RIM has responded to an exclusive BGR report published on Thursday in which our source claimed BlackBerry 10 was delayed not because the vendor was waiting for a new LTE chip, but because RIM’s developers have not yet been able to resolve many of the issues plaguing the new OS. “RIM made a strategic decision to launch BlackBerry 10 devices with a new, LTE-based dual core chip set architecture,” RIM told AllThingsD. “As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed. As RIM has previously explained, and as Mike Lazaridis reiterated on the earnings call, we will not launch BlackBerry 10 devices until we know they are ready and we believe this new chip set architecture is required to deliver the world class user experience that our customers will expect. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.” Contrary to RIM’s statement, our source indicated that the company has not yet been able to get core features like email and BlackBerry Messenger working as desired on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, and that it is “pushing this out as long as they can for one reason, they don’t have a working product yet.” More →
Verizon Wireless on Monday confirmed that it is working on a software fix that will address what it refers to as a “signal strength issue” present in its just-released Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. “The signal strength issue is currently being investigated,” a Verizon Wireless support representative posted on a company Twitter account. “We don’t have an ETA, but a software update is being developed.” We’ve noticed that the signal strength displayed by our Galaxy Nexus review unit is sometimes weaker than other Verizon smartphones in the same room, but we haven’t experienced any above-average call drops, slowed data throughput or anything else that might result from poor reception. Verizon launched the highly anticipated Galaxy Nexus last week, and we called the international version of the handset the best Android phone to date when we reviewed it last month. More →
New York University’s Polytechnic Institute has discovered a Skype security flaw that leaves Skype users’ locations and P2P sharing activity accessible to hackers. The security hole was discovered while NYU scientists monitored 10,000 Skype users and 20 volunteers during a two-week period. “A hacker anywhere in the world could easily track the whereabouts and file-sharing habits of a Skype user – from private citizens to celebrities and politicians – and use the information for purposes of stalking, blackmail or fraud,” professor Keith Ross from computer science NYU-Poly’s computer science program said. Hackers can also keep track of a Skype user’s movements as he or she places calls from various locations. The scientists were able to follow a Skype user during a vacation from New York to Chicago and then all the way home to France, Financial Post explained. “A fairly straightforward and inexpensive fix would prevent hackers from taking the critical first step in this security breach – that of obtaining users’ IP addresses through inconspicuous calling,” the scientists said. Skype chief information officer Adrian Asher said his company will work to improve the security of Skype’s software. More →
It has been a month and a half since Apple released its record-setting iPhone 4S and users are still plagued by a series of bugs that has made the device unusable for some. BGR was one of the first sites to report on a troubling glitch that causes audio to cut out during voice calls when using a headset, and many users continue to experience very poor battery life despite the recent iOS 5.0.1 update Apple released to address the issue. Another bug that has not been widely reported in recent weeks involves static sounds that are heard during voice calls, and the issue may be more serious than initially believed. Read on for more. More →
The NPD Group’s latest Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend report suggests consumers spent an additional $1.74 billion on video game content during the second quarter. NPD classifies this additional category of content as anything that involves gaming outside of new physical video and PC game software. Examples include purchases for social network games, downloadable content, mobile games, digital downloads, subscriptions, game rentals and used game purchases. Consumers spent a total of $1.44 billion on physical games for consoles and PCs during the quarter and, in total, spent $4.5 billion on video game content, hardware and accessories. That figure is up 1% from the same quarter last year. “While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content,” NPD Group industry analyst Anita Frazier said. Read on for the full press release from NPD. More →
By now, you’ve no doubt seen the news: Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. What this will do is not only give Google access to Motorola’s vast patent library consisting of nearly 25,000 patents, but it will also give Google an end-to-end hardware and software strategy with smartphones, tablets and even with Google TV. The thing is, Google didn’t need to buy Motorola. Google could have just licensed the patents from Motorola. Google bought Motorola because it felt like control of the Android experience was slipping away. It’s apparent that one Nexus-like device from Google a year won’t be enough — MOTOBLUR has probably given Andy Rubin ulcers — and it’s apparent that a company that’s leading in many areas of the smartphone arena wants to control that entire experience. Open or not, it is Google’s, after all. Smartphones and tablets are also going to be the biggest categories in technology for the foreseeable future, and if you think Google is just going to play around with that, well, you obviously haven’t seen the company’s recent moves. Read on for more. More →
