Logitech is releasing a new product that will turn users' iPads into Harmony remotes by Halloween. The Logitech Harmony Link is the company's newest Harmony remote product, but it's not a device you hold and manipulate to control your home theater. It's a wireless device that can connect to your iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphone to let it function as a universal remote.
The Harmony Link is a disc-shaped device you place near your home theater to control all your devices. It functions as an infrared blaster, sending remote commands to your HDTV, Blu-ray player, set-top box, or compatible game console. The device itself can send infrared commands, and it comes with an infrared blaster so you can keep it in a cabinet with your other home theater devices and still send commands to your HDTV. It then connects to your Wi-Fi network, and can be controlled by any iOS device or Android smartphone through the Harmony Link app.
Turntable.fm is having a good week. The music streaming site on Tuesday released its iPhone app and confirmed that it has raised $7 million in funding.
It had been rumored that an iOS version of the popular service was headed to the App Store this week, and as expected, the app mimics the Web-based experience of Turntable, allowing you to do the same things on your mobile phone that you could do online. For example you can access all of the same rooms where five DJs take turns bumping the songs of their choice as well as rate those tracks as “lame” or “awesome.”
From the app, you can also make new rooms and start DJing in existing ones. The app has been well received for the most part, but VentureBeat pointed out that it moves a little bit slower than the desktop version. However, it noted that it works well over 3G, which rumored to be an issue for the app during its testing phase.
Cloud Engines on Thursday announced Pogoplug Mobile, the first mobile-focused hardware product.
Pogoplug Mobile is a small, black box onto which you can attach a USB drive or SD memory card. Once you do, you can see all the files and media stored on the devices and access them remotely or share them by activating an account at my.pogoplug.com.
Users can stream unlimited amounts of multimedia files—including photos, music, and videos—from their home network to their iPhones and Android-based smartphones, as well as the iPad. Apple iOS users receive the benefit of instant streaming of media libraries. For Android users, Pogoplug Mobile provides a unified streaming and sharing service and enables automatic backup of all multimedia files and other content. Cloud Engines said this was a "kind of iCloud for Android users, but in your home."
Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML5-based reading app accessible via the Web.
The feature is accessible at amazon.com/cloudreader and provides access to e-books through the browser, offline and online, with no downloading or installation required, Amazon said. Cloud Reader will automatically sync with other Kindle apps, allowing you to start reading on the Web and pick up on an iPhone or Kindle, for example. Books that you are reading will automatically be made available for offline use.
At this point, Kindle Cloud Reader works with Safari on the iPad and desktop and Google's Chrome.
Facebook has just released a new Android and iOS app called Facebook Messenger, and it's exactly what it sounds like. Basically, Facebook has taken its messaging system, used their Beluga team to simplify it a bit, and pushed it out as an independent app. You can message your contacts without using up SMS (similar to things like BBM, Google+ Huddle, iMessage, GroupMe, Fast Society, and plenty of others,) and you can also create group messages on the fly as well. People will see these messages show up in the Messenger app, their Facebook inbox, or by SMS if they don't have the app installed. You can also share your GPS location and attach images to the message conversations as well. If you've used Beluga or Facebook, then you know how to use this.
In this episode we give you a first look at over the air updates in iOS 5! With the release of iOS 5 beta 4, Apple is now testing OTA updates, allowing users to update their iOS devices without connecting them to iTunes. Instead, the update happens right on the device itself, using Wi-Fi or 3G. We give you a look at how the process works on an iPhone 4 running iOS 5 beta 4 on a Wi-Fi network.
Big thank you to Carbonite and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! Carbonite offers off-site backup of your computer, and you can get two free months (no credit card needed!) by visiting Carbonite and using promo code TPN. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
One of the major features of iOS 5 is the ability to update your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad over the air. Today with the release of iOS 5 beta 4, Apple has released the first ever OTA update for iOS to developers. We figured we'd grab a screenshot and give you a look at the process. You simply check for updates in the Settings area, and when it finds one, you tell it to download it. The image above shows the download in progress. Once finished, you're asked if you want to install. A few minutes later, you're up and running again.
Apple has what is clearly the top tablet on the market with the iPad, and now it has an another achievement to celebrate. As of Tuesday, there are more than 100,000 iPad-specific apps on sale in the App Store.
The milestone comes a little over a year after Apple unveiled the original iPad. According to MacStories, it took Apple 452 days to surpass the 100,000 iPad app mark to land at 100,161 dedicated iPad apps. At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company announced that it had 90,000 iPad apps, but it appears that number has grown in less than a month's time.
MacRumors uncovered a new section in the legal disclaimers section of iOS 5 called "Map Data" that references several different third-party mapping and naviation companies such as CoreLogic, Getchee, Localeze, and TomTom, among others.
It wouldn't be much of a shock if Apple ditched Google Maps and launched its own mapping service. In recent years, Apple has snapped up a couple of mapping companies, Placebase and Poly9. Apple has also been hiring engineers with mapping and navigation experience to join the iOS team. On top of that, when Apple responded to the outpouring of media scrutiny about iPhone location tracking in April, the company revealed it was creating its own traffic database.
Apple has been awarded its long sought-after patent on the iPhone. Intellectual property experts say it's so broad and far-reaching that the iPhone maker may be able to bully other smart phone manufacturers out of the U.S. market entirely.
Some three-and-a-half years after filing for a patent on the iPhone, Apple on Tuesday was awarded U.S. patent number 7,966,578 for "[a] computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display."
That's just the beginning of the abstract for Apple's iPhone patent, which the company filed back in December 2007. It gets quite a bit more technical in its full form, but there's one thing patent experts consulted by PCMag agree on—Apple has been awarded an incredibly broad patent that could prove to be hugely problematic for other makers of capacitive touch-screen smartphones.
Apple's patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone, said one source who has been involved in intellectual property litigation on similar matters. That's likely to produce a new round of lawsuits over the now-ubiquitous multitouch interfaces used in smartphones made by the likes of HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion, Nokia, and others that run operating systems similar in nature to Apple's iOS, like Google's Android, said the source, who asked not to be named.