Thursday, May 14, 2009

Apple to design own microchips for iPhone, iPod touch

Apple to design own microchips for iPhones, iPod touch: Apple Inc. is building a significant capability to design its own microchips for the iPhones and iPod touch, a strategy shift that the company hopes will create exclusive features for its gadgets and shield Apple’s work from rivals.

Last year, Apple bought chipmaker P.A. Semi, a small chip company that specializes in low-power processors, or computer “brains.” Now Forbes reports that Apple is boosting its chipmaking know-how even more, by hiring leading designers from IBM and Nintendo.

The iPhone now uses chips from a variety of suppliers including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Broadcom Corp, Marvell Technology Inc, CSR Plc and Infineon Technologies AG, analysts say. If Apple succeeds in coming up with its own chip, it could potentially dislodge at least one of these companies from the iPhone, while sending notice of its intent to take an even bigger role in the creation of its products.

Apple could use the internally developed chips to sharply reduce the power consumption of its hit iPhone and iPod touch devices, and possibly add graphics circuitry to help its hardware play realistic game software and high-definition videos.

Apple can expand into chips, be extremely focused and provide a leapfrog advance. New chip capabilities make their way into Apple products and the company gets to play defense.

pple plunges into chip design, don’t expect the company to build a giant chip factory, called a fab. They cost billions. Apple would likely design the chips, then outsource their manufacture to a for-hire chipmaker.

Apple participated in a job fair earlier this month for soon-to-be-unemployed engineers at memory chip company Spansion Inc., which sought bankruptcy protection in March.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Iphone Ipod Touch Applications | Embraceware announces HoloSnaps 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch

Embraceware Software today announces HoloSnaps 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. Add a new angle to your photos with HoloSnaps. Select any 3 of your photos to create a holographic card that responds to tilting your iPhone or iPod touch. iPhone users can utilize the built-in camera to take photos within HoloSnaps or select existing photos stored on the device. Cards are saved in a glass display case for later viewing. Tap on a card to have the robotic arm lift it out of the case for you.

iPhone users can utilize the built-in camera to take photos within HoloSnaps or select existing photos stored on the device. iPod touch users can select from existing photos. HoloSnaps utilizes the accelerometer built into the iPhone and iPod touch to achieve the response of tilting the device for the hologram card effect.

Feature Highlights:
• Fully animated UI with sound effects
• Simple 3 step work flow guides the process
• Compatible with the iPhone camera
• Drag to re-arrange cards


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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Budget MP3 beats iPod in consumer poll

A budget MP3 player which costs less than half the price of an Apple iPod has topped a web poll of consumers.

Budget MP3 beats iPod in consumer poll
The Apple Ipod has been trumped for value according to an online poll Photo: (Bloomberg News: George Frey)

The little-known Sansa Clip – which was developed as a sideline by SanDisk, which normally makes memory chips – scored 9.1 out of 10 for value for money, according to thousands of people who voted in electrical goods review site Reevoo's Customer Choice Awards.

The 8gb device can store 2,000 songs in the MP3 format and costs £39.99, compared to more than £100 for the equivalent Apple iPod.

Sam Bostock, of, said, "We're in the midst of a phase when shoppers are increasingly focused on straightforward, value-for-money products that do what it says on the tin.

"There's no doubt that Apple's range offers an impressive array of features and benefits, but right now more shoppers are more concerned about getting maximum bang for minimum buck. For shoppers on a budget, the Clip offers great value at bargain bin prices."

Owners of Clips described it as "marvellous" and claimed it had a "higher music playing standard than an iPod".

One said: "Bought one of these for my son and he thinks it's great. The clip on the back (hence the name) has a reassuringly good grip for attaching to clothes which makes it ideal for in the gym or jogging, which my son does a lot of."


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Monday, May 11, 2009

Ipod Touch Accessories | OtterBox Armor, Impact, and Defender Cases for the iPod touch Review

Your iPod touch can take a huge beating as you go about your day, whether it is dropped on the floor, stuffed in a pocket, or tossed in a carrying bag. To combat the amount of wear and tear your device might see, the best accessory is a case.

OtterBox, known for its wide range of ruggedized cases, makes a number of iPod touch cases; spanning from simple silicone sleeves to water-submersible cases. In this review I take a look at three of these, including the Armor case, Defender case, and Impact case.

Picking the Right Case
OtterBox makes three different iPod touch cases for one simple reason; everyone has a different situation they need to protect their iPod from. If you use your device in desert conditions or out in the open waters where sand and water might be a problem, it might be best to get a case designed to fully seal the iPod from the outside world. One step down might be rough handling in an industrial field where you might drop the iPod frequently, and swipe greasy fingers across the screen. This case doesn't need to be fully sealed, but screen protection is a must. The last option is very basic protection from an occasional drop in normal day-to-day activities, where all you need is a basic slipcase to cushion the edges of the iPod from falls.

