Jan 29

iPad Retina DisplayWith regard to the iPad 3, which is expected to be announced in a month or two, the only thing “known” about the tablet is that it will have a higher-resolution display than its predecessors. That said, there’s always been some question as to how much higher its resolution would be.

Most have assumed that the iPad 3’s display would simply be double that of the iPad and iPad 2: 2048×1536 rather than 1024×768.  And this seems to have been confirmed by new images included in Apple’s recently updated iBooks app. iBooks 2.0, which was announced and released last week, contains image files perfectly suited for a display of 2048×1536.

If this turns out to be the case, the iPad 3 would have a PPI in the 260 range.  This is considerably less than the iPhone 4’s 326 PPI, but that should be okay because the iPad’s screen is so much larger and is meant to be viewed from farther away. 

Apple has, as is its SOP, remained mute on the next-gen iPad.  So, take this new information for what it’s worth.

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Jan 24

AOC 23” e2343Fi Monitor

There are many iPhone docks available for purchase, and speaker systems with onboard docks, too – but a monitor with a built-in iPhone dock is something altogether new. 

In March, AOC will release the e2343Fi monitor, a 23-inch LED-backlit number with an onboard dock good for Dock Connector iPods and iPhones.  The dock not only charges an iOS device, but also allows the user to view photos and videos on the larger display, making it an excellent option for bedrooms and dorm rooms.

The monitor’s base has speakers with SRS sound as well.

Other features include a 50,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time, 1920×1080 HD resolution at 60Hz, HDMI input, and a slim 0.51 inch display chassis. 

When the AOC e2343Fi launches, it will do so with an MSRP of $279.

AOC Press Release
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Jan 11

Will the iPad 2 Get Siri in iOS 5.1?

Siri, as we all know, is currently available only on the iPhone 4S, and is labeled – in very unusual Apple fashion – as a beta feature, or work in progress. But Siri’s sequestration won’t last forever. So the question is: when will we see Siri on other iOS devices?

Well, it looks like it’s at least possible that the day when Siri expands beyond the iPhone 4S may come sooner than we thought.  9to5Mac.com is reporting that there’s new language buried in the Settings menu in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 that suggests Siri, at least in part, may be included in iOS 5.1 for the iPad.

“Sonny Dickson was looking through the iOS 5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad and discovered a new section in the keyboard menu called “About Privacy and Dictation.” When opened … the iPad provides the user with the standard legal literature and feature information for Siri Dictation… On the iPhone 4S, Apple does not have a specific menu related to “Dictation and Privacy” in the keyboard settings panel, [which] may weaken concerns that this new iPad Dictation menu is simply carried over code from the iPhone 4S.”

Perhaps only the dictation aspect of Siri’s functionality – the ability to convert speech to text for emails, notes, etc. – will be included, or perhaps iPad 2 users will get full-featured Siri.  Or perhaps this is much ado about nothing. 

Why No Siri on the iPad Already?

Some have speculated that the more powerful A5 chip in the iPhone 4S is required for Siri to work well, which is why it wasn’t included in the iPhone 4’s iOS 5 upgrade; others say that’s ridiculous, that Apple kept Siri 4S-only because other than the improved camera, there wasn’t much reason for iPhone 4 users to upgrade unless Siri was limited to the new model.  We’ve got one foot and two hands in the latter camp, but if the former is true, there’s absolutely no technical reason Siri can’t come to the iPad 2 because it, too, has an A5 SoC with 512MB of RAM and a powerful GPU.

Siri on the iPad 3

Whether Siri is added to the iPad 2 or not, you can bet that it’ll be part of the iPad 3, which is widely expected to be announced later this quarter, likely March.  And, of course, the iPhone 5 will have Siri, as we imagine all iOS devices going forward will.

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Jan 10

GoMusic for Google Music iPhone AppUPDATE MARCH 31, 2012: GoMusic, after being briefly pulled from the App Store, is again available for purchase and download.

As Cloud services have rolled out en masse over the last couple of years, I’ve mostly stayed away.  They’re interesting, but buggy and often useless, and aside from Dropbox (which quickly evolved from cool option to indispensable tool), I’ve tried and mostly abandoned each Cloud service du jour. 

Google Music, on the other hand, had me from my first log-in.  Google, which already powers so much of my digital life, offers the service as a “music locker,” a place to store your music online and to listen from any location, so long as you have an internet connection.

But there was a problem…

Google Music was fine while at my desk, using an Android device, or on my laptop, but mostly useless on my iPhone (there’s no official Google Music app in the App Store, but you can access the service via Safari).  So I set out to find a third-party solution that could make my Google Music collection more iPhone friendly. And after spending a good bit of time with three such apps, I’ve found the best iPhone-Google Music option: GoMusic

It isn’t perfect, but it’s by far the best solution if you’re an iPhone user.

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Jan 05

One of our favorite iOS accessory companies, iHome, has just taken the wraps off their new Speaker Docks for 2012.  The new products all support iPads (with the exception of the iP18) in addition to iPhones and iPod touches, so iHome’s focus of 2012 looks to be iPad compatibility.

iHome iW4 AirPlay Wireless Bedside Speaker System

iHome iW4 AirPlay Wireless Bedside Speaker System: This is the flagship model of the first part of 2012 with support for AirPlay, Apple’s Wi-Fi based wireless music streaming.  It uses the same type pivoting universal dock found on the iA100, the best we’ve seen from any iOS device dock. 

Other features include Reson8 speakers, iHome App support, multiple alarm support, Ethernet connectivity, FM radio with 6 presets, a remote control, upgradable firmware and a 3.5mm Aux-in audio jack. 

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