AppleInsider writes today that Apple?s forthcoming iOS 6 software, due for launch on September 12, will have among its many features, built-in compatibility for ?Made for iPhone? hearing aids. In addition, AppleInsider notes that two new patent filings from Apple in the US, just published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, show Apple?s possible future plans for this feature. The first of the two patents is a ?hearing assistance system for providing consistent human speech,? and is designed to help people who use hearing aids who are struggling to listen to someone who is speaking with inconsistent speech patterns, or who generally speaks in a hard-to-follow way, which hearing aids can have trouble picking up. The patent outlines how an iPhone or iPad could be used to take this inconsistent speech pattern, convert it into text, and then in turn convert that text into more consistent computer-generated speech that is easier for a hearing aid to pick up.
The second patent, as described by AppleInsider, involves an alert system that would give the user either audible or visual alerts when something like a doorbell or a fire alarm sounds. Intriguing stuff and great that Apple is looking to make life easier for people with hearing problems.
Source: Apple looking to refine hearing aid output, add customizable alerts with iDevices
CNN has obtained details on al Qaeda documents, encoded on a porn video, that help shed light on future plans, including the seizing of cruise ships and attacks on Europe.
Google CEO Larry Page wandered into the touchy territory of Android tablets during this afternoon's investor conference call. That's, of course, relevant because while there are 5 bazillion models of Android tablets out there, none has really come anywhere close to the popularity of the iPad. That, and longstanding rumors have Google putting out its own tablet this summer, likely on the 7-inch side of things with a price that may or may not compete, depending on which rumor you go by.
So did Page shed any light on what might or might not be coming? Not so much.
Here's his answer:
I think that we're very excited about tablets. I think, you know, there's a number of Android tablets out there. Obviously, we have strong competition there as well. I think you've seen us really invest substantially in things like Google Play, which really gives you great access to entertainment, media, books and videos and so on, as well as the apps. And we think that's an important component on what we're doing.
I think there's also, obviously, there's been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that run Android — maybe not the full Google version of Android. But we definitely believe that there's going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market, as well, with lower-priced products that will be very significant. It's definitely an area we think is quite important and that we're quite focused on.
Not that we expected him to blurt out future plans or anything. Far from it. But you can't help but wonder that that says about the current state of Android tablets when Google's CEO trumpets the low-end ones that do more to muddy the waters than propel the ecosystem forward.
Now that the new iPad release is behind us, Apple is looking to the future iPhone 5 and other devices. What will they come packed with? What amazing technology will they bring? A new patent seems to reveal a glimmer of their future plans.
Apple might be developing a process of bonding plastic and metal parts in order to build more solid portable devices like the iPhone and iPad. The patent in question is called ?Ultrasonic Bonding of Discrete Plastic Parts to Metal? and describes the process in which a piece of plastic is melted upon a metallic surface thus fusing them together.
"Any desire to substitute metal parts in for plastic parts in a design where welding is the mode of attachment has been traditionally impossible. This serves to limit the abilities of designers with respect to the materials that can be used in a particular design, such as for the housing and internal features or parts of an electronic device having complex internal features."
The idea Apple is trying to work with is using the metal surface to create a surface to better bond the plastic materials. The new technology could be used in a series of external metal parts and internal plastic parts, increasing the flexibility and durability of the product tremendously. The new technique could be applied to the production process as well.
The technology behind the application was devised by Christopher David Prest and Douglas Weber. The patent was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 2011.
Source: Apple wants to improve bonding of plastic and metal in building new iPhones
Beluga has quickly become one of our favorite group messaging/chat/IM clients on Android, so much so that we gave it the old college try during CES in January — not exactly a time to be testing anything for the first time. But the secret’s out, Belga’s a hit — and it just got purchased by Facebook.
The good news is that nothing’s changed yet — Beluga’s "Pods" remain, and the service is a cool as it ever was. Here’s the official word from Beluga’s blog:
Since launching Beluga, we’ve appreciated all the enthusiasm and positive feedback from our users. We’re excited to continue to build our vision for mobile group messaging as part of the Facebook team. Beluga and Facebook are committed to create new and better ways to communicate and share group experiences.
For now, Beluga will continue to function as it does today. Your Beluga account and data will not be lost. We’ll be providing more details on future plans for Beluga in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
It’s not too big a leap to imagine Beluga being integrated into Facebook chat. Question is will we still be able to use it outside of the Facebook ecosystem. We’ll know when we know. [Beluga]
Facebook buys Beluga messaging app posted originally by Android Central
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The Samsung Galaxy S2 rumor has been floating around the internet for several months now. It’s been discussed by Android enthusiasts at various blogs, and in our own forums as well, and generally written off as an Android phone-geeks dream. Have a look at it’s supposed specs:
Its supposed release date is Q1 2011. Why are we revisiting this now? We’ve seen HTC’s new hardware in the Desire HD and Desire Z/Vision, and Motorola has shown us the Droid Pro and Droid 2 Global, but Samsung has been quiet about their future plans for a high end phone. I’m sure they have something in the works, and Samsung likes to go big in the hardware department. I’m pretty certain that this isn’t really the next Samsung Android phone, but I have to wonder how close they can get. I’d buy it, and I’m sure more than a handful of you guys would, too. [itrans (Russian) via UnwiredView]
Posted originally at Android Central
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