Archive for June, 2008

@Supernova: Evidence developers are just as interested in Blackberry as they are iPhone, Android

While the Supernova conference is mostly about the future of the network, a part of that network is mobile. And if you listen to most attendees, the two most important mobile players right now are Apple and the iPhone and Google and Android.

Oddly, it’s as if two other established players — Nokia and Research in Motion — have been relegated to the sideline as also-rans. One conference attendee even asked during a discussion about the future of mobile, “Is Blackberry dead?”


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Loopt: a location aware mobile social network

This post is syndicated from ReadWriteWeb.

Loopt is the third location aware mobile social network to become available for the majority of U.S. smartphones . It joins fellow competitors Whrrl and Brightkite, both of which have already started to gain traction (see ReadWriteWeb coverage of Brightkite). However, this is not a market where the first one to debut on the smartphone will be the ultimate winner. Instead, in the wild west of the mobile social networks, the key will be adoption. This is an area where Loopt is making headway, having recently announced deals with all the major U.S. carriers and support for Blackberry smartphones.

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Joost in a browser is "weeks away"

Joost in a browser is A new version of Joost, the much hyped p2p Internet TV service from the founders of Skype, that will run in a Web browser is just weeks away, says CEO Mike Volpi in an interview with Silicon Alley Insider published today.

When Joost was first conceived of in 2006 it was pitched as the antidote to YouTube: an Internet TV service geared towards major content owners who required guarantees around copyright protection, and providing viewers with a higher quality “TV-like” experience. However, since then the online video landscape has changed dramatically, with many competitors syndicating professionally produced and network TV content online, on a mostly non-exclusive basis. And unlike the current version of Joost, the majority of competing services, such as Hulu, run in the browser and don’t require a separate download.

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@Supernova: Getting a glimpse of mobile's future without the iPhone and Android

supernovaThe mobile buzzwords at Supernova 2008 are plentiful: location, social networks, iPhone, Android, the cloud. But these are so . . . now.

At Supernova on Monday we got a glimpse of what’s next for mobile and our digital lifestyles and quite frankly, it has squat to do with hardware like the iPhone, software like Google’s open-source operating system Android, mobile platforms put forth by Apple, Google, Nokia, Research in Motion, and the carriers.

What’s coming is life profound: Put billions of sensors in cell phones, regardless of hardware, operating system, or carrier, and affect the way we understand traffic or the weather. With continued advances in chipsets, accelerometers, compasses, we can change the way we interact virtually with the physical world around us. We can turn monthly cell phone bills, which are difficult to use beyond paying, into living information integrated into our working and personal lives and social networks.

“We’re just getting started,” said Bob iannucci, Nokia’s chief technology officer.

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Motorola launches movie store for cellphones, but will anybody bite?

Motorola launches movie store for cellphones, but will anybody bite?Amid all the iPhone 2.0 hype, we missed the news last week that Motorola has launched a full-length movie store for its mobile phones. Before you ask: “Who wants to watch a feature film on their tiny cellphone screen, anyway?” Here are a few of the details.

The service is available first in the UK-only, but will eventually extend to France, Italy, Germany and Spain. The catalog is currently restricted to forty titles from one studio — Paramount Digital Entertainment — including “The Italian Job”, “Star Trek” and “Team America: World Police”, priced at between £5.99 and £8.99 per movie.

Unsurprisingly, movies can’t be downloaded ‘over-the-air’ directly to handsets but instead the service requires “side-loading” whereby content is downloaded to a PC first and then transfered onto a mobile phone. Motorola says this is so that customers avoid potentially expensive data charges but it also means that the service can bypass carriers who may offer a competing service. Users will still need to be able to connect their phones to the Internet, however, as each side-loaded movie has to have its DRM certificate verified online, and each device must be registered with Motorola’s store.

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Weekly wrapup, 9-13 June 2008 (iPhone 2.0 coverage)

Here’s a summary of the week’s digital lifestyle action on last100. Note that you can subscribe to the weekly wrapups, either via the special weekly wrapup RSS feed or by email.

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Apple WWDC news and analysis

This week was dominated by Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference and news of iPhone 2.0…

It’s official: iPhone 2.0 is 3G, supports GPS, integrates with MobileMe, and is $$$ cheaper

Dan Langendorf kicked off with an excellent blow-by-blow account of Steve Jobs’ keynote speech including the much rumored iPhone 2.0 with support for 3G data speeds, GPS, enterprise features, and third-party apps.

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The App Store: Can it be worth $1 billion to Apple by 2010 with 70 percent free apps?

app storeAs with everything else iPhone, there’s been a great deal of speculation following the Worldwide Developers Conference regarding the App Store, where Apple intends to sell and distribute third-party applications.

There’s been talk of the grand opening being in July and at the end of June. Details continue to trickle out about how the store will operate. And “overnight” polls indicate the App Store will mean hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, perhaps even a billion, for Apple by the end of 2009.

One thing puzzles me, though: How can Apple potentially make $1 billion from the App Store by the end of 2009 when it’s estimated by some that 70 percent of the third-party applications will be free?

Go figure.

For now, here’s a quick look back at some of the App Store news following the WWDC keynote.

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Video: Mozilla demos Firefox Mobile concept

Video: Mozilla demos Firefox Mobile conceptMozilla Labs’ head of user experience, Aza Raskin (son of Mac pioneer Jef Raskin) has published a short video demonstrating a user interface concept for the upcoming mobile version of web browser Firefox. The version on show is designed for touch screen devices, though not multi-touch like the iPhone — a decision Mozilla took because “Firefox should be able to run on the least common denominator of touch devices”, explains Raskin.

Although, like the iPhone, “the interface should be operable with a finger. Switching between input methods is time-consuming and annoying, so the user shouldn’t have to switch to a stylus or other secondary form of input.”

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From an RC beer cooler to an ESPN remote, digital lifestyle gifts for Dad on Father's Day

rc coolerThere are only a couple of more shopping days left until Father’s Day, that once-a-year event when wives and kids all across the U.S. buy Dad ties, aftershave, and other things he — let’s be honest here — will never use.

So to make shopping easier this year, we’ve assembled a few digital lifestyle ideas for your husband or Dad. Most of these are more expensive than Aqua Velva aftershave but, since we’re being honest here, these are what Dad might buy for himself, including a remote control beer cooler.

The obvious

The most sought-after Father’s Day gift on the planet will be the new 3G iPhone from Apple, which isn’t available until July 11. Until then, a hand-written IOU redeemable for the iPhone will do. Thankfully, the price is coming way down: $199 for the 8 GB model, $299 for the 16 GB phone. And since it now supports the enterprise with Microsoft Exchange syncing and other business-place features, the grumpy IT guys at Dad’s office will be happy.

Alternatives: none. Sure, we could argue for a Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry, or HTC smart phone, but why bother? Until Google’s Android phones are available — long after this Father’s Day is over — the iPhone will head Dad’s wish list.

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A collection of day-after links for iPhone 2.0

iphone coming soonYou may be tiring of iPhone news, but this — the post Worldwide Developers Conference keynote days — is just the quiet before the next iPhone deluge — the July 11 availability of the phone and the grand opening of the App Store.

For the next 30 days or so, you can expect lots of iPhone news to trickle out. New third-party apps. New hardware reviews. New analysis.

We’ve sifted through the first day of post-keynote jubilation to provide you with new software announcements, transitioning from iPhone 1.0 to 2.0 and moving from .Mac to MobileMe, the change in the iPhone business model, and the disappointments voiced by some now that the WWDC hangover is clearing.

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