Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

US Update: Galaxy Tab, LG Star, Google Voice

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

The daily news you might have missed from our US writerNothing starts the day off right like a little bit of freshly squeezed news from across the pond. In today's US update we take a look at some of the top breaking stories happening this morning that you wouldn't want to miss.

Jump starting an all out price war, Carphone Warehouse has slashed their prices on the Samsung Galaxy Tab along with Amazon and Dixons. Meanwhile the team from Google Labs has added a nifty little feature which brings free SMS messages to Gmail.

Android fans will want to check out the dual-core LG Star set to be released in 2011. In an exclusive hands-on session we had a chance to look at the little bugger and cover some of the specs. Meanwhile iPhone owners will want to jump to the App Store and download the official Google Voice app (from Google) before Apple has a change of heart.

Last up the fine morning is news that Motorola plans to split the Mobility division from the Solutions division in early 2011. Will the Milestone live on or are serious problems brewing at the company?

That wraps up the morning news, hope you join us every morning Monday through Friday as we bring you the latest and greatest happenings from our side of the world.

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Motorola to Split in Early 2011

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PST

Motorola to Split in Early 2011The once unified wireless network manufacturer Motorola is eying a formal split between their Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions divisions. The move would purportedly take place in early 2011 according to Motorola's Co-CEO Greg Brown and allow the two divisions to focus on unique segments.

Following the split, Brown expects the Solutions division to grow four to five percent in 2011 with a primary focus on wireless technology for business and government. The Mobility division on the other hand, would focus on mobility related business- ensuring the DROID/Milestone line up of smart phones lives long and prospers.

So has Motorola made the right step to separate the two divisions or is the move just another attempt to pad the pocketbooks and separate the Mobility segment from the less successful parts of their business?

via Reuters

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Google Voice for iPhone is Official

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

Google Voice for iPhone is OfficialThe Google Voice Application battle with Apple's App Store has come to a close. You can now download the official client, coded by the keyboard wizards from Mountain View, for your iOS devices free today.

The app currently sits with four out of five stars based on the 317 ratings received thus far. Key features to the roll out include push notifications for SMS and voicemail messages and displaying your Google Voice number as your caller ID when making calls from the app.

To get an idea of how well the application worked, I decided to download the app to my iPhone 4. After quickly logging in I was presented with my inbox and the familiar "pull down to refresh" feature. Push notifications were enabled by default and I had no problem firing off a few SMS text messages. In terms of speed and stability, the app was a quick as I could have hoped and would best be described as "snappy".

It's been a long and windy road for Google Voice to enter the App Store and we recommend you act quickly, there's no telling what Steve Jobs has planned for the App – not to mention the carriers. Free talk and text over data does not sit well with mobile phone carriers hoping to squeeze every last ounce of juice from our wallets.

Rather than take our word for it, head to the App store either on your iPhone or from within iTunes and search "Google Voice". You will see two results, one for the Google Mobile App and a second below for Google Voice. The days of needing to spend £1.88 on GV Connect are through, save the coin and use it on something more exciting like one of our top iPhone apps for the week.

Available Now | via 9to5Mac

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LG Star dual-core Android smartphone coming in 2011

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

dual-core LG Star Android smartphone coming in 2011The rumored LG Star, an Android smartphone packing a jaw-dropping dual-core 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, has now been confirmed. In an exclusive photo session, Engadget had a chance to witness this sexy little beast and confirm some rumored specs.

The first order of business was to determine the camera on the LG Star, which judging by the pictures we can confirm as 8-megapixel. That 8-megapixel camera is not just your run of the mill sensor either, it shoots full HD 1080P video and comes with a LED flash to make sure your friends know you are the paparazzi. Other important tidbits are a front-facing camera and 4-inch display, matching the Samsung Galaxy S line up we already know and love.

Much of what we know about the device comes from these photos since previous renders suggested a launch Verizon Wireless with 4G LTE support. Thankfully, the latest information we have pins the LG Star for a T-mobile launch, greatly increasing the chances the Star will also pop up in the UK.

As far as an official release date or pricing information, we'd imagine that information would come at CES 2011 in January. Much of what we'll know about upcoming gadgets and gear will be live at the show and we expect an official announcement from Google on several devices, the LG Star being one the most important.

As things in the smartphone world currently stand we have the dual-core Samsung Nexus S, the Motorola Olympus (Terminator) and now the LG Star all packing a ferocious dual-core bite. 2011 will clearly be the year of dual-core smartphones and one thing's for certain- Android will be leading the march.

TBA | via Engadget

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SMS Text Messaging Comes to Gmail

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 03:00 PM PST

SMS Text Messaging Coming to GmailThe worlds of email, instant messaging and SMS text messaging are on the cusp of consolidation according to Google Labs. Packed away nice and neat in a blog post by the Gmail team, the company announced they are working diligently to deliver SMS text messaging from within Gmail.

The option to send text messages from within your Gmail account is currently available with the new Labs feature. Previously, a Google Voice account was needed in order to send a text message through Google services, but alas this is not the case anymore.

Starting today simply login to gmail, go to your settings, go to the Labs tab and scroll down until you see "Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat". A quick click to enable and save the changes and you are off to the races with some free text messaging. You'll want to keep in mind that any text messages sent through the service will show up as area code 406, which for us geeks spells G0O (short for Google).

Sure there's plenty of apps for your smartphone which can deliver free SMS messaging, but given the ridiculous amount of time we spend managing our Gmail accounts, what better way to increase productivity than to text message in the same interface.

