Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HP Palm webOS 1.4.5 Update Available For Verizon Pixi Plus Customers

It looks like Verizon rolled out Palm webOS 1.4.5 for their Pixi Plus customers yesterday.

The webOS 1.4.5 change log for the Verizon branded Palm Pixi Plus is listed after the jump.

Verizon Pixi Plus customers can download the webOS 1.4.5 update by running the Updates application on their phone.

The wait continues for Verizon's Pre Plus customers and all of AT&T's Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus customers.  Sprint customers received their Palm webOS 1.4.5 update on August 11.

Palm Releases Early Details on webOS 2.0

 Palm, today, started talking up webOS 2.0 today and released a SDK webOS 2.0 simulator for early access software developers.

Palm webOS 2.0 is due to be released before the end of this year.

Introducing webOS 2.0
webOS 2.0, the next generation of Palm's amazing mobile operating system, is the biggest webOS update yet, offering great new features for consumers and developers alike.

webOS 2.0 will be released later this year, and a beta version of the webOS 2.0 SDK is available now via the SDK Early Access Program.

In this article we'll give everyone a sneak peek at some of what's coming in webOS 2.0. We'll focus on a few of the features that are most relevant to developers, but there's something here for everyone...!

While webOS 2.0 will mostly address under the hood enhancements to webOS, there definitely be some cool new features for Palm fans.

Traveling With Your Smartphone

While reading USAToday on my iPad (iTunes link) I ran across an interesting little article talking about how people use their smartphones while traveling.

The research, conducted by Ypartnership/Harrison Group, reported that 20% of travelers in the United States have downloaded and installed travel related applications to their phones.  (Sounds logical, doesn't it?)

The study also found:
  • 47% used GPS functionality to find their way to a destination
  • 46% searched for flight updates
  • 29% compared airfares or hotel rates
  • 18% booked air travel or lodging
  • 15% viewed virtual visitor guides
  • 11% downloaded and/or redeemed coupons
I don't often have to travel long distances for work that requires me to get on an airplane.  But I do have to say, that when I do need to drive out to a public event or to a training center by car, my Palm Pre is riding shotgun with me.

You can read the full article on the USAToday website.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mobile Hot-NOT

 Just because you can install the Verizon Mobile HotSpot app on a non-Verizon Palm webOS device doesn't exactly mean you can use it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Coke Rewards for webOS

My Coke Rewards from Biocandy Labs is my new favorite webOS app.

My Coke Rewards is a simple app for your Pre or Pixi that allows you to register your My Coke Rewards codes on the Coca-Cola website.

Coca-Cola and Palm addicts need this free app which is available from the Palm App Catalog.  Hit the Palm Developer website for more details.

Apple Updates iWork Pages, Adds Support for ePub Books



Earlier this week, Apple updated iWork '09 Pages and added support for creating documents comptible with iBooks on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

After updating Pages '09 on your Mac to version 9.0.4, you will be able to export your Pages documents in the ePub format.  Then, drag and drop the ePub document into iTunes' Books section and sync your iDevice.  Simple.

iWork '09 owners, grab your update by clicking the Software Update icon in the System Preferences application.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Apple Invites Media to a Special September 1 Event


September is almost upon us and that means it's time for Apple to send out invitations to the media-only fall event.
According to the Tech Trader Daily blog, Eric Savitz writes:
"There’s zero information in the invitation on the nature of the event, and the only hint is the photo of the guitar with the Apple-logo shaped cut out that I’ve included with this post." 
 My invitation seems to have gotten lost in the mail.

Apple's fall events have been the showcase for the new iPod touch and music related products for the holiday season. This year is expected to be no different with rumors flying around of an iPod touch refresh that will feature iOS 4.1, dual cameras and support for FaceTime, and a the same high resolution Retina display that has been used on the iPhone 4.

There are also near daily rumors that Apple will release a new version of the Apple TV, possible called "iTV", that runs iOS and replaces the hard drive with a smaller flash drive.  Content would be streamed to the device rather than store it locally on a hard drive as the current Apple TV model does.  The new Apple TV is also rumored to go on sale with pricing as low as $99 and TV show rentals for $0.99.

[Via Tech Trader Daily blog...]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Astraware Releases A Pair of Games for webOS

Today, Astraware has released their first two games for Palm webOS: Astraware Sudoku and OddBlob.

Staffordshire, UK – August 24, 2010 – Astraware® is excited to announce the release of its first games for Palm® webOS™. The first two games, Astraware Sudoku and OddBlob, will initially support Pre™ and Pre Plus devices with support for Pixi™ to be added later.

