Jun 9 2010

Sony introducing iPad competitor

According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Sony is planning to enter the tablet market and compete with Apple by developing a product similar to the iPad. Some analysts assume that this device, whose details are quite limited, will run on Google Android OS though its possible it could run Windows 7 instead. No one yet knows. However, Sony has never been one to undercut its competition on price and therefore we may be looking at a device costing more than the iPad which might hurt its foray into this market.

Via Liliputing

Jun 8 2010

Apple unveils the iPhone 4 at WWDC

Yesterday, Steve Jobs unveiled one of the most anticipated products of the year, the Apple iPhone 4 and the consensus seems to be that it did not disappoint. There are many new upgrades and additions to this phone, such as a new body, better display, a second camera, and new OS to name just a few.

The Body:

Its dimensions come out to 4.5×2.31×0.37 inches. The phone weighs 137 grams, making it just a bit heavier than the 3GS (by 3 grams). However, the differences in size and weight are minor enough that they are probably indiscernible to most. The back of the phone has become flatter, the edges more squared off, giving the phone a more powerful look and feel.

The Display:

While the screen is slightly smaller than the 3GS, the phone makes up for that with twice the resolution of older iPhones 960 x 640 as compared to 480 x 320. Keep in mind that the EVO 4G only sports an 800 x 480 resolution. The phone’s pixel density (or PPI) is also the highest of any current smartphone. Having an improved display will become extremely useful in the context of watching videos, which will become even more commonplace with the arrival of the new Netflix app.

The Cameras:

The iPhone 4 comes with an additional camera, a front camera which will be used for face chatting, along with an improved 5-mexapixel back camera with LED flash.

The OS:

One of the biggest surprises is the introduction of a new OS to the phone, the iOS 4. You can read more about the iOS4 here.

Misc:

The phone will run on the a4 processor, the processor also being used in the iPad. Additionally, the iPhone will come with a 16% larger battery than the one found in the 3G, which will result in an improvement in battery life by 40%. Not bad Steve. This will allow up to 7 hours of talking, 6 hours of browsing, and 10 hours of video.

Pricing:

For all those interested in purchasing this new phone (in either Black or White) and who live in the US, UK, France, Japan, and Germany, it will be available on June 24th. The rest of the world will have to wait anxiously till July. With a new contract, the 16GB version will cost you $199, and the 32GB, $299. Without a contract the phones will cost $599 and $699 respectively.

Check out a video of the new iPhone 4g:

iPhone 4 video

Via Techcrunch

Jun 8 2010

iPhone OS becomes iOS 4 on June 21st

Now that apple has the iPad in addition to the iPhone and iPod touch all running the same OS, it makes even less sense to call it the iPhone Operating System. Thus, the iOS is born. But, as the network engineers reading this know, Cisco already has a trademark on IOS for all of its router and network switch operating systems. Then we hear the patent lawyers say there is no problem. Trademarks depend on the market segment so an operating system for consumer devices can have the same name as an operating system for network devices.

Apple doesn’t want to deal with all this nonsense, so it has instead licensed the use the trademark so that Cisco doesn’t sue. Litigation costs are kept to a minimum and everybody wins.

Some of the highlights of the new operating system include: multitasking; one inbox for all your email accounts; Bing has been added to the list of search engines; clicking on an iAd keeps you in app still (this should increase earnings for app companies as clicks/impressions will inevitably go up) and many many developer tools and APIs.

The “Golden Master Candidate” version of iOS 4 is now available for developers, so head out and create some amazing app that will make you a million bucks.

via ars

May 31 2010

Apple Sells Two Millionth iPad

Wow. The iPad has turned out to be way more successful than I expected it to be. Apple has announced today that it has sold its two millionth iPad. Keep in mind that this milestone comes less than a month after the sale of the one millionth iPad and less than sixty days after the initial release of the iPad on April 3.

The iPad was released internationally and, according to Steve Jobs in a press release, “customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do.”

Apple has also announced that the App Store now has over 5,000 native iPad apps and over 200,000 apps total. Though Apple has not revealed specific sale figures for each of the iPad models or the number of iPads sold in specific countries, avid Apple watchers are hoping for such statistics at the Worldwide Developers Conference, coming up next month.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

May 31 2010

Russian Search Engine Challenges Google

Google is the premier search engine today, the search engine that other competing search engine companies dream of dethroning. So far, that has not happened yet, but Google is facing a formidable competitor: a Russian search engine called Yandex.

Though many Americans may not have heard of Yandex, it is extremely popular in Russia. Founded in 1997, it is the search engine of choice for many Russians and is actually quite good—for searching the Runet (Russian Internet), it rivals Google.ru, the Russian version of Google. Yandex launched its international, English-language version on May 19 at Yandex.com.

The international version of Yandex is also very good. It may even rival Google: its results are relevant and accurate. It is certainly better than Microsoft’s Bing (which, in all honesty, I have not found to be all that bad). Google originally took off because it had the best results of any search engine, but over the years it has deteriorated. Could Yandex be the next big thing? Only time will tell.

Via the Belfast Telegraph, image via Yandex.

May 31 2010

Netbooks Vs. Tablets

For computer users who want a small, portable device, there exist two options: netbooks and tablets. But how does one decide between the two devices? According to technology analyst Tim Bajarin, the main difference lies in what he calls content consumption vs. content creation. The terms are self-explanatory: content consumption is looking at and absorbing others’ content, while content creation is the making of content oneself.

Content creation takes up 25 percent of the time people spend on computers. The other three quarters of the time is spent consuming content. This distinction is important to make because netbooks (and laptops) are good for content creation, but tablets are good for content consumption.

Ultimately, a user must assess his or her own needs when deciding between a netbook or a tablet. If someone already owns a laptop, a tablet can be a nice supplement for content consumption. Indeed, tablets are optimized for content consumption, much more so than laptops or netbooks. But for users who need to create a lot of content, a netbook is probably a better choice than a tablet.

Via PC Magazine.

May 29 2010

Rumor: Amazon to Introduce Thinner Kindle

According to two people familiar with Amazon’s plans, the company is planning to introduce a new, thinner Kindle this August. The new Kindle will mostly likely be in response to traditional competitors of Kindle, like e-readers made by Sony and Barnes & Noble, not the iPad, which is a recent introduction.

The new Kindle will not have a color screen or touchscreen capabilities. It will have a black and white screen with sharper contrast to make e-books look more like printed books. Amazon hopes to eventually make an e-reader with a color screen.

The Kindle and its competitor, the Nook made by Barnes & Noble, both sell for $259. Sony’s e-reader, which has a touchscreen, sells for $199. The iPad starts at $499. According to a research firm, about 6 million e-readers will be sold this year, which is twice the amount sold last year.

Amazon bought a company earlier this year that specializes in touchscreen technology, so a touchscreen e-reader with a color display could be a feasible future product for Amazon.

Via BusinessWeek, image via Amazon.

May 29 2010

Search Your Mac With Spotlight Commands

The Mac operating system comes with a built-in search tool called Spotlight (Microsoft users, don’t even bother arguing with me: Spotlight is way better than what you’ve got on Windows). Spotlight is quick and easy to use.

But there comes a time when searching your Mac becomes difficult because of the sheer volume of files accumulated. If you want to search for an mp3 file with the word “love” in it, simply with Spotlight for the word “love” will probably not yield the results you want—the search will return every file on your computer containing the word “love.”

Like a search engine, Spotlight allows for special parameters and excluding words to be set. To find an mp3 file with the word “love,” you could type the following into Spotlight: love kind:mp3. That search will return the desired result: all mp3 files containing the word “love.” Like on a search engine, you can exclude files by using a minus sign and, of course, combine parameters.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

May 28 2010

Motorola May Introduce Android Tablet

Motorola may be in the process of designing a tablet that will run Google’s Android operating system, says a company executive. The executive was answering questions at a conference when the subject came up. He also revealed that Motorola is focusing heavily on Android. The potential device, according to the executive, would be about 7 to 10 inches and would be intended to supplement a user’s TV experience.

This rumor has come about at the same time as another rumor concerning Android devices made by Motorola. Motorola is allegedly working on two new high-end Droid phones that will be released sometime in July with Verizon as their carrier. There has been speculation that one of the phones has already been seen by the public in the form of a prototype found in a gym earlier this week.

Either way, this summer looks to be very interesting in terms of Android devices.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 27 2010

Marvell To Create $100 Tablet

Marvell Technologies has announced today that it will partner with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create a $100 tablet, named the XO-3. The foundation achieved great success with the XO-1 laptop computer for children in developing countries.

