AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Release date revealed for iPad Pro, accessories

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Oct 2015 20:23

Release date revealed for iPad Pro, accessories Apple's latest and definitely the greatest iPad so far has gotten a release date today. The iPad Pro will go on sale on November 11th, in just under two weeks.

Apple has not officially revealed yet the release date but the information comes from a rather reliable source, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. According to Gurman the iPad Pro will be sold starting on Wednesday the 11th on both brick and mortar stores as well as online.

Gurman also says that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard will be available as well on November 11th. The iPad will be available in both WiFi and LTE flavors and will start at $799.

What makes iPad Pro greater than previous installments of Apple's tablet series is of course its larger 12,9 inch touch screen display. It remains to be seem, though, how well users adopt the new product. After all there are limitations that come with the size.

AfterDawn: News

Nokia demos super-fast 5G in Korea

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Oct 2015 13:50

Nokia demos super-fast 5G in Korea SK Telecom is the Korea's largest mobile operator and aims to be the world's first 5G carrier. Nokia on the other hand aims to be the technology provider, and after recent tests it seems likelier than ever.

Nokia and SK Telecom demonstrated a new wireless 5G connection that was able to peak transfer speeds at 19.1 gigabits per second. If one movie would be 2 megabytes the connection would be able to optimally transfer that in less than a second.

The cmWave technology by Nokia uses 8x8 MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) transmission, 256 QAM modulation and 400 MHz bandwidth. The cmWave gets its name from the wavelength that the 3 to 30 GHz frequency range bands translate to – 1 to 10 centimeters. The test was done in 15Ghz average frequency.

The companies tell that this is the first time centimeter waves achieve such results. Previously millimeter waves have been used. Nokia says that it is likely that the commercial bands in the future will use centimeter wavelengths and fall in the frequency range.

The two have been in close cooperation this year and in addition to 5G techonologies they've introduces improvements to LTE speeds and LTE Advanced techonologies.

You can find more information about the Nokia cmWave 5G here.

AfterDawn: News

A leak suggests T-Mobile will offer unlimited Netflix streaming

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Oct 2015 16:12

A leak suggests T-Mobile will offer unlimited Netflix streaming When it comes to mobile leaks there is one leakster that has almost an impeccable record. Evan Blass, who goes by the alias @evleaks on Twitter, has revealed a new service T-Mobile is about to introduce.

According to Blass T-Mobile is going to start supporting unlimited streaming from services like Netflix and HBO among others. The "Un-carrier" lead by CEO John Legere is said to unveil this extension of the service as the 10th Un-carrier announcement. Press has been invited to attend the announcement on November 10th.

The announcement itself has the words "we never press pause". Considering T-Mobile announced last year Music Freedom, which offers music streaming without data caps this seems like a logical step.

T-Mobile has been advocating the recent years against data caps, smartphone subsidies and contracts, and is one of the few mobile operators in the US to offer truly unlimited data plans.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung takes on iPad Pro with a monstrous Galaxy View

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Oct 2015 14:30

Samsung takes on iPad Pro with a monstrous Galaxy View Samsung has teased us earlier with a new Galaxy tablet and finally couple days ago we got some leaked good quality pictures of what is a massive slate. It was leaked by the leakster like none other, Evan Blass, but now shortly after Samsung has made it official.

Galaxy View is a tablet that is not meant for travel. You would be hard-pressed to call it mobile really, and it comes with a kickstand for a reason. The reason being its humongous 18,4 inch display that has a Full HD resolution. The display dwarfs that of the iPad Pro which "only" has a 12,9 inch touchscreen.

The measurements are 275.8 x 451.8 x 11.9 mm (iPad Pro: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm) and it weighs 2.65kg (nearly six pounds) – that's closing on four times more than iPad Pro. Obviously this device is meant to be used in an all-in-one PC way.

The other details include a 2,1 megapixel front-facing camera, octacore chipset, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 or 64 gigs of storage expandable with a microSD card. There's both a WiFi and an LTE version but Samsung hasn't yet revealed the pricing or the availability. Leaks have previously suggested that the cheapest 32 GB version would retail for $599.


AfterDawn: News

Suppliers: Lower than expected orders for iPad Pro

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Oct 2015 16:04

Suppliers: Lower than expected orders for iPad Pro Apple is launching its newest addition to the iPad lineup next month. The all-new iPad Pro is technically above all other models but it might be the price that scares customers.

According to the industry sources DigiTimes cites, Apple has made orders for a measly 2,5 million units of it's top of the line iPad. Of course it's just one of the iPad models but nonetheless the suppliers were expecting higher number of orders.

It is undeniable that price of the device in this economy has an effect. Comparing to the other iPads the iPad Pro is in a price league of its own, starting at a whopping $799 and depending on the options rising well above thousand dollars. The iPad Mini 4 costs only $399 and iPad Air 2 $499, and Apple still sells older versions that are even cheaper: iPad Air starting at $399 and iPad mini 2 at $269.

