Saturday, January 31, 2009

Palm Prē pre-order price: $399

P4 in short; or as you’ve read it up there: Palm Prē™ pre-order price, is set at $399 apiece.

As reported by PreCentral; a web retailer MobileCityOnline (MCO) has revealed Palm’s newest and upcoming Prē™ price, it has been a long speculation whether Prē™ will also be fighting the iPhone in price.

The price offered by MCO is mirrored before by Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s answer when asked by Peter Kafka from All Things D (via Gizmodo) if the Prē™ would be priced less than iPhone: "Why would we do that when we have a significantly better product?" According to MCO pre-order offering, the retail price of the Prē™ is at $599.99 apiece.

And now we can all sleep tighter at night, because now you know how much money you should be saving from now on to get the Prē™ when it’s officially launched. ;-p

But then we got another thing that’s still bugging; when is the launch date of the Prē™? So far MCO still lists no ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) at the time, it’s like a mockery to the pre-order itself don’t you think?

Friday, January 30, 2009

More of Palm Prē’s features shown off in video

MobileDivide managed to interview Palm VP of Design Peter Skillman during CES 2009, where he talked about the design choices taken when his team made the Prē™.

One thing we can’t see in the video is that ‘serkoart’ from MobileDivide noticed when Skillman showed him how the Prē™ works, the Prē’s™ 3MP camera was very snappy taking pictures. He said the webOS™ immediately prepared to take another shot, unlike other smartphones including iPhone which need few seconds to process the captured image before ready for the next one.

Another new magic shortcut made easy by Palm in the upcoming Prē™ is the keyboard’s spacebar key used for taking pictures in camera mode, no need to use the on-screen button or the side shortcut button. Looks like Palm has made this as a native shortcut in Prē™, it does make sense to use the built-in sliding keyboard; simple but enough to show all of us how much the design team has put plenty of attention to the details of the Prē™.

My wish to Palm is the same like ‘serkoart’s’; let’s all hope Palm will keep, or even better improve the webOS™ this lean and snappy until the Prē™ is launched and land on our palms. Hopefully the recent brawl talks coming from Apple won’t delay Palm’s last hope…

Have you drool a bucket yet? If not, then get ready to fill up the empty bucket with watching the embedded video below. Enjoy!

Sources are from MobileDivide, via PreCentral.

Nvidia CEO believes Intel's Atom platform will hurt PC software industry

Big companies sure love to talk about what they think their competitors are lacking, or in short talking the bad things they're doing. But unlike housewives who love to talk gossips behind the person, the CEO from those big companies love to talk in front and out loud, with help of tech news media.

One in particular is Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, yesterday he sat down with LaptopMag for a lenghty interview. But there are interesting answers from Huang, which once again were punching at Intel.

Mark Spoonauer from LaptopMag asked Huang: "So what's wrong with today's netbooks?"

Jen-Hsun Huang replied: "The Atom platform is creating an installed base that doesn't run modern applications. It doesn't run anything well from Electronic Arts, it doesn't run anything well from Adobe, it doesn't run anything well from Microsoft. I just mentioned the top software companies in the world. So in a way, the Atom platform is creating an installed base of PCs that's going to eventually hurt the PC software industry. I think we all have to be very thoughtful about the proliferation of PCs that are inferior to what people think a PC should be, yet still is a PC."

It's also interesting to know what the Nvidia CEO think about netbook category: "If I were to ask a million people, What do you call something with a Microsoft operating system called Windows and X86 processor from Intel, I would think that 99.9999% of them, except for the Intel marketing person, would call it a PC."

Read on the whole interview at LaptopMag article (via TG Daily).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Over 93% of South Koreans own mobile phones

South Korea; the home country of the world's No. 2 (Samsung Electronics) and No. 4 (LG Electronics) manufacturers of mobile phones, has nearly as many mobile phones as the people live in there.

Sung Suk-ham of the Korea Communications Commission said there were 45.6 million mobile phone subscribers in South Korea in December in a country with a population of 48.6 million. That's over 93%, a slight rise in rates from six months ago. The number is expected to rise further in the coming year, despite the economic downturn, Sung said.

South Koreans also tend to subscribe to more than one wireless carrier, more than 15.4 million South Koreans — just under a third of the population — have high-speed Internet, the commmission said.

Are these signs of tech savvy, or tech addict? ;-p

Sources are from MSN, via TG Daily.

Kogan plans to make a comeback with new Android phone & a netbook

Gotta give Ruslan Kogan a praise and a thumb up for his spirit, the founder of Kogan company which recently delayed the anticipated world-second Android-based phone called Agora into indefenetely.

Kogan describes the reason behind Agora delay vaguely as "external forces", and says the company had no other choice after it became clear that design and supplier issues would make a launch unviable. "We had the phone ready, we were 100% disappointed," he told APC in an exclusive interview.

Although according to APC's sources; the true reason the Kogan Agora phone was pulled from sale before its launch was that the 320x240 screen resolution was too small to accommodate Android applications, and that Kogan only realised this when founder Ruslan Kogan spoke to Google representatives at CES.

Kogan refused to explain the exact reasons behind the delay & the changes, citing commercial confidentiality agreements with suppliers. But even though he's "very dissappointed" and agree that the delay did cost money, Kogan promised a revised Agora phone soon: "We will plan to launch the phone shortly," he said. "We think we're a few months away from it now. It relies on a lot of external factors, but we're going to work as hard as we can to try and launch an Android phone."

And a new Android-based phone is not the only thing Kogan is aiming for this year, Kogan is also eyeing for the growing netbook popularity. As quoted from APC's interview: Kogan said that the release of a Kogan-branded netbook was just "weeks away".

Personally, it would be great to see if Kogan put Android into the company's first netbook. That would be the world's first official Android-based netbook, and I bet everyone will want one soon. Oh, and don't forget to watch the video of Kogan Agora in use which I've embedded below.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Apple full of worms

Would you bite an apple if you knew there's a worm inside it? You'll probably won't, not if you're that desperate. And that's probably the same answer when those who downloaded pirated copies of iWork '09 and Photoshop CS4 (for Mac) from BitTorrent file sharing networks, received more than what they had been expecting for.

The Austin-based company that specializes in Mac security software Intego, has found a Trojan installer in those pirated copies of iWork '09 called "OSX.Trojan.iServices.A". The Trojan is placed inside a package named "iWorkServices.pkg", which is originally not included in the original iWork '09.

"The installer for the Trojan horse is launched as soon as a user begins the installation of iWork, following the installer's request of an administrator password," Intego said in a warning published Wednesday.

Once the Trojan has been installed, it'll then tells the creators so hackers can "connect to them and perform various actions remotely", including downloading additional components to the machine. Intego said 20,000 people had already downloaded the installer at the time of its alert.

A second 'worm' called "OSX.Trojan.iServices.B" also has already begun showing up in pirated copies of Adobe Photoshop CS4, the security firm said it has been downloaded by 5,000 people and it's harder to safely remove this malware.

Apple has long known to boast about the built-in security of its Mac OS, that provides protection right out of the box for users. Even though Apple still can deflect these kinda worms attack by saying they're coming from pirated copies of softwares, users might have different point of view on seeing this rising threats on their beloved Mac computers. Should Apple start pushing Mac users to adopt 3rd party anti-virus softwares like Windows do?

