July 23, 2010

BBC News will launch an iPhone and iPad app in the UK from late this afternoon, the broadcaster has announced, following the BBC Trust’s approval of the Corporation’s release of apps for the platforms.

The free-to-download apps for Apple products were originally due to be made available in April 2010. They are already available outside of the UK, though launch here was delayed while the BBC Trust explored the commercial significance of the deal.

BBC will introduce other apps later this year, including apps for iPlayer and BBC Sport. In future, we can expect apps for Android and other smartphone platforms to appear.

BBC Trustee Diane Coyle, who led the review, said:

“The Apps market is rapidly taking off as more people choose to get their news, sport and other online content while they’re on the move. The Trust has a duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers, who will increasingly expect to access BBC content in this way, but also to listen to concerns raised by industry. In this case we have concluded that while the Apps market is developing quickly and we will monitor the launch of BBC Apps, a PVT is not required.”

According to the report commissioned by the Trust.

July 20, 2010

The service only requires a cheap Roku box and MP3Tunes (2GB free).  MP3Tunes also streams to iPhone/iPod/iPad (and Android and a bunch of other devices).  Eventually, Google and probably Apple will have this capability, but why wait?  Also.  Chicago?

Edit: Yes commenters, we love Plex too. But it requires a Mac.

 

MP3tunes and Roku Partner To Bring Personal iTunes Music Collection To TVs

An Industry First: No PC or home server required to play iTunes music libraries on Home Entertainment Systems

San Diego, CA 

July 19, 2010

Amazon is reporting that they’ve reached a tipping point of sorts with their Kindle environment.  I say environment because it isn’t just about the physical reader, but the Kindle App that we see on iPads, iPhones and Android devices.  

“We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle–the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books–astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”

Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.

Besides the popularity of the iPad, Amazon has also slashed the price of its own Kindle eBook reader to just $189, less than a third of its original cost.

Full press release pasted below:

 
Kindle Device Unit Sales Accelerate Each Month in Second Quarter; New $189 Price Results in Tipping Point for Growth
Amazon.com Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Hardcover Books

SEATTLE, Jul 19, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — (NASDAQ: AMZN) — Millions of people are already reading on Kindles and Kindle is the #1 bestselling item on Amazon.com for two years running. It’s also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.com. Today, Amazon.com announced that Kindle device unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter–both on a sequential month-over-month basis and on a year-over-year basis.

“We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle–the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books–astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”

Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including New Releases and 106 of 110 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 75 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.

Recent milestones for Kindle books include:

 

  • Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
  • Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009.
  • The Association of American Publishers’ latest data reports that e-book sales grew 163 percent in the month of May and 207 percent year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales in May and year-to-date through May exceeded those growth rates.
  • On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.
  • Five authors–Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts–have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.

Readers are responding to Kindle’s uncompromising approach to the reading experience. Weighing 10.2 ounces, Kindle can be held comfortably in one hand for hours, has an e-ink display that is easy on the eyes even in bright daylight, has two weeks of battery life, lets you buy your books once and read them everywhere–on your Kindle, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices–and has free 3G wireless with no monthly fees or annual contracts–all at a $189 price.

9to5toys 

July 17, 2010

 

Steve Jobs yesterday announced that Apple had shipped 3,000,000 iPhone 4s since launch, 22 days prior.  That seems like a pretty impressive number.  But looking a little deeper might reveal some issues.  Apple had announced sales of 1.7 million in the first three days of iPhones sales. That is an insane amount of phones, especially considering that the release was only in five countries.

But that also means that Apple has “only” sold 1.3 million iPhones in the following 19 days of sales, including international launches in Germany, the UK, France and Japan.  While Apple is saying there is a three week delay in getting iPhones, a quick check to AT&T this morning (below) shows they have stock.   Also, my local Best Buy has them available.

1.3 million iPhones in 19 days is almost 70,000/day.  That is a very solid number but not even half of what Android claims to be doing every day.

What happened?  Was the original demand so much higher than Apple anticipated that Apple can’t keep up with production?  The AT&T/Apple inventory discrepancy clouds that call.  Also, shouldn’t Apple be making more iPhones/day than Android activates?

A scary thought, but perhaps the “Antenna-gate” has slowed sales somewhat?  Or maybe Apple is tweaking production to help signal strength, but slowing down output?

Or maybe that White iPhone that comes out at the end of the month will get people buying again.

Whatever the case, it will be good to hear what Apple has to say about sales at the earnings call on Tuesday.

 

July 14, 2010

July 12, 2010

Here we go again… Microsoft has made another promise. This time, Ballmer promises a bunch of Windows 7 tablets coming by the end of this year. Microsoft plans to partner up with Dell, Asus, Sony, and Toshiba, as well as others. There last few takes at a tablet surely worked out *well* with the successful launch of their baby below (due this summer – tick tock, tick tock), and the “never even existed” Courier

The boys up in Redmond plan to take Apple head on with a strategy that lures in IT departments. We personally don’t think they’ll have much success with them iPads in the game along with Google’s plans for Android tablets. 

