Kindle Comes to the iPhone…say what?!

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2009, 01:25
Category: iPhone, Software

I guess that argument regarding whether the iPhone or the Kindle is a better reading platform is pretty much moot now. Today, Amazon released Kindle for iPhone. The app will give you access to all the same e-books that the Kindle reader will, without spending the extra $360 for Amazon’s device, assuming you already have an iPhone (…which is cheaper by the way AND it’s a phone!). You can read more about it here on Amazon’s web site.
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One has to wonder if Amazon has thought this through. Sure you still have to buy the content from them, but I think many people have considered buying a Kindle because the e-book buying experience on the iPhone hasn’t really been worked out. Perhaps the reading experience is better on the Kindle, and that is what Amazon is betting the farm on, but I have had no trouble reading books on my iPhone, although it does chew through the battery more quickly. Still, at $360 per device, that’s a hefty amount of revenue to put at risk.
You tell us…now that you can get the same content on both Kindle and iPhone, which would you buy?

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iPhone Cases Roundup

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 17:59
Category: Cases, iPhone

By David Klein
We all know the iPhone is sexy. Apple succeeded in maintaining its tradition of sleek, innovative design. A separate tradition that follows Apple releases is a slew of accessories. Every time I purchase an iPod I also get a matching case for both protection and to make it unique. Naturally, I wanted to purchase a case for my iPhone too.
I quickly realized that the iPhone is the first Apple product that is with me all the time. Of course we all listen to music on our iPods and other mp3 players (I owned a Rio 500 back in the day), but constant presence is not guaranteed like that of a cell phone. The iPhone is also more versatile. At the gym it’s an mp3 player. In meetings it’s a note taker. This is different when compared to an iPod which is always an mp3 player. One case will suffice. The iPhone can be more effectively used with different cases to match the tasks. Similar to my headphones post, I believe there are three case/task categories: style, gym, and productivity.
Style – Moshi iGlaze 3G
The best iPhone 3G case available is the Moshi iGlaze 3G. This is my everyday case. It’s thin and light so your iPhone doesn’t become bloated. It has a circular hole in the back to reveal the Apple logo. It comes in black, cramberry, and white. On the bottom is Moshi’s logo which is gracefully placed on all of its products. You can see it on my review of their Celesta keyboard. Included in the package is a film cover to protect the screen from scratches and smudges. The iGlaze’s beat feature is the smooth, rubber material. For US$23 you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this case even if you already own one. Moshi continues to impress me with its beautiful products.

http://www.moshimonde.com/iglaze_3g.htm

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Gym – Griffin Elan Form
When I exercise at the gym I want to be sure that my iPhone is safe in my pocket. Of course nothing will stop complete destruction if one drops a barbell onto the screen, but it’s still possible to prevent damage from drops. Yes, occasionally I accidentally get something caught on the headphones wire and the iPhone does a little dance onto the floor. That’s why I need a case that’s more rugged than the iGlaze. The answer is Griffin Technology’s Elan Form. Leather on the outside; hard shell on the inside. It comes in both black and pink. The Elan Form is not nearly as smooth to the touch as the iGlaze, but it’s definitely harder. It’s very easy to slide on and off (compared to another case I had which actually required a nickel to pry open and remove). On Griffin’s website the Elan Form costs US$30, but you can find it for US$18 on Amazon. If you’re looking for extra protection for activities like running, biking, or lifting weights, I recommend this case.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/elanform3g#

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Productivity – Pogo Stylus
I loved the Palm Pilot. I had one high school (yes I was that guy). I also had an iPaq phase in college. I never had any complaints while using a stylus. Now, you can use one with your iPhone. The Pogo Stylus includes two pieces: the stylus and piece of plastic that snaps onto the back and sides of the iPhone. Clearly this sounds foreign since we are all so accustomed to tapping on the screen with our fingers. However, there’s something oddly familiar about pressing on the screen with a tool instead of a finger. It’s faster, more accurate, easy to learn how to use, and it’s soft tip won’t hurt the screen. Within minutes you’ll be swiping across the screen like the good old days of the Palm products. The Pogo Stylus is great for taking notes during meetings or writing longer emails than you can normally tolerate while using your fingers. It comes in black, gunmetal, silver, and cranberry. Pogo makes different size clips for both the first and second generation iPhones and the iPod Touch. Although this is not exactly a case, I still find it attached often. For US$15 I think this is a fun way to improve the iPhone.

http://www.tenonedesign.com/stylus.php

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CBS Mobile Launches TV.com, Allows Free Streaming to iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:34
Category: iPhone

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Following up on other streaming-television efforts, CBS Mobile has released application currently offers CBS shows, CBS Sports programming and content such as episodes of “Late Show with David Letterman, “Star Trek: the Original Series,” “CSI,” and “The Young and the Restless,” among many others. The mobile application also serves up a selection of shows from the CW including “Smallville” and “90210,” a half dozen shows from Showtime including “The L Word” and “The Tudors,” and a variety of CNET and GameSpot podcasts.
While the current programming selection is rather limited, the app can accommodate all the new content CBS serves up as it works to make more of its library of content available. The app uses the iPhone’s standard QuickTime player.
According to AppleInsider, CBS is currently pushing TV.com in competition with the Viacom-backed Joost and Hulu, a joint effort between NBC and Fox, to reach audiences beyond the TV and deliver a “direct to users” model of web-oriented offerings. Hulu currently lacks a mobile app for the iPhone like TV.com’s offering but Joost does provide a player app for its content, though it has yet to use the standard QuickTime player on the iPhone.
TV studios have rushed to set up their own web-based operations to create an alternative to seeing their content distributed (at no benefit to them) to web audiences via sites like YouTube. Joost, TV.com, and Hulu are supported by ads. Like YouTube, all three websites use Adobe Flash to deliver their video content on the web.
The TV.com application requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.
If you’ve downloaded the application and played with it, please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Softbank Begins Giving Away Free iPhones to New Customers

