Most tablets in use today are iPad-size. That's because most tablets in use are iPads.
This reality has led pundits to believe that iPad size is the right size for a touch tablet. But I've come to believe that in just two years, iPad-size tablets will represent a small minority of the market.
It's hard to believe now, but experts used to argue about whether there was room in the space between a phone and a laptop for any kind of consumer electronics device.
Now it has become clear that there are major markets for two sizes: An iPad size in the 10-in. diagonal range, and a smaller size in the 7-in. diagonal range.
Not only should these two form factors be considered distinct, but in many ways they should be considered opposites. The big one is portable (home, office, coffee shop) and the other is mobile (absolutely everywhere). Read more...
Samsung tablets do not infringe on a registered Apple design because "they are not as cool" and the Galaxy Tablets "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," a U.K. judge said in a ruling on Monday.
Samsung sought a declaration that three of its tablet computers, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 do not infringe on Apple's registered design that describes the shape of the iPad. The Samsung tablets and the iPad had to be seen as members of the same family, rather then the same devices, Judge Colin Birss said in his ruling.
"Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different," and therefore Samsung tablets do not infringe on the Apple design patent, he concluded. Read more...
BlackBerry's app store – BlackBerry App World – has notched up 3 billion downloads, parent company RIM boasted in a upbeat developers' blog post.
There are now over 90,000 apps in the store, the post says.
Apple's App Store has seen 30 billion downloads as of June and has about half-a-million apps on its books, but the 3 billion mark is still a bright spot for RIM at a time when its CEO has been forced to deny that the company is "in a death spiral". Read more...
Apple's App Store has accidentally whipped the covers off the new Twitter app for iPhone and revealed its features.
From the list of the updates, it promises to cram more videos and pictures into streams of tweets; curate related messages around special events; and bring in a more hyperactive notification system that warns when your favourite twits tweet too.
The good news is that performance and crash-fixing tweaks should improve what can be an unstable app. Read more...
Lookout Mobile Security has taken steps towards classifying privacy-eroding phone apps as malign and ripe for removal from devices by its antivirus software.
Many free mobile applications generate revenue by using advertising networks and exchanges to show in-app ads, and in most cases everything is ethical and above board.
However Lookout researchers discovered some of these advertising suppliers quietly access personal information on the phones - including handset owners' email addresses, numbers and names.
"Many of these ad providers also use aggressive mobile ad delivery techniques that can confuse users, like changing bookmark settings or delivering ads outside the context of an individual app," Lookout explains.
19,000 of the 380,000 free apps (5 per cent) analysed by Lookout used questionable or aggressive tactics. On Google Play, apps in the personalisation category (for example, wallpaper apps) have the highest percentage of aggressive ad networks (at 17 per cent), closely followed by comics (13 per cent), arcade & action (10 per cent) and entertainment (8 per cent).
Lookout warns that privacy-invading apps are more prevalent than malware. The security firm has drawn up a list of guidelines on acceptable behaviour for mobile apps, as explained in this blog post.
The firm may later use these guidelines as a benchmark for deciding whether to flag up particular apps as a privacy or security risk to customers of its mobile security software. Lookout, which provides virus detection and elimination software for Apple iOS and Google Android phones, has yet to start classifying any mobile apps as adware.
The US-based biz is in discussion with advertising networks and app developers about the issue in order to thrash out a code of practice.
The draft guidelines cover best practices in the following areas: transparency and clarity of data collection; control over information collected; ad delivery and display behaviour; collection and retention of personal or device-specific data; and secure transport of sensitive data.
"This is a living document that will change as the industry evolves, but ad providers that do not follow the basic requirements could be flagged as adware," Lookout stated (our emphasis).
The company's researchers have drawn attention to an important issue, and their figures are a worthwhile contribution to the debate, but users looking to use its mobile security application as a way to ward off invasive apps will be disappointed, at least for now. Read more...
Windows 8, the next major upgrade of Microsoft's operating system for PCs, tablets and laptops, will be released to manufacturers in August and will ship commercially in October, the company announced on Monday.
Microsoft had previously said that the OS would be commercially available before the end of the year but hadn't given a firm shipping date.
When Windows 8 is released to manufacturers (RTM), Microsoft will also activate the Windows Store and start charging for applications, which during the test period have been free, the company announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. Read more...
Global spending on IT products and services will rise 3 percent in 2012 to $3.6 trillion, according to figures released Monday by research firm Gartner. The forecast is up from the 2.5 percent growth projection Gartner issued earlier this year.
"While the challenges facing global economic growth persist -- the eurozone crisis, weaker U.S. recovery, a slowdown in China -- the outlook has at least stabilized," said Gartner research Vice President Richard Gordon in a statement. However, "continued caution" is advisable for the near future, according to Gordon. Read more...
Microsoft is modifying its Office 365 sales agreement with partners to motivate them to push the product more aggressively, the company announced on Monday.
Microsoft wants to make Office 365 easier to sell and more profitable for its partners, said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division, at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
The changes have been prompted by feedback from partners. "[They] aren't shy, they like to tell us what's working and what we need to improve on," said DelBene, during a keynote speech that was webcast.
To that end, Microsoft will let partners bill their customers directly for Office 365, and bundle in a single invoice complementary services they provide in addition to the price of the software. This will be possible via a new initiative called the Office 365 Open Program. Read more...