Rumor: Apple Employees Apparently Ramping Up Overseas Trips for Tablet Project

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Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 05:06
Category: Rumor

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Apple employees havee reportedly taking numerous trips to manufacturing plants in China, including some scheduled during the upcoming holiday season, as the company’s long-rumored tablet comes closer to reality. Citing an anonymous source, the Business Insider has stated that Apple engineers have been taking numerous trips between the U.S. and Asia recently to visit manufacturing plants where the 10″ touchscreen device will go into production. That manufacturer is likely to be Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer who has partnered with Apple on numerous products, and earlier this month was rumored to have secured the production of the still-unannounced tablet.

“A source tells us a system integration engineer friend of his at Apple has been ramping up his travels back and forth between China lately, broadcasting word of his travels over the Internet,” the report said. “There’s even a few weeks scheduled during the Christmas holiday season.”

Christmas trips would confirm what sources have stated is Apple’s racing towards a launch in the first quarter of 2010 for its 3G-enabled multi-touch device.

Other reports have suggested the initial run in early 2010 would include the production of 300,000 to 400,000 units for sale.

Additional rumors of late have said that Apple has been courting publishers of newspapers and magazines to provide their content on the tablet. The belief is the device would serve as an e-reader, as well as a media player and mobile Web browser.

Apple to Upgrade Nearly 150 Components in Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 05:34
Category: Software

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Recently, Apple shipped yet another beta of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 operating system update to developers, the update altering nearly 150 components. Per AppleInsider, the latest beta, labeled Mac OS X 10.6.2 build 10C535, arrives one week after the Mac maker issued build 10C531 to address issues with Snow Leopard’s Dock, ColorSync, QuartzCore and graphic driver components.

This week, Apple has asked developers to continue to provide feedback on graphics drivers while also tasking them with focusing their evaluation efforts on TrackPad preferences and the ability to create virtual machines, sources close to the story say.

As was the case with last week’s beta, documentation accompanying build 10C535 reportedly lists no known issues. While Apple has temporarily ceased its practice of providing a running list of bug fixes that will come baked into the impending release, it did identify 148 components that have seen tweaks.

Among those components are AppleBacklight, Battery Menu, Dictionary, Expose, FileSync, Family Controls, Fonts, Front Row, HFS, Inkwell, iPhoto, MobileMe, OpenCL, Parental Controls, QuickTime, Screen Sharing, Spell Checker, Spotlight, Time Machine, and USB.

In bare bones Delta form, Mac OS X 10.6.2 currently weighs in at a roughly 480 megabyte download. The update is expected for release sometime in November.

TomTom Car Kit Lacks Support for iPod Touch Units

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Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 05:31
Category: Software

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The good news: The TomTom Car Kit is finally available for the iPhone.

The bad news: Contradicting previous rumors, TomTom has stated that their recently launched TomTom GPS Car Kit will not add GPS capability to Apple’s touchscreen handhelds that do not have GPS chips of their own, namely the first generation iPhone and all current and past models of iPod touch. Per AppleInsider, the Car Kit features GPS unit built in that it uses for navigation with the iPhone 3GS to enhance functionality, leading some to believe that it could be made to work with non-GPS devices.

A notice on TomTom’s web site states:
“Note: The TomTom app for iPhone is not included with this TomTom Car Kit. The Car Kit dock is compatible with all iPhone models, but the Car Kit app only works with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.”

The TomTom GPS app can be found in the App Store for US$99.99.

When asked if the application could be updated to run on the first generation iPhone and iPod touches, devices with no GPS receivers of their own, a company spokesperson said they have not made any “public announcements”.

The Car Kit is available on the Apple Store web site for US$119.95.