New Details on Apple iWatch Emerge as Google Unveils Overpriced Chromebook

In today’s mobile news roundup: Google unveils Chromebook Pixel; Intel acquires tools and staff of AppMobi;  Apple and Samsung ordered to narrow lawsuit;  iWatch is a slap bracelet; and Instagram app not coming to BlackBerry 10.

Google unveils Chromebook Pixel

It was recently reported that Google is working on a touchscreen Chromebook, a rumor quickly confirmed by Google on its blog page.

Google introduced the Chromebook Pixel this week, which features a 12.85” Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen with the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch), an Intel Core i5 Processor and a solid state Flash memory architecture, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB solid state drive (64GB on LTE model), Integrated 720p HD camera, industry-leading WiFi range thanks to carefully positioned antennas and dual-band support, LTE engineered directly into the machine to enable super fast connectivity to Verizon’s 4G network, backlit keyboard, glass touchpad, one terabyte of Google Drive storage will come with the purchase of the machine.

The Google Pixel is priced at $1,299 in the U.S. and £1,049 in the U.K.for the WiFi version which will start shipping next week while the LTE model comes at $1,449 and will ship in the US in April.  That’s a high price to pay for something that has less features than standard laptops, and costs more than most MacBooks.  As Google delves deeper into the hardware market, it will have to retain a competitive advantage through price points, among feature sets and consumer Services.

So the question remains: who would by the Pixel?  Here with more analysis is contributing editor John Casaretto, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy.

Intel acquires tools and staff of AppMobi

AppMobi, the HTML5 mobile app development firm, has been acquired by Intel but not entirely.  According to reports, the startup company itself hasn’t been acquired, just the tools and staff to help Intel build its own mobile app development tools.

AppMobi will stay intact but just as a “pure play cloud services provider, offering developers backend service support for HTML5 mobile applications.”

The acquisition includes AppMobi’s XDK IDE (Integrated Developer Environment), PhoneGap XDK, GameDev XDK, jqMobi and jqUI developer frameworks, directCanvas HTML5 acceleration, the Mobius Web browser along with testing and debugging tools.  Developers who are currently using the tools Intel acquired will not be affected by the acquisition but have to deal with a one-time re-registration into Intel’s systems.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Apple and Samsung ordered to narrow lawsuit

US District Judge Lucy Koh has ordered both Apple and Samsung to narrow claims filed against one another for a hearing scheduled for 2014.

“We’ll keep narrowing and narrowing,” Koh said. “You’ve already been litigating this thing for a year; you must know something about what’s your best case.”

Apple last year included the Galaxy SIII and last week added the Galaxy Note smartphones and tablets in its claims while Samsung stated that all generations of iPhones and iPad violated at least three of its patents.

iWatch is a slap bracelet

In a patent filing discovered by AppleInsider points to a wearable device presumably the iWatch.  What’s interesting in its discovery is that the iWatch design will mimic that of the popular slap bracelet, making the flexible screen conform to a wearer’s wrist perfectly.

“The most recent widespread use of such a device was the slap bracelet, also called the slap wrap. The slap bracelet consists of layered flexible steel bands sealed within a fabric cover. Typical slap bracelets are roughly one inch in width by nine inches in length. In a first equilibrium position they can be flat. The second equilibrium is typically reached by slapping the flat embodiment across the wrist, at which point the bracelet curls around the wrist and stays relatively secure in a roughly circular position,” the patent stated.

Also, in its curled form on a wearer’s wrist, the iWatch will deliver an uninterrupted screen, meaning instead of just face typically found on watches, the whole bracelet is a screen that’s able to deliver more information to users.  And with use of sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, the information will always face the wearer.

Instagram app not coming to BlackBerry 10

The native app for Instragam is not coming to BlackBerry 10 soon, or ever, says sources familiar to the matter.

“There will be no [native] Instagram for BB10 for now,” said one source. “Frankly, I’m not sure there will ever be.”

This may pose a hurdle to BB CEO Thorsten Heins’ goals of global domination because in order to get people to come back to the brand and entice new users to go for BlackBerry 10 devices, it needs native apps that are widely used by consumers, such as Instagram and other popular apps.