iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 iPhone 4S Siri accounts for 25 percent of Wolphram Alpha Searches Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:23:34 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 4S Siri

Apple introduced Siri with the iPhone 4S, a virtual personal assistant on a mobile phone, and providing users access to voice activated commands. Wolphram Alpha is integrated with Siri on iPhone 4S running iOS 5. The service is a collection of information and can provide anything from flight info, to searches of people, and even math problems.

Since its introduction in October, Siri has grown increasingly reliant upon carrier’s 3G networks and Wolphram Alpha to provide users with information, therefore, it is not surprising that Siri makes up 25% of Wolphram Alpha’s searches.

On Tuesday, it was reported by The New York Times that Apple’s Siri software accounts for 25% of all searches on Wolphram Alpha’s information database.

Less than three years ago, Dr. Wolfram created a new kind of search engine, called Wolfram Alpha . Unlike Google or Microsoft’s Bing, Wolfram Alpha does not forage the Web. It culls its own painstakingly curated database to find answers. […] the technology has come a long way, including delivering many answers for Siri, the question-answering personal assistant in the Apple iPhone 4S.

Wolphram Alpha was originally introduced for math and science queries but has now grown to incorporate local show times or calculating distances. It is also used by other search applications and mobile devices, which provide their users with information from the web.

Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha, whose staff has grown to 200.

Apple sold over 37 million iPhones last quarter, resulting in the iPhone claiming the number one spot for smart phone popularity, and putting Siri and Wolphram Alpha’s software into the hands of millions of people. With this increased adoption of the iPhone 4S, there is no doubt that 25% of Wolphram Alpha’s searches derive from iPhone users.

{via iMore}

]]> 5 Jon Rubinstein, Ex-Apple and Palm Executive, Now Leaving HP Tue, 31 Jan 2012 17:20:41 +0000 Read More]]>

On Friday, it was reported by AllThingsD that Ex-Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, who also worked for and left Palm is now leaving his latest position at HP. Jon Rubinstein is best known for his work on the iPod, Apple’s intro to the portable music player market, better known to some as Apple’s “gateway drug”, that has now led to the successful adoption of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

After Rubinstein left Apple, he moved over to venture firm, Elevation Partners and eventually made his way to Palm where he replaced Ed Colligan as CEO in 2009. Rubinstein assisted in the transition from Palm’s PalmOS to WebOS. WebOS went on to appear in the Pre, Pixi, and Veer smart phones.

Jon Rubinstein later moved back to an executive position after Palm was acquired by HP and oversaw the mobile division of HP. After numerous failed attempts of HP’s mobile strategies, Rubinstein was given a “product innovation role” to help lessen the blow to the company following Rubinstein’s departure.

Rubinstein has not yet announced what he plans to do next, although it is very likely going to be another excutive role at another tech company. However, if Rubinstein has learned anything, attempting to rush great software on sketchy hardware is not the best way to go, especially from his transition from Apple, who is currently leading the mobile devices market to HP who is at the bottom of the barrel.

{via TUAW}

]]> 0 Microsoft to Bring Xbox Live App to Apple’s iPhone and iPad Thu, 26 Jan 2012 20:19:28 +0000 Read More]]>

Microsoft, although having a string of failures in the smart phone market, has gained a large market percentage in video games with its Xbox 360 and Xbox Live services. On Wednesday, in a statement published by Forbes, it was revealed that Microsoft is now looking to bring its Xbox Live app to the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

While the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone is still new to the market and is slowly growing in terms of adoption and does not pose a threat to either the iPhone or Android as yet. Therefore, it is natural to assume that Microsoft also sees the opportunities in Apple’s App Store. If Microsoft ports their Xbox Live service over to iOS, games such as Halo could also make an appearance in near future.

With Apple’s focus on the advancement of graphics performance in their devices, Microsoft has the perfect mobile platform to bring their services to.

]]> 1 UK Carrier O2 Privacy Flaw Reveals Customer Phone Numbers to Websites Thu, 26 Jan 2012 19:59:42 +0000 Read More]]>

In a report from think broadband, it was revealed on Wednesday that a privacy flaw in UK carrier O2’s handling of web traffic on mobile devices released phone numbers of their customers to websites. Any customer who used a 2G or 3G network from O2 to browse the internet had their phone numbers sent to the websites, embedded among the website’s coding.

If you’re reading this news article using your O2 mobile phone, you’ll be pleased to know that O2 have already sent us your mobile phone number within the HTTP headers which normally contain information about how content can be displayed on your device. These headers are not normally seen by users, and usually not logged by most websites, but the flaw allows malicious sites to get more personal information about you than you may be willing to share.

For example, if you open an e-mail which includes references to external images, the mere action of opening the e-mail would divulge your phone number. This could be used by anyone undertaking a phishing attack or other scam to get more information from you. The opportunity to abuse this is potentially endless.

The flaw was discovered by Twitter user @lewispeckover who set up a website to see what information users were releasing while visiting the website. He noted after a few hours, perhaps after O2 fixed the glitch, that the mobile number stopped appearing on the website while accessing from his O2 device.

This issue is not exclusive to the iPhone and may affect all smart phones on the network, which is the second-largest carrier in the UK. O2 was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone back in 2007 during its initial launch.

The carrier appears to have fixed the issue, however, privacy issues continue to be a concern. Although mobile phone numbers are not necessarily private to the carrier, it is a matter of concern when there is a chance it may be released to websites and to the actual public. O2 has not released any statements on the privacy issue to the press or to its customers.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple iPad 2 Sales Unaffected by Kindle Fire Release Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:37:57 +0000 Read More]]>

Many tablets have been introduced in the market from companies looking to create the “iPad killer”. Top contenders include the Motorola Xoom and Kindle Fire, which failed to follow through with the original hype that it created upon release.

On Tuesday, following Apple’s announcement of their 4th quarter earnings for 2011, an analyst during the earnings call, asked Apple CEO Tim Cook if the iPad was impacted by lower priced tablets. Cook, as a reply, noted that Apple sold a record 15.4 million iPads and that Apple doesn’t consider “limited function tablets and e-readers to be in the same category as the iPad”.

Cook also noted that ecosystem for the iPad is “in a class by itself”. Tim Cook may have a point as it proves true during sales, where customers seem to gravitate towards product that offer a more solidified user experience, simplifying email, web, and desktop computer integration seamlessly, all of which iOS does very well.

We strongly believe in optimizing applications from day one to take advantage of the larger canvas. There are only a few hundred apps designed for the competition, versus more than 170,000 apps designed specifically for iPad. People who want an iPad won’t settle for a limited function tablet.

However, Cook wasn’t the only person praising the iPad. A number of executives from the Cupertino company have said that tablets are going to overtake the PC market in units and according to IDC, tablets outsold desktop PC’s last quarter on a unit basis in the United States. Following his statements about the iPad, Cook also mentioned that Apple will “continue to innovate like crazy” and will compete with any tablet out in the market.

Apple is consistently leading the smart phone and tablet market, guided by Steve Jobs’ quote from famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky, “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. Apple’s advanced intuition of the trends helps them to adjust their new product lines to the ever shifting technology market.

Apple is expected to announce the iPad 3 sometime between February and March, with a new A6 chip, higher resolution screen, and better cameras.

]]> 13 Apple (AAPL) Ships More Phones than Motorola For 2nd Quarter Running Thu, 29 Jul 2010 18:04:10 +0000 Read More]]> motorola vs apple cellphone shipments

For the second quarter in a row Motorola reported shipping less mobile phones than Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). To give you an idea of how the smart phone industry has been turned on its head since the arrival of Apple, Silicon Alley Insider have produced some great statistics.

In Q2 2007, for instance — the quarter when Apple first started selling the iPhone — Motorola shipped 35.5 million units, including the 100 millionth Razr.

In June this year Apple shipped 8.4 million iPhones. Compared to the 8.3 million phones of all types that Motorola shipped.

Of those 8.3 million, only 2.7 million were Android based.

If the iPhone business fails for Apple for some reason, then they have many other arms of Apple to fall back on. All, apart from the iPod Touch, are growing exponentially. And the iPod business is only being impacted by Apple’s own iPad business. So no biggie.

Motorola’s business, however, is the phone business.

