La storia è ciclica, si ripete, direbbe Erodoto. Ugualmente la moda e le tendenze. Anche se in alcuni casi vorrei davvero che non fosse così. Penso alle giacche dai colori sgargianti con le spalle imbottite che andavano di moda negli anni ’80, ai film con protagonisti i dinosauri o ai telefoni con apertura a flip. Purtroppo questi ultimi  sembrano tornare dal recente passato dove speravo giacessero sepolti per sempre, sconfitti dal design pulito ed essenziale degli smartphone (è una opinione personale certo che, come vedete, non riesco proprio ad addolcire ).

Responsabile della riesumazione è Samsung che già nel mese di novembre dello scorso anno aveva lanciato sul mercato asiatico il suo flip phone, utilizzando l’attore Jackie Chan come testimonial.

Ora pare che la compagnia coreana stia per presentare un nuovo telefono chiamato W789 Hennessy (e non Galaxy Folder come volevano i rumors), con sistema operativo Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean e soprattutto dotato di flip. Anche in questo caso la distribuzione dovrebbe essere limitata – almeno all’inizio – alla sola Cina.

L’articolo di Andy Boxall per Digitaltrends.com ci fornisce ulteriori particolari.

 

The flip phone is back, as Samsung launches the W789 Hennessy in China

A few weeks ago, a Samsung flip phone running Android appeared in a leaked picture, leading to rumors the phone would be named the Galaxy Folder, and it was to be officially announced soon. However, the device shown was the Samsung W2013, a phone already on sale in China. Despite this, the rumors weren’t completely false, as Samsung has now announced a brand new Android flip phone, the SCH-W789 Hennessy.

In the pictures, it looks very similar to the W2013, but its specification is actually lower than Jackie Chan’s phone. It has two screens, one inside the flip and the other on the outside, both of which measure 3.3-inches and have a 320 x 480 pixel resolution. Inside is a quad-core 1.2Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, which power the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, complete with the TouchWiz user interface over the top.

Other features include GPS, Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, a 1500mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. It’s a heavy beast at a whopping 208 grams, which is more than the Nokia Lumia 920 and even the Vertu TI, and measures a little over 18mm thick, more than two iPhone 5’s put together.

Sadly for those who disagreed when I called the Galaxy Folder an anachronism, attractive only to hipsters who couldn’t let go of the past, unless you’re in China you won’t be sporting the W789 Hennessy in the near future. It’s designed, as many Chinese smartphones are, to run on either GSM or CDMA networks though, making it compatible with China’s major networks.

There’s no confirmed release date or price for the Hennessy, and no hints the phone will see an international release in the future. Oh, what a shame.

Immagini in HD anche quando parliamo con Skype. Sembra possibile grazie agli update pensati per i dispositivi Apple (iPhone 5 e iPad 4). Sarà forse la fine (connessioni veloci e illuminazione degli ambienti permettendo) di quelle immagini livide e di quelle facce itteriche e smunte?

Ce ne parla Richard Devine in un articolo apparso su iMore.com

 

Skype update brings HD video calls to the iPhone 5 and iPad 4

Skype has pushed an update out into the App Store specifically focused at the iPhone 5 and iPad 4. Both updates add support for HD video calling, which is only possible on the latest iPhone and iPad due to hardware restrictions. It’s a welcome update too, or at least it’ll be a welcome update for your friends and family who will now be able to see your happy smiling face in much higher quality than before.

Otherwise it’s all about a bunch of general fixes and improvements. Both updates are live in the App Store now, and if you’ve taken it for a spin, let us know how you’re finding the extra quality.

Download gratis Skype per iPhone

Download gratis Skype per iPad

È il caso di dire: sincronizzate i vostri iCal sparsi per i diversi device (per i radical chic va bene anche la Moleskine…) e segnatevi questa data: 10 settembre 2013.

Secondo voci accreditate sarà quella la data di presentazione del “nuovo” iPhone. Apple deve rispondere sia alle mosse di competitor sempre più agguerriti (e attrezzati) sia alle richieste di consumatori e investitori, entrambi d’accordo sulla necessità di accelerare il ritmo delle innovazioni (e delle novità) da immettere sul mercato.

