Mozilla Releases Mobile Firefox for Maemo, Android to Follow

Screen shot 2010 01 31 at 5.02.49 AM 489x215 Mozilla Releases Mobile Firefox for Maemo, Android to Follow

Mozilla just released their first mobile Firefox browser, running on Maemo platform. In case you’re not aware one of the mobile devices sporting this platform is the computer-like Nokia N900 handset. So, if you’re one of the probably few users of this handset, you might want to visit firefox.com/mobile using your N900.  Or if you want to be cautious about it, check out the FAQ first.

Better yet, check out these key features first, to help you decide whether you should install  the mobile Firefox on your Nokia N900. Firefox for Mobile lets you:

  • Go to your favorite sites in just a couple of keystrokes with intelligent and personalized searching
  • Sync your Firefox tabs, history, bookmarks and passwords between your desktop and mobile device for a seamless browsing experience
  • Customize your Firefox by adding small pieces of functionality, like games and news readers, that help make the mobile Web browser your own
  • Get maps and information relevant to your location
  • View open tabs as thumbnails to easily identify and select the Web page you’d like to go to next
  • Get an Instant Web Site ID and easily access and edit security settings

What’s great about Firefox Mobile is that it’s probably the first mobile web browser that supports browser add-ons. Yeah, I envy  you N900 users and I’m seriously hoping that Mozilla releases an Android version, specifically for Nexus One soon.

The mobile Firefox add-ons let you cusztomize the browser by adding extra features such as AdBlock Plus, URL Fixer, TwitterBar, language translators and definitely more. In fact, there are already more than 40 of these add-ons that you can use after you’ve installed mobile Firefox.

So, if you’re a Nokia N900 user, check out Mozilla Firefox mobile now. And if you’re an Android phone user like me, let’s wait a while for the Android version to come out.

Fring Updates iPhone App to Allow Free Video Calls and VoIP via 3G

If the idea of talking to the camera at the back of your iPhone and then turning your iPhone as soon as you’ve spoken to see the person you’re talking to, sounds cool to you, then you might be glad to know that Fring has just enabled video calling and VoIP through 3G on their iPhone app.

Actually, this was a result of the recent announcement made by Apple opening the iPhone’s gates to VoIP calling. Interestingly, Apple made this decision even if it will affect AT&T’s revenues.

To make free voice or video calls using Fring, you simply need to fire up your Fring iPhone app and hope that the message “voip calls are not allowed…” does not appear anymore. If it does, just click “more”, then “go offline” and then open Fring again.

Meanwhile, Fring was not the first iPhone app developer who immediately took advantage of iPhone’s decision to allow VoIP calls on the iPhone. A few days ago, iCall also went live, allowing free VoIP calls for iPhone users through 3G.

Both Fring and iCall if embraced by mobile phone users would definitely make  the  VoIP through 3G market more exciting. Expect more mobile apps that will allow VoIP through 3G to be developed and hope that mobile carriers will not disallow this feature even if it affects part of their revenues.

 

Ustream Launches Producer, a Desktop Client to Help You Do Live Broadcasts

Screen shot 2010 01 29 at 6.03.39 AM 490x284 Ustream Launches Producer, a Desktop Client to Help You Do Live Broadcasts

Ustream, known for its live interactive video broadcast platform has just launched a new desktop client called Ustream producer. It’s a nice tool for doing live broadcasts from your PC with high video quality and editing tools. Available for both Mac and PC, you can have the tool either as a free client or a paid one which will cost you a one-time fee of $199. Of course, that amount would give you more options and features to make your live broadcasts look more professional.

Ustream Producer lets you do the following:

  • easily manage video and audio sources
  • browse, drag and drop audio and video files
  • start and stop recordings
  • pop-out a chat room or social streams
  • display your desktop via screencasting capability
  • update your status and syndicate to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and AIM
  • broadcast using Picture in Picture
  • create multiple transitions

If you’re into live broadcasting and you want to take this to a higher level, the $199 price tag for the Pro version seems a reasonable price. While the free version is enough to get you started with live broadcasting, the PRO version however will make your live streams even better and more appealing to your intended audience.  The PRO version gives you additional features such as unlimited cameras, unlimited transitions, 7 encoding presets including HD and more.

To give you a taste of what Ustream Producer can do, you might want to watch the live broadcasts of a new song that will be featured in the upcoming Alice in Wonderland flick. The live stream will start at 4PM tomorrow.

Via

 

Apple iPad Launch Video Available Now

hero20100127 Apple iPad Launch Video Available Now

If you didn’t catch Apple’s big event this morning, well the full video coverage is now available online in  low, medium and hi res. Go ahead fanboys, check it out and relive the moments again if you’ve already watched it live somewhere.

