iPhone Hacks shows a pretty ingenius idea, if only in concept – a hacked keyboard with the number row. The app is called 5-Row QWERTY Keyboard and is available through the Cydia repository. The question is: Would you use something like this? It could make typing quicker but will the error rate due to the close proximity of the keys increase beyond useful? Also, would you want a number pad along the right in landscape mode? Yes we are kidding.
Many believe that Apple is pushing CSS annimations and transforms as a possible alternative to Flash. Indeed, months before that functionality was avalable in mainstream Safari, it was available on the iPhone and iPod touch. But Flash isn’t on the iPhone and one of the reasons usually given is that it kills the CPU and by extension the battery.
Well, we took a look at the CPU usage of the simple falling leaves example on Webkit.org. Surprisingly, it used anywhere from 70-90% of a CPU core on a 2.0 GHz Unibody MacBook…
Obviously this is a beta browser using new technology and some optimizations will undoubtedly be done. However, it is a bad sign for those who believe CSS animations will be able to take the place of Flash without costing similar CPU and battery penalties.
Just as a comparison, watching a hi-def flash movie in Vimeo eats about the same CPU juice.
Venture Beat is reporting on a cool new feature in iTunes called iTunes Pass. It allows you to buy your favorite band’s stuff in big chunks. The way you want it. Their initial band is Depeche Mode (not a huge fan but know lots of people who are). You buy a Depeche Mode iTunes Pass:
Unfortunately, right now if you want to try out iTunes Pass you have one option: Depeche Mode. The band’s newest album Sounds of the Universe is being offered as part of the first iTunes pass. For $18.99, you get access to the first single right now as well as another track that regular pre-orderers won’t get. And when the album comes out, you’ll obviously get that too.
We really think this is a great idea and a natural extension of the iTunes store model. To see more, click the iTunes Pass (iTunes Link) for Depeche Mode.
Boom! Finally, some Apple news. Today Apple took the wraps off of Safari 4 for both Mac and Windows. This looks to be a BIG release with so many features and add-ons it is going to be impossible to list them all here. Here are my first impressions. How are you liking it out there?
Thanks to Top Sites, you can enjoy a stunning, at-a-glance preview of your favorite websites without lifting a finger. Safari 4 Beta tracks the sites you browse and ranks your favorites, presenting up to 24 thumbnails on a single page. You can even customize the display by pinning a favorite site to a specific location in the grid. That locks it into position, so you know just where to find it every time you open Top Sites.
Wonder which sites have changed since your last visit? Sites with a star in the upper-right corner have new content. A single click opens the page and updates its thumbnail. Whenever you want to return to your ever-evolving Top Sites page, just click the new Top Sites button in the bookmarks bar.
New to Safari, Cover Flow offers a highly visual way of reviewing your site history and bookmarked sites, presenting full-page previews of the websites that look exactly as they did when you last visited them.
One look is all you need to recognize the site you want to visit. Simply flip through website previews in Cover Flow the same way you flip through album art in iTunes. Directional arrows let you browse forward and back. Or you can quickly flip through multiple sites using the slider. And when you find the site you want, simply click to open it.
Full History Search
With Full History Search and Cover Flow, what you see is where you went. Safari introduces a dramatic new way to revisit sites, letting you flip through full-page previews of the sites you visited in the past. You may not have total recall, but Safari does, automatically storing all the text and a thumbnail of every page in your history. That makes it easy for Safari to get results even if you remember little about the site you’re searching for.
Just type a word or phrase in the History Search field in Top Sites, and Safari quickly presents you with a list of possibilities. In fact, you can search for anything that was on a page you visited, even photo captions. To jog your memory, Safari presents the sites it finds in Cover Flow, giving you the opportunity to spot the right site on sight.
Tabs on Top
Tabs offer a great way to have multiple pages open at the same time in a single browser window. And to switch back and forth with a click. Now Safari takes tabbed browsing to new heights — to the very top of the browser window — instantly providing more room for you to enjoy the sites you’re reading.
Safari also makes it easy to create and manage tabs. To create a new tab, just click the + button in the upper-right corner of the Safari window. Want to rearrange tabs? Simply drag a tab by its handle and drop it in a new location in the tab bar. You can also use the handle to drop a tab into another Safari window. Or quickly create a new window by dragging the tab out to the desktop. You can create a bookmark from a group of tabs. Or even tell Safari to open a set of tabs every time you open a new Safari window.
Still the world’s fastest web browser, Safari outraces Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. On even the most demanding Web 2.0 applications, Safari delivers blazingly fast performance thanks to the industry’s most advanced rendering technologies.
Windows Native Look and Feel
If you’re using Safari on a PC with Windows Vista or Windows XP, you’ll feel right at home. That’s because Safari features a native look — just like other Windows applications — including a native title bar, borders, and toolbars. To provide a consistent Windows experience, Safari now uses Windows standard fonts, but you can choose to use Apple’s crisp anti-aliased fonts if you prefer. Of course, Safari in Windows delivers the same lightning-fast performance provided by the Mac version.
Frankly, since the MacBook Air was released, we’ve been questioning the validity of the internal optical drive in our MacBooks. Really, we need that thing once or twice a month, if at all, with all of the other options out there. USB sticks for data transfer and quick backups, the Internet for 700MB movies and perhaps an external DVD for the occasional software install (and hopefully rare OS reinstall). Otherwise that thing is just taking up a lot of space and gathering dust as a relic of the past in our Unibody MacBooks.
The good news is that today, MCE has a solution for that wasted space. They simply take your DVD-R and put it in a USB case, then put in your MacBook another hard drive inside a holder that fills the space of an optical drive. Therefore, you can technically have up to 1 TB of storage with the Unibody MacBook utilizing two 500GB hard drives space. You can even make a (assuming soft-)RAID setup.
Sweet. But we are still seeing some extra space there. How about a SD card reader and an eSATA port while you are at it!? Maybe also throw in a 3G Modem? We’ll pay the premium.