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Opera Mini was approved today in the App Store.
Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.
When Opera submitted their browser last month, they started a count-up timer to find out how long it would take Apple to approve / not approve the submission. Since the browser competes with Apple’s Safari browser, it was unclear whether Apple would approve the browser at all.
We will be reviewing the Opera browser shortly as we begin to put it through the head to head tests with Safari… more to come shortly…
Opera Mini can be had here… iTunes link
We’re looking for a few talented writers to add to our site. Interested in a paying gig? If so, send us a few samples and we will take a look and maybe even add you to our staff! 🙂
Send samples to dimitri at WhatsOniPhone dot com.
Apple has removed the controversial rating prompt after deleting an app from the iPhone for version 4.
Since version 2.2 of the OS, when a user deleted an app from their iPhones, a rating request would pop up for that app. Many developers were unhappy with this since they claimed it led to smaller ratings. The argument is, why would anyone give the app a good rating if they were removing it from the iPhone. Apps that users liked would never be removed and therefore would never get the chance to be rated.
It seems that Apple has finally agreed with this theory and that feature will no longer be active in version 4 of the OS.
The newest version of the iPhone OS is looking more and more like a real operating system.
Not only is Apple adding Multitasking and 7 new multitasking API’s including: background audio, voice over IP (VOIP), background location, push notifications, local notifications, task completion, and fast app switching, but they are also adding a number of other great enhancements. Some of the more interesting ones that we are excited about include;
Folders – your now able to drag apps into folders and create groups of apps, you can change folder names so its super easy to group similar types of apps together.
in-App Networking – Apple is providing an easy to use API for developers to handle creating network based interaction, this includes games, social networking, and anything else that app developers want to do on a network level. Standardizing this makes a lot of sense and removes a lot of the difficulty for current developers in setting up that environment.
Build In Mail update – a new unified inbox will be available and the capacity for more than one Exchange account. They have also added threaded viewing and the ability to open attachments in 3rd party apps.
iBookstore will be made available to iPhone users including syncing of the current page location and setting bookmarks for reading the same book on multiple devices (iPad and iPhone).
4.0 also gets new Enterprise features which include compatibility with Server 2010, SSL VPN, wireless app distribution, and mobile device management.
iAd – the new API for Apples mobile advertising network is made available to developers at a 60/40 revenue split with developers. Thats one of the best rates in the mobile ad industry.
Unfortunately, unless your sporting the latest 3GS or late 2009 32 or 64 GB iPod (or of course an iPad), you will not be able to upgrade to 4.0. I guess that means a lot of 3G iPhones are about to show up on eBay!
iPhone OS 4.0 will be coming to the iPad sometime in the fall.
It seems that Apple will be selling over 500,000 iPads in its first week. A pretty amazing feat. In addition, there are currently 3,500 unique iPad apps currently available and over 3.5 million apps have already been sold.
Seems like they are off to a great start.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today announced that the next version of the iPhone and iPad will be able to run more than one program at a time!
Finally, users will get the feature that everyone else has had for many years. Multitasking.
The news has gotten a warm response from the event in California this morning. Jobs said "We weren’t the first to this party, but we’re gonna be the best,". Not sure how you can be the best at running multiple apps, but I guess we will wait and see what he meant.
This new update, being called 4.0, will be available this summer, it is assumed to be a free software update.
Even though the iPhone already allows for some multitasking, its mostly limited to Apple’s own apps. With the new update, users will be able to run multiple apps at the same time the same way that Palm and Android already do. It will mean that a user can listen to music using the various radio apps and log into their Facebook app, or switch between a game and chatting with a friend through messenger without having to quit the game first.
This is obviously very welcome news to all of us, especially since the iPad, now positioned to take its place in the portable computer lineup, could never be considered a real laptop replacement until this was available.
Welcome news indeed.
"How to Train Your Dragon" is the latest CGI animated film from DreamWorks Animation, the studio that brought us the first ever winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar, "Shrek," as well as the forgettable bee movie, "Bee Movie." The film, based on the children’s book by British author Cressida Cowell, boasts of breathtaking 3D animation and a universally appealing story about the special bond between man and animal. But does "How to Train Your Dragon" have what it takes to join "Shrek" as one of the studio’s best reviewed films, or will it unfortunately end up like "Bee Movie"? Well, as someone who’s seen the film at least twice, I’m happy to report that it is arguably DreamWorks Animation’s best film in quite a long time.
DreamWorks, in partnership with several developers, is also bringing their new critically acclaimed film from the big screen to the three-and-a-half-inch screen of our favorite mobile device. With iPhone apps such as 3D games and storybooks now available, iPhone and iPod touch users can easily relive the magic of "How to Train Your Dragon." One such app is the How to Train Your Dragon – Kid’s Book from iStoryTime, a company that specializes in developing storybooks optimized for the iPhone.
