Web Warp Blog has been retired. For new posts please head to dmather.com.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The ebook Revolution

Ebook readers, tablet devices and smart phones are becoming more and more popular ways to digest written content such as news, books and magazines. Are the days of the printed press numbered? The range of devices that can gather content is increasing daily with manufacturers scrambling to compete with the market leaders in smart phones, tablets and ebook readers. Apple's iPad has revolutionised the market by bringing hardware to the forefront of people minds.

With the Apple iPad and the iBook store Apple hope to capture the technology keen with an ebook reader by selling them what they really want: a shiny new gadget with a bright colour screen, touch screen and motion controls. Other manufacturers have a more "book" focused strategy. Sony, Amazon and many others have released ebook readers which feature "e-ink". The e-ink screen looks like the printed text you might find in a book. It behaves just like a printed page, reflecting sunlight. In comparison tablet computing devices such as the new Samsung Galaxy tab or the Apple iPad fail miserably to remain readable in bright sunshine.

With technologies developing for both decent reading screens and multifuntion devices full of music and video content, the number of books and magazines which are downloaded and read on digital devices will enevitably increase. One day reading may undergo a similar revolution to music where it will not be uncommon to have your entire bookshelf in you pocket or on your computer.

As proof of this the Metro have an iPhone app so you can recieve their free newspaper on an iPhone without having to get to the train station and pick one up. The Times have an iPad app which, controversially, requires a monthly subscription. It will be a toe in the water for the newspaper industry looking into new technology.

Interesting the Independant newspaper will soon be launching a smaller version of their broadsheet called "i" which will cost only 20p.

Amazon are really leading the way with ebook readers by providing both great value hardware (with free 3G coverage) and an online bookstore which is competitivly priced. You can even keep multiple ebook readers or Kindle apps in sync with their whispersync service.

These new techologies also allow access to far more material than the newsagents, for example you won't find Web Warp Blog for sale there!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Orange and T-Mobile Sharing Network Coverage

Following the merger of the managment of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, Everything Everywhere has kept a low profile. They are going to continue to operate the two brands independently. However this week see's the launch of an advertising campaign in both Orange and T-Mobile brand colours showing off that Orange customers can now use the T-Mobile signal and visa-versa.

The advert features the Everything Everywhere logo in the top left corner with the slogan "Inspired by Everything Everywhere".

This should be a huge advantage to Orange and T-Mobile customers who enevitably should benefit from increased signal coverage and a more reliable service.

Today also see's the launch of 6 new handsets which carry the Windows Phone 7 Operating System. So new Windows Phone owners on Orange or T-Mobile will be very pleased to hear the news that they will have more signal coverage for their social network updates, Outlook access for emails and social gaming via Xbox Live.

UPDATE: Both Orange and T-Mobile customers are experiencing increased network coverage following the above announcement.

FaceTime comes to the Mac

Apple introduced us to FaceTime with the arrival of the iPhone 4. Then the latest iPod Touch received front and rear facing camera's and added FaceTime capability between iPod's and iPhones. Now the webcam, Wi-Fi powered, conversations come to the Mac. From today you can download the Beta version of the FaceTime software and start calling iPhone and iPod Touch users as long as you are connected to the internet and they are connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Check out the Apple webpage here.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Working on the Go

As a an experiment this blog post is being typed using an iPhone on the go. A previous blog post on Web Warp Blog hinted towards using an iPhone (or similar smart phone) as a netbook replacement. In fact it's a netbook that lives in your pocket and not your breifcase.

To maximise the productivity of working on the go it is wise to look into QuickOffice for the iPhone. The premium version of the app allows integration with several online cloud storage services including Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net and Apple's MobileMe iDisk. This app allows editing for Word and Excel files on the go. Some features aren't available such as graphs in the spreadsheet editor. As a basic editting tool for word documents the app performs seamlessly.

To make typing easier the iOS 4 software for the iPhone and iPod Touch allows you to use a bluetooth keyboard (excludes iPhone 3G).

The only issue is getting a decent 3G signal, but that really depends to where you are.

Happy Mobile Computing!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Twitter's New Interface

Twitter has updated their web interface to include integration for pictures and video's. They have split the page in to two panes. The new website has a lot more screen space and has feature's that Twitter client users (such as Twitter for iPhone, formerly Tweetie, and TweetDeck) have been familiar for a while. The new interface can bring images from TwitPic and yfrog directly into your twitter page without opening a new page/tab. The Twitter interface also allows you to view a users profile without navigating away from your twitter stream. It's currently an opt in/opt out option but soon it will be compulsory for all Twitter users.

Twitter have rolled out their new interface to everyone, thoughts please!Sat Oct 09 12:59:01 via TweetDeck