Monthly Archives: June 2011

Skype brings video calls to name Android devices

Skype, still in a midst of being swallowed adult by Microsoft, usually announced that video discuss is finally entrance to Android devices, yet usually to a singular preference of inclination so far. The underline is partial of a large refurbish for the Android app that includes a UI redesign that adds usability to a app.

The video discuss underline will usually work primarily on Nexus S, HTC enterprise S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo and Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. If we have one of those devices, we can two-way video call with other Skype users on other platforms such as iOS, Mac or Windows. That is, during slightest in theory. we had difficulty joining an iPhone 4 with a Sprint Nexus S for a video call. As on iOS, it works over both mobile and Wi-Fi (when it is working). You can toggle between cameras and camera views, position your preview window and tongue-tied a video.

With a app redesign, we get a new menu and a ability to refurbish your standing right during a top. By syncing your Skype contacts with your phone, we can make a video call from your phone contacts list. It’s too bad that a Skype use is singular to so few Android inclination right now. But video job will get some-more useful as support expands to some-more Android phones.

This is another critical step for Skype as it aims to turn a entire communications service. It’s got a solid use on iOS, including a new iPad app, and it’s operative a approach into a vital room. But Android is a fastest-growing smartphone platform, and it represents a large opportunity, generally as people demeanour to make some-more cross-platform video calls.

Rivals such as Tango, Qik, Oovoo and Fring have already been doing cross-platform video calls, and Fring and Oovoo have started pulling organisation mobile video chats. Google is also pulling the edge on a new Google+ service, that creates video conferencing easy with a Hangout feature, that could eventually make a approach to mobile.

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Apple’s iPad app advantage over Android tablets continues to grow

Apple has usually upheld a 100,000 symbol for apps accessible that are tailored privately for a iPad, according to a App Store itself. That’s adult from 50,000 during a finish of 2010, and 2,000 during a iPad’s launch. By contrast, Google’s Honeycomb Android handling complement launched with usually 16 optimized apps according to Kevin Tofel, and now has usually around 170 according to new counts, after 4 months on a market.

To contend that this is bad news for Google’s inscription hopes would be an understatement. Apps are increasingly a process of choice for immoderate calm on mobile devices, and a sale of apps is on gait to turn a $38 billion attention by 2015, according to Forrester Research. It’s apropos apparent that app libraries expostulate inscription sales, not a other approach around.

The iPad is winning in this honour by such a far-reaching domain that it’s tough to call it a competition. Even by a possess standards, a iPad App Store is doing well. The iPhone App Store took 17 months to strech a 100,000 app milestone. The iPad chronicle achieved it in reduction time, flitting a symbol after 15 months. The Android Marketplace was already doing flattering good by a time a iPhone App Store strike 100,000 titles, with 20,000 apps accessible usually a month after in Dec of 2009.

If a inconsistency in app libraries is anything to go by, a inscription conflict between Android and iOS won’t counterpart a one between a dual platforms on a smartphone front. As some have suggested, it’s expected that Apple’s prevalence in a inscription marketplace will have more in common with a iPod’s opening among unstable media players, that is really good for a destiny of iOS in general.

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Town finds iPads make paperless painless

The city of Cornelius, Colo. has found that a new commander module replacing paper with iPads is saving a administration money, time and assisting a sourroundings along with augmenting supervision transparency, according to the Huntersville Herald. Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte and a town’s 5 commissioners were any released an iPad 2 recently, paid for by a town, that they premiered during a town’s house assembly on Monday, Jun 20.

The iPads all block into a town’s NovusAgenda software, providing commissioners with all compulsory assembly materials, including bill worksheets, zoning maps and PowerPoint presentations, that once comprised 210 pages of printed materials each. These packages used to be distributed in paper form to 19 members, that meant a whole lot of time spent copying, and income spent leasing and progressing duplicate equipment, in further to a cost of supplies.

Town Manager Anthony Roberts says he’s vacant with how most clarity it creates to use iPads and digital element instead of paper. “It’s usually a no brainer,” he told a Huntersville Herald. “We used to imitation all those bulletin packets and people threw them in a recycling bin after a meeting.” Plus, Roberts says, going digital helps transparency, given “the beauty of this complement is we have all online. It’s there perpetually and a day, and a ubiquitous open sees everything.”

