Friday, February 27, 2009

Can Sprint's Palm Prē really do multitasking?

A very interesting article entitled 'Apple iPhone vs. Palm Pre' is very well written by Joseph Hanlon from C|Net Australia, and has been posted by Sammy (thanks to Mark Hatton for the heads up).

The article discusses about the advantages and disadvantages of both the iPhone and the Prē™, there's even a very easy to read comparison chart between the smartphones. It's a must see for you who's still doubtful whether to get the Prē™ over the iPhone or not. ;-p

In the article, Joseph is reminding us all of the Prē's™ main trait against iPhone: the ability to do multitasking. He says:

"Palm's Card system is the exact antithesis of this (the iPhone not being capable of multitasking), not only running several applications in the background, but showing them in an active state on the deck-of-cards style home screen. This way you can have messages sent from IM services or social networking sites sent to your phone while you type emails, surf the web or take a phone call."

This multitasking ability in the Prē™ has also been (re-)confirmed by Palm Prē™ software product manager Sachin Kasal, during an interview with Ben Smith from Mobile Industry Review (via PreCentral) Sachin said there are about three high level items which will redefine the user experience:
  1. Synergy
  2. Ability to handle multiple simultaneous applications (Card View)
  3. The way Palm handles interruptions and notifications on the Pre
But then I remember another interesting fact about the Prē™ coming from PC Mag article by Sascha Segan; where he managed to get a confirmation from Palm vice president of software product management Pam Deziel himself during MWC '09 that Sprint's Palm Prē™ can't surf the web over wireless data connection while making a phone call at the same time. Sascha then explains the simple reason why:

"The difference between the European and Sprint Pre's is common to all EVDO and UMTS phones. EVDO networks like those from Sprint and Verizon Wireless can't run voice and data streams at the same time, so EVDO phones have to pause Internet connections temporarily while they make phone calls. UMTS phones can run voice and data at the same time. The Sprint Pre will be able to make phone calls while surfing the Web using Wi-Fi, just not with 3G."

So with all of these hypes and buzz around Palm Prē™ and its "iPhone-killer" feature: multitasking, I just want to remind all of you who're gonna buy the Prē™ as soon as it comes out, that you should remember this EVDO limitation before you rush in the long line.

But hey, who I'm foolin' right? I guess you'll get the Palm Prē™ anyway even though you've read this, I know I will. ~LOL~

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Brits prefer ordinary mobile phone over smartphone

A price comparison website called did a research and found surprising facts that over a third of Brits would prefer a mobile phone that's just used for calling and texting over a smartphone.

James Parker, manager of mobiles at, said (via PC World): "This survey just goes to show a large number of people don't want the all singing, all dancing smartphones. For a lot of people, simplicity is key".

Only 18% say they want their phone to sports the latest technology, but 42% of those who are aged under 20 say they'll make purchasing a handset with the latest technology as a priority. This means the younger the age of the users, the more they're hungry for keeping updated with the newest technology around. also found out that 34% of LG phone owners have reported at least one issue with their phone in the past 12 months. Next in the line are Sony Ericsson at 33%, and Samsung at 25%. "Mobiles have come along way since the 'battery in a suitcase' days, but it seems more features mean more problems," added Parker.

The price comparison website then made classification of owners based on the mobile phone brands they own, according to Nokia owners are 'handset simpletons', while those who have Samsung mobile phones are 'snap-happy photo geeks', for you who own LG handsets are categorized as 'tech boffin', and for you who purchase Sony Ericsson phones are 'music nerds'.

So, what mobile phones do you own? ;-)

The Copper/Orange color allure

I always believe in the so called "destiny"...
When I first saw Palm Trēo (the 680 & 750), I knew immediately I've fallen in love. I couldn't take my eyes out of it, I got to have it; that's what I said to myself.

Because I have not know Palm OS the whole of my life, and because there's only the grey-colored Trēo 680 available here in my little country, I chose the Trēo 750v because I'm more familiar with Windows OS.

But just as Palm has announced that there will be no more new Palm OS from now on, I'm still in out of town and I was contacted by the local mobile phone store I used to visit at the capital city that there's a rare Trēo 680 Copper available, it is second-hand but still in good shape and comes with tempting price. At first I didn't give much thought about it, but last weekend I was meeting with friends near the store location and without realizing it my feet took me there. So I said to myself, what the heck I'll just take a quick look at the orange-colored Trēo 680, go home and forget about it in no time.

Boy, I was so wrong. I simply fascinated by it, maybe it because of the spotlight or the lighting of the store, but that second-hand Trēo looks amazing. I'm drawn to it, and can't stop thinking about it...

Too bad the store won't allow me to take a picture of the second-hand Trēo 680 Copper, but I suppose the great picture above from 'nicktcu' (Flickr link) describes everything I'm trying to say. ;-)

Ever since I was a kid, I rarely get the nicest things in life. I rarely get a brand-new gadget or device, I usually received and bought second-hands, it's very rare for me to buy new gadgets. I always sticks to what I own or given, and especially to what I'm familiar with. Like my current one-year-old fixed Treo 750v, I adore it and love to use it everyday. What can I say? My Treo just works.

And now here's my biggest dilemma; the sharp-tounged Newsweek tech writer Dan Lyons calls Palm OS as "a go-kart build with a lawn mower engine", and with the sad announcement of no more new Palm OS in the future from Palm, should I get the Trēo 680 Copper when Palm OS has just became "obselete"...?

