Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Facebook has announced a new app that erases pictures and messages within 10 seconds of being sent, the Daily Mail reported. It is an advanced version of one of the social networking site's original apps, the "poke". The equivalent of a head nod or wink, the "poke" in its old form is rarely used today as the site has become more advanced.
Now there's an app to poke your friend online..


It has now been reinvented to be called "Facebook Poke" and allows users to send fleeting messages, pokes, photos and 10-second videos to friends, the Mail said Saturday. The messages expire after a set period of time, from 1 to 10 seconds, and cannot be retrieved by either party again, making it perfect for sending salacious images without leaving a trail. -IANS

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Taiwanese electronics maker HTC is planning to make tablets based on the latest Windows operating system. HTC is said to be working on a 12-inch device and a 7-inch version that can also make phone calls, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans. According to the Telegraph, the move would give Windows maker Microsoft another ally in its challenge to Apple and Google in the 63.2 billion dollars market.


HTC’s products, to debut in 2013, will be based on the Windows RT version of Microsoft’s operating system, designed for machines with chips using technology from ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), the paper quoted a person familiar with the plans, as saying. According to the report, a 7-inch tablet would be the first of that size for Windows RT. The move comes as Microsoft tries to compete with the iPad mini, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7 in the market for smaller, cheaper tablets, the paper added. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Soon after Asus announced the Padfone 2 back in October a few devices received the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update last month. Now finally the update is available for all Asus Padfone 2 users.
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Initial reports suggest that the update first started rolling out in Japan, Hong Kong and other regions. Asus has also published the update files for WWE (World Wide English region) and HK, allowing users to grab it manually.

There are several improvements with the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update and users will now have access to features like Google Now amongst others. The Padfone 2’s audio quality and USB Internet sharing features have been improved, GPS has been optimized and there are some camera improvements for better focusing and photo quality.

Asus Studio has also been added which allows image editing and video streaming playback has been optimized. This new update takes the firmware version of the device to 10.4.5.36 and if you have not yet received a notification for the update you can manually check for it in device settings.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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The amount of Sony Yuga leaks has been quite frequent of late. The Sony Yuga (C660X) which has been reported to be a device with a 5-inch 1080p display and dust and water resistance might be called the Xperia Z according to a new report.
The Sony Yuga (C660X)
This device is expected to show up at CES 2013 which is scheduled for January and Sony might also unveil a few other devices during the event.

So far all the leaked information has not been confirmed by Sony. The device is expected to be powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, it will run Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and will also feature the OptiContrast technology which helps reduce on-screen reflection.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Android touting console, Ouya seems to be shaping up for its retail launch in March, next year. The company recently announced through its Twitter account that they have dispatched 10 more developer kits to interested parties. These developers have expressed interest in porting or developing new games specifically for Ouya system.


Ouya will begin shipping out development units by December 28, alongside the necessary SDK. The retail model is scheduled to ship out in March, which will also effectively be a development console. Here are a list of titles they're working on.


Fist of Awesome
MechKnight Chronicles
Syder Arcade
KidElectro
Space Runner
Legend of Dungeon
iMech Online
DustyRevenge
HolyShield!
Starbound

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Khan Academy has introduced a new service called Khan Academy Lite (KA Lite) that acts as a servers to distribute content over wireless LAN, using peer-to-peer sharing techniques. This will allow content on Khan Academy to be available to those that do not have access to the internet. The project has been designed to be compatible across wide-range of systems, and kinds of internet access.
Khan Academy intends to work on developing the system to enable creation a chain of peer-to-peer systems, with just one or few machines with internet access. KA Lite currently works along the same lines, with a central server synching information across clients. The server was originally designed to run-off a laptop; however, the developers discovered that the servers runs quite smoothly even on a Raspberry Pi with a Wi-Fi radio.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Karbonn Mobiles has previously launched quite a few 7-inch Android based tablets in the Indian market, and now the company has launched a 10-inch variant called SmartTab 10 and it is priced at Rs. 10,490 as an introductory offer.

The SmartTab 10 has a 9.7-inch capacitive display with a 1024x768 pixels resolution and it come pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM and has a 6,000 mAh battery.
SmartTab 10
Apart from this it sports a front facing VGA quality camera for video calling and has a 2 megapixel rear camera. It also supports 3G connectivity via USB dongle (no built-in 3G radio), Wi-Fi and supports expandable memory up to 32GB via a microSD card.

The Karbonn SmartTab 10 comes preloaded with a few applications which include Saavan, Angry Birds Season, Turbo Fly 3D, Flipboard, Google Chrome, Kingston Office, Facebook, JustDail and others. Most of these applications are available for free on the Google Play Store.

The only close competitor to the SmartTab 10 is the Micromax Funbook Pro and the former undoubtedly tops the latter at just Rs. 490 more.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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So Sony has finally revealed its plans on updating its existing device to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was launched earlier this year and has since been rolled out to quite a few devices.
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According to Sony’s schedule the Xperia T, Xperia TX and the Xperia V are more likely to receive the Jelly bean update sometime between February to March. There is a possibility that there might be delays as we have already seen in the past.

Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia Go are scheduled to receive the update sometime in the end of March and in the subsequent weeks this new update will arrive on Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia Ion and the Xperia Acro S.

Android 4.0 ICS will be the final update for devices including Xperia U, Xperia Miro, Xperia Tipo and the Xperia Sola. However, if you have a knack for hacking your smartphone then some folks at XDA Developers might have already figured out ways to get the latest version of Android running on these devices.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Game publisher THQ has made it known through a press release that they have filed for protection against bankruptcy, and it will be selling off its studios and games in development. Furthermore, THQ has secured backers from Clearlake Capital Group, that has put forth about $60 mil. They have also managed to get financing from Wells Fargo to the tune of $37.5 million.

While THQ will invariably go through some changes, the company assured that customers will not be affected by this transition, nor will it lay-off any staff. THQ’s top management has assured that they will continue to develop and publish games, with Jason Rubin calling the situation “a new start for our company.”

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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AppleInsider has dipped into its source of informants that four states in US are all wooing to get a chipmaker to set up shop in their territory. The chipmaker has been identified simply as Azalea, and the states of New York, California, Texas and Oregon are all competing to host its fab operations.
The same website has also picked up on rumors that the company behind the name Azalea may be Taiwan Semiconductor. TSMC has been rumored to take chip manufacturing for Apple, over from Samsung.

Source: AppleInsider Photo: PCper.com

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Is your private data safe with Facebook?
Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly minting off money from pregnant women by selling access to private information about their due dates and the gender of their unborn babies to advertisers. Women who pass on the happy news of their pregnancy to loved ones on the site can be bombarded with promotions for baby clothes, nappies, prams, and toys as a result of the policy. The move has now been condemned by parenting experts who warn it could make expectant mothers feel as though they are being ‘cyber-stalked’ by big business, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, it has also fuelled concerns over Facebook’s willingness to exploit the private information of its one billion users to make a profit. The US social networking site set up a ‘Life Events’ section on users’ pages in the summer of last year to allow them to tell friends about major news, which allows to announce details of their pregnancy, including predicted due date and – based on scans – the gender, the paper said. However, it has been learnt that the firm has secretly changed this policy and is selling access to information posted by expectant mothers on the Life Events section to advertisers. This is potentially lucrative for Facebook, which was floated on Wall Street last year and is looking for ways to cash in on the treasure trove of personal information it holds, the paper added. The founder of the Netmums.com website for parents said many people would be alarmed by the development. “While many women willingly give away personal details about their pregnancies to marketing firms, they do this knowingly and usually in return for free product samples or discount vouchers,” said Siobhan Freegard. Facebook, however, has denied selling personal information directly to advertisers. -ANI Photo: Thinkstock/Gettyimages

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Troubled Canadian mobile maker Research In Motion (RIM) has lost over a million subscribers in the last quarter, the first drop in user base in the firm’s history. It comes despite RIM posting better than expected revenues of 2.7 billion dollars, sending its shares soaring more than 7 percent. RIM’s first-ever decline in its subscriber base comes with just a month remaining before the crucial launch of the new BB10 smartphone line. RIM reported a loss of 114 million dollars or 22 cents a share, excluding one-time items, in contrast to analysts’ average, who had forecast a loss of 35 cents a share, Fox News reports.
According to the report, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company hopes to reinvent itself and revive its fortunes with the BlackBerry 10. It also reported a surprise net profit in its fiscal third-quarter, reflecting a one-time tax gain from restructuring of its international operations. In the period ended December 1, RIM reported net income of 9 million dollars, or 2 cents a share. That compared with a year-ago profit of 265 million dollars, or 51 cents, the report said. The decline in its subscriber base is a disconcerting marker in the history of RIM, which virtually invented the concept of on-the-go email. In recent years, RIM''s user base has grown, even as the BlackBerry lost ground in North America and Europe, boosted by gains in emerging markets, the report added. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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HP recently launched its new Windows 8 based products in the Indian market and they include the Envy X2 hybrid, Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 and Envy 23 AIO.

Both of its Envy X2 hybrid as well as the Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 will be priced at Rs. 59,990 and will be available in January. The Envy 23 All-In-One PC is already out in the market and this device is priced at Rs. 71,990.
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The HP Envy X2 hybrid is powered by an 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor, it has 2GB of RAM and a 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. It also includes built-in 64GB eMMC NAND storage with a SDHC card slot in the keyboard dock and microSD card slot in the tablet. It has a HDMI port, two USB ports, 8 megapixel rear camera and 1080p front facing camera. The device has 14 hours of battery life with the keyboard dock.

The HP Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4 is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 1.7GHz. It also includes 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD and a 32GB SSD for faster boot up. It includes the on-board Intel HD 4000 GPU, 14-inch display, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB port, a HDMI port and a 720p capable front facing camera.

