Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why the MacBook Air should not be counted out yet (Part II)

A few days ago, Patently Apple revealed a design for laptop computers that Apple had patented:

There have been rumors that Apple is going to come out with a thinner, smaller, perhaps cheaper MacBook Air. With yesterday's release of the Magic Trackpad, I am convinced more than ever that the figures above and the rumors on the Air can actually happen, perhaps within the year.

With the thinness of the Magic Trackpad and its affordability, what could possibly stop Apple now from making a touch keyboard (as opposed to a screen keyboard like that of the iPad's) for a thinner, lighter, more forward-looking MacBook Air that may or may not have the ability to fold unto itself to transform into a tablet (perhaps capable of running iOS as well)? I still believe that we might hear something very exciting about the Air very soon, a groundbreaking device that could become Apple's flagship portable computer, and a showcase of features that will clue as in to where Apple will take us next.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Make Jonathan Ive weep with these bling-y iPhone 4 cases

You mean the new iPhone 4 isn't fabulous enough? The bumpers too tacky and un-Apple for your taste? Here's an iPhone 4 case that even P. Diddy might approve of (while Apple designer Jonathan Ive cringes in the corner). Hard Candy's Bubble Slider Chrome iPhone 4 cases will turn heads with their in-your-face design. Why choose the black one? The silver looks hot, while the gold one is very B-Boy- (as well as Kardashian-) friendly. These chrome cases will set you back $34.95 a pop. Good thing Apple is refunding you of the money you wasted for that bumper, just add 5 bucks!

Cool Iris is an ultra-cool way to search and browse media

This has been around for quite some time, but Cool Iris is an über-cool plug-in for Safari (and the other browsers) that lets you browse images and videos from sites such as Google, Bing, Flickr, and YouTube in a whole new way. What's so impressive about Cool Iris is the speed by which it searches: upon hitting enter you are immediately presented with this wall of media, which you can zoom into and browse through as they fly across your face! This is potentially mind-blowing if you have those giant desktop screens. Cool Iris also works on Facebook: when in the Photo Albums page, just click on the Cool Iris icon over each album and instantaneously glide -- no, fly -- through your friend's 200 photos from spring break.

What's cooler? It's free! Download Cool Iris here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why the MacBook Air should not be counted out yet

I'm quite amused by some Apple fans as well as tech blogs who say that the MacBook Air is on its way out. I find this a bit naïve, though I'd find it really disappointing if what they're saying turns out to be true since the MacBook Air is such a great-looking product. Like Apple TV, MacBook Air I think is an Apple product that is ahead of its time, that might receive a much-needed update very soon. I even have a hunch that the Air might become the flagship Apple laptop in the near future, that is, should Apple decide to keep the Macintosh line and not become exclusively a hand-held device company like many Mac fans are fearing.

Let's take a look at some of the ideas floating around:

Rumor 1: Apple will start to concentrate on cloud storage, even for iTunes.
The main complaint with MacBook Air is its lack of storage. That's a valid complaint...last year. The first generation iPad, currently selling like crazy, has only 64GB max. If Apple can come up with a new generation MacBook Air, make it even more irresistible than the current design and with a cheaper price, then I don't think this lack of storage would matter. Certainly, there are now third-party services, both free and paid, that allow users to store gigabytes of data in the clouds. And certainly there are apps for that.

Rumor 2: A hybrid?
Speaking of apps, a persistent (perhaps far-fetched) rumor is that Apple is coming up with a hybrid computer that combines Mac OS and iOS's touch capability. What other Apple computer can be a more ideal one to have such features than the MacBook Air, powerful enough for Mac OS yet light enough to be carried around like an iPad.

A bit tacky, but can't you imagine MacBook Air as two tablet screens folded together, with one screen capable of pulling up a virtual keyboard to give you...a touch MacBook Air?

And finally, way into the future:

Introducing the Apple Air.

Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Pimp your Safari

Apple's Safari 5 internet browser enables customization through the installation of extensions. Through these extensions, you can change the way web content looks, or add new capabilities to Safari to make browsing suit your preferences.

Anytime now, Apple is coming out with a Safari Extensions Gallery from which you can download said extensions (presumably for free). However, to tide us over until Apple comes out with the Gallery, tons of extensions may already be downloaded from this blog.

I love many of the extensions available from the site; I never thought I needed certain browsing capabilities until I installed these extensions in my Safari 5. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Facebook Share - adds a Facebook button to the toolbar, enabling sharing of any web page to your Facebook friends

2. FBPhotoZoom - another Facebook-related extension. Enables you to zoom into each photo in a photo album just by hovering the cursor over the thumbnail. No more individual clicking of each photo!

3. Lucidica Reader - Google Reader can be quite a cluttered mess. This extension cleans up the layout to make reading all those blog updates less stressful.

4. No More iTunes - disables the script that tries to start iTunes when you visit a link to the iTunes Store

5. Google Lightboxer - creates a Lightbox slideshow on Google Images which loads then full resolution images. Meaning, you don't have to click on each image result one by one just to see how it looks like in full. Very useful!

6. Tabs - automatically saves all the open tabs prior to closing Safari, and can reopen said tabs when you restart the browser. Very useful when you need to quit Safari or when it accidentally crashes

Happy pimping!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ostrich, the perfect Twitter extension for Safari

The splash page says:

A Twitter Client for Safari.

Making Twitter available from every website while you browse it.

Tweet. Retweet.
Share links.
Get notified of new tweets.
Enjoy Twitter more.

'Nuff said. No more no less. I've started using Ostrich today and it's probably the simplest, most elegant Twitter extension Safari could have. Download Ostrich here and install it in Safari 5 by carefully following the instructions.

Update: Ok, maybe not that perfect. Ostrich is still having issues, which is understandable because this is a one-man operation. I'm keeping it though.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The "iWatch"

These guys must be very pleased with themselves. It seems that an Italian design firm, ADR Studio, has already come up with not only a design, but also packaging, and even a mock advertisement and an unboxing video for a device they call the iWatch.

As you can judge from these photos (more here), everything was done very tastefully and very Apple-like that frankly all Steve Jobs ought to do is give these guys a call and give the green-light for the iWatch's mass-production.

ADR Studio lists down the iWatch's "features":

- Aluminium body
- WiFi and Bluetooth
- Integrated RSS Reader
- 16GB;
- Weather forecast system;
- Possibility to connect to the Bluetooth or WiFi to iPhone / iPad
- LCD projector to show everywhere pictures by your iPhone / iPad
- Available in various colors

As this was designed prior to the introduction of iPhone 4, there's no FaceTime yet in the features. That wouldn't be difficult, would it? I'm not a watch person, but if I see these babies in my favorite Apple reseller's shelves, I might buy two.