Apple Ordered to Run Newspaper Ads Stating Samsung Didn’t Copy the iPad

Samsung-Galaxy-TabLast week, the High Court of England & Wales ruled that Samsung Tabs were distinctive enough not to be confused with the iPad. The High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, and identified distinctive differences between Samsung’s products and Apple’s iPad. In fact, somewhat embarrassingly for Samsung, Judge Colin Birss stated that the Tabs don’t infringe on Apple’s designs because they are “not as cool”. “They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design”, he noted in his ruling.

Now the same judge has struck another blow to Apple, which had stuck to its original stance even after the previous ruling. Birss has instructed Apple to publish a notice on its U.K. website and run advertisements in prominent British newspapers and magazines notifying consumers that Samsung didn’t plagiarize its designs. However, he declined to grant Samsung’s bid for an injunction blocking Apple from making public statements that the Galaxy infringed its design rights.

Essentially, Apple is being forced to advertise its competitor’s products out of its own pocket. The Cupertino based giant, which was initially looking to block the sale of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling. However, even though Samsung might have cause to celebrate now, it must ask itself how it is going to lure the gadget enthusiasts if even a judge finds its products unappealing. If I were Apple, I would certainly rub it in by highlighting the “not as cool” remark in the advertisements.

Microsoft Publishes iPad To Windows 8 Tablet App Design Comparison For Developers

Microsoft’s Metro design language comes into its own on Windows 8 tablets more than on the Windows Phone. The new desktop OS has been designed with tablets in mind and since the iPad is the best out there, developers will be replicating/porting their apps from the iPad to Windows 8 (or at least that’s what we all hope). Application design is a significant reason behind an app and platform’s success. And when I say design, I don’t mean the color combination or images but the user experience and user interface.

Earlier today, Michael Gillett retweeted a link to a case study published by Microsoft comparing the interface components in the iPad and Windows 8. The side-by-side comparison is quite helpful in providing developers a quick look at how some of the app functionality provided in iPad can be offered in Windows 8 while sticking to the Metro principles.

The case study takes specific use cases to explain how things are done on the iPad and how Microsoft has in some cases improved them in Windows 8. The case study is quite nicely presented filled with images to assist you understand the text. If you’re into app development or into design, it’s quite a fun look at the two platforms.

Check out Proview’s “IPAD”

Proview International Holdings Ltd. is suing Apple for a trademark violation. It has alleged that Apple had used a fake company to buy the rights to the iPad name for just $55,000 in 2009.

There is a massive drive in China to confiscate Apple iPads after the rulings from local courts were announced. Apple has apparently infringed the trademark on the name “iPad” that is currently used by a product from Proview called the “Internet Personal Access Device”. After Proview won cases in various Chinese courts this year, it has resulted in the iPad being removed from the shelves in several Chinese cities. Proview has even threatened to take the fight to Apples’s backyard with the U.S. legal system.

A representative from Proview has been quoted saying,

“I think in the future we will sue Apple in the U.S. We are looking to choose between three different U.S. law firms.”

This is a change in circumstances as Apple had sued Proview in 2010 and tried to force it to handover the rights to the iPad name for mainland China. This was filed in the Hong Kong high court that ruled in Apple’s favor.

This device has a slight resemblance to the iMac, but that’s just about where the similarities end.

To prove their point, Proview actually held a press conference  on Friday to showcase their sales brochure. Proview said that it had spent $30 million on the computer, producing between 10,000-20,000 of them from 1998 until 2009. However, sources say that the company is in debt and requires a generous settlement to keep away its creditors.

The rumor floating about is that Proview is going looking for a pay off of as much as $2 billion from Apple, though some sources from the company have denied the claim.

5 Honest Reviews for the Top Free iPad Games

The most downloaded  apps are inevitably the games. As soon as I was in  possession  of my new and sleek iPad2, my kid brother (the gaming pro) immediately took over and started downloading games. As I always  appreciate  his input for online games, I have used his  expert  comments in this post as well. Many thanks Fran.

Here is our list for the Top 5 Free Games for the iPad

1. Metal Storm: Wingman

Metal Storm: Wingman has excellent graphics. You actually get the feeling that you are flying a fighter plane in a dogfight against a rival. The game’s controls are sensitive enough to allow you to move into a specified direction without any fuss. The  sensitivity  of the controls can either be reduced or increased based on your specifications. The “Automatch” feature allows you to play with a randomly-selected player  who is also logged on to the game from any part of the world.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The inventory  of planes, missiles, and cannons is sorely lacking. Also, the number of players allowed in the multi-player mode should be increased as the current allowance of a maximum of two players in a dogfight becomes a yawn if played over a long period of time.  The “Game Campaign”, which is the story mode of the game, is extremely short and lacks a proper outline. The difficulty level should be improved as targets can be easily  destroyed by an amateur.

2. DLF IPL

DLF IPL has wonderful  flexibility as it allows  you to fiddle with the player’s field placement and other game controls (that are very responsive).  Also as  ergonomics has been taken into account,  you don’t have to break your fingers to pick the direction that you choose to play or on how you want the player to deliver the ball.  This game is very simple and straight  forward.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The graphics of the game is a big let down. The player and background images are distorted. There is  no multi-player option in this game.  The full version of the game costs USD  4.99, which is honestly overpriced. It is wiser to go for the free version of the game.

3. World Cup Table Tennis

World Cup Table Tennis is probably one of the best games available  on your iPad  for Table Tennis aka ping pong. You play with competitors from different countries (that is actually the iPad processor) based on the level of proficiency that you attain. The controls are easily learnt and allow you to form your winning technique and tricks. It is one of the most downloaded ping pong games.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:

The game lacks the multi-player option.

4. Angry Birds

i. Angry Birds HD

Angry Birds HD is fun to play and exercises your grey-matter a lot ( as a lot of logic is required to get rid of the concrete, wood, and ice blocks). My brother finds this game interesting. He says, “this game is not a walk in the park like most of the other games I have played. Also, the difference in the features available between the free and paid version is very limited, and hence the free version is a real catch.”

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:
The graphics of this game are quite poor; the images lack sharpness. Also, the lack of variety of characters in this game give it a dull and boring edge as the same characters are used and abused over and over again.  The number of levels available in this game are very limited causing the game to end quickly.
ii. Angry Birds Rio  (BONUS Review)

Angry Birds Rio differs from Angry Bird HD in the fact that it requires you to be the rescuer (primarily) versus the destroyer (as is for Angry Birds HD). You have to save the birds from their mean little cages and destroy some annoying monkeys too. The story line (there actually is one) is a comic-book style. The extensive use of flash, specially visible in all the small touches that are shown, makes this game a crowd-pleaser.

5. Contract Killer

Contract Killer is a treat for all you gaming expert-hitmen. The graphics and story line, while not refreshingly new, are funny and provide the comfort of a familiar sniping game.  In this world of mobsters and hitmen, the more cold blooded your shot, the better are your chances of raking in the moolah. But beware, nothing is as it seems, and as likely as you are to get a hit, equally certain is the  possibility  that you will be the target of a hit as well. You have to check this game out everyday as a bonus awaits for those that do.

Things that the creators could do to improve the game:

This is a very heavy game. It will gooble up space in your memory.

Note: Some  images  are used from the iTunes store.

Logitech Introduces Harmony Link App for Ipad

Yesterday, in a blog post by  Ashish Arora, Vice President and General Manager, Digital Home Group, Logitech introduced the Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App. The Harmony Link is a device that allows you to remotely control up to eight devices in your home. It is a sleek looking device with a slim profile. You can see a picture of it compared to the iPad and iPhone below.

