Computerworld just published its in-depth usability test of the Apple iPhone, the HTC Touch running Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and the Nokia N95 running the Symbian operating system. The tests involved a number of participants who had never used any of the three devices, and had measurable results (i.e. the time it took to accomplish various actions). Apple’s famed information architecture and interface design skills seem to have paid off as the iPhone bested it competitors by a factor of two in some of the tests.
The study praises the iPhones information architecture and consistent user experience as a strong benefit to any user be it someone new to the iPhone or a power user. At Gear Live we have noticed several inconsistencies in the user interface, for instance, the new message button being in different locations in the mail and SMS clients for instance. We do however agree with the general consensus of the study that overall the user experience with the iPhone is far more unified that it’s competitors.
Things were not entirely positive for Apple - some users found the lack of tactile feedback a little disorienting, however all users were able to finish each of the tasks with the iPhone. The also iPhone fell behind it’s competitors in the sheer count of features. The N95 managed to edge out the iPhone in this category with GPS, voice activation and the ability to record movies with it’s camera. Considering that the Nokia is $100-300 more expensive in the United States than the iPhone many users have elected to splurge for Apple’s $400 easy to use wonder device.
Read More | Computerworld
Micron Technology, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Spansion, STM, and TI have announced that they get together to standardize removable memory cards and the technology embedded in them. The chore will be in the hands of JEDEC Solid State Technology Association with the new specification to be called Universal Flash Storage (UFS.) The aim here is less access time for memories, higher speed for large files and reduction of power.
The company claims that while 90 minutes (4GB) takes 3 minutes today to access, UFS will take only a few seconds. Handhelds, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics will be able to handle the new technology which should be finalized in 2009.
Read More | Post-Bulletin
With all the attention given to Apple these days, we thought it was only fair that we give a few props to another creative company. Zune aficionados are probably already aware of the awesome video artwork on Zune Arts, but if you are not, then you missed out on some fine animation. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers liked their Zune “Monster” spot so much that they have included it in this year’s Art & Technique of the American Commercial Show. You can find dates and locations of showings on the AICP site.
Read More | Zune
iRiver has unveiled its new B20 PMP with a 2.4-inch TFT LCD screen, integrated mono speaker, DAB/FM tuner, multi-codec video and digital audio playback, and Flashlite game support. It also features a digital photo album and an SD card slot. The PMP will have access to 7 video and 10 audio channels with its advanced Dclick System. Arriving later this month, the DMB receiver will be available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities and promises up to 27 hours of listening time.
Palm CEO Ed Colligan has announced that the Foleo is to be no more. He says that his company will concentrate more of its efforts on their next generation platform and the smartphones that will be a part of it. He said that
when they work on Foleo II it will be on that same platform rather than a separate one.
Although it is costing Palm about a $10 million loss, Colligan mentioned that it was a small price to pay to
move forward. We recall wondering why the Foleo was larger than the device it was created to work with, so perhaps with this decision Palm has finally created a kind of symmetry in their part of the technological world.
Read More | Palm Blog
Yesterday we told you about Nokia’s four new offspring. We found a video that was done in honor of one of them, the N-81. We sure hope Nokia is paying attention. Not only can this help the career of the
band singing it, Pop4Real, we would love to see commercials like this instead of the heavy sell that we are inundated with constantly. Heck, we were about ready to preorder one of the video/game players after listening to the catchy tune without even realizing that it will set us back €430 (~$588.00.)
Read More | YouTube
The Australian company BlueAnt has spent over 2 years developing their Z9 and received the 2007 International Innovations Design & Engineering Award by the CEA for their efforts. At a weight of only 10 grams and a length of less than 4 cm, the Bluetooth headset can be clipped to a tie, shirt, jacket or dress when not in use with its clear ear-hook for up to 5 hours of talk time and 200 standby hours. Choose between standard and advanced (max) noise reduction, made possible by their Voice Isolation technology. You can also switch between three sources such as a cell phone, PDA, and PC. The Z9 is available online for $129.99.
Read More | BlueAnt
George Hotz decided to spend some time this summer unlocking an iPhone, so that he use it on his own network, T-Mobile. Partially inspired because his friend had just gotten one, the change of service fee, and the $20.00 monthly fee from AT&T for using an iPhone, he soldered two wires together and replaced the SIM card, although we are sure that the project is more complicated than he makes it sound in this CNBC video. It took about 500 hours to complete with the aid of four others online.
Being the kind fellow that he is, rather than selling his idea, he has posted it for free on his website, just in case you want to give it a try. Although he planned on selling one hacked iPhone on eBay, complications arose so he traded it for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones. George left this weekend to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology where he will major in neuroscience or what he calls “hacking the brain.”
Read More | cell phone digest
The universal Solio can handle all your charging needs either by sun or wall plug. Use it on your MP3 player, digital cam, handheld game, cell phone, GPS, or Bluetooth headset. In an emergency, one hour of sun will provide about 25 minutes of talk time on your mobile phone or up to an hour of iPod tunes, and when it is fully charged it can handle a full charge on most phones and nanos. It comes with interchangeable power tips and offers extras for $10.00 each, while the device itself will set you back $99.95. You receive $10.00 off if you order it in pukey pink, proving once again that even girly girls don’t really prefer gadgets in that shade.
Read More | Solio
Ever since the tragedy at Virginia Tech 5 months ago, many colleges and students have been purchasing devices to ensure their safety. The Rave Guardian has a “safe walk” feature that lets students set a timer when they want to be watched while crossing a dark campus. It also features the means of allowing administrators to contact students in an emergency.
Napco Security offers a Gem-WP Panic Button that can be placed on a key chain or pendant. The system features radio waves to find student locations. Other colleges and universities now have installed systems such as Send Word Now, so that students can receive instructions in case of an emergency.
Many of the institutions require scholars to purchase equipment after enrollment. It makes us sad that it took an extreme incident to make the schools sit up and take notice, but happier knowing that our kids are safer when going to and from classes.
Read More | CNN Money
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