Stories by Ian Paul

Google Instant for mobile: First impressions

Google recently launched a beta version of Instant, the company's search solution that displays results as you type, for Android and Apple iOS 4 mobile devices. For now, the beta test is available only to users in the U.S. and you can access it only through your handset's browser instead of Google's mobile apps. To try it out, just go to Google.com from your mobile device and then click the "Turn on" link for Google Instant located below the search box.

Blekko search engine slashes through the Web

Do you need to create your own search engine that provides results about a specific topic, also known as vertical search? A new company called Blekko aims to help you do just that by drilling down into Web content using what the company calls "slashtags" -- subject-specific search terms that you put at the end of your searches preceded by a slash "/".

Google, Samsung to launch 'Nexus Two'

Google is readying a revamped version of its mobile operating system Android that will show up on a Samsung phone November 8, according to Internet reports. The phone, dubbed unofficially Nexus Two (after Google's landmark Nexus One phone launched in January) is speculated to be the first device to feature Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread), according to the Website Android and Me.

MacBook Air vs. iPad showdown: Which is best for you?

Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air may create a conundrum for prospective Mac owners: should they buy a petite Apple laptop or an iPad? When Apple launched the Air, it said it was a hybrid device combining the best aspects of the MacBook with the iPad. Just like Apple's tablet device, the Air has flash storage and no optical or hard drive. But like previous versions of the Air, the new computer runs OS X and has a laptop form factor.

Is the white iPhone 4 vaporware?

The prospects of ever seeing a white iPhone 4 on store shelves are getting dimmer by the minute as new rumors suggest Apple has ditched plans for the snowy handset. One new theory is that Apple is just going to string along white iPhone 4 fans until it's time for iPhone 5 and then drop the Wonder Bread version altogether. Adding to the iPhone snowstorm is the suggestion that Apple recently pulled the white iPhone 4 option from its online retail store. It's hard to know for sure whether the Albinophone has gone the way of the dodo, but here's what the Web is saying.

Wi-Fi Direct vs. Bluetooth 4.0: A Battle for Supremacy

The fight is on for wireless device-to-device networking supremacy between a refreshed incumbent, Bluetooth 4.0, and a newcomer, Wi-Fi Direct. Both specifications are promising to make it easier for you to quickly transfer pictures, files and other data between two wireless devices such as your smartphone and laptop without the need for a Wi-Fi network or USB cable.

Sony Walkman cassette player dies in Japan, lives on in U.S.

The Sony Walkman cassette player took one step closer to the grave on Monday when Sony announced it would stop selling the portable music player in Japan. The company stopped manufacturing the cassette playing Walkman for the Japanese market in April, and says it is selling through the end of its Japanese stock now. Cassette lovers in the U.S., however, have nothing to fear.

Apple's Mac App Store: 5 questions

Apple Mac fans were both thrilled and terrified to hear that Apple would be launching an online application store for the Mac by mid-January. Just as with the iTunes App Store for iOS devices, developers will submit their applications to Apple for approval before they will be sold online through the new Mac App Store. Users will download apps just like they do for the iPhone, and the Mac App Store will deliver application updates as they become available.

MacBook Air: What the critics are saying

The famous line about Apple's MacBook Air is that it is one of the most underpowered and overpriced laptop computers on the market. All that changed on Wednesday after Apple released two new MacBook Air models during the company's Back to the Mac event. The new computers may still be underpowered compared to other Macs, but the high price tag is gone as is some of its bulk.

Apple's top 5 back to the Mac announcements

Apple came roaring back to the Mac on Wednesday by announcing Lion (the next iteration of Mac OS X), two new MacBook Air laptops, FaceTime for Mac, new iLife software and a Mac App Store. Wednesday's announcement comes after nearly 15 months of neglect for Apple's traditional computer business. During its Mac hiatus the company has focused largely on developing iOS devices such as the iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and the new Apple TV.