Apple drops hint at iOS 4 for iPad in November, iWork for iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 29th, 2010, 04:04
Category: iPad, News, Software

When iOS 4 hit, I was a little disappointed to see that it had yet to arrive for the iPad.

This may change as Apple has quietly hinted at a launch window for iOS 4 on the iPad, while the company’s website has slipped another clue that iWork is on its way to the iPhone. An AdAge report suggests that Apple has been telling marketers that the iAd platform will extend to the iPad sometime in November.

Steve Jobs initially pointed to iOS 4 availability on the iPad sometime “this fall.” The iAd platform is known to be directly integrated with iOS 4.

Many of Apple’s international online stores posted a “Learn more” link for iPhone AppleCare warranties, which includes software support for “iWork for iPhone” among other topics. The iOS 4 pages briefly included an iPhone interface image showing an option to open an attachment in Keynote, although the company quickly replaced the iWork reference with an iBooks selection.

Cool stuff either way and you have to wonder what iOS 4 will bring for the iPad.

iPhone 4 “Death Grip” analyzed, iOS 4.0.1 update expected this week to resolve issue

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 28th, 2010, 04:36
Category: iPhone, News

Following reports of reception issues observed by new iPhone 4 owners (tagged the “Death Grip” across the Internet), additional insight reveals that this may actually be a software issue that could be cleared up in the near future.

In terms of identifying the problem, clear observations of mobile signal strength and how they are affected by the placement of users’ hands are difficult to perform in part because there are multiple factors involved in receiving a mobile radio link, including outside interference and the conductivity or mass of different people’s hands.

Additionally, cellphones in general (and in particular the iPhone) have always only presented a very rough approximation of signal strength in the signal bar display, averaged over time. It appears that iOS 4, more so than previous iPhone software, presents a less accurate signal meter, showing less signal at times than an iPhone 3GS while still being able to achieve the same or better call quality.

Per AppleInsider, this has led some to jump to the conclusion that the reception problems noted by some iPhone 4 users are the sign of a hardware design flaw related to its stainless steel band antenna design. Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs stoked a whiplash of blogger frenzy when he reportedly responded that users “were holding it the wrong way,” blocking the signal with their hands.

A variety of people have demonstrated identical problems with other phones, from the Android based Nexus One to the iPhone 3GS. However, the fact that problems observed in the iPhone 3GS are much more pronounced when the device is upgraded to iOS 4 indicate that there is also a software issue involved in the matter. iPhone 4 users can’t downgrade to earlier versions of the core software, making it impossible to compare its relative performance.

According to the article, several messages have arrived from Apple’s tech support forums confirmed that a iOS 4.0.1 software fix addressing the issue would ship early next week (as early as Monday).

The fix is expected to address a issue in iOS 4 related to radio frequency calibration of the baseband. Readers who saw the original forum discussions say that the issue is believed to occur when switching frequencies; because the lag is allegedly not calibrated correctly, it results in the device reporting “no service” rather than switching to the frequency with the best signal to noise ratio.

iOS 4 introduced some enhancements to how the baseband selects which frequencies to use, so it makes sense that the error may have crept into those changes. Additionally, this explains why iOS 4 has also caused similar problems for iPhone 3GS users.

The core software problem is likely augmented by hand placement, as Jobs noted in pointing out that holding the new phone (or any mobile device) in such a way that attenuates the signal should simply be avoided.

If you’ve seen the “Death Grip” issue on your end or have anything to add, let us know.

How-To: Work around Mail program errors in Mac OS X 10.6.4

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 03:50
Category: How-To, News, Software

snowleopard

Following the update to Mac OS X 10.6.4, a number of users are experiencing an error where Apple’s Mail email client will not open. Per CNET, when the application is launched, a message stating “Mail version 4.3 (1081/1078) cannot be used on Mac OS X Version 10.6.4″ is displayed and the program shuts down.

The version of Mail that is included with OS X 10.6.4 is 4.3 or build 1081, which can be found by right-clicking the Mail application, choosing “Show Package Contents”, opening the /Contents/version.plist file, and checking the version string. Apple purposefully prevents some builds of Applications from running on different versions of OS X, and this type of error will be presented if you try to do so.

One reason this may happen if the OS X update did not complete properly and the system detects the version of Mail as being the older one. The following are a few approaches you can try to fix the problem:

“Reapply the combo updater:
If this problem happens to you, the first thing to try is to reinstall the OS X 10.6.4 update using the “Combo” updater. Download the updater, boot into Safe Mode by restarting and holding the Shift key at bootup, and then run the installer. As an extra safeguard, you can run general maintenance routines beforehand to ensure permissions and caches are in order.

