Archive for the ‘HP’ Category

HPE6-A44 Scalable WLAN Design and Implementation (SWDI) 8

Exam ID : HPE6-A44
Exam type : Proctored
Exam duration : 1 hour 30 minutes
Exam length : 66 questions
Passing score : 65%
Delivery languages : English

Related : certifications
Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) V8
Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) V8 – upgrade from Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) previous versions

Exam description
This exam tests your skills with the WLAN design, deployment, and troubleshooting of Aruba Mobile First Network Solutions in complex highly available campus and branch environments. It also tests your ability to configure specialized applications, management, and security requirements for a WLAN such as UCC Voice and advanced security features.
Ideal candidate for this exam
Typical candidates for this exam are networking IT professionals with a minimum of two years of advanced-level implementation experience with Aruba WLAN solutions and a minimum of three years of experience with wired LAN infrastructure and switching and routing technologies.

Exam contents
This exam has 66 questions.
Advice to help you take this exam
Complete the training and review all course materials and documents before you take the exam.
Exam items are based on expected knowledge acquired from job experience, an expected level of industry standard knowledge, or other prerequisites (events, supplemental materials, etc.).
Successful completion of the course alone does not ensure you will pass the exam.
Read this HPE Exam Preparation Guide and follow its recommendations.

Visit HPE Press for additional reference material, study guides, and HPE books.

Objectives
This exam validates that you can:

Integrate and implement Aruba Mobile First architecture components and explain their uses. 20%

Integrate components of the Aruba Mobile First Architecture.
Differentiate between standalone mode and Master Controller Mode (MCM) features and recommend use cases.
Differentiate the use of packet forwarding modes (tunnel, decrypt-tunnel, split-tunnel, and bridge).
Differentiate between redundancy methods, and describe the benefits of L2 and L3 clustering.
Explain Remote Access architectures and how to integrate the architectures.
Describe and differentiate advanced licensing features.

Configure and validate Aruba WLAN secure employee and guest solutions. 20%
• Configure Remote Access with Aruba Solutions such as RAP and VIA.
• Configure and deploy redundant controller solutions based upon a given design.
• Configure a Mesh WLAN.

Implement advanced services and security. 38%
• Enable multicast DNS features to support discovery across VLAN boundaries.
• Configure role derivation, and explain and implement advanced role features.
• Configure an AAA server profile for a user or administrative access.
• Implement Mobility Infrastructure hardening features.
• Explain Clarity features and functions.
• Implement Voice WLAN based upon a given design.
• Configure primary zones and data zones to support MultiZone AP.
• Implement mobility (roaming) in an Aruba wireless environment.
• Implement tunneled node to secure ArubaOS switches.

Manage and monitor Aruba solutions.10%
• Use AirWave to monitor an Aruba Mobility Master and Mobility Controller.
• Perform maintenance upgrades and operational maintenance.

Troubleshoot Aruba WLAN solutions.12%
• Troubleshoot controller communication.
• Troubleshoot the WLAN.
• Troubleshoot Remote Access.
• Troubleshoot issues related to services and security.
• Troubleshoot role-based access, per-port based security and Airmatch.


QUESTION 1
Which network components are tracked by Aruba Clarity? (Select two.)

A. Wireless associations
B. DNS lookups
C. AP and controller health
D. WLAN health
E. Client health

Answer: A,C


QUESTION 2
When they operate in a cluster. Aruba APs obtain AP Group configuration information from which device?

A. Mobility Master
B. AirWaves
C. ClearPass
D. Mobility Controller

Answer: D


QUESTION 3
A branch office location has two buildings: an office and a small warehouse that are within 20 meters of each other. ARAP at the branch office provides connectivity to the corporate office network. This RAP is also configured as a Remote Mesh Portal (RMP).

A. Which solution should the administrator implement to provide connectivity between the office and small warehouse buildings at the branch office location?
B. Deploy a Remote Mesh Portal in the warehouse building to connect to the Remote Mesh Portal in the office building.
C. Deploy a Remote Mesh Point AP in the warehouse building to connect to the Remote Mesh Portal in the office building.
D. Deploy an ArubOS-Switch in the warehouse building with tunneled node to connect to the Remote Mesh Portal in the office building.
E. Deploy a Mesh Point AP in the warehouse building to connect to the Remote Mesh Portal in the office building.

Answer: E

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HPE6-A43 Implementing Aruba Location Services

Exam ID:  HPE6-A43
Exam type: Proctored
Exam duration:  1 hour 30 minutes
Exam length: 70 questions
Passing score:  73%
Delivery languages: English
Related certifications : Aruba Certified Engagement and Analytics Professional (ACEAP) V1

Exam description
This exam tests your knowledge and skills with the Meridian product line and Aruba Location Services with Aruba Beacons. This includes Meridian AppMaker and SDK, maps and app content creation, how to troubleshoot deployment and Aruba Location Services Beacon configurations, and the ability to configure Aruba BLE Beacons. This exam also tests your integration knowledge and skills with the Analytics and Location Engine (ALE) and ClearPass.

Ideal candidate for this exam
Typical candidates for this exam are networking IT professionals or technical marketing professionals who know how to design and deploy Meridian location solutions with location and proximity beacons, and how to use the Meridian platform to develop a mobile application.

Exam contents
This exam has 70 questions.
Advice to help you take this exam

Complete the training and review all course materials and documents before you take the exam.
Exam items are based on expected knowledge acquired from job experience, an expected level of industry standard knowledge, or other prerequisites (events, supplemental materials, etc.).
Successful completion of the course alone does not ensure you will pass the exam.
Read this HPE Exam Preparation Guide and follow its recommendations.

Read the entire question and consider all options before you answer. If the question includes an exhibit, study the exhibit and read the question again. Select the answer that fully responds to the question. If the question asks for more than one answer, select all correct answers. There is no partial credit.

Objectives
This exam validates that you can:
Sections/Objectives 31%
Build Meridian Apps 33%
Deploy and Install Beacons 15%
Operate, Manage, and Maintain Beacons 7%
Troubleshoot Aruba Location Services 8%
Integrate ALE and Analytics 6%
Integrate ClearPass


QUESTION 1
Where can an app developer configure and reset campaigns?

