Touchwiz for Galaxy Tab 10.1 Debuts In NYC (Hands-On!)

Today Samsung has debuted its Touchwiz UX for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the press first, then to the public later today only in NYC. The Touchwiz update aims to add increased usability, new features while making it have more of an  impact (as Samsung stated) to the user, and of course the Media Hub. Features that are the most prominent in the update include the new Touchwiz widgets, frequently-used apps that are “mini” (and can be easily accessed). The web browser has also been tuned to the likes Touchwiz, and the Quick Panel allows for easier access to things like WiFi, Bluetooth, and more. In fact, the Quick Panel will be responsible for many of the main functions, including all radio settings, notifications, and of course the time and dates. And look here: a dedicated screenshot button has been added, seen next to the multitasking icon on the taskbar.

Swype is also enabled for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is integrated. The size of the keyboard can be easily adjusted, along with the classic Swyping gestures along with normal typing. Find My Mobile is also included in the update. Once activated, it transmits GPS information (much like Find My iPhone) to a secure server and displays the map with its location to a website which would require a Samsung account. You can also ring up the tablet should you lose it in your house, as demoed on-stage.

As for entertainment, the Media Hub, Social Hub, and Music Hubs will all do the usual things Samsung hubs do in Touchwiz. There are free music tracks on the Music Hub as well as paid ones. The Social Hub has been tuned for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and focuses on general content, social networking, and just the normal email, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS streams into one, or organized streams with push notifications. Lastly, is Media Hub, which has also been optimized and tuned for the larger screen of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and allows for next-day TV downloads, movie rentals, movie purchases, and cloud syncing for all the content you’ve previously purchased, and can be shared up to 5 Samsung devices. A feature I find most interesting with the Media Hub is the progressive download feature: you can watch and download a movie or TV show at the same time.

Touchwiz For Galaxy Tb 10.1 Screenshots

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Impressions and more about the update is seen after the break!

RIM Debuts Three New BlackBerries: The Torch 9810 And Torch 9850/9860

Now here’s the problem: RIM may have just announced three new BlackBerry smartphones, but none of them run QNX, and all of them have some sort of ties to old models. However, let’s look past the negativity and just jump to some of the specs.

The Torch 9810 could be deemed the Torch 2 in many cases — AT&T will be carrying a “4G” model of it very soon, which will include a 1.2GHz Snapdragon, HSPA+ speeds up to 14.4MBps, has 8GB of storage, and can record 720pHD with its 5 megapixel camera. Following the Torch 2, the Torch 9850/9860, the latter two of which are simply GSM and CDMA variants of the new same full-touchscreen BlackBerry. Each Torch 9850/9860 has a 3.7-inch, 480 x 800 display, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor with Liquid Graphics, and a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording. All three of the smartphones run BlackBerry 7, and in the coming weeks and months will launch in 225 carriers around the world. Let’s see if RIM can pull off one, final charge to stay relevant in a smartphone industry mainly focused on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Press release after the break.

Skype For iPad Released, Then Shortly Pulled For Premature Release (Updated: Back Up In US App Store!)

Well, this is interesting. Skype for iPad was released yesterday, Joanna Stern got a late-night Skype iPad 2 call from a fellow writer, and all was well. However a few moments later Skype pulled the app, stating on Twitter that it went live early, and that it should be back up soon. When it was live and listed on the App Store, I also tried downloading it on my iPad 2, however while it was downloading, was pulled, so the download was cancelled. Here’s to hoping it comes back soon, as early opinions of the Skype For iPad were pretty darn good.

Updated: Well, I just was able to download it on my iPad 2 in the US App Store, and users are also reporting on social networks that the app is live.

Via: Skype (Twitter account), iTunes

Apple iCloud Beta Site Launches For Developers, Debuts Pricing

Apple has released an beta site for developers. It has a design very (if not perfectly) like the iOS 5 iPad edition, which I found very cool, especially when used on a laptop rather than a touchscreen device. The website has web apps for Calendar, Contacts, Mail, iCloud for Pages, iWork, and Find My iPhone. Also found out through the website are the pricing schemes for extra storage (5GB is given to each iCloud user, for free) —  10GB of storage for $20 per year, 20GB of additional storage for $40 per year, or 50GB of storage for $100 per year. Via:

Samsung Is Now Unable To Sell The Galaxy Tab 10.1 — In Australia

According to Bloomberg, Samsung will be unable to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia because of the current patents case against Apple, and until proven otherwise of the 10.1 infringing 10 Apple patents, will remain an item that cannot be sold in Australia. As Apple’s legal docs put it, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies some of the tech used in the iPad 2, as well as copying the “look and feel”. Samsung in the meantime has ceased to advertise the Honeycomb tablet in Australia and Apple has agreed that they would pay all damages to Samsung should they win the case (which has not been concluded yet).

Also, to add a more intriging turn to the entire matter, Apple “also wants to stop Samsung from selling the tablet in other countries”, however they do not specify which. Both companies have agreed to ensure the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would not be advertised in Australia until the there is court approval or the lawsuit is dropped altogether. Seems fair enough.

Via: Bloomberg

Oh, Fudge: AT&T Will Begin Throttling Unlimited Smartphone Data Users Starting October 1st

It had to come to fruition eventually: AT&T will being throttling the “top 5% of smartphone data users” who use a lot of data.  As AT&T stated, “One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans – those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period. In fact, these customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers.” They also are very careful to mention that they will not be throttling everyone, just a small percentage of users. Either way, it still sucks.

Press release seen after the break.

Google Debuts New Search User Interface For Tablets

Since Google has virtually redesigned every aspect of their business along with their products, it was time for a Google Search for tablets redesign as well. In this case, search results are simplified, have larger image previews, and new “continuous scrolling”. It will roll out to all Android 3.1+ Honeycomb users over the coming days, including all iPads (we’ve already seen the update on our Honeycomb and iOS tablets). 

Via: Google Mobile Blog