The OS X 10.6.4 Combo updater can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1048

Downgrade Mail and then reapply the combo updater:
Since the Combo updater may not have a full version of Mail included, and instead may only have updated components for Mail, you can try putting a previous version of Mail on the system and then running the combo updater to update it to the latest version. Older versions of Mail can be found in the following locations:

A Time Machine backup:
On the Snow Leopard installation DVD (use Pacifist to extract it)
From another computer running OS X 10.6.3 or earlier

Copy from another system:
Lastly, if you have access to another system that has a properly functioning version of Mail, you can copy the program from that computer to your OS X 10.6.4 installation. You can use a USB flash drive or copy the program over the network and replace the one on your system, but after doing so be sure to run a permissions fix on the boot drive.

Archive and Install:
As a last resort, if the update did not work you can either restore your whole system to a previous version by using Time Machine and then upgrading again with the “Combo” updater, or you can use the OS X 10.6 installation DVD to reinstall OS X. By default the installer will run an “Archive and Install” method, which will replace your system components and Apple-supplied applications with those that are on the DVD. From here, immediately update the system again using the “Combo” updater.”

If you’ve seen this issue on your end and have any fixes or workarounds of your own, let us know.

iPhone 4 yellow tint could fade after a few days of use, source says

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 02:31
Category: iPhone, News

Following up on yesterday’s story regarding a yellow discoloration found on some of the iPhone 4 screens, this may be a temporary problem at best. Per the AppleInsider forums, a user posted yesterday that Apple’s component manufacturers are involved in pitching the Z-6011 bonding agent to Apple that is found in the iPhone 4. The material is used to bond the layers of glass in the device during the assembly of the hardware.

“Apple is using a bonding agent called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011 to bond the layers of glass,” austingaijin wrote. “Apparently, Apple (or more likely Foxconn) is shipping these products so quickly that the evaporation process is not complete. However, after one or two days of use, especially with the screen on, will complete the evaporation process and the yellow ‘blotches’ will disappear.”

Users began to report on Wednesday that the Retina Display on their new iPhone 4 has a discoloration in the bottom corners of its screen. On those affected units, the screen’s corner has a warm yellowish tint to it.

An issue that could go away after a few days…not the worst thing ever.

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple responds to iPhone 4 wireless signal complaints, offers advice to avoid issue

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 02:26
Category: iPhone, News

Following a slew of well-publicized launch day complaints regarding the loss of signal strength when held a certain way, Apple has released official advice for iPhone 4 owners to overcome the problem of the device losing signal when held by the lower left corner.

Per the BBC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to a query about the problem from one owner by saying: “Just avoid holding it in that way.”

The official advice is to “avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band”.

Alternatively, said Apple, customers could buy a case to shield the antenna.

In a statement, Apple said: “Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas.”

Steve Jobs issued his response in a message responding to an e-mail from the Ars Technica news site. Mr Jobs wrote that “All phones have sensitive areas”.

The problem is thought to be particularly acute for left-handed owners who naturally touch the phone in the sensitive area.

The casing of Apple’s latest phone is made of stainless steel, which also serves as its antenna.
Apple sells a rubber “bumper” that shields the sensitive area.

Richard Warner, one of the first to buy an iPhone 4, contacted BBC News, saying that he thought the phone was “useless in its current state”.

“Apple have created a phone that has an antenna on the bottom left-hand side of the phone.”

“This means that when you hold it in your left hand, the signal bars slowly fade until there is no signal,” he wrote.

A number of videos have been posted on video sharing site YouTube complaining about the reception issue.

One video had an American user running a speed test, with hands on and hands free.
In it, the user ‘awington’ says that, while holding the phone “it won’t even run the test when I am holding the phone… once I let go, it makes a connection and runs the test.
“Hold it a second time, and the upload test will not start.”

The issue might stem from the way the integrated antenna is constructed. One section provides mobile reception, while another is for wi-fi.

Some users have speculated that touching the bottom of the phone bridges this gap, affecting signal strength.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen the issue on your end, please let us know.

Some iPhone 4 users report dropped signal bars, yellow tint on screen

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 24th, 2010, 03:06
Category: iPhone, News

Apple’s iPhone 4 hits the shelves today and while the handset has received good reviews across the Web and in print, there may be some issues to contend with.

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a number of customers have commented that their shipped iPhone 4 units are experiencing problems with yellow tinted displays and disappearing signal bars.

Specifically, some users who received an iPhone 4 early found that the Retina Display on the new handset has a discoloration in the bottom corners of the screen.

