500px Back on the App Store

After falling foul of Apple’s slightly suspicious boob aversion which they claim is on the grounds of taste and decency but which makes you doubt their claimed love of beauty, it appears that the 500px app is back on the App Store, with a minor update.

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The only slight reference to the app’s disappearance is in the update notes; the main noticeable change is a ‘report image’ button which can be used by people if they feel an image is inappropriate – and would then presumably spark a debate over the exact difference between boobs as art and boobs as porn.

Just sayin’: Android hits 500,000 activations a day

Google, apparently, is activating 500,000 Android devices a day. That is an impressive number by anyone’s metric. The last instance I can find with my (admittedly very brief) Google search was 230,000 a day, last September.

That isn’t the point of this post.

I couldn’t help but notice the wording on one of the blogs that reported on Google’s new activations landmark.

At Google I/O in early May, the company boasted that activations were up to 400,000 a day with 100 million cumulative device activations, representing 36 OEMS, 215 Carriers and 310 devices. The pace of growth has been staggering for Android, which hit the 100,000 activations per day milestone in May 2010. By December 2010, that number was up to 300,000 a day.

Now with Honeycomb (an Android variant) tablets hitting the market, the device activations are being supplemented by larger tablet devices, not just smartphones. Indeed, almost every company is putting out a tablet these days, most built off of Google’s Android operating system.

(emphasis mine).

Now, that’s a pretty ambivalent sort of comment, isn’t it? Sure, most manufacturers that are producing tablets are using Android in one way or another, but the vast majority of the tablets out there are still iPads running iOS. And I’ll bet the majority of the Android tablets out there aren’t running the tablet optimised “Honeycomb” variation of Android.

Just sayin’.

iPad 2 Day is upon us

Well, it’s finally here. Later today Apple is widely expected to announce an update to the best-selling iPad at an event in San Francisco. The whole thing kicks off at about 6pm UK time, and numerous sites will be liveblogging the event; my usual ones of choice are MacRumors, Engadget or TUAW. Recently Apple has also provided a live video stream of their events; it is not known if they are planning one this time around but they have a habit of announcing the stream at the last minute.

So, what can we expect from this launch? Many rumours have been thrown around regarding the iPad 2 and what else might be announced at the event. I did a rumour roundup a little while ago, but as we approach zero hour rumours usually increase in quantity and accuracy, as Apple inevitably have to let more people in on the secret. So, let’s take a look at what we might expect to see.

Updated iPad hardware

It goes without saying there’ll be updates to the hardware. The current favourites are a thinner, sleeker design, dual core processor, dual core graphics, front and back cameras more akin to the iPod Touch than the iPhone (ie 720p video, but nothing like 5MP photos), improved speaker, ‘world’ version compatible with both CDMA and GSM, and additional hardware that saw its debut in the iPhone 4 such as a gyroscope. Rumours of a high res ‘Retina’ display have persisted but are unlikely to be true.

Several rumours over the last month or so have pegged today’s iPad announcement as more of an ‘incremental’ release, with the massive change coming later in the year. Hopefully we will still see the improved internals listed above, even if they are in an only slightly upgrades shell.

We are also likely to see the iPad 2 hitting the shelves quite soon after the announcement, as supplies of the original iPad are already drying up.

 

Updated software

We are also quite likely to see iOS 4.3 made available at today’s event. It’s ben rumoured to drop for almost a month now, so today is likely the day they have been waiting for (it is always possible the iPad 2 will get 4.3 as an exclusive for a little while also).

We could also see a preview of iOS 5. This is 50/50 however, as usually Apple dedicates a whole event to this subject alone. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

 

Steve Jobs to make an appearance?

It has also been reported that Apple’s CEO could make an appearance at the event, despite being on medical leave. Nothing is decided, it seems, but it is definitely something that’s ‘on the table’. I can’t see Jobs making the effort for a ‘minor’ update, however, so this either casts doubt on this rumour, or lends credence to the fact the update won’t be that disappointing.

 

MobileMe updates

An increasing raft of evidence is also pointing to an update to the MobileMe service. Some rumours have pegged it as simply going free, but there are signs that a number of new features are set to be released over the coming year, such as ‘Find my Mac (akin to the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature), an online digital locker, ‘Find my friends’ and others, all expected to make use of Apple’s new data centre. I’m sure we’ll at least hear something about MobileMe today.