Apple this week began posting information for iPhone users intending to update their device to the new iPhone 3G. A new support document explains how to replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G using the same carrier: "If you follow these steps to backup your original iPhone first, and then restore the backup to your iPhone 3G, your saved SMS messages, email accounts, photos, notes, and other personal settings will be present on your iPhone 3G," the company noted. The instructions indicate that iPhone users in the US will not need to transfer their SIM card (a new one will be provided with the iPhone 3G) and describes how to transfer settings, personal info, SMS messages, and other data to the new device using iTunes' backup iPhone feature. The document confirms that the iPhone 3G will require the yet-to-be-released iTunes 7.7.
German newspaper publisher Axel Springer is migrating to the Mac platform and says it will replace all of its PCs with both Mac notebooks and desktops over the next five years, becoming Apple's second largest corporate client. The company, which already uses Macs for all of its layout work, cited the user-friendly Mac operating system, ease-of-use, maintenance costs, and Apple's industrial design the main reason for the migration: "The Apple computers are easier to operate than all the others," CEO Mathias Döpfner said in a YouTube video (in German). Axel-Springer will be Apple's largest corporate client in Europe and second largest -- only behind Google -- in the world, according (German link) to the German magazine Heise Online.
Adobe this week released Flash Player 10 beta 2, an early preview version of the nearly ubiquitous media plugin for browsers and for Flash/video playback. Version 10 of the player, code named "Astro," brings custom filters and effects, 3D effects, and a new text engine with text layout Components. Most importantly, however, it will bring a huge performance boost for Mac users: "If you have followed GUIMark at all you will notice that this version of the player runs this benchmark substantially better on OSX than any previous Flash Player version. It should be up to 3 times faster. How will this affect you? Well, OSX device text rendering got a huge performance boost. If you use lots of device text you will see a big difference."
Though its about a week before the expected launch of the iPhone 3G, a line already has begun forming outside the Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue Store in New York City. As of mid-Friday afternoon, about 10 people are in line waiting to purchase the new iPhone 3G, which will be available next Friday (July 11th). Gear Daily reports that "about 10 people in line with the first two being a man and woman with a young child. The security guards will allow everyone to stay and indicated that as of yet there are no plans to put out barricades." Pictures from the store, courtesy of Gear Daily, show people prepared for the seven-day wait with fold-up chairs, overnight gear, and more.
Belgian iPhone customers will have to wait a bit longer than the earlier-announced July 11th launch date, since the device is subject to a law prohibiting a device to be sold in conjunction with a required subscription. French language site MacBidouille reports that the law counters Apple's plan of offering exclusive arrangements for some countries, since the lack of a contract would mean that the device would not be tied directly to Mobistar.
Apple Expo '08 – Europe's major Apple conference, akin to Macworld in the US – is set to occur from September 17th to the 20th in Paris, France, and the organization has detailed several of the planned events. The Unofficial Apple Weblog details that the conference will see two iPhone events among the 30 other currently planned occasions. Access to the event is currently free, but will cost €12 without a pre-registered access badge.
App4mac on Friday unveiled Sequence 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, its screenshot and video capture tool designed to use multithreaded code and a 64-bit enabled compression system. Sequence allows users to capture screenshots and movies of the entire screen or segments within, and send the resulting media to either the clipboard or into a file. App4mac is selling Sequence 1.0 for $20, and is available for download from the company's website.
Berbie Software on Friday unveiled TrailRunner 1.7, an update to its outdoor route-planning and journaling software, adding support for Nike+ online community and enhanced support for several Garmin GPS devices. Users of the Nike+iPod system or the Nike+ SportBand can now display their collected workout data within TrailRunner to match the recordings with created routes, as well as utilize performance analysis tools. TrailRunner 1.7 is donation-ware, in that the application itself is free, but tokens of appreciation are welcome.
Virtual Programming on Friday unveiled Europa Universalis: Rome, a stand-alone game built on the Europa Universalis 3 engine, spanning the history of the Roman Empire from the first Punic War to the start of the empire. The game features a great deal of custom gameplay choices, such as country, culture, provincial, and character settings, offering unique experiences every time. Europa Universalis is available as a direct download for $40.
An iPhone modder recently unveiled a MacBook Air-style makeover for the iPhone's keyboard, offering users an attractive alternative to the jeweled buttons of the default keyboard. Just Another iPhone Blog reveals that although the keys have a smaller appearance, they are aesthetically pleasing and do not permanently replace the layout for the default keyboard. The app warns users to delete any existing keyboard modifications, as it may cause issues.
At its current stage of development, the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard beta is not outperforming 10.5 Leopard by any wide stretches, as developers dive into the new OS with GeekBench. The Netherlands' Mac Zone writes that benchmarking numbers indicate that 10.6 performs better than 10.5, but only by a small margin. This hardly is conclusive of the final product, however, given that 10.6 Snow Leopard is still under early development – early betas of 10.5 Leopard had a very Tiger-like interface and poorer performance than the final build.
HTC has been a veteran of smartphones but has only just recently ventured into handheld computers, and the Shift represents its first full-fledged attempt at an ultra-mobile PC. The system promises to take all of HTC's experience with handsets and translate it into a full-fledged Windows computer that happens to have the conveniences of a cellphone; but its real challenges may be both to compete with a new wave of notebooks as well as extra-capable cellphones like iPhone 3G. Click through for a full review of HTC's inaugural device.
ASUS today announced the pricing of and more information on its new Eee PC 904 mini notebook, which it revealed just earlier this week. The new mini laptop PC will act as another offering in its Eee PC range, as opposed to replacing one of the existing products, like previously rumored. It will be the lowest-priced Eee PC in the range with a 9-inch screen, thanks to a combination of its chassis, screen size and hardware specs.
Gefen on Thursday introduced its newest connectivity product, the HDMI IR Extender. Aimed at custom installations, the HDMI IR Extender will allow users to control their HD source units from another room without having to purchase and run lengthy HDMI cables through their walls. The Sender and Receiver connect via two standard Ethernet (CAT-5) cables, and can deliver 1080p resolution video signals over up to 300 feet or 1080i resolution over up to 150 feet. Audio is likewise transmitted.
Objective Development on Thursday unveiled Sharity 3.4, an update to its UNIX platform SMB file system that adds several bug fixes and improved compatibility with NAS devices. Sharity allows users to mount shared volumes from Windows, Samba, and other SMB/CIFS servers onto UNIX-based systems such as Mac OS X, Sun Solaris, and Linux, among others. Sharity 3 is available for evaluation for free, with personal licenses starting at $30, and commercial licenses at $200.
Marware on Thursday unveiled the Sportfolio sleeve for the MacBook Air, offering users a padded neoprene protection solution for their ultraportables. The handle-bearing sleeve has plastic inserts to protect against impact, and includes stretchy exterior pockets, while the interior is concealed with dual, lined zippers. The Sportfolio also comes with a padded, removable shoulderstrap. Marware is selling the Sportfolio for MacBook Air for $50 from its website and select retailers.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN