Saturday, July 31, 2010

OpenAppMkt: Webapp Despository

In 2007, Apple introduced to the iPhone. The original iPhone which I still use. Many people still use. The thing is at that time, there was no app store. No apps to download at all.

So meet OpenAppMkt. It's a website with depository for webapps. Honestly, why would anyone create this just now?

A new months ago when Steve Jobs and Adobe got into a spat over Flash. Flash no good, cumbersome and a lot of bugs. Also a security risk, Steve Jobs said. So Steve said, HTML 5 is better. Essentially embracing Web.

I've used webapps that are recommended from Apple's webapp site from time to time.

I'll be honest. Most of those apps are subpar. A few are quite good. And more and more, with innovations in HTML and Apple's Web framework, I can really see a lot of improvements over the next year or two. Oh, and Google is probably better at developing webapps than anyone else. So I also expect great things from Google

Anyway, keep Apple's webapp site and OpenAppMkt in your bookmark. I have a feeling a lot of us will be using webapps more and more.

Note: One of the key to webapps will be offline access and storage. iOS 6? I don't see this coming for iOS 5 just yet. Also, many of us are used to mobile versions of some websites but iPad might complicate things some what.

More at Apple and OpenAppMkt.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple May Not Need A Lot Of 3G Chips In The Future (4G Maybe)

Techcrunch thinks Apple should buy Infineon because Intel is about to move on the 3G chip company. The reasoning in their post is sound. However, there might be a good reason why Apple won't go there. And the answer could be staring at us the whole time all these years. The iPod Touch.

What lead me to start thinking about this is when Apple released the iPad with 3G access without the need for a contract. It was practically unheard of. So, why can't that be done for the iPod Touch. Then yesterday, the whole tech world got wind of Sprint's alleged plan to release a case for the Touch. And it's no ordinary case. It has its own battery. And it's no ordinary battery case.

It also has its own 3G or 4G wireless modem, providing WiFi access for the iPod Touch. Sprint Peel.

The main question is whether Sprint's plans has Apple's blessing and what of the standard 30% cut Apple gets any time someone wants to make accessories for the iOS devices. Let's start from the beginning.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Post Through ScribeFire Through Safari - Possibilities for iOS Safari

This is the first post I am using through ScribeFire using the Safari Extension. This is, of course, nothing new for many bloggers or writers who have used ScribeFire through Firefox or Chrome. But for many Safari users like myself, this is new and exciting.

Two issues can really make things interesting for mobile users. Of course, many are still on Macbooks or Macbook Pros and like me, you'll be able to download one of a number of extensions currently available from Apple. However, what does that leave the iOS devices?

Yeah, I would like to be able use this on the Safari on my iPad. It's nearly identical to the OS X version. I would like to see extensions available some day. And I imagine it'll likely be sooner rather than later. Extensions for Safari is based on HTML 5, being pushed hard by Apple as an alternative to Flash, and Javascript which the iOS already supports.

Perhaps, we might see this once iOS 4 for the iPad becomes available. At the very least, we should see it on iOS 5.

The second issue is that with added HTML 5 support, it will be the Safari on iPad into more parity with the OS X version, making for a richer Web experience. I think this is where Apple will truly shine.

And I lied, there is a third issue. Extensions are nothing new to web developers, programmers, or users on the PC or Macs who uses non-Safari browsers. This the first time Apple has entered this part of the browser market. Why is that?

I am guessing that Apple has something very big in stored for the computing world. And I imagine that whatever it is, it'll have a lot to offer mobile warriors, specifically iOS users.

I don't know what it is but based on past Apple initiatives, it'll be a game-changer.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Great Mobile Combo: 27" iMac with iPhone 4 (or 3G iPad)

The newly refreshed iMac today is unlike anything on the market. We've seen tons of iMac killers come and go over the years and the iMac still reign supreme as an all-on-one computer. And why? It offers no compromises.

So this is why I think the best combo for a mobile warrior who needs power is an iMac with an iPhone or a 3G iPad for mobile needs. Let's face it. If you can afford a Macbook along with an iMac, great, but most folks I know can't.