“In the bottom 10% of the screen there are three blotches about the size of shirt buttons that discolor the screen a brown/yellow color,” one user wrote.



The issues are remniscent to a problem that plagued early adopters of the iPhone 3G who found their whole screen had a warmer, yellower hue than the original iPhone. Apple later said that the color tint was a deliberate decision.

In addition, others have said that the iPhone 4 occasionally drops signal bars when held in the hand. The same issue was also noted by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal in his iPhone 4 review. He said the device sometimes registers no bars, or fewer bars than the iPhone 3GS, even though a call can still be placed.

“Apple says that this is a bug it plans to fix,” Mossberg wrote, “and that it has to do with the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call. And, in fact, in nearly all of these cases, the iPhone 4 was able to place calls despite the lack of bars.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

Apple confirms June 23rd delivery date for some iPhone 4 orders

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:42
Category: iPhone, News

Representatives from Apple confirmed on Tuesday that some iPhone 4 pre-order customers will receive their new combination iPod and smartphone on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch.

Per The Mac Observer, the confirmation e-mail Apple sent to some pre-order customers stated “This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.”

The official launch date for the iPhone 4 is Thursday, June 24th. Apple will be opening its stores at 7 AM for customers that reserved iPhones after the pre-order program kicked off.

The iPhone 4 offers several improvements over the iPhone 3GS such as a thinner body, a higher resolution multi-touch display, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, support for capturing 720p video, a front-facing video call camera, a built-in gyroscope, and more. It is priced at US$199 for the 16GB model and US$299 for the 32GB model.

If you’ve gotten this e-mail on your end, let us know.

Customers receive shipment dates, expected arrival times for iPhone 4 handsets

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:00
Category: iPhone, News

Just a couple more days and you’ll have your mitts on it.

Per iLounge, Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the handset last week.

According to shipment details seen by one customer, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from readers, some shipping estimates list June 23rd instead of June 24th; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date.

Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24th.

If you’ve heard about the arrival date on yours, please let us know.

Apple quietly installs specific anti-malware code into Mac OS X 10.6.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

There’s something to be said for an operating system succeeding and gaining market share: people will make more of an effort to write viruses and malware for it.

Per CNET, Apple’s recent Mac OS X 10.6.4 update includes software to protect Macs from a Trojan horse that has been distributed by attackers disguised as iPhoto, but which opens a back door on the machine, security firm Sophos said on Friday.

When Apple released OS X 10.6.4 on Tuesday, the company said it addressed certain compatibility issues with VPN connections and other things, but failed to mention anything about adding an anti-malware update.
Buried in the code is an update to the XProtect.plist file, which contains signatures of malware written to target the Mac. The signatures now detect malware dubbed “HellRTS,” Graham Clulely of Sophos wrote in a blog post.

HellRTS, which Sophos detects as “OSX/Pinheard-B,” is a Trojan that has been around several months. It lets attackers use infected computers to send spam, take screenshots, access files, and pretty much take control of the computer, Sophos said.

“Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done,” Clulely writes. “You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an anti-malware security update like this was for marketing reasons. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!”

Representatives from Apple have yet to return any requests for comment on the issue.

Rumor: Verizon/CDMA-compatible iPhone in production

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 06:20
Category: iPhone, Rumor

verizonlogo.jpg

Maybe it’s a “Braveheart” thing; you can’t kill a legend. Or at least a rumor.

Per DigiTimes, Apple is allegedly manufacturing a CDMA iPhone compatible with the Verizon network, the report alleging that the handset will begin shipping to Apple in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Thursday that Pegatron Technology has received orders from Apple for a CDMA iPhone 4, according to industry sources. Those orders are expected to help the company grow its revenues in 2011.

“Pegatron will also start shipping a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 to Apple in the fourth quarter and is currently using its plants in Shanghai, China to produce the products, the sources noted,” the report said. “The company is also working on gaining orders for MacBooks and iPads from Apple.”

Pegatron manufactures products in a number of markets, including notebook and desktop computers, TV set top boxes, cable modems, game consoles, LCD TVs, digital music players, handsets, tablet PCs and e-book readers.

The latest DigiTimes rumor stated that Apple was working on two new phones: the iPhone 4, to be launched next week, and a new Verizon-compatible CDMA phone that the newspaper said would go into mass production in September. The report also stated that Pegatron Technology would handle the manufacturing of the CDMA iPhone.

In May, DigiTimes reported that Pegatron had won the contract from Apple to produce a CDMA iPhone. Previous iPhones were built by Foxconn, which also assembles Apple’s Mac mini, iPods and the iPad, and is the company’s main supplier.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.