HP has acquired ailing smartphone maker Palm


Hewlett-Packard (HP) has snapped up Palm for £787 million, after weeks of speculation as to which tech giant would buy the US mobile manufacturer.

Palm has failed to find its audience in the smartphone market despite having the well-received Pre and Pixi mobiles on shelves around the world for several months.

It was hoped that it could take on Apple and Research in Motion (RIM) at the top end of the market, but its mobile phones’ failure to score with the mass market led it to seek bids for a takeover.

HP is ostensibly acquiring Palm for its webOS smartphone platform, which is already fully formed and proven to be a capable base for smartphone development.

However, some tech watchers believe that HP will take the webOS and use it in portable computing devices, which is obviously an area in which HP already has considerable experience.

Todd Bradley of HP said: “The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share.

“Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities and HP intends to be a leader in this market.”


















App unveiled by UK’s airport regulator


British Airport Authority (BAA) has announced the first official app for citizens using one of the airports it operates in the UK.

The BAA app is available for both the iPhone and any smartphone based on the Android platform and is intended to be the best place to get flight and international travel information.

Criticisms of the free app have already been made by observers and users, who have said that there is an overly invasive registration process necessary for first time users in which various pieces of personal information are harvested.

Users are asked to provide their mobile number, name, address and email, which to some is deemed to be entirely unnecessary for what is a fairly simple news app.

“We want to make it easy for our passengers to use Heathrow and putting the airport into their hands does this,” said BAA’s Stephen Glenfield.

The basic version of the app is free to download irrespective of the smartphone being used, but there is a pro version which adds even more features in addition to a price tag.

BAA will also be creating a version of the app to operate on handsets running the Vodafone 360 platform.



















Apple CEO slams porn on Android phones


Apple founder Steve Jobs has reaffirmed his commitment to keep what he considers to be smut away from the iPhone platform, while slamming Android as a porn-lover’s dream.

Mr Jobs’ scathing attack on the rival platform surfaced in emails he sent to answer a customer’s question, this time in regard to Apple’s position in controlling the content that is available on the iPhone.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone,” said Mr Jobs in his response to customer Matthew Browning.

He also revealed that the recent decision to bar cartoonist Mark Fiore’s satrical iPhone app from the App Store had been a “mistake” and that the banned title would soon be sold via the download market.

This is the second time in a month that Jobs has hit out against Android with a porn-related dig.

Speaking at a developers conference he told delegates: “You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go – so we’re not going to go there.”



















FarmVille might be on its way to multiple mobile platforms


Social networking game FarmVille could be making an appearance on various smartphones, including the iPhone and Android.

Online rumours have begun because a range of new domain names have been bought by someone from San Francisco, each one with the words ‘farmville’ suffixed with the name of a different platform, with the iPhone and iPad being prominent.

The FarmVille game would presumably allow current players to access their own personal farms from their mobile phones and one domain name even hints at SMS compatibility.

Other popular online browser-based games allow users to play by texting in their next move and it would be no surprise to see FarmVille taking the same route.

The details were unearthed by Superannuation, which discovered that the address to which the domain names have been registered is identical to that of the firm that operates established social networking game Mafia Wars.

“Zynga plans to expand to various mobile platforms, but unfortunately, we cannot provide additional information at this time,” said FarmVille developer Joystiq.






















More mobiles used for navigation


Use of satellite navigation on mobile phones has risen by 86 per cent, according to a study from ComScore.

Many modern mobile phones now feature integrated GPS receivers and free navigation from Nokia’s Ovi Maps, coupled with the basic functions of the cross-platform Google Maps app, have allowed mainstream users to make the most of these advanced features.

Of the five most mature mobile markets in Europe, the UK is currently experiencing the fastest growth in mobile GPS use, beating the 68 per cent rise that was witnessed in the Italian industry.

“Most [users] (68.2 per cent) accessed those services in a car or other vehicle, 35.3 percent of the total users accessed the services while using public transport; and 27 percent did so while walking, running or cycling,” according to the ComScore report.

This is good news for mobile firms, but bad news for businesses that produce standalone sat navs, as the move towards phone-integrated GPS usage could result in single-function devices becoming redundant.

Alistair Hill of ComScore said: “The higher incidence of A-GPS usage in cars suggests that the superior speed and precision in these devices are being used for more than just identifying locations – they are being used as full in-car navigation systems.”

He added: “Mobile mapping services also have potential for integration with other location aware services, such as mobile social networking applications that provide links to friends and insights on surroundings and, subsequently, offer great promise for the location-based advertising market.”





















Mobile gaming leaps 60 per cent


Some 60 per cent more people were playing mobile games on their smartphones in the first two months of 2010 than in the same period in 2009, a study has shown.

The report, conducted by Analyst ComScore, also showed that people playing games on feature phones fell by 35 per cent, suggesting that most people are shifting their attention to the multifunctional smartphone market.

Nearly 30 per cent of smartphone owners installed and played a mobile game during the three month period.

Smartphone owners were also found to be more prolific gamers than feature phone owners by a factor of three.

The dominant genre amongst mobile games is puzzle and casual titles, which accounted for almost 13 per cent of downloads registered in the period.























Apple erases Google brand from iPhone


The freshly launched fourth edition iPhone operating system (OS) has been used to purge Apple’s flagship mobile phone of anything related to its rival Google.

Most notable is that the internet search giant is no longer referenced on the iPhone’s virtual keypad, which has led some to suggest that Apple has started a process that will eventually see Google’s services completely decoupled from the iPhone.

The current iPhone OS gives the user a Google button to use on the keypad if they want to initiate a search.

However, in a beta version of the iPhone OS 4.0 this is ditched in favour of a plain ‘search’ key.

