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Apple ready to compete with cable providers?

October 4, 2011  |  iPad Apps  |  No Comments  |  Share

iPad Media Rich apps

If you have been thinking that the whole iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S is what Apple has been doing, you are wrong. That is just a part of Apple and it doesn’t want to get in loss at the other departments of the company. For example, there is a department which takes care of the content that you provide to the users of Apple’s products such as the iPhone and the iPad. So, what is this content group up to these days?

Well, there is some info on it obviously, and by the title of this post, you must have figured out that it is regarding TV subscriptions or something like that. You are close. Robert Scoble has written a long post on his Google+ page which indicates something that the Cupertino company has been doing.

One point to be noted in this post was that Steve Jobs may not be attending the Apple event today. Apart from that, there is one paragraph which relates very much to this story. According to the info that Scoble presents, Apple is working on a content rich app which will give a lot of media that cable providers may have to run for their money.

“I’m hearing that Apple is working on a new ipad app that looks a lot like DirecTV without the dish, too. Again, that app will have Steve Jobs’ fingerprints all over it as it will be more expansive than the press is expecting in its content availability. There’s a reason Apple built a 500,000-square-foot datacenter (about twice the size of a Facebook one, by the way) and that new datacenter is for video and the data that video causes to be shared with everyone. Will Reed Hastings CEO at Netflix be on stage tomorrow to help Apple explain its three-screen strategy? I sure hope so, because that would explain further why Netflix split up its streaming and DVD businesses a lot better than Reed’s been able to so far.”

So, what do you think? Are you ready for such an app on your iPad?

Adobe releasing six new apps for tablets

October 4, 2011  |  iPad Apps  |  No Comments  |  Share

Adobe Photoshop Touch

In an initiative, Adobe has announced that it will release a set of cloud apps for the tablet computers to make its customers’ lives easier. These apps will be cloud based and take care of content creation. Using these cloud apps, users will be able to “elegantly design and edit their content.” There will be six new apps (list at the end of the post).

These new apps will be released for both Android tablets and the iPad. The Android version of the apps will be released next month, iPad users will have to wait a bit though as the company has not yet announced a release date for the apps for the iOS platform to be released. But it is poised to be launched early in 2012.

Inspired by Adobe Creative Suite® software, these stunning new apps bring professional-level creativity to millions of tablet users. The apps address multiple areas of the creative process: image editing; ideation; sketching; mood boards; website and mobile app prototyping; and presenting finished work. They are headlined by Adobe Photoshop® Touch, a groundbreaking app that brings the legendary creative and image-editing power of Photoshop to tablet devices for the first time.

Available soon as standalone apps, Adobe Touch Apps are essential components of Adobe Creative Cloud, a major new company initiative also announced today (see separate release). Adobe Creative Cloud will become a worldwide hub for creativity, where millions can access desktop and tablet applications, find essential creative services, and share their best work. Files created via Adobe Touch Apps can be shared, viewed across devices or transferred into Adobe Creative Suite software for further refinement – key features of Adobe’s vision for the Creative Cloud.

Adobe Photoshop Touch: Image editing and transformation.

Adobe Collage: Photo importing and drawing tools for creating image collages.

Adobe Debut: Presentation software for Creative Suite files.

Adobe Ideas: Vector-based drawing tools. (Released for iPad last year and currently priced at $5.99.)

Adobe Kuler: Color theme generation and exploration.

Adobe Proto: Prototyping tools for websites and mobile apps.

Each app will be available for an introductory price of $9.99.

The Apple and Nokia deal which never got the lime light

October 3, 2011  |  iPad News  |  No Comments  |  Share

Nokia Logo 1

Apple and Nokia have had a deal with each other regarding some patent for which Nokia is paying Apple. But reportedly, Apple did not show this during its financial filing. What does this mean? This means that Apple is hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars that it is earning in profit from the patent agreement with Nokia from its investors, something that a company like itself is not supposed and expected to do. So, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) caught this and was all over Apple for justification.

This was going on a few months back this year, and now, there are few documents and the whole story of this available online, released officially by SEC. This has a lot of story and explains a lot about the deal and how the whole thing went up. I think Apple has finally managed to get some huge amount of money from Nokia to itself, without giving a dime to its investors. The whole story is given below, as said by MacRumors.

