Posts Tagged motion

Using the Motion Launch gestures on the HTC One M8

By popular request from a few folks in the office, here’s a quick look at how the Motion Launch gestures work on the HTC One M8. You’ll see some helpful pop-ups for this when you first use the phone. If you want to turn the gestures off, go to Settings>Display and gestures>Motion Launch gestures.



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Belkin Launches Its WeMo Light Switch For Android Users, Intent On Bringing Awesome Home Automation To All By Summer 2013

 

We here at Talk Android love when we can use our Android devices to control items in our homes and Belkin has delivered in a big way by introducing its new WeMo Light Switch— aiming to help home automation just a little bit easier for all. The specialized light switch is basically a WiFi-controlled unit which replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring—- allowing users to control all aspects of lighting, right from the comfort of their Android devices. Additionally, users can control the lighting in their homes from anywhere at anytime or even make a set of schedules of when to turn on/off the lights.

While the WeMo Light Switch will be on full display at CES 2013 this week, it will be a while before Android users can get their hands on the puppy. Belkin pledges the WeMo Light Switch and app will be available for all Android users by this summer for Android devices operating on Ice Cream Sandwich and above.

While we wait to see this nifty little gadget in person, why not hit past the break to see the full presser?

WeMo Light Switch and Android Availability to Launch in 2013

Las Vegas – January 6, 2013 – Building on the success of its WeMo launch in 2012, Belkin today announced two new developments to the WeMo brand of simple, ingenious home control products, the WeMo Light Switch and Android compatibility. The WeMo Light Switch, an Internet connected light switch to remotely control wired household lighting from anywhere, will debut at CES Unveiled on January 6 at the Mandalay Bay and will be on display at the 2013 International CES at Belkin’s booth, South Hall #30651, from January 8-11.

“Android compatibility and the ability to control full household lighting – beyond just lamps – have been the top two requests from WeMo fans since we first launched, so we are excited to announce both at the 2013 CES,” said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management at Belkin. “Both are a natural extension of the WeMo line and help expand on our promise of delivering the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can control and monitor your home from wherever you are, whenever you want.”

The WeMo Light Switch replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring. Once in place, you can turn a full bank of lights on and off from anywhere, put them on a schedule, or use other WeMo or online triggers to control them through a smartphone or tablet. The WeMo Light Switch is controlled via the same free WeMo app as the WeMo Switch and Motion, conveniently keeping track of all of your WeMo-enabled devices from one app.

WeMo Light Switch

  • Controls your homes wired lights from your iOS device
  • Works with any Wi-Fi router and any Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad with iOS v5 or higher
  • Will be compatible with Android 4.0 or higher shortly after launch
  • Operates over Wi-Fi and mobile internet, at home and away
  • Works with the free WeMo app

Aside from growing the WeMo product family in 2013, Belkin also will launch compatibility for Android devices later this year. As the market share for Android continues to grow and more consumers demand it, expanding WeMo capabilities to Android devices is a necessary step for the continued success and evolution of the WeMo brand. In February, Belkin will launch an open Beta test for users of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and other leading devices and follow with an official launch for the WeMo Switch, WeMo Motion and WeMo Light Switch in the summer.

Availability
The WeMo Light Switch will be available in summer 2013 and will feature Android compatibility at or shortly after launch. Compatibility with Android 4.0 or higher for current WeMo products including the WeMo Switch and WeMo Motion will launch this summer as well. To sign up for more information or alerts about WeMo, please visit www.Belkin.com/WeMo.

Belkin at CES
Visit Belkin at the 2013 International CES in booth #30651 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. To schedule a booth tour or an appointment with a Belkin media representative, please call Rachel Jones-Pittier of Formula PR at 310-906-6416.

About Belkin International, Inc.
To learn more about Belkin, visit http://www.belkin.com/aboutus. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/belkin, and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/belkin.

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Belkin Launches Its WeMo Light Switch For Android Users, Intent On Bringing Awesome Home Automation To All By Summer 2013

 

We here at Talk Android love when we can use our Android devices to control items in our homes and Belkin has delivered in a big way by introducing its new WeMo Light Switch— aiming to help home automation just a little bit easier for all. The specialized light switch is basically a WiFi-controlled unit which replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring—- allowing users to control all aspects of lighting, right from the comfort of their Android devices. Additionally, users can control the lighting in their homes from anywhere at anytime or even make a set of schedules of when to turn on/off the lights.

While the WeMo Light Switch will be on full display at CES 2013 this week, it will be a while before Android users can get their hands on the puppy. Belkin pledges the WeMo Light Switch and app will be available for all Android users by this summer for Android devices operating on Ice Cream Sandwich and above.

While we wait to see this nifty little gadget in person, why not hit past the break to see the full presser?

WeMo Light Switch and Android Availability to Launch in 2013

Las Vegas – January 6, 2013 – Building on the success of its WeMo launch in 2012, Belkin today announced two new developments to the WeMo brand of simple, ingenious home control products, the WeMo Light Switch and Android compatibility. The WeMo Light Switch, an Internet connected light switch to remotely control wired household lighting from anywhere, will debut at CES Unveiled on January 6 at the Mandalay Bay and will be on display at the 2013 International CES at Belkin’s booth, South Hall #30651, from January 8-11.

“Android compatibility and the ability to control full household lighting – beyond just lamps – have been the top two requests from WeMo fans since we first launched, so we are excited to announce both at the 2013 CES,” said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management at Belkin. “Both are a natural extension of the WeMo line and help expand on our promise of delivering the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can control and monitor your home from wherever you are, whenever you want.”

The WeMo Light Switch replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring. Once in place, you can turn a full bank of lights on and off from anywhere, put them on a schedule, or use other WeMo or online triggers to control them through a smartphone or tablet. The WeMo Light Switch is controlled via the same free WeMo app as the WeMo Switch and Motion, conveniently keeping track of all of your WeMo-enabled devices from one app.

WeMo Light Switch

  • Controls your homes wired lights from your iOS device
  • Works with any Wi-Fi router and any Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad with iOS v5 or higher
  • Will be compatible with Android 4.0 or higher shortly after launch
  • Operates over Wi-Fi and mobile internet, at home and away
  • Works with the free WeMo app

Aside from growing the WeMo product family in 2013, Belkin also will launch compatibility for Android devices later this year. As the market share for Android continues to grow and more consumers demand it, expanding WeMo capabilities to Android devices is a necessary step for the continued success and evolution of the WeMo brand. In February, Belkin will launch an open Beta test for users of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and other leading devices and follow with an official launch for the WeMo Switch, WeMo Motion and WeMo Light Switch in the summer.

Availability
The WeMo Light Switch will be available in summer 2013 and will feature Android compatibility at or shortly after launch. Compatibility with Android 4.0 or higher for current WeMo products including the WeMo Switch and WeMo Motion will launch this summer as well. To sign up for more information or alerts about WeMo, please visit www.Belkin.com/WeMo.

Belkin at CES
Visit Belkin at the 2013 International CES in booth #30651 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. To schedule a booth tour or an appointment with a Belkin media representative, please call Rachel Jones-Pittier of Formula PR at 310-906-6416.

About Belkin International, Inc.
To learn more about Belkin, visit http://www.belkin.com/aboutus. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/belkin, and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/belkin.

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Belkin Launches Its WeMo Light Switch For Android Users, Intent On Bringing Awesome Home Automation To All By Summer 2013

 

We here at Talk Android love when we can use our Android devices to control items in our homes and Belkin has delivered in a big way by introducing its new WeMo Light Switch— aiming to help home automation just a little bit easier for all. The specialized light switch is basically a WiFi-controlled unit which replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring—- allowing users to control all aspects of lighting, right from the comfort of their Android devices. Additionally, users can control the lighting in their homes from anywhere at anytime or even make a set of schedules of when to turn on/off the lights.

While the WeMo Light Switch will be on full display at CES 2013 this week, it will be a while before Android users can get their hands on the puppy. Belkin pledges the WeMo Light Switch and app will be available for all Android users by this summer for Android devices operating on Ice Cream Sandwich and above.

While we wait to see this nifty little gadget in person, why not hit past the break to see the full presser?

WeMo Light Switch and Android Availability to Launch in 2013

Las Vegas – January 6, 2013 – Building on the success of its WeMo launch in 2012, Belkin today announced two new developments to the WeMo brand of simple, ingenious home control products, the WeMo Light Switch and Android compatibility. The WeMo Light Switch, an Internet connected light switch to remotely control wired household lighting from anywhere, will debut at CES Unveiled on January 6 at the Mandalay Bay and will be on display at the 2013 International CES at Belkin’s booth, South Hall #30651, from January 8-11.

“Android compatibility and the ability to control full household lighting – beyond just lamps – have been the top two requests from WeMo fans since we first launched, so we are excited to announce both at the 2013 CES,” said Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management at Belkin. “Both are a natural extension of the WeMo line and help expand on our promise of delivering the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can control and monitor your home from wherever you are, whenever you want.”

The WeMo Light Switch replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring. Once in place, you can turn a full bank of lights on and off from anywhere, put them on a schedule, or use other WeMo or online triggers to control them through a smartphone or tablet. The WeMo Light Switch is controlled via the same free WeMo app as the WeMo Switch and Motion, conveniently keeping track of all of your WeMo-enabled devices from one app.

WeMo Light Switch

  • Controls your homes wired lights from your iOS device
  • Works with any Wi-Fi router and any Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad with iOS v5 or higher
  • Will be compatible with Android 4.0 or higher shortly after launch
  • Operates over Wi-Fi and mobile internet, at home and away
  • Works with the free WeMo app

Aside from growing the WeMo product family in 2013, Belkin also will launch compatibility for Android devices later this year. As the market share for Android continues to grow and more consumers demand it, expanding WeMo capabilities to Android devices is a necessary step for the continued success and evolution of the WeMo brand. In February, Belkin will launch an open Beta test for users of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and other leading devices and follow with an official launch for the WeMo Switch, WeMo Motion and WeMo Light Switch in the summer.

Availability
The WeMo Light Switch will be available in summer 2013 and will feature Android compatibility at or shortly after launch. Compatibility with Android 4.0 or higher for current WeMo products including the WeMo Switch and WeMo Motion will launch this summer as well. To sign up for more information or alerts about WeMo, please visit www.Belkin.com/WeMo.

Belkin at CES
Visit Belkin at the 2013 International CES in booth #30651 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. To schedule a booth tour or an appointment with a Belkin media representative, please call Rachel Jones-Pittier of Formula PR at 310-906-6416.

About Belkin International, Inc.
To learn more about Belkin, visit http://www.belkin.com/aboutus. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/belkin, and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/belkin.

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Leap Motion gets $30 million funding for new motion sensor controller technology

The technology you probably have seen in Steven Speilberg’s 2002 movie Minority Report has been fully realized by Leap Motion’s hand-motion controller. The San Francisco-based startup company recently received $30 million funding for the technology and has partnered with Taiwanese manufacturer Asustek Computer in an agreement that computers bundled with motion sensors would be released later this year. The first batch of controllers, however, will start selling by March.

Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg

Courtesy of Leap Motion, via Bloomberg

This isn’t the first time people have seen motion sensors come into play because apparently, such technology has long been used in Microsoft’s Kinect. Leap Motion, however, said its product is not as big (in size) as existing motion sensors in the market today. It comes with two small sensitive cameras enclosed in casing not more than the size of a cigarette lighter, which would be set atop a computer desk.

The sensors are sensitive enough to detect 10 fingers and filter motions created by each one of them to the hundredth of a millimeter. The controller will be marketed with $70 price tag.

Leap Motion’s controller has lured many investors including Highland Capital Partners and Founders Fund aside from the already mentioned Asustek Computer. The idea of controlling a computer with hands started long ago and people were mesmerized by it even more when Steven Speilberg illustrated it almost realistically through its movie starred by Tom Cruise. The evolution of computer and mobile technologies paved a way for three-dimensional controls and the company is honest enough to acknowledge that.

With Asustek Computer agreeing with Leap Motion to bundle the controllers with some of its computers, the next thing we may be seeing are laptops with built-in motion sensors instead of mere cameras. The fact that the company is open to the idea to license its technologies is the key to have this sensor be put on other devices other than computers. One of the possibilities is that Smart TV manufacturers like Samsung and LG might use Leap Motion’s technology to make things even better in their products.

Leap Motion is still in the process of marketing its controllers as well as attracting even more developers to build more apps for it. Chief Executive Officer Michael Buckwald also shared about the company’s desire to invade tablet and car markets with its technology.

[source: Bloomberg]

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Review: Perfect Pic Easily Turns Any Video into Awesome Still Shots

Perfect Pic – Photo From Slow Motion Video  
Developer: Perfect Pic LLC  
Price: free   Download

Even in the best of photographic circumstances there are some shots that are just hard to capture – and when all you have is your iPhone, those shots are practically impossible. Whether it’s a picture of a dog at a full run or one of your favorite little tumbler in the midst of a back handspring – pretty much any action shot is difficult to capture with a phone camera without a big blurry image. This is where Perfect Pic comes in. A for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Perfect Pic imports videos, has the ability to slow them down and then basically capture them in individual frames. The result is a quick and easy way to turn video clips into the ideal still shot.

To get started with Perfect Pic, simply launch the app and allow access to your library camera roll. All videos will be automatically imported but you can also opt to record a new video from within the app. With your chosen video selected, simply select a playback speed and then tap the pause button when you are near a point in the video where you’d like to capture the still shot. It really is that easy. (more…)

Finish reading “Perfect Pic Easily Turns Any Video into Awesome Still Shots” and see screenshots for the app on AppCraver.com.

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Monday Brief: EiCs name their Best Devices of 2012


Mobile Nations

  • Nokia begins Windows Phone 8 OS update for AT&T and Rogers
  • Nokia improves Lumia 920 camera. We do a before and after comparison
  • Samsung ATIV S unboxing and hands-on

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RIM Settles Patent Dispute With Nokia, Agrees To Pay Licensing Fees

RIM-blackberry-logo_0

Patent suits are filed against companies when one company feels that some other company is wrongly infringing on its patents without giving due credit. In the time we live in, patent suits are a fairly common occurrence. The most popular of all patent suits is the Apple vs Samsung patent trial, where Samsung received a massive setback when the court ordered the company to pay $1.05 billion to Apple as a fine for infringing on its design patents. However, that was in the past (although it’s still going on), and today we’re speaking about Nokia and Research in Motion, who have been in the courtrooms over patents owned by Nokia. The Finns accused RIM of infringing on several of its patents, which led to the trial. But the drama has now ended as RIM has decided to license those patents from Nokia. The two have mutually gotten into an agreement, to end the legal tussle once and for all. This will end all the patent litigations filed by Nokia in the U.S, UK and Canada.

