Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. More →
Motorola’s corporate Twitter account just sent out a tweet announcing that the Motorola XOOM will be receiveing an OTA software upgrade later today. The expected enhancements? Improvements for daylight savings time (change your clocks on Saturday, y’all) and support for the upcoming Adobe Flash 10.2 release. The OTA will hit XOOM tablets later on in the evening and your device can be updated over 3G or Wi-Fi.
Adobe has announced that it will release Flash Player 10.2 for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices, as well as a beta version for Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb tablets, on March 18th. The release will provide performance improvements and take advantage of the dual-core and GPU-enabled processors in phones such as the Motorola ATRIX 4G and LG Optimus 2X. The addition of a new soft-keyboard should make it easier for developers to optimize desktop apps for use on full-touchscreen smartphones and tablets, too. Adobe worked closely with Google on the new Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb update to add support for hardware accelerated, HD, H.264 video content using the Stage Video rendering pipeline. On Honeycomb tablets, Flash Player 10.2 will also offer improved webpage scrolling, and better support for websites that implement HTML content on top of Flash Player content. Unfortunately, these features won’t be supported on Android 2.2 (Froyo) or Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) just yet, however.
In January 2009, legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder went to the Consumer Electronics Show and asked companies to consider the blind when building their wares. At the time, Wonder had the iPhone in mind — and Apple would answer the call. The company made its popular smartphone much more accessible to the blind in its subsequent software release by adding a great VoiceOver feature. According to recent rumors, the iPhone could soon become even more accessible thanks to the introduction of more robust voice controls. But developers are doing their part as well, and one in particular recently released an application that helps emphasize the kind of power smartphones have to make people’s lives easier. More →
Via a brief blog post, software giant Adobe has announced a preview of its “Wallaby” Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool. The company is describing Wallaby as “experimental technology,” but notes that it will facilitate the viewing of FLA files on iOS devices. “This [Wallaby] allows you to reuse and extend the reach of your content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes,” writes Adobe. “Once these files are converted to HTML, you can edit them with an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, or by hand if desired.” Not all Flash features are supported by the conversion utility and Adobe does warn of a handful of documented, known issues. Hit the jump to see a video of the utility in action. More →
Earlier today, mobile browser maker Skyfire announced the release of Skyfire 3.0 for Apple’s iPhone. The full-point, browser upgrade packs improved video support for Adobe’s Flash protocol, Twitter and Facebook integration, a new OneTouch Search feature, content recommendations from social network friends, and an integrated Facebook “Like” button.
“Skyfire 3.0 for iPhone makes for the most compelling mobile browsing experience to date,” said Jeff Glueck, Skyfire’s CEO. “This latest iteration leverages the cloud to not only streamline playback of rich multimedia – including Flash video – but also to seamlessly integrate your social graph into the browser.”
The Skyfire web browser retails for $2.99 in the App Store — version 3.0 is a free upgrade for all current Skyfire owners. Hit the jump to see a video of the new code in action. More →
At Mobile World Congress on Monday, BGR sat down with Adobe to review how its Flash platform did in the mobile space in 2010 and what the company is looking for this year, in 2011. The results pretty much speak for themselves and, regardless of what some OEMs say, the platform is popular, plentiful, and here to stay. Hit the jump to hear the informal State of Flash address. More →
In lock-step with the company’s Samsung Galaxy S 4G announcement, T-Mobile also issued a press release to provide us with a few more details about the HSPA+, LG G-Slate tablet; the same tablet announced just under one month ago at CES. The device will be available “this spring” and will have some pretty serious multimedia capabilities. As the press release reads: “With a brilliant, high-definition 8.9-inch, 3D-capable multi-touch display, the T-Mobile G-Slate delivers a groundbreaking mobile entertainment experience, including the ability to record 3D and full HD video. The G-Slate also supports 720p HD on-device video playback and HDMI output to show 1080p content on 3-D and HD displays.” All this is made possible by the dual-core, NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 32GB of internal storage, and Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system. We have to admit: this tablet looks to be a formidable opponent for the Motorola XOOM. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Sorry, Stevie… it looks like your plan to keep Flash off iOS devices just hit another speed bump. We know Apple claims performance issues are the reason Flash is nowhere to be found on iOS devices — and we can’t say we disagree with the company’s assessment, in some cases — but we also know tons of Web video content still uses Adobe’s Flash platform and, well, we want the option to view it on our iPhones, iPads and iPods. There are several options for viewing Flash videos on your iDevice, but most methods involve a jailbreaking. Skyfire is a good non-jailbreak option of course, but it has a tendency to be a bit slow at times. Luckily, a group of developers has a new free method that doesn’t involve a jailbreak — in fact, you don’t even have to install an app. A simple bookmarklet is all you need to stream Flash videos right to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Hit the jump for a quick guide that will bring a plethora of embedded Flash video content to your iOS device of choice. More →
Today, Adobe announced the release of its Flash Player 10.2 beta software via its Labs website. The new bits aim to shore-up the speed and efficiency of the internet video player. As Adobe explains:
Flash Player 10.2 beta introduces a number of enhancements we’re excited to share, including Stage Video, a new API that delivers best-in-class, high performance video playback across platforms. The new beta also includes Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration support previewed earlier (in Flash Player “Square”), enhanced text rendering, and two popular requests from the community: a native custom mouse cursors API and support for full screen playback with multiple monitors.
As you can see from the above statement, the new player will support GPU acceleration when used in conjunction with the Internet Explorer 9 web browser. Adobe boasts that with its new Stage Video API and GPU acceleration the have “seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage.” Hit the read link to grab the new goodies. More →
The tinkering community that is xda-developers has managed to shoehorn the phone.apk Android module onto T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Tab. Forum member Jyveafk has figured out how to flash the device, using Odin3, to allow calling over T-Mo’s EDGE network. In it’s current state, XDA cautions that the procedure is “for experienced flashers only.” If you’re the adventurous type, and give this a shot, let us know how you make out. More →
We should have known it was too good to be true. Just hours after mobile web browser Skyfire landed in Apple’s iOS App Store, it was gone. For reasons only known to Apple, the iDevice company has deemed the alternative browser unworthy of a place in its famed App Store. Skyfire’s claim to fame is in its ability to remotely convert Flash video into HTML5 video that is then viewable on the iPhone. We’ve reached out to Skyfire for comment and will update the post if they respond.
UPDATE: We’ve been informed that Skyfire pulled the application from the App Store, not Apple. High demand for Flash to HTML5 video conversions stressed the company’s servers to the max. Skyfire plans on retooling their backend infrastructure and relaunching the application.
Just a quick follow-up to a story we posted yesterday. Alternative iOS web browser Skyfire — the browser that will let you watch Flash movies through some back-end HTML5 wizardry — has officially made its way to the App Store. The application has an “introductory price” of $2.99. If you’re interested, you know what to do. Let us know what you like/dislike about the new browser.