January 27, 2012

Microsoft Hints At Xbox LIVE Platform And Titles For iOS

Microsoft Hints At Xbox LIVE Platform And Titles For iOS

A Microsoft spokesperson has revived rumors that its Xbox LIVE platform is coming to iOS after they revealed the company’s plans to provide the Xbox experience and its titles on other platforms. While iOS users already have access to a basic Xbox LIVE app, Microsoft is expected to introduce a more in-depth experience including Xbox LIVE games like that available to Windows Phone users.

Rumors surrounding iOS support began circulating earlier this month when the Redmond-based company posted a job listing for a Software Development Engineer who world work on the Xbox LIVE Mobile team “to bring the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment experience to mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS, and other mobile platforms.” But its latest statement to Forbes has somewhat strengthened those rumors:

While the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms.

This is incredibly exciting news for Xbox gamers who choose to use iOS devices over those powered by Microsoft’s platform. But it’s not all that surprising. While many believed Xbox LIVE games would be exclusive to Windows Phone, in a bid to encourage its adoption, Microsoft has famously been welcome to embrace rival platforms with support for its software and services.

And it wouldn’t exactly be a bad move, either. While it may dissuade a very small number of consumers from adopting the Windows Phone platform, simply to get their hands on Xbox LIVE and its games, the sacrifice is likely to encourage many more users into trying the Xbox and its platform for the first time.

[via Forbes]

Cult of Mac

TUAW TV Live: The pre-Macworld | iWorld 2012 Episode

Today’s TUAW TV Live will be a bit shorter than usual — a half hour — and come to you from a different location. I’m in San Francisco for Macworld | iWorld 2012 with a number of the other TUAW bloggers and editors, so I thought I’d do a quick show about Macworld | iWorld today.

I may or may not have a guest on today’s show, although I’m trying my darnedest to wrangle one of the other bloggers into joining me. The topics may range from iBooks Author to Apple’s cosmic earnings report yesterday, although as you know I have a tendency to not follow a script…

Below, you’ll find a Ustream livestream viewer and a chat tool. The chat tool allows you to participate by asking questions or making comments.

If you’re driving somewhere and would like to watch TUAW TV Live while you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t — keep your eyes on the road! However, if someone else is doing the driving, you can watch the show on your iPhone and join the chat by downloading the free Ustream App. It’s a universal app and is wonderful on an iPad, both for viewing and participating in the chat.

We’ll start at about 4 PM ET, so if you’re seeing a prerecorded show, be sure to refresh your browser until you see the live stream. For those of you who are not able to join us for the live edition, you’ll be able to view it later this evening on our TUAW Video YouTube channel and as part of the TUAW TV Live podcast viewable in iTunes or on any of your Apple devices.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

iPhone Tutoring App To Offer Live Help [Exclusive]

iPhone Tutoring App To Offer Live Help [Exclusive]

A screenshot of the DTMS website.

Help on those tricky algebra problems could be a touchscreen away thanks to a new iPhone app.

A company called Does That Make Sense? (DTMS, for short) plans to offer live help to students using Apple’s smartphones.

iPhone Tutoring App To Offer Live Help [Exclusive]

Billing itself as the eBay of tutoring, DTMS already offers a mobile version of its online help available at http://dtms.mobi/.

Here’s how the service works: stumped students put out a call for help to a live community of “Nerds” (that’s the official moniker) who bid on the project.

These Nerds, who according to DTMS, include award-winning authors, college professors, business professionals and graduates of Harvard, Stanford, Yale, NYU and Columbia, then bid on the request in real time.

In the words of DTMS: “Our Nerds will read your book, study for your exam and teach you what you need to know…” Prices are based on subject area, grade level, deadline and level of difficulty. If you what you need is more term paper than math problem, all materials provided are also scanned through software like TurnItIn.com to check for originality.

They hope to launch the iPhone app in March 2012, harnessing the Mac-heavy audience for the service. About 75% of DTMS’s students already access the service from Apple devices. The app will be free to download and students will bid on the Nerd expertise via smartphones in much the same manner they do now.

And what about those classroom cellphone bans we’ve been writing about?