A. Campaigns can be configured and reset in the Meridian Editor
B. Campaigns can be configured and reset in the Meridian Editor and configured in the Beacons App
C. Campaigns can be configured in the Meridian Editior and reset in the Beacons App
D. Campaigns can be configured and reset in the Beacons App

Answer: B


QUESTION 2
A retail customer does not have an Aruba location services deployment out has an existing Aruba Wi-Fi network with an Aruba 7210 controller with AP-205. The customer has identified six locations around its retail store where they would like to implement campaign push notifications. The customer also requires beacon management.
Which product mix is most suitable for this customer to achieve the goals of proximity push notifications as well as beacon management?

A. six AP-215s and six battery-powered beacons
B. six AP-325S
C. six AP-275S and six USB management beacons
D. six battery-powered beacons

Answer: B


QUESTION 3
Which analytics tool uses Wi-Fi connections to gather information about clients, such as associations and unassociated clients?

A. Aruba Beacons app
B. ALE
C. Airwave
D. Aruba Sensor

Answer: D


QUESTION 4
An app developer wants to change the layout of pages in a Meridian powered app. Which setting in AppMaker should the app developer modify to change the page layout?

A. Page format
B. Page style
C. Page layout
D. Page type

Answer: C


QUESTION 5
What is the main use of ALE?

A. to create a mobile device app
B. to provide location analytics from Wi-Fi information
C. to interact with AirWave to provide RF heatmaps
D. to gather location analytics from beacons

Answer: D

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HPE0-S46 Architecting HPE Server Solutions

Exam type Proctored
Exam duration 1 hour 30 minutes
Exam length 60 questions
Passing score 70%
Delivery languages English

Related certifications
HPE ASE – Hybrid Infrastructure and Cloud Architect V1
HPE ASE – Server Solutions Architect V3
HPE ASE – Server Solutions Architect V3 – upgrade from IBM System x certifications
HPE ASE – Hybrid Infrastructure and Cloud Architect V1 – upgrade from HPE ASE – Server Solutions Architect V3 or V2
HPE ASE – Hybrid Infrastructure and Cloud Architect V1 – upgrade from MCSD – Azure Solutions Architect
HPE ASE – Hybrid Infrastructure and Cloud Architect V1 – upgrade from HPE ASE – Data Center and Cloud Architect V3 or V2

Exam description

This exam tests candidates’ knowledge and skills on architecting HPE server products and solutions. Topics covered in this exam include server architectures and associated technologies as well as their functions, features, and benefits. Additional topics include knowledge of planning, and designing HPE server solutions as well as positioning HPE server solutions to customers.
Ideal candidate for this exam

New candidates who want to acquire the HPE ASE – Server Solutions Architect certification and who have not already acquired a previous version of this certification. Although anyone may take the exam, it is recommended that candidates have a minimum of two years experience with architecting HPE server solutions. Candidates are expected to have industry-standard server technology knowledge from training or hands-on experience.

Exam contents
This exam has 60 questions. Here are types of questions to expect:
Input Text
Input Numbers
Matching
Multiple choice (multiple responses)
Multiple choice (single response)
Point and click

Advice to help you take this exam
Complete the training and review all course materials and documents before you take the exam.
Exam items are based on expected knowledge acquired from job experience, an expected level of industry standard knowledge, or other prerequisites (events, supplemental materials, etc.).
Successful completion of the course alone does not ensure you will pass the exam.
Read this HPE Exam Preparation Guide and follow its recommendations.
Visit HPE Press for additional reference material, study guides, and HPE books.

Sections/Objectives

24% Foundational server architectures and technologies

Differentiate between processor classes and types to provide design guideance based on customer needs.
Describe I/O accelerator technologies.
Describe and explain networking technologies.
Identify storage technologies.
Explain server management technology features and their functionality.Propose High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions to meet the customer’s business requirements.
Propose High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions to meet the customer’s business requirements.
Differentiate between scale-out and scale-up benefits and purpose.
Differentiate current server OS and virtualization solutions.
Determine an appropriate plan for data center components based on industry best practices and standards.

33% Functions, features, and benefits of HPE server products and solutions
Differentiate and explain the HPE server product offerings, architectures, and options.
Locate and describe HPE health and fault technologies.
Propose HPE datacenter rack and power infrastructure solutions based on site conditions and requirements.
Given a use case, propose appropriate HPE server I/O connectivity options.
Given a customer environment scenario, propose which HPE management tools optimize administrative operations.
Describe the HPE standard warranties for server solutions and options.

16% Analyzing the server market and positioning HPE server solutions to customers

Compare and contrast the HPE server solution marketplace.
Compare and contrast how HPE server solutions provide competitive advantage and add value.

27% Planning and designing HPE server solutions
Given customer requirements and constraints, determine information needed to understand the customer’s needs.
Explain concepts of designing, sizing, and validating the solution.
Interpret customer requirements and integrate them into an HPE solution.


QUESTION 1
A customer needs an OpenStack-based cloud datacenter with several virtual machines that will be placed in multiple
VLANs. The customer needs to use Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN)
Or Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) technology to support multi-tenant traffic. The architect recommends the
following HPE server equipment:

Which rationale supports the architect’s recommended configuration?

A. It allows RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)
B. It improves performance of OpenStack instance provisioning
C. It improves performance of overlay networks with a tunnel offload engine
D. It allows configuration of interconnect module stacking

Answer: D


QUESTION 2
A customer needs an API that meets the following requirements:
What should the customer use?

A. XML
B. SNMP
C. REST
D. JAVA

Answer: C

Explanation:

The iLO RESTful API provides a modern programmable interface and a lightweight data model specification that is
simple, remote, secure, and extensible. In the autumn of 2014, the iLO RESTful API introduced this architectural style
for HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers with HPE iLO 4 2.0.

HPE now introduces the iLO RESTful API with Redfish conformance. This industry standard Software Defined
Compute (SDC) infrastructure management API is being implemented into ProLiant Gen9 servers and will function
across heterogeneous environments.


QUESTION 3
Which technology was invented by HPE to create an automated, energy-aware network between IT systems and facilities?

A. HPE Smart Memory
B. HPE Adaptive RAID on a Chip
C. HPE Intelligent PowerDiscovery
D. HPE Smart Storage Battery

Answer: C

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HP2-H31 Technical Essentials of HP Workstations – Exam


QUESTION 1
Who are the leading competitors for HP Z620 workstations?

A. Samick, Asus, and Dell
B. IBM, Lexmark, and NVDIA
C. Samsung, Gold Star, and Hyundai
D. Dell,Lenovo,and Apple

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
Which market segment is targeted for HP Z230 workstations?

