AT&T to Acquire Smart Home Startup Xanboo

The telco world is finally making some progress on the home automation and energy management front. On the heels of the news that Motorola will buy up smart home startup 4Home, CEPro is reporting that AT&T has acquired Xanboo, a home automation and energy player.

Quick Tip: Change iPhone App Icons Without Jailbreak

I stumbled across a nifty little way of changing the icons of iOS apps. It’s simple, works on both Mac and PC, and best of all, you don’t have to jailbreak to get it to work. No more ugly app icons cluttering up your home screen.

Lost Series Finale a Twitter Earthquake

The season finale of Lost yesterday was seen by 13.5 million viewers in the U.S., plus millions more around the globe through an unprecedented simulcast aimed at preventing P2P piracy. Pundits may think that’s weak, since earlier episodes of had up to 20 million people viewers, but one thing hasn’t changed: Lost gets people talking.

Lost fans sent out a total of 437,613 tweets during the series finale, according to new data from Trendrr. Just as a quick frame of reference: Twitter darling Glee got less than 20,000 tweets when its most recent episode aired last week.

Of course, “lost” isn’t exactly the easiest term to track. People lose their keys, get lost on the way to a restaurant, and so on. In fact, there were a total of 643,000 tweets mentioning the word yesterday (note to networks: if you want to utilize social media, learn from Glee and don’t use generic show names). Trendrr excluded all mentions of the word itself except for the time the finale aired, which means that countless “can’t wait 4 Lost finale 2night” tweets didn’t even make it into these stats.

Also noteworthy: The tweets include some early morning participation from Europe, as the UK’s Sky1 aired final episode simultaneously with the U.S. West Coast. Brits got to see the finale today at 5 a.m. local time, according to a report from the Guardian. There were also simulcasts in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Turkey and Canada. From the Guardian story:

“The unprecedented scheduling move aims to prevent illegal Internet downloads of the finale – and save UK fans of the show from having to spend five days dodging web spoilers.”

I know exactly what they’re talking about. I didn’t catch the finale yesterday, and I’ve been on a Twitter diet all day…

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Verizon Droid Does Android 2.1

After a lengthy wait and at least one delay, Verizon today began to push out the Android 2.1 update to its Motorola Droid customers. The update includes many feature I’ve enjoyed since January — multitouch and voice-to-text support just to name a few features.

Stat Shot: How the iPhone Changed the Handset Market

The change in the mobile phone market caused by the introduction of Apple’s iPhone has slightly cut the profits for the handset industry overall, but has most severely affected Nokia and Sony Ericsson, while boosting Research in Motion, according to data released today from Deutsche Bank.

Rumor Has It: AT&T Losing iPhone Exclusivity this Wednesday

According to a report over the weekend on HotHardware.com, Apple (s aapl) may have more to announce at its special event this Wednesday than its mythical tablet.

We have been led to believe by an inside source that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on the same day, though it’s not yet clear what other carrier (or carriers) will be stepping in to also carry the phone.

It doesn’t come as any great surprise to hear about the end of AT&T’s (s att) exclusive partnership with Apple, but I will be surprised if El Jobso deliberately announces it during his keynote. After all, if he did announce it, at what may become the most-watched-and-reported-on  keynote in Apple’s history, the predictable whoops of delight from the attendees will be hugely embarrassing for AT&T. Will Jobs be so insensitive?

AppleInsider says AT&T’s contract with Apple expires in June this year. Certainly, AT&T has recently been shoring-up its offering of smartphones to include Android-based handsets, but that’s hardly unusual for a mobile operator striving to remain relevant in a crowded and hugely competitive market.

While Apple may be looking forward to ending the exclusivity deal, I don’t think the same is true of AT&T. They have attracted and retained millions of new subscribers with the iPhone since its launch in 2007. The press hasn’t been kind to it, and even its own CEO has criticized its bandwidth-chomping customers, but I’m sure AT&T doesn’t regret one single lucrative day of that almost-three-year partnership. Read More about Rumor Has It: AT&T Losing iPhone Exclusivity this Wednesday

How Microsoft Can Get Back in the Mobile Game

LG, like many of its fellow manufacturers, is shifting its focus toward Android and away from Windows Mobile. As Microsoft scrambles to churn out the newest version of its mobile operating system, we offer some ideas to get back in the game.

Apple Making Mobile Safari Web Apps Better, Faster, Stronger

iPhone web apps aren’t being left behind by Apple (s aapl), despite the fact that the App Store has gone onto become such a huge success following its introduction in 2008. In fact, according to John Gruber at Daring Fireball, recent efforts on the Mac maker’s part show a real dedication to improving the platform’s web application experience.

In a lengthy post comparing developing using Cocoa Touch for the App Store vs. developing web applications, Gruber goes over the strengths and limitations of both. In the end, he reveals that a new web app framework would bring the experience of using web apps much closer to that of apps which reside natively on the iPhone. The new framework is apparently called PastryKit, and it’s an official Apple endeavor. Read More about Apple Making Mobile Safari Web Apps Better, Faster, Stronger