Rumor: Apple Could be Developing iPhone Lite, “Media Pad” for Summer Release

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 08:18
Category: Rumor

applelogo1.jpg
It came from the very depths of Rumorville, but it’s interesting stuff.
Per BusinessWeek, two anonymous sources have stated that Apple and Verizon may release two new Verizon-exclusive iPhone-like products as early as this summer.
The rumors go hand-in-hand with recent talk that the iPhone is coming to Verizon, and that Apple has new devices up its sleeve for the summer.
The first device has been described as an iPhone nano of sorts and may function as a smaller, less expensive iPhone handset. The “iPhone Lite”, as it’s been coined, is smaller and thinner than the existing iPhone and will come cheaper because it “relies on a so-called system on a chip, which incorporates many types of chips and drives down the cost of silicon in such devices.”
The other device is a “media pad” which features the same functionality as an iPod Touch – music, games, photos – but with HD video and calling ability via a Wi-Fi connection.
The sources told Business Week that the device will be smaller than Amazon’s Kindle 2 ebook reader, but feature a larger touchscreen, paving the way for more speculation about Apple entering the eBook market.
“The media pad category might go to Verizon,” a witness told Business Week. “We are talking about a device where people will say, ‘Damn, why didn’t we do this?’ Apple is probably going to define the damn category.”

Mark/Space Releases Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.1 Update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 07:49
Category: iPhone, Software

markspacelogo.gif
Mark/Space on Tuesday announced the release of The Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.1, the new version of its data synchronization utility for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. The application allows users to synchronize data that the iPhone won’t ordinarily synchronize with the Mac, such as notes, documents, and tasks and archives text messages on the iPhone to the Mac as well as archives call histories, and features a “Migration Assistant” of its own that lets you transfer contacts and other data from another smartphone to the iPhone.
The new version, a 12 megabyte download (courtesy of MacUpdate), sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed a crash that could occur while transferring files to Fliq Docs.
  • Fixed an issue where notes syncing would not work on Mac OS 10.4.x (Tiger) systems.
  • Fixed an issue where notes edited on the iPhone would not sync back to the desktop.
  • Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.1 retails for US$39.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.

    Apple Stores May Switch To iPhone Software for In-store Purchases

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009, 13:16
    Category: Apple, Retail Store

    With the release of iPhone 3.0 enabled hardware and software, Apple may be planning a switch from its EasyPay handheld devices to iPhones for checking out customers at their retail stores.

    apple_ministore.jpg

    An AppleInsider report speculates that Apple may be planning to move away from the current Windows Mobile-based PDAs in favor of iPhones or iPod Touches using credit card scanners enabled by the new 3.0 software which allows devices connected to the 30-pin dock connector to finally talk to applications.

    Apple has reportedly had issues with the EasyPay system in the past, resulting in checkout delays and frustrated customers. Overall, however, the mobile checkout system has worked out well for the retail stores which were reported to average 3.6 million visits per week during Apple’s December financial conference call. Developing its own point of sale system around the iPhone could be costly, but would allow Apple Stores to show off the versatility of their mobile hardware.

    It is interesting to note that in the current batch of Apple’s iPhone commercials, one of the highlighted apps is CCTerminal which allows you to process credit card transactions online using an iPhone or iPod Touch.

    Thanks to Chuck Freedman for bringing this to my attention, although I’ve actually been musing about this possibility since the 3.0 sneak peek. Yes, I do spend too much time at the Apple Store.

    Apple Job Listing Points Out Possibility of iPod Touch Gaining Built-In Camera

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 07:11
    Category: iPod Touch

    elipodtouch.jpg
    A recent Apple job listing points out that Apple may be looking to extend camera functions over to its popular iPod touch handset.
    According to AppleiPhoneApps.com, a job listing originally posted on March 16th stated that Apple is “looking for a Camera Engineering Project Manager (EPM) to drive the design, development and integration of camera modules across iPhone and iPod.”
    “The EPM is the interface between our internal engineering teams and the suppliers of sensors, lenses and camera modules,” the listing says. “In this highly cross functional role the EPM will work closely together with the HW, SW and mechanical engineering team to coordinate all aspects of the camera module design, production and integration.”
    Recent reports have indicated that Apple may be looking to expand its handset camera capabilities and that the next iPhone will see its camera upgraded from 2.0 megapixels to 3.2 megapixels as well as possibly add video functionality.
    Per an AppleInsider story, Apple changed the text of its job posting to omit the mention of iPods in the listing.

