In today’s mobile news roundup: Google looking for Google Glass testers; iPhone 5 world’s best selling smartphone in Q4 2012; Apple fixes Exchange bug but not passcode; Ubuntu for tablet features multi-tasking; 3Doodler reaches Kickstarting funding hours after it launched; AT&T teams up with The Cloud for free WiFi in the UK; and Republic Wireless’ $19 unlimited plan.
Google looking for Google Glass testers
Been wondering what you’d do if you had a Google Glass? Wondering when it will be available so you can try it out? You may not have to wait that long, as Google is looking for Google Explorers to test out the connected spectacles.
Follow Project Glass on G+ +ProjectGlass or Twitter @projectglass, because this is where you’ll be submitting your 50-word application describing how you intend to use the device. Remember to include #ifihadglass in your application so the Google team won’t miss it. You can spice up your application by including a maximum of five photos and/or a 15-second video. Only US residents 18 years old and above are eligible to apply. All entries must be submitted by February 27.
Selected Google Explorers will need to pre-order the Glass Explorer Edition and pay $1,500 to attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.
If you don’t have $1,500 and you suck at creatively writing an application, you can still get an idea of how Google Glass works via its new video.
iPhone 5 world’s best selling smartphone in Q4 2012
According to Strategy Analytics’ Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook Samsung’s Galaxy SIII in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the world’s top selling smartphone.
The iPhone 5 sold an estimated 27.4 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012 while the Galaxy SIII only sold 15.4 million. The iPhone 4S even sold more units than the SIII at 17.4 million, solidifying Apple’s lead in sales over Samsung.
Apple fixes Exchange bug, but not passcode
Apple has finally released the iOS 6.1.2 update, but it only features the fix for the Exchange bug. That’s great news for IT administrators trying to manage BYOD users, who had quite a time dealing with the excessive logging on Microsoft Exchange servers the bug caused. Unfortunately, the update did not address the passcode bug, which enabled unauthorized people to access a locked iPhone’s apps, view or modify contacts, check voicemail, and look through your photos (by attempting to add a photo to a contact).” Apple has yet to comment on the iOS update lacking bug fix.
The bugs have raised questions about Apple device security, a topic of growing importance in today’s BYOD era. Here with more analysis on the subject is contributing editor John Casaretto, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy:
Ubuntu for tablet features multi-tasking
Canonical unveiled the Ubuntu for tablet OS this week, just as HTC unveiled the much anticipated HTC One. Ubuntu for tablet will be coming to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, on February 21, the same time Ubuntu for smartphone will be released for the Nexus and Nexus 4.
“Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. “Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That’s unique to Ubuntu and it’s the future of personal computing.”
It features ‘side stage’ multi-tasking that allows both phone and tablet apps to exist in a single device; full disk encryption, multiple secure user accounts and standard management tool that covers Ubuntu server, PC and touch; and unique convergence across all four form factors – phone, tablet, PC and TV.
Canonical aims to deliver a unifying OS across multiple platforms to deliver the same security features, user profiles and UI fundamentals.
3Doodler reaches Kickstarting funding hours after it launched
Most 3D printers are bulky, expensive and requires a particular software in order for consumers to use it. But there’s a new 3D printer in town that’s portable, doesn’t require software, and more affordable. The downside is, it’s not yet available for purchase.
3Doodler is a bulky pen that allows users to doodle or draw 3D images to be used as accessories, jewelry, portraits or whatever your imagination can dream up. The pen launched on Kickstarter on Feb.19 with a $300,000 goal. Just hours later, 3Doodler hit their funding goal, and people are still pledging for the project. It now has $616,962 in pledged funding, with a promising 32 days still left on Kickstarter.
Pledging $50 will get you a full 3Doodler Pen, a bag of mixed color plastics and a Hall of Fame mention. Pledging more would entitle you to the same goodies, plus additional bags of mixed color plastics.
AT&T teams up with The Cloud for free WiFi in the UK
AT&T signed a roaming deal with The Cloud to offer up to 1GB per month, free of charge, to its subscribers who will be travelling to the UK.
AT&T subscribers will be able to connect to over 16,000 locations across the UK using the operator’s WiFi International app which is available for iOS and Android.
AT&T is targeting business users as well as frequent travelers to the UK with this new offering.
Republic Wireless’ $19 unlimited plan
Republic Wireless is a new network that offers really cheap plans. It is powered by Sprint, but what’s interesting about this network is that when a WiFi connection is available, you can call, text, surf the net at no additional cost. And if no WiFi connection is available, it uses Sprint’s network to deliver the same services. But that’s where the problem lies. Because of its connection, voice call quality is poor.
Another downside is, the only supported device is the Motorola Defy XT in two plans. The $19 unlimited plan requires you to pay for the $249 Defy XT price tag upfront while the $29 unlimited plan will bring down the phone’s price to $99. Although it is an unlimited plan, you are not tied to Republic Wireless.