Monthly Archives: February 2013

Finally HP dropping prices with affordable 7″ tablets.


HP surprised more than a few people earlier tonight when it officially revealed the Slate 7, a $169 Android tablet that’s set to ship in the U.S. for $169 in April. It struck me as a safe move for HP, especially after it whiffed so profoundly with its ill-fated TouchPad. After all, people are buying plenty of Nexus 7s, so clearly there must be a market for a cheap, small tablet.

I got the chance to muck around with the Slate 7 at Pepcom earlier tonight though, and to be quite honest, I’m not convinced HP has a winner on its hands.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Slate 7 is its elongated 16:9 display, and the thick black bezel that runs around it. It’s actually rather reminiscent of Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.0, another underwhelming Android tab that banked on its price tag to sell. The…

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Flash back a month or so to CES — NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang officially pulled back the curtain on the company’s new Tegra 4 chipset, and called it the “world’s fastest mobile processor.” It was a hell of a claim to make, but the company did little to justify it at the time aside from pointing to its array of Cortex A15 CPU cores and its “72 GPU cores.”

Fortunately, NVIDIA is much chattier here at MWC, and was eager to show off some rather impressive synthetic benchmarks for its latest and greatest mobile chipset.

Well, maybe “eager” isn’t exactly the right word — NVIDIA really hates playing the mobile benchmark game. I don’t blame them. In many ways the sorts of numbers that these tests spit out just don’t accurately reflect the experience that users will actually have. During our early testing for instance, the Nexus 4 consistently…

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Apple hasn’t done much to change the way iOS works at its core, in terms of navigating within and between apps and the home screen. In fact, iOS is maybe the mobile OS that has remained the most fundamentally the same since its introduction, at least among those that are still in active use. But while Apple hasn’t been making huge changes to the basic iOS user interface, third-party developers have been pushing the boundaries and creating great examples of how things could be better for a next-generation version of Apple’s mobile OS.

The requirements for capturing attention in the App Store have changed dramatically over the last few years. When Apple’s mobile software store was new, just releasing an app at all could nab headlines and significant download numbers. But now it takes something special, especially when you’re building an app whose job is already adequately handled by countless…

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It appears that Samsung has once again joined a growing list of companies that have decided not to release their flagship devices at Mobile World Congress. Reuters reports that the South Korean electronics giant said it will launch its new Galaxy S smartphone on March 14 in  New York after requests from U.S. carriers. We’ve emailed Samsung for confirmation.

One likely reason why Samsung chose New York for its launch is because, as Reuters notes, it is “Apple’s turf” and rivalry between the two is becoming increasingly intense. Launching in New York instead of at this week’s Mobile World Congress also has the added benefit of ensuring that the latest Galaxy S debut will not be lost amid a sea of noise from competitors.

The Galaxy S series has been a cash cow for Samsung, so it’s no surprise that they would want to save it for special events instead…

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It was just this past May that MasterCard expanded its stake in the digital payments arena with its PayPass Wallet Services, and it’s already getting a bit of an overhaul. Today, MasterCard has announced that PayPass Wallet Services is graduating from its production trial with a new name — MasterPass — and a slightly broader approach to how it aims to improve users’ shopping experiences.

MasterPass will roll out to the masses in Canada and Australia before the end of March, with a U.S. launch slated for the spring and a U.K. launch to follow in the summer. To understand what MasterPass does, though, we need to rewind for a moment. MasterCard officially fired up PayPass Wallet Services last spring by allowing users to create free accounts and pay for purchases on certain partner websites using the identity, credit card, and shipping information they’ve stored in their PayPass “wallets.”


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ownCloud is a free software suite, written in PHP, that provides file storage, synchronization, and sharing. It provides the same basic features of Dropbox or It also provides a whole lot more.

ownCloud was started three years ago when Frank Karlitschek wanted a free software alternative to proprietary solutions. In the time since the project has attracted a dedicated group of core contributors, made several significant releases, and is available in 42 languages. It’s also spun off a commercial project to drive development of ownCloud for enterprise users.

The core ownCloud offering is file storage and synchronization. You also get optional contacts and calendar synchronization, if you want to use it. As an open source application, you can install it on any computer you control. This means you know how and where your data is stored, something which existing hosted solutions abstract away from you. Individuals and enterprises can…

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Kantar Worldpanel, the WPP firm that analyses how well smartphones are selling with consumers (not shipping to sales channels) across key worldwide markets, has picked the week of a major mobile show in Europe, Mobile World Congress, to shift some of the focus back to the U.S. Today the firm released numbers on smartphone sales for the 12 weeks to the end of January, which show that Android was the top smartphone platform, beating out previous leader Apple’s iOS, and that Verizon has ousted AT&T as the top smartphone operator.

This represents a change over a year ago, as evidenced by the tables below, but also last month’s rolling, 12-week sales chart, where iPhone topped sales in the U.S.

The figures come at a timely moment, with news breaking earlier that Samsung has chosen New York for the launch of the newest version of its best-selling Galaxy S…

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