App Store reaches 10 Billion downloads

This Saturday morning, January 22nd, Apple’s App Store reached the incredible number of 10 billion downloads.  A year ago Apple announced that it had reached the 3 billion downloads mark.  Within this single year the number of downloads grew at an amazing rate. On January 14th, Apple offered a U$ 10,000.00 prize for the person responsible for the 10 billionth download.  This morning the company published a message informing that the mark had been reached and that they will be announcing he winner of the prize.
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Image in iOS 4.3 beta confirms the presence of cameras in iPad 2

Even though everyone already expected the iPad 2 to come equipped with one or more cameras, it is interesting to have this confirmed.  Images found in beta 2 of iOS 4.3 show the screen of the iPad with three new icons which seem to be fore FaceTime, Camera an Photo Booth applications. This image is used as an overlay to give the user a preview of how the device will look with a new wallpaper. MacRumors has a blowup of the image. While confirming the presence of cameras is interesting in itself, it is very interesting to see that Apple is not only bringing in the camera related functions of the iPhone into the iPad, but also those that are found on the Mac.  With iOS features making their way into OS X Lion, the presence of a ported Mac application on the next release of iOS just goes to show that Apple is evolving both operating systems towards being  more tightly...
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iOS 4.2.1 will arrive two days ahead of the latest rumored date

Apple has announced that iOS 4.2.1 will be available for download today.  This means it will be released two days ahead of the last date to be mentioned in the rumor mill. It certainly won’t be too soon for all the anxious iPad owners that have been eagerly awaiting this release. Apple has released a media statement with very confident tone.  One imagines that they have reason to take that stand as the iPad’s first 2 days of “pre-sales” in South Korea  had over twice the number of devices sold than the first week of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab selling on their home turf. The following is an excerpt from the statement released by Apple today: “iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.” iPad users can now run their favorite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad’s legendary battery life. Users can organize their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders, and Mail now features a Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching and a threaded message...
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iOS 4.2 is right around the corner

Apple released iOS 4.2 Golden Master to developers today.  This is typically  the final build of a new version of the operating system and should reflect what Apple will make generally available to iOS device owners. Apple had announced iOS 4.2 availability for this November and this release indicates that they are going to make it without trouble. This release of iOS will be the first 4.x version to be compatible with the iPad. This will bring multitasking capabilities to the iPad as well as add printing capability to latest generation iOS devices.  Another feature which will be added to devices of the latest generation of all iOS devices is Air Play which lets users stream video directly from their iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches directly to an Apple TV. This will be a very important update for iPad users as it will allow iPad users to make full use of new applications that have been created since the iPhone 4 was launched. These applications run in a small part, in the background allowing you to listen to Internet radio, remain online in an instant messaging application or receive a Skype call while using another application. (Via MacRumors) If you liked this article, please take a moment to follow iPadWatcher on...
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Apple extends iPad distribution in the US through Target

While there doesn’t seem to be any shortage in people interested in buying an iPad, Apple is moving to expand distribution in the iPad through an agreement with Target. It seems confirmed that Target will start to carry the iPad on October 3rd.   This move might signal that Apple is comfortable with how its production capability has been increasing.  Actually it seems very comfortable as it moves to  add a large new distribution channel should demand a large number of units as sales spreads to all stores in the retail chain.
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Will the Chinese get in line for the iPad?

Apple has confirmed that the iPad will be released in China this nex Friday, September 17th.  It will be interesting to see how the Chinese market reacts to a device that has been taking the world by storm. Initially only the Wi-Fi models will be available to the Chinese customers, directly from Apple. Apple is the world’s most populous country and over the past several years has seen a lot of economic growth.   Apple is probably expecting to sell a good deal of iPads over the coming months in that country. A brand new Apple Store opened recently in Shanghai and it will be interesting to see if the Chinese will be as eager to get in line to get a shiny new iPad as everyone else has been when the device was released in other countries. The Shanghai store is the first of a large number of new stores planned to open in Chine through to the end of...
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HBO Streaming will be available on the iPad

A great bit of news for iPad owners that are also movie lovers.  HBO Co-President Eric Kessler has stated that the company’s  HBO Go streaming service will be available on the iPad and other mobile devices within six months. Unfortunately this service will probably only be available for residents of the United States as is the case with NetFlix and other such services.  This leaves iPad users from other countries with whatever video content they can sync directly from their home or work computers. This information was published as part of an article on Bloomberg, but  iPad Watcher dug it up through a post on...
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Music video – Eye of the Tiger Remix – Instruments played entirely on iPad apps

