Posts Tagged iPhone

BobbyeM71hxwGoogle demonstrates phone that translates text

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Google Inc. is working on software that translates text captured by a phone camera.

At Mobile World Congress, a cell phone trade show in Barcelona at a demonstration, an engineer shot a picture of a German dinner menu with a phone running Google Inc.’s Android software. An application on the phone sent the shot to Google’s servers, which sent a translation back to the phone.

It translated “Fruhlingssalat mit Wildkrautern” as “Spring salad with wild herbs.” There was no word on when the software would be available.

Software that translates text from pictures is already available for some phones, but generally does the processing on the phone. By sending the image to its servers for processing, Google can apply a lot more computing power, for faster, more accurate results. The phone still won’t order for you, though — you’ll have to point at the menu.

The demonstration was part of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote speech at the trade show, the largest for the wireless industry. He said phone applications that take advantage of “cloud computing” — servers accessible through the wireless network — will bring powerful changes to the industry.

Schmidt’s speech also featured a demonstration of videos and a game running on an Android phone using Flash, a format that’s ubiquitous on Web pages intended for PCs, but hasn’t worked on many phones, including the iPhone. Support for Flash in Android and a few other smartphone operating systems are expected later this year.

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Posted in New Product Release, Technical News

BobbyeM71hxwHands-On With Opera Mini for iPhone

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Opera showed off an iPhone version of the company’s Opera Mini Web browser on Monday. If Apple accepts it, it would be the first true alternative Web browser available on iPhones and iPod Touches.

Apple has so far forbidden Web browsers that complete with Safari, anything that claims to be a “browser” in the App Store is a skin or plug-in that uses Safari to do its actual browsing.

According to Opera product manager Igor Natto, Opera Mini has a chance because it isn’t actually a browser. It’s a rendering engine for a highly compressed data format called OBML, which reduces data transfer by 80 to 90 percent over surfing real, live Web pages. When you go to a page using Opera Mini, it just sends a command to Opera’s servers, which are doing the real browsing.

Opera Mini would make a great solution for iPhone users on congested or roaming networks, where every bit counts, he also added. By reducing a 1-Mbyte page to 200 Kbits, roaming fees could drop from $5 to $1 for that page.

On a horribly congested Vodafone network with lousy reception in the middle of the convention center, Opera Mini loaded the New York Times Web page much more quickly than Safari did – in maybe 10 seconds as opposed to 30. And Opera’s customized zooming always centers the column of text you’re trying to read.

Opera Mini for iPhone looks like an iPhone app, but it seems to wilfully defy iPhone user interface rules that Opera deems silly. For instance, there’s no pinch-to-zoom. Instead there’s Opera’s optimized tap-to-zoom, with just one level of zoom. Some buttons look a bit more like Opera buttons (rectangular) than like iPhone buttons (roundish). If Apple requires pinch to zoom, and will implement it, according to Natto.

The browser has both visual bookmarks on its “speed dial” page and tabs, which appear as a stack of miniature pages that you can shift around. It looks more like Opera Mini 5 on other phones than like something designed to Apple’s requirements, and Natto said that’s on purpose.

Natto said, “What we did was to take Opera Mini and port from Java to a native iPhone app”. He also said, we’ll see what Apple thinks of that when Opera decides to submit Mini to the app store.

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Posted in New Product Release, Technical News

BobbyeM71hxwOpera Mini: 5 Reasons iPhone Owners Need It

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

For the iPhone, Opera has announced plans to release the Opera Mire mobile Web browser, and plans to show it off during Mobile World Congress next week. The early announcement is meant to generate excitement, therefore pressuring Apple into approving this threat to its native Safari browser.

Anyway, not a big deal see the Opera Mini simulator, or check out these five reasons Opera Mini could become your favorite iPhone Web browser, if Apple approves it:

Super Speed

According to claim made by Opera, its mobile Web browser can cut the iPhone’s Web data traffic by 90 percent, thanks to a method of compressing images and text on its own servers. This would, of course, improve the loading time of Web pages as well.

Home Page

Forget loading up a new browser window with nothing in it. Opera Mini’s “Speed Dial” features lets you customize a grid of nine favorite Web sites for quick loading without visiting your list of bookmarks.

Find in Page

The searching inability within a Web page for text is Safari’s most glaring omission. In Opera Mini, it’s as simple as clicking the Tools icon, then clicking “Find in Page” and typing whatever you’re looking for. Sorry Apple, sometimes Web pages just need to be searched.

Greater Flexibility

Here are some other things you can’t do in Safari, all of which can be controlled or enabled in Opera Mini’s settings menu: Saved passwords, adjustable image quality, full screen browsing, adjustable font sizes and customizable skins.

Free, Presumably

Experts of iPhone might point out that there are already plenty of other browsers to choose from, but the vast majority of them cost money. Opera Mini is a free download for other phones, so I assume it’ll be free if Apple approves it for the iPhone. That alone could make it the most attractive Safari alternative yet.

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Posted in Expert's Opinions, Technical News