Tablet PC News

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The Blackberry Playbook is still relevant for a small segment of tablet owners. It was the only tablet Blackberry ever released and even though its getting long in the tooth, people still swear by it. One of the most common tasks any longtime user will have done is sideloading their own apps. When you use 3rd party tools like DDPB or the Chrome plugin some apps don’t work and you get errors. The most common ones is -9 and -12, but does that even mean?

Blackberry ceased to support the Playbook with firmware updates and does not maintain their app store anymore. This puts the tablet owners in a position of having to convert the the files themselves and manually load them on their device. The process is easy with the online tools we downloaded, that allow anyone to take an APK file and convert to a Blackberry friendly BAR file.

The most common error code users see when installing apps is Error code -12. This means that the app was designed for a higher version of Android and will not work on the Playbook. The Playbook only has Android 2.3 emulator, so anything that is not backwards compatible will fail to install.

Error code -9 means that specific libraries are not available and are required. This can be due to the app needing an external Data file (OBB) and the emulator does not install them in the right place. In other occasions it may require Google Services.

If you are new to converting apps or sideloading in your own apps not only for the Playbook, but ANY Blackberry 10 enabled device, see what all of the fuss is about.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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fire-hd-kids-tablet

Amazon has been focusing on making their entire lineup of tablets family friendly. In the last few years they have developed a system called Freetime, which automatically blocks access to the Silk Browser and Kindle content stores, disables location-based services, in-app purchases, or social features, and requires your parental controls password to enable or disable the feature. Amazon also unveiled Freetime Unlimited in 2012, which is a subscription based service that lets parents download thousands of movies, television shows, books and apps for a low monthly fee.

Amazon has packaged all of this into the brand new Fire HD Kids Edition, which spec wise, is exactly the same as the Kindle Fire HD6 and HD7. The main difference is the rubberized padding that spans the entire circumference of the tablet. This is an accessory that is shipped with the tablet and is not built right into it.

Today, we unbox a brand new entry into the Amazon product line, the Fire HD Kids Edition. We show you everything that comes in the box and power it on for the first time.


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Apple seldom gives people a reason to upgrade to each new iteration of the iPad. The last major breakthrough was the Retina Display that made its way to the iPad Mini and iPad 4. This allowed readers to enjoy high-definition comics, magazines and digital media that Android users have been asking for awhile. Is the iPad 2 a worthy investment if you already have the one that launches last year?

Hardware

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The iPad Air 2 managed to shave off 18% off the thickness from the first generation Air; it’s now an almost impossible 6.1mm thick, and 1.4mm slimmer than the original iPad Air. At 437g, down from 469g, it’s one of the lightest large-screen tablets on the market.

Apple’s iPad Air 2 contains a new chip called the A8X, an SoC that’s faster than the A7 in the original iPad Air or the iPad Mini 2 and 3 and the A8 in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple would only say that the chip’s CPU is about 40 percent faster than the A7 and that it has a GPU that’s 2.5 times faster. It also has 2GB of RAM to keep things speedy on a hardware level.

In practice, the iPad Air 2 is capable of running programs usually seen on laptop computers. This includes the impressive video-editing capabilities of iMovie and the newly launched app Replay that synchronizes photos and videos to music. The processing boost also comes into its own when playing big-name games like FIFA 15, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, or the 1GB download Asphalt 8: Airborne.

One of the new features, not found on an Apple tablet before is Touch ID, the easy-to-use fingerprint reader introduced on the iPhone 5S, which makes security better and is needed to use the new Apple Pay service for buying things without using a credit card or typing in a credit card number. Apple Pay only works when making in-app purchases online, not in stores. Could you imagine waving your tablet around in a store? Anyways Touch ID is even more useful now than it was before; iOS 8 enabled third-party developer support for the fingerprint sensor, so you can use it to access sensitive account information or passwords.

When it comes to cameras, I can’t stand to take photos on my tablet. I have been using iPads since they first came out and buy each new generation. I don’t think I have ever taken a single picture, but than again I am likely not the target demographic. The iPad Air 2 steps up to 8MP resolution, whereas the iPad Air 1 only had a 5MP rear facing camera. The new camera has a Image Signal Processor (ISP) as part of the new A8X chipset. On the software side, the new camera comes with Burst Mode, as well as slow-motion video capture in 720p at 120fps. There’s still no LED flash on front or back this time around, however.

