iOS Devices ▪ May 16, 2011

Just two bits of news here.  Remember that Toshiba is one of the companies that Apple is said to be working with on future displays, right?

Toshiba Corp will spend about 100 billion yen ($1.19 billion) to build a factory for making small LCD panels, mainly to supply to Apple Inc’s iPhones, the Nikkei business daily said.The company’s wholly owned unit, Toshiba Mobile Display Co, will construct the facility in Ishikawa prefecture and the plant will churn out low-temperature polysilicon LCD panels, which allow for high-resolution images, the paper said.Work on the plant will start by early next year, with the production due to begin in the second half of 2011, Nikkei said.Toshiba Mobile Display already makes low-temperature polysilicon LCD panels at a facility in the prefecture and its monthly production capacity of 8.55 million units is projected to more than double with the new factory, the daily said.  Apple will invest in a portion of the investment for the factory, the Nikkei said.

OK, good.  Now today’s news from Toshiba:

Displays for Mobile Phones and Portable Electronics: The mobile section of the booth will feature high-resolution LTPS displays, up to 367ppi (pixels per inch) resolution density, in sizes ranging from 3.3-inch to 4.0-inch with resolution formats ranging from Wide VGA (480 x 864) to HD (720 x 1280). In addition, these displays will demonstrate advanced technologies such as high-contrast (up to 1,500:1), high-color (up to 92% NTSC), and wide viewing angle (up to H/V 176º/176º). The displays are just a few representative examples of TMD’s broad line of thin and light displays for mobile smartphones and other portable electronic devices.

Of course, numerous reports have detailed a new iPhone with edge-to-edge 4-inch display panels.

OK, go ahead and start complaining about how Apple wouldn’t ever use a 720P display in an iOS device because of the application scaling stuff/additional fragmentation.  We’ll be over here dreaming about a 720P iPhone. expand full story

You may have heard that an unknown company called Lodsys was threatening to sue small iOS developers over the use of in-app purchasing, a system-wide iOS mechanism that lets users buy additional content inside apps, using their standard iTunes credentials. This being an Apple-designed feature, a lot of  folks were left scratching their head when Lodsys announced last Friday plans to take developers to court should they refuse to pay royalties.

Following a storm of criticism by many online media outlets and bloggers who said the company was acting like a patent troll, Lodsys put out a blog post. No, they’re not patent trolls and yes, they’re just trying to “get value for the assets that it owns”. Right. In a series of Q&A posts Lodsys detailed this issue. They’re entitled to claim 0.575 percent of US revenue made from in-app purchases, so says Lodsys. On annual sales of one million dollars this amounts to $5,750 a year in license costs. But wait, there’s more of that nonsense.

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Seagate today announced the GoFlex mobile wireless storage for iOS devices, first uncovered in the FCC documents this past Friday. In addition to Apple’s mobile products, it works with any WiFi-enabled device thanks to its built-in 802.11 b/g/n wireless networking. The half a terabyte drive has fifteen times the capacity of a 32GB iPhone 4 and eight times more room to hold your apps, photos, videos and other data than a 64GB iPad.

Buy at Amazon: $199

In fact, 500GB should be enough for most folks to carry their entire iTunes library with them. The drive has a rechargeable battery that provides up to five hours of continuous operation and up to 25 hours of stand-by time. Your iOS devices talk to it via the free GoFlex Media app. GoFlex Satellite will retail for $199 when it arrives this July at Amazon, and stores.

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Epic Citadel, a free tech demo, was an eye-opener that showcased what the Unreal Engine could pull on A4-enabled gadgets like iPad and iPhone 4. TouchArcade now uncovered Castlerama, another Unreal tech showcase that lets you explore lush environments with amazing detail. Developer Codenrama noted in the YouTube description that graphics could have been even better had they targeted the code for iPad 2 and iPhone 4 only. The reason? Those devices sport 512MB RAM, twice their predecessors:

While developing Castlerama, we had to face the fact that newer devices such as iPhone4s and iPad2s are very different from their predecessors, iPhone3GSs and iPads, in that the former have twice as much memory. In order to have the app run on all devices, we had to compromise quite a bit, pushing the old devices to their limits (risking crash if other applications are left running) while keeping the new devices well behind their capabilities. In the future we believe we will have to develop two versions for each application.

Castlerama can be downloaded for free from the App Store. The universal binary works on all iOS devices and weighs in at 244MB. If you ask me, it’s an exciting example of high-quality games powered by the Unreal Engine coming our way.

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There is no shortage of music-creation software on iPad, ranging from the for-dummies apps like Apple’s awesome GarageBand to the casual yet powerful items like Algoriddim’s djay program to the full-fledged synth studios such as Korg iMS-20, classed as a complete recreation of the Korg MS-20 synth.

Heck, people are even exploring crazy concepts like air-scratching. That said, SynthTronica, a LeisuresonicView production, looks like the ultimate synthesizer app for your iPad. Another nice video introduction and a couple of screenies after the break.

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With well over two hundred Android-driven slates either available or arriving, one might fall into a trap thinking Apple’s iPad is becoming an endangered specie.  Not so fast. If you ask Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, there are a few reasons iPad outsells Android tablets by a large margin. Android slates have several shortcomings that Apple successfully turned into their advantage, he said in a Saturday interview with CNET. Here’s your quote:

It’s a point of sales problem. It’s an expertise at retail problem. It’s a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem. And it’s a software richness of content problem. Apple is not only better able to explain its product to consumers through dedicated sales people, but it also captures more margin than competitors who have to share margin with retail partners.

Huang wasn’t pulling this from thin air. The man knows his stuff – his company is a key provider of Tegra-branded processors for Android-branded tablets. And Apple’s dramatic iPad 2 advert perfectly complements Huang’s observations, we might add.

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