Tag Archives: iPhone

SocialRadar Review: Do We Need Another Location-Based Discovery App?

Two years ago, location-based apps like Highlight and Sonar were going to be the next big thing, according to participants at SXSW. But a funny thing happened during the annual tech conference: no one really used the apps. They drained your battery and weren’t particularly useful.

But are they now?

Michael Chasen, one of the masterminds behind the infamous college technology tool Blackboard, thinks so. He’s founded SocialRadar, a location-based people discovery iPhone app that pulls in your contacts from Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and other social networks to show you who’s nearby. We tried it out to see if it’s improved on the “ambient location” space.

We Tried so HARD to HATE iOS7: Why Everyone Loves it

We tried so hard to hate iOS7, and I mean tried. Pre-launch, we had heard developer complaints, ruminations of irritating changes to basic functionality, and the negative hype was oh so tasty, we couldn’t wait to chomp down. But post-release, we just couldn’t find much of  anything wrong with the upgrade. We asked our friends, our colleagues, IT friends. Instead, we got what you’ll see below. Here’s a list of why the new iOS7 is amazing and our Android-loving writers have even lost their contempt for it.

1. It’s Pretty

One of our readers told us the following: “How I described iOS 7 to a friend: It’s really gay. No, I don’t mean in some derogatory way. In a bright, colorful, rainbow-y way.”

aquamarine-iphone

Leaked iPhone 5C Saves on Style, your Wallet

It’s that time of the year when techies everywhere hold their breath for the next iteration of the iPhone.  But this year is different, because children’s piggy banks could be spared smashing and the rest of us cubicle-ridden geeks overtime to purchase it. According to Sonny Dickson’s green gallery of the leaked iPhone 5C, the overlords at Cupertino may be kind enough to bring a budget iPhone to the masses. The title is presumed as are the following rumors, but stick with us for the exciting rundown.

Will iOS7 Be a Game Changer? Let’s Talk Features

Now that Apple has finally shown iOS7 to the world, there have been very mixed feelings from the media (See here, here and a poll here) about the future of Apple’s latest update to the “world’s most advanced mobile OS”. There have been tons of upgrades and enhancements and the entire OS was redesigned by Jony Ive. The OS is now lighter, faster and smarter.

But there will always be people who disagree with Apple’s update to iOS. After all, iOS isn’t for everyone. No mobile OS is. But with all that we have seen, and we haven’t yet secured developer access to an iOS7 beta, we think it would be pretty hard to say that the latest release of iOS7 is nothing short of amazing.

Smartphone Patent Wars Escalate in Washington

The battle to own the rights to your favorite devices got more complicated today as the White House and the International Trade Commission (ITC) made announcements that could conflict with each other about the role of government in patent lawsuits.

The White House called for a need to prevent frivolous patent lawsuits today by announcing seven executive actions, which can take effect immediately, and five legislative priorities, which are listed online here. White House economic advisors also released a study entitled “Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation” (pdf).

For a quick legal primer, “patent trolls,” are companies that buy a patent specifically to sue companies for infringement and request a settlement to allow the targeted company to avoid expensive litigation. President Obama condemned that practice during a Google hangout video chat in February.

Across town from the White House, the ITC issued an exclusion order against Apple, ruling that it violated a 3G phone technology patent held by South Korea-based Samsung. That could ban the U.S. import of AT&T iPhones including and prior to the iPhone 4S, along with the iPad 2 and previous models of the same device, AllThingsD reports.

Apple announced today that it would appeal the ITC’s ruling at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Obama also has 60 days to decide whether to veto the ITC’s ruling, online here (pdf). The ITC decision might clash with a legislative priority announced by the White House, which would “change the ITC standard for obtaining an injunction … to enhance consistency in the standards applied at the ITC and district courts.”

That potential conflict might lead Obama to veto the exclusion order, according to a Bloomberg West interview with Christopher Carani, a partner at the intellectual property law firm of McAndrews, Held & Malloy (video here).

The U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Patent and Trademark Office have all said monetary charges, not sales bans, should be the preferred punishment for infringement of standard-essential patents, which include the 3G technology patent in the ITC decision, Reuters reports.

Standard-essential patents include pieces as small as a screw or switch, and are the subject of intense government debate because devices cannot be built without such pieces that have become an industry standard.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation advocacy group praised the actions and priorities announced by the White House but claimed some reforms did not go far enough to protect tech companies from abusive infringement lawsuits.

[Image via Flickr user Travlr (CC BY-NC 2.0)]

Facebook offers free calling to U.S. iPhone users

Breaking news comes from Facebook today shortly after their announcement of its Graph Search this week for the social networking website. Facebook will now offer free calling for all U.S.  iPhone users via their iOS Messenger App.

This means if you own any iPhone model, you can call other Facebook users via your Wi-Fi or cellular network while saving minutes on your plan. Data charges do still apply, but it’s another VoIP (voice over internet protocol) workaround at smartphone users’ disposal. The bonus is that it’s linked directly to Facebook, so your contacts with phone numbers listed are right at your fingertips. No word if this applies to Wi-Fi-only iPads and iPod Touch models, but it’s very likely.

Source: The Verge