Here’s what the iPad Air 2 doesn’t have: A higher-resolution screen, a bigger screen, longer battery life, a snap-on keyboard, Beats Audio, better speakers,or a lower base price.

Apple Introduces new SIM technology

Apple-SIM

Apple has introduced a new way to change carrier companies for data plans without having the swap out the SIM card. This convenience is limited to just a few countries and carriers at launch — Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T in the US and EE in the UK — but over time, the selection of willing operators may improve.

The way this works is an option in the settings menu for internet access. You can change who you deal with on the fly and the SIM is automatically changed to the carrier you want to deal with. This may pave the way for incentives to keep people loyal or special events to get everything to switch to your company at once for a limited promotion.

Display

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The Apple iPad Air 2 has a staggering resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. Nothing much has changed since the iPad 4 and this tablet is still the flagship model that companies turn to, for HD content.

For example, Comixology a few years ago developed a new HD comics standard called CMX HD. This dramatically increased the resolution and vibrancy of digital comics. SD comics often take up about 80 MB of storage, but HD editions often are as large as 300-400 MB. This is a privilege only Apple users enjoy, and has still not crossed over to Android, due to the fragmentation of screen sizes and varying degrees of resolution.

Apple was able to ultimately trim down the iPad by using a laminated, optically bonded, no-gap display similar to the ones used on the iPhone and even the Microsoft Surface tablets. Not only does the new panel save vertical space by eliminating any gaps of air between the display layers, but it also makes the screen significantly less reflective. This is meant to reduce the amount of glare hitting the screen, whether you’re reading in direct sunlight or watching movies under harsh fluorescent lights. I’m happy to report that it works as advertised

Wrap Up

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The iPad Air 2 is not worth the upgrade if you already have the Air 1. Aside from the enhanced hardware, better camera and Touch ID, there simply isn’t anything compelling. The Absence of NFC relegates Apple Pay to being able to make App Store purchases, without having to type in your password. This might be useful for busy households with kids, who you don’t want them racking up thousands of dollars with Candy Crush micro-transactions.

The Air 2 is worth it to upgrade to, if you have a three or four year old Apple Tablet, you will notice a dramatic improvement when it comes to reading, but you are better off buying the iPad Air 1 if you can get a good deal on eBay or your local tech store.

Basics

9.7-inch, 2048×1546 display with 264 ppi
Antireflective coating
A8X 64-bit chip, M8 motion coprocessor
8MP iSight (front-facing) camera, 1.2MP FaceTime HD (front-facing) camera
Touch ID
802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
6.1 mm thick, under 1 lb
MSRP: Wi-fi – $499 (16GB), $599 (64GB), $699 (128GB); Wi-Fi + Cellular – $629 (16GB), $729 (64GB), $829 (128GB)

PROS

Anti-reflection screen coating
Faster processing
More RAM
Wireless Connection is faster
Touch ID

CONS

Very Minor Upgrade
No Mute button or rotation lock
Apple SIM does not work in Canada or Australia

Categories : Reviews, Tablet PC News
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Google has announced a bevy of new products today, including a new phone. The most compelling new device is a tablet, dubbed the Nexus 9. It is made by HTC and the hardware will seriously give the Apple iPad Air a run for its money.

The Google Nexus 9 features a 8.9-inch display with IPS LCD technology, an 8-megapixel camera at its back, a 1.6-megapixel camera up front, and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 2.3GHz (64-bit) processor under the hood.  There is a staggering 2 GB of RAM, which destroys the iPad Air which only has 1 GB. Great sound is provided by the HTC BoomSound speakers, which is the same audio featured in the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7.

How exactly does Nexus 9 compete with the iPad Air? The PPI is higher than the iPad Air: 288ppi vs 264ppi. The Nexus 9 is also lighter than the iPad Air: 425g vs 469g and also more affordable.

Pre-orders will begin on October 17th and you can expect the tablet to start showing up in stores on November 3rd. Nexus 9 is available in either black or white and comes in three configurations: 16GB for $399, 32GB for $479, and an LTE-enabled 32GB model for $599.

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Jeff Bezos is the proud owner of the Washington Post and he is hoping to build some synergy between the newspaper and the Kindle. Within a few weeks a special version of the Post will be loaded on the new Kindle Fire line of tablets. it will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine style format.

