Archives For Apple

kevin-tablet

As you’ve probably heard, Apple and Samsung are going at it via a variety of legal challenges across the globe. And, while litigation generally bores me, I was pretty stoked to discover my buddy Kevin Tofel cited in evidence.

Kevin’s the biggest 7″ tablet evangelist I know. In fact, he recently penned an article declaring small tablets will replace smartphones… and believes it. While I have my doubts, Kevin routinely carries a 7″ tablet with him — here I am holding his Nexus 7 loaner while we wandered around Vegas last month and he recently “called” me from his yard, given the video, from another tab using Google Chat.

So it’s amazingly acknowledging to see Apple execs literally sharing Kevin’s interest in this particular form factor as you can see from the email (below) that Eddie Cue sent to Tim Cook, Scott Forstall, and Phil Schiller. Continue Reading…

shattered-iphone

After possessing literally dozens of caseless phones over maybe a 15 year span, I finally did the unthinkable. Or, perhaps, it was the inevitable. And it was a boneheaded move. Overtired on an 8 hour drive, we stopped for a Starbucks pick-me-up… yet, before making it into the store, I managed to launch my iPhone straight into the pavement face first and shattered the display.

Oh, the phone was fully functional, but trying to use it led to a glass-pierced bloody finger. Reading email was also a bit challenging. Despite that, my first thought was Continue Reading…

A few months back I was pretty stoked to learn Epson provides a free iPhone app for my multi-function device. Yet, while print functionality has come in handy, scanning isn’t all that efficient. Enter Readdle who reached out around WDCC and introduced me to their line of productivity apps, providing a copy of Scanner Pro to check out. And, as we prepare to purchase our new home, it’s been extremely effective at turning my phone into a mobile scanner. In fact, its ability to easily scan multiple documents into a single PDF bests my scanner in both ease and capabilities. I’ve been so pleased, in fact, I purchased a second copy for my wife’s iPhone and business. There are multiple iOS scanning apps available, and I haven’t tried them all, but Scanner Pro routinely comes out on top. At $6, I’d say it’s a solid app. On sale today for $2, it’s really a no brainer.

amazon-instant-ipad5

At long last, Amazon has brought their digital video service to the iPad. And, presumably, iPhone access isn’t far behind.

Amazon Instant actually consists of two distinct tiers, and both are available via the new iPad app. Perhaps the most familiar these days is Prime Instant Streaming, which is similar to Netflix or Hulu Plus in that it provides unlimited streaming of a wide range of television and movie content. However, instead of levying  a monthly fee, video is provided “free” to Amazon Prime subscribers ($79/year) – originally pitched as a shipping service but, given new benefits, is more akin to a loyalty club these days. Beyond that, Amazon Instant also offers video rentals and sales. But, of course, to bypass Apple’s hefty 30% commission, it’s not actually handled in-app and requires a trip to Amazon.com.

It just so happens that I purchased the first episode of Breaking Bad, Season 5 for viewing on our TiVo Premiere but fired it up on the iPad. Non-Prime video can be streamed or downloaded, which makes for a mighty flexible solution. However, Amazon streams by default and the only way I could trigger local copy playback was by disabling WiFi. It’s also safe to assume the HD video quality pales in comparison to what the TiVo download provides. Yet many of us will periodically made the trade in quality for convenience… and I’m looking forward to catching up on Fringe with my iPad from the gym treadmill.

(via 9to5 Mac)

For the first time in recent memory, Sling Media is running a sale on their mobile apps – that enable you to watch your home video service while on the road (or, perhaps, in other areas of your house) via smartphone or tablet. The SlingPlayer apps are a hefty 50% off through July 22, and I’m told the promotion is available worldwide. So if you were holding back on a purchase due to the steep $30 (US) fee, now may be a good time to get your placeshifting fix for a reasonable $15. FYI most current apps require Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD hardware, versus prior generation devices.

next-issue1

“Netflix for Magazines” has arrived in the form of Next Issue. Originally available only via Android tablets beginning in April, Next Issue has now launched an iPad app. And, after catching the press release on Engadget, I took it for a very quick spin. While the venture, backed by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc., provide individual magazine subscriptions, its real value is the all-you-can eat access. Two tiers of service are offerred, running $10 a month for “Basic” or $15/mo for “Premium.” The primary differentiator between service levels of publication frequency — Basic seems to be composed of monthlies, while Premium adds weeklies (and The New Yoker) on top of that.

As a voracious reader, I find myself quite interested in Next Issue and many of their current 39 titles… as long as magazines continue to exist. Yet, after a few minutes into the app, I’m ready to cancel my subscription. It does offer some rudimentary interactive features and decent navigation, but the content ultimately feels like scanned pages due to the inability to zoom in/out and the painfully distracting aliased text – as experienced on the iPad 3. The full page interstitial ads don’t win points, either. I can probably get past the ads and zoom, but the awful text rendering is an absolute deal breaker. And, so, I shall terminate my trial early and take another look if/when they improve their fonts for a retina display.

jbl-soundfly-guide

If the FCC is any indication, JBL’s compact “Soundfly” Bluetooth speaker should be hitting store shelves in short order. Unlike the rechargeable and portable Jawbone Jambox ($200), the Soundfly essentially mounts directly onto an AC outlet. I can’t imagine the Soundfly produces killer audio given its diminutive stature, but could make a nice kitchen or travel accessory for streaming tunes from our smartphones… Assuming it clocks in at a reasonable price point. And, related to cost, I’m hoping for the best as JBL has dropped Apple AirPlay capabilities (with associated licensing fees) since printing up their CES flyer (which had indicated a “spring” launch).