Latest iPhone OS 4.0 beta points toward customizable user dictionary

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Date: Thursday, May 20th, 2010, 04:48
Category: iPhone, News

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Yesterday, we mentioned that Apple’s newest beta of its iPhone OS 4.0 operating system included reference to tethering via AT&T. The cool cats at Gizmodo have apparently located a custom dictionary that will allow users to add their own words and unique spellings, and will automatically recommend those words as users type them.

The new option, “Edit User Dictionary,” can be found in the Keyboard section of the handsets Settings application in beta 4 of iPhone OS 4.0. There, users can press the plus button and add their own words.

This will allow users to bypass the “learning” feature found in previous versions of the iPhone OS, where the software will remember when the user chooses to discard a recommended spelling from the built-in dictionary.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Refreshed MacBook dissected, 10-hour battery could be transplanted into older MacBooks

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Date: Thursday, May 20th, 2010, 04:27
Category: MacBook, News

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You’ve got to love iFixit.

That being said, the firm has performed a complete teardown of Apple’s newest low-end MacBook and noticed that only the central processing unit, the graphical processing unit and the battery have changed since the last hardware iteration.

iFixit has stated that the battery itself is of special interest given that the battery is exactly the same shape as its former and all you have to do to get an extra 350 mAh for your existing plastic MacBook is to drop in a refreshed battery.

While the new cells weigh more and it’s likely the new silicon that’s actually responsible for 10 hours of battery life, but should your Li-ion pack fail under warranty, your older MacBook might be returned with more juice than you’d bargained for.

Kind of a cool thing if you ever dreamt of your older MacBook using a 10 hour battery…

iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4 released, incorporates AT&T tethering features

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Date: Wednesday, May 19th, 2010, 05:03
Category: iPhone, News

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On Tuesday, Apple released the fourth beta of its iPhone OS 4.0 operating system, pushing Apple towards a final release that’s expected to coincide with its WWDC event next month.

Per Gizmodo, the new release appears to invoke tethering options for AT&T in the US. iPhone OS 3.0 introduced tethering support in software, but AT&T has been among the carriers failing to support the feature.

A new configuration panel appears to indicate that AT&T has worked out its issues related to refusing to support tethering on the iPhone (it supports tethering with other phones, but apparently fears that iPhone users would overwhelm its network) and will have a billing program in place by the time iPhone OS 4 ships.

The new Internet Tethering setup panel directs users to call AT&T or visit its website to setup tethering on their account.

Other new features spotted by beta testers include the ability to view photo Camera Rolls in landscape, more useful wallpaper images, an option to turn off group MMS messaging, and a generally faster interface throughout, ranging from call dialing to Maps.

New MacBook sends both audio, video data through VESA-compliant adapters

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Date: Wednesday, May 19th, 2010, 05:14
Category: MacBook, News

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This seems useful:

Apple’s newest MacBook, per this support document from Apple, send both audio and video data out through HDMI as long as you’ve got a VESA compliant adapter (which most DisplayPort adapters are).

Take a gander and if you get your hands on Apple’s newest MacBook, please let us know what you make of it, for better or for worse.

Apple releases Java updates for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6 operating systems

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Date: Wednesday, May 19th, 2010, 05:07
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, Apple released a pair of Java updates for its Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 operating systems. The updates (Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 7 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 2) make the same changes and per Macworld, offer “improved compatibility, security, and reliability.” The specifics on how the updates do this are unclear, however, as the release notes for both the 10.6 and 10.5 updates are a little light on the details.

Apple does tell us that the 122MB download for users of OS X 10.5.8 and later updates J2SE 5.0 to 1.5.0_24 and Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_20. As with the Java update released last December, J2SE 1.4.2 remains disabled by default, as it’s no longer being updated.

As for the 78MB Java for Mac OS X 10.6 download, it updates Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_20. It’s aimed at Mac OS X 10.6.3 and later.

Both downloads are available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Hulu Plus service for iPad delayed, won’t make May 24th launch

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 06:47
Category: iPad, News

You love Hulu on your Mac.

But you’ll have to wait a little longer for it on the iPad.

Per MediaMemo, sources close to Hulu have cited that Hulu’s new service, dubbed “Hulu Plus” wouldn’t make its anticipated arrival date of May 24th and in fact there was “no way” Hulu Plus would become available next week.

According to the original plan, Hulu plans to charge a monthly subscription for access to Hulu on the iPad through a forthcoming application to be released on the App Store. Hulu executives were initially hopeful that they could release an application potentially alongside the debut of the iPad.

Sources close to the story said Tuesday that it’s likely the service remains in negotiations with content holders. Even with the delays, it’s been reported that the principal partners, including Fox, ABC and NBC have agreed to the basics of the subscription plan, including a US$10-per-month fee for access to “a deeper catalog of broadcast shows plus access to the services like Apple’s iPad.”

“And even if Hulu and all of its partners are seeing eye-to-eye — not a given — getting the rights from various programming partners to sell their shows could be a slog,” Kafka wrote for MediaMemo.

Sources pushing Hulu’s subscription plan behind the scenes did reportedly say that the new service will be “revolutionary.”

One feature that the new Hulu won’t support: HTML5. Last week, the company revealed on its official blog that it doesn’t see HTML5 in its immediate future. The current player on the website is built on Adobe Flash, which is used to stream video, secure content, and handle reporting for advertisers, among many other tasks.

Hulu’s iPad application is expected to be similar to the existing ABC and Netflix streaming players available for download on the App Store. The popular ABC application shows programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for free, with ad support. And that free product has apparently caused concern for Hulu and its subscription plans.

Reports have suggested that Hulu will incentivize its subscription plan by offering streaming to Apple’s iPad, as well as by including a “window” where content is available to subscribers before it can be seen for free by the general public. It is said that Hulu’s business partners have pressured the service into subscription plans to “train” viewers that they should pay for online access to content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Recently published patent hints at deeper iPhone/Facebook integration

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 03:06
Category: iPhone, News, Patents

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A newly published Apple patent hints at the company’s plans for including improved Facebook integration into the iPhone at the device level.

The document, discovered by Patently Apple, was approved until April 1st, 2010 and filed in September 2008 and focuses on creating device-to-device workflows.

Apple has essentially patented the ability to sync actions between two or more devices. This could be something as simple as adding a to-do on your Mac’s calendar application and having it automatically sent to the iPhone.

The patent also includes provisions in the patent for device proximity. For instance, an iPhone and iMac set to synchronize a schedule could be activated by Bluetooth connections on both devices that will automatically initiate a calendar synchronization once the devices are within a certain range of each other.

The Facebook element of the patent comes into play with contact syncing. For example, say you meet a colleague or friend out somewhere and realize you haven’t friended her or him on Facebook. When you initiate an “add contact” on your phone, it can first pull in all the vCard information from your friend’s phone, send your info back (if you are exchanging information), offer to take a photo of your friend to add to your address book and then, if you so choose, add your friend to Facebook.

Your friend will then get a notification on her device of the pending friend request and can then approve or ignore it.

There are some third-party solutions available for the iPhone (like Bump) and for Android and BlackBerry devices that can do similar things, but having a scripting workflow engine built into the device itself is a unique idea unto itself.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple quietly releases updated 13″ MacBook

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 03:35
Category: MacBook, News

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Confirming yesterday’s post, Apple quietly released a refreshed MacBook notebook, the new model incorporating a new faster 2.4GHz processor, and NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

These changes bring it into line with recently released MacBook Pro model.

Apple is claiming that the new MacBook provides 80% faster performance, largely due to the the improved graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

Like the NVIDIA 9400m graphics chip it replaces, the 320m shares its memory (256MB) from the main system RAM, rather than possessing the discrete graphics memory found on the NVIDIA 330m (used by the MacBook Pro).

Per Macworld UK, the NVIDIA 320m is 40% more efficient than the 9400m chip it replaces. Apple is also claiming a fairly hefty 10 hours of wireless productivity from the new MacBook.

Another new feature (albeit a small one) is that the DVI socket now supports the DVI to HDMI adaptor, enabling users to connect the older monitors to the laptop.

The 2.4 GHz MacBook retails for US$999 and is immediately available.

Next-Gen iPhone to see upped screen resolution, other improvements

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Date: Monday, May 17th, 2010, 07:19
Category: iPhone, News

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Per DigiTimes, Apple’s next-gen iPhone should see significant display improvements and carry an upped resolution of 960 x 640 pixels.

Despite the appearance of several prototype iPhones in recent weeks, the only confirmation of the higher resolution display has been a qualitative comparison with the current iPhone suggesting that it is the case. DigiTimes’ report today again suggests that the new iPhone will in fact carry a 960 x 640 screen.

The next-generation iPhone’s display will also reportedly adopt fringe-field switching (FFS), a technology that should improve viewing angles and performance in bright sunlight.
By incorporating FFS technology, users should have a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight, Apple is aiming to improve the handset’s e-book reader features and promote its iBooks Store. HTC’s Hero smartphone has already adopted this technology.

The report also notes that the panel on the new iPhone is 33% thinner than in current models, allowing for increased battery size.

In addressing the brains behind the forthcoming iPhone, the report claims that users can expect an ARM Cortex A8 processor, of which the Apple A4 processor used in the iPad and observed in one of the prototypes is an implementation. The report claims, however, that it will also offer 512 MB of RAM.

The iPhone 4G is currently specced as running on the ARM Cortex A8 processor and a 512MB memory module from Samsung Electronics, doubling the memory capacity seen in the iPhone 3GS to take advantage of the multi-tasking capability of the iPhone OS 4.0 platform.

Apple is widely expected to introduce the new iPhone on June 7th at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 released

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Date: Monday, May 17th, 2010, 06:08
Category: News, Software

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The good news: BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 has been released.

The application, a 31.6 megabyte download, allows Mac users to sync data from Mac applications like iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and others, as well as add and remove applications, schedule automatic backups, encrypt backup files and install software updates for their BlackBerry smartphones.

The downside: Because Research In Motion is apparently run by staggering idiots who think the cast of “Jersey Shore” qualify for Mensa status and unicorns are real, absolutely no version changes have been logged or mentioned.

None.

So, if you’ve installed the new version and noticed any changes (for better or for worse), we’d love to know.

Especially since the developers of this long-awaited software package seem reluctant to tell you what they are.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.