Apple’s latest OS X update, Mountain Lion, adds a slate of new features, nearly all derived from iOS 5. There’s one big omission, however: Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, does not make the migration from mobile to desktop.
Now, technically, Siri isn’t a part of iOS 5. It’s marketed as the most game-changing feature of the iPhone 4S (which runs iOS 5), and Apple has remained mum on whether Siri will ever be ported to other devices — this to the pique of independent developers who’ve hacked the feature to run on everything from the iPod touch to thermostats.
Clearly, Siri is Apple’s most celebrated user feature. And, clearly, there’s interest to see it appear on other Apple devices. Indeed, companies throughout the consumer tech industry are exploring novel new user interface models, including voice-control and gesture-control.
But porting Siri to Mountain Lion desktops would pose several challenges. Apple was smart to leave it out of the latest desktop update, and here’s why.
Microphone positioning on MacBooks and iMacs would present technical challenges for any Siri desktop port. The iPhone is designed to be held up to your face, and has a built-in mic that includes advanced noise reduction technology to ensure your voice is heard loud and clear, while street noise and the nearby guy shouting into his phone aren’t picked up. In part, this is accomplished by using two microphones: one near your mouth to pick up your voice, and another near the headphone jack to identify and cancel out background noise.
Yes, your MacBook Pro has an omnidirectional microphone built-in. It’s very convenient for using FaceTime in conjunction with the notebook’s camera, or for the speech recognition function built into Macs for OS control. The omnidirectional mic, however, doesn’t offer the same voice-processing sensitivity of the iPhone 4′s dual-mic arrangement. All told, Siri voice analysis would be far more challenging on a Mac computer, particularly when other voices or noises are in the room.
Granted, using an external mic, or even the mic on your throwaway iDevice earbuds, could provide a solution. But even though Siri is still considered a beta product, Apple wouldn’t resort to such an inelegant hack just to put Siri on Macs.
“Apple has been reluctant to put in features that require something like that,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett told Wired. “It’s too fussy for what they like to do. Current speech-recognition products work pretty well if you wear a special high-quality microphone. What’s very clear is they need the mic on your face, right by your lips.”
Siri is all about location-awareness. She wants to give you directions, provide local weather reports, and locate the closest sources of exotic cuisine. But desktop computers don’t include native GPS.
“I think the main challenge [in bringing Siri to Mountain Lion] would be the lack of an accurate location being available,” said William Tunstall-Pedoe, CEO of True Knowledge, which has developed a Siri clone called Evi. What’s more, as Tunstall-Pedoe points out, desktop computers are relatively stationary devices, so a Mac version of Siri may not even need location-awareness, as a large portion of Siri’s talents would never be engaged.
All of which begs the question, If a good portion of Siri’s functionality isn’t even germane to the desktop experience, why even deliver a port?
While MacBooks don’t currently include GPS services, various web services (like Google Maps) can figure out your location by using either IP geolocation, or by triangulating your position based on WiFi networks around you. These strategies, however, deliver location accuracy limited to about 150 feet, whereas GPS can peg you within 10 feet of your precise position on the Earth. Future MacBooks could easily include GPS chip built-in for more exact positioning, but for now, laptop and desktop geolocation capabilities aren’t accurate — or even that necessary.
Hands-Free Voice Control Isn’t Needed
People tend to use Siri because their hands are tied, like when driving. Thus, “Siri, where’s the nearest gas station?” With Siri, you can find the answer quickly, and relatively safely, while keeping your eyes on the road. But these basic use cases just don’t transfer to the desktop.
“I think it is fair to say that the advantages that a voice-powered assistant give are stronger on a small mobile device,” Tunstall-Pedoe said. “PCs typically have a much larger screen and a keyboard and mouse.” Or, in Apple’s case, a trackpad or Magic Trackpad instead of a mouse, depending if you’re on a laptop or desktop.
Either way, hand-driven data entry is a familiar — and generally effective — method for using today’s computers. What’s more, as Tunstall-Pedoe points out, “PCs are also often used in environments where the use of voice would be awkward,” such as inside an open floor plan office.
Granted, if you’re disabled or injured, you could certainly make use of a hands-free feature. But in these cases, you would probably want a tool more robust than Siri. Which brings us to our next point:
Limited Use Cases
With Siri, you can do things like schedule reminders, look up restaurant and business information on Yelp, get information from Wolfram|Alpha, and ask general search engine-style queries. That’s not a large number of functions, and they’re not specifically suited to the desktop environment.
Indeed, why would you have Siri look up something when you can more quickly run your own Google search?
“On the iPhone, people want to do short things, like quick dictation and sending a quick text message,” Gillette says. The use cases would be different on a Mac, and not necessarily centered around short phrases. Siri’s capabilities would need to expand in order to handle these different functions.
Lastly, Siri needs a constant data connection in order to interface with Apple’s servers. Until MacBooks include a built-in 3G, or more likely, 4G data connection, WiFi alone won’t cut it for consistent, high-quality network availability, Gillett says.
Gillett also believes Siri ties into unique hardware features that make chatter between one’s device and Apple’s data center more streamlined. “There seems to be special silicon within a special chip that has capabilities for voice recognition that a Mac wouldn’t have,” he said.
Gillett notes that Siri is sometimes able to analyze a query and provide a response extremely quickly, while other times, it takes 10 to 15 seconds of processing. “I think the chip does some pre-analysis, shrinks stuff it has to send, Apple’s data center gets a crunched answer, and Siri displays it on screen,” Gillett said.
“Apple may be working on Siri-enabling features [for Macs] in the future, but there will be some hardware enhancements to go with it,” Gillett said. “And they’ll think long and hard about the use case before they implement a voice feature in the Mac.”
Article source: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/02/no-siri-mountain-lion/
The Droid 4 doesn’t look much like its other Droid siblings, but it does promise the same stellar keyboard and a solid construction. At $199 it won’t break your wallet, but it will offer most of the same specs we’re seeing go for $300, including a 4G LTE radio. If thin and light is important to you, the Droid 4 probably isn’t what you’re looking for, but keyboard purists should start getting excited… right… now.
- 4-inch 540×960 display
- Verizon 4G LTE
- Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 8MP rear camera (1080p video capture)
- 1.3MP front camera (720p video capture)
- Sliding 5-row QWERTY keyboard
- MSRP: $199.99 on-contract
- The backlit QWERTY keyboard is solid and comfortable
- Much better design than old Droids
- Highly print resistant, comfortable rear surface
- Low quality photos
- It chugs a bit if you push it
- Battery’s a bust
The Droid 4 feels great in the hand, and in my honest opinion it sports a far superior design than its predecessors. It actually looks quite a bit like the Razr, save for a textured plastic back panel and the obvious added heft. Still, the same black bezel and boxy metal edges remain.
I wish that both the lock button and the volume rocker had depressed a bit more when pushed, but Moto got it right where port placement is concerned — both the HDMI out and microUSB are on the lower left hand edge. That shouldn’t bother anyone who’s tooling around while plugged in (and trust me, you’ll be plugged in quite a bit (more on that later)).
The removable battery door has a nice feel to it and is surprisingly resistant to prints, though for some odd(/stupid) reason Moto won’t let us get at the battery itself.
The size of the phone didn’t bother me at all. Obviously if thin and light are important to you than you won’t enjoy this, but it felt nice and solid to me. I prefer the 4-inch screen to stuff like the Nexus and Note’s giant displays, and the .5-inch waist line wasn’t that much of a bother either. See, the phone’s weight actually lends itself to a more premium feel in the hand and I wouldn’t have even minded an extra .1 inch if it meant a removable battery (hint hint).
The Droid 4 keyboard isn’t going to give you any problems on the durability front. It slides in and out nicely and doesn’t seem to bend or crack at all when pressured. There is a little friction there when sliding it back and forth, but after a little getting used to I prefer that more than those ultra slippery sliders — feels a bit sturdier.
The buttons themselves lay nearly flush with the phone, which certainly looks nice, but I’d appreciate just a bit more of a hump or bump to help feel my way around. They’re non-slick keys which is nice on its own, but what’s even better is that they don’t seem to get all grubby and sticky either.
The buttons are placed well, with just enough space in between to at least feel a tiny groove (which is basically necessary since the buttons are so flat). They also offer a nice tapping noise and some solid tactile feedback when pressed, though textaholic teens may have some trouble going unnoticed in a classroom.
