Archive for March, 2010
Want to make your desktop look like the Windows Mobile 7 Series Metro interface?
You’re in luck, because some DeviantArt users have created the Omnimo theme for Rainmeter, the highly-customizable, open-source desktop information app for Windows. Omnimo overlays the desktop with a faithful port of Metro’s minimalist interface and includes 30 different tiles that launch programs or hook into services like Gmail, iTunes, Twitter, Steam, SpeedFan, and more.
It’s all free and works on Windows XP, Vista, or 7. Lifehacker has some helpful installation instructions.
We can’t help but imagine this would be perfect on an HP Slate.
More photos after the break:
As expected, Apple is currently working on its next-generation iPhone. Following the company’s yearly cadence, the fourth-gen iPhone is apparently due for release on June 22. According to the latest rumors, the phone may be called “iPhone HD,” packing a new processor from the same family as the 1 GHz Apple A4 found in the iPad (which is likely an ARM Cortex A8), along with a 960×640 display (4x higher resolution than the current iPhone’s 480×320) and possibly a front-facing camera for video chat. iPhone OS 4.0 may introduce multitasking for third-party apps, as we reported earlier.
As usual, there are also rumors of a CDMA-based variant for Verizon. The Wall Street Journal reports that the GSM iPhone would continue to be produced by Hon Hai (Foxconn), but the new CDMA version would be made by Pegatron, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese firm ASUSTeK Computer. No word on whether the iPhone 4G will include 4G wireless support (Sprint’s WiMAX or Verizon’s LTE), but given that America’s 4G networks are still in their infancy, we’re guessing Apple will stick with 3G.
There’s also a new video out of a screen, apparently from the 4G iPhone, that seems to match the photos we saw earlier. If accurate, we’re looking at a slightly larger screen (3.7″ vs. 3.5″) and slightly taller body than the current iPhone.
Video after the break.
Microsoft won’t be shipping Windows Phone 7 Series till the end of the year, but a team of Russian developers has already ported it to the HTC HD2, which won’t be receiving an official update. GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth are working, but the graphics driver still has issues and the interface is a bit laggy.
The team is apparently planning a beta release soon, which would be interesting given that official devices with the OS won’t be out for another 6-8 months. The OS relies on a completely new bootloader that, at least as of now, is not reversible, so once you load this, you won’t be able to go back to Windows Mobile 6.5.
More photos and videos after the break.
In early 2008, Microsoft was busy working on Windows Mobile 7. The OS was an evolutionary step forward from WinMo 6.x, based on the company’s Windows CE 6.0 embedded OS, with bigger changes planned for the next version, Windows Mobile 8. But in the fall of 2008, after seeing Apple’s iPhone 3G fly off store shelves and the iTunes App Store grow exponentially to soon overtake Microsoft’s decade-long lead in mobile apps, Microsoft realized that Windows Mobile was dying. An evolutionary step was not going to be enough to save it, so Microsoft decided to take drastic measures to respond, and today the result is Windows Phone 7 Series.
How exactly did this come about, though? Read on to find out.
The CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver has resulted in a number of exploits, from Charlie Miller taking down yet another MacBook through a critical hole in Apple’s Safari browser to successful attacks on Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 8, but perhaps the most interesting was the iPhone attack. European researchers Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Philipp Weinmann lured an iPhone to their web site and in just 20 seconds managed to compromise the phone and steal its entire SMS text message database, including deleted messages.
Through their exploit, Weinmann and Iozzo were able to bypass Apple’s sandbox and gain access to a user account in the iPhone operating system called “mobile.” Through this account, they could have accessed and stolen everything from the phone’s contact list to the email database, photos, and iTunes music and video files.
The current exploit crashes the Safari browser after stealing the data, but the researchers say they could build a version that would continuously steal information as the user — who wouldn’t know that anything was wrong — browsed the site. “Basically, every page that the user visits on our [rigged] site will grab the SMS database and upload it to a server we control,” Weinmann said.
We received our T-Mobile HTC HD2 last night– here’s our unboxing video:
Our T-Mobile HTC HD2 just arrived — unboxing coming soon!
Sprint just unveiled its upcoming Android smartphone, the HTC EVO 4G. Formerly codenamed HTC Supersonic, the EVO 4G will be Sprint’s first 4G (WiMAX) phone when it launches sometime this summer. The EVO 4G packs impressive hardware, building on HTC’s already top-spec HD2 with Google’s Android OS onboard. It sports the same 480 x 800 4.3-inch TFT LCD as the HD2, a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (QSD8650 – the CDMA version of the QSD8250 in the HD2/Nexus One), 512MB RAM, an 1GB ROM.
The camera crams in 8 megapixels, 720p video recording, and dual LED flash. The EVO 4G has a slightly larger battery than the HD2, an HDMI video output, and even a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting. Also on board are 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot (shipping with an 8GB card). The OS is Android 2.1 with HTC’s Sense UI on top.
The EVO 4G’s most distinctive feature, of course, is its 4G (WiMAX) support. It has a combination of EV-DO Rev. A and WiMAX– the phone makes calls over CDMA and accesses the Internet through EV-DO and WiMAX. This means the EVO 4G might very well become the first non-GSM provider to allow simultaneous voice and data usage.
No word on a specific launch date or pricing yet.
Opera has just submitted the iPhone version of its mobile browser, Opera Mini, to the iTunes App Store. Opera Mini uses techniques like server-side rendering (loading pages on Opera servers and relaying only the end result to the phone) to dramatically speed up mobile browsing– on an iPhone 3GS, Opera Mini loads pages up to 5 times faster faster than Apple’s Safari browser. Yet Apple is virtually guaranteed to reject the app, since it “duplicates functionality” already in the phone (a reason Apple uses to anything that might compete with its own apps on the iPhone).
So the question is why has Opera gone to such lengths to develop a version of Opera Mini for the iPhone and submitted it to the App Store if it’s just going to get rejected anyway? First, Opera genuinely wants to have its browser available on the iPhone. The company’s been building buzz around its new iPhone browser through closed-door demos, likely to build up public support which could be mobilized to put pressure on Apple if it rejects the application. Second, Opera was one of the driving forces behind the 2007 European antitrust investigation into Internet Explorer on Windows, and there’s a possibility the company is looking to launch something similar in the iPhone space.
In 2007, Opera claimed it wanted to give “consumers a genuine choice of Web browsers,” a line the company’s CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, recently repeated: ”Opera Mini is the world’s most popular mobile browser and users on the iPhone deserve a choice.” Opera also just put up a page tracking how long it’s been since it submitted the app. Certainly a nice publicity stunt– now let’s see where the company goes with this.
Update: Video added after the break.
SanDisk just announced the world’s highest-capacity removable memory card for mobile phones– a new 32GB MicroSDHC card. The card is scheduled to go on sale next week in the US and Europe for $199.99.
Built on a 32-nanometer, 3-bit per cell manufacturing process, the new model is a class 2 MicroSD card, meaning its throughput can hit 16 Mbps (2 MBps). 16GB MicroSD cards are available at up to class 6, or 48 Mbps, so this isn’t the speediest card around, but 32 gigabytes in something smaller than a fingernail is nothing to laugh at.