Apple Planning Some Super Secret Social App?

Posted on August 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , |

iFriendfeedBy MG Siegler, Tech crunch

Again, this is nothing but a very vague rumor for the time being, but it’s also very interesting. Following up on its iTunes 9 rumors, Boy Genius Report claims to have new details from the same trusted source about what iTunes 9, and specifically the social aspects of it, will entail.

As expected, the tipster says you’ll be able to broadcast songs you’re listening to out to various social networks. But the really interesting thing is the reference to some new social application that Apple is supposedly getting ready to launch. It’s not clear at all if this would be a desktop app or an iPhone app, but it is said to be something that consolidates your various social networking activity from around the web into one place.

Is Apple planning a FriendFeed-killer after Facebook has already essentially killed FriendFeed? That would certainly give the team a good reason to sell, if they caught wind of that. But who knows, it could be anything, or it could very well be nothing. Hopefully we all know by now how rumors, especially Apple rumors, work.

Regardless of what Apple has in store, if there are social elements added to iTunes, it will be a big move for the company. Right now, they basically have absolutely no social strategy beyond a bit of Facebook and Flickr integration in iPhoto. And yes, there are plenty of apps that use Facebook Connect, but that has basically nothing to do with Apple itself.

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New Facebook iPhone App “Pretty Much Done”

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Facebook News | Tags: , , , |

By MG Siegler, Tech crunch

As one of the most popular applications on Apple’s popular iPhone platform, a lot of users are eagerly awaiting the next version of the app. And that wait is almost over. iphoneshot2

The app is pretty much done – we’re just working on translating it into a bunch of languages,” Facebook developer Joe Hewitt wrote tonight on Twitter.

That means that shortly, we’ll have access to the much-improved app which is scheduled to have features such as a News Feed that is more like the one on Facebook’s site, the ability to “like” items and a new customizable home screen. More importantly, it will also have video support for the iPhone 3GS, something which Hewitt threw-in at the last second, unexpectedly. And perhaps best of all, the app will have the ability to manage events, finally.

But don’t get too worked up just yet. We asked Hewitt if “pretty much done” meant next week perhaps. His response: “Can’t be sure – translating could take a while. I’ve been avoiding predicting an actual release date“. And of course even when the app is done, Facebook still has to submit it for approval in the App Store, and as we all know, that can be a crapshoot. We could see it next week, we could see it 6 months from now. Though, Apple does seem to do a pretty good job pushing important apps like this one through quickly. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Facebook is also finally working on an Android app. That should drop any day now.


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Apple censors iPhone version of Ninjawords dictionary

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway,

The saga of Apple’s inexplicable App Store approval policies just got even weirder. This time, a dictionary iPhone app was rejected for containing profanity, and only accepted once a 17+ rating was attached, and the allegedly obscene words were removed from the app. Even more frustrating is that Ninjawords, the censored dictionary, distinguishes itself by using different sources for its definitions than any other app on the store right now. It could have been a great app.ninjawordsiphoneapp

It’s true that it’s Apple’s store, and Apple is allowed to make the rules, but it’s hard to see how such a crucial part of the iPhone business can continue to expand with rules so sporadically applied. Developers won’t want to develop, for fear of having their apps rejected, or being asked to remove content or functionality before they’re allowed into the store. These same arguments come up every time a legitimate-seeming app gets rejected, but Apple really doesn’t seem to have learned its lesson: rejecting legitimate apps is bad for everyone involved. Censoring a dictionary to protect readers certainly isn’t going to sell any phones.

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Ustream Finally Launches A Recording iPhone App. No Live Video, But A Lot Of Options.

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By MG Siegler, Tech Crunch

For several months now, Ustream has had an iPhone app that allows you to view video from the service. But “view” is the keyword there. You could only watch it, you could not record and send your own video back from the iPhone. But starting today, you finally can.

iphoneThe new Ustream Recorder is a free application available in Apple’s App Store that allows you to send video from your iPhone to the web. Unfortunately, despite long-standing talk that it might be able to send live video from your iPhone to the web, that is not the case. Instead, Ustream appears to be attempting to use some spin by calling it a “live-to-recorded video recorder” — um, okay, isn’t all video at some point technically recorded live? Yes, it is.