I need your help, I need your input. Please help me to make up my mind by posting up your comment at this thread at PalmAddict Forum, thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

Those who rise at MWC '09

The hype and buzz from Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2009 have just starting to cool down as we begin yet another long weekend. Even though there were plenty of mobile phones covered during the event, not every each one of them have left deep impressions.

Tech blogs and websites on the net have reported almost every mobile devices shown at MWC '09 in every hours and days since it started, it's impossible to keep track every one of them. And since I'm still out of town, chained down with limited access to computer to keep you guys posted with what was happening, I think it's better if I keep you updated with a recap of what gadgets that were most interesting at MWC '09. Just in case you've missed some of them last weekend.

For sure, the most anticipated news for all of us and everyone else from MWC '09 was the Palm Prē™. But unfortunately, Palm's lips are still closed tight and had only revealed a little tidbits about its upcoming smartphone which is powered by the new webOS™. Because of this, some even say the MWC event this year was kinda stale with less excitement compared to last year. Sammy has done a great job at keeping us inform with news of Palm Prē™ during MWC '09, you can re-read them all again at PalmAddict weblog (using the search feature).

Let's start shall we?

HTC Magic

Let's start with the most exciting smartphone from all of the other: the HTC Magic, the second Android-powered handset coming out from HTC's wonder factory. Android was surprisingly lay low at the big event, there was no huge announcement and even shared the spotlight with HTC, and also with Vodafone as the wireless carrier who will exclusively be the first to sell the HTC Magic. Although later, Engadget Mobile reported that the wireless carrier logo shown in the demo video is T-Mobile, not Vodafone. So it wouldn't be a surprise anymore if the HTC Magic will become T-Mobile's G2 soon.

Htc magic white
The HTC Magic is not much of a different from HTC Dream (or more famously known as G1), the obvious difference is there's no physical keyboard. But it has the same "chin", and Gizmodo managed to ask HTC and the answer is for: personality. The "chin" also allows the trackball to pull out more than competing devices, making them easier to use while at the same time protecting them. Here's the quick list of HTC Magic's specs:

  • HSDPA connection
  • 3.2-inch touchscreen (320x480 pixels)
  • 192 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
  • Qualcomm MSM7201A 528Mhz processor
  • Android OS
  • 3.1MP camera
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0
  • microSD
  • GPS
  • accelerometer
  • miniUSB
  • 118.5gr weight
HTC Touch Pro2
Htc touch pro2
Besides the HTC Magic, the other note worthy handset from HTC was the Touch Pro2. It is the successor of the first gen Touch Pro, but what really makes it to stand out from other HTC handsets is its slide-and-tilt screen design. HTC begins to ditch the D-pad navigation button and starts placing the Zoom bar, for scrolling (horizontal & vertical based on the screen orientation) and zoom in/out. Here's the quick rundown of the specs:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 3.6-inch touchscreen (480x800 pixels)
  • 288 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
  • Qualcomm MSM7201A 528Mhz processor
  • Windows Mobile Pro 6.1
  • 3.1MP camera with secondary VGA camera at front
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • microSD
  • GPS
  • accelerometer
  • miniUSB
  • 3D Flo UI
  • 175gr weight
Toshiba TG01

Tg1 realOne of the show-stealers at MWC '09 is Toshiba's TG01, which I've told you before. It's a super slim handset with large screen, in fact TG01 screen is larger than iPhone and Samsung Omnia HD. Although TG01 biggest attraction is also its biggest disadvantage, users will have difficulty using TG01 with one hand only. But Toshiba managed to customised its own UI that sits on top of Windows Mobile OS in TG01, making use all of the pixels on that big screen. Here's the list of TG01 specs:

  • HSDPA connection
  • 4.1-inch touchscreen (480x800 pixels)
  • 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD2850 1 GHz processor
  • Windows Mobile Pro 6.1
  • 3.1MP camera
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • microSD
  • A-GPS
  • microUSB
  • 129gr weight
Sony Ericsson Idou
Se idou
Sony Ericsson surprisingly was able to grabbed everyone's attention by introducing a break through new handset codenamed Idou, but unfortunately it is still introduced as a concept phone and there seems to be more changes when Idou finally hits production gate in around 6 months. To be honest, the Idou exterior design is almost like any other Sony Ericsson handsets, but the real attention grabber is its fresh UI we've never seen before in Sony Ericsson phone line-ups. Let's take a look at Idou scarce specs:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 3.5-inch touchscreen (360x640 pixels)
  • accelerometer
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Symbian OS
  • 12MP camera & secondary VGA camera at front
  • A-GPS
Nokia N86
Nokia n86
Nokia was doing what it does best; promoting and marketing a new all-in-one wonder flagship at MWC '09. Although I must say, I'm wondering why this new N86 doesn't have much of a killer look and still stick to Nokia's handsets look trademark. But hey, like the saying goes: don't judge the book by its cover. It's the beast inside the N86 that should amazed us all:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 2.6-inch screen (240x320 pixels)
  • 8GB internal memory
  • ARM 11 434MHz processor
  • microSD
  • microUSB
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Symbian OS S60 v3.2
  • A-GPS
  • 8MP camera & secondary VGA camera at front
  • kickstand on the back
  • 149gr weight
LG KM900 Arena
Lg arena
Like I've told you before about LG Arena, this mobile phone can really gives Apple a headache over its gorgeous S-class UI. The menus & the animations were all looking so smooth and eye-catchy when captured in video during its MWC '09 presentation, and the specs inside also show some promises:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 3-inch touchscreen (400x800 pixels)
  • 8GB internal memory
  • microSD
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • GPS
  • 5MP camera & secondary VGA camera at front
  • 105gr weight
Lg gd900LG GD900

There isn't much of information regarding this phone, except that it sports a unique transparent slide-keypad. Seems like LG was planning to announce the GD900 in next months, the phone will packaged with a Bluetooth handsfree. Click the image on the right to enlarge it.

