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Tag Archives: Apple

Moshi for iPad
  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Spotify ranked No. 2 source for music labels revenue streams


    Right now, the music industry probably wants to give a great big hug to the digital music streaming company Spotify. After less than one year in business, Spotify is reported to be the No.2 source of revenue for the chronically troubled major music labels.


    Business Insider reports that an anonymous source told them that Spotify has shot ahead of all its competition, well all of them except Apple and their iTunes store.


    There are an estimated 23 million users of Spotify’s streaming music service. If you’re willing to put up with advertising breaks, the basic Spotify app is free. Two paid subscription levels offer ad-free music streaming.


    Spotify just brought its free mobile radio to its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app. Spotify’s radio features were previously only available to desktop users. It lets you can create artist-, song- or playlist-based streaming radio stations similar to those offered by Pandora. Speaking of Pandora, that company seems to be having trouble keeping up.  The company’s stock is showing it.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Market research firm Strategy Analytics forecasts that worldwide smartphone shipments will have grown by 38% from one year ago. They also caution that the rate of growth might not be sustainable in the short term due to global economic troubles.


    Smartphone market growth expected at 38% in Q2 2012 4G LTE and Apple main catalysts


    The Strategy Analytics report did state that it expects smartphone shipments to bounce back later in the year. Both the Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 3 along couple with devices having 4G LTE connectivity should fuel new growth. Strategy Analytics called LTE “the industry’s most important segment” and predict that 4G LTE smartphone shipments will rise tenfold in 2012.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


     Wi-Fi Alliance ‘s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint program Will allow mobile devices to automatically connect to WiFi networks


    Someone is out there trying to make our wireless access a lot easier without charging us an arm and a leg for the privilege (or over-complicating the system.)  The WiFi Alliance just announced hardware testing of its WiFi-CERTIFIED Passpoint program. The program is designed to allow cell phones like the iPhone 4S , Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and the Motoluxe  and tablets such as the iPad3, Samsung Tab, HTC Jetstream, HTC Flyer and the Motorola Xoom to automatically find and connect to compatible networks in the area.


    The WiFi Alliance’s primary intention is to certify hotspots. The specification it’s using is the result of cooperation between service providers and equipment manufacturers, with the aim of creating an industry-wide solution for shared WiFi access and roaming agreements.


    Hardware manufactures like Cisco, Intel, MediaTek and Qualcomm have already received Passpoint certification. Once the hardware testing is complete, it will be up to the service providers to show a little spirit of cooperation.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi 


    Google attempts to block US shipments of Apple iPhone and iPad


    Bloomberg reported that Google may have grounds to ask the International Trade Commission to block U.S. imports of the Apple iPhone and iPad  over 3G patents held by Motorola Mobility. This speculation is based upon Google’s accusations that Apple has violated 3G patents held by Motorola Mobility, one of Google’s latest acquisitions.


    Here’s the quote from the Bloomberg report, “The U.S. International Trade Commission said it will review ITC Judge Thomas Pender’s findings that Apple was violating one Motorola Mobility patent. The commission is scheduled to issue a final decision on Aug. 24, and has the power to block devices made in Asia from entering the U.S.”


    Google bought Motorola Mobility in part to gain access to Motorola’s stockpile of 17,000 patents, many on phone technology. Apple had already filed a complaint against Motorola Mobility at the European Union, accusing them of misusing patents that relate to industry standards.  When Google bought Motorola, that battle with Apple came as part of the deal.




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  • Fans all over the world have been bombarded with speculation about this major update to Apple’s mobile platform, and now we all have a preliminary look.  Last week, Apple finally revealed the details for its iOS 6 with the low-down on over 200 new features, services and user interface upgrades.


    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Apple has less than three months to get iOS 6 ready for release.  Here’s the low-down on one of the first reviews.


    First Impressions


    The beta release is available to developers, getting the new code into the hands of those who produce the apps in the crowded App Store. This evaluation is based on testing with the iPhone 4S, so if you have a different mobile device, your results may be different.


