Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Google Chrome Browser: Five Fixes and Flash

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Google isn't taking sides in the Adobe Flash/HTML5 war...

Google’s not making any apologies for including Flash in the latest Chrome update. And they’re making it easy to turn off for those who prefer to run through the internet Flash-less. Then there’s the fact that they’ve included support for HTML5…  It would appear Google is decidedly neutral in regards to the way video is handled in their browser as both formats are enabled by default. In addition to the Flash enabled software, Google is including five fixes with the latest update, two of which directly deal with the way video is handled by Chrome.

But it doesn’t stop there. The recent upgrade to Android 2.2 (otherwise known as “Froyo”) includes Flash 10.1 and benchmarks have shown the software to be playing well with the Android operating system. It’s a good bet that the dual support will be included in Google’s impending OS version of Chrome and I’m going to go out on a limb and call this a good thing.

I don’t know about the rest of the world but I’d prefer to have the choice as to what content I am able to view and download when I’m going to drop cold, hard cash for a multimedia device. I don’t like the idea that the device I just dropped hundreds of dollars on will force me to choose one viewing format over another. If I prefer Flash, why can’t I make the choice to use it?

Apple may very well end up ruling the cellular world with the iPhone and may have created a new market with the iPad but I’m just not convinced by Steve Jobs’ rant that Flash is “too buggy and too power intensive” to not at least want the option to use it on their devices.

There’s every reason in the world to believe that Google is capable of producing a functional and aesthetically pleasing desktop OS and by the simple fact that they’re building Flash support into their products, they may have just gained one more fan.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

“If you would please load up iPsalms on your iPad…”

Monday, June 21st, 2010

I'm so going to hell for this...

I have cracked jokes about Catholicism trying to catch up with today’s technology. After the announcement of the website, I started saying things like “iPope” and “DigiPope”. All kidding aside, however, I do commend the Vatican for its initial forays into the tech world even if some of it opens up a slew of joke opportunities when you start talking about text messages and Catholic priests.

It’s been said that someone gifted an iPod to Pope Benedict XVI back in 2006 and there’s been some apps created for the iPhone over the past few years that have been created with priests in mind (seriously, I won’t tell any of the jokes I thought up while typing that statement). There’s even a special group that is handling the Church’s transition to the 21st century called the “Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications”. And the group is creating a new app with the iPad and the travelling priest in mind.

The app will include the complete missal (that’s the stuff that’s said and sang during Mass for all of you unwashed heathens out there) and will allow more technology savvy priests to use the application instead of relying on older or non-existent books when travelling between Parishes.

Rev. Paolo Padrini, the man behind the “iMissal”, would be the same gent who came up with the “iBreviary”, an app that allows priests an entire collection of daily prayers using their iPhone. The breviary app has seen over 200,000 downloads since it was introduced two years ago. The iBreviary has received high praise from the church and I would expect the missal app will receive much the same when it is introduced in July.

I wonder how much the church would be willing to use the iPad if it had been designated the “iTouch”…  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

We like to call it “The iPot Arrests”

Monday, June 14th, 2010

It's strictly for medicinal use. Honestly.

Have you ever got really high and decided it was just a great idea to post up an ad on offering to trade a brand new iPod Touch 32GB and a quarter ounce of weed for an iPad 32GB? Me either.

Someone in Gilbert, Arizona seemed to think it was a good idea, though.

Last week, two suspects were charged with possession of an illegal substance and conspiracy to sell marijuana after posting a Craigslist ad offering the aforementioned trade. They even posted a picture of the offerings. You know, in case anyone doubted their sincerity.

The illegal posting was reported to police in Gilbert, Arizona who then set up a meeting to make the trade. They arrested Jacob Walker and Joseph Velarde when Walker handed over the weed to undercover officers.

On a scale of 1 to stupid, it’s pretty obvious where this little shenanigan falls.

No word on if the iPod has been charged as an “accessory”. HA!!

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the guy on the left is the criminal "mastermind".

Gritskrieg – End of Line

AT&T wants to strangle the Interweb!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

AT&T is introducing "cost saving" data plans...

It would seem that with the launch of the Apple iPad and the continuing success of the iPhone, AT&T is still feeling the crunch on their 3G network. Recent announcements from the cellular provider would appear that they are taking strides to relieve the congestion but their most recent announcement, limited data plans, would seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

Currently, there is an Unlimited Data plan in place for the iPad for thirty dollars with no contract. The data plan for the iPhone is priced the same but requires the usual two year agreement. The news from AT&T is that these plans will no longer be offered to subscribers signing up after June 7th. The tradeoff will be that with the new plans (detailed below), AT&T will be offering support for tethering… For an additional $20 a month.

Here’s the basics about the new plans (pulled from PR Newswire):

  • DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month. This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.
  • DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month. Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.
  • Tethering. Smartphone customers – including iPhone customers – who choose the DataPro plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month. Tethering lets customers use their tethering-enabled smartphones as a modem to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices. Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.

