iPhone 5 shell photographed

The iPhone 5 is not coming out for months, but one site thinks it has already found its shell.

What afternoon would be complete without a new Apple rumor? Earlier today, supposed leaked shots of the new maps application for iOS 6 hit the web, and now we may have our first glimpse of the next iPhone. You don’t have to guess where this image comes from since the logos are plastered on it, but 9to5 Mac and the folks at iFixyouri believe they have discovered the iPhone 5. Or it’s shell, at least.

This part supposedly entered iFixyouri’s catalog. They believe it might be a back plate (shell) for the upcoming iPhone, though we are somewhat doubtful. To us, the design doesn’t look sleak enough to be an Apple phone and it lacks the normal pin connector that connects all iOS devices. Of course, there have been rumors that Apple is going to shrink the connector, so this may fall in line with that. The extra space on the bottom appears to be used by speakers. The black sections also come in white, but whoever sent this also said that black and white wouldn’t be the only colors. Again, according to iFixyouri.

The design of this phone appears somewhat Apple-like, but also a bit, well, ugly. What do you think? Is this the next iPhone?

Sony’s new Xperia Go and Xperia Acro S add water resistance to strong spec lists

Sony Mobile has announced two new Xperia phones, the Xperia Go and the Xperia Acro S. Both are water and dust resistant, and will be released later this year.

Sony has announced two new smartphones, the Xperia Acro S and the Xperia Go, both of which fall into the same tough-phone category as devices like the Motorola Defy and Sony’s own Xperia Active.
The Xperia Go (pictured on the right above) is the more basic of the two, as it comes with Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed, but is listed as being a candidate for an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. However, this being Sony Mobile, when such an update will arrive is anyone’s guess.

The scratch-resistant 3.5-inch Reality Display screen uses the same wet-finger tracking system as the Xperia Active, and the whole device has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.

Inside is a 1Ghz dual-core processor, which although isn’t stated, we’d expect to be the ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500, and on the rear is a 5-megapixel camera. The chassis is 9.8mm thick, and it’ll be available in black, white or yellow.

The Acro S is a very high-spec phone for one with water and dust resistance, in this case an improved IP55 and IP57 rating, as it has a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor (possibly a Snapdragon S4 like its close cousin, the Japan-only Xperia Acro HD) and a 4.3-inch, 720p Reality Display screen. The 12-megapixel camera will also shoot 1080p video, while the forward-facing video-call lens shoots in 720p.
Unlike the Xperia Go, the Acro S will have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed at the start, and instead of a yellow color scheme, it’ll add pink to the standard black or white models.
In case you’re not familiar with the intricacies of the IP rating system, the Xperia Go’s IP67 rating will see it survive a dunking for up to 30 minutes, provided the depth is no more than 1 meter, while IP55 and IP57 adds protection against streams of water and  resistance to dust particles too.
Both phones are set to be released between July and September, with the Xperia Go being renamed the Xperia Advance for the US market.

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 5000 Review

Microsoft’s Wireless Desktop 5000 is a firmly middle-of-the-road keyboard and mouse combo with some ergonomic perks.

Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Microsoft’s hardware division has a wealth of experience to draw from when it comes to designing keyboards, mice, and other peripherals. There’s ample evidence of that design experience in the Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000.
This isn’t the fanciest mouse-and-keyboard combo on the market, but it has well-placed buttons for most of the common tasks you’ll use your PC for, the primary keys provide very good tactile feedback, it’s easily programmed, and most importantly, it felt good under our hands. A large wrist rest, covered in diamond-patterned rubber, accounts for about 25 percent of the lower horizontal surface area, but our typing style kept our wrists elevated above it. Had we wanted to, we could have inserted a pair of rubber plugs into the bottom of the keyboard beneath the wrist rest to elevate it, but we elected to use these under the top of the keyboard because we prefer to type with the keyboard angled up, not down. Although the plugs provide only one height choice, they’re vastly superior to the flimsy plastic legs that flip out from the bottom of most keyboards.
Ergonomic keyboards — with their wavy designs — seem to have fallen out of favor these days, perhaps because gamers demand straight planks. The letter keys on this model follow a gentle curve, with the home row from A through F curving down toward the wrist rest, and the home row from J to the Enter key curving up and away from it. The layout felt very natural to us, and we were able to type rapidly with accuracy, although we had to stretch just a bit to reach the T and Y keys. The other home row keys that your fingers don’t sit on at rest — the G, H, B, and N keys — are slightly oversized, rendering them easier to find with your index finger.
The primary letter keys have just the right amount of travel: not too deep, not too shallow, and with just enough resistance that you can rest your fingertips on them without pushing them down unintentionally. This isn’t a gaming keyboard, so there are no buttons dedicated to game functions, but we had no problem playing games on it, including The Walking Dead. Some of us tend to pound the keys when we’re writing, and even though this keyboard is outfitted with membrane switches, such aggressive typing produced a surprisingly loud click, followed by a dull thud when the key bottomed out; some people found it a bit annoying.

The Escape and Function keys are exceptionally small — perhaps a quarter of typical height — and each Function key plays second fiddle to commands such as undo, redo, open new document, open file, and save file. Touch typists would most likely ignore most of them in favor of key combinations such as Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-O, and Ctrl-S, because these shortcuts can perform many of the same actions without taking your hands off home row. If you use software that makes frequent use of the Function keys, meanwhile, you won’t like this keyboard at all.

Programmable keys and buttons

You can program any of these keys, as well as a larger set of buttons above the Function keys, to perform almost any function you like using Microsoft’s IntelliType Pro software. As you might expect, many of these buttons are programmed at the factory to work with Microsoft programs, such as Word, Excel, and Outlook, but it’s easy to reassign them to work with alternative programs.
The keyboard doesn’t have any LEDs to indicate that Caps Lock and Num Lock are engaged, probably to preserve battery power (the mouse and keyboard operate on two AA batteries each). The USB dongle for controlling the two peripherals is absolutely huge compared to the tiny dongle that Logitech supplies with its wireless keyboards and mice these days. Use it with a laptop and you’ll need to unplug for travel, lest it break off and damage your laptop’s USB port as you shove it in your bag. Fortunately, the dongle can be attached to the bottom of the mouse for transport, so it doesn’t get lost. Snap it in place and it will conveniently depress a button to turn the mouse off. The keyboard, however, doesn’t have a power button.

The mouse

The Wireless Mouse 5000 is a straightforward, ambidextrous design with the usual left and right buttons on top, a scroll wheel with a third button and left-right tilt, and two additional buttons on the left and right sides. The rubber-coated wheel rolls freely, without providing the option of precision indexing. The sides where you grip the mouse with your thumb and ringer are indented and covered with a dimpled rubber surface. The top of the mouse, including the buttons, are a glossy black plastic.

The mouse is outfitted with Microsoft’s BlueTrack LED, which Microsoft claims is capable of tracking on nearly any surface. True to Microsoft’s claim, the mouse had no problem tracking a wooden desktop, a granite countertop, a glass tabletop, and a variety of mouse pads. The only surface on which the mouse failed to track was a mirror. The mouse tracked quickly and accurately, without exhibiting significant amounts of lag. The only feature we really missed was an indexed scroll wheel – the kind with detents as you roll it.


The Wireless Comfort 5000 Desktop largely lives up to its promise. The keyboard and mouse are very comfortable to use, and the keyboard provides plenty of one-touch functions for managing your applications. It’s not equipped with informative LEDs, nor does it have convenient features such as audio jacks or a USB hub; but you’re just not going to find such things on a wireless setup. There’s no excusing the too-small F keys, however, and the too-large USB dongle is a genuine pain. The mouse is unremarkable aside from its ability to track on almost any surface, which is great when you’re traveling and don’t always have the ideal workspace.


  • Very good tactile feedback
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of programmable buttons


  • Oversized USB dongle
  • Too-small Function keys
  • No index option for mouse scroll wheel

Meet the Orange San Diego, the UK’s first Intel Medfield-powered Android phone

UK network Orange has launched the San Diego, an Android phone powered by Intel's Medfield Atom processor.
Hot on the heels of the Lava Xolo X900 going on sale in India, another smartphone powered by Intel’s Medfield processor is about to hit the shelves, this time in the UK.
Initially revealed as an exclusive device for the UK network Orange, with the codename Santa Clara, it has now been officially announced with the name San Diego. Orange loves naming its own branded devices after cities, with the ZTE Blade/Orange San Francisco being one of the best known.
Like Lava’s Xolo, the San Diego is based on Intel’s reference design hardware, with which it demonstrated the capabilities of the Medfield chip last year.
The San Diego uses Intel’s Atom Z2460 processor, with a clock speed of 1.6Ghz, making it unique amongst a sea of phones all using ARM processor architecture. The Medfield Atom chip represents Intel’s most effective attempt to break ARM’s hold on the mobile industry yet.
A 4.03-inch touchscreen sits on the front of the 9.9mm thick, 117 gram chassis, and has a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. On the rear is an 8-megapixel camera with the ability to record 1080p video, and other features include 16GB of internal memory, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS and an HDMI-out port.
Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the San Diego is that it runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but as Lava has stated an Android 4.0 update will be coming for the X900, there’s a chance Orange may offer one too.
So how much will the San Diego cost? If you select a Pay As You Go tariff, it’s a reasonable £199 (about $300), or alternatively an offer of a 24-month contract at £15.50 per-month, with the phone for free, will be provided for the first month of release. The Orange San Diego will go on sale on June 6.

Copy Music from Your iPhone or iPod to Your Computer for Free

There as many applications and methods for copying music from an iPod to your computer as there are iPod models themselves, which makes finding a sure-fire, free solution a matter of tedious trial and error. To save you the work, today we're rounding up the best tools and techniques for getting music off any model iPod onto nearly any computer—for free. Whether you're a Windows user looking to yank tunes from an iPhone, a Mac fan backing up an iPod classic, or a Linux enthusiast trying to get into your new nano, we've got you covered. Follow along for a detailed look at the best ways to transfer songs from your iPod to your computer, no matter what hardware or operating system you're rocking.
Update: This post has gotten a little out of date. For an updated version, read this.

iPhone and iPod touch

While it used to be as simple as enabling disk use on old school iPods to get to the music files stored there, it's not that easy with the iPhone and iPod touch models. Luckily, intrepid hackers have found a way on each platform. Here are our picks for the best ways to get at your music from your touchscreen iPod and iPhone.

Mac OS X—Senuti (beta)

Free Mac utility Senuti could always copy music from regular iPods to your Mac, and a new beta version now supports the iPhone and iPod touch. Be sure to download the beta release (as of this writing, the latest beta is0.50.2b7) and install it on your Mac. Fire up Senuti to get a complete list of songs on the iPhone or iPod touch connected to your Mac. Senuti will put a blue dot next to songs that already exist in that Mac's iTunes library. Select the songs you want and hit the Transfer button to copy them to your computer.

Windows—Jailbreak + SSH (Update: and Winamp!)

Unfortunately, there are no free graphical applications for Windows like Senuti for Mac that can reach into your touch-based iPod's guts and move music around.
Update: We stand corrected. Several readers point out that Winamp's newest iPod plug-in can indeed copy files from your iPhone in Windows without jailbreaking. Thanks, zod000, Scoops, and apprehensive!

Update 2: iPhoneBrowser is also an option for those with jailbroken phones, providing an FTP-like interface to iPhone/touch files with a USB connection. Thanks to emailer Miguel and commenter halfshafter for the tip!.
It's not that hard to get your files, if you're willing to jailbreak your device and do a little file-swapping. Here's how to do it.
  1. Jailbreak your iPhone/touch: Your editors have found the 45-second ZiPhone method pretty reliable, but your mileage may vary. However you jailbreak your device, make sure it has "BSD Subsystem" and "OpenSSH" packages installed through the Installer.app utility.
  2. Get an SFTP application: Unless you want to hack around command-line-style with PuttY or Cygwin, you'll find it easier to get around using an FTP program.Filezilla is a free, easy-to-use option, but any client that supports SSH transfer will do.
  3. Get into your iPhone/touch: Make sure your iPhone/touch has a Wi-Fi connection to the same network as your computer, and that its Autolock setting (Settings->General->Autolock) is temporarily set to "Never" to prevent dropped connections. Find its IP address (Settings->Wi-Fi, then select the checked network), and in your FTP program, put that address in as the Host, and set a username of "root" and a password of "alpine," assuming you've upgraded your firmware at least once (it's "dottie" if not). Choose to connect through port 22 for an SSH connection, and you should get in. You may get a warning related to a "host key," but choose "Yes" or "OK," and check "Always trust this host" or a similar catch-all, if offered.
  4. Transfer the files: I found my iPod touch's music nested deep inside the file structure, at/private/var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control/Music/. You'll probably find your music there too. Copy all the folders named F01, F02, and so on to your computer. The files have nonsensical names, but they're really your tunes, and iTunes (and even Windows itself) knows it:

    Copy Music from Your iPhone or iPod to Your Computer for Free

    Once you've got your files, you can give them back sensible names in iTunes by importing them, then heading to Edit->Preferences->Advanced->"Keep iTunes Music folder organized." Now you've got your iPod's whole music library, organized, and ready to use wherever.

Linux—Wireless sync

As with Windows, there's no single app that gets you to your music, but you can jailbreak your iPhone/touch in Linux and open it up for wireless access to apps like Amarok or gtkpod for transfers and organization. Head to our guide to Syncing your iPhone wirelessly in Linux for a detailed tutorial on doing just that.

All other iPods

Whether you've got a shuffle, nano, classic, photo, video, or something more old-school, your route to music recovery is decidedly easier than with those fancy-dancy touch models. Here's the best ways to get at your files:


YamiPod works on all three major platforms, but it really comes in handy in Windows. It recently added support for the new-model nano and iPod classic, and boasts a host of great features, including search, preview-play of files, duplicate remover, and more. Better still, it's a small stand-alone program that can run from a USB stick, so helping friends and co-workers recover their music is a snap.

Mac OS X—Senuti (stable release)

For non-touch Apple music players, Senuti is still your best bet. The uber-useful blue dots that indicate a song is already in your collection, a slick interface, full Leopard support—it's great, free software.


If you simply need to grab the music files off an iPod,gtkpod is the tool of choice. It grabs play counts and playlists, ratings and cover art, and can replicate the iPod's entire database on your hard drive. The creators are working on support for the very latest models, but photo, video, nano, and older makes should all function just fine. It's also worth mentioning that the three most well-known Linux music organizers—Amarok, Rhythmbox, and Banshee—can move unprotected music on and off most iPods with relative ease.


If you're a dual-booter, virtualizer, or use your iPod at different home and work systems, you might want to check out two apps that run on Windows, Mac, or Linux, for better integration and matching features:
  • Songbird: This open-source library organizer from Mozilla, creators of the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client, is looking pretty slick these days. Its latest version supports every iPod (except the iPhone/touch, of course), can replicate your iTunes database, and copying files from iPod to disk is a drag-and-drop affair. 
  • Floola: As Adam detailed in his self-sustaining iPod feature, Floola not only works as a nifty iTunes replacement, but can actually run right off your device's storage drive, making it great for spreading your music to friends, co-workers and the person putting you up on vacation.
  • YamiPod: As noted above, this slick iPod-copying app works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and easily runs from a USB stick.
How do you copy music from your iPod to your computer? Got a simpler method of liberating songs from an iPod touch or iPhone? Let's hear about it in the comments.

JVC HD Everio GZ-HM860 Review

The JVC HD Everio GZ-HM860 puts handheld HD video cams to shame, but still can’t match the photo quality of far cheaper still cams.
Looking for a high-quality HD camcorder? If you’re serious about home videos, JVC’s GZ-HM860 delivers smooth, high-res video right about on par with its lofty price tag, but falls short when doubling as a still cam.

Features and Design

Cameras by the ton take HD videos, even Full HD 1080p at 30fps. And yet, and yet…those that do it really well are few and far between. For simply taking high-def movies, nothing tops a camcorder. Why? In this Swiss Army Knife world of CE, that’s what they’re meant to do — not make calls, send email, browse the Web or play Angry Birds. Enter the new $749 JVC GZ-HM860 HD Memory camcorder designed to capture movies.
The HM860 is one sophisticated-looking device. Peer at it from the side and it looks like the back of smartphone (see photos). This piano-black casing is actually part of the 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD. Check out the other side, and rather than a virtual keyboard, you’ll find the rest of the camcorder, which is extremely compact considering it has a 10x optical zoom. It measures 2.2 x 2.5 x 4.7 (W x H x D, in inches) and weighs 12.5 ounces including the battery. Overall, the GZ-HM860 has style, is small and easy to carry.
Given smartphones are as important to many as breathing, JVC has paid a bit of homage to the trend by adding Bluetooth to the HM860. This lets you send movies and stills from the camcorder to your smartphone at reduced resolution so you can post them quickly to friends. Your phone can even act as a remote. Naturally all this good stuff depends on compatibility with your specific phone. Our Droid paired fairly easily.
The front is dominated by the 10x optical zoom with its auto lens cover. The JVC GT lens is part of one of our favorite camcorder trends—it starts off at fairly wide angle for great group shots and landscapes. Typical camcorders are around 42mm. In this case the f/1.2 glass has a range of 29.5mm to 295mm in video mode, 29.7mm to 297mm for 4:3 stills. This extra width really expands your creative options. Beyond artistic considerations, you’ll also find a small LED light, a flash and stereo speakers as you look head-on.
On the right side are the adjustable Velcro strap and two compartments. One is for DC-in while the other has A/V and component outs. As an aside: Why is any company putting A/V outs — even component — on camcorders with mini HDMI connections? Worse yet, manufacturers still include A/V cables in their kits. Who in 2011, especially someone buying a $749 Full HD camcorder, would use this? It’s a total waste of resources.
The top of this very clean-lined camcorder has a zoom toggle switch, a shutter button for snapping stills and an AF key. This one gives access to touch priority Auto Exposure/Auto Focus options such as face tracking or choosing a specific focus spot. The same key is used for 2D-3D conversion on the more expensive $949 HM960 (its LCD is also auto stereoscopic for viewing 3D without glasses).
Flip open the LCD on the left side of the HM860 and you’ll see a beautiful 3.5-inch touchscreen with no buttons at all on the bezel; you’ll make almost all of your adjustments tapping the screen. It’s rated a very fine 920K pixels and works well under almost all light conditions, including direct sunshine. Yet like any touchscreen, keep a lens cloth nearby to remove smudgy fingerprints.
JVC HD Everio GZ-HM860 screen-display
On the body itself are just a few buttons: i.Auto/manual shooting, power/info which shows remaining battery life, movie/still and user. This last one lets you pick parameters to adjust and these options change depending on the mode you’re in. You also find a speaker, as well as USB and mini HDMI outs.
The back of the made-in-Malaysia HM860 has a slot for the supplied lithium-ion battery, which fits neatly in position rather than sticking out. The record button is here as well. On the bottom, you’ll find a metal tripod mount and a slot for SDHC/SDXC cards; it accepts up to 64GB SDXC media. You really don’t need any when starting out, since the camcorder has 16GB of internal memory. This is good for 80 minutes of UXP 1080/60p video or 2,200 top-resolution stills. Definitely use at least Class 6 cards if you need extra storage.

What’s in the box

The GZ-HM860 comes with an AC adaptor, remote as well as USB, A/V and mini HDMI cables. You also get a an Easy Start Guide and a Basic User Guide (40 pages in English). The supplied battery only lasts for 40 minutes per CIPA, which means less time in the real world as you zoom and take flash photos. A spare definitely makes sense, as this camcorder charges the battery in-camera, effectively putting you out of action. The kit also comes with a CD-ROM with Everio MediaBrowser 3BE for handling files and burning discs.

