Apple is a company that somehow manages to churn out an above-average amount of beautiful products, fantastic software and class-leading services. When it misses, however, it misses big. MobileMe is one example. Ping is a better one. A third example is Apple’s Genius recommendation engine, which seeks to present App Store users with a list of applications they may enjoy based on their app download history. Right now, Genius is awful, but Apple’s recent acquisition of a company called Chomp may see things change in the near future. Read on for more. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled its all new NOOK eBook reader, and to say it’s an improvement over the previous-generation model is an understatement. This new version replaces the older greyscale model, not the still-young NOOK color, and it features a major improvement we probably all saw coming… a touchscreen. The eReader sports an on-screen keyboard and it also allows readers to look up words or take notes with simple taps on the beautiful E Ink display. The new NOOK features just one button compared to the Kindle’s 38, which obviously simplifies the user experience significantly. More importantly, the new NOOK can last up to two months on a single charge — double the battery life of Amazon’s Kindle. Other nifty features include a new proprietary dissolve transition that takes readers from one page to the next, and social media integration that allows users to share recommendations via Twitter, Facebook and more. Of course the new eReader also features Wi-Fi connectivity and owners can enjoy free hotspot access at all Barnes & Noble stores as well as every AT&T hotspot across the country. The new NOOK will retail for $139.99 when it becomes available on June 10th from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and more. Pre-orders are available immediately.
When Apple announced the availability of iPhone OS 3.1 and the new features that came along with it, we’re not going to lie — we were pretty excited. Regardless of your feelings about Apple and its products, nearly everyone can agree that the App Store was one of the biggest game-changers in recent history where the wireless industry is concerned. With all of the great things about Apple’s App Store however, come several faults of course — and one of the biggest problems was the lack of a recommendation system. In fact, we’d call it the second biggest fault behind lack of a facility for trial versions of apps.
Two of the biggest names in the new wave of personalized internet radio, Pandora and Last.fm, have announced new mobile offerings this week that are sure to please subscribers. For those who aren’t familiar with these services, we’ll give you quick rundowns: Pandora is a free ad supported service (with an ad-free subscription option) that delivers custom radio stations based on the tonal qualities of each song. The user starts by entering an artist or song and Pandora continues the stream with songs of similar musical quality as determined by a panel of 50 analysts who have spent years listening to and cataloging songs. Last.fm on the other hand, is a similar free service (with enhanced subscription option) but it has a much bigger focus on social networking. It creates custom stations with similar tracks like Pandora, but relies on socially-applied tags when offering up new songs.