Sling Media showed off a version of SlingPlayer running on an iPhone just about a year ago and we still do not have a SlingPlayer Mobile client available to install. At first The Boy Genius Report stated that AT&T may have asked Apple to reject the application, but their sources then stated that Sling has not yet heard anything from Apple. So at this time, there still may be a SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone application coming down the pike. There has also been a bit of controversy surrounding the news that SlingPlayer on the iPhone will only work with the latest and greatest Slingbox products so many people will have to upgrade their Slingbox just to use the mobile application.
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.
Laptop Magazine had a chance to sit down with RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and posted this wrap-up of the interview the includes some vague discussion of future plans, thoughts on the iPhone, and feedback on BlackBerry App World. I recommend you check it out to read what the head of RIM is thinking about at this exciting time in the mobile space.
Just about every mobile phone I have used has a moisture indicator somewhere in the battery compartment so a rain drop here and there is not going to void your warranty. I have never dropped a device in water and have never seen this indicator activated on a device before. If you have an iPhone though, you better take extra care to keep any water or moisture from getting into the headphone jack opening where the indicator is located. Since the iPhone has no removable battery or battery compartment Apple decided to place the indicator in a poor location that is actually quite easy to get moisture into. If you use your iPhone to work out you could easily have sweat drip into the opening or if you walk in the rain a drop could easily slide down your headphone cable and into the opening. CNN reported that people are now discovering how sensitive the iPhone can be to moisture.
There are rumors of a new iPhone(s) coming in June around the time of the Apple WWDC and this seems to jive with the fact that you can now pick up a SIM-unlocked 16GB iPhone 3G for a low $799.99 from Buy.com. The iPhone is capable of software updates and will allow you to use it with AT&T or T-Mobile without any contract or rebate forms. I buy lots of phones from Buy.com, but $800 for an iPhone 3G is a bit out of my price range and really have to wonder how desparate Apple is to get rid of existing stock. If they were trying to dump stock I would think you could pick up an unlocked model for $600 or so with the AT&T subsidized ones running $200 and $300. This price seems a bit ridiculous to me, especially after I just recently found one on Howard Forums for $400. You can get them on ebay too for something like $500.
We have now taken a look at the iPhone 3G 3.0 and the Palm Pre, HTC Magic, and BlackBerry Storm. The iPhone, Pre, Magic, and Storm all have capacitive touch screens and the last one in my series with such a display is the Samsung OmniaHD. The Samsung OmniaHD (aka i8910) is the first S60-powered capacitive touch screen device following the Nokia 5800 and N97 resistive touch screen S60 devices. The use of capacitive displays generally makes for a better user experience, except when looking to use handwriting recognition or small stylus-optimized keyboards. The OmniaHD is also one of only a few S60 devices made by Samsung. Let's take a look at how the Samsung OmniaHD stacks up to the iPhone 3G running the 3.0 OS.
The Nokia E71, see my review, is one of the best QWERTY smartphones on the market and everyone who holds it wants it because it feels so solid and is extremely powerful and functional. I think the E71x should be a popular handset with AT&T when it launches this month for only $100. Two Nokia Eseries devices, the E75 and E55, were announced in February at Mobile World Congress so my goal at CTIA last week was to hunt these two down and get some hands-on time. I found the Nokia E75 in black and red, but the E55 was nowhere to be found and one person at the Nokia booth told me this device was cancelled so I am still trying to find out what the status is regarding its existence. I was able to secure an E75 to evaluate and have been using it exclusively since last Thursday. Check out my image gallery for photos of the hardware and some software as well as my YouTube video below of the device in action.
I have now written up my thoughts on the iPhone 3G vs. Palm Pre and iPhone 3G vs. HTC Magic so now it is time to move on to the RIM BlackBerry flagship product, the Storm. The BlackBerry Storm is currently the only RIM device with a touchscreen and thus fits in perfectly with our look at touchscreen focused devices. It also runs the latest version of the BlackBerry OS, version 4.7. I laid out what we know of the iPhone 3G with 3.0 OS operating system in my first article so I won't repost all of that content here. I will run through each section for the BlackBerry Storm and then offer my personal thoughts on how it compares to the iPhone 3G with 3.0 OS update on the last page of this feature.
Since I didn't have a chance to see the Palm Pre in person and there are no review units out yet, I couldn't really pick a favorite in my first Clash of the Touch Titans article. Last week I was able to see the Pre in person and get my hands on it a bit. I shot a video of the Pre in action showing some 3rd party apps and overall user experience. I will say that the experience and some of the functionality look quite amazing. However, I was able to also get my hands on and enter text using the Pre keyboard and found it to be a major disappointment that may be the Achilles heel of the device. I find the onscreen keyboard on the iPhone to be much better than the Pre keyboard. So far we have only seen keyboard input as being the only way to enter text so you always have to switch to portrait mode to do this and my first impressions were not good. In the photos I saw before I actually touched it I thought it would be more of a Treo 800w or at least Treo Pro keyboard, but it is much more similar to the Palm Centro keyboard with rubber sticky keys/bumps set on a flat panel. The keyboard felt pretty cramped and I am sure I could get used to it over time since I do have magic thumbs, but Palm was always known for excellent Treo keyboards and to not put one of these types on this new flagship product may be an issue for many people.
Are you someone who has a ton of Palm OS apps and do not want to lose them if you upgrade to the Palm Pre? Palm previously said that Palm OS apps would not work on WebOS directly, but did leave it up to 3rd party developers to come up with a solution. As you can see in the video on PreCentral.net you will be good to go with the Palm OS emulator called Classic. Classic PalmOS emulator is from the folks at MotionApps and it actually looks pretty incredible. Applications run fast and may even be faster than what you see on many Palm OS devices today.
I spent some time with the folks at Quickoffice yesterday afternoon and had a chance to see their new Quickoffice for iPhone application in action. It has been submitted to the App Store and should be out next week. I have just three words for you when it appears in the App Store, GO BUY IT. There are some good applications on the iPhone, but I think this may be the best one yet and for someone who wants to actually get some work done it is awesome. It will be priced at $19.99, which is cheap for the product you are getting.