Do you see some big companies like Motorola failing in the future? Or do you think they will fight back with Android? Have your say in the comments…

[Business Insider] ]]> 0 US regulators considering investigation into Apple’s mobile advertising policy Thu, 10 Jun 2010 22:20:02 +0000 Read More]]> Earlier today we reported that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had amended its iPhone Developer Agreement, specifically clause 3.3.9 related to advertising networks. The amendment was written in such a way that it allowed Steve Jobs to make good on a promise he made at D8 to open up the SDK for third parties to collect data for services such as advertising. But at the same time it was worded very carefully so as to exclude Google’s AdMob mobile advertising network from the iPhone eco-system.

This was met yesterday with lots of grumbling from Google, and gnashing of teeth from Admob’s CEO. Whilst the wording of the clause excludes any rival smart phone maker, Google is the only real threat on the horizon that Apple probably cares about right now.

Wired make an interesting point about why Apple should block AdMob from collecting data from Apple devices:

If Apple were to allow Google to track user data within ads, Google would, by definition, gain insight into how people are interacting with advertising elements within iOS apps, and would be able to use that information to inform the process of building AdMob ads into its own Android platform.

But then again, I am sure Google could research information of that flavour in other ways if they really needed it. Still that argument might convince a government investigation of Apple’s reasons for its current strategy in this situation.

The Financial Times is reporting today that those same “sources close to the government” they quoted last time are sure that the FTC are still actively interested in all this. And that they may have moved their plans forward with regards to an investigation into Apple and Google.

According to two people close to the situation, US regulators have already taken an interest in Apple’s actions, though it is not yet clear whether it will be left to the Federal Trade Commission, which carried out the recent Google investigation, or the Department of Justice to take an investigation forward.

Apple’s latest rules for developers who create apps for its devices limit the situations in which they can send approved information about their apps’ audiences to advertising services. The information cannot be sent to advertising networks that are affiliated with companies developing or distributing mobile devices or operating systems – a definition that effectively excludes Apple rivals like Google and Microsoft.

Do you think Apple’s actions are “just business”, or unfair to Google? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 0 What Really Makes The Apple iPhone 4 Exciting? Tue, 08 Jun 2010 21:13:04 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_1

The iPhone 4 is certainly much more than I expected it to be. I was hopeful of an even higher resolution screen than we got. But other than that I was simply anticipating what most other people were expecting. Smaller, faster, neater, video calls, and a stills camera with flash.

That is not to say that video calls, or a 5MP camera – with LED flash – are not good things. But they were kind of a given, and to be expected on any current generation smart phone. So getting excited about those features takes a little more effort. That’s all.

So where did the iPhone 4 really “Wow” me?

Well a fairly full featured version of iMovie available for the iPhone in the App Store at launch, and 720p recording was a pleasant surprise. Plus it’s Apple, so we know that it will “just work” beautifully too. So when these features are simply demoed on stage we can relax safe in the knowledge that the final product we get later this month will do all that it is advertised as doing. But even then, Nokia had video editing on their N series phones a while back I seem to remember.
I am also glad that Apple refrained from calling the iPhone 4, “iPhone HD”. It’s not HD. The screen resolution is not high enough, even if the phone itself records in half-way HD. And HD would have caused a lot of confusion with iPad app names – as I have often suggested to deaf ears. I have to admit to a little bit of smug satisfaction watching most of my fellow industry pundits call it that over the last few months, whereas I refrained, except where chastised by my editor for “SEO reasons”. Whatever that means!?! 😉

But I still haven’t said what really blew me away about the iPhone 4 yet, have I? No! Sorry! Ok.. In order of no particular importance…

The iPhone 4’s screen construction.

It was common knowledge a fair while before launch that the iPhone 4 would feature a more traditional LCD panel, rather than an OLED one. This was a sensible choice from Apple, as OLED has been shown on various Android devices to deliver fairly lacklustre results so far. OLED has certainly not been shown yet, in smartphone form, to be able to deliver the crispness or quality we expect of Apple gear.

What Apple have also done is incorporate a hybrid of IPS and FFS technologies into the 960×640 LCD panel in the iPhone 4. Those technologies are specifically suited to a versatile range of viewing angles, and clarity of view specifically for text heavy applications. Think eBooks, PDFs and web pages. Games, and pictures always look good with a bright, well balanced display – which high quality LCDs produce better than OLED currently also. So Apple worked on what it was important for them to work on. Which is what makes them market leaders after all.

But that’s still not what is really cool about the screen. Their choices so far are what we’d expect from Apple. In other words, the best possible implementation of stable and current technology, rather than new “bleeding-edge” technology just for the sake of it.

What is really cool though is that Apple have reengineered how they make their screens. In doing so they have made it so that there is literally no space between the touch layer and the LCD itself.

Engineering. This is where Apple consistently outshine other OEMs. Their new method of making their composite touch / LCD panels, coupled with the beautiful glass front panel of the iPhone 4 puts our fingers literally on top of the LCD itself. When you look at the new iPhone the screen literally looks like a bright shiny sticker stuck on the outside of the iPhone. It is truly incredible. When you see one in the flesh, that alone will make you want one. I guarantee it. And my name is not Steve Jobs!

The Stainless Steel Case

Stainless Steel has several properties that the Aluminium cases that Apple has favoured to date, do not. It conducts radio waves very well, and it has a heft to it that feels more solid and satisfying. It’s also far stronger.

By combining a practical quality of Stainless Steel, with an aesthetic quality they have produced both a high quality / high performance arial framework for all the various radio signals the iPhone 4 produces, coupled with a healthy feeling heft, and strong construction to the entire device. The iPhone 4 is solid, and receives and transmits strong signals.

Apple have gone one step further still by making the edges of the device square, rather then rounded like previous iPhones, so that it genuinely feels more like a camera when you turn it on its side to use it as one. Again, when you get your hands on one in an Apple Store, or when you steal your friend’s iPhone 4 for a few precious moments you’ll see what I mean.


This is not an obvious feature of the iPhone 4. But what Apple have done is start to refine their iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad OS into one Operating System : iOS.

Part of the reason for this is to bring the various screen sizes that we will inevitably have more of in future, and have now on current devices, under the control of the OS.

For games it is not such an issue. Games makers can just scale graphics to fit the screen, and choose to have, or not have, various levels of detail for textures and other images. But for applications, which is after all what Apple is more interested in, and has to put more work into supporting visually, different screen resolutions is an important issue. And potentially a problem.

Imagine if the 200,000+ apps in the App Store today all had to be re-written for the new iPhone? Developers would not be happy. Apple has addressed this issue with various technologies in iOS (previously iPhone OS 4.0), and will continue to do so moving forward. Currently it is in an early form, but has already improved on the crude 2X feature of iPhone OS 3.2, which is currently found on the iPad for using existing iPhone apps.

Whilst not completely realising their final goal Apple have, in my opinion, taken an important first step towards Resolution Independence in iOS. The best is yet to come. But this is a solid foundation to build from.
iPhone 4, and iOS is where it starts to come together.

The Gyroscope

Steve actually demonstrated the iPhone 4’s gyroscope with a game of Jenga. I found that quite amusing. Apple have not been great at promoting games as a medium in the past. Even with their new found romance with games on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad they are still not taken seriously on Apple’s desktop lineup.

Ironically though I don’t think the gyro will find its greatest success in games. There are still a lot of iPods and iPhones, and brand new iPads out there that don’t have this feature. And for a while, at least, games writers will have to ensure their games work with the older Accelerometers found in earlier devices.

Some forward thinking developers will have a gyroscope option in their games. But important aspects of game play won’t be able to rely on the increase in accuracy and freedom of movement that the new component undoubtably brings… for the immediate future anyway. Otherwise the game will suffer on older devices, and the core market at the moment.

Where I think the gyroscope will be amazing is in Augmented Reality applications. At the moment looking around and using the camera in an existing iPhone to view our environment and overlay information and advertising on the world around us is a popular gimmick in “AR” apps. But the view is clunky and a bit jittery in most mobile devices (including current iPhones) because of the lack of precision that accelerometers offer. With a gyroscope on the new iPhone 4 Augmented Reality is set to go mainstream. This will be helped by the increased speed of the A4 processor, and the increased accuracy of the gyroscope.

Expect a lot of iAd enabled gyroscope using Augmented Reality apps to hit the App Store very soon.

As a little bit of background for you. The last gyroscope I programmed for was a component that was used in guided missiles originally. Our use for it was entirely different. But that is the kind of precision, and freedom of movement that gyroscope technology is derived from. Think about that for a minute. Your iPhone 4 will be distantly related to a guided missile! Cool eh!

Finally, a quick note about the 5MP camera in the iPhone 4

Apple could have played the numbers game here. They could have gone for 8 or 16 MP unit. And some Android owners may well quote the 8MP pixel camera in the new HTC EVO 4G to backup that line of thinking. But in reality until you make your lenses and your CCD (the device that receives the image inside your phone) bigger and of better quality there is no point. With the current form factor of all smart phones, their lenses and CCDs, more Megapixels just equate to bigger pictures, with more noise, which take up more space on your Flash Memory. Pictures which overall are of the same quality by and large – just noisier.

5 – 6 Megapixels is the optimum size for consumer cameras of the kind of lens dimension we are seeing on these phones. Any more is simply there for bragging rights for the OEM, and offers no functional advantage. Period.

What Apple have done, again, is focus on making the entire package better. Apple’s CCD in the iPhone 4 is designed to get more photons, more accurately, with less noise into your iPhone’s storage. In the iPhone 4’s case they do it by using Backside illumination :

Wikipedia explains Backside illumination this way :

In a device with backside illumination, the silicon light sensor for each pixel is on the “back” side of the silicon wafer, opposite the transistors and metal wiring layers. This increases the efficiency of the sensor as compared to the traditional (“frontside illumination”) technology, in which some of the light is scattered by the circuit layers on the front side of the wafer before it can reach the image sensor.

Here is a good example which illuminates the point I am making about megapixel count perfectly :

Joe Holmes’ limited-edition 13 x 19″ prints of his American Museum of Natural History series sell at Manhattan’s Jen Bekman Gallery for $650 each. They’re made on a 6MP D70.

No the iPhone 4’s lens is certainly not up to the standard of one found in a Nikon D70. Not is the one found in the HTC EVO 4G, or any other smart phone for that matter. But they have CCDs of roughly the same quality. The iPhone 4 has one which is better suited than all of them to low light conditions, and getting the best performance possible out of its surrounding hardware.

So there you have it. Those are the things about the iPhone 4 that excite me! What is your favourite feature of the new iPhone 4? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 6 Some clues to Apple’s future iPhone 4 network plans Tue, 08 Jun 2010 19:28:22 +0000 Read More]]> Synchronized with the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010, an FCC filing has been publicised which makes some interesting reading if you want to try and figure out some of Apple’s plans for global smart phone domination.

It also makes Apple’s iPhone 4 the first device in the world to be released, and sport 5 frequency bands.

The new iPhone 4 not only has the 850MHz/1,900MHz North American frequencies, and the 900MHz/2,100MHz international frequencies. It also has an 800Mhz range. This is omitted on Apple’s website specs. page. But what does having that range mean?

800Mhz would allow the iPhone 4 to work on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo network. As an aside, DoCoMo roughly translated means “Here, there, everywhere!” Which is quite fitting for Apple’s iPhone these days.

Apple are currently tied to SoftBank in Japan. But this addition to the iPhone’s spec. hints that Apple may be looking at more networks in at least one location around the globe. There is hope for all of you on AT&T yet.

Unfortunately, absent in the FCC filing are details of the 1,700Mhz frequency. That range would be required for the iPhone 4 to provide a 3G service on T-Mobile in the US, and Wind Mobile in Canada.

Nokia have a similar 5 band device coming out later this year, but they have chosen to keep the 1,700 range, and drop the Japanese frequency.

One good piece of news on the device spec that Apple has chosen is that it also shows us that Apple is using a more flexible chipset than most, with more than just 5.8Mbps upload speeds.

