Filling in the category of “unexpected but kind of neat”, accessory manufacturer DLO has released OpenFM. The application, which is available for free, functions as a web site and allows web-based and iPhone users in the United States to find top-performing radio frequencies in their area.
OpenFM allows users to search by zip code or city/state and pulls up results from an active database of licensed FM broadcasters. According to MacMerc.com, the program uses a set of algorithms to match the database’s information against known locations of radio towers to determine the best FM frequencies to use. Returned results are categorized from “Best Bet” to “Good” to “OK”.
In addition to the iPhone application, DLO has also announced that it will be offering a web-based version as well as a widget version of OpenFM for Mac and Windows in the coming weeks.
If you’ve tried OpenFM or similar programs and have feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
Late Wednesday, Apple released version 7.2.1 of its 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station firmware. The update, a 4.6 megabyte download, brings the base station units up to the latest certified 802.11n draft as well as includes bug fixes and security updates.
The update requires AirPort Utility 5.1 or later to be installed as well as an AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n and can be downloaded directly or through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback of any kind about it, let us know in the comments or forums.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that its first service pack for its Windows Vista operating system will be released in the final quarter of this year with the company shipping a beta next month to 10,000 to 15,000 testers.
The update, according to cnet, will include operating system updates, bug fixes, and enhancements to improve performance, reliability and application compatibility of Vista.
David Zipkin, senior product manager for Microsoft, stated that while Microsoft has garnered a reputation for sneaking fixes into system updates and that these updates have caused headaches in the past, “anything that works on Vista is going to keep on working on SP1.”
Microsoft has also announced that it will release a third service pack for Windows XP which will include previous service packs as well as a small number of new fixes.
Click the jump for the full story…
A six-minute video posted on the iPhone Unlocking blog shows John McLaughlin, founder of Uniquephones, using a software unlock to allow his iPhone to function on the Vodafone wireless network to make two phone calls using the handset.
The video, which was shot using a Nokia N95 cell phone, demonstrates McLaughlin hooking the iPhone to a Windows PC, running a software program, resetting the iPhone twice as part of the process, then hooking it to a Mac, synching it to iTunes, swapping in a Vodafone SIM card and placing two calls.
According to Macworld News, Uniquephones already unlocks phones from several manufacturers, including Nokia and Motorola and cites about 60% of its customers as being in the United States.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s the YouTube video of the demonstration in action:
McLaughlin had reportedly planned to post his company’s iPhone unlocking method on the iphoneunlocking.com web site last Saturday, but stated that he feared legal action from AT&T Wireless if he posted the software. McLaughlin, having received a phone call at 3:00 AM in Belfast from a representative of O’Melveny & Myers, a law firm acting on AT&T’s behalf, stated that the caller said his company would be distributing and infringing upon the copyright of Apple’s intellectual property should he begin selling the software to iPhone subscribers.
As of Tuesday, McLaughlin has stated that he’s still undecided as to whether he’ll distribute the software, but claims that the video shows the the process is possible.
Got two cents to chip in on this? Let us know over in the comments or forums.
You may love your iPhone, but a surprisingly high number of users are reporting that their handsets are currently offering a shorter-than-previous battery life after installing the recently-released iPhone 1.0.2 firmware update.
According to iPhone Atlas, more than a dozen users have corroborated the issue via a discussion thread on the Apple web site.
Some of the more notable comments include the following:
-‚ÄúBefore the update, there was one time I had 12+ hours of using the iPod with over two days standby. Now after the update, I get about two days standby with 5 hours mixed usage.‚Äù
-‚ÄúIn 1.0.1 I was getting over 2 days standby and 6-7 hrs of misc. use. Now at 1.0.2 I can barely get 6 hrs of use and recharging every day. I‚Äôve tried a deep cycle with no change.‚Äù
Other issues that have emerged appear to include an overly eager battery indicator. In these cases, users have reported the battery indicator suddenly jumping approximately 20% when connected to power, the end result being the user feeling they have a fuller charge than may actually exist.
Some users have reported success in restoring the iPhone by clicking “Restore” under the “Summary” tab and running the process.
If you’ve seen this or anything similar with your iPhone since the 1.0.2 or have ideas for a fix or workaround, let us know in the comments or forums.
On Tuesday, Apple released the latest update for its iPhoto image editing program.
iPhoto 7.0.2, an 8.8 megabyte download, resolves issued associated with publishing to .Mac web galleries, rebuilding image thumbnails and editing books.
The update reportedly addresses a variety of other issues.
iPhoto 7.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later and iPhoto 7.0 to be installed. The update is also available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature provided iPhoto 7.0 has already been loaded on the system.
If you’ve tried the new version and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.
Late Monday, RealNetworks released the most recent version of its free RealPlayer media application. RealPlayer 10.1 build 503, an 11.6 megabyte download, adds a TurboPlay feature, providing users with faster RealAudio and RealVideo content by reducing the load and buffer times for media to play over a broadband connection.
The new version for the Mac also provides users with radio tuner access to 1,700 radio stations sorted by genre and location and offers wider access to content should the user purchase a SuperPass.
