iPhone 4s, iOS 5, Voice Assistant: No iPhone 5

iPhone 4s

Apple’s highly anticipated announcement of the iPhone 4s and iOS 5 is now in the record book. This time, however, no records were broken. Having said that, there were some impressive additions and upgrades to the Apple brand.

Instead of saving the biggest news for last as Tim Cook and his team did, I’ll get to the major features first.

iPhone 4sOn the hardware side, the iPhone 4s was the breaking news. There was no iPhone 5. The iPhone 4s uses a dual core A5 processor. That’s just some geek jargon that means that the phone is powered to provide more features to its software, which I’ll discuss in a moment.

The camera is 8 megapixel, which almost eliminates the need for a consumer to have a standalone camera. Those features include auto focus, auto iris, noise reduction and image stabilization. With a 3664 x 2448 pixel resolution, it might be difficult to take a bad picture. Of course I’m referring to the technical side and not issues like composition, subject matter, etc..

The iPhone 4s prices are:

  • 16 GB • $199
  • 32 GB • $299
  • 64 GB • $399

Previous iPhone models are now priced at:

  • 8 GB iPhone 4 • $99
  • 8 GB iPhone 3 GS • Free (Take that Kindle Fire)

In my opinion, the most impressive news from Apple came with the release of iOS 5. Read more »

Kindle Fire: Is It aBlaze or aFlame? Time Will Tell

If you’re a gadget geek who has to have the latest Apple, Amazon or Android toy, now may be the time to join AA or AAA…no, that’s not what I meant to say. If you’re a gadget geek who has to have the latest…whatever, maybe you should not let the person you’re most accountable to financially read this post.

When I reviewed Amazon’s Kindle Fire in a recent post, I concluded that it was a ‘buy and hold’. Does that mean I’ve placed my pre-order? First, I’d first have to do some ‘negotiating’ with my wife over the purchase of yet another hot, new gadget. Before I approached her, I took the time to do some soul-searching regarding the new tablet of my eye. A tiny voice whispered in my ear, “Do you really need a Kindle Fire?”

Kindle Fire or Flame

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The Double Edge Sword of Exposure: Rushing Your Book App to Market

Netflix Qwikster

Your fifteen minutes of fame can quickly become a lifetime of infamy under the double edge sword of exposure.

Reed Hastings, though well-known in the tech community as the founder of Netflix, was not a household name. When he sent an apology email to his subscribers, he became a Netflix household name. Hastings also posted a video on YouTube that started the world to talking.

Dark clouds began forming over Netflix when they announced a price change in their video rental service for DVD home delivery. Read more »

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon Unveils $199 Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

A Wall Street investment adage says, ‘Buy on speculation, sell on the news’. Speculation for the new Amazon tablet said that the it would initially be priced at $249. The day preceding the official Amazon launch, some of the speculators moved their predictions up to $299. Amazon silenced all the prognosticators today when they unveiled the $199 Kindle Fire! I’d say that’s a buy and hold.

Before announcing the Fire, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, previewed three new Kindle models. Kindle Touch 3G for $149, Kindle Touch for $99 and a stocking stuffer Kindle for only $79. Read more »

Is An Ebook War Brewing Over Tablet Formats?

Is an ebook war brewing over tablet formats similar to the one waged between Betamax and VHS 20-30 years ago? Read the ‘MediaCollege‘ article for a brief but concise replay of that battle.

Speculative Amazon TabletThere are two major competetors for interactive book content. The crown is currently being held by Apple iPad, with Android tablets coming in a distant second. Amazon’s Kindle has not been in the running as an interactive book reading device. Instead, it has been content to dominate the ebook market that serves static ebooks. To a lesser extent, Amazon offers magazines and newspapers. That may soon change. Read more »

Demibooks Composer: Building Interactive Books Directly On iPad

Interactive books built on an iPadDemibooks was among the startups gathered in San Franscisco September 12th to 14th at Tech Crunch Disrupt. TCD is where tech luminaries, start-ups and hackers, and assorted geeks meet to showcase breakout technologies and the people behind them.

Demibooks has released ‘Composer’ in iTunes App Store. Composer is a publishing platform with which an author or designer can create an interactive book right on their iPad. When I read in my email early this morning that the introductory price for Composer was ‘free’, I went immediately to iTunes and downloaded it.

Everything I had been able to learn from my  research about Demibooks Composer convinced me that it would truly be a major breakthrough for creating enhanced and interactive books. Read more »

Enhanced and Interactive Children’s Books: Taking Baby Steps

Enhanced and interactive children's books.Children’s books are opening to a new chapter thanks in part to enhanced and interactive book apps. Along with technology, the talents of authors and illustrators are migrating to this medium.

Technology is playing a major role in developing content for children’s books. Yet, any exciting new technology could generate a distorted sense that we have struck the mother-load of success and prosperity. In reality, we have just scratched the surface of some shinny new thing. Only time will tell if the current rush to enhanced and interactive ebooks will be a passing trend or a lasting tradition. Read more »

Shelf Surfing at the Public Library

Pasadena Central public library

Pasadena Central Library

Have you been shelf surfing at your public library recently. I went to Pasadena Central Library this weekend. Visiting libraries was once one of my weekly rituals. I say with some regret that my visits to a public library have come less frequently. Why?  I’ve been smitten by ebooks.

My favorite public library hangout is Pasadena Central in Pasadena, CA. It has a circulation of 900,000+ items and receives 600,000+ visitors a year. Pasadena Central was built in 1927 using common materials of that era: cut stones and natural hard woods. The patina of its golden oak shelves, tables and fixtures make the library a warm, inviting environment to enjoy a good book.

As my visits are less frequent, I see dramatic changes in its services and appearance; changes that may actually be gradual to their daily patrons. Read more »