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

Posted by:
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.


iphone3gs.png

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.

iPhone “3GS” Code Name Leaked, New Unit to Feature Longer-Lasting Battery

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 08:58
Category: iPhone, Rumor

3giphone.jpg
With only hours to go before Phil Schiller’s keynote address at the 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference, a couple of interesting details have emerged.
According to Daring Fireball, the third-generation iPhone is code-named “iPhone 3GS.” The code name could tie into the Apple IIGS, which shipped in 1986.
The other interesting rumor is that battery life on the new iPhone is 15-20% longer than the iPhone 3G. This will have to be seen and tested, but would prove to be an extremely welcome change if true.
If you have any ideas as to what to expect from the keynote, let us know.

Google Releases Early Beta of Chrome Web Browser for Mac OS X

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:02
Category: Software

chromeicon.jpg
It ain’t for the faint of heart, but according to Macworld UK, the Google team released an early beta of its long-anticipated Chrome web browser for Mac OS X.
Under the heading “Danger: Mac and Linux builds available” the Google Chromium blog warns of the following:
“In order to get more feedback from developers, we have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON’T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.”
“How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things, you won’t yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print.”
“Meanwhile, we’ll get back to trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible!”
Take a gander if you’re feeling brave and let us know what you make of it…

Apple Releases iLife Support, iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, iDVD, Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Updates

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 21:32
Category: Software

applelogo1.jpg
On Thursday, Apple released a slew of updates for its iLife ’09 suite of applications. The updates, which range between 3.9 and 96 megabytes in file size and can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature, include the following:
Apple Digital Camera Raw Compatibility 2.6: A 3.9 megabyte download that extends RAW image compatibility for Aperture 2, iPhoto 08, and iPhoto 09 for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 500D
  • Canon Rebel T1i
  • Canon EOS Kiss Digital X3
  • Nikon D5000
  • Olympus E-30
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iPhoto 8.0.3:
    A 96 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility, improves overall stability and fixes a number of issues in the following areas of the application:

  • Publishing to MobileMe, Facebook, and Flickr.
  • Slideshow playback.
  • Location (GPS) info embedded in emailed photos and exported JPEGs.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iLife Support 9.0.3:
    A 55.1 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues, improves overall stability for the Media Browser, and fixes a number of other minor issues. The issues addressed include:

  • Resolved memory leaks for improved performance of the Media Browser.
  • Corrected issues to display custom folders when added to the Media Browser.
  • Maintained correct image dates when importing from iPhoto to Aperture.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iMovie 8.0.3:
    A 35.6 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues, improved overall stability and fixes a number of other minor issues. The issues addressed include:

  • Support for 720p AVCHD Lite cameras and camcorders.
  • Deleting a beat marker no longer modifies the project duration.
  • Video Effects palette now uses the correct thumbnail for still images.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iDVD 7.0.4: A 27.5 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues and fixes an issue where iDVD is unable to add title/comment to an image in the image details list.
    The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    Rumor: Rogers Wireless May Offer 15GB Data Plan On June 16th

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 08:59
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

    3giphone.jpg
    A current rumor circulating points towards Canadian provider Rogers Wireless offer a 15GB data package for the iPhne 3G beginning June 16th. According to iPhone in Canada, the plan will retail for CAN$150/month with 1 cent for each additional megabyte of data used. It will be available for monthly and 1, 2, or 3-year contracts. The plan would compete against the company’s current 6GB plan, which retails for only $30/month.
    Stay tuned for more details as they become available and if you’ve heard anything on your end, let us know.

    Apple Releases AirPort Utility 5.4.2

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 08:43
    Category: Software

    airportupdate.jpg
    Late Wednesday, Apple released version 5.4.2 of its AirPort Utility application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 16.9 megabyte download, provides the following fixes and changes:

  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to be unable to read certain AirPort wireless device configurations.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to discover an AirPort wireless device when Back To My Mac is enabled.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to download firmware.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to not correctly import Access Control Lists created in AirPort Admin Utility 4.x
  • Added the ability in AirPort Utility to show all wireless passwords in the “Equivalent Network Password” sheet.
  • AirPort Utility 5.4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Cocktail 4.3.4 (Leopard Edition) Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 16:37
    Category: Software

    cocktaillogo.jpg
    On Wednesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.3.4 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
    The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed minor compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.5.7.
  • Fixed compatibility with Firefox and Google Gears.
  • Added clearing of Renepo.A-B and Tored.A trojans.
  • Other minor bug fixes.
  • Updated Automator actions.
  • Cocktail 4.3.4 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

    Push Notifications Ready for WWDC?

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 14:51
    Category: iPhone, Software

    As WWDC gets closer (less than a week now!), people are beginning to wrap their predictions for the Keynote. A new iPhone is pretty much in the bag, but there are still a lot of questions on the minds of iPhone watchers.

    iPhoneinvite.jpg

    It is presumed that any new iPhone models will not go on sale until at least the end of July, based on the previous two generations. If the hardware is ready, will the software be ready and solid? Apple already missed the boat on Push Notifications in firmware 2.x, as noted by Scott Forestall’s apology during the iPhone 3.0 sneak peek. Will it be ready in time for the release of 3.0?

    According to MacRumors, Appple seems to be wrapping its high-volume testing of the push notification feature that it began in mid-April. A special “developer” build of the Associated Press’s iPhone app was distributed by Apple for testing the service. It is believed that the notification that testing is complete coupled with the release of iTunes 8.2, which reportedly adds compatibility with firmware 3.0, is the signal that Apple is wrapping up the iPhone OS development for imminent release.

    Since it is expected that many of the WWDC sessions will focus on the new mobile OS, it will need to be ready in time for the event so that developers can start putting the finishing touches on their apps to be ready for 3.0 and the new iPhone (s?). One question I have is that given that OS 3.0 will be backwards compatible with both the original and 3G iPhones, is there a chance we might see Scott, Phil, or even a surprise visit from Steve, announce that the 3.0 version is ready for download on June 8th?! If you think about it, it might just be a good way to roll out the new OS and put it through it’s paces before the new hardware is in stores.

    What do you think? Less than one week left to speculate. Share it in the forums!

    Microsoft Launches Bing Preview

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 13:59
    Category: Microsoft, Software

    Having lost the battle to acquire Yahoo! so many times, Microsoft decided it still needed to get into the search engine business, and this weekend they launched a “preview” of the service.

    bing_logo.png

    Called “bing“, the service doesn’t look much unlike Google, except for some prettier formatting. Opinions online seem pretty varied so far, as people try to test the new engine search capabilities. Much like the recent Wolfram|Alpha preview, most users seem polarized from being very impressed, to not at all, with search results of some terms leaving much to be desired. However, as a preview, it seems to do a pretty good job.

    Personally, I did not spend a lot of time hammering on the service, but I did find the image search to be very good, and I liked the way the images were displayed where a roll-over would give you the additional details and location of the picture.

    bing_imagepop.png

    It also seemed pretty fast compared to Google, but maybe bing just doesn’t have enough data to bog it down yet. If there was one thing that really disappoints me about the service, it is that I don’t see anything new or revolutionary. Perhaps that is coming, but it seems like Microsoft is doing the usual thing and just putting their spin on something somebody else has already done. Come on guys, lets see some innovation!

    Send us your thoughts in the forums!

    Hulu Desktop released for Mac and PC

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 13:51
    Category: Software

    Last week, Hulu released it’s Hulu Desktop application for Mac and Windows, which allows you to stream it’s library of videos without using a web browser.

    hulu_desktop.png

    The current release is considered a “beta” while Hulu “[...] plan[s] to gather and incorporate user feedback to improve the service”. The software and it’s interface fill the entire desktop screen, much like Apple’s DVD player application, to provide a menu of available videos and full-screen viewing. The software is designed to be controlled by an Apple Remote or Windows Media remote as well as keyboard controls. At the moment it doesn’t seem like Hulu Desktop offers much of an advantage over the web based version.

    If you want to try it, however, you will need a fairly new Mac or PC. The minimim requirements to run Hulu Desktop are as follows:

    Minimum requirements for Mac:
    Intel Pentium Core Duo 2.0GHz
    At least 2.0 GB of RAM
    Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) or later
    2 Mbps Internet connection
    Flash 9.0.124

    Minimum requirements for Windows:
    Intel Pentium Core Duo 1.8GHz
    At least 2.0 GB of RAM
    Windows XP or later
    2 Mbps Internet connection
    Flash 9.0.124

    And if you have a PowerPC-based Mac, don’t even bother. There has been some speculation that this was the reason Hulu was so intent on shutting down Boxee’s access to Hulu feeds, but that seems odd since Hulu gets revenue from showing the ads, not from the software, so I would think the more programs that can play those ads would be better for them. Plus Boxee can run on PPC Macs, Apple TV, and Ubuntu Linux. No Windows version yet. You can read more about their response on their blog.

    Discuss your thoughts in the forums!