Categories
Android disruptive technology

Google Play Opens Private App Store For Businesses

“Google finally has introduced a way for companies to distribute Android apps internally, a capability available to Apple iOS developersfor several years.

Google on Tuesday said it has expanded the Google Play Store to include a service called Google Play Private Channel.

To use the service, organizations need to have a Google Apps for Business, Education or Government domain. A Google Apps administrator must enable the Google Play Developer Console for employees already registered as Google Play apps publishers who will be publishing apps internally. The ability to download internal apps through the Google Play Private Channel also is controlled by Google Apps administrators for a given domain.

Google advises IT administrators to be sure to create dedicated role accounts for publishing apps through the Private Channel, so that internal apps remain accessible in the event the app publisher ends up leaving the organization.”

Google Play Opens Private App Store For Businesses – Software –.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Canada’s mobile industry moves on phone theft

“Canada’s wireless industry is vowing to combat mobile device theft following months of pressure from the federal telecom regulator, police and politicians.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, an industry group representing carriers, announced a plan on Thursday to make it more difficult for criminals to reactivate stolen devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers.

At the crux of that strategy is a push by carriers to “blacklist” stolen gadgets a move that would reduce the incentive for theft. By Sept. 30, 2013, carriers will make it standard practice to verify whether a device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number is listed as stolen in Canada and internationally before it is cleared for activation.

Click here to find out more!The new verification process will cover the vast majority of cellphones operating in Canada, including new handsets that run on LTE (long-term evolution) networks that are becoming the biggest targets of theft. It would also apply to tablets that run on LTE networks through a subscription, but would not include those that only use WiFi.

The launch of an industry strategy follows months of pushing from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, MPs and police, which have criticized carriers for failing to do their part to protect consumers. Canadians are among the world’s heaviest users of smartphones and increasing numbers are falling victim to violent robberies in cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, a trend that is being dubbed iCrime.”

Canada’s mobile industry moves on phone theft.

Categories
iPad mobile news

iPad mini’s display is from Apple’s enemy, Samsung

“Apple’s new iPad mini includes a display from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, a key supplier but also the Silicon Valley tech giant’s fiercest rival in a global mobile-device war.

The iPad mini, to be available in stores on Friday, also includes Apple’s A5 processor, SK Hynix flash memory, a Broadcom touch controller and a number of chips from Fairchild Semiconductor International, according to electronics repair company iFixit, which acquired one early and opened it on Thursday.

“Though the markings on the back of the LCD (display) don’t turn up much information, the Samsung display driver (chip) reveals that Apple once again went with Samsung in its display manufacturing,” iFixit said.

Apple and Samsung are engaged in patent disputes across several countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry, and Apple is believed to be seeking ways to rely less on Samsung. But Samsung remains a key supplier for Apple, manufacturing its application processors and providing other components.”

via IPad mini’s display is from Apple’s enemy, Samsung – chicagotribune.com.

Categories
mobile news resource

T-Mobile says US mobile industry to consolidate to three major players

“The U.S. mobile market is a big one, with 321.7 million subscribers as of second quarter of 2012. That’s a 101% mobile penetration, which means the number of lines equals the population. But while the nation is serviced by four major carriers today, T-Mobile thinks the market is not big enough for four big carriers to service.

In a meeting with shareholders, COO Jim Alling said the industry might see some adjustments and consolidations in the next few years. “Is it possible that four major players could go down to three? I think that is possible, and likely in the longer term,” he said, referring to the possibility of the country’s four major carriers merging into just three. This actually almost happened when AT&T made a bid to acquire T-Mobile from its parent company Deutsche Telekom in 2011. That $39 billion acqusition deal did not push through, though, having been shot down by regulators for possible anti-competition.

But even as the so-called AT&T-Mo deal was halted, the major U.S. carriers have found themselves entering into mergers and partnerships with other companies. For instance, there’s the planned Sprint acquisition by Japanese telecoms provider Softbank. There’s also T-Mobile’s acquisition of super-regional carrier MetroPCS.

Of course, this will depend on the regulatory environment, Alling, says. As such, whatever consolidation may happen is set for the longer-term. The statements made by T-Mobile’s COO probably assume that his company will be on the winning end of the deal, if the industry were to consolidate into a fewer — but bigger — major competitors.

But are four major competitors really too big for a country to handle? In some regions, the mobile industry has seen consolidation into three or fewer carriers. For instance, China has China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, which have almost a billion lines shared across the three. However, another big market, India, has eight major mobile carriers. Which is the best model for the U.S.?”

T-Mobile says US mobile industry to consolidate to three major players.

Categories
mobile news resource

T-Mobile says US mobile industry to consolidate to three major players

“The U.S. mobile market is a big one, with 321.7 million subscribers as of second quarter of 2012. That’s a 101% mobile penetration, which means the number of lines equals the population. But while the nation is serviced by four major carriers today, T-Mobile thinks the market is not big enough for four big carriers to service.

In a meeting with shareholders, COO Jim Alling said the industry might see some adjustments and consolidations in the next few years. “Is it possible that four major players could go down to three? I think that is possible, and likely in the longer term,” he said, referring to the possibility of the country’s four major carriers merging into just three. This actually almost happened when AT&T made a bid to acquire T-Mobile from its parent company Deutsche Telekom in 2011. That $39 billion acqusition deal did not push through, though, having been shot down by regulators for possible anti-competition.

But even as the so-called AT&T-Mo deal was halted, the major U.S. carriers have found themselves entering into mergers and partnerships with other companies. For instance, there’s the planned Sprint acquisition by Japanese telecoms provider Softbank. There’s also T-Mobile’s acquisition of super-regional carrier MetroPCS.

Of course, this will depend on the regulatory environment, Alling, says. As such, whatever consolidation may happen is set for the longer-term. The statements made by T-Mobile’s COO probably assume that his company will be on the winning end of the deal, if the industry were to consolidate into a fewer — but bigger — major competitors.”

T-Mobile says US mobile industry to consolidate to three major players.

Categories
Android mobile news

Turkey Day Was Instagram’s Busiest Ever 10 Million

While the day after Halloween is typically Facebook’s biggest photo sharing day, Instagram had its busiest 24 hours to date over Thanksgiving when users shared 10 million photos with holiday references, peaking at 226 per second. The surge likely inspired plenty of sign-ups too, as iPhonographers and Droidographers alike showed off their touched up snapshots to family.

Instagram said “Overall, the day broke all Instagram records as we saw the number of shared photos more than double from the day before, making it our busiest day so far.” It eclipsed the 800,000 Hurricane Sandy Instagrams to become the services most photographed event yet.

The company counted up photos with tags like #thanksgiving and #turkey and saw a sustained flow of over 200 holiday photos a second for several hours surrounding the 12:40pm PST peak at 226 per second.”

Turkey Day Was Instagram’s Busiest Ever, With 10 Million+ Thanksgiving Photos Shared At Up To 226 Per Second | TechCrunch.

Categories
iOS

Native iOS Google Maps app being tested externally with turn-by-turn navigation baked in

 

“If Apple’s homegrown mapping solution isn’t quite cutting it, your navigation needs may soon be met by a native iOS Google Maps app. Citing an unnamed source, the Wall Street Journal says Page and Co. are distributing a test version of the fabled app to folks outside the firm, making good on theirearlier commitment to bring Google Maps to iOS. The WSJ’s source expects the app to be outfitted with turn-by-turn navigation, but didn’t mention when it might finally see an official release. As it stands, the search giant is said to be putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for App Store approval.”

 

WSJ: Native iOS Google Maps app being tested externally with turn-by-turn navigation baked in — Engadget.

Categories
Android

Google Apps From Android 4.2 Available To Install On Your Galaxy Nexus

“First the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean keyboard was extracted and made available for other phones and then it was Photo Sphere’s turn, and we even got to take a close look at how it works. Now it’s time — for those who can’t wait any longer for the new version of Android to land — to grab and install the core apps from 4.2 on their Galaxy Nexus phones.

Those familiar with the term will know what ‘gapps’ stands for. You can grab the package here which contains Google’s own applications from Android 4.2, including Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Talk, and the rest. As a bonus, you can alsodownload Google Wallet from here if you want to install that one as well.”

Google Apps From Android 4.2 Available To Install On Your Galaxy Nexus | Pocketnow.

Categories
mobile news

Verion LTE Roll Out Should Wrap Up by Mid-2013

“Most of Verizon’s strategy talk surrounding its long-term LTE plans has conservatively aimed at upgrading all existing coverage areas to 4G by the end of 2013. If we’re to believe a CFO Fran Shammo presentation, the carrier may have underpromised and overdelivered: the executive now expects LTE to reach the whole network by the middle of next year, or as much as half a year sooner than first thought. What prompted the quicker rollout wasn’t mentioned, although Shammo was eager to point out a surprisingly strong reception to Verizon’s (frequently mandatory) shared plans as well as the ample number of airwaves that came from a spectrum transfer deal with cable providers. Having a lot of customers on premium plans with the capacity to support them tends to help with faster expansion, we’d say. No matter the exact reasoning, the shortened schedule could underscore the advantage of Verizon’s early start on LTE versus those carriers taking a more relaxed pace.”

Verizon CFO: LTE rollout should wrap up by mid-2013, months ahead of expectations — Engadget.

Categories
disruptive technology resource

Google Wallet checkout gains support for mobile websites

“Google is today announcing mobile support for its Google Wallet checkout service, whichexpanded to include micropayments for web content earlier this month. At that time, Google said it would allow online shoppers to purchase premium digital content, ideally priced under $1.00, which also included a 30-minute money-back refund. Today, Google is expanding its service yet again to an area that makes even more sense: mobile shopping.

It’s fair to say that Google Wallet hasn’t really gained traction in terms of being an NFC-enabled service for making mobile payments at point-of-sale out in the real world, but frankly, no digital wallet provider has won the mobile payments battle yet. That’s why it’s notable that Google Wallet is now expanding its focus in order to become a more comprehensive digital payments platform which could rival incumbents in this space – like PayPal, for example.

With today’s update, Google says that Google Wallet now supports mobile e-commerce websites which have adopted Google Wallet as a checkout option. Indeed, this is an area that’s still a major pain point for many online retailers. All too often, checkout functionality on mobile isn’t optimized for the small screen, or sometimes, the pages themselves are mobile-friendly in terms of their design, but the checkout process still steps users through so many form fields that the process becomes time-consuming and cumbersome for small keyboards and touchscreens. Google says that currently, 97% of mobile shoppers abandon their carts for this very reason.”

 

Google Wallet checkout gains support for mobile websites — Engadget.

Categories
Android

Android SMS Vulnerability Discovered by NCSU Researchers

“The art of smishing (SMS-Phishing) has been practiced for some time, but a discovery by the wizards at NC State University has uncovered a new vulnerability that could bring the aforesaid act back into the spotlight. Xuxian Jiang’s research team recently identified the hole and confirmed that it impacts Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Put simply, if an Android user downloads an infected app, the attacking program can “make it appear that the user has received an SMS, or text, message from someone on the phone’s contact list or from trusted banks.” This fake message can solicit personal information, such as passwords for user accounts. The team isn’t going to disclose proof until Google patches it up, but the school has said that Google will be addressing it “in a future Android release.” For now, however, Jiang recommends additional caution when downloading and installing apps from unknown sources, while also suggesting that folks pay close attention to received SMS text messages.”

 

Android smishing vulnerability discovered by NCSU researchers; Google has a fix incoming — Engadget.

 

Categories
mobile news resource

Free App Revenue Growth Leaves Premium in the Dust

“Freemium iOS apps eclipsed 50 percent mark in the US about a year ago. But in the last year, the momentum behind freemium apps has only grown stronger, according to new data from app analytics firm App Annie.

App Annie Intelligence, which tracks more than 700,000 apps, found that global revenues for freemium apps on iOS have quadrupled over the last 24 months. And for Google Play, worldwide freemium revenues have grown 3.5x in 2012. Now, freemium apps generate 69 percent of the worldwide iOS app revenue and 75 percent of global Android app revenues. Meanwhile, premium app revenue from paid download apps have remained relatively flat over the same periods.

The numbers confirm the trend we’ve been noticing but the fact that there’s been no let up shows just how app developers continue to embrace the freemium model and how those apps continue to bring in more money. We reported two years ago that the 1/3 of the top grossing apps on iOS in the US had moved to the freemium model. By the end of 2011, Distimo reported that about half of the revenue from the 200 top grossing iPhone apps came from freemium app while 65 percent of the revenue from top apps in the Android Market came from freemium apps.

Not every app needs to go freemium. As Flurry recently pointed out, some apps are better suited to that model. For example, apps with high intensity of usage in a short window creates an opportunity for developers to make money though in-app purchases that users can binge on. And for users who come back repeatedly over a long period of time, there’s also a chance to keep selling them on more content and add-on functions. Apps that don’t necessarily hold on to users over a long period of time might monetize better through one-time paid downloads, said Flurry.”

 

http://gigaom.com/mobile/freemium-app-revenue-growth-leaves-premium-in-the-dust/

Categories
disruptive technology mobile news resource

Google Takes Street View Tech Into the Grand Canyon

“Google Maps has officially stepped into what may be its most difficult challenge yet — mapping the alleys, ledges and trails of the world unreachable by Street View’s cars, tricycles and snowmobiles. The effort formally began on foot Monday as Google took three of its Trekker backpacks down into the Grand Canyon for the new gadgetry’s maiden voyage.

“When we were designing Trekker, we really knew we wanted to take it to these rugged, remote locations,” said Ryan Falor, a product manager on Google’s Street View special collections team, at the top of the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail on Monday. “We worked really hard to make sure it was waterproof and could handle heat and cold and all kinds of abuse on the trail.”

The Trekker — which looks like a Ghostbuster’s Proton Pack with an oversized soccer ball mounted on top and a USB-connected Android smartphone in place of a particle blaster — was first shown off at aGoogle Maps event back in June. At that point, the device was still a prototype and a bit lighter than its current 40-pound heft. But after about a year and a half of prototypes and improvements, as well as test hikes around the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View and on weekend trails in the Bay Area, Trekker is finally polished enough to collect 360-degree imagery for use in Google Maps Street View.”

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/google-trekker-backpack-maps-the-grand-canyon/

Categories
mobile development mobile news resource

Forrester survey finds first ever decline in people ‘using the internet’

“A survey measuring people’s internet use used to be a fairly simple thing. If you dialed up and logged onto CompuServe or AOL, you were “online” until you disconnected. Even in more recent years, you were “online” for as long as you were looking at a web browser or a chat window. But things have gotten more complicated as we’ve grown more mobile and connected than ever, and that’s now resulted in the first ever decline of people “using the internet” in Forrester’s annual survey since it began asking the question in 1997. As AllThingsD reports, this year’s survey found that people spent an average of 19.6 hours per week using the internet, compared to 21.9 hours in 2011. According to Forrester’s Gina Sverdlov, however, that’s not due to a shift back towards TV or other activities, but to a changing notion of what “being online” means to individuals. As she puts it, “given the various types of connected devices that US consumers own, many people are connected and logged on (automatically) at all times,” and that “the internet has become such a normal part of their lives that consumers don’t register that they are using the internet when they’re on Facebook, for example.” The full report isn’t available to the public, but you can find a few more details from it at the links below.”

 

Forrester survey finds first ever decline in people ‘using the internet,’ but a changing notion of ‘being online’ — Engadget.

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Google Introduces Maps Tracks and Geolocation APIs

In its never-ending quest to dominate the global mapping scene, Google has just rolled out a new pair of APIs designed to help organizations build their own location-enabled applications. The first is Google Maps Tracks API, which gives developers the ability to concoct apps that can store, display and analyze GPS data on a map. In other words, those in need of a geofencing program — fleet managers and the like — need look no further. Secondly, there’s the Google Maps Geolocation API, which “enables an application or device to determine its own location without the use of GPS by looking up the locations of nearby WiFi access points and cell towers.” It’s pretty clear that enterprises are the target here, but it seems like only a matter of time before consumer-facing location apps tap into ’em.”

 

http://engt.co/Vab3a8

Categories
mobile news

GAO says FTC should develop guidelines for mobile location data handling

The Government Accountability Office, in a recent report, recommended that the Federal Trade Commission develop comprehensive guidelines for how companies handle mobile location data.

The GAO report also recommended that the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration work with stakeholders to outline specific goals, milestones and performance measures for its process in developing industry codes of conduct for handling mobile location data.

In response to feedback from the agencies, the GAO backed off from a recommendation that the FTC include–in its mobile location data guidance–steps it would take to enforce a prohibition of unfair practices.

The government watchdog warned that the collection and sharing of location data by mobile companies poses privacy risks to mobile phone users.

Mobile phone users are generally unaware of how their location data is shared with and used by third parties, the GAO warned.

Companies in the mobile industry are ignoring best practices for location data collection developed by industry associations and privacy advocates, the government watchdog noted. These best practices include clearly disclosing to consumers that a company is collecting location data, as well as identifying third parties that companies share location data with.

Read more: GAO says FTC should develop guidelines for mobile location data handling – FierceMobileIT http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/gao-says-ftc-should-develop-guidelines-mobile-location-data-handling/2012-10-12#ixzz296kAFpyk
Subscribe: http://www.fiercemobileit.com/signup?sourceform=Viral-Tynt-FierceMobileIT-FierceMobileIT

http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/gao-says-ftc-should-develop-guidelines-mobile-location-data-handling/2012-10-12

Categories
iOS mobile development usability

Google Street View comes to Google Maps web app on iOS.

While the hubbub surrounding Apple Maps on iOS 6 has been somewhat sedated, some people who made the move to Google Maps’ web app had been further encouraged by word that it’d be getting Street View imagery soon. And what do you know, barely seven days into the estimated “in two weeks” and here it is. Search for a location (no long press yet), and you’ll spy the familiar icon bottom right. This appears in both Chrome and Safari. While perhaps still not quite as slick as the good old app of yore, a definite panacea for all those iOS toutin’ virtual tourists.”

Street View comes to Google Maps web app on iOS, just like they said it would — Engadget.

Categories
mobile news

T-Mobile and MetroPCS Merge

“T-Mobile and MetroPCS have agreed to combine their struggling cellphone businesses in a deal aimed at letting them compete better with their three larger rivals.

The combined company will use the T-Mobile brand and have about 42.5 million subscribers. Although T-Mobile will stay No. 4 among U.S. wireless companies, it will get access to more space on the airwaves, a critical factor as cellphone carriers try to expand their capacity for wireless broadband.

That could ultimately mean more choices and better services for customers, though Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin doesn’t believe the deal will make a “revolutionary difference” for U.S. cellphone customers. That said, MetroPCS customers will probably have to buy new phones at some point over the next three years as they are moved over to T-Mobile’s network.

Both companies have faltered in the highly competitive U.S. cellphone market led by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. T-Mobile has 33.2 million subscribers, well behind No. 3 Sprint Nextel Corp’s 56 million. MetroPCS is even further back, ranking fifth with 9.3 million.

Last year, T-Mobile USA’s German parent, Deutsche Telekom AG, tried to sell the U.S. cellphone business to AT&T for $39 billion. Getting more access to airwaves was the main reason for AT&T wanted T-Mobile.

But regulators rejected that proposed purchase, worried that competition would suffer if the second-largest cellphone company were to gobble up the fourth.

Under the new deal, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 74 percent stake in the combined company, while MetroPCS Communications Inc.’ shareholders will own the remainder. MetroPCS shareholders will also receive a payment of about $1.5 billion.

The deal still has to be approved by shareholders of both companies and will require government approval. But the regulatory concerns this time appear to be much milder than they had been with AT&T. T-Mobile and MetroPCS are both relatively small, and T-Mobile has been losing subscribers for the past two years.

