Tue, Jan 31, 2012
Perhaps the biggest new feature in Final Cut Pro X is the addition of Multicam editing. Typical of Apple when adding a new feature, the company didn’t just think about how to add the functionality, they thought about how to do it better than before.
Rebecca MacKinnon, Slate
On Super Bowl Sunday, Jan. 22, 1984, Apple ran one of the most famous TV advertisements of all time.
Fifteen years later, in the fall of 2009, Apple officially launched the iPhone in China in partnership with a domestic mobile carrier, China Unicom. As a condition for entry into the Chinese market, Apple had to agree to the Chinese government’s censorship criteria in vetting the content of all iPhone apps available for download on devices sold in mainland China.
Apple announced this morning that John Browett has joined Apple as their new Senior Vice President of Retail. Browett is leaving his position as CEO of Dixons Retail.
Of the many available, Skitch is our favorite for its many annotation tools and instant-sharing options.
Griffin Technologies, which makes a number of peripheral devices for Mac OS and iOS systems, has a tool called Proxi that makes triggering scripted tasks far easier.
The last two years had a mixture of hesitance — “Will a conference without Apple succeed?” — and defiance — “We’ll show Apple that we can have a conference without them!” That mix was gone this year, and apart from people unrelated to the Apple world with whom we talked during the trip, no one who was actually attending Macworld Expo even mentioned the fact that Apple wasn’t present. As I’ve said repeatedly, Apple’s absence from Macworld Expo is largely irrelevant. I’d even argue that it’s better for exhibitors, since Apple’s announcements tended to overshadow everything else that was being shown.
It’s distressing that we’ve gone backward in this respect from Macworld Expos of 5 or 10 years ago, when such models were few and far between. Perhaps that’s part of the price of attracting a younger and less-professional audience with iOS, but that doesn’t make the show floor any more welcoming.
Using a Twitter client means I can keep up to date with my friends’ ideas and blips of daily life without getting distracted from my primary activities. Hibari is designed to be always visible on the side of the screen, to be glanced at throughout the day, and as such it necessitates a small footprint and high standards of minimalism.
Because Hibari is a secondary app, I want it to fit in with the feel of the operating system as much as possible. I call Hibari “minimalist,” but it’s certainly not an instance of bare, angular, monochromatic minimalism. I’m aiming instead for a quiet, soothing, Japanese-style minimalism; one that feels natural. For my taste, an angular black & white app juxtaposed against the grays of OS X wouldn’t produce the most minimalist result.
As a tech journalist, Macworld has gradually become less interesting. As a user of Apple's products and a geek in general, however, the show has become perhaps more interesting.
For example, you might not be aware that when you sync photos to your iOS device or photo-compatible iPod, iTunes creates separate versions of those photos and stores them within your iPhoto library. These files are never deleted and pile up over time. And the longer you have them, the less likely that you’re even syncing all of them to your devices.
Now that we are all moving to smaller SSD drives, reclaiming disk space is critical again.
AirPort Utility has been updated to both version 5.6 (latest one was 5.5.3) and 6.0,the latter available now as 14.3 MB download in Software Update. Whilst 5.6 is a minor update that ”resolves an issue with using network passwords stored in the Keychain” and ”works with AirPort Express 802.11g and AirPort Extreme 802.11g base stations”, AirPort Utility 6.0 is a major rewrite of the application that now resembles its iOS counterpart released in October of last year.
With the new system, customers wishing to purchase an iPhone at the company's retail store in the IFC Mall must request a reservation between 9:00 AM and noon one day prior to their desired purchase. By 9:00 PM that same day, Apple will determine stock levels for the following day and notify customers who are granted reservations for the following morning.
Mon, Jan 30, 2012
Why burden you with this analysis? Because I don’t want users to think Siri will increase their bills or to lose out on the magic of Siri’s artificial intelligence. And I don’t want developers to be discouraged if and when Apple opens its API.
America’s love affair with Siri can continue – and, indeed, spread throughout the world – without endangering our networks or ability to call grandma.
Your correspondent has a variety of conflicting feelings about the booth babes, who were the topic of much discussion. Deployment of pretty young things to reel men in is so blatant a ploy that cognitive dissonance soon sets in. Being a man, Babbage cannot deny evolution's impact on his admiration of attractive women. Yet he resents it being used against him.
Sun, Jan 29, 2012
In the hunt for innovation, that elusive path to economic growth and corporate prosperity, try a little jazz as an inspirational metaphor.
John Kao points to the very different models of innovation represented by Google and Apple, two powerhouses of Silicon Valley, the world’s epicenter of corporate creativity.
“iBook” is only used to refer to the old laptop, never anything related to the bookstore or reading app, presumably to protect the old laptop’s trademark.
Adva-Soft's new and somewhat counterintuitively named AntiCrop is an iPhone and iPad photography app that does not—as the name might imply—take an ideological position against cropping. Rather, AntiCrop is used to fill in areas of a photo when you change its aspect ratio or otherwise enlarge it, or crop it in a different way. AntiCrop also facilitates photo straightening.
The product uses different components to present a color-rich high-resolution image of the earth as a 3D sphere, without the 3D spectacles.
Sat, Jan 28, 2012
As you can tell, I think this is an extremely powerful tool for educators who want to provide their courses to the world, or even improve the experience of their local students. iTunes U has allowed me to take a class I taught for only two semesters and put it in front of tens of thousands of people worldwide, with more discovering it every day. All of this is provided for free (assuming you have an iOS device or something capable of running iTunes). While the new iBooks textbooks received most of the attention from last week's Apple event, the improvements to iTunes U should also have a significant impact on education.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet
Supply chain issues aren’t an Apple issue, they’re an industry-wide problem, and part of the blame has to rest with us, the consumer - we constantly demand more for less, and our insatiable demand for gadgets and devices has created a culture where a blind eye has been turned to abuses in the past. That now, thanks to the efforts of companies like Apple, is changing.
The annual pilgrimage by Apple fans shows no sign of letting up, even though Apple pulled out three years ago. After all, says Kelly Trent with Wiley Publishing, which puts out the Dummies guides, "Macworld has always been a fan event for people who live and breathe Apple. That hasn't changed just because Apple's not here. Their love remains so strong.''
While the target audience for Macworld | iWorld is your typical consumer, there are a few vendors in attendance focused on reaching developers. If you’re a developer yourself, or maybe work with developers in your company, you might want to stop by the following vendors during the show, or check out their sites if you aren’t able to attend.
Chris Preimesberger, eWeek
Attendance is down noticeably over 2010 and previous years, and there are fewer vendors showing their wares. There is more room to roam in the main expo hall, parking is easier to find, and that's certainly good for attendees.
Although this still ranks as one of the most interesting and innovative of all the IT-related shows each year, the intensity has ratcheted down. Apple reported a high of 45,572 attendees in 2007; this year's numbers aren't yet available, but early estimates are that about 22,000 people will attend the show this week, IDG World Expo told eWEEK.
When we’re talking over the air, there’s not one single highway to get us from Point A to Point B; there are multiple spectrum bands, technologies and costs associated with them. In this age, using wireless is like engaging in multimodal commuting. You use cellular to drive to the train station and the high-speed rails of Wi-Fi fly downtown. Meanwhile, you’re sharing those rails and highways with thousands of other commuters in neighboring airwaves that are the equivalent of bikers, skateboarders etc.
That’s where Farhi missed a big opportunity to tell D.C. that instead of focusing on cars and the single highway, it should look around at all the other technologies out there. Stop listening to the carriers, who actually do have spectrum they can deploy if they want to work a little harder and spend a little more, and start thinking about how Wi-Fi or white spaces broadband (Super Wi-Fi) can play a role in taking congestion off over the air data networks.
Under most circumstances, this would seem to be someone else’s problem. Cellphone contracts are “tiered” so that those who use a network more than others pay more for the privilege. You want to ask Siri silly questions? Go to town — but you (or, in this case, I) will get the bill at the end of the month. By the same logic, a customer who wants better service on an airline can pay for it by buying a first-class ticket. The marketplace provides.
Except on the data skyway, it’s not that simple. Cell and data networks are like any common resource; they have limits. And once they hit their limit, regardless of which group is using its share and then some, there’s no more to go around.
Personally, I believe Apple has never been in a better position to do the right thing. Tim Cook has already responded--even if just internally--to employee and media concerns over Foxconn and other plants. He promises the company will "dig deeper," and he notes:
"We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people."
That's exactly right--and yet, it hasn't been enough, for reasons of priority and profit. It's time to do more. We'll be watching.
It turns out, iCloud itself is a fantastic addition to iOS 5 for the end user, but between concerns on Apple’s long term plans and de-facto technical limitations, we might have to wait a little longer to have all our apps iCloud-ready, fine-tuned for an optimal experience.
“We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment,” wrote Cook, who served as Apple’s chief operating officer and oversaw its supply chain prior to becoming the company’s CEO. “We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do — and never have done — is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain.”
After spending several months really getting to know Lion, I've uncovered a plethora of little-talked-about functions that are well worth knowing about. Here are more than 15 new and useful features in Lion for you to explore.
The primary function of shorteners is to allow tweets to contain URLs without the links eating up too much of Twitter’s 140 character limit. That’s fine. However, an unintended consequence is that, when these URLs show up in Safari’s History, they all have a title of “(no title)” and an indecipherable “http//t.co/” address.
What I discovered was a Mac app with features that are almost identical to those of its iOS counterpart, but with quite a few advantages thanks to the Mac platform.
Fri, Jan 27, 2012
Prominently featured is a slideshow object that lets users drag a collection of photos to the app, with options for timing, transitions and caption control adjustable in the Object inspector. The traditional Photo Grid now supports displayed captions derived from page contents.
So tech industry, it’s time to step up and take care of your people. Fanboys and girls, it’s time to step down even when you know an article has a slant that’s not completely fair. All of us need to accept that there is a human cost to our devices, and we need to accept that the human cost doesn’t have to be as high as it is. And then we need to demand better.
A fast-growing media company has hit upon an iPad loaner program, which replaces laptops for occasional travelers. The Apple tablet's simplicity compared to the laptop makes it much easier to administer and use.
