Posted tagged ‘GigaOm’

Motorola Introduces Android Phone

September 10, 2009

Motorola unveiled its first device using Google’s Android system today, hoping that it will attract consumers looking to use their phones to connect with friends, family and colleagues.

From the Associated Press:

The Cliq comes with a touch screen and a standard, “QWERTY” keyboard that slides out from its side. Software on it will let users aggregate contact information from various social networks and e-mail accounts. Small application “widgets” will show such information as your friends’ Facebook status updates on the home screen.

The new device also sports a five-megapixel camera, allowing for sharper images than most other phones, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and its three-megapixel resolution.

The Cliq, which Motorola unveiled Thursday during a GigaOM mobile Internet conference in San Francisco, will be available from wireless carrier T-Mobile in time for the holiday season. Pricing and release details will be announced within three weeks.

Motorola plans to unveil a second Android phone in the coming weeks. It will also be available for the holidays, most likely through Verizon Wireless, which has already said it will be one of the U.S. carriers for a Motorola smart phone.

From IDG News Service:

The touch-screen phone will use an upcoming Internet-based service for Motorola phones called MotoBlur, which will integrate information from users’ contacts on a variety of social-networking services including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. MotoBlur users will be able to combine their contacts on all those networks into one contact list, organize their own groups or divide contacts by social network, according to Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of the company’s Mobile Devices group.

The Cliq, unveiled at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco, will have a slideout QWERTY keyboard as well as a touch screen. It will come with Wi-Fi as well as 3G (third-generation) connectivity, a 5-megapixel camera that can shoot video at 24 frames per second and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.


Advertisements

Motorola Preparing Its Own Google Android Phone

October 20, 2008

Motorola is reportedly making its own version of a phone based on Google’s Android operating system and is expected to release the handset in mid-2009. The device will likely house such features as a touch-screen interface, slide-out keyboard and social-network-related applications. Without detailing its intentions, Motorola stated that it was excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google.

From BusinessWeek:

As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.

The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.

From InformationWeek:

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.

We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touchscreen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently-announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared to the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don’t know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies invovled in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won’t be ready until some time in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1’s launch. We don’t know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Android than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

From GigaOM:

Sanjay Jha, who now heads up Motorola’s handset business (which is likely to be spun out some time soon), was another proponent of Android, back when he was the COO of Qualcomm. (Related: GigaOM Interview with Sanjay Jha.) Here are some notable bits about the upcoming phone:

  • Motorola is showing specs and images to carriers.
  • The phone could be introduced sometime in second quarter of 20098.
  • The phone will have a touchscreen the size of iPhone screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
  • The phone will focus on social networking features.
  • The team spearheading the Android development is the one that came to Motorola via acquisition of Good Technology.

The new phone based on Android may not be such a bad idea for Motorola, but the company needs to rationalize its vast array of devices that use an equally confusing number of operating systems. In addition to Android, Motorola has two different Linux efforts — its internal version and LiMo-based Linux devices — as well as Motorola’s proprietary operating system, Qualcomm’s Brew and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

From CRN:

While Motorola has declined to specify its plans, it issued a statement saying, “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google,” BusinessWeek.com reported, indicating that Motorola has been showing wireless carriers spec sheets and images of the device, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2009.

Word of Motorola’s first Android-based device comes just weeks after reports surfaced noting that the Schaumburg, Ill.-based handset maker is trumping up its Android development team by assembling a group of up to 350 Android developers to reinvigorate its struggling mobile device business. The added developers will bulk up Motorola’s Android team from the 50 members it has today.

Motorola’s Android device will pit it head-to-head against other touch-screen titans that have recently stormed the market in attempts to dethrone Apple’s 3G iPhone from its spot at the top. As a sort of prelude, Motorola last week released its first-ever touch-screen phone, the Motorola Krave, which launched Oct. 14 on Verizon Wireless.

From CNET:

Motorola’s Android phone, according to the report, is expected to feature a touch screen similar to Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that allows users to connect to such social-networking sites as MySpace and Facebook. It is unclear how similar it will be to T-Mobile USA’s newly released G1 phone, manufactured by HTC, which also uses Android.

The phone is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in the second quarter of next year, according to sources cited in the BusinessWeek report, which noted that carriers have already seen spec sheets and images of the devices.

Motorola’s Android phone may carry a price of approximately $150 to $180, with a two-year carrier contract, according to the report.

Google Chrome: New Browser Coming Soon

September 2, 2008

First, it was Google Android. Now, the news is about Google Chrome, Google’s long-rumored open-source browser project, which is about to arrive. A detailed, 38-page comic appeared on Google Blogoscoped and the book is broken down into five main sections covering stability; speed; search and the user experience, security, and standards.

From Google:

So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web. All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build. On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

From the Associated Press:

Google will begin distributing its own browser in a move likely to heat up its rivalry with Microsoft.

The Internet search leader confirmed the long-rumored browser in a Monday posting on its Web site. Google said the free browser, called “Chrome,” will be available for downloading Tuesday.

