Archive for Apple

>Steve Jobs to Announce iCloud, iOS 5 at WWDC

>In a very un-Apple move, Apple just put out a short press release confirming that Steve Jobs (and other Apple execs) will be leading the keynote speech at the World Wide Developer Conference this Monday. Even stranger, they teased exactly what he’ll be announcing. While the iOS 5 updates and Mac OS Lion details aren’t surprising, they also name dropped “iCloud”. The release describes iCloud as a “cloud services offering”. What that actually means remains to be seen. It could be a revamp of MobileMe, it will most likely be bringing your music (at least) to the cloud, but all of that is just guesswork. Fortunately, we only have 6 days to worry about it. We’ll be keeping you posted on all the good stuff on Monday!


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>Summer Cell Phone Buying Guide: AT&T

>Ah Big Blue. Whether that means the ocean or AT&T, you may be getting a bit of both this summer. Check out today’s buying guide to help you figure out which phone you’re going to bring to you BBQs this summer!

The Beast of the Beach: Samsung Infuse 4G

Honestly, it’s not 4G. Don’t let the name fool you. But the Samsung Infuse is still one of AT&T’s best and there’s truly not much else like it on the market. It is currently the thinnest smartphone on the market at just .35 inches (the iPhone 4 is .37 inches) and it weighs only 4.9 ounces, which is pretty shocking considering what a beast it truly is. The Infuse rocks a massive 4.5″ Super AMOLED touchscreen, giving it killer battery life and making it really easy to see in the bright sunlight. You also get a 1.2GHz processor, 8 megapixel camera with one on the front for video calls. Inside you’ll find 13GB of internal memory plus the microSD card slot. It only comes with a 2GB card in the box, but it supports up to 32GB, giving you one of the biggest amounts of storage on any smartphone. It runs Android 2.2 and is the first AT&T Android phone to let you install apps not on the Android Market, like the Amazon App Store. It’ll set you back $200, but is definitely the most bang for your buck.

Runner Up: Motorola Atrix 4G

iCan’t NOT Mention It: Apple iPhone 4

Really, you had to have known this was coming.  Like I said in yesterday’s Verizon guide, it simply is the easiest smartphone to use and it truly does have the highest number of quality apps. The Retina Display is downright gorgeous and works well in sunlight, and the camera is still the best you’ll find on any smartphone, so you can be sure your summer memories are captured properly. As far as gaming goes, only Windows Phone can match it in quality, but the iPhone just has a massive gaming library. Definitely the best if you just want a phone with a really good out-of-the-box experience. That said, while the 3Gs for $50 can seem tempting, don’t do it. The next iPhone won’t be until until September at the earliest, meaning that come September or so, your 3Gs will be completely outdated. The iPhone 4 will set you back $200 for 16GB, 32GB for $300.

Low Budget, Highly Different: Samsung Focus

If Android and iPhone isn’t your bag, you’ll dig Windows Phone 7. It features a fair amount of customization like Android, but is still a lot more controlled like iOS. Windows Phone 7 is really known for it’s radically different interface and deep integration of various services. the Zune Pass gives you unlimited music access for $15 a month, you can play some XBOX Live on your phone and rack up more achievements, and of course you get the full Office Suite. But it integrates with itself even further. For example, my Samsung Focus has music stored on it, streams podcasts through a separate app, and streams music through the Rdio app. But all of these show up in the Zune app as well. The Samsung Focus isn’t AT&T’s most expensive WP7 phone, but it is their best. For only $50, you get a beautiful 4″ AMOLED touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, and just under 7GB of internal memory. The 5 megapixel camera in it is one of the only phones to rival the iPhone 4’s camera, and the speaker on the back is almost too loud. Definitely a great price for a really good phone.

Runner Up: BlackBerry Torch

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>Summer Cell Phone Buying Guide: Verizon

>Yesterday, we covered the hottest phones on Sprint this summer, so let’s continue this CDMA trend! Here’s the ones to check out on Verizon!


Blazing Speeds in the Blazing Heat: Samsung Droid Charge
Even though it doesn’t get as much marketing love as the HTC Thunderbolt, the Samsung Droid Charge is Verizon’s best LTE equipped phone for sure. Featuring a 4.3” Super AMOLED screen, Android 2.2, 1GHz processor, an 8 megapixel camera on the back (with HDMI out for video), and a front facing camera for video conferencing. You also get some really good battery life due to a sizeable battery and Super AMOLED being easier on charge. $299 can seem steep, but it’s a great phone, has LTE, and comes with a 32GB microSD card.

