Not surprisingly, our focus this week was on the iPad, with links to a podcast with Adam, Tonya, and Andy Ihnatko; an interesting article from Macworld’s Chris Breen suggesting how the iPad will be used in everyday scenarios; and the news that Amazon is looking to add touch capabilities to the Kindle. Plus, AT&T is relaxing its limitations on what can be transferred over 3G, and will be allowing both streaming video and voice-over-IP calls. Finally, Apple has added iPhone apps to the iTunes Preview Web site, a security firm has identified a theoretical vulnerability in the iPhone OS, and it turns out that Macs control the market for $1,000 computers.
Podcast Discussion of the iPad, Amazon, and Ebooks — In this two-part MacNotables podcast, Adam, Tonya, and the inimitable Andy Ihnatko joined host Chuck Joiner to discuss the dust-up between Amazon and Macmillan. They segued from there into a discussion of the Kindle, the ebook market, and the iPad in general. Well worth putting on your iPod for the evening commute.
Apple Enables Web-Based App Store Previews — Apple’s iTunes Preview Web site has enabled Web-based previews of many titles in the App Store, such as Tap Tap Revenge 2.6, linked here. Aside from making it easier for users to check out apps without having to leave their browsers and launch iTunes, Apple undoubtedly wants to encourage Web search engines to link into the App Store. Given that, it’s not surprising that the iTunes Preview site still pushes you to iTunes whenever it gets the chance.
Stay Alert for iPhone Phishing Attacks — Security research group Cryptopath has discovered a vulnerability in the way the iPhone OS handles authentication certificates that could enable potential attackers to gain access to user data. To take advantage of this flaw, an attacker would have to trick users into downloading a malicious file under the guise of a legitimate update. While there are no reports of this security flaw currently being exploited in the wild, be extra careful when opening unverified links or files until an official security update is released.
Slingbox for iPhone Will Work over 3G — AT&T and Sling Media have worked out a deal where SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone will be able to stream content from an individual’s SlingPlayer digital video recorder over a 3G network. AT&T also said it has worked out streaming video guidelines for 3G, which other developers will have access to in the second quarter of 2010. The updated version hasn’t yet been approved and posted by Apple, but it’s unlikely to hit other snags.
Amazon Looking to Add Touch to the Kindle — The New York Times reports that Amazon has purchased the tiny startup Touchco, which was working on a next-generation touch-screen technology that could be used to create full-color touch-screen displays that would be significantly cheaper than current touch screens. Gee, do you think Amazon may be acknowledging that slow E Ink screens aren’t going to be sufficient to compete with the iPad?
Skype Plans VoIP in 3G in Next iPhone Release — Skype said in a blog post (with a brief video interview) that Apple’s iPhone OS 3.2 update, currently available for testing with developers, provides the changes necessary to allow voice-over-IP calls using a 3G connection. Apple had previously not allowed this, but U.S. regulators pressed for a change, which Apple has made. Skype says the new release will come when it is confident of its software’s capability to make high-quality calls.
Chris Breen Ponders the iPad’s Potential — So where does the iPad fit in the world of gizmos and gadgets? Macworld’s Chris Breen shares some thoughts regarding the iPad’s potential uses in every room of your house, as well as when you’re on the road or in the air. His visions suggest that third party accessories will be essential for integrating the iPad into our lives, much more so than the iPhone or the MacBook.
90 Percent of $1,000 Computers Are Macs — Joe Wilcox on Betanews reports on numbers gathered from research firm NPD showing that 9 out of every 10 computers priced at over $1,000 sold in Q4 2009 were Macs. This is evidence of Apple’s success in positioning the Mac as a premium brand, but NPD also points out that most of the growth in the PC market is at the under-$500 price point. With Apple posting record sales and profits quarter after quarter, we don’t see the company worrying about the low end of the market.