Ilife-09-packagingIn another side of the world, Jason D. O'Grady from ZDNet blog has received a copy of iLife '09 in a package that he called it as "shirt box". The package itself (pictured right) is way too big for the iLife '09 original packaging, and it's interesting to read his suggestion for Apple:

"Or even better, distribute the software distributed via BitTorrent and as an incentive, pass the savings along to the consumer (say $10 off) and users download it a couple days before it hits retail shelves." ~LOL~

Now that's what I call as an 'irony'. ;-p

Sources are from:

Kanye West's on-line accounts hacked to promote someone else's song

No matter who you are, or what status you have, you're not safe from on-line hackers and hijackers. One of the latest on-line accounts belonged to a famous person been hacked into is Kanye West's.

The ten-time Grammy award recipient said someone has taken over his Twitter, Gmail and MySpace accounts; according to Dan Goodin's from The Register report.

"Now somebody has been hacking into my MySpace and somebody's actually hacked into my personal Gmail account and has been emailing people from it," West wrote in a posting on his blog. "Hey world, I no longer have a Gmail!"

Then Erik Larkin at PC World received a forwarded email from his colleague that said to come from Kanye West himself, attached in the email was a MP3 file titled "Rough_1.mp3". Here's the message he received:

From: Kanye West <>
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:26 AM
Subject: Re: Me and Lilly
To: TBG <>

nooooo, only 2 days? make sure to contact me before the session we have to discuss "spaceship" i will upload them when i have time.

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:16 AM, TBG <> wrote:

I need the ones from the show the night before. Yeah They Did a piece, Relay the message to Warren for the mail. Also the mixed version I need because I am meeting with John tomorrow, he is only in town for 2 days.

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:11 AM, Kanye West <> wrote:

The rest of the pictures will be in your inbox for tomorrow. Congrats I read Your piece on MTV.COM

After a little Googling up the artist name and the song title, Erik found a MySpace profile of the artist. There's no need to tell (or even the urge to write down the artist name here) that this is just another 'marketing scam' to promote someone else's music, the hackers who is got to be linked somehow with this artist must be feeling lucky to be able to hack into such a famous rap star like Kanye West. Later, Erik got a follow-up message from the same address which reads:

Unaware as to how you may have receive one of my emails, thank you for respecting my messages. As for the rough version of the song, it is out there now, so you may use it for personal use or have it as a stream on your website please.
Thank you and wish everyone nothing but the best.

Side Note: People Stop sending me Spam, it is uncalled for.

For Kanye West, here's an advice that can be taken from these incidents (also for any of you out there): next time please use stronger & different passwords for each of your on-line accounts, and don't use anything that can be easily guessed by hackers such as your birthday date or your own name. ;-p

Another lesson we learnt from above messages is that even hacker doesn't like spam. ~LOL~

Stay safe, it's a wild-wild cruel world out there!

iPhone OS 2.2.1 update breaks Yellowsn0w

If you're one of those iPhone users who love to jump into newest updates available from Apple and install them right away without thinking, then you better get yourselves prepared. Because like any latest software updates previously released by Apple; the newest v2.2.1_5H11 will break Yellowsn0w.

This latest iPhone OS update really got everyone suspicious of its purpose, was it Apple's response to the iPhone Dev Team's work to help jailbreak the iPhone? Because the v2.2.1 doesn't really have too much interesting updates that users anticipated before, sure it got some said improvements like according to Apple's release notes; the update increases the stability of Safari and resolves a problem in which images saved from Mail do not display correctly in the camera roll.

But then like usual, iPhone Atlas gives an extensive report that users are beginning to discover several undocumented enhancements such as:
  • the update appears to address a nasty bug in which users suddenly experience inability to send SMS text messages on the iPhone 3G, receiving the message "error sending" upon attempting to send.
  • For iPod touch users, this update also issue that caused some Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio files to skip during playback.
If any of you are experiencing difficulties in updating your iPhone to v2.2.1 (which you shouldn't if you wish to keep it jailbroken!), you can refer to this Apple's knowledge base article, or for Windows users use this one instead.

GM's DSTL 1 Android phone

It just got me to realized how close it is the shorten name "GM" resembles to the ailing "General Motor", but this is not that automobile/car company, this is "General Mobile".

And this General Mobile is looking serious and walking mighty tall into mobile phone market with its upcoming DSTL 1, the new smartphone is Android based. But the operating and the stylish look are not the only things which make the phone to stand out in the crowd; it has a dual SIM slot.

Let's just forget about the delayed Kogan Agora, or the for-China-market-only Ophone, the other Android-based phone besides Huawei's we can expect to be unveiled at Mobile World Congres 2009 in next month February is this good looking DSTL 1.

According to GSMArena, the company is planning to ship DSTL 1 in Q3 this year. Here's the quick rundown inside DSTL 1:
  • Technology: Double SIM, Linux 2.6 Kernel
  • Platform: Marvell PXA 310 (624MHz)+NXP 5209
  • Frequency: 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • Screen: TFT/ WQVGA/ 260K Colors/ 3.0" Sharp Brand Touchscreen Display/ 240 x 400 pixels
  • Wi-fi: 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, SPP, A2DP, AVRCP, OPP, HFP
  • FM Radio
  • TV
  • Java: ( MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1 )
  • Weight: 135gr
  • Dimensions: 112x54x16mm
  • Memory: 4GB internal memory, 256MB flash + 128MB SDRAM ,"Up to 8GB T-flash Card Support"
  • Camera: 5MP Auto Focus with Flash Sharp Brand Camera
  • Voice Recorder
  • Talk Time: 240 minutes
  • Standby Time: 150 hours
  • Battery: 1200 mAh
  • Support for: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF document view MP3/ WAV/ MIDI/ AMR support 3GP, MPEG4, AVI (DIVX),QVGA recording 30fps, decoding 30 fps JPG/GIF/BMP/PNG, Business card reader, Anti theft, Video chat

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Colourful sidewalks to cheer up your day

It's been awhile since I seen a nice picture to cheer me up for today, and when I stumbled upon this picture, I can't help to share it with you guys. Hope it'll cheer your day as well. ;-)

The photo is taken at sidewalks in New York city by Brooklyn Hilary, check out the real photo here. This photo made the cover of the June issue of LMagazine, which is available for free at most street corners in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

A new bill of U.S. law forces camera phones to make sound

Parents and mothers in the U.S. soon will not be shouting again to the goverment with this kinda line: "Will somebody think of the children?!"

Because Republican Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that states every camera in mobile phones have to make sound when used. The reason is very simple: "Congress finds that children and adolescents have been exploited by photographs taken in dressing rooms and public places with the use of a camera phone."

The Camera Phone Predator Alert Act (H.R. 414) would "require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken." And further more, the bill states that the sound made should be: "within a reasonable radius of the phone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera in such phone."

This new bill of course provokes pros and cons, like for an instance the effectiveness of such law on mobile phones with silent features. Because silent mode has become a common profile that's pre-installed by the mobile manufacturers, and let's not forget about Palm's long known silent button on the top of our Trēo™smartphones. Is it too late already?

Sources are from PC World & Crave.

Apple's new weapon: awarded iPhone multi-touch patent

"Let the lawsuits begin!" That's probably what Apple's sharks (read: lawyers) have shouted with big smiles on their faces when on January 20, 2009; the US Patent Office awarded Apple, Inc. patent number 7,479,949, titled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics".