Thu, Jan 26, 2012
A new study published by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, in conjunction with researchers at Microsoft (a long-time Apple rival), is the first of its kind to examine the physical effects on the head, neck and shoulders of spending time staring at a tablet.
The good news is that it is not all bad news. The researchers found that people are more inclined to move around and shift positions when they use a tablet compared with people who are sitting at a desktop computer. That's definitely good. However, tablet users that hold the device almost at their lap, or rest the tablet in a case on their lap, are putting a lot of strain on the neck muscles -- much more than someone using a laptop or desktop computer.
The New York Times partnered with Caixin, a Chinese business magazine, to publish the article in Chinese. The goal was twofold: to share the content of the article with readers in China, and to solicit Chinese comments for translation into English that might prove illuminating for readers of the English-language article on NYTimes.com.
Below are five alternatives that focus on the music, without the bloat.
Yoink has been improved considerably since its debut, making it a useful utility that's easy to integrate into your workflow.
In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
The outsourcing of manufacturing jobs remains a major sore point for most Americans. But owners of some of the nation’s most popular electronics — including iPhones and iPads — are less concerned than other Americans about where their purchases are made, according to a nationwide survey conducted by The New York Times.
Apple, meanwhile, remains a hugely popular American company. More than three-quarters of respondents said they had a very favorable or mostly favorable opinion of Apple.
Long pressing—that is, tapping and holding down on a part of your screen—provides a lot of handy shortcuts on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Here's a look at practically everything you can with this technique to save you a bunch of time typing and navigating your device.
While Apple has certainly shown that at times they’ve let their power corrupt, they’re still guided by the fundamental principle we fell in love with: Superior products through superior design.
So while I wish Apple success in disrupting the textbook market, I also hope that the company will further develop its iBooks Author tool, adding templates for other genres of publishing as a well as an ePub export tool.
Essentially, it’s an App Store specifically for businesses, where they can purchase iOS apps in bulk. It allows developers to custom-tailor software for specific businesses; it also gives Apple another entry into the business market.
Owners of the mid-2010 Mac mini and mid-2010 MacBook also have firmware updates to call their own. And like the MacBook Pro firmware release, these updates enable Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on their respective Mac models.
If you're a FileVault 2 user, remember two things: use command+R when booting to go into recovery mode, and you can always decrypt your drive if FileVault 2 gets in the way of fixing a file system issue. Of course decryption won't do anything for physical drive problems, so always back up first and make sure you don't overwrite backups from before the disk trouble started.
Wed, Jan 25, 2012
But just because the stylus doesn’t work on a phone doesn’t mean it won’t work anywhere else. Lately, I’ve discovered that the stylus can be a perfectly useful and sometimes even transformational doohickey.
"We're actively discussing uses of our cash balance, and have no specifics to share," Oppenheimer said. "In the meantime, we continue to be disciplined with cash, and are not letting it burn a hole in our pockets."
Record-breaking iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales rang in a stellar start to the 2012 fiscal year for Apple. The company said on Tuesday that it tallied $46.33 billion in sales and $13.06 billion in profit for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31.
Both the revenue and profit figures were quarterly records for Apple and blew away the numbers recorded in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 73 percent from last year’s figure of $26.74 billion; profits more than doubled from the $6 billion earned in the fiscal first quarter of 2011.
Unlike iPhones, iPads, and Macs, all of which experienced terrific gains, the 11-year-old iPod line experienced a 21% unit decline year-over-year, from last winter's quarter.
There’s much to be said for this type of service, where for a fixed monthly fee, you get all you can listen to. The cost is fair, given the price of audiobooks, but whether it’s worth it for you depends on how many books you find to listen to.
Version 1.2 provides full localization—including language detection and comprehension—for French, German, Italian, and Spanish. It also includes improved parsing of repeating-event descriptions across all languages.
Tue, Jan 24, 2012
If you see the goal of ePub as serving as an expressive, standard, cross-platform format for e-books, Apple remains fully on board with that. If you see the goal of ePub as serving as the only commercial e-book format — i.e. that all e-books should be cross-platform — I don’t see how you can argue that Apple was ever on board with that. There’s a big difference between arguing “There should be a good standard for cross-platform books” and “All books should be based on a good cross-platform standard”.
Apple's top-secret vetting process has long been seen as a key defense against the malicious apps that have been discovered in the Android Market. But what is now clear is that Apple doesn't vet apps as carefully as we think—or at least, not for obvious violations of copyright infringement.
Macworld | iWorld, as the event is now called, offers fans of the Cupertino company a chance to see the latest software and accessories built for Apple products, as well as the range of ways they are used in creative projects. And it will place increased emphasis on devices such as the iPhone and iPad, which are growing at a much faster rate than other Apple products.
Among the many tools, Screenflow is easily our top choice. It's fast, feature-rich, handles everything about the screencasting process from start to finish, and doubles as possibly the best simple video editing application on the Mac.
Honestly? It feels like Apple said, “Hmmm… we have all of this Server code laying around gathering dust… I know! Let’s recompile it for Lion, slap an icon on it, and put it on the App Store! We’ll make a few bucks!” This isn’t a "product" so much as a disjointed bundle of software with several nice-looking but not very functional GUIs on top.
