Apple Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, June 17th Ship Date

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 17:56
Category: iPhone, News


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At the core of the iPhone is its firmware and after months of waiting, Apple senior vice president of iPhone software Scott Forstall user the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote to announce details of iPhone OS 3.0, which will be released on June 17, 2009.
Per the Apple Core, iPhone OS 3.0 will be a free release for all iPhone customers and support first all iPhone and iPod touch models, though iPod touch users will need to purchase the update for US$10.
Current iPhone software developers will be able to download the new release on Monday, as the software has gone “golden master” today.
Forstall then went on to mention the 100+ new features to be found in the iPhone OS 3.0 update, incuding Cut, Copy, and Paste as well as Landscape mode in all key applications, including Mail, Notes and Messages. Apple has also included Spotlight support across the entire device as well as ubiquitous searching.
Other new features include peer-to-peer Bluetooth-based multiplayer gaming, push notification and in-app store support.
Multimedia Messaging Support (MMS) has long since been demanded on the iPhone and, unfortunately, it appears that iPhone users in the United States will be waiting longer. Forstall noted that while iPhone OS 3.0 is capable of MMS, it requires carrier support to implement, which AT&T seems to be hesitant on.
Twenty-nine carriers in 76 countries will support MMS at the time of iPhone 3.0′s launch, according to Forstall. AT&T, Apple’s U.S. carrier partner, isn’t among them, at least not initially. AT&T will be ready to support MMS “later this summer,” according to Forstall. That news that elicited boos from the crowd.
Fortall then moved into tethering (the ability for a Mac or PC to share the iPhone’s Internet connection), another feature AT&T seems to have dropped the ball on. The upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 tethering feature will work over USB or Bluetooth, and works on Mac OS X and Windows.
“Find My Phone” is a new feature in iPhone 3.0 that helps you locate your iPhone if you’ve misplaced it wherein users can log in to MobileMe and it will show you where you left your phone. Users can also send a message to the phone, and will play an alert, even if you left the phone in silent mode. A remote wipe feature will also allow “Find My Phone” to erase all your data if your iPhone falls into the wrong hands.
The new iPhone OS supports HTTP-based streaming audio and video that will pick the right bit-rate depending on your phone’s data connection quality. Autofill has been added for the Mobile Safari software, to save you from having to fill out forms manually.
Another hotly-anticipated capability for the iPhone is turn-by-turn GPS-based directions. To that end, TomTom demonstrated an iPhone 3.0 application that delivers real TomTom navigation on the iPhone. The software also works with a cradle device that suction-cups to your vehicle’s window. The device is apparently more than just a holder and securely docks the iPhone, and can enhance the iPhone’s GPS capabilities, and give you hands-free calling capabilities, power and a loudspeaker. TomTom plans to release both this summer, with a range of maps.

Apple Announces iPhone 3G S, Unit to Be Available June 17th

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 16:09
Category: iPhone, News

During the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address, Apple unveiled a new model of its iPhone handset, the iPhone 3G S.
“The ‘S’ stands for speed,” stated Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, during the keynote.
Per AppleInsider, the new handset retails for US$199 for the 16GB version and US$299 for a 32GB model. Apple is cutting the price on the current iPhone 3G handset to US$99 for the 8GB phone.
The iPhone 3G S to be available in the U.S. on June 19th and go on sale in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland on June 19th. Apple has stated that the handset will launch in six more countries, with more launches to come in July and August.


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Despite a similar external appearance to the iPhone 3G model, the iPhone 3G S offers a 3. megapixel camera that lets you control the focus either by tapping on the screen or using the autofocus feature. In addition, the iPhone’s new camera captures video in addition to still photos.
A new “tap to focus” feature allows users to select an object or area of interest and the camera automatically re-adjusts focus and exposure. You can record high-quality video clips and edit them right on your iPhone 3G S by simply trimming the start and stop points and send photos and video by email or MMS and post them to MobileMe or YouTube with just one tap.
The unit also includes a voice-control feature to allow users to speak commands for applications on the phone. Accessibility improvements include VoiceOver support for reading to users and the ability to zoom in on the phone’s display for larger icons.
The iPhone 3G S also includes hardware encryption while other features within the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware include a “Find Your iPhone” feature as well as a remote wipe tool wherein personal information and backups can be readily destroyed as needed.
Apple has also promised improved battery life with the iPhone 3G S, the new phone offering nine hours of Internet access on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 30 hours of audio playback, 12 hours of 2G talk time, and five hours of 3G talk time.
The company also touted the environmental friendliness of its new handset, Apple noting that it reduced packaging for the phone by 23% as well as making the iPhone 3G S arsenic-free glass and a mercury-free LCD as well as free of brominated flame retardant (BFR) and PVC.
Other features announced during Monday’s keynote include a built-in digital compass, and support for the Nike+ fitness accessory.
The iPhone 3G S will ship with iPhone OS 3.0, which provides access to over 100 features such as such as Cut, Copy and Paste, MMS, Spotlight Search, landscape keyboard and more.