The monsterous 358-page patent basically covers every technologies used to make the iPhone as we know it today, in particular the "revolutionary UI" technology as what Steve Jobs himself called it at the iPhone announcement back in Macworld 2007. The patent also lists a number of inviduals, but most notable names are include Steve Jobs, Wayne Westerman (FingerWorks co-founder), and Scott Forstall (iPhone Software development).

And with this newly awarded iPhone multi-touch patent, Apple has gain an ultimate weapon and becomes the very reason to sue every companies out there that allegedly copied iPhone's technologies. Where previously Apple COO Tim Cook promised this during the recent financial results broadcast: "We will not stand for having our IP (Intellectual Property) ripped off and we’ll use whatever weapons we have at our disposal."

Although Cook didn't exactly pointing his finger to Palm and its new Prē™, but Palm's PR Lynn Fox (a former Apple employee herself) brushed off the allegation with light answer when asked after Cook's statement hit the boiling water. But now she got to find more solid new answers since Apple has grounds to start the lawsuits, and one to begin with is this iPhone multi-touch patent...

Sources are from AppleInsider & iPhone Atlas.

RIM sets a new trend of reality: software glitches in smartphones

Oh please, tell me it ain't so!

After trying so hard to cover up the mess of its BlackBerry Storm with firmware updates, and instead of waking up to the reality, RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said RIM considers the Storm as "an overwhelming success" and is making 250,000 devices a week to meet demand.

But that's not all, Balsillie also mentioned the Storm post-launch scrambles (including the subsequent software glitches that need to be fixed) are part of the "new reality" of making complex cellphones in large volumes.

Balsillie explained how it all happened in an interview with Wall Street Journal that Verizon and RIM were both determined to release the Storm in time for the holidays, even though they realized there are software glitches found in the Storm's operating system. Then the companies made the crucial Black Friday deadline "by the skin of their teeth," after missing a planned October debut.

We know how hard it is to make smarter smartphones every now and then, it's not an easy task indeed. And like Apple who was forced to quickly release software updates to fix the bugs found in iPhone 3G not so long after its initial launch, RIM is also now facing the same reality with its Storm.

But patience is one virtue that not every customers have, and it has limits of its own. So the customers will keep on storming with complaints until a fix is presented, until then is it wise to keep them under the weather with these comments directly from RIM itself?

Sources are from Wall Street Journal, via CNet & Engadget Mobile.

RSSPlayer is Podcaster resurrected from the land of banned apps

This is a classic example on how to use the saying: "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," or is it this one: "a wolf diguised in sheep skin"?

Anyway, Alex was definetely not giving up when Apple banned his ingenious app creation Podcaster from App Store. Just to refreshen your memory, Alex has already tried to sell Podcaster through Cydia with ad hoc license fee.

But now he renamed the app as RSSPlayer and removed the feature that has been the reason why Apple banned Podcaster in the first place: the built-in directory of podcasts.

And what do you know, it works like magic; Apple approved the new $1.99 worth app and even give it two-thumbs up at App Store. Here's Alex's own description of the RSSPlayer app taken from UneasySilence (via Engadget):

"Specifically designed to play audio files attached to rss feeds.

Start by entering an rss feed url or opml url into the import screen, then the program crawls the feed and displays the items it finds in an easy to read table. If the program finds an audio file attached to the feed, it will automatically download the most current one. This makes it easy for iPod Touch owners to listen when they are offline.

This is a really great app with high standard. We will keep improving it and adding features in future releases. If you purchase this app, we are sure you will love it."

Another great thing about RSSPlayer is it doesn't restrict users to download certain size of the podcast like the 10MB limitation in Mobile iTunes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Palm Prē’s “double-edged sword” design

"double–edged sword": something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequence (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

A bit by bit, the mysteries behind Palm’s decision on the design of the Prē™ are being revealed one by one. The first ray of light to shed on why Palm decided to ditch microSD slot from the Prē™ was explained by Palm Product Manager (and also a tech lover and a toy maker) Matt Crowley in a Facebook chat, in there he pointed out clearly that the decision was made to achieve the best design for the Prē™.

Here’s a snipped line of what Matt has said: “The physical size of the device would have been compromised if we added another physical component to Pre. Just a millimeter can seriously impact the curvature of the design in a way that minimizes the design intent. We wanted to maintain a slick curved slider design without building out too much thickness.”

If design was the priority, then it’s hard to argue further since it has became: ‘function follows fashion’. Not the other way around, where Palm devices were seen not as pretty as other slicker and slimmer devices with similar function out there in the market. So this means the look is now more important than what’s inside, that’s the trend right now and whether like it or not Palm have to follow suit. But is such sacrifice really worth it for Palm?

Yes I believe so, sacrifices need to be made in order to make the perfect “iPhone-killer”. Ever since iPhone 3G introduced, Apple has set the standards in creating the ultimate mobile device which has the sex appeal for both male and female users. All of the latest mobile features are jammed-tight into that sleek iPhone 3G body, without giving up the beauty of the device design itself.

A nearly identical feature between the Prē™ and iPhone 3G is the 8GB embedded storage, that quickly draws plenty of prickly comments on how the storage is not enough for heavy-weight users. But Palm didn’t follow iPhone’s design on the battery, because the Prē™ has a removable battery that can be easily accessed by opening up the back cover. If my memory serves me well, Jon Rubinstein called it with “comes back by demand,” during Prē™ announcement at CES 2009.

Palm Prē™ is rumored to use the same battery as Centro’s: 1150mAH (or even smaller), which is considered not juicy enough to power up the full featured webOS™ with all of its gorgeous UI. This of course raises questions, and Palm’s answer is like mentioned above: removable battery.

Pre removable batteryA removable battery is also Palm’s answer to the iPhone 3G users who often feel the battery is drained too fast, like what our own PA Sub-Editor Steven Hough had experienced himself when he took a vacation with his wife to a museum. For heavy mobile users and road warriors, having one or two spare batteries ready is a must to bring everyday-everywhere. And with all of your digital life in your palm, you don’t want it to run out of juice when you needed it the most, no?

But a removable battery design also takes a tiny-bit of extra bulk to the Prē’s™ physical, no matter how careful Palm has designed the back cover, the whole opening-closing mechanism must take some space. So if Palm Prē™ has the same fixed battery like iPhone 3G’s, then it might be possible the Prē™ can become thinner than what we’re seeing today. This time, Palm has taken function over fashion.

Matt also talk about Prē’s™ 3.5mm common headset jack, which if Prē™ to use a non-standard 2.5mm jack used in other phones then it also helps to make it a bit thinner. And the reason of keeping the 3.5mm headset jack is very essential: “We wanted the customer ( included) to be able to plug their standard noise-cancelling Bose headset into their Pre on a plane and rock out. No funky adapter needed; it should just work.”

”We kept asking: What if we curved it here? What if we had a unique part made to fit? What if...? Finally we came to a solution and balanced the efficiency of the speakerphone air space, and we made a unique 3.5mm headset part to match the curve of the Pre design,” Matt explained.

So in the end of the day, Palm got to make a choice. It’s not an easy one, well not just one but many of them. There’s no such thing as a finish design, there’ll always another new and better designs to come up with tomorrow. And I think Matt has said it better: “Creating an amazing product is always a tough exercise in the delicate art of managing tradeoffs.”