“I agree with the iPhone bans in class, our main priority is for students to be paying attention and absorbing as much information as possible however,” Jonathan F. Kestenbaum, whose job title at DTMS is chief executive nerd, told Cult of Mac via email. “With the student version of the DTMS app, we are looking to create a more efficient and effective way for students to ask for help whether they’re studying, or on the go traveling from one class to the next.”

Kestenbaum doesn’t expect resistance from teachers or administration either, saying the service isn’t at cross purposes with school. The site’s section on academic honor codes reminds students that the explanations provided should “serve as a preliminary reference” and “supplement” a regular study regimen.

“I know teachers will embrace our DTMS iPhone app,” Kestenbaum said. “At the end of the day, our goal is the same – to better the learning of the students.  Not to mention most of our ‘Nerds’ are college professors.”

Cult of Mac

Colleges enthused as iTunes classes go live

There’s a pretty high level of excitement flowing from Thursday’s arrival of the iTunes U app. Harvard University is now adding its science + cooking lectures from its school of Engineering and Science for what will likely be an interesting public offering. Titles like ‘Olive Oil and Viscosity’ and ‘Meat Glue Mania’ sound intriguing.

Anyone with an iPad or iPhone can use the app and access the free classes on iTunes U. Having this new standalone app should be a boon to users and educators. The Inside Higher Ed website is highlighting material from Harrisburg Community College, where there are free courses in differential equations and astronomy. It’s the first iTunes U offering from a community college.

Apple approached some major educational institutions last year to start preparing the courses, and the app contains content from places like Duke, Cornell and Yale universities. Older versions of iTunes U, introduced in 2006, offered audio and video podcasts, but this new app provides self-contained courses allowing users to download handouts and worksheets they can reference while listening to a recorded lecture.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW TV Live: A look ahead at the next ten days

If things are this crazy before Macworld | iWorld 2012 even begins, I’m beginning to get worried. The PR requests are coming in by the boatload, and my appointment calendar is beginning to fill up. The boxes filled with giveaways for our TUAW Meetup (sponsored by HP) are ready to ship, and I’m starting to go through my selection of hats to figure out what to bring with me to San Francisco.

Today on TUAW TV Live, I’ll talk about Macworld past, present and future. In the past, the show was insanely huge, people stood in lines for hours to attend a keynote, and some amazing Apple products were introduced. The present is a much more cozy Macworld that is finally paying homage to the world of iOS, along with a focus on the Apple community. And the future? Who knows — but I can speculate.

Along with talk about Macworld | iWorld, I’ll also touch on the topics of Apple’s education event tomorrow and the upcoming (1/24) Apple first-quarter earnings call. Oh, yeah — and maybe something about this Sopapilla thing all you kids are talking about.

Below, you’ll find a Ustream livestream viewer and a chat tool. The chat tool allows you to participate by asking questions or making comments.

If you’re driving somewhere and would like to watch TUAW TV Live while you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t — keep your eyes on the road! However, if someone else is doing the driving, you can watch the show on your iPhone and join the chat by downloading the free Ustream App. It’s a universal app and is wonderful on an iPad, both for viewing and participating in the chat.

We’ll start at about 5 PM ET, so if you’re seeing a prerecorded show, be sure to refresh your browser until you see the live stream. For those of you who are not able to join us for the live edition, you’ll be able to view it later this evening on our TUAW Video YouTube channel and as part of the TUAW TV Live podcast viewable in iTunes or on any of your Apple devices.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW TV Live at 5 PM ET: The pre-show show of shows

There’s lots to talk about on TUAW TV Live this afternoon — tomorrow is the early morning Apple education event, next Tuesday we’ll hear all about how well Apple did in their first quarter earnings call, and next Thursday is opening day of Macworld | iWorld 2012. That means there’s plenty of time for speculation over the next week, so why not get an early start with the craziness on today’s TUAW TV Live show?

As usual, I’ll be starting the show at 5 PM EDT (2 PM PDT / 10 PM BST) sharp, and we’ll take a few minutes to chat before the demos start. To join in on the chat and watch the live streaming video, drop by TUAW about five minutes before the start time to get your instructions on how to participate. If you’re unable to join us for the show, remember that you can always subscribe to the video podcast and watch the show at your leisure in iTunes or any other favorite podcatching app. The past shows are also available on the TUAW YouTube channel.

The chat is now available as well on IRC: join us on server chat1.ustream.tv, chat room #tuaw-tv.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW TV Live: A refreshing respite from CES 2012

Apple’s upstaged the entire CES 2012 event by announcing their own education event on January 19 at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, so now I’ll continue the trend by demonstrating some real shipping products for Apple equipment. Who wants to hear CES rumors about products that may never ship? I’ll give you the stuff that’s already available to help you be more productive and have fun.

Below, you’ll find a Ustream livestream viewer and a chat tool. The chat tool allows you to participate by asking questions or making comments.

If you’re driving somewhere and would like to watch TUAW TV Live while you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t — keep your eyes on the road! However, if someone else is doing the driving, you can watch the show on your iPhone and join the chat by downloading the free Ustream App. It’s a universal app and is wonderful on an iPad, both for viewing and participating in the chat.

We’ll start at about 5 PM ET, so if you’re seeing a prerecorded show, be sure to refresh your browser until you see the live stream. For those of you who are not able to join us for the live edition, you’ll be able to view it later this evening on our TUAW Video YouTube channel and as part of the TUAW TV Live podcast viewable in iTunes or on any of your Apple devices.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW TV Live at 5 PM ET: Music, books, and apps

There’s a surprising dearth of Apple-related news this week, other than pundits talking about how almost every company at CES is copying Apple’s innovations in one way or another. No worries — if you’re depressed hearing about the latest cheesy MacBook Air clone or some other company’s iPad ripoff, I’ll cheer you up this afternoon with another episode of TUAW TV Live.

Looking into the box of goodies here at the TUAW TV Live studio, I find that I have a pocket-sized analog synthesizer that can be used to process output from an iPad, iPhone or musical instrument; an iPad app that lets you run Microsoft Office on your device for free; a free GPS navigation app; a handful of Apple-related books (both physical and electronic); and other digital flotsam and jetsam that is bobbing around my rapidly sinking desk.

As usual, I’ll be starting the show at 5 PM EDT (2 PM PDT / 10 PM BST) sharp, and we’ll take a few minutes to chat before the demos start. To join in on the chat and watch the live streaming video, drop by TUAW about five minutes before the start time to get your instructions on how to participate. If you’re unable to join us for the show, remember that you can always subscribe to the video podcast and watch the show at your leisure in iTunes or any other favorite podcatching app. The past shows are also available on the TUAW YouTube channel.

The chat is now available as well on IRC: join us on server chat1.ustream.tv, chat room #tuaw-tv.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Comcast Brings Live Cable TV To The iPad With AnyPlay

Comcast Brings Live Cable TV To The iPad With AnyPlay

Comcast is introducing live cable TV to the iPad for Xfinity TV customers with a new device service called AnyPlay, allowing you to tune into your favorite shows on your tablet while the rest of the family watches another channel on the television.

Comcast promises that all the channels included in your linear channel subscription will be available on your iPad. In a post on its blog, the company explains how AnyPlay works:

Here’s how it works…the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network. The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home’s wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen.

That means you can’t use AnyPlay to watch live cable while you’re away from home unfortunately, but you can still access Xfinity’s 8,000 hours of on-demand content.

AnyPlay is currently available at no extra charge to Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in the Denver and Nashville areas,  with further rollouts planned in the coming months.

[via Comcast Blog]

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

Comcast launches live TV on iPad

There’s a number of live TV-streaming apps out there for cable subscribers, and Comcast has added its AnyPlay service to the mix. Part of the Xfinity TV iPad app, AnyPlay allows subscribers with Xfinity HD Triple Play to access live cable programming at home via the iPad. Those who are traveling can’t access their cable but can utilize Xfinity’s On Demand services.

The service is restricted to the Denver and Nashville area for now with further rollouts planned. Xfinity’s mobile app also just received an update with the ability to send free texts using the app and an Xfinity home phone number.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog