Tag Archives: Apple

Want a Free Android Phone? Join Adobe

Adobe just joined the likes of Google in employee love. Yes. Android phones are being given away to employees at Adobe for free.

Adobe announced on last Thursday that it would put a new version of Flash for Android on display. This version of Flash targets Froyo, which is Android 2.2. This can be Adobe’s move to clean sweep all iPhones from its compounds. After all, we know what Apple did to Adobe. Just the last month, Adobe had confirmed that it will not have flash for the iPhone anymore. This is the least Adobe could do in reply.

angry_school_boys_fighting

Though, coming to the serious talk, this is Adobe’s plan to make its employees (especially developers) familiar with Android as that is the next prospective platform that they will be targeting from now onwards. The phones will come with Flash pre-installed.

The exact model of the giveaway is not known though; it is speculated to be a Nexus One.

Adobe has over 8,600 employees and has refused to release any official statement on this. So, it is not even clear if the phone will go to all employees or just the ones working on Flash Player 10.1 for Android. However, I really liked this idea of free Android phone giveaways. It is kind of an attempt by companies to increase their Karma.

(Via: cnet news)
(Image Via: Babble)

Razer Commits To OS X With Full Driver Support For Orochi

In a Facebook post, the Razer team has announced that they have updated their drivers to offer full feature support in Macs.

Orochi is Razer’s stunning looking laptop gaming mouse. The mouse operates in wireless and wired modes. The wired mode is meant for some serious fragging while the wireless (bluetooth) mode can be used for work.

With the new drivers update, users can perform the following:

  • Adjust Performance
  • Button Assignment
  • Manage Macro
  • Manage Profile and Lighting

Download Page

Got a Mac? You’ll finally be able to make use of those GPUs! Steam + Razers = #WIN!

“Spirit” Jailbreak For iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad Released

The folks over at Spirit have released an untethered jailbreak for the iTouch devices from Apple. The untethered jailbreak is compatible with the iPhone OS 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.2. The untethered jailbreak works only on activated iPod Touch/iPhone and iPads.

The official site has a word of caution for the iPad users saying On iPad, all this is still sort of beta. Some packages in Cydia, not designed for iPad, might screw up your system and require you to restore. Be careful. (And no, Cydia’s appearance is not final.)

The iPad users are recommended to make a backup before trying out the jailbreak. If things go wrong, the iPad users are supposed to use the backup to restore the device to a working state. The Spirit Jailbreak works only on the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS. The original iPhone users have been left out in the cold.

Please keep in mind that the Spirit jailbreak does not activate your iTouch device(s). Jailbreaking allows you to install 3rd party applications on your iTouch device which have not been approved by Apple.

Xiph.Org Foundation Responds To Steve Jobs’ Threat: “Creative Individuals Don’t Really Like to Give Their Business to Jackbooted Thugs”

Monty Montgomery of Xiph.Org Foundation has responded to Steve Job’s threat. Xiph is the foundation responsible for taking care of Ogg, Theora and many other codecs. If you have missed the on-going codec wars, now would be a good time to catch up. Check out our previous article on Steve Job’s veiled threat to Theora before proceeding.

Here is Montgomery’s response:

Thomson Multimedia made their first veiled patent threats against Vorbis almost ten years ago. MPEG-LA has been rumbling for the past few years. Maybe this time it will actually come to something, but it hasn’t yet. I’ll get worried when the lawyers advise me to; i.e., not yet.

The MPEG-LA has insinuated for some time that it is impossible to build any video codec without infringing on at least some of their patents. That is, they assert they have a monopoly on all digital video compression technology, period, and it is illegal to even attempt to compete with them. Of course, they’ve been careful not to say quite exactly that.

If Jobs’s email is genuine, this is a powerful public gaffe (‘All video codecs are covered by patents.’) He’d be confirming MPEG’s assertion in plain language anyone can understand. It would only strengthen the pushback against software patents and add to Apple’s increasing PR mess. Macbooks and iPads may be pretty sweet, but creative individuals don’t really like to give their business to jackbooted thugs.

Montgomery’s comment is both straight to the point and piercing. He is right in highlighting the fallacy of software patents. Instead of encouraging competition and innovation, they promote bullying and stifle the little guy. It’s ironic that Apple is trying to portray itself as open and also going after an open source project like Theora at the same time.

Update: Xiph’s Greg Maxwell has also responded to this controversy by trying to clear up the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that companies like Apple and Microsoft are trying to generate around open codecs like Theora. You can read his take over here.