A. Oil and gas
B. Home office
C. Small retail
D. Education

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
Which option available on HP Z420 workstations enables whisper quiet acoustics even under
heavy loads?

A. Mini tower design
B. Up to 64 GB ECC memory
C. Latest technology from NVIDIA
D. Liquid cooling subsystem

Answer: D
Reference:http://www.asetek.com/press-room/news/2009/asetek-adds-liquid-cooling-to-hp-zworkstations.
aspx


QUESTION 4
Which feature that applies to HP Z1 workstations appeals to customers in the healthcare market
segment?

A. 92 percent efficient 240 Watt power supply
B. Easyto clean 27-inch IPS professional display
C. 27-inch HP DreamColor display
D. Large 17-inch display real estate

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
Which feature applies to the liquid cooling option available in some HP workstations?

A. Reduces the toxicity of the cooling process
B. Replaces the air passing over the heat sink with liquid
C. Muffles the fan noise by surrounding the fan shroud with liquid
D. Replaces the heat sink with a cold plate

Answer: C
Reference:http://www.asetek.com/press-room/news/2011/pc-liquid-cooling-comes-of-age-withasetek%
E2%80%99s-sealed-systems.aspx


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HP HP0-728 Q & A / Study Guide

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QUESTION 1
What is a Continuous Access EVA copy set?

A. a set of DR groups selected for the purpose of managing the groups
B. a group ofVdisks that transition to the same state simultaneously
C. a bound set of twoVdisks used for long distance replication
D. a set of two or more cluster nodes created as part of a stretch cluster

Answer: C


QUESTION 2
How should Vdisks for Continuous Access be preferred?

A. split theVdisk in the DR group between the controllers for load balancing
B. allVdisks in the DR group to the same controller
C. split theVdisk in the EVA between the controllers for load balancing
D. allVdisks in the same disk group to the same controller

Answer: B


QUESTION 3
The log disk collects host writes for _____.

A. managed sets
B. sourceVdisks
C. entire copy set
D. destinationVdisks

Answer: D


QUESTION 4
Which two can be failed over during a Continuous Access EVA planned or unplanned event?
(Choose two.)

A. a single HSV controller
B. copy set
C. managed set
D. DR group

Answer: C,D


QUESTION 5
Which two inputs does the Continuous Access EVA Replication Performance Estimator require?
(Choose two.)

A. one-wayintersite latency
B. throughput per second
C. two-wayintersite latency
D. size of a read data packet
E. size of the write data packet
F. number of IO’s per second

Answer: A,E


QUESTION 6
A customer has a high availability Continuous Access EVA environment. All DR groups are set to
failsafe mode enabled. The source site array has a hardware failure and all DR groups are failed
over to the destination site. The hardware failure is then fixed.
Which two commands need to be set to restore normal operations at the source site? (Choose
two.)

A. failback
B. suspend
C. failsafe mode enable
D. resume
E. failover

Answer: C,E


QUESTION 7
Where is the Business Copy (BC) server component installed in the diagram?

A. Storage Management Appliance (Node 1)
B. storage array
C. host (Node 2)
D. desktop with web browser

Answer: A


QUESTION 8
In Continuous Access EVA, which statement is true?

A. Synchronous mode allows for more data loss than asynchronous mode.
B. A copy set’s mode is set to synchronous/asynchronous mode.
C. All copy sets within a DR group are either synchronous or asynchronous.
D. Asynchronous mode means an I/O acknowledgement is sent to the host after data is written to
the sourceVdisk and destination Vdisk.

Answer: C


QUESTION 9
You are creating a DR group for a database.
Which disk group is used for the write history log for the database DR group?

A. 3 TB database disk group with 1 TB of free space
B. an empty disk group with 2 TB of space
C. a new disk group will get created for the log disk
D. 5 TB windows disk group with 2 TB of occupied space

Answer: D


QUESTION 10
CORRECT TEXT
Which icon denotes a failed-over DR group?

Answer: B

 

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Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don’t forget the powerful HTC Flyer

In my Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet article I mentioned that I

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have an HTC Flyer. I think the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are excellent devices for the price and most people will be quite happy with them. Those who are looking for a more powerful 7 inch Android tablet may also want to seriously consider the HTC Flyer that is now priced at just $299.99, $100 more than the Kindle Fire and just $50 more than the Nook Tablet.

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The Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire can be tweaked and hacked and can be made into full Android tablets, but they are still missing Bluetooth, microphone (Nook Tablet has one), GPS, and cameras. The HTC Flyer is a full Android tablet that you can use as an ebook reader with Nook and Kindle apps. By default, HTC has their Reader application that is a branded ebook service powered by Kobo that even includes a home screen widget. In addition, the HTC Flyer has support for digital ink with integrated Evernote service. I use my HTC Flyer to take notes in meetings and during Sunday sermons and find it to be a natural and engaging experience.

On our latest MobileTechRoundup podcast Kevin mentioned that the Kindle Fire user interface is simply a launcher on top of Android and you can find and install that on devices like the HTC Flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab. Kevin now has a great post on GigaOM that mirrors my thoughts for the HTC Flyer. One reason I was thinking of keeping the Kindle Fire (I still may do so)

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is the ease of integration with Amazon services, but you can get all of these same services through apps and the browser on the HTC Flyer. Amazon Prime videos can be viewed through the browser and if you look around you can find the .apk file to put a more seamless app on the HTC Flyer too.

While I think the Amazon Kindle Fire hardware is excellent, I find the HTC Flyer hardware to be even better with a solid aluminim and white plastic body, beautiful display, and easy to navigate user interface. It also comes with 16GB integrated storage and capability for external storage with a microSD card slot.

HTC also optimized many applications and services on the Flyer so you get a top notch email experience, excellent photo browser, and more. It looks like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet will open people’s eyes to the 7 inch form factor and before you jump on one of these two, I recommend you think about what you really want and need in a small tablet and consider paying just a bit more for the HTC Flyer.

UPDATE: I find the HTC Flyer to be so beneficial to how I roll that I just ordered a 3G one so I can be connected at all times without having to tether. It’s funny that trying out the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet rekindled my desire for my HTC Flyer and put it back in my hands more than ever. BTW, the 3G model works on T-Mobile 3G and was priced at less than $500. I am now looking to sell my WiFi one for $250.

Robots v. humans: Real steel or dumb metal?

Robots are making huge strides in space, on the ocean floor and even in the dentist office

Right from the start let’s agree that the argument of humans or robots is getting close to being a dead heat in some areas. With advances in artificial intelligence and complex software, many robots are close to performing some duties better than their human counterparts.

