Friday, September 30, 2011

A Great Case For the Amazon Prison

Just like many folks are locked into Apple's walled garden, I reckon many people, especially Kindle users will actively become a part of the Amazon prison.

And the term "Amazon prison" is not my own but hose of Shelley Palmer, blogger.  And he makes a great case for it.  And while the term "walled garden" being applied to Apple's ecosystem sounds better, we have to wonder if they are both the same.

Amazon's contents are no necessarily exclusive to Kindle hardware.  However, Apple's contents, music and video, can only be used with iOS and OS X hardware, basically Apple gears.  What's interesting is that you can go arguments for and against going with Apple or Amazon.

Palmer did a good job arguing for Amazon.  It's a good read.  At the same time, he's talking with respects to content, not hardware.  And when you bring in the hardware equation, Apple and other hardware makers also have a great argument to make.

So, what matters to you more?  The content or the hardware?

Tablet: People Are Starting to Get It But It Could Be Too Late for Everyone (Except Apple And Amazon)

Here’s a quick thought from all the information we’ve gathered since the launch of the iPad 2 to this week’s unveiling of the Kindle Fire.  People are finally getting it.  What?

You cannot just manufacturer and sell a tablet and think that people will fall in line.  One might have thought that the success of the iPad 2 and failure of the Xoom to be apparently.  One might have thought HP killing off Touchpad a little over a month after its release would be lesson enough.  One might have thought RIM’s drumming in the market and the shipping (not sales) figure of the Playbook would be enough to teach us about the tablet market and mobile computing.

It has taken Amazon’s Kindle Fire with its low low $199 price and all the contents its bring to bear for people to start realizing where the future of mobile computing and entertainment is headed.

People are just starting to realize specs alone are not enough.  Dazzling demos are good for the blogs but doesn’t jive with Main Street mobile warriors.  People are just beginning to realize but it could be too late for everyone else.

After all, this is a process.  It’s taken Apple over a decade and they’re still working on it. It has taken Amazon five years or so starting Kindle and its still got a long but promising road ahead.

This idea that you have to create an ecosystem is beginning to sync in.  Does Google still have a shot?  Can Microsoft create a coherent solution with all its incompatible parts?  What about everyone else, HTC, LG, Sony, and Samsung?  Where does this leave Nintendo?

Is it already be too late?  Let's examine this over the weekend.

Sprint Could Position Its iPhone to Steal Users From Rivals - Wireless Data And Fact It's Not AT&T

This morning, I read a post how Sprint could have issues streaming users from its other three major US carriers.  Stealing from T-Mobile users will be like taking candy away from a baby.  But it will be tougher to do the same to AT&T and Verizon but not impossible.

First, there is no LTE iPhone yet and so no one can claim that advantage.  And everyone is has a 4G network, supposedly.  But it's not true.  AT&T and T-Mobile's 4G are nothing but pure marketing.  

Second, Sprint is the last major carriers to offer true unlimited wireless data plan.  I think that alone could be a major selling point.  It's one with me when I decided to go with Verizon for my iPhone upgrade.  More AT&T users would have made that jump had they not already been locked away by two-year sentences.  

GottaBeMobile conducted a survey that showed a majority of users who wants an iPhone already has a Sprint contract.  Does it means that those who don't have a Sprint contract do not want an iPhone?  It's really important to know just who they are surveying.  Also, there are more than a 1 million T-Mobile users with the iPhone.  They are more rip than at any other time to want to get out.  

With Sprint and Verizon added as an iPhone carriers, they've got two additional choicea.  With Sprint added as as an iPhone carrier, they've got a carrier who still offers unlimited data access.

Source:  GottaBeMobile.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

iPhone Mock-Up - Again, Only A Mock Up

Let me be clear, these pics from that Macrumors linked to are only mock-ups.  I want to be very clear.

Still, they look nice and could give us an indication of where the next iPhone's design may be headed.  You might say to youself, "I've seen this before".  Probably.  It looks a lot like the iPod touch except thicker.

Notice it's only the same size as the other iPhones.  Perhaps they don't believe that a bigger screen is in the works.

It's something to look at.  I hae to say that I rather like the box.  Smaller and saves more space than the current box the iPhone 4 comes in.

Facebook May Be Cozying Up With Apple For iOS 5 Launch - Guess Who They're Targetting

Android fans, no fear here - HTML 5 works just as well on the iOS devices as they do on Android phones.  However, Techcrunch is reporting that Apple and Facebook may be presenting the new mobile HTML 5 platform that Facebook has been working on.  

What's interesting is that Apple and Facebook, one consumer tech giant and one privacy violating giant, are teaming up after a rumored fallout over Apple's failed Ping social network.  And they're working together because they feel they have to:  to go up against Google.  

Even if Facebook does eventually release an app for the iPad, I reckon we'll see one for Android as well soon after.  And this HTML 5 platform should be pretty viable on most mobile platforms, especially iOS 5 and Android since they both use Webkit as the basis for their browsers.

Source:  Techcrunch.

Brazil's iPad Plant Probably Not Going To Take Off

I'm gonna call this one out now.  Brazil will not be making one single iPad this year.  

High taxes, lack of skilled workers, and stagnation is to blame.  Too bad.

Source:  Reuters.

Chat With Your iPhone: Any Reason Why It Won't Work With iPhone 4?

Is there any reason why the rumored voice chat feature in iOS 5 will only work with up the updated hardware, iPhone 5?  What about the iPad 2?  This is purely speculation on my part so take it as some pleasurable reading with your morning coffee and muffin before you dive into the day's work.

A couple of days ago, the Apple blog world flared up with word of a new feature called "Assistant" in iOS 5, a feature previously rumored about but never confirmed.  Assistant, is possibly an integration of Siri, an app that Apple bought more than a year ago, into the OS.  Siri is a voice command app that allows the users to search for results simply by speaking into it.

Tech Fatigue Or Good Enough

At times, I feel like it's time to appreciate just what we have already. I am not talking about life in general. While that applies, specifically, I mean tech. Coming from someone who is focused on tech, it sounds strange.

Not at all. I like that the arms race among mobile companies, hardware, software, and services, to continue at its current pace unabated, I merely meant that as individual users, we are allowed to slow down and focus on the more pressing mobile needs at hand without thinking the next Android or iPhone will so it better.

Sometimes, an app is an app no matter if it's running off a Blackberry that has a physical keyboard or via touch only. Sometimes, an older app works better without needing to be tinkered with.

And speaking of newer hardware, most of us would probably upgrade on an annual basis if not for for the financial consideration of being locked into multi-year contracts. Chances are, most mobile fans are not utilize the mobile devices to their fullest potentials. Consider just how the different apps have come out in the last year and whether you've fully embraced using them. For instance, have you integrated some of your social life with the apps - checking in, looking for deals, create a photostream of your time out with friends or vacation? And if so, what new features in new hardware help with that? Could it be done with mere software updates to the mobile OS?

And if not, why upgrade at all?

Or even if none of the above applies, why the impulse go upgrade? Better and bigger screens? Longer battery life is always a big deal to me, how about you? Or do you simply crave a faster device for gaming?

I think those of us who think, live, breath, and write about mobile can get carried away by the constant news and updates from the mobile world. It's what makes this biz and hobby so fun, intriguing, and exciting. Sometimes, it is okay to get off this train a bit and simple appreciate what we already have and make the most of it.

I know folks still on the original iPhone and the G1. I've seem old old Blackberries as well still in use. They know that mobile tech has vastly improved but their gears serve their current needs.

While there could be some fatigue involved for some mobile users, and that's just fine. Hang on to your current devices and ignore the requests to update the apps so you can give yourself a breather or if you simply like the way things are now.

And when you're ready to upgrade, there will always be a new phone or app just waiting for you.

- Posted using BlogPress

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

James Is So Fired! Tells Of His Work At Apple's Cafeteria

Meet James.  He works at Apple's Caffe Macs. Or did.  If not, he'll soon be unemployed.  Why?  Because he blogged about his work there.

I'm not so sure Apple chiefs are going to like this.  He talked about serving Steve Jobs soup and ice cream.  

Kidding aside, I hope he's not fired over this.  I don't think "James" is his real name but Apple security probably is on to him (or her). 

