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The Smartphone Market in 2013 September 30, 2009

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Gold Rush. Those are the two words that a Boston, MA based connectivity consulting group has used to describe the Smartphone market within the next four years. According to The Yankee Group, by 2013 nearly 7 billion US Smartphone apps will garner $4.2 billion in revenue. Furthermore, the number of Smartphones will quadruple to 160 million in the same timeframe.

According to the Yankee Group, the average Smartphone owner downloads 20 apps per year at an average about $0.99 cents per app. The consulting group predicts by 2013,paid apps will cost approximately $2.37, increasing the current market of $343 million by more than 10 times over the next five years. […]

via The Smartphone Market in 2013 | Business News | Technology Digital

Motorola Taps Nero For Android Syncing September 30, 2009

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The Motorola Cliq is going to be a highly-sought device when it’s released later this year, but we haven’t heard about how users will manage and sync their multimedia files. Motorola said Friday it has tapped Nero to craft its desktop media software, and, from what I’ve seen, it looks pretty good.

A lot of the appeal of the Android operating system is being able to do much of the syncing and management over the air, as the G1 and myTouch 3G simply have you punch in your Google account information and all your contacts and calendars are auto-magically brought to the phone. Nero said OTA has its role, which will grow significantly over the next few year, but it’s not the right setting for transferring music or videos. Motorola will be using Nero’s software for its Media Link software, which will enable users to manage their multimedia files with the Cliq and other Moto phones.

The user interface is about what you’d expect from this type of software, and it was easy to import, find, mange, and make playlists from your files. There was a cool little ringtone maker that was simple to use, and you can purchase songs from Amazon’s MP3 store within the software. Media Link also makes it simple to get photos off your phone, and there are also basic photo-editing tools for cropping, rotating, red-eye reduction, and more. There’s some social networking integration as well, but I thought the latest Real Player software was a bit stronger on this front.

Videos can be transferred with the Media Link software as well, but if you want the really good stuff like automatic transcoding for the best resolution and screen size, you’ll have to pony up $39.99 for the premium version. The premium version also includes calendar and contact synching, but Android is pretty adept already at that over the air.

Of course, the major problem for companies like Research In Motion, Palm, and Motorola is that the iTunes ecosystem is so strong, and many smartphone users already have much of their media tied into Apple’s software. Media Link does enable users to import playlists from iTunes, as well as Windows Media Player, so that’s a step in the right direction. RIM has essentially ceded the heavy lifting of multimedia syncing to iTunes with the Media Sync Software and Palm has also been fighting hard to enable its webOS customers to use Apple’s software, but there should be a growing market for alternative mobile media management programs. I think iTunes is pretty bloated and a chore to use on Windows, so here’s hoping something like Media Link can take off.

via Motorola Taps Nero For Android Syncing – Mobile Blog – InformationWeek

Android Developers Blog: Now available: Android 1.6 NDK September 29, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Today Android 1.6 NDK, release 1 is available for download from the Android developer site.

To recap, the NDK is a companion to the SDK that provides tools to generate and embed native ARM machine code within your application packages. This native code has the same restrictions as the VM code, but can execute certain operations much more rapidly. This is useful if you’re doing heavy computations, digital processing, or even porting existing code bases written in C or C++.

If you already use the Android 1.5 NDK, upgrading to this release is highly recommended. It provides the following improvements:

  • The ability to use OpenGL ES 1.1 headers and libraries If your application targets Android 1.6, your native code can now directly call OpenGL ES 1.1 functions to perform graphics rendering. This will help those programs that need to send large amounts of vertex data to the GPU. Note, however, that activity lifecycle and surface creation must still be performed from the VM. This NDK contains a new sample (“san-angeles”) that shows exactly how to do that with a GLSurfaceView object.
  • The ability to target either Android 1.5 or 1.6 devices The NDK parses your project’s properties to know which platform release it is targeting. It will then automatically use the proper headers and libraries to generate your native code. Any application that targets 1.5 will run on Android 1.5, Android 1.6 and any future official system release. Targeting 1.6 should, thus, only be done if your application requires new 1.6 features / APIs, like the ability to call OpenGL ES 1.x headers from native code.
  • The ability to put your native sources under your application’s project tree You can now conveniently place all your sources (C, C++ and Java) under the same tree, for editing or version control purposes.
  • Many fixes to the NDK’s build scripts The changes to the build scripts fix some annoying bugs and also increase host system compatibility.

via Android Developers Blog: Now available: Android 1.6 NDK.

Official Google Blog: Surf’s up Wednesday: Google Wave update September 29, 2009

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Starting Wednesday, September 30 we’ll be sending out more than 100,000 invitations to preview Google Wave to:

We’ll ask some of these early users to nominate people they know also to receive early invitations — Google Wave is a lot more useful if your friends, family and colleagues have it too. This, of course, will just be the beginning. If all goes well we will soon be inviting many more to try out Google Wave.

Some of you have asked what we mean by preview. This just means that Google Wave isn’t quite ready for prime time. Not yet, anyway. Since first unveiling the project back in May, we’ve focused almost exclusively on scalability, stability, speed and usability. Yet, you will still experience the occasional downtime, a crash every now and then, part of the system being a bit sluggish and some of the user interface being, well, quirky.

There are also still key features of Google Wave that we have yet to fully implement. For example, you can’t yet remove a participant from a wave or define groups of users, draft mode is still missing and you can’t configure the permissions of users on a wave. We’ll be rolling out these and other features as soon as they are ready — over the next few months.

Despite all this, we believe you will find that Google Wave has the potential for making you more productive when communicating and collaborating. Even when you’re just having fun! We use it ourselves everyday for everything from planning pub crawls to sharing photos, managing release processes and debating features to writing design documents. In fact, we collaborated on this very blog post with several colleagues in Google Wave.

Speaking of ways you could potentially use Google Wave, we’re intrigued by the many detailed ones people have taken the time to describe. To mention just a few: journalist Andy Ihnatko on producing his Chicago Sun-Times column, filmmaker Jonathan Poritsky on streamlining the movie-making process, scientist Cameron Neylon on academic papers and lab work, Alexander Dreiling and his SAP research team on collaborative business process modelling, and ZDNet’s Dion Hincliffe on a host of enterprise use cases.[…]

Finally, a big shoutout to the thousands of developers who have patiently taken part in our ongoing developer preview. It has been great fun to see the cool extensions already built or being planned and incredibly instructive to get their help planning the future of our APIs. To get a taste for what some of these creative developers have been working on, and to learn more about the ways we hope to make it even easier for developers to build new extensions, check out this post on our developer blog.

via Official Google Blog: Surf’s up Wednesday: Google Wave update.

Study: 92% of 16-24 years old German like mobile advertisment September 29, 2009

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Berlin, Germany – September 28, 2009 – According to the preliminary findings of a new consumer research study of the German market, more than 90 percent of 16-24 year olds have a positive attitude towards mobile advertising if they are placed in control of how they are exposed to it. These results form part of ambitious and far-reaching primary research project, that has already taken place in the Netherlands and the U.K, with the goal of stimulating and inspiring the mobile advertising industry.

The initial findings also showed that compared to the U.K., Germany is definitely in an early adopter phase regarding mobile internet usage. In Germany, 19 percent of mobile users access the mobile internet once a month or more compared to 62 percent in the U.K. (11 percent once a week for Germany and 38 percent for the U.K.). This shows the clear growth potential in the market as uptake and usage of the mobile internet continues to increase.

The research project, which launches today and is spearheaded by Netherlands based consultancy firm ÆNEAS Strategy Consulting and Management, will expertly document the state of the mobile advertising industry in Germany, provide insights into different perspectives throughout the entire mobile ecosystem and identify growth opportunities in the emerging mobile advertising marketplace. The clear aim is to benefit and inspire stakeholders, shareholders and users worldwide about the added value of mobile in the media mix.

“Following our success in the Netherlands and the U.K., we are ready to rumble, and roll this out across Europe and the U.S., starting with Germany and later France and the Czech Republic. We are pleased to be working with Camerjam to host an event January 14th 2010, strengthening us in our mission to make advertising mobile.” Says Managing Director of ÆNEAS STRATEGY Tarik Fawzi.

via Studie: 92% der 16-24 jährigen Deutschen stehen mobiler Werbung positiv gegenüber | mobile zeitgeist.

Apple App Store Crosses Another Threshold September 28, 2009

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A quick update from the land of Apple: The company announced on Monday another set of remarkable numbers for the app store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Customers have downloaded more than two billion apps in the last year and a half, up from a billion in April and a billion and a half in July. Apple says there are now 85,000 apps available for the phone, up from 65,000 in July.

The blog Apple Insider further parses the numbers, calculating that an average of 6.3 million apps are downloaded a day, up from 4.1 million earlier in the year. The breadth and depth of Apple’s app store is a big reason why the iPhone continues to maintain its lead against up-incomers like the Palm Pre and the phones running Google’s Android operating system.

Of course, there is one figure missing from the latest news out of Cupertino: How many of those apps are still being used after they’re downloaded? (We’re curious—what percentage of apps you’ve downloaded do you regularly use?)

“The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it.”

via Apple App Store Crosses Another Threshold – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com

Creating A Hit IPhone Game September 26, 2009

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BURLINGAME, Calif. — David Whatley’s fast-paced action-strategy game “geoDefense Swarm” is the latest to top the iPhone App Store.

Priced at 99 cents, “Swarm,” which was released Sept. 14, is currently No. 1 in the Top Paid Apps Games genre, beating out “Madden NFL 10.” “Swarm” is also No. 3 in Top Paid Apps overall.

Whatley says the “ultimate secret” to getting to the top in the App Store is getting Apple ( AAPL news people ) to notice your product and promote it in categories like “What’s Hot” and “What We’re Playing.” This kind of attention drives tons of traffic to your app, he says. But it is near impossible to engage the infamously closed-off company directly, especially with many new titles coming through every day. Instead, he says, developers need to be able to successfully generate buzz around the blogosphere and on online message boards to pique Apple’s interest.

Whatley says PR firm TriplePoint was key to sparking interest in the original “geoDefense,” which was released last February, and now “Swarm.” “For an indie developer to be successful, you have to do more than write code. You have to figure out how to get the word out about your game,” says Whatley, who does game development in his spare time. His day job is president and chief executive of Simutronics, a company he co-founded over 20 years ago that creates game engine software for publishers like Electronic Arts ( ERTS news people ).

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Sync: Now with push Gmail support September 26, 2009

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Earlier this year, we launched Google Sync which allows you to synchronize your Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar with your iPhone, Windows Mobile, and S60 devices. Today, we’re adding Gmail support to Google Sync for iPhone, iPod Touch and Windows Mobile devices.

Using Google Sync, you can now get your Gmail messages pushed directly to your phone. Having an over-the-air, always-on connection means that your inbox is up to date, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Sync works with your phone’s native email application so there’s no additional software needed. Only interested in syncing your Gmail, but not your Calendar? Google Sync allows you to sync just your Contacts, Calendar, or Gmail, or any combination of the three.


To try Google Sync, visit m.google.com/sync from your computer. If you’re already using Google Sync, learn how to enable Gmail sync. Since push Gmail has been a popular request on our Product Ideas page and Help Forum, we look forward to hearing your feedback, so drop us a line and let us know how it’s working or what you’d like to see next.

via Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Sync: Now with push Gmail support.

Google Sites now works with third-party applications | VentureBeat September 26, 2009

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Google Sites, a tool for creating internal websites where your company can collaborate, can now work with the rest of your business software, Google says. The search giant is releasing an application programming interface (API) that lets applications move data in and out of the Sites service.

This follows other announcements by Google to make its applications, such as Gmail, compatible with outside software. In some cases, like the ability to synchronize Google Apps with Microsoft Outlook, the goal is to ease the transition to Google from other products. In others, like the Sites API, the point is to make Google work better with the other tools businesses use. It also means that the data you store in Google Sites isn’t locked-in if you decide to switch to different software.

Here are some ways the company says you could use the API:

  • Update Google Sites from third-party applications – e.g. your sales team’s Google Sites pages can update automatically when new leads are added to your customer relationship management system.
  • Migrate files and content from workspace applications like Microsoft SharePoint and Lotus Notes to Google Sites.
  • Export Google Sites pages, edit them offline, and re-import the updated content.
  • Export your sites, including every page revision, for backup.
  • Easily monitor changes across your important internal and public sites, all from a single gadget.
  • Push new content like changes to employee policies or a new corporate logo to any site on your domain, even sites created by individual employees.

Of course, not every one of Google Apps’s 175 million customers (such as VentureBeat) has the interest or resources to build their own applications using this API. But you might use applications built by other companies, such as LTech’s application for moving data from Microsoft Sharepoint to Google Sites.

via Google Sites now works with third-party applications | VentureBeat.

Exclusive Interview With Steve Ballmer: Products, Competition, The Road Ahead September 26, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visited Silicon Valley on Thursday for his annual meeting with top venture capitalists to talk about Microsoft product strategy. This was his first visit to Silicon Valley since announcing the search partnership with Yahoo in July.

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