Magic Trackpad

Matt Gemmell gives us a great video walk-through of Apple’s new $69 Magic Trackpad.


Category: News

AT&T moves to metered data for iPhones

Well, at least we now know how AT&T plans to fix it’s network woes…by limiting the amount of data iPhone users can use.

From the press release:

  • 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 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.

   Additionally, iPhone plans will be converted from $30 all you can consume to $25 2GB plans.


Category: iPhone,News

Apple now rejecting Desktop-like apps for iPad

Austrailian iPhone OS developers Shifty Jelly have found their app MyFrame rejected by Apple, after it was previously approved 3 times. The reason seems to be it’s Dashboard like functionality, giving it a “desktop” like feel.

From their blog:

Just yesterday the company that I work for (Groundhog Software) got a phone call from Apple, telling us that our photo frame application for the iPad My Frame was to be removed from the Apple App Store. They refused to be pinned down to an exact reason, simply stating that they were doing a cull of any applications that presented widgets to the user. All the guy on the phone would say is how much he liked our application, and how sorry he was, but there was nothing he could do. All we got out of him was that Apple no longer liked ‘widgets’ and wanted all widget apps removed. They refused to say what (if anything) we could remove from our application, or even who we could discuss this with.

An email sent to Steve Jobs ilicited this reply:

We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry.

Sent from my iPad

It’s crappy behavior like this that poisions the well of happy, excited developers. Right now, the biggest thing driving developers to the Android platform is Apple itself. I can fully appreciate Apple wanting to prevent apps from duplicating functionality that Apple intends to provide in their operating systems, but they should have to abide by their own playbook, and when giving a developer a red card, they should only be able to do so when they can cite a rule that has been broken.

If Apple is working on adding Dashboard like functionality to the iPad, they should put rules specifically prohibiting such apps in their documentation. Additionally, they should give the developers a clear, concise path to getting their app approved. And for apps that are already in the app store, they should give the developer a grace period before removing the app completely from the store. Something like two weeks would probably be sufficient.

It’s behavior like this that has me pulling for Android, and hoping that Apple is taught a lesson sooner rather than later.


Category: News

Google TV

The best thing I can say about the Google TV platform is that it may finally motivate Apple to move AppleTV from being a hobby to a device worth updating more than once every three years.


Category: Links,News

iPad apps: Get ready for the second wave

Andy Ihnatko:

The brilliance of the iPad is the understanding that many notebook features aren’t relevant in a slate computer. I’m likely to use external hard drives and printers with a notebook. Not so with a slate. So why bother cutting three USB ports into it, and adding all kinds of troublesome third-party device drivers to the OS? And why bother adding all kinds of features to an app that will only be used 1% of the time, and which ruin the clean lines of the interface every time the app is launched?

36 hours in to my iPad experience, and I agree completely.


Category: News

Undercover Foxconn Investigation

One day in the near future, the people who buiild these gadgets at near slave wages will revolt. Hopefully before that happens, some enterprising and responsible companies will move their manufacturing back to America.

An excellent read.


Category: News

Search Warrant for stolen iPhone unsealed

You can read it here in all it’s glory.

Highlights:

  • Hogan (the “finder” of the protoype) was turned in by his roommate.
  • Hogan’s roommate tried to talk him out of selling the iPhone to Gizmodo, by arguing that it’s sale would ruin the career of Gray Powell (the engineer that lost it). Hogan’s response was “Sucks for him”.
  • Hogan states that he was originally offered $10,000 for the phone from Jason Chen.
  • Part of the sale to Gizmodo called for Hogan to be given a bonus in July if the prototype turned out to the real deal.

One of the more particularly juicy parts of this document is the email exchange between Brian Lam and Steve Jobs. Lam tries to justify to Steve why they are going to publish the story about the phone, knowing that it will hurt sales for Apple. Lam tries to negotiate a response from Apple where they would acknowledge it was a prototype, but not a production unit. You can almost smell the shit coming out of Lams mouth in this email.

Reading this affidavit, you can’t help but come away with very bad impressions of Lam, Chen, and Hogan. Three really douchey people.


Category: iPhone,Jackassery,News

Adobe, You Brought An Advertisement To A Gun Fight

Money Quote:

When you’re leaving notes all over the web trying to convince people how open your technology is, maybe leave out the Registered® Trademark® logos next time.


Category: News

Internet Explorer Falls Below 60% Market Share

More good news for those who appreciate browsers that push the envelope and advance the use of HTML5/CSS3.


Category: Links,News

Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash

Steve Jobs has penned another detailed missive, this time on Flash and how/why Apple doesn’t support it on it’s mobile devices. It’s a 1600 word opus that breaks down the argument in to 6 reasons – openness, full web, reliability (and security/performance), battery life, touch, and platform issues.

I can’t argue with most of the points, however this one is not entirely accurate:

Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

The Flash plugin is proprietary, but anyone can build an application that exports to the Flash format. Applications like Swish and others offer Flash creation tools that export to the Flash format. It’s a minor point to quibble with, as the Flash plugin is proprietary.

It will be interesting to see how Adobe responds to this. Adobe, from the CEO on down, has been dissing Apple’s mobile offerings lately in hopes of preserving it’s Flash kingdom. Having Steve Jobs and his 1600 word megaphone broadcast a detailed defense of why Apple avoids Flash can’t go unanswered. Can it?


Category: News,Opinion

About the author

A user of Macs since they had silly names like Performa and Centris, Theodore Lee is a techie who prides himself on his vast knowledge of all things Apple. OS X Factor was started in 2001 (originally as macosxcentric), and continues to churn out tips, tutorials, reviews and commentary on the tech sector.