Sony Ericsson is preparing its first Android-based phone, and it could be a winner for gamers. Also in today's App Industry Roundup, Apple puts the 'i' in front of TV while losing your privacy is a snap with smartphones.
On a day when several new mobile devices officially go on sale -- the Droid 2, BlackBerry Torch and the Dell Streak -- news breaks that Sony Ericsson is preparing a game-playing smartphone that will run on a yet-to-be-available Android platform.
If true, this raises many questions but really boils down to this: mobile gaming has gotten so big with such a broad audience -- thanks to the iPhone and iPod touch -- that even a gaming stalwart like Sony has to pay attention. Yes, Sony Ericsson (ERIC) is not Sony Electronics (SNE), but the phone-maker uses Sony products throughout its phones, such as the Cybershot camera tools.
Sony has had its lunch handed to it by Apple in digital music -- you still have a Walkman? -- and general consumer affection, so it will be very interesting to see how (and if) this gaming phone comes to market. You may remember the first gaming phone, by the way. It came from Nokia (NOK) and was called the N-Gage. It still exists but good luck trying to find one.
Frankly, the Sony Ericsson phone sounds great and it could be available in October, according to Engadget, and lead to a new area in the Android market for games. "Games will be graphically in the range of PSX or PSP games, meaning true 3D gaming is headed to Android," writes Joshua Topolsky.
Apple adds 'i' to TV
Apple's (AAPL) underused and poorly understood TV offering -- Apple TV -- will be renamed iTV and offer a viewing experience based on the iPhone's software platform, according to Engadget. To use the service, buyers will need a $99 box that can stream content to your TV, much like TiVo or Blu-ray boxes do today. Of course it will have the Apple touch and link to iTunes where buyers can select content to stream.
But Engadget points out a problem that may annoy video-obsessed Apple fans and keep the product low on Apple's totem pole of iGadgets: it can't stream in 1080i or 1080p video. Rather, it will stream in the old-school standard of 720p. Of course, this is all still a rumor, so the details of what types of content will stream, how much it will cost and how it will be displayed remain a bit of a mystery. The only thing that feels solid right now: calling it iTV.
I know where you are. Do you?
There's a side to mobile technology that can be quite dangerous to smartphone owners. Often, we choose to tell people where we are through apps like FourSquare in the hopes that friends join us or so they know how cool we are. But sometimes, and it happens more often than you think, we unintentionally display where we are hanging out, information that can lead to stalking or another crime.
That can happen from apps or from applications within apps, such as using TwitPic to take a photo of a cute dog in the park. You may not care if you tell everyone what park you're walking in, but maybe you do. In that case, make sure your geolocation settings are off. Most of us don't realize we are broadcasting our location to the world.
A Thursday story in the New York Times points out how vulnerable we are when it comes to a phone's ability to point out our location.
Cristina Parker, a salesperson who also works in social media, posted a photo on Twitter of her Chihuahua that also revealed where she lived, according to the story. A website called ICanStalkU.com notified her that it knew where she lived, based on the photo. “I immediately tweeted back to find out what I can do about it,” Parker told the paper, which sent a Web link on how to turn off the geotag function on her smartphone. “It’s definitely good to know for me personally and because of my social media work, too,” she said.
The story points out that most of us don't realize we have geolocation features turned on, even though it doesn't appear we are broadcasting our location. The piece is worth a read and it will inform you how to turn these features off -- especially if you didn't know they were on.