The Apple App Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch has proved to be a huge hit and forced the introduction of similar services on rival mobile platforms. However, Vic Gundotra, vp of engineering at Google, believes such app stores will not have much of an impact in the future. He expects mobile web browsers to be more than equipped to deliver all kinds of content in the future.
“Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning,” Gundotra said at the Mobilebeat Conference in San Francisco. Palm’s Michael Abbot seconded his opinion and cited the introduction of HTML5 standards, which has made it easier for web apps to make use of a phone’s hardware, as a portent of things to follow.
In the movie Braveheart, there's a pivotal scene involving Mel Gibson and a Scottish battalion where, as William Wallace, he tries to muster some courage from his ragtag company. Face painted blue and half-hysterical, he rallies them with a memorable speech about freedom and love of country. Then, the army proceeds to completely destroy the foreign oppressor in a fight to the bitter end.
In some ways, the current war on smartphone devices could be just as pivotal...and bloody. Companies such as Palm and Nokia have everything to lose if their platforms do not thoroughly crush the competition. Meanwhile, Apple has taken a strong lead with the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices do not appear to be losing any momentum, at least in the business sector. Google has entered the fight with their Android OS, attracting legions of developers to the platform in record time.
All of these operating systems support touch control, rudimentary multi-tasking, rich media, desktop-like Web browsing, and advanced messaging. Yet, only one OS is superior and will ultimately emerge as the victor. It might seem like Apple has already had their Braveheart moment, and maybe there is room for several companies at the top of the pile, but if Windows has taught us anything, it's that a single operating system can become so dominant that every other desktop OS becomes inconsequential. Developers lock into a platform, users get accustomed to it, and that OS wins the war.
We set out to put the major contenders to the test and find out which could become the most dominant. Really, it's too early to call Apple the victor, even though it would be easy to do so with 50,000 apps available and over a million iPhone users. As any technology analyst can tell you, there are actually significantly more Nokia and BlackBerry phones in use today than the iPhone, especially in Europe. The surprise is that the OS that seems to be winning the battle (the iPhone) may not eventually win the OS war in the long run.
Filed under the “just because” file, some gents with the iSoft team have successfully installed Windows 95 onto an iPhone.
Their hack works by running a basic Windows 95 image and the Bochs emulator. However, there are some very noticeable performance issues in the use of the OS. Still though, what matters is that they got it running!
Now they’re working on Windows XP. But, until then you can see the Windows 95 powered iPhone in action here.
Old school adventure gamers who own an Apple iPhone may soon have reason to raise up a mug of grog, and those who have never matched wits with LeChuck might be in for a treat. In a not-so-subtle Twitter update, LucasArts stopped just short of saying it would release The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the iPhone.
"For our Monkey fans - an iPhone sized wallpaper. No reason. Wink wink nod nod," LucasArts tweeted.
LucasArts plans to release the remastered adventure game for the PC and Xbox 360 on July 15th, just two days from now, and the Twitter message is being seen as a (strong) hint that the game will also find its way to the iPhone, though it's anyone's guess as to when that might be.
The remastered title will feature high definition graphics, original cast member voice-overs, renewed music score, a new interface, an in-game hint system, and the ability to switch between Special Edition and Classic Modes at any time during gameplay, LucasArts says.
The Palm Pre App Catalog currently features only thirty apps and excepting one all others are in beta mode. A lot of people are eagerly waiting for a deluge of Pre apps to overwhelm them. But apps will only dribble in for a few more months as the official SDK (software development kit) isn’t available as yet. Palm has announced it intends to have the SDK fully ready by the end of the summer.
"We've been working very hard on the SDK and are eager to open access on a wider scale, but the software and the developer services to support it just aren't ready yet,” Palm wrote rather apologetically on its developer blog. It is believed that since the Palm Pre doesn’t still have a huge installed base a la the iPhone, many app developers may stick to developing apps for more popular platforms like the iPhone. But who knows the number of Pres sold during the months leading up to the release of the SDK might allow Palm to woo some of the dithering developers.
Apple this week released its iPhone OS 3.0 software update, the much anticipated upgrade that allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to run the next generation of iPhone apps, like peer-to-peer games. Over 100 new features find their way into the update, just a handful of which include:
Copy & Paste text and photos
New Spotlight allowing users to search across the entire information contained in the device
Search in Mail, Calendar, and iPod
Shake to shuffle music
Improved parental controls
The new OS is free for all iPhone customers (both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G), while iPod touch customers will have to pony up $10 for the update.
Most smart phones now days are run off of ARM processors (that includes the iPhone and the Palm Pre), and while their performance is already pretty slick, a new dual-core ARM processor is set to hit next year that promises to greatly increase their capabilities.
The new processor, also known as the ARM Cortex-A9, is set to release early 2010. ARM is stating that while the chip is dual-core, it’ll offer users increased battery life in daily usage compared to their current generation of single-core chips.
Reportedly, the A9 will also give smartphones the ability to play 1080p, as well as record HD video.
Scandinavian developer SPRX mobile has developed Layar, an augmented reality browser for 3G phones, which it claims is unprecedented. Despite the company’s we-have-the-first-AR-browser rant, Layar is in fact the world’s second AR browser. The first being Wikitude AR, which provides users with location-based Wikipedia and Qype content using the phone’s GPS, camera and compass. But Wikitude AR is certainly short on features when compared with Layar.
Unless you spent this morning snoozing underneath a rock or immersed in your new Palm Pre, you are aware that Apple announced the impending release of a new mobile phone, the iPhone 3G S. The additional letter stands for Speed; the new iPhone boasts a longer battery life, environmentally friendly construction, voice commands, and a 3 megapixel camera with programmable macros, as well as the ability to record video. No doubt plenty of Apple fans have since been drooling uncontrollably over the announcement of yet another reason to empty their wallets on yet another Apple product – but not us, mind you, no siree. Here are five reasons why you won’t find us running to the Apple store on June 19th to upgrade our phones.
iPhone users beware. According to TheiPhoneBlog.com, some users running the 3.0 Beta firmware are finding out they're unable to redownload already purchased apps without paying for them all over again.
"You've already purchased this. You can redownload it for free on your computer, or tap Buy to buy it again," a message reads when attempting to redownload.
Coming to the iPhone (and available in the 3.0 Beta firmware) is the ability to manage and switch between iTunes accounts. Charging for redownloads might be the company's way of ensuring purchased content doesn't get shared between accounts. For example, logging into your account on a co-workers iPhone and 'redownloading' an app that was never purchased for it.
We'd like to know how you feel about this potential new policy. Hit the jump and sound off!