DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Kindle Fire OS and Kindle iOS Apps Updated

Did you get (or give) a Kindle Fire this holiday? Amazon thanks you – like Apple, Amazon is keen to keep its customers happy. And to that end, last week, Amazon updated the new Kindle Fire and iOS with new features.


The Kindle Fire has sold well over a million units in just a few short weeks.

It’s On Fire!
Amazon has been aggressively going after digital media technologies and trying to hard to maintain it’s foothold as a digital bookseller. Recently, Amazon’s first tablet, the Kindle Fire became a hot-seller and its iPhone and iPad apps are among the top downloads in the App Store. Still users complained about functionality for both the Fire – mainly one that didn’t allow users the ability to remove things from the carousel – and the Kindle Fire app, but thanks to a new update those issues have been addressed.

Kindle Fire Updates

  • Users can now “edit” what shows up in the app carousel on the Fire’s home screen – before users couldn’t remove any items.
  • Touch navigation has been improved.
  • The OS and hardware are more responsive, web pages load much faster.

 
Kindle App for iOS

  • Updated user interface for periodicals and text books – this includes access to the same selection of more than 400 magazines and newspapers that are offered on the Kindle Fire.
  • “Print replica textbooks” are now available for the first time to iOS Kindle app users. This allows users to see full-color pages, the ability to zoom in/out and take notes as you read.
  • The Kindle iOS app can now be used as a PDF reader. This feature was already available in iBooks.

 
Amazon & Apps
Driving tablets like the Kindle Fire and iPad are powerful apps. The Kindle Fire uses Google Android Apps, while the iPad uses apps that are developed exclusively for iOS. Apple’s App Store has four times the amount of apps than the Android app store but since app development is one of the largest and fastest growing sections of digital media, expect apps – especially Android apps to grow drastically in the next few years.

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posted by DMA Jordan in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Free Texting: iMessage VS What’s App

It’s something you probably do every day, and while the technology exists to do it for free, many people are still paying for it. We’re talking of course, about texting.

The iPhone 4S and iOS deliver the promise of free texting with iMessage. 

Think about it, in an age when eon -mails and other forms of advanced electronic communication (such as Skype, Twitter, and Facebook) are basically free, wireless carriers are still charging for SMS (short messaging service) or texts.

We get it; cellular networks are costly to maintain and upgrade. But when others are already delivering texts for free, you’d think wireless carriers would follow suit – if for nothing more than to make up for all the dropped calls we’ve already endured as customers. The truth is free text poses threats to carriers.

Apple to the Rescue
Leave it to Steve Jobs to make technology companies (in this case, your cellular provider) work harder to provide you with better service and products. Apple’s latest iOS5 features iMessage, which is a free app that serves up unlimited texting to ANY Apple device running iOS 5. The good? Once you update your iOS, iMessage is ready to go. You can send texts, images or video. And like Facetime, it looks like iMessage is headed for the Mac OS. The bad? iMessage is only for Apple users running iOS 5. That means if your friend is a PC, or using an Android phone, you have to find another way to text him, like…


WhatsApp versus iMessage! Which is best? It depends on what devices your friends use…

WhatsApp!
In this corner, WhatsApp, the free texting app that works across different OSs and even multiple devices, such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. WhatsApp also allows you to send images and video in addition to texts.

While there’s no cost for texting while using WhatsApp, and you can connect with people internationally using it (again also for free), take note: you’ll still be using data from your data plan when you’re using your provider to connect to the Internet to send a text.

Texting, by the numbers (Source: NY Times):

  • 2 trillion: The number of text messages sent each year in the U.S.
  • $20 billion: Revenue generated from texting by wireless carriers.
  • $7 billion: Amount Verizon Wireless generates annually from texting (it’s 12 percent of the company’s total revenue or about a third of its operating income).
  • 1/3 of a penny: What it costs wireless carriers to send a text message.
  • 10-20 cents: What cellular providers charge to send and receive a text message. That’s more than a 4,000% markup.

Companies such as AT&T use services like texting as a profit center, charging users as much as 20 cents per text message for texts either sent or received. It’s a good thing there are free alternatives; texting apps are putting enterprising developers and their app development skills to good use.

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posted by DMA Jordan in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple’s iPhone 5 Versus Android Smartphone: Which is Better?

Apple is the most recognized brand in the world; Apple’s products, specifically the iPhone, are in high demand. And yet, Android phones have started outselling iPhones in the U.S., according to comScore. Why? Google’s widely distributed Android OS rules the smartphone platform. Several different providers offer several different types of service, alongside Android phones that are offered at many different price points. While Apple selects its providers, and only Apple makes the iPhone.


Apple and Android face off in the Smartphone Wars.

That’s why analysts expect Apple to release more than one type of iPhone to address the problem of market share, making the iPhone even more accessible. In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple is expected to release a cheaper iPhone 4, too.

Possible iPhone 5 features:

  • Memory. More memory, possibly 1GB of memory, which is twice the amount currently offered in the iPhone 4.
  • Higher-resolution. 8-megapixel (the current phones have 5 megapixel’s worth).
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC). Use your Google Wallet.
  • Voice Control. Call home using voice navigation.
  • Graphics. Improved and similar to the graphics silicon used in the iPad 2. Imagination’s PowerVR SGX543.
  • Dual-core Apple A5 chip. A boost in processing performance.
  • 3G. A Qualcomm chipset is expected that supports both CDMA and GSM networks.
  • 4G. Via HSPA+.
  • iCloud. Synching the phone might also be done through Apple’s cloud service.
  • iOS 5. New iOS with iMessage, tabbed browsing and lots more.

 
In addition to the Apple App Store, iTunes and whole host of features, the iPhone has 200 of them powering iOS 5. Also expect the introduction of iCloud to play a part.


A computer-generated graphic of the iPhone 5. 

Everyone wants an iPhone, including T-Mobile customers. CEO Cole Brodman recently shared his disappointment in a letter that explained the company hadn’t been selected as an iPhone provider yet. The Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile explained his own frustration with Apple and knew the announcement would make customers unhappy.

Droid Does 
The Android OS and droid phones support 4G. A phone like the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has an incredibly vivid and larger display than the iPhone. Droid phones also have great features. The Motorola Droid Bionic has a dual-core Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 processor. It has proved to be a very popular phone in its own right. While both Apple and Android phones support streaming video and audio apps like Hulu, Netflix and Pandora, Droid phones have better audio output and larger displays than iPhone.

App and game development for Google Android devices has certainly become increasingly popular with more games and apps being released ever day. Still, Apple’s App Store and iTunes are well established, offer more apps, games and overall content and are loved by millions.

Some tech-savvy users might say they want the display and many phone options of the Android platform, while having the support and use of Apple’s App Store and iTunes. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. iPhones and their apps integrate with other Apple devices. For that reason and a few others (including iTunes), for the moment, we’ll hold onto our iPhones and remain in line for the iPhone 5.

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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments