Beejive IM – Review July 27, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, First Look/Reviews , add a comment
Beejive IM – the multitasking majesty
Alright. For a long time now, there’s been one king of IM apps on my iTouch, and thats AIM. But now send out the heralds: the new king has arisen! Beejive IM! There are a few things that set aside Beejive from AIM, including Facebook’s built in chat, Google Talk’s Safari web app, and a host of others. The main difference is that Beejive not only boasts push notification, which keeps you logged onto an account (AIM also now does this), but it allows you to go and log into all your accounts from all your places at once (something AIM only let’s you do with only your screenname). And if you’re on an iPhone, this morphs into being socially connected anytime, anywhere, to everyone. Pretty sweet in other words, especially for us teens.
Speaking of different accounts, that’s where Beejive really delivers, supporting the incredible list below: AIM/Mobile Me, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN/Windows Live, MySpace IM, Yahoo Messenger, and even Facebook Chat. And thats the main reason why it takes the IM spot on my iPod– the amount of compatibility makes it incredibly useful. Once you add your accounts to Beejive you can access them through a buddy list, like in AIM, as well as view open chats and set favorites. Also, the option to view individual buddy lists for each account is also there, which is useful if you only need to find some friends on AOL, but want to stay logged in on your other accounts.
However, there is a catch, likely to deter some readers. Beejive, unlike AIM– which is either free with ads or $2.99 for a no ad version– is a paid app costing $10. However, for those of you who always want to be in the loop on all your accounts, I feel that it’s a fair price to pay for it. Overall though, I really like Beejive, even despite the price tag, and rate it a 5/5.
Interested? Check it out here (warning: link opens iTunes)
The new iPod Nano? Check out the camera hole on the the lower left of the back of the case
So new pix are popping up online today of case mockups for upcoming iPod Nano’s and iPod Touches. These type of images seem to leak out around this time, as Apple usually updates their iPod line in September (like they did last year), right in time for the Back to School and the holiday shopping season. What’s really different about this year however, is that the pix seem to confirm some rumors that have been floating around the web for a while now– the iPod Nano and iPod Touch will be getting cameras.
Yes, your reading that right– digital cameras coming to the iPod Nano and iPod Touch. The pix (the iPod Nano one above and the iPod Touch below), are from Cult of Mac.com and come from numerous Chinese case manufacturers (which kinda would make sense as the manufacturers would need to get this type of info from Apple long ahead of time in order to make the cases ready for the inevitable launch. Also just another proof of this possibly being true– Apple recently placed an order for a whole boat load of camera parts which were said to be made for upcoming iPods).
Now how powerful these cameras are we don’t yet know (like how many megapixels they’ll have and if they will shoot video like the iPhone 3GS. If I had to guess, it’d be about 3 megapixels– like the 3GS– for both with the iPod Touch definitely getting video recording, and the Nano doubtful to get it, but I wouldn’t rule it completely out yet). There also should be bigger storage for both devices (probably doubling the current storage on all the models like they’ve done in previous years), and the Nano is said to be getting a slightly bigger screen (nothing significantly noticeable from what we could tell right now), and the iPod Touch might also be getting a mic.
The new iPod Touch? Note the camera hole in the middle of the case
Remember, this for now is just a rumor, and Apple obviously hasn’t confirmed anything yet, so take this as you wish. We’ll of course keep you up to date on all of this as soon as we hear more.
Info and pix from Cult of Mac.com– you can see a whole lotta more pix at their site as well.
It’s July 22nd, and the next version of the awesome Madden franchise — Madden NFL 10 — is expected to drop in about 3 weeks (August 14th). Therefore, you Madden fans out there are begging for the newest features absent from its predeccesor, Madden 09. (However, if your are a true Madden die-hard as I am, you’ll be running home with the latest version anyway). To settle your anticipation, we present to you not the minor updates for basics and rosters, but some of the major updates for the Xbox 360 and PS3 models (updates for the PSP/PS2 and the DS/Wii versions will be posted in the next few days): new cameras, customizable gameplay, Pro-Talk, updates in both gameplay graphics and online play. Curious for more? Go for it– no extra charge.
Today, like all days in the world of tech, was very busy, with 2 new phones coming out soon for both AT&T (a cheap model and an amazing camera phone) and T-Mobile (an updated touchscreen and a great texting phone). So what what kind of phones are we talking about here and are they worth checking out? All the answers are a More link away.
A leaked pic of the upcoming BlackBerry Storm 2 (pic from Engadget Mobile)
Yeah, we all know the first BlackBerry Storm was no where near the quality of other phones like the iPhone, G1 or Pre. But don’t worry Verizon users, as we mentioned briefly in our upcoming Verizon phones post, a newer (and hopefully much better) version of the Storm is coming, and it actually is looking really good.
Ok, so what exactly is in this new Verizon version? Boy Genius Report has got a scoop from some of their insiders that not only will the Storm 2 keep some of the good’ol features of the Storm– like Verizon 3G, the 3.2 megapixel camera, and the ability to use 3G GSM networks in Europe– but will also be adding WiFi (it’s about time), BlackBerry OS 5.0, AND a new touchscreen interface (better than the horrific SurePress on the first Storm, and supposedly being a regular touchscreen like the Pre, G1 and iPhone’s, but we don’t know exactly what’s going on there). This version is said to be coming later this year for Verizon.
