Nope, “Grease” isn’t the word, it’s “Mobile Payments,” or at least it would be if it wasn’t technically two words. Still, eBay, PayPal and Opera have used the fiesta atmosphere at MWC to promote their services, as you do. eBay’s partnered with UK carrier Three, which will now pre-install the auction site’s apps on all the Android phones it sells. It’s also teamed up with hotelier Yotel and Iberian ticketing service Entradas to offer quick-and-easy payments for the same. Meanwhile, Opera has launched the Opera Payment Exchange (OPX), aiming to democratize the space by making secure commerce available on any form of feature phone, rather than just top-level smartphones. Finally, PayPal has rolled out a new payments system to Home Depot nationwide. Every branch will be equipped to handle payments from the online agency using a card or cellphone and PIN combination. After the break we’ve got the details for all three, suffice to say it won’t be long before you can spend every penny you’ve earned without having to get out of bed.
Audience earSmart eS110 brings its voice processing and noise suppression to low cost feature phones
Remember Audience? Sure you do. The outfit was behind the iPhone 4′s noise-canceling wizardry that would be later built directly into the 4S’ A5 heart. Now, the company has announced its earSmart eS110 advanced voice processor for feature phones. Touting “the same voice quality” as those more expensive phones that we all covet, the single microphone tech will suppress unwanted noise like cars passing by or that loud guy next to you at a bar. The eS110 offers crisp calls for both handset and speakerphone uses thanks to processors designed around how humans filter the sounds that we hear. Entry-level smartphones are targets as well and the kit’s 3.5 x 3.5mm stature should make for easy integration. Audience says that samples will be sent out to manufacturers in March and should show up in handsets by the end of the year. In search of a few more details? Hit the full PR below to find out more.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/28/audience-earsmart-es110/
America, I hate to say it, but you’re no longer special. Sure, maybe you’ll always be number one in Ford’s heart, but the company has got to sow its wild oats, and that means heading across the Atlantic with SYNC and AppLink in tow. The manufacturer hopes to sell 3.5 million SYNC equipped vehicles in Europe by 2015, starting with the B-Max which will ship later this year. SYNC will be available in nine different languages at launch and will quickly spread to other vehicles.
Sprint’s SEC filings have revealed that the carrier has committed to purchasing $15.5 billion worth of iPhones as part of the long-promised $20 billion gamble. If each handset costs around $630 at trade, then we’re talking about the network holding nearly 24 million units. Given that the company most recently ate a loss of $1.3 billion, most of which was caused by carrier subsidies for the 4S, there’s a genuine fear that the company won’t be able to make enough back on each customer to offset the initial outlay. Given the Baller-style purchasing decisions of Dan Hesse of late, we’ll be watching how this unfolds with great interest and our fingers very firmly crossed.
Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/28/sprint-iphone/
Roughly two years after first launching Promoted Tweets on the desktop, Twitter is rolling out the ad revenue model to its iOS and Android apps. The feature, which places sponsored tweets in users’ timelines, is already available in the mobile web version of the site. Updates to the app will bring the ads to a select number of users who already follow those businesses in the next couple of weeks, followed by a wider rollout to users who don’t. #ka-ching
Budget ARM licensee Rockchip has been bawling out its wares on the streets of Barcelona as the company announces its newest RK30xx platform. Rockchip provide the internals for a variety of low-cost android tablets, often based on last year’s technology. The newest system will be based on ARM’s dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400 GPU and Artisan Physical IP Process Optimization Pack (nope, us neither). The chips will clock to 1.4GHz and be able to decode 1080p video and even support 3D displays. The whole package will ship as a “turnkey” solution, i.e. one any manufacturer can buy in bulk and shove inside a tablet, meaning that plenty of the budget slates released in the second half of the year will have identical internals. First engineering samples arrive in March and if you’re interested in starting your own tablet business, head on past the break to get the details.
OpenWays already got the world of smartphones and hotel keys more acquainted, now it wants to make them even more intimate. Working with NXP semiconductors, OpenWays has announced it’s bringing a little near-field magic to its Mobile Key solution. Now, you can receive your room number direct to your phone, saunter past reception and wave yourself safely past the door. The makers claim that the optimized antennas mean it can work with any phone, carrier and lock system, effectively future-proofing it. So, next time you’re off on your travels, best be a little more careful, as this is one room key reception are unlikely to replace should you lose it. Full PR after the break.
Not feeling the Star Wars Xbox 360 bundle? How about this all white special edition? For $300, you get a white 4GB Xbox 360, a white Xbox 360 controller and a white Kinect sensor. Microsoft is also tossing in Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures and a three month Xbox Live Gold subscription. Or, if you’re just eyeing the glossy pigment-free Kinect, you can pick one up separately for $50.
There’s a lot of signs pointing to the release of a brand new iPad floating around these days: myriad rumors, retina displays, and even Apple event invites. Now, a freshly taken pic from an anonymous tipster has given us a little more grease for the iPad 3 rumor mill. As you can see above, starting today all iPad 2 SKUs at Radio Shack are getting $20-50 lopped off their prices, which sure seems like a good way to clear out stock to make room for a newer, pricier version. And, the good news for Apple fans doesn’t stop there, as the Shack will also be discounting the iPhone 4 and 4S by $25 from March 1st – 4th. So, is this more evidence of the iPad 3, or just a retailer trying to move more product? We’ll know for sure next week.
Samsung’s going to bring “premium HD video content” to Media Hub after pairing up Qualcomm’s StudioAccess and ARM’s TrustZone DRM systems. The first device that will benefit from the rollout is the Galaxy Note thanks to its enormous 1280 x 800 HD display. Owners of the large phone / small tablet hybrid will find HD content appearing alongside SD editions of your favorite movies and shows — previously unavailable because of copyright concerns. There’s PR after the break, but we’d suggest reading it only if you enjoy paragraph upon paragraph of executives praising DRM to the hilt.