According to Business Week the project has been dubbed Project Rainbow and is being led by Kerry Lauerman, the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com. Lauerman joined the paper as a senior editor in July to work on “an initiative focused on the fast-growing mobile readership,” according to a Post press release announcing the hire. Lauerman reports to Cory Haik, the Post’s executive producer for digital news.

Once the new Post app drops on the new line of Kindle tablets, it will also be available to read on the new $79 Kindle and Kindle Voyage. The app will also be ported over to Android and iOS, but users will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the content. Kindle owners of course, will get it all for free.

Will a free news app from the Washington Post be enough to convince people to buy the new Kindle Fire tablet? Likely not, the vast majority of newshounds do not pay for news anymore.

iPad-Air-in-Gold

The Apple iPad Air 2 is planned to be unveiled sometime in October and users will have a new color option aside from the standard silver and space gray variations, gold. The new option would bring the iPad up to color parity with its iPhone models, which have been offered in three colors since the iPhone 5S came out last year.

RBC  Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said “Apple has used color to goose sales of products many times in the past, starting with the introduction of candy-colored iMacs in 1999. The strategy has had varied levels of success. Sales of the iPhone 5c, a lower-end model introduced in 2013 that came in a range of bright colors, were disappointing.”

Sales of the iPad have declined for the past two quarters after soaring from $5 billion when the product was introduced in 2010 to $30 billion in 2012. Last year, iPad sales produced $32 billion.

Whenever any new iPad is released, it sells like gangbusters for the first six months, as Apple rolls it out to international markets. The new color option might not appeal to everyone, but if you already have a gold iPhone, it might make sense to purchase the same color for the iPad Air 2.

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iPad-Air-concept

The Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event occurred last week and already it seems that the Cupertino company is already planning the next unveiling. AppleInsiderBloomberg and other mainstream news organizations are proclaiming that another Apple event is planned for October, where a iPad Air 2 and 3rd generation iPad Mini are planned to be announced.

Aside from new iPads, Apple is also expected to use the October event to finalize the details and availability date for OS X Yosemite, which was initially introduced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. According to The Daily Dot, Yosemite will be released immediately following the October event, similar to the release of OS X Mavericks just after the conclusion of last year’s October event.

The new iPad is thought to include a faster A8 processor, anti-reflective display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, although one report suggests most of the upgrades will be limited to the larger iPad Air model.

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Pocketbook has formally announced a trio of next generation of tablets that are absolutely brimming with cutting edge specs. The company is betting that they will outshine the competition on the hardware front on the match towards the holiday shopping season.

PocketBook SURFpad 4 M (7.9 inch screen) and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L  (9.7 inch screen) models have  IPS displays with resolution of 2048×1536, and the 7-inch version PocketBook SURFpad 4 S has a resolution of 1920×1200, which is more than FHD (Full High Definition) format. The screen aspect ratio of PocketBook SURFpad 4 S is 16:10 and PocketBook SURFpad 4 M and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L – 4:3.

Underneath the hood is a 1.7 GHZ Octacore processor and all models have a  quad-core GPU for is great for fans of the latest computer games. All three devices have 2 GB of RAM for better performance, and 16 GB of internal memory. If this is not enough, you can increase it further via the SDHC and SDXC external memory cards. The 9.7 inch 4L model has an amazing 8000 mAh battery, while the others have a more modest 4000 mAh.

All models are equipped with the two cameras – a rear facing 8 MP with autofocus to create high resolution images and the front  facing 2 MP.  They also have a set of stereo speakers, one on each side of the screen. They also have 3.5 mm headphone jacks for the moments you don’t want to keep sounds on the down low.

Finally, these tablets are running a vanilla version of Android 4.4 KitKat OS. No word on price as of yet, or official release date.

Categories : IFA, Tablet PC News
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The Microsoft Surface PRO 3 and the Apple iPad Air are two of the most successful tablets in the world. Today we look at the overall e-reading experience plays out on both devices.  You will get a sense on how the eBook, PDF and digital comic experience plays out.

The Surface Pro 3 has a 12 inch screen,which allows image based content, such as magazines and comic books really shine. The one advantage the iPad has is the seamless pinch and zooming to isolate particular regions.  The Surface tends to be a little bit more sluggish when it comes to non-native apps, like Adobe PDF Reader.

