I can’t say I’m happy about the prospect of full-screen ads in applications on my mobile phone. But, I am happy to say that not a single app on my phone even uses iAds, so I’m unlikely to actually see any of these ads when and if they eventually launch.
The Initial Charge Linked List
Michael Grothaus writing for Fast Co. Labs:
Lakamp wouldn’t reveal when Apple approached the company, but he says that once they did and iHeartRadio signed on, developing a CarPlay-compatible iHeartRadio app wasn’t a major coding challenge–mainly because Apple did a good job with the API allowing developers to add CarPlay support to their existing apps instead of having to make new, dedicated versions.
I doubt that Apple will open this to all third-party developers — likely only approaching developers whose applications would make a good fit for CarPlay. But if they did, it’s good to know that it’s easy to make your app CarPlay compatible.
From Apple’s product page:
CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right in your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road.
Select cars from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo that support CarPlay will be shipping this year with models from other car manufacturers coming later in the future.
I would love for there to be third-party head units that support CarPlay in the future. I purchased my Toyota Camry a few years ago and plan on keeping it for another decade or more. And, that’s a long time to wait for device integration that’s better than my current audio cable and auxiliary-in jack setup that I’m using now.
The developers behind popular podcast client Castro have shared some numbers on their recent app review experiment. They compared the response they received after asking for reviews in their release notes. It’s amazing how many reviews they received after asking in a nonintrusive way.
(Via The Loop.)
There’s a lot of good information in here.
Jim Dalrymple sets the record straight regarding recent speculation of new Apple TV hardware prompted by Apple’s $25 gift card offer.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing various editions of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. One of the key reasons that Tony Hawk games were so good is because they figured out the proper control scheme. If they manage to figure out a good way to control a skateboard on a touchscreen device this game will be very successful.
Wonderful piece by John Gruber on Apple’s approach to technology development — starting with the product and working towards the technology.
As a lunch promotion Disney is offering The Incredibles to users who link their iTunes account to the service.
Eli Hodapp writing for Touch Arcade:
This weekend I caught up with Riley Testut, an 18 year old senior at Richardson High School just outside of Dallas, TX. Unless you’re one of his nearly 25,000 Twitter followers, you likely don’t know his name, but if you’ve been reading TouchArcade over the last week you definitely know his app: GBA4iOS, a shockingly great Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance emulator that doesn’t even require jailbreaking to install.
It’s pretty neat knowing that a high school student developed such a wonderfully designed app.
The developers appear to be using an Enterprise Distribution Profile in order to get the application to install on users iPhones. This typically would allow a company to develop apps for its employees without having to release them in the App Store for distribution.
In order to install the application you will have to manually set the date and time of your device to any date before today before installing. Once the the app is installed and launched once you may set the date and time back to being set automatically.
I’ve played a few minutes of Pokemon FireRed with it and everything appears to be running smoothly.
And if your concerned about security, user t3rminus left a reassuring comment over at Touch Arcade:
I monitored the entire install process, and several minutes of gameplay with a proxy. This application doesn’t seem to be doing anything nefarious (uploading private data to remote servers, etc.), although it’s not to say it can’t or won’t in the future.
I suppose I’ll go waste a bunch of time playing Game Boy Advance games now.
Jay Yarow writing for Business Insider:
The engineers were let go last Thursday, according to our source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January.
The Nook was too little, too late. They had a lot to compete with and there just wasn’t enough compelling elements to gain mindshare in the market.
Peter Kafka explaining Comcast’s argument as to why it believes it should be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable:
It’s okay for a giant cable company to buy another giant cable company, because cable companies don’t compete.
One protected monopoly purchasing another protected monopoly. I could imagine a world in which Comcast starts laying cable in an area that Time Warner currently controls. Enough lobbying could make that happen. But, in a world in which Comcast and Time Warner are the same company, it would never happen. That’s not good for customers.
Great piece by Dieter Bohn, showcasing LG’s use of webOS on their new line of HDTVs.
David Smith writing about his recently released update to Pedometer++ for iOS:
The visual design of the app has been given a complete overhaul. This was most directly focused around making it so that you can now see an entire week at a glance. Beyond just the structure I also spent a lot of effort improving the colors, typography and general appeal of the app.
I love all of the changes to the app. I spent a little bit of time using the Fitbit app to track my steps but I just wasn’t happy with the way the information was presented in the app and ultimately moved back to Pedometer++. My only gripe is with the app icon — which is a bit ungainly.
From Apple’s “Thirty Years of Mac page:”
From sunrise in Melbourne to nightfall in Los Angeles, they documented people doing amazing things with Apple products. They shot over 70 hours of footage — all with the iPhone 5s. Then it was edited and scored with an original soundtrack. Thanks to the power of the Mac and the innovations it has inspired, an effort that normally takes months was accomplished in a matter of days.
Another brilliant job by the folks at Apple.
