Today in “Siri’s Hot Cousin”:
For all of those iPhone users who fell in love with Siri but were unable to win her hand, don’t fret: she has a cousin. Developed by Nuance, the company who worked on Siri for Apple, Nina is a voice control software development kit that lets app developers easily build voice control into their apps. In the same way that Siri gave users control of their entire device, Nina will allow users control of an individual app (as specified by the developer, of course). In a demo, Nina was used to control a banking app, letting the user pay their credit card bill with their voice alone. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Being able to access and use your apps, hands free, is exciting stuff. Of course, as an app development company, we’re excited by any and every new toy put at our disposal, but c’mon…you know you want to give Nina a spin.
Today in “Tablets! Tablets! Tablets!”:
Which tablet is the best? According to a recent survey conducted amongst tablet owners, it’s the iPad, but the results were a little closer than you’d expect. The three month study of 6,000 tablet users resulted in an 8.8 (out of ten, of course) score for the iPad, narrowly edging out the 8.7 score for the Kindle Fire. Other Android tablets didn’t fare quite as well, but the Kindle placing so close to Apple’s far more expensive and prestigious device is surprising. The survey also revealed that iPad owners tend to be males who make over $100,000 a year and that Kindle Fire owners are generally women who make under $100,000 a year. Mobile device ownership is also representative of class warfare and the battle of the sexes? Who knew! Now we just need Microsoft to enter the fray with their Surface tablet and see where that lands…especially since the software giant is thinking ahead and already prepping the Surface 2.
Today in “Punishing Individual Achievement”:
Where exactly do we draw the line on people taking initiative? Look at the recent case of Florida University student Tim Arnold, who saw a problem, built an app to solve it and found himself punished by the administration for his actions. Anyone who’s been to college in the age of the internet can sympathize with Arnold’s reasoning. With class registration entirely online, trying to get into a class (and double checking to see if any spots open up) involves a lot of tedious logging and refreshing. Emphasis on the “a lot.” So Arnold built a Facebook application that, for 99 cents, checks the system for you, notifying you when a spot opens up in one of your desired classes. With hundreds of users within the first week, the app was a hit with everyone…except the school itself, which charged Arnold with “misuse of computing and telecommunications resources.” He now faces three months of academic probation. Granted, the school’s worries were not unfounded (the app could potentially crash the school’s registration site), but punishing a student for actively improving your system? Wrong, wrong, wrong. The school needs to give him a finger wag, but it also needs to buy this app from him, and make it properly work with their site. Everyone wins.
Today in “Hilarious”:
The entire Apple VS Samsung patent battle has just been plain depressing for fans of mobile tech. Nothing good is going to come from these two giants slugging it out in a courtroom. Well, except for this video from last night’s episode of ‘Conan.’ Enjoy: