iPad Slowly Replacing Traditional PCs in Schools

Studies conducted during the third quarter of the year showed that for the first time in history, sales for the Apple iPad has exceeded not only desktop computers, but also laptops. This study does not only pertain to businessmen and individuals buying computers for their personal use, but also consumers in educational institutions.

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Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company,  stated that PC sales in the education sector have declined by as much as 265,000 units (13.9%) from the third quarter of last year. Apple has sold nearly a million iPads to various educational institutions last June. This alone is proof that the  iPad is quickly on its way to replacing traditional computers in schools in the US.

According to Wolf:

“Clearly, a significant portion of the sales of the iPad represents an expansion of the market. But by analyzing this phenomenon and considering that Mac sales totaled around 520,000 units, while sales of PCs declined by 265,000 units a year (from 1.90 million to 1.64 million, ed), we believe that ‘only conclusion to be drawn is that the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a significant portion of the PC market dedicated to the world of education. “

Wolf also argues that the potential of the Apple tablet will allow them to break further into other markets in the near future. This is great news for Apple and perhaps other tablet PC manufacturers.

This year alone, iPad sales have increased to more than 200 percent.. That figure is expected to rise as more and more schools will be integrating the iDevice into their curriculum. However, this poses a great threat to book publishers as there is a big possibility that schools will also start shifting to ebooks. Should this happen, the need for hardbound books and paperbacks will cease to exist.

Acer Set to Release Windows Phone 8 Devices in 2013

In a market where Nokia, HTC, and Samsung seem to be the main protagonists, a new competitor is gearing up to release a line of Windows smartphones. Acer, one of the leading manufacturers of laptops and desktop components, confirms to be working on a set of smartphone models that will carry a Windows operating system. The target date for distribution is set for next year.

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Jim Wong, president of Acer, said recently that the company is planning a total of six new smartphones that will see the light in 2013. He cleared up rumors that all of the models will be carrying a Windows OS. However, he has also confirmed  that at least one of the phones will be a Windows 8 smartphone.

The rest of the smartphones that are set to be released by Acer will be Android devices. This is good news for those that are not too fond of the Windows OS and prefer a more user friendly platform. Of course, it is also great for those that love to make the most out of the Android devices as the can download numerous applications from Google Play.

The company’s strategy is to move forward and focus their target to consumers in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India. No prices have been released as of yet as the models are still being developed but Acer aims to produce affordable but high-powered smartphones to be able to cater to budget consumers.

 

Viber Voice Calls for Windows Phones Soon to Be Released

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Viber is without a doubt one of the most widely used mobile applications among smartphone users. Not only is it good for sending free SMS and MMS messages, but it also allows users to send out free voice calls as long as internet access is available. However, Windows phone users are only limited to the SMS feature and that has caused quite an inconvenience.

Despite Viber’s fame, an update is yet to be released for Windows phone users. Good news is that the clamor seems to have finally reached the ears of Viber’s big wigs as there are talks that the voice call feature may finally become available to Windows phone users. Further mentioned is that it may be downloaded from Microsoft’s virtual store.

Through Viber’s Facebook page, representatives of the aforementioned company have released a statement saying that the update is still in the development stage and asks for a bit of patience from Windows phone users. Many are hopeful that the free voice call feature will finally be available when Windows 8 phone finally rolls out. But as of writing, a definite date or a confirmation is yet to be released so there really is nothing left for Windows phone owners to do but to wait.

 

Oracle Releases Patch to Stop Java 7 Leak

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A few days ago, we talked about the vulnerability of Java 7 on OS X and today we continue to write about the issue and its recent developments.

The problem was very general – it involved all operating systems with the latest version of  Java SE 7 Update 6 installed. Given the gravity of the situation and the fact that Oracle had promised updates on a quarterly basis, it promptly released a minor update which is now known to be the  Java SE 7 Update 7. For now, this update seems to have fixed the problem but we want to give it a bit more time before we confirm that all leaks have really been sealed.

