WSJ: Google preparing to open digital bookstore, Google Editions

By on December 1, 2010 at 10:29 PM.

WSJ: Google preparing to open digital bookstore, Google Editions

A report filed by the Wall Street Journal indicates that Google, Inc. will be opening an online eBook store in the near future. Scott Dougall, a Google product director, told The Journal that the new store “is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year.” Independent booksellers around the U.S. are expected to play a fairly large roll in Google’s eBook ecosystem. As the WSJ reports: “Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers—including independent bookstores—and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets.” The Google model heavily contrasts that of digital reading devices like the Amazon Kindle; the Kindle requires you to purchase books from Amazon’s store in the Kindle format.

Google Editions would also have a revenue-sharing model for third parties. Websites and blogs that talk about a particular book could link its readers to Google Editions to purchase the title and share in Google’s cut of the sale. Proponents of the service say it will provide authors an opportunity to sell their work anytime it is discussed on the internet.

Google’s passion for books is not new news by any means. The company has publicly stated its desire to scan all the world’s books (~150 million) into digital format and make the contents of the digital library available to its search engine users. More →

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Android Market to require content ratings on apps

By on November 24, 2010 at 8:01 PM.

Android Market to require content ratings on apps

A recent post by Google seems to indicate that the company will require application content ratings on all present and future applications listed in the Android Market.

“Please use our application ratings to help users determine whether your application and its content is appropriate for them,” reads the post. “This includes all the content in your app, including user generated content and ads, and content that your app links to.”

Applications can be rated all, pre-teen, teen, or mature and Google notes that “hate speech” is not permitted in the Android Market; Google is also mandating that applications that use location not be categorized for all users. There are several other category pre-requisites. Hit the jump to have a look at all of them. More →

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T-Mobile branded Dock Connector cables arriving at certain retail stores

By on November 5, 2010 at 10:57 AM.

T-Mobile branded Dock Connector cables arriving at certain retail stores

Any T-Mobile fans out there looking for some fresh iPhone-rumor fodder? TMoNews is reporting that several T-Mobile retail locations are starting to receive T-Mobile branded Dock Connector cables; a 30-pin cord which is currently only used by Apple’s iPods, iPads, and iPhones.

T-Mobile has publicly stated that it would support unlocked iPhones on its network — this new cable could be a testament to that. However, if you’re one of those people who know all about the “Magic Bullet” theory, you might like to convince yourself that the cable is a clear indication that Magenta could begin offering the iPad or the iPhone in the not-so-distant future.

Anyone have any additional thoughts or conspiracy theories? We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for comment and will update this post with any additional information provided. More →

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U.S. iTunes Music store extending song previews to 90 seconds

By on November 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM.

U.S. iTunes Music store extending song previews to 90 seconds

According to blog Symphonic Distribution, Apple will be extending the length of song previews in its U.S. iTunes Music store from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. The information comes courtesy of an email being sent around to “label representatives” that reads:

We are pleased to let you know that we are preparing to increase the length of music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds on the iTunes Store in the United States. We believe that giving potential customers more time to listen to your music will lead to more purchases.

The communication goes on to say that the letter legally modifies the U.S. Digital Music Download Sales Agreement that was previously in effect. The communication did not mention when the new music preview length would be implemented or if there are plans to expand the offering worldwide.

[Via TiPb] More →

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App Store review guidelines published, comical

By on September 9, 2010 at 10:13 AM.

App Store review guidelines published, comical

Apple has published the recently announced App Store Review Guidelines, and to be honest… the document is pretty comical. Here are a few excerpts from the introduction section:

  • We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store.
  • We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
  • We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
  • If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.
  • Lastly, we love this stuff too, and honor what you do. We’re really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too. If it sounds like we’re control freaks, well, maybe it’s because we’re so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too.

The entire document can be downloaded in PDF format here. Let us know what you think.

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iTunes Store: applications to overtake songs in number of downloads this year

By on September 8, 2010 at 6:20 PM.

iTunes Store: applications to overtake songs in number of downloads this year

Aysmco is reporting that iOS application downloads on Apple’s iTunes store should overtake the number of song downloads sometime this year. The report is based on figures from the recent September 1 update to the iTunes Music Store and the iTunes Application Store. Asymco writes, “the App store has reached the same total downloads in 2.2 years as the iTMS reached after five years. The two curves are likely to be the same height (around 13 billion each) before the year is over.” Anyone surprised by the findings? More →

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BlackBerry App World hits 10,000 applications

By on September 7, 2010 at 3:48 PM.

