As promised Apple and Starbucks started their rollout of the Starbucks WiFi Music Store in select cities. Gear Live is lucky enough to be in Seattle, the first city to get the special version of the iTunes Music Store in our Starbucks. The service allows laptops, iPhones, and the iPod Touch users to connect for free to the iTunes store while sipping lattes without having to pay for for a T-Mobile Hotspot account. Click through for our full impressions on Apple’s new partnership with the coffee mega-store Starbucks.
In a previous post, Gear Live discovered that the new iTunes WiFi Music Store has a few bugs here and there. The bug I encountered prevents some users from authenticating easily to purchase tracks. With a little sleuth work I managed to track down the problem: the password fields in the new iPhone software version 1.1.1 don’t work well with capitol letters in passwords. Click through for a full run down of the problem, and how to fix it if it affects you.
Apple has announced that its new update will kill unlocked iPhones. Last week, Steve Jobs cried foul as he said that the warranty would be voided, which we are pretty sure most hackers, such as George Hotz, knew about when they performed the operation. Of course, the obvious solution here is to skip the update, but then those users will not get WiFi Tunes. Perhaps Apple should think of this as a quiet demonstration of folks who want to save a bit of cash rather than a direct attack on AT&T. Think amnesty, Apple.
Read More | Yahoo Tech
Computerworld just published its in-depth usability test of the Apple iPhone, the HTC Touch running Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and the Nokia N95 running the Symbian operating system. The tests involved a number of participants who had never used any of the three devices, and had measurable results (i.e. the time it took to accomplish various actions). Apple’s famed information architecture and interface design skills seem to have paid off as the iPhone bested it competitors by a factor of two in some of the tests.
The study praises the iPhones information architecture and consistent user experience as a strong benefit to any user be it someone new to the iPhone or a power user. At Gear Live we have noticed several inconsistencies in the user interface, for instance, the new message button being in different locations in the mail and SMS clients for instance. We do however agree with the general consensus of the study that overall the user experience with the iPhone is far more unified that it’s competitors.
Things were not entirely positive for Apple - some users found the lack of tactile feedback a little disorienting, however all users were able to finish each of the tasks with the iPhone. The also iPhone fell behind it’s competitors in the sheer count of features. The N95 managed to edge out the iPhone in this category with GPS, voice activation and the ability to record movies with it’s camera. Considering that the Nokia is $100-300 more expensive in the United States than the iPhone many users have elected to splurge for Apple’s $400 easy to use wonder device.
Read More | Computerworld
Micron Technology, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Spansion, STM, and TI have announced that they get together to standardize removable memory cards and the technology embedded in them. The chore will be in the hands of JEDEC Solid State Technology Association with the new specification to be called Universal Flash Storage (UFS.) The aim here is less access time for memories, higher speed for large files and reduction of power.
The company claims that while 90 minutes (4GB) takes 3 minutes today to access, UFS will take only a few seconds. Handhelds, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics will be able to handle the new technology which should be finalized in 2009.
Read More | Post-Bulletin
With all the attention given to Apple these days, we thought it was only fair that we give a few props to another creative company. Zune aficionados are probably already aware of the awesome video artwork on Zune Arts, but if you are not, then you missed out on some fine animation. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers liked their Zune “Monster” spot so much that they have included it in this year’s Art & Technique of the American Commercial Show. You can find dates and locations of showings on the AICP site.
Read More | Zune
iRiver has unveiled its new B20 PMP with a 2.4-inch TFT LCD screen, integrated mono speaker, DAB/FM tuner, multi-codec video and digital audio playback, and Flashlite game support. It also features a digital photo album and an SD card slot. The PMP will have access to 7 video and 10 audio channels with its advanced Dclick System. Arriving later this month, the DMB receiver will be available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities and promises up to 27 hours of listening time.
Palm CEO Ed Colligan has announced that the Foleo is to be no more. He says that his company will concentrate more of its efforts on their next generation platform and the smartphones that will be a part of it. He said that
when they work on Foleo II it will be on that same platform rather than a separate one.
Although it is costing Palm about a $10 million loss, Colligan mentioned that it was a small price to pay to
move forward. We recall wondering why the Foleo was larger than the device it was created to work with, so perhaps with this decision Palm has finally created a kind of symmetry in their part of the technological world.
Read More | Palm Blog
Yesterday we told you about Nokia’s four new offspring. We found a video that was done in honor of one of them, the N-81. We sure hope Nokia is paying attention. Not only can this help the career of the
band singing it, Pop4Real, we would love to see commercials like this instead of the heavy sell that we are inundated with constantly. Heck, we were about ready to preorder one of the video/game players after listening to the catchy tune without even realizing that it will set us back €430 (~$588.00.)
Read More | YouTube
The Australian company BlueAnt has spent over 2 years developing their Z9 and received the 2007 International Innovations Design & Engineering Award by the CEA for their efforts. At a weight of only 10 grams and a length of less than 4 cm, the Bluetooth headset can be clipped to a tie, shirt, jacket or dress when not in use with its clear ear-hook for up to 5 hours of talk time and 200 standby hours. Choose between standard and advanced (max) noise reduction, made possible by their Voice Isolation technology. You can also switch between three sources such as a cell phone, PDA, and PC. The Z9 is available online for $129.99.
Read More | BlueAnt