Apple is live streaming its likely announcement of a mini iPad today, a change from how the tech giant unveiled high-profile devices in recent years.FULL ENTRY
To honor the one-year anniversary of Steve Jobs's death, Apple has replaced its normal homepage with a short 1:45-minute video of the founder and former chief executive's life.
The video takes you through a series of fading-in-and-out, black-and-white photos showing various parts of his life -- including the release of the iMac and the iPhone.FULL ENTRY
The head of Apple said he was "extremely sorry" in an open letter today for the much maligned new maps that the tech giant rolled out as part of its new operating system last week.FULL ENTRY
A software company called Brainshark conducted a study on people's love for their iPads and what they would rather go without. You'd be surprised to hear what percentage would rather go without brushing their teeth or how many would prefer to have their nose broken than lose the portable device.FULL ENTRY
One analyst estimates that Apple sold a couple million fewer iPads than expected this holiday season, largely due to competition from Amazon.com's Kindle Fire.
Join Weight Watchers--there's a monthly subscription fee--and you can now get an app for Androids and iPhones that will let you check the calorie count and nutrition info on many food items by simply scanning the barcode on the package. Pretty cool.
Think your smartphone or tablet can tell if you've had one too many? I doubt it, and so do the folks at computer security software maker Webroot. But that didn't stop them from whipping up an amusing little app that'll delight your friends at upcoming holiday parties. The Sobriety Test app, available for iOS and Android devices, features a bunch of silly puzzles and games which supposedly measure your ability to hold your liquor. There's also a prudent legal disclaimer warning that the Sobriety Test is really nothing of the sort--just a bit of silly fun.
That could be the effect of an injunction issued by a German court today. I doubt it'll hold. Apple got a similar injunction earlier this year against Samsung's Galaxy tablet computer, and that was downgraded to cover only Germany, not all of Europe.
Still, it shows how high the stakes are in this battle to dominate tablet and smartphone sales. All sides in this fight are using live ammo and playing for keeps.
According to this survey, iPad owners are exceedingly satisfied. Owners of Android tablets...not so much.
Here's a report that Apple has already begun manufacturing the iPad 3.
It's starting to look that way, according to Forrester Research. Apple's iPad dominates, and Google's Android is gaining a foothold thanks to the Kindle Fire and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. So when Windows 8 debuts next year, will anybody care? Looks like Microsoft has arrived too late.
Four decades ago, Intel created the first true microprocessor. We're all still trying to catch up.
Adobe gives up on developing its Flash software for mobile devices. Apple's refusal to support Flash on the iPhone and iPad, saying it was too slow and used too many resources, was presumably the last straw. Soon, none of us will be using Flash on portable devices--not even Android owners. And Steve Jobs laughs from the grave.
Give this guy two iPads, and he develops a brilliantly gruesome Halloween costume. I'm just glad he's on our side...or is he?
Nothing like having your favorite team win--and then taunting fans of the defeated foe. It's unsportsmanlike, but kinda fun. And now, sure enough, there's an app for it. PlayUp is a free iPhone social app for sports lovers, with listings of upcoming games in a variety of sports--baseball, American football, soccer, even cricket. You can log onto chatrooms devoted to thousands of sporting matches happening all over the world. There you can peck out text messages mocking your rivals or bemoaning the performance of your favorites. It's a great idea for fans who can't resist rubbing it in.
Oh well. Some people are never satisfied.
I think the coming Apple iPhone 4S is a pretty major overhaul in its own right, but some are disappointed Apple didn't go even further. Well, here's a very plausible analysis that suggests that Apple's got very good reason for holding off on the iPhone 5...
...if you're in California. The governor there just vetoed a bill that would have required cops to get a warrant before viewing the data stored in a suspect's phone. So now, a cop can just take your phone and start skimming through whatever he finds there.
A whole lot of companies have tried to challenge the might of the iPad--with generally sorry results. The Technologizer takes us on a rather depressing trip down Memory Lane...
Let it go, Red Sox fans. Forget about baseball and move on. It's football season, and time for tailgate parties. Also, time for the new sport of competitive tailgating. Here's a new iPhone app to let tailgaters slug it out in the name of total stadium parking lot supremacy.
In the overall mobile device market, Android is smoking Apple's iOS. And here's why.
Okay, not really. But the iPad is well and truly losing market share to Android tablets. Bound to happen. But iPad will remain the leader--count on it.
Apple's bid to trademark the term "multi-touch" to describe its lovely little touchscreens has been iced by an unwilling federal court.
Here's a report claiming that Apple is moving to cut back on iPad production. Not clear what it means, but it's possible that sales are beginning to slow a bit.
Worried about the school-bus-sized satellite hurtling down from orbit? Keep up with the latest news on smartphone apps from NASA. News updates, videos, a Twitter feed...it's all here. And it's free for iPhone, iPad or Android users.
US Marine pilots use 'em in the skies over Afghanistan, as navigation aids.
LocalHero is a social networking app that assists you in finding help from friends and neighbors. Good idea.
Lots of people have fallen in love with their iPads. The new online dating app from the relationship website eHarmony might let users fall in love on their iPads.
A new study finds that iPad-equipped college students do better in school.
"Yeah, dad! That's why I need an iPad. It's...educational!"
Passengers on Southwest Airlines will soon get videos beamed straight to their smartphones or tablets via Wi-Fi. Offerings to include the Three Stooges. Now we're talking!
A German court upholds a ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy tablet computer in that country. I reviewed the Galaxy a few weeks ago. it's the best non-iPad tablet I've seen. But Apple says it's a shameless ripoff, and the German court agrees. The Galaxy is still available in the US...but for how long?
I guess the giant online retailer figures there's room for one more...
The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers is issuing iPads to every player to hold their playbooks and game film.
I attended a wedding at a Congolese church yesterday. Pastor ran the entire service off software stored on his iPad. Scripture reading, vows, everything...all in French. And one of the guests, a bald, middle-aged guy, kept holding up his Android tablet--I think it was a Motorola Xoom--and using it to take pictures of the event. No doubt about it. Tablets are here to stay.
Its TouchPad tablet is going nowhere fast, so HP is cutting the price to $399, making it cheaper than the iPad. It's a nice piece of hardware but can never hope to match the vast array of iPad apps and accessories. So a lower price is about all it can hope to offer.
Patents filed by Apple suggest the company plans to build video projectors into future iPhones, iPad and MacBooks. That means users will be able to project photos, videos or documents against any nearby surface, thereby delighting friends and colleagues. Picoprojectors haven't been all that popular with consumers up to now. But if anybody can fix that, it's Apple.
A new app for iPhones, iPads and Androids feeds the latest arts coverage from the New Yorker straight to your mobile device.
How do you smuggle iPads into China? Any which way you can...
A new free iPhone app takes speech recognition to a new level. Dragon Go, from Burlington-based Nuance, makes it easy to search a host of Internet data sources--not just Google--by speaking into your iPhone. Want to see videos of the space shuttle launch, for instance? Just ask for them. This is one nice app.
A new website claims to provide accurate information about the safety of apps for Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Android phones. Worried about downloading an app infected with malware? Maybe these guys can help.
Help the people of Japan by playing games. That's the pitch from PopCap, one of the world's top makers of casual games. On Saturday and Sunday, PopCap will slash the prices on its games for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone, and donate every penny to the Red Cross. What a lovely idea. God bless them.
With a faster processor but a lousy camera, I'd call it a wash.
The Internet's nearly full up, because of all the phones and tablets and game consoles and such that we keep plugging in. But a new Internet addressing scheme is about to solve that problem--permanently.
Motorola's tablet computer is here, and while it won't be an iPad-killer, it definitely kills.
...to liking the new Roman Catholic confession app for the iPhone. No, you can't get absolution from sin merely by using the phone. It's actually a handy and well-designed aid to the sacrament. I was brought up Catholic, but currently hang with the Baptists. Still, I plan on using this app again, as a handy guide to the strait and narrow path.
One analyst says that sales of the Galaxy Tab are falling short of expectations, but so are those of Apple's iPad. Hmmm...
AT&T stores are about to start selling Apple's iPad. No surprise, really. But what about the news from Verizon Wireless? It's becoming an iPad retailer as well. Gives ever more plausibility to the rumors that Verizon will soon offer the iPhone.
Research in Motion Ltd. unveiled a BlackBerry tablet computer today, just as expected. The new PlayBook will run an entirely different operating system from today's BlackBerry phones, and will support Adobe Flash, unlike the Apple iPad. As RIM's strength in smartphones continues to fade, this could be just the gamechanger that the company needs. But only if the PlayBook is really good. We'll find out when the product makes its debut in 2011.
Not sure about the iPad? A bunch of alternative tablet computers are on the way...
Apple could see the iPad become its second-most-lucrative product in a couple years, right behind...the iPhone. So the Mac computer is rapidly fading as a revenue source for the company. No wonder they changed the name from Apple Computer to just plain Apple.
They're making it easier to get new apps approved. Credit increased competition from Android phones, and greater scrutiny from federal regulators.
Do your digital pictures need digital frames? Darned If I can see the point of it, but a guy named Eli Wilner is hot on the idea. Mind you, he's prejudiced--Wilner is a major producer of real-world picture frames, some of which carry six-figure price tags. Yeah, I don't get that either.
Anyway, Wilner is now selling an iPhone/iPad app that'll let you drape a stylish frame around your digital snapshots and share them with friends and family. I tried the $1.99 iPhone app and...it works. Definitely. I know a picture frame when I see one, and sure enough, the pictures on my iPhone were well and truly framed. Yes sirree.
Still dunno why I'd want them to be, but that's just me.
For $4.99 you can get the iPad version, with really big frames. Each app lets you choose from 100 different frame styles.
Wilner is convinced he's onto something. He's so eager to get the word out that his company sent me an iPhone, just to try the frame program. I remain unconvinced. Nice iPhone, though.
Amidst all the Apple news, CEO Steve Jobs cast doubt on Google's claims about the popularity of its Android operating system. Well, Google's not going to take that lying down.
Sprint unleashes its 4G cellular data service in Boston, but rival T-Mobile says its improved 3G service, also just launched, is equally fast. Let the high-speed data flow like wine!
So says Bloomberg News. It's reporting that Research In Motion, in a bid to compete with the Apple iPad, will introduce its own "BlackPad" tablet device in November. The new gadget will have Wi-Fi wireless networking, as well as Bluetooth for data sharing with the user's BlackBerry phone.
RIM's seen its market share slip as the iPhone catches on with the corporate and government markets that the BlackBerry has long dominated. RIM hopes to slow the bleeding by announcing a major new smartphone on Tuesday. Taking on Apple in the tablet market would be a remarkably aggressive play, but that could be just the thing to get RIM back on track.
Besides, everybody else wants a piece of the iPad. Microsoft's chief Steve Ballmer said yesterday that his company's going all out to build a rival tablet; Hewlett-Packard plans Microsoft-based tablets for corporate use; and Korea's LG is working on a tablet based on Google's Android software.
British troops use iPads to master the use of heavy artillery.
That's what Flipboard gives you--a digital publication cobbled together from your own Facebook and Twitter data feeds, rich with graphics and full of the stuff that interests you. Here's my take on one of the most innovative iPad apps yet.
For $10 a month, Hulu Plus will pump dozens of your favorite shows right into your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Here's my take on it.
Apple comes through loud and clear, even with the iPhone 4's bum antenna. Profits up 77% in the latest quarter. Wow.
That's the word at Amazon.com. A big price cut has helped shore up the continued popularity of its Kindle e-book readers, and sales of the devices have kept right on growing, even as Apple sells out of iPads. In addition, Amazon said it now sells more electronic books than hardcover books. Yep, despite my early misgivings, it looks like e-books do have a future.
That's how many iPads Apple has sold so far. It's been just 80 days. Wow.
With Apple's iPad selling like wildfire, Amazon.com has no choice but to slash the price of its Kindle e-book readers from $259 to $189.
This just landed in my e-mail box:
SEATTLE—June 21, 2010—Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that Amazon Kindle, the best e-reader on the market (see this recent press release from the world's leading consumer reporting organization—http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2010/06/amazons-kindle-tops-cr-ebook-reader-ratings.html), is now only $189, down from $259. Kindle is the 3G wireless portable reader that allows you to think of a book and be reading in 60 seconds, from wherever you happen to be. Easy to read even in bright sunlight, the 10.2 ounce Kindle is light enough for one-handed reading. Even though it's a 3G wireless device, Kindle has no monthly fees or annual contracts. The Kindle Store includes over 600,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 109 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. In addition, over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available to read on Kindle. Since its release, Kindle has been the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon. Kindle is in stock and available for immediate shipment at the new lower price of $189. Learn more at www.amazon.com/kindle.
