Rumor: iPhone OS 4.0 could support multitasking via Expose-like user interface

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Date: Thursday, April 1st, 2010, 06:34
Category: Uncategorized

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Earlier reports surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 firmware focused on the idea of multitasking for the operating system. Per AppleInsider, these rumors have expanded to state that the supported multitasking will be resemble the Expose function in Mac OS X.

According to “people familiar with Apple’s plans for the new firmware,” a keystroke combination consisting of hitting the Home button twice will bring up the icons of currently running apps, allowing users to quickly choose the one they want to switch to.

The article notes that this sounds more like the basic “Command + Tab” app switcher (similar to Microsoft Window’s “Ctrl + Tab” option) than Expose, which scales all open windows down to tiny little versions of themselves, but their sources insist that the new iPhone multitasking will exhibit “several characteristics of the Expose brand.”

Multitasking, or its absence, has long been an issue for iPhone OS-based devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and, come Saturday, the iPad. Although number of bundled iPhone apps, including the phone and the iPod functions, are perfectly capable of running in the background while the user performs other tasks. Third-party app multitasking currently isn’t supported, which means that users must quit any third-party app they are using in order to run another third-party app.

Apple addressed the multitasking issue (sort of) in its iPhone OS 3.0 update, when it introduced push notifications. Push notifications notify users of changes in third-party apps (email, instant messages, and so on), so that users can switch over to that app if necessary.

Currently, multiple smartphone operating systems support multitasking. Compatible devices include Palm’s WebOS, Google’s Android OS, RIM’s BlackberryOS, and Windows Mobile (though the new Windows Phone 7 series will reportedly not support multitasking), leaving Apple is a bit behind.

Apple Consuming Lion’s Share of NAND Memory, Hesitant to Negotiate with Suppliers This Quarter

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Date: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010, 09:53
Category: Uncategorized

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Even as time goes by, tech parts don’t always get cheaper.

Per DigiTimes, Apple, which already consumes the lion’s share of the global NAND flash memory supply, is apparently reluctant to negotiate with suppliers in 2010 due to high prices.

Although the demand for NAND memory in devices such as memory cards and flash drives has been soft, this hasn’t significantly pushed down chip prices. Major chip suppliers like Samsung have given priority to profitable partnerships over shipment volume, which doesn’t work to the advantage of major buyers like Apple.

In addition to the lower demand, the situation has become even more volatile given that tight foundry capacity is expected to disrupt shipments and have an effect on NAND flash pricing, industry sources reportedly said.

“Some NAND flash controller suppliers,” the report said, “have indicated that their supply may not be able to satisfy customer demand in the second quarter if their foundry partners continue to see tight capacity, the sources said. This supply disruption is likely to impact NAND flash prices for the quarter.”

Industry sources expect the situation to improve in the second quarter of 2010, when they believe Apple may start negotiating long-term supply contracts for NAND flash. The report noted that Apple’s consumption of flash memory will “continue to play a significant role” in the industry this year.

Earlier this month, a rumor came out that the possible success of Apple’s iPad could increase prices of solid state drives. Apple consumes nearly one-third of total NAND flash memory supplies, and its share is expected to grow even more with the launch of the iPad on April 3.

Apple was noted multiple times in 2009 as causing a flash memory shortage due to its iPod and iPhone products consuming the largest share of NAND flash. Industry sources expect the price of NAND flash to continue to rise in 2010.

In addition to most of the iPod lineup and the iPhone, in early 2008, Apple embraced the solid state drive by offering it as an option in its MacBook Air notebook.

Apple Hunting for Engineering Manager to Bring iPhone OS to “New Platforms”

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Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010, 05:47
Category: Uncategorized

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A recent job posting from Apple may demonstrate that Apple plans to grow the iPhone OS. Per MacNN, the company is currently searching for an engineering manager to be based out of Cupertino. The person should specifically be responsible for a team handling low levels of the iPhone OS, including the “bring-up of new hardware platforms.” Candidates are therefore expected to have deep experience in areas like Unix kernels and ARM-based systems-on-chip.

The new platforms mentioned are mostly likely updated iPods, iPads and iPhones, although just the iPod and iPhone are cited, and then only tangentially. The ambiguity could in fact leave room for an unannounced platform. One possibility could be an updated Apple TV, since the device is relatively simple but potentially ready to benefit from iPad-style media playback controls. The present Apple TV hardware has not been updated in any significant fashion since May of 2007.

If you have any guesses, please let us know.

MWSF: Incase Reveals Combo Charger for iPod and iPhone

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:44
Category: Uncategorized

Let’s face it: we’re gadget-centric and we need our chargers.

Per iLounge, accessory maker Incase has released its Combo Charger for iPod and iPhone. The device arrives in black or white and allows users to charge two devices at once if you provide a cable for the second USB port.

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An Incase leaf logo below the ports glows when connected to a car or wall power source, and the bulb has been redesigned from previous versions to occupy a narrower profile while enhancing the functionality and the company says that the ports offer the “fastest possible charge” — 1 amp — as compared with 0.5 amp competitors.

The Combo Charger retails for US$40 and is immediately available.

Apple Now Offering iPhone OS 3.0 Update to iPod Touch Users for Free

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:25
Category: Uncategorized

When Apple first released the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware update and informed iPod touch users they’re need to pay for the upgrade, the user base went slightly nuts.

And for good reason, as a new accounting practice that no one really understood seemed to require this and Apple simply looked like they wanted a bit more money in their pockets.

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Apple appears to now be offering the iPhone 3.0 Software Update free to iPod touch users running the iPhone 2.0 Software Update.

According to Pocket Gamer, an older iPod touch updated without the request for a fee.

“Syncing a second generation iPod touch today with an older version of the software prompted me to accept the free upgrade. How exciting,” the author writes.

“Just as when asked to download and install the latest firmware on an iPhone, iTunes simply asks for confirmation – no signing in to pay for the software.”

As Pocket Gamer notes, this is good news for iPod touch gamers reluctant to upgrade due to the additional fee, which iPhone users didn’t have to pay.

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

Additional Reports Bolster Likelihood of Apple January 26th Media Event

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Date: Thursday, December 31st, 2009, 05:58
Category: Uncategorized

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A new report published by Fox News has bolstered rumors regarding Apple’s anticipated media event on January 26th at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco, California. While the original report indicated that Apple had reserved the space to make “a major product announcement,” today’s report indicates that sources have first hand knowledge that the event will be associated with a product in the “mobility space.”

For those anticipating the release of a tablet device at the event, Apple has reportedly told some of its iPhone developers to prepare their apps to run on a larger device, which is not a major undertaking given the flexible foundation supporting today’s iPhone apps.

Reports that Apple is hosting its own January media event at the Yerba Buena, a location it has historically used for its fall iPod-related music events also help explain why the company announced last year that it would no longer be presenting a keynote or even hold a booth at IDG’s Macworld Expo event. The event date set in late January allows the company more time to plan and prepare for the slate introduction.

Apple Releases iPhoto 8.1.1 Update

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Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2009, 06:51
Category: Uncategorized

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Apple on Tuesday released iPhoto 8.1.1, the latest version of its image organization and editing application. The update, a 12.3 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update addresses issues affecting face recognition performance and accuracy.

- It also fixes minor issues in the areas of book ordering, and iPod touch support.

The update can be installed via the direct link or located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

iPhoto 8.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

TomTom App Updated to 1.2, Adds Support for iPod Touch and First-Gen iPhones

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 06:08
Category: Uncategorized

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GPS software firm TomTom has released version 1.2 of its popular iPhone application. The update adds support for both the iPod touch and the first-gen iPhone when used in conjunction with its car kit.

Per AppleInsider, version 1.2 was submitted on November 12th and was released Wednesday. The new version contains updates to maps and IQ Routes. Added features include advanced lane guidance, text-to-speech, integrated iPod player support, and support for the iPod Touch and first-generation iPhone.

The new version includes the following fixes and changes:
- Improved search and route summary screens.
- Updated map from v8.30 to v8.35.
- Updated points of interest database.
- Updated IQ Routes database with millions of new measurements.
- Added Advanced Lane Guidance in both portrait and landscape mode.
- Added Text-to-speech in English US, English UK, English Australia, French Canada, Spanish Latin America.
- Added Help Me! emergency menu.
- Added iPod player support.
- Added support for original iPhone and iPod touch (all models).

In order to successfully use the app on the newly supported Touch and 1st-gen iPhones, TomTom’s car kit is required. This is due to the fact that both devices lack an integrated GPS receiver.

TomTom’s car kit is a cradle which contains a GPS module, integrated speaker, charger, and line out. It is not required when the TomTom app is paired with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The kit retails for US$119.95.

The updated application requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

Apple Reportedly Working on FM Radio Application for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 06:54
Category: Uncategorized

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Apple is reportedly developing an FM radio application for the iPhone and iPod touch, with similar functions now available to iPod nano users. Per 9to5Mac, the company is developing an FM radio application that would work in the background, like listening to music via iTunes, while users check email and surf the Internet.

Last month Apple added an FM radio tuner to the popular iPod nano with the ability to pause and rewind your favorite radio stations and shows while on the go.

The radio supports tagging in the US, with listeners able to buy songs they hear on air via iTunes.

According to 9to5Mac: “The holdup on this app is that Apple is trying to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchases into the functionality of the program.”

The website suggests Apple could could add some Shazam technology to help with those stations that don’t support tagging, which appears to be the majority of them.

Apple’s iPhones and iPods are already able to receive FM radio signals but the function has only be used for the Nike+ ecosystem until now according to 9to5Mac.

Mophie Announces Trio of New Chargers/Adapters for iPhone, iPod

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Date: Thursday, October 8th, 2009, 04:07
Category: Uncategorized

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Accessory outfitter Mophie announced the launch of three new charging devices geared towards charging iPhones, iPods and other USB-charge compatible devices. Per iPodNN, the first product is a US$15 Low-Profile USB Car Charger which plugs into a vehicle’s power socket and provides a single USB outlet.

The company also released a new Dual USB Wall Charger that provides two USB ports for powering or charging two different items from one AC outlet. The device plugs into wall sockets only and features a folding design for better portability and retails for US$20.

Finally, the company also introduced a dual application charger works in the car and home, the Car and Wall International Charger. The device has a swiveling arm for connecting to car power sockets at odd or difficult angles. It provides USB power from a car socket, wall socket and can work internationally with Mophie’s International Adaptor Power Kit. The charger goes for US$25 and the International Adaptor Travel Kit retails for US$15.