We’ve had the new Zune HD in our hands for a few weeks, and now that we’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly get to know it at an intimate level, we figured it was time to share - but first things first. We’ve gotta say it. Microsoft has been consistently wowing us over the last few months. Say what you will about Windows 7, Bing, et al, but at the end of the day, they are solid offerings that stack of well against their competitors. Then of course, there’s the Xbox 360, which just received a dashboard overhaul, making it even more useful and feature-rich, and there is even more to come this fall. For us to even be thinking about Microsoft in this way is a huge departure from even just one year ago.
So, all that said, where does the Zune HD fit into all this? Well, as we’ve posted previously, the thing has an OLED 16x9 display, and packs in the NVIDIA Tegra processor. Those two pieces of news has us super-excited to see if this thing would live up to the hype. Does it? Go grab a drink and get comfortable, because we are going to delve right in.
Of course, you knew it was coming. I didn’t, because sometimes I can’t see either the forest or the trees, but someone knew it was coming once it was announced that Disney was buying Marvel. Jack Kirby’s children have banded together, not unlike the countless groups their father created, to file motions of copyright termination to 45 of Kirby’s Marvel creations and co-creations.
Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily and Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool, weigh in with the details and analysis. Over at The Beat, Heidi McDonald also notes the news and has a very lively comments section (pay particular attention to the calm and rational ones by Nat Gertler and Kurt Busiek). Elsewhere, countless bloggers and message board attendees are posting about the shock and awe they feel. Their wild theories of how this is the end of everything—the equivalent of a comic book rapture—has them typing faster than they can down a box of Milk Duds.
Before everyone gets all Defcon Fanboy about it, I recommend reading up on the history—the continuity, if you will—of relations between Marvel and Jack Kirby.
Okay, we were all disappointed by AT&T’s decision to delay iPhone MMS to early fall, but that doesn’t stop ambitious folks such as ourselves from finding a way around it. And we have. I can confirm that I was able to get MMS working on my iPhone 3GS with about 3 minutes worth of effort. You wanna do it to? Read on for complete instructions for enabling MMS on iPhone 3.1.
The wait for the big Zune refresh that a lot of us have been clamoring for is finally over. Today, the Zune HD launches, available from the Microsoft online store, Amazon, Best Buy, and others. Alongside that launch comes a much-improved Zune software and services package. That’s right, Zune 4.0 is here, and there’s lots to cover. Let’s dive in and take a look at all the major new features in Zune 4.0, as well as some of the smaller pieces of fit and finish that make this release shine, including the Zune Marketplace, Zune PC software, Zune on Xbox Live, and Zune.net.
From everything we’ve seen as it pertains to the Zune 4.0 software, this update is all about making music more enjoyable to listen to, easier to discover, and easier to manage. In addition, you get movies in the Zune Marketplace now (both rental and purchase,) Xbox Live integration, and a bunch of other features that make Zune 4.0 one of the best pieces of media management software that we’ve used to date.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Zune 4.0 is the Quickplay screen. Similar to the Quickplay area on the new Zune HD, the Zune desktop software gets similar treatment. Here you’ll be able to pin specific content to the area, get a look at new content you’ve recently added to your library, pull up recently played content, and also get direct access to your Smart DJ mixes. Smart DJ, you say? Yes, read on.
The Zune HD launches today, and we know a bunch of you are considering picking one up, but want to know how it stacks up agains other items like the iPod touch, and even the older hard drive based Zune 120 (since they’re all on clearance now.) We’ve taken the liberty of putting together a size comparison gallery that puts the Zune HD up against those very items. Yup, check out our Zune HD size comparison gallery for all the goods.
Read More | Zune HD size comparison gallery
Gallery: Zune HD size comparison gallery
That’s right, y’all. It’s Zune HD day, and Microsoft’s newest portable PMP is ready to make its debut. Of course, we’ve got your hook-up, and have put together an unboxing gallery looking at the Zune HD, as well as everything else in the box. We must say, we were definitely stoked about this. For gadget lovers and lusters, the Zune HD is an adrenaline rush, what with its thin profile and gorgeous screen. Be sure to check out the full Zune HD unboxing gallery for all the goods.
Gallery: Zune HD unboxing
We will of course have a Zune HD review coming for you as well, but since Microsoft opted to give us review units that wouldn’t work until the Zune 4.0 software update was available, that’ll have to wait a bit. We don’t wanna go singing the praises of (or totally trashing) a device until we’ve had some legitimate time to play with it while fully functional, thank you very much. But hey, if you like the pictures, then be sure to also check out our Zune HD size comparison gallery as well.
Read More | Zune HD unboxing gallery
Gallery: Zune HD unboxing gallery
You know that new iPod shuffle that Apple was gushing over during their “It’s Only Rock and Roll” event? We were able to get our hands on one of the stainless steel beauties, and have given it our gallery treatment. If you’re interested in an inexpensive iPod that can hold a couple thousand songs and keeps a low profile, this might be the one for you. Check it out, it’s definitely slick.
Read More | iPod shuffle Special Edition gallery
Nokia has put together a nice promotional video, shot here in Seattle, and featuring a bunch of my friends giving their thoughts on mobile devices, and the Booklet 3G in general. Obviously, the big thing here is the 8-12 hour battery life on this Nokia laptop. Needless to say, we can’t wait to get our hands on this one.
Motorola has unveiled their smartphone strategy going forward, and it all begins with the Motorola CLIQ, The CLIQ is an Android-powered smartphone that will be available on T-Mobile later this fall. The CLIQ packs in 3G, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, GPS, and a tie-in to social networking contacts that they’ve named MOTOBLUR.
MOTOBLUR is interesting. The CLIQ logs in to your various social networks and points of communication - things like email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Picasa, Photobucket, RSS, and more. It takes all the activity in all these services, and shows you content in a single feed on the main screen, and you can respond to any of these by tapping on them.
On the hardware side, the Motorola CLIQ has a 320x480 3.1-inch display, along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that also has a D-pad, so you know you can even get your gaming on with this phone. The 5 megapixel camera has autofocus, and records video at 24 and 30 frames per second. There’s also a headphone jack, GPS, and 3G, as previously mentioned. As far as wireless goes, the CLIQ packs in Wi-Fi, alongside Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. You’ll be able to get your hands on a Motorola CLIQ later this fall.
The iPod nano got a very welcome upgrade today, with Apple integrating a camera into the device, making it the first (and only - sorry iPod touch) iPod with a built-in camera. On the lower left on back of the iPod nano sits the camera, along with speaker and microphone. The iPod nano only records video, so it doesn’t take still images, and those videos are recorded at 640x480 in H.264 up to 30fps with AAC audio. There are also 15 video effects you can apply, like Black and White, Film Grain, Thermal, X-Ray, and more.
Also making the iPod nano unique is the addition of an FM tuner, again, a first for the iPod line. Apple has even included a feature they call Live Pause, which lets you pause radio, and continue listening later. It holds a buffer of up to 15 minutes. You’ll also find a pedometer in the new nano, which works together with the built-in Nike+ integration, and a new, larger 2.2-inch screen - up from 2-inch on the previous model. We’ve got videos after the break that show off the iPod nano video camera, Genius Mix, and FM radio features.
The fifth generation iPod nano is available now at $149 for the 8GB model, and $179 for the 16GB version, and they come in nine new colors.
Read More | iPod nano