Mobile News Roundup - InformationWeek

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10/24/2008
07:39 PM
Marin Perez
Marin Perez
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Mobile News Roundup

It was a big week in the mobile world. Google's Android finally launched, the BlackBerry App Store surfaced, we finally got a firm release date on the Blac

It was a big week in the mobile world. Google's Android finally launched, the BlackBerry App Store surfaced, we finally got a firm release date on the BlackBerry Bold, the Symbian Foundation got its leader, and Apple sold a gajillion iPhones. There was plenty of other news that we weren't able to fully cover, so here's my stab at it.HTC Touch Pro Available On Monday

Yes, yes, yes! Sprint officially said the HTC Touch Pro will be in "select national retailers" beginning Oct. 26. We covered this bad boy when it was introduced in June, and it looked like a stellar device for the mobile professional.

I spent time with its little brother, the HTC Touch Diamond, and felt that it was a really good smartphone, but there were just a few problems that kept it out of the "great" category. Well, those should be fixed with the Touch Pro. The slide-out QWERTY keyboard will definitely add some bulk, but it's well worth it as the virtual keyboard was a bit of a pain. There's also expandable memory and increased productivity apps.

If it's merely the HTC Touch Diamond with a real keyboard and expanded memory, I'd still recommend it. The TouchFlo 3D UI makes this Windows Mobile device a breeze to handle. I'll see what I can do to grab one of these and give you my opinion in about a week. If you can't wait, it'll be available Monday online and in some brick-and-mortar stores for about $300 with a two-year contract and rebate, and a data plan.

Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers …

With the G1 commercially released, it's time to fill that Android Market. Sure, there's neat stuff like TuneWiki and Shop Savvy, but we all know the platform's going to live or die on the creativity and ingenuity of the developer community. With that in mind, an Android developer camp will be going off in Dallas tomorrow, and it's being sponsored by SpringStage and Big in Japan. Sorry about the late notice, but if you're nearby, I'm sure it will be worth your time.

Speaking of developers, I spent a day at the first-ever BlackBerry Developer Conference and must say I was impressed. With more than 700 registered developers, it was a well-organized event with lots of news, good swag, and even celebrities. IntoMobile did a great job covering it; hop on over you're interested. I was particularly taken by the mix of developers: There were mobile-only creators, Web designers, as well as an equal mix targeting enterprise and consumers. I expect this conference to get bigger and better.

I also saw a demo of a neat productivity app for BlackBerry called PageOnce. The free app pulls information from multiple accounts -- including portfolios, utilities, Netflix -- onto your handset. You manage what info hits your handset from the Web site, and the founder assured me the information's encrypted.

One little complaint about the conference: RIM, please don't ever close your pressroom during conference hours.

UIQ Equals Epic Fail

It looks like the Symbian UIQ platform may not have much life yet, at least for Sony Ericsson. At the Symbian Smartphone Show this week, SE's Patrick Olsen reportedly said the OS "didn't make it." The company's facing some tough times, and it's pinning a lot of hopes on the upcoming Xperia X1, which runs Windows Mobile. The company has been mums about what OS future devices would run, and I know more than a few people who would love to see their stylish handsets running Android.

As for UIQ, it'll probably head the way of the dodo. But fear not, as I'm sure its best attributes will be brought over to the open source Symbian.

Weird Of The Week

Still having a hard time deciding if it's Nokia's bathroom survey or the iPhone chew toy. Oh wait, I got it. Everyone's favorite big-chin funnyman had a contest to see if text messengers could send a message faster than old-school communicators. Not much hilarity, but it's still pretty interesting:

That's all I have for you this week. Be sure to check in next week, as I'm currently testing the Samsung Innov8, a Symbian smartphone that packs a whopping 8 megapixels. I'm also getting used to having a home phone line again, as I'm trying out ooma, and my G1 unit is on the way.

As always, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail with any questions, news, or suggestions.

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