The kicker here is that 2GB is less than half of what other providers are offering on limited dataplans. However, those of you who already have an unlimited data plan shouldn’t panic just yet. The old plan will be grandfathered for those customers who have the plan prior to June 7th, 2010 (Source). And yes, reportedly this means if you upgrade to the 4th gen iPhone and you currently have the unlimited data plan, you won’t have to switch to one of the new data plans. You just won’t be able to use the tethering.

Of course, those users who have jailbroke their iPhone are already using tethering. I’m just saying.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Why the anti-trust probe against Apple isn’t going to get off the ground

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Apple's got nothing to worry about...

We’ve been talking about Apple a lot recently and with good cause… Apple’s had some interesting stuff going on lately. From the announcement of the latest version of its OS on the iPhone, to the success of the iPad’s launch, to the “found” next gen iPhone reported by Gizmodo and the resulting legal backlash, Apple’s been busy.

The most recent development really shouldn’t take anyone by surprise, especially after Steve Jobs’ recent verbal assault on Adobe’s Flash software. The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have both received complaints that Apple’s new development policy and exclusion of the third party software in the iTunes store is anti-competitive. This is nothing new for Apple. They were already accused of the same type of behavior in regards to exclusive online music content in Europe.

It seems odd that Apple would be coming under fire for supposed anti-competitive behavior. Let’s keep in mind that this is the same company that almost went belly up  but tenaciously held on to their minority share of the computing market in the 90s and was the only company Bill Gates could point at and say Microsoft wasn’t a monopoly. The times, they are a’changin’.

So the USJoD and FTC will be performing investigations to see if a probe is warranted. But I can give you a few good reasons why nothing is going to come of this if we base the investigations solely on facts.

To begin, you have the iPad which has not only proven that tablet computing is feasible, it’s made other companies run back to the drawing boards to see what they can come up with to compete with the device. You could say Apple has a monopoly in this burgeoning field at this time. I’m stressing that. What they’ve actually done is got computer manufacturers moving forward and exploring tablet PCs. This is a good thing, healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, and driving innovation not only at Apple to stay ahead of the curve but in their competitors.

You have the iPhone. I have no doubt that this will be the most purchased phone line in the next two-three financial quarters. They’ve already surpassed the majority of their competition in the cell phone market and are on pace to even up with, and eventually surpass, RIM and its Blackberry line. But again, we see that the iPhone is driving the competition to make better, more powerful devices. It’s pushing the cellular carriers to improve their networks, it’s getting more people to buy cell phones which in turn is healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, etc.

The iPod. Well, yeah, there’s some argument there for the mobile entertainment market but let’s face it, nobody really seems to care who’s running the show there. Well, there is the Zune as competition… Sorry, I almost laughed myself into unconsciousness.

The point here is that to for the anti-trust accusation to stand up to scrutiny, Apple would have to be discouraging competition from creating devices or operating systems that would compete with their cell phones, media players, and tablet computers and that simply isn’t the case here. Apple says that you can play in their backyard, you just have to follow the rules in regards to their devices. And they’re proving it is possible for developers to do so and make a profit. And Steve Jobs hasn’t made up some alternate software for Flash and said that’s all that will run on the devices. He’s presented an alternate for Flash via HTML5 which is open source. He’s not making any money off of the exclusion, in fact he’s probably losing a little. There simply isn’t a monopoly here.

Keep in mind that this is conjecture on my part, an opinion based on the facts at hand. That being said, I’m fairly certain that what will come to pass is a lack of “evidence of wrongdoing” on the part of Apple.

Now if they’d just stop playing the heavy handed bully in regards to the “stolen” iPhone.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Whats up iPhone 4.0

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Steve Jobs announces the completion of Skynet... Okay, not really, he announced iPhone OS 4.0

I imagine a lot of the iPhone fans out there were giddy after yesterday’s news about Apple’s latest OS for the phone, iPhone 4.0. And I wouldn’t blame you if you were. The long sought, long awaited multi-tasking is on the way and will allow iPhone and iPad users to seamlessly swap between third party apps that currently are unable to be run in the background.

One of the most impressive functions this will allow for is to continue a Skype initiated call while switching to another application. Currently, the iPhone will end a call on Skype if a user tries to swap to another app which can be a source of headaches for those using the VoIP software.

There’s a few “gotchas” with the new OS, however. Owners of earlier models of the iPhone (the original and the iPhone 3G) will be unable to make use of the multitasking features. That function is currently only available on the iPhone 3Gs. And the same holds true for those iPod Touch users out there, only the most recent models will be allowed to swap between applications using the new OS.

Also in speaking with two iPhone users who have phones that are “jailbroken”, they seemed unimpressed with the overall look of the multitasking ability available with the new OS. Both run multiple applications on their phones already and their multitasking interface was certainly much more graphically pleasing to the eye than what we were seeing during the coverage of the news conference announcing the OS upgrade.

However, for those users of the iPhone who prefer to keep their phone in its original working order, the announcement was met with excitement.

Other features announced included single inbox use for multiple email accounts, allowing a user to retrieve multiple account emails and have them available in one “common” mailbox, and the ability to connect a regular keyboard to the devices using Bluetooth.

Sadly, those users who hoped that the new OS would allow for the use of Flash technology will be sorely disappointed. No mention of Flash was made other than that the new OS would still not support the technology, not even if there were plans to make it available in the future.

Steve Jobs also announced that the company has sold more than 450,000 iPads since their launch this past Saturday. Those are impressive numbers indeed but unsurprising considering the fervor with which the new device was met.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Grats on your new iPad… That’s last year’s model, right?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Maybe "2,1" just means the next iPad goes to 11.

The brand spanking new iPad launched this past Saturday and as expected, the fans were out in force for it. They stood in lines, camped, and did all the assorted things we’ve come to expect at the launch of a new Apple device. You have to wonder, however, if they’d be as excited if they knew what one busy hacker has already found from digging around on his iPad… The second generation iPad may already be in the works.

The Boy Genius Report ran with the story on Saturday after receiving a screen shot from one of their tipsters. The screenshot (pictured left) shows the information that was discovered, with references to two new iPhone revisions (3,2 and 3,3, possibly referring to the rumored GSM and CDMA iPhones that are said to be in the works) as well as the “iProd 2,1″. iProd was the initial name for the iPad. Yeah, from worse to bad on that name, folks.

Already, the rumor mill is in the works, theorizing what the new features might be. Some suggest a camera, others upgraded memory, while a few speculate that it will support Flash out of the box. Of course, the reference could be to the AT&T 3G network ready iPad set to launch later this year. As usual, however, no one from Apple is talking about what it might be or if there is any truth to the rumor. As is par with Apple, we’ll just have to wait and see.

There is the fact that those who have purchased iPhones in the past are used to the almost yearly model revisions that have been released since the device’s launch leaving them holding “last year’s model”. It shouldn’t be any surprise that a new iPad is already on the drawing board at Apple headquarters.


Gritskrieg – End of Line

iPad / iPhone Game Controller

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Possible iPad / iPhone Game Controlller

(Gamespot) – During a presentation last September, Apple executives played up gaming on the iPhone–and dismissed the PSP and DS as inferior products. Senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller blasted the platforms as having overly expensive games. He also said that the iPhone’s lack of dedicated buttons actually made it a superior gaming platform to Sony’s or Nintendo’s portables.

Ironically, Schiller’s swagger directly contradicts the wording in a patent application which surfaced this week. Originally filed by Apple in September 2008, the patent states that gaming can “be somewhat awkward, particularly on a portable electronic device having a touchscreen. The same screen used for viewing an avatar’s activities is used to control the avatar. This arrangement causes the user’s fingers [to] block the action. Thus, while these portable electronic devices include a highly efficient interface, when playing games it is often desirable to have a more specialized user interface.”

As some might suspect, Apple’s patent filing was for an accessory to the iPhone which would offer dedicated gaming buttons. According to the filing, “The game accessory can have input controls, such as buttons, joysticks, and D-pads. Another example provides a game accessory having a thumb pad or keyboard. Other possible features include microphones, cameras and camera lenses, speakers, a second screen, rumble, and motion detection.”

Illustrations accompanying the filing show an accessory which allows an iPhone, and potentially the just released iPad, to be slid into it. The filing reads, “The game accessory may have a recess sized to fit the portable electronic device. Inserts or removable adapters can be used to fit portable electronic devices having different sizes. The portable electronic device can be held in the accessory using sliding covers, clips, or other engaging members. In other examples, the accessory can communicate with another accessory for head-to-head game play. The accessory may include circuitry for power, identification, and authorization.”

iPad: It’s still hands off for Apple employees

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

BusyGamer's Rika Stead

(Reuters) – As Apple Inc gears up for the crush of customers expected for Saturday’s iPad launch, employees who staff its retail stores are just as curious about the tablet as the fans who will line up outside.

Apple store workers say they have yet to see or touch the iPad, even though the launch is just days away and they are being trained and encouraged to talk about Apple’s newest device with customers.

“We haven’t seen it; we never do” before a product is launched, said one employee, who asked not to be identified because workers are barred from speaking with the media. “Every store employee I know, including the managers, they haven’t seen it.”

With its notoriously secretive corporate culture, Apple is loathe to circulate any iPads among retail troops ahead of the debut. Even in-store Apple repair techs — known as “geniuses” — don’t yet know how to fix the gadget.

Since the iPhone launch in June 2007, Apple product releases have played out like concert tours, with fans sleeping in lines overnight and blanket media coverage that generates plenty of free advertising.

But amidst all the hype, the company’s ethos of secrecy extends from its corporate perch in Cupertino, California, to its component suppliers and its network of more than 200 U.S. stores.

“We did not see or hold an iPhone until an hour before it went on sale,” said a former Apple store employee. “We didn’t know much more about it than people asking us.”

Major products are usually unveiled by Chief Executive Steve Jobs at special media events, and most retail employees are kept in the dark until the devices are publicly available.

“There was really no word on anything,” said another former store worker of the iPhone launch. “We saw a video of the keynote, and that was basically all you knew.”

The iPad is Apple’s most significant product launch since the iPhone. Starting at $499, analysts estimate Apple could sell from 850,000 to 1.2 million units of the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet in the April-June quarter.

Apple’s U.S. stores will begin selling the iPad at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

[Full article at]