In the late 1990s, after college, I snapped so many photos that I ended up building a 5-by-6-foot darkroom in the corner of my living room in Brooklyn. There, standing amid long, dark strips of film under the glow of a dim red light, I spent countless hours mixing pungent chemicals and developing and printing photographs.
The chemicals I once used have been replaced by a tiny, white USB connector that allows me to transfer my photos from any digital camera into the iPad in a matter of seconds.
What inspired me to jump from film to digital was immediacy — or impatience, depending on how you look at it. In the old days, I’d have to finish a roll of film, get home, develop it, wait, then wait some more. With digital, you snap a picture and there it is, like magic, on the back of your digital camera. With the iPad as a darkroom, it’s also editable immediately.
Alto is a new web-based email service that syncs up to five email accounts through a highly visual system — and you don’t even need an AOL address to use it. It’s designed to minimize “inbox fatigue”: those seemingly endless email threads, daily deal notifications and newsletter subscriptions most of us have strewn across multiple accounts.
Alto streamlines all of your inboxes into one and sorts messages into a more visual format. Right now, the service can sync as many as five email accounts: Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Gmail, Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) Mail, AOL Mail, and Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) @mac.com and @me.com. AOL executives say they’ll add more platforms eventually.
Users simply log in to Alto with their username and password for one of those supported accounts, and then add as many as they’d like — no AOL (AOL) address is necessary. New users can sign up for an invitation at altomail.com.
“People need a new email address like they need a hole in the head,” David Temkin, AOL’s senior vice president of mail and mobile, told CNNMoney in an interview. “What they need is an email service that addresses the way we use email today.”
To AOL’s product team, that meant focusing on two key points: quick organization, and a stylish, ad-free design that Temkin said was “created with the iPad in mind.”
EVERYONE, they say, has a book in them. That is not to say the world is overflowing with unrequited rivals of J.K. Rowling – for which you might be grateful. But you never know until you try and never has it been easier to create and publish a book, with software packages such as Apple’s iBooks Author. With it you can produce a real book, in digital form, well printed, illustrated and even with videos and audio embedded in the text, save it as a PDF or bung it on the internet for all to admire.
iBooks Author can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and is free, which, given its power, is a bargain. Released in January, it was originally intended by Apple for teachers and students to produce in-house textbooks in schools and universities, and, indeed, thousands have been produced in the past few months.
The application, which runs on a Macintosh but produces books to be read on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches, includes some elegant templates but it’s easy to create your own designs. From then on, it’s almost ridiculously simple to drop in text, images and videos, then publish your masterpiece.
But now one of the world’s great publishing houses is getting with the trend. The Australian arm of publisher HarperCollins has produced what may be the first multi-touch digital book, Cranium Universe, created by their designer Matt Stanton and author Reg Mombassa using iBooks Author.
Mombassa, a poet, writer, musician and, perhaps mostly, an artist, wasn’t always a Mombassa or even a Reg. His mum, Mrs O’Doherty, called him Christopher when he was born in New Zealand but he moved to Australia and became Mombassa when he founded the band Mental As Anything. He kept the name and also won global fame for his now collectable designs for surfwear company Mambo. Author Patrick White was a fan, buying many of Mombassa’s landscapes and portraits.
This follows a series of reports that have been trickling out for months about a 7-inch Nexus tablet being developed with Asus. The tablet is slated to debut at the Google I/O conference that starts Wednesday.
Previous reports have claimed the Nexus device will sport the Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” operating system, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of memory, and IPS in-plane-switching screen — which boasts wide viewing angles.
The $399 iPad 2, by comparison, comes with a dual-core A5 and 512MB of RAM.
The Google tablet is expected, however, to have a 7-inch screen, considerably smaller than the iPad’s 9.7-incher which is also IPS, by the way.
Of course, apps are what matter to many, if not most, people. Though Google claims hundreds of thousands of apps, the iPad has more apps overall and more apps designed specifically for the tablet format, as reviewers are wont to point out.
Other expected Google tablet features include NFC (near field communication), Google Wallet, and Android Beam.
An 8GB model will cost $199, while the 16GB version will still be pretty cheap at $249, according to Gizmodo Australia.
It’s worth noting this isn’t the first highly anticipated $199 Android tablet. The $199 Amazon Kindle Fire was announced last year to great fanfare and a new Kindle Fire could arrive as early as July.
Strange Random Technology Quote:
“Technology has the shelf life of a banana.” – Scott McNealy
- Bloomberg confirms Google announcing $199 Nexus-branded Asus tablet at I/O (theverge.com)
- Google takes on iPad with new £150 tablet (thesun.co.uk)
- Google said to unveil tablet this week, taking aim at Apple’s iPad (macdailynews.com)
- LEAK: This Is Google’s Tablet (GOOG, AMZN, AAPL) (businessinsider.com)
- Details Leak Out on $199 Google Tablet (newser.com)
- Nexus 7: This Is Google’s New Nexus Tablet – Gizmodo Australia (gizmodo.com.au)
- Kindle Fire 2 coming in July, new report says (androidauthority.com)
- Why Google’s New Tablet Could Be The iPad’s First Real Competition (robhof.com)
The plan could be put into action before the end of this year, according to Silicon Valley rumours, and attendees at Apple’s annual developer conference next week are hoping that they will get a sneak peak at the new map app. Replacing Google Maps as the default, preloaded app wouldn’t stop users from downloading and using it on Apple devices, but it could dramatically cut the number of people using Google to look up addresses, search for restaurants and bars or get directions for car journeys.
That could have financial consequences for Google, which sells adverts based on what it knows about user behaviour. It could also shift the balance of power between Google and Apple, which were once close partners but are now engaged in battles across the technological landscape. Google makes phones under the Motorola brand and runs the most popular mobile operating system, Android; Apple has an advertising network serving little ads in the apps on its mobile devices.
To the winner of the maps battle could go the spoils of local advertising and marketing to potential consumers on the go.
Strange Random Map Quote:
“It seemed that the printers of the African maps had a slightly malicious habit of including, in large letters, the names of towns, junctions, and villages which, while most of them did exist in fact, as a group of thatched huts may exist or a water hole, they were usually so inconsequential as completely to escape discovery from the cockpit.” ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night
- Apple and Google set to battle over mobile mapping (slashgear.com)
- WSJ: Apple’s ouster of Google Maps from iOS is coming (tuaw.com)
- Apple to dump Google Maps off iPhone and iPad (macdailynews.com)
- Apple Replacing Google Maps On iOS With Its Own Solution Later This Year (macrumors.com)
- WSJ: Apple to abandon Google Maps on iOS later this year (techie-buzz.com)
- Google Maps to enter ‘next dimension’ at June 6 event (electronista.com)
- Apple Is Going Full Throttle To kill Google Maps : Leaks Screenshot For Apple Maps [Photo] (thetechnologycafe.com)
- Google to hold Google Maps event this coming June 6 (ubergizmo.com)
- Google Hypes ‘Next Dimension’ of Maps Ahead of Apple Event (pcworld.com)