Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts

Video Preview Top 5 Smartphones For Spring 2013

With so many questions day by day about viewers still considering a Galaxy S 4 or an HTC One, we know the ropes are complicated this spring if you’re close to being eligible for a phone-swap. 2013 has shown just how great technology can evolve in mobile, and there’s a lot to chose from.
Watch today’s Top 5 as we talk about our top picks for your next smartphone during Spring 2013. It’s been a very innovative year for some companies, but a very slow one for others. This list was crafted as a consensus between all of our Pocketnow Staff, so hopefully you’ll get a perspective as to what device we’re all getting this Spring along with you. All devices on the list have their pros and cons, so make sure you share your thoughts and comments down bellow.
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Beautiful Black and White iPhone 5 Renders Can Fool Anyone

Ever since the upcoming iPhone 5′s alleged backplate purportedly surfaced on the web, everyone started commenting on the relatively same iPhone stretched out for a larger screen.

However, a certain Flickr user, Martin Hajek, took the matter into his own hands and created these beautiful renders based off of what we’ve seen on the video showing off the alleged backplate. As you can see, the renders are professionally made and look real enough to fool anyone into believing that this is indeed Apple’s next smartphone. Let us know of your thoughts below!

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Five Disappointments Of iOS 6

There’s a lot to celebrate about iOS 6. Brandon’s recent editorial highlights the top 5 features we found most interesting, but after testing the first beta just a couple of days later, not everything has been fun and games. I could certainly add a ton of additional reasons why I consider that the OS matters, but today, it’s time to talk about the five reasons why I’m disappointed.
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Logitech unveils its Solar Keyboard Folio for the new iPad and iPad 2, we go hands-on

Logitech unveils its Solar Keyboard Folio for the new iPad and iPad 2, we go hands-on
There are all sorts of ways to go green these days, from driving an EV to installing super efficient light bulbs, and now Logitech's given us an environmentally friendly way to type tactilely on a tablet. It's a new iPad and iPad 2-friendly case called the Solar Keyboard Folio, which packs a Bluetooth keyboard powered by ambient light using the same solar cell tech found on the firm's computer keyboards. Once topped up with photons, Logitech claims its battery will keep you typing for over 1,000 hours even in complete darkness. The case is crafted of black, soft-touch, faux leather embossed with a small Logitech logo and has perforations for the iPad's speakers, plus a portal for the tablet's camera.
Its keyboard is made of gray plastic, and pecking at the grid is a similar experience to using the one found on Logitech's other recently released iPad typing peripheral, the Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Buttons are short-throw and provide satisfying clicky feedback, but the space bar and shift keys have a hollow feel when pressed. Perhaps the Folio's most intriguing design feature is the feet on the corners of the cradle in which the iPad is placed. Those little nubs allow for two viewing angles -- your slate can be seated in a more upright position behind the keyboard for typing, or in the notches outside the two shift keys for a more obtuse viewing angle when the keyboard isn't needed. What's this bit of green gear cost? It goes on sale in the US and Europe this month with an MSRP of $130.
Logitech Introduces Light-Powered Protection for the New, Third-Generation iPad
New Solar Keyboard Folio Provides Hassle-Free Protection with Minimal Bulk

NEWARK, Calif. - May 3, 2012 - Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced the expansion of both its solar and tablet accessories lineups with the Logitech® Solar Keyboard Folio.
Made for the new, third-generation iPad® as well as the iPad 2, the ultra-slim, book-style case and keyboard offer stylish design with protection, featuring a built-in keyboard that's powered by light.
Similar to Logitech's solar keyboards for Mac® and PC, the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio includes onboard solar cells that charge the built-in Bluetooth® keyboard in any light, whether indoors or outdoors. When fully charged, the battery lasts for up to two years, even in complete darkness (based on a average use of two hours per day).
"Now that people are seemingly inseparable from their tablets, using them for everything from sending emails to watching videos, they want accessories powered to meet their needs," said Alexis Richard, director of product marketing at Logitech. "The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a smart partner for your iPad. Its sleek built-in keyboard uses light to charge and it provides hassle-free protection for your iPad – both for the front and back. It gives you an ideal way to use and protect your tablet without adding bulk."
The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio has two stand positions, so when you want to use your iPad you can choose the viewing angle that's best for you. Open the folio and place your iPad in the first position to enjoy the full keyboard when you're typing. Place your iPad in the second position and the first keyboard row acts as your one-touch media playback and volume controls, so you can play, pause and change volume instantly.
The folio also has an instant On/Off function, which means your iPad automatically wakes when you open the folio and goes on standby when you close it.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in May 2012, for a suggested retail price of $129.99. For more information please visit or our blog.

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iPhone 4S to launch with select regional carriers April 20th

Been hankering after an iPhone 4S, but just can't tear yourself away from that great local network? Well, if you live in a select handful of locations, you might just be in luck, as it seems Apple has been working with some of these smaller operators to give them a piece of the pie. The lucky carriers we've heard about so far include nTelos in Virginia, Alaskan Communications, GCI (Alaska), MTA (Alaska), Appalachian Wireless (Kentucky), and Cellcom (Wisconsin). The golden date for all the above is April 20th, and deals of course will vary. Hit the source and coverage links below or PRs after the break for the deets, and let us know if your local network's been spotted putting up the iPhone bunting too.

Alaska Communications to Offer iPhone 4S April 20

ANCHORAGE, Alaska--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alaska Communications (NASDAQ:ALSK) today announced it will offer iPhone 4S to customers in Alaska beginning Friday, April 20 at 12:01 a.m. Alaska time. iPhone 4S will be available for $150 for the 16GB, $250 for the 32GB models and $350 for the 64GB model in 14 retail stores and online at Alaska Communications will also offer iPhone 4 for $50.

"As the Smartphone experts, Alaska Communications has a range of plans to meet the needs of all Alaskans, at home and at work."

iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible features including Apple's dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all-new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5.1, the world's most advanced mobile operating system; and iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

"We are delighted to offer Alaskans the best iPhone yet on Alaska's smartest network," said Anand Vadapalli, Alaska Communications president and CEO. "As the Smartphone experts, Alaska Communications has a range of plans to meet the needs of all Alaskans, at home and at work."

nTelos Wireless to Offer iPhone 4S on April 20

WAYNESBORO, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, nTelos Wireless (NASDAQ: NTLS) announced that it will begin offering iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 to customers on April 20. iPhone 4S will be available starting at $149.99 for the 16GB model, $249.99 for the 32GB model and $349.99 for the 64GB model. iPhone 4 will be available for just $49.99. All models will be available in nTelos Wireless retail stores, online at, and through telesales at 1-888-427-8858. Customers can pre-register their interest starting today at

"iPhone 4S offers an abundance of new features, and with our industry-leading, nationwide smartphone plans, customers can now enjoy the nation's best networks for less."

iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible features including Apple's dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all-new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5.1, the world's most advanced mobile operating system; and iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

"As a wireless service provider well-known for delivering the best value in wireless, we're pleased to offer the amazing new iPhone 4S to our customers," said Jim Hyde, president and CEO for nTelos Wireless. "iPhone 4S offers an abundance of new features, and with our industry-leading, nationwide smartphone plans, customers can now enjoy the nation's best networks for less."

nTelos Wireless retail stores will open early, at 7:00 AM on Friday, April 20, so customers can take advantage of the best value in wireless. Nationwide smartphone plans start at just $79.99 and include unlimited data and messaging. Plus, families can save with the industry's best value unlimited everything smartphone rate plans, which start at just $139.99 a month for two lines.
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Next iPhone Might Just Stick With 3.5-Inch Display, After All

A little earlier this week, we looked into reports that the next iPhone might see Apple go with a much larger display, moving things up into the 4.6-inch range. A change like that sounds a bit hard to swallow, and not everyone's convinced it could be a possibility. The guys over at iMore, for one, have been hearing a different story from their sources about thenext iPhone, which they summed-up this afternoon. 

