Inte?l and??have announced that they will work together to create a mobile platform to compete with the Google Android. The new platform will be dubbed Meego and will combine the best parts of Maemo and Moblin. This is due to be released sometime this year and will be purported to take on Google not only in the smartphone arena but also tablets and any other device that the Android platform may power.
This move comes with the realization by Nokia that Symbian simply is not living up to its expectations in the struggle against the ever growing popularity of the Google Android platform. Meego will be the driving force behind Nokias strategy to bring the Symbian platform to a wider range of users while the Linux-based Meego goes for the higher end. This may prove to be an uphill battle, however, for the smartphone giant.
Meego, while being Linux-based will have one new quality that will assist in its integration. The Linux Foundation will be hosting this as a fully open platform. This will allow outside developers to get their shots in for improving and adding to the overall concept of the platform.
Meego will be touting the Qt development platform as do so many other Nokia products. Intel, however, has let it be known that the new platform will not be restricted to only x86 architectures. This will be as open a platform as may be found anywhere, with little to no restrictions.
Odds are good that other manufacturers will follow in Nokias footsteps, making their own announcements in the coming weeks. There seems to be a bandwagon effect when an announcement of this proportion is made. This being said, it should be an interesting watch to see how well Nokia and Intel do against the possibly unstoppable platform that if Google Android.
The Mobile World Congress trade show began in Barcelona, Spain on Monday. Along with a multitude of new products and technologies being showcased is a concept that should bring some happiness to all Android and smartphone users. 24 wireless carriers announced that they are willing to allow their respective software developers write apps that will work across multiple phones from all manufacturers.
The Wholesale Applications Community is a concept that should take some of the initiative away from Apple, Nokia and Research in Motion, Inc. by opening up the availability for more apps to be shared across different phone manufacturers. These manufacturers each have their own app store along with Google, who is slowly building theirs up to rival Apples.
While all the manufacturers will not open their own app store, this will allow developers to write a single app and have it sold across all the different carrier stores. With the growing app market, more and more apps are needed that work on different phones. Rather than writing a single app for each phone, this will allow for apps to be designed to work on more than one and then to be marketed.
This will work well in theory, but it will take some doing to actually put into practice. The apps will need the capability of working on phones with different screen sizes and button layouts. This could be problematic for some phones and many of the apps.
The Wholesale Applications Community will begin by concentrating on having apps developed that will work across two platforms and build out from there. Once this has been accomplished, they will look to consolidating everything in app development to one platform that all phones may utilize. The group of wireless providers service over 3 billion customers between them, making this a major undertaking to say the least.
With TouchDown, your office email, calendar and contacts are available right at your fingertips. You can choose how long to retain your email on your phone. You can choose to download ALL your exchange contacts to TouchDown any time you want, but get all changes automatically every time you check your email.
You get quick access to your days agenda, optimized for viewing on your phone. You can choose to dismiss past events to simplify the view. (Taken directly from the TouchDown website)
While Androids integrated corporate E-mail and calendar functions will be sufficient for most users, in our organization we found them to be lacking in a few areas. First, there was no task syncing with the Exchange server. Second, E-mail attachments were unable to be downloaded to our handset. This led to some searching for alternatives. Thats when we came across Exchange by TouchDown.
After installing from Android Market, and starting the application, just click the gear button to access the setup wizard. If youre your own IT department, you should know all of the answers right away. If not, contact your IT department. ?Once setup, Exchange by TouchDown will handle all of your corporate E-mail, calendaring, contacts, and tasks. ?If youve had E-mail and calendar setup on your handset previously, youll either want to disable them or remove them completely.
E-mail, task, contact, and calendar syncing
Supports syncing by Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, ActiveSync, and USB to Outlook
Downloads E-mail attachments
Easy to use once setup
Four widgets (universal, E-mail, calendar, tasks)
Price (while most companies that can afford an Exchange server wont notice the hit, users purchasing the software themselves will)
Setup can be difficult if youre not aware of the settings
Would like more widgets with more size options (I find 32 annoying)
Features?Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Usability?Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Setup?Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Widgets?Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
While this application was nice while I tested it, I found that I personally didnt need the extra features. ?Ive uninstalled it. ?Out of the four users in our organization, only one runs TouchDown. ?That being said, for 25% of the DROID users in our organization, there was a need, and TouchDown met it with flying colors