Posts belonging to Category Gadgets



iPhone 4 Fact Break Down, AT&T, Netflix, Farmville App, Guitar Hero and more!

By: Chris Pope –  TechJives.net / CEDSolutions.com

Steve Jobs takes the stage around 10:00am PST with the words “It’s great to be here”, one loud audience member yells “We love you Steve!” and Steve’s reply… “Thanks.. I think”. Anyone watching the growing sensation that Apple’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs has become might note that although he’s skinnier and a little more pale than the past, his powerhouse presence on stage is still going strong!

Getting to the point, let’s take a look at the breaking news and facts that were discussed here:
The WWDC sold out in only 8 days!

Current iPhone
Some of the statistics given out involving iPhone specifically are as follows. The iPhone currently owns 28% of the US smartphone market, Android is currently at 9%. The iPhone browser usage is around 58% which is 2.5 times that of Android.

iPhone 4



The new iPhone gets stated as the biggest leap since the original iPhone with over 100 new features. There’s a whole new design in which  “A lot of you have already seen this.” is thrown out, which is a reference to the Gizmodo fiasco a few weeks back.
Facts about the new design:
  • Glass on the front and the back
  • Stainless steel on the sides which is used as part of the antenna
  • 24% thinner than the original iPhone
  • 9.3mm thick
  • Thinnest smartphone to date
  • Front and back cameras with LED flash
  • New volume button designs
  • Micro-SIM support
  • Mute
  • Noise Cancellation Mic
  • Sleep and Wake button
  • Support for Wi-Fi, UMTS, GSM, and BT
  • Retina Display which can increase pixel density and generate a “Really really sharp text”
  • The display is 326 ppi (Pixel Per Inch). Also stated “Once you use a rentina display you can’t go back”
  • Resolution is 960×640 800:1 contrast ratio
  • 3.5 display which is the same as the previous size
  • Apple A4 chip (such a small chip will provide great battery life)
  • 32 GB storage capacity
  • 7.2 mbps download support
  • 5.8 mbps upload support
  • 802.11n dual support
  • 3-axis for pitch/roll/yaw
  • 6-axis motion sensing
  • CoreMotion API (Excellent addition for gamers!)
  • 5 megapixel rear camera with illunimating sensors
  • Camera has 5x zoom within the camera app including tap to focus and LED flash
  • HD recording capabality with the camera at 720p 30fps (also includes built-in editing)

Steve Jobs thinks the new display will set the standards for the next 7 years. He made the comment “We don’t think anybody’s going to come close”. One of the comedic moments of the presentation is when Steve Jobs tries to demonstrate the Wi-Fi features and is unssuccessful. An audience member yells out “Try using Verizon!”. After leaving the stage and allowing other people to address the crowd, Steve later returns and states that 570 Wi-Fi stations are currently in the room and asks yet again to please turn off Wi-Fi devices and shut down laptops.


iPhone OS 4 Facts (Now called iOS 4)
  • The iPhone OS 4 is now renamed to “iOS 4”
  • Has over 1500 APIs
  • 100 new user features
  • New Multitasking support
One nice demonstration of the new multitasking capbabilities shows the Pandora music app while checking email. This example was only able to successfully work after Steve asked the audience to turn off Wi-Fi enabled devices in the room.

iMovie for the iPhone
  • Includes themes, titles and transitions
  • Records directly into a timeline
  • Works almost exactly like the desktop version with the exception of a smaller screen
  • Camera can record geolocational information into the video
  • Ability to add music, including items from the iPod library
  • Starting price will be at $4.99

AT&T
AT&T is offering an early upgrade promotion for current US iPhone users. This is going lower the upgrade price to 6 months earlier than usual.
  • 8 GB 3GS iPhones will be priced at $99 with a new 2 year contract
  • 16 GB iPhone 4 will run you $199 with a new 2 year contract
  • 32 GB iPhone 4 is priced at $299 with a new 2 year contract
Apple announced towards the very end of the WWDC event that the iPhone 4 will introduce amazing “iPhone 4 to iPhone 4” video capabilities.
Features include:
  • iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 Support
  • Anywhere there is Wi-Fi
  • Zero setup required
  • Portrait and landscape
  • Front and rear camera
  • Amazing video and audio quality


The iPad

Steve began his keynote by talking about Apple’s “magical” device known as the iPad. “A whole new way to interact with Internet” as he put it. Over 2 million iPads have been sold, which is approx one iPad every 3 seconds since the release back in April. The iPad is now available in 10 different countries throughout the world and that number will grow to 19 within the coming weeks.

