If you’re a fan of fine cellular phones, you might be a fan of fine automobiles. Damon Lavrinc over at AutoBlog is reporting that Mercedes Benz’s new A-Class luxury car will sport iPhone 4S Siri integration.
More intriguingly, Mercedes is the first automaker to support and integrate Apple’s Siri voice-recognition technology, allowing users to make appointments, send text messages and emails, get weather status and access all their songs through voice commands.
Of course, the top of the line products are almost always the first to sport integration with cool new technology, but it is only a matter of time until you’re using your stock Kia to make appointments and send emails with your voice. It’s the friggin’ future, you guys!
While Siri may be seen by some as more of a novelty than a vital piece of technology, this is pretty much the perfect use case for voice control. You can’t fiddle with your screen while you’re driving, and Siri really can help you send texts or set reminders while your hands are busy. A match made in heaven.
What do you think about Mercedes Benz’s attempt to woo Apple fans? Are you sold, or is this just a song and dance at this point? Sound off in the comment section so we can hear what all of you think of this story
Source : Auto Blog
Following its launch in the U.S. back in January, CloudOn has finally arrived in the U.K., allowing British users to access Microsoft Office applications on their iPad. The free app lets you view, edit, and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on your tablet, which can then be saved directly to your Dropbox account.
You can also access the documents have already have stored in Dropbox and edit these, too. You must have a Dropbox account to use the service, but it’s completely free.
The app provides you with a “WorkSpace” with Microsoft Office running in the cloud. Here are just a few of its features:
- Use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your iPad to create or edit documents.
- Rename, delete and manage documents with your Dropbox account
- Display, edit or create charts, change formatting, spell check, insert comments, into any Word, Excel or PowerPoint files
- Track changes while reviewing Word documents
- Use pivot tables and insert formulas in Excel workbooks
- Display and edit animation or transitions in PowerPoint presentations
- Present in full PowerPoint mode (not in PDF)
- Open files directly from your iPad email accounts or Dropbox account
- Automatically save documents to avoid losing changes
If you’re a frequent Microsoft Office user, then this is a must-have iPad app. Until Microsoft releases an official iOS version of its Office suite, this is the best alternative on an iOS device.
Courtesy : Cultofmac, cloudon
CloudFTP is a pocket size adapter that can turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server, sharing files with WiFi-enabled devices (iPad, iPhone, computer etc.). It can also automatically connect to the Internet to backup and synchronize your USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
How It Works?
CloudFTP features a powered USB port (just like on the computer) which connects and powers any USB mass storage device (USB hard drives, flash drives, card readers, digital cameras etc.)
Ad-hoc (peer-to-peer) mode
By default, CloudFTP creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless WiFi network to share the connected USB data. Users just need to join this network from their WiFi-enabled devices to access the USB storage device wirelessly by means of a HTML5 web app, dedicated iOS/Android app or FTP client. This network works independently of the Internet and other existing wireless networks
Infrastructure (Internet) mode
Alternatively, CloudFTP can also join an existing (infrastructure) wireless WiFi network to share with devices on the same network. CloudFTP will automatically connect to the Internet (if present) to backup/sync the USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
Features at a glance
- Connects to any USB mass storage compliant device
- 2600mAh li-ion rechargeable battery powers USB port and device up to 5 hours.
- High performance, low power consumption ARM9 microprocessor
- USB data is shared over a secure wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi network
- Creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless network to share and stream media for up to 3 WiFi-enabled device (e.g. iPad, iPhone, computer) at the same time.
- Alternatively, it can join an existing (infrastructure) WiFi network to share files with other devices on the same network.
- Automatically connect to the Internet in infrastructure WiFi mode to backup and sync data with Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, box.net.
If you truly want a unique look for your phone, you have to make your own case, by yourself. That’s where iaPeel comes in.
Using their design software, for Mac or PC, and your inkjet printer, you print a custom graphic on blank, printable vinyl skins, which are themselves made in the USA.
The good news is they include three sets of skins to cover the front and back, plus three practice sheets. There is also a patented guide that makes it foolproof to install the skins.
