Sony makes Reader Wi-Fi official with smartphone styling - Sony on Wednesday confirmed a long-expected update to its Reader e-book hardware. The Reader Wi-Fi, or PRS-T1, borrows much of its influence from the Xperia smartphone line, down to an 0.35-inch thickness and a lighter six-ounce weight dictated by a switch from aluminum to plastic. The design runs on a much newer, E Ink-made six-inch Pearl screen and now supports multi-touch for zoom as well as page turns through swipes ...
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sometimes you need a plain old phone more than you need a smartphone. But with all the social, location and notification apps you have loaded and running on your iPhone, your battery may not hold out when you need it most.
Placing your iPhone in Airplane mode will maximize the life of your battery for listening to your music, watching movies or playing games, as it disables all network and cellular services. But that’s an extreme solution, so check out the following general tips for making that last 10 percent of juice last as long as you need it to:
- Under Settings > Brightness, disable Auto-Brightness and adjust brightness down to a tolerable level. Especially if you’re not using your device for lengthy reading sessions, you should be able to get away with a fairly dim display.
- Under Settings > Location Services, turn off Location Services. Note that apps that use location like Maps won’t be able to find you if you do this.
- Under Settings > Wi-Fi, turn Wi-Fi off.
- Under Settings > General > Network, turn off Enable 3G and Cellular Data.
- Press the Home button twice (quickly), press and hold any app’s icon in the tray that appears, then tap the red “x” to shut down running apps.
- Under Settings > Notifications, turn off Notifications.
- Under Settings > Phone, turn off FaceTime.
- Under Settings > Sounds, turn off Vibrate, Lock Sounds and Keyboard Clicks.
- Power off and then power back on your iPhone.
Even if you do all of the above, you’ll still be able to make and receive phone calls, as well as send and receive SMS messages. Data services are required to review your visual voice mail list, however, so you’ll need to call your voice mail box manually to retrieve messages. But if you find yourself in a situation where your battery is approaching or already into the red zone, and you need it to stay on for at least a couple more hours, this is the way to make sure that happens.
Barnes & Noble: e-book sales quadruple, stores still losing - Barnes & Noble on Tuesday reported spring results that heralded a major spike in its digital efforts. Its "digital content" sales, led almost exclusively by e-books and magazines, quadrupled in just the past year. Even orders of physical goods through its website were up 37 percent to $198 million, as many were buying Nook Colors or the 2011 Nook redesign ...
iCloud support could be headed to Snow Leopard - So far iCloud has been thought to be a Lion-only feature, but a new screenshot would suggest Apple plans otherwise, bringing some of the features to Snow Leopard users.
(Via CNET News.com.)
Apple TV vs. Roku 2: What's the best streaming-media device for under $100? - Both Apple and Roku sell black boxes that offer Netflix and other streaming services. Which one's the best value for your $99?
(Via CNET News.com.)
Monday, August 29, 2011
Video: Hurricane Irene's Birth, Death Seen From Space - New satellite images show the 10-day genesis of hurricane Irene from the storm?s birth in the tropics to its death over the East Coast of North America.
(Via Wired Top Stories.)
According to a image sent in to MacRumors, iCloud support may be coming to Snow Leopard users. As you can see in the screenshot above, the .Mac preference pane in a previous OS X's System Preferences reads: "You will no longer be able to sync with this machine because you've upgraded to iCloud. iCloud requires a computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.9 or later for Contacts, Calendars, and Bookmarks."
This message appeared in OS X 10.4 Tiger after a developer updated his MobileMe account to an iCloud account. The notice appears to be the first indication that OS X 10.6.9 is in the works. Presumably it will only include minor bug fixes and provide limited iCloud support for Snow Leopard. Currently Apple states that iCloud will require OS X 10.7, but that is presumably for the more advanced Documents, iTunes Match, Photo Stream, and Backups features. It's reasonable to assume Apple isn't going to lock non-Lion users out of their @me.com email addresses.
Evidence suggests Apple will bring iCloud to Snow Leopard - For Mac users who have not yet upgraded to Lion, new evidence suggests Apple will add iCloud support to its predecessor, Snow Leopard, in the form of an update.
