- November 30, 2010
According to the results of the latest ChangeWave survey, the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle are dominating the e-Reader market, despite differences in the devices’ usage patterns. When asked what eBook reader they currently owned, 47 percent said the Kindle—down 15 percent since the prior survey—while 32 percent said they owned an iPad, double the 16 percent of the market it held in August. Other entrants in the market included the Sony Reader at five percent and the Barnes and Noble Nook at four. In terms of customer satisfaction, 75 percent of iPad owners said they were “very satisfied” with their device, compared to just 54 percent of Kindle owners; overall satisfaction numbers, which include both “very” and “somewhat” satisfied responses, were even at 96 percent.
Another question the survey posed was what type of content users read on their respective devices. While Kindle owners were more likely to read books on their device than iPad users—at a count of 93 percent to 76 percent, respectively, iPad owners were nearly five times more like to read newspapers and magazines than Kindle owners, and 15 times more likely to read blogs and news feeds using their devices. Finally, while just five percent of respondents said they were very likely to buy an e-Reader over the next 90 days—10 percent said they were somewhat likely—42 percent of those respondents said they were most likely to purchase an iPad, compared to 33 percent who said they were most likely to buy a Kindle. The survey was completed November 8 and included responses from more than 2,800 consumers.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly responded to a customer email, saying the company hopes to expand the scope of its AirPlay streaming feature in 2011. Mac Rumors reports that a reader emailed Jobs, asking whether Apple planned to make AirPlay video streaming available in Safari and to third-party app developers. In typically terse fashion, Jobs supposedly responded, “Yep, hope to add these features to AirPlay in 2011.” The inability to stream video from Safari or third-party apps, as well as the inability to stream videos shot on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS directly to an Apple TV, have been discussed as major shortcomings of AirPlay.
- November 30, 2010
Apple today officially launched the iPad in 11 more countries, while SoftBank announced a steep subsidy on iPad 3G models in concert with multi-month contracts. Included in today’s launches are the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Malaysia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the previously announced South Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. As Mac Rumors notes, pricing, retail distribution, and cellular data providers vary from country to country; interested customers should check with Apple to find out more information regarding availability. In addition, SoftBank is now offering a new pricing plan (Translated Link) which makes the 16GB 3G model free with a 24 month contract; customers must agree to pay 4,725 yen, or roughly $56, monthly for 3G service, with the 32GB and 64GB 3G models adding 400 and 790 yen to the monthly cost, respectively. [via Engadget]
Virgin Digital has released Project, a new multimedia magazine designed specifically for the iPad. Project promises coverage of a wide range of topics including international culture, entertainment, design, business and travel though a free reader app that sells individual monthly issues for $3. Each issue includes content updated daily throughout that month, as well as videos, photo galleries and music. Previously purchased issues can be kept in the app or re-downloaded later at no additional charge. Project requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Initial Thoughts on Project from iLounge’s Editors: Despite the hype that’s been circulating recently over the very existence of Project as a rival to News Corp.‘s upcoming iPad-exclusive publication Daily, it’s safe to say that you can easily save $3 by skipping this new magazine. Excited by the prospect of a publication guided by Virgin’s Richard Branson, we instead found Project to be a third-rate clone of the many Adobe-aided iPad magazines we’ve seen before, filling pages with weak, laddie mag-class writing and quite possibly the most useless Jeff Bridges interview we’ve ever read. Apart from its back end, which seeks to fuse what amount to blog-like web updates and comments into the application, there’s precious little novelty here.
- November 29, 2010
According to a new study of consumers conducted by The NPD Group, 11 percent of consumers are likely to purchase an iPad by February 2011. Citing a NPD “fact sheet,” AppleInsider reports that the survey also found that iPad usage increases with length of ownership; consumers who owned an iPad for two months or less use it for around 15 hours per week, a stat that increases to 18 hours/week in those who have had their iPads for more than three months. According to the report, NPD also found that 58 percent of iPad owners purchased the Wi-Fi only model, suggesting the sales ratio of Wi-Fi to 3G models is around 6 to 4.
Apple has added five former employees of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) to its enterprise sales team according to a new report. Citing multiple LinkedIn accounts, Dow jones Newswires reports that five members of RIM’s enterprise sales team have left the company to join Apple, including Geoff Perfect, a five-year RIM employee who served as Head of Strategic Sales and left the company for Apple in April 2009; Perfect now serves as Head of Enterprise iPhone Sales. Four other former RIM employees now hold positions as iPhone and/or iPad sales representatives in New England, New York City, and Canada. Apple confirmed that all five are now working in enterprise sales at the company, but declined to offer any specifics as to their positions.
Sling Media has released an iPad version of its Slingbox client for iOS devices. SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad allows users to stream TV and other video content to their iPad from select Slingbox devices using a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. Users can view and control video content via the SlingPlayer app and Slingbox from sources such as cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes and DVRs, TiVO, Apple TV and even home security cameras. Slingbox Pro-HD users can also stream digital over-the-air broadcasts. SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad follows the release of SlingPlayer for iPhone ($30) earlier this year with a redesigned iPad-native interface including a revamped programming guide and a recent channels feature. Slingbox for iPad is sold separately from the iPhone version and is available from the App Store for $30. The SlingPlayer applications for iOS require a Slingbox Solo or Pro-HD and are not compatible with older Slingbox devices.
Following Monday’s release of iOS 4.2 Apple has now begun to approve third-party applications that provide support for its new CoreMIDI functionality. CoreMIDI allows applications to send and receive Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) commands directly from an iOS device without requiring specialized third-party hardware. Developers can instead use a standard set of API calls to communicate with external MIDI devices through the Dock Connector using Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit to interface with MIDI devices over USB or interface with wireless MIDI transceivers over Wi-Fi. The new CoreMIDI technology provides a simpler way for developers to leverage the iPad and other iOS devices in a wide variety of professional studio applications ranging from digital music composition to complex lighting control. Luminair for iPad ($130) by Synthe FX is among the first such professional-grade MIDI applications to be released with the new CoreMIDI functionality, transforming the iPad into an advanced yet intuitive multitouch console for lighting designers.
A pair of new reports suggest that News Corp, headed by Rupert Murdoch, will announce a new tablet-based newspaper at an upcoming Apple event. The Guardian reports that the new paper, called the Daily, is a collaboration between Apple and News Corp and has been under development in New York for several months. The report goes on to state that the paper will cost 99 cents per week, and will be able to be delivered automatically to an iPad using a new subscription plan from Apple.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball, in linking to the aforementioned report, suggests that the initiative will launch with a press event, with Murdoch—and possibly other newspaper and magazine executives—joining Steve Jobs on stage. In addition, Gruber states that he’d heard December 9th as possible date for the event, but notes that this is a Thursday, an unusual day for Apple to hold a press event. Gruber goes on to state that based on information from sources outside Apple, the event will not be for a central “iNews” or “Newsstand” app from Apple, but will instead be for a new recurring subscription billing option for apps, paid through the user’s iTunes account. He also states that the News Corp developers working on the new Daily app have been given “preliminary documentation on the new subscription billing APIs from Apple.”
Apple has updated its three iWork apps for the iPad: Pages, Numbers and Keynote to add support for iOS 4.2. The updates add wireless printing via AirPrint and support for iOS 4.2 multitasking and Numbers also adds a print preview feature to allow users to adjust how a sheet will print across multiple pages. The PDF export from Numbers will also respect any pagination settings created in the print preview. Numbers users can also now enter formulas using a keyboard and the predictive function selector. Keynote 1.3 adds an enhanced presenter display that now allows users to see the current slide, the next slide or their notes when connected to an external display. Keynote users can also now import and add presenter notes to slides from within the app. The update also improves reliability when importing and exporting iWork for Mac and Microsoft Office documents, fixes issues related to WebDAV and adds additional localizations for Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish and Traditional Chinese. Pages, Numbers and Keynote are sold individually from the App Store for $10 each.
- November 22, 2010
Orange and T-Mobile plan to offer the iPad 3G on a subsidized basis in the U.K., according to a new report. Engadget has reposted a press release from Orange, which says it will “offer new purchase options for iPad users, including more affordable prices when purchased with a data service plan, for iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models in the coming months.” The report notes that T-Mobile is expected to make a similar announcement soon, and claims that a price tag of £200 (roughly $320) has been rumored, in conjunction with a two-year data plan. It’s unclear when the two companies will actually begin rolling out the new offerings.
As expected, Apple has released iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The anticipated update, announced during Apple’s September iPod event, brings iOS 4 features such as multitasking and folders to the iPad for the first time, while also adding new features like AirPlay wireless media streaming and AirPrint wireless printing to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Notably, the software update requires iTunes 10.1, and is available now for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch via the Update feature in iTunes.
- November 22, 2010
Korean iPhone carrier KT has announced that it will launch the iPad on November 30. The Korea Times reports that KT will offer all six models of the iPad, but that iPad 3G models will be available on a subsidized basis, with the 16GB 3G model selling for the equivalent of $345 with a two-year contract for 2GB of data per month. KT said it has received 60,000 pre-orders in the past week; it expects to sell 200,000 iPads this year.
Apple has announced that alongside today’s release of iOS 4.2, users of the iPad, iPhone 4, and fourth-generation iPod touch will receive free Find My iPhone service. Previously limited to users who have a paid MobileMe account, Find My iPhone lets users locate missing devices, have them display messages or play sounds, and remotely wipe or lock lost devices. For users that don’t have a MobileMe account, the feature will use their standard Apple IDs instead. Apple is expected to release iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch later today.