The most recent news they've heard from their sources indicates that Apple was still primarily looking at a 3.5-inch display for the next iPhone as of a month ago. Though they didn't flat-out discount the possibility of a larger display, and note that Apple hadn't yet internally committed to a size, staying at or close to 3.5 inches looked most likely. 

Of course, they've been hearing "LTE" for the next iPhone, and honestly, it would be a surprise to see the phone arrive without it at this point. The only other feature their sources have been discussing for the model is a new, smaller dock, rather than the 30-pin connector we're used to. 

Presumably, we'll get the official word on the next iPhone sometime this fall.  
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Seeing Clearly Now, The Rain Is Gone: The New iPad's New Visuals

When Apple dropped the New-iPad bomb on us yesterday, it focused on several principal improvements: the display, the camera, high-definition content, and connectivity options. Three-quarters of their announcement focused on visual upgrades in the new iPad experience. This makes sense: all consumption and interaction with tablets is done through the display, so delivering the best possible visual experience to users is kind of critical. Let's take a look at a few of the refinements Apple has brought to its latest tablet: the new display, the new camera, 1080p content, and iPhoto for iPad. 

Searing My Retinas 

Apple says "Everything you do with iPad, you do through its large, beautiful display. And when the display is better, the entire iPad experience is better." Couldn't have put it more plainly myself- which is why I write editorials and not ad copy, I suppose. In this case, "better" means four times the number of pixels offered by the previous-generation iPad, bringing the count to 3.1 million pixels. This provides a display density of 264 pixels per inch. That's lower than the iPhone 4/4S' 326ppi, but it doubles the previous iPad's meager 132ppi count. While anything below 300dpi isn't conventionally considered print-quality, Apple preserves their "Retina" definition by noting that the iPad is generally held further from the eye than the iPhone. I'm sure the validity of that proclamation will be debated vigorously in the comments, but for brevity's sake, we'll cede this point to Apple for the time being. 
eyeball rsz
Perhaps this funny image of a man with many ... retinas ... will delay the inevitable flame war.
Photo via BWFloral 

The end result is a panel that, for the moment, tops everything else in its class. I say "for the moment" because competitors aren't standing still. The Lenovo ThinkPad K2, slated for a global release in the second half of this year, comes close with a 224ppi resolution, as will the Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD. Technically, the MediaPad's ppi count sits at 226, but these specs are bound to vary as we move past the hand-built trade-show prototype stage. The point is that the ppi race is by no means a static game; future developments will probably depend on competitors' ability to deliver outstanding display panels even as Apple makes moves to buy up as much supply as possible. 

One thing most spec-sticklers glaze over, though, in their quest for concrete numbers with which to beat rival nerds over the head, is color performance. Apple is claiming an increase of 44 percent in saturation- nearly half-again that of the previous iPad. This, of course, is a subjective improvement; fueled by the oversaturated nature of most early AMOLED panels, tech pundits have argued for years about whether higher color saturation is a good or bad thing. Speaking strictly for myself, as someone who almost always slightly ups the contrast and saturation when touching up photos, the saturation improvement will be even more welcome than the bump in resolution. Your mileage may vary, but it's an important improvement to note. 

Is That A Camera On Your Tablet, Or Are You Just A Weirdo? 

The usefulness of cameras on tablets is already a tired debate, but it's one I look forward to delving into in a future piece. For now, let's just agree that it's a feature at least a handful of people find valuable. 

photo (3)
A handful of very, very secure people. 

