Cha-Ching Touch Comes to the App Store

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 17:28
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

It was a long wait, but it’s finally here. The mobile version of Midnight Apps’ finance tracking app is now available on the App Store for $ 2.99 as of Saturday night. Partially coinciding with the 2.0 release of the popular desktop software, the new iPhone app will sync accounts and data with the 2.0 version allowing mobile expense entry, or can be used for stand-alone expense management on the iPhone.
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The 2.0 version of Cha-Ching Desktop is on the Midnight App web site as a public beta. Recent builds have added the ability to sync to the iPhone app. I have not had a chance to put Cha-Ching Touch to the test, but I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity for some time. My checkbook, to put it simply, is a complete mess. Not even Quicken could help me, although they haven’t made it easy either. Cha-Ching was originally released as the “Quicken killer” and I wanted to give it a chance since it seemed to have a nice, Mac-like interface, and I liked it’s simplicity. The hardest part for me is staying on top of entering my expenses so that my balances are in sync with my bank account. Bus commutes are the ideal time to catch up with this busy-work, and allow me to be more efficient with my travel time. I’m really hoping Cha-Ching Touch helps me do that.
It seemed like the app wasn’t going to make it to the App Store for a while. I have been following the Midnight Apps Twitter feed (@Midnight_Apps) since the announcement that they submitted the app to Apple, and waited along with many frustrated people (including the Midnight Apps folks) as over a week went by before word was finally received late Saturday, March 21st, that the app was approved and due in the App Store “at any moment”. Apparently the app fell into that 2% that Apple wasn’t getting reviewed in 7 days or less.
The data sync seemed to go without a hitch, although I did have to FINALLY update my iPhone’s firmware since Cha-Ching Touch requires 2.2.1. I’ll let you know how the app fares after I have some time to work with it.

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Apple Drops iPhone Bluetooth Headset from Online Storefront

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 13:30
Category: Accessory, iPhone

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Apple apparently stopped selling its official Bluetooth headset for the iPhone, as noted by MacNN today. Although the product’s page still exists over on the Apple Store, the company has marked the device as “discontinued”.
The headset, which was launched along with the original iPhone in June of 2007, dropped in price from US$129 to US$99 in 2008, while also losing its bundled dual-dock.
Though exact reasons for the disappearance are unknown, this could be connected to future iPhone hardware changes, especially those tied in with the recently-announced iPhone OS 3.0 firmware — and possibly iPod touches — that are expected to gain full Bluetooth functionality in the summer. Though the current iPhone technically supports Bluetooth 2.0, it does not allow stereo audio, nor does it support many of the advanced data functions possible on other cellphones.
Apple may intend to introduce a new generation of headset at the same time as a new iPhone, incorporating stereo and more advanced controls.
If you have any ideas on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Intel Readying Ultra-Low-Voltage Processors for Ultraportable Notebooks

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 08:33
Category: Processors

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Processor giant Intel reaffirmed on Friday that the company is readying a new series of new ultra-low-voltage chips, due in the second quarter, for inexpensive ultraportable notebooks.
According to Macworld UK, the company will ship the ULV chips as part of its Montevina Plus mobile laptop platform, an updated version of the existing Montevina platform, a fact confirmed by company spokeswoman Connie Brown.
The processors could be used in small, thin notebooks and provide the same level of functionality as notebooks priced above US$1,500.
Notebooks currently based on Intel’s ULV chips could be as thin as Apple’s MacBook Air or Dell’s recently launched Adamo, with prices ranging between US$599 and US$1,299.
Intel’s new series could fit into smaller spaces and use less power than the existing Core 2 Duo ULV line, which uses about 10 watts of power and is generally found in ultraportable notebooks such as Apple’s MacBook Air.
Intel’s Montevina Plus platform also will offer new chips running as fast as 3.06GHz, for mainstream notebooks priced between $399 and $1,499.
The company’s Montevina Plus is likely to be Intel’s most important update to its laptop platforms before the company starts shipping its new Arrandale chips for laptops later this year. The Arrandale chips will be manufactured using a 32-nanometer process and integrate a graphics processor and CPU in one chip, which could boost graphics performance while drawing less power than existing Core 2 processors. The Arrandale chips are also expected to be more energy-efficient, which could improve notebook battery life.
Expected clock speeds on Arrandale processors should be similar to processors used in existing laptops while offering better performance by running applications through more threads while drawing less power.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple Seems Likely to Add Video Recording Features to Next-Gen iPhone

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 07:40
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Apple seems certain to add video recording capabilities in the next iPhone hardware revision per a source close to AppleInsider.
Though the details are currently limited, there is no suggestion of current hardware being able to support video recording. Given this fact, only an upgraded iPhone with a new built-in camera should support the feature. The source stated that the new revision is expected between late spring and early fall this year and could add video support and improved gaming hardware via multi-core PowerVR chips as the headlining features.
Oddly enough, a screen capture from the forthcoming iPhone Software 3.0 on Engadget’s website shows a MobileMe panel for uploading images titled “Upload Video,” thereby adding strength to the rumor.
An additional rumor has speculated that faster iPhone internet speeds are en route, AT&T confirming that the company currently has HSPA 3G peaking at 7.2 megabits per second, twice the current speed of the network. The extra speed would help to handle video transmissions via iPhone handsets.
A final rumor has stated that Apple will release a new iPhone App called “Movies” which will offer rudimentary video editing similar to the new “Voice Memos” iPhone app that Apple recently previewed. The software would allow for sharing video via e-mail and MMS messaging.
Even so, Apple may only offer the video capabilities as a premium feature only on a high-end model when it releases new iPhones this summer. References to four different multi-touch handheld products which were found in the new iPhone 3.0 software beta seem to indicate two distinct model lines, possibly one with video capability and one lacking the feature.
Stay tuned for details as they emerge and please let us know if you’ve heard anything on your end in the comments or forums

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