Monday, May 31, 2010

Apple Sells 2 Million iPads In Less Than 2 Months

Earlier today, Apple has announced that the company has sold over 2 million of the "magical" iPads in in less than 2 months.

Apple® today announced that iPad™ sales have topped two million in less than 60 days since its launch on April 3. Apple began shipping iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK this past weekend. iPad will be available in nine more countries in July and additional countries later this year.

“Customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We appreciate their patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”

Developers have created over 5,000 exciting new apps for iPad that take advantage of its Multi-Touch user interface, large screen and high-quality graphics. iPad will run almost all of the more than 200,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®.

According to AppleInsider.com, Apple is selling about 35,000 - 36,000 iPads a day.

Pricing for the Apple iPad starts at $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $629 for the 3G + Wi-Fi model.

You can the full version of today's press release on the Apple website.

Happy Memorial Day

During all of today's parades, picnics, and all sorts of summer kick-off merriment, don't forget to take a minute and remember all of the brave men and women of our armed forces who have given then their lives in the service of our Great Nation so that we can all live free.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is Your Palm Pre a "Treo"?

Why is it a year later that I am still calling my Palm "Pre" a "Treo"? I guess some old habits die hard. Maybe it's because I still subconsciously haven't accepted "Pre" as a cool name for my phone?

It is interesting because I don't have the same problem with "Palm OS" and "Palm webOS".

Monday, May 17, 2010

PDF Reader: iPad Edtion 1.0

It's time for another Mobile Apps 360 review. This time I cover Kdan's PDF Reader iPad Edition.

I found myself needing to read a PDF attachment today. I was away from my office, and I didn't want to try to read the email attachment on my BlackBerry knowing full well that I had an 9.7-inch iPad in my bag.

In steps Kdan Mobile Software's $0.99 Apple iPad application, PDF Reader 1.0.

I was drawn into purchasing PDF Reader because of some of the cool features it had. First is the ability to transfer Acrobat documents from my MacBook Pro to my iPad using iTunes. Next was the well designed UI. In landscape mode, you see a file/folder navigation bar on the left with a document pane on the right. Switch the iPad into portrait mode and the navigation bar melts away allowing you to see the document full screen without any distractions.



Another cool feature is the ability to browse to your web mail account from inside the application, a feature that requires the application have a MA-17 rating, and download the PDF file to your iPad. That was the feature that I needed to read me PDF file.

PDF Reader also has a nice built in manual system that allows you to quickly get started and then call up the manual if you have questions later on. Page scrolling and zooming work very well and I didn't have any problem flicking through 13 - 24 page documents I need to read today.

All in all, PDF Reader: iPad Edition should be an application that you purchase and install on your iPad if you need to read PDF files outside of Apple's email application.

For more information about PDF Reader, visit the Kdan website. To purchase a copy of PDF Reader: iPad Edition 1.0, visit the iTunes App Store [App Store link] or use the App Store icon on your iPad and search for "PDF".

HTC Droid Eris Android 2.1 Update Rolling Out

The HTC Droid Eris update has finally started rolling out to Verizon customers this past Sunday. A message from a Verizon Twitter account indicated that the update would become available yesterday.

The Android 2.1 update is an Over the Air (OTA) update that you apply to your Eris without having to connect it to your computer. When the update becomes available for your Eris, an Update Available icon will appear at the top left of your screen. Once you download the update installer, you will be prompted to restart your phone and the update will be installed.

For more details about the Google Android 2.1 update for the HTC Droid Eris, check out the Verizon Wireless support website.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BlackBerry Bold 9650 Available from Sprint

The Sprint edition of the RIM BlackBerry Bold has gone on sale via the Sprint website today, according to BoyGeniusReport.com. The Bold 9650, which started out life as the BlackBerry Tour 2, will eventually replace the Tour on Sprint's Now Network.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 can be purchased for $199.99 after a $100 instant rebate and a $100 mail in rebate when you sign-up for a new line of service or add a 2-year contact extension to your existing plan.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650's feature list includes:
  • Trackpad
  • BlackBerry® Push Technology
  • Mobile Email
  • BlackBerry App World™
  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera and Camcorder
  • Dual Network Capability for International Travel
  • Wi-Fi Enabled - 802.11 b/g
  • External Memory (Up to 32GB SDHC microSD card)
  • BlackBerry® Messenger and Instant Messaging
  • Attachment Viewing and Editing (DataViz Documents to Go)
  • GPS capable
  • BlackBerry® Media Sync (sync with Apple iTunes)
  • Bluetooth® Enabled including Stereo BT profile
  • Voice Activated Dialing
  • Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC)
For more information and upgrade pricing, visit the Sprint website. For detailed product specifications on the BlackBerry Bold family of smartphones, visit the Research In Motion BlackBerry website.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

Steve Jobs Makes the Time 100 List for 2010

On this lazy Sunday afternoon I had a chance to catch up on some of the magazines and IT research reports. One of those magazines was Time, in which Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was named one a member of this year's Time 100. Mr. Jobs was listed in the "Thinkers" category; which is fitting because his computer has always dared to "Think Different."

