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Sprint sets a best-before date for iDEN push-to-talk: June 30th, 2013

Motorola Titanium and XPRT for Sprint
Amidst all of Sprint's eagerness to phase out its iDEN network, the carrier hasn't given us a hard cutoff date to mark on our calendars until now. If you're still rocking that Motorola Titanium, you may have to drop your Nextel push-to-talk dreams as soon as June 30th, 2013, the earliest possible date Sprint says it could shut down the legacy service. Government customers will be getting a friendly paper reminder on June 1st of this year to make sure they're using CDMA Direct Connect phones like the Admiral well in advance. The switch-off will mark the end to a long and troubled chapter in the Sprint Nextel era, but if it helps bring about 800MHz LTE sooner, we're all for it.

Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.0 update starts rolling out in India

Samsung has finally started rolling out the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update in India. Samsung announced the list of devices that would receive the Android 4.0 update last December and started rolling out ICS update for Galaxy S2 in Europe earlier this March. The Samsung Galaxy Note started receiving ICS update last week in India. They started shipping Galaxy S2 with ICS in India earlier this month.

We didn’t get OTA update notification, so we updated it via Kies. The update is about 220 MB and is available OTA (Over the Air) and via Samsung Kies.
Did you update your Galaxy S2 to Android 4.0?

Samsung launches Galaxy S3 in 28 countries, to be available in 145 countries by July

Samsung has officially announced that it has launched the Galaxy S3 in 28 countries today in Europe, Middle East and Africa including, United Kingdom, France, UAE and Saudi Arabia. They plan to launch in a total of 145 countries across 296 carriers by July. This is more than that of the previous Galaxy S series phones. The Galaxy S was launched in 112 countries with 175 operators and the Galaxy S2 was launched in 135 countries with 210 operators.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S3 earlier this month and Samsung started pre-bookings for the Galaxy S3 couple of weeks back on their eStore. The price was revealed on Saholic last week. The Pebble Blue version of the phone is delayed worldwide including India and only the 16GB White version would be available initially.

The Samsung Galaxy would be launched in India on 31st May.

RIM: BBM to remain exclusive for BlackBerry devices

In this part of the world, it’s not unusual for folks to be carrying more than one phone. While the first phone can be anything from the Android, Nokia or Apple camp, you can always guess safely that the second phone might be a BlackBerry. Unsurprisingly, most people that do still carry their BlackBerry around are using it mainly for the BlackBerry Messenger feature to get in touch with friends, relatives and business associates – the latter is especially true in some Asian countries, where exchanging a BBM pin number is as customary as exchanging business cards. If BBM, as it’s affectionately known, is available on other platforms – it’s not hard to see why the decision to ditch the phone altogether would be an easier one to make.
So when ideas were being thrown about by previous RIM executives on making its highly addictive messaging feature available on Android and iOS devices, analysts were wondering why RIM would want to give up one of the phone maker’s main unique selling points. After all, despite the continued free falling of RIM’s market share in the smartphone world, the company said that there are still some loyal 55 million BBM users worldwide. Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilie, the company’s previous chiefs, may have been pushing for the opening up of BBM for other platforms and manufacturers; its recently appointed President and CEO Thorsten Heins, however, has decided to keep BBM strictly in the family.
Now, we don’t know if the decision is something that he has taken because there’s no taker in the licensing deal offer or if Heins has full faith that he can revive the flailing company. But it’s safe to say that most Android and iPhone users will not be losing any sleep. There are many instant messaging solutions out there that work as good as BBM, with one particular app, WhatsApp, that look to be rapidly gaining popularity in the last few years due to cross-platform service and ease of use. Nevertheless, we still look forward to see what RIM has in store for BBM.

So it can be done after all… Sony rolls out ICS for seven Xperia phones, right on schedule

Six months after Ice Cream Sandwich started appearing on the menu, most manufacturers and carriers are still unable to fully serve customers with the delectable dessert. Disappointingly, across the board, many phones and tablets are still waiting to get the update to the latest Android OS, that’s it if they’ll receive it at all.
But that certainly isn’t a problem for Sony, as the company is ready to send out the ICS upgrade for not just one or two devices, but SEVEN of them in one go.
Yep. As planned, Sony is now rolling out its Android 4.0.4 ICS update for the Xperia Neo, Xperia Arc, Xperia Pro, Xperia Pro Mini, Xperia Mini, Xperia Active, and Live with Walkman. This is a follow up to the ICS upgrade that it recently rolled out to the Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc S, and Xperia Neo V. That’s 10 upgraded phones — that were released in 2011 — within a month. It’s a shame that other manufacturers aren’t following in Sony’s admirable footsteps.
Since the update will be released in batches, you may not necessarily get it on your phone today. But rest assured, you will eventually get the ICS experience on your Xperia device. You may want to take the time you have now to download the latest version of PC Companion to ensure a successful update.  Check out Sony’s message board  to get more information.


Android 4.0 ICS firmware for LG Spectrum leaks

The LG Spectrum, despite its rather impressive specs, has had a tough time battling it out with Verizon’s other premium offerings for the buyers’s attention. But it looks like the phone will edge others on the list when it comes to getting that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade the unofficial way. A leaked ICS firmware for the LG Spectrum has made its way to XDA-devs.
From what we’ve read, installing the leaked ROM on the LG Spectrum seems like a complicated affair, even more so than the usual. So it’s best to get your geek groove on should you wish to give it a try. Those that have successfully installed it report that ICS is working well and quite stable, except for the issue where some Google apps are not working properly. This leads us to believe that it’s not the final build yet.
While a leaked ROM file for the LG Spectrum is not a guarantee that it will be followed by an official ICS roll out by the carrier (just ask Galaxy Nexus owners who have been burned a couple of times), this does give hope that the dual-core LG Spectrum will join the ranks of other ICS-touting phones soon. This the second ICS leak for LG devices in a month. A while back, a leaked ICS ROM for AT&T’s LG Nitro HD has also surfaced online. And what do you know, the official update still hasn’t been rolled out by AT&T.

Perfectly Prune Your Notifications to Stop Your Phone from Constantly Bugging You

If you're anything like me, your phone buzzes all day long, alerting you to completely useless things like app updates, Facebook likes, and chain emails from your grandma. Here's how to keep your phone from bugging you all day without turning your notifications off entirely—but still staying on top of what matters.

We've all experienced phantom vibrations before—that feeling that your phone is ringing when it really isn't. Psychology professor Larry Rosen says this could be a symptom of tech anxiety, and it's probably true—we've gotten to the point where every time our phone buzzes, we feel like we need to pull it out to see what just happened, even if we're so often disappointed by email newsletters, Facebook likes, and other notifications that aren't "need to know". This is annoying, but there's no need to turn off notifications altogether—all it takes is a little pruning.
The process is a little different depending on whether you have an iPhone or Android device, but there's a lot you can do on both platforms to keep annoyances to a minimum while staying on top of what's really important. It takes a bit of setup, but you'll be much happier for it in the end. Here's what you need to do.

Step One: Split Up Apps By Importance

Before we get into the settings, you should take a look at the apps on your device and decide which ones you really want to stay on top of. Generally, I split notifications up into three categories:
  • Important: These are the apps I always want to buzz me when something happens. Vibrations, sounds, badges on the home screen, the whole nine yards. SMS usually falls into this category, though it can also include personal or work email, calendar alerts, and to-do apps (like the iPhone's Reminders app).
  • Unimportant: These are notifications that I like to have, but I don't want bugging me during the day. If I go to check my phone during a free moment, I like to see them, but I don't want them to vibrate or make noise. This often includes things like Facebook, Twitter, and IMs.
  • Useless: These are apps for whom I want to just turn off notifications entirely. If I want to see what they have to tell me, I'll open them up. I don't want them wasting space in my notification center, let alone vibrating in my pocket. That means you, podcast managers, games, and other random apps.
You may find that you have other categories or sub-categories, but this is a good skeleton on which to base your system. Next, it's time to delve into the settings.

Step Two: Tweak Your Notification Settings for Each App

With those categories in mind, we'll now come up with a system for which notification settings we'll apply to each category of apps. Here's how to do it on both the iPhone and Android.

On the iPhone

Head into Settings > Notifications and go into each app one by one. Here are the settings you'll probably want to use for each category:
  • Important: I turn everything on for important notifications. The Notification Center, badge app icons, sounds, and the lock screen. I usually stick with banners instead of alerts, but you can tweak this based on your own preferences.
  • Unimportant: Unimportant notifications should probably use the same settings as important notifications, minus sounds. That means these notifications will show banners when you're using your phone, they'll show up in the notification center and on the lock screen, and they'll show badges, they just won't bug you with sounds or vibrations when you get notifications.
  • Useless: For these, you can go ahead and just turn everything off and set the Alert Style to "none". That should keep the app from ever bugging you or taking up notification space.
Note that the "Sounds" slider in the notification center means sounds and vibrations—there's no way to separate your preferences for each in iOS. If you have sound notifications, you'll get vibrations as long as you have vibrations turned on in Settings > Sounds.

On Android

Android apps manage their notification settings separately from one another. So, to tweak the notification settings for a certain app, open it up, press the menu button, and go to Settings. Search around for the notification settings and tweak them from there (some of them are hard to find, too—Gmail's is hidden in each individual account's settings under "Labels to Notify", for example). Here are some guidelines for what you'll want to set:
  • Important: I turn everything on for important notifications. I want them to show up in my status bar, make a sound, and vibrate. These are important notifications and I want to know about them as they happen.
  • Unimportant: For these apps, I'll often turn notifications on, but turn vibrations off. I'll leave sounds on, usually, unless I get a ton of notifications from the app (like Twitter), in which case I'll turn sounds off as well.
  • Useless: For these, you can go ahead and just turn notifications off entirely.
Note that every app has different notification settings—some will have more than described above, and some will have less. You just have to make do with what you have. For example, if you don't have the option to keep sounds on and vibration off, you're probably better off turning them both off for unimportant notifications.

Step Three: Give Each App Its Own Notification Sound

If you really want to make your life easy, you can give each app its own notification tone. That way, when you get a notification, you know exactly what kind of alert it is without even looking at your device. Here's how to do it.

On iPhone

You can tweak the built-in apps' sounds right from Settings > Sounds. This includes new SMS messages, new voicemails, new emails, tweets, calendar alerts, and reminder alerts. Just tap on a category and choose from one of iOS' many tones. You can alsocreate your own tones using iTunes and sync them to your device—as long as they're shorter than 15 seconds, you can assign them to any of these categories as well.
Unfortunately, you need to do a little more work to assign custom tones to non-Apple apps. We've discussed how to do this before, so we won't go into it here—just know that it's a little more work, and since a lot of apps come with their own separate tones anyway, it isn't always worth the trouble. For third party apps that just use Apple's default tri-tone sound, the only way to customize them is to jailbreak your phoneand use an app like previously mentioned PushTone, which is a great way to customize your sounds all from one place.

On Android

To assign a notification tone, go back to the notification settings of each app. Within the notification settings, you can tap "Ringtone" (or something similar) to assign a tone from Android's vast library. Don't forget you can also add custom tones to Android by copying short MP3 files to the/media/audio/notifications folder on your SD card (if it isn't there, you can create it). After copying them there, they should show up in the list of possible tones in each app's notification settings.

Other Tweaks to Further Customize Your Notifications

If you really want to go the extra mile, there are a few extra tweaks you can make to make your notifications as unobtrusive to your life as possible. Here are some cool tricks for iOS and Android.

On the iPhone

The iPhone has a cool feature that lets youuse custom vibration patterns for each of your contacts, so that when they call, you can tell who it is without even taking your phone out of your pocket. To set them up, just go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Custom Vibrations. Turn it on, and then go into the Contacts app. By editing a contact, you can give them a vibration pattern of your choosing (or even create a new one). Sadly, this only works for calls—not SMS or other notifications—but it's still handy if you get a lot of phone calls from friends and colleagues.
If you're jailbroken, we also like this handy little tweak called Reveal, which makes your notifications scrollable on the lock screen. That way, you can see an entire notification—whether it be a text message, email summary, or something else—without having to unlock your phone. It's simple, but can often save you from having to open up your phone, wait for your inbox to load, and read the message if there's something else you'd rather have your attention on.

On Android

Perfectly Prune Your Notifications to Stop Your Phone from Constantly Bugging YouIf you want to really get the most out of notifications on Android, you have to check out previously mentioned WhoIsIt, which lets you assign custom ringtones and vibration patterns to all of your contacts. Essentially, you can give each contact a different ringtone and vibration pattern for calls, Gmail, SMS, and MMS, which means you'll always know exactly what that notification is for without taking your phone out of your pocket. It'll definitely take awhile to set up, but once you get all of your contacts customized, you'll be completely on top of every buzz your phone makes.
We also like previously mentioned Notifier Pro for Android. It gives you iOS-like banner notifications across the top of your screen that are much easier to read than Android's defaults, which mean it's easier to see whether a specific notification is something you need to open up right now. You can also set it to re-send you unread notifications after a few minutes, which is great if you're the type of person that doesn't always feel your phone vibrating in your pocket (say, if you keep it in your backpack or purse).

Why a Facebook phone doesn't stand a chance

Summary: Perhaps Facebook is using the specter of developing its own handset as leverage against Apple to get its service integrated into iOS?
A persistent rumor has resurfaced which suggests that Facebook is planning to build a smartphone. The idea that the social network giant should develop its own smartphone makes no more sense now than it did the first time it was rumored back in 2010.
According to the New York Times, Facebook “has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad”.
The reason suggested for this move into hardware — relevance.
“Mark [Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO] is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” a Facebook employee told the Times.
This is the third time that a semi-credible Facebook phone rumor has come up. Back on 2010,TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on a smartphone, and then in 2011 it was the turn of AllThingsD to pick up on the rumor and run with it.
As to whether Facebook is toying internally with the idea of a smartphone, I don’t know. But what strikes me about all these rumors is that they fail to address why a smartphone is a key component in the Facebook strategy. Hardware is an enormously risky business; ask companies such as RIM or Motorola and they will tell you just how risky it can be. There is massive scope for failure, and an equally massive scope for burning through huge piles of cash in the process.
What’s more, the key factor of how a Facebook phone will offer a different experience from a Facebook app or simply visiting the Facebook website via the browser is not explained. What differentiates the hardware experience from the app experience? This is crucial, since people are going to be expected to trade up their existing phone — on which they can access Facebook for free via the app or browser — and buy another handset. If there isn’t a clear advantage as to why people should buy the hardware — beyond bragging rights — then the idea is doomed.
Right now, the strategy doesn’t seem to consist of much more than slapping the Facebook logo on some hardware. And even that’s been tried before.
I wonder if this Facebook phone idea — if it exists — isn’t being driven by the fact that Twitter now enjoys cozy integration into Apple’s iOS platform, giving that social network site a foot in the door into millions of iPhones and iPads. Twitter users are just a username and password away from using the service, while Facebook users have to download and install an app. Perhaps Facebook is using the specter of developing its own handset as leverage against Apple to get its service integrated into iOS?
While that’s an interesting idea, I’m not sure Apple works that way. I doubt that Apple would be threatened by any smartphone endeavor that Facebook might have planned.
If Facebook has ideas on how to make its service more usable on smartphones, it seems counterintuitive to not be designing the apps with this in mind already. I know the company is now in a position where it has to be seen to be trying to make money, but chiseling the end user by expecting them to buy a smartphone doesn’t seem like a smart place to start.

