We are ridiculously excited to announce that today we're launching the 3rd annual Smartphone Round Robin! If you've never heard of the Round Robin, buckle up: Each year the sites of the Smartphone Experts Network spend some time out of our comfort zone, examining the platforms of our sister sites and learning how other smartphone users live. This year, the event will span six weeks, eight sites, over a dozen phones, over five hours of video, hundreds of photos, several hours of podcasts, dozens of discussion threads, and of course dozens of comparison reviews. Seriously.
What's in it for you? Plenty, we hope. To start with, each site will be giving away one smartphone (or your choice!) representing its platform. We have a Twitter contest for accessory prizes every week too. You can find contest details here.
More than that, though, every year we hear from grateful readers who have said the Round Robin helped them decide on their next smartphone, made them happier about the one they have, or even compelled some to switch outright. Researching and learning six platforms and all the phones on each is a massive undertaking - so we're doing it for you and you can just follow along.
If you want to know more about how to play along with this crazy event, hit up SmartphoneRoundRobin.com, where we explain the contest, the schedule, the participants, and even have an archive of the last two events.
The event begins in earnest on Monday, but today we're releasing the first of several podcasts, all of which are hosted by our friends at The Cell Phone Junkie. We'll toss direct links to download and subscribe after the break, plus let you know who's playing along this year.
Nuance's Dragon Dictation for iPhone raised some privacy concerns upon launch due to the server-side nature of its transcription and the apparent transmission of users' contact list to Nuance's servers. Addressing at least some of these concerns, Nuance has posted the following statement:
Marketwatch is citing "checks" and saying that Apple's unannounced, still mythical iTablet will begin production in February, "implying" a launch in March or April. The iTablet and also-unnannounced companion services delivered via iTunes are said to feature:
UPDATE: Yes, Ustream Live Broadcast is iPhone 3G compatible, and you can use it to record video
Ustream Live Broadcaster [Free - iTunes link] for iPhone has arrived, enabling users to point their iPhone cameras and instantly share whatever they're looking at with internet viewers everywhere (terms of service appropriate, thankfully).
It looks as if the rumors of major publishers getting together to agree upon a set of open standards for a new digital storefront are indeed true. Today Apple Insider is reporting that Condé Nast, Hearst, News Corporation, Time Inc., and Meredith all have officially announced this collaboration.
If you own either an iPhone or iPod touch along with a Mac computer then Airlock may just be the security OS X application you've been looking for. For only $7.77 you can have a very effective lock for your Mac computer with just your iPhone or iPod touch.
Dragon's Lair [$4.99- iTunes link], the original laser-disc (wikipedia it!), fully cell-animated arcade adventure from the legendary Don Bluth is officially, nostalgically available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
If you weren't there to experience Dragon's Lair's emergence onto the arcade scene in the wayback days of yore, it's hard to explain the impact it made. Suffice it to say, if the iPhone version captures that kind of magic, every 30+ year old will download it on sight, and many younger folks might just fall in love with it as well.