Monthly Archives: May 2012
There has been fevered speculation surrounding the existence of a smaller version of Apple's bestselling iPad tablet - commonly referred to as the iPad Mini. There seem to be plenty of rumors about its impending launch, and its possible dimensions, but Apple, as always, refuse to accept or deny the iPad Mini's existence.
Not anymore though. Without actually confirming that Apple was working on the Mini, Tim Cook chose to be a lot more indirect. He said: "Whenever we can do fantastic products and they have different price points, we’ll do that,” Cook said. “We don’t have a religion about making one product.”
The Apple CEO was speaking in a public interview at D10 - the 10th Annual All Things Digital Conference. He was specifically posed a question about the iPad Mini, and though he was evasive, he didn't outright deny the possibility of Apple finally obliging the tech world's rumor mongers and releasing a smaller version of their 9.7 inch iPad slate.Cook chose to be unusually open and forthright about a lot of Apple related questions in the interview. When posed with sticky questions like the rumored Apple iTV, he simply elected to say that he couldn't talk about it yet. His approach made sense given that most sources indicate that the Apple HDTV is barely in the planning stage, let alone production.The fact that Cook (and Apple in general) is keeping his cards close to his chest makes sense, given that a product like the iPad Mini will rely on a surprise element to displace Amazon's budget Kindle Fire from its perch at the top of the mid to low end tablet sector. The sooner Apple's competitors know about the iPad Mini, the sooner they will try to counter its foray (into a new market segment, no less) with even cheaper tablet solutions.
A couple of weeks back, we had reported that Apple would be dropping Google Maps in iOS 6 and would integrate an in house solution for a Maps app. BGR may just have cranked up the rumor mill a notch or two with its latest exclusive report - they claim that Apple is indeed bringing out a whole new version of Maps in iOS 6. An especially key feature is that this app will have 3D mapping as well.
Apple is said to have been working on creating its own Maps app for a number of years, but until now it had to settle with offering its (bitter rival) Google's own mapping solution in both the iPhone and the iPad. Now that it finally is ready with a finished product, it will be immediately phasing out the Google Maps backend in iOS.
BGR has managed to get an early look at the new Apple app, along with exclusive images (one of which you can see above) and details. The new Maps will have an overhauled interface, a new nav bar and a silver coloring scheme to do away with the current blue.
The tilted arrow you see in the photo above is a 'Locate Me' button that works exactly the same way as the one in Google Maps. The 3D mapping can be accessed by peeling away the bottom right corner of the map you are viewing (exactly like you have to for the current version), where you can enable 3D mode in the menu.
The overhauled Maps app and iOS 6 can be expected to debut this summer, and probably will get unveiled in the WWDC in June.
According to an emerging report, Facebook is hiring ex-Apple employees in order to resume work on its much delayed phone project.
Facebook has tried its hand at integrating itself into phones before - the HTC ChaCha and Salsa come to mind, but that essentially involved just adding a shortcut button to the Facebook app, rather than being Facebook centric phones as such. There have been rumors circulating about a dedicated Facebook phone for quite a while now, but, until now, they seemed to be mere speculation.
A New York Times report on Sunday claimed that Facebook hired "more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone," and another Apple engineer who'd worked on the iPad.
Inside sources in Facebook apparently claim that this is actually the third time Facebook is trying to create its own phone. The very first try was a complete failure as the company hadn't fully appreciated the magnitude of effort required to create a smartphone from scratch. The HTC (Facebook button) collaboration was a natural progression for the social networking company, after its own failure, as it made sense for them to work with experienced heads in the smartphone industry. But now it is specifically targeting Apple employees in order to come up with an ideal solution to its troubles in the mobile hardware sector.
Digitimes has reportedly claimed that Facebook will also be collaborating with HTC again for a phone to launch by the end of this year, while it comes up with its very own phone.
Facebook's recent acquisitions indicate that Mark Zuckerberg and his team are trying to make their company a lot more than just a hugely popular social network. They are trying to create a self sustaining ecosystem with some of the best apps around - a good case in point would be the Instagram acquisition, which has led to Facebook launching a somewhat derivative 'Camera' app, which provides the same number of filters and effects for end users. Facebook is also said to be considering an acquisition of Opera, who make the much admired, much used browser for every platform under the sun. Adding a phone to its own repertoire eventually will help it to organically integrate the many scattered pieces that make up Facebook's products and acquisitions. It will also help it overcome a huge hurdle in faced in its IPO - the lack of mobile advertising revenue, while perhaps also helping Facebook get a whole new revenue stream for phone sales.
Several major iOS developers and studios have drastically slashed the prices of their bestselling games in order to commemorate Memorial Day weekend. Check out the titles on sale below and follow their links to the iTunes App Store!
2D Boy :Electronic Arts :
Electronic Arts (for the Apple iPad):
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 HD
- Bop It!
- Burnout Crash!
