Microsoft’s first tablet computer, the Surface, will start at $499 when it goes on sale Oct. 26.FULL ENTRY
A California company is offering a new option for turning in your old cell phones. In a video you've got to check out, these ATM-like kiosks let you insert your phone, have it scanned for worth, then pull out some cash.FULL ENTRY
Don't have a DVR? No problem! CNet's Sharon Vaknin shows you how to record over-the-air TV onto your computer. You'll need a little equipment, including an HD PVR.FULL ENTRY
In my Tech Lab Plus column for today. Check out the $15,000 wrist computer than syncs with your smartphone; a handy way to stream Internet audio from your phone through your car speakers; and a remarkable new app that'll keep drivers from hitting the car ahead of you.
The new Lumia 710 phone from Nokia and T-Mobile is lightning-fast and dirt-cheap. It may also represent Microsoft Corp.'s best hope of gaining a foothold in the US market with its excellent but unpopular Windows Phone 7 software.
Crippled smartphone maker RIM needs new leadership in the worst way. So the company's top executives have walked the plank. But will that be enough?
One analyst estimates that Apple sold a couple million fewer iPads than expected this holiday season, largely due to competition from Amazon.com's Kindle Fire.
Join Weight Watchers--there's a monthly subscription fee--and you can now get an app for Androids and iPhones that will let you check the calorie count and nutrition info on many food items by simply scanning the barcode on the package. Pretty cool.
Samsung announces that two of its recent devices won't be getting upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, the new version of the Android operating system. Seems ICS conflicts with Samsung's own custom software.
Bummer. Expect this sort of problem to continue and worsen as the Android phone ecosystem grows ever more complex.
Think your smartphone or tablet can tell if you've had one too many? I doubt it, and so do the folks at computer security software maker Webroot. But that didn't stop them from whipping up an amusing little app that'll delight your friends at upcoming holiday parties. The Sobriety Test app, available for iOS and Android devices, features a bunch of silly puzzles and games which supposedly measure your ability to hold your liquor. There's also a prudent legal disclaimer warning that the Sobriety Test is really nothing of the sort--just a bit of silly fun.
They created the controversial app that secretly collects information from millions of smartphones. Now Carrier IQ issues a statement that claims to provide the complete dope on what their software really does--and does not--do.
I'm prepared to believe this outfit is on the level, especially since experts who've studied their code say it seems reasonably benign. But I still think we need a sure fire way to track exactly what data our phones are collecting, and to whom it's being sent. And a way to shut down such data streams whenever we choose would also be nice.
Looks like Google is working on its own version, to be codenamed Majel. After Gene Roddenberry's wife, I spose. This should be fun.
it seems that data collected by the controversial smartphone tracking software Carrier IQ has been obtained by the FBI for use in investigating people. Which would seem to indicate that the software is spying on phone users, despite what Carrier IQ has said. Something stinks here...
UPDATE: Carrier IQ responds that the company doesn't share data with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. But cellphone operators could share the collected data with the cops.
At the very least, I owe Robert Noyce my career. For if he hadn't helped invent the microchip, none of the stuff I write about would even exist.
Noyce died in 1990, a mere stripling of 62. If he were still alive, he'd be 84 today. Google's done a doodle in his honor. So here's a blog post as well.
Hmmm....looks like not everybody is in love with Amazon.com's Kindle Fire.
That could be the effect of an injunction issued by a German court today. I doubt it'll hold. Apple got a similar injunction earlier this year against Samsung's Galaxy tablet computer, and that was downgraded to cover only Germany, not all of Europe.
Still, it shows how high the stakes are in this battle to dominate tablet and smartphone sales. All sides in this fight are using live ammo and playing for keeps.
Hewlett-Packard is going to open-source the WebOS operating system used on Palm smartphones and the company's misbegotten and cancelled TouchPad tablet computer. That means that independent software developers will be free to maintain and upgrade the software, maybe even port it onto a tablet worth buying.
It's all too little, too late. But it's something.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Google does NOTHING to vet the safety of the apps in its Android Market, with the result that a growing number of Android devices are getting infected with malware. This is ridiculous. Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry--they all check their apps before offering them to consumers. Only Google doesn't. And it's going to bite them one of these days. Just you wait.
Over at Harvard Law, the ever-clever Jonathan Zittrain has a good idea--software to tell smartphone users exactly what data is being transmitted from their phones. The Apple and Carrier IQ user tracking scandals are helping to focus our minds on this issue. Our phones transmit all sorts of data about our activities. Surely we should know what they're sharing with the phone company, the phone maker and who knows who else. Somebody really ought to create an app for that...and quick.
According to this survey, iPad owners are exceedingly satisfied. Owners of Android tablets...not so much.
Coming soon from China, according to this...
Despite the declining popularity of RIM's iconic smartphones, they're still mighty big in Indonesia. So when they announced a half-price sale in Jakarta, things got out of hand...
Here's a report that Apple has already begun manufacturing the iPad 3.
As I expected, the Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon.com has surged into second place among tablet computers, only trailing Apple's iPad. With all those millions of loyal Amazon customers out there, it was bound to happen. Note that Barnes & Noble is in fourth place, just barely trailing Samsung, and has seen a big surge in tablet sales. I think the company's Nook Tablet is better than the Fire.
Google's smartphone operating system is riddled with security flaws, according to a new report.
...because millions of cellphones are being routinely tapped for "quality control purposes:"
According to this post, Microsoft's going to make an iPad version of its hugely popular Office suite. Makes sense to me...
It's starting to look that way, according to Forrester Research. Apple's iPad dominates, and Google's Android is gaining a foothold thanks to the Kindle Fire and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. So when Windows 8 debuts next year, will anybody care? Looks like Microsoft has arrived too late.
Looks like Best Buy is cancelling orders for the ill-fated BlackBerry tablet...
This Apple product will self-destruct in midair...
Here's my take on the two latest tablets--Amazon.com's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet.
Not exactly. The cool personal assistant software in Apple's iPhone 4S hasn't been perfectly duplicated by Android software developers. But they're getting close.
it doesn't seem to matter how good Windows Phone 7 is. Microsoft's smartphone market share continues to plummet.
Four decades ago, Intel created the first true microprocessor. We're all still trying to catch up.
If I'm reading this right, we won't see BlackBerry phones running a next-gen operating system until the third quarter of next year. Are you kidding me?
...with app developers, according to this survey. I'm a big WP7 fan and think it can still be a major success, if it gets enough app support.
This offer from Republic Wireless sounds too good to be true...
Apple has shrewdly avoided the boneheaded arrogance it displayed during the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco, and admitted forthrightly that the new iPhone 4S has distressingly brief battery life. The company says it's a software issue that it will soon repair.
The giant online retailer's new iPhone app uses augmented reality to scan your surroundings, identify items you can buy on Amazon, and offering to sell them to you.
Is there no escape?
Give this guy two iPads, and he develops a brilliantly gruesome Halloween costume. I'm just glad he's on our side...or is he?
Getting lots of reports of really short battery life. Me, I haven't tested this yet. Guess I better...
A new study finds that cell phones don't cause brain tumors. Well, all right then.
Wow. That didn't take long. Iris, a new app for Android, works a lot like the much-vaunted Siri feature of the new iPhone 4S. Yes, it's much slower, but consider it was hacked together in just a few days. You couldn't ask for a more impressive demonstration of the power of open-source software development. A bunch of volunteers have matched many of the capabilities of Apple's software, in a matter of days.
The trailer for the upcoming comic book movie The Avengers was partially shot with an iPhone.
Nothing like having your favorite team win--and then taunting fans of the defeated foe. It's unsportsmanlike, but kinda fun. And now, sure enough, there's an app for it. PlayUp is a free iPhone social app for sports lovers, with listings of upcoming games in a variety of sports--baseball, American football, soccer, even cricket. You can log onto chatrooms devoted to thousands of sporting matches happening all over the world. There you can peck out text messages mocking your rivals or bemoaning the performance of your favorites. It's a great idea for fans who can't resist rubbing it in.
Tiny regional cellphone company C Spire has won the right to offer its customers the Apple iPhone. Looks like Apple's going to open the floodgates, perhaps in an effort to gain ground on Android.
The company's bragging on how easily Android apps can be ported to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This might have been exciting news back when the PlayBook was just being released. If Android support had been available from day one, it might have mattered. But since then, the PlayBook has proven a dismal flop, and nobody cares whether it's Android-compatible or not. Sorry, guys.
The new Apple iPhone 4S doesn't just use the American GPS satellite network for navigation. It's also compatible with Russia's GLONASS network. This redundancy should make it more reliable.
Just days after the horrific global breakdown of the messaging service for its BlackBerry phones, Research In Motion Ltd., introduces BBX, the new and improved operating system for BlackBerry phones. It's likely the company's last chance to hang onto a decent share of the smartphone market. So it better be good.
...and it's an Ice Cream Sandwich. That's the name of the newest version of Google's Android operating system for smartphones. The rollout, so soon after the launch of the iPhone 4S, shows how intensely competitive the smartphone market has gotten to be.
UPDATE: More details here.
If not, you won't be able to buy an iPhone at an Apple store. I guess it's Apple's way of rationing a dwindling supply of the popular phones.
I know that lots of cell phones are pretty crappy, but this is ridiculous!
Virginia Tech computer scientists program Android phones so they can access sensitive information when the phone is inside a high-security environment, but immediately "forget" the information when the phone is carried to a different location. Pretty slick.
Fragile or not, the iPhone 4S is selling like wildfire. Wasn't this phone supposed to be a major letdown? Seems only the "experts" felt that way. Other people were too busy getting in line to buy one...
A gadget insurance company stress=tested the new iPhone 4S, with tragic results.
By now you know that the new iPhone 4S drew big crowds to Apple retailers worldwide. And I must admit, it was partly my fault...Next time, I'll stay home.
Your BlackBerry should be working again. The company's reputation for reliability, not so much.