I still find the iOS virtual keyboard and Swype to be faster than this physical 5-row QWERTY (for me, at least), but keyboard purists likely won’t find anything better on the market.
The Droid 4 runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread along with some version of a Motorola overlay. It’s not MotoBlur exactly, but it’s certainly not pure Android.
The UI doesn’t seem terribly obtrusive, but it’s also not very useful either. The apps/widgets have this “flashy” effect when you swipe between home screens, which results in an annoyance at best and a headache at worst. There are social hubs and stuff, which is (how can I put it…) whatever, but the value proposition of the UI just isn’t good enough. Now that Googorola is almost in the bag we might start seeing a few more vanilla devices out of Moto, but that’s probably just a dream.
MotoCast is along for the ride here, which offers up a solid option for any cloud syncing/streaming you may want to do between phone and PC. You’ll also find Netflix, a lite version of Madden NFL 12, Kindle Reader, NFL Mobile, and Mog Music present and accounted for, along with a handful of bloatware apps from Verizon and Motorola.
The camera on the Droid 4 didn’t live up to my expectations. The app itself is swell, on the other hand. There’s a little drop-down tab on the side that gives you access to plenty of settings, scenes, and modes. Not all of them are as useful as the others, but they’ll at least make for a good time playing around and taking pictures.
However, none of that really matters if the picture quality itself happens to blow. I tried to give it a few chances, switching between low-light and outdoor settings, but no matter what images just seemed to fall flat. I took the same shot with both my iPhone 4S and the Droid 4 and the difference in image quality is staggering.
Take a look:
The Droid 4 uses a TFT LCD qHD (960×540) display that measures 4 inches diagonally. Size-wise it feels just right. Since the phone itself is a bit thick, a screen any larger might make one-handed actions more difficult. Serious mobile gamers might be a little peeved at the smaller display, but if you’re a serious mobile gamer the Droid 4 probably isn’t right for you anyway.
In terms of quality I’m not all that impressed. Everything seems a bit fuzzier than it should. On the other hand, the Droid 4 screen allows for a nice wide viewing angle, but with a screen so small it’s doubtful you’ll be gathering around the 4 to watch a flick with friends. Could come in handy for the occasional group visit to YouTube, though.
Call quality on the Droid 4 was just fine, though I did have a few issues whenever I tried to use microphone-equipped headphones. The usual Android lag is present, and this custom overlay (albeit lighter than TouchWiz) doesn’t help anything. For example, swiping between home screens packed with widgets and even scrolling in a the browser is choppy most of the time.
On the other hand the Droid 4 handled its benchmark testing rather well. Quadrant, which tests just about everything, gave it a score of 2430 on average. It scored an average of 86,544 on Browsermark, which benchmarks browser performance based on hardware. For some perspective, the Galaxy Note scored an averages of 2703 and 48,610 on Quadrant and Browsermark respectively.
Unfortunately, the Droid 4 falls short in the battery life department. We test battery life on phones by running them through a program that simply performs a Google Image search each time a page loads. At any time we can pop out of that program and do other things, but the phone is always in use without sleeping from 100 percent battery life until it dies.
The Droid 4 lasted just three hours and forty-five minutes. For some perspective, the Droid Razr gave me a solid four and a half hours, while the Razr Maxx lasted for an impressive eight hours and fifteen minutes. Now, the Droid 4 didn’t seem to have such awful battery life when I let it breathe every once in a while, and the Razr Maxx’s main feature is its massive battery, but this Droid 4 battery life just isn’t adequate.
Head-To-Head With The Droid 3 And iPhone 4S:
Check out our thoughts on this match-up here.
Hands-On Video: Initial Impressions
Here’s the deal.
If you absolutely, 100 percent, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt must have a physical keyboard on your phone, then yes, the Droid 4 is probably the best phone you’ll find. It’s far superior to any BlackBerry or QWERTY-sporting Android that I’ve ever come into contact with. But (and this is a big but)… I wouldn’t recommend the Droid 4 to just about anyone else.
The screen’s not all that impressive, the camera can’t hang, and the battery life won’t get you through the day. It’s pretty, that’s for sure, but simply not good enough unless your insistence on a keyboard is worth more than having a solid smartphone.