LG GD910

LG first teased us with this Watch Phone at CES 2009, and then the company revealed it at MWC '09 along with more specs:
  • Lg gd910HSDPA connection
  • 1.43-inch touchscreen (176x220 pixels)
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • SMS & MMS
  • Speech recognition
  • Text-to-speech feature
  • 84gr weight
For more information regarding this GD910/Watch Phone, you can read it at my CES 2009 post.

Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
Samsung i8910
Large touchscreen is definetely becoming a standard in high-end mobile phones, and Samsung has just given "HD" a new definition to its rising star Omnia. Even though this phone is powered by Symbian OS, Samsung has done an amazing job by modified the UI with the user friendly TouchWiz. Here's a quick look at Omnia HD specs:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 3.7-inch touchscreen (360x640 pixels)
  • accelerometer
  • 8/16GB internal memory
  • microSD
  • microUSB
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • A-GPS
  • 8MP camera with geo-tagging & secondary VGA camera at front
  • Symbian OS S60 v5.0
  • 149gr weight
Samsung M7600
Samsung m7600

Music and phone, these two are now have become one entity in modern gadget. And like Sony Ericsson, Samsung also seeks to get more share of phone market with introducing a uniquely shaped M7600; or also known as Beat DJ phone. These are the quick specs of M7600:
  • UMTS connection
  • 2.8-inch touchscreen (240x400 pixels)
  • accelerometer
  • 50MB internal memory
  • microSD
  • microUSB
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • 3.1MP camera with LED flash & geo-tagging
  • A-GPS
  • 3.5mm AV jack
  • 99.7gr weight
  • Bang&Olufsen audio amplifiers

Acer m900ACER has stepped into smartphone competition with not only one, but four Windows Mobile-powered smartphones which were introduced at MWC '09. And when ACER starts to put finger-scan sensor into its new smartphone line-up, I'm sensing it'll soon become a new standard to secure data in phones. From the four, the M900 is the baddest and the most powerful among the others, here are just the few reasons why:
  • HSDPA connection
  • 3.8-inch touchscreen (400x800 pixels)
  • microSD
  • miniUSB
  • Samsung S3C 6410 mobile 533 MHz processor
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Windows Mobile Pro 6.1
  • GPS
  • 5MP camera & secondary VGA camera at front
  • 188gr weight
Windows Mobile 6.5

Windows mobile 6_5The least announcement to be expected in MWC '09 was coming from Microsoft: Windows Mobile 6.5, instead of speeding up the release of the most awaited Windows Mobile 7 (dubbed as the iPhone-killer ever since introduced), Microsoft is trying to prolong the life-span of its old dated Windows Mobile 6.x OS. The WinMo 6.5 announcement didn't exactly surprised us at all, because days before MWC '09 there had been leaks of its screenshots on the net. Click on the image to enlarge it.

WinMo 6.5 is revamped with new UI concept: honeycomb menu, and a more clean home screen that shows essential infos (clock, miss calls, incoming messages & emails, to dos, appointments, etc.). It is said WinMo 6.5 will only available in new devices, no hope for old devices to get an update. And Microsoft has also dictated physical Start button to be present in every new devices powered with WinMo 6.5 OS.

3 inq1 MWC '09 best handset: 3 INQ1

3 UK's INQ1 has been crowned as the best handset in 2009 by MWC, winners of the Best Mobile Handset or Device to be exact. INQ1 beats tough contenders such as LG KS360, T-Mobile G1, BlackBerry Storm 9500 and Nokia E71.

And what made INQ1 won is because of its social networking features; like integrated Facebook and, also supports popular messengers like Skype and Windows Live Messenger. Click on the image to enlarge it.

So, where's Palm Prē?

Oh, Palm was around the other corner of MWC '09 event. Palm's booth, or it's more like a small cottage to me, it was just right next to ACCESS System's booth. And because entering into Palm's booth was so strict and limited, plus there were not much of new infos regarding the Prē from Palm directly, the coverage was quite scarce.

It's kinda dissapointing to hear so little about Palm Prē, espcially since we are expecting to hear more about the hot upcoming new smartphone. But hey, at least the sight of Palm's booth may cheers you up. ;-)

Palm billboard

Sources are from:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pocket Tunes 5.0 Sync feature enhanced

As you would've noticed from Sammy's post just few days ago, NormSoft has released a newer version of the award acclaimed Pocket Tunes, or pTunes in short.

Pocket Tunes™ 5.0 for Windows Mobile and Palm OS smartphones includes new features for subscribing to podcasts, scrobbling™ with, synchronizing with iTunes, and listening to Internet radio using Windows Media Audio (WMA).

Version 5.0 increases the breadth of supported audio content and integrates with two of the most popular music related applications, iTunes and Users can now subscribe to their favorite podcasts and have them automatically download directly to their phone. With the searchable catalog of over 1,000 popular podcasts, finding and enjoying podcasts is easy and fun.