Steve Jobs: A Patent Pool Is Being Assembled to Go After Theora

Apple Most of you have probably read Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Flash. It was undoubtedly an entertaining read. He was spot on about Flash being a closed platform, which has a poor security and stability track record. Yet, anyone with an analytical mind could not help but notice the hypocrisy inherent in the letter by Apple chief.

OSNews has already done a brilliant job at dissecting the letter and illustrating Jobs’ ‘holier than thou’ attitude, so I won’t be repeating the same points over here. Even Fake Diary of Steve Jobs succeeded in highlighting the shortcomings in Jobs’ reasoning – albeit in its own tongue in cheek way. Both of them are highly recommended reading.

Anyway, Steve Jobs’ open letter prompted Hugo Roy to write another open letter to Jobs’, to which Mr. Roy surprisingly enough received a reply. You can find both Hugo’s letter and Jobs’ reply over here. Here I am concerning myself only with Jobs’ reply.

From: Steve Jobs
To: Hugo Roy
Subject: Re:Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash
Date 30/04/2010 15:21:17

All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other open sourcecodecs now. Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn’t mean or guarantee that it doesn’t infringe on others patents. An open standard is different from being royalty free or open source.

Sent from my iPad

(emphasis mine)

If I am not completely misreading things, Steve Jobs’ letter seems to strongly hint that Theora may soon face a patent infringement lawsuit. If you are wondering why Theora matters, check out my post on the recent codec squabble. In brief, browser vendors haven’t managed to agree on the codec to be used for the HTML5 <video> tag. The two major codecs being considered are H.264 and Ogg Theora. While Opera and Firefox are backing the open source Ogg Theora, Safari and Internet Explorer have pledged to go with the proprietary H.264 codec. Google Chrome supports both.

Theora is built on On2’s VP3, which was open sourced and handed over to the Xiph.Org Foundation. Most of the patents related to video codecs are owned by MPEG LA. So, in all likelihood it is playing an active role in gathering the afore mentioned patent pool. Interestingly enough, Apple is also a part of MPEG LA. MPEG LA is also the firm which stands to benefit if H.264 becomes the de-facto standard for web video. It’s not very hard to see the interrelation among the recent developments. I would leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions, but one thing is sure – the codec squabble will only get murkier.

Adobe says No Flash for iPhone

We posted the statement given by Steve Jobs regarding Flash and why he hates it. As we expected Adobe did reply to that comment made by Steve Jobs. Adobe is now shifting away from Apple devices for Flash Player and AIR.

Here is the quote posted by Adobe.

This morning Apple posted some thoughts about Flash on their web site. The primary issue at hand is that Apple is choosing to block Adobe’s widely used runtimes as well as a variety of technologies from other
providers.

Clearly, a lot of people are passionate about both Apple and Adobe and our technologies. We feel confident that were Apple and Adobe to work together as we are with a number of other partners, we could provide a terrific experience with Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

However, as we posted last week, given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices for both Flash Player and AIR. We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP), Microsoft, Nokia and others.

We look forward to delivering Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview at Google I/O in May, and then a general release in June. From that point on, an ever increasing number and variety of powerful, Flash-enabled devices will be arriving which we hope will provide a great landscape of choice.

The Journal’s Alan Murray had an exclusive interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Here is the video.

(Quote Source)

(Video Source)

MSI To Release An Android And A Windows 7 Based Tablet Device, Dual Screen Laptop Delayed

Micro Star International (MSI) is mainly known for its motherboards and netbooks. After Apple released the iPad at the starting of the year, all the major computer manufacturers have launched or will soon be launching a tablet based device. This includes Asus, Dell, HP and now MSI. MSI is all set to announce an Android, and a Windows 7 based tablet device at the upcoming Computex in June. This year, the Computex 2010 will be held in Taiwan.  MSI-Logo

An insider from the company says that the tablet will come in an 8.9 inch and a 10 inch form factor. The tablets will be powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 and/or Intel Atom processors. The pricing is expected to be “extremely aggressive.”

MSI was also expected to release a dual screen tablet at Computex. Sadly, the launch of the device has been delayed.

MSI’s Andy Tung said “The two screens are a major drain on the battery, and even with a higher density battery and the Menlow CPU we are only getting three hours.”

The release date of the dual screen tablet has now been pushed back to the fourth quarter of this year.

