While nothing spectacular--it is after all just a Twitter app, it does have some nice features like embedded photos and 'Nearby' which shows all Tweets based on your geographic location. Overall it looks pretty smooth.
The speakers in the video are French, so any secret info they are probably not discussing will remain hidden to us, but the demonstration of the app more than speaks for itself.
Verizon's ETF lawsuit has apparently come to a close with a California Appeals Court upholding a $21 million refund that will go to about 175,000 customers. The lawsuit came about when customers challenged Verizon's Early Termination Fees. The plaintiffs claimed that Verizon violated California consumer protection laws and similar State and Federal laws by imposing flat ETF's.
The class action settlement, originally agreed upon in 2008, was appealed twice by Verizon with the funds being held in escrow until all appeals of the case have been exhausted. Verizon could appeal to the California Supreme Court but a spokesperson for Verizon stated this ruling ended all ETF related litigation.
Scott Bursor, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, stated "Yesterday's ruling by the Court of Appeal confirms that this is a terrific settlement for Verizon Wireless customers, and now more than 175,000 of those customers will get a substantial refund."
There are no reports on how much the attorney fees in this case will be (likely millions) but the settlement breaks down to about $88 per plaintiff. They were challenging a $175 fee, which has increased since the litigation but is now prorated to comply with applicable laws.
Verizon claims the increase and change in ETF policy is completely unrelated to the litigation. No word if the Microsoft KIN was ever a part of the settlement agreement.
Though Windows Phone 7 is primarily aimed at consumers during the initial launch, Microsoft already has a strong focus on enterprise built within the the OS (Office, Sharepoint, Skydrive, remote management, etc.). This enterprise focus will no doubt become even more robust during further revisions to the OS, hopefully giving Microsoft that edge once again over RIM.
One area that is of interest would be security and encryption. Turns out WP7 supports quite a few forms of data protection algorithms, including the following:
This doesn't mean that encryption is directly supported out-of-the-box for end users, but it does mean that developers have a wide assortment of tools to handle data encryption when writing their own software for the platform. Rob Tiffiany demonstrates this by writing an app to encode some simple data on the fly. His impression is that WP7 has a very solid base for security, which to bring it around again, is not only is good for business but for corporate environments.
LG has announced an all-new LG Application Store with more than 3,000 applications consisting of a mixture between feature phone apps and Windows Phone apps. The good news is that the LG App Store is available in 23 countries and will expand to 33 countries by the end of the year. The bad news is that the U.S. market isn't among them.
In the Press Release, Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG's Mobile Communications Division said, "Today, more and more people want mobile devices that make their lives easier and more exciting through the right combination of applications. To meet this growing demand, we've put a great deal of effort into strengthening our application offerings for all types of phone owners"
While research noted in LG's press release indicates that 90% of feature phone owners in the U.S. and United Kingdom are interested in downloading application, neither of these countries are included in the initial 23 Country launch. The U.K. is included in the next group of ten countries but, again, not the U.S.
Rumors of the HTC HD3 running Windows Phone 7 device have surfaced yet again. The modestly detailed images have the HD3 sporting a 4.5" AMOLED screen, measuring 4.53" x .4" x 2.56", as well as having 1GB RAM, 1GB ROM, and 16GB memory under the hood.
Additionally, the HD3 will have a 1.5ghz Snapdragon processor and a 8mp camera capable of recording at 720p with 1080p playback. This could be another "fantasy phone" rendering of the HD3. The specs are almost identical to those we saw in the first imposter and both first surfaced from Chinese tech sites.
Real or not, the specs and pictures are impressive. However, for now we'll keep this filed under hopeful rumor.
Update: It should be noted that this was actually an old, concept rendering not attributed to HTC going back to March. In other words, quite far from fact. --Malatesta
LG is re-affirming its commitment to the Windows Phone 7 movement.
Ahn Seung-kwon, LG's Mobile Business Chief, stated:
"We will boost our premium lineup, LG Electronics will concentrate on developing devices that take full advantage of the Android and Windows Mobile 7 systems for the next year or two."
He explained that 10 design-focused and specification-rich smartphones will be marketed with North America and Europe targeted for these new phones.
Asked when we will see a Windows Phone 7 device, Ahn said the schedule to market a Windows Mobile 7 in the second half of the year was underway. This would put LG in line with the "by holiday 2010" statements we've heard from others on the WP7 availability.
We've like what we have seen from LG recently with their Expo and Fathom. It will interesting to see what the company can do with Windows Phone 7.
If you are a regular reader of this site, chances are that your Windows Phone isn’t the only gadget you keep around. For gadget lovers, getting your device battery charged is one of the few limitations that constrain our phones. On this site we’ve reviewed portable battery chargers, solar chargers, etc; but we’ve never seen anything quite like The Sanctuary from BlueLounge.
Consolidates device charging. Allows for simultaneous charging of multiple devices.
Wasn't it yesterday we heard rumors of a software update for the Microsoft KIN? Just as we had hopes a software update would breath new life into the KIN, we are now hearing that Microsoft has pulled the plug on the Windows Phone. The official statement from Microsoft reads,
"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."
While Microsoft will site the need to focus on Windows Phone 7, poor sales might have played a role in the decision as well. You also had issues of the KIN not having any apps (YouTube would have been nice), no calender, and pricing issues (hardware and data) that didn't help matters.
The one shining feature of the KIN was the KIN Studio. Hopefully, Microsoft will salvage that feature and find a way to incorporate it into the WP7 picture.
Skyfire has announced that they will be scaling back operations and development beginning July 1, 2010.
The decision appears to be the result of demand out pacing resources. Skyfire users have grown 400% in the past year and Skyfire has been approached by several vendors and wireless providers to become default browsers for their handsets.
The scale down will call for a stop for all future development on Skyfire 1.0 (only used on Windows Phones and Symbian phones) architecture and focus on Skyfire 2.0 as the flagship product. Additionally, Skyfire 1.x will no longer be supported outside of North America and Western Europe. Skyfire 1.0 and 1.5 will remain available as a free service in the following countries after July 1st: United States, U.K., Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan.
Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire, stated, "We know this decision is an inconvenience to many Skyfire 1.5 users in emerging markets, and while it’s a free service, we appreciate how important and valuable Skyfire has become to people. We have read the many impassioned messages from users in affected countries, and the choice to focus on our flagship product does involve trade-offs which are never easy." Skyfire will move forward with continued development for Android phones, submit a version to the iPhone App Store and hopefully have a product available for the Windows Phone 7.
McObject, developer of data management technology, has announced it will be offering support for its Perst object-oriented, open source embedded database on the Windows Phone 7 platform.
The open source software was successfully ported to WP7 by APPA Mundi, a England-based consulting firm. Andy Wigley, from APPA Mundi, stated, "Using Perst for .NET, developers using Silverlight can now include true database management system features in their Silverlight applications, including adding persistence to this data by storing it in a container file in isolated storage."
According to McObject, there was some doubt from developers that WP7's tight memory, CPU size and storage constraints might limit the use of embedded databases. Perst will see it's greatest impact with business applications that require complex databases and hopefully, this announcement will open the door further for WP7 development.
The iPhone 4 may be taking center stage over at AT&T but the wireless carrier has been quietly re-affirming its support for Windows Phone 7. Last week, AT&T held a webcast seminar for Windows Phone 7 application development.
The webcast was conducted by Hsuan-Hua Chang, AT&T's Sr. Marketing Manager, and Rob Cameron from Microsoft. In looking at the presentation's slide show, the seminar covered the core development issues (hardware requirements, software architecture, etc.) as well as walking participants through the development tools. AT&T also took the opportunity to highlight their Developer Program. Developer.att.com will give developers access to the latest information on building Windows Phone 7 solutions for the AT&T network.
AT&T further re-affirmed its commitment to WP7 during the follow-up Q&A. Question: Will AT&T carry a Windows Phone 7? Answer: Yes. AT&T is our Premiere Launch partner.
It would have been nice to have heard more details on what phone we'll see, when we'll see it, and how much it'll cost. But, that would be asking for too much. Right?
T-Mobile customers wanting to upgrade their phones through Customer Care will have to pony up for the cost up front. Beginning July 1, 2010 customers will no longer be able to bill the upgrade charges to their T-Mobile account. Instead, they will have to use a credit or debit card to cover the costs.
EIP (Equipment Installment Plan) Customers will be required to pay the first installment only in addition to any upgrade and shipping fees. Government and business accounts are exempt from this policy change.
This will bring consistency to T-Mobile's purchase policies in place with FlexPay and Retail purchases. It is anticipated that this move will give T-Mobile a boost in revenue which may be applied to future promotions. Who knows, we may see another "free phone" weekend.
When AT&T changed their data plans and moved away from those pesky unlimited plans, some were upset while some looked forward to the savings. If you're not sure if tiered data plans are a good thing or bad, Fierce Wireless has stumbled upon research that shines a positive light on these plans.
The Nielson Company reviews more than 60,000 wireless bills each month and analyzes them line by line, including data usage. In looking at that information sampling over a one year period, the average data consumption increased from 90mb to 298mb. While the averages consumption increased dramatically, it was discovered that during the first quarter of 2009 more than a third of smartphone users consumed less than 1mb of data per month. In 2010, this group dropped to a quarter of the smartphone users. Could this mean that smartphone users are relying more on wifi for their data needs?
Other conclusions from the data usage numbers is that the top six percent of smartphone users consume half of all data and that most users in the Nielson sampling would have be better off with a tiered plan.
In looking at the charts, about 70% of the smartphone users in the study could stay within AT&T's Dataplus Plan (200mb a month) and save $15 a month. About 99% of the users in the study could easily stay within the DataPro Plan (2gb a month) and save $5 a month.
So, for those who have gone to a tiered data plan, are you staying within your monthly data allocation and enjoying the savings?