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
First NBC leaves Apple for AOL, and now Fox will be offering some of their fall premieres at no charge on iTunes. Programs such as “Bones,” “American Dad,” and “K-ville” are part of the package which becomes available the day after their launch dates. Check with the iTunes Store since some of the programs have already begun. We say thank you very much since we dig free stuff and not having to wait for reruns in case we missed episodes the first time around.
Read More | Fox Flash
We picked up a pair of the new V-Moda Vibe Duos and took them for a spin. The Vibe Duos sound great (almost as good as the Etymotic ER-6s), and feature a microphone for making hands-free calls on the iPhone. They also feature cloth-wrapped cords, durable metal construction, and extended plug (for easy use with the iPhone’s recessed headphone jack) all add up to a stunning package. Check out after the jump for our full review.
Apple has finally gotten around to posting the details on how early iPhone owners can claim their $100 Apple Store credit. You know, the one that was a response to the backlash the company received after dropping the price on the iPhone by $200 - or 33% - just 61 days after it’s launch? It takes about five minutes, and Apple has done it in a way that makes it so only people who actually have the purchased iPhone in their possession, and activated with AT&T, can claim it. Here’s how it works:
- Head on over to the iPhone Store Credit page
- Input your iPhone’s AT&T phone number and serial number into the fields on the site
- You will receive an SMS which includes an access code. Enter the code into the site
- Print the result page, which includes the codes you need to redeem the credit at any Apple Store location, or at the Apple Online Store
To be safe, we’d recommend claiming right away, as you only have until November 30 to do so. If you bought your iPhone between August 22 and September 4, skip straight to the Apple Store itself, as you aren’t eligible for a $100 store credit - instead, you’ll just receive $200 in cash. For those who receive the credit, you can purchase just about anything sold by Apple, except another Apple Store Gift Card or an iTunes electronic Gift Certificate. You can use up to six credit codes when making a purchase at an Apple Retail Store and up to four credit codes at the Apple Online Store.
Earlier today, Apple announced ringtones for the iPhone, by way of a new version of iTunes. This will all happen by using a new Ringtone Composer that is built in to the new version of iTunes. You will find a new bell icon next to any purchased songs that are “eligible” to be turned into a ringtone, and will be able to choose any 30 second (or less) portion of that song to use as a ringtone. You have to own the song, and then when you want to buy your ringtone, that will cost you another $.99. $1.98 buys you both the song and the ringtone, which is completely unnecessary, what with program like iBrickr, iFuntastic, and others, that allow you to use any track in your iTunes library as a ringtone - for free.
Still, for those who are uncomfortable modifying their iPhone in any way, here is your chance at expanding your ringtone library.
Continuing with all of today’s iPod announcements, Apple has announced the new third generation iPod nano. This time it gets a complete redesign, starting with the size - just 6.5mm thin. It also sports a new 2-inch QVGA 320x240 screen that is 65% brighter than the second generation nano, and is 204 dpi - the highest pixel density screen that Apple has ever shipped. The new iPod nano also has a new UI which includes Cover Flow, has support for playing videos, and ships with three games as well (Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike.) Battery life has been extended as well, as Apple says the nano will play music for 24 hours, and video for 5 hours. It will be available in five colors: (PRODUCT) RED, light blue, black, pastel green, and silver. As far as price goes, the 4GB model (only available in silver) will retail for $149 USD, while the 8GB version will sell for $199. Both will be in stores by this weekend.
We’ve heard it was coming, and today Apple made it official - the iPod touch is now a reality. Those of you hoping for what would essentially be an “iPhone without the phone” have gotten your wish. The iPod touch has the same 3.5-inch screen size and resolution as the iPhone, and even has WiFi built-in. Safari is included as an application, as is YouTube. It even has that multitouch goodness we’ve come to know and love. As for the differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone, those are more hardware related rather than software related. The iPod touch is just 8mm thick, down from 11.5mm for the iPhone. It also comes in two storage capacity sizes - 16GB and 8GB - which means you get double the storage that you’d get on the iPhone if you go with the top model. You will be able to pick up a 16GB iPod touch for $399 USD, while and 8GB version will sell for $299. It ships “in a few weeks” and will be available worldwide. No more waiting until Apple finds an iPhone distribution partner to get your multitouch on!
Ah, yes, another Apple event is nigh, and that normally means the email tips start flooding in. Case in point, this image of the “iPod touch”. Our immediate thought? Clever mockup…after all, it would make sense that Apple continues to make all their products have a similar look and feel. This iPod touch has a striking resemblance to the newly redesigned iMac that Apple released earlier this month. What do you think? Will we be seeing something like this - an OS X-based touchscreen iPod - from Apple tomorrow?
Apple has announced that it will no longer be offering NBC programs through its iTunes Store. The network broke relations with Apple after they refused to pay more than double the wholesale price for each show. This would have forced the price up to $4.99 per episode rather than the $1.99, which fellow studios ABC, CBS, FOX, The CW, and 50 cable networks now share. Because their contract doesn’t expire until December, Apple decided not to air any of their shows until then so as not to interrupt a series in mid-season. We know a better way to catch them which will not cost us a cent. We believe it is referred to as television watching.
Read More | PR Newswire
UPDATE: Here is a supposed image of the “iPod touch”.
We just got a couple of images sent to us from an anonymous source who claims that this is the new iPod nano that we can expect Steve Jobs to announce at the Apple Special Event taking place this Wednesday, September 5th. Since we’ve seen so many photoshop mockups floating around the Internet recently, we are not saying these are the real deal by any stretch of the imagination - however, we love how these look, and a guy can dream, can’t he?
I guess we will see how it all pans out on Wednesday. We have another image of the supposed new nano after the break.