It’s TI’s time to brag. We first met OMAP5 when the company’s VP of the OMAP division, Remi El-Ouazzane, unveiled the developer’s reference platform on our stage at CES. While there, he boasted OMAP5 as “the greatest platform on Earth right now,” but we were given only a few insights into the platform’s capabilities. Now, TI is back with a new wave of demos that better show the prowess of OMAP5 — a system-on-chip design that houses a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU clocked at just 800MHz, two Cortex-M4 cores for low-power processes, along with a PowerVR SGX 544 GPU that handles 3D compositions, and a number of accelerators such as TI’s IVA-HD, which supports both video encoding and decoding and plays 1080p video at a whopping 60fps. We were shown a demo of all these capabilities humming in unison on a 1080p display, along with a complex HTML5 mashup that adds credence to the company’s latest benchmark report. Photography geeks should know the system supports up to 14 megapixel cameras, and is able to process ten shots per second at that setting. We’re told to expect devices based on the OMAP5 platform by the end of the year, and if you’re anything like us, it’s going to be one hell of a wait. Hop the break for the demo.
We’re in Barcelona, and we’re not ready to stop talking about phones. And hopefully you’re ready to start listening, because the Engadget Mobile Podcast is quickly approaching! We’re aiming to be broadcasting as close to 12:50PM EST as possible, but we’re in the process of hunting down potential podcast members so we may begin a little late. So join with us, if you dare, in an emergency special Mobile World Congress podcast!
Anyone hoping for a truly unlimited “unlimited” data plan is still out of luck, but ATT has announced some changes (or a clarification, as it puts it) to its throttling procedures today that will at least give you a bit more room to work with. For customers on an unlimited plan with a 3G or “4G” phone (i.e. HSPA+), you’ll now be able to enjoy full data speeds up to 3GB, after which you’ll then see your speeds decrease until the start of the next billing cycle. If you have a 4G LTE phone, however, you’ll have a full 5GB to play with before the throttling kicks in. That’s as opposed to the roughly 2GB of full data speeds that was available in both cases before — and, as with the throttling that was imposed originally, these changes only apply to those still on an unlimited data plan, not those on ATT’s tiered data plans.
Texas Instruments dual WiFi module lets your tablet connect to your TV and the web simultaneously (hands-on)
Texas Instruments is helping to lead the way when it comes to mobile computing — when we want an early look at what’s to come months and even years down the road, TI is always one of our first stops. At this year’s Mobile World Congress, the semiconductor leader wasn’t shy about showing off its latest innovations, including those from its manufacturing and design partners. Today’s demo focused on wireless video streaming — a concept that engineers are approaching from every imaginable angle, and that is bound to make its way to consumers in a very big way within the next few years. TI’s flavor is based on WiFi, and offers a dual-connection solution, letting you pair a tablet with a TV using peer-to-peer while also creating a second link between the tablet and a wireless router for Internet.
We took the tech for a spin using one of TI’s development platform tablets and an external WiFi dongle (shipping versions will be integrated), and everything worked as described, though the video stream was noticeably choppy and compressed. TI reps explained that they dialed down the bitrate in order to maintain a connection at the MWC expo hall, which, as you might imagine, probably had a wireless signal density greater than any other room in the world. The tablet we saw was running a very slick context-aware UI that displays one of three home screens based on your current location — there’s one for work (that displays your calendar), one for home (media and home automation controls) and another for travel (restaurant reviews and weather). Pushing content from the tablet to the TV seemed to be seamless, and while both the UI and wireless functionality may appear to be ready to make their way into your home, TI isn’t making any announcements about availability. There’s no need to wait for a teaser, however, which you’ll find just past the break.
Always Innovating appears to be living up to its name, making significant progress on that clever HDMI Android dongle that we first heard of way back at CES. Now the company’s TI OMAP4-based television companion is rockin’ some Ice Cream Sandwich madness, drawing curious Mobile World Congress attendees into the Texas Instruments booth for a look. We happened upon the device on the last day of the show, and we couldn’t help but be impressed. The premise here is quite simple: your “dumb TV” (i.e. one that isn’t Internet-enabled) gives up one HDMI and one USB port (for power), in return connecting you to the wonderful world of Android 4.0. Think web browsing, tweeting, gaming (yes, even Angry Birds), video streaming — that same experience you’ll get with any Android tablet can now be had on your aging flat-screen TV.
Always Innovating isn’t feeling inspired enough to take the lead on manufacturing, instead licensing the technology to third parties, but with some agreements signed and others on the way, this ICS solution on a stick may be hitting stores just in time to become this holiday season’s ultimate stocking stuffer. Pricing is of course up to the manufacturers, but TI reps suggested that we might see these things pop up later this year in the $50-99 range, finally making Google on every TV a much more reasonable proposition. Care to take a gander at this stick-based wunderkind? Jump past the break for our hands-on.
What’s thin, pale and sexy as hell? If you answered Twiggy you’re close, but wrong. The answer we were looking for is the ATT version of the HTC One X, which appears to have just swung through the FCC. There’s not much to reveal here that we didn’t already know. The phone is capable of connecting to ATT’s HSPA+ and GSM networks thanks to the 850MHz and 1900MHz radios, but it’ll also be riding along on LTE bands 4 and 17 for some 4G action. The documents also offer radiation levels for the dual-channel 802.11n and Bluetooth radios, as well as provide us with a model number: PJ83100. The final clue to its identity was buried in one of the forms that revealed the phone is running version 4.0.3 of an unidentified firmware — we’d say it’s safe to assume that’s in reference to the particular edition of Ice Cream Sandwich on board. If you’re a fan of charts, graphs and numbers, hit up the source link.
Exactly one month after unveiling this Military 810G-approved ruggedized handset, Sprint’s stamping an official release date and price on it. Those of you who don’t appreciate delicate swiping-and-tapping will be able to grab Kyocera’s new DuraPlus for a mere $70 — after a $50 mail-in rebate and with the standard two-year signing — on March 11th. The device is the newest addition to the rugged Dura family, joining the likes of the DuraMax and DuraCore. To give you a quick brain-refresh, the DuraPlus can take a dive down to three feet underwater and stay submerged for about half an hour. It can withstand dust, shock and “extreme temperatures” while also giving you access to those Now Network bits you’re so fond of: Direct and Group Connect. Now, be sure to send us those drop test vids if you buy one — we have all day for that stuff.
We can’t say it was necessarily love at first sight, but a second passover certainly helped our heart grow fonder. In our first hands-on of the Acer CloudMobile, a phone with a product design award under its belt, we weren’t completely convinced that it was worthy of such a prize. However, we were given the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with the device and previously unknown specs to go along with it. Here’s what we discovered during our reacquaintance.
Gallery: Acer CloudMobile hands-on at MWC2012
Today the Munich I Regional Court handed down a decision awarding Apple an injunction against all Motorola products that violate a patent on “portable electronic device[s] for photo management.” That overly broad-sounding claim appears to apply specifically to the bouncing over scroll animation found in the company’s photo gallery application, so a small tweak to the existing software could quickly and quietly put this issue to rest. Still, according to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, there is a small (and we do mean small) chance that Apple could choose to enforce the ban, which could require Motorola to destroy all existing products that violate the claim. This includes items already on shelves, which would have to be recalled. More likely though, despite Apple’s victory regarding the zoomed-out view in the Android gallery app, Motorola will continue to be able to sell the Xoom and two infringing phones. On a somewhat related note, is it safe yet to officially dub Germany the successor to Texas’ Eastern District — patent trolling capital of the world?