iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Amazon Introduces Kindle Fire HD LTE: iPad Gets Another Competitor Sat, 08 Sep 2012 22:43:49 +0000 Read More]]> Kindle FIre HD LTE

Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire late last year, as a response to Apple’s dominance of the tablet computer market. On Thursday, the Seattle, Washington based company moved to introduce the new Kindle Fire HD LTE for the same $499 the iPad sells for.

A 32GB Kindle Fire HD LTE is available for the same price of a 16GB WiFi only iPad. However, the company took it one step further and tacked on a $50/year data plan, far less than Apple’s data plans for the WiFi+LTE iPads. All of Apple’s cellular iPads all carry a $130 premium charge for the 3G and 4G LTE technology built inside.

This may give the iPad some competition, particularly with Amazon’s wise choice to introduce the new device before the holiday season. Amazon also introduced an 8.9 inch WiFi only Kindle Fire HD for $299, a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD for $199 and dropped the price of the current Kindle Fire to $159. Each Kindle Fire HD LTE comes with a data cap of 250MB of data for $50/year, 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 credit to the Amazon app store.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it a point to compare the Kindle Fire HD price points as well as the data plans to Apple’s iPad, noting that the average iPad owner with a data plan would pay over $959 in their first year of ownership. Amazon’s Kindle FIre HD LTE has the potential to make a rift in the tablet market, and is scheduled to arrive right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, on November 20.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 8 Amazon Releases iPad App for ‘Instant Video’ Service Mon, 06 Aug 2012 17:35:26 +0000 Read More]]> Amazon Instant Video iPad

Early Wednesday, Amazon released an iPad app for its Instant Video service, Amazon Prime Instant Video. The service allows subscribers to rent and buy movies and television shows for offline viewing and competes with other major streaming giants such as Netflix. Amazon’s streaming also gives users the option to stream Prime Instant Video titles when connected to the internet.

Currently, other services such as Netflix only allow users to stream on the internet and do not provide an offline option. Now, these services will be available on the iPad, allowing Amazon to not only keep many of the customers they have but lure in new customers with the offerings on Apple’s popular tablet. With content on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video now available on iPad, users can stop streaming on one device, and resume on numerous others such as TV’s, a Mac or PC, and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire.

With Amazon Instant Video, you can:

– Stream thousands of titles available from Prime Instant Video at no additional cost with a Prime membership, or watch over 120,000 videos available from the Amazon Instant Video store
– Download purchased and rented videos from Your Video Library
– Shop over 120,000 videos available from the Amazon Instant Video store by visiting Amazon
– Add videos to your Watchlist from a PC, Mac, or Kindle Fire for later viewing on your iPad
– Subscribe to a TV Season Pass by visiting Amazon and episodes will automatically be available on your iPad the day after they air
– Start watching on your iPad, and resume watching right where you left off on a Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.

With this new service, it seems that Amazon is trying to get a leg up on Netflix and build a similar service but is using its Kindle Fire device to grab market share. Amazon Prime is available for $79 a year and also offers its customers free two day shipping and discounted overnight shipping.

Overall, this comes out to be a much cheaper and more convenient option when considering Netflix’s $7 a month charge which adds up to be more money and does not offer discounts on other products.

Amazon Instant Video is currently free {Direct Link} in the App Store and requires a subscription for log in.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Game Center Meet Amazon’s GameCircle Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:04:48 +0000 Read More]]>

On Wednesday, Amazon announced its own gaming service for game developers called GameCircle. By creating this new experience, Amazon appears to be competing directly with Apple Inc. (AAPL) Game Center, putting scores, competition and social gaming into one service and offering it to developers and users alike.

On the Amazon Mobile App Distribution blog, the company describes what GameCircle is all about, calling it a “new set of services designed to make it easier for you to create more engaging gaming experiences and grow your business on Kindle Fire”.

GameCircle will make achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience.

Although it focuses mainly on developers creating an ecosystem for their apps, the end user features are very similar to Game Center, Apple’s own online multiplayer social gaming network. It allows users to “ track all earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards, and more without leaving the gaming experience”.

Other features include giving users the ability to invite friends, start multiplayer games, track achievements, and compare scores on a leaderboard. With GameCircle, Amazon’s Kindle Fire enters the social gaming market that other companies such as Apple and Google are currently dominating. GameCircle will allow Amazon to offer tailored services to its Kindle Users and with the new SDK can also offer users apps made specifically for their device.

With GameCircle, Amazon is preparing to get a leg up on the competition and make the Kindle Fire one of the more sought after devices in the market. Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 is rumored to be unveiled next summer, and will likely take advantage of GameCircle and the company’s numerous other services.

Apple’s Game Center Video

Amazon GameCircle Video

{Via 9to5Mac}

]]> 2 Amazon Planning Phone to Compete with Apple’s iPhone in Smartphone Market Mon, 09 Jul 2012 17:09:00 +0000 Read More]]> Inc. (AMZN) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) have been competing in the ereader and tablet market for over a year now, since the iPad was introduced. On Friday, a report from Bloomberg mentioned that Amazon is now looking to introduce its own smartphone to take on the iPhone and some of the leading Android devices in the market.

A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of low-priced hardware devices that bolster its strategy of making money from digital books, songs and movies. It would help Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos — who made a foray into tablets with the Kindle Fire — carve out a slice of the market for advanced wireless handsets.

Amazon has one of the most popular ereaders out on the market, the Kindle and is also leading the industry with some of its other products, including its cloud services and tablet computer, the Kindle Fire. The report mentions that Amazon is set to acquire a portfolio of patents that would allow the company to take steps in competing directly with some of the top competitors.

The rumored smartphone would likely borrow certain aspects of the Kindle Fire, including features such as purchasing books, magazines, and newspapers from Amazon’s store as well as using Amazon’s Cloud Drive as external storage. Amazon currently operates services that control a considerable portion of the digital content available online. By introducing a smartphone alongside its tablet and pairing with its online content, Amazon could very well present the iPhone with a serious competitor in the smartphone market.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 5 Amazon Unveils iPad Competitor, Kindle Fire Tablet Wed, 28 Sep 2011 21:21:45 +0000 Read More]]> Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon unveiled its iPad competitor called Kindle Fire today at an event held earlier in the afternoon. The tablet features a 7 inch IPS display, dual-core processor, 14.6 ounces as well as a hub for integrating Amazon Kindle, Prime, Instant Video, MP3, Appstore, and Web Services.

Amazon had been rumored to be working on an iPad killer since the last few months, pointing to a device very similar in terms of offerings to the iPad.

All content purchased and used on the Kindle Fire tablet is automatically backed up to the cloud and uses the Whispersync service allowing books, movies, and TV shows to be synced across multiple devices. Amazon also introduced a new web browser, dubbed the “Amazon Silk”. The pricing of the device severely crippled iPad’s pricing with $199 as opposed to the $499 price tag on a lower end iPad. The Kindle Fire will be available on November 15th, with Pre-Orders of the device starting today.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also took the stage today to introduce three new Kindle devices, aside from the Fire tablet. The Kindle received a redesign, with a new Kindle Touch, as well as a Kindle Touch 3G, taking advantage of 3G networks to access online services. Pricing is as follows: $109 for Kindle, $139 for Kindle Touch, and $189 for Kindle Touch 3G.

Amazon has answered back to the iPad 2’s success in recent months with a slew of devices of their own, including their new tablet. Are you excited about Kindle Fire? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

{via Mac Rumors}

]]> 0 Amazon Launches Web-Based Kindle Reader for Apple’s iPad Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:55:23 +0000 Read More]]> Kindle Cloud Reader iPad

Earlier today, Amazon launched an entirely new service that they had been working on, a web based iPad Kindle Reader called “Kindle Cloud Reader”. This new service allows users to utilize their Chrome or Safari browsers to access their Kindle eBooks. The Cloud Reader also supports the iPad version of Safari and successfully bypasses Apple’s subscription rules for apps.

Amazon can now implement any promotional feature for any book that they wish, without any regards to Apple’s rules, all the while earning 100% of revenue and still drawing on Apple customers. TechCrunch noted that the new feature is already up an running at and that the feature is better than expected.

