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All posts tagged "apple"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Microsoft Thinks Apps Worth More Than 99¢

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 04:00 AM

"For many (if not most) iPhone developers, the App Store's overheated competition and bloated inventory have led to scorched-earth pricing that makes it virtually impossible to parlay mobile development into a valid for-profit business model without turning to subscriptions or in-app advertising.... "I know, 99 cents is interesting -- yes, consumers like to pay 99 cents for applications," admits Microsoft's Loke Uei, "but 99 cents, come on, I think your app is worth more than that."

The Apple iPhone App store has been one of the things that has radically changed the mobile phone market, but as it grew to 50,000 apps or so, it was pretty obvious that there is just some crap in there. Sometimes less is more and a well maintained library is better and more useful than one that just has everything you can possibly throw in it. Microsoft apparently feels the same way and is going to try and keep the menu respectable and manageable.

Do you think 99 cents is ok for the majority of apps, or should Microsoft encourage more reasonable price structures that would allow developers to make some money and make it worth their time to spend more energy on improving their apps.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apple Bullying Google on the Playground?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 02:33 PM

"It's hard to imagine anyone being able to bully Google into submission, but according to Venture Beat, that's exactly what Apple did. The report claims Apple encouraged Google not to use multi-touch technology in the Android-based G1 mobile phone, and Google agreed, Venture Beat says citing an un-named Android team member as the source."

I was really hoping to avoid this story but it seems no matter where I turn everyone appears to be talking about it! Whether or not there is any merit to this story, which appears to be up in the air at the moment, I just do not see the big deal over Google not including multi-touch at Apple's request. Apple after all has filed for a patent involving multi-touch technology, something I am sure Google was aware of. As for the other ridiculous claims that Apple requested HTC to not include a 3.5mm port on the handset... well the only thing I can add to that is that these rumors were probably started by someone that hasn't used too many HTC handsets. I cannot think of any HTC handset, minus the Touch HD, that has ever come with its own 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Honestly to me this entire story just screams "slow news day," but I would love to hear what everyone who visits our site thinks of this recent FUD. Is it really a big deal that Google might have axed features at Apple's request?

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  • Source: Maximum PC

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can Windows Mobile Make a Comeback?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:30 PM

"The smartphone landscape is changing rapidly with the arrival of the T-Mobile G1, the first phone based on Google's Android software, and the huge success of Apple's iPhone business. And if both of these take big slices of the smartphone market, that leaves less for everybody else – unless they can find a way to respond."

[Courtesy of The Guardian. Illustration by Tobias Hickey]

I was reading The Guardian this morning when I ran across this interesting Windows Mobile article, "Can Microsoft be a Mobile Hero?" There isn't anything new in the doom and gloom department that hasn't been said a million times already but it is nice to read the opinions of a person that isn't as closely tied to the Windows Mobile experience as all of us are here. It amazes me to see the Internet turn so quickly against Windows Mobile and cast it aside like an old shoe. I personally do not believe the situation is as dire as everyone else believes, but I do feel it is very important that Microsoft steps up their game and focus on usability for their next release as if their lives depended on it. I don't see Microsoft letting Windows Mobile die anytime soon, but on this current path-to-nowhere I can easily see Windows Mobile quickly becoming irrelevant.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do we Really Need a Zune Phone?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:22 PM

[What do you think? Is this what we really need? (Artist Concept)]

There is a bit speculation going around the Interweb as of late that Microsoft is hard at work on a Zune based phone, or ZunePhone if you want to call it what all the cool kids are calling it. In a recent memo making the rounds at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying the following:

"In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences."

After reading this memo I did what any fan of technology would do - I ran to my nearest window to get a glimpse of the pigs flying because Microsoft is finally starting to take an Apple-like approach to things by taking more control with hardware vendors to provide a "complete experiences with absolutely no compromises" for their end user. While I applaud Microsoft for taking that first step in hopefully stopping the hardware vendors from providing us with sub-par systems cluttered with excessive junk that we will never need or use on both the Desktop and mobile arena, you have to stop and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why the heck has it taken so long for Microsoft to step in to ensure a better user experience?
  2. How angry are all the hardware vendors going to be over this news?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Moto Q 9h Trumps The Apple iPhone

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 11:00 AM

"The Good Housekeeping Research Institute study engineers and a consumer panel compared 11 new QWERTY phones under $300 (suggested retail price with a two-year service) along with the iPhone ($400 suggested retail) and evaluated the phones for simplicity of text-messaging, text delivery speed, battery life, as well as ease of placing calls and voice quality. The Moto Q 9h came in second for ease of texting, beating Apple's iPhone. The Moto Q 9h's screen drew rave reviews for being large and easy to read. Not suprisingly, the phone also earned top marks on voice quality during calls."

Ah-ha! Take that Apple! Looks like a fancy user interface, incredible Web browser, and lots of storage aren't everything in the eyes of consumers! Sometimes all you need is a comfortable QWERTY keyboard to make your users happy. Now if only Windows Mobile devices would add all of the other things mentioned above, then our handsets might actually trump Apple in other categories besides texting.

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  • Source: Everything Motorola Q

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Windows Mobile Shakes with Fear: Microsoft Hints at Office and Voice Recognition Applications on the iPhone and iPod touch

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Competition" @ 12:25 AM

"The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is already the largest software developer for Apple's Mac platform outside of the Mac maker itself, with Fortune's Big Tech blog estimating that its Mac Business Unit generates revenues in excess of $350 million and profits of over $200 million each year. Add to that the firm's expertise in its proprietary Exchange email protocols and business email systems, and it's almost a certainty that Microsoft will be among those bearing fresh wares for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch a bit later this year, Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told the business publication. "We do have experience with that environment, and that gives us confidence to be able to do something," he said. "The key question is, what is the value that we need to bring?" Gibbons' team of Mac developers, which actually resides in Mountain View, Calif., just a few miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, is reportedly weighing its most viable options for an initial native iPhone application, which appears as if it will fall within the Office family of productivity applications."

It wasn't too long ago that Apple announced Exchange support for the iPhone and iPod touch. The implications here have yet to be seen, but come June, we'll likely see the two devices consume a reasonable chunk of Windows Mobile's market share. What about Office? It's always been one of Windows Mobile's biggest selling points. The iPhone and iPod touch lack it, but that may soon change, and if it does, it has the potential to be huge. Add in Tellme and a host of other applications and Microsoft will need to find new ways to make Windows Mobile as popular as it once was.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Paul Thurrott to the Windows Mobile Team: "Scew 'em!"

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Hey, I have one very callous thing myself to say about Windows Mobile guys, which is screw them. No offense, but, seriously. I was there for the first version of Windows CE, Pegasus I think it was called, and I have watched as they have mismanaged the Smartphone market from day one. It has always lagged behind, it has not always been Microsoft's fault, I understand that part of it is the nature of the business. But you know Apple revolutionized the smartphone business, not just with the hardware and the software but also with the way they are now presenting this stuff to users and updating the system overtime. Providing new functionality. This is something that doesn't happen on other smartphones. It's the type of thing where I can go to a Microsoft event and they can announce a new version of Windows Mobile and I will not see that it in the store for another, at the time, 18 months. It's ridiculous! That's ridiculous! Screw 'em!"

I was listening to this week’s Windows Weekly podcast (Windows Weekly 51: In the MIX - 38-40 minutes in) and I was a little surprised to hear the above quote from the Windows Weekly co-host, and Windows IT Pro news editor, Paul Thurrott. Granted Paul goes on to say that in a pre-iPhone world, Windows Mobile was fine, and it was a lot like the other stuff, but the iPhone on a number of levels is a completely different device. Paul also makes it clear that he believes that in 3-4 versions, Microsoft might release something on the same level of the iPhone, but he isn't interested in following technology - as in copying it – he believes that it is more interesting to be there with the people that are innovating technology... And in other news, Apple licenses Microsoft's ActiveSync technology to "innovate" and bring push email service to iPhone users. How ironic that one of the best features announced for the iPhone lately is a Microsoft product!

In all seriousness though. Paul lays claims to several truths that we as Windows Mobile users see with each new release. Microsoft has had the opportunity time and time again to bring us something that leaves us drooling and wanting more, but with each new release it seems that we are constantly taking one step forward and two steps back. Since the iPhone's release last year, we have seen a handful of updates to phones operating system and each new update either fixes some outstanding bugs or adds brand spanking new features to the user experience. While it is true that a lot of these features are stupid things that should have been included with the iPhone from the get-to, we'll just ignore that little fact for a moment to focus on the important one - Apple is releasing update after update and I don't see them stopping anytime soon. Whereas Microsoft, if we're lucky, releases one new update a year... and we have to shell out hundreds of dollars to purchase a new handset to actually receive the darn update! Read more...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Smartphones Patented... Just About Everyone Sued 1 Minute After Patent Issued

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:00 AM

"This past Tuesday, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent on "a mobile entertainment and communication device." Reading the patent, you realize it describes the quite common smartphone. It's a patent for a mobile phone with removable storage, an internet connection, a camera and the ability to download audio or video files. The patent holding firm who has the rights to this patent wasted no time at all. At 12:01am Tuesday morning, it filed three separate lawsuits against just about everyone you can think of, including Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, AT&T, HP, Motorola, Helio, HTC, Sony Ericsson, UTStarcomm, Samsung and a bunch of others. Amusingly, the company actually first filed the lawsuits on Monday, but realized it was jumping the gun and pulled them, only to refile just past the stroke of midnight."

I am so angry right now I can barely type. Do they just award patents to anyone nowadays?! You would think that after the whole three ring circus that occurred with Research In Motion, that the guys and gals over in the patent office might have sat down and had a meeting and realized that it just isn't a good idea to start handing out patents like they were pennies at old lady Miller's house on Halloween. I sure as heck didn't appreciate that when I was kid and I definitely do not appreciate this now. Come on, for crying out loud, this is why all the kids on the block toilet papered her trees every year! I mean sure, maybe it is a little unrealistic to think that we could be like Switzerland and hire geniuses like Albert Einstein to work in our patent offices, but is it really so farfetched to hope and dream that we could hire someone that has used a damn cellphone or computer before?! Heck, I would settle for someone that has used a toaster before or didn't beat on their chests when they saw fire! Even my four year old daughter wouldn't approve a piece of garbage like this and she’s still young enough to not realize that if an ACME anvil fell on your head you wouldn't be able to blow on your thumb and inflate yourself! This is almost as painful as reading through the Darwin Awards... actually, I take that back, this is a hundred times more painful because I know deep down inside someone at the patent office is still around to procreate.

