Praise tech Jesus, webOS still has a pulse! The mobile OS seemingly doomed to a cold eternity in a digital graveyard has been granted an open source reprieve. Great! Only question is, what comes next?
Obviously webOS is a platform built for smartphones and tablets, but HP making it open source means people can find some weird uses for the little OS that could. How would webOS be best put to use? We already know we'll probably see another tablet from HP. They've conceded that much and we like that. A lot. But we've got some other ideas for how webOS could be used.
Verizon has typically been very slow and cautious when it comes to adopting Smartphone OS’s, but many were more than a bit surprised when Microsoft suggested Verizon wouldn’t be featuring any handsets until sometime in early 2011. Those who kept the faith however can now add Windows Phone 7 to the holiday wish list with the official confirmation coming in via Twitter. “Devices will be rolling into Verizon stores this holiday season and more will arrive in early 2011!”
We still don’t know at this point what phones are going to be announced, but given that we are arguably already well into the holiday season, (based on the crappy mall music anyway), we expect to learn more in a week or two. Verizon customers now have a fairly strong lineup of alternative handsets to the iPhone, leaving Apple somewhat vulnerable to market share loss in the US.
Hazy mobile plans notwithstanding, the chip maker has signed up for the MeeGO mobile operating system project. It will be lending its engineering expertise to the open source Linux-based OS project, which already includes the likes of Intel, Nokia and the Linux Foundation as its backers.
“MeeGo represents an exciting, open-source mobile operating system we expect to be adopted by mobile and embedded device makers over time,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president, software development, AMD. “We are glad to provide engineering resources to joint industry efforts like MeeGo and expect that this operating system will help drive our embedded plans and create expanded market opportunities for our forthcoming Accelerated Processing Units.”
“We need a Principle Program Manager who can help drive the platform and bring Xbox LIVE enabled games to Windows Mobile. This person will focus specifically on what makes gaming experiences 'LIVE Enabled' through aspects such as avatar integration, social interactions, and multi-screen experiences,” Microsoft announced in one of the listings.
The company is also on the lookout for a Software Test Engineer to join its Windows Mobile division. The person chosen for the job “will report to the Gaming Test Lead in the Windows Mobile Entertainment team and have the opportunity to make a critical impact the next release of Windows Mobile.” The company clearly wants to offer a unified gaming experience across various device platforms. It will be interesting to see how exactly Microsoft integrates Windows Mobile 7 and Xbox Live.
Microsoft had originally planned to release Windows Mobile 7 in 2009. But it then pushed the release to 2010. The cutthroat nature of the smartphone market offers very little leeway for such delays. Besides, WinMo 7 is supposed to be a product that will bring Windows phones up to speed with other contemporary smartphones.
The delay left Microsoft with no choice but to plug Windows 6.5, an interim release, in a manner only accorded to a major release. It is clearly a gambit to prevent WinMo loyalists from abandoning the terribly long road to WinMo 7.
Microsoft’s share of the mobile OS market has plummeted sharply in the last few years. It needs to quickly mount a counter-offensive against its more dapper rivals in the smartphone market, if it is to prevent itself from being marginalized even further. According to Taiwanese rumor mill Digitimes, Microsoft does have a strategy to counter its rivals in the smartphone market.
Google Mobile App is now available on Windows Mobile. It is basically a search application with an ambiguous name. The Google Mobile App spares lazy mobile users the trouble of opening their browser for initiating an online search.
You might want to know about the amount of time that can be saved with this app. According to Google, it is possible to get "search results for identical queries nearly 50% faster from Google Mobile App than from navigating to google.com in the mobile browser."
The search application can not only be accessed directly from the start menu, but it is also possible to summon it to action while another application is active by pressing a shortcut key assigned to it (assigned by the user).
There are not too many reasons for WM users to overlook this application. Apart from search, the Google Mobile App also provides instant access to many other popular web services, including Google Maps, Gmail and Google News.
With Google having opened Android Market to paid apps, users of the fledgling mobile platform are eagerly looking forward to an inevitable rise in the number of apps. Google, on its part, is trying its best to offer more reasons for Android users to exult.
And exult they will on hearing that the Android Market will let users return any application within 24 hours from the time of purchase. Google has stolen a march on Apple’s App Store by espousing an application return policy.
Also, users will be allowed unlimited reinstalls by Google. If any dispute arises - including billing issues - between a user and a developer, the two parties will have to settle it directly as Google is not interested in playing arbitrator. Another thing Google is not interested in is porn. The Android Market policies expressly prohibit “nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material.”
Google’s chief of mobile platforms Andy Rubin seems to believe the cliché ‘first impression is the last impression’. He told Reuters that the success of the Android platform would depend on the reception of its first phone. He believes that there is very little margin for failure as far as the first Android phone goes - first impression. The first Android phone will be T-Mobile’s HTC Dream, and is rumored to be scheduled for release later this month.
It is well known that T-Mobile will be launching the maiden Android-based phone, which in all likelihood would be the HTC Dream. Now, Reuters is reporting that the launch of the first Android device could be just a few weeks away. September 23rd might witness an official announcement from T-Mobile and Google – members of the Open Handset Alliance, according to the report, which is based on intel gained from two anonymous persons. After the launch of Android, Cell phone users will be spoilt for choice as far as mobile platforms are concerned.