Kindle 3 gets software upgrade, ready to soar into the cloud

Amazon has pushed out a new update for the Kindle 3, now operating under the alias of the Kindle Keyboard. This gives the well-buttoned e-reader access to some of the cloud features found on its freshly unboxed younger brother, and includes the ability to view any archived documents, notes and highlights you’ve added to that intangible pile of books and articles. You’ll need to tether the Kindle to your PC, point your browser towards Amazon, and download the file corresponding to the right region and model. Excitable annotators can grab the upgrade now at the source link below.

Kindle 3 gets software upgrade, ready to soar into the cloud originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 Oct 2011 08:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cybook prepping Odyssey reader with High Speed Ink System screen

Bookeen Odyssey

It looks like Bookeen may finally be through teasing us — the company is preparing to unleash the Odyssey, a reader sporting its High Speed Ink System. The modified Pearl E Ink screen has been shown off multiple times, playing back video and browsing the web. Now it will finally make the transition from interesting tech demo to actual product. Better yet, the 6-inch, full motion-capable screen has been paired with a touch layer, which means it could deliver a tablet-like experience with battery life closer to a traditional e-reader. Underneath the hood is a an 800MHz Cortex A8 processor from Texas Instruments and a WiFi radio, presumably for downloading content and browsing the web. The Odyssey is expect to start shipping in Europe in the next few weeks, but Bookeen has yet to reveal a price. You can check out the machine translated PR at the source link.

Cybook prepping Odyssey reader with High Speed Ink System screen originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 09 Oct 2011 14:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Amazon Kindle review (2011)

There’s little question that the Fire stole the show at last week’s Amazon event. After all, the new tablet marks a change for the company’s Kindle line, which until now has been defined by relatively simple E-Ink-based devices. The Kindle Touch, meanwhile, stepped up to bat to take on the likes of new Nook and Kobo touchscreen readers. But while most expected that device to become the heir to the Kindle throne, the company made a something of a surprise move, offering up a new device that will bear the reader’s name. Now in its fourth generation, the Kindle has shed its keyboard and been reborn as a pocket-sized, lighter-weight reader. And a cheap one, at that — $109 for the standard version and $79 for the ad-supported. So, is the new Kindle worthy of the name that has become synonymous with e-readers? Or did the company make too many sacrifices in the name of slashing prices? Find out in our review after the break.

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Amazon Kindle review (2011) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 14:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Amazon discounts ‘original’ 6-inch Kindle Keyboard: now starting at $99

Ready for another new Kindle moniker to remember? Here it comes! “Kindle Keyboard.” That’s the name that was bestowed upon the tried-and-true 6-incher today after Bezos unwrapped a touchscreen model and a low-cost variant that tout no physical QWERTY keys whatsoever. Now, the WiFi-only Kindle is going for as low as $99 with ads (down from $114), while the non-ads edition can be had for $139. Meanwhile, the 3G + WiFi Special Offers edition has fallen from $164 to $139, and the ad-free brother is going for $189. Naturally, all four of ’em are in stock and shipping today if the new blood just didn’t do much for ya.

Continue reading Amazon discounts ‘original’ 6-inch Kindle Keyboard: now starting at $99

Amazon discounts ‘original’ 6-inch Kindle Keyboard: now starting at $99 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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E Ink promises thinner, lighter, higher resolution, and color e-paper displays

E Ink is already doing swift business in the growing e-reader market, but just like any technology company, it can’t sit still for fear of being overtaken or made redundant. With that in mind, the company has used IFA 2011 to show us some future products and the latest updates to its displays that are […]

Hands-on with the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (video)

The Sony Reader doesn’t have all that large a presence here in the States, where the market is largely dominated by Amazon, and, to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble. The Sony Reader Wi-Fi does go a ways toward keeping up with the competition, offering up WiFi (as advertised), an infrared touchscreen, and the Pearl E-Ink display seen on past versions. The hardware is nice, though it doesn’t feel quite as natural in the hand as the Nook or Kobo — it did indeed feel light, as advertised, though it’s hard to get a final judgement, seeing as how the demo product on the show room floor was all wired up. The software also zips along quite nicely, and pinch to zoom functionality is certainly a welcome addition in the e-reader market. Unlike many other Sony Readers, the thing also does well for itself pricewise, at $149. Hands-on video after the break.

