PinStack Week in Review:Smartphone News, Reviews for October 30, 2009
TGIF! Christmas came early for some Verizon BlackBerry customers this week. The launch of the Storm2 (9550) through Verizon has come and gone. Are you a new Storm2 owner? I can't wait to start getting the real hands on reviews from regular BlackBerry owners like you and me
Android seems to be dominating the smartphone news market with rumors from carriers such as Verizon and Sprint as well as new partnerships with manufacturers such as Motorola. With the love they show to the developers, and a very strong and growing band of followers, I am anxious to see how the Android platform grows and expands over the next few months.
Be sure to check out the links at the bottom for fun themes and wallpaper to customize your smartphone for Halloween!
--------------------------------------------------------- Smartphone News for the Week ---------------------------------------------------------
Universal Phone Charger Approved
There have been several reports in the last few months about the push by carriers to adopt a universal charger for mobile devices. Well, it looks like it might come sooner then later.
via Cnet: "A standard for a universal phone charger was approved this week by the International Telecommunication Union, a branch of the United Nations. The Universal Charging Solution will enable the creation of one-size-fits-all chargers that can be used on any future phone, according to the ITU.
Google Voice Receives New Features
via the Google Voice Blog: "Google Voice is all about enabling choice: which phone you pick up your calls on, where to review your voicemail messages, how to send and reply to text messages, etc. So when it comes to your phone number, it was logical for us to also offer a choice of which number to use with Google Voice.
Previously, when you created a Google Voice account, we asked you to select a new Google phone number. This allowed us to offer features like call forwarding, screening, and recording. But we know not everyone wants to start using a new phone number, so we've been working on another option for people who are willing to trade some features for the ability to keep their existing number.
Pandora For BlackBerry Updated
Pandora, one of the best streaming radio apps out there for mobile devices received a welcomed update yesterday. Officially updated to 1.1.2, the new version corrects a bug that has been lamenting BlackBerry users running the 5.0 OS. In the previous versions, the songs would stop approximately 15-20 seconds before the end and you have to actually pause and un-pause the song in order to continue playback. Pandora's developers attributed this to a change in the 5.0 software that affected the pre-buffering of the next song.
2 Star iPhone App Boingo, Launches on BlackBerry
The Boingo Mobile application will initially be available for the BlackBerry Curve 8900, BlackBerry Curve 8320 and BlackBerry Bold smartphones. Boingo will announce support for additional BlackBerry smartphone models as they become available. The free Boingo Mobile application improves the Wi-Fi user experience for BlackBerry smartphone owners by providing a convenient, automated way to connect. It automatically notifies users when they are in a Boingo hotspot, and connects to the Boingo network with a single click. “Boingo Mobile is about ease of use and a low-cost, high-speed alternative to cellular data,” said Jonathan Mendelson, general manager of mobile and product management. “BlackBerry users can seamlessly switch to a Boingo Wi-Fi connection when they’re online using data-intensive applications.” With the addition of BlackBerry platform support, Boingo continues to expand its support for smartphones, including those based on the Android, iPhone, Symbian Series 60 and Windows Mobile platforms.
Flixster: Updated Android App & Introduction of Flixster for Blackberry
Flixster is getting even bigger this week by releasing its first fully native Blackberry application and a major update to its popular Android app – simultaneously reaching a new milestone of 8 million mobile users.Flixster 2.0 for the Android launched today, adding integration with Facebook Connect, a newsfeed for up-to-date friend ratings, and other enhancements. Flixster also submitted its first fully native version for the Blackberry, which is expected to be available at the Blackberry App World soon. The beta version of Flixster for the Blackberry is already among the smartphone’s top 40 free apps. Flixster’s mobile “Movies” app remains one of the top 5 entertainment apps for the iPhone, and is installed on 1 in 5 iPhones in the U.S. As Flixster continues building its mobile presence, it crossed 8 million users for the first time in its history this week, adding to the 20 million monthly unique visitors it attracts on the Internet through Flixster.com and the “Movies” application on Facebook, in addition to its presence on MySpace and Bebo. Flixster’s mobile user base has more than doubled in 2009 alone.
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14 Useful Applications for Smartphones
The smartphone of today needs to be able to straddle the line between practicality and multimedia functionality in order to appeal to both business and personal users. Over the next three years the already expansive smartphone market is expected to grow further and hundreds of millions of smartphones will be flying off the shelves and into eager palms around the world. One of the things that makes smartphones so appealing is their ability to download and install a huge variety of applications designed to make them much more versatile than a simple communication device. Here is a list of 10 useful smartphone applications currently on the market.
Review & Contest Elertify for BlackBerry Review and Give Away! 20 Free Copies!
There is a new application available for your BlackBerry called Elertify. I have been testing this out and it is really quite useful. What it does is notify you on your computer when you get an email, sms, or phone call on your BlackBerry. Have you ever been working at your computer trying to finish a project and out ot the corner of your eye you see the flashing LED of your BlackBerry? You stop what you are doing, pick up your BB wondering if it's the email reply you have been waiting for all day then open your messages just to find out that it's just an email joke forwarded by a co-worker? Elertify will let you have a pop-up on your computer screen with info about the incoming message. You can even set an options for sound notifications or even allow your computer's voice synthesizer tell you who's calling, the subject and sender of an email, or the sender and content of an SMS.
Halloween Themes & Wallpaper for your Smartphone!!
Helloween Kitty I wanted to do a Hello Kitty and a Halloween theme, so I decided to do a theme with both (Helloween). This theme has The Re-Animator Kitty, Jason Kitty, Freddy Krueger Kitty and Evil Dead Kitty. Icons are customizable and they glow. The focus boxes do not show up like this on the homescreen. One focus box shows when you scroll over an icon, like the image on the app screen. I hope you enjoy this for Halloween. This is for the 8900 Curve and the 9600 Tour.
Jack Skellington Bottom ZEN
Everything is Black and White down to the icons and meters. This theme is for the 83xx Curve or 81xx Pearl.
4.5 Halloween Themes 2009 Here is an update to last year's Halloween theme! All icons are custom as well as the Battery and Signal Meters. New Message notifier is an evil pumpkin and ringer profiles are skulls. The Signal Meter is a Bloody Knife (aka Jason Voorheese) and the blade "gets shorter" as the signal drops. The Battery Meter is different for each theme. One theme has a Moon that gets darker (wanes to crescent) as the battery level drops and the other theme has Jason's Mask that gets darker as the battery drops. At 20% eyes turn yellow and 10% eyes turn red! I also added a Michael Myers hourglass. Everything is the same on both themes. The only difference is the Battery Meter in the Center. This theme is for the 83xx Curve.
Wooo many stuff. I got to say I am most excited about the Pandora update and navigation directions to Android 2. Now BRING IT TO BLACKBERRY.
I agree Cheri Android definitely seems to be making a very big impact on more and more carriers. Competition gets more intense... wait till all the computer manufacturers starts putting their phones out in the market.