Mentioning “live” was not necessary here because this app does not stream video live. Not that it’s Ustream’s fault, it’s Apple that doesn’t currently allow apps that do that in the App Store. So instead, this app records video and then uploads it to the web. The problem is that there are already a number of other apps out there that do this, like Kyte and 12cast. But Ustream wants to challenge them on the iPhone by offering more options.

The app gives you the option to share you videos to Ustream, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or Ustream on Facebook. This makes the app much more flexible than its competitors when it comes to deciding where you want to send your video. Ustream also promises high-quality video from the app, which isn’t a surprise given the quality that Kyte’s app outputs.

Also interesting is that the app allows edit and manage videos that are already up on Ustream, even if they weren’t recorded with the iPhone. You simply pull download them to edit them.

But the reason why Ustream isn’t too bummed about its app not offering live-streaming is that they envisioned it used in another way, with another new service they’re launching.

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Third-party iPod shuffle headphones will require Apple-licensed authentication chip

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Gadget News | Tags: , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


Sigh, it looks like Apple’s habit of squeezing iPod accessory manufacturers for license fees has now extended to freaking headphones — iLounge is reporting that the new iPod shuffle can only be controlled by headphones with a special hardware authentication chip. That means that third parties will have to pay Apple for the privilege of making shuffle-compatible accessories, and you can bet they’ll just pass that cost right on to consumers — we wouldn’t expect any cheap headphone adapters or inexpensive replacement headphones for the littlest iPod. iLounge calls this a “nightmare scenario” for iPod fans, and we’re inclined to agree — it’s one thing for Apple to require the Made For iPod certification for accessories that interface with the dock connector, but trying to lock down headphones is a sad new low, and it makes the lack of physical controls on the shuffle seem even more ridiculous. Anyone still planning on buying this thing?

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Apple Introduces New iPod Shuffle

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Gadget News | Tags: , |

By Brian, Mobilewhack


The Apple iPod shuffle, the usual starting device for people to get into the iPod craze has long been forgotten due to the various iPod variants introduced in the market.

Today, Apple announced the launch of the new iPod shuffle, the world’s smallest music player at nearly half of the size of the previous model, and the first music player that talks to you. The revolutionary new VoiceOver feature enables iPod shuffle to speak your song titles, artists and playlist names.

The third generation iPod shuffle is significantly smaller than a AA battery, holds up to 1,000 songs and is easier to use with all of the controls conveniently located on the earphone cord. With the press of a button, you can play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist. iPod shuffle features a gorgeous new aluminum design with a built-in stainless steel clip that makes it ultra-wearable.

The third generation 4GB iPod shuffle is now shipping and comes in silver or black for a suggested price of $79 (US) through the Apple Store(R) (, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. iPod shuffle comes with the Apple Earphones with Remote and the iPod shuffle USB cable. iPod shuffle requires a Mac(R) with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS(R) X v10.4.11 or later and iTunes(R) 8.1 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista, Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 3) or later and iTunes 8.1.

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Apple’s redesigned iPod shuffle hits 4GB, talks to you

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Gadget News | Tags: , , |

By Thomas Ricker, Engadget


Bam, another Apple rumor vindicated. Apple just doubled the capacity of its iPod shuffle to 4GB while ditching the control wheel entirely. The new design keeps the clip and adds VoiceOver — a new feature that gets around the lack of display by telling you which song is playing and who performs it at the touch of a button on the earbud cable. It’ll also call out your playlists and let you navigate to others. No word on which languages are supported. Available in black or silver for $80.

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iPhone nano Arrives in June

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack

Yes we know Apple will not launch an iPhone nano but the rumors keep on going. So it’s our duty to deliver all those nasty rumors to you. The iPhone nano should be launched in June by Steve Jobs during a special event. The phone will have the size of the iPhone 3G’s current screen. The home key will be moved to the right edge of the device and the mini phone will have the same features of the iPhone 3G. As for color expect it to arrive in red, black and white. Now that you have all the hot details, remember it’s all an unconfirmed rumor and move on.

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Apple Netbook Gets Confirmed?

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook | Tags: , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack


It was only yesterday that we brought to your attention the fact that there’s a new rumor in town saying that a netbook is going to arrive later this year, despite Apple’s previous assurances that such a thing won’t happen.

And today the Dow Jones Newswire kind of confirmed the rumor. According to its sources, an Apple touchscreen netbook is supposed to be launched in the second half of the year. It will have a 10-inch display from Wintek and Quanta will make it. The interested parties failed to officially comment. Are we to understand from their silence that Apple is indeed launching the new device this year?

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5 things Apple could be doing with their new touch screens

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By John Biggs,


Now that the Internet is blowing out a kidney over news coming out of Asia that Apple bought up a bunch of touchscreens, I thought it might be nice to posit what Cupertino has in store for those babies.

The report then names Quanta Computer as the manufacturer “of Apple’s new netbook.” Here’s what we think could be happening.

1. HD iPod Touches – A bigger iPod Touch could be in the cards, especially with the move towards HD content in iTunes. Add in a bigger processor and you could be dealing with what amounts to a Newton 2.0.

2. Apple Netbooks – This is a bit hard to stomach simply because its not in Apple’s best interests to build a loss leader. However, given the popularity of the Mac Mini as a gateway Mac you could see a ~$500 laptop coming out sooner than later. Perhaps the touchscreen would allow for easier interaction, something important for a smaller-sized laptop?

3. A touchscreen MacBook/MacBook Pro – This is a considerably harder to accept. What could Apple do to the interface to make a touchscreen a compelling addition? Unless it was a convertible tablet it sounds far-fetched.

4. An Apple Tablet – Apple doesn’t do something until it knows it can do it well – and then it owns the space. Perhaps the time is ripe for a MacBook stuffed into a tablet. There are many markets where tablets are popular and offering something as thin and light as the air but with no keyboard might make sense especially due to the commoditization of netbooks.

5. Everyone is wrong – This is the most likely scenario. OEMs don’t want to piss off Apple. For Wintek and Quanta to admit they’re building hardware for Apple takes a lot of balls or a lot of stupidity. In Apple’s world, loose-lipped OEMs usually get the beat down and Apple can’t afford to mess up the launch of a low-cost netbook because it would cannibalize the sales of their current wares.

What think you?

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Apple Netbook to Arrive in Q3?

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook | Tags: , , , , |



The Apple netbook has been denied by Steve Jobs and Co. more than once already as such a device didn’t fit with Apple’s view. We’ve had various rumors and leaked images too but Apple has never shown any interest in the netbook market.

That’s why this might be just another rumor. According to the Commercial Times and DigiTimes, Apple will release a netbook in Q3. Wintek is said to supply the thouch-panels while Quanta computer will assemble the netbook. What will it be called? iNetbook? MacBook Mini? We’ll believe it when we see it…

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Apple to release iPhone in China?

Posted on March 6, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World |

By Justin Mann,

mac-3g-iphoneApple might get the chance of move into one of the biggest markets in the world, after recent findings that the chairman of China Unicom has been negotiating to bring the iPhone to that country. The company has been trying to enter the Chinese market for a while, also negotiating with state-owned China Mobile, but has yet to introduce any iPhone hardware within their borders. After negotiations with the latter provider broke down, it seemed Apple’s plans for China would be significantly delayed. Now it seems likely Apple is getting ready for another launch.

That’s not to say success is guaranteed. As mentioned in the article, Apple may have an uphill battle in China. The company has had adoption issues in other eastern countries, such as Japan, who has not been very receptive to the iPhone. On top of that, China already has a considerable number of knock off iPhones, which clone it in form and function to varying degrees. Still, with the sheer number of potential customers in China, Apple at least has to try.

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Apple releases new Mac mini, new Mac Pro, and new iMac

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Tech News | Tags: , , , , |

By C.K. Sample III –

New 24-inch iMac starts at $1499, new Mac Pro starts at $2499, and the new Mac mini starts at $599.


Well, the Apple Store is live again after being down for a few hours this morning with three new desktop computers: a new iMac starting at $1499, a new Mac Pro starting at $2499, and a new Mac mini starting at $599, which seems a bit high-priced for a “budget” BYOKDM (Bring Your Own Keyboard Display and Mouse) computer in the midst of an economic downturn. The Mac mini comes in two versions: a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB memory, a 120GB hard drive, an 8x double-layer SuperDrive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card for $599; and a $799 model that comes with 2GBs of memory and a larger 320GB hard drive. According to the Apple Store, both models should ship within 24 hours.

