Apple iPad 3 Set For Release on March 7

[warning_box]UPDATE: Apple has announced the all new iPad (not called iPad 3)! Click for more information.[/warning_box]

Assuming the rumors are true, it looks like Apple will be releasing the iPad 3 in just 8 days! Ok, so that’s not exactly what’s going on, but Apple has said they will be making an announcement on that day. However, I’ll be honest in saying that I’m not that excited about this new release. Of course it’s hard to make that assessment until that time comes, but I think what it is for me is that Apple keeps releasing these “new” products, but I don’t think we need them.

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The Kindle Fire Could Shake Up The Tablet Market

I’ve been reading the reviews about the Kindle Fire as well as watching demo videos among other things and I find it funny that everyone either says it’ll be an iPad killer or not. Why can’t it be neither? Why does every tablet that comes out have to be compared to the iPad? Well, the answer that most people will tell you is that it’s because the iPad is the number one selling tablet. While this is true, does that mean everything else should be compared to it? I don’t think so.

For one, the iPad isn’t all that great—on its own. What this means is that the iPad’s ecosystem is what holds it together. That ecosystem is comprised of iTunes (and everything in it), iPhone, iPod, OSX and iOS. iPad owners generally own the other devices in the Apple sphere and have a significant relationship with iTunes thereby sealing their fate as iPad owners forever. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to understand the reason why the iPad is so popular. Apple has done well in ensuring that consumers stick with them.

The same reason why Apple has done so well with the iPad is why other tablet makers have not done well at all. So when the comparison is made that a new device will be an iPad killer, the only thing they’re really talking about is hardware specs. Unfortunately, just like comparing smartphones, you can have the sickest device known to man—twice as fast, 3 times more memory, 20 new and unique features, etc., etc.—and you’ll still have a hard time touching Apple. People like the fact that their Apple device just plugs into iTunes and everything is taken care of. You don’t have to worry about where your music and videos are syncing. You don’t have to worry about buying new content and figuring out where you’re going to put it. It all just works in a nice handy little package.

Enter the Amazon Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire
The term “iPad killer” is useless to me because I’m aware that the Kindle Fire will not have the same specs and design features of the iPad. In fact, it won’t be comparable to the iPad on any of those levels and it’ll also be smaller! But if the iPad is so much better, why did I sell it 6 months ago and more importantly, why did I place a pre-order for the Kindle Fire on October 3rd?

The answer to both of these questions is this: I found that I had no real use for the iPad. It was a nice little toy that cost way too much money to call a “toy”. I bought it on a whim because I loved my iPhone 4 so much. Last but not least, the Kindle Fire is only $199.

The price is somewhat of a moot point for me because if I was willing to drop $629 for the iPad, I’m sure I’d do it again if I wanted to, but still…to think that I could buy 3 Kindle Fires for that much is depressing! Anyway, what sells it for me are a couple of things:

  • 7″ screen – While the 9″ iPad looks amazing, try holding it in one hand for longer than 30 minutes. Or how about carrying it around. For women, this isn’t such a problem because you girls have purses and bags. The Fire makes it very easy to hold in one hand—perfect for lugging around town.
  • No 3G – Who would have ever thought that I would say that?! The fact is that I didn’t like the 3G service on my iPad…not because I didn’t use it, but because it cost $20 per month. I would pay for 3G service on my MacBook, but I don’t need it just to sync content on a tablet. I can do that from my computer before I head off somewhere. Although it would be nice to have the Internet connection at times…hmmm.
  • Amazon Prime – I’m already a member enjoying free two-day shipping on Amazon products, so I might as well enjoy the free streaming on movies and tv shows. Not even iTunes can beat that! Sure, Apple has rentals and things you can buy, but so does Amazon! In fact, if Amazon Prime keeps growing their collection, they’re sure to beat Netflix.
  • It’s a Kindle – For anyone who has ever used a Kindle or just likes reading eBooks, it’s not very easily done on an iPad. Because of its size and weight, it can be difficult to hold with one hand.
  • Android Apps – You have full access to every app in the Amazon Android app store!
  • Storage Space – Even though the Fire has only 8GB of internal space, the Fire will store all of your Amazon content in the Amazon cloud for free!

Android Apps

There has been a lot of arguing about who’s app store is better and after the dust settles, you would be sure to believe that Apple’s 400,000+ apps is an amazing size compared to only half that for Android. However, are you really comparing how many apps each store has before declaring the winner? Anyone who owns an Apple iOS device and has browsed the app store knows that for every single app in there, there’s anywhere from 3 to 10 clones available. So in reality, there can’t possibly be over 400,000 quality apps.Kindle Fire Apps

The point is that the Kindle Fire will have access to many high quality apps already being enjoyed by Android device users. The major difference is that the Kindle is expected not to have the Android App Market, so users will have to get their apps through the Amazon Android App Store. This won’t be a deciding factor for most users and it really only affects those that have a bunch of apps already purchased in the Android App store that can’t readily be transferred over.

However, because of the Fire’s low price and compatibility, developers are bound to take notice and begin creating apps for the Fire at blazing speeds (I just had to!).

My two cents

As usual, time will tell whether the Kindle is a true contender in the tablet market, but considering how Apple has rounded out its offerings through the use of iTunes, iOS and OSX, Amazon is well on its way. By offering a device that connects users to their Amazon Prime account, their Kindle books and magazines, the Amazon Android App store and the Internet, Amazon is starting to show some serious competition to Apple. And because Amazon Prime continues to grow by adding more movies and tv shows available for streaming, they are well on their way to dealing a serious blow to Netflix as well.

Imagine if you could combine streaming movies, music and tv shows with the ability to purchase real products shipped to your door in two days for free, have access to Android apps, use the Internet, store files in the cloud, buy and rent movies, purchase music, listen to music and read eBooks all on a little full-color 7″ device that weighs less than a pound (14.6 oz) and costs $199…what would you do?

Stay tuned on November 16th as I write a full report about the Kindle Fire.

Amazon's Entry Into The Tablet Industry: Kindle Fire

On September 28th, Amazon launched a new addition to their Kindle family called Kindle Fire. In true Kindle style, it’s being marketed as a reading device, but this one is much different. Up until now, all Kindle devices were small, lightweight, monochrome devices that didn’t even had touchscreens.

The Kindle Fire is poised to be a real contender to Apple’s iPad, but at the same time, it may not be. What this means is that the Fire seems to be geared for a particular market. That market belongs to people that have yet to find a use for a $500+ iPad, yet they want something bigger than their smartphone.

Kindle FireIn terms hardware, the Kindle Fire has a smaller screen, lacks any type of camera or microphone, only offers 8GB of storage and has no 3G option. Any respecting Apple fan would probably be jumping at the opportunity to slam the Kindle Fire right about now, but let’s take a more practical approach.

Unique Kindle Fire Features

  • Access to the Android app market – Every single app you can access for your Android phone will be available for Kindle.
  • Access to and the Kindle store – Purchase items from any part of Amazon and have them delivered to your house or your Kindle.
  • Amazon Silk web browser – Amazon’s new web browser that takes caching to a whole new level.
  • Amazon Cloud Services – All your Amazon-purchased content is stored in the cloud freeing up precious storage space on the Kindle Fire.

First of all, I used to own an iPad and although I really liked it considering I own a MacBook and was using iPhone for over 3 years. However, I noticed I wasn’t using it as much as I thought I was going to and in the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t find my niche. Ergo, I decided it wasn’t worth the $629 I paid for it.

Second, the iPad may not be superior in hardware specs compared to other tablets on the market, but that’s not the reason why it’s the number one seller. What makes the iPad (and every other Apple product for that matter) sell better than most everything else is iTunes. Whether you’re conscious about it or not, iTunes is the lifeblood to all Apple mobile devices. Consumers want to be connected to a central outpost to get all of their apps, games, books, movies, tv and music. So far, nobody has succeeded at this because nobody else but Apple runs iOS and iTunes.

That is until now. Amazon has been building their network into a full-service venue. Currently, you not only have access to everything you can get on iTunes, but you can also purchase just about anything you else you could think of. Amazon Prime members not only get free two-day shipping, but also unlimited access to streaming movies and tv shows. At the rate Amazon is going, they can potentially replace iTunes, Hulu and Netflix as the goto place for everything digital. All they need now is a device to wrap everything up in a nice package. Come November 15th, we’ll get to see their first attempt.

My two cents

Do I think the Kindle Fire will kill the iPad? Not at all. There is always a market for premium products and Apple is the headliner in that market. The Kindle Fire is geared to bring digital book readers into the vast world of digital media and entertainment. Those people who’ve been on the fence about getting their hands on a tablet or trying to justify the expense of doing so no longer have an excuse not to. The Kindle Fire is priced just right at $199 and even though it’s missing some features compared to the iPad, you have to ask yourself are you going to miss those features? Seriously, when are you ever going to hold up a huge iPad and use it to take photos?