Apple and its attitude towards people who use older hardware is beginning to annoy me. It creates hardware that will easily outlive its Windows counterparts, but kills it off by dropping software support for the older hardware.
The recent release of xScope 3.0 is our first product to use the new application sandbox that will soon become a requirement for submission to the Mac App Store. I’d like to share some experiences and advice on how to use it in your own products.
Mon, Jan 23, 2012
The point is that manufacturing plants don’t exist in isolation; they benefit a lot from being part of a manufacturing cluster, with specialized suppliers and a large pool of workers with the right skills close at hand.
Sure, iBooks Author is only version 1.0—and seeing as how I’ve defended Apple in the past for features missing from its 1.0 software, I probably should withhold my judgement for the time being. But I can’t help but be disappointed.
Apple’s behavior is a modern, sophisticated version of the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” behavior that got Microsoft in so much trouble in the 1990s: Enter a product category supporting a widely used standard, extend that standard with proprietary capabilities, and then use those differences to disadvantage competitors. (The strategy is even more effective if you have a dominant market position in another, related category that you can use for leverage. Think Windows in the 1990s, iPad in 2012.)
Had iBooks 2 and iBooks Author been released back in 1996, when CD-ROMs were still a pretty neat idea, I would be writing a very different article. But today, when Apple are trying to claim that twenty-year-old ideas represent a “reinvention” of the textbook, I am less impressed. Schiller, see me after school. Grade: C-. Really must try harder.
The mistake we — and so many others have made — is to assume that iBooks Author is aimed at anyone other than textbook publishers and teachers. It just isn’t.
Today, Apple already demonstrates a type of curation when it decides which apps get featured as New and Noteworthy, or Staff Favorites. They might as well go all the way and please their users with subjective, personal reviews. Encourage the kommentariat to cluck its disapproval, allow dinged developers to rage online. If presented as an honest, competent effort — occasionally wrong but always with the Apple imprimatur — the review process will be as respected as any other high-quality editorial effort.
Sun, Jan 22, 2012
The new novel "Chopsticks" tells the story of a troubled young piano prodigy—using family photos, letters, documents, instant messages and YouTube videos. It's a love story, a mystery and a parable about creativity and madness.
It's also an experiment, one that could have far-reaching implications for the book industry, as publishers stretch the definition of what constitutes a book. "Chopsticks" straddles the digital divide that is transforming the publishing world—it's both a novel and a digital app.
Apple always attempts to deliver a user-centric OS. Critics will have their problems with some of the iOS implementations, and there’s some who have not fully embraced the OS X Lion ‘experience’, but the attempt to champion the user above the limitations of the system pays dividends in many ways -- look at the satisfaction levels for proof.
Microsoft's customers -- for Windows and Office -- had always been corporations and their IT departments, manufacturers and equipment makers. We use Windows because that's what we were given, not because that's what we love.
While Apple is far from alone, it offers a window into why the success of some prominent companies has not translated into large numbers of domestic jobs. What’s more, the company’s decisions pose broader questions about what corporate America owes Americans as the global and national economies are increasingly intertwined.
In part, Asia was attractive because the semiskilled workers there were cheaper. But that wasn’t driving Apple. For technology companies, the cost of labor is minimal compared with the expense of buying parts and managing supply chains that bring together components and services from hundreds of companies.
For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.
You cannot simply throw money to solve problems.
Sat, Jan 21, 2012
In the summer of 2007, Apple's Steve Jobs received a note from then-Palm chief executive Ed Colligan, according to correspondence revealed in a lawsuit over employee poaching.
The note was made public in a court filing on Thursday in a proposed class action brought by five software engineers against Apple Inc and other tech companies including Google Inc and Intel Corp.
The various pieces of iCloud have been released in recent months, and I'm not impressed. In fact, I've been frustrated, more than anything else, when using iCloud. Apple talked this up like it would do for the cloud what it did for music and the phone, and it hasn't, not by a long shot.
"Apple, you have all those employees over there, you make all those profits over there. If you want to bring that money back, right now you pay a 35% tax. Under our plan, if you bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment here in Charleston – you pay nothing. You put that money to work, if you invest it, you pay nothing – it's a powerful incentive."
The problem, as mentioned by Apple, is not (just) money, but also skilled staff.
I have a MacBook Pro and an iPad (and an LG phone, and a Samsung monitor, . . .). While I think OS X is far better than Windows (or Linux if, like me, you’re not a power user), I would gladly switch back if I had confidence that my computer’s manufacturer was an appreciably, demonstrably better employer than Foxconn. And I would pay more, too, just like I pay more for free-range eggs and organic food (which I buy for the environmental impact, not the health benefits). But while there are certification programs that provide some confidence that your coffee isn’t the product of imperial exploitation, I’m not aware of such programs for electronics. Maybe there are already, and I just don’t know about them.
Corel has released its first professional photo catalogue and RAW editing software, AfterShot Pro. It’s fast, extremely flexible and has powerful technologies under the hood. It has everything to be a real winner, except perhaps for its interface which to my personal taste needs a bit more polish.
As with the end-user licensing kerfuffle, it’s worth noting that the app’s name is iBooks Author, not eBooks Author. Just because there’s demand for an open-standards-based e-book production and layout tool of the scope and caliber of iBooks Author, doesn’t mean Apple has any interest in making such a tool.
I've been involved in a debate for days on Twitter and on comment forums with those who think the gentleman was an idiot who should have read the manual before ever daring touch his phone, those who think all phones should be powered fully off (not just have the ringer silenced for calls) while attending performances, and those who think Apple's operating system failed to give the owner enough warning.
I leave it to you to decide with which of those or other alternatives you agree. But forearmed is forewarned: I have found that many people are confused about the states in which an iPhone makes a squawk. Here's a guide to shushing your iPhone.
If you are going to a concert, a movie, or a funeral, you have to know how to make your iPhone completely silent.
What I found were books that feature stunning images and impressive graphics that make traditional printed textbooks feel out-of-date.
Reading in iBooks 2 feels very similar to reading nonfiction books in iBooks (or any other e-reader), but its seamless design offers lots of multimedia without making it feel like a moving billboard. Users don't have to interact with the new features unless they want to. The features that students will use often to study, such as annotating and highlighting, feel a little basic and could benefit from sharing capabilities. E-mailing notes from the text could become cumbersome, especially since so many students nowadays collaborate using Dropbox, wikis, and other collaborative tools.
I understand why Apple is pushing on this: the textbook is culturally and politically embedded in the American education system. It’s also an obvious and easily understood way to sell the benefits of the iPad to the people who control educational spending. Such people are often not ready to hear a pitch about teachers and pupils creating their own materials, using the Internet for learning, and communicating with peers and experts around the world.
What Apple demonstrates with a textbook-optimized version of iBooks is nothing special in this context; only the iPad makes it a new proposition. Making interactive multimedia available as part of education, whether in the context of a lesson or a course of study isn’t new. The power, portability, touch interaction, and immersion of the iPad relative to what it can perform is different. But that has more to do with how frequently and readily a student pulls out a book to study (digital or otherwise): a laptop isn’t inherently more tedious to use when that’s the format in which a textbook or instructional program is made available.
Apple seems to think that making the tool available solves the problem of pedagogy. Textbook makers and perhaps entrepreneurs have been just waiting for the moment in which they could take all this media and stick it together. It’s as if Apple has forgotten interactive CD-ROMs, and isn’t aware of the current generation of textbooks as Web apps, easily available from any desktop or laptop computer in a school.
e-book publishing experts have concerns about the formatting that iBooks Author can output, which isn't fully ePub 2 or ePub 3 compliant. Furthermore, Apple has added a clause to iBooks Author's end user license agreement that prohibits selling e-books created with iBooks Author anywhere but the iBookstore.
Pixelmator 2.0 provides an incredibly rare combination of ease of use, powerful features, and a low price tag. It doesn’t offer the complete feature set of its more robust competitor, but the features it does provide rival those you’ll find in Photoshop.
Fri, Jan 20, 2012
The ebook world was ripe for a tool that would let publishers create snazzy ebooks, ones that would knock your socks off like The Elements or Al Gore’s Our Choice—all without the technical barrier of app development. And with iBooks Author, that tool now exists.
As an author, I can say that this doesn’t seem fundamentally different from signing a contract with a publisher.
The big difference, though, is that if Publisher A publishes my book, it can be sold in any bookstore, online or offline. In the new electronic world, choosing a certain publisher means that you are also choosing only one channel of distribution.
As a publisher and an author, I obviously have a dog in this hunt. But what I see so far makes this program and its output an absolute nonstarter for me.
The iBooks format appears to be an EPUB-like variant specific to Apple. Like EPUB, it's a zipped up file that contains an archive of the materials that make up the book. Inside, you find an Open Packaging folder and a META-INF Open Container Format folder, with its container.xml file. Unlike EPUB with its application/xhtml+xml mimetype, .ibooks uses application/x-ibooks+zip.
Everyone, whether they're a student or not, can download course materials through iTunes U and take a free at-home lecture on a huge variety of subjects, sometimes from the world's leading universities. While the concept of iTunes U has been around for years, Apple has finally decided to make it into something more than a glorified university podcast with the launch of this app, and we really like what we see.
Normally, McGraw-Hill would sell its books directly to public schools, which would keep the texts for an average of five years. Under Apple’s new textbooks plan, though, McGraw-Hill will try something different: It will sell its books directly to each student (the student could either pay out of pocket, or the school could fund the purchase via a voucher/code), who will use the book for a year, then move on. They’ll be able to keep the digital text, but won’t be able to resell it or pass it along to another student, and McGraw-Hill anticipates that another set of students will buy new books the following year.
With these licensing restrictions, Apple is attempting to get the lock-in benefits of a proprietary file format without the proprietary file format.
Apple vice president of productivity software Roger Rosner took to the stage to demonstrate the app’s new features for textbooks, which include a revised index for easier search, page thumbnails, virtual study cards, interactive multiple choice questions for section and book quizzes, and new portrait and landscape views.
