Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’

Venture Beat

Keeping current with what’s going on in Mobile is nearly a full-time job. I read Venture Beat Mobile daily and rely on it as a news source.

Nexus 7 Teardown

Nexus 7 TeardownThe iFixit team gave the Googles Nexus 7 a 7 out of 10 repairability score. The iPad scored a 2 and the Fire scored an 8. The only real problem they have with the Nexus 7 is that the LCD doesn’t separate from the display glass – making repair more expensive. Another step in the right direction for the Nexus 7.

Google Maps for Android Adds Indoor Walking Directions

Google Maps for Android 6.7 dropped today and the additions include: indoor walking directions, 360° panoramas inside restaurants and stores, and a new Google Offers feature. Read more about the update on the company blog.

“Since we launched indoor maps in the U.S. and Japan in Google Maps for Android last November, business owners have been adding their floor plans to our maps with Google Maps Floor Plans. Today, we are launching indoor walking directions for participating venues in these countries. This will help you get directions not only to a building’s front door, but also through those doors to the places where you want to go inside.”

Incase Box Case

Incase Box Case
I think I dig the new Incase Box Case. It’s rubberized, which makes it easy to get on and off. I’ve veen looking for something like this. I don’t like the huge Incase logo, but I can live with it. Still amazed that Incase, and others, can sell an iPhone case like this for $29.99 – it probably costs less than a dollar to make.


iPhone Laser Pointer

Smart Dot

The Smart Dot from Tangram Design Lab (@tangram_design) is a laser pointer you can control with your iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod Touch or iPad - and a bit more. The laser connects to the 3.5mm jack on your iOS device, and it’s powered by the same. The free Smart Dot App activates and deactivates the laser, but it can also connect with the machine hosting your presentation via wi-fi and act as a controller for your presentation as well. The App also includes a trackpad feature you can use to control the mouse pointer on the machine hosting your presentation. Smart Dot will do all of this for a mere $79.90. A pretty cool little gadget for the road warriors out there.

Microsoft and West Coast Customs Build 400-hp Mobile Device

Project Detroit

Microsoft teamed up with West Coast Customs to build the ultimate 400-hp mobile device – and they’re calling it “Project Detroit.” The Ford Mustang fast back replicate (2012 Mustang inside) is packed with the latest Microsoft technology – the list includes: a Lumina 800 running Windows Phone 7, Viper’s SmartStart App, an all digital and customizable instrument cluster, a heads-up display that includes Bing Maps, Blue Oval’s Sync system, an XBox 360, a 4G hotspot, and a whole lot more.

You can read all “Project Detroit” on the Wired Autopia site, and if you’re interested in following the build, tune in to Channel 9′s site and watch the Discovery Velocity Network this Sunday at 9:00 PM.

To top it off (pun intended), Microsoft will be making all the source code from “Project Detroit” available on CodePlex, so you can build your own Bat Car.

Is Square the new Intuit?

Square RegisterSquare Register for iPad looks great. Register uses the same Square Card Reader the iPhone App uses, and I love the new analytics package.

Square, founded by Jack Dorsey in May 2010, made a big splash by making it easy for iPhone users in the U.S. to accept credit cards inexpensively. Square has been showing up everywhere lately, from Farmers’ Markets to Girl Scout cookie stands. Square Register looks great, and I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit with small business owners across the country. Is Square the new Intuit? It’s starting to feel that way.

Square Register from Square on Vimeo.

Chrome for Android Drops

Chrome for AndroidGoogle Chrome BETA for Android dropped today. Engadget, Droid Life, and the Wired Gadget Lab all posted good hands-on reviews – posted a video that demonstrates Chrome for Android’s slick tab management system.

Early reviews are positive, and most are pleased with the way Google Chrome for Android ties into the desktop Chrome experience. Your bookmarks, Omnibar results, and tabs are all synced, and better yet tab syncing includes tabs you currently have open.

Google Chrome BETA for Android is available now in the Android Market – Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) required.

Kogeto Dot

Kogeto DotKogeto’s Dot for the iPhone 4 and 4s works with your iPhone’s HD camera to capture full 360° video. You can watch the video right on your phone by swiping your screen to virtually spin around, or watch in panoramic widescreen mode. Dot comes with Kogeto’s Looker App.

Kogeto’s compact and durable iCONIC lens captures video all at once without stitching frames together. The catadioptric optical system is fully AR-coated for excellent color fidelity.

Records in eight minute bursts. Videos can be uploaded to Kogeto’s servers, from there, you can share your videos with friends.

At $80, it’s more expensive than most iPhone lens accessories, but it’s well worth the price for people looking for the functionality.

Interested? Check out this sample Dot video – don’t forget to use your cursor to pan around.

Android File Transfer

Android TransferNeed to transfer a file from your MAC to an Android device? I did.

No extra software is needed to connect an Android device with a Windows computer. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a MAC running OS X 10.5 or later. You’ll need to download Android File Transfer from Google to view and transfer files between your Mac and your Android device (running Android 3.0 or later).

I needed to transfer a large APK (Android application package) from my MacBook Pro to my Galaxy Nexus yesterday and Android File Transfer worked perfectly. It took a little sleuthing to figure this out, so I thought I’d share.

iPad 2 vs. Kindle Tablet

Gizmodo Concept Drawing - Amazon Kindle Tablet

Pundits of all types have been predicting the end of the iPad’s dominance since it was launched in April of 2010. Fortunately for Apple, and Apple investors, the enemy hasn’t been able to muster a proper offensive yet. Will Amazon’s Kindle Tablet finally end the iPad’s dominance over the burgeoning tablet computing market?

This post is continued on the Concentric Sky Blog

Store Wars

App Store WarsEnjoyed the Store Wars infographic forged by WebPageFX. Facts that caught my attention incude:

  • An estimated total app store revenue of $15.1 billion in 2011, up from $5.2 billion in 2010
  • The average number of apps used on an iPhone – 48 – 35 on Android
  • Average price of Top 100 paid apps is significantly lower on the iPhone – $2.15 vs. $4.57 on Android

It’s easy to see why Apple, Android, RIM, Amazon, and others are joing the Store Wars. Dig the theme WebPageFX, thanks for putting this together.

Wacom Inkling, Livescribe Pen Killer?

Japanese company Wacom, known for their pen-based tablets, activated the marketing plan for a new product this week, and I’d say they’re executing it pretty well. The new product is Inkling, a cute little gadget, small enough to carry in your pocket, that makes it easy to seamlessly transfer drawings from regular paper, into layered vector files that can be edited in compatible graphics programs on your MAC or PC. And everyone is talking about it.

In some ways Inkling is similar to the Livescribe pen, it’s designed to digitize hand-written content so you can get it onto your computer, and it requires a special digital pen. Unlike the Livescribe pen, Inkling can work with standard paper – and that’s a big plus for Inkling on the feature comparison list. The Inkling achieved this by moving the part of the technology that captures and stores the inputs from the pen to a receiver that you attach to your paper. Other pluses include a pen that recognizes 1,024 different levels of sensitivity, which means the strength of your stroke will be accurately translated from the paper, to the digital copy. The Inkling also has support for layers, a feature graphic designers, that want to post-process their sketches in graphics programs, will really appreciate. New layers are created by pressing a button on the Inkling receiver.

If the early reactions to the Inkling are any kind of indicator, I’d say Wacom is going to have a good Christmas. I’m kind of hoping Santa puts one in my stocking ; )

In the US, the Inkling will be available in “mid-September” for an MSRP of US$199.99.

Miniot iPad2 Cover

Miniot iPad2 CoverMiniot, based in the Netherlands (Holland), recently (03.25.11) started accepting orders for their beautiful wood iPad2 cover. The cover is functionally similar to Apple’s own Smart Cover, featuring a magnet array that wakes the iPad2 when the cover is rolled back.

The Miniot iPad2 cover is carved from a single piece of sustainably harvested certified wood. Various patterns are available, and for a limited time you can have a message, or logo engraved into your Miniot iPad2 cover for free. The cover is rolled back, unlike the Smart Cover, which folds into a triangular tube. A black ultrasuede microfiber lining protects your iPad2 from scratches.

Miniot put together a video demo. If you like what you see, you can place your order here. At a price tag of just €50, about the same as Apple’s own Smart Cover, you can expect to wait for yours. I think I’m going to get in line for mine.

Amazon’s Android Appstore

Amazon Appstore

Amazon’s new Android Appstore launched Tuesday, and I’ve spent some time getting to know it this week. I’ve also been taking advantage of the one free paid app per day offer, Amazon’s using to promote the store, to snatch a few new titles for the Samsung Galaxy Tab I pack around with my iPad. Tuesday’s free app was Angry Birds Rio, a new title in the popular Angry Birds line based on the animated flick, Rio. Smartly, Amazon secured an exclusive for the launch of Rio, which I’m sure drove some traffic to the store Tuesday.

The store launched with 30 title categories and a healthy selection of apps, including popular titles like: Fruit Ninja, Shazam, and Call of Duty. The store represents the first attempt by a major retailer to offer a “curated” selection of Android applications – and I’m happy to see it. According to Amazon’s submission rules, apps in the store must work properly and be safe, both in terms of consumer data privacy and the impact to the mobile device itself. Consumers will be able to worry a little less about whether or not an app is safe, Amazon screens all apps in the store for malware. In the wake of the recent malware outbreak in the official Android Market, over 50 apps infected with a malware program “DroidDream,” security is something more Android users are thinking about. A “curated” selection of apps contributes to Apples’s success with the iTunes App Store, it’s likely to do a lot of good for Google’s Android platform.

The web-based store sports a cool feature called “Test Drive” that lets you take an app out for a spin in your browser before you buy it. Click the ‘Test Drive” button, and Amazon will launch an emulated instance of Android on its EC2 cloud platform for your test driving pleasure. Unfortunately, this isn’t supported for all apps. This is something I’d like to see in the iTunes App Store as well, a few screen shots isn’t always enough. Users can browse apps in the web-based store, or download a native Android app. I’ve been using the native Android app and it’s a pleasure to use. One-click purchasing is available, and it really is one-click, so watch where you tap on the screen when you’re browsing – you’ve only got 15 minutes to return an accidental purchase.

Amazon’s appstore will also introduce a new pricing model for Android developers. Instead of offering developers the typical 70/30 split, developers will tell Amazon what they hope to sell the app for. Amazon, however, will determine the price. Developers will then receive 70% of the revenue earned, or 20% if Amazon decides to discount the app or give it away for free. The reduced rate is in exchange for the increased sales that will likely result from Amazon’s effort to promote the app. This system is probably going to benefit developers because it’s in Amazon’s best interests to optimize the revenue generated for each app – and Amazon knows how to run an e-tail business.

TechCrunch has speculated that the Amazon appstore may precede an Amazon-made tablet powered by Android, enabling Amazon to more directly compete with Apple and other tablet manufacturers. Is Amazon’s Android Appstore a sign of things to come? I don’t now, but I’m happy to see it.

Localytics Study Says…

First impressions are important, I’ve always believed that. It’s no surprise that they’re important in the highly competitive mobile apps space too.

Localytics, used their real-time app analytics service to study the usage patterns of thousands of Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 users. The good news is that users seem very willing to give new apps a try. The bad, according to Localytics, is that 26% of the time users never give the app a second try.

High download counts early in the life of an app are a good indicator of success, but positive recurring usage metrics are often more indicative of an app that will be successful in the long-term.

Layar Player

Layar PlayerGood news for iOS developers that want to add augmented reality features to their Apps – Layar, the company behind the Layar Reality Browser for the iPhone, just released the Layar Player. The Layar Player is a tool designed to make it easy for developers to add augmented reality features into their own Apps.

The Layar Player requires iOS 4.o or higher, and a 3GS iPhone or higher. More good news, Layar is giving the tool away for free and there isn’t a licensing fee.

Layar writes about the new tool over on their blog:

The Layar Player is a free and easy tool allowing you to offer AR experiences directly within your own iPhone App. It is a unique piece of code that can be embedded in your App like a YouTube video on a website.

Whether you have an advanced knowledge of Xcode or you are just beginning to explore the iPhone development environment, with the Layar Player it is easy to add engaging Augmented Reality elements to your App.

More information on Layar Player 1.0 after the jump.

modulIR iPad Case System

My wife just asked me if I could come up with a way to mount the iPad in the kitchen – she wants to be able to access the Epicurious app while she’s cooking. A quick search turned up the iPad Case system from modulIR. I might just have to bite. I especially like the Universal Swing Arm they’re getting ready to launch. The video below is a good introduction to the system.

Posterous iPhone App Released

Posterous is getting a lot of attention, and props today for their new iPhone App – and it’s well deserved – Posterous implemented well, with a focus on making the posting workflow as easy as possible. I have a Posterous blog, it’s a place where I can post random thoughts and snippets – the new iPhone App will make it easier than ever for me to keep it current. If you’re looking for an easy way to set up a blog you’ll use, give Posterous a shot.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab

The SamSung Galaxy Tab, slated for launch in November 2010, has been getting a lot of attention in the press – for good reason – it stacks up nicely feature-for-feature against Apple’s iPad. I’m not going to write a review here, it’s been done over and over again, but I will provide you with a list of the resources I’ve used to research this popular device and the things I like most about it.

Learn more:

What I like most about the Galaxy Tab:

  • Size – the 7″ screen makes the Galaxy Tab more portable than iPad which has a 9.7″ screen
  • Weight – at .82 pounds it weights about 1/2 of what the iPad weighs
  • External memory – adds capacity for an additional 32G
  • HDMI out – can’t do that with an iPad
  • The FF and RF camerera (w/ a flash) is a nice addition

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab may just be the 1st Android powered device I buy. Most of all, I’m glad to see competition in the tablet space heating up.

About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

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