Amazon.com is selling all Verizon phones for a penny, with a two-year service contract. All of them, except the iPhone 4, which is unlisted. But a penny for the latest Android and BlackBerry phones isn't bad at all.
I think the coming Apple iPhone 4S is a pretty major overhaul in its own right, but some are disappointed Apple didn't go even further. Well, here's a very plausible analysis that suggests that Apple's got very good reason for holding off on the iPhone 5...
Even though bad guys have delivered a mess of malware programs designed to infect Android smartphones, these programs aren't generating anything like the illicit cash flow to be had from infecting desktop computers. Good news, I suppose. But I'd rather Google just got busy preventing people from distributing tainted apps.
The popular sports news website Bleacher Report offers you a way to stay informed wherever you are. Their Team Stream app, available for Android or Apple devices, will deliver a steady flow of news about the teams of your choice. It's handy, and it's free.
...if you're in California. The governor there just vetoed a bill that would have required cops to get a warrant before viewing the data stored in a suspect's phone. So now, a cop can just take your phone and start skimming through whatever he finds there.
That's the title of a clever contrarian piece that suggests Google isn't making money off its mobile operating system, and maybe never will. Android's been great for the rest of us, but where's the evidence that Google has profited?
Stallman's a seminal figure in the history of computing, the creator of the Free Software movement so vital in the rise of the Linux operating system that now pervades so much of the digital universe, including Google's Android software. He's an utterly fascinating man. But Stallman can also be, well, difficult. How difficult? Check out his reaction to the death of Steve Jobs.
Microsoft plans for more powerful handsets to run its very good phone software. Look for dual-core processors and support for 4G LTE.
But for now, Windows Phone sales are lousy. So Microsoft is pressuring the phonemakers, like Samsung, to spend more on marketing.
Cellphone companies have begun shipping the first batch of pre-ordered iPhone 4Ses.
...you're probably not doing it on a BlackBerry.
Personally, I don't think 4G makes a whole lot of sense at its current prices. But apart from that, there are technical reasons why Apple has held off. This rather geeky but informative piece will fill you in on the details.
It's been all Apple all the time in the tech universe these last few days. Meanwhile, don't look now, but Microsoft's latest upgrade to its Windows Phone 7 operating system has made an already-good product downright fantastic.
The new Apple iPhone 4S is the company's first "world phone," with electronics that'll let you use it all over the planet. Just one little problem--international service is going to be really, really expensive. How does it profit a man to gain the world and lose every dime he owns?
...or the iPhone 4S, according to a company that tracks reactions on social networking sites.
AT&T said it's going to start throttling back cellular data speeds for people with "unlimited" data plans who use too much data. Well, thanks a lot, guys.
Consumer Reports has $10,000 burning a hole in its public-spirited pockets. And it's ready to hand it over to the best new Consumer Reports smartphone app. Interested?
Maybe. We'll see in a few minutes...
This site claims to make it easy. No idea whether this is on the level or not...try at your own risk.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint will buy $20 billion worth of iPhones over the next four years, in a "bet the company" bid to stay competitive with AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
If you've got an Android phone on the AT&T wireless network, this new app will help you identify nearby free Wi-Fi hotspots that could take the load off your phone's 3G network and maybe save you some money. Besides, it's just plain cool.
Sony Ericsson CEO: We Should Have Taken The iPhone More Seriously
A whole lot of companies have tried to challenge the might of the iPad--with generally sorry results. The Technologizer takes us on a rather depressing trip down Memory Lane...
In India, anyway. Indians love those pushbutton phones, mainly because the country's phone networks are still too primitive to handle all the data traffic stirred up by iPhones. Whatever the reason, RIM needs all the wins it can get.
Tomorrow's the big day--the unveiling of the new iPhone. But as this article points out, the new phone will enter a much tougher market than ever before. The latest Android phones are very good indeed. And Android phones handily out-sell the iPhone. Even Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is a legitimate contender. So whatever comes out of Cupertino this week, it better be good.
Months behind schedule, Motorola finally launches its mail-in program to upgrade its Xoom Android tablets to Verizon 4G LTE wireless broadband. I remember being pretty keen on the Xoom when it first came out in February. But given the long delays, and the release of hotter and cooler products--the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Amazon Kindle Fire--I've kinda lost interest...
Hard to believe that the hugely popular online photo service has only just released an Android app. But then, Flickr is owned by Yahoo, a famously slow-moving outfit. Ah well. Better late than never.
Let it go, Red Sox fans. Forget about baseball and move on. It's football season, and time for tailgate parties. Also, time for the new sport of competitive tailgating. Here's a new iPhone app to let tailgaters slug it out in the name of total stadium parking lot supremacy.
In the overall mobile device market, Android is smoking Apple's iOS. And here's why.
Now that Amazon's hitting the market with a $200 tablet, the prospects for Toshiba's latest seem pretty grim. Even if the price comes way down.
Here comes the Kindle Fire, Amazon.com's tablet computer--full-color, multi-touch screen, and just $200. Apple's been able to shrug off most other competitors to the iPad. Maybe not this one.
Microsoft's upgraded version of its Windows Phone 7 operating system has been unleashed. Here's an early peek.
Okay, not really. But the iPad is well and truly losing market share to Android tablets. Bound to happen. But iPad will remain the leader--count on it.
There is now. A nice new Android app called HealthTap lets users obtain free medical advice from real physicians. Check it out.
Apple's bid to trademark the term "multi-touch" to describe its lovely little touchscreens has been iced by an unwilling federal court.
The company's WiMAX-based 4G service can't hold a candle to Verizon's LTE technology, and so Sprint is racing to deploy an LTE network of its own.
Facebook admits that its Internet cookie keeps tracking your online activity even when you're logged out of Facebook. But they say it's all for our own good. So that's okay then.
Here's a report claiming that Apple is moving to cut back on iPad production. Not clear what it means, but it's possible that sales are beginning to slow a bit.
How far have Tiger's fortunes fallen that they're giving away the iPhone version of his golf game? Oh, well, they're giving away lots of iPhone software for a limited time. Check it out...
Yes, that's what I said. This delightfully silly space combat videogame is free for the taking for all you Android lovers Just click here...for free!
Worried about the school-bus-sized satellite hurtling down from orbit? Keep up with the latest news on smartphone apps from NASA. News updates, videos, a Twitter feed...it's all here. And it's free for iPhone, iPad or Android users.
The CEO of Verizon thinks AT&T should go right ahead and gobble up T-Mobile. Wonder why...
I suspect most of us aren't. What do you think?
Big doings at Apple on Oct. 4. iPhone 5? Could be..
Looks like T-Mobile won't be getting the iPhone 5, at least not for awhile...
At last Google Wallet is here--the company's long-awaited technology that lets users make purchases using a smartphone as if it were a credit or debit card.
For now, the service is available only for Sprint cellphone customers who happen to own the Samsung/Google Nexus S phone. I actually own the right phone but I subscribe to the wrong carrier--AT&T.
Do I really want to pay for groceries this way? Let me think about it...
US Marine pilots use 'em in the skies over Afghanistan, as navigation aids.
LocalHero is a social networking app that assists you in finding help from friends and neighbors. Good idea.
Lots of people have fallen in love with their iPads. The new online dating app from the relationship website eHarmony might let users fall in love on their iPads.
It's been just four years since Amazon.com unveiled the Kindle e-book reader. And already, 15 percent of Americans use some kind of e-reader device.
A lot of relieved trees say "thanks!"
The wireless titan faces ferocious opposition to its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. So it's talking to smaller cellphone companies, offering to sell them a few bits and pieces to build them up, and make the deal look smaller and less threatening to the antitrust types.
Will it work? I have no idea.
Don't look for it on the next iPhone. If this rumor proves correct, Apple will kill off the big round one on the base of the iPhone. The next-gen version will feature a different kind of controller. Given Steve Jobs' legendary hatred of pushbuttons, this is one rumor I can easily believe.
A new study finds that iPad-equipped college students do better in school.
"Yeah, dad! That's why I need an iPad. It's...educational!"
BlackBerry RIM seems to have learned a lesson from the red-hot sales of HP's defunct TouchPad tablet, when it was priced at $99. The BlackBerry PlayBook's price won't be cut that far, at least not yet. But it's a start...
Boeing chooses Google's mobile operating system for use on its new 787 Dreamliner planes..
No matter how much I like the new BlackBerry, its parent company has fallen upon hard times.
That's what these guys are saying.
The telecom giant is racing to catch up with Verizon Wireless, by deploying the hottest wireless data technology around. Not in Boston yet, alas. But just you wait.
Take it from me, the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is one heck of a great phone. And yet it's left in the dust by the hottest Android devices, like the Droid Bionic.
To read this article, you'll have to subscribe to bostonglobe.com. It's free, till Sept. 30. After that...well, somebody's got to pay my salary. Here's hoping it's you!
Intel says its upcoming ultra-low-powered chips will make it possible for a laptop to run all day on battery power alone.
Bring it on!
Hate your alarm clock? Well, if you use the iPhone as an alarm, here's an app that lets you express your rage. It also makes sure you're awake, since you can only turn off the alarm by violently shaking the phone. That oughta work...
Subscribe to the paper, get a cheap tablet computer. Hey, it might work...
A new Android app from Sprint prevents phoning while driving, by locking the phone when it detects that the user is in a moving car. The service costs $2 a month, and a BlackBerry version is pending
Point Inside releases a cool new Android app that'll show you nearby shopping opportunities, complete with coupons.
That's the latest rumor, anyway. Seems to me they might want to rethink that, given Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Having WP7 as a fallback option might be a good idea. Of course, I happen to like Microsoft's latest phone operating system, but it hasn't caught on with consumers yet and perhaps never will.
Passengers on Southwest Airlines will soon get videos beamed straight to their smartphones or tablets via Wi-Fi. Offerings to include the Three Stooges. Now we're talking!
A German court upholds a ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy tablet computer in that country. I reviewed the Galaxy a few weeks ago. it's the best non-iPad tablet I've seen. But Apple says it's a shameless ripoff, and the German court agrees. The Galaxy is still available in the US...but for how long?
