FCC demands answers from Apple

For all of you going crazy wondering what mysterious standards and processes does Apple employ in choosing the applications they would allow in their App Store, you can start smiling now.

The company’s way of choosing which apps to approve has been a subject of controversy ever since their app store was launched a year ago and has made consumers and developers alike, very curious.

Just last week, one developer got very disappointed because Apple didn’t even bother to explain why his voice app (VoiceCentral) was pulled out after it was approved and on the App Store shelves for four months.

Well, it seems like the guys from U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are even more curious and has written to Apple, AT&T and Google questioning them about this issue.

So, first off:  the letter to Apple.

In a letter sent last Friday, the agency asked primarily why Google Voice has been rejected. The FCC also wanted to know which related applications have been rejected along with it, and what role did AT&T (if there was) may have played in the decision.

The FCC digs deeper too. Now they also want to find out what other applications have been rejected and for the company to provide major reasons for rejecting applications. Apple also is to describe the approval process, and say what percentage are turned down.

Google Voice, a VoIP service lets users set up one phone number and like their other phone numbers to it. It can also control which phones to ring depending on the time of the day, etc. There are rumors that AT&T may be behind the rejections because they might have been fearing competition.

AT&T also received a letter from FCC. PCWorld reports that the letter to the company also pretty much covers the same ground. An additional question asks whether there are any devices on AT&T’s network that are allowed to Google Voice or other apps that have been rejected by Apple.

The last of trio, Google, received a different letter. FCC asked about any communications with Apple about Google Voice and for Google to name other apps from Google and what these apps are for. Lastly, FCC wanted to find out about Google’s standards for choosing apps for their own Android mobile platform.

Well, it won’t be long now and we will have the answer very soon because the agency has specifically asked the three companies to have their replies by August 21. Keep posted guys!

Source: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090801/tc_pcworld/fccquestionsappleovergooglevoice

Sony’s eBook store now has 1 million public domain titles

Because Sony is really serious in their commitment to providing consumers with the largest, most comprehensive selection of eBooks available, they’ve just released a very awesome news, or at least for those with Sony eBook readers.

In partnership with Google, the company announced today that  it is providing access to more than 1 million free public domain eBooks. The titles range from classics like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island to other generes like biographies, historical texts, romance novels, and much much more.

These titles, which Google has digitalized as part of its Google Books project, are available in EPUB format which are optimized to work for the Sony PRS-505 ($280) or the PRS-700 Reader ($350).

“We are committed to ensuring our customers have the freedom to discover and read content from the widest possible range of sources,” Chris Smythe, director of the eBook Store from Sony said. “We’re proud to offer access to the broadest range of eBooks today – from hot new releases, to New York Times Best Sellers, to classics and hard to find manuscripts such as those available for free from Google.”

To access these humongous database of titles, you must download a software, sign up for an account and then load the eBooks to your Sony device.

One bad news though. As of the moment, it is only available to U.S.-based readers perhaps due to licensing and copyright issues across borders. Awwwww.  🙁

Source: http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=100295

Google’s Chrome OS is getting stronger

A lot were skeptical on hearing about Google’s plan in producing an operating system to rival Microsoft’s. However, over the weeks, it seems that Google is slowly but surely making it clear that they indeed, mean business.

For many years now, Microsoft Windows has held the top position of the personal computer operating system market with slightly less than 90% while Apple is left with the rest of the market share.

A release of Microsoft’s Windows 7 would also add to its already large hold of the market.

But Google doesn’t give up that easily, and now has partners that share its vision. Among these include big names such as Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and even Intel. An article from Information Week reports that these companies are now  “working with Goggle to help it re-imagine the operating system”.

Well, I said it before and I’ll say it again: somebody’s gonna be making a run for its money now 🙂



Google OS coming soon

Another news from Google and this time, they’re not just staying on the web. Rumors have been going on about an operating system from the giant company and now it’s confirmed!

Google has announced last Tuesday night in its blog that there will be an operating system based on Google’s browser, Chrome soon, which was released to the public December 11 of last year.

This OS will be carried by lower-end PCs more known to the public as Netbooks and will be included in the second half of 2010. Manufacturers of Netbooks haven’t been revealed though. This open-source project will be run under the covers by Linux.

This move by Google shows how serious they are with their business. “Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small Netbooks to full-size desktop systems,” Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director has both said in the blog post.

Google’s browser is created with a “minimal design with sophisticated technology”, makes you curious about what the OS would look like eh?

Something tells me Microsoft will be making a run for its money soon now!



Gmail is Beta no more!

So five years was all it took for Google to finally shed its beta preface.

Google has just announced today that its applications which included Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Talk is up and ready to tackle the world and is ready for prime time. Google engineers have finally given the go signal and are now satisfied with the applications’ performances.

So why did it take so long for them to get of the beta phase? According to Google’s product management director Matthew Glotzbach, they’ve “focused their efforts on reaching their high bar for taking their products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark”.

If you’re guessing that there will be upgrades after this, guess again. There is still no word from Google about upgrading their enterprise applications as of this writing.

For applications in beta phase though, Google’s apps doing pretty well. The company boasts that some 1.75 million companies are already using their suite of enterprise software to this day and TechCrunch writer Erick Schonfeld notes that Gmail users have increased to an astonishing 48 percent in 2008!