Apple Going Green Will End The Paper Magazines Existence

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The future of the news starts to look different than we imagined it. And the main change Apple suggests through the Apple Tablet is the disappearance of paper publishing.

In a time when allowing your readers to consult the press on the internet, for free (as they have done for about 15 years now), is less and less profitable (the most part of media trusts are firing employees worldwide), Apple comes on stage with a tablet that offers a multitude of functions: from surfing the internet to playing games and reading e-books; of course, playing the role of a newspaper is a valid option, too.

The reason Apple Tablet has huge chances of being successful is its software. With the help of the iTunes Store, a platform anyone can purchase, anyone can subscribe to as many online publications as they like and get them instantly.

One thing is for sure: although it will take a while for people to get used to the idea that they have to pay for an online content, they will soon understand that this one is actually considerably cheaper than the printed version.

And since Apple promises to make it highly portable also, there seems to be no downside to the new technology in spite of considerable investments for a start. The change of things will certainly take time though but we are getting there. And there means…no more mountains of paper resulted from decimating trees.

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Google seeks Apple’s Approval

Posted by on Jul 11, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Yes that true Google is waiting for Apple’s approval for Google Application on ipad and iphone. For Google to success along with facebook and twitter, it is very important that it should reach maximum number of mobile devices. But getting space on mobile phone devices depends upon different types of platforms which various mobile platforms offer such as Symbian, Android or Apple’s OS.

However, we all are aware of the fact that Apple has strict control over the applications running on their platform. But officially Google has not declared about their iPhone’s application.

Google’s Employee Erica Joy in her Google+ page said,” Soon Google+ official application may be approved by Apple’s corporation and all iPhones and iPads users can enjoy the application benefits.

According to Torchen Stauch, an executive officer of Apple’s corporation,” there will be some benefits if Google+ application gets approved by us. Firstly Apple store will get a lot of exposure and secondly push alert services will be beneficial for then as user will be engaged in accessing the application.

However there are some chances of rejection also, as earlier Skype also offered the same application for iPhone users but it was rejected by Apple. So it is clear that if giant like Skype can be rejected than why not Google? Now google is also waiting for approval and that’s the reason behind that google has not officially declared its launching with apple.

Not only apple rejected Skype but earlier it has also rejected two application of Google i.e. Latitude and Voice. Apple rejected it because these applications violated the rules and regulations of Apple store and services. After that, by the investigation of Federal Communication of US, Apple made some relaxation in their rules.

Google is trying best for their Google+ application. The perfect example of this is that its official application is already available for Android operating system and Google is waiting for others giants to approve it.

Rax lakhani; the social media consultant said, “ Even if Google+ application is rejected by Apple then also there are certain available options for them such as Web Application.”

There are several iPhone users who do not use Facebook or twitter official application but web services are always the option available.

Now let’s see, how much Google+ grow in mobile world. What do you think?

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Apple releases iOS 4.2

Posted by on Jul 11, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Samsung Galaxy Tab: Google Android With 3G Network

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Samsung has just come up with a 7-inch device that is called galaxy tab. Samsung Galaxy tab is a device that runs on Google android 2.2 operating system. Galaxy tab has an LCD display and the weight is only 0.8 pounds. This weight is much less that the competitor Apple iPad. This galaxy tab is one device that runs off a cortex and that is A8 1.0 GHz processor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Specifications

Samsung galaxy tab specs uses network of 2G and 3G network. It is soon to be announced in September itself.  Galaxy tab has TFT capacitive touch screen and it has many other features like multi touch input method, accelerometer sensor, three-axis gyro sensor, touch sensitive colours, proximity sensor and swipe text input too. In case of memory, this galaxy tab uses unlimited storage for phone calls and numbers. It runs on android OS and gives you 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity too. It has a front facing camera too. You can also make your phone calls using blue tooth and headset too. For external memory storage, it has micro SD support with it. It uses 3.5 mm audio jack along with USB port so it gives you much ease in connectivity methods. This Samsung android also supports social networking integration along with some Google in built products like Gmail, you tube, Gtalk etc. it gives you full Adobe Flash support. This Samsung galaxy android comes in two colours black and grey and they both look stylish yet classic.

 

samsung galax tab - review, price, specs

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab Release

Although official date is yet not out but it is expected to release within September itself. Samsung galaxy price would be seen after its release only. This galaxy android 2.2 is surely going to win many hearts with its great features. This galaxy android 2.2 is going to be released in IFA electronics show this week.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Android Review

This galaxy android 2.2 gives you good resolution along with perfect Google android operating system. So, it is much user friendly. With camera and video chat options, you can hardly slip from your hand off a device. It has rear as well as front camera and rear camera gives a resolution of 3.1 mp camera. As it is, going to be realised soon not much time is left when you would come to know the exact specifications and features about the Samsung galaxy tab. The galaxy android 2.2 has some of its pics revealed and it looks stylish enough. Although the size of phone is hardly some inches smaller than the competitor Apple iPad but yet it gives you complete features and feel of a good device. It is expected that this galaxy tab android is surely going to give java 1.5 features in it too.

samsung galaxy tab android 2.2 phone

To know the authenticity of all features and specifications being discussed, we all need to wait for the phone to release. But major of these features would be surely covered in this android invention.

