Monday, March 30, 2009

Trēo 680 promptly appears in the Transporter 3 movie

I think I'm on a streak of luck this week, I keep on spotting Palm Trēo™ everytime I made an appointment with my tv and get comfy with the sofa. First it was in tv series, and this time I saw Trēo™ 680 in the "Transporter 3" movie.

I almost didn't recognize it when the Trēo™ 680 appears for the first time, because it isn't shot close-up. But I noticed it immediately by the glow of the keyboard when used, as you can see yourself at the left picture. The keyboard light also gives out the clue that it is the Trēo™ 680; the alphabet buttons are lighted up while the numerics are not.

It became real clear when in another scene the Trēo™ 680 is placed on the table along with other mobile phones, the Trēo's color is grey so I'm quite positive that it is not the 750 or 755p. All of the scenes showed the Trēo™ 680 very quickly.

Natalya rudakova
For Palm-addicts, especially you who own a Trēo™ like me, these appearances of Trēos in movies and tv series prove that the smartphone of our choice is not that old and left behind. In fact that shows how much Palm smartphones have become an important part of modern digital life style for many people around the world.

Although sadly the Trēo™ 680 in this movie is used by the bad guys, too bad. But thank God there's the pretty Natalya Rudakova (inset picture on the right) playing the main female character in the movie, she surely is a sight for my sore eyes. *sigh* I think I've fell in love... ~LOL~

A dream for an heir to the Air

If we are allowed to have a dream for the successor to the crown holder of the thinnest laptop in the world: The MacBook Air (MBA), then what it'll look like in your imagination? Does it look like the picture above?

What you see up there is not the new MacBook 2009 with glossy dark-colored screen, it is alledgedly the upcoming new "MacBook Mini", well that is according to a 9to5Mac reader (via Gizmodo) from Russia. There's no confirmation whether this is an actual product from Apple, we have to expect this could be just a(nother) photoshop-ed picture made by a hardcore Apple fan. It may be called as "MacBook Mini", maybe to fit it into the long heard rumors about Mac netbook version, but the side view of the device looks exactly the same as MBA.

Although looking at the picture, everything looks to be in the right place. It has the same keyboard design like the MBA's, and it's only natural to assume that Apple will also put the glossy dark-colored screen used in MacBook line-ups onto the MBA. And here's the list of the specs:
  • 10.4" WXGA 1280x768 pixels, LED backlighting
  • 267x195x4
  • 19.4 mm
  • 1.03 (of something?)
  • NVidia MCP79, 533 MHz
  • Intel Atom Z740, 1.83 Ghz, 1MB L2 cache
  • 2GB DDR3-800
  • NVidia GeForce 9400M
  • 64GB SSD
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n
  • 1 USB, 1 mini display port
  • 5100 mA Li-Ion battery
I can't find the price of this purpotedly Air-like MacBook at the 9to5Mac post, but Gizmodo says it will come sometime in 2009 for $899. Head on there to see more pictures, and prepare a drool bucket just in case you fall in and starts believing. I know I will, I wanted to... because all these time I've been dreaming for a cheaper version of MBA to come out. If just this rumor doesn't came out in Russian... ~LOL~

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Microsoft’s new ad hits Mac’s weak spot

So, this is where Microsoft Steve Ballmer was heading when he said Apple users are paying $500 extra for a fruit logo on their machine.

You must’ve at least seen the new ‘anti-Mac’ ad from Microsoft, either you saw it on tv or from YouTube. It is mostly the talked about topic even as I’m writing this blog, which has stirred up so many buzz around the net, especially at Apple camps all over the blogosphere. Steve Ballmer must be full of himself at this moment. ~LOL~

After a couple of confusing ads starring Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the $300 million worth campaign to rehabilitate the Windows brand started as a huge failure. But the motion began to kick in when Microsoft used average-common people to celebrities in the “I’m a PC” ads, from a 4-year-old cutie named Kylie to self-help guru Deepak Chopra. And this new ad is also starring an ordinary but real person, not to mention a cute gal: Lauren.

But before I continue discussing about the ad, surely you noticed that I deliberately wrote "Microsoft's ad” at the title above, instead of "Windows ad." The reason is quite simple, that's because like the aforementioned new ad's title itself which says: "Laptop Hunter $1000," it is actually talking about getting a laptop priced under $1000. And it's not talking about buying a Windows-based laptop or a Mac OS-powered laptop, but it is focusing on the hardware. I’ll explain later, just bear a little with me for awhile.

Let’s get to know a bit about the star of the ad first and what’s it all about, alrite? Lauren, is a red-haired recent college grad who become an office manager and actress. But perhaps the most honest description of her is like what Engadget said: Lauren's a little funky, a little folksy… She was looking for a speedy laptop with a 17-inch screen and a "comfortable" keyboard, all for less than $1,000. At first she made a stop at an Apple Store, the scene quickly jumps to her getting back in the car empty-handed and explains that the only laptop in her price range only has a 13-inch screen.

Then Lauren says: "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."

She ends up at Best Buy, buying a 17-inch Hp Pavilion Windows-based notebook for $699 with a smile on her face. But she was even more ecstatic when the camera crew told her she’ll be a star in a Microsoft’s ad. Microsoft said there was "screaming, yelling, jumping up and down, high fives, thumbs up."

Microsoft says they picked up 10 people who answered a call for volunteers on Craigslist and other websites, accompanied with a camera crew and budgets ranging from $700 to $2,000, the volunteers will be allowed to keep the laptop that fit in their criteria. And if Lauren’s story is not shocking for you, then how about this: while some of the volunteers might have been able to find an Apple computer that fit the budget, Microsoft said none of them picked a Mac!

After the ad aired and the news about it spread on the net, the mouth brawls broke out almost at every article or blog posts that cover the ad. They all come down to an old battle between Apple fans and Windows loyalists, where both of them defending their honor from each other’s attack. It is a bloody pit of bad mouthful arguments, it is ugly, and it is endless. You get the idea.

But poor Lauren, at the end of the day she also became a target of those awful commenters. Like this one who posted at Gizmodo: "I don't care if that broke b*tch can't afford a Mac. I would love to see a study where you give a couple people $2500 and see which laptop they buy." That may be right, if someone has more money to spend then a Mac could be on the top of the list, it would be the contrary if you’re broke. Although at the same time admits that a Mac is indeed pricier than a PC, and that is Mac’s weak spot against PC.

Other than that, I need not to say more. Apple users can argue with plenty of reason on why a Mac costs more than a PC, like many additional user-friendly features offered in every Mac OS X which make users able to run it about 10 minutes after came out of the box. And a Mac is still considered safer than Windows because there simply isn't much malware out there thus the odds of something targeting it is so low, even though if an attacker cared to target them it would be easier for them; as said by Charlie Miller the security expert who took over a MacBook through Safari in 10 seconds at the Pwn2Own hacking competition.

