At least one analyst is predicting that there will be shortages of Apple’s iPad when it launches this month, but it isn’t someone with the best track record when it comes to predictions regarding Apple.

There is no doubt that Apple’s iPad is going to be in high demand when it launches later this month, but Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek is saying there may be some supply chain problems that will keep the inventory low, and possibly delay the device all together.

According to All Things D, Mr. Misek said, “We have…heard that the upcoming iPad launch may be somewhat limited as a manufacturing bottleneck has impacted production of Apple’s newest device.”    The only problem with this information is that it seems Mr. Misek is the only one to have heard this rumor thus far.

The other unfortunate piece of the puzzle is that Mr. Misek is the same analyst who incorrectly predicted that Apple would announce iPhone OS 4.0 and the iPhone being available on Verizon at its January press event.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view and desire to get an iPad this month, this makes us take his latest tidbit of information with a generous helping of salt.

Whatever the case may be, our advice still holds to skipping this first release of the iPad, and waiting for the inevitable second generation.

Categories: Apple, Gadgets, Mobile Computing   
 

sling logoSling Media has finally made its way on to the iPhone and iPod Touch,but with a hefty price and several restrictions.

People have been anxiously awaiting the day they could use their placeshifting SlingBoxes with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and as of today they can download the SlingPlayer Mobile application (iTunes link) from the iTunes store.  Now, before you get excited, there are three caveats for you to consider.

AT&T has said the app can’t be used over its 3G network, but yu can use it over their Wi-Fi hostposts.  They did issue a statement regarding the decision.

Slingbox, which would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network. The application does not run on our 3G wireless network. Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service. We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.

That said, we don’t restrict users from going to a Web site that lets them view videos. But what our terms and conditions prohibit is the transferring, or slinging, of a TV signal to their personal computer or smartphone.

The Slingbox application for the iPhone runs on WiFi. That’s good news for AT&T’s iPhone 3G customers, who get free WiFi access at our 20,000 owned and operated hot spots in the U.S., including Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes & Noble, hotels, and airports. AT&T is the industry leader in WiFi

So there was one hope squashed rather quickly.

The other issue is that the application does not support all models of the SlingBox.  The Classic, AV and Tuner models are all out of luck.  You can do an upgrade program that will give you a $50 discount on changing to a newer model, but it definitely feels like a slap in the face to the earlier adopters of the technology.

And the last problem is the price.  No matter how nice the app may be, it costs $30.  So, you’re paying $30 for an app you can only use around Wi-Fi, thanks, but I think I’ll pass.  It just isn’t an enticing offer to pay that much for an app you can only use at certain times.  Maybe it will change down the road, but for now it’s just handicapped in its abilities.

Categories: Mobile Computing, News   
 

zoho logoIt’s getting to be that your office can go anywhere you go, and all in a device that fits in your hand.

Zoho, a creator of an online office suite, announced today that they are finishing their integration of their applications in to some of today’s most popular mobile phone devices.  While iPhone and Windows Mobile users were already getting to use their favorite online office tools, now owners of some BlackBerry models, Android and Symbian S60 devices will get to do the same.

All you need to do is point your mobile browser to http://mobile.zoho.com/ and you’re go to go with using the following:

  • Zoho Mail
  • Zoho Calendar
  • Zoho Writer
  • Zoho Sheet
  • Zoho Show
  • Zoho Creator

Best of all, it is already available and it is currenty free of charge (no indication if that will change).

You can check out the embedded slide show for more details.

Categories: Mobile Computing, Mobile Phones   
 

dictionary.com logoThe popular online dictionary Dictionary.com, has launched their own iPhone and iPod Touch application that brings an immense amount of information to your gadget.

While there have been previous dictionary applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, almost all of them have cost as much as $24.99.  Well, Dictionary.com has decided to ruin the party for all of those other applications by not only launching their app for free, but it is also amazingly full-featured.  They could have gotten away with just a few thousand words, but instead the app has full definitions for 275,000 entries, and they also included a thesaurus with 80,000 synonyms.  However, the features don’t even stop there.  They also include:

  • Alphabetical indexing
  • Similarly spelled words
  • Spelling and audio pronunciation
  • Example sentences
  • Non-standard uses
  • Word origin and history

All said, it is an amazing app, and made even more so due to the free pricing of it.  The only drawback is the size of the app is a hefty 35.6 MBs and they recommend you only install it when connected via Wi-Fi or your device is connected to your computer (iTunes link) because of the length of time it would take over cellular networks.  From our initial look at the app, it is well worth the time, effort and amount of space it takes up.

dictionary app

Categories: Apple, Mobile Computing, Mobile Phones   
 

appsApplications has been the hot word for awhile now, but how do you know when you finally have enough of them?

While applications have existed for a long time for various computer and mobile phone platforms, they didn’t really get all that much attention until the iPhone added support for third party produced apps.  The iTunes store now has over 20,000 different applications available, and they have been downloaded over 500 million times.  While it is obviously tempting to keep downloading the seemlessly never-ending stream of free applications that come out, you have to finally draw the line somewhere.

Pictured in this post is page 2 of my 5 pages of apps on my iPod Touch.  I am a music junkie, and as you can see, I have 9 apps installed just to feed my music additiction.  Besides this, I’ve got 2 apps for Twitter, 4 apps for weather forecasting, 3 for instant messaging, basically I am pushing the limits of what makes sense to have.  And while these apps are small, each of them is taking up space on my device.  The same goes for my BlackBerry, I downloaded several apps that I don’t think I’ve even looked at a second time after the initial install.

