Spring has sprung, and the best thing about spring isn't the warmer weather or the allergies—it's the baseball. The 2011 MLB season begins Thursday, taking over the lives of fantasy owners and fans alike for the next seven to eight months (depending on how good your team is). Whether you're at work, at home, on on the road, here are a few ways to track your favorite team.
MLB at Bat 11
MLB at Bat 11 is the sanctioned-by-the-league option for following your favorite team throughout the year. It's an app for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Mac OS, Windows, and other platforms, and it lets fans watch out-of-market games (crucial if your team isn't your local team), track every statistic you can think of, and see "Live Look-Ins" whenever something critical is happening in another game.
There's a lot packed into the MLB at Bat app, but it comes at a cost: the app itself is $14.99 (there's also a very stripped-down version that's free), but if you want to watch live games you'll need a subscription to MLB.tv, which starts at $99 for the season. Luckily, thanks to a deal MLB made with Volvo, you won't need a subscription for the first month of the season, so you can try before you buy.
MLB.TV on Roku and Apple TV
If you own a Roku box ($69 at Amazon) or an Apple TV ($99 at Amazon), you're already almost all set up to watch baseball this season. With an MLB.tv subscription (the same one you'll need for the MLB at Bat app), you get access to live-streaming games via your Roku box or your Apple TV, along with plenty of other features like fantasy player tracking, DVR controls, and even on-demand access to local games (which you can't watch live) 90 minutes after the game ends.
Sources have tipped off Techcrunch's MG Siegler that the latest incarnation of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5, might not hit consumer devices until fall. What's the big deal, you ask? The move is unorthodox for Apple: The typical pattern for the company is to announce a new upgrade to its mobile operating system in spring as a precursor to a summer hardware launch of a new iPhone.
There's been no Apple talk of a new operating system thus far—especially during what would have been the ideal timeframe for the chat, Apple's iPad 2 announcement in early March. This tracks with what Siegler's sources are saying, in that Apple is likely to hold off on iOS 5 until fall. The presumption is that Apple would get to chatting about its new mobile OS during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), with the official launch of the new OS version hitting during Apple's annual fall music event.
So where does that leave the iPhone 5? Unclear. While Apple typically releases a new version of iOS concurrently with a new iPhone, the delay of iOS doesn't necessarily mean that new Apple hardware is being pushed back until fall this time around. This is all speculation at this point, although FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger has gone on record to indicate that Apple might not have all of its gears in motion to support its annual summer iPhone launch.
Apple just released iOS 4.3.1 to the world, aiming to fix things like iPod touch display issues, AV-out troubles, problems with enterprise apps, and a few other bugs that were hanging around. If you've been running iOS 4.3 and have been experiencing a few niggles, chances are this'll clear that up. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iTunes and grab the update.
At Apple's iPad 2 reveal last week, CEO Steve Jobs said iOS 4.3 would be available for download on March 11, the same day the updated iPad goes on sale. But according to BGR, Apple will release the newest version of its mobile operating system at around 1 p.m. EST today.
The update brings a variety of new features, including enhanced Safari performance, iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, slider switch rotation, and a personal hotspot for the iPhone 4. Apple iOS 4.3 will support all iPads, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS.
Apple has just made the final version of iOS 4.3 available to anyone with a developer account. You can grab the downloads for build 8F190 for iPhone 4 and 3GS, iPad, and iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation now. The iOS 4.3 SDK is also at GM status with build 10M2518, and you can grab that as well. All the rest of you, expect iOS 4.3 to launch alongside iPad 2 on March 11.
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
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