Archives for August 2012

Adobe flash is offered again on Googles play store

The company previously started withdrawing its support for flash for mobile devices on the Android Play store last August, stating that the development of the code had been halted for the flash player. But after pressure was put on the company by its strategic partners including the BBC, the company decided to reinstall it on a temporary bases. 

A spokesperson for Adobe told the BBC : “Flash Player continues to be available on Google Play for users in the UK for a short while due to requests from strategic partners.”

No official date has been set for it’s removal, but it is likely to come soon. But before it’s removal, the adobe flash plugin was one of the most popular plugins within the Google play store. 

However it worth pointing out that this plugin will not work with the latest OS version called Android 4.1 which is also known as Jelly Bean.

Its worth pointing that when the flash plug in does finally get phased out on mobile devices it will not mean the end of many useful apps. Certain companies such as the BBC are already working on creating alternative applications, that will work without the need for the Adobe flash plug in. 


Ethical torrent site UKnova closes

The ethical torrent website UKNova has decided to close down after being targeted by the Federation Against Copyright Theft. This decision comes on the heels of  another website called SurfTheChannel which was also pressured by F.A.C.T to close down.

This comes is a sad day for many UK ex pats around the world who relied on this website for their UKTV programmes for more than 9 years. UK ex pats relied on this website because they had limited means of accessing content from the UK, which is due to geo block isp restrictions. 

The site owners claim that they had a set of ethical guide lines in place that would prevent any copyright infringement from taking place that would have resulted in the loss of revenue to the companies concerned.  But that argument was not considered enough for F.A.C.T. to prevent a potential breach of copyright infringement.  They went on to  issue a “cease and desist” notice, which listed a number of claimants against the site. One of the site administrators told the website Torrent Freak that:


 “There was one very big UK satellite provider, some of whose content (a tiny percentage from their basic package) was available on UKN, there was also a football production company.

“The remaining members represent post-transmission marketing of DVDs etc. The major UK TV companies are not F.A.C.T members and were not mentioned.”

UKNova did not confirm the identities of the companies, but the “very big UK satellite provider” is thought to be Sky, a F.A.C.T member, while the football company is most likely the Premier League. 


As soon as UKNova became aware of  these complaints from these companies.  A UKNova admin told the Torrent Freak that: 


“We immediately removed the alleged offending links to content that could be [connected to] the two companies and replied to F.A.C.T assuring them of our cooperation in the matter, but asking them to point out examples of potentially offending links,” .


The organisation F.A.C.T then went on to inform UKNova that  “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless you can prove that you have obtained explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content,” .


The site administrators after careful consideration, decided to close this site down to avoid a costly legal battle that they would probably loose. The site administrators told Torrent Freak that: 

“The people who run UKNova have families, careers and professional reputations that could be menaced by lengthy legal proceedings, whether successful or not. Whilst we believe that F.A.C.T are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this,” 

The site administrator went on to say that:

“It is a sad day when a site whose mission has always been to bring much-missed UK TV to ex-pats and Anglophiles at the four corners of the world is forced to stop this activity. Nobody will be plugging a huge revenue hole because we are gone, but tens of thousands of avid viewers will suffer.”


However this action by F.A.C.T will not stop file sharing. There actions will in fact drive people who want UK content to search out other websites,  such as the thepiratebay that do not care less if they commit copyright infringement, which will further deny content holders out of potential revenue streams.



Apple wins the US patents case against Samsung and Samsung declares that its a sad day for innovation

The court said that Samsung infringed on two major iPhone design patents that has been used on every iPhone model since its  launch. This includes the D’677 patent, which is concerned with the design of the front fascia of the iPhone. Apple was also successful in convincing the US court that Samsung had deliberately copied the design and layout of the iPhone’s home screen , which constitutes a breach of another design patient of the iPhone. It was also declared that Samsung has also breached all of the patients that relate to the iPhones software, which account for in total three patients. 


There is not doubt that this US courts decision has come as a big blow to Samsung, to add injury to insult the company will have to further pay out in damages to the sum of $1.04 billion to Apple. It also may have to withdrawn some of its products within the US, which Apple is now calling for.  For Samsung to possibly avoid having to withdrawn some of its products it would have to alter their products so much that it would make them virtual unrecognisable. 


Samsung says its a sad day for innovation following the US courts decision to favour Apple over concerns of infringements of its patients rights.  However Samsung are planning on launching an appeal against this decision. In reality this battle could go on for years in the courts , which is likely to benefit no one but the lawyers. It could in fact deter Android manufacturers from bringing out new innovative models, which would mean the biggest losers in this would be the consumers. However this ruling could give a leg up to some of Apples other competitors such Nokia in terms of getting a bigger foothold within the marketplace, because Apple dose not seem to have any issues with the designs of their products. Whether Apple has a personal vendetta against Android who knows, only Apple can answer that question. Anyway keep your eyes peeled, because we are sure to see some more interesting developments to come relating to the battle between these two giants of the mobile tech world as they battle it out for supremacy.

Facebook releases an improved version of it’s iOS Facebook app

 Facebook has just released an improved version for of it’s app for iOS users called Facebook version 5.0. This updated version has a number of improvements over the older version, they are as follows:

The start up times has been made twice as fast as the older version. This is probably due to the fact that the app has been built on Objective-C and not HTML5.

Photos are now able to open up almost instantly when you tap on them, you can now with ease close them with a single swipe of your finger in a downwards direction.

The user is now also able to access the latest alerts with just one single tap.

The action of scrolling has also been improved. Now it feels like a much smoother and faster experience when your scrolling through news feeds.

There is no signs of this update being rolled out to the Android market place as of yet. But don’t be surprised if it does happen soon as is usually the case. This however dose illustrate the fact that the Apples iOS  platform is still considered the preferential market to develop for by most developers.

If you have an iOS device get the update and try it out, you will not be disappointed.







Everything Everywhere is to start rolling out a 4G service from September 11

Everything Everywhere who own T mobile and Orange is to start rolling out 4G services on part of the spectrum that it currently owns which is at 1800 MHz in the UK from September 11. This is the direct result of a ruling by Ofcome that took place on on the 21st of August.

However this launch of the 4g service is likely to be a little premature and is likely to fall on deaf ears, because there are no mobile devices that can receive the 4g signal that are available for sale in the UK at the moment. It’s important to note that US 4g devices and the new iPad will be useless to use here, which is due to the US operating on different 4g frequencies such as 700MHz and 2100MHz. However Everything Everywhere will be able to get around this hurdle temporarily, by making 4g dongles that will enable many existing mobile devices able to receive the super fast 4g signal. Also it is likely that the mobile device manufacturers will begin rolling out UK 4g completable mobile phones and devices soon at this 4g frequency and the other 4g frequencies, which are due to be launched later on in the year by the other mobile phone operators. 


The other networks such as 02 and Vodaphone are not happy with the decision. They think that  Everything Everywhere is getting an unfair advantage in the marketplace.  An O2 spokesperson told TechRadar:


“We are hugely disappointed with today’s announcement, which will mean the majority of consumers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services,” “This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK.”


Everything Everywhere have also confirmed that they intend to introduce a new brand identity soon. This does not look like they intend to replace their existing service brands such as  T mobile and Oranges with one new brand, In fact they have made a statement saying that:

”Everything Everywhere confirms that we are planning to launch a new brand in the UK later this year. This new brand will sit alongside our existing brands Orange and T-Mobile. We will reveal more information on our exciting plans in due course.”

It would make economic sense to merge two services into one offering 4g. If they did that it would make them the biggest mobile provider under one brand name in the UK with over 27 million customers.




Photos of the iPhone 5 front panels have emerged on the internet

Photos of fully assembled iPhone 5 front panels have emerged on the internet .

