Apple Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, Points Out New Features to Come

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 12:22
Category: iPhone

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Apple held its long-awaited iPhone OS 3.0 announcement today in front of a crowd of developers and invited media. The announcement mentioned prominent new changes including the addition of push notification, which Apple stated as requiring an overhaul of its servers to accommodate. Upon delivery, push notification can deliver signals such as sounds and text alerts to Apple, which can then push the data to the iPhones.
According to MacNN, Apple has also expanded the business models offered by the App Store and, allowing users to purchase additional content within an application provided that users have already signed in via their iTunes account. From here, users can purchase items such as books, regional content or extra game levels.
Apple then cited that the inclusion of approximately 1,000 new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will grant developers access to features such as iPod libraries, embedded e-mail, audio/video streaming and Google Maps integration. Core Location should also enable turn-by-turn navigation, allowing practical driving applications.
Company representatives also stated that iPhone OS 3.0 will support all standard Bluetooth protocols, including Bonjour, allowing iPhones to be able to use features such as automatic device detection as well as peer-to-peer gaming sessions that would locate possible opponents to play against within a given area. Third-party sccessory makers have also been given direct hardware control with the new firmware, permitting functions such as tuning an FM transmitter from the iPhone interface.
Click the jump for the full story…

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How-To: Get Around Conflicts Between Back to My Mac and Time Machine

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Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 08:10
Category: How-To

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As nifty as Time Machine is, a number of users seem to be running into problems where the “Change Disk…” option for Time Machine is nonfunctional.
Over on the Apple Discussion Board, user Joel_H offered the following description of the issue:

“(After switching TM disks) I realized there were still things on my time capsule backup that were no longer on my G-Raid2, so I switched drives in Time Machine and restored what I needed. I then tried to switch back, and the “Change Disk…” button is depressing but not responding.”

According to MacFixIt, users encountering this issue may have first tried changing their Time Machine setup for Time Capsule devices (i.e.: from Wireless to Wired connectivity), but a few people have noticed this may happen if the Time Machine backup volume has its name changed. One workaround users have tried, which has met with some success, is deleting the Time Machine preferences and then reselecting the drive. This seems to only be a temporary fix and the problem returns after a period of time.
The issue appears to be related to Apple’s MobileMe services and tends to rear its ugly head when the Back to My Mac option is enabled. Console error messages for this problem indicate a potential conflict with Bonjour networking, which Back To My Mac uses. For now, the available workaround for this problem is to turn off Back To My Mac.
Other workarounds include the following steps:

1. Turn off Back To My Mac.
To turn off Back To My Mac, click the “stop” button in the “Back To My Mac” section of the MobileMe system preferences. This should enable the “Choose Disk” button in the Time Machine setup again.
2. Remove Back To My Mac preferences.
This problem could be from corruption in the “Back To My Mac” preference files. As such, removing the Back To My Mac preferences may also help. The preference file is called “com.apple.BackToMyMac.plist,” and is located in the /Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences folder.

Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and if you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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iFixIt Disassembles iPod Shuffle, Posts Report

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Date: Monday, March 16th, 2009, 12:13
Category: iPod shuffle

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The uber-geeks of iFixIt.com have completed a full teardown and report of Apple’s recently-released third generation iPod Shuffle music player and discovered the following items of interest, as mentioned over on the Apple Core:

  • Normal headphones can be used without any adapters, except that the user cannot do anything except play music (no pause or volume control).
  • The battery is extremely tiny — about the size of a dime — and consequently has a paltry capacity of 73 mAh. That’s less than half the size of the batteries used in previous shuffles.
  • The weight of the entire shuffle is less than 11 grams, but the headphones add another 9 grams.
  • The rear cover and clip weigh as much as the rest of the shuffle.
  • With the casing removed, the electronics and battery weigh only 4 grams, less than the weight of a single sheet of paper.
  • There is only one screw in the shuffle.
  • The shuffle is not too challenging to open, but the rear cover can deform easily if the user is not careful while opening it.
  • If you’ve had a chance to pick up and play with the new Shuffle, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Rumor: iPhone OS Update Could Bring Copy and Paste, Multitasking Features

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 16th, 2009, 08:19
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

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    It came from Rumorville, so some of it may be true: Per a live episode of the Diggnation video podcast recorded at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, Digg founder and show co-host Kevin Rose claimed to have confirmation that Apple will release copy and paste and multitasking features for the iPhone OS 3.0 software on Tuesday.
    To select text, he said, users would double-tap on a word to bring up the iPhone’s magnifying glass and then extend the “quotes” to cover the necessary text and perform the relevant action. It’s currently unknown as to whether this would be limited to copying and pasting or would include cutting text outright.
    Rose also hinted that many of the software efforts in the year since iPhone 2.0 will bring the device up to the level of the Palm Pre, which while unreleased has a number of software advantages over Apple’s platform. Rose then made mention of “multitasking” before being interrupted during the segment.
    Finally, Rose offered only moderate hope that Apple would incorporate video capture for the iPhone, explicitly warning that it wouldn’t be part of the feature set for 3.0.
    Rose has had a mixed track record for Apple-related rumors: while he accurately leaked the fourth-generation iPod nano and key components of iTunes 8, he has also been inaccurate regarding Blu-ray support and some iPhone features in the past.
    Separately, web site Gizmodo also claimed to have two similar tips relating to copy-and-paste that were received independently from Rose’s comments.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Faces Suit Over Exploding iPod Touch

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 16th, 2009, 07:55
    Category: iPod Touch, Legal

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    A mother from Ohio has launched a suit against Apple claiming her son’s iPod touch media played exploded in his pants, caught fire, and left him with serious burns is currently seeking US$225,000 in damages from the company.
    According to Macworld UK, the suit claims the 16GB iPod touch exploded while inside the 15-year-old boy’s pants pocket.
    The complaint states that the boy was sitting at his desk at school when he “heard a loud pop and immediately felt a burning sensation on his leg.” When he stood up, the suit says, he realized the device was on fire.
    “[He] immediately ran to the bathroom and took off his burning pants with the assistance of a friend,” the lawsuit states. “The Apple [iPod Touch] had burned through [his] pants pocket and melted through his Nylon/Spandex underwear, burning his leg.”
    The boy is said to have suffered second-degree burns along with other “physical and mental conditions which will cause him to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of his life.”
    The family is currently demanding US$75,000 in “compensatory damages,” US$75,000 in “punitive damages,” and US$75,000 in legal fees and other “special damages.”
    The suit names both Apple and the group of 10 employees who were at the Apple Store when the device was purchased as defendants.
    The suit can be read in its entirety here.
    If you have any thoughts or opinions about this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Rumor: O2 May Drop iPhone 3G Prices in May Prior to Release of New Model

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 08:27
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

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    UK phone carrier O2 may drop prices on Apple’s iPhone 3G handset come May according to Mobile, a regional technology-centered magazine. The publication cites exclusive information, pointing to the device becoming free with £35 or £45 per month subscriptions. The 8GB iPhone is currently available for free with £45 and £75 plans, while the 16GB model is free only at the £75 level.
    The purpose of such a move is thought to be aimed at clearing inventory space ahead of a new generation of iPhone, which is generally expected to be released in June or July in the same manner as the first and second generations of the handset’s hardware. Mobile sources also claim that Apple is in negotiations with O2 rival Orange, which may finally result in a second official carrier for the UK.
    Additional information on a new generation of iPhone hardware is expected on March 17th, when Apple will preview its iPhone OS 3.0 firmware at a press event in Cupertino. Potential features may include true background processesing, vector-based GPS positioning, and possibly tethering or MMS messaging.
    Some analysts and sources have speculated that Apple may intend to release a cheaper companion iPhone, serving a role similar to the iPod nano in comparison to the iPod classic.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    OmniWeb Updated to 5.9.1

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 08:12
    Category: Software

