News

Around SPE for 1 March, 2009

In a sense, it was a calm after the Mobile World Congress storm this week, but we got together and recorded a massive hour-and-a-half-long Smartphone Experts Roundtable Podcast to discuss all the news from Windows Mobile 6.5 to the Ovi app Store to Apple's "absent presence" at the show.

If you didn't realize, SPE has four podcasts for your listening pleasure: the CrackBerry.com Podcast, the Phone Different Podcast (with the occasional iPhone LIVE! show), the PalmCast on both TreoCentral and PreCentral.net, and finally the WMExperts Podcast. The bold and daring may even want to try the (still in Beta, since it's based on the somewhat unreliable Yahoo Pipes feature) Smartphone Experts Combined Podcast Feed, which puts all four podcasts into a single feed -- also available in iTunes, if that's how you roll.

Now for the roundup of the week's news!


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AT&T to Launch Trade-In Program This June?

BGR has just reported that AT&T may be working on a handset exchange program to be unveiled this upcoming June. Do you think this may have something to do with a new iPhone being released? Yeah, TiPb thinks so as well.

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Want a Free iPhone and $10,000 Prize? Pwn2Own it!

Pwn2Own is a hacking contest which in previous years demanded OS exploits on day one, allowed browser vectors on day two (how OS X was compromised last year -- thanks Safari!), and opened the floodgates with 3rd party bugware on day three. First person to successfully hack a machine won it as a prize, along with a nice cash bounty for their troubles.

This year, Ars Technica says Pwn2Own is doing something a little different: they're bringing in the mobiles!

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Friday Fun Fake: iPhoney Nano

Apple has confirmed repeatedly that they're not going to make an iPhone nano. So while that means they may or may not, it definitely means the knock-off artists are making them. Register Hardware brings us this little gem:

The Mini's touchscreen in resistive rather than capacitive, a choice no doubt partly dictated by cost and partly by the need to use a stylus to type on the diminutive virtual Qwerty keyboard which only appears in portrait mode. That's not to say you actually have to use the stylus – after some practice we managed to finger-type with around a 60 per cent chance of getting the right letter the first time.

Anyone racing over to get one?

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Apple Cleanses App Store of Old, Non-Customer Reviews

Seems Emoji aren't the only thing being scrubbed from the App Store today! MacRumors is reporting that old reviews made my users who hadn't actually downloaded the app they were reviewing are also being removed. Apple stopped non-users from reviewing apps a while back, this is just retroactively applying the new policy to the old reviews:

Several long standing apps have seen dramatic decreases in their review counts. SEGA's Super Monkey Ball count dropped from 4197 reviews down to 3710 while Namco's Pac Man dropped from 395 to 122.

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Apple Taking Down Emoji-Enabling Apps (or Making them Remove the Feature)

Lots (and lots) of you have become smitten with Emoji, the cute, extra smiley-faces that come to us from Japan and work quite well on the iPhone. That is to say, they work quite well if you've hacked them on or downloaded one of the several apps that turns them on on-the-sly.

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DataViz Updates on DocsToGo Document Editing on the iPhone

DataViz just pushed out an email update on the current status of their upcoming iPhone document editing software, DocsToGo (which Dieter sneaked a peak at during Mobile World Congress). As most of us on TiPb came to the iPhone from other platforms, such as Palm, we're all not only familiar with DocsToGo, but big fans of the mobile productivity suite. Needless to say, we've been waiting for this functionality to hit the iPhone for a (long!) while now:

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Friday Fun Video: BlackBerry Takes a Non-Subtle Shot at Apple

Wow, the Storm launching to a buggy, bashed start must really have bothered the marketing drones at RIM, especially when the iPhone 3G outsold in its second quarter outsold the Storm in its debut by almost 2 to 1... How else can we explain this cute little "shot" just taken at Apple?

Of course, we all know in the real world the Apple would have spun around, Kung-Fu style, and caught RIM's little BerryBullet in it's bitten-out teeth. Then... Skeedoosh! Massive shock-wave leveling everything this side of Waterloo.

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UPDATED: Apple Waves Bye Bye to the uSirius StarPlayr App... for iPhone for Now?

UPDATED: Developer NiceMac provided an update in the comments:

The app was not rejected, however it could not be approved at this time.

It does no good to send hate mail to or bash Apple or any other involved parties. In fact, it could damage relationships required to get this product to market.

Instead, we encourage positive emails and messages of support to all those involved.

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iTunes Gift Certificates Not Accepted at Canadian App Store

You can't use an iTunes gift certificate to buy applications on the Canadian App Store. I've experienced this myself, but never really looked into it before now. But it's true. There's even a thread about it on Apple's Discussion Board.

Highlights include the difference in iTunes App Store Terms of Service between the US:

"10. PAYMENT METHODS. The Service accepts credit cards, payment through your PayPal account, and iTunes Cards, iTunes Store Gift Certificates, and Allowance Account balances as forms of payment."

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