Monday, February 28, 2011

MobileNotifier: Better iPhone alerts

If you haven’t jailbroken your iPhone yet then you should seriously consider doing so if you are like many iPhone owners who are dissatisfied with Apple’s less than spectacular push notification system. MobileNotifier beta v3 is a free redo of iOS’s push notification system coded by Peter Hajas and Kyle Adams. The nice thing about MobileNotifier is that all alerts are unobtrusive and out of the way, they appear at the top of the screen or open app unlike Apple’s notifications that appear smack in the middle of your screen. MobileNotifier’s alerts can also be ignored, you can leave them on the screen without hindering the usability of your iPhone. 

Another feature of MobileNotifier is AlertDashboard. AlertDashboard appears in the unused area above the app switcher (You can access this by double-tapping the home button). Another nice thing about AlertDashboard is that you can also view pending alerts as a line item on the lockscreen of your iPhone.

Although MobileNotifier isn’t perfect, it is perhaps one of the greatest additions to the jailbreak market since WinterBoard.

MobileNotifier Beta v3 Demo

iPad 2 and iOS 5

Engadget is now saying that they’ve heard that the new iPad 2 will receive a spec bump, but not much else, at the upcoming March 2nd Apple event. alt

The iPad 2′s RAM will match the iPhone 4 with 512 MB of RAM, an updated Apple A5 processor and graphics chip, and more than likely at least a front-facing camera. Those are all pretty safe modifications to the tablet, and Engadget is reporting that major features like a ‘Retina Display’ will not be on this version. This might set up the iPad 3 for an announcement in the fall, which has been rumored for the past month or so.

On the brighter side, Engadget is also reporting that iOS 5 will be shown off ahead of a June launch, alongside the iPhone 5. There’s been no word on any new features, though a revamped notifications system is a safe bet. There’s also been whispers that Apple will make iOS 5 much more cloud-centric than past versions of the operating system.

Regardless, we’ll know soon enough


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New HP Products

HP has just unveiled three new products, the Pre 3, Veer, and the rumored TouchPad.

The Pre 3 is a 3.6 inch phone with a 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, 480-800 screen resolution, larger keyboard, 512 MB of RAM, and two cameras that can be used for video calling. It isn’t the most high-end device ever, but it does emphasize that HP wants their devices to be easy to transport, and to only be noticeable when you need it. The Pre 3 will work on both GSM and CDMA carriers, like Verizon and AT&T.

Next up we have the HP Veer, a tiny (seriously, it’s extremely small) device that is basically a Pre, but smaller in every possible way. The Veer is about the size of a credit card, and packs an 800 MHz processor (as far as I can tell, it is nearly identical to the one in the HTC G2, so this shouldn’t be a slacker by any means). The screen is 2.6 inches, with a 320×400 resolution. The keyboard is minuscule, just like everything else about the phone, so it remains to be seen how usable it is. The Veer is currently only available for GSM carriers, like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Last, but certainly not least, is the TouchPad. It basically matches every spec the iPad currently has, and then some. 1.2 dual-core Qualcomm processor, with a 1024×768 display, with Beats Audio makes for an interesting tablet. The device itself weighs 1.5 pounds, and is 13 mm thick. Overall, it isn’t the specs that make the tablet compelling; it’s the software. HP isn’t slacking in this aspect; webOS on a large form factor looks very compelling. Many other media outlets have already noted that this blows away the current iPad in terms of the possibility to be productive.

The TouchPad WiFi model will be shipping this summer, and 3G/4G versions of the device will be announced later on. It will be interesting to see if this new device will be able to compete with the next iPad, which is expected within the next few months.

Also of note: the “Palm” brand is dead. No products today have it, everything at the event is coated in “HP,” and there is no reason to assume that “Palm” as a brand will live on. Still, it was great while it lasted. Here’s to the startup that lasted for nineteen years!


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