iBooks 1.2 Released

Today, Apple released a new version of their iBooks application for iPad and iPhone.

The iBooks 1.2 update brings the following features:

  • Experience fully illustrated books, from children’s picture books to beautifully designed art books, available for download in the iBookstore.
  • Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections.
  • Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint.
  • iBooks now fits more words per page by automatically hyphenating text, available only on iOS 4.2 or later.

iBooks is a free application and is available now from the iTunes Store (Link).  iBooks requires iOS 3.2 or later on the iPad or 4.0 or later on current model iPhone and iPod touch devices.

SPF360 Podcast Show 1

I return to a regular podcast this week with the release of the Smartphone Fanatics SPF360 Podcast Show 1.

On this week’s SPF360 podcast, I discuss:

  • The Verizon rumor for semi-exclusive iPhone 4
  • The incredible disappearing HP webOS smartphones
  • BlackBerry Storm2 boot up speed #fail
  • BlackBerry Playbook -BGR.com hands on

Listening Options

Smartphone Fanatics RSS Feed
Direct Download

Samsung Nexus S Unveiled

The new Nexus smartphone is being launched by Samsung and is headed for T-Mobile here in the United States.

Samsung and Google deliver Nexus S, the world’s first handset to feature the latest version of Google’s Android™ platform. Powered by Android 2.3, Gingerbread, this smartphone is packed with powerful technology and the latest in hardware features.

Form Meets Functionality

Featuring both superior functionality and a stunning user-experience, the Nexus S has a brilliant Super AMOLED touch screen that provides a premium viewing experience. The 4-inch Contour Display has a curved design for a more ergonomic style and feel when held to the user’s face.

Powered by a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, Nexus S produces rich 3D graphics, faster upload and download times and supports HD-like multimedia content. In addition, Nexus S features a gyroscope sensor to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user is tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right. It also comes with 16 GB of internal memory.

Impressive Features

Nexus S features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips. It’s also equipped with a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and camcorder, as well as a VGA front facing camera, and features a new and improved keyboard with multi-touch support, Internet calling (VoIP/SIP support) and a clean new user interface.

Get Access to Apps

This powerful smartphone also includes popular Android features such as portable Wi-Fi hotspot, true multitasking and access to Google mobile services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ with Navigation, Voice Actions, Google Voice™ and YouTube™, and access to over 100,000 apps and widgets on Android Market™.

Pricing and Availability

The Samsung Nexus S will be going on sale at T-Mobile on December 16 for $199 with a new 2-year service agreement.  You can also purchase the Nexus S from Best Buy as an unlocked phone for $529 according to AndroidCentral.com.

To learn more about the Nexus S, visit the Samsung or Google Nexus S websites.

Rumor: White iPhone 4 On Track for Spring 2011

Apple has missed the target date for the white iPhone 4 twice now, so you’ll forgive me it I’m a bit skeptical of the newest target date of “spring 2011.”  This information isn’t new.  An Apple spokesperson also reported that the white iPhone 4 launch was rescheduled to spring 2011.

The unofficial reasons that I’ve seen around the Internet range from the white parts of the phone not staying white and yellowing to there being problems to the cameras to an antenna redesign.  Whatever the reason, the end result is the same – customers still can’t buy a legit white iPhone 4.

[Via 9To5Mac.com…]

Briefly Noted: eWeek T-Mobile G2 Review

I recently came across eWeek.com’s review of the new T-Mobile G2 smartphone running Google Android.

“Overall, the T-Mobile G2 by HTC, which is priced at $199 with a two-year contract, is quite a good Android phone. It doesn’t have every feature that can be found with the competition, but it has a few features the others don’t have, most notably the very fast 3G access. If you want an Android choice, this is right at the top of the list.”

You can read the full review on the eWeek website.

Rovio Releases Angry Birds Seasons

Rovio has followed up their successful Angry Birds: Halloween app with Angry Birds Seasons.  “Seasons” is a separate game for iPhone and iPad that includes the Halloween levels, and a new set of Christmas themed levels.

The twist for the Christmas themed levels is that you play one a day until December 25th.  That is kind of annoying while we’re waiting for Christmas to get here, but the Seasons levels are harder for me to get 2 or three stars so I’ll end up spending a day trying to get to three starts so it won’t be a big problem for me anyway.

One thing that I really like about Angry Birds: Seasons is that is supports iOS 4’s Game Center feature so I can compare how I’m fairing against my friends and family in the leaderboards.

Like the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons comes in two flavors: iPhone/iPod touch ($.99) and HD for iPad ($1.99).  If you purchased Angry Birds: Halloween, Angry Birds: Seasons will be a free upgrade.

BlackBerry Tip: Erasing the Calendar

I stumbled across a great tip today while testing out a new Exchange 2007/BlackBerry Enterprise server sync solution.

I needed to clear out the calendar on my BlackBerry Storm2, but I didn’t want to have to hard reset the device.

Turns out that there is a secret command of sorts that will allow you to clear out the BlackBerry calendar database without having to wipe the phone.

Note: The BlackBerry smartphone must be running BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 to 5.0 to perform this task.

  1. Open the calendar application on the BlackBerry smartphone.
  2. Press the Menu key and highlight Options.
  3. Select the calendar to be reloaded, e.g. “Desktop” for a BlackBerry Enterprise Server enabled BlackBerry Device.
  4. With the calendar highlighted type rset on a QWERTY keyboard or ER,ER,AS,AS,ER,TY on SureType.
  5. Click Yes when asked to reload the specific calendar to continue.

You can read the full Resarch In Motion article on the BlackBerry support website.

Oh No! I Have A “Dead” iPad!

I got home from work last night and grabbed my iPad to catch up on what has been happening while I was toiling way at work.

I started checking email, Twitter, and a few websites.  Everything was fine.  Then disaster struck!  I pressed the Power button to turn off the screen and take care of a few things.  I came back about 5 minutes later to check the weather and I couldn’t wake up iPad!

I was finally able to wake the iPad up from it’s deep sleep by pressing and holding the Power button and the Home button simultaneously for about 10-15 seconds.  I was greeted by the white Apple logo and then a few seconds later the password screen appeared and I was able to start using my iPad.

Knock on wood, I’ve never had a problem with my Apple hardware, so I was a little surprised that my iPad decided it was on a break.  I knew the battery was at 76% so it wasn’t like the battery was so low that it wouldn’t turn on.  I tried pressing and holding the Power button, pressing the Power button in rapid succession, pressing the Home button, connecting the iPad to my MacBook Pro, and even letting the iPad charge up for 10 minutes.

While I was troubleshooting I was having images of having to trek down to a “local” Apple Store a good 45-60 minutes away and then having to deal with the sea of people in the store to get to the Genius Bar to have someone look at my iPad.  Luckily for me, things weren’t that bad.

The moral of this story, is that you should keep a level head, and try troubleshooting before having to call Apple.  If you need troubleshooting tips, manuals, or other support options for your iPad, you can visit the Apple iPad support website.  Need help with a different Apple product?  Visit the full Apple support website.

Rumor: iOS 4.3, Periodical Subscriptions Coming in December

It seems like just yesterday Apple rolled out iOS 4.2.1 to bring a number of new features to the iPad and refinements to the iPhone 4, both models of iPhone 3, and recent model iPod touch handsets.  Oh!  Wait!  It was just yesterday!
But today is a new day, and with it came new rumors that Apple is already at work on iOS 4.3 which is rumored to have enhancements for AirPlay will feature a new set of application program interfaces, or APIs, that will support a new type of for pay subscription system for digital periodicals, like New Corp’s “The Daily” digital only “newspaper.”
It is also rumored that Apple will make some noise with this update and will hold a media event.  This is where things can get a little bit sketchy.  According to an article that appeared on MacStories.net today, a source indicated that Apple had planned to have iOS 4.2 out within the first two weeks of November, with a public announcement and release of iOS 4.3 about a month later in the first half of December.  It is not clear what impact the discovery of a Wi-Fi bug in iOS 4.2 will have on the iPad maker’s plans for iOS 4.3 within the first fifteen dates of December.
What will happen between now and when we close the book on 2010 is anyone’s guess right now.  Be on the look out for an Apple media event on or about December 9 and for iOS to start hitting iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches on or about December 13.
Personally, I’m looking forward to a digital daily news paper, and will try out News Corp’s “The Daily” for about $4.25/month.  I’m also still looking for digital subscriptions to the paper magazines that I already subscribe to.