Apple has just announced and released the iTunes U App for iPhone and iPad. It’s a new app that lets teachers manage their iTunes U course and an app that helps students track all the content, assignments and messages from the courses that they study. iTunes U gives teachers the ability to customise their topics that they teach, give students information about office hours, post messages to their class and give students assignments.
It’s an ebook-authoring app geared towards a new generation of publications: detailed, tightly-formatted books that include nigh-unlimited range of media and interactive elements.
Thu, Jan 19, 2012
Last year, when the Take Control ebook series migrated from Microsoft Word 2008 to Pages ’09, I faced the challenge of not only acquainting myself with an unfamiliar piece of software, but also of helping a group of authors make the switch, all while under time pressure to keep up with Apple’s breathless product-release schedule.
Now that the commotion from the transition has died down, I want to share the strategies we used in switching from Word to Pages, along with some of my favorite Pages tips.
Kinda defeats the purpose of a browser history, doesn’t it.
I’d like to briefly elaborate on my Todo.txt setup, which I only started using last month as a way to keep my “todo articles” separate from general “todos” that I now keep organized and synced through Remember The Milk. Several readers have emailed me asking why I chose Todo.txt of all text editors and task management systems, so here it goes.
So, forget everything you know about traditional video editing and spend some quality time checking out Final Cut Pro X.
I think it's brilliant, and I think you will, too.
OWA 2010 is a fine client and is useful for a broad range of users. However, most users want a rich desktop client, and for Mac users in an Exchange environment, Outlook for Mac 2011 is it. None of the other available Mac OS X clients deliver the same combination of functionality and utility. Although the program has a few rough spots, Microsoft has fixed many of them in the first two service packs, and it's clear that Microsoft understands what Mac users with Exchange mailboxes want to see in a client. The future for Outlook on the Mac looks pretty bright.
Will we ever go back to the Birdfeed and Tweetie era? I don’t think so. Twitter is now integrated in iOS 5 and seeing massive growth because of it, thus justifying the prospect of creating an app “for power users” even less. Yet I can’t help but think about a time, not too distant from now, when the power users will finally settle on a single solution for their power-hungry needs, and let other developers innovate atop of the Twitter platform in disruptive new ways. The ideas, devices, APIs and users are waiting.
At an event in New York tomorrow, Apple will announce a set of tools that make it easier to publish interactive textbooks and other digital educational content, said two people with knowledge of the announcement, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The plans, to be unveiled by Apple Internet software chief Eddy Cue, are aimed at broadening the educational materials available for the iPad, especially for students in kindergarten to 12th grade, the people said. By setting its sights on the $10 billion-a-year textbook industry, Apple is using the tablet to encourage students to shun costly tomes that weigh down backpacks in favor of less-expensive, interactive digital books that can be updated anywhere via the Web.
Wed, Jan 18, 2012
Continued expansion has been contingent on country-by-country deals with music copyright owners in the new markets.
iTunes (the media store) is still mostly absence in Asia.
Fri, Jan 13, 2012
Apple Inc., whose skill at hyping new products helped make it the world’s most valuable technology company, became a victim of its own success after a botched introduction of its iPhone 4S in China led it to suspend sales.
Would-be customers who waited overnight as temperatures dropped below minus 9 degrees Celsius reacted with fury after the company’s main store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district failed to open. The company sold out of the handsets at stores that did open and later halted sales of all iPhones at its five retail outlets in the country “for the time being,” spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said by phone.
The Apple iPhone, with its camera removed, will soon be sold by the three telcos here, in a development that will largely benefit smartphone-toting military personnel, who are barred from using image-capturing devices in army camps.
There are already huge queues outside of China’s five official Apple stores in readiness for tomorrow’s launch of the iPhone 4S.
My verdict is that it works, but with some caveats, limitations and rough edges. Some of these downsides are inherent in the product, while others have to do with the mismatch between the iPad’s touch interface and the fact that Office for Windows was primarily designed for a physical keyboard and mouse.
His conclusion: you'll want to use this if you really really really need to use Office on your iPad.
Thu, Jan 12, 2012
As workhorse machines go, the mini cannot be beat. It provides a great deal of computing power along with a small footprint and plenty of ports for devices. Add any monitor, keyboard, mouse, or trackpad and you're ready to rock and roll.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use minis in real life.
Adam Satariano And Shoshanna Solomon, Bloomberg
The deal helps Apple secure supplies of a key component for its top-selling devices. Anobit makes high-performance controllers used to optimize the memory capabilities inside products such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple is the world’s largest buyer of NAND flash memory, accounting for about 23 percent of consumption last quarter, according to a Jan. 6 report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Apple says the event will be about an education announcement and will take place on January 19 at the Guggenheim Museum.
According to New York Times
, no new hardware. This is all about digital textbooks.
Once you know the basics about services, OS X’s underused shortcuts, your next question is inevitably: Where can I find more? You can add—and even create—your own services. Here are four of the best.
Wed, Jan 11, 2012
SnapRuler is a simple, lightweight program that helps you measure items on your screen.
The new, touch-friendly, Web-based Kindle Store steers clear of violating Apple’s rules.
Here are some of the new Thunderbolt-compatible accessories that have been unveiled at CES.
Tue, Jan 10, 2012
An Apple spokesman told The Register that the company denied giving any access to the Indian government to its systems, although he couldn't comment on the veracity of the memos themselves.
In the past two years, Mac users got a great desktop email client alternative in the form of Sparrow, an elegant app with a unified inbox, full range of keyboard commands, Gmail labels, multiple account support, and Growl compatibility. The Sparrow team is at work on a dedicated iOS app, set for release this winter. Based in France, co-founder Dom Leca spared a few moments of his time to answer some of our pressing questions on apps, technology, design, and much more.
When you find an image you find particularly inspiring, you often want to save it. If you save a lot of these images, they can be hard to sort through and find as needed. That's where Sparkbox can help. It's a repository for your creative inspiration.
One of the little-known time-saving features of Mac OS X is services—hidden, single-feature commands that you can access from a special Services menu, or, sometimes, from a contextual menu. These features are generally provided by applications—built-in OS X applications or third-party programs—and let you quickly preform actions that usually require launching additional programs and taking many steps. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about how to find, use, and manage services.
Mon, Jan 9, 2012
If your small retail operation has a hard time showing off all its inventory options because of limited space, it might want to take a cue from a New York City retailer of surfboard and surf lifestyle equipment.
That store, Saturdays Surf, is using a mobile application from point of sale technology developer LightSpeed to help customers gain access to a wider array of its inventory — showcasing dozens more surfboards without requiring staff to lug them out of storage.
No mouse cursor -- that, I feel, is the key. You touch what you want; you don't touch to move a cursor to point to what you want.
Quoting Slashdot, it seems that Apple had provided a backdoor access for the India government.
Here are four storage solutions designed to make your iPhone-size devices more toddler-friendly.
Sun, Jan 8, 2012
Auto-renewable subscriptions were obviously a huge cave-in to the big media players. Maybe Apple won’t let anyone else use them because Apple thinks they’re universally bad for users, and they want to limit use only to important media companies that wouldn’t otherwise support iOS.
Sat, Jan 7, 2012
Developers rightfully want access to cool new features as soon as they’re available (especially when they seem such a good fit) and users are always eager to see the latest software functionalities implemented in delightful new ways, but the App Store’s ecosystem is so variegate and unique that sometimes waiting is the best option.
This app adds the twist of providing voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation through the park. It also offers walking route maps and provides information about different attractions, restaurants, and other points of interest.
According to a growing thread in Apple's support forums, former iPhone owners that had been communicating with friends via iMessage are unable to receive any messages from those same folks when they try texting from an Android device.
Reading between the lines on my rejection call, and seeing it codified more clearly here, it’s obvious that only traditional-style media publishing apps can use auto-renewable subscriptions. They were created solely for the existing newspaper and magazine industry, not web services.
Why and how did the .plist file wind up with these erroneous zero values in the first place? I have no idea. I assume it was one of those glitches that occasionally happen when upgrading OS X from one version (e.g., Snow Leopard) to another (e.g., Lion). Whatever. The good news is that, if this happens to you, it’s an easy problem to fix.
Fri, Jan 6, 2012
iTunes Match is a “set it and forget it” service. Depending on the size of collection, it can a while to setup. The more obscure your taste in music, the more songs you’ll need to upload to iCloud. But once it’s working, there’s nothing to futz with. It doesn’t call attention to itself, and like most things Apple, it just works.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s voice recognition software Siri has prompted users of the iPhone 4S to use almost twice as much data compared with the handset’s predecessor, placing greater pressure on operators, network firm Arieso said.
The phone has changed to a data device, not just a voice device. A telco that cannot handle the data traffic will not be a telco for long*.
* Certain monopolies excepted.
Thu, Jan 5, 2012
OmniPlan is a best-of-class project management application that offers up the kinds of features that make large-scale project management as easy as a simple to-do list. Centralized data management, file synchronization, and change tracking combined with task and resource management make OmniPlan an excellent tool for anyone who needs to manage any major project, whether it’s large or small.
I can’t really generalize, but I was the only graphic artist in the Mac software group (the title on my business card was “Macintosh Artist”). Of course, it seems more common for development teams to include artists now since so many user interfaces are graphical (and I’m always impressed with the art made by the Google Doodle team).
An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the matter, but confirmed to CNET that the above e-mail to customers came from the company and not a third-party. The company is not disclosing how many individuals purchased the app while it was available.
I have a new Mac, and am new myself to the Mac. Is there a way to change the position of the taskbar from the bottom of the screen to the left side?
As smartphones march toward ubiquity, so does the trend of passing them around between friends. Meanwhile, we cram (and then forget all about) more and more private junk into our phones each and every day.
Here’s the dream: one lock-screen, two PINs. One for me, one for anyone else who might use my phone but doesn’t necessarily need to see everything.
Except that it seems like there's going to be a lot of "managing" required? Can guests make phone calls? How can they receive SMS?
With PopClip running, any time you select text, in any application, you get an iOS-like popover with options appropriate for the context.
