MediaFile

Live coverage of the iPad 2 launch

iPad2 invite

Live coverage of the expected announcement of Apple’s iPad 2. The event will begin Wednesday March 2 at 10 a.m. Pacific/ 1 p.m. Eastern.

Will Steve Jobs show up? Will Tim Cook pull off a major Apple launch alone? Is the rumored iPad 3 the one to wait for? How have investors traded on the news of big Apple launches?

Until Apple launched the iPad last January, the market for tablet computers was little more than the junkyard heap of laptops with touchscreens found on eBay.  On Wednesday, Apple aims to secure its dominance in a market it (re)created with the expected launch of the iPad 2. Join our correspondents Gabriel Madway and Alexei Oreskovic at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center and others around Reuters for a live discussion of the biggest tech event this week.

 

 

Zynga plots its mobile stategy

Zynga wants to get into your pocket. As the  publisher of games like, “Word with Friends,” a Scrabble-clone popular on Apple devices and since February, on Android platforms, Zynga, known as the top games publisher on Facebook, is likely trying to reduce its reliance of Mark Zuckerberg and co’s platform.

“You should play and you should pay,” says David Ko, the former Yahoo executive who moved to Zynga in November to spearhead its mobile push.

 In a recent interview, Ko told Reuters that Zynga’s mobile strategy has two parts: Creating mobile versions of existing Web titles like ”FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars” and, having users play games on their mobile devices before anywhere else, like on “Words with Friends.”

from Environment Forum:

Green apps that can save you money

Media members try out the new "iPad" during the launch of Apple's new tablet computing device in San Francisco, California, January 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kimberly White

As the market for applications running on mobile devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone grows, so do ways to save you money and cut your carbon emissions.

Among them is Avego, a ride-sharing app for the iPhone that lets you offer vacant seats in your car to others and search for free seats if you’re car-less, all in real time. You receive updates on how far away your ride is, so you don’t have to wait around. And it even calculates how much gas-money each passenger should pay. Users create a publicly viewable Avego profile and their reputation can be rated by other members. Paul Smith of Triple Pundit calls the service “brilliant” and an example of “what can be done to reduce traffic, right now, at no additional cost and disruption to our current transportation infrastructure”.

3rdWhaleMobile’s FindGreen app gives GPS-equipped Android smartphones, BlackBerry, and iPhone owners a guide to local retailers and services listed in GenGreen’s Green Business Directory. TechCrunch's Matylda Czarnecka thought the iPhone version was one of the "top ten apps to make you more green". But some users in Google's Android Marketplace complain of few or no listings in their area.

HP’s TouchPad: an Apple iPad killer?

The Palm TouchPad is shown on a screen during a media presentation at the Herbst Pavilion at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, February 9, 2011.REUTERS/Beck Deifenbach

HP unveiled its touchscreen entrant in the tablet race to try to steal momentum from Apple Inc’s popular iPad. The “TouchPad” will be available this summer — but there was no word, yet, on how much it will cost.

Here are some early impressions from the blogoshpere:

Engadget’s Darren Murph speculates that iPad users looking for something lighter will be disappointed by the TouchPad’s 1.6 pound-heft. While Sean Hollister’s first impression is that the TouchPad’s slim black profile highlights its brilliant screen.

Gizmodo’s Jason Chen thinks the TouchPad’s four different keyboard sizes are cool.

Apple’s Mac Store cuts the clutter

a screenshot of Apple's Appstore. REUTERS/ Apple Inc1000 apps might not seem like a lot compared to the 300,000 offered for Apple’s iPhone, but there’s enough on offer at Apple’s new Mac App Store to cover most software bases, some of it deeply discounted.

The Mac App Store interface is easy to navigate, much like the iPhone and iPad sections on iTunes, with app icons arranged in rows.

However, if you’re not running OSX Snow Leopard on your Mac, you won’t even get that far. The store isn’t offered on computers running older Mac operating systems. The solution is to upgrade your OS, but that will run you $29. And you can’t download it, so you’ll have to have it shipped to you or pick it up at one of Apple’s retail outlets.

RIM’s PlayBook looks smooth in first demo

CESEver since its announcement last fall, gadget geeks have been itching to take Research in Motion’s new tablet for a test drive. Tech reporters finally got some hands-on time with the device — the PlayBook — on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Amid a crush of iPad wannabes, RIM’s tablet proved to be a pleasant surprise.

Some companies used CES to show off less-than-fully-baked tablets, with vendors such as Motorola saying the software was not fully ready. The PlayBook (while also still a work in progress; the real deal will launch in February or March) was noticeably zippy (it sports a speedy dual-core chip). It also has an attractive, intuitive user interface, and played Flash-based videos from the Web at a snap.

It is of course way too early to say flatly that the PlayBook is a real-deal competitor to Apple’s iPad, but the initial take on the device in at least some prominent tech blogs seemed very positive. And with a slew of Android-based tablets hitting the market in the coming months, RIM’s tablet certainly offers a different option. RIM said flat-out that corporate interest in the PlayBook is “massive.” The mobile chief of AT&T said on Wednesday that his customers were looking forward to getting more information about the device.

Is the success of e-readers only hype?

On the heels of major booksellers Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com announcing milestones related to their e-readers, The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a survey called “65% of Internet users have paid for online content“.

Reading past the single conclusion of the title, it’s easy to appreciate how varied that content is.

For example, the survey says that 33 percent of U.S. Internet users have paid for digital music online. It’s the same for software.

Privacy matters more when you’re mobile

A woman walks past icons for Apple applications at the company's retail store in San Francisco, California, April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithPrivacy concerns are nothing new if you use the Web to tweet or facebook. But with Apple’s mobile platform joining the fray and speculation that Google’s might be next, should you be worried about how your personal information is being used on that 3G-enabled iPad or Android-powered smartphone you picked up over the holiday season?

Apple shareholders don’t seem to think so. Shares in the iPhone maker closed up on Tuesday and were unchanged in midday trading on Wednesday.

And with revenue from mobile apps sales forecasted to see 60 percent compound growth to 2014 and an expected increase in the number of apps downloaded worldwide to reach 76.9 billion in 2014 from 10.9 billion in 2010, there’s good reason for wider investor optimism.

Apple secrets at center of insider trading case

APPLE/The blockbuster insider trading case that shook Silicon Valley and Wall Street on Thursday likely gave Steve Jobs, Apple’s famously secretive CEO, a healthy case of heartburn this morning.

Four people were arrested on charges of leaking tech secrets to hedge funds–including details about Apple’s iPad months before Jobs took the tablet computer onstage with him to formally show off to the world.

According to the complaint, in October of last year, Walter Shimoon — who worked for Apple supplier Flextronics — was recorded in a phone conversation leaking information that tech geeks around the world lust for.

from Ask...:

What would you want in a new iPad?

BELGIUM/People are still waiting to unwrap their first-generation iPads for Christmas and news is already leaking about what features Apple plans to include on its next version of the popular tablet computer.

One of Apple's component suppliers confirmed the retooled iPad will come equipped with two cameras, one mounted on the rear for photography and another on the front presumably meant to enable FaceTime video chatting. Another said the revamped model will be slimmer, lighter and boast a better resolution screen display.

A separate supply chain source said Apple was preparing a significantly smaller iPad that is almost half the size of the current model. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.