iPhone and Android keep software away, T-Mobile prices and dates UK G1, and LG sneaks in with Renoir work of artPosted on 2008 under iPhone News |
After several weeks packed to the trumpets with huge software announcements and hot hardware releases, it’s nice to get back to more mainstream mobile news. And there’s no shortage of that this week, thanks to our gold mining Pocket Picks research leprechauns. So let’s jump into their glistening horde of hot news riches with a look at one of this week’s tastiest – and least likely to happen – stories.
In principle, this iPhone-powered ‘netbook’ is a blindingly awesome idea. Supposedly, the iPhone is plugged into this ultra mobile laptop peripheral where the touchpad would go and, as well as acting as a pointing device, provides the CPU brain for the system. Details are sparse enough to make us think that, at best, this is a concept rather than a product going into development. Apple is also notoriously strict when it comes to such uses of its darling handset, but who wouldn’t sacrifice a limb to give this little beauty a test drive?
Until something like this unlikely device actually appears, at least we’ll have the new Firefox mobile browser to help us surf. Still in development stages, some interesting WinMo screenshots have appeared to highlight a few functions we can expect to see. Along with tabbed browsing and a revamped interface more suited to the micro screen, Firefox Mobile apparently boasts some impressive benchmark tests – something which any mobile net surfer will be pleased to hear.
Also on the mobile surfing front is Adobe’s confirmation that Flash is coming to the iPhone. But before we get too excited about the prospect of running browser based games and applications, Apple has potentially put the brakes on with a cryptic statement in its SDK prohibiting ‘interpreted’ code. On top of this intention to reduce the functionality of Adobe’s Flash system, Apple has blocked Microsoft’s little used equivalent, Silverlight, from access to the iPhone. Instead, Microsoft is attempting to open doors by turning its attention to the Google systems. It already runs inside the Google Chrome browser, and will hopefully be available for the Android OS pretty soon.
The continued obstreperousness of Apple is offering all kinds of opportunities for the more accommodating competition, though perhaps not quite so many as were initially reported for sales of the T-Mobile G1 handset. Originally reported as cahching 1.5 million units on pre-order, it seems the source of the figures wasn’t especially reliable. There’s still a pretty decent UK interest in the handset, however, following on from T-Mobile’s announcement of the G1’s release date and pricing structure. Get your order in now, if the somewhat tacky looking handset doesn’t put you off (it’s what’s inside that counts, anyway).
True enough, Apple’s copped its share of flak regarding its ham-fisted methods of dealing with developers, but it now seems the forthcoming Android Market has taken a leaf from the App Store’s totalitarian regime. The online Android store is also set to incorporate a ‘kill switch’ function which allows it to delete applications from user’s handsets. The insistence is that this will only be used to remove ‘harmful’ apps, which doesn’t seem unlikely as Google will be far kinder than Apple when it comes to vetting software.
And finally, if all this talk of heavy handed manufacturer micro-management puts you off these big name handsets, LG might have quietly released an alternative just for you. The LG Renoir is a delicious piece of hardware that competes with the likes of the iPhone rather impressively. Focused more on the eight-megapixel camera side of things, the Renoir sports wi-fi, GPS, TV out, Dolby sound, face detection, a digital image stabiliser, xenon flash and a razor sharp Schneider-Kreuznach lens. With these kind of functions, this could well be the sleeper hit handset of 2008’s fourth quarter, so don’t overlook it when shopping for a next gen handset.