Mercedes integrates Apple iphone – Siri will command new Merc A Class

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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


CloudOn Brings Microsoft Office Apps To iPads

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CloudOn Brings Microsoft Office Apps To iPads

CloudOn Brings Microsoft Office Apps To iPads In U.K.

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 – Wirelessly share ANY USB storage with iPad, iPhone

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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.
Source : Kickstarter


Personalise your phone / device – make your own skin, instantly using your home printer

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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

  • 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

Peel’s Amazingly Simple Universal Remote

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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 iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and the Peel app with FREE updates, available on the iTunes App Store
  • Requires Wi-Fi router with an available ethernet port
  • One-year limited warranty

Source : CultofMac /Peel.com



This $35 Computer-On-A-Stick Is All You Need To Bring AirPlay To Any HDTV

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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

This is How Apple Changes Education, Forever

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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.

“Why not?”

“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