Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

South Korean Schools To Be Digital By 2015

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Even in a country that has some of the fastest broadband services in the world and has established a global reputation for embracing technology, the national drive to replace all printed primary (elementary) education material with digital content is truly ambitious.

By 2015, the entire school-age curriculum will be delivered on an array of computers, smart phones and tablets, and the government is going to spend $2.4 billion buying them.

And given the choice of Apple’s iPad and the local Samsung tablets, it isn’t hard to see who is favorite to land the deal.

Some schools on the peninsula are already using textbooks displayed on notebook computers, but when it comes to choice of tablets, how likely is it that the government will choose the iPad or any other tablet other than those manufactured by South Korean electronics giant Samsung, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab or some larger variant of it?

It is a fascinating experiment, and hugely audacious. But Korea regularly ranks highly in international education comparison. Just last month, Korea came top in an OECD survey testing how 15-year olds use computers and the Internet to learn. (more…)

CES 2011: Five Essential Trends

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

What a difference a year makes. Last year’s CES was remarkable mostly for its complete lack of remarkableness. I have trouble remembering a single product I saw and everyone seemed depressed. The mood at CES 2011 was akin to the vibe in a locker room on game day or backstage at a big performance: Excited, energized and maybe a bit edgy.

I wondered if it was just me who noticed this, so I asked the best judge of the mood in Vegas: a local cab driver.

“The mood is totally different this year. People are upbeat,” my driver told me. He said that he could tell there were a lot more attendees at this year’s CES, and they just seemed happier.

The feeling on the convention floor was the same: electric. Mobile analyst Sascha Segan noted that virtually none of the major products unveiled at this year’s CES had pricing info. I told him that’s actually a good thing. It means vendors are showing us stuff early, taking the risk of unveiling unfinished products, marketing plans and ideas. I love that.

Overall the show was, well, overwhelming, but in a good way. Alongside the finished and polished products were prototype and experiments. Sony devoted an entire area to the future of 3D – most of it did not need glasses and looked very cool. There were wacky designs like the Lady Gaga Polaroid product line and a general sense of fun on the show floor. There we’re also trends.


With 75 tablets introduced at CES 2011, I was right to label this year’s show tabletpalooza. There were lots of Android tablets and the most popular size was 10.1 inches. I have to admit I do not like these somewhat long and thin devices compared to the Apple iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio, but I’m sure I could grow used to it. The tablets look alike and feel alike. They all have multiple cameras, HD or near HD screens, some have slightly rubberized backs, and others more polish. Virtually all are black.

We named the Motorola Xoom the best tablet of the show. It’s the first to show off Android 3.0 (also known as Honeycomb). Unfortunately, the on-the-floor demo was simply a video of the interface. On the other hand, you could walk over to the RIM booth and try the Blackberry Playbook’s zippy QNX interface for yourself. As I’ve said before, I like what I’ve seen of the Playbook, even the 7-inch screen size feels right—and I’m not typically a fan of that form factor.

That said, I get why everyone is so excited about the Xoom. Most manufacturers I talk to that are building Android tablets (which is like everyone) won’t ship until Google releases Honeycomb. That should happen in the spring. Even from the video I can see that the interface has been completely redone for the larger tablet screen. Xoom deserves the nod as the best tablet of the show because of the stunning hardware and incredible promise of Android 3.0, and it’s the tablet I’m most anxious to see later this year.

2.Super Phones

I did not expect to see so many new phones at CES (seriously, what will anyone have left for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month?). The emergence of the Super Phone was not entirely surprising, but I do like the branding. It’s better than calling these really powerful cell phones “Tiny Computers.”

Super Phones, which all look virtually identical, are characterized by their Tegra 2 CPUs, high-resolutino screens, 4G connectivity, and plethora of output ports, including HDMI out so you can play Angry Birds on your HDTV—at full 1080p resolution, no less.

Amidst these handhelds was the fascinating Motorola Atrix. Remember the Redfly, a small, red, super-thin dummy laptop that hooked up to your phone to give it a large screen and keyboard (and nothing else)? Well this is that, but done in a way that makes a lot more sense. You get a very sexy and slim, roughly 13-inch phone charger and super phone dock that also sports its own LED screen, full-sized keyboard, and Webtop App, which acts as sort of a super-light, wrap-around OS. The phone is still powering everything, but you can run a handful of apps, including the Firefox web browser, on the specialized desktop interface, while having large-screen access to every single feature of your tiny comp…er…Atrix Super Phone. You can even run virtualized desktop client apps through it. In other words, you may never need a real desktop or laptop for your office again. People fell in love with this product at the show; I spent some time with it and agree it shows tremendous promise. (more…)

Apple expected to hold event by Valentine’s Day to announce Verizon iPhone

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Apple is expected to hold an event “very soon,” perhaps by Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, 2011, to unveil a new CDMA version of the iPhone compatible with U.S. carrier Verizon’s network.