If we’re to put the experience from using a Mac into the math, then it won’t take 10 hours, or 10 days or even 10 minutes for a typical geek to choose the more friendly system: the Mac. Windows Vista is not attracting much of success like XP does, Microsoft know this and waited for the Windows 7 before starts taking the OS battle head-to-head with Mac OS X. Speaking of user experience on Windows, I happened to had another system failure of Windows XP running on a new HDD. Yup, I’m a PC, but even now I begin to think about switching to Mac… ;-p

Ingenously, Microsoft tries to avoid mentioning about the Mac OS in the new ad and concentrate the price compared with the same specifications of the hardware. Like I said before above, the ad is not talking about the OS. But even so, we can’t negate or dismiss the fact that Apple has put a lot of efforts in designing the Macs, especially with the new aluminum ‘unibody’ technology used to construct the latest Mac line-ups. To rest down the case; they (PCs and Macs) are not the same piece of hardware at the first place.

But the funniest part comes last; what will happen if Lauren is given a Mac right now so she can compare herself which one is better? Which one do you think she’ll choose? And that’s what Mitch Gewirtz from Michigan wanted to find out by giving his 17-inch G4 PowerBook to Lauren as a free gift, take a visit to Gizmodo page to read Mitch’s letter. Me, personally, I’d love to see how the love connection end. Hopefully Lauren is 100% real person, not some kind of paid actors, so she will answer Mitch’s generosity. And that would be a thrill to see… ~LOL~

For the last note; if Microsoft is able to create such buzzes even coming out from Apple users with this kinda ad, then the software giant has achieved their first intention of making the ads: to make people talk about Windows again. What will happen next? Be sure to wait for Apple to strikes back with another genuine “Get a Mac” ads cause things are just heating up and get interesting…

Sources are from:

Revisit the Palm Trēo Pro

Let’s take a break from our desire for new news about the Prē™ for awhile, and revisit the latest yet almost forgotten Palm’s creation: the Trēo™ Pro. It is the latest, and hopefully not the last, from Trēo™ line-up which was the convergence of Palm’s PDA with phone functionality and basically put Palm in the map of smartphone market.

For most smartphone users, the Trēo™ Pro doesn’t seem much different from other Windows Mobile-powered smartphones out there in the market. But not for Palm users, or shall I say for Palm-‘addicts’. *wink*

The Trēo™ Pro represent more than physical beauty, it carries the big change in Palm within its slim shell. The sleek body dipped in obsidian black color combined with new screen design that’s flush with the chassis, silently screams out elegant aura and set it free from the old design, or like what Laura M. Holson from the New York Times (NYT) calls Palm’s old design as “calculator-like design.”

“No Detail is Small,”
that’s what written on the packaging of Trēo™ Pro. And that is the new change in Palm, which is led by Jon Rubinstein, the executive chairman who was brought in to revolutionize the company.

Stephane Maes, vice president of Palm smartphone product marketing, told a story to NYT when he and a team from Palm were summoned to Rubinstein’s beachside home outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to show about 30 different devices. Rubinstein questioned the team about those devices, and after listening to their explanations, he canceled several Trēos in development, because he thought there were too many products. And besides the Cēntro™, the Trēo™ Pro is the other device approved and we admire right now.

Rubinstein is known for his cold steady hand to turn everything he touches into high quality products, after all he was the man that Apple CEO Steve Jobs asked to lead the hardware engineering division at the ailing Apple back then. Rubinstein also known to look for every details, he has regular status reviews where each product is pored over and discussed. The Trēo™ Pro’s jewel-like packaging is just a(nother) example of his relentless passion for details.

The same vision is emphasized by Peter Skillman, Palm's VP of Design who said: "It takes a hundred little details in aggregate that make for tsunami of a great experience, and what we really wanted to do with Palm is to nail all of the little things and actually drive that across the board ... all of these little things matter, and this is what we really doing at Palm." Head on to my old post to watch the Trēo™ Pro video promo.

For those of you who haven’t see the Trēo™ Pro in person, like me, then you can visit Jose Izquierdo’s album (Flickr link) to see glorious shots of unboxing the Trēo™ Pro in detail. A bit of warning; you might want to chain your legs first before going there, because you’ll soon start running to the nearest Palm store wanting to buy a Trēo™ Pro for yourself afterwards. ;-)

Speaking of buying a Trēo™ Pro, I’ve just realized that it is not on sale anymore on certain Asian Pacific countries including here in my country. I visited the local Palm website, and found out that the Trēo™ Pro is not listed there any longer. The others are China & India. Perhaps Palm is planning to put more focus on the next generation of new smartphone: the Prē™…

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Prē lifts Palm in the eyes of Wall Street analysts

Everyone thought Palm was going down for sure when there was no new smartphone introduce before the company finally revealed the Prē™ at CES 2009 early this year, but for the company that pioneered the path of PDA into our digital lifestyle is still rated as the sixth most heavily shorted company; according to Wall Street Journal data.

But even with gloomy stock value at Palm's camp, the analysts at Wall Street are betting that high demand for the Prē™ will once again make Palm become a strong player in the industry. Here's the rest of the encouraging news as quoted from Larry Dignan (ZDNet's editor in chief):

According to Thomson Reuters data, there are eight analysts rating Palm shares a "buy." Three months ago, there were only two analysts in the buy camp. One analyst calls Palm a "strong buy." Thirteen analysts call Palm a "hold."
On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank upped Palm's price target to $12 and reiterated its "buy" rating.

Palm CEO Ed Colligan along with other executives have delivered confident at the company's third quarter earnings conference call in launching the Prē™ right on schedule, Larry says: "Traders, however, are anything but confident about Palm's prospects." That's true, but there's someone else: Palm fans all around the world who have been waiting for Palm to rise again. You go Palm! Don't you dare disappoint us (again)... ;-)

Trēo 700p still used in one of CSI: Las Vegas latest episodes

I was just catching up on the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation): Las Vegas tv series this afternoon, and as I was sitting comfortly on the couch, I almost missed the appearance of Palm Trēo 700p during the show.

Lucky enough, the Trēo 700p was shot close up and personal so it's pretty obvious to see. It was belong to the victim, which was used to write down expenses such as telephone and car bills. And how do I know it is the 700p instead of the 680? The big ol' antenna is the one which gives away the clue that it is the 700p model (left image).

It's quite amazing, really. With all those new smartphones in the market nowadays, the Palm Trēo 700p is still used in one of the CSI latest episodes (season 9, episodes 15: Kill Me If You Can). And what's more amazing is, that it's not the newer model (680) which is used. This shows how attached common people (in the U.S.) to Palm's smartphones, especially the early models.

Perhaps the Prē will be able to repeat this much of success for Palm? Do you see this Palm? You better be... ;-p

Microsoft dares another lawsuits with Windows Touch logo

Microsoft is on the loose again...

Even with embarassing lawsuits on its Windows Vista compatibility sticker still linger in our memory, the software giant dares us all again with another highly potential lawsuit in the future by announcing the Windows Touch logo program.

Microsoft plans to standardize the new touch feature which will be built-in to Windows 7, and the approach is with Windows Touch logo program, the logo will tell consumers that the PC and all of its components are optimized for the touch feature.

"A major benefit of the Windows ecosystem is diversity – PCs come in all shapes and sizes. To help ensure that there is a great Windows Touch experience across the many different types of PCs we have defined a set of measurements and tests for Windows Touch that are part of the Windows Logo," said by the Windows 7 team at their blog.