Inkjet Printable Skins
- Design and Print at Home
- Built-in Alignment System
- No Adhesive Residue
- Scratch Protection
These skins are made using a durable vinyl material with high tech adhesive that leaves no residue. All you need is an inkjet printer to produce your own photo-quality skins. There’s even a built-in alignment system… just pull up the tabs and your device fits right inside. No more problems putting it on straight.
A nice touch is the ability to create a matching wallpaper or lockscreen image so the skin and the screen match nicely! The vinyl skin is easily removed, leaving no residue, however once it is removed do not expect to be able to reuse that skin
These skins are available for majority of devices
Source : iaPeel
There are a couple of solutions on the market that combine simple hardware with an iOS app to take control of your entertainment system, but Peel is probably the coolest and most easy to use solution that we’ve played with. Peel invisibly controls your entire entertainment system — TV, cable box, Blu-ray player, AV receiver, Apple TV, and more — without the extra hassles of plugging stuff into your phone and dealing with network passwords. Normally the Peel system retails for $99
Peel features include:
Universal remote control supports thousands of TVs, Cable & Satellite DVRs, DVD and Blu-ray players, Stereos, Apple TV, and more…
Go from finding your shows to watching them with a single tap
Control your entire entertainment system with simple gestures, right from iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Change channels and volume, navigate menus, and more
Super simple setup with an amazingly clean and smart interface
Personalized TV recommendations
Easily switch between activities
Requires Wi-Fi router with an available ethernet port
One-year limited warranty
Source : CultofMac /Peel.com
This is a quick fix solution for AirPlay without the Apple TV device meaning u can now connect to your TV wirelessly with the help of this device. Ignore the technical part in the post just focus on what it can do
The Raspbery Pi project is a darling little exercise in ingenuity. It looks like a USB thumb drive, but instead of 2GB of flash, it’s a fully functional computer running Debian Linux, featuring a 700 MHz ARM 11 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a USB port, and an Ethernet port… all for just $35. Splendid, splendid geekiness. Hanging this from your car keys, you can literally get connected anywhere. But where’s the Apple angle?
Video link – here
It’s a little hacky in the video above, but as you can see, one of the Raspberry Pi developers was successful in hooking the device up to an HDMI-connected TV, then getting Airplay Video pumping through it via his iPad.
Awesome. This is an AirPlay solution for your television that is $65 cheaper than an Apple TV. The only problem is that while the Raspberry Pi is in production, there’s still no ship date, so if you’re looking to graft AirPlay onto your existing set, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.
Source : Cult of Mac / raspberrypi.org
Apple’s plan to bring iPad textbooks to schools across America and around the world via iBooks 2 and iBooks Author is nothing short of a revolution. It could mean the end of giant, overused dog-eared volumes jammed into bulging backpacks balanced atop the over-burdened backs of America’s youth. It might also mean I’ll never have to explain to my daughter again where the rest of chapter 16 went.
A couple of months ago, my 13-year-old junior high-school-attending daughter was diligently plowing through piles of homework. Part of it involved reading a chapter in her Social Studies text book and then answering questions on a worksheet about what she read. However, when I looked over at my daughter, she had her head of curls in her hands.
“What’s the matter?” I asked her
“I can’t finish my homework,” she said without looking at me.
“Here,” She shoved her textbook at me.
I stared at it uncomprehending.
“What’s wrong with it?” I couldn’t see a problem besides the usual notes and scribbling left by the previous student loaner.
“The…pages…are…missing,” she said slowly as if speaking to a particularly dense child.
I took a closer look and, sure enough, pages 241 to 248 of her textbook had been torn out—and not so neatly. There, close to the binding, were the jagged remnants of a few of the pages.
My daughter was frustrated and stuck. I’m sure you have similar tales.
Of course, today I started imagining how that could never happen with an iPad text book. Apple’s iBook Author-built textbooks are, obviously, 100% digital. Good luck ripping a page out of that.
Tired Old Textbooks
So that’s one obvious benefit, but there is another. My daughter also sometimes struggles with the coursework in textbooks. It’s flat, sometimes boring. And if she’s confused, well, reading and rereading the textbook is not going to help her. I do believe that more interactive features could change things. There are definitely times where her failure to grasp something is from pure lack of interest. So how can we make these things interesting? Interactivity is at least part of the answer.
Apple, in my opinion, did three important things to, perhaps, ensure the viability of this iPad textbook launch program: It built an excellent, powerful, quite easy-to-use app (almost epublishing for dummies). Desktop Publishing is not a new art and some of the construction metaphors I saw go all the way back to QuarkXPress, PageMaker and Microsoft Publisher. Still, it’s smoothly executed and the ability to almost instantly preview on your iPad is a stroke of genius.
Textbooks: The Price Is Wrong
The second thing is pricing. Textbooks are expensive. When I was in college, I spent hundreds of dollars each semester on my own textbooks. I’m sure they’re no less expensive now and similar tomes for K-12 schools must be nearly as expensive — what other excuse could they have for holding onto them for five years or more? In fact, McGraw-Hill’s Algebra 1 (one of the books converted for iBooks 2 textbook program) costs almost $100. A price of $14.99 or less for an iPad text book certainly sounds like a good deal, though I do wonder if Apple will offer volume discounts through its Textbook store. It would make sense since that’s how schools will buy these books, in bulk access codes. If schools believe they can save millions each year on textbook costs, they may run, not walk over to Apple’s iBook 2 text book platform.
The third thing is partnerships. Apple managed to sign up McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: three publishing houses that apparently comprise 90% of the textbook publishing biz in the U.S. These are the guys with the keys to the kingdom. They already publish the board-of-education-certified tomes. Now they’re working with Apple to convert them to interactive iPad textbook form. The obvious concern, though, is whether or not the iPad versions are still certified. Even so, this is a huge hurdle already surmounted before Apple’s iBook Author and iBooks2 with Textbooks is even fully out of the gate.
There are questions — big ones — that Apple and its partners will have to answer before this idea really takes flight.
What if the whole classroom doesn’t have iPads (or is that a prerequisite?). Can one classroom work with both original hardcover and iPad versions of the textbook? Getting schools to update to the iPad and e-textbooks is not like flipping a switch. The iPad version will be more easily distributed and updateable, but boards of education cannot allow their editions to be out of step, can they?
When I asked someone in the education space, she noted that schools that purchased textbooks last year are not going to switch any time soon. In fact they might night be ready to switch for years. They made their investment and have to, as a fiscally responsible board of ed, use them until the books run out of utility (or until enough pages are ripped out).
Apple told me schools can buy the iPad textbooks in bulk, but couldn’t offer details on what happens on the second year. If the district paid for the access codes, then they own the iPad textbooks, right? Does student access expire at the end of the school year and the textbooks disappear from the students’ iPads? This way the school can use the codes again next year. Or perhaps Apple wants the school district to buy new iPad textbooks every year. I’ve asked Apple to clarify this point.
Then there is the cost of the iPad. $499 is a good entry-level price for a computer. Multiplied by 30, times the number of classrooms in an average school (say, 40 at the low end) — that’s a half-million dollars. For school districts, that’s a big chunk of money.
I have a theory, though: I think Apple will introduce a Classroom iPad for $199 before the year is out. Pure speculation? Absolutely. However, considering how serious Apple is about improving the state of education, this makes real sense. I imagine it will be a 1024×768, 9.7-inch screen (while the iPad 3 gets the Retina Display and maybe changes size or shape), with a plastic back and rugged shell that only the school can remove. There will be a single, rear-facing camera, and the tablet will be locked down with access to the iBooks 2 app and pre-loaded textbooks. Safari will come pre-loaded, but it’ll run through Apple’s special proxy education server (yes, I’m making that up, too).There will be no App Store or iTunes account associated with it and schools will manage all of them centrally.
If Apple does this in 2012, you will truly see the dawn of a new age in education. I, for one, am ready for it.
What’s your take? Are you ready to attend your next board of education meeting and tell the administrators it’s time for a new kind of text book in the classroom? Let me know in the comments.
Source : Mashable