There’s an initial responsibility compared with a system, though a NovusAgenda program is a one-time price that should final years, and a iPad 2s are indeed comparatively cheap, given usually a 16 GB Wi-Fi versions are required. Roberts says a city spent between $700 and $800 on any laptop it was purchasing anyways, so a iPad is a most some-more careful solution. With a light rollout, there’s no reason to consider a assets wouldn’t scale for incomparable cities, too.

The iPad is winning fans in government, business and preparation since it’s easy to use for roughly anyone, and since it’s really stretchable interjection to a support of tradition apps that block into third-party systems and server software. Cornelius is a good instance of how it can have an impact during a metropolitan level, and Roberts points out a really good reason because we competence see other cities (many of that are confronting bill crunches) follow suit: “People ask why? To save money. They’re cheaper. That’s why.”

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Flipboard wants to be a newsstand of a future

Flipboard, one of a initial iPad applications to unequivocally take advantage of a new device’s hold interface to emanate a kind of digital magazine, released a array of updates and new facilities Thursday that spin a app into even some-more of a inscription newsstand. As newspapers and magazines continue to try to constraint readers with their possess site-specific apps, Flipboard is creation it easier for users to emanate their possess constantly changing iPad repository — one that pulls from hundreds of sources, and has amicable feeds and signals built in. As we’ve argued before, this looks a lot like a future (or one chronicle of a future) of digital publishing.

Among a new facilities in a updated chronicle of a Flipboard app is a ability to lift in an total series of RSS feeds from websites or calm publishers we wish to follow by a app (readers were formerly singular to 21 feeds). When we can total and afterwards crop hundreds or even thousands of sources — from RSS feeds to repository publishers like The Economist, one of Flipboard’s new partners in this chronicle — one of a large issues is anticipating content, so there’s a new “content guide” built into a app that allows users to hunt opposite all their sources, and also recommends content.

In serve to a calm guide, Flipboard has combined a series of enhancements directed during regulating amicable signals to filter content — including a new tab or ensign that says “popular on Flipboard” to prominence articles that have been review or common by a lot of app users (popular articles will also be featured in a calm sections that Flipboard sets adult such as Art Design, Technology, etc.). And a approach tweets with links seem has also changed: The essay that’s related now shows adult stretched with a twitter in a tiny frame during a bottom, that highlights a calm being related to rather than a twitter itself.

The calm beam — that isn’t driven by an algorithm though involves Flipboard staff highlighting calm from several sources — is apparently a kind of editorial duty journal and repository editors used to perform. But they did it within their possess publications, given Flipboard is doing it by sketch from a immeasurable and flourishing preference of digital sources (content from LinkedIn and a LinkedIn Today amicable news height is also included in a new update).

In an epoch when anyone can turn a publisher — interjection to what Om calls a “democracy of distribution” phenomenon combined by social-publishing collection like blogs and Twitter and Facebook — a ability to search, total and filter hundreds of sources from opposite platforms is a essential duty for a media outlet. It’s one that Flipboard, and other identical apps such as News.me from Betaworks and Pulse, are now doing a lot improved than any existent mainstream media entity. In fact, they’re doing it improved than Google News too.

While Flipboard’s new facilities supplement a lot of application to a app, they still don’t embody one of a large elements that a digital-content use should theoretically allow, that is personalization — in other words, recommendations and filtering formed on a user’s actions and amicable graph. While some apps such as Zite (and services such as a Washington Post‘s Trove) have done stairs towards what some call “The Daily Me,” no one has unequivocally come adult with a torpedo charity in that area yet.

If anyone is good positioned to do this, it’s Flipboard, given one of a company’s earliest acquisitions was The Ellerdale Project, that was operative on accurately that kind of intelligent recommendation technology. According to comments done by CEO Mike McCue after a latest release, Flipboard is tighten to releasing a new chronicle with personalization built in. Having recently landed a $50-million appropriation round, a association positively has a runway to pierce brazen with it — and that will extend a opening between Flipboard and a infancy of a mainstream media even further.

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RIM on a margin of losing the final asset: the employees

Research in Motion’s  disappearing fortunes have been good documented. It’s losing movement in sales as consumers deposit to other platforms like iOS and Android. More recently developers have started to behind off a platform, observant it’s not value their effort. And now there are signs that a workforce is nervous and concerned, potentially on a verge of losing hope.

In an open minute sent to BGR, an unnamed comparison exec lays out in perfected fact where a association has left erroneous and what it needs to get behind on track. Though a post ends on a carefree note, it is dirty with doubt and fears, swapping with annoy during a consumed opportunities a association has had.

It is not startling given a state of a company, yet it shows how unsafe things have gotten for RIM. RIM responded with a statement that questioned a sincerity of a minute and supposing some ubiquitous upbeat speak about a company’s efforts to continue a transition. But it doesn’t residence a vital points lifted by a letter, simply reiterating that RIM is addressing a conditions and is still in a clever position to tackle a hurdles ahead.

It’s a tasteless response and doesn’t do many to get during what we see is a genuine issue: gripping adult spirit during a company. While blank business and developers is apparently a outrageous problem, RIM can’t means to remove a trust and certainty of a employees. These are a usually people who can operative a turnaround for a company. But they need a reason not to remove hope.

Here’s a demeanour during some of a points lifted by a letter:

  • RIM’s enlightenment doesn’t support open communication and critique and doesn’t reason people accountable. And executives are too dismissive of competing products instead of training from them.
  • The association took too prolonged to know a intrusion brought by iPhone and Apple’s joining to a finish user and instead built inclination formed on vital alignements and partner requests or in an bid to grasp “feature parity.”
  • RIM hasn’t focused adequate on a developer community, charity them unsound collection that have resulted in sub-par apps. And it hasn’t cherished program enough, unwell to partisan a kind of talent that can go adult opposite Apple, Google and Microsoft.
  • The selling summary around BlackBerry is perplexed and unfocused, latching on to facilities like Flash or multitasking instead of clearly defining what a association stands for.
  • RIM’s structure with dual co-CEOs needs to be rethought since it’s not efficient. The association hasn’t been means to pierce fast in a response to a iPhone or in a transition to QNX. That has led to too many products, some that were not prepared for launch. The author suggests that they step down with both still concerned yet no longer carrying a CEO title.

But some-more than a particular points, there’s an undercurrent of disappointment about where a association is going and how good positioned it is to recover. The author starts off by stating, “I have mislaid confidence,” observant a association has depressed serve behind during a “chaotic” transition. Later, he says “we are demotivated,” when articulate about a state of RIM’s program and pronounced a enlightenment of a association needs to change so people who destroy are let go. But many importantly, there is a clarity that all is not good during a top. The author pronounced a company’s overconfidence dark a decision-making, withdrawal it flatfooted when Apple came with a iPhone.

“We missed not resolutely reacting to a hazard of iPhone when we saw it in Jan over 4 years ago. We laughed and pronounced they are perplexing to put a mechanism on a phone, that it won’t work. We should have done a QNX-like transition then. We are now 3-4 years too late. That is a unpleasant truth… it was a vital vital slip and we know who is responsible.”

I have no doubt that co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have review this note. But a genuine emanate is what they do with it. It seems apparent to me that worker trust is wavering, that tends to occur when we announce layoffs. But a bigger emanate is that a arrange and record wish some direction, some clarity of purpose from a top, something to keep them from bolting when a headhunters come. The author pleads categorically for that, observant “We need an injection of confidence.”

I’ve pronounced that a smartphone diversion is still being played out and so RIM can means to see a sales drop for a time. Developers will come behind when a user bottom final it, yet improved collection would help. But it’s all contingent on removing behind to putting out a tip nick product. And for that to happen, RIM needs to rivet a employees and get some-more out of them than only prolonged hours. It needs to open adult those channels of communication and uncover that it knows how to listen while still being trained in environment a march of action.