And like the same ol' Microsoft we know who love to diversify its products offering, this Windows Touch logo will also be spread over three different type of softwares to support the touch feature, they called it as a 'Good-Better-Best software stack':
  1. Good: The “good” bucket is what touch-unaware applications get for free from Windows 7. This type will provide basic support for touch features such as scrolling and zooming.
  2. Better: The “better” bucket is focused on adding direct gesture support and other small behavior and UI changes to make apps more touch-friendly.
  3. Best: Applications or features that fall into the “best” bucket are designed from the ground up to be great touch experiences. Developers can use this to go beyond the core system gestures and build custom gesture support for their applications.
Sounds confusing? Don't worry, you're not the only one. We can smell 'stinky' confusing sticker incident long before this Windows Touch logo program becomes official along with the final release of Windows 7. But maybe that's how Microsoft rolls, that's how they do their business, that's how they like the attentions coming from lawsuits.

Add this Windows Touch logo into the six types of Windows 7 offering, mix them together, stirred not shaken, and voila! You'll get a headache in no time for choosing the right Windows version for your PC computer or laptop/netbook, too bad the package doesn't include an aspirin. ;-p

But IMHO, Microsoft is not only rising potential lawsuits on this Windows Touch logo from confused consumers, the new built-in touch feature in Windows 7 is also inviting possible lawsuit against iPhone's multi-touch patent from Apple. Just take a look at how the Windows 7 team describes the core gestures of Windows 7's touch feature:
  • Tap and Double-tap: Touch and release to click. This is the most basic touch action.
  • Drag: Touch and slide your finger on screen.Macbook trackpad multitouch
  • Scroll: Drag up or down on the content (not the scrollbar!) of scrollable window to scroll.
  • Zoom: Pinch two fingers together or apart to zoom in or out on a document.
  • Two-Finger Tap: Tapping with two fingers simultaneously zooms in about the center of the gesture or restores to the default zoom.
  • Rotate: Touch two spots on a digital photo and twist to rotate it just like a real photo.
  • Flicks: Flick left or right to navigate back and forward in a browser and other apps.
  • Press-and-hold: Hold your finger on screen for a moment and release after the animation to get a right-click.
Don't they look familiar to you? Especially for iPhone users, and for those who owns the new MacBooks with its multi-touch glass trackpad. And if the 358-page of iPhone multi-touch patent does cover most of the basic and advanced use of touch features, then Apple has the chance of rattling the lion's cage (read: Microsoft's own touch patents). Because it's for sure that Microsoft will bring some of those Windows Touch features into Windows Mobile 7, it's only a matter of time...

Sources are from Windows 7 blog, via Electronista.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How will Apple handle iPhone death by the Push Notification?

Rene Ritchie from the iPhone blog posted up a very interesting question entitled "Dear Apple: How Will You Handle Death-By-Push-Notification?"

The iPhone OS 3.0 is promised by Apple to arrive on summer this year, and among the most talked about features beside those user-friendly features, is the Push Notification service. It is basically Apple's workaround for background process which is demanded by iPhone software developers, in short the Push Notification will alert users whenever there are new messages coming in. But Rene thought something about this service that might actually causes more problems than solution and most probably death to the iPhone itself, here it is:

"It’s summer 2009 and iPhone OS 3.0 has just been made available via iTunes. ... Then it happens. 20 new Twitter DMs. 3 co-workers IM you. Every tech blog you follow updates about iTunes not crashing this time. Your calendar reminds you about that meeting coming up. And your entire FPS combat team all invite you to come join their game. Suddenly Push Notification is trying to pop up 30 text boxes all at once — while you’re in the middle of an urgent phone call."

Rene got a point there, even though we don't know how the Push Notification service implemented in real use because the iPhone OS 3.0 software has yet to be released, Apple has not disclosed any details regarding how the long awaited service will handle many notifications at once. It seems unfair to say Apple might not see this kinda problem coming from miles away, not to say that Apple has been prepping this service since the introduction of iPhone OS 2.0, and they say it is ready now.

But for sure, it's very interesting to envision how the Push Notification will take shape when it's coming along with the software update. Now from here on, everything I'll say is under the AS IF condition because they're just predictions. For you who read my previous post about this new Push Notification service in the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0, here's a quick reminder of the three kind of the Push Notification types:

  1. Iphone_30_appstore_push_notificationbadges overlay an app icon on iPhone home screen (like the red unread message count icon over Mail app),
  2. sound alerts,
  3. text alerts that visually appear like text message alert.
I'd say the iPhone OS 3.0 will keep the old way of handling the incoming messages, it will stack the messages like we have now with the current software, but if user dismisses the messages then those will be shown as red-colored circle badges with numbers on the top of the related app icons. Only after user decides to open those messages by launching the related apps, then the app will tell Apple's server that the messages have been opened to reduce the un-open messages left. Because like what I've mentioned in my previous post, that the app only maintain connection with Apple's server only if it's running.

Suffice to say, users won't loose the dismissed messages but still don't solve the hassle if there are over 20-30 messages coming in and you need to check them one by one via related apps. Apple's answer if asked, is probably will recommend users to use the new Spotlight feature to quickly search for the un-open messages. But even with Spotlight, users will probably (again...) have to remember what messages coming from which apps, or need to remember the key words from the messages. Unless the iPhone's Spotlight can perform like the one in Macs, where for an example all the users need to do is write "new message" then Spotlight will show them in alphabetical order or according to the oldest first or newest ones.

It'll be interesting to see how Apple will wrap this up in a nice little bundle of package called iPhone OS 3.0, because no matter how it'll be handled, the iPhone will always be compared to its closest rival: the Palm Prē™ with its multi-cards system. Just like what Rene has said: "Both the Google Android with its top-down slider and the Palm Pre with their bottom loaded notification area provide a far less obtrusive and simultaneously more persistent — and dare we say more elegant? — notification solution." ;-)

Geeks reinvent the new iPod Shuffle as a fashion tech-cessory

Read this post with one big Apple love that hearts every products the fruit-logo company make, especially the intriguing new iPod Shuffle.

I haven't got the chance to mock... err, I mean to discuss the new Shuffle, but since Sammy is throwing a brand new Shuffle at PalmAddict, then I suppose this will be a good time to do so.

As you've already learned, Apple decided to ditch the famous wheel-click and replaced it with voice control located at the earbud cord, the new technology called VoiceOver. Because of that making the new Shuffle thinner than ever, and weight less than the previous models. But Apple also touting it as "Fashion tech-cessory," and it appears to be true.

Take the sassy-beauty Veronica Belmont for an instance, she uses her new Shuffle as hair clip. Perhaps she lost her daily hair clip, and so her boyfriend the Gdgt tech-blogger Ryan Block took the initiative to replace it with the newly bought Shuffle. But still, she noted the Shuffle as a potential choking hazard. ;-p

And there's Dylan Tweney, who uses his Shuffle for tie clip (right image). That's actually a great way to show off your new gadget to your co-workers, as well as a fashion replacement for those fancy expensive tie clips used by uptight executives.

In any ways, they all are making the most of their new Shuffle. Showing that even geeks also have their fashion awareness too, it's just kinda quirky to see how they thought about it and do it. Hey maybe it's true, seeing the Apple logo really do make you to think more creative? ~LOL~

Source is from iPhone Savior.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Get $5 worth Wolfstein 3D for FREE at Cydia

No really, you didn't misread that. The exact same game Wolfstein 3D game from Id Software, which is offered for $5 at App Store since March 23rd; is now available for free at Cydia!

It is the exact same, because it is the same game. It's all thanks to Id Software who published the game under General Public License (GPL), and put the source code in the open for everyone to download.

Two days later Zodttd simply downloaded the source, compiled, and published it to Cydia. Click on this link (via ModMyiPhone) to get it!

So, I wonder which one you'll choose: the $5 worth official game or the free legal same game at no cost? *chuckles* Like I need to ask, rite? ;-p

Ngmoco CEO: "Why the iPhone has changed everything"

Kicking off the Game Developer Conference (GDC) as one of the starting speakers, Neil Young; founder and CEO of Ngmoco stole everybody's attention with his presentation entitled: "Why the iPhone has changed everything."

He opened the speech with a discussion of mobile platforms war between the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, Neil theorized how Nintendo might use the native functionality of the iPhone. Neil believes that the iPhone’s social qualities will affect all apps and there will be likely a whole new slew of online multiplayer apps.

Then his presentation showed 'LiveFire', a first person game app for iPhone from Ngmoco which is based upon the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 software. LiveFire uses Push Notification so users can request a friend to join the game, the game also features the new In-App Purchase to buy new weapons and levels directly from the game. Please read my previous post for brief explanation on these two new features.

Ngmoco livefire

Neil sees iPhone as a game changing device that bring together console, social, and PC gaming into one platform. “The App store has created a level playing field,” said Neil. He explains that Apple has “fostered an ecosystem … there are over ten thousand developers out there” in addition to over twenty-five thousand applications. Neil's words somehow in match with what I've described in my post about iPhone OS 3.0 impact on other mobile platforms.

Read the whole news coverage at Macworld article, and you can watch the LiveFire demo at this link.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meebo CEO: iPhone's Push Notification is what we needed

Apple plans to put inside plenty of user-friendly features into the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 software update in summer, and the Cupertino-based company is working on a native iPhone feature to answer the challenge of multitasking ability from other mobile platforms: Push Notification.

Software developers have been complaining about the lack of background process in iPhone which is needed for their apps to work properly, but instead of letting they have it their way, Apple promises a more efficient way to do that with Push Notification (read my previous post on this).

Meebo has been around for quite some time, where before the iPhone OS 3.0 arrive, Meebo has a web-optimized iPhone app and an Android app to offer to its users. And Ars Technica spoke with Meebo's CEO Seth Sternberg about his company's forthcoming chat app, and why it will make a significant breakthrough for iPhone. Here's a snip of the interview:

When asked why Meebo has waited until now to offer a native iPhone app Sternberg offered the obvious answer: Push Notifications. "We have high standards, and a native chat app without some kind of a background system is a bad experience." Push Notifications was the answer Meebo needed, and the forthcoming iPhone OS 3.0 feature will allow users to be alerted of new messages even when they're not running the software.

We are yet to know how good and useful this Push Notification feature will be until iPhone OS 3.0 released to users later, but for a start Meebo is feeling the love of what the Push Notification can bring to their app. And like what David Chartier from Ars Technica has said in his article: "When Meebo arrives sometime this summer, it will probably be one of the best examples of what is possible with iPhone OS 3.0's new Push Notifications features." There will be more apps to come to make the most of this new Push Notificaition feature. Read the rest of the interview at Ars Technica page.

John Mayer's Twitter addiction made Jennifer Aniston dump him

Mark this post under the 'off topic' category, well slightly but not completely. Because it did however involve the use of Twitter, which many of you use nowadays.

The broken hearted but so loveable Jennifer Aniston has always been an easy target of celebrities gossip ever since she broke up with Brad Pitt, and unfortunately her latest love story with John Mayer doesn't have a happy ending either.

Jen (40) reportedly dumped John (31) after finding out he's addictively post his idle thoughts on Twitter rather than to talk or spend time with her. According to Jen's friend who told Star magazine:

“John suddenly stopped calling her or returning her emails and when she would finally catch up with him, he’d say: ‘I’ve been so busy with work. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to call you back’. Jen was fuming. There he was, telling her he didn’t have time for her and yet his page was filled with Twitter updates.”

“Every few hours, sometimes minutes, he’d update with some stupid line. And in her mind, she was like ‘He has time for all this Twittering, but he can’t send me a text, an email, make a call?’ He didn’t even deny it. He knew he was avoiding her. So when she called him on it and ended things, he just said OK, and that he was sorry it didn’t work out. He took the break-up like a man.”

The "Marley & Me" actress is now single, again. Giving hope to hundreds of single men out there, even though they can only fantasize of having one date with her. John, you might regret your geek addiction someday... And this goes for you guys too, who love to Twitter so much rather than to have a real relationship with someone real in the real world. ;-p

Sources are from Valleywag and Gossip Girls.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The pretty "white-lies" of Apple's secret to success

What is Apple's secret to success? That's a million-dollar worth of question if you can give the answer to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

There were many attempts to discover the secret, Apple has been measured, spied upon and poked around many times but the answer remain as one big mystery.

But what do you know, on Thursday at the McGraw-Hill Companies' Media Summit New York, where Steve Ballmer was interviewed via webcast by BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Stephen Adler; Microsoft CEO finally found out one of the answers in his own "white-lies" version:

"The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be."

Is Ballmer right? Do they (Mac users) paid $500 extra just to get a fruit logo slapped on their hardware? Is this Apple's secret? Is that why Steve Jobs is so filthy-rich? Weeell... not exactly, but Ballmer does have a point there. Because let's take the white 13-inch MacBook for an example; it is sold for $999 which you'll get 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, 2GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive. Let be honest here okay, for the same price you can get a better equipped PC laptop. But yes, it is a Windows-powered machine not a Mac.

Personally, I found the price is also one big obstacle for me to own the cutting-edge (literally) MacBook Air with the highest model. Which I have to pay a hefty additional $999 from the base price tag for the 128GB SSD instead of the lame ol' 160GB HDD, no wonder I keep thinking it is ridiculous and never get one. But that's just me though... ;-p

But why even though they know that they're paying more money for a Mac than a PC, they still buy it? Mac users can give plenty of answers and reasons on why they chose a Mac not a PC, but let's not delve into technical stuffs because perhaps the most honest answer is like what Scott Kriens (Juniper’s CEO at Sunnyvale) has said: "Everybody told me I should get one, it's not anything to do with negative perceptions about Microsoft. It's just that Macs are cool."

Ohkay, if talking about feeling is not scientific enough for you, how about this: according to researchers at Duke University and the University of Waterloo that when thinking about Apple makes people more creative. They conducted a test by showing brand logo of companies like Apple and IBM, and after exposing them to the brands, the researchers asked subjects to describe as many uses for a brick as they could.

Subconsious apple logo2The results are: IBM-primed subjects had strikingly uniform answers, most people mentioned a door stop or a paperweight. While the Apple-primed subjects averaged 30% more answers and independent reviewers also deemed their answers as more creative.

You must be asking, how creative? Gavan Fitzsimons, one of the Duke professors who conducted the study said: “But the subjects who had seen Apple’s logo also came up with uses like tying it around my roommate’s foot and throwing him in a deep pond." ~LOL~

Fitzsimons believes that the key to shaping behavior is unconsciously planting the brand image. And so Fitzsimons replaced his Thinkpad with a Mac three months after the test. “I figure I’ll be walking by it everyday and sometimes I’ll see it without thinking,” he said. “I felt like if I really believe this stuff, I should put my money where my mouth is.” ~bigger LOL~

And that's probably the pretty white-truth that Steve Ballmer has been looking for, the real honest answer to his problem why with all the large amount of money injected to promote Windows and even with help from Jerry Seinfield have all failed. It's like what Mark Slaga, chief information officer of Dimension Data, who says he received up to 25 e-mails from his employees asking for permission to use Macs at work. He concedes, "Steve Jobs doesn't need a sales force because he already has one: employees like the ones in my company."

That's gotta be one hell of a hard-honest feeling for Steve Ballmer to chew on... ;-)

Sources are from:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0 impact on other mobile platforms

It had been two straight posts where I was talking about the iPhone OS 3.0 software and the exciting new features in it, so I better stop using “part” to show continuous topic and start with a new title before it gets out of hand. ~LOL~

iPhone is on the spotlight once again with the announcement of new software update that’s coming to this summer, or let’s just say the news have cooled down a bit and will be on the rise again when the software update is released (months from now) to users worldwide.

And as iPhone users are having “itchy update fingers” on to the OS 3.0, how about software developers? With many other mobile platforms out there right now: Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, Android and even the upcoming Palm’s webOS™; they are facing a big challenge on which platform they should be supporting. Or instead, should they do like what Scott Austin from Wall Street Journal has said in his article: “…or should they spend the extra effort and money to make sure the app works across multiple operating systems?”

Scott is not the only one who’s been thinking about this dilemma for developers, ZDNet blogger Larry Dignan also has been thinking about the same thing: “There are only so many developers and there is only so much time. At some point developers will have to choose sides–or at least eliminate a few platforms as options.”

Larry then concluded that in the end the selection will likely boils down to three obvious factors: money, reach of the platform, and developer relations. But both Larry and Scott indirectly agree on the important of how developer friendly is for a platform to support great apps to be developed for the success of the platform itself, simply put: the developers along with their apps are one of the keys to make a platform triumph over another/competitors.

So when Apple introduced App Store, the Cupertino-based company struck a gold. The fact says there were over 800 million apps downloaded from App Store, and that’s not even the exact number up to today. Not long afterwards, other mobile developers follow suit to release their own app store. Let’s take a quick stroll over them:

Apple’s App Store

There’s no need of an introduction or anything else to tell you anymore about App Store, perhaps almost half of you mobile addicts have know it yourselves. We are yet to see what it’ll become, since Apple is planning to re-design the store when iPhone OS 3.0 is out in summer this year. But there’s one big problem in App Store, that even perhaps Apple can’t sort it out: a vast sea of crap apps collection. If the company who invented the App Store itself can’t fix it, then it’s bound to be bloated with junks till explode…


Android’s Market

Android did have a bang when released in the form of T-Mobile G1 or HTC Dream, an open mobile platform sponsored by Google, that’s a real magnet for software developers. But the excitement now went cold after the Market was opened, there aren’t much of buzz generated to be seen around the blogosphere except at Android communities. The fame could come back to Android if just there are more Android-powered handsets out there, but the wheel of production doesn’t seem to churn fast enough before iPhone (and possibly Palm Prē™) took everything left.


RIM’s BlackBerry App World

We don’t know how fair App World will be, because RIM is taking its time to bake and shake it before opening it up, I’d say too long. But RIM might have confident, because with strong sales of its BlackBerry handsets all over the world and its deep roots into big companies who use the company’s email system, the App World seems to have bright opening (when it finally opened).


Palm’s App Catalog

Palm’s “new-ness”: the webOS™ and the Prē™ are predicted to be the next big thing in mobile platforms, the one that analysts and reviewers are calling it as the “iPhone-killer” (Palm didn’t fond of the nick-name so much though). But because it is a newly born platform, Palm still need to prove many things that webOS™ is as good as advertised before software developers start jumping aboard. Other than keeping tight lips on the launch date of the Prē™, Palm also stays mum about App Catalog. Palm is doing a superb job at killing-off the heat of the Prē™ since its introduction at CES 2009, good job Palm…

Nokia’s “Ovi” app store

The number one mobile manufacturer in the world apparently comes up as an under-dog in opening up its own app store, Nokia may have strong grounds in international market, but clearly not in the U.S. But still, it’s hard to understand why Nokia seems reluctant to make its “Ovi” successful even on the other side of the world.

So, after you seen a quick look at above stores, imagine yourself as a software developer then which one who do you think is more favorable to pick right now?

Wait, before you give any answer, let’s hear out what Accel Partners’ Rich Wong has said: Developers should consider the subset of handsets that deliver the best experience for the application. If, for instance, a start-up is building an enterprise application, it perhaps should choose the BlackBerry and those devices using the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems.

In contrast to that, Shasta Ventures Managing Director Robert Coneybeer stated: “We think the iPhone and Android are really driving a wedge in the industry, and companies that focus on one or two platforms can really win…the successful start-ups that break out are the ones that focus on a few key platforms.”

Everyone may have been nothing but predicting of what the future will take shape of, and talking sweet about Apple and its iPhone, but at least Coneybeer is talking about the facts: “Just follow the developer activity on the iPhone and you’ll see it’s got 20 to 30 times more activity than any other platform. You don’t hear about the Windows Mobile meet-up where people say, ‘Hey, let’s get together, drink beer and talk about writing Symbian or Windows applications.’”

Iphone app storeWe are blind if we are not to see the evident math here: over 17 million iPhones (including first gen) sold already, that’s a lot of figure of handsets that are ready to accept and install the apps made. For one simple imagination: you can rake a huge amount of income just by writing a “fart” app in your spare time, hey that’s a true story.

What iPhone OS 3.0 really mean for both software developers and users is a hope and dream of what the iPhone can really do, the same thing goes for Palm’s webOS™. Apple has gone quite far leaving behind competitors with iPhone OS 2.x, and will be running farther away to be caught up with the iPhone OS 3.0 update.

Apple is not just creating the hardware, but also all the supports and the entire new ecosystem which never known before the App Store is born, where now everyone including software devs and users can enjoy the benefits altogether.

And that's the key idea, right there: make not just hardware but also the whole ecosystem to support it. That's what Palm is lacking when the company started to stop developing Palm OS, and just selling hardwares with less supports.

And hopefully, Palm will be able to create a better app store (fingers crossed) when the Prē™ finally gets to be launched.