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 08:41
Category: iPhone

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Softbank Mobile, Apple’s iPhone carrier in Japan, plans to introduce a new program Friday that will give some iPhone handsets away for free with a new two-year contract.
The 8GB iPhone 3G handset will be offered for free to new subscribers starting a calling plan today, though this may be likely to disappoint those who paid the equivalent of US$235 (22,782 yen). According to CrunchGear, Softbank is also reducing the price of the 16GB version from US$350 to US$118 as part of the new “iPhone for everybody Campaign.”
The wireless carrier has also cut the cost of its cost of its maximum data plan rate from US$62 a month to US$45.60 a month. Voice calls and texts are free among Softbank customers, but if your friend or colleague is an NTT DoCoMo customer, charges can start to accumulate quickly at 20 cents for a 30-second call.
There’s no clear indication as to whether Softbank is cutting prices in response to demand, but Apple COO Tim Cook noted during last month’s earnings conference call that the company considers the price of the iPhone “clearly elastic,” meaning that every time it has dropped the price, demand has increased.
If you’re in or around the Japanese marketplace and have noticed this offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Truphone Adds Skype Support for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:37
Category: Software

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Software developer Truphone announced yesterday that the company has added Skype support for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. Per the press release, users can now instant message their Skype contacts as well as make and receive Skype-based calls to users on their contact list.
To begin, download Truphone for iPhone or iPod Touch, go to the IM screen in the iPhone application (the IM/More screen in the iPod touch application). If you cannot see this screen, select it from within the “More” screen.
Once here, select Skype from the setup screen, sign in using your Skype account details.
Once logged in, you will now see all of your Skype contacts and you will be ready to start.
Skype-based calls within Wi-Fi areas as well as instant messages will be free and users can make Skype-based calls and send Skype instant messages using Truphone Anywhere, which will use your data package to connect the call or send the instant message.
Truphone is a free download and requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried Truphone for the iPhone or iPod touch and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Bookmarklet for Posting URLs to Tweetie

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 14:41
Category: iPhone

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If you are a frequent Tweeter or Twitter-holic, and use an iPhone, you may be interested in this handy bookmarklet. The folks over at Atebit.com, the makers of Tweetie for iPhone and iPod Touch, have created a handy javascript tool for sending links to web sites from MoblieSafari straight into a post within the Tweetie app ready for you to add a comment and send to the Twitter-verse. It even creates a shortened URL using bit.ly automatically!
Just follow this link for full instructions. Best if done directly on the iPhone.
http://www.atebits.com/___?javascript:window.location=’tweetie:’+window.location
or optional shortened version…
http://bit.ly/BhBBR


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Apple Begins Testing Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:20
Category: Software

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No matter what you think of Mac OS X 10.5.6, Apple is cited as having tapped its developer community this week to begin testing its Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, a maintenance and security update to the company’s Leopard operating system with a particular focus on syncing improvements.
According to AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that the update will include a plethora of bug fixes, six code corrections and currently weighs in at 440 megabytes in its simplest form.
Apple is currently said to be focusing on syncing issues found in applications such as Mail, Address Book and system preferences. A problem with Safari not accepting certain types of cookies will also reportedly be addressed.
Among the nearly two dozen other components receiving attention in beta of Mac OS X 10.5.7 are graphics drivers, Time Machine, printing services, screen sharing services, MobileMe syncing, AirPort services, text services, and iCal, those familiar with the software claim.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your hands on a 10.5.7 build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.1 Update Released

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Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.1 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved handling of AIFF audio files.
  • Resolves issue where some users may be unable to add audio to Music DVD project.
  • Resolves issue where creating Audiobook project may result in -35 error.
  • Resolves issue where users may be unable to remove video from appearing in the Web Video Media Browser view.
  • Resolves issue that may occur when creating disc images so that users are not prompted for additional information.
  • Resolves crash that may occur when opening audio projects saved in a previous version of Toast.
  • Audiobook projects will be split automatically if they become larger than iTunes is able to play back.
  • AVCHD Archive discs created from memory card-based cameras should now play correctly on Blu-ray players.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.
    If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    OmniWeb Updated to 5.9, Now Free

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:29
    Category: Software

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    Early Wednesday, Omni released version 5.9 of its OmniWeb web browser. The new version, a 16.6 megabyte download, adds no fixes and changes but is now apparently free, according to the development listing.
    OmniWeb 5.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve played with the new version and noticed any major improvements or shortcomings, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Releases Safari 4 Public Beta

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, February 24th, 2009, 09:05
    Category: Software

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    Apple announced the release of the Safari 4 public beta on Tuesday. According to Mac Observer, the new version of the browser includes the Nitro JavaScript Engine, faster JavaScript 4.2 processing speeds and a long list of new features including Cover Flow browsing for history and bookmarks.
    The browser also includes Accessible Rich Interactive Applications, full page zoom support, CSS effects and CSS Canvas support, HTML 5 offline support, offline database support, and smart search recommendations. Other new features include a new Web Inspector, a page elements view, a JavaScript debugger, a page resources view, and more.
    The Safari 4 public beta requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later on Leopard or Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later on Tiger as well as Security Update 2009-001 to install and run. The browser is available for both Mac and Windows as a free download.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback on it, hit us up in the comments, forums or drop me a line at chris @ powerpage.org.

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