DigitalOutbox Episode 81

DigitalOutbox Episode 81
In this episode the team discuss the iPad 2 Launch, Samsung and RIM Tablets and the Amazon Appstore.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:48 – iPad 2 UK Launch
– This time round, the basic, Wi-Fi only model with 16GB of storage will retail for £399, down from £429.
– The 32GB version will cost £479, the 64GB £559. Chuck in 3G connectivity and GPS, and you’ll pay an extra £100, as before.
– Dollar has weakened against pound in last 12 months though so Apple make more from this price point in the UK
– Massive queues in the UK – 600 at Glasgow store yesterday
– Very busy today – still selling iPad’s, only the red and orange cover out of stock
6:30 – Samsungs Revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9
– reworked Galaxy Tab rocking a slightly larger touchscreen over the iPad 2, higher resolution, a 1GHz dual core processor and lighter 595g weight compared with the 601g of the iPad 2 Wi-Fi. But the most important number of all is its price. Unlike Samsung’s overpriced predecessor, the 16 GB Wi-Fi Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will cost exactly the same as the iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16 GB: $499.
– this thinner, redesigned model reportedly felt much better in all respects, it’s still missing one key number, and that is the hoard of software Apple offers for the iPad 2, more than 60,000 apps specifically created for the platform. But that impressive number also includes the fart apps, too. Even so, Apple has a huge head start.
– Meanwhile, Samsung introduced another contender it calls the Galaxy Tab 8.9, a little more than an inch smaller than its big brother. It includes the same 1GHz dual-core processor, and looks just about the same as the 10.1-inch model, as you’ll see in the gallery below.
– Both of Samsung’s new tabs beat the iPad 2 easily in the camera spec department, with a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel up front, both shooting 1080p video. In what could be the clincher for many users, the Samsung tablets boast another capability lacking in the iPad 2: Adobe Flash playback.
– Want to try one? You’ll have to wait until June 8 for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi, priced at $499 for the 16 GB version and $599 for 32 gigs. Samsung was not as specific with the release date for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, which it said would be available in “early summer” at $469 for 16 GB and $569 for 32 gigs.
– Best bit – photo of the iPad 2 next to the new thinner 10.1 shows the ipad was thinner – couldn’t be explained at the demo
11:17 – RIM Playbook
– RIM playbook launches April 19th in US – a few months later in UK
– It will ship with 2 app players that will run Android and Blackberry java applications
– Sounds…confusing
– Only supports Android 2.4 OS app’s i.e. app’s built for the phone, not tablet
13:05 – Amazon launches their Android Appstore
– Launched Tuesday 22nd for USA customers
– Android only
– Can Test Drive most app’s from your web browser. Click Test Drive and Amazon will launch an emmulated instance of Android on its EC2 cloud, which you’ll be able to control directly from your browser (it uses Flash).
– Free app of the day – Every day, Amazon will be choosing a premium application and making it free to consumers, giving people a reason to check in on the store on a frequent basis. This is made possible by the fact that Amazon, not developers, sets the pricing of each application.
– Amazon retains full control over how it wants to price your application. The setup is a bit confusing: upon submitting your application, you can set a ‘List Price’, which is the price you’d normally sell it at. Amazon will use a variety of market factors to determine what price it wants to use, and you get a 70% cut of the proceeds of each sale (which is the industry standard). In the event that Amazon steeply discounts your application, or offers it for free, you’re guaranteed to get 20% of the List Price.
– Angry Birds Rio is first free app
– Amazon will be undercutting Google’s own prices
– 8 easy steps to install the Amazon Appstore – http://carpeaqua.com/2011/03/22/8-easy-steps/
– Apple sues Amazon over use of the name App Store
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/apple_sues_amazon_over_app_store_name/
21:52 – Lendle
– had their Amazon API access revoked.
– Back up and running now.
– In business – need to be in control of key data.
– http://lendle.me/amazon-api-revocation/
– (Lendle is unfortnately US only for now.)
28:07 – iOS 4.3 Battery Issues
– Ian sees sub par battery performance on iPhone 4
– Others have too
– Disabled ping to see if that helps as it’s been tipped as an issue in various forums
– iOS 4.3.1 is now out – rumoured to address battery issues as well as publicised bugs
30:56 – UK 4G Auction Next Year
– New ‘4G’ network auction next year announced by Ofcom
– 4G refers to the next generation of mobile networks, which promise faster speeds, in particular for data.
– The sale, which Ofcom hopes will happen early next year, will involve two blocks of spectrum which should fulfil two purposes – making mobile internet coverage both wider and faster.
– The first block, the higher frequency 2.6gGHz band, should make all those smartphone users who are trying to watch video or play games online just a bit happier. It’s suited to providing large amounts of capacity over a compact area, so should help ease the congestion on city centre networks.
– The second block, the 800MHz band, is currently used for analogue television and becomes available next year once the digital switchover is complete. It is suitable for bringing mobile data services over wide areas, so it could mean that people in rural areas will find mobile broadband a better option than the fixed line variety.
– 3G auction raised billions, and this is 80% more spectrum – expectation is around £4 billion though
– UK falling behind – Yes, if we’re comparing the UK with Germany, the USA and Sweden, which have already started to roll out 4G networks. Ofcom admits that things haven’t moved quite as rapidly here as it might have hoped, but says it’s full speed ahead now. But even if everything goes to plan, consumers won’t see any 4G services before 2013.
34:43 – Wife says no, Apple says yes
– [Apple’s] focus this week has been to troubleshoot all the iPad 2s that customers are returning to the stores. One iPad came back with a post it note on it that said “Wife said no.” It was escalated as something funny, and two of the VPs got wind of it. They sent the guy an iPad 2 with a note on it that said “Apple said yes.”

