Posts Tagged ‘Iphone’

iPhone Gyroscopic Gaming

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Swing battuh battuh, swing battuuuh!

(Gamespot) – Apple announced yesterday the iPhone 4 as part of Worldwide Developers Conference 2010. The iPhone 4, which gained notoriety after a leaked prototype surfaced in April, is the first hardware update to Apple’s best-selling smartphone since July 2008, and it will apparently carry a handful of enhancements for gamers.

As related by GameSpot sister site CNET, Apple has catered to motion-sensor enthusiasts by building a three-axis gyroscope into the device. The gyroscope allows the iPhone to detect pitch, roll, and yaw, and it works alongside the previously available accelerometer to provide six-axis motion sensing. The device also uses the CoreMotion programming tools to further enhance precision.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off the new tech with a demo for the classic party game Jenga. During his presentation, he tilted the phone forward, back, and side-to-side, with the game responding to these movements in kind onscreen. He also showed how rotating the iPhone 4 in a circle resulted in the game equally spinning.

Further playing to the gaming crowd, Activision was on hand at the event to announce that Guitar Hero is now available on the App Store. Available for $2.99, the Guitar Hero app will launch with six songs from the likes of Queen, Rise Against, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, and The White Stripes. Six additional three-song packs are also available for $1.99 a piece.

Additionally, casual game publisher Zynga announced that a version of its top Facebook social game Farmville would see release on the App Store by the end of June. Gamers will be able to access the same plantation on their phones as they can through Facebook, according to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.

As for the rest of what the iPhone 4 offers, Apple has ramped up the device’s screen resolution to 960 × 640 pixels, which offers a pixel-per-inch resolution of 326, four times that of current iPhone 3G models. The company also noted that the iPhone 4 has an 800-to-1 contrast ratio, also a four-fold increase over current devices. And at 9.3mm, it is “the thinnest smartphone on the planet.”

The updated device also includes two built-in cameras (one on the front and the other on the back with an LED flash), as well as two microphones and a noise cancellation button. Apple has upgraded the device’s cameras to a five-megapixel sensor. The iPhone 4 also features HD video recording, capturing 720p at 30 frames per second.

[Full Article at Gamespot.com]

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

More money for Blizzard!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

For 3 bucks a month you can grab that leet gear from your phone!

Blizzard to levy extra $3 subscription fee for buying and selling items through Web browser or Mobile Armory iPhone app.

(Gamespot) – Blizzard Entertainment already charges over 11 million World of Warcraft players up to $15 a month for access to the world of Azeroth. Now the company hopes those subscribers will be willing to tack on a few extra dollars each month for access to new WOW-related features.

“I have one copper piece from the terrifying gentleman with the glowing eyes. Do I hear two copper pieces? No? Going once, going twice…
The company has announced a beta testing period for World of Warcraft Remote, a $3 monthly subscription service that will allow players to manage their in-game auction house activities from a Web browser or through the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app for the iPhone and iPod Touch (Blizzard is considering adding support for other mobile devices). During the beta, players will be able to test out all the features of World of Warcraft Remote for free.

Once the service goes live, World of Warcraft players will still be able to use some features without paying for the additional subscription. Browsing auctions, receiving notifications when auctions close or players are outbid, and viewing various character information and status updates will all remain free.

However, bidding and buying out auctions, placing items up for sale, collecting gold, relisting items, or cancelling actions will all be limited to those players who sign up for the additional subscription fee. A list of the in-game realms currently running the World of Warcraft Remote beta test is available on Blizzard’s official World of Warcraft forums.

[Full article at Gamespot.com]

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

iPad sales break the One Million mark… And I still don’t have one.

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Whew, I'm sure Steve Jobs was worried they wouldn't sell. HA!

This morning, Apple announced that sales of the iPad had passed the one million mark. That’s not dollars, that’s actual units sold. The fact that the iPad’s 3G version went on sale on Friday pushed the achievement but even taking into account the pre-orders that were picked up with that version’s launch, no one can deny the popularity of the device.

With the announcement also came the news that the iPad’s launch has officially surpassed that of the original iPhone. Unsurprising considering that the Apple fan base has now been solidly established but an impressive feat nonetheless. Keep in mind that the iPad has yet to launch internationally and that the one million units sold has been accomplished solely within the United States. Once the device is available internationally, I am certain we’ll be seeing even more record breaking sales.

The news about the success of the iPad’s initial offering comes only two weeks after the second quarter earnings for Apple were announced. The company posted revenue of $13.5 billion with a net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion (Source) which represented an increase in sales for all of Apple’s devices (iPhones, iPods, Macbooks) and not just the introduction of the iPad.  That just means their customer base is growing.

And we thought Bill Gates wanted to take over the world… Steve Jobs’ next big announcement? The iWin.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Gizmodo and the case of the missing iPhone

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Jailbreak? Anyone? Anyone?

I know there were a lot of you who let out some girlish squeals last week. I’m going to forgive it because you were reading about the 4th gen iPhone when you made the noise. When gizmodo.com got their mitts on the device after purchasing it from the anonymous “source” who had discovered the device left in a bar, they took it apart, looked around, and put it back together. They then promptly released everything they had discovered about the device to the general public and their traffic skyrocketed.

