As I have mentioned in the past I have a rather small personal music collection so I enjoy streaming music and subscription services that let me listen to a ton of music from several genres. I have been a subscriber to the Zune Marketplace (check out my thoughts on the service) since they started giving you 10 free songs a month, but do have some issues with the service since it is still not easy to find MP3 only files and if you forget to download the 10 free songs you lose them. Today Napster launched their new mobile site, m.napster.com, that gives you the ability to discover and download your music over the air.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I don't think it has ever been officially stated, but rumors have shown that we can expect the excellent HTC Touch Pro2 (see my initial impressions) to come to at least the four major US wireless carriers. T-Mobile was the first a few weeks ago and today Sprint announced the Touch Pro2 will be available starting 8 September for the same $349.99 price that T-Mobile sells the device for. Unfortunately, you will have to pay $100 more on Sprint and wait for a mail-in rebate while T-Mobile has no mail-in rebate. There are a couple of hardware and software bonuses with the Sprint model compared to the T-Mobile model though.
It's that time of year when kids go back to school and people start to think of ways to stay connected and in touch. If your kids are like mine, text messaging is used 90% of the time compared to voice calls on mobile phones and they are all about the QWERTY keyboard for easier, faster texting than a phone keypad. Every carrier realizes this too and has a lineup of QWERTY phones to meet these texting needs. Let's take a look at two of the best QWERTY phones available from each of the four major wireless carriers.
James, Kevin, and I record the show on Macs and both of them were tracking their Snow Leopard package using the Palm Pre as we started MobileTechRoundup show #181. James then asked about apps driving people to buy certain phones and we chimed in with our thoughts. Sony announced a new Reader device and one is on the way to my house. The Nokia N900 was a big news item of the week, along with the Booklet 3G. There are Motorola Android handsets being announced soon and Kevin and James will be there in person to hear the news and hopefully get some hands-on time.
I have the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and while they can be fun to use from time to time, but their performance and speed holds them back. Today Nokia announced the rumored N900 running Maemo 5 and with T-Mobile USA 3G support I am putting my Nokia N97 for sale. The N900 is the latest Linux-powered Internet Tablet with GSM/HSDPA and just about every other wireless technology you could want.
Nokia posted a press release this morning for an upcoming mobile service that I think could have a significant impact on the world. Nokia Money is a new financial service that will allow the millions of people who have a Nokia device and no bank to conduct basic financial transactions. It may not have much of an impact in the US or other developed countries, but in areas where banking is not as vital it could be huge. According to Nokia's press release there are more than 4 billion mobile phone users and only 1.6 billion bank account around the world today.
I received an email yesterday from a Microsoft representative regarding their Unlimited Potential Group's announcement for a new mobile software application. The funny thing about the email was that it stated the OneApp application was designed for feature phones to access mobile apps like Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and more around the world (and especially in emerging markets). Looking at the list of compatible devices we see a lineup of some of Nokia's finest S60 smartphones, including the E71, N95, N85, and N96. I think someone may want to educate Microsoft on their competitors since these devices are much more than just feature phones and are high end Nseries and Eseries devices.
One of the primary functions I perform on my smartphones is listening to podcasts, which I actually listen to much more than music. Nokia has an excellent Nokia Podcasting application that lets you subscribe and download podcasts with and the iPhone has iTunes integration so syncing podcasts over is fairly simple. There are a couple of 3rd party apps for Android, but I was very pleased to see Google launch their own podcatcher called Listen. Listen lets you search, subscribe, download, and stream podcasts to your Android-based device.
I am not the only Windows Mobile fanboy talking about the platform and defending its honor. Check out the excellent post that Michael Gartenberg made about this leading mobile operating system.
I wrote about the BlackBerry App World minimum pricing plan back in March as RIM stated the minimum cost for a priced, not free, application would be $2.99. As I said then and still say today, 99 cent apps don't give most developers what they deserve for creating the application and is a bit ridiculous for consumers to use as a standard for mobile application pricing. Microsoft is holding some developer events this week in Redmond and has encourage developers to follow a strategy similar to RIM where apps are priced more reasonably in line with what is fair to both the developer and the consumer. It doesn't look like Microsoft will dictate this minimum price level and will let the market decide, but I sure hope we don't end up with thousands of 99 cent apps.