January 23, 2013

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9to5Mac has once again scoured the App Store for all the latest app launches, price drops, noteworthy news, and updates, and we have compiled everything in a roundup below. Check it out, but keep coming back as we continually refresh the list throughout the day.

Just Released

1. BBE 10 | Free 60-Day Trial This device management, security, and app management product for iOS, BlackBerry, and Android devices just went live today, according to RIM’s launch announcement:

Research In Motion today announced that its new Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10, is now available for download. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 re-invents RIM”s EMM by bringing together device management, industry leading security*, and mobile applications management for BlackBerry® smartphones, BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets, and new BlackBerry 10 smartphones in a consolidated solution. It also provides a single console for managing BlackBerry, Android™ and iOS® devices. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 builds on more than a decade of RIM”s enterprise mobility management expertise and the most widely deployed mobility solution in enterprises today. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 offers mobile device management, mobile application management and secure mobile connectivity, and delivers a cost-efficient and reliable solution for business customers.

Get more details in the press release.

2. Serendip – Free Music Radio | Free This music discovery app just launched today, and it connects users with folks who are interested in the same music and curates a continuous playlist based on the music they’ve shared via Twitter and Facebook. Serendip also recommends artists to follow based on interests. Serendip uniquely, however, goes beyond the audio experience. It displays YouTube and Vevo videos, so users visual needs are satisfied. Oh, and Serendip also has free web app at MyMusicSoulMates.com.

Get more apps and updates below.

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June 13, 2012

Dev runs iOS apps on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook [Video]

Yes, that is a video of various iOS apps running on a BlackBerry PlayBook.

A developer, called “Businesscat2000,” posted videos on the CrackBerry forums last weekend that depict iPad-based apps running on the RIM tablet. According to The Verge, CrackBerry’s Kevin Michaluk subsequently confirmed the developer’s efforts after conducting some tests:

Michaluk had the developer write out “Hi CrackBerry” on the SketchBook Mobile iOS app, as well as run the iPhone app for the site iMore. By successfully completing those tests, the developer proved that he wasn’t just playing videos of iOS apps on the PlayBook — the hack is the real deal.

Businesscat2000 also detailed his feat in the forums:

The CPU isn’t emulated on Playbook (though it is on Windows). It works very similarly to how WINE works to run Windows applications on Linux. The app binary is mapped into memory and imports are resolved to point to my own implementation of the various APIs needed. iOS actually uses a few open APIs already, which Playbook supports just as well (GL ES, and OpenAL). The bulk of the work has been in implementing all of the objective C classes that are required. The ARM code of the applications run as-is – the armv6/v7 support on PB/iDevices are pretty much identical, and the code is designed to run in USR mode. No SWIs, GPIO accesses or any of that kind of shenanigans.

More videos by the dev are below, including iOS apps running on Windows.  

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

November 16, 2011

With the $199 Kindle Fire out of the gate, the inevitable questions pops into mind: Which is faster overall, the Amazon or Apple tablet?

The comparison isn’t really fair because Amazon skimped on internal components, which was key to its breakthrough $199 price point. An iFixit teardown reveals Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4430 chip inside the device, also  found inside Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

For starters, iPad 2 boots much quicker than the Amazon tablet – again, due to its more efficient dual-core processor and optimized software. Browsing the web? No surprises here either, Safari on iPad 2 stormed ahead, performing noticeably faster than Amazon’s Silk browser which offloads page rendering to the Amazon cloud. One thing to remember: In this test, Kindle Fire was loading Flash content which of course is not supported on Apple’s device.

The iPad 2’s graphics unit, praised for its nine times performance jump, helps with scrolling, which is pretty choppy most of the time on Amazon’s device. One surprising finding is that Kindle Fire streams Netflix smoother than iPad 2, most likely due to the new version of their Android client which is not yet available for Apple’s platform.

This is not the most scientific test in the world, mind you. Again, as 9to5Google noted in its quick review, there’s really no comparing Kindle Fire to iPad 2, be it on the price, overall polish, performance or shininess. As for the speed, mainstream buyers may not be interested in raw specs anymore and Amazon has priced this thing out of the range of the Samsungs and BlackBerrys of this world so it’s more of a competitor to Android tablets than to Apple.

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March 10, 2011

A February ChangeWave survey on future demand for tablet devices bodes well for Apple’s iPad, even though over a hundred rival devices are coming its way. The research firm surveyed 3,091 consumers in February – before Apple announced iPad 2 – in an effort to discover their future tablet buying habits, which is usually a tell-tale sign of the popularity of competing devices in the marketplace.

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March 24, 2011

Once partners, soon frenemies? Droid X launch (left to right): Android’s Andy Rubin, Verizon’s John Stratton, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Motorola’s Sanjay Jha and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen

Motorola’s role in helping put Google’s mobile operating system on the map with Droid-branded smartphones cannot be underestimated. Even though Android has revitalized their phone business, it is now a risk factor for Motorola Mobility, formerly the mobile devices division of Motorola Inc. The company is reportedly developing its own smartphone software to reduce dependency on a single supplier.

They apparently hired a number of former Apple and Adobe engineers with experience in the mobile market, a source “familiar with the matter” told  InformationWeek. This includes Apple’s former head of rich media and applications group Gilles Drieu and former manager of JavaScript development Benoit Marchant. Motorola did not deny such plans beyond re-affirming its Android focus. Jonathan Goldberg, a Deutsche Bank analyst:

I know they’re working on it I think the company recognizes that they need to differentiate and they need options, just in case. Nobody wants to rely on a single supplier.

This is interesting on many levels.

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April 11, 2011

Someone said that Canada-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is Microsoft of a decade ago. If true, then Mike Lazaridis, a RIM co-CEO and founder, has to be their version of Steve Ballmer (even though he wasn’t Microsoft CEO back then). Look no further than Lazaridis’ complaints that the users and media alike aren’t appreciating his company’s dominant position in mobile, in his view.

Despite shipping 52.3 million BlackBerrys in their last fiscal year – a 43 percent annual unit growth – he kinda slipped in that rivals like Apple are racing ahead and stealing the headlines. Changing his anti-Apple tune, he said in a New York Times interview:

No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die.

I guess that’s what happens to RIM unless they successfully transition their platform to a more modern operating system, in their case QNX. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which will run approved Android apps via a virtual machine, is schedule to land on store shelves next Tuesday after an unwanted delay caused by the Apple-created shortage of touchscreens. Lazaridis also asked rhetorical questions about his company’s public perception: expand full story

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