Continue reading Hands-on with the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (video)

Hands-on with the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 14:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony’s new Reader Wi-Fi is the world’s lightest 6-inch e-reader with multitouch screen (update: powered by Android)

Sony’s just been showing off its Reader Store for the Android-powered Tablet S and Tablet P, but it hasn’t forgotten its more eye-friendly options. Announced at IFA just now, the self-explanatory Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) claims to be the world’s lightest 6-inch e-reader with an “enhanced” touchscreen — the “enhanced” bit referring to its “Clear Touch Infrared” technology that supports multitouch for pinch-to-zoom, though it’s also bundled with a stylus. At 168 grams (5.93 ounces) light and 8.9mm thin, this device packs a 600 x 800, 16-level gray scale E Ink Pearl display, along with 1.3 GB of usable internal storage plus microSD expansion of up to 32GB.

The built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi connectivity also lets users wirelessly borrow eBooks from public libraries — a first for e-readers, apparently — in the UK, US, and Canada. As for battery life, a single battery charge will keep digital bookworms busy for up to three weeks with WiFi enabled, or up to a month without WiFi (based on a half-hour reading time per day). Expect this ePub-compatible Reader Wi-Fi to hit the US and Europe in October for around $149, and it’ll come in a color choice of either red, white or black. Press release after the break.

Update: We now have confirmation that this reader is running on a heavily disguised Android (which is somewhat hinted by the buttons, anyway), so yeah, let the rooting begin!

Continue reading Sony’s new Reader Wi-Fi is the world’s lightest 6-inch e-reader with multitouch screen (update: powered by Android)

Sony’s new Reader Wi-Fi is the world’s lightest 6-inch e-reader with multitouch screen (update: powered by Android) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MOTOFONE F3, the zombie apocalypse survival phone (video)

You can never be too prepared. Whether you’re being chased by brain sucking zombies, hunted down by ruthless killer robots, or — more likely — the victim of an earthquake or other natural disaster. There’s only one phone you really need, and that’s the MOTOFONE F3. Forget your smartphone and its fancy pants features, forget the internet — when the apocalypse strikes your survival might depend on a durable handset with great battery life and just the basics, which is exactly what the MOTOFONE F3 delivers. Introduced in 2006 for developing markets, it makes and takes calls, sends and receives text messages, beeps and vibrates, stores and recalls your most important contacts, and includes an alarm clock — that’s it.

Of course, these specs describe almost every simple phone launched since SMS was added to the GSM standard. What makes the MOTOFONE F3 unique is that it uses a segmented e-paper display which sips power and remains legible in both direct sunlight and dark back alleys, along with dual antennae for superior radio performance. Battery life is absolutely incredible, with over 2 weeks in standby and several months powered off. Motorola also designed the handset to be light (68g), thin (9mm) and strong — it’s resistant to shock, dust and moisture, with a sealed keypad and speaker (which is extremely loud). The best part? You can pick one up online, unlocked, for as little as $25.

Check out our gallery below, and whatever you do, don’t be like our protagonist in the zombie apocalypse video after the break — don’t leave your SIM at home.

Psst… yeah, we know this phone’s ancient, but every now and then we like to reach back and have a little fun. And, you know, escape a looming zombie horde.

Gallery: MOTOFONE F3

Continue reading MOTOFONE F3, the zombie apocalypse survival phone (video)

MOTOFONE F3, the zombie apocalypse survival phone (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beyond the iPad: What’s Next for Apple

Apple could turn the television industry topsy-turvy with a new Apple TV. Photo: Jon Snyder/

Much has been said about the amazing contributions Steve Jobs has made to the technology world as Apple’s leader. But what can we expect from Apple now that Jobs has stepped down as CEO?

New CEO Tim Cook has assured employees that “Apple is not going to change,” and a peek at what we’ll see from Cupertino suggests Apple plans to remain on the vanguard.

A look at some patents Apple has sought and received offers a lay of the land.

Game-Changing Apple TV

Longtime Apple watcher Walt Mossberg says “rumors are rife that Apple is working on re-inventing another common device: the TV. The secretive company won’t say a word about that, but nobody should be surprised if it happens, just based on Jobs’ track record.”

Rather than just churning out a set-top box like Apple TV, Cupertino may be working on a smart TV with iOS integration. Some say it will be a 55-inch OLED TV.

A patent for “An Enhanced TV Widget Paradigm” suggests Apple will ditch conventional static widgets (present on current smart TVs and smart-TV upgraders), in favor of content-aware widgets that provide information or activities that complement what you’re watching.

