Leaked: Image of the HTC Hero, aka the 'G3'


An image has surfaced on the internet, on the ‘Code Android Singapore’ website, of the HTC Hero. This device is a followup to the HTC Magic, and is referred to by many as the G3 because it runs Android – Google’s mobile phone operating system.

It’s a lot squarer than the HTC Magic, and it looks like the infamous chin from the G1 has returned. There’s no trackball, either, which could indicate that G1 users haven’t been overly fond of it as a control mechanism. Also in the shots, though, may be a slot for a 3.5mm headphone jack. That would be a fantastic addition to the handset.

(via Code Android Singapore)

Palm Pre Mini on the way too?


An interesting nugget of info popped up on the web this morning about Palm’s Pre and the company’s plans after the device is launched. It looks like they’re “very far along” in the development of a second Pre-like device that’ll be smaller and lighter.

There’s not much in the way of details just yet, except that this will most likely be targeting a completely different sector of the market to the Pre. There’s no word on whether it’ll have a physical keyboard like its big brother – the smaller devices get, the more uncomfortable physical keyboards are.

It looks like the device will be out in late 2009, possibly as soon as Autumn. We’ll have to wait and see whether it gets showed off at IFA in late August, but they’re unlikely to officially unveil it there.

(via TechCrunch)

Sources sugggest Apple launching netbook after all


After months of will-they, won’t-they action on the subject of an Apple netbook, the latest reports suggest that they-will is winning out. Apple is apparently working with a Taiwanese corporation, Wintek, to produce 10″ touchscreens for such a device.

The launch could be as soon as the second half of the year, and it would likely be packing a stripped-down OS, somewhere in between standard OS X and the iPhone OS. The touchscreen is almost a given, after how well multi-touch on the iPhone has gone down.

One thing that remains under question – will Apple drop the specs to match other netbook manufacturers? Or will they try and cram high-end components into a tiny shell? Apple’s never been one for making budget models of its computers, and there’s no reason why it might start now.

(via CNN Money)

Mac Mini refresh finally announced


There’s been rumours of a an upgrade of the Mac Mini for ages. First, back in December we thought it’d come at Macworld. Then, in Feb, we tracked down an image with a surfeit of USB ports and some basic specs. Then, yesterday, we thought the refresh would come at the end of this month.

Well, Apple has confounded all our expectations, and has announced a new Mac Mini, with the following specs:

  • 5x USB
  • 1x FireWire 800
  • 1x mini DVI
  • 1x Display poort
  • Nvidia chipset (like the newest MacBook)
  • starting at Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz
  • 2 GB DDR3 memory (max 4 GB)
  • 120 GB hard disk (max 320 GB)

Not bad eh? Not face-meltingly good specs, but they’ll do. As with every Apple product announced ever, it’s available now, and costs £XXX.

Apple UK

Top 5: Tips to make your mobile phone battery last longer


I always run out of phone battery at the most inopportune moments. Like just as my mum calls me, so she then thinks I’m avoiding her calls, or just as a lost friend is trying to track me down on a busy street.

Well, I’ve had enough, goddamnit. From now on, I’m going to make sure that my battery’s always in tip-top condition. Here’s how I’m going to do it:

One: Switch off features you don’t use
Seriously, how often do you use Bluetooth? Even if you use a headset on the go, you’re probably sat at a computer for a good proportion of your day, when having Bluetooth on is a waste of time. If you just turn it on when you need it, you can save a massive whack of battery life.

While we’re at it, there’s also 3G (do you need your email checked every minute? even overnight?), GPS, Wi-Fi and screen brightness. Turning them all down or off when you’re not using them could double your battery life in one fell swoop.

Two: Don’t let it run out totally before recharging
With Ni-MH batteries, it’s good to let them drain properly before charging them again, thanks to ‘battery memory’, but most cellphone batteries these days use Li-Ion batteries instead. These don’t suffer from the same problem, and can in fact be damaged by letting them go flat.

For best results, charge your phone when it gets to about 30% remaining. Think of the extra capacity as backup. Then, when you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t charge easily, like a festival, you’ll have maximum possible battery life.

Three: Don’t carry it around in your pocket
Turns out that carrying your phone around in your pocket is actually pretty bad for battery life, because you’ve got hot legs. By you, I mean “humans”, not specifically you, though your legs are rather hot. *cough*. Ahem.

Lifehacker suggests that it’s much better to keep batteries as cool as possible – meaning in your bag or jacket, or even on a belt clip. If you want to go overboard, keep your phone in the fridge at night, or just, y’know, turn it off.

Four: Turn it off when there’s no signal
While we’re talking about turning the phone off, turn it off when you go on the tube or metro, or if you’re going somewhere that you know has low signal issues. The lower the network availability, the harder the phone chip has to work to get a usable signal, so the more battery it uses.

