Archive for ‘Next Best Thing’

July 17, 2011

Wireless Charging – A thing of the future?

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Have you ever wondered why we haven’t gotten rid of wires to charge our phones and other devices? Don’t you think It’s time someone big jumps into the wireless charging pool? HP did it 2 years ago and introduced the Palm Pre with wireless charging built-in, such that placing the phone on a special charging mat would automatically recharge the phone. Unfortunately HP didn’t seem to create too many ripples in the phone industry.

A recent report by Wall Street Journal stated that Apple is working on new way of charging the iPhone. Recently Apple filed a patent, “Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment” which describes your iMac creating a virtual charging area where wireless devices such as mice, keyboards and mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad could simply be charged if present in 1 meter proximity to the computer. Isn’t that cool? Well, the possibilities with wireless charging are endless – cars that can be wirelessly charged, a central wireless charging system at homes etc.

WiTricity, a 2007 start up company has made significant advances in wireless charging where you can transfer larger amounts of power wirelessly over more practical distances than traditional induction (used by Palm Pre and other wireless charging systems like PowerMat where the device has to be in contact in order to transfer the power). See the video below for WiTricity CEO demo’ing the solution at TED.

Recently Qualcomm announced alliances with Duracell and PowerMat to explore wireless charging possibilities. Qualcomm’s wireless approach called WiPower, that was on display at CES this year, allows for transferring energy wirelessly  between a charging pad and devices containing built-in devices (aka Qualcomm ASICs). Interesting? I can’t wait for all the wireless charging solutions to materialize in the consumer market!
Source: MacRumors, Wall Street Journal
BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

I’ve never understood the need for a wireless charging pad. Powermat, Energizer, Palm and LG all offer the same type of “wireless charging” solution. The wireless charging station is suppose get rid of the clutter and there’s no need to hassle with the cables.

Well, the way I see it, is that you still need to plug in the “pad” to an outlet. Not to mention, there’s an ugly pad on your nightstand or desk.  Hmm, is that really getting rid of the clutter? Not to mention, you’ll need to buy a special case for your phone and you’ll need to make sure that it’s aligned correctly on the pad before it’ll charge! I say just plug the dang phone in, it will take you 2 seconds 🙂

However, I’m super excited the type of wireless charging that AppleGirl is reporting. It sounds like there will still be some type of “pad” device, but you’ll be able to hide it and there’ll be no need to place your phone directly on it 🙂 As long as you can place it within a certain vicinity it’ll work! Hey, I did say it’ll take 2 seconds to plug in the phone, but sometimes I do forget 🙂 If I can place it on my nightstand and have it automatically charge it’s a plus. Not to mention, us gals like to have big purses these days. If I can just leave it in my purse and bring it close enough to have it automatically charge it’ll save me another 5 mins 🙂

P.S: Google, I hope you have something in the works. If AppleGirl gets this before I do, I’m not going to be a happy camper! 

 

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February 20, 2011

iPad 2

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

If you have been speculating on buying an iPad some time soon, then the best advice is to hold off for a few months. Because the next best tablet in the market will be the iPad 2.

Despite Apple closely guarding the specs, there are rumors flying around and rest assured you will see at least some of these features in the next iPad.

LIKELY:

  • Thinner and Compact: Like the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 will definitely be slimmer with exceptional design quality.
  • Cameras: The iPad 2 is expected to have a front and rear facing cameras. This is a given since I think FaceTime support is a must for any new Apple product.
  • 3 Axis Gyroscope: With the amount of gaming and navigation potential on the iPad, I think this is another likely addition.
  • GSM and CDMA: With Verizon now carrying the iPad with MiFi (i.e the iPad itself does not have CDMA functionality), Apple would be sensible enough to build an iPad 2 with a CDMA chip, if not for a dual technology i.e CDMA and GSM iPad.
  • Higher Resolution: The iPad 2 could carry a high end pixel density. Imagine a higher resolution or a Retina display on a bigger real estate, I can’t stop myself from drooling 😛

UNLIKELY:

  • USB port: With Apple going wireless and cloud based (MobileMe is rumored to be free in the future), I doubt that the USB port (to enable users to upload documents, movies, photos etc) would be a new feature.
  • SD card slot: There have been pictures of iPad 2 case with space for an SD card slot. But I think the SD card slot is unlikely, since none of the Apple products – iPod, iPhone – have been given an expandable memory slot. I doubt that Apple would go down that road for the iPad. Again, if Apple has free MobileMe in the cards, an SD card slot is something you will probably not see on the new iPad.

DON’T BET ON IT:

  • LTE support: With most of the world still running on 2G/3G technologies and LTE at its infancy, 4G on iPad 2 is out of question.
  • Removing the home button: There have been some rumors of the iPad 2 without a home button. The fact that the iPad is so consumer friendly is because it is easy to maneuver (thanks to the home button!) and it would take anyone just 2 seconds to figure it out. I don’t think Apple would think of removing it anytime in the near future.

Expected Release: April 2011 [Update: AllThingsDigital reports that Apple has scheduled a media event on March 2 where it is expected to launch the next iPad]

Expected Price: Not lower than the current iPad.

[via MacRumors, BoyGeniusReport, Mashable, ZD Net, TechRadar.com, PCMag]

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