Now it’s up to us, mobile users to make our decision. Did Palm make the right tradeoffs with Prē’s™ design?

Sources are from:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Treo 755p makes an appearance in the "Eagle Eye" movie

Eagle eyes treo
Last night I finally able to find a time to watch a movie that has been stashed for quite some time in my drawer, it's "Eagle Eye". The movie got a fine line-up of movie stars, but nevertheless the attention goes to the young rising star Shia LaBeouf and America's new sweetheart Michelle Monaghan.

The story line is pretty interesting to follow, although what really catch my eyes was when Sprint's Treo 755p makes an appearance during one of the scenes in the movie. It was used to show a video recorded by Jerry Shaw's twin brother (who's also played by LaBeouf), where the Treo 755p is put on a table and had few glorious clear shots. --pictured above

It's kinda proud moment for Palm, because an HTC Touch and a LG phone also make appearances in the movie but it is the aging Treo 755p which is chosen to be the bearer of one of the critical key parts of the movie. ;-)

RIM sets rules in BB Application Storefront

On last Monday, RIM has opened up the submissions process for its Application Storefront, the BlackBerry own app store version.

Along with that, RIM also sets some rules in the App Storefront. developer relations chief Mike Kirkup told ZDNet UK: "If somebody builds a better calendar app than the one that's natively on the device, we don't have a problem with that, and they are welcome to sell it through existing channels."

Kirkup then added: "However, we want to make sure no-one is violating any agreements, and their applications don't use excessive network bandwidth or lewd content." So in other word, BlackBerry users can now stop hoping for bandwidth-hungry apps such as app for streaming on-line videos from the net.

CNet News also reporting: Applications sold through the BlackBerry Application Storefront, which is due to go live in March, will work on any BlackBerry smartphone that has a trackball or touch interface, Kirkup said. He added that a rating system was being developed to make it easier for users to judge the quality of applications being sold through the store.

Telkomsel starts accepting iPhone 3G reservation for Indonesian customers

Just wanted to drop off another quickie news here: Telkomsel, one of the biggest wireless carrier companies here in my little country of Indonesia has start to accept iPhone 3G reservation for those who're interested.

It might be a no biggie for countries with legitimate iPhone 3G distribution from Apple, but this is a quite something for us here. After BlackBerry Bold, this is the second time I see local wireless company to offer high-end mobile phone.

I've contacted the customer service, who was then told me that they have no further info on pricing and the date of arrival yet. Right now, all they know is to accept as many as possible reservations for iPhone 3G. IMHO it looks like Telkomsel is still "fishing" to determine if it's profitable or not to bring iPhone 3G here, and most probably it will also help the wireless company to negotiate the price with Apple.

Telkomsel has sent the invitation to make a reservation through text message, and when I checked Apple Indonesia website there's a huge banner of iPhone 3G there saying "The iPhone you've been waiting for. Coming Soon." So this looks as real as it can get, unlike the previously doubtful email offering which looked very dangerous and unreliable. Well, you know the drill...

Apple is definetely in full speed to broaden iPhone market to international scope outside its base camp; the U.S. Where Apple starts to see the potential of international market to boost its global revenues.

Can a good “Apple” turn into a bad one?

With the psychedelic famous leader from Apple is benched and went off from the radar for about 6 months to come, there isn’t much of a punch bag to make fun at (with words, not fists)… Oh wait, I already did that (again) on the other post today, sorry. ;-p

But aside from Apple’s brawl talks about iPhone multi-touch patent being ripped off from a certain company *wink*, and the dream-crushing confirmation of there are no iPhone Nano & Mac netbook, the only refreshing news coming out from Apple camp are the good sales numbers of its iPods and Macs. Where Apple COO Tim Cook noted in the company's quarterly financial report conference call that Apple has sold 22.7 million iPods, meaning the iPods sales is up 3% from last year.

Small? Yes to the naked eyes, but not to Wall Street analysts like Needham's Charlie Wolf who rated Apple first fiscal quarter earnings as a Strong Buy and titled his report: "The recession bites Apple, but it's only a nick."

While the Mac sales were making yet another historic numbers for Apple, which is mostly helped by international sales. Apple COO Tim Cook said: "Mac sales were the second-highest in our history and only surpassed by 3% in our best quarter. ... International vs the US, international on Mac was much stronger than the US. International growth was 16% on Macintosh year over year, 2% in US. We saw several countries over 20%." And then Cook added on how the new MacBook unibody design also helped the sales: "We saw again a spike at the end of the quarter, not as strong as iPods, but created by the economic environment and consumer reaction to it."

iPod Touch is more popular than iPhone

Ipod touch hddMatt Rosoff from Digital Noise blog has keen eyes to see what those numbers really telling us; “My theory is that the iPod Touch is cannibalizing some potential iPhone sales.” AT&T’s spotty 3G coverage isn’t the only thing potential iPhone buyers to reconsider, Matt explains further: “But most of the best things about the iPhone--the touch screen, the App Store, the music interface--are available on the iPod Touch, plus you get full Web access and e-mail when you're within range of an open Wi-Fi network.”

Throw in iPod Touch’s 32GB storage capacity to the equation, it won’t be long for iPod Touch’s sales figure to trump over iPhone’s. The once good “Apple” (read: profitable product for Apple) has turn into a bad one and made a boomerang effect on Apple. But what if Apple has foreseen this, and plan to change/upgrade the iPod Touch?

iPod Phone and iPhone Pro

Despite beating every analysts’ predictions that Apple's retail sales would go down along with the global economy recession, analysts are still believe Apple will try to crank up higher earnings in the future by introducing new iPod and iPhone line-ups. "An entry level iPod Phone (voice/SMS, iPod, Wi-Fi but not data plan) could be significant both strategically and financially to Apple," RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky wrote. "Positioned at (estimated) $0-$99, the iPod Phone could leverage broad global retail/carrier distribution, with both prepay and low-cst plans. It addresses a global opportunity (estimated to be) three to four times as large as iPhone 3G."

Abramsky also sees there’ll be an upgrade version of the iPhone: ”Apple could boost iPhone upgrades and global iPhone momentum with a next gen iPhone 3G (HSPA) 'Pro', sporting a faster processor and graphics engine (gaming, video, multitasking), improved camera (resolution, flash, video), higher memory, battery."

Mac netbook still possible?

Bad apple logoIf we’re to talk about boosting up earnings, then it’s still possible to see a cheaper version of MacBook, or now widely known as netbook. The reasons are simple enough: Last year ago, Apple's Mac sales were driven by the newly redesigned iMac, and this year Apple is focusing all attention upon the new portables (unibody design). But with the slowing economy worldwide, Apple’s high end desktop and portable computers are now facing difficult time ahead and may become only small contributors to Apple’s overall earnings in the future.

Apple COO Tim Cook said it so: "The Mac Pro segment of our desktop business isn't large, it's primarily iMac. The Pro segment was down year over year as you might expect because small businesses are cutting back on expenditures in this current economic climate." So eventually, the change of “climate” will most probably change Apple mind on making small profitable and inferior notebook; the Mac netbook version.

For users, of course everything mentioned above are like a dream come true, we’ve been wanting better iPods/iPhone and cheaper MacBooks for ever since the rumors start spreading all over the blogosphere. But what if it really is happening, what will it do for Apple, good or the other way around?