Devices With a Hybrid LCD, E-Ink Display

Another patent filing suggests Apple will deliver an iPhone and iPad with a hybrid LCD, e-ink display. The “electronic paper” display would allow for easier reading in bright sunlight, or in situation where a backlit LCD is too harsh.

The patent describes a screen with “multiple composite display regions” featuring individually activated backlights that could be turned on or off to display some content (like text on a web page) in the appropriate scenario. Such a display would require significantly less power than conventional displays, improving battery life.

One way this could be implemented would be to sandwich a transparent e-ink display between a capacitive touchscreen and either an LCD or OLED.

Integrated Projector in Mobile Devices

Future Apple mobile devices will include an integrated projector.

The patent describes how the projector would display information on a flat surface like a wall. Multiple devices could be combined to display a single image in a “unified display mode.”

The projector would be able to interpret gestures and silhouette movements. For example, an image could be swiped from the projected display of one device, to that of another.

Voice Identification

No more swiping your finger or entering a passcode to unlock your iGadget. The next wave of iOS devices could use voice identification to switch out of its lockscreen.

This already exists in numerous devices, but in a different way: These systems use large word libraries that can complicate voice-input analysis. Apple’s solution would identify users by the sound of their voice. That person could use voice inputs to navigate their device without worrying about the chatterbox across the room or raising their voice to bark out commands.

By tracking the voice of each user, the system could be dynamically tailored to their interests and unique needs. Multiple users could share the device, but specific content or contacts would remain unique to each individual user.

OSX and iOS Full Convergence

By the end of 2012, we may see iOS and OSX converge into a unified operating system.

“Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used,” said Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies.

Devices running iOS and OSX currently use different processors. Once all Apple computing devices — iPhones, iPads and MacBooks or MacBook Airs — run the same processor, likely ARM, it will be easier for them to support the same operating system. Users could easily share information and files between devices (especially when used in conjunction with iCloud).

We’ve already seen how OSX Lion has adopted features from iOS, like natural scrolling and LaunchPad, which resembles the iPad’s home screen.

Workplace Integration

With these innovations and others, we also expect Apple to take the business enterprise industry by storm. This isn’t quite an innovation in itself on Apple’s part, but a result of their products, their applications and the platform.

“Apple is the first and only vendor that really supports the enterprise platform,” says Brian Fino, founder and managing director of Fino Consulting, which provides enterprise solutions for Fortune 1000 companies. “We’ve seen a dramatic and significant shift toward Apple products, the iPad in particular. And with iOS 5’s over-the-air upgrades, users will have untethered management of devices.”

Many consumers like bringing in their iPad (or other Apple devices) to and from work, and have requested enterprise solutions from Fino’s company. Airplay currently allows for wireless streaming from the iPad to an HDTV via Apple TV. As Apple continues to support and expand this capability, businesses will find these products increasingly useful and convenient.

Engadget Primed: all mobile displays are not created equal

Primed goes in-depth on the technobabble you hear on Engadget every day — we dig deep into each topic’s history and how it benefits our lives. Looking to suggest a piece of technology for us to break down? Drop us a line at primed *at* engadget *dawt* com.

The quality of a mobile phone’s display is arguably the most important factor to consider when you establish a relationship with a handset. It’s inescapable, really. Whether you’re playing a rousing game of Robot Unicorn Attack or (regrettably) drunk-dialing an ex, it’s the one interface element that you’re consistently interacting with. It’s your window to the world and your canvas for creation, and if it’s lousy, it’s going to negatively influence everything you see and do. Today, we’re delving into the world of mobile displays, where we’re aiming to entertain and edify, and hopefully save you from making regrettable decisions — when it comes to purchasing new phones, anyway.

In this edition of Primed, we’ll be examining the different qualities and underlying technologies of several displays, starting with the ubiquitous TFT-LCD and moving through the nascent realm of glasses-free 3D and beyond. We’ll also be addressing the importance of resolution and pixel density. Finally, we’ll be scoping out a handful of upcoming technologies — while some are thoroughly intriguing, others are just plain wacky. Go ahead… buy the ticket, take the ride, and join us after the break. It’s Primed time.

Continue reading Engadget Primed: all mobile displays are not created equal

Engadget Primed: all mobile displays are not created equal originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Aug 2011 15:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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