It looks as though Apple could be ready to fire off yet another salvo as part of their continuing war against buttons and peripheral holes. A war you say? Totally.
In 2006, the company did away with one hole by giving us the Magsafe power connector. In recent years you may also have noticed that their video out interfaces keep getting smaller and smaller: You just know that it's leading to the utter destruction of a physical video connection in their gear. Similarly, the introduction of the MacBook Air and its single dual purpose headphone/microphone jack signaled an impending unceremonial farewell to the presence of microphone port in their mobile devices. If a patent application filed today is any indication, Apple may be just that much closer to perfecting the latter and realizing their dream of a smooth, hole-free housing for their devices.
In the space of a few years, the iPhone has gone from being a smartphone non grata in corporate circles, to being a much sought after productivity device for suits around the world. You'll also find enterprise-level business tech users hunkered down in deep thought, searching their minds and the iTunes App Store for ways to justify the purchase of the latest piece of successful businessman accoutrement--the iPad--to their superiors. If you've spent anytime working in a corporate environment, you'll know that this is a definite change. Up until recently, the office was ruled by the PC and Blackberry--boring technology, sure, but also cheap and relatively secure, allowing a company's the bottom line to stay red while providing a reasonably stringent IT security.
How did Apple manage to sway the hearts of the world's enterprise giants? Simple: They left them the heck alone.
Craigslist is the premier site for people looking for a good deal. Unlike Amazon and eBay, its searches are refined to sellers in defined proximities--usually people who are looking for quick pick-ups. Craigslisters who check often enough are bound to find something awesome for cheap, which means that well-designed iPhone and iPad apps could be huge.
We set out to determine if an iOS app could top the Mobile Safari experience, and it was no surprise to find literally dozens of Craigslist apps for the iPhone and iPad. It’s as if developers realized that the infrastructure was already set up, and all they had to do was beautify the site. However, many of them missed that mark, and we ended up wading through a sea of glitchy, crippled versions of the popular site--or apps even less attractive than the infamously minimal website. Still, a few interesting options emerged, so let’s take a look at the best of the bunch.
GoodGuide, a website that reviews companies based on their impact on health, the environment and society, has had an iPhone application for a while that allowed you to search through the more than 65,000 products they have in their database. Recently, however, they updated the application to include a barcode scanner, making it even easier to search for the "good" in any product.
So you thought the iCade Arcade Cabinet for iPad was a neat iOS accessory? Well, you're going to need someone to pick you up off the floor after you see the iPhone Pinball Magic accessory. The pinball table features flipper buttons, a ball-launching plunger, a credit / select button, an animated LED back panel display, and foldaway legs.
Welcome to yet another Game Time. This week we take on a few games that differentiate themselves from other titles in the App Store with elements like subtle gameplay mechanics and unique visual styles. Not all of the games featured scored a grand slam on their first try, but all are worth checking out.
With every new iPhone, a chorus of familiar questions arises: “How do I get more ringtones? How much do they cost?” Put your wallet away. We know not one, not two, but nine great ways to make ringtones on the cheap. Most are free or use software you already own. When finished, just drag the file to iTunes to prepare it for sync.
It's always been a bit of a pain to integrate our beloved Gmail and Google Calendar with our Apple devices. Syncing Google Calendar requires setting up an Exchange account--an extra hoop that makes Google syncing a lot less effortless than something like MobileMe. Thankfully, Google has given all of us loyal users a handy solution--Push notifications for their own mobile app!
There were light fingers this week; there was at least one snowy white iPhone 4 in the Great White North; there were apps galore; emails from Steve; more incredible impossible hard-to-credit stuff from Piper Jaffray, which seems to specialize in pixie dust and random guessing; and there was Google and Verizon, trying to make us hate them more than we hate AT&T. Oh yeah, there was also Mac|Life, where all of this makes sense.
This one's for those of you that prefer to take their news while wearing a tinfoil hat. Yesterday, Apple filed a patent application. The following is a glimpse inside what this patent actually does:
"A method for identifying an unauthorized user of an electronic device, the method comprising: determining that a current user of the electronic device is an unauthorized user; gathering information related to the unauthorized user's operation of the electronic device in response to determining, wherein the unauthorized user's operation comprises operations not related to the authentication; and transmitting an alert notification to a responsible party in response to gathering."
Sort of a vague overview, dontcha think? There's a couple of ways that this could, in theory, go for us. Click the jump for more.