Astraware Sudoku is a multi-award-winning version of the worldwide smash puzzle game. It is packed with features that avid Sudoku players love, including the unique Puzzle of the Day feature, which sees in excess of 20,000 users regularly downloading the daily puzzles and uploading their times on the global leader board. First released for smartphones earlier this year, OddBlob is a cute puzzle-arcade game entirely created from modeling clay, and featuring online leader boards for players to post their high scores in both Strategy and Panic modes.

“We’re delighted to be re-establishing our long-term relationship with Palm, and supporting the new platform with a range of great casual games,” said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. “Our experience at supporting well-featured devices in a range of sizes and resolutions has helped us to make our first webOS games a pleasure to play, and we look forward to bringing many more titles to the platform.”

Astraware intends to bring a number of their own-IP games to the webOS platform as well as working with their premium licensor partners to add to the range of quality casual games available in the Palm App Catalog.

“Palm has a rich history with Astraware, and we’re excited to see that relationship continue with the webOS platform,” said Ben Galbraith, director of Developer Marketing, Palm, Inc. “Astraware’s popular titles are a welcome addition to the breadth and quality of webOS games in the Palm App Catalog.”

Astraware Sudoku and OddBlob are available now on the webOS App Catalog, priced $4.99 each. For more information visit http://www.astraware.com/webos.

Facebook for iOS Updated to Version 3.2.2

The Facebook app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad was updated again to address login issues.

Make sure that you hit up the App Store icon on your iDevice to download the update or check for software updates in iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is The Door Still Open for An iPhone on Sprint or T-Mobile?

There was an interesting article posted out on the Digital Daily blog.  Kaufman Bros. technology analyst Shaw Wu reports that a Verizon Wireless iPhone still isn't a done deal.
“From our understanding, the Verizon negotiations are not finalized with important details still being ironed out, including technology and economics,” Wu said in a note to clients this morning. “We think it is premature to rule out T-Mobile or Sprint.”

"Or both of them, together. As Wu notes, adding T-Mobile and Sprint as additional carriers would almost be like adding Verizon (VZ). Together, Sprint (S) and T-Mobile have about 82 million subscribers. Verizon has 93 million subscribers."
You can read the full blog post on the Digital Daily website.

So who's up for a Sprint edition Apple iPhone?

Glass Effect Launcher webOS Patch

One of the cool things about Palm's webOS is that they are pretty cool with the third-party developers and home Homebrew applications.

Having said that, Glass Effect Launcher is my favorite webOS patch to date.  It is also the first patch I've ever applied to my Sprint edition Palm Pre.  As the name applies, when you apply the patch, the stock grey background in the webOS app launcher is replaced by a Windows Vista looking smoked glass background. 

The photos above show what my app launcher and Universal Search screens look like after applying the patch.  I think that patch give webOS a more refined and finished look than that boring grey background.  Hopefully HP and Palm will add some more refinements in webOS 2.0 that will give our favorite little OS that could a more grown up and professional feel to it.

To learn more about Glass Effect Launcher, check out the patch's thread over on PreCentral.  If you want to learn more about Homebrew apps and how to get them installed on your Palm webOS smartphone, check out PreCentral's Homebrew Apps Gallery.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More on the New Facebook Places Feature

Last week, Facebook introduced a new feature called "Places" that allows you or your friends geo-tag your location using the GPS in your mobile phone or location aware browser.  Naturally, people either hailed this as a super cool or flipped out and had kittens because "Big Brother" had found a new way to keep tabs on where you go and what you are doing.

The New York Times, has a good article on the new Places feature in Facebook, which is also available in the latest version of the mobile application for Apple's iPhone.
Moments after Facebook introduced a new feature called Facebook Places on Wednesday that allows its users to share their location and find their friends, advocates raised flags over online privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California cited concerns over the new product, saying Facebook neglected to include several crucial privacy features.

“Places allows your friends to tag you when they check in somewhere, and Facebook makes it very easy to say ‘yes’ to allowing your friends to check in for you,” read the statement, released late Wednesday night. “But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you are only given a ‘not now’ option. ‘No’ isn’t one of the easy options.”

The A.C.L.U. also expressed concern over the integration of Facebook’s Places feature with third-party Web sites and applications.
The Facebook Places privacy settings can be configured via custom settings in your privacy controls.  Android Central has a quick set of directions posted which I linked to last week.  iPhone users who want to keep their locations on the down low can tap the Don't Allow button that pops up any time an iOS app tries to access the GPS on your iPhone.  (You know, I'm really glad that Steve Jobs insisted on that pop up!)  As of this posting, the Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, and HP Palm webOS clients haven't been updated to use of the Places feature; but it is only a matter of time before they are updated too.



