OnStar is ready to roll out their Family Link Tracking system. The system will be available to the masses at the end of the year, after OnStar has been talking about the system for a year or so already. Surprisingly enough, the system doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but only a measly $4 a month on top of an OnStar plan.
The system isn’t designed to give you minute-to-minute, real-time updates, but updates the family members in 20 second intervals or so. Instead, its purpose is to keep track of your vehicle and the location of it, and possibly keeping tabs on your kids as they’re behind the wheel. Check out the video above for a detailed look and see how it works!
Read More | Engadget
This morning Apple announced OS X Mountain Lion, and alongside the announcement they've also made available the first Mountain Lion Developer Preview. Anyone with a Developer Account can log into Apple's Dev portal to download the first build (12A128p) of OS X 10.8, which will be available to all later this summer.
Read More | Mac Developer Portal
And the Lumia 710 shall lead them. T-Mobile and Nokia today announced the first Nokia Windows Phone in the U.S.: not the flashy Lumia 800, but its lower-cost sibling, the Lumia 710. I got some time with it and spoke to Nokia and T-Mobile execs about the companies' strategy.
First, the phone: the Lumia 710 is a medium-sized, slab-style cell phone with cropped corners and a curved back. It isn't really a rectangle, but it also isn't as radically shaped as the Lumia 800. Below the 3.7-inch, 800-by-480 LCD screen there's a large physical button, and there's a 5-megapixel camera that records 720p video on the soft-touch back. The phone comes in black and white.
Nokia used pretty classy materials for a $49-with-contract phone, although the 710 doesn't measure up to the Lumia 800's polycarbonate body. The bright, sharp screen is Corning Gorilla Glass, and the phone feels solidly built. Turned off, the black model has the usual problem where it will blend in with a line of other black slab phones, though.
The Lumia 710 runs Microsoft's Windows Phone Mango OS with a few exclusive additions. Nokia's Drive GPS software offers free driving directions, both on and offline, in 2D and 3D. App Highlights helps point out useful apps among the 40,000-plus in Microsoft's store, and T-Mobile TV offers several dozen streaming TV channels.
We've just got our hands on one of the new entry-level Amazon Kindle units that were part of the big Kindle announcements made by Jeff Bezos a couple of days ago, and we're definitely liking what we're seeing. The new Kindle is very noticably smaller and lighter than the previous generation (now known as the Kindle Keyboard,) and costs just $79 (with special offer screensavers.) We've put together a gallery showing off the device--take a look, and if you're interested, they're on sale now at Amazon.
Samsung isn't new to the tablet game, but the company's newest offering - the Samsung Series 7 Slate - may be exactly what buyers have been waiting for in Windows tablets. We went hands on with the new Series 7 Slate, and we were pleased with what we saw.
The Samsung Series 7 Slate has a spacious 11.6-inch display, with 1366-by-768 resolution and an eye-popping 16 million colors. It should even look good outdoors, with 400-nit brightness coming from Samsung's sharp-looking SuperBright LED backlit display. That extra inch of real estate for the screen also helps to alleviate one of the biggest problems we've seen with Windows tablets, namely the fact that Windows icons become miniscule on a smaller screen. The touch screen is capable of registering up to 10 fingers at a time, or it can be used with a digital stylus for more precise selection or handwriting recognition.
The Series 7 Slate is also light, weighing 1.96 pounds - lighter than many smaller 10-inch tablets we've seen, like the Acer Iconia W500-BZ467, which weighed in at 2.1 pounds. It's thin too, measuring less than a half inch thick. The back appears to be brushed aluminum, and the rich texture of the cool metal surface leaves you feeling that the slate, though thin and light, is still substantial.
Apple's completely revamped Final Cut Pro X makes serious leaps and bounds past its predecessor in terms of usability and performance. The upgrade is a complete from-the-ground-up-rewrite that takes advantage of modern 64-bit multicore CPUs, and is a radical departure for the increasingly popular software suite.
