Tag Archive | "BlackBerry"

Four U.S. Senators want apps that warn drivers of DUI checkpoints to be removed

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Four-U.S.-Senators-want-apps-that-warn-drivers-of-DUI-checkpoints-to-be-removed4 U.S. Senators are asking Apple, Google and RIM to remove any apps from their online stores that warn drivers of checkpoints where police look to surprise those driving under the influence. The four Senators-all Democrats-are Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall. They all got together to send letters to Apple, Google and RIM. All three run online stores where smartphone users can buy applications to download on their phone, and the Senators want the three to remove from their respective online stores any applications that allow drivers to know in advance where police DUI checkpoints will be located.

According to the letter, these apps are “harmful to public safety”. The letter goes on to say that ,”Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern. We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration.” So far, RIM has removed such apps from the BlackBerry App World.

The letter to Apple was directed to the company’s Senior VP of iPhone software, Scott Forstall. It noted that one app contained a list of DUI checkpoint locations that was constantly updated in real time. Another app, with 10 million users, allowed users to communicate with each other about the most recent checkpoint locations.

There is a worry among law enforcement officials about the growing use of these apps. One police official made a valid point when he wondered why anyone would install the app on his/her phone unless he or her was planning on drinking and driving.

For Apple, Google and RIM, this is a good chance to overturn lawmakers negative feelings toward mobile handsets because of the growing number of accidents caused by those who drive and text/talk on their phone. Removing the apps as requested could generate a little good will in Washington for the three companies.

source: AppleInsider

Posted in Software

Only .3% of the world’s population has bought a tablet

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Only-.3-of-the-worlds-population-has-bought-a-tabletThough many have jumped on the tablet bandwagon with devices like the successful Apple iPad, 99.7% of the world’s population still has not seen the need for a tablet and therefore have not purchased one to date.

The research was conducted by RBC Capital Market analyst Mike Abramsky who managed to create an 88-page report on his findings. He also focused on the market for TV subscriptions, newspaper circulation and more but we will just focus on the tablets for now.

The fact that only .3% of the world’s population has purchased a tablet can be attributed to the lack of selection, fairly new technology or the fact that there is no real need to own one. There is a flurry of tablets on the horizon, so these numbers could surely change by this time next year

Abramsky believes that these numbers will skyrocket within the next few years. In fact, he predicts that 185 million tablets will be sold in the year 2014. That is a huge difference from the numbers reported in 2010.

With Android getting ready to hit the tablet world by storm, BlackBerry and HP getting ready to make a plays their own and an already established successful tablet in the form of Apple’s iPad, what do you think of Abramsky’s prediction? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

source: Slash Gear

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Posted in Tablets

Nokia looked to partner with RIM before selecting Microsoft

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Nokia-looked-to-partner-with-RIM-before-selecting-MicrosoftAccording to reports circulating overseas, before deciding to partner with Microsoft and its Windows Phone 7 operating system, Nokia attempted to work out a deal with RIM. And while it seems that Nokia was extremely interested in having its smartphones loaded up with the BlackBerry OS, RIM told the Finnish based firm that it was not interested in a partnership. And that left Nokia with two options-Android or Windows Phone 7.

With Android, Google refused to make a number of changes that Nokia wanted. For example, Nokia wanted Google Maps replaced with Ovi Maps and also wanted to change the way Google’s open source OS handled PIM data. Nokia also wanted changes in the way Android handled email, the calendar and contacts. Giving in to Nokia would have affected Google’s revenue flow, so the Mountain View based firm rejected the idea.

On the other hand, Microsoft was willing to make the changes to Windows Phone 7 that Nokia wanted. The latter will have some say into the future development of Windows Phone 7 and Ovi Maps will become part of the platform. And for Nokia, exiting the OS business means letting people go in R&D and software engineering. Spending on Symbian and MeeGo is expected to be close to zero next year. And the handset manufacturer plans on taking its integration of Windows Phone 7 to the U.S., specifically the Silicon Valley area from where it hopes to start gaining a larger presence in the U.S.

source: TechCrunchEurope via BGR

Posted in Software

Verizon’s CTO finds it hard to see WP7 making a splash against Android, iOS, & BlackBerry

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Verizons-CTO-finds-it-hard-to-see-WP7-making-a-splash-against-Android-iOS---BlackBerryFor the many phone manufacturers out there in the world, they generally would try to make their business case to the largest wireless carriers out there in hopes of striking a deal of some sort to distribute their devices.

Unfortunately for Nokia, they might face some barriers with Verizon if they intend on reentering the US market now that they’ve decided to move forward with Windows Phone 7 as its primary OS of choice. It appears that Verizon’s CTO, Tony Melone, is skeptical of seeing the newly formed partnership between Nokia and Microsoft having any major impact in the market right now. Specifically, he doesn’t seem to think that “Verizon needs the Nokia and Microsoft relationship” since there are three primary contenders right now.

In fact, Melone doesn’t agree that there will be a “three-horse race” between iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop envisions. Rather, Melone believes that the heated competition is between iOS, Android, and BlackBerry – with no indication of Windows Phone 7 making a huge impact. Granted that his attitude about Microsoft’s platform isn’t as favorable as one would allege, it could easily change if Windows Phone 7 starts to pick up some serious steam.

In any event, it’ll be interesting to see what plan of action Nokia might pull out of their sleeves in order to win Verizon’s heart – not to mention their business.

source: CNET via Engadget

Posted in Android OS

Even as Android widens its lead over Apple in the U.S., the ultimate prize is RIM’s slot at number 1

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Even-as-Android-widens-its-lead-over-Apple-in-the-U.S.-the-ultimate-prize-is-RIMs-slot-at-number-1The latest numbers from metrics firm comScore show a pair of trends that remain in force in the U.S. smartphone market. One is that market share leader RIM continues to lose ground in the U.S. and the other is that Google’s open source OS is pulling away from the Apple iPhone for second place in the U.S. smartphone market.

RIM has a problem on it’s hands in the U.S. Back in September, the Canadian based manufacturer of BlackBerry handsets held a 37.3% share of the Stateside smartphone market, good enough to be on top. But the steady increase in marketshare by Android to 28.7% from 21.4% during that same time period, combined with a very minor increase in the iPhone’s marketshare to 25% from 24.3% all combined to knock RIM’s leading share to 31.6%. Even the availability of the “best BlackBerry of all time” could not stem the tide as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 was crippled by specs that were far from cutting-edge.

We could see some of the trends shaken up with the report that ends in March. At that time, we will see what influence the Verizon branded Apple iPhone 4 has over Big Red’s Android line-up. The iconic Apple touchscreen device will be launched on Verizon February 10th and some analysts expect to see as many as 3 million units sold by Verizon by the end of March.

source: AppleInsider

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Google's open source OS and Apple's iOS were the only two platforms to gain ground in Q4 of 2010

Posted in Android OS

TI announces the quad-core OMAP 5, able to shoot Full HD 3D video

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TI-announces-the-quad-core-OMAP-5-able-to-shoot-Full-HD-3D-videoWe are yet to see a handset with Texas Instruments’ dual-core OMAP 4 chipset on the shelves, and the company already announced OMAP 5. Quad-core, of course. Two high-powered CPU cores, up to 2GHz, and two lowly tickers, which are to carry out the mundane tasks to save on battery life.

We can’t say it is an extremely novel idea, since Marvell already said its ARM-based Armada 628 chipset will be tri-core, with one core clocked at 600MHz, but we catch the drift and have to say it makes a lot of sense. The OMAP 5 chipset architecture is based on ARM’s newest Cortex-A15 “Eagle” design, since TI was the first to license it. Sampling of OMAP 5 will start later this year, with handsets and tablets able to utilize it in the second half of 2012.

The actual benefits for the end user will most likely be similar to the jump from single Cortex-A8 (Samsung Galaxy S, iPhone 4) devices to the Cortex-A9 based dual-core phones of today, like the LG Optimus 2X and the Motorola ATRIX 4G (our hands-on here). Dual-core today brings Full HD 1080p video recording and playback, as well as the ability to shoot 3D-HD video, whereas OMAP 5 phones will be able to shoot, say, 3D-Full HD video. TI’s new chipset will also support up to four cameras which can shoot Full HD in parallel, if you are so inclined.

TI’s added value is gesture recognition for commanding your device, as well as great DSP engines for photography. Special care is paid to the camera department in OMAP 5 as well, with built-in chips for what TI calls “computational photography“, using the powerful silicon to compensate for motion blur, camera shake, and bring about enhanced HDR, as well as real-time face recognition. Object and text recognition are also taken to the next level, which should bring along some promising augmented reality apps.

As usual, though, a new chipset generation with ARM’s design brings about more efficient manufacturing processes, able to cram more transistors on the same space, or the same amount in a much lower footprint. TI promises 3 times the performance of OMAP 4, and 5 times the graphics power, which is an amazing feat by itself. Have a look at the platform’s capabilities in the video below.

he cherry on the top is that thanks to the 28nm production process (Tegra 2, for example, is done on the 45nm process), it all comes at just 40% of the OMAP 4 battery consumption. There will be two version – OMAP5430, for smartphones, and OMAP5432 for tablets and the like, which can support up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

You can read all about the multi-core chipsets in our in-depth article here. We should have a good overview what OMAP 4 is capable of in the Blackberry PlayBook very soon, and maybe even judge about OMAP 5’s capabilities for next year. Hopefully it won’t come just in time to film the end of the world in 3D-Full HD with our handsets.

source: TI via Engadget

The cherry on the top is that thanks to the 28nm production process (Tegra 2, for example, is done on the 45nm process), it all comes at just 40% of the OMAP 4 battery consumption. There will be two version – OMAP5430, for smartphones, and OMAP5432 for tablets and the like, which can support up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

You can read all about the multi-core chipsets in our in-depth article here. We should have a good overview what OMAP 4 is capable of in the Blackberry PlayBook very soon, and maybe even judge about OMAP 5’s capabilities for next year. Hopefully it won’t come just in time to film the end of the world in 3D-Full HD with our handsets.

source: TI via Engadget

Posted in Uncategorized

Most Verizon smartphone users are considering switching to the iPhone

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Most-Verizon-smartphone-users-are-considering-switching-to-the-iPhoneYou probably already guessed this, but here’s some confirmation: the majority of Verizon’s BlackBerry and Android users are considering switching to the Verizon iPhone. According to a study by uSamp, 25% of the respondents are ‘very likely’ to switch to the iPhone. Another 29% are ’somewhat likely’ to switch.

Even more impressive was the fact that, of those customers that were ‘very likely’ to switch to the iPhone, 24% said they were willing to wait in line on its day of launch. Only the iPhone could elicit this kind of ship-jumping hysteria.

As you might have guessed, Android users are less likely to switch to the iPhone. As many as two-thirds of BlackBerry owners said that they were ‘very likely’ or ’somewhat likely’ to switch to the iPhone. Those users cited BlackBerry shortcomings like the web browser, media, memory, camera quality, and the general interface. Among Android users, however, 44% were considering the switch.

These figures could spell trouble for Android, but the iPhone will be even more detrimental to RIM’s footing at Verizon. With their grip gradually loosening from Big Red, they’ll be counting on their PlayBook to regain their traction.

source: uSamp via Electronista

Posted in Phones

RIM to allow Android apps on BlackBerry devices?

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RIM-to-allow-Android-apps-on-BlackBerry-devicesAccording to more than one trusted source over at BGR, Canadian manufacturer RIM is about to make a move that could allow certain BlackBerry devices to run Android apps. According to the report, RIM is looking at having a Java based Virtual Machine added to its QNX flavored BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and smartphones. The reason wouldn’t be for development of apps, but to support custom apps that corporations are using but do not want to rewrite, among other things.

The main part of this story is that RIM is considering using the Dalvik VM which is the same virtual machine used by-guess who-the Android OS. This would mean that if RIM goes with this scenario, mostly any Android app written for Google’s open source OS would be able to be played on a QNX flavored BlackBerry tablet or phone.

According to BGR, there are two forks in the road and RIM can take one or the other. The turn to the left involves RIM using the Dalvik VM (which is also open source) without Google’s blessing. The other road leads to talks between RIM and Google with both sides shaking hands on a deal that would make all of this “official” and could lead to the latter’s official support of installing Android apps on QNX devices, including the Android Market.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. The BlackBerry PlayBook has received something of a nice buzz after the CES and adding the ability to load it up with apps developed for Android could only help. And it all could lead to a decision to speed up the development and production of QNX flavored BlackBerry handsets which certainly could shake up the cellphone market.

source: BGR

Posted in Software

LG Optimus 2X scores high on Quadrant benchmark test, Motorola ATRIX 4G surpasses it

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LG-Optimus-2X-scores-high-on-Quadrant-benchmark-test-Motorola-ATRIX-4G-surpasses-itBefore the CES, much of the buzz for the new wave of dual-core handsets was going to the LG Optimus 2X. After all, a video of a browser test that we showed you had the LG handset rendering web sites faster than one could blink an eye, which allowed the phone to easily beat the Apple iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S (of course, fans of the latter two phones would say that they would want the LG handset to repeat the test with one core tied behind its back).

During the CES, the LG Optimus 2X lost a little of its luster when the Best in Show Motorola ATRIX 4G strutted its stuff, not to forget the manufacturer’s DROID Bionic. But the guys at TechBlog might have started the buzz for the Optimus 2X all over again following the Quadrant benchmark test that the LG model was put through. That is, until a video of the ATRIX 4G’s own Quadrant benchmark test was revealed.

According to our tipster, Kevin, while the video shows a 2500 result for the Motorola ATRIX 4G, another time the handset scored 2700 although the video was not as clear. The bottom line is that like the events in Las Vegas, it looks like the LG Optimus 2X (headed for T-Mobile as we reported) is playing second fiddle once again to AT&T’s own dual-core Superphone.

Thanks, Kevin!

source: YouTube(TechBlog channel) via DailyMobile

Click here for the whole CES 2011 coverage.

Posted in Phones

Ford app lets you control your electric car from afar

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myfordmobile-app-TNFord-app-lets-you-control-your-electric-car-from-afarAmong all the wonders that smartphones bring us, we shouldn’t underestimate one not so talked-about feature – the opportunity to control our electric car from a distance.

Ford demonstrates it perfectly well with the release of the MyFord Mobile app that gives you the chance to control certain car functions from afar.

The app is already available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS, and if this picture on your right is of any indication, a Windows Phone 7 version of MyFord Mobile is coming as well. Most interestingly, it will also work on featurephones, so no one is left behind.

With this and similar apps, you can control the vehicle’s charge level, turn on/off the car’s heat system, locate it and unlock it – and all from afar. Of course, this is only the onset of these apps, so they are bound to get better and more effective with time.

source: Ford via Engadget

Posted in Software

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