Apple, a company many said had repeatedly delayed the development and launch of the iPhone for fear that it might cannibalize its iPod business, is now a “mobile devices company” with a smartphone that is undoubtedly its flagship device. Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook have both publicly acknowledged this major transition on several occasions, including on stage while unveiling the iPad and on earnings calls while speaking with analysts. Apple is growing at an unheard of pace and stockpiling mountains of cash, all thanks to its mobile business. Personal Computers, Apple’s core business for nearly 30 years, now play second fiddle to the company’s mobile devices in terms of both revenue and mind share. On the other side of the table, old rival Microsoft is doing all it can to regain its footing in the mobile space after letting its Windows Mobile platform grow stale and moldy. Windows Mobile’s replacement, Windows Phone, is still in its infancy but early reports have suggested adoption has been slow at best. So where does Microsoft go from here? More →
One of the most impressive uses for a device like an iPhone or iPad is that it can give potential customers access and capabilities that were previously impossible. In the case of the Rolls-Royce iOS app for iOS, car lovers can now build their own Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ghost, or any other vehicle in the lineup right from their home; And they can do so in a way that we haven’t seen before in an iOS app. For starters, the 3D modeling and views are beautiful — so good that if you connect your iPad to your TV over HDMI, it still looks smooth and crisp — and besides having the ability to build your car from the ground up, you can even pick a custom paint job by taking or using a photo of something on your device and matching the paint swatch to any color in that photograph. While the percentage of iOS users that can afford a Rolls-Royce is another story, it’s a smart move from a company that will do whatever the customer wants, and it lets potential customers explore Rolls-Royce in any setting they choose. More →
Speaking at the Japanese Microsoft Developers Forum, Microsoft’s CEO confirmed that the next Windows Phone update, codenamed Mango, will add “over 500 new features” to the mobile operating system. The Redmond based company has an event scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th in New York City, during which it will unveil the new update (again) and discuss its features in greater detail. Earlier this month we heard rumors that the update will deliver Bing Audio, Bing Vision, turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps, a new native podcast player, speech recognition, and more. We’ll be reporting live on the update tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Hit the jump for a quick video clip of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussing Mango.
Well that didn’t take long. Yesterday, we told you about an Android vulnerability found in ClientLogin that could have serious security ramifications. Using a dummy open access-point, a nefarious third party could passively — via Wi-Fi — collect authentication tokens to password protected services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Calendar stored on affected Android devices. Speaking with Mobilized’s Ina Fried, the Android-maker has stated that it is taking action, and fast. “Today we’re starting to roll out a fix which addresses a potential security flaw that could, under certain circumstances, allow a third party access to data available in calendar and contacts,” Google told the publication. “This fix requires no action from users and will roll out globally over the next few days.” The vulnerability will still be present in the company’s Picasa online photo offering, but Google stated that it is working to patch that service as well.
