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вівторок, 26 квітня 2011 р.

Amazon Offers Android Appstore Promotion; Evidence of Tablet Strategy?

Amazon is offering a $25 credit to its Android Appstore to those who buy a new Android-based device on Verizon Wireless.

The promotion applies to certain devices purchased in Amazon's wireless store. It's intended to push the Amazon Android Appstore, which opened last month, with about 30 different categories of apps that users can test out on their computer. Features of the Appstore include one-click purchasing, targeted recommendations, discounted apps on a deals page, and one free paid app each day. Amazon also offers a native mobile app for the store.

But the promotion could be another hint at Amazon's overall strategy with Android. Amazon has clearly placed an emphasis on Google's mobile platform recently. Last month, Amazon also unveiled a cloud-based music service that gives users up to 5GB of free, online music storage. It also includes Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud player for Android. Users can upload their existing music library the Internet and play tracks on Macs and PCs or Android-based phones and tablets.

The recent moves could mean Amazon is readying its own Android-based tablet. Amazon also recently debuted an ad-subsidized Kindle, allowing it to knock $25 off the popular e-reader. Rather than providing evidence of a next-generation Kindle, this could be a test of a bigger ad subsidy system that would allow Amazon to produce a tablet at a lower price point, thus giving the mighty iPad a run for its money.

This is also the second Android-related promotion Amazon has offered in the past week. Over the weekend, Amazon slashed the price of the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon to $129.99 from the usual price of $249.99. This deal is still good until midnight tonight. Coincidentally, the Appstore promotion kicks in at midnight and is good for a week.
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T-Mobile, iPhones may hook up sooner

All 33.7 million T-Mobile customers will have access to AT&T’s phone inventory if a controversial proposed merger gains federal approval — but some experts believe the iPhone may arrive even sooner to the discount wireless carrier.

“They’re expanding their distribution,” Carl Howe, analyst for the Hub-based Yankee Group, said of Apple. “They’re looking to have as many carri ers buying and selling iPhones as they can find.”

Howe said he suspects Apple — newly released from an exclusivity agreement with AT&T — will launch the iPhone for T-Mobile this summer. That will likely occur before the anticipated release of the next version of iPhone.

“They want to keep sales numbers up before that, and one of the easiest ways is to bring in new customers,” Howe said.

AT&T is looking to acquire T-Mobile in a $39 billion merger, which would make it the largest wireless network in the nation, surpassing Verizon.

T-Mobile would not comment on the potential iPhone development, and Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

As persistent rumors suggest that iPhones will be available to T-Mobile customers in the coming months, market research suggests many consumers have already taken matters into their own hands.

As many as 4 percent, or 1.3 million, of T-Mobile’s 33.7 million customers have obtained iPhones through other means, Howe said. Some are hacked and made to work on the network, commonly called “jailbroken” or “unlocked” phones. Other customers go so far as to buy iPhones from T-Mobile’s German counterpart, devices that get spotty reception in the United States.
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White iPhone 4 Readies for Launch, Photos Spark T-Mobile Rumors

Apple is prepping the white iPhone 4 for an April 27 launch, according to reports, while photos posted on BGR sparked rumors of the iPhone on T-Mobile.

With Apple’s white iPhone 4 all but confirmed to hit store shelves in the near future, the attention of the seemingly inexhaustible Apple rumor mill has shifted to a new topic: the possibility of the iPhone on T-Mobile.

The blog Apple Insider is reporting that Apple has already begun shipping the long-delayed white iPhone 4 to U.S. retail stores, where it will apparently appear on store shelves April 27. A white iPhone 4 is not available for preorder or purchase yet from Apple’s Website. Apple Insider drew its information from unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”

Rumors of a T-Mobile iPhone also boiled to the surface in recent days, courtesy of an April 23 Boy Genius Report posting with images of an alleged iPhone prototype displaying T-Mobile USA 3G bands.

“The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90,” read the posting. “Combined with the fact that it wouldn’t make sense to release an iPhone 4 on T-Mobile at this time, we’d wager that Apple is just testing the new T-Mobile-friendly radio with its current iPhone 4 hardware.” That testing could be “preparation for integration in a future device.”

For the moment at least, T-Mobile has been denying that the iPhone will arrive on its network anytime soon. The carrier remains the target of a $39 billion acquisition by AT&T, pending approval by government regulators. Competitors such as Sprint have made no secret of their displeasure over the potential deal.

“T-Mobile USA remains an independent company,” read a note posted on T-Mobile’s corporate Website in March. “The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting-edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and, coming soon, our new Sidekick 4G.”

