iBookstore could launch in Japan this year

Apple is preparing to take another stab at the iBookstore in Japan, according to AllThingsD. Quoting sources with knowledge of the situation 1, AllThingsD notes that Apple is in negotiations with several Japanese book publishers, but customers shouldn’t expect anything to happen right away.

“‘Later this month,’ we’re told, is far too optimistic a date for launch. Remember, the Japanese e-book market is a notoriously difficult one to break into, and this is essentially Apple’s second attempt at it.”

iBooks has offered public domain books to customers in Japan since 2010 and little else.

Good luck to both parties. Entering Japans’ e-book market won’t be easy.

  1. Not to be confused with my favorite “sources familiar with the matter.”

Thanks for Drafts for iPad and iPhone

Screen-shot-2012-12-24-at-9.21.51-AMThanks to Drafts for sponsoring the site this week (here’s a full review of Drafts I wrote a while ago). Drafts has been on my iPhone’s home screen for months and months. If  you received a new iPad or iPhone for Christmas, you definitely want to install Drafts.

Drafts is where text starts on iOS. Launch Drafts and start typing. Capture ideas, status updates, todos, phones numbers, whatever. It’s ready to go as soon as you launch. There’s no need to fiddle with tags, categories or an edit button. Drafts is always ready.

Drafts is more than storage. When you are ready to do something with your text, Drafts is ready with an extensive list of output actions, including: Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook, App.net, Email, Messages, Events, Reminders and one tap export to a continuously growing list of other apps.

Try Drafts in your dock for a week, you won’t regret it!

Drafts and Drafts for iPad are available now at the App store.

Big thanks to SpotQueue and SpotQueue Remote

Big thanks to SpotQueue (free) and SpotQueue Remote by Blue Atlas Technology, LLC for sponsoring the site this week.

SpotQueue is a music player for your Spotify playlists. It offers features that the Spotify app doesn’t. Advanced Queueing lets you create and edit playlists on the fly. You can add a new track or album with one tap. Insert a track, album or whole playlist into any existing playlist with two taps. Create new playlist and re-arrange the queue during playback, and save a playlist that turned out especially well.

It’s easy to skip back and forth, control steam quality and manage playlists.

SpotQueue Remote lets you control SpotQueue from your pocket. Connect an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running SpotQueue to a stereo or powered speakers. Then, use SpotQueue Remote to control it from anywhere on the same Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network. Now you can manage your radio stations and SpotQueue’s Advanced Queueing from wherever you are. Control playback, mark favorites, and adjust stream quality. All from the iPhone in your pocket.

Grab them both and enjoy Spotify in a whole new way.

Quick how-to: AirPlay from YouTube for iPhone

Google has released YouTube for iPhone and iPad version 1.1 with true AirPlay, iPhone 5 support and more. In this quick tutorial, I’ll explain how to use AirPlay with your Apple TV and YouTube for iOS.

Install the App

Install the free YouTube app for iOS. It’s compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, and 5, plus the iPod touch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) and the iPad. It needs iOS 5.0 or later and, as I said, is optimized for iPhone 5.

Enable AirPlay

Earlier versions of YouTube for iOS were restricted to AirPlay mirroring. This version offers proper AirPlay and it’s great. Setup is super simple. First, ensure that your iOS device and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. Then follow these steps:

  1. Find a video you’d like to watch.
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon
  3. A slip appears. Tap your Apple TV to select it.

That’s it! Your video is pushed to your Apple TV. Enjoy this update and start watching YouTube videos on your big screen.

Thanks for reading. You’ll find more quickie how-to’s here.

SpotQueue and SpotQueue Remote for iPhone, iPad

Big thanks to SpotQueue (free) and SpotQueue Remote by Blue Atlas Technology, LLC for sponsoring the site this week.

SpotQueue is a music player for your Spotify playlists. It offers features that the Spotify app doesn’t. Advanced Queueing lets you create and edit playlists on the fly. You can add a new track or album with one tap. Insert a track, album or whole playlist into any existing playlist with two taps. Create new playlist and re-arrange the queue during playback, and save a playlist that turned out especially well.

