September 2010
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Day September 18, 2010

No CDMA Windows Phone 7 devices until 2011

If you are on Verizon or Sprint and were planning on getting a Windows Phone 7 device for the holidays, it looks like you’ll be getting an IOU courtesy of Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 will be GSM only in 2010. Product manager at Microsoft Greg Sullivan recently spoke to CNET:

We had to make some trade-offs. Even Microsoft doesn’t have unlimited resources. We had to prioritize doing fewer things, really, really well….For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011.
The statement from Microsoft comes shortly after Verizon announced it would not have any WP7 devices in its lineup this year. AT&T has gone on the record stating it will be the ‘premier launch partner’ for Windows Phone 7. A T-Mobile WP7 device in 2010 is not out of the question, either. Expect Windows Phone 7 to launch worldwide on October 11 at an event in New York City.

Source: CNET via SlashGear

Google Voice apps return to App Store

It’s been a long, thorny road for Google Voice apps in the App Store. When Google initially launched the service, an iPhone app was on many a user’s wishlist. It wasn’t long before developers answered the call, most notably Sean Kovacs with his GV Mobile app. Shortly thereafter, however, Apple inexplicably pulled all Google Voice apps with no notice. Google itself had submitted an official one that has infamously been ‘in review’ for over a year now.

Even after an FCC inquiry into the absence of Google Voice on the iPhone, Apple provided little useful information stating it was still ‘pondering’ the matter. Speculation as to why Google Voice was banned from the iPhone included Apple’s anti-competitive stance towards Google, finger pointing at AT&T, and the App Store guideline that states that submitted apps shall not duplicate existing functionality.

Recently, however, Apple seems to have had a change of heart. Just this month, a controversial ban on third-party developer tools has been lifted and App Store review guidelines are freely available in all their candor. With guidelines in the hands of developers, Sean Kovacs sent an inquiry regarding GV Mobile. He was greeted with a favorable response to resubmit his app for approval. In the meantime, another Google Voice app GV Connect by developer Andreas Amann — in review for over 200 days — has recently been accepted and is available in the App Store for $2.99.

As of this evening, GV Mobile + has been accepted as well and will also retail for $2.99 when it hits Apple’s servers.

One more thing from Sean Kovacs: “I’ll be blowing away some promo codes via Twitter (@seankovacs) once I get them AND if #gvmobile trends on Twitter, I’ll set that bad boy to free for the night.” Thanks, Sean!

Sources: Andreas Amann, Sean Kovacs via TechCrunch, intomobile

‘Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets’

Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google:

Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it’s already running on tablets, but the way Android Market works is it’s not going to be available on devices that don’t allow applications to run correctly. […] Which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimized for use on tablets. […] We want to make sure that we’re going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience.

I really wonder if companies like Samsung aren’t jumping the gun with their tablet exploits after reading this quote. The Galaxy Tab is a nice piece of hardware, but how attractive will it be if it can’t run apps from Android Marketplace, especially when a proper Android tablet — presumably running Android 3.0, aka Gingerbread, or Chrome OS — pops up early next year?

Source: TechRadar via Engadget

Samsung Galaxy Tab headed to all four major US carriers

Officially unveiled at IFA at the beginning of the month, it was only a matter of time before Samsung gave us details on the US launch of its Android-based iPad competitor the Galaxy Tab. At a press conference in New York City on Thursday, Samsung revealed just how seriously it wants to be a player in the tablet market, announcing that it would release a version of the Galaxy Tab on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the coming months. It performed a similar feat with its Galaxy S line of Android smartphones, bringing slightly modified versions to each of America’s four largest mobile service providers within the course of a few months.

The Galaxy Tab is a 7″ 1024 x 600 TFT LCD capacitive display running Android 2.2 (Froyo) overlaid with a TouchWiz skin and has a 1GHz Hummingbird SoC under the hood. Each carrier will get the same hardware minus the cellular radio inside, although there will be several software tweaks to differentiate each version. The Galaxy Tab will support Adobe Flash Player 10.1 out of the box and includes Samsung’s Social Hub application designed to keep users connected. Launching alongside the device will be a new service dubbed Media Hub — Samsung’s attempt at an iTunes rival — that will serve as a competitively priced content portal for movies and TV shows. Media Hub will also allow up to five enabled devices to share purchased content.

No price has been announced for any US version of the Galaxy Tab. Unlocked versions around the world seem to be selling for around $1000, though carrier subsidies should take a hefty chunk off that price tag here in the States. Even still, it would require an additional contract and monthly fee to own a Galaxy Tab unless carriers announce some sort of phone/tablet package deal. You can also forget about using the Galaxy Tab as a phone since all US versions will have their cellular voice capabilities blocked. And for those on Sprint, there’s no WiMAX radio in yours and Qik will only run over WiFi.

It should be noted that a WiFi-only version of the Galaxy Tab is also planned to launch stateside for those averse to signing another contract. However, it remains to be seen whether Samsung can price it competitively enough to stave off would-be iPad owners this holiday season.

Samsung’s official press release is available after the break.