RealPlayer 10.1 build 503 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is a Universal Binary program capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new version or have any kind of feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
It’s been four full days and I find that I am still in an inebriated state when it comes to my new iPhone. Every time I pick it up to make a call, check my schedule or listen to a tune, I can’t seem to put it down. I dare say I have quickly become addicted to my new device. While I will make no claims that it is perfect, it has certainly exceeded many of my expectations.
There is one thing though, that knocks me into sobriety every time I think about it.
Were the hell is the Instant Messenger client?
Seriously, the developers of iChat didn‚Äôt think to include one of their most heavily used Internet applications in their brand-spankin‚Äô-new hand-held Internet device. Hello, who fell asleep in that meeting? While I’m not expecting to see iWeb on the iPhone I was looking forward to iChat.
I know this wasn‚Äôt some hideous blunder- that the iPhone team ran out of white-board space when listing what applications needed to be in the first release. It was obviously left out intentionally- but why? To sell it as an add-on application later; even though it is freely available on every Mac? Or perhaps it was at the influence of AT&T, attempting to gouge iPhone users out of an additional US$20 per month.
Isn’t it enough that AT&T didn’t have to subsidize the phenomenal price of Apple’s initial foray into the mobile phone market? Not to mention the number of new subscribers they must have picked-up as the only service provider offering the most sought-after phone in the history of mobile technology.
Both Apple and AT&T are making a fortune on this partnership. It is not my intention to begrudge them. I’m thrilled with the phones success and with a 55% profit on each unit, the board at Apple could fill the executive conference room with cash following the first few days of sales. Now there’s a party I’d like to be invited to‚Ä¶ tunneling through cash in Cupertino.
So my question is simple: Why? What were they thinking, that we would all be happy with an iChat-esque SMS window? That we would be able to ‚Äúchat‚Äù with friends, family and business associates via SMS and limited to reaching them on their cell phones. Sadly, I don’t have everyone’s cell phone number on my IM list. Even if I did, I wouldn’t put them in a position to pay 10 cents every time I had a quick question for them, with an additional 10 cents for them to reply (and God-forbid if they are roaming).
Over the last four days, I have spent more time emailing and Web browsing from my iPhone then I have my PowerBook. Through my experiences, it is obvious that Apple spent a great deal of time producing some well thought out and amazing smart phone applications. So much so, that I haven’t thought twice about my Treo since I copied over my contacts and put it in my desk drawer. But I’ll give one last shout out to my 650, at least it had true IM functionality. I was always connected, always available, all the time.
Yes, there are Web based IM clients that could be utilized through the Safari mobile browser. While I was thrilled to find them, (gracias Senior O’Grady) using them on the iPhone comes with a number of inherit limitations and so far has proved to be rather clumsy. After using the iPhone web-browser, iPod and numerous widgets like ‚ÄúWeather‚Äù and ‚ÄúStocks‚Äù I’m sure Apple would want iPhone users to have a similar experience when it comes to Instant Messaging. Since Apple doesn‚Äôt seem to want others developing Apps for iPhone- a slick, always available, widget-like Instant Messenger can only come from Jobs and Co.
Personally, I refuse to use SMS as IM, even if you paint the iChat interface over it. And I’m certainly not going to drop another US$20 per month into the bucket so I can pretend to have IM functionality. SMS is not the same; it serves a completely different purpose and it limits ones reach as well as their ability to be reached.
I can only hope that this was a timing issue and that the iChat Widget didn’t make it out of the oven in time to be at the launch party. If that is the case, hopefully that adorable blue chat bubble will appear on my iPhone home screen in the near future, as a software update.
Don‚Äôt get me wrong, there are a number of PDA Apps that seem to have missed the boat. My wife, in particularly would like to see an e-reader. I‚Äôve locked on to IM as I find its absence glaring in such a product.
So yes, I have some issues with my iPhone, but to be honest every time I pick it up, I tend to forget what they were. (until I want to Instant Message someone)
Earlier we brought you the iPhone v N95 Battle Royale – a much fairer fight than battling a recliner couch. This time the Apple iPhone goes up against the reclining mechanism of kwarren‚Äôs couch. And, as we would expect, the iPhone loses‚Ä¶badly.
Apparently, this guy‚Äôs not-even-one-month-old iPhone slipped in between the seat cushions of his reclining couch. Getting up and folding the couch back into it‚Äôs upright position basically caused the steel bits underneath the seat to crunch the iPhone into an unholy mess of glass and metal. (Thanks KennM)
The most recent pre-release build of Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) found its way into developers’ hands this weekend. Sporting several interface tweaks as well as a lengthy list of recommended testing suggestions, build 9A527 seems to show a reduced transparency in the Mac OS X menu bar as well as a new startup movie and desktop picture.
According to AppleInsider, the new build sports a galactic motif that coincides with Mac OS X’s anticipated Time Machine feature for 10.5.
Other interface changes include a refined toolbar in the Preview program and new preference pane icons for the Appearance, Desktop & Screen Saver, Sharing and Parenal Controls in the System Preferences window (leaked pictures can be found here and here courtesy of Flickr and ImageShack.
Apple has reportedly informed developers of almost a dozen known issues with Mac OS X 10.5 that they hope to isolate within the next few weeks. The company has said it plans to release the newest version of Mac OS X within the October timeframe.
If you have any thoughts, feedback or suggestions as to what you’d like to see in 10.5, let us know in the comments or forums.