7digital: The Newest Mobile Music Power Player for Smart Phones

7digital, the newest digital music retailer for smart phones, will be of interest to all those who enjoy music and like to keep their playlists updated. Giving tough competition to iTunes store, 7digital has moved a step ahead by announcing another big manufacturer carriage deal.

7digital, which is already being used by Samsung for its MusicHub on the Galaxy handsets, will now also be used to power downloads for 20 million HTC Android phones. This will include HTC’s flagship One, throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and Australasia by the end of 2012.

In order to have access to this new power player HTC users shall have to create an account with 7digital, following which  they can not only buy songs from 7digital but can also use their 7digital locker through 7digital.com or even rival devices.

With two popular brands, Samsung and HTC, joining hands with 7digital for their music apps, the latter is proving to be tough competition to iTunes. Partly owned by HMV, 7digital now also offers music on two of the main Android handset exponents. 7digital along with its partners makes use of API to offer this service on handsets on a white-label basis.

In the past, 7digital  depended on software and service suppliers such as Songbird, Last.fm and Tesco in order to run its white-label business. However, with mobile devices coming in, things have changed. Some of the other devices on to which 7digital supplies tunes are RIM’s Playbook, Toshiba devices and Acer tablets.

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A War of Features: Nokia Lumia 920 vs. HTC Windows Phone 8

Looks like the world definitely took a liking to Windows 8, whatever little we’ve been allowed to take a look at so far. Even as we wait for the Surface tablet and Windows 8 PCs to launch in the market, the competition is heating up among Windows-based smartphones. Last week, we brought you a story about the newly launched Nokia Lumia 920’s features and how it compares with some of the other popular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple’s yet to be launched iPhone 5. Now, close on the heels of Nokia’s announcement of the latest model, HTC has unveiled its high-end Windows-based smartphone, the HTC Windows Phone 8X.

It’s not just the timing that coincides with the Lumia 920; the HTC Windows Phone 8X even has features and specifications similar to the latest Nokia smartphone:

  • The similarities: Both these phones, based on the upcoming Windows 8 for mobiles, are powered by the same 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1 GB RAM. Both phones sport similarly designed HD displays with a resolution of 1280X720 pixels, have NFC capabilities and can run on 4G speeds in terms of connectivity. What’s more, they’re even available in identical colored cases – red, yellow, and black. While you get the option of going blue on the HTC phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 is also available in white and gray.
  • The differences: This is obviously where the actual war begins between these two Windows-based smartphones. In terms of cameras, the HTC phone has an 8MP rear camera and a 2.1MP front facing one, when compared to Nokia’s 8.7MP rear camera and 1MP front facing camera. In terms of storage space, the HTC phone has merely 16MB of internal memory, while Nokia has been pretty generous with 32GB of internal storage capacity. Even the battery of the Nokia Lumia 920 at 2000 mAh is more powerful than the 1800 mAh battery that powers the HTC Windows Phone 8X. Bluetooth connectivity in the Lumia phone is also better as it is equipped with Bluetooth 3.1, as opposed to HTC’s Bluetooth 2.1. The Nokia Lumia 920 even gets a slight edge over HTC in terms of screen size – equipped with a 4.5 inch screen, while the Windows Phone 8X features a 4.3 inch screen.

Now, from what we’ve heard so far, the Nokia Lumia 920 surely looks more promising. But we’re curious to see how HTC’s foray into Windows phones would perform in the market. They still haven’t revealed the pricing of the Windows Phone 8X, so if they price it right, it just might be able to offer stiff competition to the Lumia 920.… Read the rest

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Facebook Loses Out to Google as Top Earner

According to a report by a digital advertising research firm eMarketer, Google Inc is all set to surpass Facebook Inc in the race to be the biggest earner in the US display ads this year.

This comes as disappointing news for Facebook, as the social networking site losses out to the Web-search giant, Google, who gets distinction with 15.4 percent ad market share in the US.

This translates Google’s net display-ad revenue to $2.31 billion, up from $1.38 billion in 2011.

Meanwhile, in comparison, Facebook is expected to generate $2.16 billion in net display ad revenue this year, which accounts for 14.4 percent of the US market, just one percent less than Google.

However, the success of Google is considered due to its dominance in three top spots including Web-search ads, mobile ads, and display ads. The rising popularity of ads in YouTube and Admob has got the firm lot of clients and profit.

Google got the top spot, Facebook came second, followed by Yahoo!, Microsoft Corp. and AOL Inc.

