All posts by Andrew Kunesh

Andrew is a geek, Apple enthusiast, blogger and coffee lover from Chicago. Follow Andrew on Twitter for constant updates: @andrewkunesh

Galaxy Note 8.0 Photo Leaked

Galaxy Note 8 Leaked

A photograph of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet has been leaked via Twitter user @ClasificateArg.. The device is set to sport 2GB of RAM, a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU and 16GB of internal storage. The device’s 8-inch screen will feature a resolution of 1200×800. The Note 8.0’s camera will include a resolution of 5 megapixels, which should be decent enough for a modern mid-range tablet. Finally, the device looks to be running Android 4.2 and will offer S-pen compatibility.

As far as design goes, you can tell that the device mimics a standard Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II. The camera placement is the same and the front of the device looks almost identical to t the standard 5.5″ Galaxy Note II. The UI of the device also looks to be the same old smartphone UI found in the Note II and Galaxy S III with little to no tablet optimization.

I personally think the device looks way less than stellar. Because of this, I think the device will have a hard time competing with the iPad mini, which also uses the 8-inch screen size. People who want tablets don’t just want a cheap price-tag and high-performance, but they want something that will look good when brought to work or school. As of now, the Note 8.0’s pricing and launch date has not been unveiled.

Source: AndroidPit

Motorola Releases The Non-Android Motogo! In Mexico

Motogo! Announced For Mexico

Motorola has just announced the Motogo!, a new feature phone exclusive to the Mexican market. The device doesn’t run Android, though Motorola was acquired by Google in mid-2012. The device features a full QWERTY keyboard with navigation controls and doesn’t sport a touchscreen. Motogo! looks to be a decent phone for SMS and social networking. As far as connectivity goes, the Motogo! supports 3G cellular networks and has a Wi-Fi chip.

The Motogo!’s software is where the device truly gets interesting. Even though the phone isn’t running Android, it seems to have a strong Google influence. The phone is integrated with many Google services like Google Talk, Google Search and Gmail amongst others. The device even has a hardware Google Search button which can be used to quickly start a Google Search.

The device is supposed to feature a small price-tag and seems to be a pretty good purchase for those who want a basic phone. With Google integration, an MP3 player and a camera, this could be one of the best feature phones on the market. As of now, we’re not sure if the device will launch outside of Mexico.

Am I the only one that thinks this device looks a lot like Google’s early Android prototype?

Source: Motorola via The Verge

RIM May License Blackberry 10

Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha

Thorsten Heins, the current CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), has told the German newspaper Die Welt that Blackberry 10 may be licensed to third-party manufacturers. Unfortunately, RIM likely won’t license the hardware until after RIM’s own hardware hits the market and has a chance to prove itself. When asked by the publication, Heins said the following:

“Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential. First we have to fulfill our promises. If such proof, a licensing is conceivable.”

In the past, RIM has never licensed its Blackberry operating system to third-party manufactures and has always produced its own hardware. If licensed, Blackberry 10 would be opened to a whole new world of hardware innovation, something which RIM is currently lacking.

Blackberry 10 is expected to launch on January 30th. The operating system has been delayed multiple times over the past year in order to give both RIM and third-party developers time to prepare for the launch of the OS. This iteration of the Blackberry operating system has been rebuilt from the ground up in hopes of regaining lost marketshare for the company.

Source: CNET via Pando Daily
Image Source: closari

T-Mobile May Have Nexus 4 Stock On Jan. 23rd, Nexus 7 Available Now

T-Mobile has announced that they will have the Nexus 4 in stock again on January 23rd. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t seem to have given us specifics at to the amount of phones they’ll be receiving from LG. The company has also noted that they will be bringing the device to all T-Mobile stores in the coming weeks. As of now, only some stores are stocking the Nexus 4.

If you’re unaware, the Nexus 4 is the newest device in the Nexus lineup. It features an extremely low $299 unsubsidized price-tag with no SIM lock. The phone offers a relatively unique design and top of the line specs which include a quad-core CPU, 4.7″ screen and 2GB of RAM.

Finally, the company has also stated that Google Play has begun selling the 3G model of the Nexus 7 with a T-Mobile SIM card. Previously, the device was only available with AT&T SIM cards, though the tablet itself is unlocked. You can purchase the Nexus 7 with 3G for $299 on Google Play.

Source: TmoNews via Androinica

 

AT&T To Offer Off-Contract Lenovo IdeaTab A2107

AT&T has just announced that it will be offering the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107 off-contract and unsubsidized. The device will sell for $199.99 off-contract or $99.99 if purchased with a two-year contract. The device will only support AT&T’s 3G network as the device doesn’t support 4G LTE network. Chris Penrose, AT&T’s senior vice president of emerging devices, has said that the device “is a great option for those in the market for a compact, multifunctional tablet at an affordable price,”.

