Archive for category Apple

The New iPad hits stores March 16

After months of speculation, Apple unveiled the “new iPad” at a press conference today featuring a 9.7-inch retina display. The device’s high-resolution display has a resolution of 2,048×1,536, or a whopping 3.1 million pixels. The new iPad also has an updated processor and is the first Apple device to connect to 4G LTE services offered by carriers, including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.


Weighing 1.4 pounds, the new iPad will be slightly heavier than the iPad 2 but will still have a generous 10 hour battery life. The new iPad includes similar features as other Apple devices like the iPhone 4. The iPad features a backside 5-megapixel camera that allows for 1,080-pixel video recording and image stabilization.

The new iPad will start at $499 for Wi-Fi only model which had been the same starting price as the previous model. Models capable of 4G speeds will start at $629, not including service plans.

While I am excited to the see the new iPad up close, today’s press conference also shows Apple isn’t immune from competition. Apple also stated it will continue to sell the iPad 2, at a reduced starting price of $399, making it more competitive with the lower-priced devices on the market such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The new iPad will be available starting on March 16 in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany

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It pays to go to the gym with Gym-Pact

Need a little, or a lot, of motivation to hit the gym in the New Year? If some extra cash will get you to lace up your sneakers, look no further than Gym-Pact, a new downloadable app for iPhone and iPad. The cash incentive workout motivation tool allows users to set the terms on how often and how much time you want to spend at the gym. By “checking-in” to your gym, the application keeps a log on your gym time for the week. Depending if you kept your end of the bargain, you’ll be either penalized or rewarded with cash by the amount of money you were willing to gamble.

Don’t think you can fool this application by checking into your gym while you’re on the couch either.  The application uses GPS to track whether you’re really at the gym. At the end of each week, the amount of money users were willing to pledge to hit the gym is redistributed between those who didn’t get their workouts in and those who did. Getting paid to go to the gym? I definitely could get used to that.

Over 40,000 gyms and fitness centers are already on Gym-Pact’s database with the ability to add more, unless your preferred workout locale is your office or home. Sorry, those don’t count.

Gym-Pact is currently available only for iPhone or iPad, but hopefully expanding in the future. We’re interested to see how much money people will be paying out versus how much they’re able to make as regular gym rats.

Is a cash incentive application like Gym-Pact enough to get you to the gym? To sign up or learn more, click here.

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Take Windows for a test drive on your iPhone or Android

Though you may have sworn your allegiance to Apple long ago, are you still a little curious how Windows would operate on your iPhone? What if you could try out a Windows-running phone without having to go to the store with a sales person watching your every move? Curious folks are in luck: Android and iPhone users can actually take Windows for a joy ride by downloading a demo version straight to their phone. 

The demo lets you try all the main features including phone, people, messaging, Outlook and photos. I had a brief encounter with a Window running phone recently when I reviewed the HTC Titan from AT&T and found that I really liked the Windows operating system on a phone. If you’re interested in an OS that is aesthetically appealing, it’s worth trying out.

It may not be enough to sway diehard Apple users to buy a Windows phone, but it definitely has users like me thinking about making my next phone one with a Windows operating system.

If you’re interested in the demo, you don’t have to Google. Just click here.

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Apple experiences record-breaking Black Friday

Two Apple insider reports are claiming record-breaking Black Friday sales. Analysts from Deutsche Bank checked in with more than 200 Apple stores and retailers to gauge customer demand for products including the iPhone 4s, iPad and MacBook Air. Their findings suggest Apple should be pretty thankful this holiday season.

The analysts found 75 percent of the stores polled were sold out of the iPhone 4s on Friday while iPad sales were up 68 percent. iPad sales surpassed projections with almost 15 units sold per hour on Black Friday alone. MacBook and MacBook Air were also popular with their $101 dollar discount.

With online retailers expecting a big Cyber Monday, we’re eager to see how Apple products faired the rest of the shopping weekend.

Did you pick up any Apple products this weekend? Or, did you put off shopping for today’s Cyber Monday deals?

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Tech blog review: Apple iPhone 4S

After Apple’s weekend launch, there are now 4 million or so new iPhone 4S owners out there in the world.  It’s a fairly impressive number – the iPhone 4S has racked up the largest launch to date of any iPhone.

So how impressive is the iPhone 4S itself? In recent days we were able to play around with one here in the office, among both current iPhone users and nonusers.

To some degree, we’re still a bit disappointed that this isn’t an iPhone 5. It could have been, but it’s not. With that said, we’ll get over it because the iPhone 4S is a definite evolution on the iPhone 4. They may look the same on the outside, but the changes are all inside.

We like the speed; there’s a noticeable difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S has Apple’s dual core A5, the same processor currently found in the iPad. It’s decidedly zippier – iPhone users who upgrade will notice a definite speed change, which we applaud.

In terms of network speed, AT&T has claimed that they have a significantly faster phone because of their HSPA+ service, which is available in numerous markets here in Wisconsin.  A number of national blogs have run speed tests like this. (http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/10/15/iphone-4s-verizon-vs-att-speed-test/)

The other element we really like is the improved camera, which does away with the annoying pause after snapping a photo. With a resolution upgrade to eight megapixels and an improved flash over the built-in flash on the iPhone 4, we can leave our digital cameras in the drawers from now on.

For all the talk about Siri, it’s a signature feature that’s left us a bit underwhelmed. Yes, it is cool. Yes, it works fairly well. Yes, it’s clever. But to some degree, particularly for existing iPhone owners, it’s a novelty feature.  Siri “remembers” your data, such as the relationships among those people in your contacts, and can fetch data for you, but the whole effect to us was more novelty than an actual function we craved as an iPhone user.

That isn’t to say we disliked it. It was certainly cool, particularly since Apple released Siri in its beta form. But our collective practical side is weighing whether Siri falls into that proverbial “want” or “need” category.

 

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Is it the technological perfect storm for the iPhone 4S launch this weekend?

Though some critics are disappointed with the release of a new version of the iPhone 4 rather than an iPhone 5, there’s a lot to be excited about in the new iPhone.

Apparently many other people think so, too. First of all, there’s the existing iPhone  believers. You know them –they’re the ones who placed their orders last week and are eagerly waiting for their little box.

You can’t deny its appeal. Not only are people intrigued by the introduction of Siri, the new voice recognition software, and the improved camera. But most smart phone users are also speed freaks, and the promise of a faster processor is enough to seal the deal for heavy users. Give the masses a faster phone, and they’ll pull out their credit cards.

But with the continued service problems plaguing RIM’s Blackberry, there’s a whole new market segment that’s taking a good look at what the iPhone 4S might offer.

So how are sales shaping up? A good way to look at it is to do some historic comparisons. The first weekend the iPhone 4 was available last year, it sold 1.7 million units. Analysts are predicting that sales of the iPhone 4S will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 million this weekend, the first weekend it’s available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. Some analysts expect sales to exceed that launch target.

In Wisconsin this morning, lines are already reported at AT&T and Apple stores in Milwaukee and other parts of the state.

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Itching for the new iPhone 4S?

Today is the first day that it’s possible to place an order for the new iPhone 4S and we’ve already had one staff member place his pre-order. In case you’re wondering how to have one in hand on October 14, here are some quick links to get your new phone pre-ordered.

You can pre-order the fifth generation iPhone directly from Apple, or depending on your current contract, from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.

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