Friday, January 29, 2010

The Apple iPad: First Impressions


Today Apple finally unveiled its tablet computer, the iPad. Thus concludes Phase 1 of the standard Apple new-category roll-out: months of feverish speculation and hype online, without any official indication by Apple that the product even exists.

Now Phase 2 can begin: the bashing by the bloggers who've never even tried it: "No physical keyboard!" "No removable battery!" "Way too expensive!" "Doesn't multitask!" "No memory-card slot!"

That will last until the iPad actually goes on sale in April. Then, if history is any guide, Phase 3 will begin: positive reviews, people lining up to buy the thing, and the mysterious disappearance of the basher-bloggers.

The iPad is, as predicted, essentially a giant iPod Touch: aluminum-backed, half-inch thin, with a 10-inch screen surrounded by a shiny black border. At the bottom, there's the standard iPod/iPhone connector and a single Home button. It will be available in models ranging from $499 (16 gigs of memory, Wi-Fi) to $830 (64 gigs of memory, Wi-Fi and 3G cellular).

The cellular signal will be provided by AT&T for $15 a month (250 megabytes of data transferred -- think e-mail only) or $30 a month, unlimited. Amazingly, those AT&T deals involve no contract. You can cancel whenever you like. And since this thing isn't a phone, you don't have to worry about dropped calls; you're paying exclusively for Internet service.

There's no reason you couldn't use it to make calls using Skype, of course -- Apple says that virtually all of the existing 140,000 iPhone apps run fine on the iPad. (You can run them either at regular tiny size, or blown up double with some loss of clarity.)

Then again, you might look a little bizarre walking through the airport holding this giant clipboard up to your ear.

Until I saw the demo, I wondered why you'd want an iPad instead of a laptop. After all, the price is about the same. And once you add a carrying case to the iPad -- wouldn't you worry about that glass screen bouncing around in your briefcase or backpack naked? -- it's about the same bulk and weight as a laptop.

Now, though, it looks like Apple really has created something new. Criticisms of "Like a laptop" and "a big iPod Touch" don't really do justice to the possibilities.

The iPad as an e-book reader is a no-brainer. It's just infinitely better-looking and more responsive than the Kindle, not to mention it has color and doesn't require external illumination. (Book fans should note, however, that the iPad e-bookstore won't offer bestsellers at $10 each, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble do. And although Apple says the iPad has a 10-hour battery life, it hasn't yet said "doing what." Playing video eats up battery a lot faster than reading e-books.)

Web browsing, painting programs, TV and movies, newspapers and magazines all seem like naturals on this 1.5-pound machine, too. The New York Times app is especially appealing to me -- and yes, this is my completely independent opinion -- because it seems to work like the much-adored Times Reader app for computers.

Overall, the iPad seems like a dream screen for reading and watching--at some loss of convenience in creating. True, there's an on-screen keyboard, big enough to type on with both hands in the usual way. And Apple will offer a specialized multitouch word processor, spreadsheet and presentation app for $10 each. But I'm guessing that, with no mouse and no physical keys to feel, writing and editing will be more effort than on a laptop. (Apple will also sell an external keyboard that holds the iPad upright as you type. Then again, if you need to carry all that around, maybe a laptop would make more sense.)

But these are just the wild speculations of a guy who's never even tried the thing. (Believe me, I'll review it when I get one.)

My main message to fanboys is this: it's too early to draw any conclusions. Apple hasn't given the thing to any reviewers yet, there are no iPad-only apps yet (there will be), the e-bookstore hasn't gone online yet, and so on. So hyperventilating is not yet the appropriate reaction.

At the same time, the bashers should be careful, too. As we enter Phase 2, remember how silly you all looked when you all predicted the iPhone's demise in that period before it went on sale.

Like the iPhone, the iPad is really a vessel, a tool, a 1.5-pound sack of potential. It may become many things. It may change an industry or two, or it may not. It may introduce a new category -- something between phone and laptop -- or it may not. And anyone who claims to know what will happen will wind up looking like a fool.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Introducing the iPad...

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Event: Apple Tablet Announcement Live

Posted by Randy @

The time has come to the unveiling of Apple’s latest creation. Today, Apple will be holding an invitation-only event which could lead to the unveiling of the Apple Tablet.

The invitation that has been sent out (January 18) to the media is not specific of what would be announced. The invitation just says: “Come see our latest creation“, but we are hoping that it would be the tablet plus some bonus perhaps.

The event will be held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, CA.

Please check your local time:

08:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00PM – Philippines (January 28th)
03:00AM – Tokyo (January 28th)

Apple Tablet Announcement Live Blogging:

1. Engadget live coverage here.

2. Gizmodo liveblog. Check it here.

3. CNET liveblog here.

4. MacWorld Live Update here.

iPhone 4.0 OS: Firmware update hinted in Apple placeholder

By: Peter Chubb

Today is going to be a busy day for Apple and its employees as they have their big press event. There has been so much speculation surrounding what Steve Jobs will unveil, will it be the new Tablet PC, a new iPhone 4G on Verizon or even the new iPhone 4.0 OS firmware update.

We only have about 7 hours left until we know what Apple have planned for us, but you can bet that it will be something big. We all have our own opinion as to what we will see today, I believe that we will see the new tablet device and an announcement of the end of the AT&T exclusivity with the iPhone.

For those who believe that we could also see a new iPhone operating system, then you could be right as according to MacRumors a firmware update has been spotted on the placeholder for the iPhone Developer Program signup form.

In that form it reads, “Need to update this for the 27th launch.” Take from that what you will, but it certainly points to a new iPhone OS. It certainly looks as though Devs will get to play with the new OS first before consumers are allowed to download and install it.

If you are impatient then, Engadget believes that more people will pay the $99 sign-up fee to gain access to the updated iPhone OS.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

No News On A New iPhone 4.0...Yet

A new operating system for the iPhone looks likely to be on the cards for Apples ‘latest creation’ announcement on 27 January 2010 – will this OS 4.0 work on the hotly rumored Apple Tablet?

According to Fox News, Apple will be unveiling the iPhone 4.0 OS on 27 January 2010. We are presuming that the Apple Tablet will also have the same version to make them completely compatible. But it doesn’t seem that a new iPhone will be announced as well – or not that we know of, at the moment.

Above is just a concept idea, but wouldn't that be cool?! We will just have to wait until January 27, 2010 to find out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rogers and Fido Helping Efforts in Haiti

Rogers Communications and the Rogers family together announce they will donate $250,000 to relief efforts in Haiti. Rogers will also enable customers to support relief efforts through a text-to-donate campaign.

TORONTO, Jan. 13 - Rogers Communications Inc. announced it has launched a mobile giving campaign to enable its customers to donate funds to help the relief efforts in Haiti in the wake of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010, which has left many parts of the country devastated.
Rogers Wireless and Fido customers are encouraged to help those in Haiti by donating to Partners In Health: Haiti and other Haitian relief organizations. By sending the text message "HELP" to shortcode 1291 beginning January 13th, 2010, customers can donate $5.00 CDN to the Haitian relief efforts.
Rogers is working with The ONEXONE Foundation to facilitate 100 per cent of donations in funds and goods to Partners In Health: Haiti and other Haitian relief organizations.
In conjunction with the text-to-donate campaign and on behalf of its more than 10 million customers across the country, Rogers Communications and The Rogers family together will donate $250,000 in funds and goods to Partners In Health: Haiti and other relief organizations in Haiti.
"We at Rogers extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the earthquake in Haiti, and to Canadians who are concerned for their loved ones back home," said Edward Rogers, Deputy Chairman, Rogers Communications. "In support of Partners in Health and other relief organizations in Haiti, we encourage our customers to aid relief efforts via our text-to-donate campaign."
For more information, please visit For details on
Partners In Health, please visit

Donations will appear as a line item on the customer's next wireless bill.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Great iPhone Jailbreak is now on eBay!

Check out our auctions for iPhone goodies here!!

A permanent link will be listed in the Related Trusted Links section on the right.

Thanks all!!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Riding The Nexus One Wave, Google Releases The Android 2.1 SDK

By MG Siegler
Monday, January 11, 2010

One of the key features of the Nexus One has nothing to do with its hardware. The latest and greatest Android phone also is the first device to come with the new Android 2.1 OS. And while other phones, like the Droid, are going to get it too (likely later this month), for now, if you want to play around with it, you'll need a Nexus One. Or, starting today, you can also download the Android 2.1 SDK.

