There was a bunch of news this week that could have long-reaching consequences and no story was bigger than the Google and Verizon putting forth a joint policy statement regarding net neutrality. This was also a big week for Android with the release of some high-profile devices but Google also faces a huge lawsuit over that little green robot. Finally, we took a look at some cool apps and our resident BlackBerry expert took a look at the much-vaunted BlackBerry Torch.
Let’s get it started, friends.
Was this when Google started to be evil?
After word leaked out that Google and Verizon had a deal in place regarding net neutrality, the two companies held a press conference this week which adamantly said there was no deal but the companies were issuing a joint-policy statement about this issue.
Basically, the statement (which has no force of law) said that broadband providers should not prioritize traffic except for network management purposes, which includes rooting out unlawful activity. Sounds groovy, right?
Two big issues that pop up is that the wireless broadband space should not be subject to the same requirements, Verizon and Google said, because of the very real spectrum and bandwidth issues. This point of view was backed up by mobile broadband providers like AT&T.
As more and more users get data from mobile networks, some are concerned this could turn the Internet into cable television. A pessimist would argue this could mean that something like YouTube would only be accessible on a Verizon mobile network if the two companies had a business arrangement.
The other concern people had with the policy from Google and Verizon is that both companies referred to a future service which isn’t on the “public Internet” and therefore not subject to net neutrality rules. This is perfectly reasonable for things like Verizon V Cast services or medical data, but there is fear that other services would fall into this.
It’s a slight change of tune for Google, which made the following ad in 2006.
Is that a Torch in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 landed on AT&T this week and Research In Motion has a lot riding on the device because it is the first to have a sliding form factor and it is the first device with BlackBerry 6.
Simon is an expert at all things BlackBerry and he took the Torch for a spin. What was the verdict? According to the review:
“The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is far from flawless, but it still brings a lot of new features to the table; in fact, I would say that it’s the variety of improvements (rather than the depth of them individually) that make the BlackBerry 9800 Torch and specifically OS 6 a reasonable success.”
“Reasonable success” isn’t exactly what RIM wants to plaster in its ads but that seems to be the general vibe in the BlackBerry Torch review roundup.
Let us know what you guys and gals think of your new BlackBerry Torch and check out the video goodness below.
Another week, another two Android phones
It seems like every week we see another new Android phone and this week saw two high-profile devices released.
The Motorola Droid 2 was probably the most desirable of the two, as the Verizon handset launches with Android 2.2, a 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel processor and a revamped keyboard from the original Droid. If you plan to get one, check out our buyer’s guide here.
It looks like a nice little upgrade for Droid users but I’ve fallen in love with the Droid X, so I have no need for this full keyboard.
The Dell Streak also launched today and it has a big, fat 5-inch screen to help it stand out from the crowd. Of course, it’s kind of a bummer that the screen is only 800×480 pixel resolution.
The Dell Streak screen resolution isn’t too bad but I hate that it launches with Android 2.6. We know more modern versions of the software are on the way but come on, Dell!
We’ll have reviews of the Motorola Droid 2 and Dell Streak up shortly. We need a little time to digest all this Android goodness. Let us know what you think in the comments, of course.
I’ll see you in court, little robot
Oracle generally doesn’t pop into the mobile headlines that often but the enterprise software giant could have a major impact on the smartphone space because it is suing Google regarding intellectual property patents regarding the Android operating system.
In particular, Oracle says Google Android infringes on multiple Java patents that are in its portfolio due to Oracle’s $5 billion acquisition of Sun.
Google has responded and called the charges “baseless” and vowed to defend open-source standards.
I’m not a lawyer – I just use that as a pickup line at the bars – but I do know that parts of Java are doled out under open-source licenses. I do know that Sun was able to sue Microsoft over similar patents and that eventually resulted in Microsoft paying more than $1 billion.
Regardless of the outcome, this issue will takes years to resolve. We’ll watch every step of the process, though.
Cool App of the Week: BitBop for Android
I’m going to start a new feature in the Mobile Roundup for the millions (and millions) of IntoMobile readers: the Cool App of the Week.
Every week, we see innovative and fun stuff drift through our phones but BitBop really caught my eye. We had previously seen this mobile television service with the BlackBerry and it looked impressive because it delivered a variety of video content over WiFi and 3G. When the invitation for the Android beta hit out inbox, we had to take a look.
As you can see from our hands-on video, the app performs well over both WiFi and 3G. The video quality isn’t going to make you forget about your Blu-Ray player but it will get the job done on your phone.
Along with streaming, you’ll be able to download shows on your phone and watch later on. It will cost about $10 a month, which puts it on par with the Hulu Plus offering we also looked at.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think.
The weekend cometh
This was a jam-packed week full of mobile news and I’m not just saying that to sound like we do a lot of work. The IntoMobile team isn’t calling it a week yet, or ever, really, as we’ll continue to update over the weekend with the latest news.
I’m calling it now: Expendables will suck. Not even cheesy, so-bad-it’s-good fun. Just plain suckage.