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Mobile Technology News, April 3, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Samsung in $7bn China plant move
    Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest memory-chip maker, unveils plans to invest $7bn (£4.4bn) to build a chip factory in China.
  • iBrain, a Device That Can Read Thoughts
    NeuroVigil’s iBrain may help people with A.L.S., like Stephen Hawking, communicate using advanced machine-brain interfaces.

  • Op-Ed Contributor: How China Steals Our Secrets
    Foreign hackers are stealing America’s corporate secrets, and Congress is doing nothing to stop them.

  • Bits Blog: Does RIM’s Enterprise Plan Herald More Shrinking?
    RIM’s plan to emphasize the enterprise customer base swiftly raised questions about how the company can grow. If anything, emphasizing enterprise seemed like a prescription for shrinking more.

  • Bits Blog: Path Improves Security in Mobile App
    Path, the mobile social network, said that it had added a privacy feature to its mobile application after it was discovered that some app makers were copying address data without permission.

  • Foxconn recruiter says 2012 iPhone coming in June
    A recruiter for Foxconn’s growing Taiyuan plant may have inadvertently spoiled some of Appe’s 2012 iPhone plans. When interviewing with TV-Tokyo [past 6-minute mark], the staffer said the plant was explicitly hiring 18,000 workers "for the fifth-generation phone." He expected the phone to come out in June.

  • HTC draws Apple link as it chases ‘stolen’ One S prototype
    HTC triggered parallels with Apple’s well-known iPhone 4 prototype leak in the past week after it shut down French site HTC-Hub. The phone designer claimed that the news outlet had bought a stolen One S prototype and had allegedly refused to hand it over after multiple attempts to get in contact. The company went so far as to turn to the President of Paris’ Tribunal de Grande Instance (superior court) to order seizure under claims that it "must protect its intellectual property."

  • Samsung’s Apple-focused Austin plant poaches AMD server vets
    Samsung’s chip manufacturing plant in Austin has raised attention for hiring a significant number of long-time AMD staff who have focused primarily on servers. Newly transitioned Opteron VP Pat Patla, but also VP and Chief Engineer Jim Mergard and Senior Fellow Brad Burgess, have all left in the past year. The plant is already being run by Keith Hawkins (no direct link), who used to work at Sun.

  • Print ad for Siri comes to Rolling Stone magazine
    One of the first print ads for Siri has been spotted in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, reports Twitter user Philip Bernstein. The ad is a simple photo of a user holding the iPhone in a city environment (specifically, San Francisco) with the caption "I could use a latte" and Siri showing the results of nearby coffee shops. "You speak, Siri helps" reads the tagline, promoting the iPhone 4S as "the most amazing iPhone yet."

  • First Look: The Stunning 4.7-Inch HTC One X Smartphone
    Say hello to the One X, the most advanced, feature-packed smartphone in HTC’s new One series. We now have the One X in the Wired office, and after spending a few hours with this 4.7-inch stunner, we can report it’s definitely a king among Android smartphones.
  • Google Maps typical traffic expands to regular roads
    Google Maps on Monday answered a frequent call to widen the coverage of its typical traffic layer. Previously limited to highways and other main routes, it now includes "arterial" roads, or larger main streets often connected to or otherwise near the highways. Google Maps Android users can still voluntarily contribute periodic location updates to help improve the data themselves.

  • Biosense unveils ToucHb for needle-less blood testing
    Anemia can be difficult to diagnose without access to a specialized equipment or a trained technician. In fact, anemia kills 1 million women and infants worldwide annually. Yet anemia, if diagnosed, can be easily treated using inexpensive supplements even in poor/remote regions. Myshkin Ingawale and Yogesh Patil, co-founders of India-based startup Biosense (originally Anaemedia), were determined to use technology to overcome this barrier to delivering the minimum quality of care necessary to make sure nobody ever dies from anemia in […]
  • Oracle and Google will go to trial
    After trying to give an out-of-court settlement one last chance, judge concludes “in the end, some cases just need to be tried.”
  • iPhone & iPad peripheral ThermoDock measures body temperature without any body contact
    ThermoDock is an infrared thermometer attachment for the iphone or iPad that accurately captures temperature.
  • iBookstore to expand to Brazil within 30 days, magazine says
    The iBookstore is set to expand to Brazil within 30 days, claims a local magazine, Veja. No other details of the arrangement have been revealed, but the publication is the same one that roughly predicted when Apple would bring the iTunes Music Store to Brazil, and correctly stated that the first digital catalog by Roberto Carlos would be a highlight. The Music Store launched a few days after Veja’s December 8th target.