Finally, the HP Envy 23 All-In-One is also powered by an Intel Core i5 processor which is clocked at 2.9GHz. It has 4GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD, 2USB 3.0 ports, 4YSB 2.0 ports and a HDMI out port. It sports a 23-inch display with a 1920x1080 pixels resolution and it is equipped by a NVIDIA GT 630M GPU with 2GB dedicated graphics memory.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Apple’s patent on pinching to zoom, a key issue in its battle against Samsung, has reportedly been declared ‘invalid’ by the US Patent Office, who claim that the patent should never have been granted. The rejection comes as a blow to Apple’s 1 billion dollar lawsuit against rival Samsung, and is the second such occurrence in just a few months. The ‘pinch to zoom’ feature is one of six patents that Samsung was found to have infringed earlier this year, and formed a key feature of Apple’s iPhone as well as all subsequent smartphones, The Telegraph reports.


According to the paper, the feature allows users to zoom in and out of almost anything on a smartphone screen simply by moving two fingers together or apart. Apple's claims were rejected on the grounds that prior patents covered the inventions. The US Patent Office ruling was revealed in court documents filed by Samsung in San Jose, where the two technology giants are battling over the patent infringement claims, the paper said. Apple, however, is likely to appeal the ruling so the patent is still technically in force, the paper added. Earlier, the US Patent Office also threw out Apple’s “bounce” feature, also known as “rubber-banding”, which governs the visual effect to indicate when a user has hit the bottom of a web page, the paper concluded. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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ASUS has released a motherboard for AMD processors that are designed to work with the 760G chipset. Priced at Rs.3,350, the M5A78L-M/USB3 motherboard has 4 DIMMs to support 16GB of DDR3 RAM, factory-clocked at 1333MHz, and can be overclocked to run at 2000Mhz. For graphics, the motherboard has an ATI Radeon 3000 processor with an HDMI-out option. For good measure, ASUS has also thrown in a couple of USB3.0 ports, alongside its own licks to power distribution and BIOS technology.

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Western Digital has released a slimmed-down model of 2.5-inch hard drives that are small enough to fit inside a regular sized laptop and an ultrabook, using the standard 9.5mm slot. Western Digital is calling this range WD Blue, which has been designed to shocks up to 400G. The 500 GB model (WD5000LPVT) is selling for Rs.3,600; whereas the 320 GB model (WD3200LPVT) is going for Rs.3,150

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social networking giant Facebook has said that he is donating nearly 500 million dollars in stock to a Silicon Valley charity to fund health and education issues. Zuckerberg donated 18 million Facebook shares, valued at 498.8 million dollars based on their Tuesday closing price. The beneficiary is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit that works with donors to allocate their gifts, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. According to the paper, this is Zuckerberg's largest donation to date.

He pledged 100 million dollars in Facebook stock to Newark, New Jersey, public schools in 2010, before his company went public earlier this year. In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg, 28, said he is ‘proud of the work’ done by the foundation that his Newark donation launched, called Startup: Education, which has helped open charter schools, high schools and others, the report said. -ANI Photo: Reuters

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Popular photo-sharing service Instagram, that has been acquired by Facebook, has denied that it has changed its privacy policy to give it the right to sell users’ photos to advertisers without notification. It said instead that users had incorrectly interpreted its revised terms of serviced, which it blamed on its ‘confusing’ choice of language. “To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos,” the firm said. According to the BBC, Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog post that it is the firm’s ‘mistake that this language is confusing.’

“We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear,” he said. According to the report, compulsory changes to Instagram''s terms of service are due to come into effect on January 16. The originally proposed new wording that caused the controversy included, ‘You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service.’ The terms also stated that ‘a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.’ -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Upgrades to Apple's iOS 6 have increased by 29 per cent after Google Maps were made available on the operating system, it has been claimed. Mobile advertising service MoPub said that adoption of iOS 6 increased by around 13 per cent last week, but there was a bigger increase at the weekend. MoPub monitors 12,000 iOS apps and said that the percentage of users running those apps on iOS 6 increased by 29 per cent in the five days after Google released Google Maps for iPhone, the Telegraph reports.
Google had provided the default maps application for Apple's iPhone since the device first went on sale in 2007. However, the release of iOS 6 in September saw Apple replace Google Maps with its own maps app. But Apple Maps was quickly revealed to be unreliable, filled with errors and omissions. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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The number of active users on Twitter has topped 200 million mark, the micro blogging site has announced. Twitter revealed the news via tweet on the firm’s official account. “There are now more than 200M monthly active @twitter users. You are the pulse of the planet. We're grateful for your ongoing support!” it said.