Satellite Photos Take You Inside Gadhafi's Compound - For the past week, the world's been enthralled by the battle for Bab al-Azizia, Moammar Gadhafi's foreboding Tripoli compound. But the full story of Bab al-Azizia requires a more panoramic view. That's where satellite imagery company GeoEye comes in.
(Via Wired Top Stories.)
Podcasts have become a good way for cord cutters to get up to date info in lieu of broadcast news or TV shows. Thanks to the Apple TV, bringing them into the living room is a piece of cake. There are two options for getting this done, depending on your home set up and network configuration.
Much of Apple's advertising is as iconic as its devices and even people. But which is the most popular online? Research firm Visible Measures says it has the answer.
Many people remember 1984, the Ridley Scott-dircted TV ad that aired on January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII.
The Think Different campaign featured the "Crazy Ones" essay read by actor Richard Dreyfuss over footage of notable people like Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham and Jim Henson, complete with Kermit the Frog.
Interestingly, Web tracking company Visible Measures (VM) reports, neither of these spots is the most popular online (based on number of views). Instead, it's this six-minute video used to introduce the iPhone 4. VM claims that spot has garnered 17.3 million views across several outlets since it debuted in June, 2010.
By Visible Measures' calculation, 1984 has pulled in 10.3 million views will Think Different ranks in with "nearly" 3 million. You can view the full list here and see where your favorite spot ranks.
While we anxiously await what Apple has up its sleeve in the next iPhone, another tech giant seems to have something coming down their respective pipeline. According to the New York Post, Amazon is planning to release their own version of a tablet in September or October. The kicker though? The company is reportedly planning to release it for "hundreds less" than Apple's entry-level iPad 2.
According to the report, aggressive pricing is a crucial factor in Amazon's hopeful success within the tablet market. BGR also notes that Amazon is working on two tablets - one, being dubbed "Coyote," which is to be an entry-level dual-core version and the other, a high-end quad-core, named "Hollywood." One of the versions is to be revealed in the coming weeks. The tablets are expected to feature Android, and may come heavily customized, including integration of the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle eBook store, Amazon's Cloud Drive service and more.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
Email scam targets MobileMe users with iCloud upgrade bait - Scammers are trying to trick Apple's existing MobileMe subscribers into providing credit card information, purportedly to migrate to the new iCloud service, in a new spam campaign that echoes previous attempts.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Kobo's E-Reader Scores Bonus Points With Social Reading Game - The Kobo Touch is rough around the edges, but it has enough going for it to recommend it as an alternative to the Nook and Kindle.
(Via Wired Top Stories.)
Everyone is reflecting upon Steve Jobs' times at Apple, and Walt Mossberg is no exception. In this Wall Street Journal News Hub video, Walt reiterates his assertion that Steve Jobs' departure is "...the end of an era," but he's quick to add, "I don't mean by that that this is the end of Apple's success." You can read more of Walt's thoughts about Steve's resignation in his post on AllThingsD.
Mossberg believes Jobs will be considered a historical figure due to his business success and his role as an iconic inventor. He also teases the future, saying that products "Apple doesn't currently make" are being worked on now.
It's not clear from the video if that's just conjecture on Mossberg's part, or if he has knowledge about what those future products may be. The entire video is interesting, as it features a prolific tech journalist speaking about one of the most prolific inventors of our time. Check it out below.
The Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Valentino-DeVries has published a list of Steve Jobs's great quotes. Steve's intelligence, salesmanship and significant public speaking skills have produced several gems, and Jennifer has listed some of our favorites. Highlights from her list include:
"It will go down in history as a turning point for the music industry. This is landmark stuff. I can't overestimate it!" [On the iTunes Music Store, Fortune, May 12, 2003]
"I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next." [NBC Nightly News, May 2006]
There are so many wonderful quotes in the WSJ article, and we suggest you read them all. One of my favorites is the line which, according to lore, Steve used to lure John Sculley away from Pepsi Co.:
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?"
What are your favorites?