    (more…)

    Apple Releases iTunes 8.1.1 Update

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 06:17
    Category: Software

    blueituneslogo.jpg
    Late Monday, Apple released iTunes 8.1.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 68 megabyte download, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

  • Adds support for renting HD movies.
  • Provides a number of bug fixes, including addressing issues with VoiceOver and syncing with iPhone or iPod touch.
  • iTunes 8.1.1 is available for free, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be snagged using Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

    (more…)

    Next-Gen iPhone, iPod Touch Models to Support Faster, Low-Power 802.11n Protocol

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 10:02
    Category: iPhone

    3giphone.jpg
    A list of wireless radio component specifications found within beta distributions of the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware offers details for a new chip enabling low power 802.11n bound for the third-generation iPod touch handset. According to AppleInsider, the chip is also likely to be en route for Apple’s upcoming iPhone models.
    The version of the existing Broadcom chip that supplies WiFi and Bluetooth on existing models jumps from BCM4325 to BCM4329 in the description. The component upgrade adds new support for 802.11n features, including the ability to find and join 5GHz networks.
    Current iPhone and iPod touch generations provide support for 5GHz 802.11a networks, or 2.4GHz 802.11b/g networks, pushing users who want the top speed of 802.11n (available on all MacBooks) but compatibility with 802.11b/g networks (to use the existing iPhone) to set up a 2.4GHz compatible network. That resulting push forces the wireless network to deal with interference from other networks on the often-crowded 2.4GHz band.
    Apple’s latest firmware update for its AirPort base stations added support for dual-band networks, allowing both slow and fast devices to hook into 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz signals at the same time.
    New support for 802.11n in the upcoming iPhone and iPod touch models would also provide the devices with additional network speed and reception range features of the significantly faster 802.11n specification as well as channel bonding (using two channels at once to double the top reception speed) and MIMO, the ability to use multiple transmit and receive antennas to improve reception speed and range.
    The new device also focuses on efficient power management, with a special integrated PMU (power management unit) and a shared Bluetooth and WiFi receive signal path, which “eliminates the need for an external power splitter while maintaining excellent sensitivity for both Bluetooth and WLAN.”
    The new component could dramatically speed up WiFi throughput and flexibility as AT&T and other providers also upgrade their 3G networks to take advantage of parallel improvements in mobile 3G speed capacity expected in the new iPhone.

    (more…)

    Skype for iPhone Expected Tomorrow

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

    3giphone.jpg
    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.

    (more…)

    Apple Drops iPhone Bluetooth Headset from Online Storefront

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 13:30
    Category: Accessory, iPhone

    appleheadset.jpg
    Apple apparently stopped selling its official Bluetooth headset for the iPhone, as noted by MacNN today. Although the product’s page still exists over on the Apple Store, the company has marked the device as “discontinued”.
    The headset, which was launched along with the original iPhone in June of 2007, dropped in price from US$129 to US$99 in 2008, while also losing its bundled dual-dock.
    Though exact reasons for the disappearance are unknown, this could be connected to future iPhone hardware changes, especially those tied in with the recently-announced iPhone OS 3.0 firmware — and possibly iPod touches — that are expected to gain full Bluetooth functionality in the summer. Though the current iPhone technically supports Bluetooth 2.0, it does not allow stereo audio, nor does it support many of the advanced data functions possible on other cellphones.
    Apple may intend to introduce a new generation of headset at the same time as a new iPhone, incorporating stereo and more advanced controls.
    If you have any ideas on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

    (more…)

    Apple Faces Suit Over Exploding iPod Touch

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

    elipodtouch.jpg
    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.

    (more…)

    iPhone Dev Team Releases Full Jailbreak for iPod Touch 2G

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 08:39
    Category: iPod Touch

    elipodtouch.jpg
    The pretty spiffy guys at the iPhone Dev Team have released the first full jailbreak for Apple’s iPod touch 2G handset. According to iPhone Alley, the team was able to exploit a “fatal flaw in [the] bootrom that means you will always be able to pwn these devices no matter what firmware updates come along.”
    Could be interesting and the patch for transforming the tethered jailbreak into an untethered one is available on ipodtouchfans.com. The jailbreak has not yet been built into the Dev Team’s QuickPwn or the Pwnage Tool utilities.
    If you’ve gotten around to trying the jailbreak, please let us know how it went in the comments or forums.

    (more…)