O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

AT&T now selling iPhone 3GS for $49 to qualified customers

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Date: Friday, January 7th, 2011, 03:18
Category: iPhone, News, retail


Sometimes you have to do interesting things to stay in the game.

Per the cool cats at the Mac Observer, wireless carrier AT&T announced on Thursday that on Friday, January 7, it will start selling the 8GB iPhone 3GS for US$49 to new and upgrade-eligible customers. Last month, retailers including Best Buy and Radio Shack offered temporary $49 iPhone 3GS deals, but now that price point is official, at least from AT&T: at the time this article was posted, Apple’s online store continues to offer the iPhone 3GS for US$99.

Apple released the iPhone 3GS during the summer of 2009, but it continued to be sold for US$99 after the iPhone 4 was announced last summer. Radio Shack’s holiday deal last month also knocked US$50 off the price of the iPhone 4, but prices for the current-gen smartphone seem poised to remain where they previously were for the time being.

Rumors have persistedthat the iPhone is headed to Verizon soon, which may have prompted the price change by AT&T.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.6, adds App Store support

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Date: Thursday, January 6th, 2011, 11:28
Category: News, Software


Somewhat surprisingly, Apple released version 10.6.6 of its Mac OS X operating system today. The new version, which ranges from 160 megabytes to 1.06 gigabytes should you download the combo updater, adds the following fixes and changes according to Macworld:

– App Store integration and support.

– Fix for a cropping problem with some PostScript printing in landscape mode.

– Fix for an issue with ATI graphics card-powered Macs where connecting an external DVI display could yield erratic mouse pointer movement.

– Fix for a single security vulnerability related to the PackageKit system, preventing a man-in-the-middle attack that could force the app to quit or potentially execute arbitrary code.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run and can, as usual, be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Unconfirmed iPhone 5/Verizon iPhone photos surface

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Date: Thursday, January 6th, 2011, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Pictures, Rumor

The nice thing about technology: there’s always something nifty on the horizon.

Or at least pictures of the nifty thing on the horizon.

Per SmartPhone Medic, new pictures claim to show a redesigned stainless steel frame for the iPhone, with new placement of black bands on the perimeter of the handset’s frame, the metal band which also acts as the phone’s antenna.

The photos from SmartPhone Medic claim to be from a “very reliable source” and purport to show an “unreleased iPhone design.” The alleged new frame is pictured next to the existing one used in the current iPhone 4.

The photos appear to have been doctored in order to, at the very least, remove shadows and colors from the white background. While no claims about the authenticity of the photos in question, they are reposted here for interest and discussion.

SmartPhone Medic gained attention last August, when it acquired a genuine front panel for the then-unannounced fourth-generation iPod touch, complete with a spot for a forward-facing camera. But unlike that scoop, the alleged iPhone frame published Wednesday is not a hands-on look, just pictures.

Both frames look largely the same in the pictures, but the alleged new part has a few key differences found in the placement of “antenna gaps.” The current iPhone 4 has three gaps — two on the side, one on top — while the pictured part shows four — two on each side, none on top.

The antenna gap on the bottom left side of the current iPhone 4 caused a major controversy last year, when it was revealed that bridging that gap with a hand or even a fingertip could result in degradation of wireless reception. There were numerous rumors that Apple would revise the design of the iPhone 4 to address the issue, but Apple instead held a press conference to explain the situation and offered customers a free “bumper” case to fix it.

The alleged iPhone part also shows the device’s frame with a retained spot for a micro-SIM card, suggesting it could be a redesign of the current GSM handset, or could be a new “world” phone with both GSM and CDMA. Apple is rumored to release a CDMA compatible phone in the near future.

Another possibility, if the frame is legitimate, is for a CDMA phone that also has a micro-SIM slot for 4G long-term evolution connectivity. While CDMA does not use a SIM card, Verizon’s high-speed 4G network does. Finally, it’s possible the alleged part could be for a prototype “iPhone 5,” thought Apple is not expected to release a full-fledged fifth-generation device until this summer.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iMovie 9.0.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, January 5th, 2011, 05:11
Category: News, Software


Late Thursday, Apple released iMovie 9.0.1, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 27.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixes an issue where stabilization would not be applied correctly to some video clips from iPhone and iPod touch.

– Fixes an issue that prevented use of some valid Facebook passwords that contained non-alphanumeric characters.

– Improves compatibility with some cameras that create content in multiple formats.

– Improves performance when scrolling the Project Library.

iMovie 9.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Garmin releases StreetPilot GPS app for iOS

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Date: Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 10:33
Category: iPhone, News, Software

GPS outfit Garmin announced on Tuesday that the company had released StreetPilot, its first turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone. Per Macworld, StreetPilot offers voice-prompted directions—with text-to-speech capability for reading aloud street names—along with a variety of more advanced GPS features.

As with Garmin’s standalone GPS devices, StreetPilot offers free traffic alerts, lane assistance with realistic previews of upcoming junctions, 2D and 3D views, and speed limit indicators. The application sports current maps of the U.S. and Canada that are fetched from Garmin’s servers, and also provides points of interests and local search integration.

The app also integrates with various bits of data on your iPhone: you can control your music, quickly access your friends’ addresses, and, of course, take advantage of iOS 4’s multitasking.

StreetPilot retails for US$40 and requires an iPhone 3G or newer, or an iPad with 3G, running iOS 3.0 or later to install and run.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.5, now Intel-only

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Date: Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 05:14
Category: News, Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.5 and gone Intel-only.

The new version, which can be found here, boasts the following fixes and changes:

Core Library:
– BluRay disc structure support (No decryption support)
– Updated Libraries (x264, ffmpeg)
– SSA Subtitle support (Including burn-in)
– MP3 audio now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
– VOBSUB subtitle now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
– Updated Presets for newer devices and better quality
– AC3 encoding support
– Many Bug Fixes and other small improvements
– Improved DVD Main Feature detection (when using dvdnav)
– Universal audio downmix support (all audio types can be downmixed)
– Poin-to-Point encoding (second or frame start and end times)
– Peak framerate option (Capped VFR)

All GUIs:
– Updated x264 Advanced Panel
– Video Quality Slider drops % value and only shows RF for x264
– Batch Scan (Scan Multiple files at once. N.B: Does not include multiple VIDEO_TS folders / Image files)
– Many Bug fixes
– Many Tweaks to improve usability
– Ability to edit queue jobs

Mac GUI:
– New Audio Panel supporting >4 Audio Tracks
– VLC detection in /Applications and ~/Applications
– Multiple instance support

Windows GUI:
– Encode Status in GUI. (CLI window is now always hidden)
– Improved Auto-Naming for Destination file name
– Drag / Drop Video onto Main Window to scan

Linux GUI:
– Multiple instance support (run multiple copies of ghb at once)
– Many Bug fixes and UI improvements

Handbrake 0.9.5 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Onyx 2.2.2 released

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Date: Monday, January 3rd, 2011, 06:57
Category: News, Software


Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.2.2. The new version, a 16.5 megabyte download (courtesy of MacUpdate), adds the following fixes and changes:

– New Parameters > Mail panel

– New Mail’s hidden functions

– Display the result after verifying volume (Verify > Structure of volume)

– Info panel improved

– Misc minor fixes

– Help updated

Onyx 2.2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple confirms iOS 4.2.1 alarm clock bug, says issue will resolve itself by January 3rd

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Date: Monday, January 3rd, 2011, 06:30
Category: iPhone, News, Software

If you were looking for your iOS device to signal its alarm around New Years, you may have been in for a surprise. Per Macworld, Apple has confirmed an iOS bug where non-repeating alarms fail to ring on the first few days of the new year, recommending that users set recurring alarms until Jan. 3, when the alarms will resume working properly.

As various time zones entered the new year, reports began cropping up from iOS users whose one-time alarms had stopped functioning after the device’s clock had ticked over to January 1, 2011. According to reports, the issue affects devices running the iOS 4.2.1, the latest version of iOS.

Apple spokesperson Natalie Harrison stated the following: “We’re aware of an issue related to non repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2,” Harrison said. “Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3.”

The issue is reminiscent of the iOS alarm bug that caused alarms to miss the daylight saving time change that occurred earlier this fall. After Australian users were woken up an hour early because of the bug, Apple stated that the company was “aware of this issue and already developed a fix which will be available to customers in an upcoming software update.”

Stay tuned for additional details and if your iOS device missed an alarm over the past few days, let us know.

Korean wireless carriers deny Nexus S handset, say iPhone remains safe

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Date: Friday, December 31st, 2010, 09:04
Category: iPhone, News

Korean cell carriers are turning service for down the Nexus S handset both because of Google’s control but also because of Apple, insider tips said late Thursday. According to The Korea Times, both KT and SK Telecom are reportedly upset that Google’s insistence on a pure Android experience won’t let them promote their own proprietary apps and services. Google’s control of the marketing for the Android 2.3 flagship also wouldn’t give them the marketing angle they would like.

The iPhone is also cited as a reason for the lack of any plans. Even SK Telecom, which has often had Nexus S maker Samsung’s blessing as the anti-iPhone carrier, reportedly doesn’t believe that the official Google phone would have any effect. “The Nexus S won’t make a huge impact enough to break the current iPhone stronghold,” an anonymous official from the carrier said.

KT has still said it has “no plans,” though its position may be mixed. Most of its smartphone performance is based on the iPhone, even though it was the only carrier to sell the Nexus One in Korea. The Android device has sold at much lower levels, at 50,000 units since July, but KT is believed willing to keep talking with Google to “recover ailing corporate ties” with Samsung. The electronics chain has allegedly been abusing its dominant position to retaliate against KT for iPhone competition, such as by withholding better phones and dictating harsh marketing requirements.

The absence of HDMI video out and a microSDHC slot were similarly cited as factors in a Korean market that often favors feature-heavy devices, but it’s not certain how likely this might be given that the iPhone has thrived without either. Samsung’s Galaxy S has sold very well in the country despite the absence of an HDMI port.

The similarity between the Nexus S and the Galaxy S may ultimately be the main factor, as the Nexus S’ primary advantages are mostly limited to its newer, unmodified OS, its front-facing camera and its support for NFC wireless.

If you have any experience with the Korean wireless marketplace and want to hurl your two cents in, let us know what you think in the comments.

Skype 3.0 now available for iOS, allows video chat over 3G, Wi-Fi protocols

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Date: Thursday, December 30th, 2010, 05:05
Category: iPhone, News, Software


As expected, Skype has added a new video calling feature to version 3.0 of its iPhone app, giving users an alternate service from Apple’s own FaceTime video chat standard.

Per Engadget, reports emerged last week that Skype was planning to make “a series of video-related announcements” at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show. A support document detailing how to make video calls via iPhone served as further evidence of the imminent release of a video-capable Skype iPhone app.

An update to the Skype for iOS app Thursday allows users to make Skype to Skype video calls over WiFi and 3G with other iOS Skype users or Skype desktop users, Engadget reports. Two-way video calls are only supported on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch, while iPad and third-generation iPod touch users can receive video calls. Video calling on Skype 3.0 requires iOS 4.0 or above.

Skype’s launch of video chat on the iPhone and iPod touch will challenge Apple’s efforts to get its FaceTime video conferencing standard to catch on. With over 500 million user accounts, Skype has the user base needed to promote rapid adoption of its video call features over Apple’s FaceTime.

Skype 3.0 is available for free and requires iOS 3.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new video chat feature on Skype and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.