HBO releases Go App for iOS devices

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 15:05
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

It’s been promised for a while and it’s finally here.

Per Macworld, The HBO cable network has released its long-awaited iOS client Go app for iPhone and iPad. The app brings both HBO original series as well as hit movies to Apple’s iOS devices, but there is a catch: Unless you’re already an HBO subscriber with a participating television provider, you’re out of luck.

In addition to currently airing programs like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, and True Blood, HBO Go also provides access to a backlog of older programs, like Deadwood, The Wire, and the recently concluded Big Love. In addition, there’s access to bonus features and behind-the-scenes extras, and the app supports video over both Wi-Fi and 3G connections, so users can access their favorite shows from any location. A customizable Watchlist feature lets you mark programs you want to view later, and you can set up a Series Pass to automatically populate it with shows you’re following.

Of course, those looking to follow HBO’s series without subscribing to the preimum channel are still stuck. The network doesn’t provide à la carte access via its app (or its Web-based streaming service), and as its shows aren’t available in the iTunes Store while airing, you’re pretty much consigned to wait until the season is over—unless you want to pony up for an HBO subscription.

The HBO Go app requires a device running iOS 3.2 or later to install and run.

Rumor: Apple purchases iCloud.com domain name for $4.5 million

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 05:37
Category: iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Rumor

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Moving away from the white iPhone 4 for a moment, Apple is said to have indeed bought the iCloud.com domain for its forthcoming cloud-based iTunes music streaming service, though the rumored US$4.5 million purchase price remains unconfirmed.

Citing his own sources, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily reported Friday that Apple did purchase the iCloud.com domain from Swedish cloud computing company Xcerion. Those sources declined, however, to say whether the rumored US$4.5 million purchase price was accurate.

The report corroborates a rumor from earlier this week in which it was stated that Apple had acquired the domain, likely revealing the name of the company’s forthcoming cloud computing service. The Whois database still lists Xcerion as the owner of iCloud, but the company recently rebranded its service as CloudMe.

Still a mystery is exactly what Apple has planned for the domain. The company already has a name for its current cloud computing efforts: MobileMe.

Back in February, it was reported that Apple is working on a major revamp of its MobileMe service, and is considering making the US$99-per-year product free. The report also said that Apple will offer a digital “locker” that will allow users to store and remotely access personal content, like photos, music and videos.

More recently, Apple is said to have “completed” work on a new music streaming service that it has been pitching to music executives. And one of the four major record labels, Warner Music, is said to have signed a deal with Apple over the service, though the specifics of how it might work remain unknown.

Set to open this spring, a new Apple data center in Maiden, N.C., will support both the iTunes and MobileMe services, which has led to speculation that the US$1 billion facility could be an integral part of Apple’s anticipated cloud services. The 500,000 square-foot data center is five times larger than the company’s current data center in Newark, Calif.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

White iPhone 4 0.2 millimeters thicker than black model, may have difficulty fitting in some cases

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 04:48
Category: iPhone, News

Initial reports suggest that the long-delayed white iPhone 4 is 0.2mm thicker than its black counterpart and may not fit all cases. Per TiPb, early adopters of Apple’s recently released white iPhone 4 reported noticing an apparent difference in thickness between the black iPhone 4 and the white version, the web site conducted measurements of the two devices. The report found that the white iPhone 4 is roughly 0.2mm thicker than the black model.

Apple lists the depth of both the white iPhone 4 and the black iPhone 4 as 9.3mm, or 0.37 inch. Tests of various cases found that most cases were unaffected by the difference, though a few “were just a tad tight.”

The exact cause of the increase in thickness on the white iPhone 4 remains unclear, though some have speculated that a new paint mix and UV protection contribute to the difference. It was reported earlier this year that Apple had partnered with a Japanese company to develop a new paint material for the white iPhone 4.

In an interview earlier this week, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller explained that a number of reasons, including the need for more protection from ultraviolet rays from the sun, contributed to the 10-month delay.

Analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities sees Apple selling between 1 to 1.5 million units of the white iPhone 4 each in the June and September quarters.

If you’ve snagged a white iPhone 4 and had any difficulty fitting it with a current iPhone 4 case, let us know.

Mozilla releases Firefox 4.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 04:53
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 4.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as an 26.8 megabyte download offered the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed several security issues.

– Fixed several stability issues.

Firefox 4.0 requires an Intel-based Mad and Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, let us know.

Apple explains white iPhone 4 delay, cites paint thickness difficulties

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Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 04:58
Category: iPhone, News

Ok, the white iPhone 4 was delayed for 9 months and now you’re possibly standing in line at an Apple Store holding a cruel, edged medieval weapon while hoping to snag yours.

There’s a reason why all this happened.

Per All Things Digital, the white iPhone 4 was delayed for nine months because of a lack of UV protection, according to Apple.

Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller went on record to state that similar to humans, especially those with fair skin, white iPhones need protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

“It was challenging. It’s not as simple as making something white. There’s a lot more that goes into both the material science of it–how it holds up over time, but also in how it all works with the sensors,” Schiller said.

The mention of the sensors also suggests that the camera was particularly problematic. Steve Wozniak speculated back in January that the camera could have been the major issue.

He said that if the white paint on the glass back of the iPhone 4 wasn’t thick enough, it could let too much light into the camera’s sensor when photographs were taken with the flash. Judging by Schiller’s comments, it seems as if sunlight was also enough to spoil photographs taken on the white iPhone 4 before the problem was resolved.

The white iPhone 4 has gone on sale in the UK and 27 other countries today, nine months after it was initially supposed to launch.

Apple, resellers release white iPhone 4, offer unit for sale on web site stores

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Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 04:30
Category: iPhone, News

Hours after the white iPhone 4 went on sale internationally, the long-awaited handset is now available through the U.S. Apple Store, as well as AT&T and Verizon’s websites. As mentioned earlier, the unit should be available at Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores when they open later today. Per The Unofficial Apple Website, Apple’s front and iPhone pages has yet to be updated with the now-available status of the phone, but will most likely mirror the “finally” ads that are appearing on AT&T and Verizon’s sites.

If you’re waiting in line, it might help to bring the following along for a respectable place in the white iPhone 4 (or any) line…

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use it, just brandish it.

Adobe releases Lightroom 3.4 update

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Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 04:03
Category: News, Software

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Early Tuesday, software giant released version 3.4 of its Lightroom (available on the company’s update page) photo editing utility. The Lightroom 3.4 update added the following fixes and changes:

– Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100 and Fuji FinePix X100.

– Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom 3.

Adobe Lightroom 3.4 retails for US$299 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later to install and run.

Apple to launch white iPhone 4 in U.S., other countries on April 28th

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 05:40
Category: iPhone, News

This just in from the horse’s mouth: Apple will release the white iPhone 4 model on Thursday, April 28th.

Per Apple’s PR announcement, the white iPhone 4 will finally debut in stores worldwide on Thursday, April 28. For those of us in the United States, that includes Apple’s online and retail stores, AT&T and Verizon Wireless as well as the usual Apple Authorized Resellers.

“The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.”

The other nations receiving the white iPhone 4 will be Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK, with “many more countries around the world” also promised “soon.”

So…what’s a 10 month wait between friends?

Apple may incorporate Sharp’s next-gen p-Si LCDs in iPhone 6, see a launch next spring

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 04:13
Category: iPhone, News

It never hurts to plan ahead.

Apple has reportedly selected Sharp to create next-generation low-temperature poly-silicon LCD displays, which will allow a thinner and lighter design for the anticipated sixth-generation iPhone in 2012.

Per Japanese newspaper Nikkan, Sharp will begin manufacturing of the displays in the spring of next year. The company is said to have already begun preparing equipment at its Kameyama Plant No. 1, which is primarily used for building LCD TVs.

The liquid crystal display on the anticipated “iPhone 6″ is said to feature “low-temperature poly-silicon” technology, a next-generation display format that allows for thinner and lighter screens that consume less power than traditional LCD screens.

In a “p-Si LCD,” the thin film transistor, or TFT, of the screen is made of polycristalline silicon. With this method, the display drivers can be mounted directly onto the glass substrate, shrinking the TFT section and allowing for a thinner LCD display.

This technology has allowed companies to create “system on glass” devices, in which the optical sensors, signal processing circuits and other components are located directly on the glass substrate. This negates the need for additional components in a device like an iPhone, saving space within the device and even improving battery life with increased efficiency.

Other advantages of a p-Si display are said to be a higher aperture ratio, which allow for more vivid images onscreen, and enhanced durability, with the amount of connecting pins reduced.

The display of the iPhone 4 is a major selling point of the device, with the high-density 326ppi screen dubbed a “Retina Display” by Apple. Apple also pushed the in-plane switching screen of the iPad last year, a feature that allows enhanced viewing angles, and one that returned again for the new iPad 2.

The rumors of a p-Si LCD would suggest that Apple is not considering organic LED displays, an alternative low-power technology that has been pushed in iPhone-competing devices like the Samsung Galaxy S. Numerous rumors have suggested that Apple has shown interest on OLED, but the iPhone maker has not utilized the technology in any of its devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Apple releases iPhoto 9.1.2 update

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 04:46
Category: News, Software

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Apple on Tuesday released iPhoto 9.1.2, the latest version of its image organization and editing application. The update, a 106 megabyte download which can be be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Addresses an issue that prevented the Zoom slider from being accessible in Magnify (1-Up) view.

– Fixes an issue where Toolbars were not auto-hiding in Full Screen view.

– Search field now correctly performs an “includes” search when searching by text string.

iPhoto 9.1.2 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.