September 2009

Apple's iPhone app store hits 2 billion downloads
Apple announced that over 2 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store since its launch in July 2008. According to Apple, there are now more than 85,000 apps available. -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by chb

Apple reportedly re-hires Newton guru Michael Tchao
Back in 1993 I cornered Michael Tchao of Apple's Newton team at a conference and showed him the prototype of Pen Computing Magazine. Michael said, "We need to be in this magazine" and Apple became an advertiser for the Newton. Now the New York Times reports that Tchao is back at Apple. Hmmm.... -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by chb

Ballmer quote: we screwed up with Windows Mobile
Check this most interesting tweet from a venture capital conference. If Ballmer really said that, I don't think too many people would argue the point. -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by chb

Wacom adds multi-touch to Bamboo tablets
Wacom has introduced Multi-Touch in its new family of Bamboo tablets that are meant to serve as natural and intuitive input to desktop or laptop computer users. Bamboo includes a family of five distinct tablets: touch-only, pen-only and three versions of the pen and Multi-Touch combination. [See Wacom's Bamboo page] -- Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 by chb

Review: Dell Latitude XT2 convertible with multi-touch
With the Latitude XT2, Dell offers a very competent Tablet PC convertible with a modern, economical Core 2 Duo processor, decent battery life, both digitizer and touch input, and even some multi-touch functionality. The XT2 weighs less than four pounds, has a 12.1-inch wide-format screen, and offers excellent connectivity, both wired and wireless. [Read review of the Dell Latitude XT2] -- Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009 by chb

Silverlight central to Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3
Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3, the next-generation platform of the componentized, real-time Windows Embedded CE operating system. The main thrust is that Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 adds the Silverlight for Windows Embedded user interface (UI) framework which is meant to enable a consistent experience across devices and PCs with Microsoft Office and PDF viewers. [Read Microsoft release on Windows Embedded CE 6.0] -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009 by chb

iPhone apps as brand reinforcement tools
S1 Corporation, a global provider of financial services and payment software solutions, announced the availability of S1 Mobile's iPhone application, which is a unique user interface or "skin", as part of the newest addition to its suite of banking and payments solutions. S1 points out that iPhone customers spend over 80 minutes each day using apps on their iPhone and that this creates a significant branding opportunity. Every time a customer selects an app to run, the financial institution gets brand reinforcement by having their logo on the iPhone. -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 by chb

Apple iPhone as part of medical records solutions?
We're seeing more and more iPhone apps for industry applications. Webahn, for example, just launched two new iPhone apps for physicians. Capzule for its online Electronic Medical Records service Capzule.com and Accent, a voice recording application, for its online transcription service OvernightScribe.com. The emergence of iPhone apps will undoubtedly raise the bar for what users expect from their mobile computers. -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 by chb

RMT's DAP Technologies expands into Windows Embedded Standard with new line of Kinysis tablets
For those who really like the quality and form factor of their CE8640 and CE8800 tablets, but need a Windows Embedded Standard OS instead of Windows CE, RMT's DAP Technologies now offers the AMD Geode-powered Kinysis 8900KS and 8900VS. The two new tablets share the CE-versions' design, size and ruggedness (4-foot drop, IP67, -4 to 122F, etc.) but can take advantage of the power and configurability of a full Windows Embedded OS. The Kinysis tablets can also accommodate custom electronic modules within their sealed expansion bay. [See description and specs of the DAP Kinysis 8900KS and Kinysis 8900VS] -- Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009 by chb

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 now with optional multi-touch
Fujitsu announced that the LifeBook T5010 convertible tablet PC now has a new dual digitizer option where the touch screen function on its 13.3-inch display supports multi-touch for two-finger actions including panning, rotating, flicks and zooming. With seamless switching between pen and touch, users can change tasks on the fly, from casual surfing to detailed editing or writing. The currently Windows Vista-based LifeBook T5010 is the first in a line of new LifeBook platforms and form factors designed to take advantage of the capabilities of soon-to-be-launched Windows 7. -- Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by chb

Motorola introduces next-gen MC9500 rugged handheld
Building upon its successful MC9000 line of rugged handhelds, Motorola introduced the next-gen MC9500 built on state-of-the-art processing (Marvell PXA320), display (3.7-inch VGA), communication (3.5G, both major standards) and data capture technology (laser/imager/camera). The device also includes SiRFstarIII GPS, a smart full-shift battery, no fewer than five modular keyboard options, and it's tough as nails. [See description and specs of the Motorola MC9500] -- Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by chb

LXE to equip all its rugged handhelds with Summit Data WiFi solutions
LXE announced today a strategic alliance with Summit Data Communications, a leading provider of wireless LAN radio modules and cards for business-critical mobile devices. Under the expanded alliance, LXE will equip all of its rugged handheld, voice- ready, and wearable computers, and most LXE vehicle mount computers, with Summit- embedded Wi-Fi solutions. -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 by chb

GestureTek's optical tracker powers gesture control phone
GestureTek, a leader in gesture control interfaces for interactive displays and devic, announced that its patented EyeMobile optical tracking software will be used in Sony Ericsson's new Yari mobile phone. EyeMobile is available on over 100 million mobile devices, enabling motion-control game play on mobile phones. Many titles have already added advanced gesture recognition. [See YouTube demo of the Sony Ericsson Yari] -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 by chb

