Motorola Mobility shuts down Middle East website

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Industry, News, Smartphones, Spotlight

A little over a year back, Google purchased Motorola Mobility- the division that is in charge of making handsets like RAZR. Most analysts looked at the deal as a valuable resource for Google because of the patents that Motorola held in the industry. Looks like they were pretty much spot-on.


After reducing the staff by almost 4,000 Motorola Mobility has now shut down most of it’ international websites including the one for Middle East as well as for Europe and Asia. If you visit the website, you get the following message:

We are streamlining our business and support systems, and unfortunately, we’ll no longer have a dedicated website for Middle East & Africa.

We have reached out the local representatives for Motorola Mobility to hear the official word and will update the story when we do.

Microsoft Sculpt Touch & Logitech t620 Mice Quick look.

November 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Features, Input Devices, Spotlight

Microsoft recently released Windows 8 which took the aging OS into a whole new direction. The modern UI works quite well with touch based devices, however, if you are stuck to an older desktop, the swiping and gesturing becomes quite tiresome. With laptops, Microsoft has implemented some of this functionality through a trackpad but almost everyone working on a desktop uses a mouse. So what we have with us today are mice from Logitech and Microsoft that are looking to solve this issue and help make the transition to Windows 8 a little easier.

From Microsoft, I received the Bluetooth based Sculpt Touch mouse which is targeted more as a portable mouse with its smallish size. While the Sculpt Touch mouse is small to carry, it is a bit heavier side. There is no Bluetooth dongle included in the packaging so you’ll either need to make sure that your computer is equipped with Bluetooth or purchase a dongle separately. To set up the Mouse, you need a mouse to add it as a Bluetooth device which is a bit strange.

The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse has two buttons on top and a touch enabled strip between them that acts like your scroll wheel. Sliding your finger over this strip allows you to scroll horizontally or vertically between documents and web pages. Unfortunately, you don’t get that butter smooth scrolling effect that you get with Mac OS X or the natural inertia that makes using it more realistic. The lack of side buttons can also be looked at as a disadvantage for uses like me that have the side button as assigned as a “Back” button.

For customizing the mouse to your liking the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard app allows you to individually assign buttons based on the app you are using. Considering that left and right mouse buttons are pretty much universal, you really only have the center strip button for any added functionality.

Coming to the Logitech t620, this is an update for the t600 that we had previously looked at. The new version adds support for Microsoft Windows 8 and comes bundled with the unifying receiver that lets you use one USB dongle for multiple Logitech devices and a carrying pouch. The t620 is slightly larger than the Sculpt Touch mouse but I preferred that as it allows my hand to sit more nicely on it.

Setting up the t620 was extremely easy. All I needed to do was plug the unifying receiver, add batteries to the mouse and switch the on/off button. A little windows popped up asking me to download and install the software and before I knew it, everything was all set and ready to work.

The entire surface of the t620 acts as a touch capable surface and recognizes gestures. You can slide your finger on the mouse for scrolling in any direction and while it works better than the Sculpt Mouse, it is still not as smooth as Mac OS X. You can also double tap the surface to bring up the Start screen or swipe from the left or right sides to bring up the multitasking or Charms bar. However the curved surface of the mouse prevents this experience from being as smooth as you would like it to be and many times I had to repeat the gestures to bring the charms bar or the task switcher. Also the mouse buttons aren’t as pronounced at Microsoft’s Sculpt Mouse making clicks a bit less clicky.

The software that Logitech bundles with the t620 works well and allows you to set what gestures and swipes do. For example, you can have the mouse set to bring up your desktop from a swipe which is certainly appreciated for folks that prefer living on the desktop instead of the start screen. Sadly an option to reverse the scrolling gestures is missing which would allow for a more natural tablet like flick.

Unfortunately neither of these rodents helped make my Windows 8 experience as nice as a touch screen does. The scrolling felt unnatural with both of these and while the swipes help get to things faster on the Logitech, getting them registered successfully is a hit-or-miss affair.

Siri will soon speak and understand Arabic

November 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Industry, News, Operating Systems

Apple has been pretty good about providing localized versions of iOS on the iPhone and iPad. Long before Android, iPhone and iPad users were able to read and write in Arabic natively. Now it seems that you might be able to talk to your iPhone or Pad in Arabic soon as well.