Are you disappointed that T-Mobile won’t get the iPhone 4? Or perhaps excited to be getting one on DoCoMo in Japan?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

[engadget] ]]> 7 Apple iPhone 4G / HD Bezel Obtained? (Video) Sun, 09 May 2010 18:17:56 +0000 Read More]]> SmartPhone Medic had claimed to get their hands on the new iPhone 4G screen and digitiser a while back. And since then we’ve heard little from them about that. But today they are claiming to have the bezel which holds the iPhone 4G / HD together.

What we have here is the assembly of the new iPhone 4G LCD and digitizer onto the metal middle plate. As you can hear in the video, the metal middle plate is really metal. It has a nice weight in your hand and feels good. Check out the video and tell us what you think. As we continue to get more pieces of the iPhone 4G in we will upload them for your viewing pleasure.

The video showing the iPhone 4G screen and the bezel being assembled does look an awful lot like the ‘lost’ prototype device that Gizmodo had last month.

Do you think this is indeed the new iPhone 4G? Let us know in the comments.

iPhone 4G LCD, Digitizer + Metal Middle Plate Assembly

[smartphonemedic] ]]> 1 WiFi sync App for iPhone and iPad. Will Apple Approve? Tue, 27 Apr 2010 12:20:27 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone WiFi Sync App

iPhone WiFi sync

iPhone Wi-Fi sync is an upcoming app which does exactly what the name suggests. It allows you to sync your information from your desktop computer (Apple or Windows) via iTunes, with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (and visa-versa), much the same way that you can do right now via USB. It will never be as fast as USB, but it’s certainly a convenience people will want, definitely usable, and something other platforms have had for a while now.

Without actually trying the app out, or without any technical details, we can’t with absolute certainty say whether or not it breaks any of Apple’s iPhone Development rules. But on the surface of it we cannot see any reason why it should.

Apparently there is a desktop client and an iPhone app, and the two work together to talk to iTunes, and spoof it into thinking it is connected to a device via USB in some way. There are various ways this can be done. But then end effect is an iPhone or iPad is talking to iTunes using the protocols it is supposed to. Unlike the Palm hacks to get their non-Apple smart-phone to spoof iTunes into thinking it is an iPod.

Being pessimistic I can certainly see Apple taking a close look at how this desktop client bridges the connect between iTunes and the iPhone, and how the files are transferred. But it is certainly possible it is not breaking any rules that Apple has set, or are that concerned about enforcing. But app approvals are a rocky unpredictable road sometimes with Apple. And reasons given for rejection are not always very clear or transparent initially.

Bearing in mind Apple have not provided this functionality themselves it would seem unfair to block an app of this sort. But that may be a reason for them doing exactly that under the guise of SDK rules related to the sand-boxing of Apps and how file transfers are done. Plenty of other apps on the iPhone do allow file transfer between the iPhone and Safari for example. But most rely on specific API calls that Apple prescribe.

The developer, Greg Hughes, a 2nd year Computer Science student at the University of Birmingham, says via his Twitter account that it doesn’t “break any rules”.

On his website he states he will submit the app to the App Store shortly. And we wish him the best of luck with it!

Do you think this App will be approved? Let us know in the comments.

Wi-Fi Sync: Wirelessly sync your iPhone with iTunes

]]> 4 Palm: End of Days. Was it their SDK that killed them? Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:22:18 +0000 Read More]]> I’ve been tweeting and writing for some time that I think it’s probably going to be a downward spiral into oblivion for Palm in the coming months. Which is a shame. To be clear : It’s not over yet for Palm. But the writing does seem to be on the wall.

Before the advent of the iPhone I was a confirmed Palm Treo user. Nothing that Nokia or Microsoft could produce came even close to Palm’s already horribly out of date mobile phone OS. It seemed back then we were all waiting for either Palm to get it’s act together, or Apple to launch their rumoured iPhone.

palm-pre-webosUnfortunately when Palm finally produced something close to what we had all been hoping for in webOS and the Palm Pre, it was far too long after Apple and Google had staked their claim on the market place with Android, the iPhone and their App Stores.

I have mentioned a few times in the last 12 months or so that Palm needed to get a decent SDK out to developers. I was most vocal about this when I was first accepted into the Beta program for developers when Palm first launched webOS. At the time I was stunned as I leafed through the documents for their SDK, and fired up the development software, that I had absolutely no access to a real graphics API, or the ability to write high performance code for the ARM CPU & the GPU in these phones. I emailed friends in the dev community asking if I had missed something, or downloaded the wrong package. At the time I penned a letter to Palm telling them that this would be the death of their smart phone business. Which is their entire business after all.