Initially, gizmodo.com reported that the anonymous source of Apple’s prototype device had contacted the company in an attempt to return the device and that a “ticket was opened” by the group with which he spoke. The overall feeling was that Apple either a) didn’t believe the gentleman’s claim that he had what appeared to be an unreleased device or b) didn’t want to admit that the prototype device existed. Perhaps they were hoping that after wiping the device, the tipster wouldn’t actually know what he had on his hands.

That was not the case. The guys over at Gizmodo dropped a cool five grand on the guy to get their hands on it. Seemed like a good deal at the time for both the buyer and the seller.

After Gizmodo broke the news, Apple contacted them and asked them to return the device which Gizmodo agreed to do if Apple would admit that the device was a prototype… Which they did with this letter. Gizmodo then arranged to return the device and it seemed everything was over and done with.

Apparently not, however, as a police detective showed up at Gizomodo’s editor Jason Chen’s house with a search and seizure warrant on Friday night while Jason wasn’t at home. They busted down the front door and proceeded to seize everything that had an electrical cord attached. Jason showed up somewhere in the middle of this process and was denied entrance to the house, patted down by police, and then presented with an explanation that the door had been busted in on the authority of the search warrant.

Jason, of course, wasn’t happy about all of this. It would appear he had spoken with the detective earlier in the day in regards to the search warrant and presented the detective with a letter from Gawker Media’s (Gizmodo’s parent company) COO Gaby Darbyshire which detailed very clearly why the search warrant was invalid and why the devices should not be seized. If you scroll down on the link above, you’ll see some very nice legalese in regards to the legal status of the property of a journalist or editor who resides in the state of California.

Now this is going to turn into a big ol’ mess. The search and seizure amounts to what most judges would call a “fishing expedition”. The gentleman who found the phone has not yet been charged with passing on stolen goods in which case the payment by Gizmodo *might* constitute the purchase of stolen property. No, they’re trying to establish the crime by seeing if Gizmodo was aware that it had purchased stolen property and work backwards from there. They’re also trying to identify the anonymous seller by going through the information on Jason’s computers and bank accounts. Any lawyer worth his salt is going to have any evidence found in Jason’s house thrown out of court thus nullifying any charges that might be brought against the original person who may or may not have broken the law.

If the anonymous seller did indeed contact Apple in an attempt to return the device, then the criteria for attempting to return the device was met and Gizmodo cannot be charged with possession or purchase of stolen property. In fact, once Apple clearly stated for the record that the device did indeed belong to them, the device was returned with haste and Gizmodo ate the five thousand dollar price tag they had attached to the device.

My guess would be that this will turn into a lot of mudslinging and hurt feelings before the ordeal is through and may even result in legal action against the San Mateo, CA police department.

Apple has yet to comment on the investigation but I can assure you, the Reckon Crew will be following the events.

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

Federal Court Nixes Net Neutrality

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

"You want more data? Keep putting large bills in my hand, I'll see what I can do."

I’ll admit that over the years, as the speed of my Internet connection has gotten progressively faster, I’ve taken it for granted that there are limitations to every data connection. I’ve been in neighborhoods where there were very few people connected to my provider and the data speeds were only limited by the hardware on my end. But I’ve also been in neighborhoods where my provider was suffering from an overpopulation of heavy data users and I’d see my downloads slow to a crawl. But even then, I didn’t consider the fact that there might one day be a cost above and beyond my monthly service fee.

Unfortunately, that may be were we’re headed… Connections to data intensive applications and sites could be strictly monitored and even produce additional costs on your cable bill.

Fiction, you say? I wish it were.

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission (that’s the FCC for you acronym lovers out there) had neither the right nor the authority to prevent broadband providers from charging “premium service” fees or prevent certain data from gobbling up network capacity. The three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia essentially overturned the concept of “Net Neutrality” opening the door for companies such as Comcast to begin charging additional fees for access to data intensive applications.

You may be asking what exactly Net Neutrality is and what it might mean to you. Fortunately, Uncle Gritskrieg is here to give you a few pointers on just that.

Net Neutrality is the idea that there needs to be a policy in place to prevent broadband providers from restricting access to certain types of data. The policy would also prevent those same providers from charging you, the consumer, extra dough if you want to use a service like Netflix which is data intensive when you’re streaming that High-Def movie to your big ol’ plasma screen tv. It would prevent the companies from favoring or discriminating against which sites you could access from your provider’s network.

Still unclear? Let me break it down even further. Big Cable Provider Inc. decides to open a web site similar to BusyGamer.com. In order to make certain they get the users on their network that are currently viewing BusyGamer.com, they limit the amount of traffic that can visit the site while at the same time allowing their users to visit BCP Inc.’s own BusyBusyBusyGamer.com. Or worse, accessing the original site for Busy Gamer’s incurs an extra charge on your monthly statement.

(more…)

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 Reuters.com]










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