Consultant Ade Barkah has discovered that Apple sets the security of the images stored in your phone based only on their date. If a photo was taken in a date prior to the actual date on the phone, the photo will not be visible.
But if you set the date back in time, any photo taken from that date will be accessible even if the phone is locked.
To a security-layman like me, this totally seems like a non-issue.
Digital music files and iTunes may have made it easy to get even obscure pieces of classical music, but fans of the genre are far from ecstatic.
The seamless display of the cloud-based material exactly as if it were sitting on the device is an utterly successful illusion. I can hardly wait to whip out my iPhone during a discussion of some musical phrase and say, “You know the piece I’m talking about, it goes like this! What? You don’t carry the complete works of Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart wherever you go?” I’m already practicing a withering look of pity mixed with contempt.
"Due to the large volume of media generated by our reality shows, we needed to re-evaluate our editing and storage solutions. At the same time, we were looking for a partner who would understand our long-term needs," Bunim/Murray's SVP of post production Mark Raudonis said in a statement.
Final Cut Pro X sounds more like the Netscape rewrite-from-scratch fiasco than iMovie rethink-from-scratch innovation.
It performs two basic tasks: magnification and illumination, but when you combine them on an iPhone, you end up with a device that can help anyone whose eyes aren’t what they used to be.
What makes Scrivener so useful is the way it replaces traditional word processor features with writing tools. I find writing with Scrivener liberating. Even though this tool was originally created for novelists and scriptwriters, it can work remarkably well for the rest of us, too.
Apple announced that its latest iPhone model, the iPhone 4S, will be available in China and 21 additional countries on Friday, January 13. Making it the fastest iPhone rollout to date, the iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries by next week.
Wed, Jan 4, 2012
Megan Lavey-Heaton, TUAW
For many people, it's kind of pointless to go searching for a Dock replacement. The Dock itself is one of the most attractive features of OS X and is actually one of the things that lured me into adopting Macs at home seven years ago. But when you have a smaller screen to work with, especially on a MacBook Air, space is a premium. This is where programs such as Tab Launcher come in.
To show the Dock in a full screen app, swipe twice at the bottom of the screen.
To repeat, twice. Why? I have no idea.
Here is what I know from sources involved:This event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in educationThe event will be in New York rather than in the Silicon Valley because New York is more centrally located for textbook and publishing.
In 2011, less than 12 hours after passes went on sale, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference had already sold out. To help would-be attendees get a chance to purchase tickets, developers Anthony Herron and Aaron Wardle created WWDC Alerts, a website that lets users sign up to be sent a text message when WWDC tickets for 2012 finally go on sale.
The crux of this trick is wiping out the contents of the database Lion uses to know what goes where in Launchpad.
To celebrate the upcoming year of the dragon, Apple is holding a one-day sale on January 6th in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Tue, Jan 3, 2012
According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important — but not large-scale — event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement.
Ms Swisher believed this is advertising (iAd?) or publishing (iBook) related, areas that Apple haven't come close to dominating despite being on the iPad.
What I wish for: one worldwide iTunes media store and one worldwide (for real) iBook store, that everyone, big guys as well as smaller independent guys, can start selling.
The App was meant for internal testing of in-app iPhone purchases and wasn’t supposed to be on the App Store (as you could probably tell by the fact that it was yanked).
And someone has accidentally set the price of a sample app at $0.99?
Put simply: you do not have to manage background tasks on iOS. The system handles almost every case for you and well written audio, GPS, VOIP, Newsstand and accessory apps will handle the rest.
"Reboot!" is still a viable solution for crashing apps, right?
Mon, Jan 2, 2012
The new year saw thousands of Japan flock to shopping malls and shops, but they weren’t heading out in search of traditional new year bargains, as they might in the West, instead they were queuing for ‘lucky bags’ , or Fukubukuro (福袋, in Japanese).
I made this resolution out of a sense that I habitually reached for the iPhone even when I really didn’t need to, when I might have just enjoyed an experience, like the sunset, without any technology. And after talking to people who do research on subjects like this, I realized that there were some good reasons to give up a little tech.
Sun, Jan 1, 2012
And a great product is defined by the experience of actually using it (including buying it and setting it up) — not by its individual components’ technical specifications.
Remember all the MP3-player manufacturers who proudly proclaimed they have FM radio?
This time around, Apple has been the leader in the push to control users. They say they're protecting users, and to some extent that is true. I can download software onto my iPad feeling fairly sure that it's not going to harm the computer. I wouldn't mind what Apple was doing if that's all they did, keep the nasty bits off my computer. But of course, that's not all they do. Nor could it be all they do.
The Apple clerk at the Genius Bar assumed it was a phone malfunction, and seemingly without checking to make sure, handed the man a brand new phone and put Barkley’s stolen phone in the back, to be sent off for servicing.
“The thief got their phone, I got mine and because of their own indifference, Apple is out a $500 phone.”
Orangutans have an 'innate' ability to use Apple iPads - and enjoy using the touchscreens, say researchers at a Milwaukee zoo.
The great apes at a Milwaukee zoo enjoy video-calling other apes on their iPads via Skype, and like watching other zoo creatures such as penguins. They can even draw their own artworks.