 

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For example, NASA and General Motors built the 300 pound Robonaut2 – or R2 – a robot that is capable of using the same tools as humans and now works alongside them in space onboard the International Space Station. R2 can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines and can easily work safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space, NASA stated. It is also stronger: able to lift, not just hold, a 20-pound weight (about four times heavier than what other dexterous robots can handle) both near and away from its body. Granted the robot takes up valuable space station space, but it doesn’t have to be fed or go to the bathroom – major advantages in space.

NETWORK WORLD’s HOTTEST ARGUMENTS

Other robots such as the Octoroach being developed by UC Berkeley researchers can crawl into all manner of super-secret surveillance or emergency recovery applications that the human body just could not. The Octoroach is an eight-legged, sensor-laden, battery-powered device that can find its own way around a room and climb over obstacles. Its compliant, rather than rigid legs let it effectively mimic a cockroach scrambling across the floor.

Other robots such the REMUS 6000 autonomous underwater system recently conducted a 3,900 square mile search of Atlantic Ocean bottom looking for the deep-sea wreck site and black boxes from Air France Flight 447, which crashed off the coast of Brazil two years ago. The autonomous undersea vehicles are designed to operate in depths up to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet or 3.73 miles) and are capable of staying underwater for up to 20 hours. Human searches of the area never found anything, but the bots did.

But while robots can in certain areas achieve what humans cannot, you only have to look as far as say the products that are thought of and designed by the humans at Apple. Or look at the way humans can interact as a group to bring about social change -at least sometimes anyway. Getting robots to act as a group is a science that is only beginning to take shape.

Humans, at least some of them, still have feelings and emotions that robots just cannot mimic. Though some robots are getting close. Japanese researchers this year showed off a dentistry-training robot that can flinch, gag, blink and try to carry on a conversation with cotton stuffed in its mouth – effectively mimicking a real human visit to the dentist.

Still the notion that robots will at some point outperform us all is an interesting though scary proposition. In the current movie “Real Steel” a washed up boxer “teaches” a “sparing bot” how to fight in the ring with success. But in the movie the humans take control over the bots from time-to-time to help them box. Still, for purposes of our human v. robot argument, the movie was set in 2020 and the idea that robots could learn and perform boxing as a skill no longer seems that far-fetched.

Best Android Honeycomb Tablet News, Magazine Apps

Honeycomb has matured to a large number of Tablet optimized apps, and its about time that we start talking about them, one at a time.

 

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Best & Top News, Magazine apps on Android Honeycomb for tablets

1. News 360

One of my favorite apps. Aggregates news from various sources and displays them beautifully.

2. CNN for Android Tablet
Clean, and very well designed app that brings world class news right to android tablet.

3. Pulse

Pulse aggregates news content from various top internet blogs and displays them in a very natural scrollable thumbnails. This is my fav app on Android phones, tablet. Syncs and downloads news for offline reading, automatically.

4. USA Today

Latest news, scores, weather, stocks and photos from USA TODAY. The latest news, scores, weather, stocks and photos you’ve come to expect from USA TODAY and now available in a beautiful new way, on the Android Tablet. Staying informed has never been this quick, easy or enjoyable.

5. Feedly

Integrates with Google Reader, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Read it Later and Instapaper.

6. Newsr:

Sync and read Google Reader feeds.

7. CNBC Realtime

Get real-time stock quotes, watchlists, news, videos & more. The CNBC Real-Time App for Android gives you free access to real-time stock quotes – before, during and after market hours, directly from both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Marketplace. Additionally, you will get CNBC breaking news alerts, top news stories & analysis, and access to the latest CNBC business video clips, CEO interviews and market updates via CNBC video-on-demand.

8. HackerNews
Love HackerNews? You’ll love this easy to user Hacker news navigator.

9. Press Reader
PressReader for Honeycomb brings over 1,900 full-content newspapers from 95 countries in 51 languages to your favorite Google Honeycomb operated tablet.
Choose from a growing list of the world’s most popular publications, including: The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune.

10. F5 Reddit browser

Like Reddit? You would love this. Browse through various top links from around the web.

11. Financial times

Ge the latest in Finance via the official FT app.

12. Sports Illustrated

A Magazine that covers all your sports.

13. News Republic

Choose your favorite category of News and be bedazzled with them in a beautiful interface.

14. Time Magazine

The Famous Time magazine is now on Honeycomb. Various pay models for subscriptions.

15. SkyGrid

SkyGrid is the most powerful & only app for you to stay up to date on your interests. Follow your own topics and get updates on the exact interests you care about!

15. Appy Geek

APPY Geek, the best-rated Tech news app on Android is now available on tablets!
With hundreds of news articles every day (including TechRadar, New Media Age, Pocket-Lint, Technology Blogged, Tech Watch and more)

16. Honey Reader

A Simple RSS reader.

17. Fashion news app

A simple app that gives you different Fashion apps for android.

Microsoft’s persistence brings software patent fight to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments on i4i’s patent lawsuit against Microsoft, and the software industry is holding out hope that a pro-Microsoft ruling will help bring sanity to a software patent system run amok.

Microsoft wants the high court to lower the standard of proof required to overturn a patent. But opposition to the change is also running high as the ruling would affect all patents, not just those for software, potentially making it easier to overturn any patent.

 

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BIG STAKES: U.S. government sides against Microsoft in Supreme Court patent case

Intellectual property experts and patent-owning corporations from multiple industries have piled on this case, filing more than 40 amicus briefs, with the software industry mostly on Microsoft’s side. Support from Microsoft even includes its typical rivals such as Red Hat and Google. In opposition stand such heavyweights as the U.S. government itself.

“The case raises a pivotal issue in patent law, and the standard that applies when the defendant challenges the validity of a patent,” Andy Culbert, associate general counsel at Microsoft, told Network World. “I don’t think this case is anything at all like the David versus Goliath case that i4i says it is. If you look at all amicus briefs that i4i solicited, many of them are from major pharmaceutical companies. I don’t think you could characterize pharmaceutical companies as ‘the little guy.'”

CASE UNFOLDS: History of i4i v. Microsoft

The legal issue revolves around a special rule, created by the Federal Circuit. It applies only to patent cases and not to other types of civil cases involving property rights, and it stacks the odds in favor of the patent holder, Culbert explained. A higher standard of proof is required to overturn a patent than the standard of proof required for other civil matters. For patent cases, the standard to overturn a patent is that there must be “clear and convincing” evidence that shows a patent should not have been issued in the first place, whereas in other civil cases the standard is a “preponderance of the evidence.”

