Android – So far, so Craptastic

We know it is early and the software is pre-Alpha but it is hard to see this thing catching up to even  last year’s iPhone very soon.  Don’t get us wrong, we would really like to see some legitimate competition in the consumer smartphone space, but the Android is still a long long way from being refined into something that can compete with the iPhone.  Perhaps we’re spoiled – even buttons seem draconian.

With Microsoft buying Danger and Sony going to WM6 and other Symbian and WM6 players considering Android the cell phone market seems to be in disarray…the iPhone (which is the likely cause of the industry fire drill) just keeps looking more solid.

Edit: For those of you who’ve asked, we would also like to show you this movie – which makes the Android look much more compelling…They even got Seregey Brin to talk like an Android for added effect.

iPhone iPod touch 1.1.3 Hack for the rest of us

OK, truth be told, we hacked our 1.1.3 iPhone a few weeks ago – but it was a pain in the a$$.  Took a few hours and we had to upgrade, downgrade, sidegrade etc.  A lot of people who aren’t as stupid/bored/daring have taken a pass on the 1.1.3 jailbreak until something easier came along.  That something might be:

Zibri’s ZiPhone

It is a one step jailbreaker…we are trying it now – more to come shortly…

Update – it went pretty smoothy.  Remember to quit iTunes helper application, do the reset while you are putting it into the cradle and that it takes a little while.  Have fun!

Flash on iPod Touch and iPhone?

We’ve got conflicting reports on this one so we’ll just lay it all out on the table.  One of our sources who apparantly gets to play with upcoming iPhone builds says there is no Flash on the upcoming builds.  However, Gearlive, who outted the iPhone/iPod 1.1.3 software about three weeks before it went live, says they have seen it.

As Gearlive says, if it is coming a great time to announce it would be at the SDK event.

Personally, Flash is nice but we’d rather see Apple focus on things like an iChat client or full stereo Bluetooth capability – but we’ll take what we can get.

 

10.5.2 Update Breaks Linotype Font Explorer

UPDATE: Nice work Linotype – a fix has been posted

The discussion boards lit up almost immediately this evening with word that 10.5.2 and Linotype Font Explorer (which has quickly become a challenger for the industry standard font-management app) do not play nice together. It appears that FX makes other apps and the dock hang until you force-quit the font manager.

Discussions:

http://www.fontexplorerx-board.com/viewtopic.php?p=1364

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6573040

So if, like me, you use Font Explorer every day, and are in the middle of some mission-critical projects, now would not be the time to update Leopard.

We’ll keep you posted. We got nothing else to do…

Microsoft says "We got nuthin!" buys Danger/Sidekick platform

Microsoft should really be scaring its shareholders and partners these days.  First it throws almost $50 Billion at Yahoo! for a portfolio that largely mirrors the functionality (or supposed fuctionality) of its MSN properties and an advertising division that has the same issues that it does.  That and everyone in the Tech world is wondering what value Yahoo could offer Microsoft?

Today it puts its Windows Mobile line in question by acquiring Danger.  Danger built the Sidekick device platform that is very popular with the consumer smartfphone public, but has faltered recently because of the superior Symbian and iPhone operating systems and the Sidekick’s tier 2 hardware made by Sharp and Motorola.  The Sideckick OS has very little in the way of multimedia to offer consumers.

One thing that sticks out like a really sore thumb is that the Sidekick platform has absolutley nothing to do with Windows Mobile.  It is built on Mobile Java and exists entirely outside the Windows ecosystem.  Does Microsoft plan on using Java and the basis for its consumer mobile platform?  Or will it kill just about everything that Danger has built and try to jimmy Windows Mobile-like OS on those popular Sidekicks?

Apple certainly stands to benefit from all of this shakeup and uncertainty in the market.

If I am HTC, Samsung, or any of Microsoft’s other WM6 partners who make consumer phones, I am on the phone with the Google Android people, stat.  (Oh wait HTC already is)

Seriously, we don’t get it.  Can anyone help us out?  Are they that desperate to battle the iPhone, Symbian and Android in the consumer space?

(Microsoft Stock Owners? Selllll! Winthorp, Sellllll!)

Apple Trademarks Games – iGame?

UPDATE: Woops, Apple is hiring game developers.

Maybe that third Touch OSX device that was spied wasn’t a 3G iPhone or a Tablet…maybe it was a gaming machine?  Apple, last week, filed a trademark in relation to:

“hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game machines; electronic educational game machines; toys, namely battery-powered computer games”

Hints of an Apple gaming device have been around for awhile, but for Apple protect their name in relation to games means it is more a "when" rather than an "if".  Could when be February 26th?

Via Trademonk

Sony introduces 'iPhone killer' Xperia X1

You almost have to feel sorry for ol Sony.  They make some of the world’s best hardware, no doubt.  The TZ Vaio for instance, and now this new phone look extremely cool and have the specs that you wish Apple would throw into their products.   But their software is always a train wreck.  We’re not just talking about putting a rootkit on your computer – we’re talking about the design interfaces being a nightmare.  Now you can also add their Product Naming division to the mess.

Xperia – somewhere between "expire" and "XP-Diarrhea" is the name of their new phone, touted as an iPhone killer.  It has impressive specs…

  • 720×480 WVGA screen (nice!)
  • GPS
  • Very nice QWERTY keyboard slideout
  • 3G HSDPA – 5 Band high upload speed built for next gen networks
  • Windows Mobile 6…

CRASH!  Yeah Sony is going away from market-leading  Symbian OS and jumping on the Windows Mobile train for this puppy.  The same Windows Mobile platform that is hemorrhaging market share to the iPhone.  Ouch.  Here’s some advice, install Opera Mini and make it the default browser.

We aren’t sure that ‘iPhone Killer’ is going to be added to the final list of nicknames of this device.

Via Electronista

$100 price drop on iPhones and iPods coming in the next two months

We just got a tip that Apple is planning on dropping the prices again on the iPhone and iPod Touch line within the next month or two – perhaps at the late February event, perhaps as late as mid-April.  Our tipster says that Apple will drop the prices by $100. 

Also, the 8Gb iPod Touch will be dropped from the lineup according to the source.  It might also make sense that the 8Gb iPhone would get phased out as well, but it wasn’t mentioned in the tip.  Inventories will likely be a big factor in the timing so we’re keeping an eye out for shortages. 

The price drops are likely to make some price spacing for the newer 3G iPhones that are expected to be released later this year – perhaps with the tablets.

The price cuts will also likely spur on iPhone sales which have either been good or bad depending on the week and the source.  iPod sales have been brisk but Apple’s forcasts have been cautious.

Prices on memory have been plummeting significantly since the current pricing model was revealed to mixed reactions in September – six months ago.  Also, admittedly inferior devices like the 32GB Creative Zen have been dropping in price ($299).  While not really comparable to the iPod or iPhone, it does illustrate the  falling prices of flash storage – the only differentiator between iPod and iPhone models.

For what it is worth, Forbes is also advising its readers to hold off on buying iPhones as they think the 3G model is right around the corner.  May?

No specifics were given but the iPod Nano line might also be the beneficiary of decreased memory pricing and might see capacities double in size.

The new prices are expected to be:

8Gb iPod Touch  $199    8Gb iPhone – $299
16Gb iPod Touch $299   16Gb iPhone – $399
32Gb iPod Touch $399

 

3G iPhone codenamed N82? Tablet?

Erica Sadun has been doing some digging around and found an extra platform in the iPod/iPhone lineup.  Along with the current iPod Touch (N45), iPhone (M68) and a "simulator"- which means the SDK will likely contain a simulator), she found reference a currently unknown "N82".   Could this be the new 3G iPhone set to be released later this year?  Or perhaps this could be a reference to a new Apple Tablet or Mac Touch?  Or maybe Apple putting out a Touch OS release (no) for Nokia’s N82 Hardware?

Perhaps we’ll know on the 26th?

(Thank you Jesus for the image)