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CES 2010: Virtual Service That Adds A Second Phone Number To Your iPhone

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment

In the past couple of days we’ve talked a bit about CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) which is the biggest electronics show in America and it will take place in Las Vegas later this week. Before the show is open its door to everybody, and the stories will invade us, lets take a look at a few products you will find at CES this year. CES10 Episode 8: Line2 iPhone app – Virtual Service That Adds A Second Phone Number To Your iPhone

iPhone users always wanted something pretty much none of them need: dual SIM capabilities. Although this is mostly business oriented, there were a lot of 3rd party devices ( good or bad ) that offered the possibility to add a second SIM to the iPhone. Well, how about a virtual phone service that adds a second number to your iPhone?

Peter Sisson is the CEO of Toktumi, a San Francisco company with a cool app that adds a second phone number to your iPhone. He kinda looks like Roger Sterling, the silver-haired, hard-drinking, hard smoking character from Mad Men.

Except Peter isn’t smoking, and he isn’t drinking. But he’s certainly got the same moxie. Sisson borrowed someone’s badge to gain entrance to an exclusive, invite-only CES event so that he could pitch a new version of his iPhone app to some of the hundreds of press in attendance. I’m glad he did, because it’s a doozie.

Toktumi’s Line2 iPhone app is a “virtual” phone service that adds a second number to your iPhone. Aimed at business users, it allows you to keep your iPhone number for friends and family, and give your Line2 number to business contacts.

The app is already in the app store, but a major update is winding through Apple’s approval process. If the updated app is approved next week, it will be the first third-party app to offer telephone calls over cell networks AND Wi-Fi.

It’s a big step for a “virtual” phone service like Toktumi, transforming it into a truly alternative telephone service that rivals the built-in telephone functions of the iPhone.

In other words, you get a second telephone number offers incoming and outgoing calls, cheap international rates, and visual voicemail just like the iPhone. The app doesn’t have to be running to accept a call — if someone rings your Line2 number, your iPhone rings as normal.

Oddly, it was this replication of “core functions” that Apple cited to the FCC as the reason it rejected Google’s Voice app. An app that makes calls just like the iPhone might confuse users, Apple told the FCC.
But it now seems clear that Apple rejected Google’s app not because of customer confusion, but because of Google.

“It’s clear that Apple rejected the Google app for competitive reasons,” said Sisson as he demoed his app for me. “It’s Apple’s sandbox, particularly now that Google has the Nexus One.”

Line2 offers much the same functionality as the Google Voice app, but Apple likely doesn’t see it as a competitive threat. It’ll offer everything in Google Voice (except SMS) – and more. It offers lots of business features such as caller ID, call rejection and re-routing, and conference calling.

It also works on the cell network when away from Wi-Fi or in the car, unlike rival VOIP services like Skype and Vonage.

The addition of Wi-Fi calling is a major boon, especially for iPhone customers who live in cell network dead zones. Wi-Fi calling also offers a cheap alternative to expensive overseas roaming charges.
“And you get to pay for it,” said Sisson, laughing. “That’s how we make money but you get support and lots of uptime. There’s also someone to call. With Google, there’s no one to call if something goes wrong. Google Voice is a great consumer app but that’s why we call this a ‘pro’ app.”

There’s a chance the app won’t be approved. Sisson was in touch with Apple’s Phil Schiller several months ago. He asked Schiller, the de facto head of the approval process, if it was OK to add Wi-Fi calling. Schiller replied with a noncommittal email saying there are other phone apps with that feature but he couldn’t guarantee it would be approved. Nor could he provide guidance. If the update isn’t approved, it’ll be a major blow, said Sisson. “You have to read the tea leaves and take a risk.”

Sisson is crossing his fingers it will be approved next week and be available for download in early February. Around the same time, Toktumi will be releasing a Mac desktop application that will make calls over the web, as well as offering customization and management features.

“It’s like Skype but it’s all unified,” said Sisson. “It works on your PC, your iPhone and your land line.”

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CES 2010: iPhone App Sharing via WiFi Or Bluetooth

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment
In the past couple of days we’ve talked a bit about CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) which is the biggest electronics show in America and it will take place in Las Vegas later this week. Before the show is open its door to everybody, and the stories will invade us, lets take a look at a few products you will find at CES this year. CES10 Episode 9: iPhone App Sharing via WiFi Or Bluetooth.

I’ve always said that with all this apps available in the appstore, iPhone users must be able to “test drive” and app before buying it. Some of you know , that i’ve said that way before Lite versions of various apps were even available in the appstore. Well how about sharing your apps with any other iPhone or iTouch via WiFi or Bluetooth? Seems that somebody had a good idea at CES 2010… Here’s a good idea for virally marketing apps that Apple should think about — wirelessly beaming apps to other iPhones like the Zune’s music sharing feature.

Microsoft’s Zune is mostly a me-too product, but it’s one great feature is being able to lend music to friends Zune-to-Zune via Wi-Fi. Shared tracks can be played three times, after which they must be purchased from the Zune marketplace. It’s a great idea but tragically underused because there are so few Zunes out there.

Not so with iPhones. And one of the thorniest problems for iPhone users is discovering new apps. But what if you could share apps with friends iPhone-to-iPhone? With navigation of Apple’s overstuffed App Store such a chore, being able to quickly and easily share apps with friends would surely be a hit.
The idea was suggested by a member of the audience at a CES panel discussion about iPhone apps on Wednesday afternoon. None of the panelists had heard the idea before, but instantly warmed to it.

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This article was originally published in forum thread: CES 2010: iPhone App Sharing via WiFi Or Bluetooth started by Surenix Check out original post: Click here
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In 2010, hackers could focus on Wave Google, Android and iPhone

December 30, 2009 1 comment

Roel Schouwenberg, a researcher involved in the Kaspersky Lab-Americans, said that most likely, with the arrival of the new year, there might be a change in the type of malware that spreads on the net. In your opinion, Google Wave, Android and iPhone will be services / devices more targeted by hackers all the world.

Regarding Google Wave will begin with spam and it goes up to phishing attacks, and finally to the vulnerability of the system. Android for the contamination will be ahead of peers from the continued expansion and dissemination of these new devices. More peaceful situation for the device of Apple: second Schouwenberg, in fact, all the iPhone are fairly protected through control present on AppStore.

The only threat, perhaps, could result in a device jailbreakkato, the procedure removes all the limitations that Apple has introduced to prevent precisely these unfortunate happened.

Finally, the researcher says the malware will be increasingly sophisticated and will become an ever greater threat.

Apple reduces approval times for applications?

December 30, 2009 1 comment

From a few days ago, iTunes Connect, apparently, it seems that the timing of approval of applications has declined significantly, as reported by the developer Mario Refetto.

The application of Mario, The Mind Reader, available in AppStore for the price of € 0.79 yesterday, was sent to Apple in December 29 at 3:10, came in at 8:24 approval and was approved at 17:36 of the same day.

Hoping this is not a sporadic case, and this speed, however, is the result of significant enhancements made to the approval process of applications, we invite the developers to leave comments or send us reports about their experience.

“Name Squatters” Raiding the App World

October 10, 2009 1 comment

Click the image to open in full size.
Image via watblog

What’s in a name?

For an app… everything is in a name. And although name squatting (the process of registering a name that profits or benefits from another person or business), is nothing new in the digital world, we’ve seen how “domain name squatters” have made life incredibly difficult for some business owners. The same thing, unfortunately, is now transpiring in the app development world, a situation brought up this weekend by Andrew Lim at Recombu.

Quote:
“It turns out that squatters have moved into the app store. They’re worse than domain name squatters though, because you can’t even enter into negotiation with them. You don’t know who they are, or where they are. They take advantage of the fact that a developer can pretend to submit an app, but abandon their submission at the last moment, avoiding the need to actually create an application, but keeping hold of the app’s name. In limbo. Forever.”

There is clearly a growing problem in Apple‘s policy, a posturing that allows individuals to capture unique names (a process required by Apple before an app can be released) but not obligating them to release the app – if there even is one.

Squatting has become very sophisticated in recent years. I know several people who have registered film names and song titles before they became successful (as a result of someone else’s hard work, of course) only to turn around and sell them at a ridiculously huge profit. As a business model, domain squatting can work. And it’s also “fair” in the sense that there is a marketplace for domain names to be sold or traded.

This isn’t true in the app world. As Lim pointed out in his article, good app names could remain “in limbo forever” at the hands of name squatters who “might do something with the name someday.”

Quote:

So there you have it, it seems that the Apple iPhone app store is open to abuse from app name squatters and encourages legitimate developers to squat in fear of losing out. We have sent an email to Apple asking for a comment and are awaiting a reply. We hope this unfair system is changed soon, otherwise iPhone developers will find it difficult to get good names for their apps.

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Apple releases new iPhone OS 3.1.2 Update.

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple have just updated the iPhone and iPod touch to OS 3.1.2.  The new update fixes several problems including a sporadic issue that may cause the device not to wake up from sleep, an intermittent issue that may interrupt iPhone cellular network services until restart and it also fixes a bug that could cause an occasional crash during video streaming.

GeoHot has said that this new OS is still vulnerable to blackra1n, his 3.1 jailbreak in progress and this has been confirmed by members of Chronic Dev and the Dev Team.

As usual, iPhone users who need an unlock should hold off from upgrading as the new baseband has not been hacked.  iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3G users should be mindful  that the new firmware release means OS 3.1 will no longer be signed by Apple and so they may not be able to downgrade from 3.1.2.

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AT&T To Allow Skype Calls Over 3G

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

skypeBloomberg reports today that AT&T have reversed tack under pressure from the FCC and consumers and will allow Skype and other internet based calls to be made over their 3G wireless network.

Apple will enable the calling method “as soon as possible,” Natalie Kerris, an company spokeswoman, said in an interview.

Great news for all iPhone users! Hit the jump to read the full news report.

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