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GPS obsessed

Sunday
12 May 2013

Points Of Interest: Palm, Windows Mobile, Redfin, Litmus, Android, LiMo, And More

MIT Mobile Apps: CrunchGear has an overview of 10 applications built by MIT students over a period of only 13 weeks. There’s a pretty heavy emphasis on location in the group. One of the apps, Marauder for Window Mobile, uses Bluetooth signals rather than GPS.

Palm Rolling Out New OS: the rumor mill is running around the possibility that Palm will roll out a new operating system and smartphone line at CES next month.  At one time Palm was a power-player in the mobile space with the Palm Pilot and more recently, semi-successful phones like the Treo and Centro.  But now it’s lost tons of market share to Apple, RIM, and others-not to mention most of its 3rd party developers.

Does Vodafone’s OHA Membership Signify Trouble For LiMo?: industry watchers are questioning whether Vodafone’s choice to join the Open Handset Alliance spells trouble for the LiMo Foundation.  Vodafone was an original founder of LiMo which is working on developing a Linux-based open source mobile operating system similar to Android.  Vodafone claims that the reason it joined the OHA is because Android has an SDK and a market presence.  LiMo, on the other hand, probably won’t be ready in 2009-in fact it doesn’t even have its own SDK yet.  The carrier also said that including handsets running Android in its roster will increase customer choice which is definitely a good thing.

Sprint Launching Android Phone Within 1 Year: despite the fact that Sprint was an early member of the Open Handset Alliance, the company hasn’t seemed too keen on releasing an Android-based handset.  Since chief executive Dan Hesse took over last year, the company has been more focused on improving customer service in hopes of reversing massive subscriber loss.  But Sprint seems to be getting a little keener.  From SeattleTechReport:

“We believe in the vision for Android, so we want to see it get bigger and get healthy,” said Kevin Packingham, Sprint’s vice president of products and devices. “We can, when the timing’s right, pull the trigger.

Analysts Help Ballmer With Windows Mobile: since Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer doesn’t seem to have any vision for Windows Mobile operating system, analysts are trying to help him out.  What does Microsoft need to do to make WinMo viable in the future?  First of all it needs to support touchscreen devices which sadly may not happen until 2010.  Second of all, it needs to built out its Danger acquisition in order to move its mobile services into the cloud.  Finally it needs to roll out a mobile application storefront.  There has been some talk this year of a Skymarket marketplace-maybe we’ll see a WinMo app store in 2009?

02 UK Getting An App Store: 18-million subscriber strong 02 UK has rolled out an app store called Litmus.  Right now app developers can submit their apps for feedback so 02 can get a feel for what’s good versus what’s not.  The best will get full community access likely by direct integration into the carrier’s handsets.  Developers can also simply sell them right off the bat by filling out a simple registration form and stating the price of the application.  The free market pricing decision is smart; I think it’s a problem in Apple’s app store.

Real Estate Platform Redfin Goes 100% Google: Major real estate platform Redfin has moved from a mix of Google and Microsoft Virtual Earth Maps to exclusively Google Maps.  Why?  In the end, Google Maps is much faster.

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