Performance and use

It seems like Backside Illuminated CMOS chips are everywhere these days, including Cracker Jack boxes. Not really, of course, but this sensor has made huge inroads in 2011 in digicams and camcorders. We recently reviewed the Nikon P500 featuring a 12-megapixel version. Here it’s 10.2-megapixels, so not only do you get high-resolution video but stills as well. But just as we said about the P500, imaging devices are a lot more than chips, so let’s have at it.
After charging the battery and popping in an 8GB Class 10 SDXC card, it was time to start shooting. One of the cool things about camcorders with built-in flash memory is the fact you can choose where you want your content saved. We had video go to flash, stills to the card. As usual, we started in i.Auto and then switched to manual in movie and still modes. Once done, we watched our efforts on a 50-inch plasma via HDMI, made prints and did some pixel peeping on the monitor.
Before getting into the results we’ll state the GZ-HM860 is simple to operate as a point-and-shoot — or as complex as most users of this level of camcorder would dare go. The camcorder starts up relatively quickly (about four seconds) and you’re good to go. Importantly, the zoom travels very smoothly throughout the entire focal range; we never engage the digital zoom as quality drops once you go beyond physical limitations (10x here). The 29.5mm opening is lots of fun, especially when shooting indoors, since you don’t have back through a wall in order to capture a family gathering. Your landscapes also take on a completely different feel with the enhanced wide angle.
Let’s deal with the touchscreen, since this is how you’ll interact with your camcorder most of the time — beyond zooming and pressing record. Although it’s not as elegant as an iPad, JVC should be commended for a job well done. Icons were quite understandable for the most part, and a quick tap or check of the Basic User Guide deciphered unusual ones such as the “S” in the top left of the screen. This stood for your Smile shutter options. Unlike an iPad, the HM860 primarily uses taps to move through menu pages rather than swipes. This worked well, but the next gen should definitely be more tablet-like — especially for playback. Even Microsoft is embracing swipes and touch controls with Windows 8, so JVC should also make the transition. This is more of a suggestion rather than a serious knock.
The videos deliver the quality you’d expect from a $749 camcorder with a 10-megapixel CMOS chip: They were excellent. We took the HM860 to the mountains to escape the heat wave, recording lots of trees, foliage, flowers, friends and so on. You’ll be quite happy with the results. The UXP clips on a 50-inch screen were very good with spot-on colors and little digital noise. We also shot footage indoors in low light and the results were more than acceptable. The lens has a wide f/1.2 aperture, one of the reasons for the solid results. We recorded a lit candle in a dark room, a tough test. Here, the built-in light kicked in and the results were poor; the LED made the candle and nearby flower arrangement look absolutely ghoulish. The moment we saw this, we disabled the light and the results were far better. In other words, turn off the light. Period. We have another problem this camcorder. For the price it does not have optical image stabilization (OIS). Although it took care of most of the shakes, OIS delivers smoother results.
JVC HD Everio GZ-HM860 sample photo: Flowers
As for the stills, sad to say we’ve yet to review a recent camcorder that takes top-tier photographs. Most of the fault lies with the fact the HM860 does not have an AF Assist lamp. Shooting in dim light without a strong contrasty edge with i.Auto is a disappointment. Yet with enough light, your results will be much better. For those who are comfortable with manual controls, opt for manual focus.You can perform loads of other adjustments in manual mode as well. Overall color was accurate, but there was a lot of digital noise even at lower ISOs. Were they all worthy of the delete pile? No, but don’t expect the performance of a quality point-and-shoot that has an AF Assist lamp.


As we mentioned way back in the beginning, if you’re serious about taking high-quality videos, check out the JVC HD Everio GZ-HM860. No question it’s expensive, but the results under the right conditions on a big, flat panel screen are quite good. Unfortunately the stills are not in the same league. Outside with plenty of sunshine you’ll be OK, but a $250 Canon ELPH takes far better photos. Given the hefty price and other issues detailed, it’s hard to give the HM860 an unreserved recommendation.


  • Full HD video (1080/60p)
  • 10.6-megapixel BSI CMOS chip
  • 3.5-inch touch screen LCD
  • Takes 11-megapixel photos


  • Expensive
  • No optical image stabilization
  • No AF Assist lamp
  • LED light is useless