Among other things, David Maynor, CTO of Errata Security, has confirmed that the exploit, Metasploit  also works (and it should!)  also on Mac with the latest version of OS X Lion Mountain. The previous version has been reported to be non-functional on Mac computers and this has caused problems among Mac computer owners. It’s good to know that they have finally released a version that works since Mac computers are quickly becoming popular among consumers. Without this update, Java would have faced a decrease in sales as majority of applications highly depend on the Java platform.

With the recent release, all Mac users are invited to proceed to the official page of  Oracle so they can upgrade their Java version to the new and not to mention functional Java SE 7.

 

The Final Installment of The Hobbit Trilogy Will Be Released in 2014

It has been confirmed that the third installment of  Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will be released on July 18, 2014. The film will be called The Hobbit: There and Back Again. All three films already have a date of release as well as official titles. Therefore, fans should no longer expect more films to be released under the franchise and should just wait until the films are released on the big screen.

Below are the release dates of Jackson’s depiction of the best seller trilogy:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 14, 2012.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, December 13, 2013.
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again, July 18, 2014.

Although fans are surely not disappointed, they are curious to know why they would only have to wait a short time to see the final installment after the second film is released. If you can notice, the wait period between the first and second film is a year. Dan Fellman, president of production at Warner Bros. Pictures gave this answer:

 “We wanted to reduce the waiting time between the second and the third installment of the trilogy. Output in the month of July gives us a great location between the summer movie releases, fans also will have less time to wait for the end of this epic adventure. 

There you have it! Those that have been following the Hobbits right from the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings will be very happy to know that they no longer have to spend time wondering when they will be able to see their favorite characters come to life on the big screen.

Huawei Ascend Announces the Release of G600

Huawei announced the release of the new  Ascend G600  in this year’s IFA convention. Their new smartphone model is geared for the mid-price market. However, this does not mean that it won’t come with competitive features.

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For one thing, it will be running an Android operating system – 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. Another thing, it boasts of is its 8 megapixel rear camera. Although Huawei’s Ascend G600’s market price is yet to be confirmed, it is rumored that it will sell for a little below €300 in Germany. Not bad given the features that it carries.

Here are the technical specifications of the Ascend G600:

  • Display 4.5-inch IPS qHD resolution (960 × 540).
  • 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor.
  • 768MB RAM.
  • 4GB internal memory expandable via microSD.
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • Full connectivity: NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA.
  • 1930 mAh battery.
  • Comes in Black and White

It is set to be released to the general market sometime this month but an official date is yet to be announced. Huawei expects that the Ascend G600 will gain a warm audience among smartphone enthusiasts as it will be price quite competitively. With its specifications, a lot can be expected from this affordable mobile phone. However, it would have to compete with other mobile phone manufacturers that are also gearing up to release mid-priced smartphones.

 

EA’s Origin Announces a Back to School Promo

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In this day and age, a business needs to come up with clever and appealing tactics to garner more sales. Origin, a company powered by EA Games, announced a back to school promo for their patrons as early as July. Yes, that’s how excited they are to announce their new gimmick! So what’s the promo all about?

Well, Origin patrons can take advantage of  a 50% discount for games like Battlefield 3 ,  Mass Effect 3 , FIFA 12 , The Secret World, The Sims 3, and The Witcher 2 . However, they would need to make the purchase sometime between August 31 to  September 5.

If your favorite game was not mentioned above, don’t fret as Origin promises that almost every EA game title will be included in the promo. Additionally, they also boast that games from other developers will also be eligible to the 50% discount. The best part? You don’t even have to be a student that’s indeed going back to school to be able to enjoy enormous savings! All you need to do is visit the Origin website!

Want to know more? Click here  for more information about Origin’s back to school promo and to take advantage of this limited offer! Don’t let this incredible opportunity pass, it’s not everyday that you’ll be able to score top EA game titles at half the price!

