Well that settles that.
Well that settles that.
After confirming it at D11, Motorola’s latest newspaper ad tells us that more official news about the Moto X and its apparently somehow real customisation options lie just around the corner.
Source The Verge
If one show this week wasn’t enough for you, Henry was dragged in by Chris and Xavier for another episode of the Digixav Podcast, this time filled with questions from listeners, Samsung’s gigantic phablets, the age-old battle of Ryan Seacrest vs. Joel McHale and why Helvetica is always better than Arial. Stay tuned for more cultural recommendations from Chris and a jacket with 22 pockets for all your technological needs – even an iPad. We also talk even more about that Facebook Phone, the HTC First, the Asus FonePad, O2, EE, Microsoft Office for iOS and Android and Twitter Music, along with a bunch more mysterious unplanned topics!
Warning! This show contains immaturity and strong language. And two penis jokes.
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Henry and I went to The Gadget Show Live in Birmingham on Friday, an annual extravaganza for tech companies to show off their latest wares to consumers in partnership with the popular Channel 5 programme, and we decided that we would turn our experiences of the event into a comprehensive report at the end of it. What you will read below this paragraph is the resulting document, which grew progressively more animated as the day drew to a close. What started out as a ‘thoughtful’ and ‘insightful’ piece descended into madness, dictated by bouncing, swiveling and a whole plethora of GIFs. This article is not for those with poor internet connections, but we hope you join us through our journey into the wonderful madness that was The Gadget Show Live 2013.
This was the entrance.
As you can probably tell, the whole event was sponsored by Microsoft, and it became apparent that the company wanted to push its products, mainly Windows, to the showgoers. Dominating the show floor was this stand.
On this stand, you could find pretty much every Windows Phone and bizarre Windows 8 form factor under the sun, so we made GIFs of them all.
What impressed us in particular was the Dell XPS 12. We spent a long time just spinning its screen round and round.
In the end, we left it like this.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad Twist received similar treatment from both myself…
Henry also took a shine to the dual-screened Asus Taichi.
We both just laughed at Toshiba’s 21:9 offering, though.
As we moved away from Microsoft’s stand, Henry tried to capture the atmosphere on his Surface RT.
Soon after, we found ourselves in the Game Zone for an on-stage Grid 2 competition. Henry was lucky enough to be one of the 8 competitors hand-picked from the crowd.
He then faced the embarassment of coming in 4th in front of the gathered crowd. See if you can spot us both by clicking the image for full resolution.
After this, we found some calmer places to demo the game, which is set for release at the end of May.
The best one was undoubtedly the LG stand, which let visitors drive round the Red Bull Ring on a £19,999 84″ 4K/Ultra HD TV, shown off in the UK for the first time, coupled with a Vesaro sim racing setup that clocked in at £15,000. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for videos from this stand later this week.
Just next door, Samsung had a few HDTVs, a Galaxy Note 10.1 and a Perspex-encased Galaxy S4.
On the other side of LG, Bowers & Wilkins were showing off some bizarre speakers.
Sony, perched close to Microsoft, had a bus, which was sadly not open to the public.
Honda’s tiny stand showcased Miimo, a robotic lawnmower that borrows technology from the company’s line of Asimo humanoid robots.
Pioneer’s DJ equipment got Henry up and scratching merrily.
3D printers were all the rage this year.
Parrot’s cage full of AR.Drones being demoed every 5 minutes was prime material for GIFs.
The most fun we had all day was at the end with Kangoo Jumps. We bounced a lot.
Although Henry gained unnatural amounts of pleasure from making unusual GIFs of me.
The opposite was also true, however.
All in all, we had a great day at The Gadget Show Live. It was jam-packed full of cutting-edge technology and definitely worth the 6 hour round trip to Birmingham. From Henry…
…and from myself…
…we hope to see you all there next year!
As usual with tech events, we already know what we’re going to see today as Facebook unveils its new ‘home on Android’. Facebook Home is set to be an Android launcher with, as you’d expect, a ton of Facebook, and the HTC First, a mid-range Android 4.1 device in a range of colours, is set to bring the launcher to consumers as the closest we’ll get to a legitimate ‘Facebook phone’. Mark Zuckerberg may have some surprises, though, so join our liveblog below to get the latest news as it happens.
@evleaks has a near-perfect record for when it comes to unveiling devices before their manufacturers, having seen devices from Nokia, Huawei, HTC and others pass through its Twitter feed before anywhere else. Today, the leakmeister has turned to 9to5Google to unveil screenshots of Facebook Home, the Android launcher that the company is set to unveil tomorrow alongside a mid-range device called the HTC First. Formerly known as the Myst, the device will feature a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU and a 720p display straight from last year’s flagships, but the big story is, as rumoured, Facebook Home. The launcher is expected to be available for all Android devices and, as shown in the screenshots in the gallery below, it still provides access to Google Play’s app library and deeper integration with Facebook’s services, including Messenger and Instagram. Not much left remains to be seen, but we will be liveblogging the event at Facebook’s HQ tomorrow evening as it plots to quietly take over the Android ecosystem.