You can read the full article on The New York Times website.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Magazine Subscriptons Coming to Apple's iPad

It's about time, seriously!  I have subscriptions to MacWorld, Time, and Entertainment Weekly and I'm looking forward to reading all of them in print and electronically on my iPad.  I have no idea if/when MacWorld and EW are coming to iPad.  So far, only People and Time are confirmed.  More electronic magazine subscriptions are likely to start showing up soon on the iPad if a report in Fortune is correct.

AppleInsider.com writes:
According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune, Time Inc. broke the impasse  that has existed for months between publishers and Apple. He said that Time's other publications are expected to follow the same path as People in the next 30 days, including Fortune, Time, and Sports Illustrated.

"It's not clear what took so long," Elmer-DeWitt wrote. "Publishers who were encouraged to build iPad apps by Steve Jobs himself say they were ready from the start to make them free to subscribers. Until now, however, Apple would neither give them the tools they needed, nor explain what was holding them up."

He added: "The publishers still can't sell subscriptions through the App Store, which is how they would prefer to do it."
If you have a subscription to People magazine, you can get the digital subscription goodness right now. [App Store link]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting To Know BlackBerry Messenger

Hey BlackBerry addicts!  Are you using BBM?  Don't know what BBM is?  It's BlackBerry Messenger an instant messaging app specifically for BlackBerry users!

So what can you do with BlackBerry Messenger?  It allows you to send IM messages to other BlackBerry users in your contacts list.  Some of the features include being able to send messages without character limits; receive real-time notification when a message is delivered and read; send pictures and videos to multiple BBM users; and share what music you are listening to on your BB.

Hit the Read more link to see a video of BBM in action.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the BlackBerry website to install the software on your phone.

Quickly Identifying an iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3GS


This just goes to show that you really can learn something new everyday!  Today I learned how to tell an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS apart without having to look at software, hardware rev numbers or any thing else.

All you have to do is to take a look at the back of the iPhone.  If the lettering of the word "iPhone" is in chrome like the Apple logo above it, then you are looking at an iPhone 3GS.

Thanks to the good folks at DirectFix.com for point this out.  You can read their blog post on the subject here.

By the way, I'm still looking to buy someones iPhone 3G or 3GS as long as it is still in good working condition.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Facebook Updated for iOS, BlackBerry OS


Along side the Facebook website upgrade, the iPhone and BlackBerry mobile Facebook applications have also been upgraded to versions 3.2 and 1.8.0.49, respectively.

Use the App Store and BlackBerry App World to install or upgrade your software now.

If you don't want to use Facebook Places, or you want to keep your friends from checking you into Places, be sure to update your Facebook privacy settings.

UPDATE:

The iOS edition of Facebook has been updated again.  This time to version 3.2.1.  This latest updates includes "bug fixes" and limited the Places feature to iDevices here in the United States for the time being.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

HotSync Guidelines for Windows 7, Windows Vista


Since getting back to (almost) daily Palm support forms moderation duty, I've been reading a lot of posts from people asking how to sync their Palm OS PDA, Centro, or Treo with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The answer largely depends on what version of Windows you have installed on your PC.  If you are still running the insanely popular Windows XP, you can safely stay put with Palm Desktop 4.1.x or 4.2.

If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you really should be using Palm Desktop 6.2.2 by ACCESS.  This version is compatible with Vista and unofficially compatible with Windows 7.  (Neither Palm nor ACCESS have gone back and retested Palm Desktop 6.2.2 under Windows 7, but it does work.)

You can download Palm Desktop 6.2.2 from the Palm support website.  Be sure to read the release notes fully before installing the software on your Windows PC.  (By the way, Palm Desktop 6.2.2 does work with Windows XP.)

The tricky part comes in when you are running a 64-bit version of Windows XP, Windows Media Center, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  There are no 64-bit compatible USB HotSync drivers available, so you have to jump through some hoops to make your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or IR enabled Palm OS device sync with your 64-bit Windows PC.

The good folks over on the Palm Support Community forums have written up a good primer on how to make your old Palm OS handheld or handset work with Microsoft's newest desktop operating systems.

For more details on how to setup your Palm TX, T5, LifeDrive, Zire, Treo, or Centro syncing with Windows 7 or Windows Vista, check out the Palm Support Community forums thread: Windows 7 and Vista HotSync Instructions.  You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo 4G



My friend Mark sent me a link to this video a few days ago and it is perfect for some weekend phone humor.

Be warned that this is the clean version of the video. There is a not safe for family/work version floating around on YouTube.com also.

Friday, August 13, 2010

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6 Rolls Out


I was greeted this morning to an upgrade notice on my Windows 7 PC that an update was available for BlackBerry Desktop to version 6.0.  The software was released earlier this week and the download comes in at just under 100MB.

According to the BlackBerry Desktop 6 release notes, the new software has the following new features:

  • An improved, simpler design for the software
  • Added BlackBerry® Media Sync features to import and synchronize your media files (music, pictures, and videos) from one location
  • Option to synchronize your music by artist and genre
  • Support for the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 and the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9300 Smartphones
  • Wi-Fi music sync for devices running BlackBerry OS 6.0 when the PC and BlackBerry are on the same wireless network
The update also includes some minor software updates.  Enterprise users will want to check with their IT administrations before installing the latest desktop software because "some features that will not be available which may affect some users."  These features include Certificate Synchronization and Encrypted media card transfer support.  For more details, take a look at BlackBerry KB article 23745.

The full BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.0.0 release notes can be found on the BlackBerry support website.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apple Releases iOS 3.2.2, 4.0.2 Updates

Apple has released minor iOS updates for iPad (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G) and iPhone (4, 3GS, and 3G) and iPod touch (second and third edition) to address a Safari PDF security flaw.

Hackers were able to use the Safari exploit to "jailbreak" iOS devices to run applications that had not been approved by Apple.  However, that same exploit could be used to allow an attacker to gain control of your iDevice remotely.

If you are running a stock iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, connect your device to your Mac or PC running iTunes and hit the Update button on the Summary tab for your device.

The update weighs in at about 457MB for my Wi-Fi edition iPad.  The package size might be smaller for the iPhone and iPod touch.

If you are on of the folks that doesn't like to be told how to use your device by Apple, and have gone ahead and jailbroken your device, you will want to wait until there is a new "adjective"sn0w update that allows you to patch your device and exploit a different vulnerability to load unauthorized applications on your iDevice.  Proceed with caution.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

HP Palm webOS 1.4.5 Update Available For Sprint Customers

A short while ago, Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi customers started receiving notifications that the Palm webOS 1.4.5 software update was available for download and installation on their phones.

During my frantic game of "Keep Tapping the Refresh Button In The Updates Application," I finally received my upgrade notice.  Reports are also coming in, and I have seen it first hand, that there is some trouble downloading the update from Palm HQ.  In the Palm webOSdev Twitter feed, Palm writes:

"we are aware of the problems downloading 1.4.5 for sprint customers. It's being investigated."

Update
As of 1:00am Eastern time, the download issue has been resolved and Sprint Palm Pre and Pixi customers can download and install the new webOS update.  If you tried to download the update earlier this evening and couldn't and you still can't, try rebooting your Pre or Pixi.  Once I did, I was able to download the update successfully.

It's after midnight here on the East Coast, so I'm sure that by the time we all get out of bed in a few hours, the update will be ready for download and installation during our morning commute.  In the mean time, here are the official details on webOS 1.4.5.

Palm webOS 1.4.5 weighs in at 8MB and includes "minor software improvements."  Palm has also updated their Palm webOS support site to list the changes in webOS 1.4.5.

Palm webOS 1.4.5 Change Log

New applications

NONE

Feature changes to existing applications System
  • This release includes minor fixes and enhancements to support the public release of the webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK).
  • This release may require you to update certain apps to their latest version to properly support the launch of the webOS PDK. If you have a game that is not saving your game information correctly (high scores, stages, settings) check the App Catalog for updates. For more information on updating apps, see Using App Catalog
Web
  • If a user enters text in a field on certain websites, the screen focus now remains on the text being entered.
     
  • This release fixes a rare problem so that podcasts now download correctly.
Security
  • This release addresses several security issues with the Palm webOS software.
You can review the change log for each of the webOS updates on the Palm support website.  Just in case you are keeping score, this is software update 12 since Palm released the original Palm Pre on Sprint a little over a year ago.  Not too bad Palm.  While 1.4.5 will bring some new enhancements for 3D gaming on the Pre and Pixi, I'm really looking forward to webOS 2.0 which is scheduled for release late this year if all goes well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yes, No, or Maybe? Will HP webOS 1.4.5 Show Up This Week In the US?

Despite the fact that Sprint may have posted the change log for HP's Palm webOS 1.4.5, US customers of the Palm Pre and Pixi still don't appear to have access to the update yet.

Running the Updates application on my Sprint Pre gives me the "Your phone is up to date. Palm webOS 1.4.1.1" message and the official Palm webOS change log does not show any release notes for webOS 1.4.5.

While the software update is not currently available today, as suggested by Sprint's release notes, it will likely be released in the next few days to a week if past history is any indication.

So who wants to join me in a frantic game of Tap the Refresh button?

Oracle to HP: You Guys Are Idiots

I just read this over on Gizmodo and had a good laugh.  Too bad Mr Ellison is right.

In an email to the New York Times, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wrote:
"The H.P. board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago...that decision nearly destroyed Apple and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them.