The iPad version is especially good because the store is fully optimized for the device. And you can easily switch back and forth between the store and your own library. It feels like a native app, but it’s not.

Apple has been receiving a lot of criticism about their new subscription rules, and companies are moving to entirely web based operations in order to sidestep Apple and retain all of their revenue.

Amazon recently complied with Apple’s rules by removing the Kindle Store button from their native application but with the new web-based solution the company work on its own terms without requiring any approval.

Have you used the new cloud-based reader? Do you still prefer the native app? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Getting Ready to Launch New Video Streaming Service (Rumor) Wed, 03 Aug 2011 19:33:11 +0000 Read More]]> AppleTV

The web is abuzz this week about Apple planning a subscription based video streaming service to take on Netflix and Amazon. With that information already put, Jeffries analyst Peter Misek revealed today that Apple has already laid plans and set deals for such a service as well as iTunes Replay.

As part of Apple’s roll-out of cloud video services (and eventually an iTV), we believe Apple has unannounced deals with all/most of the studios/TV networks that are similar to the subscription streaming deal between Amazon and CBS.

On Monday, Apple released an iCloud beta, allowing users to re-download TV Shows and movies as well as stream them directly from the cloud using Apple TV. Redownloading is set to launch through iTunes Replay. Apple already has the groundwork laid out for a service similar to Netflix with the iTunes framework. With rumors swirling that Apple is planning to release an HDTV , and that they have already worked out deals, it is almost likely that Apple is planning something big.

Apple has not revealed any products or services as of yet but will likely do so in the sense that the market had yet to be dominated. Apple’s iTunes is popular enough to attract its existing customer base.

Would you subscribe to a video streaming service from Apple? Sound off in the comments below!

]]> 0 Amazon’s Tablet to Compete With Apple’s iPad 2? Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:49:37 +0000 Read More]]> Earlier today DigiTimes reported that Amazon is getting ready to introduce it’s own tablet device to compete with Apple’s iPad 2. When it comes to media integration, Amazon already has relationships with the large music labels.

The report anticipates that Amazon is going to introduce and begin shipping the device well before the holiday season in order to infiltrate the market. Amazon is expected to ship about 700,000-800,000 units per month with a goal of selling four million units before the end of the year.

The timing of launch is to meet the peak sales period prior to Thanksgiving in the US and the year-end holidays in the US and Europe, the sources pointed out.

Amazon adopts processors developed by Texas Instruments, with Taiwan-based Wintek to supply touch panels, ILI Technology to supply LCD driver ICs and Quanta Computer responsible for assembly, the sources indicated.

The report heavily emphasizes Amazon’s integrated streaming movie services and it’s recently introduced Cloud Player which will possibly make an appearance in the tablet as well. Many companies, including HP are attempting to lead the market with their tablets and their own cloud service offerings. HP is expected to introduce it’s TouchPad tablet and possibly a Cloud service similar to Apple which will allow syncing across devices.

Amazon is among those looking to knock down the iPad as the leading tablet device in the market. It is unclear when Amazon is looking to introduce it’s tablet, however, August / September time frame is very likely.

If Amazon introduced a tablet, would you buy? Do you currently use Amazon’s Cloud Player? Do you think this could pose a threat to the iPad?

{via MacRumors}

]]> 1 Apple Patent Reveals iCloud User Interface with ‘Partial Song Syncing’ Thu, 19 May 2011 17:22:39 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iCloud patent

A new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office could reveal the user interface for Apple’s upcoming iCloud service, in addition to a feature for “partial song syncing.” Entitled “Local Storage of a Portion of Streamed Media Items,” the application depicts an iTunes-like user interface and describes a feature that would store a sample of each of your songs locally on your device to ensure you get a seamless iCloud experience.

The idea behind a cloud-based music service is that you store your songs in a ‘digital locker’ online to save precious storage space on your device, and then access them from internet-connected devices such as the iPhone or iPad. So, surely storing previews of all of your songs locally defeats the object? Well, it does a little bit, but it will take up significantly less space than storing complete tracks and will ensure you get the smoothest possible experience.

The idea is that by storing a sample of each song on your device, when you skip between songs your device will begin by playing the preview while the rest of the song buffers in the background. This means that if you change the track and iCloud isn’t expecting it, you won’t have to wait a few seconds in between tracks for each song to load.

