Archive for the ‘ Net ’ Category

IE10 Preview: HTML5 First Look

Internet Explorer 10 logo

Over the last year we’ve been putting every new major mobile platform through a battery of tests to assess how they stack up as an HTML5 application platform. So far, it’s been thumbs up on Apple, RIM and HP tablets and thumbs down on Android tablets. But we’re still crossing our fingers that the Ice Cream Sandwich release of Android will make the grade.

To date, we haven’t spent time on Windows phones, mostly because the Windows Phone 7 browser was so poor that it wasn’t worth evaluating. However, at the Windows Build conference last week we got our hands on a developer preview tablet running Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. We wanted to share our first impression of the HTML5 experience. Simply put, (and with the caveat that we were running on the notably overpowered developer preview hardware) the IE10 HTML5 experience is one of the best we’ve seen on any platform to date. After a decade of web neglect, Microsoft is back with a vengeance.

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Adobe Flash Player 11, AIR 3 to arrive next month

Today, we’re excited to announce that Adobe Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be launching in early October. These milestone releases introduce the next generation of the technologies that deliver stunning content and apps to over a billion people — across screens including Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices — pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 take these even further by introducing Stage 3D, a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10. It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps, such as Tanki Online and Zombie Tycoon (see videos below). Stage 3D enables content that efficiently animate millions of objects on screen, smoothly rendered at 60 frames per second — the result is fluid, cinematic app and game experiences. Additionally, these releases deliver new features to support theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities. We’re turning the dial up.

More at Adobe

Echostar Europe now offering set top box powered by Android

Android’s march on the living room continues, with Echostar Europe announcing the HDx-200 set top box. Among the new unit’s operating system options is none other that Google’s little green robot.

The HDX-200 is designed for IPTV providers, and it’s fully DLNA compatible. It’s also SlingLoaded — that is, ready to placshift thanks to built-in Sling Media technology. It features a 1500DMIPS application processor (possibly the Broadcom BCM7420), 1GB of NAND flash and 512MB RAM, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, HDMI output, 10/100 Ethernet, and a single USB 2.0 port. There’s also a 10-pin mini DIN connector that enables RCA and SCART hook-ups.

Since Android is on board, the HDX-200 also includes the Webkit-powered Android web browser — and Flash 10.1 comes along for the ride as well. Operating power is less than 10W, and the HDX-200 sips less than a watt in standby mode. While Echostar’s spec sheet says that the box “enables the delivery” of apps, it doesn’t specifically say whether or not you’ll actually be installing any. Content providers could certainly get on board and deliver tweaked versions of their existing Android apps (like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer) — they’d simply need to make them play nicely with a remote control instead of your fingertips.

No word yet on pricing or availability, but if your broadband TV provider has used Echostar hardware before there’s a good chance you might have an Android upgrade option in the near future. While we find out whether those Google TV 2.0 boxes really are a big upgrade over the original, we can hold out hope that the folks building our satellite, cable, and broadband boxes are all working on more modern hardware like the HDX-200.

More at It Runs on Linux and Echostar

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