Apple, which was in all sorts of hot water when it was caught tracking its users, is up to its old tricks again.
Apple was slammed by privacy experts protested the use of a universal device identifier, or UDID, to track the online preferences of iPhone and iPad users. This made it a perfect target for hackers who broke into digital media firm Bluetoad and made off with close to a million device IDs.
It looks like Apple remains addicted to tracking its users. According to Naked Security iOS 6 has a new tracking system called IDFA, or identifier for advertisers. Like the UDID, the IDFA uniquely identifies your Apple device and any websites that you browse with your iPhone or iPad device can request the IDFA.
While UDID could be tracked to users the IDFA can’t be traced back to individuals, it merely links a pattern of online behaviour with a specific device. In other words, it knows all about you, just not your name.
Fortunately it can be disabled from within iOS, though Apple leaves it enabled, by default and hopes no one will notice. The IDFA acts like a persistent cookie on the phone: allowing advertisers to track user surfing behaviour on their phone and record interactions up to and including purchases or downloads.
Michael Oiknine, the CEO of mobile application analytics firm Apsalar said that IDFA offered many advantages over the discredited UDID. For a start the IDFA is reset when the device, itself, is reset. That will prevent user data from being corrupted when they sell or transfer their phone to a new owner, Oiknine said.
Motorola Mobility has confirmed the Android Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to the Xoom Wi-Fi tablet will arrive over-the-air via Wi-Fi to U.S.-based devices on Wednesday.
In addition to faster browser rendering, the free update lets users type via voice and includes a Data Manager tool for monitoring and controlling network data usage, something seen as especially helpful to reviewers of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone running Ice Cream Sandwich, also called Android 4.0.
Motorola called it the first tablet of its kind to receive the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, though the update for the Asus Transformer Prime tablet was distributed a week ago, as several bloggers, including Slashgear noticed.
Google just held its Galaxy Nexus event in Hong Kong and we read just about every report and release in detail, only to find that Google didn’t even mention Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 for tablets, which is somewhat surprising.
At this time, there is no official information if and when Android 4.0 comes to tablets. Since Android 4.0 looks like the lovechild of Gingerbread and Honeycomb and gets a few new options, it’s likely that we will see Android 4.0 on tablets, with a few tweaks of course.
Google just don’t want to talk about it, at least not yet. Since Google chaps already said that Android 2.3 capable phones should be able to run Android 4.0 this definitely applies to any Android 3.x tablets since most of them have dual-core processors and quite powerful hardware to back it up.
The 9.7-in. TouchPad debuting on July 1 from Hewlett-Packard (HP) will be quickly followed by a 7-in. tablet from HP in August, according to an anonymous source.
Taiwan Economic News on Friday cited an unnamed subcontractor for Inventec Corp., a PC manufacturing company in Taiwan, for information about the smaller tablet. The story said Inventec has “received big-ticket orders for tablet PCs from HP,” for both the 9.7-in. TouchPad and a 7-in. model launching in August.
The announced TouchPad runs WebOS, but no other details were available on the 7-in. model.
Inventec and HP have so far not commented on this story.
HP has not announced a 7-in. tablet, although that form factor is becoming fairly common alongside tablets with screens close to 10 inches in size.
According to Neilsen people who have owned laptops and now use tablets as a PC device are ditching them like hotcakes. Under the study conducted around 77 percent of tablet owners are now using their device in the same capacity as they used their laptop computers. This strange because there are many applications or functions that a tablet is not able to process or handle.
One third of the tablet owners also admitted that they find themselves using their desktops even less since they acquired a tablet PC. Furthermore, thirty percent of those surveyed who own both a laptop and desktop who owned a laptop find themselves using their tablet more. A small percentage (2) of those Neilsen interviewed said they had stopped using their laptop computer altogether.
The ever increasing popularity of tablets and smartphones has boosted sales of Wi-Fi equipment to new heights as businesses upgrade their wireless networks, analysts reported earlier this month.
Worldwide sales of wireless LAN equipment rose to $769 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, up 28% from the same period in 2009, according to Infonetics Research. Research firm Dell’Oro Group reported that for the full year, wireless network revenue surged by 25%, surpassing $5 billion. Read More……
Motorola announced on Twitter that the Android software update for the Xoom tablet is being pushed out in phases starting March 11, which includes enhancements to support the upcoming Adobe Flash Player 10.2.
Launched on February 24, the Xoom was pushed out to the market with some seemingly rushed, half done features, just so it arrived on the market before a new iPad. Despite certain hardware advantages over the original and new iPad, the Xoom flaunted 4G radios, SD card memory expansion and Flash support. However, none of these features were actually operational when the device launched. Read More….
Google employees may be getting new tablets, Motorola’s CEO said earlier in the week.
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said it’s clear that his company’s focus on enterprise is paying off in that it is having conversations with companies wishing to buy tens of thousands of tablets. Motorola last week began offering its Xoom tablet, the first to run the Honeycomb version of Android, which was developed specifically for tablet devices.
When asked why those enterprises are choosing to go with an Android tablet rather than Apple’s iPad, Jha joked: “One of them is Google so I think I understand why that is.” Google may be more inclined to buy tablets running its own Android software rather than a device from competitor Apple. Read More…
The fortune tellers at Juniper Research have looked into their crystal ball and project that the number of annual shipments of tablet devices will reach 81 million by 2015.
The assumption is based on the fact that more consumer electronics and handset manufacturers will enter the market.
It claimed that Android is allowing both new and existing device manufacturers to enter the market and products have been launched already by companies such as Dell with the Streak, Maylong’s M150 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Anthony Cox, senior analyst at Juniper Research said that competition for Apple is likely to arrive in earnest in 2011.
Earnest may be a small town in Hicksville USA. Cox thinks that by then Jobs’ and Co. will have launched another version of the iPad and will still be upping the bar.
Apple, as first to market with its compelling hardware and content combination, will maintain its market lead for the medium term, Cox said.
Products using QNX for Blackberry smartphones, Windows Phone 7 and MeeGo will come to market in 2011 and of course the netbook market will be pressured. However Juniper thinks that netbooks will remain resilient in the business market. Read more….