The week in gadgets

28 Mar 2011

A look at gadget, game and geek happenings in the week ahead.

Google gets its groove on with Disco

Google is getting into the groove with a new group messaging app called Disco that could be seen as a fist in the air at Facebook, which recently bought Beluga, as well as rising contenders like GroupMe.

The app was published over the weekend as a beta on the iPhone App Store and is based on the technology of Slide, a company Google bought last year for US$182m.

The app is aimed at folks who want to manage their communications with groups of co-workers, friends and colleagues.

Interestingly, Google purchased the domain last year for US$255,000. The feeling I’m getting is it is the first of a multi-pronged series of strategies that will emerge from Google in the year ahead as it hopes to make its stamp on the social media marketplace.

If successful, it also fits neatly with Google’s ambitions around mobile advertising.

Apple upgrades iOS

Apple has released the iOS 4.3.1 update, which will resolve a number of graphics and connectivity issues.

The minor update was released to coincide with the launch of the iPad 2 in 25 countries, including Ireland. The update brings security and performance enhancements to Apple’s iPhone 4, iPad, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch.

It fixes a graphics glitch found in the fourth-generation iPod touch, several bugs related to activating and connecting to some cellular networks, as well as a digital AV adapter issue that causes images to flicker.

Nokia confirms commitment to Symbian long after Windows debuts

Nokia says it will continue to sell smartphones using its legacy Symbian software for a long time after its first phone using Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 go on sale.

Over the next two years, Windows Phone software will replace Symbian.

There were fears Nokia will ultimately drop Symbian despite the fact it still generates strong sales for the company.

In an open letter to Nokia’s head of developer relations, Purnima Kochikar promised developers the company will be selling Symbian devices long after Windows Phone devices from Nokia start appearing.

Sony Ericsson to upgrade Xperia X10 to Gingerbread

Sony Ericsson has confirmed its flagship Android phone the Xperia X10 will receive the latest Android 2.3.3 firmware update.

The update is expected by the end of Q2, early Q3.

The company realised while developing the new range of Xperia phones that it was possible to deliver Gingerbread to the X10.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years