According to Gulf News, the number was the first official estimate from Twitter since it claimed 140 million active users. Twitter offered no details on the latest update, but in the past has said the majority of active users were in the United States. According to the report, earlier this year, a French-based research firm said over 500 million people are on the micro-blogging site, with Americans and Brazilians the most connected. Another group, Sys-Con media, estimated last month that Twitter had over 465 million accounts and that the number of daily tweets had topped 175 million, the report added. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012


A US judge has denied a legal request by Apple to ban sales of Samsung smartphones that the American tech giant said illegally used its technology. The decision is part of a series of rulings that US Judge Lucy Koh said she is releasing over a period of several weeks to address the many legal issues raised in the case. Her ruling comes after Apple was awarded 1.05 billion dollars in damages this year, the Daily Express reports.

Apple had urged the judge to permanently ban the US sales of eight Samsung smartphone models that a jury said in August illegally used Apple technology, while also seeking to add millions more to the award. Earlier this month Judge Koh appeared ready to trim the billion-dollar jury verdict Apple won over Samsung Electronics, but gave no indication as to by how much. Adding to the legal tangle, Apple filed a second lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that Samsung''s newer products are unfairly using Apple's technology. According to the report, Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny claimed earlier this year that Samsung wilfully made a business decision to copy Apple''s iPad and iPhone, and he called the jury''s 1.05 billion-dollar award a ‘slap in the wrist’.

Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven has argued that Apple was trying to tie up Samsung in courts around the world rather than competing with it head-on, the report said. The Korean mobile maker has also claimed that it was deprived of a fair trial in a court about 12 miles from Apple''s California, headquarters, the report added. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Samsung has announced that it plans to release a five-inch phone called Galaxy Grand. The phone will have a screen with WVGA resolution and run Android Jelly Bean. The innards have a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, microSD reader, and 2,100mAh battery.


Samsung will be releasing two models of this phone: the GT-I9082, which will be support two SIM cards and will be the first to release. This will be followed by the release of GT-I9080 that will carry slot for a single SIM card.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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WPDang reports that Nokia will be giving Consumer Electronics Expo a skip, and instead they will be gearing up for Mobile World Congress, in February. While there is no official word or explanation from Nokia, it would not be too far-fetched to think that the company may not have something significant to showcase at this point. Nokia is sending their NAVTEQ team to CES, so the company will be present in at least some capacity.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update may soon reach other devices as not long ago, the Lumia 800 from Nokia received this update via the Zune desktop software.
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Nokia has also recently unveiled two new devices which come pre-loaded with Windows Phone 7.8 and these include the Lumia 510 and the Lumia 505. This update brings some of the Windows Phone 8 features to these existing devices and comes with a few improvements.

Some new features include the new start screen, three different tile sizes, new boot screen and also Nokia’s proprietary camera lens update. It is unclear whether the update has started rolling out in all regions. It will eventually arrive on all devices and we might have to wait for a short time before it happens.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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After officially announcing the smartphone for India over a month ago, the HTC 8S has finally launched in the India market, it is a mid-ranged Windows Phone 8 based device.
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The HTC 8S is priced at Rs. 19,359 and it is the third Windows Phone 8 based device to arrive in the Indian market after the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S respectively.

This Windows Phone 8 based smartphone features a 4-inch WVGA display, a 5 megpaixel rear camera, 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor which is bundle with an Adreno 305 GPU. It also includes Beats Audio integration however unlike the HTC 8X it does not have a built-in amplifier.

It has 4GB of built-in storage, expandable memory via a microSD card and a 1,700 mAh battery. The device will feature dual-tone body and while it is available in a various colors, currently onlyone color (Atlantic Blue) is available with the online retailer.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Former Yahoo chief executive Scott Thompson, who lost his job earlier this year when it turned out he didn’t earn the computer science degree on his resume, is now leading a new startup. The San Jose Mercury News interviewed Thompson about his new role as the CEO of e-commerce startup ShopRunner.

The company offers Amazon-like shipping services and Thompson described it as “Amazon Prime for everybody else.” According to the Washington Post, ShopRunner is two years old firm and it has 60 employees. Thompson told the Merc, he was fascinated at the challenge of growing the company into something big. Online firm eBay, owner of PalPal, which Thompson used to run, owns a stake in ShopRunner, the paper said. Thompson didn’t receive severance from Yahoo, but he did get 7 million dollars in “walking-away money,” according to the Merc. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Tech giant Apple’s share price has fallen below the 500 dollars threshold for the first time since February. The iPhone maker joined the exclusive 500 dollars-a-share club in February after record sales of its devices, and briefly surpassed 700 dollars a share in September. Analysts, however, warned Apple could be losing momentum as it briefly slipped as low as 497 dollars in pre-market trading, the Telegraph reports.