There is very little specifics of the deal, and I don’t think we’ll ever know the amount of money involved in the deal either. It must be noted that the decision to license these patents came after an arbitration tribunal said that RIM was in the wrong. So RIM had no choice but to agree to the licensing deal from Nokia. So this is yet another patent victory for Nokia after licensing its patents to Apple last year. This is a minor setback for RIM and one which it shouldn’t focus too much on as it has to concentrate on the BlackBerry 10 launch next month. It is rather strange though that lawsuits are settled so easily, when Apple and Samsung are literally dragging on its litigations in the courtrooms.

Nokia holds a plethora of patents and quite frankly, it would make a lot more from just licensing these patents than from selling its smartphones. It currently licenses patents to a lot of companies. Nokia holds patents along with Sony and MPEG-LA (together known as MobileMedia) to protect its patents. This group recently filed a lawsuit against Apple for infringing on three of its patents and a court in Delaware ruled in favor of them.

We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM. This agreement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market,” Nokia said in its official statement.

Source: Nokia
Via: Phone Arena

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RIM admits user base decrease as shares drops

sc001Following a report that the number of its subscribers had decreased, Research in Motion announced on Thursday that it will be amending its charges plan for its BlackBerry services, which also caused its stock in the U.S. to dive 10 percent.

Prior to the announcement, RIM’s stock rose 8 percent to $15.25 that stretches beyond the regular trading hours after RIM revealed lesser quarterly loss than previously expected. The company also said that it has raised enough money for the upcoming release of its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone next year.

However, things turned to sour during Chief Executive Thorsten Heins’ conference call with analysts. In the conference, he announced that RIM is thinking of offering more flexible pricing of its BlackBerry services, once vaunted for providing robust security features but has come under attack by competitors.

The conference call also saw the growing concerns of analysts about the potential negative effects of such changes, which could mean a decrease of RIM’s profitable services revenue stream. RIM’s U.S.-traded stock fell about 10 percent to $12.74 by 6.20 in the afternoon Eastern Standard Time.

Investors have also started to show concerns about the decreasing subscriber base. Although RIM had seen the numbers of its customers shrink in North America in recent years, it was able to successfully market its products and services in emerging markets.

“The early reaction was probably just ‘Hey, numbers looked OK, better loss, the cash flow was good’ but if you know the company, you’re looking at the subscriber base falling off,” a San Francisco-based analysts from Evercore Partners Mark McKechnie said.

One of the reasons for the increase in RIM’s shares earlier was because it was able to secure more cash–$$2.9 billion– from a $2.3 billion mark during the previous quarter.

Analysts saw the need for RIM to raise more cash for manufacturing its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and promote it in a very competitive market. RIM hopes to regain the market shares it has lost to rivals like the popular Apple Inc’s iPhone and other devices running versions of Google Inc’s Android software.

“They’ve done a great job at generating cash,”  analyst Tavis McCourt from Raymond James  in Nashville said. “They’re certainly in a much better position than they were three or four quarters ago.”

RIM also announced that it is now doing tests of its BlackBerry 10 devices with more than 150 carriers–an increase in figure of about 50 last October. BB10 devices will be released on January 30.

Heins assured everyone during the conference call that more things can be expected leading to the launch.

RIM posted a lower-than-expected $114 million or 22 cents per share operating loss this quarter. Wall Street expected that the company would be losing 35  cents per share previously.

Additionally, RIM disclosed  a surprising net profit of $9 million net profit for the third fiscal quarter that ended on December 1,  a positive note on the restructuring done on the company’s international operations. During the same period last year, the company posted a net profit of $265 million.

RIM’s subscriber base fell to 79 million during the quarter from an 80 million mark during the period that ended in September 1. the company’s user base has seen growth for the past few years even if it was losing ground in the United States and Canada as it reached out to markets from emerging economies.

“We’re encouraged that the subscriber base only declined slightly during a very public transition, and BlackBerry sales were about what we expected,” Morningstar analyst Brian Colello said.

source: reuters

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Despite Strong Performane on Trading Floor, RIM Still in Jeopardy

Despite gaining a sharp increase in its stock value, the future of Blackberry-maker Research in Motion remains uncertain and could be potentially disastrous in the coming months if its Blackberry 10 fails to generate interest in a smartphone market dominated by Samsung and Apple.

Research in Motion posted strong figures on the trading floor after its shares jumped by 26 percent this week.

RIM started trading at $8.29 on Monday but its stocks surprisingly surged over the next four days, closing a profitable week at $11.76 per share.

Nevertheless, despite an upbeat performance on the stock market, many analysts still predict doomsday coming for Research in Motion, who recently lost several big government contracts.

According to a reliable insider at National Bank Financial, Blackberry is expected to ship around 33.5 million of Blackberry 10 in the first quarter of 2013.

Blackberry, who will reportedly feature more sophisticated operating system and introduce touch capability for the first time, is tabbed as RIM’s last hope to turn things around.

Market analysts Kris Thompson said there’s a reason behind RIM’s surge in the stock market and the Blackberry 10 is certainly one of them. She added that investors have increasingly become ‘bullish’ on RIM’s objective of winning back customer with its next generation smartphone.

In an interview with CNET.com last week, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins put more hype surrounding Blackberry 10, calling it in a whole new platform from Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy Note.

“No, it’s much more than that. BlackBerry 10 is a whole new platform. That’s why we had to make the serious decision two years ago whether we join an open-source code platform or whether we build our own. QNX is a great OS, but it’s just the OS underneath,” said Heins.

However, Blackberry has rapidly been losing money over the last three years with the first and second quarter taking a sharp of nosedive.

RIM’s first quarter report over the last three years

 

FY Q1 2011: $5.6B revenue, $769M income

FY Q1 2012: $4.9B revenue, 695M income

FY Q1 2013: $2.8B revenue, -$518M income

 

RIM’s second quarter report over the last three years

FY Q2 2011: $4.6B revenue, $797M income

FY Q2 2012: $4.2B revenue, 329M income

FY Q2 2013: $2.9B revenue, -$235M income

 

No one needs here to become a rocket scientist to come up with an equation that suggests RIM is in a total trouble.

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US NTSB Dumps RIM’s Blackberry For Apple

 

The U.S National Transportation Safety Board announced they are now replacing their Blackberry smartphones with Apple’s flagship mobile device iPhone 5 simply because the phone developed by Research in Motion has increasingly become unreliable.

NTSB became the latest government agency to ditch RIM’s Blackberry for more advanced and sophisticated smartphones like the iPhone 5. According to NTSB, Blackberry has now failed to meet their strict demands at such a drastic rate.

“Blackberry devices have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate,” the NTSB wrote, according to Bloomberg. The 400-employee agency “requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations,” stated in a government filling last week, according to Bloomberg.

The NSTB said it experienced a couple of international service disruptions on Research in Motion’s Blackberry network this year. The NSTB is a government agency in charge of investigating airplane and transportation disasters, making reliable communication very much of a requirement.

“Government organizations globally have trusted the reliability and security of BlackBerry for over a decade. They can continue to do so,” a company spokesperson told CNET in an e-mail. “We have 1 million government customers in North America alone who depend on BlackBerry, and more than 400,000 government customers worldwide upgraded their devices in the past year,”

Despite losing another big contract with the government, Research in Motion remains optimistic of their future business endeavors with the upcoming release of Blackberry 10, which features an upgraded operating system and a full touch-screen. The device can be used in secure government offices, showing its commitment to continue serving the government as Blackberry 10 customers.

“We are committed to the mobility needs of government agencies around the world and will continue to meet these needs with BlackBerry 10,” the company spokesperson told CNET.

 

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NTSB chooses Apple’s iPhone over RIM’s BlackBerry

BlackBerrry’s continued downward spiral is yet again punctuated by another customer loss as the National Transportation Safety Board announced it is switching to Apple Inc’s iPhone.

NTSB provided some not-so-pleasant rationale behind the move by saying Research In Motion “have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.”

NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss said the agency cannot provide any specific problems due to procurement rules, but it is known that RIM had encountered some high-profile service failures, including a global 3-day outage last year.

The agency wrote: “The NTSB requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry-out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations. Due to performance issues with the blackberry [sic] devices, the NTSB desires to transition to a different device.”

RIM did not comment on NTSB statement.

“We have 1 million government customers in North America alone who depend on BlackBerry, and more than 400,000 government customers worldwide upgraded their devices in the past year,”  an official statement from RIM said. “We are committed to the mobility needs of government agencies around the world and will continue to meet these needs with BlackBerry 10.”

RIM is set to release the new BlackBerry 10 devices early next year but the NTSB is not waiting for them anymore. The agency has decided to use Apple’s iPhone 5 on Verizon network. NTSB says that the iPhone 5 is the only choice now that’s available in existing wireless vendor and is “currently supportable by existing staff resources.”

While the agency will hardly make a dent in the overall sales of BlackBerry 10 next year, as it only has 400 staff members, NTSB is just but one of the many government agencies that are moving away from RIM’s services. BlackBerrys once dominated the corporate world with their high-end, high security offerings.

The United States Immigration and Customers Enforcement recently switched to Apple after declaring RIM’s mobile technology “can no longer meet” its needs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives already moved to Apple Inc earlier in the year.

The biggest government agency that expressed its discontent with RIM’s BlackBerrys so far is the United States Department of Defense. The procurement order it posted last month logged a minimum of 162,500 Android and Apple units. The department hopes to add the new devices to its existing network of devices.

source: cnn

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Blackberry now supports voice chats with release of BBM version 7

Research in Motion announced this week that it’s already supporting voice chats on their Blackberry phones via Wi-Fi connection, thanks to a new version of their mobile social network and messaging service BBM.

The Blackberry smartphone-maker unveiled the BBM version 7, a downloadable free BlackBerry Messenger update that enables voice calls to other BBM customers as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection and the customer is BlackBerry service plan subscriber.

“BBM is the quick, easy way to stay connected to the people that matter to you, and with today’s announcement we’re expanding the capabilities of the service for deeper social engagement and even greater collaboration, beginning with voice functionality,” said T.A. McCann, the vice president of BBM and Social Communities at RIM.

Blackberry’s upgraded BBM version allows customers to interact with other users either by texting or talking. Moreover, RIM said the new version of BBM also enables users to text message and call at the same time.

BBM provides a “visual indicator” showing whether a friend or a contact is available for a voice call. The service is compatible with all BlackBerry voice call accessories, such as wired headsets or Bluetooth.

“The new BBM Voice feature is for when you’re travelling and you want to call home without worrying about phone charges,” added the RIM executive.

The Berry Voice is currently in its beta, being included as part of the BBM Version 7. Blackberry service customers can now download an update of their BBM from the Blackberry Beta Zone.  Only users with Blackberry 6 OS or higher can use the feature but users of Blackberry 5 OS will soon use this new application soon.

“It’s for when you have news you can’t wait to share, for quickly explaining complicated details, and collaborating with colleagues. Whenever your ideas are too big for text, there’s BBM Voice,” said McCann.

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RIM CEO Doesn’t Have Nice Things to Say About iOS

thorsten-heins

Research in Motion, more commonly known as RIM, is the producer of the now declining BlackBerry line of smartphones. These corporate friendly devices aren’t quite the hot sellers they once used to be and RIM is trying to get on a comeback trail with a new and completely revamped BlackBerry 10 OS. And as the launch of the new OS approaches (January 30th, 2013), the CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins has already begun the war of words against rival manufacturers, beginning with Apple, and its iOS mobile operating system. Thorsten Heins believes that RIM has actually developed the BlackBerry 10 OS to such an extent now that it is ahead of iOS. He further claimed that BB10 is a “true mobile computing platform”, while calling iOS a pocket version of the PC platform. We’re not sure if people will agree with his comments, but it seems like he has the right attitude, especially considering the fact that the new OS will debut in a couple of months from now.

We can’t say for sure if BlackBerry 10 will be a success in the market, but the spirit of the company is very commendable, albeit long overdue. RIM execs in the past have been overly flamboyant with their approach towards the BlackBerry platform making huge statements and not really living up to it. Heins created a storm among BlackBerry loyalists by mentioning that there was room for a third superpower in the mobile industry. Some believed he should have been more optimistic with his comments, but he later mentioned that he was only being realistic. The first BlackBerry 10 smartphone is believed to be the Aristo which is said to feature a Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 4.65-inch HD display and 2GB of RAM and LTE. Not sure how the OS will utilize the powerful CPU and RAM, but it certainly has what it takes to attract the tech savvy folk.

Heins also said that a major corporation like Samsung will be hard to dethrone considering that they are well settled in the market and have “corporate siblings” to bank on for displays. He further predicted Samsung to emerge on top in the Windows Phone 8 sphere, which would certainly anger a certain Finnish company. RIM expects good support from American carriers for the success of the new platform. Heins believes that to emerge on top of the mobile industry, it is vital to score North America. No doubt, RIM still has a lot of fans in Canada and the U.S, but the emergence of Android and iOS has made things harder than ever for a new mobile OS to enter the scene. The BlackBerry Aristo should be a very neat addition to the market, where all we see is Android, iOS and Windows Phones (not that we mind). It is hoped that Thorsten Heins’ optimism with the new platform doesn’t go in vain. It is to be seen if the carriers will show their faith in RIM’s new offering.

Source: GigaOM
Via: Phone Arena

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LG Optimus Regard available from Cricket as first 4G LTE phone

The popular regional and prepaid carrier Cricket has just released a brand new Android smartphone today, although we certainly wouldn’t call it high end. The new LG Optimus Regard is available today from Cricket and is their first 4G LTE capable smartphone. It surely isn’t high-end, or cheap, but head below for more details.

Cricket is a large regional carrier that also happens to have millions of pre-paid customers too. Not offering contracts means you won’t get subsidized pricing on smartphones. For that reason alone this phone ends up being quite expensive, while not offering much compared to other carriers. For those looking to save on their monthly bill however, this could be a great choice.

The LG Optimus Regard is their first 4G LTE smartphone, which is also a retooled LG Motion 4G on MetroPCS — another regional carrier. The new phone is available online and in stores today from Cricket for a price of $249, but at least you won’t be singing any contracts.

The Regard comes with a 3.5-inch display with a painful 320×480 resolution, but is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, offers a 5 megapixel camera, 8GB of storage, 4G LTE, and a decent 1,700 mAh battery. It also runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich so overall is a decent phone, save for that terribly low resolution display. Obviously the price here is $249 due to you not singing a contract, and Cricket offers some cheap plans. Personally I’d suggest you save up another $50 and get the LG Nexus 4 from the Google Play Store instead. If Cricket is your only choice, the LG Optimus Regard is a decent option considering their lineup.

[via UnwiredView]


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RIM exec has positive outlook for BlackBerry 10

The upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system from Research In Motion is seen as a key component in the company’s effort to stop its gradual dive in the mobile market. RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said last Wednesday that BlackBerry 10 will offer a long-term value for the company’s shareholders.

Heinz revealed in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that his company has already allocated $800 million out of the $1 billion promised savings for the fiscal year that will end on March next year. He said that he’s confident to identify the rest of the promised amount as RIM prepares to launch the new BlackBerry 10 phones.

RIM hopes to regain the market share it lost to rivals like Apple Inc and Google’s Android-based smartphones.

The popularity of Android and iOS devices affected the consumer and business customers of RIM as they left BlackBerry by big numbers. BlackBerry phones usually offer more security features than their rivals.

However, analysts seem to be doubting RIM’s capability to bring back its lost glory, citing the botched launched of its 2011 PlayBook tablet that was designed to supposedly compete with Apple’s iPad. The PlayBook was very hardware capable but its software aspect  was not complete during launch and customers needed multiple updates.

The long preparation of BlackBerry 10 until the first quarter of 2013 is planned to prevent making the same error that plagued that PlayBook launch.

The intentional delay was meant to ensure that BlackBerry 10 phones would be of top notch quality, according to Heins.

“I think it’s all lining up. Sometimes you get the feeling that the universe is in disarray, and with BlackBerry 10 coming, I see the stars lining up,” Heins added.

Leaked prototypes of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 phones look sleeker and high-end common in today’s smartphone market. Some of the phones have touch-screen version as well as the miniature QWERTY keyboard that helped popularized BlackBerrys.

The new phones also allows multitasking like allowing users to take a look at an incoming email while at the same time browsing the Internet and other applications. These features are currentlt sparsely available to rival phones.

Users can also keep their personal profiles separate from their business profiles, thanks to a feature called BlackBerry Balance. Corporations can easily delete their data share on the device while leaving personal contacts, photos, and email intact.

Heins said that about 100,000 apps, which is way fewer that the current available apps from rivals, will be available during launch. He said that RIM had instead chose to focus on providing needed apps in different regional markets.

While the developer community had been showing much enthusiasm about the launch, financial analysts have mixed views about the reception of the new devices in the very competitive smartphone market.

In the interview, Heins said that workforce morale is excellent despite the recent 5,000 job cuts and continuing dive of the company’s share before BlackBerry 10s release.

RIM had already released the demo phones to carriers and developers. Also, the company’s new BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, which are used by devices on corporate infrastructure, is currently in beta phase with 20 customers.

RIM has scheduled to give technical previews to its more than top 50 top enterprise customers for its BES 10 and devices.

Heins said that the feedback from its current customer base “is very encouraging”.

Analysts had expected earlier that RIM would decide to launch the new phones in regions where BlackBerry remains popular but Heins refuted it.

“We cannot launch every carrier and every country on the same day, but what we have defined is a set of waves in the various regions,” Heins said. “It is going to be a global launch. There isn’t one preferred region. We are managing and planning it as we speak.”

source: reuters

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Android sales double from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012

A report from analysts Gartner has broken down the sales of smartphones from Q3 2012, and the numbers are rather interesting. As you would expect, Android was the best-selling OS by a sizable margin. Along with that, it also had the highest percentage of market share for Q3, and the competition was not even close.



In all, Android sold 122,480,000 units in Q3, according to the report. In second place was iOS, which sold 23,550,300. In third was Research In Motion (RIM) with 8,946,800, which is obviously a huge decline for the company that used to be the number one manufacturer of smartphones not long ago with its BlackBerry OS. All that said, Android clearly has the market on lockdown, and they are showing no signs of relenting that hold.

As far as market share for Q3 2012, Android had that well under control too. Android had 72.4-percent of the market, up from 52.5-percent in Q3 of last year. While Android grew a great deal year-over-year, iOS actually saw a decline in market share. It went from 15-percent of the market to 13.0-percent. RIM saw a huge drop too, from 11-percent down to 5.3-percent.

The report also talks about manufatures and their sales volumes. As you can probably guess, Samsung is the leader by a good margin. Samsung sold a total of 97,956,800 devices for 22.9-percent of the market. Nokia and Apple rounded out the top three device manufacturers.

[via SlashGear]


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[New Product] SwannEye & SwannSmart Wi-Fi Security Cameras

Swann has been making security cameras and security-related items for 25 years. Their products are advanced for the most sophisticated CCTV systems, yet are affordable enough for the everyday consumer. Their latest offerings pair their video cameras with wireless Wi-Fi and mobile. Enter the SwannEye and SwannSmart Wi-Fi security cameras.

ADS-450 SwannSmart Wi-Fi Network Camera

The ADS-450 SwannSmart camera just needs a power source and a 802.11 B/G Wi-Fi or hard-wired network connection to function. It can be mounted anywhere in a stationary position. Once you mount it and connect it to your network, it streams video at 640×480 at 30 FPS in JPEG or MJPEG format with sound. It also can record up to 12 feet via its 8 infrared LED illuminated night vision as well.

ADS-440 SwannEye All-in-One IP Network Camera

Just like the ADS-450 SwanSmart, the ADS-440 SwannEye just needs just a power source and a 802.11 B/G Wi-Fi or hard-wired network to function and streams at 640×480 at 30 FPS with sound. However, the ADS-440 SwanEye expands on many of the features that the ADS-450 has. The SwanEye is not stationary, it can be controlled remotely to pan and tilt 350° horizontally and 100° vertically. It also has night vision that can see up to 32 feet. It can be setup for motion activated recording to an FTP and/or PC. It also has a speaker, for two-way remote communication.

 

Remote Controls

Both the ADS-450 SwanSmart and ADS-440 SwannEye can have their respective camera feeds viewed via Swann’s free Windows/Mac software and/or free Android/iOS app that’s for smartphones and tablets alike. Pictures and video can be saved locally on-demand via the mobile app. Additionally, video can be recorded via an optional secure cloud service that’s $5.99 a month with a one month free trial. Recording to the cloud is started once each video camera’s motion sensor is activated; once this occurs, notifications are sent to any mobile device with the app installed. You can also create your very own camera network, any number of these cameras can be controlled to work for you from the same program/app.

Purchasing

The ADS-450 SwanSmart and ADS-440 SwannEye both have an MSRP of $130 each, you can purchase the SwannSmart for $118.98 though Amazon and the SwanEye for $127.99 through Fry’s. Hopefully we’ll be getting our hands one or both of these cameras to test out. In the meantime, check out the rest of Swann’s vast array of products by clicking the button below.