If you’re unaware, the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107 is a very low priced 7″ tablet. The device runs Android 4.0 and supports Google Play. The device is powered by a modest 1GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM and a 2.0 megapixel camera. The device seems like a good option for those who want a tablet to add to their AT&T Mobile Share plan for an extra $10 per month. The device is perfect for light gaming, Netflix streaming and web browsing, though we wouldn’t recommend it to those who need the best tech on the market. At only $199.99, the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107 makes a good competitor to the Nexus 7 with Mobile Data which currently retails for $299.00. However, the Nexus 7 does offer better specs and is factory unlocked.

Source: AT&T via Talk Android

 

Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Message Strangers

Facebook is reportedly testing a service which allows users to message strangers for a fee of $100 per message. When Facebook originally started testing this feature in December, they set the price at a mere $1 per message. Some Facebook users reportedly saw this fee appear when attempting to message Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, though others have seen it when attempting to message random users. This experimental feature has not yet been rolled out to all Facebook members.

When Mashable reached out to Facebook for comment, a spokesperson told them that “We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam.” This leads us to believe that Facebook will likely drop the price point of this feature before rolling it out to the general public.

If users would rather not pay a fee but still be able to message users outside of their network, they can choose to have the message land in the recipient’s “Other” folder. This folder seems to be an area for messages from strangers and other messages that Facebook thinks aren’t at the top of your priority list.

Would you pay $100 to message a stranger on Facebook? Let us know why or why not by leaving a comment on this post.

Source: Mashable via The Verge
Image Via: The Verge

Review: OWC Data Doubler Kit For Mac Mini

The Mac mini is a great little machine if you’re just getting into OS X or if you’re a long time user. Because of the Mini’s small form factor, it can be used in a variety of situations, from the office to the home theater. Another nice thing about the Mac mini is how upgradable it is. While it may not look like it from afar, once you’re up-close and personal with the machine, you’ll realize how easy it is to swap drives and throw more RAM into the machine.

So, you’re thinking of upgrading your Mini’s hard drive. Sure, you could purchase a new drive and throw your old one into another computer or an external enclosure, but why not keep it in your Mini for extra storage? Even though this may seem like an impossible feat at first due to the Mini’s very small enclosure, it is actually quite possible.

When Apple designed the 2011 Mac mini, they removed the optical drive, making it identical to the server edition Mac mini. The Mac mini server sports two 500GB drive standard, enabling RAID and other dual-drive solutions. Because of this, the standard version of the 2011 and 2012 Mac mini have an extra empty 2.5″ hard drive bay which needs a few simple parts to be fully active and capable of connecting another drive to your Mac. While you can buy all of these parts individually and follow a seedy tutorial on YouTube, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to purchase all of the tools, parts as well as an installation guide at once? That’s where Other World Computing comes in with the Data Doubler.

OWC’s Data Doubler for the 2011-2012 Mac mini is an awesome little kit. For a penny under $40, the product includes all screw drivers, parts and tutorials you need to install a second drive in your Mac mini. Most importantly, the Data Doubler includes a custom made  SATA cable which attaches to your Mini’s motherboard. This adds a second SATA connection to be used with the mounted drive. The only thing not included is the actual drive which you’ll be installing, but you can purchase one from OWC if needed.

Now that you’ve purchased a Data Doubler kit and a secondary drive for your Mini, how difficult is the installation process? Upon first glance, it may be pretty intimidating as you have to take your Mini completely apart for installing the secondary drive. However, as long as you follow Other World Computing’s professional video guide, you shouldn’t have an issue with the installation. I installed the Data Doubler kit in my Mac mini in about 45 minutes by following OWC’s guide.

All in all, I highly recommend OWC’s Data Doubler kit for the Mac mini to the type of person who doesn’t mind taking their Mac apart. You can purchase the Data Doubler for 2011-2012 Mac mini via Other World Computing’s website for $39.99.

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T To Support Blackberry 10

 

Reuters (via CrackberryThe Verge) has just reported that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will all give Blackberry 10 devices a chance on their networks. Reuters has spoken with all three carriers on the topic and can confirm that all three will carry Blackberry 10 phones. Executives at all three companies have made the following statements on Blackberry 10:

“It’s logical to expect our current (BlackBerry) customers will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from in the future,” – AT&T handset executive Jeff Bradley

 

“We’re extremely optimistic that it’s going to be a successful product and our business customers are extremely interested in it,” – T-Mobile CEO John Legere

 

“We’re hopeful it’s going to be a good device”, “We’ll carry it” – Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

This would leave Sprint as the only major American cellular network to not publically support Blackberry 10 devices, though this may change closer to Blackberry 10’s official launch date.

It’s nice to see that carriers are still giving RIM (Research In Motion) a chance even though Blackberry marketshare has been rapidly declining over the past few years. If you’re unaware, Blackberry 10 is a totally reworked Blackberry operating system. RIM will be completely redoing its smartphone hardware line with Blackberry 10 in hopes of putting up a stronger fight against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Google Play Offers “Free For Print Subscribers” Option

Google has just added a new feature to Google Play which allows users who subscribe to print magazines to get a free digital copy. As of now, this functionality is limited to only a fraction of the magazines on the Play store, though we should see more publishers implement the service in the near future.

If you subscribe to a compatible magazine and would like a free digital copy, you don’t have to do too much. First, find the magazine in which you subscribe to on the Google Play store and hit the “subscribe” button. If a ” Free for print subscribers” button appears, you can digitally subscribe to the publication free of charge. Upon clicking this button, you’ll be asked to log into your magazine subscription online. After you do so, you’ll be able to start reading your print magazine digitally for free.

Keep in mind that if you do get a free digital subscription to a magazine, you’ll only be able to view it on your Android phone or tablet. Google has not yet allowed free magazines to be viewed online.

Source: Google via Talk Android

Spongebob Diner Dash Pulled From The App Store Due To Privacy Claims

Spongebob Diner Dash, a popular kids game for iOS, was recently pulled from the App Store due to a privacy claim from the Center for Digital Democracy. The group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Viacom, the company who owns airs Spongebob via Nickelodeon, and PlayFirst, the company who developed the app. The Center for Digital Democracy claimed that the application asked children for their email address and other information without first getting their parent’s approval. This violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. Nickelodeon pulled Spongebob Diner Dash from the App Store in order to investigate the complaints.

If you’re unaware, Spongebob Diner Dash is a skinned version of the extremely popular Diner Dash. Diner Dash was originally a Flash game which has since been ported to iOS and other platforms. The game’s objective is to take and deliver food orders at a restaurant, a theme which can easily amuse younger crowds when skinned with a popular cartoon character. Because of this, it will be hard for Viacom to use the “it’s marketed towards older audiences” excuse which is often used amongst game developers in this situation.

Source: The New York Times

Review: The Willy And FrameShift Stands By Insanely Great Products

If you’re in the market for a stand for either your iPhone or iPad, you may or may not have heard of Insanely Great Products. Insanely Great is a smaller iOS accessory maker who specializes in handcrafted stands for both the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Its whole line of stands are made from extremely high quality materials, like aluminium and sturdy acrylics. Because of this, most of the stands manufactured by Insanely Great Products feature a very industrial look, something which I’m a huge fan of.

Insanely Great Products was nice enough to let me test out a couple of their stands: the Willy and the Frameshift. The Willy Stand is made for the iPhone, but can be used with pretty much any smartphone. The FramesShift is an iPad stand which works with most tablets and eReaders on the market. Below, I’ve written up an individual review for each product, giving you my opinion on whether or not I think you should purchase either of the stands for yourself.

FrameShift For iPad

The FrameShift is a pretty awesome stand for the iPad, though it’s compatible with most tablet devices. It’s constructed completely out of anodized aircraft aluminium, and is available in three colors: red, blue and black. All three of these colors look absolutely stunning, though I prefer blue. Since the FrameShift is made out of aluminium, you don’t have to worry about the stand breaking, denting or cracking. Also, all of the nuts, bolts and washers used to construct the FrameShift are standard, so if anything gets broken, you can easily replace the part yourself.

One nice thing about the FrameShift is how versatile it is. The stand’s arm can be configured in multiple angles, allowing for easier viewing of movies and typing. Because of this, the FramesShift can also fold flat, which is helpful when traveling. Also, the interior of the FrameShift is padded with rubber, ensuring that your iPad won’t come in contact with the Frameshift’s metal construction.

All in all, I’d be happy to recommend the FrameShift as an iPad stand, though the price is a bit steep at $99 USD. For the price, however, you’re getting an extremely durable stand for your iPad which should be able to withstand most any situation, whether you’re storing it in your messenger bag or watching movies on the airplane. The fact that the FrameShift can be used to position your iPad at pretty much any angle really seals the deal for me.

Willy For iPhone

Willy For iPhone

If you’re looking for a cheap and functional iPhone stand, the Willy is your match. The Willy is made out of a sturdy acrylic material and features a non-skid bottom, so you don’t have to worry about using the Willy on your nightstand or desk.

Your iPhone is held into the Willy using one of two suction cups. The secondary suction cup can be used to mount the Willy to your car’s dashboard, your whiteboard or even the bathroom mirror. One of my favorite uses for the Willy is for positioning my iPhone comfortably between my ear and shoulder when on long calls. When used on a table, the Willy is positioned at a perfect angle for hands-free movie viewing and FaceTime calling.

