Archive for July, 2009

SugarSync comes to Android phones (it's very good)


SugarSync is my backup to the Cloud and sync service of choice (see How I replaced Apple’s MobileMe at half the price) and today the company added Android to its range of supported mobile phones. SugarSync was previously only available on iPhone, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.

As readers will know, I recently jumped on the Google Phone bandwagon with the purchase of a HTC Magic (also also known as the T-Mobile myTouch in the USA) and so it’s pretty good timing to see SugarSync pushed out for Android shortly thereafter, although I’m still waiting for a S60 (Nokia) compatible version.

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Creative announces Android-based PMP platform, goes head to head with Apple's iPod touch

This is pretty interesting on the surface but misses a trick.


Creative, who has its roots in MP3 players and other portable media devices, have announced an Android-based media player platform. I say platform because the company may never release a consumer-facing device itself, but instead is touting its own reference design, software development kit and media processor to OEMs and developers.

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Symbian Foundation crowdsourcing UI design

uibrainstormThe Symbian Foundation, Nokia’s ambitious open source project designed to give longevity to the Symbian OS, has launched a new blog inviting the ‘community’ to submit their own User Interface mockups.

UI of course is an area where Symbian is perceived to be lagging behind competitors, such as Apple’s iPhone, Android, and the Palm Pre’s Web OS. It’s also something so fundamental to the user experience that it seems odd, even in a small way, to farm this out to the community.

My fear is that, like many an open source project, you could end up with ‘design by committee’.

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Spotify launches preemptive PR strike following iPhone App Store submission

Spotify has submitted its iPhone app to Apple’s App Store and the company wants everybody to know it. An official blog post has gone up, demos of the app to select press have been given, and a YouTube video (see below) is doing the rounds.

Now the wait begins, however: Will Apple approve the music streaming service for distribution on its platform, a service that, when you dig a little deeper, appears to compete more directly with the company’s own iTunes Music Store than similar offerings, such as and Pandora, both of which have already been given the go-ahead by Cupertino.

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Netflix CEO: Web browser is television's future

Forget channel surfing, Web surfing is the future of television, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tells

In five to twenty years, says Reed, “the way that consumers will interact on the big screen will be similar to the way they interact on a laptop screen.” Instead of switching channels, they’ll visit online video destinations as the web becomes “the universal paradigm that’s gonna subsume and embrace the User Interface on all of these systems” [PC, TV and Mobile].

“In the long term what we’ll see is a web browser like IE or Chrome or Safari or any of these in the television, and the way that consumers will interact on the big screen  will be similar to the way they interact on a laptop screen. That is with a web oriented paradigm and they’ll go to or or as apposed to specific channels. So think of websites, over time, replacing channels… Over maybe 5 to 20 years.”

Full video interview after the jump…

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Google vs Microsoft? Forget Chrome OS (for now) and keep your eye on Android and Win Mobile

Forget Chrome OS versus Windows (for now), there’s another Google / Microsoft battle taking place right in front of our eyes and Google’s winning. No, I’m not talking search. That war is over and Google was victorious a long time ago. I’m talking mobile. Android versus Windows Mobile to be precise, where Redmond is looking a little vulnerable to say the least.

Tech pundits like to talk endlessly about how Apple’s iPhone has shaken up the industry and that’s undeniable. But Android is a slow burner — don’t get fooled by the pig of a phone that was the T-Mobile G1 — the Google-led mobile OS is only now beginning to show its true potential. It’s not that consumers are flocking to Andriod — yet — it’s that handset makers right across the board are. And prior to Android, many of those handset makers were more than willing participants in Microsoft’s Windows Mobile eco-system. Less so now.

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How Spotify can beat Microsoft [music streaming]

Spotify, which has become the talk of the town here in London, could launch in the US as early as September, reports the Observer newspaper. The music streaming service, which offers both ad-supported and subscription versions, is seen as not only a real iTunes contender but also compelling enough and the right side of “free” to wean users off of illegal file sharing networks.

I’m a big fan myself and am particularly excited about the up and coming Android, Symbian and iPhone mobile versions of the service.

See also: Music streaming service Spotify demos Android app, off-line syncing included!

Along with the incumbent iTunes — who offer a different model: ala carte downloads — Spotify will face much competition in the ad-supported and subscription streaming space. US-strongholds include services such as Pandora, iMeem, MySpace and (ad-supported), along with Napster and Rhapsody (subscription).

One other competitor whom Spotify may or may not have had in mind when deciding to compete in the US is Microsoft (the underwhelming Zune aside). The Redmond giant is reportedly launching a similar service to European-based Spotify later this month.

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Zatz Not Funny: American Film Institute takes video online, TiVo on Twitter, Best Buy, Seagate Replica review

A periodic roundup of relevant news from our friends at Zatz Not Funny

American Film Institute

American Film Institute

American Film Institute takes video online

Mari Silbey: Not only has much of the AFI collection never been seen before, but the Institute is allowing online visitors to embed clips in their own sites.

TiVo on Twitter

Dave Zatz: TiVo is leading the way… when it comes to Twitter (and FriendFeed) and I’ve compiled a list of TiVo folks worth following.

Best Buy in the Digital Content Biz

Mari Silbey: It’s interesting to watch a retailer trying to expand its business model in the digital world. Beyond that, however, it’s fascinating to see how the digital living room is evolving. Best Buy is throwing itself into the ring with the likes of Blockbuster, Amazon, and Netflix, but also with cable, telco, and satellite operators.

Hands-on with the Seagate Replica

Dave Zatz: For a hundred bucks, I don’t think you can go wrong – a sleek, quiet, and cool drive with thought-free backup software.

Hulu explains its lack of love for PlayStation 3

It’s for your own good

Users who are complaining that they can no longer access the online video site Hulu on through their PlayStation 3’s web browser are being given an official explanation. The short version: it’s not Hulu’s fault per se but the result of keeping content owners, who don’t want the service to compete with revenue generated by traditional television distribution, happy.

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Dan Rayburn: 10 years on Blockbuster still lacks a digital strategy

Bricks and mortar video rental chain Blockbuster were a decade ahead of the competition in terms of the move from physical media to digital. That lead, however, “never materialized into any real online video strategy over the next ten years”, writes industry veteran and EVP of, Dan Rayburn.

“Without a doubt, Blockbuster should have been in the position Netflix is in today as they were the first movers in the market.”

Rayburn then goes on to paint Blockbuster as a digital headless chicken.

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