MobileMe Syncing Bug Discovered, Workarounds Offered

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Date: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009, 03:44
Category: iPhone, iPod, Software

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According to the mighty MacFixIt, some users of Apple’s MobileMe syncing solution have reported difficulties uploading pictures from their iPhone or iPod touch to their MobileMe Gallery, an issue that appears to be related to usernames.

If you are experiencing issues when trying to publish a picture from your iPhone or iPod touch to your MobileMe Gallery, your problems could be caused by a bug in username recognition on your device.

Per the article, this Apple KB document outlines the issues, which can occur if your MobileMe username is mixed case (i.e., UserName, or USERname). When setting up MobileMe on your iPhone or iPod touch, simply enter your username as all lowercase letters.

You can check your username by navigating (on your iPhone or iPod touch) to:

Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > your MobileMe account > Account Info
If you have any uppercase letters, do the following:
1. Plug in your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer and sync.
2. Once synced, return to your Account Info on your iPhone/iPod touch.
3. Tap the “Delete Account” button and verify that you would like to delete it.
4. Choose to Add Account, and setup your MobileMe using all lowercase letters.

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

Rumor: Netflix May Bring Streaming Service to iPhone, Other Handsets

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Date: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009, 05:16
Category: iPhone 3GS, Rumor

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Citing an unnamed source described as “an industry executive familiar with Netflix’s plans,” an article in Multichannel News is claiming that Netflix will soon offer its Watch Instantly streaming video service on the iPhone, iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii.

The brief reportdescribes the move as the next step for Netflix’ content, which currently streams to Windows PCs, Macs, the Xbox 360, TiVo DVRs, the Roku, and certain TV and Blu-Ray players built to support video downloads.

Unlike its DVDs-by-mail service, Netflix’ Watch Instantly library offers much less variety, with limited popular content such as recent movies and TV series. Older titles and oddball independent films are also available for immediate viewing and the Watch Instantly service is also included for viewing at no extra cost over the base Netflix subscription, in contrast to iTunes’ pay per view pricing.

Unlike media purchased or rented from iTunes, Netflix’ streaming content plays back directly with no download. This requires no local storage on the playback device, but results in playback quality that is dependent upon the available network bandwidth. With iTunes and the Apple TV, content is progressively downloaded, enabling users to obtain HD content even with a slower connection, albeit with a longer wait.

The advantage of Netflix’ instantly streaming video is that little or no storage is required. If the iPhone and Wii are powerful enough to decode the live stream, this could add a new customer segment for Netflix, the users not having to worry about their devices storing the downloaded content.

Whether the iPhone or Wii could decode quality video only using software may be an issue, as Netflix playback on the more powerful Apple TV has been cited by some as not practical due to its lack of any Windows Media codec hardware acceleration.

Video playback over AT&T’s mobile network would likely also be prohibited by any Netflix streaming player app, making any iPhone version Wi-Fi only, in line with other video streaming apps such as SlingPlayer Mobile.

As a workaround to the iPhone’s intentionally missing support for Windows DRM, Netflix could also take a page from Google and utilize the native support in iPhone OS 3.0 for HTTP Live Streaming, which plays streaming video to the iPhone and iPod Touch using standard MPEG AAC/H.264 codecs over familiar web-based protocols.

At the launch of the iPhone, Google shifted its Flash-based YouTube service to also support H.264 at Apple’s behest, allowing the iPhone to work around the need for Flash playback while also delivering hardware accelerated video playback using open protocols.

Support for HTTP Live Streaming will also be built into QuickTime X playback for Snow Leopard, and appears to be slated for adoption in the next revision of Apple TV. Third parties will also be able to implement HTTP Live Streaming on their own devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple Releases MobileMe Application for iPhone

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Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2009, 05:48
Category: iPhone, Software

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I’m not sure how critical your MobileMe account is to you, but as of yesterday, it came to the iPhone. According to Engadget, Apple released MobileMe iDisk, a long-awaited free application for iPhone OS 3.0 that enables iPhone and iPod touch users with MobileMe accounts to access the inner sanctums of their own iDisk.

The app lets users log in, view files up to 20 megabytes and share files by sending others a link via email to whatever you deem appropriate. The application includes an option to password protect assorted files and limit the amount of days the download is active, though viewing files is limited to iPhone-supported file types such as iWork, Office, QuickTime, PDF, etc.