On the very same day, Barnes & Noble cuts the price of its Nook e-reader and introduces a cheaper Wi-Fi-only version. Isn't cutthroat competition delightful?
We've heard that one before. But it's become a lot more plausible lately, due to the rise of mobile devices and cloud computing . Here's long-time tech analyst Henry Blodget, warning Microsofties that the end is near...
I'm not talking about digital viruses, either. I mean good old-fashioned germs, the kind your mom was worried about when she taught you to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Needless to say, even the cleanest of us are covered with microscopic bugs, and some of them end up on our smartphones whenever we touch them. Which is why the world needs something like this--a gadget disinfector. Personally, I just use those disinfectant wipes every now and then. But maybe it's time for an upgrade....
Here's an analyst who says that despite the iPad's higher price, it's destined to dominate the e-book market and topple Amazon's Kindle.
Tablets will outsell cheap netbook computers by 2012, according to Forrester Research in Cambridge. And the year after that, they'll outsell desktops. Wow.
It's a smart way to get back some of the cash you paid for aging gadgets. Here's how...
Funny thing about Wikipedia, the Internet's giant user-created encyclopedia. it's so small. It seems to contain summaries of all the world's knowledge. Yet it really takes up remarkably little space in digital terms--about six gigabytes. Heck, you can fit that much data on a smartphone these days.
And here's an app to let you do it. AllOfWiki Offline is a $10 app for iPhones and iPads that does something very simple and powerful. It downloads all the text content of Wikipedia, and stores it in your device's memory. Now it doesn't matter if you can't score a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. You've always got Wikipedia, as well as an nice-looking interface for quickly looking up information on pretty much anything.
On the downside, updates--available on a monthly basis--are $1 apiece. If you're a hardcore user you'll probably want those updates, and so the price of the app soon gets a bit steep. And with Wi-Fi connections so widely available--Starbucks Wi-Fi service goes free-of-charge starting next month, this is an app you can easily live without.
Still, it's kind of cool to tote around this much knowledge in your pocket.
How'd the company manage to expose the e-mail addresses of iPad 3G users? Here's AT&T's explanation.
And here's a comment from the hackers who uncovered the problem.
This report indicates that the upgrade to the iPhone operating system is just the first step in bringing true multitasking to the device. All the app developers will have to upgrade their software as well, and quite a few of them may not bother. Which means that full-bore multitasking on the iPhone may be further away than we thought...
Thousands affected, according to the tech website Valleywag.
The version of Apple's iPad which that connects to AT&T's 3G network was affected a security flaw that exposed the e-mail addresses of many prominent owners, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel tells me the breach is closed and that it doesn't affect any other devices on the AT&T 3G network, like the iPhone. Still, this isn't going to do much for AT&T's reputation. And Apple 's been given one more reason to consider offering its products through rival carrier Verizon Wireless
Steve Jobs is to address Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference today at 1 pm Boston time, and he's expected to unveil a certain much-anticipated new cellphone.
Here's a nice little news reader from France, for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Stories are arranged in a mindmap-style configuration, making it easy to read about the same event in dozens of major newspapers. Each news page is displayed in Apple's cool Cover Flow feature, the way an iPod shows off album cover art. Touch the newspaper of your choice, and it enlarges into a full-screen browser page. leNewz is marred by an odd litlle control bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, and obstructs your view of news pages. Otherwise, this handy little program is an excellent way to quickly get a broad perspective on the day's major news stories. Not quite magnifique, but mighty close.
The researchers at Nielsen know, and they're spilling the beans.
For instance, the average iPhone has 37 apps on board, compared with 22 for Androids and a mere 10 for BlackBerries. And 21 percent of Americans now have a smartphone. And there's more interesting data where this came from...
The company's new multi-tiered pricing plan includes a $15-a-month tier that could make data service cheap enough for entry-level users. Smart move.
UPDATE: Oops. Turns out that under the new AT&T pricing plan , the $30-a-month unlimited option.goes bye-bye, except for existing customers who've already signed up for it. Now that is a bummer.
I try to wear comfy shoes during my rare trips to shopping malls; just finding the right shop often requires a good hike, made more strenuous by the difficulty in figuring out where you're going. The mall developers never put up enough maps to suit me; I suspect they want us wandering around aimlessly, in hopes we'll be suckered into a few more impulse purchases.
Well, here's a smarter impulse for Android and iPhone users. Before heading to the mall, download Point Inside, a handy free app that puts the mall map in your pocket. Point Inside uses the phone's GPS feature to identify nearby malls. Tap the icons, and you'll see a map showing the location of every store in the mall. Many stores will have built-in links that provide the shop's phone number and a link to its website.
Point Inside features maps for hundreds of malls throughout the US, and also features maps of major airports. You may still have to walk quite a bit, but at least you'll know where you're heading.
Remember when Japan dominated consumer electronics? When almost every new gadget worth having was stamped with the logo of Sony or Panasonic? Well, that's pretty much over now. The coolest stuff seems to come from the South Koreans, and from the Good Ol' USA. Witness the huge pent-up demand among Japanese consumers for Apple's iPad.
One tech analyst says that's how many iPads Apple is selling.
According to this Reuters story, next generation cellphones and 4G Internet service may become widely available faster than you might have expected. Consumers have fallen in love with high-speed wireless, and carriers are eager to cash in.
I know it's considered a classic, but I think the 1983 film Scarface is one of the worst movies of its era, and the film that marks the terminal decline of Al Pacino's acting career. So I wasn't particularly inclined to enjoy Scarface: Last Stand, an iPhone game that celebrates that film's idiotic, blood-saturated conclusion. Still, it was free for one day only--yesterday to you luckless latecomers--so I couldn't resist downloading it and taking it for a spin.
I've given it 15 minutes. Maybe it gets better with age, but so far, Scarface: Last Stand serves up gory, pointless tedium. Basically, the rival drug gang breaks into the mansion, they shoot at you and you shoot back. At its normal price of $7, I'd say keep your money. But then I felt the same way about the movie, which remains popular over a quarter century after its release. So what do I know?
I didn't much care for Foursquare at first blush. This article makes me think I should give it another shot...
And there's a bit of bad news buried in the story Verizon's chief exec, Lowell McAdam, said that when Verizon unveils its 4G network, it'll also unveil higher prices:
That new network promises much higher speeds for transferring video, for example. Verizon says it will be running in 25 to 30 cities by the end of the year.
The new network will likely bring a shift from current unlimited-use pricing plans.
"The old model of one price plan per device is going to fall away," Mr. McAdam said, adding that he expects carriers to take an approach that targets a "bucket of megabytes."
With multiple devices, customers are likely to end up paying more for connecting their gadgets to the next-generation network than they do today, he said. "It's not out of the question," he said.
Too bad there's no Live Mesh for the iPhone or iPad. Then again, there's Dropbox, a program that does much the same thing, and offers a free iPhone-iPad app. The free version of Dropbox stores just 2 gigs of data; for more storage, you've got to pay monthly fees. In addition, the Dropbox app doesn't copy all your stuff to the iPhone. Instead, it lets you view all your "boxed" files, and download particularly important ones. If you juggle lots of files, the Dropbox app is surely worth a download.
Lee Gomes of Forbes has noticed the same thing, and has coined a klutzy but accurate new nickname for the iPad. Gomes calls it a "couchtop" computer. And Gomes is right.
It may make sense to be done with it. Windows 7, though much lighter and more efficient than Windows Vista, is still a full-fledged desktop operating system. Even though it runs pretty well on netbooks, it's clearly not suited for super-simple touchscreen tablet devices. Microsoft would need to undertake a major rewrite and strip the software down to its essentials.
I guess they decided it's just not worth the bother, with the iPad doing so well. Besides, we can likely expect future tablets running Google's Android operating system, a simpler product that does well on smartphones and will probably work fine on slate-type computers as well. So where's the benefit to Microsoft in spending another year or so prepping a Windows 7 tablet? Probably not much.
And yet... remember that Microsoft launched tablet computers nearly a decade ago. The biggest, richest software company on earth partnered with the world's top computer hardware makers to develop dozens of tablets. Yet in nearly 10 years, they couldn't create something that consumers wanted to buy. Apple managed it on the first try.
Cupertino, 1. Seattle, 0.
I think the iPad is mainly an entertainment and information tool, rather than a device for doing real work. But it turns out that some of the best selling apps for the iPad are the sort you use for...doing real work.
And I mainly use it to play HarborMaster and watch Netflix movies. Shame on me.