Major new app store to take on Apple, others

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and others to create app store to rival Apple’s
Store was announced Monday at the GSM World conference in Barcelona, Spain
Store would sell apps for iPhones and for smartphones like BlackBerry, Google Android
Until now, Apple has had control of all apps that go on the iPhone
(CNN) — Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies have teamed up to create an apps store of sorts that they say will rival Apple’s and those of other smartphone makers.

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and 24 other companies have formed what they’re calling the Wholesale Applications Community, they announced Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The store will be designed to encourage developers to create mobile and online applications for all smartphones and operating systems, according to a written release from the GSM (Global System for Mobile) Association, which hosts the conference.

The group aims to create an open platform.

“For customers this means a broader choice of innovative applications and services available on a wider choice of devices than ever before,” the group said on its Web site, which was online Monday morning.

Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG Electronics also are part of the group.

The groups said their site will give app developers a simple route to publishing and marketing, and will offer smartphone customers new apps quicker and a wider selection than anyone else.

“This is tremendously exciting news for our industry and will serve to catalyse the development of a range of innovative, cross-device, cross-operator applications,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association.

As of now, Apple has had control over all apps that officially run on its iPhones, offering them through the company’s official online store. Users with the ability are able to “jailbreak” the phones to run other apps, but the overwhelming majority of them come through Apple’s store.

By creating a new platform, the Wholesale Applications Community would theoretically let developers write programs that would be usable on multiple smartphones instead of just one.

Currently, Apple apps must be written specically for the iPhone, making them unusable by other phones.

Many application developers have complained that Apple is sometimes slow to approve their work and has rejected apps for what they call arbitrary and confusing reasons.

Systems like Google’s Android have been more open, but the project by the mobile companies will be the biggest push yet to lure developers away from official outlets to a third-party distributor of apps.

Other global companies in the group include China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Vodafone and Wind.

The group says that combined, the companies have access to more than 3 billion customers worldwide.

There was no word Monday on how long it will be before applications become available from the consortium. But it’s expected to take a while.

Source: CNN


PwnageTool for iPhone 3.1.3

While the list of tweaks is absurdly small in the latest iPhone OS update, we know that some of you simply have to run the latest and greatest OS at all times regardless of risk. Fortunately for you, the Dev-Team has stepped to with a new version of PwnageTool (v3.1.5 for Mac OS X) that handles the update to iPhone OS 3.1.3 with aplomb while preserving your device’s ultrasn0w unlock and jailbroken state. As usual, there’s a litany of precautions depending upon the device you own so hit the source link and read the dev-team’s words carefully before proceeding. With a little luck, patience, and undue stress, improved accuracy of your device’s reported battery level can be yours — Huzzah?

iPhone OS 3.1.3 goes live

iPhone OS 3.1.3

Grab your USB to 30-pin dock connector cable kids, Apple has released iPhone OS 3.1.3 to iTunes for your downloading pleasure. It doesn’t look like 3.1.3 is going to knock your socks off, but hey, an update is an update, right? Here is a list of what’s new according to Apple:

  • Improves accuracy of reported battery level on iPhone 3GS
  • Resolves issue where third-party apps would not launch in some instances
  • Fixes bug that may cause an app to crash when using the Japanese Kana keyboard

Let us know in the comments if you find any other improvements/changes.


HTC Incredible caught on video rocking Snapdragon, Android 2.1 with Sense UI, and Verizon bands

The verdict’s still out on whether or not it’ll live up to its namesake, but the HTC Incredible is now officially out in the wild and surfing on Verizon’s frequencies. Pocketnow managed to obtain a few details along with a batch of leaked photos and video, so here’s what we’re being told: Snapdragon processor, Android 2.1 with Sense UI, 256MB of RAM, optical mouse pointer, and dual LED flash for the camera. The screen’s about 3.5 or 3.7 inches, WVGA resolution and possibly AMOLED. Traditionally shaky video reveal after the break.


Someone taught Kim how to use a Blackberry

Context is the killer application for mobile

We live in a world of diverse mobile devices. Laptops, smartphones and everything in between define the mobile experience of the 21st century. But what is the killer application for mobile computing? We all know the theory of killer apps — they’re the reason and the purpose people invest in new devices. The killer app in the early days of PCs was the VisiCalc spreadsheet. PageMaker and the creation of desktop publishing were the killer apps for the GUI-based PC, most notably the Macintosh. But for mobile, it’s not as clear; some people think the killer app for mobile is email, while other say it’s the mobile web. Personally, I don’t think there’s one specific killer application — I think the killer app for mobile is simply context.

Historically, we’ve tailored the devices we use to the places where we are. We distinguished between business users and consumer users because the functionally required was often tied to the location the user was sitting. Mobility was often dead space. People found ways to distract themselves during travel time, and were generally disconnected when out and about. Today, the mobile space is connected, and that

makes it quite unique: it’s neither home or work, work nor play. Your context shifts rapidly depending on what you’re doing, where you are, and what devices or devices you may be carrying — in our age of digital ubiquity, you can access the relevant information, either personal or professional, wherever you are, on whatever screen you choose. Delivering the contextual information users need, when they need it, is what’s critical — not any particular application or service.

Context contradicts conventional wisdom. For one thing, feeds and speeds are no longer the defining metrics for value. The fastest and most powerful laptop won’t do much for a user on the road if it weighs 10 pounds and gets barely an hour of battery life — or can’t open in a coach seat on a plane. By contrast, the ability to check email, browse the web or listen to music doesn’t matter if your phone won’t make a call when you need it to. Smart vendors will learn technology applied to context for users is what matters — especially since I think there’s an upper limit on the number of devices most people will carry with them at any given time. As I’ve said in the past, for most of us that’s two, with a maximum of three.

It’s time to be liberated and connected. The dream is real — now it’s time to see more devices execute and deliver the vision.

Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he’ll explore where our industry is and where it’s going — on both micro and macro levels — with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.

By Michael Gartenberg
[Image via Celebrity BlackBerry Sightings]


How To Dry Out (and Hopefully Save) Wet Electronics

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgCell phones, mp3 players, GPS units, gaming handhelds…we often travel with these invaluable digital companions wherever we go. The trade-off is you’ve always got something to worry about. How many of us have found ourselves losing our beloved cell phone? Or worse, dropped and broken a handheld device. Possibly the worst “Oh #$@&!” moment is dropping something into water, as this seems to practically guarantee you’re buying a replacement. But if you’re quick enough, you may be able to throw one last Hail Mary and revive your digital device from the brink of death.


What You Need

1 small deep depth bowl
1-2 cups of rice
Rubbing alcohol
Anti-static cleaning cloth (1 of our 8 essentials)


1. First thing you want to do is remove/disassemble any removable parts, most significantly the battery unit. Taking your device apart will allow you for easier and quicker drying, since the first thing you want to do is remove any surface moisture. Use an anti-static cleaning cloth like the ones used by photographers, which not only prevents any electrical damage, but won’t leave any residue.

2. Fill a deep cereal or soup bowl with rice. Any rice will do, but white rice will probably work the best since the hull has been removed, which allows for better moisture sucking powers (we’re a brown-rice household, so we had to make due). Place your device, off/disassembled inside the bowl, with all parts covered and leave overnight.

3. By morning, your device should be mostly dry inside and out. But to really make sure you’ve removed all moisture, you’re going to do something seemingly crazy: you’re going to soak your device in rubbing alcohol. This will help expedite the removal any lingering moisture within your device.

4. Leave device 1-3 days to completely dry in a moderate temperature, low humidity environment. If you’re lucky, after this dry out time, you’ll be able to power up your device and invest in a waterproof case and an extended warranty.


Motorola Droid gets official multitouch support — in Google Maps, anyway

When it rains, it pours, huh, Google? Not even a week after announcing the big multitouch update for its own Nexus One, Google has turned loose a new version of Google Maps that enables pinch-to-zoom support on the Droid. Of course, it was no secret that Android 2.0 had the framework in place to support this kind of stuff — Moto enabled it all by its lonesome on the Euro-spec Milestone — but it looks like this could be the watershed moment where multitouch finally becomes a must-have feature on Android devices across the board, as Moto CEO Sanjay Jha recently suggested would happen. The new version 3.4’s available as a software update in the Market right now, so grab it if you’ve got your Droid handy.