ATT confirms LG Thrill 4G ship date
AT&T on Monday put to rest questions of when the LG Thrill 4G would ship. The carrier confirmed rumors and said that its take on the Optimus 3D will ship on September 4. It still wouldn't commit to a price, although the Thrill 4G is presumed to sit at $200 or less on a contract.
Qik Premium reaches Android devices
Qik users on Android were put back on par with their iOS counterparts Thursday with a Premium option in the app (Android Market). Paying for the extra service works with a companion desktop app to automatically sync videos and manage them when away from the phone. Some devices also get the option of recording videos in 3D and HD if the hardware allows for it.
Public release follows internal distribution
T-Mobile has finally begun rolling out Android 2.3 updates for LG's G2x handsets, just in time to meet the company's commitment to a July release. Confirming earlier reports, T-Mobile suggests the Gingerbread release is claimed to bring improved battery life and enhancements to the front-facing camera operation when using Qik.
LG Thrill 4G first ATT phone to have Qik and 3D
AT&T this morning gave further details of the LG Thrill 4G that included a handful of first for the carrier. The 3D Android phone better known as the Optimus 3D will be AT&T's first to come with Qik preloaded and, like devices from the past year, will have two-way video chat out of the box. Unlike at other US carriers loading the app, though, AT&T's service will be at least officially relegated to use on Wi-Fi.
Skype drops execs just after Microsoft deal
Skype in the immediate aftermath of FTC approval of its deal with Microsoft has fired several executives. Don Albert, Doug Bewsher, Chris Dean, Anne Gillespie, David Gurlé, and Russ Shaw have all either left or had clear intentions to leave. Much of the focus has been on marketing and human resources executives like Albert, Bewsher, and Gillespie, but Shaw was the general manager of Skype's carrier deals and considered instrumental to getting Skype as a mainstay on smartphones.
Streaming mobile video company part of deal
GeekWire has confirmed that Qik, the streaming mobile video company that Skype acquired in January in January for $121 million will be included in Microsoft's $8.5 billion deal to buy Skype. The company was likely to come with the agreement but wasn't discussed with initial plans. Microsoft didn't give out what its ultimate plans for Qik, if any, might be.
Android 2.3.4 confirmed with video chat
Google on Thursday helped Android catch up in a key area with confirmation of the rumored Android 2.3.4 update. The update gives Android phones official video chat for the first time and uses the same Google Talk solution as on Android 3.0 tablets. Video chats work over cellular as well as Wi-Fi and let users talk both to tablets as well as to Gmail and other Google Talk-ready pages.
Qik launches fully functional app for Android OS
Recent Skype acquisition Qik has now launched a full-fledged video chat app for Android phones. The free app (Android Market), the app offers not just live streaming and sharing but two-way conversation. Previously, this version was only available preloaded on devices like the Evo 4G, with the downloadable app being simpler and allowing only recording of videos.
ATT Video Share going away before 2012
AT&T in a statement said its long-running Video Share service would be shut down later in 2011. The one-way video calling was bowing out to make room for the "next generation" of mobile video services. A spokesman alluded to a possible replacement as the company was "evaluating new platforms" that it could use.
YouTube Live now always available
YouTube wrapped up its week by making YouTube Live a permanent fixture of its service. The once test-only service will now always be available and both show whichever shows are live now as well as allow marking events on the calendar to watch later. Subscriptions here work to notify viewers of streams that are coming up, not just once they've been posted.
Qik Video Connect brings its video chat to iPhone
Qik on Tuesday brought its iPhone video app up to speed with the impending launch of Qik Video Connect. The app brings the two-way video chat that had previously only been an option with Android and lets users of either platform talk to each other. Live sharing has also been improved: a live stream can go up on Facebook or Twitter to watch from the social feed instead of having to go to Qik's own page.
Samsung Galaxy S 4G priced and dated
T-Mobile finished the week by setting down both a price and a ship date for the Galaxy S 4G. Its first, full 21Mbps HSPA+ phone should reach stores on the previously leaked date of February 23. Subscribers won't pay a premium over the original Vibrant price at $200 on contract, albeit only after a $50 rebate.