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  • Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Could Apple Destroy The Cell Phone Industry?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:10 PM

"Remember when I told you that I believed Google could kill the cell phone industry by participating in the wireless spectrum auction? Well, what if I told you that Apple may participate in that same auction and the possibility of it destroying the cell phone industry is just as great? First off, Apple has the necessary funds in the bank to buy the wireless spectrum right out from under Google. Sure, it may seem like an unlikely battle because the two companies are practically in bed with each other, but let's not forget that this is business. Now that we have the financial element out of the way, we should consider the impetus for such a move. Well, if the past few weeks have been any indication, Apple is in no way happy about its relationship with AT&T and would probably do anything it could to get out from under it."

Wow... I love how everything is magically better in the land of make believe. For starters, when exactly did Google and Apple start sharing a bed? I wouldn't call a few widgets for the iPhone and intimate relationship and I definitely wouldn't try to make their relationship sound as thrilling and exciting as an episode of Dallas. Also how in the world could Apple be upset with their relationship with the new AT&T? From my understanding, Apple managed to strong arm themselves into an arrangement that not only gave the one trick pony of a company a large profit margin on their handsets, but also gives them a cut of the profit AT&T makes each month by forcing customer to activate their phones with data packages that they might not even use or want! If anyone should be upset, it should be the other handset makers that have been marking phones for the carrier for years and have to sit back and watch as the newcomer gets all of the special treatment.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Move Over Apple, Synaptics Shows Touch Screen Phone

Posted by Kris Kumar in "OFF-TOPIC" @ 09:45 PM

"At CES 2007 in Las Vegas, ZDNet Executive Editor David Berlind speaks to Synaptics' Sr. Director Mariel van Tatenhove about the company's innovative touch screen concept phone."

User submitted image

Wow, it didn't take long. 8O While Steve Jobs was getting all the attention and media-hype for the iPhone, Synaptics was quietly demoing the Onyx concept phone at the CES. The CNET video shows how the new touch screen technology can improve the user experience. I wonder if this is the same technology that is in use on the Apple iPhone? Regardless, it looks like the touch screens are going to be back in style because of the new stylus, our fingers. I think I will have to review my anti-touch-screen stance. ;-)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Apple Makes iPhone a Reality - Finally

Posted by Mike Temporale in "NEWS" @ 11:18 AM

User submitted image

Apple has finally announced the iPhone. This is the device that people have been speculating about for years now. From what I can gather at this point, there is no stylus, no keypad or keyboard. Instead Apple has developed a new multi-touch screen that works with your finger and somehow prevents accidental pressing. I wonder how successful this could be with no 3G support? People have blasted some WinMo devices for not having 3G.

Update: More specs can be found over here on Apple's site.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Apple iTalk Cellphone - A Dreamers Vision

Posted by Mike Temporale in "OFF-TOPIC" @ 08:00 AM

User submitted image

Don't you just love the internet? Here's a pretty cool looking dual flip, dual display cellphone. The only problem is that it is a fake. There's nothing to this phone, because it doesn't exist. But, imagine for a minute that it did. It sure is a pretty sweet looking device. I wouldn't mind taking one for a test drive. :mrgreen: Why are all the creative people in advertising. We need people like this in the design stages.

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  • Source: New York Times

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Motorola iTunes Phone Delayed by Apple

Posted by Jason Dunn in "NEWS" @ 02:00 PM

"It's Apple fault, says Motorola. At least that is the reason Ron Garriques, president of Motorola's mobile phone division, gave reporters Tuesday at the CTIA Wireless conference in New Orleans over the iTunes phone delay. Garriques said that his company and Apple have two different strategies for releasing products. Motorola likes to show off its innovations early on, while Apple is notoriously tight-lipped about products up until their launch."

Not much news on this product, but it's typical Apple - and Motorola had better hope nothing serious leaks about this phone or ol' Stevie will blow a gasket and likely cancel the whole project. :roll:

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Apple Announces iTunes Mobile Music Player For Upcoming Motorola Phones

Posted by Mike Temporale in "NEWS" @ 07:30 AM

"Motorola and Apple tonight announced a a partnership to enable users to transfer songs from iTunes� on their PC or Mac�, including songs from the iTunes Music Store, to Motorola's upcoming mobile phones, via a USB or Bluetooth connection. Apple will create new iTunes mobile music player software, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of next year."

The Motorola press release for this say it will be available on "Motorola�s next-generation 'always with you' mobile handsets". I want to know what is considered "next-generation". I don't use iTunes since Apple has neglected to allow Canadians to buy from their site. However, I think this is something that a fair number of Smartphone users would like to have on their devices.

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