The bottom line is that the Kindle Fire can do practically everything the iPad can do in terms of the “actual” use you’ll get out of such a device and given its smaller size, you should be able to hold it in one hand. Try that with an iPad and not only will you get tired fast, but you’ll be afraid of dropping it.

A genius is lost

In thinking about the sad event of today, I was reminded that no matter how successful we are, no matter how much we accomplish in this life and no matter how many people we inspire, none of us can escape the finality of our lives.

I didn’t know Steve Jobs personally, I never met him and I was never even in the same room as him, yet like many, I felt connected to him. Maybe it’s because Steve Jobs was Apple or perhaps Apple was Steve Jobs, but whatever it was, he will be missed. It made me wonder if people felt like this the day Walt Disney died. With most large companies out there, we don’t get to see the corporate brass, we don’t make a connection between the logo and the people behind it and we certainly don’t develop a sort of kinship with its products.

With Apple, everything is different. We buy iPods and iPhones like they’re the best things since sliced bread, not because they really are, but because we want to feel like we’re a part of something unique and cool. Some of us stand in days-long lines to be the first to buy the latest gadget, others become irate when the pre-order system crashes online. Only Apple can create that kind of feeling.

I can tell you that a man like this doesn’t come around often in our lifetime. Here’s a man that had the will to start a computer company during a time when the idea of people owning personal computers was laughable. And although we can’t credit him 100% for every creation that came out of Apple, Inc., we can credit him for creating a dynasty—an empire of exceptional employees, designers, technology and products aimed at satisfying millions of people worldwide.

And just as Walt Disney made us believe in our dreams, Steve Jobs made us believe in ourselves.

iPhone 4 vs iPhone 4S – October 14th, 2011

Apple announced the new iPhone today and just as I speculated, it is not a brand new phone, but an upgrade to the iPhone 4. Naturally as they did with the original 3G upgrade, Apple appended a little ‘S’ to signify the difference between devices. This ‘S’ is presumed to mean speed with the iPhone 4S being truly faster than the original iPhone 4. Among the change in processor, Apple has also increased the camera’s megapixels to 8 and upped video recording to 1080p. Lastly, the new iPhone 4S is now a dual-band world phone with two antennas. This made it possible for Apple to have one device that works on all networks.

From a sales point of view, a few things have also changed:

  • There is one device for all carriers. No more GSM and CDMA phones being different.
  • The original iPhone 4 now has a lower-priced 8GB model.
  • The new iPhone 4S now has a 64GB model.
  • The white model will be available at launch. 😉

Comparison Chart

iPhone 4 iPhone 4S
Dimensions 4.5 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.37 inch thick; 4.8 ounces 4.5 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.37 inch thick; 4.9 ounces
Display 3.5-inch, 960×640-pixel Retina display 3.5-inch, 960×640-pixel Retina display
Camera 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, 720p HD video recording at 30fps; front-facing VGA camera 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, 1080p HD video recording at 30fps, auto focus, face detection; front-facing VGA camera
Connectivity Bluetooth 2.1; Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n); GSM/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA; CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A Bluetooth 4.0; Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n); dual-band world phone; GSM/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA; HSPA+; CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A
Processor 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 Dual-core 1GHz A5 processor with dual-core graphics
Capacity 8GB, 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Location Assisted GPS, digital compass, Wi-Fi, cellular Assisted GPS, digital compass, Wi-Fi, cellular
Sensors Three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor Three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Battery life 7 hours of talk time on 3G, 12.5 days of standby time; 40 hours audio playback; 10 hours video playback; 6 hours (3G)/10 hours (Wi-Fi) Internet use 8 hours of talk time over 3G, 14 hours over 2G, 40 hours audio playback, 10 hours video playback, 6 hours (3G)/9 hours (Wi-Fi)
Carrier AT&T, Verizon AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Pricing $99 for 8GB, $199.99 for 16GB, $299.99 for 32GB $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB
Colors Black, white Black, white

Full iPhone 4S specs can be found at

My two cents

Much like I went from the original iPhone to the 3GS (skipping the 3G), I plan to now go from iPhone 4 to the iPhone 6 which using my best guess will be out next summer. This naming convention will surely cause some confusion among the consumers, but remember that the iPhone 4S is in fact the 5th version of the iPhone making whatever comes next, the 6th. Waiting this out will serve two purposes: 1. Microsoft will have more time to sell me on how much greater Windows Phone 7 is to iOS 5 and AT&T will not have me locked into any contracts, thus allowing me to jump ship if I feel the need to in order to get the next phone on Sprint or Verizon.

All-in-all, if you’re a current iPhone 4 user, there isn’t much of a need to upgrade unless you’re seriously concerned about speed. If you’re a 3GS user or you’ve never owned iPhone, now’s your chance to finally get one at a great price. You can still get the iPhone 4 starting at $99 for the new 8GB model. But keep one thing in mind if you’re buying an iPhone 4S: you could potentially kill your ability to get a subsidized upgrade in the summer if iPhone 6 comes out and you’ll be stuck with a new 2-year contract.

As for me, I’m staying away from this phone and I might stay with Windows Phone 7 if I like the new 7.5 Mango upgrade. If not, I’ll probably just find a cheap iPhone 3GS or 4 on eBay and use it until the next device comes out. To all those who will be waiting in line on October 14th, good luck!

iCloud, You Cloud, We All Cloud!

iCloud is coming, and it may just change your life. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud at the company’s annual World Wide Developer Conference in June. Ever since, the internet has been abuzz with ideas and opinions about what iCloud will mean for the tech giant’s loyal customers.Apple iCloud Logo

In short, the iCloud service will allow wireless syncing and storage across iOS platforms, PC’s and Macs. While this may not sound all that impressive at first blush, take a moment to consider what this really means: your music, documents, videos and photos will be accessible from virtually all of your devices simultaneously.

Automatic Syncing

In an increasingly mobile world, Apple is cutting the cord – literally. With iCloud, users will be able to take a picture on their iPhone and have it pushed to their iPod Touch, iPad, Mac and PC automatically.

No more plugging your device into your PC to sync it with your iTunes account, then plugging each device into your computer one at a time to add the photo. Nearly every device you own that runs iTunes or iOS will be able to sync from the cloud instantly, saving both time and frustration.

Service and Storage

Apple’s iCloud service will also provide storage for your devices – up to 5 gigabytes – free of charge, with the ability to purchase upgrades if needed. A 16 or 32 gig device will instantly become 21 or 37 gigs whenever internet access is available, allowing you to store more files and documents without having to shell out extra cash for a larger-capacity device.

iCloud will also work with iTunes, enabling a user to purchase a song or television show on his or her iPad and have it downloaded to their personal computer and iPod at the same time. Past purchases will be viewable on up to 10 devices, removing the need to physically transfer songs from one computer to another.

Home and Mobile Sharing

Homes with multiple iOS devices will enjoy the ability to quickly and easily share documents, photos and music instantly. Apps purchased on your iPad will be sent automatically to all of your other devices as well. Bookmark a page on iBooks on your iPad, and pick up right where you left off on your iPhone when you’re on the go.

With iCloud also comes peace of mind. Your iPhone or iPad will be backed up wirelessly directly to iCloud. Contacts, calendars and important documents will be pushed to the cloud as you update them, meaning users will no longer have to fear losing a phone number or appointment if their iPhone crashes.

Faster Updates

Similarly, new updates will be pushed to your device without the need to download and sync with a computer. Updates will take less time because they will occur incrementally, only downloading whatever changes have been made as opposed to reinstalling the entire operating system with every update.

Few would disagree that the iPhone changed the world of smartphones. Likewise, the iPad is turning the computing world on its head as more consumers opt to make the switch to the revolutionary tablet either to compliment or replace their laptops. All of this means more users on the move, who don’t want or need to be tied to a PC.

Loyal Apple fans have long loved the mobility and accessibility that iOS devices provide, but at the end of the day, they were still tethered to the personal computer. As Apple continues to usher us into a post-PC era, iCloud will bring a new measure of freedom to mobile users worldwide in way they’ve never experienced before.

With a strong background in technical news and information, Blake Sanders writes on behalf of broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. Blake’s specialties are high speed internet, cell phones, as well as news and information on internet service providers.

