Logiix is a Canadian-based company that offers many accessories and products for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. We’ll be taking a side-by-side look at Logiix’s Stylus Pro and its newer and smaller counterpart, the Stylus Pro Jr. Both of these styluses are compatible with all of the aforementioned devices, along with many other touchscreen surfaces.
News Corp has extended the free access trial of The Daily by two weeks, hinting at a late February release of the next major iOS update. The Daily costs $.99 per week, but iOS 4.3 is required for apps to charge users for recurring subscriptions. The Daily was originally planned to be released alongside, or near, iOS 4.3.
News Corp simply can’t charge users for reading The Daily until 4.3 is released (and the app will likely cease to function on lesser firmwares once the update is pushed out), so extending the free trial window is probably motivated by more than just generosity. Apple has been pumping out 4.3 betas rather quickly, so we very well may see a public release before the end of the month.
GoodReader for iPad is a favorite PDF reader. Not only is it easy to use, with a host of features, it is continually being updated and improved. The newest added features revolve greatly around the ability to move documents to the cloud, although some usability and performance issues have also been addressed.
Users can now choose to upload not only files but entire folders to a mail server, MobileMe iDisk, Google Docs, Drop Box, SugarSync, box.net, any WebDAV server or FTP server. Just add the server, then choose which files to sync. However, as good as it sounds, it does not work as well in practice. I tried numerous times to set up a file in Google Docs for syncing and wound up with multiple copies of a file in multiple locations, but could not get the program to sync the file as described in the built-in manual. The magical “sync” button never appeared, nor were any of my files designated with the “sync” icon. I could upload and download files and view them but that was it. A disparity in files was clear. Highlighted text was apparent in the Google Doc reader, but drawn annotations did not appear.
I attempted to use the sync option with Dropbox and was able to sync a document – I think. The elusive “sync” option appeared after I uploaded a file. The file was designated as being set up for syncing. After several syncs, the document remained unchanged in Dropbox and there was a long sync lag as well. I would perform the operation in GoodReader, but twenty mintutes later, the time stamp in Dropbox remained unchanged. It was difficult to tell as, similar to Google Docs, the Dropbox file failed to display any annotations, including highlighting. The inability of Drobox to display GoodReader’s highlights had nothing to do with the syncing issue, as highlights in the original document were not visible. This begs the question: what good is syncing capabilities if changes are delayed and unviewable?
Numerous other improvements have been made including faster searches for large documents. I was able to verify the search results are nearly instataneous. Margins may now be cropped and the cropping is retained for the entire document. While it may not seem like much, this feature means the text is optimized within the screen without having to be adjusted every page. Standard shaped annotations such as squares and circles may now be enhanced with a scalloped cloud effect.
All of these changes are welcome, although the necessity for some is questionable. GoodReader continues to represent a solid value, even at $2.99, as support and updates are provided regularly. It does run the risk of becoming bloated and overcomplicated.
GoodReader for iPad is $2.99 in the App Store. It runs on the iPad with iOS 3.2 or later. Check after the break for screenshots and the reported changes.
So, this is kind of interesting: we’ve been tipped that Geekbench 2 has received an update that enables “support for multi-core processors.”
It seems like a routine update, until you consider that no current iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has a processor with any more than one core. Of course, it is unlikely that a single iOS developer has this kind of access to early prototypes of future iDevices.
But really, how much doubt was there that Apple would be releasing anything less than dual-core processors for future devices, given that that seems to be the new standard for high-end phones and tablets. That’s not even mentioning the massive leak that Engadget got their hands on back in January.
You can view the recent changes here for yourself, just in case you need more convincing than a single screenshot.
[Thanks to iPwn for the tip!]
To demonstrate the wide variety of interface designs that developers can implement on touch-screen applications, George Kokkinidis wiped down his iPad’s screen and proceeded to use different applications for a short period of time, photographing the artfully-smudged result.
Not being restricted to physical controls opens a huge range of possibilities, and while analog sticks might be better for a first person shooter, it’s hard to dispute the benefit of a massive touch screen.
Hit the source for the full set.
Now that we have the Verizon iPhone out of the way, we need another rumor, right? No? We’ll, it looks like we’re getting one. Of course, everyone knows that good things come in two’s. Why not rumors? That seems to be what The Wall Street Journal is thinking, as they are reporting that they have insider info on a new, smaller iPhone, and MobileMe updates.
After Bloomberg’s original report of a smaller iPhone brought the thought back into the rumor mill’s mind, the WSJ has come forward with more details of the proposed device.
…the new device is intended to be sold alongside the current line of iPhones and would be about half the size of the iPhone 4. The phone, one of its codenames is N97, would be available to mobile carriers at about half the price of Apple’s main line of iPhones, the person said.
