ZuneHD Specs?

BGR is reporting some interesting ZuneHD specs, some of which look pretty solid.  Notably, it would be the first mainstream device with NVIDIA’s Tegra ARM chips that are supposed to blaze.  Also, a large, touch OLED screen would be a first in a mainstream electronics device as well.  We’ll have to wait until August to see if Apple will match these so far imaginary specs.

  •  ~3.6-inch OLED full toudchscreen [iPod=3.5 inch]
  • NVIDIA Tegra powered [Damn!]
  • 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions
  • HDMI Connection to stream straight to your TV
  • HD Radio
  • Web browser
  • Wi-Fi compatible, with wireless marketplace[O RLY?! is this thing going to run WINMOB?]
  • Released, early fall
  • International release of the Zune device itself
  • Home AV packs, Car packs, Charge packs

Also, wtf is HD radio?

Wall Street Journal iPhone app hits the mark

The Wall Street Journal iPhone App (iTunes link) just hit the iTunes Store.  We’ve downloaded and are looking through it as we type.  It isn’t full of content yet but we’re sure more will stream in as time goes on.  Even though the video section only has six videos, we were able to Walt Mossberg’s MobileMe re-review

While we generally like the NYTimes content better, the WSJ.app does a lot of things better than their iPhone app (which came out almost a year ago).  The ‘photo flipping’ of articles is great and the video works really well as well.  A very positive, polished first experience.

If you are a fan of the Journal, this app will make a great addition to your reading collection.  (and the articles are free!)


Front facing iPhone camera, motion detection systems detailed

MacRumors today details a series of patent applications filed by Apple which deal with motion and the iPhone.  The first patent details movement as an input method.  The example they use is flicking the phone to step through contacts.  The iPhone already uses such an interface for "shake to shuffle" music as well as apps like Urban Spoon use this type of gesture to pick a random restaurant in the area.

Next, Apple details an idea of making the lettering/ GUI choices bigger while the iPhone detects it is in motion.  This would make the iPhone easier to use while jogging or (hopefully not) driving.  The example they cite is the contact list which enlarges as it detects motion (image below).

Perhaps most interestingly, however, a reader points out that Apple has a front facing camera on the patent application, meaning that we’ll hopefully see this feature for video chatting in an upcoming model, maybe even in June?  It is labeled "180" in the image below right above the earpiece.


Slingplayer for iPhone rejected by Apple/AT&T?


Boy Genius tipsters say that the Slingplayer for iPhone was rejected by Apple/AT&T today.  This whole Slingplayer saga has been a huge bust for us, and if true, the rejection would be a fitting end to this circus. 

First of all, it has been almost a year since the App Store opened. Sling is just getting around to submitting an iPhone App now. We had a Windows Mobile version working almost two years ago (and it still works today!).   It even works over EVDO on Sprint’s network. Another streaming video app, Joost was able to make an iPhone app in a matter of months. What took Sling so long? CBS and MLB also had no problems making applications that stream video over WiFi.

Next, Sling decided it wanted to get some extra upgrade revenue out of iPhone owners so they said it would need some extra horsepower to make smaller resolution, iPhone encoded videos (Never mind that Windows Mobile devices have worked for years).  If you didn’t have the latest hardware, you’d need to upgrade.    We’ll say it again, they needed more power to make smaller resolution videos.   They were selling upgrades to iPhone owners saying they wouldn’t be able to use their iPhones to watch Sling broadcasts.  How many iPhone owners paid money to upgrade and now aren’t going to get an app?

Next, if the rumor is true,  Apple would have no reason to reject such an app. This is clearly the work of AT&T (are you as sick of them as we are?).   How much AT&T horse54!t do iPhone owners have to take? The question that immediately comes up is: why can’t Sling make the app WiFi only?  Are they worried about Jailbreakers allowing Sling to work over AT&T’s network? 

And finally, and this really makes us ill, AT&T is rumored to have a video service of its own coming to the iPhone soon. This could easily be their way of cutting out any competition.

Sling,  if you are listening, how about we make a truce? Put your app in that Cydia  Jailbroken apps repository, and let all your Slingboxes work with the iPhone app. Then charge us a nominal fee of 10 or 20 bucks to use the application. We’ll be square.   That’s more money than you charge your Symbian and Windows mobile customers and you’ll sell a lot more boxes.


Update: from publicknowledge.org from last week,

Quietly, last night, AT&T revised its wireless plans. In the latest changes to the service terms, it looks like AT&T is trying to exempt its own video services but prohibiting services like the Slingbox or other video web sites. See, this change (changes emphasized):

This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited.

Sling never had a chance to work over AT&T.  So why the rejection?

Update 2 :BGR says Sling says that they “have had no word from Apple.” Yay!