    Two hundred tweaks may sound like a lot (and it is), but there are a few key additions, updates and changes with iOS 6 that deserve a closer look. We’ll highlight the biggest upcoming changes that could have even Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone loyalists thinking twice about Apple's iPhone.


    Siri


    Siri capability is added to the iPad 3 (but not older iPads or the iPhone 4 and earlier.) Siri has only been available on iPhone 4S until now.


    • Siri answers sports questions that go beyond just game scores including history, stats, player bios, and records without switching over to the browser.
    • Siri answers questions about movies like actors, directors, awards and movie stats, and shows status of premieres, reviews, trailers and tickets. It will bring up nearby listings and enable ticket purchases through Fandango.
    • Siri understands more languages Canadian English and French, Spanish, Italian, the varieties of German, Italian and French spoken in Switzerland, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese. These are also supported in the satellite navigation app.
    • Siri finds the restaurant you are looking for and filters the results based on user reviews. It provides for detailed searches based on food type, location, outdoor, pool, price range, ratings, and more. (This feature is not available in every country.)
    •  Nine automakers (BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda) have promised to integrate Siri. Hitting the voice button in your car will activate Siri if your iPhone is connected to your vehicle’s infotainment system.
    • Siri launches apps by just saying their name.

    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Facebook integration in Siri


    Twitter became integrated into iOS 5, and now Apple is doing the same with Facebook in iOS 6. Everything you can do now with Twitter, you'll be able to do with Facebook.


    • Use Siri to post Facebook updates and tweets.
    • With the link to Facebook you can update your contacts’ pictures, addresses, important dates, emails, phone numbers and websites. You will also get a new Facebook field with a shortcut to your contacts’ Facebook profile. It will load in the Safari browser, not the dedicated Facebook app.
    • All Facebook events will appear in the Calendar.
    • Facebook integration extends to the App Store and the iTunes Store. Whenever you tap on an app, song, movie, TV show, and more three tabs pop up: info, reviews and related.
    • Share photos on Facebook from inside the Camera or Photo apps.
    • Share addresses with a pin in Maps.

    In another blow to Google, there’s no Google+ integration. Then again, there's no Google+ integration in Android either…


    Apple Maps


    Google has been providing an Apple version of its Google Maps since iOS was born. But iOS 6 kicks Google Maps to the curb. While the Google version may still be available in the App Store, Apple’s iOS 6 Maps provided by TomTom will have the default position. Here are a few of the highlights:


    • iOS 6 Maps uses TomTom for all mapping and traffic data.
    • Siri connects to these maps, and turn-by-turn voice navigation is included for free.
    • You can access crowd-sourced traffic information for (almost) real-time traffic alerts.
    • 3D "Flyover" maps are available on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the New iPad/iPad 3 (older models won't support the advanced graphics.). Zoom, tilt and rotate the landscape to explore 3D landmarks in real time.
    • Access local search and Yelp reviews.
    • Navigation even works in the lock screen mode and behind other apps. This is ideal for use in car mounts.
    • Offline mapping capability should be available in the coming weeks.

    PassBook


    Passbook is a single app that collects and intelligently displays boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards.


    • Any travel changes (like gate changes and fee differences) are displayed in Passbook in real-time as long as you have a data connection. This is a airline carrier partnership deal. So far the only airline to sign up is United. A lot more carriers will have to join to make this one worthwhile.
    • The location-aware app makes the right coupon available in the right place and at the right time.
    • The PassBook will report the balance on coupons and cards, let you check your ticket seats and can even show you relevant notifications (e.g. gate or terminal change for a flight).

    Safari browser


    The Safari browser has gotten a few minor updates:


    • It’s faster than it was on the iOS 5. Its benchmark scores for SunSpider, BrowserMark and HTML5test.com show significant improvement over iOS 5.1.1.
    • A full-screen view option is available from a dedicated button on the taskbar. It works only in landscape mode.
    • iCloud tab syncing is enabled, along with offline reading.
    • You can access to your multimedia content without exiting the browser.

