Archive for the ‘apple’ Category

Hot new features uncovered in iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 []

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

by Michael Bettiol []

Here’s the thing… We just installed the newly released iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 and found quite a few changes. There are a lot of minor things like how the background of the multitasking interface matches the background in the iPad’s browser, but all of the big new changes are awaiting your perusal after the jump.

File Sharing

Yes, you read that right. Apple is finally going to allow you to transfer files to and from your iPhone straight from your computer. It works like this: You plug your iPhone into iTunes, head on over to the Apps page and scroll down. From there you’ll be able to drag files to and from your iPhone and your computer. We have not been able to get the feature to work as of yet, but it seems a lock that support will be enabled for more than the Mail app. That is if this feature makes it past the development stage.


Media Player Widgets

When you fire up the multitasking interface you see a new set of widgets that control the iPod application. To access it simply swipe to the left. From there you’ll be able to play, pause, move between tracks and open up the iPod app itself. Let’s hope this is just the first of many such widgets.


Multitasking: Closing Applications

Shutting down applications that were running in the background was a huge pain in the butt in previous releases, but things have been simplified in beta 3. No longer do you have to press, hold and click close for each application. Instead you simply press and hold the icon of one of the many applications you’re currently running, and you’ll be given the option to close whatever ones you wish in rapid succession. A good way to describe it is by saying it basically now works in the same way you delete apps on the iPhone.


Orientation Lock

Landscape mode was one of the many great things brought forward in OS 3.0, but now, one year after its release, Apple has finally realized that not everyone likes having the entire UI flip about thanks to the over-sensitive accelerometer. To enable orientation lock, you simply have to fire up the multitasking interface, swipe to the left and click the Portrait Lock icon. Simple, right?


iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 is ready for your scrutiny []

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

By Chris Ziegler  []

7diggsdiggThe last time Apple dropped a release of iPhone OS 4.0, it left more than a few downloaders in crumpled heaps on the floor, sobbing quietly to themselves as they tried desperately to come to terms with the fact that their beloved iPhones were far less usable than they had been just a few minutes prior. Well, we don’t know yet if beta 3 is any better, but it’s here — and if you’re a member of Apple’s iPhone dev program, it’s ready for you to install. So yeah — take care, good luck, godspeed, be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. Let us know how it goes in comments, yeah?
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Source: Apple

iPhone / iPad ‘Spirit’ jailbreak released to the world []

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

By Nilay Patel []

We’ve been seeing the iPad / iPhone Spirit jailbreak demoed here and there for a few weeks now, and here we go — the download is now available. The untethered jailbreak works on activated iPhone OS devices running 3.1.2, 3.1.3, and 3.2, although iPad owners are warned that "all this is still sort of beta" and might require you to restore if things break. That’s not the worst thing in the world, we suppose — anyone taking the plunge?

sourceSpirit Jailbreak

iPad 3G Dismantled: There Are Five Antennas []

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

By Rosa Golijan []

iPad 3G Dismantled: There Are Five Antennas

We’ve seen its communications board before, but now the entire iPad 3G has been torn open and had its parts analyzed. Here’s what makes it different from a Wi-Fi-only iPad according to the guys at iFixit:

* The immediate visible difference is the inclusion of a black plastic RF window on top of the iPad for better antenna reception.

* The black RF window significantly changes the opening procedure. You cannot start separating the display using the notches on the top (à la Wi-Fi version), since that will undoubtedly break the RF window. You have to start from the right side and gingerly proceed to the top and bottom of the iPad.

* There are actually FIVE antennas in this iPad: Two antennas handle the cell reception — one is in the RF window on top, the other attaches to the LCD frame. A single GPS antenna is also housed in the RF window on top. Just like the iPad Wi-Fi, there are two antennas that handle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, one in the Apple logo and another to the left of the dock connector.

* You heard that right, folks: Apple looks to be using the entire LCD frame as an antenna!

* Who would’ve thought: Apple uses the same 3G baseband processor in both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G.

* The baseband processor in question is the Infineon 337S3754 PMB 8878 X-Gold IC. It was actually white-labeled on the production unit, but with enough sleuthing we were able to confirm its true identity.

* The iPad 3G has a Broadcom BCM4750UBG Single-Chip AGPS Solution, whereas the iPhone 3GS uses an Infineon Hammerhead II package. Big win for Broadcom!