 

 

Samsung to Launch New Bada Phones in Q1 of 2013


Just when almost everyone was under the impression that the Korean mobile manufacturer had already dropped its flagship operating system, Samsung reaffirmed its support for Bada. They did this by announcing  at the IFA in Berlin that new handsets under the Bada platform will be released in the first quarter of next year.

Kang-Hyun Kwon, Senior Vice President of Media Solution Center, Samsung Electronics, referred to the Bada operating system as “a child who grew up and grew well. Now he can run and it’s time to run faster.” Aside from the fact that they have already confirmed that the new Bada handsets are already in the development stage, this statement confirms the company’s faith in their own platform.

Kwon also confirmed that there would be no need to change the development strategy of the operating system and that everything is already well on their way.

According to market research by Gartner, Bada has become the fifth most popular mobile operating system in the world, overcoming (at least for now) Microsoft Windows Phones. This is based on the mobile  market sales reports in the first quarter of this year. For the first time since its launch in mid-2010, the family of Samsung Wave phones entered the top 10 best-selling phones in the global market.

Well, we have to wait for the CES in Las Vegas in January, and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February as this is where Samsung is set to make their final announcement about their new Bada line before releasing the units into the market. Let’s keep fingers crossed and hope that this new line of Samsung phones will be at par with the current smartphone leaders. 

Motorola Closes their Doors to the Asia Pacific Market

BGR reports that  Motorola  has shut down their doors to the Asia Pacific market. However, they have not completely shut down their sales as a few of these winged mobile units can till be bought in Korea and Australia. But that is not to say that Motorola could be on its way to recovering their slump.

The decision to shut down sales in Asia Pacific was due to the dismissal of 20% of their domestic labor force. This move forced trade policies to drastically reduce internal business operations in the Asian territory. Major reconstructing in the company’s overall operations would need to be done and that is the main reason behind shutting down sales.

Motorola will continue to sell their existing mobile phone units until supplies last. After which, they will finally close down the company while negotiations for acquisition are still underway. As of writing, the number one bidder for Motorola is Google. It seems that an acquisition is the best way to go given that Motorola seems unable to keep up with the current mobile phone trends. Working with one of top search engine companies in the world would certainly help not only keep Motorola afloat, but also allow it to grow to heights that would not have been imaginable.

 

Skydrive for Android Finally Launched

After the long wait, Microsoft has finally released  SkyDrive for Android.

If you are not familiar with Skydrive, it is a synched cloud storage program. From your desktop computer, laptop, and now your Android device, you get access to all the files you need even when you’re on the go. You no longer need to carry around an external storage device as all you need is an internet connection and your mobile phone and you’re set to go!

Not only will you be able to save and access your files anytime, anywhere. But you will also have the ability to share your documents to people you are working with. That will make work collaboration so much easier.

Features of Skydrive for Android:

  •  Access to all content on SkyDrive including files that other people share with you.
  • View recently used documents.
  • Select multiple photos or video to upload from your phone.
  • Share files and photos: send a link via e-mail or other apps.
  • Open your file in SkyDrive other Android app.
  • Manage your files: delete or create new folders.

Skydrive for Android can be downloaded for free at the Google Play Store. However, it will only work with Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating systems and up. It’s worthy to note that this application has received a star rating of 4.3 on Google Play so if you are in need of a cloud storage system that can be accessed from your Android device, Skydrive for Android is definitely worth a try!

Samsung Galaxy S2 Crystal Edition – The Perfect Smartphone for the Perfect Girl

 

 

Being the flagship smartphone unit of Korean company Samsung, it’s not surprise that their development team have directed their efforts into making the S3 more marketable by launching a variety of colors for the unit. What came as a surprise though is that they seem to have not forgotten about the former top range Samsung S2.

Perhaps the S2 still remains as the best selling Samsung smartphone because now they have also launched a version that is especially dedicated to the female market in terms of aesthetics – the Samsung Galaxy S2 Crystal Edition. This pretty thing can be easily distinguished by its white rear shell  that is studded with 129 Swarovski crystals.