Apple has announced that it will release iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch later today. Announced during Apple’s September media event, the update will bring previously iPhone- and iPod touch-exclusive features like multitasking and a unified Mail inbox to the iPad, and will also add new features like AirPlay streaming and AirPrint wireless printing to all three devices. Apple is expected to release iOS 4.2 around 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
- November 19, 2010
Doom co-creator and co-founder of iD Software John Carmack has said that the iPad is more capable graphically than the Nintendo Wii. In an interview with Kotaku following the release of iD’s Rage and Rage HD titles for iOS, Carmack said that “it is great for me to see a lot of people saying this looks better than anything on my Wii and a quarter of the games on my 360, which is about how I would rank the power levels there.” He continued, “you should be able to do something that’s better on an iPad than anything that’s done on the Wii. A 360 or PS3 does have several times integral-multiple more power but there’s certainly some games where developers don’t take much advantage of it. We’re nowhere close to maxing out what could be done on an iPad.”
Carmack also made note of the control limitations of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, admitting that the devices’ touchscreens make for inferior first-person shooter (FPS) controls. “It does feel kind of like an inferior version when you play that,” he said, referring to playing any FPS game on an iPhone or iPad. “It’s cool that it’s on there. It’s good enough to enjoy and have fun. But clearly you’re a step down from analog sticks, which is a step down down from mouse-keyboard interface. And it just makes me think that may not be the best style of game on these platforms.” Carmack finished by lauding the fast turn-around of games on iOS, but said he doesn’t have the time he’d like to have to devote to iOS development. “There’s a half-dozen things I’d love to do on iOS right now,” he said, “but the most I can possibly manage is help with two of them a year.”
THQ Wireless has released a new Star Wars Arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch featuring augmented reality technology. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner puts players in the Millennium Falcon’s gun turret where they must blast their way through waves of TIE fighters and Star Destroyers across over 20 arcade-style levels based on the Star Wars movies. The game includes legendary missions such as the Death Star escape, the asteroid field pursuit over Hoth and the infamous Kessel Run. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users can also engage an optional augmented reality mode that allows players to use the device’s camera to overlay enemy fighters on top of real-world surroundings and control movement with 360-degree full body motion using the device’s accelerometer/compass or gyroscope. A coming free update will also allow users to take and share augmented reality photos from within the Falcon’s turret. The game is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch and requires iOS 4.1 or later with an iPad version scheduled for release in December. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner is available from the App Store for $5.
- November 18, 2010
Discount department store chain TJ Maxx is now selling 16GB iPad Wi-Fi units for $399 in certain stores, according to a new report. Citing a reader email and photos, Engadget reports that some TJ Maxx stores in Ohio, New York, and New Jersey are offering the tablet computers at a $100 discount; one store claimed it was holding its stock for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Some stores in other parts of the U.S. reported they had no iPads in stock. A sign posted outside one store noted that quantities of the discounted devices were limited, sales are limited to one per customer, and returns will only be accepted if the package is unopened.
Update: Mac Rumors reports that TJ Maxx sister chain Marshalls is also offering the same deal at certain stores, and are reportedly receiving 100 iPads per day over a three-day period.’
Update x2: Steve Jobs has reportedly told a customer via email that TJ Maxx is not an authorized reseller of iPads.
Apple has seeded a new Gold Master version of iOS 4.2, labeled iOS 4.2.1, to developers. Unlike the secondary GM seed of iOS 4.2 released exclusively for the iPad, this new build is available for all capable devices, including the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. While it is unclear whether Apple now plans to skip a general release of iOS 4.2 and go directly to iOS 4.2.1, an email from Toktumi, makers of the Line2 VoIP application, suggests a communications bug may have led Apple to release the new build. According to the email, reprinted by Mac Rumors, the GM version of iOS 4.2 contained a “severe” bug that caused any VoIP app running in the background to continuously ring after receiving an incoming call, even after the call is answered. The email states that Apple Developer Support is aware of the bug; it is unknown whether iOS 4.2.1 includes a fix for the issue. iOS 4.2.1 GM is available as a download for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.
Duck Duck Moose has released an iPad version of its award-winning Park Math educational game for the iOS platform. Selected as the Best Kids’ iPhone/iPod App of the Year in our 2011 Buyers’ Guide, Park Math teaches basic math concepts to young children through a charmingly illustrated collection of activities set in a park and playground theme with classical music and colorful original characters. Park Math HD brings the same engaging learning experience to the larger iPad screen with seven fun activities and an extra third level targeted at first grade children to teach counting up to 100 and addition and subtraction with numbers up to 20. Park Math HD is available from the App Store for $2.