snydeq writes: "Ubuntu, Firefox, Tizen, Sailfish, WebOS, Nokia Series 40, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone want a piece of the pie, but it won't be a cakewalk. 'With iOS and Android dominating the mobile ecosystem so thoroughly, the other eight — yes, eight — wannabe players are seeking ways to stand out. Most are targeting what they hope are niches that iOS and Android won't take over, though a couple still have dreams of displacing Android or iOS, or at least becoming a significant No. 3. Realistic? No — most will fail, though we won't know which for a while. In the meantime, here's who else is vying for your attention as a user or developer and how they hope to convince you they're worth adopting.'"
snydeq writes: "Tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft were no-shows at CES this week in Las Vegas, which worked out just fine for Chinese vendors looking to establish a name for themselves with U.S. consumers, InfoWorld reports. 'Telecom suppliers Huawei and ZTE, in particular, have set their sights on breaking into the U.S. market for smartphones and tablets.... Whether these Chinese imports can take on the likes of Apple and Samsung remains to be seen, but as Wired quotes Jeff Lotman, the CEO of Global Icons, an agency that helps companies build and license their brands: "The thing that's amazing is these are huge companies, and they have a lot of power, but in the United States nobody has heard of them and they're having trouble gaining traction, but it's not impossible. Samsung was once known for making crappy, low-end phones and cheap TVs. Now they're seen as a top TV and smartphone brand."'"
snydeq writes: "Native, Web, or hybrid — choosing the right path for mobile business app development can be tricky business, as no one tool offers the trifecta of fast, cheap, feature-rich app delivery, writes Mel Beckman in a primer for IT organizations in choosing the right mobile development kit for your needs. 'Carefully assessing your prospective app's current and future requirements is key, as is balancing those requirements with the time it takes to get your app to market. Don't feel you have to choose a single platform for every app. It's reasonable to employ multiple development platforms to meet a variety of delivery requirements.'"
snydeq writes: "From the article: 'I've long wanted to love Android tablets because of the huge variety of apps available to do just about anything I could possibly want. These include network sniffers, SNMP MIB browsers, port scanners, and even some SSH tools. Unfortunately, a few of these tools require root-level access to your device, and on many Android devices, rooting can be a nasty and mysterious ordeal. But for these killer tech apps, it's worth it.'"
snydeq writes: "Two massive industry shakeups, a reworked Android ecosystem, and more are on the mobile tech horizon for 2012, writes Mobile Edge's Galen Gruman. 'Android smartphones will continue to grow in adoption, becoming the new cellphone for everyday users. I believe, however, that Android's reach into corporate environments will lag, as the chaos of the Android marketplace simply makes the cost too high for IT and users alike to let Android devices gain more than basic access to enterprise resources,' Gruman writes. 'Three stalwarts — RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia — will break through or fail this year. All three have been failing for several years, and they're all at the make-or-break point.... Also to be shaken out is the mobile device management industry, which has dozens of vendors chasing the same businesses.... At the same time, we'll see attempts to introduce the concept of mobile application management, which conceptually plays nicely into IT's fears and control desires.'"
snydeq writes: "Companies are no longer waiting for users to bring in their own smartphones and tablets into business environments, they're encouraging it, InfoWorld reports. 'Two of the most highly regulated industries — financial services and health care (including life sciences) — are most likely to support BYOD. So are professional services and consulting, which are "well" regulated.... The reason is devilishly simple, Herrema says: These businesses are very much based on using information, both as the service itself and to facilitate the delivery of their products and services. Mobile devices make it easier to work with information during more hours and at more locations. That means employees are more productive, which helps the company's bottom line.' Even those companies who haven't yet embraced bring your own device policies yet already have one in place, but don't know it, according to recent surveys."
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp provides a look at the best apps for boosting the battery life of your Android device. 'The best place to start if you just want to survey your power usage habits is Battery Indicator. To follow that up with actual power management, Green Power and JuiceDefender are your best bets. 2x Battery is not a bad program, but it's limited to managing cell data and not Wi-Fi connections. If that feature were added in a future revision, 2x Battery would be a real contender.'"
snydeq writes: "A small company called AppMobi is enabling developers to create HTML5 apps that tap into native hardware and OS capabilities of mobile devices, such as gravity sensing, accelerometer, GPS, camera, sound and vibration, and the file system, InfoWorld reports. 'Its MobiUs browser for iOS implements HTML5's DirectCanvas API for gaming, as well as the HTML5 local storage API for saving executables and data in the browser cache so that apps can run offline. But what makes MobiUs more than just yet another browser is the set of libraries AppMobi provides app developers to access native hardware and enable push messaging from Web apps.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman sees adopting Windows Phone as RIM's best bet for future relevance. 'Even with the diehards and the young texters, BlackBerry is losing market share steadily. It doesn't help that RIM's attempts to appeal to a broader audience further confuses the market. RIM pushes military-grade security capabilities on one end and games on the other, but most of its devices are not well suited to run games and rich apps in terms of their screens and horsepower,' Gruman writes. 'Here's a solution: RIM should modernize the BlackBerry where it stands out and is beloved: with messaging. When you look around the industry, you'll notice another mobile operating system that's all about modern mobile messaging: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. RIM should adopt Windows Phone 7 instead of pursuing its quixotic quest to create an iOS wannabe with the QNX operating system it bought 18 months ago.'"
snydeq writes: "A new approach to patching Android-based handsets is fast becoming a necessity, thanks to the growing number of device makers and carriers that are allowing Android patches to languish, preventing users from ever getting them, InfoWorld reports. 'The Android operating system's patch process poses a quandary for Google and a danger to users. Android's openness allows bugs to be found faster, but that benefit is offset by a longer supply chain in which manufacturers and vendors test patches at a glacial pace. Smartphone manufacturers must first create custom builds of the operating system that include their add-on software, then they test the software. Next, carriers take the firmware update and test it to make sure it does not harm their networks. The end result: Pushing patches out to users' smartphones is slowed.'"
snydeq writes: "Ruby creator Yukihiro Matsumoto discusses the past, present, and future of the popular programming language, calling mobile the next target for Ruby: 'I'm currently working on an alternative subset or dialect of Ruby for the small devices. I'm going to make it public early next year. Of course, mobile computing is the way to go, so that's one of the reasons I focus on the Ruby dialect working on the smaller devices.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner provides a look at 10-plus mobile browsing alternatives, from Firefox, to Opera, to SkyFire, to Mercury, and more — a rapidly evolving area fraught with confusion, especially for developers seeking to target the mobile Web. 'All of this turmoil is creating opportunities. On the iPhone, the formerly unknown browsers are quite nice. They run quite well and sometimes offer the ability to run Flash content directly because they have compiled Flash into the stack. There are a surprisingly large number of new names appearing, and some are beginning to be mentioned in the same breath as the big browsers that dominate the desktop,' Wayner writes. 'The turmoil is also changing the definition of what a browser might be. A number of small applications such as Instapaper, Flipboard, and Evernote never set out to be browsers, but people are using them to read Web pages.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers a look at 13 tools and libraries for developers looking to target the mobile Web. 'The promise of HTML5 has opened many developers' eyes to the mobile Web's myriad advantages over trying to install native software on the device,' Wayner writes. But limitations persist, not the least of which being the difficulty of digging deeply into the structure of the code running on your mobile browser. From jQuery Mobile, to Jdrop, to jQTouch, mobile developers are quickly putting together some clever frameworks to help address these limitations, and to make it more convenient to build out the mobile Web."
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman provides an in-depth look at BlackBerry PlayBook, an 'unfinished, unusable' tablet from RIM. 'At the core of it all, the design of the PlayBook as a BlackBerry-dependent device was simply a boneheaded decision by executives who hoped a hit product might entice more BlackBerry sales,' Gruman writes. 'Why RIM chose to ship the PlayBook in such a state is unfathomable. The iPad 2 and Xoom have been out for weeks, so there's no heading them off at the pass. Instead, the PlayBook debuted with all eyes on it — but instead of a world-class performer, we got the homeless guy who plays air guitar in front of the mall.'"
snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister lists seven UI mistakes to avoid when developing for the mobile Web. 'Too often, clients underestimate how rapidly smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are changing the way customers access the Web. Worse, few Web developers seem willing to educate their clients about these modern realities.' From using rollovers to preloading too many images, 'too many websites still exhibit commonplace UI mistakes that effectively cripple them for users of smartphones and tablets.'"