Saturday, June 30, 2012

Virgin Mobile starts selling Apple's iPhone 4, iPhone 4S



The smartphones are available with no contract and no fees for activation. But that means customers will need to pay $550 or $650 to get them.
(Credit: Apple)
As promised, Virgin Mobile has started selling Apple's iPhone to its prepaid customers.
Customers looking to get their hands on the device can opt for the 8GB iPhone 4 or the 16GB iPhone 4S. The former will set customers back $550, while the iPhone 4S will cost $650. As one might expect, based on those prices, they come with no contract and no fees for activation.

Virgin Mobile announced earlier this month that it would start carrying Apple's iPhone. The company says that it's available to prepaid customers with its Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans, starting at $35 per month. Virgin Mobile is offering a $5-per-month discount to customers who set up automatic monthly payments with the company. The iPhones run on the Sprint Nationwide Network.


Apple is now offering its device to a host of carrier networks, including major companies, like AT&T and Verizon, and lesser-known services like Leap Wireless' Cricket. However, the company has yet to bring its iPhone to T-Mobile's service. And with each new addition, that omission is becoming increasingly glaring.

Originally posted at Apple

Friday, June 29, 2012

National Weather Service alerts headed to smartphones


Live in an area prone to tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, extreme wind, ice storms, and the like? Your smartphone can't change the extreme weather, but it can alert you to it.

Smartphone users will soon get a severe weather alert from the National Weather Service.
(Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Live in an area prone to flash floods, hurricanes, blizzards? Smartphone users will soon get a severe-weather alert from the National Weather Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The new nationwide emergency alert system, called the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), sends 90-character text messages to smartphones of people facing extreme weather conditions. Severe weather defined by the NOAA includes tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, extreme wind, blizzards and ice storms, tsunamis, and dust storms. Note that thunderstorms aren't on the list because they occur so frequently.

The text messages will pop up on smartphones, but they aren't traditional text messages. Because the alert system will be on smartphones, the signals will be triangulated so that weather alerts will be localized. The NOAA uses the example of a person from New Jersey traveling to California during an earthquake. That person would get an "Imminent Threat Alert" text message.

Only smartphones enabled to receive WEA messages will get them. Wireless carriers that support the service include AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, and U.S. Cellular. Check with individual carriers for coverage, as some do not offer nationwide service.
WEA messages aren't exclusively weather related; smartphone owners will also get emergency alerts from the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Department of Homeland Security, and local and state public agencies.
This story originally appeared on CBSNews.com.


Originally posted at Crave

Chenda Ngak
 news.cnet.com




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is there any reason not to get a prepaid phone? The answer is NO!


This applies to ALL carriers!
 T-Mobile/Simple Mobile, Sprint/Boost/Virgin Mobile, Verizon/PagePlus, AT&T/H2O/Red Pocket.
SquareCircleWireless is an Authorized Dealer with 33 carriers to choose from all with NO CONTRACTS, NO CREDIT CHECKS and TAXES INCLUDED.
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Prepaid mobile plans can save consumers beaucoup bucks. So is there any reason to not to go prepaid? 
Prepaid may be the way to go for savvy smartphone consumers, as more and more wireless operators are offering cool devices with their cheap prepaid plans.
It used to be that prepaid cell phone users had to sacrifice the ability to get cool devices for cheap service. But that's not true anymore as carriers like Virgin Mobile get top of the line Google Android handsets and even offer the popular Apple iPhone. Consumers can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on prepaid services compared to so-called post-paid services, which require a contract. In this edition of Ask Maggie, I make the case for one Sprint subscriber to ditch post-paid and go prepaid. I also clear up some confusion for another Verizon Wireless customer who wants to know if he can keep his unlimited data plan.


Why not prepaid?

Dear Maggie,
In a couple of months time I'm coming to end of my contract with Sprint. I've had zero problems with them or with the service they've given me.

But I'm wondering if they're worth the cost versus prepaid. I'm paying $100 per month for Sprint and looking at a number of prepaid services. I can get comparable service for about $50 a month.
Other than not getting the latest and greatest phones, are there any other downsides to this approach? If it's so much cheaper to go prepaid and the service is comparable, why would anyone be on contract?
Thanks,
Chris

Dear Chris,
You bring up a very valid point for a lot of consumers. And the short answer to your question is that it probably doesn't make sense for you to spend $100 on Sprint service when you could probably find a comparable plan on the prepaid brand Virgin Mobile for much less.
Virgin Mobile is a prepaid service that is owned by Sprint. It actually uses Sprint's CDMA and WiMax networks. So if you get good service with Sprint now, you'll still get good service if you switch to Virgin Mobile.
While it used to be true that you had to sacrifice cool phones by going prepaid, that's no longer the case. For example, Virgin Mobile offers the HTC Evo V 4G. It's the same phone that Sprint offers on its network. Virgin Mobile will also soon offer the iPhone 4S.
A quick comparison of the plans shows that you'd pay half the price for your Virgin Mobile prepaid service compared to the same service offered on Sprint. Virgin Mobile's unlimited talk, text and data plans are $55 a month. Meanwhile, Sprint charges $110 for the same unlimited, talk, text and data service.
But there are a couple of things you should be aware of with these prepaid plans. For one, on Virgin Mobile, the unlimited data isn't really unlimited. Users who use more than 2.5GB of data per month will see their speeds slowed down to 256Kbps or below for the rest of the month. That means slower page loads, slower file downloads, and more lag-time for streaming media.
But unless you're a very heavy data user, you probably won't get close to using more than 2.5GB of data per month. So this so-called cap probably won't affect you. And if you do happen to exceed the cap at some point, you won't be charged extra for the overage.



That said, Sprint says that its smartphone data plans are truly unlimited. The company doesn't charge extra if you go over your limit nor does it slow down your service.
The second big caveat to keep in mind with the cheaper prepaid offering is that you'll have to pay full price for your new smartphone. While this may hurt your wallet upfront, the fact is that over time, you'll actually pay less over a two year period for the service and full-price than you would if you took the subsidy and paid an extra $55 a month. In fact, if you bought an iPhone 4S, you'd end up saving about $870 over two years on Virgin Mobile compared to Sprint.
Virgin Mobile isn't the only prepaid offer available, of course. But since you are already a Sprint customer, it is the most obvious choice for you since you know you'll get good coverage with your device. While price is important when evaluating whether to get a prepaid smartphone or subscribe to a post paid service, the reality is that not all low-cost, prepaid services offer the network coverage that you need.
But if you are interested in exploring your options you may want to consider Leap Wireless and MetroPCS, which also offer all-you-can-eat data, voice, and text messaging prepaid plans for extremely low prices.
If these networks aren't available where you live and work, you might also want to consider T-Mobile USA. It offers traditional post-paid services, which are lower than its other nationwide competitors. And it also offers prepaid services.
And if it's hard for you to come up with the cash for a prepaid device, T-Mobile offers these value plans that lets you pay for your phone in 20 monthly installments. On the 21st month when your device is paid for, the cost of your plan is reduced. This differs from other post plans on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon that do not lower your monthly cost, even after you've paid off the subsidy for the device.
So the bottom line is this: Ditch Sprint's or any other carrier's postpaid service and sign-up for a prepaid plan. You will save money over the long haul. Good luck!
Marguerite Reardon
 news.cnet.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sprint's iPhone shunned by Apple and Best Buy customers?


A new study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals that Sprint's share of sales at Best Buy and Apple are extremely low compared to AT&T's and Verizon's.
Sprint might have the iPhone in stores and at brick-and-mortar retail outlets, but at least so far, the company is trailing far behind its competitors in actually attracting consumers.


Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) today revealed the results of a study outlining the performance of carrier iPhones both in their stores and outside of them. Sprint appears to be getting hit hard, earning just 9 percent of all iPhone sales in Apple stores and 19 percent at Best Buy. AT&T's iPhones account for 63 percent and 60 percent of sales in Apple and Best Buy, respectively.
Sprint was late to the iPhone game. For years, AT&T was the exclusive provider of Apple's iPhone in the U.S. Last year, Apple finally brought the device to Verizon's network, and delivered it to Sprint months later.



That delay might have proven to be a bigger issue than Sprint even believed. According to CIRP's data, iPhone owners are loath to switch carriers, leaving Sprint with little chance of rapidly gaining market share. In fact, CIRP found that 94 percent of AT&T's customers bought an Apple handset from the carrier. Verizon's retention also stands at 94 percent. Sprint has been able to maintain 88 percent of its iPhone owners.
"[Sprint] seem[s] to capture a reasonable share of customers outside of AT&T and Verizon, and of course have started switching their expiring customers to iPhones where they can," CIRP spokesman Michael Levin told CNET today in an e-mailed statement. "But, they just can't break through to take meaningful share from AT&T and Verizon, which must frustrate their leadership to no end."
CIRP discovered a host of other interesting stats, including that 75 percent of new iPhone owners at AT&T previously owned an Apple handset. One other interesting tidbit: 48 percent of Verizon customers who upgraded to an iPhone came from Android, and 47 percent previously owned a BlackBerry.
Originally posted at Apple 


 Don Reisinger
 news.cnet.com

Monday, June 25, 2012

Box Brings Its OneCloud Platform To Android With 50 Apps


OneCloud_Android_Blog_736x368
Back when Box launched its OneCloud platform for enterprise mobile apps back in March, VP of Platform Engineering Chris Yeh says that virtually all of the user comments boiled down to a single question: What about Android? So Back when Box launched its OneCloud platform for enterprise mobile apps back in March, VP of Platform Engineering Chris Yeh says that virtually all of the user comments boiled down to a single question: What about Android? So today, Box is answering the cry of forlorn Android owners by releasing OneCloud for Android.


OneCloud is basically a collection of mobile apps that integrate with Box. Viewers can browse, purchase, and download apps from a gallery. Then, when you’re browsing your documents in Box, you can interact with them using the apps that you’ve installed. Yeh says that 25 percent of Box iOS users are visiting the gallery every day, and that OneCloud is already on-track to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars of app sales for developers in its first year. The most popular apps involve document editing and PDF annotation, he adds.
As for Android, Yeh says it was always on the roadmap, especially since the company’s mobile user base has more Android owners than iOS. (So why start with iOS? Because of the potential of the iPad.)
“In a perfect world we would have launched [Android and iOS] simultaneously, but it was a lot to bite off,” Yeh says.
box onecloud android
He adds that in some ways the experience is better on Android, specifically in allowing for a smooth transition from opening a file in Box, opening an app to edit the file, then saving that app back to the same location in Box, which he says is not as clean in iOS.
There has been one big surprise, Yeh says: The relatively small overlap between OneCloud apps on iOS and Android. Initially, he expected to bring most of Box’s iOS partners into the Android platform, but he realized that many small developers only have an app on one or the other — they don’t have resources for both. So even though Box has signed up 50 launch partners to OneCloud for Android, only 11 of them are also available on iOS. This, Yeh says, is an indication of how “fragmented” the smartphone landscape has become.
The Android apps include printing app Breezy, note-taker FetchNotes, and e-signature app Docusign. And with today’s release of the Box OneCloud Android SDK, their ranks should grow. (Yeh says the Box team likes to work directly with each partner, although that may become less feasible as the platform scales.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

iPhone 4 and 4S now available to purchase outright at Cricket for $399 and $499


There’s nothing quite like the pent-up anticipation for an Apple product arrival, and yes, that extends even to customers of Cricket , who lined up this morning for their first chance to score an iPhone from the prepaid carrier. While both the iPhone 4 (8GB) and 4S (16GB) must be purchased outright — for $399 and $499 respectively — sales were said to be “brisk” today, which can be partially attributed to Cricket’s $55 per month plan.




