Tim Cook has said it himself during Apple last first quarter earnings call; that Apple is not going to play in the low-end products (voice only phone & netbooks) and the company’s goal is to make the best products. So what if Apple has a change of heart, will it mean the good “Apple” has gone bad?

Sources are from:

Why we love/hate Steve Jobs so much, that we can’t leave him alone

“Why don’t you guys leave me alone -- why is this important?” Steve Jobs said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg, where he insisted not to comment further on his health.

Steve P. Jobs has only gone for around a couple of weeks to rest, but the blogosphere and tech news and heck even SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) were obviously not resting and relentless to find out anything related to the psychedelic Apple CEO who’s currently on medical leave. So yeah, what is it about Jobs that we can’t get enough with? Why are we keep pulling his finger even though he despise it?

It’s more understandable for SEC to investigate Apple’s disclosures about its CEO health problems, the stock market regulators wanted to make sure the investors weren’t misled by the official news and by news that follow afterward. Apple stock shares are very sensitive to Jobs’ health, this has been proven many times before. And it seems like the blogosphere just can’t wait to deliver a shocking news about Jobs, that even precedes the reality condition of the man himself.

For an instance; there’s a hoax news at Wired tech blog that reported Steve Jobs has had a heart attack. Someone created a legitimate-looking Web page using Wired's public upload image viewer, which generates a page containing an image under a Wired logo banner, Wired said.

"A widely-circulated URL which points to an image that purports to be a story about Steve Jobs health is a hack job," said. "We won't provide the URL here but the Twitterverse quickly surmised that the item was not correct."

A day after that, major TV networks like CBS and NBC were scheduling interviews for their Jobs obituaries. Almost the same like what Bloomberg’s Steve Jobs Obituary not so long ago too. TV news are known to prepare in advance news packages whenever there’s a famous person who is ailing, they even go as far as find people who are willing to talk about the related person as if he/she were dead.

Valleywag got an inside source who’s telling that CBS and NBC producers are calling Steve Jobs, asking for a “feature” interview, but when pressed they admitted it was an advance obituary for the ailing Jobs. I can’t imagine Jobs’ face when he was asked for the interview, and then found out what it was actually for. ~LOL~

So far, money had been the main purpose of SEC’s investigation and for the TV networks’ advance obituary. But how about us, I mean you and me, and the whole other bunch of tech enthusiasts out there; why are we so interested in Jobs?

For Apple fans (and maybe for those who are not), Jobs has become the beating heart of everything about Apple, starting from the design to the final and finishing of the products. The problem is we have too accustomed to see and enjoy the modern Apple since Steve Jobs came back and became the CEO, Jobs has taken all the credits of all good things that are coming out from Apple. And there’s fear that Apple will not be the same as today without Jobs tomorrow.

So in short; we love him for being so stubborn in driving his passion and enthusiasm for Apple, which the results we can see for ourselves in the great products from Apple. But then at the same time we hate him for being too superior alone at Apple, making Apple as a one-man-show company, and frighten us every time he sneezes or even when he catch a light cold.

That does sound familiar, that’s like Dan Lyons’ (a.k.a. Fake Steve) love/hate relationship with Steve Jobs. Lyons expressed his feeling toward Jobs after he left Fake Steve blog: "I actually really admire him. I wouldn't want to work for him, I wouldn't want to live next to him, I wouldn't want to be in his family. What he does requires a hardness that I don't think I could have. I feel affectionate toward him."

Huh, it’s kinda hard to digest isn’t it? To love, or to hate that’s the question? Love - hate is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe that our minds can’t comprehend. No matter how many reasons and answer we can collect, we can’t rationalize those both feelings. I can’t give a better answer than this ‘Calvin & Jobs’ cartoon below, rather than answer the question, it would be best to let the feeling takes the wheel. ;-)

Calvin and jobs love
Sources are from:

Cute emoticons for your iPhone, no jailbreak needed

The cute blonde drama queen of the internet; iJustine has finally got every Apple and iPhone fans' attention when she shares her founding: get cute emoticons for iPhone without jailbreaking it.

"Got an amazing link today from Ashot about this application that will allow you to send Japanese emoji icons to anyone with an iPhone — without hacking it! You all know I won’t jailbreak my iPhone," iJustine wrote in her blog (via JAiPB).

And according to iPhone Savior; the app allowing access to the secret emoji icons can be found by searching FrostyPlace via the App Store. The FrostyPlace App is in the News category and is actually an RSS reader for, a Chinese Mac news website. Here's the simple steps brought to you by iJustine:

1. Get this $0.99 app called frostyplace from the iTunes store [ link ]
2. Play with the app for a minute to activate, click on a story, etc
3. Go into you settings -> General > International > Keyboards > Japanese
4. Click the Emoji option to on!
5. Text anyone with an iPhone and they’ll get your icons!

Or if you more prefer it, you can watch the "cute" iJustine explains everything at the video clip below (if you can bear it ~LOL~).

Official Shakespearean Audio Insulter for iPhone/iPod Touch

Now this is what I would like to call as "it's not gonna get better than this!"

How to insult the person you hate with harsh words, but still do it in style? Introducing the Shakespearean insult generators from CHS, the $1 app is for iPhone/iPod Touch (with software v2.0 or above).

Philips Michaels from Macworld has reviewed the app: CHS’s take employs audio—tap or shake the picture of Shakespeare, and the Bard will rattle off a randomly-generated insult, calling you a “bootless, rude-growing mumble-news,” for example or a “lumpish, tickle-brained dewberry.”

Well what do you know; William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays containing 20,000 to 30,000 words and they all are still useful for today's life. Very useful indeed, for creating vile insult lines. ~LOL~

'Mew Mew Tower' cat game for iPhone/iPod Touch

Sometimes the best game is not about how advance the graphic is, or how deep the story-line can take you away more into the game; but the simplest yet addictive game play is what it takes to make you enjoy the game for hours or even for days.

'Mew Mew Tower' is a cat themed game for iPhone/iPod Touch (software v2.0 or above required), it's already available at App Store for $1.70 pe license.

And according to Nate Lanxon from iPhone Atlas; "Build a tower of Japanese cats of varying sizes, while using the iPhone's accelerometer to ensure they don't topple to their demise."

"Using your finger, it's simply a case of pulling a cat from a hot air balloon, strategically placing it atop your cat tower, then returning to the balloon for a fresh cat. Our record is currently a tower of cats about 23 feet high."

Meeow...? ;-p

Happy Chinese Lunar "Niu" Year 2009

Just want to say a quickie here: Happy Chinese "Niu" Year 2009 to all of you who celebrate it.

May the Ox year brings you health, prosperity, happiness, and many success in 2009! And hopefully to PalmAddict too. ;-)

* Note: "Niu" is a Chinese word (pinyin) which means an ox in English, this year the Chinese are writing it this way because it almost sound the same when pronounced.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Palm first comment on iPhone multi-touch patent

It didn't take too long for Palm to start deflecting Apple's strong sentiment on its iPhone multi-touch patent being ripped off in Palm's new webOS™, PC Mag has managed to get in touch with a spokeswoman at Palm on Thursday who said that the company has not been contacted by Apple's legal team, to her knowledge.

"Palm has a long history of innovation, obviously reflected in our own products and our own robust apps portfolio," she said. "We have long been recognized for our fundamental patents in the mobile space. If we're faced with legal action, we're confident that we have the tools to defend ourselves."

