PowerPage Podcast Episode 138

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Date: Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 10:51
Category: Podcast

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Episode 138 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (29.4 MB, MP3).

Panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker and Tom Hesser

Topics: We discuss the raft of iPhone 4 problems: dropped calls, signal loss, issues with the proximity sensor, ringtones, broken glass and we play “What’s on your Mac.”

Here’s what’s on our Macs this week:

Jason

  • QuickOffice Connect Mobile (App Store, $9.99) – Finally a full-featured office suite for the iPad. Excellent.
  • Eliminate:GunRange (App Store, $0.99) – My new favorite game shows off the iPhone 4’s amazing gyroscope.
  • Reeder for iPad (App Store, $4.99) – I conquer with Tom’s previous selection of this excellent RSS client for iPad.
  • Geo-Walk 3D World Factbook (App Store, $0.99) – Fun and educational encyclopedia of facts.
  • BMX Street Stunts 3D (App Store, $4.99) – Fun game for BMX street and ramp tricks. Can’t wait for the new controls.
  • Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack Pro ($32) – Used weekly in the production of this podcast and we love it!

Rob

  • Motion X GPS Drive – (iPhone, $0.99 – iPad, $2.99) – Killer navigation apps for iPhone and iPad.
  • Gelaskins – Excellent graphical films for the iPhone and iPad.

Tom

  • G4 app for iPhone (App Store, free) – Video and News from G4 network [too bad no iPad version]
  • Any app that gets upgraded for multitasking

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Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to your RSS client. Our theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip their new release “We Are The Same” is available on iTunes.

Rumor: Apple to launch iTunes wireless streaming/sync features in September

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Date: Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 05:52
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, iTunes, Rumor

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Despite everything Apple seems to be fighting with regarding the iPhone 4’s firmware, there may be something cool around the corner.

Per a “reliable” unnamed Apple source, the Boy Genius Report web blog is reporting that Apple will launch new wireless streaming and synchronization features for iTunes at its traditional September iPod event, or possibly sooner, according to a new report.

The report claims that the new features will allow users to stream purchased music and movies from Apple’s servers directly to their devices, eliminating the need for large amounts of local storage, and also stream music and movies from their home computers to their other computers and remote devices over their own Internet connections.

Finally, the report claims that any apps purchased on an iOS device would immediately and wirelessly sync back to the user’s home computers, along with any changes to Calendar, Notes, or Contacts; it is unclear whether this latter feature would supplant or be available in addition to Apple’s paid MobileMe service.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your mind about this.

Apple cites iPhone 4 reception problems as software bug, promises fix within a few weeks

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Date: Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 04:30
Category: iPhone, News

First, as you may have noticed, there are issues with the iPhone 4’s reception. Still, Apple says this might not be what you think according to a recent press release from the company:

“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

The full press release can be found here and it seems a bit strange that Apple is once again blaming the formula.

Still, this is what it is and stay tuned for the software fix as well as additional details as they become available.

Opera web browser updated to 10.60

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Date: Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 04:11
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Opera Software released version 10.60 of its web browser. The new version, a 22.7 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

– Our further-optimized JavaScript engine is over 50% faster than in Opera 10.50.

– Enhanced support for advanced Web standards such as HTML5 and WebM video is now included.

– Opera can prompt you to share your location, making geolocation-supporting websites more useful.

– Search suggestions for selected providers help you find results more easily.

Opera 10.60 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.