Wednesday, 7 July 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

The Times iPad app crash: you’re downloading it wrong!

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 08:50 AM PDT

A raft of problems has been affecting The Times’ iPad app, and News International has admitted it doesn't know what's wrong with its £10 a month app, or how to fix it. One thing's for sure though, don't download it on the go. This could be corrupting your iPad app, and stopping it downloading properly. That's right, don't use your mobile device whilst on the go if you want your Times iPad app to work properly. Sound unfair? That’s because it is.

A spokesperson said: "We don't know whether the problem is software, hardware, or both, but it's likely it's a bit of both." In short, The Times thinks that Apple's hardware could be a problem, as well as its own shonky code. It doesn't make for an appealing £10 a month investment does it?

They went on to say: "We've got a release going through Apple now, which should arrive in one or two weeks, but we don't know whether this will fix the problem or not."

The download problem has been said to be caused by users downloading the app whilst on the go, and moving their iPad between 3G and Wi-Fi networks, which is apparently "not ideal".

The Times iPad app problems are even baffling its developers over at News International. Although the iPad app problems are being investigated and fixed by a "dedicated iPad development team", the faults being reported are inconsistent and various: some users have no problems, others have a variety of glitches.

For those of you sensible enough to be dropping your £10 a month charge, it's unlikely there'll be any refunds or discounts should you want to sign up again after the problem is fixed.

Should The Times be doling out refunds to affected users? Is The Times the only iPad app with problems? Let us know!

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Philips DS900 photos: B&W Zeppelin has competition

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 08:05 AM PDT

The Philips DS900 has just flown in for a dog fight with the B&W Zeppelin. As well as similarly curvaceous looks, the Philips DS900 is angling to be the audiophile iPhone/iPod dock of choice. So what weapons does the Philips DS900 have to help it drop sonic bombs?

The curved cabinet of the Philips DS900 is built using Veneer Lamination technology, tech that's normally used for building high-end furniture. But rather than allowing it to double up as a handy stool, those layers of lacquered wood add to its stiffness and combat unwanted vibration, reflections and standing waves.

Besides its build, the Philips DS900 takes a digital signal direct from your iPod or iPhone before processing it through top notch digital to analogue conversion. That should means that your tunes sound just as they're meant to.

Packed inside the shell of the Philips DS900 there's two 1in tweeters and two 4in dome woofers contained in there own separate chambers. Meanwhile at the rear there are bass pipes with a chrome-plated centre to deliver deep bass. You can adjust and tweak the sound using the free Fidelio+ iPhone app which packs a five preset equaliser.

The Philips DS900 is compatible with any iPod or iPhone, including iPhone 4, and Philips claims the flexible mounting system will allow you to keep your pride and joy clad in its case while docked. It'll also act as an alarm clock and comes packing a proximity sensor so it'll light up and welcome you when you approach.

Out now | £399.99 | Philips

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iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case review

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 08:01 AM PDT

The iLuv Glacier case for the iPhone 4 couldn’t be better timed. iPhone 4s across the land are losing signal thanks to the death grip, Steve Jobs is telling unhappy punters to use a case, and Apple’s own bumper cases take a week to deliver and are hard to come by on shop shelves. Does this see through case solve the problems unobtrusively? Or would you rather lose data still when holding the phone in your left hand? Read on and find out.

Read our iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review: New design
iPhone 4 review: Retina Display
iPhone 4 review: HD video and iMovie
iPhone 4 review: Worth the upgrade?
iPhone 4 review: Electricpig staff opinions
iPhone 4 review: Live Q&A
iPhone 4 review: Sample photos

Since before we even published our iPhone 4 review, there’s been a furore brewing online regarding antenna issues on Apple’s new smartphone. We’ve not been huge fans of smartphone cases until now (What’s wrong with just not dropping your phone?) but while we’ve struggled to replicate the problem with our own iPhone 4 most of the time, there’s no doubt there’s a vast audience out there who want the peace of mind a case could provide.

Unfortunately, the iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case is not the solution. While a see through way to better protect your precious iPhone 4 from shattering is a good idea, in practice, it’s just not always see through enough.