Here's my review of the new Vinci tablet computer for children. Not bad, but way too expensive. Might as well get an iPad...
A new study finds that criminals are building networks of infected Android phones, just as they've long done with Windows PCs. These "botnets" can be used to send out spam, or carry out attacks on other computer networks. Looks like Android users will be paying a steep price for Google's refusal to test the safety of the apps it posts in its Android Market. I've yet to hear of an iPhone botnet. it's not impossible. But Apple checks out iOS apps before offering them to their users. Google needs to start doing the same. And quick.
Since Google doesn't test Android apps for malware, Android owners might want to hook up a good antivirus app. This page at Android Market provides an array of options.
AT&T hedges its bets, serves up an ultra-cheap Android phone from Chinese electronics titan Huawei.
No, HP's tablet computer has not been accused of killing a puppy.. But like the kung-fu actor, the TouchPad is hard to kill... So hard, in fact, that HP is rumored to be making another 200,000 of them, despite discontinuing the TouchPad last month. The tablets sold so well at the fire-sale price of $99 that HP is giving it one more go...but it seems it's just a one-time only deal, and the TouchPad is still doomed. Or...is it?
The US Army could soon standardize on Android phones to communicate with the troops.
Looks like Amazon's rumored tablet computer is the real deal.
Could Japan's once-great electronics giant be getting its act together? I'm skeptical. But this article suggests that Sony may have a decent Android tablet offering. I'll have to get my hands on one...
I guess the giant online retailer figures there's room for one more...
Nokia may be moving to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone operating system. But it hasn't entirely abandoned its Symbian software. Indeed, here comes some new Symbian stuff for buyers on a budget.
The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers is issuing iPads to every player to hold their playbooks and game film.
The number-three wireless carrier will become the third to offer the Apple iPhone.
Well, duh. The company refuses to test Android apps for viruses and other nasties, with the result that the bad guys are racing to write attack programs targeting Android phones and tablets. I got my Android phone for free, but unless Google gets a handle on this, I may regret it.
Reuters says the company is planning to release an el cheapo version of the iPhone.
I'm old enough to remember when Apple prided itself on charging more for its products than rival companies. It still does when it comes to its Mac computers. But ever since the iPod, Apple's learned the joys of going downmarket. Its phones, tablets and music players are price-competitive with rival products, and in some cases cheaper. One more reason Apple's setting the world on fire.
...HTC will hedge its bet on Google's Android operating system and roll out some Windows Phone 7 handsets
CEO Peter Chou said the Taiwanese company is unfazed by Google's purchase of Motorola. Says Chou, "It’s not the operating system, it’s the ecosystem."
Microsoft is aggressively recruiting software developers who were working on HP's now-defunct WebOS, in hopes of getting them to write software for Windows Phone 7. And it seems to be working. Here's a report that 500 WebOS developers have already signed up.
Microsoft's great, hidden strength has always been its excellent relationships with software developers. They made it easy to write lots of great software for Windows. If they can do the same for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's bid to become a player in smartphones might still succeed...
The just-assassinated HP TouchPad tablet was selling at fire sale prices this weekend--as low as $99 in some places. Tragic--it's actually a nice little tablet. Besides, at that price, I just might have bought me one...
Hewlett-Packard will abandon its WebOS product line, including the TouchPad tablet and Pre cellphones. And that's just the beginning. The world's biggest maker of PCs says it wants to sell off its PC business. Suddenly Google-Motorola doesn't seem quite so stunning.
Looking for a doctor? Look at your smartphone. ZocDoc, a smart new app for iPhone or Android lets you set up appointments with local physicians. Just put in the name of your medical insurance plan, and the kind of treatment you need. ZocDoc uses the phone's GPS system to calculate your location, and then point you to the nearest doctors. It'll even show you whether they've got an open space on their daily schedule. Somebody should have thought of this a long time ago...
I attended a wedding at a Congolese church yesterday. Pastor ran the entire service off software stored on his iPad. Scripture reading, vows, everything...all in French. And one of the guests, a bald, middle-aged guy, kept holding up his Android tablet--I think it was a Motorola Xoom--and using it to take pictures of the event. No doubt about it. Tablets are here to stay.
Its TouchPad tablet is going nowhere fast, so HP is cutting the price to $399, making it cheaper than the iPad. It's a nice piece of hardware but can never hope to match the vast array of iPad apps and accessories. So a lower price is about all it can hope to offer.
The British government considers shutting down social networking services and cellphone texting during periods of social unrest...
Patents filed by Apple suggest the company plans to build video projectors into future iPhones, iPad and MacBooks. That means users will be able to project photos, videos or documents against any nearby surface, thereby delighting friends and colleagues. Picoprojectors haven't been all that popular with consumers up to now. But if anybody can fix that, it's Apple.
A new app for iPhones, iPads and Androids feeds the latest arts coverage from the New Yorker straight to your mobile device.
Misplace your phone, and you can usually find it by listening to the ringtone. But what it you left it in vibrate mode? Here's a badly needed Android app that solves your little problem, by letting you remotely reactivate your phone's ringer. Smart. Very smart.
Public spirited citizens plan to use facial recognition software to identify participants in the British riots. But what if the software gets it wrong?
There's a good chance you've never heard of Symbian, the smartphone software created by Finnish giant Nokia. It's one of the most popular of smartphone platforms, but not in the US, where Nokia has very little market share. The company plans to make a comeback in the American market with a line of phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, and today Nokia announced that it's dropping Symbian phones, as well as cheap "feature phones" from its US product lineup. It's total commitment to Windows Phone 7.
Nokia Inc. President Chris Weber said in an interview. “It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere).”
...as hackers attack the company for speaking out about British rioters who use BlackBerry mobile phones to plot new outrages.
How do you smuggle iPads into China? Any which way you can...
A top Windows Phone 7 exec bails out of Microsoft. Might mean nothing, but it's not a ringing endorsement of Microsoft's phone strategy either. Wait and see...
The good news: BlackBerry phones are still popular. The bad news: They're popular with British rioters.
Hewlett-Packard's new TouchPad hasn't laid a glove on sales of Apple's ferociously popular iPad 2. But maybe, just maybe, a weekend price of $299 at Staples could change that.
Massachusetts is an iPhone state, according to Cambridge mobile advertising company Jumptap. They've surveyed the US to identify the dominant smartphones on a state-by-state basis. The Northeast and Midwest tend to be iPhone country, while the West and Southwest favor Androids. But in New York State, BlackBerry rules.
I like free. Free is good. And so I couldn't resist signing up for a free Nexus S smartphone from Google. It's a one-day-only offer while supplies last. And you must sign a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. Go to Google.com's main page to find out more.
There isn't an iPhone app to let you cancel bad TV shows. But here's one that claims it can predict which TV shows are doomed.
...and you'll wind up at Apple. When it comes to smartphones, Android's getting the market share, but Apple's getting the profits.
MetroPCS might not exactly be least among cellular carriers but it's way behind Verizon Wireless. Yet MetroPCS just might be first to market in the US with a voice-over-LTE service. Today Verizon and MetroPCS offer LTE 4G service but only for data. Voice traffic moves over standard CDMA equipment. But move the voice to 4G as well, and you could see a dramatic improvement in audio quality.
So who'll get there first--little MetroPCS or giant VZW? Stay tuned...
A new iPhone app brings the battle alive. A tempting treat for history buffs, and it's free.
Got good grades? Get an iPad. Oops, sorry--not an iPad. But Samsung's Galaxy Tab isn't bad either. Especially not when it's free to honor students...
Android's gobbled up 48 percent of the world's smartphone market. Apple iPhone is number two, according to this new survey.
It's neck-and-neck in the smartphone wars...
Another hint that Apple will unleash the next iPhone in September...
Tekken Bowl features the hard-hitting boxers from the venerable fighting game. Only this time they're taking their skills to the bowling lanes. It's family-friendly and it's free for iPad and iPhone.
Fans of the weekly magazine The Economist can now subscribe to an Android edition..A similar app for the iPhone and iPad has been around for months.
Research In Motion lays off 2,000, about 10 percent of its workforce. Further proof that the maker of BlackBerry phones is in real trouble.
Movie streaming service Netflix now runs on 24 different Android phones.
The company's highly-touted, much-denounced PlayBook tablet is being outsold--by tablets running Microsoft Windows. That's like being outsold by the Etch-A-Sketch.
Hmmm...could be. Could be.
A new free iPhone app takes speech recognition to a new level. Dragon Go, from Burlington-based Nuance, makes it easy to search a host of Internet data sources--not just Google--by speaking into your iPhone. Want to see videos of the space shuttle launch, for instance? Just ask for them. This is one nice app.
European app developers retreat from the US market, out of fear of being sued for patent violations. Is our patent law too tough on software developers?
the next-gen software update to Windows Phone 7, codenamed Mango, will include a feature to show maps of the interiors of large buildings--airport terminals, train stations, shopping malls. Microsoft badly needs a few buzz-worthy features. This one's not bad...
Seven new models this year from embattled smartphone maker RIM.
They better hurry..
T-Mobile offers a version that shows a caller's name, city and state--not just his phone number.
Hewlett-Packard announces an upgrade to its TouchPad tablet computer, which has only been on the market for a month or so. The new one features 4G cellular data service, but the big surprise is a faster processor, tacit admission that the current TouchPad is way too slow.
Boy Genius Report serves up the details on how the maker of BlackBerry went astray.
Oh goody--more tainted Android apps. It's getting to the point where Google really needs to take action. The company should test all apps before allowing them to be posted in the Android Market. Will it take a digital disaster to wise them up?
It's awfui early for retailers to be cutting the price on HP's new TouchPad tablet, innit? But they are...
And here's the proof! A third of iPhone owners think their phones have 4G data service; only a quarter of BlackBerry users think so. Of course, neither line of phones currently offers a 4G version. But more iPhoners have been fooled than BlackBerry users. So there!
Looks like Sprint won't be offering cellphones that run Hewlett-Packard's WebOS operating system, the same software that runs on the Palm Pre phone and the HP TouchPad tablet.
Motorola's Android tablet took a lot of well-deserved flak for its high price. Apparently, Motorola has listened...
Smartphones now make up the majority of new cellphone purchases in the US, according to Nielsen.
Microsoft's smartphone comeback bid could gain traction if it's supported with lots and lots of apps. And that's just what's happening. Eight months after WP7 was released, developers have created 25,000 apps for it. Not at all bad.
The CEO says one's coming this year. As one who came of age in the '70s and '80s, when Sony was regarded as the world's dominant consumer electronics firm, I've been amazed by the company's loss of daring and creativity over the past decade or so. They've been late to just about every market. Their last no-doubt-about-it hit was the PlayStation 2. And now a Sony tablet, running Android Honeycomb. Just like the Motorola Xoom, which is already on the market. Once again, Sony reminds me of how far behind the curve it's fallen.
The new Thunderbolt phone from Verizon Wireless is hampered by short battery life. But it's quite a good phone, for a few hours, anyway.
Windows Phone 7 could soon be the number-two smartphone platform, after Android, according to analysts at IDC Corp. in Framingham. And where does that leave the iPhone? Third place.
Hmmm...mighty bold prediction, seeing as how WP7 has gained so little traction. But the deal with Nokia does have potential to turn things around...
Help the people of Japan by playing games. That's the pitch from PopCap, one of the world's top makers of casual games. On Saturday and Sunday, PopCap will slash the prices on its games for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone, and donate every penny to the Red Cross. What a lovely idea. God bless them.
How about a lower priced Wi-Fi-only version? That might goose the anemic sales of Motorola's Android tablet...
With a faster processor but a lousy camera, I'd call it a wash.
Two smartphone apps for video chatting leave me cold. They can't match Apple's FaceTime for the iPhone 4
The Internet's nearly full up, because of all the phones and tablets and game consoles and such that we keep plugging in. But a new Internet addressing scheme is about to solve that problem--permanently.
Engineers tear apart the new Motorola Xoom, and find a few surprises.
Motorola's tablet computer is here, and while it won't be an iPad-killer, it definitely kills.
A new Android app makes it easy to videotape police officers in action, and upload the video anonymously to the Web. Hey, cops are public servants. Shouldn't their activities be shown to the public?
Can a cheap mini-iPhone save Apple from the Android tidal wave? A bunch of stories like this one say that Apple plans to introduce such a phone, and soon.
...to liking the new Roman Catholic confession app for the iPhone. No, you can't get absolution from sin merely by using the phone. It's actually a handy and well-designed aid to the sacrament. I was brought up Catholic, but currently hang with the Baptists. Still, I plan on using this app again, as a handy guide to the strait and narrow path.
Yes, SI will still be available on paper. But...new subscriptions will include the online version. You won't be able to get only the print version. At $48 a year, it's a considerable price increase over the print-only subscription cost. Seems like SI is staging a phased withdrawal from print.
Looks like Nokia of Finland has decided to base its future cellphones on Windows Phone 7. Not official yet, but a bold move that could instantly make Microsoft a global smartphone giant.
Motorola's mighty new Atrix 4G, part phone, part laptop, is a worthy challenger to Apple's iPhone 4.
A software upgrade adds new features to the bestselling e-reader. Share your book notes and highlights with the world, and enjoy the new look of electronic newspapers and magazines. Check out a free preview here.
Everybody who signs up with T-Mobile, that is. The US arm of Germany's Deutsche Telekom will give away any phone in its lineup to customers who sign up for two years of service on Friday or Saturday.
Here comes their smartphone/videogame machine, a PSP that makes phone calls. Can't hardly wait.
Motorola leaks the price on its upcoming Xoom tablet computer. It's rather steep...
AT&T's red-hot new Android phone arrives Feb. 13. I tried it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and it looks bad to the bone.
Sales of the company's tablet computers are doing just fine. Yesterday's statement to the contrary was just an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Could be. Language barrier and all that.
So Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablets aren't selling very well after all? Well, considering they're about as expensive as the superior iPad, why the heck should they?
Windows Phone 7 isn't setting the world on fire, but it's slowly catching on, according to this report. About what I'd have expected.
Nostradamus I'm not. After months of predicting that the popularity of the iPhone and Android would clobber sales of BlackBerry phones, along comes the company's quarterly sales report.
$5.49 billion in revenues, up 40 percent in the quarter ended Nov. 27. Net income up 45 percent to $911.1 million. And unit sales of phones hit 14.2 million, beating analysts' expectations.
Not bad. At all.
Still, a growing percentage of the sales are coming from outside of the US and Britain. BlackBerry parent company RIM still needs an answer to the iPhone and Android, which are surging in its core markets.
But all in all, it looks like BlackBerry's "decline" is quite a profitable one.
A million sold, so far. I guess many consumers don't share my reservations about the Galaxy Tab--mainly that it's too expensive. Still, it is a nice device despite the price and other limitations.
...and other smartphone market data from Nielsen. Google's operating system sure has shaken up the market.
Superfast data service from Verizon Wireless is on the way. The company will announced its plans at a press conference tomorrow. Since the company tested its 4G service in Boston, it's a virtual certainty that we'll be among the 38 cities that'll get the service first.
One analyst says that sales of the Galaxy Tab are falling short of expectations, but so are those of Apple's iPad. Hmmm...
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is a capable rival to Apple's iPad. But its high price and lack of good apps ensure that it won't cost Steve Jobs any lost sleep.
This much--Dell drops BlackBerry for Windows Phone 7. There go 25,000 BlackBerry users. And Dell will offer a product to help move other BlackBerry-based corporations onto Windows Phones instead.
Location-based services like Foursquare really aren't too popular, according to this report. Sure, all the cool kids like to talk about "checking in" and becoming the "mayor" of this nightclub or that coffee shop. But most folks don't see the point. I used Foursquare myself for several months but have lately wiped it from my BlackBerry without regret. Does me no good that I can see, so why bother? Besides, why should I report my movements to Foursquare? Go hire a private eye if you're that interested, but you'll get no help from me.
Did you hear the one about the Palm Pre 2?
The original Palm Pre was supposed to be competitive with Apple's iPhone. And no doubt about it, the Pre was a darned good phone. But it never caught on with consumers. A desperate Palm agreed to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co., which mainly wanted to use WebOS, the Pre's operating system, for a new line of tablet computers.
But HP hasn't given up on smartphones. Last month, the company launched the Palm Pre 2 phone. But the launch was so quiet I must confess I missed it. Maybe because the new phone is presently available only in France, and will come to the US sometime next year. Not much of a vote of confidence in a technology that's actually not bad.
An interesting theory about Android's surging popularity--lots of the Android phones have pushbutton keyboards, and the hip, happening youth of the world mainly use their phones for texting. The iPhone, available only with a glass keyboard, just isn't as appealing.
Dunno if this is correct, but it's a clever hypothesis.
Pay online bills with your phone, if you're an AT&T Wireless customer. This might be a big deal, especially if it transitions to brick-and-mortar retail. Our phones could become alternative credit cards.
And why not? The company's phone business turns profitable thanks to the sales of all those Droids.
Well, one of them, anyway. But a very important one, which will let the new phones display Kindle e-books from Amazon.com.
Gotta admit, I like the Windows Phone. But its future depends on a plentiful supply of new apps. So keep 'em coming...
Now there are 100,000 apps for Android phones. Smartphones running this software are gaining fast on Apple's iPhone.
Not bad, Microsoft. Not bad at all. Windows Phone 7 still needs work, but Microsoft has dealt itself back into the smartphone game.
By the way, here's one of Microsoft's ads for the phone. Again, not at all bad.
Along with the new Windows smartphone software, Microsoft may also demonstrate an updated tablet computer at an Oct. 11 event in New York. Oughta be fun...
Microsoft sues Motorola over its Android smartphones. The real target, of course, is Google, the maker of Android software. Microsoft says the Motorola Android phones violate a number of its patents. We'll see...
Just touch the screen to call for help. That's the idea of a new emergency rescue app called Forsse. You pay $14.95 a month to install it on your phone--just Android for now, but versions are being prepared for the iPhone and for BlackBerries. One touch activates the app. Another touch triggers an alert to a remote monitoring station that uses GPS to figure out your location and send help. The service also starts recording any audio coming over your phone. I haven't tried Forsse yet, but it sounds like it could come in mighty handy.
Texting while driving is now illegal in Massachusetts, and in most other states too. So...what's a driver to do? Turn off the phone, or put it out of reach. Or check out some of these clever apps...
Research in Motion Ltd. unveiled a BlackBerry tablet computer today, just as expected. The new PlayBook will run an entirely different operating system from today's BlackBerry phones, and will support Adobe Flash, unlike the Apple iPad. As RIM's strength in smartphones continues to fade, this could be just the gamechanger that the company needs. But only if the PlayBook is really good. We'll find out when the product makes its debut in 2011.
Not sure about the iPad? A bunch of alternative tablet computers are on the way...
Could be, according to this story from the Wall Street Journal.
That's what Verizon Wireless has in mind. The company long used its V Cast store for selling software for its various cellphones. Now that Verizon is turning into Android Central, customers are getting their apps through Google's Android Market. Verizon apparently wants a piece of that action. And why not? One of the advantages of Android v. iPhone is Android's more open software universe. Unlike Apple, which has a stranglehold on apps through its online store, Android lets everybody play. So why not Verizon Wireless?
The tiny Boston firm faces tough competition, because its core business is so smart--mapping the world's Wi-Fi hotspots as a supplement to GPS location technology. Millions of smartphones around the world use Skyhook tech to help users find their way. But now giants like Apple and Google want the technology for themselves. And that means trouble.
Nine years on, Apple keeps finding ways to improve on the iPod. Check out the company's latest offerings...
Not at first, anyway. Verizon says it'll hold off on carrying smartphones based on Microsoft's new operating system until next year. This does not bode well...not at all. Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's last chance. If it doesn't catch on, it's game over. iPhone and Android will rule.
