Tag Archives: Apple

RIM harks back at Steve Jobs' jabs, questions Apple's claims

20 Oct

andy rubin tweets As the war for smartphone supremacy heats up, especially this close to the Holiday shopping season, the fight gets messier. The arrogance displayed by Steve Jobs yesterday is not going down well with Apple’s competitors. While Google remained largely tight-lipped if you discount this Tweet by Andy Rubin, RIM’s Jim Balsillie was not amused. The co-CEO lashed out on Apple in a blog post that refers to Apple’s distortion field in its title and raised questions “whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders.” Apart from references to RIM’s own shipment guidance for the previous quarter, Balsillie raised the ‘Flash support’ argument and not to forget Antennagate! Here’s the post in its entirety. Things will just get messier from here, we reckon.


For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7” tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple’s preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM’s August-ending quarter doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.

– Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion (RIM)

Real Football 2011, FIFA 11 coming to App Store this week?

26 Sep

The biggest mobile football game rivalry is expected to get a refresh this week, with Gameloft’s Real Football and EA’s FIFA series going toe to toe again. If rumours are to be believed, both Real Football 2011 and FIFA 11 are likely to hit the App store in the coming few days. We have heard no official confirmation but sources within both companies are reasonably sure that footy gaming fans will have reason to celebrate this week. Both games claim to offer radically better graphics and support for the retina display as well as official affiliations with different clubs and countries, letting you mess around with real players.

However, what we are really curious about is the gameplay – will the two games take a page out of Konami’s Pro Evo Soccer book and minimise the need to hit onscreen buttons? And erm…call us skinflints, but we are also wondering about the price tags and are offering prayers that they will be as far from the USD 10 mark as possible. We are waiting and watching!

Docs To Go 4.0 for iOS released!

13 Sep

One of the most popular office suites on the Apple App Store, Documents To Go has a new version. Documents To Go 4.0 arrived in the App Store today and will work on the iPhone/ iPod touch and iPad. And it brings a number of features that the developers at DataViz (the folks behind the suite) claim that users have been clamouring for, including “speed optimizations, Sheet To Go “freeze panes”, improved high resolution retina display” (yep, we are quoting the release there!). The new version also lets users take advantage of iOS’ multi-tasking feature (but what of the iPad, we wonder) and joy of joys, supports full external keyboard. The interface has been tweaked and made simpler and  the already muscular Word to Go has had more formatting options added to it, such as left and right indent, strike out, and new bullet styles.

“Our loyal customer base has always been a huge resource for DataViz in terms of what features to add to our products and this version is no exception.   Documents To Go 4.0 adds some of the top customer requests along with features that take advantage of the latest technology provided by Apple to offer an even more functional mobile office suite,” said Bonnie Boyle, Business Manager for Documents To Go products. The suite is available in two flavours – normal and Premium, with the former costing $9.99 and the latter being a tad pricier at $16.99. All customers who purchased Documents To Go 3.0 will however get a free upgrade to the new suite. We like that and are downloading! Watch this space for a review.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on iPhone Goes Free

7 Aug

All right, in terms of gaming bonanzas, we do not think it gets any bigger than this. The legendary Sid “Civilization” Meier’s strategy game for the iPhone, Civilization Revolution, is available for free download “for a limited time” (we suspect it is just for a day but are praying like the deuce that it is longer). The game is considered by just about every hardcore strategy gamer as the best mobile game for those who love the gather-build-conquer model with lots of intricacies (hey, this is a Sid Meier game, after all) thrown in for good measure, not least the option of being able to lead any of 16 civilizations throughout history to lead to glory (or utter disaster, if you have a bad run, or heck, just want to.”

The original price of the game is $6.99, so we would urge all of you with gaming genes in your blood to go right ahead and download it while it is free. There is bad news for Indian gamers, though – the game ain’t available in the Indian App Store. Talk about getting the best things in life for free but being unable to download them. But ah…that is another story for another now. As of now, all those who can get Civilization Revolution, go right ahead. “Free”dom never tasted this good.

Breaking: New US rules will allow users to legally jailbreak, unlock their iPhones!

26 Jul

Associated Press is reporting that exemptions in an existing copyright law will now allow users to install third party apps (not from iTunes) as well as unlock their iPhones to switch to another carrier. Quoting the report:

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as “jailbreaking” is one of a handful of new exemptions from a 1998 federal law that prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized uses. The Library of Congress’ Copyright Office reviews and authorizes exemptions every three years to ensure that the law does not prevent certain non-infringing use of copyright-protected material… allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

If implemented, it would be a big jolt for Apple which likes to control everything on the iPhone, including which apps users can install on the phone and which they cannot. It might also pave way for factory unlocked iPhones, ones that are not locked to any carrier and hence, unsubsidised, in the US. Apple currently sells unlocked iPhones in UK and France, among other countries.

We are awaiting an official response from Apple on this latest development.

via AP

Weekend reading: Why Apple needs to loosen its death grip over Antenna Gate

25 Jul

iPhone 4 death gripFirst they denied it. Then they accepted it. And now they are on a mission to prove everyone suffers from it. The headline and the picture are indications enough of what it is all about – the iPhone 4’s ‘Antenna Gate’ and how Apple is reacting to it.

Initially, Apple turned a blind eye to reports that indicated the iPhone 4 might have a faulty antenna design which leads to it dropping calls when held in a particular way (when held in the left hand and the skin covers the lower left edge of the phone – also called as the death grip). Last week, Steve Jobs addressed the media and accepted that there was a problem that affected less than a per cent of iPhone 4 owners and offered free cases to all owners as a peace offering. (The case covers the antenna and eliminates the death grip.)

