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Rich Tehrani
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iPad

Using Amazon to Compare Kindle Fire to iPad

December 5, 2011

Apple customer loyalty is the stuff of legend as anyone who visited an Apple store this holiday season can attest to and to delve further into this issue Philip Elmer-DeWitt at CNNMoney did some research on Amazon to see which device customers liked better. As the Kindle Fire has only been out a short while it may be unfair to compare the devices as Apple has had some years to improve the tablet’s software. Then again, running on Android, the Kindle Fire does benefit from software updates which have been issued to solve problems faced by other tablet and smartphone makers.

The bottom line is the Kindle fire has 47% five-star reviews and 13.3% one-star reviews.

iPhone to Get 4 Inch Display?

November 29, 2011

Two weeks ago I discussed my smartphone envy after using the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone which sports a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 4G and a bright Super AMOLED Plus Display. I suggested that Apple needs a 4.5 inch display as well - and interestingly the latest iPhone rumor says the next iPhone will have a 4 inch display. Sure, this is a nice step up from 3.5 inches but I prefer the larger screen in part because it is easier to type on.

One hypothesis I have about why the Android tablet market hasn't taken off (Amazon Kindle Fire aside) is that the latest crop of Android smartphones are similar enough to tablets to keep users from needing both devices. If you use the Kindle Fire as an example, it has a 7 inch screen - just 2.5 inches larger than the aforementioned Samsung - not such a huge difference.

In fact Apple is probably afraid if it makes the iPhone too large - it will not only make it less portable but eat into iPad 2 sales.

One other point I need to clarify is the iPhone 4S does indeed render web pages a bit faster than the Samsung Galaxy S II based on my testing but then again, every page I tested had Flash and iOS doesn't have to deal with it while the Samsung does.





See Digital Photos on iPad Immediately

October 27, 2011


Photojojo, a site I learned about at TMC and Crossfire Media's DevCon5 HTML5 developer conference this past summer has a new iPad card reader supporting CompactFlash and SD allowing you to immediately see photos you shoot with your digital camera. You can have the best of both worlds - no more waiting till you get to a PC to upload and then download to the iPad.

The CF reader is $30, the SD reader is $15 and for $40 you get both.

For about $60 you can further opt for an iPad card reader from Koolertron which handles all major formats such as CF, SD, MMC, MicroSD and M2.

Slowly but surely, the limitations of having an iPad as opposed to a PC or laptop are beginning to fade. If only Adobe Flash support were next.

Disclosure: I am the CEO of TMC








Kikin: Did Web Links Just Become Less Important?

October 7, 2011

A new iPad browser from Kikin (iPad link) allows you to click on text to draw a circle around it- then it performs a web search in a window and pops up results allowing you to open the results in the foreground or background. By seeing a few of the top results and a snippet of each result beneath the web links, you can quickly get a feel for the most important and/or latest news about any topic located on your web page.

So as a writer, I wonder if I need to add as many web links - assuming of course that this browser and model for browsing becomes popular. I tried the browser with a bunch of sites like CNN and the Drudge Report and it worked well in most every case - detecting the important word in the center of the circle and eliminating extraneous search terms.

I wasn't able to get it to work correctly with TMCnet for some reason.



Selling your Privacy Evolves with Amazon Silk Browser

September 29, 2011



Amazon's new Silk browser bundled with its new Kindle Fire will leverage it's own servers for browser proxying meaning that all the websites you surf will go through the company's cloud-based servers. Although browser proxying is not new, it has been used in the Skyfire and other browsers. Its general benefit is allowing web sessions to speed up and providing mobile browsers access to content incompatible with the browser - such as Adobe Flash.

TMC's Tom Keating has more on the privacy concerns and after reading his thoughts I realize just how fast product subsidization is evolving. You see yesterday I explained Amazon is subsidizing its tablets via Amazon Prime and cloud-computing services but now it seems Amazon will also have access to the sites you browse allowing its suggestion engine to to potentially use this data to better target products which suit your interests.

While privacy advocates may be up in arms, the reality is we sell our privacy for free services virtually every day when we use popular web portals, online email and a slew of other services such as browser toolbars.





Amazon's Subsidized Tablets Borrow from Wireless Carriers

September 28, 2011

Will any margin remain in selling standalone computing hardware?

I want to bet against Amazon - not because I don't like the company - I most certainly do. But because coming out with a new line of tablets to take on Apple is not turning into a successful strategy for the rest of the tech world. Both HP and RIM are feeling pain - even though I might add the Blackberry Playbook is a very solid tablet.

When Amazon released a slew of devices today from $79-$199 I was concerned that this is yet another case of a tech company going up against Apple and getting slaughtered. It is worth pointing out however that the HP tablet didn't really start selling until the price was dropped to $99.

But back to Amazon - I didn't think the original Kindle would be very popular and I was wrong.





Windows 8 Targets Boot Time in War With Apple

September 9, 2011

Here is a typical scenario many of us deal with... While waiting for our laptop or PC to boot, we take out our smartphones or tablets to check email and work until the Windows-based machine ends it's leisurely boot process. Often we have a few choice words for our Windows machine as we realize the lunacy of having to deal with such a slow start-up process.

Even more ironic is the fact that an iPad 2 not only boots lightening-fast, it has a full day of battery built-in meaning you don't need to worry about shutting the system down that often.

About ten years ago I recall Microsoft working on an instant-boot technology but obviously this never made it into production and boot times continue to be a major Achilles heel of Redmond's OS.

So the news that Windows 8 will boot 30-70% faster than Windows 7 is music to the ears of people who are sick of having to use a spare device while the other boots.

This is how it works... The system processes or kernel hibernates when you shut down.







Suggestion: Apple's First Move Without Steve Jobs

August 25, 2011

Apple went from computer innovator to little more than a joke. Then Steve Jobs returned and since then, the company has become the absolute leader in tech, consumer electronics, wireless, tablets, music, entertainment, app stores, retail, industrial design and those are just off the top of my head. Jobs also turned Pixar into a multibillion dollar company and created movies destined to become classics.

Jobs did more than create new products and industries, he was savvy enough to lock up supply chains for hard disks, displays and other products keeping the competition scrambling to not only copy the company but to produce products in quantity.

The momentum the company has is incredible and in the tablet and music player market, the company is virtually untouched. Moreover, I fully expect an Apple TV (a real television I mean) in the future with even better integration with online video options.



Cablevision Brings TV to iPhones and iPods

August 9, 2011



A few months back, Cablevision released an iPad app allowing consumers to watch hundreds of channels and thousands of video on demand titles. How successful was it? Well it was downloaded more than 200,000 times making it one of the major killer apps for the iPad. Now, the same app has come to the iPhone and iPod Touch. The only limitation of the software is it only allows you to watch TV in your home or as far as your home WiFi network extends.

Skype for iPad is Baaack

August 2, 2011

Skype for iPad is here!

It was much-anticipated, released, then pulled, then re-released and it works great. The company said there were problems with it causing them to pull and then release it a few hours later. (Update) TMC's Erik Linask thinks the problem is related to chat bug. There isn't much to say except it has better quality than the iPod/iPhone version but the front-facing iPad camera is certainly a major limiting factor in the quality of the video calls you will experience.



An additional feature beyond what you can do on the iPhone is the ability to chat while conducting a video call.





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