When asked whether gestures like "pinching" were universal, or belonged to Apple, the Palm spokeswoman said that "our position is that multitouch has been around a long, long, long time before Apple introduced it."

Now, like any other civilized modern people who are familiar with blog gossips and how blog news are often exaggerated the real topics, the above comment does not reflect that Palm's webOS™ actually copies Apple's iPhone multi-touch interface. Since Apple haven't revealed yet which company that allegedly ripped off its IP (Intellectual Property), as far as we know it Apple could be hinting at a company in China which is widely known for making knockoff products from famous companies including Apple.

We must be careful in adjusting our point of view when reading this kinda news, let's just keep our thoughts in the clear water and hold on to the saying: "not guilty, until proven otherwise." ;-p

Nokia give up on WiMax (for now)

Nokia has stopped making and selling its N810 Internet Tablet WiMax Edition, the only portable gadget that can use the WiMax network without accessories.

According to AP (via TG Daily); Nokia spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong confirmed Wednesday that the company has discontinued the N810 Internet Tablet WiMax Edition on its web site. Armstrong didn't explain why the N810 WiMax was withdrawn, but she said Nokia is still interested in WiMax, and by the time WiMax networks are more widely deployed, "refreshed products with even better performance will be required."

Here's a quick reminder of what WiMax is and a bit about N810:

  • WiMax, sometimes described as a long-range version of Wi-Fi, is a competitor to traditional cellular broadband technologies. It offers relatively fast data speeds, and its proponents hope that WiMax antennas will be built into a variety of gadgets, from small computers to GPS devices.
  • Nokia's N810, which has a 4.1-inch touch-sensitive screen and a slide-out keyboard, is still for sale for $438 in a version without a WiMax modem.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Does Palm's webOS copy Apple's iPhone OS?

When Palm CEO Ed Colligan was on stage at CES 2009 and introduced an entirely new platform for the next gen Palm's future smartphones, everyone at the converence room including all of us who watched or even heard later of the new webOS™ were all amazed.

But apparently, the word amazed has a different meaning for Apple when the company who make iPhone learn more about webOS™ capabilities; especially the multi-touch interface. The story first divulged in a question from a financial analyst about the Palm's Prē™ particular feature, which then Apple COO Tim Cook gave a response in a statement on Apple's quarterly earnings call Wednesday:

"I’m just making a general statement that we think competition is good; it makes us all better. And we’re ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP (Intellectual Property) ripped off and we’ll use whatever weapons we have at our disposal. I don’t know that I can be more clear than that."

Although Cook didn't exactly pointing his finger to Palm and its new webOS™/Prē™ by saying: "I don't want to talk about any specific company," we all know that almost Palm's key executives are former Apple employees back then and everybody can't help but to notice the ice-cold stare of Cook's eyes are specifically glaring at Palm executive chairman Jon Rubinstein (who had been converting a slew of Apple engineers into Palm camp since he joined the company).

But is it fact that webOS™ multi-touch interface copy iPhone's? We'll have to wait until Palm launches the Prē™, because that's when Apple's bloody-sharks (read: lawyers) will start slapping Palm with piles of IP infringement papers. If this whole thing is true then believe me, it's gonna get ugly...

Sources are from iPhone Atlas & BGR.

Apple confirms no iPhone Nano & Mac netbook

So much for the excitement from hoping for cheaper products from Apple, the Cupertino-based company which is known for tagging its products with high price, has made a statement to clear out the ongoing rumors of a voice only iPhone & a Mac netbook version.

It was Tim Cook, the acting chief executive who's in charge while Steve Jobs is taking his medical leave of absence, stated (as reported by Apple Insider): "We are constantly evaluating the best way to play in these markets.  We know there's a huge opportunity here, and we will make adjustments in the future there to play in a better way."

No iPhone Nano

Here's the quoted Tim Cook's statement that literally crushed my, yours, and every iPhone Nano owners-wannabe's dream: "You know us, we're not going to play in the low-end voice phone business. That's not who we are. That's not why we're here. We'll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone." *sob*

No Mac netbook

Apple netbook leopard As if that isn't enough to destroy our hope, Cook also closed down the door for cheaper version of MacBook in the form of popular netbook: "We're watching that space, but right now from our point of view, the products in there are principally based on hardware that's much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays."

But of course we can't entirely blame Apple for not wanting to produce cheap products, because cheap price tag also means cheap materials used to make the products; and we don't want that from Apple right? Although IMHO it doesn't hurt anybody if Apple can lower the price of their MacBook line-ups, cause I've been badly wanting to own one since like forever... ~LOL~

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nokia N97 will arrive in U.K. on March 31st

For Nokia fans, especially for you who have been waiting for the N97 and live in U.K. then you'll be ecstatic to know that according to GSMArena, there's an on-line retailer called Play which has start accepting pre-orders for the Nokia N97.

The N97 is offered at 480 GBP (540 Euro or US$720), and supposed to hit the shelves at the last day of March.

Is the N97 really worth to be waiting for? Well, not according to some early hands-on reviews I've read. But that's why I started this post with: "For Nokia fans." ;-p

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nokia 6208c look sterlingly steel-beautiful

It's becoming a habit nowadays for mobile manufacturers to use simple design to provoke the beauty out, and Nokia has embodied such design into 6208c which is specially made for China market because of its unique shaped stylus combined with Chinese characters handwriting input on Symbian 40 Series platform.

ePrice has uploaded the Nokia 6208c review complete with plenty of detailed photo shots of the handset that could make you drool over for one, the face of 6208c gives out a strong sense of the metal while the border around the screen and keyboard parts are used with a high gloss silver coating. Although the overall of the design may seem a bit old for the young audience's taste, but it might hit the right love spot on business and more mature users' heart.

Of course, the main attraction of the 6208c phone is its stylus, which ePrice called its design as some kinda "ancient form of dart". Although it's hard to ignore how close we're to think of it as a bottle-opener on the first sight, the hole itself is to give room for the phone's 3,2MP camera on the back.

Still according to ePrice, the S40 doesn't support full touch operation, meaning the phone's touchscreen is only for handwriting text input and the same old buttons for usual menus navigation. This is a real shame, since Nokia is already starting to make the most of touchscreen feature in the next gen of its smartphones.

For more complete info and photo shots of Nokia 6208c, you can head on directly to ePrice website (via Engadget Mobile).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

DroidBerry makes your Bold look like Android

Who says you can't have them all? Maybe at first you just had to use BlackBerry Bold because your company gave it to you, but what your heart really want is an Android phone. So now you can have them both, in figure of speech.

DroidBerry is one of the latest theme made Jason Calhoun at CrackBerry, all of the notification, battery and signal icons are the exact icons from the Google Android operating system. The application icons resemble the stock icons from Android and the menus are sleek and pleasing to the eye. The 5 home screen icons are user customizable, here are the features from DroidBerry v1.0:

  • Google Android notification icons and fonts
  • User customizable home screen icons
  • BlackBerry Bold OS 4.6 ONLY
  • Please note that the clock image is for aesthetic purposes only. It is not functional.

Wait, the clock doesn't actually work!? Well, that's a real bummer. It would be superb if the clock can really work, I guess this indirectly shows the difference of each OSes strenght. But don't worry, the developer offers the theme pack without the clock and for the one with the clock included will cost you $7 per license.

