Top digital lifestyle news
This week was dominated by more iPhone fever, with just over a week to go before the device hits stores in the US. First we brought news of the iPhone’s increase in battery life, which let’s be honest, wouldn’t normally be news. But hey this is Apple and the iPhone, which CEO Steve Jobs has likened to magic!
Next up we reported on a partnership between Apple and Google which will see a version of YouTube coming to the iPhone.
Also related to the iPhone, Opera announced a beta version of its Opera Mini mobile browser, pitching it as providing a good alternative the to browsing experience expected of Apple’s device.
Lots of ‘last100 feet’ news this week too, kicking off with Microsoft’s rebranding of its IPTV platform. Along with the new name (Mediaroom), the company has added a number of new features including PC to set-top-box media sharing (photos and music), multi picture-in-picture capabilities, and over-the-air digital terrestrial television support.
BitTorrent, the company behind the popular peer-to-peer file sharing technology, announced the availability of its Software Development Kit (SDK) for consumer electronics devices such as set-top-boxes and media extenders.
We also reported on VeohTV, the latest product from the video sharing site, Veoh. Subtly billing itself as a Joost-killer, VeohTV is a peer-to-peer online video application that, like Joost (and recently launched rival, Babelgum), runs in fullscreen mode so as to give a more TV-like viewing experience. But unlike many of its competitors, VeohTV is able to pull in content from all over the web — including NBC, CBS, FOX, YouTube, MySpace, and others — rather than being a closed system.
Our first feature of the week was a review of YouTube Mobile, the newly released version of the video sharing site optimized for mobile phones. We concluded that although videos play back smoothly and look surprisingly good, YouTube Mobile fails to offer the full YouTube experience — in part due to the limited content available (which should increase over time) but also because the mobile version doesn’t integrate seamlessly with the existing site.
Following our review of RealPlayer 11 last week, we also looked at whether the new version of Real’s media player could encourage more DRM, because the software enables users to download online video regardless of the wishes of content owners.
Lastly, we talked to an early iPhone web-app developer about the limitations Apple has placed on third-party software development.
That’s a wrap for the week! Enjoy the weekend.