O'Grady's PowerPage » Chris Barylick

iTunes String Files Reveal Interesting Possibilities

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 13:28
Category: iPhone

iTunes may have a few tricks up its sleeve in the near future. The guys over at DownloadSquad have apparently gone digging through the Localizable.strings file on iTunes 7.3.2 and pulled some interesting results according to iPhone Atlas:
/* ===== iPhone Game Item Strings ===== */
“4329.001″ = “Are you sure you want to remove the selected game from your iPhone?”;
“4329.002″ = “Are you sure you want to remove the selected games from your iPhone?”;
We did a little more digging, and found some other interesting entries:
“4320.077″ = “Voice Memos”;
“4320.079″ = “The iPhone “^1” contains new voice memos. Would you like to move these voice memos to your iTunes library?”;
“4320.080″ = “Moving voice memos to your iTunes library…”;
“4320.295″ = “You must connect using FireWire to update the iPhone “^FILENAME”.”;
“4320.296″ = “You must connect using FireWire to restore the iPhone “^FILENAME”.”
The strings don’t point to anything specific, but could provide hints that the program will voice memo or Firewire support while the iPhone may be receiving additional game support.
Nothing definitive, but it could point the way to some cool stuff down the road.
Let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


The Apple Core: Apple Extends Multi-Touch Trackpad Patent

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 12:52
Category: The Apple Core

Apple patents being the order of the day, it looks like the company has extended a patent for a multi-touch interface on upcoming notebooks. The initial drawings in the patent display a widened trackpad that can be used by both hands.
Take a look at today’s Apple Core for the full details and if you have some thoughts of your own on this, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Files Ambient Noise Recording Patent for Handheld Devices

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 09:22
Category: User Interface

The iPhone and iPod can already do a fair amount, but tend to lead to an insular experience (the conventional logic being that if I’m rocking out to Air Supply on my iPod, then so is the rest of the world. The same goes for the iPhone.)
This may change soon, as Apple has recently filed a patent that with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that posits the idea of passing external/ambient noise through a device’s headphones as opposed to strictly audio from the device.
According to MacNN, the patent describes a situation in which the user could flick a switch that would shut down audio from the device and instead pick up sounds such as voices or the sounds of nearby traffic. The patent, entitled “Presentation of audible media in accommodation with external sound”, lays out a situation in which the user can flip back and forth between their music and outside sounds, the technology perhaps even enhancing outside sounds, picking up ambient noise through a microphone and amplifying it through the headphones.
The headphones would be able to simultaneously record ambient noise, allowing for both live music playback from the device as well as recording of external noises or conversations.
Not a bad idea if it works out. Still, the technology is already here in the form of knowing when to put the headphones away and listen to friends, co-workers, employers, significant others and oncoming traffic.
Your two cents, as always, are more than appreciated in the comments and forums.


Apple Offering Additional Help with iPhone Dead Spots

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 08:03
Category: iPhone

A group of iPhone users have reported that their handsets have permanently lost responsiveness to touch inputs across parts of the screen – generally about half an inch from the top and bottom of the screen.
According to AppleInsider, the problem remains even after the iPhone has been reset, updated with the 1.0.1 firmware software and cleaned. Most reported instances of this case have required replacements from Apple, whose technical support representatives have become “very familiar” with the touch screen failures and appearing to be bypassing the usual protocols for sending out replacements.
In several cases, customers who took their iPhones into Apple Store locations received brief inspections and three-day repair cycles from Apple. Per the stated US$29 iPhone rental, one customer mentioned that he’d successfully negotiated a waiver of the fee during the repair cycle.
Although Apple hasn’t officially commented about it, the unresponsive touch screens represent the second major hardware anomaly affecting the iPhone, the first being a wide variety of failed AC adapters that shipped with the iPhones.
If you’ve seen the touch screen problem on your end or have an idea or workaround, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Releases MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 08:21
Category: MacBook Pro

Late Thursday, Apple released the MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1 patch. The update, a 14.7 megabyte download and can also be located through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
The update provides bug fixes and stability improvements with Apple’s Motion 2 and Motion 3 software suites and is recommended for the 2.2 and 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro units. Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later is required to install and run the update.
Please let us know if you’ve installed the update and had either a positive or negative experience with it. If you have any stories or feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.


