Archive for: web To Begin Charging For Mobile Access.

Users of in the U.S. UK, and Germany will have some hard choices to make in the near future. Popular music streaming service and Pandora competitor,, has announced that the aforementioned countries will now have to pay extra for mobile access and usage on desktop/laptop devices. While the move to a pay-to-play scenario has already been enacted in many other places of the world under’s reach, the U.S., UK, and Germany remained free of charge.

While we understand that the freemium model doesn’t always work and that has to make some changes in order to make money, the added price isn’t justified. Take for example competing (and much better) service, Spotify. This non-U.S. music streaming service also allows playlist creation, downloading of content to local drives, and gives users the ability to choose the play order of songs.

Hopefully follows the $3/month charge that is shared in other countries. Because if it is $5+, I can see quite a few defecting to other services that are either cheaper or offer more features for the money.

Users of Windows Phone 7 devices and Xbox Live will still be able to enjoy for free, as will web users. None of these portals will see any price addition.
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Google Releases Android And iPhone Weather Web App.

Weather apps on both Android and iOS are a dime a dozen these days. With that said, I happen to be a weather junkie on top of my usual gig as tech junkie. So when it comes to weather apps, I’ve been there and done that many times over. Though in all honesty, you don’t really need a stand alone app for such things. The mobile web is full of websites and portals from which you can get your weather information. And today, the non-app weather scene just got a bit more crowded with Google’s new Android and iOS app weather web app.

Simply search “weather” on either of the platforms mentioned above (sorry BlackBerry OS 6 and pretty much everyone else) and watch the HTML5 wizardry develop right before your very eyes. Speaking of HTML5, the slider you see is functional, and when drug across the screen, causes the background gradient and weather icons to change accordingly. Enough to make you kick the app habit?

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iOS, Windows 7 Gain Web Share in Latest Survey.

If the countless millions of reported iOS devices sold ever puts the notion into your head that iOS rules the internet, think again. In the grand scheme of things, iOS web presence is a paltry 1.69% (December) according to the latest Netmarketshare study. Compare that to another big mover, Windows 7, and it’s 20.87% and you can see just how far Apple has to go to conquer the world. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll discover that Apple’s added market share came from mostly new iOS devices thanks in part to the Christmas season. Microsoft’s Windows 7 on the other hand is enjoying increased web presence and marketshare at the expense of previous version of Windows. Granted, the same scenario will eventually play out for Apple and older iDevices too.

As we move further along into 2011, expect to see Android continue its own growth surge as well as more smartphones and the tablet explosion continue.

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Apple: 1 Million New Apple TVs Sold. #apple

The recent design refresh of the Apple TV is paying off — for Apple that is. The company announced today that they had officially crossed the 1 million sales mark a mere 3 months after going on sale. Not too shabby considering Apple sees the Apple TV as nothing more than a company “hobby”. Nevertheless, web TV and streaming media appears to be on the rise as competing technology from Roku recently had it’s CEO come forward and state that they too were seeing increased sales, even naming the Apple TV as one of the big reasons for the uptick in sales and revenue.

Have you jumped on board the web TV/streaming media train yet?

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OpenNet Speaks Out About FCC/Net Neutrality Ruling And Per-Service Data Plans. #netneutrality

A couple of days back, we highlighted a webinar being conducted by technology firms OpenNet and Allot Communications. In that webinar was a slide showing off a network management service that would allow carriers to charge based on service — you could be charged more for using Facebook or other popular websites over your standard website. It would effectively destroy the internet and hand over all control to carriers.

One of the companies which developed the presented technology, OpenNet, has come forward today with a post on the company’s blog, explaining exactly their position in the whole charge-per-service hysteria that’s exploded over the last couple of days. Jump inside for the full rundown…

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Google to TV Manufacturers: Hold Off on Google TV Demos/Launches. #googletv

I wouldn’t say Google TV is dead, but things certainly aren’t going well for the new web-infused line of TVs. Early reviews from around the web have more or less brushed off Google’s web-enabled TV efforts, with the NYT’s David Pogue calling it “a major step in the wrong direction”. Complicating matters, only Logitech and Sony are shipping Google TV’s as of writing. And if Google has their way, it’ll stay that way for the foreseeable future. According to a new NYT article, Google is apparently asking TV manufacturers such as LG, Toshiba, and Sharp to delay Google TV demos and releases so the company can work out some of the functional issues of the web TV service as well as lock in more worthwhile content — two big complaints with Google TV thus far.

I’ve only had an hour at most of hands-on time with Google TV, so I can’t really comment too heavily on it. From what I did witness however, I can say that it is fun and “new”. But I’m left feeling that once the new feeling wears off, it’ll lose it’s luster pretty quickly. Hopefully Google doesn’t request such delays for too long. Once TV manufacturers start losing interest it will pretty much be game over for yet another Google experiment.

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Opera 11 Browser Now Available. #opera

Opera announced today that version 11 of their popular webkit-based web browser is now available. Notable improvements include tab stacking, a 30% lighter footprint, improved security settings, and a continually growling list of extensions.

Faster performance, improved security, and a lighter footprint are certainly worthwhile. Though it’s the new tab stacks feature that has us most intrigued. Quite literally, it allows you to stack one tab on top of another. Say you want to keep everything inside one browser window but have it organized. Have one stack of 5 tech websites in one stack, local news in another stack, and some articles on what to cook for dinner tonight in a third. A really simple feature that we’ll come to love and wonder how we ever got along with it.

Like we said, Opera 11 is smaller, lighter, and leaner. As such, the download should be even faster than before. If you’ve been thinking of taking this Norwegian-born browser for a spin, now is a better time than ever.

Myspace Announces New Mobile Site and iOS App. #ios #myspace

Myspace may not be the social juggernaut that it once was, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to win back our attention. This morning Myspace announced both a new mobile website and upcoming iPhone app update aiming to re-invent the once popular brand’s image. On that note, the new mobile site is live as we speak. The iOS app on the other hand merely has a “coming in a few weeks” phrase attached to it. Though as we can see from the image (right), it looks pretty slick.

While we’re on the topic of the new iOS update — supposedly the new app will automatically display band info within your stream based on what music you have loaded on your iOS device. Sounds pretty cool on paper. Though I’m not sure I’d want to really follow every comment from every band I have on my phone. Can you say clutter? Another “feature” of sorts is the fact that users won’t be required to log in on either the mobile website or iOS app.

It’s a good start — the new look and added features — but the true test will be actually stopping the bleeding of users. Last month Myspace claims they had 60 million visitors. A big number for sure, though far less than previous years and even now, declining monthly. We’ll see…

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Facebook Email to Include Microsoft Office Web Apps? #facebook

We’ve already talked once before about the claimed revealing of Facebook Email coming next week. But now, a source of ZDnet is claiming Microsoft is involved as well. The source is quoted as saying “the Office team has been working on this for a while now”, in regards to full blown Microsoft Office web app support coming to the U.S.’s #1 social network. The implications of Facebook rolling out a legitimate email service are already huge. With well over 500 million users, Facebook’s pool of opportunity is plenty robust. Add in an extremely useful set of services like Microsoft Office Suit web apps and you’ve got quite the one-two punch.

With privacy wars between Facebook and Google currently in full swing, hearing of one of these two personal data juggernauts acquiring even more personal data may put some off. Even still, it sounds like Facebook is about to become even more integral in millions of peoples’ lives. Will you use Facebook Email and/or their rumored Microsoft Office web app services?

Check back Monday.
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