Mark Gurman writing for 9to5Mac:
Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans.
Mark Gurman has an incredible track record in regards to rumor reporting. And, I would expect this is the direction Apple would be heading with the M7 co-processor.
Michael Mulvey on Android:
Overall I’m not impressed with anything about Android. The iconography lacks sophistication, the typography is derivative and there’s an overall lack of cohesion to the experience of the operating system. Android clearly feels like a system built and designed by engineers, not designers.
The folks at Forecast released a huge update to Dark Sky yesterday. It has become my default weather app since then and I don’t expect to switch to anything else anytime soon.
From Apple’s “What’s On Apple TV” page:
With Red Bull TV, the worlds of action sports, adventure, and music collide. Get access to live and exclusive events featuring the world’s greatest athletes, artists, and more. You’ll also find full seasons of original series like Momentum and 21 Days, in addition to an extensive library of videos on demand.
Apple keeps the new content coming. I just wish there was a new way to browse all of this content on the Apple TV — it’s annoying to have to check three or four different apps to try and find something to watch.
Developer Steven Troughton-Smith did some digging in iOS 7.0.3 and found the beginnings of iOS in the Car which isn’t set to ship until later this year.
Netflix’s own listing of new releases isn’t nearly as up to date as I’d like it to be. What’s New on Netflix points you to what’s actually new in Netflix’s catalog.
The folks at Engadget had some hands-on time with LG’s new HDTVs built on webOS. The user interface looks pretty, but that pointer device seems like a pain to actually use.
From the Let.ter app website:
Let.ter is a new approach to email, one that lets you focus on your message without the distractions of your email inbox. No notifications, no inbox zero to achieve, no folders and tags and complexities. Just you and your email.
There’s no inbox in Let.ter, it’s only capable of composing and sending email. It’s an interesting idea.
I really don’t understand why everyone is going crazy over these “wearable devices.” A watch isn’t that much more useful than a pocket watch and my iPhone is a pocket watch.
The dearth of good Safari extensions compared to what Chrome has is a good example of Apple’s tendency to get something going, get kind of sidetracked and then not give it the attention it needs to succeed.
Apple’s ability to focus on what’s important is both its biggest asset and its largest fault.
Mike Wehner writing for TUAW:
It all begins with an otherwise unremarkable app suddenly skyrocketing in price, oftentimes all the way to the App Store’s limit of $999.99. The developer, or whoever is orchestrating the scam, wires a massive amount of money — Grachov used $10,000 as an example — to a second party. That individual then purchases 10 copies of the app, exhausting the available funds and indirectly paying $7,000 of the original deposit back to the developer. […] The App Store sees $10,000 worth of money changing hands over the app and, as Grachov says, “like magic” the app appears on the Top Paid apps list.
I’m not really sure if there is much Apple can do about this other than ban developers that have been found to be taking part in this sort of scam.
(Via The Loop.)
Another brilliant advertisement from Apple.
Samsung brought Michael Bay on stage to talk about their new curved televisions. It didn’t go as planned.
The new MobileTrack feature uses the M7 coprocessor in recent iOS devices to track movement. I used the app for about a week, but eventually went back to using Pedometer++. Although the Fitbit icon is infinitely nicer than Pedometer++’s, the Fitbit app takes a few seconds longer than Pedometer++ to update my current steps and I liked that Pedometer++ displays my step count with much larger text than Fitbit does.
Beginning Thursday, if you break contract and switch to T-Mobile from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, T-Mobile will pay your early termination fee up to $650 per line.
I have to be honest, T-Mobile is presenting a very tempting offer.
To bring Retina to the 27” iMac and 27” Thunderbolt Display, Apple doesn’t need to wait until 5120×2880 panels are available. They can launch them at the next-lowest common resolution and use software scaling to let people simulate it if they want, or display things slightly larger at perfect native resolution.
This is exactly how I expect Apple to engineer their Retina Cinema Displays.
Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg:
We are thrilled to announce that we are forming our own new and independent media company, Revere Digital, with a pair of respected investors and partners — the NBCUniversal News Group and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media. Revere will be operating news sites and apps, as well as a series of conferences.
How can you call Revere Digital an “independent media company” when NBCUniversal News Group has invested in it?
Apple’s statement, published by AllThingsD, in response to the recent report by Der Spiegel regarding a program called “DROPOUTJEEP:”
Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.
Dieter Bohn writing for the Verge:
Even if HP had not decided to give up on webOS hardware and all but abandon webOS software, the chances that any of these products would have seen the market and gained any sort of real success seems awfully small. Both Palm and HP had difficulties shipping on time and competing successfully even in the best of circumstances — and it was clear that HP didn’t think it would be able to take on the challenges that would have lain ahead for webOS.
Dieter did a great job with this piece on webOS software and devices that never saw the light of day. The team that Palm and HP built that worked on webOS obviously saw where things were headed with software interfaces and did a pretty good job at building for that future. It’s just unfortunate that the whole project had to implode the way it did.
Mobile operating systems would be in a very different place if webOS would have had the opportunity to push the competition in new and interesting directions.
I do think it’s interesting how much of an impact Apple has on the industry, though. From Dieter Bohn’s aforelinked piece:
If the documents we obtained detailing HP’s product plans are any indication, the iPad 2 sent the company into a panic. In a document distributed in late March, HP admitted that the iPad 2 had “changed the competitive trajectory” and foresaw rapid responses from Samsung — which had shaved over 2mm from its Galaxy Tab tablet in response to the iPad 2. HP had also gotten pushback from the likes of AT&T, which wasn’t happy with the TouchPad’s “thickness, weight, [and industrial design].”
Between this and Fred Vogelstein’s recent article in The Atlantic entitled “The Day Google Had to ‘Start Over’ on Android,” I’m starting to get the feeling that Apple has a tendency to send other companies into a tizzy whenever they release new products.
The only item I didn’t own at the time of writing My Favorite Things — the SodaStream — my girlfriend and I received as a gift from her mother for Christmas.
She got us the SodaStream Geneis and we’ve already made about 10 liters worth of drinks with it. So far we’ve mostly used it with the sample syrups that it came with, but we’ve also used it with our own homemade lemonade base.
It’s incredibly fun and easy to use. And so far, it seems that will be much cheaper than buying off-the-shelf carbonated water or soda. If you don’t have one, I strongly suggest looking into it. They’re amazing.
To give Americans a modicum of privacy, Congress must quarantine away from law enforcement officials the data the telcos would be compelled to store and only grant access to the NSA upon approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s approval. The NSA said it queried its vast database just 300 times last year.
Here’s an idea: stop saving the data at all and require warrants to obtain the data from telcos.
I imagine things will have to get a lot worse before citizens are pissed off enough to force the government to change for the better.
The folks at The Sweet Setup have put together a list of their favorite iOS games. It’s the perfect way to spend those iTunes gift cards that you received for Christmas this year.
The most popular music, movies, TV Shows, and more from iTunes.
I don’t typically link to Apple commercials anymore. They’re all great, but every once in a while they make one that is worthy of praise. This one is simply brilliant.
Marco explains why Apple can’t ban developers prompting users to rate their applications with in-app dialog boxes.
Rene Ritchie writing for iMore:
Here’s an idea: Right now, right this very second, please take a moment to go and rate your five favorite, most-used App Store apps. […] We all want more great apps and the only way to get them is to help make them successful.
Alexei Oreskovic writing for Reuters:
Google Inc has removed an experimental privacy feature from its Android mobile software that had allowed users to block apps from collecting personal information such as address book data and a user’s location[…] A company spokesman said the feature had been included by accident in Android 4.3, the version released last summer.
Wouldn’t want to include that feature. That would be a terrible mistake.
(Via The Loop.)
Jonny Rowntree’s Twelve South Compass broke and he no longer owns either the iPad 2 he purchased the Compass for or the Nexus 7 that he had been using it with.
So, he contacted Twelve South:
I explained that I sold both of my tablets and the replacement would be useless to me. She happily came to the conclusion that I could have an exchange for anything that was of $39.99 value or less.
He walked away with the HiRise dock for his iPhone 5 and a great customer service story.
Rene Ritchie reminds us all that iTunes Extras haven’t been viewable on the current Apple TV since 2010. They aren’t viewable on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod. iTunes Extras are only viewable in iTunes on a computer. Why is this feature still missing in the places that we want to watch movies the most?
Seems like a pretty good deal but I’d rather them offer a plan similar to Comcast’s HBO plus internet plan. I’m not really interested in having cable television.
Glenn Wolsey writing about his plans:
The plan is to use my iPad mini for all computing needs over the next 100 days, documenting my thoughts and findings along the way. I’ll still be using my iPhone 5S on a daily basis, and a horrible PC running Windows 2000 at work, however I’ll be closing the lid on my MacBook Pro and not opening it for a shade over three months.
I’m very curious to see the results.
Jawbone is now offering a water-resistant option on their original and Mini Jambox. When ordering a Jambox from Jawbone’s website you’ll be given the option to add Liquipel 2.0 water-resistant coating to your Jambox for an additional $50.
I’ve been using the original Jambox since I received it as a gift for my birthday in June. It’s probably my third most used gadget in the house (behind my iPhone and MacBook Air). It has great battery life and is plenty loud enough for my use. I love bringing it with me when I visit family so we can listen to music while playing board and card games around the dining room table.
Netflix is a boon for parents, giving them access to a huge library of children’s programming. And, on Christmas Eve Netflix will be premiering their first original animated series, Turbo FAST.
The series looks pretty good. I imagine children aren’t going to be the only fans of the series.