Cell Stickies for those ego-striking iPhone owners in denial

These days, everybody wants an iPhone. Not just because it's one of the most cutting-edge mobile devices in the market right now, but also because of iPhone's big screen can be used to show off how popular you are when encouraging text messages come in.

Fiona Carswell knows this too well, and so she designs "Cell Stickies." Cell Stickies is a small booklet of plastic sheets with ego-stroking text messages printed on them. Peel off a Cell Sticky and slap it on your iPhone screen, showing you the message you really wanted to see. ~LOL~

Sources are from FIONA CARSWELL projects, via iPhone Savior.

The 18 months replacement policy to prevent jailbroken iPhones

Poor Roney, for the next 18 months he can't buy another new iPhone because Apple and AT&T suspect him of being a jailbreaker.

It all started when Roney lost his iPhone, and when he wish to get a new one, he got rejected at every Apple Stores he came to because there's a new policy of one iPhone replacement in 18 months went into effect few weeks ago in order to prevent the spreading of jailbroken iPhones.

Here's the complete sad story of Roney as reported at ModMyPhone:

Originally Posted by Roney
I unfortunately left my iPhone unattended for a brief period over the weekend and when I came back it was gone. On Monday, I went to visit my local ATT store and they were unable to sell me a new iPhone, even at the $499 price. Apparently I have had too many iPhones on my line. I then called customer care and was then bounced to an Apple store to see if they could sell me the phone. The same error occured on their system and the Apple employee advised that two weeks ago a new policy went into effect preventing them from selling too many phones on a line because people are jailbreaking them.

I originally bought an 8gb and returned it for a 16gb within the first 30 days of service. Now I lost my 16gb and they won't sell me another for 18 months! After using my lunch break I went back to work and decided I would try again at another ATT store. The next store said they had to deal with the same problem and asked me if I was attached to my phone number. They offered to cancel my line and start another, or add a line so that I could purchase an iPhone. I told them this was not an option because I had to pay an ETF through Verizon to keep this number and I would not part with it. I also did not need another line and would not pay more for monthly service, especially if I was about to pay $500 for a replacement iPhone. I then asked to speak to the manager who said that he would emails his ops team, whatever that means.

So here I am waiting to hear from the manager and feeling like I am being punished for upgrading my phone early on. Also, why do they care how many phones I buy at full price? Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Has anyone else had this trouble?

And as I read the users feedback of the post, one reader from U.K. says that the 18 months policy also have taken effect in there. Where now every iPhone in the U.K. must be bought using a credit/debit card - linking the buyers name/address with the relevant companies system, preventing multiple unit purchases. But then here comes the funny part, I'll quote directly from the post:

"The O2 employee informed me that a man in the UK went to EVERY O2 store with a different name/address buying 1-3 iPhones at each store and selling them on. He got caught, has to pay X amount of money back to O2 and now the rules are changing and are being strictly enforced. I got this same info from multiple O2 stores as i was trying to buy another iPhone for a relative but couldnt because of the new rules and kept getting the same excuses - eventually i got a nice manager who agreed to the sale (and with cash)."

The reason why people buy iPhones and sell them again at higher price is pretty clear for everyone, it's because the iPhone is so darn popular. But the reason on why Apple and AT&T to use that 18 months policy is kinda ridiculous, and childish. Hey, accident happens and do they expect the owners to chain their iPhone? ;-p

Apple warns you shouldn't take iPhone/iPods to bath or swim

That is obvious, of course. Not to take your mobile device or smarpthone into bath or swim with you, who would do such thing? ;-p

Unless you put on a waterproof case to your precious iPhone or iPods, you might take them with you to dip into water so you can continue hear your favorite tunes or won't worry about missing an important call. But even so, you should read Apple's recent technical note (via ZDNet) that says the device's warranty or AppleCare Protection will not cover any water damage.

What's more, Apple has put an indicator technology inside just like in the MacBook line-ups so technicians can tell if the device has been submerged or not. Here are some parts of the technical note about the indicator:

The Liquid Submersion Indicator is triggered when liquid enters the iPhone or iPod. The indicator will turn red or pink when the device has been submerged in liquid.

You can tell if the Liquid Submersion Indicator has been triggered by looking directly down into the headphone jack. Either use a lighted magnifying glass, or angle the iPhone or iPod so light shines down into the headphone jack. At the base of the headphone jack, you should see what is normally a white or silver colored dot. Half of the dot becomes red (or a pinkish color) when the device has been submerged in liquid. iPhone 3G models also have a Liquid Submersion Indicator located on the bottom of the connector housing, just under the 30-pin dock connector. To view the indicator, use a lighted magnifying glass and hold the iPhone 3G so that you can view the center bottom of the dock connector housing. A full red dot will appear if the indicator has been triggered.

Go to the technical note page to see where the rest of those indicators are positioned at your iPods, so will you now have a second thought of bringing your iPhone/iPod to the bathroom to turn it into your own little karaoke box? ~LOL~

Microsoft throws IE8 as a life-saver in the tightening web browsers war

Did you notice Microsoft finally launched IE8 just few days ago? Not much of a buzz was generated from the official release of Internet Explorer (IE) web browser, in fact I even noticed more news about the RC (Release Candidate) or Beta version of IE before this rather than the final version.

There are two simple reasons for that; one is because the final version of IE8 is not that different from the previous beta versions, second is because IE8 shows no great improvements compared to the other web browsers in the market today.

For the software giant, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or conduct a market research to know that its IE web browser is losing market shares. Personal computer users at home and especially for those who can't live without a web browser & internet connection like bloggers, they have left IE for good ever since other competitors like Firefox and the latest Google's Chrome got more to offer.

One particular reason of why many web browser users are leaving IE is because of its speed, IE is like a turtle in the speed race against the others. In fact, according to JavaScript rendering tests run by Computerworld, the final version of IE8 is only slightly faster than the browser's Release Candidate 1 (RC1). Computerworld ran the SunSpider benchmark tests in Windows XP three times for each browser, then averaged the scores. Here's the list of the results:
  1. Google's Chrome is about more than four times faster than IE8
  2. Coming in second was Mozilla's Firefox v3.0.7 at 59% faster than IE8
  3. Followed by Apple's Safari v3.2.2 for Windows was 47% faster
  4. Opera v9.63 came last but still 38% faster than IE8
However, Microsoft seems to continued downplay benchmarks such as SunSpider and says this with denial from the truth: "Internet Explorer 8 is one of the fastest browsers on the market today, beating other top browsers in page load time on almost 50% of the 25 top comScore Web sites."

James Pratt, a senior program manager for IE, acknowledged that the differences were slight and that speed is important to users: "We know that speed is critical to people who are using browsers today, and we recognize that users have a choice when it comes to browser."

Speed is very essential for people who live in the internet, just like Kevin C. Tofel from jkOnTheRun has said in his blog: 'If the “Achilles Heel' is speed, I have to pass. I simply live way too much in a browser, so speed is a premium that I have to have for productivity purposes. Likening the browser to an OS, I need to move through the environment so that my tools don’t get in the way."

2313018061_e45de2f773When Microsoft was claiming that IE8 is faster than Chrome v1.0, it didn't take long for Google to released a faster beta version of Chrome. According to Chrome product manager Brian Rakowski, the beta is up to 35% quicker than the previous version of Chrome. Other new features include being able to drag tabs to get a side-by-side view, form autofill, autoscroll and a full-page zoom.