AT&T announced on Thursday that it has teamed up with Juniper Networks to offer improved mobile security options for its customers. AT&T said that it expects the first “phase” of its security roll-out to be available to businesses, organizations and customers later this year when it launches the AT&T Mobile Security application. It can help businesses enforce security policies, manage enterprise and personal devices, and enable anti-virus protection with monitoring and control tools. In addition, the application can protect consumers from viruses and malware. “Mobile security is the ‘next frontier’ for our continued effort to mitigate cyber-threats and to help protect our customers’ information,” said Ed Amoroso, chief security officer, AT&T. Read on for the full press release. More →
Sprint’s head of business markets Paget Alves recently confirmed to CNET that the carrier will launch cloud-based services during the fourth quarter of this year. The offering will be available to small and medium sized business customers. Sprint will provide security, software and Internet hosting, and it will also offer an “infrastructure as a service” option, Alves told CNET. “The telcos are in a unique position because our business is centered around the cloud,” Alves said. “There’s quite a bit of demand. It’s the [number one] topic of conversation with [chief information officers].” Other carriers are also working on cloud-based services; in April, Verizon Wireless acquired cloud and managed IT infrastructure leader Terremark Worldwide for $1.4 billion. More →
HTC began pushing out the Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) update to the AT&T HTC Inspire 4G on Monday. Customers will receive notifications to update over-the-air or they can manually initiate the installation process by navigating to Home > Menu > Settings > AT&T Software Update > HTC Wi-Fi software update > Check now. The patch also includes an updated Sense application tray, new FriendStream features, fixes for minor bugs and an updated Quick Settings menu in the notifications shade. HTC says Inspire 4G users should notice an improved media experience and better power management as well. More →
Apple issued an update to its Apple TV product on Monday that will allow users to stream purchased high-definition TV shows directly from iTunes. Specifically, Apple says the update will enable:
- iTunes TV Shows: Purchase your favorite TV shows directly from the iTunes Store, and watch the shows you already own, commercial-free in HD.
- Vimeo: Browse and play videos from Vimeo, access your video inbox, and mark videos you want to watch later.
When Apple first launched the Apple TV, it only allowed users to rent movies and shows and there was not an option to purchase titles for permanent ownership. For users in the U.S., Apple has also rolled out preliminary iCloud support with this update, allowing users to re-download some purchased television shows, though movie support is not yet available. More →
Samsung announced on Wednesday that it will hold an event on August 3rd during which all Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners can bring in their tablets to have them updated to the latest software build. The update will add Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface, which includes live panels and mini apps, as well as a redesigned Samsung Hub application. It will also install Words with Friends, Amazon’s Cloud Player for music and Amazon’s Kindle software. Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners in the New York area can bring their units to the Samsung Experience Store at Columbus Circle between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to have their devices updated for free. Those outside the New York metropolitan area will receive an over-the-air update “soon.”
BGR has learned that Research In Motion’s head of BlackBerry software may have left the company. Suresh Periyalwar, Senior Vice President of Handheld Software, had been with RIM since April 2001 when he joined as Director of Software Development. He came to the company from Nortel, where he managed CDMA-related development for more than five years. Periyalwar was promoted to SVP at RIM three years ago in May 2008 according to his LinkedIn profile, which still has him listed as a RIM employee. BGR has also learned from a trusted source that several additional key executives have been planning to leave on their own accord. (more
RIM’s stock is down more than 60% from its 12-month high of $70.54, and there is a great deal of unrest at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. BGR exclusively published an open letter from an anonymous senior executive at RIM late last month, which pleaded for the company’s top management to make several strategic changes in order to regain momentum and mind share in the smartphone market. A later expose, also published by BGR, painted a troubling picture of the smartphone vendor that once revolutionized the industry.
If Periyalwar did in fact leave the company as multiple sources have informed BGR, it might not bode well for RIM’s next-generation smartphones. The departure of RIM’s SVP of Handheld Software just ahead of the company’s transition to QNX could imply that the executive did not have confidence in RIM’s brand new platform. On the other hand, Periyalwar may have been pushed out in favor of fresh leadership in its software division ahead of the company’s QNX smartphone launches. RIM declined to confirm or deny the executive’s departure when reached for comment by BGR. Periyalwar could not be reached for comment.
Motorola has pushed out Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) to the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The update adds a number of new enhancements unrelated to Gingerbread, including support for 1080p HD video playback, a re-designed home screen with white backgrounds for easier reading of text, an enhanced photo gallery, the ability to dismiss notifications one at a time, a faster Webtop browsing experience, enhancements to the dock icons and more. To update, make sure your ATRIX 4G is connected to a Wi-Fi network and then go to Settings > About Phone > System updates > Download. Read on for a link to Motorola’s website, which includes the full release notes on software v4.5.91. More →