No Criminal Charges for Jason Chen or Gizmodo

Remember back in March of 2010 when that mysterious prototype iPhone was found in a bar that fueled the speculation of what the new iPhone 4 was going to look like? For those that don’t remember, an Apple employee charged with the task of testing a fully functional iPhone in the ‘real world’ spent his birthday at a local bar, ended up drinking too much and left the prototype phone at the bar only to be found by another patron. It was this guy and his friend that pitched the sale to’s Jason Chen.

Shortly after Jason took possession of the device, he blasted out blog posts including pictures and videos showing off the new device and only speculating what could possibly be inside. It was then that one of the largest tech exclusives took off. It became world news for 2 reasons. 1. Everyone was waiting to hear about any little detail they could find regarding a new iPhone and 2. Apple NEVER gives sneak peaks or media previews. They make their announcements to the world while everyone is watching.

Originally after the news broke, everyone was up in arms about who could have done this, was the device stolen, was Jason Chen’s possession of it illegal, etc. After a year of investigations, Jason Chen will not have any charges filed against him. Apparently, as a journalist, he is covered by the shield laws that basically protects a journalist’s 1st amendment rights as a reporter.

At the time authorities had seized Jason’s computers and notes related to the unfolding event, although it’s widely believed that this seizure was illegal because they ended up taking unpublished notes from a reporter—another gray area of the shield law.

Prosecutors claim that although they potentially have a case with charging Jason Chen, they are opting not to pursue due to the many gray areas that could upset a final verdict. The two individuals responsible for finding and selling the device to Gizmodo are not so lucky. Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower are both getting slapped with misdemeanor charges. Hogan was charged with one count of misappropriation of lost property; Wallower with misappropriation of lost property, and possession of stolen property. Each faces a maximum of a year in county jail, plus fines and probation.

My two cents

This truly is a gray area because I believe that all parties knew what they had. Even without it being an iPhone prototype, they all had to have known they were doing business with stolen property, but as the prosecutors knew, it might be impossible to prove that Jason Chen knew that. Adding to that, the “illegal” search and seizure and you no longer have an open and shut case.

Either way, none of this really matters anymore. Apple got the phone back and it appeared that none of the leaks damaged any sales. In fact, that kind of press might have actually helped sales.

Apple and Microsoft Teaming Up Against Google?

Nortel logoWhether this is the reality or not, Google seems to think it’s happening. When bankrupt Nortel decided to sell its approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications covering a broad range of wired, wireless and digital communication technologies back in April, the plan was to offer a stalking horse deal to Google for a cash purchase price of $900 million. The intention with this was to place a starting value on the patents for inclusion in a public auction with Google in position to bid on the final package.

What happened was that bidding finally raised the price to $4.5 billion! These 6,000 patents seemingly cover the entire spectrum of mobile computing and telecommunications which would put any buyer at the helm of the technology industry. This “buyer” ended up being a consortium of tech companies that banded together in order to share the patents, thus eliminating possible costly licensing fees. This consortium is comprised of Microsoft, Apple, Ericsson, EMC, Sony and RIM. Originally, Google was invited by Microsoft to be a part of it as well, but Google declined.

Novell logoAdding into that mix, another set of tech patents, this time from Novell was cleared for sale to a slightly different group of companies: Microsoft, Oracle Inc., Apple and EMC Corp. This sale contained 882 patents. All of these patents were also made available to Google at some point in the last 2 months, but Google again declined to be a part of it.

As a result, Google is now claiming that Microsoft and Apple have teamed up together in an effort to bring down the Android market. The way this works is if Google is making phones that use technologies covered by any of the aforementioned patents, they would be subjected to licensing fees controlled by Microsoft, Apple and the rest of the bunch. Google claims that this would give their competitors an unfair advantage in the smartphone arena.

While this is very true, can Google really complain? Considering they had the chance to partake in these deals and the fact that Microsoft invited them to be part of the consortium, I can’t really say I side with Google on this! However, Google is already paying Microsoft licensing fees on Android phones for patents they own, so it’s very possible that Microsoft would use this as a way to bring down Android. In fact, Microsoft just recently asked Samsung to fork over $15 per Android phone they make—presumably due to the fact that Samsung also makes Windows Phone and Microsoft probably wishes they didn’t deal with Android.