There are now four models of iMacs, beginning with the 20-inch 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 2GBs of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, a SuperDrive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card for $1199. The entry level 24-inch model iMac shares the same features as the 20-inch with the exception of a larger screen, double the RAM at 4GBs and double the hard drive space at 640GBs for a price of $1499. The mid-level 24-inch iMac comes with a faster 2.93GHz processor and an improved graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB memory, for $1799. The top of the line iMac bumps the processor up to 3.06GHz and the hard drive up to a whopping one terabyte for $2199. All 4 models are listed as shipping within 24 hours on the Apple Store with free shipping.

Finally, the new Mac Pro is available in two models: one featuring a 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor, 3GBs of RAM, a 640GB hard drive, an 18x double-layer SuperDrive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card with 512MB for $2499 and a new 8-core processor model running two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processors with 6GBs of RAM and with all other specifications identical to the entry level model for $3299. Both models are listed as shipping within four days according to the Apple Store.

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Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone: First Look

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone | Tags: , , , |

By Jay Hathaway –

kindleforiphoneAmazon is going to be selling a heck of a lot more Kindle books very, very soon. With the launch of the Kindle app for iPhone, the online bookseller just opened up their entire Kindle library to folks who already own one expensive mobile device — the iPhone — and aren’t willing to shell out for another — Amazon’s own Kindle.

The kicker is that Kindle for iPhone works like a charm. I tested out buying some books from MobileSafari and then from my Mac, and it was a seamless experience. With a single click, your book is sent via Amazon’s WhisperSync to your iPhone or iPod Touch, ready to be opened the next time you use the Kindle app.

So, how’s the reading experience on the iPhone screen? It’s obviously much smaller than the Kindle’s display, but reading is easy. Turning pages on the touchscreen interface is a breeze, and you can resize the text to suit your needs. Navigating between books and within books is intuitive, too. Tap on a page to bring up menu items and navigation, including the ability to bookmark your current page. Kindle will also pick up where you left off if you accidentally close the app while you’re reading.

Overall, Kindle for iPhone is everything it needs to be to satisfy picky iPhone users who were reluctant to buy the Kindle device because of its steep pricetag and notorious form-factor. This way, everyone wins: iPhone and iPod Touch users get books on the go, Apple gets another selling point for its already-hot mobile device, and Amazon gets the profits.

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Apple Updates Just About Everything

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By John Diggs,


Apple just updated just about every little thing they could today including adding a $2,400 24-inch iMac and a faster MacBook Pro. Remember that new Mac Mini with 5 USB ports? It’s real.

Other highlights include:

Airport Extreme – Apple’s latest refresh of the Airport Extreme adds a dual broadcasting mode that simultaneously broadcasts on both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz band.

Time Capsule – The new 1TB or 500GB Time Capsule runs dual Wi-Fi, streaming at 802.11n and 802.11g speeds. The Capsule will pick the right band automatically, allowing for more efficient back-ups – a huge issue when transferring large files.

Mac Pro – Two new Mac Pros today with some pretty serious power configurations and very-serious price tags. There’s a quad-core version that starts at $2499 and an eight-core version that starts at $3299.

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Apple Pumps Up the Mini and Revamps iMacs

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , |

By Stephen Williams


The new version of Apple’s Mac Mini, which failed to appear two months ago at the Macworld Expo, emerged today, and while it’s billed as “faster” and “greener,” the Mini remains a small desktop computer with the soul of a laptop.

Apple has also upgraded the MacPro tower and the iMac line, which now offers a 24-inch display at the same price, $1,499 as the older 20-inch model. (The 20-inch remains, and now costs $1,199.)

With a starting price of $599, the Mini is deeply indebted to the parts bin at Apple: As with the revamped aluminum-body MacBooks released last fall, the new Mini has an Intel 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo chip and an Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics card. There’s a slot-loading optical drive/burner, and — probably because the Mini has no monitor built-in and needs to be more flexible — Apple has put in a Mini-DVI video connector, as well as the new Mini DisplayPort (sorry about all those “mini”s). Wireless and Bluetooth come along as well.