In losing Mark Hurd, the H.P. board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.'s employees, shareholders, customers and partners...The H.P. board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."
Mr. Ellison is correct that Mr. Hurd was not ousted from HP for the sexual harassment claim the board later found to be false, but rather submitting inaccurate expense reports.  Maybe HP can get Carly Fiorina back.  No?

[Via Gizmodo.com...]

Monday, August 9, 2010

BlackBerry Tablet Coming In November

Digitimes is reporting that Quanta has won the bid to manufacture RIM's tablet, the BlackPad.

"The tablet (BlackPad) will support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as 3G through connection to a Blackberry smartphone. The device will be priced at US$499 and Quanta will start shipping orders in September with volumes to reach two million units in 2010 and eight million units in 2011, the paper added."

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Following closely on the heels of their BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry OS 6 announcements, Research In Motion introduced the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 today.  The new BlackBerry Curve has a GSM/HSDPA radio in it so I would expect it to appear on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks here in the United States before long.

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the new BlackBerry® Curve™ 3G, an exciting addition to the globally popular BlackBerry Curve series of smartphones. Designed to provide the growing mass of smartphone purchasers with a distinctly powerful, approachable and affordable choice, the BlackBerry Curve 3G supports high-speed 3G (HSDPA) networks around the world  and gives users the exceptional communications features they need to accomplish more than ever, when they’re at home, at work and everywhere in-between.

“The majority of people in the worldwide mobile phone market have yet to buy their first smartphone and the BlackBerry Curve 3G is designed to provide an extremely attractive and accessible choice that will help convince many of them to make the leap,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The new BlackBerry Curve 3G is a perfect choice for happily busy people who are looking for a user-friendly 3G smartphone to help them make the most of their day and to stay connected with their friends, family and co-workers.”

The BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone features a comfortable full-QWERTY keyboard for fast, accurate typing, optical trackpad for fluid navigation, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi®, as well as dedicated media keys, so music lovers can easily access their tunes while on the go. The new smartphone also features a camera that can record video and a microSD/SDHC slot that supports up to 32 GB memory cards for media storage. Support for 3G networks makes browsing faster, streaming music smoother, and gives users the ability to talk on the phone while they browse the web, instant message with BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) or share their location with friends on popular social networking sites.

The BlackBerry Curve 3G ships with BlackBerry® 5 and is BlackBerry® 6 ready. BlackBerry 6 is a new operating system for BlackBerry® smartphones that was announced last week. It retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry Curve 3G, subject to carrier certifications, in the coming months.

The new BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone (model 9300) will be available from various carriers and distribution partners around the world beginning in August. Check with local carriers for details about availability and pricing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

iPhone 4 Screen Is Amazing

My brother in law just got his new iPhone 4. Oh my God the screen is amazing on that device!

HP's Hurd Is Out, Lesjak Interim CEO

By now, most of you have read that there has been a leadership change over at HP.  Mark Hurd, amid a sexual harassment suit, was essentially forced to resign because he submitted and was reimbursed for improper company expenses.

When the news broke, we all a hear "Hurd," "resigned," and "sexual harassment." If you want to go beyond the headline grabbing blurbs, you need to read the New York Times article on the subject.

"Mark V. Hurd, who turned Hewlett-Packard into the world’s largest technology company on the back of fierce fiscal discipline, has been ousted from his post for the lowliest of corporate offenses — fudging his expenses."

Ouch!  Not cool.  I find it totally amazing that someone so well respected, who has a lot of money in today's economy would lose such an amazing job just because they wanted to cut some corners and save some personal cash.  If it's business, OK fine, expense the dinner or whatever.  If it isn't, and if there is a chance it can come back to bite you in the end, they just pay for it yourself.  Mr. Hurd reportedly filed expense reports that inaccurately contained reimbursements "from $1,000 to $20,000, according to a person close to Mr. Hurd who was briefed on the situation but was not authorized to speak publicly."

The good news for Mr. Hurd, which should allow him to get another senior management job in the near future, according to the Times article is "that the sexual harassment charge was unsubstantiated."

With Hurd's departure, HP's Board of Directors has appointed Cathie Lesjak (seen above in the inset) as the interim CEO.  Ms. Lesjak is a 24-year veteran of HP and will retain her responsibilities as CFO while acting as the interim CEO.

Mr. Hurd will be leaving HP with a $12,224,693 severance package.  Not too bad for only violating HPs Standards of Business Conduct policy.

You can read the full article on the New York Times website.  Friday's press release can be read on the HP website.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Remembering the Palm TX, T5, and LifeDrive


I just moved my Palm TX, T5, and LifeDrive into storage.  They had been local residents on my desk since I acquired them and I have enjoyed playing and working with them for many years.  Today was the day they they moved into my storage crate with all of my other decommissioned smartphones and PDAs.