In fact, it's changed so much that it may throw some professional users for a temporary loop; more on this later. But for the pro-sumer enthusiasts that make up the bulk of PCMag's readership—people moving up from iMovie or another consumer-level app, Final Cut Pro X is a huge leap forward in terms of usability and raw power. While its interface looks a lot more like iMovie's, with a free-form trackless "Magnetic Timeline" view, the program still packs vastly more editing power than the iLife video editor.
Read on for our thoughts!
HTC's beautiful new smartphone for T-Mobile, the HTC Sensation 4G, has a great-looking case, a super-sharp screen, a dual-core processor, and the latest version of Android, dressed up with some terrific HTC enhancements. It's all enough that you can overlook the one big thing it doesn't have: 4G.
As we mentioned earlier, the Sensation is HTC's follow-up to the excellent MyTouch 4G, and it looks like a more professional model than the somewhat cute-and-cuddly MyTouch. It's a gray slab phone with a gray, cosmetic stripe up the middle of the back. The Sensation is comfortable to hold, and it's similar in size to Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt, although it's thinner.
All of the Sensation's specs have been boosted from the previous model, except one. The phone has a super-sharp, super 4.3-inch 960-by-540 LCD screen and a Qualcomm dual-core 1.2-Ghz Snapdragon processor. It runs Android Gingerbread 2.4, and has an 8-megapixel camera on the back capable of recording 1920-by-1080 video at 30 frames per second. There's a VGA front-facing camera for video chat, an HDMI output port, 1GB of built-in storage along with a MicroSD card slot, and a very strong 1520 mAh battery keeping it all running. It will be very interesting to compare this to the somewhat similar LG G2x, another high-end, dual-core Android phone arriving on T-Mobile soon.
This morning HTC announced the Sensation 4G smartphone. This one sports a 4.3-inch Super LCD display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, and ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the HTC Sense 3.0 UI. It's very similar to the HTC EVO 3D, but usurps it with an 8 megapixel rear camera, dual LED flash, and records video at 1080p at 30 frames per second. This is an HSPA+ device that will be coming to T-Mobile, sporting download speeds up to 14.4 Mbps. We'll have hands-on impressions in a few.
Sierra Wireless has a secret weapon in the hotspot wars: a booster dock for its new Sprint 4G Overdrive Pro mobile hotspot that can truly send its WiMAX reception and speeds into overdrive. Ensconced in the dock, 4G WiMAX reception jumps by 50 percent, a Sierra product demonstrator in the company's booth told me.
The $99.99 (minus $50 rebate) Overdrive Pro is better in every way than the Overdrive hotspot it replaced. It's smaller. It boots up faster. It has a bigger LCD screen to show status information. The back is a grippy, soft-touch plastic rather than the greasy, slick black plastic of the last model. It has easily accessible dual external antenna ports.
And it has that dock. The dock isn't very portable; it's about the side of an iPod dock. It's really made for your desk. Sprint is the only wireless carrier to offer truly unlimited 4G plans, so one of the aims may be for a docked Overdrive to double as an alternative to a home Internet connection.
Pop the Overdrive into the dock, and it can charge, tether to a PC as a modem, and gets that 50 percent signal boost. The dock will be available sometime in May, Sierra reps at the booth said. They weren't clear on the price.
The Overdrive Pro goes up against the new Novatel Wireless MiFi 4082, which I've been using at the show. The MiFi is smaller and classier-looking than the Overdrive; I suspect it will have slightly longer battery life, too, but that's without any real evidence. The MiFi's e-ink indicators don't give you nearly as much information as the Overdrive's LCD display, though, and it doesn't have the dock option.
We'll test both products as soon as we can get hold of them.
Video has appeared of the LG BL40, aka the new touchscreen LG Chocolate Touch mobile phone. If a picture says a thousand words, then this is a whole mouthful of Chocolate love. Enjoy it, and drool over it’s 4-inch, 21:9 display until its release, which hopefully happens on August 23rd.
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