What’s also new is five — count ‘em, five — U.S.B. connections packed onto the back panel of the Mini. Either Apple wants to put the U.S.B. hub-makers out of business, or it’s convinced that more is much better, U.S.B. port-wise.

The mini steps up to $799 if you opt to increase its hard-drive size from 120 gigabytes to 360, and double the memory to two gigabytes. As for being green, Apple claims the computer is super-efficient, using 45 percent less power at idle than its predecessor. My solution for saving energy at idle: shut down the computer.

As for the new 24-inch iMac at $1,499…well, it’s a deal-maker, I think, for those seeking an all-in-one, out-of-the-box computer (there’s also the loss-leader 20-inch iMac at $1,199, and the iMac range tops out at $2,199 with all the bells and whistles). Details on the new desktops are here.

All the new Macs include the current OS, Leopard, as well as the inventive iLife ’09 suite of software, including the revamped iPhoto app that my colleague Rik Fairlie wrote about in Gadgetwise a few weeks ago.

Today’s announcements, along with last week’s unveiling of the new Safari 4 Web browser and tweaks to the MacBook and MacPro notebook lines, pretty much complete the Macintosh upgrades across the board. What to watch for next: a smaller iPhone 3G, a new iPod to replace the classic. And the new operating system, Snow Leopard.


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Sync Facebook photos with Apple’s Address Book

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway

addressbooksyncBack in the day — OK, 2007 — there was a spiffy little OS X app called Facebook Sync that pulled down your friends’ contact info and added it to Address Book on your Mac. This was especially brilliant if you used iChat, because screen names would be imported so you could chat with most of your Facebook friends before there was a Facebook Chat. But Facebook Sync turned out to be too good to be true when Facebook decided it violated their Terms of Service. Address Book Sync partially fills the void by allowing you to bulk-add your FB contacts to Address Book — minus the contact info.

What good is it if you can’t sync screennames and email addresses? Well, you can still sync photos and birthdays, and at least you’ll have an Address Book entry for each Facebook contact. Also, if you already like the photo you have in your Address Book for one of your friends, you can uncheck a box to have Address Book Sync leave it alone. If your phone can sync contacts with Address Book, this is also a fast way to have people’s photos show up when they call you. Address Book Sync works brilliantly and doesn’t violate the terms of service. Now, if I could just figure out a way to add contact info to all these new entries …

Source: downloadsquad

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Apple iMac murdered, reborn as all-in-one DreamCast mod

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Ross Miller


This may look like a beloved iMac, but make no mistake, it’s just a shell of its former self. CGCC forum member Logicdustbin decided to gut the all-in-one and replace its innards with a Sega Dreamcast and 15-inch LCD monitor. The result? The iCast, a beautiful homage to simpler times. Hit up the video after the break to see this Fronk-en-shteen in action, playing a game that’ll assuredly prepare our children for a post-apocalyptic world.

Source: engadget

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Apple, EMI unveil iTunes Pass

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Music | Tags: , , , |

Apple has just launched a new service called Pass for its popular iTunes music store. It’s like a season pass for a favorite artist, in this case the electro band Depeche Mode. Fans who pay $18.99 for this first iTunes Pass immediately get two Depeche Mode singles, Wrong and the “Black Light Odyssey Dub Remix” of the new track Oh Well.

Then, on April 21, they’ll receive Depeche Mode’s new album called Sounds of the Universe. Between now and when the pass expires in 15 weeks, fans will also receive videos, remixes and other content, some of it exclusive. All the material is automatically downloaded (in the DRM-free iTunes Plus format) into iTunes. Subscribers receive an email letting you know it’s there.

It’s worth noting that the press release announcing iTunes Pass came from EMI Music, not Apple. Before thinking this is Apple’s entree into the music subscription business, which is something Steve Jobs has pooh-poohed in the past, note that iTunes Pass is quite different.

Under an all-you-can eat music subscription plan at a place such as Rhapsody, you have access to the material only as long as you keep paying a fee. With iTunes Pass, you own the content that has been downloaded, even after the pass expires.