Every time a song is played it can be tracked to the listener’s music profile – this is called scrobbling. Owners can also automatically synchronize playlists of songs from iTunes to their phone when it is connected to their computer.

Sync160x160For you who have used pTunes with your Windows Mobile devices such as Treo 750, Treo 800w & Treo Pro; pTunes Sync feature is a very handy tool. And for Palm OS users, this feature is completely new in the newest version. It now transfers album art from iTunes and has better playlist management. Items deleted from a playlist on your PC are deleted from the device the next time you sync, allowing you to manage the device contents through the playlist syncing.

For previous owners of older version, you can get the upgrade at great price: only at $19.95, just follow this link. For the full list of new features in pTunes v5.0 you can read all about them at its website, aside from the the new features you can read my review of the previous version of pTunes at this link.

Treo 650 appears in Entourage episodes

Who would've thought the old Treo 650 is still used in Entourage tv series, which portray the glamorous life of a rising Hollywood star and the happy people living in it.

Despite so many appearances of newer phones in many episodes that have been going on for 5 season now, the Treo 650 is seen several times in the hands of trash talking mouth of the tough agent Ari Gold (played by Jeremy Piven) and the sassy PR lady Shauna (played by Debi Mazar), both pictured above.

I even noticed that Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) refers his Treo 650 as the "Bat-phone", that's his own words to say the "emergency phone that must be picked up when it rings". ;-D

Bye Palm OS, we have know you for (too) long...

There's no sadder day for Palm fans and the hardcore-users to hear that Palm is no longer producing new Palm OS-powered devices, this sad news was announced by Palm CEO Ed Colligan himself during a talk with investors at the Thomas Wiesel Technology and Telecom Conference in San Francisco on last Wednesday (via PreCentral).

After having life supports for more than it could bear, Palm finally pull the plug and let go the aging OS to rest. There's no better way to describe how old really is the Palm OS (also now known as Garnet OS) than the sharp-tongued Dan Lyons:

"Palm's aging operating system, Palm OS, was originally created for a relatively simple personal organizer; it was then added to and patched up to do things like power a cell phone—a task it was never intended to perform. It was a bit like using a lawn-mower engine to build a go-kart, then adding a bigger chassis and turning the go-kart into a real car, then turning that into a plane, and then trying to make the plane fly to the moon. Palm needed a fresh start."

For some, that may be true. But not everybody is looking for the most cutting-edge or the savviest OS built to handle multi-apps with eye-cathy UI, for many of Palm long time users; the easy to use and reliability are the most important key features that not even today's new OS can do so gracefully.

But for Palm, the time has come to move on and it can't even come at the right moment than now. With the new webOS™-powered Prē™ smartphone is prepped and ready to launch, Palm wish to focus on the future than looking back at old glory for only sweet memories.

Then again, for you who still wish to linger a little bit longer on the great old Palm OS; the Centro will be the last Palm device to host it.

And as for myself, the time of the sad news has come at the most confusing moment as I was contacted by the local mobile store I used to visit that there's a rare second-hand Treo 680 Copper at stock right now with tempting price. I've always have a weak spot in my heart for Treo's look, and especially if it comes with the most rare color: orange. I've been wanting to get to know the famous Palm OS, but with such heart-breaking news at hand, the once sure decision has now shaken to its very core. Should I get it, or wait for the new one...?

Treo always keep me in touch

Like the usual routine, I have to go to the capital city for some errands and for that I had to endure long hours of travel to get there. Leaving my old desktop computer has became an easy thing to do ever since I had my Treo 750v on my side (strapped on my waist to be precise), because my Treo always keep me in touch with almost everyone and every news I need to know.

No matter where I am, either it's on the road or at the stores/offices, my Treo brings in the latest RSS news without fail. The places I've been through don't have WiFi connection at all, so I'm glad the Treo doesn't depend on WiFi for data transfer.

Treo's keyboard is very comfortable for writing long text messages (SMS) and replying emails, while I'm out of town I've been using it a lot to keep in contact with business partners & families. Everyone keep on asking me, why I can reply so quick and with long or often full spelled words, and I always tried to tell them about Treo. But after I abuse the keyboard till it was broken with so many beating of usages last year and then got it repaired, now I try to refrain as much as I can. One thing I miss most is blogging with it, I don't want to get it broken again so I stopped doing it. Perhaps I should get another one just in case...? ;-)

I'm staying at my cousin's place as usual, and since my sister's children have grown and they're now know more than ever how to use the computer, they've been dominating it for almost all the time I'm staying here. I have to battle with them first before I can use the old computer, in fact I'm sneaking in the middle of the night as I speak in order to start blogging again. ~LOL~

So please forgive me for unable to update you with the latest news about mobile world & technologies for the past weeks, I'll do my best to catch up with the limited resources I have at hand right now... Namasté y'all!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Namasté to Sammy (PalmAddict)

* Namasté is said to mean "The light in me honors the light in you." (Wikipedia)

I just want to say a quick thank you to Sammy, who allowed me to join into a great community: PalmAddict. It's been a pleasure to contribute for such a place, who everyone in here shares the same passion for mobile addiction. And it's an honor to write for PalmAddict, there has never been a 'home' like this for Palm fans.

And just in case you haven't heard of Sammy's latest presentation: the Sammy's Podcast, then hit the link to hear him out.