While these not only take up space, they also take up usable memory while your device is running.  Basically, while the apps may be free, you are paying a price in storage and possible lag time in your devices response time by just having too many items running.  Essentially you just need to think before you install, “Do I really need this?  Is this truly going to improve my experience on this device?”  True you can always delete later, but why go through the hassle if you think you might.

Just remember, the more apps, the slower your device may run.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to delete some apps.

Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Mobile Computing   
 

mifiNovatel is looking to release a new gadget that maysolve one of the biggest headache for mobile computing fanatics: Where to find a WiFi hotspot.

Releasing sometime during the first half of 2009, the MiFi is essentially a 3G modem that will bring in the cellular network signal, convert it, and release it back in to the general vicinity as a WiFi signal.  Imagine being on a train, bus or other form of mass transit, and you will be able to get our your laptop or iPod Touch and get right to work.

While the device has no official price yet, they are saying “under $200″, you will of course need to pay some sort of monthly fee for a data plan.  While these vary wildly in price from carrier to carrier, this could easily become an essential piece of equipment for any one that works outside of their office more then they do in it.  No mare hunting for a coffee shop, now you can work on the go, where and when you want.

Categories: Gadgets, Mobile Computing, Wi-Fi   
 

Owners of iPhones just got a nice holiday gift from Amazon: price comparing via their built-in camera.

Adam Ostrow of Mashable alerts us to the news that iPhone owners can now use their cameras to find similar products online via Amazon.  Named Amazon Remembers, all you have to do when you see an item you would like to purchase, be it in a store elsewhere, all you need to do is tap the Remembers icon at the bottom of the Amazon app.  This will activate your camera and allow you to take a picture of the item.  Once done, the image will be uploaded to Amazon where members of the Amazon Mechanical Turk team will try to locate the item for you, or one similar.  All you need to do then is log in to your account from a computer and you will find your image along with the items that Amazon also found for you.

Due to the service being conducted by humans, as that is how Mechnical Turk works, your results won’t happen instantly.  It could still help you to find items that you can’t quite identify, remember items you want and hopefully assist you in finding your desired purchases cheaper.

iPod Touch users unfortunately won’t get the benefit of the Remembers function as they don’t have a camera built-in, but it will still give you easy access to shopping Amazon wherever you happen to be with Wi-Fi.

Not surprisingly, the application is a free download from the iTunes App Store (iTunes link), so it won’t cost you anything to give this new tool a try out.

Categories: Mobile Computing, Shopping   
 

Joost, a struggling video streaming site, may have found their salvation this weekend by adding support for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

Founded by Niklas Zennström of Skype and Janus Friis of KaZaA, Joost has had trouble finding a home in the video streaming marketplace, despite a wealth of well known media properties that are all free for the viewing.  Content varies from music videos to feature length films such as The Fifth Element and Legends of the Fall.  It is hard not to find something on the Joost app (iTunes link) in their over 46,000 videos that will appeal to some taste you have.

While the application does have its positives such as not even having to log in to a Joost account to use it, it does suffer from the fact that it will only work over Wi-Fi.  Many people on the iTunes Store are giving this app low ratings because it will not work over cellular networks for their iPhones.  While this would be nice if it could work that way, it would just be too much of a drain on their bandwidth to be feasible at this time.

I am personally a fan of Joost from when they first launched, and the idea of being able to lay in bed and watch classic Transformers episodes is fine by me.  Some other reviewers on the iTunes Store have called the selection “meh”, and they might have an argument if they actually paid anything for the service, but a free service which offers you complete televsion series, feature length movies for free and music videos, I’m sorry to say, but I have no empathy for your dislike of the selection.

This app is on my iPod Touch to stay.

Categories: Mobile Computing   
 

Google has upgraded their syncing for the BlackBerry with the ability to merge your contacts between your phone and their system.

Up until now, Google Sync merely syncrohnized your calendar between Google and your BlackBerry, but as of the latest revision you can add your contact lists to that feature.  I downloaded it today, and my two lists are now merged on both my device and in my Google account.  The process is extremely easy, and takes only a few moments.

  • Point your phone’s browser to m.google.com/sync
  • Download Google Sync
  • The phone will need to reboot after this has downloaded
  • Open up Sync via your apps, tell it you want to add contacts, and it will then ask you for your login information for Google
  • Once that is done, the Sync will handle the rest, and you just have to be patient for the first sync to happen

I downloaded it on Thursday, and it worked perfectly with only one attempt.  If you don’t feel confident about entering the mobile address, simply visit the Google Sync page, enter your cell number, and they will text the link to you so you can just click on the link and go there directly.

All of this is free, so what are you waiting for?

Categories: Mobile Computing, Mobile Phones   
 

iPhone 3GIf you travel internationally for business, and you have an iPhone, you can expect to be paying quite a bit for the right.

AT&T, the lone carrier of the popular phone in the United States, announced new plans this week for those users who travel internationally.  The new plans run $120 a month for 100 megabytes of international data use or $200 for 200 megabytes. AT&T sees this is a bargain as under the old plans, a 3-minute video on YouTube, approximately 2 mb, would have run a customer $40, so this should seem like a bargain to some. Mind you, these amounts are on top of your normal fees, so this could get quite expensive very quickly.

If you are only traveling for one month, there is another small hitch in that you can not pre-arrange a cut off date for the service, so you have to contact them as soon as you are done traveling so that they will turn off the service and stop charging you for it.  If you forget to inform them, or are a day late (they have said they won’t prorate), then you pay for another month.

This is one of those situations where it shows how lack of competition is a bad thing.  The locked in exclusivity to AT&T through 2010 keeps people such as myself away from it, no matter how much I desire having one of these devices.

Categories: Mobile Computing, Opinion   
 
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