Just checked my iPhone and noticed that Places is now enabled here in Sydney and possibly the rest of Australia. Now, to find a service that will automatically check-in to both Foursquare and Facebook, or some sort of sync solution.
The is the Blackberry Playbook, which is the first device that actually competes with the Apple’s iPad. The tech industry excpected a Blackberry tablet, however the Playbook seems to surpass all expectations in both hardware and software, from the videos we’ve seen the interface has the fluidity and features of an Apple device. It is built from ground-up as a tablet, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab which is simply a scaled up version of standard Android Froyo 2.2, basically a big phone.
It’s especially surprising from Blackberry after they recently launched the disappointing Torch along with Blackberry 6 OS, which doesn’t seem to be much more than a cosmetic change. The Playbook however, uses a completely new OS based on QNX, which includes support for standards such as HTML5 and OpenGL - meaning a great browsing experience and the potential for some great-looking games.
The Playbook is designed to be an accessory to your Blackberry. From launch, the only way you can access a 3G network will be through a tethered Blackberry phone. The purpose of the Playbook is to augment the usual Blackberry experience, or as their marketing says, it’s blackberry - amplified.
Blackberry CEO Mike Laziridis describes the Playbook as “the first professional tablet”, clearly aligning what the niche of this tablet is. As mentioned, it features a dual-core 1ghz processor, 1gb of RAM, a 3 mexapixel front facing camera and a rear 5 megapixel camera. It’s capable of 1080p HD video as well as coming equipped with a HDMI port as well as microusb, Wifi 802.11 N, and bluetooth 2.1. The device measurein in at a small 5.1- by 7.6-inches, is only 0.4-inches thick, and weighs just 400g (or about 0.9 pounds). No word about onboard storage or battery life.
In terms of Apps, Blackberry announced that apps can be written in both Java and Blackberry native POSIX which means apps can be made for both Blackberry 6 devices such as the Torch and the Playbook. This is good news for app development on the platform.
Additionally, Adobe Air and Flash are supported in the browser, which means the tablet will have a fullly uncompromised browsing experience - however we’ve seen Flash run very poorly on Android devices so it remains to be seen how it runs on the Playbook.
The company announced the Playbook is due to launch in early 2011, so it will go right up against the launch of the iPad 2 in this timeframe. This iPad 2 is sure to even up the stakes in terms of hardware with certain features such as FaceTime and better specs, and possible a new size at 7 inches.
By Peter Petrovski
This weekend saw Apple allow Google Voice apps and a Commodore 64 emulator back into the App Store. Google Voice was initially rejected 18 months ago as it was competition to AT&T’s network and replicated iPhone functionality. The C64 emulator was rejected due to using the BASIC interpreter, not Apple’s native source code.
However now they’re both in, with Apple approving GV Connect, a $3 native Google Voice app for the iPhone. Google’s official Google Voice app should be coming soon, after it was rejected and led to Google creating a web-based HTML5 version to bypass the App Store.
This comes after Apple recently releasing it’s App Store Guidelines, which allows developers to understand why apps are rejected and how to avoid it happening to their app. Apple has previously been tight-lipped on this, seen as strict and ambiguous at times about which apps it approves and which it rejects.
Furthermore, Apple is “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code”. This is a nod to recent game developers using their development tools to build their game, such as Epic with the Unreal Engine 3 demo at the recent Apple Event.
Why is Apple lifting these restrictions now? What’s changed?
18 months ago when these restrictions were outlined, Apple was at the top of the game with no peers. Every company wanted to make the iPhone-killer, all the carriers wanted something to compete with the behemoth that was the iPhone.
- Android started getting serious.
- Apple started becoming serious about gaming.
These are two major reasons why Apple are loosening their restrictions. Click Read more to continue.
Nice work in creating an iTunes Instant by young Stephen Ou, I wonder if Apple will offer him a job? More likely, they may offer him a law suit.
First there was Google Instant, and then the novelty apps Google Maps Instant and YouTube Instant. Now, my friends, we have iTunes Instant. And the creator of said app, Stephen Ou, is younger than various pieces of my wardrobe.
iTunes Instant by Stephen Ou.
This week I’ve recommended Minimal Mac in the Tech section. Patrick Rhone does a great job on this blog where he focuses on stories to streamline your computing experience and generally be more productive. There’s always something interesting there and I enjoy reading about the minimalistic experience he advocates.
Check out his blog here.