Picks
Ian
Sky News iPad App
– Very ambitious app from Sky
– Free at the moment, will remain free for Sky customers but paid for everyone else
– Heavily focused on video which is very good quality and quick to stream
– Can browse a timeline of todays events
– Can also swipe for more detail – lose video but still here it – articles, photo’s, charts, graphics are then displayed
– Very impressed – excellent app
Henry
Wunderlist
– cross platform list app a la RTM.
– Andriod, iOS.
– Recent update has got rid of a few bugs.
– Email list items.
– Free (made with Titanium- javascript)

Day 1 with the Nexus S: Hardware

It’s here! In a nice, crisp white box, stuffed in a cruddy DHL delivery bag and dropped off at the door by a man in a Peugeot 206! DHL… delivering via an ancient hatchback? Strange indeed. But still, that was all forgotten with the excitement of getting my grubby mit on a new piece of hardware.

Not only hardware of course, but software as well.

So, lets start this series off by taking a once over on the hardware. I don’t really have a frame of reference for hardware outside of the iPhone – so I will have to compare it to that and I suspect that most would agree that the iPhone is the best kit to compare it to for the purposes of this series.

Without being turned on, the Nexus S has an amazingly dark look. The inactive screen is almost completely black and is indistinguishable from the surround. This gives an almost seamless look to the gently curving front screen. The reverse of the phone has a slight pattern to it, almost mock carbon fibre. It also has a slight bump at the bottom of the phone making it easy to grip in the hand.

The case is unmistakably plastic. That shouldn’t really be read as “cheap feeling” as it is a solid device, however, like a heavy watch always reassures you there’s a good mechanism below the surface, you might expect to feel a little more weight behind this device.

One advantage of the plastic and the shape of the phone, is that it is very easy to keep hold of! I’ve had my iPhone slip out my hand on a couple of occasions due to it’s sleekness and I can’t see this happening with the Nexus S.

Things really start to sing with the device once you turn it on. It has a AMOLED screen that absolutely screams at you with it’s vibrancy, resolution and unbelievable contrast. I realise that many other devices have got AMOLED screens and as such, this is nothing new, but this is the first time I’ve seen one properly in the flesh for any length of time, and it’s got me sold. It’s not as high resolution as the iPhone retina display, but it’s not a long way off. The blackness of the phone and the  darkness of the new look of Gingerbread mean that everything just pops out and the icons seem to float in nothingness!

