March 30, 2012

Apple touts job creation of 514,000 US positions

Talk about the apps economy. Apple has a webpage that details the Apple economy and the number of jobs the company has created in the US. The number hovers at an astounding 514,000 with 47,000 jobs at Apple itself and 257,000 jobs at other related companies in fields like component sales, technical services, and even blogs like TUAW. There’s another 210,000 app-related jobs that result from the iOS app store. You can see the full breakdown at Apple’s website.

[Via Michael Gartenberg]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

What An iOS Game Looks Like On The iPad 3′s Retina Display

What An iOS Game Looks Like On The iPad 3’s Retina Display

We all can’t wait to get our hands on a Retina display-equipped iPad in the coming weeks, and many developers are starting to get their current iPad apps ready for the rumored 2048×1536 resolution.

One developer in particular decided to share and compare Retina display screenshots of his iPad game. The differences between the new and current resolution are pretty stunning.

What An iOS Game Looks Like On The iPad 3’s Retina Display

A screenshot of Food Run.

Kevin Ng, developer of an upcoming iOS game called Food Run, designed his app’s graphics using vectors rather than bitmaps, allowing him to scale them to any resolution without pixelation. He decided to see what Food Run would like at 2048×1536 next to the current resolution. The level of detail that can be viewed when zoomed in at the higher resolution is astonishing:

What An iOS Game Looks Like On The iPad 3’s Retina Display

Non-Retina

What An iOS Game Looks Like On The iPad 3’s Retina Display

Retina

You can check out the full version of the 1024×768 screenshot and the 2048×1536 version. The files are too large to embed here.

Kevin explains the technical magnifications of a Retina display-equipped iPad from a design perspective:

Four times as many pixels means four times as much video memory, and much larger assets. Bearing in mind that the 20MB mobile network download size for apps is already claustrophobia inducing, supporting Retina on iPad 3 whilst respecting the limit would be very hard. So if we do see a Retina iPad 3, expect to see that 20MB limit raised, even if only for iPad / universal apps.

With four times the pixels, the graphics card powering the iPad will need four times the fill-rate. That is, it will need to draw four times as many pixels per second. However, jumps of this magnitude between generations are not uncommon these days. With the graphics card, it is the expensive fast graphics RAM required which may prove to be the limiting factor.

The Next Web has also raised the question of how Retina iPad apps will get past the 20MB limit carriers enforce for App Store downloads. Universal apps containing Retina iPhone and iPad versions would sit at an upwards of 35MB. Carrier restrictions could lead to many developers splitting their universal apps into iPhone-only and iPad-only versions.

Regardless of how Retina iPad apps affect the App Store, one thing is certain: they look great!

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Cult of Mac

Apple wins ad standards conflict over Siri in the UK

When the iPhone 4S and Siri first arrived in the UK last October, carrier Vodafone created a website ad that promoted the features of Apple’s intelligent assistant. The ad touted (among other things) that Siri “can even use information from your iPhone — such as your location, contacts and contact relationships — to provide intelligent, personal assistance.” Some Siri location features only work in the U.S. at this time, so a Vodafone customer complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the ad.

Vodafone passed the ball to Apple, saying that the company had given the offending text to their ad team. The ASA ruled in favor of Apple and Vodafone on Wednesday, saying that the advertisement was not misleading.

The ad did not specifically state that Siri had maps-based functionality in the UK, but did show location-based weather reports — something that Siri can do in the UK. As a result, the ASA felt that the ad was accurate.

The ASA also noted that some consumers may have had knowledge of what Siri can do in the U.S., and that they may have “read into the ad that Siri users in the UK would benefit from similar maps-based functionality.” The ASA felt that the average UK consumer would not know about that capability, and since the ad didn’t “explicitly or implicitly” make such claims, it was not misleading.

The moral of the story? Before you file a formal complaint about a tech advertisement being misleading, be sure to check the features for your own country.

[via Electronista]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW discount on Pad & Quill cases this weekend

Pad & Quill, the Minneapolis-based manufacturer of outstanding handmade cases for a variety of Apple and Amazon devices, is offering TUAW readers a 15 percent discount on all orders this weekend.

The cases are colorful, nicely designed, and lovingly constructed with top-notch materials. I reviewed the entire Pad & Quill line in January, and was particularly in love with the Cartella case for MacBook Air (11″ and 13″) and the beautiful Little Black Book for iPhone 4/4S.

To take advantage of the discount, just use the code PQTW12 to receive 15 percent off your entire order. The icing on the proverbial cake? Those Cartella cases are already US$ 10 off their normal price, so you can buy protection for your lovely MacBook Air and save big bucks.

Like any other Apple-oriented announcement, I’m going to end this post with “one more thing”: a photo from Pad & Quill of an up and coming leather case that looks positively yummy.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

iPad 3 Pricing To Remain Same As iPad 2, No New Storage Sizes [Report]

iPad 3 Pricing To Remain Same As iPad 2, No New Storage Sizes [Report]

If you’ve been thinking there’s a chance the next-gen iPad will be more expensive than the entry $ 500 price of the current iPad 2, don’t sweat it any longer. According to a new report, pricing for the iPad 3 will remain the same. The offered storage capacities will also not change. 

9to5Mac reports:

We’ve gotten word that iPad pricing is going to be the same across the board as the current iPad 2 models which should be no big surprise given Apple’s history – they rarely raise prices.  Even better, some countries with currencies doing better than the US dollar should expect to see marginal drops in prices.

Storage configurations will remain at the current 16/32/64GB, despite a recent report from Digitimes saying Apple was set to add a 8GB model and cut the 64GB size.

There will presumably be a WiFi model and 3G models available for AT&T and Verizon. Nothing has been said about the third-gen iPad making its way to Sprint like the iPhone 4S. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the iPad 3 will be able to run on 4G LTE networks.

Apple’s iPad event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7th.

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Cult of Mac

You’re the Pundit: Will we see any Apple TV announcements next week?

When it comes to forecasting the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today’s topic is Apple TV.

March 7 is on its way, and everyone is talking iPad. So where does Apple TV fit into this event? Reports of the channel clearing are making the rounds, which is sometimes an indicator or something new on the horizon. Will we see an actual announcement then, or will 3/7/12 be devoted to iPad topics only?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your predictions.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Instaprint’s Photobooth Brings Your Instagram Party To The Real World

Instaprint’s Photobooth Brings Your Instagram Party To The Real World

The only problem with Instagram is that all the photos I’ve taken of the delicious lunches I’ve eaten are all stored in “the cloud”, which means I don’t have any physical evidence to support my wild stories of debauchery. Those faux-vintage snapshots I’ve taken with friends need to be preserved in an analog format, and with a little bit of funding, Instaprint is hoping to ease all my worries.

Instaprint is a small location-based photobooth that leverages the popular iPhone app Instagram to bring your random iPhone pictures to you in physical format. Users can take their photos like they normally would at a party, or the mall, or Captain D’s, but by adding a certain hashtag synced to an Instaprint machine, you can have a physical version of your Instagram uploads in minutes.

Rather than dealing with ink cartridges that constantly need replacement, Instaprint uses an inkless technology where all color is pulled right from the paper itself. Companies can even buy multiple Instaprint units and daisy chain them together to increase print volume. It’s a pretty cool concept for parties, and the creators are trying to bring to the market. Their Kickstarter page was recently launched and they’re hoping to raise $ 500,000 in the next 57 days.

Oh, and another cool thing. The guys behind the project setup a live UStream channel of two Instaprints in their office. You can upload your picture to Instagram, tag it with #instaprint, and watch as it’s printed out live in their office. I tried it earlier and it was pretty neat to see my photo coming out on the other end, but I have a growing suspicion that others will be tempted to abuse the setup.

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Cult of Mac

Camera Awesome for iPhone has some clever features for a mostly free app

Camera Awesome is a nicely appointed, just released free app for the iPhone from photo sharing site SmugMug. In many ways it goes beyond the built-in camera software Apple offers, and I think many iPhone users will find it useful.

It does a lot of things faster than Apple’s software, and supports timed shooting with up to a 60 second delay, a rapid burst mode (at a slightly lower resolution), and a slow burst mode. It has pretty effective image stabilization, and a variety of processing options, filters and frames to enhance your photos. It also shoots video in addition to still photos.