Runner Up: HTC Thunderbolt


No 4G? No Worries: Motorola Droid X2
This looks just like the Droid X. In fact, there’s not really any visual difference beyond the red “Droid X2” moniker on the back. But this is a whole new beast inside. The 4.3” screen is qHD, making it among the highest pixel density screens, other than the iPhone 4. The Tegra 2 processor is also state of the art, giving you all the dual-core action you can handle. All for $200.

Runner Up: HTC Droid Incredible II


iDon’t Want Android: Apple iPhone 4
For you Apple heads, of course there’s long-awaited iPhone 4. The Retina Display is the sexiest screen on the market and at 3.5” it’s perfect if you don’t want a big phone. The selection of apps is unparalleled at the moment, and it gets excellent battery life. If you’re looking for something super simple and easy to use but don’t want to sacrifice any functionality, you’ll love the iPhone. The 16GB model will set you back $200, $300 for 32GB.

Runner Up: HTC Trophy

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Apple Refreshes Macbook Pros, Unveils Thunderbolt I/O with Intel

It’s been quite a busy tech morning! Apple has announced the annual refresh to the Macbook Pro line, adding a new camera capable of HD video calls (3x the resolution of the old line), and a lot of internal stuff. First off, the graphics cards are now AMD made, replacing the NVIDIA ones previously used. A huge change, and a trend you’ll see with many new high-end laptops, is the processor. All models are using Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, which show a huge bump in graphical performance and increase battery life substantially. The other big change that you might be seeing elsewhere is the addition of the Thunderbolt input/output port. This new technology, developed by Intel, promises 10GB/s transfer rates, both to and from the device. This will allow for full length HD quality movies to transfer in a matter of seconds, and will have applications in ethernet, display, and file transfer.

There are two variants of the 13 inch and 15 inch models, and just one 17 inch model. The prices range from $1200 for the lowest 13 incher to $2500 for the high end 17 inch. They are available for purchase online now.

Also launching for Apple today is the Mac OS X Lion developer preview. The full version of the new OS isn’t out for a couple months, but you can expect to learn a lot more about the iPad-ification of the Mac in the coming months. Also, March 2nd is an Apple keynote which will inevitably announce the iPad 2. You can definitely expect to see that covered here as well. Stay tuned!

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A Tale of Two Subscriptions

On Wednesday, Apple announced some new requirements for its App Store regarding subscription based services. The change was brought on by the growth of magazines and cloud-based services, like Rhapsody, who we’ll get to in a minute. The change was not much of a shock due to the Sony Reader app being denied from the App Store earlier this month. Apple informed Sony that it could no longer offer access to content that was purchased from outside the app. This was just another chapter in the long book of inconsistent App Store rejections.

The new subscription plans require Apple get 30% of in-app subscriptions, the same percentage they get from app purchases in the first place. They also require app makers to either allow for users to subscribe in-app, instead of linking them to the web to do so. The other requirement is that content makers/deliverers must charge the same price in the app as they do anywhere else. This prevents a mark-up to recoup any loss in profit from Apple’s cut.

Now, none of these changes might directly affect the user, but they might still feel the sting of it. Apple not allowing any mark-up on the content directly takes a cut of the developer’s profit has not made them any friends. Rhapsody, the largest music streaming service, came out against the new requirements, saying that it would no longer make financial for them since they have to pay royalties to record companies already. The change that will effect users is a scary one. Apple is also demanding that companies share their subscriber data, giving Apple even more personal data about their customers.

Always with the good timing, Google took this opportunity to unveil their new service, One Pass. One Pass not only allows content distributors to keep their customers’ data to themselves, it also only takes 10% of revenue from the subscription. It makes for a much better deal for companies, keeping online subscriptions low. As far as users are concerned, One Pass will also make the content they care about device nonspecific. The same article can be viewed from any computer, phone, or tablet. They will be able to view the articles from multiple sources with a single login. Whether or not One Pass will become a large ecosystem, but it certainly seems to be the more consumer friendly, and more profitable to content creators and distributors.

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