Now you may be wondering, so what’s this talk of AT&T getting a Storm? Well, that according to BGR is also coming soon in the form of an AT&T Storm 2. Not much is currently known of AT&T’s new Storm 2 (though we’d assume it’s got similar features to Verizon’s, just with things like AT&T 3G instead of Verizon 3G), but BGR has confirmed with their sources that a model does exist, and hopefully will be coming soon. Keep those fingers crossed, and we’ll of course keep you updated as soon as we hear anything new.
Apple's App Store Turns 1– What's your Favorite App? July 12, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Apple , add a comment
If you haven’t been paying attention to the giant banners in iTunes for the past week (like the one you see above), the Apple App Store for the iPod Touch and iPhone turned 1 yesterday, and Apple is taking the time to celebrate by promoting some it’s favorite apps– both free and paid. Apple’s got a lot to celebrate– 1 billion apps, tons of new iPhones and iPod Touches sold thanks to the App Store, and the envy of pretty much every other cell phone maker– think bout it, because of the App Store, there is now a BlackBerry App World, Palm’s App Catalog, Google’s Android Marketplace, a Windows Marketplace for Mobile (coming to Windows Mobile phones later this year in Windows Mobile 6.5) and countless other mobile app marketplaces trying to get in on the action.
But we’re not writing this post just to congratulate Apple, but seeing as the App Store is the most popular of the “App Stores”, we wanna know what’s your favorite apps– whether for iPhone or iPod Touch, free or paid.
Me? My favorite apps (right now at least) are ESPN ScoreCenter (free), MLB At Bat (paid version– about $10), AIM (free version), Tap Tap Revenge2 (free), iheartradio (free), and Facebook (free).
Sound off with your favorites in the comments.
The Sony Vaio W netbook
Meet the Sony Vaio W– Sony’s first venture into the ever growing world of netbooks (ok, in my opinion it’s the second Sony netbook– the first being the Vaio P they announced back in January, though Sony will never admit that it’s a netbook, even though it fits all the netbook descriptions). Anyways, back to the Sony Vaio W netbook. At first glance (as you can see in the pic above) this netbook definitely stands out, and is much more stylish looking than your traditional netbook that you’d find from ASUS, HP, Dell or Acer, instead keeping to the Sony Vaio style even in this smaller, cheaper model.
Beyond that nice outside design though, Sony keeps the inside to the standard netbook specs that you find on pretty much every netbook out there: 1.6 GHZ Intel Atom processor, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive, webcam, memory card slot, Windows XP, WiFi and Bluetooth, etc. It does though have a 10.1 inch HD screen (a resolution of 1366×768– or very good and clear for a 10 inch computer screen, making viewing things like videos and pix much better and easier to do), a “chicklet” keyboard (like those found on regular Vaio’s and MacBooks) which is 86% the size of your standard keyboard, and Sony’s Vaio Media Plus software for streaming your music, movies, and pix to and from the netbook with other PC’s and the PS3.
My thoughts on this new netbook? It’s nice, but I personally am not sold on it particularly with it having a smaller than average netbook keyboard (the average netbook has about 92% size of a regular keyboard like those found on normal laptops– and trust me, from someone writing this post on a netbook– an HP Mini 2140– that extra 6% is important, especially when you’re gonna need to write a lot like with notes in school). It also is still a Sony, so don’t expect the price to be so cheap– they’re saying it will be about $500, and you can get a much better deal on a netbook with a better keyboard from one of those other companies mentioned above for well below that $500 price (Best Buy.com for example, has some pretty good deals on some solid ASUS netbooks with pretty close to the exact same specs for only $300).
Anyways, if you really want a Sony computer (or a netbook that is really more style oriented than anything else), but never wanted to pay a “premium” price for a traditional Sony laptop, here’s your chance to pick one up when it launches sometime in mid-August in either black, white or pink.
Google Announces Chrome OS July 8, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, Google , add a comment
Are you a Mac, PC, or a Chrome OS?
Yup, you read that headline right. The often rumored Google operating system is coming. Announced earlier this morning by Google, Chrome OS is an operating system designed to run on netbooks (those laptops that are realitivly low powered and cheap– usually between 10-11 , and with cost usually under $500. A lot of companies like ASUS, HP, Dell, Acer all make netbooks) and is designed to be simple and fast.
Google has yet to release, well, pretty much any info on this new OS, but it definitely sounds interesting– after all, Google makes some pretty interesting software, and an OS that could in a simple and quick way (hopefully built around the great Chrome browser interface that is found in the browser that is out now for Macs and Windows) combine the existing Google suite of services, and you have one really nice product. Seriously, Google already has all the parts: Gmail for email, Google Docs for word processing and as an office suite, Chrome for web browsing, Calender for, well a calender.. you get the idea.
As for the other half of software (i.e. developers)? Well, Google will be using a web-based application system (think early iPhone stuff, pre-2.0 update, when apps were only online and couldn’t be saved to the phone), and this will for sure be interesting to see if it’ll work or if they too will switch to an “App Store” type model like Apple has now, where you can download apps to run on the device without the need to be online. No word yet on how Google’s mobile Android OS will play into this (which is really gonna be interesting to see because netbooks running Android are said to be coming later this year).
While it’s WAY to early to say how Chrome OS will turn out (it’s said to be coming second half of 2010– or a year or so from now), Google has managed to get my (and pretty much the rest of the internet’s) attention on this very cool and promising product. As always, we’ll post more updates as soon as we get ‘em.