While there are some angles from which the iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case is hard to spot, bring it closer to your and it makes your beautiful handset look like Sarah Jessica Parker after the wind changed direction mid scowl. It’s that ugly. Perhaps worse though, the inside edges feel like they could easily scratch or scuff the phone, not exactly something we seek in a case.

You won’t miss it from the back either: scrawled across it is “Designed by iLuv in New York” (and on the side too), as if you you’d want to remind other people on the train just where to shop to look like a fool.

Strap the iLuv Glacier on your iPhone 4 and you’ll also still be leaving the top and bottom edges open to the elements, which aren’t covered by it.

In short, if you put the iLuv Glacier on your iPhone 4, you won’t do a great job of protecting it, and will scar the handset’s beautiful looks in the process. It does seem to stop reception drop, but even if you have the problem really bad in your house, it’s not worth the trade off. Avoid.

Read our iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review: New design
iPhone 4 review: Retina Display
iPhone 4 review: HD video and iMovie
iPhone 4 review: Worth the upgrade?
iPhone 4 review: Electricpig staff opinions
iPhone 4 review: Live Q&A
iPhone 4 review: Sample photos

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FaceTime: free calls? Get on The Cloud

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 07:40 AM PDT

FaceTime's data usage is hefty, and it got us wondering if when you're out and about using Wi-Fi hotspots, whether hotspot operators will kick you off if you're FaceTiming, like, all the time. We asked around about fair usage policies from three of the UK’s largest Wi-Fi providers, and found that if you're wanting to make free FaceTime calls risk-free, then The Cloud is heads above.

We asked BT Openzone, BTFON and The Cloud about fair usage policies on its Wi-Fi hotspots, and whether users overloading their services with FaceTime calls were at risk of extra charges, data caps, or being kicked off. Surprisingly, the answer was mixed.

If you’re looking to use your iPhone 4 over a Wi-Fi connection, it might be best to avoid BTFON, which only offers speeds up to 512Kbps, and could struggle if more than one person is using it for video chat at once. A spokesperson for BT said: "The BTFON proposition is intended as a complementary service that allows BT Total Broadband customers to stay connected out of the home, and to prevent abuse of the service we apply a Fair Usage Policy  of 10,000 minutes per month."

That works out to about five and a half hours a day, on a 30 day month, which, unless you work using a Wi-Fi hotspot, is unlikely to cause you much bother.

BT Openzone had a fair usage policy that limits usage to 3GB per month, about 12-13 hours a month, making it the worst option for iPhone 4 owners.

The Cloud on the other hand (which we found to be the best wi-fi hotspot provider last year), has no limits or fair usage on Wi-Fi hotspot use. A spokesperson said: "There's no fair usage policy on The Cloud's Wi-Fi for iPhone – unlimited means unlimited, so FaceTime shouldn't be too much of a problem."

That’s right, unlimited means unlimited, meaning you can settle down in one of The Cloud’s hotspots, channel your calls through FaceTime and not use up any of your minutes or data allowance.

So, if you're one of the 22 per cent of Electricpig readers who has wholeheartedly taken up FaceTime, make sure you're on The Cloud, and you can FaceTime your heart away.

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iPhone 4: out of stock, unless you threaten to switch networks…

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 06:45 AM PDT

After our roundup of who's got iPhone 4 stock in the UK yesterday, one commenter reported that he'd been shipped an iPhone 4 in just one working day after threatening to leave O2 for Vodafone.

Commenter Chris said: "Just call your network provider and say you want your PAC code. I did this and have one being delivered tomorrow. As soon as you threaten to leave they suddenly have them in stock!

"I called up [O2] Saturday, asked for my PAC code saying I was off to Vodafone and it was actually delivered today (so next day delivery from Saturday)"

O2 said it can't confirm the commenter’s individual case, but a spokesperson said: "to my knowledge we are not reserving the iPhone 4 to retention." So it's not an official approach, but it's certainly one that's worked when the iPhone 4 isn't in the equation: everyone knows someone, or has been someone, who's haggled for a better deal when threatening to switch networks instead of upgrading.

O2 also said that it is receiving deliveries of iPhone 4 stock, like all the major operators (bar Three and T-mobile who are waiting on theirs) and they're getting it out as quickly as possible, both online and through retail stores. Like we said yesterday, the best places to get your hands on an iPhone 4 is generally at O2 retail stores in major cities, although in the North West and Scotland you’ll have to travel a fair distance.