Currently, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the only two U.S. carriers to offer the iPhone, although T-Mobile subscribers in Germany can obtain one of the bestselling smartphones.

Some analysts have frowned on a T-Mobile acquisition and how it might affect competition. “The move takes out a key pricing competitor to AT&T, gives access to some key 4G technologies from T-Mobile, and clearly solidifies AT&T in the lead to the U.S. market,” Ray Wang, principal analyst for Constellation Research, wrote in a March email to eWEEK soon after the potential acquisition was announced. “The bottom line: AT&T wins, customers lose.”

The iPhone can clearly do substantial business on multiple carriers. In an April 21 call with analysts and media, Verizon Wireless reported some 2 million iPhone activations. Around 78 percent of the carrier’s iPhone sales were upgrades, while 22 percent went to new customers. AT&T, which had an exclusive lock on the iPhone until February, also reported robust results.
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iPhone 5: iPod touch-slim, MBA-styled, 3.7-inch and NFC?

More iPhone 5 whispers this weekend, as speculation about the fifth-generation smartphone – already tipped to be an all-encompassing World Phone with perhaps even support for T-Mobile USA 3G – prompts a new mockup with a distinctly iPod touch flavor to it. Contrary to recent suggestions that the iPhone 5 would be similar in specs and design to the iPhone 4, This is my next is hearing that it will be “more like the iPod touch than the iPhone 4″ with a thinner chassis more akin to the MacBook Air in profile.

They put together the mockup on the left – with what they admit is an over-exaggerated taper – and then Corey Daniels put together a more MBA-styled alternative, shown on the right. The home button has been enlarged, and now doubles as a gesture area, while the screen has grown to an expected 3.7-inches – with a 312 ppi pixel density, allowing Apple to continue using its Retina Display branding – with minimal bezel.

That could be the result of new bonded glass technology, minimizing the amount of extraneous space required, and perhaps even allowing Apple to put the earpiece and sensors behind the display itself. It’s not the only sensor shift tipped: there’s what’s marked in leaked (and unshown) diagrams as a “swipe area” on the bottom and/or top of the iPhone 5, which could well be an NFC sensor. Apple is believed to be working hard on NFC wireless payment technologies, though there has been argument over whether the system would show up in the fifth-gen phone.

World Phone support from a GSM/CDMA chip – like the Qualcomm Gobi MDM6600 inside the Verizon iPhone 4, which is currently locked to CDMA mode – also seems a lock-in, especially as it would open up the Chinese market too. In short, rather than a spec-bump, the iPhone 5 could well turn out to be pretty revolutionary.
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April 25, 2011, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch new releases

New iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps

Green Bean Games has released LastStandStanFree 1.0, a free lite version of their popular outer-space game for iOS devices. LastStandStan sees the user protecting the Po’Trubians from the Sleevils as the character Stan. He sits in the middle of the screen whilst a hoard of enemies attack him, wave by wave. There are several weapon upgrades for Stan that destroy the enemies faster than the regular gun, but expire much quicker than the rest. We recommend keeping them for the 4 boss levels.
MobileFlow LLC has announced Fieldforce 2.0, a major update to their popular productivity app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Fieldforce is an indispensable tool for field team productivity with new features for real-time push messaging, group location mapping, shared contacts, to do’s, and easy CRM. Version 2.0 introduces a new homescreen feature, as well as includes upgrades to the group messaging, push notification, invitation process and more.
Power App has introduced GeigerMap 1.0 for iOS, their new Health & Fitness app that provides updated radiation readings from more than 7,500 official and private measuring stations worldwide. This represents more readings than are available in any other smartphone or PC application. GeigerMap consists of a searchable, global Google Map that displays crowd-sourced Geiger counter readings. Each colored pushpin can be tapped to read the name of the town or city and its current radiation level.
Typhuun, LLC has announced Ping Scope 2.0, their network monitoring utility for iOS devices. Ping Scope provides an easy-to-use interface to monitor any IP network device and shows the status using color coded LEDs allowing network and server administrators single touch device status updates. The app’s troubleshooting panel provides extensive configurable parameters to do advanced network troubleshooting to isolate issues in todays complex networks.
Erzulie’s Authentic Voodoo has introduced Erzulie’s Voodoo 1.0, the first ever Vodou app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Learn the secrets about the mysterious world of Vodou. This visually vivid app provides a comprehensive history of Vodou, from its West African roots to Haiti and New Orleans. Erzulie’s Voodoo offers accurate explanations of rituals, ceremonies, Vodou spirits, magical fetishes and more sacred aspects, rarely revealed to outsiders.
Riccardo Pietrucci has announced the release and worldwide availability of the updated version of AllSync for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The update features new and uncluttered design, polished and easy to use interface and more social channels to sync with. Allsync will be especially appreciated by everyone who wants to stay in a loop with the latest updates from their friends’ profiles and keep all their contact information handy.
IniDyne has introduced Dark Realms 1.0, a medieval fantasy themed game for iOS devices. Join Thorak the barbarian as he travels the unforgiving roads of the Dark Realms. Soothe his battle lust by fighting the minions of the Evil Lord in a journey that will take you into the darkest recesses of the Earth. Dark Realms features massive levels, interactive environments, 15 different kinds of fully animated enemies, epic boss battles, immersive sound effects and dynamic controls.
Yuu Interactive S.A.S. has announced jUNK! 1.1, a 3D robotic action shooter game for iPhone 4, 4G iPod touch, and iPad. jUNK! is the nickname of the beloved robot warrior created many years ago to become the perfect soldier, but soon discarded and replaced by modern robots. jUNK! focuses on inmediate action, with one touch to jump into the battlefield, without endless menus. Featuring a survival mode, fight against 5 types of foes in 10 waves of insane robotic action.
GP Cubed, LLC has announced SUP! 1.0, their new social networking app for iPhone, iPad and iPd touch devices. SUP! delivers a practical means of coordinating your schedule with friends, and makes getting together simple as it should be. A simple visual calendar shows what your friends are up to and when. Every event contains a persistent chat screen, so you and your friends are literally all on the same page when discussing the details.
Hairy Monster Studios has announced Bowl Em Hoops, their latest game made for the iPhone and iPod touch. Bowl Em Hoops combines Skee-Ball like play with the classic basketball shooting games. Go head to head against your friends with Game Center multiplayer support including voice chat. Flick your finger to roll the ball up the alley into one of five hoops racking up points and unlocking unique and challenging bonus levels such Double Bonus, Spell Shot, Moving Target and Rainbow Jumpers.

