Analyst: Expect tablet market to commoditize

LONDON--The tablet market, pushed by the arrival of PC makers and lower-cost products, likely will quickly transform into one dominated by commodity products, an analyst predicted today.

"This could become the fastest-commoditized market in history," said Richard Windsor of Nomura Securities, speaking here at the Open Mobile Summit. "The tablet honeymoon will likely be over in 2012."

Today, Apple's iPad dominates the market, challenged by a new host of contenders such as Motorola's Xoom, Samsung's Galaxy Tab line, Research In Motion's PlayBook, and--starting July 1--Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad. For the most part, … Read more

Many top iPhone, Android apps face security woes

Some of the most popular applications available for the iPhone and Android handsets suffer from serious security issues, a recent study from security firm ViaForensics has found.

According to the security firm's appWatchdog study, a slew of companies, including Foursquare, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Wordpress earned a "fail" rating on storing sensitive data securely. Netflix's Android application, for example, failed to "securely store passwords," ViaForensics said. Surprisingly, the iPhone version of the Netflix app earned the highest "pass" rating for securely storing passwords.

Netflix is taking the findings seriously. In a statement to … Read more

Report: Nokia CTO on the outs in strategy spat

Nokia's chief technology officer may extend his current leave of absence into a permanent departure following a report from a Finnish newspaper that he's been unhappy with recent management decisions.

Citing information from two independent sources, the Helsingin Sanomat said that the CTO, Richard Green, will remain on his personal leave of absence until the end of the year but is unlikely to return to Nokia as a result of "differences of opinion over the company's strategy."

According to the sources, Green's conflict with his employer stems to some degree from Nokia's decision … Read more

Exclusive: Dell spurns U.S. in launch of Android tablet in China

Dell will launch its highly anticipated 10-inch tablet in the Chinese market first, based on a emerging belief that the U.S. market isn't mature enough for a successful Android launch, Dell executives told CNET today.

Dell's Streak 10 Pro (see specifications below) will launch in China this summer and in the U.S. market probably sometime next year, John Thode, a Dell vice president and manager of Dell's mobility business, told CNET. The U.S. market simply doesn't offer a viable 10-inch tablet strategy for Dell, he said.

"This is not an either-or for … Read more

New Nook Touch has hidden Web browser

When Barnes & Noble launched its new Nook e-reader a couple of weeks ago, we asked why it didn't include such features as a built-in Web browser or an e-mail app. After all, it is an Android-based device, so we assumed it could do a bit more if those Nook software engineers in Palo Alto, Calif., were directed to add new features.

Well, it turns out the new Nook, dubbed the Simple Touch Reader, sort of does have a built-in Web browser. Nathan over at The eBook Reader put together the video below to show off its capabilities.

Alas, it didn't work quite well for me as it did for him (I couldn't get most URLs to load, though I did get Twitter working). But if you have a new Nook, and want to give it a shot, just press the virtual "Search" button at the bottom of your Nook's screen and key a URL into the search bar when it comes up. … Read more

Schwab Android app adds mobile check deposits

After launching its official Android app (download) only two weeks ago, Charles Schwab Bank and Brokerage has already released an update with a much-needed feature: mobile check deposit. This adds some serious power to an app that already lets you transfer money between accounts, view balances, and track and trade stocks.

To deposit a check, select either your Schwab Bank or Schwab brokerage account, enter the deposit amount, take photos of both sides of the endorsed check, tap Submit, and you're all set. But be warned: checks cannot be wrinkled or folded, and pictures need to be clear, in-focus, … Read more

The 404 835: Where we're watching digital paint dry (podcast)

After an extended vacation, The 404 is back sans one Jeff Bakalar who's reportedly having a miserable time in Hollywood, Calif., for the E3 gaming expo. We've got Joey Kaminski filling in for him today, and there's so much to talk about! From Monday's Apple iCloud, iOS 5, and OS X Lion to the Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo's Wii U, The 404 has all of this week's tech bases covered.

The 404 Digest for Episode 835

Apple unveils iCloud, shows off features of Lion, iOS 5 How to stay synced with iCloud Sony PlayStation Vita hands-on at E3 E3 2011: Hands-on with Wii U tablet and games iOS 5 beta jailbroken in less than 24 hours

Episode 835 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Google Maps now provides live transit updates

If you've ever used public transportation, you know that buses and trains don't always run according to schedule. Things happen, and transit schedules can't always account for station delays, detours, or construction, leaving you more or less guessing what time you'll eventually arrive at your destination.

Well, starting today, Google Maps for mobile and desktop provides live transit updates in select cities, taking some of the annoying guesswork out of your commute. Instead of seeing what time your bus is supposed to arrive, you'll see what time your bus will actually arrive, meaning you'll … Read more

Smiley Pops is a new take on match three

Smiley Pops offers yet another take on the match three like-colored bubbles game concept. Open it up, and it may feel familiar, but take a closer look, and you'll notice that the bubbles are oriented in a unique way. Smiley Pops' bubbles are not stacked in perfect columns and rows the way they are in many other games. They're staggered, with one wedged between the two below it.

To play, swipe around three bubbles to rotate them. If the new arrangement results in at least three matching colors in a row, on the same line, they'll all … Read more

Outsource the task of remembering with Springpad

Outsource the task of remembering with Springpad, a free app for Android and iOS. Rival to the popular Evernote service, Springpad lets you jot notes, create lists, bookmark items, copy recipes, record voice memos, and so much more, right from your mobile device or desktop browser.

First, create a Springpad account, with which your Springpad mobile app will automatically sync. Once you're logged in on your mobile device, you'll find on your Home screen a My Stuff icon, which aggregates all of your notes, and a Friends Stuff icon, which takes you to shared content. The rest of … Read more