Atmel releases maXTouch capacitive touchscreen controller solutions
Atmel announced the release of its new maXTouch capacitive touchscreen controller solutions, capable of supporting an unlimited number of unique simultaneous touches with a video-quality screen refresh rate of 250 Hz. maXTouch can be used in 10-inch and larger touchscreens with full zoom, rotate, handwriting and shape recognition functionality. According to Displays Research, by 2013, worldwide demand for touch screen modules will exceed $6.4 billion, making touch interfaces the fastest growing segment in the displays industry. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by chb

ACCESS NetFront deployment now over 800 million worldwide
ACCESS CO., LTD., which owns the old "Garnet" Palm OS, announced that worldwide deployments of its NetFront products, notably its NetFront Browser for mobile handsets and Internet-enabled devices, surpassed 800 million at the end of July 2009. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by chb

Apple event: Jobs, iPhone OS 3.1, iTunes 9, updated iPods
The main event at the September 9th Apple event in San Francisco was Steve Jobs' appearance. Else: In 2+ years, Apple sold 30 million iPhones. There are more than 75,000 apps, and 1.8 billion billion app downloads. iPhone OS 3.1 was introduced. The Genius feature now also makes app recommendations. There will now be 30,000 ringtones, at $1.29 each. Apple is the #1 worldwide music retailer, has sold 8.5 billion songs and there are now 100 million iTunes accounts in iTunes. The new iTunes 9.0 allows Genius Mixes, improved syncing, app management, has iTunes LP (extra content for music albums). Over 220 million iPods sold to date, with iPod marketshare at 73.8%" (Microsoft 1.1%, Sandisk 7.2%). Also sold 20 million iPod Touch. New pricing: iPod Touch 8GB: $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399. iPod classic capacity now 160GB, same price ($249). New colors for the iPPod Shuffle (pink, green, blue, silver and black). Cost is $59 for 2GB and $79 for 4GB. All iPod Nano now come with VGA video camera, FM radio, pedometer, larger 2.2-inch display. Cost: 8GB for $149, 16GB for $179. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by chb

Half-price Palm Pre offer yanked by Sprint
According to FierceWireless, an offer that would have given new Sprint customers a $100 service credit if they switched their line to a Palm Pre and signed a two-year contract has been withdrawn by Sprint as it was based on an "internal communications issue." -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by chb

Evernote gets additional funding from DOCOMO Capital
Handwriting recognition and digital ink technology specialist Evernote has secured $2 million in funding from DOCOMO Capital, in addition to a recent investment from Troika Dialog. The funding will help Evernote's offer more language support and local versions. "Evernote is radically changing the way people conceive of and interact with their memories and the company's impressive growth and loyal customer base speaks to its value and unique approach to simplifying people's lives," said Tomoya Hemmi, president and CEO of DOCOMO. Pen Computing readers may know Evernote from its Ritescript division that offers ritePen, riteForm and riteShape. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 by chb

Palm Pixi -- a smaller, thumbtype New Palm
Anyone without a two-year contract take note: on the eve of Apple's latest announcements, Palm announced the Palm Pixi, a follow-up on the Palm Pre, only smaller yet (a tiny bit smaller than the iPhone at 2.2 x 4.4 x .43, 3.5 ounces) and a bit cheaper (irrelevant; the cost is in the Sprint telco contract) when it arrives "for the holidays." No WiFi, smaller 2.63-inch 320 x 400 pixel screen, lower-res (2mp) camera, Bluetooth, GPS, 8GB of storage. The Pixi seems a handsome iPhone clone with a thumbtype keyboard for those who miss the Treo and like the Pre's webOS. See the Pixi at Palm. -- Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2009 by chb

Getac introduces ultra-rugged GPS PDA
Getac beefed up its handheld offerings by adding the ultra-rugged PS236 GPS handheld. Based on Windows Mobile 6.2 and the powerful 806MHz Marvell PXA310 processor, the PS236 has a 3-megapixel camera, an E-compass, altimeter, a full-VGA display, up to 12GB of storage, Bluetooth and Wifi, and optional HSDPA wireless WWAN. [See description and specs of the Getac PS236 GPS handheld] -- Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 by chb

Full review: Handheld US Nautiz X5
If you need a high-performance, top-of-the-line rugged handheld computer with integrated scanner, full VGA graphics, and 3G voice/data communication, there aren't many choices. The Nautiz X5, sold by Handheld US, is one of the few handhelds powered by the speedy 806MHz Marvell PXA320 processor. It has an integrated laser scanner, integrated SiRFstar III GPS, 3G comms, a very powerful battery, and a RFID version is available as well. [See full review of the Handheld US Nautiz X5] -- Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 by chb

New gen of Windows Phones with Windows Mobile 6.5
Microsoft announced that Windows phones will be widely available at retail stores worldwide on Oct. 6, 2009. The new phones will be the first to feature Windows Mobile 6.5, the latest version of Microsoft's mobile phone software, and will deliver new customer experiences through an improved, easy-to-use user interface, better browsing capabilities and access to valuable services, including Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone. [Read Microsoft press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 by chb