Microsoft launches Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 for Tablets and PCs in India

Microsoft has introduced the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 for the Indian market making it one of the first multi-platform Bluetooth keyboards to be launched in India.

Bluetooth Keyboard 5000 pic 1

At less than three-quarters of an inch thick and 400 grams in weight, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is a slim and sleek alternative helping you get rid of pesky wires, docks, or trans-receivers. I’ve been using the Microsoft Arc keyboard for several months and have been looking for an alternative that takes away the need for a trans-receiver. The small unit can easily be lost and also occupies a USB port all the time. The Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is very easy on the hands and has an ergonomic Microsoft Comfort Curve design. The design promotes a more natural wrist position whether you are working on a desk or in a casual posture.

“Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile keyboard 5000 is especially designed for people on the move and as the market for mobile products such as the Tablets and Laptops increases; this is poised to become an accessory consumers would definitely want”.

Mr Satish Parreddi, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Retail Sales & Marketing, Microsoft India

The compact keyboard offers full functionality of a keyboard and is compatible with both tablets and PCs, although it is small enough to slip into a bag. Priced at an attractive price of INR 3350 in India, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 works equally well with Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista and Windows 7), iPad, iPad2, and many Android devices. Available only in black color, the keyboard requires the standard AAA batteries.

New Apple iPad vs. iPad 2 – To Buy Or Not To Buy?

The new iPad is superior in every way to its predecessor, the iPad 2. However, is the new iPad a worthy update if you own the iPad 2?

Below are 5 areas where the new iPad  is a major improvement over the iPad 2 -:

Display – The new iPad has the same screen size as the iPad 2 at 9.7-inches. However, the biggest difference between the two is the resolution of the screen. While the new iPad has an eye-busting resolution of 2048*1536, the iPad 2 has a mere screen resolution of 1024×768. The saturation and color rendering on the new iPad screen is also up to 40% much better than the screen on the iPad 2.

iSight camera – The iPad 2 was the first iPad to come with a camera, but sadly the camera on the device was a disappointment. It took some terrible photos, but was perfect for video calling. After all, who uses a tablet to take photos? Well, iPad does not want to take any chance, and has updated the camera on the new iPad to a 5MP one, which sports the same camera technology as the one found on the iPhone 4S 8MP snapper.

Performance – The iPad 2 still is the best performing tablet out there. The PowerVR SGX543 GPU inside the iPad 2 is still an overkill for the resolution it has to push on the iPad 2. However, since the new iPad has such a big screen, Apple also increased the core count on the PowerVR SGX543 GPU to a total of four. In theory, at the same resolution, users should expect to see a 4x improvement in performance. While that might not be possible in the real world scenarios, the 4 cores inside the PowerVR SGX543 will make sure that games on the new iPad don’t struggle at such an insane resolution.

RAM – While the iPad 2 has only 512MB of RAM, the new iPad comes with 1GB of RAM. Considering the increase in resolution, apps appetite for RAM will also increase, and so it was obvious for Apple to increase the total amount of RAM on the new iPad. While the extra amount of RAM may not affect performance much in day-to-day use, it will definitely come in handy while loading big games or under heavy multi-tasking.

Connectivity – The new iPad is the first device from Apple to support the blazing fast LTE networks from Verizon and AT&T. This ensures that users can get a download speed of up to a whopping 72Mbps per second! In contrast to this, the iPad 2 comes with support for only the 3G networks, with a maximum download speed of up to 14.4Mbps.

It is clearly visible from the above five points, that the new iPad trumps the iPad 2 in every possible way. However, if you own an iPad 2, should you really upgrade to the new iPad? In my opinion, while the new iPad comes with some major changes including a beautiful display, I don’t think there is any need for iPad 2 owners to update to the new iPad. The iPad 2 is by no means outdated, and still offers more than decent performance.

If you own an original iPad though, its time for you to update though! The original iPad is now more than 2 years old now, and has reached the end of its life. If you are a graphic designer, and use your iPad for some graphic designing purpose though, I’d recommend you to buy the new iPad though. The difference in resolution will be greatly appreciated by all the graphic designers.

Finally, if you still don’t own a tablet, the iPad 2 for $399 is an awesome bargain for a tablet. Go get it now!

 

iOS 5.1 IPSW Direct Download Links

Along with the ‘new iPad‘, Apple has also released iOS 5.1 to iDevice owners. This new version of iOS brings with it quite a few changes, bug fixes and new features. The most important change in the new version is that Siri now officially supports Japanese language. Secondly, users can also delete photos from their Photo Stream.

Other changes include a permanent camera shortcut icon on the lockscreen, battery life improvements, and more. Below the the full change-log of the update -:

  • Japanese language support for Siri
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius Playlists for iTunes Match Subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Updated AT&T network indicator
  • Address bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls.
The iOS 5.1 update is available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and the iPhone 3GS, along with the 2nd and 1st generation iPad. Owners of iPod Touch 3G and 4G can also download the update for free from iTunes. Alternatively, iDevice owners can manually update their device to iOS 5.1 by downloading and installing the IPSW file.
The iOS 5.1 IPSW file for the iPhone 4S can be downloaded from here, while the IPSW file for the iPhone 4 can be downloaded from here (GSM) and here (CDMA/Verizon). The IPSW files for iPod Touch 3G and 4G can be downloaded from here and here, respectively. iPad 2 Wi-Fi model owners can download the latest version of iOS 5.1 from here, while 3G+Wi-Fi model owners should click here (GSM) or here (CDMA).

Samsung Galaxy S II Awarded The Best Smartphone Of The Year By GSMA

Today is the last day of Mobile World Congress. The last 3 days have been absolutely crazy, with insane amount of new handsets and tablets announced, including a phone with a whopping 41MP camera! This year we saw Android manufacturers competing with each other not only on specs, but on other key factors like the camera and build quality.

Last night at MWC, the GSMA body awarded some prestigious awards to the notable products and companies of last year. The Samsung Galaxy S II won the prestigious ‘Best Smartphone’ of the year, while Sammy itself was awarded the ‘Device Manufacturer of the Year award’. Considering how the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung itself have dominated the Android sales chart last year, this really should not come as a surprise.

“The GALAXY S II has set a new standard for smartphones, taking speed, screen and content to a whole new level,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “Building on the phenomenal success of the original Samsung GALAXY S, we are honored by this award and proud of how this device has changed the way the market and consumers experience mobile technology.”

Unsurprisingly, the ‘Best Tablet’ of the year award was bagged by none other than the…yeah you guessed it right…the Apple iPad 2. As things currently stand, the iPad 2 still has no worthy competitor, and single handedly manages to outsell all the Android tablets, combined, out there.

 

Best Buy Cuts Price of iPad 2 by $50 as iPad 3 Nears

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the iPad 3 will be announced on March 7th. I’m excited, are you? The report that came out claimed that the iPad 3 will include a 2048×1536 Retina display as well as a quad-core A6 processor and “possibly” 4G LTE networking. My thoughts regarding what we can expect with the iPad 3 can be read here.

Today, it has been discovered that Best Buy is now offering  $50 discounts across the entire line of iPad 2 models, which would further signal that an iPad 3 launch is imminent. Now the price of an iPad 2 starts at $449.99 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model.

In addition,  Engadget reports that Best Buy has begun updating its internal inventory management systems to reflect a “deleted” status for iPad 2 models. However, it should be noted that Best Buy does not have advance notice of new Apple products, especially those that appear to be part of a major media event. MacRumors also points out that Best Buy isn’t the only one reducing iPad 2 prices.  Grocery and retail store chain Meijer earlier this month offered the entry-level iPad for $429, a $70 discount from the regular retail prices.

Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad 2 Released

Adobe has officially launched Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad 2, which was pulled yesterday since it was scheduled for a Monday, February 27th launch. Last October, Adobe had first announced the product, alongside 5 other upcoming tablet applications. This app is the flagship app from the company.

Photoshop for iPad 2

The app is described as a tool to “let you quickly combine images, apply professional effects, share the results with friends and family through social networking sites like Facebook, and more”. Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad 2 is available for $9.99 in the US and is only compatible with the iPad 2. Adobe Photoshop for Touch can be download via the App Store here.

Adobe has been exploring the tablet market by entering onto the iPad and other tablets with a series of applications. However, they have yet to match the capabilities of the desktop version of Adobe’s key software products. The company’s initial goal for the iPad was to explore how the device might be used as an auxiliary input for the desktop version at first, but now the company has expanded to including some image editing features from Photoshop. MacStories has a fantastic review of the app.

Clearly, the iPad is just for “content consumption” and not content creation.

iPhone 4S & iPad 2 Untethered iOS 5.0.1 Jailbreak Available

Jailbreakers rejoice, the long awaited and highly anticipated untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1 on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 is finally available.

It was only a few days ago that the first untethered iOS 5.0.1 jailbreak was shown off on video. It was functional, but declared to still be in testing. Fast forward just 4 days later, and a public release is available for all to download. The Chronic Dev team have announced they have packaged the exploits that allow execution of unsigned code (code named Absinthe A5) into a working untethered jailbreak. Both the iPhone 4S (GSM and CDMA variants), as well as the iPad 2 (GSM, CDMA and Wi-Fi only variants) are targeted and supported in this release.

It took a mass of crash reports, over 10 million, and almost 10 months of work for the team to find an entry point and exploit the new A5 chip. The exploit consists of a series of both userland and kernel level exploits that were dubbed ‘corona’.  The name comes from a vulnerability that was in Apple’s IPSec IKE daemon, named ‘racoon’. Although the app released today, for jailbreaking current iPhone 4S and iPad 2 devices, is only available for Mac OS X users, there is a placeholder for Windows and Linux users. Their respective applications will likely be available soon and will be as simple as a point and click.

In addition to the tools being released, the “iOS Hacking Dream Team” has spawned. It consists of members from the Chronic Dev team (posixninja, pod2g and nikias) and the iPhone-dev team (planetbeing). Both teams have donation pages to thank them for their work and provide funds for hardware upgrades to ensure future devices can be jailbroken.

iOS 5.0.1 IPSW Direct Download Links

Apple has started rolling out the much awaited iOS 5.0.1 to all iDevices including the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4S, along with the iPod Touch line-up.

Owners of the latest generation iPhone state that they have been getting horrible battery life from their phone, and that the phone is unable to last even half a day on standby!  With the release of iOS 5.0.1, Apple aims to fix the poor battery life issues faced by a majority of iPhone 4S owners.

Along with an improvement in battery life, the update also add multitasking gestures to the original iPad, and improves voice  recognition  a.k.a Siri for Australian iPhone 4S users. There should also be some improvements in iCloud document syncing as well. iDevice owners can update to iOS 5.0.1 either via OTA, or via iTunes. The OTA update weighs in a mere 44.6MB.

Alternatively, users can directly download the IPSW file and upgrade manually. iPhone 4S owners can download the IPSW file from here, while iPhone 4 GSM and CDMA owners should head over to this and this link, respectively. iPhone 3GS owners can find the required iOS 5.0.1 IPSW file here.

Original iPad owners can download the IPSW file from here, while Wi-Fi and GSM versions of iPad 2 owners can download the IPSW file from here and here. iPad 2 CDMA owners can download the IPSW file from here. Owners of 3rd and 4th gen iPod Touch should head over to this and this link.

iPad Now 97% of Tablet Traffic

Earlier this June,  comScore reported that the iPad was responsible for 89% of worldwide tablet traffic in May, thus continuing to dominate the market it defined last year. Today, a new report from comScore reveals that  almost 7 percent of all US web traffic, with Apple’s iOS representing a 58.5 percent of all mobile traffic, and the iPad now accounts for more traffic than iPhones.  The growth of mobile devices has claimed a 6.8 percent chunk of US web traffic from conventional PCs.

comScore iPad Oct 11comScore iPad Oct 11The data shows that among the two thirds of traffic is from mobile phones and a remaining third is generated by tablet users. In fact, ComScore reports that Apple’s iPad now accounts for 97.2 percent of all tablet-originating web traffic, which goes to prove that competitors have not yet released a significant tablet competitor. In addition, the iPad accounts for 46.8 percent of web traffic generated among all iOS users.

“Although the Android platform accounts for the highest share of the smartphone market (43.7 percent in August),” comScore stated, “its total audience among mobile and connected devices in current use is eclipsed by the Apple iOS audience.”

comScore also reported that almost half of tablet owners have completed purchases using their tablet. Even though Apple has a minor lead over Android in terms of installed based (unique users), this data shows that Apple has a major lead in the mobile traffic.

In conclusion, Android tablets are crushing iPad web traffic from 2.8% to 97.2%.

Apple Starts Offering Refurbished iPad 2 Models

Refurb iPad 2 price

iPad 2s are selling like hot cakes, and now the company has started to offer refurbished models. Earlier today, Apple begun offering refurbished iPad 2 models via its online store. Currently, no 16 GB models are available and the discounts are only at $50 off of pricing for brand-new units.  Both colors are offered  for both, and both carriers are offered for the two 3G models.

Models currently available in the U.S. online store include:

  • 64 GB Wi-Fi: both colors ($649)
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi + 3G: all four carrier/color combinations ($679)
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi + 3G: all four carrier/color combinations ($779)

In addition, Apple offers the same return policy for refurbished iPads as brand-new units,  and also includes new batteries and outer shells, according to MacRumors. All other components of the iPad 2 are cleaned and tested during the refurbishing process. Also, if something’s amiss, Apple will replace that particular component. According to Apple’s website, refurbished iPad 2s are currently shipping in 1-3 business days.

Last month, Apple begun offering refurbished original iPad models for $299. Availabilty of those models have been scarce due to  customers taking advantage of the deep discounts.