Apple TV 2 ? Apples Games Console ?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 30, 2010 in Apple, Brain Dump, iPhone, IPod Touch, Tech

At present, I’m awaiting delivery of my Apple TV (ETA Monday 4th October 2010).

I was thinking last night of the future of the Apple TV, and how this is could be a lot more than a TV, and might be Apples version of a Games Console.

Why you may ask ?

  • Ok, I’ve read on multiple blogs, that the device runs on a version of iOS 4.1, there should be no reason why games designed for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad shouldn’t be able to run on it.
  • Introduction of the Game Center, which is a cross device “Social Gaming platform”. Currently this only works on the iPod Touch and iPhone, but see no reason that this can’t also work on the Apple TV.
  • Rumours of a Apple TV App store, this would make it possible to download and buy your favorite games you have on your current devices, and play them on the big screen
  • The Apple TV has an internal 8Gb memory, don’t you think this is a little large just to host the Apple TV Front Row software. With the new Apple TV, all the media content is streaming only ?
  • The Apple TV has the A4 chip, and 256Mb of Ram, making it the same spec as the iPad
  • Epic Citedel. This demo looked amazing, it’s being pitched a online multiplayer experience, Could this be a launch title when the Game Center is switched on ?
  • iOS 4.2 was announced last month, this would finally bring multitasking to the iPad, over the air printing etc, I do wonder though, could these features also be coming to the Apple TV ?. I did also note, that during the keynotes on the 1st September 2010. The Apple TV was mentioned, but the only focus was on the size and price of the device, the software wasn’t touched on at all ?
  • I would assume that the controller for the Apple TV, would be any iThingy device, eg iPod Touch,  iPhone or iPad, and possibly work together like Nintendo attempted with the DS and Wii. If so, the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G would make an awesome motion controller with the gyroscope

Anyway, these are all purely speculations, however there’s a lot of power in that little device, and it would be a shame if Apple didn’t do more with it that “just stream media”. If I’m right, I expect another Apple press conference some time before the launch of iOS4.2 in November

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Google Latitude on iOS 4

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 11, 2010 in Apple, Application, iPhone

As you may remember from my post on iOS 4, I was looking forward to somebody developing a Google Latitude application.

Google Latitude is a way of keeping your friends updated on your location in real time. If you have a latitude application running on your mobile device, this will poll the Google servers and update your location. This is especially handy if you are meeting with friends, or want to see if somebody is home before popping in.

Google Latitude has been working as a layer on Google Map on the Nokia, Blackberry and Android based phones for some time now, however only worked as a HTML5 version on the iPhone (which doesn’t work as a background application)

Now thanks to the Background location feature on iOS 4, and Google making the Latitude API’s available, developers are able to start work on Location based applications.

The first one that seems to have emerged is an app called Latitudie.

Latitudie is still in it’s infancy stage, (Current version is 1.1) however seems to do the job. Once signed in, it will pinpoint your location on the map and start to poll the Google Latitude server. You then have to option to view your history, and thanks to  iOS 4 it will happily run in the background.

In version 1.0, the application tended to not update at all if your didn’t move locations, which would lead others to think you had the application switch off, also the accuracy would drop, making it look like you were in the middle of a field, and not at home.

In version 1.1 the developer has addressed these issues by allowing you to switch on/off “Low accuracy in background” and an additional feature of “Periodic updates” (when low accuracy in background is switched off).

As I’ve said, it’s still in it’s infancy stages, doesn’t allow you to view your friends on the map, or do much else apart from update your location. I find myself using the HTML5 Google Maps version to find my friends.

If your a data junkie and like to know where you’ve been and when, and have other friends using latitude, this app is a must. I hope as this app grows, it will add all the feature that the HTML5 version of google maps has to offer.

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Apple iOS 4

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jun 21, 2010 in Apple, iPhone

When I moved from my Nokia E90 to iPhone, there were a few features missing that I used a lot. Being a “tidy freak”, I kept my application organised in folder. I’m also a big fan of Google Latitude and had this running in the background all the time, but these were scarifies I was willing to make to move across to the iPhone. As you can imagine I was overjoyed to find that not only were Folders coming to the next OS for the iPhone, but also “multitasking”. Now granted this isn’t the same multitasking that you get on the likes of Symbian S60, however for what I want it for (Background location), this made my day.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I have an iPhone 3GS and on Thursday will be accepting the delivery of my new, shiny iPhone 4. This means I get to use the full functionality of the new OS, other people (iPhone 3G and before, iPod Touch 2G and before), will only have limited functionality (No multitasking).

So today’s the day, and iOS 4 is available for download, and obviously I’ve now downloaded it and have it installed.

The first think that stands out is the customised Home Screen Wallpaper. Now I know it’s a simple thing, but does really help to personalise your phone. This is something that I took for granted on the Symbian OS, and until it was gone, I started to miss it.

The next thing I did was created folders and started to drop apps into them, this was a god send, Apple have made it as easy as possible for you to do this, simple drag one app on top of another and voila a folder is created. The folder names are automatically named, eg Games, Reference, Social Network, and can only assume it does this based on the iTunes category, this can however be changed . Before I used to organise my application using the screens, Social Media, Weather (yeah, I have multiple weather apps), Shopping, Fitness, Media, Game Tracking, and Games. On OS3 you can have 16 apps per page, however the folders are only 12 apps. This does really clean up the iPhones real estate.

The Spell checker works a treat, I prefer it to it just randomly correcting as I type.

When I saw the email was “Even Better Mail”, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I only have one mail box with all mail in (I use email forwarding for all my accounts, and have my google apps account as the central repository, and splitting my mail accounts using labels), so didn’t think I’d see a benefit, however, being a gmail user is was good to see “organize messages by threads”. It felt a lot more familiar. You get a number at the side of the email to tell you how many are in the chain, clicking on email brings up the “conversation”

Functions like iBooks, the ability to create playlists on the move weren’t something I was really interested in, as I’m more of an Audio book reader, and I prefer to organise my playlists on my Mac.

As for the other functions like Facetime, I guess I’m going to have to wait until Thursday.

I think I can now finally say, there are no features that I’m missing, and glad to be an iPhone owner, I’m sure that over the next few days, I’m going to find features I’ve not initially noticed, but will tweet about them as and when I find them.

edit: After playing with iOS 4 now for a good few hours, I’ve found a few more features. The 3GS does support the digital zoom function on the camera app, you just need to tap the screen once, and you’ll get a slider bar allowing your to zoom in.

The camera app has also been upgraded to include similar features to the Mac software iPhoto, in the way that it now sorts your photos by places and faces, and seems to be loads more accurate with the GPS location.

You also have the option of having 2 different wallpapers, one for the lock screen and one for the home screen. This option can be found on the 3GS under Setting >> Wallpaper.

You can also now change your Safari search engine by going into Setting >> Safari >> and changing the search engine from Google, to Yahoo! and Bing

Currently I only have 1 app on my iPhone that supports “background processing” and that’s Dropbox. If I set something uploaded, then close, this will continue to upload in the background.

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