Over the past year or so we've seen a new product category emerge: the portable digital converter/headphone amplifier. Of course, no one "needs" such a device -- phones and iPods already have converters and amps built-in -- and sound perfectly fine with average headphones. The sound is good enough, but your phone's converter and amp share space and battery power with the phone's electronics. A separate converter and amp, about the size of a phone, has only one mission: improved sound quality. So if you upgraded to a high-end in-ear headphone, like the $399 … Read more
Your reputation as a tough, hard-nosed business go-getter may take a hit if you spend a lot of time using your little smartphone. A study conducted by researchers at Harvard Business School suggests that using devices with small screens can cause people to behave less assertively than those using larger screens.
"Grounded in research showing that adopting expansive body postures increases psychological power, we hypothesized that working on larger devices, which forces people to physically expand, causes users to behave more assertively," reads the abstract of the paper, titled "iPosture: The Size of Electronic Consumer Devices Affects Our Behavior."… Read more
Apple on Monday released the second beta of iOS 7, exactly two weeks after the first iteration of the software was doled out to developers.
The new version promises only to fix bugs and contains other undocumented "improvements."
But the big new thing in this release is a version of the software for iPads -- both the regular and Mini models. The first version of the software only came for iPhones and iPod Touches, with Apple promising to add support for other devices as time went on.
The software requires developers to sign a privacy agreement, but that … Read more
The nation's highest court said on its site that it has denied Mirror World's request that it consider the case related to software patents for features such as Apple's Cover Flow.
Mirror Worlds was founded by Yale University computer-science Professor David Gelernter. In a 2008 lawsuit, the company accused Apple of infringing on its patents with its Mac OS X operating systems going back to 10.4 "Tiger," … Read more
Cardas Audio has been making audiophile cables since 1987, so I was taken aback when I heard George Cardas was working on a headphone model. That was four years ago, when Cardas was approached by a major in-ear headphone manufacturer to make cables for them, but when George started listening to their headphones he was less than thrilled with the sound. One thing led to another, he thought he could do better, and decided to make his own headphones.
Prototypes were built, he listened, he measured, tweaked the design, made more prototypes, listened and measured. Most dynamic in-ear headphones use … Read more
Two companies are battling for the hearts and minds of billions of mobile users. One company offers a smorgasbord of phones, tablets, and laptops. It's the something-for-everyone approach, with a broad range of devices, price points, colors, and features. The other currently offers a limited range of mobile devices. Its latest smartphone is available in one size, in black or white. But, both companies are succeeding with their different approaches.
This week, the something-for-everyone company, Samsung, unleashed an avalanche of products in London, including five models of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. The models have a 5-inch or 4.… Read more
Is an album a more substantial work of art than a single? Or is a well-crafted single all we need? There were always singles, but in the days before the Internet, fans were sometimes "forced" to buy albums to get the music they wanted, even when most of the album's tunes weren't great. The hugely entertaining "The Great Debate: Singles vs. Albums" held last Monday at the New Music Seminar in NYC covered the issue in depth.
When it comes to gold-slathered Apple products, there are plenty of options. Most people who buy them sneeze money and think nothing of tossing cash at a gaudy, high-priced accessory like an iPad with diamonds and T. rex bones. Ted Chapanian, however, came by his gold iPod watch through a whole lot of personal hard work.
The AuPod is made from a 6th generation iPod Nano and 18-karat gold. It took over 500 hours to build and cost $2,500 in materials. Considering that a gold iPhone 4S had a price tag of $9.4 million, that's not bad.… Read more
With one small feature, iOS 7 might introduce the biggest change in iOS gaming since the App Store.
There's something I've wished for on both the iPhone and iPad for years: a true, universal, dedicated game controller. iOS 7 has granted my wish: indeed, one of the small but very significant additions to the next mobile OS announced at WWDC allows for third-party controllers. It's funny this happened to be announced during E3, because it just might be the trigger to change the mobile gaming industry.
Why it's big Third-party accessory-makers have tried making game controllers … Read more
This week has been just crazy.
Among all the fun and games: At WWDC, Apple announced a completely revamped iOS 7, iTunes Radio, new MacBook Airs, a new Mac Pro, and a new OS X. At E3, Microsoft announced a price and release date for the Xbox One. And Sony announced the price, release date, and used-games policy for the PlayStation 4. Everyone cheered, and then passed out from exhaustion.
But because of all the hoopla, I think that Microsoft is going to ease up on its restrictions. What do you think?