Apple Sued Over MMS: But Who Really Uses It?

According to a report this week on The Mac Observer, Apple (s aapl) and AT&T (s att) have been presented with a class action lawsuit by a customer who accuses them of misleading the public by advertising the MMS capabilities of the iPhone 3GS despite not making those capabilities available in the U.S. when it launched.

(Yawn.) I’ll let you mull over whether the accusation is fair; the plaintiff, Francis Monticelli, says in the suit that “MMS functionality was one of the reasons people chose to buy or upgrade… it has [become] clear that AT&T’s network does not support MMS.”
TMO points out Apple made it quite clear MMS functionality would not be available in America at the launch of the iPhone 3GS. Surely you remember the hilarious (and embarrassing) murmur of amusement and derision from the audience at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference when Scott Forstall introduced MMS? “29 of our carrier partners in 76 countries around the world will support MMS at the launch of iPhone OS 3.0,” Forstall announced, then, trying to keep a straight face, added, “In the United States, AT&T will be ready to support MMS later this summer.” Read More about Apple Sued Over MMS: But Who Really Uses It?

Parallels Desktop 5 Adds Aero, Multitouch Gestures to Windows on a Mac

pd5fm-big-box-with-shadowAre you a multitasker that wants to dabble in two operating systems at one time? On a Mac, that generally means using virtualization software, which is what I do. Currently, I’m using Parallels Desktop 4 for Mac, but I’m looking to upgrade in the near future. Version 5 launched today and offers some appealing features and performance gains:

  • Full support for Aero in Windows Vista and 7 through Windows WDDM driver, including Aero Flip 3D
  • Virtual machine size automatically optimized for best performance with Parallels Compressor
  • A more Mac-like experience in Windows applications through Apple Trackpad Gestures technology (pinch, swipe, rotate and more), horizontal scrolling and the application of Full Screen active corners and curl page effect
  • Copy & Paste fidelity for formatted text and complete layouts including images, even between Windows and Linux guest OS
  • Freedom and flexibility to run Windows and Mac applications across multiple monitors
  • 7 times better graphic performance for games and 3D applications than the previous version with Direct X 9Ex with Shader Model 3 and OpenGL 2.1 suppor
  • Full hardware resources can be utilized with support for 8 virtual CPUs, 64 bit Windows and Snow Leopard Server 64 bit

Folks that bought Parallels Desktop 4 on or after October 1 qualify for a free upgrade to version 5. For the rest of us, an upgrade is $49.99 while a new, full license is $79.99.
Although running Windows natively on a Mac through Boot Camp offers an overall better experience, running Windows in a virtual machine is more than usable. I personally like the flexibility it offers over an either / or solution like Boot Camp. And Parallels isn’t the only game in town — be sure to check out VMWare’s Fusion or the free VirtualBox software from Sun. I’m half-tempted to upgrade my license of Parallels just to see the multitouch gestures on the Windows side — Parallels says that even four finger gestures are supported.

Google Phone Designers Envision Self-Driving Electric Concept Car

The launch of the Google (s GOOG) G1 phone, which the firm Mike and Maaike helped Google design, came after years of speculation and months of waiting. Now the San Francisco-based design firm that had such influence on the look of the G1 has come up with the Autonomobile, a concept for a futuristic, self-driving, low-speed electric vehicle that will probably never get built but could offer some inspiration for companies developing cleaner transportation technology.

autonomobile-exterior-black

GigaOM writer and founder Om Malik described the G1 phone as the equivalent of the Honda to the iPhone’s BMW last fall in his review of the device. The Autonomobile is no Honda. The concept, intended for 2040, according to Design Magazine’s Dezeen blog (h/t Fast Company), and envisioned as “the end of driving,” is pretty out there when you consider the hurdles ahead for plug-in versions of the models we already drive. Mike and Maaike’s design nonetheless offers an interesting assembly of some real-world strategies for the future of transportation and reducing vehicle emissions. Read More about Google Phone Designers Envision Self-Driving Electric Concept Car

Android This Week: Cupcake Delayed, Rosie Revealed and a Possible Tablet Launch Planned

android-logoAndroid, the mobile phone platform launched by Google (s goog) last year, is still ramping up, but it’s already caused ripples throughout the smartphone world. We think it’s going to be a major player in the space so to that end, we will be taking a weekly look into the world of Android.

Topping the list of Android-related developments this week was T-Mobile’s delay of the rollout of Android 1.5, Cupcake. The free upgrade promises to be a good one, with the addition of new features alongside all the normal tweaks. T-Mobile G1 owners will no doubt enjoy the new video recording features of version 1.5, something iPhone owners are still waiting to get. The Cupcake upgrade will be pushed over-the-air to G1 phones over the next two weeks, according to T-Mobile. Read More about Android This Week: Cupcake Delayed, Rosie Revealed and a Possible Tablet Launch Planned

T-Mobile to Launch Many Android Devices Later This Year

T-Mobile USA is looking to introduce Android-based devices from three different manufacturers, Cole Brodman, chief technology officer of the company, said in a conversation with me earlier today. Android is a mobile OS developed by Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant, Google (s GOOG). “We are looking to launch multiple Android-based devices in the second half of this year with three partners,” he said. Brodman expects Android to find its way down into feature phones on the low end. T-Mobile has sold over a million G-1 Google Phones thus far, and most of the devices are turning out to be bandwidth hogs on par with Apple’s (s appl) super successful iPhone.

During our conversation Brodman hinted that T-Mobile USA is pretty optimistic about Android OS running on netbooks. He said he’s seen demo versions of Android-based netbooks from the largest U.S. computer manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, which would qualify as non-traditional partners. It seems Android is starting to gain some ground in the fight for netbooks. I will publish my entire interview with Brodman on Monday, after I transcribe the interview.