WebOS

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Smart TV forecast: gigabit Wi-Fi in the living room

The smart TV market will grow from 67 million units shipped in 2012 to 134 million shipped in 2015. As it expands, a simultaneous transition to higher-speed Wi-Fi connections based on a new standard — 802.11ac — will translate to fast growth for the new wireless technology in the TV space.

Palm’s webOS lives on…. as an Android app

Do you miss webOS as much as I do? If so and you use Android today, you’ll be happy to see webOS running as an Android app. The project isn’t ready for prime-time use, but it’s making progress. Practical? No. Geeky and nostalgic? You bet!

Can HP jumpstart its cloud computing effort?

The troubled IT giant is about to tweak its cloud services effort according to a Bloomberg News report. The question is whether yet another new strategy can give the company the traction it needs so badly.

What device gets Android 4.1 next? HP’s TouchPad!

Jelly Bean is officially on few Android smartphones and tablets, but the developer community is already hard at work, porting the software to other devices. Case in point: the HP TouchPad tablet, which essentially has no other software future. It’s an early build, but shows promise.

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Research In Motion: future scenarios and its likely fate

It’s all too easy to pile on to the Research In Motion–bashing bandwagon. The company’s decline is the stuff of water-cooler chatter, and RIM will doubtless end up as the subject of dozens of business-school case studies. But technology markets are always a little uncertain, so for now let’s get beyond the finger-pointing. RIM is a different firm today than it was in 2007. It has new management, a full awareness of the gravity of the situation, restless investors, an upcoming OS release and a number of lingering advantages that can still be leveraged. What might the future hold for RIM? CEO Thorsten Heins has said he plans to surprise critics with RIM’s transformation. But in case you don’t like surprises, here’s a brief look at the most likely scenarios for RIM going forward and their probability of occurring.

With webOS put out to pasture, Jon Rubinstein exits HP

Jon Rubinstein, the man who helped oversee Palm’s move to a new webOS operating system and later sold the company to Hewlett Packard, has quietly exited the company. It’s an unsurprising move, but one that further signals the end of the Palm era at HP.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Mobile Q4: The scramble for spectrum continues

The biggest story in mobile last year came to an abrupt (if predictable) conclusion in December when AT&T threw in the towel on its effort to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. In doing so, the former was acquiescing to federal regulators who objected to the move, since the takeover essentially would have created a duopoly among U.S. carriers, with AT&T and Verizon Wireless owning roughly 80 percent of the market and leaving Sprint a very distant third.

5 things HP must do in 2012

2011 is surely a year that Hewlett-Packard would like to forget. It fired its second CEO in two years. It said it might sell its PC business and push WebOS phones and tablets only to back off on both moves. Here’s what HP needs to do in 2012.

WebOS lives! HP decides to open source the platform

After on-again, off-again news about the webOS mobile platform, HP has made a final decision: WebOS will be offered to the open source community. HP will still be involved to help platform progression, but it’s not clear if any HP hardware will ever run webOS again.

WebOS app development chief flees to Xobni

Michael Rizkalla, the former senior director of webOS application development at HP, has just started at Xobni, where he will be its senior director of mobile applications. It’s the latest exodus from the webOS team as HP contemplates what to do with the mobile operating system.

HP’s quarter afflicted by webOS fallout, weak services mix

Hewlett-Packard continues to struggle with fallout from the decision to nix its webOS-based tablets, a less-than-stellar mix of IT services, and its newly completed acquisition of Autonomy. The question is how long those reverberations will impact the company’s profitability and growth prospects.

HP considering webOS fire sale

You sort of knew this was coming: Reuters reports that Hewlett-Packard is looking to unload webOS, the mobile operating system it got when it bought Palm last year, for hundreds of millions of dollars, and far below the $1.2 billion it paid just 18 months ago.

MobileTechRoundup podcast episode 250

Matt and Kevin are back for their 250th weekly mobile tech podcast. This week, Matt shares firsthand impressions from the Nokia World event in London and the Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phone handsets. Plus a listener question about Gmail features on Apple’s iOS platform.

WebOS nearing the end of the road

The end is reportedly nigh for webOS. According to a report by the Guardian, HP is set to kill off its webOS mobile operating system, affecting some 500 jobs, after receiving apparently no interest in the OS it bought from Palm for $1.2 billion.

