- Kanzi: ZTE’s 3D UX for ICS handsets
To skin or not to skin? That’s hardly ever a question for Android OEMs. And, in the case of some Chinese manufacturers, that mark of software differentiation comes in the form of three dimensions. We’ve already seen Huawei trot out its (optional) 3D UX for the Ascend P line, and now it appears ZTE’s ready to follow suit with a custom interface powered by Rightware. The Kanzi UI, as it’s called, will come pre-loaded on all of the company’s smartphones currently shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich, treating users to a 3D homescreen experience and giving developers a unified platform to port their designs. It’s good news if you’re a fan of that overlaid visual gimmickry, but we much prefer our Google desserts vanilla and without any toppings. Hit up the break to check out the official presser.
- Sprint says thank you, gives patient subs free EVO 4G LTE cases
Waiting for the EVO 4G LTE to ship turned out to be much less of an exercise in Godot-like interminability than many subscribers once thought. That handset’s now firmly in the hands of pre-order customers and to thank them for their (presumed) patience, Sprint’s bundling a thank you gift with every parcel. As shown above, that make-good comes in the form of a smartphone case — a Superman-colored one at that — although we would’ve much preferred an extended battery. See, folks? You stand by your carrier and you get rewarded. That two-year contract had to be good for something.
Sprint says thank you, gives patient subs free EVO 4G LTE cases originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 16:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Google Wallet: one year later
The rumors and leaks go back a bit further, but it was a year ago today that Google officially revealed its Google Wallet mobile payment service — a platform that the company is still betting big on, even if it may be slightly reconsidering the way it does business. While it might not have taken off quite as quickly as Google would have liked, the past year has still been a fairly eventful one for the service — albeit occasionally for reasons the company would prefer you forget — and the next year proves to be even more challenging as the service faces increased competition. Read on for a look back at how we got here, and what lies ahead for both Google Wallet and mobile payments in general.
- SpaceX Dragon team opens the hatch, to spend Memorial Day with more cargo hauling than barbecues
SpaceX’s Dragon docked with the International Space Station on Friday, but if you think the involved crew is spending the US long weekend experimenting with how well grills prepare burgers in low gravity (hint: not very), you’re in for a bit of an awakening. The private space capsule’s hatch flew open just before 6AM ET on Saturday, and while that’s a historic first docking for a private spacecraft, it’s just the start of a long process. At the same time as we’ll be catching fireworks on Monday, the ISS team will bring onboard the 1,014 pounds of cargo and science experiments that Dragon hauled as proof it could fulfill a 12-mission, $1.6 billion cargo delivery contract. Don’t think the spacefarers won’t get any time off for Memorial Day weekend — they’ll get Saturday and Sunday for reflection — but the 25 hours’ worth of cargo shuffling on Monday will spill over into Tuesday, just as we’re all stumbling back into our offices on Earth.
[Image credit: NASA TV]
SpaceX Dragon team opens the hatch, to spend Memorial Day with more cargo hauling than barbecues originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 14:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- RIM may cut 2,000-plus jobs within two weeks
RIM’s current chief Thorsten Heins has had to make some tough decisions in the first few months of his tenure — and he could be making some particularly difficult choices about trimming the rank and file within the next two weeks. Assuming we take the claims of several contacts for Canada’s The Globe and Mail at face value, “at least” 2,000 jobs are being cut on or before June 1st. The numbers could climb higher at that: Reuters is bracing for as many as 6,000 layoffs, and has described an unhappy routine of “Goodbye Thursdays” where more recent hires are let go. RIM has turned down comment on what it calls “rumors and speculation,” and we’d hope for the sake of those possibly affected that it’s not true. Having said this, it’s hard not to imagine Heins wanting to streamline the BlackBerry maker as much as possible to adapt to shrinking market share and keep the company afloat until BlackBerry 10 potentially spurs a revival.
- Samsung Focus 2 review
Ready for Samsung’s latest entrant to the Windows Phone game? Hopefully you answered “yes,” because we’re about to take you through an in-depth look at such a device: the Focus 2. Around the time that we United States-based Engadgeteers were lusting over Nokia’s Lumia 800 and getting to know the HTC Titan, Samsung introduced its Focus S and lower-tiered Focus Flash WP7.5 handsets. Redmond’s hardware restrictions haven’t exactly changed much since then, begging the question as to how the Focus 2 fits in as a late follow-up to the original Focus from back in 2010. The bulk of the answer, of course, is LTE. This handset is the only other Windows Phone aside from the Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II to feature such connectivity on Ma Bell’s network. That, and it’s priced at just $50 dollars on a two-year commitment. Is it a veritable steal like the Focus Flash proved to be, though? Join us past the break where we’ll lay it all out.
Gallery: Samsung Focus 2 review
- Samsung phone lands on the FCC table, GS-three guesses which one
While we’re no champions at “pin the tail on the donkey” we’re pretty sure we’re close to the mark with this one. An FCC report for a new Samsung phone bearing an SGH-I747 model number? Sporting HSPA+ and LTE bands that play nice with AT&T, Rogers, Telus and Bell? While it’s not explicit, if this doesn’t sound like the GSIII coming to town, we don’t know what does. After all, it’s not like we didn’t know it was on its way.
Samsung phone lands on the FCC table, GS-three guesses which one originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 09:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Steve Ballmer’s Windows 8 rig measures 80 inches, so… does that do anything for ya?
To all the executives out there, consider what you have hanging on the walls of your office. Perhaps it’s a fine work of art — maybe even an original — but it most certainly isn’t an 80-inch Windows 8 computer. That curious distinction belongs to Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, who has eschewed use of his phone, notepad and a more practical email solution in the name of awesomeness (or, perhaps compensation for those lagging Windows Phone sales.) Initially said to be a machine that’d be marketed and sold by Microsoft, the company has since clarified that no such effort will take place — although the door remains open for independent vendors to step in and sell similar behemoth Windows 8 setups. Unlike most tablets, we’ve a hard time imagining ol’ Steve throwing this one under his arm as he scoots out of the office… but then again, the man can afford some mighty good chiropractors.
Steve Ballmer’s Windows 8 rig measures 80 inches, so… does that do anything for ya? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 07:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Report: FBI forming new cyber intelligence research unit, focus on digital surveillance
According to a report filed by technology site CNET, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is forming a new cyber intelligence and research unit dubbed the Domestic Communications Assistance Center (DCAC). The briefing states that the DCAC’s purpose will be “to invent technology that will let police more readily eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications” (initially focusing on VoIP services, social networks, and wireless communication mediums) . Via a prepared statement, the FBI explained that the unit’s modus operandi will be to “assist federal, state and local law enforcement with electronic surveillance capabilities.” Congress has appropriated over $54 million for “lawful electronic surveillance” in fiscal year 2012; the DCAC has been earmarked just north of $8 million from that pie. The Bureau’s full statement is after the break.
Report: FBI forming new cyber intelligence research unit, focus on digital surveillance originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 05:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.