As far as technical specifications goes, the Samsung S2 Crystal Edition still bears all the power that placed the S2 at the top of the best selling smartphones of the previous year. However, women would have to be ready to pay a hefty price to be toting around this gorgeous smartphone as it is set to retail at 599 euros  when it is released in October.

Samsung S2 Crystal Edition Specifications:

  • 4.3 inch Screen
  • 1.2 Ghz dual core Processor
  • Rear 8 MP camera
  • Front 2 mp camera

 

Samsung has already announced that the Samsung S2 Crystal Edition will be their star at the 2012 IFS.

10 Billion Apps Downloaded from the App Store in Just 6 Months


Only five months ago, the Cupertino company announced the milestone of 25 billion downloads from the App Store. The update in this figure shows the 30 billion downloads accumulated in June, three months later. The graphical representation above highlights a very positive outcome for the App Store. It clearly shows of yet another record breaking accomplishment by Apple. The published chart from Business Insider shows the trend of downloads made from the App Store over the years  since its introduction back in 2008 when it was announced together with the Apple iPhone SDK 1.0 .

Fact is, in the first half of the store iOS has already reached the threshold of 10 billion downloads. Just to appreciate the magnitude of this figure, think that in 2010 (considering the entire year) the download had stopped to 7 billion, while last year – 2011 – market studies have shown that it increased to 10 billion.

In just six months, thanks to the kindness of the developers who strive daily to provide quality games and applications for iDevices, Apple’s App Store was able to reach a number of downloads equal to those made in the entire previous year. At the end of the year, they are actually looking at achieve 20 billion downloads.

This is a good news for the Cupertino company. Of course, they own their success to their consumers and team of highly creative mobile application developers who continually strive to come up with engaging applications. Apple has promised to continue doing their best to be able to cater to the needs of all iDevice owners.

Price for Windows Pro 8 to Increase to $199 After January 31

According to sources close to Microsoft,, the price in the store for Windows 8 Pro will change from $69.99USD to $199 after the promotion expires January 31, 2013. However, anyone in possession of a license of Windows can take advantage of an online promotion to download Windows 8 Pro for $39.99USD from the Microsoft website. Currently though, license for the Windows 8 Pro still retails for only $69.99.

The pricing may seem quite hard to understand at first but it is actually quite simple.

If you already have a license to any of the previous Windows operating system releases, you can upgrade your system to Windows 8 Pro for only $39.99 USD. Microsoft has not released any statement as to whether or not this price may change in the future. This price of course, is only valid for those that choose to download the upgrade from the Microsoft website. Should you choose to have your system upgraded elsewhere, you may have to pay a different price.  It’s a different thing when it comes to users who purchased a new Windows 7 PC from 2 June 2012 to 31 January 2013. They can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro only $14.99USD.

For those who will be purchasing a new PC after the 31st of January would have to pay the full price of $199 for the Windows 8 Pro Operating System.

Android ICS for Sony 2011 Xperia Models Will Be Released This Week

A few days ago, Sony announced an exciting update for their Xperia smartphones. After officially launching the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Sony Xperia P, the Japanese manufacturer is confirmed the arrival of a new series of updates dedicated to Xperia phones released in 2011.

More specifically, a new firmware update to Android 4.0.4 is available for models Xperia arc, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo, Xperia neo V, Xperia mini, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Xperia ray this week. The update will address the list of bugs and will also include certain components that will relatively improve the perfomance of your Xperia phone. The actual availability of the update may vary depending on the market and possible branding made by mobile telecom service providers.

The next set of devices to receive the update are the Xperia mini pro, Xperia Neo L and Live with Walkman . For these models, the release of the update  should be expected in the coming weeks.

The update will be distributed over-the-air or OTA for Xperia units that have already been upgraded to Android ICS. However, if your unit was preinstalled with an Android Gingerbread OS, you will be  required to connect to a Windows PC via PC Companion or Bridge for Mac .

Sony is well-known not only for their timely release of software and firmware updates, but for their customer service. They make it  a point to periodically send out bulletins informing their consumers of updates so as to keep them happy.