My Palm Pre, Apple iPhone 2G, BlackBerry Storm2, HTC Droid Eris, and Palm Foleo just got more room to spread out.

If you want to take a walk down memory lane, check out the PDA Museum where you can find write ups on many of the Palm/pa1mOne and Sony Clie Palm OS devices.

Has Verizon and Motorola Suspended Android FroYo 2.2 Updates?

Has Motorola and Big Red suspended all OTA updates of Google Android 2.2 to their Android smartphones?

If MyDroidWorld and Droid-Life (link 1, link 2) are correct, there seems to be problems between the new Android OS and Adobe's Flash Player, and Pandora.

MyDroidWorld writes:
"Motorola and Verizon are pulling all FRG Froyo builds and ceasing any current plans to update to Froyo. Seems there is a problem between Google and Adobe concerning flash, rights, and royalties. This comes as quite a surprise to us as it will others."

Personally, I'm a little bit skeptical of that statement.  You would think that Google and Adobe would have there ducks, and lawyers, in a row before the software goes out the door.  I quick Google search, ya, I should have used Bing this time out, finds an article from Examiner.com that seems to backup the Google/Verizon/Adobe claims until you start checking the links and see that they reference MyDroidLife too.

So how about it Droid Nation on Big Red; are you getting your FroYo on? Drop us a line and let us know.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facebook for Android Updated, Fixes Battery Drain Issue

Facebook has released version 1.3.1 of their Android client that corrects a battery drain issue.

Recently, the Facebook client for Android devices received a major upgrade from the previous release in the form of the 1.3 update.  However, there was a bug in the background notification system that kept the phone from going to sleep and drained the battery very quickly.

Hit up the Market Place application to get your weekend update action on!

[Via Androinica.com...]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Apple: Fixes On the Way for iOS Vulnerabilities

According to an article on AppleInsider.com, Apple had developed a fix for the current vulnerabilities that allow you to "jailbreak" or install and run unauthorized software on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod over the web.

"Apple confirmed Wednesday that it has developed a fix for the two security vulnerabilities that allow jailbreaking of their iOS software.

An Apple spokeswoman said in a statement, "We're aware of this reported issue, we have already developed a fix and it will be available to customers in an upcoming software update." No release date was given for the update.

Previously, Apple had announced it was "investigating" the issue."

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

ComputerWorld Torch Round Up

ComputerWorld has a good round up of reviews for the new BlackBerry Torch 9800, which launches on AT&T August 12.  The Torch will be the first BlackBerry to ship with the new BlackBerry 6 operating system.

"As expected, Research In Motion launched its BlackBerry Torch (aka 9800) on Tuesday morning. Exclusively on AT&T in the U.S., this small slider offers overhauled software and a few unique features. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't decide if it's an iPhone killer or if it's too little too late."

You can read the Torch review round up on the ComputerWorld website.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Torch 9800


Dallas and Waterloo, ON - Joining forces to offer the first smartphone to feature the highly anticipated BlackBerry® 6 exclusively on the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T and Research In Motion (RIM) today introduced the new BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone. Adept for socially connected consumers and packed with the tools business customers love, the new handset is the world's first smartphone to combine a BlackBerry® keyboard with a full touch screen experience. Whether users choose to type out messages on the capacitive touch screen or easy-to-use BlackBerry keyboard, browse the Internet using pinch to zoom or fluidly navigate with the optical trackpad, the BlackBerry Torch allows them to communicate any way they want. 

“We were the first to launch the BlackBerry solution in 1999 and have a rich history of innovation and collaboration with Research In Motion,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “The two companies that brought the first BlackBerry smartphones to market have teamed up again with the new BlackBerry Torch, creating a true generational shift in hardware and operating system for this enormously popular service.”

“This is one of the most significant launches in RIM’s history and we are proud to introduce the new BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 together with AT&T,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-ceo, Research In Motion. “With a new user interface, new browser and new handset design, the highly anticipated BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 deliver integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals that preserve the industry-leading strengths of the BlackBerry platform while adding exciting new dimensions.”

BlackBerry 6
The BlackBerry Torch is the first BlackBerry smartphone to launch with BlackBerry 6, a new operating system that retains the familiar and trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that’s powerful and easy to use.

BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with the touch screen and trackpad, includes expanded messaging capabilities with intuitive features to simplify the management of social networking and RSS feeds (Social Feeds), and provides integrated access to the BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Facebook®, Twitter™, MySpace™ and various instant messaging applications available on the BlackBerry Torch smartphone. Its enhanced multimedia experience rivals the best in the industry and includes a dedicated YouTube app and Podcasts app.