The video below we look at how both of these handle the same book, same comic and PDF file. We tend to look at these devices from an e-reading prospective, because we know you inevitably read the news or read a comic digitally.


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dpt-s1 and microsoft surrface 3

Consumers and business customers often find themselves relying on PDF files in order to view and edit documents. We live in a world of Kindle Books, Nook Books and proprietary formats, but PDF’s have been the longest lived format in the digital space. Sony made the Digital Paper (DPT-S1) with the sole intention of reading and editing PDF files, while Microsoft baked the functionality into Onenote and Microsoft Reader. Today, we look at the core PDF viewing and editing experience on these two devices.

These devices have a fair amount in common, such as screen size and cost. When it comes down to it, the Surface is reliant on 3rd party apps to get the job done, and this tablet was not designed just to view or edit documents. Instead, it is a multipurpose gadget, fully capable of being your replacement PC. You will find your battery life being drained the more programs you install and the number of background processes that are running.

The Sony Digital Paper is using e-Ink Mobius, which does not draw power if you have a static image on the screen, which you are not interacting with. This gives you a solid month or TWO of battery life, which will certainly not make you a wallhugger.

The video below documents the different ways these two devices get the job done in viewing and editing PDF files. We show you the pressure sensitive pen with the Surface and the Stylus with the Sony. Onenote, Adobe Acrobat X and Microsoft Reader are the three programs on the Surface we pit head to head against the DPT-S1


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In the last four years we have seen the entire publishing industry embrace eBooks. In 2013, Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey shows that among U.S. buyers of adult fiction and nonfiction, 25% of book buyers bought an eBook and 31% of new books purchased in adult fiction and nonfiction were eBooks. e-Readers have traditionally been the best way to read these titles, because of the long battery life they provide and the lack of eyestrain due to e-paper. Sadly, it seems that the general public does not seem as enamoured anymore with these core benefits and new research points to the mass adoption of multifunctional tablets and smartphones.

Forrester’s World eReader and eBook Forecast reported in June that just five years after Amazon released the original Kindle, more than 25 million people in the US owned e-readers in 2012. But that figure is set to decline to seven million users by the end of 2017.

The seismic shift from e-readers to smartphones and tablets are seen by some to be a natural evolution of the technology cycle. Like the PDA, the digital camera and the iPod, it was once the hottest gadget around, but have now been given way to large screen tablets and high powered smartphones.

Amazon currently leads the charge in the eBook space and sells the most e-readers globally. Modern research points to them controlling 75% of the US eBook market and 79% in the UK. It did the smart thing in the companies transition from selling print books, to selling eBooks. The Kindle managed to appeal to the voracious reader, who saw the transition of book to e-book as a progression.

The most recent data from IDC shows that for Q3 of 2013 Android made up 81% of devices shipped. You read that right—four out of every five smartphones shipped in Q3 were built on Android. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS scraped by with a sad and distant second place figure of only 12.9 percent. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo are starting to all see more users employ their apps to buy and read books, than the dedicated readers. All of these companies apps are normally much easier to navigate than their hardware.

Amazon saw the writing on the wall early on and have successfully marketed their line of Kindle Fire tablets to younger users. These are the type that casually read, but normally use the device for music, movies, social media and playing games.  In 2014 the Seattle based company tapped into two new verticals, with the advent of the Fire TV and Fire Phone.  The problem the company faces is how do you transition the older readers to embrace the new technology?

Barnes and Noble and Kobo are two major players in the digital book space and in recent years have been slowly producing more tablets than dedicated e-readers. B&N recently unveiled the brand new Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook, and they continue to market the Nook HD and HD+. The only e-reader in their modern portfolio is the Nook Glowlight, released last year. Kobo primarily markets their e-readers via international markets and has created a huge demand for their legacy e-readers, such as the Kobo WIFI, Kobo Glo and  Kobo Touch. They still sell the Kobo Aura and Aura HD, but their latest offerings are 3 tablets, all released last year.

Forrester may be proclaiming that the age of e-readers is nearly over and more users have been embracing tablets, but other research is not completely counting them out. Pew Research reported that during the 2013 holiday season the rate of tablet ownership rose to 42% of American adults, up 8%  from September. Ownership of e-book reading devices like Kindles or Nooks similarly increased to 32% as of January 2014. Some 50% of adults now own at least one of these devices.

