Belkin announces 6.4mm thick Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 28th, 2013, 06:35
Category: Accessory, iPad, News

If you were looking for a mucho-skinny iPad keyboard case, Belkin might just have it.

Per iMore,

Belkin has officially announced the availability of is Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad. The case is presently 6.4mm thick and weighs in at just 17 ounces.


belkincase

Featuring Belkin’s award-winning TruType keys, the Ultimate Keyboard Case provides a smooth, laptop-like typing experience to minimize errors and maintain typing speed. It also offers a fully protective back cover to keep your iPad safe from scratches, scuffs and everyday wear and tear when the keyboard is attached.

The Ultimate Keyboard Case boasts features such as fold flat hinges that let you fold the keyboard flat and allow you to use the iPad as a tablet without the need to remove the keyboard. It also incorporates Belkin’s SoundFlow design which it claims will dramatically enhance the sound from the iPad’s speakers.

The Ultimate Keyboard Case can be pre-ordered from Belikin today with shipping estimated to be sometime in May. The unit will be available to suit either the black iPad at a cost of US$99.99 or the white iPad which will set you back a little more at US$129.99. It is compatable with the iPad 2, iPad third generation and iPad 4th generation.

If you’ve tried Belkin’s new case of have an iPad keyboard case of choice that you’d like to mention, please let us know over in the comments.

BlackBerry posts $98 million quarterly profit, sells 1 million Z10 smartphones

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 28th, 2013, 06:36
Category: Finance, News

blackberry

Maybe there’s some life left in the old girl…

Per AppleInsider, BlackBerry on Thursday said demand for its new flagship Z10 handset helped produce a net income of US$98 million — a minor surprise during a transitional quarter for the previously spiraling company.

While the Canadian smartphone maker, formerly known as Research in Motion, surprised by posting a profit, its quarterly revenue of US$2.7 billion was still seen as a disappointment. In addition, the company only sold 6 million total smartphones, while a million of those were its new Z10.

A poll of Wall Street analysts by Thomson Reuters had forecast BlackBerry to post a loss of about 29 cents per share. In the same quarter a year ago, the company had lost US$118 million.

Still, the Z10 sales were a relatively positive sign for the company’s revamped BlackBerry 10 platform. That device launched a few weeks before the end of the quarter, and only in Canada, the U.K. and United Arab Emirates. It began expanding to the U.S. last week.

While BlackBerry was once a dominant player in the smartphone market, major shifts in recent years have made it a fringe competitor. For example, Apple sold nearly eight times as many iPhones last quarter as BlackBerry sold smartphones in its latest print, demonstrating the gap between the two companies.

As of the end of the company’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, which concluded on March 2, BlackBerry had about US$2.9 billion in cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple now hiring Maps Ground Truth managers in seven countries to help clean up iOS 6 Maps application

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 28th, 2013, 05:04
Category: iOS, News, Software

When in doubt, add additional staff to a project.

Per iMore, Apple is increasing its efforts to improve Maps around the world, having recently posted open positions for Maps Ground Truth managers in seven countries. Previously, Apple had only been hiring for these positions in Australia. Among other dutites, managers are expected to be able to do things like provide feedback for their area to enhance maps, according to the company’s job postings web site.
– Testing new releases of map code and data around the U.S.

– Collecting ground truth data to allow for analysis of the impact of potential map code or data changes relative to known truth.

– Utilizing local expertise to provide feedback about U.S.-specific mapping details.

– Evaluating competing products in-region relative to our maps.

Ground truth refers to collecting mapping data locally rather than by satellite imagery or other remote means. We heard about Apple retail employees being asked to help improve Maps back in October. This, however, points to teams of people dedicated to mapping improvements.

Apple has been steadily improving Maps since the launch of iOS 6 in September of last year. Enhancements to Flyover, 3D buildings, and turn-by-turn navigation have been made to locations around the world. There is still a long way to go, but there is no doubt that Apple’s making the effort to fix its mistakes.

Rumor: Apple working on 4K HDTV unit for release in late 2013/early 2014

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 05:16
Category: Hardware, News

applelogo_silver

If there rumor’s still alive and kicking, then that says something.

Per DigiTimes, Apple is apparently still working on a TV set. The latest rumor surrounds the actual specifications of the TV set which sources claim will be 4K. For those that don’t know, 4K or Ultra HD offers two times the horizontal and vertical resolution of the current 1080p standard giving it an overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels; this would equal four times the resolution of 1080p.

The sources said that Apple and Foxconn Electronics have been in discussions for quite some time in terms of the TV’s mass production schedule, but that Apple has been considering where panel supply for the TV will come from, as Ultra HD TV panel makers, most of whom are based in Taiwan, are expected to be producing at nearly full capacity in 2013 in order to meet demand from China-based TV vendors.

Apparently Apple will look to LG to supply the panels for the 4K iTV and if it can prove its ability to supply the panels in the quantities required, Apple may release the iTV at the end of this year. The iTV is thought to offer not only Ultra HD resolution but also change the way that we interact with our TV sets. It is widely thought that Siri voice control and motion will play a major part in the TV’s user interface.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

T-Mobile iPhone 5 to feature Advanced Wireless Services feature, arrive unlocked

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 05:06
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

The T-Mobile iPhone 5 will ship on April 12th and feature something different.

Per Engadget, the handset is being reworked straight from the factory to take advantage of the carrier’s Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bandwidths, a modification that reportedly cannot be done with a simple software update.

Apple confirmed to the web site on Tuesday that the T-Mobile version of the iPhone 5 carries the same A1428 model number as the AT&T iteration, but has AWS enabled thanks to a factory tweak. The change can’t be duplicated by a firmware update, meaning current AT&T iPhone 5 owners must buy the newest version if they want AWS functionality.

As a consolation, the new A1428 model will be factory unlocked when it ships on April 12, the same day as T-Mobile’s launch date for the device. Apple will reportedly be selling the unit at full MSRP prices in a “SIM-in unlocked fashion.” While the handset has been customized for T-Mobile’s AWS bands in the U.S., AT&T customers will be able to take advantage of the slightly revamped model on their 4G LTE network.

The publication goes on to say that Apple is phasing out the older A1428 model in favor of the T-Mobile-compatible version, suggesting that AT&T iPhone 5 units sold after April 12 will support AWS.

T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it will be offering the iPhone 5 as part of the company’s unsubsidized payment plan, which allows users to pay a low US$99 up front fee for a 16GB version of the smartphone, with the remainder of the unit’s cost spread out across 20 additional monthly payments of US$20.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 26.0.1410.43

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 05:12
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

You can’t knock a worthwhile update.

On Tuesday, Google released version 26.0.1410.43 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– “Ask Google for suggestions” spell checking feature improvements (e.g. grammar and homonym checking).

– Desktop shortcuts for multiple users (profiles) on Windows.

– Asynchronous DNS resolver on Mac and Linux.

Google Chrome 26.0.1410.43 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

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

Posted by:
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

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

indianflag

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

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

quicksilvericon

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.

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

Facebook-Messenger-Icon1

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.