April 2012

IBM introduces new foundation for mobile computing
IBM unveiled its first ever Mobile Foundation, a comprehensive portfolio of software and services designed to help organizations capitalize on the proliferation of mobile environments including laptops, smartphones and tablets. IBM's Mobile Foundation offers capabilities in a) connecting mobile and cloud environments, b) building mobile apps for various platforms just once, c) secure management of all mobile devices, and d) extending existing enterprise capabilities to mobile devices. [See IBM press release] -- Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 by chb

Microsoft invests US$300 million in new partnership with Barnes & Nobile
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. An initial product will be a NOOK application for Windows 8 that will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble's digital bookstore to hundreds of millions of Windows users. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 by chb

Motorola Solutions survey shows 66% of retailers interested in Mobile Point of Sale
Motorola Solutions released the findings of a survey that shows increasing interest from retail, hospitality and field service industries for mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solutions for improving customer service. Retailers in particular (66% of those surveyed) showed a strong interest in deploying mPOS over the next couple years. In terms of equipment, retailers and field service responders saw big increases in rugged handhelds and tablets, a modest increase in smartphones, but stagnation or decline in walkie-talkies and kiosks. [See Mobile POS Study results] -- Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 by chb

Nokia loses cellphone crown after 14 years, Apple and Samsung tops in smartphones
Cellphone and smartphone sales numbers for Q1 2012 are in, and it looks like for the first time in 14 years, someone other than Nokia is holding the #1 overall cellphone spot. That'd be Samsung with, according to iSuppli, 92 million shipped versus Nokia with 83 million. In the smartphone segment, iSuppli has Apple #1 with 35 million shipped versus Samsung with 32 million. The definition of "smartphone," though, is somewhat fluid, and so another research firm, Strategy Analytics, has Samsung ahead with 44 million versus Apple with 35 million. [See IHS iSuppli release and Strategy Analytics release] -- Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 by chb

Samsung introduces 1.4GHz quad-core 32nm Exynos 4 Quad ARM processor
Samsung introduced a new quad-core application processor built on 32nm High-k Metal Gate low-power process technology. The 1.4GHz ARM CORTEX A9 based Exynos 4 Quad is expected to double processing power in smartphones and tablets, yet use about 20% less power than the 45nm predecessor Exynos 4 dual-core chip. The Exynos 4 Quad can drive up to 1366 x 768 (WXGA) displays and incorporates a full 1080p video recording and play-back, an embedded image signal processor, and an HDMI 1.4 interface. [See Samsung press release] -- Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 by chb

In Ticketing launches InHand Mobile Box Office for mobile ticketing at live events
In the early days of PDAs, expanded functionality (such as storage, wireless, scanning, etc.) was often provided in the form of a sleeve or caddy that accommodated the handheld. Now we're starting the same approach again with sleeve and and caddies for smartphones. An example is the iAPS sled from Daily Systems, an all-in-one mobile POS solution for iPhone and iPod touch that adds bar code scanning, credit card reading and receipt printing to those Apple handhelds. Using the iAPS, In Ticketing has now introduced the InHand Mobile Box Office, enabling sale-to-receipt ticket sales transactions. -- Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 by chb

Almost 80% of all smartphones sold by AT&T Q1 2012 iPhones
In Q11 of 2012, AT&T sold 5.5 million smartphones, and of those 4.3 million were iPhones. Off the cuff, that seems surprising as Android devices have a larger overall marketshare than the iPhone, and a trip to the local AT&T store shows the displays filled with dozens of different Android smartphones. The report also said that Verizon sold 3.2 million iPhones the same quarter, out of a total of 6.3 million smartphones sold. -- Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by chb

e-con Systems executive explains the reality of cameras in rugged computers
e-con Systems is an embedded product development specialist with significant expertise in camera solutions in the Windows CE and Windows Embedded space. We asked Mr. Hari Shankkar, co-founder of e-con Systems, why at a time when every new smartphone includes a superb camera capable of full HD 720p or 1080p video, cameras built into rugged devices generally lag far behind. [Read more] -- Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by chb

Intel formally introduces high end "Ivy Bridge" quad-core 3rd Generation Core processors
After much discussion of the "Ivy Bridge" platform of next-gen Intel Core processors, Intel officially introduced a number of higher end quad-core versions of the platform. Called "3rd generation Intel Core processors," the new chips are based on 22 nanometer manufacturing process, have much more powerful integrated graphics with DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1 support, and also come with the new "Panther Point" chipset family with native USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 support, as well as new Centrino wireless modules. As usual, there is a dizzying variety of desktop and mobile versions that all promise to be about 20% faster and twice as powerful in graphics than corresponding 2nd generation chips. The new 22nm process, for the first time, employs 3D tri-gate transistor design, perpetuating Moore's Law (doubling transistor count every 18 months) for years to come. The new processors, which do not yet include low and ultra low voltage versions of special interest to vertical market mobile/rugged systems, also benefit from a variety of security and power conservation enhancements. [See Intel press release and 3rd Gen Core Processor presentation] -- Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by chb

Neonode reports 17 design wins for Q1 of 2012
Optical touch technology provider Neonode reported that, all in all, they accumulated a total of 17 new design wins in the first quarter of 2012 where the company integrates its hardware-independent touch technology into existing or new product categories for their customers. -- Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 by chb

Media tablet era medical tablet: Cybernet CyberMed T10
Cybernet Manufacturing has developed the CyberMed T10 tablet designed for use in clinical environments. The Intel Atom N2600-based tablet, which has about the same footprint and display as the original iPad, runs Windows 7 or the upcoming Windows 8. The aluminum and glass enclosure is easy to clean, has antimicrobial coating, and sports a fanless design. The 2-pound device, which starts at US$999, has dual cameras, WiFi/Bluetooth, USB and HDMI, and also optional RFID and barcode scanner. [See description and specs of the Cybernet CyberMed T10 medical tablet] -- Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 by chb

The nature and potential of Windows 8 for ARM devices
By announcing the upcoming versions of Windows 8 and what role the separate ARM version will play, Microsoft has clarified the situation a bit. And a thorough prior Microsoft blog post on building Windows for ARM had already added a lot more detail. So what IS the nature of Windows 8 for ARM devices, and what do we consider its outlook and potential? [Read The nature and outlook for Windows 8 for ARM devices] -- Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by chb

Microsoft announces Windows 8 editions
In a post on the Windows Blog, Microsoft announced that there will be three versions of the upcoming Windows 8. For PCs and tablets based on x86 processors, there will be plain Windows 8 and and the more business-oriented Windows 8 Pro that adds features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as a "media pack" add-on to Windows 8 Pro. A third version, Windows RT, will be available pre-installed on ARM-based PCs and tablets. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of a new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. [See Announcing the Windows 8 Editions. Also interesting: Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture] -- Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by chb

Top medical apps
The folks at iMedicalApps.com present a terrific resource with their attractively designed "Top Apps" section where healthcare professionals can find lineups and reviews of medical apps. [See iMedcialApps.com's Top Apps} -- Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 by chb

Windows Phone screenshot app, where are you?
With Microsoft and Nokia making a big push for smartphones running Windows Phone, one important thing still isn't available: an app that lets you do screen shots. That seems a no-brainer and something easy to do on iOS (and also on older Windows Mobile devices), but it's just not available on Windows phone. So no quick screen snaps to capture important stuff, and no way for reviewers to illustrate articles and news. -- Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 by chb

Toshiba unveils three new Excite tablets
Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., announced the expansion of its Excite family of Android 4.0/Tegra 3-powered tablets with three new display sizes 13.3-inch, 10.1-inch and 7.7-inch. The Excite 7.7 (starting at US$499) is just 0.3 inches thick and has a AMOLED display. The Excite 10 (starting at US$449) is also very thin (0.35 inches) and has a 1280 x 800 display. The 0.4 inch-thick Excite 13 (starting at US$649) breaks through the tablet display size barrier with a 1600 x 900 pixel 13.3-inch screen. All models have a durable aluminum housing, use Gorilla Glass, have 5mp document cameras and 2mp front cameras, and will be available around June. -- Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by chb

Wacom to release Bamboo Stylus duo iPad pen
Wacom is launching the Bamboo Stylus duo, a dual-purpose stylus for the iPad and Android tablets that combines a capacitive pen tip for on-screen input at one end of the Stylus, with a ball-point ink pen on the other end for use on paper. With the Bamboo Stylus duo, which costs US$39.95 and will be available April 24, Wacom attempts to address one of the weak points of capacitive multi-touch displays, the inability to write on them. [See Bamboo Stylus duo page] -- Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by chb

Intel reveals studybook Learning Series tablet reference design
Intel introduced another interesting reference design, the Intel studbook. Part of the Intel Learning Series, the studybook concentrates on classroom features and educational software. The reference tablet measures 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.65 inches, weighs 1.15 pounds, has a 7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen with 1024 x 600 (i.e. early netbook class) resolution, is powered by a single-core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z650 processor, can have up to 32GB of SSD storage, and optional 0.3mp front and 2mp rear cameras. There's 802.11b/g/n WiFi, optional Bluetooth and 3G WWAN, a micro-SD card slot, USB, mini-HDMI, and battery life up to 5.5 hours. The device is said to be able to run either Windows 7 or Android Honeycomb. While the Intel press release refers to "ultra rugged design," we're really only talking a 2.5 foot drop and IP41 sealing, enough perhaps for a classroom. Intel expects pricing of US$200-300, depending on installed options. Intel claims that over 7 millions of its earlier Classmate PC are in use, and that the hardware and software elements of an Intel studybook have been piloted in more than 2,000 classrooms in 36 countries. 9See ] -- Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by chb

Allscripts introduces iPad app for EHRs
Allscripts announced the release of Allscripts Wand, which provides users of Allscripts Electronic Health Records a unique, native iPad application that extends the most commonly used functions of Allscripts Professional and Enterprise solutions. -- Posted Thursday, April 5, 2012 by chb

Smartphone OS marketshare by OS platform
FierceMobileContent published a most informative chart that shows the rising and falling US marketshare of the different smartphone OS platforms since September of 2009. The composite graph, which is based on monthly data released by comScore shows how quickly a platform can rise to dominance, or fall from favor. [See FierceMobileContent's US monthly smartphone OS marketshare] -- Posted Thursday, April 5, 2012 by chb

Socket Mobile turns 20!
Socket Mobile is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a provider of mobile computing productivity solutions. Since 1992, Socket has offered portable computing, data collection and remote networking hardware that have helped healthcare, hospitality, retail, and other industries worldwide meet the demands of a growing mobile workforce while eliminating manual processes and maximizing efficiency in mission-critical business applications. For the milestones in this admirably innovative company's history, check here! And here's our description of the latest Socket SoMo 655 handheld. -- Posted Thursday, April 5, 2012 by chb