Apple's March 2 event is all but guaranteed to bring us the iPad 2, most likely with dual cameras and a revamped OS. It arrives two months after CES 2011, to a landscape littered with tablets from scores of manufacturers, most of them with one thing in common: they are running Google's Android OS. But only a handful of them run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first Android tablet OS. Can tablets like the Motorola Xoom—the first Honeycomb device—take on the iPad?
If the past is any indicator, it doesn't look good. This has less to do with quality of product, however, and more to do with the manner in which the product is brought to the public.
The clear advantage Apple has over just about every competitor—except perhaps for RIM—is that it relies on no external manufacturers for its products. To clarify: of course Apple needs to farm out production of the components that make up its devices to OEMs, but when you see a new iPad, it is from Apple, running an Apple OS, for sale at the Apple store. The closest Apple comes to working with other companies is its partnerships with Verizon and AT&T for the iPhone and iPad. For the most part, however, Apple is its own, self-controlling entity. With no company—other than the carriers and OEMs— with which to coordinate, Apple can create a realistic product release timeline and stick to it.
Yesterday we posted with certainty that Apple would be announcing the iPad 2 on March 2, a week from today. Today, Apple has confirmed that date. As you can see, their invitation to their March 2 event features an iCal icon peeling away to reveal an iPad behind it. Doesn't get much clearer than that, does it? As always, we'll have the full details live as the event happens. Anyone else crossing their fingers for some iOS 5 news to share the stage next week?
If you've ever wanted to be able to capture a moment that you knew was coming, but weren't sure exactly when, you may want to check out Looxcie. It's a wearable video camera that constantly records. You can stream what you are recording live over the Internet, and if you wanna capture something, you just hit the button and it clips the last 30 seconds and saves it for you. If you have an iPhone or Android device, then you can even get an app that lets you use the phone as a viewfinder.
You can pick up Looxcie at Amazon.
On Tuesday, Apple announced a subscription billing platform for the App Store, overcoming perhaps the biggest hurdle for the success of iPad periodicals.
The plan lets customers purchase subscriptions to iOS-supported newspapers, magazines, music, and other content in one click. Previously, customers had to manually purchase and download issues on an individual basis.
Publishers set their own price and lengths of subscriptions. Then, customers can click on the length of their desired subscriptions and automatically receive a charge to their iTunes accounts.
"We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, in a statement.
Google Translate is one of the best known online translating service. It supports a large array of languages, and usually has very good results. The service has also been integrated in Android handsets for a while. Yesterday, Google released a native iPhone version as well. While there's been clones and unofficial apps before, this is the original, from Google itself. The app adds features over what the web has offered before, and is overall very impressive. It's no wonder that it shot right up in the top 10 apps on the App Store. Oh, and of course, it's completely free.
Read More | Google Translate for iPhone
IntoNow is a free app for the iPhone that allows you to connect with your friends around the shows you love. Simply place your iPhone in front of the TV, and IntoNow uses it's SoundPrint technology to recognize whatever you're watching. Once your show or movie is tagged, you can see how many other people are watching, share it with your friends, review it on IMDB, add it to your Netflix queue, and buy or rent it on iTunes.
IntoNow's SoundPrint technology covers more than 140 million minutes of previously aired shows, or the equivalent of 266 years of video. It can recognize a show even if it's airing live for the first time. SoundPrint has an index of "more than 2.6 million airings, indexed during the past five years, and it’s growing by the second." They describe SoundPrint as a “fingerprinting” technology; a series of algorithms that can quickly identify a show based on the audio. They've has even made a SoundPrint API available for developers, so look for more applications to come out using SoundPrint technology.
Internet-connected social TV is becoming the new trend in technology, and data is showing that Americans are using TV and Internet together on an increasing basis. Google and Apple have launched their own internet connected set top boxes, and companies like Comcast and TiVo are major players as well. The future of social television looks very promising, and soon we'll all be "checking in" to our favorite TV shows on a regular basis, using awesome technology like IntoNow and SoundPrint, or other social apps like GetGlue.
Check out a demo of Intonow's social TV app in this episode.
How many times do you catch yourself watching tv while you're on the internet?
iOS devs, time to get to downloading, as Apple has just released iOS 4.3 beta 3 alongside the iOS SDK 4.3. Downloads are available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even the 2nd generation Apple TV. The SDK build is 10M2514, while the software for the devices is build 8F5166b. From the looks of things, this beta is all about checking and testing AirPlay video with the iOS devices and Apple TV. We will keep our eye out for any other new hotness in this build.
There is no question that mobile phone payments are very popular, and that many of us can operate our entire financial lives from our mobile phones. Apps from PayPal, and Square can turn our iPhones into portable financial centers, allowing us to exchange money quickly and easily. These new applications are creating opportunities and benefits that will shape the future of mobile payments.
Predictions about the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 are beginning to heat up, and much of the talk has been about the implementation of NFC (near field communication) technology. What we haven't heard about so far, is anything about native intergration of mobile payment solutions from Apple and Google.
iOS devs, time to get to downloading, as Apple has just released iOS 4.3 beta 2 alongside the iOS SDK 4.3. Downloads are available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even the 2nd generation Apple TV. The SDK build is 10M2508a, while the software for the devices is build 8F5153d. From the looks of things, this beta is all about checking and testing AirPlay video with the iOS devices and Apple TV. We will keep our eye out for any other new hotness in this build.
iOS devs, time to get to downloading, as Apple has just released iOS 4.3 beta alongside the iOS SDK 4.3. Downloads are available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even the 2nd generation Apple TV. The SDK build is 10M2508, while the software for the devices is build 8F5148b. From the looks of things, this beta is all about checking and testing AirPlay video with the iOS devices and Apple TV. We will keep our eye out for anything else in the beta, since it's interesting that the Verizon iPhone was running version 4.2.5 with mobile hotspot. You'd think 4.3 would incorporate those features as well.
Users of the iPhone 3G or second generation iPod touch need not apply, as 4.3 isn't compatible with those devices. iOS 4.3 also brings new four- and five-finger multi-touch gestures to the iPad.
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