(Source)

6 Reasons Why Steve Jobs Hate Flash

Apple on their official website gave 6 reasons why they don’t allow Adobe Flash on iPhone, iPad and iPod. Apple said that both the companies had worked together in the past but now the distance has increased between the two.

Flash and apple

Here is the entire quote given by Steve Jobs regarding Flash.

First, there’s Open.

Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

Second, there’s the full web.

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access the full webbecause 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. This is true. Fortunately, there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store, and many of them are free. There are more games and entertainment titles available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any other platform in the world.

Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.

Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.

In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will perform?

Fourth, there’s battery life.

To achieve long battery life when playing video, mobile devices must decode the video in hardware; decoding it in software uses too much power. Many of the chips used in modern mobile devices contain a decoder called H.264 an industry standard that is used in every Blu-ray DVD player and has been adopted by Apple, Google (YouTube), Vimeo, Netflix and many other companies.

Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. The difference is striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

When websites re-encode their videos using H.264, they can offer them without using Flash at all. They play perfectly in browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome without any plugins whatsoever, and look great on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Fifth, there’s Touch.

Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on rollovers, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.

Sixth, the most important reason.

Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

Our motivation is simple we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen. We want to continually enhance the platform so developers can create even more amazing, powerful, fun and useful applications. Everyone wins we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.

Conclusions.

Flash was created during the PC era for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Steve Jobs
April, 2010

(Source)

Jon Stewart Rips Into Apple on The Daily Show [Video]

You may have already heard that the San Mateo police raided Jason Chen’s (Gizmodo Editor) home. Reportedly, this action was prompted by a theft complaint lodged by Apple. Gizmodo’s legal troubles may just be beginning, but it has found support from unlikely quarters. Last night, Jon Stewart blasted Apple in The Daily Show for its handling of the stolen iPhone incident.

Here is a partial transcript from InOtherNews:

Apple – you guys were the rebels, man, the underdogs. People believed in you. But now, are you becoming the man? Remember back in 1984, you had those awesome ads about overthrowing Big Brother? Look in the mirror, man! …It wasn’t supposed to be this way – Microsoft was supposed to be the evil one! But you guys are busting down doors in Palo Alto while Commandant Gates is ridding the world of mosquitoes! What the fuck is going on???!!!

…I know that it is slightly agitating that a blog dedicated to technology published all that stuff about your new phone. And you didn’t order the police to bust down the doors, right? I’d be pissed too, but you didn’t have to go all Minority Report on his ass! I mean, if you wanna break down someone’s door, why don’t you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone! I mean, seriously! How do you drop four calls in a one-mile stretch of the West Side Highway! There’re no buildings around! What, does the open space confuse AT&T’s signal???!!!

…Come on, Steve. Chill out with the paranoid corporate genius stuff. Don’t go all Howard Hughes on us.

You can grab full episodes of The Daily Show from its official website.

Apple Getting Ready To Launch Its Mobile Advertisement Platform – iAd

Apple-iAd Apple is almost ready to make its debut in the advertising business. Its mobile advertisement platform dubbed iAd will be used to display ads inside applications available in the Apple App Store.

As with all things Apple, iAd won’t come cheap. Publishers interested in leveraging the new platform will have to shell out close to $1 million. In fact, Apple could charge a lot more (as much as $10 million) to be part of a handful of marketers at the launch. These rates are substantially higher than the $100,000 to $200,000 paid by Ad executives for other similar mobile deals.

Apple will allow developers to choose if they want to display ads or not. Developers participating in iAd will get 60% of the revenue generated, while Apple will hold on to the rest. What sets iAd apart as a platform is its interactivity. One of the examples cited by Apple is an ad for Nike’s Air Jordan basketball shoe. This ad appears as an animated banner at the bottom of the screen, accompanied by an iAd logo. If the user taps on the ad, it will be expanded to display a video, interactive store locator and special offers on local stores.

Apple Acquires Siri For Close to $200 Million

When Siri was introduced a few weeks ago, it made a few people very excited about the direction of web. On the surface, Siri is a simple iPhone app that can act like your personal assistant and doing tasks like reserving a dinner table, calling a cab or checking the weather in a certain city through typed or voice commands. But what really made some tech gurus excited was the technology behind the app.

Siri, does not have a website or a simple data base that it pulls information from, rather, Siri glues together certain APIs available on the web to carry out simple tasks for you. Even though the number of APIs connected together by Siri are pretty small right now, but the potential it promises is nothing less than extra ordinary. It seems like Apple understood this pretty well and hence acquired Siri for an estimated sum of around $200 Million today.

This will give Apple a hold over one of the most promising mobile and web technologies and if Apple is able to patent this technology for iPhone, it will be a huge below to Android. Besides the API thing, Siri also has a fantastic voice recognition system that is better than most of the stuff in the market right now. If smartly used, it will give Apple a lot to build on in next few years.

Siri

Apple WWDC Conference To Be Held On June 7th

All around the globe, Apple fans eagerly wait for the WWDC event. Apple has had a history of announcing many of its new products or a refresh of their existing line up of their iGadgets at the WWDC. Last year at WWDC, Apple hadApple introduced Snow Leopard and the iPhone 3GS. Earlier, it was expected that the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) from Apple would be held on 22nd June. But Today, Apple announced that the WWDC 2010 will be held on June 7 and continue until June 11.

“This year’s WWDC offers developers in-depth sessions and hands-on working labs to learn more about iPhone OS 4, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” said Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iPhone Software. “WWDC provides a unique opportunity for developers to work side-by-side with Apple engineers and interface designers to make their iPhone and iPad apps even better.”

Thanks to the huge iPhone 4G or iPhoneHD fiasco, users already know about the new upcoming iPhone inside out. The five-day event will also include iPad application development sessions and a hands-on session on the iPhone OS 4.

(Source)

Gray Powell Gets Complimentary Flight To Munich and Free Beer For Loosing His iPhone

Although, Gizmodo’s decision to publicly name and shame Gray Powell was despicable, we are glad that at least something good is coming out of it (and no Gizmodo, you don’t get to take the credit for this).

To cut a long story short, Gray Powell – a software engineer at Apple, misplaced his iPhone in a bar. This was picked up by an unknown person who sold it to Gizmodo. After dissecting the prototype for a month, Gizmodo fired a slew of posts in which they publically named Gray Powell.

Lufthansa Airlines – the largest airline in Europe (in terms of overall passengers carried), has offered Gray Powell free business class transportation to Munich to check out some of the finest German Beer. Quite obviously, Lufthansa Airlines is trying to milk the situation to gain some free publicity. But, we don’t mind. Gray Powell has possibly had a harrowing time over the past couple of days and he definitely needs a break.

It will be interesting to see if Powell accepts the offer. I get a feeling that he won’t. Nevertheless, kudos to Lufthansa for some clever marketing. Here is the open letter shared by Nicola Lange, Lufthansa’s marketing director for the Americas.

Letter-To-Gray-Powell

Is Apple Acquiring ARM? ARM Clarifies With a Big ‘No’

Despite of all the speculation on Apple buying ARM, which generated a lot of buzz over the blogosphere, we were waiting for the inside scoop and it has appeared on eWeek finally. It is confirmed that Apple is not buying ARM and there are a good number of reasons for that.

This news has been confirmed by ARM itself.

How this affected Apple?

This news has not affected Apple at all. Apple, which clearly had no intentions to buy ARM took the backseat and enjoyed this drama. There were many speculations on why Apple should and should not buy ARM. The best one was that ARM is an investment of $8 billion to acquire a technology which is pretty much open and needs sharing to thrive. Apple could either attempt to stop this sharing which would send down ARM revenue or it could just buy and keep ARM as a souvenir, sit on it and keep losing money on it.

How this affected ARM?

ARM is the only one with a benefit from this deal which was not made. ARMs low stock prices rose up so high, it recorded an eight years high. ARM’s business design is such that it will thrive only if it runs on the current model.

How this affected Intel?

Intel, which could not make its ARM killer into a success now seems like the most suitable one to buy ARM. Now, Intel has an advantage of being in the same field already. So, it is more appropriate if Intel sets out to buy ARM.

Is Apple Preparing To Launch AMD Powered Macs?

Apple-AMD Is Apple preparing to launch a new line of (possibly cheaper) Macs powered by AMD microprocessors? Apple Insider certainly believes that this is a real possibility.

According to Apple Insider, representatives from Advanced Micro Devices have been spotted on Apple’s commuter coach buses. In addition, AMD executives have been spotted on their way out of meetings with senior Apple employees.

It is no secret that AMD has been struggling to compete with Intel’s offerings. This is just the kind of shot in the arms AMD desperately needs. In fact, a partnership with AMD would be good news for everybody. It would offer Apple some bargaining chips when dealing with Intel. Moreover, it would provide Apple, if they are interested, the opportunity to launch lower priced netbooks. AMD’s offerings can also come in handy in Mac Mini and lower end models of MacBook.