Yesterday when Chrome hit the iOS App Store, I allowed myself a moment of geek excitement; Chrome is my preferred browser on the PC, so I was looking forward seeing that experience translate to the iPad.
It’s nice, and has a familiar look and feel, but under the hood – as suspected – Apple’s app restrictions keep the browser from being much more than Safari with a Google facelift.
As confirmed by John Herrman on Buzzfeed, Apple hasn’t lifted its software restrictions, so Chrome for iOS is hobbled and not even really Chrome at all. The result is an experience that shares little with the real Chrome browser, and one actually slower than Safari on the iPad.
One good thing about the browser is that it allows syncing your content with Chrome on your Mac or PC. Actually… that’s about the only good thing.
M. Nichols, Products Editor
One of the rumors about iOS 6 was that Apple would be moving podcasts from the Music app to its very own application on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Well, the rumor was true, but iOS 6 isn’t required:
This morning Apple released Podcasts, a new standalone podcast app for all iOS devices.
Here’s what Apple says about Podcasts:
Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.
Browse new and noteworthy iOS apps…
Apple announced, as expected, iOS 6 today at WWDC. iOS 6 will be available with “over 200 new features” for select iPhones, iPads and iPod touch models in the fall.
Here’s iOS 6 in a nutshell:
New Siri Features: The new-and-improved Siri can tell you sports scores, game times and player stats, give you restaurant ratings (powered by Yelp) and make reservations, give movie ratings (powered by RottenTomatoes), actor and appearance information, dictate tweets, and launch apps. There’s also support for integration with select car companies who’ll add Siri buttons to steering wheels. Full Siri is also coming to the 3rd Gen iPad.
Facebook Integration: Facebook gets Siri support, and you can also post to Facebook from many apps. Facebook has been added to Notification Center, the App Store and iTunes, contacts, calendar, etc.
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It’s been a while since Apple has released a new iOS 5.x update, but today one has been made available. A relatively minor update, iOS 5.1.1 addresses a 2G/3G network problem on the new 3rd Gen iPad, bugs in AirPlay video playback, and other minor issues.
On our test iPhones and iPads, the update was under 50MB when updating from the device, but you can also update via iTunes. The update is available for compatible iPhones and iPod touch models, and all iPads.
AirPlay is a technology developed by Apple that allows media to be streamed wirelessly via Wi-Fi to and from various devices. The Apple TV is the most conspicuous exemplar of the technology, which allows users of iPads, iPhones, iPod touches and compatible computers to stream movies, photos and music to their TVs without a cable.
But AirPlay has another application that doesn’t get much attention: wireless speaker systems.
There is a small selection of AirPlay-enabled speaker systems that leverage this technology to create a speaker setup in a room, several rooms, or throughout the house. They’re expensive alternatives to traditional iOS speaker solutions, and not for everyone. But if you have certain needs – and a liberal budget – they fill a need few other solutions can: connected wireless speakers with excellent range and sound, with the option to expand to multiple rooms.
I’ve recently spent a few weeks with one of these systems, the iHome iW2, which is one of the more affordable AirPlay units sold. At $199 MSRP it’s not cheap, but its excellent performance and relatively low price make the iW2 a tempting choice for those looking to add AirPlay speakers to their home or office. Sadly, though, the iW2 and other AirPlay speakers share a common usage restriction.
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