One interesting note:  The date is September 12th. Five weeks ago today, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple and turned over the keys to Tim Cook.  As of three weeks ago, Steve Jobs is still on Apple's campus working to bring us the next and greatest Apple products.

So, maybe Steve just wants to focus on the big pic thing and let others handle the day-to-day stuff.  We all know that Tim Cook has done a great job  And it's good to know that Steve is strong enough to be working on campus every day.

Source:  Huffington Post.

Does It Take A Steve Jobs To Lift a Company Or Change the Course Of An Industry?

Earlier, I had an e-mail conversation with Dave the Mobile Sage regarding today's Amazon entry into the tablet market with the Kindle Fire.  He mentioned that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is trying to be the next Steve Jobs.

I don't really see it but I do have to say that Amazon with its growing cloud empire is something that they got into before most others.  And most others, including Apple, are still trying to figure that part out.  

So, I ask this.  Does it really take someone like Steve Jobs to revolutionize an industry or change how we see or do things?  The one thing that sticks out for me is that Steve Jobs has failed before and learn from it.  Jeff Bezos started Amazon as a bookstore and grew from that.  

Many captains of industries have similar beginnings like Bezos but hardly any have had the experience that Steve Jobs did, revolutionizing an industry twice.  

And here's an interesting post I read.  Jerry Yang could be trying to reassert his control over Yahoo.  Could Yang, after starting up Yahoo successfully but failed as its CEO now learn enough to give the portal giant a second chance?  Does Yang have what it takes to make Yahoo relevant again?

Even if Bezos and Yang aren't Steve Jobs' in the making, does it matter?

Google Public Statements On Patent War Sound Those of 80s Central American Juntas Would Say

Google public statements on patent war sound those of 1980s Central American juntas used to say.  First, I'm a Google fan but I also recognize the need to protect and respect intellectual properties as the laws now prescribe, whether I agree with them or not.

Line And Wait for iPhone 5 Could Be Longer - 1/4 of Android Users Over 1/2 of Blackberry Users To Go iOS

If even half the survey of this report from InMobi is true, those of us looking for an iPhone update this fall and winter could be facing long lines and shortages.

Amazon's Kindle Tablet Commercial

Wow...Apple's iPad is about to get serious competition when the 10" version of this comes out.  The 7" Amazon Silk will not be a threat since it is a 7" tablet.

Having said that, the pages do look kinda cramp.  While not as good as the iPad interface probably because of the 10" display over this 7" Kindle display, the Kindle store is better looking than the 3.5" rendition on the iBookstore and iTunes store.

I know it's not comparing tablet to tablet screen size but it is something to work off of.  I've always maintained that Apple could well release a bigger screened iPod touch.  A $300 6" touch with 8 GB of storage would go a long way in putting the heat back on Amazon, Apple.

Think about it.

Kindle Tablet: $200 - Great For Users, Ouch For Competitors

The new Kindle tablet will go on sale on November 15th for $199.  This is going to be an awesome device for consumers.

Quick thoughts:  This is going to hurt a lot of tablet makers.  Now, no one thought this was going to cost $200. $250 To $300 but not $200.  It's going to kill off a lot of tablet makers.

Second, the final battle between Amazon and Apple won't happen until Amazon unveils its 10" tablet.  I wonder if Amazon will price that down to $250.

Here's a video Amazon released for the Kindle Silk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

App That Puts Someone's Face On Yours In Real Time

Apple! I want this software/feature in my next iMovie or Photobooth update!

Popular Science.

Amazon's First Tablet Maybe Be Subpar But It's Still Going to Succeed

This gdgt post really gave it to the Fire, Amazon's first tablet that will be introduced less than 24 hours from now.  You can read the unsubstantiated details about just how Amazon has to make some compromises and how it's not quite ready.

Even if this first Amazon tablet is "poor" and Playbook-like, I can't see how that's a bad thing?  Playbook largely failed because, well, it's Playbook.  

I think Amazon's Android 2.1 rendition should be better than anything that Samsung and others who aren't using Honeycomb have come up with.  I think Amazon along with Barnes and Noble will both outsell the rest of the traditional Android guys.

Furthermore, everyone know that the Fire will be Amazon's first foray into tablet market.  So, we're not exactly expecting Amazon to  hit it out of the market.  

For Amazon, it's about getting on base.

And for mobile warriors, regardless of which camp you're with, competition is good.  Personally, if Amazon does offer Prime users special deals via the Kindle, I hope it is extended to all Kindle users, even those not on the Fire.

Next iPhone Should Be Called the "iPhone"

Apple should just call the next iPhone the "iPhone".  

After all, Apple isn't calling this year's Macbook Air the "Macbook Air 3", are they?  The iPod touch is still the "iPod touch".  

Even if Apple does decide to give the iPhone a progressive numbering scheme with each passing year, they have to realize that at some point, it would sounds kinda lame.  Apple isn't about lame.

I'm not going out on a limb here.  Apple has indicated that it wants to focus on what the experience, not how many cores or how fast the iPhone is.  And calling the next iPhone simply the "iPHone" would do that.  

Apple Confirms October 4th Press Event

Apple has confirmed it will hold an October 4th press event.  Nothing more to say beyond that.

Source:  CNN.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Social: Facebook To Launch iPad App At iPhone 5 Event (What the...?) (Mashable)

According to Mashable, Facebook will finally unveil its iPad app.  Honestly, I don't see the point.  

Meh...however, we have to wonder if there will be more from Facebook as there have been chatter about Facebook trying to develop their own HTML 5 platform based on the browser experience.  And the thing is that while Apple and Facebook may have had some strained relationship, their animosity towards Google might make the two work out their differences and direct their attention towards Mountainview.

So, the rumor goes that Apple helped Facebook with this HTML 5 platform, that has been code-named Spartan.  

Whether we'll see something come ouf that is more important than a Facebook iPad app.

Kindle Tablet To Be Called "Fire" with Pretty Nice Specs and Possibly $300

Turns out that the Kindle tablet from Amazon that will be introduced this fall is called the "Fire".  Not sure why they settled on that name.  And it could be the iPad competitor that folks outside of Steve Jobs' reality distortion field are hoping for

However, even for most folks outside of this RDF, most people are still to pick up the iPad 2 as their default tablet.

What's interesting about Amazon's in an unique position to challenge Apple:  it has its own music, video, and ebook store, something that Google and its Android allies do not have.  It's something that HP and RIM do not have.

Also, from Techcrunch, the price is figured to be $300, which is very decent considering the specs that they've listed.  

Source: Techcrunch.

About Apple's Siri-Like Voice Capability, Android Has It A While Back, Nothing New?

I doubt Android fans in general pay much attention to the daily in-and-outs about what's going on with Apple.  And today's talk about Apple finally giving iOS 5 the ability to take voice input for writing e-mails, setting up events, etc have long been a staple of the Android platform.  So, what's the big deal?

First and foremost, I'm a mobile fan.  I love that competition is giving mobile warriors what they want, more often, and better.  However, it just seems like today's voice-command feature, being called Assistant, is just a catch-up by Apple.

Or is it?  

I'm sure Apple knows that Android users have been able to use their mobile devices to speak into them and perform mobile tasks.  Unforunately, not many folks use it as much as they should.  Now, regardless of which camp you fall under, Apple has have a history of making it seems like they created something brand new when, in fact, nothing is further from the truth.

However, Apple has a way of making it so that new features "they did not invent" are easier to use and more appealing.  I figure that is what we might possibly see in the next iOS 5 if today's chatters are right.

Still, competition, competition, competition.  Android 4 is due up a couple of weeks  I'm pretty sure Google has a few cool features that will blow our minds.

The only difference is that Apple's iOS 5 roll out to older devices will happen the same week as the iPhone hardware while Android fans will have to wait until the device makers and carriers make the update available which could take weeks if not months.

Could Apple’s New Voice-Assisted Feature Be More Extensive Than Blog Sites Are Saying?

Today, there is a lot of chatter about Apple's Siri-integrated voice assisted feature, rightfully called "Assistant"  One of the most mind boggling thing about this feature is that is may require that users upgrade to the iPhone that should be out in a couple of weeks.

The reason for the upgrade is that the new iPhone will have an updated CPU as well as additional memory.  I find that part of the report making very sense.  Here's why

The iPod touch traditionally follow the iPhone update a few months later.  And the main difference between the iPhone and the touch is that the touch has a lower resolution camera and less memory, half that of the iPhone.  However, the two devices share the same CPU.

If this pattern follows, that means the next iPod touch will have the same A5 CPU, currently powering the iPad 2, but the iPhone will have 1 GB of RAM as reported but the touch will have 512 MB.  Having said that, does that mean the freshly upgraded iPod touch will not be able to enjoy all the new features in iOS 5 such as Assistant?

Obviously not.  So, I find it suspect that the new iPhone will be the only iOS device out there come October that can enjoy the new Assistant feature.  And yes, it will be the only device because even the iPad 2 has only 512 MB of RAM.

Now, let's chat about the specific need for the A5 chip in order.  Why?  Siri, as well as Dragon Go, works just fine for the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4.  It also works pretty well on the current gen iPod touch.  And only the iPhone 4 and the touch have to the A4 chip.  So, why would Apple suddenly require an A5 ship, again the same chip that powers the iPad 2?

Two possibilities. One, this is an attempt by Apple to force an upgrade to the new hardware.  If true, this isn't the first time but definitely doesn't make it less crummy.  

Second, the Assistant feature is far more extensive that even what the blogs are reporting.  Remember in the past, I wanted the Enterprise computer like ability to hold a conversation with?  Well, 9to5Mac reported this but that still seems like a rudimentary feature that is already available on the Android platform.

So, perhaps, Assistant is much more advanced than anyone realizes.  Much much more.

Source:  9to5Mac.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Amazon Could Be Offering Prime Members eBook Loans

Dave the Mobile Sage informed me that Amazon, probably next week at their Kindle tablet event (9/28), may unveil a new service for Prime members, an ebook loaning program like what Netflix offers for video.

There is the link from eBook Reader blog.

Here's my initial thought on this in my email to the Sage:

I like it better if they offer similar services like Music and books I like to buy and keep, not borrow.

However, media like video (movies) I don't mind renting.

But I keep an open mind for now. I'd like Prime services includes videos, books, and music. Then it would be a bad deal.

To succeed, they need to offer this to all Prime users, not just those who buy Kindle hardware. I suppose they'll offer it only to Kindle hardware users first and expanded them to others later.


That much said, how will Apple, Google, and Microsoft respond. This is an interesting study and ripe for speculation.

Any ideas?

- Posted using BlogPress

Friday, September 23, 2011

Amazon Will Unveil Kindle Tablet On September 28th

It looks like Amazon will be unveiling its Kindle tablet on September 28th in a media event at 7 am PST or 10 am EST.

This could be the Nook competitor that everyone's been talking about.  Also, some might way, the iPad killer as well.  The thing Amazon does have going for it is that it has a pretty massive ecosystem like Apple's.

It'll be interesting to see what this new 7" tablet can do and how Amazon plan on enticing us to pick one up.  Also, we know that the Amazon tablet will run a variant of the Android OS - it has already launched its own app store.

More than anything, Amazon, like Barnes and Noble with its Nook, could be more successful than the likes of Samsung, HTC, and others in the tablet market because of their radically different business model.  While these tech giants are competing with Apple's iPad - making money through selling hardware, Amazon and Barnes and Noble are offering more simple devices to help them sell digital contents.

And the advantage will go to Amazon over Barnes and Noble in that regard.

We'll just have to see what we get and how Apple and Barnes and Noble will respond.  Apple is widely expected to have an event the week of October 3rd to unveil its next generation iPhone and iPod touch.  I've always suspected that Apple could unveil a bigger sized iPod touch.  No word from Barnes and Noble on its Nook Color upgrade plans.

Source: 9to5Mac.

Running Update On Dish Network Block Buster's Netflix Killer Service

I'm gonna provide you with an update as I get them on Blockbuster's Netflix killer.  Hope it's not a dud.

The media event is on going now.  There's chatter that this service might be for Dish customers only.  In which case, this update will end pretty abruptly.
  • So far, a whole lot of thing....
  • New service called Blockbuster Movie Pass - lots of movies, games, and streaming video - no word on cost or who can get access to it. Sounds like it's not for everyone.
  • Another package called America's Top 200 - more content but so far nothing Netflix needs to worry about.  Sorry, looks lame so far. No wonder Netflix's stock is up.
  • Waiting to see if this service will be available to non-Dish customers but not hopeful.
  • So far, it's an add-on to existing services - unfortunately, most of us have already cut the cord and this isn't going to stem the tide of people who wants to cancel their paid TV services because they would be paying for something they already have as Dish customers in the first place.
  • This should be free to customers.  Lame.
  • I think Dish did Netflix a favor today - after looking at their deal, people will probably go "Netflix is an ass but it is still an option for cord-cutters".
Wow!  Q&A session revealed plan for non-Dish subscribers.  Saving details for that announcement. Could this be about Google TV?  Maybe With Apple or Microsoft?!

Apple Friendly Blogs Panicking Over Samsung's Use of FRAND Patents

Samsung's use of its FRAND patents against Apple has Apple friendly blog sites in a panic it seems.  Or maybe I'm the one who should panic  Or be elated that Samsung is fight back.  Either way, it doesn't matter much.  Again, Samsung is using what's called FRAND patents 

FRAND stands for "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FOSS Patents).  What set off this new round of patent blog posts is a couple of posts from a Korean newspaper and Reuters that Samsung will become more aggressive in its litigation against Apple. 

As best as I can tell, Samsung is using patents that are "essential to the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard ('UMTS')" and has to offer Apple equitable licensing terms.  This is similar to the suit between Apple and Nokia.  And that was settle with money that Apple had previous set aside.

In the latest move by Samsung, it filed a suit in Netherlands seeking injunctions against Apple's devices.  However, the court there is going to go over the FRAND issues before moving forward.  (Macworld)

So, the world will go on, Apple will pay Samsung money due to FRAND patents that it has probably set aside and hopefully, Apple will stop suing over designs.

So, there's nothing to worry about, for Android or iPhone fans.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Leads In Consumer Satisfaction And Stickiness By Playing With Different Rules (And Probably A Different Game Altogether)

A couple of interesting data shows just where Apple’s iOS devices are headed – up, up, and up.  One of the things you have keep in mind is that Apple’s iOS ecosystem is like no other.  It’s closed without a doubt.  It has its limitations, obviously.  And yet, when it comes to satisfaction and retention, Apple literally has no peer.

Here are some stats that market share does not say.

Google's Webapp Now Support Multiple Accounts

Google Webapp now support multiple accounts.  A step closer to mobile nirvana if you ask me.

I have four different Google accounts.  A personal one, a work one, another one for work, and a public one which gets bombarded with spam.  And from time to time, I have to access them and I hate having to sign out of one account, sign into another, and then, if needed, sign out again so I can sign back into another.

I just tried it but it has not shown up on my browser yet.  Well, I did some checking.  You'll have to go to settings and enable multiple accounts use.  After that, it should be just fine.

The account that you sign in first will be your default account.  So, your Google+ or Reader will be directed to your default account.

Also, you can set up a separate URL for each account for easy access.  On the iPhone, you can set up an icon to your home screen for easy access.  Brilliant if you ask me.

Source:  TUAWGoogle.

Apple Should Give Each Apple Employee An iPad

Apple is trying out a program that would allow employees to take home an iPad for a week so they can try it out in a setting that most iPad owners are in and prospective buyers would be in.  It's an interesting idea.  But I think Apple should go a step further.

Back in 2007, Apple gave each employee an iPhone.  It was a gesture that has yet to be repeated since.

Perhaps, Apple should give each employee an iPad, stock level permitting.  Obviously.  Maybe in January or February when demand tapers off just after the Christmas rush and anticipation of the iPad 3.

I have been to the Apple store many times in the last year.  And at not time have the stores that I've been to have Apple employees just standing around waiting for customers.  The customers were stacked shoulder to shoulder, hardly enough time for a breather.

They've worked hard to make Apple's retail a success.  I'm sure the rest of the Apple employees, in corporate and satellite offices around the world also worked really hard to help Apple become the largest company by market cap.

Certainly, now more than ever, Apple can afford to be a little more generous with its $80 billion in cash.  Supposedly, when Steve Jobs gave Apple employees iPhones, it only cost $12 million.

Source:  TIPB.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wild Speculation But Fun Read: We Might Get Just the iPhone 4S This Fall But Could We Get Another Update In Spring And Next Fall Again?

With all the talk today about how Apple will release only one new model of the iPhone in a couple of weeks, the iPhone 4S, let me share with you a crazy scenario that just might put things over the top for Apple in the next 12 months.

Check this out.  Multiple iPhone releases in the next 12 months.

Would You Be Disappointed In "Just" the iPhone 4S?

So, let’s supposed if the iPhone coming out next month isn’t the iPhone 5 with a redesigned case but looks just like the iPhone 4 and may be dubbed the 4S, would you still be inclined to upgrade?

Would you be disappointed it’s an upgraded iPhone in the same iPhone 4 body?

I think it would be a disappointment to the current iPhone 4 users but not to those are new to scene, and there will still be millions upon millions who would want it.  There are people who are still on the original iPhone with T-Mobile who have had it with T-Mobile’s inability to secure the premier mobile device.

There are also people on the 3G or the 3GS they bought a couple of years back.

Tons of pinned up demands at Sprint and Verizon probably will get the iPhone flood flowing as well.

Still, Apple’s next iPhone, whatever it is, will face it’s most stiff competition ever.  Galaxy S II, Nexus Prime, and a recharged Windows Phone OS.

A redesigned iPhone 5 that many online is depicting as an iPod touch-like form factor would go a long way fighting off the competition, even kill some of it right out of the gate.  However, supposed we get a 4” screen, A5 chip, better camera, and bigger battery in the iPhone 4S, I’m sure it is more than enough to put it over the top.

And that wouldn’t be all there is to the next iPhone, or any iPhone for that matter.  The iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are not just about the hardware. It’s also about the operating sytem, iOS 5, and the whole ecosystem that is still unmatched.

To answer your question, no, I would not be disappointed.  I’m still on the fence about upgrading my six month old iPhone 4 (which I an always pass along to a family member).

Can Apple Capture 20-30% of the PC Market? What Will That Landscape Look Like?

Apple's Mac sales have been on a tear in the last few years.  It's been beating PC sales and the halo effect from the iPod has been expanded by the iOS devices.  And according to iSuppli, Apple is within striking distance of being in the top five global PC makers.

By that, it means number 5.  However, can Apple go even further?  Perhaps capture 20 or even 30% of the global PC market?  

I really don't want to think that far ahead.  that's probably a decade or so away if that happens.  But if you include the iPad, Apple is already the largest PC maker in the world.  And Mac sales are just beginning to take hold in Asia.  

Furthermore, no longer is Apple's Macs considered expensive.  While you can buy a $400 or $500 Windows laptop, they don't give you the milage like a Macbook would.  Furthermore, the competition seems to be at the Macbook Air class with Intel pushing its ultrabook lines.

However, PC makers are having trouble matching Apple's $1000 entry point.  Most ultrabooks will need to use slower chips, cheaper materials and parts just to get to $1000.  Otherwise, they will have to cost on average $500 more than the Air.

And Apple could be getting unexpected help from one corner of the PC market:  Microsoft.  It just unveiled Windows 8 that won't be out until 2012, a year from now.  However, Windows 8 will be fragmented between different types of chips including AMD, Intel and Nvidia.  And the softwares may have cross-chip support.  It means that if you buy an app to run on an Intel PC, it most likely will not work in one running on Nvidia's chip.

For consistency, folks may look to Apple's Mac.  

Apple isn't out of the PC market just yet even if it has declared us in the post-PC market.  There are billions more to be made still and Apple's PC growth is capture a lot of that profit.

Source:  gigaom.

Apple's Domination at Airport WiFi Shows Affluent Mobile Warriors Picking Up iOS Devices

Apple's mobile gears controls a dominating share of devices that logs into hotspots at airports.  According to Boingo, iOS devices control more than 83% of devices that uses their network.

The closest competitor is the Android at 11.5%.  Together, it was beaten even by the iPod touch with 17.5%.  

Furthermore, the iPad is gaining fast with inflight WiFi connections.  Together, Apple controls more than 50% of airplane WiFi networks if you include Macbooks.  PC has 40%.  

The plans aren't terrible expensive if you're an exec or with money but with free WiFi now pretty much everywhere, even Del Taco I just found out, you have to be someone who travels much and has serious money.  Business type folks, ya know?  

I wonder if this will go further with Apple releasing a new iPhone in a matter of weeks.

Source: TUAW.

UltraViolet, A New Standard For Movie/TV Distribution Could Get Walmart's Support; Hope Mobile Support Comes Sooner Rather Than Later

According to CNet, Walmart will be support UltraViolet.  What is UV?

Ultraviolet is a new video standard that hopes to unlock video distribution for consumers.  Sounds friendly? So far.  The idea is that if you use a certain provider and you bought movies and TV from it but decides to change to another provider, you can take those rights with you.  

It'll be a could-based service.  Each account can have six users and up to 12 devices that can view it. 

This service has a a lot of support.  However, a few holdouts like Apple are not onboard.  And that's just what this service is meant to do - break down walls like this.

There is no mention of Google but I can't see Google not be behind this.

Walmart's support is just icing on the cake and we should see this service in 2012.  I'm not optimistic of the late 2011 roll out.  Just a realist.  

I'm sure this is the first time a lot of you are just hearing this.  I know, they've not done a great job advertising it.  And so far, it seems pretty much what I would want.  iTunes is easy to get video but with UV, it could be even easier.

Here's the Wiki page for the UV system and its homepage.

Source:  CNet.

Fall Mobile Fight: Galaxy S II and iPhone To Fight It Out Early October

Galaxy S II versus the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4S, depending on who you believe) this October.  Slugfest to be free for all to see.  AT&T announced their version of the Galaxy S II to go on sale October 2nd for $199 with a two year contract.

Just a week or so later, Apple should unleash its heavy weight, the iPhone 5.  

Never has two such flagship devices been released so closely to each other.  Okay, I have to correct myself.  The Pre launch versus the iPhone 3GS was similar and we know who won that battle.

But this time, it's Android versus iPhone.  Obviously, the Android camp is looking to bloody Apple a bit.  Despite Android owning close to 50% of the market share, it's respect in the media is sub par compared to what the iPhone has received.  

On top of that, the Galaxy S II should also be slugging it out on the Sprint network with the iPhone has well.

Only Verizon will not be carrying the Galaxy S II but it does have the Bionic.  T-Mobile will not be carry the iPhone.  

But we're not done.  Later, the Nexus Prime should enter the ring.  This is the biggest threat the iPhone has never faced in such a short time.  Maybe this tag team could be just the thing to put Apple down?

We'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Android Guys.

HP Board Ousted Apotheker

Meg Whitman is in as interim CEO as HP just ousted Apotheker!

Wow...and I thought this was going to be a boring day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

iPad with 3G Just Beginning To Sell In China

Apple has been selling the WiFi-only iPad in China for a few months now and it looks like the 3G version is joining the rest of the Apple gears.  All along, I had expected both versions were already being sold.

I don't know how popular the 3G will be or if people in China feel the need to be connected to the Internet at all times.  Still, this is a good thing for Apple.  And I do expect the affluent in China to go with the 3G - after all, if you can afford an iPad in China, you can afford to be paying for the 3G mobile plan.

Before Apple started selling the iPad in China, the black market there was thriving with US versions.  Models were going for twice the US retail prices.

China is a very important market for Apple and in the future, I think it's very likely that the window between US and Chinese launches will narrow.

Source:  The Mac Observer.

On Behalf of iPad Owners, Apple Donated Their iPads To Teachers

First generation iPad owners who upgraded their devices to the iPad 2 were able to donated them to teachers. It's possible that Apple donated up to 9,000 iPads.

If you're reading this blog, chances are that you've already got an iOS device, maybe even an iPad.  So, you  know just how powerful these tablets can be in the right hands.

I think Apple should make it its mission to get an iPad into the hands of every single teacher who wants one.

Source:  Macdailynews.

T-Mobile Will Not Get the iPhone This Year, Bloodbath A Coming

It's almost official.  T-Mobile will not be getting the iPhone 5 this year.  This is very sad news, if I were still a T-Mobile customer, which I am no as of last week.  I've switched my family over.  I have had a long history with T-Mobile and I like their people and services. And stuck it out with them year after year while I waited to see if they'll get the iPhone.