 

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BlackBerry 10 Will be “Dead on Arrival” Claims Analyst

blackberry-10

We all know what BlackBerry 10 has in store for us, or at least some of us do. RIM (Research in Motion), has all its eggs in the BlackBerry 10 basket and rightly so. After a disastrous last couple of years, the company has been struggling to make a comeback. It seemed as though RIM pretty much took a back seat and casually watched as Android and iOS soared higher and higher in the industry. But now things are different and the Canadian maker is all set to make a comeback with its new and improved Touch/QWERTY smartphones. However, there are a few skeptics out there who don’t think RIM will have a good time in the market. One such analyst from Pacific Crest named James Faucette claims that the new BB OS will be “dead on arrival”. Now that’s a pretty bold statement to make considering the fact that a huge part of the OS is still a mystery to us. But what if he isn’t wrong?

It’s hard to show faith in a platform which has repeatedly lived down to the expectations. The current crop of BlackBerry smartphones are a fine example. While Android is all about moderate pricing and feature rich phones, RIM’s marketing strategy is contrastingly different. The current RIM flagship, the Bold 9900 is priced way over a decent dual core Android smartphone and that’s where the problem lies. Anyways, RIM has promised to mend its old ways when BlackBerry 10 arrives, so we have that to look forward to. So what’s basically new in the BlackBerry 10 OS? Well, it’s nothing we’re not used to, but something BlackBerry users will proudly like to flaunt. RIM has decided to go all touch with BB 10 and has optimized the OS accordingly. It does have promise, make no mistake, but we fear it will be too little too late. Looking at the pace at which Android, iOS and even Windows Phone is heading, there’s hardly any room for a fourth competing OS. Also, adoption will be a huge hurdle RIM has to face.

RIM has tried to get the devs on board with the BlackBerry Jam events, and there has been ample support from them too. But it ultimately comes down to the inevitable comparison between iOS, Android and Windows Phone. As soon as BB 10 is announced or launched in physical form, there will be comparisons made, opinions given, which could prove to be vital for RIM. It seems to me that RIM has waited too long to launch this OS. Perhaps, 2012 holiday season would have been the perfect time to lure in potential customers. But RIM thought it would be better to launch it in early 2013 instead. The delay has raised some concern with the shareholders as well, which isn’t surprising. So let’s see how RIM plans to get out of this slump. It’s certainly not going to be easy. The BlackBerry L Series will make way to the market first, followed by the N Series which packs a QWERTY keyboard.

Source: Bloomberg
Via: Phone Arena

Image Courtesy: Pocket-Lint

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Verizon App Store begins closure in January 2013, pulled from all compatible devices by the end of March

The Verizon App Store will begin the process of shutting down for good starting in January 2013, US cellular carrier Verizon Wireless says, with plans to be fully off “all compatible Android and Research in Motion devices” by March 27, 2013. No specific reason is given for the closure, but Verizon does detail, “a whole new tech landscape” shaping its decision, and that the company is “evolving” strategy in accordance with said “new tech landscape.” No doubt that the new landscape Verizon speaks of involves the dominance of Google’s own Play store for Android, as well as RiM’s BlackBerry App World.

If you’re a developer worried about what’s gonna happen to your app, the company says you’ll retain all your app metrics, reporting, and payments throughout the closure. We’re also reassured that the developer community’s support won’t be going away in the future, post-closure, with Verizon’s David Sandberg telling Engadget, “The developer community — that website and the folks who work with developers — they’ll still be there. We’ll still be providing them with support.” The closure also won’t affect any employee positions, Sandberg says.

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Verizon App Store begins closure in January 2013, pulled from all compatible devices by the end of March originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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RIM updating BlackBerry 10 icons

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian company which manufacturers BlackBerry, is working really hard on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system for sure. How can I say this? Well, the new design guidelines for BlackBerry 10 apps indirectly says so. If you observe the two images given above, both of which have been taken from the Urban Glow Cam thread from CrackBerry forums, indicate the older design of the BlackBerry 10 icons, and a mock up of the new design according to the updated guidelines. The image on the right is the actual screen shot of an early release of the BlackBerry 10. The image on the left is the new mock up.

A lot of designers had complained to the Canadian company that the icons on the operating system do not look good. They do not indeed look good, with all the rectangular icons and another rectangle for the name of the app. And it looks like the Canadian company has been listening to the courts.

RIM had started with a 150 x 150 pixel image for the icons of the apps on BlackBerry 10. But now, the company has reduced this is to 114 x 114 pixels and has made the background a transparent background from a square background. If you are a developer and want to more about the design guidelines, you can have a look at them here. Below is an excerpt from the same.

Application icons

Designing an icon for your BlackBerry smartphone application gives you the opportunity to showcase your application to BlackBerry users. In the BlackBerry World storefront, an icon is the first introduction that users have to your application. The icon also appears on the home screen as the way for users to open your application.

Your icon is placed on a transparent tile automatically with the application name label underneath the icon.

Best practices

The following best practices help your icon fit in with the application icons on the home screen.

  • Create an icon that is a 114 x 114 pixel square. This approach is the best (and easiest) way for your icon to fit in with other BlackBerry application icons. Larger icons will be scaled down to 114 x 114 pixels.
  • Focus on a single iconic metaphor that clearly represents the application. Think of your icon as a road sign that people understand quickly.
  • Base your icon on a square, circle, or rectangle shape.
  • Use a silhouette to differentiate your icon from other icons.
  • Try to maintain consistency with other BlackBerry application icons in scale, volume, and perspective.

Perspective and lighting

  • Apply lighting that is top-down at a 90 degree angle.
  • Create a focal point in the center of the icon.
  • Keep the icon flat and avoid excessive depth.
  • Apply the following properties for drop shadows: distance: 2 pixels, size: 2 pixels, and angle: 90 degrees.

Boundaries

  • Create an icon that is 106 x 106 pixels if you want to allow room for a drop shadow or outer glow.
  • If you use a symbol in your icon, try to make it the same size as the symbols in otherBlackBerry application icons.

Color palette

  • Use a five pixel stroke where appropriate. This is especially important so that icons with a dark background are always visible on the home screen.
  • Limit the number of colors that you use in your icon.

Materials

Limit the number of materials that you use. BlackBerry application icons draw from the following materials: soft plastic, paper, metal, and gloss.

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Pentagon Drops Exclusive Contract With Blackberry Maker RIM

Research in Motion, the manufacturer of Blackberry, suffered another major loss in its business after Pentagon announced that it has already ended its exclusive contract with the company.

Pentagon stated that it’s now encouraging other software companies such Apple, Microsoft, and Google to apply for a government contract and provide them with software developed to supervise and manage U.S military security requirements.

In an interview with Reuters, the Pentagon spokesperson asserted they will continue to use a large number of blackberry smartphones but broadening its reach with other smartphone makers becomes as a priority in an attempt to increase the use of new and innovative applications in the military.

“DISA is managing an enterprise e-mail capability that continues to support large numbers of RIM devices while moving forward with the department’s planned mobile management capability that will support a variety of mobility devices,” the spokesperson told Reuters, according to CNET.com

The spokesperson insisted that Pentagon isn’t completely ending their contract with Research In Motion, However, the development came as another bad beak for the company after the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced last week that it’s dropping contract with RIM for the supply of all of its BlackBerry devices.

Apple’s iPhone replaced Blackberry smartphones as the office asserted that RIM’s smartphone RIM’s smartphone could not cope up with their present needs.

“We are confident that BlackBerry is, and will continue to be, the best solution for government agencies. BlackBerry brings unparalleled real-time mobile access to police forces and the military to ensure public safety. It has proven time again to be the most available and reliable communications channel during natural disasters and for first-responders. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on BlackBerry security for secure, mobile transmission of confidential information,” said RIM vice president for government solutions Paul Lucie.

Via: Cnet.com

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Research In Motion starts carrier testing BlackBerry 10 for Q1 2013 launch

BlackBerry 10 is set to launch in the first quarter of 2013 and it is believed to be the company’s last chance to gain momentum in the market where it has once dominated. Recent reports suggest Canadian smartphone maker, Research In Motion (RIM), is now in the process of testing the operating system for carrier compatibility following a year-long development, a pushed back release due to unfortunate sales earnings, executive exits and loss of business clients.

An official statement from RIM chief executive, Thorsten Heins, suggests that BB10 is now being tested by, at least, 50 carriers all over the world. This process may take months to complete simply because there could be many modifications needed in the core of the system to match with the infrastructure of the carriers hoping to add BlackBerry 10-powered devices to their line-ups. To give you an overview what carrier testing means, here are two of the things any carrier may do to BlackBerry 10:

Check for network compatibility – Each carrier will have to make sure there are no significant bugs that would affect the connectivity of any device running BB10 with their network. This is, by far, the most important aspect each carrier has too check with RIM’s new operating system because if this fails, there is no way they could keep the meter running. This process would also give carriers an idea whether to provide updates to some BB devices running a lower OS version.

Add/Update custom functionality – Depending on the carrier, there could be custom functions and features that have to be added to make the offering even more attractive to new and current customers. While RIM revealed the new OS would be targeting a more general pool of users, BlackBerry has always been known to be enterprise-oriented. So, carriers that might have offered specialized plans for corporations with added functionalities also need to update their apps to make them compatible with BB10.

BlackBerry has lost its appeal in the United States and the United Kingdom but it still remains one of the most popular communication media in Asia. Analysts believe RIM has been so complacent it neglected the power of innovation after several years of prosperous business. The lack of innovation has put the company to a much troubled situation and paved a way for iOS and Android to take away its place in the world of mobile devices. But one thing remains, though; BlackBerry still offers the security no other OS has offered before.

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More than 50 carriers now testing BlackBerry 10

When you speak of BlackBerry these days, the talk is either about how the company is losing its business clients, or about the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that the Canadian company has slated for launch in the first quarter of the next year. This is about the second topic. The company is very excited today, as it has passed one of its milestones in the journey to the BlackBerry 10 launch, and the milestone is lab entry to several wireless carriers around the world.

The company has said that more than 50 carriers around the world are now formally testing BlackBerry 10 units, the operating system, and the software on these devices to make them compatible to their networks. This has to be great news for the company, good enough for a celebration call. We can now be somewhat sure that the Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry, will be indeed able to launch the device in the first quarter of 2013. After the break, find the complete statement from the company’s CEO, Thorsten Heins.

Statement from RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins

I’m very pleased to confirm that we have passed a critical milestone in the development of our brand new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10. In the last week, BlackBerry 10 achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 carriers – a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013. We made this commitment during our recent results conference call and we have delivered. This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.

I have spent the last several weeks on the road visiting with carrier partners around the world to show them the BlackBerry 10 platform and to share with them our plans for launch. Their response has been tremendous. They are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets. Our respective teams are now engaged on the technical and commercial preparation of the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the lab entry is an important milestone in that context.

The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch. Our developer teams are continuing to generate momentum to bring a wealth of applications to BlackBerry 10, our enterprise teams have started to present BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and our engineers are fully mobilized to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Engadget

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Pentagon looks forward to using Apple, Android phones other than RIM BlackBerrys

For a struggling BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd, the announcement of the Pentagon last Wednesday to continue support “large numbers” of BlackBerry phones is good news. The Pentagon has recently allowed plans to let military personnel use Apple’s iPhones and other devices over BlackBerrys.

Last week, the United States Defense Department invited companies to submit bids to create software that meet its security specifications that would work on devices made by Google Inc and Apple. The department plans to award the contract to a winner by April 2013.

DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency)  discreetly posted some requests for proposals through a federal website about a week ago to coincided with the announcement of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency that it would no longer be using BlackBerrys to give way to Apple’s iPhones.

RIM, once the immensely favorite smartphone company by corporations and institutions, is gradually losing its market share in the smartphone market as it faces the onslaught of Samsung and Apple devices. Losing a contract with the Pentagon would be another big blow for the company.

The Pentagon had been using BlackBerry phones for several years as RIM continually met the strict security requirements. However, other companies are keen to enhance the security features of their phones, while at the same time providing bigger touch screens and improved browsers, which are some of the demands of many military commanders.

A spokesman from the Pentagon revealed that it is working on allowing other vendors as suppliers of smartphones without compromising security requirements.

The spokesman also said the Defense Department wants to use commercial mobile technologies as it enhanced its call for “new and innovative applications” to meet the evolving military requirements.

At the same time, the Pentagon announced that it is not completely leaving RIM’s BlackBerry phones.

The spokesman said: “DISA is managing an enterprise email capability that continues to support large numbers of RIM devices while moving forward with the department’s planned mobile management capability that will support a variety of mobility devices.”

DISA’s request for proposal stated that the needed software should be able to manage a minimum of 162,000 devices initially, although the number is expected to grow to 262,500 towards the end of the contract.

A maximum of about 8 million devices are targeted to be most number of devices that the software should be able to support ultimately.

Paul Lucier, RIM spokesman, said that his company’s BlackBerry Mobile Fusion could be used to manage both Apple and Android devices. He added that RIM was excited for the opportunity to include BlackBerry Mobile Fusion in the DOD’s portfolio.”

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, according to Lucier, should allow the Pentagon to “support a growing number of mobile devices across multiple platforms.”

Canada-based firm Waterloo is also planning to make new smartphones that will use BlackBerry 10 operating system, featuring smoother and faster user interface as well as a good alternative platform for a variety of smartphone apps.

source: reuters

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Samsung dominates world smartphone market, sets record in third quarter for units shipped

As financial results continue to be released for mobile phone companies and manufacturers, we are beginning to get a better picture of what the condition of the global smartphone market is like. With Samsung’s release this morning of their third quarter results, combined with other reported results, we see the market is extremely healthy and that Samsung is sitting on top.

Samsung reported profits of $6 billion, up a whopping 91% compared to the same quarter last year. The positive financial growth for Samsung was helped immensely by sending more than 56 million units out the door just during the third quarter. In reaching that number, Samsung set a record for the number of smartphones shipped by a single vendor in a single quarter. The number of units shipped by Samsung was more than double the volume of main rival and next closest competitor, Apple. Samsung’s share of the market increased from 22.7% last year to 31.3% this year.

In the broader market, smartphone vendors shipped almost 180 million units during the third quarter versus 124 million for the same quarter in 2011. This accounts for 40% of the worldwide mobile phone market. Research firm IDC notes that Nokia fell off the list of top 5 smartphone manufacturers, replaced by Research In Motion. Chinese firm ZTE continues to maintain a spot on the top 5, as does HTC.

