Pandora Universal app looks great

iPad Pandora app.With the iPad launching tomorrow there are a lot of apps to get excited about, not the least of which is Pandora. Pandora has been a huge success on every mobile platform. It’s also saved me from many a dull road trip with a virtually limitless pool of musical styles. The app got an update this week to include the iPad version and it looks great.

The update includes a large screen version for the iPad, making the artist description and album art that much more accessible. The update also adds album artwork for every station and improves streaming for quicker song selection and less service dropouts. I gotta say, I’ve never had serious problems with streaming, though it does occasionally seem slow, so the improvements will be great.

The really nice thing for the iPad is that everything is on one screen. There’s no flipping back and forth for stations and artist info and all that. The new app seems focused on users getting to know the artist’s their browsing which will be great for Apple with iTunes integration.


Amazon tries to stay competitive with Apple, will need a new device

Steve Jobs in a chair with the iPad.The day Apple announced the iPad, Amazon was calling newspapers and publishers before Steve Jobs had even left the stage. As the New York Times’ Bits blog has it, Amazon wanted to hear what Apple had offered. Amazon had been trying for more than a month to sign deals with publishers that would give Amazon customers the best prices anywhere, either by matching or beating the prices given to other dealers.

Amazon tried to sweeten the deal by offering publishers bigger revenues than in the past. Unfortunately, Apple was willing to budge on a much larger issue: price. With Apple, publishers had a bit more flexibility than Amazon would give, which in turn gave publishers bargaining power over Amazon. See, Amazon will do just about anything to stay competitive with Apple.

In fairness to Amazon, it’s not like publishers want to upset that distribution channel. Amazon pretty much pioneered the ebook scene – it certainly made ebooks as popular as they were likely to become before some sort of wonder device came along – which leaves publishers keen to cater to the existing subscribers in Amazon’s marketplace until either the iPad gains enough ground or Amazon releases a new reader.

That last point is very important. If Amazon doesn’t release a new reader within the next year or so, it will pigeonhole itself into becoming solely a content provider, a position I wouldn’t think Bezos wants to be in considering he started the Kindle. Rarely would a company of Amazon’s scale introduce a middling product only to do away with it in a couple years.

Source: Bits


The Latest Scoop On The Apple Tablet

Apple iPad.Jeremy Horwitz, editor-in-chief at, says he has the latest scoop on the Apple tablet from a reliable source. How reliable? This guy predicted the Chinese iPhone! The Nano Camera! The iPhone 3GS! Oh yeah, so did a couple thousand other people, but hey, it’s better than someone who predicted none of those things…I guess.

So what’s the newest of the new news? Almost nothing. The source says basically everything we already know. It’s a big version of the iPod Touch/iPhone. It’s not competing with netbooks (Apple making a $300 tablet…right). It can be used as an e-reader. About the only new information is that there will be two models, one with 3G and one without, and it will likely be announced on or before January 19, 2010.

Wait, none of that is new either. Speculation about the device has long included 3G capability, and discussing the lame factor in predicting a 14-week announcement window seems cruel (though really, that’s weak).

To end the roundup of half-assed guessing-at-shit-that’s-almost-certain, Horwitz reminds you to keep an open mind. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake iLounge commenters made when they asked, “what’s the point of putting a camera on the Nano?” would you? You’re right, I would too. That camera sucks.


Analysts Say No iPad In September

The Apple iPAD?Despite all the rumors flying about an impending Apple tablet release, analysts don’t expect we’ll see one at the glamorous September Apple event. Instead, you should be looking for an iPod Touch/Nano refresh that includes cameras for both models and possibly a video cam on the new iPod Touch, bringing the flagship mp3 player in line with the iPhone.

The Apple tablet rumor got a whole lot bigger back when Borders posted a survey regarding ereaders that referenced an Apple device. Since then it’s been a lot of speculation, but nothing truly official has surfaced. The camera rumor, on the other hand, has more substantial evidence. There are countless cases with camera ports all in the same place, along with insider info that the cam is coming. I’d say it’s definitely a safer bet.

There’s also the nature of a tablet release for Apple. It has to be good. It has to be really good. The netbook craze is already starting to decline as the models get stuffed with more and more features and look more and more like actual notebooks. Convincing the world to reconsider what is essentially an MID will take an exceptional product, and that’s something Apple may not be ready to roll out by September.


Borders May Have Leaked The Apple Tablet

Is this the Apple tablet?There have been a lot of rumors about the seemingly certain release of an Apple tablet. We’ve seen fake pictures, fake specs, projected sales figures, and more fake pictures. One of the only things I haven’t run across in my reading is a possible name.

Borders cleared all of that up with a recent survey regarding e-readers. I’m not sure if the book peddler (really, you can’t call those “sales”) is trying to gauge its eventual demise, or whether they’re trying to find a way to burst onto the ebook scene, but they may have prematurely outed Apple’s tablet and given the thing a name: The iPAD.

I have to say, the name sucks. It truly sucks. But that it’s in a Borders survey regarding e-readers is certain to make several hundred thousand fanboys foam with anticipation.