The Samsung SGH-T349 is the latest messaging phone from T-Mobile, and you'll be forgiven if you thought this looked more like the RIM BlackBerry Pearl thanks to its partial QWERTY keyboard, also known as a 20-key keyboard. Each key has two letters, similar to the SureType keyboard on the BlackBerry Pearl. Our own Bonnie Cha has voiced her disdain for the keyboard, and while I agree that it's not as easy as using a full QWERTY, I still found it easy to use--easier than a regular number keypad anyway. This is because of the T349's XT9 predictive … Read more
Earlier in May, Bonnie Cha told you about Motorola's first iDEN phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. Availability details were slim at the time, but this week we saw that the Clutch i465 has landed at Boost Mobile.
The Clutch offers a rugged design that meets military specifications for dust, shock, moisture, and the like. The black-and-maroon color scheme is rather unique and its keyboard and navigation controls have a promising layout.
Features include a VGA camera with video recording, 20MB of internal memory, Bluetooth, a 1.79-inch display, messaging, POP3 e-mail, and a basic MP3 player. The Clutch … Read more
I usually follow a simple rule when it comes to consumer electronics: I avoid buying any first-generation products. That doesn't mean I haven't ever done it, but I tend to wait for generation two or three before I plunk down my dough, particularly when it comes to heavily hyped stuff.
As I've written before, I'm a prime candidate to buy the Palm Pre. I'm a Sprint customer who has a contract conveniently expiring in June and I have a phone (the Mogul) that's on its last legs. Ideally, the Pre would cost $50 less and not have a mail-in rebate, but at least Sprint didn't price the thing at a pure $299, as I'm sure it would have preferred to do. Pricing aside, the biggest hurdle I'm facing is the fact that the Palm Pre is a first-gen phone--and platform--and I'm really not a first-gen guy.
By contrast, the iPhone will be on its third generation and its platform is already fairly mature. We'll find out exactly how the new third-generation iPhone specs out at next week's WWDC event, but it's safe to assume that many of the small, nagging kinks that were found in earlier editions of the iPhone will have been ironed out. I don't expect it to be perfect (no phone ever will be, because there's always something better around the corner), but I feel pretty good about getting a lot more iPhone for my $199 than those who purchased the original non-3G model (which was originally $599--with contract!) or even the iPhone 3G.
Sometimes, of course, a brand new product can come along that's so far ahead of the pack that even the introductory version is too tempting to avoid.… Read more
Skyfire has arrived at its first full release with a fairly fast and solid mobile browser offering. From a usability standpoint, its streaming video and social bent are Skyfire's strengths. Small, but significant navigation holes are drawbacks in what is an otherwise stable and serious effort.
The Start screen is characterized by a customizable RSS feed. You can sort by filters, and post article links to Facebook and Twitter. Separately, you can upload a new social networking status from the screen. A joint address-search bar sits along the top, leaving plenty of reading space. Video playback is decent in … Read more
Lost in the news that Nokia has finally released its Ovi application store, akin to the iPhone's App Store, is what this means for Symbian, the world's most widely used (and most easily overlooked) operating system for mobile devices.
Symbian, as an open-source operating system, should be mobile developers' darling. Instead, it continues to be an afterthought.
Symbian has been talking up its open source plans for roughly a year now, plans that should put it at the heart of an iPhone-beating application store. But that hasn't happened. Instead, Symbian has stood on the sidelines as Apple'… Read more
A little over a year after Skyfire began making a splash, the Silicon Valley startup has officially released version 1.0 of its free third-party mobile browser for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones. During its beta tenure, the newbie browser whipped up its fair share of excitement and kudos. Indeed, Skyfire has arrived at its first full release with a fairly fast and solid mobile browser offering. From a usability standpoint, its streaming video and social bent are Skyfire's strengths. Small, but significant navigation holes are drawbacks in what is an otherwise stable and serious effort.
While beta users … Read more
Jon von Tetzchner is the chief executive of the Norwegian browser company Opera. (Download for Windows and Mac.) Although Opera first became known for its desktop product, the company has also become well known for its Opera Mini handset-based Web browser.
Opera has become heavily involved in the development of standards for widgets--the lightweight, Web-based applications that are starting to become prevalent on new handsets. It has also been working hard on the development of HTML 5, which has more built-in rich media functionality than the current version of the Web standard.
ZDNet UK caught up with von Tetzchner at the Wireless '09 event in London on Wednesday to discuss standards processes and how Flash may soon become unnecessary.
Q: Tell us about the work Opera has been doing with widget standards. Von Tetzchner: We work mostly through the W3C, which is where the widget standard per se is being worked on. The widget standard (as far as it has been established) is more about the packaging--on the relation of how you connect to the underlying device, it hasn't been standardized fully. Bondi is trying to standardize that, and we have engaged with Bondi and with (the Joint Innovation Labs). (Editors' note: Bondi is a Web/widget specification endorsed by the LiMo Foundation.)
There are already quite a few initiatives, and there is a risk of fragmentation, and obviously our goal is always to try to make things migrate...to a single standard. Sometimes, on the way, people are eager to get started, but we try to engage as much as possible to make sure that this gets standardized in a way that works for everyone.
What does Opera gain from these widget standards bodies? Von Tetzchner: I don't want to say this is a philosophical thing for us, but we do believe the Internet is too important to be limited. There is a significant risk of the fragmentation of technology. It'll be like on the PC: you'll write an application for a platform, and it will only run on that platform. We're already seeing some of this (in widget development), where Web technologies may be in the mix. But you're mixing all those things in, and suddenly you have to write for the platform instead of for the technology.
Our goal is to try and make this work because we believe that's the right thing to do. We've seen the benefits of this from the PC side, where there are differences between the different operating systems, but you can still run all the applications. That's the benefit of having things standardized.
We have a lot of people that know how to write standards, how to implement standards and how to engage in the standards bodies. We have the biggest active group in the W3C to do just that. Considering that our competitors tend to be a lot bigger than us, that shows our commitment to this. … Read more
A turbo-charged engine, 21-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and 600-watt THX speakers are fine, but for the SUV owner who desires everything, how about a Mobile Nuclear Radiation Detection System?
Raytheon is offering the Sports Utility Vehicle-Based Radiation Detection System, which uses advanced spectroscopic technology to detect and identify nuclear radiation, whether sitting put or on the move.
Deploy quickly and set up your own checkpoint to screen for nuclear weapons, improvised nuclear devices, and dirty bombs or just cruise and troll for high gamma and stray neutrons. The system incorporates advanced threat identification algorithms that detect and identify most radiological materials.… Read more
2009 was supposed to be the "year of Android." But we are now five months into 2009 and not a single new Android device has landed in the United States. And outside our borders, only the HTC Magic has arrived at carriers.
It all started at CES, when rumors abounded that a gallery of new Android devices would debut at the show. Yet, CES passed without a single Android announcement. So the focus shifted to the GSMA World Congress, but only the HTC Magic landed in Barcelona. Like a skipping record, the buzz then repeated itself for CTIA. … Read more
Virtualization company VMware says that its new platform to let organizations virtualize smartphones and mobile devices will show up in handsets next year.
The mobile phone is now as important to businesses at desktop computers, and acts as a mobile computer in many cases, said Stephen Herrod, VMware chief technology officer, speaking at the Interop industry conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Although Herrod said the project is still in its "early stages," researchers at VMware are working on a VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform, which will create a virtual machine for mobile devices, allowing users to move their … Read more