April 5, 2010
Posted: 12:27 PM ET
Apple CEO Steve Jobs stopped by the company's Palo Alto, California, store on Saturday as people lined up to buy Apple's new lust-device, the iPad.
The Apple guru, wearing jeans and a black hoodie, sneaks out of the store unmolested in this video, shot by CNN affiliate KTVU. Jobs is said to live nearby.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Jobs sauntered into the store about noon and spent about a half-hour inside, chatting with shoppers who appeared stunned to see him.
During his visit, Jobs gave a brief demo of the iPad to a young customer, according to this report.
Jobs, who is a cult hero among Apple fans, has called the iPad "magical" and "revolutionary."
Posted: 10:30 AM ET
After months of hype, dozens of reviews, plenty of television promos and an Easter weekend appearance at an Apple store by the high priest of gadgetry himself, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the company's long-awaited iPad is finally in the hands of consumers.
So how did they like it? Is the iPad a runaway early success? Here are a few ways to measure:
Have you gotten your hands on an iPad? If so, let us know what you think of it, either by posting a comment below or by submitting a video to this CNN iReport assignment. (You can find other consumer reviews there, too).
Also, if you still have questions about what the iPad is and what exactly it does (don't worry, some people in line to buy the device still were unsure of what it was), here are two guides to understanding the iPad, and picking the right one.
April 2, 2010
Posted: 01:42 PM ET
So what exactly can you do with the new Apple iPad?
That question will likely be best answered by what apps - or mobile applications - become available for the touch-screen device.
Ahead of the iPad's Saturday release, Apple decided on Thursday to put more than 2,500 iPad apps up for sale on its App Store, giving techies a first glimpse at an answer to that all-important question.
Reviewers who already have the iPad are weighing in. Note that these apps are generally pricier than those for the iPhone or iPad Touch. The big difference? iPad apps are bigger, allowing for fancier designs.
Here are a few iPad apps that caught our eye:
Check out the Apple App Store through iTunes to see a full list of the iPad apps available now, with prices and screenshots. With the exception of the iWork apps, we haven't tried these programs yet, but we'll report back as soon as we get our hands on an iPad.
April 1, 2010
Posted: 01:13 PM ET
In case you've been sleeping under a rock with your iPhone turned off, there's some big tech news coming up on Saturday: Apple's iPad goes on sale. And the pundits are already chiming in.
Here's a point-by-point about this new "slate" computer, which is like a touch-screen laptop without a keyboard, or, as The New York Times writes, "basically a gigantic iPod Touch."
Anything else you want to know about the forthcoming pleasure device known as the iPad? Let us know and we'll do our best to find you answers. Also, if you pick up an iPad on Saturday, let us know what you think at this CNN iReport assignment.
March 16, 2010
Posted: 01:42 PM ET
If you plan to pick up an Apple iPad the day it's released, it looks like you'll have to put up with typing on its touch-screen keyboard for at least a month.
According to Apple's product Web site, the iPad keyboard accessory - which lets people peck away on a tactile keyboard instead of on a full-size touch-screen - will not be available for purchase until May. The Wi-Fi-connected version of the much-anticipated iPad, which is essentially a laptop computer with a touch-sensitive screen and no keyboard, is available for pre-order now and will ship to the public on April 3. (Thanks to AppleInsider and Electronista for picking up on this first). The iPad does have a Bluetooth connection, leaving open the possibility that you could connect another type of wireless keyboard to the iPad.
As I pointed out in January, the iPad's full-size, touch-screen keyboard feels a bit goofy at first. I don't look at my hands when I type, and on the iPad there's no way to make sure your fingers are tapping the right keys without looking down to check. The whole screen is glass, so you can't feel the difference. Other people apparently feel the same way about touch screens. An industry analyst who sat next to me at the iPad unveiling in San Francisco literally screamed with joy when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the company would sell keyboards with the iPad.
It still appears they will. You just might have to wait a bit.
What do you think? Will not having a keyboard at launch hurt iPad sales? Will it make a difference in your decision about whether or not to buy the device that Apple has called "magical and revolutionary?"
March 8, 2010
Posted: 12:21 PM ET
The Oscars made history Sunday night - it was the first time a woman won Best Director, and the first time an ad for Apple’s upcoming iPad aired on TV.
The ad, which aired several times during the awards show, follows the same simple formula as Apple's iPhone commercials by featuring unidentified users navigating the iPad with catchy music - “There Goes My Love” by The Blue Van - in the background.
Among the iPad functions highlighted by Apple in the ad: Displaying newspaper articles and e-books, playing movies, showing maps and pictures and typing on the iPad’s touch-screen keyboard.
After the commercial's debut, the iPad became a trending topic on Twitter and on blogs.
The new ad wasn’t Apple's only presence at the 82nd-annual Academy Awards. Steve Jobs was spotted on the red carpet - in a tux, not his usual black turtleneck. The Apple CEO, who presumably was there supporting Disney/Pixar's “Up,” is a shareholder and member of the Walt Disney Company’s Board of Directors.
The iPad will be available in the United States April 3. Customers can begin pre-ordering the device March 12.
What do you think about the iPad ad?
March 5, 2010
Posted: 12:26 PM ET
Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that Sony is planning on making a challenger to Apple’s iPad that will have all the capabilities of a netbook, a Sony Reader and a PSP, the company's handheld gaming device.
At a Sony news conference in Tokyo, Sony’s CFO Nobuyuki Oneda didn’t provide any details but expressed the company’s desire to compete against Apple’s newest gadget, due in stores next month.
"That is a market we are also very interested in. We are confident we have the skills to create a [great] product," said Oneda. "Time-wise, we are a little behind the iPad but it's a space we would like to be an active player in.”
The WSJ also reported Sony is making a new smartphone - containing Sony Ericsson mobile technology and capable of playing PSP games - to compete against the iPhone. Both devices are expected to work with Sony Online Services, an online store due to launch in March and sell music, movies, books, and other downloadable applications for mobile products.
The iPad challenger and the new smartphone are expected to launch sometime in 2010, but no details about specs, price or design have been released.
Sony has tried to get into the phone/gaming gadget arena in the past. A patent was filed in 2006 for a device that looked like a PSP on one side and a smartphone on the other, but such a device has never hit the market.
Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in the last three months of 2009. The company announced Friday that the iPad will be available April 3.
March 3, 2010
Posted: 01:42 PM ET
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Google phone manufacturer HTC, claiming many of the company's popular smartphones infringe on patents related to the iPhone.
Apple alleges HTC violates as many as 20 patents, including multi-touch support, screen rotation, and "unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image."
Ars Technica notes, "Apple is seeking treble damages for willful infringement, punitive damages, interest, and attorney's fees in addition to a permanent injunction barring HTC from making, using, importing and selling devices that infringe on Apple's patents."
Apple's press release includes a brief statement from CEO Steve Jobs:
The lawsuit does not specifically name Google as a defendant, but Apple's claims against HTC indirectly attack Google's Android operating system and its new Nexus One handset, which is produced by HTC.
In an email to TechCrunch a Google spokesman supports HTC, "We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it."
Fortune's Philip Elmer DeWitt gathers online reaction to the lawsuit in this post.
The full lawsuit can be read here (pdf).
February 16, 2010
Posted: 12:19 PM ET
Reclusive Apple CEO Steve Jobs will lend his approval, and cooperation, to a book about his life, according to a report in The New York Times.
The authorized biography will be written by Walter Isaacson, former managing editor of Time magazine, says the Times, referencing two unnamed people briefed on the project. "The book, which is in the early planning stages, would cover the entire life of Mr. Jobs, from his youth in the area now known as Silicon Valley through his years at Apple, these people said."
Isaacson is the author of bestselling biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Neither he nor Apple (big surprise) would comment to the Times about the rumors.
"The news will come as no surprise to anyone who has worked with Isaacson," writes Fortune's Philip Elmer DeWitt, who spotted Isaacson in the audience at last month's iPad launch event in San Francisco.
"If there is one thread that runs through his [Isaacson's] long career in journalism and public service, it's his talent for spotting the most influential people in any room and finding a way to get close to them," wrote DeWitt in a post today on Fortune's site.
There's no doubt that Jobs' life story would make a compelling read. From his role in helping to pioneer the personal computer in the late 1970s to his contentious departure from Apple and triumphant 1997 return to his more recent appearances as iconic pitchman for such revolutionary products as the iPod and iPhone, Jobs has had a remarkable career.
Throw in last year's health scare - Jobs had a liver transplant after losing an alarming amount of weight - and his reputation as a brilliant but secretive tech visionary, and you have a larger-than-life character with enough drama for several books.
The question is whether Jobs will allow Isaacson to write candidly about Jobs' demanding managment style and king-sized ego. According to the Times, Jobs has reacted angrily to some of the unauthorized biographies of him that have appeared in recent years and has even directed Apple stores to temporarily stop selling other books from the same publishers.
"Cooperation with Mr. Isaacson could be a sign that Mr. Jobs has emerged from his recent health battles with more of an interest in shaping his legacy," the Times wrote.
What do you think? Will an authorized biography of Steve Jobs shed meaningful new light on a fascinating figure, or will it be a self-serving homage to someone who doesn't need more hype?
February 3, 2010
Posted: 11:15 AM ET
Amazon has given in to publisher pressure and agreed to abandon their $9.99 price point for eBooks.
Publisher Macmillan felt that the $9.99 price devalued many of its bestsellers, which often sell for $30 in hardcover format. In response to the pricing dispute, Amazon briefly removed all Macmillan books from its store last week. However, the boycott lasted only a few days before Amazon gave in to Macmillan's demands.
In a statement Sunday, Amazon defended its position to customers:
Amazon's decision to throw in the towel may be related to Macmillian's recent agreement to sell books in Apple's iBookstore. Amazon has captured an overwhelming share of the eBook market with its Kindle reader, but if the iPad becomes successful publishers may turn to Apple to sell their eBooks.
During a recent News Corp. earnings call, CEO Rupert Murdoch indicated that HarperCollins may follow Macmillan's example. "We don’t like the Amazon model of $9.99," Murdoch told investors, according to a recap in MediaMemo. "We think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books... Apple in its agreement with us, which has not been disclosed in detail, does allow for a variety of slightly higher prices."
Publishers seem more interested in protecting the value of their hardcover books than competing in a digital format. Will higher eBook prices convince you to purchase a physical copy of your next novel, or will accept a modest price increase given that eBooks are typically cheaper?
Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.