Lo spiega Ina Fried nel suo articolo per AllThingsD.com

 

Circle September 10 on Your Calendar for Apple’s Big iPhone Event

Apple is expected to unveil its next iPhone at a special event on Sept. 10, sources toldAllThingsD.

The launch comes at an important time for Apple, which continues to make a lot of money from the iPhone but has seen its global market share dip amid a growing wave of lower-cost Android devices as well as an intense battle with archrival Samsung.

One of the key questions is whether Apple adopts a new tactic to address the mid-range of the smartphone market. Historically, Apple has gone after those customers by offering its year-old and two-year-old models for $100 and $200 less than a new iPhone. However, there has been a great deal of talk that the company will debut a new lower-cost iPhone alongside whatever update it has in store for the current iPhone 5.

Much of the speculation there has centered on the usual kinds of camera and processor enhancements, as well as the likelihood of a fingerprint sensor. That has been expected ever since Apple acquired Authentec last year.

Naturally, any new phones will be running iOS 7, which has been in testing since its announcement at Apple’s developer conference in June. The new software includes aradical redesign of the overall look of the iPhone’s menus and icons, but the other new features are largely incremental updates, such as improved notifications, better photo-organizing abilities and additional capabilities for developers.

This has become something of a pattern for Apple, which typically debuts its software update at its June developer conference, tests it for a couple months, then shows the new hardware a couple weeks ahead of the new phone’s availability. The iOS update is also available for older models. Apple has already said that iOS 7 will work on many recent iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices.

Apple is also expected to formally launch the next version of Mac OS X, known as Mavericks, in the coming weeks, though that is not expected at the Sept. 10 event.

An Apple representative declined to comment on the timing of any upcoming events.

Consumers, investors (and reportedly board members as well) have been pressing Apple for a more rapid pace of innovation.

The company has long been rumored to also be working on television and watch projects, though there is no indication either of those are close to debuting.

La sicurezza è sempre stato ed è tuttora uno dei punti di forza di Apple. E il nuovo sistema iOS7 non vuole certamente andare contro questa tradizione, anzi. Qualsiasi apparecchio o caricatore collegato al proprio dispositivo (iPhone o iPad) non riconosciuto dal sistema verrà segnalato all’utente mediante un pop-up. La domanda visualizzata è di quelle che fanno riflettere per quello che non dicono, ma lasciano intravedere: “Ti fidi davvero dell’apparecchio che hai collegato?”

Per saperne di più leggete l’articolo di Mathieu M. per Génération Nouvelle Tecnologies

 

iOS 7 : Apple intègre une sécurité pour limiter l’usage des faux chargeurs et accessoires malicieux

Le mois dernier, des chercheurs de Georgia Tech faisaient la démonstration d’un chargeur Apple permettant de pirater automatiquement des dispositifs. Aujourd’hui Apple s’engage à sécuriser ses appareils depuis une protection sous iOS 7.

C’est lors de la conférence Black Hat que le hack a été démontré en direct par des chercheurs de Georgia Tech. Leur ” Mactans”, un chargeur Apple modifié avec un ordinateur Open source de type BeagleBoard est capable d’installer un malware totalement invisible sur un appareil utilisant la dernière version d’iOS 6, simplement lorsqu’il est connecté.

Une faille qu’Apple ne souhaite pas voir exploitée et qui a ainsi fait l’objet d’une correction dans iOS 7.

Dans la dernière version bêta d’iOS 7, on peut ainsi remarquer qu’un popup s’affichera désormais lorsqu’un appareil non officiellement reconnu par Apple sera connecté.

Un message demandera à l’utilisateur s’il souhaite réellement faire confiance au chargeur ou à l’accessoire connecté, tout en précisant des risques potentiels.

On peut penser qu’Apple proposera de créer une liste d’accessoires personnels, référencés dans la base de données d’iOS 7 pour éviter aux utilisateurs de se faire berner par des accessoires malicieux.

