Steve Jobs's final "One Last Thing" announcement at the WWDC keynote today had to do with the iPhone. Instead of announcing a third-party developer kit like many thought he would, he encouraged the use of Web 2.0 and AJAX applications to be run entirely from the Safari browser (Which coincides nicely with the other announcement of a Windows version of Safari). Apple even demonstrated something called Apple Directory, a Safari Web application that lets you look up business contact cards. There's also a Google application that pulls up map and satellite imagery when a street … Read more
I do not take directions lightly, primarily because if I did, I'd never get anywhere. For the woefully orientation-challenged (and easily frustrated) like me, legible maps and accurate instructions are crucial. Even more so is being able to access them from a PDA or smart phone when you're lost.
Thankfully, there's a proliferation of reliable mapping and GPS-locating software for mobile handsets, but today I'll focus on one that contains both downloadable and Web-based (WAP) components.
Earthcomber Pros: Broad cross-platform support; numerous map services Cons: US content only; content partnerships somewhat limiting; possible carrier fee Download: Windows Mobile or Palm WAP address for BlackBerrys and smart phones: http://mobile.earthcomber.com… Read more
Yahoo Research Berkeley has released prototype mobile phone software called Zurfer that gives people a look at Flickr that's tailored to their particular location.
The software, which requires a "beefy smart phone," shows photos taken recently in a mobile phone user's vicinity, an example of a so-called location-aware service. The software uses Yahoo's ZoneTag technology to infer location from the cell phone tower to which a user's phone is connected.
Zurfer also lets members perform more traditional Flickr tasks, including seeing contacts' new photos, searching for Flickr photos and accessing a Flickr account. All … Read more
It was only a matter of time before in-car Internet went mainstream. Over the past couple of weeks, Avis has begun to roll out its in-car Wi-Fi service, which allows drivers to turn their rental cars into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. The service, called Avis Connect, is provided by Autonet Mobile using 3G and 2.5G (EVDO, 1xRTT) connections.
For an extra $10.95 per day, Avis says renters get wireless broadband connectivity "at all times and places during their travel, from airports to meetings to hotels, and everything in between." We're not sure how the Wi-Fi signal … Read more
Mobile media company Melodeo, best known for mobile radio and podcast deals with cellular carriers, has launched the public beta of a new brand: Nutsie, which allows you to upload iTunes playlists to its Web site and stream them to your cell phone. (Get it? "Nutsie?" It's "iTunes" with the letters rearranged.)
So far, it's compatible with a bunch of different cell phones: the Motorola Razr, LG CU500, Sony Ericsson W600, and a handful of Samsung and Nokia handsets. Upon signing up, you export your iTunes library to Nutsie's Web site (no word … Read more
Loki, the location aware browser plug-in updated its service for use on Macs and mobile phones earlier this week. Previously, Loki users were relegated to Windows. The new Mac version of the Loki is in fact not a toolbar like its Windows counterpart. Instead, users get contextual menu support, and pop up notifications of third party sites that have been Loki-enabled using the developer API. Loki's creators insist that people who use these services enjoy having them available all the time, just not taking up their browsers real estate--which I agree with.
I owe an apology to my lunch companions at D5. When conversation turned to the Palm Foleo, I said it was a terrible idea. Overpriced, underfeatured, and too close to the well-established laptop market.
That was before I got my hands on one. It took me only a few minutes to develop a desire to get one of these for myself. This is partly because I tried the product while my back was straining from the messenger bag carrying my Thinkpad. The Foleo is tiny and light, yet big enough to hold a full keyboard and a nice screen.
It … Read more
Palm started to tease people last night with a cryptic press announcement saying that Palm founder Jeff Hawkins would be introducing a "new category of mobile device" at the D5 conference, to be followed by a live videocast.
I'm at the conference, watching Hawkins on stage. The new product is "Foleo," an Internet interface appliance. It's got a full-size keyboard, and a nice screen. It's for accessing e-mail and the Web, and it's slim, light, and very nice-looking. But it's missing something critical: network access. That's right, it's not … Read more
Hopefully, you don't hand out your phone number to just anybody you meet on the street or online. But if you'd like to gab with people while retaining some anonymity, Jangl can hook you up. Launched today, this service provides users with virtual telephone numbers that route calls to your real phone number and messages to your e-mail in-box. Rather than being designed as a buffer between you and the masses you meet out on the town, Jangl (also here) focuses on allowing voice calls for relationships that begin on the Internet.
This privacy screen could add a … Read more
Internet radio service Pandora is now lending its services to mobile phones and living rooms in a new platform called Pandora Everywhere. Sprint phone subscribers will be able to access the mobile version of Pandora to listen to music, give songs the thumbs up or down, bookmark what they like, and get new music recommendations based on their tastes. Pandora to Go is free for 30 days, and jumps to a $2.99 monthly subscription when the trial is over.