More details about the XO-3 have emerged. It will have a power rating of 1 watt per hour, a multilingual, multitouch screen keyboard, WiFi, high quality video, and Flash 10 Internet. It will be based on an ARM processor, most likely the Marvell Armada 610, and run Google’s Android OS.

According to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte, the XO-3 will eventually have an adaptable screen to allow for viewing in either sunlight or inside. The tablet will allegedly be 10.8 millimeters thick, which rivals the iPad.

The tablet is planned to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011.

Via CNET, image via OLPC.

May 27 2010

Predictions for Apple’s WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is quickly approaching and, as usual, the tech blogosphere abounds with rumors about what Apple will introduce this year. Last year, Wired accurately predicted some major introductions Apple made at WWDC and it has predictions again for this year. Only time will tell if the predictions prove to be accurate.

It’s safe to assume that Apple will introduce its next major iPhone at WWDC. Thanks to some careless Apple employees, the public knows the next iPhone looks like, but we don’t know what it actually can do, as none of the prototypes found were shown doing anything. The 4G iPhone is going to have a front-facing camera, which could be its single major feature.

iPhone OS 4 will also probably be announced. It’s been talked about already, but will probably will be explained in detail at WWDC. From what has already been revealed about the next iPhone OS, it sounds like it will be amazing.

Unfortunately, there will not be a Verizon iPhone, at least not at this WWDC. We’ll have to wait longer for that. And Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC, contrary to a rumor that circulated the Internet today.

Via Wired.com, image via Wired.com.

May 27 2010

Apple Releases iPad in Europe

Starting on Friday, the iPad will be turned loose to countries other than the United States. Apple is releasing it in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany on Friday and in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands sometime in July. Major European carriers that will offer service for the iPad have already announced their data plans.

A researcher with Gartner Inc. has said that the iPad is extremely unique and is in a category of its own when it comes to mobile products. Though other companies are planning to manufacture tablets, at this point the iPad really does not have a rival. Gartner has forecasted that the iPad will count for the majority of sales of touchscreen tablet products this year.

In the UK, computer retailer DSG has exclusive rights to sell the iPad for sixty days. In France, there is no one chain of stores with exclusivity.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Apple.

May 26 2010

Apple Controls 70% of US Music Downloads

Apple’s iTunes music store controls a very large share of the US music market, according to NPD group, a market research firm. The iTunes store now has a 70 percent share share of music downloads, up one percentage point from 2009. The market share of Amazon’s download service, AmazonMP3, grew 4 percentage points and is currently at 12 percent.

This data will probably be of interest to antitrust regulators who are rumored to be in the early stages of an investigation against Apple. Apple allegedly pressured music companies to pull support for an Amazon promotion called “MP3 Daily Deal.” According to unnamed sources, a complaint from Amazon has sparked the inquiry.

According to an NPD analyst, however, Apple deserves its dominance in music downloads. “Apple came [into the digital download business] and did it right,” he said.

Overall, Apple’s iTunes counts for 28 percent of all music purchases, including both CDs and digital files.

Via Computerworld.

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May 26 2010

Apple Overtakes Microsoft

As of Wednesday afternoon, Apple has overtaken Microsoft as most valuable technology company. At the close of trading, Apple was valued at nearly $223 billion compared with Microsoft’s $219 billion.

The rankings could of course change, but for now, Apple is ahead, which is not surprising due to the company’s recent success due to the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s share price has risen dramatically over the past year to $244. Microsoft’s has also risen, but not as dramatically: a year ago, its shares closed at $20, today they closed at $25.

Microsoft and Apple have had a rivalry for years. Microsoft was the dominant company for a long time but it appears now that the tables have turned. The iPod and iPhone have helped facilitate Apple’s rise as a true technology giant that has become a lot more successful than Microsoft. As Apple has grown, it has faced problems and criticism for its policies.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

May 26 2010

Netbooks Sales Take a Pounding from Apple iPad and Cheap Laptops

According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops.  The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook.  An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.

The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months.  70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook.  30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.

The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong.  Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.

Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out.  Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

Via PCWorld.

May 25 2010

Apple Discontinues iPhone 3G

Apple has discontinued the 8 GB iPhone 3G (this was, until its discontinuation, the oldest iPhone sold by Apple, not the iPhone 3GS). The phone is no longer available for order on the Apple website.

