-This week on the CNET Tech Review: New betas of iOS and IE, how to put iTunes on a diet, god games that put the fate of the world in your hands, and a GPS unit for all you truckers out there.
It's all coming up right now good buddy.
I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech and offer some unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line.
Let's start with the good.
At Apple's music event held here in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, Steve Jobs gave us a little sneak peek at iOS 4.2, an update aimed specifically at the iPad.
Now that the Beta version of the update has been released into the wild, Brian Tong is here with a taste of what you can expect.
Brian Tong here with cnet.com.
An Apple's iOS 4.2 Beta that specifics the iPad was recently released, so we wanted to show off some of the major improvements and some of the more subtle ones as well.
The biggest addition is multitasking and it works just like it has on an iPhone.
Double click the home button and you'll see apps that are currently running.
In Portrait Mode, you'll see 6 apps at a time; and in Landscape Mode, you'll see 7.
Now what's great about this is that I've been dying for Pandora to have multitasking on the iPad and it looks like the Apple is built already with that in mind, so it works like a charm.
I can listen to my Pandora stream while checking out a recipe for dinner or surfing the web.
Now, just like in iOS 4.1, once you've accessed the multitasking feature, you can swipe to the right to reveal the music controls and more.
A new change is that the screen orientation lock is now accessible here, so you can lock the iPad to Portrait or Landscape Mode.
Now, this little button on the right hand side that used to be the screen lock is now a mute switch, but I'm not sure if I like that change yet.
And the biggest addition that I love, the ability to control the brightness of the screen with this slider without jumping into the preferences.
Now, Folders is here on the iPad and you can put up to 20 icons per folder compared to only 12 on the iPhone.
AirPrint makes its debut and the wireless printing option is integrated into the apps.
So, if I'm in the mail app, it will show up here and I'll be able to select a printer it sees and choose how many copies I want.
You'll also find printing in the photo app and Safari.
AirPlay is Apple's wireless streaming feature that streams the new Apple TV or other compatible devices.
You'll be able to access it in the iPad app, movie app, and YouTube app.
Now, let's show you a few other features in 4.2,
Game Center is here on the iPad and it's pretty much what we've seen on iOS 4.1.
Mail now has a unified mailbox for your multiple accounts and you can also organize your e-mails by threads, which I love.
Safari has an updated icon that now shows you how many Safari pages you have opened on the background and closing them feels snappier than before.
Now, all of you fans of the notes app will now be getting a few other fonts that you can change in the settings instead of just Marker Felt, so you guys can rejoice.
And if you're using the iPad 3G with the cellular data option turned on, you now have the ability to toggle between 3G and Edge if you wanna reduce the drain on your battery even if it means slower download speeds.
I'm Brian Tong for cnet.com and remember this is the beta and there are sure to be more improvements on the way before its November release, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek at iOS 4.2 in action.
Maybe Brian's not sure how he feels about that screen lock thing, but I'm sure I do not like it at all.
Speaking of Betas, the pre-released version of Internet Explorer 9 is now available as well.
And with so many other web browser options available from Firefox to Chrome, even Opera, I pretty much never use IE anymore, but as Seth Rose Rosenblatt found out, Microsoft's browser may just be worth another look.
-After several months of teasing Internet Explorer's upgrade with a series of feature-free developer's previews, Microsoft has unleashed on the world a fully functional death star, I mean fully functional Beta of its next gen browser.
The new Internet Explorer 9 Beta.
Some of IE Beta's features bring it up to parody with other browsers while other improvements definitely push it ahead.
As you can see from the interface, the minimalist approach to browser UI is a major change to internet explore, but Microsoft takes a slightly different approach than its competitors, which have also stripped down UIs.
Tabs are on the same level as the location bar whereas Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all have tabs on 1 row in the location bar on the second.
It looks fine on the wide screen desktop monitor, but on a standard laptop screen, the combination of tabs and location bar feels to be cluttered.
Microsoft has included the ability to rip tabs off and to separate windows and you can arrow snap them as well.
Since the search bar is gone, you'd probably infer that Microsoft has beefed up the location bar search feature.
These two now sits on a leveled playing field with competitors, although Internet Explorer's version has some nice twists to it.
You can also change search providers at the bottom, which is a sleek merge of the old search bar functionality into the location bar.
Another interesting feature comes from Microsoft's take on the trend of browsers becoming the operating system.
Since Microsoft already has an OS Windows anybody, they've taken steps to integrate IE more thoroughly into Windows.
Insight allows you to pin websites directly to the desktop task; however, it only works when your taskbar is in the default bottom position.
Hopefully, that will be fixed before for IE 9 will use Beta.
Windows 7 jump lists have been integrated for websites that include that functionality and thumbnail controls and inbox counts in Webmail Insights are now included too.
There's a new tab page that utilizes favicons instead of snapshot previews, which is different but definitely likable.
The download manager has been beefed up with enhanced reputation-based security features,
which have not been seen in browsers yet, but do exist in modern security suites.
The add-on performance adviser will automatically tell you when tool bars and other add-ons slow down IE.
Improved process isolation prevents individual tab crashes from killing the whole browser.
And there's now an option for automatic updates as you see in Chrome.
It's also the most competitive.
Now, whether it can stay that way is up to Microsoft.
With your first look at Internet Explorer 9 Beta, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNET.
-Have the words minimalist and Microsoft ever been used in the same sentence before?
But hey, if they can strip down the interface and beef up the features, I'll give it another shot.
There was a time when the fanciest piece of tech in the cabin of an 18-wheeler would have been a CB radio, but as with most professions, technology continues to change the way truck drivers do their jobs.
Car tech editor, Antuan Goodwin, brings us this first look at a GPS system designed specifically with truckers in mind.
-The Car Tech Guide here at CNET spent a good deal of time on the road every week testing the latest cars, GPS, and in-car gadgets, but you know who puts us to shame when it comes to raw seat?
Isn't it about time somebody designed some car tech specifically for these masters of the road.
Enter the PC*Miler Navigator 450 GPS for truck drivers.
The PC*Miler looks like your average consumer GPS device.
It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a mini-USB connection for charging, and an SD card slot for loading data and maps.
Going a step further, this unit also features a headphone jack and a TMC antenna input for an external traffic receiver.
There's also an input for the included magnetic external GPS antenna that increases positioning accuracy when the unit is mounted in a compromised position.
Of course, there's also the internal GPS antenna if you don't wanna fool around with route in the cable for this guy.
Powering up the PC*Miler reveals that this is no typical in-car navigator.
Running a version of the CoPilot 8 Navigation software that's specific to trucks, the PC*Miler has a host of features that make it useful to big rig drivers.
Users can input the height, length, width, weight, and weight per axle of their truck to receive truck-specific routings.
Users can also save multiple routing profiles to hold these presets for later retrieval.
Presumably, after inputting this data, the PC*Miler won't try to send you under low overpasses or across bridges that won't support your payload's weight.
The unit also features state mileage logs, which is quite useful for independent operators for billing purposes.
The CoPilot software is very flexible with routing presets for automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and RVs as well as walking direction so you can even use the PC*Miler outside of your truck.
However, there are a few things that we don't really like about it.
From a software standpoint, the CoPilot software can be a bit too complex and tricky to use.
When I adjust the volume, good luck finding that on your fist attempt.
The hardware also suffers from a tricky car cradle that makes it difficult to adjust and tricky to connect the external GPS antenna.
So do the advantages of the truck-specific hardware and software outweigh our picks about the interface and cradle design?
Check out the full review at cnet.com to find out.
I'm Antuan Goodwin.
This has been your first look at the PC*Miler 450 GPS for truck drivers.
-What a cliff hanger Antuan.
Feel free to go check out the full review at cnet.com, but here's a hint, he liked it enough to wear a trucker hat for the video, so it can't be too bad.
Plus, I call him rubber ducky now.
Alright, I've said it before and I will say it again, routers and internet hubs are awesome.
And powerline adaptors?
Don't even get me started.
So naturally, I am super excited to see this network kit singled out as an editor's choice.
Tell them about it, Dong.
-Powerline adaptors are those that help you expend your local network via your home electrical working.
Today, I'll show you the best one to date.
My name is Dong Ngo and this is the Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit from Western Digital.
This kit is the first among home plug AV Powerline adaptor that earned a CNET's Editors' Choice Award.
Now, there are a few reasons why this kit is the best.
