Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

BlackBerry OS 6 gets previewed, continues consumer push

I’ve never quite understood why Nokia’s Symbian gets so much flack for having an outdated UI while BlackBerry is let off the hook. In my book, RIM’s OS is equally old fashioned and despite years of maturity still looks a bit, well, unfinished in parts, with text hard aligned on certain setting screens and a kludge of drop down menus at times. But that’s set to change with the upcoming Blackberry 6, which got a tasty preview on video today.

What’s shown seems very consumer-focused too as the company continues to break out from its core base of corporate users and build on the success of BlackBerry Messenger amongst teenagers and other non-suits, as well as Facebook integration and a slew of consumer apps.

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MeeGo for smartphones gets previewed

We were recently given a preview of MeeGo for Internet tablets, but now the Open Source Linux-based OS from Nokia and Intel has been publicly outed running on smartphone hardware.

It’s only a few UI screen shots and a YouTube video of the OS running on some kind of reference device, but it gives us a good idea of how MeeGo is translating to the small screen, and how much of its Nokia Maemo legacy remains.

First impressions are generally good; the UI is pretty in parts, if a little barebones (think: Android) in some areas. The contact/address book isn’t much to look at, for example, while the web browser and webOS-esque task switcher appears much more fully baked. Overall, however, it looks promising.

Video and more screen shots after the jump…

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I emailed Steve Jobs and got a reply (or why I don't own an iPad)

The weekend before last I fired off an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and to my surprise, I actually got a reply (OK, I wasn’t that surprised as Steve has been replying to a lot of emails lately). I then decided to run the story of his reply and my initial email over at TechCrunch Europe as it was a bit of a scoop and I knew it would generate a lot of discussion.

The issue I raised was that of the trend towards touch/gesture and how in general more physically demanding User Interfaces impact accessibility from a personal point-of-view. It wasn’t so much a complaint as my own homage to the desktop/GUI era that Steve and Apple helped usher-in, and how times-are-a-changing once again. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

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More Nokia tablet rumors, and what's this? MeeGo for touch

Another day, another rumor of Nokia’s next-generation Internet tablet.

This time from Digitimes, which pegs the device at 7-9 inches, based on an ARM chip and running the Nokia/Intel MeeGo OS.

Yes, that’s right, not a version of Windows 7, despite Nokia’s increasingly cozy relationship with Microsoft and its track record with the Booklet 3G netbook (see first impressions).

See also: Nokia said to be readying iPad competitor – Windows or MeeGo anyone?

And low and behold, on the same day as the report, MeeGo shows off a multi touch-friendly version of the Linux-based OS, which looks quite promising.

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TVCatchup streams to mobile as broadcasters aim to spoil the party

TVCatchup running on NokiaAs promised, we’re keeping you up to date with the latest happenings at TVCatchup.

Last week TVCatchup opened a private beta for streaming live TV to Blackberry, Android and Symbian phones. (Update: Palm webOS too.) However, they announced on their official forums today that the beta was going public for anyone to test the service.

To access the mobile streaming version, point your phone’s browser to:

According to the TVCatchup forums, Vodafone is not supporting their streams, and judging from Twitter, there seems to be mixed results on other mobile networks. Clearly, streaming video data will clog up mobile networks, so we recommend users to stick to WiFi, on which the service works well.

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Review: Motorola Milestone (Droid)

When Motorola unveiled its Droid smartphone in the US, it was critically acclaimed and hailed by many as the Android smartphone to beat at the time and, of course, like any high end touchscreen smartphone, branded as a potential iPhone contender.

The story this side of the pond, where it was released as the Motorola Milestone, couldn’t be more different, however.  It, as far as I can tell, hasn’t been picked up by any of the UK carriers to be sold with subsidy and instead can be picked up in its unlocked, unbranded form only. I’ve had the device on-loan for a while now and I have to say, for such a capable and in many respects rock-solid offering, the Milestone sure has divided opinion amongst friends and colleagues.

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3 throws its iPad hat in the ring

While 3UK’s CEO practically ruled out bidding to sell Apple’s iPad direct, with the mobile operator’s strength firmly rooted in data, it always seemed likely that they would offer up tariffs targeted at the device.

And that’s precisely what’s happened.

Announced today but available on the 28th of May (Friday) when the iPad officially launches this side of the pond, two dedicated tariffs are on offer with support for the micro SIM card required by the device. What’s more, 3UK appear to be coming in cheaper – quite a lot cheaper in some cases – than the other three major carriers.

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Spotify introduces new tiers, but reserves mobile as a premium perk

Spotify has announced two new packages, named “Spotify Unlimited” and “Spotify Open”, the latter of which makes a free version of the music steaming service available again without the need for an invite.

Until recently, there were only two options: “Spotify Free”, available as a desktop application only and ad-supported. And “Spotify Premium”, which offers higher bit-rate streams, no adverts, and the ability to access the service – including caching tracks for offline playback – on both the desktop and mobile client, all for £9.99 per month.

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EXCLUSIVE: Mobile Review's Eldar Murtazin talks Nokia, N8 leaks, 'iPhone-gate', and more

“I’m not blogger, I’m a professional journalist”, says Mobile Review Editor-in-Chief, Eldar Murtazin.

In a wide-ranging interview with last100, it’s just one of many misconceptions he’s keen to correct following reports last week that his “review” of Nokia’s N8 was responsible for a dive in the handset maker’s stock price and may have even forced it to bring forward the device’s launch. The then unannounced smartphone is the first based on the company’s Symbian ^3 operating system.

“I’m working for ages in the field”, says 34 year-old Murtazin, who prior to founding Mobile Review in 2002 was responsible for covering the mobile sector for one of Russia’s largest hardware review sites. “I like this job, I like different tasks, different goals, receiving different devices, and trying to find out what feature, what devices will be more interesting for the market.”

He’s also quick to point out that the N8 controversy is nothing new. Mobile Review is renowned for breaking the cover of unannounced devices, particularly those from Nokia. In fact, for Murtazin perhaps the hardest decision is deciding what not to publish or when.

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Palm is dead. Long live Palm.

BREAKING: HP is to acquire Palm for $1.2 billion or $5.70 per share.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Palm’s been bought – a sale has been on the cards – but nobody that I know of, me included, had considered HP to be in the mix. That said, upon reflection it seems quite a good fit.

First up, the companies’ cultures (and brand) have a good chance of being compatible. Both are US-based, have their roots in Silicon Valley, and are strong brands in North America. HP obviously has much leverage globally too.

Best of all, HP clearly values Palm’s relatively new webOS and unlike other potential buyers isn’t soaking up Palm purely for its patent portfolio. Engadget reports that HP is “doubling down” on webOS and has mentioned Internet tablets and other mobile devices along with smartphones. This is excellent news as it’s webOS that most excites me about Palm’s future…

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