For you who have missed PalmAddict Official Podcast #145 by Tyler Faux, then don't forget to get it here. Or if you prefer, you can download the podcast directly to your Palm devices as MP3 and hear it right away, then get it through this link.

There's also another great review from May C. at PalmDiscovery for you who are looking for Bluetooth headset, because this one from Nokia is very unique. Find out why May started the review by saying: "At first glance, the Nokia BH-701 bluetooth headset seemed quite odd."

Namasté too to y'all! ;-D

* Picture above is courtesy of Talkingsun (Flikr).

PearC; another Mac clone arise to challenge Apple

Apple really is receiving a lot of beating this year, the company with the logo of an eaten fruit has long known for holding close & tight the exclusive right to its products.

First, it was Psystar who's been selling "hackint0sh" computers; PC computers installed with Mac OS X. Then comes out OpeniMac from Argentina, who also challenges the idea of Mac OS must run on Mac machines. Of course Apple furious, and as we know Apple very well, they sue Psystar but even until today Apple still hasn't managed to take out Psystar legally.

And now, there's another company from German who called themselves PearC, sells PC computers with Mac OS X inside. PearC offers begin at €500, and their most cutting edge desktop offering starts at €1499 and even has the option for Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition for an extra €719.99 (as reported by ModMyi).

But the main question for everyone who wish to buy PearC's computers: is this legal? Here's PearC direct answer to that question, posted at the company's FAQ page:

7. Is it legal that to install Mac OS X on a PC?
We would not offer our PearCs, if we the opinion were not that it is legal.
One of the ModMyi forum members named Chandler86, who said he's from Germany tells us something about this legal thing:

"It is indeed legal, cause the thing Apple does, saying that it's not allowed to install OS on a PC which does not come from Apple is against EU and also German's laws. That's why it's legal here. This is also the reason why this company will not sell the PCs in the US, only in EU Countries like Belgium, France, etc. because they have also the same laws -> Apple rules are illegal here. :-)"

This is a sad situation for Apple, but a boon for those who live in the countries mentioned above. So how about it Apple? Shouldn't you worry more about this kinda "legal" infringement, rather than trouble yourselves fighting over the iPhone multi-touch patent infringement. ;-p

Android soon invade Singapore & Australia in the form of HTC Dream

Rejoice, you Android fans in Asia! Particularly, those of you who live in Singapore and Australia. Because your dream for a Google phone will soon come true.

Singapore Telecomunications (SingTel), the largest mobile wireless carrier in Singapore and also the company who own Optus in Australia; will offer HTC Dream smartphone in both countries.

There's no need of introduction anymore for the Dream phone, it's already widely known as T-Mobile's G1 handset, which is an Android-powered smartphone.

Optus will start offering the Dream on February 16 with plans that start at A$59 per month plus the cost of the handset itself, but for Singapore there haven't any information yet on the availability and pricing.

“We’re thrilled to see the mobile ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region embracing the Android platform. The openness that has shaped the Internet and driven innovation is now coming to mobile devices,” said Daniel Alegre, Vice President, Sales and Operations - Asia Pacific, at Google.

Oh, Palm. Where art thou? The competition is heighten, where Android has taken advanced steps necessary to grab the untapped potential market in Asia, Palm better catch-up soon or else...

Sources are from Optus Australia, via PC World & T3.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

LG Arena challenges the iPhone multi-touch patent

If Apple see this, the Cupertino-based company might have a second thought on preparing its weapons to go against Palm for the iPhone multi-touch patent infringement dispute, because apparently LG is about to launch a new handset with UI (User Interface) that shows a very close resemblance to iPhone's.

LG Arena (KM900) appeared on a phone retailer brochure in the Netherlands, as reported by All About Phones (via GSMArena). The phone design immediately reminds us of Samsung i900 Omnia, and they both even share the same series code: 900.

Not much of specs mentioned, but all we know for now is that the Arena sports: 5MP camera, DVD video recording quality, DivX playback, Bluetooth, GPS & WiFi. And as for the UI, LG calls it as "S-Class" user interface.

Everything said to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2009 in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Toshiba TG01 shows there still "wow" factor left for Windows Mobile

Toshiba tg01
Nobody saw this one coming, especially since this is coming out from Toshiba, a Japan-based company that hasn't made much of a sound in international smartphone market. But Toshiba is about to change the game by entering the tough competition with a bang; by announcing TG01, a Windows Mobile powered phone.

Wait, don't turn your heads yet upon hearing this is another Windows Mobile phone. Yes indeed, it still sports Microsoft's mobile platform, but surely you can tell the difference by looking at the picture of TG01 above. Seriously folks, if those pics are real then consider me sold.

Toshiba's country manager for UK and Ireland boasted about the phone: "We've taken all the technology from our TVs and put that into the screen." And the company also promised some sparkly new interfaces inside the TG01, making it less Windows Mobile and more Toshiba.

Here are the rest of the specs that make this slim phone not just to be the best contender to compete with iPhone's slim-ness, but also to be taken serious by other competitors:
  • HSDPA (3G) data connection
  • 4.1-inch touchscreen with WVGA resolution
  • 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • 512MB internal memory
  • microSD slot
  • A-GPS
  • WiFi
  • DivX support
  • full Flash support
  • 9.9mm thick
TG01 doesn't have accelerometer, but Toshiba puts a new feature which the company calls it as "G-sensor" that allows you to tilt the phone around a central spot, can be used to answer and hang up phone calls by shaking the phone.

