Android and iOS – It’s a Personal Preference

I’ve been thinking a lot about devices running Google’s Android operating system lately.

My long time readers shouldn’t worry, I’m not planning a defection any time soon.  I’m still an Apple fan boy and I still very much love using Small, Medium, and Large; more commonly referred to as my iPhone 4S, iPad 3 (ok, ok, ‘the new iPad’, sheesh!!), and my 17-inch MacBook Pro.

So what’s with all of this Android mind share then?  It just seems that everywhere I look, there is an Android powered something or someone is asking me about whether to get a Samsung or an iPhone. And then there are the technology blogs, newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and all the rest that are talking about Android. Oh, and let’s not forget the little spat between Apple and Samsung that is going on right now.

But the truth is, and by ‘truth’ I’m really talking about my ‘opinion’ here, is that copied or not, there are a number of interesting things going on with mobile devices running Google’s mobile OS.

A good friend was over last night with his Samsung Galaxy S II and was talking about all the things that he does with it: file sharing, document and email printing, game playing, interfacing with the computers at work, and yes, the obligatory email and web surfing.  Granted, that he is what many of you would call a ‘computer geek’ and did ‘root’ his phone, still, the enthusiasm was there.

About a week ago, a co-worker was asking me about whether or not to get an iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy S III.  Connie has an iPad 2, and while she didn’t specifically say, I’m willing to bet that her high school age or older children both have iPod touches or iPhones too.  The query came from a desire to have the ‘best’ phone.  Since we were sitting in a conference room helping ourselves to a free pizza lunch, the other people in the room chimed in on the conversation.  After about a 10 minute discussion, we all agreed that the phone from Samsung was a good phone, that there was an ability to reuse applications from the iPad on the iPhone, but at the end of the day, it came down to costs and not features or vendor lock-in.  She had American Express card reward points to use and they were offering a free AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III.  Not amount of marketing and jockeying for customer mind share can complete with ‘free.’

And there was an article I was reading about the Samsung Galaxy Note for T-Mobile.  Anyone else seeing a trend developing here?  Anyway, I was intrigued about the Note.  The device is massive.  It measures in at 5.78 x 3.26 x 0.37 inches.  (Not that I’m thinking about it, the Galaxy S III is almost just as big at 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches.)

The interesting thing about this device is that it’s what I’d call a ‘tween’ device.  It fits in between a smartphone and a 7-inch tablet like the Google Nexus 7.  Who knows if that category of device will take off or not.  I’m sure many people will want to use a device that size, but the question is are there enough people to make it a viable market or not.  Will have to stay tuned to find out.

The market has spoken and by and large, it’s a two horse race: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.  The device you pick is your choice to make.  For me, iOS will be my mobile OS of choice.  There are a lot of good things happening with Android, and it is just as powerful and functional as iOS.

No CDMA Windows 7 Phones Until 2011

While I was off vacationing, it appears that Microsoft has stated that there will be no Windows 7 smartphones released for Verizon or Sprint in 2010.

“For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011. That’s device availability in the first half and we’re very confident of that. That’s probably a conservative estimate,” said Microsoft senior product manager, Greg Sullivan.

After Microsoft’s disaster with the Kin, I’m all for letting them test out their new mobile operating system in “the worldwide market” before it comes to Verizon or Sprint.  The silver lining is that customers on AT&T and T-Mobile have a chance of getting their hands on a Windows 7 phone before anyone else her in the States.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com…]

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?

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Earlier today, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer showed off the next generation of Microsoft’s mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 Series.

BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.

“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”

Designed for Life in Motion

With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to phone software. Smart design begins with a new, holistic design system that informs every aspect of the phone, from its visually appealing layout and motion to its function and hardware integration. On the Start screen, dynamically updated “live tiles” show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone, while a special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant Web or local results, depending on the type of query.

Windows Phone 7 Series creates an unrivaled set of integrated experiences on a phone through Windows Phone hubs. Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people:

  • People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
  • Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.
  • Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.
  • Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.
  • Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.
  • Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.

