Is Adobe Trying To Sabotage HTML5 Open Specification

 iphone, News  Comments Off on Is Adobe Trying To Sabotage HTML5 Open Specification
Feb 152010
 

iphone-flash

The lack of support to Flash on the iPhone OS devices has been a very contentious issue for quite some time and the debate is back in the limelight ever since Apple unveiled the iPad which, like the iPhone, does not support Flash.

Steve Jobs has always maintained that Flash is a “buggy” piece of software and the company is looking at HTML5 as an alternate platform to support multimedia applications.

Earlier this month, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch countered Steve Jobs’ statements insisting upon the ubiquity of his company’s software. Lynch claimed that nearly 85% of the top websites in the world and 98% of computers employed Flash; implying that Apple was denying its users the best experience by not offering support to Flash.

Though Adobe has constantly backed the capabilities of their multimedia software, the company has also lent its support all along to the HTML5 platform asserting that the future will see Flash co-existing with HTML5 rather than one platform outdoing the other. In a discussion last year, Shantanu Narayen, the CEO at Adobe said:

“To the extent that an improved HTML standard accelerates innovation and consistent reach for web content, we’re very supportive.”

Despite all the lip service in support of HTML5, it now appears that Adobe could be acting to sabotage the growth of the open specification. According to Ian Hixie, a member of the HTML5 working group, the company has objected to the latest publication of HTML5 without specifying the reasons behind it. On his blog, Hixie writes

“Larry Masinter, Adobe, quoted in the minutes of yesterday’s weekly phone status report for the HTML working group: do I need to repeat objections?

Net result: the latest publication of HTML5 is now blocked by Adobe, via an objection that has still not been made public (despite yesterday’s promise to make it so).”

As folks at Apple Insider note, the reasons behind this are not hard to see. The canvas element of HTML5 supports the creation of rich media ads and games that could directly compete with Flash. However, it could still be premature to blame the company. We are waiting for an official response from Adobe regarding these accusations and will update you as and when that happens.

Update:

Adobe’s Larry Masinter claims that Adobe is not blocking anything related to HTML5. He commented on 9 to 5 Mac’s blog:

No part of HTML5 is, or was ever, “blocked” in the W3C HTML Working Group — not HTML5, not Canvas 2D Graphics, not Microdata, not Video — not by me, not by Adobe.

Neither Adobe nor I oppose, are fighting, are trying to stop, slow down, hinder, oppose, or harm HTML5, Canvas 2D Graphics, Microdata, video in HTML, or any of the other significant features in HTML5.

Claims otherwise are false. Any other disclaimers needed?

So that should put the speculation to rest.

[Ian Hixie Blog via Apple Insider]

SlingPlayer Mobile For iPhone Now Works Over 3G

 accessories, Apps, iphone, News  Comments Off on SlingPlayer Mobile For iPhone Now Works Over 3G
Feb 152010
 

slingplayer1_270x1441

You can now stream live TV on your iPhone using AT&T’s 3G network. Apple has finally approved the new version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app that is enabled with 3G streaming. This comes two weeks after AT&T issued a statement stating that the company was satisfied with the 3G optimized version of Sling Media’s application and hence had no problem in letting them use their network.

Back then, AT&T had written:
“Since mid-December 2009, AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media — as well as Apple — that the optimized app can run on its 3G network”
This has been a long fought battle for Sling Media. You might recall that Apple refused to let the earlier version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app operate over AT&T’s 3G network after the carrier claimed that the app would “create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network”. This was contested by Sling Media in a complaint filed with the FCC where the company accused AT&T of discriminatory practices. Sling Media argued that AT&T’s position was inconsistent since other streaming apps like MLB’s were approved. AT&T’s decision to relent is thus seen as a result of Sling Media’s complaint.

The new SlingPlayer Mobile (version 1.2 )for iPhone and iPod touch is available on the App Store for $29.99. Existing customers can upgrade to the new 3G version for free. Mel Martin from TUAW writes that the iPhone app works well on 3G with “acceptable” picture quality and “good sync” between audio and video though there appears to be a marginal delay during channel changes.

[via TUAW]

Square – Mobile Credit Card Processing

 accessories, Apps, iphone  Comments Off on Square – Mobile Credit Card Processing
Feb 142010
 

square

Square UP was showing their new credit card processing solution for the iPhone. They are planning on offering a no-hassle way for individuals to start accepting credit card payments. Simply buy their $1 app from the App Store, sign up for service, and they will send you a small hardware dongle that will swipe credit cards (shown right). No individual merchant account is required as Square UP handles all the processing and payments and takes a 2.9% cut of all sales

The Square service is currently in beta testing and should arrive later this year.
[via macrumors]

Microsoft To Unveil Windows Phone 7 Series At Mobile World Congress To Take On iPhone

 iphone, News  Comments Off on Microsoft To Unveil Windows Phone 7 Series At Mobile World Congress To Take On iPhone
Feb 142010
 

microsoft-windows-mobile

In the past couple of years, smartphones have graduated from being a fringe segment in the mobile phone space to a category that is mainstream.

The vast scope of opportunity and growth that smartphones present has attracted a lot of new companies like Google to make their foray into this segment.

However, a few long-timers like Microsoft have been caught napping though. Half a decade back, Microsoft was a leader in the smartphone space accounting for close to 25% of all devices sold. However, since then, the dynamics have significantly shifted in favor of the newer entrants like Apple and Google who have without doubt revolutionized the market. While smartphones running on Windows still form a significant chunk of the market, there is no gainsaying the fact that Windows based smartphones are not perceived to be in the same league as that of the iPhone or Nexus One.

Now Microsoft is making a fresh bid to regain lost market space. According to reports on the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will unveil a new version of their mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 7 come Monday at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona. Not much is known about the new operating system though WSJ reports that the new software will bring tighter controls in the level of integration between the software and hardware. WSJ writes:

“New devices based on Windows Mobile 7, due out later this year, will be the first to reflect a much tighter focus at Microsoft on how its software works with hardware made by other companies. In the past, Microsoft has taken much the same approach in mobile software as it has in the PC market, licensing its operating system to nearly any hardware maker that wanted to install it on their systems.”

With iPhone caught in a stiff competition from platforms like Android and WebOS, Microsoft’s bid could be seen as a year or two too late. However, with rumors about Microsoft planning its own line of hardware and also considering the relationship that it has enjoyed with other handset manufacturers, it will interesting to see how Microsoft takes on competition like Apple’s iPhone, which is going to be daunting task. What do you think?

Update:

Folks at Engadget are reporting that Microsoft might call their next generation mobile OS, Windows Phone 7 series based on the billboards at the Mobile World Congress 2010.

windows-phone-7-series-photoshop-2

[via Business Week]