iOS the Windows of Tablets, BlackBerry OS 10 'Awesome', WordPress App, and More iOS News
This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News
News, Reviews, & Opinion
- iOS Is 'The Windows' of Tablets
- iPad mini Makes Retina iPad Seem a Heavy Beast
- Apple Breaks New Ground with iPhone 5's In-Cell Touch and iPad mini's DITO Film Structure
- BlackBerry OS 10 Is 'Awesome'
- Microsoft Pledges to Support Surface with Windows RT until 2017
- Jason O'Grady Is Returning His Microsoft Surface
Apps & Services
- iPhone App Brings Unlimited Free Legal Music
- Experience Music the Vintage Way with Your iPad
- Free WordPress for iOS
- File Storage: Store Files on Your iOS Device and Share Them with Other Devices and Computers
- Dell Makes the Cloud Personal with New Cloud Software for Windows RT Tablets, Apple iPad, and PocketCloud Web
- Vintage Time: Free Virtual Antique Timepiece for iPad
- GoRoostr Buys Used or Broken Apple Products
These price trackers are updated every month.
- Best iPad deals
- Best classic iPod deals
- Best iPod touch deals
- Best iPod nano deals
- Best iPod shuffle deals
- Best iPhone deals
Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review. Older Macs are covered in Vintage Mac News. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
News, Reviews, & Opinion
Barrons' Tech Trader Daily Columnist Tiernan Ray cites UBS Securities hardware analyst Steve Milunovich who contends that Apple's iOS is the "new Windows," has a Buy rating on Apple shares, and has a $780 price target for Apple shares.
Milunovich observes that Apple is gaining as the ratio of total notebooks to iPads plus MacBooks, which peaked at over 30x in 2006, is now just 1.6x, deducing that not only could iPad maintain half the tablet market, but Apple's MacBooks might poach a significant number of Windows PC users, that increasing diversity in tablets offered on the market plays to Apple's simple solution advantage, and that Microsoft's Surface tablet computer Windows 8 will struggle to make inroads against Apple's market head start and lead.
Cnet's Brooke Crothers says the iPad mini can make you think unpleasant thoughts about your Retina iPad, noting that after you use the 0.7 lb. Mini for a while, picking up a 1.45 lb. Retina iPad is a bit of a shock every time, causing him to wonder if there couldn't have been some way for Apple to make the Retina iPad less like a dense slab of aluminum attached to a great display?
Probably not, he concludes, noting the prodigious hardware capacity needed to support all those pixels.
PR: With the advent of new touch sensor structures driven by consumer demand for lighter and thinner devices, NPD DisplaySearch finds that in-cell touch technology and DITO (dual ITO) film are the wave of the future. NPD DisplaySearch reports that more than 7.5% of the mobile phone marketplace will be using in-cell touch in 2012, a number that is estimated to grow to 16.7% by 2018. In addition, tablet PCs, which primarily utilize projected capacitive touch technology, will see a5% shipment share of DITO film structure technology in 2012.
Apple's, newest iPad and iPhone models incorporate these new touch sensor structures. The iPhone 5 uses in-cell touch technology, which is a major change to the touch structure since the first iPhone model in 2007. Meanwhile, the iPad mini features a DITOfilm structure.
"These two new projected capacitive touch sensor structures enabled Apple to reduce the thickness and weight of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini," says Calvin Hsieh. Research Director, NPD DisplaySearch. "These factors contribute to the consumer demand for these products, but manufacturing the new sensors has proven problematic."
Apple sources the 4" 1136 x 976 (326 ppi) in-cell touch LCD from LG Display, Japan Display Inc., and Sharp under a license to use Apple's in-cell touch patents. Under the terms of the agreement, these panel makers are not allowed to sell LCD panels of any size using Apple's in-cell touch patents to other companies. Limited production along with the challenges in producing the new sensors with strict performance requirements have resulted in poor yield rates (70-80% or less) in the LCD panel manufacturing. These challenges have also led to a higher price for in-cell touch.
The iPad mini represents the first tablet PC display to incorporate a DITO film touch sensor, which is lighter and thinner than DITO glass (0.125 compared to 0.4mm). However, there are challenges with production of the sensor on film and lamination since it is easily broken when stretched. Also, alignment of film sensors is more difficult than with rigid glass, especially for larger sizes. These challenges have resulted in low production yield rates, which have been a contributor to the higher entry price of $329 for the iPad mini. Other tablet PCs which are less expensive, use glass sensors or a one-glass solution with optical bonding.