En outre, le système pourrait également être instauré pour limiter l’usage des chargeurs secteurs contrefaits présentant des risques et dont certains ont récemment amené l’hospitalisation et le décèsde plusieurs personnes en chine.

Bella invenzione di un team texano: un termometro da cucina da collegare all’iPhone. Anche se Natale è lontano, questo gadget è un utile regalo per chef tecnologici…

Lo descrive dettagliatamente l’articolo di Vignesh Ramachandran per Mashable.com

 

Smart Kitchen Thermometer Plugs Into iPhone

You don’t have to be a cooking connoisseur to master recipes in your kitchen — especially not when technology is your sous-chef.

A team of Austin, Texas-based designer-engineers have recently developed a smart kitchen thermometer that plugs directly into your iPhone. As explained in the video, above, you can clip or stick the Range thermometer to a pot or oven rack, and connect the heat-resistant silicone cable to the headphone jack on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Then, with the companion Range app (currently for iOS only), you can measure your food’s temperature at a detailed, quantified level.

A graph of your food’s temperature shows readings over time, and shaded bands indicate the ideal temperature range for whatever you’re cooking. The system lets you set up alerts for when temperatures go above or below optimal levels, and those can be pushed to other iOS devices with the Range app.

While developer Supermechanical says this is useful for keeping tabs on a baking turkey while running errands, we don’t endorse leaving your oven or stove unattended.

Range was designed in two variations: The Aqua has a six-inch, rounded thermometer tip and three-foot cord for general use, while the Ember has a two-inch, pointed probe and four-foot cord designed specifically for meat. Supermechanical claims Range can withstand temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that Supermechanical has developed functioning prototypes, the team is trying to raise $90,000 on Kickstarter to help buy molds and parts, and to finish the app. With 28 days left in the campaign, backers had already pledged more than $71,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

Supermechanical is also the company behind Twine, a Wi-Fi-connected box that can tweet or notify you when various sensors (e.g. temperature, moisture, vibration) are triggered in your house.

The company says the tool can help household chefs “take the guesswork out of cooking and perfect your kitchen craft.” For wannabe chefs who stubbornly don’t follow recipe instructions, it might help avoid another burnt banana-bread loaf.

The networked thermometer concept isn’t new. Competitors such as the iGrilland iCelsius BBQ also plug into your smartphone or tablet. But neither have, well, the range of Range’s functionality — such as the ability to graph out your temperatures over time.

Kickstarter backers can get their own Range for a $49 pledge, while initial supplies last.

Quanto le applicazioni mobile assomigliano a quelle per il web e viceversa? Il mondo di internet e quello delle App sono così lontani? Quesiti che confondono chi non è “addentro” alle questioni del mobile e che fanno infuriare gli sviluppatori puristi che si sgolano per dire che sono “due mondi diversi”.

Chissà che l’iniziativa di Quixey non mischi un po’ le carte. Si veda l’articolo di Sarah Perez per Techcrunch.com

 

Ready For A “Web” Of Apps? Quixey Launches AppURL, A New Way To Enable Deep Linking Across Mobile Applications

Mobile app search engine Quixey is today introducing a new initiative called AppURLwhich proposes a way to make mobile apps work more like the web. Instead of apps existing as standalone silos, AppURL would allow users to navigate from one app directly to a specific piece of content found in another – like an article within a news application, a restaurant listing on Yelp, or a particular friend’s profile in a social app, for example.

This concept is called “deep linking,” and it’s not an altogether new one. There have been a few attempts to kickstart its adoption in the industry before, most recently with the debut of Cellogic’s new service called Deeplink.me, which is essentially a bit.ly for mobile app deep linking. Earlier efforts have also included things like OneMillionAppSchemes.com, a database that tried to open source the unpublished custom URL schemes for iOS applications, and PhotoAppLink, an older open source initiative aiming to simplify photo editing by tying multiple photo-editing apps together using similar app-linking technology. (I’ve personally advocated for deep linking myself, I have to note.)

