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.
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.
There has been a lot of talk today on the Internet about the possibility that Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Mobile 7 will co-exist in 2010. I have to say I really don't understand why people seem to think this is a big deal. We currently have different flavors of Windows Mobile available right now (5, 6.0, 6.1, Professional, Standard) so it seems to me that nothing is changing in 2010. Windows Mobile 7 has not been officially announced by Microsoft, but there is a ton of information out there in the public that shows it is coming in the future. Mary-Jo seems to have the inside scoop on Windows Mobile releases and even talks about some kind of chassis lineup. There are different version of mobile operating systems running Symbian, BlackBerry, and even iPhone co-existing today so this seems to me like a way to try to slam Microsoft and Windows Mobile rather than reporting on anything that is unusual.
As a daily train commuter and a person who travels on airplanes about once a month I do enjoy occasionally watching movies on my mobile phones. The iPhone is great for iTunes rental or purchases, while the Nokia N97 and Nokia 5800 are excellent Amazon Video On Demand devices. According to the Chicago Tribune Blockbuster made a deal with Motorola to bring an OnDemand movie application and service to future Motorola handsets. There are no details yet on when the service will launch or on what phones, but we do know that Motorola plans to release Google Android devices later this year or in early 2010 so the service may launch at that time.
The Gartner Q2 2009 data was posted last week and now we have the Canalys data to compare and confirm that everything reported last week is pretty consistent between the two. The North American data shows that Apple made significant increases, 365%, over the 2nd quarter of 2008 and continues to rise. RIM leads in North America with 52% of the market share, followed by Apple now at 23.3%, HTC at 4.6% (I believe this only counts HTC branded devices), and Others at 19.2%.
As you know I now own a T-Mobile Touch Pro2 and am working on setting it all up and customizing it to my preferences. I already have over 25 3rd party applications loaded up and am getting everything just right. There are a few things I could not figure out myself and discovered there is a great FAQ section on the HTC Touch Pro2 over at the HTC site. I copied a few of these tips I found particularly helpful below, including fixing the weather on your calendar, switching apps without a directional pad or lots of customizable hardware buttons, and customizing the TF3D weather widget.
Diving a bit deeper into the Opera Mobile installation on my new T-Mobile Touch Pro2 revealed that this is version 9.5 (build 16643). Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is the version I tested out and showed how it smoked even the iPhone 3GS browser due to the Turbo mode where it uses the Opera servers to speed things up. While digging through the configuration settings of Opera Mobile 9.5 I found out that you can enable a Turbo mode on your T-Mobile Touch Pro2. (UPDATE: This is NOT the Turbo mode found in Opera Mobile 9.7, but another setting as explained below.) You need to go into a special area where you must use a bit of caution, but Turbo mode is clearly there. I did not know there was Turbo support in 9.5 and thought it was only in version 9.7, but maybe it is in the 9.5 version that ships from OEMs since I have yet to see a standalone download for version 9.5.
Last week when I posted my first impressions of the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 I stated that I ended up buying the myTouch 3G when I went to visit the T-Mobile store instead of picking up the TP2 as I intended. Yesterday was my ninth day of owning the myTouch 3G, but I made the decision to visit T-Mobile and trade it back in for the Touch Pro2 for a couple of reasons. I actually called six stores throughout the Seattle/Tacoma area and only one had a single Touch Pro2 in stock as all the other stores were sold out. I am not sure how many were in each store, but even with the $350 price they seem to be selling well.
AT&T Navigator's subscription based GPS navigation solution (see our review) was the first full GPS voice navigation system for the Apple iPhone, but there is now some serious competition in the GPS navigation space that may even start knocking out dedicated PND. The biggest news today is that TomTom for the iPhone was released in the US. TomTom (iTunes link) is a well known name in PNDs and their iPhone solution is one of the most costly at $99. Other recent stand-alone (no subscription required) GPS navigation solutions for the iPhone include Navigon at a special $69.99 launch price and CoPilot Live for $34.99. There is quite a price range across these navigation solutions and we'll have to see if the high cost of TomTom is worth the premium over CoPilot Live 8.
Google is pretty well integrated into the iPhone, but one area where the Android OS has stood above this integration is with push Gmail. That has changed today with the launch of GPush (iTunes link), a Gmail push application for the iPhone available now for 99 cents. You can setup how you wish to be notified of your incoming Gmail, including through vibration, ringing or GPush icon display of unread messages. You will also receive a preview of incoming email with the sender's name and subject heading.
Official app releases are few and far between for the Palm Pre, but according to the Palm webOS Blog three new ones just appeared tonight. Two are games, Blackout and Spades, while the third is a desktop syncing client from the folks at Chapura. The developer of Spades has a couple of other Palm Pre apps coming soon to the App Catalog and also created a couple of Google Android games.