Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed to Reuters that his company has started developing its first Windows Phone handset. “We’re right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices,” said the CEO. Nokia announced that it would adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system on future smartphones during a February press event. The timeline of when the Finnish company will release its first Windows-based handset has been a debated topic amongst many industry analysts and pundits. While it is widely assumed that consumers will have to wait until at least 2012 to purchase such a device, Elop has publicly stated that he wants a Nokia-branded smartphone running Microsoft’s OS in market before the close of 2011. The terms of the deal are expected to be finalized within the next few months. More →
A recent study conducted by payment solution provider Mobio Identity Systems suggests that North Americans are eager to see mobile payments become a reality. At the same time, however, security is a top concern for the majority of potential users. Mobio recently surveyed 1,085 people across North America and found that the overwhelming majority — 94% — would use mobile payments if they knew the system was secure. Mobio’s study also found that 73% of respondents said security was their main concern regarding mobile payments, while 12.4% said simplicity and 8.5% said speed. As such, it’s safe to say companies looking to bring mobile payments to the mainstream market must focus a tremendous amount of effort on security. As luck would have it, this study just so happens to come from a firm that specializes in mobile payment security solutions. Will wonders never cease? More →
We have just been informed of most of Sprint’s planned announcements at CTIA this year. There have been mumblings surrounding the two headline devices, but we finally have the information to share with you. To start things off, the HTC EVO 3D most certainly will be part of the announcement, and it’s going to be a pretty feature-packed handset. We’re talking about a 4.3-inch qHD 960 x 450-pixel Autostereoscopic 3D display, 4GB of RAM, 1GB ROM, 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm 8660 Snapdragon CPU, dual rear 5-megapixel cameras with dedicated camera button, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 1730mAh battery. That’s not all, though. The HTC EVO 3D will run Android Gingerbread 2.3 with HTC Sense UI and it will also output 1080p video via HDMI and output 720p 3D content as well. There will also be a Blockbuster 3D on demand app as well as YouTube 3D. Check out the rest of our exclusive report after the break! More →
Today Xobni, the company behind the popular inbox management software with the same name, announced that it will begin offering a beta browser-plugin for Chrome and Firefox that works with Gmail. Xobni for Gmail creates profiles for each contact in your address book, and automatically fills in company, title, social network profiles, and more. If you search for a contact, you’ll see their profile, as well as analytics on how often you’ve exchanged emails with them, at what times, and more. Xobni also announced that clients for both the iPhone and Android smartphones will be entering into beta-testing soon, and will eventually be offered alongside the BlackBerry version — which is already available. Those with multiple accounts across different devices may want to opt for Xobni’s cloud-based Xobni Pro package. As we’ve said before: Xobni basically makes your boring inbox awesome, so if you haven’t given it a try before, you may want to check it out now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Netflix on Friday confirmed that it will stream its first original series in 2012. Rumors surrounding a huge deal — possibly worth over $100 million — surfaced yesterday, suggesting Netflix was trying to buy distribution rights to a new political thriller called “House Of Cards.” Without revealing the terms of the deal, Netflix did confirm that it has committed to two seasons of the series, which is being produced by David Fincher and will star Kevin Spacey. “The gripping, serialized one-hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience,” Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “David Fincher’s unique vision, the indelible performances of Kevin Spacey, and the original version of House of Cards all have a big following among our members, giving the series a very good chance of becoming a fan favorite.” The series will begin streaming next year. More →
An anonymous source speaking to iLounge has suggested that Apple will launch its free version of MobileMe in April. The source reportedly works for a major educational institution and says Apple has recommended that incoming students download a free 60-day trial version of MobileMe instead of signing up for the current version, which Apple will reportedly kill off in a year. Evidence has long suggested that Apple has a free version of the MobileMe service on its road map. We suspect the free service will allow users to store digital content such as photos, music, or videos online, and we imagine there will be options to purchase more storage space for a fee. If this new report pans out, we won’t have to wait very long to find out. More →