Ballmer’s statements occurred today at Microsoft’s Partner Conference, and we’ll probably see some MSFT tablet action at the upcoming WPC. 

via Gizmodo.

9to5google 

Once again we look back just across a World Cup-fueled weekend haze and recall that nice Fring iPhone app which enabled iPhone 4 users to have jolly little video chats with iPhone, Android or Symbian devices over WiFi or 3G.

A happy time.

The company was really pleased with the take-up of the App, but had to limit use of Skype. Now it looks like Skype is preventing users of Fring from accessing its network, and, indeed, is threatening legal action. Shame!

Fring are very unhappy, saying,

July 4, 2010

electrek 

July 1, 2010

June 25, 2010

Some more issues are popping up with iPhone 4 users. Seems the proximity sensors are a little less sensitive than their predecessors, causing hang-ups from people who hold the iPhone close to their ear, move it slightly away and then touch their cheek to it.   Also some people are muting by accident.  Apple discussions are growing.

Is this another iPhone 4 issue or just a learning curve thing?  We’re not getting this problem but it is apparent that many people are having the issue.

9to5mac reader, Christopher Menendez writes:

Yesterday, after camping out 13.5 hours in jacksonville, a 2 hour drive from Tallahassee where I’m currently attending FSU, I noticed my calls were hanging up out of nowhere. I didn’t attribute this to the antenna problem because not only do I have a bumper but the call also did not show up as failed, merely as hung up (would return me to my recent calls page). I then started thinking i might be cheek dialing…a quick call to moviefone to give me a chance to mess with the proximity sensor using my hands showed it is COMPLETELY out of wack. It takes too long to turn off once you put it to your face (thus hanging up on people with my cheek) and would turn on immediately after pulling it away from my face half an inch. A quick search on google and the macrumors forums show that many people are experiencing the problem

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that two congressmen wrote to Apple for clarification on recent changes to its privacy policy which include the collection of user location based data.  Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-chairman of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, Thursday sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs..

The lawmakers said they were concerned that users appeared to automatically be included in Apple’s gathering of geographic data unless they actively opt out of having information collected about them.”Given the limited ability of Apple users to opt out of the revised policy and still be able to take advantage of the features of their Apple products, we are concerned about the impact the collection of such data could have on the privacy of Apple’s customers,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Android phones have been doing this since the get go.  I wonder if Google got a letter? Or is this type of data collection is expected from Google?

The nine questions are pasted below:

1. Which specific Apple products are being used by Apple to collect geographic location data?
2. When did Apple begin collecting this location data, and how often is data collected from a given consumer?
3. Does Apple collect this location data from all consumers using Apple products? If the answer is no, please explain which consumers Apple is collecting information from and the reasons that these consumers were chosen for monitoring. 
4. How many consumers are subject to this collection of location data?
5. What internal procedures are in place to ensure that any location data is stored

9to5toys 

June 22, 2010

Up first: Engadget, who conclude:

We’re not going to beat around the bush — in our approximation, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market right now. The combination of gorgeous new hardware, that amazing display, upgraded cameras, and major improvements to the operating system make this an extremely formidable package. Yes, there are still pain points that we want to see Apple fix, and yes, there are some amazing alternatives to the iPhone 4 out there. But when it comes to the total package — fit and finish in both software and hardware, performance, app selection, and all of the little details that make a device like this what it is — we think it’s the cream of the current crop. We won’t argue that a lot of this is a matter of taste — some people will just prefer the way Android or Symbian works to the iPhone, and others will be on the lookout for a hardware keyboard or a particular asset that the iPhone 4 lacks — but in terms of the total picture, it’s tough to deny that Apple has moved one step past the competition with this phone. Of course, in the hyper-accelerated smartphone market where the Next Big Thing seems to always be just around the corner, it’s anyone’s guess how long they keep that edge.

http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/9c9c1a2e

We’re not expecting an official Gizmodo version, are you?

June 21, 2010

Google has introduced an all-new Compose Interface for Gmail on iPad.

When you write an email you now get a big full screen compose window. Previously Gmail would split the screen between your inbox and the compose view. It means that more text is visible at once and there are no more distractions with messages on the side.

With a view to future development of Android-based solutions, Google notes,

9to5google 

June 15, 2010

June 14, 2010

June 7, 2010

Thanks to Engadget’s handiwork, we now have a stat breakdown of the iPhone 4 vs. the older model.

Standout Numbers:

  • Quadband HSDPA.  That means likely T-Mobile 3G compatible. 
  • Wireless: 802.11N finally – though iOS 4 might enable it on the 3GS
  • Gyroscope will do some interesting things.  Air mouse for instance – perhaps gaming on AppleTVs in the future?
  • Facetime is now an open standard which means Apple and partners will be building for other platforms like gulp* Android.
  • More Battery life, up to an hour of talk time more – that is a big one over Android who already lags in battery.
  • It weighs a few gams more but now is less than a centimeter thick!

electrek 

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