 

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Apple TV review: get in to detail with complete package

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Apple TV has been the new release from Apple and it bridges iTunes to television very easily. As long as you have HD or ED TV, you can help it through playing movies, shows, music videos, podcasts and of course music.

Apple TV hardware details

When you order an Apple TV, you get some of the main things that will help you to attach and set it up. It includes a black and chrome cardstock sleeve. This sleeve can hold more robust box that can unfold in two halves. One-half of it contains Apple TV while the other half set contains Apple remote that comes in standard form. With an Apple TV you have to include a power cord, another major connection include HDMI with integrated audio, HDMI with separate audio, HDMI to DVI adapters, analog audio and TOS link digital audio. These cables sit and attach themselves easily. This Apple TV has light grey top and aluminium body that make it look classy.  Apple TV’s footprint is larger than the Mac Mini or Airport Extreme. Apple TV is said to be an Intel based computer that has 256 MB of RAM and vivid graphic accelerator chip to support the hardware. It also includes a standard 2.5-inch IDE hard drive, a miniature IDE hard drive. This Apple TV hardware also consists of miniature 802.11n wireless card. It also includes a specialised video hardware. In short, Apple TV can be said to be a miniature laptop that comes with a set top box.

apple-tv-remote-hdtv

Apple TV remote is of standard size and that comes within the main package of Apple TV set box. Although the basic Apple TV remote is very trivial to learn but if you have earlier, used nay of Mac and other such device then you can learn about this remote easily. The interface that this Apple TV has clear front row and you will find it simple and easy to use. With such a sharp and gorgeous feature, this Apple TV is going to make everything look perfect. Apple TV remote has three primary media playback options and those are play/pause, forward, back.

Apple TV features: software and hardware content

This Apple TV helps you to watch good and accurate video quality. Initially it was thought that Apple may not be able to handle HD but when you use it, you can use it effectively. Music and Podcasts are something that you always expected from Apple. You have good fast forward and rewind behaviour. In fact, the photo slideshows are just amazing. You can even share all everything with Mac and other PCS. Apple TV also helps you to show all movies and TV shows reviews and trailers. Apple TV has great performance and it just work the way consumer want it to. Video and audio just run in sync and there is no stepping away from each other. Some initial hardware setup may be there but if you read manual and then do the set up effectively, there would not be any misleading.

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Opera to drive fast on Android

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Many of us don’t like the unflavored and tedious Internet explorer and me especially. And at the same time web browser known an Opera has taken full advantage of such opportunity offering the high speed and many other features which some unknown for some browsers. Opera is renowned for its mobile browser too called the Mini. Mini also offers the same in the cellular world. But for a cellular Operating System, it seems ready to unleash all the ingredients infused in it. Yes, I am talking about the Opera mini which is not Mini for Android OS.

A big grapevine was in the air for about months, it also struck my eyes, sounded a bit unique. Yes it is unique as the opera is launching its full version for the Android operating system. Opera has groomed its browser with its hardware acceleration inclusion. This hardware acceleration feature allows no frame breakage when you zoom in or zoom out while browsing. So, we all won’t have to wait for the browser to zoom in while accessing internet. Smart phones have this problem which doesn’t show any smartness. These phones were lacking in the browsing turf were flexibility was missing which should be present.

Many Operating systems developed for the Smart phones still have this drawback and standards other than Apple iPhone were working on it intensively. There was a rumor with the new symbian series for smart phones will allow such technology. The technology of 3G will be fully utilized with this technology as Video watching, rendering, and almost everything won’t remain the same. Android has the platform which can support the demands of the Opera.

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While reading this, you haunt yourself asking the question, what is hardware acceleration? It is not the acceleration associated with cars, it just reflects on the fact that it will enhance the speed of the machine. As Opera is a browser, so it will augment the downloading and uploading speed of a webpage. So, how does it work? It is a bit tricky as every engineer is working on this and it will be unraveled only after the official launch of the Opera on Android. Earlier it was a rumor but now it is a reality and I am certainly excited about it as I have the HTC.

Again, a shocker for you all (readers), Opera will enhance its Mini and other mobile browsers with the similar hardware acceleration technology.  This technology will be available for every platform and will be a great support to the 3G lovers.

My verdict will be very colorful and vivid. This will be great breakthrough for those people who had the 3G service but didn’t have the platform to make the most of it. It will also upgrade our hunger for more from Android and Opera. This is just an upgrade in acceleration; still there are many loop holes in the Multimedia or smart phones present in the market.  I love HTC and I love Android, so it will be very exciting and I am building up for the official launch.

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Windows 7 Running on iPod Touch 3G / 4G

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We know it’s hard to believe the title of the post and not many Apple fan boys will ever appreciate it but it looks this could become reality very soon. The ModMyI forum member LaGGaH has posted alleged screenshots of what he says is Windows 7 running on iPod Touch & he is planning to upload full Windows 7 Ultimate Soon! At the moment following features seems to be working.

Working Features
Working Start Menu
Internet Explorer
Windows Media Player
New icons
Folders
Gadgets
Windows 7 sounds

Windows 7 on iPod Touch 4G & 3G

We do have reasons for not to believe in these screenshots, it could be VNC viewer running on iPod Touch or this is just Windows 7 look alike theme for iPod Touch. But possibilities can’t be discarded as Android is already ported to iPhone & iPod Touch and several other smartphones in past like Sony Ericsson Xperia was hacked to run Ubuntu, Nokia N900 booted with Ubuntu Mobile.

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Report: Convenience means iTunes users will pay for iTunes Match

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Though some iCloud functionality is already available to iTunes users (purchase history and Automatic Downloads, specifically), the paid iTunes Match service doesn’t launch until fall. But The NPD Group thinks there will be ample demand for such a service when it does arrive, according to details from an upcoming report it shared with us. But why are users so eager to sign up?

Forty-six percent of iTunes users surveyed by The NPD Group for its upcoming “iTunes User Report” expressed interest in signing up for a paid cloud music service, were Apple to offer one. Of course, since Monday, we’ve learned Apple does intend to offer such a service, in the form of iTunes Match. iTunes Match will scan a user’s local iTunes library, and provide access to high quality AAC files of songs found for direct download to any device associated with their iTunes account. Scanned music doesn’t necessarily have to come from the iTunes Store, either, which is a cause for concern for some, and excitement for others.

It’s easy to say that users are interested in iTunes Match because it seems like it could amount to a possible amnesty regarding pirated music, but the details of Apple’s scan-and-match service weren’t known when NPD posed its question. Instead, it seems more likely the motivation stems mainly from the convenience a subscription cloud music service provides, owing to the success of mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.

NPD entertainment industry analyst thinks the survey is a good indication that Apple chose the right time to launch a fee-based service that provides cloud music access to iTunes users:

It’s notable that even before Apple’s announcement this week, nearly half of iTunes users had some interest in a paid cloud-based music service. As device penetration continues to grow, and as consumers demand easier access to their music from multiple devices, we can expect interest in these services from Apple and others to continue to rise.

That nearly half of iTunes users said they were willing to pay for cloud music access is very promising for Apple, considering how much of a shift it represents from the current way of doing things. It’s even better news for the company that younger iTunes customers appear even more amenable to the idea: 57 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 responded positively to the idea, indicating that there’s a good chance cloud music adoption will grow with time.

The only hurdle might be that NPD’s analysis found that the ideal average price for paid iTunes cloud music service is $17 per year, which is a fair bit shy of the nearly $25 Apple is asking. Also, NPD’s question to iTunes users did include the word “streaming” in its definition of a cloud service. iCloud and iTunes Match don’t provide streaming per se, but they do provide access to your entire library from any device where you have internet access, another condition set by NPD, and, as Cult of Mac points out, streaming just isn’t that useful to most Americans because of bandwidth data caps.

If Apple can sign up anywhere near half of the 160 million iTunes users it had at last official count, iTunes Match will be a considerable success. Are you planning on contributing to that success?

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How to take the extra step to secure your iPad’s data

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you establish a secure passcode on your iPad, the expectation is that no one can access any information without knowing said code.  There are cases where this is not necessarily true. In fact, any user account on the Mac that you use to sync your iPad can fully access all of the data stored on your iPad without knowing the passcode, including the Guest account.

iPad passcode configuration

Even though it isn’t 100 percent foolproof, securing your iPad with a passcode is a good first step for security. On my iPad 2, I configured security to use the longer alphanumeric passcode, and I make sure that it will lock the iPad immediately when the cover is closed by doing the following:

  1. Open Preferences and navigate to the General settings.
  2. Set Auto-Lock to 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the Passcode on and set Require Passcode to “Immediately.”
  4. Turn the Simple Passcode off.
  5. Turn Erase Data On to wipe the iPad after 10 failed logon attempts.

After you sync your passcode protected iPad with your Mac, you should notice that any user account on that Mac can still access the data on your iPad using any of the following methods. Attach that same iPad to any other Mac that has not accessed any data on that iPad in the past, and you will get an error indicating that the device is protected with a passcode.

Protecting your data in the real world

You may be surprised at how easy it is to access your iPad’s information even after you’ve set up a passcode when it’s connected to a Mac.  If you really don’t want others to have access to your information, there isn’t much you can do short of setting a hands-off policy. You may want to sync your iPad to a dedicated Mac which only you have access to. Anyone with access to both your iPad and the Mac it syncs with can see all of your data. You can avoid potential theft worries by keeping the iPad and Mac in separate cases, and by disabling the guest account on your Mac so that a user has to know your passcode to login.

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Free calling and texting apps face a triple threat to long-term viability

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The list of apps that offer free texting and voice services on iOSdevices grows longer every day. Viber is one, as is Vumber, which now provides cross-platform Androidand iOS calling. These apps have a noble goal: provide users with an alternative to managing costly voice and text plans from carriers in addition to the data plans they must have in order to take advantage of everything smartphones have to offer. But they also come with a big downside; these apps are only as strong as their network of users, (since in most cases, free calling only happens between users who have the same app installed on their device), and as the data network that allows them to exist.

Apps like Vumber, Viber, WhatsApp Messenger and even, to some extent, Skype depend on users getting others to sign up, so that they can take advantage of the cheap or free rates. Research In Motion’s BBM works on roughly the same concept, as does the recently announced iMessage, although since both are pre-installed on specific hardware, their reach will be much greater initially than third-party offerings.

While I applaud any efforts to provide competitive alternatives to overpriced carrier talk and text plans, I think that the network flaw for this kind of startup will eventually turn out to be a fatal one. For example, Google already offers a much more flexible option via its Google Voice service, and one that is compatible with landlines and traditional cell phones out of the box. If Google Voice ever does expand worldwide, it’ll take a big dent out of potential demand for smaller VoIP offerings.

And while Google Voice is a looming threat because it doesn’t just work with itself, there’s another potential industry-breaker that already has the network part down, and just needs to expand its communications platform. I’m talking about Facebook, which, if it gained cross-platform voice support, would quite quickly rise to the top of the VoIP field.

Finally, carriers aren’t likely to take the circumvention of their services lying down. Already, we’ve seen capped bandwidth plans pretty much take over mobile broadband, and some carriers have even prohibited the use of VoIP services over their data networks.With Google and Facebook stalking the seas of free mobile communications, and carriers doing what they can to either discourage the practice or  I’m not sure I’d be too eager to swim with anyone else.

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How to transfer data between iOS devices

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Often, you’ll want to transfer some piece of data — a link, contact information or a photo, for example — from one of your iOS devices to another. iCloud will make some of that easier, but unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t support Bluetooth file transfer like most phones. Luckily, there are other workarounds.

Email

The easiest way of transferring a small amount of data, like a link or a single photo, is via email. Since there’s no need to download any extra apps, it’s possible to do this as soon as you set up a device. All you need is an active email account, and you can send messages to yourself. The email will be received on the other device, and then you can copy and paste the information as you please.

The downside of sending yourself emails is firstly, it can take a while to send an email containing lots of photos or a long video, even over Wi-Fi. Also, if you’re not at home or on Wi-Fi, using email will use up mobile data, since you’re connecting to the Internet. If you don’t a Wi-Fi connection, I’d suggest using the next method, which can be done with Bluetooth and doesn’t impact your data plan.

Dedicated app

Another way to transfer data is using a dedicated app, such as Bump. Bump doesn’t have an iPad app, but the iPhone version works just fine on the iPad. Bump allows you to send photos, apps, contacts and music between devices. Again, though, Bump will use your data connection if you aren’t connected via Wi-Fi. It is free however, and enables you to send more than Mail does.

Another similar app is Mover. It’s a Universal application, so it has an iPad-specific interface in addition to one designed for the iPhone. It also works over Bluetooth, saving you precious mobile data. Mover can’t send music or apps like Bump can, but it can send contacts, photos, text and videos. There are some reviews in the App Store saying Mover doesn’t work, but I’ve never had problems with it, and it has been great for quickly copying information over. Mover costs $1.99 in the App Store, and it also has a free Mac companion app that lets you transfer files from your computer to your iOS device.

Using a dedicated app isn’t only an efficient way to transfer data, but both Bump and Mover use interesting mechanics to transfer the data — bumping the phones together and flicking the data from the screen, respectively — so they’re so a nice way to take advantage of your device’s unique interface options.

If you know of a faster or easier way of transferring your data between your devices, tell us how in the comments.

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Pack your bags: Hipmunk travel search comes to iPad

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Travel search startup Hipmunk is bringing its super-slick user interface (UI)– and arguably the startup world’s cutest mascot– to the iPad.

The San Francisco-based company has announced the launch of its custom iPad app, which will be available as a free download in the iTunes store starting Tuesday. The iPad app launch is accompanied by an update to the iPhone app Hipmunk debuted in February. An Android application is in the pipeline, according to the company.

Hipmunk’s head of mobile Danilo Campos recently took me through a preview of the iPad app, and by all appearances, it’s a spot-on translation of Hipmunk’s unique web experience. Just like on the web, flight results are sorted according to those with the lowest amount of “agony,” which is determined by the flight’s duration, number of layovers, and price. The UI incorporates the same visual timeline format for displaying search results that is well known by users of Hipmunk’s website. It also includes a handy option to either book in the Safari browser, or save the selection with a finish code to finalize the booking later from a computer.

“Launching an iPad app aligns with our mission of providing a superior, and fun, travel search experience,” Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein said in a press release announcing the app’s availability. You can read more about Hipmunk in my more in-depth interview with Goldstein published by GigaOM earlier this month.

Here are some screenshots of Hipmunk’s iPad app:

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Apple legal briefs: Lodsys stalls and Samsung barred from peeking

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Lodsys wants more time to address the request by Apple to intervene in its court proceedings against seven small app developers, FOSS Patents reported on Wednesday. Lodsys holds patents related to in-app purchasing it claims are being infringed upon by App Store developers, who aren’t covered by Apple’s own license to the technologies, according to Lodsys’ understanding of the agreement.

The original deadline for Lodsys to respond to Apple’s motion was June 27, or this upcoming Monday. Lodsys has asked for two more months, which FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller says is an unusually long extension to seek. Still, Apple is apparently fine with the request according to a statement made to the court by Lodsys counsel.

But two months is a long time for developers caught up in this mess to be waiting with bated breath. The developers named in the suit still have to formally respond to Lodsys’ complaint, and while it’s possible that the extension, if granted, will apply to them as well, that is by no means a certainty. Yet obviously, whether or not Apple is included in the proceedings will have a huge influence on how developers proceed in dealing with the allegations of infringement by Lodsys. It’s still not clear what exactly Apple is advising affected developers to do, but based on comments made by some of those involved, Apple does appear to be providing behind-the-scenes guidance. Google, on the other hand, has yet to intervene, and Android developers are starting to become increasingly apprehensive, as more and more are receiving legal threats from Lodsys.

Mueller suggests that this request for a delay by Lodsys, and Apple’s lack of opposition to it, could indicate that the companies are engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiation to resolve this matter without further involving developers or the legal system. Whatever the outcome of this latest move by Lodsys, I think this tweet from Android developer Cory Trese best sums up one of the most important lasting effects this case could have on mobile development:

Samsung doesn’t get a sneak peek

In Apple’s other major ongoing legal kerfuffle, the judge in the pitched intellectual property battle between Samsung and the Mac maker has denied Samsung’s request for early access to the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, hardware that hasn’t even been announced, much less released to the public.

While the judge admitted that Samsung has a right to parity, and had previously granted Apple access to unreleased devices like the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, she thought Samsung’s request in this instance went too far. The products Apple sought to see were already circulating to reviewers and developers, after all, not just assumed to be in development like the iPhone and iPad successors.

Still, it isn’t all good news for Apple. Since Cupertino amended its original complaint to place stricter definitions on what products it thinks Samsung infringed upon in order to block the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 requests, the judge hinted that any request from Apple for an injunction of sales in the U.S. on new Samsung devices might not apply. That’s because a big part of a successful injunction request involves proving that consumers will be genuinely confused by the similarities between devices, and the judge suggested that “there is little likelihood” of confusion with new Samsung devices, since the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 may “soon be outmoded and reduced in price,” and “are not being sold (or very soon will not be sold) to the same class of purchasers who are likely to buy new Samsung products.”

Florian Mueller thinks seeking an injunction would be a risky move on Apple’s part, given what the judge has expressed. It stands a fair chance of being turned down, which might be a black eye for Apple for outside observers, Mueller says. Of course, even if an injunction is rejected, it shouldn’t affect Apple’s larger case against Samsung, which is really what Apple is more concerned with here.

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Personal cloud options for iOS users grow with Hitachi G-Connect

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hitachi unveiled its G-Connect wireless storage drive that can also act as a router, designed for use with mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone. Users can stream media stored on the G-Connect to up to five devices over a local wireless network created by the drive, using an iOS app that will be available free on the App Store when the G-Connect launches in July for around $200.

The new Hitachi offering joins the Seagate GoFlex Satellite as yet another device that is trying to make external storage relevant to user who are increasingly using mobile devices to consume content. Like the GoFlex, the G-Connect offers 500 GB of storage, and the ability to simultaneously stream to multiple devices. The G-Connect offers some nice advantages over the GoFlex, however, like the ability to stream to up to five devices, instead of just three, and an Ethernet port that lets it plug into a wired Internet connection and act as a wireless access point. But it also carries a major drawback: it lacks an internal battery, so unlike the GoFlex, you’ll have to plug the G-Connect into a power source if you want to use it, which for some might limit its utility as a mobile support device. Still, when a power source is available, as they often are on trains, planes and coffee shops, it should greatly expand the media library available to your iOS devices.

When iOS 5 arrives, iPads and iPhones will finally be cut loose from their PC tethers. That will mean that users can depend on them as their only computing devices, if they wish. But owing to the limited local storage options on iOS devices, they might run up against space constraints when doing so. iCloud aims to help with some of that, by making music, apps and books available on-demand from Apple’s servers, so that you can delete them as needed when you’re running out of room, and grab them again when you need them. But that solution depends on relatively unfettered access to an active Internet connection. Users without mobile data plans for their devices, or those with caps like Verizon’s new tiered plans will have a harder time taking full advantage of a cloud computing future.

Devices like the G-Connect and the GoFlex could be just the start of a flood of supplemental hardware designed to provide a local alternative remote streaming for users who either don’t have the bandwidth to take advantage of the latter, or who’d rather own their content than rent access to it from content providers. External local wireless storage also offers more privacy, which is a selling point for some.

While I expect the general thrust of computing in general to continue to favor remote cloud options, I think the personal cloud stands a good chance of developing at a similar pace at the same time, albeit on a smaller scale. Physical storage is cheap and getting cheaper, while the same can’t necessarily be said for broadband access. As Apple and other device manufacturers move to make the cloud the centre of its universe, it’s only natural that a percentage of consumers will opt to find an alternative centre for their own gadgets that allows them to remain autonomous and possibly save money.

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Asia booms for mobile app downloads

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mobile developers should consider turning their attention to Asia, which is booming with mobile app downloads, according to a new report from app analytics firm Distimo. The region now boasts the second-largest global app market — in China — and it has a fast riser in South Korea, which is now outpacing Germany and France in app download volume.

Distimo, which examined downloads in the Apple App Store, said the overall download volume in Asian countries has taken off in the past six months, while some Western countries actually saw less download volume over the same period. While the U.S. remains the leader for app downloads, Asian countries like India and Thailand have grown 27 percent and 40 percent, respectively, since December 2010.

While China has now moved into second place in overall app downloads, South Korea actually outpaces China and Japan in download volume on a per capita basis. This comes despite the fact that the App Store in South Korea doesn’t include games because of local regulations. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider that gaming is the most popular category in the App Store in most other countries.

But there are still hurdles for developers looking to tap the Asian market. Monetization for apps is about two-thirds that of Western markets, in part because Asian consumers are one-third less likely to buy paid apps. That might also be a result of higher average selling prices for paid apps, which are $2.62 in Asia among the top 300 apps, compared with $1.48 in the U.S.

Asian consumers are also less interested in in-app purchase, which is a key way for developers to make money on free apps. Outside Singapore and Malaysia, all Asian countries produce less revenue via in-app purchase for developers when compared to their Western counterparts. In China, for example, only 34 percent of the revenue from the 200 top grossing applications came from from apps with in-app purchase, half that of the U.S.

Western developers must also consider the need to localize apps in Asian countries. Distimo found that 34 percent of the most popular apps in Asia are only popular within Asia, and some titles that are popular worldwide don’t catch on in the region. The need for localization is more pronounced in countries like China, where 65 percent of the 300 most-popular free applications are popular only in the region. That could present a problem for outside developers, but there are examples of success, such as Electronic Arts, whose SimCity and Monopoly are in the top ten iPad apps in Asia.

The Asian market is largely similar to the rest of the world in terms of the categories that are popular, however. Games and entertainment are the top two categories in the U.S. and Asia. And if the growth of paid apps and in-app purchase increases as it has in the West, developers should be making more money in those areas soon. It’s still a challenge for some developers to go global, but the investment may be worth it now.

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Apple quietly updates the AirPort Extreme

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s updates all around for Apple’s full-sized routers, as the AirPort Extreme joins the Time Capsule with a new model number today. Neither the AirPort Extreme nor the Time Capsule have been updated since early 2009, so refreshed hardware isn’t really a surprise.

The new AirPort Extreme still carries the same product description and specs as the old version, so it isn’t exactly apparent what has changed about the Wi-Fi router. It still provides 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, and simultaneous dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency support for improved network performance and decreased interference. It also has the same three Ethernet ports for wired connections, and a USB port for hooking up a printer or external hard drive.

It’s likely that Macworld is right when it suggests that any changes made to the AirPort Extreme happened under the hood, and are likely meant to boost performance. Wireless technology hasn’t stood still for two years, after all, although it also hasn’t exactly seen dramatic changes in the consumer electronics sector. The successor to 802.11n is in the works, but it’s still probably quite a ways off in terms of general use and wide adoption.

The bottom line is that if you’ve been waiting for an AirPort hardware update in order to get a new router, now’s probably a good time to buy. The new Extreme might not boast revolutionary changes, but if Apple’s track record proves correct, it’ll most likely be better than its predecessor.