Skype may have video calling deal with ATT soon
Skype consumer product management lead Rick Osterloh on Thursday hinted there would soon be an official video calling deal with AT&T. Having already struck a deal to get Skype's app preloaded on Verizon's LTE phones like the HTC Thunderbolt, and relying on its newly acquired partner Qik's Sprint and T-Mobile deals, the team head made it clear that AT&T was likely to follow up soon. The conversation with PCMag didn't hint as to the exact timing.
Rumor has MobileMe mimicking Ustream, Foursquare
Apple's future plans for MobileMe could involve more than just the media locker, a source rumored on Wednesday. The company would center it on a unified profile page that would merge social networks with media services. Among the plans caught by Cult of Mac would be status updates, including Foursquare-style location check-ins; it would not only host photos and videos but even offer live video streaming like Ustream or Qik.
Samsung Galaxy S 4G gets pre-launch T-Mobile info
T-Mobile's second unveiling on Wednesday has provided fuller details of the Galaxy S 4G. Samsung's upgraded phone is now known to have an Ericsson M5720 chipset that gives it the 21Mbps HSPA+ access behind the new name. The faster speed will supply both video chat through a custom Qik app and HD video streaming through T-Mobile TV that will supply free but limited TV from ABC, Fox and others.
Dell Streak 7 finally priced, dated for T-Mobile
T-Mobile today confirmed the launch details for the Dell Streak 7. The carrier's first HSPA+ tablet should be in stores this week, on February 2, for $200 on a two-year contract and with a $50 rebate. T-Mobile confirmed to Electronista that off-contract buyers can pick up the device for $450 and use it with a prepaid data plan.
Price of buyout remains unclear
Skype has confirmed that it has established an agreement to acquire Qik, a startup focused on mobile video streaming. The deal will allow Skype to take advantage of Qik's two-way video chat technology, which gained attention on HTC's Evo 4G smartphone as the first complete implementation on the Android platform.
Skype may buy Qik in video chat push
Skype may be on the verge of buying Qik in a push to hold the lead in video chat, a purported insider claimed on Thursday. The deal would reportedly be worth $100 million. The historically reliable SAI source said the a deal could be completed as soon as this week, before CES is over.
FCC proposes adding live streams, SMS to 911
The FCC today proposed major changes to 911 that would bring smartphones and other devices into the mix. Officials suggested allowing text messaging but also live video streaming, automatic alarm or medical sensors and other data services that have previously been off-limits. Using these could save lives, the agency said, as incidents like the Virginia Tech shootings showed that many younger witnesses have tried to use messaging first and weren't stopping to consider voice.
T-Mobile dates Galaxy Tab and Bold 9780
T-Mobile today became the third American carrier to set a date for its launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry Bold 9780. Its version of the Galaxy Tab will ship November 10 and will cost the same $400 on contract as the Sprint edition due a few days later. T-Mobile hasn't said if it's selling the Android tablet off-contract, but it's likely to cost $600 if the option becomes available.
Yahoo vows 2-way 3G video chat on Android, iPhone
Yahoo's Americas mobile VP David Katz in a discussion today promised that it would bring a version of Yahoo Messenger with 3G or 4G video chat to smartphones. Those with an iPhone 4 as well as Android phones with front cameras, such as the Samsung Epic 4G or T-Mobile's new myTouch, will have the option of a two-way chat regardless of which network they use. It uses the same transmission format as the desktop app and should let owners make video chats between mobile and the desktop.
YouTube ready for livestreaming trial
YouTube this morning made its live streaming plans official with word that it would start trials. The approach works through a user's existing YouTube channel and follows the same approach as a service like Justin.tv, Qik or Ustream: users need only a FireWire or USB video camera and have access to live comments for any ongoing show. It's not stated but is implied that finished shows will be archived as regular YouTube clips.
Apple may have camera-ready iPad early
Apple may be stepping up the release of a camera-equipped iPad to get it out ahead of time, sources claimed on Friday. Although it only just launched in April and supplies have just caught up to demand, AppleInsider understood from a "proven" contact that the tablet was in late testing. If finished on time, it could be ready as soon as the holidays but would arrive no later than the first quarter of 2011, which ends in March.
Google may chase FaceTime with Android video calls
Google today sent notice of a special event at its Mountain View campus on Thursday to unveil a "couple of cool new mobile features" that may bring video calling to Android. While the company has so far only said that mobile product lead Hugo Barra will lead the event, sources suggested Tuesday night that it may be video chat integrated with the mobile OS. A second option raised by AllThingsD may be a clone of Find My iPhone that would help Android owners track, lock down or wipe a lost handset.
Evo 4G users report Wi-Fi problems, Qik issue
The ultra successful launch of the Sprint HTC Evo 4G handset has not been entirely glitch-free, according to early reports. Some users are reporting Wi-Fi connection problems, with very poor signal reception unless the device is in extremely close proximity to a router. While the reason for this issue remains unknown, the cause for another problem related to the Qik video chat capability is the handset and the Qik app's popularity.
Qik 5 dollar service gives Evo 4G HD video chat
Qik this morning took advantage of the launch of the Evo 4G to offer up its premium video chat service. Paying the $5 extra per month allows for "higher than 640x480" video as well as unlimited video archiving, automatic computer downloads, and shooting still images in the middle of live video capture.
Qik clarifies that Evo 4G video chat not paid
Qik this morning clarified its approach to video chat on the Evo 4G. The Android phone will always have regular two-way video chat for free. The $5 monthly add-on is for "advanced premium features" that will be detailed at the same time as the Evo 4G launches, on June 4.
Sprint says Evo 4G won't need $30 hotspot at first
A leaked memo from Sprint this morning has revealed that the Evo 4G won't initially need the $30 add-on plan to switch on its mobile hotspot feature. Those who use the phone before sometime in July can share the connection with eight other devices for free as long as the Android phone is on the 4G network. Sprint will eventually require the hotspot plan before the sharing works, but the Engadget memo also shows that 3G sharing will be switched on for those who pay.
Jobs takes on Adobe and Google at meeting
An inside report from within an Apple town hall meeting has revealed some of CEO Steve Jobs' blunt criticisms, particularly against Google. In the wake of the iPad launch, Jobs claimed the search firm's motto of "Don't Be Evil" is simply "bullsh*t" and that the new rival is fully intent on killing the iPhone with Android despite the companies' partnership on iPhone services. He similarly pointed out that the aggression was largely one-sided and that Apple hadn't entered search.
Includes location info, social networking
Having been submitted over two weeks ago, Qik's live streaming app has finally appeared at the App Store. In contrast with the earlier Qik for 3GS, which can only record and upload, Qik Live is designed for real-time broadcasting to a web audience. The app supports both 3G and Wi-Fi connections, and any model of iPhone, though the original is effectively tied to Wi-Fi hotspots.
Move follows release of live Ustream app
Video hosting site Qik says it has submitted a new iPhone application to the App Store, one capable of live streaming. The present app has so far been limited to recording video, then uploading it and sharing it through various websites. The Qik website, by contrast, has for sometime let users run live feeds alongside regular clips.
Gmail Audio Video Chat
Google today launched the surprise addition of Gmail video chat to its webmail interface. The feature lets contacts use Google Talk to start a two-way video or audio-only conversation with anyone currently online and can be started in the middle of a text chat. Like dedicated desktop apps, the web version carries a picture-in-picture view and can be stretched out or made full-screen.
Qik Public Beta
Qik today said its live video streaming service has now entered a public beta and will let anyone sign up. The service allows users of supporting mobile phones to broadcast content directly from a 3G or Wi-Fi link either to the Qik website or to new places added with the public launch, including an embeddable player for any page or a Facebook app built into a user's profile. The new version also has lower lead times and has just 0.5 to three seconds' lead time, allowing show hosts a near-live connection that isn't always possible with other services.