September 20, 2010

http://www.viddler.com/player/e372d463/

According to Norwegian Mac Site Mac1, Apple  has bought up all of the shares of a Swedish face recognition company called Polar Rose.  An example of their technology can be seen above (Flashless). Google translated:

The Malmö-based company specializes in developing technology which makes facial recognition, not unlike what Apple already has and uses iPhoto for Mac OS X. Through sophisticated algorithms, manages the software of the Arctic Rose to recognize faces in images and the company offers three different products using this solution. Two of the (Face Cloud and FaceLib) them seem to be very interesting for Apple.

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September 19, 2010

Image from

The big news this weekend was TechCrunch’s supposed revelation that there will be a FaceBook Phone.  A few hours later, Facebook released a statement saying “we aren’t building a phone”.  Like all of these things, the answer is probably in somewhere in between.

Perhaps Facebook will brand an Android phone with Facebook tied to all parts of the OS.

But really, do you need any more Facebook in your phone?  Or in your life?

BTW, we’ve obtained a secret prototype image of the FaceFone, below: expand full story

September 18, 2010

Fortune reports on a blog post by Adobe’s John Nack which appears to show that Flash is faster and much more efficient than HTML on mobile phones. These statements are conclusions based on a benchmark test by web developer, Chris Black. He tested HTML 5 running the same animation on an iPod touch 4 (same for iPhone 4), and a Nexus One, but also ran it in pure Flash on the Nexus one.

The HTML 5 animation ran at 24 frames per second on the iPhone 4 and at 40 fps on the Nexus One. The same animation running on Flash on an Nexus One ran at an unprecedented 57 frames per second. This is more than double the frame rate of Apple’s offering and is still 17 frames faster than the HTML 5 version on the same Nexus One. The post also claims the Flash version used half the battery but it is not clear as to what the battery life of flash is being compared to. We presume it is being compared to the HTML 5 running Nexus One.

Update: The original Author chimes in in the comments:

Hey everyone, thought I might chime in as the author of the blog post being criticized. The code was engineered to be as equal as possible between the two demos. Full source has been provided to show this. The code posted by wolever is not scalable but raises some interesting points. The physical dimensions of the canvas being rendered does matter. Scaling the demo down to 300x300px yields 40fps on the iPod Touch. I’ll be doing an updated blog post on this tomorrow showing results at different sizes. I’m not sure why anybody thinks canvas is limited to 24fps. My post tomorrow that wrong. And no, I don’t work for Adobe. I complain about Adobe almost as much as Apple and I much prefer running my own company at the moment. You might find this post a bit more interesting,http://www.blackcj.com/blog/2010/09/19/css3-excels-on-ios-but-lacks-on-android/

9to5toys 

September 15, 2010

If you’ve been sitting back all excited over Project Sword and waiting for the release of the game then you have an excuse to get even more excited on news Epic Games intends releasing its Unreal development kit for iOS soon!

Yes, gamers, this means a tidal wave of Unreal-engine driven mobile games will be slamming themselves down on iPods, iPhones and iPads soon (ish). expand full story

September 14, 2010

September 13, 2010

9to5google 

September 10, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/media/swf/VideoMicroPlayer.swf

According to the WSJ, Apple’s about face on 3rd party app development may have been due to pressure from the FCC:

The concession comes after the Federal Trade Commission launched an inquiry around June to determine whether Apple had violated antitrust laws with the earlier policy. It isn’t clear if Apple’s move Thursday was in response to the FTC’s investigation, but it will likely be carefully scrutinized by the regulatory agency, said people familiar with the situation.

They also speculate that other platforms may have been a factor: expand full story

September 9, 2010

After going through Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, we decided it would be a great idea to compile our personal favorites. Some even sound like the words of Jobs.

1: “Apps with metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected” – No Android for you!

2: “Apps that artificially increase the number of impressions or click-throughs of ads will be rejected” – Don’t be greedy.

3: “App user interfaces that mimic any iPod interface will be rejected” – Who makes that Remote app that looks just like iPod.app?

4: “Apps that alter the functions of standard switches, such as the Volume Up/Down and Ring/Silent switches, will be rejected” – Camera+!

