03/05/2012

Tizen bubbles out the bottle

Tizen, the open source operating system that came out of LiMO and MeeGo, has been released. It's available for Intel Atom N2800 and N2600 CPUs and ARM CPUs. Who will adopt Tizen is still up for debate, though Intel are still supporting it as they supported the previous incarnations of MeeGo and prior to that Moblin (which was combined with Nokia's Maemo to form MeeGo). Samsung are also expected to support it too. Nokia which was a major supporter of Maemo/MeeGo has put its efforts into Windows Phone and seems to have dropped support for the Linux'ish based operating systems. The industry as a whole also has generally adopted Android form Google (which was also based on a Linux core). However there still could be a market for Tizen in various connected devices such as automotive (where MeeGo was making inroads). The v1.0 release of the code, known as Larkspur, is available for download from the Tizen Technical Steering Group (TTSG) along with development tools.

Vodafone to speed-up 3G uploads

Vodafone is upgrading base-station software in 3 of its markets (UK, Spain and Italy) that should see uplink speeds increase by around 40%. The upgrades use software from InToTally which solves outer loop power control problems of CDMA and UMTS/HSPA networks. This is due to the way the base-station and terminals continually change their transmit powers to cope with varying network conditions which may not be optimal and the InToTally software changes the algorithms so the system works better. The software only improves the up-link speeds as it's the base-station that's being improved, for handsets to get improvements the InToTally software would need to be installed in them too, though InToTally say that mobile chipsets will incorporate their software within a year and Vodafone has enough clout to persuade handset vendors to adopt the software. Vodafone is also making an undisclosed investment into InToTally.

MyCityWayLondon24 live in time for Jubilee and London Olympics 2012

Argent the largest independent regional media group known for it's London24 website has launched MyCityWayLondon24 in partnership with MyCityWay who are known for their city guides. The app which is available now uses the user's location to find out what's going on around them including live traffic feeds from London's busiest roads or just where to get a coffee. Users can also find out what's playing at a local cinema, find out if there are any local concerts or special events. There's also social aspects so users can connect or leave tips about places. Though the app is free, it will be used to deliver highly localised advertising, coupons and deals. Though the app is initially available on Apple's iOS devices an Android version is due to be released shortly.

02/05/2012

Spotify launches on iPad

Spotify has released a new version of their app for iPad which now supports features of the iPad3 such as the high resolution retina display. It's also easier to explore and browse songs (out of the 18m catalogue), when a song is playing the album art is now available in full-screen mode in HD. Playback has also been improved and the app now supports gapless playback and crossfade and there's Airplay integration too as well as social improvements to see what your friends are playing. Spotify for iPad is available immediately from iTunes.

Brand Embassy launches

Brand Embassy is a new tool allowing brands to identify disenchanted users and also influential users and engage with them. Thus negative users can be made positive, while users who support the brand can be further assisted so they support the brand even further. There's a free, fully functional 14 day trial available here. Some big name customers such as O2, Diageo, Johnson & Johnson are using Brand Embassy already.

01/05/2012

RIM announced Blackberry 10

Research in Motion (RIM) have released its new operating system (OS) 10 which is based on QNX the multi-tasking microkernel system that's currently used on the Blackberry Playbook. QNX has been around for a long time and is the a very robust real-time OS, which has many similarities to UNIX/Linux in terms of development. RIM is now trying to tempt developers to embrace the new OS and is giving away developer Blackberry 10 phones to all that attend their developer conference in Orlando. The new device is keyboard less, though RIM's virtual keyboard (in the same layout as their existing keyboards) should give users a similar experience - so it looks like the new generation of Apple iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S's. However RIM is keen to point out that this is a developer version and not all the final Blackberry 10 features are in the phones and that consumer devices may be significantly different. RIM have released Blackberry 10 Native SDK which includes Cascades, their Qt based toolkit and also their HTML5 based webworks toolkit. There are still a lot of Blackberry users in the wild (RIM say 77m), but their market share has been dropping. Maybe Blackberry 10 and a focus back into secure enterprise markets will get them more users back again.