In a job listing posted last week, Apple is looking for candidates that are fluent in Arabic to join the team responsible for delivering Siri in different parts of the world. The position is a six month internship based out of Apple’s HQ in Cupertino, California.

Would this be your dream job?

Source: MacRumours

Nokia releases Maps App for iPhone and iPad

November 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, News, Smartphones

While Google continues to work to bring back Google Maps to iPhone and iPad, Nokia has released their version of mapping software for iOS devices today. HERE Maps is now available in App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and has an impressive list of features.

  • Map views – Pick the map you need from map view, live traffic view, public transport line view or satellite view
  • Save map areas & wander without data coverage
  • In selected countries, access community maps created and updated by users
  • Maps, search and place coverage for nearly 200 countries
  • Search with history and suggestions
  • Share places with just a tap, including the location and how to get there, over SMS, email, or social networks
  • Organize places you love into Collections
  • Sign in to HERE Maps with your Nokia Account or Facebook login
  • Sync with Here.net – Access your Collections anywhere
  • Step-by-Step voice-guided walk navigation
  • Walk navigation through pedestrian routes, parks, alleyways, and more
  • Public transportation and driving directions

Windows leader Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, News

The Verge is reporting that the executive in charge of Windows, Steven Sinofsky has left Microsoft. Mr. Sinofsky took lead of Windows project after controversial Windows Vista and brought Windows 7 and recently 8 released on time. He also expected to appear at the Microsoft Windows 8 launch event that will be held in Dubai next week. On his departure, Mr. Sinofsky said:

It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company
 

HTC and Apple settle patent disputes, sign ten year license agreement

November 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Industry, News, Smartphones

Add one more thing to the list of Steve Jobs wouldn’t have done this. Apple and HTC have agreed to dismiss all lawsuits related to patents and sign a ten year license agreement. Why this happened is anybody’s guess. Apple could be getting tired of fighting on all fronts and HTC isn’t the giant it once was, or, maybe it’s a simple approach of your enemy’s (Samsung) enemy is your friend. Here is the short press release:

HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”

Samsung Galaxy S III overtakes the iPhone as best-selling phone last quarter

November 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, News, Smartphones

Samsung’s Galaxy S III was declared as the highest selling Smartphone for Q3 or 2012 overtaking Apple’s iconic iPhone for the first time, as revealed in a report published by Strategy Analytics. With 18 million units sold, the Samsung Galaxy S III easily bested iPhone that shipped around 16.2 million units.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. A large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S3’s success. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”

du launching iPhone 5 in the UAE on Nov 24

November 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, News, Smartphones, Spotlight

We’ve gotten information from a very reliable source that the telecom operator du will be launching the iPhone 5 in the United Arab Emirates on the 24th of November which is two weeks from this Saturday.

The iPhone 5 is the latest handset from Apple that features the new Apple A6 processor with the speedy LTE data transfers and a bigger 4.0″ retina screen. Earlier today, the local newspaper 7Days reported that the iPhone 5 will be launching in the UAE on Nov 20th. We don’t have any information for that date but it may very well be Etisalat, the largest telco in the UAE, that is launching the iPhone. We also don’t know much about the data bundles and plans that will be tied to the iPhone 5 but will keep you updated as and when we find out.

LG brings 21:9 Ultrawide Aspect to Desktop Monitors

November 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Displays, News

If you’re the kind who likes to have enough desktop state on your single monitor that is about the same as having two monitors or hate those black bars on your movies, then an Ultrawide aspect monitor could be something that grabs your attention. While we’ve seen one in a notebook by Toshiba, LG brings this aspect to desktop monitors with 29″ screen and a resolution of 2560×1080. Add to that a couple of HDMI inputs and a pair of speakers and you almost have a home cinema. Press release follows after the image.

LG Electronics today announced the launch of its EA93 UltraWide Monitor, the world’s first to boast a 21:9 aspect ratio. The 29-inch screen offers ample screen real estate, a 4-Screen Split feature and 100 percent sRGB color space expression to provide better multitasking and multimedia capabilities. Designed for maximizing productivity, the monitor employs an IPS display to produce lifelike colors, making it an impressive addition to the home, office or studio.