The original post has been updated with further details of the device, which is supposed to go on sale alongside an iPhone 5:
The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation.
The post goes on to claim that the iPhone 4 will also be receiving an update a little later this year, though details of what that device would include were non-existent.
Perhaps on a note of similar interest, the WSJ reports that Apple will be updating its MobileMe service in the near future to be more competitive with the likes of Google and Microsoft:
Apple also is exploring a major overhaul of its MobileMe online storage service, the people familiar with the matter said. The service currently requires an annual subscription payment of $99 to $149. Apple is considering making Mobile Me a free service that would serve as a “locker” for personal memorabilia like photos and videos, eliminating the need for consumers’ devices to carry a lot of memory, the people familiar with the situation said.
In other words, Apple could be gearing up to announce and launch the fabled “iTunes.com” cloud service. It seems as if iTunes and MobileMe would be merging, in some ways, to provide access to your digital library wherever and whenever you want (provided you have an internet connection).
As these things often go, the timeframe for an announcement of such a service completely depends on how cooperative media companies are. There is also word that this service will be backwards-compatible, and will perhaps be a feature of iOS 5, which is due in June.
The new MobileMe file-storage and music service could be available as early as June, depending on the progress of licensing talks that are in their preliminary stages, the people familiar with the situation said. Apple had planned for the service to be available a year earlier. The new service would give users access to their iTunes libraries from, say an iPhone or iPad, instead of requiring that the devices be synced by cable with a computer and use space to store the actual files, the people said. The new service likely would be compatible with the iPhone 4, one of the people said.
Learning from the mistakes of such apps as Camera+ and Quick Snap, another developer has circumvented Apple’s button controls for use as a camera shutter. Apple restricts the mapping of button functions, but allows developers to remap the functions with accessories to accomplish such tasks. Camera Mic repurposes the device microphone input as a shutter release. Designed for the stock Apple earbuds with mic, or even the built-in mic, the app accepts sound input or even mute button input to activate the shutter within the app, similar to extended shutter cords on standard cameras. This can be particularly useful when the phone is placed in a location or on a tripod for self-portraits or unusual angles, where access to the virtual camera button is difficult or impossible. The sound sensitivity may be adjusted within the app. I tested it with the Zagg Smartbuds and the mute button also works.
Other features include the ability to toggle the flash on and off (in the app, not with a mic), sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter and through email, and viewing recent pictures as well as your photo library within the app.
The app is 99 cents, and works with iOS 3.1 or later running on an iPhone or iPod Touch (4th gen). The devs suggest support for bluetooth headsets, which would allow wireless shutter control, and front/rear camera switching will be coming in the next update.
For more information on apps for jailbroken devices and a similar iPhone case with built in tripod mounts and using the volume buttons for shutter control, read the article here. Check after the break for screenshots of Camera Mic.
Dual docks for multiple Apple devices are not uncommon. However, most are for two iPhones or iPhone and iPod Touch. Add in the ability to dock an iPhone with an iPad, in either landscape or portrait mode, and the choices are few and far between. Even rarer is the ability to charge additional devices. Enter the iSound Power View Pro. The charging and viewing dock can be used to dock up to four devices including the iPad, iPhone 3G/3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod Nano and all other 30-pin connector devices. It’s neutral, low profile makes it ideal for a nightstand or countertop, with some minor issues.
Read on for my full review.
9to5mac has uncovered a flaw in the CDMA iPhone (currently only available in the U.S. on Verizon Wireless) which may be a show-stopper for some business-oriented users, and what could be an annoyance in everyday usage for others.
Whether because of a CDMA drawback or the software of the Verizon iPhone, there is currently no way to hold a conference call with more than three people. It turns out that there is also a problem with switching calls, and hanging up on just one person during a conference call. As you can guess, the conference call limit is mostly a limitation that only business users of the device will feel, though the call switching could be an annoyance in day-to-day use of the device for anyone.
Doing some quick research doesn’t bring anything up regarding either the call switching issue or the conference call limitation, though I have to think that this is a software bug or problem and not an actual problem with the CDMA network technology itself.
It isn’t a show-stopper for most people by any means, though it may cause a small amount of people to think twice. Hopefully there will be some sort of official word from Apple or Verizon regarding this ‘bug’ soon.
You can see a video of the bug in action at the source link.
Yeah, if that title wasn’t enough to get your attention, I’m not sure what is. Crazy as it seems, a video has been posted on the official Geohot YouTube account of George Hotz (a.k.a. Geohot) rapping, which basically is a big threat to Sony, who is currently suing him. The video itself is a little NSFW, with some vulgar language, so consider yourself warned.
Yeah. We know that’s what you needed on a Saturday night.