You might get dizzy staring too deeply into the Evo 3D, but Sprint Nextel Corp.’s newest flagship phone is worth risking a little motion sickness.
The Evo 3D, the first smartphone in the U.S. that can shoot and display 3-D pictures and videos, is the latest unconventional device from Sprint. The wireless provider has embraced its underdog role and introduced a number of unique products over the past few years in an effort to expand its portfolio and lure customers away from its much larger rivals.
The Evo 3D stands out largely because of its 3-D screen, but it’s a solid phone without the gimmick.
Some have paid off, including last year’s smash hit Evo 4G, which was the first phone able to connect to a speedier next-generation wireless network. Others, such as Kyocera Corp.’s dual-screen Echo, fizzled. If consumers enjoy the Evo 3D as much as I have over the past few days, the phone, which is due out June 24, should follow its namesake predecessor’s blockbuster success. The Evo 3D, which is made by HTC Corp., will be $199.99 with a two-year contract.
Anyone expecting a smartphone based on Google's Chrome Operating System will have to wait because it doesn't seem like the search engine is going that route anytime in the near future.
Chrome Vice President Sundar Pichai, pictured with a Chrome OS-based Cr-48 test model last December, toldReuters at Computex that he planned to keep pushing Chrome OS for notebooks and has no immediate plan to port it to tablets or to merge it with Android. Pichai said:
How do you feel about a smartphone based on Google's Chrome Operating System, the Web-based OS currently making its way to Amazon.com and Best Buy online via Samsung and Acer notebooks June 15.
I can imagine the marketing campaigns for this. Chrome Home with Chrome Phone!
On the Street.com, Anton Wahlman, a former sell-side equity research analyst covering the communications space, opined that Google will launch its own Google Phone and that it will be based on Chrome OS, not Android.
Step into my Hot Tub Time Machine for a moment. Recall that in January 2010, Google rolled out the HTC-built Nexus One smartphone unlocked and with a T-Mobile contract, selling it solely online.
It surely tested the waters, but the promptly sunk to the level of developer phone.
What Wahlman is proposing is different. He sees Google taking the Chrome OS cloud paradigm -- the verified boot process and speedy startup -- to the phone form factor.
The reason? Security perks of the cloud. While current Android devices accept application downloads, Wahlman argues that a cloud-centric OS such as Chrome with apps solely in the cloud. He noted:
This device would only have two major software parts -- the OS and the only allowed browser. However, the OS treats the browser as a de-facto hostile application, not allowing it to modify the OS including locally install any applications.
Like the notebooks Chrome OS currently powers, the Chrome OS phone would require less memory, less local storage and a less powerful CPU.
Theoretically, Google could launch these "shells," which could be easily replaceable because users' data lives in the cloud.
This model would bury Research in Motion's Blackberry Enterprise Server, noted Wahlman, with Chrome OS providing a simpler management console for provisioning device access, activity in the browser, and account device management.
Interesting theories. Google had promised that Chrome OS was intended for clamshell-style computers only and yet we know Google engineers are toying with Chrome OS tablets. Why not a phone?
I'm thinking Google could maybe sell these bad boys for $99 or less, subsidized by ads. That would be a good price point for those tired of spending $200 or more for fully Web-enabled phones. But would it be good enough for carriers who like the phone margins?
Wahlman believes Google could use pure VoIP via Google Voice and Google Talk. Hmmm. The last time Google tried to disrupt the carrier market in such stellar fashion, only T-Mobile played ball; the market leaders coughed and laughed.
Then again, if Google launches its own mobile broadband network, an offshoot of Google Fiber, maybe Google wouldn't have to curry favor with the carrier giants. Just sayin'.
Wahlman has 4 pages, which you may read here, to fortify his argument. I can buy it, but only in so far as Chrome OS sees a modicum of success in its current instantiations.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on why or why not this would work.
I have a small but fast-growing business and am strongly considering going with Macs, but I’m not sure if it’s the cost-effective way to go. What are the pros and cons?
To a great extent, it depends on the size and type of business, but I can give you a few general pros and cons. Macs typically cost more upfront, but can save in maintenance costs because they aren’t susceptible to most malicious software and, in my experience, they crash less often. They tend to be easier to network, and, like Windows PCs, they work with Microsoft Exchange. They run standard productivity software, like Microsoft Office, and can access most online business sites and services. But there are many niche business applications that are written for Windows only. You can overcome this by running Windows on a Mac for the occasional program. But if your business would best operate using software that is only for Windows, you’d likely be better off with a Windows machine.
The pocket-size, point-and-shoot digital camera was once a standard part of many consumers’ electronic tool kit. But it has been challenged by smartphones with better and better built-in cameras and photo apps. While they lack some photographic capabilities, like physical zoom lenses, phones are carried everywhere all the time. Plus, they are wirelessly connected to email and the Web, where digital pictures often wind up.
I actually wanted to cover this one a few days ago, when I first heard about HP's new range of 'just email me!' printers -- but we're not a hardware site! However, now that Google's in on the gig and now that we know Chrome OS played a role in HP's printer development... well, now it's software news! (Fast forward to 31:37 in the video above for the Google Cloud Print presentation.)
If you haven't heard about HP's new printers, it's a complete range, from domestic printers priced at $99 through to enterprise-level machines. They have one amazing trait in common: they're all Web-aware. They all have an email address. You can simply send a document or some photos to that email address and... it prints! I'm trying to find you a link to the actual printersso you can check their specs, but it seems like HP hasn't updated their website yet. Darn.
Google Cloud Print is basically the same thing, but without the email step. You simply press 'print', and Google Cloud Print does the rest. If you've tried printing from your smartphone, you'll probably appreciate just how awesome such a feature would be.
Anyway, Lee and I have been keeping an eye out on the Google Chrome OS source, and the Cloud Print functionality is only available for internal testing at Google. We'll be sure to let you know when it's ready for public testing!