“LG is always working to expand the definition of what technology is and how it can contribute to productivity and convenience. Whether its for work, watching movies, playing games or anything else in between, the UltraWide Monitor enhances the multitasking and multimedia experience,” said J.J. Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of the IT Business Unit at the LG Home Entertainment Company. “The cinematic proportions, diverse color range and all-around functionality of the UltraWide Monitor clearly demonstrate an ongoing commitment to innovation.”

Multitasking Functionality for Home and Office
The UltraWide Monitor is an excellent addition to any work environment. The monitor’s expansive 29-inch screen provides plenty of room for multiple documents and windows to be viewed at one time. The expansive display also allows more spreadsheet columns to be viewed at once or a two-page document to be read side-by-side.

The UltraWide Monitor is also an outstanding device for graphics professionals. The monitor enables artists to see more and do more with their time. Transforming the monitor into the ultimate multitasking tool, the 4-Screen Split feature can divide the screen into up to four segments, each of which can be uniquely customized.

Graphic designers generally utilize a dual-monitor configuration, allowing them to compare and contrast the material they are editing. However, dual monitors can cause color inconsistencies between screens. The UltraWide monitor, on the other hand, can connect the monitor to two external devices via Dual Link-up, providing consistent color across the entire screen, eliminating the bezels that typically divide the view in dual-monitor set-ups. Additionally, the monitor offers 100 percent of the sRGB color space and is hardware-color-calibration ready, making it perfectly adept at expressing consistent true-to-life colors that graphics professionals require.

Perfect for Movies and Multimedia Viewing
The UltraWide Monitor’s 21:9 aspect ratio is very close to the dimensions of movie theater screens. Its cinematic dimensions allow the monitor to display films the way they were intended. The monitor also takes advantage of IPS display technology so viewers can enjoy lifelike picture quality movies at almost any angle. The combination of four different features – 21:9 aspect ratio, amazing image quality, brilliant color expression and LG’s CINEMA SCREEN Design – makes the UltraWide Monitor ideal for movie buffs and video games. Gamers can also play games and videos from their smartphones on the monitor via the included MHL connection. The addition of two 7W stereo speakers adds to the immersive entertainment experience.

LG’s UltraWide Monitor will be introduced in Korea early this month and rolled-out globally in the weeks following.

Specifications(EA93)

Screen Size: 29W
Format: 21:9
Resolution: 2560×1080
Color Gamut: sRGB 100%
Panel: IPS
Brightness (Typ.): 300nits
Contrast Ratio (Typ.): Mega
Viewing Angle (Ver./Hor.): 178/178
Response Time: 5ms GTG
Interface: DVI-D Dual x1, HMDI x2 (MHL x1), USB 3.0 (1 up, 3 down),Display Port x1, PC Audio In, Headphone Out
Speaker: 7W x 2
Stand: Tilt
Features: MHL, 4-Screen Split, Dual Link-up, Super Energy Saving, PIP (Picture-In-Picture), PBP (Picture-By-Picture), Auto Ratio, Control, Wall Mount (100×100)
Color Calibration: H/W Calibration, True Color Finder (S/W)

Say hello to The Steve Jobs Building

November 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, News

Steve Jobs has become a household name for his work at Apple but between his two terms at Apple, he headed Pixar before Disney bought them. Pixar is the company responsible for creating some of the best animated movies of recent times such as Toy Story, Cars and Finding Nemo. The studio’s main building has been named “The Steve Jobs Building”  at Pixar’s campus, as reported by Pixar Times.

On Twitter, a Pixar employee shared an image taken by a friend, stating that the building had been named “The Steve Jobs Building.” Peering in through the windows, you can clearly see the outline of Sulley, confirming that this is the main building that Steve Jobs himself played a major role in designing. He came up with the idea that the building should be centered around a large atrium, which would lead to accidental collaboration that may not occur if everyone was stuck in their individual offices.

I find this to be the perfect way to honor the legacy of Steve Jobs. Placing his name above the main building not only reminds those who walk through the entrance of his importance to the formation of the studio, but is also a meaningful representation of his influence on the famed building.

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