Nielsen publishes ‘The State of Mobile Apps’ for smartphones and feature phones so far in 2010
Jun02

Nielsen publishes ‘The State of Mobile Apps’ for smartphones and feature phones so far in 2010

Since the introduction of the very first smartphone nearly two decades ago, a lot of things have changed. Many of today’s current generation of smartphones are fully capable of serving as all-in-one computing devices and the advances in mobile technology make these as suitable replacements for laptops or any other larger mobile computing device. This has been made possible not only by the innovations brought forth in the hardware being used in smartphones, but also because of the now highly complex mobile software ecosystem that makes smartphones what they truly are. The mobile software boom really only started fairly recently, but there are already a lot of players involved. It’s getting kind of hard to keep up with all the changes happening in the mobile space, especially when it comes to gauging the performance of the different individual smartphone platforms. Fortunately for us, we have Nielsen, which has just published what it calls “The State of Mobile Apps” wherein it has tabulated data gathered from a survey of 4,200 people who had downloaded a mobile application to their smartphone in the last 30 days. The results are as follows. The games category shows the most number of downloads for both the smartphone and feature phone category. This is followed by music, social networking, news/weather, and mapping/navigation in terms of percentage of download. And as for the individual smartphone platforms, the most popular apps turn out to be either of these three: Facebook, Google Maps and the Weather Channel. It seems that people today are still using phones for their original intended purpose. That is, communication and connection with other people. The above graphs show data for the BlackBerry OS, iPhone OS, Android OS and “all other smartphones” (note that as big as it still is, Symbian didn’t get its own detailed graphs). Via...

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iPhone 4.0 video chat feature gets confirmed
May25

iPhone 4.0 video chat feature gets confirmed

A somewhat important innovation that has been available on other phones for years now has been missing on the iPhone for far too long. Two generations after the original iPhone, video chat still isn’t officially enabled or supported by Apple on their smartphones. But as seen in the recently leaked pics of the upcoming 4th-gen iPhone, a front facing video camera will be part of the new features so this means things in the video feature department are about to change. While Apple remains mum about the official new features of the next-gen iPhone, an unknown individual has tipped Engadget to say that video chat will indeed be supported by the iPhone 4G by way of its built-in front facing video cam. The same tipster that confirmed the video calling feature has also mentioned that there will be a new Apple ad (among a series of new Apple ads for the iPhone 4G) that showcase video calling as a major selling point of the soon-to-be released smartphone. The front facing iPhone 4G video cam can be seen in the picture above, which became available as part of a series of iPhone 4G-related leaks that burst out to the Internet earlier this month. Via...

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Wal-Mart to bring down price of Apple iPhone 3G S to $97 USD
May25

Wal-Mart to bring down price of Apple iPhone 3G S to $97 USD

As the official release date of the next-generation iPhone is fast approaching (expected to happen next month), retailers are already moving to clear stock of older models which include the iPhone 3G S. Wal-Mart, for example, is reportedly going to lower the prices for the current version of the iPhone to just $97, a full $2 less than what some analysts have expected. It is also $100 less than the current selling price of this phone which is $199. Normally, this price cut would increase the sales of the older model, even though a new one is in the horizon and will be released very soon. However, this time around, Apple doesn’t have the advantage of secrecy up its sleeve, as plenty of leaks happened recently which pretty much exposed everything Apple holds sacred about the 4th-gen iPhone, new internals, outer design and all. Still, $97 is a huge bargain for a brand new iPhone 3G S, and there will most likely be a lot of people willing to take advantage of Wal-Mart’s price cut. The phone will still come with a 2-year AT&T contract, though, so yes, there’s still a catch. Via...

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Motorola i1 Android smartphone heading for Boost Mobile
May25

Motorola i1 Android smartphone heading for Boost Mobile

The world’s first rugged Android smartphone, as it turns out, will also be the first Android-running smartphone that will be offered by Boost Mobile in the U.S. The Motorola i1, which had been announced back in March for Sprint’s iDEN portfolio, will be available as the first Android smartphone without a contract from Boost Mobile through Best Buy. It isn’t said exactly when, though. For those that don’t know, the Motorola i1 will be the world’s first rugged PTT Android smartphone that reportedly “meets Military specifications for protection against dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain.” It “enhances the push-to-talk experience with the ability to view who is calling regardless of what application you are in, whether you are managing your emails, checking your calendar, composing messages or viewing media,” according to the official announcement. The above pictured poster mentions that the the Motorola i1 will be available with unlimited talk, text, web and e-mail for only $50 a month. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include info about the final price of the upcoming handset, though speculation puts it at around $250 without the carrier contract. We’ll know for sure when it gets released soon enough. Via...

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BOLT browser 2.1 gets announced, HTML5 support introduced with tightened Facebook integration
May24

BOLT browser 2.1 gets announced, HTML5 support introduced with tightened Facebook integration

Not quite satisfied with your current mobile web browser? You might want to check out BOLT, which has just been upgraded to version 2.1 and currently boasts tightened Facebook integration as well as a little something that’s going to make it great in the future: support for HTML5. HTML5 is hailed by many as our ticket out of Adobe’s flash player hell since it intros the video tag and enables developers to include video directly on their pages without the need for any pesky add-ons or plug-ins. Besides what’s mentioned above, BOLT sounds like a great all-around mobile web browser with support for keyboard shortcuts, tabbed browsing and compatibility with all sorts of phones from low-end to high-end. BOLT should work on just about any phone that supports mobile Java (J2ME) and can be downloaded for free from its web site, which we’ve linked to below. Waste no time in checking it out. BOLT via...

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New BlackBerry Bold 9800 pics leak out, show more of OS 6
May24

New BlackBerry Bold 9800 pics leak out, show more of OS 6

RIM’s upcoming slider called the BlackBerry Bold 9800 may have already been seen in a couple of live pics and a video before, but this time, we have new live photos which are of greater quality and show what is probably the final look of the upcoming smartphone. It’s definitely running BlackBerry OS 6 and is looking quite good as a slider, although it looks somewhat bulky in comparison to similar looking devices like the Palm Pre, for example. The new BlackBerry Bold 9800 live pics give us a great view of the upcoming slider smartphone’s WebKit browser and virtual QWERTY keyboard (as part of BlackBerry OS 6), as well as a glimpse of the media player which has a clone of Cover Flow to display the media on the device. The back part looks plain and simple, adorned only by a small BlackBerry logo beneath the built-in camera. As I’ve pointed out earlier, the BlackBerry Bold 9800 is quite the handful, but it probably won’t be that hard to use with both hands holding it while typing things on its keypad or tapping things on its touchscreen display. Below is a small gallery with more photos of the still unreleased phone. Its official launch is reportedly going to happen around June/July so we probably won’t have info on the pricing until then. Unless it gets leaked out ahead of release somehow, of course. TheBerryFix via...

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BlackBerry Pearl 3G to be offered by Telstra in Australia
May24

BlackBerry Pearl 3G to be offered by Telstra in Australia

Following up on the announcement made about two weeks ago, RIM’s BlackBerry Pearl 3G (9100) smartphone is finally coming to Australia via Telstra either today or tomorrow (depending on where in the world you are reading this right now). The actual launch date is May 24th, and the retail prices have finally been revealed. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G boasts rather simple yet useful features: a full QWERTY SureType keyboard, 360 x 400 pixel color screen, built-in 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, and a 3.2-megapixel camera right around the back. It’s the smallest full-featured BlackBerry device ever made and that should make it a real joy to use for those who like carrying their phones in their pockets. As for pricing, Telstra is giving customers the option to get the BlackBerry Pearl 3G either for free (by subscribing to the $59 Cap Plan and a new 2-year contract) or for $679 without a contract. It will be available in two different colors: royal purple and piano black. Via...

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BlackBerry Bold 9650 now available from Sprint at $199
May17

BlackBerry Bold 9650 now available from Sprint at $199

While Sprint promised that the BlackBerry Bold 9650 will only be available on May 23, it’s already available now for some reason. There doesn’t seem to be an official explanation, but it’s out now and eager buyers can already purchase it. And even though the date of availability had a slight change (for the better, I might add), the expected price has remained the same: $199 USD. This is, of course, with a $100 MIR and 2-year contract. I’m sure you’re already familiar with this new BlackBerry’s features by now, so I won’t bore you with the technical stuff. It looks great and is one of RIM’s latest BlackBerry smartphones that can be had at an almost-bargain price. Need I say more? Sprint via...

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Rumored “Project Emerald” might result in Android-powered Sidekick Twist
May17

Rumored “Project Emerald” might result in Android-powered Sidekick Twist

T-Mobile apparently has been working up a little something called “Project Emerald” and it has been deemed as a handset launch by those in the know. Info about this was first posted on tmonews.com about a week ago and today, more details about the device have surfaced. Earlier rumors and speculation about Project Emerald pointed towards the Samsung Galaxy S as the handset that would come out as the result of this top secret operation. But as you know, the Samsung Galaxy S isn’t exactly a secret anymore and so if it was Project Emerald, then there would be no point in being secretive about the whole thing. But the latest information indicates that the “Nexus One-like device” being billed as Project Emerald might actually be a Sidekick Twist running Android 2.1, with a mobile processor (possibly from Snapdragon) clocked at 1GHz and a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display to round out its list of super smartphone features. There still isn’t really any hard info on this, but we’ll be providing relevant updates as soon as new stuff trickles down from the source. Via...

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UK bankers opt for Apple’s iPhone instead of RIM’s BlackBerry for business use
May17

UK bankers opt for Apple’s iPhone instead of RIM’s BlackBerry for business use

Judging from overall sales figures, it’s clear that many people think the iPhone is quite useful as a main mobile device that can juggle business and leisure at the same time. This is true not only in the U.S., but also in the rest of the world where the latest model of Apple’s iPhone is readily available. In fact, in the U.K., British bank Standard Chartered has started offering its employees the option to switch from the standard-issue RIM BlackBerry smartphone that they’ve been using for all these years to give Apple’s touch-only iPhone a chance as a business phone. They’ll do a hefty amount of e-mail and other work-related stuff pretty much all their work days on the device they choose. Unsurprisingly, some people actually started switching to the iPhone. A Singapore-based spokeswoman for Standard Chartered told Reuters, “It’s a group-wide initiative involving wholesale and consumer banks globally,” so you can expect other companies to follow suit. As far as the switching of the BlackBerry users to the iPhone is concerned, I see no surprises here. Apple’s device is currently one of the biggest things to happen to the smartphone market so it’s only logical to see companies trying it out to see what it’s really capable of. But if you’re talking about it completely taking over the business smartphone segment, well, I don’t think that has any chance of happening any time soon, if it will happen at all. Things just aren’t as easy as changing phones and copying phonebook contacts over to the new one when it comes to this market segment. Keep in mind, there are still a lot of companies out there using old operating systems like Windows XP and older versions of business software just because “the switch” is that hard to make. But if it works for Apple, good for them. It won’t be good news for RIM, though. Via Reuters...

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