It returned to 508.92 dollars before the markets opened and closed at 518.83 dollars, the paper said. According to the paper, the drop came as analysts slashed their target prices for Apple stock, following reports the Californian technology giant is cutting orders of the iPhone5, indicating sluggish sales. Citigroup made the most aggressive downgrade, reducing its target price on Apple shares 675 to 575 dollars, saying reduced orders highlight the possible risks for investors. “[They] bring into question the strength of the iPhone5 and refocus investors on to the risks in the Apple story. As such, we see the likelihood of any near-term rally as diminished,” the firm said. -ANI Pic: Reuters

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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ASUS has released NVIDIA’s GTX 680 and GTX 670 based video cards with DirectCU II components and 4GB of video memory. While this configuration is not new, ASUS been able get the size of the card to take two slots on the motherboard, down from three slots of the previous design. The GTX 680 has a new version of DirectCU II thermal design, and comes with other standard features of DirectCU II for overclocking and longevity of the card.
The 5GB of DDR5 video memory has been clocked at 6008MHz, which is double that of the previous models of GTX 680 and GTX 670 from ASUS. This lets the card crank out frames at 2560X1440 (WQHD) resolution. Before taxes, the GTX670 costs Rs.33,500, and the GTX680 Rs.39,650.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Alleged screenshots of Blackberry 10 have leaked through Vietnamese website Tihnte, which shows the system is getting a complete overhaul. The new UI design and features brings the OS more in line with competition like Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. RIM will apparently be adding a voice-activated assistant that is quickly becoming a staple with smartphones. The screenshots also show the BlackBerry 10 Hub, which is promised to be nexus for all social networks. Hit the source links to view more images.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Political operative Mark Penn, who worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, has been hired by Microsoft for ‘strategic and special projects’, which means targeting arch rival Google, says a report. Since Penn was put in charge of “strategic and special projects” at Microsoft in August, much of his job has involved efforts to trip up Google, which Microsoft has failed to dislodge from its perch atop the lucrative Internet search market. Penn created a holiday commercial, in which Microsoft criticizes Google for polluting the quality of its shopping search results with advertisements. “Don’t get scroogled,” it warns.
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According to the New York Times, the campaigns are part of a broader effort at Microsoft to give its marketing the nimbleness of a political campaign, where a candidate can turn an opponent’s gaffe into a damaging commercial within hours. They are also a sign of the company’s mounting frustration with Google after losing billions of dollars a year on its search efforts, while losing ground to Google in the browser and smartphones markets and other areas, the paper said. Jill Hazelbaker, a Google spokeswoman, declined to comment on Microsoft’s actions, the paper said. But she said that while Google also employed lobbyists and marketers, “our focus is on Google and the positive impact our industry has on society, not the competition,” the paper added. -ANI

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Photo-sharing app Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom had verbally agreed to sell his photo-sharing company to Twitter Inc for 525 dollars million in March, weeks before he accepted a one billion dollars offer from Facebook, it has emerged. According to a report by the New York Times, Twitter executives had handed Systrom a term sheet outlining the details of the proposed deal.

But Systrom later told California state regulators under oath that his company had not received any ‘formal offers or term sheets’ from potential buyers aside from Facebook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately acquired Instagram after pushing through a cash-and-stock deal just weeks before Facebook''s May initial public offering. Relations between Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have soured since Facebook successfully swooped for the photo service, Fox News reports. Earlier this month Instagram shut off a functionality that allowed Twitter to display Instagram pictures, while Twitter introduced its own photo color-filters to compete with Instagram. -ANI

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Mobile application storefronts have collectively distributed a total of 81 billion smartphone and tablet apps as of end-September 2012, according to a report. The recent market study from ABI Research showed that out of those, 89 percent were downloaded from native storefronts that come with the device’s operating system.
 
“The current status quo is based on storefronts that the operating system vendors provide as part of the OS experience, and there is no evidence that this would change in the future,” Enterprise Innovation quoted Aapo Markkanen, ABI Research senior analyst, as saying. “A year ago it still looked like that, for example, mobile operators could find a viable business case in the curation of Android apps, but that opportunity evaporated once Google got its storefront act together,” he added.

According to the report, Markkanen said that it makes sense for operators to distribute apps only under special circumstances, such as the those springing up in China. Similarly, it’s unlikely that the universal, catch-all nature of app distribution would start breaking up into smaller niche storefronts. “Running a user-friendly app distribution channel is expensive. Besides the adequate hosting and billing systems it takes quite a lot of human labor, since successful app discovery requires some form of editorial approach,” Markkanen said. “The opportunity for smaller storefronts built around selected categories is therefore limited,” he added. -ANI

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Nokia’s Lumia 505, spotted earlier was recently officially announced in Mexico. It looks quite similar to the Lumia 800, but and there are a few key differences between the two.
Lumia 505
The Lumia 505 sports a 3.7-inch AMOLED clear black display of WVGA(800x480 pixels) resolution and runs Windows Phone 7.8 right out of the box. It has an 8 megapixel EDOF camera with autofocus and the device is likely powered by an 800MHz Snapdragon S1 processor.

In terms of the connectivity it supports 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and GPS/A-GPS. The Lumia 505 has 4GB of internal storage, expandable memory via a microSD card and 256MB of RAM. It is equipped with a 1,300 mAh battery.