  • ‘Air Display’ Updated to Support HiDPI OS X Mode on New iPad
    Last month, we noted that Avatron had announced forthcoming support for the new iPad in its Air Display software that allows users to add an iOS device as a wireless external monitor for their Mac.

    With the new iPad’s Retina display running at 2048×1536, Air Display would be able to display a relatively large OS X desktop, but at very small size. But Avatron has been working to make Air Display compatible with the high-resolution “HiDPI” mode that has been quietly built into OS X. Apple has kept the HiDPI feature hidden by default due to an absence of any Macs with ultra high-resolution “Retina” displays that could use it to significant effect.



    Settings for Retina and HiDPI modes in Air Display Connect computer-side app for OS X (Source: MacStories)

    The updated version of Air Display is now available [App Store, $9.99], allowing users to set the new iPad as a 1024×768 HiDPI display, taking advantage of the device’s Retina display to display the high-resolution elements and text present in OS X Lion.

    If you have Mac OS X Lion and a Retina iOS device, now you can turn on “HiDPI mode.” HiDPI is a built-in Mac OS X feature that makes UI elements render at double resolution. It’s absolutely stunning on a Retina display. By default, Mac OS X disables HiDPI because until now, there has been no Mac display with high enough resolution. Air Display on a new iPad, with its 2048×1536 264-dpi Retina display, finally brings HiDPI to life.

    MacStories has some hands-on reports with the new version of Air Display, noting that the feature works very well without significant lag or compression visible when windows are still. When moving windows around the desktop, resolution is degraded as the app works to keep up with the on-screen movements, but for viewing relatively static content the app delivers “incredible image quality”.

    Air Display is compatible with most Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later. Notably, late 2008/mid-2009 15-inch MacBook Pro models and early 2009/mid-2009 17-inch MacBook Pro models are not compatible with the Air Display Connect computer-side application when running OS X Lion.

    As we also noted last month, Apple’s work on HiDPI mode is becoming more visible in OS X Mountain Lion, with the beta version of Messages available for OS X Lion showing some of the fruits of that labor to the public.

  • comScore: iPhones use Wi-Fi much more than Android
    iPhone owners are much more likely to hop on Wi-Fi than their Android-using counterparts, comScore found through a look at US and UK owners. About 71 percent of American iPhone owners, and 87 percent of their British parallels, used Wi-Fi along with 3G. Only 32 percent of US Android owners did the same, while 57 percent of UK Android owners do the same.

  • UK hacking accused breaches bail
    Teenager Ryan Cleary, who is accused of being part of a notorious hacking group, is held in custody after breaching his bail conditions.
  • Apple’s iBookstore Coming to Brazil in April? [iOS Blog]
    Apple’s iBookstore is coming to Brazil within the next 30 days, according to a Brazilian magazine. The iTunes Store and iTunes Match launched in Brazil late last year. Brazil has been specifically mentioned by CEO Tim Cook as an extremely important growth market for Apple.

    The launch of the iBookstore in Brazil may position Apple ahead of Amazon in the country.

    As the journalist Jardim points out, this news means that Apple could leapfrog Amazon on the e-bookstore front. While the retail company has been negotiating publishing rights with Brazilian publishers for the last few months, rumor has it that the discussions have stalled, and Amazon hasn’t yet confirmed when it will start beefing up its local catalogue.

    In addition to being a major growth market for Apple, Brazil is also one of the only countries outside China where Apple products are actually made. Earlier this year, the Brazilian government signed off on tax incentives that enable Foxconn and Apple to build iPhones and iPads in the country.

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