The live desktop is a nice effect, with moving walpapers to keep things interesting. I’ll go onto giving an initial impression of the software in another article so I’ll try not to get too sidetracked at this stage.

Digging into the phones settings, you’ve got all the fancy equipment everyone has come to expect. GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Compass etc. So, as with the iPhone, the device can know where it it, at what angle and where and how it’s moving. The Nexus S adds Near Field Communication (NFC) to the parade – a communication for reading tags embedded in other objects. Think of the Oyster cards and some new credit cards. Also, know that it won’t really be a big deal for a good while yet. Probably until the iPhone gets it’s own NFC chip!

Also in the setting are options to turn the Nexus S into a mobile hotspot or to tether it to your laptop. For all the per-lava that surrounds this feature on iPhone and on mobile devices generally, it’s so refreshing to have an unfettered offering with all the extras available. This will surely be the first feature to be turned off by carriers when the next Gingerbread devices are available.

The in build speaker in the Nexus S is disappointing. The iPhone speakers – or device speakers per-say – are not that strong in general, but this speaker is particularly weak. The sound output of the phone through the jack socket is also low. I have to crank my speakers in the kitchen right up to get some decent levels whilst doing the washing up. The in-ear buds are fairly comfy for my ears (much better than the white Apple buds.) The sound is better through the earphones as you would expect and the volume is less of an issue, but I’m used to devices being able to blast you to smithereens if you so wish, and you can sit with the volume at full with no issues.

The phone is the right size. There are lots of devices out there that are getting bigger… getting on for comical. The Nexus S is nicely pocket sized and positively mobile.

So, an encouraging start with the device. Sound aside, everything feels nice and solid. Wi-Fi has been good enough across the house and the phone hasn’t struggled with any of the trials I’ve subjected it too so far. In fact, it’s been pretty faultless and very snappy. Comparing it to my creaking iPhone 3G is night and day. I’m confident that iPhone 4 users would appreciate a comparable speed of operation.

In the next part of the series, I’ll be looking at setting up the phone infrastructure – how can you recover the ability to sync your music collection and podcasts? What accessories are available? How do you get to use your phone as you are used to?

DigitalOutbox Episode 77

DigitalOutbox Episode 77
In this episode the team discuss Microsoft pwning Nokia, HP, Sony and Motorola devices and Guitar Hero goes bye bye.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:11 – Microsoft and Nokia sign partnership
– Stephen Elop, Nokia’s recently appointed chief executive, said Nokia will use Windows Mobile 7 as its primary smartphone platform. Elop has also shaken up the senior management team, having warned staff this week that the company was standing on a “burning platform”.
– Speaking in London this morning, Elop said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a “three horse race”, with Nokia-Microsoft competing strongly with Apple, and Google’s Android platform. Mmmm – what about RIM?
– Under the plan, Nokia said it would use its expertise in hardware design, imaging and mapping to improve the Windows Mobile platform. The two companies will work together on marketing, and develop a common roadmap. Bing, Microsoft’s search service, will be integrated into Nokia devices.
– Nokia said it will continue to make phones running its Symbian operating system, thus “leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value”. Symbian, though, will be relegated to the status of a “franchise partner”.
– Job losses expected at Nokia
– Around 1000 Nokia employees walk out in protest – http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/02/nokia-employees-walk-out-in-protest-of-microsoft-deal/
– Elop wouldn’t promise that Nokia will remain profitable while the Symbian-to-Windows Phone transition takes place.
– Nokia Windows Phone devices will start shipping in volume in 2012 but under pressure to deliver this year
– Symbian phones still coming out over the next 12-18 months – who will buy one of these now? It’d a dead platform.
– Nokia shares…down 14%
– Microsoft allegedly handing over billions in this deal – http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9209259/Microsoft_to_pay_out_billions_as_part_of_Nokia_deal
– Elop referred to a slide that Nokia displayed last week that showed marketing resources and other investments flowing from Microsoft to Nokia as part of the deal. While speculation has had that number in the millions or tens of millions of dollars, the figure is actually much higher than that, he said. “In fact the value transferred to Nokia is measured in B’s not M’s,” he said.
– Elop’s first priority – beat Android
– So is it Microkia or Nosoft?
10:25 – HP Event
– HP Veer (no more Palm)
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-veer/
– Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7230 processor at 800MHz.
– a 2.6-inch 320 x 400 display, 5 megapixel EDoF camera,
– HSPA+ support, 8GB of storage, an accelerometer, proximity and light sensors (as usual), Touchstone compatibility, and mobile hotspot support
– Cute and hands on from engadget and gizmodo say it’s fast – mini per2 has a lot to like
– Web OS 2.2
– HP Pre 3
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-pre-3/
– QWERTY slider with the all-too-familiar form factor has a 3.6-inch 800 x 480 display (a marked improvement over past Pres)
– 5 megapixel camera with AF and LED flash, HD video, a front-facing camera for video calling, mobile hotspot.
– Qualcomm CPU running at 1.4GHz (!), HSPA+ and EVDO Rev A — yep, it’s a world phone — and the same RAM as the Pre 2 (that’s 512MB DRAM).
– Touchstone compatible, naturally, and will switch to Exhibition mode when docked to show pictures and upcoming appointments.
– availability is this summer with both 8GB and 16GB storage options.
– Web OS 2.2
– HP TouchPad
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-touchpad/
– is shaped almost exactly like the iPad. It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick,
– HP’s shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet — or vice versa — simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud.
– Other specifications include webOS 3.0, a 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768 screen resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU (!), inbuilt gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and 16GB / 32GB of internal storage space.
– There’s also a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, “twice the memory of a Pre 2” and a set of stereo speakers.
– There’s a new paneled email application a Growl-like pop-up notification system, plenty of cal / email integration courtesy of HP Synergy, a slick virtual keyboard, VPN support, wireless printing as well as Google Docs, QuickOffice, Dropbox and Box.net compatibility. One of the killer features that can’t be found on a competing tablet right now is this one’s ability to talk to the Pre 3 — so long as there’s a Touchstone involved, one can have their Pre 3 and TouchPad communicate, even piping over notifications and texts from the phone onto the slate. It’s a brilliant idea, and we’re obviously amped to see just how well it’s implemented.
– Wi-fi initially, 3G and 4G coming later, price – announced on later date as will availability (this summer).
– HP & Time do deal to bring mag subscriptions to TouchPad
– No mention on battery life.
– Gizmodo – The only major issue is the speed.This might be because of the fact that the TouchPad isn’t done, and has six months of development time left, but every app, every notification and every multitasking instance is kinda slow. Again, it’s not unusably slow, if you’ve used the Pre compared to a faster phone, say, a Nexus S or a Motorola Atrix or an iPhone 4, you’ll know how the TouchPad compares to the Motorola Xoom. This is surprising since the TouchPad has a 1.2GHz dual core processor, but, webOS has never been a particularly speedy OS.
– So the big three – price, battery, release date – nothing.
– RIP Palm
– One more thing – Web OS coming to PC market
17:22 – Motorola Xoom
– $800
– Feb 24th
– Feb and March are big for tablets – the Xoom sports an impressive set of features, many of which dwarf the iPad, such as two cameras, 1080p screen resolution and a HDMI output.
– Best Buy pre-order – http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Computers-Promotions/Motorola+XOOM/pcmcat233400050016.c?id=pcmcat233400050016 – $1199 – DOA if thats the price
– Wifi only version coming to Europe in 2nd quarter
19:58 – Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
– like the rest of the upcoming Android 3.0 tablets it’s powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera as well as a 8 megapixel imager around back.
– 1280 x 800-resolution 10.1-inch TFT display, and while it’s not Super AMOLED or Super AMOLED Plus quality, it looked quite bright at a variety of angles. We’d venture to say that Samsung’s using a similar panel as in the original Tab here, which is certainly a good thing. Surrounding the tablet you’ll find a SIM slot, 3.5mm jack, and Samsung’s proprietary charging cable. Sadly, there’s no USB or HDMI ports. The rear 8 megapixel cam has a LED flash and can capture 1080p video, while the 2 megapixel lens centered on the top bezel should suffice for those Google Talk Video calls.
– Launching in March in both Asia and Europe — Vodafone will be the first carrier to nab the Tab — but it had absolutely no timing details for the US market. Price? We’ve got no idea, though we’re told it will be “competitive.”
– Feels light in the hand, plastic but solid, grippy back rather than slippy
– Google experience device – no Samsung front end – pure Honeycomb
27:54 – Sony Phones
– Xperia Neo – able to plug into your HDTV via HDMI and can be controlled with a standard remote. The 3.7-inch screen on the device sports a healthy resolution of 854 x 480 and uses Sony’s Bravia graphics engine. The phone has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash (and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera), and will be available in an array of colors (silver, red, and blue).
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-pro/
– Xperia Pro – a slider device with a full QWERTY keyboard. The device sports a 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 display (which uses the company’s Bravia graphics engine technology), runs atop a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, and is sporting SE’s customized build of Gingerbread (Android 2.3). The phone has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 2 megapixel front facing camera, and will be available in silver, red, and black.
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-play/
– run Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics and display those games on a sizable 4-inch, 854 x 480 multi-touch LCD screen, the combination of which Sony says will provide 60 frames per second playback and manage up to 5 hours, 35 minutes of battery life in a single game session with the slide-out PlayStation Certified controller
– PS1 games plus Android games
– Available March
31:15 – How popular is Android
– Google I/O conference sells out
– Big deal
– I/O sold out in 90 days in 2009, 50 days in 2010 and 59 minutes in 2011
– Previous years has seen free handsets handed out, making the $450 conference fee a bit of a bargain – cheapest way of getting a development device without contract – we’ll see on May 10th, 11th later this year
– But previous attendees got to pre-register this year.
35:31 – Google 2 Step Verification
– Two-step verification offers a more secure way for Google to verify that you are who you say you are when you’re logging into your Google account on a new web browser, through a new application, or on a new mobile device. With two-step verification, your password isn’t enough by itself. As Google put it:
– 2 step verification requires two independent factors for authentication, much like you might see on your banking website: your password, plus a code you only use once.
Those two factors are:
– Your password (just like always)
– A single-use verification code that Google sends to your phone in one of three ways: 1) Using the Google Authenticator app available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, 2) via SMS, or 3) through a voice call (meaning you could even use a landline if you didn’t have a cellphone—basically the call would read off the code to you).
– Set up via your Google account page
37:51 – Google hitting the iPhone Hard
– Google Shopper now available
– Search via photo, voice, text or barcode
– Returns list of stores both off and online and best prices/availability
– Select shop, read reviews and in certain cases check stock
– Keeps history and can share results on Twitter, Facebook – what, no Buzz?
– Google Translate now available
– Speak to translate – voice input for 15 languages, translate a word or phrase to 50 languages
– Listen to translations – listen to translations spoken out loud in up to 23 languages
– Full screen mode to display translated text
– Still doesn’t have the conversation mode in android which translates ‘live’, speaking the translation
40:21 – iPlayer Apps
– Coming to iPad and Android
– iPad
– The new app takes better advantage of the touchscreen user interface, says the BBC, which is a popular feature on the “iPad-ified” website.
– Both the iPad app and Android app will offer live TV streams and radio, the latter which was never before available to mobile devices.
– Mobile users can also access the full BBC catalog of “catch-up” programs (TV you may have missed), seven days’ worth of TV and radio on demand and the “series stacking” feature that’s also available on the Web, this last item being a feature that allows viewers to watch older programs from selected series up until the series has ended.
– Android
– On Android, the iPlayer app will not be available for all devices, only on those running the Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) version of the mobile operating system and Adobe Flash 10.1. This is because the player’s Flash streams require “a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection,” says the BBC.
– The speculation is that BBC had to implement the streaming service in Flash because of content provider pressure, not technical requirements. Content providers are concerned about pirating – that same fear is why the Netflix application for Android has not yet launched either.
– Not on iPhone, global iPlayer app coming later this year with a subscription service
– Video quality on iPad is excellent, live radio is nice, can shift audio via AirPlay, expect video in 4.3 (double click home button – eh?)
43:17 – Last.fm moves to mobile subscription model
– Free ride for mobiles is over – radio service will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature on iPhones and Androids, starting February 15
– Cost is £3 or $3 a month
– Less than Spotify but with Spotify you can choose what you want to play – Last.fm does not let you play tracks on demand
– Last.fm Radio will remain free via its website and desktop app as well as for U.S. and U.K. users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones.
Last.fm Radio offers a personalized station, playing full song tracks based on users’ preferences. Currently, that streaming service is free in the U.S. and U.K. via an ad-supported app.
44:52 – Activision Job and Title Cuts
– Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and True Crime series all cancelled
– They can’t make these games profitable
– 500 job cuts
47:35 – Geek saves 172 BBC Websites
– User spiders and archives the 172 websites that the BBC is axing
– They then made all the content available via a torrent – http://178.63.252.42/bbc.closing.sites.archive.torrent
– The purpose of this project is to show how the entire 172 public facing websites that are earmarked for deletion have been copied, archived, distributed and republished online – independently – for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee (around $3.99).” In other words, the cost-savings from the BBC’s gutting of its online presence: minimal.
The act also has a political side. “The purpose of this project is to expose the ‘cost savings’ of this proposed exercise as nothing more than a charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC and to curry favour with the current government. BBC’s current senior management has demonstrated a lack of leadership and a lack of courage in pushing back on these demands.”
– But maybe the data won’t be deleted after all – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/02/bbc_online_and_deleting_websit.html

Picks
Chris
SuperTooth Buddy
– Visor Handsfree BlueTooth device.
– No installation – simple clip onto visor and attaches via magnet.
– Auto connect – can connect to 2 different devices
– 20h talk time – 1000h standby
– Power, Volume, Pickup call, Stop call on face. Micro USB port for chanrgin at rear.
– Nice loud audio in car and voice pickup seems good.
– For multi-car / multi-device homes, a great simple solution to handsfree..
– Currently just a bit over £35 on Amazon.

Henry
GiffGaff
– the social mobile network.
– No phones, Just PAYG tarriffs from £5

Ian
Alupen
– Great stylus for the iPad
– £14

Jumping in bed with an Android

Google Nexus S
The Nexus S

OK, so since the beginning of the year, I’ve been harping on about how now is NOT the time to buy new phone. Well, I still say that is exceptionally prudent advice, with a lot of new Android devices on the very near horizon and also the new iPhone announcement coming along very soon.

But when has good advice ever taken precedence over impatience?

I cracked. Like Humpty Dumpty perched on top of a wall, it was inevitable really. It was a late night decision, but now on route to my humble abode is a shiny new Google/Samsung Nexux S. It should be here by tomorrow.

What I am convinced of, is that this is the right decision for a geeky mobile buyer right at this second, what I am yet to know, is whether the comfortable surroundings that Apple lays on with it’s iOS infrastructure is going to be missed, when it appears that you very much have to buy your own furniture with Android. Also, over the next couple of months we’ll hear all sorts of speculation on the new iPhone and then finally be marginally disappointed with it’s final offering. However, it will still be a mighty device no doubt, and it was what I was trying to tell myself to hold on just a few more weeks for.

But no. I’ve now plunged headlong into a 24 month contract with a new carrier and a brand new device and operating system. All my existing infrastructure that goes along with a smart phone these days (car holders, application purchases, computer setup, data syncing) will likely need tweaking or changing wholesale.

It’s going to be an interesting time. One that I am really looking forward to as it happens. And also one that I will document here on DigitalOutbox. There are many people out there in a similar position, perhaps looking to extract themselves from the all encompassing iPhone and I hope that this new series will highlight the plusses and minuses along the transition.

DigitalOutbox Episode 61

DigitalOutbox Episode 61
In this episode the team discuss Google Instant, Apple U Turn, iOS 4.1, Boxee Box and Halo. Woot.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:16 – Google Instant
– In past few months have passed over 1 billion users on Google each week
– It takes a user on average around nine seconds to enter a search query into Google. Serving results takes around 300 ms from Google, plus 800 ms total in Network time. Takes around 15 seconds to select a result. A search takes 25 seconds.
– At Google we think we have a faster way. Google Instant Search. And that’s what we’re launching today. Gets search results as you type so search is interactive the whole time you’re typing. Google Instant looks like normal Google search. But as you start typing, you see results — you don’t have to hit enter. You can hit ‘tab’ to complete a word.
– Type w – Glasgow 5 day weather forecast appears, first link is mountain weather forecast, second bbc, third met office – impressive
– We estimate this will help Google users save two to five seconds per query. That adds up across all users. “11 hours saved. Each second.”
– Instant results, Scroll to Search, Predictions.
– Only on google.com web page – browsers, mobile – next few months
– Instead of making first page, now about making first letter!
– End of SEO? Does being on page 2 or lower half of page kill your brand?
– Here’s what this means: no two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick – and everyone saw the same results. That’s what made search engine optimisation work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviours.
9:07 – Apple U Turn
– https://developer.apple.com/appstore/resources/approval/guidelines.html
– http://stadium.weblogsinc.com/engadget/files/app-store-guidelines.pdf
– Short statement from Apple – we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
– In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.
– Now, was that so hard? Dev’s crying out for this for a couple of years now
– So Flash could be used to create app’s.
– Why now? Android? Realising they were wrong? Pressure from dev’s and large dev studios? FTC probe?
– Most interesting – the guidelines
– Written by a human, almost common sense text – Steve?
– We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don’t work unless the parents set them up (many don’t). So know that we’re keeping an eye out for the kids.
– We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
– If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.
– We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
– If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.
– This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.
– Lastly, we love this stuff too, and honor what you do. We’re really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too. If it sounds like we’re control freaks, well, maybe it’s because we’re so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too.
– Adobe – great news for developers – http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2010/09/great-news-for-developers.html
– Adobe’s Packager for iPhone – The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases.
– This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. We do want to point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.
– Another developer that has been affected by the rule change is Google. The search giant’s advertising arm, AdMob, was another part of development that was banned back in the original April rule set, but has now seen those rules relaxed. Writing on the AdMob blog, vice president of product management Omar Hamoui says “We’re pleased that Apple has clarified its terms,” adding: “Users will benefit from more free, or low cost, apps that can now more readily be supported by advertising.”
17:24 – iTunes 10
– Faster
– Cleaner
– Ping
– horrible
– feels old
– invite by e-mail
– no Facebook/twitter integration
– drive sales for Apple?
– Where’s my wireless syncing? iOS 5?
– If I search for artists I want links to listen to their music not their muesli. Should be like Spotify/Lsst.fm
20:44 – iOS 4.1 is Out
– Gamecentre
– HDR photo’s
– bug fixes
– anything else?
– MDM – enterprise feature to manage various aspects of the left to 3rd parties to implement. As consumers we might not care, but as more and more enterprises are not just allowing employees to use their own smartphones, but actively encouraging it as a cost cutting exercise, managing those devices is an IT managers nightmare and this is a welcome addition.
26:43 – Amazon hit back
– Not just apple except
– This is for download, not streaming – same content, same price, one you own, one you stream for a limited time
– Cable/sat providers…your time is up
– available in the uk?
30:47 – Plex comes to LG
– Plex – needs a mac to run
– Potentially expensive
– working with LG Electronics (the second largest TV manufacturer in the world) to integrate the Plex platform into their 2011 lineup of Netcast™ connected TVs and Blu-ray devices. So early next year, when you buy an LG Netcast™ TV or Blu-ray player, you will have Plex functionality built-in. Specifically, it will connect to a cloud version of the Plex platform for online content, and, if you happen to have a Plex Media Server running anywhere in your house (after all, who doesn’t have a computer in their house?), you can access your local and online content, in a rich interface, with full metadata
