Skype for iPhone Expected Tomorrow

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Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 06:33
Category: iPhone, Software

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Months after an initial preview at CES in Las Vegas, Skype for iPhone is expected to hit Apple’s App Store sometime tomorrow.
According to C|NET, which was able to sit down and play with the application, the program will sport standard features generally found in mobile applications as well as a few iPhone-only perks.
For starters, the screens are well organized and use the iPhone’s ability to add filters, for instance, to sort your contacts alphabetically, or by who’s online. The application also allows for chatting and a relatively cheap per-minute fee to landlines. The application only allows calls if you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network and calls will not work over the cell phone network on the iPhone (but chatting will.) Assuming your connection is solid, you can dial a number or quickly call a contacts stored in your address book. iPod Touch users will need earphones with an embedded mic to talk. During a call, users can mute the line, go on hold, or put the call on speakerphone.
The current build of the program can accept incoming conference calls. While you won’t be able to initiate a call, users will be able to jump on one if a buddy invites you in.
Features missing from the first release of the app on the iPhone include SMS, setting up a conference calling group, purchasing SkypeOut credit directly, and being able to field a second incoming Skype call are a few as well as file transferring and getting Skype voicemail.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think of Skype on the iPhone in the comments or forums.

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Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.8 Update

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Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 06:16
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.8 of its Firefox web browser.
The new browser, a 17.3 megabyte download, boasts two unspecified security changes.
The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the new browser and have any feedback about it, let us know over in the comments or forums.

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Apple Begins Selling Contract-Free iPhone 3G at Full Price

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
Category: iPhone

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As of Thursday, Apple retail locations have begun selling unrestricted quantities of the company’s iPhone 3G handset at the non-subsidized price of US$599 for the 8GB version and US$699 for the 16GB version. Once sold, the buyer does not need to have an existing AT&T contract.
According to AppleInsider, activation can completed by the customer at home through iTunes.
Though the handsets are still technically (and legally) locked to AT&T service, it’s possible (but not supported) to unlock the phones for use with other mobile service providers such as T-Moble and Metro PCS, although both GSM providers do not support the 3G network the iPhone 3G needs to connect at faster than EDGE speeds.
Apple’s change in sales policy comes as the company is working to sell off remaining inventory to prepare for the upcoming launch of the new 2009 iPhone, which is expected to be released around the middle of June.
The launch may be expected to take place around this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place yet again in San Francisco, California.
If you’re en route to pick up a contract-free iPhone, please let us know about the experience in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases Updates for iPhoto 8, iWork 9, iMovie 8 and iWeb 3

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:54
Category: Software

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Yesterday, Apple released updates to…well…pretty much everything, so if you’ve got a few free minutes to spare and wanted to use Software Update, you’ll have a field day.
First among the updates is the company’s iPhoto 8.0.2 update. The new update, an 87.9 megabyte download, improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in a number of areas, including Faces, Places, photo sharing, and slideshows.
Next, Apple released its iWork 9.0.1update1 patch, a 42.7 megabyte download, that, oddly enough, lacks specific fixes in its description but is offered as a recommended update for all iWork 9.0 users.
Then, the company released its iMovie 8.0.1 update, a 24.5 megabyte download designed as a bug fix for the recently-released iMovie 8.0 video editing application. The new version improves overall application stability as well as addressing minor issues related to usability.
Finally, Apple released iWeb 3.0.1, the company’s update to its WYSIWYG HTML editing application. The new version, a 14.2 megabyte download, addresses issues when publishing to an FTP server and other minor issues.
The updates requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the updates and can offer any feedback, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases iLife Support 9.0.2 Update

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its iLife Support 9.0.2 update, a four megabyte download designed to improve overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues. The update is recommended for all users of Aperture, iLife 09, and iWork 09.
Like most patches, the file can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback to offer, please let us know how it went in the comments or forums.

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Users Reporting Dropped Internet Connections During Time Capsule Backups

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Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:18
Category: Software, Time Capsule

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In the category of “it should be working perfectly forever but isn’t”, a number of users have reported that their Time Capsule units are dropping Internet connections during the backup process. According to MacFixIt, the AirPort Utility does not see the Time Capsule during the dropped out period. Even so, the backup continues and completes despite the Internet connection not working. Time Capsules may also be dropping Internet connections more frequently than during backup sessions as multiple users report anywhere from 5 minute to 30-minute increments between drops.
One user, identified as “Zzooomm”, described the situation as follows:

“Time Capsule V7.4.1 loses Internet/Wireless Connection with my MacBookPro2,2 Core 2 Duo 10.5.6 during backup. It appears the backup continues successfully. Opening Airport Utility shows my second Airport Extreme but not the Time Capsule. Within 10 minutes of completing the backup, the TC reappears. Suggestions?”

Strangely enough and on an apparently-unrelated note, Apple has acknowledged that the Real Player Downloader has been causing communications complications between airport cards and Time Capsules. To repair this, head over to System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items, highlight the RP Downloader and click the (-) button. This is a solution that many of the users on the discussion threads acknowledge solves the issue.
If you do not have the Real Player Downloader installed and are still having problems, be sure you have Apple’s latest update to the Time Capsule firmware, 7.4.1. If you do not have it, download the update from Apple and install it.
If you have the firmware updated and do not have Real Player Downloader installed and are still having issues, try resetting your Time Capsule following instructions in the User’s Manual or read this Apple Knowledge Base article.
If you’ve seen this issue on your end or have an opinion to offer on it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware 1.0 Update

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Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:17
Category: MacBook Pro, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released its Graphics Firmware 1.0 update for its 17″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook. The update, a 770 kilobyte download, addresses the appearance of vertical lines or distorted graphics on the notebook display.
Like other patches, the update can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the firmware update and have any comments to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Activates iTunes Genius Recommendation Engine for Movies, TV Shows

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Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 07:15
Category: Software

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Apple this week activated its iTunes Genius recommendation engine for both movies and television shows, a feature it had originally planned to bring out alongside the iTunes 8.1 release.
According to AppleInsider, the Genius engine, Apple’s proprietary recommendation engine used for collaborative filtering and iTunes’ built-in rating system, allows users to generate recommendations based on their current music catalog.
During the iTunes 8.1 release a few weeks ago, Apple had promised to expand the feature to video files before pulling the plug for undisclosed reasons.
As of Tuesday, users reported Genius iTunes Store recommendations for movies and tv shows appearing alongside their iTunes libraries.
When selecting an TV Show from your iTunes library, for instance, the Genius sidebar now lists additional episodes from that show’s same season, additional shows from other seasons, and then 10 recommendations for similar shows.
If you’ve seen this feature in action, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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TomTom Home Updated to 2.6.1.238

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Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 07:38
Category: Software

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TomTom Home, the desktop/driver software for the TomTom GPS devices, reached version 2.6.1.238 late Tuesday. The new version, a 42.4 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), offers the following bug fixes and new features:

  • Link to our new online Route Planner.
  • Fresh new menu icons.
  • HOME now shows in the bottom right corner which TomTom device you have and offers a button to disconnect it.
  • It is now easier to get the latest maps by clicking the new Add Maps button.
  • After buying a new map you can now choose Install later.
  • Greek added as a new language.
  • Deselected update items are moved to the bottom of the list and remain deselected until you select them again.
  • TomTom HOME now stores all username and password combinations (if auto-login is chosen). You can automatically log in with any previously used device.
  • You need to fill in fewer fields when creating an account.
  • Improved device linking to better explain the process.
  • Fewer steps when using your activation or promotion code.
  • Bug fix: TomTom HOME now allows you to log in with e-mail domains of only one character long: e.g. username@c.dk.
  • It is now easier to install TomTom HOME themes and extensions that are already on your computer.
  • The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and is available as a free update.
    If you’ve tried the new version of TomTom Home or have a GPS program of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    iPhone 3G Details, Specifications Emerge on China Mobile Web Site

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    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 12:42
    Category: iPhone

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    iPhone photos and product specifications have now appeared on the web site of wireless carrier China Unicom, a sign that a deal may have been reached between Apple and the Chinese carrier.
    According to AppleInsider, the information provided on the web site does not specifically indicate whether the Apple handset will be available from China Unicom, but joins references to similar handsets like the Android-based G1 that will be supported by the carriers upcoming 3G network.
    The site changes emerged one week after China Unicom representatives met in the United States with Apple executives in what has been described as a “breakthrough” negotiation session aimed at bringing the iPhone 3G to China Unicom’s network.
    A spokesperson at China Unicom headquarters could not explain why the information had been posted on one of the carrier’s regional websites, though it’s reportedly not uncommon for the company’s branches to operate independently.
    A launch was said to hinge largely on China Unicom’s first trial run of its new 3G network this May. In contrast to China Mobile, which is endorsing the government’s TD-SCDMA wireless standard, China Unicom will be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network. Such a standard would let Apple sell its current handset virtually unchanged with full feature support.
    Although Apple has long pursued a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider with over 415 million subscribers, talks reportedly stalled over the government-backed carrier’s insistence on controlling the local version of Apple’s App Store, among other demands.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your minds in the comments or forums.

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