Monday, August 22, 2011
Amazon, Dropbox, Google and You Win in Cloud-Music Copyright Decision - A federal court ruling in a copyright case filed by EMI against an online music locker makes it clear that online music services -- or at least some of them -- are not illegal, opening the door for Google and Amazon to expand their offerings.
(Via Wired Top Stories.)
Square has released their Square Card Case app today, which allows anyone to open up a tab at a local merchant and pay without having to swipe their credit card. The Square Card Case works by allowing users to enter their credit card details into their Square account.
Once at a local merchant who uses the Square Register app, users can start a tab of things they've purchased. When they are ready to check out, the Square Card Case user speaks their name into the app and their tab is displayed on the merchant's Square Register app where the transactions are tallied and paid for using the Card Case user's credit card on file. Upon completion of a transaction, a digital receipt is sent to the email address on file.
A big plus of using Square Card Case is the ability to pay at local merchants right from your iPhone. However, right now, the Card Case app is only useful if you live in New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles or St. Louis. But as more merchants start using Square, the Card Case app is sure to catch on. Square Credit Card users don't have to worry about any extra fees on their end either. Like using a regular credit card, Square charges the merchant per transaction.
Square today also updated their Square credit card reader app. The update offers improved transaction speeds, no signature required for transactions $25 or less and the ability to enter $0.00 transactions (useful for when the merchant wants to keep track of items, but doesn't charge for them -- like a free bottled water when you buy a hotdog). The Square Card Case app and the Square credit card reader app are free downloads in the App Store.
Square skips signatures on some payments, updates iOS app - Square has updated its iPhone and iPad mobile payment app, with claimed improvements in speed. A number of screens involved in the transaction process have also been eliminated, with payments said to take as short as four seconds. At the same time, the Square Card case app (free, App Store) no longer requires signatures for transactions of less than $25 ...
Dropbox updates silently to add Lion support - Popular file-sharing service Dropbox is in the process of rolling out a "silent upgrade" that will offer full compatibility with Lion, according to a post on the company's support forum. While the basic service has continued to work, the contextual menu that allowed users to copy a public URL for sharing their file was absent ...
A new lawsuit takes aim at Apple, alleging that its Mac OS X operating system and its Disk Utility feature infringes on a patent related to peer-to-peer networking workgroups.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
While everyone is consumed with deciphering how Google’s bid to acquire Motorola will affect Apple’s (a aapl) dominance in the smartphone market, Apple has other fights on its hands elsewhere. Among them is a class-action lawsuit filed recently that alleges the company conspired with major book publishers to keep e-book prices high, by implementing the so-called “agency model,” which allowed publishers to set the price instead of Apple. But was this an actual conspiracy, or was it just a way for Apple and the publishers to compete with Amazon’s dominance over the growing market for electronic books?
The seeds for this particular battle were sown early in 2010, after Apple launched the iPad with its built-in iBooks library application. At the time, Amazon was fighting with a number of publishers — including Macmillan — over what prices it could charge for e-book versions of their titles. The online-retailing giant, which dominated the electronic book market thanks to its Kindle reader, wanted to keep prices no higher than $9.99, but Macmillan and other publishers wanted to maintain a pricing structure that was tied to their traditional print business, with prices starting at around $14.99, then declining over time as new versions of the book were released.
At one point, Amazon actually yanked all the electronic versions of Macmillan’s titles from its online store as a way of punishing the publisher, which took out a full-page ad accusing Amazon of unfair behavior. Eventually, Amazon relented and restored the publisher’s books, but the atmosphere in the industry remained tense.
If you're looking for a way to beat the heat where you live, you have many options. If every last one of those options is unavailable for some reason, you can always give this iPhone dock accessory from Cellularfactory a try. Dubbed the "Newest Cool Dock Fan Gadgets Cooler," this dock attachment is essentially a tiny propeller blade, powered by the iPhone's internal battery, that's supposed to cool you off somehow.
