Mobile Technology News, April 10, 2013
As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.
- Panic Releases Data Visualizer App ‘Status Board’ for iPad [iOS Blog]
Panic, the developers behind several popular apps such as Coda and Transmit, have released a new productivity app that allows users to easily view a variety of data relevant to their lives in a single screen.
The app, called Status Board, was accidentally released in December but was quickly pulled. It allows users to use the app’s built-in panels to display information like calendar dates, tweets, email, weather, news and more. In addition, there are two “Pro Panels” that allow business users to use their own customized data sources.
Status Board offers a lot in a tiny package:
– Six Instant Panels
Clock — Analog or digital, anywhere in the world.
Weather — Temperature and four-day forecast.
Calendar — Pick a calendar and see your appointments at a glance.
Mail — Get messages counts, or see the latest Subject lines.
Twitter — See the latest Tweets or the volume of tweets.
Feeds — The latest headlines from your favorite sites.
– Three Pro Panels
Graph — You provide the JSON or CSV data source, we make it beautiful.
Table — Toss us some HTML or CSV data and we’ll make a nice looking table.
Do-It-Yourself — Design your own panels using HTML.
– Unbelievable Customization
Resize panels. Easily change your layout. Portrait or Landscape. Select data sources to display, configure how they’re presented. The power is yours.
– Easy Board Sharing
Easily e-mail a Status Board configuration to colleagues or corporations and get everyone on the exact same page.
– Full-Screen External Display via HDMI or AirPlay — In-App Purchase. LAUNCH SPECIAL!*
Put your data on a big, beautiful screen, formatted specifically for HDTV’s. No letterboxing!
- T-Mobile USA Announces Trade-In Offer for Existing iPhone Owners Ahead of iPhone 5 Launch
Ahead of Friday’s launch of the iPhone on T-Mobile USA, the carrier has announced details on its trade-in program designed to entice current iPhone 4 and 4S users to switch carriers. The trade-in program reduces the down payment on a 16 GB iPhone 5 from $99.99 to $0, with additional credit of up $120 depending on the value of the device being traded.
“Our message to iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 customers is simple: bring in your device and trade up to iPhone 5 on T-Mobile,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile. “We’re making it incredibly attractive to buy an iPhone 5 by pairing an un-beatable upfront price and trade-in offer with Simple Choice, the most hassle-free and affordable rate plan in wireless.”
The offer is valid through June 16, with the additional credit applicable to monthly service fees, an outstanding balance, accessories, or another device.
T-Mobile’s new “Uncarrier” service plans unbundle device costs from service plans, allowing users to finance the full cost of their devices over 24 months while signing up for contract-free service starting at $50/month.
- Windows 8 tablets to go quad-core? Intel talks next chip
Will Windows 8.1 get a lift from quad-core tablets? It looks likely.
- Code in OS X 10.8.4 Suggests Future Macs Will Offer 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi Support
Code within the latest 10.8.4 beta release of OS X confirms that 802.11ac 5G “Gigabit Wi-Fi” support, which is not offered in OS X 10.8.3, will be offered on Apple’s next generation Macs, reports 9to5Mac.
In January, Apple reportedly signed a deal with wireless chip firm Broadcom to bring the high-speed wireless access to its future Mac lineup.
802.11ac offers triple the speeds that are available with the current 802.11n standard, supporting up to 450 Mbps on one antenna and up to 1.3 Gbps when used with three antennas. The speed boost allows for quicker file transfers between home computers.
A report from Digitimes earlier today suggests that Apple might be refreshing its notebook lineup near the end of the second quarter, which may translate to an introduction at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
- Indications show Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro still overpriced
Apple’s 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro still isn’t selling in numbers that would indicate the price is right.
- Facebook Home Reviews: For Facebook Fans Only, Addictive, Too Simple
The first reviews for Facebook Home, the social network’s new Android home screen experience, are out. Home isn’t quite a “Facebook Phone”, but it also isn’t a full-fledged operating system. It slots right in between the two segments.
Dieter Bohn of The Verge details the two main components of Home:
Facebook Home essentially consists of two parts. The first is Facebook Home proper (henceforth “Home”), which replaces your homescreen and your lockscreen with Facebook’s News Feed and app launcher. The second is a major update to Facebook Messenger which lets you receive and reply to texts no matter which app you’re using.
Bohn mentions that the Chat Head feature, which overlays Facebook Messenger chats over any app a user may use, was a highlight.
The difference in immediacy and convenience is huge. What Facebook has figured out is that people usually have messaging conversations with somebody for a little while, but are doing other things on their phone while they do it. Being able to reply without losing your sense of place is incredibly convenient.
Walt Mossberg of AllThingsDigital thought that the two-pronged set-up was simple to use.
I found Facebook Home to be easy to use, elegantly designed and addictive. Although I’m a regular Facebook user, I found that, with Home, I paid more attention than ever to my news feed, Liked items more often and used Facebook’s Messenger service more often. So, if you are a big Facebook fan, Facebook Home can be a big win.
Although The Verge says that Home’s simplicity also hurts it as it lacks key Android features like Widgets and Folders. They also mention that although Home has its own version of notifications, most apps do not support it and default to Android’s notification pane. Both Bohn and Mossberg conclude that although Home is simple-to-use and addictive, only Facebook fans should take notice as it lacks key features for most smartphone users.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said that bringing Home to iOS would not be as easy as it was on Android because Android is “open” and Facebook would have to go through Apple and its existing relationship with the company while they don’t have to go through Google for Home.
Facebook Home will be available to download for select Android devices (Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC One X, HTC One X+ and Samsung Galaxy Note II) on April 12th for free. HTC and AT&T will also be offering the HTC First, a $100 smartphone that will have Home preloaded.
- Joseph A. Palermo: Pedagogy of the Depressed
Can students really be taught critical thinking, civics, and citizenship skills in a standardized format that values conformity? Will relying on MOOCs and automation in the long-term turn professors into "delivery managers" and students into automatons and passive consumers rather than citizens?
- Where do teen app makers learn?
Why do so many teenage app developers go to private schools?
- Chris Rauschnot: Review: Samsung Galaxy Note II Is Big, Beautiful and T-Mobile LTE Fast
The Galaxy Note II was given a quad-core processor, upgraded graphics capabilities and a standardized cellular chipset. The standardization of the Note II led to it becoming a huge success in the U.S.
- CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks [Mac Blog]
Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet, Belkin and Matrox.
CalDigit’s entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.
“As Macs are getting thinner, and more portable we need more ways to connect to multiple devices. The CalDigit ThunderboltTM Station gives professional users the ability to connect their ultra portable computers to a lot more devices via a single ThunderboltTM port”, said Kosta Panagos Director of Marketing at CalDigit.
CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station will be “available soon”.
- Apple and Yahoo In Talks Over Deeper iPhone Partnership
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple and Yahoo have been discussing how to integrate Yahoo’s services more prominently in iOS, beyond powering the Weather and Stocks apps.
Yahoo also provides sports scores to Siri, but Yahoo has significant content deals related to news, sports and finance that could be tapped.
Data from Yahoo Finance and its weather site already come preloaded onto iPhones and Yahoo data like sports stats help power Apple’s voice-activated “assistant” Siri. But the companies continue to discuss new arrangements, including possible deals to get more content from Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News, among other Yahoo Web properties, preloaded onto Apple devices or available through an expanded partnership with Siri, one of these people said.
The WSJ also says Yahoo would like to provide search results to Apple in Safari, but Microsoft’s Bing search engine currently powers Yahoo Search and Apple has a long-term deal with Google as the default engine on iOS.
The paper did note that no deal is imminent, and negotiations appear to be in the very early stages. Former Google executive Marissa Mayer took over as the CEO of Yahoo recently and has been focusing a lot of energy on Yahoo’s products and content, rather than its traditional strengths in advertising.
- iPhone 5S to Launch in August in Several Different Colors?
Following a research note from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White stating that the iPhone 5S would launch in two or three different sizes, Japanese website Macotakara has released a report suggesting that the iPhone 5S will come in five colors, including the original black and white.
The site also mentions that Apple’s rumored cheaper iPhone will also be offered in a range of different colors. There is no indication on what colors the iPhone 5S might sport, but the current 5th generation iPod touch is available in black, white, pink, yellow, and blue, along with a special edition available in red.
Macotakara’s report adds that the iPhone 5S will be announced in July, with a release to follow in August. That is in line with previous reports released earlier this month, which suggested an August release.
It should be noted that AppleInsider claims that the original article has been incorrectly translated and actually mentions one color in addition to black and white, making for a total of three colors rather than five.
- Brian Honigman: Digital Innovators: The Enormous Opportunity to Create a Community Far Beyond Google and Facebook
Google and Facebook are digital juggernauts that may seem impossible to overcome if you’re looking to create the next powerful community online. I spoke with deviantART co-founder Angelo Sotira about his success creating a thriving social network.
- Russ Blinch: Can An Entire Community Be Self Sufficient and Live Off-The-Grid?
The ferocity of the storms were hard to ignore in the five years we lived in Washington, D.C. Scores would lose power during these weather events, and get fed up with the power utilities for the delay in restoring power. But here’s a solution. What if we got rid of the middleman?
- Geek deals: $650 off Dell XPS 13 ultrabook, $149 color laser printer with WiFi, more
Ultrabooks tend to all fall into the same category: slim, silver, and aluminum. More often than not, you’ll find a Core i3 or Core i5 processor under the hood and not much else…
Anne Hathaway may have an army of haters after her on the internet, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood executives from knocking on her door. According…
- AT&T waits until Google announces Fiber to reveal competing service
Google’s Fiber initiative is making waves in Austin, TX. This time it didn’t take long for local competition to respond, however, as hours after the announcement AT&T revealed a plan to deliver their…
- Nearly Half of Surveyed U.S. Teens Using iPhones, Over One-Third Using iPads
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today released the results of his semi-annual survey of U.S. teenagers, finding that iPhone and iPad usage remains strong among the 5,200 teens included in the study. According to the report, 48% of teens now report that they are using iPhones, up from 40% just six months ago.
We believe this demonstrates that Apple remains the top choice for teens despite more competition from Samsung. Additionally, the survey demonstrated that 62% of teens expect their next phone to be an iPhone, which we believe shows that the iPhone has loyalty amongst teens. In terms of Android, 23% of teens expect their next phone to be an Android device, up from 22% in Fall 2013. We believe that the Samsung Galaxy S3 and eventually the S4 are taking share from other Android devices, but little from Apple in terms of the teen demographic.
In looking at tablets, 51% of teenagers now report using a tablet, up from 44% six months ago. Of those 51%, 63% are using full-size iPads and 5% are using iPad minis, meaning that nearly 35% of teenagers in the survey are currently using Apple tablets.
For those teens that expect to purchase a tablet in the next 6 months, 68% said they plan on buying an iPad, thus it appears that Apple should be able to maintain its tablet share. The iPad Mini is beginning to show its impact as the 68% of those who plan to purchase break down into 54% for full sized iPads and 14% for iPad Minis. We would expect the iPad Mini to continue to cannibalize the full sized iPad in our continuation of the survey as we expect the breakdown in sales to reach 50/50 in the March quarter.
Samsung has attempted to play up its appeal with younger consumers through ads portraying the iPhone as uncool, with one ad poking fun at Apple fans waiting in line for the latest gadget by showing one Samsung user in the line actually saving a spot for his parents. But Piper Jaffray’s results suggest that the iPhone and iPad brands remain strong with U.S. teenagers, with Apple undoubtedly planning for those users to become lifelong Apple customers as they become locked into the company’s app and content ecosystem.
- Jean Newman Glock: A Case Study: Social Media Policy, a U.S. Embassy, Egypt and Jon Stewart
As an Embassy sitting smack in the middle of an evolving Twitter revolution, Cairo has become a de facto leader struggling to respond and direct the discussion (or not) in a transparent, universal global forum: social media.