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iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 available with new features

Apple has just released the iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 build 7A312g to developers, only a week after beta 4 was rolled out. There are a number of updates to this version, including an updated version of the iPhone SDK and an iTunes update to version 2.8 (b10).

There are a couple of new features in the new beta.

Users can now email podcast links directly from the iPod app, so if you are listening to a podcast you want to share with a friend, you can easily do so now.

The new beta 5 now also comes with app store parental controls. Parents can restrict apps based on their rating.

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BlackBerry overtakes iPhone as top selling smartphone in U.S. Q1 2009

According to new market data published today by the NPD Group, The BlackBerry Curve was the top selling smartphone in the U.S. in Q1 2009, regaining the number one spot from Apple’s iPhone.

The NPD report concluded RIM’s total market share for Q1 2009 was up 15% over Q1 2008. The report says RIM now collectively has 50% of the U.S. smartphone market.

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Apple could be prepping new iPad UMPC

More recently, companies have been trying to develop a useful and highly mobile computing device, one that is more powerful than a mobile phone, but less powerful than a laptop. Various products such as Tablet PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPC) have been released but they haven’t been very successful because they are based on Windows XP, an OS that is not really designed to run on such a small device.

In October 2008, Steve Jobs entirely dismissed netbook computers, saying the company couldn’t develop a $500 computer that was “not a piece of junk”. Since then, Apple’s mindset seems to have actually shifted towards a super mobile computing device, with more and more indications the company is readying the release of such a device.

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First Palm Pre WebOS screenshot gallery

The first real screen shots of the upcoming Palm Pre WebOS have surfaced from an SDK simulator. Check out the eye candy now!

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RIM updates Facebook 1.5 to fix important bugs

Released a few days ago, RIM’s much-anticipated Facebook 1.5 upgrade has been updated again to version 1.5.032 by RIM to address bugs. The new Facebook app syncs your Facebook contacts with your BlackBerry address book, and can also sync your Facebook events with your BlackBerry calendar. You can now easily contact your Facebook friends via the app with SMS, and by calling them.

However, there were some issues with the software, for example the contact sync feature would send phone number requests to those already synced with numbers. The calendar sync feature seemed to remove entries on your BlackBerry calendar. The issues have now been fixed in a new update, so if got excited like I did and rushed out to upgrade when it first became available, you might want to upgrade again. You can get the new version by visiting http://mobile.blackberry.com on your BlackBerry web browser.

This version does not include support for Facebook Chat. There is widespread speculation RIM will release support for Facebook Chat in an upcoming release via another update to the Facebook app, or even via a standalone application such as the Gtalk and Windows Live Messenger apps already available. Now, if you really want Facebook Chat support on your BlackBerry, you can get it for free from Palringo IM for BlackBerry which also supports other IM platforms. However, one big drawback from the Palringo app is it constantly sends and receives data, so it will adversely affect battery life, as it doesn’t use the RIM push APIs.

Check out the cnet video below that does an excellent walkthrough of the new Facebook 1.5.

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Acer Hints at Android Desktop

Acer senior VIP James T. Wong has apparently confirmed the company is developing with Google an Android OS powered desktop today after confirming Acer has a working Android powered desktop prototype. Wong also said that Android currently does not support multi-touch. Wong made the comments in the Liberty Science Center’s IMAX Theater and noted he thought that Android “had a good chance.” There was no more elaboration on a possible product.

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Windows Live mobile updated, includes push/pull sync for hotmail

Microsoft has just updated its mobile apps for Windows Live services. The new app is available in two flavors, one for touch and another for non-touch devices. The new version 10 of Windows Live for mobile includes many new useful features, such as push and pull sync for Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger integration, seamless photo sharing, Windows Live Search, Windows Live Spaces, among other additions and enhancements. You can download it here.

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RIM to launch unlimited TV downloads

rimIt appears RIM is readying the launch of its new unlimited TV download service. Blackberry users will be able to actually download full TV show episodes from RIM’s extensive catalog of partners. RIM will restrict downloads only from WiFi because of pressure from network carriers over bandwidth concerns. It is unclear how Verizon customers will use the service because Verizon BlackBerry devices do not support WiFi since the company wants subscribers to add mobile Internet to their plans. We can also expect iTunes to enable video downloads to the iPhone as iTunes currently only lets you download music and podcasts over-the-air.

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RIM Rolls out BlackBerry Internet Service 2.6

rimBlackBerry maker RIM has just completed upgrading its BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) to version 2.6 for North American customers. To get the new features for your Gmail account, you must delete your email account and re-add it. The changes in 2.6 are not very significant at all, the new features include:

* Display of password characters
o BlackBerry smartphone users have the option to display password characters when configuring email addresses with the BlackBerry Internet Service. This feature makes it easier for BlackBerry smartphone users to integrate third-party email addresses, especially when using a BlackBerry smartphone with the SureType® input method. Read the full story

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iPhone Developer Greenstone Nets $1.5M from iPhone App Game

Brian Greenstone is one of few iPhone developers who have been extremely successful. Greenstone developed Engimo, a 3D puzzle game where you manipulate slides, bumpers, and other pieces to control streams of flowing liquid. Liquids fall from “droppers”, your objective is to move and rotate the various puzzle pieces to divert the flow of the falling droplets so that they can reach their target.

Greenstone’s Engimo has sold 810,000 copies of the game in only six months, netting him a cool $1.5 million in profit. Today, Greenstone did a quick interview with the Guardian and talks about his success with developing for the iPhone. Read the full story

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