I've written before about the power of a truly interactive multimedia eBook reader, but two iPad apps have really taken the idea and run with it. The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross is a unique children's book with a hauntingly stark design.
The most interesting iPod announced at the recent Apple event is the iPod nano with the square multitouch screen. While the new shuffle resembles a previous generation, we have never had a touchscreen iPod in that form factor. Steve Jobs even remarked that a colleague has plans to wear one on a wristband. Running the built-in clock app, this essentially is an "iWatch".
Incipio has even announced a case+strap combination called the Linq. More than just a wrist strap that the nano would clip on to, the Linq provides rubberized protection around the nano and looks like a winner.
If you're like me, you watched today's Apple event and paid a great deal of attention to what Steve Jobs said. And to what he didn't say.
Steve said that 'everything' is coming to iPad in 4.2 later this year and then he specifically mentioned 'HDR Photos'... so, did he foreshadow a camera for the iPad? It's already overdue and now that the iPod touch has two cameras, it's LONG overdue. Remember, this is Apple's most expensive iOS device.
I have anticipated this day for quite some time. Twelve South, the makers of iconic products for the Mac and more recently the iPad, have finally released the BookBook case. The BookBook has been available for Macbook's for some time and they are gorgeous real leather, black, brown and red works of art that you store your laptop in. When closed, they look just like classic novels.
I'm a classy guy, trust me. Okay, at least I try to be. And my latest case for the iPhone 4 helps! It's from Proporta and it's made out of luxurious leather with, get this, a leather-encased aluminum cover. The aluminum protects the iPhone screen, but the leather lining makes it soft to the touch. It truly is "like butter."
I've always felt that it was shortsighted for eBook readers to merely try to emulate the traditional book experience. Sure, it's fun to see the page curl as you swipe the screen, etc., but for eReaders to really take off, they need to leverage their technology and offer advantages that a traditional book cannot. vBookz, $4.99 from Mindex International, is an attempt to do just that, with an eBook reader that reads out loud, using Text-to-Speech.
If Yogi Berra were to assess today's use of cameras he might say: "Nobody takes photographs anymore... they're too busy taking pictures." If you're like me, you have thousands of digital pictures stored on hard drives and online galleries but only print a tiny fraction of them. Once in a while we'll find "a keeper" and enlarge it to 11"x14" and frame it, but by and large, photos stay on the computer and maybe a digital photo frame.
This has been a busy week or so for the App Store, so I thought I'd chime in with my observations, as a user and developer.
First, Apple took a major step forward toward enhancing the structure of the App Store, by adding Keywords. Now, when developers submit apps, they must include 100 characters of keywords that will be part of the approval process. Before, Digital Chocolate, a game developer, had the word "ea." as in the abbreviation of 'each', repeated several times in their descriptions. The result was, searches for "EA" as in EA Sports, returned only Digital Chocolate apps! EA complained, and Apple listened.
Apple just released (within the past half hour) iTunes 8.1 and it seems to be "zippier".
They also have a new system for App Store reviews, where you can filter reviews by a particular version.
The primary enhancements for iTunes 8.1 relate to the new iPod Shuffle, introduced today, but there are quite a few other new features. Here's the Readme:
What's new in iTunes 8.1
I represented iPhone Life magazine at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and there was plenty of news to report for iPhone and iPod touch users. The following are notes from the event, plus brief reviews of some of the gadgets we were able to get our hands on after CES was over.
At least two vendors are trying to integrate headphones or speakers into something you already wear.