May 18, 2013

Google Glass

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Reuters

Google Chic will like this post on Google (Glass) :) (FYI iPhone is still the best phone out there)

Google Glass is one of the most hyped technologies at the moment. For $1500, Google distributed it to a group of explorers, who it hopes will develop apps to run on Glass.

For starters, its basic features include searching the web, taking pictures, videos, reminders, emails and sharing. Companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Ebay are developing apps for Google Glass. In fact, I think, Glass will quite nicely lend itself to a completely new set of applications for augmented reality. Just like how the smart phone was a few years ago, wearable computing is the next exciting thing in the tech horizon.

Glass works with any blue-tooth enabled smart phone using a MyGlass App, which is currently available for Android. But apps for other platforms will be released. Also to go online, Glass would need to be tethered to your phone.

Given the beta state of the device, there will be lots of new features and maybe a new form factor to come when Google officially releases it next year (hopefully lower than a $1500 price tag :) ).  

Check out the Google’s promo video on “How it feels through Glass”. What do you think of Google Glass?

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December 8, 2012

Apple and Google joining forces!

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Finally GoogleChic and I are going to agree on something. Apple and Google have teamed up on a $500 million bid to acquire Kodak’s patent portfolio. The two companies are aiming to buy Kodak’s 1100 imaging patents out of bankruptcy as reported by Bloomberg.

Initially, according to reports, Apple and Google were leading separate consortiums bidding for Kodak’s patents – Apple with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures and Google with its mobile hardware buddies Samsung, LG and HTC. It seems like Apple and Google may have learnt their lesson after their head on fight for Nortel patents last year (Google lost after offering $900 million while Apple, RIM and Microsoft shelled out a chunky $4.5 billion dollars).

The patents that Kodak is selling as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, relate to capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images. In the future, the company plans to focus on printing and enterprise services and less on photography. Kodak claims that the patents may be worth more – $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion and Kodak has made more than $3 billion in revenue by licensing its patents to companies like Samsung, Nokia, LG, Google, Nokia among others. The two behemoths, Apple and Google may be getting the best deal now that they are not competing with each other.

Kodak

July 28, 2012

Amazon phone!?

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Amazon is rumored as extending its reach into the mobile market. Bloomberg reported that Amazon is working on a phone rumored to run on Google’s Android OS, along with Foxconn, manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone.  Further Amazon is supposed to be seeking patent acquisitions to complement its entry into the smartphone market and defend itself from patent trolls. 

Amazon has positioned itself to enter the smartphone market with its entry into the tablet foray with Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire has become the second best selling tablet after the iPad (based on speculated sales numbers of the Amazon Kindle tablet). With Amazon prime, cloud and app store, Amazon is more than ready to enter the phone business. One would expect Amazon to follow its aggressive Kindle pricing on its new smart phone as well. With other major brands like Samsung, HTC, Motorola dominating the low price point phone market, it would be hard for Amazon to gain a market share there. It may, however, try to score in the higher price point space – iPhone’s arena, but, in my opinion, Amazon lacks the expensive brand value that Apple portrays. 

Amazon could bundle 4G data services with the phone. Some analysts suggest that Amazon might charge $249 for the handset bundled with six months of 4G LTE data. The ultimate game plan that we all know Amazon will go after is to sell its  phone at an extraordinarily low price and blow through its inventory by bundling free two day shipping (Amazon Prime), beat Netflix at its own game (again Amazon Prime!), sell apps (via Amazon App Store) and its other software services. 

I dont think Amazon phone is a viable option to the Apple iPhone, but it definitely would be strong enough to fight the low price market segment. Selling the device at little or no margin is most probably the path Amazon will follow, but I would be excited to watch Amazon approach an entirely different model. 

 

June 24, 2012

Apple Asia Chronicles

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Owning an Apple product is a symbol of upward mobility among Asia’s fast growing middle class. In my recent trip to Asia, I noticed a common thing between the west and the east. Crowded Apple Stores. The impact of Apple and its products on the psyche of people all over the world is amazing.

I couldn’t get my hands on a fake iPhone 5 or see a fake Apple store, but got some pictures of Apple references and stores and snagged Apple accessories at record breaking discount prices. My advice for anyone going to China – Shop :)

Steve Jobs Biography, Tokyo

Steve Jobs Playing Cards – Muslim Quarters in Xi’an, China

Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

                                                                                                      

iPhone 4 case, Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

Street Vendors, Hong Kong

Apple Store, Hong Kong

Apple Store, Hong Kong

Apple Reseller, Bangalore, India

April 15, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 – just buy it!

Nokia’s Lumia 900 is the phone which is trying hard to vie Android and iPhone users. Not in a blatantly obnoxious kind of way, but in actual content and innovation kind of way. I can’t believe I am saying this about a Microsoft device, but Microsoft has really outdone itself with a fresh new operating system and Nokia brings its hardware forte to the market. The best thing about the phone is that it is essentially free until April 21’st, with AT&T’s bill credit from Nokia! So just bite the bullet and go get it!

Pros

1. A well-built uni-body casing –  As an iPhone user I think the Lumia is somewhat bulky, but for those of you who like a solid phone when you grasp it, Nokia Lumia 900 promises to give you that.

2. A fresh new platform – Windows Mango OS. Throw away the Microsoft Windows (Vista) image that you have in mind. Microsoft has decided to pull its act together and come back in a big way. The OS is fast, quite impressive, functional, user-friendly and the features – Local Scout, Threaded Messaging, and Social Networking Hubs actually work seamlessly. If you haven’t given it a spin, you can check out the simulator here and see if you like it.

3. Great deal – Again it’s free :)

4. LTE- This is one of those features that actually makes a difference to the user. Coupled with the snappy Windows OS platform, the high-speed network support definitely sweetens the deal.

Cons

1. Content – I think this is the biggest hurdle Microsoft/Nokia face. The number of Apps is extraordinarily low compared to that on the iOS or an Android device. However, if the platform attracts enough users and turns out as viable option for App developers it could change the App landscape in the next few years.

2. OS – Windows Phone OS is brand new and there might be some serious gaps that Microsoft has left open and you might just stumble into one. At the same time, the OS is sort of refreshing to use and is faster compared with Microsoft’s other sluggish software or even Android and iOS.

All in all, if you are not yet a smart phone user (Android or iPhone user), then you should check it out! The phone has already topped Amazon’s bestselling list, overtaking Android phones. Recently Nokia pushed a critical update to fix a data connection bug ahead of time (and as goodwill measure they are effectively selling the phone free of cost until the 21st) , which hopefully means that Nokia is dead serious about this phone.

P.S  Nokia/AT&T’s  interesting (idiotic) marketing stunt was to release the phone on Easter day when all the AT&T stores were closed in the US. What were they thinking?!?

April 8, 2012

Nokia’s 808 PureView with 41MP camera

Nokia has managed to squeeze a 41 MP camera into a smart phone. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, Nokia announced the 808 Pure View which runs on Symbian Belle OS. I am surprised that Nokia wants to keep Symbian alive even after their tie up with Windows OS. The phone’s downright crazy camera features include Carl Zeiss Lens and 1080p video recording. Nokia has also included its Rich Recording technology which apparently records audio at near CD record quality and not to forget its Dolby headphone technology that allows users to experience their media in surround sound.

The ridiculous camera aside, the phone features 1.3 single core processor, 512MB RAM and a  4″ AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass. The downside is the size with the large camera pod jutting out. However, it seems have to have garnered some pleasant reviews about usability and size.

The phone is set to launch in Europe for 450 euros and no sign of when it wouitd be in the US. It seems like Nokia is bringing out the big guns in the mobile handset war. The other Nokia Windows phone have been getting more attention with increasing popularity and I am eager to see Nokia’s smart phone numbers in a year or two and map them up against Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and the likes.

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March 19, 2012

The new iPad tops 3 million in under 4 days

 BY THE APPLE GIRLThe new iPad featuring the Retina display, A5X quad core graphics, a 5 MP iSight camera for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD camera, 10 hour battery life and 4G LTE support, has topped 3 million units in less than 4 daysIn comparison, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units in its first weekend and they were much cheaper and more widely popular.

March 6, 2012

Apple iPad 3 Media Event – March 7

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Apple’s next media event is coming up on March 7, when it is expected to launch iPad 3. There have been numerous rumors about the event and we have rounded up and classified some important ones. Let us know what you think!

Very Likely

1. Retina Display – It is rumored that iPad 3 will be equipped with a Retina Display – a high-resolution screen found on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.  According to the rumors, iPad 3 should have 1536×2048 resolution which is twice that of its predecessor, iPad 2.

2. Higher Resolution Camera – The camera on the iPad 2 is pending an upgrade and rumors say that this is coming on iPad 3 – a possible 8 MP camera. 

3. Processor – An improved dual core processor with better graphic processing is expected with the rumored A5X processor. Some rumors indicate a quad-core A6 processor, but it seems to be unlikely.

4. Siri support – This is possible but I am not betting on it as much as I would on the retina display.

5. Form Factor – Some rumors indicate that the device will be slightly thicker than iPad 2 (about 0.81 mm thicker)

Maybe

1. LTE Support – I am on the borderline on this one. Wall Street Journal at one point reported that Apple would release a 4G LTE supported iPad 3. iMore, which accurately reported the iPad 3 Media event date also reported that Apple will be releasing a 4G enabled iPad. If Apple wants to be competitive with its rival tablets this year, this might be happening.

No Way

1. Price Hike – Although rumors suggest that  there might be a slight price hike ($80) on the iPad 3 due to the addition of the retina display, I wouldn’t bet on it. Apple would have figured out its economies of scale to make a Retina Display iPad 3 at its existing sweet spot price.

2. iPad Mini – This rumor has been around since the time the iPad launched and thanks to other Android and Amazon tablets trying to capitalize on an untapped small tablet market, the rumor doesn’t seem to be going away, In any case, I wouldn’t bet on it.

There have been reports of Apple stalling replenishment of Apple TV set-top box at many Apple retailers across the US. It’s possible that an Apple TV update is coming at the media event. Then there is the most famous rumor about the Apple TV sets referred to in Steve Jobs’ biography.

All in all, this will be an exciting Apple Media Event. Can’t wait! :)

Source: MacRumors, ArsTechnica, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, iMore

February 26, 2012

Oscars 2012 on your smart phone!

Are you into playing Oscars pool or racking up on your Oscars trivia or watching the red carpet? Here are some apps you will find handy!

1. Award Hero: Oscars Edition (Free) (iTunes) – Check out this free App to create your own Oscars pool and compete against friends. The only part that I don’t like is that you can only do it via your Facebook account. This App also has historical information on previous Oscar awards and winners.

2. Oscars App (Free) (iTunes) – is the official App brought to you by ABC. It has a number of backstage streams and you can choose one of the 6 cameras and zoom in. The Oscars App has more cameras than any other media outlet. You can also view movie trailers and list of nominated movies.

3. E! Live from the Red Carpet (Free) (iTunes, Android) – E! will bring you all the red carpet scoop to your phone. Get insider info on awards, celebrity interviews, complete video coverage of the event and most importantly all the fashion buzz!

4. Name That Movie ($0.99) (iTunes) – This one is for all you trivia geeks.

Enjoy!

February 26, 2012

Shepard Fairey iPhone cases

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

The popular American street artist, Shepard Fairey, known for his popular HOPE poster, has collaborated with Incase design to release iPhone, iPad and laptop cases and backpacks with his iconic “Obey Giant” street art. The artwork combines symbols of peace from across different cultures with Fairey’s ideology and vision of self-empowerment to promote harmony.

The Fairey-Incase line consists of iPod Touch case (30 USD), iPhone case (40 USD), MacBook Air (79 USD), 13″ and 15″ laptop sleeves (80 USD and 90 USD) and laptop backpack (150 USD).

I love Fairey’s iconic designs and having recently seen his murals around where I live, I am inclined to get one of the iPhone cases. 


[Source]: DesignTAXI via DesignBoom

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