The dock port is being worked on by three independent manufacturers – and for the accessory manufacturers, the next few months will be uneasy as they have to wait for official news of the standard.
Since the third generation iPod, Apple’s 30-pin ports have been the standard. However, it seems now that Apple is looking towards saving space. TechCrunch confirms that the news “is based on interviews with three independent manufacturers of Apple accessories that said the new iPhone will include a 19-pin dock instead of the current 30-pin model.”
While one has to take this news with a pinch of salt, many iPhone users feel that they are being left holding the bag. One could argue that a simple adapter may solve the issue with future peripherals. However, the ‘adapter’ may not be well suited with the third-party accessories that many current users may buy in the future. Who is to say that third-party accessory manufacturers will NOT provide backwards compatibility? Right?
Coming soon to the iPad is the newest creation from Mozilla: Junior. Still in it’s prototype stage, it is set to join other third-party alternatives like Atomic, Dolphin, Mercury, Opera Mini, and Skyfire reports The Verge.
The focus behind Junior is to reduce the clutter, & make the browsing experience fill up the entire screen of the iPad. There are no tabs. It has only two buttons: a plus symbol, & a back button. These buttons expand to reveal other functions, for instance, refresh or print. The rest of the functions can be discovered using finger gestures.
The browser is not going to be available anytime soon, for many of the functions are missing. It is very much in its early stages of the development process.
It is understood that Mozilla wants to make an on impact the iOS platform. And it may happen sooner than one may think – it is rumored that Google is already working on making a Chrome version for the iOS too. Let the fun times begin!
Futuremark has announced the new 3DMark for the upcoming Windows 8. 3DMark has been one of the most popular gaming benchmarks for graphics card and overall system prowess for over a decade, and is also used by us for testing most of our PC components as well as laptops.
The next update in 3DMark comes almost 2 years after 3DMark 11 was released, and takes advantage of the new DirectX 11 API in Windows 8 which allows graphics cards to be benchmarked in DX9, DX10 and DX11 modes. The new name, ’3DMark for Windows’ change is currently a placeholder because Futuremark doesn’t want to call it ’3DMark 13′ or ’3DMark for Windows 8′ because of backwards compatibility with Win7 and Vista.
The new 3DMark will be available shortly after the release of Windows 8 later this year. Have a look at the trailer below which shows a glimpse of the effects the new 3DMark will have.
HELSINKI, FINLAND – June 21, 2012 – Futuremark® today released its first trailer for the next version of 3DMark®. Designed for measuring the gaming performance of everything from tablets and notebooks to high-end desktop gaming systems, the next 3DMark for Windows will be the world’s first unified graphics benchmark allowing testing of DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 capable hardware through the DirectX 11 API. Expected to be released after the launch of Windows 8, this new 3DMark will also be compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The new trailer provides a preview of the DirectX 11 test and is now available online and in high definition for the first time at http://www.3dmark.com
3DMARK DIRECTX 11 TECH DEMO
In the trade town of Scarport, buildings cling to canyon walls above canals of lava and provide shelter from the toxic volcanic atmosphere. Gaudy neon signs flicker as steam rises from the molten rivers running beneath the town. A trader walks along ledges carved from the volcanic rock, smoke swirling around her flowing cloak. Her robotic sentinels keep watch, but what dangers lie hidden in the shadows?
The 3DMark DirectX 11 tech demo brings this scene to life with intelligent tessellation and advanced volumetric lighting using real-time light scattering. The visible particles and clouds of smoke in the scene react to other objects using fluid dynamics simulation. Post processing, ambient occlusion and various lens effects complete the look.
Here’s a recommendation for all new Samsung Galaxy S III users: err, just don’t keep in your pocket.
Boards.ie user dillo2k10 experienced what every new mobile phone user definitely do not want to experience: seeing his expensive, salary consuming new purchase spontaneously combust and burn through its plastic casing.
The damage is quite extensive – thankfully the user did not have the smartphone anywhere near him when this happened. According to the user, the Galaxy S III was in his car mount when the device was suddenly engulfed in white flames and sparks, climaxing in a loud bang. Surprisingly, the phone is still working but the reception is completely dead.
Engadget got in touch with Samsung about the matter, who said they are aware of the issue and will look into it once they receive the product in question. “”Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question. Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously.”
If you own the Galaxy S III, we recommend keeping the device as cool as possible. And wearing a fire-hazard suit.
On any given day in the office, there’s at least four to five laptops sitting on my desk. I have to comb through them like I would a deck of cards, going over the features and specifications until I can pick one to review for the week. So my selection this week happened to be the Acer Aspire Q5WV8, a rather humble looking laptop that I hoped would have plenty to impress me with under its hood. Unfortunately, all I got in the end was nothing more than a rather oversized paperweight.