If you’d like to purchase the Willy for yourself, expect to drop $20 on Insanely Great Products’ website. With such a low price-tag for such a functional product, I have no trouble recommending the Willy to any smartphone user.

Disclosure: Insanely Great Products provided both the FrameShift and Willy for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Apple Kicks Out Maps Executive, Richard Williamson

Richard Williamson, the Apple executive behind Apple Maps, was reportedly kicked out of the company two weeks ago according to The Wall Street Journal. When Williamson was with Apple, he primarily focused on Siri and Maps, two of the bigger flaws within iOS. His boss and senior vice president of iOS, Scott Forstall, got the boot in October. Williamson’s official title at Apple was Vice President of iOS Platform services.

Bloomberg has reported that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, was reportedly the one who let Williamson go. Cue is currently overseeing Apple Maps and is working to make it better.

Williamson and Forstall were both likely kicked out of Apple because of Apple’s rocky launch of Apple Maps with iOS 6. iOS 6 Maps has suffered from many flaws such misplaced location errors and is lacking both bike and public transportation maps. Apple has yet to comment on Williamson’s departure nor have they made his departure public like they did with Forstall’s.

Image Source: Yuya Tamai

AT&T Allows iPhone 4S To Use FaceTime Over 3G

According to a poster on the MacRumors forums, iPhone 4S users on AT&T’s network are finally able to use FaceTime via cellular. This is surprising as AT&T announced earlier this month that they would only allow users with 4G LTE devices and a tiered data plan to use FaceTime via a cellular connection. MacRumors has also reported that the poster was using a grandfathered unlimited data plan on his or her iPhone 5 and 4S, both of which are able to make FaceTime calls over cellular. We’ve embedded the forum post below:

In a recent thread we were discussing AT&T members getting facetime with LTE devices and tiered plans. However I noticed today that I have facetime over cellular and I have an unlimited plan on my 5.

I just turned off my other phone, a 4S and turned it back on, only to find the switch flipped to ON for facetime over cellular. Both phones work perfectly over cellular.

I also checked a few coworkers phones, all now have FT over cellular.

As of now, we’re not totally sure if AT&T is officially supporting FaceTime over cellular on the iPhone 4S and unlimited data plans at it could be an oversight on their part. It’s also worth noting that the original rollout of FaceTime on tiered data plans was supposed to take 8-10 weeks. CNET has reportedly asked an AT&T representative for clarification on FaceTime over cellular. AT&T responded to them with a good ol’ “we’re looking into it.”

Finally, AT&T iPhone 4 and iPad 2 users will be unable to take advantage of FaceTime over AT&T’s network as iOS 6 requires an iPhone 4S or higher to use FaceTime via cellular data.

Image Source: Brett Jordan

HTC And Verizon To Hold An Event On November 13th

 

HTC and Verizon have just sent out invitations to a press conference which is set to take place on November 13th in New York City. Neither Verizon or HTC have commented on what will be introduced at the event, but rumors are pointing towards a large smartphone with a 5-inch, 1080p screen. The phone will likely feature 2GB of RAM and run on Android 4.1.1 “Jelly Bean”. We should see this phone go under the name “Droid DNA”, but it will likely show strong similarities to the HTC J Butterfly. Androinica expects this phone to start shipping on November 20th.

HTC desperately needs to work with Verizon on this launch as HTC just reported a 60%, or $588 million, loss last month. If this collaboration with Verizon is successful, we could see HTC get back into the handset making game in full force. HTC has also been working on their latest Windows Phone 8 devices which they are hoping will take off better than their Windows Phone 7 predecessors.

Do you think that this bleeding edge Android phone could put HTC back on top? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

Source: Androinica

Nook Color, Tablet Receive Price Cuts

It looks as if Barnes & Noble is trying even harder to get on your Christmas list as they’ve announced prices cuts for both the Nook Color and Nook Tablet. The Nook Color is now sporting a $139 price-tag while the Nook Tablet is sporting a $159 and $179 price-tag for 8GB and 16GB storage capacities respectively.

These two tablets are on the lower end of the tablet spectrum as they were recently replaced by the Nook HD and Nook HD+, two tablets which are meant to compete with Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad. However, the Nook Color and Tablet are competitively priced to compete with Amazon’s $159 Kindle Fire offering.

Both the Nook Color and Nook Tablet are dated as the color was released in 2010 while the tablet was released in 2011. These two tablets feature the same design, though they are offered in different colors and feature different specifications. The Nook Color sports a single-core CPU while the Nook Tablet offers a faster, dual-core chip. Both of these tablets run a customized version of Android and offer 7″ screens.

Do these price cuts make you want to give a Nook as a holiday gift? Let us know by dropping a comment below this post.

Source: Engadget