As noted on the Android Developers Blog, the team is releasing it before most devices have it so that developers can play around with and build for the new features introduced in 2.1. Though Google calls 2.1 a "minor platform release" over Android 2.0, there are a number of new elements such as voice recognition, live wallpapers, a new launcher, more home screens, and some WebKit changes. Those who have ported it over to the Droid note that the new OS is also faster.

Google also notes that there is a new USB manager available through the SDK Manager that supports the Nexus One. This may or may not be related to the new services that it seems like Google wants to include with the device, such as a new docking station for backing up your data.

You can find the new SDK here.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

France Telecom Executive Confirms Apple Tablet?

Stéphane Richard, a France Télécom and Orange executive, confirms the existence of an Apple Tablet during a radio interview. The execustive even notes that the tablet will come with a webcam to shoot realtime video. Here is a short transcript of the interview:

Jean-Pierre Elkabbach: According to weekly Le Point, in a couple of days Apple will be launching its tablet computer …
Stéphane Richard: Yes.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach: … equipped with a webcam.
Stéphane Richard: Yes.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach: Are Orange customers going to be able to enjoy it?
Stéphane Richard: Of course!

Here is a video giving more information:

So did our France Télécom and Orange executive jump the gun? Orange did respond to above video:

“These responses in no way reflect Orange’s confirmation of the existence of the rumoured device. The spokesperson was merely confirming that he is aware of the speculation surrounding a launch and that Orange would be delighted to have such a product were it ever to be available”

Perhaps this the work of Apple’s PR machine the scenes again? We will see in the near future and there is no doubt the Apple Tablet will come to play soon.

Sn0wbreeze Public Beta Released, Then Retracted!

by RoryPiper on January 10th, 2010 from

Developers iH8Sn0w had released a public beta to their upcoming jailbreak tool, “Sn0wbreeze”. This is basically the iPhone Dev Team’s Pwnalge Tool, ported to Windows. Sn0wbreeze will jailbreak and hacktivate iPhone 2G, 3G, and 3GS, except the ones with the newer bootrom, and any serial number starting with MC. It will also jailbreak iPod Touch 1G and 2G. It creates a custom firmware that you use to do a restore in iTunes.

Up until now, the only way to make a custom firmware for your Apple touch device of choice, was to get on a Mac and use the Pwnage Tool. Sn0wbreeze brings this functionality to Windows users, and seems to be just as easy as the Pwnage Tool. It works with Windows XP, Vista, and 7, in 32 or 64 bit.

Not long after iH8Sn0w released their beta, they were outed for breaking the “jailbreak rules”. This is obviously a port of the iPhone Dev Team’s Pwnage Tool, yet no credit is given to the team that did all the work. They are using the actual code, from the Dev Team, without permission. Also, Sn0wbreeze embeds the bootloaders (BL-39.bin and BL-46.bin) in their tool. This is illegal. When you use the Pwnage Tool, they are not included, and you have to get them yourself. The Sn0wbreeze beta has been pulled and will not be available until the above issues are resolved.

I grabbed the beta, before it was pulled, and tried it out. If you’re familiar with the original Pwnage Tool, you know that in expert mode, you are able to add custom boot logos, adjust your partition size, choose to activate or not, keep the old baseband for unlocking, and more. The beta version of Sn0wbreeze came with “Simple” mode only, meaning you have no choices, at all. You just select the firmware for your device, decide if you need to activate or not, and hit go.

I found it funny that the software itself says “snowbreeze seems to have successfully created you IPSW”. Like,THEY aren’t even sure if it worked! It did show up on my desktop, though.

So, did it work? Nope. Not for me, it didn’t. When attempting to restore in iTunes, it hung for a long time on “Preparing iPhone for restore”, then gave up and went with the dreaded 1604 error. Then my iPhone 3G was bricked, and I had to do a full, official restore, to get it back. I should say that I was using Windows 7 on an iMac, via Parallels. Not sure if this was a factor, or not.

Bottom line is: don’t use this tool. This is still in beta, but it seems more like alpha, and should not have been released yet. In my opinion, I would avoid releases from this developer, as they are just using code from another developer, the iPhone Dev Team. If you’re a Windows user that needs to jailbreak, you’re better off with blackra1n, at the moment. If you need a custom firmware, find a friend that has a Mac and use the Pwnage Tool, or find an already built custom firmware to download.

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