Availability

Partners from around the world have committed to include Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans. They include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Customers who would like to receive additional information about Windows Phone 7 Series and be notified when it is available can register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com.

To watch the full replay of Steve Ballmer’s press conference at Mobile World Congress, and to experience Windows Phone 7 Series through an online product demo, readers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone.

Today’s Microsoft press release was posted on the Microsoft website.

Google’s Nexus One Goes Live

Google’s Nexus One smartphone has gone live and the details of the new phone have been posted on the Google website. Some of the key features include:

  • 3.7-inch 800×400 pixel WVGA touchscreen
  • 5MP digital camera with auto-focus and LED flash
  • UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/GSM/EDGE cellular radio
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 1400mAh removable battery
  • Android 2.1 Eclair mobile operating system
  • 512MB of RAM and Flash memory
  • 4GB microSD card included, support for upto 32GB microSD cards
  • Assisted GPS receiver and digital compass

Pricing and Availability

The new Google Nexus One is available now as an unlocked phone directly from Google for $529.00. You can also purchase the phone from T-Mobile for as low as $179.00 when you subscribe to a qualifying voice and data plan. Google is also reporting that the Nexus One will be coming to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone during the spring of 2010. No specific dates or pricing has been announced for Verizon or Vodafone at this time.

For more pricing and availability, visit the Google online store.

Microsoft/Danger Data Loss: The Plot Thickens

Following up on the weekend’s revelation that Microsoft/Danger had lost T-Mobile SideKick user’s data, new sources have surfaced ready to talk and the good folks at AppleInsider where all to willing to listen.

“Additional insiders have stepped forward to shed more light into Microsoft’s troubled acquisition of Danger, its beleaguered Pink Project, and what has become one of the most high profile Information Technology disasters in recent memory.

The sources point to longstanding management issues, a culture of “dogfooding” (to eradicate any vestiges of competitor’s technologies after an acquisition), and evidence that could suggest the failure was the result of a deliberate act of sabotage.”

What is the real reason for the server outage and data loss? We may never really know. Regardless of how you slice it, this situation is a PR nightmare for both T-Mobile and Microsoft. If you enjoy reading a good drug store paperback murder/mystery novel, you will want to read the this article. Who knows, maybe this will be turned into a movie some day.

Read the full AppleInsider article

T-Mobile, Microsoft, Lose Customer Data

T-Mobile and Microsoft are in some hot water with their customers. It seems that during a “service disruption” last week, Microsoft’s Danger unit, in partnership with US cellular partner, T-Mobile, have lost customer’s data. I’m willing to bet that someone inside Microsoft is in a lot of trouble.

“Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.”

“With yesterday’s news of T-Mobile letting Sidekick customers know that all of their data has been lost due to a server failure on Microsoft’s/Danger’s servers (Microsoft bought Danger, makers of the Sidekick back in February of 2008 for $500 million ). T-Mobile has suspended sales of all Sidekicks listing every model as “temporarily out of stock”.”

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net…]

RoadSync, Documents To Go Coming Bundled with “Pulse”

Earlier today, DataViz announced that they will be bundling RoadSync and Documents To Go on the European T-Mobile Pulse in October.

DataViz, Inc., a leading provider of mobile office compatibility solutions today announced that their Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, RoadSync, and award-winning mobile Office suite, Documents To Go are included on the new T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220.) The free full functioning license of RoadSync is optimized for Android-based devices and provides customers with built-in secure, wireless and direct push synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server. Documents To Go further enhances the productivity value by adding support for viewing Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF files and attachments.

“As the Android OS continues to gain momentum in the smartphone market, we are excited to partner with Huawei and T-Mobile in an effort to help business professionals mobilize their Office life,” said Dick Fontana, President and CEO of DataViz, Inc. “The combination of top-notch devices, a reliable network and a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade applications enables customers from around the world to get real work done when on the go.”

