Jun 27, 2012 - 2:52 PM - by Maura
Google has been making a lot of announcements today at its I/O event in California, including unveiling a special tablet version of Google+. The tablet Google+ app will be arriving on Android first, as you might expect, but Google VP Vic Gundrota revealed that an iPad version of the app is also in the works. Also reporting on the story, The Next Web says that Gundrota and Bradley Horowitz told them this week that Google is finding that most of Google+’s users are accessing it on mobile devices, so it’s no wonder that Google has finally develop a Google+ app made specifically for tablets. Describing the app, The Next Web says that it “turns the stream experience on its head”, with photos showing up larger in the stream the more +1s they get. The Next Web says that the app is “gorgeous”, and has a similar approach to the excellent Flipboard in terms of how it displays content.
Source: Google+ Now Has A Tablet Version, Events, 250M Users, 75M Daily, More Mobile Than Desktop | TechCrunch
Google+ Goes All-In With Impressive Tablet Versions
Jun 27, 2012 - 2:21 PM - by Maura
The New York Times’ Bits section writes today that according to two anonymous Facebook engineers, Facebook has rebuilt its iOS app in order to make it much, much faster. Bits notes that the current iOS app is painfully slow, with more than 21,000 customers in the App Store only giving it a one-star review; Bits even says that it is slower than most of the other apps on the App Store! The two engineers told Bits that the newly designed app has been built mainly using Objective-C, which is the programming language that normally builds iOS applications, in contrast to the present Facebook iOS app, much of which was built using HTML5. Getting even more technical, Bits explains that the current Facebook app is an Objective-C shell containing a Web browser. They equate it to putting a Smart Car engine inside a Ferrari. The Bits writer has even had a go on the new app, and confirms that it is “blazing fast.” The sources say that it is currently being tested, and will be released this summer. Don’t expect a new look though, apparently it looks exactly the same as the current version, only faster!
Source: Facebook Plans to Speed Up its iPhone App - NYTimes.com
Jun 27, 2012 - 11:38 AM - by Maura
The Telegraph reports that Google is set to launch its own Nexus tablet in California today. According to the report, the 7-inch Google-branded Nexus will cost $199, and, says the Telegraph, shows that Google is admitting that it has failed to dent the iPad’s popularity, and the same goes for Microsoft with its Surface tablet, with the Telegraph saying that both companies have decided that the only way that they can even attempt to compete with Apple’s dominance is to try and have successful tablets of their own. They want people to see and use their tablet operating systems, so they have resorted to making their own devices in order to show them off, as they know that the other tablets that have been using them (or will be using them, in the case of Windows 8, which isn’t out yet) haven’t been able to come close to the sort of user stats that Apple has for its iOS with the iPad.
Update: The Nexus 7 has been confirmed by Google, The Next Web reports that it will be a 7-inch device running Android 4.1, with a Tegra 3 quad-core chip. The Next Web says that it is more likely to be in competition with the Kindle Fire than the iPad.
Source: Google tablet: an admission of failure against the Apple iPad - Telegraph
Google Announces Nexus 7 tablet, 7″, quad-core, Android 4.1, $199 available today - The Next Web
Deck HD is the iPad version of the Cydia Tweak 'Deck' which is a sidebar that pops up after using an Activator action. The sidebar pushes your entire screen to the left or right depending on what you set it to. On this bar you have many different settings, quick links, and toggles which you can tap on. Things like booting off your device, opening your favorite apps, toggling Siri, and much much more. All options are shown in the video above. Deck HD can be found for $1.99 under the ModMyi Repo.
Jun 26, 2012 - 3:48 PM - by Maura
AppleInsider reports that the San Diego Unified School District has just ordered 26,000 iPads that it intends to supply to students this fall, which will be the biggest program of its kind in the country. The district has handed over $15 million for the iPads, which will be distributed in 340 classrooms at the start of the new school term, San Diego’s 10 News reports. The program is being funded by a voter-approved program called “Proposition S” which is designed to fund the use of new technology in the classroom. AppleInsider writes that the iPads being used in the project are iPad 2s, which should have cost $400, although Apple has given the school a $30 education discount for each iPad 2 purchased, which adds up to quite a big saving! No word as yet as to what apps the schools will be using, but AppleInsider notes that the iPad 2s will be used specifically by 5th and 8th-grade pupils, and some high school students.
Source: San Diego school district buys 26K iPads for students
Jun 26, 2012 - 3:10 PM - by Maura
Cnet reports that Instagram has received its first big update since it was bought by Facebook. Don’t worry though, it hasn’t got lots of blue borders all over it now, it’s still the same tasteful app it used to be, only it now looks even snazzier, with a revamped profile tab, a new “Explore” feature, which replaces the “Popular” tab as well as having a new icon, and which lets you search for users and tags. Improvements have also been made to commenting, and you can use search autocompletes based on people that you follow. General tweaks include visual improvements and speed optimizations. Possibly the one real indication of the new Facebook ownership, although in fairness a very discreet one, is the new ability to share your likes to Facebook, via Profile>Sharing Settings>Facebook. As Cnet notes, having soared to the top of the charts after being acquired by Facebook, Instagram is now in sixth place. It’s still a hugely popular app, even so, and well worth downloading if you don’t already have it.
Click here to download the free app: App Store - Instagram
Source: Instagram updates to 2.5 with 'visual improvements' | Internet & Media - CNET News
Jun 26, 2012 - 2:56 PM - by dgstorm
According to Chris Whitmore, an analyst with Deutsche Bank, the new Microsoft Surface Tablet will have a major uphill struggle against Apple's iPad. In his analysis he indicated that Microsoft is "grasping at a competitive response," and will have a "major dilemma" when trying to price the new Suface competitively against the iPad. He does a cost breakdown analysis with projected parts costs for the components and manufacturing between the two tablets, and things look somewhat bleak for Microsoft if his figures are correct.
Based upon his estimates, Microsoft and their partners will need to price their tablets at about $650 in order to keep a gross profit margin of just 20%. This is well below half of the 44% gross profit margin that Apple has with the iPad. As you can see from the middle column of the chart above, for Microsoft to compete on a level profit margin with Apple, they would have to sell the Surface at $820 for the RT version.
The Pro version of the tablet will not even compete directly against the iPad and is more likely to go up against ultrabooks and the Macbook Pro. Still, Whitmore believes that the Surface Pro will actually find better success than the RT version because it is more likely to be adopted by IT departments in the Enterprise market. This will slow the adoption rate of iPads into that market segment. Here's a quote with additional details,
What do you think of this analyst's predictions?
Still, Whitmore believes Surface models running Windows 8 are more likely to find success because they offer backwards compatibility with traditional Windows software, like full support for Microsoft Office. He said the Surface Pro has the potential to slow adoption of Apple's iPad in the enterprise, but even that would be the best-case scenario for Microsoft, in his view.
"In such a scenario, Microsoft will be swimming upstream against the consumerization of IT trend with a heavier, bulkier and more expensive product," Whitmore wrote.
He projects total tablet shipments in 2012 will reach 97 million units, growing to 124 million in 2013. He sees iPad sales exceeding 60 million this year, and growing to 74 million in 2014.
Projections from Deutsche Bank call for Apple to maintain between 60 and 65 percent of the tablet market, while Surface RT and Android tablets will struggle to gain traction.
If you are curious about the competition's new tablet, or just like all technology in general, head over to our sister-site @ Microsoft Surface Forum.
Source: SurfaceForums.net via AppleInsider
Jun 26, 2012 - 2:34 PM - by Maura
Well we thought that we might have to wait until iOS 6 for this, but AppleInsider reports today that Apple has released a new, standalone Podcasts app in the App Store. The app is free, and universal, and is described by Apple as being “the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favourite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.” The app gives you easy access to a massive amount of free audio and video podcasts from Apple’s extensive Podcasts Catalog, and will organize your podcasts for you by topic, using the new Top Stations feature. Here’s a complete list of all the new app’s key features, courtesy of Apple, and AppleInsider:
This is an excellent idea from Apple, as a way of highlighting all the fantastic content to be found in its huge library of podcasts.
• Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
• Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
• Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
• Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what's most popular in Top Charts
• Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
• Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
• Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
• Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
• Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
• Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
• Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices
Click here to download the free app: Podcasts for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store
Source: Apple launches new 'Podcasts' app for iPhone, iPad
Today, Apple has put out the OTA update for iOS 6 Beta 2. This update includes various bug fixes and improvements but nothing which we can see, other than a new update animation of course. If you are downloading the update Over The Air, you will now see the Settings icon spinning it's gears which it is downloading and installing. Now this isn't a big feature nor is it anything that really matters, but it just looks awesome! Apple did a cool job on this one and hopefully we'll see further animations on other downloads like apps or songs.
Jun 25, 2012 - 5:45 PM - by Maura
Google has announced via the Official Gmail Blog that the Gmail for iOS app has been updated with three new improvements, namely full notification center support, the ability to send messages from an alternate email address, and an improved login experience. Kicking off with the Notification Center features first, the Gmail Blog says that Gmail now supports banners, alerts and lock screen options, and is also now up to 5x faster than previously. Next up, you can now go to Settings>Accounts> Send mail and choose to send messages from an alternate email address. And finally, the blog says that users now have the option to remain logged into the app for as long as they want. You will still have the option to log off from your account, but you won’t now be logged off automatically after a certain period of time. The Gmail team says that it will continue to improve the app with new features in future, including support for multiple accounts.
Source: Official Gmail Blog: Notification Center support for Gmail on iOS
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