For the primary camera on the new iPad, Apple has brought back the "iSight" moniker they formerly used for their external and integrated computer cameras, and which they're now retconning onto the iPhone 4and 4S units. It's more than just a re-brand, though; the camera the new iPad's sporting looks to be the best ever built into a tablet. Sure, competitors like ASUS and Huawei have it beat on the spec sheet, with 8MP sensors in place of the new iPad's 5. As usual, though, specs aren't the whole story: as we briefly discussed in an article this morning, the iPad's camera uses the same ƒ/2.4 aperture, five-element lens found in the iPhone 4S, with an IR filter that prevents infra-red light from giving your photos a color cast. The sensor is the same backside-illuminated one found in the newest iPhone, as well, capturing more light and thus delivering better results. In and of itself, the camera isn't news - but building it into a tablet is. 

Less notable, in my opinion, but important because of easy buzzword association, is the new camera's ability to capture video in 1080p. This means you'll be annoying the same number of people behind you at the concert with your 9.7-inch viewfinder, but now they'll be able to enjoy their annoyance in high-definition. More importantly from Apple's perspective, it keeps the camera spec in line with the new high-res display. Regardless of how little use it may actually find in the real world, the ability to record video in 1080p is virtually a prerequisite on the world's highest-resolution tablet. It would have been an embarrassment not to include it, which is why it's there. 

Speaking of 1080p … 

… it's not confined to the camera. AirPlay streaming (sending video to an Apple TV) can now be accomplished at 1080p resolution. AirPlay mirroring seems to remain confined to 720p, though. 

The big story with 1080p, of course, is that the iTunes store now offers some of its content at that higher resolution, and the new iPad is Apple's only mobile device capable of displaying it (at the moment). As more content is made available at the higher resolution, this will become more relevant going forward. As a guy who's still rocking an original-recipe iPad from 2010, I know I've never found myself watching a movie on it and saying "this sucks. Why isn't this in HD?" but I know there are legions of people to whom resolution matters a great deal. My apathy also might have something to do with the fact that 90% of my viewing material is standard-definition content like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and seaQuest, so I'm hardly the proper barometer for this kind of analysis. Anyway, 1080p: it's there. It's important. 

mst3k ipad trim
Repeat to yourself: "it's just S-D, I should really just reeee-lax." 

iPhoto for iPad 

"There's so much power built into iPhoto for iOS, you need to touch it to believe it." That's what Apple says, and I suppose that's what I have to believe until I get my first hands-on. It's of course, not available for my dinosaur first-edition iPad, an annoyance I touched upon last week. While I wait, then, I'll have to settle for some basic observations. 

I have six third-party photo-editing apps on my iPad right now. Six. That was the minimum amount of apps I needed to be able to quickly and easily make photo modifications on the fly. And my needs aren't all that specific; it's just that each app has its strengths and weaknesses, and six turned out to be the magic number I had to hit before I was satisfied. 

iPhoto for iPad might not eliminate the need for ALL of those apps, but it's definitely going to send at least four of them to the Trash. Apple says, "... Adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, and more. You don't even need to know what those things are. Just tap and drag until everything looks picture perfect." Sure, it's marketing copy, but it's bound to be accurate for users who value simplicity. "You don't even need to know what I'm talking about to know how to do it" is bliss to the ears of Luddites everywhere. Know what's not? "Go download a load of third-party apps that may or may not do what you need, all of which work differently." 

As usual, Apple hasn't broken any ground in delivering new features, but has directed its efforts to making basic actions -in this case, cropping, enhancing, and applying filters- more intuitive. For a device that was visual-centric to begin with, and which has only become more so with the increased focus on photography and video capabilities in this latest iteration, simplifying and enhancing the post-production process adds real value. We'll learn more about how well Apple delivers on these promises of simplicity as we spend more time with the new iPad and the new iPhoto, but including it as an option can only help matters. 

iphoto gallery2
And the only downside is yet more UI kitsch. 

Visually, then, yes: this is the best iPad yet. It will remain one of the best portable visual experiences, if not the best one, you'll be able to find in tablets this year. Competing devices will continue to bring the heat in other areas like durability, adaptability, and audio performance ... and probably other metrics we haven't even thought of yet. But as the eyeballs have it, the iPad doesn't yet have a challenger in 2012. And if you ask me, it'll be a while before it does.
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