Monthly Archives: January 2011

What Honeycomb Means for Tablets ?

In advance of Google’s Honeycomb deep dive scheduled for this Wednesday February 2, I wanted to do a quick analysis of what Honeycomb means for the tablet market. I’ve been working with a number of the current Android tablets in the 7-inch range and have reached several conclusions about the form factor which I will provide more insight to in a later analysis.

One conclusion, however, that may seem completely obvious but which, from a software standpoint, has not historically been obvious for makers of hardware, is that some form-factors require software created specifically for that form-factor.

This was, to a degree, the observation made by Jeff Hawkins when he started Palm and brought to market the first Palm Pilot. Many of the products competing for handheld computers at the time were mini clamshell devices running either Windows CE or some proprietary OS.

Many of these devices were attempting to be very small versions of their notebook counterparts. Jeff Hawkins’ vision was that computing could take place in the palm of your hand and a new form factor as well as a new operating system was necessary to make that vision a reality.

The same is true in the tablet / touch computing market. These devices are not phones, nor are they clamshell PCs with a physical keyboard and mouse. Smartphone apps are built to work on a small screen. Clamshell notebooks and desktop software were made to work with a mouse and keyboard. This is why, for the tablet market to succeed, it will depend on an operating system and suite of applications that are purpose-built for a larger screen touch computer.

Honeycomb is Android built for tablets from the ground up. Not just the OS but the apps represent optimized versions for the larger touch screen. I pointed this out when the iPad first launched and I’ll point it out again for Android app developers. Apps need to be re-created not re-purposed for Honeycomb. For the Honeycomb software ecosystem to be successful it will require software that is not just optimized but specifically created for larger touch screens. More simply put, develop apps like it was your first app and the 10-inch screen is the only screen.

Nearly every major consumer products vendor I speak with on a regular basis wants a piece of the tablet market. They have very high hopes and to some degree are betting heavily on Android and in this case Honeycomb. We will see if Honeycomb delivers when we get to actually use a functioning version of the OS on Wednesday.

Honeycomb represents a real opportunity for vendors to compete in this space with the 800lb gorilla that is Apple. If Honeycomb does not deliver it could set vendors back again another six to eight months. All will be revealed on Wednesday and we will be there to report it. Check back on Wednesday for my first impressions and analysis of Honeycomb.

 

Sprint 4G International Roaming.

For those currently enjoying Sprint’s 4G network on the go, you may be elated to know that you can now take your 4G connection even while traveling abroad. We mentioned back in December of last year that Sprint was inking deals with partnering carriers in Jamaica and Taiwan to provide international 4G roaming. Well, Sprint has just officially announced itself as the first national wireless carrier in the U.S. to offer international 4G roaming and included specific pricing information.

Digicel will be providing the first and only 4G network in Jamaica, while Global Mobile, based in Taiwan, will be the first 4G roaming partner in Asia.

Only select Sprint 4G devices that operate with the Sprint SmartView Connection Manager will automatically detect the Digicel and Global Mobile networks. This feature will allow customers to connect and roam with an unlimited 24-hour daypass for $14.99 excluding surcharges and taxes.

Press Release:

Sprint Becomes First National Wireless Carrier in U.S. to Offer International 4G Roaming
4G Customers Traveling Abroad to Select Areas in Jamaica and Taiwan Can Now Roam on 4G Networks Offered by Digicel and Global Mobile

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), January 31, 2011 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced that customers traveling abroad now have roaming access to 4G networks offered by Digicel in Jamaica and Global Mobile in Taiwan. Select Sprint 4G devices that operate with the Sprint SmartViewSM Connection Manager will automatically detect the Digicel and Global Mobile networks, giving customers the option to connect and roam with an unlimited, 24-hour daypass for $14.99 excluding surcharges and taxes.

“Sprint has partnered with Digicel and Global Mobile to further enhance the global 4G ecosystem with services that empower travelers on the go,” said Todd Rowley, vice president-Sprint 4G. “Over the years, we’ve built a robust ecosystem of partners that dwarves any other 4G ecosystem available today and as the first U.S. wireless carrier to launch international 4G roaming we’ve clearly demonstrated our leadership.”

The Sprint SmartView Connection Manager allows users to create a high-speed Internet connection for their computer anywhere on the Sprint 3G or 4G networks and now on compatible international 4G networks with a 4G-enabled Mobile Broadband Device, such as the Sprint 3G/4G U600 USB Modem. Sprint customers traveling to Jamaica and Taiwan will be able to access the Digicel and Global Mobile 4G networks for mobile downloads, video-chat capabilities and turbo-charged Web browsing at 4G speeds.