Have you managed to wangle an iPhone 4 from network operators supposedly out of stock? Tell us!

Related posts:

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Playstation Move video: does this Japanese ad make you want one?

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 06:26 AM PDT

The Playstation Move is set to arrive in September and we've not got another chance to see it in action. A new Japanese Playstation Move ad shows the Sony's magic wand motion controller in the hands of an incredibly wide-eyed Japanese girl and offers a look of loads of Playstation Move gameplay including a peek at Resident Evil 5 with motion controls. Take a gander for yourself. Fear not, you don't need a working knowledge of Japanese…

After showing off the PS3, the Playstation Eye and the Playstation Move controller itself, the Japanese Playstation Move ad dives into plenty of gameplay. First up there's some serious screen time for Beat Sketch, the drawing game that's headed for UK Playstation Move bundles.

Boxing game, The Fight: Lights Out, gets another starring role, there's a cute shot of EyePet having a wash with the Playstation Move controller rendered onscreen as a shower head and some serious action with a look at Resident Evil 5 Move support.

There's also footage of Kung Fu Rider, the slightly insane racing game featuring an office chair, target practice in The Shoot, a Jenga-style puzzle game called Tower and some arm-swinging action in High Velocity Bowling. Let us know what other games in the mix take your fancy.

With the Playstation Move release date pegged for September 17 and the Playstation Move price set at £49.99 for the Playstation Eye and controller, does this ad make you want to grab your wallet and place a preorder? Or does the prospect of an Kinect Xbox 360 bundle satisfy you urge to combine gaming and vigorous exercise?

Out September 17 | From £24.99 | Sony

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Android 2.2 Froyo hits 1.8% of Android phones: have you got it?

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 06:08 AM PDT

Android 2.2 Froyo has found its way onto a rather staggering 1.8% of all Android OS handsets according to the latest figures from Google's Android Developers team. Since there's only been an official Nexus One Android 2.2 update so far that's an impressive leap. And it got us wondering: have you got your hands on Android 2.2 Froyo? Head through to let us know and a breakdown of the latest Android OS stats. Should folk with Android 1.5 start feeling lonely?

The Android Developers team scoops up data collected from the Android Market once every few weeks to see which version of Android is currently king of the hill. Right now, Android 2.1 is top of the heap with 53.1% of the market and a home of seriously tasty phones like the HTC Desire.

Android 2.2 has just popped up onto the radar with 1.8% of the share which has us wondering whether that number features a fair few folk who've taken the initiative and got the OS on a handset other than the Nexus One. With HTC Android 2.2 and Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.2 updates on the way that numbers sure to rocket too.

At the bottom of the pile, the Android 1.5 and Android 1.6 figures are starting to fall but with they're likely to stick around for a while longer. Take a look at our Xperia X10 Mini Pro review to find out how one of the latest Android 1.6 phones fares.

Let us know: have you grabbed Android 2.2 yet? Are you already looking forward to the arrival of Android 3.0 Gingerbread? Or are there too many versions of the robotic OS out there for your liking?

Out now | £free | Google (via Fonehome)

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Pure radio to launch music download service

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 05:30 AM PDT

pure radio launch download serviceIn a move that seems a little out of leftfield, Pure has let slip it will be launching a music download service next month. Pure’s download service will be cloud based, and will integrate with Pure internet radios. It seems an odd move – and generates a big fat question mark here in the Electricpig camp.

The service will be based out of The Lounge, which is Pure's web based service for managing internet radio stations, podcasts and other web content. Customers with a Pure internet radio will already have accounts at The Lounge.

A spokesperson for Pure said: "It's completely changed from what we planned two years ago". and implied that the service would be compatible with iTunes, although we couldn't confirm it.

After the success of Pure's foray into internet radios – although late to the game, the first internet radio they launched took 50% of the market. And although there's little detail about the service, it's hard to see the immediate motivation – what would be the benefit of a Pure radio download service, over and above iTunes, or even niche record store download services?