The Nokia Lumia 505 will come in Black, Pink and Red colors and it will be heading to Telcel in Mexico. It is still unclear whether the device will launch in other regions. The pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Internet search giant Google has hired Ray Kurzweil, the famed inventor and futurist, to work on ‘some of the hardest problems in computer science’. Kurzweil announced that he would join the tech firm officially on Monday. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kurzweil is best known for his theories about “The Singularity,” or the point in the future when technology becomes so advanced that it starts outsmarting humans on its own.

Photo by Mike Salerno, URI, KurzweilAI.net


The hiring of Kurzweil builds on existing ties between the author and Google, the report said. Google has partly funded Kurzweil’s Singularity University, an academic program launched a few years ago in Silicon Valley to prep students for a tech-heavy future and such concepts as nanotechnology and robotics, it added. According to the report, Kurzweil described his new title at Google as Director of Engineering. “In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic,” he wrote on ablog post. “Fast forward a decade–Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones,” he added. -ANI

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Lava has released a new dual-SIM model of Android phone, called Xolo A800 that is currently retaining through online merchants for about Rs.11,999. The phone’s dual-SIM system supports GSM as well as CDMA networks, which is something uncommon in this category. The display is an IPS-grade screen of 4.5 inches and 960X540px resolution.

The phone runs-off a dual-core processor from MediaTek that has been clocked at 1GHz, and 512MB of RAM. Other specs include 8MP/VGA cameras, 1600mAh batteries, 4GB onboard storage, microSD card reader, and connectivity over 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Online retailer Saholic has a Karbonn A30 listed for a release on December 17, with a price-tag of Rs.10,990. The A30 gets Android ICS, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8MP/1.3MP cameras, and 2500mAh. Since we haven’t yet heard from Karbonn about this phone, there is limited information about its specs. What is known is that the phone will be capable of connecting over 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi; and that it will ship in silver and white colors.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Leaked images of two upcoming Galaxy smartphones from Samsung have surfaced online. Along with the images their specifications have also been leaked - both the devices will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Is this the Galaxy S II Plus?
The Samsung Galaxy S II Plus (I9105) is a variant of the Korean manufacturers previous generation flagship. It has a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front facing camera and all the essential connectivity features. Other hardware updates on the Galaxy S II Plus are still unknown.

The other leaker device is the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos (GT-I9082) and this device sports a 4.5-inch display with a 480x800 pixels resolution. It is also equipped with an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. As the latter part of then name suggests, this device will feature dual-SIM capability.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Service Unavailable errors are common during peak booking period

Railway Minister P.K. Bansal admitted Friday that various kinds of complaints related to the railway's IRCTC website had been received. Bansal told the Rajya Sabha that there had been instances of the IRCTC website being inaccessible during morning hours and failure of some internet ticket booking transactions even after deducting money.

"During the opening hours of booking, due to a sudden surge in online traffic, the IRCTC e-ticketing website transactions sometimes experience slowdown," he said. In 2011-12, some 20-25 complaints were received every day against the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) "during peak (booking) period". There had also been instances when money was deducted from credit cards multiple times while booking a single ticket, he said, responding to a question from BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy. A sudden surge in online traffic during Tatkal booking also led the website to slow down, the minister said. -IANS

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Facebook recently released its new yearly review which it calls, Facebook’s Year in Review. It helps one to look back at all the moments, people and things from 2012 that created the most buzz on the social network.
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Additionally the social network has also analyzed all the top trends from the trends for the year, accounting for top events, most popular public figures, most played song on Facebook, the favorite memes and much more. The entire list of these trends from 2012 can be viewed at facebookstories.com/2012.

To check out your own Year in Review which is curated by using your timeline you can visit facebook.com/yearinreview and see the 20 biggest moments from 2012 which you shared on Facebook. These include all your popular posts, images life events, etc

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Nexus 4 by LG, and backed up by Google, is arguably the most sought after Android device in recent times, mainly due to its rather inviting selling price. Ever since its debut however, the Nexus 4 has only been making short appearances on Google’s Play store, only to run out of stock rather quickly. CNET contacted LG’s UK office and learned that the shortage of supply on Google Play store is because of “very high” demand, which Google perhaps did not anticipate.

LG’s Andy Coughlin mentioned that its partners decide the quantities that they want to order, and LG has no restrictions of any kind. Also, Nexus 4’s low selling price for the phone on Play store, in comparison to what mobile carriers are asking is solely Google’s decision, and not a result of a special deal between thw two companies.  It would appear that the shortage of Nexus 4 on Play store is not a supply issue, and Google only has to increase their orders with LG.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Lava has a new model of dual-SIM smartphone that is currently retailing to Snapdeal and Flipkart. The phone is called IRIS N400, and it runs-off a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and a 4-inch screen with WVGA resolution. It runs Android 4.0, has 5MP/0.3MP dual-camera setup, 1500mAh batteries, and virtually unmentionable 127MB of onboard storage. This Lava phone is currently retailing online for about Rs.6,399.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Earlier today we heard that Google might launch its new Google Maps app for iOS, the app is now officially available via the Apple App Store.
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This new Google Maps app for iOS finally brings in all the prime features like voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, transit routes for trains, subways, and bus while it also provides walking directions. Unlike the older version of the app this one has been made entirely by Google and it is reported to be far superior to the previous version.

