Archives: July 2011

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Vodafone 555 Blue: Low Cost Facebook Feature Phone. 2G Only. No WiFi

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Although Financial Times calls the Vodafone 555 Blue a smartphone, it is not.

Vodafone and Facebook team up on smartphone

The Guardian UK got it right by identifying it as a low-price feature phone for emerging markets optimized for use with Facebook.

Vodafone 555 Blue Facebook phone will target emerging markets

If you take a look at the 555 Blue’s specifications, you’ll find an EDGE only (much slower than 3G) phone with an FM radio and Bluetooth but no WiFi. It has a 200MHz processor that is far too slow for smartphone operating systems but probably fine for a feature phone. The 555 Blue only has 40MB of system memory and a Micro SD slot for storage (up to 16GB). Its camera is a workable 2 megapixel one. These specs do not make it a bad phone. In fact, these specs are what you might expect in a feature phone. And, this one, with its QWERTY keyboard, email software, music software and Opera Mini web browser probably comes together to make a good Facebook-focused feature phone. You can see the Facebook “F” key on the right side of the bottom row on the keyboard. The Guardian UK reports that it will probably be available for less than the equivalent of $100 in the UK when it becomes available next month.

Vodafone 555 Blue (product page)

Skyfire VideoQ: Watch Flash Videos on an iPhone or iPad

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If you really feel you must be able to view Flash videos on an iPhone or iPad, Skyfire may have a non-browser solution for you. It is the new $1.99 iOS app:

Skyfire VideoQ

Skyfire takes pains to make it clear that VideoQ is not a browser solution. You can, however, let Skyfire know about an unplayable Flash video on your iOS device when is then converted for viewing in VideoQ. You can tell Skyfire about which Flash videos you want to watch by:

- Use the “Mail Link to this Page” button in Safari or any browser to email a webpage with a Flash video to video@skyfire.com
- Copy the URL of a webpage that has a Flash video and open Skyfire VideoQ
- Install the Skyfire VideoQ bookmarklet into Safari. Once you find a page with a Flash video, just use the bookmarket to send the page to your Skyfire VideoQ

Flash games and other Flash apps are not supported by VideoQ. The app is strictly for viewing Flash videos on the web.


Video courtesy of Skyfire VideoQ

Via LaptopMag: Hands-On: Skyfire’s Flash-Friendly VideoQ App Brings Flash to iOS

Harry Potter Comedy, Apple Apps Adapt & Free eBooks: Top eBook Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are the most popular headlines of the week–ranging ePub conversion to Apple Apps to Harry Potter re-cut as a teen comedy (video embedded above).

Click here to sign up for eBookNewser’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place.

1. How to Convert ePub Books for use on Kindle
2. Free eBooks of the Week
3. Kindle, Kobo, Nook Apple Apps No Longer Sell eBook
4. eBook Sales Up 160% This Year
5. How To Use Google+ Hangouts
6. Harry Potter and the Screwball Teen Comedy
7. Kindle Writer Launched
8. Kobo to Release HTML5 App
9. Google To Sell Harry Potter eBooks
10. Coursesmart launches HTML5 Digital Textbook App

AT&T Wireless Preparing to Throttle Your 3G Data & Social Experience

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If you are among the many AT&T Wireless customers who still have a grandfathered “unlimited” 3G data plan, you should make it a point to read this AT&T press release:

An Update for Our Smartphone Customers With Unlimited Data Plans

If you are among what AT&T classifies as those among the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period, you might see much slower data toward the end of each billing cycle starting October.

Starting October 1, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle. Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period.

AT&T notes specific activities that chew up 3G bandwidth: Streaming video apps, remote web camera apps, sending large data files (like video) and some online gaming are examples of applications that can use data quickly.. AT&T recommends heavy data users use a WiFi network as often as possible.

So, if you are consuming or sharing a lot of videos and photos and are on AT&T, be prepared to see things slow down.

Via 9to5mac.com:
- AT&T to implement data throttling in early October, just in time for iPhone 5
- AT&T verifies our throttling information officially for October 1st

Mobage beta: ngmoco’s Social Gaming Platform Now Available for Android

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ngmoco’s freemium games have been a success in the iOS (iPhone/iPad) market. ngmoco’s We Rule, for example, is the 69th highest grossing app in Apple’s App Store despite being a free game that has been available for over a year. They do this by enticing players to make in-app purchases to obtain tokens that can be exchanged for virtual goods. ngmoco games also provide a social component that lets you cooperate and compete with other players.

This monetization model and platform for free games is now available for Android in English-speaking countries.

Mobage Beta for Android!

The Mobage gaming platform is available for free in the Android Market. It provides access to more than 20 free games including We Rule and Pocket Frogs which iOS users will be familar with.

Mobage (Android Market)

With 82 reviews in so far, user experience looks like a mixed bag with 33 giving it 5 stars (40%) and 31 givig it 1 star (38%). My guess is that this is a result of Android platform fragment where the app runs fine on some phone models and crashes on others.

[Mobage] What is the Mobage Beta? (Mobage support Instant Answers)