Trying to hit off with advertising on mobile devices, the social networking site, however recently announced launching Facebook beta for mobile ad network, which would let advertisers target ads using Facebook data across the web.… Read the rest

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iMessage Malfunction Has Twitter Users Upset

Apple users now have another complaint to lodge. Following the iOS 6 and Wi-Fi goof up, they are now troubled with the functioning of the iMessage. A storm was raised all over Twitter for the common subject – nonfunctioning of iMessage!

Twitter was crammed with hundreds of complaints from iPhone users, claiming that their Apple text messaging system was not working.

iMessage is Apple’s proprietary messaging system, which works using Internet data rather than cellular networks. Using this service, users can send messages only to those who have Apple devices.

The system crashed Monday morning at around 10 am, following which many complaints were made.

The issue was taken to Apple Inc, who is working on to fix it. The firm has already fixed its iOS 6 Wi-Fi bug following complaints.… Read the rest

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Google is Top Earner in US Online Display Ads

According to a latest report by market research firm eMarketer, Google Inc is not only the major search giant but also the biggest earner in the US online display ads.

Cementing its foothold in the online advertising, Google emerged as the leader in all categories including search and mobile.

As per eMarketer, a digital advertising research firm, Google stays at the top in the market of online display advertising and accounts for around $2.31 billion in revenues, covering 15.4 percent of display ad market this year.

With this report, Google stays ahead of Facebook Inc in display, followed by Yahoo! Inc, Microsoft Corp. and AOL Inc.

Most of its success accounts for the growth of advertising on YouTube along with Admob-Google’s mobile advertising service.

The eMarketer report also indicated that there will be an increase of 21.5 percent in the overall US display ad market, which will grow to $14.98 billion from $12.33 billion in 2011.

This revelation means Google has more share than any other firm in each of the US search, display and mobile advertising markets.

Following the news, online display ad revenue of Google will rise 38 percent.

Facebook Inc will claim $2.16 billion in US display ad revenues this year, up 24.4 percent from billion last year. Facebook’s share will be 14.4 percent.… Read the rest

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Sony Turns to Playstation 3 Sales for Profits

After a weak sale of their handhelds, Sony is now depending on their PlayStation 3 game consoles to make money for its game unit in the year to March. The company is worried because they were depending on the sale of handhelds to return the company to profitability.

Sony’s new CEO Kazuo Hirai has said that growing sales in games, digital cameras, smartphones and tablets, along with new businesses such as medical equipment, will help the consumer electronics company return to profit as it draws back from money-losing TVs.

“I think we will be profitable this year,” Andrew House, the executive in charge of Sony’s gaming unit told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Tokyo Game Show on Thursday. “We have a growing installed base, growing connectivity of the PS3.”

He did not comment when asked if his division will be able to enhance on the 29 billion yen ($371 million) operating profit posted in the year ended March 31. The company recently cut its forecast for sales of Vita and PSP handheld consoles from 16 million to 12 million.

The game unit of the electronics maker is maintaining its target of an 80 billion yen operating profit on sales of 1 trillion yen in the year to March 2015. This is the target that will determine the success of the new CEO.

Sony has already slashed its earnings outlook since April after Hirai joined the company. At the same time, the company lowered its first quarter annual operating profit prediction from 180 billion yen to 130 billion yen.… Read the rest

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Facebook Launches Mobile Ad Beta Service

Facebook has been losing out on its revenue due to the lack of advertisement services in its mobile and tab apps. And therefore, with a plan to get back into the business with a bang, the social networking site launched a beta version of their new mobile ad service. With this beta version, Facebook will serve targeted ads to users even when they visit other sites and app stores.

Based on users’ likes, age and other information, Facebook will show users ads relevant to them, even when they are outside the social network.

With this mobile ad network, Facebook hopes to earn revenue on traffic, without hurting its users’ experience.

It will also give app developers and brands a powerful way to reach specific audiences that they’ll be willing to pay more than if they advertised with a less accurate ad exchange directly.

However, Facebook has not yet revealed the names of advertisers, ad exchanges, ad networks, or publishers involved.

On opening their Facebook page on mobile devices, users might see small banner ads, which will be targeted based on their biographical and social data within non-Facebook mobile iOS and Android apps along with other mobile websites where users have confirmed themselves with Facebook. Advertisers, on the other side, will set a bid with Facebook to target users as per their demographic.

Meanwhile, Facebook will sync its user IDs with other mobile ad exchanges. So whenever a Facebook user visits one of the apps or sites where these exchanges have placements, the exchange immediately sends Facebook that user’s ID and asks if there’s a bid set to target them. And in case there’s a bid, Facebook will pay the ad exchange some portion of the bid to show the ad to users.

These ads can eventually lead users to the App Store pages from where they can download the content. Currently, the social networking site is testing the app to see how users perform. The service might start later today. In case it hits off with users, Facebook could get a way of making lot of money that it recently lost in plummeted share prices.… Read the rest

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HCL’s New Ultrabook Ultrasmart ME 3074 to Cost Upwards of Rs 51,990

HCL has taken the covers off its first ultrabook, Ultrasmart ME Series 3074. Powered by 3rd generation Intel-core i3 processors, the price range of this ultrabook will start Rs 51,990 onwards.

With a sleek and stylish look, Ultrasmart ME Series 3074 will hit the retail stores next week.

This smooth and thin Series 3074 ultrabook is made with metal casing that’s less than 18mm in thickness. HCL offers it with a 39-month warranty.

Ultrasmart ME Series 3074 is a lightweight ultrabook, which is designed with future technology. It has 4 GB RAM, which is upgradeable to 8 GB. With this ultrabook, users will also get internal hard disk storage of 32 GB.

There’s also 1.3 MP VGA camera, bluetooth and integrated Wi-fi capabilities.
With a backup of up to seven hours, this latest ultrabook is designed with a superior responsive system that has an auto resume feature of less than five seconds.
HCL also announced a latest marketing campaign, with focus on print and digital media for the ultrabooks. Nargis Fakhri of Rockstar will be the brand ambassador for HCL ultrabooks.

HCL also announced launching three new next-generation devices in the next three months.

At the launch of its ultrabook, Princy Bhatnagar, Vice President and Head Consumer Computing, HCL Infosystems said, “Though ultrabooks are a niche category now, but the numbers are witnessing significant growth. We expect that from about one per cent share of the notebook sales, ultrabooks will grow to contribute about 10 per cent in the next six months.”… Read the rest

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Wi-Fi Bug in Apple iOS 6 Displeases Users

Apple is again in news, but this time it’s not hullabaloo about its latest iPhone 5, but about some reportedly Wi-Fi bug in the latest software by the firm iOS 6. As Apple customers all over the world upgraded their devices to iOS 6, they got a mixed taste of pleasure with displeasure.

There have been lots of complaints going around on the web, saying that once users launched and installed the latest iOS 6 on their devices, it refused to connect to the Wi-Fi.

There is a long thread of complaints on the discussion board at the Apple site, where users have grumbled about the failed system. Here is the link- https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4310121?start=0&tstart=0

The basic pattern of complaints seems to be simple. Once users install the software on their devices, the Wi-Fi works all right at first, but then eventually it gets disabled. Users tried to get it connected again, but then remained unsuccessful and got redirected to a login/404 page on the Apple website.

Following the complaints, Apple seems to have fixed the bug now. But were you among those who upgraded their software to iOS 6? How was your experience? Share it with us…… Read the rest

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Aakash 2 Launched at US $35, Has 3.5 mln Bookings

The cheapest of them all, the Aakash 2 tablet is all set for an October launch in India. This tablet will cost US$41.15, but after a subsidy from the Indian government, it will cost $35 a piece for students. This means, it will cost approximately Rs.1960. The tablet’s commercial version Ubislate will retail at $63. This will be available for the India public. A higher-end version of the modest tablet will also be on sale in the U.S. for $79 (pricey) but only next year.

While the previous version of the Aakash did not receive much appreciation, Aakash 2 has impressed reviewers. They say it is a much improved version of the first Aakash in all categories. The looks are better and the use of Android 4.0.3 makes it more responsive. So you will be able to access your apps much after. Where the previous version had a RAM of 256MB, the tablet now has a 512MB RAM.

Aakash 2 will come with a USB port, a card slot, 4GB on-board storage, on-board speaker, microphone and front-facing camera. This camera, however, might not be able to support video chat. The commercial version of the Aakash has a sim card slot alongside.

Officials at DataWind, makers of the Aakash 2 are thrilled with the reviews they have been getting. This tablet was built in close cooperation with IIT Bombay and the company has already lined up 3.5 million booking orders. While this number is exciting, will the company be able to deliver the number it promises?… Read the rest

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