So says Skyhook, the Boston company that Wi-Fi mapping. Skyhook's technology lets smartphones track their positions by picking up signals from nearby Wi-Fi routers. Google now offers a similar service, but Skyhook is suing Google in federal court. Skyhook claims it holds the patents on W-Fi location, and Google is violating them. Skyhook also claims that Google is strong-arming Skyhook customers to switch to Google's version of the service. Evil, if true.
Apple could see the iPad become its second-most-lucrative product in a couple years, right behind...the iPhone. So the Mac computer is rapidly fading as a revenue source for the company. No wonder they changed the name from Apple Computer to just plain Apple.
Forget it, Apple. Android smartphones will conquer the universe!
They're making it easier to get new apps approved. Credit increased competition from Android phones, and greater scrutiny from federal regulators.
Thieves in New Hampshire rip off Facebookers, thanks to a feature that tells criminals when you're not at home. Goody.
80,000 Android apps and counting, according to this.
Do your digital pictures need digital frames? Darned If I can see the point of it, but a guy named Eli Wilner is hot on the idea. Mind you, he's prejudiced--Wilner is a major producer of real-world picture frames, some of which carry six-figure price tags. Yeah, I don't get that either.
Anyway, Wilner is now selling an iPhone/iPad app that'll let you drape a stylish frame around your digital snapshots and share them with friends and family. I tried the $1.99 iPhone app and...it works. Definitely. I know a picture frame when I see one, and sure enough, the pictures on my iPhone were well and truly framed. Yes sirree.
Still dunno why I'd want them to be, but that's just me.
For $4.99 you can get the iPad version, with really big frames. Each app lets you choose from 100 different frame styles.
Wilner is convinced he's onto something. He's so eager to get the word out that his company sent me an iPhone, just to try the frame program. I remain unconvinced. Nice iPhone, though.
Smartphones can help you launch your own business empire. This clever article from Network World tells how.
A new Nike app for the iPhone generates a Google Maps display of the route you follow during your daily run. Nice way to see where you've been going.
With Hurricane Earl bearing down, you've probably stocked up on canned goods and bottled water. Now all you need are a few good smartphone apps. If you've got an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, you can download a host of inexpensive programs that can help you stay safe. I haven't had a chance to try them all, but here are a few that could come in handy.
Apple iPhones and Android phones come with basic weather apps that deliver bare-bones forecasts. But you can install additional apps that provide more detail. The Weather Channel, the popular cable TV network, offers a good free app for iPhones, BlackBerries and Androids. Weather Underground's Who Is Hot? is an even more comprehensive app for the iPhone, while Android users should check out MyWeather. Both these apps are free.
For more specific alerts, consider the aptly-named iPhone app Hurricane. This $1.99 software displays the storm's latest wind speeds, barometric pressures, and features updated radar maps along with predictions of the storm's likely path.
Your smartphone's a valuable tool if you're caught up in the storm.. Apps like Disaster Readiness 2011 for the iPhone or First Aid for the Android contain detailed information on treating injuries and documenting property damage for your insurance company. First Aid is free; Disaster Readiness 2011 costs $1.99.
For the BlackBerry, there's USBMIS Mobile First Aid and CPR, developed with help from the American College of Emergency Physicians. This app costs $2.99 and is also available for the iPhone. Look for it in the BlackBerry App Store.
Most of the newest smartphones can double as flashlights in an emergency, thanks to light-emitting diodes mounted next to their built-in cameras. These LEDs are intended for flash photography, but can be programmed to issue a steady beam of light. Of course, this drains the battery, so use this feature sparingly.
You'll need to install a flashlight app; there are plenty to choose from at the Apple and Android online app stores. Some are free, while others can cost a buck or so. Flashlight apps are also available for BlackBerry phones, but you can get by without one. If your BlackBerry has a built-in video camera, just turn it on, and then hit the spacebar on the phone's keyboard to turn on the light. But this method turns on the video camera as well as the light, speeding the drain on your battery. Instead, you can purchase an app that will only turn on the light.
Don't have an LED light on your phone? There are apps that make the phone's screen emit a brilliant glow; some of these are free.
As Hurricane Earl bears down, consider stocking up on weather-related smartphone apps. Here's a mess of links for the iPhone. I can't find a similar list for Androids, but you can visit the Android Market with your phone and search under "weather."
Want to turn your iPhone into Capt. Kirk's communicator? Here you go.
The new high-speed wireless data services from cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile don't fully deliver on the promise of superfast 4G technology. But they're still worthy improvements over what we've got. Here's my take on the new services, which have just launched in Boston.
The upgraded iPod Touch gets videoconferencing, just like the iPhone 4, and a bunch more impressive improvements.
Amidst all the Apple news, CEO Steve Jobs cast doubt on Google's claims about the popularity of its Android operating system. Well, Google's not going to take that lying down.
Sprint unleashes its 4G cellular data service in Boston, but rival T-Mobile says its improved 3G service, also just launched, is equally fast. Let the high-speed data flow like wine!
Netflix comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Wonder why it took so long; the online movie streaming service was available on the iPad from Day One. The new app works nicely on the iPhone, showing all the movies and TV shows you've already got queued up. And of course the app itself is free; a Netflix subscription costs a minimum of $8.99 a month.
Remember pinball machines? You're not alone. Some clever cat has devised a kit to turn an iPhone into a mini-pinball machine, and you can purchase on at Best Buy Too cool.
At long last, Boston's about to get 4G wireless service, thanks to cell carrier Sprint and its partner Clearwire. At last, those EVO 4G phones will get a chance to strut their stuff...
Maybe your next BlackBerry should be an Android phone. This article makes a respectable case for the idea.
Blackberry's parent company RIM has to change the game--and fast. Just today, a Morgan Stanley analyst cut the company's stock rating to SELL. Analysts hardly ever do that unless they see disaster ahead. A switch to Android might be the only way out.
Cell phones are used to detect fake malaria drugs.
In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria kills hundreds of thousands every year. And about 30 percent of the anti-malaria drugs are counterfeit. But a Ghanaian geek came up with a way of texting the product codes on drug bottles, to confirm whether the meds are for real. It's a wonderful idea that could keep a lot of people from taking useless medications.
The cell phone industry may be dragged into a nasty squabble over royalties between broadcasters and music producers. Believe it or not, broadcasters are seeking a federal regulation requiring that all cell phones contain FM radio tuners, whether users want the tuners, or not. It's the broadcasters' way of hanging onto listeners who increasingly get their music via the Internet or by listening to MP3s. There are already some phones with FM tuners in them. It's not a bad idea. But making it mandatory, at the behest of the National Association of Broadcasters, seems a bit much.
The director of Apple's App Store has been caught selling some pretty tasteless products of his own. Not exactly kid-friendly, for sure.
I check out two of the latest, the Dell Streak and Samsung Vibrant, and explain why the Android platform is bound to take a commanding lead over the iPhone--in market share anyway.
Here's PrivacyStar for the Android. It's, an app that blocks unwanted cellphone calls and protects you from telemarketers. I've tried the PrivacyStar app for the BlackBerry, and thought it pretty good.
It takes a lot of work to build the navigation maps on your smartphone. Here's how it's done.
In a summer where other smartphone makers can't keep their products on store shelves, Research In Motion Ltd. has just slashed the price of its new BlackBerry Torch from $199 to $99, a blunt admission that it's just not selling all that well.
No surprise here. it's a very good BlackBerry, maybe the best yet. But compared to the latest iPhone and Android phones, it's not so hot.
Here's another good reason to control your Android phone with your voice. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they can figure out people's passwords just by analyzing the smudges on an Android phone's touchscreen. The trick doesn't work on iPhones, just Androids. Creepy.
Androids should obey when we speak. Even the late, great actress Patricia Neal could have told you that. If that robot Gort hadn't listened to her, she'd have been vaporized and never had a chance to win an Oscar for playing the hot housekeeper in Hud.
So I'm all for software that'll let you control many functions of your Android phone with your voice. And here it is, as Google unveils Voice Actions in its newest version of Android software.
Google's improvements are free of charge. Not good news for Vlingo, which has been charging $10 for an app that does a lot of the same stuff. Sure enough, Vlingo has just announced that it'll start giving away its software to keep up with Google.
Somebody had to take the fall for the notorious antenna problem and the difficulties in making white iPhones, yes? And it sure as shooting wasn't going to be Steve Jobs. So instead, it's this guy.
The Internet phone company files an IPO.
Given reviewers' underwhelming response to the new BlackBerry Torch, (here's my take) and the ongoing efforts by governments to compromise the BlackBerry's top-notch data security features, parent company RIM needs a game-changer. A good tablet device could be it. But are all the rumors true? Beats me. Still, here's the latest--a $500 pricetag, and a November launch,
In Saudi Arabia, anyway. But is this good news or bad? Did BlackBerry parent company Research In Motion agree to let Saudi authorities snoop on message traffic? If so, other countries will want the same thing. And if they get it, who'll trust their BlackBerries any more? And when will governments demand that other cell companies do the same?
Free trial versions of new iPhone apps are available at last, thanks to a new Try Before You Buy feature at the App Store. And about time too.
200,000 new Android phone activations every single day, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
The new BlackBerry Torch is a fine phone, but...have you seen the new iPhone 4, or the Droid X or the EVO 4G or the Samsung Vibrant?
There's a tidal wave of really fine new smartphones hitting the market this summer, and compared to the rest, the Torch is merely good. And that's no longer good enough.
Too difficult to spy on them, apparently. It's a sort of backhanded endorsement. But it's also a creepy warning of things to come. What other tech gadgets will soon be banned because they prevent governments from spying on us? And how far will that trend progress in our own country?
So says Bloomberg News. It's reporting that Research In Motion, in a bid to compete with the Apple iPad, will introduce its own "BlackPad" tablet device in November. The new gadget will have Wi-Fi wireless networking, as well as Bluetooth for data sharing with the user's BlackBerry phone.