Harmony Link
Photo Courtesy of Logitech Blog

The most impressive addition, however, is the Harmony Link App. The app is free to download and works seamlessly with the Harmony Link device. It basically turns your iPad into the coolest remote control ever! The app is available for the iPod Touch, the iPhone, and Android devices too. However, there are features that will only work on the iPad. One of the coolest features is the ability to get in-app TV listings. Pictured below, you can see what the TV listings look like in the app.

TV Listings
Courtesy of Logitech Blog

With a swipe of a finger, you can navigate through TV listings on your iPad. Want to see a show you like? Just tap the picture and the app will tune your TV to the show that you want to watch. You will also notice, in the picture above, an “Activities” menu. Here is a list of one-touch commands that will automatically power on the devices that you need in order to perform the activities.

Setup is easy. You connect Harmony Link to your wi-fi network and then tell it what devices you have. The device comes ready to control 5,000+ devices. It has the ability to learn commands from other remotes. It also comes with a “Mini Blaster” accessory, which allows you to connect to devices that might be hidden from view.

I have to admit, the gadget geek in me loves this new offering. It has a nice design and appears to be easy to use. It will be interesting to see how well the device works.  The Harmony Link device is set to hit the shelves in October. You can pre-order the device  here.

What do you think? Is this an app you would like to have for your iPad? Personally, I can’t wait until they come up with an app that feeds the dog. ;)

 

 

5 Must Have Back to School iPad Apps for 2011

That time of year is here once again. Summer is coming to an end, students are gathering their supplies, and classes will soon be in session once again. I know that many students, like myself, are getting iPads to use in class. I have been searching all summer for the apps that I think every student needs to have on their Apple tablet.

Now, before we get to the list, lets talk about iPads as education tools. For me, the iPad serves a handful of different purposes in my educational adventure. The first major use is as a textbook replacement. I hated having to carry heavy books around all the time, and bought an iPad to replace those. The benefits include having a light alternative, being able to save money by buying e-books, and still having full color diagrams. That brings me to my first pick.

1. Kno Textbooks (Free)

When I first started looking for textbook apps on the iPad, there weren’t that many options. I originally found CourseSmart, which is nice but doesn’t allow you to buy books in side the app, and Inkling, which doesn’t have a great selection of books. Then, I tried an app called Kno Textbooks.

Kno is a start-up company that originally started out making an education specific tablet. After determining the they couldn’t manage that project, the refocused on creating a great textbook app for the iPad. I can say that they have succeeded. They have a great selection, and in-app store, and a nice notation system.

The only feature I can’t seem to find is highlighting within the ebooks, but I can live without that. My one real gripe with Kno is that their entire collection of books is not available for purchase inside the app. however, you can access them all on the iPad, as well as in your browser and even on Facebook.

Alternatives: CourseSmart (Free), Inkling (Free)

When I originally got my iPad, I didn’t think I would be able to take notes with it. My original thinking was that I would try to type on the on-screen keyboard into something like Evernote. I quickly decided that was a horrid idea, but that I still wanted to try taking notes on my iPad. So i bought myself a $10 stylus on Amazon and gave it a shot. That brings me to my second must have app.

2. Noteshelf ($4.99)

I have bought more handwriting/note taking apps than almost anything else on my iPad. I tried most of the major players, including Notes Plus and Penultimate. While some had features I liked (voice recording in Notes Plus), none of them were exactly perfect. However, I have settled on one, and that app is Noteshelf.

Noteshelf has a number of nice features that make note taking in lectures very easy. They have one of the best zoom features, which allows you to more easily write in an organized manner. They also offer the ability to group notebooks, export to many services (including Evernote and Dropbox), and many customization apps.

My only real issue with Noteshelf is that it doesn’t do voice recordings. However, I always export my notes to Evernote so that I can read them on any machine, and that wouldn’t save the recording. in order to record a lecture, I use AudioMemos ($0.99) which records in the background. I then upload them to Dropbox for later listening.

Alternatives: Penultimate ($1.99), Notes Plus ($4.99)

The next use I have for my iPad is as a quick reference tool kit. I have multiple apps that are specific to my studies, like nutrition disorder charts and vitamin synthesis tables. Overall, the iPad serves this purpose very well. However, it is lacking a native calculator app. That’s why my next must have is a calculator for the iPad.

3. Calculator for iPad (Free)

Calculators are something that you don’t think about much outside of the world of academia. if I have to do any simple math while on my MacBook Pro, I simply do it in the Spotlight bar. However, I don’t carry this machine to class. If I need to do some short math while working in a class, I turn to Calculator for iPad.

Now, this calculator app is not very advanced. It offers enough scientific calculator functions for me to be satisfied. Most of the math I do is simple algebra type stuff, with the occasional constant substitution. I have seen more advanced calculators in the App Store, but I don’t need anything better than what Calculator offers.

I’m not sure what to offer as an alternative to Calculator for iPad. If all you need is a basic/scientific calculator, then go with it. If you need something better, you will probably buy a real calculator. Either way, you would be happy getting the free version of this app.

As far as I know, almost every student these days are forced into using PDFs. Despite being one of the most insecure file formats currently on the market, many educational institutions force us to use them. When they do, I like to have the ability to annotate them on my iPad, and that’s what my next app does.

4. PDF-Notes (Free)

Annotating PDFs is probably one of the best things about owning an iPad. Many of my professors release notes and outlines in PDF format, and it’s very helpful to be able to mark those up on the fly. I have found what I consider to be one of the best apps for that, and its made even better by having a free version.

PDF-Notes is my app of choice for annotating PDFs. It offers a great set of features including highlighting, writing handwritten and typed notes, and even PDF management. It offers a great zoom feature that makes it easier to handwrite notes on PDF documents. You also get the ability to export the annotated documents to Dropbox, email, or even other apps.

My only complaint with the free version of PDF-Notes is the ads. However, those are there so that the developer makes some money for their work. There is a pay version available, but it costs a whole 10 bucks. I’m not sure I’ll buy it any time soon.

Alternatives: iAnnotate PDF ($9.99)

Now that you have all this information, from your notes to your prepped PDFs, you need to think about syncing it all with your computer. For most students, the iPad is not a replacement for a traditional computer. It makes a great supplementary tool, but needs to synced with your real machine. For that, I recommend this last app.

5. Evernote/Dropbox (Free)

That’s right, my last pick is actually two different apps. If you use all the apps I have listed, you will need to make use of both Dropbox and Evernote. You can sync your notes to Evernote or Dropbox from within Noteshelf, save your recordings to Dropbox, and even export your PDFs to either service.

I can’t imagine being a student without Evernote and Dropbox. It has eliminated my need to carry a flash drive with me all the time. It also helps me keep track of all my notes and documents for my courses. They have revolutionized my education, and they both have fantastic (and free) iPad apps.

If you are already a user of both of these services, then you have no reason not to grab these iPad apps. They give you all the features you could want, including fantastic mobile control. I highly recommend these apps. Seriously. Go get them.

Download and Get Ready To Learn

So there you have it. 5 apps that every student needs before they get into their classes this fall. They are all incredibly useful, and none of them are super expensive. If you are carrying Apple’s tablet to classes this year, make sure you have these installed.

A note on surviving in education: All work and no play makes sure you will fail. Use that iPad to relax as well. Watch some movies on it, read via the Kindle app, or play some games. Even download a nice Facebook app and talk to your friend. I promise you will regret it if you don’t.

I also know that these are not all the apps a student needs. The App Store is full of more specific research apps that students will find useful. My wife has many engineering calculators and charts on her iPad, and I keep mine full of nutrition information. Search around and find some apps that will be great for you.

What apps did I miss on my list? What kind of app do you think every student with an iPad needs? Let me know you suggestions and thoughts by leaving a comment below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Boxee Releases Their iPad App

I love to have access to online video on as many devices as I can. I use the Netflix and Hulu apps on my iPad on a regular basis. So, when I heard that my favorite media center company was working on an iPad app, I got really excited. Now, Boxee has made that app a reality.

Boxee, the company behind the Boxee Box and very popular Boxee Software, has released their official iPad app. The app includes all of the great social features of Boxee, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr integration. It also comes with the ability to watch bookmarked videos on your iPad.

 

The new two features are what makes this app worth picking up. The first is the ability to stream media from your PC or Mac to your iPad. That means media that is saved on your hard drive, not media that is on the internet. You will need to be on the same Wi-FI network as the machine with the media.

The final feature that should get Boxee Box owners excited is the ability to Air Play to your Boxee Box. That’s right, Boxee has taken the ability to share content from your iPad to another device and given it to their own little media powerhouse.

Overall, this is a nice little update to the Boxee ecosystem. I do wish that it came equipped with the great suite of Boxee Apps, however. I don’t know if it was a licensing thing that kept those away, or if it was simply Boxee’s unwillingness to canibalize on their other offerings. Maybe apps will come in a future update. We will have to wait and see.

Twitter Launches HTML 5 Version of Twitter.com 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, twitter.com, 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.)

Chinese Geek Builds His Own “iPad 3″

What would you do to get your first iPad or iPhone? Sell your kidney? Lose your virginity? Or build it yourself?

Dreams of owning the Apple iPad 2 may come true only if you are willing to shed $500, but creating a replica of it from scratch is priceless! This insane Chinese geek, presumed to be a hacker, spent almost 15 days in building an incredible replica of the iPad. He calls it the “iPad 3

Affording an Apple iPad 2 in China might be a difficult task and we have already seen a 17-year old Chinese boy, named Zheng, who was so eager to buy an iPad 2 had sold one of his kidneys. Ultimately, he had earned enough cash in hand and he bought an iPhone and an iPad. Well, it might be the same case with this unnamed Chinese geek, but he took a different route. Instead of wondering how he could afford to buy an iPad, he used his creativity and thought of building a replica of the iPad.

Watch this 20-minutes long step-by-step video released by the geek showing how he managed to build his own “iPad 3″

UPDATE: If the above video is not working, then please click here to watch it.

We are not sure of what parts he used, but I think he had used one his old laptop hardware in building it. Though it looks bulky, the most important part is that it just works great! The tabled runs on Windows XP OS through which he demonstrated Google Earth and the touch screen ability. He also made a leather case with a built-in keyboard for the tablet.

Although this table doesn’t resemble the iPad 3 that is expected to be released in September, the efforts that the Chinese boy has put in, is quite impressive. An amazing creativity and a great DIY attempt. Does this inspire you to build your own tablet?

I wonder what would be the Geek’s next achievement? Break the world record of Eduard Saakashvili for typing the English alphabets (A-Z) on an iPad in less 5.26 seconds?

[via]

Skype iPad App Coming Soon

It appears that the incredibly popular video chatting application Skype is finally making its way to the iPad. While that news isn’t very surprising, the fact that Skype confirmed it to TUAW is.

After a video of the upcoming Skype iPad App leaked out earlier today, the Apple bloggers began digging and speculating on what it meant. Some rightly questions the legitimacy of the the video, while others began questioning the team at Skype. TUAW got ahold of Rick Osterloh, the VP of Consumer Product Design at Skype, to ask him about the pending app.

According to the post, the feature list for the Skype iPad app is pretty complete when compared to the PC/Mac app, with a few exceptions. The most notable missing feature is file sharing, which reportedly wasn’t feasible to implement at this time.

It has been speculated since the announcement of the iPad 2, with its built in cameras, that Skype would release an app designed specifically for the tablet. If the video is legitimate, then what they have at this point it absolutely stunning.

Skype iPad App Coming Soon

There is no official word on a release date for the app, but we will certainly post when that information becomes available. As of now, the rumors are that Apple is due to approve the Skype app anytime. Expect to see it in the App Store very soon.