    Email


    Good old email got some updates too:


    • Set up friends’ emails in a dedicated VIP mailbox, and it will appear highlighted in the regular inbox. Designate where you want to be notified of VIP emails (for example, put them on the lockscreen.)
    • Flag important emails and they’ll be placed in a Flagged mailbox.
    • Use different mail signatures for multiple email accounts.
    • Insert pictures or videos in emails just by tapping and holding on an empty space and accessing them from a pop-up menu.
    • The update button is now gone and there's a pull to refresh instead.

    Phone app


    Apple is adding some much needed calling features:


    • When you decline an incoming call, you can reply to it with a text message or set a callback reminder.
    • Use the Do Not Disturb setting to bypass calls and texts, except those from callers on your VIP list.
    • If the Repeated calls feature is activated a second call from the same contact within less than three minutes will not be silenced (it might be an emergency.)

    App Store and iTunes Store


    With iOS 6 Apple has updated the App Store and iTunes Store and content handling:


    • Featured pages have scrollable rows rather than lists.
    • The App Store won't prompt you to enter your password when you’re just updating apps.
    • You can see the change log in the Updates screen without opening the info screen.
    • After you buy or update apps you can continue browsing the store. You can also launch apps you've already installed from within the store.
    • The Game Center gets Facebook integration and supports challenges.

    FaceTime


    FaceTime for 3G is finally here, allowing FaceTime to work over cellular networks, not just Wi-Fi.


    • FaceTime now supports video chatting on data networks, but be warned; these chats run through around 3MB per minute and will chew through your LTE data plan in short order.
    • The unified FaceTime/iMessages ID lets you receive calls on an iPad using your phone number.
    • Other FaceTime improvements include updated Stores and system apps, new icons, and revised settings.

    What is Apple thinking with its iOS 6?


    Guided Access and Lost Mode


    Apple is working hard to bring iOS to people with disabilities through its Guided Access.


    • It helps students with disabilities remain on task and focused on content.
    • It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen.
    • VoiceOver, a screen reader technology for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom.
    • Guided Access could be useful as a kid- or test- mode. Loan your Apple device to your kids without being worried that they will access inappropriate content or change your settings and apps.

    Lost Mode is part of the former Find My iPhone service. If you lose your gadget, you can lock it remotely and send a message with your contact information. Lost Mode doesn’t have data wiping capability.


    Miscellaneous mentions


    Right inside the Photo app is a sub-social network for pictures called Shared Photo Stream. By choosing what pictures to share and which people to share them with, those you send them to will be able to like them and post comments.


    The Bluetooth toggle has more prominence with placement next to the Wi-Fi toggle.


    The Camera UI is now black.


    In the settings menu brightness is now in the wallpaper screen.


    In the auto brightness mode, your device will be in full control of the brightness and will move the slider above the toggle to show the currently selected setting.  You’ll be able to see exactly how bright the screen is, but you won’t be able to adjust it in auto-mode like you could in past iOS versions.


    The Settings and Clock apps have updated icons. The Clock app now allows you to access the iPod music library and assign any song as an alarm tone.


    Compatibility


    Not all Apple iPhone and iPad generations will get the upgrade. iOS 6 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S; iPad 2 and 3; and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. The first iPad has been left behind.


    Siri access is expanded beyond the iPhone 4S, but only as far as iPad 3. The turn-by-turn navigation and the Flyover mode in Maps is only possible with the dual-core devices - iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPad 3.


    Wrap up


    The iOS 6 changes will make a difference for every Apple device that it’s made for.


    The big deal is Maps. While much of Maps looks similar to Google Maps, it integrates 3D and voice navigation. The integration with Siri is most of what will make Apple’s Maps a winner with most users.


    iOS 6 won’t inspire a mob of new customers, but we’ll see if the new iPhone 5 package makes the iOS 6 greater than the sum of its parts.




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  • By Adhurim Murtezai


    Here comes Google’s new Nexus tablet


    Google is finally ready to show what it can do with its own brand of tablet. It’s called the “Nexus 7. ” We hear we’ll get a first look at it at next week’s Google I/O developer conference.


    DigiTimes just reported a number of details about the Nexus 7 slate that seem to ring true. The DigiTimes source in the tablet’s supply chain claimed that Google’s next major Android release - Jelly Bean - would come in the second quarter. They also reported that Nexus tablet shipments would begin in June in preparation for a July launch.