It is quite similar to the Android version of Google Maps, but Google has also optimized it for the 4-inch Retina Display on the iPhone 5. All devices Apple mobile devices running iOS 5.1 and upwards are supported by the app.

This surely is a better than Apple own failed maps solution and all iOS 6 users will be glad to have this much desired navigation app on their devices. Along with releasing the app, Google has also released a SDK for developers to include their Google Maps in iOS app rather than using Apple’s own solution.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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The social network for photographs has been a huge hit since its launch. While Twitter was vying to acquire it in the past however the much prominent Facebook beat Twitter at acquiring Instagram which would have been a perfect blend with Twitter’s photo Tweets feature.
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To cope up with this Twitter just recently launched its own photo editing and filtering app for its iOS and Android apps. It operates very similar to Instagram and allows users to do basic editing like cropping and auto-enhancement. Users can then choose a bunch of filters to be applied over these images before you Tweet them.

Every filter has its live preview and Twitter has partnered with Aviary for the filters and effects available with this update.

This new update will be a strong competitor to Instagram as it blends quite well with what Twitter already has to offer. Also, Instagram recently withdrew support for Twitter and it is hence likely to become one of the key features of the micro-blogging/social networking platform.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Sony has released a couple of battery-packs that can charge two devices simultaneously through USB ports. The CP-F1L has 3,500mAh batteries with 1.5 ampere output; whereas the CP-F2L has twice the capacity at 7,000mAh. The pack itself can be charged by directly plugging into a power socket, or through USB. While being recharged using an AC adaptor, these packs can also charge other devices simultaneously. Both models have Li-ion polymer batteries that are rated to be recharged 500 times. The USB Portable Power Supply CP-F1L and CP-F2L is priced at Rs. 3,000 and Rs.5,500, respectively.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Epson has released two 3D projectors called EH-TW6100 and EH-TW8100 that are both capable of 1080p projection. These projectors have 480Hz refresh rate, which Epson claims is double that of any other 3D projectors. The one feature that sets TW-8100 apart from the TW-6100, is that it has lens shifting capability that optically corrects offset if the screen is not in line with the projector. The Epson TW-8100 costs Rs. 170,099, and the TW-6100 costs Rs. 130,099.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Toughpad FZ-A1

Panasonic has made a couple of addition in its ruggedized series of mobile computing devices that boast of protection from intruders and physical stress. The Toughpad FZ-A1 is an Android 4.0 tablet with a 10.1-inch matte screen with anti-reflection screen, Intel dual-core processor, and designed to resist drops, dust, and water. Panasonic has begun shipping the Toughpad FZ-A1 with a price-tag of Rs. 75,000.
CF-AX2

In February, Panasonic will begin shipping the CF-AX2 Ultrabook that will run Windows 8, with a flip-over design to switch between tablet and laptop modes. Panasonic has divulged much about the guts of machines, other than highlighting that it will support hot-swapping of batteries. However, judging by existing models in its class, the CF-AX2 is likely to have an Intel processor, and a 12-inch screen. When it ships, the CF-AX2 will cost Rs. 130,000.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The 5-inch club in smartphone is booming and it might be due to the success of the Galaxy Note series from Samsung. HTC recently launched its very first 5-inch Android smartphone which is known as the HTC Butterfly internationally.
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Many reports suggest that 2013 flagship smartphones from other manufacturers will have quite similar specs to the HTC Butterfly and primarily all flagship devices in 2013 will feature a 1080p full HD display.

Korean website, Asian Economics reported about LG’s 2013 flagship smartphone which might be called the LG Optimus G2 and it seems that this smartphone will feature a 5.5-inch 1080p full HD display. It also reports that this device will have a 400 ppi pixel density which slightly less than the 441 ppi pixel density on the HTC Butterfly.

Other specifications of this device are not yet known and it device is expected to arrive in the markets sometime in the first half of 2013, which probably means that we might get a closer look at the smartphone during Mobile World Congress later in February 2013.

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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It has not been long since the launch of HTC’s 5-inch Droid DNA which just recently got its international version called HTC Butterfly. Now rumors have started emerging around the company’s 2013 flagship smartphone, which is codenamed HTC M7.
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This device is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2013 and its details at the moment are quite sketchy. Sources state that HTC is currently working with casing and semiconductor suppliers to acquire components for this device to produce as many as 5 million units of the HTC M7 in time for Q1 2013.

It is obvious that it will be an Android based smartphone and apart from this the reports suggest that will it will feature a 5-inch 1080p HD display, a unibody aluminum design, a 13 megapixel camera and it will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064).

