iNews Review

Over 30 iPad Competitors Due This Year, Android Growing at iPhone's Expense, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.08.30

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

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News, Reviews, & Opinion

18% of Apple Product Owners Plan to Buy an iPad

Macworld UK's Karen Haslam reports that almost one-fifth (18%) of US households that own at least one Apple product intend to buy an iPad in the next twelve months, according to Strategy Analytics, while just 2% of US homes that don't currently own an Apple product intend to purchase an iPad.

Haslam quotes Strategy Analytics Principal Analyst David Mercer suggesting that "Apple's iPad is preaching to the converted...."

Web Browsing from Android Phones Grows 400% at Apple's Expense

PR: According to new statistics released by mobile analytics and payment specialist Bango Inc, the volume of mobile web browsing from Android phones in the USA grew by 400% between Q1 and Q2 2010. In comparison, the volume of growth from Apple devices was just 13% over the same period, representing a market share decline of 16%.

US Mobile Web Browsing Stats, Q1 and Q2. Data source: Bango
US Mobile Web Browsing Stats, Q1 and Q2. Data source: Bango

HTC and Sony Ericsson smartphones showed the largest volume growth of mobile web visits in the US during this period, with an increase of 162% and 148% respectively. This represented a growth in market share between quarters of 94% and 84%. In the same period, the percentage market share of LG, Motorola, and Samsung grew by 48%, 45%, and 26% respectively.

BlackBerry smartphones continued to retain the highest volume of mobile web visits during Q2 2010, accounting for 37% of visits to mobile websites in the US. This represents a 20% volume increase over Q1. In comparison, 26% of mobile visits were from Apple devices, while phones from HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, and Motorola accounted for a total of 27% of the mobile web visits in the US during Q2.

"Even with the advent of Apple's new iAd platform and Google's acquisition of AdMob, BlackBerry still represents the best volume opportunity for mobile advertising in the USA", says Bango CEO Ray Anderson, "Apple appears to be losing ground to the latest Android handsets from HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Samsung, showing the slowest quarterly growth in web browsing."

Bango measured the number of mobile visits made in the US across a sample of websites during Q1 and Q2 of 2010. The survey focuses on browsing activity from phones and did not measure mobile application use. The data excludes popular mobile sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

27 Million Americans Buying a Tablet Next Year, and It Might Not Be an iPad

Gizmodo's Sam Biddle notes that a new survey out of Forrester reports 14% of Americans plan on purchasing a tablet device next year - some 27 million prospective buyers, and perhaps more interestingly, only 3.8% of future buyers said they were "wedded to" an iPad.

30+ iPad Competitors Coming This Year

More than 30 new tablet computers will flood what's shaping up to be a red-hot market.

The Kiplinger Letter's Drake Lundell says that Apple's iPad is about to get lots of company, with a slew of new tablet computers coming on the market this fall from PC giants HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba, to name just a few, as well as from smartphone makers like Research in Motion (RIM), Samsung, and Motorola, which will give buyers many more options and bring down prices.

Lundell notes that if they had been classified and counted as notebook computers, iPads would have been the third largest seller in that category after only two months on the market, ahead of Toshiba, Lenovo, and Dell in the second quarter.

Lundell also reports that among functions not available on the somewhat features-challenged iPad that will be offered on some of the competing tablets will be a USB port on the Windows-based tablet from Microsoft, support for Adobe's Flash software (which accounts for 90% of web video), crisper screens, and dual-core processors for higher speeds, as well as some of the units - particularly one being developed by Verizon and Motorola - having the capability to stream live television to the screen, the competition possibly even forcing Apple to reduce its iPad prices.

LG: Optimus Tablet 'Will Be More Productive' than iPad

Electronista reports:

"LG in an interview today positioned its upcoming Android tablet as the antithesis of Apple's iPad [sub. required]. Marketing VP Chang Ma told the WSJ that the slate, which will go under the Optimus badge used for phones in Korea, should be 'surprisingly productive.' Apple's device is more focused on consuming content, he said."

Acer Chairman Expects iPad Market Share to Drop to 20%

DigiTimes' Joseph Tsai reports that, in a Chinese-language interview with the Economic Daily News, Acer chairman J.T. Wang said he expects Apple's iPad market share to drop from close to 100% currently to only 20% to 30% after the tablet PC market stabilizes, also citing a research report indicating that Android smartphones' market share has already surpassed that of iOS models, and observing that based on past experience, a closed platform will eventually lose to an open one.

iSuppli: Apple to Dominate Tablet Market Through 2012

PR: Market research firm iSuppli's director of monitor research Rhoda Alexander says that even with a flood of rival products in the works (and confident saber-rattling from the CEOs of soon to be tablet competitors Acer and LG this week), Apple Inc.'s iPad is unlikely to face a viable competitor until 2011, allowing the company to maintain a dominant share in the tablet market at least through 2012, with iSuppli Corp. researchers estimating that the iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1% of global tablet shipments in 2010, a 70.4% share in 2011, and a projected 61.7% slice even in 2012. iSuppli's assertion is that it will take years for iPad's competitors to gain enough traction and develop software support ecosystems that would enable then mount a serious challenge to iPad's dominance.

Editor's note: iSuppli may well be right, but I'm still of a mind that tablet computers offering real, credible capability as productivity and content creation tools will be awfully attractive to a lot of prospective tablet purchasers who are attracted by the iPad's form factor and light weight but put off by its manifold deficiencies - no Flash or multitasking support, no USB ports, non-upgradable memory, cramped data storage, feeble processor power compared with even low-end conventional PCs, no tabbed browsing, no really satisfactory word processors and text editors, the general inability to run productivity applications, no mouse support, and so forth. For my expanded thoughts on this topic see Why the Tablet I Buy Probably Won't Be an iPad on PBCentral. cm

BlackBerry's Tablet to Use US Army's Crusher-Vehicle Tech

Nerve reports:

"BlackBerry maker Research In Motion will pack its soon-to-be-launched iPad with a unique software technology currently being used in navigating the powerful Crusher combat vehicle by the US Army."

If further reports that the "BlackBerry iPad" will run on software developed by QNX Software Systems, an Ottawa-based software company RIM acquired for $200 million in April to have exclusive access to its software technology for its tablet.

Nerve notes that the QNX software technology powers not only the US Army's six-wheeled unmanned Crusher combat vehicle, but also the music, media and navigation systems in BMW and Porsche automobiles.

Editor's note: You can bet that Apple's lawyers have already sent a letter to Nerve regarding its misuse of the iPad trademark, which Apple acquired from Fujitsu in March 2010. The term is not generic, and you can be certain that it wasn't RIM that called the forthcoming device a "BlackBerry iPad". dk

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs. Apple iPad

PC World's Tony Bradley notes that the launch of the first iPad contender is impending. The 7" Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab is scheduled to be released in Germany on September 2, and presumably coming to market in the US sometime this fall as well, inviting obvious comparison with the iPad. Bradley takes a look at how the two tablets stack up against each other.

The article notes that the Galaxy Tab is expected to support Adobe Flash, and possibly HD video as well - besting the iPad in two important areas.

Editor's note: This "comparison" is not based on Bradley using the Galaxy Tab or official Samsung specifications, which have not been released, but on unnamed sources and speculation. dk

Apps & Services

Google Mobile App for iPhone Gets Pushy

PR: "Ever missed an appointment or important email because you were away from your desk? Now Google Mobile App can help with push notifications from your Google account to your iPhone - an icon badge shows you've got new mail in Gmail, and Google Calendar event reminders appear right on your home screen.

"We've also added spiffy features to get you information faster - when looking for flight info, weather, stock quotes or currency conversion you'll see answers before you even hit 'Search'."

Say it & Mail it Recorder 4.0.3 for iPhone: No Typing Required

PR: Texas based Carnation Software has released Say it & Mail it Recorder 4.0.3, an update to their popular emailer app for iPhone and iPod touch. Say it & Mail it is the quickest and easiest way to email a voice memo from your iPhone to yourself or to others. Send yourself reminders when you are away from your computer. No typing required. Your email address and subject are auto-filled. Include a picture in your email. Pictures are full resolution compressed jpg format and the size can be adjusted. Include a movie in your email. Include a Google Map link to your location in your email. Email to groups.

