Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Angry Birds Ham’O'Ween

Just when we thought Halloween could not get any better, Rovio surprises use with a new Halloween-themed Angry Birds.

The mobile game, which has been downloaded over 400 million times, has released seasonal games in the past, but never with a new bird. Rovio introduced the newest angry bird- a yellow bird- to the pack with a short film; and it looks like the new angry bird is just as protective of his candy as we are!

In this short video, the new bird fights against the the pigs to capture a piece of candy. While he’s at it, he premiers his new destroying abilities, blows up several times his original size and ultimately destroys the pigs’ castle. The birds safely return to trick-or-treating without ruffling a feather.

We’re not sure if the yellow bird is here to stay or not, but players can use the new bird on 30 different Halloween-themed levels. The good news is the game is only 99 cents, and once downloaded it to your phone it is saved until you delete it.

This game will get you in the holiday spirit and add some spice to your mobile gaming life. Too bad you can’t give it away to trick-or-treaters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The iPhone 4S is HERE!

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, gave the keynote at Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 4S.

2007 was a BIG year for the smartphone industry; it was the year that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Response to Jobs’ announcement was unprecedented! Within weeks, thousands of people from around the world were lined up outside of Apple stores waiting to buy the phone.

And just like that, the unveiling of the new iPhone became a tradition; so much so that tech bloggers, industry leaders and consumers anxiously await the premiere of a new model every summer.

This year, Apple introduced its iPhone 4S later than usual, which sparked rumors about a “better than ever” iPhone 5, and left us surprised when Apple showed a new-and-improved iPhone 4.

Where was the sleek new design? What about the new features? There seemed to be a cloud of disappointment floating above everyone’s head. While the iPhone 4S isn’t a total re-design, it’s worth taking a look at. It’s been re-built with an 8-megapixel camera, video recording in HD (1080p) and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.

It revolutionizes the smartphone experience with its new Siri software. What’s Siri? Siri is everything you’d ever want in a personal assistant, except she’s in your phone. Siri can give directions, provide real-time traffic updates, interpret your verbal commands into a text message (for safe, hands-free texting while driving), schedule meetings, set reminders; it will even operate as a kitchen timer so you don’t burn your muffins (again)…

We could go on and on, but you should watch Apple’s video about Siri.

And what about the battery life?

  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
  • Standby time: Up to 200 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on WiFi
  • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 40 hours

The iPhone 4S hits stores Oct. 14. Consumers can select either Verizon, AT&T or Sprint as their carrier. The cost starts at $199 for a 16GB and goes up from there depending upon carrier options. If you need a new phone and can’t wait for the iPhone 5 the software on the 4S is worth it. Plus, it’s the same price that the iPhone 4 was just a week ago.

Deal? We think so.

Signing Off

Saying goodbye is never easy. Over the past week, hundreds of Apple fans, technology bloggers and industry leaders have said their final goodbyes to Steve Jobs.

As an innovator and creative thinker, Steve Jobs gave the world a line of products that dared to defy the rules of design, software and communication. Today, millions of people use Jobs’ inventions to listen to music, communicate with business partners, video chat with family members and add custom apps to their smartphones.

Jobs challenged the status quo and pushed the boundaries of mobile and visual communication. With sleek and cutting-edge designs, he took ordinary objects and turned them into visually appealing and multi-functional products. Industry leaders were left to compete with Apple’s products, and they did! As a result, mobile phone users have the most expansive selection of smartphones and smartphone software, ever. Constantly pushing the bar higher and higher, Jobs changed the mobile phone industry forever.

He wouldn’t deny his ability to build the best products or employees either. He is famous for saying, “my job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” Even though Jobs challenged his workers to produce the best products, he also pushed engineers, thinkers and developers at other companies. Including ours.

Jobs’ iPhone challenged us to build the best application on the market. We met the challenge and we’ve seen downloads on the iPhone and Android continue to grow ever since then. Even in his absence, we plan to continue encouraging our engineers and developers to push the boundaries of mobile technology and create the tools users will one day grow to love.

With that said, we leave you with a quote Jobs gave to Fortune magazine in a recent interview:

In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hands-free calling law expanding across U.S.

Back in 2009, California passed a law prohibiting the use of handheld mobile devices while driving. Now, nine other states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have joined California in adopting hands-free calling laws.

Beginning Oct. 1, Nevada citizens will join their California neighbors by prohibiting driving while using handheld mobile devices. Motorists will only be issued warnings for now, but with the beginning of the New Year, tickets will be written. Law enforcement officers want to give motorists time to adjust to new law.

Don’t worry drivers! It’s not all bad news. Drivers can still talk on the phone just as long as they have a Bluetooth or hands-free calling device.

But states aren’t the only ones picking up the safe-driving cause. Oprah has been working on the “No Phone Zone”campaign for more than a year, encouraging fans to put down their phones while driving. Glee star, Jane Lynch partnered with LG to stop teens from texting while driving. Even BeyoncĂ© made headlines for texting while driving, but quickly joined the no texting while driving campaign.

So, there you have it. Avoid a $100 ticket and higher insurance rates by using a hands-free calling device, and join the ranks of Beyonce, Oprah and Jane Lynch.