It's very reminiscent of those tiny USB-powered fans, but I've never been able to figure out if those are actually meant to be useful or just a gag gift. Like those, this iPhone-powered fan doesn't look big enough to manage much more airflow than you'd get by just breathing on yourself. And unlike the iFan, which was a one-shot fan attachment meant to charge your iPhone off the wind, this fan attachment will probably drain your battery flat in no time.
I'm trying to sympathize with you Northern Hemisphere folks and your brutal heatwave, I really am... but I'm sitting in New Zealand, in the middle of a once-in-50-years snowstorm event. I just ate a banana that tasted like it came straight out of the refrigerator, except it was sitting on my dining room table all night instead. So needless to say, I'm well outside the target demographic for this accessory. Maybe the bitter cold has made me just as bitter, but I'm still giving this iPhone fan a (frozen) solid No Comment.
I just went fiddling around in my old school Mac mini the other day. I put some extra memory in, sneaking inside that tiny extra bit of space to pull out the old sticks and punch in the new ones. But the newer Mac mini is even smaller than mine, which makes it all the more impressive that iFixit has released a kit that will allow you to add your own second hard drive without a ton of trouble. Well, there will at least be a little bit -- Apple doesn't want just anyone rooting around in its tiny little desktop PC.
iFixit makes it about as easy as it's going to get if you don't want to pay someone to do it for you. There's a full guide here if you want to see how it all works. Though the kit is out of stock at the moment, when it's in stock it'll only be $70 plus the cost of whatever storage media you want to install.
I found dipping into my Mac mini pretty rewarding. As long as you follow instructions and are as careful as you can be with all of the components, you could have an even nicer mini than you've got right now.
It’s Tuesday, and that often means new stuff from Apple. This week is no exception, although the product in question isn’t exactly “new” -- it’s the same OS X Lion released back on July 20 to the Mac App Store, but available at a higher price on a USB thumb drive.
The Apple Online Store has officially started selling the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive, a tiny $69 fob that can be used to install Mac OS X 10.7 without the need for a Mac App Store download. Needless to say, the Mac App Store download is the better bargain at only $29.99, but many users with poor or no broadband connection who live too far from an Apple Retail Store will likely welcome the option.
“OS X Lion is available on a USB thumb drive for installation without the need for a broadband Internet connection,” the product description explains. “Just plug the drive into your USB port and follow the instructions to install. OS X Lion is also available for a lower price as a digital download from the Mac App Store.”
The thumb drive looks identical to the one introduced late last year with the MacBook Air, which was certainly easy to misplace if you weren’t careful. Thankfully, a small hole at one end means you can slip OS X Lion on your keychain and have it handy for a new install at any time.
The OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive costs $69 with free shipping and is currently showing a one to three business day ship estimate.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
62 things you can do with Dropbox - We love Dropbox, the file-synchronizing service. We know Macworld readers do too. So a few months ago, we asked: How do you use Dropbox? We got more than 250 responses, then boiled those down to 62 unique ideas; here they are.
Photo of Steve Jobs' Biography Cover, Back, and Some Details -
Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt contacted Walter Isaacson and got some more details on Steve Jobs' biography that is due on November 21st. The above cover is described by Isaacson:
"The cover," writes Isaacson in private e-mail, "is the Albert Watson portrait taken for Fortune in 2009. The back is a Norman Seeff portrait of him in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh, which ran in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The title font is Helvetica. It will look as you see it, with no words on the back cover."Isaacson also clarified to Elmer-DeWitt the moving forward of the publication date was not due to any health concerns or decline. The book was mostly completed in June, and is now "all done and edited".
The publisher describes the biography as being based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years. Meanwhile, hundreds of interviews were also conducted with family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues.
Skype WiFi app offers cheap iPhone and iPad internet access abroad - In a move directed at international travelers, Skype on Wednesday released a new iOS application that will offer iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users access to over 1 million WiFi hotspots around the globe for a nominal pay-as-you-go basis.
Monday, August 15, 2011
One of the most dreaded questions in any household is “what’s for dinner?” The question is fraught with complex issues of family responsibilities, finances, and personal preferences. While it won’t do the dishes, iPhoto has become an indispensable recipe management and meal planning tool in my family.