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Apple continues to blur the line between pro and consumer

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Final Cut Pro X arrived in the App Store today, and though it’s one of the most expensive apps at $299.99, it’s also topping the Paid and Grossing app charts right now. That’s because it’s a relative bargain compared to Final Cut Pro 7, which was only available as part of the $999.99 Final Cut Studio suite. That kind of price drop will not only help encourage pro customers to upgrade, but it should also convince some pro-sumer customers to step up to the big leagues.

This is only the most recent example of Apple bringing significant price cuts to once expensive software. Mac OS X 10.0 cost $129.99, for example, while even a family pack of Snow Leopard was priced at only $49, and a single user license was just $29. Lion, which is said to be coming in July, will cost $29 for a copy that can be used on multiple Macs associated with your Apple ID. Windows still starts at $79.95 for entry-level upgrade pricing, and can cost as much as $219.99, depending on the edition.

But pricing isn’t the only difference. Windows also divides its software product offerings, making clear distinctions between tools it thinks consumers need vs those that professional users would want. Apple has always done a good job of steering clear of such defined lines, and although it does offer an OS X Server variant of its software, that product is much more clearly designed for a very specific use than Microsoft’s “professional” grade operating systems.

Apple also seems to be gaining ground in the enterprise thanks in part to its refusal to target professionals specifically. BlackBerry tried that strategy, and while it worked well for many years, mobile companies now appear to be following Apple’s lead, realizing that the new path to the enterprise is by convincing individual users of the value of your product, and not necessarily by selling to corporate IT. Apple doesn’t ignore business, but it definitely doesn’t unduly prioritize that market, as evidenced by the decision to stop selling Xserve late last year.

$300 is still a lot of money for a consumer to spend on a single application, don’t get me wrong. But Final Cut Studio once cost $1300. To say that it isn’t more likely that hobbyists or pro-sumers will drop the cash to take their craft to the next level than it was four years ago just isn’t realistic.

Some might claim that the disappearance of Final Cut Express, Apple’s mid-range offering between Final Cut Pro and iMovie actually indicates the distinction between pro and consumer applications is getting more defined. But Final Cut Express was priced at $199, just $100 shy of the new Final Cut Pro X, and it didn’t incorporate the same audio and color correction tools of the newer application, plus it carried a lot of limitations that made it pale in comparison to the full Final Cut Pro product.

And that’s the key: Apple isn’t narrowing the gap between pro and consumer by leaving out features and dumbing things down; it’s making things easier, certainly, but it’s also just making them more affordable. It’s the smart move for a workforce that is becoming more and more contract-based, where freelancers often have to source their own tools in order to impress potential employers and win contracts.

Apple is already a company that knows how to make a tool that everyone can use. Now that it’s increasingly becoming one that also knows how to make tools that everybody can afford, there are even fewer barriers to the potential heights it can reach.

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How to create iOS device home screen icons for websites

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As more and more people browse the web with their iOS devices, using websites and web apps designed for them is a good idea to reach the growing number of mobile users. But making sure your brand is well represented on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad involves more than just making sure it’s accessible. Encourage users to create web clips that live on the iOS home screen like apps, and make sure that the icon that leads to your online content looks good by following the instructions below.

Creating a web clip icon for each iOS resolution

There are apps in the Mac App Store, like Icons, that can help developers create web clip icons. Otherwise, you can just use your favorite graphic editor or even the basic OS X utility Preview (included free on every Mac) to create the image files required.

For the iPhone 4 and latest-generation iPod touch, a 114px x 114px image is what you’ll need. IPads optimally use 72px x 72px, and all other iOS devices prefer 57px x 57px image files. In all cases, the web-standard resolution of 72dpi is the way to go. If you like, you can manually create a custom image for each device, or you can just create an image targeting one device and let the others scale the image up or down as needed.

Resize Image in Preview

One thing that iOS does on your behalf is add image effects like rounded corners, a drop shadow and the iconic reflective shine to the icons you create. To take advantage of this, ensure that the image file you create is perfectly square and free of any shine or gloss. If you prefer to add your own effects, be sure to append the -precomposed keyword to the end of the image file name.

Adding the icons to your website

If you’ve decided to use just a single image or set of images for your entire site, then simply copy the files to the root directory of your domain. On the other hand, if you want to add different icons to different individual pages of your site and name them however you like, simply add the following link element to your pages, substituting your custom file name for the href value:

1 <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/your-custom-icon.png"/>

This also works if you create specific icons for each device’s particular display characteristics. You also need to include the size attributes, as illustrated in the following code:

1 <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="your-custom-icon-for-iphone.png" />
2 <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="72x72" href="your-custom-icon-for-ipad.png" />
3 <link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="114x114" href="your-custom-icon-for-iphone4.png" />

Now when someone decides to add this page to their home screen, the image file you created will be used in place of a scaled-down thumbnail of the page itself.

Users increasingly want to access content on the Internet using their mobile devices, and that means iOS devices for a large percentage. If you want to make a lasting impression, make your content accessible on iPhones and iPads first of all, but also make sure that if users do want to save your site for later viewing, they can find it among their many web clips and apps with relative ease.

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A new iPhone in fall sets up a record-crushing holiday quarter for Apple

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The iPhone 5 could arrive this fall, and specifically in September, according to a new report by Bloomberg. If accurate, the timing of the release could help Apple usher in its biggest holiday quarter yet, which is saying a lot, considering Apple’s holiday quarter is generally its best of the year, even without a new iPhone model.

Apple has long used the fall to introduce new iPod models, which to date has made much sense, since the iPod business all but turned Apple into the consumer electronics industry force that it is today. But iPod sales have either been stagnant or dropping, in sales measured year-over-year, as standalone digital audio players have been cannibalized by smartphones. During Apple’s last fiscal quarter results, iPod sales were revealed to have dropped the most since their introduction, with a 17 percent dip.

The iPod touch continues to show positive growth, and accounts for a growing piece of iPod sales overall, but neither the iPod touch or even the whole iPod category can hold a candle to Apple’s iPhone business. Last quarter, it sold 18.65 million handsets, beating the previous year by more than double. iPhone sales for the quarter also doubled the year before that.

What’s the bottom line? Increasingly, iPods are less important to Apple’s business. They still represent a considerable revenue stream, but the trend indicates that iPhones and iPads will probably occupy a more privileged place in Apple’s future business.

With the update schedule we saw last year, the iPad was introduced in April, and the iPhone 4 came out in June. That’s relatively little time between two major releases. This year, Apple held off on unveiling a new iPhone device, and the iPad could be a big part of why, since a lopsided annual revenue picture isn’t good for investors confidence, nor is having the development timelines for two core hardware products with many similarities so minimally spaced an ideal situation for Apple’s mobile device engineering team.

If Apple’s sales trends continue, in a few years time, you’d have the iPod holding on to a much smaller fraction of Apple’s mobile business, while the iPhone and the iPad make up for a much better piece of the overall picture. The iPod just wouldn’t be able to carry the September time-period nearly as well as it has in the past. Plus, Apple’s more interesting products would both have lost a lot of steam, in terms of novelty value, press coverage and buzz by the time holiday buyers are preparing their shopping lists and news outlets are looking for shiny new tech to recommend.

It’s not quite at the point where iPod releases are uninteresting to buyers, but Apple wouldn’t want to wait for that to happen, and the strong sales success of the iPhone 4, coupled with the expansion of its availability to Verizon customers, and the late addition of the white model, all meant that if there was a year where Apple could afford to miss its fairly rigorous annual refresh, 2011 was it.

Last year, Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball suggested that Apple was planning to release another new iPad incarnation in the fall, which could have been intended in part to put a marquee mobile release closer to the holidays. I think he got the idea right, but the device wrong. Apple does need a new fall star, and that star will be the iPhone.

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Expert: True Retina Display doesn’t make sense for iPad 3

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The latest rumor about the iPad 3 is that it will get a higher resolution display, with Reuters claiming that it might even be five or six times the resolution of the current iPad, which has a 1024 x 768 screen. Not so fast, says DisplayMate, a company that specializes in display calibration, optimization and testing. Even an iPad with 2048×1536 resolution, which would boast four times the pixel density of the current model.

While it would undoubtedly represent a marketing coup for Apple to be able to say the iPad 3 has a true Retina Display, DisplayMate says it would also come with a considerable cost — such a device would require “significantly more processing power, more memory and battery power,” and the screen’s “display brightness efficiency” would be much lower.

DisplayMate says that because of the typical distance at which users typically view their iPads, which it claims is 15-18 inches away, it can actually get away with achieving the same Retina Display silky smoothness with only a 240 pixels-per-inch (ppi) count, instead of the 300ppi entry point referred to by Steve Jobs when the iPhone 4 was introduced. Even so, the resolution required would be “overkill,” says DisplayMate, but there is another way.

Apple can still improve the iPad’s screen without making unnecessary sacrifices by compromising with a 1600 x 1200 display resolution, according to DisplayMate. That would achieve a 206 ppi, which would still represent a huge improvement over the existing screen, without nearly as much of a cost in terms of resources and battery life. DisplayMate says that scaling apps designed for the existing iPads shouldn’t be a problem at that resolution.

Apple gains a marketing coup by creating an iPad with quadruple the resolution of the current model, and I have little doubt that’s what we’ll eventually see. The company is already putting resources that support such a display in its OS, after all. But it’s not something Apple has to pull out of its hat at this point, given the competition so far, and making less dramatic changes that preserve the iPad’s other key selling features (speed and battery life) is a much more likely development for the iPad 3.

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