Take a gander at how Steve has unveiled Apple’s latest product. How did he refer to the iPad again? – “a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price” and ” The best way to experience web, email, photos and video.” I’m pretty sure none of us will agree to those two statements. But hey, it’s a marketing campaign, so what can you expect?

And if you have no idea what the iPad is made of, here’s a quick rundown of its specs:

  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Optional 3G

What? You’re not impressed? How about full support for existing iPhone/iPod apps? iTunes connectivity and media management? Or perhaps its best feature (IMHO) – the iBooks application. It will allow you to purchase e-books from various major publishers and read them of course on the iPad.

Alright, alright. You are probably not impressed.  Just be contented with the fact that Steve has just  given us big boys a new toy to play with until we grow tired of  it.

Before I forget, here are the links to the videos of this morning’s Apple Event. Enjoy!

Apple iPad, the All-Around Device for $499 Base Model, Sweet!

Screen shot 2010 01 28 at 3.56.39 AM 489x310 Apple iPad, the All Around Device for $499 Base Model, Sweet!

Alright boys and girls, let’s all welcome Apple’s latest creation – the iPad. I know, it’s a crappy name for an Apple product. Makes you think that the Apple boys seemed to have run out of ideas already to come up with a killer name for a supposedly killer device. But hey, we’re free to call it whatever we want. What matters is what it can do, right?

Frankly, the Apple boys maybe a bit confused as well when it comes to determining what they want the iPad to be. Is it a tablet? Is it an e-book reader? Is it a bigger version of iPod?  Actually, Apple wants the iPad to be a bit of everything.

The iPad is definitely a Tablet, by looks alone. But it lacks the slide-out keyboard common to tablet PCs. But hey, it has a full capacitive multi-touch feature so that more than makes up for the lack of a physical keyboard.

It can handle games. Specifically graphics intensive  games such as the one demoed by EA. It can even do pixel double so that existing games can maximize the 9.7-inch screen since all of these games were developed for the small screen estate of iPhone and iPod touch.

Most interesting function of the Apple iPad of course is the e-book reader part. It can definitely handle e-book reading task. But more importantly, Apple also announced it’s e-book store – iBooks. So, there are now three Apple gadget-specific, online store, iTunes, Apps Store and iBooks. And having an e-book store of its own means a lot for the success of the iPad as an electronic reading device. Fortunately for Apple, they have already made deals with four major publishers – Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster, Penguin and MacMillan and Hatchett. The only information left is how much e-books are going to be sold.

Lastly, the part that got me excited? – Pricing. And it goes something like these:

  • $499 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi
  • $599 for the 32GB model Wi-Fi
  • $699 for the 64GB model Wi-Fi
  • $629 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G
  • $729 for the 32GB Wi-Fi +3G
  • $829 for the 64GB Wi-Fi  +3G

U.S. release date will be late March in the U.S. and selected countries.

And here’s the official Apple announcement for the iPad. Apple Gazette’s technical specs round-up here.

So, are you buying the iPad? I am, most definitely.

AT&T to Create Buzz in the Social Recommendations Market

Screen shot 2010 01 27 at 9.11.41 PM 490x280 AT&T to Create Buzz in the Social Recommendations Market

With the success being reaped by location-aware social recommendation sites such as Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp and even Google Places, it’s not surprising that a new player wants to join in the party – AT&T.  According to a report by Forbes, AT&T is currently testing a new social recommendation site called Buzz.com.

The site which is currently on a by-invitation-only alpha mode is geared to provide  “deeper and more relevant” local business searches that will utilize AT&T’s information about local businesses.  Through social connections and technology, AT&T hopes to give  the most reliable and useful search recommendations to users based on what other people’s  favorites and comments.

But don’t think of Buzz.com as just another social networking site despite having some similar features with Facebook or Foursquare.  The site was developed  by leveraging social graphs that already exist. So the site’s would-be members will be able to invite groups of friends from their email contacts or even Facebook profiles and link their activities on Buzz.com instead of duplicating their social networking profiles.

In addition, Buzz.com is not a review site.  You either post a brief comment about a particular local business or favorite that site instead.  This in effect will spare AT&T of all the troubles that may arise from not so great reviews about business establishments that might be posted by people.

Buzz.com is set to debut to some 500 users next week . In the meantime you might want to sign up to make sure that you’d get an invite as soon as they let people in.

Google Voice Web App for iPhone and WebOS Rolled Out

Google has just rolled out the Google Voice web app for iPhone and Palm WebOS devices – providing a fast and versatile mobile application that utilizes the lighter and fast loading HTML5 standard.