It’s a simple idea that I’m sure will make a huge difference to our user experience, and will be one the little details that makes iCloud better than its rivals from Amazon and Google.

Apple’s patent application describes the problem with these rival services:

When the electronic device is unaware of the next media item to play back, the electronic device can require undesired pauses between media items. Similarly, when a user skips to a different media item for playback, the electronic device can require a long pause during which no media item is played back as the new media item is streamed to the device.

I think you’ll agree that this sounds like another one of Apple’s simple but fantastic ideas. The only thing that I think does need work is that user interface. I know that it’s only a black & white patent image, but it looks like it needs a bit of work.

[via AppleInsider] ]]> 1 Amazon Withdraws Apple’s MobileMe as iCloud Launch Approaches Fri, 13 May 2011 18:33:45 +0000 Read More]]> MobileMe Withdrawn As iCloud Launch Approaches

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2011) is set for June, and as well as announcements for iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion, we’re expecting the company to launch its cloud-based music streaming service dubbed iCloud. Further evidence to suggest that this service is looming comes from Amazon today, who has now ceased sales of Apple’s MobileMe service. Usually Apple launches next gen iPhone during WWDC however, it is widely believed that this year we might see iPhone 5 launch in September.

iCloud is expected to be a part of MobileMe, which currently offers a cloud service for email, contacts, calendars, and online storage. Apple stopped selling MobileMe in its retail stores back in February and removed the product from its online search forms, sparking rumors that the service would be revamped and new features – such as iCloud – would be available when it relaunches. It also stopped users from signing up online, instead offering them a 60 day free trial, which could be to keep customers sweet while Apple makes the changes.

iCloud is expected to offer subscribers with a cloud-based ‘music locker’ that will allow them to store their music collection online and stream it from internet-connected devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This means we can have instant access to every single track in our music libraries without taking up a single megabyte of storage on our iOS devices.

Amazon and Google have both launched online music services of their own in the run up to Apple’s iCloud launch, however, we’re expecting iCloud to be a little different. Apple is rumored to be in talks with the major record labels, which suggests its cloud service will give users the opportunity to stream and purchase music they don’t already own. Whereas Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google’s Music Beta only provide you with the ability to upload your own music and listen to the collection you already own.

]]> 7 Google Launches ‘Music Beta by Google’ — Apple Shouldn’t Worry Tue, 10 May 2011 17:21:01 +0000 Read More]]> Google logo

Google is holding its annual I/O event later on today, but the company has already released information on the products it is set to announce. One of which is called ‘Music Beta by Google’ — a service that provides users with online, cloud-based storage for up to 20,000 songs — and looks set to rival Apple’s upcoming iCloud.

Google doesn’t yet have deals in place with any of the major record labels, so the ability to purchase and download music through the service is currently non-existent, however, you can use the service store their your own music for access from internet-connected devices, such as tablets and smart phones. The idea is that you store media content in the cloud and stream it to your device when you want it, rather than storing it on your device and taking up precious storage space.

Google’s launch of this service comes shortly after Amazon announced a music storage service of its own. While both companies have launched their services way in advance of Apple’s iCloud launch, will either of them have any advantage?

Well, no — certainly not with iOS users anyway. Firstly, neither Google’s nor Amazon’s services will be designed specifically with iOS in mind. Whereas it goes without saying that Apple’s service (when it finally launches) will be perfected for the iOS platform. Sure, Amazon’s Cloud Player now supports iOS devices, but it’s not a perfect user experience. We’re yet to see how Google’s services works, but it’s sure to be designed to work perfectly with Android powered devices — not those running iOS.

Secondly, neither Cloud Player or Music Beta by Google currently have any arrangements with the major music labels. You can only use these services to access music you already own — that you’ve uploaded yourself. We already know that Apple is currently in talks with record labels, so we know that with iCloud we’ll at least be able to access music that we don’t already own. Whether that will be with a subscription-based streaming service, or just through individual track purchases, we’re yet to find out.

