Monthly Archives: September 2010

Windows and Flash show up on the iPad.


Well, kind of.  Parallels 6 has been released, and along with it, Parallels Mobile.   Parallels Mobile allows you use an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad to remotely access a virtual session running in Parallels on a Mac.  An active Parallels account and a registered virtual machine are required.  Also, requires 3G or WiFi.  This is essentially a remote desktop connection to a running virtual machine on the Mac and  I’m not sure how useful it is, but watching Windows 7 using gestures on an iPad makes the video below very enjoyable on many levels.

Is the Apple getting soft? Flash created apps are off the naughty list for the iPhone.


Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple has announced a sudden reversal in its development conditions for its mobile devices today.  Back in April, Apple announced that the only development platform that could be used to create apps for its mobile devices was the Apple SDK (software development kit), which only runs on a Mac.  Fortunately, Cupertino has had a change of heart.  It is now just fine to develop apps with other development platforms, provided the apps don’t download any code.  Time will tell how badly the ‘no download’ condition will hamstring developers, but this is a move in the right direction.

Apple says that it has “listened to our developers”.  I’m not quite sure who they were listening to back in April when they pulled the plug on third-party development platforms.  Perhaps what they heard as they listened this time was the footsteps of developers heading to less restrictive platforms such as Android?  Regardless, it’s a win for pretty much everyone.  Adobe wasted no time in responding with glee because developers can now develop for iOS with Flash Professional CS5.  Note, that doesn’t mean that Flash will work in your web browser on your iOS devices now, it just means more sales for Adobe’s development platform.  Ultimately, it’s a win for users.  More developers will be able to develop for iOS devices now, and that means more apps for users of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

In addition, Apple has announced they are publishing guidelines for how the app store review process works.  This is designed to give developers a better idea of how the review process works and presumably a better shot at getting their apps approved.

Related: Mobile Crunch

A Front Facing Camera for the Next iPad?


It’s been rumored for quite a while that the next iPad will ship with a front facing camera and FaceTime.  As of now that’s still, well, a rumor.  However, the folks at 9to5 Mac and CrunchGear are posting the picture to the right and reporting it is a video chat debug in the next generation iPad firmware.  It’s such an obscure shot that I can’t believe I’m even talking about it, but it would seem the next logical step in the iPad’s evolution.  This brings a  few question to mind.  Upgrading my phone every couple of years seems fairly logical because they take a lot of abuse and they are subsidized to the point of being fairly inexpensive.  What about the iPad?  It’s a larger investment.   How often will iPad owners be willing to upgrade?  Also, with a slew of pads reportedly rushing to the market based on Android, WebOS, Windows 7, etc., is anyone going to beat Apple to the punch by including a front facing camera and video chat software?  If they do, does it really matter?  Is FaceTime already king?  Apple has promised to release its protocol secrets for FaceTime.  If they follow-up with that, we may see some wonderful interoperability with other devices.  If they don’t release the protocols, will they release FaceTime to other platforms?  So many questions from the possibility of simply adding a camera to a tablet.

What are your thoughts on this?  I’d love to hear your comments.

A Better Battery Gauge


Laptop users know the standard battery gauge that Windows uses leaves much to be desired.  It’s very small and doesn’t offer much information.  Fortunately there are alternatives.  One of them is Battery Bar from  Osiris Development.   For starters, battery bar sits on the task bar and is much larger than the standard Windows battery icon and therefore much easier to see.  That feature alone is worth the price of admission, but it offers more.

The BatteryBar icon easily shows 3:17 remaining on the battery compared to the standard Windows icon.

Clicking on the BatteryBar icon changes it from percentage of charge / discharge to a runtime / charge time format in hh:mm.

Hovering over the BatteryBar icon provides a wealth of information.

When hovering over the BatteryBar icon, a popup appears with additional information including the percentage of battery wear, which will be particularly useful for road warriors who will want to have advanced notice of impending battery doom.

BatterBar with the laptop running on battery.

BatteryBar comes in a free and a paid version.  The free version contains all of the features listed above and should work well for most users.  The paid version is inexpensive and comes with some extra features such as graphing of battery profiles.   BatteryBar is light on resources and offers up necessary information in an easy and straightforward manner.  BatteryBar is available for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  The free version can be had here.