Publishers have taken a huge interest in developing newspaper apps and other eReader type of material for the iPad. One might speculate that alot of the publishers out there really haven’t got much of a choice consider the massive demand and success of this device.


iBooks

The use of iBooks is one of the very next things Steve movies into after talking about the iPad, stating that over 5 million books were downloaded in the first 65 days of the iPad release, which comes out to around 2.5 per iPad. Steve ends that comment with “Terrific”. 5 of the 6 biggest publishers in the United States are stating that the iBookstore has 22% of the market of eBooks now.

Some of the new iBook features will include new bookmark capabilities, in-line note Post-it like features as well as the ability to read PDF using iBook format. Speaking of the PDF feature, they are updating the software with a new bookshelf that will be dedicated directly for that format.

App Store
In discussing the App Store, Steve begins by talking about the dual nature of support for open HTML5. In stating this, he always mentioned that Apple’s browsers are currently leading in HTML5 support. Developers have had and will continue to have the right to write apps for the iPhone OS and MAC using the HTML5 format.
  • There are now over 225,000 apps in the store with around 15,000 apps submitted per week.
  • A surprising 95% are approved within the first 7 days of submission.
  • Over 5 billion total downloads on the App Store last week
  • Over $1 billion paid to developers
Netflix App


CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings takes the stage to discuss the Netflix App.

Hastings stating the following:
  • Stop, Pause and Resume functionality included on any device that supports the app, as well as queue management cabilities.
  • An Adaptive bitrate feature allows the capabality of switching between networks on the go.

Farmville App


CEO of Zynga Mark Pimcus took the stage to discuss Farmville on the iPhone. Farmville is slated as having over 70 million monthly active users which blows away records of any web based online gaming community.
Functionality of the iPhne app includes:
  • Most of the same functionality as Facebook
  • Push notifications as one might expect

Guitar Hero

Activision SVP Karthik Bala discussed the new mobile Guitar Hero. Fuctionality of the new Guitar Hero includes:

  • Multi-touch Strumming
  • Customizable 3D rock stars
  • Gameplay that matches the classic versions as closely as possible

Finishing Comments
In finishing up this article I would like to make it clear that although I might have thrown out some silly sarcasm about certain things, I like many others have drank the Apple cool aid and plan to get the new iPhone 4G as soon as I can!

Feel free to email any questions or comments at Chris (@) TechJives.net (Email split up to protect from spam bots)

Chris Pope is a Certified Technical Trainer for CED Solutions in Marietta, Ga as well as he hosts numerous podcasts for The Tech Jives Network. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/thechrispope

Web 2.0: Scribd Drops Flash For HTML5

The document sharing start-up is betting its business and betting against Flash.

By Thomas Claburn – InformationWeek – May 6, 2010 02:23 PM

In his widely read open letter about the alleged shortcomings of Adobe’s Flash technology on the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote, “Most Flash Web sites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash Web sites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?”

Scribd, the social document sharing Web site, has done just that.

At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco on Thursday, Scribd CTO Jared Friedman announced that his company has decided to abandon its three-year-old use of Flash in favor of HTML5.

“After three years of building on Flash, Scribd is starting over and building everything on HTML5,” declared Friedman.

Flash, he said, is terrific in a lot of ways, but has the drawback of wrapping content in a separate application. As a result, Scribd’s Flash document reader ended up duplicating many browser functions, which took a lot of work and resulted in a poor user experience, he said.

“Why do you need a special reading application just to view a document?” asked Friedman.

Read the full article at InformationWeek.com

Samsung Electronics and Microsoft Announce Plans to Expand Access to Digital Entertainment

Samsung adopts PlayReady technology in its consumer devices to enable easy access and transfer of content among TVs, mobile phones, set-top boxes and other devices.

REDMOND, Wash., and SEOUL, South Korea — April 13, 2010 — In a significant agreement that will improve flexibility for consumers looking to transfer and enjoy digital content on a range of devices, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced plans to include Microsoft PlayReady technology in a broad range of its consumer products. By including support for PlayReady technology in devices spanning mobile phones, digital video players, televisions and other device offerings, Samsung will make it easier for consumers to have flexible access and to experience and move protected digital content throughout the home and on the go.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in accessing the content they love where they want and when they want,” said Dr. W. P. Hong, executive vice president of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “PlayReady is an integral technology component that will help us to deliver on our vision for connected entertainment and bring to life the kinds of seamless entertainment experiences that take full advantage of the digital medium.”

“We share Samsung’s dedication to deliver on the promise of making digital entertainment content available in more scenarios and on more devices,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Division at Microsoft Corp. “By pairing powerful software such as PlayReady with its broad line of impressive consumer electronics products, Samsung is poised to offer consumers exciting new ways to deliver, share and enjoy their digital content.”

Read the full press release at Microsoft’s News Center

Mobile app developers tackle Africa’s biggest problems

By John D. Sutter, CNN – April 12, 2010 1:49 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — Growing up on a dairy farm in central Kenya, Amos Gichamba says he watched farmers be exploited by the people who bought their cows’ milk and sold it to dairy companies.

“The price of milk at the farmer level is very low compared to how much it’s sold to consumers. So they end up getting very little money for a lot of work,” he said by phone.

The problem, he thought, was one of information. The rural farmers didn’t know how much they could charge for their cows’ milk. They didn’t know what rates dairy farmers other villages were being paid. And without a sense of current market conditions, they weren’t sure when to ramp up or slow down production. All of this made them easy targets for scams.

So, with all that in mind, Gichamba, 26, decided to create what he sees as the perfect technological solution for the farmers: a mobile phone app.

Read the full article at CNN Tech

Steve Jobs Debates Developers Over Apple’s New App Policy

By Brian X. Chen – April 12, 2010 – 5:20 pm

Controversy erupted around a change Apple made last week to its iPhone developer agreement, and now even company CEO Steve Jobs has waded into the fray.

A new clause in the iPhone developer agreement (clause 3.3.1) stipulates that iPhone apps may not be written with anything except Apple’s approved programming languages, including Objective C and C++. The rule would effectively ban apps that were written on third-party platforms, such as Adobe Flash, and subsequently converted into native iPhone code.

Apple and its supporters claim that the policy change will ensure long-term quality of apps in the App Store, while critics argue that Apple is attempting to hold software developers hostage in order to stifle the growth of competing platforms such as Google Android.

“It’s an obvious lock-in strategy,” said Greg Slepak, CEO of iPhone development house Tao Effect, in an interview with Wired.com today. “They are locking [developers] in by making it difficult to convert their applications from a different platform. I think that is not a smart move. It’s going to piss people off or drive developers away.”

Slepak was mad enough about the policy that he wrote Jobs directly to complain. Over the weekend, the CEO replied.

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform,” Jobs wrote in an e-mail response to Slepak’s inquiry about the new clause.

Read more at Wired.com’s Gadget Lab

Speed test: Netbook versus Apple iPad

by Dan Ackerman – April 9, 2010 1:54 PM PDT

Apple’s new iPad has legions of eager fans who attribute chameleonlike qualities to it, promoting the tablet as an ideal media playere-book reader,gaming console, and even a Netbook replacement for basic computing chores.

Most often cited is the iPad’s speed, and it indeed feels very quick and responsive, and generally comes off as a powerful tool compared with a standard Netbook, which can feel sluggish even when performing the most basic tasks.

Yet under the hood, it’s obvious that a typical $299 Netbook has much more powerful hardware. It’s Atom N450 CPU runs at 1.66GHz, it has 1GB of RAM (nearly four times as much as an iPad), and even Windows 7 Starter Edition is a much more capable operating system than the iPhone OS.

Read the full review at cnet.com

Twitter rolls out official BlackBerry app

Posted by:

Twitter rolled out its official app for the BlackBerry on Friday, adding a specialized version of the micro-blogging site to the most popular smartphone platform.

According to Twitter’s official blog and the BlackBerry Web site, the Twitter app features include:

_ Real-time “push” notifications for direct messages on Twitter
_ Camera and photo integration
_ Notifications when you’re Twitter user name is mentioned
_ Integration that links to Twitter when you get a text message or e-mail that includes someone’s user name

Read the full blog at CNN’s Scitech blog

Cisco takes the Flip approach to home routers

by Erica Ogg

One of the most essential tech products at home is also probably the one you hate the most: your wireless router.

Setting up a home network can be for some an excruciating experience, one that can leave even tech-savvy folks wringing their hands while switching off between calling the router’s customer service line and their Internet service provider.

Cisco Systems says it’s designed a new line of routers specifically to avoid this. The Valet and Valet Plus, will be available at retailers like Best Buy, Staples, and Target and online at Amazon.com starting Wednesday for $99 and $149, respectively.

“We’re trying to take the negative emotions you have about not being able to set it up, and turn it into a positive experience,” said Scott Kabat, director of marketing for Cisco Consumer Products.

Read the full article at news.cnet.com

AT&T Prepares Network For Battle

By NIRAJ SHETH

With a new version of the iPhone in the works, the clock is ticking for AT&T Inc. to get its much-criticized network ready for the looming battle.

The carrier has taken a beating from consumers who have complained about poor coverage in major cities including New York and San Francisco. Now, AT&T is racing to reduce its dropped calls and speed up Web-surfing before Apple Inc. releases a new version of the iPhone that could run on Verizon Wireless’s network.

In mid-December, AT&T executives set up a 100-day plan to dramatically improve the company’s network in densely-populated cities, according to people familiar with the plan. Since then, AT&T has added new network spectrum to better handle traffic, repositioned antennas to improve reception in office towers and wired more neighborhood cell towers with faster connections.

But even with its recent efforts, the network still has not met customers’ quality standards everywhere. While some third-party tests have given AT&T nods for having a faster network, a poll last month by J.D. Power & Associates found AT&T still ranks poorly against Verizon Wireless in call quality.

Read more at Google News

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3

By Jon L. Jacob – March 29, 2010, 4:43 PM EDT

Everything Lenovo sells, including the third-gen, 10.1-inch IdeaPad S10-3 netbook ($369, as of 3/29/10) appears to be intended for the board or meeting room–in this case, perhaps the meeting room imagined in Terry Gilliam’s movie Brazil (the top or cover of the unit has a slightly psychedelic red checkerboard pattern)–but a meeting room nonetheless.

The 2.76-pound, business-oriented S10-3 netbook is a bit pricier per spec than the competition. Most other 10.1-inch, 1024-by-600-resolution netbooks sell for $10 to $50 less with the same 1GB Intel N450/3150 CPU/GPU combination, as well as a more-capacious 250GB hard drive compared with the S10-3’s 150GB model. While 150GB is more than enough for most users, it means that you are getting a bit less of the basics and paying a bit extra for the business features and software.

Or is it the ergonomics you’re paying for? Whoever is in charge of Lenovo’s input devices deserves a raise and/or high praise. The innovative multitouch combination touchpad/rocker button on the S10-3 is a relief for anyone (including this writer) who hates inadvertently tapping while dragging, or hunting for buttons. Simply apply a little pressure to the bottom left or right corners of the device, and you have your click.

Read more at BusinessWeek