T-Mobile to offer iPhone 5 on April 12th, will incorporate $99 upfront payment plan

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 08:33
Category: iPhone, News, retail

The day T-Mobile customers have been waiting for has arrived.

And you’ll be able to snag an iPhone via T-Mobile on April 12th.

Per AppleInsider, customers of T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., will get long awaited access to Apple’s iPhone when the iPhone 5 launches on the carrier’s network April 12.

The announcement was made Tuesday by T-Mobile as part of the company’s “Uncarrier” branding, which seeks to differentiate the carrier from competing providers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — all of which already carry the iPhone.

In standing out from the others, T-Mobile is offering a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5 for US$99 up front, with 20 additional monthly payments of US$20. With an April 12 sale date in T-Mobile’s retail stores, preorders will begin April 5.

Joining the iPhone 5 will be the remainder of Apple’s current smartphone lineup: the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4. As with other carriers, only the iPhone 5 will be compatible with T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE high-speed data network.

T-Mobile officially announced its new LTE network at Tuesday’s event as well, available in a total of seven U.S. markets: Kansas City, Kan., Houston, Tex., Las Vegas, Nev., Phoenix, Ariz., San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

T-Mobile’s new data plans include 500 megabytes of high-speed online data and unlimited calls and texts for US$50. For an extra US$10 per month, users get 2.5 gigabytes of high-speed data, while unlimited 4G access runs US$70 per month. In addition, users are simply throttled, not penalized, when they go over their data cap.

Bringing Apple’s iPhone to T-Mobile with full support has been no small task. While the carrier counts some two million iPhone customers among its base — with about 100,000 added per month — T-Mobile’s reliance on the 1700MHz frequency for its 3G HSPA+ network proved an obstacle for T-Mobile with regard to Apple’s bestselling smartphone.

The 1700MHz frequency, branded as “4G” but not “LTE”, is unique to T-Mobile among carriers, and allows iPhone users only very slow 2G connectivity. Given T-Mobile’s relatively small customer base, Apple never moved to support T-Mobile’s standard. Instead, T-Mobile has been working to switch much of its network to 1900MHz in order to allow iPhone connectivity. The company will be repurposing its 1700MHz band for 4G LTE.

T-Mobile last year announced a deal with Apple to begin selling Apple products in 2013. Executives from the carrier said in January of this year that customers could expect Apple products on T-Mobile sooner rather than later, floating the possibility of “three to four months” rather than “six to nine.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to triple franchise stores in India between now and 2015, official Apple Store locations unlikely

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:47
Category: News, retail

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Never doubt the power of economic expansion.

Per the Economic Times, Apple plans to triple the number of Apple-exclusive franchise stores in India from 65 to 200 by 2015, but the country still won’t see any official Apple Stores.

Government regulations mean that branded stores must source 30 percent of their stock from Indian companies, something Apple’s yet unable to do. Thus, the stores will sell via franchisees who operate under their own brands, the stores emulating Apple’s look and feel in the process.

These franchisees, who did not wish to be named, told ET that they have been asked to scale up operations in the country as the Cupertino-based company plans to grow aggressively in the country. In addition to increasing the number of Apple exclusive stores, called Apple Premium Resellers, that are owned and managed by 17 franchisees, the company also plans to expand its presence in multi-brand stores, they said.

Some of these plans are said to have been discussed during last month’s Mumbai visit of Hugeues Asseman, Apple’s vicepresident (sales) for Europe, Middle-East, India, and Africa. Asseman met key trade partners and franchisee owners to take stock of the company’s India business and to outline the company’s expansion plans. Apple’s London-based spokesman, Alan Hely, declined comment on the company’s expansion plans.

Apple will increasingly look to expand sales in developing markets as its traditional markets have reached saturation point.

Apple’s high prices relative to local salaries mean the company has historically struggled to sell significant volumes in India, but the introduction late last year of monthly installment plans along with more focus on marketing and distribution saw Apple’s share of the smartphone market jump from 3.9-percent in Q3 to 15.6-percent in Q4.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

After a decade in beta, Quicksilver 1.0.0 out the door

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:56
Category: News, Software

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10 years is a long time to be in beta.

For those of you who know it and love it, Quicksilver, the epic app-launching tool by Patrick Robertson, hit version 1.0.0 today. The new version, a 6.8 megabyte download, offers the following (extensive) list of fixes and changes:

What’s New:
- Preliminary support for retina displays (#1044, #1378).

- Many internal images have been upscaled.

- Icons and images are no longer downscaled in the interface.

- Assign the same trigger to different actions in different applications (#1201).

- Add files and folders to the catalog using the Add To Catalog action (#1276).

- AppleScript Action enhancements – http://qsapp.com/wiki/AppleScript_Actions (#1023, #1048).

- Assign an alternate name to something by creating a synonym (#1325).

- Plugin documentation is now accessible from the plugin’s preferences (#999, #1364).

- Plugin documentation is accessible directly from the list of plugins via a button in the bottom-right (#1364, #1384).

- Trigger type can be specified in the third pane for the Add Trigger action (#1345).

