News Column

Boot up: Facebook's email halt, a fish on wheels, paying for apps, and more

February 25, 2014

Charles Arthur, theguardian.com



A burst of 8 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team

The great Facebook email experiment is over >> Re/code

Facebook is retiring its email address system, the company announced on Monday.

From now on, any emails sent to a users @facebook.com email address — which all Facebook users could claim upon signing up for the social network — will now be automatically forwarded to the default personal email address used to sign up for the site…

It's not for lack of trying to make it work. Two years ago, Facebook gave users a nudge toward using their Facebook.com email addresses by switching the default settings and displaying those addresses on users' pages without letting them know beforehand. It did not go over well.


BlackBerry Ltd's head of user experience Don Lindsay is latest executive to leave smartphone maker >> The Province

The ongoing executive exodus from BlackBerry Ltd. now includes the man responsible for overseeing the design of the user experience for the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

On Monday, a spokesperson for BlackBerry confirmed that Don Lindsay, vice president of user experience at the Waterloo, Ont.-based company since 2009, left the firm in December.


Nokia welcomes Android developers >> Asymco

Horace Dediu:

Devices are commoditizing, operating systems are commodities and the Android platform is a commodity. Value will not be captured in any of these technology modules. Ecosystems are another matter. It's where Facebook (and its acquisitions) reside. It's where Google lives and it's where iTunes has been for a decade.

Nokia's adoption of AOSP as an operating system is consistent with the ecosystem strategy set forth three years ago, and is also consistent with Microsoft's competitive strategy.

Which is why I believe Microsoft is not only comfortable with this development but had agreed to it over a year ago when work on this initiative was already well under way.

See later for Frank Shaw's outlook.


Fish on wheels >> YouTube

By using a camera and computer vision software it is possible to make a fish control a robot car over land. By swimming towards an interesting object, the fish can explore the world beyond the limits of his tank.

In cars next?


Mobile World Congress, Microsoft and Nokia >> The Official Microsoft Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Head of Microsoft PR Frank X Shaw on the Nokia X line:

There's been lots of speculation about what this announcement means for Microsoft and about our pending acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business. Here are a couple of points to put things into context.

First, our transaction with Nokia has not yet closed. Today, we operate as two independent companies as required by antitrust law, and we will until the acquisition is complete. The anticipated close timeframe for the acquisition remains end of the first quarter of 2014.

Second, we're pleased to see Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com being introduced on these devices. This provides the opportunity to bring millions of people, particularly in growth markets, into the Microsoft family. The Skype team on Monday announced an offer in select markets for the first customers who purchase a Nokia X, one month of Skype's Unlimited World Subscription. Read the Skype blog for more details.

Finally, our primary smartphone strategy remains Windows Phone, and our core device platform for developers is the Windows platform.

From the sound of it, he isn't pleased to see the Nokia X - that's a gun in his pocket.


Windows Phone users are more willing to pay for apps compared to those on Android >> WinBeta

According to a new data gathered by Statistic Brain, it seems Windows Phone users are more willing to pay for apps compared to Android, with iOS users being on top of the list.

According to the data collected by Statistic Brain, 62% of Android users never paid a dollar for an app, while the number is a little lower for Windows Phone - currently at 58%. Even when you compare the number of downloads on each platform, Android has a whopping 29bn downloads compared to 4.1 billion on Windows Phone, the difference is massive. In terms of total app store revenue, Android generated $1.2bn, while the Windows Phone Store racked up $950m.

In other words, a mean of 4.1c per app on Android v 23.1c per app on Windows Phone. For iOS? 23.7c. BlackBerry? 22.9c. Here are the numbers.


351 million new smartphones shipped in China in 2013 >> Tech In Asia

351m new smartphones shipped to stores across China in 2013, according to data from market intelligence firm IDC. That means China accounts for just over one-third of all smartphone shipments around the world at the end of 2013. Smartphones now account for over 80% of China's total phone sales.

While shipments don't equate to sales (who knows how many are lying unsold on shelves or in warehouses), the number gives us a good sense of the momentum behind smartphones in the nation. It's harder to tell how many active smartphone users there are in China – mainly due to China's much-altered Android phones not registering with the mothership at Google – but search giant Baidu reckons there were 270m active Android users in China in Q3 2013.

The AOSP phones sold in China do count for the purposes of "Android" tallies in IDC's and Gartner's figures, though, which can be confusing to some. Now Nokia is on the AOSP bandwagon too, maybe more clarity will follow.


LG: No Windows Phone devices for some time yet >> Pocket-lint

LG has confirmed to Pocket-lint that although it has been a life-long partner for Microsoft's Windows Phone we shouldn't expect to see a new Windows Phone handset from the manufacturer any time soon.

Talking to Pocket-lint at the pre-MWC launch event for the G Pro 2 and G2 mini smartphones, a spokesman for the company confirmed that there are no Windows Phone devices on the roadmap at the moment.

Difference between being a Windows Phone "partner" and "company which actually churns them out on the production line" becomes apparent.


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Source: Guardian Web


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