Consumer Reports did a pretty large survey of 50,000 of their readers to get an idea of the state of cell phone service and usage in the U.S. and got some interesting results. Consumer Reports famously withheld a recommendation from the iPhone 4 due to antenna issues, but their readers overwhelmingly disagreed. 98 percent of owners were happy with their phone, although their service was a different story.
According to the report, AT&T "scored below average in every attribute except web access and texting." U.S. Cellular, one of the nation's smaller carriers, scored the highest overall, followed by Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. With smartphones becoming more the rage, the obvious gripe across the board no matter the carrier was cost; it was the top complaint at Verizon which got fairly high marks everywhere else.
Movie and TV streaming services are big business these days, and two more companies look to be jumping into the fray. Internet bigdog Amazon and smaller startup OnLive reportedly have their eyes on the streaming market, if in slightly different ways.
Amazon, who already offers their On Demand service, is looking to get into streaming with a service bundled with an Amazon Prime account that will stream TV shows and movies. Amazon is already in with TiVo, Roku, and Google TV so it wouldn't be a stretch to think they would have a pretty solid platform to start on when going this route. OnLive, currently a game subscription service, looks to offer a similar subscription based plan but would be on a bit smaller scale. One of OnLive's major financial backers is a little company you may have heard of: Time Warner's Warner Bros. Access to their enormous lineup of content would be a great starting point for OnLive's plans to cut into the Netflix dominated streaming scene.
Google's long awaited e-bookstore has finally gone live. Google E-books will be bringing over three million titles to any web-browsing capable device in the U.S. with a large selection of free titles.
Foregoing the previous name of Google Editions, Google E-books allows customers to purchase titles from either their store or independent sellers that wish to advertise with Google. Apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad to read Google e-books are available as well and content will sync across any device you own; even allowing you to put down a book on one device and pick up at the same page on another device.
The Verizon/iPhone rumors have been spinning for quite a while now and here's another one to throw into the mix. Verizon's not only looking to score the iPhone when it (supposedly) ends its exclusivity with AT&T next year, but also are looking to pay Apple to keep the phone out of their competitor's hands.
According to Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, "We are hearing that [Verizon] does not want iPhone, the hottest selling smartphone, available on T-Mobile USA and/or Sprint and may be willing to pay for exclusivity to itself and AT&T." With the iPhone garnering 14.1 million shipments in the September quarter, it's gonna be apricey proposition to get Apple to keep the iPhone away from as many carriers as possible.
Continuing with the constant gusher of Google news today brings us Google Maps for Mobile 5. It was previewed by Andy Rubin once again on the stage of D: Dive Into Mobile - previewed on the prototype Motorola Honeycomb tablet !
The biggest change of Google Maps for Mobile 5 is the dynamic map drawing - vectors instead of flat images that scale much better and will show the buildings fleshed out for over 100 cities.
Today should be named Google Day. Unlike another company who releases a Beatles discography to their music store and says it's a day we'll never forget, Google have had around 1,256 announcements today!
Google's Andy Rubin was on stage at D: Dive Into Mobile today where he bought with him a prototype Android tablet by hello-moto, Motorola.
Ah copy/paste. You were my enemy with the first iPhone and now you are the enemy of Windows Phone 7, but not for much longer. Those of you who are lucky enough to have a developer device have had a copy/paste rolled out to you in the form of an update.
Above is a picture showing what it looks like and below is a video of it in action. It seems to work quite well, kudos [so far] Microsoft!
Google has been pushing Gingerbread and how it is better than ever for game development. The picture below is from a page culled from the Android 2.3 SDK which displays a bunch of new key codes in the system targeted for gaming: L1, L2, R1, R2, A, B,C, etc.
Is this new picture related to the Sony PlayStation Phone? Possibly... but Sony are most likely working on their own environment for key mapping with PlayStation-branded titles instead of letting the Android SDK take control.
NVIDIA has lost their Quadro and Tesla manager to AMD. The story of Rob MacDonald begins with how he began with taking over NVIDIA's UK graphics sales operation in 2002 and shortly after was given control of graphic card sales into the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway).
Rob was then promoted into Quadro sales and he has been expanding in that role ever since. Why is this news significant you ask? Professional products are the cash cow of the graphics industry...
Google Phone 2.0 is here in the form of the Nexus S built by Samsung. It includes a 4-inch Super AMOLED "Contour Display", 1GHz Hummingbird processor, NFC support and is powered by the new Android 2.3 OS.
Why do you need this phone? Google says: "With this device, users will also be the first to receive software upgrades and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available."