* Apple did not change any major suppliers between manufacturing the pre-production unit they provided the FCC and their final production run.

You can check see more gadget gore porn pictures and part details over at iFixit, but those are the basic highlights. [iFixit]

Microsoft sides with Apple, embraces H.264 as HTML5 web video standard []

Friday, April 30th, 2010

by Kelly Hodgkins []


Outside of the debate on the future of Flash and Flash video on the Internet is a separate but related battle over the video standard that will be supported by HTML5. On one side of the battle line is Firefox and Opera which has pledged support for the Ogg Theora video standard, and on the other side is Apple which has been pushing for H.264. Apple is no longer alone in this fight and now has an unlikely ally in Microsoft which announced on Thursday that IE 9 will support H.264 for HTML5 video. Ogg supporters are understandably disappointed with this decision as the two computing giants may now have the combined power to squash Ogg Theora support in these other browser platforms. Look for things to get messier before they get better as Google is expected to debut its own On2-derived V8 video protocol at Google I/O next month.


AT&T gets ready for your iPad, new iPhone with micro-SIMs []

Friday, April 30th, 2010

by Boy Genius []


If you’ve never seen a micro-SIM before, you’ll probably be pretty shocked to learn that it’s simply just a smaller SIM card… just like the name implies. What’s interesting, however, is that the SIM isn’t actually different as the chip is exactly the same, the only difference is that the plastic surrounding it is minimized. In any case, just in time for the Apple iPad 3G launch and upcoming next generation iPhone launch, AT&T stores have started receiving new SIM cards which have cutouts for both the regular SIM standard, and the new micro-SIM all in one. A pretty cleaver move, don’t you say? One more image after the break!

Thanks, soundwave9!


Textie for iPhone: Stop Texting Until You’ve Tried It []

Friday, April 30th, 2010

By John Herrman []

Textie for iPhone: Stop Texting Until You've Tried It

The guy behind recent Twitter purchase Tweetie, along with the dude behind Borange, have put together a characteristically pretty SMS replacement app called Textie. There are two things you should know about it: It’s free, and it works.

Textie texts just about any way you want it to, trading messages through email aliases between Textie clients (free), through phone numbers between Textie clients (free), between Textie and email clients (free), and between Textie and other phone numbers notassociated with Textie apps. (Free for you, but possibly not for the other person in the conversation, who may incur regular texting charges.) The only carrier that doesn’t play well with Textie is T-Mobile.

So, how does it work? Pretty well. The texting interface will make sense to anyone used to the iPhone’s SMS app, and is littered with the little visual flourishes that endeared people to Tweetie. Push notifications come quickly, though the headers can be a bit long. And no, Textie texts don’t draw from your monthly quota, so this is unlimited texting, in effect. Overall, this is an app that could conceivably replace the iPhone’s default SMS app, especially—but not exclusively—if you have most of your text conversations with other iPhone users. On the matter of price. Textie is free, but supported by ads. It costs $2 to go ad-free, available via in-app purchase. [Textie]

Adobe’s CEO: Jobs’ Flash letter is a ‘smokescreen’ for ‘cumbersome’ restrictions []

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

By Nilay Patel []

15diggsdiggThere’s no official transcript yet, but the Wall Street Journal just live-blogged an interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, in which he responded to the Steve Jobs "Thoughts on Flash" letter posted this morning. Substantively, Narayen didn’t offer much we haven’t heard Adobe say before, but his frustration with Apple is palpable even in summary form: he called Jobs’ points a "smokescreen," said Flash is an "open specification," and further said Apple’s restrictions are "cumbersome" to developers and have "nothing to do with technology." What’s more, he also said Jobs’ claims about Flash affecting battery life are "patently false," and suggested that any Flash-related crashes on OS X have more to do with Apple’s operating system than Adobe’s software.
Perhaps most importantly, Narayen reiterated that Adobe is fundamentally about making it easier for devs to write multiplatform tools — a stance Jobs specifically took issue with in his letter, saying multiplatform tools lead to bad user experiences. Apple and Adobe and the rest of us can argue about battery life and performance all night, but that’s clearly the central philosophical difference between these two companies, and we doubt it’s ever going to change. That is, unless Adobe absolutely kills it with Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2 — and given our experiences with Flash on smartphones and netbooks thus far, we’ll be honest when we say that’s going to be a major challenge. We’ll link over to the full transcript when it goes up, but for now, hit the source link for the liveblog.

Thoughts on ‘Thoughts on Flash’ []

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


SO STEVE JOBS finally posted the reasoning for his decision to kill Flash, in any form, on the iPhone/iPad platform.

Some of what he says makes sense. It really does. I don’t necessarily disagree with the decision not to support Flash directly. I do think it’s a bit like Apple’s decision to pre-empt the market by dropping serial and parallel ports, rewrite its OS from scratch instead of crippling it with backward compatibility, and so on. In other words, brave and forward-looking.

Then again, there’s stuff here that Steve is Just Not Getting.

For example:

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer.*

Love how he makes this sound like Apple supported Adobe, rather than vice versa. The Mac’s big foothold in the market was always in the creative industries, primarily as the basis for the DTP revolution. Without Adobe technology that would never have happened. For years, Macs couldn’t even render fonts without Adobe Type Manager.

Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products.

What a load of utter cobblers. Adobe is still hugely focused on the creative industries and the creative industries are still hugely dependent on Adobe. To portray Adobe as having decamped to the corporate dark side isn’t even funny, it’s just stupid.

Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products

Let’s put that another way, shall we? Creative Suite users account for [insert your own very significant proportion] of professional Mac sales. If Apple were to piss off Adobe to the extent that Creative Suite disappeared from the Mac, I wouldn’t switch to Apple’s graphics and publishing software, I’d switch to Windows. You know why? Apple doesn’t make graphics and publishing software.

Anyway, Steve, go on?

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Oh, you wanted us to better understand that fact? Sorry, I thought you wanted to bury it in clause 3.3.1 of a developer agreement revision that you didn’t even publicly announce. Next time I want someone to better understand what I’m doing, I’ll write it on a PostIt, stick it up my own arse and blog about it a month later.

Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.

Why bother? Everyone else and their dog have already rehearsed this argument. Blah blah blah. Highlights of Steve’s version:

…HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others…

Whoa! That’s big news. Last I heard, HTML5 was unlikely even to be recommended as a standard for another couple of years, let alone finalised and ratified. It’s almost like you’re telling us we don’t need Adobe’s stuff because something to which Apple has made a negligible contribution is going to come along sometime within our lifetime and do similar things. Which would be silly, obviously. Wait, that is what you’re saying.

Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser [...] Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

Run that by me again. Developing a browser (software for viewing, notmaking, web pages) that supports existing standards is ‘creating open standards’? Tortuous much?

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264

‘Almost all’? What? What? This is beyond reality distortion.

YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever

Agreed (see, I’m not just randomly arguing with everything) – but some YouTube content still refuses to play on my iPhone, and even if you counted their whole 40% of the market, it simply isn’t my experience that ‘almost all’, or even a majority, of web video I try to access on my iPhone will play. That’s just video, before we even get into Flash proper.

iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

Absolutely, totally, utterly, flat wrong. If you put that in an ad, there’s no way it would be approved for broadcast. Just not true.

Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. This is true.

As that woman in Catherine Tate’s office sketch would say: Yes. It is.


Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009.


We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash.

Would that be ‘know first hand’ as in ‘don’t have any evidence to show’? Still, fair cop, it certainly crashes my Mac more often than anything except the operating system, iTunes and Safari. And all Microsoft’s software. You still like Microsoft, right?

We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems

Yeah, you phoned Adobe’s main switchboard and got a ticket number.

In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices.

Not really qualified to comment on that, but general impression: true. Hence, I understand the reluctance to pollute iPx.

Fourth, there’s battery life. To achieve long battery life when playing video, mobile devices must decode the video in hardware [...] Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder

Wait – wait – wait! You don’t want Flash now because of a limitation Flash hadin the past? Really? Have you been drinking German beer?

Fifth, there’s Touch. [...] Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?


Well, here I have to admit I was wrong. I said:

I realise Steve Jobs may have trouble understanding that other people actually have to do stuff to respond to change, not just shout at someone ‘Fire Flash devs! Hire iPhone devs!’, but I don’t believe he’s oblivious to the scale of the challenge.

OK, now I do believe it. Totally oblivious.

Finally, to the app packager question.

Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices. We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps

I would interrupt here to insert a list of all the sub-standard apps already approved by Apple that have nothing to do with Flash, but I don’t have three months of my life to spare.

If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

Sort of get that. Problem: at the moment, for the thousands of developers and creatives who do have the skills to use Flash but don’t have the first glimmer of a clue how to code in Objective-C, none of the enhancements of the iPx platform are available. The platform isn’t available at all. (I wrote about this inmy reaction to 3.3.1.) And the only way it’s ever going to be available is via some kind of third party tool. One with full typographical support. You know, like Adobe TLF.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary

No it doesn’t. Because from magazine companies, arguably the content sector most excited about the iPad, there’s so far an avalanche of PDF-derived shovelware but only a trickle of original apps with genuinely innovative and appropriate ux. And that now looks like changing very slowly at best. Far from ensuring the predominance of high quality content, removing the Flash route delays it.

Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future

Agree! But Steve – what about the present?

*Come on, Steve, you can at least put the right capital letters in PostScript and LaserWriter. I bet you wince when people write ‘IPOD Touch’.

CoPilot Live HD offers turn-by-turn navigation for iPad 3G []

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

By Chris Davies

copilot live hd ipad 1 540x437



With the iPad WiFi + 3G already en route to preorder customers’ homes, it seems somehow appropriate to hear about a PND app for the Apple tablet.  CoPilot Live HD is expected to navigate its way onto the 3G-equipped iPad – which also has a GPS receiver – sometime in early May, offering turn-by-turn navigation, 3D and 3D mapping, and in-app access to iPod music controls.


Frustratingly for early-adopters who couldn’t wait and opted for the WiFi-only iPad, the 3G connection isn’t actually necessary: mapping data is all locally stored, and CoPilot Live HD only needs the GPS chip that’s not present in the normal iPad.  As well as navigation there’s in-app local search and real-time weather information.

ALK Technologies have submitted CoPilot Live HD to Apple for App Store approval, so until it shows up in iTunes you’ll have to sate yourself with this huge gallery of screenshots.  When it’s finally available it will be priced the same as the regular iPhone version, with no ongoing subscription fees.

copilot live hd ipad 1 150x100 copilot live hd ipad 2 150x100 
copilot live hd ipad 3 150x100 copilot live hd ipad 4 150x100 
copilot live hd ipad 5 150x100 copilot live hd ipad 6 150x100

Press Release:

CoPilot® Live HD™ navigates to the iPad 3G

Hi-resolution edition of the award-winning CoPilot Live sat nav app brings the ultimate in-car navigation experience to the Apple iPad 3G

April 29th 2010 – London, UK – ALK Technologies today announced that it has submitted CoPilot Live HD to the app store, a turn-by-turn satellite navigation and trip planning app designed specifically for 3G models of Apple’s iPad. With street maps stored on the device, CoPilot Live HD takes full advantage of the iPad 3G’s in-built GPS receiver and high resolution touch screen to provide the ultimate large-screen voice-guided navigation experience.

CoPilot Live HD makes it easy to find the way in-car or to plan a trip in advance with beautiful hi-resolution maps and graphics. A new split screen driving view combines uncluttered 3D or 2D map displays with clear, non-distracting turn instructions. As with CoPilot Live for iPhone, the HD edition auto-switches between portrait and landscape, uses pinch-zoom functionality and offers access to iPod music controls from within the app.

Initially launched in North America to coincide with the U.S. release of GPS-enabled iPad 3G models, detailed street-level maps are stored directly on the iPad. Customers do not need to download maps for each trip or worry about being left stranded without maps in mobile dead spots. Apps for additional regions will be launched as the iPad 3G becomes available worldwide in coming months.

More than just turn-by-turn navigation, CoPilot Live HD’s powerful offline trip planning and route preview features allow travellers to plan door-to-door itineraries on their iPad before they hit the road. Users can enter multiple stops for a single journey and optimise to calculate the most efficient route. Advanced features include integral access to local search, real-time weather information, and the ability to create customised routing profiles that best suit personal preferences.

“CoPilot Live HD provides an absolutely sensational GPS navigation and planning experience on iPad 3G,” said Michael Kornhauser, Managing Director at ALK Technologies. “Developing for iPad was a natural step following the tremendous popularity of our CoPilot Live iPhone app. It’s a really fantastic platform for navigation that allows us to fully exploit the many years of expertise we have gained from supporting tablet computers with our CoPilot Live Laptop products.”

CoPilot Live HD North America has been submitted to the appstore for approval, and is expected to be available to buy for iPad 3G in early May. Pricing will be the same as for the CoPilot Live iPhone app with no ongoing fees or subscriptions.