A week shy of Apple’s Sept. 12 media event, Amazon has unveiled what is most likely going to be the iPad’s biggest competitor with an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with built-in 4G LTE data. It’s $499, but contains 16 GB more than Apple’s base-model iPad and already has the LTE modem. In addition, Amazon is offering a 250 MB-per-month data plan for the LTE Kindle Fire HD for $50 a year. That plan also includes 20 GB of cloud storage and a $10 credit in Amazon’s app store.
Similar data pricing for the iPad is $14.99 a month for 250 MB from AT&T and 1 GB a month for $20 from Verizon. To get the LTE iPad, you need to pay $629 for 16 GB as opposed to Amazon’s 32 GB for $499.
Weathercube is an interesting and graphically pleasing approach to giving you the weather on your iPhone or iPod touch. It is not universal, but will run on an iPad in 2x mode. It sells for US $1.99.
Weathercube supports several gestures which will get you to extended forecasts, other pre-set cities, and even the settings. It provides a lot of information, and swiping the screen gets you a slick animation that looks like the cube is turning in perspective. If you look at the app icon you can get an idea of the animation effect.
In a victory for common sense, US District Judge Edward Davila threw out a class action lawsuit from a group of iPhone 4 owners claiming that Apple misrepresented the strength of the glass materials used in the phone.
California resident Betsalel Williamson started the lawsuit after he knocked his brand new iPhone off the arm of a chair, “resulting in spider cracks across the back glass panel” and forcing him to get it replaced.
Like Analog, Flare (see TUAW review here) provides a way to add and adjust pre-loaded visual effects. Flare comes with quite a few more effects than Analog — a total of 31 — and allows quite a bit more in terms of control and addition of effects.
I’ve harped on this before, but it bears repeating: Apple is in for the fight of its life when it comes to making the TV experience better. A new report in Bloomberg, citing a number of sources, seems to indicate it could be a very long time before this gets sorted and you’re able to find episodes of The Office no matter which you prefer (new, rerun, America, British, on TV or streaming, etc.).
It’s simple, really: cable companies want you to be glued to the couch, and they really don’t want you to have a smart friend helping you find what you want. They’d rather you stumble onto stuff you can tolerate, and sit there for hours. Media companies want this, but they also want all the metrics (when you started, where you bailed, your age, race, favorite band, etc.).