Many people have a collection of recipe clippings culled from magazines, newspapers, and the supermarket. But where do you put the clippings? Ideally, you type it out and put it in a recipe manager (my favorite is SousChef). If I only had the time. What I do instead is either scan the recipe directly into iPhoto from my Mac, or if I can’t easily clip the recipe, I’ll take a picture of it with my iPhone. When I see a recipe I like on the web, I take a screen shot to easily get it into iPhoto, too.
McAfee, the company well-known for its PC-focused security software, has launched a new consumer-based anti-theft app for iOS today. WaveSecure, as it's called, will enable users to remotely access their data in case their iPhone or iPad is lost or stolen. Users will also be able to back up their contacts, photos and videos and remotely track the location of where their device is heading via the app's own online portal, and wirelessly restore their contacts.
The app is an indication of a new shift in focus for anti-virus software makers during this evolution of technology from desktop to mobile. "We've been in mobile security for about ten years, but we're in a period of rapid changes now," said Lianna Caetano, director of product marketing for McAfee consumer mobile solutions, in an interview with VentureBeat. "Now we have a very heterogenous environment, and we have to make sure we work seamlessly."
The app costs $19.99 and is now available in the iOS App Store.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
For many Mac and iPad users, Amazon's Kindle Reader app (free) was the way to browse, purchase, and read electronic books. Then Apple had a change of heart about in-app purchases, basically demanding the standard App Store 30% take for any ebooks bought from within the Kindle Reader app. Amazon removed the purchase mechanism from the app, and it's still available on the App Store -- purchasing just takes one more step now. The launch of Amazon's Kindle Cloud Reader web app added a new wrinkle to the Apple / Kindle story. Let's take a quick look at the Kindle web app and see how it compares to the native app.
Motorola purchase gives Google 17K issued, 7.5K filed patents - With its purchase of Motorola Mobility, Google will acquire nearly 25,000 patents, including 17,000 issued, giving it greater leverage in the lawsuit-saturated Android landscape.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
When it comes to thinking different, Icelandic musician Björk leads the pack. She's just come out with what she refers to as the world's first "app album" consisting of an iPad and iPhone app featuring ten songs, each of which has an accompanying interactive app of its own.
The app, titled "Biophilia," is free to download. The song apps are in-app purchases at $1.99 each, although the first song on the album, "Cosmogony", is free. Two more songs -- "Crystalline" and "Virus" -- have been released so far.
Richard McManus, writing for ReadWriteWeb, commented that "what impresses me about this album is her inventiveness in coming up with a brand new album format - the 'app album.' Plus she finds a new way to make money from her music." Biophilia opens with an introduction narrated by none other than David Attenborough (see video below) in which he explains the theme of fusing nature, music, and technology to "listen, learn, and create."
As an example of the individual song apps, Crystalline has you navigating through space collecting crystals with the song as accompaniment. Collect the crystals in the requested order (by bumping into them as you fly through tunnels) to unlock new tunnels, increasing replay value. You can also view a gallery of your crystals and share them with friends.
Virus includes an instrument mode, where tapping on images creates sounds from different instruments, so you're creating your own song from the same instruments Björk used -- and many of the sounds were created on the iPad. You unlock "instrument mode" by first playing the game: allowing microscopic invaders to effect neighboring cells, turing them into the instruments you eventually get to play.
Will other musicians follow Björk's lead and create their own app albums? It depends on both the success of Biophilia and the creative chops of those other musicians. Are you ready for app albums? Which artist would you like to see create an app album? Let us know in the comments.
Getting to grips with the files and folders on your hard drive can be a chore, but the right tool makes it easier. WhatSize is a tool that combines the best of several disk visualisers into one package.
WhatSize scans your disk(s) and reports on the size of your files and folders with a straightforward, color coded, Finder-esque presentation. From there you can click through folders, drilling down to large problem areas, identifying files and folders was you go.
WhatSize can also give you a pie chart representation of your data with labels and concentric folder display. For instance, your home directory is held within the "Users" folder on the root of the drive, so the Users folder is displayed in the innermost ring, while your home directory is displayed on the next ring out. You can drill down by double clicking folders, or zoom out by double clicking on white space. It's simple and intuitive.
There's also a table view that you can sort by file size, or you can scan for duplicates, which scans and compares your files, which takes a while (read: hours) if you have lots of files, but then allows you to easily see what's doubled up. WhatSize will also let you scan files and folders with Administrator status, allowing you to scan other users data on your drive.
If you're looking for a comprehensive, simple disk space visualiser, WhatSize does the job admirably for US$12.99 and is available from whatsizemac.com. But don't take our word for it, download the free trial and give it a whirl.
The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have changed the way we cope with really boring events, like long plane trips or budget meetings. You can, with the tap of a few buttons, download new movies, music, TV shows, books, and apps from wherever you are, as long as you are connected to the internet. Say your plane is delayed and you are stuck in the airport with nothing to do? Boom. You just grabbed two or three episodes of your favorite show on your iPhone, or the latest bestselling novel on your iPad.
But, once you get home, how do you get all of those goodies back on your Mac to watch later?
(Via Mac|Life all.)
iOS devices are great on their own, but if you're constantly using your Mac for work or other personal projects, you might feel like you're not fully utilizing your iPad and iPhone. With a few applications, however, you can transform your iPhone into a trackpad or your iPad into an external display and control desktop applications like Keynote and iTunes right from your mobile device. Read on to find out how.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Amazon's Cloud Reader Still Doesn't Take the Web Seriously - Amazon has deployed an HTML5-based Cloud Reader. What's genuinely new? What's still incomplete? And what does it tell us about where e-books are headed next?
(Via Wired Top Stories.)
Why pay Apple $69.99 when you can build your own Lion install drive for the App Store purchase price of $29.99 -- plus the cost of an inexpensive thumb drive. Here's how to create a full install on a drive, not just the recovery disk that we recently posted about.
You'll need a copy of the OS X Lion installer. If you saved a copy when you first installed Lion, great. If not, you'll need to re-download it from the Mac App Store.
I have a third-generation iPod touch (running iOS 3.3.1), and I recently updated the software to iOS 4.2.1. I can get all the new features: AirPrint, AirPlay, folders, and so on. The only thing I can’t get is multitasking. Is there something I can do to get this feature, or can I just not get it at all with the third-gen?
Multitasking is supported on the 32 and 64GB models of the third- generation iPod touch running iOS 4, according to the fine print on the Apple iOS 4 website; however, we suspect that you have an 8GB second-gen iPod touch. These 8GB models were sold alongside the third-gen devices; however, they do not support multitasking, even if you update to iOS 4.
Double-clicking the Home button will let you switch between apps quickly.
If your device does support multitasking, you can double-click on the Home button to bring up the task bar. Tap on any app to go back to where you left off in that application. Touching and holding on any one icon will start them all jiggling and allow you to remove the application from the multitasking tray, quitting it. This is a useful trick to keep in mind if one of your apps is misbehaving (cough, cough, Facebook, cough).
(Via Mac|Life all.)
Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader uses Safari to bypass Apple's App Store rules - After changes to Apple's App Store policies prompted Amazon to remove a link from its Kindle application to buy new books, the online retailer has launched a new browser-based "Cloud Reader."
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The ongoing London riots, now in their fourth day, have already caused significant damage across the city. Apple, a tempting target for thieves and vandals during the best of times, has reacted as any prudent and sufficiently cautious high-end retailer should during such a time. The Apple Store in Liverpool has entirely cleared out its inventory, and according to TNW several other stores have followed suit.
Apple, publishers sued over e-book pricing as sales jump - Apple and five of the six largest publishing houses have been sued in a class action suit accusing them of illegal price fixing via the agency model, while a new survey shows e-book sales have risen by more than 1000 percent over the past two years.
MobileMe to iCloud Transition Gives You 25GB Storage Until June 30th, 2012 - With the MobileMe to iCloud transition service launched for developers tonight, Apple has revealed what it plans on doing with existing MobileMe accounts moving over to iCloud.
While MobileMe and iCloud accounts are quite different there are some overlapping parts. iCloud will continue to house Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks, Find My Phone, and Back to My Mac, while dropping support for iWeb Publishing, Gallery and iDisk. Meanwhile, iCloud adds iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Automatic downloads of apps and books, and iOS device backup and restore.
During the transition, Apple has promised to keep existing MobileMe accounts active until June 30, 2012. What wasn't entirely clear was how the storage requirements would shift over to iCloud. Current individual MobileMe customers have 20GB of storage included in their yearly plan.
Apple has decided to move this one-to-one over to iCloud and is automatically signing up MobileMe users to the 20GB (+ 5GB free) tier plan in iCloud at no charge. We previously detailed the iCloud additional storage pricing which puts 25GB of storage at a normal yearly price of $40 USD per year.
Users are automatically signed up for recurring billing with the next payment date for the plan to be June 30th, 2012 -- the same date that the rest of MobileMe shuts down. You may choose to downgrade before that time, and not get charged.
It's not clear how much an average user will need on iCloud. Apple claims 5GB "goes a long way". With the loss of MobileMe's iDisk, individual storage requirements could easily go down with iCloud, but the addition of iOS backups could easily push you over the free 5GB limits. Apple is expected to launch iCloud in the fall alongside iOS 5.
Apple posts tool to make Lion Recovery USB drives - Apple late Monday put up a new tool to help Lion users make their own restore tools. Lion Recovery Disk Assistant lets users replicate the Lion Recovery tool from the system drive on a USB flash drive or external hard drive. The option gives users a way to re-download Lion, run Disk Utility, or revive a system from a Time Machine backup even if the regular backup partition is lost or users start with a fresh drive ...
Apple officially killing MobileMe sync for keychains, widgets, accounts, preferences - While many of the features of MobileMe are simply being upgraded in the move to iCloud, Apple has previously noted that Gallery, iDisk and iWeb are on the chopping block. Now, the company has further made it clear that data sync features will also be canceled in its iCloud transition steps.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Happy 20th birthday World Wide Web! - On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee presented a project for organizing information on what later became the World Wide Web. Now, as the Internet turns 20, we take a look at the gifts it's given us.
(Via CNET News.com.)
Where do you look for iPhone and iPad accessories? Your local Best Buy? The online Apple Store? There are lots of places to look, but one destination in particular has become my go-to spot for accessory browsing: Kickstarter.
The crowd-funding site, which invites users to invest in various projects with small sum “pledges” that only have to be paid if a project reaches its funding goal, is a breath of fresh air for a jaded iDevice accessory shopper like myself. And Kickstarter projects associated with Apple hardware seem to have a knack for doing well, both on the site and after achieving funding. Dan Provost, co-designer of the Glif and the Cosmonaut (both listed below), shared with me his opinion of why Kickstarter has prompted so many interesting Apple-related projects:
To a smaller degree, the influx of Apple accessories on Kickstarter has mirrored the deluge of apps into the App Store back in 2008. Apple has created an amazing tool in the iPhone, and people are excited to build things for it. Apple enabled individuals to publish software on the iPhone in 2008 with the opening of the App Store, and it seems Kickstarter has created that same enthusiasm for hardware.
Considering how many Apple accessories currently populate Kickstarter (a lot), and the frequency with which they appear (very often), I’d agree. Here’s a look at some of the best iPhone, iPod and iPad-related projects Kickstarter has brought us so far.
Apple’s iPod line has been overshadowed by the iPhone and iPad for quite some time now, but that didn’t stop the bite-sized music player it unveiled last fall from sparking the imaginations of many an accessory maker. Designer Scott Wilson was one of those who saw great potential in the 2010 iPod nano, and he came up with something that fits seamlessly with Apple’s own minimalist sensibilities.
Wilson created the TikTok and LunaTik, two watchband accessories for the iPod nano, based on the idea that users would be willing to pay more for a quality product, instead of just spending only a little bit of money on the nano straps rushed out the door by the usual suspects. The TikTok and LunaTike proved he was right, raising nearly $1 million on Kickstarter, before eventually finding a place on Apple Store retail shelves. The TikTok retails for $39.95, and the LunaTik is $79.95
On Thursday, a report that Apple’s Magic Mouse may be headed out to pasture caught fire like a spark in a dry forest and quickly spread across the interweb. Could Apple be heading for an all-trackpad world? As it turns out, the rumors of the Magic Mouse’s demise may be greatly exaggerated.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
Find the best personalized news app for your iOS device - Plenty of mobile apps offer to use your Facebook and Twitter feeds to help deliver news that matches your interests to your iPhone or iPad. But which app is the best? Joel Mathis looks at a handful to find the personalized news aggregator you should use on your iOS device.
Update: Magic Mouse may be replaced with new model - A follow-up from other sources has produced evidence that Apple may simply be upgrading the Magic Mouse to a newer model rather than discontinuing it as earlier claims had said. A new Magic Mouse model could offer upgraded Bluetooth connectivity (to version 4.0) and better support for Lion-oriented gestures, Cult of Mac is reporting ...
Lion USB sticks now available [u] - Apple's promised USB sticks for OS X Lion should now be available for sale, internal AppleCare documents show. These allow a person to install the OS without an available Internet connection and/or Mac App Store access. Apple is charging $69 for each stick, $39 more than the cost of a downloaded Lion upgrade ...
Magic Mouse being dropped in favor of Magic Trackpad? - Apple is discontinuing the Magic Mouse, throwing its weight behind the Magic Trackpad instead, a retail source claims. In detail the person alleges that Apple Stores are not receiving new Magic Mouse inventory, and that Apple is in fact phasing the peripheral out of its product lines ...
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Mac OS X Lion is not without its problems, but there’s also a lot to love about the big cat. Apple made some moves I believe will fundamentally change how we think about desktop computing. My top five favorite things about Lion include some of those revolutionary shifts, along with some small changes that make a big difference.
Mac OS X Lion has been around long enough to bring to light some quirks that aren’t exactly endearing. None are deal-breakers, in my opinion, so I won’t be going back to Snow Leopard anytime soon, but here are five things I really wish were different about OS X 10.7.
Apple kicked off the month of August with a new update for the company’s eternal living room “hobby,” the Apple TV, with a 4.3 update that finally allows the streaming of purchased television shows -- both those purchased from the tiny box as well as those bought in the past. Here’s a look at this and other new features.
Last week, the internet was on fire with word that Google TV hardware partner Logitech was dropping the largely ignored home theatre box to a mere $99 after failing to catch fire with consumers at $299. Somewhere we can only imagine Apple CEO Steve Jobs hearing about this news and smirking, having branded his company’s own Apple TV as a “hobby” project years ago and still finding the tiny second-generation box a hard sell at just under a hundred bucks.
While it’s likely going to take more than a simple software update to push the Apple TV into the hearts, minds and living rooms of many users, on Monday Apple released a 4.3 update to the diminutive home theatre hardware, adding the ability to both purchase (as well as rent) TV shows and stream previously purchased TV shows, including those that no longer reside in your iTunes library.
The streaming features appear to come by way of iCloud, whose presence has now been made available on the Apple TV with a small icon denoting previously purchased television shows capable of being streamed to the box, rather than requiring a Mac with iTunes running. The update also adds Vimeo as a new internet streaming source, rounding out a trio of welcome new features.
(Via Mac|Life all.)
Apple posts new iCloud login page as a revamped MobileMe, iWork.com - Apple has posted a not yet fully functional login page for its new iCloud service, representing a revamped version of its existing Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Find My iPhone MobileMe apps as well as newly integrating the document sharing features of iWork.com.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Square handling $4 million daily in mobile payments - The mobile payments company says that its credit card reader attachment for mobile devices has raised daily transactions by another million since late May.
(Via CNET News.com.)
Apple TV now streams iTunes TV shows, Vimeo - Owners of the second-generation Apple TV can now stream previously purchased TV shows directly from the iTunes Store, as well as watch videos from the popular video-hosting site Vimeo, thanks to a software update released on Monday.