Apple set the bar with the first usable application store on the iPhone and then BlackBerry followed with BlackBerry App World. Nokia now joins the party with the official announcement that the Ovi Store is open. It started rolling out this weekend in Asia and has now spread across the world. As I detailed in my Nokia Experts post the Ovi Store is available and accessible for US Nokia owners right now on at least the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic device. Applications are available for free and priced starting at 99 cents. The most expensive one I have found so far is $19.99, but there is much more investigation to take place now that the Ovi Store is available.
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.
Kevin Michaluk is always the first to post hands-on reviews of the latest and greatest RIM BlackBerry devices and continues that trend with his review of the BlackBerry Onyx. The Onyx is a non-touch screen device, but as Kevin mentions every other one of these has had one area of compromise and this one packs it all in with 3G, WiFi, GPS, and a 3.2 megapixel camera in a compact form factor.
Usually holiday weekends are slow times for news, but Engadget Mobile was sent some AT&T slides that show just about every smartphone coming to the carrier for the rest of the year. These include devices running the Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, and Android operating systems. I didn't see any BlackBerry, S60 or iPhone products, but still this information is quite valuable in helping you plan out possible future purchases.
The Palm Pre release date was announced this past week and if you listen to MobileTechRoundup show #172 you will find out that 2 out of 3 of us will be trying to buy the device at or soon after launch. Kevin was also curious about the Nokia N97 and whether or not it could compete with all of these other devices being launched in the US. I think it may do well, just not here. The new HTC Touch Diamond2 was also mentioned on the show. James loves Pandora and talked about the new Pandora One annual service that is available.
AT&T announced that they would be adding the BlackBerry Curve 8900 to their lineup in the early Summer time frame. It looks like Summer comes early for AT&T users as the Curve 8900 now appears to be available in their online store for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract.
The HTC Touch Diamond2 was included in my Clash of the Touch Titans articles and in my summary article I selected the Diamond2 as MY personal favorite due to the "virtually limitless functionality". What I meant by these words was that there is really nothing limiting the Touch Diamond2 from performing any function possible on a mobile phone. It supports MMS, video capture, a multitude of Bluetooth profiles, GPS voice navigation, touch and stylus input, and much more. HTC has taken a solid and sleek Diamond device and improved it in just about every respect. I spent some time at various times with the device and have now had the chance to play with it for a solid day and offer you these first impressions. Check out my image gallery for a few product photos and screenshots from the device. I also included a video of the Touch Diamond2 and the Diamond.
As we approach the June WWDC event and the expectation that Apple will roll out iPhone OS 3.0 along with some possible new hardware, the rumors of what else may be in the OS update heat up. The latest speculation is that Apple will allow one or two 3rd party apps to run in the background. Currently, Apple lets you run the iPod music functions in the background, but no 3rd party apps have this capability. The servers side notification support coming in iPhone 3.0 may address the needs for some apps, such as IM apps, but there are still some others that would benefit from running in the background on the iPhone.
James kicked off MobileTechRoundup show #171 by talking about an accessory that is hot news this week and that is the Verizon Wireless MiFi EVDO router that makes it quick and easy to get up to 5 devices connected to Verizon's high speed data network. I then talked about the Sidekick LX 2009 and Nokia E71x when Kevin chimed in about SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone. Cupcake is rolling out to Android owners. All three of us closed the show by throwing out our thoughts on the Amazon Kindle DX.
The Samsung BlackJack II is a fantastic Windows Mobile smartphone and has regularly ranked right up there as one of the best smartphones available. Today Samsung announced the successor, the Samsung Jack i637 that will be coming to AT&T next Tuesday, 19 May for a reportedly low $99.99 (after rebate and a contract). I just picked up a Nokia E71x and am now seriously considering a return to pick up the Jack instead. The Jack runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, but Samsung stated it will be upgradeable to WM 6.5 this Fall too.
One of the most popular types of applications on the iPhone is the streaming audio player. Pandora has been at the top of the App Store before and looks to be the one to beat. The service I use and enjoy on my T-Mobile G1 is imeem Mobile and I was pleased to see it released for the iPhone. imeem Mobile for the iPhone is available now on iTunes (iTunes link) for free.