Tag Archives: iphone

Wake me up when the iPhone 42 comes out

iPhone concept in colors

Here we go again. The clouds part, and another iPhone descends from the heavens.

What mystical secrets will be written on the device’s extra-large, 640-by-1,136-pixel Retina display? Will there be earthshaking new features? Will it contain the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything?

Not likely. Apple has entered a new phase in the evolution of its iPhone line, and you can pretty much forget about radical reinventions from now on.

The iPhone is now a mature product, and as with many mature products, the chief innovations will interest chief financial officers more than tech reporters like me: Expanding to new international markets and new carriers. Reducing dependence on sometimes-antagonistic partners like Google and Samsung. Marginal improvements to major features. Enough new features to maintain parity with chief competitors. And a few nifty extras, like rainbow colors (my favorite speculative iPhone 5 concept), to keep customers feeling special.

At this point, Apple has settled into its favorite spot: A comfortable No. 2. That’s because the company has always prioritized profits over market share and is happy to cede the latter as long as it can hang on to the former.

Read the whole story on VentureBeat: Wake me up when the iPhone 42 comes out

It’s not the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S looks pretty amazing

Apple iPhone 4S in blackApple fans who expected an iPhone 5 today were disappointed.

Instead, all Apple unveiled was a phone that’s 2 times faster, with 7 times faster graphics rendering. It’s got a battery that’s good for a full day of talking, almost, and more than 3 solid days of listening to music. The camera is substantially improved, with a faster, f2.4 lens and an 8 megapixel sensor, and it records 1080p HD video. It’s a worldphone, meaning it will work on just about any cellular network around the world, both CDMA and GSM.

Oh, and you can talk to your phone, and it will answer your questions, thanks to a new feature called Siri.

Full story: It’s not the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S looks pretty amazing | VentureBeat.

More great coverage of the iPhone 4S launch from VentureBeat:

 

 

First iPhone in space to launch with last shuttle mission

An iPhone floats in front of the space station's cupola, in this rendering by Odyssey Space Research.

 

When the final space shuttle mission launches later this year, two iPhone 4s will be on board.

The iPhones will be running an experimental app called SpaceLab for iOS, designed by Odyssey Space Research. Once the space shuttle Atlantis docks with the International Space Station, crew members will use the iPhones to conduct four experiments, using the iPhones’ cameras, gyroscopes, and other sensors.

Full story: First iPhone in space to launch with last shuttle mission | VentureBeat.

Reports: Verizon iPhone Likely Coming Jan. 11

U.S. iPhone users frustrated with AT&T’s frequently dropped callslimited geographic coveragedelayed delivery of iPhone tetheringelimination of unlimited data planspoor customer service, and alleged cooperation with warrantless wiretapping by the NSA may soon have an alternative.*

Verizon yesterday sent out invitations to a Tuesday, Jan. 11 press event in New York.

Many believe that this event will be the debut of the iPhone on Verizon.

Full story:

Reports: Verizon iPhone Likely Coming Jan. 11 | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Siri Launches Voice-Powered iPhone ‘Assistant’ | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

A new app invites you to command your iPhone in the same way that Captain Kirk addressed the Enterprise’s computer.

Siri's visual interface displays a transcription of what you say, then hands the data off to an appropriate web service or search engine.

Siri’s visual interface displays a transcription of what you say, then hands the data off to an appropriate web service or search engine.

Siri, an artificial intelligence-based voice-recognition startup, launched an iPhone app incorporating its technology on Friday. With the app running, you can address requests to your phone verbally, asking it things like, “Will it rain today?” or “Where is a good place for pizza nearby?” and “I’d like a table for two at Il Fornaio tomorrow night at 7.” The Siri app parses the sound, interprets the request, and hands it off to an appropriate web service, such as OpenTable, Yelp, CitySearch, and so on. It displays the results onscreen as it goes, giving you a chance to correct or adjust your request via onscreen taps.

It’s the most sophisticated voice recognition to appear on a smartphone yet. While Google’s Nexus One offers voice transcription capabilities — so you can speak to enter text into a web form, for instance — the Nexus One doesn’t actually interpret what you’re saying.

The voice recognition and interpretation abilities built into Siri have their origins in artificial intelligence research at SRI, a legendary Silicon Valley R&D lab that was also the birthplace of the mouse and of the graphical user interface. Spun out of SRI in 2007, Siri garnered a lot of attention for its ambitious plans to develop a virtual personal assistant. Actually bringing the product to market has taken quite a bit longer than expected.

In a demo shown to Wired.com, Siri responded quickly to spoken requests, answering questions about restaurants, directions and the weather with relative ease. It’s well-integrated with about 20 different web information services, and Siri representatives say that their application programming interface will allow many others to connect in the future.

From our initial testing on an iPhone 3GS, the app was zippy and smooth. Siri understood broad requests like “Find Chinese food nearby” and more specific ones like “Find Nearest Chase bank.” Impressive, and much more efficient than searching for businesses in the Yelp iPhone app.

The Siri app is free, and the company says it has no plans to charge end-users; the goal is to make money from referring customers to services via affiliate fees.

Siri is available for download in the iTunes App Store. It requires an iPhone 3GS, because it relies on that phone’s faster processing power, but Siri representatives say a version compatible with the older iPhone 3G is in the works.

Siri Launches Voice-Powered iPhone ‘Assistant’ | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Blind photographers

photo of pigeons in Istanbul by Tim O'Brien

Brian X. Chen wrote a moving story about how three professional photographers are continuing to pursue their art even though they’re almost totally blind. One of them went blind after he’d become a photographer, but has found a way to continue working using a Nokia N82 and an iPhone 3GS. This piece shows the potential for technology — gadgets, even — to extend human potential and enable people to overcome limitations that, in the past, would have been crippling or crushing.

The photos are beautiful, too.

Blind Photographers Use Gadgets to Realize Artistic Vision