The browser represents Google Inc.’s latest challenge to Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer is used by nearly 75 percent of Web surfers. Google has been concerned that Microsoft will try to program Internet Explorer in a way that makes it more difficult for Google’s search engine to attract traffic.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

From GigaOm:

Google in a blog post on their website has acknowledged the existence of Google Chrome, a browser that the company will be releasing tomorrow. Kara Swisher has confirmed the existence of Google Chrome, a browser developed by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search company. The rumors of the browser were reported earlier on Google Blogoscoped, which received a comic book that outlined the key features of the browser.

  • It is based on Webkit and will include Google Gears.
  • It includes Javascript Virtual Machine called V8 that was developed by a team in Denmark.
  • It accelerates the Javascript performance and is multi-threaded.
  • It has tabs, auto-completion, and a dashboard type start page that can help you get going to the web services you need. Opera has such a dashboard.
  • It has a privacy mode that allows you to use the machine without logging anything on the local machine.
  • It might be similar to a feature called Incognito in the latest version of Microsoft IE.
  • Malware and phishing protection would be built into this browser.

From BoomTown:

In its most frontal and aggressive attack on Microsoft yet, sources with knowledge of the project said Google is preparing to unveil a new browser–ready for download to users as early as tomorrow–to try to loosen Microsoft’s iron grip on the most important piece of software to navigate the Internet.

In addition, Google Blogoscoped has published a comic book that Google is apparently using to explain the technical aspects of its open-source browser, which is called Chrome.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

From CNET:

While the illustrations, created by cartoonist Scott McCloud, were not announced by Google, they do contain the quotes and likenesses of 19 Google developers.

CNET News.com Editor in Chief Dan Farber’s analysis of Google Chrome Monday was this: “It would be in line with other Google open-source projects, such as OpenSocial and Google Gears. Creating a competitor to Firefox, as well as Internet Explorer and Opera, could spur more innovation.”

“Open sourcing the code is a smart way to avoid the ‘Google wants to take over the world’ fear, but it seems that Google has ambitions to create a comprehensive Internet operating system, including a browser, applications, middleware and cloud infrastructure.”

From InformationWeek:

Yes, you read that correctly. Google is taking a major swipe at its competitors with the imminent launch of Chrome, a new Web browser based on Webkit. Thus marks the beginning of a new phase in the browser wars.

Kara Swischer at The Wall Street Journal got perhaps one of the biggest scoops of the year. She spoke to some people familiar with some of the projects Google is working on. Those sources say that Google is set to unveil a brand new Web browser that will be available to everyone as early as tomorrow (Tuesday).

Not only is Google going announcing a new browser, but it is making the announcement with a comic book. That’s hot.

Google has talked the browser talk for years. The last time I heard anything formal about it from the Google camp was nearly a year ago. Looks like Google is ready to walk the browser walk with Chrome.

The End of Unlimited Internet is Approaching

September 2, 2008

Get ready to say goodbye to unlimited Internet access. Comcast, the second-largest Internet service provider in the country, has announced that starting on October 1, the company will officially set a threshold for monthly Internet usage.

From the New York Times:

Beginning Oct. 1, Comcast will put a 250 gigabyte-a-month cap on residential users. The limit will not affect most users, at least not in the short-term, but is certain to create tension as some technologies gain traction.

A Comcast spokeswoman, Jennifer Khoury, said 250 gigabytes was about 100 times the typical usage; the average customer uses two to three gigabytes a month. Less than 1 percent of customers exceed the cap, she said.

Many Internet providers reserve the right to cancel the service of the most excessive users. The 250-gigabyte cap is Comcast’s way of specifying a longstanding policy of placing a limit on Internet consumption, and it comes after customer pushed for a definition of excessive use.

But on the Internet, consumer behavior does not stand still. As the technology company Cisco stated in a report last winter, “today’s ‘bandwidth hog’ is tomorrow’s average user.”

Some commentators were quick to characterize Comcast’s decision as having a chilling effect. Om Malik, the founder of the technology Web site GigaOm, called the cap “the end of the Internet as we know it.”

From GigaOm:

Karl Bode over on DSL Reports reports that Comcast will institute a 250 GB cap on its broadband connections starting Oct. 1. Expect other carriers to follow suit and make tiered broadband a reality. Much as I would like to think otherwise, this is the end of the Internet as we know it.

The caps are a move to ensure that the gouging scheme put in place by Comcast and other cable providers stays intact and they can continue to sell their video-on-demand services. It was a point I made when I wrote, Why Tiered Broadband Is The Enemy of Innovation. I will say this again: this is to stymie services like Hulu, NetFlix and Amazon On-Demand.

In yet another post, I thought of this as a nicer way of getting around net neutrality issues. I just don’t buy Comcast’s arguments, which smell like urine on a hot summer day.

Comcast’s arguments about infrastructure and bandwidth costs and so on are sort of hollow as some of the experts in our comments had indicated. On its network management web site, Comcast uses examples of some services and what you can do with the 250 GB limit.

250 GB per month is an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis. Currently, the median monthly data usage by our residential customers is approximately 2 – 3 GB. To put 250 GB of monthly usage in perspective, a customer would have to do any one of the following:

* Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
* Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)
* Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
* Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)