Speaking on Wednesday at the Droid X event,, Google Vice President Andy Rubin stated that there are more than 160,000 Android devices sold and activated every day. That's almost two phones every second. Even more impressive is that Android has grown 60 percent since about one month ago.
Hulu, the popular Web site for streaming TV shows with limited commercials, has famously blocked mobile phones from accessing its free content. This is an odd move in the face of the growing number of companies offering on-demand downloads for a price. Bitbop is the latest mobile app taking a stab at filling Hulu's void.
On Wednesday morning, Bitbop, previously in closed beta testing, becomes available for all BlackBerry phones in the U.S., with Android and other mobile platforms to follow.
Now, before you get too excited about the prospect of Hulu on your BlackBerry smartphone, we've got to level with you. Bitbop isn't exactly Hulu, and it definitely isn't free. However, it brings Hulu-like elements to the mobile platform that could catch on like wildfire if the winds are right.
In Bitbop, you'll choose from the content you can search or browse--mostly TV shows at this point--and add it to your queue, Netflix-style. There they'll sit until you're ready to either stream or download them. You can do both over either Wi-Fi or 3G data speeds.
TV shows downloaded quickly and take up about 50MB per 30 minute episode. They played smoothly and with fairly high quality on our BlackBerry Bold 9700. Quality and bitrate will vary depending on your phone's bandwidth, but Bitbop quoted us a bitrate range of 120-500KB.
TV shows come to Bitbop's catalog from over 30 broadcast partners and include shows like "American Dad," "Glee," "CSI," "30 Rock," and "Chopped." A $9.99 monthly subscription gets you unlimited video streams and downloads, and in addition the shows play back to you commercial-free. Movies are planned for down the line.… Read more
Getting any new geek toy takes me through the usual unboxing and tinkering routines, particularly if it's the shiny black iPhone 4 (full CNET review) I just got in on preorder that's so coveted that people are willing to sell spots in line for Thursday's retail launch.
Plugging the boxier, edgier iPhone 4 into iTunes was my first task. Staring at my roster of apps certainly forced me to consider which ones I use frequently enough to sync to this new, practically pristine device with its mere 18 preinstalled programs--only 14, really, if you don't count the phone, e-mail, Safari, and iPod buttons on the home screen.
The nature of my job as a mobile-apps reviewer keeps me in a steady stream of newly downloaded apps to test, but even with the previous iPhone always in tote, there are only a handful of programs I use--really use--enough to warrant moving over from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4.… Read more
With a revamped design, sparkling new display, speedy processor, and additional features, Apple's iPhone 4 is the biggest upgrade to Apple's smartphone since the iPhone 3G. It's also the showcase handset for Apple's newest operating system, iOS 4, which adds a selection of long-overdue features, plus a selection of smaller tweaks that we weren't expecting.
If they existed independently, iPhone 4 and iOS 4 wouldn't be much more than blips on the smartphone radar screen. When combined into one handset, however, the result is a sleek, satisfying, and compelling device that keeps Apple strongly … Read more
Brian Tong shows you how to take advantage of iOS 4's new data-protection feature, put folders anywhere you want, and play with its new music playlist feature.
Brian Tong shows you how to turn off your cell phone's data, how to enhance your SMS experience, and a couple photo features.
Apple released its much-awaited iOS 4 update Monday for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well as the second and third generations of the iPod Touch. However, not all iOS 4 features have rolled out for all devices, and first-generation versions of both the iPhone and the iPod Touch won't get the update at all. Here is a chart breaking down what you do or don't get with iOS 4, depending on which device you have.iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS iPod Touch second generation iPod Touch third generation Multitasking No Yes No Yes Home screen folders Yes Yes … Read more
NEW YORK--Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a guest appearance at a press conference here Wednesday where Google, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless unveiled the new version of the popular Android Droid smartphone.
Schmidt took the stage first and touted the importance of the smartphone category.
"This is not a toy or app engine," he said. "It is a powerful kind of operating system. What is happening now is that people are thinking mobile first instead of desktop first."
He cited the importance of a robust wireless network, as well as hardware with fast processors and big screens. … Read more
There's a reason I commute in tennis shoes--the days I literally make a mad dash for the soon-to-be departing train or bus.
Sure, there are localized apps for getting schedules, but it's also convenient that public transportation scheduling is one of a handful of enhanced features in Google Maps for Android version 4.3, new on Tuesday.
Schedules toe their way into the public transit page that's invoked by tapping the icon of a station that's plotted on a map--as long as those details are available to Google, that is.
On the social front, Latitude, Google'… Read more
I like Google Voice, I really do. But now that the search giant has thrown open the gates to make Google Voice free for anyone in the U.S., many more people will get the opportunity to pick and praise.
After all, it was Google's multipronged voice service for forwarding phone numbers, sending free text messages, transcribing voice mail, and making voice messages accessible online that recently got me out of a bind with a broken phone.
Still, there are persistent foibles in the less-than-perfect service that Google bought a scant three years ago when it was still called GrandCentral. The call-block, listening-in, and call-forwarding features are great, and visual voice mail is and has been a plus. But inconsistencies, especially with the computer-aided transcription of voice mail messages and with phone number mess-ups in the Google Voice mobile apps, have continuously disappointed.
We overlooked some drawbacks in the name of a free service that has essentially been in closed beta since 2007, and therefore subject to a little leeway, but all that is about to change now that it's open season. Google Voice already had more than a million subscribers while it was still in invite-only private mode, and I suspect millions more callers will be less forgiving once the thrill of accessing another hot Google service wears off.
Consumer pressure will surely cause Google to throw more resources at the system's holes, and also give it an opportunity to monetize by adding more targeted advertising, planning waves of premium features for consumers, and selling corporate plans to companies managing a mobile workforce. I welcome the compliments and critiques that will hopefully lead to the changes, and Google should too.
So if you're listening, Google, here's my list of the top four features missing in today's Google Voice.… Read more