Amazon announced on Thursday that Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more books for the Kindle than print books — including hardcover and paperback — combined. Since April 1st, for example, for every 100 print books that were sold on Amazon.com, the site sold 105 Kindle eBooks. “Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” Amazon’s CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos said. “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happy this quickly — we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.” Bezos also noted that Amazon has been pleased with the customer response to the $114 Kindle with Special Offers product, which is the most popular selling Kindle right now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Best Buy announced on Thursday that it will be the exclusive retailer of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer when it lands in stores and online on May 22nd. The Flyer is a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5GHz single core processor, a 4,000 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, HDMI-out, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. It was originally announced during Mobile World Congress in February, where we had a chance to get up close for a hands-on. Best Buy has not yet revealed how much the tablet will cost but with the 22nd three short days away, we won’t have long to wait to find out. Hit the jump for the full announcement. More →
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet is now available for pre-order from J&R. The 16GB tablet is priced at $499.99 while the 32GB version will set you back an additional $100. Here’s a quick rundown of its specs: it offers a 10.1-inch display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, full 1080p HD playback, a 3-megapixel camera capable of recording 720-p video, a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera for video chats, and more. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also happens to be the thinnest tablet on the market right now. If you want a deeper dive, be sure to check out our full review of the limited edition version. J&R doesn’t specify exactly when the tablet will ship, although we’ve heard the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available on June 8th. More →
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.
A report filed by UK publication The Register details a scary weakness in most Android handsets currently being sold. The aforementioned vulnerability would allow attackers to collect and use digital tokens stored on a handset after a user authenticates to a password protected service. “The weakness stems from the improper implementation of an authentication protocol known as ClientLogin in Android versions 2.3.3 and earlier,” reads the report, quoting research from the University of Ulm. “After a user submits valid credentials for Google Calendar, Twitter, Facebook, or several other accounts, the programming interface retrieves an authentication token that is sent in cleartext. Because the authToken can be used for up to 14 days in any subsequent requests on the service, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to accounts.” Google has issued a patch for the ClientLogin protocol with Android 2.3.4 and Android 3.0, but, as The Register points out, only 1% of Android devices are currently running the updated code. More →
Paul Bryan, Microsoft’s senior director of business experiences product management for Windows Phone, has written a blog post that details Windows Phone Mango’s business productivity features. The update, which will be discussed in deeper detail during a press conference in New York City on May 24th, will include pinnable email folders for quick access from the homescreen, conversation view in email, server search, and a new Lync application for business chat users. Bryan also said there will be added capabilities for IT departments, including complex password support, information rights management support, and the ability to access hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks. “This week, we expect to exceed 16,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace,” Bryan added. We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s press conference on the 24th. More →
Last week a screenshot leaked suggested T-Mobile would reintroduce free unlimited Wi-Fi calls beginning on May 11th. That day passed without an announcement, but on Monday GigaOm obtained a confirmation from a T-Mobile representative that confirms customers can now place unlimited Wi-Fi calls without consuming their monthly minute allotment. Here’s what the T-Mobile rep had to say:
T-Mobile is excited to expand our Wi-Fi Calling feature, a unique and valuable service T-Mobile has been offering customers for over three years. Starting today, T-Mobile customers can add Free Wi-Fi Calling to their rate plan – at no additional charge – to place calls over Wi-Fi without deducting from their allotment of minutes. This new feature is available at T-Mobile retail stores to all customers on Even More and Even More Plus Postpaid rate plans who have Wi-Fi Calling capable handsets.
GigaOm says the feature is available on Android devices that have the pre-installed Smart Wi-Fi application, which suggests that this feature isn’t available for T-Mobile users looking for unlimited calling on UMA-equipped BlackBerry smartphones — at least for the time being. More →
We met up with Seagate last week to get a sneak peak at its brand new wireless mobile storage drive, the GoFlex Satellite. It’s a battery-powered external hard drive, though it’s not just a traditional drive — it can also stream any and all content wirelessly over Wi-Fi to any iOS or Android device, or even any Wi-Fi device with a browser. The premise is that since most mobile devices are limited in storage, you can load only what you really need on your iPad, for example, and have your entire music or photo collection (or both) loaded up on the external drive to be accessed only when you need something. To get content onto the drive, you just use one of the GoFlex connectors such as the included USB 3.0 connector (there is a ThunderBolt connector coming this summer), and either use the company’s Media Sync software to automatically add content, or use the drive like a normal external drive and manually load on your data. More after the break. More →
According to Amazon’s “Bestsellers in Electronics” list, the company’s $114 ad-subsidized “Kindle with Special Offers,” is the most popular model in the Kindle family of eReaders. The device — launched on April 13th — is just $25 cheaper than the $139 Kindle Wi-Fi version, but it comes with sponsored screen savers and advertisements on the bottom of the screen. We originally suspected that most people would splurge for the Wi-Fi version and avoid ads, but perhaps users aren’t as turned off to them as we thought. All of this only matters, of course, if the Bestsellers list is to be believed. More →
The BGR team picked up the new and improved Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Google’s I/O conference earlier this week, and I have been using it non-stop for the past few days. There’s a lot to discuss here: the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the third Android Honeycomb-powered tablet launched by a major OEM in the United States, and Samsung went to great lengths to revise the design and slice off the extra bulk. The unit I have measures just 0.33-inches thick, which makes it the thinnest tablet available on the market today. It’s powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, contains 32GB of storage, and Samsung promises that there will be an Android 3.1 update coming in the “next few weeks.” Is the Galaxy Tab 10.1 the best Honeycomb tablet yet? Check out our gallery below, and then read on to find out!
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple, Pandora, and The Weather Channel in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico that alleges Apple “intentionally [intercepts] personally identifying information.” The plaintiff, Lymaris M. Rivera Diaz, is charging Apple with unfair trade practices, abuse and fraud, and he believes that Apple shares the iPhone’s unique ID, as well as personal location information, with third party developers such as The Weather Channel and Pandora. Apple’s vice president of software technology, Bud Tribble, testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on Tuesday, and said “Apple does not track users’ locations,” and that the Cupertino-based company has no plans to do so. This is the second lawsuit filed against Apple in regards to the location tracking scandal; The first was filed in Tampa, Florida late last month. More →
Motorola on Wednesday announced that the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update revealed by Google on Tuesday at its Google I/O 2011 conference will become available on the Motorola XOOM “within the next several weeks.” Google announced that the Verizon Wireless’ XOOM would be the first device to get the update, but there was some confusion surrounding when the new Honeycomb build might become available to devices. Motorola has now clarified that Android 3.1 will become available in the next few weeks and it will be delivered as an over the air (OTA) update. Forthcoming key additions in Android 3.1, as highlighted by Motorola, include support for the new Android movie rental service, full support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2, resizable home screen widgets, USB-connected peripheral support, expanded Bluetooth accessory support and simplified photo sharing between the XOOM and PCs. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Google and Apple testified before the Senate on Tuesday, where both firms were grilled on collecting location information from mobile phones. During the hearing, Senator Al Franken was particularly vocal on the issue. “My wireless companies, Apple and Google, and my apps, all get my location or something very close to it,” Senator Franken said. “We need to address this issue now, as mobile devices are only going to get more popular.” We covered Apple’s response on Tuesday, during which Apple’s vice president of software technology, Bud Tribble, said that “Apple does not track users’ locations,” and that the firm never plans to do so. However, Franken was also concerned that Apple and Google have done little to police third-party applications that are collecting and transmitting location data, and suggested that both companies require developers to alert users of their specific privacy policies. Trimble said Apple already does this, but it has never tossed an application for violating that rule. Google’s director of public policy, Alan Davidson, said Google would consider adding the option. According to The Wall Street Journal, Jessica Rich, the deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer-protection bureau said that, despite both firms saying they don’t collect user data, “there’s a lot [the FTC] can do… to challenge,” those claims. More →