- Clipboard history will omit “transient” data (#1213).

- New localizations for Korean, Catalan, Chinese (Hant, China) and Spanish (Mexico).

Fixed:
- Names and labels for files should be determined faster and more accurately (#1263, #1288).

- Catalog entry names won’t override file names (#730, #1240).

- Docking window controls behave correctly (#1247).

- Recent Commands and the Last Command proxy are working (#722, #1207).

- Fixed the missing default application for the Open With… action (#1360, #1361).

- The Find With action (for web searches) works with Current Selection (#1311).

- Fixed the Add Trigger action (#515, #1345, #1390).

- Prevent changes to the catalog before it finishes loading (#1216).

- Fixed the “Delay” settings for triggers (#583, #914, #1201).

- Fixed the generic “Computer” icon (#1298).

- Avoid redrawing icons for files unnecessarily (#1297).

- Prevent catalog entries from disappearing in the preferences (#893, #1313).

- Prevent lock ups when scanning the catalog on startup (#1339).

- Correctly switch to text mode in the third pane when spacebar behavior is “Jump to Argument Field” (#1357).

- Text items in the third pane no longer show up as empty with details underneath (#1346).

- The count at the bottom of the results list is updated correctly (#1346).

- Only show folders when saving a command to a file (#1357).

- Change “plug-in” to “plugin” in the Setup Assistant (#1357).

- Only show catalog related actions with a single item selected (#1276).

- Internal improvements to the Assign Abbreviation… action (#1374).

- Set a default string ranker to prevent meaningless notifications (#1380).

- Prevent a crash when changing row height immediately after choosing a new interface (#1383).

- Fixed an exception when right-arrowing into applications with iCloud documents (#1396, #1398).

- Changed the process for displaying the Dock icon (#1152, #1414).

- More reliable file type detection (#1427, #1428, #1430).

- Internal optimizations, stability improvements, and fixes (#1335, #1346, #1385, #1390, #1401, #1371, #1403, #1388, #1410).

Changed:
- Simplify Services and set the “Command Window with Selection” trigger to use ⌘⎋ by default (#409, #1295, #1416, #1418).

- The Current Selection proxy object appears quicker (#1295).

- Better auto-detection of URLs in text entry mode (#1312, #1346, #1376).

- If files are omitted from the catalog, they will still be available when browsing the filesystem (#1195, #1322).

- Handlers preferences are grouped with other preferences for the core application (#1182, #1253).

- Disable settings for predefined catalog entries (#1341).

- Improved localization for Advanced Preferences (#1338).

- Release Notes have some style (#1228).

- Updated localizations.

Development:
- Developers don’t need to understand and track the relationship between name and label (#1263).

- Passing options to string rankers is more efficient (#1212).

- Support bundle version requirements for plug-ins (#1261).

- Allow actions to specify whether they want to see proxy objects, or only the resolved object (#1342, #1343).

- Removed some unused code related to Event Triggers (#1300).

- Better logging of exceptions in Debug mode (#1201, 1357).

Quicksilver is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried version 1.0.0 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: T-Mobile USA to announce iPhone today

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:12
Category: iPhone, Rumor

The T-Mobile/iPhone news you’ve been hankering for could arrive today.

Per CNET, T-Mobile has an event scheduled for later today called “Uncarrier” and is expected to announce its carrying of the iPhone under new no-contract, no-subsidy rules, where a customer pays a small fee upfront and pays a monthly charge on top of the service plan to cover the phone costs.

T-Mobile previously deployed their faster 3G/HSPA data speeds on what’s known as AWS, a range of frequencies different than those of AT&T, and not supported by Apple and the iPhone. T-Mobile has been adding non-AWS HSPA support in many markets over the last couple of years. T-Mobile has also been trailing the other networks when it comes to 4G/LTE data speeds, with support for that only beginning this year.

The iPhone’s popularity means Apple can charge the carriers a premium price for it, making it a potentially lucrative but an immediately expensive proposition for carriers. The original iPhone launched on AT&T in June 2007. The iPhone 4 launched on Verizon in January 2011. The iPhone 4S launched on Sprint in October 2011.

If this rumor pans out, the iPhone 5 will launch on T-Mobile USA sometime in the spring of 2013.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Facebook Messenger to receive VOIP upgrade for European versions of the software

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 08:14
Category: iOS, News, Software

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If you’re across the pond, this’ll come in handy.

Per AppleInsider, Facebook Messenger users on iOS in the U.K. and other parts of Europe will get a software update on Monday enabling Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling within the app.

The update comes after Facebook already rolled out the feature in the United States and Canada in January. Facebook Messenger users will now be able to call each other directly through the service instead of passing voice messages to each other.

The Messenger VOIP feature in the United States was soon followed up with Facebook bringing the feature to its flagship Facebook app, and this may soon be the case in the UK and Europe.

Facebook Messenger for iPhone is available as a free download on Apple’s iTunes App Store.

If you’re in the United Kingdom and have had a chance to test Facebook Messenger’s new VOIP feature, please let us know how it goes in the comments section.

