If neither Papa Sangre nor The Nightjar mean anything to you, you’re missing out on some real iOS gaming greatness. Both are audio-only adventures for iOS from British developer Somethin’ Else. You don’t need any major gaming prowess to play them -- just a good pair of headphones and the ability to listen (which a lot of women will say rules out most men then).
The two very immersive games follow a similar style. You use the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad’s screen to walk forward, and swipe to turn left or right, listening for sound clues to ensure you’re headed in the correct direction -- towards something to collect or an exit, or away from some form of nasty scurrying around in the darkness.
The BBC News app for iOS is pretty good but it’s always been rather buggy. The BBC debuted version 2.0 of the app late last night, and as well as bug fixes and improved response times, there have been a few other welcome changes.
Among the tweaks, the app now lets users copy story links to the clipboard, Twitter and Facebook integration has been improved, so it’s easier to share stories of interest, and pulling down on the screen refreshes the content.
Phil Schiller's preemptive attack against Samsung's Galaxy S IV, which launches later today, says everything you need to hear about the sorry state of Apple. I'm stunned, because the marketing chief sounds too much like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2007, when he dismissed iPhone. Denial is the surest sign a company has lost its way, and I don't just mean some executive denying such-and-such product or competitor is any good as distracting marketing ploy. The worst, and Schiller gives it, is corporate denial -- the proverbial ostrich with head in the sand -- about the world around.
Last night, I saw Schiller quoted in the Wall Street Journal. This morning I see posts from Bloomberg and Reuters, too, and a raff of tech blogs and news stories -- largely quoting one of the more mainstream services. The Journal calls Schiller's Android attack a "rare interview". But I see something else: Desperation. Denial. What's missing means much more: The typical leaks and rumors about Apple's next thing that steals the thunder from a competitor. Apple has nothing to show, and the InterWebs are less embracing of rumors. How pathetic is that?
Every once in a while I find myself having to reinstall the operating system from scratch on my laptop. Unlike previous occasions when I would contemplate choosing between Windows 7 and Windows 8 as the default OS, this time around something rather strange has happened. Instead of having to deal with conflicting thoughts, and even remorse, I installed Windows 8 and never looked back. I now wear my "Windows 8 user" tag proudly and not with regret.
If you asked me whether I really want Windows 8 not much longer than two months ago I would have said that "I love and miss Windows 7" -- and for good reasons at the time. My complaints mostly focused around the Modern UI, which was designed with tablet use in mind and not for users like me (and likely you as well) that are accustomed to Microsoft's operating systems on more traditional devices like full-fledged PCs and laptops. So what changed?
If you surveyed the different directions K-12 school districts take in the United States, you'd find nothing less than a hodgepodge of technologies. The mess that was known as "Novell Hell" universally bows down to a diverse array of technologies including Active Directory, campus-wide Wi-Fi, iPads, Chromebooks, and a little bit of everything else in between. While it's reassuring that most districts I'm in discussions with are moving to cloud-based Google Apps or Office 365 for their email, the end-user device side of things is murkier.
I'm not going to call myself an expert in K-12 technology and policy, but seeing that I spent the last four years supporting and training users' technology needs at my former high school district, I've got good experience understanding the issues affecting teachers and students alike. After attending educational tech conferences year after year, the common consensus stands: everyone in education knows where they want to be, but the paths some of them take to get there are muddled with too much idealism and not enough realism.
Nearly two months ago, when forecasting that tablets would outsell laptops this year, NPD DisplaySearch dropped dirty data bomb: shipments of slates with 7-7.9-inch screens will eclipse larger ones. Now the analyst firm puts real numbers behind the prediction, and they are grim for Apple. Talk about mixed blessings. iPad mini sizzles, while iPad fizzles. The problem: Higher sales of one takes away from the other, rather than expands demand. As such, margins are lower for the important category, likely biting Macs, too.
Panel shipments reveal the trend, and it is dramatic in just one month. "Shipments of 9.7-inch tablet PC panels collapsed, falling from 7.4 to 1.3 million, while 7-inch and 7.9-inch panel shipments grew rapidly, from 12 to 14 million", David Hsieh, NPD vice president, says. "Shipments of 10.1-inch panels grew only slightly" from December to January. Apple and Sony are the major manufacturers selling 9.7-inch tablets, the overwhelming majority iPad. Starting today, Sony sells the Xperia Tablet Z, in a move to 10.1 inches, but 9.7-inch volumes aren't high enough to account for such a dramatic shift in panel orders.
Amazon has launched Amazon Cloud Player 2.0 for iOS. The app, which lets users stream or download music from their Amazon Cloud collection, has been revamped to support the iPad and iPad mini for the first time, in addition to previous support for iPhone and iPod touch.
Version 2.0 also debuts a revamped user interface and adds a new setting that allows users to configure the size of the offline cache used for storing streamed music for access while offline.
In-app purchases are a lucrative revenue stream for both Apple and the developers who embrace it. It provides a way to try a game and then unlock the full thing, or gain access to additional features. In Temple Run 2, for example, you can use real money to buy coins and gems to use on unlocking new characters and abilities.
The problem is a lot of game makers offer this facility in their apps, and until Apple made a change to its purchasing system in iOS 4.3, it was possible for children to spend money on in-app purchases without their parents knowledge. This, inevitably, lead to a lawsuit against Apple, with the technology giant accused of failing to adequately publicize the existence of the feature in certain App Store games aimed at children.
The BBC’s iPlayer app is available for both iOS and Android, but owners of Apple devices definitely get the better deal with additional features, such as the ability to download shows to their iPhones or iPads for offline viewing.
The latest update from the BBC widens the gap between the app siblings further by introducing improved AirPlay support. Owners of iOS devices who also have Apple TV will now be able to beam a show from the app to the big screen, and then background iPlayer, and use their phone or tablet for something else while the show continues to play.
In addition, the new version of the app fixes various minor problems and glitches, improves playback quality, and ensures downloads are more reliable.
Yesterday Apple rolled out iOS 6.1.2 for compatible iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices, touting the fix of an Exchange calendar bug that might boost network activity and decrease battery life. And, as customary with a new iteration of iOS 6, there's also a new version of the popular evasi0n jailbreak tool. Evad3rs, the team responsible for the first iOS 6 jailbreak tool, released evasi0n 1.4 shortly after iOS 6.1.2 rolled out.
The latest version, according to the "evasi0n 6.0-6.1 Unthether" package in Cydia, touts the same bug fixes as two weeks ago when I reported on the first evasi0n update. It appears that the fruit company did not put the lid on modding attempts just yet. First-time jailbreakers running iOS 6.1.2 simply have to connect their iPads, iPhones or iPod touch devices to a compatible PC running Windows, MacOS X or Linux and run evasi0n to unleash the modding gates on their smartphone or tablet.
On Valentine's day, French consumer electronics company Archos professed its love for mobile technology by unveiling a new tablet lineup dubbed Platinum. The three devices, 80 Platinum, 97 Platinum HD and 116 Platinum, are designed for the wallet-conscious tablet buyers while also sporting pretty decent hardware specifications.
The common denominators between the three tablets are found inside the shell, with only the physical dimensions and screen specifications separating them. The devices share a quad-core 1.2GHz processor backed by an 8-core GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and 2GB of RAM. Archos also throws in its branded Media Center applications, front and back cameras, as well as a mini-HDMI port and microSD card slot.
The past few months have been a bit rough for Apple. Samsung attacked the company in a series of amusing ads that portrayed a line of people waiting to buy iPhone as losers. While the ads never specifically mentioned Apple, the implications were certainly clear enough. Combine those attacks with declining stock prices and other nagging battles, such as those in court, and you have a recipe for tough times.
While Samsung largely lets its rival be in the latest ads, Amazon picks up the slack -- and, unlike Samsung, is quite clear. The 30-second second clip compares the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch against Apple iPad with Retina Display and lets the viewer know that, while both devices show "stunning HD", there is a major difference. Then it proceeds to place the devices side-by-side and let you know that, while you may not be able to tell the difference in the screens, "your wallet definitely can".
Three days ago evad3rs released the first public iOS 6 jailbreak tool, opening up iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices to the world of underground modding. But as is the case with the majority of infant jailbreak-related releases it also brought along a series of bugs, which the team behind the project now claims to have fixed in the latest update.
On Twitter, planetbeing, one of the three members behind evad3rs, announced the release of evasi0n 1.1. The second iteration of the popular jailbreaking tool brings along "the latest fixes", which are supposed to sort the Weather app and "long boot" time issues. The latter problem is also referred to by the team as the "reboots getting stuck" bug.
The publisher of the Dutch edition of Playboy has started adding Layar augmented reality codes to the cover and certain pages inside of the magazine, providing a little interactive treat for iOS and Android smartphone owners.
When scanned with the Layar app, the cover of the current Playboy Netherlands comes to life, showing semi-nude, partially animated clips of the three potential Playmate of the Year cover models, Beau, Nadine and Lotte.
We recently learned that Apple would release a 128GB tablet. Well, that day has finally arrived -- two versions of the new, mega storage, iPad are up for sale now in the Apple store online and, likely, in the company's retail locations as well.
There are two flavors of this apple available -- a WiFi-only that retails for $799 and a version with WiFi plus cellular connectivity. The latter will lighten your wallet by $929. The cellular version can work with either Sprint, AT&T or Verizon. You will need to choose your network during the purchase process. You can also choose a financing plan of six, 12 or 18 months. Given the price, you may need one of those plans. All models are available to ship in "1-3 business days".