Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Barnes & Noble Enhances Nook Color

OnLine’s new apps mean Tablets can be gaming consoles
Cloud gaming developer OnLive has developed a set of apps that bring console gaming to tablet and mobile (i.e smartphones) platforms. The company said that this will open up top ranked, high performance games that were once only available on consoles to a market that is at least 500 million strong.

The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller enable a player to use a Wi-Fi network to play a program that is stored in the cloud and streamed live to the tablet, phone, PC or Mac. A user must own the program and once purchased it can be used on any device.

OnLive currently has a stable of 25 games that have been adapted to work with touch screen devices including L.A. Noire, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and Defense Grid Gold. The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller uses technology that the company is expected to be available soon for a list price of $49.99.

Barnes & Noble enhances Nook software
Barnes & Noble has released a software upgrade for its Nook Color, a move that brings the low cost device closer in features and capabilities to its more expensive Nook Tablet as well as rivals from other developers.

Among the new found features is access to Barnes & Noble’s huge Marvel graphic novel collection via Nook Comic, streaming movies and TV shows via Netflix as well as the Flixster app for on-the-go access to digital streaming media.

In all the company said that it added 100 enhancements that ranged from increased font size to the ability to read books in either landscape or portrait mode. Head over to Cnet for a fuller listing of features as well as some issues with the product.

Microsoft to offer Open Source Apps for Windows 8
ExtreameTech has reported that the advocates for Open Source software have won an unexpected ally with the announcement that Microsoft will allow open source apps at its Windows 8 app store.

Microsoft has long been a foe of the open source movement, but entering the app space much later than rivals Apple and the Android lineup it needs a boost and it appears it is taking a chance that one of its rivals is willing to take.

While Apple prohibits open source apps for its iOS in its store Microsoft has stated that it will allow apps developed under a license from the Open Source Initiative and that the OSI license will trump the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms that have tough sharing provisions.

The lack of open source apps has not seemed to hurt Apple yet as it just reported that it just had its 100 millionth app downloaded from its Mac App Store.

The Patent wars heat up
Motorola won an important ruling in German courts last week that could shackle Apple and force the company to pay out royalties and make changes to its technology. The court ruled that Apple has failed to license one of Motorola Mobility’s patent technologies.

Motorola could seek an injunction preventing Apple from selling products that contain the technology in dispute, which basically means no iPhone or iPad sales in Germany if granted. Apple said that t will appeal the ruling.
If Motorola wishes to have a sales injunction enforced against Apple it will need to post a $133 million bond to cover costs in case Apple later prevails in court. Motorola has licensed the technology in question to others but wanted to charge Apple at a higher rate.

Looking for an Android to call your own?
Not exactly what Harrison Ford was in a search and destroy mode in “Blade Runner”, but not like any phone you have used before, a strange new communications technology is emerging from the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) .

Called the Elfoid P1, it is a prototype tele-operated android that will, in the future, mimic motion and appearance of that of the users, hopefully conveying a more human sense to phone conversations.

Sadly it is not a machine that you can send to work in your place but rather a pint sized device that stands in as a phone and resembles, well here is a photo you can decide for yourself what it resembles. Not sure I would want to whip one of these out of my pocket at a business meeting to update my calendar.

If you have an interesting product or app showing at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show that you think we might be interested in drop us a line.


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