Apple Releases Bluetooth Firmware Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 18:31
Category: Software, Uncategorized

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Yet another update appearing in Software Update on Macs Wednesday was the Bluetooth Firmware Update 2.0 (a 1.6 megabyte download).

This update provides bug fixes and better compatibility with the Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard. It installs on all Macintosh systems with Bluetooth based on the Broadcom chipset.

The update can be applied through Software Update or downloaded as a stand-alone installer from Apple’s web site here.

Poll: What’s Your Take on iPhone OS 3.0?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 18:43
Category: Poll

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After months of waiting, iPhone OS 3.0 is out the door and has been installed on your iPhone or iPod touch long enough that you’re either crafting a promise ring towards it or cursing its foul source code.

So, here’s your chance to tell us what you make of it, what you like about it, what needs improvement and what you’re getting used to. Simply e-mail us, let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll get all opinions posted for the world to see tomorrow.

Apple Revises iTunes Store Terms and Conditions

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 18:20
Category: Legal, News

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If you’re fond of reading the small print, this is for you.

Per Macworld UK, Apple has updated the iTunes terms and conditions with the release of yesterday’s iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update.

The changes reflect the ability to download movies, TV shows, music videos, and audiobooks from the iTunes Store on your iPhone or iPod touch. Downloads over 10MB require a Wi-Fi connection and downloading a full-length film on your iPhone could prove problematic if Wi-Fi connection is lost as Apple notes:

“Interrupted Delivery to iPod or iPhone. If delivery of a Product you purchased or rented (as applicable) using Wi-Fi on an iPod or iPhone is interrupted, your transaction will be included in your download queue. You may resume the delivery to your Apple-authorized device by selecting “Check for Purchases” from the Store menu in the iTunes application on your computer, or the download section on your iPod touch or iPhone.”

Click here for the full terms and conditions, although it basically sets the new parameters for shopping for larger content on the go and the sticking points to this.

Apple Retail Store Locations to Sell iPhone 3G S at 7 AM on Friday

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 11:30
Category: iPhone 3GS

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Moving its announced launch time up by an hour, Apple has announced that its retail store locations will open at 7 A.M. for pre-order pickup of the company’s new iPhone 3G S handset on Friday. According to AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday moved its doors-open time to 7 a.m., an hour ahead of the previous schedule.

Unlike AT&T, Apple isn’t saving the early line for those already committed to an iPhone and will let on-the-spot purchasers buy an iPhone at that time in addition to those who already signed up for service at home. Apple also expects this timeframe to hold across all countries rather than just the U.S., which should lead to some of the countries in the first wave of the iPhone launch receiving their units before those in North America have fallen asleep.

The company has also stated that six U.S. Apple retail store locations will be closed for remodeling at the time of the launch.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Offer Warning for Near-Dead Notebook Batteries

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 18:06
Category: Software

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While the immediate charge on a Mac notebook’s battery has been available for years, Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) users will be able to see when their batteries are nearing the end of their useful lifespans.

According to AppleInsider, the Mac OS X 10.6 build offered to Worldwide Developers Conference sports a feature in which clicking the battery icon in the menu bar now shows a new, one-word “battery condition” summary in addition to the energy for the current charge and the power source.

When the battery has been used often enough that it ‘s losing capacity, the icon is overlaid with an exclamation mark warning and the battery condition changes to “poor” — both signs that the pack is due to be replaced. While not every condition is known, Snow Leopard presumably reports varying degrees of battery status when the pack has only been moderately used or is like new.

Though Apple has yet to document the reasons behind the change, the most logical explanation is simply that the company’s decision to seal in most notebook batteries makes it more important to have an early notice that a battery is near failing.

Apple has lately been paying closer attention to battery life on all its devices and with iPhone OS 3.0 will add a numerical percentage to the iPhone’s previously icon-only battery indicator.

iPhone OS 3.0 to Hit Today

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 08:14
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

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Per CNET, current iPhone owners will be able to download the software from iTunes for free while iPod touch users will have to pay a US$9.95 fee for it.

Though its exact release time is currently unknown, iPhone OS 3.0 will offer features such as multimedia messaging (to be supported by AT&T later this summer), voice recording, buying and renting movies and TV shows over the air, full system search, tethering and push notifications.

The update will be available through iTunes and users are advised to hook their handhelds to their Mac or PC later today, mount the device in iTunes and click the “Check for Update” button to download and install iPhone OS 3.0.

