By now, I’m rather certain you’ve heard that Apple’s replacement maps aren’t living up to some customer’s expectations. While there has been all sorts of rumor and speculation as to why the change was made, as a consumer, it’s mostly noise (from the apologists). The bottom line for many iPhone owners is that Google Maps have been replaced by Apple Maps. And while, at first blush, they sounded superior with flyover 3D renderings and turn-by-turn nav (finally! on some models…), in many geographic areas the data leaves much to be desired. For example, as you can see above, Apple believes I live in a beige patch of nothingness whereas Google has a relatively decent picture of my neighborhood. Yet, I’m not often lost in our community and had good luck doing some minor Apple Maps navigation in the big city. So I’m wondering, on a practical level, how bad are these new Apple maps… and has it impacted you? Continue Reading…
Archives For Apple
Out looking for a couch, we swung by the neighboring Bang & Olufsen whilst percolating our seating options. And, boy, were we wooed by B&O’s relatively new BeoPlay A3. Labeling this product an iPad “dock” doesn’t do it justice — not to mention, we hear the dock is dead. This BeoPlay is basically a speaker chasis for your iPad, that kindly integrates a 6-hour rechargeable battery. While B&O is quick to point out the audio quality (3 tweeters, 1 woofer) of this device, being shallow, I’m most impressed by its good looks… with flush tablet fit and multiple display orientations/positions. The A3 ships with two iPad sleeves (to account for all three iPad generations) and, when mated with a tablet, easily pops out of the device using the B&O button on the rear. This would make the most killer kitchen TV. But I’d prefer a few more color options. And perhaps a lower price of entry… At $549, it’s more costly than many iPads it would encase. No one said looking good is economical.
Roku has updated their free Android and iPhone apps with “Play on Roku” — a new feature to beam local photos and music to your television screen via Roku media streamers ($50 and up). I took the photo sharing feature a quick spin under iOS 6 and it works as advertised. In fact, I’d say it’s nicely polished for a v1, including the ability to launch album slideshows using various transitions and speed options. Although I did experience one crash and the app seems to continuously communicate, even when returning to the typical remote control functionality. Exclusive to the Android app (for now?), users can “change the channel” via voice. While there are indications that Roku intends to continue expanding their second screen initiative, no word yet on Apple AirPlay-esque video streaming or screen sharing.
We’re mere hours away from the introduction of the next iPhone. Whether or or not it goes by “iPhone 5″ there’s been a rash of leaked hardware photos (assuming they’re legit, as last year’s rumored wedge design never made it to market) and, hidden within our bounty, is a new dock connector. Many appear fixated on faster data transfer speeds, given the possible internal “lightning” codename. Yet I never tether my phone to a computer and, as the owner of an iPad 3, I sure hope this foreshadows faster charging technologies. Related, given Motorola’s RAZR MAXX battery life success, I’m hopeful the miniaturization of the dock connector alludes to additional part shrinkage… making way for a larger iPhone battery with, presumably, additional power saving techniques attached. Dan Frommer, a reluctant Mophie owner, pines for similar.
What’s on your iPhone 5 wishlist?
Cablevision subsidiary OMGFAST! has begun leasing Apple TV to broadband customers in South Florida. While they probably sport the cleverest (or nerdiest) name in Internet service, long term, $5 a month for a $99 device you can easily pick up on your own may not be the best value. Then again, we imagine there are those unfamiliar with the space who would also benefit from installation assistance.
From the promo page:
Special Offer: $5 per month for Apple TV box with free installation. Apple TV provides access to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus and more on your TV. Also allows iPhones, iPads, Macs and iPods to display video, music and photos on your big screen!
While you can’t get your hands on the TiVo Stream just yet, I have. And I can tell you it’s pretty killer. Of course, it helps to understand my perspective — This site exists because of my interest in mobile video, having launched with the TiVoToGo tutorials and leading to a stint with the Slingbox folks. So I’m all about watching television on my terms… which doesn’t always involve a TV.
The TiVo Stream ($130) is essentially a small network-connected companion box that relays video from a wired TiVo Premiere DVR to an iPad or iPhone. An (upcoming) update to the already highly functional and attractive TiVo iOS app enables Stream connectivity and playback — making for some seemless integration via new “Watch on iDevice” and “Download” buttons. And setup is pretty trivial… Once the Stream is hardwired, the iOS TiVo app will discover it on the network and prompt for a personal media access key to link everything up.
Call (877) 289-8486 by September 4th (noon PST) to order your new TiVo Stream and receive it on September 5th. The TiVo Stream is just $129.99 with no additional service fee.
I’m satisfied with TiVo’s pricing. Sure, they could have gone lower on hardware, but TiVo’s always been something of a premium brand and service. Most importantly, they’re launching the Stream fee-free. And I’m down for one.
As a refresher, the TiVo Stream is a small network device that acts as an intermediary between a Premiere DVR and an iPhone or iPad — allowing you to stream live or DVRed content to iOS devices around the home. Also, as the virtual successor to TiVoToGo, the Stream can wirelessly offload unrestricted recordings to that iPad or iPhone to take on the road.
UPDATE: My TiVo Stream review is up.