So it's likely it will sync with your radio, via The Lounge which syncs automatically with whatever you do online, but when music downloads come into play, it’s hard to see how anything will be more convenient than sticking your iPod in the aux output?

Although internet radios allow you to easily reach hundreds of radio stations around the globe which would take hours of searching to even begging to discover, the same isn't true of a music download service. That is, unless some sort of track identification facility is built in to offer a download of whatever Japanese psych-rock, Anatolian funk or Thai-pop you're tuned into at any one time…

What would you like to see in Pure's download service? Has it got a chance in hell?

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iPhone 4 jailbreak: how it’ll create the ultimate phone

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 05:11 AM PDT

The first iPhone 4 jailbreak is on the horizon and I can't wait for it to arrive. Sure iOS 4 added fistfuls of features we've been craving for ages like multitasking, wallpapers and folders but the iPhone jailbreak community has always been one step ahead of Apple. Here's how the iPhone 4 jailbreak will give you next year's iPhone ahead of schedule…

Apple is planning to bring iPhone 4 FaceTime 3G calls. Steve Jobs said as much when he demonstrated iPhone 4's video-calling smarts at WWDC. But the iPhone 4 jailbreak will let brave souls hop onto 3G to chat way ahead of Apple negotiating terms with the mobile networks.

I'd also be willing to bet my meagre wages that smart coders will kluge together a way of making iChat and Google Talk video calls from your iPhone 4 long before Apple allows it.

HD video uploading is another feature that could be activated in iPhone 4 now but is stifled by the trick task of negotiating with networks. That's sure to be thrown into the pot when the iPhone 4 jailbreak emerges.

But while those are all features we know Apple is planning in the future, it's also worth noting the ingenuity of the hobbyists and tinkerers who dwell in the iPhone jailbreak community. They deployed copy and paste, spell checking, application folders, ebook readers before iBooks, rotation lock and even an iPhone locator before Apple did and often showed the way for how the official implementation could work.

With the souped-up hardware of the iPhone 4 to work with, I expect Cydia, the unofficial app store, to start filling up with apps that will do amazing things with the gyroscope and front-facing camera. Unfettered by official Apple APIs, they've already come up with delights like iPhone Wi-Fi synching apps. Now we’re set for stuff that will horrify Steve Jobs like flinging Flash onto the iPhone and iPad tethering.

The simplicity of the Apple's approach with iPhone 4 is great but I love that there are chaotic, creative coders out there working on the iPhone 4 jailbreak. That band of mavericks have a big part to play in showing us the future of iOS and the iPhone. Sure there's always the open plains of Android to consider but couple the freedom of iPhone 4 jailbreak with the stuffed shelves of the App Store and you've got the best of both worlds.

Most people will stick with iOS 4 and iPhone 4 as Apple intended and for the sake of their warranties (and sometimes their sanity) that’s a good idea. But I still think it’s worth celebrating the innovation and ingenuity of the iPhone 4 jailbreak pioneers – they’re giving us a glimpse of a glorious future.

Let me know: do you agree? And more importantly, are you planning to take the plunge and install the iPhone 4 jailbreak when it arrives?

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Lunchtime Lowdown: HTC Desire Froyo hack, new PS3 slim models and iPhone 4 jailbreak status quo

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 04:46 AM PDT

It’s been another busy morning stuffed full of gadget news, whatever takes your fancy. New laptops, new phones, new consoles – it’s all here ready and waiting for you in the lunchtime lowdown.

First up, we’ve got plenty of news to pique the interest of Android lovers: not only did we put up our full review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro, but we got word of a Froyo hack for the HTC Desire coming shortly, and rumours sprung up about a Samsung Galaxy S sequel, the Samsung Galaxy S2. Are they for real?

On the iPhone front meanwhile, we looked at what the situation is right now with an iPhone 4 jailbreak, and when you’ll be able to make FaceTime calls over 3G. Even without it though, it looks like plenty of readers are still loving Apple’s video chat implementation, as our poll results show.

Finally, in computing, Samsung outed a new Q series of workhorse laptops, and in gaming, Sony could be about to launch a PS3 slim with an even bigger hard drive in the UK.

Still want more news? It’s over on the homepage going cold right now, so hurry! is on the look out for a new Commercial Director. Could it be you? Click to find out how to apply.

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