For years, rumours of a full-on Facebook phone, like a more intense HTC ChaCha/Status or Salsa, have been rife, and the ever-reliable @evleaks told us that a new HTC phone with even more Facebook integration would be on its way to us in spring with mid-range specs. Now, the social behemoth has released an invite for next Thursday inviting press to see its ‘new home on Android’, and TechCrunch sources confirm that this means the Myst #UL is coming with a forked build of Android 4.1, plastered with Facebook. We’ll be liveblogging the event – Facebook’s third of the year at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters – and bringing you all the latest news as it happens, so stay tuned.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was headlined by the appearance of Jessica Alba, but otherwise very little unknown information surfaced about the operating system or the devices it would appear upon. One smidgen of news that did emerge, however, was that a Samsung device, depicted by a lonely silhouette and named the Ativ Odyssey, was in the pipeline for a December release on Verizon in the US. Of course December came and went without a release, but CES gave Samsung the opportunity to show the 4″ Windows Phone 8 device to the world. Now, a press release has stated that the phone will be available sooner rather than later, with stores set to receive the Ativ Odyssey and Valentine’s Day editions of the Nokia Lumia 822 and Motorola Droid Razr M tomorrow (January 24th).
The Odyssey joins the Lumia 822 and HTC 8X in Verizon’s lineup of LTE Windows Phones, and its microSD slot and 2100mAh battery should win it some fans, although the 800 x 480 screen resolution and 5MP camera show that it is pitched towards the lower end of the market. As with almost all other Windows Phone 8 devices, the package comes powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip accompanied by 1GB of RAM, and it will be available for $49.99 with a new 2 year contract, while whispers of a European launch remain unconfirmed but not impossible.
Mozilla has just announced that they’ve got two “Developer Preview Phones” in the works which will run on their own Firefox OS. Both are made by relatively unknown Spanish company Geeksphone. The orange phone above is known as the Keon, and has 3.5-inch touchscreen and has a 3-megapixel camera on the back. It comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, and runs one of Qualcomm’s 1Ghz Snapdragon CPUs. The white model is called the Peak, and has higher specs than the Keon, with a 4.3-inch screen, 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and an 8-megapixel camera, though it has the same storage and RAM. It runs on a 1800mAh battery, slightly larger than the Keon’s 1580mAh cell.
Mozilla didn’t mention anything to do with price or a specific release date, but Digixav understands that the Keon will start shipping next month.
These handsets clearly aren’t going to set the world alight, and it seems as though Firefox might be targeting developing markets with cheaper smartphones. Software-wise, from a purely visual perspective the home screen looks very similar to the iOS one, simply with circular icons instead of Apple’s square ones. We have to say that it is a big disappointment that Mozilla couldn’t have found a fresh or innovative design rather than slightly altering one which is five years old.
Firefox OS works very differently to current mobile operating systems. The processors might seem tiny compared to the quad-core beasts powering the latest phones, but Mozilla have tried to make it so the phones don’t need huge processors to run smoothly. The big thing that sets it apart from rivals, however, is that Firefox OS doesn’t do native apps. What might look like native apps on the phone are actually website bookmarks. This means it can all be written in HTML5, which could be a big boost for some developers. This is a certainly a huge step Mozilla have taken, and it will be interesting to see how the consumer market responds. Mozilla reckons that we’re not doing apps right at present, and we could lose the wonderful open web we currently take for granted.
Here at Digixav we’ll certainly be watching closely to see whether Firefox OS can make a significant impact on the smartphone audience. With an Ubuntu mobile operating system on the way, it will be very interesting to see whether this new breed of open source software can have the desired impact on the iOS and Android dominated market.
While we may remain cynical about phone/tablet hybrids such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note and LG’s Optimus Vu, sales reports suggest that consumers are embracing them with open arms. As such, it comes as no surprise that Samsung has announced a new phablet model pitched at the mid-range market. Running TouchWiz-encrusted Android 4.1.2, the Galaxy Grand sports the usual array of Samsung-only features such as Direct Call, Popup Video and S Voice, all powered by an as-yet unspecified 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Sharing many design elements with the S III and Note II, the Grand also features a 5″ display with an 800 x 480 display, producing a less-than-average 187ppi. It also has 8GB of on-board storage that can be increased by 64GB with a microSD card and a 2100mAh removable battery, alongside an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera.
If the Galaxy Grand sounds like your cup of tea, you will be able to pick it up in either single-SIM (GT-I9080) or dual-SIM (GT-I9082) versions, although pricing and release information has not yet been confirmed. What has been confirmed, however, is that the dual-SIM model will launch first, although we expect to hear further information at CES in Las Vegas next month.