Even despite pricing and after all this, there's still one hugely important obstacle. Apple's iPad sales figures have been going downward for more than a year. There simply wasn't – or isn't – enough customer to keep up the growth. Surely iPad Pro will bring in the profits (per device) but even Apple is cautious about the unit amounts.


AfterDawn: News

Solu is a new Kickstarter project that aims to revolutionize computing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Oct 2015 12:05

Solu is a new Kickstarter project that aims to revolutionize computing A Finnish startup by the name of Solu Machines has introduced a new type of computer in San Francisco, CA. Solu, as they call it, is a mobile computer that relies solely in the power of cloud computing.

Everything about the small square box, veiled in wood in a very Scandinavian fashion, is stored in the cloud. This doesn't only mean the pictures and videos but also the settings in the operating system and apps that you use.

Even though Solu can be used as a separate device, connecting it to the peripherals typically connected to a PC (e.g. mouse, keyboard, display, etc) will reveal it's full potential. The device itself encompasses a 1440 x 1440 resolution 450 ppi touchscreen, 4 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage and Nvidia's SOC with a quad-core processor.

Device demoed at the presentation was a prototype and Solu Machines is now looking to fund production on Kickstarter. A single Solu costs a 349 euros (just under $400) but for more adventurous crowd funders there are obviously other types of packages as well. The company is looking to ship the first final versions to customers in Q2 next year.

AfterDawn: News

Majority of Google searches now on mobile

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2015 15:54

Majority of Google searches now on mobile Google Senior VP of Search Amit Singhal has revealed some interesting facts about the world's leading search engine. According to Singhai now more than half of Google searches are done on mobile devices.

Ever since it's inception around the turn of the millenium Google's search has been used predominantly on PCs. Desktop computers have been losing their grip to mobile computing for years now and now they've finally overtaken all other forms of searching combined.

Speaking at the Recode's Code Mobile conference Singhal said that mobile devices with a smaller than six inch screen account for more than 50 percent of the 100 billion montly searches. In many of the developed countries the scale had already tipped on mobile devices favor earlier but now it did so internationally as well.

It's worth to note that most of the devices one would call tablets (and mobile as well) aren't calculated in the mobile devices here since they rarely have small enough screen.

AfterDawn: News

Apple meets with DMV to talk self-driving cars

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Sep 2015 15:25

Apple meets with DMV to talk self-driving cars There's one company that has been associated with the self-driving car over everyone else, Google, but a lot of other companies are looking into the possible – and some would argue probable, even inevitable – revolution of automobiles.

Apple's car plans might seem far fetched, but a new report from The Guardian suggests that they might be closer to a prototype than we might have thought.

According to documents Guardian has acquired Apple boss Mike Maletic has visited the California Department of Motor Vehicles and discussed about the company's plans for an "autonomous vehicle" or as self-driving cars. The meetings have been with at least three DMV officials including some that are specialists in the field of autonomous vehicles.

Apple likes to keep their plans secret but it will be impossible as they go forward with the development of the car, unofficially named Project Titan (not the concept in the picture). The auto industry requirements for testing demand a certain degree of transparency and certainly autonomous cars will have to be tested rigorously.

In addition to Google, Apple, Tesla and Uber many of the traditional car companies are looking into self-driving cars. Currently 10 companies have been granted permits to test driverless cars on California roads.

AfterDawn: News

Eric Schmidt disregards human music curation as "elitist"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Sep 2015 19:39

Eric Schmidt disregards human music curation as "elitist" The former Google CEO and now the Executive Chairman of newly found holding company Alphabet Eric Schmidt has written an op-en for the BBC about the strides artificial intelligence (AI) has made – and will make. Unlike Apple, Eric Schmidt believes in computer curated music rather than few human individuals.

Schmidt clearly pokes fun at Apple's human curated music on Apple Music, Recode reports. The former Google CEO calls human curation "elitist" since it relies on few people making the choices for you based on their own preferences.

Music curation being one of the editorial's main focuses Schmidt says that maybe a decade ago it was reasonable to use human curation but today AI has come so far that it provides better results and could "help you predict who and where the next Adele might be".

What do you think, does human curation to it better for you and/or do AI curated playlists cater the large crowds better?

AfterDawn: News

Sony warns: Don't submerge your waterproof Xperia phones

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Sep 2015 12:52

Sony warns: Don't submerge your waterproof Xperia phones During the past couple of years Sony has been introducing waterproof phones left and right. Xperia series is full of flagship phones and midrange ones that are in most cases IP68 certified. But now the company wants you not to use them in the water.

Xperia Blog has found out that Sony has changed its policy on water protection. While the IP68 certified phones have been tested to endure 30 minutes of water in 1,5 meters (5 feet) the company says users should not do that.