It’s a safe bet Apple will soon extend iTunes Pass to other performers. In the release, Apple Vice President Eddy Cue says, “iTunes Pass is a great way for artists to give exclusive music and video, on their own schedule, directly to their fans. iTunes customers are going to love getting additional content directly from their favorite artists right when they make it available.”

But Apple isn’t saying who those artists are, much less when the material will be available.

Apple also announced the public beta of Safari 4, which is available today for both Windows PCs and Macs. It incorporates a “Top Sites” visual preview feature, as well as the clever Cover Flow feature (for flipping through your Web history and bookmarks) that is familiar to Mac and iTunes users.

I just started testing the new Safari, and it looks positive at first glance. I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve spent more time with it.

Source: usatoday

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Is Windows Mobile 6.5 a worthy competitor for Apple’s iPhone and Google Android?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World, Tech News | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Tanner Godarzi

Microsoft’s plans to launch an update to Windows Mobile may be too little too late in the face of intense competition from Google and Apple. Is version 6.5 as innovative as it seems?

windows mobile

Mimicking its desktop counterpart, Windows Mobile has aspired to be the de facto choice for Smartphones everywhere but stagnation during software development and intense competition from Apple, RIM, Symbian, Google and more recently Palm, has put Windows Mobile in the backseat. Microsoft might be making a play for hearts and minds with Windows Mobile 6.5, which was announced during last week’s Mobile World Congress, but this newest update feels like a patch. You might not get excited until Windows Mobile 7 arrives sometime next year.

Windows Myphone beta

Mobile Me and the iPhone go hand in hand allowing you to sync data from to your Mac and PC. Microsoft is taking a similar (Mac-less) approach but broadening the spectrum of what data can be synced. Music, videos, photos, contacts and calendars can be transferred in to the cloud back to your computer; efficient isn’t it?

Considering the massive push behind Windows Live, MyPhone feels like another service that could have appeared much sooner, but in the face of competition from data syncing services Microsoft has chosen to finally pick up the pace and push out its own alternative. Just like Windows Mobile version 6.5 and 7, it’s coming too little too late.

But if MyPhone can actually be pushed out soon, video and photo syncing would set it apart from the likes of Mobile Me. The unfortunate thing: time isn’t on Microsoft’s side and the lack of Mac support cuts out a few potential customers.

App marketplace

Windows Marketplace is Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone’s App Store. This of course is a great first step but its inclusion within Windows Mobile 6.5 is a hinderance as well. Even more unsettling is the dearth of compelling features.

Windows Marketplace packs all the typical features of a mobile app repository. Developers can submit their applications for review. Anyone can download an app through his or her Windows computer or the phone itself.

This time around, Microsoft (and Nokia) are playing catch up in making a central app repository available on its handsets. You’d thik this would have come sooner, considering that Windows Mobile has been one of the oldest platforms for smart phones to support third party applications.

The hassle of upgrading

The biggest deterrent to switching to Windows Mobile 6.5 besides the far off shipping date is the lack of easy upgradability. Apple still provides software upgrades for its first generation iPhone and Google pushes updates to Android running phones. To get all of the new features in version 6.5, you will likely have to buy a totally new smartphone running Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system.

This is because a new hardware specification is being tacked on to Windows Mobile 6.5 that is requiring a physical start button be present on any device it runs on. This is comparable to the iPhone’s home button, which takes you to your home screen filled with apps. In Windows Mobile, you will be taken to the new honeycomb interface.

The incentive for handset manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and HTC to provide an upgrade path for you to jump to version 6.1 to 6.5 just diminished a great deal. Then again, when has an easy software upgrade been something worth providing when merely charging for a new phone running the latest Windows Mobile OS is more profitable?

Source: obsessable

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Do you really think Apple’s going to take business advice from a bunch of cheapskates?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Tech News | Tags: , , |

by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

I can’t be the only one who’d tired of reading about the opinions of cheapskates who feel that Apple, for some bizarre reason, owes them a low-cost Mac OS powered computer. Read my lips: It’s not gonna happen!

See, there’s two lines of thinking. In the real world we have Apple, a multi-billion dollar company that has carved out for itself a niche as a luxury technology company. Through selling these products at a relatively high price point the company pulls in billions of dollars a year worldwide. It’s also a company that has around $25 billion (yes, billion!) in the bank, and no debt. By any metric, Apple is doing well.

