Rumor: Apple Working on Next-Gen iPhone, Expanding Maps Application with New Hire

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 10:39
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Hints as to a new iPhone hardware model have emerged online with a handset identifying itself as “iPhone 3,1″ was tracked by PinchMedia in its application iBART for San Francisco public transportation. Per MacRumors, iPhone 3,1 appeared in its usage logs during November.

The reference could signify a new iPhone model with major hardware changes, as Apple only changes the first number in a product’s identifier string when a significant upgrade is en route. The current iPhone 3GS carries the identifier iPhone 2,1 while the original iPhone identifies itself as iPhone 1,1, and the iPhone 3G (which featured minor architectural changes from its predecessor) is iPhone 1,2.

Apple’s use of the 3,1 indicator could imply major and distinct changes, a practice that it also uses with its Mac lineup. References in software to an iPhone 3,1 have existed for some time, but the alleged use of the unreleased hardware would be a first.

Early this year, signs of iPhone 2,1 began appearing online. That hardware was eventually released months later, in June, as the iPhone 3GS.

Apple has released all of its iPhone updates in the summer. Recent rumors have suggested that the company could release a Verizon-capable phone in 2010.

Also revealed this weekend was a new job listing from Apple for a software engineer to work on the iPhone Maps application. The listing seeks a full-time employee to work in Cupertino, Calif., on the software:

“The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people’s lives and we want to continue to do so,” the listing reads. “We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.”

The description is particularly interesting given that Apple quietly purchased a Google Maps competitor, Placebase, this summer. The worldwide mapping company offered products that would aggregate data on subjects such as demographics, home sales, crime, mortgage lending, school performance and more.

In addition, the existing Maps application has also served as a point of contention between Apple and Google. Apple rejected the Google Latitude app because it was reportedly thought the software would only be confused with the default Maps application. Google instead released a Web-based version of the software.

Google has added additional functionality to its own Android-powered handsets with Google Maps Navigation, a free turn-by-turn voice guidance system part of the new Motorola Droid. Google has stated its intent to bring the software to the iPhone, if Apple approves.

iSync Plugins 7.1.2.5 Released

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 10:30
Category: Software

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iSync plugins, nova media’s shareware iSync extension package for Mac OS X and all-around useful utility that provides access to dozens of cell phones and handsets, received a small update over the weekend. Version 7.1.2.5, a 5.4 megabyte download, adds support for the following cell phone models:

– Nokia N97
– Nokia N97 mini

iSync 7.1.2.5 retails for US$9.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 (under Mac OS X 10.4), Mac OS X 10.5.8 (under Mac OS X 10.5) and Mac OS X 10.6.2 (under Mac OS X 10.6) to install and run.

VirtualBox 3.1 Released

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 09:05
Category: Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.1. The new version, a 65 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

– Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information).
– VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well (“branched snapshots”; see the manual for more information).
– 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information).
– More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to arbitrary storage controllers, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information).
– The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running.
– Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher.
– Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging).
– Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information).
– Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information).
– VMM: guest SMP fixes for certain rare cases.
– GUI: snapshots include a screenshot.
– GUI: locked storage media can be unmounted by force.
– GUI: the a log window grabbed all key events from other GUI windows (bug #5291).
– GUI: allow to disable USB filters (bug #5426).
– GUI: improved memory slider in the VM settings.
– GUI: the VirtualBox website couldn’t be opened from the help menu (bug #4559).
– 3D support: major performance improvement in VBO processing.
– 3D support: added GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array support.
– 3D support: fixed crashes in FarCry, SecondLife, Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, Eve Online (bugs #2801, #2791).
– 3D support: fixed graphics corruption in World of Warcraft (#2816).
– 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (#4653).
– 3D support: fixed incorrect rendering of non ARGB textures under compiz.
– iSCSI: support iSCSI targets with more than 2TiB capacity.
– VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash (bug #5424).
– Network: fixed the E1000 emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests (bug #3206).
– NAT: added host resolver DNS proxy (see the manual for more information).
– VMDK: fixed incorrectly rejected big images split into 2G pieces (bug #5523, #2787).
– VMDK: fixed compatibility issue with fixed or raw disk VMDK files (bug #2723).
– VHD: fixed incompatibility with Hyper-V.
– Support for Parallels version 2 disk image (HDD) files; see the manual for more information.
– OVF: create manifest files on export and verify the content of an optional manifest file on import.
– OVF: fixed memory setting during import (bug #4188).
– Mouse device: now five buttons are passed to the guest (bug #3773).
– VBoxHeadless: fixed loss of saved state when VM fails to start.
– VBoxSDL: fixed crash during shutdown (Windows hosts only).
– X11 based hosts: allow the user to specify their own scan code layout (bug #2302).
– Mac OS X hosts: don’t auto show the menu and dock in fullscreen (bug #4866).
– Mac OS X hosts (64 bit): don’t interpret mouse wheel events as left click (bug #5049).
– Mac OS X hosts: fixed a VM abort during shutdown under certain conditions.
– Solaris hosts: combined the kernel interface package into the VirtualBox main package.
– Solaris hosts: support for OpenSolaris Boomer architecture (with OSS audio backend).
– Shared folders: VBOXSVR is visible in Network folder (Windows guests, bug #4842).
– Shared folders: performance improvements (Windows guests, bug #1728).
– Windows, Linux and Solaris Additions: added balloon tip notifier if VirtualBox host version was updated and Additions are out of date.
– Solaris guests: fixed keyboard emulation (bug #1589).
– Solaris Additions: fixed as_pagelock() failed errors affecting guest properties (bug #5337).
– Windows Additions: added automatic logon support for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
– Windows Additions: improved file version lookup for guest OS information.
– Windows Additions: fixed runtime OS detection on Windows 7 for session information.
– Windows Additions: fixed crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo).
– Linux Additions: added support for uninstalling the Linux Guest Additions (bug #4039).
– Linux guest shared folders: allow mounting a shared folder if a file of the same name as the folder exists in the current directory (bug #928).
– SDK: added object-oriented web service bindings for PHP5.

VirtualBox 3.1 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.