That special rule originally included a punishment, too: The courts would issue an automatic injunction against selling the disputed product or service if the defendant was found to have infringed. In a case involving eBay (eBay v. MercExchange, 2006), the Supreme Court decided that injunctions should not be automatic. Microsoft is now arguing to eliminate the special rule that creates a higher standard of proof to overturn a patent, too.

“Microsoft wants the same burden of proof to apply to patents that applies to other civil cases,” Culbert said.

Steve Chang, a patent attorney from national law firm Banner & Witcoff, attended Monday’s hearing and characterized the discussion as lively, sprinkled with chuckles. While the justices didn’t tip their hand, there were some questions over i4i’s position.

“It’s kind of like reading tea leaves,” Chang told Network World. “The questions were not hostile to one side or other, but it was clear that some justices, like Justice Alito, were questioning what the statutory support would be for the ‘clear and convincing’ standard. Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor asked if the Patent Act was passed in 1952, and the Federal Circuit was created in 1982 and the ‘clear and convincing’ standard came along after that, what happened in the first 30 years?”

Survey: 66 Percent of Verizon Blackberry Users Will Go iPhone 4 on Launch Day

United Sample has released the results of an extensive survey of 727 AT&T and Verizon smartphone users. And if the responses of this seemingly small survey group track out to the general population come February 10—Verizon iPhone 4 launch day—then that sound you hear is Android and RIM’s cheerleaders weeping quietly in the corner.

That’s because 54 percent of current owners of Blackberry or Android phones—Verizon customers, mind you—registered themselves as either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to switch to the iPhone 4 on launch day itself. On the flip side, 33 percent of this group indicated that they were “very unlikely” or “somewhat unlikely” to make the jump.

 

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Breaking this down a bit further, 66 percent of Verizon’s Blackberry users specifically stated that they were either very or somewhat likely to pick up an iPhone 4 on launch day. That number drops to 44 percent for Verizon’s Android owners. But you can always ask them yourself: In total, 24 percent of existing Verizon owners intending to make a switch on launch day stated that they intended to stand in line to pick up a new device.

The chief reason for the switch—coming in at 60 percent of all surveyed Blackberry and Android owners on Verizon’s network—remained the differences in interface between either Android or Blackberry phones and the iPhone 4. A dislike of the respective phones’ web browsers and preference for the iPhone 4’s came up at 58 percent, and “media”—presumably what a phone supports as well as its ability to easily play or transfer media—was indicated by 51 percent of Verizon Blackberry and Android users looking to jump ship.

However, the biggest factor holding this populace back from going Apple is the costs for doing so. Nearly half of the surveyed Verizon users, 46 percent, cited it as the largest reason as to why they wouldn’t want to switch to an iPhone 4. In fact, 41 percent—when asked if they had any second thoughts about switching after learning more about Verizon’s iPhone 4—indicated that the costs of the phone and associated data plans remained a large roadblock in their decision-making process.

Interestingly, only 26 percent of surveyed AT&T users indicated that they were “somewhat” or “very” likely to buy an iPhone 4 on launch day. The chief reason that any members of the surveyed AT&T audience would do so—at a 48 percent response rate—was the dropped calls they experienced on AT&T’s network. However, 45 percent of the group indicated that the cost of the transition was the biggest issue holding them back.

Nokia Shouldn’t Give Up And Switch To Windows Phone 7

Financial analysts are cheerleading for Nokia to switch over to Windows Phone 7, in advance of a big announcement by Nokia CEO (and former Microsoftie) Stephen Elop on February 11. With its global market share declining, Nokia needs help—but that’s not the help it needs.

Turning Nokia into a manufacturing house for Windows Phone 7 devices would require a massive cultural shift, would give up one of Nokia’s major strengths, would potentially slow down decision-making even further, and would put Nokia at a disadvantage to Samsung and HTC.

 

 

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Rather, I’d like to see Nokia announce at least three MeeGo-based smartphones next week, or at least a clear plan for a strong lineup based on the Linux OS.
Wall Street analysts have hated Nokia for a while, so this isn’t a surprise. Part of the problem seems to be Nokia’s invisibility to U.S. residents; because the company abandoned the top end of our market a few years ago, analysts underestimate Nokia’s outsized impact in the rest of the world. That’s a mistake.

Nokia sells a huge number of low-end feature phones every year. The company risks becoming a manufacturer of low-end feature phones, with little strength in the high-end and smartphone markets. This is a huge issue because smartphones are where most of the profits are, and where the technology pipeline for future mass market phones starts.

Staying out of the U.S. doesn’t seem to have hurt Nokia’s feature-phone sales much. But by being absent from the U.S., Nokia also somewhat insulated itself from the beginnings of the most recent round of the smartphone OS wars. Apple’s iPhone hit first and hardest here, followed by Android, Palm’s WebOS (for what it’s worth), and Windows Phone 7. This is also one of RIM’s core markets.

That meant Nokia’s software started looking weirdly disengaged from the global trends that started here and later spread. Symbian as it stands is an ugly mess that only makes sense to existing Symbian users. Since Nokia lives in a land where everyone already uses Symbian, it didn’t see the threat caused by newer, more usable operating systems.

Why Not Windows Phone 7?
Nokia would have to shift its business model and culture quite dramatically to become a Windows Phone 7 house. There are two kinds of mobile-phone companies—integrated platform companies and hardware OEMs that use other people’s software. That’s a simplification, of course; the hardware OEMs like Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and HTC constantly try to set themselves apart by adding tinsel and gewgaws to Android, and RIM’s integrated platform is heavily Java-based.

Nokia has always been an integrated platforms company. Even when Symbian was a “foundation,” Nokia still ran the S60 platform. To give that freedom up would mean a bigger change than just getting that original mission right. And to become completely dependent on Microsoft for its software might slow Nokia down even further, as every major product decision would need to be approved by two notoriously bureaucracy-laden companies.

If Nokia decided to just become a hardware OEM, the company would be competing with Samsung, LG, HTC, and all of China. That’s already a very busy space with some very high-quality players that are much more attuned to that business model than Nokia. I find it hard to believe that Nokia could successfully differentiate in that crowd.

Build or Buy, But Don’t Give Up
A recent slide on the Internet showed Nokia’s massive R&D budget. It dwarfs Apple’s. What the heck are these people working on, cold fusion? Hopefully, it’s MeeGo.

We’re at a big turning point for mobile operating systems right now. A bunch of mobile OSes from the late 1990s are all simultaneously proving to not be up to the challenges of the 2010s, so we’ve been watching their makers face up to that reality and write future-facing products. Palm came first, then Microsoft, then RIM. Apple and Google are safe (for now) because their OSes are newer. Nokia needs to swallow hard, realize Symbian is now a low-end feature-phone platform, and move on.

To a great extent, Nokia right now is in the position RIM was a year ago. RIM got aggressive: it identified its problem—that its core OS wasn’t designed for the media-heavy experiences consumers now demand—and started moving towards a solution by buying Torch, QNX, and TAT. If it executes well, it could pull this transformation off, with a compelling tablet offering this spring and some “super phones” coming this fall. If RIM doesn’t execute well it’s doomed, but you could say that about any business venture. Palm didn’t execute well and was doomed; now it’s getting a second chance under HP.

Nokia doesn’t need to abandon its software arm. It needs to have a next-generation OS. MeeGo could absolutely be that OS. Like Android, it’s Linux-based, but with its own take on things. I’ve played with Nokia’s Maemo devices (MeeGo’s predecessors) and they’re full of interesting ideas, but Nokia never bothered to develop or sell them beyond the super-geek stage. Obviously, MeeGo needs a polished, consumer-friendly UI. Maybe some of that R&D money could help there; like RIM did, Nokia could afford to buy a design firm. (Click below for a slideshow of Maemo devices.)

If MeeGo’s problem is that Nokia is waiting for Intel’s mobile-ready x86 chipsets, Nokia needs to tell Intel to hit the road. It’s time to commit.

The Symbian-MeeGo transition will be gentler than others, because of Qt. Nokia has been priming its developers to move over to this cross-platform framework for a while now, and if I understand it correctly, Qt makes it very easy for apps to move from Symbian to MeeGo. That’s a much smoother path than RIM, Palm, or Microsoft offered to their existing developers.

The first step to solving a problem is to admit you have a problem. Nokia needs to admit Symbian is a problem. On that, Wall Street and I agree. But I don’t think that Nokia needs to give up its entire mission and business model to succeed.

Man Claiming Facebook Ownership Unveils Alleged Zuckerberg Emails

A man claiming 84 percent ownership of Facebook has filed an amended complaint that contains what he says are emails from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, admitting to the ownership deal.

The emails actually read like a deleted scene from “The Social Network.” According to the messages presented by Paul Ceglia, Zuckerberg successfully secured funds from Ceglia for what was then known as “The Facebook,” but then argued that Ceglia should have a lower ownership stake in the company because Zuckerberg had done all the work. Ceglia agreed, but Zuckerberg then told him that the site was not really going anywhere and offered to refund Ceglia’s money and just call the whole thing off. Meanwhile, Facebook had become wildly popular at Harvard and Zuckerberg had secure venture capital funding for the project, something Ceglia said Zuckerberg never disclosed.

Not surprisingly, the emails between the two men devolved into Ceglia threatening to call Zuckerberg’s parents and Zuckerberg insisting that he should be paid even more for his efforts.

 

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Facebook lawyer Orin Snyder, meanwhile, said “this is a fraudulent lawsuit brought by a convicted felon, and we look forward to defending it in court. From the outset, we’ve said that this scam artist’s claims are ridiculous and this newest complaint is no better.”

Who is Paul Ceglia? In 2003, he hired Zuckerberg to do coding work for a company called StreetFax. Ceglia said Zuckerberg then persuaded Ceglia to invest in Facebook—$1,000 for a 50 percent stake in the company, plus an extra 1 percent stake for every day Facebook was not online past January 1, 2004.

Ceglia’s filing includes a July 2003 email from Zuckerberg in which Zuckerberg asks Ceglia for permission to use StreetFax source code for Facebook’s search engine. A followup email also proposed charging alumni $29.95 per month to use the site. Ceglia responded that it will probably be hard to get people to sign up and suggests they “make it free until it was popular and then start charging.” In the meantime, Ceglia suggested setting up a licensing agreement with Harvard to school items like sweatshirts and mugs.

Ceglia handed over an additional $1,000 in November 2003 and days later Zuckerberg sent him an email labeled “urgent” that discussed the need to move on “The Facebook” immediately.

“I have recently met with a couple of upperclassmen here at Harvard that are planning to launch a site very similar to ours. If we don’t make a move soon, I think we will lose the advantage we would have if we release before them,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve stalled them for the time being and with a break if you could send another $1000 for the facebook (sic) project it would allow me to pay my roommate or Jeff to help integrate the search code and get the site live before them.”

Those upperclassmen are no doubt the Winkelvoss twins, who secured a $65 million settlement from Facebook in 2008 after they claimed that they were the true brains behind Facebook. Just this week, a judge shut down an appeal to overturn that settlement.

Ceglia agreed, but by the New Year, the site was still offline. Zuckerberg again requested more money, but then argued that their deal for a 1 percent stake for every day past January 1 was unfair, and requested a written waiver exempting Zuckerberg from the contract.

HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl

Standing out in the budget laptop category isn’t hard. Even modest improvements like metal construction, extra ports, and quality sound are enough to garner attention in a category where price reigns supreme. The HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl ($649.99 list, at Costco) offers plenty of reasons to give it your attention, but the addition of a new second-generation Intel Core i3 processor puts it over the top. If you’re in the market for a laptop that’s under $700, the HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl is the cream of the crop.

 

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Design
One of the first details that caught my eye with the dv6-6013cl was the updated design, which uses brushed aluminum and a bold dose of color. With so many laptop designs mimicking the bare aluminum look popularized by Apple’s MacBook Pro line, it’s refreshing to see a metal-clad laptop that has some more interesting visual elements.
View Slideshow See all (8) slides
HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl : Top
HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl : Angle
HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl : Front
HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl : Right

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In addition to the navy blue paint job, the Pavilion dv6-6013cl also uses a vertical “grain,” which looks great, and added some subtle yet functional curves to the metal panels as well. On the palm rest, for example, the metal panel curves down into the keyboard, providing a more comfortable surface for your hands. On the lid along the hinge, a curved lip lets you carry the closed laptop more comfortably and with a more secure grip. The metal construction also means this laptop doesn’t suffer from the noticeable chassis flexing common to many other budget systems.

The dv6-6013cl measures 10 by 14.8 by 1.6 inches (HWD), though these dimensions are slightly misleading as the laptop is mostly 1.4 inches thick except for the curved lip along the hinge. Weighing 5.6 pounds, it’s a tad heavier than both the 5.3-pound Sony VAIO VPC-EB33FM/BJ ($629.99 list, 4.5 stars) and the five-pound Editors’ Choice Acer Aspire AS5742-6475 ($599.99 list, 4 stars).
Specifications

Type    Value
Processor Name    Intel Core i3-2310M
Operating System    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor Speed    2.1 GHz
RAM    4 GB
Weight    5.6 lb
Screen Size    15.6 inches
Screen Size Type    widescreen
Graphics Card    Intel HD Graphics
Storage Capacity (as Tested)    500 GB
Networking Options    802.11n
Primary Optical Drive    DVD+/-RW (Plus Minus)

The dv6-6013cl has a chiclet-style keyboard done in the same style as previous HP laptops, like the high-end HP Envy 14-1210NR ($999.99, 4stars). These two keyboards are nearly identical except for the backlight found on the Envy 14. In addition to the full sized keyboard, HP also squeezed in a numeric pad onto the dv6-6013cl. The buttons of the numeric pad are slightly narrower than the standard keys, but feel no different in actual use. The dv6-6013cl also uses a multitouch trackpad with separate buttons instead of the troubled clickpad HP used on previous Pavilion models. It’s distinctive visually as well, highlighted by a white ring of light, which would be awesome if only it were paired with a backlit keyboard. It’s not, so when the lights are low, you’ll be able to mouse without trouble, but you’ll be typing blind.

The 15.6-inch screen has a maximum resolution of 1,366 by 768, which is standard for 15.6-inch screens, and will play 720p video. While the screen isn’t big enough for a group to gather around for a movie, it is big enough for one or two people. The widescreen layout is nice for videos, but especially so during productive tasks, as it provides enough visual real-estate to work with two large windows side-by-side.

The dv6-6013cl also sounds better than most laptops in this price range. Where many budget laptops have cheap speakers that sound anemic, the dv6-6103cl includes Beats Audio, a combination of software and hardware that provides a satisfying listening experience. Sound remains clear and undistorted even when turned up, and the only complaint I have is that the lack of any bass response was more noticeable as the volume was increased.

Features
Its selection of ports is fairly average for a budget laptop. It has both VGA and HDMI outputs for connecting to an external monitor or HDTV, and the usual Ethernet port and 802.11n Wi-Fi. While USB 2.0 ports are common, most budget systems provide only two or three–the Pavilion dv6-6013cl has four. In addition to the regular headphone and microphone jacks there’s also a second headphone jack, allowing two people to listen with headphones.

The Pavilion dv6-6013cl also includes a generous 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive, the same size as the drives found in the Lenovo G560-0679AKU ($599 list, 3.5 stars) or the Acer AS5742-6475. A built-in memory card reader handles SD and MMC cards, and the optical drive lets you read and burn CDs and DVDs.

Looking at the desktop, you’ll see a few bits of bloatware, like a dedicated eBay link, HP games, and a generic ebook reader. Digging into the programs of the computer reveals more pre-installed trials and freebies, like a trial subscription for Norton Internet Security, Microsoft Office, and unwanted freebies like the Bing Bar, or HP’s PictureMover. You’ll probably want to clean a lot of these off of your system right away.

Because this is a Costco configuration, buyers can also take advantage of Costco’s extended warranty, which doubles the 1-year warranty provided by HP, covering the laptop for 2 years at no extra expense. In addition to this lengthened warranty period, Costco also provides their Electronics Concierge Services, a free tech support line.

Performance
HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl The dv6-6013cl is the first budget laptop we’ve reviewed that comes equipped with an Intel second-generation Core processor (a.k.a., Sandy Bridge), in this case a dual-core 2.10GHz Intel Core i3-2310M. Other laptops that feature the new chipset include the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 ($1,299 direct, 4 stars) and the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) ($2,199 direct, 4 stars).

While not at the high-end of the Intel Core processor line-up, the Core i3-2310M is still a strong CPU, providing performance similar to the first generation top-tier i3 processors, but adding vast improvements to graphics processing. As a result, the dv6-6013cl performed well. It put up respectable scores in CineBench R11.5 (2.04) and Handbrake (3:13) benchmark tests, ranking alongside other top performers in the budget category, like the Toshiba Satellite A665D-S5175 (2.05 Cinebench, 4:03 Handbrake) and Acer AS5742-6475 (2.10 CineBench, 3:02 Handbrake).

In benchmark tests that test the entire system overall, the HP Pavilion also performed well, completing our Photoshop CS5 test in 5 minutes 48 seconds and scoring 5,563 points in PCMark Vantage. These scores put it right alongside the top budget laptops we’ve seen, like the Acer AS5742-6475 (5:35 Photoshop; 5,639 PCMark) and Sony VPC-EB33FM/BJ (5:39 Photoshop; 5,252 PCMark).

Where the dv6-6013cl is most impressive is in its new graphics capabilities. In 3DMark tests it blazed past its 1st-gen peers, scoring 4,116 at medium resolution and 1,748 at native resolution. The previous top-performers in the category, the Acer AS5742-6475 and Sony VPC-EB33FM/BJ, couldn’t even come close. The Acer AS5742-6475 scored 1,888 at medium settings and 1,617 at high settings, while the Sony VPC-EB33FM/BJ scored 1,874 (medium) and 1,686 (high).

The improved integrated graphics capability was most pronounced in our gaming tests. In Crysis the dv6-6013cl scored 14.3 frames per second (fps) at medium resolution, and 3.6 fps on high. In our Lost Planet 2 benchmark, the Pavilion scored 13.9 fps (medium) and 5.1 fps (high). As a rule, budget systems with integrated graphics haven’t even been able to run these gaming tests. While these particular games are too demanding for competitive play, you will finally be able to play quite a few current 3D graphics games, like World of Warcraft, Torchlight, and Fallout: New Vegas, on the dv6-6013cl.

In our MobileMark 2007 battery rundown test the dv6-6013cl lasted 5 hours 17 minutes with a 6-cell 55Wh battery. This time is better than both the Lenovo G560-0679AKU, which lasted 3:49, and Acer Aspire AS5742-6475, which lasted 5:01. However, both of these laptops use slightly smaller 48Wh battery, which is the more common size among budget laptops.

Even without the new Intel processor and subsequent improvements in graphics capability, the HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl was a strong contender for Editors’ Choice. Its sturdy yet stylish design, the extras like a fourth USB port and second headphone jack, the longer lasting battery, and Costco’s extended warranty had already pushed this laptop to the head of the budget laptop category. Thanks to the new Intel Core i3 processor and the addition of gaming options, even the Editors’ Choice Acer Aspire AS5742-6475 gets left behind. The HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl takes top honors.

Front-Facing Camera Hack Adds 3D Display to iPad 2

No, it’s not an iPad 3 rumor. Rather, some innovative people from the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group have rigged the 2D display of the Apple iPad 2 for a glasses-free 3D perspective.

Using a feed from the front-facing camera coupled with some clever software hacks, the group was able to create what it calls the Head-Coupled Perspective (HCP).

 

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“It is based on [an] efficient head-tracker that uses the front-facing camera of the device,” said a description on the group’s Web site. “We use an off-axis projection in order to adapt the perspective of the 3D scene according to the head’s position of the user. Such spatially-aware mobile display [is able] to improve the possibilities of interaction.”

The two-dimensional screen moves when the user moves, maintaining the illusion of 3D perspective. For now, it’s just a demo, but it’s possible HCP could be included in an app at a later date. It doesn’t just work on the iPad 2, either. HCP is also compatible with the iPhone 4. In fact, all the trick requires is a front-facing camera, so it could be used on other Apple devices in the future.

Apple unveiled its second-generation iPad on March 11 in the U.S. On March 25, the device was launched in 25 additional countries. It’s been popular worldwide; analysts estimated that roughly 500,000 units flew off store shelves in its first weekend, temporarily driving wait times up to five weeks. The iPad 2 also reportedly sold out overseas within 24 hours.

Digitimes estimates Apple sold around 2.6 million iPad 2s in March. Apple hasn’t divulged any official numbers yet, but the company is expected to report sales data in its quarterly earnings call on April 20.

Are We Heading For A Mobile App Revolution?

Mobile users and mobile software developers could be in for the time of their lives as companies explore different ways of getting mobile apps to cell phone customers. We take a closer look at this trend and what might emerge.

 

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Mobisy, a Bangalore-based mobile start-up, recently conducted a survey of more than 500 mobile enthusiasts to understand what exactly they wanted to do on their smartphones. The basic aim of the survey was to narrow down on the killer application(s) for Indian users. The results of that survey were quite surprising. The most desired features were media sharing applications – to share photos, video and audio files, followed by applications to do a proximity search or local search that would help users to find a coffee shop or an ATM in their vicinity. These results were surprising because these applications already exist. There are several decent products that serve exactly the same needs mentioned in the survey. Obviously, there is a very low awareness of what’s already available.

This discrepancy was very intriguing for me so I decided to double check the findings of the Mobisy study by doing some research on my own. I e-mailed some of my friends and asked them about the application(s) they had downloaded and installed on their smartphones. To my great surprise, most of them confirmed that they hadn’t installed any applications, and were only using the apps that came bundled with their respective devices. But most of them wanted to use their phones for something more than what they were already using it for.

A lack of ‘app awareness’?

These observations highlight a problem that is hindering the adoption of mobile applications, issues relating to application discovery, application compatibility and usage [usability]. For example, media sharing is the most ‘desired’ feature for mobiles but we know that there are many applications to accomplish that objective. How do users discover and install those applications without worrying too much about compatibility, the software platform, network dependency, etc.

Finding and installing an application on a mobile phone is not a trivial task. There are too many variables. Currently, there are a number of operating systems for mobile phones. Each of them have two or more flavours, and in most cases there are two input methods (keypad and touchscreen) for each flavour. So if you want to ensure a reasonably good footprint for your application, you need to make sure you support all these scenarios. Factor in the constraints of device capabilities and restrictions imposed by telecom operators, and you have a perfect recipe for chaos!

However, this situation is changing and a harbinger of this change is Apple’s iPhone App store. Apple’s iPhone and its innovations have been discussed to death in the media but amidst all this hoopla, most of us haven’t paid enough attention to the iPhone App store. In the long run, the App store can prove to bring bigger advantages for Apple than the other key features of the iPhone because sooner or later, every feature of iPhone will surely be copied by other handset manufacturers. So it makes sense to spend some time understanding the concept in detail.

An ideal market place

The iPhone Application Store is essentially a market place where developers can list their iPhone software for download. Millions of iPhone users can explore and buy these applications by a single click, using Apple’s iTunes. In more than one way, App Store is every software developer’s dream. Think about it, the iPhone is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms in the world and the App Store is the only way to legally reach almost all iPhone users. There’s no other way to buy software, so users never doubt if there is some other, better software out there, as far as they’re concerned, if it is not on the store, it doesn’t exist. To use this distribution channel, developers need to register themselves with Apple. Registered iPhone application developers can list their software and decide the price at which they want to sell it to end users. In exchange of 30 per cent of that price, Apple provides developers with services like application hosting, credit card processing, monthly billing, analytics, upgrade facilitation, etc.

In the light of these facts, it is not surprising that there is a mad rush to develop applications for the iPhone platform. To date, there are more than 3000 applications listed in the iPhone App Store and more than 100 million application downloads have taken place. Developers of the best-selling applications, like ‘Tap Tap Revenge’ and ‘Monkey Ball’, have already attained a celebrity status of sorts, not to mention a good payout. For a platform that is less than a year old, this is nothing short of a gold rush.

This is translating into a big time opportunity for the outsourced development of applications. A lot of work is being done in India too. Sunil Goyal, co-founder of Wirkle Technologies, a Gurgaon-based mobile application development firm, says, “We are very excited about the opportunity. Most of our clients have shown an intent to create an application for the iPhone. However, it is very hard to keep up with the demand. It is because of a massive shortage of developers with the requisite skills. We are dealing with this problem by hiring and investing heavily in training existing team members for the iPhone development environment.”

If skill shortage is one issue, then the monetisation of free iPhone applications is another issue, which is attracting a lot of attention. AdMob, a Silicon Valley-based mobile advertisement firm, has started a special initiative to provide advertisements, specifically for the iPhone. Given the richness of the iPhone interface, the advertisements are more interactive and engaging. If initial signs are any indication, then an advertisement on the iPhone ensures a better ROI (return on investment) for advertisers. This can be a huge business opportunity.

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