Everything would have been fine had Jobs & Co. left it at that. But no, like sore losers they won’t accept that they screwed up and have now embarked on a mission to prove that every cellphone out there suffers from attenuation (the loss of signal when the antenna is obstructed by skin when held). Precisely for that Apple has put online a website on which it uploads videos of how death grip can be applied to phones from competing brands.

I admire Jobs and products that Apple comes out with and it saddens me to see how they are unable to come to terms with a bad design decision with your most popular product. While Apple can put the death grip on any phone under the sun, the point they are missing is that people don’t hold phones the way they are holding to demonstrate attenuation on other phones. Apple even shows the iPhone 3GS suffering from attenuation but no one has really complained about it before simply because they do not hold their iPhone 3GS that way!

While Apple’s videos were entertaining initially, now they are becoming irritating and have started putting me off. What will they come up with next week? Probably how to put a death grip on the Samsung Galaxy S? I won’t be surprised.

My point of this entire rant is to just tell Apple to pucker up and face the reality. Rather than telling us that others are bad too, just work things out and give us a solution. We love your phones and are willing to use them with a case if need be. We won’t complain, promise. Just grow up!

Jay Freeman aka Saurik shows his jailbroken iPhone 4 on camera

24 Jul

Those of you who use jailbroken iPhones must be familiar with the name Jay Freeman aka Saurik. Yup, he’s the guy behind the popular Cydia app store for getting apps that Apple won’t ever approve. He is here showing off his jailbroken iPhone 4 complete with the Cydia app store while talking to the folks at Making it Work. Hit the link below to watch the video.

via TUAW

Gresso’s iPhone 4 Black Diamond case solves 'Antennagate' in style

23 Jul

Gresso has launched its latest iPhone 4 casing, made of 200-years old African Blackwood, the signature material which they have used for the iPhone 3GS casing as well. The Gresso iPhone 4 Black Diamond casing has an 18-K gold Apple logo embedded on the backside with an inlaid glittering black diamond.

This $10,000 case for the iPhone 4 not only makes the device look pretty but also solves the ‘death grip’ problem that many users are facing. The antenna strip around the perimeter of the iPhone 4, which is the known culprit for the problem, will be covered by the steel frame along the edges of the Gresso case. The steel frame has a titanium black PVD coating which being dielectric in nature will nullify the reception issue and consequently, there will be no loss of signal, according to Gresso.

Wireless Keyboard + iPhone = Pure Magic!

22 Jul

One of the notable features of the iOS 4 update was the fact that it would let the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 connect to keyboards over Bluetooth. Well, we decided to give it a go the moment we upgraded our iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 and managed to get our hands on Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. Why Apple’s keyboard when we were told that the software upgrade would make the device work just as well with any other? Well, mainly because it had music function keys, which we thought would be cool to try out and of course, because we felt that it would work best, thanks to the Apple connection. That it looked cool as hell and was the lightest wireless keyboard in town might have also had something to do with it at some level.
The first thing to do, of course, was to turn on Bluetooth in both devices. This resulted in the iPhone detecting the wireless keyboard but not pairing with it. To initiate pairing, we just touched the wireless keyboard highlighted on the iPhone screen and were presented with a numeric code to punch in and enter on the wireless keyboard. We did so, and hey presto, we were connected. That was literally all there was to it. Continue reading

Apple to ship free iPhone 4 cases to owners and everyone lived happily ever after…

17 Jul

Steve Jobs today sweet-talked the media, gave out free iPhone 4 cases and literally put the whole ‘death grip’ and ‘antenna gate’ incident behind him. Jobs set the tone at the beginning by saying, “We are not perfect. Phones are not perfect.” Then he went on to show (on video) how a similar death grip could put the BlackBerry 9700, HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Omnia 2 to sleep – a point that he had been making ever since the whole issue first started getting reported.

What really set the record straight was some stats that he dropped – only 0.55 per cent of iPhone 4 users are reporting this problem and the number of additional calls dropped per 100 calls on the iPhone 4 is less than one when compared to the iPhone 3GS. Talking about the iPhone 3GS, he said that the return rate of the iPhone 3GS was double that that of the iPhone 4 during early shipments. So far, Apple has sold three million units of the iPhone 4 in just three weeks.

Jobs was just short of admitting that the iPhone 4 has a flawed design with the antenna strip running around the edges of the phone but insisted that this is a problem that every handset manufacturer out there is facing.

Still, to pacify its users (I think it was more a step to pacify the press than anyone else), Apple will ship free iPhone 4 cases to all iPhone 4 owners and will refund those who bought Apple’s bumper cases. The offer will begin next week when Apple will put a site online from where owners would be able to choose a case. Unfortunately, Apple won’t be able to manufacture as many bumpers and we have a sneak feeling that we might be seeing silicone cases in different colour options on that site. The offer would be on till September 30. Unsatisfied users can also return their phone and they would be refunded in full without having to pay any restocking fee.

Jobs dismissed the idea of making any design changes on the phone and also said the Bloomberg story that he was told about this problem when the iPhone 4 was being designed were completely false. However, he added that during their tests, they noticed that there was a loss of signal when the e was held in a certain way but they never really thought it would be this bad.

It takes balls of steel for someone to face the press when journalists smell blood and Jobs really came out with nary a scratch on him or his company. It seems to me that everyone just wanted to see him on stage and talk about it in public rather than sharing his views with random people via an occasional e-mail. And to reassure its customers, in a rare move, Apple has posted a video of Jobs’ July 16 iPhone 4 antenna gate address on its website.

Next week, Apple will be announcing its latest quarterly results and it would be rather interesting to see if anyone asks the company how much money they would be spending to ship everyone free cases. Nevertheless, it would be much cheaper than a recall, which would have cost the company at least $1.5 billion according to some analysts.