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16 Jun 12 Verizon confirms Android 4.0 for Droid Razr on the way


Razr owners who have been waiting a long time for another helping of an Android dessert will soon be served.

(Credit:
Verizon)

Motorola has promised Razr and Razr Maxx owners that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades will start sometime in the second quarter, and now it looks like Verizon and Moto are scrambling to make that self-imposed deadline.

For the past few months I’ve been reporting internal leaks from sources inside Verizon on the scheduled roll-out date that were repeatedly pushed back. Most recently, the word was updates would begin June 12. When that date came and passed, I checked back with my sources who told me the date on the internal calendar remained June 12 — the hold-up was apparently in another department.

Then today the picture got a little clearer with a text message sent to some Razr users from Verizon:

Free Verizon Message: Your phone will soon be upgraded to
Android 4.0. At that time we will remove your Verizon Wireless Mobile IM app because it is not supported in Android 4.0. Please download a new instant messaging app to use IM on your phone. Thank you for using Mobile IM!

So, so long Verizon Mobile IM — we never got to know each other very well and I’m sure you’re a very nice app, but I’m quite happy to trade you for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Thanks for the tip, Shafer!

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57454056-1/verizon-confirms-android-4.0-for-droid-razr-on-the-way/

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23 Apr 12 Skype For Windows Phone: Hands-On First Look


Skype has become an essential business tool for many, especially those looking to tame travel-related telecom costs. The popular VoIP services work around the globe and support many desktop and mobile platforms with dedicated applications. On April 22, Microsoft made version 1.0 of Skype available to its Windows Phone smartphone platform, following a beta period of about two months.

I downloaded and installed Skype version 1.0.0.0 on my Nokia Lumia 800 and gave it a whirl. Skype for Windows Phone should be one of the crown jewels in Microsoft’s mobile platform (after all, Microsoft owns Skype). Instead, it feels incomplete and lacks polish.

The user interface for Skype borrows heavily from Microsoft’s Metro UI concept, with multiple pages in the app that are accessed by swiping sideways to the left or right. The UI uses Skype’s well-known white-and-blue color scheme, and all the requisite Skype sounds are present.

Once you’ve logged in, the first screen visible is the contact page. Rather than highlight or show you which contacts are online, the app simply shows you the entire contact list that’s stored on the device. I thought perhaps swiping sideways would parse that down to my Skype contacts, but that’s not the case. Instead, that only shows you a list of recent calls. From the main screen, you can also choose to search through your contacts or open the dialpad. For an app that’s supposed to help make phone calls, the button to open the actual phone is a bit too small.

In order to see your Skype contacts, you have to press a ridiculously small button that says “All”. Only then can you choose to see the list of people who are available for free voice calls and IM. Your Skype contacts appear in the Windows Phone app just as they do on a desktop client or the Android/iOS apps.

You know what’s also too small? The button used to access and manage your profile. It’s a teeny little thing tucked into the top-left corner of the app. The settings tools are anemic at best, and only let you toggle on/off automatic sign-in.

Skype for Windows Phone lets you voice/video call and IM other Skype users for free over both 3G and Wi-Fi. In my tests, it worked perfectly over both network types. Call quality was outstanding, I was very impressed. Calls were connected quickly, and I had no trouble reaching other Skype lines and landlines. The same goes for IM. IM conversations were fast and furious. Video calls showed mixed quality, but they were good enough.

The app covers these basics just fine, but falls flat in other ways.

For instance, Google has done some great things with Google Voice–especially for the Android platform. The latest version of Google Voice for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich integrates flawlessly with the native dialer and voicemail system or the operating system, for example, merging the two services into one.

This is what Microsoft needs to do with Skype, but hasn’t. Instead, the app is siloed from the operating system completely, and is a stand-alone application.

Worse, Skype for Windows Phone leaves out one critical feature–it won’t run in the background. This means if you close the app, it not only shuts down, but also signs you out of the service, leaving you unreachable to other Skype users looking to connect. I tried using Windows Phone’s fast-app-switching powers to get around the problem, with no luck. Every time I returned to Skype, I had to sign into the service anew.

Last, Skype won’t run on Windows Phone “Tango” devices. Tango is the low-end version of Windows Phone that functions on half the RAM that other versions of Windows Phone use. Apparently Skype can’t function with such little system memory available. This means those who can only afford low-end smartphones won’t be able to realize the cost savings possible with Skype.

Based on these factors, I’d call this basic Skype application a place-holder at best while Microsoft–hopefully–works on much deeper integration between Skype and Windows Phone.

At this interactive Enterprise Mobility Virtual Event, experts and solution providers will offer detailed insight into how to bring some order to the mobile industry innovation chaos. When you register, you will gain access to live webcast presentations and virtual booths packed with free resources. It happens May 17.

Article source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/productivity_apps/232900759

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20 Jan 12 Chrome browser gets WebRTC baked in for Skype challenge


Google has released a dev-version of Chrome supporting WebRTC, the integrated real-time audio and video communications system that could see VoIP, video conferencing and even streaming gaming baked into the browser. “Instead of relying on custom, OS specific, proprietary plug-ins,” the Chromium blog says of developers, ”they can now easily build and maintain their apps using a few simple JavaScript APIs and have the browser do the heavy lifting.”

Plans to integrate WebRTC into Chrome were revealed last summer, with the tech being an open-source way to call upon standardized voice/video communication without stepping outside of the browser. Eventually, it could mean apps like Google Talk – which is being migrated over to use WebRTC – could challenge rivals like Skype from any standards-compliant browser, rather than demanding a separate app be installed.

That would have a significant impact on mobile devices and web-appliances like Chromebooks, which could get onboard with audio and video communication without waiting on developers releasing native apps. As we suggested last year, a Google-led iMessage rival could end up blowing Apple out of the water in IM and comms.

Meanwhile, WebRTC also has potential for cloud-based streaming services such as OnLive gaming, another element tipped for inclusion in a future Chrome build. What remains to be seen is when WebRTC support gets baked into Gmail and Google+, which each have A/V services that could make significant use of it.

Article source: http://www.slashgear.com/chrome-browser-gets-webrtc-baked-in-for-skype-challenge-19209870/

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19 Jan 12 Chrome browser gets WebRTC baked in for Skype challenge


Google has released a dev-version of Chrome supporting WebRTC, the integrated real-time audio and video communications system that could see VoIP, video conferencing and even streaming gaming baked into the browser. “Instead of relying on custom, OS specific, proprietary plug-ins,” the Chromium blog says of developers, ”they can now easily build and maintain their apps using a few simple JavaScript APIs and have the browser do the heavy lifting.”

Plans to integrate WebRTC into Chrome were revealed last summer, with the tech being an open-source way to call upon standardized voice/video communication without stepping outside of the browser. Eventually, it could mean apps like Google Talk – which is being migrated over to use WebRTC – could challenge rivals like Skype from any standards-compliant browser, rather than demanding a separate app be installed.

That would have a significant impact on mobile devices and web-appliances like Chromebooks, which could get onboard with audio and video communication without waiting on developers releasing native apps. As we suggested last year, a Google-led iMessage rival could end up blowing Apple out of the water in IM and comms.

Meanwhile, WebRTC also has potential for cloud-based streaming services such as OnLive gaming, another element tipped for inclusion in a future Chrome build. What remains to be seen is when WebRTC support gets baked into Gmail and Google+, which each have A/V services that could make significant use of it.

Article source: http://www.slashgear.com/chrome-browser-gets-webrtc-baked-in-for-skype-challenge-19209870/

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15 Dec 11 The Google Chrome Experiments


The Google Chrome Experiments

Google Chrome Technology shows singles as blue dots—couples as beams of light.

Even data can be beautiful.

With the right tools even a company’s most mundane data can be made to literally shine across the planet. The Google Chrome Experiment provides open-source code to anyone who knows what to do with it—well, actually anyone.

Simply download the code, plug in the data, and turn it loose. The result is a graph unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Yesterday, social dating site, AreYouInterested.com released this version of the globe.

Every blue dot is a single actively using the instant messaging technology.The moving lines indicate when two users begin having a conversation via IM—in other words, when one single sends a message to another single a beam of light shoots from each member of the potential couple’s location.

When viewing the data directly, instead of at Portfolio.com, the beams of light occur in real time.


Get more business intelligence from Portfolio.com:

  • The Backscatter Backstory: Good news for those who worry about those “backscatter” scanners: The TSA is shifting to a new variety that’s not supposed to emit as much radiation. But here’s the bad news: Some form of “nude-o-scope” scanner is coming to an airport near you.
  • VC-Backed Firms Get Shot at Federal RD: Lawmakers reach a deal that opens Small Business Innovation Research grants to companies backed by venture capital firms.
  • Holiday Shoppers: Are They Spent Already?: It was a Black Friday to remember for retailers, but November sales hardly dazzled, rising just 0.2 percent versus the 0.6 percent analysts expected. Meanwhile, another study suggests that this year’s early-bird shoppers are done shelling out.

Michael del Castillo is a freelance reporter for Portfolio.com.

Article source: http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/video/2011/12/14/code-provided-by-google-chrome-lets-anyone-make-data-look-beautiful?ana=from_rss

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