Let's not get into the Magic Trackpad yet. That's story for another post on how I think it can be improved. But the iPad and iPhone can double as a great trackpad with a number of 3rd party apps in the iTunes store.

The one main compromise is that while on the road, mobile computing is entirely restricted to the iPhone or iPad. For 95% of what you'll need to do, Apple's iOS devices including the iPod Touch is provides everything you need.

The only issue is whether you'll need cellular Internet or not. I mentioned a 3G iPad but if you're not going to need it, the WiFi-only iPad would serve your purpose as it does mine. Just about everywhere I go these days, there are free WiFi services. Plus, as an ATT DSL subscriber, I am entitled to use ATT's growing WiFi coverage wherever I go.

And if you don't need 3G services, then perhaps even an iPod Touch would serve your mobile needs.

Next post, I'll discuss an even greater mobile combo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We May Soon Be Able to Unlock iOS Devices Legally

Seriously did not see this coming. The Library of Congress has ruled that jailbreaking and unlocking is legal.

So all those hacking and unlocking that voids warranties, right? Those days could be numbered.

So this still developing and we’ll find out more about this. There are a lot of questions. For instance, if the FTC didn’t have the power to make this happen, how the heck does the Library of Congress have this much power?

Also, did the wireless providers and platforms anticipate this at all?

But wait. More than that, circumventing DMCA efforts to curtail consumer freedom seems to be the key here. There are six classes of works specified. I’m going to paraphrase because it’s the government and they’ve got a lot of lawyers. And through law school, they lost the ability to speak like normal human beings.
  • Lawfully acquired movies like those on DVD
  • Mobile apps
  • Software on computers
  • Specifically mentioned computer games
  • Computer programs protected by dongles – like what?
  • eBooks – literary works
Keep in mind again that we’re talking about legally acquired media and software. As the day goes on, we’ll tweet and discuss this. Huge huge news!

More at Boy Genius Report.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stubborn Chinese Telcos Losing Out On iPhone

Apple negotiated with Chinese wireless providers and only China Unicom came away with the prize. But because of the crippled version of the iPhone (no WiFi), CU hasn't managed to sell all that many iPhones. And they're God awful expensive compared to the iPhones being sold on the black market.

Most of the Chinese who have an iPhone opt for unofficial version because they are unlocked (if from Hong Kong) and they all have WiFi. And yet, Apple has not been allowed to sell a version of the iPhone for China that can compete with those on the black market. For Apple, they're fine regardless of who buys the iPhone. But the Chinese wireless providers with subscribers numbering in the hundreds of millions are losing out

Why is that? With so much money to be made, why are the Chinese so stubborn?

The iPad went on sale in Hong Kong yesterday and sold out within an hour. SF Gate has a post about dealers who are quite content with any delay in official Apple product releases because they can sell imports at a much higher markup.

Whether it's iPhones and iPads, these black market sellers are taking hundreds of millions from official revenues. But it's likely to change once Apple is allowed to introduce an iPhone that is not crippled and the iPad will make it to China supply constraints are no longer an issue.

Then there is China Telecom's stubbornness. There just no way Apple will cede control of the App Store to anyone else. The soon anyone realizes, like Verizon did just this week, the better for their wireless customers. This week, VW stated Apple changed how they see the market in relation to the App Store. And Verizon has publicly stated that they're interested on the iPhone. Perhaps one day, VW customers will have a choice of the iPhone.

So what's next for Chinese customers who want an official iPhone? China Unicom is the likely candidate for the iPhone 4 and are negotiating to carry the iPad. What we don't know is if it will be subsidized with 3G plans. Furthermore, the other mobile providers will have to be more open to Apple's iOS-iTunes ecosystem and Steve Jobs' mobile vision.

So long as they're willing to respect that, Apple should have no problem doing business with them.

iPad: Two Things Needed For School And Business

The iPad is being pushed for the education market. Personally, I think things would have gone much better for me at school if I had the iPad waaaay back then. But there are two things I think would help the iPad really take off for school.

Printing and Microsoft Office.

T-Mobile iPhone: What's the Call?

