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Mar
08
2012

Rumourbusters: iPad 3 Reveal

As expected, Apple announced its latest iPad – merely referred to as the “the new iPad” or the “third-generation iPad”, thus giving no clues as to its final name as yet – at an invitation-only event in San Francisco to a crowd of happy journalists, live-bloggers and business types; and a good bit new about the latest iPad was revealed. But how much of it did the public already call – and were all the calls right?

For weeks before Wednesday’s unveiling of the new iPad, the rumour mill had been speeding at Bugatti Veyron pace. We at Technically Motivated therefore felt it would be useful to act as our own version of the Mythbusters, and determine how many of these rumours are confirmed or busted.

So, without further ado, in alphabetical order:

4G/LTE wireless connectivity: Confirmed. As well as the usual Wi-Fi only models that every iPad generation has had, there will also be an option Read the rest of this entry »

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    Previous Articles


    Jan
    25
    2012

    Rumour: Microsoft phasing out Microsoft Points

     

    A rumour making the rounds today is Microsoft will phase out its Microsoft Points currency by year's end, in favour of real currency. According to InsideMobileApps, the change will affect Windows Phone, the Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live.

     

    The site claims "a source" provided the information and notes that mobile developers with Microsoft publishing agreements are being told to plan their upcoming downloadable content and in-app purchases in accordance with the change. Finally, customers with Microsoft Point balances at the time of conversion will have it switched to the their local currency.

     

    Two developers we spoke to who are working on Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live content told us they hadn't heard anything about such a conversion. However, both noted that sometimes Microsoft doesn't tell them about major changes until it becomes need to know. They also hadn't heard whispers about the conversion until we contacted them.

     

    Checking in with Microsoft, a company spokesperson told us: "We do not comment on rumour or speculation."

     

    Update: Microsoft Switzerland has reportedly told Gbase.de that the rumour is not true. The Google translation is a bit confusing, but it roughly translates: "We can not confirm these rumours – we are currently satisfied with the current Xbox Live Business model."

    Jul
    15
    2011

    Rumour: Microsoft blurring line between Windows and Xbox for upcoming Windows 8 OS?

    New rumours spreading around the Blogosphere today make the tantalising proposition that Microsoft may be considering baking in support for XBox 360 games and services within the upcoming next generation of their market-leading (for better or worse) Operating System, Windows. Numerous explanations have been given as cause of this rumour, but chief among them is a new entry in the error message tables for Windows that was discovered in closed Beta builds of the upcoming system, which stated: “Could not read XBox 360 disk media”.

    In addition, with Microsoft known to be working on a Software Development Kit for using Kinect on Windows computers; and Microsoft’s own admission that they’d like to see the technology incorporated beyond the XBox, many claim Microsoft may also be planning to bake Kinect support into Windows directly.

    Microsoft have yet to confirm or deny either rumour, which come from multiple sources, some more trustworthy than others. But knowing a little about Microsoft current conceptualising for the next Windows platform, we can draw some conclusions which give the rumours some support. We already know that Windows 8, as it is being called currently, is taking many design philosophies from Windows Phone 7, including the tiled interface and web widgets. One reason for this, as revealed by Microsoft, is to make the interface more intuitive to touch-screens. Microsoft claim two reasons for taking this measure: Firstly, Microsoft want Windows 8 to support as many different types of input as possible, in order to make for a seamless experience. Could this also include Kinect?

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Microsoft claim they wish to unify the Windows experience across several devices; and believe it is best achieved by making a single system that can easily be adapted to any device the consumer wants – from traditional computer, to tablet device, to smartphone and possibly even TVs. In this case, Windows 8 can be seen as a replacement for the Windows Phone system as well as the next step for the personal computer system. One of the key selling points in recent launches of Windows Phone has been its tight integration with XBox live services, which range from profile management to actually being able to play certain games through the phone. If Microsoft integrates XBox 360 support directly into Windows 8, then brings Windows 8 into smart phones, the XBox gaming platform may suddenly become bigger, stronger and capable of even more games and features than ever; plus game developers will suddenly find they’d only need to develop for one platform to potentially target several. This could be the killer combination that puts Windows for smart devices firmly on the map.

    What’s your take on all this? Let us know in the comments.

    May
    05
    2011

    Facebook, Google Compete for Skype

    Facebook and Google are reportedly in a bidding war for Skype, which could create a communications powerhouse.

    Two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions told Reuters that Skype is considering a possible purchase or joint venture between Facebook or Google. Skype, which uses voice-over-IP, or VoIP, to stream live video and audio calls, boasted 124 million users this last month alone and stands to gain even more should it agree to either deal.

    Should Skype join with Google, it gains solid backing from a deep-pocketed protector. Google, meanwhile, would gain a vast improvement over its current chat client.

    Skype is doing fine on its own, raising over $860 million in 2010, but a partnership with Google would help the company go public with a bang, eclipsing others recent IPOs like LinkedIn’s offering, an important boost for Skype as more and more tech companies flood the market.

    Skype’s video chat and desktop client would help Google compete against other tech companies. Google Talk does not support video chat like Skype, making it inferior to rival Microsoft’s online collaboration suite Lync. Furthermore, Google’s services are all online while Skype has a desktop app; if the two companies can combine these interfaces users will find it much easier and faster to communicate than ever before.

    Should Skype hook up with Facebook, it would inherit the social network’s reach, over 600 million users, and increase the flow of calls across its network. Skype would also reportedly earn between $3 to 4 billion if Facebook decided to bid for its loyalty. And the transition would be easy, as Skype users can already call their Facebook friends from the Skype desktop application; any partnership would likely make voice and video calls possible from inside Facebook as well.

    Facebook would be happy to buy Skype, sources say, as CEO Mark Zuckerburg is reportedly interested in extending its reach to voice and video calls to draw people to spend even more time chatting on the site.

