Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tick & Tracker GPS Tracking Applications for Smartphones

With kids both big and small gearing up for tonight's candy extravaganza, parents looking to let this kids spread their wings a little bit and roam the neighborhood with their friends might want to pick up one of the many GPS tracking applications for Google's Android or Apple's iOS.

Apple: White iPhone Delayed Until Spring, 2011

Apple has announced, sort of, via a company spokesperson, that the elusive white iPhone 4 won't appear until the spring of 2011.

John Paczkowski, of the Digital Daily blog, contacted the iPhone maker and received the following word:
“We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone yet again, but we’ve decided to delay its release until this spring.”
I suspect that the changes of us seeing a white iPhone 4 on AT&T or Verizon are right up there with seeing a white unicorn nibbling on your front lawn when you wake up tomorrow morning.  Rather, I suspect, as some other have commented, there may not be a white iPhone 4 at all, and that Apple may have quietly decided to wait until the iPhone 5 is announced to begin shipping a new white iPhone.

In the mean time, comedy sketch group JLE has posted the following YouTube video.  Recoded in a style that emulates one of Apple's promotional videos, this skit had me laughing out loud, clapping my hands, and stomping my feet.




[Via Digital Daily...]

Friday, October 29, 2010

AT&T Begins Selling Apple iPad

Not wanting to be out done by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, currently the only wireless carrier in the United States to sell Apple's insanely popular iPhone, has also begun to sell the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G on Thursday.

AT&T and Apple® today announced that all three iPad™ Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available at more than 2,200 AT&T stores starting Thursday, October 28. AT&T will offer customers3G Apple iPad Data Plans, complete with Apple's easy, on-device activation and management. All iPad data plans are available without a term contract and include unlimited access to AT&T's 23,000+ domestic Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

"We can't wait to showcase the amazing features of iPad Wi-Fi + 3G in our stores across the country just in time for the holidays," said Glenn Lurie, AT&T President of Emerging Devices, Resale and Partnerships, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With our breakthrough iPad data plans starting at just $14.99 and access to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots around the country at no extra cost, our customers will have the best of both worlds."

"We look forward to expanding the reach of iPad allowing even more customers to experience the magic of iPad for themselves," said Tim Cook, Apple's COO. "As we approach the holiday season, we are very happy that customers will now be able to buy iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at AT&T stores."

Pricing and Availability

All iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available beginning Thursday, October 28 in AT&T Stores across the US for a suggested retail price of $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB. Domestic data plans for iPad are priced at $14.99 per month for 250MB and $25 per month for 2GB with no term contract. Both plans include unlimited access to AT&T's 23,000+ domestic Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

For more information, visit the AT&T website.

Verizon Begins Selling Apple iPad + MiFi Bundles

On Thursday, Verizon Wireless began selling Apple's iPad tablet bundled with a Verizon MiFi cellular hot spot.

Beginning [October 28, 2010], Verizon Wireless customers can purchase the Apple® iPad™ at any of the more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide.

Verizon Wireless will offer three bundles, all featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi™ 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 16 GB + MiFi, $729.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 32 GB + MiFi, and $829.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 64 GB + MiFi. Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to customers who purchase an iPad with a MiFi beginning at 1 GB of data for just $20 monthly access. In addition, Verizon Wireless will also offer all three iPad Wi-Fi models on a stand-alone basis.

iPad customers can use the Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and Verizon Wireless’ 3G network to browse the Web, read and send e-mail, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read e-books, and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ user interface on the go, wherever they are in Verizon Wireless’ nationwide 3G coverage area.

The MiFi 2200 is small enough to fit in a pocket and allows customers to create a personal Wi-Fi cloud capable of sharing the high-speed Internet connectivity of the Verizon Wireless 3G Mobile Broadband network with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

For more details, visit the Verizon Wireless website.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MotionApps Halts Sales of Classic, Turns Source Over to Palm [UPDATED}

[Editor's Note: We have been contacted by MotionApps to let us know they are not closing down the company.]

MotionApps, the developer behind Classic, the Palm OS emulation layer for HP webOS 1.x devices like the Pre and Pixi, has halted sales and turned over the source code and the intellectual property (IP) over to HP's Palm unit.

MotionApps has posted the following note to the Palm user community on their blog:
"We are sad to announce that Palm has removed Classic’s ROM from the new webOS 2.0 device ROM which will result in Classic not working if utilized with Palm’s new webOS 2.0.

This is contrary to our agreement with Palm and was done without our approval or consent. Based on this action, MotionApps will immediately stop selling Classic. However, as a courtesy to our clients, we will continue to support existing Classic customers on webOS 1.x for the immediate future.

Be that as it may, we believe in PalmOS and we want to do what we can to help Palm succeed in their future endeavors. So we decided to hand over the entire Classic source code and all of our accompanying IP to Palm so that Palm can do what they want to do with Classic and make it available with webOS 2.0.

Palm now has all the pieces to manage and control Classic's future.

Thank you all who supported us along the way and who love PalmOS the way we do.

