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Best of SPE, 22 March 2009

Sun Mar 22, 2009 - 7:17 PM EDT - By Dieter Bohn


Android Central

We're still in all sorts of limbo in the Android world. Firstly, the "cupcake" update is currently looking like it may be unlikely to land on the T-Mobile G1. Secondly, we want more devices! The good news on that front is HTC has plenty lined up for 2009, we may see Motorola produce some Android smartphones, and Samsung also looks to be getting in on the Android act soon too.

There looks to be plenty of great new Android features on the horizon, too. With circular zoom, video recording, and live folders all on tap, the Android platform is definitely not standing pat.

Niagara Niagara NIAGARA! CrackBerry Kevin got his hands on the BlackBerry "Niagara" 9630 this week and despite an early-beta OS which made using the device difficult, gave the hardware a thorough hands-on review. CDMA users will be in for a real treat when this device gets released. Also emerging on the net this week was a spy shot of the BlackBerry "Gemini." On the apps front, Pandora has finally (finally!) come to BlackBerry and the open beta for SmrtGuard is causing quite a stir.

Nokia Experts

There are some amazing devices coming soon running the S60 operating system and Rafe and Steve had a chance to spend time with the compelling Samsung OMNIA HD. 3rd party application support is a strong part of the S60 platform and some of our favorite free and priced apps were highlighted this week. While you have been able to watch YouTube via the web browser, there is now a dedicated YouTube client for S60 devices. We've been anxiously looking for Nokia to come to US wireless carriers and it looks like the fabulous E71 may be coming to AT&T this next week.

The release date wait-a-thon for the Palm Pre continues with April looking less likely but "first half os 2009" still solid. Meanwhile we've finally pinned down how much RAM the Palm Pre has and perhaps even the Original Device Manufacturer for the device. We've also confirmed that the Pre will get free updates that will be easily applied. The big news, however, has to be that Palm the company really and truly is hanging on by the thinnest of threads and needs the Pre to be a big success to stay alive -- hopefully the insurance payout for a warehouse robbery will arrive soon, because Palm could use the cash.

The iPhone Blog

Previously on This past Tuesday, Apple unveiled iPhone 3.0, which includes system-wide copy/paste (text, formatting, links, and pictures), MMS (picture, contact vCard, audio, location), stereo Bluetooth, system-wide Spotlight search (email, events, contacts, and apps), Push Notification Service, tethering, pervasive landscape keyboard, and a host of other features, gave the App Store subscription pricing and in-App purchases, and developers P2P connectivity and perhaps most transforming -- Dock port and Bluetooth connectivity for accessories. The first beta is already out and general release is promised for "summer 2009". With 100 new features and 1000 new APIs announced in total, check our massive iPhone 3.0 news roundup or listen to our iPhone Live! podcast coverage for more.

Meanwhile, rumors of 3rd and even 4th generation iPhone hardware are running wild with specs including OLED screens, multi-core GPUs that can work as CPUs thanks to OpenCL, faster Internet speeds (802.11n and/or 3.5G HSPDA networking), and a higher megapixel camera with video recording and editing built in. Anyone still think we're crazy for predicting an iPhone HD?


At TreoCentral we learned that the Sprint Treo Pro finally went on sale on Sunday, March 15th, as expected after being delayed. Plus Dieter answered your Treo Pro questions, and Annie reported on what Infoworld and CNET think of the Sprint Treo Pro. In other news, Palm posted their Q3 FY09 results which were grim as expected. Palm seems to be virtually bleeding money and a warehouse robbery of $5 million sure didn't help. But we hope that the Pre will revive Palm when it's released within the next 15 weeks.


We're now a week removed from the launch of the long-awaited Sprint Treo Pro, which finally saw the light of day. Speaking of phones, the Verizon re-released the Motorola Q9C. We've also gotten a pretty good look at what Sprint has planned for the next several months, and more specs on a number of HTC phones we hope to see in the near future.

We saw a decent amount of Windows Mobile 6.5 news as well. Widgets were confirmed, the honeycomb menu is out, and we got an hourlong video rundown of 6.5 at the MIX09 conference in Las Vegas.

The week also saw the release of a native YouTube application, some furor over why there aren't any capactive touchscreens for Windows Mobile and poked a little fun at our friends at The iPhone Blog.

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