Archive for the ‘Comms’ Category

iPad reviews are in – PC Mag sums up Apple's device in 4,000 words [video]

It was just the other day that I was mocking a recent claim by PC Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff that what made the publication different from competing tech sites and blogs was its testing ‘labs’ used to conduct product reviews.

“Who needs a lab?”, I scoffed.

I get to review plenty of gear where my lounge, bedroom or local coffee shop is my ‘lab’. A mobile phone or netbook, for example, can be reviewed almost anywhere. It’s not the environment that counts but how knowledgeable and thorough the reviewer is and what products he/she has used for comparison. Or at least, that’s what I’d hope.

Putting all of that aside, however, PC Mag has put out today the best iPad review so far. It’s easily the most thorough – at 4,000 words – and, as Dave Zatz points out, hasn’t suffered from the print-length restrictions that plague the coverage of the Pogues, Walt Mossbergs of this world, never mind their perceived closeness to Cupertino. PC Mag gives the iPad a lab score of 4.5/5 ;-)

PC Mag have also produced a nice video review, which I’ve embedded right after the jump.

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Motorola unveils Android-powered landline phone, lacks Skype or Google's app store

motorola-home-phone

At this year’s CeBit, Motorola showed off a cordless landline telephone running Google’s Android operating system, as reported by Engadget earlier this month. Known as the HS1001, the device is built by Binatone, and is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year with a price tag of $150. The hardware sports a 2.8″ touch screen and loud-speaker. And as you’d expect, the handset uses DECT technology, but surprisingly, it also has WiFi.

The phone won’t carry the Android market place, however, or even have Skype installed, though you’ll still be able to access email and browse the web just as with any other Android phone.

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iPhone app is no big deal but Skype's ubiquity is

The tech blogosphere is buzzing with the news that an official Skype application for Apple’s iPhone will be made available tomorrow. But, as the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones rightly asks, is it such a big deal?

Firstly, it isn’t the first time Skype on iPhone (or iPod touch) has been possible, with a number of third-party apps already filling the void.

Secondly, while Skype calling is available to mobiles and landlines not just other devices running Skype, they’re only possible over WiFi not 3G, so as to appease Apple’s carrier partners.

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Gravity, a really nice Twitter app lands on Symbian S60 phones

Gravity S60 Nokia screenshot 0004At last, smartphones running the Nokia-led Symbian S60 OS have a native Twitter application. And a very slick one at that.

Gravity is supported on phones running S60 version 3, including my own Nokia E71, as well as the latest touch-friendly S60 version 5, which powers the Nokia 5800 (aka the Tube) and the upcoming N97.

The app supports a host of features, including…

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How I replaced Apple's MobileMe at half the price

After years of pledging to do so, I’ve finally dumped Apple’s MobileMe web service in favor of a more cost effective and flexible solution, and one that is better suited to my own particular needs. MobileMe (formally dot Mac) is a great service (when it works) for those whose digital lifestyles almost entirely rely on Apple devices – iPhone, iPods, Macbooks etc. But step out of Apple’s ecosystem and it starts to look far less appealing and very overpriced. After a bit of research, and advice from friends and Twitter followers, moving forward, here’s how I intend to manage email, contact and calendar synchronization across devices, along with automatic backups of other critical data.

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Hands on with the Google phone: a solid device that won't unseat the iPhone

I kind of felt like I was cheating on my wife — in this case an iPhone — when I checked out the new Google phone the other day at a T-Mobile store. I must admit I was seduced.

After more than a year of writing about the so-called Google phone and the Android mobile operating system, I actually held one in my hands. The G1, as it is known, called to me. It wasn’t as poorly manufactured as I feared it might be; its display was bright, crisp and intoxicating; its operating system seemed fun and promising.

At first blush, I was smitten. But as in any relationship, the more time you spend with someone — or in this case something — the more you learn.

What I learned about the G1 I’m sharing with you. Like the wise Om Malik, I prefer a less formal review format because there are many fine reviewers out there who’ve been testing the G1 for weeks. Like Uncle Walt from the Wall Street Journal. Or David Pogue at The New York Times. And all the usual gadget and mobile blogs.

I tend to focus on the user experience of any product, which in this case is important as the G1’s chief competitor, Apple’s iPhone, seemingly has cornered the market on usability and consumer imagination. Since the release of the iPhone 3G in July, Apple has sold nearly seven million phones this quarter.