You can read Jeff Koons' write up of Mr. Jobs on the Time website.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Keynote: Now Appearing On Alan's iPad

I purchased a copy of Apple's Keynote for the iPad today.

Before you get too excited, I honestly believed that I have a legitimate, ok, legitimate enough, excuse to drop $9.99 for the touch-based presentation software: working while on the go.

Ok, I can hear a number of you yelling "Foul!" on that one. But look at it from my perspective. I've been getting a lot of information technology research notes from the likes of Gartner, Forrester, and Info-Tech. Most of the research I've been asked to read has been in the form of PowerPoint slides (either in native PowerPoint format or as Adobe Acrobat documents). The slides are usually printed and handed to me. Aside from not wanting to be tangentially responsible for the mowing down the rain forest, if I had the slides in electronic form I can read them while I'm walking around the house or waiting for the kids to finish their various sports practices. Makes perfect sense.

When slides showed up on my desk today for Microsoft Office 2010, I asked for the electronic version and then pulled out my iPad and purchased Keynote. So far, the slides have been easy to read on the iPad's amazing screen and I've started reading the report. Hopefully this will allow me to get some more work done, raise the geek bar slightly, and still justify the $10 as a business related expense.

You can purchase Keynote 1.1 for the iPad from the Apple iTunes App Store. Starting today, owners of Keynote 1.0 for the iPad can download a free update to Keynote 1.1 for iPad.

Apple Releases Pages 1.1 for iPad

Today, Apple released Pages 1.1 for the iPad.

The new version of Pages, Apple's touch-based word processor for the iPad, includes UI refinements and improvements for Microsoft Word support.

The enhancements in Pages 1.1 include:
  • Toolbar and ruler landscape support
  • Auto fit in landscape mode
  • Import/Export functions for Microsoft Word documents
  • Fixes a scrolling after movie import issue
  • New localization support
Pages can be purchased from the App Store for $9.99. The update to 1.1 is a free update to current Pages for iPad owners. You can purchase Pages or download the update using iTunes or the App Store app on the iPad. [iTunes App Store Link]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HTC Droid Eris Android 2.1 by May 16th

I just saw the following Tweet by @VZWTechSupport:

"Droid Eris users should expect 2.1 updates by Sunday 5/16."

That's good news because I've had my Eris on all day and I keep getting the message "Your system is currently up to date" when I run the manual check.

Well, at least I have something to look forward to playing with on Sunday afternoon.

HTC EVO 4G Arrives on Sprint June 4th

Get ready Sprint fans! The HTC EVO 4G hits store shelves on June 4th!

Sprint issued a press release earlier today to announce the release date of their new 4G Google Android handset.

If you were creating your dream wireless device what would it look like? Two cameras and video chat so you can say goodnight to your children when you are away on a business trip? Simultaneous voice and data, so you can call in your take-out order while you look at their menu on the Internet? The ability to plug your phone into your HDTV, so you can let your children finish the movie they started watching in the car's backseat when you get home? And a huge screen for watching the videos you download in seconds - not minutes - with the fastest wireless data speeds available in America today? Stop daydreaming and get ready for Sprint to make your dreams come true on June 4 when the highly anticipated HTC EVO 4G debuts.

"HTC EVO 4G is a fantastic 3G device, but when you use it in our growing 4G coverage area, it becomes a multimedia powerhouse," said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "The EVO 4G experience is much like going from TV to HDTV. But EVO has more than just an impressive list of features - it is also fun to use with remarkable gaming, video and web-browsing capabilities."

Amazing Features, Beautiful Design

HTC EVO 4G features the latest version of the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 35,000 apps, as well as a mind-blowing list of features, including:
  • Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G and Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more while the conversation continues.
  • Offering a new way to search with pictures instead of words, Google Goggles(TM) works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and wine labels.
  • Superfast 1GHz Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) processor, ensuring a smooth and quick movement within phone menus.
  • Two cameras - an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera.
  • Built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.
  • Integrated HD video capture with the ability to capture and share live video via the Qik Web site, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter(TM).
  • Ability to easily watch video with the device on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).
  • Custom Web browser optimized for the 4.3 inch display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience.
  • A handy kickstand built into the back, making it easy to watch videos on-the-go.
  • Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen.
  • Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views.

HTC EVO 4G boasts the newest version of the highly acclaimed HTC Sense user experience. With HTC Sense, HTC EVO 4G users can use Friend Stream to aggregate multiple social communication channels, including Facebook and Twitter into one organized flow of updates; a "Leap" thumbnail view to easily switch between home screen "panels;" the ability to download new, interactive widgets; and a "polite" ringer, which quiets the ringing phone once lifted up.

HTC EVO 4G Pricing and Availability

HTC EVO 4G will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Sprint.com and national retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Sprint will price the award-winning device at $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade. Pre-registration is available now at www.sprint.com/evo.

In order to provide the best experience, HTC EVO 4G will use Sprint's industry-leading Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans that include unlimited Web, texting and calling on the Sprint Network to every mobile in America with Any Mobile, Anytime. Everything Data plans start at $69.99 per month. A $10 per month Premium Data add-on will apply allowing customers to take advantage of a richer data experience than ever before.

Additionally, an optional pricing add-on will turn HTC EVO 4G into a mobile hotspot connecting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, simultaneously at 4G speeds where available and at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network for just $29.99 per month - half the monthly cost of the current Mobile Broadband plan (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

For more details about the Sprint HTC EVO 4G, visit the Sprint website. The full version of today's press release can be found on the Sprint Newsroom website. Sprint has also made the EVO 4G spec sheet available.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Verizon and Google Working on a Tablet

Barron's Tech Trader Daily is reporting that Verizon Wireless and Google are collaborating on a new tablet-based computer.
"Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told the Wall Street Journal that the company is working with Google on a tablet computer.

“We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience,” he said."
You can read the full article, with links, on the Tech Trader Daily blog.

[Via Barron's Tech Trader Daily...]

HTC Droid Eris Android 2.1 Begins Rolling Out Today

According to AndroidCentral.com, Verizon Wireless customers who have an HTC Droid Eris are starting to get their Android 2.1 mojo on.
"Today was supposed to be the day of the magic for you Droid Eris owners, and it appears Verizon has kept its word, and the rollout has started. This update is scheduled over the course of two weeks, so keep checking your device for updates, and hit up the forums to see who's got it, and what's in the update"

Details about what is included in the 2.1 Android update for the Eris can be found on the Verizon Wireless website.

[Via AndroidCentral.com...]

Rumor: Apple To Give Mobile Me Subscriptions Away

File this under "Crazy Ass Rumor of the Week", but if Electronista.com and MacDailyNews.com are right, Apple might be feeling some pressure from Google's free cloud services.
"A tentative new rumor asserts that Apple may turn MobileMe into a free service. The plan would drop the $99 annual fee and let anyone with an iPad, iPod, iPhone or Mac get the online sync service for free."

"Free MobileMe access would likely be a shot across the bow of Google, for whom online sync has been an inherent feature in most of its software. Android users can sync accounts and contacts for free through Google's existing services. Apple handheld owners can already sync Google features to some extent but don't have the live updating of more unless they use Exchange or MobileMe."

Personally, the only reason why I don't have a MobileMe.com account is that I really don't feel like paying Apple another $69-99 a year for an email account - all be it a really handy email account. If the service was made available to me for free since I own two iPods, an iPad, a MacBook, and my recently purchased 17-inch MacBook Pro, hell ya, I'd jump on MobileMe in a second. Google who?

Until we get some more details, however, I'm going to stick with my Google Gmail and Calendar accounts.

[Via Electronista.com...]

Sprint to Google: We'll Pass On the Nexus One

The Sprint, the Now Network, told us that they, like Verizon Wireless, won't be carrying the Nexus One smartphone either. Take that Google!

BoyGeniusReport.com reported late yesterday afternoon that "Sprint’s PR people have let it be known that the Google Nexus One will never have a home with the Now Network. Singling out the lack of need for the handset in their portfolio thanks to the bigger, better, faster and stronger HTC EVO 4G[...]"

[Via BGR.com...]