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What the history of handset platforms can teach the future of mobile

In a short decade the mobile OS market has grown from a moribund, firmware-based world of limited-capacity phones into the most hotly contested battlefield in technology. Top Silicon Valley CEOs seem to agree that the future is mobile and are staking their companies on that bet. The battles are raging not only in the marketplace but in the courtroom, where patent lawsuits and court-ordered sales injunctions are flaring up worldwide. Where is the mobile handset market headed in the near-term future, and what advice should its players heed? A look back at history suggests several clues. Companies mentioned in this report include Apple, Google, Samsung and Research in Motion. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.

HP TouchPad software update adds voice call support

The HP TouchPad tablet isn’t quite dead yet: a new software update is available today that adds a new Camera app, improves performance and supports Bluetooth pairing with non-webOS phones. After the update, TouchPad owners will be able to answer phone calls on their tablet.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Mobile Q3: the fight for OS domination continues

The third quarter of 2011 was perhaps the most eventful and unpredictable in the history of mobile. Google signaled its intentions to move into the hardware market with the proposed acquisition of Motorola, which still must gain approval from federal regulators. Hewlett-Packard may have stuck a final dagger into webOS when it suddenly said it would cease production of handsets and tablets running the beleaguered platform.

Does the world need another mobile OS?

The race in mobile has defaulted to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung from thinking about open-sourcing Bada, or Microsoft from pushing ahead with Windows Phone 7 and a partnership with Nokia. But do we need another mobile OS?

Report: Amazon eyeballs HP’s WebOS

If Amazon ends up buying the WebOS business from Hewlett-Packard, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. HP killed its TouchPad device, said it was seeking options for the operating system, and former WebOS poohbah Jon Rubinstein sits on Amazon’s board.

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Disruptapalooza 2011: how Amazon’s Kindle is changing the portable media game

With this week’s announcement, Amazon lays bare its strategy for the market, one in which it can become a true hardware player yet stay within its center of gravity as a dominant content and digital goods marketplace. In doing so, it utilizes a number of interesting and disruptive strategies that hit at its competitors’ weak points. The announcement also illustrates how Amazon is often playing a different game than the rest, operating two to three moves ahead of the industry. This research note analyzes the multiple ways in which Amazon’s announcement has disrupted the digital content and personal computing space. Additional companies mentioned in this report include Apple, Google and Research In Motion. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.

What you can learn from the rise and fall of WebOS

The WebOS technology is now up for sale, and its future is uncertain to say the least. But there are still a few good lessons that can be learned from WebOS’ journey, says Michael Abbott, the former Palm executive who led the development of WebOS.

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The future of mobile: a segment analysis by GigaOM Pro

As our demand for data increases, so too do the number of mobile devices and services. Add to that the infrastructure needed to support such connectivity, and a wide, complex picture of the mobile industry emerges. This report examines the various sectors of the mobile landscape and what the future holds for each. Hardware, cloud services, mobile search, advertising, location-based services and the growing ubiquity of the Internet of Things will all play an important role in the concept of mobility as it shifts and evolves over the next several years. With the help of more than a dozen contributors, GigaOM Pro presents a comprehensive analysis of the companies and trends that will lead us into the next era of mobile.

Watch out tech world. This CEO knows consumers

Say what you will about Meg Whitman as the new HP CEO. She knows consumers. Now she’ll have a chance to apply her consumer touch to one of Silicon Valley’s most storied brands, which could have a chance to give Apple a run for its money.

Gartner: Still no true iPad challengers through 2015

Tablet sales will continue to rise from 17.6 million sales last year to 326.3 million by 2015, says Gartner, but the iPad will still dominate the market. There’s good reason to believe Gartner’s iPad estimates, but some of the other platform numbers don’t quite make sense.

As webOS falters, HP starts Palm layoffs

HP has confirmed that it has started laying off members of the webOS team, a reduction that is reported to be 525 employees. It’s not surprising given HP’s decision not to build webOS devices. But it seems like another sign that the platform will not survive.

Samsung: We’re not buying webOS either

Not only does Samsung not want to buy HP’s PC business, it also says it wants nothing to do with buying webOS. Samsung’s CEO made that clear Friday while talking with reporters at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

So which is it HP, do you want a tablet business or not?

HP’s decision to kill off its nascent tablet effort was stunning, but at least it seemed decisive. But now the company is muddying the waters by suggesting that the fate of the TouchPad isn’t sealed. HP’s Todd Bradley said the company could still resurrect the device.

HP TouchPad owners get a free six-pack (of apps)

HP may have canned the TouchPad, but at least the company is trying to make things right for current webOS owners. The official HP Palm blog is serving up a free software six-pack to all TouchPad owners now through the end of the month.

HP’s Todd Bradley on WebOS, PC business

Todd Bradley, EVP of the personal systems group at Hewlett-Packard talks to Bloomberg TV about the future of HP’s PC business that brings in more than $40 billion a year. He also makes no bones about his desire to keep running it.

HP TouchPad becomes a low-cost Ubuntu tablet

Tech savvy users may be snapping up the $99 HP TouchPad for a reason nobody thought of: You can turn the slate into an Ubuntu Linux tablet with these instructions. The TouchPad will still run webOS, so this solution offers two operating systems for one price.

Ouch: Meet the man who quit Nokia for Palm

Former Nokia executive Ari Jaaski has opened up to a Finnish newspaper about the frustrations that led him to quit last year — but since he jumped ship for greener pastures at Palm, he simply seems to have traded the frying pan for the fire.

Without PCs, HP must capitalize on the cloud

If HP does sell off its PC business, it might have to nail its foray into cloud computing to avoid becoming a punchline decades down the road. Without that PC revenue, and billions lighter in the wallet after buying Autonomy, something must pick up the slack.

Hewlett-Packard gives up on webOS

Just months after introducing what looked to be one of the most promising challengers to the iPad, Hewlett-Packard said it is getting out of the webOS business and discontinuing its Touchpad and webOS phones. The company is now looking to “optimize” the value of webOS.

Now common in 5 of 6 mobile platforms: total control

Since 2007, Apple has led the way in a tightly integrated mobile product, combining hardware, software, ecosystem and IP. Competitors have taken notice because four of the six main mobile platforms have followed; the latest is Google’s purchase of Motorola. So where does this leave Microsoft?

MobileTechRoundup podcast 245

Matt and Kevin are back with the weekly podcast, this time sharing hands-on impressions of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Mango software update. Plus thoughts on the new Acer A100 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, HP’s TouchPad and Research In Motion’s smartphone strategy with several new handset models.

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Is there a tablet market, or is it just an iPad market after all?

The non-iPad tablet market is relatively young, but the iPad is still running away with the lion’s share of the tablet market. Aside from the iPad, consumers and enterprises can choose from tablets running on Android, BlackBerry and webOS. But are they buying? Here are a few projected sales figures, as well as several obstacles for the non-iPad market.

HP TouchPad gets permanent $100 price cut

Following a temporary $100 price cut on its TouchPad tablets last weekend, HP today made the reduced list price permanent. While this surely cuts into the margin for HP’s TouchPad, the company can afford a short-term profit gap in order to spur sales and attract developers.

5 reasons HP TouchPad discounts don’t spell disaster

The web is buzzing with several HP TouchPad price discounts on the webOS tablet in the U.S. That’s leading to many “doom and gloom for the TouchPad” conversation, but I disagree. There are several solid reasons why this strategy is exactly what HP needs to do.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Mobile Q2: Smartphone growth surges; iPad’s rule continues

Location-based marketing still suffers from user-privacy issues, user awareness and a lack of extensive local advertising networks. But the combination of GPS-enabled location pinpointing and the embrace of social networks has laid the groundwork for an industry that can offer discounts and coupons to on-the-go mobile users and also provide a lucrative new revenue stream for retailers.

Who needs iTunes? HP TouchPad has HP Play

HP hasn’t introduced the rumored music store and streaming service for its line of webOS devices, but it does have an application that currently syncs music to the HP TouchPad tablet and Veer smartphone. HP Play, for Windows and OS X, shows promise and works well.

6 things to like about the HP TouchPad

The HP TouchPad may currently lack third-party apps and access to video and music stores, but the basics are pretty solid, if not exceptional in some cases. Here’s a few of the standout features that I’ve grown to like in my short time with HP’s tablet.