For the first scenario OtterBox has the Armor case which fully seals the iPod touch, but still gives you a pass-through connection for the headphone jack. The screen is covered by a plastic layer to resist scratches and fully seal out water. The next option is the Defender case, which encloses the iPod in a plastic shell and is wrapped in a silicone sleeve. The shell has a similar plastic layer over the screen like the Armor case, but it is only partially sealed from the outside environment. The most basic case is the Impact case, which like the name implies, protects the iPod from impacts which might be the result of getting dropped from a table or your pocket.

OtterBox Armor Case for iPod TouchArmor Case
The Armor case turns the iPod Touch into something the size of a large PDA, but protects it from tall drops and contaminates.

In my daily use it somewhat hinders the usability, blocking the volume controls, power button, and docking connector. Since the Home button can power the iTouch on, and you can adjust volume through software, it isn't a huge problem, but it still is an inconvenience. Using the iPod through the case and interacting with the screen did take some time to get used to, since some of the touch-sensitivity is lost through the plastic layer. The headphone jack is flush mount and has plenty of clearance for any style of 1/8" headphone plug.

OtterBox rates the waterproofing of this case at 3 feet, which puts it into small puddle or splash range. It is more than what the iPod could handle by itself, but don't plan on swimming with it anytime soon. I think if you didn't have to interact with the screen, the plastic film could thicker, but in this case the screen is the only way to navigate through the device.


  • Waterproof to 3 feet (1 meter), dust-proof, dirt-proof, sand-proof, and drop-proof protection for your iPod
  • Touchscreen is covered, yet fully functional
  • Impact-absorbing rubber on all sides
  • Included belt clip for carrying convenience
  • External headphone jack usable with any style headphones with a standard mini stereo plug
  • Includes removable neck lanyard
  • Fits the iPod touch Second Generation only (8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB models).
  • Price: $49.95

OtterBox Defender Case for iPod TouchDefender Case
The Defender case is a nice cross between having a basic silicone cover over the iPod touch, and having it completely enclosed in a shell the size of the Armor case. The Defender adds a little more than a ¼" to the height and width of the handheld, and makes it about twice as thick. It is still easy to carry in a pocket, not much larger than a typical smartphone.

Protection for the iPod Touch is excellent, with "bumpers" on every corner, plastic film to cover the screen and rear chrome Apple logo, and silicone plugs to cover the docking connector and headphone jack. The clearance around the headphone jack is reduced slightly, barely clearing the large jack on my Sennheisers.

Throughout the test the Defender case held up well and showing only showing one sign of wear. It appears that during one of my tests I managed to impact the screen, leaving a small dimple in the protective clear film, whereas the iPod suffered no damage at all.


  • Three layers of protection
  • Layer 1: a clear, thin membrane to protect your Touchscreen
  • Layer 2: a hi-impact Polycarbonate skeleton
  • Layer 3: a Silicone skin to absorb bump and shock
  • Complete Touchscreen interactivity
  • All buttons are accessible through the case
  • Sync/Charge jack and headphone jack accessible via silicone plugs
  • Fits the iPod touch Second Generation only (8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models).
  • Price: $29.95

OtterBox Impact Case for iPod TouchImpact Case
If you need just the most basic levels of protection, the Impact case works quite well. Slipped over the iPod Touch it protects the edges from sharp impacts, the rear chrome finish from scratches, and covers the edges of the screen to keep dust outside.

The case is designed with a honeycomb structure to absorb energy in a fall, protecting the shell form scratches or dents. The silicone material adds a small amount of grip to the iPod for handling, but isn't as "sticky", which can make it a pain to slip inside a pocket or become a magnet for dust and dirt.

I preferred the Impact case the most, since I still had just enough protection to make me not worry about my iPod, but not interfere too much with normal operation.


  • Provides open access to headphone jack, sync/charge port and Touchscreen
  • Provides protection against bump & shock
  • Inner corners designed to dissipate impact away from your device
  • Fits the iPod touch Second Generation only (8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models).
  • Available in Black or White
  • Price: $19.95

Overall I think OtterBox covers the market pretty well for varying levels of iPod touch protection. It has options for parents, construction workers, and even a case for deep sea fishermen who might be constantly blasted with salt water.

The build quality on each case is fantastic and the price is well within reasonable levels. Maintenance consists of sticking the case (without the iPod inside) under a faucet to clean off dust or dirt.

If you are looking for a case to keep your iPod Touch looking as good as the day it came out of the box, the OtterBox lineup is well worth checking out.


  • Great fit and finish
  • Affordable
  • Silicone material is not as "sticky" as some cases


  • Armor Case slightly interferes with everyday use
  • No individual replaceable parts, if you dent or scratch the protective screen layer you have to buy a new case.


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