Apple purchases WifiSLAM, attached “indoor GPS” technology for $20 million

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Well, Apple had to buy SOMETHING…

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple recently closed a deal worth about $20 million to acquire WifiSLAM, a Silicon Valley firm focused on building technology that affords users positioning data while indoors.

The news paper was able to confirm the acquisition with an Apple spokesman, though the company did not give details of the deal or what it plans to do with WifiSLAM’s “indoor GPS” technology.

“[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time,” the spokesman said, declining further comment.

In the report, the publication cited people familiar with the acquisition as saying Apple paid some US$20 million in the recently closed deal.

WifiSLAM is a developer of indoor positioning technologies, which extends location data to the inside of buildings and other structures using Wi-Fi signals. The data can be used by third-party apps to accurately grant handset users positioning data where GPS signals are absent.

The indoor positioning startup is two years old and has already raised funding from angel investors, though the exact amount is unknown. WifiSLAM has a number of ties to Google, including the company’s co-founder Joseph Huang, who was a software engineering intern at the search giant. Current Google employee Don Dodge is also listed as an angel investor.

Apple could implement the positioning assets into its much maligned iOS Maps app as an answer to Google’s Indoor Maps initiative, which leverages crowdsourcing to deliver indoor location information for a number of sites worldwide.

While Apple’s first-party mapping service has seen improvements since stumbling out of the gates in September 2012, many users still prefer to use the Google Maps iOS app, which offers features like Street View and a more robust set of satellite imagery.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple includes Yontoo trojan on XProtect.plist database

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:37
Category: News, security, Software

With any luck, the Yontoo trojan won’t be around on the Mac OS X platform for long.

Per the Intego Security Blog and MacRumors, shortly after news emerged of a new adware trojan targeting OS X web browsers, Apple updated its malware and adware detections list to block Yontoo.

The company has apparently updated its “XProtect” anti-malware system. XProtect.plist will now recognize Yontoo and warn users that attempt to install the software on their computers.

Intego’s post notes that the XProtect detection “is very specific and potentially location-dependent.” The extra specificity, Intego supposes, may be there in order to stop only indirect installations of the file.

News of the Yontoo trojan emerged recently when a Russian anti-virus company pointed out its existence. Yontoo asks users if they want to install a browser plugin, media player, download accelerator, or other video-oriented program. Upon agreeing to the download, the plugin begins transmitting browsing data to an off-site server. User browsing data is processed, and the server sends back a file embedding third-party code into webpages visited by the user. The viewing or clicking of embedded ads then generates ad affiliate network profits for the criminals behind the adware.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox 2.1.3 beta out the door

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update, even if it’s just a beta.

Late Friday, Dropbox released the public beta 2.1.3 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 27.4 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix an issue preventing Dropbox from starting on Mac.

- Fix an issue when clicking on notification bubbles.

- Fix an issue with Camera Uploads.

- Fix some issues with the right click context menu on Mac.

- Minor translation fixes.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to debut cheaper iPhone with plastic casing, no Retina display come June/July

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 06:22
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

There’s gotta be a nugget of truth in here somewhere…

Per AppleInsider, analyst Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets issued a note to investors on Friday in which he said he’s received word that Apple plans to launch “multiple new phones” in the June-July timeframe this year. Specifically, he expects Apple to launch a next-generation flagship handset, a so-called “iPhone 5S,” as well as a more affordable handset.

“The low-end iPhone will have the same 4-inch form factor as the iPhone 5, but will have a plastic casing and no Retina display,” he said. “With a lower price point, AAPL will be able to target a growing and important part of the smartphone market (sub-US$400 price band).”

Daryanani believes Apple’s rumored low-end iPhone will carry lower gross margins than the iPhone 5 or an iPhone 5S. But he also expects that such a product would contribute another US$22 billion in revenue and more than US$5 in earnings per share in calendar year 2014, which he believes would add US$50 of value to Apple’s stock price.

In his projections, the low-end smartphone market has a total addressable size of about 500 million units in calendar 2014. He believes Apple could capture more than 15 percent of that market in the medium term, leading to what he said is a “conservative” estimate of 70 million units.

Daryanani also expects Apple to launch a new iPad mini and full-size iPad this year, while he said a full-fledged Apple television and so-called “iWatch” smart watch are “likely,” but the timing of their debut is “unclear.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple adds two-step verification, other new features to iCloud security

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Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 06:44
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, beef up the ol’ security system a bit…

On Thursday, Apple has rolled out a new two-step verification service for iCloud and Apple ID users. This functionality greatly enhances the security of Apple accounts because it requires users to use a trusted device and an extra security code.

Per 9to5Mac, the security code can be sent via SMS or via the Find my iPhone iOS app (if it is installed). Users can now setup two-step authentication on their devices via the Apple ID web site. Users need to access the security tab on this website to conduct the setup process.

During the setup process for two-step verification, users can choose which of their iOS devices they want to be “trusted.” This new service will allow only you to be able to reset your password.

Full details can be located at the Apple ID web site.