Missing From The iPhone: One More Thing

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Date: Thursday, January 18th, 2007, 11:00
Category: iPhone

Jason wrote his top 13 missing iPhone features in his ZDNet blog, The Apple Core, and he makes good points; the only ones I disagree on are more related to my own work style: I don’t need OTA downloads from iTMS because I shun DRM; I don’t use Office so I don’t need Office support, and I personally like the sealed battery if it cuts down on size (it does) and gives better clean lines (it does). But these are just me, and most people will find those important.
But the one thing Jason missed – the big missing functionality in my world – is handwriting recognition.
I’ve written on a handheld device for years; first it was a series of Palm OS devices, then a Sony Ericsson P800. (OK, fine, there were two Newtons before any of that.) It’s just so much more natural to write than to type with your thumbs on tiny keypads. I know the whole opposable thumbs thing is cool, but just because we have them doesn’t mean we must be reduced to them. Writing is natural, and hey – isn’t the iPhone UI all about natural gestures and movement?
OS X has had Inkwell in there for a couple of years, quietly lurking below the surface, and it still hasn’t been taken advantage of. If you read Lev Grossman’s article in Time about the origin of the iPhone, it’s easy to guess that Inkwell came about because Apple was thinking tablet (and Steve spake, saying unto them, “makest me handwriting recognition software, for lo, I may want to use it!”), but by the time they changed directions, Inkwell was done and released. So maybe now’s the perfect time: Inkwell on an iPhone? Killer.
I’m also holding out hope for the “next” iPhone. So soon, you ask? Well, remember the time in the way back, before the keynote last week? There were rumors going around about how there were going to be two iPhones, one consumer, one smartphone. The iPhone that Steve demo’d wowed everyone so well, and does things so much better than any smartphone does, that we all thought that was it… but what if it’s not? What if (are you sitting down?)… what if that was Apple’s idea of a consumer level phone? What if there’s a higher-end phone, a real smart phone, waiting in the wings?
A lot can happen between now and June. I’m holding out hope.
Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson

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iPhone Version of OS X Under 500 Megabytes

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Date: Monday, January 15th, 2007, 08:57
Category: Software

An article over on Macworld.co.uk describes how the upcoming iPhone version of Mac OS X will weigh in at under 500 megabytes of space that will be used on a “versatile” flash hard drive according to Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak.

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The operating system, according to Joswiak, will sit in the flash memory of the iPhone and that Apple will “provide updates to the operating system like we do today,” with a similar software update structure being developed such as the one used for the company’s iPods and Macintosh computers. Specific details as to this have yet to be released.
Joswiak also claimed that Apple was able to reduce the file size of Mac OS X by removing technologies that didn’t need to ship with the iPhone and that the small, durable form factor of a flash hard drive worked well for the iPhone.
So far a list of included and excluded Mac OS X technologies has yet to be seen.
If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know.

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MWSF: Parallels Update Due Within a Few Weeks

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 20:40
Category: Software

San Francisco — Parallels Desktop, the extremely popular Windows virtualization program for Mac OS X, will receive a significant update within the next few weeks according to company product manager Benjamin Rudolph.

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The free update will include full USB and iSight camera support as well as improved 3D graphics and multicore processor support.
With Mac OS X 10.5 on the horizon, the design team has found that its current builds function well with betas of the upcoming Apple operating system, albeit there are no plans to specifically wrap Parallels around Mac OS X 10.5-specific technologies such as Spaces or Time Machine.
Although Parallels has been on a run as of late, being cited as a solid, reliable product, concerns have arisen with regard to Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, which will be released at the end of the month. Current Microsoft licensing forbids the use of the home editions of the operating system under virtualization environments such as the one Parallels provides, a move that pushes the user to look towards variants of the operating system within the $400 range as opposed to one within a $100 range.
Parallels has yet to test the home editions of Vista on its current builds and was unable to provide further comments as to whether it was possible to run the operating system, despite possible licensing violations.
If you have any comments or feedback on this, please let us know.

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MWSF07: CrossOver 6.1 En Route

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 19:03
Category: Software

San Francisco — CodeWeavers, which recently moved its CrossOver program beyond the beta stages and released version 6.0 of its WINE-based Windows virtualization program, will release version 6.1 of its software within “the next few months” according to company representatives.

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Version 6.1 of the software will feature significant improvements in Windows’ Direct3D and system 3D support as well as boost support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 web browser. The company will also improve support on CD copy protection, allowing the program to function when a legitimate CD is inserted in an optical drive (this can help improve recognition of valid CDs and allow for additional Windows games to be recognized and played).
The firm is currently also exploring retail channels to sell the software in.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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iPhone Compared to Five Other Leading Smartphones

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 09:31
Category: iPhone

TNL.net has posted an interested chart comparing the specifications of Apple’s iPhone to the Motorola Q, Nokia E-62, Palm Treo 750, RIM Blackberry Pearl and the Samsung Blackjack… Click through for their chart.

So it’s official: Apple now is a phone manufacturer. With the announcement of the Apple iPhone, we can now finally assess that new product and I have to say, color me impressed. The company has managed to overcome a lot of the problems surrounding existing mobile phones and created a device that is close to what geeks like myself want: 2 megapixel camera, MP3 player, video player, phone with integrated address book, calendar, email, web browser, SMS, notepad, google maps, and support for other widgets, which makes the whole platform more extensible.

It’s a very smart move on the part of Apple, which highlighted the change in the way the company is operating by changing its name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. , reflecting the fact that they are no longer just a computer company.There were a few interesting items of interest, though.

The TNL.net weblog ยป The iPhone is here

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iPhone: Anticipation is Making Me Wait

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 08:00
Category: iPhone
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Some of you may remember a certain Heinz TV commercial from the 1970s. You know, the one that showed people eyeballing the neck of a glass ketchup bottle, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a delicious dollop of tomato topping while Carly Simon’s hit song “Anticipation” played in the background. With the clever exploitation of an excruciatingly slow-pouring, glass ketchup bottle, Heinz turned a major irritation – a design flaw really – into a clever marketing hook. Something so good that it’s worth waiting for.
Fast forward three decades. Apple Computer has spent the better part of 7 years grilling a fat, juicy, electronic cheeseburger and boy do we have an appetite. The recipe for this futuristic comestible has been painstakingly crafted – a pound of OS X, mix in some iLife and a healthy dash of iPod for extra flavor. Combine ingredients and grill to perfection. And now for the slow-moving topper.
The iPhone is the mother of all Mac condiments. Everyone will want one and millions of us will help propel Apple Inc. to the next level of the stratosphere by buying one on the very day that they’re available. Nothing will ever be the same, even for people who will never own an iPhone. It will change the way other manufacturers do what they do. As the Macintosh did some twenty-two years earlier, the iPhone will change everything.
Read more after the jump…

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MWSF07: iPhone Tech Details Begin to Emerge

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Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 19:42
Category: iPhone

The guys at Gizmodo were able to get their mitts on Apple’s upcoming iPhone in this report in an interview with Eddie Cue, Apple’s Vice President of Applications and Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

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The interview revealed the following new details that were left out of Steve Jobs’ keynote speech:
-The iPhone isn’t white given that the screen’s colors are more pronounced against a black background.
-The operating system isn’t identical to the desktop version of Mac OS X, but is a closed variant of OS X similar to the one found on the iPod that can’t be developed for. This will be its own version of Mac OS X with a distinct user interface layer.
-Access to the iTunes Music Store has yet to be planned for an implemented in the iPhone.
-The screen is made of the same polycarbonate as the iPod with a touch-screen element wrapped over it.
More after the jump…

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MWSF07: Mark/Space Announces Two New Applications

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Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 17:20
Category: Software

San Francisco — Mark/Space, makers of the Missing Sync series of products, has announced two new applications at this year’s Macworld Expo.

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SyncTogether allows the users selectively sync individual Address Books and iCal calendars to other users’ Macs via a local network. The software allows for certain groups to be selected and shared without moving an entire list across. Specific iCal calendars (including custom calendars) can be shared with other users, who can modify events and information as a shared calendar.
SyncTogether will be available in the first quarter of this year and retail for $49.95. The program requires a PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel processor, Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, an Internet connection for product registration and a network connection for shared synching.
Missing Sync will also receive a significant addition to its family of products. Missing Sync for BlackBerry will allow Mac users to synch with BlackBerry handhelds and be available in the first quarter of this year for an asking price of $39.95.
The program requires a PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to run and supports the following BlackBerry models:
-7100 series
-7290 (Cingular/T-Mobile)
-7250 (Verizon)
-7520 (Nextel)
-7130 series
-8700 series
-8707 series
-8703 series (Sprint)
-8705
-8100 series, aka “Pearl”
More information on this as it becomes available.

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MWSF07: Bare Bones Updates Three Applications

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Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 17:09
Category: Software

San Francisco — Bare Bones Software, makers of web developer shareware favorite BBEdit, have updated three of their products as of Tuesday, January 9th.

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BBEdit reached version 8.6 with hefty improvements in its language support as well as new features. The new version also adds maintainence fixes and is available as a 14 megabyte download. BBEdit is priced at $125 for new users and is available at a $30 to $40 upgrade price from older versions.
Yojimbo, the company’s information organizer, reached version 1.4 and now features support for inter-application AppleScript automation. Users can now create automated workflows as needed. The version is a 10 megabyte download and retails for $39.
Finally, TextWrangler has been updated to version 2.2. The new version claims to sport more than 100 new features and fixes while the core interface has received a significant overhaul to improve efficiency. The program is available for free and is a 9.9 megabyte download
Please let us know how the new features are working out for you.

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MWSF07: Fetch Updated to 5.2

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Date: Wednesday, January 10th, 2007, 16:55
Category: Software

San Francisco — Fetch Softworks has updated Fetch, the perennial popular file-transfer program, to version 5.2 as of Monday. The new version, a 14.4 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and new features:

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-Added WebView: Easily view files in your web browser and copy web addresses while in Fetch.
-Added support for FTP with TLS/SSL (FTPS) connections (requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later).
-Added droplet shortcuts: Drag files to a droplet shortcut’s icon to upload them to your server
-Overhauled FTP networking for improved compatibility and performance
-Moved Refresh button from an optional toolbar button to a permanent button on transfer window info bar
-Added Get As command that prompts you to choose a folder in which to save downloads
Fetch requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is a Universal Binary program that can run natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The program is available for a $25 shareware registration fee.
If you have any comments about the new version, please let us know.

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