The so called phone that'll "revolutionise the mobile entertainment world" by Toshiba itself, is going to be introduced officially at Mobile World Congress in mid-February tomorrow. Hit the links below for more pictures to drool over. ;-)

Sources are from T3 & Pocket-Lint (via BGR).

Microsoft Tag wants to connect you with a bunch of colorful triangle pictures

Prologue: Oh poor Microsoft (MS), it's not like the software giant has a bad product or project, but I think it's just me who wrote the title of the post in a wrong way so it sounds more negative... ;-p

What is the Tag? It's an image consists of colored triangles, that looks like a set of random triangles seen with our naked eyes. But if the image is processed with Microsoft's Tag technology, it can be translated to show informations or mobile contents (video, music, map, promotions, etc.).

The technology powering Tag is called High Capacity Color Barcodes (HCCBs), it's said to have been designed from the ground up for maximum performance with the limited cameras on most mobile phones. Advanced image-processing techniques decode even out-of-focus barcode images, which means Microsoft Tag works with the fixed-focus camera lenses common in most mobile devices.

If you're familiar with QRCode or Datamatrix code, which sometimes can be found on posters or signs all over big cities, then the MS Tag works almost the same way. Smartphone users can just aim at the little Tag image with the phone's camera, snap the Tag image, and then have the information pops up in their phone's screen.

How to use the Tag: Just download the Tag mobile application for your smartphones, load the app, take a picture of the Tag image with your phone, then the app will automatically launch the phone's web browser to open the designated mobile website.

Microsoft Tag already works on most popular mobile (with camera) platforms: Windows Mobile (v5.5 or above), iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian S60 2nd & 3rd Editions, and not to be left behind is J2ME-based phones. Get the Tag mobile app right away by clicking on this link, or by visiting this URL with your smartphone:

For reference, below are the screenshots taken by Joshuapa from Windows Mobile Team Blog, where he tried to Tag on the Microsoft Tag website.

Tag screenshots

The uses of Tag: The most common use of such technology are for promotions such as in signs, flyers, posters, magazine advertisements, web links, card name, billboards, etc. But the real power of MS Tag comes in the ability to download mobile contents directly into your smartphones like movie trailers, events invitation, ringtones, wallpapers, video clips, podcasts, and much more. The possibilities are only limited by the contents offered by the hosts/donors. But you get the big picture there.

For now, MS Tag beta offers free use to create your own tag. At this time MS Tag will be available to commercial publishers and the general public in the U.S. If you're interested to find out more about MS Tag, read all about it at this FAQ page.

PINoptic secures your phones with pictures

"Scientifically Proven Password Security," says PINoptic on its website. Now, I'll rest down my sarcastic jokes when it has been "scientifically proven," or otherwise the jokes are on me. ;-p

But to be frank with you, the more I read about what PINoptic has to offer, the more I think its technology may come useful especially for those who's having a hard time to remember long password security numbers.

Take my parents for an instance; no matter how many times they've memorized the PIN numbers to unlock their mobile phones, after a long time not turning off the phones, they often forgotten the PIN numbers when it's time to turn them on again. It's only natural for us, human to forget numbers. But it's also natural for us to easily remember objects, or the shape of the objects (remember, it's scientifically proven! ~LOL~).

Let me cut to the chase by telling you how PINoptic works:

Instead of having a PIN or password, you have a series of pictures or icons that make up your 'picture story password'. When you come to enter your picture story password, multiple pictures or icons are displayed beside discrete symbols (alphanumeric characters for instance). You enter the symbols that are related to your picture story password to gain access. Each time you are asked for your picture story password the pictures, icons or symbols will be in a different place meaning that you will be entering a one-time-password each time.

So basically, the more icons/symbols you entered, the more secured you are. You can let's say compose the password based on your favorite story, or the story of your life; from your childhood until you're grown into a mean-meany mobile addict. ~LOL~ And according to Maggie Reardon from Wireless blog; PINoptic claims that a hacker would have to watch someone enter their login at least 10 times before being able to crack the code.

Imagine telling someone who robs you the story of your life 10 times, that would be a thrill...

Centro will soon faces off HTC "Cedar"

If you recall, the HTC's 2009 products roadmap got leaked out a month ago and I've told you about the Centro-like phone in one of the product images. The HTC's phone I'm talking about is the one codenamed as "Cedar W" (pictured left).

And according to WMPowerUser; it seems that we'll be soon seeing more of the "Cedar" because the phone shows up early on the, a bluetooth certification site. There's no release date mentioned, but it suggests the "Cedar" will be announced at Mobile World Congress on two weeks to come.

SMS Popup brings out eye-catching message notification for Android

No matter how good Google has made Android into perfection in its first release, not everyone is satisfied with the built-in features, and in this case is about the text message (SMS) notification.

Adam K., the man behind SMS Popup app for Android is one of many software developers out there who think of the unthinkable and figure it out with a simple yet very useful app. Instead of turning on your G1 phone whenever the tiny green light flashes to notify there's a new message (SMS, MMS & email) comes in, SMS Popup can eliminate the little hassles by simply shows a popup dialog of the incoming message.

Is it a trivial app? Not according to the users, Adam received over 300 emails with comments, bugs and feature requests within the first week of the SMS Popup launch. Since then Adam has keep on upgrading the app until v0.9.5, which was just released on the end of last month.