Four methods of recording to fit your style:

  • Method 1: Tap 'Say it' then tap 'Mail it'
  • Method 2: Hold the iPhone to your ear and speak. When you move the iPhone away, recording stops and the email window opens
  • Method 3: Shake it to start recording and shake it to stop
  • Method 4: Tap on the microphone to start recording and tap it again to stop

Great way to send anyone a detailed email without using the keyboard. Emailed voice memos are compatible with Mac, PC and any other computer O/S (uses compressed wave format). No file maintenance on your iPhone, since audio files are not stored there. No advertising in your emails. Just a 'Say it & Mail it' signature, which you can optionally remove in the Info setup. Quick 'n easy. Don't strain your fingers and your eyeballs typing out long email messages. Just "Say it & Mail it."

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later
  • 0.4 MB

Say it & Mail it Recorder 4.0.3 is $2.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Business category.

Enlevel Studio Releases Free iMotion Flashlight App for iPhone 4

PR: California based Enlevel Studio introduces iMotion Flashlight 1.0, the first motion sensor LED flashlight app for the iPhone 4. Using the iPhone's built-in motion sensors, iMotion Flashlight has the ability to turn on the LED light when the phone is held. iMotion Flashlight takes advantage of the iPhone Retina display to include a high definition interface. The interface is designed to be user friendly. Turning on and off the LED light is fast and intuitive.

iMotion Flashlight motion sensor capabilities not only makes turning on and off the flashlight fast, but it also helps reduce battery usage by automatically turning off when the iPhone is put down. This makes it the perfect tool to work with in dark places. For example, iMotion Flashlight would be ideal to be used when working on the inside of a computer, to find something under a bed, or even to work under the hood of a car. The user can put down the iPhone to free both hands, and iMotion Flashlight will automatically turn off the light.

Feature Highlights:

  • The app detects when phone is held and turns on
  • The user can enable shaking to turn on the phone
  • The app has high definition graphics that takes advantage of the Retina display
  • Fast on and off button
  • Elegant UI

Device Requirements:

  • Requires a device with a LED torch
  • iPhone 4 compatible
  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
  • 0.9 MB

iMotion Flashlight 1.0 is free and available worldwide, exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category.

Protecting Your iPhone

PR: If you're among the millions that already invested in an iPhone, or if you're thinking about it, you may have concerns about protecting your new investment. One of the most appealing features of the latest iPhone model, the dual front and back glass, has some owners particularly worried about its durability.

Repairing a damaged iPhone can be expensive - some retailers charge $149 or more to replace a cracked screen. In addition, replacing a lost or stolen iPhone means paying full retail price - up to $700 - again.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your iPhone, give yourself some peace of mind and remain connected to family and friends.

A good case or silicone protector can help protect the back and sides against scratches and provide some impact protection.

A screen protector is a transparent film that protects the screen from scratches and can also help remove glare.

Some products, such as the InvisibleShield Full Body Easy Install from Zagg, combine body and screen protection.

There are a growing number of waterproof cases designed specifically for iPhones, such as the Magellan ToughCase. It allows your device to be submerged up to 1 meter for a maximum of 30 minutes.

But what happens if, despite your best efforts, your phone is damaged? Or, what can you do if it's lost or stolen? Apple's extended iPhone warranty program only covers manufacturer defects and faulty batteries.

Renters or homeowners insurance may cover the loss of a phone, but there is usually a high deductible, and the phone is typically covered only as part of a larger claim, such as a fire or burglary. Before considering this option, check with your insurance agent to see if your phone is covered under your policy and what restrictions may apply.

Some consumer groups recommend keeping your previous phone as an emergency backup, or finding a temporary replacement from an online auction site. Most items on these sites are not covered by a warranty or product quality certification.