“At the heart of mobility is communication,” noted Ramon Llamas, a research manager with IDC, “mobile phones and smartphones play a critical role in keeping people connected, regardless of location. In addition, their utility beyond communication – productivity, entertainment, and multimedia – continues to add to their value.”

source: IDC


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U.S. agency stops using BlackBerrys and switches to iPhones

Last week, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced that its 17,600 employees would be getting new iPhones instead of the traditional BlackBerrys.  The agency’s announcement is yet another significant blow to the struggling Research in Motion Ltd as it tries to survive the onslaught of Apple Inc’s dominance in the mobile market.

In a solicitation document, the U.S. Immigration and Customs said that it is planning to spend around $2.1 million for the new phones.

The agency has relied on RIM’s services for the past eight years but the switch to Apple is needed as the company “can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency.”

The Android platform was also considered as one of the choices by the agency but it decided to opt for Apple’s device for the near term as the Cupertino-based company offers the more secure alternative. The conclusion is based on the assumption that Apple has tight control over its hardware platform and operating system.

The agency said that Apple’s iPhone will be issued to government personnel including, but not limited to, Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.

“The iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform in furtherance of the agency’s mission,” the agency report said.

Consultancy firm Booz  Allen Hamilton  also announced last week that it was severing its ties with Research In Motion by switching to Android and iOS smartphones for its 25,000 strong staff.

Observers said that other companies and agencies are more likely to follow suit as demand for other smartphones other than BlackBerry keeps on rising.

Charter Equity analysts Ed Snyder said: “You’re going to see this happen more and more. They still have excellent security … but if your handsets are a brick that no one wants to use it’s going to drag down your business.”

RIM is expecting to release its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone early next year. The new phone is expected to compete with Android phones and Apple’s iPhones.

RIM vice president of government solutions Paul Lucier said: “Of course, we are disappointed by this decision. We are working hard to make our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers.”

At this time, RIM still maintains a solid customer base of one million BlackBerry users in North America alone.

BlackBerrys had previously been the favorite choice for industry use because of its past superior security and device management features.  BlackBerry phones had been the top option for many corporate IT managers and were crucial tools for military and police use.

The greatly improved smartphones today however, had greatly diminished the edge RIM had been enjoying for years, as Android and iPHones are offering more or less the same level security, if not better, to their customers.

“Apple is really addressing security,” said Shaw Wu, a Sterne Agee analyst. He added that the company greatly improved its security requirements by acquiring AuthenTec as well as tapping Cisco’s VPN support.

Wu also said that RIM’s app ecosystem is significantly weak amidst the growing thirst of users to go beyond data and voice.

source: reuters

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MPs to get a sneak peek at the new BlackBerry 10 OS

BlackBerry, which was once the leader of the corporate smart phone and email devices, has now dropped into a state of closing down the company. Very tough competitors such as Apple and various Android smart phone manufacturers have taken away the market share from BlackBerry. Even though the Canadian smart phone company did not entirely depend on individual customers for the profits it made, it depended on the many enterprise level corporations which used BlackBerry servers and devices for their business emails. But that is also going down now with iPhones and Android smart phones replacing BlackBerry.

But Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry, is confident that it will take its market share back with the release of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The operating system is expected to be very refined and good on features. But how will the public take it? That is to be seen. But if you are an MP or a government official at a good post, you are going to be among the first very few people who are going to get a chance to test out the new devices with the new operating system.

This is because the Canadian smart phone manufacturer has sent out invites to MPs in the country for an invite only presentation where is going to walk through the new features in the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

“Get a sneak peek of BlackBerry 10, the next generation mobile platform that will change everything,” the invitation reads.

“You’re invited to join BlackBerry Government Forum 2012 for an exclusive invite-only presentation.” Mac Leans writes:

Government workers have been heavy BlackBerry users since the early days of RIM, particularly because the devices are known for their encryption system, which adds another layer of protection to confidential information.

Despite the onslaught of competitors in the North American consumer market, including Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S3, the BlackBerry remains the dominant phone on Parliament Hill.

Each Member of Parliament is issued a BlackBerry smartphone when they take the job, and the BlackBerry Messenger service has become the substitute for a quick email.

Source: Mac Leans

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Spigen Banner Design Contest Winners!

Banner Design Contest Winners

First off I want to thank everyone who submitted a design. Everyone did such a great job at making there banners and they tied in almost all of the elements that I asked for which made it super hard for me to choose, but I had to and here they are!

 

1st Place goes to: LADYxMADonna who will be receiving a GS3 Spigen Neo Hybrid Case

I absolutely loved the Hello kitty with her Andy costume on!

 

2nd Place goes to: gtpdjw who will be receiving a GS3 Spigen Modello Case

Purple is my favorite color and the motion blur from Andy being in the twister is awesome. Great Job!

 

I will be using both of these designs throughout the site and on my Social Networking pages.

 

Runners up were: thenewbattousai94 &  jodmwol2ks  which had some awesome designs as well!

 

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

 

If you were a winner please check your messages on AndroidSPIN.com so I can get your information. 

 

 

 

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Two camera apps that you might find useful in your daily Lives

I was sitting on my porch with an amazing view of the Harvest Moon between two long streaking clouds and the only thing I could think about was how badly I wanted a camera that wouldn’t completely destroy what I saw. I love the night sky and being that we are at the end/beginning of the 26,000 year cycle that marks a galactic year, I have been in heaven! Even though I have captured an eclipse, the transit of Venus, witnessed Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury in one night, along with many other events I won’t live long enough to see again, I have never really been able to get the shot I was looking for. Until now.

The first camera app I tried is simply called Night Camera and is very easy to use. Point and tap your screen. The settings are minimal, easy to use, and have a short to the point description.  The only feature that could improve this app would be the ability to zoom, which is available in the paid version.  Depending on what you set the noise reduction to, it will take either three or eight shots, decode them, and present you with an impressive and detailed picture that has been brightened just enough to include the surrounding areas without using the flash. Making it great for sneaky night shots or for capturing an image of an animal without scaring it off.

  Not a bad little camera app for the night owls out there. You can pick this one up for free from the Play Store courtesy of those handy little QR codes down at the bottom.

I used Motion Camera next and don’t believe it’s actually for nighttime photography. Most people would probably use it at sporting events and similar situations. Again, it a simple interface that allows you to set the amount of blur which I’m going to assume to be shutter speed. I didn’t really have the opportunity to explore that setting further. Unlike Night Camera, Motion Camera packs a zoom feature that made me feel like I could reach out and physically touch the Moon. While it doesn’t brighten up your pictures for you, it still produced great images. As you can see in some of the images that they provide, there are some great end results of motion blur that is on purpose rather than by accident.

 I highly recommend fellow amateur photo enthusiasts find their way to the Play Store and download these cameras. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I have included a picture from Night Camera and one from Motion Camera as previews that I took of the Moon. I realize that the Motion Camera really isn’t for that type of shot, but I did it anyways. I am no professional and I am sure there are other camera apps out there that might even be a lot better. These two are fun to have around though and I think I’ll keep them for a while.

 

Night Camera test shot

 

Motion Camera test shot

As always, you can pick up either or both of these apps u in the Pay Store by clicking or scanning the QR code found below. If any of you have other camera aps that you like, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to take a few others for a spin.

Application: Night Camera
Developer: Almalence
Cost: FREE

Application: Motion Camera
Developer: Fingersoft
Cost: FREE

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