RIM's seen its market share slip as the iPhone catches on with the corporate and government markets that the BlackBerry has long dominated. RIM hopes to slow the bleeding by announcing a major new smartphone on Tuesday. Taking on Apple in the tablet market would be a remarkably aggressive play, but that could be just the thing to get RIM back on track.
Besides, everybody else wants a piece of the iPad. Microsoft's chief Steve Ballmer said yesterday that his company's going all out to build a rival tablet; Hewlett-Packard plans Microsoft-based tablets for corporate use; and Korea's LG is working on a tablet based on Google's Android software.
Another bogus security scare? Could be.
British troops use iPads to master the use of heavy artillery.
Lots of apps can swipe your personal data, according to a new report.
But take this claim with a grain of salt. Last month I linked to a similarly spectacular story about insecure Android apps. The source of that story has since retracted it.
A corrupt app steals personal data from Android users, highlighting one of the big downsides of Google's smartphone system. Because it's an "open" technology, it's easy for bad guys to create malware and trick people into using it. Our PCs suffer from the same problem, and we've learned to live with it. But who wants this kind of hassle with their phones? Score one for Apple's walled-garden approach.
The embattled cellphone company actually gained customers last quarter, partly due to the popularity of the EVO 4G Android phone.
iPhone and Android are moving in for the kill, unless RIM can revitalize the aging BlackBerry platform.
New federal rules make it lawful. So users of Apple iPhones can now put unauthorized software on their phones without fear of legal repercussions. You need only fear the terrible wrath of Steve Jobs...
Most iPhone users are fine with AT&T, according to a new survey from Boston's Yankee Group. So am I, most of the time. But earlier this year, in Las Vegas, I found the company's service atrocious. I guess it depends where you are.
Some just aren't worth the bother, according to a rather good piece from Network World. For instance, you don't need a special app to turn the flash of your BlackBerry into an emergency flashlight. There's a built-in feature that'll take care of it. Read the whole thing for more useful tips.
Verizon Wireless is doing just fine without Apple's popular iPhone, thanks to red-hot sales of Android smartphones.
The local defense contractor Raytheon, maker of the Patriot missile system, has brought out an iPhone-based training game for the troops. It's just the latest Raytheon military app for the iPhone. I'd like to review it, but first I'd have to buy my own Patriot missile battery.
This guy stole the wrong iPhone.
For $10 a month, Hulu Plus will pump dozens of your favorite shows right into your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Here's my take on it.
...Verizon admits that some of the hot-selling phones suffer from screen problems. First the iPhone 4, now this. At least Verizon and manufacturer Motorola have quickly admitted the problem.
Apple comes through loud and clear, even with the iPhone 4's bum antenna. Profits up 77% in the latest quarter. Wow.
That's the word at Amazon.com. A big price cut has helped shore up the continued popularity of its Kindle e-book readers, and sales of the devices have kept right on growing, even as Apple sells out of iPads. In addition, Amazon said it now sells more electronic books than hardcover books. Yep, despite my early misgivings, it looks like e-books do have a future.
Not the search engine, which it keeps trying to censor. But Google's Android software for smartphones is a major hit over there.
Engadget gets its hands on a prototype of the upcoming Windows Phone 7. It's Microsoft's do-or-die attempt to remain relevant in a market falling under the domination of Apple and Google. Looks like there's a lot of good stuff here, but to get back into the smartphone game, Windows Phone 7 will have to be a lot more than just good.
...and in timely fashion. A couple of weeks from now, this whole iPhone 4 antenna thing will be forgotten.
Maybe not Verizon Wireless. Despite persistent rumors that Verizon will start selling the iPhone in a few months, this NY Times story makes a good case that Verizon's strong sales of Google Android phones make the iPhone a lot less important to Verizon that you might think.
...about a problem with the iPhone 4 antenna, according to this report.
Steve Jobs holds a press conference on Friday--my day off! He must have known!
Wonder what he'll say? A full recall of iPhone 4s? No way. Maybe free rubber bumpers to fix the antenna problem, coupled with a groveling apology. That sounds about right.
A horde of excellent new phones have set consumers on a buying spree, and smartphone makers are having trouble keeping up.
Recall, schmeecall, say some Apple defenders, who argue the iPhone's not really so bad.
Bad antenna or no, Apple's smartphone business is on track to generate twice the profit of all its rivals put together. Dude.
Only...not in Boston. Faster, please.
AT&T vows to "move heaven and earth" to fix its cellular network problems.
PR experts say they'll issue a recall of the defective iPhone 4...or else.
Carry a spare, says Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Seems a bit onerous, but there's no denying that short battery life is the EVO's biggest flaw.
The trusted product-review mag gives it a thumbs-down, due to the notorious antenna problem. Consumer Reports hasn't given the iPhone its kiss of death, the rarely issued do-not-buy warning. Instead, the magazine says "we can't recommend the iPhone 4." It's a major embarrassment for Apple.
Sprint is selling its EVO 4G phone faster than its supplier HTC can make them. That could be bad news as Sprint rushes to launch 4G in lots more cities, including Boston. Sprint's for real about this--the roof of my own condo has just been rented out to Clearwire, the Sprint subsidiary that delivers 4G service. Guess my reception ought to be extra good...
And soon, everybody will be able to. That's the word from Google, which is rolling out a set of tools to allow pretty much anybody to design apps for the company's Android operating system for smartphones. The development project was led by MIT's own Harold Abelson, while on sabbatical at Google.
Interested in trying it out? Here you go...
Depends on the photographer. Here's what a fashion photographer managed to pull off with this cell phone camera.
With 160,000 of them being switched on every single day, Android-based smartphones are snatching market share from all the others. Of course, Windows phones are being clobbered, but even the iPhone is taking some hits. Notice, though, that RIM's BlackBerry platform is still out front and holding its own. BlackBerry is doing better than I'd have expected, but the company needs a major upgrade to prevent a major share collapse. Those touch-screen Androids and iPhones are just so much easier to work with.
As good as the iPhone 4? Well, maybe not. But awfully good nonetheless.
If the bad guys can break into iTunes, what can they do to our iPhones?
Mind you, lots of people don't even realize Sony is a player in this market. Well, Sony is. And like every other maker of e-readers, the company is slashing prices.
And quit complaining about the bum antenna. That's Steve Jobs' message, according to this e-mail exchange posted at the Boy Genius Report.
That just might be the day when Verizon turns up its new 4G network. In Boston? One can only hope...
Hire engineers first, release product later. Makes sense to me. But now that iPhone 4 users are buzzing with discontent about reception problems, Apple is in the market for a few more antenna engineers. Smart move, guys, but a little late. Unless the lads in the lab have finally perfected that time machine...
Sprint's 4G data service keeps popping up in more and more US cities. Just not the city that really matters. Get a move on, guys.
Wow. Just wow. Mere weeks after releasing a new youth-oriented cell phone designed for social networking buffs, and after spending millions to market it, Microsoft is pulling the plug. I knew these guys were facing a crisis in the mobile market, but...wow.
So says Bloomberg. Massive bad news for AT&T, if true, and a major boost to Verizon and Apple. Millions who've held off buying the iPhone because of AT&T's reputation will now sign on.
On the other hand, couldn't this cause a short-term hit to iPhone sales? Some people will put off signing contracts with AT&T, and wait for Verizon Wireless to start offering the phone next year. Hmmm...
Here's an interesting summary of the fuss over the new iPhone's antenna. Is it really all that defective? Maybe not...
For the time being, Verizon Wireless is not jumping on the AT&T bandwagon, and will keep offering unlimited cellular data plans. So buyers of the upcoming Droid X superphone will be able to do all the data-shifting their hearts desire and their batteries can stand.
"Well, don't do that!" This vaudeville routine brought to you by Apple, which admits that their new iPhone 4 loses signal if you hold it a certain way. Doesn't this mean the phones are defective and should be repaired? Oh no...you've just got to develop a whole new way to hold your phone. Maybe you buy a hat with a really wide brim, hang a string from the front of it and tie the phone to the string so it sort of dangles in front of you. Yeah. That'll do it.
Now this may be a misunderstanding of the new Apple policy, but if so, Apple needs to clear things up, and fast. Anyway, it sounds a lot easier than plugging the durn hole in the Gulf of Mexico.
Here's an excerpt from the Barton-Markey press release:
Motorola and Verizon fire back with an impressive-looking new version of their Android phone, the Droid X,
A new report finds that about 20 percent of Android apps can be used to spy on the phone's owners.
That's how many iPads Apple has sold so far. It's been just 80 days. Wow.
Book retailer Borders doesn't start selling its Kobo e-reader till next month, and it's already offering a gift card rebate.
I've been using it for about 9 months now, and loving it. A single phone number that rings all my phones, an alternate voice mail system, free SMS messaging, call recording...what's not to like? And now that it's been tested by about a million users, Google Voice is now open to the public. So what are you waiting for?
And don't let this little old patent lawsuit stop you. It may drag on for years, and in any case, they're bound to reach a settlement...I hope.
It seems that the new iPhone operating system collects real-time data about the phone's location--and of course, your location too.
Apple says the data is anonymized, and customers can refuse to provide the info to any given app from any particular company. Still, this is a development that bears watching...
After an hour of using the new iPhone iOS 4 operating system, I'm quite impressed. Yep, it multitasks. I've been reading the New York Times on my Opera browser and popping open Google Maps, all while listening to film scores on Pandora. I can just hop from one app to another, using a very clever window that shows recently used or running apps, which appears at the bottom of the screen when you tap the home button twice. We also get folders. Press and hold one icon and then drag it atop another similar icon. For instance, drag one of your iPhone games onto another. Up pops a window suggesting that you call the new folder Games. It now appears as an icon with tiny little mini-icons set inside it. Very handy, and a good way to regain control of screen real estate.
These are just first impressions, but very positive ones. Steve Jobs said that Apple didn't want the iPhone to do multitasking till it could be done right. I think Apple's come through.
Apple's major overhaul of the iPhone operating system is now available for downloading. This is the one that's supposed to enable multitasking--if you've got multitasking-capable apps. I'm getting it now and will check in later with early impressions.
With Apple's iPad selling like wildfire, Amazon.com has no choice but to slash the price of its Kindle e-book readers from $259 to $189.
This just landed in my e-mail box:
SEATTLE—June 21, 2010—Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that Amazon Kindle, the best e-reader on the market (see this recent press release from the world's leading consumer reporting organization—http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2010/06/amazons-kindle-tops-cr-ebook-reader-ratings.html), is now only $189, down from $259. Kindle is the 3G wireless portable reader that allows you to think of a book and be reading in 60 seconds, from wherever you happen to be. Easy to read even in bright sunlight, the 10.2 ounce Kindle is light enough for one-handed reading. Even though it's a 3G wireless device, Kindle has no monthly fees or annual contracts. The Kindle Store includes over 600,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 109 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. In addition, over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available to read on Kindle. Since its release, Kindle has been the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon. Kindle is in stock and available for immediate shipment at the new lower price of $189. Learn more at www.amazon.com/kindle.
On the very same day, Barnes & Noble cuts the price of its Nook e-reader and introduces a cheaper Wi-Fi-only version. Isn't cutthroat competition delightful?
We've heard that one before. But it's become a lot more plausible lately, due to the rise of mobile devices and cloud computing . Here's long-time tech analyst Henry Blodget, warning Microsofties that the end is near...
I'm not talking about digital viruses, either. I mean good old-fashioned germs, the kind your mom was worried about when she taught you to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Needless to say, even the cleanest of us are covered with microscopic bugs, and some of them end up on our smartphones whenever we touch them. Which is why the world needs something like this--a gadget disinfector. Personally, I just use those disinfectant wipes every now and then. But maybe it's time for an upgrade....
The US government is dominated by BlackBerry users, right up to President Obama. But that's starting to change, as a tidal wave of smart new iPhone apps far surpasses the software available for BlackBerries.
Looks like Verizon Wireless will abandon unlimited data plans when it switches to 4G technology, just as AT&T is already doing on its 3G network. You'll pay by the megabyte. This could be good news for those who don't use all that much data, but lousy for people who can't get enough.
Tablets will outsell cheap netbook computers by 2012, according to Forrester Research in Cambridge. And the year after that, they'll outsell desktops. Wow.
The world's leading cellphone maker long ago lost its edge in the US market. But believe it or not, Nokia's Symbian phones are still the world's most common type of smartphone. But for how long? The company's fading fast as iPhone and Android phones gain share around the world.
Ever since the first iPhone, the relationship between AT&T and Apple has seen plenty of turmoil. Will Apple eventually throw in the towel and start seeing others? Count on it. But don't ask me when.
It's a smart way to get back some of the cash you paid for aging gadgets. Here's how...
First AT&T stopped taking orders for the iPhone 4, citing its inability to keep up with demand. Now the company says customers who've pre-ordered will have to wait till July 14 to get their phones.
AT&T, which already has trouble delivering wireless phone service, also seems incapable of taking orders for the upcoming iPhone 4. And it gets worse. The company's order system may also be compromising its customers' personal data. Goody.
Word on the street suggests that BlackBerry will soon unleash a slider phone that might put it in a better position to fend off the iPhone and Android challenges. We shall see...
Starbucks is about to stop charging for Wi-fi Internet access. I suppose we all knew this was coming. Now we know when--July 1.
The coming of the iPhone 4G has owners of older iPhones rushing to sell them. Boston's own Gazelle.com says trade-in volume is soaring.
Perhaps you envy people with those cool push-to-talk phones--the kind that let you instantly speak to someone else on the network without having to dial the number. Well, a new app called Push2Talk lets you do the same thing with higher-end BlackBerries, like the Bold, Storm and Curve. Got a friend with one of these phones? Each of you can buy the app for $4.99. Install it, then swap the PIN numbers of your BlackBerries, just as you would to use the BlackBerry instant messaging network. Now you can instantly send shout-outs to the other person by highlighting his name in the Push2Talk app, and pushing a button on the left edge of the phone. Hitting the button records your voice message. Release it, and the recording is sent to the other phone, arriving about two seconds later.
The software has an annoying way of cutting off the last second or so of your voice message. It helps to hold the button for a second longer after you're done speaking. Still, they need to fix this irritating problem.
Push2Talk only works with BlackBerries; each phone must have the app installed, and users must share their PINs with each other. But that makes the software quite useful for those with lots of BlackBerry-toting friends and colleagues. Lots of businesses, including the Globe, issue BlackBerries to dozens or hundreds of workers. For these companies, Push2Talk could be a worthwhile investment.
How'd the company manage to expose the e-mail addresses of iPad 3G users? Here's AT&T's explanation.
And here's a comment from the hackers who uncovered the problem.
Sometimes you don't need a whole webpage of answers to an online search. Instead, you want a simple, short answer to a simple, short question, like, "what's the capital of North Dakota?" Google has been buffing up its ability to respond to such simple questions, and they're touting the technique as ideal for smartphone users. Especially if you've got an iPhone or Android phone, where you can speak the question into the microphone, instead of typing it in.
This report indicates that the upgrade to the iPhone operating system is just the first step in bringing true multitasking to the device. All the app developers will have to upgrade their software as well, and quite a few of them may not bother. Which means that full-bore multitasking on the iPhone may be further away than we thought...
Thousands affected, according to the tech website Valleywag.
The version of Apple's iPad which that connects to AT&T's 3G network was affected a security flaw that exposed the e-mail addresses of many prominent owners, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel tells me the breach is closed and that it doesn't affect any other devices on the AT&T 3G network, like the iPhone. Still, this isn't going to do much for AT&T's reputation. And Apple 's been given one more reason to consider offering its products through rival carrier Verizon Wireless
Symantec offers up an anti-malware app for Android, to protect the phones from malicious software. As Android apps don't have to go through Apple's tough approval process, I suppose the risk is greater. But is there really much of a threat from toxic Android apps? I plan to learn more from the Symantec folks first chance I get.
UPDATE: I spoke with Dan Nadir, director of product management at Symantec. Nadir admits that apart from a few lab experiments, there are no examples of malware attacking Android phones. But he said that Symantec wants to be ready for anything. Besides, the program, called Norton Security for Android, also allows the user to remotely lock a lost phone, or wipe all its data in case it's been stolen. You can also program it to block unwanted calls from certain numbers.
I tested the block feature on my borrowed HTC EVO 4G. The instructions were a little confusing, but the software worked as advertised. By texting a command from my BlackBerry to the EVO, I locked the Android phone and couldn't use it again until I entered the unlock code.
A beta version of Norton Security for Android is available now from the Market app on any Android phone. It's free for the moment; Symantec hasn't decided how much to charge for the finished version.
Amtrak plans to introduce Wi-Fi Internet access on all its trains nationwide.
Want to know how the hottest Android phones measure up to the new iPhone 4? Here you go.
This New York Times story certainly suggests that they can begin to take over our lives. But you knew that...
Foxconn, the Taiwanese company whose Chinese workers make products for Apple, Dell and other global electronics titans, has suffered a spate of employee suicides this year. Foxconn's leaders seem to have decided that paying its workers better might convince them that life is worth living.
Steve Jobs is to address Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference today at 1 pm Boston time, and he's expected to unveil a certain much-anticipated new cellphone.
Microsoft admits it's lost a lot of ground in the mobile device market.
"We were ahead of this game and now we find ourselves No. 5 in the market...We missed a whole cycle. I've been quite public about the fact that I've made some changes in leadership around our Windows Phone software."
Serves 'em right for delivering a product as dismal as Windows Mobile. If they don't catch up this year, with the release of Windows Phone 7, it's game over.
The latest Google Maps for Android phones offers an overlay that shows local bicycle paths. The same feature has just appeared in the BlackBerry version of Google Maps, and you can get it right here...
Here's a bit of a shocker from Engadget. Apparently Hewlett-Packard mainly wants Palm's WebOS software for use as an embedded operating system in lots of other electronic devices, but the company doesn't want to make phones. So does this mean the Pre is really dead? Hmmm.....
The researchers at Nielsen know, and they're spilling the beans.
For instance, the average iPhone has 37 apps on board, compared with 22 for Androids and a mere 10 for BlackBerries. And 21 percent of Americans now have a smartphone. And there's more interesting data where this came from...
The company's new multi-tiered pricing plan includes a $15-a-month tier that could make data service cheap enough for entry-level users. Smart move.
UPDATE: Oops. Turns out that under the new AT&T pricing plan , the $30-a-month unlimited option.goes bye-bye, except for existing customers who've already signed up for it. Now that is a bummer.
According to this survey, the iPhone is still well out in front.
This appears to be just a Windows 7 computer with a touchscreen. Apple's genius lay in realizing that a tablet can't and shouldn't be a stripped-down laptop but have a design logic all its own. Once again, it seems that Microsoft just wants to keep serving up warmed-over Windows. That's why the company's just not ready to compete in the mobile world.
Verizon starts rolling out its 4G service late this year, and a top exec says the company may not go with unlimited usage for a flat monthly fee. Instead, Verizon might sell monthly plans with fixed data limits--small, medium and large, perhaps, with prices to match.
Good idea or bad? That'll depend on the prices and data limits Verizon offers. We shall see.
This same item also notes that Verizon plans to offer voice-over-IP service on its 4G phones. That'd mean no more separate voice and data plans, because the phone would treat everything as data. No more separate bill for cell phone minutes, then. Nice idea, but only if Verizon sets a nice cheap price for 4G access.
RIM's BlackBerry phones are still huge sellers, mainly because of their robust features for connecting securely to corporate networks. But Apple is catching up. It's just a matter of time before iPhone--and Android, for that matter--supplant BlackBerry, thanks to superior ease of use and hugely bigger libraries of appealing software apps. Unless BlackBerry comes up with a game-changer, and fast.
Remember when Japan dominated consumer electronics? When almost every new gadget worth having was stamped with the logo of Sony or Panasonic? Well, that's pretty much over now. The coolest stuff seems to come from the South Koreans, and from the Good Ol' USA. Witness the huge pent-up demand among Japanese consumers for Apple's iPad.
So much for the $100 laptop. How about a $75 tablet, running Google Android? That's the plan for the next low-cost computer to be developed by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation in Cambridge.
I fly to Baltimore to check out America's first 4G phone, and I (mostly) like what I see.
Blogging has been a bit light. I'm on the road testing the new Evo 4G phone from Sprint. Dearie me, this is nice. Details to follow...
Admits the company has "made a bunch of mistakes," and vows to sin no more. Sort of:
"...My hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve."
From $175 to $325.
What? You thought that iPhone really cost $99? Silly rabbit....
In a world of tweets and Facebook fluff, who reads poetry any more? Perhaps we would, if we carried a worthy assortment in our pockets. And you can, thanks to a new app from Poetry, a Chicago-based literary magazine that's been publishing the world's leading poets for just under 100 years.
The new Poetry app for the iPhone is free. it features 1,400 pieces. There are contemporary works, as well as classics by famed poets like Wordsworth and Frost. But you don't sort them by author. Instead, you pick a general topic, like "work," "love" or "nature," and you're given an assortment of relevant poems. You can also sort poems by mood. Still upset about the Boston Bruins' playoff defeat? Find solace in poems about disappointment, frustration or grief.
Not sure what kind of poem you want? Press the spin icon, and you get a lovely whirling screen effect, reminiscent of a Vegas slot machine, followed by a randomly-chosen group of poems. See something you'd like to share with friends? The app offers built-in links to Twitter and Facebook, so you can impress your online pals with your good taste. This cool little app is a real literary icon.
One tech analyst says that's how many iPads Apple is selling.
...an official Twitter app for the iPhone. Remarkable as it seems, there hasn't been one up to now, just apps hacked together by creative outsiders. Well, now you can get the genuine article. Pretty nice -looking, and works reasonably well, except that the search function doesn't want to work. Whatever I type in, I get the message "bad request." Oh well; my tweets get transmitted just fine, and I'm able to read yours. That's a start.
So how many people bought the iPad edition of GQ magazine? Just 365. Which doesn't bode well for the notion that the iPad will be the salvation of the publishing industry.
Here's more on the hookup between Google and General Motors.
The Chinese are looking to bury us in them. Works for me. This sort of thing will send the prices of all smartphones lower, and make these brainy devices pretty much universal.
According to this Reuters story, next generation cellphones and 4G Internet service may become widely available faster than you might have expected. Consumers have fallen in love with high-speed wireless, and carriers are eager to cash in.
...is that nice little e-mail address of yours, the one with .edu at the end. If you've got one, you're now entitled to start using Google's wonderful free Google Voice telephone service. All college kids have just been invited by Google to sign up and start using the service. I've been using it for the better part of a year. Google Voice lets you set up a unique phone number which can ring any of your other phones, collect your voice mail messages, record your phone conversations--with the other party's permission, of course--and send and receive SMS text messages. I love it. I trust my college-attending daughter will love it too, if she's got wit enough to sign up. Which, of course, she does...
Well, they've got to give people some reason to buy the bloody things. Windows Mobile 6.5 is wretched. Until the touted upgrade arrives later this year, Microsoft needs something to keep its fading phone OS in the game. This might be it. Free turn-by-turn navigation, just like Google's Android phones. The GPS makers like TomTom can't be at all happy about this...
Maybe, if you're Apple. If you're an app developer, not so much. Still, on average, app developers will make back over 15 times their development costs. So don't give up hope. Instead, use this stat-heavy article as an aid in calculating your odds of success.
It seems Google's been spying on Wi-Fi users. Inadvertently, it says, and I believe it. Hard to see the logic in doing something like this on purpose. The publicity backlash is bound to be brutal, assuming people know about it. And you do.
Google says it's selling 65,000 Android phones per day--at least.
Just look at the early adopters of the iPhone in the enterprise. Executives gave up their CrackBerry addiction for sleek, easy-to-use iPhones running consumer apps such as iPod, Facebook, travel apps, foreign-language voice-to-voice translation apps, and, especially relevant to executives, golf apps like Golfshot GPS. iPhones have been trickling down org charts ever since.
But don't take my word for it, check the numbers. It's the tale of two companies. RIM's stock price today is around $70-a-share, nearly the same as it was a year ago. In the same time period, Apple stock has steadily soared from $120 last year to $260 today. The Silicon Valley company continues to be a Wall Street darling. In the world of technology and innovation, if you're not flying, you're falling.
This Android phone will let users connect to the Internet at speeds approaching those of home cable modem service--5- to 12 megabits. And it works as a WiFi hotspot, so you can share your bandwidth with up to eight nearby users. But this extra speed will come at a price. Sprint will charge its 4G users an extra $10 a month.
If the Evo 4G lives up to the hype, it'll be worth it.
Earlier this year, Carbonite issued an iPhone app, and it's pretty sweet. Customers can log in to view their files, and send them to others as e-mail attachments. It even let me play some of my backed-up audio files through the iPhone's speakers, though I don't think this feature supports all audio formats.
Recently, Carbonite announced a BlackBerry app as well. Here's the web page for it. But I'm danged if I can find the app here. Too bad; I'm looking forward to trying it.
Well, such thinking is now against the law in Germany. Leave your Wi-Fi unguarded, and you'll pay a fine.
Wonder how they'll enforce it? Cops driving around with Wi-Fi detectors, I guess. You'd think they'd have more important crimes to solve.
And there's a bit of bad news buried in the story Verizon's chief exec, Lowell McAdam, said that when Verizon unveils its 4G network, it'll also unveil higher prices:
That new network promises much higher speeds for transferring video, for example. Verizon says it will be running in 25 to 30 cities by the end of the year.
The new network will likely bring a shift from current unlimited-use pricing plans.
"The old model of one price plan per device is going to fall away," Mr. McAdam said, adding that he expects carriers to take an approach that targets a "bucket of megabytes."
With multiple devices, customers are likely to end up paying more for connecting their gadgets to the next-generation network than they do today, he said. "It's not out of the question," he said.
More details here...
But that's just the beginning. Ford's now working with University of Michigan students to come up with apps specially tailored for use by the driver of a moving car. They'll have to write software that does useful things without distracting the driver and causing accidents. It'll be fun to see what they come up with. Now...where can I borrow a Ford?
4G's supposed to arrive in Boston this year. Hurry it up, guys.
Still, despite the Motorola comeback, it just lost first place among American cellphone makers. Who's number one? You need to ask?
It may make sense to be done with it. Windows 7, though much lighter and more efficient than Windows Vista, is still a full-fledged desktop operating system. Even though it runs pretty well on netbooks, it's clearly not suited for super-simple touchscreen tablet devices. Microsoft would need to undertake a major rewrite and strip the software down to its essentials.
I guess they decided it's just not worth the bother, with the iPad doing so well. Besides, we can likely expect future tablets running Google's Android operating system, a simpler product that does well on smartphones and will probably work fine on slate-type computers as well. So where's the benefit to Microsoft in spending another year or so prepping a Windows 7 tablet? Probably not much.
And yet... remember that Microsoft launched tablet computers nearly a decade ago. The biggest, richest software company on earth partnered with the world's top computer hardware makers to develop dozens of tablets. Yet in nearly 10 years, they couldn't create something that consumers wanted to buy. Apple managed it on the first try.
Cupertino, 1. Seattle, 0.
So where's tethering? Seems AT&T's network just isn't robust enough to allow it. That's the clear implication of this message.
No doubt about it, there's a price to be paid for tethering. It would likely cause a big surge in demand on the AT&T wireless data network, with iPhone owners putting their notebooks and netbooks online and downloading masses of text, video and music. AT&T's basically admitting that their network can't handle it. Which doesn't exactly come as a surprise.
HP press release is here...
UPDATE: On the other hand, Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin thinks it's a lousy move by HP:
“The good news is that HP made a strong move toward becoming a player in the mobile market. The bad news is that it’s the wrong move. Palm could be valued for its brand, its intellectual property, its platform, or its people. HP doesn’t need the Palm brand; the IP helps an existing player not a new entrant; we don’t think the WebOS platform is viable long term in the face of its competition; and HP could sweep up Palm’s people individually at a much lower price. HP needs a strong presence in mobile, but Palm doesn’t deliver that.”
Hard for us Americans to grasp, mainly because Nokia has so utterly flopped in the US market. Nearly everybody here has heard of the iPhone or the Android phone. But mention Nokia's Symbian phones, and the usual response is "huh?"
I interviewed the CEO of Nokia last year. He admitted that the company's done a wretched job here in the Land of the Free, but that it's finally getting its act together. They better hurry, with so many people snapping up iPhones, Androids and BlackBerries. Even so, Nokia's still number one. And don't you forget it.
Meanwhile, Palm's CEO insists the company will remain independent.
I think the iPad is mainly an entertainment and information tool, rather than a device for doing real work. But it turns out that some of the best selling apps for the iPad are the sort you use for...doing real work.
And I mainly use it to play HarborMaster and watch Netflix movies. Shame on me.
Behold the immense potential of the smartphone market. Remember that although about two-thirds of the human race now has a cellphone, most are fairly basic. The potential market for iPhones and other smartphone models is only just being tapped. There's still vast amounts of money to be made, which is why Google and Microsoft and RIM and Nokia and Dell and Palm and so many others are plunging in.
This is going to be fun. Heck, it's already fun!
Most of the world still doesn't own smartphones, so there's still time for a turnaround.
John Hudson at The Atlantic has an interesting take. He plausibly suggests that Apple is playing catch-up to Android phones, which are selling like wildfire of late.
The software upgrade will be available sometime this summer for iPhone and iPod Touch, and in the fall for the iPad.
Multitasking will only work on the most powerful iPhone, the 3GS, and on third-gen iPod Touches. Presumably it'll work on the iPad too.