June is shaping up to be an eventful month in the mobile space. On June 4th, Sprint releases the first 4G phone available in the U.S., and just three days later, Apple is expected to reveal details of its fourth-generation iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference.
EVO 4G inside and out
With just a couple of days to go until the official launch of HTC’s EVO 4G, it seems that everyone is talking about the next “superphone.”
ZDNet, Engadget, MobileCrunch, and The Wall Street Journal have reviewed it; iFixit has disassembled it; and, thanks to Google giving the EVO 4G away to all attendees of its I/O Conference last month, some ingenious hacker has already rooted it to run Android 2.2.
Everybody seems to love the device, but hate the battery life. I’ve got two EVO 4Gs pre-ordered, so I will share my thoughts on its overall performance next week.
iPhone 4G is almost here
It seems like we’ve been speculating about the upcoming fourth-generation iPhone forever.
We’ve seen an Apple developer accidentally leave a prototype on a bar stool (d’oh!); we’ve seen sneak peeks of mysterious Apple handsets from Vietnam; and we’ve even seen bloggers have police confiscate their computers to protect Apple’s intellectual property.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait too much longer. Steve Jobs is expected to announce the next iPhone during his keynote at the WWDC on June 7th.
In addition to the new case design that we’ve seen in all of the leaked photos and videos, there is a screen with double the resolution of any smartphone currently on the market and a front-facing camera.
Video calling is about to go mainstream
Speaking of front-facing cameras, it looks like the second half of 2010 is when video calling could go mainstream on mobile devices.
Details are still sketchy on the iPhone’s plan, but we can assume there will be some sort of video chat or video calling option. And if the iPhone 4G sells like the iPad (which has moved 2 million units in 60 days), everybody and their brother will be video calling.
It was also rumored this week that Skype will support mobile-to-mobile video calling on the EVO 4G. Skype’s PR team released this statement, which seems to welcome all handsets and mobile OSes to the party, in response to the rumor:
Skype envisions a world where video plays a larger role in the way we communicate. The next generation innovation involving video calling will not be bound to the computer. We’re seeing a proliferation of video calling shared between all kinds of connected devices. It’s on computers (today 1/3 of all calls on Skype happen via video), televisions (Skype bringing video calls to living rooms via Panasonic, Samsung & LG partnership), and it will eventually be coming to mobile devices too. We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year.
We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)
I just hope we don’t see a Chat Roulette app pop up any time soon. Let’s keep that behind closed doors, please.
Palm’s UI lead heads to Android
A few weeks ago, I speculated that Google could benefit from acquiring Palm to dress up the Android UI. Of course, just hours after publishing my opinion, HP announced that it had snatched up Palm in a $1.2 billion deal.
This week, Google announced that it had taken my advice but decided to save its $1.2 billion. Instead of acquiring Palm, Google simply hired its lead UI designer Matias Duarte (that’s why they’re Google and I’m me, I guess). Now, maybe future flavors of Android can give HTC’s Sense some competition.
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