Tag Archives: iOS

iOS 5′s Safari Faster Than IE On Windows Phone 7 And Android’s Browser

 

A few months ago, Microsoft demoed  Mango for Windows Phone 7 and during the demo they compared their browser vs. others. Microsoft did a test between a device running Mango, an iPhone 4 (running iOS 4), and an Android device. During the HTML5 performance demo,  iOS’s Safari did poorly against Mango′s Internet Explorer and Android’s browser. Safari registered 2 frames per second while Microsoft’s Mobile IE scored a 26.

Since then, it hasn’t taken long for Apple to respond. WinRumors reports that in the iOS 5 beta, Safari now outperforms Mango by scoring a 31 when the same test is performed.

iOS 5 Safari HTML5 Test

In Mango, the browser uses hardware acceleration for HTML5 but Apple hasn’t shared plans to do the same. iOS 5 and Mango will ship in fall this year.

 

Watch out Apple, Facebook is Gearing Up to Launch Its Mobile App Store

Back when Facebook announced its Open Graph Protocol, I wrote that Mark Zuckerberg is a helluva ambitious bloke. He doesn’t want Facebook to be just another website we use every day, he wants Facebook to become an integral and essential part of our daily lives. Open Graph enabled Facebook to weave itself into the fabric of the web, and collect huge amounts of data on our preferences and interests.

FacebookNow, if TechCrunch is to be believed, Facebook is working on a new platform aimed squarely at mobile users. The new platform, codenamed Project Spartan, will leverage HTML5 and other web technologies to deliver mobile applications and games. The initial target will be iOS devices (iPhones and iPads running Mobile Safari). However, given that it will essentially be a HTML5 based platform, it shouldn’t be too hard to extend Project Spartan to Android and other mobile platforms.

According to the report, there are about 80 outside developers currently working with Facebook on Project Spartan. Facebook will essentially act as a wrapper around these apps, and support sharing options and monetary transactions (through Facebook Credits). The app developers are expected to roll in their applications within the next couple of weeks, in preparation for the impending launch of Facebook’s app store.

Mobile app stores are blossoming and even the little known ones like Opera Mobile Store are pulling in hundreds of thousands of downloads per day. Given its huge user base and cross-platform presence, Facebook obviously believes that this is another segment it can compete in. While browser based apps have the advantage of being cross-platform, the lack of system level access (access to APIs) will also make them restricted in many ways. Facebook’s app store won’t be able to outperform or eliminate Apple’s App Store and Android’s Market. However, it doesn’t need do. Even if it succeeds in grabbing a decent percentage of users, Project Spartan will be a lucrative platform that will steal a significant amount of revenue from the likes of Apple. And of course, it will give Facebook foothold in another segment that initially seemed to have little to do with the social network.

Super 8’s Official iPhone App is All Sorts of Cool

Super-8J. J. Abrams projects have a reputation of creating cool viral experiences that serve the dual purpose of engaging with fans and spreading the word. Whether it was LOST’s alternate reality games or Cloverfield’s viral marketing campaign, Abrams offered fans hungry for additional information an engaging and rewarding experience. Abrams latest project is Super 8, which hit the theatres this week. As with almost any Abrams project, the web was abuzz with excitement right from the get go. To further fuel the hype for the science fiction inspired by the good old summer flicks of the 80s, Super 8 used innovative strategies like embedding an interactive trailer within Portal 2, besides relying on good old viral campaigns (Scariest Thing I Ever Saw). However, perhaps the most inspired move by Super 8 is its iOS app.

The Super 8 iOS app is quite possibly the coolest official app for a movie, ever. At first glance the iOS app appears to be an old Super 8mm film camera simulator. Simply fire the app and press the red button to start recording retro style footages. You can add filter and lens effects like color, chromatic, black & white, sepia, x-ray, negative and infrared. It also comes with neat “shake” and “scratch-and-dirt” effects. Once you are done, you can review your creations from the projection room. You can either export the films to your computer through iTunes, or directly email them.

Super-8-iPhone-App Super-8-Lens-Effects

However, the coolest bit about the app is its integration with Aurasma, which is a company specializing in augmented reality technologies. To leverage this feature select the AR Lens and point the camera at Super 8 posters. Aurasma will use image recognition to play teaser videos and trailers based upon the poster.

The Super 8 app was initially available as a free download from the iTunes App Store, but now costs $0.99.

Gameloft Releases March Of Heroes Trailer; First Unreal Engine Based Game For Android

Gameloft is one of the most popular gaming publisher for Android and iOS. The company offers some of the best gaming titles available for Android including the popular Asphalt 6, Call Of Duty and Spiderman.

Earlier, for some strange reason Gameloft did not release its games on the Android Market. Thankfully, the situation has changed now, and nearly all the Gameloft games are available on the Android market.

Now, Gameloft has released a trailer of an upcoming first-person shooter (FPS) game March Of Heroes for both Android and iOS. The game will be the first game for both the platforms (Android and iOS) to be based on the Unreal Engine.

Below is a trailer of the game :

From the trailer, the game definitely looks stunning! Since the game is based on Unreal Engine, expect most of the low to mid-range handsets not to be supported. At least, we Android users will have something which will be capable of pushing the hardware on our handset to its limits.

At the beginning of this year, Gameloft said that they are working on 4 games based on the Unreal engine for iOS and Android. So, gamers still have some more visually stunning games left to drool over.

Gameloft has not mentioned anything about the release date or the pricing of the game.

Lodsys Attacks Android Developers over In-App Purchasing

Lodsys first came in the limelight a few weeks back when it started sending patent infringement notices to iPhone and iPad app developers who used in-app purchasing in their apps. Though it didn’t respond initially, Apple did publicly back its developers and stated that it had licensed that patent, which covered its developers as well.

Whether or not the license is valid only for Apple or for its developers as well is still unclear, but today, Lodsys has made a move against some Android developers as well, over the same in-app purchasing patent.

An Android developer posted this in the Android Discuss Google group:

If you’ve been following tech news lately, you may have read about a company named Lodsys that is threatening to sue iOS app developers (many of them small shops) for infringing on patents relating to in-app purchases. We recently implemented in-app purchases for our Android application and several weeks later we received a letter from Lodsys, claiming that we infringed on their patents.

Have any other Android developers out there been sent a letter? Has Google taken any action on this issue yet? Has Google given direction to any developers that have been hit by this? We are obviously a small shop and are not financially capable of defending ourselves over a litigation.

We would appreciate any helpful responses (especially from the Android team).

It’s very likely that Google will respond to this claim by Lodsys and fight it on behalf of its developers, much like Apple. Stay tuned for more updates.

What To Expect From WWDC 2011

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) is just around the corner. This year, WWDC is scheduled to start from June 6 and will end on June 10th. Like the previous years, the event will be held at San Francisco.

All Apple fan boys and developers eagerly look forward to WWDC every year, since Apple generally launches a new iPhone and an iOS version. The tag line of this year WWDC reads Join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X’. This more or less confirms the rumors floating around, that Apple won’t be launching the iPhone 4’s successor at WWDC 2011. Instead, this year the iOS platform as a whole will get a major overhaul.   Perhaps, OS X and iOS will be unified into one OS!

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I have already blogged about what all features I expect the next generation iPhone to have.

The major changes I expect iOS5 to include are :

New Notification System

iOS5 must feature a new and better notification system. The current notification system of iOS is being criticized from a long time now. It does not stand a chance in front of Android, Palm’s and WP7 notification system. I am pretty much sure that iOS5 will come with a much better and fully revamped notification system. The final verdict whether iPhone and iPad users like it or not, will depend once iOS5 is publically available.

Widgets/Better Home Screen

Personally, I ABSOLUTELY hate the iOS home screen. Icons, icons and icons. I can get truckloads of info in just a single glance of my Android home screen, while in iOS I need to open up multiple apps for the same thing. Along with a new notification system, iOS is in dire need of a new home screen. A screen full of icons is not only useless, but impractical as well.

Better Integration With Apps/Social Networks

This is another area where Android trumps iOS hands down! In Android, users can simply add their social networking login credentials and the OS will simply pull the details and status updates of your friends and link with their specific contacts. Nifty as well as useful! Hopefully, the next version of iOS5 will feature integration with popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, which will allow users to get updates of their friends from just one place.

Improved Multi-tasking UI

The current multi-tasking switcher implementation in iOS is simply useless at best. I *hate* to multi-task on my iPad just because of that multi-tasking switcher. Most of the time when I try to kill some apps running in the background, I end up going back to the home screen. Just because I precisely need to hit the red button at the top of each icon.

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WWDC 2011 will be about the next version of OS X as well Lion. Apple has already given us a preview of what all features OS X Lion will bring. This includes Folders ale iOS style, Launchpad, Full Screen apps, more intuitive gestures and Mission Control. Users should also expect the next version of iOS to include share features from Mac OS X.

WWDC 2011 is just the starting point of Apple’s move towards unifying iOS and OS X into one OS.

Opera Mini 6 Lands on the iPad and the iPhone

The wait is over. Opera Mini 6 for iOS is finally here. Back in March, Opera Software released Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11 for a host of platforms including Android and Symbian. However, iPhone and iPad users were left in the lurch as Opera awaited App Store approval from Apple.

Opera-Mini-6-iPad-iPhone

The iOS edition benefits from the same improvements that Opera introduced to other mobile platforms. The new release is optimized for the higher resolution offered by iPhone 4 and the iPad. It also features a super smooth and fast pan and zoom. The shades of red that have long characterized Opera’s mobile releases have made way for sleek black gradients, the menus has been redesigned, and a new share button has been added. It’s now possible to share the web page you are currently surfing on My Opera, Facebook, Twitter and vKontakte.

Opera-Mini-6-iPad

Opera Mini offers a faster alternative to the excellent Safari browser that every iOS device ships with. The restrictive nature of the App Store ToS (Terms of Service) makes it impossible for third parties to publish browsers that don’t use the inbuilt Safari rendering engine. Opera Mini skirts around this restriction by offloading all the code crunching to its remote servers. When you request a web page, that web page is rendered on Opera’s servers, and a highly compressed static representation of the page is sent back to the browser. This can significantly speed up browsing on slower networks, and also save bandwidth. However, it also has some notable disadvantages. Opera Mini’s handling of dynamic webpages is clumsy. For example, every time you click on a link that performs some JavaScript action, the entire is reloaded as the script is run on Opera’s servers and the result is sent back to your device. Nevertheless, Opera Mini does have some nifty features like save, text search, opera link (profile synchronization), and speed dials (visual bookmarks) that makes it a worthwhile alternative. You can grab the latest version from the App Store.

iOS 4.3.3 IPSW Direct Download Links

Apple has just released iOS 4.3.3 for the iPod Touch 3G/4G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPad 1/2. This new version of iOS is mainly aimed at clearing all the location data of a user, which the OS saves by default.

The location data of a user is cleared, once a user turns off the location sharing option.

Here is the iOS 4.3.3 change-log via BGR :

  • Location database will no longer be backed up to iTunes
  • Location database size will be reduced
  • When Location Services are turned off, location database will be deleted entirely
  • Battery life will improve
  • iPod bug fixes

iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone owners can update their iDevice to iOS 4.3.3, by connecting to their PC/Mac and firing up the latest version of iTunes (10.2.2). Alternatively, iPad 1 owners can download the iOS 4.3.3 IPSW file from here, while iPad 2 (Wi-Fi) owners should click here.

iPad 2 Wi-Fi+3G owners can click here, and iPad 2 owners using the tablet under the Verizon network, should click here to download the iOS 4.3.3 IPSW file. iPhone 4 (AT&T) owners should head over to this link, while iPod Touch 4G owners should click on this link. Owners of Verizon iPhone 4 should click here, whereas iPod Touch 3G owners should click here to download iOS 4.3.3 IPSW file.

After downloading the required file, users should click on the Check for updates’ button, whilst keeping the Shift key pressed and  selectthe IPSW file, they just downloaded to update.

Apple iPad 2 Coming To India On April 29

Last week, we reported that there is a very strong possibility of Apple officially launching the iPad 2 in India. Well, it’s official now!

Apple has just announced that they will be officially selling the second generation iPad in India. The magical tablet device will be available across India beginning from April 29th.

Apple_iPad_2

Along with India, the iPad 2 will also be available in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, South Africa, UAE, Turkey and Mac on April 29th. The iPad 2 packs in a dual-core A5 processor, a GPU which is nearly 9x times more powerful than its predecessor, and 512MB of RAM.

Apple has also gone ahead and unveiled the prices of the iPad 2 in India. The 16GB Wi-Fi model of the iPad 2 will carry a MRP of Rs. 29,500, while the 32GB and the 64GB will retail for a MRP of Rs. 34,500 and Rs. 39,500, respectively.

The 16GB 3G+Wi-Fi model of the iPad 2 will cost Rs. 36,900, while the 32GB and 64GB will set back users by Rs. 41,900 and Rs. 46,900.

It is really nice to see Apple launch the iPad 2 in India, in line with the rest of the world. Apple was heavily criticized for not launching the original iPad in India.

Android is More Desirable to US Consumers than iPhone

A survey conducted by Nielsen between January and March 2011 shows that Android is now the most desirable smartphone OS (operating system). About 31% of those surveyed wanted to get an Android handset, while 30% preferred the iPhone. Sure, the difference between the two platforms is quite small. However, this shows a clear trend. The same survey for July – September 2010 saw 33% of the respondents chosing iPhone, compared to just 26% opting for Android phones.

Android-More-Desirable-Than-iPhone

Android has already managed to overtake the iPhone in terms of volume. Nielsen found that “half of those surveyed in March 2011 who indicated they had purchased a smartphone in the past six months said they had chosen an Android device”. Only 25% had opted for an iOS device. Apple had a huge head-start in the smartphone segment, and at one point looked unassailable. However, Android has not only managed to catch up, but is actually storming past the iPhone.

Android-Sells-More-Than-iPhone

Typically one thing that Apple products have always had going for them is that they are highly desirable. The combination of slick design and intuitive user-interface makes almost all Apple products drool-worthy. Even though their prohibitive cost or locked down nature often forces many consumers to opt for alternative, Apple products are known for making people go “I want that, even if I don’t need that”. However, Android has succeeded in capturing the imagination of the general populace. Google’s open strategy seems to be working. Even though carriers like AT&T are trying their best to cripple Android, consumers still want to pick up an Android phone. Steve Jobs can diss Android as much as we wants; but, he knows that Android might do to Apple, what Apple did to RIM.