BlackBerry 6 also integrates a new and rich WebKit-based browser on BlackBerry Torch that renders HTML web pages (as well as HTML email) quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience. It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, pinch to zoom for easy navigation and an auto-wrap text zoom feature that can intelligently wrap text in a column while maintaining the placement of a page's key elements (simply double-tap on the BlackBerry Torch).

Universal search, always accessible from the Home Screen, allows users to search through email, messages, contacts, music, videos and more on the smartphone, as well as extend search to the Internet or to discover applications on BlackBerry App World™.

BlackBerry Torch Smartphone Features
  • Elegant styling, measuring approx. 4.4" (5.8" open) x 2.4" x .57" and weighing 5.68 ounces
  • 3.2" 360x480 capacitive touch screen display
  • 35 key full QWERTY backlit slide-out keyboard, designed to feel optimally balanced when opened for typing
  • Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth
  • Powerful 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory
  • 4 GB built-in memory storage plus a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards; a 4 GB card is included giving users 8 GB of storage out-of-the-box
  • 5 MP camera with flash, continuous auto focus, image stabilization, scene modes, geo-tagging and zoom, as well as video recording at up to 640x480 resolution
  • Built-in GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging
  • Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n); qualifying smartphone customers can enjoy seamless connectivity to over 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional cost
  • 3.5mm stereo headset jack
  • Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth® (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories
  • New BlackBerry® Desktop Software 6 with integrated media sync for easily syncing music, photos and videos
  • Tri-band HSDPA (3G) and quad-band EDGE support for the option of voice service in more than 220 countries, data service in more than 195 countries and 3G connectivity in more than 125 countries, including Japan and South Korea
  • Removable, rechargeable 1300 mAhr battery that provides approximately 5.8 hours of talk time on 3G networks or 30 hours of audio playback or 6 hours of video playback
Pricing and Availability
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone will be available only for AT&T customers on August 12 in AT&T company owned retail stores and online at www.att.com/blackberrytorch, as well as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and RadioShack stores.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available for $199.99 with 2-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and smartphone data plan required.  New smartphone customers may choose from two AT&T monthly data plan options, $15 for 200 MB of wireless data or $25 for 2 GB.  Enterprise and small business customers should contact their account representative for pricing details.

You can read today's full BlackBerry Torch 9800 press release on the RIM website.

Research in Motion Introduces BlackBerry OS 6

BlackBerry smartphone maker, Research in Motion, has unveiled the next version of their BlackBerry operating system.

Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced BlackBerry® 6, a new operating system for BlackBerry® smartphones that retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with a touch screen and trackpad, expanded messaging capabilities that simplify managing social media and RSS feeds, an advanced multimedia experience that rivals the best in the industry, a convenient new Universal Search tool, and a new and efficient WebKit-based browser that renders web pages quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience.

“BlackBerry 6 is the outcome of RIM’s ongoing passion to deliver a powerful, simplified and optimized user experience for both touch screen and keyboard fans,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-ceo, Research In Motion.  “Following extensive research and development to address consumer needs and wants, we are delivering a communications, browsing and multimedia experience that we think users will love, and we are thrilled to debut BlackBerry 6 on the amazing new BlackBerry Torch smartphone.”

In today's press release, RIM talked up four marquee features:

  • Visual, Fluid Interface
  • Fast Rich Web Browsing
  • Social Feeds and Text Messaging
  • Engaging Multimedia Experience

RIM will be working with their carrier partners to develop upgrades for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.  If you are a new BlackBerry Storm2 owner like me, or you have a BlackBerry Storm, it looks like we are going to be out of luck.  RIM stayed quite on upgrades for us.  The new BlackBerry Torch 9800, announced today, will ship with BlackBerry OS 6 pre-installed.

You can read the full press release on the RIM website.

Safari Jailbreak Can Compromise Your iOS Device


Remember that jailbreaking website I told you about yesterday?  Seems like it might not be a great idea after all.  Turns out the browser exploit that the jailbreakers are using opens the iDevice up to attack from "bad guys" too.
"Sean Sullivan, security advisor with F-Secure Corporation, revealed on Tuesday the technical details of the jailbreak process, which is done entirely in the Mobile Safari browser. The jailbreakme.com site includes 20 separate PDFs for different combinations of hardware and firmware."

"While the jailbreakme.com URL itself is not intended for malicious purposes, the PDF exploit it uses could be utilized by hackers to more nefarious ends. Miller said that with this method, a hacker does not need physical access to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad -- they just simply need to have the user visit a vulnerable website."
The bottom line here?  Think twice before you jailbreak your brand new iPhone 4 or other iDevice boys and girls.

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

Connecticut AG Probing Apple, Amazon on EBook Agreements

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating agreements between the country’s largest e-book publishers and two of the largest sellers -- Amazon.com, Inc. and Apple, Inc. -- that may block competitors from offering cheaper e-book prices.

Both Amazon and Apple have reached agreements with the largest e-book publishers that ensure both will receive the best prices for e-books over any competitors -- contract provisions known as “most favored nation” (MFN) clauses.

In letters to Amazon.Com and Apple, Blumenthal is calling on the companies to meet with his office to address these concerns. Publishers that have reached such agreements with Amazon and Apple include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.

These agreements appear to deter certain publishers from offering discounts to Amazon and Apple’s competitors -- because they must offer the same to Amazon and Apple. This restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.

After a preliminary review, Blumenthal’s office has already found that e-book prices offered by Amazon, Apple, Borders and Barnes & Noble for several New York Times Bestseller books were identical among all four sellers.

“These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books -- potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices,” Blumenthal said. “The e-book market is set to explode -- with analysts predicting that e-book readers will be among the holiday season’s biggest electronic gifts -- warranting prompt review of the potential anti-consumer impacts.

“Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books. Such agreements -- especially when offered to two of the largest e-book retail competitors in the United States -- threaten to encourage coordinated pricing and discourage discounting.”

You can read and download a PDF copy of Mr. Blumentha's letter to Apple and Amazon on the CT.gov website.  A copy of today's press release is also available online.

Monday, August 2, 2010

RIM: We Won't Turn Over Your Data Because We Can't Access It

BlackBerry device maker Research In Motion (RIM) issued a statement today regarding the security of customer data that is stored on their servers and that traverses their systems.

In an online article appearing on the Wall Street Journal website, Phred Dvorak writes:
"RIM said the BlackBerry network was set up so that "no one, including RIM, could access'' customer data, which is encrypted from the time it leaves the device. It added that RIM would "simply be unable to accommodate any request'' for a key to decrypt the data, since the company doesn't have the key.

The BlackBerry network is designed "to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances,'' RIM's statement said. Moreover, the location of BlackBerry's servers doesn't matter, the company said, because the data on them can't be deciphered without a decryption key.  ``RIM assures customers that it will not compromise the integrity and security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution,'' the statement said."
While I like to think that my data that passes between my BlackBerry Storm2 and RIM's network operations center, or NOC, is secured, even from RIM, in today's day and age, I'm still a little bit skeptical that if the US or Canadian governments came knocking on RIM's dock that they won't eventually turn over the data.  For how, RIM is taking the moral high ground and is backing their customer base.  Good for you, RIM!

iPhone Jailbreak Available for the Masses

Over the weekend, the iPhone Dev Team has posted a website that exploits a vulnerability in the Safari browser that allows you to jailbreak your iPhone 4.


To jailbreak your iPhone 4 or iOS 4 device, head over to the website jailbreakme.com.  Once jail broken, you will be able to run all the unauthorized applications that Apple doesn't want you running.

Jailbreak your iPhone 4 or other iOS 4 device at your own risk.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

Android 2.2 for Moto Droid Rolling Out As Early As Tomorrow [Updated]

A number of tech blogs were abuzz this weekend with reports that Verizon Wireless could begin pushing out Google Android 2.2 "FroYo" updates as early as tomorrow.

The 2.2 update, like many recent over-the-air updates on other platforms, is likely to be a phased deployment, meaning that it may take as long as 2 weeks before your phone receives the upgrade is available notice.

I haven't seen any of the Motorola Droids that I support pop-up the upgrade available notice yet.  When the upgrade becomes available for your phone, a notice similar to the following will appear.


"FroYo" for those not in the know, stands for "Frozen Yogurt."  Google's other Android updates have been code named "Donut", "Cupcake", and "Eclair."  At least their updates are getting healthier.

Update:
You can download the official Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid 2.2. update release notes from Verizon as a PDF file.

[Via Droid-Life.com...]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who Will Lead Apple After Jobs?

Elecronista the gadgets for geeks blog has an interesting article posted called, "What will it take to carry Apple's torch after Jobs?"
"For years, there has been speculation over CEO Steve Jobs’ health. Is he fully capable of running his company? Over the past year, Jobs has made it clear that he is now healthy and he is firmly at the helm. But what will happen when it’s time to retire and leave Apple in the hands of someone else?

Whoever takes over Apple, whether it's Tim Cook or someone else, will find themselves in an unenviable position. They will be forced to fill the shoes of arguably the best -- or certainly the most in-control -- CEO the technology industry has ever seen. And everyone, including investors, customers, and other stakeholders will be skeptical of that person’s ability to run Apple the way Jobs would have."

You can read the rest of Don Reisinger's very well written editorial on Electronista.com.

[Via Electronista.com...]