Turner's team didn't scrap the toolbar entirely, but based on user feedback, they did make it much less intrusive. Why look at the buttons when users really want the Web, they reasoned. Letting the toolbars dissolve away when they're at rest is one method for making the most of the screen. Tapping a translucent icon (shown solid here) could bring the command buttons back.… Read more
Oh sure, anyone can assign a photo face to a contact on their Windows Mobile phone. But how many can also resize images, associate tasks with a contact, and send text messages from their digital black book?
If you guessed "anyone using the application named above," give yourself a gold star. For about twenty bucks, PhotoContacts for WindowsMobile and Pocket PC rolls your contact list into a stylish wrapper with better people skills than your default address book. Could this application be for you? Check out pros and, yes, a few cons, in this First Look video before … Read more
Opera should be bracing for impact.
Like Opera's cell phone browser, Opera Mini (video), both newcomers are free. However, Opera Mobile, which serves Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 phones, is a commercial product that smartphone users may not want to pay for when handed alternatives gratis.
How does Opera plan to keep current customers and attract new ones when consumers face a choice between paying $24 and $0? I asked the Opera folks if they would consider making Opera Mobile free in anticipation of or in response to oncoming competition.
"The mobile Web is blossoming, and we are strongly positioned to take advantage of its growth," Tatsuki Tomita, Opera's senior vice president of consumer products, responded. "While we watch the industry closely, we have not yet determined the end-user model for Opera Mobile."
What a nicely toned, safely vague statement! It's one any company would be expected to make when challenged on two fronts by a competitive freeware surge. Yet with actual working, marketable products for a range of devices and a business plan that reaches into corporate pockets, Opera is well-positioned. For now.… Read more
Business, finance, and tech worlds are abuzz with news of Microsoft's sudden proposal to Yahoo. It's not the first time Seattle's best has courted the Sunnyvale, Calif., company once touted as Silicon Valley's hottest Internet portal. To many, the buyout offer signals Microsoft's continuing woes in a playing field now dominated by freeware competitors and other rivals that have done Microsoft's end-user businesses longer or better.
See which products and companies are eating into which of Microsoft's potentially profitable businesses in this slide show.
Get to work, iPhone. As far as HyperOffice president Farzin Arsanjani is concerned, you've spent too much time avoiding real work.
If he has his way, your days loafing around in back pockets while the other mobile devices pull their weight are over. That's why HyperOffice (review) recently announced a plan to make its suite of online collaboration tools even better on the iPhone (trial beta).
While the productivity application for rapid-growth companies has already been accessible from mobile browsers, certain functions are limited within a constrained user interface. The iPhone, with its large screen and Safari browser, … Read more
News of the Android SDK (download for Windows) by Google has been quiet for the past few months. However, last week we a found notice that the submission deadline for the Android Developers Challenge has just been extended to April 14, 2008. It appears that the Android team has made "significant updates" to the SDK that might require developers to take extra time to finish up applications they had in the works. There are $10 million worth in prizes at stake, so the updates and deadline extensions are probably much appreciated.
The SDK, released in November, introduced a … Read more
If you've got family and friends sprinkled about the globe, you know that the richness of these contacts loses luster if you can't regularly keep in touch. Though there are excellent solutions out there--local-access calling cards, VoIP on the PC, VoIP phones from Vonage or Skype, and local-number services like Talkster (review)--they require your presence at home, new hardware, or wasting precious seconds with mile-long pin numbers or droning ads.
Challenging the herd is EQO (pronounced "echo"), a communication service that offers a simple, fast, and affordable solution for international outreach on your cell phone. Talk time and texting are free between EQO members, and calls are as cheap as 2 cents per minute for everyone else, about the same rate as VoIP-to-phone calling and competitive calling cards. EQO's international texting costs for 10- or 15 cents, depending on the countries of destination and departure.
The graphically-appealing application is divided into three sections, each delineated by a small icon along a top strip. Scrolling horizontally among them calls up the phone book, message inbox, or instant message interface. EQO imports phone contacts into the phone book, but be careful of your management--deleting an entry from EQO also deletes it from the phone's database.… Read more
Amid rookie mobile browser Skyfire's bold attempt to take on the market and Opera Software's defensive rebuttal (sent via press release) emerges news from Mozilla developer and project lead, Doug Turner.
According to Doug's blog, the replacement efforts have arrived. Well, not quite, but two prototypes have.
Now in its fifth version, Zagat To Go, compatible with the PDA and platform in-crowd, gives locomotive users access to Zagat's sprawling database of cleverly amalgamated dining reviews and ratings for the best spots in town for food, service, and decor.
The mobile version of the gastro-household brand makes good use of cell phone technology to deliver maps and directions, though Zagat strangely passes up some low-hanging functionality that forces users to do extra legwork as a result. Watch the First Look video below or read the hands-on review for more detail.
There are tons of YouTube video-grabbing downloads out there, but relatively few also convert those FLV files for later viewing on a cell phone, iPhone, or other flavor of mobile device. Since we don't like using two apps when we can use one, here's a hand-picked collection of apps containing the packaged set.
1. Out of all the downloader/converters I tried, nothing felt more honest than CinemaForge, with its homegrown UFO-shaped interface. The freeware app lays down a simple 6-step downloading and conversion trajectory that includes finding a video's "real" URL, as opposed to … Read more