FCC authorizes use of Kyocera’s 3.9G iBurst Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System

By Jeremy Kessel, Mobilecrunch

kyocera-iburst

Not quite 4G, but better than 3G, Kyocera’s 3.9G iBurst Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System (MBWA) has received a Grant of Equipment Authorization from the FCC’s certification arm – the American Telecommunications Certification Body.

According to Kyocera’s press release:

Kyocera’s iBurst is classified as 3.9G equipment due to its high spectrum efficiency with single spectrum reuse factor, and provides three times more spectrum efficiency than the existing HSDPA system. The TDD-TDMA system which uses SDMA technology is capable of 32Mbps total throughput per base station (24Mbps downlink with 8Mbps uplink), within only 5MHz bandwidth, making it small enough to operate in the GSM frequency band.

So what does this mean to Joe the Wireless Net Surfer? Not terribly much, at this point; just another competing wireless broadband technology. But in the end, the more competition, the merrier (or at least we’d like to think so).

For more on the use of this MBWA technology, check out the iBurst Association.

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iPhone 3.0 wrap-up: Cut and paste, MMS, Push, and more

By Devin Coldewey, Mobilecrunch

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We’ve just finished liveblogging the event, and the iPhone 3.0 press conference has definitely yielded some delicious morsels of functionality. Here is pretty much everything you need to know, though as things get more clear throughout the day, we’ll update this post. You guys will probably be seeing these features sometime this summer.

We’ll have pictures and a hands-on in just a few minutes so keep your eyes open.

iPhone 3.0 Features for you:

• Push
• PUSH!
• Bluetooth will be used to auto-discover nearby people for games without any pairing. They then can communicate via Wi-Fi. Hopefully it’s secure, it could be nice.
• There will NOT be background processing, no matter how much you want it. Reduces battery life. As if battery life could get much worse, noted a commenter.
• Cut, Copy and Paste: This feature was seen riding a dinosaur into the auditorium. Anyway, it’s finally here and it even applies to image(s). Simply double tap a word and it gets highlighted with “cut, copy or paste” above. For a block of text you just tap a word and drag the edges. It works across all applications. It seems like anywhere the magnifier works, copy and paste will work. If you accidentally paste the wrong word or phrase then just shake the iPhone for an “Undo” prompt. To redo just shake again.
• Meebo coming as a native app for iPhone. That sounds nice.
• New “home” screen to the left of your current far-left one. It has a Spotlight search, looks for stuff all over your phone.
• Calendar supports CalDAV now, you can subscribe to other calendars online. Useful for syncing with your spouse or whatnot, even if they’re on Google or Yahoo.
• Many apps will now support internal search, including Mail. It’s incomplete (doesn’t search message contents) but it’ll search IMAP servers, so if you’ve got GMail for instance you’ll be good. A collective sigh of relief emanates from iPhone owners.
• Landscape keyboard all up in every app you can think of.
• Multimedia Messages! This feature flew in on a Pterodactyl.
• Stereo Bluetooth. I know how much you love that, honey, so I just went and got it for you.
• Hotspot auto-login. Because you love Starbucks but don’t want to waste time inputting passwords.
• Send and receive files between your iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s awesome.

3.0 features for App store and Developers:

• Apps can talk directly to accessories — FM transmitters, stereos, anything you like. Expect a lot of bundled apps with your iPhone bundled apps. How about an NES-like iPhone controller for those emulators?
• You can get subscription apps now, in case you weren’t paying enough already.
• Apps can now use voice communication. I foresee controversy.
• Embeddable maps for developers. Now they won’t have to launch Maps outside their application. Handy for shopping apps.
• Buy stuff in-app: I’m calling this the “Sims” feature. You could also use it to buy books for a reader, or new maps for a game, that sort of thing.
• Turn by turn directions in navigation apps now. First one probably from Telenav.
• Apps can access the user’s library of music and videos, so you could have the background music in a game be the user’s.
• Lots of new APIs, too many to list here but if you’re a dev you’re gonna check it out.
• Tethering support is in there, but “will depend on each carrier on supporting it.”

The upgrade will be free for iPhone users, but iPod Touch folks will have to shell out $10, like last time.

Well, we didn’t get fixes for a lot of our issues with the iPhone, but a lot of this stuff will be really handy. Search and push in particular will make this a lot more useful for business types. We’ll let you all know as soon as we know anything more, say about the release date for this big mother of an update.

