Microsoft Wireless TV Adapter for Microsoft Surface or Android to a TV.

Want to wirelessly share video from your Surface without worrying about whether or not your TV can handle it? Microsoft now has you covered. Its simply titled (and previously hinted at) Wireless Display Adapter can beam content from Miracast-capable Windows 8.1 PCs and Android devices to any HDMI-equipped screen. Since you’re just mirroring your output, you can easily watch movies and presentations on a grander scale without requiring explicit app support, like you do with Chromecast. The add-on should reach North America in October for $60 — a fairly reasonable outlay if you want to avoid tethering yourself to the living room set.


Motorola follows in a wrong Apple’s way? Milestone 2 found in gym?

Motorola is clearly making sure it makes the right moves on its comeback trail as its decided to copy Apple and ‘lose’ its next high end mobile phone.

The Motorola Milestone 2 – codenamed as the Droid Shadow in the US – has been found in a US gym, which is a little more careless than it slipping out your pocket after a drunken session in a San Jose bar.

The Motorola Milestone might not have been overly popular in the UK given it wasn’t offered directly by any networks, but in its US guise as the Motorola Droid it’s been a much bigger hit.

And the upgrade looks a lot better too, as it’s packing an 8MP camera with 720p HD video recording, an HDMI slot and 16GB of internal storage, with a whopping 4.3-inch screen.

Checking out

We first saw information on the Motorola Shadow going through the Wi-Fi Alliance earlier this month, and the specs all check out nicely.

Sadly Motorola cottoned on and managed to lock the phone remotely, so it couldn’t be subjected to all manner of testing first, but thankfully photos have at least made their way into the ether.

Gizmodo has previously stated that the phone will be coming in June or July (we’re favouring the latter month) in the US, so a UK release date might be slightly after that – but with Android 2.2 to sweeten the deal.


Google TV and Intel CPU snub

If Google thought it would be easy to get home entertainment companies to sign up to their Google TV project then they should probably think again.  Panasonic has become the latest company to turn their nose up at the idea of Android and Intel nesting in their HDTVs, claiming that the open-source OS’ processing demands would require too expensive a CPU to keep prices sufficiently low.

The move follows Samsung’s lead, the company having announced last month that it would be continuing with its own internet and widget platform rather than adopting one of Google’s design.  Panasonic will continue to use its own proprietary system, which allows for Netflix and YouTube access, together with basic internet-sourced information widgets, but which falls short of the full browser functionality that Google TV promises.

Still, Google may also have plans to bypass HDTV manufacturers altogether and push a set-top box that would daisy-chain in-between existing cable or satellite boxes and televisions.  However, they’re also rumored to be looking to work with media providers so as to reduce the cost of such a STB for end-users.


Oppo’s first e-reader

Known primarily as a manufacturer of award-winning HD disc-players and PMPs, Oppo has apparently decided to penetrate the ever-so-popular ebook reader market with its recent announcement of its ‘Enjoy’ reader based on the Android OS.


It’s a 6-incher, but doesn’t seem to come with any technology to knock the Kindle variants or the Nook off their e-reader perches.  The main controls seem to be the trackball on the right-side edge of the device, and touch navigation keys are numbered on the left side.

Oppo has already announced its first Android smartphone last month, so it was no surprise that its ebook reader would also be based on the Android operating system, like the Barnes & Noble Nook.  Now if these readers actually started taking advantage of the Android platform, then we’d have something interesting to talk about.


MOTO announces OLED tablets range

The MOTO Development Group is no stranger to Android – they showcased an Android-based e-ink prototype a while back – and now they’re cashing in on that familiarity with a number of new devices targeted at developers.  The MOTO Android Media Platform will eventually consist of three models – 3.5-, 5- and 10.4-inches – each with OLED displays as standard, OMAP processors and capacitive multitouch-capable touchscreens.


First to market will be the 5-inch AMP, which MOTO are positioning as ideal for PMP, PND and portable-data-terminal use.  It’ll have an OMAP3430 processor with 256MB each of RAM and ROM, an 8-megapixel camera up front and WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and optional 3G.  Capable of 720p output via HDMI, the MID has a digital compass, accelerometers and runs Android 2.0.  According to MOTO, it’s available now but you’ll need to get in touch in order to find out how much it costs.

As for the other two models, the 3.5-inch gets an OMAP3630 processor with a 3-megapixel camera on the rear, the same connectivity as its mid-range sibling, and whatever the current Android version is whenever it finally hits the market.  Finally, the 10.4-inch device has Android as an option (Linux 2.6.29 is the standard OS) and gets an OMAP4x processor, FM and GPS in addition to the connectivity of the other models, a front 3-megapixel camera and rear 8-megapixel camera, and a pen digitizer.  Apparently it’ll be available sometime in 2010. 



Android 1080p set-top box

It might not mean much to the Android smartphone lurking in your pocket (or that you’d like to have there), but MIPS and Sigma Designs have been demonstrating an Android-based set-top box capable of 1080p high-definition video.  The STB prototype is being positioned as “a major milestone toward the creation of a reference platform” for Android-powered home entertainment devices, with the two companies adding support for Sigma’s hardware graphics acceleration and decoding.


They also made enhancements to Android libraries and the MIPS architecture so that the OS could run on a full-sized display at HD resolutions, rather than the more compact handset displays on Android smartphones.  While the specific Sigma SoC (system-on-chip) used for the prototype was not named, it’s possible that it’s their SMP8640-series chip already in use in Blu-ray players, STBs and other video devices.

Meanwhile MIPs also suggest that their enhancements to Android could make it useful for mobile internet devices (MIDs) and digital picture frames too; they’ll be releasing the changes at an unspecified point in the future, as part of their “MIPS32 architecture for Android” project.  There’s still no timescale for Android-based set-top boxes based on the new technology.

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