IE8 may be a slowpoke, but it does however offer some good points like security. Many business users and enterprises are still using IE up till today, and personally I've experienced myself how local banks here in my country are still insisting their customers to use IE for on-line transactions. But is it true that IE8 is more secure than older versions or it's competitors?

In the latest CanSecWest's PWN2OWN contest, a contest where researchers who successfully hack into computer systems provided will be rewarded with money and the hacked machine, found out there's a "brilliant" IE8 bug. According to Terri Forslof, the manager of security response at PWN2OWN sponsor TippingPoint, another researcher later broke into a Sony laptop that was running Windows 7 by exploiting a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8. "Safari and IE both went down," she said in an e-mail.

But among the hacked web browsers in the contest, Apple's Safari is the fastest to went down. Charlie Miller, the security researcher who hacked a Mac in two minutes at last year contest, improved his time by breaking into another Mac in under 10 seconds! "I gave them the link, they clicked on it, and that was it," said Miller. "I did a few things to show that I had full control of the Mac."

This year's PWN2OWN also features a mobile operating system contest that will award a $10,000 cash prize for every vulnerability successfully exploited in five smartphone operating systems: Windows Mobile, Google's Android, Symbian, and the operating systems used by the iPhone and BlackBerry.

Miller said he won't enter the mobile contest. "I can't break them," said Miller, who was one of the first researchers to demonstrate an attack on the iPhone in 2007, and last year was the first to reveal a flaw in Android. "I don't have anything for the iPhone, and I don't know enough about Google."

On the other side; Mozilla also posted the first beta release of Fennec, its mobile version of the Firefox Web browser. The Fennec v1.0 Beta 1 release currently is only available for Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, that runs Nokia's Maemo open source operating system. One powerful features in Fennec is the TraceMonkey JavaScript compiler, which promises to dramatically speed up many aspects of mobile browsing.

Back to the IE8, Microsoft is touting it as the answer to the call of challenge from competitors, and filled IE8 with new features and improved securities, here are some of them:

Compatibility View: IE8 will automatically tell web pages that won't rendered properly by showing a broken page icon at the side of the address bar. Users can manually turn on/off this feature.


Accelerators: Lets you map directions, translate words, email your friends, and more in just a few mouse clicks.


InPrivate Browsing: Browse the web without saving your history with Internet Explorer 8's InPrivate Browsing. Works like the Chrome's incognito window feature.


Web Slices: Keep up with changes to the sites you care about most. Add a Web Slice and you won't have to go back to the same website again and again for updates on news, stock quotes, online auctions, weather, or even sports scores.


Search suggestions: Search smarter with detailed suggestions from your favorite search providers and browsing history. See visual previews and get suggested content topics while you type in the enhanced Instant Search Box.


SmartScreen Filter: New security features help to protect you against deceptive and malicious websites which can compromise your data, privacy and identity.


Microsoft's IE8 right now only available through on-line download at its official website, Microsoft hasn't specified to push IE8 via Windows Update service yet. And Microsoft won't confirm when the final version of IE8 will be available for Windows 7, but it's expected to show up in the next public release for Windows 7.

Sources are from:

Tuz, the new Linux mascot

Without bringing in too much alarms about news from Linux world, or to attract too much noise from the "hankering" Linux fans, I think it's fair enough to let you know a little about the new mascot Linux: Tuz.

Ladies & gents meet Tazzie Tux, or in short called as Tuz, the mascot for January's Linux conference in Australia, which was held in Tasmania and where the show's annual charity auction was dedicated to raising funds to research devil facial tumor disease (DFTD).

Tazmanian Devil; the meat-eating marsupial that can only be found in the Tasmania-Australia currently faces extinction by a transmittable face cancer disease, the Linux kernel team is trying to bring awareness to the animal's plight. After the conference, the Linux creator Linus Torvalds decided to insert Tuz image into the kernel.

Jonathan Corbet, a Linux kernel contributor, wrote this on his Linux Foundation blog: "There are a lot of reasons why developers create open source software. Beyond the fact that it's simply fun, many of us are motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. The strong support in the development community for causes like the Tasmanian devil shows that this desire to improve the world goes beyond the creation of great, free software. It's something we can all be proud of."

Sources are from PC World & Wikipedia.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dev-Team: yes, the iPhone OS 3.0 is jailbreakable

It's not that long and it goes without saying, just like what those smart guys at iPhone Dev-Team have said and reassured us all in their blog just a day after Apple unveiled iPhone OS 3.0 that the new software update is indeed jailbreakable.

For those who have jailbroken their precious iPhone with the newest 'yellowsn0w' PwnageTool, the Dev-Team warns that you should not do the upgrade or you will lose 'yellowsn0w' and unable to revert the baseband to get it back.

Show some dignity will you (jailbreakers) people? And restraint those "itchy update fingers" for awhile! ~LOL~

Apple raises the competition bar with iPhone OS 3.0 (part. 2)

On the previous post, I was talking about the new features in iPhone OS 3.0 that are more user-oriented, but the real deal of the software update coming in summer this year is the nearly over 1,000 new APIs (Application Programming Interface) in the SDK (Software Developer Kit) 2.0 which is prepared by Apple for software developers to play with.

But why is the new SDK 2.0 for iPhone OS 3.0 is so important? Well, I don’t know if Apple or Steve Jobs have actually foreseen this themselves; but the centralized and managed distribution to offer apps for iPhone/iPod Touch which known as App Store is phenomenal. The facts speak for themselves.

At the iPhone OS 3.0 preview, Apple's VP of iPod marketing Greg Joswiak started the event with the announcement of the official figures: 13.7 million iPhones sold through 2008, 17 million iPhones (including the first gen) in total and 800,000 downloads of the iPhone SDK so far. And let’s not forget there are over 800 million iPhone apps downloaded from App Store, and the number is growing bigger every day thanks to both free and cheap priced apps.

The bottom line; App Store is pushing the sales of iPhone and iPod Touch worldwide, the same effect like what iTunes has done for iPod sales.

Surely, Apple and third party software developers are enjoying the benefits from App Store. But iPhone users are also reaping the fruits of well breed and feature rich apps offered at App Store, as a matter of fact one of the main reasons for most users to buy the iPhone is because of this.

So far those behemoth numbers above are achieved with first gen iPhone SDK, can you begin to imagine what kind of apps to be made from the new SDK 2.0 with over 1,000 new APIs in it? Apple invited some software developers and partners at the iPhone OS 3.0 preview, and they all were showing the possibilities of what their apps can do with the new software update. And that’s just an advanced preview, only the beginning of what’s more to come.

I can’t possibly mention every one of the 1,000 new APIs, and discuss them one by one. So I’m going to just quickly take on few of the most important ones, let’s get to know them shall we?

Push Notification

Push not previewPush Notification is the long promised feature in iPhone OS 2.0, and also it is Apple’s answer to requests for multitasking or background process. During the preview, Apple said Push Notification only eats 23% of iPhone’s battery life, compared to the 80% drop in other mobile platforms (like IM app running in the background on Windows Mobile). In other words; Apple believes Push Notification is the future of multitasking.