Availability
The preinstalled versions of RoadSync and Documents To Go will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, traditional and simplified Chinese when the T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220) ships in October. Additional languages will be available in the coming weeks. For more information: www.dataviz.com/GetAndroid

Impressions of the Motorola Cliq

I wanted to get a better understanding of just what the new Motorola Cliq was all about. We know that is an Android phone, but there is a growing number of Android phones out there. What would make the Cliq unique in the rapidly expanding smartphone universe? To find out, I started reading what the newspapers had to say.

In a Washington Post article about the Cliq, Motorola’s co-CEO and head of mobile devices,Sanjay Jha, said:

“I see this as a first step in a long journey where we develop the kind of products which are really relevant for consumers.” “I think for Motorola to retain its tech edge and reputation for engineering, it really has to hit a home run – not necessary with this particular phone, but with its phones in the coming year, including this one.”

A noble goal to be sure, and one that provides Google Android fans with another major device manufacturer in the mobile phone market. But what does it really do; besides making phone calls that is? How will the Cliq be different from T-Mobile’s other Android phone, the HTC Dream known as the G1? For the answer to that question, I turned to an article in the New York Times.

“[The Cliq] is meant for young people obsessed with social networks. Instead of the traditional menu of features, the Cliq’s home screen is an ever-changing mosaic of e-mail, Twitter tweets and status updates, superimposed over photos of the people sending those messages.”

The key to all the magic of this phone is Motorola’s Motoblur (video). Motoblur is essentially a technology that pulls data into your phone from multiple online sources such as your personal and corporate email account, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more. It is Motorola’s answer to Palm’s Synergy technology that first appeared earlier this year in the Palm Pre’s webOS operating system.

So now it makes sense. The Cliq is Motorola’s and T-Mobile’s social networking smartphone for teens and 20-somethings. While T-Mobile hasn’t announced the price of the Cliq with a new subscription yet, the feeling from around the web is that the Cliq will run about $100. There is also talk of a more expensive version of the Cliq that is headed to Verizon Wireless later this year that will include additional features. That phone is expected to be available “for the holiday season.”

Motorola CLIQ for T-Mobile Announced

Not wanting to be left out of the “new product announcement party”, Motorola joins Apple and Palm this week with the unveiling of T-Mobile’s next Google Android powered smartphone.

T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced the upcoming availability of the Motorola CLIQ™ with MOTOBLUR™, the first Android-powered device from Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and the first device to feature the innovative MOTOBLUR solution. The CLIQ will be available exclusively in the U.S. from T-Mobile later this fall.

Developed by Motorola, MOTOBLUR is an innovative solution that manages and integrates communications – from work e-mail to social networking activity – on your CLIQ. Updates to contacts, posts, messages, photos and more are streamed together and synced from sources including Facebook®, Twitter™, MySpace®, Gmail™, and work and personal e-mail. MOTOBLUR automatically delivers these updates to the home screen in easy-to-view streams so there is no need to open and close different mobile applications to keep up with the latest content. A 3G-capable smartphone featuring a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a full touch-screen display, the CLIQ is designed to keep the conversation moving, enabling fast messaging on the fly and easy navigation through MOTOBLUR’s streams and widgets.

Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer with T-Mobile USA, jointly unveiled CLIQ with MOTOBLUR today with Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of Motorola Mobile Devices, at GigaOM’s Mobilize 09 conference. 


“T-Mobile’s highly social and always-connected customers have a natural affinity for mobile social networking, and we’re excited to feature the Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR prominently in what’s shaping up to be our most innovative holiday product lineup ever,” Brodman said. “The CLIQ lives up to Motorola’s tradition of great design and quality, and to our history of working together to create products that enhance the lives and the relationships of our customers.”

Availability

Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR will be available exclusively to T-Mobile customers later this fall in two colors — Titanium and Winter White. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Customers can visit http://www.t-mobile.com/cliq for more information.

You can read today’s full press release on the Motorola website.