Formspring doubles down on mobile to fight unique user dip

Social Q&A site Formspring has experienced a dip in monthly unique visitors, as the two-year-old startup transitions out of the role of hot newcomer. The company is looking to aggressive mobile web and app development and an updated design to get the growth back on track.

Polar Mobile bets on HTML5 with new $6M funding round

Toronto-based Polar Mobile, which provides a digital media distribution platform powering the apps of some of the biggest media companies in the world, including Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal, announced a new $6 million funding round on Monday.

The coming living room OS war

As expectations grow for what a TV set can do and deliver, OEMs will soon be faced with the prospect of needing to embed robust and fully upgradable operating systems in what were once merely dumb displays, so that the devices they are selling can keep up with the pace of development of new software and services aimed at the living room.

CES Video: Samsung Galaxy Note; Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE

In between appointments at CES, I spent ten minutes with two of Samsung’s newest devices. The 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE grabbed my attention, so after a few minutes of using both, I took a few short video clips of these LTE devices.

Better browsing, even offline on mobiles: Evernote Clearly

Since I use multiple mobile devices on various platforms, it sometimes gets to be a chore trying to read saved web pages when offline. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between two great solutions: Instapaper and Read It Later. But both might be trumped by Evernote.

Samsung Galaxy S and Tab may yet get Android 4.0

Samsung is reportedly in discussions to offer Android 4.0 software upgrades to its Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab slates. Perhaps Samsung’s TouchWiz software is slimmed down or eliminated, which may not be a problem. Getting carriers to support such an upgrade, however, may be.

Yo Amazon: Please don’t hijack the web on Kindle Fire

Amazon’s successful 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire, is locked down more than people might think: browser requests to Google’s Android Market are redirected to the Amazon AppStore. Imagine buying a new car and then being told you that it can only be driven on certain roadways.

New Android widgets measure real-time mobile data use

One of my favorite features in Google(s goog) Android 4.0 on my Galaxy Nexus is the real-time and historical data use. I can monitor my mobile broadband usage against my monthly plan and even drill down to see which apps are using more data than others. Plus I can set alerts when I near the cap on my data. While its a great native function in Android 4.0, few phones today actually have Android 4.0.

That’s where Onavo comes in. We’ve covered the mobile application for iOS and Android devices in the past as it helps consumers keep track of their smartphone’s data usage. On iOS devices, can even have data run through Onavo’s servers, where it gets compressed: By doing this, you can surf the web more often without bumping up a set data cap. Onavo doesn’t do this for Android devices yet, but as of Thursday, it does offer real-time monitoring widgets; something not available on iOS(s aapl) devices. Here’s the description of each, per Onavo’s blog:

  • App Watch: Track how much data each app uses in the selected time frame. This widget updates automatically based on usage, and allows you to swirl through the apps that are using your data plan.
  • Data Plan Used: A slim, 1×4 widget, to see how much of your data plan is left this month. Super handy widget, and very easy to understand – MB used and the day of your bill cycle.
  • Live Data Usage: Another slim widget, to monitor which apps have been using data in the last 30min.

Again, Onavo could always monitor data usage in the past, similar to Android 4.0. But even on my Galaxy Nexus, there aren’t any widgets to monitor this mobile broadband use. Instead, the functionality is found in the “Wireless & Networks” settings and there aren’t any corresponding widgets.

Onavo is a free app that now includes these widgets, so if you’re interested in real-time data monitoring for non-Wi-Fi networks, hit up the Android Market for the most recent version of the app.