Wrap up

At Good e-Reader we have been chronicling the e-reader industry since 2008 and often talk with e-Ink, Freescale, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and a host of European companies, both on and off the record. It is quite evident that the race to the bottom, in terms of price, is still generating strong sales with e-readers. The main problem, is that the core e-reading technology is fairly static and has not really offered a compelling enough reason for people to upgrade their units. Every year, processing power, resolution and app ecosystems get stronger in tablets and phones. It is quite normal to see someone with a three year old e-reader, but seeing someone with an old Nokia flip phone or  Blackberry Bold will incur scorn.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 is currently in the third generation and has some revisements with the way the digital pen works. Cased in aluminum, Surface Pen looks and feels more like a fountain pen than a traditional stylus for a natural writing experience. Today, we look at how the Pen is able to handle drawing via Onenote.

Microsoft Onenote for Windows 8 allows users to write documents from scratch and save them to their Skydrive accounts. Whenever you click the top of the Stylus, it automatically opens Onenote. In the video below, we give you a quick overview of the day to day tasks that can be accomplished in OneNote and give you an in-depth look at the stylus.


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Amazon-Local-Register

Amazon.com today announced Amazon Local Register, a secure card reader and mobile app that provides local businesses with the tools they need to quickly and easily accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet and keep track of their growing business.  Amazon Local Register customers will have access to the Amazon.com award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, as well as in-app tracking tools.  Customers who sign up for Amazon Local Register before October 31 will also receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe on all major credit and debit cards until January 1, 2016. Additional details are available at localregister.amazon.com.

“From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support,” said Matt Swann, Vice President of Amazon Local Commerce. “We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love – serving their customers and growing their business.”

Customers can get started with Amazon Local Register in three simple steps: create an account on localregister.amazon.com, purchase a $10 card reader, and download the free mobile app from Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store or Google Play.  Starting today, the card reader is available with Free Two-Day Shipping on Amazon.com.  Beginning August 19, customers can also purchase a card reader at Staples retail locations nationwide. The Amazon Local Register card reader and free mobile app are compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and coming soon to the new Fire phone. Each customer’s first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer’s account once Amazon Local Register is in use – allowing customers to fully recoup the cost of the card reader.  Money from transactions can be deposited directly into a bank account within one business day, or spent on Amazon.com within minutes – see the website for more details.  Amazon Local Register also provides:

Exceptional value: Amazon Local Register accepts all major credit and debit cards for a low, flat rate with no hidden fees. Plus, there are no long-term contracts. Customers who register before October 31 will receive a low promotional rate of 1.75 percent per card swipe until January 1, 2016. Customers who sign up after this promotional period will pay a flat rate of 2.5 percent on all swiped transactions.

Amazon customer support: Access the award-winning, fully dedicated customer support team, available by phone and email. Plus, Kindle Fire HDX owners can take advantage of the Mayday button to connect to an Amazon tech advisor 24 hours a day, 365 days per year – for free.

Secure and stabilized card reader: A stabilized card reader limits swivel, making it easier to swipe once and go. Plus, each transaction is backed by the same services that securely power Amazon.com purchases.

Business tracking tools: In-app reporting enables a business to quickly check bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more.  All reporting is easily accessible from a smartphone or tablet and is password-protected.

Compatible accessories:  Shop for compatible accessories including cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands.  Find everything needed to build a point-of-sale system including massive selection, available at the best price, all on Amazon.com.

Early users of Amazon Local Register share their experiences:

“Amazon Local Register has simplified, organized and improved efficiency for my business.  The feature I am most impressed with is the outstanding customer support I receive any time I have a question or for whatever help I need.  The reports are easy to understand and help me figure out how my business is performing.” Erin H, hair & makeup artist

“I’m always looking for ways to reduce my business expenses. Amazon Local Register’s low price means that I can invest more in my business, while still ensuring that I’m accepting customer payments safely and securely.” – Kevin L, gallery and event venue owner

“My customers used to always ask if they could pay with a credit card and I always said no, as it always seemed too complicated to set up.  It was easy to get started with Amazon Local Register, and taking payments is a breeze. My customers are VERY happy and prefer to pay with their card.   Another benefit is that I don’t have to deal with going to the bank to deposit cash and checks.” Jannine H, massage therapist

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