The heated battle between Apple and Adobe Systems over Flash may get a bit more interesting, as reports of a Flash alternative being developed by Apple begin to surface.
The technology, called Gianduia, was introduced by Apple last summer at its World of WebObjects Developer Conference, according to an AppleInsider report. Gianduia is described as being “a client-side, standards-based framework for rich Internet apps.”
Apple has apparently been using Gianduia in several of its retail support applications, including services such as the One to One program, the iPhone reservation system, and the Concierge program for Genius Bar and Personal Shopping reservations.
“We know from painful experience that letting a third-party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in substandard apps, and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform,” said Jobs in his letter.
Adobe subsequently said it would abandon future development of the technology.
Google employees were given free Nexus One phones at a company party Friday night, and the Internet went into a tizzy. Reports surfaced later in the weekend that this device was the long-awaited Google phone, the company’s answer to Apple’s strategy of controlling the hardware, software, and distribution model with the iPhone, rather than the partner-oriented strategy of developing the guts of the operating system and letting partners each put their own stamp on the finished product.
Just two months ago, Google’s Andy Rubin rolled his eyeswhen asked about an analyst report picked up by TheStreet.com that said Google planned to pursue this exact strategy. He said Google had no plans to make its own hardware–which is one thing since smartphones are almost exclusively manufactured by contractors in China and Taiwan–but he took a further step in spending about 10 minutes arguing why it would be a bad idea for Google to design its own phone and sell it outside of carrier channels.
That line of thinking resonated with many who follow Google and the mobile industry. After all, Google’s stated goal for Android ever since the project was revealed in November 2007 was to create an “ecosystem” of multiple phones that would help improve access to the mobile Internet. And Google seemed to finally reach that goal this year, with over a dozen phones in the wild and more promised from some of the world’s leading phone makers and wireless carriers.
But if the reports are correct, Google is about to make a radical departure from that strategy. And Google’s new course would take it down a path that could sow distrust among the company’s Open Handset Alliance partners, who must now be wondering if they’re about to get into a marketing war with one of the tech industry’s richest companies.
Katie Watson, a Google representative, said on Sunday that the company has confirmed nothing about its plans for the Nexus One, described as a “dogfooding” experiment for internal testing by the company in a blog post Saturday.
In the rush to anoint the Nexus One as the Google Phone, it’s quite possible that the tech industry glossed over the fact that Google already sells Android phones, albeit on a limited basis. For quite some time, registered Android developers have been able to buy completely unlocked versions of the G1 and the T-Mobile MyTouch3G (also known as the Google Ion) for $399.
If Google plans to sell the Nexus One directly to consumers, will it insist upon using its brand as the lead brand, rather than the “With Google” branding found on the back of many Android phones? Will it blast the airwaves during the NFL playoffs in January to trumpet the arrival of the Nexus One, perhaps just in time for the Super Bowl? And how will that affect partners such as Motorola and Verizon that have sunk so much money into promoting the Droid, only to see rumors of a Google Phone leak out at the worst possible time: the height of the holiday shopping season?
It will sell the Google Phone online and unlocked, so you’ll need to buy your cellular service separately. The entire user experience is designed by Google, according to the WSJ. It may resemble the HTC Passion, pictured.
- Hardware: HTC
- Specs (according to Jason Howell): Capactive touch screen, on screen keyboard only, thin, scroll ball, and animated desktop wallpaper
- Launch date: Rumored January 2010
- Tweets describe it as “an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”
- Google designed the entire user experience
- Google will sell the phone online, unlocked
- Google is “dogfooding” the Google Phone and has given it to employees all over the world to test it.
Will you have interest in buying a Nexus One? Let me know in the comments.
After two long years (or more) of fits and starts and more than a little rejection, Dell is finally rolling into the smart phone business, for real this time.
The details are a little thin, but at least we have a picture or two (see right): The Dell Mini 3 will use the Android operating system and clearly features an iPhone-like touchscreen design. The catch: You won’t be able to get one here, at least not at first. The Mini 3 is a device intended exclusively for carriers in China and Brazil at launch.
Dell hasn’t released any detailed specs on the phone, although rumors based on leaked prototypes of the device claim that it’s largely in line with other iPhone competitors on the market. An early version of the Mini 3 was even said not to include 3G connectivity at all, but Dell has confirmed that that spec has been upgraded, at least in Brazil. It would have to be in order for the phone to be made palatable in the large markets where Dell is entering.
In lieu of knowing much else about it, I have to say the pictures of the phone actually look pretty sexy. (I’m deeply curious about how much it weighs, however.) I’d love to try one out, and there’s really no reason the handset shouldn’t be made available in the U.S. at some point down the road. One rumor even says AT&T will get the phone — or one like it — in 2010. If not, expect gray market importers who specialize in overseas electronics to bring a Mini or two into the country at some point… though probably at a hefty price.
Ever wondered what some of the graphical differences are in games that make use of the newer hardware in the latest versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch? So were we. That’s why we put together a screenshot comparison gallery of 13 games, all of which are either packing extra OpenGL ES 2.0 goodies, or that more complicated graphics modes that run a whole lot better on the beefier hardware spec.