5: “Apps containing “rental” content or services that expire after a limited time will be rejected” – iTunes TV show and movie rentals FTW!

6: “Apps that encourage users to use an Apple Device in a way that may cause damage to the device will be rejected” – Don’t break me!

7: “Apps that include games of Russian roulette will be rejected” – No comment.

8: “Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex “Chat Roulette” apps) will be rejected” – Until there’s an API to keep clothes on.

…And how can I forget my personal all-time favorite: “We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps.” – Hi, Phillip!

Hope you enjoyed the commentary.

electrek 

Apple today released the following statement on App Store Review Guidelines:

The App Store℠ has revolutionized the way mobile applications are developed and distributed. With over 250,000 apps and 6.5 billion downloads, the App Store has become the world’s largest mobile application platform and App Store developers have earned over one billion dollars from the sales of their apps.

We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.

In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.

In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.

The App Store is perhaps the most important milestone in the history of mobile software. Working together with our developers, we will continue to surprise and delight our users with innovative mobile apps.

It would appear that Apple has reversed course and now is allowing third party application development environments to be used to submit apps.  What happened to the Thoughts on Flash: expand full story

September 8, 2010

This is the world’s first intelligent stamp, delivered by the UK Royal Mail. This is an augmented reality experience in partnership withb AR specialist junaio. Point your iPhone (or Android smartphone) with the juniao app running at any of Royal Mail’s Great British Railway Special Stamps and you will launch video footage of Bernard Cribbens reciting the W H Auden poem “Night Mail”. expand full story

9to5toys 

September 7, 2010

September 6, 2010

Computerworld: There’s so much hysterical coverage of the great Apple versus Android war it sure is easy to get confused by all the claims and counter-claims: is the iOS really six times more popular for Web browsing than Android, or is it really only twice as popular? And is Apple now selling 6 million iOS devices each month?

Read More

September 3, 2010

Plex.app has been a fantastic media center option for Macs for a few years and as of last week, also on iOS devices.

Interestingly, Plex today announced a huge deal with LG which will have the Plex software built into future  LG HDTV displays, free of charge (except LG obviously has to cover the cost of additional hardware).  At some point in the future, Plex will be ported to Windows (how about that!) as well.

That is an interesting option vs. Apple and GoogleTV’s especially with the Plex iOS client running around and Plex’s ability to do 1080P, Flash and non-H.264 format videos.

Great news for Elan, Cayce and the guys at Plex!

Press release below: expand full story

9to5google 

Google is in talks with music labels and aims to introduce its own music service by Christmas, Reuters reports.

The company intends offering a la carte music downloads alongside a digital song locker, the report explains. The latter feature would let song owners play their music anywhere. Negotiations have been led by Google’s Andy Rubin (Vice president of engineering). expand full story

September 2, 2010

I know, I know. Flash on mobile devices isn’t what it is on desktops, which frankly isn’t that great either (as I try to write this on a Macbook Pro with memory and processor all but consumed by a Hulu video).

That being said, the Skyfire browser, which was submitted to the app store today, teases us with the ability to watch shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report for free using Apple-approved HTTP streaming.  The Skyfire browser can only do Flash video, not interactive games, ads and such.

Skyfire is a proxy browser like Opera Mini (which made it through the App Store gauntlet) so it isn’t an automatic fail.

Skyfire’s famed cloud-computing technology translates Flash video on the fly from millions of web sites into HTML5 formats, and supports iOS devices via Apple’s HTTP live streaming standard. Skyfire also avoids the concerns raised in Steve Jobs’ recent essay regarding Flash on mobile devices. By optimizing Flash for iPhones and network conditions in the Cloud, Skyfire improves performance and maximizes battery life while playing video.

Thoughts?

Press release follows: expand full story

electrek 

September 1, 2010

Steve Jobs laid down some not-so-subtle hints that Apple thought Google was cheating in their activations counting in his event presentation today. Google responded, saying:

“The Android activation numbers do not include upgrades and are, in fact, only a portion of the Android devices in the market since we only include devices that have Google services.”

Oh, damn.

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