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The rise of tablets in the enterprise

This report will examine those challenges in depth, and will discuss the prospects for the major players hoping to tap the market. We will also explore the crucial role tablet applications will play in the enterprise as this new media platform emerges from its infancy and becomes a valuable tool in the world of enterprise communications.

HP TouchPad launches July 1, but when do apps arrive?

Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad tablet launches July 1 using the same pricing scheme as Apple’s iPad. Early looks at the device show an elegant, effective user interface, but a relatively lack of third-party applications could make it difficult to convince consumers to buy HP’s tablet instead of Apple’s.

Where Does M&A Opportunity Lie in 2011?

The global economy continues to face uncertainty, but despite this, many technology companies have cash on hand and are opting to spend it on mergers and acquisitions. Here we examine some likely strategies from five different companies: IBM, Oracle, HP, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard.

Why “Web vs. Native” Isn’t a Black-and-White Battle

The debate over whether the future of mobile data lies in native applications vs. Web-based offerings is often depicted as a Darwinian contest where only one will survive. But the truth is much more complex than some pundits would have you believe.

HP Veer 4G, a $99 AT&T Exclusive, Launches May 15

The HP Veer 4G, Hewlett Packard’s first handset since it acquired Palm, launches on May 15 in the U.S. as an AT&T exclusive for $99. The handset bucks the trend of large-screened smartphones, but could be a nice addition to HP’s upcoming tablet, the HP TouchPad.

What Amazon’s Tablet May Look Like

Quanta has reportedly received orders to build up to 800,000 Amazon tablets per month. Only Quanta knows what Amazon’s new tablet will physically look like, but it’s easy to see how such a device might be used and how it can stand out from the crowd.

BlackBerry Tablet, PlayBook, a Notable Debut

RIM will launch its much vaunted and eagerly awaited Blackberry PlayBook on April 19. In this review, I take a look at the 7-inch tablet and how it stacks up against its rivals, the iPad and the Honeycomb Android family of tablets.

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A Media Tablet Forecast, 2011 – 2015

Demand in China will drive global demand. The overwhelming interest in the media tablet and the vast number of users in that country will provide plenty of opportunity for tablet vendors.

Think HP’s Tablet Has No Chance? Watch This!

Think HP’s TouchPad doesn’t stand a chance in the tablets wars? It’s early yet, and this video walkthough of webOS 3.0 via a leaked emulator may change your mind. The user interface borrows from Apple’s iOS, but adds a number of compelling features sure to impress.

WebOS Phones Could Gain by Losing the Keyboard

A leaked image of an alleged HP webOS handset design shows something missing, and that’s a good thing: the phone appears to drop the physical keyboard. Palm never implemented a software keyboard on their otherwise excellent webOS platform, but HP looks to be making the change.

HP Shifts Printing Away From PCs via Google Cloud Print

When the largest computer manufacturer in the world pulls the PC out the printing equation, you know there’s a mobile shift afoot. HP today enabled Google Cloud Print support for ePrint-enabled printers which are linked to a user’s Google account through the printer’s unique email address.

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Why iPad 2 Will Lead Consumers Into the Post-PC Era

Does iPad 2 live up to the enormous amount of hype surrounding it? The answer is yes, and this research note explains why. We examine new features on the device and how they will help Apple grasp an even tighter hold on the tablet market, what that means for competitors like Google and Samsung and why the device could be the best example yet of computing in what Steve Jobs calls “the post-PC world.” Companies mentioned in this report include Apple, Motorola, Samsung and Google. For a full list of companies, and to read the full research note, sign up for a free trial.

HP Chooses Qualcomm in Escalating Mobile Chip Wars

Hewlett-Packard’s introduction of new webOS handsets and tablets has gadget geeks’ hearts a-flutter, but the happiest folks may be those at Qualcomm: Their new Snapdragon chip is powering HP’s tablet, and they won the chip business away from TI for new webOS phones. Here’s why.

The Palm Is Dead. Long Live the WebOS. So What?

Hewlett-Packard (s HWP) launched a series of Palm devices today, which are powered by a new, upgraded and, according to them, a much-improved mobile operating system, WebOS. But without an app ecosystem, the company is fighting an uphill battle.

iOS, Android Loyalty Raises App Lock-In Hurdle for Others

iPhone owners are the most satisfied with their mobile platform, but Android owners are the most likely to stick with their handset OS for their next phone. Better Google apps may be the reason, but regardless, it’s potentially bad news for Apple and Google smartphone competitors.

HP Channels Apple for WebOS Device Launch

After buying Palm back in July, Hewlett-Packard is now finally poised to unveil what looks to be an array of webOS-powered devices. The company has invited the tech press to a Feb. 9 event in San Francisco to talk about the future of webOS.

Google Predicts Rise of Web OS in 2011

With the launch of ChromeOS, Google CEO Eric Schmidt realized his long-time dream of building a network computer. Today, Dave Girouard, Google Enterprise president, in a blog post, vividly paints the company’s cloud-future. As it takes on Microsoft, Google believes 2011 will be about Web OS.

Itching Thumb for Android: WebOS Look-Alike

HP’s webOS with its revolving task manager is just plain cool. Interacting with the cards that represent running apps is intuitive and fun; it’s too bad other platforms don’t use a similar method to work with tasks. Android phone owners have one available, and it’s free.

HP Makes webOS 2.0 Official; Launches Pre 2

HP put rumors to bed with the official announcement of both HP webOS 2.0 and the Palm Pre 2. The evolution of the platform and handsets designed for it are the result of HP’s acquisition of Palm earlier this year for $1.2 billion.

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App Developers: Are You Ready for HTML5 and Metered Data?

The handset browser’s reign as the largest data consumer on the wireless web looks to be ending, with mobile Internet traffic now evenly split between browsers and apps. This continued rise of apps, meanwhile, means more and more carriers will soon move towards metered data plans. HTML5 could help developers in offering more efficient, less data-hungry apps to consumers.

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Here Come the Social TV Apps

A number of apps are coming to market that aim to make users share what they’re watching with friends. And while there’s plenty of innovation to be had in the space and, no definitive leader has emerged just yet. Here’s a run-down of the social video apps currently fighting for programmers’ and viewers’ attention.

HP to Release webOS Phones Early Next Year

We’ve been closely following HP since its acquisition of Palm to determine the direction the company will be taking with the webOS platform. A company official has confirmed that HP will be producing phones early next year to capitalize on the webOS platform.

HP/ Palm webOS News Roundup

HP has indicated since acquiring Palm that it will be moving forward with devices running webOS. This week, key HP executives let bits of information slip out about its plans, and it paints a good picture if you round all of them up.

Where is the Next Great Smartphone from Palm and HP?

It’s been about three months since HP finalized its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm and there’s obviously some digesting and transitioning going on. But the growing question is: when are we going to see some new webOS handset hardware from HP and Palm?

Can Android Be Stopped in the World of Smartphones?

With worldwide carrier distribution, Android is on the march to dominate over the next four years, according to IDC. Nokia will still be the top dog, but it needs to be confident and deliver the strategies it has in place, else Google could own it all.

5 New Features In the Cards for Palm WebOS 2.0

Ever since HP bought Palm in April, many have wondered where the company would take webOS, the innovative mobile platform used on the Palm Pre and Pixi handsets. Today Palm offers a glimpse, sharing several new features you can expect to see in webOS 2.0 devices.

HP/Palm Deal Final — Time to Get Busy

HP has closed on the $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. With that the honeymoon phase is over and time to get down to business. Mobile market has a small window of opportunity and HP needs to capitalize on by launching new WebOS devices — fast.

Entire Palm webOS App Catalog Inventory Half Off

The HP/Palm merger hasn’t taken place yet and Palm is acting to keep interest in the webOS platform. The company quietly mentioned on its blog a couple of days ago that for a limited time all apps in the App Catalog are now half price.

Will webOS Developers Play with HP?

The webOS platform has lagged behind Android and others due to the lack of available apps. Palm has been working hard with app developers to get them producing apps for the platform, but a big question looms — what will happen after the merger?

Merger Malaise: Will Palm Phones Get Updates?

Palm Pre and Pixi owners may be wondering about future updates to the webOS platform, given the looming takeover of Palm by HP. The “merger” won’t take place for a few months but it’s reasonable to wonder if existing Palm customers will receive phone updates.

Are Apple iPhone Notifications About to Improve?

Critics of Apple’s iPhone intrusive notification system have new hope for more efficient and less bone-jarring alerts — Rich Dellinger left Palm to rejoin Apple last month. Among other UI contributions, Dellinger invented the superbly elegant and highly effective notification system used by Palm’s webOS.

Hey, HP, the Smartphone Market Is Calling

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd last week said his company won’t aggressively pursue the smartphone business in the wake of its acquisition of Palm. The move would be an enormous missed opportunity for HP, and it also could shackle its efforts to produce interconnected devices.

HP Buys Palm: What Should Happen

The tech world was taken by surprise by the news that computer giant HP has initiated a purchase of beleaguered Palm for $1.2 billion. The merger is probably the best possible scenario for Palm, and here’s my take on what should happen to make this work.

Why Nobody Wants Palm — Except Maybe Facebook

The list of potential bidders and partners for Palm is dwindling each day. With the recent rise of mobile social networking activities, perhaps Palm needs to consider a non-traditional partnership by turning its webOS handsets into Facebook phones.

All Quiet on the Palm Front

Anybody noticed how quiet it is on the Palm front? The time for incremental changes at Palm is over. No more minor updates to the phones or incremental updates to webOS. It’s time to shake things up if Palm intends to make a run as survival.

Could a Better Carrier Have Saved Palm?

At CES 2009, when Palm talked about its plans to stage a comeback, everyone applauded. Instead, a few strategic mistakes, wrong partners and a terrible ad campaign were Palm’s undoing. Good marketing can sell a bad product, but bad marketing really doesn’t sell a good product.

Verizon Offers Free 3G Tethering With webOS Phones

This might be hard to believe with today being April Fools Day and all but Verizon appears to be giving away 3G tethering with the purchase of a webOS phone. The $40 monthly fee is currently $0, essentially giving customers a free 5 GB for tethering.

Who Will Pick Up Palm?

With Palm living on borrowed time after posting yet another horrendous quarter and warning that results for the current fiscal period will also fall short of expectations, we take a look at some of the companies that might sweep in and pick up the beleaguered firm.

Facebook for Palm Pre, Pixi Now Has More to Like

Palm’s Pre and Pixi have a new Facebook client, proving Murphy’s Mobile Law — I sold my Pre last month due to a lack of good software and now the software is better. The new version looks to be on par with the Android client.

webOS with Flash, Video Recording for Sprint Customers Today?

A Palm webOS update expected before end of February could arrive today over Sprint’s network. Along with enhancements to the native main applications preparations for Adobe Flash support are arriving as is video recording right from the handset. But there’s still more to fix.

What Does Palm Do When Nobody Wants Its Products?

Shares of Palm tanked after the company said carrier orders for its webOS gadgets have been weaker than expected. Customers don’t want its phones, and no one seems interested in buying its business. So what can be left for Palm?

This Week in Mobile Tech Manor #76: Platform Agnostic

The end of the week means it’s time to share the week at Mobile Tech Manor with you. I discovered I am truly platform agnostic, in both the computing and smartphone areas. My tools are equal on every platform I use, and that is very liberating.

Why I Just Dealt WebOS My Last Card

After eight months of using webOS, I’ve put my Palm Pre out to pasture. Issues that should have been fixed by now are still lingering, software choices are still lacking and Synergy just isn’t as unique as it once was.

Palm Press: 1M Phones to Ship This Quarter

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for another Palm Press, our weekly look at the world of Palm. The Missing Sync offers 2-way syncing for Windows users. Palm may be on track to ship one million webOS phones this quarter, a marked improvement over last quarter.

The Changing Smartphone Landscape

Adoption of smartphones by consumers has pushed them to tremendous growth. In spite of the number of smartphones in the marketplace, until yesterday you could count the number of significant OSes using a few fingers. The smartphone playing field has changed, and not just a little.

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The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

Developers of mobile applications enjoy an unprecedented number of channels through which to bring their wares to market. No longer are they limited to either capitulating to carriers to gain space on the deck or distributing their titles through obscure third-party retailers known to only a few consumers. Nor has the space ever been so potentially lucrative; developers are no longer forced to accept carriers’ revenue-share models that often fell somewhere between onerous and prohibitive. The rise of this new app market can be directly traced to Apple, which almost single-handedly ushered in the era of mobile applications. But more than a half-dozen mobile app stores have launched since the emergence of the App Store, each with its pros and cons for developers. Builders of mobile apps must weigh factors such as the addressable user base for each platform, the market each serves and specific barriers to entry. And because the landscape shifts quickly in mobile apps, developers should also consider potential disrupters on the horizon as well as opportunities in mobile advertising and the emergence of new, non-phone devices like the iPad. In this report, we look at the 7 leading mobile platforms’ strengths and weakness to advise developers on who should forge ahead and who should steer clear of each.

