Facebook’s iPad App Leaked

Facebook for iPad

Holy smokes! It is about time more info regarding the Facebook for iPad app leaked. Today, TechCrunch has discovered Facebook’s iPad native app within the Facebook for iPhone app. In addition, TechCrunch has posted an extensive gallery of the leaked iPad app. Apparently, the latest update to the Facebook for iPhone app not only included bug fixes, but also included the code for the iPad app.

 @AeroEchelon first discovered that by changing the changing the UIDeviceFamilyfrom 1 to 2 in the  info.plist  of the iPhone app will enable you to use the Facebook for iPad app. He then posted the first screenshots of the app to Twitter. I think this suggests that the app will be universal.

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has confirmed the app is real and found the app to be quite good even though its a non-public release version.  Siegler also noticed that much of the code is written in HTML5 and feels like a native app.

The app also makes great use of the pop-overs (overlay menus) found in other iPad apps. When you flip the iPad horizontally, the list of your online friends appears and you can chat with them as you do other things on Facebook. The photo-viewer aspect looks great — similar to the iPad’s own native Photos app. Places exists with a nice big map to show you all your friends around you. Etc.

Rumors have suggested that Facebook will be launching their iPad app shortly. Even though there’s been a huge demand for such an app, the company has not released an iPad version of their app.

Apple Releases iOS 4.3.5

iOS 4.3.5

Unlike Google, Apple protects its customers from malware and other viruses which may affect iOS. Also, Apple dislikes security flaws popping up in iOS, and they do whatever it takes to offer quick fixes. Just 10 days after the release of iOS 4.3.4 (fixed a PDF exploit), they have released a new version of iOS: iOS 4.3.5.

This update is a minor update and fixes another security exploit. iOS 4.3.5 offers a a fix for a  security flaw which might allow attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS. To keep things simple, it means that a hacker on the same network could store or change traffic that would instead be encrypted.  iOS 4.3.4 did affect the JailbreakMe method, but this has no affect on jailbreakers. RedmondPie reports that the jailbreak method that worked with 4.3.4 will work here also.

Direct download links:

After updating my iOS devices (iPhone 4/iPad 2), I have noticed that my devices are a lot snappier and it seems that with every update Apple offers battery life is improved. Anyone notice anything new? Let us know in the comments.



Who can compete with the iPad?

The iPad is the king of tablets

Apple’s iPad has dominated tablet sales so far. Android tablets have started making some dents, but none of them are really gaining steam as a product (vs. Android tablets gaining some share as a collection). Harry McCracken at Technologizer asked the simple question every tablet maker should be asking at the time of creating their products: Why should someone buy this instead of an iPad?.

Not just the hardware

The iPad and iPad2 are exceptional products by themselves. Great design (although, I could do with a non-glossy/non-reflective screen), light enough to be really portable, GREAT battery life, and to me, a good size for a screen which would be used for media consumption like movies and TV shows via Netflix, hulu and the like.

The key to their success though, besides the hardware itself and the beauty of the operating system, is the ecosystem. The apps, music, movies, podcasts, iTunes U, and the sometimes overlooked accessory industry. Apple has made slow and steady progress in putting these pieces together and has a seemingly invincible position, but in the world of technology today, it could be very short-lived.

Of course, the starting price of $500, thought by many at the time of the iPad launch to be too high, seems like another killer feature of the iPad.

Ecosystem providers, real competition

Who can really compete with the iPad? Not just the tablet, but the entire package of the tablet, the ecosystem, and the price? Remember, it may be ok to just meet the iPad, but in order to create a serious dent, the competition has to have a pretty big advantage on almost all of the aspects. So, let’s see who is competing:

  • Android at the low end: Cheap Android tablets are everywhere but they may not have Google’s blessing and as a result be cut off from the first-class Android experience, including the Android Market. So they have the price advantage but nothing else.
  • Android at the top end: Motorola XOOM and Galaxy Tab started off as 3G devices sold by the carriers. They required a data contract or ended up costing more without data contract, than an iPad. They suffered from the data contract/price issue to start with, but more importantly, there are hardly any apps for Android in the tablet form factor. An ecosystem though, is not just about the apps, it should also provide a good collection of music, movies and TV shows, which Android seems to lack today.
  • HP TouchPad with webOS: HP recently launched the TouchPad and the sales as well as reviews are not encouraging. HP has a problem similar to Android tablets in terms of getting quality apps available for the customers. It does not have to be hundreds of thousands of apps like the iPad apps, but when you start from zero, it is really an uphill climb. HP does not have a marketplace for music, videos and TV either, but it is big enough to cut some deals and get something going. The point right now though, is that there is nothing on offer, making it difficult to justify the purchase for consumer use.
  • RIM Playbook and Windows 7 slates: I won’t go into too much detail because it is clear that RIM released this thing too soon. It is an unfinished product and has been a flop so far. It is hard to imagine a product from the maker of Blackberry devices that does not have native email and calendar. Native email and calendar are supposed to be coming this summer, but until then it is an incomplete product.   I am similarly ignoring Windows 7 tablets like the the Asus slate, because Windows 7 Touch seems like touch was slapped on Windows 7 rather than it being built for touch-first use. While it works much like a PC, thereby providing a healthy ecosystem to rely on, it is not really an iPad competitor because it is not as light, and is way more expensive.

Windows 8, Amazon tablet Two legitimate competitors

We know very little about Windows 8 and almost nothing about the Amazon tablet. In fact, we don’t even know if any such product is going to come from Amazon, but here is why I think either of these, or both, are going to be viable competitors to iPad (and also lay out conditions for their success).

Windows 8 (especially ARM version): ARM is known for its power efficiency, and we can assume that it will enable small form factor Windows 8 devices with a long battery life. Combine this with the public announcement by Steven Sinofsky that Windows 8 system requirements are going to be same or lesser than Windows 7, and we have a good chance of seeing Windows 8 tablets/slates in the iPad form factor with similar battery life. Windows has a great ecosystem which it supports on the XBOX and Windows Phone, in the form of the Zune Marketplace. It provides a huge collection of music, movies and TV shows. Windows of course, has the most extensive applications catalog (although the current Windows applications will not automatically work on ARM, but will do on Intel architecture as-is). Windows Phone has rapidly grown its app catalog, starting from zero in October/November of 2010 to about 25,000 this June. Since we don’t know what Windows 8 application development will be like outside of HTML/Javascript, let’s just assume that the app ecosystem will be rich enough to start with. This assumption is generally for Windows 8 with full support for legacyWindows applications. We cannot discuss ARM applications until we know more, supposedly at the //build/ conference in September this year.

One concern I have is that Microsoft seems to be fixated on the fact that tabletsare full PC’s, just in a different form factor. Maybe they consider slatesto be the lightweight PC with a similar form factor. I hope that one way or the other, that they understand that there is a product category which is not necessarily a full PC, but serves the purpose of casual computing much like the iPad does today.

Amazon tablet: Of all Android tablet makers, Amazon surprisingly is poised to be the best equipped in terms of an ecosystem it supports music, movies, TV shows, instant streaming, subscription, cloud storage, cloud music player, digital goods, and very recently, even its own curated Android market for apps! It has already shown manufacturing prowess with the highly successful Kindle, although I understand components for a tablet are different from those used in making the Kindle. Amazon also has a great retail shelf spaceto sell their tablet, and that is their home page, visited by millions of people every day.

If they can pull off a 9- or a 10-inch tablet built on Android with their own marketplace for apps, movies, music and TV shows, they would immediately be a competitor.

It is strange that I feel most optimistic about something that we may not see for one more year, and something that does not even exist as a product today. Such is the state of iPad competition (or lack thereof) today, that we are left to place our bets on almost-unicorns and unicorns.

I sure hope there is some real competition for the iPad though, because that can only be good for us, the consumers. Right?

iOS 5 Beta 3 Adds AirPlay Support for FaceTime

FaceTime via AirPlay

TiPB has discovered that in the third beta of iOS 5 a new featured has been activated. The feature is  AirPlay streaming support for FaceTime video calling, and allows  users to display FaceTime video calls directly on a large-screen TV for easy viewing by larger groups of people.

If this makes it into the final release — and not everything does — it’ll be fantastic for families and businesses alike.

