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

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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.

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Apple Releases iTunes 8.1.1 Update

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

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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.

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    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

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    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.

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    Skype for iPhone Expected Tomorrow

    Posted by:
    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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    Apple Drops iPhone Bluetooth Headset from Online Storefront

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

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    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.

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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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    iPhone Dev Team Releases Full Jailbreak for iPod Touch 2G

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

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    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.

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    iPhone Cases Roundup

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 17:59
    Category: Cases, iPhone

    By David Klein
    We all know the iPhone is sexy. Apple succeeded in maintaining its tradition of sleek, innovative design. A separate tradition that follows Apple releases is a slew of accessories. Every time I purchase an iPod I also get a matching case for both protection and to make it unique. Naturally, I wanted to purchase a case for my iPhone too.
    I quickly realized that the iPhone is the first Apple product that is with me all the time. Of course we all listen to music on our iPods and other mp3 players (I owned a Rio 500 back in the day), but constant presence is not guaranteed like that of a cell phone. The iPhone is also more versatile. At the gym it’s an mp3 player. In meetings it’s a note taker. This is different when compared to an iPod which is always an mp3 player. One case will suffice. The iPhone can be more effectively used with different cases to match the tasks. Similar to my headphones post, I believe there are three case/task categories: style, gym, and productivity.
    Style – Moshi iGlaze 3G
    The best iPhone 3G case available is the Moshi iGlaze 3G. This is my everyday case. It’s thin and light so your iPhone doesn’t become bloated. It has a circular hole in the back to reveal the Apple logo. It comes in black, cramberry, and white. On the bottom is Moshi’s logo which is gracefully placed on all of its products. You can see it on my review of their Celesta keyboard. Included in the package is a film cover to protect the screen from scratches and smudges. The iGlaze’s beat feature is the smooth, rubber material. For US$23 you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this case even if you already own one. Moshi continues to impress me with its beautiful products.

    http://www.moshimonde.com/iglaze_3g.htm

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    Gym – Griffin Elan Form
    When I exercise at the gym I want to be sure that my iPhone is safe in my pocket. Of course nothing will stop complete destruction if one drops a barbell onto the screen, but it’s still possible to prevent damage from drops. Yes, occasionally I accidentally get something caught on the headphones wire and the iPhone does a little dance onto the floor. That’s why I need a case that’s more rugged than the iGlaze. The answer is Griffin Technology’s Elan Form. Leather on the outside; hard shell on the inside. It comes in both black and pink. The Elan Form is not nearly as smooth to the touch as the iGlaze, but it’s definitely harder. It’s very easy to slide on and off (compared to another case I had which actually required a nickel to pry open and remove). On Griffin’s website the Elan Form costs US$30, but you can find it for US$18 on Amazon. If you’re looking for extra protection for activities like running, biking, or lifting weights, I recommend this case.

    http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/elanform3g#

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    Productivity – Pogo Stylus
    I loved the Palm Pilot. I had one high school (yes I was that guy). I also had an iPaq phase in college. I never had any complaints while using a stylus. Now, you can use one with your iPhone. The Pogo Stylus includes two pieces: the stylus and piece of plastic that snaps onto the back and sides of the iPhone. Clearly this sounds foreign since we are all so accustomed to tapping on the screen with our fingers. However, there’s something oddly familiar about pressing on the screen with a tool instead of a finger. It’s faster, more accurate, easy to learn how to use, and it’s soft tip won’t hurt the screen. Within minutes you’ll be swiping across the screen like the good old days of the Palm products. The Pogo Stylus is great for taking notes during meetings or writing longer emails than you can normally tolerate while using your fingers. It comes in black, gunmetal, silver, and cranberry. Pogo makes different size clips for both the first and second generation iPhones and the iPod Touch. Although this is not exactly a case, I still find it attached often. For US$15 I think this is a fun way to improve the iPhone.

    http://www.tenonedesign.com/stylus.php

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    CBS Mobile Launches TV.com, Allows Free Streaming to iPhone, iPod Touch

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:34
    Category: iPhone

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    Following up on other streaming-television efforts, CBS Mobile has released application currently offers CBS shows, CBS Sports programming and content such as episodes of “Late Show with David Letterman, “Star Trek: the Original Series,” “CSI,” and “The Young and the Restless,” among many others. The mobile application also serves up a selection of shows from the CW including “Smallville” and “90210,” a half dozen shows from Showtime including “The L Word” and “The Tudors,” and a variety of CNET and GameSpot podcasts.
    While the current programming selection is rather limited, the app can accommodate all the new content CBS serves up as it works to make more of its library of content available. The app uses the iPhone’s standard QuickTime player.
    According to AppleInsider, CBS is currently pushing TV.com in competition with the Viacom-backed Joost and Hulu, a joint effort between NBC and Fox, to reach audiences beyond the TV and deliver a “direct to users” model of web-oriented offerings. Hulu currently lacks a mobile app for the iPhone like TV.com’s offering but Joost does provide a player app for its content, though it has yet to use the standard QuickTime player on the iPhone.
    TV studios have rushed to set up their own web-based operations to create an alternative to seeing their content distributed (at no benefit to them) to web audiences via sites like YouTube. Joost, TV.com, and Hulu are supported by ads. Like YouTube, all three websites use Adobe Flash to deliver their video content on the web.
    The TV.com application requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve downloaded the application and played with it, please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    Truphone Adds Skype Support for iPhone, iPod Touch

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:37
    Category: Software

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    Software developer Truphone announced yesterday that the company has added Skype support for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. Per the press release, users can now instant message their Skype contacts as well as make and receive Skype-based calls to users on their contact list.
    To begin, download Truphone for iPhone or iPod Touch, go to the IM screen in the iPhone application (the IM/More screen in the iPod touch application). If you cannot see this screen, select it from within the “More” screen.
    Once here, select Skype from the setup screen, sign in using your Skype account details.
    Once logged in, you will now see all of your Skype contacts and you will be ready to start.
    Skype-based calls within Wi-Fi areas as well as instant messages will be free and users can make Skype-based calls and send Skype instant messages using Truphone Anywhere, which will use your data package to connect the call or send the instant message.
    Truphone is a free download and requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried Truphone for the iPhone or iPod touch and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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