How to Train Your Dragon – Kid’s Book is based on the film and not on Cressida Cowell’s bestselling book, but that certainly doesn’t make it any less of a good read. The app is, as expected, geared towards children, and as such contains only a sort of synopsis of the storyline of the film. It took me all of fifteen minutes to finish the story, but it was fifteen minutes well spent. The app consists of several pages of CGI pictures taken from the film or created especially for the app. These pages are provided with captions that in effect tell the story of "How to Train Your Dragon." You have the option to have these captions read by a narrator (with actor Jay Baruchel providing the voice of the lead character) or to turn off the voice-over narration, the option to have the captions highlighted a la karaoke in sync with the narration or to turn off the text highlighting, and the option to have the pages automatically turned or to manually turn the pages by swiping from right to left (or vice versa) at your own pace.
This app is actually quite simplistic, but the excellent summarization of the film, the topnotch narration, the brilliant still images, and the intuitive page-turning method all make up for it. Indeed, I am happy to report that How to Train Your Dragon – Kid’s Book is an excellent iPhone equivalent of the film it’s based on.
Would I Buy Again: Yes.
Learning Curve: Zero.
Who Is It For: Fans of the film and/or the original book, and people who like to read good stories to their little ‘uns on their iPhones.
What I Like: The narration is pitch-perfect and the pictures are well chosen.
What I Don’t: No option to pause in the middle of reading or to have the storybook open on the page where I left it off.
Final Statement: In keeping with the comparisons with DreamWorks’ best and worst film, I have to say that How to Train Your Dragon – Kid’s Book is almost as good an app as "Shrek" is as a movie, and it’s definitely no "Bee" app.
Well, after many months of waiting, speculation, hype, and both positive and negative feedback, we finally got our hands on our iPads!
After some issues with UPS (who swore we weren’t getting it until Monday, then thankfully showed up at our doors) we were able to get a few hours in before writing this review.
It came in the typical high quality Apple packaging (the one you carefully open as to be able to put back in the same way, at least we try to do that). Inside, Apple includes a sync cable, and a power plug for the wall outlet. A small booklet accompanies the iPad, but thats about it.
The device itself requires that you sync with the latest version of iTunes before being able to do much of anything else. Our sync process was smooth and painless. Everything worked as expected and we were off and running within 10 minutes.
Initially, I thought i would simply play with it for a little while and then write up this review. I found that it was VERY difficult for me to put it down after I started messing around with it. First I downloaded a few apps, including ABC’s video app, Netflix, The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, a few games including a new one that Portable Arts just released called BloxAttack (shameless plug I know).
I spent lots of time surfing the web with safari and reading the USA Today, even couldn’t help myself to a few minutes of video time on Netflix and ABC. It was simply hard for me to stop playing with it.
The surfing experience is extremely intuitive, its so simple to just click and move around the web, that you soon forget that you ever did it any other way. In fact, its much more painful to move the mouse / trackpad around rather than just clicking the screen.
Many of the apps have sound, including some of the games I tried, and the quality on the iPad was surprising, the back of the iPad felt like it was one big speaker and the sound just resonated from it.
The size is also surprising, its only 1.5 pounds, and very thin. Thd 9.7 inch display is very sharp. The colors just pour right off, and the quality reminds me of Apples high end video displays and it is much brighter and clearer than any of the current iPhone/Touch screens.
The other thing that caught me off guard was the speed at which things load up on the iPad. I was able to very quickly install 20 apps on the iPad from the AppStore and didn’t spend any time waiting for them to install. In fact, most of them installed within a few seconds and I was busy playing around with them immediately.
The keyboard is what you would expect, a larger version of that one already found on the iPhone, although the larger keys are obviously much easier to type on and when the iPad is in landscape mode, its almost as large as the bluetooth Apple keyboard.
I will say there are a few shortcomings with iPad 1.0.
The first obvious one is the lack of Flash support. I would have loved to load up HULU on the iPad or play any number of Flash based games, but its not to be had. Not yet at least. Probably not ever.
The second thing that bugged me is that you cant Multitask between apps. This is obviously something that Apple has been holding out on since day 1, and I don’t imagine that will ever change either.
But my most surprising complaint is the lack of some form of portable storage (SD card, etc). I can see how this thing is going to fill up pretty quickly and I would have loved the ability to store files and docs on a removable storage card.
I know, people want a camera, USB, etc. etc. but the truth is, this is an incredible first step. Absolutely worth the $499 intro price tag, and after you’ve had a chance to play with one, surf the web on one, flip through an iBook, newspaper, or play any game on this high quality large screen you’ll see what I mean.
So now the only thing left to do is start reviewing those apps!
Today is the day where hundred of thousands of consumers will obtain their very first iPad. While driving by an Apple Store in Manhattan early this morning, I did see the queue already formed to get one (or two). It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a spike in iPad sales on eBay starting from today.
So did you get one? What are your first impressions? Was it worth the purchase? Let us know in the comments.
Apps for the iPad have started to appear in the App Store, and it seems one of them is getting some big publicity.
Netflix will be offering a free iPad app that allows streaming of movies to the iPad.
The description is as follows;
Get Netflix on your iPad. Just download this free app and you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix.
– Watch as often as you want
– It?s part of your Netflix unlimited membership
– Resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer
– Browse movies and manage your Queue right from your iPad
Not a Netflix member? Start your FREE trial today.
Nothing has been announced yet about an iPhone or iTouch version.