A new study has highlighted the loyalty of iPad and iPhone users, who are so unlikely to switch from Apple’s iOS to another platform that an analyst believes they are worth almost $295billion (£188billion) cumulatively, which is more than half of Apple’s current market cap.
Apple’s former senior vice president of Software Engineering Bertrand Serlet has been working at a cloud computing startup called Upthere since he left Apple last year.
Apple closed MobileMe on Sunday night, but the company has extended the opportunity to move accounts to iCloud, download photos from Gallery and download files from iDisk, for a “limited time”.
We’ve just finished waving goodbye to MobileMe, but Apple has been busily reminding iWork.com users that the beta site will also be discontinued as of 31 July.
The Roachbot is a cockroach robot that looks so realistic, released in Japan earlier this year, but it seems that the company behind this cute little toy has decided to up the ante and make a revision of the Roachbot all the more realistic. Japan Trust Technologies, the company behind the Roachbot, will now come with support for the iPhone and iPad. After installing this exclusive app on your iPhone or iPad, those devices end up as the Roachbot’s controller.
New control features have been thrown into the mix, where you are now able to control a throttle which enables you to precisely adjust your Roachbot’s cruising speed – eventually hitting a maximum velocity which could not be achieved before with the previous model. Not only that, the new controls also boast of a “Trim Correction Slider” that enables you to perform slight adjustments to the Roachbot’s course, so that it looks all the more realistic instead of achieving the old school hard left/right turns that might just have given the game away.
The new Roachbot model will start from 2,980 yen (US$37) onwards.
Your precious iPad is used to being touched lovingly, with swipes happening from time to time as you turn the page on a digital book over and over. As for games, those gyroscopic and accelerometer-enhanced titles see you tilt your iPad all over the place, and perhaps might even involve a furious tapping on select areas of the display. However, how many of you actually scratch your iPad’s screen? I guess the answer would be close to zero, but there is a possibility this might happen with the $12.99 iPieces iPad Air Hockey.
The iPieces iPad Air Hockey will do away with the need for traditional air hockey tables, and no air will pump out from your iPad’s display, but through an app, you can have a mini air hockey session with your friends and family, complete with capacitive strikers. Better get a decent screen protector before you give this a go though.
An umbrella is supposed to keep you dry from those rainy days, and it too, would be able to ensure your skin does not get sun burnt at all when it is scorching hot out there during the summer. At this year’s Amsterdam-based Music Hack Day, a couple of intrepid hackers who hail from Berlin did figure out a way to create a musical umbrella which is capable of producing a random series of lo-fi 8-bit tones.
These tones are triggered the moment a raindrop strikes the outer surface of the umbrella’s canopy, and since the results are totally random and abstract, you will hear different tunes all the time, and chances are just like snowflakes, you will not find the same two tunes at any time. What your ears will hear would be something akin to what the first generation Nintendo Game Boy is capable of churning out. To know more about how this particular musical umbrella works, read on after the jump.
The gist of the umbrella works this way – whenever raindrops strike the outside surface of the umbrella canopy, they will be transformed to tones thanks to the presence of a dozen piezo pickup sensors which are taped to the underside of the umbrella. These piezo pickup sensors are fully capable of responding to vibration, where they are then sent over to an Arduino Uno, which is actually a cheap and open source micro-controller that is popular with hackers and hobbyists. Not only that, it will in turn be hooked to a couple of speakers.
The Music Hack Day event was originally held in the London offices of U.K. newspaper The Guardian three years ago, and the movement has since spread to Berlin, Amsterdam, Boston, Stockholm, San Francisco, Barcelona, New York and Montreal, where over two thousand participants and sponsorship from notable music-tech companies are the attendees.
There is still no indication that this musical umbrella will be sold to the masses, but the umbrella’s creators, Alice Zappe and Julia Lager, decided to come up with a new and improved version of their Music Hack Day prototype.
With the number of gadgets and gizmos that are in our possession these days, it makes perfect sense that we always have one thing at the top of our minds at all times – that is, the battery life of our devices. This is even more glaring when we are talking about going traveling – the number of chargers that we need to pack, in addition to the right adapter (especially when one is heading off for a foreign country on a different continent altogether), could prove to be quite a headache. Not only that, newer devices come with better and faster functions, so much so that advancements made in battery technology keep up with just enough to last as long as its previous generation, as it caters to the new features.
How about the idea of spray painting your own batteries? This is where future batteries might be headed, as one is able to paint batteries onto standard bathroom tiles, steel, glass – and even a beer stein! This particular battery is made possible thanks to five separate layers, where each of them has its own recipe, and together they measure a mere 0.5mm thick – or should we say, thin?
In order to demonstrate this particular technique, the team behind the battery actually spayed the batteries onto steel, glass, ceramic tile and a beer stein. This breakthrough will definitely be of particular interest in industrial applications, since it is compatible with current spray-painting technology. Right now, the most common batteries comprise of negative and positive halves (the anode and the cathode), with a material in between to separate them, while “current collector” layers are located at the top and bottom to gather up the electric charges which move through.
Plenty of batteries are constructed in a geometry that is not too far off from that of a “Swiss roll” cross section, where layers are rolled up into a cylindrical or round-edged rectangular shape. Guess the spray on battery idea from Rice University in Texas, US, has paved open a new way to place batteries on just about any surface.
GarageBand for OS X changed the way mere mortals create great music on their Macs. The latest version, GarageBand ’11, makes things even easier with Magic GarageBand. Essentially, this will guide you through the steps needed to create a great music track for video projects, ringtones, or just your own music to share with family and friends. Here’s how to begin your journey.
Firstly, open GarageBand ’11 and click on the Magic GarageBand icon in the left-hand pane. There will be nine icons in the area to the right, each representing a different musical genre. To listen to each track, hover over the specific icon you want to hear and click on the Preview button that appears.
Once you’ve decided on a musical style, it’s time to click the chosen icon and head onto the stage. GarageBand will lay out all the instruments that it’s chosen for that given song. It may take a couple of minutes to load all the instruments and sounds, depending on your Mac’s CPU speed and RAM.
Once it’s all loaded, click on the triangular play button at the bottom of the screen to preview the whole song. First, note that the front instrument is supposed to be the instrument you’re playing, like a keyboard or connected guitar. If you’re not playing an instrument, click on it and then click on the No Instrument button at the bottom of the window, to make it disappear.
Hover over each of the other instruments on the stage, and a spotlight will appear, plus the name of the instrument. Click on an instrument and the other options for that music track will show up at the bottom of the window. Click on the drums, for example, and the other drum kits will show up. Click on one of them while the music is playing to hear the difference it will make to the overall mix. It may take a measure or two for the new instrument to find its way into the mix, so be patient.
Once you’ve customized all the instruments, it’s time to Open in GarageBand. Click on the button that says that same thing, and GarageBand will open to the full track recording experience. In here, you can change the levels, the balance, and any other crazy thing you can think of. You can drag the sections around at the top of the window, too, by clicking on the title bar (Verse, Bridge, Ending, etc.) and dragging it to where you want it.
See what you did there? You created a song in under ten minutes, right? Hit the Share menu and choose how you want to send this masterpiece out. Choose one of the sharing options to get the song from the editable stage to a more final stage, whether you want to make a ringtone for your iPhone or burn the song to a CD.
How are you using Magic GarageBand on your Mac? Let us know in the comments below.
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If you’re planning to upgrade the flash storage in your 2010 or 2011 MacBook Air, don’t just discard your old module or let it go for pennies on eBay. With the Aurora Envoy enclosure from Other World Computing, you can turn that old flash storage into an external drive that’s designed to match your MacBook Air perfectly.
Made from aluminum with the same taper as the MacBook Air itself, the Aurora Envoy is quite possibly the most fitting external storage drive you can get for Apple’s ultraportable. And what’s great about it is that it costs just $20 when you buy any of OWC’s Aura Pro Express SSDs for your MacBook Air.
If you’re not planning to increase your Air’s storage but you’d still like the external drive, you can pick up the Aurora Envoy with storage pre-fitted, with prices ranging from $200 for 120GB of storage, to $800 for 480 GB of storage. Alternatively, you can get the enclosure all by itself for $48.
Installation is as simply as opening the drive up, slipping in your flash module, then screwing the enclosure back together again. Furthermore, OWC provides all the tools you’ll need.
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