References to Google are also absent from other areas of the platform, including the brand new iPhone Spotlight web search feature.

Google’s own Android platform has slightly soured the relationship with Apple and its partnership with Apple’s new arch enemy Adobe, which could see Google’s Chrome browser offering native Flash support, will probably have made things worse.

News of these latest developments means that recent reports that Microsoft’s Bing could be set to become the next iPhone search partner are sounding increasingly credible.

























Transferring data

Like transferring contacts, there are a few ways to get your pictures, videos and music transferred from your old phone to your new one.
Like transferring contacts, there are a few ways to get your pictures, videos and music transferred from your old phone to your new one. 
Using a micro SD card:
Ensure your data’s saved to the card when it’s in your old phone, them simply move it from one phone to another.
Saving your data to your PC, then transferring it: 
This is a good idea because it means you have an additional copy of data
1) Insert your USB cable into your old phone, then connect it to your PC
2) On your PC, navigate to Computer and double click your phone to open its contents
3) Or on some devices you can right click on your device to import all its contents
4) Once you’ve located the items you want to save – videos, pictures, music, you can copy them into a folder you’ll easily be able to find on your PC
5) Then remove the cable from your PC (do this on your PC rather than just pulling it out, this can cause items to be lost)
6) Then insert the USB cable into your new phone, locate the saved items then right click to send them to your new phone
There are loads of apps available for taking the trouble out of data transfers by doing it via a Wi-Fi connection. Visit your app store to find one for your phone. 

Transferring your contacts

 Once you’ve got your new phone and are desperate to get started with it, there’s usually one stumbling block that prevents you from enjoying it to its fullest straight away – the transferring of contacts. If you fancy having a go yourself, there are a few ways to go about this.
Once you’ve got your new phone and are desperate to get started with it, there’s usually one stumbling block that prevents you from enjoying it to its fullest straight away – the transferring of contacts. If you fancy having a go yourself, there are a few ways to go about this.
If the SIMs are the same size, it’s easy to move contacts from one phone to another
You just have to ensure all your contacts are saved to your SIM on your old phone, and not to the phone memory. Once this is done, remove your SIM and copy all your contacts to your new phone. However, bear in mind, modern SIMs can only hold 250 contacts and older SIMs sometimes only hold 100, so it might be necessary to make the changes in two stages.
You can also do this with micro SD cards: Ensure your contacts are saved to it, then simply transfer it from one phone to another.
Transfer your contacts via Bluetooth:
1) On your old phone navigate to Bluetooth and turn it on by selecting discoverable or make my phone searchable.
2) Do the same on your new phone
3) On your old phone, select your new phone from the list of available devices
4) Create a four-digit code and enter it into both phones, this gives permission for them to be synchronised
5) Navigate to your contacts, then select all and send via Bluetooth
6) Accept this transfer on your new phone
7) Ensure you turn off Bluetooth on both phones
NOTE: On certain devices you can use their software to transfer your contacts, just ensure you’ve already set up an email account on the previous phone
To an iPhone from a BlackBerry
1) Ensure you’ve installed the BlackBerry Desktop Software – this will mean your contacts are synced with your PC
2) Connect your iPhone to the USB port on your computer using the cable included in your iPhone box and wait for iTunes to open
3) Click on the Info tab at the top of the screen and tick the option Sync contacts
4) Locate your contacts in the drop down menu
5) Select Apply
6) Select Sync
7) Your contacts will then transfer to the your iPhone
8) Repeat the process for your calendars and data
To an iPhone from an Android:
1) On your Android device: Select Contacts
2) On your Android device: Select the Menu button
3) On your Android Device: Then select Merge with Google
4) On your iPhone: Select Settings on the homescreen Select Mail, contacts and calendars Select Add an account
5) On your iPhone: Select your Gmail account and your contacts will automatically import
To an iPhone from another iPhone:
1) Ensure you have iCloud set up on your old phone.
2) During the activation of your iPhone using the Setup Assistant, when prompted, select Use iCloud
3) Your contacts will then automatically appear on your new iPhone.
From iPhone to a phone that uses Windows 8 software:
Nokia Lumia: select the Contacts Transfer app and follow the onscreen commands – this moves your contacts via Bluetooth without you needing to activate anything on your phone .
HTC or Samsung:
1) The easiest way is to transfer the contacts from iCloud to your Microsoft account, first you’ll need to have a copy of your contacts saved to your computer
2) Visit iCloud’s website
3) Select Contacts
4) Select which contacts you would like to transfer
5) Select Settings
6) Select Export vCard
7) Next you need to duplicate them in your Microsoft account
8) Visit Outlook.com
9) Select People
10) Then select Import from file
11) Select your iCloud file
12) Your contacts are now on your Microsoft Account and will be visible on your Windows Phone.

Apple patents iPhone as universal remote


Apple sees the iPhone becoming a central controlling hub that will help to operate various bits of home entertainment kit in the future, a patent application suggests.

The electronics manufacturer has applied for a patent to cover an iPhone that could be used to wirelessly connect to and control TVs, Hi-Fis and set-top boxes.

The handset will use Near Field Communication (NFC) to get connected, which basically means that it will be able to broadcast its commands over a short distance.

Apple’s remote-cum-mobile will also connect to the internet in order to download a controlling client that is relevant to the networked devices.

It is clear that Apple expects to play a bigger role in the manipulation of the digital home over the next few years, although The Register suggests that the patent might be doomed to failure because it may conflict with existing intellectual property.

Many firms are attempting to change the way that home entertainment devices are perceived and it seems inevitable that audiovisual equipment will in time become a mere portal for the streaming of content from virtually any source.

The patent suggests that NFC is the primary route which Apple wishes to take, but observers have pointed out that other short range communications standards are mentioned in the application.