Apple News from WWDC 2010 June 7, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Computers, Mp3 players and iPods, Music, Tablets , add a comment
News from Apple – WWDC 2010 Steve Job’s Keynote
Apple, as well, pretty much everyone expected, made a few new product announcements today. So let’s jump right in.
First off is an iBooks update, for those of you with iPads. Basically, added highlighting, notes, and bookmarking. Also can do PDFs, not just ePub formatted books. Nice.
Also announced was a Netflix app for the iPhone (summer), Farmville (end of June), and Guitar Hero (now).
Next, as was previously exploded over the internet a while back, iPhone news. Specifically, a new iPhone – the iPhone 4. It has a new design, being made out of steel and glass, and is a quarter thinner then the 3GS. Looking very slick.
What’s new? Hardware-wise, there’s a front-facing camera, and a second mike for better sound. The screen has been totally redone, using some new tech, for 4x resolution. Supposed to be much, much sharper. Furthermore, the Apple A4 chip of the iPad has been added to the iPhone as well, which helps battery life and speed. Battery life now supposed to be at 7 hours 3G talk, 6 hours 3G browsing, 10 hours WiFi browsing, 10 hours music, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby. Motion sensing has a new gyroscope, for full 6-axis motion control. New camera, 5MP, but has a new light sensor (supposed to make pictures better). HD video recording, at 72op. (Niiice!), with flash and sharing built in.
Another note – you will need to get a new SIM card, as the iPhone 4, like the iPad, uses MicroSIM cards.
Software: iMovie for iPhone – to go along with the new HD video camera. Looks insane – transition, effects, text, themes. On an iPhone. Can add in audio tracks from iTunes, photos. Built in geolocation for map effects. Again – this is on a PHONE. Will cost $5. Bing Search added along Google and Yahoo!.
On the iPhone OS 4.0 – it’s been renamed. Now called iOS 4. Some further showing off of the multitasking, Folders, iBooks for iPhone, and other updates.
And the last thing – that front facing camera? It’s for video calling! Called FaceTime, works over WiFi (no 3G, although they’re working on getting it soon.) iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only, obviously. Works with both cameras, in both portrait and landscape.
iOS 4 will be out June 21st, and FINALLY for free for iPod Touches all well. (Seriously, this was needed). Full upgrade for 3GS and 3rd-gen iTouches, iPhone 3G and 2nd-gen Touch get limited. (But it’s FREE!)
So! Pricing is $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB. Colors will be black and white, launching on June 24th. 3GS still available in 8GB for $99
So, that’s it. I’ll be posting a review of the iPhone 4 as soon as I can get my hands on one. Check back here soon!
[Pix from Apple.com]
GenUpload: Two weeks with KIN May 21, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Announcements, Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews, Microsoft, Music, Web , add a comment
KIN 2 is the not-square one (click to high-definitionize)
So, I’ve been using the KIN 2 as my only mobile device (no iPod Touch or regular cell) for the last two weeks. Check out my impression of how it held up to the theory of being a phone for teenagers in my guest column over at Slashgear.
KIN Review – a GenUpload Take May 5, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Announcements, Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews, Microsoft, Music, Web , add a comment
KIN – Teenagers dream phone?
I’ve had some time to be able to check out Microsoft’s latest phone offering designed for teens and the way we use phones – for a different take then most tech blogs, be sure to check out my guest column over at Slashgear for my take.
iPad – Review April 3, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Computers, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods, Music, Tablets, Web , 4comments
Behold! The iPad Cometh!
So. It’s finally landed. The iPad. And I’ve actually managed to get my mitts on one for a few minutes. So – here’s the review: We’ll jump right in.
First off – the iPad is cool. It’s been hyped for what seems like forever, and excitement has built to a fever pitch since it was announced by Apple in January. And it does live up to that – the entire thing is very, very, very, well done.
Let’s face it though. Enlightening (I hope) my comments on the iPad may be – you’ll be able to get effectively the same thing anywhere: every tech site in the world will be writing nearly the same thing, and at this rate, has already written it. So here’s my contribution – that isn’t anywhere else:
What does the iPad mean to YOU – a teenager and student?
It’s not an easy question. As media consumption and entertainment goes, the iPad is incredible. The huge screen, plus the fact it’s an extension of the iTunes library you’ve most likely spent most of your life building, as well as ALL your iPhone/iTouch Apps, along with the 1,400-odd iPad only one already out there make that a moot point. More serious stuff – like note-taking or, say, productive work – is also fairly nice: I personally find the horizontal digital keyboard excellent, and the compatibility with Bluetooth keyboards is a huge plus. And yes, better comments on that is down below.
But back to my question – is the iPad for YOU? I have to say no. And I mean this in no way to knock the iPad, but despite the serious awesomeness of the device, I can’t recommend it for most teens. The iPad, in the most basic breakdown is Apple’s netbook. And here’s the thing.
Teenagers do not use netbooks correctly – at least, how the manufacturers want. The netbook concept is that you buy a full laptop or desktop, and use the netbook to supplement it – for travel or on-the-go. But teens don’t follow that logic at all – for many teens, the netbook is the ONLY computer – the primary one, that they use for media, for school, for gaming, for IM, for everything in their lives – after all, money is something we don’t have available for big purchases for the most part, and netbooks are light, cheap, easy to carry and give full computer functionality.