As for our testing, we ran each title on an iPhone 3G and a third-generation iPod Touch, the latter of which packs the faster innards required for some of the advanced OpenGL effects.
To our surprise, there were very few apps on the App Store that made use the new graphical spec, and even fewer that required a standalone version of that application to do so. However, many of the developers we talked with said that they were cooking up new titles that would be pushing these new devices a little further than what they had already created. That’s good news for those with a newer iPhone or iPod Touch, but a definite thorn in the side of those who might not be able to play some of near-future App Store releases on their original iPhone or iPhone 3G.
Click on our slideshow link below to get started. We’ve also included links to each version of each app (in case there are variations), all of which open up in iTunes. Also, in case we missed any, feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll try to add them later.
U.K. wireless carrier Orange just started selling the iPhone, and it is trumpeting first-day sales numbers for the device.
The carrier signed up 30,000 people with a new iPhone contract on Tuesday, its first day selling Apple’s smartphone, according to a post on Twitter from a member of Orange’s marketing department.
While 30,000 isn’t necessarily a lot, compared to the “hundreds of thousands” of iPhones AT&T sold in its first weekend selling the iPhone 3GS in the United States, it’s not bad for being the second carrier in a much smaller country, where the iPhone 3GS has been available for four months.
Until Tuesday, wireless provider O2 was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the United Kingdom. Orange currently has 16 million mobile customers, compared to O2′s 22 million. Incidentally, Orange’s experience as the second carrier of the device in a country would seem to make a decent case for Apple releasing the iPhone to more than one carrier in many other countries, including the United States.
The numbers were far more impressive than the iPhone’s debut on China Unicom’s network last week. China’s first crack at selling the iPhone was by most accounts disappointing, with 5,000 units sold over the first four-day period.
Of course, China Unicom is dealing with factors Orange is not. Besides having to sell the iPhone without Wi-Fi connectivity, China has to contend with something U.K. and U.S. carriers largely do not: a vast market for iPhone knockoffs, or gray-market phones.
If the iPhone didn’t finish off Windows Mobile in the smartphone market, the Motorola Droid may.
Windows Mobile is losing the last vestiges of its mojo–if it really had any to begin with–as the Droid and other phones based on the Android 2.0 operating system push the buzz meter needle into the red zone. Many in the media–which can play a big role in steering users to one technology platform or another–sense that Windows Mobile has now been relegated resolutely to has-been status.
Let’s do a quick canvas of what some in the press are saying now that we’re at the start of the Droid era. A post on SFGate.com (the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle) is, like other commentary out there, clearly dismissive of Windows Mobile. “Curiously, Microsoft is nowhere to be seen in this battle royal,” the author states, referring to the iPhone and Android.
And there’s this more damning comment from a blog at SeattlePI.com. “Rarely mentioned, however, is another player in the mobile OS market–Microsoft. Why not? Because not many people in the smartphone world seem to really give a hoot about Windows Mobile anymore.”
The litany of like articles is long. This post on PC World asks: “Has Microsoft Placed Its Last Mobile Bet?” The article cites research from Canalys showing Windows Mobile slipping from 13.9 percent of the worldwide smartphone market in 2002 to 9 percent in the second quarter of 2009.
The numbers are even less favorable in an accounting by ad service Admob, which compiles data on which operating systems are in use on mobile devices that access online ads. In August, according to AdMob, Windows Mobile had only a 4 percent share of the mobile OS market worldwide, down from 7 percent in February.
But getting back to my original premise of no mobile mojo for Windows. The fact is that consumers don’t care about Windows on smartphones. In other words, while Windows seems to be a prerequisite for many consumers when buying a PC, it just doesn’t come into play in a big way in a smartphone purchase.
This will have ramifications beyond Microsoft of course. Companies like Toshiba (and its attractive TG01 smartphone) will probably not be as successful on Windows Mobile as they would (will) be on Android 2.0. Or, at the very least, will not get the necessary buzz.
Then there’s the Intel factor. Intel also wants to be a player, eventually, in the smartphone space. If it is indeed able to beat back Texas Instruments (whose chip is used in the Droid), Samsung (iPhone), Qualcomm (BlackBerry), and Marvell, it probably won’t do it by sticking to the tried-and-true “WinTel” combination that’s been so outrageously successful in the PC space.
And Intel is chasing a fast-moving target. TI, and all the other ARM-based chip suppliers cited above, are slated to bring out dual-core designs that can hit speeds as high as 2GHz (think next-generation tablets and media pads). In other words, they’ll also be able claim the coveted speed mantle on phones, such as the Droid, where Windows Mobile is no where in sight.
So the Droid may not be the iPhone killer but rather the Windows Mobile slayer. Microsoft, of course, will always have the unassailable PC franchise. But, wait, isn’t Android coming to Netbooks next year? Maybe the real battle royal for Microsoft is yet to come.