Google has purchased Toronto-based PushLife, which helps people easily sync their music collection stored on their PC with their mobile phones, including BlackBerry and Android devices. The software works with either iTunes or Windows Media Player. TechVibes.com is reporting that Google paid about $25 million for the three-year-old company. A Google representative did not comment on the terms but said: "We believe the team has a wealth of experience building cool mobile applications, and we think they'll make a great addition to our mobile team."
So, I got a Nintendo 3DS roughly three weeks ago, ahead of the officially released one that's now in stores everywhere. Nintendo's handheld is in the wild, and while I've used mine a fair amount, I'm curious how those not in tech journalism feel about the product.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the 3D effect on the 3DS, but I wondered whether 3D would be a gimmick whose appeal faded quickly. Much like any shiny new gadget, there's a quick fascination period that tapers off pretty fast, especially if you're the type (as I happen to be) who plays with a lot of gadgets over the course of any given month.
Several weeks in, here are my observations.
I (almost) never use the stylus. The DS' chief appeal, along with dual screens, was its touch element. The 3DS still has a stylus and a lower touch screen, but the stylus is tucked away in the back behind the display, instead of easily accessible on the side. Maybe this was a wink of acknowledgement on Nintendo's part, because so far I've barely used touch. Why? Because I'm too busy staring at that big 3D screen, that's why.
The addition of a great analog pad also means I'm far more likely to use physical buttons. The 3DS is an immersive portable experience, and I'm far less interested in pulling back and tapping away with a stylus. I think most 3DS games will make little to no use of that touch capability, except in cases like Super Street Fighter IV, where virtual lower-screen buttons are simply pressed with a finger.
Another ding for Ping.
When Apple rolled out iOS 4.3 a couple weeks ago, it quietly added a few features to the widely reviled Ping social-network service: push notifications for comments and follow requests, parental controls, and so on.
Soon after, many users started reporting a sizable drop in iPhone, iPod, and/or iPad battery life--and it wasn't long before Ping began to emerge as the culprit.
Fortunately, as reported at Pocket-lint and elsewhere, there's a simple fix for the problem: turn off Ping. Here's how:Tap the Settings icon. Tap General, then Restrictions. Tap Enable … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer e-mailed questions from our readers. This week there were questions on upgrading OS X for use with iLife, transferring bookmarks from Safari to Firefox for the iPad, increasing the size of interface elements in OS X, and managing blinking question marks when installing OS X. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few answers here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: Upgrading Mac OS X to run iLife MacFixIt reader "Henry" asks:… Read more
Not so long ago, Nintendo was king of the hill in video game land--especially when it came to handheld games. Back in those magical days, the Nintendo DS was the pinnacle of kid-friendly fun, and even casual gaming for those who normally didn't find games appealing.
Then came Apple. While some might debate the quality games in the App Store versus offerings for the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP, the success of Apple's seemingly endless supply of cheap games has been undeniable. Nintendo even acknowledges that Apple is its chief rival, now.
Enter the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's next-gen 3D handheld. Can it change the equation and recapture the Nintendo magic--and, most notably, kid appeal--that's worn away a bit in the wake of shiny gadgets like the iPhone and iPad?
The 3DS goes on sale in America on March 27, and it's been on shelves in Japan for weeks. We've reviewed the system already at CNET, and I've been playing around with one for the last six days, along with a handful of launch games.
At this year's GDC, Nintendo delivered a keynote literally across the street--and on the same day--as Apple's iPad 2 unveiling. Nintendo's focus on handheld gaming has had to take into account the meteoric rise of Apple's App Store. The App Store redefined the landscape of game pricing and effectively stole some of the casual-gaming crowd from Nintendo. Now that the 3DS is about to arrive, can it help fix what Nintendo's been missing?
After a week playing with one, my feelings are mixed. The 3DS has technical tricks up its sleeve that no iDevice can lay claim to yet--namely, its 3D camera and glasses-free 3D screen--but 3D is a divisive technology. Some people prefer their entertainment without a third dimension forced onto it. Also, Nintendo has been intent on not using 3D as an essential element in its 3DS games, making it a less integral technology than motion control on the Wii. The system has its advantages, and it has impressively improved graphics, but that alone isn't enough.
If the Nintendo 3DS is to effectively answer back to the juggernaut of affordable, diverse iOS gaming and offer up a convincing alternative, this is what I think it still needs to stand a chance.… Read more
I have two Android-powered smartphones in my house: the Virgin Mobile Optimus V and Virgin Mobile Samsung Intercept. If you asked me to describe their battery life, I'd say mediocre and terrible, respectively. In fact, the Intercept barely lasts a day, even with little use. My wife, the one who's using it, is about ready to chuck it in the pond.
I think I've found a way to save it from that watery grave. JuiceDefender is a free app that promises "extra hours of precious battery life." And you know what? It delivers on that promise.
The app works some simple but clever magic: Whenever your phone goes into idle mode (i.e., its screen is off), JuiceDefender disables battery-draining items like 3G and Wi-Fi. Turn the screen on again and the radios spring back into action.
The app also throttles back the CPU and "manages" your apps, though it's unclear in the free version what's being done to which apps. You'll almost certainly want to invest five bucks in the UltimateJuice companion app, which opens the door to a wealth of power-management options and settings.
But even without it, JuiceDefender works wonders--at least on these two phones. At the end of the day, the Android 2.1-powered Intercept was not only alive and kicking, but showing a good 50 percent left on the battery.… Read more
Editors' note: The video battery results for the Motorola Xoom were corrected from the original post. The original post contained results not in line with our final testing methodology. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
During the deluge of iPad 2 coverage last week, you may have missed CNET's handy tablets table. In it we gave an overview of the major non-Windows tablets already released and those soon-to-be released.
For the few tablets we actually have in the CNET Labs, we're able to go a bit more in depth with what each has to offer. … Read more
Consumers eager to pick up a version of Motorola's new Xoom tablet without the pricey data plan and two-year contract could get their wish courtesy of Sam's Club.
A series of photos and news reportedly coming from the retail chain's annual "Year Beginning" meeting this week point to the upcoming Wi-Fi-only Xoom popping up in its stores at a price tag of $539, according to DroidLife.
The photos offered up by DroidLife show a display filled with Xoom product vouchers and a sales sign above sporting the $539 price.
But zooming in on the sign … Read more
Apple has released a small update to its popular iWeb Web site creation software. The update is a small bug-fix release that addresses iSight movie widgets not working properly on some Mac systems, and fixes problems with uploading Web sites via FTP.
The 177.12MB update is available for download from the iWeb 3.0.3 update page, but should also be available through Software Update for those who have iLife or iWeb installed. The size of the update may be different when downloading through Software Update.
The update requires at least OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.… Read more
CNET Editor Antuan Goodwin shows you how to boost the battery life of your Android device.