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Apple iTunes Event Tomorrow (Tuesday 11-16-10)

Apple has announced that tomorrow is “just another day.  That you’ll never forget.”

Cryptic to say the least, but wonder what this is leading to.  There will be an updated iOS in the next week (as expected by almost everyone).  iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch along with some AirPlay with the AppleTV.

More to come and I’ll be sure to post following the 10am EDT announcement.

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IMAP vs. POP (and who cares…)

Over the years, email has changed dramatically.  In the current 2010 world, most companies still offer POP as well as IMAP for receiving email.  In many cases, automatically adding an email address to a new computer or iPhone will use the POP method for getting email to you.  What difference does it make?  Ah, hence this little post…

Again in our 2010 world where many of us have a personal computer at home, a Blackberry or iPhone and occasionally (or more) work computers provide web access to our personal email it can be a pain to read and re-read a message on multiple devices.  This is where the IMAP and POP difference comes into effect.

When using POP [wikipedia] the device (in this case, iPhone, computer or other device), grabs the new mail from the server and removes the email (unless some settings are changed on the system to “keep mail on the server”).  In cases where you see the same mail on your phone and computer but they both show as unread (until you read them in two places) the system is using POP.  The other drawback is when you send a message using POP the device that sends the message retains the message locally (meaning if you are at work and you send a message that morning from your home PC, you will not see that message).

POP was valuable in the past, especially in years past when email storage was very limited (10-100MB, not the 7.5GB world of gmail).  Getting emails off the servers was important and a requirement to keep from “bouncing” mailbox full messages.

The thing that bothers me these days is if you set an email address up on an iPhone or iPad using GMail, the system makes it very easy but uses POP.  A quick adjustment to the account will make email a much more efficient tool with the use of IMAP.

IMAP [wikipedia] is the newer of the two protocols and again is supported by most email systems.  With Google’s email system, using IMAP allows you to read a message on your iPhone or Droid and when you check the message on your home computer, that message will show as read.  If you replied, that too will show up.  Do you have folders (or labels as google calls them)?  IMAP will also display those in your email program.

The bottom line is check your email settings and switch to IMAP if you are comfortable doing so.  It will make the use of email so much more seamless.

  • For Google’s GMail, check this page for clients and settings
  • The page for setting GMail up on an Apple mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • Apple’s MobileMe IMAP setting page
  • Yahoo does NOT provide IMAP without purchasing Yahoo Plus (I would not suggest investing in this)
  • AOL’s page for setting up IMAP

If you have questions or concerns about changing your email setting, please let me know.

If you made these changes to your system and have seen improvements with the way the system(s) work, again, let us know.

SquareUp with your iPhone/iPad or iPod Touch

David Pogue from the NYTimes outlines the benefit of taking credit card purchases right from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. A company called Square has made a free solution for the iPhone and iPad that allows the device to swipe or type in a credit card and take payments right into your bank account.

This is a great solution for the small business. I have it for my consulting company. Square takes a percentage (though smaller than most credit card companies at 2.5-3.5% of the purchase) and a $0.15 processing flat fee.

Interesting enough, it does bring up questions about why don’t people consider Square for their garage sales, bake sales and payment for the landscaper. It makes payment easy, cool and protects the seller and “store”.

Have a iPhone and a small business, seriously consider Square.

Read David Pogue’s article from the NYTimes
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iPhone 4’s FaceTime is amazing!

Along with the new iPhone 4, Apple included a forward facing camera for video chats and a solution called FaceTime. Now personally I was not sold. Don’t get me wrong, I love video chats. We spent hours with friends and family on iChat for the last few years while the kids were growing up and we were a few hundred miles South. Now that we live close together it is not that big of a deal.

Apple set a test number (1-888-FaceTime) to try out a call with an Apple Rep. The connection is established with the rep via a voice call, they ask if you are trying out the solutions from your phone and if you are connected to a wifi network (this will not work over 3G yet). Once you confirm these things, the rep switch over to an iPhone 4 and invites you into a FaceTime chat.

Once you accept the chat, there you are (in a small preview windows). The rep is staring right back at you… Now the call has switched over to the wifi network, the voice call is disconnected from AT&T’s network so no more long-distance, roaming or minutes being used. If you know someone has a iPhone 4, you can start the chat without even having to place a phone call.

If you have an iPhone 4 and want to try out FaceTime, give Apple a call and try it out. It is the beginning of something new…

Apple has posted a few FaceTime ads on their website that have gone into rotation (you may soon see them during your favorite shows). They all show how much of a connection FaceTime can help people make. It will not happen overnight, but it very well may be the future of portable communications.

Hulu Plus announced

Hulu has announced the roll-out of Hulu Plus subscription service. For $9.99 a month, the solution will allow full runs/seasons of many FOX, NBC and ABC programs and they can play to iPhones (over 3G and wifi), iPads and BluRay devices (Samsung right now). The system will support up to 720p hi-def streaming (at this time).

You can sign up for a preview invite and see if you get one. I’m excited to see what is happening with the Hulu App and online solutions for both desktops and mobile devices.

Yet another option to full-blown cable service for $30+ dollars/month to ride along with Netflix and ABC’s own iPad App.

UPDATED: 06-30-10
The iTunes App Store now has an App for the iPad and iPhone that will allow access to the “free” content (I’m guessing to get people hooked) and test the waters. The system is not yet open to the public but as mentioned above you can request an invite and maybe get lucky.

I also tried the app on the way into the office on good ole NJTransit. I had a good 3G signal and the stream of NBC’s 30 Rock started almost instantly. The quality (both audio and video) lowered at one point but continued to stream. I know Pandora and other audio streaming services do this too, but it is much more apparent with video content (obviously).

One other very interesting take on all this is the expected update of the AppleTV to more of a streaming device that would work on the foundation of the iOS4. With iOS4 and access to the Apple App Store, an AppleTV could not only have access to your home personal iTunes audio and video collection, but finally tie into the internet so many people could discontinue their cable subscriptions and sit back on a comfortable couch and watch TV (granted it may not be live, but would work VERY well).

More to come when Apple updates their AppleTV device and we see how it will work with existing media and new internet content.

Google Docs becomes mobile ready

Google Docs now works smoothly and provides with mobile devices (specifically iPhones, iPad and Android devices). Google continues to move to HTML5 and optimizing their solutions to work better with numerous mobile devices…

In this Google blog post, another goal of Google is to have gmail load on mobile devices with HTML5 in under 1 second!

For as contentious a relationship Google and Apple have had lately, their technology goals seem to be lining up. Hopefully we will see them holding hands again soon and making up 🙂

Thoughts about Google docs on mobile devices – please share…

Google working on TV integration

Google is working in Google TV for the fall of 2010 (http://www.google.com/tv/). This solution is designed to be a standalone device or integrated into an upcoming series of new televisions. This solution will not only provide access to things like netflix but also provide google search for shows that may be on hulu, abc or other online streaming resources.
If this also provided storage so I could take a collection of media that I have encoded, this would be the killer AppleTV (which is lacking the Internet streaming component). Still a few months before anything is seen, touched or confirmed, but shows some promise…