This is a really pivotal time for RIM, and from a sound of a last quarterly gain report, calm is required as deadlines get pushed out and a foresee gets some-more hazy. Taking this minute to heart could uncover that government is prepared to do conflict again. But if it’s only business as usual, we have small certainty in any turnaround holding root.

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Using Google+ on Android works, Huddle reduction so

I’ve been playing with a Google+ service on my Android handset to get a clarity of what it has to offer on Google’s handling system.  I’ve been generally meddlesome in Huddle, a organisation texting app that is now usually accessible to those on Android handsets. The verdict: Google done some courteous decisions for mobile users for a Google+ use overall, though Huddle isn’t as discerning as other organisation texting platforms.

First, a good stuff. Google tries unequivocally tough to explain what we will be pity on your phone and offers we a ability to now upload your images and videos to Google+ if we so desire. While that’s a good ad hoc backup, we didn’t feel gentle doing so, so we incited that off. Still, pity an picture was as easy as clicking a menu, drumming share and afterwards selecting Google+. we even had a choice of pity plcae during a varying levels of specificity trimming from not during all to down to my travel address. This was cool, though a consistent GPS entrance while we was personification with a use was a genuine battery suck.

However, if we had inaugurated to now upload my photos and videos, Google put some genuine suspicion into creation certain a routine didn’t come behind to punch me when my check arrived. It offers me a lot of options on when and over what networks those uploads should take place as shown in these images.

The Google+ app for Android creates pity unequivocally easy and it’s a good knowledge overall. But afterwards there’s Huddle, a organisation texting app. First, since we contingency have an Android handset in sequence to entrance Huddle, it can be a bit of bid to find some folks to organisation text. And while it’s easy to find people in Google+ to supplement them to your Circle (a self-defined organisation of contacts) and it’s also easy to find them to start a Huddle, once a Huddle exists it’s not fun to supplement new folks to it. For existent groups, to supplement new people, we need to corkscrew by a prolonged list of contacts to find people.

Thus, my organisation maxed out during 3 until we incidentally invited someone in that we didn’t know interjection to a clunky scrolling and adding contacts underline (or my butterfingers). Then we couldn’t figure out how to undo them. In ubiquitous a Huddle app works as advertised though we enjoyed regulating Beluga some-more as a organisation calm choice or even GroupMe. The UI for those apps are most nicer and a whole act of fasten and organizing groups was some-more intuitive.

Those problems aside, if you’re going to spend a lot of time personification with and optimizing Google+ a Android app is a good place to start and creates it easy to keep updating while on a go. For those with pointy eyes and a enterprise to know, we was regulating an HTC Incredible, and a screenshots are taken on a T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide by my co-worker Janko. Check out a gallery next for more.

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Opportunities still exist for femtocells

Informa Telecoms Media recently reported that a tiny 2.3 million femtocells are in use worldwide, that is a laughably tiny figure compared to a sky-high forecasts from only a few years ago. Our consumption of mobile information is surging, but during a consumer level, femtocells are merely treading water. Nevertheless, there are opportunities in other areas for femtocells.

Femtocells have not been successful with consumers for 3 vital reasons:

1. Price: ATT charges $150 for a MicroCell, and Verizon Wireless’s Network Extender will run we $250. Network operators catch back-end costs in deploying femtocells, of course, though it’s no poser because business have balked during a suspicion of profitable what amounts to a double dip.

2. Wi-Fi: Home-based femtocell record is squaring off opposite Wi-Fi, that is upheld by scarcely each data-friendly smartphone on a market.

3. Advancing mobile technologies: Femtocell development has lagged behind a enrichment of mobile build-outs; for example, Verizon didn’t offer a 3G femtocell until final October. And new technologies like LTE and even HSPA+ yield some-more ability as good as faster network speeds. Capacity has been an critical offered indicate for femtocells.