I don't do rumors on this site but I do need to address one particular rumor that was the rage for a full 36 hours or so before it died down. First, I love rumors but OnApple, I don't like spreading them.

Here, I'm going to get into this a bit because I don't want people to get their hopes up. Well, there is hope and I'll explain in a bit.

First, Cult of Mac reported that a highly placed source within T-Mobile has informed them that the iPhone has an 80% chance of being available for sale in the 3rd quarter, July through the end of September, of a traditional financial calendar.

That means sales in the next 70 or so days. Does that make sense? Okay, CofM also said that a deal isn't finalized but close to being signed. Still, if it's that close, only a mere 80% chance of the iPhone coming to T-Mobile USA? Fine, it might be 75% or 90%. It's subjective.

However, from my understanding, wireless providers who signed agreements with Apple all did it about a year before they started selling the iPhone. It is improbable that Apple will agree to a deal and turn around and start selling the iPhones a mere few days later.

So am I saying there is no deal? Here's the hope I mentioned above. For the iPhone to appear on another network, such as T-Mobile or Verizon, a deal would have to be done a year ago. Or at the very least, months ago. And in the last few months, there have been signs that iPhone exclusivity with ATT has ended and at the very least, ending.

  • ATT finally embraced Android - for years, ATT avoided Google's mobile platform like a plague.  I attribute that to some kind of a deal with Apple.  
  • ATT is also carrying Palm's WebOS devices this year.
  • ATT is said to be interested in the first batch of Windows Phone 7
  • ATT ending unlimited wireless data for mobile devices
  • Apple's Steve Jobs hinting that there is some good to having multiple networks in the US.
  • A lot of chatters from suppliers in Asia about another iPhone
  • The timing of T-Mobile's HSPA+ and Verizon's LTE network completion.
  • T-Mobile executive hinting at iPhone sales in the US in late 2010 or early 2011.
  • Verizon confessed it was a bad move to turn down the iPhone and Apple has changed the mobile industry and opened their eyes about app stores.

So in conclusion, I have a highly placed doubt about CofM's source's information. I am still hopeful for a T-Mobile iPhone in the coming months. But any deal between Apple and T-Mobile would have been completed months ago. If anything, it's about the launch, not dotting the "i" or crossing the "t".

More on prospects of the iPhone on other US networks:
Note: I don't do rumors so I've not offered a link to the Cult of Mac page. But here's the main page.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Starbucks To Expalnd iPhone App Payment

I can’t wait for mobile payment through my iPhone or Android device and it looks like Starbucks is making that possible even more. In the coming months, Starbucks will expand payment for drinks and other products with the iPhone app to other stores.

A couple of days ago, I misplaced my wallet at a supermarket and, luckily, it was found with my two dollars still in side. I was coming back from the gym and my shorts didn’t have pockets. I had in my hands the keys to my car, wallet, and my G1. I suppose losing my wallet meant my G1 was more important of the two.

It would have been a great hassle had I not gotten it back. DMV, credit card companies, and the bank would have all heard from me.

So you see why I can’t wait for a digital replacement for my wallet.

Starbuck’s move is a small one in that direction. I’m sure all the major credit card companies as well as dozens of other firms are trying to find a way to capitalize on the coming revolutionary change in how we pay for products and services that is made possible by advances in mobile tech.

For now, I’m be contend to order my drinks and pay for it through my iPhone app at Starbucks. Let’s hope soon, I’ll be able to walk into a supermarket, mall, or anywhere else that takes all the major credit cards will also take payment from my iPhone.

More at Starbucks, ReadWriteWeb.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Are the Days of Unlimited Wireless Internet Over?

Those of us who are fortunately enough to have relatively unlimited wireless Internet, and I say relative because our definition of unlimited is not the same as those of wireless providers, we need to remember these days when we tell our grandchildren about them. Because like ATT, Verizon Wireless (VW) is looking to rid themselves of us freeloaders and institute a similar pricing and limitation on data like Ma Bell.

How will this play out?

More at Onxo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

iPad Not Cannibalizing Macs But How About PC?

I think not. Well, not likely. That's the answer I've got to the question to the title of this post. This subject came up in today's Apple earnings call when an analyst asked about what Apple think about potential cannibalization of the Macs by iPads in the future, since today's report showed no sign this is going on. But a statement by Apple's Tim Cook, COO, seems to have set off a storm in this regard.

"Our guts tell us that this market is very big...if it turns out that iPad cannibalizes PCs, that's fantastic for us because there is a lot of PCs to cannibalize..." was what he said. However, it was merely an off the cuff statement and nothing more.

But is the iPad really capable of cannibalizing PCs?

If There Is an LTE iPhone, This is How Apple Will Launch It

When Verizon Wireless launches its LTE network, far ahead of any plans ATT, Apple currently and only iPhone partner in the United States, has for its own 4G network. The question for iOS fans is will Apple be on the LTE network? Yes would be my answer. The next question is "when?".

This is how I think it will go down when Apple releases an iPhone for Verizon customers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Toy Story 3 Portrait Done On An iPad (Video)

I have an iPad. I also have many drawing apps including the wonderful app, Brushes. Alas, I don't have the talent for what you're about to see next: A drawing, portrait if you will, of the gang from Toy Story 3 done entirely on an iPad and Brushes for the iPad.

It is done by artist, Kyle Lambert. I don't know how it took him but he's definitely got the mojo for this kind of stuff. Gotta see the video for yourself. It's just amazing!

Now, that you've seen it, e-mail or leave comments if you've got your own work created on the iPad you like to sure with the rest of us.

More at Pixar Blog, Kyle Lambert

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Comment on iPhone 4 Antenna Issues

As an Apple fan, I should be coming to Apple’s defense about this whole antenna thing especially after Consumer Report said they can’t recommend the best phone on the market to you, the consumer.

Now, the best phone part isn’t my conclusion. It’s Consumer Report’s conclusion. The issue they have is the alleged design flaw of the antenna. Again, it’s their word that the iPhone 4 is the best phone on the market.

I only want to say that personally, I haven’t been able to duplicate what CR and other blogs are talking about. One, it’s probably because ATT is so crappy in my area but I have gone to other places where ATT’s coverage is pretty good and even there I had no issue with the “grip of death” phenomenon.

However, Apple did issue an confusing statement of how they calculate signals and I’ll leave the details to those who know more what they are talking about. Personally, I am waiting to see just how Apple plan to patch up the signal issue.

There is obviously a hardware issue that Apple may or may not make go away with a software patch.

I think this is why Apple hasn’t said anything about giving out free bumpers that to those who have experienced the “grip of death” when they hold the iPhone with their left hands. Perhaps, Apple has found a software solution to their hardware problem.

Only time will tell. I do know this though. The iPhone 4 is pretty much sold out everywhere. I’m still trying to get another for my family and I’m simply having to wait through the crazy demands.

So for now, I’ll hold judgment until we get something official from Apple. However, I do agree with Consumer Report on this. The iPhone 4 is a pretty damn good phone.

And yes, this will blow over in a few weeks. So moving along, people, nothing to see here.

Kids and the iPad

Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time with my nephews. As always, it's a memorable experience and I am reminded that I am not made of parental material. Visiting them I brought my iPad. And to entertain (distact) the babies, I made sure to load up on a wide range of apps for their enjoyment.

A few observations. First, the 3.5 year old is already pretty good at navigation around the iPad. I've heard stories about how even one year olds know how to use the iPad. Well, kids like buttons and the iPad is pretty much devoid of them. But the multi-touch feature is excellent for just this purpose. My nephew loves the app Drawing Pad. There are an assortment of drawing tools and cut-outs that he can pick and display on screen. And to be honestly, it's a lot less messy as well.

Another thing I like about the iPad is that it isn't a television. There are interactive and educational values if parental or an adult supervision is involved. Sure, I could have just put on the Netflix app and let Blues Clue do all the teaching but that isn't any different from just plotting the child in front of a TV. The Toy Story app offers more than just the app reading to the child. There are games and songs that the child can pick from that adds more value than just watching the movie on TV. And yes, if either of you are tired, the iPad does play video as well.

Former First Lady, former Senator from NY, and current Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child. She should have also added that it needs to be a very patient village. My nephew wants instant gratification and he can get very impatient. The 9 month old baby as well. With the baby, we go through some animal sounds and he loves playing with the virtual fish in the pond apps. The old one is beginning to appreciate games but I've limited him to what he can or cannot play. The key is to make sure the apps are not too overtly complicated to understand.

But You Want To Protect iPad. Kids are rough. The iPad can take it to a certain extent of abuse. I've got the sleeve that I bought from Apple but boy, there's is something about pounding on things that kids love. Drops haven't been an issue as I make damn sure the iPad is't be tossed around the kids do with their toys. The iPad is my toy. I'm sharing with them. And I take it away when things get too rough. So be ware of handling.

Over all, the iPad with the right apps, adult supervision and the right attitude, and protection can offer a lot of entertainment and educational values for children whether it's watching a video, learning the alphabet, or drawing.

More than that, I also see the value in schools providing iPads or tablets like it that can make learning less of a chore and more part of children's lives. Believe me, kids today are growing up in a mobile age where they will not know a world without wireless Internet, iPhones, and iPads. So might as well make the most of people and make sure these digital tools play a productive part of their lives.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

iPhone 4: Why Glass For the Back? How About Multi-Touch From The Back One Day?

Many bloggers and reviewers are wondering why Apple chose to use glass for the back of the iPhone 4 instead of plastic or metal? After all, the iPhones of previous generations from the 2G to the 3GS were all doing fine with plastic backs.

I think there's more to it than just aesthetic. While hold the iPhone 4 this week during typing and gaming sessions, my fingers were absently gliding over the smooth glass back. My first thought was that the iPhone 4 was sturdy and the industrial look was a good change from the previous physical forms.

Friday, July 9, 2010

No More iPhone 4 Envy, But May Suffer From Withdrawal

I have had a chance to play with the new iPhone 4 for a week now. And while all the thousands of posts and news articles singing its praises and condemning it for the antenna problems were all compressed into a matter of a week or so, it does feel like it’s been out for a long time already.

While I’m ready to move on to other Apple products, I can’t help but feel sad that I’m going to have to give it up today. See, I was testing out the iPhone for a week until I give it to my aunt. It’s actually a gift from my cousin. I suppose in the end, he felt the gift basket of wine and treats from Costco wasn’t enough to compensate his parents for standing in line for 9 hours to get his reserved iPhone for him (my cousin had to go out of the country).

I don’t want to go into a full on review here. I just want to note a couple of things.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

iAds: Big For One Developer And May Get Bigger

One developer of an LED flashlight app has hit it big on day one with almost $1400 in revenue generated from iAds. Suffice to say, he's pretty happy. And though the jury is still out on iAds, well, we're looking at the tip of the iceberg in this mobile ad scheme that Apple has going on here.

Here's a sample iAd that is currently running with Nissan's Leaf, its new awesome 100 miles per charge electric vehicle.

So far, click through is 5 times higher with iAd than with Admob for one developer.  Guess who's app and Web developers are gonna want to go with if this keeps up?

More at 9-to-5 Mac.

Simple Simulation Games For Mobile Isn't Half Bad

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of days play “We Rule” on the iPad and the iPhone. On the G1, I am playing another one of these games where you have to nurture and build your little domain. It’s called Pocket Empires. I am still trying to figure out the right strategy for it.

In my attempts to cheat, I found out that you need a live 3G or Wi-Fi connection to the game servers to fully load. Heck, I even thought I could just tweak the time on my iPhone and it’ll speed up the growth and gathering of my farms. No go.

Still, there are two elements these these games. One, you need to stay connected and two, the games almost require constant supervision depending on what’s going on in the game.

But the fun thing about these games is that it doesn’t require so much thinking that it consumes your time while at the same time, it offers a bit of depth in that you can choose what to do with your credits and what to grow or buy. And unlike some of the more brain-dead games like Mob War on Facebook, well-designed games like We Rule, Farmville, or Pocket Empires doesn’t get too old.

These games basically reminds me of the first Sim City on the Mac.