June 23, 2012 cellphonenews.com 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Samsung brings iTunes and iOS data to Galaxy devices with Easy Phone Sync


Android Central
Samsung has announced that it's partnered with developer Mushroom Media to bring the company's Easy Phone Sync application to owners of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. As the name suggests, Easy Phone Sync is allows phones to transfer content from their PCs over a USB connection, with the particular focus being on importing music and other media from iTunes, and contacts and messages from iOS. The app, which will presumably be available for a fee at some point in the future, can be downloaded for free on Google Play if you've got a Galaxy device.


The app release and partnership with Mushroom Media is likely part of Samsung's plans to give iOS users an easy path from Apple's ecosystem to its own. Samsung has made no secret of its efforts to establish itself as a equal competitor to Apple, and the Korean manufacturer will be hoping to lure upgrading iPhone users to its Galaxy S III with apps like this. While Easy Phone Sync isn't anywhere near as polished as an Apple app, it's fast and functional enough to be of use to iOS converts making the switch to a Galaxy phone.
We've given Easy Phone Sync a quick test on the Galaxy S III, and it seems to work well enough. Inexplicably though, the phone app seems to run persistently in the background, leaving an unsightly notification in place at all times.  The phone all only serves to install a license key though, and after that it can be uninstalled. Regardless, persistent notifications are annoying, and make for a sub-par user experience -- on an officially-sanctioned app like this, there's no excuse.
You'll find today's presser from Samsung after the break, and download links below.

SAMSUNG CUSTOMERS NOW ABLE TO TRANSFER CONTENT FROM IOS TO ANDROID FOR FREE
Exclusive licensing agreement makes Easy Phone Sync available on Samsung Galaxy devices

22nd June 2012, London, UK – Samsung Mobile UK today announced it will be making Easy Phone Sync available for free to anyone purchasing a Samsung Galaxy device. Easy Phone Sync is a simple new way for people to transfer their iPhone and iTunes media – including music, videos, podcasts, pictures, contacts and text messages - to a Samsung Galaxy device including the new Galaxy S III.

As part of an exclusive licensing agreement with Media Mushroom Applications, Samsung is making Easy Phone Sync available for free for UK customers to transfer content from their iOS device to their Samsung Galaxy device in a few simple clicks. As well as being able to access DRM free content they have purchased from iTunes music, customers can continue to use iTunes software on their PC to manage their music, videos and podcasts and keep their Android device in sync with it.

Simon Stanford, Vice President, Telecommunications and Networks, Samsung UK and Ireland said: “We’re really proud to announce the launch of this new application and can’t wait to hear what our new and existing customers think of it. We know that traditionally iPhone users have been reluctant to switch to an Android device because they couldn’t use iTunes to manage their content. Easy Phone Sync means people can now enjoy their iTunes content on a Samsung Galaxy phone. What’s more is that it’s really easy for them to do, and literally takes five minutes to set up.”

Easy Phone Sync is available to download now for both PCs and Macs in conjunction with an app for Samsung Android devices.

For more detailed information, please visit www.easyphonesync.com/mobile.

Alex Dobie  | Jun 22 2012   androidcentral.com


Thursday, June 21, 2012

For better Android typing: SwiftKey 3


SwiftKey to Android's stock keyboard, with its more advanced prediction and correction abilities, and the new version is another step forward.
SwiftKey 3, a new version of the Android keyboard, brings a new look and is designed to ward off spacebar errors more intelligently.
SwiftKey 3, a new version of the Android keyboard, brings a new look and is designed to ward off spacebar errors more intelligently.
(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)
One area where I think theiPhone has held its own against Android phones I've used is the responsiveness of the touch-screen keyboard, but one area where I think Android has shown more innovation better predictive typing. Which is why I was happy to see the release of SwiftKey 3 today.
The software one-ups the predictive typing abilities of Android's built-in keyboard, learning from your own typing to offer not just the next letters in a word, but also the next word, too. Hitting the spacebar completes the action. (When you start typing, the first word it suggests is "I," and if you keep hitting the spacebar, SwiftKey types, "I am a beautiful person.")
In a big step up from the earlier version, the spacebar is now bigger. I've been using SwiftKey for months, and the software for me has done a good job enabling a touch-typing style where I don't look at the keyboard for the most part. But I'd often get bad results with the earlier SwiftKey when I hit letters or punctuation by mistake instead of the spacebar.
Other changes in the new version include "smart space," which is designed to detect spurious or missing spaces; a flexible punctuation key that like the stock Android keyboard will present several options with a long-press; and support for Korean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Serbian, for a total of 42 languages now.


Earlier features I like are still there: a leftward swipe deletes the last word; you can set the duration of the haptic feedback buzz (I like it short -- 10 milliseconds); and the software can learn word completion rules from text messages, Facebook, an RSS feed, Gmail, and Twitter.

I'm not sure if this is a regression, but I didn't notice the earlier version preferring "ill" to "I'll" so much; the latter is much more common in my experience, so perhaps it'll learn if I train it more. SwiftKey says its software inserts apostrophes on the basis of context, but I for one would at least like an optional "I'll" as a secondary choice. Update: SwiftKey recommended I reload the language model, and indeed that seems to have fixed the problem. To do that, long-press on the numbers button in the lower left to get to the Settings menu quickly, then select "Languages and layouts," then tap the menu button to reveal the option to update the language.
The new version adds the ability to select themes. None of the options are quite right for me; I like "Holo" since it makes the long-press alternative characters easier to see, but I'd prefer the autocomplete option to stand out in blue, as is the case with the "Cobalt" theme. I also enabled foreign characters so I can get accents and umlauts more easily.
For oddballs such as myself who learned to touch-type on a Dvorak keyboard layout, that's an option, too.
If you miss the old days of Android phones that had trackballs, SwiftKey offers arrow keys along the bottom to navigate precisely through text, but of course that eats up some room on the keyboard, an in my tests I sometimes moved the cursor instead of hitting the spacebar.
SwiftKey 3 is a free upgrade for those who bought it earlier, but otherwise it costs $2 during a half-price promotional period. For the same price, there's also a separate tablet version, which offers an optional split layout with a central numeric keypad for landscape mode. Both are available in a free version that expires after 30 days.
Text prediction is easier with a smaller or specialized vocabulary, and SwiftKey also announced a healthcare-oriented version that's designed for medical professionals.

Stephen Shankland
 news.cnet.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ex-Googlers Launch MightyText, An iMessage For Android Users


Screen shot 2012-06-19 at 11.11.12 AM
During their lengthy careers at Google in both senior technical and product management roles, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani were able to geek out on products like AdSense, AdWords, and the now-defunct Google Health. Arora tells us During their lengthy careers at Google in both senior technical and product management roles, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani were able to geek out on products like AdSense, AdWords, and the now-defunct Google Health. Arora tells us that, while his time at Google was defined by smart people and ambitious ideas like these, in development there was often a tendency to “over engineer” without thinking about “the average user.” He said that, while Google employees always had Gchat open and used Google Voice (or Wave while it was still alive), none of these products were able to effectively address the true value prop of communication tools for a mainstream audience: Syncing. Especially when it comes to texting.


Arora says simply, “To me, it makes no sense that I have to have my phone in front of me to communicate … If I leave it in another room, or in the car, or at home, I essentially have to retrieve it to see who’s calling or to receive incoming texts.” So, Arora and Sangani set out on a mission to give Android users the ability to view and reply to text messages no matter what device they happened to be using. After several months of beta testing, the pair are today officially launching MightyText — an app that aims to give Android users their own version of Apple’s iMessage.
After launching as Texty in March 2011, the startup rebranded as MightyText in June. Since then, it’s been more or less in beta and available solely as a Chrome extension. However, the Chrome extension has found some very solid early adoption, attracting over 250K users, who were sending more than 2 million messages every day. What’s more, Arora says that at the current run rate they are on target to hit one billion messages.
The co-founders used this early validation to raise $650K in seed funding last fall from a bunch of notable names, including First Round Capital, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, AngelList’s Naval Ravikant, Scott and Cyan Banister, ex-Google PM Director Rich Chen, Guitar Hero creator Kai Huang, Chegg founder Aayush Phumbra, and several others.
But, as a Chrome extension, MightyText had a fairly limited use case, so today, the co-founders are launching their new web app, which lets any Android user send and receive SMSes from virtually any device. While the co-founders have been describing their apps as “Gmail meets iMessage,” Arora thinks that MightyText has the potential to be more “open” and powerful than iMessage, which really only works between Apple users. Instead, MightyText lets Android users sent text to anyone they would normally text, whether they be on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, or even a feature phone.


So, in allowing users to SMS, MMS and make calls anytime, and from anywhere, it’s not hard to see the initial value prop for MightyText. But what’s important to note is that the app syncs with your existing Android number, which means you don’t have to get a new one — unlike Google Voice. (Huzzah!) And since MightyText lives in the cloud (and in your browser), it organizes all your texts, picture messages and calls, allowing you to search and store them securely for as long as needed. Much in the same way that Gmail (et al) organizes (using the term loosely), categorizes, and allows you to search through you email.
Because it hooks into your cell number and is essentially allowing you remote access to your phone from any device, the upside for MightyText is that it doesn’t have to take on any of the costs of SMS itself, which can be a big burden for SMS apps.
The other side of this, Arora says, is a benefit for the umpteen different carriers using Android. If users send text messages in third-party apps, by way of data or WiFi, carriers don’t get to make money on your SMSes, but, because MightyText keeps messaging confined to their network, these companies are likely going to be more inclined to partner with the startup down the road. (Especially if an API shows up down the road, hint, hint.)
The other thing to consider, Arora tells us, is that there are about 300 million Android devices in use today, which are collectively sending over seven trillion SMSes per year. While people are increasingly spending time on their computers and tablets at home and at work, they still can’t send or receive SMS on those devices.
But, with MightyText, users don’t have to change their behavior or get their friends to install the app to get value. They can just text from their phone as they normally would, with the added benefit of being able to push those messages to any computer, tablet, or phone — in the U.S. or international.
The other use case here that one might not pick out initially both shows the value of MightyText’s app and is just hilarious. Employers and teachers, to name a few, may not be excited to hear this, but Arora says that they’ve received scores of emails and messages from students and employees thanking them for finally building an app that allows them to text from their computer. Why? Well, generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to be found — while in class or in a meeting at the office — hovered over your phone, texting away like you don’t have a care in the world.
But, because MightyText allows you to use your own Android number to text from your laptop or iPad (and how many Android users do you know who also own an iPad?), your subterfuge is much more likely to go unnoticed. In fact, Arora even showed me a message to the team from a lawyer, who said that, thanks to MightyText, he was able to sit in court(!) and text plea negotiations back and forth with the prosecutor without taking out his phone or drawing the ire of the judge. Now that’s utility! (If it turns out that an unintended consequence of MightyText is the acceleration of the legal process, it’s going to be difficult to attach a price tag to MightyText that doesn’t involve the word “billions.” Not to mention that the startup will also be hearing from my lawyers. But in a good way.)
So, when Apple brings iMessage — and this same kind of functionality — to Macs this summer, Android users might otherwise have had to suffer silently as their friends gloated over cross-Apple-device messaging and gleefully asked Siri how to tie their shoes from their iPads. But, thankfully, MightyText gives Android users a come-back, which we all know they’ve been trying out in the TechCrunch comment section for months.