Okay then, if you're interested more about SMS Popup app for your G1 phone; then you can stop staring at Olivia picture on the left there and start heading to AndroidGuys' review of the app. ~LOL~

b-Tax for iPhone/iPod Touch makes calculating tax look fun

Nobody likes to pay tax, not a soul in this planet. Well, perhaps not for those who have sold their souls to the devil himself. I'm kidding... ;-p

So with above assumption in mind, the best thing to do to reduce how much tax you have to pay is by calculating it before hand. And now you can do it with your iPhone/iPod Touch (software v2.2 or above required), b-Tax is an app for calculating sales tax.

Currently b-Tax has rates built in for the USA, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands & India. For a quick example, in the UK Sales Tax (Value Added Tax or VAT) is 15% on most items. A second rate of 5% is also in force for fuel and other items. Simply key in your amount and b-Tax will immediately show you what the value would be with tax or without and a single click changes rate bands too.

And if you don't live in the countries supported in b-Tax, the developer says that since v1.3 b-Tax has had a "Custom Country" option which you can use for your own Country, State or Region meaning b-Tax can be used world-wide.

b-Tax v1.4 is available now from the iTunes store at the introductory price of $0.99 / $0.59, not including tax ironically... (via MobileMag). ~LOL~

Kids, now you can ask for a brand new iPhone to your mom and dad by telling them how useful the Apple's mobile phone is. Just tell them that they can borrow the iPhone from you once awhile for calculating taxes, but remember; don't forget to calculate the iPhone tax when you're going to get one. ;-p

Monday, February 2, 2009

T-Mobile, Dell & Fujitsu to shower us with Android mobile devices this year

It's gonna be one hell'a fight later this year in mobile market, where Google's open platform for mobile phone has picked up its first pace with the help from T-Mobile G1 phone back in 2008, and that's just the start for Android.

We know we'll be seeing more Android phones after a quite successful launch of G1, but instead of having rumors to confirm of the next gen of G1, an assurance came directly from T-Mobile camp itself.

Neville Ray; T-Mobile's senior vice president of engineering and operations in USA slipped out this when interviewed by FierceWireless (via AndroidGuys):

"Our primary focus is consumer-based devices. As the year progresses there will be a significant number of HSPA-capable smart phones. We will be launching more G series phones and other products. You will see us launch a data card product. This will be happening in the coming weeks and months."

That's it, that's the truth bomb; there will more Gs coming our way. And judging from the way Ray spoke of them, the phones seem to be already prepared and ready for launch soon. How much can you spell Gs in a row...? ;-p

A second coming of Android phone is from Dell, the USA-based computer manufacturer has long been rumored making mobile phones not only with Google's mobile OS, but also with Microsoft's Windows Mobile as well. PC World was reporting the Dell's phone code name is MePhone, which will run on both mobile OS respectively.

The rumor has been running back as far as from July 2007, but the reassurance this time came from Wall Stree Journal who reported Dell will introduce in February at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona two new mobile phones.

And for the last one is a big announcement came from Fujitsu, the Japan-based computer company has announced a new project called “Service Built for Android”. The project is aiming for the company to assist any other company who's interested and looking to deploy Android-based devices.

Fujitsu_service_built_for_androidAccording to Android Community; the service is not limited to smartphones, either, with Fujitsu suggesting cars, consumer electronics and embedded devices being ideal candidates for Google’s open-source platform.

Assistance can take any form of consulting, training, engineering and embedded middleware. It’s unclear how much Fujitsu will be charging for the technical support, but they maintain that in utilizing both the free platform and their own services will see a cheaper final product and faster deployment.

Oh boy, Palm you better watch out and your new webOS™ better be as good as you've demonstrated, cuz it'll sure is going to face a tight competition ahead.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The curious case of iPhone multi-touch patent (Apple vs. Palm)

"I was born under unusual circumstances." And so begins 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

In respect of the aforementioned great movie, I feel a funny similarity between the movie with the current situation that befell on Palm and its upcoming smartphone: the Prē™. As we all know it, ever since the Prē™ introduced for the first time at CES 2009, it draws plenty of attentions not only from Palm-fans but also both from tech enthusiasts and competitors.

The Prē™ is yet to be launched and land on the market into our palms, but the newly born child of Palm which is supposedly to save the company to stay afloat in today’s tough competition has the possibility to face a potential law suit from Apple. Where for the last weeks, Apple and Palm have been exchanging nothing but brawl talks through mass media.

Neither of both companies are pointing their fingers at the moment, but it’s easy to guess since this all started when Apple COO Tim Cook was asked about Palm Prē™, and how close some parts of the Palm webOS™ mimics iPhone multi-touch gestures. And when U.S. Patent Office awarded Apple with the iPhone multi-touch patent, the Cupertino-based company now has grounds to start law suits against Palm. It’s only a matter of time until we see an ugly fight between those companies which are both well known for creating break through innovations…

While for us, end users and consumers it’s more interesting to know what is it about iPhone multi-touch patent that Apple plans to protect with whatever arsenals the company has. The curiosity is enough to make these three famous tech sites to published deeper analysts to look into the patent dispute:Though each of them have their own different perspectives on how to take a look at the iPhone multi-touch patent dispute, I found thin red strings that connect their analysts together. I’ll just gonna take the most compelling points, for more thorough discussions you can visit them by clicking on the respective links above.