While Amazon and Google may currently be when it comes to cloud-based music services, I don’t think either service will tempt iOS users away from Apple’s iCloud.

iCloud is expected to launch at WWDC 2011 conference in June.

]]> 0 Amazon Launches Online Music Locker Ahead of Apple Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:00:38 +0000 Amazon Music Locker

Apple has been rumored to be working on an online music locker of softs for some time now, but Amazon has beaten them to the punch after releasing its own online music storage service.

Comprising 5GB of free online storage, the service can actually be used to house any file type ala Dropbox. The magic happens though when users stream their online music to Android devices or other machines using a web browser. Users with larger libraries can purchase addition storage, though if they buy their songs via Amazon’s own music store then they won’t need to – tracks from Amazon get added to the locker without taking up storage space.

The delay in Apple’s online music storage service (and Google for that matter) has been put down to the music industry’s reluctance to sign a deal allowing the whole streaming thing to happen. Amazon clearly decided they didn’t care what the industry thought, and ploughed ahead anyway. Unsurprisingly Sony isn’t happy.

We are disappointed that Amazon decided to launch this service without licensing,

We’re fairly sure the word ‘disappointed’ wasn’t the one being banded around Sony HQ when the Amazon news landed!

The Amazon development could actually be a good thing for Google and Apple. Now the waters have already been tested the two tech giants could either sit back and wait for the fallout, or decide to close ranks with Amazon and join the fight by releasing their competing services. Would the record labels really want to take on Amazon, Google and Apple when at least two of those companies account for a huge number of online music sales already?

Common sense says not, but this is the music industry after all!

{via ComputerWorld}

]]> 1 Publishers Initial Response to Apple’s App Store Subscriptions Packages… Muted. Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:01:43 +0000 Read More]]> Depending on which side of a magical divide you fall, you will apparently either love or hate Apple’s new subscription packages. The general consensus is that if you like the deal then you are either drinking Apple’s Cool Aid, or taking the view of a long disparaged, and abused consumer. However, if you don’t like the deal you are most likely someone who is involved in large scale publishing which goes through the Apple ecosystem, or simply hate Apple’s “Walled Garden” approach to media sales.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter what we think. Even if we think that being able to opt out of giving our personal data to publishers, or that being able to easily manage all our subscriptions in one payment system, are great ideas. Because what matters is what the publishers think.

So far the battle lines seem to be pretty well drawn as far as Amazon, and Rhapsody (the music streaming service) are concerned. Apple is muscling in on 30% of their cash flow – and they don’t like it. Amazon has met Apple’s announcement, an announcement which would require it to route purchases from its iOS apps via Apple’s iTunes, with a stony silence. And Rhapsody have basically said that they don’t have 30% of their revenue to spare – and went so far as to say they would consider a legal rebuff to Apple’s new contract terms. Reading their financial data this week I actually believe them.

Of all the people who could have a problem with Apple’s plans, those are probably the only two who have a point. They provide all their content directly to consumers, for which they foot the shipping, or bandwidth, and they already pay royalties to content creators; writers, musicians, software companions etc. So another 30% to Apple for simply providing two already high profile businesses with a payment solution seems opportunistic from Apple. On the other hand, for smaller publishers looking for a leg up the 30 / 70 split with Apple is actually a great deal. And for consumers Apple’s price promise means an even shopping playing-field for all.

Other than that, the usual print magazines which only days ago were waxing lyrical about Apple’s iPad, have declined to herald the era of Apple’s Digital Print revolution, with digital subscriptions through the App Store. In fact they’ve barely reported on it.

Most likely all these publishers are more concerned about losing control over our personal data. And any complaints over revenue share could easily be swept aside – or used as a whipping post to drive other demands they’d rather not fight over in public. Advertising crazy Conde-Naste who pepper their web pages with so many garish adverts that even my work Mac is brought to its knees by the explosion of Flash in my browser when I visit their site, and who also brought a version of their Wired magazine to the iPad near launch, were decidedly unenthusiastic about Apple’s new deal. Unsurprisingly so.

At launch yesterday Apple had no new partners to announce with the arrival of Subscription Digital Content. Unusual for them, especially as they have reportedly been negotiating with publishers for two years. And Apple’s only partner currently in this new media adventure is Rupert Murdoch’s “The Daily”. Information on how well the Daily is going has not been forthcoming, and the free period for the digital newspaper has been extend in recent days.