“We are committed to creating a sustainable and financially viable national challenger in the U.S., and we believe this combination helps us deliver on that commitment,” Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann said in a statement.”

 

The Associated Press: T-Mobile, MetroPCS unite to battle larger rivals.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Samsung On The Lookout To Buy Content Providers To Compete With Apple, Google, and Amazon

“Samsung Electronics, which has vaulted the value chain on the strength of its hardware, will go out and buy mobile content providers, a senior executive told Reuters, to compete with Apple, Google and Amazon.com in a global digital music market worth nearly $9 billion.

The South Korean electronics giant has muscled its way to global leadership in TVs, smartphones, chips and display screens – packing internally sourced state-of-the-art components into consumer gadgets – but software remains a weak link.

“The message we’re getting from the top is to raise software capability, and buy rather than build, if needed,” Kang Tae-jin, senior vice president of Samsung’s Media Solution Center, said in an interview. “Our focus on software is primarily aimed at driving hardware sales, rather than making money. We have a full range of handsets in so many countries, and, to better market our products, we thought it’s better to start our own software business.””

Getting in tune; Samsung to shop for software | Reuters.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Texas Instruments Says It’s Not Exiting Mobile Market

 

“Texas Instruments is revamping its strategy regarding its OMAP chipsets and announced that it considers the smartphone and tablet market less attractive and will focus on bringing OMAP to more platforms than wireless gadgets.

Reuters, citing various analysts, reported that it’s quite likely that TI will be quitting the smartphone and tablet business altogether. Today, a TI media relations manager contacted us to clarify the company’s position.

It will indeed be broadening the reach of its OMAP products, aiming at “embedded applications such as automotive, industrial, enterprise communication, vision and robotics, to grow the OMAP footprint beyond mobile”.

TI will also continue its efforts in developing the OMAP chipsets and the fifth generation, the one with Cortex-A15 cores, is on track – it’s sampling today and the first consumer products it will power are expected in early 2013.”

TI says it’s not giving up on OMAP chipsets, OMAP 5 on track – GSMArena.com news.

Categories
Android disruptive technology iOS resource

MasterCard announces PayPass User Interface SDK

“MasterCard has been in the cashless payment game for quite a while, and now it’s hoping to get more developers on the PayPass bandwagon with its freshly unveiled user interface software development kit. By leveraging the SDK, programmers will be able to bake the firm’s NFC payment system, which is compatible with over 70 handsets, into their own Android or BlackBerry OS 7 apps. The kit is free to license and includes API code libraries, documentation, a developer guide, sample code, a white-label reference application and a testing suite. Once apps are created with the SDK, they’ll have to go through MasterCard’s approval process before they go live. Yearning to code PayPass-enabled smartphone software? Check out the press release below for more details.”

via MasterCard announces PayPass User Interface SDK, lets devs roll their own NFC payment-enabled apps – Engadget.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Mobile Phone Manufacturer ZTE to Use Mozilla Mobile OS for smartphones

“Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. plans to launch smartphones using a mobile operating system it developed with Mozilla, the U.S. software company behind the Firefox web browser, in the first quarter of next year.

The move is the latest indication that handset makers are looking beyond Google Inc.’s dominant Android mobile operating system as they try to diversify the software platforms for their smartphones and other mobile devices. While Apple Inc.’s iPhone uses its own iOS software, most other smartphones currently sold around the world are powered by Android.

ZTE Executive Vice President He Shiyou said at a press briefing Wednesday that the company, one of China’s largest mobile handset makers, will also launch smartphones using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 operating system at the end of this year or early next year.”

via ZTE to use Mozilla mobile OS in smartphones – MarketWatch.

Categories
Android mobile news

HTC One S family hits China

HTC has delivered smartphone triplets to the Chinese market: the HTC One ST, SC and SU — and while the devices have identical guts (except for network gear), each has its own housing, carrier and color scheme. All three carry 4.3-inch 800 x 480 screens, dual-core 1GHz processors, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, a 5-megapixel camera with 5 fps continuous shooting, Beats audio, dual-sim / dual standby capability and Android 4.0 with HTC sense 4. But the HTC One ST, destined for China Mobile, brings a curvier 9.2mm thick design and choice of three colors, including a now passé red. The One SC for China Telecom has a squarish, 8.9mm asymmetric two-tone design, and three color choices as well, including a burnt orange for the more fashion forward. Finally there’s China Unicom‘s HTC One SU, with a similar body to its SC counterpart, but featuring powder blue as an accent color. No pricing has been announced yet for the entry-level spec’d models, but consumers there may want to check their wardrobes before picking up one of the bolder models.”

 

 

HTC One S family hits China sporting different threads, identical specs – Engadget.

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development usability

Liquipel spreads the hydrophobia for gadgets

Over the years we’ve come across many hydrophobic coating technologies aimed at electronics, but sadly, none of those were made directly available to consumers. The closest one was Nokia’s nanocoating demonstration we saw last October, though the company recently said to us that it’s still “currently a research project,” and it never mentioned plans to offer a service to treat existing devices. On the other hand, Californian startup Liquipel recently opened its first Hong Kong retail store, making it the second Liquipel service center globally after the one located at the Santa Ana headquarters. Folks in the area can simply call up to make an appointment, and then head over with their phones or tablets to get the nanocoating treatment. So how does this funky technology work? How does it cover both the inside and the outside of gadgets? And is Liquipel’s offering any better than its rivals? Read on to find out.

In between Liquipel’s launch of its first Hong Kong store (in Kowloon Bay) last month and its first Kuala Lumpur store this week, we sat down with the company’s co-founder and co-president Kevin Bacon (no, not that Kevin Bacon) to hear about the fascinating treatment process. First of all, the devices are placed on racks inside a large “Liquibot,” then a near-vacuum environment is created inside the chamber, followed by the injection of a liquid repellent formulation which becomes a gas under the low pressure. By using strategically placed valves, the machine’s able to manipulate the flow of the gas, which is why Liquipel can treat fully assembled devices (though Liquipel’s Hong Kong store is also happy to treat devices pre-disassembled by customers, provided that they are aware of warranty issues).

After letting the gas flow around for a while, the Liquibot then generates a plasma in order to polymerize and bind the gas molecules onto the devices, both externally and internally. The resulting coating — which is about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair — creates a microscopic air gap between the target material and liquids, thus producing the super hydrophobic property. To ensure consistency, Liquipel places a piece of tissue in each run as a control, and afterwards it is tested with a corrosive oil, and obviously, all is good if the tissue stays in one piece. The process takes about 30 to 45 minutes plus extra for cleaning, so customers can usually pick up their devices within an hour or two.”

 

Liquipel launches retail store in Hong Kong, spreads the hydrophobia for gadgets — Engadget.

Categories
Android iOS iPhone

Open-source thermal imaging iPhone attachment


“Modder Andy Rawson thinks he’s found the secret to turning 
smartphones into super-cheap thermal imaging hardware. Inspired by his quest to find leaks in his old home and the high cost of professional gear, he set about building his own. A 64-zone temperature sensor connects to his iPhone via the dock, overlaying the data onto his camera display. He’s planning to open-source the $150 hardware, and an Android variant of the hardware is currently in the works — although details for both are currently thin on the ground, you can see his announcement video after the break.” Engadget.

 

 

Modder builds $150 open-source thermal imaging camera to help insulate his house (video) — Engadget.

Categories
mobile news usability

More LTE Markets for Sprint

“The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. ( S ) added 4G LTE services to four more cities namely Baltimore, Gainesville, Manhattan/Junction City and Sedalia. 

The move is part of the multi-billion dollar restructuring program known as Network Vision plan, which aims to combine 3G and 4G technologies into one seamless network. This would lead to the efficient use of capital, reduction of cell sites, the elimination of dual networks, backhaul efficiencies, reduced churn, lower roaming charges and energy cost savings. As a result, the plan is expected to generate $10 billion to $11 billion in savings over a seven-year period (2011-2017). The company expects the Network Vision deployment to be over by the end of 2013.”

 

More LTE Markets for Sprint – Analyst Blog – NASDAQ.com.