“Digicel is proud to have the first and only 4G network in Jamaica,” said Mark Linehan, CEO, Digicel Jamaica. “We look forward to welcoming Sprint customers and are positive that they will delight in roaming with Jamaica’s fastest wireless broadband.”

“We are excited to be Sprint’s first 4G roaming partner in Asia and looking forward to extending this alliance to our partners around the world,” said Rosemary W. Ho, CEO of Global Mobile. “As the leading 4G broadband operator in Taiwan, Global Mobile is committed to bring the most innovative service such as carrier-grade VOIP and mobile TV to our customers. I want to welcome our international roaming customers to experience the same innovative quadruple play service offering enjoyed by our customers.”

Sprint 4G can be found in 71 markets1 across the United States, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Sprint is delivering the power of 4G as the majority shareholder of Clearwire, the independent company that is building the WiMAX network. For more information, visit http://www.sprint.com/4G.

About Digicel

After more than nine years of operation, Digicel Group Limited has more than 11 million customers across its 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Championships. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.

Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti and Papua New Guinea that focus on educational, cultural and social development programs.

In 2004, Digicel developed Digicel Rising Stars – an annual talent show to support aspiring young music artists in the Caribbean. The show has spanned the Eastern Caribbean, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, ranking as one of the top-rated shows.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and its markets comprise Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean. Visit http://www.digicelpacific.com or http://www.digicelgroup.com for more information.

About Global Mobile Corporation

Global Mobile is a 4G pioneer in the digital industry value chain, integrating various triple play contents, with all types of communication at home, and totally new fourth-generation wireless communications, all in one click. Global Mobile is a strong group consisting of industry experts with extensive knowledge and experience. They understand consumer needs and have designed a CPE system that is as easy to use as a personal computer.

Taiwan currently lacks a content platform that bridges the commercial and public sectors. Also lacking are an impetus for creativity, a standardized distribution and broadcasting format, and a unified payment method. It is our company’s goal to provide such a standardized platform to allow our customers to use WiMAX wireless broadband – anytime, anywhere – on any device.

For more information, please visit the Global Mobile website at http://www.G1.com.tw.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at http://www.sprint.com or http://www.facebook.com/sprint and http://www.twitter.com/sprint.

[Via Sprint]

 

Android Tablets Gaining on Apple Quickly

Strategy Analytics is reporting today that Android software has boosted its share in tablets almost 10x in the fourth quarter of 2010. Shipments of Android tablets went from 100,000 in the third quarter of 2010 to 2.1 million units, this to be contrasted with Apple‘s jump from 1.9 million tablets in quarter three to 7.3 million in quarter four, all of this in 2010. Android held 22 percent of the global market in tablets the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 2.3 percent the quarter before.

Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said the following about the situation: “Apple’s volumes will continue to go up, but market share will inevitably go down. Even at $500 retail [for the iPad], based on some of the research we’ve done, that’s probably two or three times more than what most mass market consumers are expecting to pay. If you were to ask me in two years time, will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty.”

In related news, Canalys research group showed Android becoming the world’s best selling smartphone operating system in the fourth quarter of 2010. Take a look at that story [here]

[Via Business Week]

OS7: Windows Phone 7 Theme for iPhone, iPod touch with Live Tiles

Wyndwarrior has developed a new Windows Phone 7 theme ‘OS7′ for jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch device that brings customizable start menu and live tiles on the springboard and runs independently from winterboard. You do not require to pre-install Iconoclasm, Infiniboard, SpringJumps, WinterBoard. No complex setup is required; it is just a simple plug-and-play theme. Catch up the theme in action:

How to install Windows Phone 7 Theme OS7 into iPhone, iPod touch

Step 1: Install Backboard from Cydia.
Step 2: Make sure you have created a “Default” backup, if not, press the add button in Backboard and give it a name.
Step 3: Go on your device and click on this link: backboard
Step 4: Press “Yes” and wait for it to download. This may take a few minutes depending on your internet connection.
Step 5: Select OS7 from Backboard. Press Install. Respring.

 

Motorola XOOM Super Bowl Teaser Ad Hits the Internet

Motorola has published a new teaser for the Motorola XOOM. Supposedly a teaser for the Super Bowl ad this Sunday, the minute clip features Motorola stating that it’s time to break free from control from a single manufacturer, this is 2011 not 1984.

The ad, of course, is heavily targeting the iPad. Boasting the XOOMs impressive specs, we can tell that it’s “out of this world.”

Let’s all just hope the advertisement that airs on Sunday is a lot more impressive than scrolling specs through space.

What do you think of the teaser? Super Bowl quality?

 

CANALYS REPORTS ANDROID IS THE TOP SMARTPHONE PLATFORM IN THE WORLD

Research firm Canalys has announced the results of its smartphone market data for Q4 2010. According to the data Android is the world’s leading smartphone platform. Shipment of Android smartphones globally for the quarter hit 32.9 million with Symbian devices biting at Android’s shiny metal butt with 31 million units shipped.

The overall smartphone market in Q4 2011 boomed with total shipments of 101.2 million units globally for a year over year growth rate of 89%. Android was helped in the quarter by strong performances by LG, Samsung, Acer, and HTC who all predominantly work with Android on their devices. LG grew by a massive 4,127% in the quarter.

HTC and Samsung together account for about 45% of all Google OS handset shipments. Apple was behind Nokia Symbian with 16.2 million units shipped and about half the volume of Android for the quarter. RIM was next with 14.6 million and Microsoft in the fifth place spot with a mere 3.1 million units shipped.

 

Android 3.0 Honeycomb Ported to NookColor

Barnes & Nobles’s NookColor may not be real alternative to iPad & Galaxy Tab tablets but it does manages to reside in between plain e-book reader like Amazon kindle and well performing tablets like Apple iPad & Samsung Galaxy. Nook Color, a 7 inch tablet with 1024 x 600 IPS display runes on Android 2.2 and turned out to be popular choice amongst book lovers and now here is yet another reason to believe NookColor will be big performer.

One of the developer at XDA-forum has managed to port Android 3.0 Honeycomb to NookColor using SDK of Android 3.0 Honeycomb preview build which was released few days back.

The developer also plans to work on getting graphics acceleration & improving overall performance over the weekend. Now here is NookColor running Android 3.0 Honeycomb pictures after the break,

Nook Color with Honeycomb Android 3.0

 

Nintendo 3DS browser & eShop delayed until May !

Nintendo has confirmed that, while the new Nintendo 3DS will arrive in the US on March 27 and in Europe on March 25, 3D gamers will have to wait longer for the 3DS eShop. CEO Satoru Iwata told GamesIndustry that not only will the game store be delayed until May 2011, the 3DS will also not have a browser to begin with.

Neither was initially expected to be preloaded onto the 3DS, but Nintendo had previously expected to have the eShop and browser ready alongside the commercial release of the console. Now, the download store will be “drastically redesigned” versus the existing DSiWare store, which Iwata criticized as slow and inefficient at highlighting the best titles. “”It is critical in digital software distribution” Iwata suggested “that the software available there won’t be buried and go unnoticed.”

[via Electronista]

 

PS3 3.56 hacked & Jailbroken in less than 24 Hrs, Sony Perplexed!

PlayStation 3 3.56 has been cracked and jailbroken in less than a day by infamous Wii hacker Youness Alaoui (aka KaKaRoToKS).  The 3.56 signing keys are already out so don’t get surprised if you get an updated custom firmware in a day or so that spoofs 3.56 and re-enables PSN access.

Earlier, Sony sued Geohot, Fail0ver and many other researchers for jailbreaking into PlayStation 3 security code. And when Sony was granted TRO against Geohot, the entire PS3 community was in dismay. Soon after, Sony pushed an important system update 3.56 into PS3 in order to block homebrew and piracy and to keep hackers off PlayStation Network.

System software 3.56 is a “minor update that adds a security patch” and introduces a new encryption key which kills all existing homebrew functionality. If you have PS3 homebrew or have jailbroken your PS3 3.55 console, it is highly recommended that you do not update your PS3 console to firmware 3.56 at all. If you upgrade to 3.56, there’s no easy way back down.

 

iOS 4.3 compatible apps appear in the app store !

It seems like Apple has started approving some apps in the app store which claims to be iOS 4.3 compatible suggesting iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users shouldn’t wait long for the new update.Nextmag Mobile for iOS has been updated to be Compatible with iOS 4.3.

What’s New in Version v4.0:

– The latest bug fixes and stability enhancements
– In-app registration
– The ability to synchronize searches and wishlists between Nextag Mobile and any desktop computer.
– Sign in to your account via Nextag or Facebook right in the app
– Compatible with iOS 4.3

iOS 4.3 beta 2 was seeded last week and we may see beta 3 this week. Apple will most likely release beta 4 next week followed by a GM seed before public release, so we may see iOS 4.3 final just after the arrival of iOS 4.2.5 with Verizon iPhone. What do you think?

 

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