Google’s Next Flagship Phone to be Called “Nexus Prime”

Earlier this month, BGR reported that Google is planning to release another superphone to set the bar for the competition. Both the Nexus One and S featured insanely powerful guts, which put the average crop of available devices to shame. Apple has a comparatively tame release cycle, with great (but usually not groundbreaking) hardware. Google pushes the envelope with their Nexus line of devices, which ultimately benefits the hoards of nerds who want killer specs.

The next Nexus device has the comical codename “Nexus Prime“. The rumors that it would feature a 1.5GHz TI OMAP4460 processor and Super AMOLED HD have been confirmed, and sources claim that Google is working on a variety of 4.0 devices from multiple OEMs for different carriers, which may all be launched around the same time. As usual with their in-house devices, Google will keep carrier cruft from being installed on the OS. This has been a problem that gives Android a Windows-like ‘bloatware’ feel. Sprint plans to allow these crapapps to be removed, but currently users are stuck with them unless they install homebrew ROMs.

Android 4.0 “Ice Cream” will be a mix between Gingerbread and the tablet-optimized Honeycomb, which has a rather dramatic UI change. Both the Nexus Prime and 4.0 are pegged for a Fall release, but an exact release date has not been specified.


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Confirmed: GeoHot Hired by Facebook

Earlier this week, there were reports that iPhone and PlayStation jailbreaker George Hotz had been hired at Facebook. His recent legal battle against Sony and general authority-defiant behavior raised doubts about him settling down, but Facebook has now confirmed that he has been hired. His exact role is unknown, but since he is a developer, and knows mobile devices quite well, it’s very likely that he is working on one of Facebook’s mobile applications (perhaps the long awaited iPad app).

GeoHot has been pretty quiet on the hacking front as of late, and we’re not sure if his position at Facebook has encouraged him to go completely legit. With a batch of new iDevices on their way out of Cupertino this Fall, the jailbreaking community sure could use his help. He is known to be a bit of an egomaniac, so it could only be a matter of time before he jumps back on Twitter and wows us with another exploit.

[Read Write Web]

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AT&T Leak: LTE Data Plans

Here’s some more out of that AT&T leak that we’ve been picking through. The latest find (brought to my attention, again, by @deferom on Twitter) holds interesting tidbits about the coming plans – prepaid and postpaid – that AT&T will have to debut alongside its LTE network.

That information seems to pricing information. The document in question (titled “PSD_LTE_Tier_v2.3_11.09.docx”) is from November of 2009. However, it is very likely that the data is completely relevant. After all, building out a network to cover the entire country has to take years of planning. So, with that in mind, here’s the data:

There will be three plans. They will cost $30, $60, and $80. The data caps go from 5, 10, and 20 GB, respectively, though it seems to be significantly more complicated beyond that. For example, there are postpaid “speed boosts,” which do just what the name suggests: give your plan additional speed, instead of data.  We even have information on prepaid plans.

Without going in to the specifics that you’ll find after the break, the major news here is that AT&T will be able to throttle and charge when you go over your plans. There will also be prepaid plans for LTE laptops, notebooks, and possibly tablets. AT&T will offer speed boosts for an additional cost, but that will get you faster download and upload speeds. Those speed boosts will expire after a certain amount of time (the more expensive the boost plan, the longer it is effective).

The rest of the information (and trust us, there’s a lot of it) can be found after the break!


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Accessory Review: Scosche flipSYNC

Scosche is a company that specializes in car audio installation, and more importantly, iDevice accessories. The company produces accessories from speakers to charging cables and everything in between. The company is not as well known as other accessory competitors such as OtterBox or Ultimate Ears, but they do offer some cool knick-knacks that can be useful for one’s mobile device. The flipSYNC is a portable charging cable meant for on-the-go use. Although it lives up to its purpose, it still has some disappointing setbacks that may turn you away from purchasing it.


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App Review: Bamboo Paper

If you are an iPad owner, a thought comes along about using your device for something more, something educational. Paper is becoming more like old technology, so a new generation technology should replace that. This app does exactly that. As I was browsing the Top Charts, I saw Bamboo Paper; it interested me because I am a student and this seemed like a good way to take notes. The app was basically like scrap paper that could be used to draw or take notes. The possibilities were endless because anyone from any age group could use this.


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Welcome Group Video Chat on Your iPad via Fring

iPad Screenshot 5

The developers of Fring have updated their iOS app with iPad compatibility. If you’re one of those lucky owners of an iPad 2 and enjoy video chatting with your friends, then you can now do it with all of them at once, provided that you have less than five (or you want to alternate).

In an effort to shore up its user base, Fring offers all users the group video chat service (FaceTime and Skype lack this) along with 3G (and 4G, as it says in the app’s description) calling free of charge. The only disappointment of this service is that its only available on mobile devices and not on computers.

Fring is available on the App Store for free.


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Report: Not One, But Two New iPhones This Fall?

The iPhone rumor mill is churning again with speculation about two different upcoming iPhone models. That’s because Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank is advising his clients to expect both an iPhone 5 and a mid-range iPhone 4S this Fall.

“With Nokia and RIM struggling,” Whitmore writes, “the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category).”

Whitmore believes that the iPhone 4S will be unlocked, cost around $349, and will include a prepaid voice plan for the emerging market of people who want to pay upfront for their phone plans. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, would tout faster speeds and other features for a higher price.

This speculation should be taken lightly, as Whitmore does not cite any sources nor does he have any inside knowledge on this topic. If this rumor prevails, and we do in fact see an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 released, which one would you rather purchase? For me, picking the iPhone 5 would be a no-brainer.

[Story: CNN | Image: Yutaka Tsutano]

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Apple Steps Up Their SHSH Game, Combats Downgrading and Jailbreaking

Those who depend on falling back to a previous version of iOS to jailbreak may be in for a shock after they update to iOS 5. Starting in the newest version, you may not be able to downgrade to a jailbreakable OS with saved SHSH blobs. This is by way of MuscleNerd, who then wrote a post on the Dev-Team Blog about the issue:

Those of you who have been jailbreaking for a while have probably heard us periodically warn you to “save your blobs” for each firmware using either Cydia or TinyUmbrella (or even the “copy from /tmp during restore” method for advanced users).  Saving your blobs for a given firmware on your specific device allows you to restore *that* device to *that* firmware even after Apple has stopped signing it.  That’s all about to change.

Starting with the iOS5 beta, the role of the “APTicket” is changing — it’s being used much like the “BBTicket” has always been used.  The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t depend merely on your ECID and firmware version…it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number).  This APTicket authentication will happen at every boot, not just at restore time.  Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.

If you have the SHSH blobs for a pre-iOS 5 version of iOS, then you should always be able to downgrade. However, after iOS 5 has been the dominant operating system on the market for a while (say, a year or so), then there’s a good chance that you will be pressured to upgrade to iOS 5 because of app incompatibilities.

MuscleNerd does mention the following in the post:

Note: although there may still be ways to combat this, a beta period is really not the time or place to discuss them.  We’re just letting you know what Apple has already done in their exisiting beta releases — they’ve stepped up their game!

Even if they have plans or methods to get around the updates that Apple is imposing, discussing them when things could change so quickly and easily is never a good idea. We’ll keep you informed; there’s a possibility that after iOS 5 comes out, a new tool to use when downgrading will be released.

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Headphone Review: Yurbuds Ironman Series

Yurbuds is a company that specializes in active earphones for the on-the-go trainer. This is an area that isn’t as covered in the headphone world since not too many companies deliver headphones designed specifically for outdoor, training use. Yurbuds are designed by triatheletes for anyone who needs their music to pump them through the next mile. Do the Yurbuds have what it takes to keep up with other headphones?


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Report: Geohot Working For Facebook

George Hotz, the well-known iPhone hacker otherwise known as geohot, is reportedly now working for Facebook. Hotz became the center of attention when he was involved in a recent Sony lawsuit for hacking the PlayStation 3. Techunwrapped is reporting that Hotz has been working for the social networking giant since May and announced it to his Facebook friends on June 17th, 2011. Joshua Hill of the Chronic Dev Team, known by his alias p0sixninja, recently confirmed in an interview with MyGreatFest that Hotz is in fact working with Facebook and that it is the reason why he has been so quiet since the Sony lawsuit ended.


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