Remember, this is the next two years of your life. Who knows how awesome the virtual keyboards will be by then (or if we’ll even be typing with our fingers anymore)? Do you really want to be not one, but (probably) two steps behind everyone else?
Check out all of our Droid 4 review posts here.
- MOTOROLA MOBILITY
Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to mobile and wireline digital communication devices that provide compelling experiences, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $22 billion in 2009
February 18th, 2012
Google’s popular mobile platform, Android, will play a major role at the Mobile World Congress in Sp| Read More
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Additional reports about the iPhone 5 release are turning towards an announcement during the WWDC in June. But, is this a logical possibility or simply another media-built rumor?
Right after the launch of the iPhone 4S, the tech media made a safe bet by saying that it the iPhone 5 will be released after about one year. Although reports came out earlier that there is a high chance that the device will be launched in June 2012, the existing theory maintains that it will occur during the Fall season. However, a new set of recent articles suggest that the technology media seems to be rethinking the sense behind their reports.
MacRumors points to a latest analyst report coming from Daiwa Securities saying that the upcoming version of the iPhone is expected to be unveiled during the Worldwide Developer’s Conference of Apple in June of 2012. Moreover, the report said that Apple has already blocked the 11th and 15th of June at the Moscone Center for a so called corporate meeting which apparently will be the WWDC.
Aside from MacRumors, IBT as another Tech Media says that based on history, Apple usually picks a Thursday or Friday release of its iPhones. Since June 15 happens to be a Friday this year, there is a high chance that the iPhone 5 will be released at that time. Although Steve Jobs will not be in charge of the announcement of the phone this year, IBT logically assumes that Apple will stick to its “One More Thing” trademark moments at the WWDC’s close.
Lastly, the Cult of Mac also bets on an interesting assertion that the release date of the iPhone 4S was just a slight deviation from the usual June release of all the other iPhone versions. This does not come as a surprising report to many who did not anticipate Apple to continue with an October release of its iPhones. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S, reports have been circulating that the iPhone event was just delayed to give the company ample time to perfect the iPhone 5. Indeed, the launching of the 5th generation iPhone was cancelled and replaced by the 4S at the very last minute.
With these rumors, it is apparent that the tech media is building a bit of agreement that the iPhone 5 may possibly be released during the WWDC. The fact that the Moscone Center has already been reserved by Apple for a June event sounds promising. However, even if it seems that the WWDC may truly be held in June, it is still not a real indication that iPhone 5 will be unveiled at that time.
The best thing for Apple fans and followers to do at this time is to wait for more tech media reports such as Digitimes and rumor sites in Asia. But, until talk begins to come out that the production of the iPhone 5 is already starting, all reports about the launch and release date of the newest iPhone version will remain as mere speculations.
Good ol’ dubious Digitimes. While your penchant for hit-or-miss reporting may be frustrating at times, at least you constantly provide fodder for the never-ending rumor mill that brings the tech world hours of edge-of-your-seat entertainment and imaginative speculation.
The latest round involves a potential launch time frame for Google‘s (NAS: GOOG) Android 5.0, the next major version of its wildly popular mobile operating system. Continuing Android’s donning of delectable dessert descriptions, this one will continue to proceed through the alphabet with “Jelly Bean” (will the next be “Key Lime Pie”?). The upgrade is said to integrate functions from its Chrome netbook operating system.
Microsoft‘s (NAS: MSFT) next big upgrade, Windows 8, is expected sometime in the latter end of the year, potentially in the third quarter. Windows 8 will have a heavy focus on mobility, as it will run on tablets and draws much inspiration from Mr. Softy’s Windows Phone mobile OS. Digitimes believes that Big G will try to coax gadget makers into loading up Android 5.0 and Windows 8 onto the same tablet PCs, offering users the choice to run either OS at will.
The timeframe is somewhat believable; Google unveiled Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, at its I/O conference in the second quarter of last year, although it wasn’t launched until October. Ice Cream Sandwich adoption has been somewhat slow, with hardware fragmentation being the primary culprit of rollout delays.
