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Here’s A Sneak Preview Of The Pebble Smart Watch UI [Video]

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Following the disappointing news that the InPulse team — the clever folks that raised over $3 million on Kickstarter in a matter of days — wouldn’t bring their e-paper Pebble smart watch to consumers by September (as promised), the company has released a video with a sneak preview of the watch’s UI.

The Pebble will be able to connect via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android smartphone, and can be set to alert you of incoming emails, texts, calls, and other alerts through an app. This isn’t necessarily unprecedented, but since the display uses e-paper technology, the battery lasts up to seven days — way longer than your average LCD display would.

In the video you’ll see that Pebble’s UI designer, Martijn, has created a custom tool to allow any graphic design work he does on his PC to be displayed on a Pebble watch prototype display in real-time.

He also shows off a demo of email, incoming calls, and the music app. All seem to be quite beautiful and functional, but feel free to confirm that for yourself below.


Here’s A Sneak Preview Of The Pebble Smart Watch UI [Video]

Now At 17M+ Users, Rebtel Brings Cheap VoIP Calls, Texts To The iPad

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With Skype under Microsoft ownership, Rebtel now claims to be the largest independent mobile VoIP provider, with 17 million users in over 200 countries accessing its service over WiFi and 3G on iPhone, Android, and PCs. Rebtel has added two million users since February, and is seeing an average of 650K new users a month — many of whom have been attracted by its low-cost calling to landlines and mobile, along with the ability to switch between data and voice connections to avoid dropped calls and busy networks.

Previously, Rebtel users have been able to download its iPhone app and use it on their iPads, but today the company is launching its first iPad app, with new navigation, graphics, and phonebook integration all optimized for Apple’s tablet.

The app allows users to make calls to other Rebtellers for free over WiFi and 3G, or select a number in their address book and call outside lines for cheap — at rates which CEO Andreas Bernstrom says can be up to 60 percent less expensive than Skype.

The app integrates with the iPad’s address book, enabling users to instantly see which contacts are available to call for free (are using Rebtel) and which they can call for cheap. The app also boasts low-cost international SMS at rates it claims are up to 60 percent lower than the average carrier, and allows users to let their friends reply to text messages for free by selecting “Collect Reply” and including a link to the message that lets them reply via mobile web page, while you pick up the tab. And because long calls over data networks can be unreliable, the company added its “KeepTalking” feature to let users talk over voice networks instead.

With Rebtel expecting to hit $85 million in revenues this year — with what the Rebtel CEO adds is an average revenue per user that’s three times higher than Skype — it believes its timing on the release of its new iPad app is looking good. The iPad reached 11.8 million in sales during the last quarter, with Apple selling 3 million of its new iPads in the first three days it was on the market, giving Apple a 68 percent share of the tablet market.

To this point, Bernstrom added:

We are squarely in the middle of the post-PC era, marked by an increasing amount of consumers who have leapfrogged the classic desktop PC in favor of multi-purpose mobile devices that allow for greater creativity and social interaction. We are excited to expand our development pipeline to respond to this growing global demand for tablets and iPads.

That being said, Rebtel plans to release an Android tablet app over the course of the next months, with a Windows Phone app due by the end of the summer. With Forrester research predicting that there will be 760 million tablets in use globally by 2016, the need for quality, tablet-optimized apps is becoming essential, and, offering cheap, flexible VoIP calling across tablet platforms will put Rebtel in a good position to continue its current growth.

For more, check out the free Rebtel iPad app here.


Now At 17M+ Users, Rebtel Brings Cheap VoIP Calls, Texts To The iPad

Kleiner Perkins And Sequoia Fund $6.5M Round For Ad Targeter Drawbridge

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When two of the biggest names in venture capital (arguably still the biggest) both invest in a startup, you know it’s probably time to take notice. So yes, take notice: A cross-device ad targeting startup called Drawbridge has raised a $6.5 million Series A from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.

The company was founded in November 2010 by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, a scientist at AdMob and then, after the acquisition, at Google. Sivaramakrishnan says she started the company because she saw the proliferation of ad targeting technology on the desktop web, while there was “no significant technology innovation” on the mobile side. So she decided to tackle the problem herself, “outside of the big G.”

Since then, Sivaramakrishnan says her team has built “very heavy-duty technology” to link up ad targeting on desktop and mobile. Drawbridge looks at activity on the desktop Web, and on mobile Web and apps. Then it uses “probabilistic and statistical inference models” to suggest which PC and mobile users are likely to be the same person using two different devices.

“Over time, we get enough confidence on the probability of these two activities belonging to the same user that deem it to be a ‘pair’,” she says.

