Friday, January 29, 2010

Apple lifts 3G VoIP Restrictions

Amongst other news, Apple has lifted it's 3G restrictions in the developer SDK. The new wave of VoIP applications will now be able to take full advantage of the 3G network. iCall is the first application to use this feature.
Perhaps Apple is planning their own VoIP services on the iPhone?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad, Apple's new tablet device

Just one day ago Apple unveiled its newest creation, the iPad. The iPad follows the same principles as an iPod Touch/iPhone; but this one's got a 9.7" screen. The iPad can run all of your native iPod Touch/iPhone apps, plus a few more. Apple has also created iWork for the iPad, each app costs $10. The iPad an on-screen keyboard that works well, the iPad has 3 speakers as well. The iPad docks just like a normal iPod, through the same cables & uses the same program (iTunes). AT&T has also provided a no-contract 3G plan for the iPads.

Features List -
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Built in speakers
  • 9.7" multitouch screen
  • Mp3 player
  • Video player
  • Faster than the iPod Touch
  • Same basic interface as the iPod Touch/iPhone
  • 3G Capable
What do you think about the iPad?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple 27th Event live coverage

Here are several sites covering the event:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Apple Confirms January 27th Event

Apple has finally confirmed their next event, by sending out invitations, to be held on January 27th 2010. That’s not too far ahead, so hold on to your hats, because they’re going to show off their ‘latest creation’. If you’ve been following the latest buzz, then you’ll know that their expected iSlate is to be shown.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Toyota's New Hybrid

Monday, January 11, 2010

Firefox 3.6 RC

Firefox 3.6 RC was released last Friday.

Here are the new features (as listed by the Firefox team)

  • Users can change the browser’s appearance with a single click using Personas.
  • Firefox 3.6 alerts users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
  • Changes to how third-party software integrates with Firefox to increase stability.
  • Improved automatic form fill provides better options from your form history.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
  • Support for the WOFF font format.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
  • The ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Support for the HTML5 File API
  • Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.
  • Thursday, January 7, 2010

    HP Slate Device Unveiled

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer debuted the HP Slate tablet computer during the CES 2010 keynote address last night, and while it was only a teaser, there were a few details and pictures available.

    During what might have been the highlight of last night’s speech (apparently not everyone was impressed), Ballmer hinted that we’ll be seeing a prototype some time later this year. (Seriously, there haven’t been enough definite release dates at CES this year.)

    In what could have been a great debut (and steal Apple’s thunder before they ever come out with that darn tablet of their own), there weren’t many concrete details beyond that.

    But what did the world learn about the HP Slate? It will run on Windows 7, runs Amazon Kindle for PC, and the color touchscreen is in between 10 and 12 inches. It also apparently plays Frogger.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Apple Tablet Device Competetors line up

    The planned tablet from Notion Ink, due to be unveiled at CES

    As the world awaits Apple's touchscreen tablet, upstart Notion Ink is one of many competitors moving to top the smartphone maker at this week's CES

    For a device that has yet to be introduced, the tablet expected from Apple this year is whipping up a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. A tiny Indian startup called Notion Ink hopes to steal at least part of Apple's thunder by unveiling its own tablet weeks before its bigger rival.

    Notion Ink will introduce its device at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Boasting a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Notion Ink's tablet is larger than a mobile phone but smaller than a traditional laptop. It's designed for people who want easy access to the Web, online videos, and a wide range of other applications without having to boot up a bigger, more powerful computer. Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan says he plans to show off the first prototype of the device in early January, partly to entice consumers who might otherwise hold out for Apple's long-awaited device. "We are pushing to launch before Apple," Shrivan says.

    A host of other hardware and software makers with the same strategy in mind are expected to showcase their own tablet computers at CES, which gets under way on Jan. 7. Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus may be close to unveiling their own tablet computers. Several could use the CES stage to try to steal the spotlight from Apple.

    Analysts say tablets will become a big business this year. Spurred on by the explosive use of mobile content, the ubiquity of wireless networks, and the increasing affordability of touchscreens and powerful chips, device makers hope to tap demand for larger handheld computers that can outperform mobile phones. By the end of 2010, tablets could make up a $3.5 billion market, says John Jacobs, director of notebook market research for Austin-based DisplaySearch. "We're talking about a brand-new market," he says.

    Tablet-pioneer Microsoft 's Courier?