Missing Element. There is a third element that I find generally lacking in these games, including Farmville and that is the social element that is all the rage at the moment. Right now, We Rule has virtually no social features beyond buddying up with your friends. You can’t leave them messages or anything like that.

Farmville is worse because it relies on Facebook.

I play Chess With Friends and Words with Friends on the iOS platform and you can be in constant contact with the people you play games with.

So, for mobile warriors looking to expand beyond traditional gaming or puzzle games, I encourage giving one of these “build your own empire/farm” (simulation) games a try. I wasn’t for these types of games in the beginning and I might tire of them eventually. Nevertheless, they offer a window into the mobile life that many kids play when they should be doing homework or office drones who want something more than pushing papers or answering e-mails.

I think it’s better than those fish tank games.

I’m going to provide updates on my blogs regarding my builds as well as provide a more story telling element. I think that’s what these games are capable of providing us. Now, I’ve been informed I need to harvest my strawberries so I can build my villagers a new bench.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Generation Will Grow Up Without the iPod But It's Not A Bad Thing

Yesterday, I was reading about the declining revenue source the iPod line would be for Apple. And it's likely going to be the case with each passing year. And with each passing year, uni-purpose devices like the iPod and GPS will cease to exist, giving way to more useful and powerful devices like the iPhone.

At the same time, game consoles like the DS will also be discontinued or it will evolve into something more like the iPod Touch. This isn't a pro-Apple post but rather what I see as a reflection of how consumer electronic devices are changing to adapt to the mobile needs of the users.

When I go out, I still see kids holding tightly in their hands their DS or iPod but I also see a lot more now with an iPod Touch. I also see older kids with mobile devices than just a MP3 player that they are constantly texting with.

In a case, I envy this generation and the next ones going forward given the amount of mobile technologies that is available to them, provided these devices are used constructively.

Growing up, I was greatly influenced by anime. And not just anime. Remember Inspector Gadget's niece, Penny, with her "Computer Book" and her high-tech watch. And any sci-fi books and shows also featured devices that I could only dream up growing up.

Now, today's kids have it all. Not quite the level of Penny's Computer Book but still very impressive. With my G1, iPhone, and iPad, I've been able to accomplish tasks that I ordinarily need to be tethered to a laptop but no more.

And these kids are likely to be able to do more in the coming years with their mobile devices other than to play games, listen to music, or play games.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Meet "WhiteD00r": iOS 3 With iOS 4 Features For 2G (Original) iPhone

Got an original iPhone that you're not willing to give up yet or got it as a hand-me-down but you still want the multitasking and folders features of the iOS 4? Yesterday, I would have said "too bad" but today, if you're like me with an original 2G iPhone, we might be in luck.

Meet Whited00r. The creators of Whited00r are trying to use the previous iOS 3.13 to create a modify iOS with many of the features iPhone users hsve only received from Apple with this year's iOS. However, if you try to upgrade your original iPhone or the first generation iPod Touch, you were met with a message telling you that your hardware is past its prime.

Personally, I think the 2G iPhone is a fantastic piece of engineering and I can get another year out of it or at least until Apple spreads the iPhone love to another wireless network other than AT&T.

What I haven't been able to find out is if these iOS 4 features are taken from the latest iOS and added to the iOS 3 or whether they are built natively.

Right now, Whited00r has three versions: iPod Touch G1, iPhone 2G Lite, and iPhone 2G. The Lite version is missing character count and multitasking. The Folders feature is still missing and will be worked on for a future update. Interestingly, video recording will also be a part of a future update.

Personally, I really can go for Folders over anything else from iOS 4. And perhaps, once this has been sorted out for iPhone 2G, maybe the Whited00r creators can bring multiple-tasking to 3G users.

There are stable versions now if you want to try it out. My iPhone 2G is out on loan to a friend so I won't know yet if Whited00r delivers as promised. Love to know your opinions if you decide to have a go at this.

More info at Emoiz and, of course, Whited00r.

-- Post From My iPad

MacBook Air M2 - I Love It And Any Laptop You Get Will Always Be Right For the Time

The 2016 MacBook sitting off to the side still has some value as I gleefully starting using my MacBook Air M2 that I got for a decent price ...