"In-cell touch and DITO film offer some clear advantages, but at the expense of lower yield rates and higher costs - at least in the early stages of production," Hsieh notes. "Apple has concluded that the benefits of thinner, lighter devices will be highly valued by consumers."
The NPD DisplaySearch 2012 Touch Panel Market Analysis offers a comprehensive breakdown of touch panel technologies and their market forecasts through 2018. This report provides detailed analysis of 23 applications (including TVs), 12 touch technology categories (including sensor-on-cover and gesture-in-air), and nine size categories. It also has details on touch controller ICs, the sensor market, shipments by area, and forecasts for multitouch through 2018.
DisplaySearch surveyed over 200 suppliers of touch screen modules, controller ICs, ITO film, and other components to produce the 2012 Touch Panel Market Analysis. These firms are profiled in the report along with 2011 historical shipments and revenues for more than 110 touch screen suppliers.
BlackBerry 10 overlays.
The Register's Andrew Orlowski notes that BlackBerry users have a love-hate relationship with their phones, and that while there are things a BlackBerry can't do very well or at all, it is also capable of doing many things that its rivals can't match.
So will that unique functionality be retained in the new user interface for BlackBerry OS 10?
Orlowsky notes that with rival mobile operating systems, it's a pain to switch between apps when you simply need to compare information shown in each one, but BB10 makes it possible for two app views to overlay each other.
He summarizes that BB10 is by some distance the most brutally efficient multitouch interface he's used so far, making the others look like hard work, noting that phones sell on the user interface, so this is very good indeed.
The Register's Iain Thomson reports that Microsoft has set the date for the end of mainstream support for its Surface tablet running Windows RT as April 11, 2017, with Office products likely to get similar support, noting that compared to the competition, Microsoft's support strategy looks pretty good. Users who bought the original iPad are already locked out of iOS 6 on their less-than-two-year-old machines, for example, and with Android, the situation is more fragmented still, with the majority of users stuck on older builds.
However, Thompson notes that Microsoft's pledge to support Surface - and by inference Windows RT - for nearly five years suggests that it's not planning on making many changes to the OS in that interval.
The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says that over the weekend he was at an impasse, with the 30-day return window on his Microsoft Surface closing and having to make a decision.
He decided to return it.
O'Grady says he pre-ordered a Surface with Windows RT at launch, because he was super-excited to use Microsoft's answer to the iPad. For him it looked like an ideal second machine to his MacBook Pro and a way to get some exposure to Windows and Windows apps.
However, while he says the Surface is a credible device with a lot of potential, it's not ready for the big leagues. Some of the reasons why he returned his Surface are:
- It's slow.
- Lack of apps
- WiFi only
- It's rough around the edges.
However, O'Grady did like Windows 8, which he says is very customizable and user-friendly, and while die-hard Windows users may not like the (formerly-known-as) Metro UI, it's simple, clean, and a total departure from everything before it - and also the first mainstream mobile OS that's not a complete rip-off of iOS.
Apps & Services
PR: A new iPhone App, Brownees 1.3, allows users unlimited access to free music by tapping YouTube's vast array of freely available music.
Brownees claims to be the ultimate application for music lovers: No limits, no subscription, and it's perfectly legal. Brownees simply uses the free and accessible YouTube audio flows.
Brownees allows you to listen to and store songs on your iPhone chosen from a catalog of tens of millions of shares. With one click, you can access any song on YouTube and can legally enjoy the YouTube online library directly on your device.
Your selected songs remain available on your iPhone even without Internet connection.
Brownees also offers its users the ability to share their favorite songs on Facebook. Additionally, you can also save your complete playlists online and share them on by Facebook, Twitter, and more.
- Listen to millions of songs on your iPhone limitless
- Using the cache mode, enjoy your music without any Internet connection
- Create playlists to sort and organize your music
- Keep an eye on the News and on the best titles ranking
- Share your music tastes with your friends on Facebook
- Discover what your friends are listening
Language Support: English and French
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Requires iOS 5.0 or later
- 10.3 MB
Brownees 1.3 is $1.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category.
