Archive for the ‘tech.commentary.ipad’ Category

Instagram 3.0 Available

Instagram 3.0 was made available for download yesterday. The major release will be welcomed by the 80 million users who are sharing photos with friends via Instagram’s iPhone and Android apps.

Instagram 3.0 includes a variety of improvements and performance enhancements, but the goal of the release was clearly to improve, and re-imagine, the browsing and exploration experience.

During an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described the new update:

“With every data release we’ve tried to shift our focus dramatically. Instagram 2.0, with its new filters, etc, was all about the user’s production experience. Instagram 3.0 is about a new kind of browser experience, Photo Maps. Photo Maps is such a fun way of re-descovering yourself, but not just yourself, all Instagram users”

Photo Maps, a feature of the member profile, provides an alternative map-based way to browse photo collections. The experience provides a new and fun way to browse other’s photos, but it’s also a fun way to rediscover some of your own photos.

Instagram Photo Maps

Instagram’s Photo Maps

Improvements like support for continuous browsing, and slightly larger grid photos will also be welcomed by the army of people that use Instagram on a daily basis.

The video below provides a walkthrough of the new Photo Map feature if you’re interested in learning more. Or, just download Instagram for iOS, or Android, it’s FREE!

Instagram 3.0 – Photo Maps Walkthrough from Instagram on Vimeo.


Amazon Cloud Player for iOS Released

Amazon’s Cloud Player for iOS is now available in the iTunes App Store. Amazon Cloud Player provides Amazon’s customers with the ability to stream or download music stored in their Amazon Cloud Drive. You can also manage your music library and create playlists using the App. Because Apple prohibits it, you won’t be able to purchase new music through the App – the Kindle App for iPhone is limited in the same way.

Now your music can come with you everywhere! Listen to your music from the cloud on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch anywhere you are. You can download or stream your library from the cloud – or play the music you already have on your device. – iTunes App Description

Amazon Cloud Player is long overdue – it should have launched along with the Cloud Drive service a year ago. Still, I’m glad to see that Amazon is willing to commit resources to supporting their customers that are also Apple customers.

Amazon Cloud Player


ioShutter Camera Remote

ioshutter-camera-remote

Control your DSLR from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using the ioShutter Camera Remote and ioShutter App. The ioShutter App (free and paid) supports six different modes: standard trigger, motion trigger, sound trigger, time-lapse, timer, bulb, and modes can be combined. Most of Canon’s cameras are supported, and it sounds like a version for Nikon cameras is in the works.

The ioShutter Camera Remote competes with the successful Kickstarter project - Trigger Happy camera remote. Remotes like these are going to replaces the standard remote switches most manufacturers offer – the added functionality you get in the supporting Apps makes it an easy choice, and you don’t have to pay a whole lot more for the added functionality.

The ioShutter Camera Remote is available from Photojojo now for $69.99. The Trigger Happy remotes can be pre-ordered now, but won’t ship until July.

Update 05.08.12: Camera’s from the following manufacturers are supported by ioShutter Camera Remote: Canon, Hasselblad, Pentax, and Samsung. Nikon coming this summer. Compatibility details available on the ioShutter website.


iPhone Laser Pointer

Smart Dot

The Smart Dot from Tangram Design Lab (@tangram_design) is a laser pointer you can control with your iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod Touch or iPad - and a bit more. The laser connects to the 3.5mm jack on your iOS device, and it’s powered by the same. The free Smart Dot App activates and deactivates the laser, but it can also connect with the machine hosting your presentation via wi-fi and act as a controller for your presentation as well. The App also includes a trackpad feature you can use to control the mouse pointer on the machine hosting your presentation. Smart Dot will do all of this for a mere $79.90. A pretty cool little gadget for the road warriors out there.


Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard Cover

Logitech Ultrathin KeyboardA new ultrathin iPad keyboard cover from Logitech is about to drop. The aluminum encased cover sports an ultra-quite Bluetooth® wireless keyboard and enough battery to keep it all running for months of regular use. The cover integrates well with the magnets built into the frame of the iPad 2 and iPad (3rd generation) to secure the cover, and wake and sleep your iPad as it should. From the pictures, it looks sharp enough to hang with the iPad. Available later this month for about a Benjamin. If you spend a lot of time writing email on your iPad, you might just want to pre-order one of these.


iTunes Movie Trailers Updated

iTunes Movie Trailers

Good news movie fans, Apple released an update for iTunes Movie Trailers for iPad today that adds support for the new iPad’s Retina Display. Now you can watch your favorite movie trailers in Retina Definition.


New iPad Commercial

Apple released a new iPad commercial today to highlight the stunning Retina Display that will be included with the new iPad – a feature they’re expecting will set the iPad apart from the growing number of iPad competitors. Ordered my new iPad today, looking forward to the stun.

When a screen becomes this good, colors are more vibrant. Words are pin sharp. Everything is more brilliant. Because when a screen becomes this good, it’s simply you and the things you care about. The stunning Retina Display on the new iPad.


1GB of RAM in new iPad?

THE VERGE is reporting that the new iPad is going to ship with 1GB of RAM. That’s awesome – and double what the iPad 2 is sporting. Won’t know for sure until the 16th, but I’d say there’s a good chance this is true.


Is Square the new Intuit?

Square RegisterSquare Register for iPad looks great. Register uses the same Square Card Reader the iPhone App uses, and I love the new analytics package.

Square, founded by Jack Dorsey in May 2010, made a big splash by making it easy for iPhone users in the U.S. to accept credit cards inexpensively. Square has been showing up everywhere lately, from Farmers’ Markets to Girl Scout cookie stands. Square Register looks great, and I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit with small business owners across the country. Is Square the new Intuit? It’s starting to feel that way.

Square Register from Square on Vimeo.


Magnus Stand

Magnus StandThe Magnus Stand from Ten One Design (t: @TenOneDesing) is good enough to carry the Apple brand. The design is minimalist, it’s made from recycled aluminum, and it uses the iPad 2′s build-in magnetic hinge to lock your iPad in place. The stand only works in the portrait orientation, but the minimalist design and use of the iPad 2′s magnets to support the iPad leave the various ports, controls, and camer unencumbered.

The Magnus was unveiled at CES 2012, and will be shipping later this week. Available from Ten One for about $50 bucks, which a bit steep for what you’re getting, but like I said it’s good enough to carry the Apple brand.


VooMote

VooMote

Attach the VooMote Zapper to the 30-pin port on the bottom of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (iOS 5 required) to transform it into a universal remote control. After installing the free VooMote Zapper App, and running through a quick set up process (learning function supported) you’ll be set to control all of your devices from your iDevice. The VooMote supports: multiple room configurations, macros, custom remotes, and multi-remote views.

The VooMote Zapper dongle is available in a variety of colors and costs $70. A matching cover for the iPhone will cost an extra $10, and a cover for your iPad will cost an extra $20.

The VooMote Zapper is available now at Apple.com, and you can download the VooMote Zapper App from the Apple App Store.


AirPlay Speakers

AirPlay enabled audio accessories were big at CES this year. Both Griffin and Altec Lansing announced new products.

GriffinTwenty

Griffin Twenty

Griffin’s Twenty digital audio amplifier makes it possible to play digital audio from iTunes, or any other AirPlay enabled app (e.g. Pandora), to an existing set of non-AirPlay enabled speakers wirelessly using an Airport Express wireless base station paired with Apple’s AirPlay wireless technology.

The Twenty is equipped with a power connect and mount for an Apple AirPort Express. The result is a zero-configuration audio set-up that features a 2.1 channel sound system with 20 watts of output per channel. The Twenty is a great way to wirelessly push audio to those old classic speakers you just don’t want to part with.

Altec inair5000

inAir5000

Altec Lansing’s new inAir 5000 is an AirPlay enabled speaker that has 110 watts of power, two 1-inch soft-dome neodymium tweeters, two 3-inch Kevlar drivers, one 4-inch subwoofer, and one passive bass radiator. It’s a high-quality speaker. The inAir 5000 combined with Apple’s AirPlay, makes it easy to stream music from your computer, iPhone, or iPad to any room in the house without wires. Most iDevice owner are going to appreciate the stylish teardrop design.

The inAir 5000’s release date hasn’t been released yet, but it should be released before summer 2012. Pricing hasn’t been released yet either.

More was announced, but the Twenty and the inAir 5000 definitely desserve to be highlighted. Looking forward to seeing how both are received in 2012.


iRig Mic Cast Inroduced at CES

iRig MicIK Multimedia introduced the iRig Mic Cast ultra-compact voice recording microphone at CES this week. The iRig Mic Cast was designed for iDevice slingers that conduct interviews, podcast, and need to capture the occasional voice memo. Connects to your iPod, iPhone touch, or iPad headphone port. A stand is included (pictured) – nice touch – and it even has a mini-jack you can use with headphones to monitor what you’re recording in real-time. Suggested retail price is $39.99 – available later this month. A great little accessory, at the right price-point.


iOS Auto-renewable Subscriptions

AppleMarco Arment’s post The limited world of auto-renewable subscriptions is a good read for any iOS developer thinking about using Apple’s auto-renewable subscription system for anything other than traditional-style  media publishing apps.

Reading between the lines on my rejection call, and seeing it codified more clearly here, it’s obvious that only traditional-style media publishing apps can use auto-renewable subscriptions. They were created solely for the existing newspaper and magazine industry, not web services.


iOS Multitasking Myth

Apple
Frasier Speirs, “Misconceptions About iOS Multitasking“:

There is one iOS “tip” that I keep hearing and it is wrong. Worse, I keep hearing it from supposedly authoritative sources. I have even heard it from the lips of Apple “Geniuses” in stores.

Here is the advice – and remember it is wrong:

All those apps in the multitasking bar on your iOS device are currently active and slowing it down, filling the device’s memory or using up your battery. To maximise performance and battery life, you should kill them all manually.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

 


iPad 2

iPad 2

The dust has settled on the streets around the Yerba Buena Center, the venue Apple selected to pull the white sheet off the iPad 2 Wednesday. Tim Cook sat in the front row of the audience, as Steve Jobs took the stage to present the all important iPad – responsible for 17% of Apple’s revenue last quarter. The unveiling went as expected, except maybe for Steve showing up, and now a lot of us are anxiously waiting for March 11th to arrive.

Apple streamed the event, and as usual Steve did a great job of walking us through the changes to the iPad. There weren’t any surprise features, and that disappointed some. I for one, think it would have been a mistake for Apple to mess with a product that’s doing as well as the iPad is. Refining the iPad, and adding a few well thought out features, e.g. the cameras and upgraded processor, was a smart move on Apple’s part.

The improvements include:

  • A 1GHz dual-core A5 chip, which will make the iPad 2 nearly twice as fast as the origina iPad
  • 2 cameras, 720p video recording at 30fps from the rear-facing camera
  • 1080p HDMI output
  • The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than its predecessor, and a slim 8.8mm
  • Both white and black options, and an improved shell
  • Ships with iOS 4.3 installed, which offers all kinds of cool improvements

A lot has been written about the iPad 2 and Apple’s announcement. Scoble weighed in on the iPad 2 vs. the Motorola Xoom, HP’s TouchPad, and the RIM PlayBook. He even wrote an iPad lovers review of the Motorol Xoom post. The iPad 2, in Scoble’s opinion “wins big time.” Engadget did a nice job with their iPad 2 first hands-on post. And Engadget rounded-up the best selection of Apple’s press pictures and videos, one embedded below.

The rumors and speculation that preceded the unveiling were fun to follow as usual. Devin Coldewey did a great job with his iPad 2 Rumor Roundup post over on CrunchGear – fortunately the high-resolution display didn’t materialize – that would have been tough on developers. Fortunately, iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad did materialize and the iPad thinned out and lost some weight.

I for one am looking forward to getting my iPad 2 next week. I think Apple made some smart improvements, enough to make 2011 another iPad year. A number of good Android tablets are available now, and more are coming this year, but it’s Apple’s software ecosystem that’s the real barrier to entry competitors are going to be banging their heads agains for years to come.


Localytics Study Says…

First impressions are important, I’ve always believed that. It’s no surprise that they’re important in the highly competitive mobile apps space too.

Localytics, used their real-time app analytics service to study the usage patterns of thousands of Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 users. The good news is that users seem very willing to give new apps a try. The bad, according to Localytics, is that 26% of the time users never give the app a second try.

High download counts early in the life of an app are a good indicator of success, but positive recurring usage metrics are often more indicative of an app that will be successful in the long-term.


Apple Dropping Home Button?

iPad Home ButtonApple’s support for multi-touch gestures in iOS 4.3 BETA has some speculating that Apple is going to drop the Home button in future versions of the iPad and iPhone. Apparently, Apple employees are already testing devices that don’t have a Home button. BGR broke the story yesterday.

The Home button is fairly useless, it returns you to the Home view, or the multitasking pane. The addition of multi-touch gestures that allow  you to access the Home view and the multitasking pane render it useless and redundant. Personally, I think the Home button makes the device feel a bit PLAYSCHOOL and I’d be happy to see it go. Word is that Steve Jobs didn’t want any physical buttons on the original iPhone, so I’m sure he’s been pressing for this from the beginning.

Are you for or against the Home button?


New Multi-Touch Gestures in iOS 4.3

Engadget does a great job of summarizing the new multi-touch gestures available in iOS 4.3 in this short video. You can use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen; swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar; and swipe left or right between apps.


iPad Orientation Lock Option In iOS 4.3

Good news for those of you that miss having the ability to lock the iPad’s screen orientation using the physical switch on the side of the device. The iOS 4.3 beta includes a new setting that let’s you determine how you want the switch to work – you can select between “Mute” or “Lock Rotation.” “Mute,” the current behavior in iOS 4.2, is selected by default. If you choose “Mute,” “Lock Rotation” will appear in the multitasking tray, if you choose “Lock Rotation,” “Mute” will appear in the multitasking tray. Pretty cool.

iPad Orientation Lock

I’m glad Apple is making the setting available for a couple of reasons. 1) I preferred it when the switch locked screen orientation, so I’ll be taking advantage of this setting. 2) It shows that Apple is willing to backtrack on usability decisions based on feedback from their customers.


About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

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