MobileMe iDisk requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run.

comiXology Releases Comics for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, July 24th, 2009, 03:00
Category: iPhone, Software

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Over at San Diego Comic-Con, Iconology Inc. announced the launch of its Comics by comiXology App on the App Store. The Comics by comiXology App is a digital comic library and reader for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch handsets that is launching with over 100 titles available from twenty popular comic publishers and many independent comic writers.

Comic book enthusiasts can now read their comics in a format designed to preserve the comic book experience on an iPhone or iPod touch, but also locate and connect with local retailers to purchase the printed version of the titles.

The application offers a “guided view” that keeps the entire page of a comic intact, unlike other solutions where the page is cut into individual pictures the user browses like a photo application.

Among the twenty publishers that have already signed up to deliver their titles through Comics by comiXology are many well-known industry icons including:

  • AdHouse Books
  • Arcana Comics
  • Asylum Press
  • Bluewater Comics
  • Com.X
  • Creative Impulse Entertainment
  • Digital Webbing
  • eigoMANGA
  • Evil Twin Comics
  • First Salvo
  • Image Comics (Active Images, Allred, Kirkman, Wagner, Brunswick, Revel and more)
  • Markosia
  • Moonstone
  • Red 5
  • Slave Labor Graphics
  • Th3rd World Studios
  • Zenescope

Additionally, popular comics writer Robert Kirkman has agreed to deliver his titles exclusively through Comics by comiXology making it the only place to get “Walking Dead” and “Invincible” for iPhone and iPod touch.

The Comics by comiXology App is now available, including over 30 free comics, for US$0.99 from the App Store.

Apple Releases iTunes 8.2.1, Cripples Palm Pre iTunes Syncing with Update

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Date: Thursday, July 16th, 2009, 04:14
Category: iTunes, Mac, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released iTunes 8.2.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 77.3 megabyte download, offers support for the iPhone or iPod touch with the iPhone 3.0 Software Update. The update offers a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned “verification of Apple devices” toes the line as to which handhelds can sync to iTunes and which can’t. According to Macworld, the fact that the update “addresses an issue with verifying Apple devices,” essentially means that Apple’s drawn up a list of which devices are allowed to sync and which aren’t—and the Palm Pre is public enemy number one on the latter.

Back in May, prior to the Pre’s official release, Palm executives announced that the device would be able to sync with iTunes, pulling down your music, podcasts, and videos. The trick? As far as iTunes was concerned, the Palm Pre was an iPod.

While the media sync worked pretty well in previous tests, it was unclear as to whether Apple would allow it to sync to iTunes should future versions be released. Apple may have toed the line via a Knowledge Base article describing third party media players being supported by iTunes.

With iTunes 8.2.1, Apple seems to have stopped the Palm Pre from syncing to iTunes altogether, a move confirmed by the company in a statement to the Dow Jones Newswire. Also speaking to Dow Jones, a Palm spokesperson seemed to suggest that not upgrading iTunes is a good solution—but it seems unlikely most users will be willing to do that, especially over the long term as Apple adds more iTunes features.

While the Pre also works as a USB drive, it’s possible to just copy songs over manually, though it can be a laborious process. There’s also the option of third-party syncing software, such as Mark/Space’s The Missing Sync for Palm Pre, doubleTwist, and the forthcoming Salling Media Sync 1.1, which is currently in beta.

First iPhone 3G S Teardown Goes Live, Shows 720p-Capable CPU

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Date: Friday, June 19th, 2009, 07:46
Category: iPhone 3GS

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A recently-released teardown of Apple’s iPhone 3G S by RapidRepair has revealed the presence of a 720p HD-capable processor as well as a 600MHz ARM processor, Samsung’s S5PC100, based on the much more advanced Cortex A8 platform. However, official specifications (PDF) show that the chip could run at 833MHz and that, while Apple officially limits video recording to 640×480, the full-speed component could not only play but capture 720p.

The S5PC100 is also technically capable of two-way video calling, although latency on current 3G networks is likely to discourage this.

Per the teardown, Apple apparently chose to underclock the iPhone 3G S’ processor given heat and power concerns within a tight space, as was the case when the company scaled back previous iPhones’ processors from 600MHz to 412MHz. Unlike the iPod touch, the iPhone has cellular baseband hardware and other components that cut back on available energy and cooling areas.