The Xperia Care webpage declares: "Taking photos and movies in wet surroundings. Remember not to use the device underwater. If you accidentally get the device wet with non-fresh water, wash the device with tap water." and "The IP rating of your device was achieved in laboratory conditions in standby mode, so you should not use the device underwater, such as taking pictures. Do not use the device to take photos while performing any type of activity underwater, including diving or snorkeling."

So in essence the phones should indeed be good to go if all the plugs and connector protectors the phones comes with are used but the company doesn't want to take the chance that people misuse the phones – or use at all – under water.


AfterDawn: News

Apple's new iPhone to have next-gen Force Touch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Sep 2015 20:20

Apple's new iPhone to have next-gen Force Touch Apple Watch and the new MacBook have a feature called Force Touch. It is a pressure sensitive touch experience that allows two different types of touches based on how much pressure you apply, but the new iPhone might have in store something even better.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac suggests that the iPhone 6s to be revealed this Wednesday will offer a new version of that Force Touch, dubbed 3D Touch. This feature will allow not two but three pressure levels, thus the 3D moniker.

According to the information Gurman has acquired tap and press will be accompanied by "deeper press". The same feature is said to be included in the new iPad Pro that is rumored to be released alongside the new iPhones.

How will the users learn this new function and how well have the pressure levels been tweaked, that remains to be seen.

AfterDawn: News

Motorola unveils new series of Moto 360 smartwatches

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Sep 2015 9:46

Motorola unveils new series of Moto 360 smartwatches Motorola has today announced a new series of smartwatches in Berlin at the IFA trade show. The company aims to offer a more customizable and fashionable accessory to smartwatch lovers.

As the leaks and rumors had it Moto 360 comes in different versions and in different sizes. The new, regular Moto 360 comes in two versions, for men and for women, and in two sizes: 42mm (women and men) and 46mm (men). The display has the same "empty tire" look as the first generation Moto 360. Prices start from $299 and climb up to $429. Preorders start today and the products start shipping in a couple of weeks.

The other version is Moto 360 Sports which is – obviously – a more durable and sportier looking sibling of Moto 360 with largely the same features. It does, however, add GPS for activity tracking and a fixed silicone strap that will endure elements better. There is no price yet for the sport version but it will become available later this year.

AfterDawn: News

Galaxy S6 Edge+ is Samsung's new top of the line smartphone

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Aug 2015 16:14

Galaxy S6 Edge+ is Samsung's new top of the line smartphone Samsung announced the new Galaxy S6 Edge+ for those who love the dual curved screen of Galaxy S6 Edge but want something in the size of Note series of smartphones.

If Galaxy Note 5 (left) is just a larger version of Galaxy S6 then Galaxy S6 Edge+ (right) is the larger version of Galaxy S6 Edge. The specifications are virtually identical to Galaxy Note 5, just switch the stylus to a curved display. There is not a lot new here – essentially it's a Note 5 sized Galaxy S6 Edge.

Like the Note, Galaxy S6 Edge+ features an octa-core Exynos chip, a 5,7 inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 4 GB of RAM, 16 and 5 megapixel cameras, and a 3000 mAh battery with wireless charging.

The camera has the same image stabilization and live broadcasting features as Note 5. And like the Note 5 it will be available on August 21st, and preorders starting today.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 5

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Aug 2015 15:41

Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 5 Samsung has today unveiled the fifth generation of Galaxy Note at its Unpacked event in New York. The company's hugely successful phablet line of smartphones continues with the Galaxy Note 5.

Galaxy Note 5 is a direct competitor to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and the company didn't try to hide it – quite the opposite. Even with a larger screen than on iPhone 6 Plus Galaxy Note 5 has a smaller footprint than Apple's offering.

The new Note borrows a lot from Galaxy S6 in terms of looks. With metal frames and Gorilla glass in the back and the front it is essentially a bigger Galaxy S6. What makes it Note, in addition to the size, is the improved S Pen stylus.

The Galaxy Note 5 features the octa-core Exynos chip you know from S6, a 5,7 inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 16 and 5 megapixel cameras, and a 3000 mAh battery. The camera features a new image stabilization that combines both optical and digital methods for better video stabilization. Also one of the hyped features of the camera is live broadcasting to YouTube.

The phone is waterproof and wireless charging speed has been improved (requires a new charging station). However, there is no microSD card slot and the battery is no longer removable.


AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple's iPhone event to be held on Sept. 9

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Aug 2015 10:19

Report: Apple's iPhone event to be held on Sept. 9 If you have been following the smartphone industry for a few years it should be painfully obvious that Apple is about to release a new iPhone – or a few – in couple months. This is also what BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski says, citing inside sources.

According to Paczkowski, Apple is going to organize the event on the week of September 7, most likely on Wednesday the 9th. That would make it the same day as last year.

In addition to new iPhones Apple will reportedly reveal a new Apple TV, and even new iPads – although still maybe not an iPad Pro. Apple likes to spread the products out a bit and have a separate event for iPads but this might not be the case this year.

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