Google soon-to-be subsidiary Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) just outlined its Android 4.0 upgrade schedule and it’s shockingly staggered, “in evaluation,” and just plain slow considering Big G is about to swallow the hardware maker. Many of the devices that are set to receive Ice Cream Sandwich aren’t even scheduled to be upgraded until the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Apple (NAS: AAPL) should be hard at work on iOS 6, which, presumably, will be released into the wild alongside this year’s iPhone (5? 6? 4SS?) model later in the year.
The publication says that the search giant wants to penetrate the notebook and netbook market with Android 5.0, which doesn’t make much sense, since Google already has a netbook OS with Chrome. It’s even less clear why Google would want OEMs to load its OS alongside Windows.
A Q2 announcement is a distinct possibility, with Google I/O scheduled for late June this year. A full-scale launch doesn’t stack up, and neither does the dual-OS prediction.
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article was published Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft; creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft; and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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The iOSsphere seemed to be nearing exhaustion, swinging between summer and fall release dates, the differences between .1 and .2 firmware versions, and wild longings for a 3D user interface.
And all we really had to show for it was another iPhone 5 scam.
You read it here second.
“It seems to be becoming more and more of a coin-toss situation each and every day regarding whether or not Apple will opt for an iPhone 5 release date in the summer or fall of this year, with rather weighty evidence backing both possibilities.” ~ Eddie Jones, NewsSizzle.com, apparently the last man on earth to realize that more and more rumors lead to more and more uncertainty.
iPhone 5 release this summer … or fall
The good thing about rumors is the same thing that’s bad about them: They’re unmoored from reality.
“It seems to be becoming more and more of a coin-toss situation each and every day regarding whether or not Apple will opt for an iPhone 5 release date in the summer or fall of this year, with rather weighty evidence backing both possibilities,” writes an exasperated-sounding Eddie Jones at NewsSizzle.com, who added 1 + 1 and came up with less than zero.
But at least he has “rather weighty evidence.” And what is this evidence, you ask?
It’s “the latest string of rumors surfacing from the world’s mobile technology industry,” along with stuff that was “said by many,” not to mention “countless key sources and supposed Foxconn workers.”
If that isn’t evidence, what is?
Jones still seems to be hoping that iPhone 5 will be announced on iOctober 5, the first anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death (although Apple could still surprise us all and announce it, or iPad 3 or something, on his birthday next week, Feb. 24). How likely is a deathday observance? “The fact that the iPhone 5 was said by many to be one of the most dedicated passions of Jobs and a project he had personally been involved in for years would make this suggestion a distinct possibility to say the least,” Jones intones.
On the other hand.
“On the other hand, suggestions of a possible summer launch appear to have just as much weight behind them, as countless key sources and supposed Foxconn workers have claimed that the iPhone 5 is pretty much ready to go and will return Apple to its usual iPhone launch schedule at the WWDC [Worldwide Developer Conference] in June.”
So, to say the least, it’s a distinct possibility that iPhone will be announced either this summer or next fall. We wouldn’t have to read this stuff if Jones had simply done what he suggests at the outset of his post: flip a coin.
iPhone 5 will run iOS 5.something-or-other, not iOS 6
Taking rumors at face value, Michael Nace, at the un-ironically named iPhone 5 News Blog, wonders if the imminent release of iOS 5.1 will “foreshadow a refreshed iOS 5.2 for the iPhone 5, and not a full iOS 6 overhaul?”
In a post that has only a superficial coherence, Nace explains that iOS 5, unveiled in June 2011, was a big deal but it also contributed to the reported battery life problems of iPhone 4S, unveiled in October. So Apple is soon bringing out 5.1, and that means it could also later bring out 5.2, unless it doesn’t.
“What remains to be seen, however, is if Apple will continue to upgrade iOS 5 heading into the iPhone 5 release, of if June will see the release of iOS 6,” Nace writes, using a classic iOSsphere construction that states the obvious as if it were a revelation.
“Historically, Apple has released a fresh, new version of iOS, starting in 2007 with iOS 1,” he says. “Thus, for Apple to opt for equipping the iPhone 5 with iOS 5.2 would break with a long-held tradition [of 4.0 years] of deploying a new mobile operating system at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference.”
Nace apparently means “a new single-digit version of the mobile operating system” since Apple isn’t replacing the OS every year.