Samsung Galaxy S III on sale today

Samsung’s Galaxy S III has officially gone on sale today, one of the fastest smartphones on the market and the Korean company’s key push-back against Apple’s iPhone, though stock shortages could cast a shadow over the high-profile launch. The smartphone is set to hit European shelves today, with Samsung and key partners also offering those who pre-ordered the Galaxy S III in the UK the opportunity to pick it up ahead of the general UK release tomorrow.
However, while Samsung has managed to officially reveal the Galaxy S III and bring it to market in under a month, that process hasn’t been without headaches. Retailers and carriers confirmed this week that there would be stock shortages of particular models: the marble white, 16GB version will be first to shelves, but there could be anything from 2-4 weeks delay for the 32GB white model or either the 16GB or 32GB pebble blue versions.
Samsung Galaxy S III video review:
Samsung hasn’t commented on the exact reasons behind the delay, though talk late last week suggested a manufacturing problem had forced the firm to junk pebble blue casings numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, a 64GB version is due for release later in the year.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S III also brings with it the new Samsung Music Hub, with a premium subscription service that offers access to 19m streaming tracks along with a 100GB cloud store to upload your own music. Samsung plans to offer clients across multiple devices and platforms, including phones, tablets, smart TVs and even its internet-connected fridges.
Even with the shortages, the new Samsung is likely to be a very strong seller; both the company itself and several partners have confirmed that it’s the most popular pre-order device they’ve seen.

How to Get Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract Without Paying Termination Fees

When you sign a two year contract with your wireless carrier, you probably know there's a termination fee if you want to get out early. You may think that fee could be waived if you could demonstrate a real need to end your contract, but this sad story suggests otherwise. In fact, it's easier to break an apartment lease than it is to get out of a cell phone contract. So if you need to get out of your contract but your pleas fall on deaf ears, how do you get out without emptying your wallet? Here's how.

How to Get Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract Without Paying Termination Fees

Navigate the Customer Service Maze

Before you do anything drastic, you should always see if you can get your wireless provider to come around to your cause. They won't want to lose you as a customer, but most companies will make some kind of exemption if you talk to the right person and have a good reason. If you're moving because of work or a compelling personal reason (death in the family, etc.) to a location they don't cover, are a soldier who's being deployed, or you've lost your job and are unable to continue paying your contract, they'll usually let you out or work with you on a compromise. 
However, don't expect to just call up and have the first person you speak to solve your problem. You may need to call back several times or escalate your issue. Here are some more tips to cut through corporate bureaucracy and get your carrier to listen to you. Don't be afraid to use the company's social media channels to your advantage, or go straight to the top and contact corporate executives.
How to Get Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract Without Paying Termination Fees

Trade Your Contract with Someone Else In Your Boat

No one actually likes wireless contracts, and you're not the only person who wants to get out of theirs. Odds are there's someone out there who's trying to get out of their contract with the carrier you want to join, and vice versa. Check out services like Cellswapper,Celltrade, or TradeMyCellular that all play matchmaker between people who want out of their contract with one carrier, and people who want into shorter-term contracts with another. If you have six months left on your T-Mobile contract but you're moving to an area served by Verizon, for example, you can pair up with someone who's willing to trade their 18 months remaining on Verizon for your 6 months on T-Mobile. Even better, the service can find someone who wants only a short-term T-Mobile contract—the service handles the paperwork, and you send out your phone, cover the transfer fee, and walk away contract-free.
How to Get Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract Without Paying Termination Fees

Find a Wireless Carrier Willing to Buy Out Your Contract

It's not terribly common, but some wireless providers are so eager for new customers that they're willing to buy you out of your old contract, and pay down whatever early termination fee you may have. The big carriers shy away from offers like this, but smaller ones and MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators, or companies that buy the rights to resell a big carrier's bandwidth under their own name. Boost MobileCredo Mobile, and Virgin Mobile are all examples of MVNOs) often bend the rules to bring in new customers.
For example, new Tucows startup Ting is running a month-long contest to get you out of your contract (although that month is almost over, so act quickly!) They're willing to buy one lucky winner out of a contract or your termination fee, whichever is cheaper, every day this month. Considering their approach to the wireless business, you may want to consider it. Keep in mind though, even when Ting's promotion is over, other MVNOs may be willing to work with you when big carriers won't. Here's a full list of MVNOs in the United States and the carriers they resell from—you may even be able to keep your phone.
How to Get Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract Without Paying Termination Fees

Hack the System

Finally, if none of the other tricks work, it's time to play a little dirty. We've talked about how contract changes are often a way to escape a long contract, so if your carrier has added new fees or changed the terms of your agreement recently, that may be your ticket out of there. Moneycrashers has some more tips, and while they were written for T-Mobile specifically, most will work with any carrier. Still, your mileage may vary—some of them are technicalities you may have to fight for. When the iPhone launched on Verizon Wireless, we offered up some more tips to get out of your contract without paying an early termination fee. Check them out—many of them work on any carrier, and for any phone. 
If playing dirty doesn't appeal to you, consider changing your contract to the absolute fewest number of minutes and smallest data allowance they offer. Cancel SMS messaging entirely, and trim your account to the bare minimum. Not only does this make you an undesirable customer, but the lower cost per month for the duration of your contract may be less than the termination fee, just spread out. Then sell the phone, remove it from your account, sign up with your preferred carrier, and walk away.

Dell Finally Does An All-In-One PC Right


Dell has sold various all-in-one computers for years. These systems were mostly insipid, humdrum computers not fit for anything other than being a family’s portal to Facebook. Even with touchscreens, Dell’s all-in-one systems failed to be serious contenders in the space.
Enter the XPS One 27. Announced today anddetailed by Engadget, this all-in-one-system is a clone of the iMac. Even the 2560 x 1440 screen resolution is the same. To Dell’s credit, the XPS One 27 ships with Intel’s latest generation of processors while the Apple iMac is still stuck with the older chips — something Apple will no doubt address in the next revision. But it’s hard to ignore the similarities. Hell, even the computer’s support tower has a large hole for cable management a la iMac.
The XPS One 27 is powered by an Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 CPU with either an integrated Intel GPU or a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT640M dedicated graphics card. With prices starting at $1,399, systems can be configured with up to 16GB of memory and with a 1TB, 2TB or 32GB SSD hard drive. The backside houses four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports along with HDMI, VGA, and a gigabit Ethernet connection. There’s a slot-loading Blu-ray drive and an optional TV tuner. In all, the XPS One 27 is a fine all-in-one computer with enough power to justify a spot on even an engineer’s desk — too bad Dell didn’t have the design know-how to make an original casing though.
Dell has seemingly given up. At this point in Dell’s anemic life they are just keeping up with Joneses. There was a time when Dell was one of the trusted consumer brands. The firm has never been a design leader with systems more utilitarian than beautiful, but that formula doesn’t work in today’s marketplace. But over the years Dell has managed to release systems like the Adamo XPS and to a less extent, the Dell Streak, that showed the computer company had a bit of life left in its corporate tubes. The XPS One 27 shows the opposite. Dell might be dead.
Lenovo gets it right time and time again. The Chinese PC company consistently releases computers with new designs in novel form factors. Look at the Lenovo all-in-one lineup: Not a single model looks like an iMac while still offering serious computing power. This design-first strategy seems to be working as Lenovo as profits are soaring — something Dell cannot brag about.
There have long been whispers that Dell is looking to exit the consumer business. That division is leading Dell’s losses anyway. And consumers will not miss Dell if the company turns to simply releasing clones of iconic products.

Alleged backplates for next iPhone leak

Well well well, what have we here? If you remember correctly, a rumor from iLounge not too long ago suggested that Apple would be changing the back design on the next iPhone, using a combination of glass and metal. A mockup showed the rough idea, with the majority of the back covered in aluminium in addition to the glass top and bottom. 9to5Mac have pictures of what they claim is a backplate for the next iPhone which shows a similar design.
At the bottom of the plate you can also see a reduced size dock connector as well as larger speaker grills, said to be used for higher quality audio than the current iPhone. The overall design is also thinner than the current model. The whole design seems like an interesting cross between the original iPhone and iPhone 4/4S, and 9to5Mac say that the back is from a reliable Chinese parts supplier.
Rumors have suggested that Apple could leverage Liquidmetal technology in the new iPhone, although the supplier of the part notes that the back is using a regular aluminium alloy, and not Liquidmetal. Apple has traditionally offered iPhones in both black and white, although interestingly the supplier notes that Cupertino will offer the next iPhone in two additional colors. As always, take all of this with your daily serving of salt.
Engadget has scored a clearer photo showing a white backplate thanks to uBreakiFix. You can see the design a lot better, including the 3.5mm headphone jack which has been relocated to the bottom of the device. The case is definitely taller than the iPhone 4S as well, putting further weight behind the rumor that the next iPhone will feature a new screen with a different aspect ratio. 9to5Mac have also obtained higher resolution images of the two backplates which show the changes in greater detail. Peep everything below.


Alcatel joins the Android ICS party with Alcatel OT986: 4.5″ HD screen and 1.5 GHz dual-core processor

Alcatel joins the Android ICS party with Alcatel OT986: 4.5″ HD screen and 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
Remember, Alcatel? We wouldn’t blame you if you don’t - the company has kept a profile so low that only the hardcore phone geeks still noticed its low and mid-end phones. But now you might want to refresh your memories about Alcatel as the company comes back to business with the Alcatel OT986, the first high-end Android handset we’ve seen from it in a while.

The Alcatel OT986 is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich induced slab of a phone that is very, very much like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It has a slightly smaller, 4.5-inch HD screen, but features the same buttonless design and inside it comes with the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor. In case you’re curious about the minute tech details, here they are:

  • TI OMAP 4460 Cortex-A9 Dual-Core 1.5GHz processor,
  • PowerVR SGX540 GPU clocked at 384MHz,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 4GB of internal memory, expandable via microSD cards,
  • 5MP rear camera w/ LED flash, 2MP front facing cam,
  • HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0.

The OT986 (oh, that name!) isn’t too thick or heavy either. It tips the scale at 5.25 ounces (149 grams) and is 0.38-inch thick (9.75mm).

What we like most about the new Alcatel OT986, though, is the awesome price tag of a mere $379 off contract

new iPhone casings show up with tall body, tiny dock connector, tons of mystery

When it rains, it pours -- after a tiny drizzle of tall iPod touch leaks, we're suddenly faced with a deluge of photos of what might just be the next iPhone's back plating. If that's what we're looking at through photos supplied by uBreakiFix, talk of bigger iPhone screens might just pan out, as it looks decidedly taller than the iPhone 4S we use today. Apple may likewise be going all old-school iPhone on us, with a modern twist: we could be reverting to an aluminum back with more receptive materials (likely glass) at the ends, just in a much thinner form that keeps the steel antenna band. Perhaps the most intriguing bit is at the bottom, where rumors of a much smaller dock connector may have been validated along with a shift of place for the headphone jack. There's still a chance we're looking at an elaborate KIRF or an early engineering prototype that could change, but given that 9to5 Mac just got very similar images with black trim, there's a real possibility that we've just been given a sneak peek of what to expect from Apple later this year.


Explay releasing the Crystal: a feature phone with a transparent color display

The Explay Crystal isn't the first mobile phone with a transparent display — that honor goes to the Xperia Pureness. It isn't even the first handset with a transparent colordisplay, since the Lenovo S800 was released in the middle of 2011. But, despite not being first to market, the Explay Crystal does have a brighter and more vibrant color display than the S800. The 7,000 ruble ($219) Crystal will also be much cheaper than the S800's $500 list price.

The Explay Crystal falls squarely in the category of feature phone, meaning that its dual-SIM compatiability and media player functions are about as fancy as it gets. It does include Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP support and all the usual functions like a contact list and a basic camera with video functionality. The Explay Crystal will be on sale in Russia starting July 1st, and will be a perfect companion for your completely synthetic body.