Updated: Palm Halting Phone Production? Nope

A rumor has cropped up that Palm is halting the production of the Pre and Pre Plus product line. It is hard to explain why they would do that, so it may be one of those rumors that appear on the web from time to time.

How Much Will AT&T webOS Phones Help Palm?

Evidence supports Palm’s webOS handsets could be joining AT&T’s network in May. Surely that’s good for Palm, but how good will it be? Will iPhone users abandon Apple’s iTunes ecosystem to make the switch? And what about those expected Android phones coming to AT&T?

5 Must-have Apps for Palm Phones

Spending time with the new Palm phones have given me a renewed appreciation of webOS, and the way the phones multitask so well. The phones multitask very well, making it desirable to have good apps installed. Here are my 5 must-have apps for Palm phones.

MyTether for webOS Now Works on Verizon

Palm offers the Mobile Hotspot app to the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, allowing the phones to be used as a 3G mobile hotspot for $40 per month on Verizon. A homebrew app with a $15 one-time fee now supports similar functionality.

How Many webOS Apps Can a Million Dollars Buy?

Although off to a slow start, the Palm webOS App Catalog is gaining both developer tools and momentum. Still, there are far fewer titles available for the Pre and Pixi. Can a million dollar developer challenge make a difference?

Why Early 2010 Will Be Critical for Palm

Palm Pre owners got a bonus gift this holiday season with today’s release of webOS 1.3.5. But struggling Palm will need more than just an OS makeover and improved developer tools if it’s to compete in the era of the superphone.

Will the Pre Bask in a Verizon Ad Blitz?

Palm’s (s palm) App Catalog took another step toward maturity as the company opened an online version of the store, allowing consumers…

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As Windows Mobile Stumbles, Which Smartphone OS Will Seize the Lead?

The smartphone is a relatively new arrival on the mobile technology scene, yet there are quite a few companies testing the waters. Historically relegated to the enterprise market, today’s smartphones are beginning to cross over into the consumer space. Companies are advertising smartphones in the mainstream, and this is fanning the flames of consumer awareness. As more consumers make the shift away from simple feature phones, handset markets and carriers have continued to introduce new options to meet surging demand. So, whether you’re a consumer, a company desiring to capitalize on the hot market or an enterprise buyer looking to bring smartphones to your staff, it is important to understand the platforms currently driving the products of today.

Jon Rubinstein to Helm Palm

Former Apple VP Jon Rubinstein will be shifting from his role as Chairman at Palm to the company’s new CEO. As many Apple fans already know, Rubinstein has been a prominent member of Steve Jobs’ core team since his original founding of NeXT in the early 90’s.

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How to Clean Up the Mobile OS Mess

The smartphone market has grown in recent years, with sales increasing each quarter in spite of the poor economy. Consumers have come to expect a lot from their phones and users’ experience is a critical factor in any smartphone’s success. The operating system is the primary piece of the customer satisfaction puzzle. How quickly a company provides updates to fix flaws in the operating system is a big part of the consumer’s perception regarding a particular phone. Unfortunately, it seems that the importance of this update process is often overlooked by the carriers that offer the phones to consumers.

Mobile OS providers must come to grips with the fact that carriers are in the business to sell phone service, not handsets. Service provision is their core business, and the carriers have proven repeatedly that providing good phone support is not their big mission. It is up to the OS providers to make sure that updates can be distributed to customer’s phones in a timely manner and if that means removing the carriers from the process, then so be it.

Can Pre Save Palm From Being Put Out to Pasture?

Today, after a nearly year-long delay, Palm announced WebOS, a brand-new web-centric mobile operating system, and the Palm Pre, its first WebOS-powered device. With this twin release Palm hopes to stage a comeback in the mobile business. But while most gadget gurus seem to be quite taken with the newest shiniest object, I remain highly skeptical of Palm’s chance to succeed with this new effort.