Twitter App Joins Windows Design

After months of delay, Twitter has announced the release of its updated app for Windows Phone. The app now provides full support for Live Tiles, a feature that is exclusive to Windows Phone. Moving forward, Window's Phone fans will be able to access their preferred Twitter account and pin it specifically to the phone's home screen. This enables users to access tweets from the phone's home screen without activating the account directly. This provides quick access to the Twitter account should you choose to delve deeper. The Tweet and Search icons grace each of the apps pages making a specific search easy to accomplish. Tweets can now be sent out from anywhere.

In addition, features will include Share charms, Snap views, Live tiles and Notifications that is native to the app's platform. The Share charm on Windows 8 permits the sharing of photos. Links and other apps as well as Internet Explorer 10 sync directly to Twitter. The twitter app provides a “Snap” view that displays a single column of tweets when its docked. That means multitasking users will be able to participate in Twitter conversations, watch streaming video and read the news simultaneously. The Snap view gives users the option of adjusting screen size to 1/3, 2/3's or full screen format.

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Smart Phones Made Affordable

Given the obstacles encountered by Samsung's latest entry to the Windows 8 smart phone market, Odyssey is an appropriate moniker for the device. However, a favorable reception could turn around Samsung's lagging Windows phone sales. The Odyssey will join the likes of the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumina 822 at Verizon to lure customers with a broader selection of Windows phones from which to choose. It clearly lacks the panache of the Nokia or HTC devices. But at a price of $49.99, it is in for a slog as it attempts to keep Samsung competitive in the in the combative Windows Phone arena.

The Samsung ATIV Odyssey is positioned as a middle-of-the-road Windows phone. The Odyssey's hardware provides an ergonomically-friendly feel. The Odyssey’s dimensions are a trim 2.5x4.82x.43 inches and hits the scales at 4.3 ounces. The exterior is gilded with chrome accents and a brushed metal gray case. The button placement is much like the Focus 2 layout as well. It enjoys a Super AMOLED screen protected by a gorilla glass 2 screen, NFC support, call blocking, Data Sense and a respectable battery life. The device includes a microSD card expansion slot for those of us who can't live within the 8GB of storage. While it's functionality is perfectly adequate, it lacks any features that differentiates it from some of the flashier entrants. The Odyssey is being compared to the Samsung Focus 2 in similarity. This comparison detracts from the kind of innovation that customers are looking for in the newer phones.

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Reach Out and Touch A Lenovo

Lenovo is riding the Window’s 8 wave with touch screens being introduced to many of its laptop lines along with an all-in one PC model. Lenovo is planning on upgrading its U310 to touch screen. It will be available for about $779. The upgrade was introduced to the CES 2013 Show in Las Vegas to favorable reviews. All of the upgraded models will be equipped with a10-finger multi-touch functionality.

The all-in-one mode, the IdeaCenter A730, garnered most of the attention at the show. It features an optional high resolution display that enjoys a hefty 27” diagonal with a frame that’s only one inch in thickness. The screen is engineered to swivel anywhere from -5 degrees to 90 degrees. A big trunk comes standard with a storage capacity of much as 1 TB. It’s being priced at $1,499.

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Old Tech Company, New Tricks!

Just when you thought the smart phone market has pretty much been flushed out, along comes an entry with new features that quickly gets the competition’s attention. Microsoft’s Windows 8’s new introduction to the highly competitive smart phone market proves that you can teach old tech companies new tricks. The design of Nokia Lumina 920 breaks new ground in design, functionality and quality. This is Nokia’s third effort to introduce a Windows smart phone and bring it successfully to the market. Nokia and Microsoft both bet the farm on the success of the Lumina 920. Based on early public feedback, the gamble may have paid off.

The first thing you notice when you cradle a Lumina in your hand is that it is a big device. The Lumina 920 weighs in at a hefty 6.5 oz. By comparison, the iPhones 5 is 3.95 oz. Although the phone’s weight and girth might initially appear to be daunting, one quickly assimilates to the size and heft. The polycarbonate handset has a 4.5 –inch Gorilla Glass display with a sculpted bezel that gives the device a unique look that’s often lost on many of today’s proletariat designs that share a sameness to them. The rounded corners definitely give the polished handset an unusual look.

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Microsoft's Windows 8 Launch Party

Get out your party favors, Microsoft is finally ready to party down with what the company describes as its “Next generation OS.” Appropriately dubbed Windows 8 OS, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer compared the launch of the Windows 8 as the most significant event at Microsoft since the introduction of Windows 95 nearly 20 years earlier.

Microsoft is putting out its best china and crystal wine glasses for this bash as there is a lot at stake for Microsoft’s future, and that of its stakeholders. It is also rolling the dice with its introduction of its own entry into the crowded touch- friendly tablet market. Dubbed the Surface Tablet, Microsoft is doubling down with its ambitious introduction of its new operating system while simultaneously announcing its entrance into the highly competitive tablet market. Microsoft’s plans to join the fray are leaving its strategic business partners feeling a tad ambivalent about Microsoft' arrival into the hardware business.

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