Hey, perhaps the President elect Barack Obama can fool the secret service with this DroidBerry theme installed in his BlackBerry and avoid it being taken from him? ~LOL~

Nokia's Comes With Music is coming to Australia & Singapore

Nokia is planning to bring its music service called "Comes With Music" to Australia and Singapore later this quarter, according to ZDNet news report.

Tero Ojanpera, the head of entertainment and communities at Nokia, told the MidemNet annual digital music gathering in Cannes, France: "The next two countries which we are going to roll out in the next 10 weeks are going to be in Asia, in Australia and Singapore," he told the conference. "We'll be launching there in the first quarter of 2009, in February and March."

Nokia's "Comes With Music" service offers unlimited music from the four major music labels and many independents. The music can be kept after the yearly contract has expired. The individual tracks can be downloaded to the phone and a single computer and are free, though the cost of the music is reflected in the price of the phone itself.

Nokia's "Comes With Music" service has previously already launched in the U.K., but seems to have not showing signs of success. Ojanpera declined to say how the phone was selling in Britain but said the service would gain momentum as it increases the number of handsets on which it is available.

Parasync helps you sync 15 iPods easily

For you who believes one iPod is not enough, and thus you end up owning an iPod for each activities you can possibly think of: a shuffle for jogging, a nano for gym, touch for commute, classic for karate, etc. ;-p

With dropping prices on iPod family line-ups, it's easier to collect all of them in a lifetime. But if you actually do own around 15 iPods, you know how stressful it is to sync them one by one to your iTunes library. Your boss will constantly be mad at you, when he/she finds out you're using office time to sync those iPods. Not to mention the doctor bills for treating your sore thumbs from plug & unplug that sync cable.

This is where Parasync comes to rescue, the unit (seen at the image above) is capable to host 15 iPods at once. All you've got to do is connect the dock via USB to your MacBook, open iTunes, all docked devices will appear (they must first be registered to the iTunes library). Drag and drop content from the iTunes library onto the devices to sync them.

The Parasync dock supports all of iPod generations including classic, nano, and touch. But according to Scott McNulty from Macworld; the unit is designed to help museums and schools load up multiple iPods with the same content for classes and tours. You need to request a quote to get pricing for the Parasync (which usually means it is pricey), and of course you'll also need to specify the model of iPod docks when ordering.

Personally, I'm having a hard time to imagine there's a person who has 15 iPods for himself/herself. ~LOL~

The bleak side of developing iPhone apps, will Palm copy the same mistake?

What’s the bleak side of developing apps for one of the most interesting mobile platforms in the world today? Is there even the opposite side of having your apps prep & ready to be downloaded at Apple’s App Store? You may ask these questions spontaneously, especially after you heard great news surrounding Apple’s idea to centralized the distribution of apps for iPhone that stepped forward any other mobile competitors out there.

Just in case you haven’t heard it yet, Apple has recently announced they had hit a milestone this weekend that its App Store now has 15,000 apps available for download and that customers have downloaded over 500 million apps from there. Sammy has posted up the news here at PalmAddict. All of these amazing figures are reached after App Store opened just over six months ago on July 11, 2008. The numbers speak for themselves.

In another inspiring success story about App Store is when groups of software developers consist of 22-year-old kids are earning (more/less) $10,000 alone in a month for making unique entertainment apps for iPhone platform, one in particular is the iSteam app which has been downloaded over 1 million times so far in two-weeks and overtake other similar apps such as iBeer, iFart, Pull My finger, Ocarina, Whoopies Cushion and Zephyr to become #1 entertainment application in the App Store.

It’s surprising alright for the 99 cents worth app can grow a money tree for you in only a matter of weeks, not too shabby eh? Make you aghast how far developing apps for iPhone can take you to.

Jailbroke_robThe seemingly alluring condition of making easy big revenue from simple idea for iPhone apps, is drawing more and more software developers to flood the App Store with more vulgar-daring crap apps like iBoobs and grosser apps than iFart or Pull My Finger. App Store visitors are forced to swim in the dark water, since the amount of crap apps has already reaching to the neck limit. Or are we drown already?

That is one point of view to take a look from users, but it’s one different field of game for software developers. Take for an instance Peter Tenereillo, who make an app called Trapster and learned that even though it has a user base of about 350,000, that may sound like a lot of people, but it isn’t for him when Tenereillo interviewed by Bill Snyder from InfoWorld. “You don’t make money [with ads] when you have a base of 350,000,” he says. Trapster is a free app, so it doesn’t generate any revenue for right now.

Trapster is an on-line service that helps to alert users with GPS-enabled device when they’re approaching located speed traps around the city, for more info you can read my previous post about this service.

A competing app called NMobile even had to cut prices on Apple’s App Store from $9.99 to 99 cents to stay afloat in the game, while Trapster’s strategy is still aiming for bigger audience of users from other platforms including Symbian, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry before making an acceptable return profit. This shows how hard it is even for free apps to gain iPhone users’ interest, the underlined lesson: lots of iPhone users, but no revenues.

The other challenge to develop apps for iPhone is the limitations in the phone itself that makes it harder to deliver greater and better apps. As we’ve understand before that iPhone is limited to launch an app at a time, so users need to run Trapster on while driving or they won’t get the alert. This is just one example related to the aforementioned app, you know there are few others that you’ve been dying to have in your iPhone like cut & paste feature.

Jailbroken_iphone_logoAnd a Macworld poster named HobbesDoo has pointed out nicely the drawbacks of developing apps for iPhone platform: “First there is the App Store's black hole effect, where your application can get lost among tons of others and it can be very difficult to find what you're looking for. Then there is the insane pricing wars, where developers are expected to pretty much give away for free or for almost nothing the fruit of their hard work. Last, but not least, there is the current threat of piracy. Now not only you're supposed to give you app away for free or for almost nothing, but you have to deal with people pirating your application and distributing it for free.”

The two first points have been discussed above, and currently the piracy of iPhone apps is now on the rise, and has caused software developers to rethink back their strategies on how to offer the apps to users.

Christopher Kemsley, an electrical engineering student who's trying to pay his way through college made an Annoy-A-Teen app that sells for 99 cents in App Store. "I made, in a month, about the same amount of money as professionals I know in high-tech jobs" from sales of the app, he said on Friday. But now you can get the app for free at a pirate site.

It’s not just Kemsley’s app which got pirated, James Bossert; the developer of the Whack 'em All iPhone game, told CNET News that he will be releasing an ad-supported free version of his game after finding that it had been pirated. An alleged pirate told Bossert in an e-mail that apps wouldn't get pirated if people were able to try out trial versions of the programs before having to shell out any money. Kemsley also plans to offer a limited free demo version of his app, but he remarked: “Crackers shouldn't be able to dictate or force us to have a trial version.”

Comment posters and especially hackers are usually used acerbic words that can left behind a scar deep enough to wound you if you’re not careful to filter them out, like this one who posted a comment on Palm’s App Catalog feedback: "Anarchy! We want Anarchy. We don't want anyone to tell us what or how we can do anything. The only rule is NO RULES. We want you to distribute our apps, but we don't want to pay for it!!!! Nothing, nada, zilch. And we want the ability to JAILBREAK! Wheeeeeee!!!!!!" ~LOL~

Palm_pre_face_smallThat particular comment is one of plenty feedbacks that Palm got when asking for input from developers on how Palm’s own application store (known now as Palm App Catalog) should work. Andrew Shebanow who is working on a third-party application distribution system for Palm's new operating system, threw out a few questions in his blog, such as: how should application updating and installation work; should Palm offer payment processing or leave it to third parties; should application trials be available; and how should Palm handle featured applications.

The feedbacks were so overwhelming, therefore Shebanow had to removed the post and replaced it with another post saying that the discussion about how the app store should work will be allowed to continue, but at Palm's new developer blog.

But not all of the comments were bad, instead there were many of the feedbacks showed excitement on Palm’s willingness to ask for input, like this one person who wrote: "I love your openess with this matter. I wish Apple allowed posts like these."

Most of the advices and feedbacks were comparing what Palm should and shouldn’t do from Apple’s App Store, because no matter how revolutionary is the App Store for mobile world and community/users, it has downsides too. Here are three important notes gathered by Nancy Gohring from PC World:

  • In App Store, developers have to pay US$100 to join the developers' program; people in the Palm App Catalog feedback suggested that Palm's program should be free.
  • Another request was for the Palm store to allow trial downloads so that users can be sure they want an application before paying for it. The iPhone App Store doesn't have a mechanism for allowing trials.
  • One person suggested that Palm rank applications by quality as a way to make it easier for users to find good applications. That could solve a new problem with the iPhone store where it's grown difficult to find great applications since there are now over 10,000 available.

It’s very hard to keep up the apps with the latest features that meet with users’ demands, or with the latest trends around. But to become the best, to stand out from the crowds of apps that have similar function, software developers must able to sacrifice time and resources to make their apps better through short time. But that’s the price of being the best, meaning you’ll have the best app which leads to higher revenues.

Iphone_apps_colors_1And so that’s what Atebit’s Tweetie author Loren Brichter did. In order to compete with the likes of world phenomenon and app juggernaut iFart Mobile, he made his app as the world’s first combination Twitter client, fart-sound generator, and flashlight.

Jason Snell from Macworld reported that the real money feature is what Atebits calls PEE, short (sort of) for App Store Popularity Enhancer. Turn on Tweetie’s special Popularity Enhancer feature and a Flashlight button is added to Tweetie’s interface.

It’s still far to know how Palm is going to put those good advices and feedbacks into good use, since Palm is still keep silent and has revealed only minor details about its planned application store. Although it’s safe to say, that this post is not to scare off and make a mockery out of Apple’s App Store; but instead hopefully this post will help software developers and especially Palm to see the obstacles which lie ahead on the road. And perhaps Apple will open up an ear to listen to the cries of software developers on its App Store policy…

So Palm, what’s your game plan? What’s your next move? Remember, it only takes two steps to tango. ;-)

Sources are from:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

BlueBerry phone is a very distant cousine of Bold

They say "beggars can't choose," but those who used to say like that must have never seen knock-off / fake products made from China. ;-p

For you who prefer blue rather than black, ...ouch, that sounds very cheesy. Let me start over; for you who can't afford the real BlackBerry Bold, then you can have the cheaper version of it (a.k.a. knock-off) only at $164.99, but you got to live with BlueBerry name instead that's written on the face of the device.

Although you shouldn't worry, because even the BlackBerry logo is almost precisely copied, so you can still fool your co-workers. Just don't let them borrow it though, or they'll find out. ~LOL~

PMP Today (via Ubergizmo) says this BlueBerry L900i is a quad-band GSM phone, complete with Bluetooth support and a camera. Man, how low can those Chinese-fakers willing to go? Next thing we know, perhaps we'll see a Prē™ knock-off by tomorrow...

PrefectStorm brings BlackBerry Storm theme into iPhone

Just like the saying goes: "If you can't beat them, join them..."

There are still plenty of BlackBerry Storm early adopters out there who feel like being left alone in the dark waiting for the perfect Storm to come by, but RIM seems so slow in updating its first fully touchscreen mobile phone into perfection. Some may have jumped into the other side; the iPhone which lately has become more popular in the corporate environments.

Perfectsorm_lockedSo whether you're a BlackBerry hardcore-fans or not, there's a Storm theme for iPhone called: PerfectStorm. The developers promised the PerfectStorm v1.0 theme pack will include these features:

  • Icons
  • Lockscreen
  • Calculator
  • Media Player
  • Camera
  • Dialer
  • UI Sounds
  • UI Images
  • Safari skin
  • And most importantly, The KEYBOARD!

But you'll also need to install Winterboard, Blank Web apps & Notifier first in order to get the PerfectStorm theme inside your iPhone, read the developer's post at this MMi thread. To download the theme immediately, head on to the developer's website.

iHangman for iPhone/iPod Touch

Classic games have always been everybody's favorite, this time the paper and pencil guessing game: hangman has been digitalized and brought into iPhone/iPod Touch (software v2.0 or above required).

Xtremize Software has created a true heavyweight hangman game for iPhone platform, as mentioned and reviewed by Jeff Merron from Macworld, the iHangman boasts these features:

  • Over 39,000 words
  • 15 word categories
  • Single Player & Multi Player mode
  • Global Online Scoring with ranks and scores
  • Timer settings with 4 options
  • Sound effects
  • Shake your iPhone to view definitions instantly
  • Useful for SAT and GRE preparations
  • Multi Player mode with tracking names, scores
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Apple tries out Steve 2.0 era as the real Steve tries to absorb more food

The famous Apple CEO Steve Jobs has finally cried out for a time-out, on Wednesday he announced with a letter of note to Apple employees that he was taking a medical leave until June.

The surprising leave of absence note was followed after Jobs tried to calm everyone about his health issue with a personal letter last week, he said a “hormone imbalance” was robbing his body of proteins and causing him to lose weight.

The fuzz about Jobs' health was originally began when Jobs made a stunning slim appearance back in June at a company conference for programmers, Jobs confessed to The New York Times that he was suffering from digestive difficulties related to an operation he had as part of his pancreatic cancer treatment. Here's what Jobs wrote to Apple employees:

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

Timothy Cook is chief operating officer at Apple, while Philip Schiller is a senior vice president who as you may have know it that he's the one on stage at the Macworld conference last week replacing Jobs. Jobs promised to make a come back in June later this year, but Apple shares dropped sharply in after-hours trading after the release of the letter, losing $6.03, or 7.1 percent, to $79.30. The stock fell 2.71 percent in regular trading amid a broad market slump.

Pancreatic_cancerThere is of course a huge concern of what really make the hard working psychedelic Apple CEO to take 6 months of rest, and what did he really mean by saying his "health-related issues are more complex" than he thought. Once again New York Times (via TiPB) provided a deeper insight on Jobs' health issue:

"Two people who are familiar with Mr. Jobs’s current medical treatment said he was not suffering from a recurrence of cancer, but a condition that was preventing his body from absorbing food. Doctors have also advised him to cut down on stress, which may be making the problem worse, these people said."

The stock market's reaction and Apple shares are both in line with the beating sound of Jobs' heart, and this doesn't look good at all for Apple's future. It's about time for Apple to think about preparing a new leader and management, that'll succeed Jobs legacy not the ones that'll lead the shares drop even further down.

These are times where you reflect about what Steve Jobs means for the company,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “At the end of the day, investors need to come to grips with the reality of a post-Steve Jobs world. This is the most urgent wake-up call they have had.”

Is there Steve 2.0 ready out there?