Twitter Launches HTML 5 Version of Aimed at iPad Users

As time goes on, we see more and more companies embracing the fact that the iPad is a force to be reckoned with. They spend there time developing apps for Apple’s tablet, redesigning content for its form factor, and even creating special versions of their sites for it. We can now add Twitter to the list of sites that have versions specifically for the Apple iPad.

Announced by @twittermobile, there is now a HTML 5 version of Twitter’s website,, aimed specifically for the iPad. While Twitter has had an iPad app for a while now, this new user experience is designed to be used in the tablet mobile browser. It appears to be a hybrid of the desktop site and the HTML 5 based app.  It features a dual column design that is very reminiscent of the current desktop web experience.

If you prefer to use your iPad’s browser over using an app, then this is a great update for you. It is also a great example of how good a mobile web experience can be. I think other companies (Google+) could take a few notes from Twitter. The iPad offers a greater screen real-estate than the typical mobile phone, and it should be taken advantage of.

The timing on this release is pretty interesting. Facebook announced their own HTML 5 web app initiative, Project Spartan, a few months ago. While nothing has come out of that project yet, it is expected to show fruit any day now. Its possible that Twitter felt it was necessary to beat Facebook to a launch, and they have done just that.

According to Twitter, the new version of the site is not currently available to all users. I know that I could not access it just yet, but some users can. It is said to be rolling out to all users over the next week. When I manage to access the site, I will take some screenshots and post them (or someone could send me some.)

How To Create a Lion Install Disk with Lion DiskMaker

Most of the world is aware that Apple released OS X Lion exclusively on the Mac App Store. While this model of digital distribution guaranteed enough copies for everyone who wanted one, and cut down on the possibility of heat effected lines. However, what this didn’t provide was a physical backup of the install files.

Lion natively creates a recovery partition on any Mac it is installed on. While that will be fine for most cases of simply reinstalling the OS, it has its negatives. If you hard drive becomes corrupted, or physically breaks, you will need to start over from Snow Leopard. That sounds very annoying, but developers have been working hard to make it a non-issue.

While it is possible to create a Lion install disk manually, it can be a little complicated. Thankfully, a French developer has made it a little easier with a free tool called Lion DiskMaker. In order to make use of it, you will need a copy of the Lion install file.

While that isn’t a problem if you have not yet installed Lion, it requires a little trickery to get said file on a machine already running Lion. In order to do so, open the Mac App Store and click the “Purchased” tab while holding the “Option” key. You will then be able to re-download the install file, and thus create an installation disk.

Once you have the Lion installer, you need to download and unzip Lion DiskMaker. Once that is done, you need to put your destination disk into your machine. You can use a DVD or a flash drive of size 4GB or greater. Once you are set up, run Lion DiskMaker. You will notice that the app is written in French, but its still very easy to use.

Step 1. – When you first open the app, you will see this window. If you are using a DVD, click the button that says “DVD.” If you are using a USB thumb drive, click the one that says “USB.”

Step 2 – The next window that pops up will be this one. Click the button on the right, and you will be taken to the selection window shown below. For this example, I used a USB key, so I picked that drive eon my system and hit “Choose.”

Step 3 – Once you choose a disk, the program will begin to run. It will unpack the needed files from the Lion installer, and then proceed to burn them to your disk of choice. This can take up to a half an hour, so be patient.

Step 4 – After the burning is complete, you will see this window. You can click the button on the right to exit the application, or the one on the left to create another disk. Once you are done, be sure to unmount/eject your drives correctly, and place the finished media in a safe place.

As you can see, its easy to create your own Lion install disk. While I hope an English version of this app is available soon, the French version does the job and is very easy to use. if you have any questions or comments, let us know in the comments section.

Update:  A version of Lion DiskMaker is  available  in English. You can grab it here. Thanks to  Guillaume Gete for the email and the link to the US version.

Skype for iPad Released Worldwide

It looks like our dreams are coming true. The official Skype app for iPad has begun its rollout to users. While it is currently only available to users in New Zealand, it is expected to make its way to other time zones during the next 24 hours. Many apps have come out this way in the past, according to TUAW.

We first covered the Skype iPad app back in June, when it was originally confirmed to TUAW. It is unclear as to why the app has been delayed till now. This new iPad version of Skype supports all the features of its iPhone brother. It looks like all features short of two-way video calling are supported on the original iPad, with that being a feature of the iPad 2.

TUAW reports that the iPad app is separate from the iPhone app, but will keep the same free price tag. It will also be capable of making calls over both 3G and Wi-Fi.According to previous reports, the iPad app will not be capable of file sharing.

Update:  It looks like Apple has decided to skip all that timezone non-sense and give the app to every user at once. You can pick it up in the App Store now. I have it downloaded, and will update with my impressions after I test it out. Stay tuned!

If you already have the Skype app for iPad, let us know what you think about it. If not, then let us know if you are excited about video calling coming to the iPad. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Apple Announces iCloud Pricing and Opens to Developers

Back at WWDC in June, Apple announced a little project they call iCloud. It is their response to the idea of cloud computing, and it looks like it could be pretty nice. They have promised that every user will get 5GB of storage for free, with things purchased from Apple not counting towards your total. However, many users have been begging for pricing for additional storage.

Well, Apple is finally ready to dish on iCloud pricing. So far, we have been able to dig up pricing in US dollars,Pounds, and Euros. It looks like 10GB of storage will run you $20/ £14/16€, 20GB will be $40/ £28/32€, and 50GB will cost $100/ £70/80€. All of those prices are per year, not one shot.

If you are wondering where these prices came from, then I will be happy to tell you. It seems as thought Apple has flipped the switch on, bringing with it a beta test of iCloud. It looks like anyone with an Apple ID is capable of trying to sign-up. However, when I tried on my MacBook Pro running Lion, I couldn’t get it to work.

Early reports indicate that the current revision of iCloud is simply MobileMe made over. It offers a number of the same features, including a whole suite of web apps. The interface is very reminiscent of MobileMe, and even iOS. Its clear that Apple is continuing its mission to blur the lines between mobile and desktop platforms.

If you want to try and check out the beta, you can do so at Let us know what you think of this update, or even iCloud in general, by leaving a comment below.

Apple to Release Redesigned iTunes 11 in September [Rumor]

One of the most hated, yet most used, Apple products on the market right now is iTunes. Even Mac users recognize that Apple’s media management software is more than a little bloated.  Unfortunately, it’s so incredibly powerful that it’s hard not use it. Apple also makes it even more difficult by forcing it on anyone who wants to use an iPhone, iPad, iPod or even a Mac with the Mac App Store.

There may be good news, however. Reports are indicated that Apple is planning on releasing a new version of iTunes in September. While that isn’t a huge deal by itself, there is something more to it. iDownloadBlog is reporting that Apple is planning on  completely  redesigning iTunes with the upgrade to version 11.

Interestingly enough, the basic design of iTunes has not changed since its inception. It has always had the controls at the top, with lists on the left side and content displayed on the right. There has always been that “Now Playing” area in the middle, and a search bar on the top right. It is well overdue for a significant face lift.

The timing of this release makes perfect sense. September is the month that many have pegged for the release of iCloud and iOS 5. There have also been reports that a new version of the iPhone is due to come out around then as well.

iDownloadBlog says that we can expect deep integration of iCloud into this new version of iTunes. They also report that the iTunes Store will become more a part of the app. Currently, the iTunes Store is basically a built-in web browser that navigates only to the store.

iDownloadBlog also claims that iCloud backups will be integrated into iTunes. That means that when you backup your device to the cloud, you will get a local copy as well. This also applies for app data as well.

OS X Lion: A User’s Review

It was certainly a long time in coming. It was hyped to no end by Apple, who heralded it as a rethinking of the operating system. It takes the way we think about interacting with our machines and turns it inside out.Many have called it the death of the traditional computer. Most people just call it OS X Lion.

Lion was first announced to the world at WWDC in 2011. With it came the announcement of iCloud, Apple’s new cloud storage initiative, and iOS 5. While those two things won’t be available to the public until this fall, Lion launched on July 20. I upgraded that very day, and have spent the week exploring the newest version of Mac OS X.

With a piece of software this big, its hard to decide where to start a review. While the major pieces of the OS haven’t changed that much, Lion does introduce a number of new features. I am going to try and keep this review to something user friendly, avoiding most of the technical upgrades and changes. I will try to hit all of the features I think are real game changers.

The features I will be covering are:

  • The User Interface
  • Full Screen Apps
  • Multi-Touch Gestures
  • Launchpad
  • Mission Control
  • Auto-Save and Versions
  • Resume
  • Others, including Air Drop and Mail
  • (The Lack of) Rosetta
To read the review, simply click on the numbers 1-8 at the bottom of this post.

Twitter Activates “Promoted Tweets To Followers”

For some time now, we have heard rumors that Twitter would be bringing ads to our streams. It only made sense that Twitter would have to find a way to monetize outside of promoted trends. The only logical place for that to happen was in the users feeds, and that has now come true.

Announced on the official Twitter blog, Promoted Tweets have started their reign as of today. For the time being, they are only active for a select set of advertisers. Before you grab your torches and pitch forks, let me explain a few things about the new Twitter ad scheme.

Many people feared that promoted tweets would mean the onset of ads you didn’t want, similar to spam emails. Twitter has said that wouldn’t be the case, and it looks like they were telling the truth. For the time being, ads will only come from brands and companies you already follow. They pay for the ability to be at the top of your stream, despite not being the latest tweet you receive.

That may sound horrible, like they could just clog the top of your stream. According to Twitter’s official blog, promoted tweets won’t do that, either. Twitter says that these ads will move through your stream after a period of time, allowing for you to continue to interact with your friends. They also promise that the promoted tweets will only appear once.

If you don’t want to see the ads roll through your stream at the regular rate, you can choose to dismiss them manually. This is good news for those of us who have an active Twitter engagement. I follow a number of active people, and I would hate to miss any of their tweets.

So there you have it. Promoted tweets are going live, and they may not be so bad. What are your thoughts on these new ads? let us know in the comments section.

Microsoft Updating Office for Mac 2011 to Use Lion Features

No matter how you feel about Microsoft, Office 2011 is still the most popular office suite for Enterprise Mac users. It is simply a matter of compatibility with the rest of the business world. Unfortunately, the current version of Microsoft’s office suite does not currently support any of the new features introduced in OS X Lion.

For the uninitiated, the features I am talking about include Auto Save, Versions (which keeps a history of document changes), and full-screen mode. These are already integrated into Apple’s iWork suite, and they are very useful. It was only a matter of time until Microsoft saw the need to support them as well.

MacNN is reporting that Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit is already doing just that. However, don’t expect to get the new features in the next few days. Pat Fox, a member of the Microsoft Office team, says that the update wait should be “measured in months.” This is a little disappointing, but completely understandable.

Microsoft also made a point of noting that Office for Mac 2004 will never be supported on Lion. This is due to the program being written for PowerPC-based Macs. Lion dropped all Rosetta code, which allowed for PowerPC applications to run on the newer Intel-based machines.

While there was no word on distribution of the upgraded program, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect Microsoft to bring the application to the Mac App Store. The only thing that may stop them is the face that Apple takes a cut of all sales through its digital distribution markets. However, we won’t know either way until the upgrade shows its pretty face.

Apple Working on 15 Inch Ultra Thin Mac Notebook

MacRumors has reported that Apple is finishing up work on a brand new 15″ Mac notebook in a form factor similar to the current generation of Macbook Airs. TUAW reports that this new laptop, along with a 17 inch version, will hold the Macbook Pro branding.

Apple has made some significant changes in its laptop line in the past couple years. First came the original MacBook Air, which changed how we thought a laptop could look. With the most recent update, the Air has replaced the old White MacBook that was the long standing low end Mac laptop.

A large number of us in the industry now expect the standard features of the MacBook Air to make their way to the high-end MacBook Pros. The key items that are mentioned are the integrated SSDs and the lack of optical drives. Those two changes make it possible to take a large amount of the size from body of the computers.

These changes would mark a dynamic shift in Apple’s attitude towards physical media. While it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Apple to completely ditch a format (floppy disk), that would mean skipping the BluRay altogether. However, due to the popularity or the thin machines, it would make sense for Apple to slim down the MacBook Pros.

The timing for the supposed ultra-thin notebook is still unknown. Apple did just release new versions of the MacBook Air a few weeks ago. The MacBook Pro line was just refreshed in February, so any release for that product would have to be at least towards the end of the year.

Is This The iPhone 5 Design? Chinese Case Makers Think So [Rumor]

It seems like there are new rumors about the suspected new iPhone. We have seen all kinds of crazy ideas, including a clear iPhone, NFC compatibility, and even the idea of a mini-iPhone. The only thing we know with any certainty is that Apple is probably working a new version of the worlds best selling smart phone.

According to a set of images released to, we now have some idea what Apple has up its sleeve. MobileFun is the website that originally broke the case designs that eventually matched up with the iPad 2, and they have now released a set of prototype designs for the iPhone 5.

Confirmed by two spererate case manufacturers in China, the designs show off a number of features of the upcoming phone. For starters, the display seems to run from edge to edge across the face of the phone. This will make the usable screen space supposedly upwards of 4 inches without increasing the physical size of the device.

From the designs, we can also see that the form factor is drastically different from the iPhone 4. It seems that Apple is departing from its squared design and heading back to a rounded back for its next smart phone. It looks like the bevel will be similar to the iPad 2. Personally, I like that design choice, as I find my iPad 2 very nice to hold.

It important to remember that Apple made a purchase of a number of glass cutting machines. While the designs don’t show there being curved glass on the face of the device, it can’t be ruled out completely. Its possible that the curved back could be made of glass, which would bridge the gap between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 quite nicely.

The last big change that the cases show is the control system. Steve Jobs originally intended the iPhone to have no control button, and it looks like he may have gotten his wish. According to MobileFun, the home button has been replaced by a “touch-sensitive ovaloid area.” While that name feels a little silly, it would be a great new feature.

The touch sensitive area would allow for many Lion-esque touch gestures for the phone. You would be able to change songs in iTunes, navigate screens, and even get to your home screen from anywhere. It would make a great change for the iPhone, and allow for even more gestures in iOS 5.

The last big change that we can see in these designs is the position of the side buttons. According to the designs, they have all swapped sides. The lock toggle is now really close to the camera, and the volume buttons have moved down to below the halfway point. Its important to note that the possibility for touch sensitive side buttons.

So there you have it, an in-depth look at what might be the iPhone 5. Now, all of this is just speculation based on a pair of Chinese case designs. While those have been good sources in the past, they have also been wrong. Be sure not to put all your hopes on this design, as we won’t know anything until Apple shows us the new design.