In any case, his conclusion boils down to “Apple will do something with the operating system for iPhone 5, but I have no idea what.”
iPhone 5 will have 3D, eyeball-tracking, interactive, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious display
Among newly published patent applications by the U.S. Patent Office is one by Apple, number 20120036433, entitled “Three Dimensional User Interface Effects on a Display by Using Properties of Motion,” picked up by, among others, AppleInsider.
This is just the latest 3D patents for Apple, which the iOSsphere has been obsessing over since last summer at least.
Reading the many iOSsphere posts on this new invention, Rollup has the distinct impression that no one really understands what it is or how it works, but they all agree its way cool.
Digital Spy: “Apple files virtual 3D eye-tracking display patent” Wired: “Apple Patent Shows 3-D Interface Calibrated by Eye Positioning” Engadget: “Apple files patent for interactive 3D interface” PhoneArena: “Apple patent from 2010 tracks your eyes to give 3D illusion on screen”
There’s still more confusion caused by the fact that AppleInsider posted about another Apple 3D patent on Jan. 12 and the writer of both posts, Neil Hughes, seems to have reused much his earlier wording.
From Jan. 12 — “Apple exploring motion-based 3D user interface for iPhone“: “Apple has shown interest in developing a new user interface for the iPhone that relies less on the device’s touchscreen, and more on manipulating a 3D environment with motion controls. The concept was revealed this week in a new patent application discovered by AppleInsider and entitled ‘Sensor Based Display Environment.’ It describes a three-dimensional display environment that uses orientation data from onboard sensors, like a gyroscope and compass, to navigate the system.
From Feb. 9 — “Apple exploring 3D frame-of-reference iOS interface based on eye, light location“: “Apple has shown interest in creating a unique user interface for iOS, allowing new features like dynamic shadows based on the angle of light hitting an iPhone screen. Apple’s concept was revealed this week in a new patent application discovered by AppleInsider. Entitled ‘Three Dimensional User Interface Effects on a Display by Using Properties of Motion,’ it describes a system relying on a number of sensors, including eye tracking with a forward facing camera, to display a user interface that automatically reacts to the world around it.”
In the most recent post, Hughes writes that the patent is for a “unique user interface for iOS, allowing new features like dynamic shadows based on the angle of light hitting an iPhone screen.”
To be honest, dynamic shadows seems a bit underwhelming.
He includes an excerpt from Apple’s patent filing: “However, current [3D] systems do not take into account the location and position of the device on which the virtual 3D environment is being rendered, in addition to the location and position of the user of the device, as well as the physical and lighting properties of the user’s environment in order to render a more interesting and visually appealing interactive virtual 3D environment on the device’s display.”
It wasn’t long before the correct implications were drawn, as International Business Times proclaimed: “iPhone 5 to Boast of 3-D Interactive Screen?“
IBT writer Anthony Myers clearly is deeply stirred by the Promise of Technology. “The new virtual interface takes advantage of Kinect-like motion sensors and face recognition software to follow along with where your eyes are looking,” he writes. “It could even do things like expand icons when your eyes move across them. Additionally, those same icons could appear to have their own shadows, depending on where the surrounding light is coming from.”
Rollup is especially intrigued by the implications of swelling icons through eyeballing. But there’s more.
“In turn, these effects would be key to things like gaming on the iPhone and the new feature would alter the smartphone landscape in a way only Apple seems capable of,” Myers gushes.
iPhone 5 tester invitation is a scam: public service announcement
An SMS message now making the rounds, inviting people to apply to become an iPhone 5 tester, and promising a free iPhone 5, is unsurprisingly a lie.
A batch of websites are reporting the scam, including GottaBeMobile.
“If you received a text message asking you to be a part of the iPhone 5 test program, don’t respond to it or follow any links contained in it unless you want to get spam until you change your number,” warns Josh Smith. Here’s what the SMS message typically looks like.
The lure is: Join the test program and you get to keep the iPhone 5 you tested. To do so, you have to click on a link, which puts you on a Web page requesting your email address.
The two variants of the message start with “Apple needs iPhone5 testers …,” which should be an instant giveaway: When does Apple “need” anything from consumers?
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World. Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgBlog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed
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