1. Detroit Free Press – Half of all adult Americans now own either a tablet computer or a smartphone, and one-third use their mobile devices to view news stories and video clips at least once a week. That’s according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which polled more than 9,500 adults from late June to early August.
Devices based on Google Inc.’s Android platform are gaining momentum. Pew found that just over half of tablet owners reported owning Apple’s iPad, compared with 81% a year ago. Forty-eight percent now own an Android-based device, including Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire.
2. Gigaom – Starting this month, Sharp will have a full production line producing full HD displays for smartphones. The 5-inch LCD screens will support 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is the highest found on HDTVs that are in stores today. That works out to an eye-popping 443 pixels per inch, or a pixel density roughly 30 percent higher than the Retina display used on Apple’s iPhone.
As urbanites have noticed, too, Apple Maps has no routing for public transportation, instead redirecting users to a third-party app like HopStop. And perhaps the most condemning and hilarious feature is the simple fact that even the app’s icon displays an impossible traffic maneuver. To make the turn, one would need to drive off the side of a bridge. Desperation has left iOS 6 users clamoring for Google to release a downloadable version of its app.
Google has confirmed that it’s working on a map app to submit to the App Store that will be available in several months. But it’s also improving Google Maps.
Google also recently expanded its coverage to include not only streets, earth, and outer space, but now, the ocean floor. Google Maps teamed with Catlin Seaview Survey to create an underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef. The images – or, their misnomer, “Street Views” – were taken using the SVII camera, which captures 360-degree shots underwater every three seconds while traveling a little over two miles per hour. Each capture gets a geo-tag, which allows the diver to re-capture a shot from the exact same location helping to spot changes in the reef structure. The entire contraption is controlled by a tablet, which means the housing can stay entirely enclosed and tweaked remotely.
Apple, Ericsson or ZTE would an interest in parts of Nokia, like its patent portfolio or portions of its handset business, but “no single party may be sufficiently motivated to buy a company with 114K employees”.
A Research in Motion transaction is “not as desirable but maybe more manageable”. There are questions about the quality of the RIM patent portfolio and if it is worth the effort to acquire and integrate what they have.