In today’s morning mobile round-up we have long-awaited updates for RIM’s PlayBook, a heated court battle for Apple’s trademark iPad in China and the latest rumored gadget from Google.
e-Mail on the PlayBook, at long last!
Research in Motion has finally brought a native e-mail app to the BlackBerry PlayBook. When the PlayBook was launched last year, its biggest flaw was the lack of an e-mail app, and the only way for you to send or receive an e-mail using the PlayBook was by connecting the tablet to a BlackBerry phone.
The much needed upgrade finally came to the PlayBook with the addition of the ability to run Android apps, plus some novel features for automatically integrating information and messages from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with its e-mail, calendar and contact apps.
And for bloggers, the 2.0 update for the PlayBook brings good news as WordPress is now available for the BlackBerry tablet.
Still, analysts deem the upgrade too little, too late to catch up in the tablet race where the Apple iPad dominates.
8GB Nook Tablet Now Available
Earlier this week, reports of Barnes & Noble releasing an 8GB Nook Tablet surfaced the web, and today, B&N launched the 8GB Nook Tablet priced at $199 to directly compete with the 8GB Kindle Fire which has been selling quite well in the market.
The original Nook Tablet was priced at $249 but it comes with 16GB storage. Though the Nook Tablet packs more features than the Kindle Fire, the $50 difference was still a drawback for consumers.
Though the Nook Tablet didn’t perform as well as the Kindle Fire in terms of sales, B&N was happy to report that their overall Nook business was up almost 40% compared to a year ago. B&N now offers Nooks starting from $99 with the Nook Simple Touch, followed by $169 for the Nook Color. The 16GB Nook Tablet is still available for $249.
Apple iPad 3 And Trademark Dispute
More rumors about the iPad 3 surface the web, the latest of which is from Apple Daily featuring photos that the next iPad will have the similar camera as the iPhone 4S.
According to Apple Daily the new iPad wil have a “9.7-inch screen, but screen resolution retina to the same with the iPhone 4S screen on the back of the camera lens is also raised to 8 million pixels, the largest change is upgraded to dual core by the current A5 A6 four-core processor.”
As for Apple’s troubles in China, they appeared in a heated court hearing today defending their right to use the iPad trademark, which Shenzhen Proview Technology insists Apple’s been using illegally. The presiding judge had to repeatedly remind both parties to observe proper court protocol.
“They have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing,” Apple lawyer Qu Miao said of Proview. “The iPad is so popular that it is in short supply. We have to consider the public good.”
“Whether people will go hungry because you can’t sell iPads in China is not the issue,” Shenzhen Proview’s lawyer Xie Xianghui argued. “The court must rule according to the law. Do you absolutely have to sell the product? Can’t you sell it using a different name?”
As for the Foxconn scandal, ABC was allowed by Apple to see the operations of the factory. ABC’s Nightline correspondent Bill Weir was given a chance to explore the Apple-manufacturing division of Foxconn.
Weir stated that a robotic voice tells the workers if what they were doing was correct. Workers who talked to Weir told him that each worker handles 6,000 products a day, and they work for more than 10 hours a day. Weir’s expose is contrary to Auret van Heerden’s, president of the Fair Labor Association hired by Apple to lead the investigation, who gave nothing but positive remarks about the factory.
On a lighter note, Microsoft’s Office is said to be coming to the iPad, even if Microsoft denies it.
Google’s Heads-up Display Glasses
According to a report from the New York Times, by the end of the year, Google will be selling heads-up display glasses. So what are heads-up display glasses you ask? These are glasses capable of streaming information right before your eyes.
According to the unnamed sources, “the Google glasses would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye,” reports The New York Times. “They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS.”
We have yet to hear from Google on the matter.
LG’s Optimus 3D Max
If you’re not excited about the Mobile World Congress kicking off next week, you should be. Manufacturers aren’t missing the opportunity to build hype around the event.
LG has released one of the phones they will be showcasing at the event, the Optimus 3D Max. The device is only 9.6mm thin, packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 3D shortcut button for conversion of 2D content, 5-megapixel camera, 4.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) display featuring the Corning Gorilla Glass 2.