When reporting on the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, I mentioned I was excited that Palm had finally got an OpenGL ES SDK (they call it their PDK) out to developers. This meant that finally all developers (not just select partners) could write or port high performance games and more to Palm’s mobile phone eco-system.

At the time I wrote that I was “sceptical if this will cause a massive boost in the Pre’s popularity. But it is a step in the right direction, finally. And means that frustrated Palm gamers can look forward to some more fun with their devices.”

It appears that I may have been too optimistic in that article. Even though elsewhere I had already questioned whether Palm would really ever make it back. Somewhere deep in side I still wanted them to succeed I guess.

As Palm’s stock price tumbles, and more and more details of their finances emerge, it seems ever more clear to me, and other tech writers, that Palm are already a “dead man walking” in the tech business. As of today, on paper, even though they boast a $500 Million war-chest, their combined cash, assets and debts potentially add up to $0. That’s right. Nothing.

An article I read earlier today by Jean-Louis GassŽe brought this home ever more clearly to me : []

Many writers are putting forward their thoughts on why Palm’s re-launch and webOS have failed.

Undoubtedly webOS is great. But ultimately Palm chose the wrong things to focus on, and got very unlucky with their choice of launch dates and initial partners. Their hardware was not quite up to scratch out of the door either. Some believe foolish headline grabbing stunts like the cat and mouse game they played with Apple and iTunes synching all factored into their lack of focus and ultimate slide.

But for me it comes down in big part to the fact that they messed up with their own version of an App Store, and took far far far too long to get a descent fully featured SDK into the hands of developers.

ars technica have quite an interesting piece on it here : []

In short, paraphrasing Jean-Louis GassŽe, “Who will buy Palm?”. My bet is the same as his. No-one!

A long shot might be one of the newer Asian tech companies, who may buy it up for the webOS technology for pennies on the dollar.

What do you think? Will you miss Palm?

]]> 4 Blackberry users would rather choose the iPhone as their next phone [Study] Wed, 17 Mar 2010 16:27:52 +0000 Read More]]> A study was released this week by Crowd Science that showed nearly 40% of Blackberry users would quite happily switch and move over to Apple’s iPhone. Crowd Science also reported that,

Asked specifically if they’d swap their present phone for Google’s new Android-based Nexus One, 32% of Blackberry users said “yes,” compared with just 9% of iPhone users. This figure zoomed to 60% for users of smartphones not made by Blackberry or Apple.

“These results show that the restlessness of Blackberry users with their current brand hasn’t just been driven by the allure of iPhone,” said John Martin, CEO of Crowd Science. “Rather, Blackberry as a brand just isn’t garnering the loyalty seen with other mobile operating systems.

Other results included,

Android users skew younger and less affluent than iPhone and Blackberry users. Users of all types of smartphones had downloaded more free applications than paid ones during the preceding seven days, with iPhone users significantly more likely to pay for apps, Android users leading in free apps, and Blackberry users far behind on both fronts. Both Android users and iPhone users were found much more likely than Blackberry users to use their phones only for personal use (32%, 28% and 16% respectively). On the other hand, 7% of Blackberry users use their phone only for business, with that category of user minimal with iPhone (1%) and non-existent in the Android base.

More good news in the report for Apple followed, around 90% of their users said they would quite happily stick to the iPhone when they bought their next phone. Apple Insider stated that the study also showed 97% of iPhone users would recommend the product to their friends and 52% of Blackberry users would also recommend the iPhone to friends.

For the survey Crowd Science used 1,140 respondents recruited randomly by the Crowd Science Sample Beta Program. The majority (44%) of the respondents used a regular phone and not a smart phone, other users represented 17% iPhone users, 15% Blackberry, 10% Nokia, 4% Windows Mobile, 3% Android and 2% Palm.
These results must be a great pleasure for Apple to read and Im sure they will be very satisfied with this survey that confirms that they are indeed going the right way in dominating the mobile world.

What phone would you switch to next and why?

]]> 1