    Insiders say a tie-up between Facebook and Skype would make more sense than one with Google, which already has Google Voice. Still, given their rivalry, it’s possible Google and Facebook are simply competing to prevent the other from winning a valuable asset in Skype.

    Skype and Google declined to comment. Facebook was not immediately available to comment.

    Apr
    25
    2011

    Confirmed: Nintendo announces working on Wii 2 console

    Confirming a continuous glut of rumours spread over the past two weeks or more, Nintendo has announced it is indeed working on a new version of its popular Nintendo Wii console, which will be previewed at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles in June.

    The original Wii proved a runaway hit for Nintendo when it launched five years ago. However, sales have been gradually declining in the face of tough competition from PlayStation, XBox 360 and mobile gaming platforms.

    Wii was the first console of the current generation to offer motion controlled gameplay. However, in the past year, Microsoft has introduced its Kinect system for XBox, while Sony launched PlayStation Move. It has long been speculated that Nintendo may try to improve on the console in the near future to continue their trend of gaming innovation – and Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Chief Executive, suggested that his company was preparing to do just that. Read the rest of this entry »

    Apr
    14
    2011

    Rumour: Google “Disgusted” With Record Labels

    Google’s attempts to negotiate with music labels in order to licence music for their upcoming Google Music service has been claimed to have left Google “disgusted” with the labels based on their greed or exorbitant terms they want placed on the music – and, in a new twist, Google may decide to launch its much-anticipated music service without label licenses. Read the rest of this entry »

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011
    Acknowledgements: The Music Void (http://www.themusicvo more...
    Some Rights Reserved
    Apr
    06
    2011

    Rumour: Was a test of a new Google Music app leaked to the web?

    An odd glitch on a Tech Review website’s Android phone appeared to replace the Android Market on their phone with a Test version filled with numerous unseen (and many non-functional) apps; but it is one in particular, which actually DID function, that got their attention – and, when it was posted about on the internet, seemingly everyone else’s, too.

    Now, there’s a claim that a download for the app has been discovered, and subsequently leaked online, and is now being shared by several websites.

    The app – apparently a test release of a future update to Google’s official Google Music app, tentatively titled “Google Music 3.0” – was discovered Read the rest of this entry »

    Feb
    09
    2011

    Confirmed: The “PlayStation Phone” cometh!

    It’s been rumoured, supposedly debunked, and rumoured again more times than Ant & Dec have appeared on TV, but now it’s finally official: The “PlayStation Phone” is real, and it’s coming to market very soon!

    Officially named the Xperia Play, the phone combines a traditional Android 3.0-powered smart-phone with a preloaded PlayStation Pocket app for downloading and playing PlayStation games. It’s also powered by a Qualcomm chip for lightning fast performance. The Xperia Play has been leaked and spied for months, with Sony Ericsson happily previewing the phone on several occasions – but despite it all, there were constant doubts as to whether the phone was ever actually going to be released.

    O2, T-Mobile/Orange and Vodaphone have all confirmed they will host the phone in the UK as soon as it is launched, which Orange has stated is due in April. This leaves only the Three network left to confirm a launch.

    Pricing is still to be confirmed by all the networks.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011
    Jan
    24
    2011

    Motorola Xoom to make February appearance?

    The Xoom, Motorola’s first foray into tablet market, will enter the tablet market in the United States on February 17, making its appearance at Best Buy stores, according to a report.

    The 10.1-inch tablet is expected to be one of the first tablets from a top-tier supplier to give Apple’s iPad a run for its money. The Xoom will come with Google’s Android Honeycomb operating system for tablets, a dual-core processor, a high-resolution (1,280×800) display and dual cameras. In the US, it will supposedly be coupled with the Verizon 3G (and soon-to-come 4G) network. Pricing is reported to be $800 (£500 / €585), though $699 (£436.80 / €512.50) has also been cited as a price (British Pounds and Euro prices are based on exchange rates at time of publication and exclude VAT). The device is also said to have 32GB of onboard flash storage.

    No information has been shared so far about whether or not the supposed launch date is genuine, or about launches elsewhere in the world. But I am certain we’ll hear more very soon.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2011
    Dec
    05
    2010

    Google close to launching Social Network Service rumoured to be named Google +1

    Google is close to launching a social network site which new rumours suggest may be called Google +1. The concept of Google creating its own social network, previously thought to be called Google Me, has been a major topic of discussion on many internet portals for some time now, but it is only now that technical details are starting to emerge.

    Instead of a web site similar to Facebook, Google is planning to deliver their new service as an optional browser extension which may be exclusive to Chrome – which could force millions of consumers to switch from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Firefox if they want access to the Google social network. Reportedly, the extension will be called Loop, and has been designed to reflect social circles known as “loops” where most information would be shared.

    It’s considered near-certain that a version of Loop would exist for Android and might propagate to other mobile platforms as well – in fact, reports suggest there is already one under construction and being tested in-house. The service and the availability on Smart phones risks angering a number of companies, particularly Facebook.

    In previous weeks, Google chief Eric Schmidt has made clear several times in public statements, that Google is not and has not been looking to develop a Facebook clone. However, according to reports from insiders who have seen concepts of the app, many parts of it do in fact resemble Facebook’s own efforts – although it should be kept in mind that the Loop app is unfinished and should be significantly different by the time it’s launched.

    Google and Facebook have been in a fight over data exports that are widely believed to hinge on Facebook’s worries that Google would compete against it. Allowing two-way export for Facebook contacts would let users defect more easily to a rival service, although Facebook has tried to raise privacy worries by noting that many exports could have personal details exported without consent. (Anyone see any irony in Facebook pointing out privacy concerns?)

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2010