Nintendo debuts the 3DS XL, coming out August 19th, is not of great interest

In other news, Nintendo announced a big 3DS, called the 3DS XL. What additional value this will add is unknown to me, but it will cost $199.99 and include a 4GB SD card. The 3DS XL sports a 4.88-inch top display and 4.18-inch bottom display, and launches on August 19th in red and blue. Oddly,  Japanese and European models will ship sans their AC adapters in an effort to keep costs down, and it is unknown if North American models will follow in an identical fashion, but it would be a laughable proposition in this market.

Via: Nintendo

HTC baits the internet with an image of its upcoming voice control app

So, while big players like Samsung and Apple have S Voice and Siri, respectively, as their voice control/assistant applications, HTC has been left out of this particular playing field, and it would be a shame for everyone not to see what HTC’s crack at a voice control app would work and look like. Anyways, HTC only produces some of the best hardware and software on the market, so it would be well-timed and a smart business decision for the Taiwanese phone manufacturer to give it a shot.

Now just hopefully it will be more serious than the official photo above, which seems as if a dog is using the app. Very funny, HTC.

Update: Now HTC is stating it is mostly a joke. Hrm. Via: HTC (Facebook)

Flipboard officially released for Android, comes on every Galaxy S III

Flipboard, the best app when it comes to combining your favorite social networks, feeds, news sources, and websites into a magazine format finally debuted on Android. And while all that is nice and well, Samsung has a deal going with the team at Flipboard, where every new Galaxy S III in the United States has the app, pre-installed. And hey, it is a pretty great app anyways, so there’s no hard feelings right? Right.

Oh, and just a heads-up: Flipboard for Android, now out of its beta, has integration with YouTube and Google+. Flipboard is now available at the iTunes App Store, the Google Play Store, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Store, Amazon’s Appstore for Android, and Samsung Apps.

Samsung Galaxy S III launches in United States, units under heavy strain

While today was supposed to be the flawless debut of the Galaxy S III in the United States, consumers had other ideas: the SGS III is actually somewhat troublesome to find, as it is being pre-ordered more than any other Samsung device before it. T-Mobile is actually the only carrier with Galaxy S IIIs readily available — AT&T, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular all are releasing their Galaxy S III units “in the coming weeks”. Sprint, which was supposed to also launch their Galaxy S III today on 3G (with 4G LTE debuting later this year on the device), low supply has foiled their plans. Still, in only my 24 hours of using it, the Galaxy S III is the best Android phone on the market — but let me leave the real details for the upcoming review. Samsung’s press release is available below.

Windows Phone 8: new Start screen, VoIP, NFC, multi-core, and higher resolutions

The explanation of Windows Phone 8 is incredibly lengthy, but here’s what matters, using as much brevity with detail as possible: Windows Phone 8, in all its glory, will not be headed to older devices (like the brand new Lumia 900). In fact, older devices will see Windows Phone 7.8, a sort of watered-down version of WP8, with only a couple of the new features (like the new Start screen). That being said…

Windows Phone 8 will features dual-core processor support, VoIP calls built-in, a new Start screen, higher resolution screens, over-the-air updates, additional languages, support for NFC, in-app payments, multitasking improvements and a variety of new apps (adding to the 100,000 in the Marketplace). For enterprise solutions, there is better security and device encryption, a Company Hub, which would be a hub containing company-related apps and info. As for the upcoming hardware: Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC will all build new Windows Phone 8 devices, powered by next-generation chips from Qualcomm. All of this starts in the fall.

So, Microsoft has finally put the Windows Phone platform on par with other mobile operating systems, namely Android and iOS. But will it be enough to fuel their fire even longer? Time will tell, along with some much needed innovation from device manufacturers.

LaptopMemo Here, From Samsung’s Galaxy S III NYC Launch Event!

We’re here in burning hot and sunny New York City, just in time to attend Samsung’s Galaxy S III launch event. The device itself is featured prominently throughout the venue, including the five different things it is capable of doing that other smartphones on the market cannot — namely AllShare Group Cast, which can be used to share data and images among co-workers, then there’s ShareShot, which links up to six other Galaxy S IIIs on Wi-Fi connections and allows for seamless, nearly instantaneous image sharing. Then there’s the usual S Beam NFC sharing feature, Smart Stay (which ingeniously detects usage and stays bright during web browsing sessions), and finally Pop-Up Play, which allows for simultaneous video watching and texting (among other things). And as it has been established for quite a while now, the Galaxy S III contains a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel sensor with 1080p HD “Blu-Ray quality” recording, the fantastic 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display, and LTE in the States.

Samsung executives also made note of the Galaxy S III being their largest marketing plan ever, along with a partnership for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, as well as collaboration with AT&T.

Samsung Galaxy S III Launch Event Shots!

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During my time here, I’ve been getting hands-on time with the Galaxy S III on multiple carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, so far) and will be continuing the observations, as well as a review coming soon.

But before I sign this post off, we definitely have to say: Samsung has a winner for Android. Even a winner among all other smartphones on the market. This is some serious technology coming into one small, intelligent package.

Spotify adds unlimited free radio to its iOS app, gives Pandora a run for its money

From the 16 million and strong catalog of Spotify comes Spotify Radio — a free, unlimited feature as part of the $10 monthly plan — for those that don’t have a subscription, you’ll hear ads from Chevrolet and Heineken —  that subscribers with iOS devices spend on the music streaming service. You can simply pick a song, create a radio station from it, or listen to radio stations of other genres, artists, and songs. Spotify also is making use of its recommendation engine, so that a user can find radio stations that may be of interest.

That was all short-term benefit, however. What is in the long-term from this creation of Spotify Radio is a solid market foothold, that perhaps could even rival or triumph Pandora’s, because apparently, Spotify is on the move and wants it all. Via: Spotify for iOS, Spotify (blog)

The Microsoft Surface tablet is announced, built for Windows 8

This is Microsoft’s own crack at a Windows 8 tablet. Aesthetically, it  measures 9.3 mm thin, weighs 1.5lbs and is made of a liquid metal frame with PVD finish. The screen is of the ClearType full HD variety, measuring 10.6-inches with Gorilla Glass 2, has a built-in kickstand, built-in HDMI, front and rear cameras, a USB 3.0 (or 2.0, depending on model) port and a removable battery. Where things get really innovative is the 3mm thin cover, which doubles as a mutlitouch keyboard (and trackpad!) that is magnetically attached to the Surface. Along the Surface exists “perimeter venting”, so that your hands never cover the air vents. A digital ink pen integrates with the screen, allowing for some of the most accurate writing on any tablet, but also magnetizes to the body of the Surface so that it can be stored. Applause.

As for software, the Microsoft Surface tablet aims to be a productivity device, so that it also not only has the full edition of Windows 8, but Office as well. And since there will be another version of Windows 8 available, called Windows RT, there will also be Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro tablets. Oh, and Netflix has a Metro app for the Surface as well.

Microsoft Surface Design Shots

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Now, the differences between the two are actually rather apparent: the Windows RT version measures 9.3mm thin (vs. 13.5mm), has a 31.5 W-h batter (compared to 42 W-h in the Windows 8 Pro model), and comes in 32 to 64GB sizes (for the RT edition) versus the 64GB to 128GB in the Windows 8 Pro edition. It is somewhat complicated, but Microsoft has quite the interesting tablet set up here, either way.The chart created by Microsoft, seen in the source link, gives the full rundown as to what you get for each model.

As for pricing and availability: Microsoft kept everyone in the dark about it, but obviously the Windows 8 Pro edition will cost more. A great video by Microsoft teasing the Surface is after the break.

Via: Surface, RT edition vs. Windows 8 Pro edition