New apps for iPad only

Holderness Media Inc. has introduced iMelodica 1.0 for iPad devices. iMelodica is a fun, great sounding virtual melodica for the iPad. Also known by the names “wind piano”, “melodyhorn”, etc. traditional melodicas are wind instruments that are played by blowing into the mouthpiece while pressing the keys. iMelodica can be played in 3 different positions by holding down one of 3 wind buttons while touching the keys.
Daniel Ethier has introduced Gradekeeper for iPad 1.0, his companion app to Gradekeeper for Windows and Mac OS X. Thousands of teachers use Gradekeeper, and now they can work with their Gradekeeper classes on the iPad. Teachers can take attendance, add new assignments and scores, view student progress reports, including category and term summaries as well as easily copy their existing classes to the iPad using iTunes file sharing and more.
Sysapps has introduced 9 Cards 1.0, their new puzzle game for the iPad, iPod and iPhone. 9 Cards is a highly entertaining and addictive game which keeps you engaged for hours. The object of the game is to arrange the cards in such way that heads and tails of the same color match. The game play is based on dragging the cards and forming a 3x3 square, to match heads, tails and colors some rotating is needed which can be achieved by tapping the cards.
LazyTown Entertainment, in cooperation with Castle Builders, has announced the release and worldwide availability of their free LazyTown BooClips 1.1 application. LazyTown BooClips are the new way to read books with a variety of fantastic features. Features include; word for word narration, voice-over recording, 3D, sign language interpretation, translation to different languages, easy navigation between pages, an animated magnifying glass, a dynamic bookmark and more.
Stefan Preuss has introduced Hummingz EVO HD 1.0 for Apple’s revolutionary iPad device. Hummingz EVO HD is a fun retro arcade shooter with extras and boss enemies. Shoot your way through many different levels filled with nasty bugs, spiders, frogs, bees and more. Hummingz EVO HD offers two game modes with fun and fast arcade style action. Fight huge boss enemies and collect extras. The game is easy to control; players can use just one finger to control their bug.

New accessories

ZooGue has announced the iPad 2 Case, Genius Black Leather is available for immediate purchase. When people are looking for the best case to fit their tablet computer needs, the ZooGue Case Genius far exceeds their expectations. For those who require a case providing limitless adjustability, a strong and sturdy stand and adjustable straps that double as a hand strap or headrest mount, they find the ZooGue Case Genius provides all of these options and more.
Fusion of Ideas has done it again with off-the-wall laser-engravings. This time they’ve partnered with The Office fansite OfficeTally to give away Michael Scott-engraved StealthArmor covers to 6 lucky winners. As you may have heard, Michael Scott is leaving The Office after seven seasons, and as huge fans of the show, Fusion of Ideas wanted to say good-bye in their own “special” way.
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