“The idea for deep linking isn’t necessarily new,” agrees Quixey co-founder and CEO Tomer Kagan. “Twitter has their cards,” he says, referring to Twitter’s push to have developers publish additional HTML on their webpages in order to create more media-rich tweets. ”And other companies have their own proprietary schemes. But we’re saying that not every company should redevelop their own way of doing this. There should be a universal way of doing this – a universal initiative that everyone gets behind that doesn’t benefit one person over the other.”

Motorola, dopo qualche anno di appannamento e con Google alle spalle, vorrebbe ritornare a dire la sua nel settore dei dispositivi mobile. A due anni dall’acquisizione da parte del colosso di Mountain View, l’azienda americana di elettronica torna sul mercato in modo serio, con un prodotto che – almeno – può provare a competere con quelli di marchi top quali Samsung e soprattutto Apple. Per ora, il nuovo Moto X sarà disponibile solo negli Stati Uniti.

Solamente i prossimi mesi ci diranno se è riuscita a colmare il gap con gli altri competitor. Per una comparazione si veda l’articolo di AJ Dellinger per Digitaltrends.com

 

How does Moto X compare to iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4?

Motorola showed off an entire line of new Droid phones last week, but it was nothing but a tease for non-Verizon customers as that was the only service provider those handsets are available on. A flagship phone has to transcend those network lines to reach as many hands as possible. That job appears like it belongs to Moto X, the newest handset from Motorola that will be available on every major carrier. Does Moto X have enough power to push itself up the ranks and be the signature phone of Motorola? How does it compare to the other handsets at the top of their class? We find out by pitting the Moto X against the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 in a spec showdown.
Schermata 2013-08-02 alle 21.22.56

Going just by the specs, it may seem as though the Moto X is fighting an uphill battle against the likes of heavy hitters like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Apple’s iPhone 5. However, the strength of the Moto X appears to be in it’s computing power and customization (read our Moto X hands-on impressions). Housing the X8 chipset beneath it’s exterior – an exterior that can be customized with 17 back colors and various other color/material combinations of your choice – the Moto X should get the job done. Apple devices seem to work in a similar way: even with a lower number on the spec sheet, they manage to run smoothly.

The display of the Moto X may also appear as a turn off, as it’s smaller in size at 4.7 inches and maxes out at 1280 x 720 pixels. It does produce a comparable pixels-per-inch count to the iPhone 5, so we’ve no doubt the picture will be just fine. But both are overshadowed by the impressive display on the Galaxy S4. Similarly, the Galaxy S4 has a considerable advantage when it comes to the megapixel count on its camera, but Moto X sports a ClearPixel that promises great results of its own. A lot of the differences between these phones are going to show up clearly when you take the time to play around with them. User interface is as important as anything, and Moto X may appeal to you more with its Touchless Control and an Active Display feature that displays information when you turn the phone over from face down rather than making you turn the phone on and off.

 

Come far entrare più clienti in un negozio? Una strada sempre valida è quella di regalare quello che prima costava già poco nella prospettiva che il cliente: a) compri dell’altro attirato da ciò che vede sugli scaffali e b) torni più spesso a fare visita allo Store. Ciò accade anche per le applicazioni nel negozio virtuale di Apple, come ci spiega Dante D’Orazio nel suo articolo per TheVerge.com

 

Apple offers free downloads to get you to use its retail store app

Apple hopes it can incentivize iPhone users to download the company’s mobile shopping app. The Apple Store app, which lets users shop for products online as well as set up in-store pickups, now features free promotional downloads. The first promotion is for a puzzle game called Color Zen, which typically costs 99 cents.

To get the free download, you have to navigate to a specific retail store page, but you can redeem the promo even if you’re not at an Apple Store. Apple has yet to detail the new program, but 9to5Macspeculates that new content (such as apps, songs, and iBooks) will be offered each week. The current promotion runs through August 27th. The offer is reminiscent of the one Starbucks has long included with its mobile app, which provides free songs each week to users, as well as the Amazon Appstore’s free app of the day. By offering free content, Apple can ensure that customers check back into the Store app frequently — and see all of the company’s new products.

 

Con una battutaccia da avanspettacolo, potremmo dire che il mercato delle applicazioni medicali – le cosiddette mHealth o mobile Health – gode di ottima salute… In effetti, stando a diverse ricerche, il numero di applicazioni mobile legate alla salute e alla medicina è aumentato in maniera esponenziale.

Ad oggi i dati mostrano come il 19% di coloro che possiedono uno smartphone abbia installato nel proprio dispositivo almeno un’applicazione di carattere medicale. Tra 5 anni si stima che la percentuale possa salire al 50% (contando anche i possessori di tablet).

Chi si cimenterà nell’ideazione e nello sviluppo di un’applicazione di questo genere dovrà far fronte a una triplice sfida. Innanzitutto mantenere alto l’interesse sul lato consumer, con prodotti personali orientati più al benessere o alla conoscenza, in generale, delle malattie. Secondariamente, riuscire a sviluppare applicativi d’aiuto quotidiano per chi deve convivere con una malattia cronica. Da ultimo, cercare di aprirsi uno spazio sempre più ampio nel settore medico-sanitario con soluzioni in grado di interagire con strutture complesse come gli ospedali o, addirittura, come i sistemi sanitari (locali, regionali o nazionali). I dispositivi mobile e i loro applicativi allora entreranno nel vivo della gestione dei dati dei pazienti, dell’organizzazione dell’attività dei medici e del lavoro delle assicurazioni.

Per un approfondimento si veda l’articolo di Ken Terry per Informationweek.com

 

Mobile Health Market To Reach $26B By 2017

The market for mobile health applications and associated devices will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 61% to reach $26 billion in revenue by 2017, according to a new report from Research and Markets. Most of that revenue will come not from software downloads, but from mobile health device sales and services, the report says.

Based partly on a survey of 324 “opinion leaders,” the report also estimates that about 50% of mobile phone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health — mHealth — apps within five years. In contrast, 11% of cell phone users and 19% of smartphone users had mHealth apps on their devices in 2012, according to a Pew Internet survey.

The Research and Markets study predicts that smartphone user penetration will be the main driver for mHealth apps uptake and that “buyers will continue to drive the market.” Applications will enter traditional health distribution channels; second-generation apps will focus on chronic diseases; and mHealth business models will broaden, the report states.

The report divides the development of the mHealth market into three phases. Having gone through the initial trial phase, the market has now entered the commercialization stage. This is characterized by “a massive increase of offered solutions, the creation of new business models and the concentration on private, health-interested people, patients and corporations as major target groups,” said the report.

The third phase, in which mHealth apps will become part of doctors’ treatment plans, is mainly being held back by “missing regulations,” the report says. This is a reference to the long-delayed final rule of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the use of mHealth apps as medical devices. Some observers view the absence of the FDA regulations, expected to arrive this fall, as a deterrent to investment in apps designed for people with chronic diseases.

There are other major obstacles, however, to the integration of mHealth apps with mainstream healthcare. One is the difficulty of integrating monitoring data with the clinical workflow and electronic health records. Another is the current lack of payment to doctors for viewing this data.

The report hypothesizes that in the next phase of the market, “health insurers will become the main payer, especially for the more advanced mHealth solutions (2d generation mHealth applications).” Today, however, most health plans are not even paying for home monitoring, let alone the use of mobile apps in treatment. Three large self-insured employers recently agreed to cover WellDoc’s diabetes management app as a prescription benefit, but that’s the exception so far.

John Moore, founder and CEO of Chilmark Research, which has also studied the mobile health market, told InformationWeek Healthcare that the transition to new reimbursement methods might reshape physicians’ attitudes about mobile health. “We’re moving to a capitated care model where providers are taking financial risk, and with that we’re seeing a number of provider organizations begin to monitor patients outside of the exam room. But it’s very preliminary—it’s all pilots. There have been no broad rollouts of any of this stuff,” he said.

