
Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you’re in the US and Canada, you’ll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013. Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates.