in a bid to increase customer satisfaction among its iPhone toting user base, AT&T will soon offer at least two new enhancements available only to iPhone owners, made available through a future software update.
One of the enhancements includes overage alerts. Once the update is rolled out, iPhone users will be able to access the new setting under the Preferences menu, where they'll be able to customize a push notification that will alert them when they're about to go over their monthly anytime minutes.
AT&T is also mulling new voicemail options, which would allow iPhone users to disable the custom Voicemail greeting, in addition to AT&T's default Voicemail introduction.
While these are both fairly minor updates, they could be just the first of many more to come.
If you’re the type of person that likes to rock Windows Mobile on your smartphone, but you’re not a fan of the models that are currently available, you won’t have to wait much longer.
According to the Windows Mobile Blog, there will be a new crop of Windows phones to choose from, all of them sporting plenty of improvements. “74% [of people we talked to] listed productivity as the top feature they value in their smartphone. We took this feedback to heart, making the user interface more touch friendly and improving notifications and updates from e-mail, text and calendar items,” wrote Stephanie Ferguson on the Windows Mobile blog. “We also included the latest Internet Explorer Mobile browser and added free services like My Phone to help protect data in the event of a lost phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile for access to a wide variety of applications for direct download.”
If you’re here in the states, be sure to watch AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless for some of these fancy new Windows phones. For a list of other regions (including Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific), be sure to check out the blog post in its entirety here.
Nokia on Thursday officially unveiled its N900 smartphone. Built around the open-source, Linux-based Maemo software, Nokia says you can expect "a PC-like experience on a handset-sized device."
Under the hood, the N900 sports an ARM Coretex-A8 CPU, up to 1GB of application memory, and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration. According to Nokia, this combination gives the end-user PC-like multitasking, allowing many applications to run simultaneously.
Other features include a high-res WVGA touchscreen, full Adobe Flash 9.4 support, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 32GB of storage expandable up to 48GB via a microSD card, and a built-in 5MB camera with Carl Zeiss optics.
Nokia says the N900 will launch in October for select markets at a price of 500 EUR, or about $718 USD.
Microsoft and Adobe have been duking it out on the desktop to become the definitive platform for rich media content, and now it looks like that fight is going mobile. We'll file this one under the rumor category, but BoyGeniusReport (BGR) says it has "pretty much confirmed" that Research in Motion is planning on integrating full Flash and Microsoft Silverlight support into the Blackberry browser.
You might be wondering how today's Blackberry devices can pull off the power needed for full Flash (not Flash Lite) and Silverlight support, and the answer is, they won't. BGR says we won't see either one until next summer when RIM will release more powerful handsets along with a major overhaul of the software.
The next summer release gives the competition plenty of time to catch up. As it stands, just a few Nokia devices boast Flash support, and Flash Lite at that, along with the HTC Hero. As for Silverlight, we don't know of any smartphone that supports the platform, but come next summer, we can't imagine Blackberry will be the only one.
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.
According to Apple, you should think twice before jailbreaking your iPhone to run software that hasn't been approved for distribution through the iPhone App Store. Should you decide to do it anyway, cellphone towers could come under "potentially catastrophic" cyberattacks, Apple says.
In a filing with the Copyright Office, which is considering a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to legalize the practice of jailbreaking, Apple wrote:
"A local or international hacker could potentially initiate commands (such as a denial of service attack) that could crash the tower software, rendering the tower entirely inoperable to process calls or transmit data. Taking control of the BBP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer -- to potentially catastrophic result."
Apple went on to say that the technological protection measures in the iPhone were specifically designed to avoid such scenarios, and jailbreaking would undo all of that.
Fred von Lohmann, the EFF attorney who has requested that consumers have the legal right to jailbreak iPhones, isn't buying Apple's claims.
"As far as I know, nothing like that has ever happened," Lohmann said in an interview. "This kind of theoretical threat is more FUD than truth."
According to news and rumor site The Inquirer, Microsoft plans to rebrand its Windows Mobile operating system to Windows Phone. The name change "reflects the upcoming desktop operating system release where people away from their PC can have the same experience everywhere," Microsoft explains.
The Windows Phone branding will be applied to Windows Mobile 6.1, the upcoming 6.5 release, and also to the multitouch-capable WIndows Mobile 7, due out sometime in 2010. There's no word yet on when the new Windows Phone branding will be implemented, nor do we have much info on why Microsoft has decided to rebrand, other than to make it easier for consumers.
Windows Mobile 6.5 Windows Phone has already been sent to manufacturers and will include the ability to backup all SMS and email content to the Web, remote disabling of the handset, and the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
On Tuesday, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch reiterated the company’s promise to release a beta version of its Flash 10 player for mobiles by the end of this year. He was addressing analysts at an event specially organized for them. He went on to add that the mobile version of Flash will begin making full use of APIs by the beginning of next year. This will allow the mobile variant of Flash to fully tap such hardware features as multi-touch and accelerometer, which are found on an increasing number of smartphones.
Synaptics hopes to take mobile touchscreen technology to a whole new level with the company's recently announced ClearPad 3000 Series. Unlike two-finger capable touchscreens, the ClearPad 3000's capacitive touch pad can track up to 10 simultaneous finger touches.
"By enabling more devices to have multi-finger gesture capabilities, our premium ClearPad 3000 Series opens the door for innovative software developers to push the edges of the user interface envelope by creating exciting new classes of applications -- such as multi-user gaming -- not possible before, giving OEMs greater flexibility to differentiate their products," said Tom Tiernan, Synaptics president and COO.
Synaptics says the ClearPad 3000 is based on new, proprietary technology featuring 48 sensing channels and advanced power management. The end result is support for larger screen sizes up to 8 inches diagonally in a thin, low-profile design. Synaptics also boasts a high level of accuracy.
The company plans to ship engineering samples for general release starting in November 2009, which means you may see some snazzy new multi-finger touchscreen devices just in time for the holidays.