And unfortunately, the iPad cannot deliver as a primary computer for teens. Both the $500 minimum for the device (not including a case, stand, or external keyboard), as well as it’s existing limitations – no Flash, no physical keyboard, and the limitations of using a mobile operating system – at that price, make it extremely difficult for me to recommend it for a teenager – save the money, or use it to get a full powered laptop. But the iPad isn’t meant to be a primary device, nor can it be recommended as such for a student.
Again – I think the iPad is a fantastic device. And if you’re interested in a secondary device, and can afford the price, or are willing to go with the limitations of the iPad as a primary device, then by all means. It still is an incredible device for the in between space between iPod/Phone and computer – but my personal view is that that particular space doesn’t exist for teenagers in a real sense.
Onwards to the review!
Doubletwist – iTunes for Your Phone February 24, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Cell Phones, Computers, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods, Music , add a comment
Doubletwist – like iTunes, for non-Apple stuff
The age-old issue: you, like nearly everyone else, uses an iPod for music – be it Touch, Nano, Shuffle, or Classic — and you are very happy with using iTunes for syncing and so on. But unfortunately, unless you have an iPhone, the iTunes program is quite unhelpful when it comes to your phone. Unlike your iPod, you can’t just plug in to your computer and sync your music, and while phones have separate applications for syncing media, lets face it – getting everything to work, getting your music from iTunes…its annoying– especially every time you get a new phone.
Enter Doubletwist. iTunes for everything else- literally. Able to recognize and import your iTunes library (even playlists), Doubletwist is compatible with a whole slew of companies and devices – PSP, Zune, Nokia’s, LG’s, Motorola’s, etc. True, it’s not compatible with everything – but it’s certainly more then an iPod and it does a great job syncing. The interface is simple, and familiar to iTunes’, and features the drag/drop method we all know and love. Videos – provided they aren’t purchased (and therefore, DRMed) from iTunes – are converted into a suitable format and synced. Photos – same deal. (Note: iTunes Plus songs, without DRM, are fine)
Best of all – it’s not only a Mac application – Doubletwist is for Windows as well. It also has features for sharing – or “twisting” as they call it – media with friends and family, as well as integration with the Amazon MP3 store.
If you’d like Doubletwist, check it out on the site here to see if they support your phone or device. Also, you might want to check that you have a USB cable to connect your phone to your PC. Finally, if you’re looking to keep a fair amount of songs, look into getting a MicroSD card, so you have memory to store ‘em.
And next time your iPhone toting friend is bragging about having his music on his phone – you’ll have the last laugh.
Pandora One February 16, 2010Posted by Zev Rosenbaum in : Computers, Music , add a comment
Have you ever wanted your own DJ? One that is so smart that it can pick from literally thousands and thousands of songs, the perfect songs, customized to your music preferences? Imagine, a DJ that will create a whole playlist of songs based on songs you like, even comprehending the elements of the song that cause you to enjoy it so much. No I’m not talking about Genius, Apple’s attempt to create your own DJ, but something you can run entirely off the internet, for a mere price tag of $3 a month. I’m talking about Pandora One, which is an attempt to bring the very successful Pandora (known for their great iPhone, Android and other mobile apps), to your desktop.
The Beatles are coming to Rock Band! March 5, 2009Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Music, Video Games , 1 comment so far
Very into Rock Band and are looking for some new classic songs to jam to? Well, if that’s the case, then today’s your lucky day: MTV Games, Harmonix (joint Rock Band founders) and Apple Corps LTD (copyright owners of the Beatles music; not the iPod company) announced today a whole new game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii that features the legendary British rockers.
Arriving 9/9/09, it will be available as a stand-alone game for $60, and for $250, as a limited edition Rock Band set including the whole package– game, guitar, drums, mic– entirely designed to look like the instruments used by the Beatles. You can also get just the guitar for $100.
The game will also have 45 of the Beatles hits from 1962 through 1969 playable, though as of right now, not much is known about whether you can download those songs for play on your Rock Band 1 or 2 as well as if you can play other songs in this special Beatles version. We also know that fortunately, the 3 companies also said that the older Rock Band instruments will be able to work with the new game, so those of you who don’t wanna spend the extra $190 for more plastic instruments can just get the game and be all set
So you pumped for this new game? Will this make you hold off on that Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero World Tour purchase and wait a few months to get a game based on one of the greatest bands ever? Sound off in the comments.
Garageband 09' – Lesson Review February 7, 2009Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, First Look/Reviews, Music , add a comment
Garageband 09′s Lesson system (in shiny HD!)
Had some snow here last week, so I finally got the chance to try out the new iLife stuff. So here’s my take on the new Garageband features, and specifically, the Lessons system.
After installing the update, finding the digital keyboard, plugging it in, and re-acquainting myself with the piano (haven’t played it for a while), I went into the lesson, of which there are two already installed ones: Piano Basics 1 and Guitar Basics 1. Since I play piano, I tried the Piano Lesson.
After being greeted by a friendly person, I was introduced to the basics of piano. My instructor went through basic chord progression, the hold pedal, and, at the end of the lesson, played a simple song with me using the chords we learned. The interface, as you can see above, is nice, with HD video and a visual guide to help you, along with the instructor. While I haven’t had a chance to try the Artist Lessons, I’m assuming they work the same way, just with real musicians teaching you their songs instead of the Apple Instructor teaching piano basics. In theory, one could teach themselves an entire instrument using the system, which is quite cool.
Overall, it’s a cool concept, that works just as well as one would expect. Definitetly a worthwhile feature for anyone who has iLife 09′ to try out.