Skifta Android app lets users stream to devices
Qualcomm Atheros just announced the release of the Skifta 1.0 Android app (free, Android Market) that will allow users to stream content from their Android devices or saved on the cloud to any DLNA-compatible device. It will offer a Channel library, that will let users access content from their Picasa, Photobucket, Soma.fm, Napster, ShoutCast, Revision 3 and TED Talks accounts or service, among others, without launching those apps separately.
Sony Dash B7 and B70 joined by N200 in US
Sony as part of its home media push Wednesday unveiled a rearchitected Dash and brought the N200 streaming media player to the US. The Dash HID-B7 and HID-B70 are now PC-free, having their own setup processes, and have a simple web browser for a quick information check. The B70 adds a built-in lithium-ion battery to let it serve as a traveling clock radio.
Motorola details changes to Motoblur, Media Link
At MWC on Monday, Motorola also revealed newly revamped software for Mac and PC users, with Media Link 1.5. At the same time, the company added a number of features to its Motoblur skin for cell phones. The new Media Link software is now available for Mac computers and will ship for PCs in March. It lets users easily transfer multimedia content from iTunes and Windows Media Player onto Motorola handsets.
Rogers adds limited time $40 smartphone plan
Canadian wireless and cable provider Rogers has started a new smartphone plans for entry-level smartphones, MobileSyrup reported on Thursday. The promotional plan is called an Exclusive $40 Promo Plan, and has gone into effect on January 25 for a limited, though unknown, amount of time. It requires a three-year contract and includes 200 minutes per month, 100MB of data and unlimited social networking, which grants unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket and LinkedIn.
Wireless version set to ship next week
Syabas has begun shipping its PopBox media hub slightly ahead of its revised schedule, as the Ethernet version is currently in-stock at retailers such as Amazon.com. Customers will still have to wait until next week for the Wi-Fi variant, however.
Popbox finally launching this month
Syabas has established a concrete ship date for the Popbox. The media hub should ship on July 23. It was originally due to ship July 4, but the company had decided that the software to go with the firmware "wasn’t quite where we wanted it" and held off for nearly three weeks. Pre-orders had already begun in May.
Sony Dash goes on sale today
Introduced at CES, the Dash Personal Internet Viewer is now being sold on Sony's website. As promised, the device is priced at $200 and has a Wi-Fi connection to access apps that can bring news, weather, traffic, sports, gaming, social networking and other content to the Chumby-based device.
Samsung intros three new Shark media phones
Samsung has released three new multimedia phones on Thursday, with the candy bar Shark (S5350), slider Shark 2 (S5550) and Shark 3 (S3550). Each has integrated Social Networking Services (SNS) that consist of shortcuts to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and other favorite sites. At the same time, users can quickly upload to sites that include Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube.
Sony intros Bloggie pocket cameras at CES
At its press conference at CES, Sony introduced new pocket cameras it calls bloggie, which are meant to produce and quickly upload Internet videos for quick sharing. Similar in concept to the Flip Video cameras that arguably pioneered the category, but has features more inline with the company's latest Ultra HD digital camera, Sony's bloggie cameras record 1920x1080 high-definition MP4 format videos and capture 5-megapixel images. The content can then be quickly uploaded to PCs and the Internet thanks to a built-in USB connection that flips out of the body. This USB will also charge the internal battery.
Chumby software in gadgets
Executives at Chumby have said on Thursday that they plan on bringing the gadget's software to other consumer electronics via a series of partnerships. The Chumby can so far bring weather, music, news, photos and trivia to living rooms from the Internet. According to a Thursday Forbes report, the company's chief executive, Steve Tomlin, has established partnerships with Sony, Samsung, Broadcom and Marvell to bring the open-source operating system into TVs, Blu-ray players, clock and tabletop radios and other consumer electronics, with some expected for a release before the end of 2009.
Toshiba digital frames
Toshiba on Monday announced it has partnered up with FrameChannel, a web-based digital photo frame integration service, to bring weather, news and sports info, as well as uploaded photos to its new line of Digital Media Frames. There is an 8-inch frame and 10-inch frame offered. Videos and music uploaded to the FrameChannel servers will also get transferred to the frames.
Eye-Fi adds host support
Eye-Fi on Tuesday announced users of its Eye-Fi Share Video and Eye-Fi Explore Video cards can now upload photos or videos to Picasa Web Albums, Photobucket and SmugMug in addition to the previously supported YouTube and Flickr. The addition lets any appropriately enabled still or video camera publish videos to the sites over a Wi-Fi connection created directly from the memory card itself, bypassing computers entirely as with the earlier version.
Samsung Memoir at T-Mobile
T-Mobile today quickly silenced rumors by launching its version of the Samsung Memoir. The full touchscreen phone is one of the first 8-megapixel cameraphones with an official US carrier and aims to overcome most of the flaws of cellphone cameras, including the addition of a Xenon flash, autofocusing and five shooting modes. Its photo features also debunk late rumors and involve 3G data on T-Mobile's 1,700MHz band, giving it enough speed for out-of-the-box photo uploading to sites like Flickr and Photobucket.
Sidekick LX 2009 Leak
Danger and its hardware partners may be preparing a major update to the Sidekick LX that turns it into an advanced media and social networking device, a survey given to a Hiptop3 reader suggests. When asked about smartphones, the reader says she was reportedly presented with an image that shows an Sidekick LX 2009 that centers on an unusually sharp, 854x480 3.2-inch display. It would also have other hardware firsts for Sidekicks, including 3G data, GPS with turn-by-turn navigation and a 3.2-megapixel camera with both flash and video capture.
Creative Vado HD in Stores
As promised, Creative this morning marked the US in-store date for its Vado HD pocket camera. The 720p-capable recorder aims to beat the Flip Mino HD on features with HDMI video output, twice as much storage at 8GB and a larger two-inch preview LCD. Creative uses H.264 encoding that should give it four hours with Flip-level encoding or two hours in a claimed better HD+ capture mode.
MySpace Data Availability
MySpace today introduced a new initiative that will see its users' data shared outside of the social network. The Data Availability framework will let any member of the MySpace service opt in to share profile info, friend networks, photos and videos to sites that will support the approach on their networks: MySpace users will have the option of posting their biography and latest blog updates to their Twitter profiles, for example, or bring images to Photobucket. eBay and Yahoo will also allow portability, with Yahoo's new Open Strategy allowing users to automatically fill in a profile that is viewable across much of the site's network.
TiVo Photo Streaming
TiVo today revealed that its digital video recorders will all support streaming photos directly from online image sites such as Photobucket and Picasa, allowing subscribers to its service to view and distribute images to TVs without buying a second media hub. The feature supports viewing one's own collection and viewing others, but also allows users to view customized feeds regardless of the owner. A subscriber can view photos from either service by keyword tags that automatically update as new images are posted online.