Our rundown of mobile news to start your day. Today we look at the newest reports around Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and cloud services; Motorola’s newest investment, into the world of HTML5 gaming; Twitter’s new iPhone update; and Samsung’s takeaway on the iPad 2.
— Apple: During its iPad even earlier this week, Apple did not make any mention of entertainment cloud services in the form of MobileMe updates, although many had speculated that it would. That’s now spilled over into a fresh set of reports on what it is the Apple will do in the area of digital content “lockers.”
Looks like one of the reasons for the delay might be around negotiations with rights holders. Today Bloomberg reports that Apple is in discussions with the four major record labels — EMI, *Sony* Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and *Warner* Music Group — about “easier access” to purchased music across multiple devices. None of the labels or Apple would confirm the story.
The deal, as described in the story, seems to fall short of a full cloud service, though: mentions are made of downloaded music, but there are no references to music already in an individual’s collection; and it may be the kind of deal that would only apply to Apple’s own devices, rather than across all consumer electronic gadgets that can play digital music. If that’s the case, the service would be far less useful for the majority of people. One notable detail is that whatever does get launched, labels are keen to make sure that it does not take away from the paid-for downloads music market, which still doesn’t make up for the downturn in traditional music sales but is at least growing.
As previously reported, it looks like this cloud storage service could end up being free of charge, as an extension of the MobileMe service; and it looks like the new, $1 billion data center in North Carolina might be the hub through which the service is run.
— Motorola: A week after Motorola (NYSE: MMI) Mobility Ventures, the VC arm of the device maker, announced an investment in cloud services company Catch Media, the company’s followed up with a second investment. This time, the target is Moblyng, a developer and publisher of cross-platform, HTML5 games for mobiles and social networks. Moblyng publishes such titles as m:Racing and Dungeon Quest, and works with others like Playdom to extend their games to the platform. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
There’s certainly a lot of attention on gaming content for the mobile web rather than apps: the deal follows on from yesterday’s news that Disney (NYSE: DIS) acquired its own HTML5 games startup, Rocketpack.
But there have been some bum-notes for those singing the praises of HTML5. For one, the standard doesn’t look like it will be completed until 2014 — although one part of it, the specs to incorporate 3D into HTML5, were released just today.
— Twitter: Are you an iPhone users? Do you like Twitter? Then you might want to think twice before updating your app if you’re using Twitter’s native client to access it. It’s getting some critical reviews for its ad placements and insertions of trending topics, taking up valuable real estate on the screen. On the other hand new features include link shortening, photo uploads, autocompletion of names and seeing conversation threads for direct messages — all probably useful additions for those of using the older version.
— Samsung’s Galaxy Tab: And so it begins… When the iPad 2 launched earlier this week it was only a matter of time before other tablet makers started to react. Today, Lee Don-Joo, EVP of mobile devices for Samsung, noted two areas in an interview with the Korean news agency Yonhap (via AFP): the pricing on its newest Galaxy Tab, a bigger model that originally would have been priced as more expensive than the current seven-inch model (Apple’s iPad 2 will cost the same as the current generation of tablets); and the thinness of the device.