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Apple Has Officially Announced Its Next iPhone Event

Apple has finally released its next upcoming iPhone event, which will be on September 9, 2015. Apple has been pretty quiet about what its latest announcement will be about, but there are already some hints about it. For home viewers, now’s the time to pay attention! Windows users can now livestream...

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It Has Happened, the iPhone Comes to Verizon

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 15-01-2011

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Verizon iPhone 4It’s happened. The one thing everybody has been waiting for and the one thing AT&T has been dreading, the iPhone 4 is now available on, in my opinion, the best network available, Verizon. There were a lot of naysayers out there that kept touting their babble about how the iPhone would never see release on any other carrier than AT&T, but all their crap has been put to rest and thank God for that!

After talking up his new LTE network, Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon, confirmed a CDMA (non-LTE) version of the iPhone 4 will be coming to Verizon Wireless next month. These talks began way back in 2008 (nothing like three years of anticipation to really boost sales right?) and the actual phone has been in testing for a year which means Verizon and Apple were determined to get this one right.

Pre-orders for existing Verizon customers will start on February 3rd for your standard $200 for the 16GB model and $300 for the 32GB model, both on a new 2-year agreement. Everybody else will have the ability to get one February 10th. In case you were wondering, the Verizon iPhone 4 is Verizon 3G (EV-DO) only, no 4G data or GSM roaming. This isn’t a world phone or an AT&T + Verizon phone, it is simply a Verizon phone.

Aside from the Verizon connectivity, the phone is virtually exactly the same as the AT&T version although Verizon’s CDMA network does not support simultaneous voice and data as does the GSM version. It does, however, have the new antenna design that was being thrown around last week but only because CDMA requires a different configuration of antenna. This also equates to a slight bump where the volume and mute buttons are which means Apple may need to design a new case. When it comes to software, there is a big innovation via five user WiFi hotspot functionality. This is standard on all Android phones whereas Apple has limited the iPhone to only being able to tether directly to one computer.

Millions of dreams have come true with this agreement between Apple and Verizon. I, for one, am extremely pleased as, being an avid Verizon customer myself, I will no longer have to listen to the iPhone lackies touting about how AT&T, which was recently rated as the worst carrier in the country, is “so much better” because they have the iPhone. Well, you AT&T pawns, all I can say is now Verizon is better than you in EVERY way possible.

Source: Engadget

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New Movie Feature for iTunes Allows Script Searching and Scene Sharing

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 04-01-2011

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Apple iTunes StoreIn a somewhat quiet move, movie studios have expanded the feature set of content that is available on the iTunes Store, allowing users to search for specific words from a film’s script or even select a specific clip and share it with others via a social networking site like Facebook or Myspace.

This effort began with Sony Pictures Entertainment who has been testing features embedded in iTunes versions of recent film releases. What this means is that only the iTunes versions of movies allow users to access a search button which gives them the ability to input a word and find out where it was said in the script. Users can also pull up a link to the exact moment in the film that the line was delivered.

These features can be found in a few different Sony movies including “The Other Guys”,  “Salt” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife”. The “clip & share function” allows users to select certain scenes to post on their favorite social networking sites while a playlist of songs from the film offers you the ability to buy those songs through iTunes.

According to a report from PaidContent.org, “Mind-blowing add-ons? No, but they do represent the intent of studios like Sony, which declined comment, to offer differentiating value on digital platforms from that on DVD, where extras are often nothing more than a collection of additional short videos.”

This new content seems to be in response to the unique additional bonus features that are offered from Blu-ray movies to devices connected to the internet. Some Blu-rays feature BD-Live content. BD-Live content gives viewers the ability to access internet-based content that you cannot find on the disc like director chats, games, downloadable featurettes and quizzes.

The new iTunes bonus content is not, however, a simple repackaging of content already available through BD-Live. According to PaidContent.org, these new capabilities found in the movies from Sony are exclusively found on iTunes. This is noteworthy due to the fact that Sony had a hand in spearheading the Blu-ray format and crushing the competition (HD-DVD) with Sony’s integration of the technology into the PlayStation 3.

These new features are also only available to people who purchase the movies via iTunes. This new content helps to differentiate legitimate purchases from rentals, in hopes of giving users more value for the higher price that is associated with purchasing the movie as opposed to renting it.

This move to promote purchases over rentals indicates that Apple’s iTunes has seen a drastic increase in digital rentals. Brian Marshal, an analyst with Gleacher & Company, stated last week that he believes 75% of movie viewings through iTunes are rentals with an average movie selling price of $2.99. This just shows that a mere 25% of users actually decide to purchase films through iTunes.

Apple has also used its new streaming-centric Apple TV, priced at just $99, to push renting of movies and TV shows. The Apple TV went on to sell more than 1 million units in the first three months of availability.

This new feature could do great things for the iTunes Store and Apple’s digital movie outlet. With the ability to get a lot of unique features, this may be just the thing to take some of that 75% of renters over to the 25% of buyers.

Source: Apple Insider

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