While a window for consumer-targeted, in-home femtocells is shutting quickly, there are still segments in that they could thrive. As the Register noted progressing this week, manufacturers such as Picochip and Ubiquisys have begun phenomenon open entrance products dubbed “metrocells” that fill network gaps where sweeping coverage with normal dungeon towers is difficult. Meanwhile, a marketplace investigate organisation Maravedis has likely that public-access femtocells will tumble from $100 to $70 or so this year and will continue to slip into a $50 operation subsequent year. Those colliding trends lay a substructure for long-awaited expansion in a femtocell market.

Further event also lies in a enterprise, where femtocells can be used to broach improved indoor coverage and mixed connectors to smartphones, tablets and other connected devices. They can be a low-cost choice to picocells or DAS (distributed receiver systems), for instance, and can track calls by an craving PBS to broach them to four-digit bureau extensions or mobile phones. If carriers can confederate femtocells in a approach that creates it easier and cheaper for businesses, a record will see estimable adoption in a enterprise.

For some-more thoughts on because opportunities still exists for femtocells outward a residential market, greatfully see my weekly mainstay during GigaOM Pro.

Image pleasantness Flickr user jtjdt

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The iPhone Effect: How Apple’s phone altered everything

Apple’s iPhone debuted 4 years ago, and we infrequently take for postulated how most has altered given then. The phone altered a smartphone landscape and ushered in a complicated epoch of intelligent, connected devices. Apple hasn’t cruised simply to a top; in fact, it continues to route nemesis Google’s Android in smartphone marketplace share. But it shook adult a attention and forced changes and shake among many competitors.

Here’s a demeanour during some stats on how things have altered over that period, both for Apple and for other companies handling in a same space.

Shifting batch fortunes

  • Apple’s batch cost during a tighten of Jun 29, 2007, a day of a iPhone launch: $122.04 a share. Tuesday: $335.26 with a marketplace top of $310 billion.
  • Research In Motion’s batch cost on Jun 29, 2007: $66.66. Tuesday: $28.24 per share with $14.7 billion marketplace cap.
  • Nokia’s batch cost on Jun 29, 2007: $23.63. Tuesday: $6.11 with $22.7 billion marketplace cap.
  • HTC’s batch cost on Jun 27, 2007: 361.01 Taiwan dollars ($12.49 USD), Tuesday: 1040.

Worldwide smartphone marketplace share shifts given 2007

  • Second entertain 2007: Symbian 65.6 percent, Windows Mobile 11.5 percent, RIM 8.9 percent, according to Gartner.
  • First entertain 2011: Android 36 percent, Symbian 27.4 percent, iOS 16.8 percent, RIM 12.9 percent.

Notable changes given a introduction of a iPhone

  • Google introduces a Android handling complement on Oct. 21, 2008.
  • HP announces merger of Palm on Apr 28, 2010.
  • Nokia announces partnership with Microsoft  to run Windows Phone 7 on arriving smartphones on Feb. 11, 2011.
  • Motorola spins off Motorola Mobility Holdings on Jan. 4, 2011.

Effect on conduit foe and information use

  • In 2006, Verizon Wireless had 7.7 million new subscriber additions compared to ATT’s 7.1 million. After a iPhone launched, ATT outpaced Verizon in net subscribers adds for a subsequent 3 years, according to FCC figures. By 2009, ATT had 8.1 million new adds while Verizon had 5.9 million.
  • ATT’s gain before interest, taxes, debt and amortization went from 34.4 percent in fourth entertain 2006 to 40.7 percent by fourth entertain 2009, outperforming all a other vital carriers.
  • ATT’s postpaid integrated 3G inclination have grown usually given a launch of a iPhone. It went from 8.5 million in fourth entertain 2008 to 29.7 million by second entertain 2010.
  • Data income in 2006 for all carriers was only 7.5 percent of sum revenue. By 2009, it was adult to 26.8 percent.

The arise of smartphones

  • Smartphone adoption in initial entertain 2008 was 10 percent according to Nielsen. Nielsen predicts smartphones will outnumber underline phones by a finish of this year.
  • Worldwide smartphone sales will strike 468 million this year and strech 1.1 billion by 2015, according to Gartner.

Smartphones open a doorway for tablets

  • Apple has sole about 19.5 million iPad by a initial entertain of this year.
  • Gartner estimates there will be 294 million tablets in 2015.