Nokia says 'Angry Birds' will be optimized for Windows Phone Tango's 256MB of RAM

If you thought it was a little odd that Nokia's Lumia 610 wouldn't support the hottest mobile game ever to be produced in its native Finland, your hunch was spot-on. Nokia says that a version of Angry Birds specifically optimized for Windows Phone Tango's 256MB memory constraint will be released in the near future. Heidi Lemmetyinen, editor-in-chief of the company's official Nokia Conversations blog, says that while the app isn't available yet, it's definitely on the way, and that she hopes to be able to announce a release date ASAP. Of course, while Angry Birds is the highest profile app incompatible with RAM-limited budget Windows Phone devices, it's not the only one: Skype, Tango, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 also don't work at the moment. Microsoft has a vested interest in making Skype work, though, so we expect it will before long.

RIP webOS: Again and for good this time

Summary: The situation at HP is putting a nail in the coffin of webOS, effectively killing it off yet again.
There are few tales in the tech business as sad as that of webOS, the groundbreaking (at the time) mobile OS by beleaguered Palm that HP bought for far too much money a few years ago. Sales of webOS phones never made a dent in the industry, and the much-anticipated TouchPad tablet was cancelled by HP before it even got started.
Then HP reshuffled its management and decided to make webOS open-source to keep the platform from going the way of the dodo. It would offer webOS to the world for anyone to use, and keep the team intact to make a serious effort.
Now comes the word that Google has poached the core Enyo team from HP, to end up doing who-knows-what at Google. Odds are it won’t be bringing Enyo, the application framework behind webOS, into the Android effort. Whatever these smart folks end up doing for Google, their departure pretty much puts the kibosh on the open-source webOS effort no matter what HP says.
HP is not in a position to make a serious run at the webOS open-source effort. Having justannounced the impending layoff of 27,000 employees, HP must be the worst place to work in any industry. You read that right, the layoffs are in the thousands, or more than many companies in the world employ in total. What a sad place HP must be to work today.
So don’t expect webOS to set the open-source world on fire, it is coming from too bad a place for that to happen. Given HP’s terrible situation, there is no way the open-source webOS effort will be a priority. Most of the key webOS team have already left HP for greener pastures, and this news about the important Enyo team is just a twisting of the knife.
It’s a safe call to say that webOS is finally dead in reality, if not in name. Such a sad end for what could have been a revolutionary mobile OS. RIP webOS.

Anonymous hacks Reliance's Internet filtering server

Summary: Screenshot claims Reliance Communication’s website filtering and blocking server has been hacked by Anonymous to block other websites.
Internet Service Providers in India are blocking torrent, file sharing and some video sharing websites due to court orders. Movie distribution and production house Reliance Entertainment has obtained John Doe orders that were upheld by the courts and ISPs are filtering these websites. Close on the heels of discussions on Internet censorship, this move is being seen as a move against freedom of speech, in my opinion, that’s too dramatic.
Anyhow, Reliance Communications, sister company of production house Reliance Entertainment, is among the first to block websites like Vimeo. In a statement the company said going forward, they will filter and block websites without court orders and other ISPs are free to join.
Hacktivist group Anonymous decided to retaliate and started attacking government websites. Harmless Distributed Denial of Service attacks only made the websites inaccessible. Now they’ve done something that many technology enthusiasts will appreciate but condone. Anonymous hacked into the filtering server used by Reliance Communications and filtered a lot of websites, like Twitter.
As reported by Naveen Thakur writing for Whitec0de, visitors to Twitter web were seeing the following message from Anonymous:
Told you not to mess with free speech and lesser with Anonymous
Dear People
People We for 1 entire week attacked government websites, run by your money and no one in your government cared, then we decided to hit the Rich guys in the entertainment and IPL and Reliance and your government sprang into action. Shame on this government. It is time you people realized that this government don’t care about you. If we had attacked what belong to you they wont have minded. But if at all the smallest scratch appears on the rich and elite they are up and ready to act. Time you throw away these puppets of the rich and replace it with a new system that respect the constitution.Here is a list of all sites block by the governement
and reliances Injustice !!
Here’s a screenshot shared by Naveen:
The “official” twitter account for Anonymous India says they have blocked 35 sites for Reliance users:

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