Another option is to set aside $5 or $10 each month as an emergency fund to go toward replacement. However, with the high-cost of iPhones, and other smartphones for that matter, saving enough could take a long time.

A more expedient option would be to choose wireless phone insurance. An iPhone protection plan, such as MobileProtect from Asurion, offers comprehensive coverage for the iPhone, covering not only damage, but also loss and theft.

"Nearly 50 percent of claims we see are filed for lost and stolen phones," said Cindy Christy, Asurion president. "MobileProtect, authorized by AT&T, is the first product to include loss and theft coverage, as well as protection in the event of damage, including water damage, and failure after the warranty expires. Plus, it provides the added convenience of next day replacement in most cases and a 12-month warranty."

iPhone customers may enroll in MobileProtect anytime up to 30 days after activating their new device. Customers simply visit the App Store, download the Asurion MobileProtect App, click "get started" and follow the guided process. Rather than large upfront fees, MobileProtect customers will be charged $11.99 monthly to their credit card. There is a one-time deductible for each approved claim of $99, $149 or $199, depending on the iPhone model.

To file a claim, MobileProtect subscribers can visit www.MyMobileProtect.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report a lost, stolen, damaged or faulty iPhone.

Accessories

KeyCase iPad Folio KeyCase iPad Folio with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard

PR: UK-based reseller GearZap offers the new KeyCase iPad Folio case with integrated Bluetooth keyboard.

KeyCase iPad FolioWith an integrated Bluetooth 2.0 Keyboard that seamlessly connects with the iPad for quicker and more comfortable typing, this folio case is ideal for people who regularly use their iPad for emailing, making notes and writing documents.

The clever design of this multifunctional case allows it to protect the iPad, whilst it can easily convert into the laptop style configuration. If you don't need the Keyboard it simply folds behind the iPad and out of sight.

Product Features

  • Stylish & streamlined protective leather case designed for iPad.
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.0 Silicone Keyboard.
  • Quiet keystrokes, dustproof & spill-proof.
  • Durable Leather Style Exterior.
  • Magnetic fastening secures case closed.
  • KeyCase iPad Folio Rechargeable battery lasts for approximately 45 hours per charge.
  • Bluetooth keyboard charges using standard Apple power cables.
  • Auto sleep mode when idle for 10 minutes.
  • Easy setup - automatically reconnects when turned on.

Colour: Black

Case Material: PU Leather

Warranty: 12 Months

£59.95 inc. VAT

Plantronics M100 Bluetooth Headset in Radiant Red Exclusively at Apple Stores

PR: Plantronics has announced that its recently introduced Plantronics M100 Bluetooth Headset is available today in a new color, Radiant Red, exclusively at nationwide Apple stores and the Apple online store.

Plantronics M100 RedOne of the industry's slimmest headsets - the device measures only 8mm in thickness - the M100 is claimed to deliver outstanding audio performance by incorporating dual microphones, wind-noise reduction and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology.

Touted as perfect for iPhone users, the Plantronics M100 displays an onscreen battery meter on the iPhone for easily monitoring the headset's battery level. It also includes convenient voice alerts for remaining talk-time, low-battery, mute and connection status. When it comes to noisy environments, the M100 automatically adjusts to receive volume based on the surrounding sound levels, so users remain handsfree and focused on the task in front of them. Purchasers at Apple locations will also receive an exclusive lanyard for the M100 - perfect for keeping your headset close when not in use.

"iPhone users will appreciate the Plantronics M100 headset's audio performance and ease of use, including the ability to check their headset's battery level with a quick glance," says Jeff Ducote, senior director, Mobile Category at Plantronics. "The M100 headset also delivers a great design. We think users will love its sleek look and the new Radiant Red accent color."

The Plantronics M100 in Radiant Red costs $79.99 and is available today at Apple stores and online.

'iPhone 4 Made Simple' - What Are the New Features on the iPhone 4?

PR: The latest title in Apress' Made Simple series, "iPhone 4 Made Simple", is the go-to guide for the latest and greatest version of the iPhone. This comprehensive book includes over 1,000 screen visuals and clear-cut instructions that illustrate both basic and advanced features of the iPhone 4, from email and calendar tips to navigating the App Store and understanding Bluetooth and WiFi networks. It helps readers take advantage of all the features, apps, and secret techniques available.

The iPhone 4 can do more than just about any other smartphone on the market. In a beautiful and elegantly designed package, the iPhone 4 includes plenty of new features. Gary Mazo co-author of "iPhone 4 Made Simple," the latest title in Apress' "Made Simple" series, has provided a handy list of the six exciting new features available with the iPhone 4:

  1. An amazing Retina display (960 x 640 pixels), four times better than older models
  2. First-ever video chat using a front-facing camera
  3. Video recording at 720p
  4. Longer battery life
  5. App switching/multitasking
  6. Two powerful speakers

"iPhone 4 Made Simple" is the go-to guide for the latest and greatest version of the iPhone. This comprehensive book includes over 1,000 screen visuals and clear-cut instructions that illustrate both basic and advanced features of the iPhone 4, from email and calendar tips to navigating the App Store and understanding Bluetooth and WiFi networks. "iPhone 4 Made Simple" helps readers take advantage of all the features, apps, and secret techniques available with the new iPhone 4.

What you'll learn:

  • How to use copy/paste, spotlight search, and voice memos
  • Support for both Windows and Mac users
  • How to use music, videos, photos and voice notes
  • Detailed iTunes instructions
  • How to sync playlists, videos, contacts, calendars, and notes
  • Fast email, phone, calendar, and browser tips
  • How to create your own ringtones and wallpapers
  • How to use Google Maps to find just about anything!
  • How to navigate the App Store for games, productivity apps, and more
  • Understanding Bluetooth and WiFi network setup and security
  • How to install and remove software icons
  • How to use you phone internationally and save money when traveling overseas
  • How to save your battery life by understanding the network settings
  • All the best tips and tricks for the touch screen
iPhone 4 Made Simple
By Gary Mazo, Martin Trautschold
ISBN13: 978-1-4302-3192-9
ISBN10: 1-4302-3192-0
752 pp
Published August 23, 2010
Print Book Price: $29.99
eBook Price: $20.99

Protection

WaterWear Water Resistant Holder with Earphones for iPhones/iPods

WaterWear CasePR: WaterWear has adopted a durable transparent material to prevent intrusion of dust and water inside the special double chuck. The product comes with waterproof earphones, iPod, or iPhone in the water bath and you can enjoy music or movies. You can enjoy your music converted to use a variety of connectors for mobile phone cases.

With easily visible screen equipment storage, you can also enjoy shooting in dusty dust and wet conditions using camera equipment storage. If you use the iPhone while listening to music on earphones waterproof phone, so you can make a voice call to talk things over with the case.

A neck style strap is included to avoid loss and also, make it comfortable and convenient to watch movies.

Inside the case, iPod or iPhone can connect to various other players with 3.5mm stereo mini jack to use earphones connected to the waterproof case back comes with a special connector. The Case front uses touch to manipulate iPhone and iPod touch controls. This enables various operations while casing.

This case facilitates iPhone/touch use while bathing, fishing in the river, even when using mobile phones in emergency situations so they can be carried safely and without worry of flooding. The product front, has been found to help in emergencies by reflecting the light, etc. because it uses reflective material.

WaterWear CaseThis accessory is suitable for (see note below):

  • iPhone 4G
  • iPhone 3G/iPhone 3Gs
  • iPod touch 1G/2G/3G (see note below)
  • iPod classic 1G/iPod 2G
  • iPod nano 5th/4th
  • iPod video
  • Smartphone (e.g. HTC, Blackberry, Nokia phones)

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: Approximately 95 (W) 175 (H) 11 (D) mm
  • Weight: about 150g
  • Strap length: about 48cm
  • Ear length: about 120cm

Caution:

  • This product is not waterproof. Not suitable for use immersed in water. Do not use while swimming or diving.
  • The included earphone does not have a microphone and receive/reject button for Phones' function, but you will have no problems to use it as a phone functions(hear and talk).

$26.99

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