Here’s an interesting way to add value to your mobile application store, free test drives! An overlooked feature of Amazon’s new Android app store provides users with the ability to try both free and paid applications before making their purchase. Being referred to as “Test Drive,” the company is utilizing an Android virtual machine to allow users to preview applications, in the desktop browser, before purchasing on their mobile. While a VM can’t give you the complete experience, it definitely can aid in weeding out those applications that are duds. The online retailer boasts that it has “hundreds of apps to Test Drive,” with more on the way. More →
The early bird gets the worm. If you didn’t rouse yourself at 4:00 a.m. EST to order an iPad 2 online, you’re going to have a little bit of a wait on your hands. Apple’s online store has now placed a 2-3 week shipping lag on all iPad 2 models and colors. If you absolutely must have the tablet before then, you may want to come up with a retail strategy. The iPad 2 will be available beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST this evening at a host of retailers across the States. If you plan on venturing out for a retail iPad 2 purchase, good luck. More →
It’s March 11th at 4:00 a.m. EST, which means Apple’s iPad 2 is officially on sale. The device announced last week will go on sale at Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, and Walmart retail locations later today — 5:00 p.m. EST — but if you want to order yourself the next-generation iPad and skip the brick-and-mortar madness, the time hath cometh. Grab yourself a cup or coffee — or an Ambien if you’re on the West Coast — and head on over to Apple’s online store. The goods are waiting for you. More →
It’s the company’s first, and we’re guessing it won’t be the last. Apple is constructing a pop-up store in Austin, Texas to coincide with the launch of the iPad 2 and the ever-popular SXSW festival, which is taking place over the next week and a half. It’s being reported that Apple has rented out a 5,000 square foot, empty retail location that it will stock with Apple employees and merchandise for conference goers traveling outside of their normal stomping grounds. No word yet on whether VeriFone’s CEO will create a video demonstrating flaws with Apple’s iPod touch EasyPay system, however. More →
Browser maker Opera has announced the a new application store for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Java based handsets that offers both free and paid applications for your mobile device. “The Opera Mobile Store is available to Opera users and users of other mobile browsers, on all popular mobile phone platforms in more than 200 countries,” reads the press release. “The Opera Mobile Store uses Appia’s storefront commerce technology and leverages a wide catalog of applications.” The company boasts that its store attracted more than 15 million users from 200 countries, cultivating over 700,000 downloads per day, during its pilot stage this February. Opera has partnered with app store curator Appia to help launch the Opera Mobile Store globally. “The Opera Mobile Store presents a remarkable opportunity for mobile application developers to distribute localized content through a single, far-reaching marketplace,” said Appia’s CEO, Jud Bowman. “Appia is thrilled to partner with Opera to deliver an incredible storefront of applications to Opera users and beyond.” The Norwegian company has put a “featured link” leading to the new store in the Speed Dial section of the Opera browser. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
RIM has started emailing developers to inform them that its BlackBerry App World sign-up process is now much more streamlined; a welcomed change, we’re sure. Before the program tweak, RIM required a notarized proof of identity — yes, you’d literally have to get a document notarized before RIM would accept you as a developer into BlackBerry App World. After a rather lengthy blog post by a frustrated developer, the Canadian company seems to have gotten the message loud and clear. We’re not sure why Research In Motion felt that they could make their app store harder to sign-up for when they are notably behind Apple and Google in that area, but again, it’s great to see some progress being made here. More →
Although corporate lawsuits are, for the most part, dull and boring, they can occasionally provide comedic relief. Back in January, we told you about a little nomenclature spat brewing between technology giants Microsoft and Apple. The Redmond-based Windows maker filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claiming that Apple was attempting to trademark a generic term, “App Store.” In its January filing, Microsoft argued that the term App Store is “generic for retail store services featuring apps” and that Apple should not be granted a trademark due to the “genericness” of the phrase. Kind of a funny choice of words from a company holding trademarks on Marketplace, Windows, and Office, don’t you think? Fast forward to today, and Apple has submitted its rebuttal.
Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public. Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole. What it offers instead are out-of-context and misleading snippets of material printed by its outside counsel from the internet and allegations regarding how the public allegedly interprets the constituent parts of the term APP STORE, i.e., ‘app’ and ‘store.’
It’s been a fairly humorous affair up to this point. No word on when the USPTO will be rendering a decision on the case. More →
It looks like Apple is working behind the scenes to update its online web-store. The Cupertino company is expected to unleash updates to its 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch MacBook Pro models. Speculated improvements include faster Intel Core i3 and i7 processors, an Intel Light Peak (Thunderbolt) high-speed I/O port, an “HD” Facetime webcam, and an SDXC card slot. We’ll know soon enough… sit tight. More →
In a press release today, Chinese electronics manufacturer ZTE announced its plans to open a carrier-centric, cloud-based app store at next week’s Mobile World Congress. The store will allow wireless providers to “manage their own-branded delivery services and content” online and off; the store can also be configured to work on PCs and tablets.
“Operators can in turn give their customers access to a vast range of applications and content such as videos, games, animations and books,” reads the press release. “Many middle/small operators around the world are expected to take advantage of the applications store services to expand and develop their business.”
The name of this newfangled store? iMarket — let the lawsuits begin. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
In a short press release today, Nokia announced that its business-centric E7 handset would begin arriving in stores in “select markets” starting this week. The full-QWERTY, horizontal slide and tilt device boasts a 4-inch ClearBlack display, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HDMI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The device, which was officially announced back in September of this year, should retail for around €495. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Earlier this morning, Apple unleashed Mac OS X 10.6.6 which brought along with it the Mac App Store. Now that we’re rockin’ away on the latest OS version and have played with the App Store for Macs, we have some feedback. Join us for the ride, alright? More →
Back in November, a leaked email from Apple to record label representatives indicated that 90 second song previews were in the works for the iTunes Music Store. Today, without much fanfare, the Cupertino company has begun to roll out the extended song previews to its digital music store. The site’s current top albums all have received the upgrade treatment, although, most songs still have the original 30 second previews. Apple has yet to issue a press release formally announcing the feature.
Today, Google took the wraps off of its highly anticipated eBook store. With over 3 million books in its catalog, the electronic bookstore — simply named Google Books — is aiming to take a piece of an anticipate $1 billion business in 2011. As the press release reads:
We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the newGoogle eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.
Hit the read link to check out the official announcement from the Big G. More →