11:58 20 November 2012
Google announces new Nexus tablet
It's getting difficult to keep up with all the new tablets being released lately, perhaps proving that these devices really are the future of computing.
Google has now unveiled the follow up to its super-cheap and not-too-shabby Nexus 7, the 10-inch Nexus 10.
While Apple shrunk down its iPad and made concessions to compete for market share by releasing the iPad mini, Google has done the opposite with the Nexus 10, releasing a tablet which is bigger than its predecessor in almost every way.
Nexus 10 has a sharper screen even than Apple's latest iPad (unless they've announced another one while I've been writing this).
It has a 1.7GHz dual core processor and 2GB of RAM under its rubbery shell, making it one of the most powerful tablets on the market, and more than capable of running the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.
You'll be able to buy one direct from Google from November 13 in either 16GB or 32GB sizes. The 16GB version costs £319, undercutting the new iPad by £80. The larger 32GB model is still cheaper at £389.
Note, though, that the Nexus is wifi-only, restricting your access to the internet while you're out and about.
Virgin Media plans new VoIP app
Virgin Media landline customers will be able to make calls from any mobile network wherever there's a wifi connection, after it launches its new Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) app, SmartCall.
The app, available for selected Android handsets and iPhones, will allow anyone with a Virgin Media landline package to make calls over wifi, whether they're on O2, Three, Vodafone or any other mobile network.
Minutes spent chatting over wifi using the app will be deducted from your Virgin Media landline plan's allowance, but you'll be able to call numbers included in your home phone talk plan for free, says Virgin.
Virgin media's plans include unlimited free weekend calls to other Virgin Media mobiles and UK landlines as standard.
This could also be particularly useful if you're abroad and have wifi access, as you'll avoid roaming charges. More on that here (insert link to my other article this week).
The app is being 'soft launched' in the coming weeks and should be rolling out fully in early 2013.
Skype retires Windows Messenger
Microsoft's Messenger instant messaging service is to be retired and its 100million plus members migrated to Skype, the tech giant has confirmed.
MSN Messenger, as it was once known, was the social network of its day, allowing users to send instant messages and files to one another even in the days of internet dial-up. Microsoft bought VoIP juggernaut Skype in 2011 for $8.5billion and is going to use it to retire Messenger altogether.
Remaining Messenger users will be able to download Skype and sign in using the same credentials used for Messenger and their contacts will be carried over.
LG and Google's cheap new Nexus smartphone
The LG-built Nexus 4 smartphone is available to buy from November 13 and, given its features, is relatively (some would say 'very') cheap at £239 for an 8GB version.
Features like wireless charging, a 4.7-inch HD screen, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and Jelly Bean 4.2 software make the new Nexus handset extremely good value when bought directly from Google.
However, sign up for a contract and you'll pay well over the odds for the Nexus 4. The cheapest deal is with O2, but at £31 per month for 24 months you'll end up paying £744 over the contract term.
If you're interested, you'd be better off forking out the initial £239 and signing up for a SIM-only deal. For example, GiffGaff does a rolling one-month SIM-only deal for £10 a month which gives you unlimited texts, 1GB of data and 250 minutes of talk-time.
Cyber Monday is coming
In another horrible attempt to ape America's cool, internet retailer Amazon has announced Cyber Monday - the UK's online version of Black Friday, the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year in the US.
Amazon is predicting that Monday December 3rd will be the UK's busiest day of the year for online shopping. Last year's Cyber Monday fell on December 5th and saw delivery trucks leave Amazon's UK warehouses at the rate of one every three minutes.
Expect online retailers to be cutting prices on the stock they can't get rid of in the days around Cyber Monday and perhaps even offering the occasional genuine bargain. If you have any favourite online retailers, now would be a good time to sign up to their email alerts to get wind of the sales first.
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