PR: Do you remember the swing of the big band? The sound of jazz tickling through pop music? Were you one of the bobbie soxers, mesmerized by the voice of Blue Eyes? Did you go wild for The Beatles or scream for The Stones? Do you still long for funky soul, anarchistic British punk, or those high-pitched voices singing Staying Alive?
Well, here's your chance to re-experience the sound of those days, while enjoying all 21st century gizmos.
Vinyl - the Real Record Player 1.0, turns your iPad into a vintage record player that allows you to listen to your music the old-fashioned way. Vinyl consists of many different crisply designed record players, from plastic toy player to full-fledged hi-fi. Every turntable allows you to travel back to an old-skool music experience. From the 1940's to the start of the new millennium: Vinyl gives you the unique look, feel and - most importantly - truly recognizable sound.
Enhancing the authentic experience, Vinyl is full of witty analog features. For example, records get gray and dirty when played frequently. (You can restore them by tapping the magical clean button.) You can play around with the RPM pitch and scratch like you're Grandmaster Flash himself. When you bump you're iPad, you'll find out that Vinyl is as sensible as a real record player. Oh, and records can even get stuck in the groove, in the groove, in the groove.
- iPad 2 WiFi, iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, iPad, iPad WiFi + 4G, iPad, iPad WiFi + Cellular
- iPad mini and iPad mini WiFi + Cellular
- Requires iOS 5.0 or later
- 91.4 MB
Vinyl - the Real Record Player 1.0 is 99$ (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category. Watch Vinyl in action in the video. The iPhone version will be published in the near future.
PR: WordPress has never been quite so mobile before. Designed for both iPhone/iPod touch and the iPad, WordPress for iOS makes it easy to share photos, write posts, and edit your content while on the go.
Creating and editing posts is at the heart of the WordPress experience. Write, add photos, check your spelling, and even create links without having to write a single line of code or HTML.
When you're writing and you'd like a bit more room, just rotate the screen. WordPress will automatically adjust to a more comfortable widescreen layout.
Moderate, edit, or reply to comments its never been easier to stay in touch with your readers. Swipe a comment to reveal a quick moderation menu. For popular posts, you can quickly bulk moderate comments through the intuitive interface.
Add as many photos as you like WordPress will automatically insert them into your post. Both high resolution and web optimized photos look and work great. Have a photo blog? Use the Quick Photo feature to post a photo in seconds.
If you have a WordPress.com account, use the Reader to follow your favorite blogs on WordPress.com and anywhere else on the web. You can Like or Reblog a post to your site in just one tap.
That's just a taste of what WordPress for iOS can do.
Download it from the App Store and you'll be up and running in no time.
New in Version 3.2.1:
- Improved login for Jetpack Stats
- Fixed multiple crashes
- Updated translations: German, Hebrew, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Dutch, Chinese
New in Version 3.2:
- Featured Image support
- Push Notifications for self-hosted blogs using Jetpack (Only the owner of the blog will receive push notifications for new comments on their own posts. All authors on a blog will be able to receive push notifications in the next version of Jetpack.)
- More Accessible Settings
- Almost 70 bugs and crashes fixed, including tweaks to Stats
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
- Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
- Requires iOS 4.3 or later
- This app is optimized for iPhone 5
PR: Store your files without limits. Enjoy them anywhere, anytime. Even offline. And quickly share them with other devices over WiFi or Bluetooth. Rock solid app, easy to use and perfectly integrated into iOS.
What you can do with File Storage:
- Store virtually any type of file on your device.
- Use the built-in viewer for common files.
- Send files to specific third-party apps.
- Send files as email attachments.
- Choose to compress attachments on the fly before sending them via email.
- Import photos and videos from the library of the device.
- Accept any type of file from any other app.
- Browse and view the contents of ZIP, RAR, and 7-ZIP files on the fly without having to uncompress the entire archive.
- Open password-protected ZIP and RAR files.
- Create folders to organize your files.
- Print your files with AirPrint.
- Send/receive files in real time using the iTunes File Sharing (over WiFi or using a USB cable).
- Send/receive files over WiFi using the free File Storage Companion or the professional File Transfer, for Mac and PC. Drag files and they are transferred to your device in seconds. Without iTunes and without USB cable.
