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Category Archives: iPhone/iPad News

iPad2

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Just under one year ago, Apple shocked the computing world with a 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet that few truly expected.

Some called the original Apple iPad a large-format iPhone. Others berated the name and made jokes that were not remotely funny.

The early reviews were marginal at best – we handed the device a solid four stars. Technical folks decried the lack of Adobe Flash and the missing cameras.

Now, 60,000 apps later (according to Apple, who counts every conceivable option) and just a few weeks after the first real Android 3.0 tablet contender hit the streets (Motorola Xoom), the iPad 2 has sauntered onto the playing field.

At 241mm tall, 186mm wide, and 8.6mm thick, the iPad 2 is just a hair smaller than the original iPad and it’s thinner than the iPhone 4. It has a curved edge that makes it look a bit more ‘space age’ and, surprisingly, easier to grasp because you can curve your fingers more easily around the bezel.
With rounded edges, iPad 2 has a more contoured look, shunning the straight edges of the original iPad.  According to Kevin Keller of IHS iSuppli, the slim appearance of iPad 2 not only makes the first iPad seem bulky, but also makes other tablet devices seem gargantuan compared to iPad 2. 

Despite having a slimmer battery, iPad 2 is roughly 15 percent more efficient in terms of power usage compared with the original.  Foregoing the two thick cells of the first iPad, Apple used three thinner, slimmer, cells, reducing the battery’s thickness.

For the screen, Apple did away with the metal sheet structure in favor of a touchscreen with an improved glass layer.  The glass on iPad 2 is thinner, more flexible and durable, than the screen of the original iPad according to IHS tests.

Compounding all of this is the cost advantage Apple has over its competitors.  UBM indicates that Apple reportedly only spent $270 to manufacture the 32GB iPad 2, cheaper compared to the estimated cost for the Motorola Xoom.

iPad 2 is smaller, faster and more feature-rich than the first generation iPad.  Moreover, with low costs, both to manufacture and to offer consumers, others can’t match, Apple and iPad should continue to dominate the tablet market.

Have you purchased iPad 2? 🙂

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iPhone OS 4.0: Multitasking, finally :)

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The demand for iPhone OS multitasking is nothing new. People have been looking for ways to do more than one thing at once on their iPhones for some time. For example, let’s say you’re chatting on IRC in one application, and you want to hop out to check a Web page. Should you have to disconnect from your IRC session just so you can sneak into Safari? Maybe you want to listen to Pandora radio while shopping at the App Store. Should you have to stop the Pandora music?

People multitask, and now the iPhone OS can too. Starting with the upcoming 4.0 firmware, the iPhone OS will (finally!) allow users to do more than one task at once. As Steve demonstrated today, iPhone OS 4.0 lets you switch tasks by double-clicking the home button. A dock-like bar appears at the bottom of the screen, showing you a list of running applications.

Typically with multitasking, the more processes that you run, the more burden you’ll place on battery life. The application would have to page into and out of memory a lot more, and as a result, less memory and processor power will be available on a per-app basis. It’s a trade-off. For me, and I’m sure for many others, it’s a trade-off we’re willing to make in order to cash in to the associate benefits.

However, it seems that we may not have to fear: Apple says they have found a way around all of these caveats. How, you ask? They are providing background services to applications, allowing the app to stream music, provide notifications, or do other tasks without compromising performance.

What about you? Is this a feature that you’re going to be taking advantage of? Would you rather swap it out for better battery life and app performance? Let us know in the comments.

iPhone OS 4.0: Over 100 new features

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Yesterday (Apr 8th 2010) During Apple live event, it was noted that over 100 new features are being added to iPhone OS 4.0. We captured some of that information, and list just a few new features here for your reading pleasure:

  • QuickLook: The feature everyone loves in Mac OS X now comes to iPhone and iPad
  • Folder Storage: You can now have up to 2,160 apps on your iPhone through the use of folders
  • Full app access to still and video data
  • iBooks on iPhone: A smaller version of the iBooks app for the iPhone platform.
  • Unified inbox for Mail: At last, all of your emails go can be viewed in one inbox; no more switching between inboxes. You can also have multiple Exchange accounts. The emails can be organized by threads, much in the same way that they are in Mail.app on the Mac.
  • Wireless App Distribution: Companies that create custom in-house apps no longer need to distribute those through a “wired” connection; employees can now install the apps from anywhere, anytime.
  • Homescreen Wallpaper, Bluetooth Keyboards: The iPhone and iPod touch will get these features that are now on the iPad.
  • Fast app switching
  • Background location: Apps can stay updated with location information even when you switch to another app.
  • Selective use of location: Location can be enabled or disabled on an app-by-app basis.
  • Local notifications: like push notification, but not requiring server access. It’s all done on the phone.
  • Task completion: Items that take some time can now complete in background while other work is going on in foreground. For example, uploading an image to Flickr can happen in background while you’re doing something else.
  • iAds: Developers get 60% of the ad revenue by adding interactive iAds to their apps. You can add fully interactive advertisements without taking people out of your app.
  • Address and Date data detectors: Just like those in Mail.app in Mac OS X, these add information to Address Book and Calendar with a tap.

iPhone 4.0 OS: Now with iAds

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Apr 8th 2010

Today at the iPhone 4.0 preview event, Apple announced that one of the new features coming in 4.0 is the iAd network. According to Steve, an average iPhone user is on their phone using apps about half an hour a day. So at one ad every three minutes, that’s 10 ads on each device each day, and with almost ten million devices out there, Apple claims they’ll be serving a billion ad opportunities every day.

And yet this isn’t the huge news about iAds. Here is what makes it a big deal: Apple built the network and is offering it up to developers to use how they’d like, with 60% of the revenue made on those ads going to developers themselves. That’s up a bit from the standard “Apple gets a 30% cut” rule of thumb, but more than half seems more than fair. Apple hosts and sells the ads, and developers take home over half the revenue.

The ad demonstrated live actually looked cool: they showed off little Toy Story 3 ad at the bottom of a news app. Tap the ad, and it comes up with some options (a character list, sounds from each character, etc) and even a game to play, including an option to buy a game from right within the ad. Steve even asked if anyone had seen anything like this before, and among the gathered press, he got silence in response.

Currently, the most educated of guesses is that the AdKit API will be a developer source as well as an iTunes source (iTunes sources are where the App Store and Music Store get their content.)

After the event in the Q&A session, Steve said they attempted to buy AdMob and got sniped by Google, so they bought Quattro and are trying very hard to come up to speed on what web advertising is like, presumably so they can change it. As long as they aren’t trying to get me to refinance my mortgage or whiten my teeth, I’m looking forward to the future of advertising on the iPhone.