Flip cameras to get Wifi, take on iPod Nanos

Latest word out of Cisco is that they haven’t yet ceded the ultra portable video camera throne to Apple’s iPod Nano.  In fact, they have a Wifi update planned for the Flip line.  The new Flips will be able to upload videos to (assuming here) Youtube and Facebook type sites for immediate sharing with friends and family.  Still pictures should also be uploadable as well.  Pocket-Lint is also saying it won’t have a touch screen viewfinder and it should be an early 2010 release. 

Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but we’ve been informed by a Cisco spokesperson that the new model will feature “a large screen that slides to reveal the record and menu buttons underneath” allowing users to see what is going on when they are recording video.

Overall, this leak looks like bad timing for Cisco.  Having a new product outed the week before Black Friday isn’t a good strategy.   To celebrate, Amazon has marked down the current Flip models by considerable margins.

And if you are into the Flip, you might want to check out the slightly more expensive but way cooler Casio Exilm EX-G1 camera.  It is waterproof, takes 12 megapixel stills and wide format video.

TomTom does what we thought they'd do: Support iPod

Forget the naysayers.  We knew TomTom would support the iPod touch and today’s software update confirms it.  With Google’s Free Navigator scaring all of the GPS software makers, it doesn’t hurt their bottom line to avail the $100 TomTom to work on 20 million more devices.  Oh, but you’ll also need the $100 car kit for this to work with the iPod (or the original iPhone), which doesn’t have its own GPS.

AT&T suffers setback in court case but fires back at Verizon in an ad

Well, you knew this was coming.  First news is that the Judge denied AT&T’s request to remove Verizon’s ads from the airwaves.  No big shocker there.  AT&T didn’t even disagree with the maps that Verizon was showing.  But AT&T have vowed that they’re going to keep fighting.  Good luck with that.

Secondly, they’ve made their own ads with (a slightly pudgey?) Luke Wilson and a bunch of X’s.  It isn’t quite the Misfit Toys level of cheekieness but it is certainly a start. They’ve also put up a website at http://www.truthabout3G.com full of fun facts. 

We’ve got over a month until Christmas and we don’t think the mud will stop slinging any time soon. 

G-phone rumor rears its ugly head again

Update: It might just be a VoIP phone.

Forgive us if we don’t take this one at face value.  Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch says there is a Google-branded phone in the works. They don’t have many details except that it will be heading to market in January, and that is only because it is taking longer than expected.  

Sure, they might be doing another level of co-branding like Microsoft is doing with Sharp on their Pink phones.  But they’ve already gone down that road.  Verizon already sells the Droid with Google branding and Tmobile has sold the G1 “with Google” branding since day one.  Expanding on that isn’t what we are talking about here.

What Arrington is talking about is a Google product, sold by Google with no other branding on it.  The OS won’t have to go thru carriers’ systems.  It will be maintained by Google.  Just like the iPhone is maintained by Apple. 

But Google obviously doesn’t have some secret high tech phone manufacturing facility somewhere in China.  They will likely outsource the building of the product to one of the mega factories that do this sort of thing, also just like Apple does with the iPhone – again, if this is true.

There’s just one problem: Google Android head Andy Rubin, who would know about such a product went on record saying that nothing like this exists just two weeks ago.

“We’re not making hardware,” Rubin said. “We’re enabling other people to build hardware.”

Now, Google has played a role in designing phones that have emerged with Android, such as the G1. For example, Google advocated the infamous hinge design on the G1 based on its desire to offer a phone with a five-row keyboard, Rubin said. That design was not popular with reviewers, however, and Rubin joked that perhaps that’s why Google shouldn’t make its own hardware.

But pushing for a design feature is a far cry from designing an entire phone, contracting with a manufacturing partner to build it, and working the distribution channels to get it to market. That would be “a fundamental shift” in Google’s business model, Rubin said, and one the company does not seem prepared to make at this time.

Obviously there is room for maneuvering here with words but the bigger issue is with handset partners. 

Google has somehow convinced just about every handset maker in the industry to jump on the Android bandwagon.  Clearly these manufacturers wouldn’t have signed their product line away to Google without a provision that Google wouldn’t be competing directly with them within a year.  At least, we’d hope not.

So, with all this in mind, we don’t expect to see a G-phone.  If anything, we would expect to see another level of Google branding on the next Android Uber-phone…or Tablet.



iPhone app turns speakers into world's weakest fan

If you were looking for an additional I/O on the iPhone, we think we’ve found one.  ‘Blower’ turns the iPhone’s built in speaker into a fan that can blow out birthday candles and ‘refresh your skin on hot summer nights’.   Uh huh.

Sure, it is a gimmick, but so are fart apps and those have made more than one person rich.  Speaking of which, this one is $.99 at the App Store (via Gizmodo)