Report Cites Jobs as Ready to Return to Apple

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Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:27
Category: News

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Apple’s stock rose appreciably following news that company CEO Steve Jobs is on track to return to the company from his medical leave of absence as planned.
Per a Reuters article, sources have cited that Jobs will return by the end of the month, which would place his comeback ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, an event at which Jobs unveiled Apple’s 3G iPhone a year ago but had not been expected to attend this time.
Jobs, 54, had said his medical leave would run until the end of June when he initially announced the move in January, setting the stage for a July return. Company representatives had said repeatedly he remained involved in strategic decisions and would return as scheduled.
Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004. He appeared gaunt at an Apple event last June and in January said he would take a leave of absence because his health problems were “more complex” than originally thought.
The Apple CEO’s recovery “is coming along,” the news wire reported.
The report also said two people who do business with Apple have been told by Apple managers that the company is trying to coordinate Jobs’ return with a product launch or public event.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

E3: Microsoft Presents Milo Demo, Shows Uses for Project Natal

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Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 12:59
Category: News

Ok, this was completely interesting, even if it proved that the British are mildly crazed on some levels, but there’s some cool stuff in the works for Microsoft’s Project Natal (video courtesy of GameTrailers.com:




If Apple could trump this, that’d be something worth seeing.

E3: Sony Introduces “Wand” 3D Controller System

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Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 19:33
Category: News

A picture’s worth a thousand words and Jason picked this over on the Apple Core by way of G4 TV.
Take my word for it, it smacks of the spiffy:



E3: Logitech Introduces Flight System G940

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Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 16:22
Category: News

On Wednesday, peripherals manufacturer Logitech announced the release of its Flight System G940 simulator-grade flying kit. The unit, priced at US$299.99, contains a USB joystick, throttle and rudder pedals is the first such kit to offer force feedback via its joystick. A dual throttle allows simulated control of multi-engine aircraft using the split lever and rudder pedals with toe brakes offer better control, especially when simulating defensive maneuvers, crosswind landings or piloting helicopters.


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The unit arrives with a 1-year limited warranty, is available today and can be combined with such pro-grade flight applications such as X-Plane for the Mac.

Apple Revises One to One Support, Training Programs

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Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 09:47
Category: News, retail

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If you’ve snagged a Mac within the past couple of years, you were probably offered Apple’s ProCare, which has functioned as advanced placement in the Genius Bar’s repair queue, initial setup for new Macs and complimentary training sessions. The service, introduced in 2004, was renamed “One to One” in 2007 when more individual training was offered.
According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, One to One is now being changed to offer new features as well as new limitations. ProCare’s complete Mac setup & data transfer is now included with One to One. Previously, One to One only included a “simple” setup.
Other changes for One to One include exclusive workshops only available to One to One members as well as the new “Personal Projects” session for larger blocks of time. Members can now reserve a session for up to a three hour block of time to create, with an Apple trainer’s assistance. Similar to workshops, Personal Projects are a group activity in that several members will be present; while a workshop includes members working on the same topic, a project session includes members working on individual and unrelated tasks.
One to One is also now only available with the purchase of a new Mac at an Apple store; this is in contrast to the previous One to One and current ProCare services which could be purchased at any time. One to One memberships are also now only renewable two times for a maximum membership duration of three years. Existing memberships (beginning prior to June 2, 2009) in One to One will be renewable only one time.
Customers can purchase a new One to One membership along with a new Mac at any Apple Retail store now. Per Apple, this service’s availability will expand to Apple’s online channel in the near future.

E3: Sony Introduces PSP Go Portable Game System

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Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 09:15
Category: News

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Sony on Tuesday announced the release of its new mobile system known as the PSP go, a long-rumored PlayStation Portable system withe a smaller form factor. According to Macworld UK, the device is specifically designed for users interested in downloading games and videos. The device is planned for an October release in North America, Europe and Asia and will retail for US$249.
The PSP go measures 5.04″ x 0.65″ x 2.72″ and weighs 5.6 ounces. The device retains a 16:9 aspect ratio display that measures 3.8″ and 480 x 272 pixels, the same resolution as other PSP models, albeit smaller). Despite the rumors, the device lacks a touchscreen interface, unlike the iPhone or iPod touch.
The 3.8-inch TFT display slides upward to reveal control surfaces, much like a smartphone. Instead of a QWERTY keyboard you’ll find a directional pad, specialized buttons, a small analog thumbstick and start and select buttons.
Sony has also removed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical drive from the PSPgo, emphasizing the unit’s suitability for digital entertainment content transferred from the PlayStation 3 or directly over the PlayStation Network.
The PSP go also features built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi and support for Bluetooth 2.0 wireless peripherals, including headphones, headsets and PS3 wireless controllers. The device can be attached to a television or home entertainment system so you can watch videos stored in the unit and boasts 16GB of built-in flash memory, along with a Memory Stick Micro flash storage card slot that can be used to further expand the unit’s storage capacity.

