Not to be outdone by
Nokia's Windows Phones, HTC has unveiled a pair of handsets that can truly compete in the growing anti-Android movement. Like Nokia, the handsets come in high- and mid-grade varieties, and, as the WinPho 8 handsets seem to be going, they are very colorful.
The high-end handset, the
Windows Phone 8X, has all of the features you have come to expect from HTC. It has a 4.3" screen, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB and storage and an 8MP camera. The list of features that sets this phone apart from the rest of the Windows Phone 8 field so far is just as long. First, the handset has got an ultra-wide front camera lens, allowing for larger photo area without having to get the phone farther away. It's perfect for those self-shots, like those looking up Facebook pictures. The handset also incorporates a variety of colors, similar to the Nokias, but not the same palette. In fact, the colors that have been chosen, again matching the OS color scheme, really make these handsets pop in a great way.
Also, not to be outdone by Nokia partnering with Monster for new headphones, they have included Beats Audio for the first time. If you have handled a device with Beats Audio included, such as the
HP TouchPad or HTC Sensation, you know how incredible the sound is. Since those early devices, the quality of the implementation has improved, ensuring deep sounds stay deep.
Does the 8X seem too big of a phone, or maybe the unannounced price is too high? Hit the break to find out about the smaller, 8S, and to see pictures of the handsets.
If you would have asked me before today if Apple's Ping service was still around, I would have laughed and told you "no." After their awful attempt at a social platform had
severe amounts of spam and malicious code plaguing it since it debuted two years ago, I was in shock when I heard it was still around and people were still using it. However, the sheep will always need to be milked, so I suppose it isn't too surprising.
At any rate, shortly after E3 we were told Apple would finally be killing off what life Ping had left, however they did not say when. Luckily, that question was answered this week as Apple announced it is ending the social service on September 30th. Last month, CEO Tim Cook even said,
We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said 'This isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into.'
Well, there you have it then. Remnants of Ping have already escaped from the Internet and all that is left is a Ping link on the iTunes client that tells you it's going away in just a few days. Facebook Music never worked on the platform, your privacy (or lack thereof) was worse than whatever Zuckerberg could possibly come up with on his worse day and, let's just be honest here, Apple isn't a very "social" company anyway. Actually Zuckerberg now is going to be working with Apple and Facebook will insert its way into every asset of the new iTunes software, analyzing each note of every song you have in your library to tell the world of your infatuation with Selena Gomez. You will now also be able to use the Facebook "like" and "share" options for each song in the iTunes catalog.
Is anyone sad that they won't be able to use their favorite iTunes feature anymore? Nobody? Yeah, we kind of had the same sentiment. So Ping is done. Perhaps
this is the beginning? I guess it's off to Spotify we go, where you can be social and listen to music without the fruit looking over your shoulder. It's okay, play that latest song by the Jonas Brothers.
Holiday season is right around the corner, and you know what that means: new consoles! For Sony, however, it appears that they've taken a slightly different approach to the term new. If you recall, a few months back we saw a
new generation of PS3s appear under the codename "Orbis." Now, while some might have thought this would be for the next-generation of Sony console, most believed it was a slimmer, sleeker, sexier version of the bulky PlayStation 3. Not to be outdone by Nintendo, today Sony officially went on record to announce this new console just in time for your Black Friday shopping.
What will the new PS3s cost you and what great flavors will the new Sony product come in? The details await you after the break.
Aside from making gamers wait for the elusive
Episode 3 and purposely poking at us with Black Mesa Source, Valve always has something interesting up their innovative sleeve. After rumors of the Steam Box turned into the company denying us any announcement at E3 (aside from ), the gaming community was left wondering what would be next for Valve.
This week, Valve's mission of becoming a literal household name started to come to life as they launched the beta edition of "Big Picture" mode for Steam. Now currently offering
more than just games, the Big Picture interface moves the Steam platform off the PC and into living rooms everywhere. Looking similar to the attractiveness of the Xbox 360 dashboard, large, bold fonts with rectangular tiles will fill your HDTV, allowing users to view the new interface away from your computer chair. Navigating the new Steam user interface is now done with a game controller instead of a mouse and keyboard, using triggers - like on the 360 controller - to move from tab to tab. It kind of looks like a hybrid of a PS3 and Xbox 360 controller, except made by Logitech.
Of course, the built-in browser still exists too, so you don't ever have to leave Steam to surf the web. Valve calls it the world's first first-person web browser.
Browse your way across the internet with reticle-based navigation, tabbed browsing, and your favorites saved to the cloud, all just a button press away.
For more on the Big Picture version of Steam, including images of a very interesting on-screen keyboard, get with us after the break.