RIM on Monday confirmed that it has issued a recall for approximately 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. “RIM determined that approximately one thousand BlackBerry PlayBook tablets (16 GB) were shipped with an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up,” the company said in a statement. “The majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven’t reached customers. RIM is working to replace the affected devices. In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance.” Shortly after the PlayBook was released, a BGR reader contacted us to report problems with his PlayBook. The device, which was purchased on launch day, would not boot. Instead, it would just flicker and flash randomly while the power button was depressed and then power down when the button was released. It is unclear if this is the same issue that resulted in RIM’s PlayBook recall, but RIM’s description of the devices’ inability to boot on initial setup matched our reader’s description last month. Hit the break for a video of the BGR reader’s PlayBook. More →
TomTom has announced that its HD Traffic service, originally only available on the Go 2535 M LIVE personal navigation device, is now available for all drivers using its LIVE products. HD Traffic updates drivers every two minutes with road conditions, and it gathers its data from a variety of sources — including from other driers on the road with HD Traffic — to steer you towards the fastest possible route. The service is available on the GO 740 LIVE, XL 340 LIVE, and GO 2535 M LIVE, and TomTom dropped the subscription price from $119.95 per year to $59.95 per year. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Nintendo will launch the 3DS web browser and eShop on June 6th during the E3 game tradeshow in Los Angeles. A post on Nintendo’s website confirms: “The Nintendo eShop will be enabled through a system update which has been announced for the evening of June 6, 2011. We’ll have more information for you after this update becomes available.” The eShop should allow 3DS users to download extra game content directly to their devices, although it’s unclear what else will be available at launch. Nintendo has said that a Netflix client is in the works, so our fingers are crossed that it’s part of the package, too. We reviewed the Nintendo 3DS in early April and the lack of an eShop, Netflix, and web browser, were some of our biggest gripes with the device. More →
During the Streaming Media East 2011 press event in New York City this morning, HBO’s co-president Eric Kessler said that the network’s HBO Go mobile application has been downloaded more than 1 million times in just one week. The app launched late last month for iOS and Android devices. HBO Go provides access — via Wi-Fi or 3G — to more than 1,400 titles including popular HBO shows such as True Blood, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boardwalk Empire, and more. It’s available in the Android Market and iTunes App Store now if you’re looking for your fill of Larry David on the bus ride home today.
During Google I/O today, the company announced that it’s working with its partners – including AT&T, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless — on getting new Android updates to users faster and on curtailing Android fragmentation. As part of the same effort, if your hardware supports it, Google and its partners will guarantee that your phone gets the latest Android iteration for at least 18 months after the device hits the market. That should mean that end users won’t have to sit around for months, or years, to find out that the hottest version of Android will never be available for their devices. Google hasn’t clarified if this begins now with Android 2.3 (we doubt it), or if it starts with Ice Cream Sandwich. For now, Google just admits that it’s a “logistic problem,” and it’s unclear how long it will take for Google’s partners to actually get the updates out the door. It sounds like Google has its head in the right place but it doesn’t seem like the company has fleshed out how it can deliver on these promises yet. We just hope that it won’t involve too many compromises.
In early April, Adobe took the wraps off of three new applications for the iPad — Color Lava, Eazel, and Nav — and they are all now available in the iTunes App Store. Adobe Eazel is priced at $4.99 and allows you to finger paint and then sync your artwork via Wi-Fi to Photoshop CS5. Nav is $1.99 and allows users to move and view some Photoshop windows, including works in progress or toolbars, on an iPad display. Color Lava is available for $2.99 and it turns your iPad into a palette for creating new colors and custom swatches that can be ported back into CS5. Hit the jump for videos of each app in action. More →
During the BlackBerry World Keynote in Orlando this morning, Research In Motion announced that it is working with foursquare to include support for the social-network in an upcoming version of BlackBerry Messenger. Users will be able to share their location information as their BBM status, but RIM execs didn’t go into much detail on how check-ins will work or just how feature rich the implementation will be. The native foursquare client, for example, allows users to find nearby deals, compete with friends for check-in points, and more. RIM did not say when the client would make its debut, although we suspect it will be around the launch of its BlackBerry 7 powered Bold 9900, which will occur later this summer. More →
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 →
PlayBook owners over on the CrackBerry forums have discovered that, after applying a new BlackBerry Bridge v220.127.116.11 update, they were able to use BBM on their BlackBerry PlayBooks. The feature reportedly only works with BlackBerry 6 devices right now, although there are rumblings that a BlackBerry OS 5 version is in the works as well. You’ll also need to update your BlackBerry Messenger application to the newest version first, and that should be available from RIM’s BlackBerry Beta Zone. Unfortunately some users are reporting that the new Bridge update is causing some lag on their phones, though, so you may want to hold off until RIM issues a release build of the software. Judging from the picture above, we’re definitely digging the multi-frame layout with the BBM buddy list on the left side and conversation view on the right. More →