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Apple’s App Store Hits 500,000 Apps

Apple’s App Store has recently hit an important milestone, passing 500,000 apps. Apple arrived at this number by combining apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPhone that is. These numbers come from three different sources: 148apps, Chomp and Chillingo. These three have put together an infographic...

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Could Microsoft’s Newly Announced Surface Tablet Finally Dethrone Apple’s iPad?

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 19-06-2012

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Microsoft Surface Tablet
Well it’s happened, Microsoft has officially pulled the curtain on its much rumored tablet. Known as the Microsoft Surface, this tablet is already being seen as an iPad killer and it doesn’t even have a confirmed release date or pricing scheme yet. What it does have, however, is a full list of specs that make it easy to compare to Apple’s tablet juggernaut iPad.
 
So here we go on a spec war between both variations of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and the most recent Apple iPad:

 

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 8 Pro OS
  • 10.6″ HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
  • Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor
  • microSDXC, USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort Video ports
  • 42 watt-hour battery
  • 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variations
  • 13.5mm thick
  • 903 grams

Surface for Windows RT

  • Windows RT OS
  • 10.6″ HD display
  • Nvidia Tegra processor
  • microsSD, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video ports
  • 31.5 watt-hour battery
  • 32GB and 64GB variations
  • 9.3mm thick
  • 676 grams

Third-Generation iPad

  • iOS 5.1.1 OS
  • 9.7″ display with 2,048 x 1,536 pixel density
  • Apple dual-core A5 ARM processor with quad-core graphics
  • Micro-SIM card tray
  • 42.5 watt-hour battery
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variations
  • 9.4mm thick
  • 652 grams

Take away from the specs what you will, but one thing that the Surface tablet has over the iPad is the 3mm Touch Cover. The Touch Cover utilizes pressure-sensitive technology to sense keystrokes as gestures, allowing for faster touch typing than what is possible with an on-screen keyboard.

The Touch Cover attaches to the tablet with a built-in magnetic connector, which forms a “natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover,” Microsoft stated. In addition to that there is an option for a slightly thicker 5mm Type Cover that adds actual moving keys to give you a more traditional typing experience. Apple doesn’t have anything like that.

It is obvious that Microsoft is trying to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets with the Surface, something that Apple isn’t trying to do at all. When you boil it all down, the Touch Cover looks to be one of the best efforts to date to bridge this gap, especially when you pair it with the the high-performance Intel-based Windows * Surface tablet.

It sucks that we don’t have any information on pricing or availability yet but at least we have a confirmation of something that most people have been speculating on for the past couple of weeks. I am interested in seeing if the rumors about streaming Xbox Live is true.  If so, I will definitely be swayed in favor of the Surface whenever I decide to buy a tablet.

Source: CNET – Microsoft Surface tablet, iPad spec check

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New 3D Google Maps Coming to iOS

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 05-06-2012

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3D Google Maps on iPadGoogle recently unveiled what it is calling the “next dimension” of its Google Maps service with new full 3D renderings for Google Earth that were demonstrated live on Apple’s iPad. Google has been utilizing automated technology to extract data from aerial models captured by planes owned by Google. Google uses the imagery from these planes to create 3D mapping imagery.

Images of the ground are taken at 45 degrees from four different angles. Those pics and data can then be combined to recreate maps in 3D. The entire process allows 3D maps to be created without human interaction, which was necessary with previous iterations of 3D imagery in Google Earth.

Google first demonstrated the technology by showing off individual buildings and cities on Apple’s iPad instead of an Android device. However, Google did announce that the service would be coming to both iOS devices and Android devices and that the technology would be part of both the Google Maps service and the company’s Google Earth application.

Google also hopes that it will have communities of nearly 300 million people mapped out in its new space. In addition to that, the company revealed that it will bring an offline version for its Maps software to Android devices and is working “very hard” to bring offline maps to iOS as well, though it hasn’t offered up a time table for that.

This reveal comes just days before Apple is supposed to hold its own keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. At the conference Apple is expected to unveil an all new version of the Maps software for iOS, which will get rid of Google Maps.

It has already been reported that Apple’s new mapping technology will reach iOS later on this year and is expected to be a part of iOS 6, the much anticipated next-gen operating system from the company. The mapping intentions of Apple have also been clear since 2009 when the company started acquiring mapping technology companies. In that year Apple purchased Placebase, Poly9 in 2010 and C3 in 2011.

Source: Apple Insider – Google unveils new 3D maps coming to iOS and Android