With reports suggesting that HTC was to introduce its first Beats-equipped smartphone in the form of the HTC Vigor, the Taiwanese company has confirmed earlier leaks with a relaunch of its Sensation smartphone; the HTC Sensation XE.

Offering an upgraded 1.5GHz dual-core processor, four-times more internal storage with 4GB and a extremely hefty 1,730mAh battery, the Sensation XE not only delivers with its audio capability, it will also crunch data and deliver seamless playback of media whilst giving you more time between charges.

HTC says:

“The audio quality is a very important factor in mobile sound experience and we are working to push the boundaries not only for speech reception, but also for music, video and games up fully,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of global sales and marketing at HTC Corporation. ”The HTC sensation XE delivers a truly incredible audio experience and is a further proof that we want to offer customers the best possible mobile experience.”

The Sensation XE retains the 4.3 qHD Super LCD touchscreen, 8MP rear-facing and VGA front camera and 768MB RAM but will ship with an in-built remote control for optimal Beats playback – something that HTC hopes will differentiate between its smartphones and rival handsets.

The HTC Sensation XE will debut in EMEA and Asia Pacific from late September, costing €589.

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Samsung has unveiled its latest tablet device tasked with eating into Apple’s iPad dominance, launching the new Galaxy Tab 7.7.

The device is an upgrade of the original Galaxy Tab, launched last year, in every sense of the word; not only does it have a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, it also packs in a Super AMOLED Plus (1280 x 800 resolution) display, up to 64GB of in-built storage, 3-megapixel camera and will be powered by Google’s latest Honeycomb update – Android 3.2.

However, the most unique thing about the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is its profile, in that it is just 7.89mm thick. We are talking super-thin territory here, moving to the thickness of a pencil. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has a brushed metal reverse, taking it away from the flimsy plastic finishes that it came known for with its previous tablet and smartphone devices.

Release dates and pricing is unknown but Samsung will offer them up very soon, check back for more information.

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Livestation, launched in 2008, gives users an easy way to keep up with major news channels including Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN, from their computers, or on the go using the  iPhone app or mobile site.

Livestation seems to be earning itself a reputation as the go-to site for opposition groups in the Middle East who want to provide users with an alternative to state-run media.

Much has been made of the Internet’s role in the Arab spring, but the site’s role has largely gone unnoticed. Aside from Al Jazeera, Livestation hosts two channels of great significance to the region. Libya TV, based in Qatar, is described on Livestation as “the first independent satellite channel broadcasting news and commentary about Libya for a Libyan audience with the aim of countering state propaganda and promoting dialogue.” Libya TV is now joined by the London based Bahraini channel, LuaLua TV, launched a couple of days ago.

LuaLua (which literally means pearl) takes its name from the roundabout that was witness to the first protests in Bahrain in February of this year, until it was destroyed by the government barely one month later. A Bahraini expat living in London, Yasser El Sayegh chose the name for what he originally envisioned as a satellite channel, which he intended to use as a platform to broadcast a balanced and fair view of current affairs, exploring both governmental and opposition opinions.

The satellite channel’s broadcast didn’t last more than five hours, when its signal was quickly jammed. The jamming was located by Eutelsat as coming from Bahrain itself.


The Next Web spoke to LuaLua’s Director, Yasser Al Sayegh, about the station.

NM: Why did you feel the need to launch LuaLua TV station?

Yasser El Sayegh: Bahrain needs an alternative media source, desperately, because at the moment people receive all their information from the state run media. Free speech is vital for any democratic society and unfortunately we don’t have this in Bahrain. LuaLua TV is what the people have been crying out for – an alternative narrative.

What has led to the need for using Livestation as a way to broadcast?

YS: Well it’s two fold. Obviously it’s partly about wanting to get as much exposure as possible and given that more and more people are watching news online it was something we always wanted to do. Livestation have a great reputation for their work and became more prominent during the Arab Spring.

But also, and equally as importantly, we’ve been jammed and can no longer broadcast via satellite. We have had too much interference from an unknown source inside Bahrain that we have been forced to move quickly on the Internet. It is much harder, although of course not impossible, to stop an online streaming service.

How do you think using an online solution like Livestation as opposed to a satellite channel will affect your reach?

YS: In a very big way. Most homes, even in Bahrain, have the Internet and so anyone can log on and watch. It gives us huge potential to reach more people, not to mention the iPhone app that Livestation are developing for us. So people don’t even have to be at home to watch us. They can be travelling, at work, or anywhere else and we will be accessible.

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We recently reviewed the Toronto-based startup Attachments.me, a service which makes it easy to retrieve long-forgotten attachments from your inbox. Since then, they’ve been hard at work adding many new features and developing a brand new iPhone app.

Attachments.me is the brainchild of Ben Coe and Jesse Miller, who met when they were both working at Fresh Books, before venturing out on their own to create their own startup.

When it first launched, Attachments.me could retrieve all sorts of attachments from your Gmail account. Now you can add your Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo Mail accounts into the mix.

Once you’ve plugged in your inbound accounts, depending on how much and what kind of data is in there, it could take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. No matter how much you’ve got in there, the first few results will show up immediately so you can get a feel for how the site works.

The service makes it easy to differentiate between attachments from each account using a handy filter.

That’s not the only way you can filter your results though. You can further narrow them down by type of file, with music, movies, images, documents and even code.

Of course all this wouldn’t be much use without some sort of search function, which makes it easy to sift through the attachments. You can also rearrange the results by alphabetical or chronological order.

What’s interesting about how the site interacts with Twitter, for example, is that it checks links that you have shared on the site, and then adds images from that article as attachments to your collection.

With each attachment, you can share it on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Another new feature that Attachments.me has added is the ability to export chosen attachments to Dropbox. After linking your Dropbox account, with a click of a button the file will be saved in your Dropbox’s root folder.

The new iPhone app, for the time being at least, allows you to search your attachments, view them in chronological or alphabetical order, and share them via email. If an image file is saved as an attachment in one of your email accounts, you can save it to your iPhone, otherwise all attachments from links can be opened in their original location. To see if Attachments.me has found any new attachments in your accounts, simply pull down to refresh.

So what can we expect in the future from Attachments.me? Co-founder Ben Coe says the next step is to add iCloud support, so that alongside Dropbox, you will also be able to save your attachments to Apple’s new storage service. Several new inbound accounts are also being considered, but the priority is to enhance each supported service first.

Attachments.me is still in private beta, but we’ve got 250 invites for TNW readers to try out the site. Simply head over to Attachments.me and use the invite code thenextweb when signing up. Don’t worry if you don’t get in right away – your spot is guaranteed. Because of the way the site works, 250 simultaneous signups would affect your user experience.

Have you tried out Attachments.me? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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Devices like Amazon’s Kindle have kickstarted mainstream demand for ebooks, but if Kindle is the ‘iTunes of electronic books’, where’s the Spotify equivalent? 24symbols is a new service which opens to all from today after a period in closed beta, offering on-demand access to a library of popular titles in a similar way to how streaming music services work.

Launching with a modest library of 1000 titles, 24signals features a range of classic books along with commercial releases from a number of small and medium-sized publishers. The idea is simple enough – you log in, look for a book you want to read and then… read it! Like Spotify, there a re no restrictions – you can simply hop around between titles as much as you like. Facebook integration adds a social element, letting you get recommendations from your friends.

The product of a Spanish team, the Web-based service is working to a freemium model, offering a free, ad-supported version along with an ad-free option in return for a monthly payment prices at either €9.99 per month, €19.99 per quarter or #59.99 per year. The startup pays publishers based on how many pages users read from their books as a proportion of the overall number of pages read across all titles.

At present 24symbols is entirely browser-based, and reading books on a computer monitor isn’t exactly an ideal situation. Luckily, an iPad app is due to be available in a few days’ time, potentially making this a really enjoyable way to enjoy and discover books. iPhone and Android app are also on the way.

The library’s current small size means that 24symbols can presently be largely viewed as a demonstration of its future potential. Co-founder Justo Hidalgo says that the company is currently finalising deals to bring more publishers on board.

However, it’s worth considering that in order to guarantee a decent level of revenue, 24symbols may have to work on the balance between the free and premium options. At present, the ads in the free version are simply too unobtrusive to encourage anyone to pay up, and subscriptions will definitely be more lucrative for 24symbols than ads. If 24symbols can get top-flight publishers on board, it would probably find itself having to lock the most desirable books behind the premium account paywall.

These are concerns for the future though, for now, 24symbols is a great first draft of what it could grow to become. You can sign up to try it right away here.

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We first wrote about VYou when it launched last November, the social video network described as a combination of Justin.TVFormspringYouTube, and Twitter. Since its launch, the New York-based startup has served over 20 million video views and features noted VYou members including writer Chuck Klosterman, ESPN poker show host Laura Lane, musician Chester French and Alex Blagg of BajillionHits.

“VYou is very focused on the “social” in social media,” says Steve Spurgat, VYou Founder and CEO. “Our goal is to bring more intimacy to how people communicate on the web and that requires steady innovation.”

VYou is laid back video conversation, letting users send and receive messages with friends and experts in a casual when-you-can-find-the-time fashion. Users can follow other users a la Twitter and ask questions and post responses accordingly a la Formspring. Today, VYou launches “Montages,” which are compelling collections of people responding to a single question. If Quora decided to push video as opposed to old-school text-based answers, it would look very much like a montage.

To make a Montage, go to your My Home page and click the Make a Montage button in the right column. If you respond to a message sent to you from a montage creator, VYou will automatically add your response to his or her montage. You may also add your video response directly to the Montage by clicking the “Respond” button.

At the end of last month, VYou closed a $ 3 million Series A financing round, led by Highland Capital Partners and RRE Ventures. Additional investors in the round included Broadway Video, Jim Wiatt, Kevin Wall, Tech Stars’ David Tisch, High Peaks Ventures, and The Barbarian Group’s Rick Webb. “Even as the web has become social and participatory, few create original video content. VYou is changing that,” said Adam Ludwin of RRE. “They’ve made it incredibly easy to engage an audience with video, the most compelling medium on the web.” VYou says they will use the financing to help advance the company’s rapid growth and technical expansion.

With Steve Spurgat as CEO, VYou has built a strong team of executives to lead the business
forward. These include Karl Alomar, COO & President; Rex Sorgatz, CMO and Creative
Director; Sergey Novgorodsky, co-founder and Head of Engineering; and Chuck Reina, a cofounder and Head of Product Design.

Love answering questions on camera? A VYou iPhone app is in the works, stay tuned.

VYou also made our list last year of 20 NYC Startups You Need To Know About.

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