E3: The Sims 3 Goes Out the Door for Mac OS X, Windows, iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 19:51
Category: News

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Electronic Arts on Tuesday announced the simultaneous release of The Sims 3 for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets.
The new version allows users to control simulated people inside a virtual world, the application allowing for dozens of unique personality traits as well as extensive customization for your Sims home. According to Macworld, the game bypasses the micromanagement of basic tasks such as bathing and using the restroom (unlike the first two versions) and allows for additional items to be purchased via an in-game store.
The Mac and Windows game also lets you record movies of your Sims, edit the soundtrack, story and transitions, then share the movies you’ve made with friends on The Sims 3 Web sites, social networks, and on your own blog.
The game ships on a hybrid DVD-ROM that contains both Mac and Windows versions of the games, retails for US$50 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later, 2 GB of RAM, 6.1 GB of hard disk space and an ATI GMA X3100 or Nvidia 7300 GT graphics card or better to install and run.
Per the iPhone version, the application is available for US$9.99 through the App Store and requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later to install and run.

E3: Nintendo Briefing Notes

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Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 19:04
Category: News

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Nintendo just wrapped its media briefing on this end and the results are strange, encouraging and mixed:
-Nintendo’s Cammie Dunaway announced that this year’s theme will be “Everyone’s Game”. There’s something for everyone and Nintendo intends to address this.
-”New Mario Brothers” Wii was announced, the title featuring beautiful graphics as well as co-op and competitive play for up to four players at once wherein players can help each other or compete for points. Other features include a neat ability to switch to another player (such as from Mario to Toad to Luigi) at any point in time. The title will launch over the holidays.
-Nintendo is moving to introduce WiiFit Pus, which will work to find a workout program appropriate for the user and add 15 new balance games such as juggling and skateboarding. The title will arrive this fall and will also be able to be purchased and downloaded as a standalone item.
-Nintendo President and Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aime spoke about Nintendo’s interface, then introduced the Wii Motion Plus, a new controller that will function as a more advanced version of Nintendo’s current Wiimote. The controller will apparently have to be purchased on its own and no price point was mentioned for the unit.
-Nintendo’s Bill Trinen detailed the Wii Motion Plus, highlighting an increased ability to detect position and angles relative to the Wiimore, which can then be applied to a game. Trinen commented that Nintendo is looking to make this a more natural experience, that the unit will launch in the Americas on July 21st and that the improved motion sensor technology will be supported in assorted EA Sports titles as well as RedSteel 2.
-Nintendo will launch Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers as well as an exclusive version of Kingdom Hearts (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days) to the Nintendo DS this September.
-Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story will hit in North America and Europe later this fall. Here, Mario and Luigi have to fight within Bowser’s body a la “Inner Space”.
-Nintendo will be resurrecting the Golden Sun RPG series with Golden Sun DS in 2010.
-Beginning on October 13th, James Patterson’s books will be available as an interactive novel/game (“Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion”).
-COP: The Recruit will play as a Ubisoft title. This seems to be a mix of Grand Theft Auto and an interactive novel.
-Nintendo will launch its Style Savvy title, wherein users design outfits, run your own boutique, supports wireless networking.
-Nintendo announced the the company has currently sold over one million DSi units. Representatives then highlighted that it will focus on user-generated content and sharing.
-Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again will allow users to create their own levels, then upload levels to friends. The title will be available as a download beginning June 8th.
-WarioWare DIY: Allows players to create their own levels and games themselves.
-Beginning this summer, the DSi will allow photos to be edited and uploaded to Facebook.
-Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced that Nintendo’s research has divvied their game market into “active”, “maybe?” and “never”. In the survey, there are 295 million active players, 149 million “maybe” players and a given number of people who will never play games. Iwata then cited that the company is trying to open its markets and provide something for everyone.
-Perhaps the strangest thing of the briefing: Iwata then announced the Wii Vitality Sensor, a device that takes your pulse, analyzes data such as tension, etc. and returns biometric information. This can be used as a relaxation technique, per Iwata, but no release date or titles were mentioned for such a device.
-Nintendo then showed demo footage for Super Mario Galaxy 2, complete with beautiful environments, classic stuff, imaginative settings.
-Other games announced included The Conduit, an apocalyptic sci-fi title developed by Sega and exclusive for the Wii. The game will be available this June.
-Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is en route and will function as Resident Evil with a first-person shooter perspective.
-Dead Space: Extraction is exclusive for the Wii and, complete with beautiful graphics and awesome sound via the demo, will function as a prequel to Dead Space.
-Team Ninja and Nintendo are developing Metroid: Other M, which will function as a Metroid prequel of sorts and help flesh out Samus Aran’s back story and personal history.
The title is being offered with a 2010 release date.