The rumor mill is gearing up for the launch of Apple's fourth-generation iPhone, and the latest rumor has an aroma of fermented hops and barley.
Many observers expect Apple to release a new model in late spring or early summer. CEO Steve Jobs said recently that an updated mobile OS would be ready this summer--a perfect opportunity to release new iPhone hardware. Fueling speculation that a June launch is imminent is a report from Boy Genius Report that it has "confirmed with multiple AT&T sources that the carrier has now put a block on employees … Read more
You don't have to be a genius to guess that Apple is readying a new model of iPhone for late spring or early summer.
That's because Apple has done just that for the last three years, kicking off sales of the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS in late June or early July. And because at last week's iPhone OS 4 preview event, CEO Steve Jobs said the updated mobile OS would be ready this summer. And where there's new iPhone software, there's usually new iPhone hardware.
Adding more fuel to the fire now is … Read more
The Withings scale, already breaking waves as the first Wi-Fi body scale that uploads weight and body mass data to personal online accounts, announces this week a new partnership with Gym Technik, enabling much easier tracking via pretty much any smartphone on the market.
Via Gym Technik, users can set up workout routines online, track daily progress via their smartphones, peruse an exercise library for workout tips, and upload before/after photos. Synching this with the Withings scale now allows users to instantly track their weight, body fat percentage, and BMI stats just by standing on it.
This is probably … Read more
I must not be part of the "always connected" generation that marketers talk about. Of course I'm on Facebook and Twitter, but whenever I post anything personal, I can't quite shake the little voice in my head saying "who cares?" Nonetheless, I sometimes like to turn people on to music that I've just discovered, like The Fresh and Onlys, who played a good show in Seattle last night.
If you ask me, the iPad's prowess as an e-book reader lies not in pulp fiction, but in kids' books. Think about it: the latest Grisham novel is just raw text, which any old Kindle can deliver. But children's books are all about big, splashy pictures and wild colors--elements perfectly suited to iPad screens.
And needless to say, the iPad can do a lot more than just display static pages. It can read stories aloud; it can enrich a classic tale with touch-powered extras; and it can even render pages in 3D. Let's take a look at five dazzling e-books for kids, starting with an eye-popping rendition of "Alice in Wonderland."
1."Alice for the iPad" This lavishly illustrated 52-page abridgment of the classic tale incorporates animation like no other e-book to date. Readers can tilt the iPad to make Alice grow and shrink; shake it to watch the Mad Hatter's bobblehead bobble; and so on. The frantically paced demo video (above) is a little over-the-top, but there's no question this is a showpiece iPad app. Thankfully, there's a free Lite version you can try before splurging on the $8.99 full version.
2. Dr. Seuss books Already among my favorites (uh, I mean, my kids' favorites) on the iPhone, Oceanhouse Media's three Seuss titles--"Dr. Seuss' ABC," "The Cat in the Hat," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"--are just that much bigger and better on the iPad. Each interactive story sells for $2.99--quite a bit less than their respective hardcovers (as it should be). Oh, and stay tuned: one of my all-time favorite Seuss titles, "The Lorax," will make its iPad/iPhone debut in about a week.
3. "Jack and the Beanstalk Children's Interactive Storybook" I think the title says it all, no? The "interactive" part comes in the form of games, activities, hidden Easter eggs, and the like. Gorgeous artwork, read-along text, and a reasonable price tag of $3.99. What's not to like?… Read more
Some iPhone developers that make apps for Facebook got quite a surprise on Tuesday--their developer credentials had been deleted, without warning, leaving their apps and customers high and dry.
All Facebook developers have their own set of credentials so their apps can communicate with the APIs provided by the company. When iPhone apps contact Facebook, the site responds and recognizes the developers' credentials, allowing the apps to do their intended jobs. Without those credentials, apps error out.
This tech CEO has all the right credentials to steer a digital-music start-up.
In addition to degrees in computer science and economics from Stanford University, Prerna Gupta is expert in all things Britney Spears.
Gupta is a former beauty pageant winner who aspired to follow in the hip-hop dancing footsteps of her childhood idol, Spears. Now, as the 28-year-old CEO of Khush, the company behind a new iPhone app called LaDiDa, Gupta's performance background may help her as much as anything she learned in college.
LaDiDa works this way: compose a song, sing it into an iPhone or iPod Touch, and the software will provide the musical accompaniment. Think of it as reverse karaoke. Sing your own tune or "Taxman" by the Beatles. LaDiDa, which sells for $2.99, will determine what key you're singing in, match it with favorable chord progressions, and toss in some effects, such as reverb. LaDiDa will spit out a recording of your enhanced voice and backing tracks.
Parag Chordia, Gupta's husband and Khush's chief technology officer, is a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and director of the school's music intelligence lab. LaDiDa was developed there, Gupta said.
The software is "trained" to recognize notes and common chord progressions, Gupta said. To do this, a composer inputs "musical atoms," the term she uses to describe small chunks of music. The software makes a guess based on its training on what will sound best with the song it hears to quickly arrange the chunks.
Whiz-bang technology is one thing, but to make LaDiDa a hit, it needed someone with an innate understanding of people's desire to put on a show. And no, that desire is not just about lots of sake. … Read more
Making a device that's somewhere between a laptop and an iPhone comes with challenges beyond app design. As I've been wondering since I've owned an iPad, what exactly makes a good iPad case?
I know one thing: it's not the same thing that makes a good iPhone case.
First of all, I'm terrified to drop my iPad. I've heard the stories, and I'm not about to test mine the same way. I don't trust myself to even hold it in bed--I'm afraid it'll slip out of my hands and shatter somewhere while I'm sleeping.
An iPhone gets held to your ear. A hard shell seems best, one that prevents scratches. The iPhone can tolerate a drop or two (or five), at least from my experience. I'm not worried about that. I just want a hard shell for it.
As for the iPad, I'm never likely to use it in motion, and at a subway station or bus stop I'd prefer it to be protected even when reading. The screen on an iPad is tremendous. Though the glass is scratch-resistant, I prefer a cover if at all possible
Many case makers, however, are treating the iPad like a giant iPhone in terms of their case design. I've seen some sleeve/hard-shell concepts that seem a little ridiculous.
Others are treating it like a laptop, offering soft-skinned neoprene sleeves and slipcases. Booq has an iPad sleeve for $29 that is a nice little slipcover, reinforced on the back. Its top is exposed, but the iPad's glass screen nestles against the hard back, fully covered. It's best for sliding the iPad in a backpack or bag.
But, though it's easy to remove the iPad at a moment's notice, the iPad is then exposed when in use. I'm back where I started without a case.… Read more
Rock festivals have sure gotten easy. Back when I attended the first Lollapalooza in 1991, I had only a glancing knowledge of most of the acts on the bill, and the only way to hear them before the act was to find a friend with a deeper music collection or beg the local DJ to play, say, a Siouxsie and the Banshees song from before the MTV era. (As if.) In more recent years, navigating big multi-stage festivals like SXSW and Seattle's Bumbershoot have required the mind of a military logistics expert. To catch all the acts I wanted … Read more