Jax 1.0.1 Released

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 13:44
Category: Software

On Wednesday, software maker JoeSoft released version 1.0.1 of Jax, its iTunes plug-in application. Jax, which retails for US$49.95, allows users to perform actions such as loading YouTube videos into iTunes to be played back on a video iPod, Apple TV or iPhone, dig up information on performers via Music Map, customize album covers, use new iTunes visualizers and locate song lyrics.
Jax 1.0.1 incorporates the following changes and fixes:
-Overall improved performance and stability.
-Support for iTunes 7.3.2.
-Video conversion support for iPhone.
-Updated “BeComposed” visualizer.
-Previewing songs from “Artists” tab in “Music Map” has been fixed.
Jax 1.0.1 is a 23.1 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker) and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and iTunes 6.4 or later.
If you have any feedback about the new version of Jax, let us know in the comments or forums.


Duck Hunt for iPhone Released

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 13:08
Category: iPhone

Give someone a little free time and they might do something interesting with it. Deron Dantzler has apparently written an iPhone version of Nintendo’s classic “Duck Hunt” game.
The game, which was rewritten in JavaScript, took him about a week. Citing himself as a novice and inviting comments and code fixes where applicable, the source code can be found here.
Check out Dantzler’s blog entry for full details ad he recommends Appleopolis as a means of adding web applications and installing them in the launcher.
I currently lack an iPhone, so I can’t really tell you how well the game works, but give it a shot and let me know what you think. And even if Apple only allows iPhone development through its web interface, there’s a slew of cool stuff coming out for it.
If you see anything nifty or have feedback about Duck Hunt for the iPhone, let us know in the comments or forums.


New “Send to Web Gallery” Option on iPhone Appearing Elusive for Some

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 08:10
Category: iPhone

Following up on Apple’s stealth software update for the iPhone in which users found themselves with a “Send to Web Gallery” option within the Camera application.
The guys at iPhone Atlas are reporting that the feature is being picky about where it appears and may only be enabled if users have a .Mac account set up for their iPhone. Additional reports state that the iPhone required a full reset in which both the sleep and home buttons are held down simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.
Appearing as something of a surprise in recent days, the “Send to Web Gallery” option allows iPhones to post an image to an updated .Mac picture gallery. Apple has recently modified the .Mac accounts and included updates for the new iLife 2008 suite, which includes changes to iPhoto and iWeb that allow for a wider degree of online gallery editing by both the owner and guest users.
If you’ve seen this feature appear on your iPhone (or if it seems to have gone missing), let us know in the comments and forums.


Apple Releases Boot Camp 1.4

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 07:30
Category: Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released version 1.4 of its public beta of Boot Camp software. Boot Camp, which has been out since 2006, allows Mac users to create separate Windows partitions on their hard drives and install either Windows XP or Windows Vista, which can be booted into and used as an operating system.
The new version, a 347 megabyte download, sports changes to the following categories:
-Boot Camp control panel.
-Keyboard support.
-Windows drivers.
-Support for the latest Mac models.
Boot Camp 1.4 requires an Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later and a full version of Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2, Windows XP Professional Edition with Service Pack 2, WIndows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate.
If you’ve tried the new version of Boot Camp and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Stealth-Releases Gigabit-Equipped AirPort Extreme Base Station

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Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 13:42
Category: wireless

Between the quiet Mac Mini updates and this, Apple qualified for its stealth ninja merit badge yesterday. Amid the updates, the company also released a new AirPort Extreme Base Station now featuring gigabit Ethernet ports onboard.
According to Macworld News, the revised wireless router still functions on the 802.11b, g and n protocols and features a USB port as well as three switched gigabit Ethernet ports. The unit remains priced at US$179.99 and is available immediately.
As always, let us know what you think via the comments of forums.