LA Unified School District’s “iPad for every student” plan suspended, may be abandoned

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A plan by the LA Unified School District to provide an iPad for each of its 640,000 students by the end of this year has now been suspended, and appears likely to be abandoned altogether.

Apple proudly announced the plan in June of last year, but it wasn’t too long before the arrangement came into question. Rollout was temporarily halted last September, when it was found that students were able to bypass restrictions designed to ensure they were only used for school work when taken home. A month later, it was suggested  that the school district might have gotten its sums wrong, with the true cost significantly higher than budgeted. It was then suggested in June of this year that iPads might not be the right devices …  Read more

Apple wins 2014 ‘Outstanding Commercial’ Emmy Award for ‘Misunderstood’ holiday ad

Here’s some good news for Apple amid several months of controversy surrounding the Cupertino-company’s marketing efforts: Apples’ 2013 Holiday season television commercial “Misunderstood” has won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for most “outstanding commercial” in 2014. The award was announced on the Emmy’s winners list last night, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards are presented for “guest performers on television dramas and comedy series, as well as the many talented artists and craftspeople behind the scenes to create television excellence.” The main, televised Emmy Awards ceremony takes place on August 25th…

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Apple seemingly turns to Tumblr to promote the iPhone 5c

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Apple appears to have taken to Tumblr to start up a new advertising campaign for the iPhone 5c. The campaign is called “Every color has a story,” and the webpage called “ISee5c” appeared within the past couple of days.

The advertisements are videos portraying different iPhone 5c phone colors and case colors. Each roughly 15 second video plays a different song and showcases the dots featured on the rear of the iPhone 5c official cases and on the iOS 7 dynamic wallpapers…

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LA Board of Education approves $115-million deal to bring iPads to classrooms

In an ongoing effort to equip more classrooms with tablets and computers, the Los Angeles Board of Education has green lighted a plan to distribute and integrate iPads in nearly 40 campuses throughout the school district, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal which was approved allots $115 million for deploying between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets to classrooms for use by students and teachers used especially for spring-scheduled standardized testing.

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Los Angeles Unified School District gets its sums wrong on iPad program

Photo: businessadministrationinformation.com

Photo: businessadministrationinformation.com

The LA Times is reporting that the LA Unified School District program to equip every student with an iPad will cost $100 more per iPad than initially budgeted.

The district reported in its latest budget for the iPad program that although it is eligible for the lower price it previously cited, the discount kicks in only after it spends $400 million on iPads. That would buy 520,000 tablets. Thus far, the district has committed to paying $30 million for iPads at 47 schools …  Read more

LA Unified School District will give each of its 640,000 students iPads by the end of next year

Previously, we covered Apple’s announcement that it had won a large contract to supply iPads to LA Unified School District. The program will equip students across the nation’s second biggest school district with iPads that include the Pearson Common Core System of Courses delivered via a new app as part of the integrated solution. Additionally, each iPad will come preloaded with Apple’s iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand) suites in addition to a range of educational third-party apps. Apple noted that the $30 million commitment is only the first phase of a larger roll out for Los Angeles schools.

In a new report today, we see how big that buy really is.

The first 31,000 iPads are only the initial phase of the program, which plans to buy and distribute iPads to all 640,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school district by late 2014, Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told CITEworld.

“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate,” said Hovatter. “This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”

That’s a huge number to add to Apple’s iPad numbers over the next year. As it stands, if Apple reaped $400 of revenue from each iPad, it would receive $256M for the deal. More importantly, it lays the groundwork for other school districts that may want to emulate this adoption.

Best of all, it exposes a massive amount of children to Apple’s technology that might not already have access to it.

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Inside AT&T’s 83GB/hour mobile cell tower …or why your iPhone no longer drops out at huge events

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AT&T shared a little bit of what goes into a portable network cells they put up at special events where bandwidth needs will be extraordinary. Remember, AT&T’s network is about 80% iPhones so this is important stuff. The setup above was what they used to cover a recent Los Angeles festival (read: Coachella).

This isn’t a test network; AT&T’s been honing their skills since they got caught with their pants down at SXSW in 2010 (back when AT&T was the only US iPhone carrier). Since then, with their mobile response team, they’ve been able to keep their network up and running at huge events with the addition of these ‘kits’ above.

The  network performance stats for this setup – some of which are staggering:

  • Carried approximately 83 GB of data traffic during the peak hour on our in-event network
  • Carried a combined 6,054 GB (or more than 6 terabytes) of data on our in-event network during the two weekends of the music festival (24-hour traffic totals, Friday-Sunday for two weekends).
  • About 50 engineers were involved in planning, construction or onsite 24/7 monitoring.

Both the super multi-beam antenna and five-beam antenna are AT&T innovations that were conceptualized by L.A.-based AT&T engineers Bob Mathews and Gary Chow who discuss their work in the videos below: Read more

Adobe MAX starts this weekend in LA, we’ll be on the scene with live streaming keynote videos

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Adobe MAX, the company’s ‘Creativity Conference’ kicks off this weekend and runs May 4-8, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. Our Angelino in residence Mark Gurman will be on the scene to cover the notable new product announcements including an exciting new Photoshop product we’ve heard lots about and perhaps iPad versions of Lightroom.  Can’t make it to LA? Adobe is going to be streaming some of the sessions (probably Flash, sorry) as well as the Keynotes live on May 6th and 7th:

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T-Mobile rolls out iPhone-compatible HSPA+ to Chicago, Reno, Sacramento, Fresno, Southern Calif., now accessible to 100 million people

T-Mobile-iPhoneOn Monday, we told you that T-Mobile was enhancing its 4G network in Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis to provide access to its iPhone-compatible 1900 MHz spectrum for more users. Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile USA Neville Ray announced more enhancements to the network today, including the roll out of more iPhone-compatible 4G HSPA+ to five major metro areas, such as: Chicago; Reno, Nev.; and Fresno, Sacramento and Southern Calif.

A spokesperson confirmed to us that the launch of the enhanced network in these new areas brings T-Mobile’s total covered for iPhone compatible 1900 MHz PCS spectrum to 100 million people.

Internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on our 1900 MHz network recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network. Savings based on comparison of T-Mobile $69.99/month Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan against AT&T Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB Smartphone Data plan.

T-Mobile also said more enhancements to the network are on the way to “Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, the New York metro area, Philadelphia, and San Diego,” with many customers already experiencing unlocked iPhone “speed sightings.”

A full list of areas included in the  rollout is below:

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Microsoft launches Surface Tablet with keyboard Touch Cover, kickstand

Microsoft unveiled its Surface Tablet at an event in Los Angeles today. As Microsoft attempted to demonstrate, it follows a long line of Microsoft hardware achievements including the Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft Keyboard, and more recently the XBox (we must have missed the Zune, Courier, and Kin slides). The Surface has some notable features including a full-sized USB port, kickstand, and a 9.3-mm thickness. It runs on an ARM processor, and it is housed in a magnesium alloy case.

Probably the biggest feature is its 3 mm thick Touch Cover. Added to the iPad 2-ish 9.3-mm thickness, you get a “full package” of just 12.3-mm total. The ability to touch type on a 3 mm thick piece of plastic compared to, say, an 8 mm thick UltraThin Logitech iPad keyboard case, for instance, will be a big determining factor for this thing to take off.

While it would not be a Microsoft demo without a few crashes, Microsoft Vice President Steven Sinofsky was eventually able to launch apps like MS Office, Adobe Lightroom, and Netflix on a backup demo model. The Surface will come in 32GB and 64GB ARM RT varieties and separately with Intel processors.

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Will Microsoft try to take on Apple by manufacturing its own tablet?

Microsoft is allegedly prepping to directly compete with Apple in the tablet market

The Redmond, Wash.-based Company scheduled an event in Los Angeles on Monday to make a “major announcement.” AllThingsD reported earlier this week that the event would unveil Microsoft’s tablet plans:

  • After signaling for months that it would attack the market only through its traditional hardware partners, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly. [...]
  • Sources say that Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors, sources said.

Perhaps more interesting: The Wrap claimed Microsoft will self-manufacture the device, which is an assertion that AllThingsD supports. The move is certainly plausible, because Microsoft snatched a 17.6-percent stake in Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReader business last month for $300 million. One could speculate that Apple and Amazon’s dominating presence in the market causes companies like Microsoft and Barnes and Noble to join forces.

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Which iPhone carrier has the fastest network in your area? AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint get accurate comparison by city

The argument over which carrier has the fastest network speed in any given location in the United States is still up for debate. Putting network speed comparisons aside, which are often not an accurate representation of speeds, you will receive in your specific area, a new app from startup SwayMarkets aims to provide a more realistic comparison.

The app, CarrierCompare, allows users to test the network speed of their current carrier against the two other major iPhone providers. CNNMoney went hands-on when the app released last month and just posted the user data it obtained that compares major iPhone carriers in multiple locations.

Analyzing user-generated data from Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, these were the results:

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