Archive for October 4th, 2011
Apple’s new iPhone 4S is just last year’s design loaded with a new brain and more memory. It will run your apps faster and Apple’s new iOS5′s Assistant, an artificial intelligence program that listens and interprets your orders, and a new camera.
It just looks exactly the same, but there’s plenty of changes inside:
It’s the same old design as the iPhone 4. Nothing to say here. Same materials, same look.
• CPU and graphics: The iPhone 4S now has the iPad 2′s dual-core A5 CPU. It also has dual-core graphics, which will allow for faster and more detailed 3D. Apple claims this hardware combination makes the iPhone 4S seven times as fast as the iPhone 4 on games, and two times as fast on normal tasks.
• Internet speed: Like rumored, the new iPhone 4S runs on faster HSPA+ networks. That means that your telephone will download stuff faster from the Internet. Before it was up to 7.2 Megabits-per-second downloads. Now they claim two times as much: 14.4Mbps. This depends on the carrier, of course. I don’t know about you, but on AT&T I never get the maximum speed they claim.
Apple claims that, in real life situations, they are fast or “faster” as the competition’s phone on faster 4G networks. We will test that claim.
• New camera: There’s a new camera in the iPhone 4S. Its sensor is 8 megapixels, compared to the previous 5 megapixels. Much better than before. The most interesting thing is the sensor, however: It’s a CMOS backside illuminated sensor. Apple says that gets you 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor. The latter was already quite impressive, so I can’t wait to try this one. Apple has also remodeled the lens system, with five lens elements. They say they get now f2.4, which is very good.
The camera system is also faster than the previous version.
• New HD video: With the new sensor and new lens system, the camera now shots video at 1080p video with real-time image stabilization and temporal noise reduction.
• Battery life: Apple claims the new processor doesn’t impact the life of the battery. All the contrary. They say it will give you 8 hours talking battery life with 3G networks. If you set your phone to 2G, you will get 14 hours of talk time. 3G web browsing will give you six hours of battery life, while Wi-Fi access runs up to nine hours.
Video playback sets the battery at an impressive 10 hours maximum, while music goes up to 40 hours. These numbers best the iPhone 4′s previous theoretical battery life.
• New antenna design: Apple says that they have changed the antenna system, presumably to solve the signal attenuation problem.
• Storage: The iPhone comes now with 16, 32 and 64GB of storage.
Apple is also including Siri in the iPhone 4S, which will only run in this model (and presumably the iPad 2). The reason is the need for a faster A5 processor.
But the key about Siri, according to Apple, is that it isn’t just voice recognition. It reallyunderstands natural language and follows complex commands. It’s conversational too, so it will reply back to you and you can reply back to it. Think Enterprise’s computer vs the current crop of voice recognition software.
This thing actually seems smart, judging by the demos. It actually interprets what you are saying. You don’t talk to it using commands. You just talk to it like you would talk to another person. So instead of asking “tell me the weather today” you can just say “Do I need a raincoat?” and it will reply “It sure does look like rain today!” Or if you say “Wake me up tomorrow at 6am” it will automatically set up the alarm for you. Or “hey, remind me to buy milk later” and it will remind you to buy milk as you pass near a grocery store—yes, Siri is location aware.
Siri also pulls information from Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to give you smart answers to your questions. You can even ask him for definitions, which Siri will read out loud.
Apple has not disclosed if Siri would be available for developers, but I don’t see why not. It’s only logical to expect all apps to be integrated in the assistant flow, so you can ask Siri to buy you two tickets for Avengers playing around 7 on a Sunday. That’s the kind of stuff this thing seems able to do, although we would have to try it to know.
Siri will only support English, French and German in this release. Apple says that they will keep expanding the services as time goes by.
The iPhone 4S would be available in black and white. The 16GB model would be $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. The iPhone 4 would still be available in black for $99. All these prices require a contract.
You can pre-order the iPhone 4S on October 7. It will be available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint on October 14.
iPhone 4S international availability : Initially, the iPhone 4S will only be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.
Adobe’s had a busy day. Along with the acquisition of Nitobi Software and TypeKit, the company has also made a clear push into the tablet space, looking to bolster content creation. At the Adobe MAX 2011 conference in Los Angeles, Adobe officially announced the Creative Cloud — its very own cloud storage offering — along with with six new Adobe Touch apps for Android tablets and the iPad.
Creative Cloud lets users sync, share and view files from both the Adobe Creative Suite (desktop) and the Adobe Touch apps. It offers 20GB of free storage, though pricing and availability won’t be announced until November. However, the Creative Cloud (once it’s in action) will certainly boost the value of the six new Touch apps, most notable of which is Adobe Photoshop Touch.
