The only webOS-related news we really want to hear out of HP’s camp is here’s when the Pre 3 and TouchPad are launching, but we suppose last week’s quiet App Catalog update is also welcome news. The new version of HP’s webOS App Catalog features several changes, some more important than others. The first thing users might notice after updating is the presence of HP’s logo on the Catalog icon — an inevitable branding change that should probably have happened quite some time ago. More important, however, are two key new additions: promo code support, which will allow users to download paid apps for free with a code obtained from a developer, and carrier billing support, which will allow paid apps to be billed along with monthly cell phone service charges. The new version of the App Catalog is also said to be a bit more responsive, and it requires webOS 2.0 or higher to run. More →
Google has confirmed that the nation’s third largest wireless provider, Sprint, has started rolling out a new feature to its Android Market users: carrier billing. Sprint will — presumably — get a small cut of the total amount spent, which will be charged to users’ monthly wireless statements. According to intel gathered by blog Android Central, corporate customers will — for obvious reasons — be automatically opted-out of the service; users that voluntarily decline access to carrier billing “will be presented with the option to bill to account but will not be able to successfully purchase using this payment option.” The rollout should be completed by tomorrow, April 14th. Sprint has yet to publicly announce the addition. More →
Research in Motion on Monday announced a new service addition to its popular BlackBerry Messenger platform. Dubbed the BBM mobile gifting platform, the new service will allow carriers to enable mobile gifting for their subscribers using BlackBerry devices. Prepaid and post-paid subscribers will be able to use the BBM gifting feature to pay for airtime, apps and other carrier services requested by friends and family. The feature will support carrier billing, so related charges will be billed directly to a subscriber’s wireless account. The service will also be integrated tightly with BlackBerry App world, and will allow users to make requests of specific BlackBerry subscribers — so, for example, a child might request a certain app from his or her mother, who will then receive a BBM notification that the request has been made and can choose whether or not to fulfill it. No carrier partners have been announced at this point in time. Hit the break for RIM’s full press release. More →
Google announced Wednesday that it is rolling out an important new feature alongside a general update to the Android Market service. AT&T Direct Carrier Billing is now available to AT&T customers with Android devices. The service allows users to link their Android Market accounts with their AT&T service accounts, thus allowing app purchases to be billed each month as part of their monthly service invoices from AT&T. Google rolled out carrier billing for T-Mobile subscribers earlier this month, and no plans to bring the service to Verizon Wireless or Sprint customers have been announced. Google did say, however, that it will “continue to partner with more carriers to offer carrier billing options for their subscribers.” More →
Samsung took some time at a developer day event in South Korea to note that it will have sold 5 million Bada-powered Wave phones when 2010 comes to an end. It also projects sales of more than 10 million Wave devices in the first half of 2011 alone. Most of the attention at the event, however, was focused on the host of features Samsung said it will introduce in version 2 of its in-house mobile operating system. Among the more notable additions making their way to Bada 2.0 are third-party multitasking support, push notification support, an updated UI that will include a “smart home-screen,” enhanced security, an integrated ad network, carrier billing support, HTML5, NFC and speech recognition. Needless to say, Bada 2.0 is set to be a huge update that could put Bada on par with most modern smartphone operating systems when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hit the break for a slide containing all of the noted enhancements we can look forward to in Bada 2.0. More →
Google updated its Android Developers blog with some legal changes to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) that suggest carrier billing is on the horizon. According to the posting, Google is introducing new payment options for the Android Market and has added “authorized carriers” as an indemnified party. Developers have been alerted of these changes and have 30 days to accept these new terms. Once this 30 day window is over, Google will be one step getting closer to launching this payment alternative. Any Android users looking forward to carrier billing or do you still prefer the comfort of plastic?