Apple has also bundled in some extras, like landscape virtual keyboard for certain apps, more extensive parental controls, in-app purchasing, and a feature for MobileMe customers called Find My Phone.

There will also be stereo Bluetooth available, as well as the capability to create applications specifically for interfacing with third-party hardware.

The new iPhone 3G S is scheduled to hit stores such as the Apple Store retail locations, Best Buy and the AT&T stores Friday morning.

CrossOver 8.0 Out the Door

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 07:09
Category: Software

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CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 8.0. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

New application support:

  • Quicken 2009
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Photoshop CS2

MS Office 2003:

  • Non-English language service packs should now apply.
  • Word 2003: ‘Insert Field’ should now work properly.
  • Word 2003: Table calculations fixed.
  • Word 2003: Insert… Picture… From File improved.
  • Outlook 2003: NTLM proxy authentication fixed.
  • Excel 2003: Insert Picture improved.
  • Outlook 2003: Problem with dropping into ‘disconnected’ mode is resolved.

MS Office 2007:

  • Service Packs 1 and 2 now apply.
  • Enterprise, Pro, and Corporate editions should now install.
  • Word 2007: Fixed misbehavior when using the ‘insert image’ function.
  • Several other Office service packs and add-ons should work better.

QuickTime 7:

  • Intermittent hanging bugs should be fixed.

Several other general fixes.

  • Outlook 2000: e-mail attachments should now work.
  • Acrobat 5 and 7: “Save As” dialog no longer causes crashes.
  • FrameMaker: Handling of PPD files improved on systems without CUPS.
  • Word XP: “Combine Documents” fixed.
  • Equation Editor should install and run.

Other crossover improvements:

  • A ‘symbol’ font as been added. This should improve Equation Editor behavior.
  • A couple of improvements were made to dual-monitor support on the Mac.
  • Fixed problem with resizing windows on dual-head linux systems.
  • KDE systray on SUSE 10.1 fixed.
  • KDE Printer improved.
  • Fixed a problem with demo registration and gksu version 2.0.2.
  • Improved copy and paste.
  • Added better 64-bit support in the RPM package.
  • Updated many components to fix behavior on the upcoming Snow Leopard release of OS X.

CrossOver 8.0 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

AT&T States Data Pricing to Hold Steady, Faces More Competitive Marketplace

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:05
Category: iPhone

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Data pricing plans look to hold steady for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S handsets in the near future per an article in the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been very happy with our pricing,” said AT&T spokesman Mark Segal, who went on to mention the average monthly bill for an iPhone user was within US$90 to US$100. The article went on to suggest that AT&T could charge an additional US$10 to US$40 per month for MMS and tethering featured on the new iPhone 3G S. AT&T is currently facing pressure to offer lower priced data plans by both consumers facing the financial crunch and competitors setting aggressive data pricing.

Last month, AT&T’s wireless chief Ralph de la Vega stated that the company was considering a lower tier of pricing plans. These packages would include limits over the amount of time spent on the Internet or the number of applications that could be wirelessly downloaded.

Sprint Nextel has said its Palm Pre data plans cost US$600 less per year than AT&T, while Verizon wireless offers an unlimited data plan for US$70 per month. AT&T offers a similar plan, charging an additional US$5 for text messages.

AT&T could lose money if it does decrease its data plan pricing, as users commonly purchase unlimited data plans which AT&T then must pay to transfer across the network. The company must also must pay hundreds of dollars in subsidies to Apple in order to maintain iPhone exclusivity. In addition, current upgrades being installed to double the network speed for the iPhone 3G S have raised costs even further for AT&T.

Apple Releases Java Security Update for Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5 Operating Systems

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:12
Category: Software

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On Monday, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 4 (a 158.3 megabyte download) and Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 9 (an 80.1 megabyte download). The two updates work to “deliver improved reliability, security and compatibility” and are available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updates address previously reported exploits to Java that Sun Microsystems patched more than six months ago.

Apple Opts for Slower SATA Spec for Hard Disk Drives in New 13″ MacBook Pro

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 08:12
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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In spite of Apple’s introduction of the 13″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook at WWDC last week, it may have opted for a slower standard. According to Engadget, the new MacBook Pro notebooks that ship with conventional hard disks may only have a 1.5GBps SATA enabled, while SSD configs are apparently getting the full 3.0GBps SATA II experience that used to be standard.
Albeit most people this won’t make too much difference since traditional hard drives can’t move data that fast, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re hoping to buy an hard drive unit and swap in a speedier SSD, since your max performance will be bottlenecked.