This move is not really surprising because Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone soon. Plus, the company was offering a pretty good discount on the iPhone 3G. Once the new iPhone is out, the iPhone 3GS will probably become discounted as well.

There are other signs that a new iPhone will be arriving shortly: Wal-Mart has lowered the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97 (just as a side note, the idea of Wal-Mart selling iPhones is wrong in so many different ways) and there have been reports that Apple is casting for a new iPhone commercial. Plus, there was that iPhone lost in a bar a little while back.

iPhone 3GS, your days may be limited.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

May 25 2010

Google Buys AdMob, Threatens Apple

Apple has been trying to break into mobile advertising recently and it seemed as if it would succeed in this endeavor due to iAd, a mobile ad service the company launched last month. However, Google is not going to give up its primacy in online advertising without a fight, as evidenced by a recent acquisition, AdMob Inc. With the purchase of this company, which was just recently cleared by regulators, Google will become the largest mobile advertising company.

Google’s acquisition of AdMob could make Android more attractive to advertisers who want to reach a large audience. This in turn could facilitate Android’s growth and even allow Android to surpass Apple by 2013. Though Apple is still a lot more widespread than Android, Android is increasing at a much faster rate and this incredible increase will allow it to pass Apple in the near future.

Both Apple and Google have declined to comment about the situation.

Via Business Week, image via AdMob.

May 25 2010

About 30% of Netbook Shoppers Go For iPad

Netbooks have been steadily doing better with sales since their introduction, yet data gathered by Retrevo.com reveals a dark cloud looming over the horizon. Retrevo conducted a Pulse Study that asked notebook, netbook, and iPad owners what products they thought of buying this past year and what they finally chose. The study also asked what which products consumers are looking at and leaning towards.

It appears that netbooks are feeling the heat from both laptops and the Apple iPad. According to the study, 30% of potential netbook buyers ended up going with the iPad instead. Of course some percent of this market was expected to be acquired, but nonetheless a third is a substantial share. This is part of the manifestation of Apple’s almost cult status. The scarier part is that as far as it goes for consumers deciding between an iPad and netbook for the future, almost 80% are leaning towards an iPad!

Notebooks are also appearing to regain some of their share of the market that they began to lose to netbooks. Retrevo’s data shows that for both past and future buys, netbooks are less appealing to consumers than notebooks.

Despite this competition, netbooks should still always have a place in the market. In second and third world countries, they serve as cheap primary computers. Back here in the US, they still come at an unbeatable price as alternatives.

Via Retrovo, image via Retrovo

May 25 2010

Dell Streak Is More a Smartphone than a Tablet

Dell is a very strange company: it has just unveiled a device that it is calling a tablet and is meant to compete with Apple’s iPad. There’s only one problem: this device, called the Streak, looks a lot more like a smartphone than a tablet to me.

The Streak is Android-based and has a touchscreen about half the size of the iPad’s. It has a 1 GHz processor, 2 GB internal storage, up to 32 GB external SD storage, and a 5 megapixel camera. There’s nothing wrong with this device—it actually looks kind of cute—but by no stretch of the imagination would I consider it a tablet.

It is true that the iPad’s OS is a mobile OS and in some ways, the iPad may be more similar to a smartphone than a laptop. But there is a difference between tablets and smartphones, and the iPad is clearly a tablet, while the Streak is much more like a smartphone.

Android has great potential to compete with the iPad but only if it is used on devices that are actually tablets.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 25 2010

Yankee Stadium Bans iPad

An iPad user recently found out the hard way that iPads are not allowed into Yankee Stadium when she attempted to bring the device to a game but was told that iPads are included in the no laptop rule for Yankee Stadium’s security policy.

A sports blogger called the security department to confirm this and it is indeed true: iPads are banned from Yankee Stadium as a security threat. But even though the ban is kind of silly, the same blogger wondered why anyone would want to bring, much less use, an iPad at a baseball game. That is a good point: if you are going to the game, isn’t the whole point to watch it while you’re there?

Also, the chances of being able to go on the Internet on an iPad during a game are pretty much unlikely due to the sheer amount of people present. One thing is certain: with thousands of people on cell networks all at once, the 3G network will not work on an iPad.

Via Yahoo! Sports, image via BLS Illustration.

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