And once a pair has been made, mobile advertisers have access to user data that’s being collected on the desktop, and can target their ads with much more nuance. In addition to the technology disparity between desktop and mobile, Sivaramakrishnan notes that people are usually using their mobile devices for a relatively narrow range of activity, usually entertainment or content consumption, so it’s only by accessing to their desktop activity that advertisers can determine “commercial-grade intent.”

The model also steers clear of any privacy concerns, Sivaramakrishnan says. There’s no personally identifiable information collected — no phone numbers, no email addresses, no Facebook accounts. In the meantime, Apple has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs to identify their users, which Sivaramakrishnan says makes Drawbridge “even more pertinent and significant now than when UDIDs were being lazily used as mobile cookies.”

“You don’t need a device ID to do advertising,” she adds.

Even though Drawbridge is only coming out of stealth today, Sivaramakrishnan says it has already been running campaigns with major advertisers and has significant revenue. The platform is still in beta testing, with plans for general availability in the second half of this year. Sivaramakrishnan also says the model could be expanded to other connected devices, not just desktop PCs and phones.

Drawbridge previously raised a seed round of undisclosed size from Kleiner and Sequoia.


Kleiner Perkins And Sequoia Fund $6.5M Round For Ad Targeter Drawbridge

Mail.Ru Агент для Android научили звонить

Обновленный Mail.Ru Агент для Android получил поддержку голосовых звонков — пользователи могут бесплатно звонить как на телефоны, так и на PC.
Mail.Ru Агент для Android научили звонить

Forrester: 760M Tablets In Use By 2016, Apple ‘Clear Leader’, Frames Also Enter The Frame

forrester embedded tablet forecast

Chalk another one up for the mobile revolution: There were 56 million tablets purchased worldwide in 2011, but a new report from Forrester Research predicts that number will explode in the years ahead: its researchers say that there will be 375 million tablets sold by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 46 percent, and that by 2016 there will be 760 million tablets in use overall.

That will still put tablets a ways behind PCs — there will be 2 billion PCs in use in 2016. But combined with new products like frames (essentially docks for tablets to amp up their functionality), Forrester says that tablets will gradually become the computing device of choice among consumers — especially among those in emerging markets, whose first home computing device will more likely be a tablet than a desktop or laptop PC.

Apple, which effectively created the tablet market with the launch of its iPad two years ago, and has been setting the bar for what to make ever since, has seen some reduction in its tablet market share over the last year or two as more competitors have launched products.

But Forrester predicts it will manage to hold on to its lead going forward as the market’s “clear leader”, in the words of Forrester researcher Frank Gillett, who also penned a blog post summarizing some of the bigger points in the report.

Part of Apple’s strategy to stay on top will be to target newer markets like the enterprise segment — which will represent one third of all tablet buyers by 2016 — and consumers in countries like China. Meanwhile, Android will actually see a net decline in its installed base of tablets by 2015, with Microsoft also gaining ground in the process.

(Indeed, another analyst firm, IDC, in March predicted that by 2016 Android tablet shipments will outnumber those of iPad shipments. Shipments are not necessarily sales, however, and does not take into account the size of the installed base.)

In particular, Forrester says Google’s network of Android device makers and the ecosystem around them “will struggle” to keep up with Apple in the premium-priced range. Furthermore, Forrester doesn’t see the various issues that have surrounded Android up to now — among them device fragmentation, software support and a variety of Android flavors — improving in the years ahead. (What’s interesting is that Forrester doesn’t seem to think that these same factors will affect the installed base of Android smartphones, which will continue to grow.)

The other big challenge for Android, Forrester notes, is the proliferation of forked Android device makers. While we still have no news of Amazon launching a Kindle Fire product outside the U.S., Forrester is very bullish on how it, and others making forked Android tablets, will fare.

While Forrester says that Samsung and low-priced tablet makers will “stay the course” with Android, we will increasingly see others turn to Microsoft’s new tablet OS, Windows 8, for their tablet ambitions. However, that will not really begin in earnest until 2014 because it will take “most of 2013 for the Microsoft ecosystem to create a fully capable Windows Metro experience for customers.” Once it gets going, “Microsoft will be a significant player, but one chasing a leader with a multi-year head start.”

Although tablets, by and large, are not as functional as the average PC, Forrester says that we will see a new class of consumer electronics emerge that will fill that gap: “frames” (effectively docks), which Forrester predicts will become a common way to give tablets more features, more power and link them up to other devices, like TVs, to use them to consume content. “Frames will become a new form of stationary PC, rising in volume even as laptop growth decays, redefining the desktop PC market as the stationary PC market,” Gillett writes.


Forrester: 760M Tablets In Use By 2016, Apple ‘Clear Leader’, Frames Also Enter The Frame