So is it a bust Apple’s new Subscription Publishing model? Probably not. This period now reminds me a little bit of the initial stages of iTunes. And I am sure Apple is playing the long game. “The Daily” may well fall by the way side. But 100s of millions of tablet computers out there in the wild next year are too bigger catch for publishers, advertiser and salesmen to resist.

The publishers are simply biding their time, and hoping to give away less to Apple moving forward. It will be interesting to see who blinks first. But with Rupert Murdoch’s “The Daily” looking like a bust right now, it might be Apple who blinks first – this time.

Do you think Apple will do the same with digital print that it has done with iTunes? Or is this one going to be a tougher nut to crack for Apple? Have your say in the comments…

]]> 0 Kindle iOS App Gets an Update, Now Features Page Numbers Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:30:19 +0000 Amazon’s iOS Kindle app finally has parity with the Kindle hardware after its recent update, thanks to the new addition of real page numbers as reported by MacStories.

Up until now a rather confusing indexing system has been used to show where a reader is in a book, but now the familiar page numbers should help those of us who come from a life with the good old paper variety.

Updated to version 2.6, the new Kindle app also has support for Google and Wikipedia lookup as well as a reading progress indicator for both iPad and iOS. A new reading percentage is also available but only on the iPhone.

If you don’t already have the Kindle app installed (and why wouldn’t you!?) be sure to head on over and get it.

The Kindle app is free and is a universal app.

]]> 1 Did Apple’s iPad Help Amazon Sell More Kindle eBooks? Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:55:42 +0000 Read More]]> About six and a half months ago (January 27th, 2010 to be specific), most technology bloggers and analysts chose the casket for the Kindle. The iPad was going to kill the Kindle device and distribution model. iBooks was going to take over as the de-facto eBook marketplace just like iTunes became the world’s biggest music store. Amazon looked like it was going to be another victim on the road to Apple dominance.

Jump back to the present and it seems that the early demise of the Kindle product line is not going to be so fast or simple. Amazon today announced that their eBook sales are outpacing regular hardcover book sales. For the last three months, Amazon sold 148 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. Further, last month, Amazon sold 180 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. These numbers defied all expectations. So what happened?

No one can say for sure what happened since Amazon does not release any data about where the majority of the sales were made and which device is used more extensively, but there were several factors that definitely helped. Aside from the hardware differences between the iPad and the Kindle devices (weight, display type, comfort in holding, etc…), Amazon dropped the price down on the Kindle devices. At $189 for the 6” Kindle and $389 for the 9.7” Kindle, these devices are priced much lower than when they were released and the math works much better. Avid readers who read multiple books each month realize the savings alone in the cost of the book. A reader reading 20 books a year will pay for the device in the cost saving when compared to purchasing hardcover books.

But the most interesting theory behind these numbers is that one of the reasons for the increase was the release of the iPad. On the same day of the release, Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPad was also released. Further, Amazon started a marketing campaign targeting iPad users. The purpose was to convert users from using iBooks to using the Kindle App. It looks like they succeeded. There is no doubt that the iPad as a hardware device is a great device and many people do not care about the display type when reading is involved. Amazon succeeded in doing something that many companies have failed. They turned the iPad into “their” device. They created a platform and delivery mechanism that worked the same across not just one device (the iPhone version of iBooks only became available recently) and allowed the user to switch between devices effortlessly with features such as location synchronization.

Jefferies analyst Youseff Squali’s analysis of the Kindle circulation estimates further supports this theory. Squali wrote:

We believe that Kindle’s e-book sales are benefiting from the launch of the iPad, since the Kindle e-book store offers a broad (and probably the richest) selection, with over 630K titles, which iPad owners can easily chose from. Our current estimates for 2H10/FY11 could also prove conservative as we assume only 10% Y/Y growth in Kindle device sales with no contribution to e-book sales from the iPad. A more probable scenario, based on a higher unit sales of Kindle and e-books, yields an additional ~$100M and $200M upside to our revenue estimates for FY10 and FY11.

