Developers show interest in Nokia-Microsoft tie-up

A burst of activity in Windows Phone 7 projects may be a sign that developers see promise in a Nokia-Microsoft tie-up, according to analytics firm Flurry.

Even before Nokia and Microsoft revealed late last week their proposed deal for Windows Phone 7 on Nokia phones, speculation about it apparently led to a surge in developer interest. Tracking the mobile platforms based on new projects started by developers, Flurry said it had seen relatively flat numbers for Windows Phone 7 for the month or so prior to last week.

But with speculation making the rounds early last week about a possible … Read more

10 must-have apps for Verizon iPhone owners

After years of waiting, you've finally got a Verizon-branded iPhone. OK, now what? You've played Angry Birds, updated your Facebook status, and watched an "Arrested Development" marathon on Netflix. Is that all there is?

Of course not. When you're ready to start using your iPhone like the power tool that it is, you're ready for my roundup of must-have apps. They're not the run-of-the-mill fodder like Pandora and Yelp; they're lesser-known gems that will make you marvel at what your shiny new toy can do.

Needless to say, these are just my … Read more

The 404 756: Where we stop eating your sesame mooncake (podcast)

February 11, 2011, is truly a game-changing day. Hosni Mubarak's autocratic reign in Egypt is over, it's Jennifer Aniston's birthday, MaGaga dropped her new single Born This Way, Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never 3D" is now in theaters, and New York Fashion Week has officially begun.

Last year Erin Lee and Lani Nguyen from the fashion blog joined us in the studio to report on Fashion Week, but we're tackling the runways ourselves today and apparently the hottest trend is "belted satchels"-- a fancy name for fanny packs!

Sartorial designer Diane von Furstenberg has already released a $325 version of the "hands-free bag" that fastens around the waist, but don't call it a fanny pack--international designers are trying to edit the lexicon to "bum bags," since the word "fanny" is slang in the U.K. and Australia for the female genitalia.

The French have already started calling them "le sac banane," which references the banana-shape in the pouch, but something tells me Americans already have that area covered.… Read more

Tap That App takes on Android security

In this week's episode of Tap That App, we look at the growing Android security field and check out three apps with three different takes on what's important when making Android safer. One thing's for sure: the makers of all three think that there's more to Android security than mere antivirus and malicious app scanning.

For a more detailed analysis, check out the story this episode of Tap That App is based on.

Vatican: No, you can't confess to your iPhone

Some may call it the "Jesus Phone," but the Vatican is seeking to remind the faithful that there are limits to mixing the sacraments with technology--even when it comes to the iPhone.

A new application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that lists sins to be taken to the confessional earned a cautionary warning from the Vatican today. Actually, it wasn't so much the app getting a rebuke as it was the hype that accompanied it.

When it debuted earlier in the month, the $1.99 application, Confession: A Roman Catholic App, was described as preparation for Catholic confession and the ''perfect aid for every penitent."

Users create password-protected profiles and then go through a series of soul-searching questions related to the Ten Commandments. The app displays sins along with a written act of contrition for the penitent. It also lets users log "custom sins" and create "custom examinations of conscience."

Prayers stored in the app include such classics as the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, and Hail Mary.

After Kevin Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana gave the app an imprimatur, the story turned viral, with some articles referring to the app as a "virtual priest." But in a statement put out by the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi was quoted reminding Catholics that absolution requires a personal dialogue between penitents and the confessor. … Read more

Sonos Android app coming in March

When Sonos launched its iPhone app in 2008, it was a big deal for the company because it allowed iPhone and iPod Touch owners to buy a Sonos system without spending the extra dough on a $400 Sonos remote. That helped spur sales of the popular multiroom music wireless system, which is easy to set up without the help of a professional home installer.

Now the company hopes its new free Sonos Controller for Android app will attract a whole new batch of potential Sonos converts--or just please existing ones who happen to own Android-based smartphones.

Sonos Controller for Android, which will be available in late March as a free download from Android Market, is designed to work on any Android smartphone running Android 2.1 or later with a screen size of 320x480 (HVGA), 480x800 (WVGA), or 480x854 (WVGA). That includes most popular Android phones, such as the Motorola Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S series, and Evo 4G.

Currently, the app isn't officially supported on Android tablets, but Sonos reps said the app would potentially work on tablets but running in a smaller window. They didn't say when a true tablet version of the app would be available that would be similar to the one available for the iPad. … Read more

eBay Motors app designed for browsing as much as bidding

Yesterday Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile for eBay Motors, walked me through a demo of the eBay dedicated automotive iPhone app. The company is releasing a handful of vertical apps designed to engage the user, encourage frequent shopping, and increase sales. The eBay Motors app for iPhone is expected to be released in March or April, and Android and iPad apps are also in the works.

The app contains all the typical search features you'd find on the site, enabling users to search for specific vehicles by make, model, and year, and filter based on color, condition, price … Read more

Nokia CEO's blunt e-mail; iPad 2 already in production?

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

HP WebOS event

New Nokia CEO's blunt memo

iPad 2 already in production?

Verizon to improve voice quality over 4G

NYU professor camera experiment not going so well

Google Translate for iPhone

iPhone 4 hits Verizon

Report: Apple retail stores to nix boxed software

Apple has a long history of happily killing off a feature, plug, or technology in the name or progress, and next on that extinction list could be boxed software from the company's retail stores.

MacRumors is reporting that Apple plans to do just that sometime in the future. The move, the report says, would be made to direct users to Apple's digital software distribution system, the Mac App Store. The company made the store available to users just last month in the latest version of the Mac OS, 10.6 "Snow Leopard," and will be making … Read more

Android app released for Google's Blogger

The Google-owned Blogger network has released a free app designed to enable people who have built their blogs on the Blogger platform to easily update them from their Android smartphones.

Unveiled this week, the program lets people bang out copy, and take photos with their phones, from directly inside the app--and then either publish their words and images straightaway or save a draft for later. Posts and drafts can be viewed directly in the app or, by way of a quickly accessible menu, in a browser.

Users can also select their location and include that information with their post, switch … Read more