Posted in iPhone. Tags: , , . 1 Comment »

LG Rumor 2 for Sprint

By Peter Ha, Mobilecrunch

lg-rumor

We just got a couple Rumor 2s into the CG office and in the short time we’ve had with the device, we can say that it picks up where the first one left off. The hardware feels sturdy and the keyboard is quite nice. The camera seems like it takes decent pictures (test shot: Canon lens box) when there’s enough light available as well, but we’ve only taken one test shot and it’s so-so. The menu system is pretty straightforward. There are a handful of included apps like, Loopt, Nascar, NFL Mobile and Social Zone. The queerest thing I saw was the “chat & dating” option under messages (the last two images). Anyway, we’ll have a full review soon.

iPhone OS 3.0 Gallery and New Podcast Features

By Greg Kumparak, Mobilecrunch

The more our guys play with the the new iPhone OS 3.0 firmware, the more little gems they’re finding. Tucked away within the Podcast playback screen are a few subtle changes that went unmentioned during today’s announcement. Apple did say there were some 100 new features in the new OS, so it’ll probably be awhile before we see them all.iphone

New Podcast Features:

•The Repeat and Shuffle buttons are gone (probably because they’re rarely used with podcasts, as they tend to be much longer than songs).
•The top left of the screen now features a mail icon, which currently just crashes the app. We’d assume this lets you send someone the iTunes link.
•In the center, directly below the scrubber, is a button that allows you to instantly rewind by 30 seconds.
•On the right is a Speed modifier, allowing you to playback podcasts at double or half their normal rate
•Variable speed scrubbing: We’re not sure if Apple has a name for this yet, but we like “Super Scrubbing”. Scrubbing is a fancy term for jumping to the right spot by grabbing the little marker in the timeline and dragging it around. Scrubbing to the perfect spot in a really long audio file is tough – but they’ve made it a whole lot easier. If you hold the marker dead-on, you scrub as normal. If you continue to hold but slide your finger up above the marker, the iPhone goes into “High Speed” scrubbing mode, lowering precision and moving the marker further relative to your finger. If you instead slide below the marker, it enters Half Speed scrubbing mode, which increases precision and allows you to jump around in smaller increments. Continue sliding downward and it enters Quarter speed – you can guess what that one does.

2G iPod touch to have Bluetooth capability unlocked by iPhone OS 3.0

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

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Looks like that Bluetooth chip in the iPod touch 2G we’ve always thought was for Nike+ suddenly got a lot more useful: Apple’s Greg Joswiak said that Bluetooth can be “unlocked” on the device during the iPhone OS 3.0 Q&A session. That’s two years of rumors put to rest, right there, and a solid move, seeing as three of the major 3.0 features are A2DP, wireless accessory control and peer-to-peer connections over Bluetooth. Any touch owners feeling more inclined to drop the $9.95 now?

New social app Foursquare is Dodgeball Part Deux

By Jay Hathaway

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Dodgeball was legend amongst Internet social junkies. This cool mobile app let you know where your friends and crushes were, and made meeting up easy. It was so beloved that there was a farewell party in San Francisco when the site shut down. Something with that much community support can’t stay dead for long, though, so now there’s Foursquare, a Dodgeball “sequel” from one of the guys behind Dodgeball.

So, what does Foursquare do? Like Dodgeball, it lets you check in from your phone when you go somewhere. Foursquare has several ways to do this, via iPhone, a mobile web interface, or good old text messaging. Foursquare also has Twitter integration, so you can get/send checkins through Twitter’s direct message interface. It’s launched in 12 cities so far, so go check if yours is supported. Dodgeball is dead, long live Dodgeball.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic NAM firmware update

By Chris Ziegler, Engadget

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We’d initially been told that the first round of bunk Nokia 5800s for the North American market would have to be exchanged despite the fact that the 3G reception fix was a simple “configuration change,” but now… not so much. Firmware 20.2.014 has just gone live through Nokia’s Software Update application, bringing the same rich, buttery 3G quality to buyers of those first few devices. Other than that, changes are unknown and presumed to be minor, so if you’re still struggling with getting your 5800 to appreciate the finer things in life — like HSDPA, for example — give this one a shot.