Of course, the best part about this is the fact that you don’t have to download anything and install a new app on your phone. You simply visit the Google Voice mobile site at http://m.google.com/voice and you’re good to go – that is make calls from your phone showing your Google Voice number as the caller ID. The Google Voice web app also lets you listen to voicemail and read voicemail transcripts, send and receive text messages for free and make international calls at low rates.

But then why not make it a native phone application like Google Voice for Android? Well, you have to contend to Google’s reasoning that creating a web app for Google Voice for iPhone and WebOS has its many advantages. Some of which allows you to store data locally without losing it when you close your phone’s browser.

I really would like to try Google Voice both on my iPhone and Nexus One but unfortunately the service is currently open to U.S. users only. How about you? Have you used Google Voice, either for Android, iPhone or WebOS? Share us your experience and make me envy you.

Justin.tv Launches Easier Web Broadcasting Feature

Screen shot 2010 01 27 at 4.01.22 AM 490x215 Justin.tv Launches Easier Web Broadcasting Feature

When it comes to web broadcasting services, one of the most used that I’ve seen so far is Justiv.tv. Unfortunately, while I’ve found it a very good web app, I also find it rather complicated to use and set up. Until now, as Justin.tv just made its process of web broadcasting easier and faster.

According to the Justin.tv blog, they have overhauled the web broadcasting experience to make it easier to go live on Justin.tv.  The new process eliminates all the required configurations and setup such as resubmitting forms, fiddling with Captchas, selecting categories, uploading images, selecting cameras, adjusting bitrate and other tasks. So with the new interface, you will now be spending more time creating live video rather than doing many chores to prepare creating video.

Initial assessment of the beta tests conducted on new users to Justin.tv revealed that 10% of them made it to the last step of creating web broadcasts, signifying a 700% increase from the old version prior to the launch of the new interface and simple process. Justin.tv now requires fewer settings which can even be skipped. And Justin.tv hopes that this could turn first-time users to become frequent live streamers.

Let’s see whether this simpler process of creating a live web broadcast would actually encourage new users as well as retain old ones.

If you’re in need of a tool to broadcast yourself or your friends online, you might want to check out Justin.tv again. Right now, CNET observed that the site is frequently being used by gamers. Something which keeps Justin.tv from going.

Skyfire Mobile Phone Browser Gets Updated to Version 1.5

I once used Skyfire as my mobile web browser when  I used to have a Nokia phone. It’s my favorite web browser aside from Opera Mini. I just love its sleek UI and how fast it loads mobile websites. Plus, Skyfire handles Flash and Javascript pages as well as streaming videos pretty well. But that was long before the iPhone and Nexus One.

Anyway, if you’re using a supported Nokia phone or a Windows Mobile smartphone and Skyfire is your mobile web browser, you’d be glad to know that Skyfire 1.5 has just been released.

Skyfire 1.5 support non-touch and touch-enabled phones such as those Nokia handsets with S60 OS in both 3rd or 5th version, or non-touch or touch-enabled Nokia handsets running the S60 OS.

Key Features of the Skyfire 1.5 include:

  • more fluid kinetic scrolling on touch-enabled handsets
  • better user interface including full screen mode and finger-friendly buttons for S60 mobile phones
  • more robust and faster browsing
  • auto-rotate for the touch-enabled S60 phones

To download Skyfire 1.5, you have three options – point your phone’s browser to m.skyfire.com, send a download link to your phone by providing your mobile phone number or install the browser on your PC before transferring it your touch or non-touch enabled mobile phones.

 

DoubleTwist Wants to be the iTunes for Android

doubletwistsync 490x306 DoubleTwist Wants to be the iTunes for Android

When I got my Google Nexus One, one of the features that I missed which the iPhone gave me was the iTunes media management interface. Nothing beats the iPhone and iTunes interface when it comes to managing your phone’s media files as well as synching your iPhone to your Mac or PC.  Yes, the Nexus One comes with a USB cable that you can use or the Bluetooth feature but these are so 1990s if you have used, assimilated and embraced the iTunes life.

Enter DoubleTwist, a new media management software which aims to “create a unifying media platform that connects consumers with all their media and all their devices, regardless of whether they are online or offline.” It is very similar to iTunes but works with any devices. It lets you drag and drop songs to playlist, sync music, photos and videos to your devices as well as share your media with friends.

Although it was not designed specifically for Android phones, such as the Google Nexus One, DoubleTwist recently partnered with T-Mobile which could very well make it as the Nexus One’s closest choice for managing their media files and for synching their phone to their Mac or PC.

T-Mobile is set to promote DoubleTwist on all their retail stores as well on their online site. But the biggest break for DoubleTwist is the fact that it will soon be preloaded on some Android devices that T-Mobile is going to release.

I’ve downloaded DoubleTwist on my Mac and currently installing it. Will check it out to see how good it fares up with iTunes. If you want to give it a try, you may download if from here.