MediaFile

GlobalMedia-Gaming giants differ on mobile, social games

kotickMuch of the buzz in gaming these days revolves around two small but fast-growing areas: social games and mobile ones played on smartphones. But two titans of the video game industry have decidedly different takes on those markets.

There are already tens of thousands of game apps available for the iPhone and competing Android smartphones, and tens of millions of people playing free games on Facebook.

Still, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (pictured) sounded less than enthusiastic about those markets when he spoke to the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York on Tuesday. And that represented a stark contrast from what Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said just a day earlier

Kotick on apps: “We don’t view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games.”

On tablets: “I think it is a different device than a mobile device, but from a gaming perspective it is probably not a big opportunity for us just yet.”

A “completely new” iPad, says Jobs, for the holidays

APPLE/The iPad will have just a smattering of competition for the holiday season, but nonetheless, Steve Jobs says he is basically reinventing Apple’s tablet as consumers prepare to hit the stores over the next five weeks.

Apple on Monday announced the latest software update for the iPad, bringing multitasking, AirPrint and a few other goodies to the touchscreen tablet.  While these features are certainly nice (they came to the iPhone earlier this year), Jobs took it a bit further. And he of course didn’t pass up an opportunity to smack his tablet rivals, which include Samsung and Research in Motion.

“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” Jobs said in a news release. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”

I hear you, says AT&T

speechrecognition

Anybody who’s been at the wrong end of a automated customer service conversation may understandably have doubts about speech recognition technology. Personally I’ve been frustrated by systems that couldn’t understand something as basic as whether I’d answered “yes” or “no.”

But AT&T says that after working on speech recognition for more than 20 years, it’s come a long way, in improving  accuracy and in developing cool applications.

After years of profiting handsomely from touchscreen technology in the form of Apple Inc’s iPad, maybe voice will be the next hot mobile interface for the operator?

Adobe CEO on Apple: “Let the games begin”

MEDIA-SUMMIT/The war between Apple and Adobe, which revolves around the use of Adobe’s Flash software on devices like the iPhone and iPad, has simmered down to a low boil, but it certainly hasn’t gone away. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen turned up at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, and the first question out the gate from the interviewer was about — what else? — Apple.

Although Narayen said the media is doing its part to help fuel the spat, he sounded anything but conciliatory:

“There’s a war happening for developers … Adobe has always been about helping people create content for multiple devices, multiple platforms … Apple and Adobe are on different sides of that point of control.”

Sprint gets iPhone too? Well, not really

While the rumor mill has been heating to a frenzy over whether and when Verizon Wireless will get its hands on iPhone,  Sprint Nextel has quietly found its own way to associate its brand with Apple’s i-empire, in the form of a wireless case for the iPod Touch. ZTE_3200_PEEL_GL

On Sunday Sprint will start selling  Peel,  a ZTE-made  case for the iPod Touch, that will connect the device via Wi-Fi to its cellular network.

This means Sprint customers will be able to connect their iPod Touch to the Internet via Sprint’s cellular network rather than depending on Wi-Fi, a short-range wireless technology that is widely installed in places such as coffee shops or airports but more limited in coverage than cellular networks.

Verizon’s iPad launch: Is this the right party?

It’s become a time-honored tradition: Start selling an Apple gadget and brace for the throngs of eager consumers.VZiPad

For Verizon Wireless, the big day was Thursday, as the nation’s largest wireless carrier for the first time began to sell the sleek iPad tablet PC.

But by the looks of the store in downtown San Francisco that Reuters happened upon on Thursday morning, things were clearly not following the traditional script.

What’s holding up the white Apple iPhone?

APPLE/Apple-philes waiting breathlessly for the white iPhone 4 will need to hang on even longer before they …well, wait in line outside their nearest Apple store to get their hands on one.

The company announced on Tuesday it’s delaying the release of the white model again, this time until next spring. It’s the third such delay since the latest version of the popular smartphone was released in June.

“We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone again,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters.

New Yahoo app to challenge Apple FaceTime on iPhone

yahoovideochatApple has based a great deal of its iPhone 4 marketing blitz around its so-called FaceTime video calling technology.

But Yahoo is about to challenge Apple for the mobile video calling crown, with plans to brings video chat to iPhones and Android-based phones via its popular Yahoo Messenger instant messaging service.

During a briefing with Reuters on Thursday, David Katz, Yahoo’s VP of Mobile for the Americas region, let it slip that the company will soon be offering mobile app versions of Yahoo Messenger with built-in video calling capabilities.

Google’s Brin: Make smartphone apps searchable

For more than a decade, GOOGLE/Google has reigned supreme as the main gateway to online information.

But with consumers increasingly accessing the Internet through specialized apps on smartphones like Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Web search engine could be at risk of playing a smaller role in the Internet’s next phase.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has an answer: Make apps searchable.

On the sidelines of the press event in San Francisco to unveil Google Instant on Wednesday, Brin offered some thoughts on the future of apps and search.

War of Words: Google’s Android sharpens speech-recognition in duel with Apple’s iPhone

Google fired the latest salvo in the smartphone war with Apple on Thursday, jazzing up the allure of its Android phones with new voice recognition capabilities.

Google’s new Voice Actions feature lets users of Android phones quickly send text messages, play online music or find a restaurant’s phone number by barking commands into the handset.

SAMSUNG-PHONES/Anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel on a long drive, or running through an airport carrying multiple bags, will recognize the appeal of firing off a quick missive by saying something like “send text to Marlo, I’m running ten minutes late,” instead of stopping to type everything out.