It’s easy to skip back and forth, control steam quality and manage playlists.

SpotQueue Remote lets you control SpotQueue from your pocket. Connect an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running SpotQueue to a stereo or powered speakers. Then, use SpotQueue Remote to control it from anywhere on the same Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network. Now you can manage your radio stations and SpotQueue’s Advanced Queueing from wherever you are. Control playback, mark favorites, and adjust stream quality. All from the iPhone in your pocket.

Grab them both and enjoy Spotify in a whole new way.

The Daily closes down

I feel badly that The Daily didn’t succeed. The digital publishing industry’s tender age contributed to its eventual failure, but several factors contributed, including a bad first impression. Remember Gruber’s description of “The Daily Wait”?

“From the time I tapped the icon on my home screen until I could read a single page, today’s issue took one minute and twenty seconds. And to be clear, that was over a reasonably fast Wi-Fi connection. One minute, twenty seconds. For over a minute of that time, this is all that I saw. At that point, it’s already a lost cause.”

John wrote that in February 2011, and the app’s developers acknowledged and worked to fix the issue, but by then a large number of potential subscribers had been turned off.

The Daily was a brave, forward-looking experiment. I hope any lessons learned spawn something even better.

 

Create a holiday card with Apple’s Cards for iPhone

If you’d rather use your Mac, check out “How to create a holiday greeting card with iPhoto.” — Dave

Apple released Cards for iPhone and iPad (free, universal) in October, 2011. It lets you create nice-looking greeting cards right on your iPhone or iPad with custom photos, text and more. You can even have your card mailed to your family or friends right from your iPhone.

Here’s how to make a nice-looking holiday card with Cards and impress those on your list.

Continue reading →

Nick Bilton seems confused about the iPad

Nick Bilton of the New York Times answers the question that many iPad customers are considering this week: which model should I buy? Unfortunately, he goes off the rails in delivering an answer.

Bilton accurately notes that the entry-level iPad mini sells for $329 (16 GB, Wi-Fi), while the top-of-the-line model goes for $659 (64 GB Wi-Fi plus cellular). Then he gets into trouble:

“So what do all the extra Benjamin Franklins get you? Not much, really. Each rung higher on the iPad Mini ladder will cost you $100 for a slight memory increase.”

Here, Bilton makes the common mistake of confusing “memory” with “internal storage.” The terms are not interchangeable. Consider an office desk. It has a big, flat surface and many drawers underneath. The drawers, which are full of files, project materials, pens and so on, are like the internal storage. They hold your stuff until you want to work with it. To work with something, you pull it out of a drawer and place it on the desk’s suface. The surface is like the a computer’s memory. The more bigger it is, the more you can work with at once. I might be nit-picking, but this is a pet peeve of mine.

What Bilton says next really goes off the rails:

“The company charges $100 to go from 16 gigabytes to 32 gigabytes with the iPad Mini. Compare that to the same upgrade from a 16-gigabyte thumb drive to a 32-gigabyte thumb drive: the larger one is a whopping $10 more.”

What? Did he really just compare buying an iPad to buying a flash thumb drive? Because that would be ridiculous. iSuppli put the costs for iPad flash at $30/$60/$120 back in 2010, and most recently, $16.80/$33.60/$67.20. Even still, we have no idea what Apple pays for iPad flash, nor what its markup is. I’m confident, however, that it isn’t what manufacturers of cheap thumb drives experience. He also completely ignores that the iPads with cellular connectivity contain additional hardware that further drives the cost.

I agree with Nick’s conclusion, that customers willing to pay $15 to Rdio, $7.99 to Netflix and $7.99 to Hulu Plus every month 1 (and optionally $30 per year to Pandora) should consider the 16 GB iPad mini. Since cloud services reduce the number of space-hogging files stored locally, there’s less of a need for the high-capacity models. He just has a little trouble getting there.

  1. Consider, though, that a year of Rdio, Neflix and Hulu Plus costs $371.76. You could buy another iPad mini!