Jan 25, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Apple Tablet To Run iPhone OS 3.2?

In the past two months, we must have heard a gazillion rumors and speculations about the upcoming Apple Tablet. One of the more ‘confirmed’ among these was that the Tablet could be running on the iPhone OS 4.0 which was also expected to be part of the announcement scheduled for Wednesday.

It now appears that the Tablet might not come with the 4.0 operating system after all. Flurry, the mobile analytics company has recently revealed that their system was able to track app usage from around 50 devices that had all the characteristics of the upcoming Apple Tablet. All this usage which was tracked from Apple’s Cupertino office pointed to the use of iPhone OS 3.2 and not 4.0 as earlier thought.

What could this mean? Well, for starters, this means that there could possibly mean that the Tablet’s operating system would not be too different from the iPhone’s; which also means that the Tablet will not be a direct substitute for the Mac since unlike Mac OS X, the iPhone’s current operating system does not let you use any application of your choice.

However, the OS being a 3.2 version, it could possibly mean that all the 130K+ applications available for download on the App Store will be seamlessly accessible from the Tablet, which is still a great news.

What do you make of this?

[Flurry via VentureBeat]

Jan 25, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Hewlett Packard Building Intent-Based Search Engine?

You will have to take this with a grain of salt, but it is possible that Hewlett Packard could be working on a search engine.  A recent patent filed in the name of ‘Jianwei Dian’ describes a search engine that will understand the “intent” of the user inputting the search query and list results that the user needs; not simply match the query with web pages like Google.

So, how does it work? The inventor explains that the process will involve understanding the query of the user and delivering results of the information and not just the web pages that contain the words from the query (like Google does). So, if you query “Contact Information of Jianwei Dian”, you are likely to see results ranked by those web pages that contain the email, phone number, etc. of Jianwei rather than just web pages that match the query. The inventor writes

“With considering both the relevance and reliability of the matched web pages, the intent match search engine more likely will give high rankings to the web pages that both contain the information the user is looking for and are reliable sources of information. This saves the user’s time, since the few top web pages or even the very first web page may already contain what the user is looking for and is also the most reliable source of information. The user doesn’t need to navigate through a lot of matched web pages before he finds what he is looking for. “

HP files Intent Based Search Engine

While the patent looks interesting, there is still not enough confirmation about who the patent really belongs to. The patent is filed in the name of ‘Jianwei Dian’ from Plano Texas. A quick search (on Google!) on the inventor gave us the following information:

Name: DIAN Jianwei
Location: Plano, TX
Company: Hewlett-Packard Company
E-mail: jianwei.dian@xxxxxx.net
Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX (Home)

What do you think? Is HP indeed working on a search engine? Tell us your thoughts.

Jan 23, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Apple Working On Deal With Electronic Arts?

With less than five days to go for the unveiling of the Apple Tablet, rumors are flying thick and fast about all the things that the Tablet could be capable of. We already have heard about the negotiations that Cupertino has been having with book publishers like Harper Collins.

Now,we are also hearing that further discussions are on with the popular game developer, Electronic Arts who are well known for their EA Sports series of games. According to a report published on the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on an agreement that will see the company showing off the Tablet’s gaming capabilities with games developed by Electronic Arts.

It will be interesting how Apple plans to market these varied applications. We had speculated if the company would launch an eBook store in order to cater to the different publishers. But with news about this deal out, it is likely that eBooks be sold as yet another application on the App Store. This is because iPhone OS 4.0 is assumed to let scalable applications that will work seamlessly across small sized screens like the iPhone as well as on the Tablet. In that case, a single App Store for all devices make sense.

However, considering the fact that games on the Tablet would be much more graphic intensive than those on iPhones, it will be interesting how Apple plans to tackle the issue. Will the user require to purchase the same EA Sports game separately for the iPhone and the Tablet? We hope not.

[via WSJ]

Jan 23, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

IBM Jumps Into Location-Aware Technology

Location and Geotagging seem to be the flavor of the season and IBM seems to be the latest entrant. In a new patent filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office, IBM has sought the credits for a location aware authorization technology.

As the inventors put in their application, companies who offer laptops to their employees might not want them to access certain confidential data outside the office premises. In such cases, this technology will help companies in doing a double check – Check user login credentials as well as verify geographical location of access before granting access.

The patent filing is interesting for two reasons. One, it is probably the first time that IBM is filing a GPS-technology based patent. Secondly, the utility of such a setup needs to be determined considering we are moving towards a networked workplace where employees work from home, shuttle between client locations, etc.

What do you think?

Jan 22, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Is Obsession HTC’s First Windows Mobile 7 Device?

Folks at WMPowerUser claim their sources as saying that HTC Obsession, the company’s much touted 3.7″ AMOLED display smartphone launching later this year shall be launched as HTC Diamond 3, the company’s first phone on Windows Mobile 7.

According to these sources, the device is supposed to be launched in June 2010, though it could be delayed. I’m kind of skeptical on this  one because there are some contradictions here. Just recently, there were reports about Windows Mobile 7 powered handsets launching as late as Q4 of this year. In fact, the report claimed the manufacturers to be getting accessing to the OS not before September 2010.

Considering the launch dates could be put off by as much as two quarters, it is not really clear if HTC would want to wait until then to launch a WinMo 7 powered handset or would be launching Obsession on WinMo 6.5.

What do you think?

[WMPU via Electronista]

Jan 22, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Windows Seven To Launch In Q4 2010?

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the release dates of Windows 6.6 and Windows Mobile 7. DigiTimes has now revealed that its sources have confirmed that Windows 6.6 shall launch during the Mobile World Congress to be held next month while the date for Seven’s launch will be announced at the same time.

It is believed that Microsoft’s Windows Seven will be available to the manufacturers by September 2010 who will then be able to launch Seven powered devices by Q4 2010. Apparently, there are a lot of manufacturers here – Samsung, LG, HTC, Toshiba and Asus to name a few. Windows Mobile Seven is also expected to support Zune, Xbox and Silverlight.

[via Digitimes]

Jan 22, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

A Dual Version Apple Tablet In The Making?

According to sources Fox News spoke to from AT&T and Verizon, both companies have indicated that they are in talks with Apple over an Apple Tablet deal. This has given rise to speculations over whether we could see Apple Tablet coming in two versions – one working over the CDMA network and the other on GSM.

This is significant because earlier rumors pointed out that Qualcomm was unable to produce hybrid chips that could have brought both CDMA and GSM to a single device. With a hybrid device out of the equation now, a dual version appears to be very likely.

However, do not expect this partnership to be announced on the D-Day next week. Sources have also indicated that the agreements between Apple and the carriers is yet to be finalized; which means we might not be hearing the price of subsidized Tablets until later.

[via Fox News]

Jan 21, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Apple Developing Own GPS Based Parking Information Service?

Apple is working on a technology that will couple real-time parking availability information with other parameters to offer users an intelligent parking availability information.

In a patent titled “PARKING & LOCATION MANAGEMENT PROCESSES & ALERTS ” filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company talks of a technology that will consolidate information from a variety of sources  - like the current location of the different buses in your route, the location of the nearest available taxi, streets where a sweeping schedule is on, parking lot availability, Parking cost at different areas, etc. to deliver information to the user that will help them decide where to park their cars.

This is an  ”intelligent” technology where the system will deliver the information based on user preferences (like how much they are willing to walk from the parking lot), current weather information (so that a parking space that is more expensive, but closer to office may chosen during bad weather days). The inventors write

“a general profile may indicate a user would be willing to walk 0.5 miles to save $5.00 in parking. However, an inclement weather profile for the user may prioritize avoidance of walking, even if parking was more expensive. A higher security profile may indicate less walking. A profile itself can be selected based on defined user parameters, as well as information retrieved from databases, such as weather-related information from Destination interface, which may access destination weather information stored in destination database.”

It is interesting that a lot of companies are working on GPS-based  Parking Information technology. You might remember the patent filed by Yahoo recently where the company had talked of a similar technology.

What do you make of such a system? Exciting? Let us know in the comments.

Jan 21, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

Microsoft-Facebook Ad Deal : There’s More To The Story

The blogosphere is abuzz with the news that Microsoft has lost a significant chunk of the advertising partnership that it had inked with Facebook and is renegotiating the deal.

You might recall that all of this follows Microsoft’s investment of close to $240 million in the world’s biggest social network when they also subsequently clinched a deal to display Microsoft ads in some markets.

So why has the deal fallen through now, and is this permanent? The answer is possibly NO to both these questions. Firstly, the Facebook of today is not the same Facebook that Microsoft invested in. When Microsoft pumped its money into Facebook back in 2007, the social network had less than 100 million users. Today, it is inching towards 400 million users. With a diversified user base, Microsoft’s predominantly US-targeted ad network does not make much sense.

However, this might not be a permanent reversal as well. You might remember that Microsoft is working on a social network targeted advertising platform which will promote products to users based on thei product’s recommendations from the visitors’ friends and network. It is possible that once Microsoft launches this technology, Facebook could, in all probability, replace its existing ‘Like’ option on ads with Microsoft’s recommendation feature.

What do you think?

Jan 21, 2010
Anand Srinivasan

5 Reasons Why Apple Tablet Will Be Called iPad

The Apple Tablet shall be launching in less than a week from now, and there is still not concrete information about what the device will officially be known as – For that matter, Apple is yet to confirm that a Tablet is actually launching.

But of late, there have been enough evidence to suggest that the Tablet will be called – not iSlate, not iGuide, but iPad. Here are five reasons to believe why this will happen

1. Slate Computing LLC, a firm believed to be the shell company of Apple has supposedly filed for the trademark for the ‘IPAD’ name in Canada recently.

2. Around the same time when this filing was made in July last year, another company – IP Application Development, believed to be yet another dummy corporation of Apple had filed for the ‘IPAD’ trademark in Hong Kong

3. Again, in July of 2009, a UK based law firm filed the ‘IPAD’ name in UK

4. IP Application Development filed the trademark yet again this month in the countries of Australia and New Zealand. Incidentally, this company is also based out of Delaware, USA; much like Slate Computing LLC.

5. The trademark for ‘iPad’ in USA is held by Fujitsu. Apple is apparently in a legal fight against Fujitsu over the the trademark. The filing was first made in September 2009 and has continued through December.

Besides all this, iPad could go well with iPod and other one syllable brand names that Apple has always chosen to go with.

How do you like the iPad name? Tell us in the comments.

[Jesus Tablet via Gawker]