    Microsoft’s unveiling of its “Surface” tablet seems to be the start of a major effort by software wizards to become hardware masters. Google seems to be right behind. Google also has a few Android partners that help on the device building side. Some are developing their own software expertise. Just when we thought the only entertainment was going to be Apple against the rest of the world, it seems the natives have gotten restless.


    Google I/O begins on June 27th.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Apple has extended its deal for exclusive access to Liquidmetal (for use in consumer electronics equipment) for two more years. This could mean the rumors are true that this incredibly tough metal alloy might be used as the casing material for the iPhone 5.


    Liquidmetal is all Apple’s for two more years


    So far, Apple has only used Liquidmetal for the SIM ejector tool for their iPhones and iPads. It could be that this is Apple’s way of testing the material and the manufacturing process together before committing to its use in a component as critical as the iPhone’s case.


    It could also mean that we are seriously over-thinking this one, and Apple just likes the Liquidmetal ejector tools.




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  • Firefox “Junior” for iPad
    Posted on June 22, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    Firefox “Junior” for iPad


    Great news for Apple iPad users that have been disappointed with their browsing experience...  they will  soon have a Safari alternative from Mozilla.


    Mozilla just revealed a new version of its Firefox browser designed to give Apple iPad users an alternative to Safari. Mozilla calls its mini-browser “Junior.” As a Mozilla foundation representative describes Junior, “It makes browsing more fun, more ergonomic and re-thinks browser user experience from the ground up.”


    Junior only provides two buttons on screen. These are placed where the iPad user’s thumbs go. The “back” button performs the standard back function. Pressing the “plus” button opens a new screen that lets users input a URL.


    Mozilla is looking to provide a simplified browsing experience for the tablet environment. They’ve designed Junior to use the entire screen without cluttering it up with tabs and search bars.  Some iPad users may miss the on-screen tabs that are a staple of web browsers, but Mozilla has had to eliminate them to accommodate the tablet’s smaller screen size.


    It looks like Junior really is a browser that’s designed for tablets, not just a stripped down version of its desktop or mobile browser. No word yet on when Mozilla will release Junior to iPad users.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Due in part to the fact that Apple commands the lion's share of the worldwide tablet market  coupled with their lack of success with their Optimus Pad,  LG has decided to put their tablet development efforts to the side, and focus on producing Android smartphones that can stand a chance against some very serious rivals.


    Would you stand in line for an LG refrigerator?


    Currently LG markets a very competitive line of smartphones including the Optimus 4G LTE, Gossip Pro and the Optimus L7 


    LG’s Optimus Pad LTE hit the market earlier this year but it didn’t get anyone too excited. There’s a lot of competition in the tablet market, but Apple owns it. Even older versions of iPads outsell some competitor tablets. It’s good to see LG say “why bother?”


    According to a spokesperson from LG, the company is going to concentrate on developing Android smartphones that are more technologically competitive with the products like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X.


    LG knows its stuff when it comes to home appliances and other types of electronics, but you don’t see people lining up to buy the latest in refrigerator technology. It’s time for LG t decide whether they’re in or they’re out.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    MacBook Pro’s Retina display touted as an engineering marvel


    The MacBook Pro is less than a week old (in the public’s view) and the devices are already being sacrificed in the name of curiosity.


    The folks at iFixit took apart MacBook Pro’s 2880 x 1800 Retina display panel, and what they discovered is making them rethink LCD construction. It’s incredible what Apple engineers have done to make that kind of resolution work in a laptop screen that's thinner than anything seen in its geneology.


    The unibody aluminum casing is the frame for the display. The LCD is its own front glass. Even the wireless antennas are threaded through the hinges to maximize use of even the tiniest of spaces.


    Guard the Retina display with your life. This kind of parts layout means you can probably forget about repairs. Even the masters of the teardown at iFixit cracked the display’s glass during their dissection.


    If you’re willing to forgive the disposability problem, the MacBook Pro’s Retina display is a high-resolution engineering marvel.  Just don’t drop it.




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