Along with confirming the main processor, the examination also shows the existence of 256MB of RAM (twice as much as on the past two iPhone generations), and that at least 16GB iPhone 3G S units use a single Toshiba NAND flash memory chip for storage.

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

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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

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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 Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, June 17th Ship Date

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 17:56
Category: iPhone, News


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At the core of the iPhone is its firmware and after months of waiting, Apple senior vice president of iPhone software Scott Forstall user the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote to announce details of iPhone OS 3.0, which will be released on June 17, 2009.
Per the Apple Core, iPhone OS 3.0 will be a free release for all iPhone customers and support first all iPhone and iPod touch models, though iPod touch users will need to purchase the update for US$10.
Current iPhone software developers will be able to download the new release on Monday, as the software has gone “golden master” today.
Forstall then went on to mention the 100+ new features to be found in the iPhone OS 3.0 update, incuding Cut, Copy, and Paste as well as Landscape mode in all key applications, including Mail, Notes and Messages. Apple has also included Spotlight support across the entire device as well as ubiquitous searching.
Other new features include peer-to-peer Bluetooth-based multiplayer gaming, push notification and in-app store support.
Multimedia Messaging Support (MMS) has long since been demanded on the iPhone and, unfortunately, it appears that iPhone users in the United States will be waiting longer. Forstall noted that while iPhone OS 3.0 is capable of MMS, it requires carrier support to implement, which AT&T seems to be hesitant on.
Twenty-nine carriers in 76 countries will support MMS at the time of iPhone 3.0’s launch, according to Forstall. AT&T, Apple’s U.S. carrier partner, isn’t among them, at least not initially. AT&T will be ready to support MMS “later this summer,” according to Forstall. That news that elicited boos from the crowd.
Fortall then moved into tethering (the ability for a Mac or PC to share the iPhone’s Internet connection), another feature AT&T seems to have dropped the ball on. The upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 tethering feature will work over USB or Bluetooth, and works on Mac OS X and Windows.
“Find My Phone” is a new feature in iPhone 3.0 that helps you locate your iPhone if you’ve misplaced it wherein users can log in to MobileMe and it will show you where you left your phone. Users can also send a message to the phone, and will play an alert, even if you left the phone in silent mode. A remote wipe feature will also allow “Find My Phone” to erase all your data if your iPhone falls into the wrong hands.
The new iPhone OS supports HTTP-based streaming audio and video that will pick the right bit-rate depending on your phone’s data connection quality. Autofill has been added for the Mobile Safari software, to save you from having to fill out forms manually.
Another hotly-anticipated capability for the iPhone is turn-by-turn GPS-based directions. To that end, TomTom demonstrated an iPhone 3.0 application that delivers real TomTom navigation on the iPhone. The software also works with a cradle device that suction-cups to your vehicle’s window. The device is apparently more than just a holder and securely docks the iPhone, and can enhance the iPhone’s GPS capabilities, and give you hands-free calling capabilities, power and a loudspeaker. TomTom plans to release both this summer, with a range of maps.

E3: Sony Introduces PSP Go Portable Game System

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Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 09:15
Category: News

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Sony on Tuesday announced the release of its new mobile system known as the PSP go, a long-rumored PlayStation Portable system withe a smaller form factor. According to Macworld UK, the device is specifically designed for users interested in downloading games and videos. The device is planned for an October release in North America, Europe and Asia and will retail for US$249.
The PSP go measures 5.04″ x 0.65″ x 2.72″ and weighs 5.6 ounces. The device retains a 16:9 aspect ratio display that measures 3.8″ and 480 x 272 pixels, the same resolution as other PSP models, albeit smaller). Despite the rumors, the device lacks a touchscreen interface, unlike the iPhone or iPod touch.
The 3.8-inch TFT display slides upward to reveal control surfaces, much like a smartphone. Instead of a QWERTY keyboard you’ll find a directional pad, specialized buttons, a small analog thumbstick and start and select buttons.
Sony has also removed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical drive from the PSPgo, emphasizing the unit’s suitability for digital entertainment content transferred from the PlayStation 3 or directly over the PlayStation Network.
The PSP go also features built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi and support for Bluetooth 2.0 wireless peripherals, including headphones, headsets and PS3 wireless controllers. The device can be attached to a television or home entertainment system so you can watch videos stored in the unit and boasts 16GB of built-in flash memory, along with a Memory Stick Micro flash storage card slot that can be used to further expand the unit’s storage capacity.