It was revealed in mid-June that Apple had entered into a patent license with Nokia to settle a series of lawsuits between the two companies, but Apple did not make any disclosure regarding the licensing agreement in its financial filings, despite the fact that analysts have suggested that the licensing fees could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The SEC was apparently unsatisfied with Apple’s lack of disclosure about the transaction, and sent a letter (PDF) to Apple in late June asking for more detail on the terms of the deal and information on Apple’s decision not to address the topic in its regulatory filings.

We note various news articles discussing the patent litigation settlement between Nokia and Apple. Supplementally tell us the amount and terms of such settlement agreement, any amounts accrued, the periods in which they were recognized, and the timeline of the negotiations with Nokia that led to the June settlement agreement. Also, tell us how you considered including a discussion regarding this matter in your MD&A [Management Discussion and Analysis] disclosures and financial statement footnotes, including disclosure of a reasonably possible range of loss in excess of amounts accrued. Further, tell us how considered disclosing this event in a Form 8-K or tell us how you determined that such disclosure was not necessary.

Apple responded to the SEC on July 12th, offering at least some of the requested information, although details of the transaction are not included in the publicly-available document as Apple included a request and justification for confidentiality on portions of the letter. Information on Apple’s disclosure analysis is, however, included, and it reveals that the company considered the deal to be part of its “ordinary course of business” and not material to its financial statements. Consequently, Apple determined that it was not required to discuss the agreement in its filings.

Apple’s response was apparently still not entirely sufficient in the SEC’s eyes, however, as the SEC sent a follow-up letter (PDF) on July 19th requesting additional information.

Please describe in further detail the terms, arrangements, obligations and rights associated with the Settlement Agreement and Patent License Agreement entered into between the company and Nokia. Also, describe for us each element of these Agreements (i.e. settlement portion, past usage, future usage, etc.).

Apple’s response dated August 1st included five pages of confidential material not included in the publicly-available version, with three of those pages dedicated to full disclosure of the terms of the patent deal with Nokia.

Apple’s response apparently satisfied the SEC, as the agency sent a notice (PDF) on August 17th acknowledging that it had completed its review of Apple’s regulatory filing, although such notice does not prevent the SEC from taking additional action with respect to the filings in the future.

Was HP behind the delay in Facebook app for iPad

October 3, 2011  |  iPad Apps  |  No Comments  |  Share

Facebook iPad app

We know that the official Facebook app for the Apple iPad has been ready for a long time now. But it never got released, until now, when there is some hope to see the app at the Apple event tomorrow. But do you know the reason behind the delay in the app even though the app was ready? Well, it turns out, HP was, indirectly though.

It so happened that when Steve Jobs was still in charge, he was in negotiation with Facebook to bring in system wide integration of the social network into iOS 5. Actually, it so happens that the talks have been going on from the stages of iOS 4. But somehow it has not yet happened. When Steve Jobs was in talks, he accidentally somehow found out that Facebook is already working on the official WebOS client of the social network to get it on HP’s TouchPad first. This obviously pissed Steve Jobs off.

So he raised his voice saying the iPad has to be the first to get the official Facebook app for tablets and the thing that Facebook kept the works with HP in dark was not good. For this, Mark Zuckerberg said that he will somehow halt the work on the WebOS tablet and get the iPad app prepped up for release. But HP refused to this, and everything became a mess.

But now that HP has discontinued WebOS, Facebook is all ready to release the iPad app.

“Roughly three months ago, Steve Jobs — then the Apple CEO — paid a visit to Facebook to discuss a Facebook for iPad application with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg promised Jobs that the social network would release its first ever tablet application for iPad. Jobs, however, learned during his visit that HP was about to release a native webOS Facebook application for the TouchPad.”

 

Foxconn’s iPad manufacturing plans may not come true

October 1, 2011  |  iPad News  |  No Comments  |  Share

Foxconn iPad deal

A few days back, we had seen that Foxconn had proposed a deal to Apple that it will set up a manufacturing plant in Brazil to manufacture the iPad, that has taken the world of tablet computers into his hand for a few years. But now, it seems like Foxconn’s dream may not come true in the near future, Reuters says.

