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Archive | October 14, 2010

Apple iPad to sell in Verizon and AT&T stores this month

iPad here, iPad there…you know the rest. In two successive announcements involving the immensely successful Apple tablet – iPad, both Verizon and At&T declared they’ll start selling it in their stores by the end of this month. Verizon will sell a combination – iPad and MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot for roughly the price of a 3G iPad – $629. For this price you’ll get the iPad WiFi 16GB model and the MiFi gadget. The 32GB will set you back $729 while the biggest brother 64GB version is a nice $829 (have you made your holiday shopping plans yet ?). The Verizon data plan for iPad, including 1GB monthly traffic is just $20 which is not that bad.

On the AT&T side, you can find the 3G version starting October 28th, selling for about the same prices and including AT&T standard iPhone data plans and prices, the cheaper being $14.99 for 200MB of monthly traffic allowance included. As a bonus, AT&T also offers WiFi  access to their rather impressive 23,000 available WiFi Hot Spots.

Adobe Flash 10.1 downloaded over one millions times on Android phones

Not everybody believes Steve Jobs when he preaches the  death of Flash, at least not the over one millions users downloading the 10.1 version for their Android smartphones. These are the latest numbers coming from Adobe and they certainly have something to brag about. Unlike Apple, Google is certainly not concerned about supporting Flash and made it official announcing that Froyo (Android 2.2) will support Flash. Since the announcement, it was a good collaboration all over the place.

Android OS is the only major platform for smartphones that officially supports Flash. Microsoft said at some point their new Windows Phone 7 OS will support it, although not at launch. Let’s not forget that Microsoft is deeply involved in Silverlight which is the main Flash competitor. Apple of course will never support it unless you jailbreak your iPhone and install Frash (see here how).

Skype 5.0 launches with group video conference and Facebook

With its new client now at version 5.0, Skype becomes a threat to the other dedicated providers of group video-conferences in the business world. The feature won’t be free, and it is part of the new premium services Skype started to unveil recently – they need some way to make money, right? Beside group video-conference, Skype 5.0 features Facebook integration so you can access your Facebook news feeds directly, call your Facebook friends even if they are not among your Skype contacts which is actually neat as you’ll be able to bother even more people than ever before 😉 .

Ahh, and I almost forgot: The new client features a new “automatic call recovery” in case something happened and you were disconnected prematurely. All of these goodies available for Windows now, MAC users everywhere angry awaiting their update.

Check after the break for a movie guiding you through the new features.

Read More…

Netgear Roku XD media player / streamer box launches

You know what they say, if you can’t beat them, join them and since Netgear doesn’t really have any amazingly successful media streamer box, they partnered with Roku to sell theirs. Is it a move to counter the upcoming Boxee Box from D-Link? Not sure since Boxee box doesn’t look like it will support Netflix, but time will tell.

Anyway, the model Netgear will sell is Roku XD which right now is available at Amazon for $79. Supposedly, the deal will enable Roku to benefit from Netgear’s larger distribution network so soon you’ll see the little box available everywhere from Best Buy, Frys, etc. Do people still buy from brick and mortar stores anymore?

The price, interestingly enough seems to be $10 extra compared with the original Roku XD media streamer box, not sure why and also not sure why you would pay it, but then again, Best Buy for example was never a store dedicated to lower prices…At this range, it is in a direct competition with media streaming boxes that are additionally capable to play the content stored on your home network like Western Digital WD TV Live Plus (Review) capable of playing from network shares and also implementing a DLNA client. Which one would you prefer?

Netflix goes native on PS3 next week with 1080i, subtitles and Dolby 5.1, no disc required

We know Netflix’s agreement with Microsoft will soon expire and everybody expected to have Netflix on their PS3 consoles without the need of the annoying disc. Well, wait no longer, it will come next week. No later than October 18th Netflix’s new user interface will come on PS3 and even better, some movies will get the 1080i treatment, subtitles and 5.1-channel surround sound…Impressed? You should be, it is the most advanced Netflix implementation to date. Apparently Netflix will use the same Dolby Digital Plus audio codec used by VUDU HDX and let me tell you, it works really well.

That being said, if you are one of the few that still didn’t get a PS3 yet, now it might be a good time, for holidays. Combined with Blu-ray and Hulu Plus, PS3 just might be one of the best media players / streaming boxes on the market. The 160GB model is available at Amazon for $299 with no taxes and free shipping while the PS3 Move 320GB bundle goes for $100 more.

Check after the break for SOny’s press release and a presentation video of the new PS3 Netflix user interface…Really nice and fluid. Read More…