Archive | March 24, 2011

A step closer to the universal tablet – RIM PlayBook to support Android apps

In a very smart move that will allow the upcoming PlayBook tablet to launch with the maximum number of applications possible, RIM will make available additional “app players”, one to ensure run-time compatibility with BlackBerry Java apps (over 25,000 available), the other one compatible with Android 2.3 applications (over 200,000 apps available).

In addition with the two above mentioned players, PlayBook will also support its native SDK supporting C/C++ development for the Blackberry Tablet OS together with HTML5, Flash and AIR support.

Beside the optional run-time modules, PlayBook will have gaming support as well, in the shape of Ideaworks Labs Airplay SDK and Unity Technologies game distribution service.

BlackBerry PlayBook is RIM upcoming tablet build around a 1GHz dual-core processor, 7” 1024×600 WSVGA capacitive LCD, dual cameras capable of recording full 1080p footage (better than iPad 2) and around 10mm thin (8.8mm for iPad 2). It will launch in US in April for prices between $499 for the 16GB WiFi version t0 $699 for the 64GB version.

Check after the break for the full Press Release

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Nook Color official April update to bring Flash, App Store and built-in E-Mail

If you take a look onto HSN website, you might see under Nook Color description a certain Coming Soon “Sneak Peek” Updates listing the cool new features Nook Color will get in April. Among them, NOOK Store (to include Angry Birds, Lonely Planet Phrasebook and Drawing Pad), Adobe Flash (and Android 2.2 Froyo in the process) and also a built in E-Mail client. While users of rooted Nook Color units enjoyed these goodies for a while, we are certainly happy that  B&N doesn’t see their Nook Color as a simple eReader anymore and they are ready to take some risks for some potential greater benefits.

The HSN info is the first official sign of the incoming update and, interestingly enough they describe Nook Color as a tablet, not as a eReader (NOOK Color™ 7″ Reader’s Wi-Fi Tablet with Apps). This is very significant and might mark a shift in B&N marketing.

Update: The Sneak Peak is also confirmed on B&N forums by one of their admins.

HSN will have their official  Sneak Peak announcement sometime Saturday at 12AM Eastern.

Update: You can see the HSN presentation video clip after the break. Read More…

The leaked apk Android Netflix app is Nook Color compatible

You probably heard about the leaked native Netflix Android app, obviously one of the most desired apps ever and one that had eluded the Android platform for a lack of DRM support. Netflix promised to release Netflix support on select phones, one of them being LG Revolution and someone managed to dump it. You can now install the apk file on your own Nook Color and guess what? It starts and it works…sort off…The Netflix servers are not yet configured to stream to Android devices so for now, you’ll only able to manage your instant queue and search for videos. When trying to stream, you’ll get  a – Sorry we could not reach the Netflix service. Please try again later. If the problems persists please visit netflix.com. (12001) – error.

That being said, the application runs fine on the Nook Color, with a gorgeous interface and we cannot wait for the Netflix to turn the streaming on so we can fully enjoy it. You can download it here.

Check after the break for several screenshots (blurry, I know but I still have issues taking native screenshots with my CyanogenMod 7 Nook Color).

Update: There is a new and official Netflix app available right in the Android Market. After you install it, you can use Nook Color for Netflix streaming if you follow the following guide.

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Microsoft TV Business gets hardware boss – are they finally getting serious about it?

According to a recent article from Business Insider, there is some reshuffle at the top of Microsoft Interactive TV Business with Tom Gibbons becoming its new head. For those who don’t know, Tom Gibbons was the head of Microsoft hardware (you know, that division that made such nice mice and keyboards) and also part of Windows Phone team since 2009. Since last week though, he is the new corporate VP for Microsoft TV and Service Business.

Now, this move might have important consequences. Altough Microsoft had good technology for years, somehow their TV business never took off. Why? Well, first of all the initial efforts were way ahead of time (similar with the tablet efforts), and second, with some notable exceptions (XBOX 360 comes into my mind) Microsoft seems incapable to take a product from the lab stages to the market adoption for anything else than software. The principle “If you build it, they will come” only works if you have an eco-system in place, a la Apple iPhone where both hardware and software are working together in synergy offering a coherent user experience.

It is not yet known how the Microsoft TV strategy will change, but at this point, there are several alternatives to explore: looking for a reference design for a hardware box media Read More…