The ability to easily start a video call and beam it onto the big screen is compelling. Whether it’s grandpa and grandma, or the team in England, it takes FaceTime from a small, personal experience to a big, group experience at the touch of a button.

This feature definitely adds will be useful for video calling in group settings. iOS 5 is expected to be released sometime in Fall.

StumbleUpon: Updated iPad App is a Must Have [Review]

Many internet users love to discover new content. One of the best ways to do that is through StumbleUpon. The issue is that many users are beginning to use their tablets and smart phones more than their computers, and StumbleUpon didn’t always have the best presence in the mobile space. It seems as though that changes today.

StumbleUpon has released an updated version of their iOS, specifically their iPad app. As I see it, this is now a must have app for the iPad. Since I got my iPad back in March, I have wanted something just like StumbleUpon. I use my iPad as a couch computer for browsing the internet and playing games. StumbleUpon helps me discover content I may not have found otherwise.

You are probably asking yourself why I didn’t use Stumble on my laptop then. I think that the screenshot above provides your answer. My laptop’s desktop is really cluttered. When I am on my laptop, I am working, chatting in TWiT’s IRC channel, reading news items, talking on Steam, and browsing the web.

The StumbleUpon iPad app is pretty, and it keeps my attention. When I sit down and use the StumbleUpon app, its all I do. I get he best experience I have ever gotten out of StumbleUpon, and all it took was the iPad. Who would have thought.

One of the big features of this redesign is the social integration inside the app. The “social bar” shows you if users you follow on Stumble have liked a page. If not, you will get a suggestion as to who to follow on Stumble.

As I said, I feel like this app is a must have for all iPad owners. I don’t use those words very often. I think the social integration is amazing, the interface is amazing, and I love it. I whole hearted recommend you go out and get it.

App: StumbleUpon for iPad
Developer: StumbleUpon
Price: Free
Score: 5/5 – A Must Have

Marathon 1 for iPad Brings Nostalgia [Review]

Bungie, the game studio behind the Halo series, celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate they held “Bungie Day” on July 7th. The day held a number of events, including a chance to play Halo Reach against some of it’s Devs.

For me, the best part of Bungie day was the release of Marathon 1 for iPad. We were promised the classic shooter series on Apple’s tablet, and now the wait is over. The game is a huge throwback to my start as a gamer. While I’m not old enough to have played it when it was released, I played it as a kid with my dad. It was the DOOM of Apple computers, and it really delivered.

The port of Marathon brings all the great parts back. The game itself is still solid, and extremely fun to play. It may just be my fond memories, I really enjoy playing the game. That doesn’t mean its perfect, however.

While many people will complain that the graphics are terrible, they look as good as they did when I played it years ago. If you want upgraded graphics, you can pick them up as an in-app purchase. You can also get “Master Chief Mode,” which gives you unlimited ammo, weapons, and even life.

My issues with the port come from its controls. It uses a stationary joystick for movement, and turning control on theater side near a pair of firing buttons. My biggest problem is that I can’t hold my iPad and manage to turn, move, and shoot all at one time. That makes it difficult to be highly successful within the game.

As a recap, Marathon 1 is a good free FPS with a high level of nostalgia. You could complain about the visual quality, but you can pay for better graphics. The biggest issue is the control scheme, and they need serious help.

App: Marathon 1
Developer: Bungie
Platform: iPad
Price: Free
Score: 3/5 – Nostalgia without carefully thought out controls



Apple and Amazon Expect to Sell Most Tablets in Q3 2011

Apple iPadSo the third quarter of 2011 has already started, and it seems that the folks at Digitimes have gotten their hands on some really interesting data. In a post today, they have posted a list of the supply volume of tablets by all major manufacturers. Since most of the tablets are now manufactured in Taiwan and China, this could be quite an accurate indicator of the total tablet production by these companies.

According to the list, Apple, obviously, is the most optimistic about its tablet – the iPad. It has ordered close to 14-15 million iPad units from its hardware partners. The total orders are close to 22 million, so iPad production volumes will be close to 65-70% of the entire tablet market.

After Apple, the second largest order for tablets was given by Amazon. As we already know, rumors are that Amazon is planning to launch its own Android powered tablet by August 2011. Following the success of the Kindle, they seem to be quite optimistic about their tablet prospects. They have ordered close to 1.2 million units from their supply partners.

Every other Android tablet manufacturer, including Acer, Asus and Samsung has ordered between 750,000 and 900,000 units. HP and RIM have also ordered around the same number of their tablets – the TouchPad and the Playbook.

HTC, Motorola and Dell don’t seem very optimistic about the sales of their tablets. They have ordered less than 400,000 tablets each.

I was expecting Samsung to order much more, considering that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is currently the best Android Honeycomb tablet around. If Amazon can replicate the success of the Kindle in the tablet space, which seems very likely, it will have a much larger order in the next quarter.

Apple App Store Now Boasts of 425,000 Apps and Over 15 Billion Downloads

Apple App StoreApple officially announced some statistics about the App Store today. In a press release, it revealed that over 15 billion apps and games have been downloaded from the App Store. The App Store now houses over 425,000 apps, the largest collection of apps in the world, on any platform.

Even the iPad has been a huge hit with developers, with over 100,000 native iPad apps now available. Other tablet platforms like Android, Blackberry QNX and webOS only have a couple hundred apps each.

“In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”

Apple also announced that it had paid out over $2.5 billion to its developers to date. Since it has a 30% cut, this would mean that apps worth about $3.6 billion have been sold to date.

The App Store has been instrumental in making millionaires out of many developers. Many funds like the iFund have been launched by leading VC firms, in order to capitalize on the popularity of iOS apps.

The App Store has revolutionized the way in which applications are delivered. Almost every major smartphone and tablet platform now comes with an application store. Even the Mac OS now has an App Store, and Windows 8 is rumored to launch with one as well.

Bing Introduces Lasso Feature in iPad app

While one division at Microsoft aspires to rival Apple iPad in more ways than one, another division has always adopted the iOS platform progressively. The pragmatism of Bing team has had them release a slick Bing for iPhone app in the past, and a Bing for iPad app in April 2011 as the first official iPad app from Microsoft. The app has been very well received and in the first three months, it has had more than 5,000 ratings in the App Store and an average score of 4.7 stars (out of five stars).


The Bing for iPad app goes beyond the traditional search experience and offers a unique and visually rich way to search the Web. It allows you to quickly browse news, movies, Bing homepage images, local business listings and much more. The v1.1 of the app introduces a new feature called Lasso. Designed for the touch-friendly iPad, Lasso is a new way to search and copy/paste with the touch of a finger. You can simply press the Lasso icon in the upper right of the app and circle any word or phrase. Lasso will then create a Bing search and return search results based on the word or phrase selected.

Bing for iPad

Lasso moves Bing beyond the search box and streamlines the process of conducting online searches on the touch-screen device. It simplifies the painful process of copying and pasting pieces of text from a webpage while reading something to a search box to search the Web for that text string. Although this feature is only available in Bing for iPad at the moment, the Bing team could take it further to different devices or platforms.

Also, apart from several quality and performance improvements, the latest release also includes an improved movie experience that lets you view multiple showtime days and theatres, and gives you  the ability to swipe through the last six Bing homepage images.

You can view a video showing the Lasso tool in action and download the updated app in the App Store.

Jailbreak iPad 2 and iPhone 4 Running iOS 4.3 Using JailbreakMe.com

Apple announced the iPad 2 way back in March this year. The second generation iPad boasts of a dual-core A5 processor, and was slimmer and lighter than its predecessor.

However, the iPad 2 was made insanely secure from jailbreaking by Apple. All the hardware level exploits used by the jailbreakers, were patched by Apple in iPad 2.

Nevertheless, popular hacker comex has finally released a way to jailbreak the iPad 2. The jailbreak works via a PDF exploit found, which was first discovered in 2010.


To jailbreak your iPad 2, owners just need to head over to JailbreakMe.com from their iDevice, and press the Free’ button on the site. Then, users need to select the Install button which comes up on the screen. The site will then load a PDF, which may crash Safari.

Afterwards, users will find the Cydia shortcut on their iOS home screen. Tap on free and install button only once, even if it may look like Safari is not responding.

This jailbreak is also compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G and 4G, running on iOS 4.3.3.