First of all, it comes with two identical adaptors, each has four network ports.
This means you can use up to four Ethernet ready devices at the far end of the powerline connection.
At the near end where the other adaptor is connected to your router, instead of losing one network port for it, you now actually gain three.
This is because the adaptors can also work as a four-port hub.
So, out of the box, the kit can support up to seven devices.
The Livewire kit's adaptor, though rather bulky, also has a nice design with detachable power cables.
This allows users to place the adaptor away clear from the power socket.
The adaptors have an on/off switch and a sync button.
Pressing on these buttons within two minutes from each other will create a private network between the two adaptors, preventing other home plug AV adaptors from connecting to them.
This is a good security feature in case you want to keep others living in the same apartment building, for example, from tapping into your local network or the Internet connection.
The Livewire adaptors are also a great where it matters the most--performance.
In our testing, the two produced the highest throughput speeds among powerline adaptors we've reviewed.
For these reasons, at around $110, the WD Livewire Power kit is possibly the best bang for your buck on the market.
For more information on it, check out the in-depth review at cnet.com.
Once again, my name is Dong Ngo and you've just seen the first look at the Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit from Western Digital.
-What did I tell you?
I'm all tingly.
Let's take a quick break so that I can calm down a bit, but we'll back with more CNET Tech Review right after this.
Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV, continuing on with the good.
Many of our shows have titles that are pretty self-explanatory.
The Apple Bite, all about Apple news and Apple products.
How-to videos show you how to do things and so on.
So, the CNET Top 5 should be pretty easy to figure out, right?
Well, usually it is.
-Let's face it.
Nothing like coming home with a new TV.
That impossibly bright picture, the new features you scratch your head over.
And of course, that giant box you don't know what to do with.
I'm Brian Cooley here with the top 5 TVs as rated by CNET so far this 2010.
Number 5, a tie at CNET rating of 7.6.
Now, brace yourself.
In this competitive class, we have a lot of ties coming up.
This one is between the LG PK950 series and the Samsung C8000 models.
The PK950 is LG's best plasma ever we think, a real flagship.
It has a magic wand remote we think works well, but is still kind of a gimmick.
Streaming services on this guy are a little thin compared to some of the competition, but it's an affordable TV.
The Samsung C8000 is an edge LED-LCD with 3D ability, a really good picture as well, but the remote was a mess, and it didn't include any 3D glasses.
Streaming an app support was superb though, but the price kind of tampered things.
It was almost unconscionable.
At number 4, the Panasonic G20, G25 series.
CNET rating 7.7.
Great black level so the colors really popped, lowish power consumption, and a rather effective anti-glare coating, but this plasma is a little behind on the streaming functions and there are persistent complaints, rumors, that this series has trouble with black levels as it ages over time.
Coming in at number 3, cleverly enough, is a 3-way tie all with a CNET rating of 7.9.
First, there's Panasonic's TCPZ1 series.
They're flagship with tremendous black levels and color rendering,
really solid wireless technology that connects your components to it and a nice slim case, but as you might imagine, all these comes at a steep price.
Next up is Sony's HX909.
A great-looking LCD set with both 3D ability and 2D to 3D conversion that actually works well.
Like most on our list, it has a good array of streaming services, if not perfect.
If it didn't start at close to 3 grand streak, we'd be a little more excited.
And also here is Vizio's 2XVT series.
Anything but overpriced in the Vizio tradition, we think it's a great value.
This LED-LCD has Wi-Fi ability, outstanding streaming services, probably the best, and a bluetooth remote with a QWERTY keypad, but the off-angle viewing was weak and the LED backlighting could be a little uneven.
Number 2 is a 2-way tie.
Is this is a set up?
Coming in both at CNET rating of 8.0, the Samsung C7000 has superb internet streaming and widgets and apps.
It's the least expensive 2010 plasma so far to offer 3D and the picture performance is really good too.
LG's LE8500 series is interesting.
We actually dropped this local dimming LED LCD television from a monster CNET rating of 9 down to 8 because of uneven backlight again yet it still impresses with otherwise outstanding picture and low power use.
This is an early 2010 set by the way so no 3D built in, but it does have a good array of streaming features.
By the way, before we get to our number 1 TV in this Top 5, be aware of a controversy swirling out there around 3D TV.
It may have some health risks in the minds of many including eye strain, dizziness, headache, and nausea.
And that's just from watching the merry draft.
I thought it was funny.
Anyway, 17% of Americans are already sure 3D TV makes you ill.
Another 55% aren't sure it doesn't.
The jury's out.
It's a pretty wide population, so try it out before you buy.
Okay, our number 1 TV as of this point in 2010 is a 1-way.
It's a none tie.
It's the Panasonic Viera VT20-25 Series with a big CNET rating of 8.7.
Outstanding picture in both 2D and 3D modes.
That's a tough trick.
A strong, if not, class leading set of streaming services and it includes a pair of 3D glasses.
It does have some minor concerns about those fade-in black levels, and being a plasma, it's a little power hungry.
So, there you go, a top 5 that somehow had 9 products in it.
Find all our TV reviews at cnet.com.
The televisions are right there.
Just click on the left side, easy to find.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Thanks for watching.
We'll see you next time.
-So, what's it gonna be?
The LE8500 or the 2XVT, maybe the HX909 is more your style.
Regardless of which one you choose, I will have no idea what you're talking about.
And with that, let's take a look at the bad.
I'm not gonna spend a lot of time explaining this next video because well, I'm in it, so surprised to say that iTunes is probably taking up too much room on your computer and I'm here to fix that.
I'm Molly Wood for CNET and I'm here to show you how to install iTunes on windows without the bloat.
Many thanks to our ZDNet colleague, Ed Bott, for posting this lifesaving how-to.
If you've used iTunes on Windows, you know it's big, slow, and filled with features and components that you do not need.
I mean, think about it.
Every iTunes installation has the necessary elements to control several different iPods, an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod Touch, it syncs with Apple TV, it has that whole store element, it has networking features you may or may not need, and then there's QuickTime.
Well, Ed has helpfully created a step-by-step list for installing only the features of iTunes that you need.
Now, I suggest you start by uninstalling any previous versions of iTunes and downloading the installer all over again.
You probably wanna uninstall Bonjour too, if that's in there.
Next, download the iTunes installer but do not run it.
Now, navigate to wherever you downloaded the file called iTunessetup.exe.
Right click on iTunessetup.exe.
Now, you may have to have WinZip installed because you want to "Extract the File to Folder" called whatever, whatever, iTunessetup.
Now you can see all the individual installation components.
Check out Ed's article for a full list of all the things contained in the installer.
For our purposes, suffice to say, you don't need all of them.
Okay, here's where we customize.
If you only wanna use iTunes with an iPod that's not an iPod Touch, so a Mini, a Classic, a Nano, or a Shuffle, then move these three files into a new folder.
You'll need appleapplicationsupport.msi, quicktime.msi, and itunes.msi, or iTunes64.msi on a 64-bit Windows system.
Now press the Windows key and then hit R for run and then drag the first file into that window.
This will put the folder path and the full file name into the Run dialog.
That's actually a cool trick all on its own.
And then after the last quotation mark, type "/passive" and hit Enter or click OK.
Now, this will actually install that component so do the same with the other two packages in your folder and once you complete the installation, you'll have an iTunes that lets you manage music on any iPod that's not a Touch.
You can rip and burn CDs, play music, and shop at the iTunes store.
It's kind of like an iTunes Classic, if you will.
Okay, but what if you wanna connect an Apple TV or browse iTunes libraries on your home network?
You'll need the same three packages plus the bonjour.msi package which you also install using the "/passive" command.
You'll need Bonjour installed on any computer whose library you plan to share.
Now, what if you're managing an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch?
Well, you'll need those original three applications, appleapplicationsupport.msi, quicktime.msi, and itunes.msi,
and you'll also need applemobiledevicesupport.msi or the 64-bit version if you have 64-bit Windows.
Finally, there's the tricky issue of Apple software update.
You really don't want that to come along and undo all your hard work.
Now, if you do enable automatic updates, just make sure you download them and then manually install updates following that same process.
Now, Bott also recommends disabling two of iTunes startup files which can really slow down your boot times and they don't seem to help you in anyway.
To do that, click Start or hit the Windows key, Run, and then type "msconfig.exe." Now click the startup tab and find iTunesHelper.exe and qttask.exe and uncheck the boxes next to each one.
Then click Apply.
Now, you'll probably need to restart your system but after that, you're off to the races, and you will be riding a much slimmer, much faster horse.
For CNET How-To, I'm Molly Wood and you're welcome.
Glad I could be of service.
Let's move right along to this week's bottom line, shall we?
Pundits have often referred to the iPhone as the Jesus phone.
Well, on this week's Tap That App.
Josh Lowensohn has found the holy trinity of games for the iPhone and iPad that will actually let you play god or at least a god.
-Welcome to Tap That App, I'm Josh Lowensohn and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space.
This week we are looking at apps that let's you play god.
All 3 of them are iPhone games that puts you in complete control of a virtual world where you can do good or bad.
Sure, they're time wasters but some of the ones on this list can be just as fun and addictive as full game titles.
Let's start off with Pocket God from Bolt Creative, which is probably the best-known god game on the iPhone and one of the best-selling iOS games to date.
Since launching in January of last year, it's been updated with 33 content updates all of which have added mini-games and activities you can do with the game's Pygmy Tribe.
The games provides a number of ways to end the lives of this virtual people, be it feeding them to the sharks, burning them with a magnifying glass, striking them with a lightning and even harpooning them underwater.
And bringing them back to life is as easy as hitting a little plus button on the top left hand corner.
But there's more of the game than merciless death, you can help your Pygmies catch fish, fend off bad guys, and pass the time by dancing to the beat of your finger tapping the screen.
There are also mini-games galore like a spin-off to the popular iOS game Doodle Jump and a cliff jumping game similar to the also popular, Canabalt.
Along with the basics, the game offers a number of add-ons that lets you re-skin the characters and their surroundings as well as add new animations.
These cost a dollar a pack and are entirely optional but are a nice addition to big fans of the game.
Up next is GodFinger from ngmoco.
A game that has you micromanaging the lives of your followers who you can get to do manual labor in return for coins.
The game has you expanding the world and erecting buildings, terraforming mountains, controlling weather cycles, and creating bodies of water.
The aim of the game is to get more and more followers and to keep up the energy of your workers and the buildings they're working on, both of which can be replenish with mana.
Mana regenerates but sometimes not quickly enough.
More can be purchased using in-game currency which is about with real-world dollars.
Similar to other ngmoco premium games, GodFinger is free of charge and can be played without spending a penny.
Although, if you wanna build up your world quickly and spend less time micromanaging your followers, you can spend a few bucks.
GodFinger can be found on both the iPhone and the iPad, but between the two, the iPad is both better looking and easier to play.
Often times, you'll be pulling a follower from one side of your virtual planet to the other and this has made less of a hassle with a larger place base.
It's also easier to see more of the games store items at once.
Last on our list is Fingerzilla by Inert Soap.
This 2-buck title is easily the most manic of the bunch and puts less of a focus on helping small people survive versus letting you destroy anything and everything in sight.
In Fingerzilla, you are a destroyer of worlds and you can blow up buildings, automobiles, army vehicles, and just about anything with your finger.
Much of the game play depends on you simply mashing your finger on the screen.
Though making use of the iPhone's multi-touch screen let's you play with several fingers or a friend to rack up higher scores.
There is also a strategy in working on a certain part of the city and its landmarks before the citizens can rebuild them.
The game has 7 levels that are ready and willing to be destroyed.
As you gain access to later levels, they are larger and there are more things you can destroy.
There are also extra levels and power-ups that can be bought including a mutation pack, which brings extra destruction, and an add-on that gives you more time within levels.
At the end of time level, you get a summary on how much damage you cost which includes things like helicopters, buildings, and people that you squashed.
iPad users looking to try the game out can pick up Fingerzilla MegaCity which brings the same game play mechanics, but let's you see more of that on the screen at once.
So these are just 3 apps that let you play god and based on their success more are likely on the way.
Don't forget that if you've got an app that you want us to tap, send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
I'm Josh Lowensohn and thanks for watching.
The Bottom Line this week: Thou shall not covet they neighbor's apps.
Actually, aren't most iPhone users self-righteous enough without giving them a real god complex?
Just kidding everyone.
And that's our show everyone.
Join us next week when we will have a whopper of a price fight between 2 big 4G phones.
Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at cnettv.com.
See you next time and thank you for watching.