- Send/receive files over WiFi or Bluetooth to other iPhones/iPads/iPod Touches.
Built-in viewer for:
- Documents (pdf, doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, pages, numbers, keynote, txt, htm/html, ...)
- Pictures (jpg/jpeg, png, tiff, gif, bmp, ...)
- Compressed files (zip, rar, and 7z)
- Audio files (mp3, aac, wav, ...)
- Video files (mov, ...)
iOS 6 and iPhone 5 compatible. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
New in Version 2.1:
- Bug fixes and general improvements.
- Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad.
- Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
- This app is optimized for iPhone 5
Dell Makes the Cloud Personal with New Cloud Software for Windows RT Tablets, Apple iPad, and PocketCloud Web
PR: PocketCloud, a feature-rich family of personal cloud apps, provides access to content on any desktop from mobile devices.
Users can search, view, organize, and share files across multiple devices via one centralized application on Google Android, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows RT devices, and from any Web browser.
PocketCloud Explore and Web apps enable peer-to-peer sharing of content among computers and mobile devices
PocketCloud Companion to be installed as standard on all Dell XPS and Dell Inspiron laptops sold in North America
Dell today has announced enhancements to its Dell Wyse PocketCloud app portfolio to help connect individuals with their professional and personal content anytime, anywhere from mobile devices or remote computers.
PocketCloud Explore and PocketCloud Web provide a secure and fast way to remotely connect to users PCs and Macs from Android, iOS and Windows RT devices, including the Dell XPS 10 tablet, or any Web browser, enabling users to access and share any content.
Today, users are increasingly looking to gain access to their personal and professional content on a number of different devices, sometimes running on a variety of operating systems, and PocketCloud enables them to easily create a personal cloud to search, view, organize, and share content among mobile devices and computers. Documents, videos, photos, music, and other files are readily available on tablets and smartphones with PocketCloud Explore, or in a desktop browser with PocketCloud Web.
Dell Wyse has announced the availability of PocketCloud Explore for iPad and Windows RT to provide users with additional choices for remotely accessing their personal and professional content. The new releases complement the existing versions of PocketCloud apps for iOS and Android devices, which since their launches have had more than 3.7 million downloads and consistent 4 to 4.5 star ratings on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The company is also announcing the release of its PocketCloud Web app and service, which brings all the features and benefits of the PocketCloud Explore apps to any Web browser. Users can now utilize a public computer and remotely access all the content office files, photos, videos and music - on their personal and professional computers and stored in their own personal cloud. For multimedia content, users can upload and download files between their devices and remote computers, share content by streaming audio and video files from their remote computers and open remote files through a viewer or download and edit within a compatible local application.
Also, Dell is announcing PocketCloud Companion, the client broker for Windows and Mac operating systems that provides access to content and applications stored on remote computers. PocketCloud Companion will be installed as standard on all Dell XPS and Dell Inspiron computers shipped in North America starting Nov. 15, enabling users to easily build their own personal cloud to remotely manage their content from their smartphone and tablet device.
PocketCloud Explore for iPad and Windows RT are available immediately as free downloads in the Apple App Store and Windows Store respectively. Registration for PocketCloud Web is available at http://www.pocketcloud.com
PR: Inviting the user to take a trip back to a simpler time, HolosOne has launched its Vintage Time 1.0, a unique mechanical marvel that combines six features into one elegantly designed timepiece for the iPad. More than just a clock, Vintage Time includes six different features: clock, timer, stopwatch, weather, outside temperature, and date.
"We created Vintage Time to be gorgeous to look at, listen to, and be inspired by," says Josip Bujas, cofounder of HolosOne. "The app transforms your iPad into a showpiece worthy of displaying on your desk or bookshelf."
The app reminds users of a time when even a simple timepiece was a small treasure to be passed down through the generations. And an era when winding a pocket watch was a relaxing ritual.
"Our wondrous Vintage Time app takes you back to the golden age of clockworks when watchmaking was an art," says Jerko Latkovic, CEO of HolosOne. "It is not only stunning to look at, but also delights with touch and sound."
Each time the user swipes or taps inside Vintage Time, they are treated to a new sound - gears, wheels, sprockets and more. The rarely heard mechanical sounds are a unique feature of the app and reminiscent of time gone by. An intuitive interface makes setting each of the six main features simple. They are all easily found on one screen, without the need to hunt through the app.
The main part of the app is a large clock with elegant hands sweeping across its face. The date and day of week are also clearly visible. An alarm can be quickly set by moving the red clock hand. Choose which days of the week to hear it. Before heading outside, check the current temperature conveniently shown in the app along with the weather (sun, clouds, rain, etc.).
With a simple finger slide, the countdown timer can be set at any time. Users can also start, pause, or reset a handy stopwatch.
- Vintage Styling - A fully mechanical 12 hour clock with detailed graphics
- Easy to Use - Simple operation to set time and alarm
- Helpful Extras - Includes handy stopwatch and timer
- Plan Your Day - Weather module includes outside temperature display
- Blast From the Past - Unique mechanical sounds from yesteryear
As an added feature, users can upgrade Vintage Time to repair visible cracks and enhance the clock's beauty.
- Requires iPad with iOS 5.1 or later
- 53.2 MB
Vintage Time 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category.
PR: GoRoostr say they aren't just another Apple buy-back company. While they do just that - give you money for your used and broken Apple products - they also claim to bring outstanding customer service and reliability in each transaction to the equation.
When you're looking to sell back a used iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, you have options - and with those options comes a confusing world of pricing. Lots of companies use broad categories and vague descriptions of a device to determine a cookie cutter price. It's not always as simple as using a one word description to assign value to a product. GoRoostr offers custom quotes, paying attention to overlooked details, that ensures a more accurate estimate for your device.
Expect competitive rates from GoRoostr
Consistently keeping an eye on the market allows them to offer the most current and accurate price for your device. The value of your device is a priority, not a secondary concern.
Many other services have been notorious to promise a payout price, but send a check that didn't reflect that agreed-upon rate. GoRoostr delivers on the original price, no surprises. Accurately describe your device, and you'll get the money that you expect and deserve.
The most important part of the deal for the customer is getting paid. When GoRoostr receives your device, they'll take a look to make sure you're getting the most competitive value. If for any reason the payout amount for your device has changed, someone will promptly contact you and explain the circumstances. Once the device is evaluated, you can expect your payment to be sent within 24 hours. You can choose check or PayPal for your payment.
When questions arise, so will answers. There's no longer a need to wait for days for an email response. Employees work hard and love what they do. Their goal is to provide you with the most fair and honest deal in the business.
Providing this kind of white glove customer service sets them apart in this business. It's a breath of fresh air for the customer to be able to communicate with people that know what they're talking about and are available to help.
Selling your Apple devices back with GoRoostr is a simple, efficient process from start to finish. Their easy-to-use website walks you through each step, and customer service is always available. Expect value with each and every transaction - not just with the final check, with the experience as a whole.
The Telegraph's Georgia Dehn reports that Black Eyed Peas star and entrepreneur Will.i.am will launch his new line of iPhone hardware, which he claims "will turn your smartphone into a 'genius-phone'."
The first of a series of digital products from Will.i.am's consumer electronics and app venture i.am+ is an accessory that clips onto an iPhone and transforms the 8 MP smartphone camera into a 14 MP camera, claimed to dramatically enhance clarity and definition of photographs.
Best known for being a multi-platinum music artist, producer, and front man for The Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am is also an innovator, technology fan, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, and was last year also named a "director of creative innovation" by Intel Corp.
At a three day conference of 1,000 top senior technologists, Intel Fellows and experts from 22 countries who convened at the Oregon Convention Center in January, 2011, to share ideas and gain cross-discipline education. When Will.i.am was appointed Intel's director of creative innovation in 2011, he was cited in an Intel release noting that "Nearly everything I do involves processors and computers, and when I see an Intel chip I think of all the creative minds involved that help to amplify my own creativity. Teaming up with the scientists, researchers and computer programmers at Intel to collaborate and co-develop new ways to communicate, create, inform and entertain is going to be amazing."
In his role with Intel, Will.i.am was to collaborate with Intel on many creative and technology endeavors across the "compute continuum" that may include such devices as laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: 11" MacBook Air, (2010.10.20. A thinner, lighter MacBook Air with a smaller footprint and a solid state drive keeps its full-size keyboard.)
- Support Low End Mac
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
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The Mac Observer
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