The last straw was when Verizon got the iPhone 4 and I tried to lock into the unlimited data plan.  To make matters worse, AT&T came along and is currently in the process of trying to buy T-Mobile.  

Tmo-News reported that T-Mobile's Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman said "we are not getting the iPhone 5 this year".  So there you have it.  I don't know about you but that seems like a lock:  No iPhone 5 for T-Mobile this year.

This is going to get ugly for T-Mobile.  I'm hoping that it'll still get the iPhone 4 somehow and that could stem the damages some what.  But does it really matter anymore?

So long, guys.  You were great.  

Google+ Gets Much Needed Improvements And Features

Google+ finally has search. And this is among a few other improvements and new features that Google unleashed on the world today.  Plus (pun intended), Google+ is now officially open for business.  No need to beg for invitations any longer.

While it's still in beta (Google is calling it "field trial"), it makes sense for Google to move as quickly on G+ as possible.  While interests remain high, it is nowhere near the level at the beginning.

Techcrunch has a few other features that you might be interested in.  I like the new Named Hangout.  More than that, we can now do mobile hangouts as well.  The Android app has been updated with this new feature and an iOS update will be pushed out soon.

G+ is beginning to take shape and it is vastly different from Facebook.  I like the better privacy control that we get with G+.  There's also screen sharing, video chats, and a sketch board as well.

How does this compare with Facebook?  Google+ should get a second wind with this batch of update but I don't think Google's done.  These are not innovative features by any means but it does show that social networks can be more than just about poking people and allowing the purveyors to sell user information to the highest bidder.

Source:  Techcrunch.

Green: Solar Charger For the iPhone, An Arsenal Every Mobile Warrior Must Have

I love writing these kinds of articles - mashing solar and mobile together.  Check out Mobius's recharageable solar case for the iPhone.  It's a case, battery, and a solar unit all in one.

An our of charge in the sun gives you an extra 30 minutes of data use, more than half hour of video, and nearly 2.5 hours of audio playback.  Charge it up to its full capacity and you get 8 hours of data and audio use and 1.33 days of audio.

I can't think of a better device for mobile folks.  You're using the sun's power to charge your device and on top of that, you are almost free.  Almost no need to look for an outlet.  I'm sitting here in my office, I can be charge my iPhone right now right under the sun.

This is where the future is headed.  Even if Mobius or others came up with a case without the added battery pack, a case with just the solar panel would also suffice.  Now, I don't know how the wear and tear of the battery inside the iPhone will be like but its definitely something I should mention.  However, Apple has been using the latest and greatest so I reckon the iOS batteries can take some charging on the go without much degradation.

Furthermore, it's likely that mobile device makers like Apple, and certain I've heard this from Samsung, that they'll be incorporating solar charging screens in the future.  More than that, universities are also on the path. UCLA engineers recently figured out a way on their own to use the LCD screen to charge and power the mobile device.  And the UCLA screen charge the device using ambient light.

The mobile green future is here.  Albeit, in a case but it's here.  Now, we wait for the tech giants to integrate them.  Until then, I think we can be satisfied with this Mobius solar charger.

Source: 9to5Mac.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back To School: What Did Students Buy To Arm Themselves For This School Year?

This summer, millions of students hit the malls, retail outlets, and the Web for their shopping needs.  And this being 2011, electronics figures to play a big part of the back to school budget.

Let’s start with what the students did not buy.  Televisions seems to be out, down more than 70% compared to last year.  Smartphone phones account for 14% of purchases, down from 21% last year but smartphone shares did increase 4% to 73% from 69% last year.

And what about computers and tablets?

More at Greenjava.

Tablet Market Status: Individual Android Tablets Has Largely Failed To Penetrate Market; $500 Price Point Too Difficult To Sustain

Another tablet maker pars down tablet shipment.  This time, it's Lenovo, who had some strong fighting words for Apple and the iPad earlier in the year.  For Lenovo, it is another slap in the face as Apple has easily surpassed the China based PC company.  For Android, the 2 million tablets shipped (not necessarily sold) would help those keeping scores give Android a larger share of the tablet market, individually, we are seeing one tablet after another fail to gain traction.

The problem isn't that the tablets are inferior to the iPad.  It is that the $500 and up price point is the new "$1000".  For a premium tablet, people want the iPad just as folks who pay more than a $1000 probably wouldn't rule out the Apple's MacBooks. But if this is the case, where does this leave tablet makers?

For Android fans, buying a $500 tablet running Google's mobile OS is a non-starter.  For your average mobile warrior, they have two clear choices - the iPad or not.  At $400-450, it could sway a few users.  At $350-$400, an Android tablet versus a $500 iPad becomes more clear.  

At that point, the competition may not be with Apple but it pits one Android tablet maker against another.  HTC and Samsung might have gained enough recognition to become a household name but Lenovo or anyone else certainly has not.  And with Sony's tablets going on sale soon, Samsung's Galaxy brand stands in the way of anyone else gaining traction in the tablet market.

It's why Barnes and Noble's Nook has found some success where no others have.  And it's why Amazon's Kindle tablet will likely have a sub-10" screen and sell for around the same price as the Nook.  Furthermore, unlike regular device makers, Amazon and BN are not just selling tablets to the masses: they are also selling books, apps, and services.  

That is not the case for anyone else. Google has to really figure out something that will help its Android partners.  Android 4 better be really good but even that might not be enough.  Google has to offer its partners a reason for selling Android devices at razor-thing margins.

iPhone 5 and Next iPod Touch Could Put Final Nail In Dedicated Gaming Market

The Nintendo 3DS debuted with great fanfare that quickly died and sales at Mario and company sagged.  A price cut did help spur sales for a bit but that likely added very little to the bottom line.  In fact, Nintendo could be selling the 3DS at a loss.  When the 3DS went on sale last spring, it was up against a very vibrant mobile market.

However, it was fight against a 6-month old iPod touch and a 9 month old iPhone.  What are its chances against the iPhone 5 and the next iPod touch?  Not good, I wager.

Speech For Mobile Is Sputnik Moment For Apple

I've been writing about battery life since I started blogging.  But I think while that is one major aspect of mobile experience and this power issue has been show by Apple that we are nearing a time when worrying about finding and outlet will be a thing of the past, there is another battle front for the Cupertino company. And it is one that it's losing badly

That's voice control.  Google has demonstrated a natural integration of voice commands it balled "Voice Actions" into Android.  However, the iPhone's more rudimentary voice control is no where near what we have come to expect from Apple.  When Apple bought Siri last year, it was heralded as an important mobile moment where an intelligent voice system will be integrated into a mobile OS, not just simply voice commands.

However, even with iOS 5 this late in development, there is hardly any new information that showed a deep level Siri integration or anything that might have come of the Nuance rumors.  As a matter of fact, Nuance released its own Siri competitor, Dragon Go!, this July.  And yes, Siri is powered by Nuance as well.

If not from Apple, I like to see Dragon Go! improve upon what is already there.  Lack of innovation from Apple for such a long time could mean it has found no solution that is workable at the moment.  However, in the year since Apple bought Siri, there could have been a lot of work that we don't know about.  

Perhaps, Apple will surprise us next month.  Or at the very least, show us that it's trying by upgrading Siri.

Google's Flipboard Killer Will Be Popular For Those Who Live In Google Sphere

Google is working on their own version of Flipboard.  And from what we can tell based on its past work on the news and media apps, I think it'll be a winner to a certain extent.  First, let me say that there is not a whole lot of details about this.

One aspect about this app that I can pretty much be sure about is its tablet aspect.  And we might see this once Android 4 is out.  It could be a selling point of a new breed of Android tablets.  And you can bet that it'll be very sociable.  You can bet that Google Plus will be a part of any sharing that is related to the articles.  And Google News as well as Reader will both play big roles.

Will this make people want to switch from Flipboard to Google's new app, currently being dubbed the Propeller?  Well, I'm all for competition.  Keep in mind that CNN also has its own reader coming out.  And let's not forget Pulse News that is working on all mobile platforms.

At the end of the day, Propeller will have a big advantage over other readers because I'm sure Google will make it a default magazine styled app on all its Android devices.  And I'm sure over time, Google will not miss the opportunity to make it available on the iPhone and iPad.

Now, we'll just sit back and see if Google has a trick or two up its sleeves that might make its reader more appealing.  Simply copying what Flipboard is doing won't work.  Flipboard is very entrenched on the iPad now.  Google will have to really dazzle me if it wants to make me switch.

For Google, such an app could only have an appeal if the user already swears by all things Google.  

Lawsuits Could Force Google To Change Android Business Model - Might Be A Good For Google

According to FOSS Patents, Google maybe forced to change how the Android business works and it could mean that Google could do better because of it.  However, it would change how Android is perceived in the market place and make it less appealing to device makers.  

According to the lawsuit taking place between Google and Oracle, a win by Oracle could mean that anyone who activates an Android device, whether its sanctioned by Google or just a Chinese device maker going into business for itself with its own Android variant, Amazon and Barnes and Noble activating millions of Android based devices, or Baidu using it to create its own mobile ecosystem, Google may be on the hooks to pay Oracle a per device fee if Oracle wins.

The only option at that time is for Google to prevent Android form being used in the manners I described above.  After all, why should Google pay for someone else's mobile success in which it doesn't make money from them.

This will radically change how mobile devices view Android, and, in turn, case us mobile warriors to change our buying habits.  Google may be forced to charge its partners to pay Oracle.  And while this is no different than if HTC, Samsung, or anyone else licensing Windows Phone from Microsoft, Microsoft did not just buy a mobile device maker but Google did.

Google will no doubt give Motorola preferential treatments.  And what we may see is that Google will owning both the OS and hardware, not very different from the way Apple owns its OS and hardware.  

But I assure you that when it happens, it would be entirely coincidental.  This would not have been the route that Google anticipated.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Voice Commands Could Put Us Closer To Star Trek Like Computer Commands

I always like how characters in science fiction novels and books are able to interact with their computers in ways that seem beyond the reach of anything we have here.  Computers that can interact with us as holograms or through auditory inputs and outputs.

Google's Voice Actions are pretty good and second to none in the mobile market.  Apple's Siri is impressive but nothing close.

However, third party solutions are paving the way for innovation in this field.  Couple with voice commands and better AI, we have Star Trek like interactions with our computers and mobile sooner rather than later.

So meet the Voice Chat Robot app that is leaps and bounds beyond what's on the market.

More at Greenjava.

I'm hoping that Apple will update Siri beyond what we already see.  Siri is pretty cool to use but it doesn't make us want to use it very much.  I've also used Dragon Dictation on the iPad and I hope that'll improve with iOS 5 as well.

Reading on A Mobile - We Aren't Doing It Enough

I had to go bring something to my dad this morning at his temple. I took advantage of the down time and decided to use it to write, game, and read.

So I decided to just read for a while. An ebook. Deadline by Mira Grant. Feeds was on the Nook and Deadline on the Kindle. I know, why mix the format? I have no idea why I did that.

I sat in one of the lectures but with language barrier keeping me from knowing that was being discussed, I decided to amuse myself a bit.

I read about 30 minutes. You know? It's one of those things that we don't do enough.

I started off on this with the original ebook reader, the Palm III.

I have so much distractions on the Anroid and iOS devices that reading ebooks hasn't really been an activity I do enough of.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

According to a study commissioned by Intel and Microsoft, computer power efficiency has doubled every 18 months.

It has an additive effect. As components become smaller and faster, or through other innovations like faster memory, graphics card, and efficient screens, the system as a whole becomes more efficient.

Interestingly, no mention of how more efficient programming or better coding could also make the system become even more efficient.

Source: Greenjava.

Friday, September 16, 2011

iPhone: Rumors, Conjectures, Wishful Thinking, and Clandestine Sources

It's been a slow news week for Apple. Certainly, Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple still has people buzzing some what but that was fine for a while. Now, I think the blogs that report on the Apple world wants to move on. And it really shows. Take this post from the NY Times. It basically summarizes all the rumors and minute details about the next iPhone that we have already read about on the blogs. It claims that the iPhone is only weeks ago. Heck, that's what I've been saying as well. And I didn't need the NY Times to tell me that. It just seems that mainstream media has been quite behind on this. It's likely that the Times, WSJ, Bloomberg, and others are just being used to spread information, mostly disinformation. And their willingness to participate is just shows that they're no different from blogs. In fact, I think most blogs have better sources and information than anything one else. That the NY Times would just take information from all the blogs out there and summarize them and claim that they came from sources is just, well, you fill in the blank. You've noticed that I haven't included a link to them. The reason is obviously. I won't perpetuate what they are doing. But it doesn't mean that just because the NY Times have not been able to develop their own information that the Apple related blogs are not moving forward. It's nothing that is going to tell us what the specs of the next iPhone will have or when we'll finally get them on the market. But the cycle of news coming out shows that something we are closer than ever. For instance, we've seen screen protectors, cases, and chatters from carriers and even Apple itself about iOS 5. While they don't tell us anything else about the next iPhone, we can expect Apple to dazzle us. After all, the mobile war is heating. From what I'm seeing, Android devices coming out in the next month or two will be sporting some pretty impressive specs. Apple would be wise to have been prepared for that. For months now, top Android devices have been powered by dual core mobile processors while the iPhone is still using the A4 chip, the original chip that came with the iPad last year. If Apple does upgrade the chip in the next iPhone, that leaves the screen, camera, battery life, and the design. Personally, I like to see an 8 to 10MP camera capable of 1080p recording, larger screen even if we just leave the resolution as it is, and, most important of all, battery life like the iPad 2. As for the design, I'm happy with the iPhone 4 design but if Apple does somehow make the next iPhone lighter and thinner, I could go for that as well. Now, see how I've written this post. It's not rumors. It's not information left by mysterious sources at the foot of my front door. Rather, they are conjectures and wishful thinking on my part.

Increasing Cost Of Wireless Data, Another Carrier Increased Cost

First, we lost unlimited wireless Internet access.  And now, it looks like we're going to be have to bear added cost of continuing our mobile experience.  It's not much, about the cost of a venti drink at Starbucks but it will add up.  It started with Virgin Mobile when they increased their prices a couple of months ago, and now, Boost Mobile is also increasing their mobile cost by $5.  

Here's the sad, sad news.  This could be just the beginning.  And keep in mind that with AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile on the menu, things can only become worse over time.  It's unlikely that the AT&T and T-Mobile merger will make things better for us.  In the case of Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, I don't think it's the case of greed but it may have more to do with the cost of doing business.  This I can understand.

At the same time, I hope the mobile carriers can sympathize with us mobile warriors who live on Main Street - things are not exactly rosy in this economy now.  

Note:  Perhaps this price increase could also mean that we'll see better mobile devices in the prepaid market.

Playbook To Get Price Cut & That Won't Be Enough, It's Over

Playbook has already been clobbered in the tablet market by the iPad.  There is no double that about.  And if you don't want an iPad, you buy an Android tablet.  At $500, there is a lot of competition for RIM's Playbook which only comes in at 7".

And despite just how well built or how solid the specs are, no apps means no apps means only the most dedicated RIM fanboys will buy it. And even then, they have had to suffer through an incomplete OS.  In yesterday's financial call where RIM unveiled a profitable but admittedly difficult quarter in the numbers of Blackberries and Playbooks shipped, actions were promised.

iPad And Windows 8 Tablet Compared In 10 Min Video

This will double as Friday's movie as we see the iPad 2 go head-to-head with the yet to be released Windows 8.  We won't see this new toy from Microsoft for another year.

Still, it looks good enough at this time.  I think all current Android and Apple fans should take a look and see if this is Microsoft's comeback in the tablet and mobile market.

Video at Clouding Around.

Next Year's Macbook Air To Be Faster As Intel Chip To Natively Support Offloading Non-Graphic Op to GPU

I know the the title is verbose. Coming from a science background, this title is short.  What it boils down to is Apple's OpenCL.  It's the ability to allow the Mac to offload certain non-graphic operations to the video processor in your Mac and allow them to help out the main processor, the CPU.

This feature is ready supported in many graphics processors (dedicated or integrated), the GPU, from AMD and Nvidia but not by Intel's current integrated graphics processor.

I think the Macbook Air is plenty fast for what it was designed to do.  Personally, I think heavier lifting should be handled by the Macbook Pro line.  Still, I'm never one to pass up on anything faster.  

We can see up to 60% increase in speed from the Macbook Airs by this time next year.