The leaked images emerged from  a website called UBreakIFix by the way of BGR.  However these images appear to be a little stretched, thus raising doubts about  the authenticity of the pictures. However most of the rumours coming out appear to back up the claims of these photos that indicate that the device is going to be longer and have a 4 inch screen. But it worth pointing out that there are no guarantees that Apple will implement these rumours. We learnt this lesson the hard way when Apple released the iPhone 4s back in October which was a completely different phone to what was anticipated.

If these pictures  are authentic then it confirms that the iPhone 5 is now production ahead of its much anticipated announcement on September 12th. The good news is that we don’t have much time to wait to see if all the rumours coming out are true or not. 


The BBC brings out a retina supported iPlayer app for the iPad

The BBC has released some important updates to it’s iPlayer iOS app. Firstly it has added retina support to its iPad app, so users will now be able to utilise the enhanced resolution of the retina display.  This update has been welcomed by avid users of the app. Also there have been a number of other bug fixes that have been released with this update that have also been rolled out to other iOS devices. These fixes range from improved video playback to better support of voice commands.   

However this update does not go far enough, because the iPlayer app still lacks some functionality.  One problem that needs to be addressed relates to apples airplay, the BBC needs to make Apples airplay icon more easily accessible on the app and the iPlayer needs to have the ability to support video playback without a data connection.

Even with these short comings the BBC’s iPlayer app has been very successful within the UK.  According to the BBC the iPlayer has seen a 94% increase in traffic from mobile and tablet users in April in as little as a year. In just the Month of April the BBC found a 15% jump in traffic.  The BBC also noted that in May the iPlayer was named as the most successful free app used on the iPad of all time.  

Android 4.0 update is now available for the Motorola RAZR

Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich update has been made available for the Motorola  RAZR XT910. Razr users have had a long time to wait since the launch of Android 4.0 which was way back in October. This delay was due to a disagreement between T-Mobile and Google over issues concerning the customisation of the ROM. T-Mobile wanted to further customise the ROM to their liking, however in the end they relented to Google’s terms and conditions.


Now the Motorola RAZR update has arrived, some users of the RAZR should not get too exited. This is because Motorola which is owned by Google has said not all versions of the RAZR will getting the next operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is currently being rolled out to the latest high and some of the mid end Android devices. The Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX versions will receive the update.


Last month it was reported by the Android Developers website that Android 4.0 was now running on one in ten Android devices. The exact number of devices out there is not known yet that are capable of being upgraded. This is further complicated by the recent launch of the newer OS called Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, that is likely to have a smaller take up from older devices.  All this is likely to add further to the ongoing issues of fragmentation that is becoming a headache for the Android developer community.

The Crackle app now joins the Windows mobile platform

The popular Crackle app that offers free TV content,such as  movies and TV programmes, which is supported through advertisements has joined the Windows mobile platform.

This app may not particularly be the most sophisticated app around and it may not offer downloads and the most up to date content. But  it does boast an impressive selection of movies and TV programmes,  such as Seinfeld, Pine apple Express 2008 ,kung Fu Hustle 2005, Mr Deeds 2002 etc.

This app is now on all the major mobile platforms including  the PlayStation 3 and Roku. If you want to check this app out just go download it from the appropriate on app store.  


source Windows Phone Market

Windows 8 is to get “Xbox Windows” Branded Games

According to a tech website called eurogamer Windows 8 is to get “Xbox Windows” Branded Games, the same as the Windows Phone Marketplace has. The new Xbox branded games will also be able to link with Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, offering Gamer score points for earning achievements in the games.  These games are likely to be found on it’s new Metro app tile service so keeping the new branded games separate from the Windows live service which also offers games. The first games to get it’s new branding will be Minesweeper, Solitaire and Microsoft Mahjong that will offer up to 50 Gamer scores. 

This re branding raises some red flags for game developers, because it invokes thoughts of Microsoft making it a closed platform like that of  Microsoft’s Xbox. If Microsoft did decide to make it a closed platform the developers would have to go through extensive certification processes and mandatory features to release their games through the Windows Store, which would be an headache for developer and which could discourage developers from developing for the platform.

Windows 8 comes out in October so be sure to check it out if you intend buying the new OS.