But then in bizzaro-world, we have folks who seem utterly desperate for Apple to venture into areas such as budget PCs and netbooks, market segments that are notorious for having razor-thin profit margins and which are fought over by more than a dozen big-name OEMs. Boil down these bizzaro-world arguments down and you really come down to one conclusion – Apple should make a cheap PC to satisfy the needs of the cheapskate buyer.

Now, regular readers will know that I’m no Apple fanboy (in fact, I really can’t muster up the enthusiasm to be a fanboy for any company nowadays – there are products and services that I like and continue to buy, and there are those that I don’t …) and that the total extent of my Apple purchases comes down to a few iPods and a Mac mini. I build my own PC systems so buying Apple doesn’t really factor in with me most of the time, but even when I’m in the market for a notebook, I’m too much of a cheapskate myself to spend money on an Apple-branded system. Sure, if I could pick up a brand new Mac Pro for say $500, I’d buy one, but I’m not going to start fabricating a weak argument that Apple should be selling cheap systems just because of that. The truth is that is shouldn’t, not at least while its current business model is bringing in the cash. Sure, there’s a downturn in spending, and there’s also no doubt that netbooks are hot, but you’d need to sell a lot of netbooks to bring in the same profit as one MacBook Pro or iPhone.

Now, we all know that the economy is shaky, and I’m pretty certain that over the next year or so Apple is going to experience a few hits, but I don’t see that as being a valid reason for the company to throw out business model that’s worked for years. It doesn’t have to change. Why? Just look at the company’s cash reserves – that’s give you nearly $25 billion reasons why it doesn’t need to change. Apple has the cash it needs to weather the current financial storm without having to make any changes to its sales model.

Bottom line – Apple doesn’t need to make any rash business changes right now. It definitely doesn’t need to take business advice from a bunch of people looking for a cheap Mac.

The way I see it is if you want an Apple computer and can buy one, buy one. If you can’t afford one, look at the plenty of excellent systems that are powered by Windows or Linux. If you really mush have a Mac OS system, then hit spend some quality time with your favorite search engine and learn how to put together a hackintosh system … anything, as long as your quit it with the whining!

Source: zdnet

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The disappearing Apple 20-inch display

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , |

by Eric Franklin

applwe_270x260According to MacRumors and my own sleuthing on Apple’s site, Apple has removed the 20-inch Cinema Display from its online store.

MacRumors speculates that Apple is gearing up for a refresh of its 20-inch Cinema Display in the form of a new LED-based 20-incher with a Mini DisplayPort connection like the 24-inch LED Cinema Display released last year.

No official word from Apple yet, of course, but here’s hoping that if this is true, the company at least includes a DVI to Mini DisplayPort adapter with the 20-incher so more than just MacBook owners will get some use out of it.

Source: cnet

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Apple iPhone Study Suggests Free Apps Will Be Priced

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , , |

By Kara Gilmour

Apple iPhone users who buy applications for their smartphone usually abandon them after the first download. The study was conducted by research firm Pinch Media which disclosed that only 30 percent of people actually use the applications.

iphone-apps4Apple iPhone applications can be freely downloaded or purchased by Apple Inc’s App Store online. However, a new study suggests that only 30 percent of users who fetch new applications usually vacate them after the first install. It is a trend that is quite troubling for developers who make free software for the smartphone.

“Paid applications generally retain their users longer than free applications, although the drop-off is still pretty steep,” a Pinch Media spokesperson said.

Throughout the RIM BlackBerry Storm vs Apple iPhone debate, most people supported one phone over the other based solely on the number of free applications available for the device. While both mobile phones do offer an online store to retrieve free and paid applications, smartphone users should base their choice on the quality and usability of the mobile device and not its app store.

Apple iPhone users usually retire free apps after its first install.

Pinch Media also said, “Users stop using the average applications pretty quickly. Long-term audience are generally one percent of total downloads.” The study is quite astonishing and could mark what the future holds for free iPhone applications.

News organizations including Fox, CNN and AP all offer free applications for the Apple iPhone device. There is also a growing number of free apps developing for the Google Android phone and the RIM BlackBerry Storm. The question is, what good are the free apps if smartphone users retire them after the first download?

