Tag: palm pre

HP announces webOS 2.0

HP has today announced the next incarnation of its recently-acquired webOS platform, touting the update to 2.0 as the most significant change since the operating system’s launch in 2009.

WebOS 2.0 will have superior multitasking ability, says HP, allowing users to check email while their game is paused or add a date to a calendar while reading a restaurant review, all using touchscreen controls.

The updated version also includes an interesting feature called Just Type, which allows the user to begin typing and automatically start an email, text message, Facebook or Twitter update, or search the net without opening any applications. We’re not exactly sure how it recognises exactly what type of thing you’re doing, but this feature is open to developers for further integration into applications.

The Synergy feature allows automatic population of contacts to your phone via Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.

The Exhibition feature allows Palm Touchstone Charging Dock apps to be run on the webOS phone. HP believes this will turning charging time into more useful time, allowing users to check their agenda or Facebook photos while the device is charging.

WebOS 2.0 also features tagged favourites, text assist, Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, VPN, Bluetooth support, and a redesigned App Catalogue and launcher.

HP was also keen to highlight that webOS 2.0 supports Flash 10.1, something that many Apple rivals began to point out after it pulled support for Adobe’s product earlier this year. This effectively amounts to HP saying that webOS 2.0 is better than iOS due to supporting Flash.

The updated operating system will launch first on the new Palm Pre 2, which will go on sale in France, Canada, and the US. The new phone will launch this Friday in France, with releases in the other regions expected over the next few months.

Palm Pre and Android OS have serious bugs

British insecurity experts MWR InfoSecurity has uncovered a flaw in the Palm Pre which allows for the bugging of conversations “anywhere in the world” while a general flaw in Android allows for the nicking of user passwords through the internet connection.

The Palm Pre bug comes after the receipt of a maliciously built message which can then open a backdoor in the voice. Afterwards it can force the phone to record audio or send over stored data.  Apparently it can be accessed remotely from whoever’s on the other end of the trojan and stolen data can be sent around through the normal carrier networks, turning the phone into a bugging device – taking notice, News of the World?

The second bug, the general Android flaw is found in the OS’ default phone browser, which can potentially allow for passwords to be harvested along with other sensitive information – including the standard targets like financial details and email.

MWR Labs says that the main concern is the increasing link of business to the mobile platform, so traditional models are “becoming blurred”.

Meanwhile Kaspersky has discovered some malicious software targeted at the Android platform. The software poses as a media player while secretly sending on text messages to premium rate numbers, costing a couple of dollars each. However, so far, the malware has only affected Russian Android users. The app is called “Movie Player” – something, hiding the Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a as Kaspersky calls it, that would be best avoided.

Intel hires Apple, Palm man to look after smartphones

Chip giant Intel has poached an ex-Palm man who formerly worked for Apple for 16 years.

Engadget, which has the scoop, publishes the internal Intel mail that announced Bell’s arrival at Santa Clara.

His job will be as director of smartphone product development in Anand Chandrasekher’s realm, the Ultra Mobility Group.

His job at Intel will be to build smartphone reference designs, an area of the market that the chip giant covets very much.

Bell and his team created the Palm PRE and the Palm PIXI and at Apple he worked on a number of projects including the iMac, Apple TV and iPhone programmes.

PR catastrophe makes Apple stand up and listen

Apple is being forced to stand at the oche, corralled by increasing criticism of faults in its iPhone 4. So far it has blustered as a defence against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Earlier this week, Consumer Reports issued its stance on the problem of poor reception on the iPhone 4, contradicting Apple by saying that rather than being a “software non-issue”, the phone has a hardware fault with its antenna.

That is forcing Apple to hold a press conference at its Cupertino HQ tomorrow, where it’s expected to talk about the problem, or non-problem, depending on your take.

Apple doesn’t care for journalists and has an internal policy where it carefully chooses the hacks and hackettes it wants to talk to. It has a long history of banning the journos it doesn’t want to talk to from its events.

At an Apple event held in Soho a few years ago, a then Inquirer hack slipped into a press conference, only to be told by a spinner post event that the invitation “was a mistake”.

Apple, of course, is jealous of its precious brand and the iPhone 4 continues to sell in vast quantities despite the problems with the machine.

It’s unlikely to recall the iPhone 4 and some have suggested that to placate the unruly elements it might give away a case that would fix the reception problem. Mind you, if it does that, that would be a tacit admission that there is a hardware problem and it’s nothing to do with software, as Apple has previously maintained.

Consumer magazine confirms iPhone 4 borked

What Steve Jobs called a “non-issue” has made the iPhone Flaw a consumer problem.

US watchdog Consumer Reports said it is not recommending Apple’s iPhone 4, following tests confirming the handset has a hardware flaw that causes signal quality to degrade.

Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports that there seems to be a design flaw with the iPhone Flaw “and it is significant,”.

The publication has recommended the three previous iPhone models instead.

Tests were conducted in a room designed to eliminate radio frequency interference.

The tests proved that when a user covers the phone’s lower-left side, where two parts of the external antenna meet, the loss of signal strength may lead to dropped calls in areas where AT&T’s coverage is weak.It confirms that the problem is nothing to do with AT&T and everything to do with poor design work from Apple.

Apple says the problem is software-related and involves how the phone displays signal strength. A fix will be released, the company said on July 2.

However Gikas said that if the signal is strong in the area, then you won’t lose the call.Consumer Reports also tested other phones, including Apple’s older iPhone 3GS, and the Palm Pre, and found they did not suffer from the same problems as the iPhone 4.

Gikas suggested that people who experience the problem apply duct tape, which does not conduct electricity, to the gap in order to reduce the chance of causing signal interference.

Apple is not saying anything about the report.  It is continuing to ship broken phones and people are stupid enough to continue to buy them. 

Sheepish Sprint Nextel admits “talking up” Evo

Sprint Nextel has admitted that it had inadvertently overstated the launch day sales of the much anticipated Evo 4G.

The Evo is seen as a serious competitor to Apple’s iPhone 4 and Jobs’ Mob is widely seen as the only outfit in the industry who is allowed to be overly optimistic.

Sprint said the total number of HTC Evo 4G devices sold on the launch day was about the same as the Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices added together for the first three days on the market combined. So not bad.

However,  Sprint originally reported that the total number of HTC Evo 4G devices sold on launch day was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days. We can see how you got a bit confused that is an odd way of doing sums.  They clearly forgot to divide by their shoe size.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk reckoned Evo sales in the first weekend were probably about 150,000 instead of the 250,000 to 300,000.

To make matters worse,  the Evo is in short supply so sales are unlikely to rise much further.

Sprint is banking on the EVO to stem customer losses and give it a head start in selling 4G services. The Evo is being seen as the only serious single smartphone that can take on Apple.

Apple, Acer, Google, world+dog sued over microprocessor patents

A Californian company has taken legal action against a number of vendors for allegedly infringing on semi patents it owns.

Microunity Systems Engineering, based in California, is suing Acer, Apple, AT&T, Cellco, Exedea, Google, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint Nextel and Texas Instruments in a Texas district court.

Microunity has previously sued Intel, Dell, Sony, AMD and Acer over infringement of some of the same patents.

The patents in question are 5,742,840 C1 – General Purpose, Multiple Precision Parallel Operation, Programmable Media Processor and 7,730,287 B1 – Method and Software for Group Floating Point Arithmetic Operations.

Microunity alleges that TI, Samsung, SSI, Qualcomm and Apple have breached the 840 patent in the TI OMAP3 and OMAP4 processors; Samsung and SSI’s S5PC100 processors; Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors; Apple’s A4 processors while Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, STA, Acer, HTC, Google, LG and Apple have breached the same patent in the Motorola Droid, the Nokia N900, the Palm Pre, the Samsung Galaxy Spica GT-i5700 and the OmniaHD i8910, the Acer Liquid A1 and neoTouch,  the HTC Droid Incredible and Evo 4G, the Google/HTC Nexus One, the LG eXpo, the Apple iPhone 3GS, Touch 3G, iPad and iPad 3G.

Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are alleged to have infringed the patents in their cell phones and other products.

Microunity wants the court to award aggravated damages from all the defendants.

Lenovo considers buying Palm

Lenovo has come out of the woodwork and said it’s entering the bidding race for Palm, sending Lenovo’s shares up to a 23 month high.

Other buyers in the East Asian market have turned their noses up at Palm, but Lenovo is saying it’s interested. So far Lenovo has refused to comment. The only other company that has shown interest in the brand is smartphone giant HTC, but it decided that it would rather not, after all. It seems Chinese giant Lenovo could be the one that will buy out the struggling company.

Palm was riding on a huge hype train before it launched its Pre smartphone. However, it turned into something of a disaster, generally averaging mediocre reviews. It has struggled to flog its smartphones to semi-interested parties.

A Palm sale could go for as much as $1.3 billion all-in.

Lenovo has dabbled with smartphones in China but has litle grasp on the international market. Crucially, it as yet has no presence in the US, reports Reuters, which is the world’s largest smartphone market. The purchase would make sense, some analysts have said to Reuters, and fits in with its strategy of buying up companies that already had a presence outside of China, famously making a bid for Packard Bell back in 2007.

Android makes headway on smartphone OS front

A report from AdMob shows that Android is digging into Symbian’s position in operating system market share, while Apple’s iPhone continues to glow red hot.

The site said that in February the leading smartphone OSes in its network were the iPhone OS, Android and Symbian.  Year on year, Android requests increased from two percent to 24 percent this year, with the top devices being the Motorola Droid, the HTC Dream, the HTC Hero, the HTC Magic and the Motorola Cliq.

Ad requests worldwide show some interesting figures. The US was way ahead of any other country at 7,130,100,210 – representing 50.6 percent of requests, India was second with 5.9 percent of requests, the UK third with 4.2 percent of requests, and Indonesia fourth with 3.7 percent of requests.

The top smartphone in February 2010 was Apple’s iPhone, with 49.5 percent of requests, followed by the Motorola Droid at 7.8 percent, and the three HTC babies. The Blackberry 8300 held ninth place with 1.5 percent of requests, while the Palm Pre represented 1.4 percent of requests.

AdMob figures
(images courtesy AdMob)

In India, Nokia holds practically all the top smartphone slots, but the Apple iPhone is there at number six.

Adobe gives Apple a piece of its group mind

The chief technology officer of Adobe has hit back at Steve Jobs and Apple after an unseemly company conversation became public knowledge.

Well hit back is perhaps too strong, because the response to Apple’s accusations is expressed in a very gentlemanly fashion.

Steve Jobs said in a tirade against Google and Adobe that Adobe was lazy and claimed Apple didn’t support Flash because it was too buggy.

Kevin Lynch, the CTO of Adobe, said that Flash was originally designed for pen computing markets. “Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device,” he said. But Flash took off because of the net and has enabled the video revolution on the Web.

Lynch said that over 85 percent of the top web sites contain Flash content and it runs on over 98 percent of computers connected to the web.

He said Adobe was ready to deliver Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones with “all but one” of the top manufacturers including it. Those include Google Android, the Blackberry, Nokia and Palm Pre. Those don’t include the iPhone.