Research In Motion just got out-fruited

By on June 6, 2011 at 4:51 PM.

Research In Motion just got out-fruited

Look, people that know me know that I’ve been a BlackBerry fan from the beginning. The entire reason BGR was started was because I was breaking information on upcoming BlackBerry devices, mainly because I was obsessed with RIM and wanted to share that information. As we’ve all seen, however, RIM isn’t the market leader any longer. The company really isn’t innovating, and even worse, it’s not even competing with the titans of the smartphone space now: Google and Apple. All three companies have different product strategies, with Google and RIM being the most similar — they view devices as products, and features as check lists. Apple views devices as windows, and features as end-to-end experiences. Hit the break for the rest. More →

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The biggest threat to Apple is Google's Chrome OS?

By on April 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

The biggest threat to Apple is Google's Chrome OS?

We’re not going to say this is the dumbest thing we’ve ever heard… but it’s certainly up there. The Street contributor Anton Wahlman has honed in on what he is calling “the biggest risk” to Apple’s stock price. This risk is so great, in fact, it surpasses the health of current CEO Steve Jobs on his list of concerns. It is even ranked higher than Google’s Android mobile operating system. This apocalyptic threat is… Google Chrome OS? In a three page exposé, Wahlman explains three ways the browser-as-an-OS will hurt Apple’s stock price. First, Chrome OS desktops and laptops will be released and priced between $150 and $300, which in turn will cause “consumers and enterprises” to “pick Chrome OS PCs over the much more expensive Apple PCs.” Second, Chrome OS will make its way onto tablets and “we could see unsubsidized 10-inch Chrome OS tablets selling for no more than $299, with perhaps $199 on the horizon.” Lastly, in 2012 or 2013, “Google will likely offer the Chrome OS architecture for smartphones.”  As John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote, “Makes Me Wish I Still Did the ‘Jackass of the Week’ Bit.” We like when analysts think outside the box, but the threat vectors that Wahlman lists also seem to be detrimental to Android’s overall health as well — especially the tablet and smartphone predictions. Apple generated 50% of its Q2 revenue from the iPhone, if there is any threat to Apple’s business model we can assure you it’s Android, not Chrome OS. Regardless, we’re interested to know your thoughts. Do you think Chrome OS is a grave threat to Apple? Put on your monocle and thinking cap and drop us a comment with your musings. More →

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Your smartphone is tracking you, and you said it was okay

By on April 20, 2011 at 3:23 PM.

Your smartphone is tracking you, and you said it was okay

The Internet nearly exploded this morning after O’Reilly filed a report indicating that users of Apple’s iPhone and 3G iPad were being tracked. A file, found in the filesystem of the aforementioned devices running iOS 4 or higher, contains a list of time-stamped GPS coordinates that correlate with the device’s location. The only issue I have with Apple’s methodology is that the file used to store said locations is unencrypted. Am I apathetic about my personal privacy? No, not at all. So why don’t I care? Because I agreed to let Apple do this. And you if you have a smartphone of any kind, there is a high likelihood you did too. Read on to see exactly what you agreed to. More →

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MLB.com CEO: Android users less likely to buy, more likely to pirate apps

By on April 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM.

MLB.com CEO: Android users less likely to buy, more likely to pirate apps

The Android user is less likely to buy applications. Those were the words of MLB.com‘s chief executive officer, Bob Bowman. In a recent interview, Bowman explained his company’s position on the Android vs. iOS development debate, what’s profitable for MLB.com, and what he hopes will change. More →

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Dell, HP executives take shots at Apple, iPad; look foolish

By on March 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM.

Dell, HP executives take shots at Apple, iPad; look foolish

Here’s a head scratcher: You’re an executive at a major electronics manufacturer. A company, Apple, has beaten you to market with its first tablet offering, the iPad, by nearly one year. In this single year, your competitor sold nearly 16 million tablets worldwide and managed to accumulate 75% of the tablet market share. What should you do? Make outlandish accusations and start calling that company names, of course. Executives from both Dell and HP have weighed in on what exactly is wrong with Apple’s iPad — aside from the fact that people are lining up to buy them the world over — and some of the quotes are quite humorous. More →

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In proposed merger with AT&T, T-Mobile customers win

By on March 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM.

In proposed merger with AT&T, T-Mobile customers win

While AT&T customers can clearly see the benefits of a merger with T-Mobile, customers of the company being acquired are having a difficult time seeing what’s in it for them. What will happen to T-Mobile’s current data plan offerings? Will handset releases slow down? How will this effect my monthly bill? The questions are plentiful and, unfortunately, many of them are unanswered at this point. Yet while the questions outnumber the answers, there is one thing I’m pretty certain of: whether this deal goes through or not, T-Mobile customers are going to benefit. More →

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Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

By on March 10, 2011 at 10:11 AM.

Honeycomb is ‘by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,’ analyst writes

Android 3.0 — or “Honeycomb,” as Google lovingly calls it — is not fit for mass consumption. This according to analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, who calls Google’s tablet-friendly operating system “by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks,” and says it has little chance of mass adoption. In a note to investors on Wednesday, Chowdhry lambasted Honeycomb and said it would fail. In a bizarre twist, however, the analyst also said the failure wouldn’t matter because “Honeycomb is insignificant to Google revenues.” As an ocean of consumer electronics OEMs bet the bank on tablets and Honeycomb (along with future Android builds that will be based on Honeycomb) quickly becomes the platform of choice, we’re pretty sure Google stands to make a buck or two off of the Google services all these potential users will have tossed on their laps. But Chowdry thinks Google should stick to the Web, where consumers won’t complain about buggy products because they’re free. When an $800 Motorola XOOM crashes repeatedly, however, “the consumer is unforgiving.” More →

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Hands-on with the Motorola XOOM [video]

By on February 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM.

Hands-on with the Motorola XOOM [video]

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Motorola gave both journalists and consumers their first opportunity to touch, feel, and experience its soon-to-be-launched tablet, the XOOM. Sure, we’ve gone hands-on with Motorola’s tasty Honeycomb tablet before, but today we got to spend a bit more time with the sleek slate. We sat down with our friends from Moto and got a chance to shoot some video, take some pictures, tap on the tablet, and ask questions. We couldn’t get the electronics manufacturer to comment on pricing, or pin them down on an exact release date, but we did get enough hands-on time to give you an idea of exactly what the XOOM is about. Hit the jump to check out the video, photo gallery, and to read our thoughts! More →

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Differentiation by assimilation: Nokia plays follow the leader

By on February 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM.

Differentiation by assimilation: Nokia plays follow the leader

The deal has been rumored for months, but before today, it was hard to believe. The world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, announced a strategic partnership with U.S. based software company Microsoft that will drastically alter the trajectories of both companies in the smartphone market place. As part of the deal, Nokia will begin to phase out the Symbian and, to a lesser extent, MeeGo mobile operating systems, and instead adopting Microsoft’s new Windows Phone for future smartphone products. In return, Microsoft will benefit from the Finnish company being heavily invested and deeply involved in the success and progression of the Windows Phone OS.

The two companies will share marketing resources, software expertise, and industry contacts to wage war against Apple and Google in the smartphone space. But is this deal equitable? The way we see it, Microsoft gets to have its operating system pimped by the largest phone OEM on the planet and Nokia… well, they get to be reliant on Microsoft for the majority of their smartphone operating system code-base. So what has happened here? The deal has only been official for a few hours, but it looks like the benefits for Microsoft far outweigh those for Nokia, no? Nokia, with a third-party smartphone operating system in its future, is starting to look a lot more like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG than the company we once knew. Is that such a bad thing though? And could it turn out to be profitable for the proud company from Finland? Hit the jump to read our thoughts. More →

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Gmail Creator: ‘Chrome OS has no purpose that isn’t better served by Android’

By on December 14, 2010 at 9:01 AM.

Gmail Creator: ‘Chrome OS has no purpose that isn’t better served by Android’

A lot of people are thinking it, but former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said it. On his FriendFeed page, Mr. Buchheit has levied some harsh judgements on Google’s netbook-centric Chrome OS. Here are just a few of his thoughts:

Prediction: Chrome OS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android).

I was thinking, “is this too obvious to even state?”, but then I see people taking Chrome OS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason.

Chrome OS has no purpose that isn’t better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display).

It is still unclear how Android and Chrome OS will peacefully co-exist after the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 comes out in 2011, what the genesis of Chrome OS looks like, and what the public will gravitate towards. We’re interested to hear your thoughts concerning the Chrome OS vs. Android debate. What do you think? Too similar? Or is Google one step ahead of the technology pundits?

[Via TechCrunch] More →

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The iPhone is the worst…

By on October 22, 2010 at 11:15 AM.

The iPhone is the worst…

In my line of work, cell phones come and go faster than mixed drinks on MTV’s Jersey Shore. They’re here, they’re gone and most of the time they’re quickly forgotten. I can’t even recall all of the mobile devices I’ve handled in the past month, let alone the past year. And though hundreds of handsets have crossed my path in the 1,211 days since June 29th, 2007, only one phone has managed to stay in my pocket day in and day out: Apple’s iPhone.

Say what you will about the device, the company, me, my mother, or anything else… the iPhone might be my go-to handset but I have no allegiance to any manufacturer or OS. In fact my iPhone 3GS was almost replaced last year by Sprint’s Palm Pre. I still love webOS but I need hardware that matches the fit and finish of Palm’s great operating system before a webOS device can fly solo in my pocket. And no, unfortunately, the Pre 2 likely won’t fit the bill.

So I continue to carry and use the iPhone because it just so happens to be the device that comes closest to suiting my needs. I almost always have a second phone on me — an Android phone, the Palm Pre or maybe a BlackBerry — but each is just a companion device that rarely gets any face time. Most common tasks are so much smoother on the iPhone than the competition, it just doesn’t make sense to bother with another device.

The iPhone is not a perfect device by any stretch of the imagination, but for me, right now, its the best we’ve got. It has the best build quality and is comprised of the best materials. It has the best display and the most responsive touchscreen. It has the best oil-resistant glass and countless amazing apps. It has the most fluid interface and the best customer service supporting it.

But for every best, there is also a worst. And because the iPhone’s bests are so great, expectations are high and the worsts become much more pronounced. Here, I go through my compilation of the iPhone’s worst worsts. More →

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Sprint Samsung Epic 4G Review

By on August 30, 2010 at 10:48 AM.

Sprint Samsung Epic 4G Review

The Samsung Epic 4G is Sprint’s second 3G/4G hybrid Android device. Although its form does not resemble that of the Captivate, Fascinate, or Vibrant, it has been adopted into the Galaxy S family of handsets. Physical appearance aside, the device comes complete with the standard set of Galaxy S equipment — TouchWiz 3.0 interface, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, and 4-inch Super AMOLED display — but sets itself apart by being the only device to have a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard. The Epic is poised for an August 31st release on the Now Network. We’ve been putting this bad boy through its paces for the last few weeks, so hit the jump and lets do this thing. More →

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Still Image Capture, iPhone 4 v. DROID X (Updated)

By on June 28, 2010 at 1:59 PM.

Still Image Capture, iPhone 4 v. DROID X (Updated)

DROIDX-iPhone4-Cameras

Last Friday, we published a very basic comparison of the iPhone 4 and DROID X 720p video capture modes. Some of you agreed with our assessment of which video camera performed better, and some of you did not. What several commenters did ask for was a comparison between the still cameras in the DROID X and the iPhone 4…and we thought it would be kind to oblige you. The DROID X is, by default, shooting in the 16:9 aspect ratio with an 8 megapixel, mechanical-shutter camera, while the iPhone 4 is shooting in 4:3 with its 5 MP non-mechanical offering. We took stills of four different objects in three different light settings with each camera. The DROID X’s settings were left on “Automatic” (as that is the default) and the iPhone 4…well, it doesn’t have any settings to muck with. The images were all re-sized using Adobe Photoshop CS5, we simply changed the image width to 641 pixels (to fit in our blog column) and allowed the height to automatically adjust to keep the aspect ratio in-tact. The images were then saved without any JPEG compression, degradation, or optimization. Let us know which camera you think performed better in the comments.

UPDATE: As we mentioned in the post we did not change any of the default settings the DROID X was using when taking these photos. Thanks to an astute commenter, it was brought to our attention that the DROID X defaults to shooting in 6 megapixel mode and not the full 8 megapixels. As you may have noticed the tomatoes were a bit ripe when we took the images last Friday, so they are no longer with us. The glass candies, soapstone knot, and soccer ball managed to survive the weekend. We’ve added some 8 megapixel DROID X shots and re-labeled the images for re-evaluation.

UPDATE 2: We were going to save this for our official review but we figure now is a good a time as any to air this out. We’re finding it very hard to take quality shots with the DROID X on the first try. We think what the issue may be is camera-shake that inevitably has to occur while pushing down the dedicated camera button to take a picture (there is no soft-key on the screen to press). Some of these DROID X shots were taken two or three times before we got one that was not blurry, the iPhone only needed one shot to get the images you see. It is unclear whether this can be fixed with a software update or if you just need a really, really steady hand. We’ll be interested to know what you think once you have the device in your hands. More →

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