MotionApps Team"
A similar message appears on the MotionApps main website that simply reads:
"With the release of Palm webOS™ 2.0 MotionApps will no longer sell or support future versions of Classic.
We have decided to hand the entire source code and all accompanying IP over to Palm so Palm can assume full control of Classic's future life and shape.

We had great time building Classic and supporting its vibrant community. Palm's way of supporting MotionApps has become too disruptive for us and we no longer believe that we are in a position to provide our customers with the best product and service.
Our work is who we are so we respectfully choose to exit."
So it appears that MotionApps, as a company, closing down along the decision to halt sales of Classic as a third-party application.
As a Classic owner, I'm sorry to see it go, however, I have received little or no utility out of Classic recently.  This is mostly to do with the fact that I am no longer using Palm OS apps on my original Sprint Pre.  I'm willing to bet that HP thinks that most of their customers will be in the same boat as me or, simply, they may just want to the cord with Palm OS.  Either way, it doesn't matter, what's done is done.

The interesting thing that will happen sooner or later is that all of us who purchased Classic for $30 will be forced to HP webOS 2.0 when is gets pushed out as an over-the-air update to our Pre and Pixi smarphones once our wireless carriers certify the new software.  What remains to be seen is whether or not a customer can decline the receipt of a major HP webOS upgrade like 2.0 and continuing using webOS 1.x and Classic.

Update:

MotionApps has contacted informed me they are not closing down, but, rather, simply halting the sale and further development of Classic.
"MotionApps, as a company, is not closing down along the decision to halt sales of Classic as a third-party application.
We are simply shutting down Classic as a product only to focus on other products and services that we are working on, some of which are public and some of which are yet to be released in the future."
I'm glad to hear that MotionApps is staying in the software game and look forward to their new projects.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Briefly Noted: Samsung Galaxy Tab Sprint Pre-Order, Best Buy On Tap

In addition to today's RIM BlackBerry Playbook news, more details about Samsung's Galaxy Tab have surfaced.

First up, the Google Android powered Samsung Galaxy Tab will begin shipping for Sprint customers on November 14.  If you want to make sure you get yours on launch day, starting today, Sprint is accepting pre-orders for the Galaxy.
"The 7-inch tablet will launch online and in select stores on November 14, and it will run $399.99 with a new 2-year contract. As far as what that 2-year contract entails, Sprint is making two data plans available alongside its first tablet offering: a 2GB option for $29.99 per month and a 5GB option for $59.99 per month."
Also, we have learned by way of leaked Best Buy advertisement, the Wi-Fi only Samsung Galaxy tab will sell for $499.  The specs are the same as the Verizon and Sprint editions of the tablet, minus the cellular radio.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

Briefly Noted: RIM BlackBerry Playbook

BoyGeniusReport.com is reporting some new information about RIM's BlackBerry tablet, the Playbook.

First up, RIM finally gave a live demo of their Playbook tablet at the Adobe MAX conference.  If you didn't get a chance to make it to the conference today, you can check out a video that has been posted to YouTube.



Secondly, if you can't wait to get your Playbook on, you can now download the Playbook simulator for Mac OS X and Windows PC when you sign up as a developer on the BlackBerry website.

Game on!

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Documents To Go 3.0 for Android Released

DataViz, Inc., a leading provider of Microsoft Office compatibility solutions, on Friday (10/22/10) announced the immediate availability of Documents To Go 3.0 in the Android Market and through www.dataviz.com. Documents To Go continues to be one of the top selling productivity applications in the Android market as well as one of the top downloads with its free “view only” edition.

What’s New in Documents To Go 3.0 for Android?

DataViz continues to offer both paid and free versions of Documents To Go, both of which have been updated significantly in version 3.0.   While the free version remains limited in its capabilities, it now adds the ability to view PowerPoint files, which was originally in the paid version only.  In addition, the free application is now ad-based.  Once the Full Version key is purchased, the advanced features become available, and the ads disappear.

The Full (paid) version contains a myriad of new features and enhancements including:

Google Docs

Google Docs users can now access all their stored files right from within Documents To Go.  Changes can then be made to these documents and saved back into Google Docs for “anywhere access.”  New files can also be created in Documents To Go and saved up to the Google Docs “cloud.”

Desktop Synchronization

Version 3.0 also offers a desktop application that provides Windows customers with the ability to easily transfer files from their computer to their Android-based device over a USB cable.  Users can then select individual files or entire folders to synchronize and all updates made in either location will be automatically synchronized.  As always with Documents To Go, 100% of the original file formatting will be maintained via DataViz’s acclaimed InTact Technology™.

Revamped User Interface and File Browser

Documents To Go 3.0 has added tools to browse and manage files on an Android device. Mobile workers can now view, edit, create, delete, rename, sort, filter, star, sync, backup and send files from one centralized application.  ‘Live Folders’ continue to keep recently used and favorite files in a conveniently accessible location.

Multitude of Optimizations and Enhancements

PDF To Go now includes pinch to zoom, multi-touch, rotate page and more.  Rendering speed and quality improvements were made to Slideshow To Go.  In addition, Office 2007 password protected files are now supported.


“DataViz is excited to continue innovating our Documents To Go product line and are encouraged by the success and growth of the Android platform,” says Bonnie Boyle, Documents To Go Business Manager.  “This release was the culmination of customer requests for features and our own desire to remain the best of breed in the Office category on the Android platform.”


Pricing & Availability

Documents To Go Full Version Key (3.0) is now available either in the Android Market or through www.dataviz.com for $14.99. All customers who purchased Documents To Go Full Version Key 2.0 will receive a free update to version 3.0 via an on device notification through the Android Market.  The Documents To Go Desktop software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and can be downloaded from the DataViz website at www.dataviz.com/getdesktop.  For more information:  http://www.dataviz.com/products/documentstogo/android/index.html

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Apple Posts Podcast of Today's Back To Mac Event


Apple has published a video feed and video podcast of today's Back To Mac event for your viewing pleasure.

Apple Releases FaceTime for Mac OS X

During today's Back To Mac event, Apple released a beta version of their FaceTime client for Mac OS X.

FaceTime was initially released earlier this year with the iPhone 4 running iOS 4.  My junior blogger, Meghan and I called my father, who has an iPhone 4, and I have to say that FaceTime is a super cool, easy to use video chat application.

To use FaceTime, you need to download the Mac OS X beta application from the Apple website.  Once you install the app, you sign-in to Apple's system using your Apple ID.  Apple IDs are free, and if you are purchasing content from the iTunes Store, you already have an Apple ID.  You also have the option of adding a different email account as your "phone number" to make calls from your Mac.

To make a call with FaceTime on your Mac, you start the app, and then click a name in the right window pane which contact the contacts you have in your Mac OS X Address Book application.

For more information on FaceTime for Mac OS X, check out the Apple FaceTime website.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Report: Teens Send Over 3,000 Text Messages a Month

BoyGeniusReport.com ran a story earlier this weekend that on average, teens send over 3,000 text messages a month.
"[Y]ou may or may not be surprised to know that U.S. teens, on average, send 3,339 text messages per month. The numbers come courtesy of analytics company Nielsen who analyzed the cellular habits of over 3,000 teens in April, May, and June. The study finds the males between the age of 13 and 17 send roughly 2,539 texts per month while females send a blistering 4,050."
Call me old fashioned, but if I had that much to say, I'd save the stress on my thumbs and, you know, call the person on the phone.  Now I'll be the first to admit that text messaging has it's place.  For example, my wife works in a place where she can't talk on her phone, and we have to send email or text messages.

When wireless carriers are counting text messages against your plan, they count both incoming and outgoing messages.  It would be interesting to see if the numbers Nielson is reporting are outbound text messages by teens or not.  If Nielsen is only counting outgoing messages, these are really some staggering numbers.

Bottom line: Parents if your kids have a cell phone capable of sending text messages, do yourself a favor and purchase the unlimited plan or have the text messaging service(s) blocked on their phone number.  Or, better yet, tell your child that they will have to pay the monthly service fee for the unlimited text messaging plan, if not the entire bill.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Sends Out Invites to Back To Mac Event


Looks like Apple hasn't forgotten it's roots and will be holding a special invitation only media event on October 20 to talk about the Macintosh and Mac OS X.

I'm looking forward to getting a look at Mac OS X 10.7.  I'm also wondering if you buy iLife '11 if that will include the iOS versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote or if you will have to buy them separately.

We'll keep you posted.  Cool graphic, by the way.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

Friday, October 8, 2010

NM Senator, FCC Looking Into Stopping 'Bill Shock'


MacWorld.com is reporting that New Mexico Senator, Tom Udall (D) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are looking at possible ways to use smartphone technology to alert consumers when they are about to reach their cellular plan's monthly cap.

According to MacWorld, "[t]he FCC began seeking public comment  about bill shock in May, and the agency released a survey later in the month that found 17 percent of respondents had experienced sudden billing increases, even though they hadn’t changed their calling or texting plans."

“The texting and Internet capabilities that make today’s cell phones more useful than ever should be applied to help customers avoid bill shock,” Udall said when introducing the bill. “Sending an automatic text or e-mail notification to a person’s phone is a simple, cost-effective solution that should not place a burden on cell phone companies and will go a long way toward reducing the pain of bill shock by customers.”

Here in the United States, purchasing a smartphone is sort of a catch-22.  We all like playing low prices for our new gadgets, but often those low prices are accompanied with a two year service contract, effectively locking you into the service agreement.  You can exit the contract early, however, you can be subject to $300+ early termination fees (ETF).  I think that I would like to see the phone companies being more proactive to let people know when they are about to reach their contracted usage limits.  Too often I've heard from parents about teen texting bills and being caught off guard about how expensive the monthly bill was.  (By the way, it costs less than 2-cents to process a text message, yet the average cost charged for a text message is anywhere from 15 to 25-cents, depending on your plan.)

[Via MacWorld.com...]