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rumor: HP webOS Tablet Later This Year

Over the last week reports have been popping up around the web that HP could have a webOS tablet ready to go sometime in the back half of 2010.

Reported by webOSRoundup.com, HP could be ready to bring out a tablet computer running webOS as early as Q3, 2010 or as late as the 2010 holiday shopping season. Adding fuel to this rumor is another rumor that HP has killed a project to release a tablet computer later this year running Microsoft's Windows 7.

My personal opinion is that a commercial release of an HP tablet running webOS before November is an incredibly aggressive timeline. Even if HP's hardware is ready to go, there is still the issue of actually acquiring Palm and the license(s) for webOS. Then there is the time required to recode the webOS Linux kernel to run on the new tablet, beta testing, manufacturing, software imaging, shipping, etc. Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done. If HP wants it done, they can pull it off, but at what cost? The last thing that HP would want is to race to market with a new webOS tablet and to have it be a train wreck. That already happened with Palm's Foleo. I would much rather see a product that can deliver on the promise of the Foleo that is done well and not rushed out against some imaginary schedule.

[Via webOSRoundup.com...]

Rumor: HTC Droid Eris 2.1 Update Coming "Soon"

Depending on which rumor you have read, the Google Android 2.1 update for the HTC Droid Eris could be coming to Verizon Wireless customers as early as tomorrow, May 11, or as late as the end of the month. Regardless, if a report back in February from Android And Me is true, all of today's Google Android smartphones will be getting the Android 2.1 treatment.

I'll give you our option: Bring on the yummy Android 2.1 goodness!

Regardless of when the update finally becomes available, we can read about the details of the HTC Droid Eris upgrade on the Verizon website.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wow! I Like the Storm2 On-Screen Keyboard!

I never thought I would say this, but I really like the BlackBerry Storm2's on screen keyboard. I reviewed the Storm2 back in December, and I had this to say about the on-screen keyboard:
"After using the Storm 2’s Qwerty keyboards, I can say that I prefer the landscape keyboard the most. It offers the largest key cap clickable area of all the keyboards and the clickable screen did a good job tricking me into thinking that I was pressing a key on a physical keyboard. That isn’t to say that I didn’t make any typing mistakes, but I think that the Storm 2 offers the best on screen keyboard of all the smartphones I’ve tested so far. My one basic gripe about the landscape Qwerty keyboard is that when it is displayed, it takes up a significant portion of the screen; which can severely limit the space on the screen to see what you are doing."
Now that I have to live with the Storm2, I'm glad that to see that my views haven't really changed much about the keyboard and that I still find the Qwerty landscape keyboard the most useful of all of the virtual keyboards I've tried to date. I've also been working with the Motorola Droid lately. You can get used to the Droid's flat keyboard (as compared with a raised keyboard on the BlackBerry Tour/Bold or the Palm Pre); however, I have discovered that I can type faster on the Storm2 because the on-screen key caps are larger than the physical key caps on the Droid.

The punch line here is that I still stand by my years long assertion that buying a smartphone is a very personal choice. you can read reviews and get recommendations from people, but at the end of the day, I still think the best thing you can do if you are in the market for a smartphone is to go to a local retail store and play with the selections and try it out for yourself.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Admitting I Have a Problem

Another long work day has come to an end and I'm "degearing" for the night. Just a few minutes ago, I realized why my blog has the word "Fanatics" in it.

Right now, on my person, I'm carrying my Sprint Palm Pre, a 2G Apple iPhone, a 5th gen iPod, my iPad, and my new company issued Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 9550. Oh, and let's not forget the 17-inch MacBook Pro that I needed at work today.

So, I have to ask myself, why the hell and I carrying all this gear anyway? "They" say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. I'll have to pencil that into my calendar at some point?

I'll have to take a break from all of this technology by drinking this can of Diet Coke.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Returning to BlackBerry Nation

Today I was issued a company phone. I had the choice of selecting either a Motorola Droid or a BlackBerry Storm2. I chose the Storm2.

I had the chance to work with both phones late last year as I worked with a team of people to select the phone, or in this case, the phones, that would replace our aging fleet of Treo 755p smartphones for mobile email and calendaring access. At the end of the day, our team decided to support both BlackBerry OS and Google Android because we use Notify Technology's NotifyLink middleware server. NotifyLink is a robust platform that quickly allows small and mid-size businesses to connect just about any current smartphone with just about any standards based email and calendaring platform.

You can read my BlackBerry Storm2 and Motorola Droid reviews here on Smartphone Fanatics.