If users run an app with Push Notification support, the app maintains connectivity via Apple’s server. When users exit the app, the server pings the iPhone with notifications so the OS can display them to the users. The notifications are called badges and there will be three types: badges overlay an app icon on iPhone home screen (like the red unread message count icon over Mail app), sound alerts, text alerts that visually appear like text message alert.

The actual app never run during the entire process, and will only launched when the users choose to reach the notification, like for an example when the user is replying text message from a notification of an IM app.

In-App Purchase

In-app purchaseApple is planning to make the App Store less crowded and messy with this new system called In-App Purchase, which lets software developers to write an app with extra contents that can be purchased from within the app itself. For an instance; users can buy new e-books from an e-reader app, or new levels when finished playing Guitar Hero, or like the demoed The Sims 3 which lets users buy items for their virtual character using an in-game store interface.

Apple will use the same revenue sharing in App Store for this new system: 30% for Apple and 70% for the developer. Sounds promising but on the down side; cunning, nay let’s just say clever software developers can use the new In-App Purchase for their own greed and get more out of the 99 cents limit sales price from users who bought their apps.

But on the bright side, Apple make a rule that free apps can’t use the In-App Purchase, so if it’s for free then everything inside is all free too.

P2P connection

Lifesaver accessoryPeer-to-peer (P2P) in OS 3.0 is a new system built on Apple’s Bonjour technology which lets iPhone communicate with other iPhones or iPod Touch in the surrounding area. The iPhone will use Bluetooth, not WiFi to make the P2P connection, so long distance is limited.

A Johnson and Johnson company LifeScan showed off a blood sugar app that uses the iPhone to process user's blood glucose level and keep track of it both on the device, and by sending the data to LifeScan's servers. The P2P is intentionally put in the iPhone OS 3.0 for gaming purpose, but Apple said it can be used for business like sharing confidential files or share data across multiple platforms.

Direct accessory access

What LifeScan demoed also shows Apple’s new policy in the SDK 2.0 that let software developers access third party hardware attached to the iPhone. A special app can be written to work only with a specific hardware accessory, a tailor made app for accessory makers.

For examples are like LifeScan’s device mentioned above to process blood, and a speaker manufacturer for the iPhone can write an app to include equalizer or any other specialized features that particular speaker only have.

Turn-by-turn directions / advanced GPS

Advance gpsApple is going to change the entire Maps app to become API-driven, accessible by software developers to use it in their own apps. Since the Core Location is to include turn-by-turn directions and can be build into other apps, iPhone OS 3.0 will make the powered iPhone as an advance GPS device.

However, Apple warned software developers to "bring [their] own maps" in turn-by-turn navigational applications because of licensing reasons.

iPhone OS 3.0: developers friendly & more satisfied users

All in all, the iPhone OS 3.0 is filling in all the blanks left in previous software. Current users are somewhat dissatisfied with iPhone limitations, not just users but also software developers who felt restraint with many iPhone SDK restrictions, so Apple is trying to address all that with the new SDK 2.0 along with the new software update.

I’m not trying to promote iPhone or Apple in any way, but it’s so hard not to see how far the iPhone has gone or let’s say will be with the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 in summer this year. In a very short time frame, roughly since eight months after App Store introduced, iPhone has beaten the longer existed other mobile platforms in the industry: Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry & Symbian OS. And instead of sit back and enjoying the fruits of their hard works, like those other mobile platform makers did in the past, Apple is raising the competition bar with the new iPhone OS 3.0 not long after the OS 2.x versions were released months ago.

By creating the platform and ecosystem that are both friendly for software developers, encouraging them to create high quality apps and accessories for the iPhone, these all will mean more satisfied iPhone users in the future. Palm know this, there were many apps and accessories made for Palm PDAs & smartphones, propelling the success of the old (and now abandoned) Palm OS. Can Palm repeat the success again with its upcoming webOS™ and the Prē™? They better be…

I’ll be talking about the new iPhone OS 3.0 impact on other mobile platforms in the next post, so stay tune! ;-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ed Colligan: Palm to use webOS beyond Prē base

Palm's latest report of its total revenue in the third quarter of fiscal year 2009 doesn't sound encouraging enough for the company that has the most talked about smartphone of this year: the Prē™, Palm smartphone revenue was $77.5 million, down 72% from the year-ago period. Read the complete Palm Q3 FY09 results at Sammy's post.

But despite the huge net loss of $98 million on revenue of $90.6 million, down from $312 million a in the same quarter a year ago, Palm CEO Ed Colligan said the company is well positioned to launch the Prē™ on time: “We are under no illusions about the hard work that remains with bringing the Pre to market." And he added that “I have never had more confidence in Palm’s ability to bring a new product to market on time and at scale.”

Even though knowing the Prē™ is to be the savior of the ailing Palm, the company still keep tight lips about the launch date of the handset, but said the device and its software were “being polished up” and being certified from Sprint as the company prepares to ramp up manufacturing. “Right now we’re 100% focused on getting the Pre launched and the Sprint product out the door,” said CFO Doug Jeffries.

So much info for all of us who's been waiting for the Prē™, but still there are some interesting points delivered by Ed Colligan as reported by ZDNet blogger Larry Dignan:
  • The company needs seamless execution on the Prē™ launch.
  • Palm is “working hard with developers to get applications ready at launch” and “aligning marketing efforts with Sprint.”
  • Palm wasn’t prepared to disclose a European partner for the Prē™, but the company has some “excellent options.”
  • The company plans to establish a webOS™ ecosystem that goes well beyond our base.”
  • Palm wasn’t going to discuss its cash burn situation in the fourth quarter, but said its latest move to raise capital gave the company enough headroom to launch the Prē™.
The underlying statement is: Palm will use webOS™ for future devices beyond their current base (Prē™). Jeffries said the company’s cost cutting and the launch of the Prē™ –along with its webOS™– will “greatly improve” performance.

IMHO Palm is putting a lot of stocks into webOS™ (and also the Prē™), it's gonna be "do or die" moment for Palm when the Prē™ is launched, but that sure is make all of us pumped up right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

HTC Magic got the new Android's circular zoom feature

Apparently, iPhone is not the only smartphone out there who'll get new and enhanced features. Google was also been busy adding new features into the latest Android-powered HTC Magic, and with the launch date of HTC Magic is getting closer, leaked new informations can be almost found in daily basis.

Phandroid has found out of Android's new feature that will launch with HTC Magic: a circular touchscreen wheel (Scroll Wheel Zoom) allowing for the smooth zooming of websites, pictures and more. The phone was examined in an interview on CNET France...

As we all have know about it before; there's no physical keyboard in HTC Magic and this would be the underlying difference between the Magic and the G1. CNet France writes: This new version of the Google Phone, designed by HTC abandon this mechanical keyboard on the HTC Dream and enjoy the new version of Android: Cupcake.

The HTC Magic will be marketed exclusively by SFR in late April at a price of 99 euros (with 50 euros included for the subscription SFR) and will be bundled with a microSD card to 8GB.