In a report issued Wednesday evening by Bloomberg Businessweek, the alleged coming debut of the iPhone on Verizon is portrayed as an “enormous problem” for AT&T, the current exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S. While AT&T has had sole access to the iPhone since 2007, problems with its network have caused bad press, including a recent reader poll from Consumer Reports ranking AT&T the worst carrier in America.

“Verizon enjoys a reputation for reliability,” author Peter Burrows wrote. “AT&T is notorious for dropping calls, especially in densely populated places like New York and San Francisco where iPhones are most common and cell towers get loaded.”

The report said that Apple would hold one of its own “splashy product introductions to announce a new version of the iPhone that work’s on Verizon’s network,” and said that event would “maybe” come by Valentine’s Day.

Some have speculated that Apple would instead allow Verizon to announce the product at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, an uncharacteristic move for the typically controlling iPhone maker. But the report specifically stated that a CES unveiling is not in the plans.

“Apple’s introduction of an iPhone for use on Verizon’s network will come sometime after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, according to a person familiar with Apple’s plans who is not authorized to discuss them publicly,” Burrows wrote. (more…)

Apple’s iPad 2 rumored to have USB port

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

With the bulk of the holiday shopping buzz dying down, rumors of Apple’s new iPad 2 have sprung to life. The most recent rumor, courtesy of the Mobile Review blog editor-in-chief Eldar Murtazin, says the iPad 2 will include a USB port.

The tweet, discovered by AppleInsider, reads:

“Talked with colleague which working with some ODM vendors connected with Apple. He is research guy. According to his sources iPad2 will have usb port.”

AppleInsider reports that Murtazin is a trusted insider with good sources and the news of the integrated USB could be the result of a European device-maker pact that decided micro-USB ports should be standard device charging ports. Apple, of course, uses the 30-pin dock connector for its mobile devices, including the iPad.

Including an integrated USB port would also quickly make obsolete the USB adapter kit provided by Apple for the iPad. Currently, the USB adapter only supports importing photos from digital cameras, though some other peripheral devices have been said to work.

There is no word whether an integrated USB port would offer greater functionality. In the meantime, expect rumors to keep flowing from various sources as the new iPad gets closer to be announced and released.

Microsoft Tablet Aimed at Fighting iPad Faces Long Odds

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, said to unveil new software for tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, will face skeptics who say his company won’t soon narrow Apple Inc.’s iPad lead.

“By the time Microsoft gets it figured out everybody will already own an iPad,” said Keith Goddard, CEO of Capital Advisors Inc. an investing firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that holds Apple shares. “That train has left the station.”

Microsoft will announce a full version of the Windows computer operating system that runs on ARM Holdings Plc technology at the show, which begins in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, two people familiar with Microsoft’s plans said last week.

Allying with ARM is Microsoft’s way of stepping up rivalry with Apple, which has garnered the largest share of the tablet market with its iPad, a touch-screen device introduced in April that handles video, music and computing tasks. The effort may falter unless Ballmer can match the features consumers have come to expect from the iPad, Goddard said.

The new Windows version would be tailored for battery- powered devices, such as tablets and wireless handsets, the people said. Chips based on ARM technology are made by Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment, pointing instead to remarks by Ballmer in July.

“We’re tuning Windows 7 to new slate hardware designs,” Ballmer told analysts then. He also said, Apple has “sold certainly more than I’d like them to sell.” (more…)

10 Things You Need To Know About The iPad Before You Buy

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

You’ve seen the television commercials and the product reviews.

But maybe, like many gadget lovers, you’re still debating whether you really need this new touch-screen computer from Apple.

To help you make sense of the hype, here are answers to 10 common questions about the iPad, Apple’s much-anticipated “slate” computer, which goes on sale Saturday.

Is there anything else you’d like to know? If so, please post in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

1. How is the iPad different from a laptop?

The word “laptop” is getting somewhat brushed aside for a truckload of new, confusing categories.

The Apple iPad falls into the slate (some people say tablet) category of portable personal computers, because, unlike a laptop, it doesn’t have a hardware keyboard.

Another key difference: To type and to navigate through files and photos on the iPad, you touch its screen in the same way you operate an iPhone or iPod Touch. That’s possible on some laptop models, but not many. (more…)