You can email your photos, or share them with SmugMug (natch), Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picassa or Photobucket. You can set these options up as one-touch saves, which is a big plus.

Using Camera Awesome was a positive experience. The user interface is easy to understand and encourages experimentation. In some circumstances, I could get a better photo than I could with the Apple on-board software, especially using stabilization and burst mode. The one-touch awesome-izer button instantly fixes white balance and levels, and improved many of the photos I tried it on.

The biggest negative is based on my intense dislike of apps that try to upsell you with in-app purchases. Although the app is free, there are many upgrades to buy including black and white presets, more filters, vintage photo presets etc etc. If you buy them all, this free app becomes a $ 10.00 app. It’s certainly usable in the free, stripped down version, but many users will want more. These in-app purchases really do bother me, and I’d prefer it if developers would offer a complete package at a fair price.

Other than that, Camera Awesome is certainly a competent app, and it gives you some similar features to Camera + and some other apps that aren’t free.

My best recommendation would be to download it and see if it works for you.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

We decided to visit the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to get a peek at the signage Apple is currently putting up for its iPad event next week. The colorful look and feel reminds us of the original iPad launch back in 2010.

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

Workers started installing the signage this morning.

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

A TV truck around the side of Yerba Buena. Lots of Apple security and local police around.

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

Akamai is here. The press is going to be using a ton of bandwidth come Wednesday.

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

Looking secretive inside Yerba Buena…

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

Staffer moved some crates before we could get a good look.

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

Getting ready for the big event!

On Location For Apple’s iPad 3 Event Prep At Yerba Buena In San Francisco [Gallery]

A beautiful day here in San Francisco.

[Check back for updates...]

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Cult of Mac

US Air Force awards $9M contract for up to 18,000 iPads

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 05:08 PM EST (02:08 PM PST)
The US Air Force Air Mobility Command announced on Friday that it awarded a $ 9.36 million contract to purchase up to 18,000 iPad 2s for use in the military arm’s cargo aircraft.

The contract was given to Phoenix, Arizona-based computer service company Executive Technology Inc. on Thursday, and is the first step in the Air Force’s plan to replace existing paper-based flight bags with so-called electronic flight bags (EFB), reports Bloomberg.

The announcement confirms a previous report that the Air Force was planning the buy for its cargo wing, which called for “minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000 iPad 2″ units or “equal devices.”

Military spokeswoman Captain Kathleen Ferrero said that Air Mobility Command will use the 32GB Wi-Fi version of Apple’s tablet as EFBs aboard a variety of cargo aircraft. She went on to say that the command has already purchased 63 units that will be used for testing sometime in the next 30 days.

Ferrero said the contract price per unit came with a substantial discount which dropped the $ 599 retail price tag down to around $ 520.

In all, 24 companies placed bids for the lucrative military contract, with the command’s final decision being based in part on which firm could offer the lowest price. Ferrero declined to name the companies involved, or if Apple itself was part of the bidding process.

“It was open to everybody,” Ferrero said. “We weren’t going to any specific vendor.”

Although the $ 9.36 million contract is earmarked for the purchase of iPad 2s over the span of one year, the order is “contingent upon funding requests and approval,” meaning that the Air Force doesn’t necessarily have to buy all 18,000 units.

Air Mobility Command’s plan to ditch paper flight bags for digital alternatives echoes moves from the private sector as carriers like Delta and American Airlines are currently in the process of making the switch to EFBs.

While traditional flight bags contain heavy manuals, maps and charts, EFBs offer a tablet-based package that results in cost-savings and improved efficiency. The Federal Aviation Administration first approved Apple’s iPad 2 for the task in July, 2011, and numerous commercial airlines have tested and implemented the solution since then.

Ferrero said that the military will use the tablet to allow its crews to meet Pentagon efficiency goals, and help navigators and pilots operate more effectively on the flight deck.

“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” Ferrero said. Tablets fit that need in a small, easy to carry package.

The news comes on the heels of the Air Force’s Special Operations Command’s recent decision to cancel an order of 2,861 iPad 2s, reportedly nixed over security concerns regarding a Russian-made app included in the proposed EFB.

AppleInsider