Build quality & Design
The Aspire continues on the recent trend of laptop manufacturers covering everything in glossy plastic, and while this laptop looked great the first time I took it out of the box, within minutes it had my glorious fingerprints all over it. Apart from the Acer logo emblazoned on the top cover, there’s little here in terms of design aesthetics.
To the left of the laptop is the power input, Ethernet port, VGA and HDMI, a single USB 3.0 port, and audio jacks. The right side sports two regular USB 2.0 ports as well as a slim DVD-multi drive and a Kensington lock. There’s no memory card reader or other faster transfer ports, but given the laptop’s later performance results, I think this is a good thing.
Screen and Keyboard
The Acer Aspire has a 15.6” HD CineCrystal LED LCD, running at a resolution of 1366×768. This is fairly decent, and the slightly larger display is easy to appreciate when web browsing or doing a bit of photo editing (emphasis on the ‘a bit’ part). They keyboard is a standard chiclet style which while spaced out well and features a full numpad, has tiny buttons for the directional arrows, which I absolutely hate on laptops. The trackpad is also somewhat glossy, and has been sized up as large as possible in relation to the size of this unit. Oddly enough I wasn’t able to get the side scroll feature to work no matter how many times I reinstalled the drivers or checked my settings, but hopefully this is just a software glitch. The buttons at the bottom sadly only click towards the ends, so if you try to click anywhere else on the button you’ll get nowhere.
The specifications on the Aspire Q5WV8 are basic at best, and their limitations really show during our later tests.
Oddly enough, there was zero bloatware or applications installed when this laptop arrived for review, which was a pleasant surprise. Not even the trial version of Microsoft Office was in sight, which was a welcome change. I’m hoping that the apps weren’t uninstalled before I got the unit, as I certainly think any extra baggage on this system would just be an overkill. Even with no extra software installed, the laptop took at good 48 seconds to go from a fully powered down state to the Windows desktop.
Performance / Battery life
The Q5WV8 was not built for doing anything more than word processing, and I should have realized this looking at the Windows Experience Index of 2.4. Still, I pressed on with my regular benchmarks in the hope that I could get some decent performance out of this unit, but it was not to be. PCMark 7 managed to just pull through the tests, with a grand score of 905. 3DMark came up with a score of 2243, running at about 8-10fps during most of the tests. Passmark gave it a score of 398, which is probably the lowest score I’ve seen so far on a benchmark. Forget about playing any PC games post 2007 on this unit, as it’s clearly built for nothing more than web browsing (though I think playing a Flash game might completely kill it).
Battery life on this was also disappointing – from a full charge at medium brightness it took just two hours and twenty five minutes for the device to beep and warn us to plug in a charger. Ten minutes later I was staring at a blank screen in disbelief as the laptop called it quits and shut down on its last breath.
The Acer Aspire Q5WV8 can’t do much. In fact, I wonder really who would buy something so heavy and so large if all they could do on it was watch YouTube clips and send emails. There are certainly more well designed laptops out there that would sail past the Aspire in terms of performance, so there’s very little reason tor recommend this laptop.
The upcoming Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo, was unveiled at the Windows Phone Summit yesterday. It showcased some of the software & hardware changes that will be seen in Apollo, reported The Verge.
At the software front, some major changes will be seen – customizing the size of every tile in the Start screen will be possible & the screen will have the support of three resolutions: WVGA, WXGA & 720p. Offline maps & improved coverage of mapping data will be supported by Nokia maps, features that Microsoft’s Bing maps didn’t have previously. VoIP applications, including Skype & others will be tightly integrated, meaning the apps can fully utilize the phone dialer.
In regards to the hardware changes, the Apollo will have official Near Field Communications (NFC) support from Microsoft, allowing one to make payments & “store credit card information, member cards, and frequent flier cards.” While existing SD card support is troublesome in Windows Phone 7, Apollo will have full SD support, allowing users to transfer files conveniently. This feature, however, is limited to Apollo devices only.
The most important change, however, seems to be the shift from .NET Compact Framework to the Core CLR. Simply put, this will allow programs “to run in a manner identical to how it runs on desktop Windows, with improved performance benefits and shared components for developers to leverage across desktop and phone apps.” And this brings with it an array of support for multi-core processors and device drivers. “We have support for dual-core, quad-core, octo-core, in theory as many as 64-cores,” says Lieberman, the Senior Product Manager at Microsoft.
Because many of the improvements in Apollo will require new hardware, Microsoft will not release Apollo to existing devices. Instead the company plans to release a Windows Phone 7.8 update, bringing some of Windows Phone 8’s user interface changes to existing devices.
It seems Apollo is still very much a work in progress at this stage, as the company isn’t disclosing availability dates just yet. But surely, these are exciting times – Microsoft is making strides to the coming days where we will see developers making ‘write once and run everywhere’ programs for the Windows ecosystem.