THE hottest smartphones on the market – iPhone 3G and Blackberry Bold – are bringing work/life balance directly to your handset.
Smartphones now comfortably fit in our personal and professional lives.
The iPhone 3G and the BlackBerry Bold show two sides of the smartphone story: the consumer turning pro, and the professional that lets its hair down.
Smartphones live and die by their handheld computing applications, and these two handsets show professional and consumer users can get all the essentials on either platform.
While the first iPhone had a limited range of applications, the iPhone 3G has its iTunes App Store, with thousands of applications launched in a matter of months.
Software covers the gamut, and there is a wide range of business offerings already available from all the major players, integrating online business data into the iPhone’s slick touch interface.
The BlackBerry Bold has delivered BlackBerry’s smoothest interface to date, and on top of its business applications pedigree you can now find many consumer applications and games to enjoy in your downtime.
And in the same way that the likes of Facebook have moved from purely personal to often-professional usage, the BlackBerry Bold offers these social tools so you can mix business and pleasure with ease.
Mobile email still the killer app
Perhaps the best example of the app-centric smartphone world is email.
Email is at the heart of a smart device, and BlackBerry has been synonymous with email on a handheld for many years.
But while BlackBerry email has business users at its heart, the ease of use makes it comfortable for any user.
The iPhone comes from the other direction, offering a very simple and elegant email interface.
The latest iPhone 3G added features like Exchange support to ensure the professional inbox of choice is also nicely catered for.
Mobile music and video for downtime
The most consumer-oriented feature of all is support for music and video.
If you come from the consumer end of the curve the iPhone offers all things iPod at its Apple core.
But the BlackBerry user can now find in the Bold a very nice set of multimedia features.
The Bold has the most beautiful screen ever to grace a BlackBerry, and in fact it offers the very same resolution as the iPhone 3G.
Video looks smart, and while on-board memory is limited a multimedia lover can expand that storage with microSD to take their tunes and TV everywhere.
Smartphones for work and play: a personal choice
With all the key bases covered, it is clear that very few users will have to choose a handset based on which device has the essential features they need.
And that means you can choose based on what everyone prefers — how does the experience work for you?
For many the deciding factor may be a physical keyboard versus a touch screen interface.
For others it may come down to the way it sits in your pocket, or how quickly you can find a song. And for many more it may be all about style.
Whatever the case, we should take pleasure in the fact that our choice of smartphone may not have to come down to examining spec sheets and feature lists anymore.
It is now about spending a little time in a store, playing with the devices and deciding what feels right for you, whether that means mixing pleasure with business, or business with pleasure.
Content provided by Vodafone Australia
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google Inc. showed off its nearly completed mobile software system to about 3,000 computer programmers Wednesday, hoping to cultivate more services and advertising for people on the go.
Although brief, the demonstration at the Internet search leader’s annual developer conference in San Francisco represented the most extensive public look so far at “Android” – an open-source platform being designed for “smart” phones and other mobile devices that surf the Web. Android was first announced nearly seven months ago.
The bells and whistles unveiled Wednesday included: a way to unlock phones by drawing a specific shape on the touchscreen instead of entering a password; bookmarks for favorite Web sites on the device’s home page; a “compass” tool that automatically roams with the phone while a user looks at photographic images of a city map; a magnifying tool to zoom in on Web content; and a mobile version of the video game “Pac Man.”
The demonstration relied on touchscreen technology similar to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, but Android can also be tailored to work with a tracking ball, said Andy Rubin, who is overseeing the project.
While acknowledging the work on Android is nearly done, Rubin deflected a question about how much longer consumers will have to wait for a phone powered by the new software. Sticking to the timetable Google has used throughout the project, Rubin said Android will hit the market some time during the final six months of this year.
Several handset makers, including Samsung Electronics Co., HTC and LG Electronics Inc., are among the 34 partners that Google has recruited to help launch Android.
Google also hopes programmers will create a wide variety of products that will run on Android. That’s one of the reasons the Mountain View-based company chose to flaunt the free software at the developers’ conference.
By making it easier and more appealing for people to access the Internet on their cell phones, Google believes it eventually will make more money from the ads it shows next to search results and other Web content. The company also is starting to show more video advertising on its YouTube subsidiary, which already is a staple on the iPhone and received a special button in Wednesday’s demonstration of Android.
Google is expected to generate more than $20 billion in advertising revenue this year, but most of that money will come from ads viewed on personal computers.
With about 3 billion mobile phones already on the market, some analysts believe Google could pull in nearly $5 billion annually from the mobile market within five years.
Google is also trying to boost its profits by selling more software services over Internet connections to businesses, universities and government agencies.
The company also wants to make it easier for outside developers to create applications on the Web. Even if those applications aren’t on Google’s Web site, the company figures it is bound to get more search requests – and more advertising opportunities – if people are doing more things online.
In April, Google handled nearly 62 percent of the search requests in the United States, according to comScore Inc.
Google’s success so far is the primary reason Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, spent several months trying to buy Yahoo Inc. before withdrawing its oral offer of $47.5 billion 3½ weeks ago when the two sides couldn’t agree on a price.
Microsoft currently is discussing a smaller deal with Yahoo but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of renewing its takeover attempt.
To help developers introduce more online products, Google last month began offering free computing power and storage on a limited basis under a service called “App Engine.”
Google opened App Engine to all comers Wednesday and disclosed plans to begin offering extra capacity, for a fee, later this year. The service will remain free for up to 500 megabytes of storage and enough computing capacity to support 5 million monthly views of a site’s Web pages.
Each additional gigabyte will cost 15 cents to 18 cents per month. Google estimated a user would pay $40 to $50 per month for enough capacity to support up to 10 million page views per month.
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