It is uncertain as to when will this device arrive in the market or even when it will be showcased to the public. If the rumored launch dates are to be believed then the HTC M7 is highly likely to make an appearance at CES 2013.

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. has launched the first of a planned 100 Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) that will impact the technology expertise of some 500,000 students. The Indian centres, which will be at full strength in two years, "will impact over 500,000 students, certifying 100,000 students on Microsoft technologies", a Microsoft statement said. "The program will also drive innovation and help build a product-based software economy by supporting product development, and over 500 start-ups.

"The MICs will act as innovation hubs at select colleges and technology institutes, providing incubation and expert hands-on support on Microsoft technology innovation, research, and software solutions, aiming to create a pool of student technology experts across India," the statement said. Each MIC will function as a hub for five other neighboring colleges and will operate in a hub-spoke model driving employability, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the academic ecosystem around it.

Fourteen MICs have initially been launched by signing MoUs with leading academic institutions across four states. They will be located in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Bapatla, Guntur, Tirupati, Raipur, Bhopal, Trichy, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Salem. This is part of a worldwide programme that currently has 75 MICs.

Commenting on the launch of MICs in India, Joseph Landes, General Manager, DPE, Microsoft India, said they "are designed to offer a unique environment conducive for student entrepreneurship. As knowledge and innovation become primary catalysts for economic growth in India, the Microsoft Innovation Centers can play a vital role in generating powerful new ideas through training, education and knowledge transfer."

The MIC program, the statement said, "will act as the key driver of Microsoft's vision for developing new talent in India at the student level. Budding developers will be encouraged to innovate across key priority technology focus areas that are driving growth and change for the economy, namely: Mobility (Windows Phone), Cloud (Windows Azure), Kinect, Accessibility, Healthcare and a wider ambit for solving problems with an India focus". Expressing his vision for MICs at his institution, G. Viswanathan, founder and chancellor, VIT University, Vellore, said: "Innovation is an intrinsic part of the philosophy we live here at VIT University, which was established with the aim of providing quality higher education on par with international standards".

"Our students have been actively involved in the Imagine Cup - another great program from Microsoft that fosters innovation among students to address key global challenges," Viswanathan added. The MIC announcement comes days after the India launch of Microsoft's new global philanthropy initiative - YouthSpark-aimed at addressing the opportunity divide faced by the young people of the world. "In particular, MICs will play a crucial role in deepening the relationship between academia and industry, enhancing at a very basic level, employability and education, reducing the digital divide, support for innovation and driving sustainable socio-economic impact," the statement said. -IANS Photo: Reuters

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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HTC recently announced its international variant of the Droid DNA (for US) and HTC Butterfly J (for Japan). This device will be called the HTC Butterfly while in the past it was rumored to go by the name HTC Deluxe DLX.

The HTC Butterfly is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s first phablet device which sports a 5-inch 1080p display with 441 ppi pixel density which is the highest pixel density on any smartphone in the world. It seems that the device will be available in quite a few interesting colors.
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The HTC Butterfly is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor which is clocked at 1.5GHz, it also includes 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. Additional to this one can expand the size via a microSD card.

Apart from this the smartphone features an 8 megapixel rear camera with a 28mm lens, f2.0 aperture and a backside illuminated sensor for better image quality in low-light conditions. There is a secondary front facing 2.1 megapixel camera which can record in 1080p resolution.

The company has not yet revealed which version of Android will the device be running, but it is safe to assume that it will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as its Japanese and American cousins run the same version. No word about the pricing and availability of this device.

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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Apple finally launched its iPad Mini and its new fourth generation iPad in the Indian market. Both these devices will be available across all Apple Authorized Retailers throughout the country.
iPad Mini and 4G iPads now in India
The iPad Mini is Apple’s smaller tablet which sports a 7.9-inch display and it is powered by an 1GHz Apple A5 dual-core processor. It also includes a 5 megapixel rear camera, a secondary front facing 1.2 megapixel camera and it runs Apple iOS 6. In terms of the pricing the Wi-Fi only variants are priced at Rs. 21,900 for 16GB, Rs. 27,900 for 32GB and Rs. 64GB for Rs. 33,900. The Wi-Fi+Cellular is priced at Rs. 29,900 for 16GB, Rs. 35,900 is for 32GB and Rs. 41,900 for the 64GB.

The new fourth generation iPad features a Retina Display and it is powered by a 1.4GHz Apple A6X dual-core processor which is twice as faster as the one on iPad 3. It also features a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and it has a 9.7-inch display. The Wi-Fi only variants for the iPad will start from Rs. 31,900 for 16GB, Rs. 37,900 for 32GB and Rs. 43,900 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi+Cellular variants of the iPad 4 will start from Rs. 39,900 for 16GB, Rs. 45,000 for 32GB and Rs. 51,900 for 64GB.

Both these tablets will feature the new Lightning connector and in addition to this the iPad Mini will use a nano-SIM while the iPad 4 will use a micro-SIM.

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Jagruth Boppana

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