Apple's decision to allow free App Store applications to capitalize on in-app transactions is welcome news to developers. Until now, the option to sell content, subscriptions and digital services within apps was only open to paid ones. As a result, makers of premium apps began offering both full paid and free (light) versions of their software.
After inviting questions this week about all things mobile, Google has posted answers to some of the most popular queries on its mobile blog. Just turning to the Google search box would probably prove more illuminating than the company's attempt at providing human-powered responses.
No wonder there's been a backlash to PepsiCo's "apology" for the iPhone app promoting its Amp Energy drink that promises to help men "score" with different types of women by offering pick-up lines and the ability to track conquests. Responding to the deluge of criticism the app has drawn for being sexist and stereotyping women, Amp and Pepsi issued a mea culpa via Twitter, reading "Our app tried to show the humorous lengths guys go 2 to pick up women. We apologize if it's in bad taste & appreciate your feedback."
We'll still have four major U.S. wireless operators for the forseeable future. Deutsche Telekom Chief Financial Officer Timotheus Hottges told Bloomberg
the U.S. mobile market is already consolidated enough, dampening rumors the German phone company was looking to buy Sprint.
Microsoft's mobile woes lately only seem to get worse. After a week of service disruptions on the T-Mobile Sidekick, the carrier on Saturday informed customers that any personal data not currently on the smartphones had most likely been lost because of a server failure at Microsoft subsidiary Danger, which powers data services on the Sidekick. Oops. No backup.
With reports indicating Barnes & Noble is poised to throw its own e-reader into the ring, competition in the e-book market is about to get more intense. B&N will introduce a device as soon as next month featuring a six-inch screen from digital-paper maker E-Ink Corp. with a touchscreen and a virtual keyboard, like that on the iPhone, according to a Wall Street Journal
story Friday, citing sources close to the matter.
Google's Android operating system is on a roll. Earlier this week, the search giant announced an alliance with Verizon Wireless that includes the launch of two Android phones this year with plans to develop other Android-powered devices in the future.
If Amazon is hoping its latest price cut for the Kindle
will make the e-reader a bigger holiday season hit, it's going to have to do better. The reduction -- from $299 to $259 -- still leaves it $60 higher than Sony's starting price for its rival e-reader.
With the launch of its att.net mobile browser Monday, AT&T aims to extend full HTML Web browsing beyond smartphones to regular phones. The four new touchscreen handsets announced--the Pantech Reveal, Pantech Impact, Samsung Mythic and Samsung Flight-comes loaded with an Opera Software-powered browser designed to provide faster and easier Web surfing for the vast majority of mobile subscribers who don't own an iPhone.
With Vonage Monday launching new apps for the iPhone and BlackBerry, questions were being raised about why the similar Google Voice app is still languishing in app approval limbo. The free Vonage app lets users make cheap international calls over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The VoIP app for the iPhone makes calls using Wi-Fi when it's available, but calls can also be routed over the voice network.