BlackBerry App World hits 10,000 applications

According to Research In Motion, the company now has over 10,000 applications in their application store, App World. While 10,000 is not a number to be scoffed at, BlackBerry pales in comparison to Apple’s 250,000 apps and Android’s estimated 100,000 figure. RIM also has the challenge of fighting Google and Apple in the application quality department; BlackBerry apps are probably the most unpolished at this point. Let’s hope RIM’s developer conference — DevCon — will kick things into the next gear. More →

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Nokia N8, pre-order now, available end of September

By on August 16, 2010 at 1:19 PM.

Nokia N8, pre-order now, available end of September

Hey there Nokia lovers, we’ve got some good news for you! It looks like the company’s newest flagship device, the N8, is now available for pre-order via store.nokia.com. The N8 will retail for $549 contract free and its availability is listed as the “end of September 2010.” Anyone out there enticed by the 12 megapixel camera and full touch-screen format going to pre-order one? More →

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iPad propelling Apple retail store business, up 72.8% year-over-year

By on August 5, 2010 at 4:00 PM.

iPad propelling Apple retail store business, up 72.8% year-over-year

Digital Daily has published an interesting report about the profitability of Apple retail stores. The report states that in Apple’s last quarter — Q3 for Apple — the fruit company’s retail arm brought in $2.58 billion, a 72.8% jump from Q2 of 2009. In a retrospective comparison, Digital Daily notes that $2.58 billion is, “greater than the company’s total quarterly revenue from the second quarter of fiscal 1996 through the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.” The iPad is being given credit for much of the retail success, the launch has, “generated a 38.7 percent increase in visitors per store, a 52.9 percent increase in same-store revenues, and a stunning 106.3 percent increase in non-Mac revenues.” We’ve heard that Apple retail stores gross more than double (per square foot) than high-end retailer Tiffany’s, and with numbers like this, we aren’t having a hard time believing it. More →

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AT&T mystery retail displays contain BlackBerry Torch 9800

By on August 3, 2010 at 11:59 PM.

AT&T mystery retail displays contain BlackBerry Torch 9800

Just a quick follow up to a post we wrote up last night. The mysterious cylindrical displays that were showing up at select AT&T stores across the country were in fact for the newly minted BlackBerry Torch 9800. There isn’t much else to report, but we thought we should close the loop. Anyone have a local AT&T store with one of these bad boys setup?

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Apple releases updated iMacs, new product Magic Trackpad

By on July 27, 2010 at 8:48 AM.

Apple releases updated iMacs, new product Magic Trackpad

When the Apple Store went down this morning, we were expecting to see several things: an updated Mac Pro, an updated iMac, and a new 27-inch cinema display. Well, the Store is back… and here’s what the gang in Cupertino came up with:

  • iMac — Both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models have received a fairly significant processor bump. The 21.5-inch iMac will be available with a 3.06 GHz or 3.20 GHz Core i3 processor, the 27-inch model will also be available with the 3.20 GHz Core i3 as well as a 2.8 GHz Core i5 quad-core offering. All models will come standard with 4 GB of RAM, at least a 500 GB hard drive, and will have a hand-full of configurable options if ordered online; including a Core i7 processor.
  • Magic Trackpad — Rumored some time ago, the Magic Trackpad allows you to click, scroll, and swipe on your desktop machine just as you would on your laptop. The device is 80% larger than the trackpad on the Macbook Pro and runs on two AA batteries. Here’s Apple’s take on the new device: “Magic Trackpad gives you a whole new way to control what’s on your Mac desktop computer. When you perform gestures, you actually interact with what’s on your screen. You feel closer to your content, and moving around feels completely natural. Swiping through pages on screen is just like flipping through pages in a magazine, and inertial scrolling senses the momentum in your fingers as you move up and down a page.” The device ships in 24-hours and is priced at $69.
  • Battery Charger — An Apple branded AA battery charger was also released today, for… you know, environmental reasons and stuff. Not to much to report on it, but it looks cute.

There you have it, let us know what you think. Anyone going to be busting out the credit card today? More →

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AT&T retail stores internal network down

By on June 15, 2010 at 10:29 AM.

AT&T retail stores internal network down

iphone-4-facetime

Quick heads up, but we’ve been told not only is Apple’s online store buckling under pressure, as is AT&T’s site, but even AT&T’s internal network, the one in stores is having trouble. So, we have to ask… just how many iPhone 4s are being preordered? How many do you think the total number is? Our guess on preorders alone? 1,000,000 – 1,500,000.

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