Immersed in the Apple environment, a certain amount of elegance becomes expected in the products we use. Mac users are quick to embrace hardware, software and peripherals that demonstrate thoughtful design and attention to detail. Not to say that people have become blasé about it, but it has become tougher to get that “Wow” reaction. If that is the case, be prepared for a double dose of “Wow” when Push Pop Press releases the first in a new class of digital book. Their vision of books running as apps on the iPad (and other iOS devices), filled with multimedia content, is different from anything seen so far. Although not available yet, an early description provides some background and detail. Clearly this impressive team has learned well from Apple.
The breakthrough is how they are planning to present the material. An innovative interface, that largely eliminates the visual elements that we are accustomed to, and instead lets intuitive use of multi-touch gestures, provides an entirely new experience. Look for their first title later this year.
Apple is now offering volume discounts on iOS apps for the education market.
As more education institutions embrace the iPad, and iPod Touch the new volume program will make it easier (and cheaper) to deploy apps to end users.
Administrators buy blocks of vouchers that can then be redeemed with codes for app purchases. The new program also allows app developers to provide volume discounts on their apps.
Only Program Facilitators who are Authorized Apple Purchasers for education institutions can currently participate in the program.
It’s good to see Apple engaging the education market to find creative solutions for managing and deploying iOS apps. These apps have the potential to make a huge impact on students and educators.
It’s official, a premium Hulu service is coming in July.
Hulu Plus will stream HD content to your iPhone, Mac, iPad, TV and iPod Touch for $9.99/month. Both Wi-fi and 3G streaming will be supported. Other devices like the PS3, Xbox 360, TVs and blu-ray devices will support the new service soon.
The Hulu Plus subscription will include access to an expanded library of shows and movies. You can sign up here to request a preview invite.
[ Hulu Plus ]
There’s an app for that.
Apple has released the new Find My iPhone app that allows you to locate, ring or remote wipe your iPhone or iPad from any other iPhone or iPad.
Just download the free app on a friends iPhone, sign in with your Mobile Me account and your lost or missing iPhone will appear via Google Maps.
You need three things to make this work.
1. A Mobile Me account registered with your device.
2. A friend/kind stranger with an iPhone.
3. To actually remember that this capability even exists when you do lose your phone.
[ Find My iPhone ]
Here are the highlights:
Current AT&T iPhone & iPad 3G customers can keep their existing unlimited data plan ($29.99/month) or change to one of the new plans with no contract extension.
Voice and text plans are unchanged.
New iPad 3G customers can no longer receive the unlimited data plan and will instead be eligible for a contract free, 2GB/month for $25/month.
DataPlus iPhone Plan – 200MB/month of data for $15/month. Currently 65 percent of iPhone users consume 200MB or less a month. If you exceed the 200MB limit in a month, you’ll automatically get charged another $15 and receive an additional 200MB for that month.
DataPro iPhone Plan – 2GB/month of data for $25/month. Currently 98 percent of iPhone users consume 2GB or less a month. If you exceed the 2GB limit in a month, you’ll automatically get charged another $25 and receive an additional 2GB for that month.
You’ll receive free text messages and emails as you hit 65%, 90% and 100% of your data plan.
Tethering will be available with the DataPro plan for an additional $20/month. Tethering will go live with the release of the iPhone 4.0 software.
These plan changes are designed to help keep the cost of data for the majority of users lower, while charging a higher premium for those that use the most data. In other words, AT&T hopes to make more money:)
Free Diagnostic – iPad not turning on after a drop or liquid spill? Ports not functioning properly or video distortion on the screen? If you’re not sure what’s up with your iPad, our free diagnostic can help identify the problem and provide you with solutions for the fix.
Warranty Service – Since MyService is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, we can facilitate your iPad’s warranty service through Apple. Currently, the whole unit is replaced if the repair is covered under Apple warranty, so data backup before sending in the unit is highly recommended.
Display Repairs – Like the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad display is made up of two pieces. The first is the digitizer, which is the glass covering that covers the LED screen and manages the touch input. The second is the LED itself, the screen underneath that provides the display and backlight. Sometimes in an impact one or both of these parts may crack and need to be replaced. MyService offers both of these parts for replacement.
Casing & Miscellaneous – MyService offers other repairs not covered by the Apple warranty such as case, port, or liquid damage. Select the free diagnostic option or contact one of our Service Advisors for more info.
Note: Shipping charges (UPS cost) may apply for warranty service and non approved repairs.
iGorilla is an app “dedicated to supporting the plight of Africa’s endangered mountain gorilla.”
This $4 app allows you to follow the lives of gorilla families in the Virunga National Park and stay up to date with videos and written reports.
This app is a great example of how organizations can use the App Store to build awareness and help those that provide donations (via the purchase) to feel more connected to the cause.
[ iGorilla ]
Last year I reviewed Dropbox, the file sharing, online backup and file sync utility. It’s proven itself quite handy over the past year for those three services. Now you can access all of your files on your Dropbox from your iPhone or iPad.
Download the free app from the App Store, enter your Dropbox user ID and password, and you’re ready to go. All of the files synchronized from your desktop or laptop now show up on your iPhone on iPad. It’s great for quick access to documents, images or music. If there’s a file that you tend to access often, you can choose it as a favorite and save it straight to the phone, bypassing the need to be on WiFi or 3G to access the file.
If you don’t have a Dropbox account, sign up for a free account that will give you 2GB of online storage. You can get up to 8GB free by referring friends to join. If you don’t want to refer friends you can always walk through the guided tour to see how to grab a quick extra 250MB.
Upload photos or video straight to your Dropbox from your iPhone or iPad and share with friends and colleagues. If you have a shared folder setup with them, they will instantly be notified when you upload a file. You can either choose to record a new image or upload from you existing library on your Phone. Uploading images and video is relatively quick over WiFi, but I’d hold off on uploading large videos over 3G, you might be waiting a while. You can tweak the settings to upload lower quality videos and images if you find yourself uploading over 3G frequently.
Dropbox is free for up to 2GB of storage, beyond that you can upgrade your account to 50GB for $9.99 per month or 100GB for $19.99 per month.
[ DropBox ]
This is the webmail interface at me.com and looks to be delivering a more iPad like look and feel.
Current MobileMe members can request an invitation to the beta by clicking the invite link at the lower left of the mail screen after logging in at me.com
New features include; faster load times, more customizable view options, desktop formatting and the ability to have your rules synced and function across all of your different Apple devices.
This is most likely the first major redesign for a new MobileMe (hopefully free) suite.
[ MobileMe Beta ]