Even if Research and Markets’ forecast about downloads of mHealth apps turns out to be accurate, Moore said, most of those apps will continue to be medical reference and fitness/wellness programs. “The vast majority will not be integrated [with physician treatment plans],” he said.

However, he admitted, the crystal ball is blurry at this point. One factor that could change the equation, he noted, is the proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 criteria. Among other things, those would require that EHRs accept patient-generated data, including biometric data on weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose.

How about the workflow issue? “Maybe the data will go into a cloud-based system that will convert it for EHRs to digest,” he suggested. But doctors might still be reluctant to view the data unless they were convinced it would help them provide better care without increasing their liability.

Meanwhile, he pointed out, lots of companies are coming with new app-related monitoring devices to “surf the wave” set in motion by Nike and other fitness firms. Already, he said, some firms are selling their devices with free applications and coupling those with other apps you have to pay for. For example, a fitness app might be combined with a weight-loss program that is using the same data.

“What we haven’t found yet is when is there a convergence between consumer needs for health and wellness activities and when providers will use it in the context of care delivery and monitoring a patient over time,” Moore said.

Idee come quelle di Spotify mi rendono felice. “Tutta la musica che vuoi a portata di un clic”: la voce suadente che intervalla le mie scelte musicali ha perfettamente ragione. Sono certo che se avessi avuto Spotify al tempo del liceo, quando ero adolescente e di musica letteralmente vivevo, beh… probabilmente non mi sarei mai diplomato!

Spotify (e come lui altri tentativi precedenti) ha costretto le case discografiche e gli artisti a uscire dalla trincea in cui si erano rifugiati, smettere di vedere pericoli e pirateria un po’ dappertutto e capire che il modo di fruire le canzoni è cambiato per sempre… Sembra infatti che si siano accorti che Spotify non è l’ennesimo nemico, ma un’opportunità. Lo dimostrano gli oltre 500 milioni di dollari sotto forma di royalties che la compagnia di musica in streaming ha pagato dal 2006 a oggi.

Per saperne di più: l’articolo di Nathan Olivares-Giles per TheVerge.com

Spotify’s losses grow despite revenue doubling in 2012

A major question looms over Spotify and its streaming music competition: can anyone grow into a profitable business? For Spotify, the answer is not yet. In 2012, Spotify’s revenue doubled, but it also failed to turn a profit as its losses grew due to increased licensing fees, The Wall Street Journal said in a report. The problem here is that all Spotify does is stream music. And in order to do that, it has to pay record labels and musicians licensing fees so it’ll have something to stream. For now, the fees are growingalong with everything else and profit remains out of reach.

In 2011, when the music service made its US debut after years of popularity in Europe, Spotify brought in about $252 million in revenue, according to the Journal. In 2012, revenue jumped to $576.5 million, the report said. Losses meanwhile have grown from $60 million in 2011 to $77 million in 2012, largely due to increased licensing fees, the Journal said. Spotify reported these numbers in regulatory filings submitted to the Luxembourg company registry. While the company hasn’t broken out how much it specifically spent on licensing fees last year, the Journal noted that Spotify has paid more than $500 million in royalties since launching the service back in 2006.

The company has previously said that about 70 percent of its revenue — which comes from ad sales and paying subscribers — goes toward paying licensing fees. As of July, Spotify has about 6 million paid subscribers, 1 million of whom have signed up since December. But there are another 18 million Spotify users who don’t pay, opting instead to listen to up to 10 hours of free music filled with radio-style ads each month.

Clearly, Spotify needs to grow its paying customer base if it’s going to turn into a viable business. It’s also hoping that expansions into Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and other new markets will help push the company into profitability. The company is alsonegotiating with record labels for price breaks on the licensing fees that are eating into its revenue. Spotify’s issues, of course, aren’t unique. Pandora and Rdio face similar hurdles as royalties industry-wide have hit the $1 billion mark. One sign of hope for the likes of Spotify is the fact that streaming music has caught on so much that it’s bitten into music downloads. But this has also pushed Google and Apple into the streaming music ranks, giving Spotify even more competition in an already crowded space.