Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 2 to Developer Community

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 08:13
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple officially released iPhone OS 3.0 beta to to its developer community. According to Engadget, the new beta includes push notifications and in-app purchasing, giving developers a chance to play with these features. The report also cites significant stability improvements within the new build.
While MMS and tethering are also included within beta 2, Apple has apparently asked developers not to try these features as of yet.
Per the Apple Core, Apple has also made the following changes in beta 2:

  • B2 killed a lot of the typing lag, and scrolling problems.
  • Some speed improvements.
  • Some stereo bluetooth controls are working (play and pause). Others (rewind and fast forward) are not.
  • There’s a new Store option under Settings, but it’s empty.
  • New icon in the left side of the menu bar to indicate when call forwarding has been enabled.
  • Despite Apple’s warning against MMS and tethering, they can be enabled by modifying the ipcc file (the carrier settings). They both work in b2 in the U.S. although some countries have trouble getting them to work at the same time, but they work, regardless of the firmware.
  • The exchange email bug that prevented you from syncing to your corporate email was fixed.
  • New way to open a new page in Safari: Tap and hold on a link and a menu pops up allowing you to open, open in new page or copy the link (or cancel).
  • The iPhone OS beta 2 build can be downloaded from here upon signing up for an ADC account.
    If you’ve tried the new build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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    iPhone OS 3.0 Beta Bricking Pirated iPhones

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 10:56
    Category: Hack, iPhone

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    This was sort of to be expected, but it’s interesting.
    According to the Los Angeles Times, users installing a pirated version of Apple’s upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 firmware are finding their iPhone handsets effectively bricked, wherein the handset loads to the activation screen.
    At this point, they’re in trouble.
    Per the story, the version of iPhone OS 3.0 floating around the Web checks with the mother ship to make sure that the user has an active and paid up Apple Developer Connection account.
    Once in place, there’s no way to roll back to version 2 of the software.
    As mentioned on the Apple Core, a few YouTube videos have sprung up purporting to offer solutions. The first suggests that you can simply disconnect from the Internet when interfacing with iTunes to bypass the authentication process. The second video involves data files and appears far more involved.
    Fortunately, users can get their iPhone swapped out under warranty at the Apple Store, or pony up the US$100 for an ADC account in order to resolve the issue.
    If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Skype for iPhone Expected Tomorrow

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 06:33
    Category: iPhone, Software

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    Months after an initial preview at CES in Las Vegas, Skype for iPhone is expected to hit Apple’s App Store sometime tomorrow.
    According to C|NET, which was able to sit down and play with the application, the program will sport standard features generally found in mobile applications as well as a few iPhone-only perks.
    For starters, the screens are well organized and use the iPhone’s ability to add filters, for instance, to sort your contacts alphabetically, or by who’s online. The application also allows for chatting and a relatively cheap per-minute fee to landlines. The application only allows calls if you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network and calls will not work over the cell phone network on the iPhone (but chatting will.) Assuming your connection is solid, you can dial a number or quickly call a contacts stored in your address book. iPod Touch users will need earphones with an embedded mic to talk. During a call, users can mute the line, go on hold, or put the call on speakerphone.
    The current build of the program can accept incoming conference calls. While you won’t be able to initiate a call, users will be able to jump on one if a buddy invites you in.
    Features missing from the first release of the app on the iPhone include SMS, setting up a conference calling group, purchasing SkypeOut credit directly, and being able to field a second incoming Skype call are a few as well as file transferring and getting Skype voicemail.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think of Skype on the iPhone in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Begins Selling Contract-Free iPhone 3G at Full Price

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
    Category: iPhone

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    As of Thursday, Apple retail locations have begun selling unrestricted quantities of the company’s iPhone 3G handset at the non-subsidized price of US$599 for the 8GB version and US$699 for the 16GB version. Once sold, the buyer does not need to have an existing AT&T contract.
    According to AppleInsider, activation can completed by the customer at home through iTunes.
    Though the handsets are still technically (and legally) locked to AT&T service, it’s possible (but not supported) to unlock the phones for use with other mobile service providers such as T-Moble and Metro PCS, although both GSM providers do not support the 3G network the iPhone 3G needs to connect at faster than EDGE speeds.
    Apple’s change in sales policy comes as the company is working to sell off remaining inventory to prepare for the upcoming launch of the new 2009 iPhone, which is expected to be released around the middle of June.
    The launch may be expected to take place around this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place yet again in San Francisco, California.
    If you’re en route to pick up a contract-free iPhone, please let us know about the experience in the comments or forums.

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    iPhone 3G Details, Specifications Emerge on China Mobile Web Site

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 12:42
    Category: iPhone

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    iPhone photos and product specifications have now appeared on the web site of wireless carrier China Unicom, a sign that a deal may have been reached between Apple and the Chinese carrier.
    According to AppleInsider, the information provided on the web site does not specifically indicate whether the Apple handset will be available from China Unicom, but joins references to similar handsets like the Android-based G1 that will be supported by the carriers upcoming 3G network.
    The site changes emerged one week after China Unicom representatives met in the United States with Apple executives in what has been described as a “breakthrough” negotiation session aimed at bringing the iPhone 3G to China Unicom’s network.
    A spokesperson at China Unicom headquarters could not explain why the information had been posted on one of the carrier’s regional websites, though it’s reportedly not uncommon for the company’s branches to operate independently.
    A launch was said to hinge largely on China Unicom’s first trial run of its new 3G network this May. In contrast to China Mobile, which is endorsing the government’s TD-SCDMA wireless standard, China Unicom will be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network. Such a standard would let Apple sell its current handset virtually unchanged with full feature support.
    Although Apple has long pursued a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider with over 415 million subscribers, talks reportedly stalled over the government-backed carrier’s insistence on controlling the local version of Apple’s App Store, among other demands.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your minds in the comments or forums.

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    Canadian iPhone Subscribers Cite Rogers Wireless Overcharges

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 08:44
    Category: iPhone

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    A number of Canadian iPhone subscribers have cited being overcharged for their data usage according to an article on MacNN, Per the notes received the Rogers Wireless initial data plan for the iPhone 3G, which retails for CAN$30 per month, may have been revoked. In one case, a bill for “hundreds of dollars” was received, a result of the original data plan having mysteriously disappeared from his account.
    The problem is allegedly widespread amongst Rogers iPhone customers, and believed to be connected to alterations of a person’s account, such as a change in address or phone number. Given that the promotional code for the CAN$30/6GB plan no longer exists, discounts may simply be evaporating as accounts are recreated. Users who signed up for the CAN$30 price were originally promised that it would persist throughout their three-year contract.
    Calls to Rogers’ support staff has apparently been unable to fix this problem and representatives may have chose to push iPhone account holders to more expensive plans while compensating with account credit. The 6GB plan itself only came into existence after a large Internet petition highlighted the impracticality of proposed tiers.
    If you’re north of the border and have seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    AT&T Officials Slip Details About Next-Gen iPhone

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 08:56
    Category: iPhone

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    One of more AT&T senior officials may have reportedly revealed important details about the next-generation iPhone handset, including a June release and boosted speed specs.
    According to Boy Genius Report, an AT&T official was quoted as stating that a formal unveiling for the new handset will occur in mid-June and that the mid-year update is “becoming a tradition” at AT&T.
    While it’s not quite known how familiar the management-level source (or sources) might be with what’s contained in the new iPhone, a distinct pattern in the remarks centers on the speed of the handset. According to the remarks, the next model “will be faster” and may well support AT&T’s planned upgrade to 7.2Mbps 3G scheduled for this year.
    AT&T is reportedly eager to demonstrate the advantages of a new handset and upgraded network. Per the comment, customers should buy a smartphone from AT&T based on their personal tastes and that “the gap in credibility should be filled” with the new release.
    It’s currently unclear as to which specific features will find their way into the next generation and the iPhone OS 3.0 release has left a wide amount of room for speculation. Others have stated that the changes will also apply to older iPhone models.
    The statements also echo AT&T’s vision of integration with TV services and claim an iPhone app is in development that would let users steer the video recorders for AT&T’s U-verse digital TV.
    The mention of a June schedule also isn’t exclusive to AT&T; UAE provider Etisalat matter-of-factly stated that it would get the next iPhone in June.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    Cha-Ching Touch Comes to the App Store

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 17:28
    Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

    It was a long wait, but it’s finally here. The mobile version of Midnight Apps’ finance tracking app is now available on the App Store for $ 2.99 as of Saturday night. Partially coinciding with the 2.0 release of the popular desktop software, the new iPhone app will sync accounts and data with the 2.0 version allowing mobile expense entry, or can be used for stand-alone expense management on the iPhone.
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    The 2.0 version of Cha-Ching Desktop is on the Midnight App web site as a public beta. Recent builds have added the ability to sync to the iPhone app. I have not had a chance to put Cha-Ching Touch to the test, but I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity for some time. My checkbook, to put it simply, is a complete mess. Not even Quicken could help me, although they haven’t made it easy either. Cha-Ching was originally released as the “Quicken killer” and I wanted to give it a chance since it seemed to have a nice, Mac-like interface, and I liked it’s simplicity. The hardest part for me is staying on top of entering my expenses so that my balances are in sync with my bank account. Bus commutes are the ideal time to catch up with this busy-work, and allow me to be more efficient with my travel time. I’m really hoping Cha-Ching Touch helps me do that.
    It seemed like the app wasn’t going to make it to the App Store for a while. I have been following the Midnight Apps Twitter feed (@Midnight_Apps) since the announcement that they submitted the app to Apple, and waited along with many frustrated people (including the Midnight Apps folks) as over a week went by before word was finally received late Saturday, March 21st, that the app was approved and due in the App Store “at any moment”. Apparently the app fell into that 2% that Apple wasn’t getting reviewed in 7 days or less.
    The data sync seemed to go without a hitch, although I did have to FINALLY update my iPhone’s firmware since Cha-Ching Touch requires 2.2.1. I’ll let you know how the app fares after I have some time to work with it.

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    Apple Drops iPhone Bluetooth Headset from Online Storefront

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 13:30
    Category: Accessory, iPhone

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    Apple apparently stopped selling its official Bluetooth headset for the iPhone, as noted by MacNN today. Although the product’s page still exists over on the Apple Store, the company has marked the device as “discontinued”.
    The headset, which was launched along with the original iPhone in June of 2007, dropped in price from US$129 to US$99 in 2008, while also losing its bundled dual-dock.
    Though exact reasons for the disappearance are unknown, this could be connected to future iPhone hardware changes, especially those tied in with the recently-announced iPhone OS 3.0 firmware — and possibly iPod touches — that are expected to gain full Bluetooth functionality in the summer. Though the current iPhone technically supports Bluetooth 2.0, it does not allow stereo audio, nor does it support many of the advanced data functions possible on other cellphones.
    Apple may intend to introduce a new generation of headset at the same time as a new iPhone, incorporating stereo and more advanced controls.
    If you have any ideas on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Rumor: Apple Seems Likely to Add Video Recording Features to Next-Gen iPhone

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 07:40
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

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    Apple seems certain to add video recording capabilities in the next iPhone hardware revision per a source close to AppleInsider.
    Though the details are currently limited, there is no suggestion of current hardware being able to support video recording. Given this fact, only an upgraded iPhone with a new built-in camera should support the feature. The source stated that the new revision is expected between late spring and early fall this year and could add video support and improved gaming hardware via multi-core PowerVR chips as the headlining features.
    Oddly enough, a screen capture from the forthcoming iPhone Software 3.0 on Engadget’s website shows a MobileMe panel for uploading images titled “Upload Video,” thereby adding strength to the rumor.
    An additional rumor has speculated that faster iPhone internet speeds are en route, AT&T confirming that the company currently has HSPA 3G peaking at 7.2 megabits per second, twice the current speed of the network. The extra speed would help to handle video transmissions via iPhone handsets.
    A final rumor has stated that Apple will release a new iPhone App called “Movies” which will offer rudimentary video editing similar to the new “Voice Memos” iPhone app that Apple recently previewed. The software would allow for sharing video via e-mail and MMS messaging.
    Even so, Apple may only offer the video capabilities as a premium feature only on a high-end model when it releases new iPhones this summer. References to four different multi-touch handheld products which were found in the new iPhone 3.0 software beta seem to indicate two distinct model lines, possibly one with video capability and one lacking the feature.
    Stay tuned for details as they emerge and please let us know if you’ve heard anything on your end in the comments or forums

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