Blog Archives

Google Maps for iOS Available

Google Maps iOS ScreensFor all you iPhone users out there who got screwed over by Apple not getting along with Google and building a junkie maps app you can now be happy again Google has released Google Maps for iPhone today! This build includes the fast loading vector-based maps that are smooth and can be rotated just like on Android or the web. There is also turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic, public transit information, and Street View. They also added information about businesses including phone numbers, photos, and reviews.

If you are a developer you can use the Google Maps SDK for iOS and URL scheme so you can use the maps in your apps. It is available in the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch 4th gen running iOS 5.1 or higher and in more than 40 countries and in 29 languages. Check out the video below for a promotion video that shows none of the maps 😀

iPad Mini – Mini Review

Yes the title is kind of strange. But I got to play with an iPad Mini on today’s Field Trip.

I have played with iPads before and didn’t see a reason to go away from the Android systems I like, but lots of people like iOS. As for the iPad Mini its operation seemed smooth and things loaded fast and the screen was nice and crisp. As for the size, I have bigger hands than most but the feel of it was too big to the point that my hand was stretched way out to hold on to the device, making it hard to hold and at that point you may as well get the extra 2 inches. But if you wanted the smaller form this would be good if you are already in the iOS world and have only an iPhone or an old iPad but you wouldn’t want to get this if you have a newer iPad.

One other thing is the flaw of only having that Home button, I opened up the iBooks app to see how a book looked, and while it was nice there is no obvious way to get to all of your books or the table of contents. I tried holding Home but Siri wanted to help me find something, swiped from the edges but only a small bit of something came from the top but wouldn’t pull down, double tapped and even did a long tap and only got page turns. While this is only one app it does point to the fact that if there is no menus on-screen and no buttons what are you supposed to do if you have no other instructions. At least on Android you know that the menu button will get you some kind of menu, but also on Windows 8 I see this as a problem until you know that if you slide from one side a menu opens.

My experience with this app should not say if you are going to get an iPad Mini for the smaller size it should be a good experience, but it isn’t something you would go buy the iPad 4th generation and then need one of these. You would kind of just pick one based on the size you want since all of the same apps work on both devices.

FreedomPop Free 4G Data

FreedomPop is a company using Sprint WiMax 4G service to give users 500MB of free data usage a month. They also plan on updating the service later on to use Sprints 4G LTE network for wider coverage. While you get 500MB of data free they also offer reasonable rates for extra data, such as the “Casual 2GB Data Plan” is $17.99 a month. To get the service you also have to put down a security deposit for the MiFi or USB Stick, and depending on the one you get the price.

After looking at their coverage map it shows that the WiMax is the real problem, it’s only in major cities. For me the closest cities are Salt Lake or Denver that have coverage. If this worked on Sprint’s entire network I would be down for spending the $20.98 for the 2GB and the “Speed Plus” that is said to give a 50% boost in speeds whatever that means. The change to LTE is expected to happen sometime in 2013.

They also have an iPhone and iPod sleeve being made that works like a MiFi but also adds 6 hours of battery life to the iPhone case. With one of these you could turn an iPod into a real mobile device without an expansive contract. Both sleeves are only pre-order right now and will cost $99.

Check out the charts below for more details.

Device Deposit
Freedom Sleeve for iPod Touch $99
Freedom Sleeve for iPhone 4/4S $99
Freedom Spot – Photon $89
Freedom Stick – Bolt $49

The iPhone and iPod sleeves are said to come in a few weeks if you pre-order them.

Name Data per Month Price per Month
Free 500MB 500MB + $0.02 per 1MB after Free
Casual 2GB 2GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $17.99
Premiere 4GB 4GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $28.99

All plans can add FreedomPop Speed Plus for $2.99 per month for “50% faster speeds”.

For now if you have service in your area this could be a nice way to add data to a Tablet, Laptop, or other device if you want some free data that you would use from time to time, but otherwise hold off for a while until they change over to LTE. But it is good to see companies taking some risks in the mobile data field trying to come up with new ways to get people data service, also Sprint should be thought of as they seem to be the one network that is open to other companies trying new things using their equipment.

iPod Nano 7G, Touch 5G, EarPods

Apple updated there iPod line of devices this morning with a new iPod Touch 5th generation, iPod Nano 7th generation, and introduced a new headphone design that is supposed to be better for listing and fitting into your ears. They also put out some numbers like they normally do with these announcements. They have sold over 350 million iPods, 600 million earbuds shipped, and have 150 million players on their Game Center platform. There will also be an update to iTunes in October on both iOS and Desktops.

The 7th generation iPod Nano will have a larger 2.5 inch display that supports multi touch, and is 38% thinner than the Nano 6th generation. The front only has a single home button that is common on most iOS devices. There is also a built in FM tuner that supports a “DVR” functionality. This Nano also has Bluetooth built in for wireless headphones and devise. They claim 30 hours of audio playback on a charge and will come in 7 colors including aluminum, black, purple, green, blue, yellow, and red. It only comes in one size of 16GB, and has the new Lightning connector and EarPods for earphones.

Also the 5th generation iPod Touch was announced with the same 4 inch screen that the iPhone 5 will come out with and weights 88 grams. The A5 dual-core processer is powering the devices with a clammed 7x improvement in graphics performance from the 4th generation iPod Touch. There is a 5 MP 1080p rear camera that supports the new panoramic mode and has an LED Flash, and the front camera is 720p HD and can be used for video chat. One of the other big things they seemed excited about was a wrist strap that they call the iPod Touch Loop, that could be good for if you have a kid or clumsy person using this. For WIFI it has the same WIFI as the iPhone 5 with A/B/G/N on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz with speeds up to 150 Mbps along with Bluetooth 4.0 with LE. It will ship with iOS 6 in a 16 and 32 GB model in 5 colors, aluminum, black, blue, yellow, and red.

Finally they made a big deal that they have updated there old crummy earbuds with new ones called EarPods. These were developed to fit in your ear better and not be uncomfortable even with lots of different shapes of ears. They also made it so the speaker inside points into your ear better too give a better sound. This was the only product that was announced today and is shipping today.

Now for prices and availability of the new products announced.

iPod Nano 7G iPod Touch 5G EarPods
16GB for $149 16GB $199, 32GB $299 For $29
Pre-Order September 14

Available in October

Available in October Available Now
%d bloggers like this: