LATEST: IT’S OFFICIAL. Apple just announced iPad 2 launch dates – Japan (Thursday April 28) ; Hong Kong, India, Israel, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and UAE (Friday April 29).
Back in March 2011, Apple Inc. announced that iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April. April is now coming to the end and the anticipation for the iPad 2 here in Malaysia is reaching fever pitch. (The original iPad was launched in Malaysia in November 2010).
Android smartphones are becoming more desirable than the iPhones in the US smartphone market, according to the latest survey report by The Nielsen Company. 31% of the respondents in the latest January-March 2011 survey they are planning to get an Android smartphones as their next smartphone, an increase from 26% recorded in July-September 2010. Both RIM and Microsoft came in distant third and fourth, with 11% and 6% respectively.
Imagine a room, a command center of sorts, illuminated by dozens of monitors in front of which nameless observers sit scrutinizing the data displayed before them. On the room walls are bigger displays; one showing the map of the country, some showing overhead views of several cities while others track the movements of selected individuals, identified only as numerics. On the door we see an emblem; not the crest of the Central Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency… but an Apple.
This imagery is not from Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State, but rather it was what came to my mind when I read about the discovery made by two security researchers – Pete Warden, Founder of Data Science Toolkit and Alasdair Allan, Senior Research Fellow, University of Exeter, that the Apple’s iOS 4.x mobile operating system records the user’s location for iPhone and iPad into a hidden file on the devices, named “consolidated.db”.
The whole tech world is abuzz with excitement about the upcoming iPhone 5. But Malaysian communications provider Celcom, which incidentally clinched the Service Provider of the Year Award for the third year running at the recent 2011 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards, is only now jumping on the iPhone 4 bandwagon, 7 months after Maxis and DiGi rolled out their respective packages. One wonders if Celcom’s ever heard of the saying “early bird catches the worm”, considering the fact that by now, almost everyone and their grandma’s got an iPhone 4 already. Let’s just hope the company is going to be offering super low plans to compete with the ones offered by Maxis and DiGi.
About 12,000 units of iPad 2 were sold on eBay in two-week period. The eBay’s infographic (as below) shows where all the iPads were delivered to. 65% of the iPads were sold within the US and the remaining went to Europe, Asia, Middle-east and South America.
And here is a list of iPad-crazy nations in Asia, in terms of total iPads purchased on eBay:
We are witnessing an explosion of diversity in the surging apps economy. There are myriad of social apps to stream life experiences, be it beautiful photos (i.e. Instagram), food (i.e. Foodspotting), thought nuggets (i.e. Twitter), so on and so forth. The newly released Soundtracking app by SchematicLabs allows you to soundtrack your life moments and share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. It’s the right-here-right-now experiences, expressed and encapsulated in soundtracks.
The iPhone app is elegant in its simplicity and most importantly, it works! Search by Artist and the app will retrieve song titles by that artist. You can also auto-ID song. Let the app listens to a song and in less than 15 seconds, it will automagically display the song title / artist of the song. The application uses audio waveform fingerprint technology developed by Gracenote.
You can see soundtracks shared by your friends. You can Like, Love and/or comment on any SoundTrack. You can see trending soundtracks, based on total Likes. There is a web version of SoundTracking. On the website, users can see own soundtracks, trending soundtracks, like/love/comment soundtracks, and accounts settings. However, users cannot create soundtracks on the web.
Seven months after it was released in the US, the iPad finally (officially) arrives in Malaysia. Better late than never right? After all, we’re only getting it four months after it was officially launched in our neighbor Singapore.
The good news is that now Malaysians are finally able to buy an IPad that is covered by full official support and warranty, as opposed to those covered by shop warranty and support if you were to buy them from, say, Lowyat Plaza.
Below is a list of prices of the various iPads which will be made available through Mac stores and Apple shops in the Klang Valley and Penang:
- 16GB: RM1,549
- 32GB: RM1,849
- 64GB: RM2,149
On the data plan front, there’s Maxis who is offering three plans:
- Entry 3.5GB – RM70 per month (available for postpaid and prepaid)
- Super 6.0GB – RM90 per month (available for postpaid only)
- Premium 15.0GB – RM200 per month (available for postpaid only)
The newly released Opera Mini offers an alternative web browser for iPhone users. Until the roll-out of iPhone 4.0, tabbed browsing is probably the closest thing to multi-tasking experience on the iPhone. Opera’s tabbed browsing offers a tad different experience, compared to Safari browser. Safari adopts a zoom-out-flip-select-zoom-in approach whereas Opera Mini offers, well, tabs.
On Safari browser, the maximum number of tabs open at once is 8. For Opera Mini iPhone app, the maximum total tabs I managed to open is 38. Maybe that’s the maximum tabs, set by Opera. Maybe, it’s because with more tabs, the add-tab section becomes narrower until it becomes the untouchable zone.
New Scientist looks at Apple filed patents for hints on the upcoming Apple tablet. One is hover, under filing In addition to touch, users can hover over an element on the screen to activate it. Patents Filing: Simultaneous Sensing Arrangement with “touch sensing devices can include multiple sense points, each located at a crossing of a drive line and a sense line.” and just granted patent, Noise Detection in Multi-touch Sensors as “touch sensing devices can include multiple sense points, each of which can be stimulated with a plurality of periodic waveforms having different frequencies to measure a touch value at the sense point. Noise at one or more of the frequencies can interfere with this measurement.”
Second is gestures, where users interact with onscreen elements using gestures. Patents filing: Multi-Touch Gestures Dictionary that “..include a variety of motions associated with the chord and the meanings of gestures formed from the chord and the motions” and Swipe Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards which “allow for a user entering text using the virtual keyboard to perform certain functions using swipes across the key area rather than tapping particular keys.”
Let’s wait and see if these features are available in Apple’s latest creation. ¶ @zhiQ
Maxis Communications Bhd, Malaysian’s largest mobile communication provider, yesterday announced the launch date of iPhone 3G in Malaysia. Leading up to the announcement, Twitterville is abuzz with chats on its pricing plans and other issues.
If you’ve missed the fun on Twitterville yesterday with #iphonemalaysia, here the Top 5 interesting ‘moments’ of Maxis iPhone 3G Pre-Launch Day, spotted on Twitter (and elsewhere on the Web).