According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working to expand its hardware offerings, this year, beyond the Kindle e-readers and tablets (like the Kindle Fire). According to the new report, Amazon is working on two smartphones, including a high-end model with a 3D display. Like other smartphones currently on the market, this display could be interacted with via a user’s eyes:
Gmail version 2.0: Google has just released a major update to its Gmail iOS app, introducing multiple account support, a new look that appears to be partly inspired by its Sparrow acquisition, search predictions and much more. The update also brings interactive Google+ posts support, an infinite scroll inbox, new welcome screen, and the ability to respond to Google Calendar invites. Google walked through some of the new features of the overhauled Gmail app in a blog post noting the app was six months in the works:
Six months ago, our team set out to completely rebuild the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad to give you you a faster, sleeker, and easier experience on iOS. The result? Version 2.0. With version 2.0 of the app, you’ll get a totally new look and feel, plus a bunch of improvements like profile pictures in messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions and infinite scrolling in the message lists.
Looks like the new Gmail app for iOS is still rolling out on iTunes. If you're having trouble, try again later.—
Gmail (@gmail) December 04, 2012
Kindle version 3.5: Amazon previously rolled out its X-Ray feature, which used to be exclusive to Kindle devices, to iOS devices back in October. At the time, it was only making the feature available for textbooks on iOS. Today, Amazon has updated the Kindle iOS app to extend the X-Ray to all books. The update also includes “Manga Image Rendering Improvements”:
• X-Ray for Books – see the “bones of the book”. X-ray helps you learn more about notable characters, places, and phrases with descriptions from Shelfari.com and Wikipedia.
• Manga Image Rendering Improvements
Uber version 2.1.0: iPhone 5 support and localizations:
-Uber app now supports iPhone 5. Also in this release are Dutch localization, and an enhanced look for top riders.
- Added support for Stream Marker
- Added Unified Stream option
- Added support for img.ly as an image service
- Performance improvements for older devices
- Better support for image annotations
When Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller unveiled the iPad mini on stage earlier this month, he didn’t discuss the speaker on the new device. There were rumors that the iPad mini might include stereo speakers, but tech specs on Apple’s website only list a “built-in speaker” for iPads. Adding to the rumors that iPad mini might actually have a mono speaker, Amazon posted a comparison of the new iPad and its Kindle Fire HD tablet, listing dual stereo speakers vs a mono speaker as one of the the Kindle’s advantages. A curious 9to5 reader wanted to find out what speaker Apple is actually including in the device and was able to get an email response direct from Phil Schiller.
Hi Mr. Schiller,
I understand the tech specs about iPad Mini online should cover everything, but the tech specs online neither confirm or deny the rumors of iPad Mini’s speakers being stereo. Is it possible to get confirmation from the man himself as to whether these are mono or stereo?
Schiller responded: Read more
Anyone who has ever misplaced an iPad and felt a sudden urge of panic —or better yet, anyone who has ever watched an iPad’s battery drain without access to power while on a long trip— can now rejoice, as there is a solution to both problems in one, nifty case.
Wireless NRG developed a renewable charging resource for the iPad by simply converting the sun’s rays, indoor lights, and practically any other luminescent substance into a perpetual stream of free energy. The high-end, portable charging case, dubbed “KudoCase,” launched earlier this summer for $199.95 with a slew of innovative accessories. But that’s not all…it responds to whistling. If your iPad is ever lost at a friend’s house, just whistle. The KudoCase will set off an alarm. Yeah, I know—awesome.
Anyway, enough jibber-jabber—check out the hands-on review below.
KudoCase Video Overview
(The 1080p version is processing; coming soon.)
We received a number of tips over the last few weeks from sources that we have reason to believe hold knowledge about Apple’s plans on the upcoming iPad mini. A recurring theme of late is that the iPad mini will “look like a big iPod touch” with smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode and separate volume buttons and not a “rocker” and a mic on the back.
We were not confident enough to post the above information alone (but did make the atop mockup), but the very reliable John Gruber chimes in today with many of the same bits of information.
Here is a gallery of all the iPad mini images and mockups we have obtained to date: Read more
Just 24 hours after Hulu started popping up on Apple TV, we now see Amazon’s Instant Video Store in the App Store for iPad. It looks like a full app capable of not only streaming Prime content for free (with the$79 a yearl Amazon Prime membership, but the first month is free) as well as being able to download content for offline viewing. Also, Season Pass is available for TV shows, and episodes are available the morning after the show airs on TV. The app will also resume where you left off watching from Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.
Interestingly, no iPhone version yet.
I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).
Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.