    Apple alone expects to ship 10 million tablet devices in its first year of release, former Google China president Kai Fu Lee wrote in his blog on Dec. 31, citing a person with knowledge of the project. Notion Ink expects to produce 1.5 million units of its tablet device for the U.S. market in its first year.

    Microsoft may have the most to gain from a big splash at CES. The company's attempt to bring a stylus-operated mobile computer to market in the early part of the last decade, the Tablet PC, floundered, in part because of a lack of applications available for the device. "Microsoft launched the original tablet class years ago," says Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group. "It would be embarrassing if Apple stole it."

    The Microsoft Courier, a dual-screen tablet computer that first appeared last year in promotional videos leaked to the press, could make its big debut at CES. Chief executive Steve Ballmer plans to demonstrate the Windows 7 operating system on new devices, according to a person familiar with the matter. With all eyes on Las Vegas, what better way to give the Courier a boost? A Microsoft spokesman declines to discuss plans for the Courier or any new hardware devices the company might unveil at the show.

    Whether they tout wares at CES, or wait until after Apple shows its hand, tablet challengers face an uphill climb against Apple, which has piqued public interest in tablets without even making an official announcement,. "Apple is going to set the bar whenever it does enter the market," says Roger Kay, founder of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

    PC makers, including Dell, are prepping their own tablet-like devices. The Round Rock (Tex.)-based company may announce a mobile machine with a 5-inch screen that runs Google's Android operating system, analysts say. The handheld might make an appearance at CES, according to a December report from gadget blog Pocket-lint. "[Dell is] going to be motivated to show something at CES that says, 'We're here to play'," Enderle says. "A tablet could do that." Dell spokesman Andrew Bowins would not comment on the possibility of a forthcoming tablet device, but says the company will "continue to look at current technologies and all form factors to bring the best mobile experiences to consumers."

    Coming: a Lenovo-Qualcomm "smartbook"

    Asian players may be both closer to producing touchscreen tablets and better prepared to unveil wares at the show. Asus, the Taiwanese company that pioneered the in-between category of netbooks in recent years, is working on a device it calls the Eee Pad—a 4-inch-to-7-inch "panel" that will be powered by an Nvidia chip, according to the blog DigiTimes. A representative from Asus did not return requests for comment. Mike Rayfield, who heads Nvidia's mobile business, would not discuss the prospect of an Asus tablet but added that "2010 will be the year of the tablet revolution. At CES, we'll see tablets providing consumers the truly portable, high resolution, no-compromise Internet experience they've been waiting for."

    Meanwhile, Chinese PC maker Lenovo has said it is partnering with mobile chipmaker Qualcomm to introduce a "smartbook"—a miniature laptop that connects to the Internet.

    Other PC makers may take a wait-and-see approach to tablets. Hewlett-Packard, which has made a line of keyboard-attached tablet PCs since 2002, doesn't appear to be in a rush to conquer mobile devices. "We've seen the emergence of form factors filling in the gap between smartphones and notebooks," says Phil McKinney, vice-president and chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard's personal systems group. "Many have tried to take traditional devices and either expand or shrink them into this space, with little luck," he says, pointing to smaller versions of netbooks that have failed to catch on with consumers. HP declined to comment on its plans for CES.

    In the long run, it may prove prudent to wait until Apple releases its tablet, says analyst Kay. "It's a little bit dicey to get out there in front of Apple," he says. Mobile phones introduced just before the launch of the iPhone in summer 2007 were considered by many to be instantly outdated. Tablet makers may wish to avoid the same fate.

    Notion Ink CEO Shravan isn't fazed by the prospect of an Apple tablet. Notion Ink has landed promising partnerships with the makers of the Android operating system, Qualcomm, and Pixel Qui, which makes touchscreens that use natural light to prolong a tablet screen's battery power. He admits his device looks a lot like the one Apple is expected to unveil, but believes he has the Cupertino company beat in one important area: price. "When you buy an Apple product, you pay a big premium on it because the Apple name is there," Shravan says.

    Still, it may take a lot more than a lower price to distinguish a tablet that's intended to go head-to-head against one from Apple.

    Copyrighted, Business Week. All rights reserved.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    More info on Apple's Tablet Device

    The speculative madness surrounding Apple's rumored tablet computer has finally reached its frothy peak.

    Tech's chattering classes are obsessed with the unconfirmed product, which Apple (AAPL) may announce at an event in January, or February, or March, depending on which set of reports you adhere to. Apple, not surprisingly, is mum.

    The hunger for information—and misguided speculation—reminds me of the mistaken prognosticating about the iPhone before its introduction three years ago. It may be time to step back and realize that Apple may uncork a product so surprising that the company again leaves the tech industry scrambling to catch up to its products' smooth operation and sleek design.

    Documented facts about the tablet are few. This much we do know: In November 2008, Apple took control of the trademark name TabletMac from a company called Axiotron, which converts MacBook laptops into tablet computers running Apple's Mac OS X.

    Wild Imaginings

    In April, BusinessWeek talked with people who had seen prototypes of a device they called a media pad as well as a small iPhone, described as "iPhone lite" by the person who saw it.

    Then there's outside speculation. In November the Taiwanese Web site Digitimes, often regarded as a solid source of information regarding the plans of Taiwan's electronic manufacturing sector, reported that the Apple tablet had been delayed until the second half of 2010 because of the price to build its display.

    On Dec. 24, New York Times blogger Nick Bilton quoted two people—one an unnamed source, the other a former Apple employee—dropping tantalizing clues. Jobs is "very happy" with the machine, and users will be "very surprised at how you interact with the new tablet," the Times wrote. About the same time, the Financial Times reported that Apple plans to reveal the new device at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Jan. 26.

    Missing the Mark on the iPhone

    It's important to take reports like these with an appropriate helping of salt. Apple holds numerous trademarks it doesn't actively use; ever hear of MacTel, Vingle, or Drypod? In addition, Apple's top-secret labs in Cupertino, Calif., have probably developed numerous tablet prototypes, some of which may be used to show potential partners but that don't represent a finished product. And leakers have a tendency to exaggerate what they know, or invent from whole cloth.

    A similar speculative frenzy surrounded the January 2007 iPhone launch. Looking back at Apple rumor site postings in the months leading up to its debut, I noticed how far off the mark many were about the iPhone's looks, Apple's partners, and who the carrier would be who could resell it. For example, enthusiasts' home-made design drawings that emerged on rumor sites showed a phone that sported a navigation wheel similar to the iPod's. Others imagined the iPhone would have a slide-out keyboard.

    Few saw the potential for a touch-sensitive display, which eventually became the signature design element of the iPhone and iPod touch.

    Consider the fevered imaginings endemic to Apple. The company engenders such strong reactions from its customers that users tend to "project the known upon the unknown," says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at market researcher Interpret. That's why so many observers took the well-understood iPod and grafted a phone onto it when imagining Apple's iPhone plans.

    A Larger Screen?

    Apple's tablet may revolve around a larger touch-sensitive screen than the iPhone's, which could be central to its design and control. I've speculated about it myself in a past column. The iPod touch is so useful an Internet device that I keep one handy on my bedside table. It would make a lot of sense for Apple to market a device with a larger screen—say, 7 in. to 10 in. diagonally—that runs applications downloaded from the iTunes app store, wouldn't it?

    Writers and tech pundits think so. But we're not Apple engineers and designers. What seems from the outside to be a logical progression may seem merely simplistic to the folks at Apple's 1 Infinite Loop headquarters. Their job isn't so much to think about the next logical step on a path as to set a divergent course for what people are likely to want for years to come.

    Apple may throw everyone a curve ball here. Imagine an Apple tablet about the size of a 11-in. spiral notebook with an iPhone-like touch screen. How about the ability for the machine to recognize voice commands and dictation of text? A built-in video camera and maybe a mini-projector for meetings would be nice. And if the reports of Apple's discussion to land print media content in the iTunes store are true, how about an easy-on-the-eyes display for reading electronic magazines and books?

    Embracing Two Worlds

    A more fundamental question is whether Apple's tablet will more closely resemble an iPhone or a Mac. It will be fascinating to see how whatever emerges straddles those two worlds.

    We use PCs and laptops to get things done when we're stationary; we use mobile devices to stay informed and complete small tasks when we're out and about. This device, it seems, will either have to incorporate both paradigms or have to create one of its own.

    My bet? There will be a product from Apple reasonably described as a tablet, and Apple will reveal it during the first quarter of 2010. That's not going too far out on a limb. As the iPhone enters its third year, Apple needs something new to sell to keep delighting its customers, inspiring envy among its competitors, and increasing its sales.

    Check your expectations about this product at the door, though. We're probably all in for a very big surprise.

    Arik Hesseldahl is a reporter for


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