Remember the days when owning a BlackBerry phone was considered cool? Yeah, its hard but Research In Motion’s (RIMs) continued decline is getting worse. By the end of the year, it is expected that the number of phones with BlackBerry OS will be less than those sporting Windows Phone OS. That’s low. Windows Phone doesn’t even have to pick up much market share because BlackBerry is falling so fast.
A “brain transplant” is what NASA is calling the multi-step software update that is taking place from August 10-13. Apparently, the Mars rover was and is going to have its software upgraded as needed. This ability to upgrade the software gives NASA a way to tune Curiosity’s software to the task at hand.
Anyone who has ever played one of the simulated farming games on Facebook knows that it can be hard to keep up with when you need to check back in to reap your crops or water your plants. Imagine a several thousand acre real farm with a variety of different crops in different fields and you can imagine the logistical issues that could, ahem, crop up. FarmLogs helps keep up with all the details and makes them easy to find for daily, weekly and monthly planning purposes.
IPhone and iPad users were frustrated on Wednesday when a “rogue” server added digital rights management (DRM) software to more than 100 apps being downloaded. Many of the apps affected were popular ones like Instapaper and Angry Birds Space. The DRM software prevented users from being able to open their updated or new apps. Developers got upset when they started getting feedback that their apps and updates weren’t working.
One of the best note taking apps, working across all platforms from computers, to tablets to mobile phones, Evernote has come up with two apps, “Hello” and “Evernote Food” on Android. Hello helps you remember names while Evernote Food helps you remember great meals at home, in restaurants, or with friends.
The patent wars are something like electronic gladiatorial games fought in courtrooms around the world. Seemingly all electronics companies engage in these courtroom battles lobbing accusations and counter accusations back and forth. It goes on for years and occasionally results in a definitive ruling. The latest such skirmish between Microsoft and Motorola has ended badly for Microsoft, at least in the trial court. There are still many layers of appellate courts to go.
Every iPhone on sale today can run iOS 5 and the great majority of Apple mobile devices in circulation can run iOS 4. That said, moribund versions of Apple’s mobile OS represent a small and shrinking percentage of the installed base. The situation on the Android side is the opposite and proportion of users with devices has barely budged. In fact, the number of 2.3 users is still increasing every day.
Google is apparently releasing its next Android version for tablets this Spring. That’s surprising since Android 4.0 was just released this past fall and then only on a few devices. This rush to get Android 5.0 out before Windows 8 is released in the Fall seems a bit precipitous. After all many users are still waiting for their devices to be updated to Android 4.0 sometime this year and now it looks like that update will be obsolete by the time it arrives.
“Son, have you brushed your teeth?” An inevitable, “yes,” is his reply, which leaves you wondering did he mean just now or sometime this century? So off you go, or not, to check their breath and/or whether their toothbrush is wet and suitably minty. A new bit o’ tech could soon put an end to the whole silly back and forth.
Slip sliding away. Once upon a time, if you worked for a big corporation that provided a smartphone, chances are that device was a Blackberry — it was the device to have. No more as developers and corporations flee the platform for the greener and more secure pastures of the iPhone.
Free gift! Or, put another way, how to get a small downpayment on what is probably a bad investment of your time. Research in Motion is looking at you — developers, developers, developers — and, if you port your Android app to QNX in 10 days or less, they are graciously willing to part with an entry-level 16GB PlayBook.
A lot of people are all agog at Apple’s new iBooks Author App. Don’t be. Self publishing software has been around for awhile. Not only has it been around it has been used and is being used successfully to publish books that can be sold for more devices than just Apple’s. Rather than rushing headlong into software that will limit where your book can be read, look around and try out a few different programs.
Go to the store and try an Android — it feels good. A little lagginess in the user interface and goofy, non-intuitive design aside, Google’s been doing quality work. However, the latest batch of Android innovations (not to mention security updates) aren’t getting to users. Though handset makers and the carriers won’t say it directly, if you want the latest version of Android, you will need to buy a new device.
There’s exciting and depressing news from the world of gaming — Activision Blizzard sold more than three quarters of a billion dollars of a single game and buyers played 7 million hours just on the Xbox on the title’s first day. Won’t be getting that time back any time soon.
Everybody hates patent trolls, but no one’s ever put a number on how much they cost innovators and society in general. Moreover, NPE or non-practicing entities — a new age acronym for scumbag — aren’t targeting innovation in general, they’re going after software companies that have created real products.
Too often the words “open and free” can be summarized with a single word, “infection,” thus presenting an increasingly dire situation that Google and its Android partners ignore at their peril.