Some iPhone owners prefer just reading news or content directly from a Web site than using an application. This is also true for PC users who prefer browsing through the Internet for content than depending on a software application to do it for them. While this might be a new trend, it could also mean that free programs from companies might come with a new fee.

When an iPhone user wants new software, they can retrieve it directly from the mobile device. The smartphone has a menu screen which directs the user to download the program from the Apple App Store. While free applications have been a vehicle to get users familiar with the App Store, developers could use this as an opportunity to sell their iPhone software.

If the “free” title of the app is warding people away, iPhone developers could start out with a small price. Pinch Media also said that dropping the price on existing applications does increase demand by 130 percent. Raising the price scares people away and decreases downloads by 25 percent, according to the research firm.

Source: newsoxy

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How Much Will ‘Good Enough’ iPhone Rivals Hurt Apple? (AAPL)

Posted on February 21, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone | Tags: , , , |

By Dan Frommer

No one in the mobile industry has been able to capture the design and elegance of Apple’s iPhone yet. But how much will “good enough” rivals stunt Apple’s growth?htc-touch-pro

This week’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona birthed a slew of new smartphones, from HTC’s new Google-powered ‘Magic’ to new Nokia (NOK) and Samsung devices. Common thread: Many look (or try to look) like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, which is still the gadget to beat in the mobile industry.

None of them, from what we’ve seen, is as good as the iPhone. But they’re getting closer. And for many consumers, they could easily be good enough. Especially for people who want to use mobile carriers that Apple doesn’t work with, or for people want phones with slide-out keypads.

At the very least, this means a more competitive market when Apple announces whatever new iPhones it’s going to release this year, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky says in a note today. At worst, it could mean “downshifts” to Apple’s growth or margins, he says.

The very idea of “good enough” will send many Apple loyalists reeling. And it’s worth noting that “good enough” rivals have tried — and failed — to put a dent in Apple’s iPod business. But the cellphone business is different. Subscribers are often loyal to (or under contract to) wireless carriers, not phone manufacturers. And let’s not forget about the computer industry, where Windows is “good enough” for 90% of PC buyers.

So what can Apple do to trump these new smartphone competitors? Well, another truly revolutional iPhone would be impressive. But that’s not as likely as simpler upgrades like more storage, a better camera, video recording, and cheaper pricing.

One change that could help: We think Apple would be smart to start breaking up its exclusive carrier distribution deals sooner than later, such as with AT&T (T) in the U.S.

AT&T has been a valuable launch and marketing partner over the last two years, but there are good reasons why two-thirds of U.S. wireless subscribers choose carriers other than AT&T. If the iPhone were on sale at Verizon (VZ), for example, there’s no way it would have sold 1 million RIM (RIMM) BlackBerry Storms over the holidays.

Source: businessinsider

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Apple snapping up flash memory for new iPhone?

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

by Tom Krazit

It’s been clear for a while that Apple seems to have settled into midyear iPhone refresh cycles as it closes in on the two-year anniversary of its debut, but more signs are pointing to a summer phone

Think Equity Partners put out a report this week, spotted by AppleInsider, that says Apple has essentially cleaned out Samsung’s supply of flash memory in recent weeks. Apple has also asked Toshiba and Hynix to step up with more flash memory, according to Think Equity, as it prepares for an iPhone launch.

Apple has a contract in place with the three companies, as well as Intel and Micron, to supply flash memory for Apple’s products through 2010. But Apple tends to launch new iPods in the second half of the year around a September music event, making it much more likely that this buildup has a new iPhone in mind.

In January, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller hinted that Apple has settled on a midyear refresh cycle for iPhones, after launching the original iPhone in late June and the iPhone 3G in July. The spring parade of iPhone rumors has not fully blossomed as of yet, but one persistent rumor is that Apple has some sort of low-cost iPhone in the pipeline, based on CEO Steve Jobs’ comments about price umbrellas during an earnings conference call and a recent report suggesting a $99 iPhone is on tap.

Apple COO Tim Cook, however, has dismissed talk of Apple playing in the entry-level phone business, so as usual, it’s hard to tell exactly what Apple has in mind. But even if all Apple did was double the storage capacity of the iPhone to 16GB and 32GB, it would need a lot more flash memory chips.

Source: cnet

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