Reuters says that the deal is “stagnant,” due to tax breaks, insufficient skills of Brazilians to manufacture iPads, and the country’s untapped infrastructure to name a few.

“Yet the idea for a “Brazilian iPad” prompted immediate skepticism back home, where factories have struggled for years with high taxes, an overvalued currency and a lack of qualified workers due to poor education and a tight labor market.

The expected start date for production was first set for July, then delayed to November. Now, it is unclear whether the project will ever get off the ground, at least in the form that it was originally envisioned, the officials said on condition of anonymity.”

Until all this is taken care of, I dont think there will be a Made in Brazil label on the iPad.

NBA2K12 can be the best basketball game for the iPad

October 1, 2011  |  iPad News  |  No Comments  |  Share

nba2k12dirkjs

There are a lot of basketball games for the iOS platform and there may be one or two games more for the iPad compared to the iPhone. But how many of them are so special that you will do almost anything sane to get them on your device? Apple is announcing the iPhone 5 next week (hopefully) and it brings the still in beta iOS 5 to the market. Most of us are already on it, sure, but the public release is not yet out.

But it seems like Apple is not the only company announcing its next big thing next week. 2K Sports seems to have a thing of their own to showcase. You know it already, it is the NBA2K12. You may think that it is just another mobile NBA game, but think again, this may have some thing different. But what is it?

Well, NBA2K12 is the first mobile sports game to feature Michael Jordan. Actually, you have a whole mode in the game which revolves around him. And its called the Jordan Challenge. You may have played it on the console version of the game. You get to relive the 10 greatest performances that Jordan has played. CNET says the following:

“The graphics are what you’d expect on an iOS device for a sports game. Player models are decent, but player faces mapped onto a generic shaped head can look pretty bad at times. What’s most important is the gameplay, and 2K12 plays smoothly; players on the floor are well spaced and the animations are great. Basketball is more than just dunking, and it’s not that easy to get to the rim if you want to show off. The broadcast-TV-style presentation really separates it from other iOS sports games, with full commentary and replays that add extra polish.”

If you want it, you will have to wait till next week when the company will release it.

iPad 2 had more than 80% of the tablet market share in North America in Q2

September 30, 2011  |  iPad News  |  No Comments  |  Share

iPad 2

Apple’s iPad has been one of the best tablets out there, and also one of the best selling. Or should I say, the only best selling tablet? It would not be too incorrect I guess. Before the iPad, all we had were mini laptops with touch screen display that swiveled to make it a tablet. If you have used one of those convertible laptops, you would know how horrible the touch screen sensitivity was.

But iPad changed it all, it was the true tablet even though it was just a big iPhone without the phone part. The Apple iPad was sold in millions of units when it was launched. And that has never been false till now. Even today, if you take the stats of quarters, Apple is selling the tablet in millions of units.

In Q2 this year, there were a total of 7.5 million tablets sold in the North America. Any guesses how many of those 7.5 million tablets were the iPads? You would be amazed, but nearly 80% of those were iPads. Reports say approximately 6 million iPad units were sold in Q2 alone. Even all the Android, HP WebOS, and RIM PlayBook combined dint come anywhere near that figure.

This report comes from Strategy Analysis, as Boy Genius Report points out. SA analyst Alex Spektor says:

“Apple remains a long way ahead of its main rivals such as Motorola, Samsung, RIM, Asus and HTC. A combination of cool branding, user-friendly hardware, entertaining services and savvy retail distribution has made Apple a formidable market leader.”

Now that HP is getting out of the tablet market by dropping all its plans of the WebOS based TouchPad, and RIM seeming to take the same road with its dying PlayBook, all that remain are a few Android based tablets to compete the iPad. How do you think this will work out?

Disney changes the world of gaming on the iPad

September 30, 2011  |  iPad 2 Accessories  |  No Comments  |  Share
Disney changes the world of gaming on the iPad

We have seen a lot of games on the iPad, and a lot of games including cars as well. We have had car races, and games in which you use cars to commute in a city, and stuffs like that. But have you ever used a car “on the iPad” to play a game? I’m not asking you to drive your actual car on your iPad, this game is not a crash test for the durability of your iPad. But I’m talking about using toy cars to drive around on the iPad.

If you are a fan of animated movies, you will for sure know about Cars, and Cars 2. Yes, those are two great movies, dont you think? If so, you will be happy to know that Disney has brought these movies to the Apple iPad in the form of a game, and its nothing like any other game you have seen on the iPad. I’m not talking about the graphics and stuff, those are great, but the game actually uses physical toy cars to play the game. You can use these cars on the screen of your iPad to play the game. There is no hassle of pairing those cars via Bluetooth, or hooking them to the home network Wi Fi to connect to the iPad. You just place them on the iPad and they get detected.

The best part is, the iPad detects which car you have placed on the iPad’s display and changes the environment in the game accordingly. So its not a multitouch capacitve wheels that the cars are using, there is some kind of actual communication between the cars and the iPad.

“The game is supposed to react precisely to a player’s movements, and during Decrem’s short demonstration it did, for the most part. For example, as he approached a mirror in the game, he was able to see the reflection of the car he was holding.”

If you want this game, you will have to wait till tomorrow and buy it on Apple Store or Disney Store.

Could Apple learn anything about the iPad from Amazon Kindle Fire?

September 29, 2011  |  iPad News  |  No Comments  |  Share

Amazon Kindle Fire Event

Wednesday for a very busy day for both Amazon and a thousands of tech enthusiasts and tech bloggers around the world. The Amazon Kindle is one of the best, powerful, and inexpensive Android tablets out there. There is one rumor about the low cost of the tablet that Amazon has not actually tied up with Google for the Android distribution on the Kindle Fire, may be to avoid the huge payment of royalty to Microsoft for every Android device sold. But then, that has nothing to do with this story.

So what exactly has Apple to learn from Amazon? The Kindle Fire is a good tablet, but it definitely cant be another iPad, for sure. But it has one particular thing that Apple has to get, or do about the iPad. PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan had an interesting conversation with Jon Jenkins, the director of Amazon’s Silk browser project. They had a great talk, and in between that, Jon said something about rooting, which is jailbreaking in Android terms, that definitely will make hackers the most happiest men on Earth.

“Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet has a great user interface, but many of our readers already want to get rid of it. That’s OK. Amazon isn’t doing anything special to prevent techies from “rooting” and rewriting the software on its powerful yet inexpensive new tablet. “It’s going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you,” Jenkins said.”

That is something awesome. He also said that Amazon is not helping hackers in rooting the Android tablet, but the company isn’t just trying hard, or even trying to stop them from rooting. And dont you think that is just what we need?

What if Apple does the same about the iPad? Will it let jailbreakers jailbreak the tablet? Hackers dont expect Apple to help them in jailbreaking, they just dont want Apple to try to stop them from doing so.

Facebook may launch the iPad app at the iPhone 5 event

September 27, 2011  |  iPad Apps  |  No Comments  |  Share

Facebook iPad app launch

There have been talks about Facebook releasing an iPad app for a few months now. But nobody had any idea about when the social networking giant may actually release the app, until recently when Mashable broke the silence with a very surprising yet interesting news. According to the report on the blog, Facebook may launch the iPad app at the iPhone 5 event.

Dont get shocked, what you read is perfectly correct. According to the reports, Facebook may actually join hands with its rival, Apple, and announce the iPad app for the social network at the iPhone 5 event, which is scheduled to be sometime in the next week. This actually might be true, as Robert Scoble has reported last week on his Google Plus account that he had been hearing about this for quite some time.

“By the way, I heard a rumor from a usually credible source that Facebook may not announce an iPad app tomorrow, but will save it for October 4th instead. Now THAT will be very interesting news, since I know Apple really hates Facebook. But, who does Apple hate more than Facebook? Google.”

One more interesting thing to note here is that this news came on Mashabe the same day the Lead Developer for the Facebook iPad app quit the company. And are you wondering why he quit Facebook? Well, he said that he is quitting because the app is still not released even though it has been ready for over 4 months.

The timing indicates that Mashable may have some contact with this former lead designer at Facebook. Anyway, there are also news or rumors that the Facebook and Apple collaboration in this way might be for the Spartan, it is still foggy though.