TiPb-verse, the 2009 Smartphone Round Robin starts NOW! And for me, it starts with what's likely the biggest challenge -- Nokia and its dual platforms of Symbian S60 and Maemo as represented by the N97-mini and the netbook-that-thinks-its-a-smartphone, N900. Hugely popular everywhere that's not North America, it wasn't in last year's Round Robin, and truth-be-told, I've barely ever seen it before.
To get some extra help, I've got a post up at NokiaExperts.com, where I'm really hoping to get my understanding expanded a notch (or ten).
Dieter Bohn, on duty for Palm webOS has likewise triumphantly returned to TiPb's iPhone forums, and you folks really need to get in there an get him up to date on all things iPhone 3GS and 3.x.
To get things kicked off right, we've got a video after the break where likely the best man on earth for the job, Matt Miller gives me a guided tour of the N97-mini and N900, helps me with the interface, and reveals the awesome power of the platforms.
Next up, I spend the week figuring out what Symbian S60 and Maemo mean in relation to the iPhone, the smartphone space in general, and to new users considering their first platform, or veterans considering making the switch. That'll all be summed up right here on Friday. Can't. Wait.
With ESPN ScoreCenter you get real-time scores, live game details, game summaries and stats for 9 major sports including the following: MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, Soccer, NCAA Football and Basketball, NASCAR, Golf, and Tennis.
The only major sport that I wish was included is mixed martial arts coverage. That would make this app absolutely unreal. Life goes on and at the end of the day, with push notifications, this is the best sports app to get your up to the minute sports information and best yet, it's free!
Maybe it's me; maybe it's a fanboy thing; maybe it's my desire to impose more text on screen about this, but when I read people calling an HTC HD2/Dragon/Passion device absent HTC branding "THE Google Phone" (now officially caught on camera, see above), I can't help but think that if we go back to 2007 and Steve Jobs had taken the stage at Macworld and pulled out an HTC Excalibur with Apple branding on it, even if it had an Apple OS, it wouldn't have been "THE iPhone" and it certainly isn't what Apple did or what we as consumers got.
"This changes everything" say many blogs. Certainly, for Google's Android partners, competing against the Google brand, and bank, and engineering team changes a lot. And if they sell it unlocked (assuming they put a radio in it that can support all 4 US carriers, including both AT&T and T-Mobile 3G, and Verizon and Sprint EVDO) it will change things for the carriers, and for users who are accustomed to paying subsidized prices.
Is AT&T to blame for the poor iPhone experience in cities like San Francisco and New York, where calls drop, data fails, and bars depict signal strength with no real connection behind them? And if so, what can they do about it -- build more network infrastructure, create tiered pricing, or maybe just give up on exclusivity?
Dan Lyons, writing under his nom-de-guerreFake Steve Jobs recently posted a curse-filled parody, describing an entirely fictional, frighteningly plausible conversation between his character and an equally fake AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson. It's climax:
And now here we are. Right here in your own backyard, an American company creates a brilliant phone, and that company hands it to you, and gives you an exclusive deal to carry it — and all you guys can do is complain about how much people want to use it. You, Randall Stephenson, and your lazy stupid company — you are the problem. You are what’s wrong with this country.
I stopped, then. There was nothing on the line. Silence. I said, Randall? He goes, Yeah, I’m here. I said, Does any of that make sense? He says, Yeah, but we’re still not going to do it. See, when you run the numbers what you find is that we’re actually better off running a shitty network than making the investment to build a good one. It’s just numbers, Steve. You can’t charge enough to get a return on the investment.
AT&T has made billions in profit off of its user base (and off the iPhone!) and many of those users think it would behoove AT&T to take a large portion of those profits and re-invest them in expanding and improving their network. AT&T claims they're doing just that, especially in high iPhone-density cities like San Francisco (now getting the 850Mhz band) and Dallas (upgrade to 7.2Mb HSPA). And as Fake Steve so deliciously skewered, AT&T Mobile CEO, Ralph de la Vaga has unfathomably discussed stopping users from using their devices under the "unlimited" data plans AT&T markets to them.
Today we have some pretty decent sales going on in the App Store in time for some last minute holiday shopping!
First up we have TomTom North America U.S.A. [iTunes Link], which if you don't mind dropping Canada from your drive can save you some cash -- $49.99. Not too shabby! Again, if you don't care about Canada, grab the US-only version quick as the reduced app is only available until December 31st.
We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.
Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.
And TechCrunch is back again with a roundup of the details: think Google branded HTC HD2-style slab form factor, 1Ghz Snapdragon CPU, unlocked, virtual keyboard with voice-to-text dictation/transcription, likely T-Mo and maybe AT&T.
Chad spotted this in the wee hours, and it being no faker than many of the so-called analyst predictions about the when's and how-muches involving Apple's still unannounced iTablet, we figured it might be a fun, fakety fake fake sort way to start off the real weekend.
And if Apple by chance does make something close-ish to this, would you want?