Source:  Appleinsider.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Google To Spend Hundreds of Millions to Make Youtube Work More Like A TV

According to some insiders, Electronista is report that Google may be willing to put in serious money to make sure that Youtube has enough content to be relevant.  As for content, we're talking about TV and movies, not just stuff that some dude with a camcorder and an Internet connection puts up.

Screen Protector Suggests 4" Screen And Bigger iPhone

This is a picture of a supposed screen protector for the next iPhone.  With the iPhone 4 laid on top of it, we can clearly see that the next iPhone will be bigger.  Quite a bit.  It means bigger screen and probably a bigger battery.  

From what I can see, it definitely is a 4" screen, an increase from the current 3.5" screen that the iPhone 4 and iPod touch sports.

This could well be what gets me to upgrade.  Faster CPU and a better camera would help as well.  It comes down to battery life as well.  I know, I sound like a broken record on the battery issue but I think as mobile warriors, we need to be free from the power outlets.

Give me close to iPad battery life and I'll be happy.  

Now, there's a chance this may not be legitimate.  There is another picture that showed an elongated home button that I'm gonna make you click over the Macrumors and the original source to check out.  

Why the elongated home button you ask?  I don't know.  I see a future iOS devices make use of the bezel and they would serve to some more sophisticated functions.  

Source:  Macrumors.

Does Groupon, LivingSocial, & Other Services Provide A New Way Of Living For Mobile Warriors? Maybe

I love to see Groupon, LivingSocial, and these gift-certificate services take off.  I think they're absolutely an indispensable new social service that is far more important than anything Facebook can ever provide.  And I welcome what Google will bring once they bring Deals to more cities around the country (in the US).

Initially, I was cool to these companies.  I don't need that many massages or work on my face (it's too late for me, unfortunately).  However, I am seeing a lot of deals for yoga, gyms, and other workout regimes.  And you still get your massages as well.  

So I wonder if one times things right, an user can maintain a healthy and active life just through the use of these coupons.  Recently in LA, there are martial art lessons, juigitsu, yoga classes, hypnotherapy (I don't know how effective these are), pilate classes, and I can go on. 

I would not say they're a great deal but they're decent enough if you want to try different things in your life.  Ultimately, these companies offer a chance to change how we live our lives.  We can end up trying something new and likely it.   And these workout-type deals come once or twice a week.  Add them to your regular workout if you have one and you can be looking a pretty healthy life.

And then obviously, there's the food too.  Whole Food deal from LivingSocial a couple of days ago was a hit.  I'm considering this hot dog deal for Pasadena that I can use tonight if I want to.  $16 for only $8.  Sounds like a good deal.

And not just for food and working out, there are theatre tix and cultural classes like ceramic making.  

All in all, I'm beginning to look at these sites differently.  And I'm beginning to see online news sites offer local deals.  It allows a mobile warrior to find new exciting things locally and explore the city in new ways

Right now, these deals are kind of limited but as businesses change, or new ones pop up with younger and tech and social savy owners, I see this segment of the market explode big time.

And it helps that they all have mobile apps on the major platforms.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Samsung Prime Will Debut Around Same Time (Or A Bit After) iPhone 5

It looks like two high profile mobile devices, Apple's next iPhone and the first Android 4 device, Prime by Samsung, will be going head to head next month.  According to Droid-Life, an e-mail captured in a screen shot from a Verizon employee suggests this to be the case.

Obviously, the e-mail can be faked.  Nevertheless, this only confirms pretty much what everyone expected.  Furthermore, Prime will have some pretty good specs.  However, while there are rumors about specs for the next iPhone, no one knows the details at all.  At least not publicly.

While Prime may not (this could be Google's next Nexus phone so it can still happen) going to get the debut that the iPhone will on multiple carriers and regardless of the specs, it should be interested to see how iOS 5 and Android 4 go head-to-head in this mobile fight.  
As for specs, Prime is supposed to get a 720p screen.  

Source:  Droid-Life.

New iPad Keyboard With Twist: Elevated Keys (With Video)

I'm gonna become a sponsor as soon as I get home (forgot my wallet).  This new concept keyboard for the iPad is like none other we've seen.  First it's thin enough.  But more than that, it has a flat surface and the keys emerge when you press a button and they elevate from the surface.

It's called the Levitatr, a Bluetooth keyboard, again that has a smooth surface. And the keys only surface if you press a designated button.

If you're interested, you can go to their Kickstarter page to sign up for one.

You've got to see the video to understand what I'm talking about.

What do you think?  It's gimmicky enough that I think I want one.

Source: GigaOM.

Makes Sense For Apple To Include iMessage Into iChat And It Looks Like It Might Happen

iChat has been sort of a bastard child for OS X.  It's just there because Apple needed an instant messaging app for the Mac.  But for years, it was just there.  And then came iMessage in iOS 5.  

Almost immedaitely after that, I wondered if iMessage will be a part of OS X.  No word from Apple obviously.  We wont known until Apple tells us or we see evidence that it is.  And now, there could be evidence that Apple will incorporate iMessage into iChat  

Two new protocols are found in iChat by Macrumors that were previously not there. And these two protcols are currently being used in iMessage of iOS 5 beta.  It stands to reason, that it's there because a future release of iChat will incorporate iMessage.  

The only issue to settle now is when will this happen?  I think it'll happen on or around the launch of iOS 5.  Maybe a bit after that if Apple thinks it needs to time to make sure all the kinks are ironed out for iMessage for iOS users.

Source:  9to5Mac (from Macrumors).

Is the iPhone Important To Apple's China Future And Chinese Carriers? You Betcha!

This post from iLounge says quite a bit about Apple, iPhone, and China.  A lot.  First, China Telecom will invest close to a quarter billion US dollars on marketing the iPhone.  A quarter alone on just a single device.  Sure, it happens to be Apple's iPhone.  What does that mean?

Why Does Tech Evoke Such Passion Among Fanboys?

Relgion.  Politics.  Okay, I get why those matters get people riled up.  Sports?  It's all in good fun.  But whatever reasons, tech, especially mobile and computing, seems to get generate such a passion among fans that it's borderlines on insanity.  

Why is that?  I'm a mobile warrior first.  And while I like new technology, I like to see all platforms do well.  Okay, I am quite partial to Android and iOS but that doesn't mean that I'm going to go around disparaging other platforms.  And when the need arises, I will call out Apple or Google.

However, there are those who believe their supported tech company can do no wrong.  I understand why bloggers do it.  They need eyeballs.  Okay, I do too but I generally like to look at the positive side of things.  And when there is an issue, like something Apple or Google did that I don't like, I'll bring it up.

But why tech?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Future Macbooks May Have All Day Battery

Today's Intel Developer Forum has a lot of red meat for Apple fans, not just Wintel like the last. And while Apple was never mentioned, the fact that Apple still uses Intel chips in Macs says a lot. And a new chip coming out in two years will be able to take mobile computing to a whole new level compared to today.

In two years, Intel's mobile chip will consume 20x less power than chips used today and will be able to use ambient light as an energy source. On top of that, they could last up to a day of full use!

iPad Is King But Will Microsoft Knock the iPad Off Throne?

It looks like Microsoft will be storming the tablet market with a vengeance. But you know, and I know, that the iPad 2 is what the tablet market is all about.  Does Microsoft have a chance against Apple?

Here's a video of Windows 8 being demo'd on a tablet from Samsung.  It looks like with Apple stopping Samsung's Android device being sold just about anywhere in the world that matters, Microsoft might be Samsung's only option left in the tablet market.

What do you think?  Should we Apple fans be worried?

Source:  Clouding Around.

Monday, September 12, 2011

HTC: iPhone Not Cool Anymore Because Our Parents Have Them

HTC's US president (who's name doesn't matter, it's what he said that's important) suggests that iPhones are no longer cool because kids think that because their parents have it, they don't see it as being cool any longer.

True?  I've always that that could be a possibility some day. He suggests that is what's going on today.  Kids are carrying around HTCs, Samsungs, and even Chinese models.  I guess Apple's doomed.  

More at Cult of Mac.

Latest AT&T Surf And Talk Ad Points Definitely Proof CDMA For Next iPhone

Here is AT&T's new iPhone ad pointing CDMA only for Sprint and Verizon for the next iPhone.  Why else to release the ad so late now with the new iPhone on the verizon.  So, any chatter about LTE iPhone or LTE cell towers in Apple stores are nothing more than rumors.

What AT&T hopes to do is that as we approach the release of the new iPhone, it wants to remind everyone, including folks who currently are on AT&T but looking to jump ship, that the iPhone, current and the next one, is the only one that allows the user to surf and chat at the same time.

Personally, I've yet to encounter a situation where I've had to do both.  Here is AT&T's ad.

Source:  Edible Apple.

No iPhone 5 But iPhone 4GS?

One intrepid analyst is putting his neck out on the limb and suggests that there is not going to be an iPhone 5 in a few weeks but just a slight improved iPhone 4, dubbed the iPhone 4GS.

What'll be the diff?  Just an improved camera and redesigned antenna.  And he noted that iOS 5 will be released to assemblers as soon as next week.

No other word on whether we'll see the A5 chip inside.  I think he's wrong.

Source:  CNET.

Different Between Apple And Samsung - Just Watching Their Commercials

Yup, the difference between Apple and Samsung is very dramatic.  Actually, the different between how Apple markets its iPhone and iPad and how Android device makers market their devices really shows with their mobile vision.

Here is one commercial from Samsung that debut yesterday along with the NFL games.

And now, here is Apple's latest iPad commerical, called "Learn".

Obvously, they are both pretty successful in what they do.  But you cannot discount how Apple sees its products and how it can be used and how Android device makers see their products and who are they market them to.

Source: Android GuysApple.

Number of Betas of iOS, iCloud, And OS X Shows Apple Very Serious About New Mobile Direct

It's going to be cloudy this and cloudy that for Apple from now on and that's a good thing if they get iCloud right. 

Given the number of betas of each feature, iOS, OS X, and iCloud and the number of betas of each mentioned, Apple is working very hard to make sure that iCloud will not be a repeat of MobileMe.  

And it goes beyond just cloud computing because, as you know, Apple isn't just about one specific product.  It has a comprehensive strategy that it has put together to come up with a UI that users have come to expect from Apple.

It'll be interesting to see if users can appreciate Apple's mobile and cloud plans.  And with new iOS hardwares on the horizon, Apple is poised to change just how mobile warriors work, play, and stay connected with friends and family.

By come reckonings, we are looking at a lot of new hardware  iPhone 5, a revised iPhone 4 for the low end market, and iPod touch possibly with 3G. And I'm still holding out the possibility that we'll see a iPod touch with a 6-7" screen.

HTC In the Running For Web OS

It doesn't look like Samsung will be looking to pick up Web OS from HP but HTC might.  It probably is a good move and a very aggressive one if true.  HTC is in, what appears to be, a losing battle against Apple in the patent wars right now.

Picking up Web OS might help and it might also help it be less dependent on Google and Microsoft in the mobile OS realm.

Will it happen?  I hope somebody picks up Web OS.  

Source:  Appleinsider.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Android Makers Making Bids On InterDigital; Google May Leave Motorola At the Altar

This is huge news if Bloomberg's sources are true.  HTC and Samsung are considering a bid on InterDigital's patents.  Intel too.  We can assuming that just about everyone who were at the Nortel party will be there.

Here's the shocker.

More at Clouding Around.

Sprint Says No Vacation For iPhone Launch Between September 30th through October 15th

The title said it all.  And we've known for weeks that Sprint will be carry the iPhone.  All that remains is whether T-Mobile will be joining the party or not.  And it's kind of late in the game to not hear anything about that.

Sprint also will not be getting rid of their unlimited data plans just because the iPhones will soon be taxing its wireless system.  There is no one else who will be able to offer the same deal as Sprint in this respect.

I think they'll begin to turn things around.

Source:  MacDailyNews.

Apple Changed Estimated Ship Time Likely Due to Competition Nosy Around

There was some action in the blog world on Apple’s estimate ship time for it’s products.  Instead of saying how many hours, days, or weeks it takes to ship something, it just says “in stock”.  We don’t know yet what it’ll say if something isn’t in stock, like the forthcoming iPhone.

I reckon this is due to competition.  Apple does not want to let it be known how behind they are.  It will allow its competitors to estimate just how well Apple’s products are selling.  By being able to see what the estimates are and with some clever checks of supply lines, competitors can probably come close to knowing about the sell-through level of its products.

This change comes at a time when the iPhone 5 is about to launch.  On top of that, Macbook Air competitors, the ultrabooks Intel is pushing, are also due to flood the market, just as soon as they can figure out how to come close to Apple’s Macbook Air prices.

Furthermore, "in stock" means just what it means "in stock".

Source:  iLounge.

Time For Retails To Embrace Mobile - Lowe's To Use iPhones To Serve Customers

Retailer businesses using some kind of a handheld to let their employees complete transactions with customers is nothing new.  It's been happening for years.  However, it's Apple's use if iPod touches in their own stores that really got the attention of everyone.  I know, it's unfair but it's Apple.  Everything that they do, even if others have done it before, gets more attention these days.

Now, Lowes has joined the mobile revolution and doing it in a big big way.  According to Bloomberg, Lowe's, the second biggest home improvement retailer, will try to use this new coolness to catch up to Home Depot, better serve its customers, and increase efficiency among its workforce.

iPhone Sales Strong Despite iPhone 5 On the Horizon - Why?

Why would iPhone 4 sales continue to be strong even as the iPhone 5 is only weeks ago?  This is based on some check from a Wall Street firm.  The answer is simple.

I was at the Apple store last weekend trying to get my iPod touch screen fixed.  And it was packed.  Like crazy packed.  the air conditioner was on but folks were everywhere sucking up all the cool air.  The women's store next door was much cooler when you walked by their door.

While I was waiting for my Genius appointment, I saw many exchange of money, well, credit cards.  I was trying to see what they were buying.  I saw a few Macbooks flying out of the back.  And strangely, I also saw a section of the store where folks were being helped by their Apple guys with their iPhones.

And as waited and walked around the store, I continued to see folks buying iPhones.  Obviously, I was happy for them.  Why not.  At 18 months old, it is still the best mobile device in the world.  It's an awesome experience.  

The answer is this:  If you're reading this post, you're not a regular guy off the street.  You're mobile educated.  You will go on the Web to do research and find out more about your mobile device or find out what which device best suits your needs.  At one time, you might be one of those guys on the street but after using an Apple product, you became hooked and wanted to know more about it.

This is why blogs on On Apple exists.  To serve your needs.  

For the people just buying the iPhones now, they're happy and they don't care that the new iPhone 5 will make their new phones obsolete in a few weeks.  And for that, I'm happy for them.  Welcome to the family, guys.

And this is why iPhone 4 sales continues to be strong.

Sprint To Keep Unlimited Wireless Plan Despite Certain Phone (clue: iPhone) From To Its Network

There's chatter this morning, and the good kind that you want to wake up to that Sprint will be be getting rid of the unlimited data plan just because it'll be getting the iPhone as a part of its arsenal against its bigger rivals.  This is very good news.  It shows that for those carriers who have gotten rid of their unlimited data plan, this was about a land grab to for users to pay extra over any data usage and to avoid making sure it has capacity to support its users.

I think Sprint's brilliant move to do nothing will help it generate good will and I'll do everything I can to help push folks towards in them in fall - whether they are getting iPhone, Androids, or Windows Phone devices.  

After all, what more important to a mobile warrior than unfettered data use.  Over all, this is fantastic news for Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone users as well.  This fall, we'll see new devices like the Galaxy S II and Mango-based Windows Phones coming out.

Note: I know T-Mobile, my current carrier, likes to say it has unlimited data access.  Technically, it's true.  However, depending on your data plan, you are throttled after certain amount of use.  It's not AT&T evil but it's still bad in my book.

Source:  Phandroid.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Post From Google's Official Blogger App

This is my first post from Google's first iOS Blogger app.

It is basic. Does pretty much what most bloggers can ask for.

I quickly noticed that certain rich text functions are not included nor the ability to include links. Those omissions are very disappointing.

Also note in the title that there are some extraneous text. No. I didn't put that there. The blogger app did it all on its own.

Regardless, I am glad it is finally here and Google should improve on it in short order. Would be nice if it included social integrations to Twitter, Facebook, and, especially, Google+.

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 ...