RIP EMPSON - 6-19-12  techcrunch.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

FREE - FuzeBox Launches A Powerful Video Conferencing App For The iPhone


iphone_video_conf
FuzeBox has squeezed its online meeting experience into a new iPhone app called Fuze Join for iPhone.

The company already has an iPad app that Apple named one of the best business apps for 2011. In fact, it even had an earlier iPhone app, but CEO Jeff Cavins says the company realized that it wasn’t as good as it needed to be, so the team took the app down last year and started working on a new one.
“We just wanted to do something completely different and much more advanced,” he says. “We want to put personal telepresence in the palm of your hand.”
So what’s changed in the new version? Well, FuzeBox added what is perhaps the key feature, the ability to broadcast and view video. It also rethought the interface, allowing users to control the app with just five buttons.
Cavins took me through a demo of the new FuzeBox app — joining a meeting, viewing video feeds from other participants, starting text chats, and sharing our own slides and documents. There were lots of nice touches, for example the ability to tap a point on a slide on the iPhone screen and having that point get highlighted with a red dot on everyone else’s screen. We could also to get video from telepresence systems offered by other companies like Polycom and Cisco/tandberg.


What was most impressive, however, was the speed and responsiveness. We were able to watch high-quality streaming video (which Cavins says was 1080p resolution) over a cellular network connection in downtown San Francisco, and it was perfectly synced up with what was shown on the other computers in the meeting. Cavins was able to scroll through all the slides in a presentation from his iPhone, and again, the screens of the other participants followed virtually instantaneously.
One limitation on this front is the fact that you can “only” watch four video streams at once, so that the app doesn’t tax the iPhone too heavily. FuzeBox meetings can actually be much larger than that, so when you go over four streams, the remaining participants are represented by a still image at the bottom of the screen. You can move participants from one area to another, so if someone important joins late, you can still tell the app you want to see their video feed (it just means someone else will get bumped).
Fuze Join for iPhone is available to FuzeBox customers as part of its overall meeting service. You can download the app here.

ANTHONY HAThursday, June 14th, 2012 - techcrunch.com

Friday, June 15, 2012

Apple, Samsung again swallow all the smartphone profits


The latest study from ABI Research has Apple and Samsung capturing 55 percent of the market and 90 percent of the profit.
There's no stopping Apple or Samsung Electronics.
The two companies again dominated the smartphone industry, combining to capture 55 percent of the market and 90 percent of the profits in the first quarter, according to a study by ABI Research.

Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Sprint)

It's all about Apple and Samsung right now.
The numbers only further illustrate the growing divide between Apple, Samsung and everyone else. While Samsung leads the industry with 43 million smartphones shipped, Apple remains the leader when it comes to making money off of its products. The iPhone 4S continues to be the single best selling phone at most carriers, while Samsung's Galaxy S III line is poised for its own breakout success.



The consequence, of course, is that the environment is even more treacherous for all of the other competitors. Nokia recentlywarned that its second-quarter results would disappoint once again, citing the difficult competitive environment, while HTC is still trying to get back to its high-flyer status with its One line of smartphones.
Interestingly, Nokia's slide in smartphones may allow another struggling player, Research in Motion to pass it by. While RIM posted terrible results of its own, including a 20 percent sequential slide in BlackBerry shipments in the first quarter, they looked decent relative to Nokia's own 40 percent drop.
But with Apple and Samsung so strong, it's unclear whether a third player can break out.
The handset vendors are expected to turn their eye to growth markets such as China, particularly as smartphone adoption matures in the U.S. and Western Europe. But even in China, the companies face stiff competition from the likes of Huawei and ZTE, which are able to deliver powerful phones at an attractive price.




Originally posted at Apple

by Roger Cheng
 news.cnet.com