It may soon be possible for you to own your own slice of the Angry Birds empire. Days after announcing $42 million in Series A funding, Rovio’s board chairman has expressed interest in seeking an initial public offering in the United States, according to statements made to Finnish business magazine Talouselama. “The plan is to seek an IPO in New York, but the specific timing and details are still open,” Ville Heijari, a Rovio spokesperson confirmed to Reuters in an email on Friday. Angry Birds has been a smash hit since its launch, and has boosted its fan base by issuing frequent seasonal updates across multiple platforms. More →
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), information management company EMC admitted that an “extremely sophisticated” attack was in progress against its computer network. Specifically targeting the company’s security division, the intruders stole confidential data related to RSA’s SecurID products. EMC acquired RSA Security in the fourth quarter of 2006 for just under $2.1 billion. RSA SecurID provides a form of two-factor authentication that implements a second layer of network security to protect against outside threats and compromised passwords — the technology is used by governments, the military, financial institutions, hospitals, and businesses around the globe. RSA declined to comment on the nature of the attack, or provide information on exactly how much data was accessed by the network intruders. More →
For the fifth time running, Apple has topped J.D. Power’s smartphone customer satisfaction survey. The iPhone earned a score of 795 out of a possible 1,000 points. In line with the last survey published in September 2010, Motorola and HTC followed Apple with scores of 763 and 762, respectively. Here’s how J.D. Power weighs the various categories:
Operation (30%); physical design (30%); features (20%); and battery function (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%).
Palm (736), Nokia (734), and Samsung (734) all scored below the industry average score of 761. RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones ranked lowest on the survey with a score of 732. Hit the jump for a chart of the results along with the full release. More →
Adobe Flash support was noticeably absent from the Motorola XOOM at launch, though it was because Adobe wanted to ship Flash 10.2 as opposed to 10.1, and that’s all finally in the past. Starting today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will be available in the Android market for most Android devices — Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. It supports dual-core CPU smartphones, increased battery life performance, and will even support full 720p Flash playback in the general availability release due “within weeks.” We have been playing with Adobe Flash 10.2 on our XOOM for about a day and we have to say, performance has been pretty stellar. That also is without full hardware acceleration including hardware rendering and compositing, which Adobe told us will come soon. Keep checking the Android Market for the latest version of Flash and let us know what kind of performance increases you’re seeing, alright?
AT&T on Friday dropped the price of Apple’s original iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models to all-time lows. While supplies last, AT&T is offering the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model for just $529 — $300 below the tablet’s initial launch price. AT&T lists the steep discount as an online-only price. The 16GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model is now just $429 online while supplies last, and the 32GB model is sold out, which may explain why its logical price point is now occupied by the 64GB iPad. Remaining inventory of the original iPad models is thought to be extremely low at this point, so it is unclear how long these deals will last. More →
In the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, Google has issued an experimental version of its Translate application for Android. “Download this experimental version of Google Translate for Android to translate text automatically between Japanese and over 50 other languages,” writes Google. “You can also use Conversation Mode for speech-to-speech translation between English, Spanish and Japanese.” The app, which is posted on Google’s “Japan Crisis Response” page, will run on Android version 2.0 or higher and is available here or by scanning the above QR code. More →
Several Samsung devices offered by Sprint — including the Epic 4G — are set to get software updates this coming Monday, March 21st, according to a tipster. Sound familiar? That’s because Sprint began pushing out the Epic’s update to Froyo last month on February 21st. Unfortunately, things didn’t go very well and Sprint was forced to pull the update a few days later. Needless to say, users were not pleased and they’ve been letting Sprint and Samsung know about it ever since. Exactly one month later, Sprint is finally ready to give it another shot. This time around, Epic owners can expect a new build (Android 2.2.1, build EC05) to be delivered to their smartphones as an OTA update. Users will be notified of the update over the four-day period beginning March 21st, and the update should take 20 minutes or less to download and 8-10 minutes to install. Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Transform owners on Sprint can expect to be notified of OTA updates on the 21st as well; the Transform will finally be getting Froyo and the Tab will get a minor housekeeping update along with Sprint ID support. Hit the break for all the juicy details including change logs.