Archive for the ‘iPod’ Tag

Apple Not Showing Students the Love

The Mac OS X Leopard announcement wasn’t all good news. The software is up on the Apple Store web site, and apparently Apple Inc. has stopped showing students the love. Whereas all previous OS X updates cost students $79, reduced from the $129 retail price, Leopard’s education discount is now a measly $13–a price tag of $116 for students.

There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years–along the timeline of the company’s rebirth success story–of Apple giving fewer and fewer perks to students. Apple’s summer hardware program, where it gives a free outdated iPod to students who purchase a new computer, still seems to be in place. But software discounts–iLife and iWork ’08 saw price increases as well–and discounts on less expensive hardware–forget about discounted iPods anymore– are over.

Students are an incredibly important demographic for Apple, a company that prides itself on making hardware for artists. What group has incredible ambitions but little money to act on them? College kids. So when your company’s Facebook group has more than 400,000 members, it’s probably a good idea to keep that demographic happy.

Apple to Open Multi-touch Platform

In a letter posted to the Hot News section on Apple.com, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs finally put the concerns of techie iPhone owners and developers to rest with confirmation that a software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone and iPod touch will be available to devs in February, 2008.

I had recently managed to tone down the unending amount of Apple news on the blog (well, kind of), but this is simply too interesting not to post. After a rather baffling game of cat-and-mouse since the iPhone’s release and subsequent hacking and then subsequent firmware update from Apple locking out the modifications, Jobs lays his hand on the table–to an extent.

“It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once–provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc.,” Jobs writes.

Sounds well and good. Apple wants to get its new OS out the door and then focus its development resources on making the SDK as stable as possible. Then it will be all clear for JailBreak-like open app development, right? Well, maybe not.

“Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer,” Jobs writes. “While this makes such a phone less than ‘totally open,’ we believe it is a step in the right direction.”

Could this mean developers may have to go through a lengthy authorization process whenever they want to offer an app up to consumers? Apple has been very lenient with Dashboard widget authorization, but will the trend continue? We won’t know for sure for another four months, but this news is enough for me to change my mind on the iPod touch as a platform. Me want.

Maps Made for iPod touch

I did a post last month on Web-based substitutes for iPhone applications missing from the iPod touch. There wasn’t really a suitable alternative to the iPhone’s nifty, Google-developed maps app, so I simply suggested the Google Maps web site. It’s not custom-tailored to the i-products, but it does the job.

Thanks to a tip from web developer Al, he pointed me toward his new baby, iTouchMap.com. Complete with an Apple-like interface, iTouchMap offers many of the great features of the maps application setup in a compact interface suitable for the iPod touch.

While the site’s driving directions feature doesn’t operate exactly like the iPhone’s handy turn-by-turn directions, you can load up separate Safari tabs on your WiFi connection before you head on the road, so you have all of them with you without killing a bunch of trees.

Apple Cripples iPod touch Calendar

Look, I was trying to be optimistic when I wrote “No Maps? No Problem,” listing a bunch of online tools that could fill the gap left by Apple Inc.’s removal from the iPod touch of many great iPhone applications, like Mail and Google Maps.

But now we find out that Apple has purposely crippled the calendar on the iPod touch to only display events, removing the ability to create new ones on the device. And I’m really fuming.

All this means is that I would have to use Google Calendar instead of iCal from now on, but is this Apple’s goal? To drive everyone away from using its applications to web-based alternatives.

Going back to my predictions, it seems we only got two-thirds of the equation. We got the widescreen iPod; we got the internet communications device; but Apple isn’t giving us the PDA.

And this is a deal breaker for me. So until the hackers find a way to get the iPhone apps onto the iPod touch (and how hard could it be? It’s the same freakin’ software and mostly the same hardware), count me out.

iPod touch: No Maps? No Problem

If you live in a city or college campus you’re no stranger to wi-fi. It’s everywhere. You can find a free hotspot at many restaurants and many campuses offer students access virtually anywhere.

So if there’s virtually always an Internet access point available, why would you buy an iPhone and subscribe to AT&T’s pricey, anywhere-web-access EDGE service? An iPod touch with wi-fi can be a worthwhile, affordable alternative.

But for whatever reason iPod touch is missing a few key features of iPhone. Aside from the absence of the 2 megapixel camera and the baffling choice not to include Notes, there’s a solution for the rest.

It’s Safari to the rescue. So bookmark these web sites on your iPod touch, and your iPod can be just like the big boys’.

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iPod touch: It All Came True

The predictions could not have been more spot on.

Sept. 5 announcement? Check.

Chubby, video iPod nanos? Check.

New iPod interface? Check.

An iPod that’s an iPhone minus the phone? Hell yeah!

I should probably apologize on behalf of the internet for ruining Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs’ surprise. Okay, the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store was a bit of a shock, and I didn’t expect Apple to keep the iPod classic line around after introducing the iPod touch. But overall the blogs did well.

How well did this one do? Let’s take a look back at the predictions.

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Drastically New iPod May Come Sooner Than Expected

Can you believe it? The full screen OS X iPod I forecasted exactly one month ago may actually become a reality in less than two weeks. A trusted source has let slip an Apple Inc. media event announcing the new iPods, Ars Technica repots.

Apple Insider posted yesterday a more detailed analysis of the new products, citing a source saying the announcement will happen some time in mid- to late-September. But Ars explains that the unveiling is expected to take place on Sept. 5, with the products appearing in stores later that month.

Why the Next iPod Will Blow You Away

It’s not a question of whether a new iPod is coming. (It will.) It’s not even a question of when. (Soon.) What everyone has been wondering since January is how similar it will be to the iPhone.

What’s really baffling is how many people are convinced that the next iPod is going to keep the same physical click wheel, small display form factor when Apple Inc. has all the resources for the multi-touch screen technology that everyone has been crapping their pants over for the past year.

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