If you are looking for a real world example of how this feature might come in handy you need not look further than a standard IM conversation. Many times when logged into Gmail you'll have contacts who are only temporarily checking their email and then quickly signing off. Rather than reaching for your phone, why not click on that contact and send them a SMS.

The conversation effectively continues offline while you remain seated nice and comfy in front of the Gmail interface. Even better, sending that text message will not cost you a penny. It's hard to turn down a free meal and we certainly won't be turning down some free SMS text messaging.

Available Now | Gmail

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Samsung Galaxy Tab Price Cuts in the UK

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

Prices have been slashed for the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the UKWe'll admit, the pre-order price (£530) for the Samsung Galaxy Tab at Carphone Warehouse was a tough pill to swallow. Luckily, The Inquirer is reporting that prices for Amazon and Dixons have dropped to a slightly more manageable £469.

For £469 you will take home the 16GB model with free delivery, but an even better deal can now be found on the 32GB version at Carphone Warehouse. The electronics super center has re-priced the unit at £489.99.

The biggest competition to the Samsung Galaxy Tab is none other than Apple's iPad. In comparison to the iPad, the Galaxy Tab is nearly half the weight, but that likely has to do with the smaller, 7-inch display. Speed is a dead draw since both tablets feature their own proprietary 1 GHz chips and storage is fairly close, but we'd give an edge to the microSD slot on the Galaxy Tab. At the moment the lack of a front or rear-facing camera on the iPad leaves the biggest margin for Samsung's Tab.

After you break down the two devices side-by-side, the Galaxy Tab shapes up to be a real contender. Keeping in mind that Google has not officially announced support for Android as a tablet OS, we still consider the Tab to be a premium product delivering value pricing.

Yes, the pricing is steep, but with all things considered the Apple iPad 16GB 3G model currently sits at the higher £529. Keeping the price in mind, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 32GB model at Carphone Warehouse is looking like a steal this holiday season.

If you plan on picking up the Samsung Galaxy Tab and we reckon you do so, let us know how things are working out for you, we're all ears.

via The Inquirer via Engadget

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Teatime Tech: Beatles on iTunes, Advent Vega and amazing Angry Bird iPhone cases

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 10:00 AM PST

Teatime tech news time! Since you can now expect a roundup of all the gadget news from the US waiting for you on the Electricpig homepage when you wake up, we’re launching a new post at the end of the day instead so you can catch up on everything you missed while you were at work. It’s called Teatime Tech, and it starts right here and right now!

Apple’s big iTunes announcement came and went this arvo, and depending on your music tastes, it’ll be a revelation or an anticlimax: the Beatles‘ back catalogue is now on sale through iTunes. If you’d rather have an Electricpig mug though, send us your best spoof and you could win that instead!

In gaming meanwhile there was lots to talk about too. Ubisoft hinted at another Assassin’s Creed coming next year, while Sainsbury’s slashed the price of the Nintendo Wii for a limited time only. We also got a good gawp at the latest Angry Birds cash in: Angry Birds iPhone cases. We have to admit, they’re pretty awesome.

Finally, all of you British gadget lovers after the Advent Vega Android tablet: it looks like a release date is drawing nigh, as we’ve spotted it popping up on the websites of several major UK retailers.

Still want more news? Roll on through to the homepage and help yourself to it all as it breaks.

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Best free Android apps

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 08:46 AM PST

Want the best free Android apps for your Google smartphone? You’ve come to the right place. Regardless of which Android bake you’re running, or which manufacturer your phone is made by, we’ve got the best free Android apps for it, rounded up for you to see in our Top 5 list to the right of the full post.

Have your peepers mosey on over to the right of the page and you’ll see our full best free Android apps Top 5, complete with synopses, and links straight through to the developers’ websites, plus the option to read more about each with a tap of your mouse.

Check out the list to the right

All of our best free Android apps Top 5 have been picked by our Electricpig mobile obsessives, so you can rest assured they’re powerful, easy to use or even just outright fun. And of course, nothing in our Top 5 Best free Android apps chart will cost you a penny.

Disagree with our best free Android apps Top 5? Tell us what’s missing here in the comments!

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Beatles iTunes: send us your parodies!

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 08:34 AM PST

So The Beatles iTunes deal is done and the world has collectively sighed, shrugged and returned to their collections of Beatles tracks acquired through other means. But in celebration of Apple's ultra-hype-a-thon, we've decided to have a competition. Post your best images celebrating The Beatles iTunes tie up to the Electricpig Facebook group and we'll reward the best submissions with an Electricpig mug. If you can do us a Beatles-style song celebrating Electricpig, well, that would be even better. To see Mic's Photoshop effort, click here: A Message From Steve Jobs RE: The Beatles. Get Photoshopping now!

Out now | £varies | Apple

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Marshall Headphones: photos

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 07:37 AM PST

After a short delay, the first ever Marshall headphones, the Marshall Major, have been unleashed, dripping with signature Marshall style. Click through for a full gallery…

The headband is made out of the same vinyl used for Marshall amps, with the same texture too. Inside the headband there’s a nice touch too: a little gold signature from Mr Marshall. The coil is retro style, so you can feel a bit like you’re seven again, dancing round in the living room to your dad’s David Bowie records. The plug is 3.5mm, a replica of a classic tele plug, but don’t panic! Compatibility with your stereo system is not lost, as there’s a 6.3mm adapter for plugging in too.

As well as the Marshall Major, Marshall has also released the Minor, a gold detail in ear model with a patented design to keep it in your ear.

Out now | £84 & £50 | Marshall

Are these going straight on your Christmas list? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us what you think about the Marshall headphones!

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