App ecosystems thrive

  • Apple’s App Store now boasts 425,000 apps, with 14 billion app downloads and $2.5 billion paid to developers to date.
  • The Android Market has 200,000 apps and has had 4.5 billion downloads as of May.
  • IDC now expects 182.7 billion mobile app downloads by 2015 opposite all platforms.
  • Canalys estimates mobile app income will strike $14.1 billion subsequent year and arise to $36.7 billion by 2015.

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Autodesk Inventor Publisher Viewer app brings 3-D instructions to Android

Setting adult a new home in New York, I’ve had to fire by a garland of projects that have enclosed convention all demeanour of seat regulating aged paper instructions. Though a work got done, I’m anticipating that it won’t be prolonged before we see products come with 3-D instructions granted by programs like Autodesk Inventor Publisher, that done a debut Wednesday on Android.

The module allows companies to take their CAD designs and spin them into 3-D instructions and support users can perspective on their phones and tablets regulating a giveaway Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer app. Using it, a user can vessel around a product, see a step-by-step routine of public and perspective animation that can assistance tie stairs together. Most people can get by 2-D paper instructions only fine, though they’re unequivocally immobile and mostly rest on too most text, that can deliver grasp problems. 3-D images, on a other hand, can get a user by a plan faster and with some-more confidence.

The module has been available on iOS given final September, and now with a Android release, it will hopefully inspire some-more companies to use it to share instructions. Companies who use CAD programs for design can simply import their work into Inventor Publisher, and start building out 3-D instructions to element normal paper documentation. Ikeafans, an Ikea forum; Engineering.com; and BicycleTutor have all started releasing instructions by a Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer App, assisting double downloads of a iOS app in a final month.

I consider this is one of a areas where intelligent inclination can unequivocally assistance move an aged square of information to life. We’ve already seen a approach media is being altered and disrupted by smartphones and tablets. Instruction manuals don’t get a same volume of use, though they can unequivocally uncover off a energy of hold and 3-D on a device. There aren’t that many directions on a iOS app right now, though I’m anticipating it starts to collect adult soon. we still have a lot of projects forward of me.

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Could webOS be a third vital mobile height with Samsung’s help?

As a platform, webOS has impressed scarcely every reviewer who’s touched it, though it faces a few hurdles. One of those hurdles, a device’s hardware choices, could be privileged if a chartering talks that Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker says are underway bear fruit.

Bloomberg reports Apotheker pronounced HP is “talking to a series of companies,” many of that “have voiced interest,” though declined to name any names. Three people informed with a negotiations contend Samsung is among those concerned in a talks, according to Bloomberg. Samsung declined to endorse either it was concerned in any discussions.

Samsung has finished intensely good regulating protected Android program to energy a mobile devices, including a Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets. It has some-more recently built inclination using Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 7 handling complement and it also runs a possess Bada mobile OS on certain phones. Adding webOS would supplement a fourth mobile handling complement for Samsung, that could be a daunting undertaking.

But a partnership with HP could make a lot of clarity for a Korean smartphone maker. A understanding with HP competence concede Samsung larger control over OS personalization options, one of a sources who spoke to Bloomberg suggests. It would also concede Samsung to sidestep a bets if Android cools or WP7 fails to take off. And webOS is, as mentioned, regarded rarely by those who’ve used it.

Of course, Samsung chartering webOS doesn’t residence a lack of peculiarity third-party apps accessible for a platform, that is substantially a biggest weakness. But a large name partnership with a association that has shipped as many phones as Samsung has is certain to attract some-more developer interest, even if Samsung usually primarily puts webOS on a tiny series of devices, like it has finished with Bada. HP doesn’t indispensably have a mobile hardware repute to attract smartphone buyers, though Samsung does, and it has managed to do so with an OS that isn’t scarcely as sharp and polished as webOS.

Just slapping webOS on Samsung hardware isn’t a guaranteed home run, though if it does happen, and it brings developers to a platform, it stands a good possibility of charity RIM and Microsoft a plain competition for a smartphone bronze.

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