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    Early Wednesday, Omni released version 5.9 of its OmniWeb web browser. The new version, a 23.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Auto-closing tab drawer: If the tab drawer was automatically opened when you created multiple tabs, it will now automatically close when you return to a single tab. (If you manually opened the tab drawer, it will stay open until you manually close it.)
  • Added support for three-finger swipes on recent laptops: swiping left and right goes back and forth in history; swiping up and down switches to the previous or next tab.
  • You can now send the current web page to OmniFocus (using its clippings service) without having to select some text on the page first. Please note that this feature requires OmniFocus 1.6 (or later).
  • Navigating web pages using speech recognition works once again. (Speech recognition must be turned on in System Preferences, as well as being enabled in OmniWeb’s General Preferences. You can then say the name of a link to follow it, or use built-in commands link “new tab”, “next tab”, “go back”, etc.)
  • Reimplemented the Summarize toolbar item.
  • Dragging the last tab out of a window will now close that window.
  • Added support for download links which use the HTTP Content-Disposition header.
  • Added support for the JavaScript print action (window.print()).
  • OmniWeb no longer displays an empty page when it receives a HTTP 204 “no content” status code. This fixes bugs with several rating systems.
  • Using Click-Hold to activate the context menu in browser windows is now disabled by default, since that breaks compatibility with some web pages which want to see the mouse-down event immediately (before we determine that it’s actually a click-hold event). You can turn Click-Hold back on by setting the hidden ActivateContextMenuWithClickHold default.
  • Added Release Notes to the Help menu.
  • Fixed a bug where clicks would land in the wrong place if a hidden location bar was temporarily visible (because you were editing it with Command-L) and you clicked in the browser (causing it to hide again).
  • The Open window can now be closed by pressing the Escape key (in addition to Command-W). The window’s tab cycle also now includes all its controls.
  • Bookmarklets are now labeled properly when dragging them to the favorites bar.
  • Command-Shift-Left Arrow now performs the standard text editing behavior of selecting to the beginning of a line of text, rather than taking you back to your start page.
  • If your navigation bar is hidden and you press Shift-Command-F to go to the search field, OmniWeb will no longer show and hide the navigation bar before showing it yet again.
  • Tweaked the favorites bar background.
  • Updated the default start pages.
  • Localization updates for Simplified Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Swedish.
  • OmniWeb 5.9.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve played with the new version and noticed any major improvements or shortcomings, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Roxio Toast Titanium 9.0.5 Update Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 07:36
    Category: Software

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    On Thursday, Roxio released version 9.0.5 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Resolves issue where distortion may be recorded when using system audio capture.
  • Resolves issue where waveform may not be drawn correct after updating to Mac OS X v10.5.6.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Review: Ted Baker Six Pack

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:25
    Category: Review

    By Robert Kaneko
    Today’s mobile community is in desperate need of portable power. As our iPods and iPhones gain functionality, they also eat through their built-in batteries. My 8GB first-generation iPod touch will last for a full day if I’m just using it to listen to music. However, if I start playing games, surfing the Internet, checking email, watching video and doing all the other things I bought the Touch for, my battery life plummets. It’s not a big stretch for me to use up the internal battery within two or three hours. Enter the Ted Baker Six Pack.
    Contrary to what the name might imply, the Ted Baker Six Pack is not a strange new beverage. It is a portable external battery that will power and charge just about any small mobile device you can think of. In fact, if you are familiar with the Proporta Mobile Device Charger, the Ted Baker Six Pack is the same product in prettier packaging.
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    OnyX 2.0.4 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:02
    Category: Software

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    Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.0.4. The new version, a 16.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Bug of display the Journaling status corrected.
  • Bug while displaying message in the Login Window corrected.
  • Deleting logs improved.
  • Parameters > Misc panel reorganized.
  • Help corrected, improved and reindexed.
  • Uninstaller application updated.
  • Option: Display only running applications in the Dock.
  • Option: Show the Help Viewer icon in the Dock and the applications Switcher.
  • Option: Enable the Debug mode of Help Viewer.
  • OnyX requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any opinions about it, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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