For the so-called Google phone to reach that kind of success, it must complete with Apple on the user experience battlefield, not just over features and functions. This will be harder for the G1 because it has three parents, not one like the iPhone.

There’s Google, developer of Android.

There’s HTC, the manufacturer.

And there’s T-Mobile, the carrier.

In the near future, other manufacturers and carriers will be involved with the development of Google phones. All of them will provide different interpretations of Android with new features and functions and user experiences. Will they rival that of the iPhone? Or will they become another, albeit solid, contender?

We have our first answer.

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Will Android be Motorola's savior? Company confirms its interest in Google's mobile OS

This comes as no shock, and it just might save Motorola’s cell phone hide.

According to BetaNews, Motorola has confirmed it is working on a new phone that utilizes Google’s mobile operating system Android. It’s no surprise because Motorola was a founding member of the Google-led Open Handset Alliance.

“We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android, and (we) look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA),” Motorola said in a statement.

Since the announcement of Android at the end of last year, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG Electronics all have been rumored to be interested in manufacturing an Android handset. HTC is the first to deliver an Android phone, the G1, which will be available later this month and sold by T-Mobile in the U.S.

Other handset manufacturers have laid low, however, keeping their Android plans quiet. For its part, Motorola has been working diligently to solve its ailing cell phone business. Earlier this year it decided to spin off its troubled cell phone division from the rest of the company.

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The real power of Google's phone: connecting us to people, places, and things

The real power of a Google phone and the Android mobile operating system isn’t just computing power, or search, or advertising, or maps. It’s the ability to connect people, places, and things like never before.

With the introduction Tuesday of the Google phone — dubbed G1 by wireless carrier T-Mobile — we’re  starting to see the potential disruption that Google and Android will bring in the coming year or two. It’s even greater than what Apple and the iPhone have already accomplished.

Together, the so-called Google phone and the iPhone are disrupting the mobile industry with innovative, powerful, handy devices, applications, and services.  Side by side, the Gphone and the iPhone have their differences but overall compliment one another, not compete with each other.

The iPhone is not unlike Apple, which is known for exquisitely designed hardware, user-friendly software, and a user experience like no other. The iPhone has a consumer, digital lifestyle feel to it, just like Apple products.

The Google phone, on the other hand, is not unlike “PC” in the famed “Mac” vs. “PC” television ads. This is not to say, however, that Google is Microsoft. Far from it.

The G1 — at least from what we’ve seen so far — has a “productivity” air to it, which is expected due to the nature of Google. The Android operating system, and the phone’s hardware, was developed first and foremost to showcase what Google does best — search along with Web applications like Maps, YouTube, Google Reader, Gmail, Calendar.

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The roundup of roundups: Everything you want to know about the Google phone (with links!)

In case you haven’t heard, T-Mobile announced the world’s first — and for the time being, only — cell phone powered by Google’s open-source, mobile operating system today amid much pomp and circumstance.

Cue the band.

You can spend hours thumbing through your bookmarks or RSS feeds looking for and reading about the new T-Mobile/Google phone, dubbed the G1. Most everybody is writing about the same thing — the specs, the looks, the apps, the Android operating system.

But there are a few posts out there looking at the G1 from various other perspectives — advertising, search, what’s missing, and so on. To save you a few minutes, we’ve combed through the basics, looked under the hood just a bit, hit on the basic apps, and compiled other posts of interest for your reading pleasure.

So off we go.

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Time for the big reveal: T-Mobile to introduce first Google Android phone

In the language of reality TV, it’s time for the big reveal. Ladies and gentlemen — drum roll please — T-Mobile presents the first cell phone powered by Google’s much-ballyhooed mobile operating system, Android.

Formal introductions will be made at 10 a.m. EST in New York. But, unlike the super-secret debut of Apple’s iPhone in June 2007, lots is known about the so-called Google phone even before its reveal.

It will be known as the G1, but popular culture is sure to call it the first Google phone, gPhone, or Gphone. So, without further delay, here’s the Gphone brought to you by the carrier T-Mobile and hardware manufacturer HTC.

G1 Specs

No surprise here: The G1 will sell for $199 (the same as the iPhone) with a low-cost data plan (which remains to be detailed).

According to TmoNews, the phone is 4.6 x 2.16 x 0.63 inches, weighs 5.6 ounces, an features a 480 x 320 HVGA display. Of course it uses the 3G network, has built-in GPS, has a 3.1-megapixel camera, has 8 GB of memory, has five hours of talktime and 130  hours of standby (we’ll see about that).

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