Here’s a quick run-down of each of the new apps:
- Adobe Photoshop Touch: This is the beast of the new apps, since just about everyone can have fun in Photoshop. The app allows users to layer images, edit in most of the same ways they do in Photoshop, and add effects to their imagery. Adobe also added a new feature only available on the tablet-based apps called Scribble Selection Tool. It lets users pull objects from an image by “scribbling” over what to keep first, and then over what should be removed. Facebook and Google Search have also been integrated with the app, letting users search for images and share their creations quickly.
- Adobe Collage: This app seems pretty cool. It lets users collect images, drawings, and text to build what Adobe is calling a “mood board.” It features a customizable pen which allows for four different types of drawing, along with the ability to import photos, add text, and apply color themes. Thanks to Adobe’s new cloud-syncing tool, users open up these files in Photoshop and do what they will with them.
- Adobe Debut: This one’s for the creative professional. Adobe Debut offers a way to present clients with tablet-friendly versions of Creative Suite files, including Photoshop layers and Illustrator art boards. From there, clients can give feedback using the markup pen tool, which adds notes and drawings right on top of the work.
- Adobe Ideas: Adobe Ideas is a vector-based drawing app on steroids. With either a stylus or finger, users can doodle to their hearts’ desire, but with the added ability of choosing color themes and importing tablet-friendly images which can function as separate layers.
- Adobe Kuler: This app pulls from Adobe’s Kuler web-app which lets people create and share different color themes. Within the app, users can create themes based on a single photo, or by simply pulling their favorite shades together. The Adobe Kuler app already has hundreds of thousands of themes ready to roll courtesy of the Kuler community, and users can rate and comment on themes straight from the app. After themes are created they can be exported as color swatches for use in different Adobe projects.
Just like the Creative Cloud, these new apps won’t roll out until November. Worse, iOS availability seems to be a bit behind, with Adobe expecting to announce iPad availability in early 2012. Each app will cost $9.99 from both the Android Market and the Apple App Store.
Like Zune’s own Business Development Manager once said, all consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and today the (not so long) lineage of dedicated Zune hardware expires not with a roar, but with a promise to honor its warranties. Tucked away in the inner chambers of the Zune support site lies a page spelling out Microsoft’s final words on the device, “Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy,” it says, “we will no longer be producing Zune players.” The Zune HD is survived by the Zune music service, which will continue to function with straggling standalone media players, as well as the Windows desktop, Windows Phone and Xbox platforms.
Windows 8-developer preview is available for download and close to a million downloads have been recorded already.
Customers are facing issues in Windows 8 related to user interface or application responsiveness or other similar problems.
In this article, we discuss some frequent problems encountered by people while using Windows 8.
User interface issues
Based on user feedback given to Microsoft and messages found in various postings, it is safe to say that many people are not happy with the green colored Metro UI theme.
People want the ability to customize the theme with a color of their choice rather than being accustomed to a preselected color.
The forums are full of messages where people are demanding a workaround to change the theme color.
People are complaining that Weather, Paint play, News and other applications will not start.
Control panel and internet explorer are the only two applications that can be launched currently at low resolutions. A minimum of 1280×800 resolution is needed to run the other applications.
Many people have complained that the Metro applications are demanding very high resolutions and do not launch when clicked.
Developers are suggesting different theories and workarounds across different forums and sites. In case of apps that do not work, developers recommend switching Windows Live ID to a local ID, reboot the computer and change the order in which applications execute.
Other users are complaining that metro apps are consuming network resources and have login issues.
Device support issues
As with any new operating system, incompatible drivers are causing issues in Windows 8. Printers, scanners, copiers, graphic cards are not being recognized due to improper device drivers. Sometimes the devices are recognized but they fail to deliver all functions.
Some people are unable to install Windows 8 as the installation fails midway citing unavailability of critical drivers. According to Microsoft officials, such users should re-download the ISO file since it may have corrupted during the download process.
The biggest fear among developers is that Windows 8 should offer a secure and stable environment for data storage and application execution.
With secure boot, Windows 8 may have prevented malware execution prior to loading OS, but users are expecting strong malware protection from Windows Defender and other prebuilt security programs.
Microsoft s sole purpose was to enlighten the developers regarding application development for the new platform by releasing a developer preview.
With a large number of bugs being reported, I certainly hope Microsoft’s strategy does not backfire. The users should understand that the current release is not the final shipped product.
Microsoft has adopted an approach similar to Google (Google plus) in releasing a pre-beta version and made it available to millions of consumers in the form of free download.
If you have an MSDN account and if you encountered bugs during Windows 8 installation process, you can submit an official bug report to MSDN.
Microsoft’s cunning approach to conduct free usability testing is actually working and all we can hope is that Windows 8 emerges as a well-finished product after all the hassles faced by consumers.