For the same reason, if you know you have to call someone, do it somewhere with good signal, oh, and keep it short. No yapping about whether or not your friend saw Neighbors last night. Save that for the pub. It sounds harsh, but think of the hours of battery life you’ll get in return.

Five: Cycle your spares, and don’t store them with a full charge
Lastly, if you’re serious about batteries then you’ll almost certainly be carrying around a spare for emergencies. Don’t just use one and keep the other as a spare, or when it comes time to plug in the spare, it’ll be dead. Instead, rotate which battery you use every couple of months or so.

Don’t keep the spare fully charged up. A full charge puts too much strain on the terminals, and can damage it if it’s kept full for a long time. If you carry the spare around with you all the time, then keep it charged about 70-80%, but if not then keep it at 30% or so and in the fridge (not freezer). Then just charge it up when you think you’ll need it – if you’re going to a festival, for example.

So there you go. My tips for making your batteries able to make it through two months before needing a recharge. Have you got any tips, or things you’ve found useful in the quest for battery life? Share them in the comments.

Two Nokia touchscreen phones leaked by… er… Nokia

In the video above, Nokia N97 designer, Axel Meyer, is interviewed, but also appearing completely unnannounced are a couple of new touchscreen phones. Sources are suggesting that these might be Ivalo and Madeleine – codenames for upcoming smartphones that emerged in a leaked roadmap last year.

Ivalo will have 32GB of storage, GPS, FM radiio, 5-megapixel camera, 3.5″ touchscreen and Wi-Fi. High spec, but no QWERTY keyboard like the N97. The Madeleine is more mid-range, with Wi-Fi and GPS, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and N-Gage functionality. No official info on either yet, but perhaps we’ll see them at MWC next week.

(via GSMArena)

CES 2009: Palm shows off rumoured touchscreen device – the Palm Pre


The rumours were true. Palm’s got a brand new device to go with its spangly new Nova operating system. All we knew previously was that it had a portrait touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but now there’s a bit more info to go with it.

That touchscreen measures 3.1″ diagonally, at 480×320 resolution. The slide-out keyboard doesn’t come straight out – it sorta curves. There’s oodles of connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and EVDO. There’s a removable battery, microUSB connector, support for USB mass storage and – YAY! – a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It’s running the new Nova OS, but more about that in another post. It’ll be available in the “first half” of 2009. In the meantime, for more CES coverage, click here.

(via Gizmodo’s liveblog)

O2 announces UK release for BlackBerry Curve 8900


O2 has announced that the curiously non-3G BlackBerry Curve 8900 (formerly known as the ‘Javelin’) will be released on January 5th 2009. It’s going to be available for pre-registration from tomorrow (Dec 10th), and for pre-order from Dec 22nd on the O2 website.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but is this phone eagerly awaited? I haven’t heard anyone getting excited about the release, but with all this pre-reg and pre-order shenanigans, it seems like people are dying to get their hands on the device.

O2 launches universal, enviromental phone charger


This is the ‘Universal Charger’, which O2 will be selling in its high street shops. It kills two birds with one stone – firstly the annoyance of trying to find the right charger on some dodgy market stall if you happen to lose yours, and secondly, the annoyance of not being able to charge your phone in someone else’s house.

O2’s also touting the energy-efficient nature of the device. It consumes 70 percent less power than a standard mobile phone charger, and meets the strict energy efficient guidelines of the US Energy Star rating system. If every single phone in use in the UK was charged with one of these, it would save the country nearly £31.4 million, and cut the carbon emissions of the equivalent of 36,000 cars.

Nokia launches N97 – new touchscreen behemoth


Yesterday, Nokia execs teased the world’s tech bloggers by saying that they had a big announcement, and were surprised that it hadn’t leaked. I’m surprised too – the big announcement is the N97. It’s the followup to their brilliant, and ridiculously successful N95, and semi-upgrade the N96.

The specs on this baby promise a lot. It’ll have a 3.5″, 640 x 360 touchscreen display (16:9, not 16:10), a QWERTY keyboard, HSDPA and Wi-Fi, 32GB(!) of onboard memory, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, “DVD-quality” video capture (eat that, iPhone), and a battery that promises to pump out a day and a half of continuous audio playback. No mention of GPS, but I’d be very surprised if it lacks it.

Best of all, Nokia promises an ‘always-open’ window to the internet and social networking sites. If that integration runs clearly through the phone, it could be very powerful indeed. This is Nokia’s answer to the iPhone. The specs certainly win the day, but can they crack the all-important interface? We’ll have to wait and see.

Nokia N97 (via N96 Bruce Lee edition – enter the handset | MWC 2008: Nokia N96 versus Nokia N95