RIM Reveals More Details About BlackBerry 10 (Mashable)

In May of this year RIM released a version of BlackBerry 10 to developers, providing those who attended its BlackBerry World event a “Dev Alpha” device with the OS preloaded on it, so developers would have something to help create and test apps for the new platform.

After BlackBerry World, RIM hit the road for a series of events called “BlackBerry Jam” where it passed out additional Dev Alpha devices to developers around the world.

Four months later, the company has now passed out 5,000 devices throughout all of its tours, and is closer to its final release of BB10. The first consumer devices as scheduled to arrive in early 2013.

Starting Tuesday at its BlackBerry Jam event in San Jose, RIM will be passing out a whole new Dev Alpha device to developers: Dev Alpha 2.

The devices are only available to developers who come to BlackBerry Jam events — there are five more after the one being held now — and while RIM will be offering the software update for developers who have the original Dev Alpha devices, it won’t be replacing any of the original devices with new ones.

Still not what we’re going to see on hardware-front with BlackBerry 10, the second-generation DevAlpha unit is a little closer to what we can expect on the software front, so close in fact that RIM is promising developers that the APIs they see today won’t change between now and release time.

“With BB10 we’re at the start of a new era of mobile computing,” RIm CEO Thorsten Heins said during a keynote at BlackBerry Jam Tuesday morning. “BB10 introduces a shift to true mobile computing, and that is why we’ve built a whole new platform, a new architecture, from the ground up.”

The company claims to still have “a few surprises” up its sleeve when it comes to BlackBerry 10, but it’s also taken the wraps off of a few more of the features we’ll see in the operating system. Among them:

The home screen for BB10 has been updated, allowing for a simple swipe up from the lock screen on the device to bring up the home page in something RIM is calling “BlackBerry Flow.” Once the home page is up, users can swipe through pages of apps — tap on a particular page from the scroll button at the bottom of the page to bring it up, or swipe across the screen to instantly bring up their inbox. You can “Peek” at notification you have at any time, by pulling up from the bottom of the screen.

Your inbox within BlackBerry 10 is more than just an inbox — so much so that RIM is giving it a new name: BlackBerry Hub. Within the hub you’ll be able to see emails, but also messages from BlackBerry Messenger, text messages, and updates from social media. All of the direct messages you see on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will show up within BlackBerry Hub, as well as all the @replies you receive on Twitter and friend requests from Facebook.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is updated in BlackBerry 10 with a more conversational look and support for emoticons. BBM also has multi-language text predictions, so you can seamlessly switch between different languages and still see predictive words.

Taking a page from Windows Phone, RIM is adding “Active Frames” to BB10. Much like the “Live Tiles” found in Windows Phone, the frames update with information you can see at a glance from your home screen. For instance, the weather icon will scrolls through the current temperature as well as a seven-day forecast and the calendar app shows your next event for the day.

RIM is taking the look and feel of its home screen and bringing it into groups. Active frames also make an appearance in groups, allowing you to see chats pertaining to a particular group, people who are a part of the group, and photos that have been uploaded. For instance, pictures change as they are uploaded to the group, so if someone uploads a new one then that image will change on the group’s page. Tapping on an individual person in a group will bring up a contact page for that person

RIM has also added a little more functionality to its camera app. Now you can access photos you’ve taken with the camera still up by swiping up from a thumbnail on the bottom left of the screen. That adds to the camera functionality RIM already showed off in May, specifically a feature that allows you to scroll forward and back in time after snapping a shot to capture the perfect moment in time. The feature also works for individual faces in a photo, so if one of your friends closes their eyes in a group shot, you can adjust just his or her face in your final photo.

BlackBerry 10 is still slated to be released in the first quarter of 2013. You can check out some shots of the second DevAlpha device in the gallery above.

What do you think of BlackBerry 10 so far? What features do you hope make it into the final product? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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What to expect from Apple’s October event

Simply put, the iPad mini, the smaller little sibling of the ever-popular iPad sporting a 7in screen and iOS 6. Many were hoping to here something of it at yesterday’s annual iPhone event however Apple is believed to have an event planned for late October which would set the release for around Thanksgiving for the Holiday shopping season. Rumors also suggest we could hear more about Apple’s new Apple TV/iTV box and service they have been working on. There are also rumors of a 13 in Retina display Macbook Pro and a thinner iMac omitting the optical drive.

What is missing from the new iPhone 5?

It actually really ticks me off that NFC (Near Field Communication) is missing from the iPhone 5. So much has been made of the future of NFC and its endless possibilities. Apple has been known as having the elite device on the market however their biggest competitor released a phone before they did which features NFC capabilities. Apple missed the boat with this, which sucks.

A lot of people were hoping that Apple would ditch the 16, 32, 64 GB HDD line for the iPhone line and move towards 32GB bottom line which would matched with 64 GB and a new 128 GB model. Although I would love to see a 128 GB model due to my crazy amount of pictures, music, apps, and such, I understand the choice not to adopt the 128GB model. Not adopting the model gives customers a reason to have not only an iPhone but also have an iPod in addition.

 

Year’s Worth of Textbooks Cost as Much as a MacBook Air [INFOGRAPHIC]

http://www.OnlineEducation.net

Even in our struggling economy, it’s a good time to be out of school. Textbook prices are insane, according to a new infographic, which reveals that college kids spend $900 per year on books — the exact amount of money they could use to purchase a MacBook Air.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a lightweight laptop than a stack of heavy books I may never use.

The infographic, which was made by OnlineEducation.net, attests that “publishing companies have been having their way with college students for far too long” and that the average book ($175) is the same cost as a month’s worth of groceries.

Don’t think class instructors are aware of all this, though. 77% of professors say publishers rarely or never disclose prices, so don’t blame your teacher if he/she asks you to buy a $500 book for a specific course.

Fortunately, there are ways of going around the awful system. You can opt for used books, which can be up to 50% cheaper than new ones. As to be expected, they sell out faster than new books and only comprise 25% of textbooks offered.

Some schools have a textbook renting program, and while it’s not available at all institutions, I’m guessing this is going to have to change over the next 20 years, especially with our tendency to go digital.

Almost all students say they’d rent if they could — so, publishers, please make this possible so we can put our money toward new laptops instead of books that will only collect dust on our dorm room shelves.

Created by http://www.onlineeducation.net