Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2008

iPhone Gets an i-Transplant

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The iPhone camera isn’t all that great. In fact it’s a little, how do I put this, wimpy.

The lens is about the size of a five pence piece and pixel count is paltry.

Well, fear not my friends because things have just got a whole lot better.  USB Fever have created three new lenses that you can attach to your iPhone.

I know adapted lenses for the iPhone have been around for a while.  A telescopic lens came out at the start of the year but didn’t really sell all that well. It did make the phone a bit difficult to carry around and you risked looking like a pervert if you carried it in your pocket.

Each one of USB Fever’s lenses attaches to the existing camera lens with magnets. As the iPhone’s body is plastic they’ve created  self-adhesive metal rings that encircle the lens to hold the external lens stay in place while you’re getting snap happy.

Each of the three lenses create different effects. The wide angle lens ($16.99) gives a Super Macro effect. The 2x telephoto lens ($16.99) provides, surprisingly, 2x magnification and the fish eye lens ($19.99) creates a 170 degree field of vision.

They’re all made with high grade aluminium and glass.

Samsung S8300 Emerge

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Samsung’s new touch screen camera phone isn’t out until March next year but we thought it was worthy of a promo before it hit the shops.

Those dedicated Soul fans will love this little baby.

The evolved handset features the same slider but with slimmer dimensions this time. The s8300′s a slinky 12.8 mm thick with a  relatively huge 2.8 inch touch screen.  There’s an 8 mega pixel camera along with auto focus, GPS receiver, HSDPA and DivX video support.

Duralumin bodywork, anti-scratch and an anti-finger print coating gives it the sleek lines of a sports car.

We aren’t let down by the memory either. There’s 60 MB built in, with the option of extending it to enable lots of DIV X movie-watching fun.

Shame it’s not out for another 12 weeks or so.

Money grows on texts – at least for the carriers

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Estimates by the Gartner Group predict that around 2.5 trillion text messages were sent last year. Ever since  the major US carriers consolidated and upped their texting prices earlier this year there have been investigations into how exactly they make their money. The days of them raking it in on the back of texting are coming to an end.

During the last three years, four of the major US carriers, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and the ubiquitous T-Mobile increased their pay-per-use price for messages from ten to twenty cents.  They’ve been reluctant  to talk about the profits and even after increasing pressure, exact figures have been hidden behind a tangle of legal tape.

Along with pressure for widespread transparency there have been 20 class action law suits have been filed against carrier AT&T for alleged price fixing.

In the carriers defence the texting and calling packages do offer benefits to the customer such as all you text schemes for a set amount each month and incidentally, it’s packages like these that are the chief way they make their money.

T Mobile, when they were asked about their texting profits, were keen to mention that the average revenue for all text messages has declined by more than 50 per cent since 2005. But, even with the drop in revenue the sheer increase in text message volume means that profits will always be on the up.

Couple this with the fact that it costs the carriers just as much to transmit 1 million texts as it does to transmit 100 million. Numbers increase, costs stay the same and the profits rise – it’s the perfect scenario.

iPhone nano Revealed?

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Posted on Macrumors is a very interesting early Xmas present for Apple fanboys, allegedly depicting the iPhone’s successor – the iPhone nano.

Shown next to its big brother for scale, the iPhone nano seems to be…a smaller iPhone 3G. Not exactly what the world has been clamouring for (I think the iPhone is a perfect size), but a sleek little iPod sized mobile, offered for free on a super cheap tariff, available to all networks?

Just a sales serving suggestion, but it sounds good to me!

The usual suspects to confirm Apple rumours are also coming out of the woodwork, in the form of accessories. There are tons of iPhone nano-sized case images doing the rounds, and that is how new iPods always get found out ahead of time, why should this be any different?

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Well, we’ll have to wait for the Steve Jobs-less MacWorld swansong in January to find out the truth…Macrumors is erring on the side of caution by not slapping an ‘official’ sticker on these photos!

3 UK Offers 6 Month Mobile Contract For Commitment Phobes!

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Want all of the perks of a contract deal like a free phone or decent minutes and texts, but don’t want to be tied down to one network for too long?

3 have decided to take advantage of this by offering a pay monthly plan lasting only 6 months, with a mix of 300 anytime, any network minutes or texts, free Skype, Instant Messenger and voicemail, and a 3 Skypephone, Skypephone S2 or Nokia 3120 all bundled in!

For only £15 per month, it’s another 3 offer which can’t be ignored for those on a budget, alongside their new super-cheap £9 tariff.

Samsung Offers World Record For Fastest Skydiving Text Message

I hate the Guiness Book of Records. Not because it is a testament to the most superlative and impressive feats achieved by man, but the fact that people can just make up new ones when they feel like!

Fastest game of ‘Operation’? Longest line of pizzas? Really? That’s what the Guiness World of Records has come to? What happened to the world’s fastest man, or biggest head?

Anyway, Samsung went for the Guiness World Record for the fastest SMS while skydiving during the Samsung Mobile XTREME TEXTING event. Which was the right place to do it.

Freefalling 12,000 feet over the LA desert, a group of 10 skydivers had to accurately text the following:

“The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

Real fact, that.

Check out the very expensive effort here!

The phones were then checked for accuracy once the skydivers touched down, with the whole event recorded and sent off to the Guiness people in London to approve. So there’s a chance this could all have been for nought. Let’s hope not!

Even if accepted, it will only be able to join rather than beat the current record of fastest text currently held by Jeremy Sng Gim of Singapore, who typed the prescribed 160-character phrase on his mobile phone in 41.40 seconds on February 24, 2008.

Good luck, Samsung!

Source: PRNewswire

iBoobs App Denied On Apple App Store, Victory For Taste And Decency

If you’re a fan of computer generated physics-based representations of the female anatomy, then this iPhone app may be for you. Except it’s not for you, as Apple will not approve it for distribution on their App Store.

Can’t think why.

If you’re not a fan of computer generated parts of the female anatomy, please don’t click on the above video and become offended.

We’ll never be able to see their ‘ideas for touch screen support’ for future versions of iBoobs come to pass either. That’s the real tragedy.

Source: Kotaku

Nokia 8800 Gold Arte Is Understated, Golden

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Seems like Pharrell is ahead of the game as usual, as his gold iPhone has taken at least a year to be copied by Nokia with their new 8800 Gold Arte handset.

The Nokia 8800 Gold Arte is another entry into their sub-Vertu designer stable, retaining the luxurious slider design and sleek curves of the series.

The 8800 Gold Arte features leather accents to underline the sheer opulence. The 2″ screen is made of scratch-resistant glass, and the integrated 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera has video recording at 15 frames per second. As for memory, the 8800 Gold Arte has 4GB of internal storage.

Oh, and it is plated in gold.

18 carat, no less. Prices are yet to be released, but with the collapse of the economy round the corner I’m investing in two…it’s not as though gold will ever become worthless! Oh.

Source: GSMArena

3 Launches Tariff For Less Than A Tenner A Month!

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The change in economic climate is certainly being reflected in some of the deals being offered by the networks and retailers.

First there was the sub-£3 mobile phone, and now 3 are about to offer a new tariff which can only be described as credit-crunch friendly…

From tomorrow, they will offer a mix of 100 cross network minutes and 100 texts, 300 minutes to your friends on 3, free Windows Live Messenger and a free Sony Ericsson K660i for only £9 per month!

The deal will be available both in stores and online, and leaves you with plenty more money to spend on Xmas presents!

Source: Electric Pig

Consumer Electronics Conference 2009

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As you may have read, Omio is heading off to the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas from January the 8th to January the 11th.

What I’m most looking forward to is the 2 ft high frozen margaritas. You see kids, I’m a bit of a Vegas veteran and while most the other UK tech bloggers will be felled by jet lag and the shock of such abundant and cheap booze I will remain stead fast. I’m a soldier, nothing’s going to stop getting to those exclusive mobile phone press events and reporting it to you, my dear Omio readers. So if there’s any info you want from the conference leave me a messgae here or in the CES post in the forum.

You can follow our progress through Twitter, add us, we’re omiocom.

This Christmas I will putting my body into an intensive training routine to prepare for Vegas. Instead of punching frozen hunks of meat like Rocky or doing press ups and running up steps I will be downing tequillas, going without sleep and eating huge quantities all in preparation for that Vegas experience.

Most people go into a sort of physical and mental shock when they hit Vegas, a bit like Stendahl syndrome but in a casino rather than in Florence. There is a possibility that a lot of bloggers attending the conference will all have nervous break downs due to the sensory overload. Tech blogs all over the world will be filled with incoherent, insane posts along the lines of ‘The horror, the horror’ as bloggers’ minds collapse in on themselves. But you can count on Omio to remain level headed and unfazed by this crazed neon hell.

Highlights of the conference include Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer delivering a keynote speech. Ballmer’s always reminded me of a comedy high school principal in some teen Rom-Com, he wouldn’t be out of place in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for instance. I have always admired his energetic performances,I’m going to set up a Sweat Cam, giving detailed coverage on his damp patches. As soon as I see a drop developing I’ll be straight on Twitter.

Stevie Wonder or someone is doing a speech, he’s a singer or something, never heard of him. But seriously Stevie Wonder!!! I’ve always wanted to see him even if that means watching him do a speech on mobile technology for the visually impaired.

All the major mobile manufacturers will be represented at the conference. The conference gives manufacturers the chance to set out their stall for the coming year, highlighting their plans 2009. Palm is set to have some big announcements. For a full list of exhibitors check out the CES main site. If there’s anything you’d like us to try and find out for you, please get in contact.