- Coconut Dodge
- Command & Conquer Red Alert
- Dead Space
- Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp
- Draw Jump HD
- Fight Night Champion
- FIFA 11
- FIFA 12
- Flight Control
- Flight Control HD
- Madden NFL 12
- Mass Effect Infiltrator
- Max and the Magic Marker
- Mirror's Edge
- Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition HD
- NBA JAM
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
- Need For Speed: Undercover
- Pictureka! HD
- Reckless Racing HD
- Spy mouse HD
- THE GAME OF LIFE
- YAHTZEE HD
Firemint :NCsoft :Rockstar Games :
- Coconut Dodge
- Command & Conquer Red Alert
- Dead Space
- FIFA 11
- FIFA 12
- Madden NFL 12
- Max and the Magic Marker
- Mirror's Edge
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
- SHIFT 2 Unleashed
- SimCity Deluxe
- THE GAME OF LIFE
- Trivial Pursuit Master Edition
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12
- Trenches II
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
It's quite apparent that you'll get the best games iOS has on offer at heavily slashed rates. Regardless of whether you're into sports (NBA JAM, FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA Tour), Arcade racing (Real Racing), action (Mass Effect, Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto) or even a simpler, physics based games like World of Goo, there's something for everyone in this sale. Practically all these apps cost just 99 cents now, so hurry, and make the most of this opportunity!
Apple Insider reports that Apple's latest and greatest tablet, its third generation 'new' iPad, is coming to Guam and Philippines at the end of this month (the 29th of May, to be exact). This has been revealed thanks to a rather inconspicuous update made to Apple's iPad page for Asia, which you can visit here.
The bestselling tablet seems to be getting launched in the two Asian countries with little fanfare, as Apple has chosen not to officially announce the availability of the new iPad there. Instead, the Cupertino company has decided to update the availability of the the new iPad for Guam and Philippines to "Coming 29 May" in their Asian "Where to Buy the New iPad" page.
This means that the only two major Asian countries still missing out on the new Apple slate are China and Indonesia, and for the time being, Apple will continue selling iPad 2 there instead. An initial glance at the two markets missing out will be a definite cause for surprise among those who haven't quite kept up with Apple's travails in the burgeoning Chinese market. Apple has been locked in a lengthy legal battle with an obscure Chinese company called Proview that is trying wrest control of the 'iPad' trademark.
Coming to the countries which are getting the iPad this month - Guam residents will need to buy their tablets only from authorized Apple resellers. Apple fans in Philippines have it a lot easier - along with the obvious option of approaching an official reseller, they can even buy the new iPad from Apple's own web store. Moreover, Filippino carrier service Globe Telecom will be retailing iPads as well.
Apple has just brought in some tweaks for its App Store, perhaps signalling the Store's natural evolution brought on by Apple's purchase of Chomp (a renowned content discovery service). The App Store now has an Editor's Choice selection along with a free App of the Week.
The App Store's biggest USP over competing stores for other platforms such as the Google Play store and the Blackberry App World has been the sheer volume of apps available to users. Unlike other mobile operating systems, iOS users are seldom left short of options when they're looking for an app to fulfill a particular need of theirs. But that has slowly started turning into a double edged sword of sorts. It has been getting harder and harder for users to find and discover new apps, beyond the usual ones in the Top Grossing and Top Free picks.
The App Store has an extremely distinct banner in its home page now, drawing users' attention to "Editor's Choice" apps (the first of which happens to be Facebook Camera for the iPhone). Later, Apple came out with a free App of the Week, and it happened to be the much awaited Cut the Rope: Experiments. This is said to be the first time Apple is actually relying on promoting apps this way, of its own accord. Cut the Rope should be the first of many new and premium apps going free in the App Store in the coming weeks.
Apple's efforts point towards making the best possible use of its Chomp purchase - it can now make great apps (that have been hitherto drowned out by competition) more visible to the public. It is also a follow up to its crackdown on bot farms that had been enticing developers to pay them in exchange for pumping up their app download numbers right into the Top picks for both paid and free apps.
Cut the Rope has been a title synonymous with casual gaming on iOS, quite on the lines of other notable names such as Angry Birds and Temple Run. The success of all these games has been quite remarkable, given that physics based games weren't all that popular before the iPhone and iPad came along.
Thanks to a limited period offer, you can now get the newest version of Cut the Rope, called Cut the Rope: Experiments HD from the iTunes App Store. Although it is priced at $1.99, it has gone free for an unspecified but short period of time.
The game remains as addictive as ever - you need to feed the now famous monster, Om Nom, some candy, from a whole gamut of challenging scenarios, while he's suspended from a number of ropes. The newest twist is that Cut the Rope: Experiments HD brings in a new character - a mad (but apparently not evil) scientist who conducts the eponymous Experiments on Om Nom to understand his fascination with candy.
The official list of key features is as follows: - 150 new experiments (levels) across 6 colorful new settings, with more to come! - 6 level packs: Getting Started, Shooting the Candy, Sticky Steps, Rocket Science, Bath Time, and Handy Candy - New gameplay elements like rope guns, suction cups, rockets, water, and robo arms! - New storyline featuring commentary from the Professor - Find hidden evidence for the Professor’s photo album and share it on Facebook or Twitter - New achievements and leaderboards - compare your progress to other rope cutters around the world!
The changelog for version 1.3 is:- 25 new levels featuring new game element - mechanic arms- The new iPad Retina display support- New localizations (Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean)- New photo of Om Nom in the Professor’s Album- New achievements and a new leaderboard
Download it from here soon!: http://itunes.apple.com/in/app/cut-the-rope-experiments-hd/id450795513?mt=8
Apple may or may not be everyone's cup of tea, but not even the fiercest iDevice critic can take away the fact that Apple knows its design inside out. Each Apple product has had a distinct, industry defining design ethos, and the man behind pretty much all of it was, contrary to popular perception, not Steve Jobs. He is the British design extraordinaire Jonathan Ive, and he has just been knighted back in his homeland.
According to BBC, Apple's 'senior vice president of industrial design' has been in front of the Princess Royal in Buckingham Palace today. The honor comes his way as he is a British national who has had a profound influence on the greatest technology of this decade. (Sir) Jonathan Ive has been the head of the design and concept teams of Apple's technology in its most prosperous years. His body of work includes the iPod (which took the music industry by storm and made everyone sit up and take notice of Apple), all of the overwhelmingly dominant iPhones, the iPad (which created a whole new market of its own), the iPod Touch, the iMac and the anorexic yet gorgeous Macbook Air. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that without Sir Jonathan's contributions, Apple's technology wouldn't be perceived the same way in the minds of the public as it is now.
In a Telegraph interview here, he casually dismisses his low recognizability (considering his immense contribution to Apple's greatest successes, by saying: "People’s interest is in the product, not in its authorship".
Apple fans have a lot to look forward to, if the reports of design overhauls in the iPhone and Apple iTV are anything to go by. But with the immense standards Sir Jonathan Ive has set for the Cupertino company, it's almost certain that Apple's efforts will turn out well, to say the least.
The Hulu Plus app for iOS has been updated to version 2.5, and it features a number of notable updates. Key among them is Retina display support and increased Airplay mirroring. The interface has been renovated as well.
Version 2.5 of the Hulu Plus App now involves a much improved form of Airplay mirroring, and counts as perhaps the most crucial new feature among all the additions made in the new version. So far, the Airplay mirroring was a watered down, disappointing render of what went on in your iPad fitted into your HDTV's dimensions. That meant that HDTV screen images of 16:9 used to be directly streamed from your iPad in its 4:3 size ratio, and left it with prominent black bars due to the mismatch in the aspect ratios. The expanded Airplay mirroring will stream video at 16:9 from your iPad to your Apple TV, making the resulting stream almost full screen on your TV screen.
The iPad app interface has been overhauled as well. Now you can sort and browse Hulu's multitude of TV shows according to their respective genres. You can also make the use of visual queues for scheduling what you want up next after you're done with what you're watching now. Hulu claims there are bug fixes and the video player has been optimized as well. Moreover, it's optimized for the new iPad's Retina display (which has a phenomenal 2048x1536 pixels crammed into 9.7 inches of screen space).
The official changelog is as follows:
What's New in Version 2.5• Support for browsing and discovering new shows by genres• Re-engineered, optimized video player• Updated, nicer, more graphical user interface (for iPad)• Retina support (3rd-generation iPad)• Improved AirPlay mirroring and HDMI support (iPad 2 and above, iPhone 4S and above); try it out in split view on the iPad!• Miscellaneous bug fixes and enhancements
The latest version of iOS apparently contains error messages that seem to indicate that Apple's Facetime may finally support use over 3G. So far, Facetime has made the use of front facing cameras on iOS devices with access to WiFi to make video calls with other Apple devices. Now, 3G wireless data connections may just be the latest way to make a Facetime call.
If a user tries to switch off the 'Enable 3G switch' in Settings during an active Facetime call on an iPhone with iOS 5.1.1, one get an error message. According to Apple Insider:
"the warning message does, in fact, display when the iPhone's 3G is disabled during a FaceTime call. In addition, iOS also displays another message when a user attempts to turn 3G back on: "Enabling 3G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 3G?" Neither enabling or disabling 3G interrupted any FaceTime calls."
This was first discovered by a Romanian Apple website - iDevice. Regardless of the warnings, Facetime calls can continue over Wifi, whether you switch 3G on or keep it off. But the warnings seem to indicate that Apple has plans to make Facetime available on 3G connections as well.
When introduced, Facetime had been disabled on 3G on the request of mobile carriers in the US, and should Apple go ahead with this plan, there's a high likelihood that it will be blocked anyway. Moreover, with unlimited data plans being replaced by expensive,tiered plans instead, the viability of using Facetime over a wireless data connection remains to be seen.