– This is a BIG deal
– My new Sony comes with iPlayer, 4OD, Youtube, podcasts etc
– But a tv with plex built in is a seriously powerful device
35:27 – Boxee Box
– Pre-order in America
– Out in November (UK too)
– Now with Intel inside, not Nvidia
– $229, not $199 although Amazon selling for $199
– UK Price £199
– http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/361132/boxee-arrives-in-europe-at-twice-the-price-of-apple-tv
– The UK version of the Boxee Box will include
– free and paid-for TV content from a number of local broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.
– V-friendly access to services such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
– Intel Atom CE4100 processor]
– 802.11n wireless and Ethernet connections
– HDMI port to deliver Full HD video
– 2 USB ports
– SD card slot
– offers support for Flash, MP3 and Divx formats
– Full Qwerty remote control
43:52 – Twitter for iPad
– Twitter for iPad takes advantage of the iPad’s fluid touch interface, letting you move lots of information around smoothly and quickly – without needing to open and close windows or click buttons.
– Panes: Tapping on a Tweet opens a pane to the right. Depending on the content in that Tweet, you’ll see a video or photo, or maybe a news story, or perhaps another Tweet. You can continue tapping on Tweets, opening new panes, and getting new content as long as you’d like to.
– Media: When you tap a video link or open a web page with an embedded video, you can play that video inline. And, let’s be honest, video is great but sometimes it can take some time to load. The panes in Twitter for iPad let you look through your timeline while a video is loading, and then you can just swipe back to the video when it’s ready to play. You can also pinch on a video to watch it fullscreen.
– Gestures: You can pinch on a Tweet to quickly view details about the author and to take actions on a Tweet, such as reply or retweet. Put two fingers together and pull down on a Tweet to peek at the replies, showing the entire conversation leading to that Tweet.
– Bold and unexpected – eats the other twitter clients
– Wheres Tweetie 2 for the Mac! Hibari is nice, but tweetie still feels better but missing new functionality of twitter – http://hibariapp.com/
44:54 – Samsung Galaxy Tablet
– First true iPad competitor
– the GT-P1000 model has a 7-inch TFT-LCD WSVGA screen (with 1024 x 600 pixels), and is powered by a Cortex A8 1.0GHz processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU—the same one used in their Galaxy S phone-and runs with 512MB of RAM.
– As expected, the back-facing camera is a 3MP affair with auto-focus and an LED flash, and the forward-facing one (for video conferencing) has a 1.3MP sensor.
– Two storage capacities are on offer, either 16GB or 32GB, with both models allowing for a further 32GB memory expansion via the card slot.
– Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0, and 3G support (Vodafone has been signed up from the get-go, Three from October but unsure if right away)
– As we saw in the leaked video last week, there’s a 30-pin connector port, similar to what Apple uses for its gadgets.
– It’ll run Android 2.2 (Froyo)
– Rumour – Samsung Galaxy Tab reported to retail at €699 and €799 in Europe – iPads offer double the storage for same price
48:29 – Everything Everywhere
– Orange and T-Mobile to offer customers access to both networks at no extra cost as first benefit of newly merged company Everything Everywhere
– Orange and T-Mobile customers invited to sign-up to get access to both networks to make calls and send texts in more places at no extra cost
– As well as continuing to benefit from their existing network, Orange customers will be able to make calls and send texts on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile customers will be able to do the same using the Orange network
– Customers who sign up for access to both networks will benefit free of charge, with no changes to their existing tariffs or call or text charges. Once registered, should a customer lose signal on their existing network, they will then automatically pick up the signal from the other network where it’s available, meaning that they can make and receive calls and texts in more places than ever before.
50:24 – Bloglines to Close
– Will finally close Oct 1st
– Killed by Google Reader and switch to twitter/facebook – realtime streams
– Sad in some ways but it quickly fell behind Google
– and it was a bit broken
– Off course, many say that RSS is dead etc
– Really – http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2010/09/welcome-and-look-back.html

Picks
Chris
TechSmith Camtasia Studio
– The ultimate screen recording, editing and distribution product.
– Millions of options. Easy to use and control. Plenty of output options. Record your mic, webcam, screen, specific application, video, pictures, title-screens. Stitch them all together on the timeline. £220

Ian
Withings Scale
– Wifi scale
– Expensive
– Can set up to tweet your weight
– Supports up to 5 users
– Love it – very geeky but awesome

Henry
Monkey Island 2
– Awesome game originally on PC now for iOS
– Only £0.69