At CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, Yahoo's executive vice president of Connected Life, Marco Boerries, demonstrated with great enthusiasm the newest feature to grace its mobile search tool: voice input. The technique, which asks users to press and hold a key while speaking their lookup request, is already active in Windows Live Search Mobile. Yahoo, however, hasn't released it beyond a preview. On Tuesday, one ankle-biting competitor jumped into the ring with its version of voice search.
When my colleague, Webware.com Editor Josh Lowensohn, first looked at Kannuu, an alternative platform for inputting search queries into a specific database or device, he astutely noted that, in order for any keyboard alternative to succeed, "it's not end users you have to convince...It's the device manufacturers. And they're chicken."
Kannuu is having some luck in that respect, CEO Sean-Michael Daley said in a demo at CNET headquarters. Now the company's setting out to win the hearts of independent developers, whom Daley would like to see integrating Kannuu's unconventional five-button face … Read more
Got a few minutes to kill? Sure, you could flip through your tunes, but when the same songs get old, and when you tire of your headphones winding from your ears like some extraterrestrial umbilical cord, check out the worlds of communication, learning, and game-playing applications to discover beyond the beats. Or, dare we say, while listening to them. Check out your burgeoning options for cell phone entertainment in the slide show.
Although it hasn't exactly exploded into the mainstream music-listening population, the music-sharing application Simplify Media has a growing network of fans--in no small part because it's available for Windows, Mac, and soon the iPhone. When you install it, you must choose to sync with either Winamp or iTunes playlists, although you can change your preferred program after installation. After setup and restarting your music player, you'll see a "Simplify Media" selection in your left-hand navigation. Expand it, and you can browse all of the music available from you and your friends.
Claims of resource hogging … Read more
The other day my esteemed colleague Leslie Katz mentioned a lightweight gadget you can slip into a car's glove compartment or onto a pet's collar to locate the things you care about wherever they are. If the device doesn't provide enough stats for your detail-hungry brain or seem adequate to cover human cargo, FindWhere offers a similar tracking service using a gadget that your teen/workforce/elderly parent most likely already has--a mobile phone.
This morning I've been playing with the prerelease version of Fring's talk software for the iPhone. It enables users to place VoIP calls in place of their plan minutes, giving people a cheap international calling alternative to their carrier's expensive per-minute charges. The one caveat (besides the need for a "jailbroken" handset) is that it requires the thick river of data only available over Wi-Fi, which means you won't be able to make or receive VoIP calls without being in range of a hotspot.
Besides VoIP, the app excels in instant messaging. You can … Read more
This article was updated at 1:21 p.m. PDT to correct information on video quality.
Generation Y (and Z) are in for a big treat. As social-networking services like MySpace.com, Facebook, and Twitter have exploded as the definitive way to keep in touch, mobile content companies have begun to offer up some sophisticated ways to capture that energy and broadcast photos, videos, audio, and text from mass market phones.
You won't be able to turn people into zombies with Facebook for BlackBerry (quick link), but you will be able to perform the essential Facebook maneuvers to keep up with your friends. Since launching in late October 2007, the wildly popular app has topped 1,000,000 downloads. With intuitive actions and a familiar look and feel that mimics the online site, it's easily a must-have BlackBerry app.
Be forewarned that the application doesn't scrimp on profile photos, so data transfers can sometimes limp along. Have patience. Also, since Facebook for BlackBerry's functionality is currently limited … Read more
While Google's mobile phone platform, Android, and its Open Handset Alliance have been on the brink of significantly changing the mobile landscape since mid-November 2007, little has come out of the young software developer kit with its still-developing community and code.
On Thursday, Opera Labs announced a technical preview release of the Norwegian company's popular Opera Mini mobile browser for the Android platform. Not only are developers encouraged to scoop up the just-released app, Opera is itching for programmers' feedback to help smooth over any rough edges for an upcoming beta release.
Opera's Chris Mills provides a … Read more
At CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, Yahoo unveiled three new cell phone apps that have been cooking in Yahoo's kitchen. We got a taste of all of them. There's Yahoo oneSearch 2.0 (hands-on review), which has debuted on selective BlackBerrys with a new feature to search for any term you speak or type.
Then there's a dynamic bookmarking feature, Yahoo onePlace, which focuses on managing your interests. In addition to bookmarking search results, like a flight number, it will also import sites you've previously starred on GoogleReader and Digg, and will develop a predictive search … Read more