The 358-page mother of all (multi-touch) patents

Iphone multi-touch patent I’m quoting from Rob, which I think the awarded 358-page of iPhone multi-touch patent is indeed the source of all law suits to come from Apple. And he also gives a nice explanation, in rather acerbic words yet true if I may say, about the generosity of pages for one patent: “Steve Jobs, who never takes no for an answer, wanted his folks to patent the iPhone. They did this in what appears to be the mother of all patents.”

It is hard to transcribe a new technology in words, not even for the inventors themselves nor for the lawyers, just like what Prof. Wagner has said to Gizmodo: ”Patent claims are an attempt to use words to describe things and ideas, an imperfect way of operating. In an ideal world we'd have patent claims that look like a title record you get for your house [your property starts exactly 200 feet from this road walking in exactly this direction, etc]. But it is incredibly difficult to predict exactly what a patent will or won't cover.”

If we are to remember the multi-touch in iPhone, it went way back to the first introduction of iPhone first generation at Macworld 2007 by Steve Jobs himself, where the “patented revolutionary UI (User Interface)” line written all over the slides on big screen. And long before that, Apple has bought a company called FingerWorks back in 2005, who founders Wayne Westerman is also named in the iPhone multi-touch patent along with Steve Jobs.

Apple has prepared iPhone multi-touch technology for quite some time, so it does make sense in a way for the company to defend the IPs (Intellectual Property) which have cost millions of dollars and cooked long till ready in its R&D department.

Patent fights

Apple is not the only one who can think of preparing for legal law suit against Palm, in fact Nilay (Engadget) has dug up four patents from literally hundreds of Palm’s patents that seem to directly implicate the iPhone.

It’s not a simple “pillow-fight” anymore, a fight which no one will receive serious injuries. But if Apple is forcing the iPhone multi-touch patent to the court, Palm might use its own patents to counter back Apple, and so the table could turn into Palm’s favor. Remember, Palm has been in the mobile (PDA and smartphone) market long before Apple was.

Cow law suitRob (TG Daily) is also reminding us on how alike this patent fight of Microsoft vs. Linux in the past, but this time Apple is in Microsoft’s role while Palm as Linux. Back then, Microsoft was threatening Linux with litigation for violations over its patents and copyrights. In the end and even until today, Microsoft has calm down and stashed away the litigation in ice box although we got to wonder what would’ve happened if it went to court. Microsoft may not win, if so then the software giant would even possibly loose all of its precious patents and copyrights as well. And this could be the same case for Apple vs. Palm right now.

Risks assessment

Alright, enough of the long talk about what kind of patent Apple has or Palm has. It’s tiring enough to hear the 358-page of the multi-touch patent, I can’t imagine how boring it is to discuss one page after another. Let’s get to the point: who’s going to win this patent dispute? Apple, or Palm?

I’m going to present to you first the insight view by Rob (TG Daily) about how dangerous it is for Apple if its thick patent fail in court: ”… smaller patents can be defended individually and losing a small number of them would not necessarily put the entire phone at risk. But if any major part of this patent fails it could effectively take the entire patent out…”

That’s true, the biggest risk for losing the patent for Apple is almost equal as losing the iPhone itself. And Nilay (Engadget) said: “…by suing Palm, Apple's putting its iPhone patents at risk, and that's an awful big ante. Same for Palm if it sues Apple and loses -- it stands the risk of losing its patents…”

Yes of course, Apple has a solid & firm grounds for sticking up its iPhone multi-touch technologies covered in the patent. Apple can win the case, if it ever goes to court.

But if I may put a counter argument, or like what Rob (TG Daily) has put it way much better in his own words: “Each item in Apple's patent, once in front of a judge, could have widely different interpretations depending on the judge, which is generally why you try to keep patents as simple as possible.”

Rob’s argument is sound, and it's in somewhat same circle of what Prof. Wagner has said above to John (Gizmodo). No inventors, not to mention the lawyers who don’t fully understand the invented technologies, can able to describe them in plain words or pictures.

One last thoughtPalm pre face small

"Designing around patents requires innovation," said Prof. Wagner, "and a lot of times, the end result turns out better than the what was being imitated." Again, another sound argument. Technology is a never ending innovation, it grows upon older ones, and the roots can be traced back to the most aging technologies invented by somebody else.

The remaining question for all of us is not whether or not there’s a hole in the iPhone multi-touch patent to be used by Palm, but instead we need to focus on bigger issue for the future of smartphones: will iPhone multi-touch patent stifle the innovations since it covers almost all of the advanced functions for touch screen devices (ex: swipe, pinch, etc.)?

IMHO it’s like someone has patented the sliding mechanism for doors, where every door in the whole world will be forced to use the usual swing mechanism or pay the patent for just a bit of variation to use the door…

TapIt4Me brings "snippets" to iPhone/iPod Touch

Don't get the wrong idea when you heard "snippets" for your iPhone, because this isn't the cut&paste feature you've been eagerly waiting for.

But it's good enough to help you write faster in notes and email, although this app doesn't work to send SMS messages or to expand text in Safari or other apps.

TapIt4Me is a text expander for iPhone or iPod Touch (software v2.0 or above required), for example just type 'br' and let TapIt4Me expand it to 'Best regards' (pictured on the left).

To email, launch TapIt4Me, compose your text using your shortcuts for speed and accuracy then select Mail from the action menu. To reply to an email, click reply in Apple's Mail app then press the home button and launch TapIt4Me.

Sources are from AppBeacon, via Macworld.