It’s estimated that there are some 250,000 patents involved in making an average smartphone so it seems no matter who owns what patents, the only real losers in this case will be the customers. Afterall, we’re the ones having to pay upwards of $600 to own the latest tech gear. This price of course is not including any subsidized cost of buying a phone with a contract. One possibility for lowering prices would be the ownership of a majority of patents that go into making a smartphone. In a perfect world, there’d be no licensing fees and the phones could become dirt cheap.

iPhone 5 Is Coming

As with everything “tech”, out with old and in with the new is becoming the statement of the week due to the ever-changing face of technology. One question that always follows in my mind is, “Do we need another device?”

It seems so. iPhone 4 is just over a year old and not only does this make it old news, but apparently its technology is ancient compared to that of the latest Android phones—or at least that’s what they’d have you believe. The reason I’m not that excited about iPhone 5 (yet) is that I still like my iPhone 4, but now that I’m using a Windows Phone, I don’t even use it anymore. In fact, I plan to sell it to the highest bidder before iPhone 5 shows up, just so it won’t lose any more value.

Nonetheless, I’m an Apple fan and my blog is about tech stuff, so I’ll be talking about iPhone 5 just as much as I did with iPhone 4. Let’s get it going.

iPhone 5

Not much is known about the new device, but that’s Apple’s style. What does leak out is information stemming from unusual movement in other industries—in this case, manufacturing. According to TechRadar, Pegatron was sent a massive order to produce 15 million handsets for Apple to meet a fall release date. This date has only recently been rumored to be September 5th after months of speculation pointed to a September release.

We don’t have any rumored specs and only a few photos have surfaced, but like every past iPhone release, these pics are nothing more than hopeful designs, assumed specs and/or straight fabrications. We even had a similar event regarding an Apple employee testing the new device in the “real world” and got caught on camera. Of course, the photo doesn’t do any justice.

Apple iPhone 5 Leaked

The major question of the day has been about whether this device will actually be called iPhone 5 or if it’ll just be a performance upgrade much like the 3GS. In this case, iPhone 6 might appear next summer bringing the franchise back on line with its prior June releases, while September’s device would basically be an iPhone 4S. That name will really throw off those people that still think their iPhone 4 is a 4G device!

Speaking of which, if the iPhone 4S doesn’t have 4G (and it most likely will not), then we’ll have to wait until iPhone 6 comes out before we see any important performance increase. And I wonder how AT&T and Verizon will handle a 4G iPhone now that both carriers have capped their data plans. Sprint is looking more and more like a great alternative at this point!

My two cents

As it stands, I am unloading my iPhone 4 and keeping my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus). I intended to wait out my contract period in case I wanted to jump ship to Sprint, but I just found out that I’m stuck with AT&T until next June. At this point, I’ll just wait and see what this fall brings us. One thing is for sure—with Apple potentially releasing iPhone 5, a new iPad, Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and Nokia attempting to bounce back into the smartphone world with the N9 and other Windows devices, this fall is going to be a nuthouse!

Unlock and Lock Your Macbook With Bluetooth Device

Thanks to Lifehacker, those of us who use OS X Lion can now lock or unlock the computer just by using a Bluetooth device. What a novel idea…it kind of reminds me of those little Mobil gas devices that allowed you to walk right up to the pump, pass the little wand over the invisible reader and you’re ready to pump gas. The only real danger to using something like that is what might happen if you lost the little device or if someone stole it from you.

But for those of you not fearing a hostile takeover of your computer and all that lies inside, you can now configure you Mac to recognize a Bluetooth device, be it in your pocket, on your ear or in your hand. Once the authorized device gets within Bluetooth range, your OS X software mysteriously logs itself in. While that sounds like a very convenient feature, remember that a good Bluetooth signal can reach distances of about 30 feet and while that seems short, imagine what could happen if you were in the room next door while the person you’ve been trying to keep off your expensive iMac is sitting in front of it trying to hack their way in?!

The process involves using a nifty little application called Proximity in conjunction with a few custom AppleScripts that tells the computer to lock and/or unlock when certain events happen. The thing I love about this setup is that the lock and unlock scripts are separate, which means you only have to use one.

If I scared you away from using it before, now you can rest easy knowing that the script I find more useful (locking after walking away) can be used independently of the other. This means that you’ll still have to log in each time you sit down at your computer, but have it lock itself after you leave—very handy for those of us who sometimes walk away while forgetting to log out or at least enact the screensaver with a password lock.

Setting this feature up might take a bit of time for those not familiar with setting up AppleScripts, but the end result means you could literally have your computer auto-lock itself when you walk away using the iPhone that is probably already in your pocket. How cool is that?!