Music and music instrument apps have always been popular on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  If a video I ran into today is any indication I would say that they are becoming quite popular for the iPad as well. A couple of fellows got together and produced a short, but very interesting, music clip where all the instruments where played on iPad apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store.  The video which has been nicely produced might just offer us some interesting insights on a possible twist in the future of music performances. I have embedded the video below, if you would care to watch it. The total duration is just a bit over two minutes. The Apps used to create the clip are:  Real Drums, Pro Keys, Baby Scratch and Guitar...
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Oracle is suing Google over Java IP usage in Android

In an interesting turn of events, Oracle announced that it was suing Google over copyright and patent infringements on its Java intelectual property. While this is not directly linked to the iPad or Apple, it is certainly of interest to those that are  following the moves by several major electronics and computer makers to bring iPad competitors to market. Sun acquired the rights to Java along with Sun in April 2009.  The first statements by Oracle seem to indicate that they don’t intend to try to force Google to stop using Java and Java derived technologies in Android, but rather intend to make them pay for the license to do so. This move by Oracle might just have made Android a much more difficult pill for Google to swallow considering that right now they are licensing Android for free and might soon have to pay for the privilege to continue to do so.  This is going to be on Clash of the Titans that is going to be interesting to...
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The iPad is killing off products before they are even launched

During the previous several months the iPad managed to kill off just about any tablet computer that was mentioned as a new product, but just about any company.  HP was the first to show clear signs about just how serious it takes the iPad when it dropped its plans for the  Windows 7 based Slate and acquired Palm for a hefty 1.2 Billion USD.  This can be a good move, if HP manages to come up with a good game plan for bringing webOS devices to the market. At the same time, Apple sent tsunami like waves into several other markets such as that of dedicated ebook readers which saw significant price reductions since the iPad was introduced and that of netbooks whose growth has pretty much stalled.  If all this wasn’t enough, the companies that are now scrambling to regroup and come up with a product that might stand up to the iPad now need to come up with products that can match the rumors about iPad 2.0. Several tablets and ebook readers which were shown at CES 2010 never made it to the market as it started to become clear that they wouldn’t be able to compete either with the iPad or the now lower priced Kindle and Nook ebook readers.  The latest device to join the ranks of the still born competitors was Plastic Logic’s QUE ebook reader.  The company announced today that it would be reviewing its product plans and redirecting its efforts to the next generation of the device, due to how much the market had changed since they announced the product. With Apple buying up as many iPad displays as it can get its hands on, competitors might find it difficult to secure a suitable supply of them.  This seemingly insatiable demand for iPad components might lead Apple to kill even more possible competitors simply because they can’t get enough components to create  a suitable supply of parts to take their prototypes to actual production. If you liked this article, please take a moment to follow iPadWatcher on...
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Rumor: 7 inch iPad might be announced early in 2011

The rumor that a 7 inch iPad might be in the works for release by early 2011 started circulating today and was quickly picked up by most technology blogs.  It seems that the rumor started from a post on iLounge and spread from there. I’m not really sold on that idea, though. I can think of several activities, such as reading fiction, which I would prefer to do with a slightly smaller and much lighter version of the iPad. I would be reluctant, however, to give up the ease of use and productivity of the current crop of  iPad applications which go way beyond what you have on the iPhone and iPod Touch. While I’m sure that Apple probably has several concept devices in the works and in testing, early 2011 might be too soon to introduce such variations of the main iPad design.  I do expect Apple to introduce a second generation iPad early in 2011, but I don’t expect that Apple will choose to present us such wide variation from model to model as to have a whole different line or an iPad mini, if you will. Should Apple decide that there is a market for a smaller iPad, it would probably make sense to introduce it several months after the second generation iPad has hit the market. If you liked this post, please take a moment to follow iPadWatcher on...
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Is Google shooting itself in the foot in trying to compete with Apple?

Google seems to be having a good deal of success in getting all the companies that don’t have a  solution of their own capable of standing toe to toe with Apple’s iOS to adopt its Android platform for their smartphones.  The number of companies that are adopting Android to bring new solutions is continuously increasing over time and might grow even more as it looks like a much more viable operating system than Windows for the new tablets intended to compete against the iPad . No single Android based smartphone has sold in any quantity that could be remotely comparable to the number of iPhones sold by Apple, but the combined sales of all models from all manufacturers which are using some version of Android is now significant.   An interesting aspect to this apparent success of Android is that Google doesn’t stand to make a penny from it so far, as the platform is licensed without charge. Google’s interest in making Android available would seem to be to ensure that as large a number of mobile devices as possible are tightly integrated with its services such as search and GMail. Mobile Internet access has been increasing continuously and it would seem to make sense for the company to move to secure as much of that emerging market as possible. One of the strong points of the first iPhone was certainly that it provided the best mobile Web access anyone had seen, besides being dead easy to use. That quickly changed, however, when the iPhone SDK was introduced.   Since then,  the strongest point of the iPhone and iPod Touch have been the applications you can buy or download for free.  The number of available applications is now well beyond two hundred thousand and still climbing fast. In order to match this new aspect of the iPhone’s success, Google had to provide a marketplace as a counterbalance to Apple’s own highly successful App Store and help developers to create interesting applications for the Android platform.  And develop applications they did.  While there are not as many Android applications available as those for the iPhone, they can already be counted in the tens of thousands. In this new scenario,  rich in mobile-applications,  there might a hidden threat lurking.  In using the iPad, the newest member of the family of devices that run iOS (the new name for the iPhone OS), users spend most of their time in applications and the same is true for the iPhone and iPod Touch.  In fact, there are some great applications developed for these devices specifically for consuming content from the Web, without ever getting anywhere near the browser. A couple of days ago I wrote a post about Flipboard and in it mentioned Pulse News.  Both of these applications let you access content from Facebook, Twitter, popular blogs and major news sites through a rich enticing interface.  At least one of these applications – Pulse News – is already in the process of being ported to Android and I am sure that more of their kind will follow. In addition to these new content aggregation Apps,  specialized clients such as Osfoora, Twitterrific and TweetDeck do a much better of providing access to Twitter’s content then the original website. Apple has already recognized that users of these devices spend most of their time inside applications and not browsing which led them to introduce their iAd advertisement network.  Instead of going for Web ads, Apple went directly for in-App ads and made them so interactive and rich that they make Web banners look positively last-century. When all or at least some of these applications are available to Android users,...
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iPad Wallpaper #2 – Leaves over stone

iPad Wallpaper #2 – Leaves over stone
This is the second iPad wallpaper post, but actually the third image to be released.   This image was created from a picture I took during a visit to the beautiful city of Prague in 2005.  It shows a section of sidewalk pavement by the margin of the Vltava river, mostly covered with freshly fallen leaves. I have been using this image as the wallpaper of my own iPad for the past several days.  It provides a good background for your icons as the pastel tones of the leaves and stones don’t really conflict with the more vivid tones used in most app icons.  If you like the picture, please feel free to use and pass it on to your friends. (click to see in the original size) If you liked this post, please take a moment to follow iPadWatcher on...
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Apple continues to move the Mac closer to the iPhone and the iPad

Apple continues to move the Mac closer to the iPhone and the iPad
Apple introduced today a device called Magic Trackpad.  This device is the equivalent of a MacBook’s touchpad but  for a desktop computer.  Apple’s Magic Mouse already allows users of desktop models to use a subset of the gestures available on the touchpad of a MacBook, but with the Magic Trackpad users will now be free to use all the gestures which are supported in the latest models of Macbooks. The gestures that are implemented in the touchpad of Apple’s notebooks are already very close to what you have in an iPhone or iPad.  This makes it easy for users to use the same gestures to accomplish  similar results. Apple put out a driver for the Trackpad through its software update today, and it adds some new functionality to the latest generations of MacBooks, allowing the user to have inertial scrolling, for example, on the notebook.  Inertial scrolling is one of the great features of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad lines.  Flicking your fingers up or down with different velocities you cause the target surface to move faster or slower. If you look closely at the picture above you will notice that the design of the Magic Trackpad closely matches that of the Apple Wireless keyboard and the new device also works through a bluetooth interface and is powered by a pair of AA batteries, just like the current generation of the Apple Wireless Keyboard. This is one more step that Apple is taking to help get its users into the habit of using touch controls and get more and more developers used to the idea that they should attempt to take advantage of multi-touch based gestures in the creation of their OS X applications. This is one more small step on the road to the future unification of iOS 4 and OS...
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iPhone jailbreaking is now legal in the US, how about iPads?

Regulators in the US have just included jailbreaking the iPhone in the acceptable exceptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that made it ilegal to circumvent security measures in electronic devices. It the seems that the regulation indicates that copyright considerations cannot be used to prevent users from installing non-approved applications on their own devices.  This regulation just begs the question if it can be extended to include the iPod Touch and the iPad.  After all, an iPod is just an iPhone without the phone and the iPad is just a big iPod....
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