Essentially, Squali deduces that due to a small growth in Kindle device sales, it is clear that the growth in eBook sales is due to other devices and specifically the iPad.

All of this leads to a very interesting question regarding who will be crowned king of the eBooks platform. Unlike iTunes, Apple does not have a first-to-market advantage when it comes to eBooks and has made some execution mistakes with iBooks. Barnes and Nobles is also making a move for this market and have released their own eBook reader application for the iPad. It is clear that Amazon is the current king but no one knows how long that will last for.

Which device do you use for eBooks? Are you an iPad reader using the Kindle App or the iBooks App? Which do you like better? Let us know your thoughts.

]]> 6 Apple Issues Statement on July 4th iTunes “Hack” Tue, 06 Jul 2010 18:47:12 +0000 Read More]]> Over the July 4th weekend news of a “Massive” iTunes App Store hack was circulated around the web. We were advised to lock down our credit cards, change our passwords and to generally panic!

What seemed to be happening was that some hacked individuals iTunes accounts, that have been readily available on the Chinese Black Market for some time, were being used to game App Store metrics and push a certain developer’s apps up to the top of the App Store rankings. Thus generating sales for them.

The apps themselves were mostly copyright infringing copies of Japanese Manga that the developer had duplicated and was selling under his own name. Apple were fairly quick to react when developers used to occupying those rankings on the App Store were bumped down by an influx of these fairly dodgy looking Vietnamese apps. Upon investigation the website for the developer was shown to not even be real.

Phil Schiller got involved over the weekend and contacted these, and other concerned developers to tell them that Apple were looking into it. The errant developer was fairly quickly removed from the App Store, along with all of his apps.

And today Apple issued this statement on the issue…

The developer Thuat Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns.

Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.

If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about cancelling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorised transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit

When you consider just how many iTunes accounts there are, and how many probably have passwords with people’s pet’s names, or their favourite food – despite users always being advised to use more secure passwords – it is hardly surprising that accounts get hacked from time to time. As long as you are using a decent password for your iTunes account, and only connect via Apple’s site, or iTunes then you should be OK.

If you are concerned about your account or credit card being on file with Apple, then perhaps consider using a card with a lower limit, or taking your card off when you are not using the account. Or perhaps use PayPal as a payment option.

At the end of the day this was not a massive hack on the iTunes store, and you are no more likely to be exposed through iTunes to this kind of thing than you are when using your credit card in a real store or on any other web site like Amazon for example. As long as you use sensible passwords, and practice fairly common sense protocols when shopping online!

The point is that this is not an “Apple Issue”, it’s an internet issue, but with Apple being so high profile at the moment people love to jump on these stories and blow them out of all proportion.

Personally I think Apple reacted very quickly to this problem, and seem to have cleared the whole thing up quite satisfactorily.

Are you worried about the security of iTunes? Have you had your account hacked? Let us know in the comments…

]]> 2 Amazon worried about Apple’s iPad? Fri, 23 Apr 2010 18:27:10 +0000 Read More]]> Some say that Amazon is worried about the iPad.

Amazon was always going to face competition from other e-Book readers. But they perhaps didn’t expect the paradigm shift that has potentially come with the iPad and Apple’s iBook Store.

Even so, Amazon has just posted earning results which were higher than Wall Street expected. They did, however, follow them up with far more conservative estimates for future earnings for the next quarter. Shares in Amazon fell 6% in after-hours trading. Not a huge surprise there. The markets are fickle and tend to react to future earnings rather than current earnings.

What is interesting to note is that now that Amazon seems to be on the back foot and few industry blogs are starting to rally round their position, and gently taint their commentary with warnings of Apple’s impending dominance. Referring to the control the media savvy tech giant currently wields over the music retail business.

And yet it was only a couple of months ago that Amazon was locked in battles with publishers over royalty terms that those publishers found unacceptable. And some of those same blogs were cleating about how “evil” Amazon were being!

What we need to remember is that Apple re-invented the music business. In many ways rescuing a crippled industry from its own bad management and lack of foresight. And now they seem to have opened up the publishing industry further than Amazon were willing to, and given “new media” a brighter future. Hardly bad things.

Apple, keen to get a foothold in the eBook market has offered more favourable terms to publishers and small authors. Whilst Amazon was busy trying to lock people and companies into its system prior to the iPad hitting. They have obviously been slightly nervous for some time. But do they really need to be?

Amazon have traditionally exceeded the expectations of their shareholders, and don’t seem to be in such bad position really. They have apparently just inked a deal with Target to physically stock the Kindle in their stores. Target will sell the Kindle at the same price as Amazon retails them online. Amazon will be taking a cut in profits on its hardware by selling that way, and kind of contradicting its own corporate strategy of being an online retailer. Consumers will potentially be able to compare the iPad and the Kindle in the real world side by side before buying too.

Overall, Amazon seem to have a good spread of strategies, and healthy market penetration, that should enable them and Apple to keep each other honest, and in the end benefit the consumer.

What we must also remember is that Amazon can still sell its eBooks onto many platforms, including the iPad and the iPhone with its Kindle apps.

All in all it doesn’t seem Amazon have much to worry about, even if the Kindle slowly dies as a platform. Although they are predicting 7 million Kindles will have been sold by the end of the year. Not a small number if it pans out that way. And some say that many avid eBook readers still prefer the easier to read image on the kindles e-ink display to that of the iPad.

For techies the iPad is a much better deal. You can have your cake and read your eBook. But not all readers are looking for a tech bargain, many are more familiar with the Amazon brand, and prefer the more “ink-like” display of the Kindle.

Do you think the Kindle will die? Is Amazon in trouble? Has Apple actually made the eBook market a better place for consumers? Let us know in the comments

]]> 1 Shop Smart With Barcode Reader For iPhone 3GS Wed, 13 Jan 2010 15:39:29 +0000 Read More]]> If you own iPhone 3GS and love shopping then Barcode Reader will prove to be a great utility and it might just help you get some great deals on products.

Barcode Reader is the latest app from SHAPE Services which allows you to compare prices, find details about the product you are searching by simply taking a photo of any printed barcode. The app will also show you the lowest possible prices from various online retailers.

The app supports UPC, EAN-13 and EAN-8 barcodes and features in-built web browser which enables you to search more information about the product you are interested in.

Barcode Reader is a free app (iTunes Store) and the developers claim that the app is the most accurate free barcode scanner with Ebay, Amazon and Google product search.

Note: If you are using iPhone 2G or 3G, you may need additional gadgets to improve photo quality, such as Griffin Clarifi

]]> 1 App Review: Next Read Wed, 04 Mar 2009 01:44:04 +0000 Read More]]> next-readReview

Next Read is a virtual book shelf on your iPhone/iPod touch which not only keeps a track of books you like but also keeps a track of books suggested to you by other sources!

• Fast Amazon based search lets you quickly search for books.
• Weighted scoring system lets you rank books by the value of suggestions.
• Recommendation sources are completely customizable, allowing you to tailor your own scoring system.
• Share lists with other Next Read users over WiFi or anyone else by sending them a list via email.
• Shake Search makes it easier to find books you might be interested in.
• Quick Add allows you to enter a book quickly right when you hear about it. The details can be refreshed later.
• Take notes on each book in your list.
• Browse Listmania lists that contain books in your lists.
• Clean, simple layout lets you get the facts fast.

Next Read certainly compliments an avid reader’s Lifestyle by offering great ways to never loose a track of any book you wanted to read. Next Read offers a very intuitive interface to add books to your wish list by either searching through Amazon (allows you to buy books too) or adding them manually with Quick Add option (requires Title and Author or ISBN Number) and take notes.

Next Read adds an interesting feature to assign score to source (Family, friend or Book Store) of the books, this scoring system is completely customizable. The scoring feature could prove to be helpful in prioritizing your next book. When you tap on a book you could either raise the score or reduce the score to zero to delete it. Once you have a list you can easily share it with friends over Wi-fi. The books can be sorted according to its score, source, author, or genre.

If you find yourself writing book titles at random places and wished being more organized Next Read is your answer!

Price $2.99

The Good

The Not So Good

Promo Code

If you would like to get Next Read leave a comment below telling us why you like it. It’s that simple!

]]> 0